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BER. Well, brother, what do you say to that? Isn't it as good as a dose of cassia?

TOI. Oh! good cassia is a very good thing, Sir.

BER. Now, shall we have a little chat together.

ARG. Wait a moment, brother, I'll be back directly.

TOI. Here, Sir; you forget that you cannot get about without a stick.

ARG. Ay, to be sure.


TOI. Pray, do not give up the interest of your niece.

BER. No, I shall do all in my power to forward her wishes.

TOI. We must prevent this foolish marriage which he has got into his head, from taking place. And I thought to myself that it would be a good thing to introduce a doctor here, having a full understanding of our wishes, to disgust him with his Mr. Purgon, and abuse his mode of treating him. But as we have nobody to act that part for us, I have decided upon playing him a trick of my own.

BER. In what way?

TOI. It is rather an absurd idea, and it may be more fortunate than good. But act your own part. Here is our man.


BER. Let me ask you, brother, above all things not to excite yourself during our conversation.

ARG. I agree.

BER. To answer without anger to anything I may mention.

ARG. Very well.

BER. And to reason together upon the business I want to discuss with you without any irritation.

ARG. Dear me! Yes. What a preamble!

BER. How is it, brother, that, with all the wealth you possess, and with only one daughter--for I do not count the little one--you speak of sending her to a convent?

ARG. How is it, brother, that I am master of my family, and that I can do all I think fit?

BER. Your wife doesn't fail to advise you to get rid, in that way, of your two daughters; and I have no doubt that, through a spirit of charity, she would be charmed to see them both good nuns.

ARG. Oh, I see! My poor wife again! It is she who does all the harm, and everybody is against her.

BER. No, brother; let us leave that alone. She is a woman with the best intentions in the world for the good of your family, and is free from all interested motives. She expresses for you the most extraordinary tenderness, and shows towards your children an inconceivable goodness. No, don't let us speak of her, but only of your daughter. What can be your reason for wishing to give her in marriage to the sort of a doctor?

ARG. My reason is that I wish to have a son-in-law who will suit my wants.

BER. But it is not what your daughter requires, and we have a more suitable match for her.

ARG. Yes; but this one is more suitable for me.

BER. But does she marry a husband for herself or for you, brother?

ARG. He must do both for her and for me, brother; and I wish to take into my family people of whom I have need.

BER. So that, if your little girl were old enough, you would give her to an apothecary?

ARG. Why not?

BER. Is it possible that you should always be so infatuated with your apothecaries and doctors, and be so determined to be ill, in spite of men and nature?

ARG. What do you mean by that, brother?

BER. I mean, brother, that I know of no man less sick than you, and that I should be quite satisfied with a constitution no worse than yours. One great proof that you are well, and that you have a body perfectly well made, is that with all the pains you have taken, you have failed as yet in injuring the soundness of your constitution, and that you have not died of all the medicine they have made you swallow.

ARG. But are you aware, brother, that it is these medicines which keep me in good health? Mr. Purgon says that I should go off if he were but three days without taking care of me.

BER. If you are not careful, he will take such care of you that he will soon send you into the next world.

ARG. But let us reason together, brother; don't you believe at all in medicine?

BER. No, brother; and I do not see that it is necessary for our salvation to believe in it.

ARG. What! Do you not hold true a thing acknowledged by everybody, and revered throughout all ages?

BER. Between ourselves, far from thinking it true, I look upon it as one of the greatest follies which exist among men; and to consider things from a philosophical point of view, I don't know of a more absurd piece of mummery, of anything more ridiculous, than a man who takes upon himself to cure another man.

ARG. Why will you not believe that a man can cure another?

BER. For the simple reason, brother, that the springs of our machines are mysteries about which men are as yet completely in the dark, and nature has put too thick a veil before our eyes for us to know anything about it.

ARG. Then, according to you, the doctors know nothing at all.

BER. Oh yes, brother. Most of them have some knowledge of the best classics, can talk fine Latin, can give a Greek name to every disease, can define and distinguish them; but as to curing these diseases, that's out of the question.

ARG. Still, you must agree to this, that doctors know more than others.

BER. They know, brother, what I have told you; and that does not effect many cures. All the excellency of their art consists in pompous gibberish, in a specious babbling, which gives you words instead of reasons, and promises instead Of results.

ARG. Still, brother, there exist men as wise and clever as you, and we see that in cases of illness every one has recourse to the doctor.

BER. It is a proof of human weakness, and not of the truth of their art.

ARG. Still, doctors must believe in their art, since they make use of it for themselves.

BER. It is because some of them share the popular error by which they themselves profit, while others profit by it without sharing it. Your Mr. Purgon has no wish to deceive; he is a thorough doctor from head to foot, a man who believes in his rules more than in all the demonstrations of mathematics, and who would think it a crime to question them. He sees nothing obscure in physic, nothing doubtful, nothing difficult, and through an impetuous prepossession, an obstinate confidence, a coarse common sense and reason, orders right and left purgatives and bleedings, and hesitates at nothing. We must bear him no ill-will for the harm he does us; it is with the best intentions in the world that he will send you into the next world, and in killing you he will do no more than he has done to his wife and children, and than he would do to himself, if need be. [Footnote: Molière seems to refer to Dr. Guenaut, who was said to have killed with antimony (his favourite remedy) his wife, his daughter, his nephew, and two of his sons-in-law.--AIMÉ MARTIN.]

ARG. It is because you have a spite against him. But let us come to the point. What is to be done when one is ill?

BER. Nothing, brother.

ARG. Nothing?

BER. Nothing. Only rest. Nature, when we leave her free, will herself gently recover from the disorder into which she has fallen. It is our anxiety, our impatience, which does the mischief, and most men die of their remedies, and not of their diseases.

ARG. Still you must acknowledge, brother, that we can in certain things help nature.

BER. Alas! brother; these are pure fancies, with which we deceive ourselves. At all times, there have crept among men brilliant fancies in which we believe, because they flatter us, and because it would be well if they were true. When a doctor speaks to us of assisting, succouring nature, of removing what is injurious to it, of giving it what it is defective in, of restoring it, and giving back to it the full exercise of its functions, when he speaks of purifying the blood, of refreshing the bowels and the brain, of correcting the spleen, of rebuilding the lungs, of renovating the liver, of fortifying the heart, of re-establishing and keeping up the natural heat, and of possessing secrets wherewith to lengthen life of many years--he repeats to you the romance of physic. But when you test the truth of what he has promised to you, you find that it all ends in nothing; it is like those beautiful dreams which only leave you in the morning the regret of having believed in them.

ARG. Which means that all the knowledge of the world is contained in your brain, and that you think you know more than all the great doctors of our age put together.

BER. When you weigh words and actions, your great doctors are two different kinds of people. Listen to their talk, they are the cleverest people in the world; see them at work, and they are the most ignorant.

ARG. Heyday! You are a great doctor, I see, and I wish that some one of those gentlemen were here to take up your arguments and to check your babble.

BER. I do not take upon myself, brother, to fight against physic; and every one at their own risk and peril may believe what he likes. What I say is only between ourselves; and I should have liked, in order to deliver you from the error into which you have fallen, and in order to amuse you, to take you to see some of Molière's comedies on this subject.

ARG. Your Molière is a fine impertinent fellow with his comedies! I think it mightily pleasant of him to go and take off honest people like the doctors.

BER. It is not the doctors themselves that he takes off, but the absurdity of medicine.

ARG. It becomes him well, truly, to control the faculty! He's a nice simpleton, and a nice impertinent fellow to laugh at consultations and prescriptions, to attack the body of physicians, and to bring on his stage such venerable people as those gentlemen.

BER. What would you have him bring there but the different professions of men? Princes and kings are brought there every day, and they are of as good a stock as your physicians.

ARG. No, by all the devils! if I were a physician, I would be revenged of his impertinence, and when he falls ill, I would let him die without relief. In vain would he beg and pray. I would not prescribe for him the least little bleeding, the least little injection, and I would tell him, "Die, die, like a dog; it will teach you to laugh at us doctors."

BER. You are terribly angry with him.

ARG. Yes, he is an ill-advised fellow, and if the doctors are wise, they will do what I say.

BER. He will be wiser than the doctors, for he will not go and ask their help.

ARG. So much the worse for him, if he has not recourse to their remedies.

BER. He has his reasons for not wishing to have anything to do with them; he is certain that only strong and robust constitutions can bear their remedies in addition to the illness, and he has only just enough strength for his sickness.

ARG. What absurd reasons. Here, brother, don't speak to me anymore about that man; for it makes me savage, and you will give me his complaint.

BAR. I will willingly cease, brother; and, to change the subject, allow me to tell you that, because your daughter shows a slight repugnance to the match you propose, it is no reason why you should shut her up in a convent. In your choice of a son-in-law you should not blindly follow the anger which masters you. We should in such a matter yield a little to the inclinations of a daughter, since it is for all her life, and the whole happiness of her married life depends on it.


ARG. Ah! brother, with your leave.

BER. Eh? What are you going to do?

ARG. To take this little clyster; it will soon be done.

BER. Are you joking? Can you not spend one moment without clysters or physic? Put it off to another time, and be quiet.

ARG. Mr. Fleurant, let it be for to-night or to-morrow morning.

MR. FLEU. (to BÉRALDE). What right have you to interfere? How dare you oppose yourself to the prescription of the doctors, and prevent the gentleman from taking my clyster? You are a nice fellow to show such boldness.

BER. Go, Sir, go; it is easy to see that you are not accustomed to speak face to face with men.

MR. FLEU. You ought not thus to sneer at physic, and make me lose my precious time. I came here for a good prescription, and I will go and tell Mr. Purgon that I have been prevented from executing his orders, and that I have been stopped in the performance of my duty. You'll see, you'll see....


ARG. Brother, you'll be the cause that some misfortune will happen here.

BER. What a misfortune not to take a clyster prescribed by Mr. Purgon! Once more, brother, is it possible that you can't be cured of this doctor disease, and that you will thus bring yourself under their remedies?

ARG. Ah! brother. You speak like a man who is quite well, but if you were in my place, you would soon change your way of speaking. It is easy to speak against medicine when one is in perfect health.

BER. But what disease do you suffer from?

ARG. You will drive me to desperation. I should like you to have my disease, and then we should see if you would prate as you do. Ah! here is Mr. Purgon.


MR. PUR. I have just heard nice news downstairs! You laugh at my prescriptions, and refuse to take the remedy which I ordered.

ARG. Sir, it is not....

MR. PUR. What daring boldness, what a strange revolt of a patient against his doctor!

TOI. It is frightful.

MR. PUR. A clyster which I have had the pleasure of composing myself.

ARG. It was not I....

MR. PUR. Invented and made up according to all the rules of art.

TOI. He was wrong.

MR. PUR. And which was to work a marvellous effect on the intestines.

ARG. My brother....

MR. PUR. To send it back with contempt!

ARG. (showing BÉRALDE). It was he....

MR. PUR. Such conduct is monstrous.

TOI. So it is.

MR. PUR. It is a fearful outrage against medicine.

ARG. (showing BÉRALDE). He is the cause....

MR. PUR. A crime of high-treason against the faculty, and one which cannot be too severely punished.

TOI. You are quite right.

MR. PUR. I declare to you that I break off all intercourse with you.

ARG. It is my brother....

MR. PUR. That I will have no more connection with you.

TOI. You will do quite right.

MR. PUR. And to end all association with you, here is the deed of gift which I made to my nephew in favour of the marriage. (He tears the document, and throws the pieces about furiously.)

ARG. It is my brother who has done all the mischief.

MR. PUR. To despise my clyster!

ARG. Let it be brought, I will take it directly.

MR. PUR. I would have cured you in a very short time.

TOI. He doesn't deserve it.

MR. PUR. I was about to cleanse your body, and to clear it of its bad humours.

ARG. Ah! my brother

MR. PUR. And it wanted only a dozen purgatives to cleanse it entirely.

TOI. He is unworthy of your care.

MR. PUR. But since you would not be cured by me....

ARG. It was not my fault.

MR. PUR. Since you have forsaken the obedience you owe to your doctor....

TOI. It cries for vengeance.

MR. PUR. Since you have declared yourself a rebel against the remedies I had prescribed for you....

ARG. No, no, certainly not.

MR. PUR. I must now tell you that I give you up to your bad constitution, to the imtemperament of your intestines, to the corruption of your blood, to the acrimony of your bile, and to the feculence of your humours.

TOI. It serves you right.

ARG. Alas!

MR. PUR. And I will have you before four days in an incurable state.

ARG. Ah! mercy on me!

MR. PUR. You shall fall into bradypepsia.

ARG. Mr. Purgon!

MR. PUR. From bradypepsia into dyspepsia.

ARG. Mr. Purgon!

MR: PUR. From dyspepsia into apepsy.

ARG. Mr. Purgon!

MR. PUR. From apepsy into lientery.

ARG. Mr. Purgon!

MR. PUR. From lientery into dysentery.

ARG. Mr. Purgon!

MR. PUR. From dysentery into dropsy.

ARG. Mr. Purgon!

MR. PUR. And from dropsy to the deprivation of life into which your folly will bring you.


ARG. Ah heaven! I am dead. Brother, you have undone me.

BER. Why? What is the matter?

ARG. I am undone. I feel already that the faculty is avenging itself.

BER. Really, brother, you are crazy, and I would not for a great deal that you should be seen acting as you are doing. Shake yourself a little, I beg, recover yourself, and do not give way so much to your imagination.

ARG. You hear, brother, with what strange diseases he has threatened me.

BER. What a foolish fellow you are!

ARG. He says that I shall become incurable within four days.

BER. And what does it signify what he says? Is it an oracle that has spoken? To hear you, anyone would think that Mr. Purgon holds in his hands the thread of your life, and that he has supreme authority to prolong it or to cut it short at his will. Remember that the springs of your life are in yourself, and that all the wrath of Mr. Purgon can do as little towards making you die, as his remedies can do to make you live. This is an opportunity, if you like to take it, of getting rid of your doctors; and if you are so constituted that you cannot do without them, it is easy for you, brother, to have another with whom you run less risk.

ARG. Ah, brother! he knows all about my constitution, and the way to treat me.

BER. I must acknowledge that you are greatly infatuated, and that you look at things with strange eyes.


TOI. (to ARGAN). There is a doctor, here, Sir, who desires to see you.

ARG. What doctor?

TOI. A doctor of medicine.

ARG. I ask you who he is?

TOI. I don't know who he is, but he is as much like me as two peas, and if I was not sure that my mother was an honest woman, I should say that this is a little brother she has given me since my father's death.


BER. You are served according to your wish. One doctor leaves you, another comes to replace him.

ARG. I greatly fear that you will cause some misfortune.

BER. Oh! You are harping upon that string again?

ARG. Ah! I have on my mind all those diseases that I don't understand, those....

SCENE X.--ARGAN, BÉRALDE, TOINETTE (dressed as a doctor).

TOI. Allow me, Sir, to come and pay my respects to you, and to offer you my small services for all the bleedings and purging you may require.

ARG. I am much obliged to you, Sir. (To BÉRALDE) Toinette herself, I declare!

TOI. I beg you will excuse me one moment, Sir. I forgot to give a small order to my servant.


ARG. Would you not say that this is really Toinette?

BER. It is true that the resemblance is very striking. But it is not the first time that we have seen this kind of thing, and history is full of those freaks of nature.

ARG. For my part, I am astonished, and....


TOI. What do you want, Sir?

ARG. What?

TOI. Did you not call me?

ARG. I? No.

TOI. My ears must have tingled then.

ARG. Just stop here one moment and see how much that doctor is like you.

TOI. Ah! yes, indeed, I have plenty of time to waste! Besides, I have seen enough of him already.


ARG. Had I not seen them both together, I should have believed it was one and the same person.

BER. I have read wonderful stories about such resemblances; and we have seen some in our day that have taken in everybody.

ARG. For my part, I should have been deceived this time, and sworn that the two were but one.


TOI. Sir, I beg your pardon with all my heart.

ARG. (to BÉRALDE). It is wonderful.

TOI. You will not take amiss, I hope, the curiosity I feel to see such an illustrious patient; and your reputation, which reaches the farthest ends of the world, must be my excuse for the liberty I am taking.

ARG. Sir, I am your servant.

TOI. I see, Sir, that you are looking earnestly at me. What age do you think I am?

ARG. I should think twenty-six or twenty-seven at the utmost.

TOI. Ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! I am ninety years old.

ARG. Ninety years old!

TOI. Yes; this is what the secrets of my art have done for me to preserve me fresh and vigorous as you see.

ARG. Upon my word, a fine youthful old fellow of ninety!

TOI. I am an itinerant doctor, and go from town to town, from province to province, from kingdom to kingdom, to seek out illustrious material for my abilities; to find patients worthy of my attention, capable of exercising the great and noble secrets which I have discovered in medicine. I disdain to amuse myself with the small rubbish of common diseases, with the trifles of rheumatism, coughs, fevers, vapours, and headaches. I require diseases of importance, such as good non-intermittent fevers with delirium, good scarlet-fevers, good plagues, good confirmed dropsies, good pleurisies with inflammations of the lungs. These are what I like, what I triumph in, and I wish, Sir, that you had all those diseases combined, that you had been given up, despaired of by all the doctors, and at the point of death, so that I might have the pleasure of showing you the excellency of my remedies, and the desire I have of doing you service!

ARG. I am greatly obliged to you, Sir, for the kind intentions you have towards me.

TOI. Let me feel your pulse. Come, come, beat properly, please. Ah! I will soon make you beat as you should. This pulse is trifling with me; I see that it does not know me yet. Who is your doctor?

ARG. Mr. Purgon.

TOI. That man is not noted in my books among the great doctors. What does he say you are ill of?

ARG. He says it is the liver, and others say it is the spleen.

TOI. They are a pack of ignorant blockheads; you are suffering from the lungs.

ARG. The lungs?

TOI. Yes; what do you feel?

ARG. From time to time great pains in my head.

TOI. Just so; the lungs.

ARG. At times it seems as if I had a mist before my eyes.

TOI. The lungs.

ARG: I feel sick now and then.

TOI. The lungs.

ARG. And I feel sometimes a weariness in all my limbs.

TOI. The lungs.

ARG. And sometimes I have sharp pains in the stomach, as if I had the colic.

TOI. The lungs. Do you eat your food with appetite?

ARG. Yes, Sir.

TOI. The lungs. Do you like to drink a little wine?

ARG. Yes, Sir.

TOI. The lungs. You feel sleepy after your meals, and willingly enjoy a nap?

ARG. Yes, Sir.

TOI. The lungs, the lungs, I tell you. What does your doctor order you for food?

ARG. He orders me soup.

TOI. Ignoramus!

ARG. Fowl.

TOI. Ignoramus!

ARG. Veal.

TOI. Ignoramus!

ARG. Broth.

TOI. Ignoramus!

ARG. New-laid eggs.

TOI. Ignoramus!

ARG. And at night a few prunes to relax the bowels.

TOI. Ignoramus!

ARG. And, above all, to drink my wine well diluted with water.

TOI. Ignorantus, ignoranta, ignorantum. You must drink your wine pure; and to thicken your blood, which is too thin, you must eat good fat beef, good fat pork, good Dutch cheese, some gruel, rice puddings, chestnuts, and thin cakes [Footnote: Oubliés; now called plaisirs. "Wafers" would perhaps have been the right rendering in Molière's time], to make all adhere and conglutinate. Your doctor is an ass. I will send you one of my own school, and will come and examine you from time to time during my stay in this town.

ARG. You will oblige me greatly.

TOI. What the deuce do you want with this arm?

ARG. What?

TOI. If I were you, I should have it cut off on the spot.

ARG. Why?

TOI. Don't you see that it attracts all the nourishment to itself, and hinders this side from growing?

ARG. May be; but I have need of my arm.

TOI. You have also a right eye that I would have plucked out if I were in your place.

ARG. My right eye plucked out?

TOI. Don't you see that it interferes with the other, and robs it of its nourishment? Believe me; have it plucked out as soon as possible; you will see all the clearer with the left eye.

ARG. There is no need to hurry.

TOI. Good-bye. I am sorry to leave you so soon, but I must assist at a grand consultation which is to take place about a man who died yesterday.

ARG. About a man who died yesterday?

TOI. Yes, that we may consider and see what ought to have been done to cure him. Good-bye.

ARG. You know that patients do not use ceremony.


BER. Upon my word, this doctor seems to be a very clever man.

ARG. Yes, but he goes a little too fast.

BER. All great doctors do so.

ARG. Cut off my arm and pluck out my eye, so that the other may be better. I had rather that it were not better. A nice operation indeed, to make me at once one-eyed and one-armed.


TOI. (pretending to speak to somebody). Come, come, I am your servant; I'm in no joking humour.

ARG. What is the matter?

TOI. Your doctor, forsooth, who wanted to feel my pulse!

ARG. Just imagine; and that, too, at fourscore and ten years of age.

BER. Now, I say, brother, since you have quarrelled with Mr. Purgon, won't you give me leave to speak of the match which is proposed for my niece?

ARG. No, brother; I will put her in a convent, since she has rebelled against me. I see plainly that there is some love business at the bottom of it all, and I have discovered a certain secret interview which they don't suspect me to know anything about.

BER. Well, brother, and suppose there were some little inclination, where could the harm be? Would it be so criminal when it all tends to what is honourable--marriage?

ARG. Be that as it may, she will be a nun. I have made up my mind.

BER. You intend to please somebody by so doing.

ARG. I understand what you mean. You always come back to that, and my wife is very much in your way.

BER. Well, yes, brother; since I must speak out, it is your wife I mean; for I can no more bear with your infatuation about doctors than with your infatuation about your wife, and see you run headlong into every snare she lays for you.

TOI. Ah! Sir, don't talk so of mistress. She is a person against whom there is nothing to be said; a woman without deceit, and who loves master--ah! who loves him...I can't express how much.

ARG. (to BÉRALDE). Just ask her all the caresses she lavishes for me.

TOI. Yes, indeed!

ARG. And all the uneasiness my sickness causes her.

TOI. Certainly.

ARG. And the care and trouble she takes about me.

TOI. Quite right. (To BÉRALDE) Will you let me convince you; and to show you at once how my mistress loves my master. (To ARGAN) Sir, allow me to undeceive him, and to show him his mistake.

ARG. How?

TOI. My mistress will soon come back. Stretch yourself full-length in this arm-chair, and pretend to be dead. You will see what grief she will be in when I tell her the news.

ARG. Very well, I consent.

TOI. Yes; but don't leave her too long in despair, for she might die of it.

ARG. Trust me for that.

TOI. (to BÉRALDE). Hide yourself in that corner.


ARG. Is there no danger in counterfeiting death?

TOI. No, no. What danger can there be? Only stretch yourself there. It will be so pleasant to put your brother to confusion. Here is my mistress. Mind you keep still.

SCENE XVIII.--BÉLINE, ARGAN (stretched out in his chair), TOINETTE.

TOI. (pretending not to see BÉLINE). Ah heavens! Ah! what a misfortune! What a strange accident!

BEL. What is the matter, Toinette?

TOI. Ah! Madam!

BEL. What ails you?

TOI. Your husband is dead.

BEL. My husband is dead?

TOI. Alas! yes; the poor soul is gone.

BEL. Are you quite certain?

TOI. Quite certain. Nobody knows of it yet. I was all alone here when it happened. He has just breathed his last in my arms. Here, just look at him, full-length in his chair.

BEL. Heaven be praised. I am delivered from a most grievous burden. How silly of you, Toinette, to be so afflicted at his death.

TOI. Ah! Ma'am, I thought I ought to cry.

BEL. Pooh! it is not worth the trouble. What loss is it to anybody, and what good did he do in this world? A wretch, unpleasant to everybody; of nauseous, dirty habits; always a clyster or a dose of physic in his body. Always snivelling, coughing, spitting; a stupid, tedious, ill-natured fellow, who was for ever fatiguing people and scolding night and day at his maids and servants.

TOI. An excellent funeral oration!

BEL. Toinette, you must help me to carry out my design; and you may depend upon it that I will make it worth your while if you serve me. Since, by good luck, nobody is aware of his death, let us put him into his bed, and keep the secret until I have done what I want. There are some papers and some money I must possess myself of. It is not right that I should have passed the best years of my life with him without any kind of advantage. Come along, Toinette, first of all, let us take all the keys.

ARG. (getting up hastily). Softly.

BEL. Ah!

ARG. So, my wife, it is thus you love me?

TOI. Ah! the dead man is not dead.

ARG. (to BÉLINE, who goes away) I am very glad to see how you love me, and to have heard the noble panegyric you made upon me. This is a good warning, which will make me wise for the future, and prevent me from doing many things.

SCENE XIX.--BÉRALDE (coming out of the place where he was hiding), ARGAN, TOINETTE.

BER. Well, brother, you see....

TOI. Now, really, I could never have believed such a thing. But I hear your daughter coming, place yourself as you were just now, and let us see how she will receive the news. It is not a bad thing to try; and since you have begun, you will be able by this means to know the sentiments of your family towards you.


TOI. (pretending not to see ANGÉLIQUE). O heavens! what a sad accident! What an unhappy day!

ANG. What ails you, Toinette, and why do you cry?

TOI. Alas! I have such sad news for you.

ANG. What is it?

TOI. Your father is dead.

ANG. My father is dead, Toinette?

TOI. Yes, just look at him there; he died only a moment ago of a fainting fit that came over him.

ANG. O heavens! what a misfortune! What a cruel grief! Alas I why must I lose my father, the only being left me in the world? and why should I lose him, too, at a time when he was angry with me? What will become of me, unhappy girl that I am? What consolation can I find after so great a loss?


CLE. What is the matter with you, dear Angélique, and what misfortune makes you weep?

ANG. Alas! I weep for what was most dear and most precious to me. I weep for the death of my father.

CLE. O heaven! what a misfortune! What an unforeseen stroke of fortune! Alas! after I had asked your uncle to ask you in marriage, I was coming to see him, in order to try by my respect and entreaties to incline his heart to grant you to my wishes.

ANG. Ah! Cléante, let us talk no more of this. Let us give up all hopes of marriage. Now my father is dead, I will have nothing to do with the world, and will renounce it for ever. Yes, my dear father, if I resisted your will, I will at least follow out one of your intentions, and will by that make amends for the sorrow I have caused you. (Kneeling) Let me, father, make you this promise here, and kiss you as a proof of my repentance.

ARG. (kissing ANGÉLIQUE). Ah! my daughter!

ANG. Ah!

ARG. Come; do not be afraid. I am not dead. Ah! you are my true flesh and blood and my real daughter; I am delighted to have discovered your good heart.


ANG. Ah! what a delightful surprise! Father, since heaven has given you back to our love, let me here throw myself at your feet to implore one favour of you. If you do not approve of what my heart feels, if you refuse to give me Cléante for a husband, I conjure you, at least, not to force me to marry another. It is all I have to ask of you.

CLE. (throwing himself at ARGAN'S feet). Ah! Sir, allow your heart to be touched by her entreaties and by mine, and do not oppose our mutual love.

BER. Brother, how can you resist all this?

TOI. Will you remain insensible before such affection?

ARG. Well, let him become a doctor, and I will consent to the marriage. (To CLÉANTE) Yes, turn doctor, Sir, and I will give you my daughter.

CLE. Very willingly, Sir, if it is all that is required to become your son-in-law. I will turn doctor; apothecary also, if you like. It is not such a difficult thing after all, and I would do much more to obtain from you the fair Angélique.

BER. But, brother, it just strikes me; why don't you turn doctor yourself? It would be much more convenient to have all you want within yourself.

TOI. Quite true. That is the very way to cure yourself. There is no disease bold enough to dare to attack the person of a doctor.

ARG. I imagine, brother, that you are laughing at me. Can I study at my age?

BER. Study! What need is there? You are clever enough for that; there are a great many who are not a bit more clever than you are.

ARG. But one must be able to speak Latin well, and know the different diseases and the remedies they require.

BER. When you put on the cap and gown of a doctor, all that will come of itself, and you will afterwards be much more clever than you care to be.

ARG. What! We understand how to discourse upon diseases when we have that dress?

BER. Yes; you have only to hold forth; when you have a cap and gown, any stuff becomes learned, and all rubbish good sense.

TOI. Look you, Sir; a beard is something in itself; a beard is half the doctor.

CLE. Anyhow, I am ready for everything.

BER. (to ARGAN). Shall we have the thing done immediately?

ARG. How, immediately?

BER. Yes, in your house.

ARG. In my house?

BER. Yes, I know a body of physicians, friends of mine, who will come presently, and will perform the ceremony in your hall. It will cost you nothing.

ARG. But what can I say, what can I answer?

BER. You will be instructed in a few words, and they will give you in writing all you have to say. Go and dress yourself directly, and I will send for them.

ARG. Very well; let it be done.


CLE. What is it yon intend to do, and what do you mean by this body of physicians?

TOI. What is it you are going to do?

BER. To amuse ourselves a little to-night. The players have made a doctor's admission the subject of an interlude, with dances and music. I want everyone to enjoy it, and my brother to act the principal part in it.

ANG. But, uncle, it seems to me that you are making fun of my father.

BER. But, niece, it is not making too much fun of him to fall in with his fancies. We may each of us take part in it ourselves, and thus perform the comedy for each other's amusement. Carnival time authorises it. Let us go quickly and get everything ready.

CLE. (to ANGÉLIQUE). Do you consent to it?

ANG. Yes; since my uncle takes the lead.


[Footnote: This piece is composed of a mixture of dog-Latin, French, &c. and is utterly untranslateable.]

BURLESQUE CEREMONY representing the Admission of MR. GERONTE to the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.

First Entry of the BALLET.


Savantissimi doctores, Medicinae professores, Qui hic assemblati estis; Et vos, altri messiores, Sententiarum Facultatis Fideles executores, Chirurgiani et apothicari Atque tota compagnia aussi, Salus, honor et argentum, Atque bonum appetitum.

Non possum, docti confreri, En moi satis admirari Qualis bona inventio Est medici professio; Quam bella chosa est et bene trovata. Medicina illa benedicta, Quae, suo nomine solo, Surprenanti miraculo, Depuis si longo tempore, Facit à gogo vivere Tant de gens omni genere.

Per totam terram videmus Grandam vogam ubi sumus; Et quod grandes et petiti Sunt de nobis infatuti. Totus mundus, currens ad nostros remedios, Nos regardat sicut deos; Et nostris ordonnanciis Principes et reges soumissos videtis.

Doncque il est nostrae sapientiae, Boni sensus atque prudentiae, De fortement travaillare A nos bene conservare In tali credito, voga, et honore; Et prendere gardam a non recevere In nostro docto corpore, Quam personas capabiles, Et totas dignas remplire Has plaças honorabiles.

C'est pour cela que nunc convocati estis: Et credo quod trovabitis Dignam matieram medici In savanti homine que voici; Lequel, in chosis omnibus, Dono ad interrogandum, Et à fond examinandum Vostris capacitatibus.

PRIMUS DOCTOR. Si mihi licentiam dat dominus praeses, Et tanti docti doctores, Et assistantes illustres, Très savanti bacheliero, Quem estimo et honoro, Domandabo causam et rationom quare Opium facit dormire.

BACHELIERUS. Mihi a docto doctore Domandatur causam et rationem quare Opium facit dormire. A quoi respondeo, Quia est in eo Vertus dormitiva, Cujus eat natura Sensus assoupire.

CHORUS. Bene, bene, bene, bene respondere. Dignus, dignus est intrare In nostro docto corpore. Bene, bene respondere.

SECUNDUS DOCTOR. Proviso quod non displiceat, Domino praesidi, lequel n'est pas fat, Me benigne annuat, Cum totis doctoribus savantibus, Et assistantibus bienveillantibus, Dicat mihi un peu dominus praetendens, Raison a priori et evidens Cur rhubarba et le séné Per nos semper est ordonné Ad purgandum l'utramque bile? Si dicit hoc, erit valde habile.

BACHELIERUS. A docto doctore mihi, qui sum praetendens, Domandatur raison a priori et evidens Cur rhubarba et le séné Per nos semper est ordonné Ad purgandum l'utramque bile? Respondeo vobis, Quia est in illis Vertus purgativa, Cujus est natura Istas duas biles evacuare.

CHORUS. Bene, bene, bone, bene respondere, Dignus, dignus est intrare In nostro docto corpore.

TERTIUS DOCTOR. Ex responsis, il paraît jam sole clarius Quod lepidum iste caput bachelierus Non passavit suam vitam ludendo au trictrac, Nec in prenando du tabac; Sed explicit pourquoi furfur macrum et parvum lac, Cum phlebotomia et purgatione humorum, Appellantur a medisantibus idolae medicorum, Nec non pontus asinorum? Si premièrement grata sit domino praesidi Nostra libertas quaestionandi, Pariter dominis doctribus Atque de tous ordres benignis auditoribus.

BACHELIERUS. Quaerit a me dominus doctor Chrysologos, id est, qui dit d'or, Quare parvum lac et furfur macrum, Phlebotomia et purgatio humorum Appellantur a medisantibus idolae medicorum, Atque pontus asinorum. Respondeo quia: Ista ordonnando non requiritur magna scientia, Et ex illis quatuor rebus Medici faciunt ludovicos, pistolas, et des quarts d'écus.

CHORUS. Bene, bene, bene, bene respondere Dignus, dignus est intrare In nostro docto corpore.

QUARTUS DOCTOR. Cum permissione domini praesidis, Doctissimae Facultatis, Et totius his nostris actis Companiae assistantis, Domandabo tibi, docte bacheliere, Quae sunt remedia Tam in homine quam in muliere Quae, in maladia Ditta hydropisia, In malo caduco, apoplexia, convulsione et paralysia, Convenit facere.

BACHELIERUS. Clysterium donare, Postea seignare, Ensuita purgare.

CHORUS. Bene, bene, bene, bene respondere. Dignus, dignus est intrare In nostro docto corpore.

QUINTUS DOCTOR. Si bonum semblatur domino praesidi. Doctissimae Facultati, Et companiae ecoutanti, Domandabo tibi, erudite bacheliere, Ut revenir un jour à la maison gravis aegre Quae remedia colicosis, fievrosis, Maniacis, nefreticis, freneticis, Melancolicis, demoniacis, Asthmaticis atque pulmonicis, Catharrosis, tussicolisis, Guttosis, ladris atque gallosis, In apostemasis plagis et ulcéré, In omni membro démis aut fracturé Convenit facere.

BACHELIERUS. Clysterium donare, Postea seignare, Ensuita purgare.

CHORUS. Bene, bene, bene, bene respondere. Dignus, dignus est intrare In nostro docto corpore.

SEXTUS DOCTOR. Cum bona venia reverendi praesidis, Filiorum Hippocratis, Et totius coronae nos admirantis, Petam tibi, resolute bacheliere, Non indignus alumnus di Monspeliere, Quae remedia caecis, surdis, mutis, Manchotis, claudis, atque omnibus estropiatis, Pro coris pedum, malum de dentibus, pesta, rabie, Et nimis magna commotione in omni novo marié Convenit facere.

BACHELIERUS. Clysterium donare, Postea seignare, Ensuita purgare.

CHORUS. Bene, bene, bene, bene respondere. Dignus, dignus est intrare In nostro docto corpore.

SEPTIMUS DOCTOR. Super illas maladias, Dominus bachelierus dixit maravillas; Mais, si non ennuyo doctissimam facultatem Et totam honorabilem companiam Tam corporaliter quam mentaliter hic praesentem, Faciam illi unam quaestionem; De hiero maladus unus Tombavit in meas manus, Homo qualitatis et dives comme un Crésus. Habet grandam fievram cum redoublamentis, Grandam dolorem capitis, Cum troublatione spirii et laxamento ventris. Grandum insuper malum au côté, Cum granda difficultate Et pena a respirare; Veuillas mihi dire, Docte bacheliere, Quid illi facere.

BACHELIERUS Clysterium donare, Postea seignare, Ensuita purgare.

CHORUS. Bene, bene, bene, bene respondere. Dignus, dignus est intrare In nostro docto corpore.

IDEM DOCTOR. Mais, si maladia Opiniatria Ponendo modicum a quia Non vult se guarire, Quid illi facere?

BACHELIERUS. Clysterium donare, Postea seignare, Ensuita purgare, Reseignare, repurgare, et reclysterizare.

CHORUS. Bene, bene, bene, bene respondere. Dignus, dignus est intrare In nostro docto corpore.

OCTAVUS DOCTOR. Impetro favorabile congé A domino praeside, Ab electa trouppa doctorum, Tam practicantium quam practica avidorum, Et a curiosa turba badodorum. Ingeniose bacheliere Qui non potuit esse jusqu'ici déferré, Faciam tibi unam questionem de importantia. Messiores, detur nobis audiencia. Isto die bene mane, Paulo ante mon déjeuné, Venit ad me una domicella Italiana jadis bella, Et ut penso encore un peu pucella, Quae habebat pallidos colores, Fievram blancam dicunt magis fini doctores, Quia plaigniebat se de migraina, De curta halena, De granda oppressione, Jambarum enflatura, et effroyebili lassitudine; De batimento cordis, De strangulamento matris, Alio nomine vapor hystérique, Quae, sicut omnes maladiae terminatae en ique, Facit a Galien la nique. Visagium apparebat bouffietum, et coloris Tantum vertae quantum merda anseris. Ex pulsu petito valde frequens, et urina mala Quam apportaverat in fiola Non videbatur exempta de febricules; Au reste, tam debilis quod venerat De son grabat In cavallo sur une mule, Non habuerat menses suos Ab illa die qui dicitur des grosses eaux; Sed contabat mihi à l'oreille Che si non era morta, c'était grand merveille, Perchè in suo negotio Era un poco d'amore, et troppo di cordoglio; Che suo galanto sen era andato in Allemagna, Servire al signor Brandeburg una campagna. Usque ad maintenant multi charlatani, Medici, apothicari, et chirurgiani Pro sua maladia in veno travaillaverunt, Juxta même las novas gripas istius bouru Van Helmont, Amploiantes ab oculis cancri, ad Alcahest; Veuillas mihi dire quid superest, Juxta orthodoxos, illi facere.

BACHELIERUS Clysterium donare, Postea seignare, Ensuita purgare.

CHORUS. Bene, bene, bene, bene respondero. Dignus, dignus est intrare In nostro docto corpore.

IDEM DOCTOR. Mais si tam grandum couchamentum Partium naturalium, Mortaliter obstinatum, Per clysterium donare, Seignare Et reiterando cent fois purgare, Non potest se guarire, Finaliter quid trovaris à propos illi facere?

BACHELIERUS In nomine Hippocratis benedictam cum bono Garçone conjunctionem imperare.

PRAESES. Juras gardare statuta Per Facultatem praescripta, Cum sensu et jugeamento?

BACHELIERUS. Juro. [Footnote: It is said that it was when uttering this word that Molière gave way to the illness from which he had long suffered.]

PRAESES. Essere in Omnibus Consultationibus Ancieni aviso, Aut bono, Aut mauvaiso!


PRAESES. De non jamais te servire De remediis aucunis, Quam de ceuz seulement almae Facultatis, Maladus dût-il crevare, Et mori de suo malo?


PRAESES. Ego, cum isto boneto Venerabili et docto, Dono tibi et concedo Puissanciam, vertutem atque licentiam Medicinam cum methodo faciendi Id est, Clysterizandi, Seignandi, Purgandi, Sangsuandi, Ventousandi, Sacrificandi, Perçandi, Taillandi, Coupandi, Trepanandi, Brulandi, Uno verbo, selon les formes, atque impune occidendi Parisiis et per totem terram; Rendes, Domine, his messioribus gratiam.

Second Entry of the BALLET.

All the DOCTORS and APOTHECARIES come and do him reverence.


      Grandes doctres doctrinae
      De la rhubarbe et du séné
  Ce seroit sans douta à moi chosa folla,
      Inepta et ridicula,
      Si j'alloibam m'engageare
      Vobis louangeas donare,
    Et entreprenoibam ajoutare
      Des lumieras au soleillo,
      Des etoilas au cielo,
      Des flammas à l'inferno
      Des ondas à l'oceano,
      Et des rosas au printano.
    Agreate qu'avec uno moto,
      Pro toto remercimento,
    Rendam gratias corpori tam docto.
        Vobis, vobis debeo
Bien plus qu'à nature et qu'à patri meo:
      Natura et pater meus
      Hominem me habent factum;
      Mais vos me (ce qui est bien plus)
      Avetis factum medicum
      Honor, favor et gratia,
      Qui, in hoc corde que voilà,
      Imprimant ressentimenta
      Qui dureront in secula.

CHORUS. Vivat, vivat, vivat, vivat, cent fois vivat, Novus doctor, qui tam bene parlat! Mille, mille annis, et manget et bibat, Et seignet et tuat!

Third Entry of the BALLET.

All the DOCTORS and APOTHECARIES dance to the sound of instruments and voices, the clapping of hands, and the beating of APOTHECARIES' mortars.


    Puisse-t-il voir doctas
    Suas ordonnancias,
    Omnium chirurgorum,
    Et apothicarum
    Remplire boutiquas!

CHORUS. Vivat, vivat, vivat, vivat, cent fois vivat, Novus doctor, qui tam bene parlat! Mille, mille annis, et manget et bibat, Et seignet et tuat!

APOTHICARIUS. Puissent toti anni Lui essere boni Et favorabiles Et n'habere jamais Entre ses mains, pestas, epidemias Quae sunt malas bestias; Mais semper pluresias, pulmonias In renibus et vessia pierras, Rhumatismos d'un anno, et omnis generis fievras, Fluxus de sanguine, gouttas diabolicas, Mala de sancto Joanne, Poitevinorum colicas Scorbutum de Hollandia, verolas parvas et grossas Bonos chancros atque longas callidopissas.


CHORUS. Vivat, vivat, vivat, vivat, cent fois vivat, Novus doctor, qui tam bene parlat! Mille, mille annis, et manget et bibat, Et seignet et tuat!

Fourth Entry of the BALLET.

All the DOCTORS and APOTHECARIES go out according to their rank, as they came in.


       *      *      *      *      *      *      *       *       *       *       *       *

Jean Baptiste Poquelin Moliere

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