Tartuffe By Molière Act III: Scenes 1-2

ACT III

SCENE I

DAMIS, DORINE

DAMIS
May lightning strike me dead this very instant,
May I be everywhere proclaimed a scoundrel,
If any reverence or power shall stop me,
And if I don't do straightway something desperate!

DORINE
I beg you, moderate this towering passion;
Your father did but merely mention it.
Not all things that are talked of turn to facts;
The road is long, sometimes, from plans to acts.

DAMIS
No, I must end this paltry fellow's plots,
And he shall hear from me a truth or two.

DORINE
So ho! Go slow now. Just you leave the fellow —
Your father too — in your step-mother's hands.
She has some influence with this Tartuffe,
He makes a point of heeding all she says,
And I suspect that he is fond of her.
Would God 'twere true! — 'Twould be the height of humour
Now, she has sent for him, in your behalf,
To sound him on this marriage, to find out
What his ideas are, and to show him plainly
What troubles he may cause, if he persists
In giving countenance to this design.
His man says, he's at prayers, I mustn't see him,
But likewise says, he'll presently be down.
So off with you, and let me wait for him.

DAMIS
I may be present at this interview.

DORINE
No, no! They must be left alone.

DAMIS
I won't
So much as speak to him.

DORINE
Go on! We know you
And your high tantrums. Just the way to spoil things!
Be off.

DAMIS
No, I must see — I'll keep my temper.

DORINE
Out on you, what a plague! He's coming. Hide!

(Damis goes and hides in the closet at the back of the stage.)

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By asking Dorine to cover her bosom, Tartuffe wants to




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