Tartuffe By Molière Act II: Scenes 3-4

SCENE IV

VALERE, MARIANE, DORINE

VALERE
Madam, a piece of news — quite new to me —
Has just come out, and very fine it is.

MARIANE
What piece of news?

VALERE
Your marriage with Tartuffe.

MARIANE
'Tis true my father has this plan in mind.

VALERE
Your father, madam . . .

MARIANE
Yes, he's changed his plans,
And did but now propose it to me.

VALERE
What!
Seriously?

MARIANE
Yes, he was serious,
And openly insisted on the match.

VALERE
And what's your resolution in the matter,
Madam?

MARIANE
I don't know.

VALERE
That's a pretty answer.
You don't know?

MARIANE
No.

VALERE
No?

MARIANE
What do you advise?

VALERE
I? My advice is, marry him, by all means.

MARIANE
That's your advice?

VALERE
Yes.

MARIANE
Do you mean it?

VALERE
Surely.
A splendid choice, and worthy of your acceptance.

MARIANE
Oh, very well, sir! I shall take your counsel.

VALERE
You'll find no trouble taking it, I warrant.

MARIANE
No more than you did giving it, be sure.

VALERE
I gave it, truly, to oblige you, madam.

MARIANE
And I shall take it to oblige you, sir.

Dorine (withdrawing to the back of the stage)
Let's see what this affair will come to.

VALERE
So,
That is your love? And it was all deceit
When you . . .

MARIANE
I beg you, say no more of that.
You told me, squarely, sir, I should accept
The husband that is offered me; and I
Will tell you squarely that I mean to do so,
Since you have given me this good advice.

VALERE
Don't shield yourself with talk of my advice.
You had your mind made up, that's evident;
And now you're snatching at a trifling pretext
To justify the breaking of your word.

MARIANE
Exactly so.

VALERE
Of course it is; your heart
Has never known true love for me.

MARIANE
Alas!
You're free to think so, if you please.

VALERE
Yes, yes,
I'm free to think so; and my outraged love
May yet forestall you in your perfidy,
And offer elsewhere both my heart and hand.

MARIANE
No doubt of it; the love your high deserts
May win . . .

VALERE
Good Lord, have done with my deserts!
I know I have but few, and you have proved it.
But I may find more kindness in another;
I know of someone, who'll not be ashamed
To take your leavings, and make up my loss.

MARIANE
The loss is not so great; you'll easily
Console yourself completely for this change.

VALERE
I'll try my best, that you may well believe.
When we're forgotten by a woman's heart,
Our pride is challenged; we, too, must forget;
Or if we cannot, must at least pretend to.
No other way can man such baseness prove,
As be a lover scorned, and still in love.

MARIANE
In faith, a high and noble sentiment.

VALERE
Yes; and it's one that all men must approve.
What! Would you have me keep my love alive,
And see you fly into another's arms
Before my very eyes; and never offer
To someone else the heart that you had scorned?

MARIANE
Oh, no, indeed! For my part, I could wish
That it were done already.

VALERE
What! You wish it?

MARIANE
Yes.

VALERE
This is insult heaped on injury;
I'll go at once and do as you desire.

(He takes a step or two as if to go away.)

MARIANE
Oh, very well then.

VALERE (turning back)
But remember this.
'Twas you that drove me to this desperate pass.

MARIANE
Of course.

VALERE (turning back again)
And in the plan that I have formed
I only follow your example.

MARIANE
Yes.

VALERE (at the door)
Enough; you shall be punctually obeyed.

MARIANE
So much the better.

VALERE (coming back again)
This is once for all.

MARIANE
So be it, then.

VALERE (He goes toward the door, but just as he reaches it, turns
around)
Eh?

MARIANE
What?

VALERE
You didn't call me?

MARIANE
I? You are dreaming.

VALERE
Very well, I'm gone. Madam, farewell.

(He walks slowly away.)

MARIANE
Farewell, sir.

DORINE
I must say
You've lost your senses and both gone clean daft!
I've let you fight it out to the end o' the chapter
To see how far the thing could go. Oho, there,
Mister Valere!

(She goes and seizes him by the arm, to stop him. He makes a great
show of resistance.)

VALERE
What do you want, Dorine?

DORINE
Come here.

VALERE
No, no, I'm quite beside myself.
Don't hinder me from doing as she wishes.

DORINE
Stop!

VALERE
No. You see, I'm fixed, resolved, determined.

DORINE
So!

MARIANE (aside)
Since my presence pains him, makes him go,
I'd better go myself, and leave him free.

DORINE (leaving Valere, and running after Mariane)
Now t'other! Where are you going?

MARIANE
Let me be.

DORINE.
Come back.

MARIANE
No, no, it isn't any use.

VALERE (aside)
'Tis clear the sight of me is torture to her;
No doubt, t'were better I should free her from it.

DORINE (leaving Mariane and running after Valere)
Same thing again! Deuce take you both, I say.
Now stop your fooling; come here, you; and you.

(She pulls first one, then the other, toward the middle of the stage.)

VALERE (to Dorine)
What's your idea?

MARIANE (to Dorine)
What can you mean to do?

DORINE
Set you to rights, and pull you out o' the scrape.

(To Valere)
Are you quite mad, to quarrel with her now?

VALERE
Didn't you hear the things she said to me?

DORINE (to Mariane)
Are you quite mad, to get in such a passion?

MARIANE
Didn't you see the way he treated me?

DORINE
Fools, both of you.

(To Valere)
She thinks of nothing else
But to keep faith with you, I vouch for it.

(To Mariane)
And he loves none but you, and longs for nothing
But just to marry you, I stake my life on't.

MARIANE (to Valere)
Why did you give me such advice then, pray?

VALERE (to Mariane)
Why ask for my advice on such a matter?

DORINE
You both are daft, I tell you. Here, your hands.

(To Valere)
Come, yours.

VALERE (giving Dorine his hand)
What for?

DORINE (to Mariane)
Now, yours.

MARIANE (giving Dorine her hand)
But what's the use?

DORINE
Oh, quick now, come along. There, both of you —
You love each other better than you think.

(Valere and Mariane hold each other's hands some time without looking
at each other.)

VALERE (at last turning toward Mariane)
Come, don't be so ungracious now about it;
Look at a man as if you didn't hate him.

(Mariane looks sideways toward Valere, with just a bit of a smile.)

DORINE
My faith and troth, what fools these lovers be!

VALERE (to Mariane)
But come now, have I not a just complaint?
And truly, are you not a wicked creature
To take delight in saying what would pain me?

MARIANE
And are you not yourself the most ungrateful . . . ?

DORINE
Leave this discussion till another time;
Now, think how you'll stave off this plaguy marriage.

MARIANE
Then tell us how to go about it.

DORINE
Well,
We'll try all sorts of ways.

(To Mariane)
Your father's daft;

(To Valere)
This plan is nonsense.

(To Mariane)
You had better humour
His notions by a semblance of consent,
So that in case of danger, you can still
Find means to block the marriage by delay.
If you gain time, the rest is easy, trust me.
One day you'll fool them with a sudden illness,
Causing delay; another day, ill omens:
You've met a funeral, or broke a mirror,
Or dreamed of muddy water. Best of all,
They cannot marry you to anyone
Without your saying yes. But now, methinks,
They mustn't find you chattering together.

(To Valere)
You, go at once and set your friends at work
To make him keep his word to you; while we
Will bring the brother's influence to bear,
And get the step-mother on our side, too.
Good-bye.

VALERE (to Mariane)
Whatever efforts we may make,
My greatest hope, be sure, must rest on you.

MARIANE (to Valere)
I cannot answer for my father's whims;
But no one save Valere shall ever have me.

VALERE
You thrill me through with joy! Whatever comes . . .

DORINE
Oho! These lovers! Never done with prattling!
Now go.

VALERE (starting to go, and coming back again)
One last word . . .

DORINE
What a gabble and pother!
Be off! By this door, you. And you, by t'other.

(She pushes them off, by the shoulders, in opposite directions.)

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

By asking Dorine to cover her bosom, Tartuffe wants to




Quiz