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Monsieur De Pourceaugnac   By: (1622-1673)

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First Page:

MR. DE POURCEAUGNAC.

by

MOLIÈRE

Translated into English Prose.

With Short Introductions and Explanatory Notes.

by

CHARLES HERON WALL

'Monsieur de Pourceaugnac', acted on October 6, 1669, is nothing but a farce. But Molière excels in farce as well as in higher comedy, and 'Monsieur de Pourceaugnac' is one of the best of its kind. The attacks upon the doctors of the time are not exaggerated. Molière acted the part of Mr. de Pourceaugnac.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

MR. DE POURCEAUGNAC. ORONTE, father to JULIA. ÉRASTE, lover to JULIA. SBRIGANI, a Neapolitan adventurer . FIRST PHYSICIAN. SECOND PHYSICIAN. AN APOTHECARY. A PEASANT. A FEMALE PEASANT. FIRST SWISS. SECOND SWISS. A POLICE OFFICER. TWO INFERIOR POLICE OFFICERS. JULIA, daughter to ORONTE. NÉRINE, an intriguing woman, supposed to come from Picardy. LUCETTE, supposed to come from Gascony.

The scene is in Paris.

MR. DE POURCEAUGNAC.

ACT I.

SCENE I. ÉRASTE, A LADY SINGER, TWO MEN SINGERS, several others performing on instruments , DANCERS.

ERA. ( to the MUSICIANS and DANCERS). Carry out the orders I have given you for the serenade. As for myself, I will withdraw, for I do not wish to be seen here.

SCENE II. A LADY SINGER, TWO MEN SINGERS, several others performing on instruments , DANCERS.

LADY ( sings ). Spread, charming night, spread over every brow The subtle scent of thy narcotic flower, And let no wakeful hearts keep vigil now Save those enthralled by love's resistless power. More beautiful than day's most beauteous light, Thy silent shades were made for love's delight.

FIRST SINGER. Love is sweet when none our wills oppose; Then peaceful tastes our gentle hearts dispose; But tyrants reign, who gave us birth and life. Ah! love is sweet when love is free from strife.

SECOND SINGER. All who strive 'gainst love must fall; Perfect love will conquer all.

ALL THREE. Let us love with an eternal ardour! Let parents frown, and try in vain to cure, Absence, hardship, or cruel fortune's rigour Will only strengthen love when true and pure.

First entry of the BALLET.

( Dance of the two DANCING MASTERS.)

Second entry of the BALLET.

( Dance of the two PAGES.)

Third entry of the BALLET.

( Four SPECTATORS, who quarrelled during the dance, now dance, sword in hand, fighting all the while. )

Fourth entry of the BALLET.

( Two SOLDIERS separate the combatants, and dance with them. )

SCENE III. JULIA, ÉRASTE, NÉRINE.

JUL. Oh dear, Éraste! take care that we are not discovered. I am so afraid of being seen with you; all would be lost after the command I have received to the contrary.

ERA. I see nobody about.

JUL. ( to NÉRINE). Just keep watch, Nérine, and be careful that nobody comes.

NER. ( going to the farther end of the stage ). Trust me for that: and say all you have to say to each other.

JUL. Have you thought of anything to favour our plan, Éraste? And do you think that we shall succeed in breaking off that marriage which my father has taken into his head?

ERA. We are at least doing all we can for it, and we have ready many schemes to bring such an absurd notion to naught.

NER. ( running towards JULIA). I say, here is your father.

JUL. Ah! let us separate quickly.

NER. No, no; don't go; I made a mistake.

JUL. How absurd you are, Nérine, to give us such a fright!

ERA. Yes, dear Julia, we have plenty of stratagems ready for the purpose; and, in accordance with the permission you have given me, we will not hesitate to make use of every means. Do not ask me what it is we are going to do; you will have the fun of seeing it, and, as at a comedy, it will be nice for you to have the pleasure of being surprised without my letting you know beforehand what is going to take place. This is telling you that we have many schemes in hand for the occasion, and that our clever Nérine and the dexterous Sbrigani have undertaken to bring the affair to a successful issue... Continue reading book >>






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