Fiction > Harvard Classics > Molière > Tartuffe
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Jean Baptiste Poquelin Molière (1622–1673).  Tartuffe.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
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;
        5
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.        10
 
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.        15
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        20
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.
        25
 
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!        30
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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