Fiction > Harvard Classics > Molière > Tartuffe
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Jean Baptiste Poquelin Molière (1622–1673).  Tartuffe.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Act III
 
Scene II
 
 
TARTUFFE,  DORINE

Tartuffe  (speaking to his valet, off the stage, as soon as he sees DORINE is there)

Lawrence, put up my hair-cloth shirt and scourage,
And pray that Heaven may shed its light upon you.
If any come to see me, say I’m gone
To share my alms among the prisoners.
 
Dorine  (aside)

What affectation and what showing off!
        5
 
Tartuffe

What do you want with me?
 
Dorine

        To tell you…
 
Tartuffe  (taking a handkerchief from his pocket)

        Ah!
Before you speak, pray take this handkerchief.
 
Dorine

What?
        10
 
Tartuffe

        Cover up that bosom, which I can’t
Endure to look on. Things like that offend
Our souls, and fill our minds with sinful thoughts.
 
Dorine

Are you so tender to temptation, then,
And has the flesh such power upon your senses?        15
I don’t know how you get in such a heat;
For my part, I am not so prone to lust,
And I could see you stripped from head to foot,
And all your hide not tempt me in the least.
  Tartuffe
Show in your speech some little modesty,
        20
Or I must instantly take leave of you.
 
Dorine

No, no, I’ll leave you to yourself; I’ve only
One thing to say: Madam will soon be down,
And begs the favour of a word with you.
 
Tartuffe

Ah! Willingly.
        25
 
Dorine  (aside)

        How gentle all at once!
My faith, I still believe I’ve hit upon it.
 
Tartuffe

Will she come soon?
 
Dorine

        I think I hear her now.
Yes, here she is herself; I’ll leave you with her.        30
 

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