monsieur jourdain




Excerpt from Act 3 Scene 3 of "Le bourgeois gentilhomme" 


MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Assuredly. You both talk like beasts, and I’m ashamed of your ignorance. For example, do you know what are you speaking just now? 

MADAME JOURDAIN: Yes, I know that what I’m saying is well said and that you ought to be considering living in another way. 

MONSIEUR: I’m not talking about that. I’m asking if you know what the words are that you are saying here? 

MADAME: They are words that are very sensible, and your conduct is scarcely so. 

MONSIEUR: I’m not talking about that, I tell you. I’m asking you: what is it that I’m speaking to you this minute, what is it? 

MADAME: Nonsense. 

MONSIEUR: No, no! That’s not it. What is it we are both saying, what language is it that we are speaking right now? 

MADAME: Well? 

MONSIEUR: What is it called? 

MADAME: It’s called whatever you want. 

MONSIEUR: It’s prose, you ignorant creature. 

MADAME: Prose? 

MONSIEUR: Yes, prose. Everything is prose that is not verse; and everything that’s not verse is prose. There! This is what it is to study! And you (to Nicole), do you know what you must do to say U? 

NICOLE: What? 

MONSIEUR: Say U, in order to see. 

NICOLE: Oh Well, U. 

MONSIEUR: What do you do? 

NICOLE: I say U. 

MONSIEUR: Yes, but, when you say U, what do you do? 

NICOLE: I do what you tell me to. 

MONSIEUR: Oh, how strange it is to have to deal with morons! You thrust your lips out and bring your lower jaw to your upper jaw: U, see? U. Do you see? I make a pout: U. 

NICOLE: Yes, that’s beautiful. 

MADAME: How admirable. 

MONSIEUR: But it’s quite another thing, if you have seen O, and D, D, and F, F. 

MADAME: What is all this rigmarole? 

NICOLE: What does all this do for us? 

MONSIEUR: It enrages me when I see these ignorant women. ……….

since 2012

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