Dorine (withdrawing to the back of the stage)
Let's see what this affair will come to.
That is your love? And it was all deceit
When you . . .
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.
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.
Of course it is; your heart
Has never known true love for me.
You're free to think so, if you please.
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.
No doubt of it; the love your high deserts
May win . . .
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.
The loss is not so great; you'll easily
Console yourself completely for this change.
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.
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?
Oh, no, indeed! For my part, I could wish
That it were done already.
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.
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.
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.
You thrill me through with joy! Whatever comes . . .
Oho! These lovers! Never done with prattling!
VALERE (starting to go, and coming back again)
One last word . . .
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.)