ACT THREE
Scene IX
 

(Cléonte, Covielle)

CLÉONTE
What! Treat a lover in this way? And a lover who is the most faithful and passionate of lovers?

COVIELLE
It is a frightful thing that they have done to us both.

CLÉONTE
I show a woman all the ardor and tenderness that can be imagined; I love nothing in the world but her, and I have nothing but her in my thoughts; she is all I care for, all my desire, all my joy; I talk of nothing but her, I think of nothing but her, I have no dreams but of her, I breathe only because of her, my heart lives wholly in her; and see how so much love is well repaid! I have been two days without seeing her, which are for me two frightful centuries; I meet her by chance; my heart, at that sight, is completely transported, my joy shines on my face; I fly with ecstasy towards her -- and the faithless one averts her eyes and hurries by as if she had never seen me in her life!

COVIELLE
I say the same things as you.

CLÉONTE
Covielle, can one see anything to equal this perfidy of the ungrateful Lucile?

COVIELLE
And that, Monsieur, of the treacherous Nicole?

CLÉONTE
After so many ardent homages, sighs, and vows that I have made to her charms!

COVIELLE
After so many assiduous compliments, cares, and services that I rendered her in the kitchen!

CLÉONTE
So many tears I have shed at her knees!

COVIELLE
So many buckets of water I have drawn for her!

CLÉONTE
So much passion I have shown her in loving her more than myself!

COVIELLE
So much heat I have endured in turning the spit for her!

CLÉONTE
She flies from me in disdain!

COVIELLE
She turns her back on me!

CLÉONTE
It is perfidy worthy of the greatest punishments.

COVIELLE
It is treachery that merits a thousand slaps.

CLÉONTE
Don't think, I beg you, of ever speaking in her favor to me.

COVIELLE
I, sir? God forbid!

CLÉONTE
Never come to excuse the action of this faithless woman.

COVIELLE
Have no fear.

CLEONTE
No, you see, all your speeches in her defense will serve no purpose.

COVIELLE
Who even thinks of that?

CLÉONTE
I want to conserve my resentment against her and end all contact with her.

COVIELLE
I agree.

CLÉONTE
This Count who goes to her house is perhaps pleasant in her view; and her mind, I well see, allows itself to be dazzled by social standing. But it is necessary for me, for my honor, to prevent the scandal of her inconstancy. I want to break off with her first and not leave her all the glory of dumping me.

COVIELLE
That's very well said, and I agree, for my part, with all your feelings.

CLÉONTE
Strengthen my resentment and aid my resolve against all the remains of love that could speak in her behalf. Tell me, I order you, all the bad you can of her; make for me a painting of her that will render her despicable; and show well, in order to disgust me, all the faults that you can see in her.

COVIELLE
Her, sir? There's a pretty fool, a well made flirt for you to give so much love! I see only mediocrity in her, and you will find a hundred women who will be more worthy of you. First of all, she has small eyes.

CLÉONTE
That's true, she has small eyes; but they are full of fire, the brightest, the keenest in the world, the most touching eyes that one can see.

COVIELLE
She has a big mouth.

CLÉONTE
Yes; but upon it one sees grace that one never sees on other mouths; and the sight of that mouth, which is the most attractive, the most amorous in the world, inspires desire.

COVIELLE
As for her figure, she's not tall.

CLÉONTE
No, but she is graceful and well made.

COVIELLE
She affects a nonchalance in her speech and in her actions.

CLÉONTE
That's true; but she may be forgiven all that, for her manners are so engaging, they have an irresistible charm.

COVIELLE
As to her wit . . .

CLÉONTE
Ah! She has that, Covielle, the finest, the most delicate!

COVIELLE
Her conversation . . .

CLÉONTE
Her conversation is charming.

COVIELLE
She is always serious . . .

CLEONTE
Would you have grinning playfulness, constant open merriment? And do you see anything more impertinent than those women who laugh all the time?

COVIELLE
But finally she is as capricious as any woman in the world.

CLÉONTE
Yes, she is capricious, I concede; but everything becomes beautiful ladies well, one suffers everything for beauty.

COVIELLE
I see clearly how it goes, you want to go on loving her.

CLÉONTE
Me, I'd like better to die; and I am going to hate her as much as I loved her.

COVIELLE
How, if you find her so perfect?

CLÉONTE
That's how my vengeance will be more striking, in that way I'll show better the strength of my heart, by hating her, by quitting her, with all her beauty, all her charms, and as lovable as I find her. Here she is.