(Music Master, Dancing Master, Musicians, and Dancers)
(The play opens with a great assembly of instruments, and in the
middle of the stage is a pupil of the Music Master seated at a table
composing a melody which Monsieur Jourdain has ordered for a serenade.)
MUSIC MASTER (To Musicians) Come, come into this room, sit there
and wait until he comes.
DANCING MASTER (To dancers) And you too, on this side.
You'll hear it, with the dialogue, when he comes. He won't
Our work, yours and mine, is not trivial at present.
This is true. We've found here such a man as we both need.
This is a nice source of income for us -- this Monsieur Jourdain, with
the visions of nobility and gallantry that he has gotten into his head.
You and I should hope that everyone resembled him.
Not entirely; I could wish that he understood better
the things that we give him.
It's true that he understands them poorly, but he pays
well, and that's what our art needs now more than anything else.
As for me, I admit, I feed a little on glory. Applause
touches me; and I hold that, in all the fine arts, it is painful to produce
for dolts, to endure the barbarous opinions of a fool about my choreography.
It is a pleasure, don't tell me otherwise, to work for people who can appreciate
the fine points of an art, who know how to give a sweet reception to the
beauties of a work and, by pleasurable approbations, gratify us for our
labor. Yes, the most agreeable recompense we can receive for the things
we do is to see them recognized and flattered by an applause that honors
us. There is nothing, in my opinion, that pays us better for all our fatigue;
and it is an exquisite delight to receive the praises of the well-informed.
I agree, and I enjoy them as you do. There is surely nothing
more agreeable than the applause you speak of; but that incense does not
provide a living. Pure praises do not provide a comfortable existence;
it is necessary to add something solid, and the best way to praise is to
praise with cash-in-hand. He's a man, it's true, whose insight is very
slight, who talks nonsense about everything and applauds only for the wrong
reasons but his money makes up for his judgments. He has discernment in
his purse. His praises are in cash, and this ignorant bourgeois is worth
more to us, as you see, than the educated nobleman who introduced us here.
There is some truth in what you say; but I find that
you lean a little too heavily on money; and material interest is something
so base that a man of good taste should never show an attachment to it.
You are ready enough to receive the money our man gives
Assuredly; but I don't place all my happiness in it,
and I could wish that together with his fortune he had some good taste
I could wish it too, that's what both of us are working
for as much as we can. But, in any case, he gives us the means to make
ourselves known in the world; and he will pay others if they will praise