ACT THREE
Scene XIII
 

(Cléonte, Covielle)

COVIELLE
You've made a fine business, with your pretty sentiments.

CLÉONTE
What do you want? I have a scruple about that which precedent cannot conquer.

COVIELLE
Don't you make a fool of yourself by taking it seriously with a man like that? Don't you see that he is a fool? And would it cost you anything to accommodate yourself to his fantasies?

CLÉONTE
You're right. But I didn't believe it necessary to prove nobility in order to be Monsieur Jourdain's son-in-law.

COVIELLE
Ha, ha, ha!

CLÉONTE
What are you laughing at?

COVIELLE
At a thought that just occurred to me of how to play our man a trick and help you obtain what you desire.

CLÉONTE
How?

COVIELLE
The idea is really funny.

CLÉONTE
What is it?

COVIELLE
A short time ago there was a certain masquerade which fits here better than anything, and that I intend to make part of a prank I want to play on our fool. It all seems a little phony; but, with him, one can try anything, there is hardly any reason to be subtle, and he is the man to play his role marvelously and to swallow easily any fabrication we want to tell him. I have the actors, I have the costumes ready, just leave it to me.

CLÉONTE
But tell me . . .

COVIELLE
I am going to instruct you in everything. Let's go, there he is, returning.