ACT THREE
Scene XV
 

(Dorimène, Dorante, Lackey)

LACKEY
Monsieur says that he'll be here very soon.

DORANTE
That's fine.

DORIMÈNE
I don't know, Dorante; I feel strange allowing you to bring me to this house where I know no one.

DORANTE
Then where would you like, Madame, for me to express my love with an entertainment, since you will allow neither your house nor mine for fear of scandal?

DORIMÈNE
But you don't mention that every day I am gradually preparing myself to receive too great proofs of your passion? As good a defense as I have put up, you wear down my resistance, and you have a polite persistence which makes me come gently to whatever you like. The frequent visits began, declarations followed, after them came serenades and amusements in their train, and presents followed them. I withstood all that, but you don't give up at all and step by step you are overcoming my resolve. As for me, I can no longer answer for anything, and I believe that in the end you will bring me to marriage, which I have so far avoided.

DORANTE
My faith! Madame, you should already have come to it. You are a widow, and you answer only to yourself. I am my own master and I love you more than my life. Why shouldn't you be all my happiness from today onward?

DORIMÈNE
Goodness! Dorante, for two people to live happily together both of them need particular qualities; and two of the most reasonable persons in the world often have trouble making a union satisfactory to them both.

DORANTE
You're fooling yourself, Madame, to imagine so many difficulties, and the experience you had with one marriage doesn't determine anything for others.

DORIMÈNE
Finally I always come back to this. The expenses that I see you go to for me disturb me for two reasons: one is that they get me more involved than I would like; and the other is that I am sure -- meaning no offense -- that you cannot do this without financially inconveniencing yourself, and I certainly don't want that.

DORANTE
Ah! Madame, they are trifles, and it isn't by that . . .

DORIMÈNE
I know what I'm talking about; and among other gifts, the diamond you forced me to take is worth ...

DORANTE
Oh! Madame, mercy, don't put any value on a thing that my love finds unworthy of you, and allow ... Here's the master of the house.