ACT FOUR
Scene III
 

(Covielle, disguised; Monsieur Jourdain, Lackey)

COVIELLE
Sir, I don't know if I have the honor to be known to you?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
No, sir.

COVIELLE
I saw you when you were no taller than that.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Me?

COVIELLE
Yes. You were the most beautiful child in the world, and all the ladies took you in their arms to kiss you.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
To kiss me?

COVIELLE
Yes, I was a great friend of your late father.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Of my late father?

COVIELLE
Yes. He was a very honorable gentleman.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
What did you say?

COVIELLE
I said that he was a very honorable gentleman.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
My father?

COVIELLE
Yes.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
You knew him very well?

COVIELLE
Assuredly.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
And you knew him as a gentleman?

COVIELLE
Without doubt.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Then I don't know what is going on!

COVIELLE
What?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
There are some fools who want to tell me that he was a tradesman.

COVIELLE
Him, a tradesman! It's pure slander, he never was one. All that he did was to be very obliging, very ready to help; and, since he was a connoisseur in cloth, he went all over to choose them, had them brought to his house, and gave them to his friends for money.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
I'm delighted to know you, so you can testify to the fact that my father was a gentleman.

COVIELLE
I'll attest to it before all the world.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
You'll oblige me. What business brings you here?

COVIELLE
Since knowing your late father, honorable gentleman, as I told you, I have traveled through all the world.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Through all the world!

COVIELLE
Yes.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
I imagine it's a long way from here to there.

COVIELLE
Assuredly. I returned from all my long voyages only four days ago; and because of the interest I take in all that concerns you, I come to announce to you the best news in the world.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
What?

COVIELLE
You know that the son of the Grand Turk is here?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Me? No.

COVIELLE
What! He has a very magnificent retinue; everybody goes to see it, and he has been received in this country as an important lord.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
By my faith! I didn't know that.

COVIELLE
The advantage to you in this is that he is in love with your daughter.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
The son of the Grand Turk?

COVIELLE
Yes. And he wants to be your son-in-law.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
My son-in-law, the son of the Grand Turk?

COVIELLE
The son of the Grand Turk your son-in-law. As I went to see him, and as I perfectly understand his language, he conversed with me; and, after some other discourse, he said to me, "Acciam croc soler ouch alla moustaph gidelum amanahem varahini oussere carbulath," that is to say, "Haven't you seen a beautiful young person who is the daughter of Monsieur Jourdain, gentleman of Paris?"

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
The son of the Grand Turk said that of me?

COVIELLE
Yes. Inasmuch as I told him in reply that I knew you particularly well and that I had seen your daughter: "Ah!" he said to me, "marababa sahem;" Which is to say, "Ah, how I am enamored of her!"

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
"Marababa sahem"
means "Ah, how I am enamored of her"?

COVIELLE
Yes.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
By my faith, you do well to tell me, since, as for me, I would never have believed that "marababa sahem" could have meant to say "Oh, how I am enamored of her!" What an admirable language Turkish is!

COVIELLE
More admirable than one can believe. Do you know what Cacaracamouchen means?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Cacaracamouchen? No.

COVIELLE
It means: It means, "My dear soul."

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Cacaracamouchen means "My dear soul?"

COVIELLE
Yes.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
That's marvelous! Cacaracamouchen, my dear soul. Who would have thought? I'm dumbfounded.

COVIELLE
Finally, to complete my assignment, he comes to ask for your daughter in marriage; and in order to have a father-in-law who should be worthy of him, he wants to make you a Mamamouchi, which is a certain high rank in his country.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Mamamouchi?'

COVIELLE
Yes, Mamamouchi; that is to say, in our language, a Paladin. Paladin is one of those ancient . . . Well, Paladin! There is none nobler than that in the world, and you will be equal to the greatest lords of the earth.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
The son of the Grand Turk honors me greatly. Please take me to him in order to express my thanks.

COVIELLE
What! He is going to come here.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
He's coming here?

COVIELLE
Yes. And he is bringing everything for the ceremony of bestowing your rank.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
That seems very quick.

COVIELLE
His love can suffer no delay.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
All that embarrasses me here is that my daughter is a stubborn one who has gotten into her head a certain Cleonte, and she swears she'll marry no one but him.

COVIELLE
She'll change her mind when she sees the son of the Grand Turk; and then there is a remarkable coincidence here, it is that the son of the Grand Turk resembles this Cléonte very closely. I just saw him, someone showed him to me; and the love she has for the one can easily pass to the other, and . . . I hear him coming. There he is.