ACT ONE
Scene II
 

(Monsieur Jourdain, Two Lackeys, Music Master, Dancing Master, Pupil, Musicians, and Dancers)

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Well gentlemen? What's this? Are you going to show me your little skit?

DANCING MASTER
How? What little skit?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Well, the. . . What-do-you-call it? Your prologue or dialogue of songs and dances.

DANCING MASTER
Ha, ha!

MUSIC MASTER
You find us ready for you.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
I kept you waiting a little, but it's because I'm having myself dressed today like the people of quality, and my tailor sent me some silk stockings that I thought I would never get on.

MUSIC MASTER
We are here only to wait upon your leisure.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
I want you both to stay until they have brought me my suit, so that you may see me.

DANCING MASTER
Whatever you would like.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
You will see me fitted out properly, from head to foot.

MUSIC MASTER
We have no doubt of it.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
I had this robe made for me.

DANCING MASTER
It's very attractive.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
My tailor told me the people of quality dress like this in the mornings.

MUSIC MASTER
It's marvelously becoming.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Hey lackeys! My two lackeys!

FIRST LACKEY
What do you wish, Sir?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Nothing. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. (To the two masters) What say you of my liveries?

DANCING MASTER
They're magnificent.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
(Half opening his gown, showing a pair of tight red velvet breeches, and a green velvet vest, that he is wearing) Here again is a sort of lounging dress to perform my morning exercises in.

MUSIC MASTER
It is elegant.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Lackey!

FIRST LACKEY
Sir?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
The other lackey!

SECOND LACKEY
Sir?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Hold my robe.

(To the Masters) Do you think I look good?

DANCING MASTER
Very well. No one could look better.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Now let's have a look at your little show.

MUSIC MASTER
I would like very much for you to listen to a melody he (indicating his student) has just composed for the serenade that you ordered from me. He's one of my pupils who has an admirable talent for these kinds of things.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Yes, but you should not have had that done by a pupil; you yourself were none too good for that piece of work.

MUSIC MASTER
You must not let the name of pupil fool you, sir. Pupils of this sort know as much as the greatest masters, and the melody is as fine as could be made. Just listen.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
(To Lackeys) Give me my robe so I can listen better . . . Wait, I believe I would be better without a robe. . . No, give it back, that will be better.

MUSICIAN
(Singing)
I languish night and day, my suffering is extreme
Since to your control your lovely eyes subjected me;
If you thus treat, fair Iris, those you love,
Alas, how would you treat an enemy?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
This song seems to me a little mournful, it lulls to sleep, and I would like it if you could liven it up a little, here and there.

MUSIC MASTER
It is necessary, Sir, that the tune be suited to the words.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Someone taught me a perfectly pretty one some time ago. Listen . . . Now . . . how does it go?

DANCING MASTER
By my faith, I don't know.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
There are sheep in it.

DANCING MASTER
Sheep?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Yes. Ah! (He sings)

I thought my Jeanneton
As beautiful as sweet;
I thought my Janneton
Far sweeter than a sheep.
Alas! Alas! She is a hundred times,
A thousand times, more cruel
Than tigers in the woods!

Isn't it pretty?

MUSIC MASTER
The prettiest in the world.

DANCING MASTER
And you sing it well.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
It's without having learned music.

MUSIC MASTER
You ought to learn it, Sir, as you are learning dancing. They are two arts which have a close connection.

DANCING MASTER
And which open the mind of a man to fine things.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
And do people of quality learn music, too?

MUSIC MASTER
Yes sir.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
I'll learn it then. But I don't know when I can find time; for besides the Fencing Master who's teaching me, I have also engaged a master of philosophy who is to begin this morning.

MUSIC MASTER
Philosophy is something; but music, sir, music . . .

DANCING MASTER
Music and dancing, music and dancing, that's all that's necessary.

MUSIC MASTER
There's nothing so useful in a State as music.

DANCING MASTER
There's nothing so necessary to men as dancing.

MUSIC MASTER
Without music, a State cannot subsist.

DANCING MASTER
Without the dance, a man can do nothing.

MUSIC MASTER
All the disorders, all the wars one sees in the world happen only from not learning music.

DANCING MASTER
All the misfortunes of mankind, all the dreadful disasters that fill the history books, the blunders of politicians and the faults of omission of great commanders, all this comes from not knowing how to dance.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
How is that?

MUSIC MASTER
Does not war result from a lack of agreement between men?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
That is true.

MUSIC MASTER
And if all men learned music, wouldn't that be a means of bringing about harmony and of seeing universal peace in the world?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
You are right.

DANCING MASTER
When a man has committed a mistake in his conduct, in family affairs, or in affairs of government of a state, or in the command of an army, do we not always say, "He took a bad step in such and such an affair?"

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Yes, that's said.

DANCING MASTER
And can taking a bad step result from anything but not knowing how to dance?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
It's true, you are both right.

DANCING MASTER
It makes you see the excellence and usefulness of music and the dance.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
I understand that, now.

MUSIC MASTER
Do you wish to see our pieces?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Yes.

MUSIC MASTER
I have already told you that this is a little attempt I have made to show the different passions that music can express.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Very good.

MUSIC MASTER
(To musicians) Here, come forward. (To Monsieur Jourdain) You must imagine that they are dressed as shepherds.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Why always as shepherds? You see nothing but that everywhere.

MUSIC MASTER
When we have characters that are to speak in music, it's necessary, for believability, to make them pastoral. Singing has always been assigned to shepherds; and it is scarcely natural dialogue for princes or merchants to sing their passions.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Alright, alright. Let's see.

DIALOGUE IN MUSIC
(A Woman and Two Men)

ALL THREE
A heart, under the domination of love,
Is always with a thousand cares oppressed.
It is said that we gladly languish, gladly sigh;
But, despite what can be said,
There is nothing so sweet as our liberty!

FIRST MAN
There is nothing so sweet as the loving fires
That make two hearts beat as one.
One cannot live without amorous desires;
Take love from life, you take away the pleasures.

SECOND MAN
It would be sweet to submit to love's rule,
If one could find faithful love,
But, alas! oh cruel rule!
No faithful shepherdess is to be seen,
And that inconstant sex, much too unworthy,
Must renounce love eternally.

FIRST MAN
Pleasing ardor!

WOMAN
Happy liberty!

SECOND MAN
Deceitful woman!

FIRST MAN
How precious you are to me!

WOMAN
How you please my heart!

SECOND MAN
How horrible you are to me!

FIRST MAN
Ah, leave, for love, that mortal hate!

WOMAN
We can, we can show you a faithful shepherdess!

SECOND MAN
Alas! Where to find her?

WOMAN
In order to defend our reputation,
I want to offer you my heart!

FIRST MAN
But, shepherdess, can I believe
That it will not be deceitful?

WOMAN
We'll see through experience,
Who of the two loves best.

SECOND MAN
Who lacks constancy,
May the gods destroy!

ALL THREE
With ardors so beautiful
Let us be inflamed!
Ah, how sweet it is to love,
When two hearts are faithful!

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Is that all?

MUSIC MASTER
Yes.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
I find it well-done, and there are some pretty enough sayings in it.

DANCING MASTER
Here, for my presentation, is a little display of the loveliest movements and the most beautiful attitudes with which a dance can possibly be varied.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN
Are these shepherds too?

DANCING MASTER
They're whatever you please. Let's go!

(Four dancers execute all the different movements and all the kinds of steps that the Dancing Master commands; and this dance makes the First Interlude.)