The Middle-Class Gentleman HTML version
SCENE I (Dorimene, Monsieur Jourdain, Dorante, two Male Musicians, a Female
DORIMENE: Why, Dorante, that is really a magnificent repast!
MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: You jest, Madame; I wish it were worthy of being offered to
you. (All sit at the table).
DORANTE: Monsieur Jourdain is right, Madame, to speak so, and he obliges me by
making you so welcome. I agree with him that the repast is not worthy of you. Since it
was I who ordered it, and since I do not have the accomplishments of our friends in this
matter, you do not have here a very sophisticated meal, and you will find some
incongruities in the combinations and some barbarities of taste. If Damis, our friend, had
been involved, everything would have been according to the rules; everything would
have been elegant and appropriate, and he would not have failed to impress upon you the
significance of all the dishes of the repast, and to make you see his expertise when it
comes to good food; he would have told you about hearth-baked bread, with its golden
brown crust, crunching tenderly between the teeth; of a smooth, full-bodied wine,
fortified with a piquancy not too strong, of a loin of mutton improved with parsley, of a
cut of specially-raised veal as long as this, white and delicate, and which is like an
almond paste between the teeth, of partridges complimented by a surprisingly flavorful
sauce, and, for his masterpiece, a soup accompanied by a fat young turkey surrounded by
pigeons and crowned with white onions mixed with chicory. But, as for me, I declare my
ignorance; and, as Monsieur Jourdain has said so well, I only wish that the repast were
more worthy of being offered to you.
DORIMENE: I reply to this compliment only by eating.
MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Ah! What beautiful hands!
DORIMENE: The hands are mediocre, Monsieur Jourdain; but you wish to speak of the
diamond, which is very beautiful.
MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Me, Madame? God forbid that I should wish to speak of it;
that would not be acting gallantly, and the diamond is a very small thing.
DORIMENE: You are very particular.
MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: You are too kind. . .
DORANTE: Let's have some wine for Monsieur Jourdain and for these gentlemen and
ladies who are going to favor us with a drinking song.