Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art

By Charles W. Cooper | Go to book overview

GORGIBUS. There is no end of their pomades. Tell them to come down.

[ MAROTTEexits.]

These hussies with their ointments have, I think, a mind to ruin me. Everywhere in the house I see nothing but whites of eggs, lac virginal, and a thousand other fooleries I am not acquainted with. Since we have been here they have used up the lard of a dozen hogs at least, and four servants might live on the sheep feet they use every day.


SCENE IV. MADELON, CATHOS, GORGIBUS.

GORGIBUS [as the girls come downstairs]. There's real need, is there, to spend so much money to grease your faces! Tell me, what have you done to those gentlemen that I saw leaving so coldly. Did I not tell you to receive them as persons whom I intended for your husbands?

MADELON. Dear father, what consideration do you expect us to entertain for the irregular behavior of these people?

CATHOS. How can a girl of any sense at all, dear uncle, put up with such people?

GORGIBUS. What fault do you to find with 'em?

MADELON. Theirs is fine gallantry, indeed. Would you believe it? they began with proposing marriage to us.

GORGIBUS. With what would you have them begin--with keeping you? Is not their proposal a compliment, to you as well as to me? Can anything be more polite than this? And do they not prove the honesty of their intentions by wishing to enter these holy bonds?

MADELON. Oh, father! Nothing can be more vulgar than what you have just said. I am ashamed to hear you talk in such a manner. You should cultivate the bel air of things.

GORGIBUS. I care neither for bel airs nor songs. I tell you marriage is a holy and sacred affair. To begin with that is to act like honest people.

MADELON. Good Heavens! If everybody was like you a love-story would soon be over. What a fine thing it would have been if Cyrus had immediately espoused Mandane, and if Aronce had been married all at once to Clélie.

GORGIBUS. What is she jabbering about?

MADELON. Here is my cousin, father, who will tell you as well as I that matrimony ought never to happen till after other adventures. A lover, to be attractive, must understand how to utter fine sentiments, to breathe soft, tender, and passionate vows--his courtship must be according to the rules. In the first place, he should behold the fair one of whom he becomes enamoured either at a church, or when out walking, or at some public ceremony; or else he should be introduced to her by a relative or a friend, as if by chance, and when he leaves her he should appear pensive and melancholy. For some time he should conceal his passion

-325-

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