Molière pastiche

   P.S. To be burned

   I found the exact scene in Molière with Mme Bartholini who is being congratulated in the belief that her daughter is betrothed to the other Deschamps (Fénelon) and who does not think fit to undeceive the visitor:

VALÈRE. - Imagine how happy I am for Lucile for such a beautiful union.

GORGIBUS. - Hee hee.

VALÈRE. - What are you not at all satisfied, is she not marrying Lord Anselme.

GORGIBUS (aside). - Heavens! What a mistake.

VALÈRE. - You do not say a word. Is Lord Anselme not a good choice?

GORGIBUS. - If it is done.

VALÈRE. - Is he not good?

GORGIBUS. - Assuredly.

VALÈRE. - Is he not an honest man of good birth.

GORGIBUS. - Nobody can contradict that.

VALÈRE. - And you are still not satisfied?


VALÈRE. - Could Lucile have aimed higher?

GORGIBUS. - No, not at all.

VALÈRE. - But tell me, was there not an Anselme at the headquarters who distinguished himself under Maestricht?

(Exact counterpart of the phrase "Napoleon said: I was with Bédoyère and Deschamps".)

Mme de Bartholini's response. That must have been his grandfather.

GORGIBUS. - Without doubt.

VALÈRE. - And is he not truly of those people.

GORGIBUS. - It should not be doubted.

VALÈRE. - His father perhaps.

GORGIBUS. - Assuredly.

VALÈRE. - So there we are, Lucile a Marquise.

GORGIBUS (aside). - Plague on the unfortunate thing.

VALÈRE. - Ha what are you gibbering about there.

GORGIBUS. - I was saying she will be a Marquise.

   The same: Sganarelle, etc., etc.

Excuse this feeble imitation, quite inferior to the one Léon did of me and for which he has always refused me the least audition. I beg you to burn this piece of paper.

Sent to Madame Léon Yeatman, April 1901. People in society considered that Kiki Bartholoni, god-daughter of Empress Eugénie, was marrying beneath her when she married Octave Deschamps. The "other Deschamps" was the grandfather of Bertrand de Salignac-Fénelon, an industrialist who had the same name, but had a fortune that excused him.


Return to Front Page