MOLIERE IN ENGLISH

Scene samples for perusal only


The Doctor In Spite of Himself
by
Jean Baptiste Poquelin de Molière
Translated and adapted from the French by Harold Dixon

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Cast of Characters


Sganarelle                        Martine's husband
Martine                             Sganarelle's wife
Mr. Robert                        their neighbor
Valere                               employee of Geronte
Lucas                                employee of Geronte, Jacqueline's husband
Geronte                            wealthy landowner, Lucinda's father
Jacqueline                        wet-nurse & maid at Geronte's, Lucas' wife
Lucinda                            Geronte's daughter
Leander                            in love with Lucinda
Thibaut                             a peasant, Perrin's father
Perrin                               a peasant, Thibaut's son
Police Officers
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SAMPLE #1: Act I, Scene 5

Sganarelle, Lucas, Valere


VALERE You're not a doctor?

SGANARELLE

No.

LUCAS
You ain't a doctor?

SGANARELLE

No, I tell you.
VALERE

Since you're asking for it, we're going to have to break down and give it to you.
(VALERE and LUCAS take sticks and beat SGANARELLE)
SGANARELLE

Ah! Oh! Alright! I am anything you want me to be.
VALERE

But, sir, why did you oblige us to use this
violence?

LUCAS

Yeah, why did ya make us beat you up?
VALERE

Let me assure you I regret it with all my heart.
LUCAS

Sure as shootin' I'm right sorry about it, too, Doc.
SGANARELLE

What the devil is this, anyway? Tell me, is it a
joke, or have you both gone out of your minds, to insist that I'm a doctor?
VALERE

What? You still won't give in and admit you're a doctor?
SGANARELLE

Like hell I'm a doctor!
LUCAS

It ain't true you're a doctor, huh?
SGANARELLE

No! Let the plague choke me if I am!
(VALERE and LUCAS beat him again)
SGANARELLE

Ah! Oh! Alright, alright! Yes, I am a doctor if that's what you want. I'm a doctor; I'm a doctor; an apothecary, too,

if you like. I'll agree to anything rather than be beaten to death.
VALERE

Ah, that's wonderful, sir. I am so happy to see you healthy again.
LUCAS I am right tickled to hear you talkin' sense.
VALERE I ask your pardon from the bottom of my heart.
LUCAS Please excuse me for takin' them liberties.
SGANARELLE
(aside) Hey! Could it be that I'm the one who's wrong? Did I become a doctor without knowing it?
VALERE

Sir, you won't regret having revealed to us who you really are. In fact, you will be very satisfied that you did.
SGANARELLE

But, gentlemen, tell me. Could it be that you yourself are mistaken? Is it for certain that I'm a doctor?
LUCAS

Yep, sure as shootin'.

SGANARELLE
Really and truly?

VALERE

No doubt about it.

SGANARELLE

Devil take me if I knew it!
LUCAS

A doctor who's cured I don't know how many sicknesses.
SGANARELLE
Damn!
VALERE

What? you're the most clever doctor in the world.
SGANARELLE
Ah!
VALERE

A woman was considered dead for six hours. They were ready to bury her when you, with a drop of something or other, brought her to again, made her walk around the room, and she danced into town.
SGANARELLE
No kidding.
LUCAS

A little twelve year old kid fell down from the top of a belfry and busted his head, arms, and legs, and you gave him some kinda magic cough drop, and he stood right up on his feet, ran off to play, and grew up to be president!
SGANARELLE
President.

VALERE

In short, sir, we will treat you very well, and you will earn as much money as you want, if you will just follow us.
SGANARELLE

I will earn as much money as I want?
VALERE
Yes.
SGANARELLE

Oh, I'm a doctor, there's no doubt about it.
__________________________________

Sample #2: Act II, Scene 4

Sganarelle, Lucinda, Geronte

SGANARELLE
(sitting between GERONTE and LUCINDA)

This is a patient who is not at all disgusting, and I think that a healthy man could put up with her quite easily.
GERONTE

You made her laugh, sir!
SGANARELLE

So much the better. When the doctor makes the patient laugh, it is the best sign in the world.
(to LUCINDA)
Alright! What's the problem? What's the matter with you? Tell me where it hurts.
LUCINDA

(answers with gestures, pointing to her mouth, her head, and under her chin)
Han, hi, hon, han. Huh?

SGANARELLE

What did you say?
LUCINDA

(same gestures)
Han, hi, hon, han, han, hi, hon.

SGANARELLE
What?

LUCINDA

Han, hi, hon.
SGANARELLE

Han, hi, hon, han, ha. I can't understand you. What the devil kind of a language is that? It sounds like
LUCINDA

Ram-a-lam-a-ding-don

SGANARELLE
Greek. Say "ah."
(no sound)

Louder.

(no sound)

Louder.

(no sound)

Either she can't speak or I'm deaf.
GERONTE

Sir, that is exactly her trouble! She has become mute, and until now, no one has been able to discover the cause.

Because of this misfortune, we have had to postpone her marriage.
SGANARELLE
Why?

GERONTE

The man to whom she is to be married wishes to wait for her recovery before concluding the marriage.
SGANARELLE

And who is the fool who doesn't want his wife to be mute? I wish to god mine had that disease. I'd be very

careful not to cure her.
GERONTE

At any rate, sir, we beg you to use all your skill to relive her of this affliction.
SGANARELLE

Oh, don't you worry. Tell me, does this affliction bother her very much?

GERONTE
Yes, sir.
SGANARELLE

Excellent. Does she feel much pain?
GERONTE

Very much.

SGANARELLE

Splendid. Does she go...you-know-where?

GERONTE
Yes.

SGANARELLE

Copiously?

GERONTE

I don't know anything about that.
SGANARELLE

The substance, is it praiseworthy?
GERONTE

I do not understand these things.
SGANARELLE
(to LUCINDA)
Give me your arm.
(to GERONTE)

The pulse tells me that your daughter is mute.

________________________________


SAMPLE #3: Act III, Scene 3
Jacqueline, Sganarelle


SGANARELLE

Here is the lovely nurse. Oh, wet nurse of my heart, I am delighted to see you again. The sight of you is the rhubarb,

the cassia, and the senna which purge all the melancholy of my soul.
JACQUELINE

Lands sakes, Mr. Doctor. They ain't no good talkin' to me like that. I don't understand none of your Latin.
SGANARELLE

Get sick, nurse, I beg of you. Get sick for my sake. I would be so happy to make you better.
JACQUELINE

Much obliged, but I'd just as soon not take none of your cures.
SGANARELLE

How I pity you, beautiful nurse, for having such an annoying and jealous husband.
JACQUELINE

But what can I do, sir? It's a penance for my sins. And where the goat is tied, there must she graze.
SGANARELLE

What? With a boor like him! A man who's always watching you and won't let anyone talk to you!
JACQUELINE

Ha! You ain't seen nothin' yet. That's just a small sample of his grumpiness.
SGANARELLE

Is it possible? Could a man be so mean as to mistreat a woman like you? Oh, lovely nurse, I know some people,

not very far from here, who would be happy just to kiss the tips of your toes. How could it be that someone as well

put together as you has fallen into such hands! An animal, a brute, a stupid fool...Excuse me for speaking this way

About your husband...
JACQUELINE

Oh, sir. I know very well that he deserves all of them names.

SGANARELLE

Oh, yes, without a doubt, dear nurse, he deserves them. And he also deserves something else -- two little horns on

his head, to punish him for his suspicions.
JACQUELINE

It's true that if I thought about what he deserves, I might be tempted to hoot with the owls and soar with the eagles. _______________________________