Orgon's Obsession in Tartuffe by Moliere :: Tartuffe …
When we finally meet Orgon (Steve Lebens) and Tartuffe (Jonathan M
Orgon. No, in spite of everyone, you and she
Must often meet. I love to make a stir,
So day and night let them see you with her.
No, that's not enough, but this will make them stew:
I don't want to have any heir but you,
And I'm going to legally designate
You as the owner of my whole estate.
A frank and true friend, whom I take as my son,
Is dearer to me than my wife or children.
Will you accept the offer I am making?
Tartuffe. May God's will be done in this undertaking!
Orgon. Poor man! Let's quickly put it all in writing,
And let their envy choke on its own spiting.
Cleante. Yes, the whole town is talking about it,
And they don't think it does you much credit.
And I've sought you out, sir, just for the sake
Of telling you bluntly what I think's at stake.
I'm not going to dredge up the whole dispute;
The fact is Damis is in disrepute.
Supposing that he did act like a fool
And that you are unfairly being called cruel,
Shouldn't a Christian pardon the offense
And purge his soul of desire for vengeance?
And should you permit him, for this one goof,
To be driven away from his father's roof?
I'll tell you again, and I'll be bold:
You are scandalizing both young and old.
If you take my advice, you will seek a truce
And not be a party to this boy's abuse.
Make an offering to God of your acrimony,
And restore the son to his patrimony.
Tartuffe. Alas! As for myself, I seek that solace:
I do not have for him the slightest malice;
I wholly forgive him of any blame,
And long to restore him to his good name.
But in the service of God I can't permit
It, for if he remains I shall have to quit
This house. No prior offense holds a candle
To his. Our meeting would cause a huge scandal.
Lord only knows what people would assume!
They would impute it to cunning, I presume,
And say that my guilt has made me pretend
To excuse him of any intent to offend,
And that I fear him and wish to placate him
As a crafty move in my plan to checkmate him.
Cleante. I think you are making up excuses,
And your arguments, monsieur, seem like ruses.
Must you assume the role of the Deity?
Does He need us to punish the guilty?
Leave it to Him to take care of vengeance;
He bids us to forgive every offense
And not to consider human judgments
When we follow God's sovereign commandments.
What? Should the petty fear of what some may say
Prevent you from doing this good deed today?
No, let us always follow God's commands,
And leave all other matters in His hands.
Tartuffe. I've told you already that I forgive
Him, and that, sir, is God's directive.
But after such scandal and vituperation
God doesn't demand our cohabitation.
Cleante. And does He demand that you lend your hand
To the pure caprice of the father's command
And accept the gift of his whole estate,
Which you cannot justly appropriate?
Tartuffe. Those who know me will not believe that I'd
Do anything selfish or unjustified.
I hold worldly goods in quite low esteem.
I can't be dazzled by their phony gleam.
And if in the end I decide to take
The gift that the father wishes to make,
It is only, I swear, because I fear
That it could be left to a false profiteer,
Or that it could be shared by those who would
Use it to do evil rather than good,
And who would not use it, as I'm sure I can,
For the glory of God and one's fellow man.
Cleante. Oh, sir! Don't put on that scrupulous air
While your actions injure a rightful heir.
Don't feel uneasy or risk your good health
By fretting about the perils of his wealth.
It is better spent on a young man's whim
Than that you be accused of defrauding him.
I only wonder why you aren't ashamed
By this proposal in which you are named.
In true religion is there some dictum
That says it's okay to make an heir your victim?
And if God has put some obstacle in place
Against you and Damis sharing the same space,
Wouldn't you prefer to be more discrete
And leave this house in a noble retreat
Than to sit and see the son of the house
Thrust from his home like a beggarly louse.
Believe me, it would prove your probity,
Devious Tartuffe charms his way into Orgon’s household and ..
I can't even speak, and I'm sure I will die.
Villain! How I regret that I held my hand
And that I did not crush you where you stand.
 Calm yourself, brother and try not to fret.
Tartuffe. Let's stop these squabbles that end in regret.
The great friction I have caused makes me grieve,
And I believe, brother, that I should leave.
Orgon. What? Surely you jest?
Tartuffe. They hate me and I see
That they want you to doubt my integrity.
Orgon. Who cares! Do you think I'll listen to them?
Tartuffe. No doubt they'll continue their stratagem;
And the same tales that you reject today
You may find credible some other day.
Orgon. No, brother, never.
Tartuffe. Ah, brother, a man's mate
Can easily make her spouse speculate.
Orgon. No, no.
Tartuffe. Let me leave here at once and so
Escape the threat of another low blow.
Orgon. No, please remain. I can't live without you.
Tartuffe. Well! I suppose I will suffer if I do.
Still, if you wish .