The Imaginary Invalid

The Imaginary Invalid

by Molière


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781787246669
Publisher: Progres et Declin SA
Publication date: 07/17/2018
Pages: 102
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.24(d)

About the Author

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière (15 January 1622 - 17 February 1673), was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature.

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The Imaginary Invalid

By Molière, Henri van Laun, JENNY BAK

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2004 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-15366-7





The Scene represents a rustic, pleasant spot.

Scene I.—Flora, Two Zephyrs, dancing.


Leave, leave your flocks;
Come shepherds, shepherdesses all;
Assemble 'neath these youthful elms:
I have come to announce to you sweet tidings,
Wherewith these hamlets to rejoice.
Leave, leave your flocks;
Come shepherds, shepherdesses all;
Assemble 'neath these youthful elms.

Scene II.—Flora, Two Zephyrs dancing; Climène, Daphné, Tircis, Dorilas.


(To Tircis). DAPH. (To Dorilas).
Leave your protestations, shepherd:
It is Flora who now calls.


(To Climène). DOR. (To Daphné).
But cruel one, tell me at least,
If by a little friendship, you will repay my vows.

TIR. If you will be sensible of my faithful ardour.

CLI. AND DAPH. It is Flora who now calls.

TIR. AND DOR. It is but a word, a word, a word only that I crave.

TIR. Shall I for ever languish in my mortal pain?

DOR. May I hope that one day you shall make me happy?

CLI. AND DAPH. It is Flora who now calls.

Scene III.—Flora, Two Zephyrs dancing; Climène, Daphné, Tircis, Dorilas, Shepherds and Shepherdesses, of the suite of Tircis and Dorilas, dancing and singing.

First Entry of the Ballet.

All the Shepherds and Shepherdesses place themselves around Flora, keeping time to the music.


What news is that, O goddess,
That amongst us is to diffuse so much joy?


We burn to learn from you,
These important tidings.

DOR. Eagerly we all sigh for it.


With impatience we die for it.


Here it is; silence, silence,
Your prayers have been granted, Louis is returned;
In these spots he brings back pleasures and love,
And you behold an end to your mortal alarms.
By his vast exploits, he sees everything subjected:

He lays down his arms,
Failing foes.


Ah! what sweet news!
How grand it is, how beautiful it is!
What pleasure! what laughter! what sports!
what happy successes!
And how well Heaven has fulfilled our wishes!
Ah! what sweet news!
How grand it is! how beautiful it is!

Second Entry of the Ballet.

All the Shepherds and Shepherdesses express by their dances, the transports of their joy.


From your rural pipes Evoke the sweetest sounds;
Louis offers to your songs
The most beautiful subject.
After a hundred battles,
In which his arm
Reaps an ample victory,
Form amongst you
A hundred battles still more sweet,
To sing his glory.


Let us form amongst us A hundred battles still more sweet,
To sing his glory.


My youthful lover, in these woods, From my empire prepares a present,
As a prize for the voice
Who shall best succeed in telling us
The virtue and the exploits
Of the most august of kings.

CLI. If Tircis has the advantage.

DAPH. If Dorilas conqueror be.

CLI. To cherish him I promise.

DAPH. To his ardour I will give myself.

TIR. Oh hope too dear!

DOR. Oh word replete with sweetness!

TIR. AND DOR. Could grander subject, sweeter reward animate a heart?

The violins play an air to animate the two shepherds to the competition, while Flora, as umpire, places herself, with two Zephyrs, at the foot of a beautiful tree in the middle of the stage, and the rest occupy the two sides, as spectators.


When the melted snow swells a famous torrent, Against the sudden effort of its
frothy waves
There is nothing sufficiently solid;
Dykes, castles, towns, and woods,
Men and flocks at one and the same time,
All things bend to the current which guides it:
Such, and fiercer, and more rapid still
Louis marches in his exploits.

Third Entry of the Ballet.

The Shepherds and Shepherdesses at Tircis' side dance round him, to the measure of a ritornello, to express their applause.


The threatening lightning that with fury pierces
The horrible darkness, by a fiery glow,
Causes, with fear and terror,
The most steadfast heart to tremble;
But, at the head of an army,
Louis inspires more terror still.

Fourth Entry of the Ballet.

The Shepherds and Shepherdesses at Dorilas' side do the same thing as the others have done.

TIR. We see the fabulous exploits which Greece has sung,

Effaced by many grander truths;
And all these famous demi-gods
Whom past history vaunts,
Are not even to our thoughts
What Louis is in our eyes.

Fifth Entry of the Ballet.

The Shepherds and Shepherdesses once more do the same thing that the others have done.


In our days, Louis, by his astonishing feats,
Makes us believe the grand deeds which history
has sung
Of by-gone ages;
But our nephews, in their glory,
Shall have nothing that can make believe
All the grand feats of Louis.

Sixth Entry of the Ballet.

The Shepherds and Shepherdesses at Dorilas' side again do the same things.

Seventh Entry of the Ballet.

The Shepherds and Shepherdesses on both sides mingle and dance together.

Scene VI.—Flora, Pan; Two Zephyrs dancing; Climène, Daphné, Tircis, Dorilas, Fauns dancing, Shepherds and Shepherdesses. dancing and singing.


Abandon, abandon, shepherds, this bold design,
Eh! what would you do?
Sing on your pipes
What Apollo, on his lyre,
With his most lovely songs,
Would not undertake to say?
It is giving too much flight to the fire that inspires
It is mounting towards the sky on waxen wings,
To drop down to the bottom of the deep,
To sing the intrepid courage of Louis,
There is no voice that is learned enough,
There are no words grand enough to describe it;
Silence is the language
That must laud his exploits.
Consecrate other cares to his signal victory;
Your praises have naught that flatters his desires:
Leave, leave his glory;
Think of nothing but his pleasures.


Leave, leave his glory;
Think of nothing but his pleasures.


(To Tircis and to Dorilas)
Although, to laud his immortal virtues,
Strength may fail your minds,
Both may receive the prize.
In grand and beauteous things
It is sufficient to have tried.

Eighth Entry of the Ballet.

The two Zephyrs dance with two chaplets of flowers in their hands, which they afterwards give to the two Shepherds.


(Giving their lovers their hands).
In grand and beauteous things,
It is sufficient to have tried.


Ah! with what sweet rewards our boldness has been crowned!

FLO. AND PAN. What one does for Louis is never lost.

CLI., DAPH., TIR., DOR. Let us give ourselves henceforth to the care for his pleasures.


Happy, happy, who can devote his life to him!


In these woods let us mingle
Our flutes and our voices;
This day invites us to it.
And let us make the echoes resound a thousand
Louis is the greatest of kings,
Happy, happy who can devote his life to him!

Ninth Entry of the Ballet.

Fauns, Shepherds, and Shepherdesses all mingle together to execute a dance; after which they go to prepare themselves for the Comedy.


SCENE I.—A Shepherdess singing.

Your highest knowledge is but pure chimera,
Vain and not very learned doctors;
You cannot cure, by your grand Latin words,
The grief that causes my despair.
Your highest knowledge is but pure chimera.

Alas! alas! I dare not reveal
My love-sick martyrdom
To the shepherd for whom I sigh,
And who alone can relieve me.
Do not pretend to put an end to it,
Ignorant doctors, you would not know how to do it:
Your highest knowledge is but pure chimera.

These uncertain remedies, of which the simple people
Think that you know the admirable virtue,
Cannot cure the ills I feel:
And all your gibberish can be received
Only by an Imaginary Invalid.
Your highest knowledge is but pure chimera,
Vain and little informed doctors, etc.

The Scene changes, and represents an apartment.


SCENE I.—ARGAN, seated before a table, is adding up his apothecary's bill with counters.

AR. Three and two make five, and five make ten, and ten make twenty; three and two make five. "Besides, on the twenty-fourth, a small clyster, mild, preparative and soothing, to soothe, moisten, and refresh Mr. Argan's inward parts." What pleases me in Mr. Fleurant, my apothecary, is that his bills are always so civil. "Mr. Argan's inward parts, thirty sols." Yes; but, Mr. Fleurant, to be civil is not everything; you should also be moderate, and not flay your patients. Thirty sols an enema! I am your humble servant, I have already told you; in your other bills you have put them at only twenty sols; and twenty sols in apothecary's language means ten sols; here they are, ten sols. "Besides, on the said date, a good cleaning clyster, composed of double catholicon, rhubarb, with honey of, roses, and other ingredients, according to prescription, to scour, wash and clean the lower abdomen of Mr. Argan, thirty sols." By your leave, ten sols. "Besides, on the said date, in the evening, a julep for the liver, soporative and soporific, composed to make Mr. Argan sleep, thirty-five sols." I do not complain of this, for it made me sleep very well. Ten, fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen sols, six deniers. "Besides, on the twenty-fifth, a good purgative and strengthening draught, composed of fresh cassia, with Levantine senna, and other ingredients, according to the prescription of Mr. Purgon, to expel and evacuate Mr. Argan's bile, four francs." Ah! Mr. Fleurant, this is too much of a joke: one should give and take with patients. Mr. Purgon did not order you to put down four francs. Put down, put down three francs, if you please. Twenty and thirty sols. "Besides, on the same date, an anodyne and astringent potion, to procure Mr. Argan some rest, thirty sols." Good, ten and fifteen sols. "Besides, on the twenty-sixth, a carminative clyster, to drive away Mr. Argan's flatulence, thirty sols." Ten sols, Mr. Fleurant. "Besides the same clyster, repeated in the evening, as above, thirty sols." Mr. Fleurant, ten sols. "Besides, on the twenty-seventh, a good draught to hasten and drive out the bad humours of Mr. Argan, three livres." Good, twenty and thirty sols; I am glad that you are reasonable. " Besides, on the twenty-eighth, a small dose of clarified and edul-corated milk, to soften, temper, refresh, and purify Mr. Argan's blood, twenty sols." Good, ten sols. Besides, a cordial and preservative potion, composed of twelve grains of bezoar, syrup of lemon and pomegranates, and other ingredients, according to prescription, five livres." Ah! Mr. Fleurant, gently if you please, if you go on thus, one would no longer care to be ill: be satisfied with four francs; twenty and forty sols. Three and two make five, and five make ten, and ten make twenty. Sixty-three livres, four sols, and six deniers. So that, this month, I have taken, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight remedies; and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven and twelve enemas; and the other month, there were twelve remedies and twenty enemas. I am not surprised that I am not so well this month as the other. I had better tell this to Mr. Purgon, so that he may set this matter to rights. Come, take all this away. (Seeing that no one comes, that there are none of his servants in the room). There is no one here. I may say what I like, I am always left alone: there is no means of making them stay here. (After having rung a bell that is on the table). They do not hear, and my bell does not make sufficient noise. Tingle, tingle, tingle. Not a bit of use. Tingle, tingle, tingle! They are deaf.... Toinette! Tingle, tingle, tingle. Just as if I did not ring at all. You wretch! you slut! Tingle, tingle, tingle. I am in a rage! Tingle, tingle, tingle! To the devil with you, baggage! Is it possible that they can leave a poor invalid by himself in this way? Tingle, tingle, tingle. This is most wretched. Tingle, tingle, tingle! Ah! good Heavens! they will leave me to die here! tingle, tingle, tingle.


TOI. (Entering). Coming, coming.

ARG. Ah! slut! ah! baggage ...

TOI. (Pretends to have knocked her head). The deuce take your impatience! You hurry people so, that I have given myself a great knock on the head against the outside corner of the shutter.

ARG. (Angry). Ah! you wretch! ...

Toi. (Interrupting him). Ah!

ARG. It is an ...

TOI. Ah! ...

ARG. It is an hour ...

TOI. Ah!

ARG. That you have left me ...

TOI. Ah!

ARG. Hold your tongue, you slut, that I may scold you.

TOI. Upon my word, I like that. I should advise you to do so, after what I have just done to myself.

ARG. You have given me a sore throat, you slut.

TOI. And you have given me a broken head: one is as good as the other. We are quits, if you like.

ARG. What! you baggage ...

TOI. If you scold, I shall cry.

ARG. To leave me, you wretch ...

TOI. (Once more interrupting Argan). Ah!

ARG. You slut! ... you wish me to ...

TOI. Ah!

ARG. What! I am not to have the pleasure of scolding her!

TOI. Scold as much as you like: I am agreeable.

ARG. You prevent me, you slut, by interrupting me at every point.

TOI. If you have the pleasure of scolding, I may, on my side, have the pleasure of crying: each his own; that is not too much. Ah!

ARG. Come, I shall have to do without it. Take this away, you wretch, take this away. (After having risen). Has my enema of to-day acted well?

TOI. Your enema?

ARG. Yes. Had I much bile?

TOI. Upon my word, I do not meddle with these things, it is for Mr. Fleurant to put his nose into them, since he profits by them.

ARG. Let them take care to keep some beef-tea ready for me, for the other which I am to take by-and-bye.

TOI. This Mr. Fleurant, and this Mr. Purgon amuse themselves very much with your body; they have a good milch-cow in you; and I should much like to ask them what disease you have, to want so many remedies.

ARG. Hold your tongue, you ignorant woman; it is not for you to control the prescriptions of the faculty. Send my daughter Angélique to me: I have something to say to her.

TOI. Here she comes of her own accord; she has guessed your thought.


ARG. Come here, Angélique: you come opportunely; I wished to speak to you.

AN. Behold me ready to listen to you.

ARG. Wait. (To Toinette). Give me my stick. I shall be back in a moment.

TOI. Go quickly, Sir, go. Mr. Fleurant gives us some work.


AN. Toinette!

TOI. What!

AN. Just look at me.

TOI. Well! I am looking at you.

AN. Toinette!

Toi. Well! what, Toinette?

AN. Cannot you guess what I wish to speak about?

TOI. I have my doubts about it: of our young lover; for it is on him that for six days all our conversations turn; and you are not at your ease, unless you talk of him at every moment.

AN. Since you know that, why are you not the first to converse with me about it? And why do you not save me the trouble of dragging you into this conversation?

TOI. You do not give me time to do so; and you are so anxious about it, that it becomes difficult to forestall you.

AN. I confess to you that I cannot tire of speaking of him to you, and that my heart warmly takes advantage of every moment to open itself to you. But tell me, Toinette, do you condemn the sentiments which I have for him?

Toi. I have no such thoughts.

AN. Am I wrong in abandoning myself to these sweet impressions?

TOI. I do not say so.

AN. And would you have me be insensible to the tender protestations of this ardent passion which he shows for me?

TOI. Heaven forbid!

AN. Just tell me; do not you see, with me, something from Heaven, some working of destiny, in the unexpected adventure of our acquaintance?

TOI. Yes.

AN. Do not you find that this action of taking up my defence, without knowing me, is altogether that of a gentleman?

TOI. Yes.

AN. That one could not have behaved more generously?

Toi. Agreed.

AN. And that he did all this with the best possible grace?

TOI. Oh! yes.

AN. Do not you think, Toinette, that he is well made in person?

TOI. Assuredly.

AN. That he has the finest appearance in the world?

TOI. No doubt.

AN. That his conversations, like his actions, have something noble?

Toi. That is certain.

AN. That there could be nothing more passionate than what he says to me?

TOI. It is true.


Excerpted from The Imaginary Invalid by Molière, Henri van Laun, JENNY BAK. Copyright © 2004 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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