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A monologue from the play by Molière
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Dramatic Works of Molière, Vol. II. Ed. Charles Heron Wall. London: George Bell & Sons, 1898.
If we take fifty-two from sixty-four, we get twelve; five years you spent in Holland, seventeen; seven years spent in England, twenty-four; eight years in Rome, thirty-two;
and if to thirty-two we add your age when we first became acquainted, we have exactly fifty-two. So that, Mr. Sganarelle, according to your own confession, you are between fifty-two and fifty-three years of age.
The calculation is exact enough. Now, I will tell you frankly, as a friend–according to the promise you made me give you–that marriage would suit you but little.
Marriage is a thing about which young people ought to think long and seriously before they risk themselves, but of which people of your age ought not to think at all; and if,
as some say, the greatest folly a man can commit is to marry, I know nothing more preposterous than to commit such a folly at a time of life when we should be most prudent.
In short, to speak to you plainly, I advise you not to marry; and I should think you very ridiculous if, after having remained free up to your time of life, you were now to burden yourself with the heaviest of all chains. [Pause.]
What’s that? You’re in love with her? Ah! That’s quite another thing. You didn’t tell me that. By all means marry, then; I haven’t another word to say.