Alceste. Zounds! why do I love you so! Ah! if ever I get heart-whole out of your hands, I shall bless Heaven for this rare good fortune. I make no secret of it; I do all that is possible to tear this unfortunate attachment from my heart; but hitherto my greatest efforts have been of no avail; and it is for my sins that I love you thus.
Célimène. It is very true that your affection for me is unequalled.
Alceste. As for that, I can challenge the whole world. My love for you cannot be conceived; and never, madam, has any man loved as I do.
Célimène. Your method, however, is entirely new, for you love people only to quarrel with them; it is in peevish expression alone that your feelings vent themselves; no one ever saw such a grumbling swain.
Alceste. But it lies with you alone to dissipate this ill-humour. For mercys sake let us make an end of all these bickerings; deal openly with each other, and try to put a stop
Scene II.Célimène, Alceste, Basque.
Célimène. What is the matter?
Basque. Acaste is below.
Célimène. Very well! bid him come up.
Scene III.Célimène, Aleceste.
Alceste. What! can one never have a little private conversation with you? You are always ready to receive company; and you cannot, for a single instant, make up your mind to be not at home.
Célimène. Do you wish me to quarrel with Acaste?
Alceste. You have such regard for people, which I by no means like.
Célimène. He is a man never to forgive me, if he knew that his presence could annoy me.
Alceste. And what is that to you, to inconvenience yourself so
Célimène. But, good Heaven! the amity of such as he is of importance; they are a kind of people who, I do not know how, have acquired the right to be heard at Court. They take their part in every conversation; they can do you no good, but they may do you harm; and, whatever support one may find elsewhere, it will never do to be on bad terms with these very noisy gentry.
Alceste. In short, whatever people may say or do, you always find reasons to bear with every one; and your very careful judgment
Scene IV.Alceste, Célimène, Basque.
Basque. Clitandre is here too, madam.
Alceste. Exactly so. (Wishes to go.)
Célimène. Where are you running to?
Alceste. I am going.
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