Dorine. No, no, it is I who am going to leave you to yourself; and I have only two words to say to you. My mistress is coming down into this parlour, and wishes the favour of a minute’s conversation with you.

Tartuffe. Alas! with all my heart.

Dorine (aside). How he softens down! Upon my word, I stick to what I have said of him.

Tartuffe. Will she be long?

Dorine. Methinks I hear her. Yes, it is herself, and I leave you together.

Scene III.—Elmire, Tartuffe.

Tartuffe. May Heaven, in its mighty goodness, for ever bestow upon you health, both of soul and body, and bless your days as much as the humblest of its votaries desires.

Elmire. I am much obliged for this pious wish. But let us take a seat, to be more at ease.

Tartuffe (seated). Are you quite recovered from your indisposition?

Elmire (seated). Quite; the fever soon left me.

Tartuffe. My prayers are not deserving enough to have drawn this grace from above; but not one of them ascended to Heaven that had not your recovery for its object.

Elmire. You are too anxious in your zeal for me.

Tartuffe. We cannot cherish your dear health too much; and to re-establish yours, I would have given mine.

Elmire. That is pushing Christian charity very far; and I feel much indebted to you for all this kindness.

Tartuffe. I do much less for you than you deserve.

Elmire. I wished to speak to you in private about a certain matter, and am glad that no one is here to observe us.

Tartuffe. I am equally delighted; and, indeed, it is very pleasant to me, Madam, to find myself alone with you. I have often asked Heaven for this opportunity, but, till now, in vain.

Elmire. What I wish is a few words with you, upon a small matter, in which you must open your heart and conceal nothing from me. (Damis, without showing himself, half opens the door of the closet into which he had retired to listen to the conversation.)

Tartuffe. And I will also, in return for this rare favour, unbosom myself entirely to you, and swear to you that the reports which I have spread about the visits which you receive in homage of your charms, do not spring from any hatred towards you, but rather from a passionate zeal which carries me away, and out of a pure motive …

Elmire. That is how I take it. I think it is for my good that you trouble yourself so much.

Tartuffe (taking Elmire’s hand and pressing her fingers). Yes, Madam, no doubt; and my fervour is such …

Elmire. Oh! you squeeze me too hard.

Tartuffe. It is through excess of zeal. I never had any intention of hurting you, and would sooner … (He places his hand on Elmire’s knee).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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