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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Molière (Jean Baptiste Poquelin) (1622–1673)

Monsieur Purgon

From “The Imaginary Invalid”


M. Pur.I have just heard nice news down-stairs. You laugh at my prescriptions, and refuse to take the remedy which I ordered.

Arg.Sir, it is not——

M. Pur.What daring boldness, what a strange revolt of a patient against his doctor!

Toi.It is frightful!

M. Pur.A clyster which I have had the pleasure of composing myself——

Arg.It was not I——

M. Pur.Invented and made up according to all the rules of art——

Toi.He was wrong.

M. Pur.And intended to work a marvelous effect on the intestines.

Arg.My brother——

M. Pur.To send it back with contempt!

Arg.(indicating BÉRALDE).It was he——

M. Pur.Such conduct is monstrous.

Toi.So it is.

M. Pur.It is a fearful outrage against medicine——

Arg.(indicating BÉRALDE).He is the cause——

M. Pur.A crime of high treason against the faculty, and one which cannot be too severely punished.

Toi.You are quite right.

M. Pur.I declare to you that I break off all intercourse with you——

Arg.It is my brother——

M. Pur.That I will have no more connection with you——

Toi.You will do quite right.

M. Pur.And to end all association with you, here is the deed of gift which I made to my nephew in favor of the marriage.(He tears up the document, and throws the pieces about furiously.)

Arg.It is my brother who has done all the mischief.

M. Pur.To despise my clyster!

Arg.Let it be brought; I will take it directly.

M. Pur.I would have cured you in a very short time.

Toi.He doesn’t deserve it.

M. Pur.I was about to cleanse your body, and to clear it of its bad humors.

Arg.Ah! brother!

M. Pur.And it wanted only a dozen purgatives to cleanse it entirely.

Toi.He is unworthy of your care.

M. Pur.But since you would not be cured by me——

Arg.It was not my fault.

M. Pur.Since you have forsaken the obedience you owe to your doctor——

Toi.It cries for vengeance.

M. Pur.Since you have declared yourself a rebel against the remedies I had prescribed for you——

Arg.No, no, certainly not!

M. Pur.I must now tell you that I give you up to your bad constitution, to the intemperament of your intestines, to the corruption of your blood, to the acrimony of your bile, and to the feculence of your humors.

Toi.It serves you right.


M. Pur.And in four days you will be in an incurable state.

Arg.Oh! have mercy on me!

M. Pur.You will fall into bradypepsia——

Arg.Monsieur Purgon!

M. Pur.From bradypepsia into dyspepsia——

Arg.Monsieur Purgon!

M. Pur.From dyspepsia into apepsy——

Arg.Monsieur Purgon!

M. Pur.From apepsy into lientery——

Arg.Monsieur Purgon!

M. Pur.From lientery into dysentery——

Arg.Monsieur Purgon!

M. Pur.From dysentery into dropsy——

Arg.Monsieur Purgon!

M. Pur.And from dropsy into the deprivation of life to which your folly will bring you.