|Dorante, what a
|You must be
joking, madame! It was a pathetic offering
unworthy of being set before you.
is right, madame, and although I am indebted to
him for his hospitality towards you this evening,
I must agree that the meal was not worthy of you.
It was I who ordered it, and as you know I am
less knowledgeable about such things than many in
our social circle, which explains why there were
some gastronomic errors of judgement involved.
Now, if our dear friend Damis had been in charge,
I have no doubt that all would have been quite
perfect. Furthermore, he would have regaled you
with a most exquisitely erudite and eloquent
description of the menu as it was being served.
He would have waxed lyrical about the golden
bevel-edged bread, yielding beneath its
perfectly-baked crust before melting in the
mouth; of the full-bodied and luscious wine, with
its unassuming bouquet and youthful, muscular
palate; of the neck of lamb infused with
sweet-smelling herbs; of the firm loin of veal,
this long, white, succulent and, when you sink
your teeth into it, as soft and sweet as
marzipan; of the partridges, hand-reared and
giving off an irresistible aroma; and of his
piece de resistance - a plump turkey, stuffed
with pigeons and garnished with onions marinated
in chicory. But, for my part, I know nothing of
cookery. And I agree with Monsieur Jordan - I
just wish the meal had been worthy of you.
|Well, I have
returned your compliment by eating an enormous
meal, as you saw.
beautiful hands you have!
hands, Monsieur Jordan. But if you're referring
to the diamond, it is indeed very beautiful.
|Diamond? Moi? I
wouldn't dream of mentioning it! Perish the
thought that I should be so vulgar! Anyway, it's
not much of a diamond.
|(To the Pages)
More wine for Monsieur Jordan. And, here's a tip
for the lads who entertained us earlier.
|And what a lovely
idea, Dorante, to provide a musical accompaniment
to this delicious meal. The evening really has
been a treat!
|Madame, it was
No need to repeat to madame that you do not feel
the meal or the entertainment were worthy of her.
She knows that, now.
|Really, I've had
a lovely time.
|I could show you
much more of a lovely time, if you'd let me.
Jordan is behaving more gallantly than I
|What are you
saying, madame? You're surely not accusing
Monsieur Jordan of hanky-panky?
only she and I could get up to some!
quite harmless once you get to know him.
|She can get to
know me any time she likes. In depth!
|Oh my God! I'm
|He's such a card,
isn't he? Have you noticed that he has finished
off all the morcels of food that you sampled and
abandoned on your plate?
is quite ravishing.
|Ah ha! I see we
have company. Strange, I do not recall having
received an invitation. So, this is why I was
packed off to your sister's for dinner, is it?
'And don't hurry home, my dear, stay all evening
if you wish'! Ha! I turn my back for five
minutes, and what do I find? There was some sort
of pantomime going on as I came in, and here
upstairs I find what looks like a wedding
banquet. So this is how you squander your money
whilst my back is turned - wine, women and song!
|What can you
mean, Madame Jordan? You are quite mistaken if
you think your husband has spent any of his own
money to entertain madame. All the expenditure
here has been mine, and mine alone. Your husband
merely lent me his house for the evening. You
should mind what you say, and not let your
fantasies run away with you.
impertinent woman! This is Count Dorante's little
party for madame, who is a lady of high rank. He
has honoured me by making use of my house, and
inviting me to join him.
have eyes in my head.
|You should get
yourself some better spectacles, Madame Jordan.
|I do not need
spectacles, monsieur, to see what is happening
here. I've suspected something was going on for
some time; I am not a complete idiot. It's come
to a pretty pass when a nobleman such as yourself
stoops to playing this sort of game, and to
encouraging my husband to indulge his ridiculous
fantasies. As for you, madame, you have shown
yourself unworthy of your high rank; going around
breaking up marriages and allowing my stupid
husband to fall in love with you.
|What is the
meaning of all this? Really, Dorante, I fail to
see the joke, and I will not be subjected to the
rantings of this mad old hag!
where are you going?
Count Dorante, please apologise and try to get
|Right, you witch!
See what you've done, now? How dare you come in
here and insult me in front of my guests and then
drive them from my house? These are people of
|I don't give a
stuff about their noble birth!
|So help me,
woman, one more word out of you and I'll crown
you with the leftovers of this meal that you
|And I don't give
a stuff about that either! This is my territory,
and my rights I'm defending! And there isn't a
woman here who won't support me in that!
|Get out of my
sight, before I lose my temper with you. Dammit,
she couldn't have picked a worse moment to
appear. I'd prepared some very impressive little
phrases to put to the countess. I can't remember
the last time I felt so witty and charming! What
who the hell are you?
Covielle, disguised but recognisable to the
|Monsieur, I don't
think you know me.
|I most certainly
|I haven't seen
you since you were knee-high to a grasshopper.
|Yes, you were the
most beautiful baby in the world. All the ladies
would cradle you in their arms and kiss you.
|Kiss me? Cradle
me in their arms?
|Yes. Actually, I
was a great friend of your late father.
|Of my late
|Yes, indeed. He
was a perfect gentleman.
|What did you say?
|I said he was a
|You knew him
|And you knew him
to be a
|Well, there's a
turn-up for the books!
|There are certain
bigoted idiots who have had the nerve to say that
my father was in trade!
|In trade? Him?
That's a frightful slander, he was no such thing.
Never! It was just that he was very obliging, and
very efficient. Since he was knowledgeable about
fabrics, knew where to go to get the best deals,
he would often bring some back to his place, and
then he'd let his friends have some. For money.
|I am delighted to
have met you! You have done me great service,
affirming that my father was indeed a gentleman
|I would swear it
in a court of law.
|I am much obliged
to you. What business brings you here?
|Since I knew your
late father, the gentleman of noble birth, I have
travelled to the four corners of the earth.
|The four corners
of the earth? That sounds like a long way to go.
|It certainly is.
I only got back four days ago, and because I
promised your late father, the gentleman of noble
birth, that I would look out for your interests,
I must tell you I have some fantastic news for
|Did you know that
the son of the Sultan of Turkey is here?
|You didn't know?
But, where have you been? He has a most
magnificent retinue with him, and absolutely
everyone has called on him since he's been here.
He is generally received in Paris as a person of
the very highest rank possible.
|The highest rank,
eh? Good Lord, I had no idea.
|What is more to
the point, he is in love with your daughter.
|The Sultan of
Turkey's son? In love with my daughter?
|Yes. And he wants
to marry her.
Sultan of Turkey's son
as my son-in-law?
|The Sultan of
Turkey's son as your son-in-law. He had quite a
chat with me about it when I saw him - I speak
fluent Turkish, of course, you?
|So, in the course
of this quite long conversation he said:
"Acciam croc soler onch alla moustaph
gidelum amanahem verahim oussere carbulath",
which, roughly translated, means ' Do you know a
certain beautiful young lady, who is the daughter
of Monsieur Jordan, a Parisian nobleman?'.
|The Sultan of
Turkey's son said that about me?
|Yes. And when I
replied that I knew you personally, and that I
had seen your daughter, he said "Ah!
Marababa sahem", meaning 'Ah! I am madly in
love with her!'.
sahem" means 'I am madly in love with her'?.
|You amaze me. I
never would have guessed that "Marababa
sahem" means 'I am madly in love with her'.
What a remarkable language this Turkish is, to be
try this: "cacaracamouchen". Can you
guess what that means?
|It means 'dearest
means 'dearest love'?
"Cacaracamouchen, my dearest love".
Fancy that! Language never ceases to surprise me!
|So, to the point
of my mission. He plans to visit you to request
your daughter's hand in marriage, and, in order
to have a father-in-law who is worthy of his
extraordinarily high rank and status, he wishes
to confer on you the title of
"mamamouchi", which is one of the
highest honours possible in his country.
"mamamouchi"; it means, in Turkish,
Paladin. Paladins were, in olden times, sort
well, Paladins. It is the most senior
rank achievable absolutely anywhere in the whole
|The Sultan of
Turkey's son does me a great honour. Would you be
so kind as to bring me to him, so that I may
thank him in person.
|I told you, he's
|He's coming here?
|Yes. And he's
bringing his entourage and everything necessary
to complete your investiture on the spot.
doesn't hang about!
|Love makes men
|Which reminds me,
there is one small potential impediment. My
daughter is a stubborn little madam, who has got
it into her head that she will marry no-one but
some berk named Cleonte.
She'll soon change her mind when she claps eyes
on the Sultan of Turkey's son. By a miraculous
stroke of luck, this Turk closely resembles your
|You know Cleonte?
|Er, I saw him on
my way in. I mean, someone pointed him out to me.
Oh, I believe I hear him coming! Here he is.
Cleonte, in disguise but recognisable to the
audience, attended by two Pages, similarly
dressed up in Turkish style)
boraf, Jordina, salamalequi
|He says 'Monsieur
Jordan, may your heart be as a rose bush that
blooms all the year round'. This is normal small
talk in his country.
|I am His Turkish
Highness's most humble servant.
catamalequi basum base alla moran
|He says ' May
heaven grant you the strength of a lion and the
wisdom of a snake'.
Highness does me too much honour, and I wish him
all the prosperous
prosperity in the world.
sadoc babally oracaf ouram.
|He says will you
please accompany him immediately to be prepared
for the ceremony, so that you may both proceed
subsequently with all speed to meet your
daughter, and so expedite the solemnification of
his marriage to her.
|He said all that
in two words?
Turkish language for you. A couple of words and
you've said it all. Go on, he's waiting for you.
Monsieur Jordan and Cleonte)
Oh my God, did you see how he fell for it?
|Ah, monsieur, may
I call upon your help with a little project we
|Is that you,
Covielle? I didn't recognise you in that very
courageous fashion statement!
|Do you like it? (laughing)
|What are you
|Oh, monsieur, you
will not believe
|You will never
guess, monsieur, our cunning plan to trick
Monsieur Jordan into letting his daughter marry
|No, I can't
guess. But I'll wager that, if you are behind it,
|I know very well,
monsieur, that you are familiar with the antics
of this idiot.
|Come on, then.
What's the plot?
|Stand over here
and watch what happens, while I fill you in on
ceremony, by which the bourgeois is ennobled, is
accompanied by music and dance. A number of
'Turks' and 'Dervishes' perform various
ridiculous rituals and dance movements. A 'Mufti'
enters and intones what appear to be prayers to
Allah, and finally Monsieur Jordan enters, or is
borne in by the Dervishes, dressed in full
Turkish regalia. A huge ceremonial turban is
placed on his head, and Mufti, Turks and
Dervishes perform various song-and-dance routines
round him, culminating in him on his hands and
knees, the Mufti using his back as a pulpit from
which to read from the Koran, and the Dervishes
subjecting him to a ceremonial beating on the
backside with their scimitars. The ceremony
complete, the Mufti bows to him
Mufti, Turks, Dervishes et al)
|Oh good Lord have
mercy! What on earth is all this? What do you
think you look like? Off to a fancy-dress party
now, are you? And who is responsible for your
ridiculous get-up? Kindly say something, husband!
|Just watch your
tongue, woman. You are addressing a mamamouchi!
|Oh, yes! You'll
have to show me due respect from now on. I have
been made a mamamouchi.
|And what, pray,
is a mamamouchi?
|A mamamouchi! You
know. I am a mamamouchi. Do you mean to tell me
you've never even heard of it?
|Why don't you
make my day and introduce me to this rare
our language it means Paladin.
|What's that? Like
a ballet dancer? At your age?
ignorant! I said Paladin. It's a title that has
just been bestowed on me. A great honour.
|What does that
me. Jordan, see?
|Yes? And? Jordan
|Voler far un
paladina de Jordina.
|Dar turbanta con
|And what's that
supposed to mean?
Jordan begins to dance and chant)
|Oh, for goodness
|Hou la ba, ba la
chou, ba la ba, ba la da.
husband has lost his marbles!
|Silence! How dare
you address a mamamouchi with such disrespect?
|He has completely
taken leave of his senses. I'd better stop him
going out, for his own protection. Oh no, not
those two again! I'm surrounded by imbeciles and
|Madame, I assure
you, I can promise you the best laugh you've had
in years. You'd be hard pushed to find a
character as barking mad as this one! And,
anyway, I've promised to help Cleonte get his
girl. We really ought to. He's an excellent chap
and deserves a decent break.
|I agree. I'm
certainly willing to help his cause.
|By the way, did
you enjoy the entertainment that I laid on at
magnificent. But all this extravagance must stop,
Dorante, before you bankrupt yourself. I insist!
In fact, I will go even further in my efforts to
stop the gifts. By marrying you immediately. It's
the only way I can think of saving you from your
own generosity. It's a well-known fact that all
that sort of thing stops with marriage.
|Ah, madame! Can
it be true that I have finally won you?
|Oh, I'm only
doing it to prevent your total ruin! Otherwise
you would have ended up with nothing.
|I am deeply
grateful, madame, for your efforts to preserve my
wealth! And I lay it all at your feet, along with
|I shall put both
to good use, be assured! But here comes our
friend. And how appropriately dressed he is!
Monsieur Jordan, still in his Turkish gear)
we have come to pay our respects on the occasion
of your ennoblement; and to congratulate you on
your daughter's engagement to the Sultan of
elaborately in the 'Turkish' style) Monsieur,
I wish you the wisdom of a lion and the strength
of a snake.
|Allow me to be
amongst the first, Excellency, to recognise the
very high rank to which you have been elevated.
|Madame, may your
rose-bush always be in flower! Thank you for
attending my ennoblement ceremony, and may I take
this opportunity to apologise most profusely to
you for the outrageous excesses of my wife.
|Think nothing of
it. It is entirely understandable that a woman
who has a husband as impressive as yourself
should be especially vigilant. Clearly your heart
is very precious to her.
|But my heart
belongs only to you.
|You will observe,
Madame, how gracious Monsieur Jordan continues to
be towards his old friends, despite his elevation
to the nobility. He is not one to allow his new
high rank to go to his head.
|It shows a great
generosity of spirit.
|So, where is his
Highness the Sultan's son? As your friends, we
should really pay him our respects.
Cleonte, disguised as the Sultan's son)
|Your Highness, we
are friends of your new father-in-law, and we beg
leave to offer your Highness our most humble
|Where the devil
has that interpreter got to? We need someone to
explain to him who you are, and make him
understand what you're saying to him. You wait
till you hear his replies - he speaks Turkish
brilliantly! Oy! Where's he got to, now? (To
Cleonte) Strouf, strif, strof, straf.
Monsieur is a great lord, grande segnore, grande
segnore, grande segnore; and madame is a noble
lady, granda dama, granda dama. Dammit! Ah!
Monsieur is a French mamamouchi, and madame is
a French mamamouchioness. Understand? Am I
making myself clear? Ah, thank God, here's the
|Where have you
been? We can't exchange a word of conversation
without you. Tell him that monsieur and madame
are people of very noble birth, who, being close
friends of mine, are here to pay their respects
to him and declare themselves his humble
servants. Now, just watch how he replies.
acci boram alabamen
ourin soter amalouchan.
|He says ' may the
rain of prosperity water the garden of your
|I told you!
Speaks Turkish like a native!
|Ah, here's my
daughter! Come here, girl, and give your hand to
this gentleman, who has done you the honour of
requesting you in marriage.
what are you doing dressed up like that? Is this
some kind of joke?
|On the contrary,
it is a matter of extreme gravity, and the
greatest honour that you could possibly hope for.
I have chosen this man as your husband.
|As a husband? For
|Yes, for you, you
silly goose! Now, shake hands with him, and thank
heaven for your good fortune.
|I don't want to
|I want you to
marry him, and I am your father. So that's that!
|Will you shut up?
There now, do as I say and shake his hand.
|No, father. I've
told you, nothing you do or say will persuade me
to marry anyone but Cleonte. I would rather die
cross my beloved father, to whom I owe
absolute obedience! Please, marry me to
whomsoever you wish!
|Ah, what a joy to
have once again an obedient daughter who knows
|And what, pray,
is going on here? What's this I hear - that you
intend to marry our daughter to some carnival
|Will you shut up?
How dare you challenge my decision? You must
always barge in and mess everything up. It's
quite impossible ever to make you see reason.
|Ha! You're a fine
one to talk of seeing reason! Your pursuit of
folly is relentless. Precisely what are you up to
here, with this lot?
|I intend to marry
my daughter to the Sultan of Turkey's son.
|The Sultan of
|Yes. You can
present your compliments to him through this
|I don't need any
interpreter to make myself understood! I shall
put it to him, plainly and in his face, that he
shall not have my daughter.
|Will you shut up,
for the last time?
Jordan, I can't believe you could refuse someone
as eminent as the son of the Sultan of Turkey as
|Kindly mind your
own business, monsieur!
|It's a great
honour, and certainly an offer I would accept.
|Is there an offer
you wouldn't accept?
|We are only
taking such an interest in a family matter
because we are your dear friends.
|With dear friends
like you, I'll not be needing any enemies.
|Yet your daughter
consents willingly to the match.
|My daughter has
consented to marry a Turk?
|How could she so
easily forget Cleonte?
|Ah! What won't
any young girl do for the chance to acquire a
|I'd strangle her
with my own hands if she should so much as think
of such a thing.
|Enough! I say
this marriage will go ahead, and that's final!
|And I say to you
that it will not.
|Get away from me,
you cheeky little slut!
|What? Are you
telling her off for obeying me?
|Yes I am. She's
my daughter as much as she is yours.
|What do you want?
|A word in your
|I've had enough
of your words.
|Monsieur, if I
can have a word with her in private, I guarantee
to persuade her to do what you want.
|I shall not do
what he wants.
|Just listen to me
for one moment.
|Listen to him.
|No, I don't want
to listen to him.
|I don't want him
to tell me anything.
|Was there ever
such a stubborn woman? Would it hurt you so much
to listen to him?
|Just listen to
me, please. Afterwards, make your own decision.
|Very well. Get on
takes her aside)
signalling to you for ages, madame! Don't you see
that all this has been laid on just to pander to
your husband's fantasies? We're taking him for a
ride, dressed up like this. Cleonte himself is
playing the Sultan of Turkey's son!
interpreter - it is I, Covielle!
|I'm with you.
|Try not to give
the game away.
Yes. So. As I was just saying. I consent
wholeheartedly to this marriage.
|At last, everyone
is behaving reasonably! I knew you'd come round,
once he'd explained to you exactly who the Sultan
of Turkey's son actually is.
|He explained it
perfectly, and I am satisfied. Let's send someone
to get the notary right now.
And, to put your mind at rest regarding your
husband's relationship with Countess Dorimene,
madame, may I assure you that you need no longer
harbour any feelings of jealousy, for the same
notary will marry her to me.
wholeheartedly to that marriage too.
Dorante) This is to put her off the scent,
Monsieur Jordan) Yes, it should work so long
as we continue to humour her.
|Right. Let's call
the notary in here.
waiting for him, we could celebrate by watching
the little entertainment we prepared but never
saw after dinner. I'm sure His Highness would
Let's take our places.
|Hang on, what
Nicole? Oh, alright, she can have the
interpreter. And while I'm at it, I'll give my
wife away as well, to anyone who'll have her!
monsieur. (Aside) If there is a dafter
person in the whole wide world, I'll eat my
|(They sit down
to watch the closing dance).