Short summary - The Middle Class Gentleman - The Bourgeois Gentleman or The Middle-Class Aristocrat or The Would-Be Noble - Molière - Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - The Middle Class Gentleman - The Bourgeois Gentleman or The Middle-Class Aristocrat or The Would-Be Noble
Molière - Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

It would seem, what else does the venerable bourgeois Monsieur Jourdain want? Money, family, health - everything one could wish for, he has. But no, Jourdain took it into his head to become an aristocrat, to become like noble gentlemen. His mania caused a lot of inconvenience and excitement to the household, but it was into the hands of a host of tailors, hairdressers and teachers, who promised through their art to make Jourdain a brilliant noble gentleman. And now two teachers - dance and music - together with their students were waiting for the master of the house to appear. Jourdain invited them so that they would decorate the dinner, which he arranged in honor of one titled person, with a cheerful and exquisite performance.

Presenting himself to the musician and dancer, Jourdain first asked them to evaluate his exotic robe - such, according to his tailor, all the nobility wears in the morning - and the new liveries of their lackeys. Apparently, the size of the future fee for connoisseurs directly depended on the assessment of the taste of Jourdain, therefore, the reviews were enthusiastic.

The dressing gown, however, caused some hitch, since Jourdain could not decide for a long time how it would be more convenient for him to listen to music - in it or without it. After listening to the serenade, he found it bland and, in turn, sang a lively street song, for which he again received praise and an invitation, among other sciences, to also study music and dancing. To accept this invitation, Jourdain was persuaded by the assurances of the teachers that every nobleman would certainly learn both music and dance.

A pastoral dialogue was prepared for the upcoming reception by the music teacher. In general, Jourdain liked him: since you can't do without these eternal shepherdesses and shepherdesses - okay, let them sing to themselves. The ballet presented by the dance teacher and his students pleased Jourdain absolutely to his liking.

Inspired by the success of the employer, the teachers decided to forge the iron while it was hot: the musician advised Jourdain to organize weekly home concerts, as he said, in all aristocratic houses; the dance teacher immediately began to teach him the most exquisite of dances - the minuet.

Exercises in graceful body movements were interrupted by a fencing teacher, a science teacher - the ability to strike, and not get them himself. The dance teacher and his fellow musician disagreed with the swordsman's statement about the absolute priority of the ability to fight over their time-honored arts. The people got carried away, word for word - and a couple of minutes later a scuffle ensued between the three teachers.

When the teacher of philosophy came, Jourdain was delighted - who else, if not a philosopher, should admonish the fighting. He willingly took up the cause of reconciliation: he remembered Seneca, warned opponents against anger that humiliates human dignity, advised him to take up philosophy, this first of the sciences ... Then he overdid it. They began to beat him on a par with the others.

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battered but still mutilated philosophy teacher was finally able to begin his lesson. Since Jourdain refused to deal with both logic - the words are too tricky there - and ethics - why should science temper his passions, if all the same, if it goes away, nothing will stop him - the pundit began to initiate him into the secrets of spelling.

Practicing vowel pronunciation, Jourdain was as happy as a child, but when the first raptures passed, he revealed a big secret to the philosophy teacher: he, Jourdain, is in love with a certain high society lady, and he needs to write this lady a note. For a philosopher, it was a trifle pair - in prose, or in poetry. However, Jourdain asked him to do without these very prose and poetry. Did the venerable bourgeois know that one of the most stunning discoveries in his life awaited him - it turns out, when he shouted to the maid: "Nicole, give me shoes and a nightcap", from his lips, just think, came the purest prose!

However, in the field of literature, Jourdain was still not a bastard - no matter how hard the teacher of philosophy tried, he failed to improve the text composed by Jourdain: “Beautiful Marquise! Your beautiful eyes promise me death from love. "

The Philosopher had to retire when Jourdain was told about the tailor. He brought a new suit, made, of course, according to the latest court fashion. The tailor's apprentices, dancing, brought in an update and, without interrupting the dance, dressed Jourdain in it. At the same time, his wallet suffered greatly: the apprentices did not skimp on flattering "your grace", "your excellency" and even "lordship", and the extremely touched Jourdain - on tips.

In a new suit, Jourdain set out to stroll through the streets of Paris, but his wife resolutely opposed this intention - half of the city was laughing at Jourdain without that. In general, in her opinion, it was time for him to change his mind and leave his silly quirks: why, one wonders, is Jourdain fencing if he does not intend to kill anyone? Why learn to dance when your legs are about to fail anyway?

Objecting to the woman’s senseless arguments, Jourdain tried to impress her and her servant with the fruits of his scholarship, but without much success: Nicole calmly uttered the sound "y", not even suspecting that at the same time she stretched her lips and brought her upper jaw closer to the lower one, and with a rapier she easily applied Jourdain had several injections, which he did not repel, since the unenlightened maid did not inject according to the rules.

For all the nonsense that her husband indulged in, Madame Jourdain blamed the noble gentlemen, who had recently begun to make friends with him. For the court dandies, Jourdain was an ordinary cash cow, but he, in turn, was confident that friendship with them gave him significant - like them there - pre-ro-ha-tives.

One of such high society friends of Jourdain was Count Dorant. As soon as he entered the drawing-room, this aristocrat paid a few exquisite compliments to the new suit, and then briefly mentioned that he had spoken of Jourdain this morning in the royal bedchamber. Having prepared the ground in this manner, the count reminded him that he owed his friend fifteen thousand eight hundred livres, so that there was a direct reason for him to lend him another two thousand two hundred - for even counting. In gratitude for this and subsequent loans, Dorant took on the role of mediator in matters of heart between Jourdain and the subject of his worship, the Marquis Dorimene, for whose sake the dinner with the performance was started.

Madame Jourdain, so as not to get in the way, was sent to dinner with her sister that day. She did not know anything about her husband's plan, but she herself was preoccupied with the arrangement of her daughter's fate: Lucille seemed to reciprocate the tender feelings of a young man named Cleont, who, as a son-in-law, was very suitable for Madame Jourdain. At her request, Nicole, interested in the marriage of the young mistress, since she herself was going to marry Cleontes' servant, Koviel, brought the young man. Madame Jourdain immediately sent him to her husband to ask for the hand of her daughter.

However, the first and, in fact, the only requirement of Jourdain to the applicant for the hand, Lucille Cleont did not answer - he was not a nobleman, while his father wanted to make his daughter, in the worst case, a marquise, or even a duchess. Having received a decisive refusal, Cleont was discouraged, but Koviel believed that all was not lost. The faithful servant decided to play a joke with Jourdain, since he had friends-actors, and the corresponding costumes were at hand.

In the meantime, the arrival of Count Dorant and the Marquise of Dorimena was announced. The count brought the lady to dinner not out of a desire to please the owner of the house: he himself had long been courting the widow of the Marquise, but had no opportunity to see her either at her place or at his place - this could compromise Doremena. In addition, he deftly attributed to himself all the insane spending of Jourdain on gifts and various entertainment for her, which in the end won the woman's heart.

Having quite amused the noble guests with a pretentious clumsy bow and the same welcoming speech, Jourdain invited them to a luxurious table.

Marquise not without pleasure devoured exquisite dishes to the accompaniment of exotic compliments of an eccentric bourgeois, when all splendor was unexpectedly disturbed by the appearance of an angry Madame Jourdain. Now she understood why they wanted to send her off to dinner at her sister's - so that hubby could calmly pass money off to strangers. Jourdain and Dorant began to assure her that the Count was giving the dinner in honor of the Marquise, and he was paying for everything, but their assurances in no way tempered the ardor of the offended wife. After her husband, Madame Jourdain took up a guest who should have been ashamed to bring discord into an honest family. The embarrassed and offended marquise got up from the table and left the hosts; Dorant followed her.

Only the noble gentlemen left when the new visitor was reported. It turned out to be a disguised Koviel, who introduced himself as a friend of Mr. Jourdain's father. The late father of the owner of the house was, in his words, not a merchant, as everyone around him said, but the most that neither is a real nobleman. Koviel's calculation was justified: after such a statement, he could tell anything, without fear that Jourdain would doubt the veracity of his speeches.

Koviel told Jourdain that his good friend, the son of the Turkish Sultan, who was madly in love with his daughter, Jourdain, had arrived in Paris. The son of the Sultan wants to ask Lucille's hand, and in order for his father-in-law to be worthy of a new relative, he decided to consecrate him to mamamushi, in our opinion, paladins. Jourdain was delighted.

The son of the Turkish Sultan was represented by the disguised Cleont. He spoke in terrible gibberish, which Koviel allegedly translated into French. With the main Turk arrived the appointed muftis and dervishes, who had a lot of fun during the initiation ceremony: it came out very colorful, with Turkish music, songs and dances, as well as ritual beating of the initiate with sticks.

Dorant, initiated into Koviel's plan, finally managed to persuade Dorimen to return, tempting him with the opportunity to enjoy a funny show, and then also an excellent ballet. The Count and the Marquis with the most serious air congratulated Jourdain on conferring the high title on him, and they were eager to hand over their daughter to the son of the Turkish Sultan as soon as possible. At first, Lucille did not want to go for a jester-Turk, but as soon as she recognized him as Cleonte in disguise, she immediately agreed, pretending that she was obediently fulfilling her daughter's duty. Madame Jourdain, in turn, sternly declared that the Turkish scarecrow would not see her daughter as his own ears. But as soon as Koviel whispered a few words in her ear, and the mother changed her anger to mercy.

Jourdain solemnly joined the hands of a boy and a girl, giving a parental blessing for their marriage, and then they sent for a notary. Another couple, Dorant and Dorimena, decided to use the services of the same notary. While waiting for the representative of the law, all those present had a wonderful time enjoying the ballet performed by the dance teacher.