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Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme.

November 24, 2010

Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme was premiered on November 23rd 1670. In Act II, the aspiring Monsieur Jourdain declines the Philosophy Master’s offer of lessons in logic, morality and physics. After enjoying a brief tour of the alphabet, Monsieur arrives at his point: he is in love with a lady of high society, and he wishes to pen “a little note that I will let fall at her feet.” Hard on these pretty heels, the famous insight:

 

JOURDAIN: There is nothing but prose or verse? 
PHILOSOPHY MASTER: No, sir, everything that is not prose is verse, and everything that is not verse is prose. 
JOURDAIN: And when one speaks, what is that then? 
PHILOSOPHY MASTER: Prose. 
JOURDAIN: What! When I say, “Nicole, bring me my slippers, and give me my nightcap,” that’s prose? 
PHILOSOPHY MASTER: Yes, Sir. 
JOURDAIN: By my faith! For more than forty years I have been speaking prose without knowing it…!

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