SCENE I.–SGANARELLE, ARISTE.
SGAN. Pray, brother, let us talk less, and let each of us live as he likes. Though you have the advantage of me in years, and are old enough to be wise, yet I tell you that I mean to receive none of your reproofs; that my fancy is the only counsellor I shall follow, and that I am quite satisfied with my way of living.
AR. But every one condemns it.
SGAN. Yes, fools like yourself, brother.
AR. Thank you very much. It is a pleasant compliment.
SGAN. I should like to know, since one ought to hear everything, what these fine critics blame in me.
AR. That surly and austere temper which shuns all the charms of society, gives a whimsical appearance to all your actions, and makes everything peculiar in you, even your dress.
SGAN. I ought then to make myself a slave in fashion, and not to put on clothes for my own sake? Would you not, my dear elder brother–for, Heaven be thanked, so you are, to tell you plainly, by a matter of twenty years; and that is not worth the trouble of mentioning–would you not, I say, by your precious nonsense, persuade me to adopt the fashions of those young sparks of yours?
[Footnote: The original has _vos jeunes muguets_, literally “your young lilies of the valley,” because in former times, according to some annotators, the courtiers wore natural or artificial lilies of the valley in their buttonholes, and perfumed themselves with the essence of that flower. I think that muguet is connected with the old French word _musguet_, smelling of musk. In Moli?re’s time muguet had become rather antiquated; hence it was rightly placed in the mouth of Sganarelle, who likes to use such words and phrases. Rabelais employs it in the eighth chapter of _Gargantua, un tas de muguets_, and it has been translated by Sir Thomas Urquhart as “some fond wooers and wench-courters.”