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Robert Browning (1812–1889). A Blot in the ’Scutcheon.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Act III Scene IV

ELMIRE,DAMIS,TARTUFFE Damis(coming out of the closet-room where he had been hiding)
No, I say! This thing must be made public.

I was just there, and overheard it all;

And Heaven’s goodness must have brought me there

On purpose to confound this scoundrel’s pride

And grant me means to take a signal vengeance

On his hypocrisy and arrogance,

And undeceive my father, showing up

The rascal caught at making love to you.

No, no; it is enough if he reforms,

Endeavouring to deserve the favour shown him.

And since I’ve promised, do not you belie me.

’Tis not my way to make a public scandal;

An honest wife will scorn to heed such follies,

And never fret her husband’s ears with them.

You’ve reasons of your own for acting thus;

And I have mine for doing otherwise.

To spare him now would be a mockery;

His bigot’s pride has triumphed all too long

Over my righteous anger, and has caused

Far too much trouble in our family.

The rascal all too long has ruled my father,

And crossed my sister’s love, and mine as well.

The traitor now must be unmasked before him:

And Providence has given me means to do it.

To Heaven I owe the opportunity,

And if I did not use it now I have it,

I should deserve to lose it once for all.


No, by your leave; I’ll not be counselled.

I’m overjoyed. You needn’t try to tell me

I must give up the pleasure of revenge.

I’ll make an end of this affair at once;

And, to content me, here’s my father now.