TARTUFFE [offering ELMIRE a piece of candy]
Would it help to have a licorice or mint?
It's an obstinate illness, and I see
That all the mints in the world won't help me
It's certainly troublesome.
That's for sure!
Your scruples at least are easy to cure:
You can be sure that I will keep things quiet--
A deed is evil only if men spy it.
The noise of scandal is the source of offense;
There is no sin if one sins in silence.
ELMIRE [after having coughed and knocked on the table]
At last I see I'm forced to go astray,
And I must consent to let you have your way,
And that I cannot hope that short of the deed
You will be content and willing to concede.
It is very hard to be forced to do it,
And in spite of myself to stoop down to it;
But since you persist in making me obey,
Since you refuse to believe what I say,
And since you demand more convincing proof,
I'll have to give in and quit acting aloof.
If this action causes anyone grief,
The blame be on him who refused all relief.
The fault most certainly is none of mine.