A monologue from the play by Molière

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Dramatic Works of Molière, Vol. III. Ed. Charles Heron Wall. London: George Bell & Sons, 1891.
  • SCAPIN: Ah! Sir, what are you talking about, and what a resolution you are going to take. Just cast a glance on the ins and outs of justice, look at the number of appeals, of stages of jurisdiction; how many embarrassing procedures; how many ravenous wolves through whose claws you will have to pass; sergeants, solicitors, counsel, registrars, substitutes, recorders, judges and their clerks. There is not one of these who, for the merest trifle, couldn't knock over the best case in the world. A sergeant will issue false writs without your knowing anything of it. Your solicitor will act in concert with your adversary, and sell you for ready money. Your counsel, bribed in the same way, will be nowhere to be found when your case comes on, or else will bring forward arguments which are the merest shooting in the air, and will never come to the point. The registrar will issue writs and decrees against you for contumacy. The recorder's clerk will make away with some of your papers, or the instructing officer himself will not say what he has seen; and when, by dint of the wariest possible precautions, you have escaped all these traps, you will be amazed that your judges have been set against you either by bigots or by the women they love. Ah! Sir, save yourself from such a hell, if you can. 'Tis damnation in this world to have to go to law; and the mere thought of a lawsuit is quite enough to drive me to the other end of the world.