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Elmire: Mais des arrêts du Ciel on nous fait tant de peur.
Tartuffe: Je puis vous dissiper ces craintes ridicules,
Madame, et je sais l’art de lever les scrupules.
Le Ciel défend, de vrai, certains contentements;
Mais on trouve avec lui des accommodements.
Selon divers besoins, il est une science,
D’étendre les liens de notre conscience,
Et de rectifier le mal de l’action
Avec la pureté de notre intention.
Elmira: Won’t holy retribution give you pause?
Tartuffe: I’ll teach you, Ma’am, that Heaven’s contradictions,
Give latitude to men of pure convictions.
It’s true that Heaven frowns on some dark acts,
Though with great men, our Lord makes higher pacts.
A pious man made study of a science,
In which, through other paths, one finds compliance,
Enabling us to balance indiscretion,
Against the zeal of one’s professed repression.
–Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Molière), Le Tartuffe ou l’imposteur, act iv, sc v (1664) in: Œuvres complètes, vol. 1, p. 963 (G. Couton ed. 1973)(T. Mooney transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Amount traders on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange can be fined for fighting, per punch:
Philadelphian teenagers who want to lose weight also tend to drink too much soda, whereas Bostonian teenagers who drink too much soda are likelier to carry guns.
Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”