Cléante Quotes in Tartuffe
How do you fail to see it, may I ask?
Is not a face quite different than a mask?
Cannot sincerity and cunning art,
Reality and semblance, be told apart?
There’s just one insight I would dare to claim:
I know that true and false are not the same;
And just as there is nothing I more revere
Than a soul whose faith is steadfast and sincere,
Nothing that I more cherish and admire
Than honest zeal and true religious fire,
So there is nothing that I find more base
Than specious piety’s dishonest face—
Orgon: Enough, by God! I’m through with pious men:
Henceforth I’ll hate the whole false brotherhood,
And persecute them worse than Satan could.
Cléante: Ah, there you go—extravagant as ever!
Why can you not be rational? You never
Manage to take the middle course, it seems,
But jump, instead, between absurd extremes.