A monologue from the play by Molière

NOTE: This translation by Henri van Laun was first published in The Dramatic Works of Molière. New York: R. Worthington Publishers, 1880. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

GROS-RENÉ: I will never trouble my head about women again! I renounce them all, and if you are wise, you'll do the same. For, master, people say that woman is an animal hard to be known, and naturally very prone to evil; and as an animal is always an animal, and will never be anything but an animal, though it lived for a hundred thousand years, so, without contradiction, a woman is always a woman, and will never be anything but a woman as long as the world endures. Wherefore, as a certain Greek author says: a woman's head is like a quicksand; for pray, mark well this argument, which is most weighty: As the head is the chief of the body, and as the body without a chief is worse than a beast, unless the chief has a good understanding with the body, and unless everything be as well regulated as if it were measured with a pair of compasses, we see certain confusions arrive; the animal part then endeavours to get the better of the rational, and we see one pull to the right, another to the left; one wants something soft, another something hard; in short, everything goes topsy turvy. This is to show that here below, as it has been explained to me, a woman's head is like a weather-cock on the top of a house, which veers about at the slightest breeze; that is why cousin Aristotle often compares her to the sea; hence people say that nothing in the world is so stable as the waves. Now, by comparison--for comparison makes us comprehend an argument distinctly--and we learned men love a comparison better than a similitude--by comparison, then, if you please, master, as we see that the sea, when a storm rises, begins to rage, the wind roars and destroys, billows dash against billows with a great hullabaloo, and the ship, in spite of the mariner, goes sometimes down to the cellar and sometimes up into the garret; so, when a woman gets whims and crotchets into her head, we see a tempest in the form of a violent storm, which will break out by certain . . . words, and then a . . . certain wind, which by . . . certain waves in . . . a certain manner, like a sand-bank . . . when . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In short, woman is worse than the devil.