La Cérémonie turque

Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme by Molière has a Turkish Ceremony in which Lingua Franca is used. Here is the French/Lingua Franca/Turkish text along with an English translation.

French/Lingua Franca/Turkish
English Translation
La Cérémonie turque pour ennoblir le Bourgeois se fait en danse et en musique, et compose le quatrième intermède.

Le Mufti, quatre Dervis, six Turcs dansants, six Turcs musiciens, et autres joueurs d'instruments à la turque, sont les acteurs de cette cérémonie.

Le Mufti invoque Mahomet avec les douze Turcs et les quatre Dervis; après on lui amène le Bourgeois, vêtu à la turque, sans turban et sans sabre, auquel il chante ces paroles:

LE MUFTI
Se ti sabir, [1]
Ti respondir;
Se non sabir,
Tazir, tazir.
Mi star Mufti: [5]
Ti qui star ti?
Non intendir:
Tazir, tazir.
Le Mufti demande, en même langue, aux Turcs assistants de quel religion est le Bourgeois, et ils l'assurent qu'il est mahométan. Le Mufti invoque Mahomet en langue franque, et chante les paroles qui suivent:

LE MUFTI
Mahametta per Giordina
Mi pregar sera é mattina:
Voler far un Paladina [10]
Dé Giourdina, Dé Giourdina.
Dar turbanta, é dar scarcina,
Con galera é brigantina,
Per deffender Palestina. [15]
Mahametta, etc.
Le Mufti demande aux Turcs si le Bourgeois sera ferme dans la religion mahométane, et leur chante ces paroles:

LE MUFTI
Star bon Turca Giourdina? [16]

LES TURCS
Hi valla.
LE MUFTI danse et chante ces mots:
Hu la ba ba la chou ba la ba ba la da.
Les Turcs répondent les mêmes vers.
Le Mufti propose de donner le turban au Bourgeois, et chante les paroles qui suivent:

LE MUFTI
Ti non star furba?
LES TURCS
No, no, no. [20]
LE MUFTI
Non star furfanta?
LES TURCS
No, no, no.
LE MUFTI
Donar turbanta, donar turbanta.
Les Turcs répètent tout ce qu'a dit le Mufti pour donner le turban au Bourgeois. Le Mufti et les Dervis se coiffent avec des turbans de cérémonies, et l'on présente au Mufti l'Alcoran, qui fait une seconde invocation avec tout le reste des Turcs assistants; après son invocation, il donne au Bourgeois l'épée, et chante ces paroles:

LE MUFTI
Ti star nobilé, è non star fabbola.
Pigliar schiabbola. [25]
Les Turcs répètent les mêmes vers, mettant tous le sabre á la main, et six d'entre eux dansent autour du Bourgeois, auquel ils feignent de donner plusiers coups de sabre.

Le mufti commande aux Turcs de bâtonner le Bourgeois, et chante les paroles qui suivent:

LE MUFTI.
Dara, dara,
Bastonnara, bastonnara.
Les Turcs répètent les mêmes vers, et lui donnent plusieurs coup de bâton en cadence.
Le Mufti, après l'avoir fait bâtonner, lui dit en chantant:

LE MUFTI.
Non tener honta;
Questa star ultima affronta. [29]
Les Turcs répétent les mêmes vers.
Le Mufti recommence une invocation, et se retire après la cérémonie avec tous les turcs, en dansant et chantant avec plusieurs instruments à la turquesque.

The Turkish Ceremony to ennoble the Bourgeois is performed in dance and music, and constitutes the fourth interlude.

The Mufti, four Dervishes, six Turkish dancers, six Turkish musicians, and other players of instruments in the Turkish style, are the actors of this ceremony.

The Mufti invokes Mahomet with the twelve Turks and the four Dervishes; afterwards the Bourgeois is brought to him dressed in the Turkish style, without a turban or scimitar. He sings these words to him:

THE MUFTI.

If you know,
You will reply;
If you do not know,
Be silent, be silent.
I am the Mufti:
Who then are you?
If you do not understand:
Be silent, be silent.

The Mufti asks the Turks who are present in the same language what is the religion of the Bourgeois, and they assure him that he is a Mahometan. The Mufti invokes Mahomet in Lingua Franca, and sings the following words:

THE MUFTI.

Mahomet, for Jourdain
I pray night and day:
I want to make a Paladin
Of Jourdain, of Jourdain.
Give a turban, and give a scimitar,
With a galley and a brigantine,
To defend Palestine.
Mahomet, etc.

The Mufti asks the Turks if the Bourgeois is firm in the Mahometan religion, and he sings to them these words:

THE MUFTI.

Are you a good Turk, Giourdina?

THE TURKS.

Indeed he is.

THE MUFTI dances and sings these words:

Allah is my father (?)

The Turks reply with the same verses.
The Mufti offers to give the turban to the Bourgeois, and sings the following words:

THE MUFTI.

You are not deceitful?

THE TURKS.

No, no, no.

THE MUFTI.

You are not a swindler?

THE TURKS.

No, no, no.

THE MUFTI.

Give the turban, give the turban.

The Turks repeat everything which the Mufti said to give the turban to the Bourgeois. The Mufti and the Dervishes put on their ceremonial turbans, and a Qur'an is presented to the Mufti, who makes a second invocation with all the other Turks present; after his invocation, he gives the sword to the Bourgeois, and sings these words:

THE MUFTI.

You are noble, and it is no fable.
Take the scimitar.

The Turks repeat the same verses, all of them putting a scimitar in their hands, and six of them dance around the Bourgeois, to whom they pretend to give blows with the scimitar.
The Mufti orders the Turks to beat the Bourgeois, and sings the following words:

THE MUFTI.

Give, give

Beat, beat.

The Turks repeat the same verses, and give him several blows with a stick, keeping time.
The Mufti, having had him beaten, sings to him:

THE MUFTI.

Don't be ashamed:

This is the last insult.

The Turks repeat the same verses.
The Mufti starts an invocation again, and departs after the ceremony with all the Turks, dancing and singing with several Turkish-style instruments.


The Turkish Ceremony has a variant in which the following is included after the second Tazir, tazir. There are other minor differences which are not relevant for our purpose:

Deux Derviches font retirer le Bourgeois. Le Muphty demande aux Turcs de quelle religion est le Bourgeois, et chante:

Dice, Turque, qui star quista. [A1]
Anabatista, anabatista?
LES TURCS répondent.

Ioc.
LE MUPHTY

Zuinglista?
LES TURCS.

Ioc. [A5]
LE MUPHTY.

Coffita?
LES TURCS.

Ioc.
LE MUPHTY.

Hussita? Morista? Fronista?
LES TURCS.

Ioc. Ioc. Ioc.
LE MUPHTY répète

Ioc. Ioc. Ioc. [A10]
Star pagana?
LES TURCS.

Ioc.
LE MUPHTY.

Luterana?
LES TURCS.

Ioc.
LE MUPHTY.

Puritana? [A15]
LES TURCS.

Ioc.
LE MUPHTY

Bramina? Moffina? Zurina?
LES TURCS.

Ioc. Ioc. Ioc.
LE MUPHTY répète.

Ioc. Ioc. Ioc.
Mahametana. Mahametana? [A20]
LES TURCS.

Hey valla. Hey valla.
Two Dervishes lead away the Bourgeois. The Muphty asks the Turks what is the religion of the Bourgeois and sings:

Say, Turk, who is this.
An Anabaptist, an Anabaptist?
THE TURKS reply.

No.
THE MUPHTY

A Zwinglian?
THE TURKS.

No.
THE MUPHTY.

A Copt?
THE TURKS.

No.
THE MUPHTY.

A Hussite? A Moor? A Contemplative?
THE TURKS.

No. No. No.
THE MUPHTY repeats.

No. No. No.
Are you a pagan?
THE TURKS.

No.
THE MUPHTY.

A Lutheran?
THE TURKS.

No.
THE MUPHTY.

A Puritan?
THE TURKS.

No.
THE MUPHTY

A Bramin? A Monophysite? A Syrian?
THE TURKS.

No. No. No.
THE MUPHTY repeats.

No. No. No.
A Mahometan. A Mahometan?
THE TURKS.

Indeed he is. Indeed he is.


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Alan D. Corré
corre@uwm.edu