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Last Updated on August 6, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 552

The Affected Young Ladies (a.k.a The Pretensions Young Ladies; French: Les Précieuses Ridicules) is a comedy of manners written in 1659, by French playwright, poet and actor Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, most commonly known as Molière.

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MAGDELON: Give us leave to take breath for a short time among the fashionable world of Paris, where we are but just arrived. Allow us to prepare at our leisure the groundwork of our novel, and do not hurry on the conclusion too abruptly.

CATHOS: Indeed, I think it the height of ridicule for anyone who possesses the slightest claim to be called clever not to know even the smallest couplet that is made every day; as for me, I should be very much ashamed if anyone should ask me my opinion about something new, and I had not seen it.

The play is, essentially, a one-act satire, written in prose, and tells the story of two young ladies, Magdelon and Cathos, whose father and uncle – Gorbious, decides to marry them off to two young eligible bachelors of the Parisian bourgeoisie. However, the girls deem the bachelors uncultured and unsophisticated, and mock them.

GORGIBUS: Hearken; one word will suffice. I do not allow you to take any other names than those that were given you by your godfathers and godmothers; and as for those gentlemen we are speaking about, I know their families and fortunes, and am determined they shall be your husbands. I am tired of having you upon my hands. Looking after a couple of girls is rather too weighty a charge for a man of my years.

MASCARILLE: Some larceny of my heart; some massacre of liberty. I behold here a pair of eyes that seem to be very naughty boys that insult liberty, and use a heart most barbarously. Why the deuce do they put themselves on their guard, in order to kill anyone who comes near them? Upon my word! I mistrust them; I shall either scamper away, or expect very good security that they do me no mischief.

The two rejected gentlemen, Le Grange and Du...

(The entire section contains 552 words.)

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