The Worlds Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906. Vols. VIIX: British
The Frenchified Englishman
By William Wycherley (16401716)
From The Gentleman Dancing Master
GERRARD, MARTIN and MONSIEUR DE PARIS.
Mons. Tis veritable, jarni! what de French say of you Englis: you use de drink so much, it cannot have wid you de French operation; you are never enjoyee. But come, let us be for once infiniment gaillard, and sing a French sonnet. (Sings) La bouteille, la bouteille, glou, glou!
Mons. Auh! dere is your complaisance. All your Englis complaisance is pledging complaisance, ventre! But if I do you reason here (takes the glass), will you do me reason to a little French chanson à boire? I shall begin to you? (Sings) La bouteille, la bouteille.
Mons.Non, de grace! You are always turning de nation française into ridicule, dat nation so accomplee, dat nation which you imitate so, dat in the conclusion you butte turn yourself into ridicule, ma foi! If you are for de raillery, abuse de Dutchwhy not abuse de Dutch? Les gros vilains, pendards, insolents! But here in your England, ma foi! you have more honneur, respect, and estimation for de Dutch swabber, who come to cheat your nation, dan for de French footman, who come to oblige your nation.
Mons. It is de brutal country, which abuse de France, and reverence de Dutch. I will maintain, sustain, and justifee, dat one little French footman have more honneur, courage, and generosity, more good blood in his vaines, an mush more good manners and civility, dan all de State-General together, jarni! Dey are only wise and valiant wen dey are drunkee.
Mons.Oui, oui. I have made the tour of Holland, but it was en poste. Dere was no staying for me, tête, non! For de gentleman can no more live dere dan de toad in Irland, ma foi! For I did not see on chevalier in de whole countree. Alway you know de rebel hate de gens de qualité. Besides, I have made sufficient observation of the canaille barbare de first nightee of my arrival at Amsterdamme. I did visit, you must know, one of de principal of de State-General, to whom I had recommendation from England, and did find his Excellence weighing soap, jarni! Ha! ha! ha!
Mons. Weighing soap, ma foi, for he was a wholesale chandeleer; and his lady was taking de tale of chandels wit her own witer hands, ma foi! And de young lady, his Excellence daughter, stringing harringstringing harring, jarni!
Mons. Auh! his sonfor he had but onewas making de tour of France, Espagne, Italy, and Germany, in a coach and six; or rader, now I tink ont, gone of an embassy to dere master Cromwell, whom dey did love and fear, because he was someting de greater rebelle. But now I talk of de rebelle, none but de rebelle can love de rebelle. And so mush for you and your friend de Dutch. Ill say no more, but pray, do you say no more of my friend de French, not so much as of my friend, de French footman
Ger. No, no. But, monsieur, now give me leave to admire you, that in three months at Paris you could renounce your language, drinking, and your countryfor which we are not angry with you, as I saidand come home so perfect a Frenchman, that the draymen of your fathers own brew-house would be ready to knock you on the head.
Mons. Vel, vel, my fadder was a merchant of his own beer, as the noblesse of France of their own wine. But I can forgive you dat raillery, since you say I have de air français. But have I de air français?