galère. Que diable allait-il faire dans cettegalère?
- Literally, what the devil was he doing in that galley? A quotation fromMolière's comedy Les Fourberies de Scapin (1671)that has become semi-proverbial in France. Hoping to bamboozle the elderlyGéronte out of his money, the rogue Scapin tells himthat his son, Scapin's master, unwisely accepted an invitation to go on boarda Turkish galley and will be sold as a slave unless a ransom of five hundredcrowns is produced. The phrase is Géronte's anguished reply. It isapplied to anyone who finds himself in difficulties through being where heought not to be, or to express astonishment that he should be found in suchbad company, such a strange situation, etc.