Three-act and four-scene play.
Théâtre de Paris (December 5th, 1931).
Paris, Fasquelle, 1932.
Main initial performersHarry Baur - César
Marius left two months ago and nothing has been heard from him since then. In the deep and heavy atmosphere of the Bar de la Marine, César is taciturn. When Fanny announces that she is pregnant with Marius' child, Honorine, her mother, is devastated. Panisse, who had proposed to her, is on cloud nine: he agrees to marry the young mother and take care of her child. The baby is born. One evening, some time after the marriage, Marius comes back. He is cured of his desire to escape and wants to retrieve his property: Fanny and the baby. But Panisse refuses and Marius, having heard Fanny's arguments, gives in at the sight of family love surrounding the cradle. He returns to his boat.
Where was I? Let's go on, careful:
"When you start measuring the bottom of the sea, be very careful not to lean too far and fall overboard and, where the sea is too deep, just let the others measure."
I know him, Mr. Marius; when he was four years old, one day that I had taken him fishing on Panisse's small fishing boat, he leant to take a look at his line and, whoops, man overboard! Well, at that time, his head was heavier than his bottom, but it's got better since then. Read the last sentence again.
"Just let the others measure."
Underline the others. Real thick. Good.
"And if someone... on board has plague, only talk to him from a distance and do not hang around with him any longer, even if he's your best friend. Friendship is wonderful, but plague is the end of the world. Here, everything is fine, I am fine, except for the terrible anger that overcame me when you left, and which is not gone yet. Little Fanny is not well. She hardly eats a thing, so to speak, and is very pale." (Fanny has stopped writing.)
"Everybody can see it and everyone in the neighborhood keeps saying all day long: "The girl's lungs shall give out and César shall go mad." Therefore, Honorine looks at me with murderous eyes, and each time she gives me a look, I wonder if she's going to shoot me with a gun, and it gives me deadly shivers."
Why don't you write?
Listen, César, I don't think it is necessary to add this for it will make him sad.