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    CALIGULAby

    ALBERT CAMUS

    Translated by Christopher WilliamsTranslation Copyright Christopher Williams 2005/2007

    All Rights Reserved

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    Characters

    Caligula, from 25 to 29 years old

    Caesonia, Caligulas mistress, aged 30

    Helicon, close friend of Caligula, aged 30

    Scipio, aged 17

    Cherea, aged 30

    Senectus, the old patrician, aged 71

    Metellus, a patrician aged between 40 and 60Lepidus, a patrician aged between 40 and 60

    Octavius, a patrician aged between 40 and 60

    Patricius, the intendant aged, 50

    Mereia, aged 60

    Mucius, aged 33

    Wife of Mucius

    Knights, guards, servants and poets

    e first, third and fourth acts take place in a hall of the imperial palace. Wesee there a full-length mirror, a gong and a bed. e second act takes place in

    Chereas dining room.

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    Caligula

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    Caligulawas produced for the first time in September 1945 at the Hebertot Teatre

    in Paris. Te production was directed by Paul Oettly with scenery by Louis Miqueland costumes by Marie Viton. Te cast was as follows:

    Caligula ...................................................................................Gerard Philipe

    Caesonia .......................................................................................Margo Lion

    Helicon ....................................................................................Georges Vitaly

    Scipio ............................................Michel Bouquet, then Georges Carmier

    Cherea ......................................................................................... Jean Barrere

    Senectus, the old patrician ................................................Georges Saillard

    Metellus, a patrician ....................Francois Darbon, then Rene Desormes

    Lepidus, a patrician ..................................................................Henry Duval

    Octavius, a patrician .............................................................Norbert Pierlot

    Patricius, the intendant ........................................................ Fernand Liesse

    Mereia ........................................................................................ Guy Favieres

    Mucius ......................................................................................Jacques Leduc

    First guard .................................................................................... Jean Oettly

    Second guard .........................................................................Jean Fonteneau

    First servant ...................................Georges Carmier, then Daniel Crouet

    Second servant ................................................................ Jean-Claude Orlay

    Tird servant ...............................................................................Roger Saltel

    Wife of Mucius ................................................................... Jacqueline Hebel

    First poet .........................................Georges Carmier, then Daniel Crouet

    Second poet ..................................................................... Jean-Claude Orlay

    Tird poet ................................................................................Jacques Leduc

    Fourth poet ...................................Francois Darbon, then Rene Desormes

    Fih poet ............................................................................... Fernand Liesse

    Sixth poet .....................................................................................Roger Saltel

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    is translation is dedicated to the memory of my teacherBrian Syron

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    ACT ONE

    Scene 1Some patricians, who are very old, are grouped together in a room of the palace

    and displaying signs of nervousness.

    FIRS PARICIAN: Always nothing.OLD PARICIAN: Nothing in the morning, nothing in the evening.SECOND PARICIAN: Nothing for three days.OLD PARICIAN: Te couriers leave, the couriers return. Tey shake their

    heads and say: Nothing.SECOND PARICIAN: Te whole country has been scoured. Tere is nothing to

    be done.

    FIRS PARICIAN: Why alarm oneself too fast? Lets wait. Perhaps he willreturn as he departed.

    OLD PARICIAN: I saw him leaving the palace. He had a strange look.FIRS PARICIAN: I was there too and I asked him what the matter was.SECOND PARICIAN: And his reply?FIRS PARICIAN: A single word: Nothing.

    (A silence. Helicon enters, eating some onions)

    SECOND PARICIAN: (still nervous) Tats disturbing.FIRS PARICIAN: Come on, all the young men live like that.OLD PARICIAN: Well understood; time erases everything.SECOND PARICIAN: Do you think so?FIRS PARICIAN: Lets wish that he forgets.OLD PARICIAN: Of course! For one thrown away, ten are found again.HELICON: How do you assume that the matter is about love?FIRS PARICIAN: And of what else?HELICON: Te liver, perhaps? Or the simple disgust that you see ev-

    ery day. We would tolerate our peers so much better ifthey could, from time to time, have a change of face. Butno, the menu doesnt change. Always the same stew.

    OLD PARICIAN: I prefer to think that its about love. Tats more moving.HELICON: And comforting, above all, so much more comforting.

    Its the kind of sickness that spares neither the clever northe foolish.

    FIRS PARICIAN: Anyhow, happily, the sorrows are not everlasting. Areyou capable of grieving for more than one year?

    SECOND PARICIAN: Me, no.FIRS PARICIAN: No-one is capable of that.OLD PARICIAN: Life would be impossible.

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    FIRS PARICIAN: You see now. Consider this; I lost my wife a year ago. Icried a lot and then I forgot. Now and then I have dif-ficulty. But, on the whole, its nothing.

    OLD PARICIAN: Nature settles these things well.HELICON: When I look at you, however, I have the impression that

    it manages to miss its aim.

    (Enter Cherea)

    FIRS PARICIAN: Well then?CHEREA: Still nothing.HELICON: Some calm, gentlemen, some calm. Lets preserve appear-

    ances. Te Roman Empire, thats us. If we lose form the

    Empire goes mad. Tis is not the moment, oh no! Andin order to begin, lets eat lunch. Te Empire will sustainitself better.

    OLD PARICIAN: Tats right. Its wrong to let go of the prize for the shad-ow.

    CHEREA: I dont like it. But everything was going too well. Tisemperor was perfect.

    SECOND PARICIAN: Yes, he was as one ought to be: scrupulous and inex-perienced.

    FIRS PARICIAN: But, come, whats the matter with you and why these la-ments? Nothing stopped him from proceeding. He loved

    Drusilla, thats understood. But, finally, she was his sister.o sleep with her, that was a great deal to begin with. Butto destroy Rome because she is dead, that oversteps theboundaries.

    CHEREA: He wont stop. I dont like it and this perspective tells menothing.

    OLD PARICIAN: Yes, theres no smoke without fire.FIRS PARICIAN: In any case, State policy cannot allow an incest that as-

    sumes the demeanour of some tragedies. Te incest let itbe so, but discreet.

    HELICON: You know incest inevitably makes a little disturbance.Te bed creaks, if I may express myself that way. How-ever, what tells you that Drusilla is the issue?

    SECOND PARICIAN: And what to do, then, in that case?

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    HELICON: Youre guessing. Mark my words, misfortune, its like mar-riage. You believe that youre selecting and then you arechosen. Its like that, you cannot help it. Our Caligula is

    unhappy, but perhaps he doesnt even know why! He hashad to feel cornered, and then he has run. We all wouldhave done the same from that place. Look, I tell you, if Ihad been able to choose my father, I would not have beenborn.

    (Enter Scipio)

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    Scene 2

    CHEREA: Now?

    SCIPIO: Still no result. Some peasants are believed to have seenhim yesterday evening, near here, running through thethunderstorm.

    (Cherea moves back towards the senators. Scipio follows him)

    CHEREA: Tat clearly makes three days, Scipio?SCIPIO: Yes. I was present, following him, as is my custom. He

    moved towards Drusillas corpse. He touched her withtwo fingers. Ten he appeared to meditate, turning in

    upon himself, and went out at an even pace. Since thattime weve followed him.

    CHEREA: (shaking his head)Tis lad loved literature too much.SECOND PARICIAN: Its his age.CHEREA: But its not his station. An artistic emperor. It is not seem-

    ly. We have had one or two of them, to be sure - there aresome black sheep everywhere but the others have had thegood taste to stick at being office-holders.

    FIRS PARICIAN: Tat was more restful.OLD PARICIAN: Everyone to his calling.

    SCIPIO: What can we do, Cherea?CHEREA: Nothing.SECOND PARICIAN: Lets wait. If he doesnt return, it will be necessary to re-

    place him. Among us, emperors are not lacking.FIRS PARICIAN: No, were only lac