This « PASTORALE » was written by Antoine MAUREL ,
Qorker in a looking-glass
factory, and is nomed after him. It was first staged in 1844 at a Catholic Worker Club whjch met at 7, rue Nau, Marseilles.
Antoine MAUREL was a member of this club,
it was at the Abbé JULIEN that he wrote this drama which ressembles both in form and content, the Middle-Age Mystery plays acted at the entrance of churches.
Since its creation,
‘Pastorale’, in verse in Provençal langage, is acted throughout Provence every Christmas, with unvariable sucess.
C’est Antoine MAUREL, ouvrier vitrier miroitier, qui écrivit
cette Pastorale qui porte son nom. Elle fut créée en 1844 au Cercle Catholique d’Ouvriers, qui avait son siège au n° 7 de la rue Nau à Marseille.
Antoine MAUREL était membre de ce Cercle
et c’est à la demande de l’Abbé JULIEN qu’il écrivit ce drame qui se rapproche par la forme et par le fond, des mystères du Moyen Age que l’on jouait sur les parvis des églises. Depuis
la date de sa création, cette Pastorale en vers provençaux est jouée chaque année dans toute la Provence à l’époque de Noël,
avec une constance et un succès non encore démentis
Noel ! Noel ! Noel ! for children everywhere, Christmas is a time of presents, the Christmas tree all light
up,shoes in the hearth, and the toys brought by Father Chrismas, but for us, Provençal children, Chrismas is also the manger* scene and its “santons” (figurines dressed in Provençal costume), and the “Pastorale”. You know
what santons are, of course, and l’ll explain the Pastorale to you, so you’ll know what that’s all about too. I’m going to tell you the Pastorale as I saw it. My Grandpa told me it was called the Pastorale because there are lots of
shepherds, and in Provençal, they’re called “Lei Pastre”, so I suppose that Pastre-Pastorale comes there.
At the beginning, as the curtain slowly opens, you can hear angels singing; you can’t see them, of course, because they’re angels, but you can
hear them and they sing well.
When the shepherds, who are asleep, hear these voices, they wake up. The shepherd look just like figurunes from the Nativity scene, only they can move and speak as well, and when they see the strange light
in the sky, a radiance as by miracle, think begin to think that something extraordinary is happening. Suddenly an angel, he’s all aglow with light in the middle of a cloud, and he tells them, at least he sings to them.
BERGIE NOUN SEGUES TREBOULA
When the shepherds are reassured and wide awake,the angels tell them the great news.
POPLE DE DIEU
Then they sing again, but I didn’t understand any of the words.
GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO
The shepherds decide to go and wake up the villagers to tell them the news
that Mes... how the angel called him, that the Me... well, that the baby Jesus was born.
You’ve realised of course theat the shepherds are good and kind, but in the Pastorale there are also some bad men, they’re the gypsy and his son . He scared me, the gypsy did. He has a red scarf on his head,
boots, a big moustache and a long knife. He’s always calculating the next bad action he can do.
OH ! LA BELLE NUE
The miller is happy
because he’s heard the angels and seen yhe strange light in the sky. He comes down the hill, with his sack of flour over his shoulder, singing.
EN COURRENT SUS UN TAU CAMIN
The knife-grinder comes along pushing his machine, with its two wheels and a pedal…no ! it’s not a bike because there’s
only one pedal, and it turns a stone wheel which sharpens knives, scissors and farm tools...
Oh ! I forgot to tell you that the knifegrinder also has a flask of wine and he takes a sip every now and then, between two knives ; one sip added to another makes a lot, so as you can guess he’s always a bit tipsy.
MI FAUDRA PRENDRE GARDO
Giget and Pistachié are the funny ones in the Pastorale. Pistachié
is nice of course but a bit daft, and Giget stammers, when he wants to explain som... som... som... something, it always ta... ta... takes a I .. long time; you mustn’t a hurry, that’s all. On the neighbouring hill, another shepherd, all awonder*,
has heard the angels.
The news is spreading throughout the countryside. Here are some more who have heard the angels.
The villagers, awakened by all these songs,are wondering what’ happening.
QU’ES TOUT AQUEU RAMAGI
Now, the whole village is awake; well, nearly everybody is, because old Roustido is deaf, so he hasn’t heard anything; the villagers are going to wake him up.
Once Roustido is awake, the villagers decide to go to Bétélen (Bethlehem).
Roustido goes down to the village square but everybody has left; it’s dark and cold so he’s a bit afraid, but the voice of a young boy reassures him.
SI PASSO QU’AUCAREN D’ESTRANGI
Now gay and springhtly, old Roustido goes to fetch his friend
Jourdan with his wife Marguarido. They haven’t heard anything either, because they’re even older and deafer than he is... as deaf as posts, all three of them.3
They decide to go
to Bétélen as well; so, there they are, all four of them, Jourdan, Marguarido, Roustido and the donkey, luckily there’s the donkey because they could never
go all that way on foot; they’re old, as I’ve already told you. They are always arguing although they like each other well. And they leave all four of them, singing, well only, three singing, as the donkey can’t sing of course.
AU FIEU DE DIEU
Everybody meets up at Benvengu farm on the road to Bétélen. Roustido, Marguarido and Jourdan arrive last, it’s not surprising, seeing
their age. The donkey is tired out and out and thirsty, so the kind Pistachié goes to fetch a bucket of water at the well, and as he pulls out the bucket, he falls in, not in the bucket but in the well, and everybody goes to save him.
LOU PAURE PISTACHIE
At last, they get Pistachié out of the well, they dry him, and then leave for Bétélen, guided by the Star.
LA NUECHADO ES BELLO
The shepherds are the first to arrive at Bétélen.all is silent, they knock at a door, and the farm-servant who was asleep wakes with a start.
He comes down holding a lantern as it’s still dark. The shepherds ask him if it’s in this stable that the Baby Jesus is born, but he doesn’t know as he was sleeping. However, the shepherds tell him that above the stable is the Star, the star
that has guided them. He then opens the door and in the stable he sees the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, and the baby Jesus between the ox and the donkey; he’s surprised, so surprised, Good Heavens, that’s why there’s always a santon in the
manger who’s called the “Ravi” (one who is transported by surprise) ; that’s him, the servant who looks, after the stable. The shepherds give the presents they have brought and they sing because they are happy.
The miller arrives and gives his sack of flour, then Giget and Pistachié come with a sting of garlic, a loaf of bread and an empty cage because the
bird has flown away.
DOUS MALEIROUS VARLET
And to thank them, Jesus works a miracle. Pistachié becomes intelligent and Giget no
longer stammers, not at all. The blindman arrives, guided by his son... oh ! I forgot to tell you theat there’s also a blindman in the Pastorale, and the gentle Jesus
gives him back his sight. The gypsy arrives with big knife and wants to kill the baby Jesus, but as He’s Jesus, He has no ill-feelings and He holds back the gypsy’s arm and the gypsy repents and becomes good, so good that he gives the blindman
back the son he had stolen; because the young gypsy who was supposed to be his son is not his son in fact, but the blindman’s son. Then the old folks arrive, arging yet again.
ARO QUE SIAN
They give their presents and then they embrace each other... for once they all agree. Everybody is happy and sing to thank the Heavens for
giving them a Messiah. There, that’s it, I’ve remembered, that’s how they call the little Jesus in the Pastorale, “the Messiah”.
O REI DE
O rèi de glòri,
vouesto bounta vèn nous charma,
O rèi de glori fau vous eima,
O d’uno tant bello nue gardaren la memòri ;
Nue de bouenur,
qu pouriè t’oublida ?
O rèi de glòri, vouesto bounta vèn nou charma,
O rèi de glòri, fau vous eima .Dins vouesto enfanço
Sias trelusènt coumo un souléu ;
Dins la soufranço sias toujour bèu.
D’un sincère retour vous dóuni l’assuranço :
À l’aveni serai dous coumo un agnèu ;
Dins vouesto enfanço sias trelusènt
coumo un souléu ;
Dins la soufranço Sias toujour, toujour bèu.