Act II - The Poet's Eating-House

RAGUENEAU's pastry shop. It is a large kitchen at the corner of the Rue St. Honore and the Rue de l'Arbre Sec, which are seen in the background through the glass door, in the gray dawn.

On the left, in the foreground, is a counter. Above this counter hang geese, ducks and water peacocks. In great china vases are tall bouquets of simple flowers, mainly yellow sunflowers.

On the same side, farther back, is a large open fireplace. From each andiron hangs a little saucepan. Drippings from various roasts fall into the pans.

There is a door in the right foreground. Farther back, a staircase leads to a little room under the roof, the entrance of which is visible through the open shutter. In this room a table is laid. A small candelabra is lit. It is a place for eating and drinking. A wooden gallery, continuing the staircase, apparently leads to other similar little rooms.

In the middle of the shop an iron hoop is suspended form the ceiling by a string with which it can be drawn up and down. Big game is hung around this hoop.

The ovens in the darkness under the stairs give forth a red glow. The copper pans shine. The spits are turning. Heaps of food are formed into pyramids. Hams are suspended from hooks. Scullions, fat cooks, and diminutive apprentices bustle and hurry around, their caps decorated with chicken feathers and hens’ wings. On metal and wicker plates they bring in piles of cakes and tarts.

Tables are covered with rolls and dishes of food. Other tables surrounded with chairs are ready for the customers. RAGUENEAU is seated at a small table



  1. Here, the word "game" refers to any wild animals that are hunted either for sport or food.

    — Lori Steinbach