The Merchants of Glory

The Merchants of Glory

Satirical play in five acts. In collaboration with Paul Nivoix.
First performance at the Théâtre de la Madeleine, Paris (April 15, 1925).

Original Edition

Paris, l’Illustration, 1926.

Main performers at the creation

Constant Rémy – Bachelet
André Berley – Berlureau
Pierre Renoir – André Bachelet
Mlle Maxa – Germaine Bachelet
Suzy Prim – Yvonne Bachelet


Edouard Bachelet, a modest civil servant in a provincial prefecture, uses the glory of his son who died in the war, the hero of Verdun, to fulfill his youthful hopes. Elected president of the Society of the Parents of Heroes, then deputy, his ambition never ceases to grow until his son reappears. The latter, amnesiac in a German hospital, has just recovered his memory. He is not the hero we think he is, it’s a misunderstanding. For Deputy Bachelet, who is campaigning for a ministerial post, this reappearance is not as joyful as it should be…

“The first quality of a hero is to be dead and buried. And buried rather twice than once.”
(Berlureau – Les Marchands de Gloire)

BACHELET (serious).
Ferdinand, it is useless to go up again if it is to fall from higher. (He shows his son). He wants to resurrect right away!

Hey there! No joke! This is not the time!
You’re not going to tell me that you’re in a bad way in Boulouris?
A twelve-room villa with a breathtaking view! A janitor who plays petanque like a god, I wonder what you need!

I thank you for your hospitality, but I can’t stay in Boulouris all my life, and I’m tired of hiding like a guilty man. And finally, I don’t see why my father should be forced to resign.

But my poor friend, not only would he collapse under the booing, but his fall may bring about the fall of the whole ministry!
(To Bachelet.) Bougrillot is capable of asking for the annulment of our elections, saying that our whole campaign was based
on a sham! The left-wing newspapers will have a field day!
And even if we manage to hang on, we will lose all credit in the House! Think seriously before you start such a scandal!

Because it is a scandal to come back from the war with three wounds, two commendations, the Croix de Guerre, the Military Medal
and the Legion of Honor?

The last two posthumously, don’t forget it!

Do you think he’d no longer be entitled to it?

I don’t see a living person wearing posthumous decorations!
(To Henri) My young friend, I have the unfortunate impression that you think you have a good situation because you were given a solemn funeral. You have seen reports of it in the newspapers, with superb photographs of the monument, and of the large marble medallion which represents your profile. But if you come back to life, I am afraid that they will take your decorations and give them to poor Pernette, and in any case, they will change the medallion.
And yes! Sergeant Bachelet had a grandiose reputation, an enormous moral situation. But if he gets out of the cemetery, he is dead! To resurrect today is not only to commit parricide, but suicide. The suicide of a glorious dead man! Yes sir.”

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