[Jack le ramoneur]



[Jack le ramoneur]

Chimney Sweep

1. The Roofs of Paris.-The snow falls in abundance, Jack the Chimney-sweep, who was kidnapped, pops out of a chimney; his eye meets a fellow-apprentice, who happens to work for another man, emerging from the chimney of a neighboring house. Jack bombards the latter with snowballs and his friend retaliates. An ill-aimed snowball smashes through the window of a house, and immediately the woman tenant appears and calls for Jack’s boss who is within.

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2. Lawyer Gabbler’s Parlor.-At the back of the parlor there is a fire-place, Jack, threatened by his employer, is frightened and re-descends into the room through the flue. He finds himself in the parlor of a worthy attorney, Lawyer Gabbler, but for the present he is alone. Shortly the employer comes down from the roof and administers to the boy a sound thrashing, in spite of the protestations of the lawyer, his wife and his servant, who, incensed at the man’s brutality, have sought to interfere. The chimney-sweep weighs the boy down with his basket and coils of rope and all the other utensils of the trade. The child bends under the load and his master kicks him out. Lawyer Gabbler, choked with rage, threatens the brutal employer, but the latter angrily commands him to mind his own business.

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3. The Hard Master: The Garret.-Jack arrives, bruised all over, at the garret where he lives with his employer. A big fire is blazing in the huge fire-place and lights the room with weird reflections. The chimney-cleaner beats the boy again and then throws him on his cot. The child sobs while his master goes away, but the former at last succumbs to weariness and closes his eyes in rest.

4. The Dream of the Chimney-sweep.-As soon as the boy has found peace in repose, he wanders back to the days of his childhood when he was with his mother in Savoy and he recollects the fairy tales which used to delight him. He sees in a vision the fireplace grow black and cold and in its place there looms up a beautiful sight which he imagines to be a reality.

5. The Fairies and Gnomes.-A superb star appears in the fire-place, and upon its branches are supported the Fairy of Dreams, strikingly resembling his mother, the Fairy of Beauty, and the Fairy of Riches, The Fairy of Dreams makes emerge from a basket a coachman all bedecked in gold; some gnomes and some lackeys come out of the earth and bring and pile up in the middle of the scene various pieces of furniture. The Fairy and her train together with the coachman take their places upon this improvised scaffolding; the gnomes take Jack up from his couch and lay him in the arms of the Fairy of Dreams.

6. The Golden Car Drawn by Butterflies.-The dream continues. To Jack’s amazement the pile of furniture is transformed gradually into a chariot decorated in the style of Louis XV, most gorgeously. At the command of the Fairy, some butterflies draw away the car followed by the fairies and gnomes.

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7. The Blue Lake. The Sylphs, the Swimming Maidens and the Fairies of the Air.-Superb decoration representing a large lake. The moon is reflected in the water. In the sky groups of diaphanous fairies pass along, sylphs and other fairies are swimming in the water.

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8. The Swan Boat.-The Fairy of Dreams and the chimney-sweep cross the lake in a large shell drawn by swans and followed by swimming maidens, whose movements are readily perceptible in the transparent water.

9. The Wonderful Grotto.-By way of ending their voyage Jack and the Fairy come to a grotto all studded with glistening diamonds, they are both seated upon a huge but docile snail. The fairy swings her wand over Jack, overwhelmed with astonishment, and his black and tattered costume becomes a suite of white satin. With another wave of her wand the Fairy makes a superb throne out of one of the rocks. The chimney-sweep cannot believe his eyes.

10. The Chimney-Sweep Metamorphosed into a King. The Pages.-Some pages come and go, bringing the royal ornaments. They make Jack put on a fine juste-au-corps, they throw about his neck the royal decorations, they girth about his body a belt to which is attached a costly sword, and they fasten to his shoulders the royal mantle. The Fairy takes Jack by the hand and makes him ascend the steps of the throne.

11. The Dream Palace: The Ministers.-The Fairy again stretches forth her wand and the grotto becomes a grand palace, ablaze with lights. The ministers of justice, of public instruction, of foreign affairs, of finances, of war, and of the navy, solemnly swear to the king their oaths of allegiance.

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12. Manoeuvres of the Troops of Dream Country.-At the command of the minister of war, the trumpeters, the drummers, the standard-bearer, and the troops file past the king. The troops perform manoeuvres to the rhythm of martial music. (English danseuses, the Ping-pongs.)

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13. Grand Coronation Ballet.-The nobles and the people, as a mark of great rejoicing, come and perform various dances in celebration of the coronation. (Corps de Ballet from the Châtelet Theatre, of Paris, under the personal direction of Mme. Stichel.)

14. Coronation Ceremony.-Pages bring the sceptre, the crown, and the royal orb, and the Fairy of Dreams hands them to Jack. The palace servants bring a palanquin, and obsequiously escort the king thither. The latter composes himself upon it, and them the ministers and all the gathering humbly pay their respects to their sovereign.

15. Sad Awakening.-Gradually the dream fades away. The garret reappears, Jack is roughly awakened by his employer. It is 7 a. m.; the chimney-cleaner gives the boy a whack. “Sluggard! not up yet! Get a move on you, for we must be at work!!”

16. To Work! The Inside of the Chimney.-Jack, broken-hearted at having seen the end of his pleasant dream, works sorrowfully in the pit of a chimney. He climbs up with difficulty, making the soot fall by using his scraper. He is almost choked by the pungent dust.

17. The Dream is Realized. Jack Discovers a Treasure.-Suddenly the cleaning-ball is pulled up to the top of the chimney by the cleaner, and in its course it knocks down soot upon the head of Jack and tears away, incidentally, some bricks. The young chimney-sweep reaches the damaged spot and discovers in a hiding-place a box filled with gold and bank-notes. This treasure was hidden away long years ago in troublous times, and the owner has been resting for years in his grave. Jack is, therefore, the legitimate owner of the “wind-fall”.

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18. Divvy Up!!.-But Jack  has not counted upon his fierce master. As he climbs out of the chimney, happy in the contemplation of his lucky find, his boss tries to tear the box out of his hands. The cover alone remains to the cleaner who rolls down to the ground. He tries to follow after Jack, but the tenant, his wife, and his servants jump upon him. The scene degenerates into a veritable scrimmage. Meanwhile Jack has gone far away. The chimney-cleaner succeeds in disengaging himself and darts on in hot pursuit, followed by all the people in the house who try to catch him.

19. A Hot Chase.-Jack scampers off at a breakneck pace across the walks of the garden and he is closely followed by his boss. The valet of the house, the cooks, the other servants, in brief, the entire menage bring up the rear.

20. Animated Pursuit.-The pace quickens to a terrific speed. Jack keeps his headway, since his employer has unluckily slipped and made a show of himself by wallowing in the mud.
The people of the neighborhood become excited and swell the number of the crowd who seek to head off the chimney-cleaner.

21. The Escalade.-Jack, in his quest to find a means of escape, spies a pile of boxes and casks up against the wall. In three leaps the urchin clears the wall, for fear has given him strength and speed. His employer scales the wall in turn, and the breathless crowd fly after in the merry chase.

22. The Scaffolding.-Suddenly Jack sees his passage barred by a wall under repair. By good luck a hole in the masonry, just large enough to admit him, gives him a means of escape. His employer is too large to get through it, but he espies a ladder. Quickly he mounts to the scaffolding of the bricklayers and is on the point of leaping down on the other side when he finds himself forced to repel the attacks of the pursuing mob.

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23. The Poultry-House.-The other side of the wall now comes into view. Jack, through the hole, has crawled into a poultry-house. The fowl fly about in fright, while the chimney sweep seeks and exit from his prison. He flees. In the meantime his employer, in his efforts to get over the wall, most lamentably slips upon the zinc roof of the poultry-house, butting up against it. He falls with a thud into a pit. The solution of filth spurts up on all sides. While the frightened peasants come to his aid, the crowd leaps over the wall. The man is pulled out of the trench covered with slime in the midst of general hilarity.

24. A Drastic Bath: The Rinsing.-Four burly young men descry a cask filled with water and open at the top. Seizing the chimney-cleaner, they pitch him in head first, and the water spatters them. The man is pulled out half-drowned and quite disconcerted at his experience.

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25. Jack with Riches: Forgiveness.-Some days have passed away. Jack, by great good fortune, happens to return to his family. The chimney-cleaner, after his strenuous bath, has had to take to his bed; he is led by force to his former drudge. He recognizes his wrong and throws himself at the feet of his former apprentice. The latter forgives him and generously shares with him a part of his fortune. Jack is warmly congratulated, and his penitent employer-well, he is led away in a rather rough manner-would say, a little discourteously.

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MEL 1905-A


1 Méliès 791-806  
2 Georges Méliès   
3 1906 320m/1000ft
4 France  


03/03/1906 États-UnisNew York 
The New York Clipper  Chimney Sweep