by Nicolas-Sébastien Roch (1740 - 1794), as Nicolas Chamfort
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Le cauchemar
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
La salle était tapissée de niches d'une 
grandeur plus ou moins considérable. Dans un 
petit compartiment se courbait un géant. Là, 
sous une haute arcade se pavanait un nain. 
Rarement la niche était faite pour la statue. 
Des hommes grands et petits tournaient dans 
la salle, guettant une niche vide pour s'y placer, 
quelle quelle soit: tel est l'édifice métaphysique 
de la société.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The nightmare ", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 9
Word count: 63

The nightmare 
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The room was decorated with niches from the 
grandest to the tiniest sizes. In a 
little partition bent down a giant. There, 
under an expansive arcade strutted a gnome. 
Rarely was the niche appropriate [in size] for the statue. 
Large and small men roamed 
the hall, on the lookout for a vacant niche in which to place themselves, 
whatever the size: such is the metaphysical edifice 
of society.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2016-04-19
Line count: 9
Word count: 68