A Representation at the Hotel de Bourgogne.
The hall of the Hotel de Bourgogne, in 1640. A sort of tennis-court arranged and decorated for a theatrical performance.
The hall is oblong and seen obliquely, so that one of its sides forms the back of the right foreground, and meeting the left background makes an angle with the stage, which is partly visible.
On both sides of the stage are benches. The curtain is composed of two tapestries which can be drawn aside. Above a harlequins mantle are the royal arms. There are broad steps from the stage to the hall; on either side of these steps are the places for the violinists. Footlights.
Two rows, one over the other, of side galleries: the highest divided into boxes. No seats in the pit of the hall, which is the real stage of the theater; at the back of the pit, i.e., on the right foreground, some benches forming steps, and underneath, a staircase which leads to the upper seats. An improvised buffet ornamented with little lusters, vases, glasses, plates of tarts, cakes, bottles, etc.
The entrance to the theater is in the center of the background, under the gallery of the boxes. A large door, half open to let in the spectators. On the panels of this door, in different corners, and over the buffet, red placards bearing the words, La Clorise.
At the rising of the curtain the hall is in semi-darkness, and still empty. The lusters are lowered in the middle of the pit ready to be lighted.
The public, arriving by degrees. Troopers, burghers, lackeys, pages, a pickpocket, the doorkeeper, etc., followed by the marquises. Cuigy, Brissaille, the buffet-girl, the violinists, etc.
A confusion of loud voices is heard outside the door. A trooper enters hastily.
THE DOORKEEPER [following him]:
THE TROOPER I enter gratis.
THE DOORKEEPER Why?
THE TROOPER Why? I am of the Kings Household Cavalry, faith!
THE DOORKEEPER [to another trooper who enters] And you?
SECOND TROOPER I pay nothing.
THE DOORKEEPER How so?
SECOND TROOPER I am a musketeer.
FIRST TROOPER [to the second]
They fence with the foils they have brought.
A LACKEY [entering] Pst. . .Flanquin. . .!
ANOTHER [already there] Champagne?. . .
THE FIRST [showing him cards and dice which he takes from his
THE SECOND [doing the same] Good; I am with you, villain!
FIRST LACKEY [taking from his pocket a candle-end, which he
lights, and sticks on the floor]
A GUARDSMAN [to a shop-girl who advances]
He takes her round the waist.
ONE OF THE FENCERS [receiving a thrust] A hit!
ONE OF THE CARD-PLAYERS Clubs!
THE GUARDSMAN [following the girl] A kiss!
THE SHOP-GIRL [struggling to free herself] Theyre looking!
THE GUARDSMAN [drawing her to a dark corner] No fear! No one can see!
A MAN [sitting on the ground with others, who have brought
A BURGHER [conducting his son] Let us sit here, son.
A CARD-PLAYER Triple ace!
A MAN [taking a bottle from under his cloak,
THE BURGHER [to his son]
THE GUARDSMAN [behind him, still teasing the shop-girl] Come, one kiss!
THE BURGHER [hurriedly pulling his son away]
THE YOUNG MAN Ay, and Corneille!
A TROOP OF PAGES [hand-in-hand, enter dancing the farandole, and singing] Tra a la, la, la, la, la, la, la, lere. . .
THE DOORKEEPER [sternly, to the pages] You pages there, none of your tricks!. . .
FIRST PAGE [with an air of wounded dignity]
Oh, sir!such a suspicion!. . .
THE SECOND Ay, and a fish-hook with it.
FIRST PAGE We can angle for wigs, then, up there i th gallery.
A PICKPOCKET [gathering about him some evil-looking
SECOND PAGE [calling up to others in the top galleries]
THIRD PAGE [from above] Ay, have we, and peas withal!
He blows, and peppers them with peas.
THE YOUNG MAN [to his father] What piece do they give us?
THE BURGHER Clorise.
THE YOUNG MAN Who may the author be?
THE BURGHER Master Balthazar Baro. It is a play!. . .
He goes arm-in-arm with his son.
THE PICKPOCKET [to his pupils] Have a care, above all, of the lace knee-rufflescut them off!
A SPECTATOR [to another, showing him a corner in the gallery] I was up there, the first night of the Cid.
THE PICKPOCKET [making with his fingers the gesture of filching] Thus for watches
THE BURGHER [coming down again with his son] Ah! You shall presently see some renowned actors. . .
THE PICKPOCKET [making the gestures of one who pulls something stealthily, with little jerks] Thus for handkerchiefs
THE BURGHER Montfleury. . .
SOME ONE [shouting from the upper gallery] Light up, below there!
THE BURGHER . . .Bellerose, LEpy, La Beaupre, Jodelet!
A PAGE [in the pit] Here comes the buffet-girl!
THE BUFFET-GIRL [taking her place behind the buffet] Oranges, milk, raspberry-water, cedar bitters!
A hubbub outside the door is heard.
A FALSETTO VOICE Make place, brutes!
A LACKEY [astonished] The Marquises!in the pit?. . .
ANOTHER LACKEY Oh! only for a minute or two!
Enter a band of young marquises.
A MARQUIS [seeing that the hall is half empty] What now! So we make our entrance like a pack of woolen-drapers! Peaceably, without disturbing the folk, or treading on their toes!Oh, fie! Fie! [Recognizing some other gentlemen who have entered a little before him] Cuigy! Brissaille!
Greetings and embraces.
CUIGY True to our word!. . .Troth, we are here before the candles are lit.
THE MARQUIS Ay, indeed! Enough! I am of an ill humor.
ANOTHER Nay, nay, Marquis! see, for your consolation, they are coming to light up!
ALL THE AUDIENCE [welcoming the entrance of the lighter] Ah!. . .
They form in groups round the lusters as they are lit. Some people have taken their seats in the galleries. Ligniere, a distinguished-looking roue, with disordered shirt-front arm-in-arm with christian de Neuvillette. Christian, who is dressed elegantly, but rather behind the fashion, seems preoccupied, and keeps looking at the boxes.
The same. Christian, Ligniere, then Ragueneau and Le Bret.
BRISSAILLE [laughing] Not drunk as yet?
LIGNIERE [aside to Christian]
I may introduce you?
THE AUDIENCE [applauding as the first luster is lighted and drawn up] Ah!
CUIGY [to Brissaille, looking at Christian] Tis a pretty fellow!
FIRST MARQUIS [who has overheard] Pooh!
LIGNIERE [introducing them to Christian] My lords De Cuigy. De Brissaille. . .
CHRISTIAN [bowing] Delighted!. . .
FIRST MARQUIS [to second] He is not ill to look at, but certes, he is not costumed in the latest mode.
LIGNIERE [to Cuigy] This gentleman comes from Touraine.
Yes, I have scarce been twenty days in Paris; tomorrow I join
the Guards, in
FIRST MARQUIS [watching the people who are coming into the boxes] There is the wife of the Chief-Justice.
THE BUFFET-GIRL Oranges, milk. . .
THE VIOLINISTS [tuning up] Lala
CUIGY [to Christian, pointing to the hall, which is filling fast] Tis crowded.
CHRISTIAN Yes, indeed.
FIRST MARQUIS All the great world!
They recognize and name the different elegantly dressed ladies who enter the boxes, bowing low to them. The ladies send smiles in answer.
CUIGY Madame de Bois-Dauphin.
FIRST MARQUIS Adored by us all!
BRISSAILLE Madame de Chavigny. . .
SECOND MARQUIS Who sports with our poor hearts!. . .
LIGNIERE Ha! so Monsieur de Corneille has come back from Rouen!
THE YOUNG MAN [to his father] Is the Academy here?
Oh, ay, I see several of them. There is Boudu, Boissat,
Attention! Here come our precieuses; Barthenoide, Urimedonte,
SECOND MARQUIS Ah! How exquisite their fancy names are! Do you know them all, Marquis?
FIRST MARQUIS Ay, Marquis, I do, every one!
LIGNIERE [drawing Christian aside]
Friend, I but came here to give you pleasure. The lady comes
not. I will
No, no! You, who are ballad-maker to Court and City alike, can
THE FIRST VIOLIN [striking his bow on the desk] Gentlemen violinists!
He raises his bow.
THE BUFFET-GIRL Macaroons, lemon-drink. . .
The violins begin to play.
Ah! I fear me she is coquettish, and over nice and
LIGNIERE [making as if to go] I must go.
CHRISTIAN [detaining him] Nay, stay.
LIGNIERE I cannot. DAssoucy waits me at the tavern, and here one dies of thirst.
THE BUFFET-GIRL [passing before him with a tray] Orange drink?
THE BUFFET-GIRL Milk?
THE BUFFET-GIRL Rivesalte?
He sits by the buffet; the girl pours some out for him.
CRIES [from all the audience, at the entrance of a plump little man, joyously excited] Ah! Ragueneau!
LIGNIERE [to Christian] Tis the famous tavern-keeper Ragueneau.
RAGUENEAU [dressed in the Sunday clothes of a pastry-cook, going up quickly to Ligniere] Sir, have you seen Monsieur de Cyrano?
LIGNIERE [introducing him to Christian] The pastry-cook of the actors and the poets!
RAGUENEAU [overcome] You do me too great honor. . .
LIGNIERE Nay, hold your peace, Maecenas that you are!
RAGUENEAU True, these gentlemen employ me. . .
RAGUENEAU So they tell me.
LIGNIERE Mad after poetry!
RAGUENEAU Tis true that, for a little ode. . .
LIGNIERE You give a tart. . .
RAGUENEAU Oh!a tartlet!
Brave fellow! He would fain fain excuse himself!
RAGUENEAU Some little rolls!
LIGNIERE [severely] They were milk-rolls! And as for the theater, which you love?
RAGUENEAU Oh! to distraction!
How pay you your tickets, ha?with cakes.
Four custards, and fifteen cream-puffs.
LIGNIERE Why so?
RAGUENEAU Montfleury plays!
Ay, tis true that that old wine-barrel is to take Phedons part
How? Know you not? He has got a hot hate for Montfleury, and
LIGNIERE [drinking his fourth glass] Well?
RAGUENEAU Montfleury will play!
CUIGY He can not hinder that.
RAGUENEAU Oh! oh! that I have come to see!
FIRST MARQUIS Who is this Cyrano?
CUIGY A fellow well skilled in all tricks of fence.
SECOND MARQUIS Is he of noble birth?
Ay, noble enough. He is a cadet in the Guards.
LE BRET Ay, I am uneasy. . .
CUIGY Is it not true that he is the strangest of men?
LE BRET [tenderly] True, that he is the choicest of earthly beings!
LE BRET Musician!
LIGNIERE And of how fantastic a presence!
Marry, twould puzzle even our grim painter Philippe de
LE BRET [throwing back his head] He keeps it onand cleaves in two any man who dares remark on it!
RAGUENEAU [proudly] His swordtis one half of the Fates shears!
FIRST MARQUIS [shrugging his shoulders] He will not come!
RAGUENEAU I say he will! and I wager a fowla la Ragueneau.
THE MARQUIS [laughing] Good!
Murmurs of admiration in hall. Roxane has just appeared in her box. She seats herself in front, the duenna at the back. Christian, who is paying the buffet-girl, does not see her entrance.
SECOND MARQUIS [with little cries of joy]:
FIRST MARQUIS When one looks at her one thinks of a peach smiling at a strawberry!
And what freshness! A man approaching her too near might chance
to get a
CHRISTIAN [raising his head, sees Roxane, and catches Ligniere by the arm] Tis she!
LIGNIERE Ah! is it she?
CHRISTIAN Ay, tell me quickI am afraid.
LIGNIERE [tasting his rivesalte in sips] Magdaleine RobinRoxane, so called! A subtle wita precieuse.
CHRISTIAN Woe is me!
LIGNIERE Free. An orphan. The cousin of Cyrano, of whom we were now speaking.
At this moment an elegant nobleman, with blue ribbon across his breast, enters the box, and talks with Roxane, standing.
LIGNIERE [who is becoming tipsy, winking at him]
Ha! ha! Count de Guiche. Enamored of her. But wedded to the
He gets up staggering, and raises his glass, ready to sing.
CHRISTIAN No. Good-night.
LIGNIERE Where go you?
CHRISTIAN To Monsieur de Valvert!
Have a care! It is he who will kill you
CHRISTIAN It is true!
He stands looking at her. The group of pickpockets seeing him thus, head in air and open-mouthed, draw near to him.
He goes out, reeling.
LE BRET [who has been all round the hall, coming back to Ragueneau reassured] No sign of Cyrano.
RAGUENEAU [incredulously] All the same. . .
LE BRET A hope is left to methat he has not seen the playbill!
THE AUDIENCE Begin, begin!
The same, all but Ligniere. De Guiche, Valvert, then Montfleury.
A marquis [watching De Guiche, who comes down from Roxanes box, and crosses the pit surrounded by obsequious noblemen, among them the Viscount de Valvert] He pays a fine court, your De Guiche!
ANOTHER Faugh!. . .Another Gascon!
Ay, but the cold, supple Gasconthat is the stuff success is
They go toward De Guiche.
What fine ribbons! How call you the color, Count de Guiche?
Kiss me, my
DE GUICHE Tis the color called Sick Spaniard.
Faith! The color speaks truth, for, thanks to your valor,
things will soon
I go on the stage! Will you come?
CHRISTIAN [who is watching and listening, starts on hearing
The Viscount! Ah! I will throw full in his face my. . .
THE PICKPOCKET Oh!
CHRISTIAN [holding him tightly] I was looking for a glove.
THE PICKPOCKET [smiling piteously]
And you find a hand.
CHRISTIAN [still holding him] What is it?
THE PICKPOCKET Ligniere. . .he who has just left you. . .
CHRISTIAN [same play] Well?
His life is in peril. A song writ by him has given offense in
CHRISTIAN A hundred men! By whom posted?
THE PICKPOCKET I may not saya secret. . .
CHRISTIAN [shrugging his shoulders] Oh!
THE PICKPOCKET [with great dignity] . . .Of the profession.
CHRISTIAN Where are they posted?
THE PICKPOCKET At the Porte de Nesle. On his way homeward. Warn him.
CHRISTIAN [letting go of his wrists] But where can I find him?
Run round to all the tavernsThe Golden Wine Press, the Pine
Cone, The Belt
GoodI fly! Ah, the scoundrels! A hundred men gainst one!
He hurries out. De Guiche, the viscount, the marquises, have all disappeared behind the curtain to take their places on the benches placed on the stage. The pit is quite full; the galleries and boxes are also crowded.
A BURGHER [whose wig is drawn up on the end of a string by a page in the upper gallery] My wig!
CRIES OF DELIGHT He is bald! Bravo, pagesha! ha! ha!. . .
THE BURGHER [furious, shaking his fist] Young villain!
LAUGHTER AND CRIES [beginning very loud, and dying gradually away] Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!
LE BRET [astonished]
What means this sudden silence?. . .
THE SPECTATOR I have just heard it on good authority.
MURMURS [spreading through the hall]
Hush! Is it he? No! Ay, I say!
A PAGE The devil! We shall have to behave ourselves. . .
A knock is heard upon the stage. Every one is motionless. A pause.
THE VOICE OF A MARQUIS [in the silence, behind the curtain] Snuff that candle!
ANOTHER MARQUIS [putting his head through the opening in the curtain] A chair!
A chair is passed from hand to hand, over the heads of the spectators. The marquis takes it and disappears, after blowing some kisses to the boxes.
A SPECTATOR Silence!
Three knocks are heard on the stage. The curtain opens in the centre Tableau. The marquises in insolent attitudes seated on each side of the stage. The scene represents a pastoral landscape. Four little lusters light the stage; the violins play softly.
[in a low voice to Ragueneau]:
RAGUENEAU [also in a low voice] Ay, tis he who begins.
LE BRET Cyrano is not here.
RAGUENEAU I have lost my wager.
LE BRET Tis all the better!
An air on the drone-pipes is heard, and Montfleury enters, enormously stout, in an Arcadian shepherds dress, a hat wreathed with roses drooping over one ear, blowing into a ribboned drone pipe.
THE PIT [applauding]:
MONTFLEURY [after bowing low, begins the part of Phedon]
Heureux qui loin des cours, dans un lieu solitaire,
A VOICE [from the middle of the pit] Villain! Did I not forbid you to show your face here for month?
General stupor. Every one turns round. Murmurs.
DIFFERENT VOICES Hey?What?What ist?. . .
The people stand up in the boxes to look.
CUIGY Tis he!
LE BRET [terrified] Cyrano!
THE VOICE King of clowns! Leave the stage this instant!
ALL THE AUDIENCE [indignantly] Oh!
MONTFLEURY But. . .
THE VOICE Do you dare defy me?
DIFFERENT VOICES [from the pit and the boxes] Peace! Enough!Play on, Montfleuryfear nothing!
MONTFLEURY [in a trembling voice] Heureux qui loin des cours, dans un lieu sol
THE VOICE [more fiercely] Well! Chief of all the blackguards, must I come and give you a taste of my cane?
A hand holding a cane starts up over the heads of the spectators.
MONTFLEURY [in a voice that trembles more and more] Heureux qui. . .
The cane is shaken.
THE VOICE Off the stage!
THE PIT Oh!
MONTFLEURY [choking] Heureux qui loin des cours. . .
CYRANO [appearing suddenly in the pit, standing on a chair, his arms crossed, his beaver cocked fiercely, his mustache bristling, his nose terrible to see] Ah! I shall be angry in a minute!. . .
The same. Cyrano, then Bellerose, Jodelet.
MONTFLEURY [to the marquises] Come to my help, my lords!
A MARQUIS [carelessly] Go on! Go on!
Fat man, take warning! If you go on, I
THE MARQUIS Have done!
And if these lords hold not their tongue
ALL THE MARQUISES [rising] Enough!. . .Montfleury. . .
If he goes not quick
A VOICE But. . .
CYRANO Out he goes!
ANOTHER VOICE Yet. . .
Is he not gone yet?
MONTFLEURY [trying to be dignified] You outrage Thalia in insulting me!
CYRANO [very politely]
If that Muse, Sir, who knows you not at all,
THE PIT Montfleury! Montfleury! ComeBaros play!
CYRANO [to those who are calling out]
I pray you have a care! If you go on
The circle round him widens.
THE CROWD [drawing back] Take care!
CYRANO [to Montfleury] Leave the stage!
THE CROWD [coming near and grumbling] Oh!
CYRANO Did some one speak?
They draw back again.
A VOICE [singing at the back]
Monsieur de Cyrano
ALL THE PIT [singing] La Clorise! La Clorise!. . .
Let me but hear once more that foolish rhyme,
A BURGHER Oh! Samson?
CYRANO Yes Samson! Will you lend your jawbone, Sir?
A LADY [in the boxes] Outrageous!
A LORD Scandalous!
A BURGHER Tis most annoying!
A PAGE Fair good sport!
THE PIT Kss!Montfleury. . .Cyrano!
THE PIT [wildly excited] Ho-o-o-o-h! Quack! Cock-a-doodle-doo!
CYRANO I order
A PAGE Miow!
I order silence, all!
MONTFLEURY I. . .
CYRANO [leaves his chair, and settles himself in the middle of the circle which has formed] I will clap my hands thrice, thusfull moon! At the third clap, eclipse yourself!
THE PIT [amused] Ah!
CYRANO [clapping his hands] One!
MONTFLEURY I. . .
A VOICE [in the boxes] Stay!
THE PIT He stays. . .he goes. . .he stays. . .
MONTFLEURY I think. . .Gentlemen,. . .
MONTFLEURY I think twere wisest. . .
Montfleury disappears as through a trap. Tempest of laughs, whistling cries, etc.
THE WHOLE HOUSE Coward. . .come back!
CYRANO [delighted, sits back in his chair, arms crossed] Come back an if you dare!
A BURGHER Call for the orator!
Bellerose comes forward and bows.
THE BOXES Ah! heres Bellerose!
BELLEROSE [elegantly] My noble lords. . .
THE PIT No! no! Jodelet!
JODELET [advancing, speaking through his nose] Calves!
THE PIT Ah! bravo! good! go on!
No bravos, Sirs!
THE PIT Coward!
JODELET . . .was obliged to go.
THE PIT Come back!
A YOUNG MAN [to Cyrano]
But pray, Sir, for what reason, say,
CYRANO [graciously, still seated]
Youthful gander, know
THE OLD BURGHER [behind him]
Shameful! You deprive us
CYRANO [turning his chair toward the burgher,
THE PRECIEUSES [in the boxes]
CYRANO [turning his chair toward the boxes gallantly]
BELLEROSE We must give back the entrance fees!
CYRANO [turning his chair toward the stage]
THE HOUSE [dazzled] Ah! Oh!
JODELET [catching the purse dexterously and weighing it]
At this price, youve authority
THE PIT Ho!. . .Ho! Ho!. . .
JODELET Een if you chase us in a pack!. . .
BELLEROSE Clear out the hall!. . .
JODELET Get you all gone at once!
The people begin to go out, while Cyrano looks on with satisfaction. But the crowd soon stop on hearing the following scene, and remain where they are. The women, who, with their mantles on, are already standing up in the boxes, stop to listen, and finally reseat themselves.LE BRET [to Cyrano]:
Tis mad!. . .
A BORE [coming up to Cyrano]
The actor Montfleury! Tis shameful!
THE BORE No patron?. . .
THE BORE What! no great lord to shield you with his name?
No, I have told you twice! Must I repeat?
THE BORE But you must leave the town?
CYRANO Well, that depends!
THE BORE The Duke has a long arm!
But not so long
THE BORE You think not to contend?
CYRANO Tis my idea!
THE BORE But. . .
CYRANO Show your heels! now!
THE BORE But I. . .
CYRANO Or tell me why you stare so at my nose!
THE BORE [staggered] I. . .
CYRANO [walking straight up to him] Well, what is there strange?
THE BORE [drawing back] Your Grace mistakes!
CYRANO How now? Ist soft and dangling, like a trunk?. . .
THE BORE [same play] I never. . .
CYRANO Is it crookd, like an owls beak?
THE BORE I. . .
CYRANO Do you see a wart upon the tip?
THE BORE Nay. . .
Or a fly, that takes the air there? What
THE BORE Oh. . .
CYRANO What do you see?
THE BORE But I was careful not to lookknew better.
CYRANO And why not look at it, an if you please?
THE BORE I was. . .
CYRANO Oh! it disgusts you!
THE BORE Sir!
THE BORE Sir!
CYRANO Or its shape?
THE BORE No, on the contrary!. . .
Why then that air
THE BORE [stammering] No, small, quite smallminute!
Minute! What now?
THE BORE Heaven help me!
He cuffs him.
THE BORE Aie!
of pride, of aspiration,
THE BORE [running away] Help! Call the Guard!
Take notice, boobies all,
DE GUICHE [who, with the marquises, has come down from the stage] But he becomes a nuisance!
THE VISCOUNT DE VALVERT [shrugging his shoulders] Swaggerer!
DE GUICHE Will no one put him down?. . .
No one? But wait!
CYRANO [gravely] Very!
THE VISCOUNT [laughing] Ha!
CYRANO [imperturbably] Is that all?. . .
THE VISCOUNT What do you mean?
Ah no! young blade! That was a trifle short!
DE GUICHE [trying to draw away the dismayed viscount] Come away, Viscount!
THE VISCOUNT [choking with rage]
Hear his arrogance!
True; all my elegances are within.
THE VISCOUNT But, Sir. . .
I wear no gloves? And what of that?
THE VISCOUNT Base scoundrel! Rascally flat-footed lout!
CYRANO [taking off his hat, and bowing as if the viscount had
Ah?. . .and I, Cyrano Savinien
THE VISCOUNT [angrily] Buffoon!
CYRANO [calling out as if he had been seized with the cramp] Aie! Aie!
THE VISCOUNT [who was going away, turns back] What on earth is the fellow saying now?
CYRANO [with grimaces of pain]
It must be movedits getting stiff, I vow,
THE VISCOUNT What ails you?
CYRANO The cramp! cramp in my sword!
THE VISCOUNT [drawing his sword] Good!
CYRANO You shall feel a charming little stroke!
THE VISCOUNT [contemptuously] Poet!. . .
Ay, poet, Sir! In proof of which,
THE VISCOUNT A ballade?
CYRANO Belike you know not what a ballade is.
THE VISCOUNT But. . .
CYRANO [reciting, as if repeating a lesson]
Know then that the ballade should contain
THE VISCOUNT [stamping] Oh!
CYRANO [still reciting]
And an envoi
THE VISCOUNT You. . .
Ill make one while we fight;
THE VISCOUNT No!
THE VISCOUNT What may that be, an if you please?
CYRANO The title.
THE HOUSE [in great excitement] Give room!Good sport!Make place!Fair play!No noise!
Tableau. A circle of curious spectators in the pit; the marquises and officers mingled with the common people; the pages climbing on each others shoulders to see better. All the women standing up in the boxes. To the right, De Guiche and his retinue. Left, Le Bret, Ragueneau, Cyrano, etc.
CYRANO [shutting his eyes for a second]:
Acclamations. Applause in the boxes. Flowers and handkerchiefs are thrown down. The officers surround Cyrano, congratulating him. Ragueneau dances for joy. Le Bret is happy, but anxious. The viscounts friends hold him up and bear him away.
THE CROWD [with one long shout]:
A TROOPER Tis superb!
A WOMAN A pretty stroke!
RAGUENEAU A marvel!
A MARQUIS A novelty!
LE BRET O madman!
THE CROWD [presses round Cyrano. Chorus of]
A WOMANS VOICE There is a hero for you!. . .
A MUSKETEER [advancing to Cyrano with outstretched hand]
He goes away.
CYRANO [to Cuigy] Who is that gentleman?
LE BRET [to Cyrano, taking his arm] A word with you!. . .
Wait; let the rabble go!. . .
BELLEROSE [respectfully] Without doubt!
Cries are heard outside.
JODELET [who has looked out] They hoot Montfleury!
Sic transit!. . .
Jodelet and Bellerose go out, bowing low to Cyrano.
THE PORTER [to Cyrano] You do not dine, Sir?
The porter goes out.
LE BRET Because?
Because. . .
LE BRET [with the action of throwing a bag] How! The bag of crowns?. . .
CYRANO Paternal bounty, in a day, thourt sped!
LE BRET How live the next month?. . .
CYRANO I have nothing left.
LE BRET Folly!
CYRANO But what a graceful action! Think!
THE BUFFET-GIRL [coughing, behind her counter]
CYRANO [taking off his hat]
He gives back the other half.
LE BRET What foolery!
THE BUFFET-GIRL Take something else!
CYRANO I take your hand to kiss.
He kisses her hand as though she were a princess.
Thank you, kind Sir!
She goes out.
Cyrano, Le Bret.
CYRANO [to Le Bret]
Now talkI listen.
These fops, would-be belligerent,
CYRANO [finishing his macaroon] Enormous!
LE BRET The Cardinal. . .
CYRANO [radiant] The Cardinalwas there?
LE BRET Must have thought it. . .
CYRANO Original, i faith!
LE BRET But. . .
Hes an author. Twill not fail to please him
LE BRET You make too many enemies by far!
CYRANO [eating his grapes] How many think you I have made to-night?
LE BRET Forty, no less, not counting ladies.
Montfleury first, the bourgeois, then De Guiche,
CYRANO Enough! I am oerjoyed!
But these strange ways,
I in a labyrinth
LE BRET Which?
Oh! by far the simplest path. . .
LE BRET [shrugging his shoulders]
So be it! But the motive of your hate
LE BRET [stupefied] How now? What? Can it be. . .?
CYRANO [laughing bitterly]
That I should love?. . .
LE BRET And may I know?. . .You never said. . .
Come now, bethink you!. . .The fond hope to be
LE BRET The fairest?. . .
Ay, the fairest of the world,
LE BRET Who is this lady?
Shes a danger mortal,
LE BRET Sapristi! all is clear!
CYRANO As spiderwebs!
LE BRET Your cousin, Madeleine Robin?
Well, but so much the better! Tell her so!
Look well at methen tell me, with what hope
LE BRET [tenderly] My friend!. . .
My friend, at times tis hard, tis bitter,
LE BRET [taking his hand] You weep?
No, never! Think, how vilely suited
LE BRET Never be sad! Whats love?a chance of Fortune!
CYRANO [shaking his head]
Look I a Caesar to woo Cleopatra?
Your courage and your wit!The little maid
CYRANO [impressed] True!
Well, how then?. . .I saw Roxane herself
Her heart, her fancy, are already caught!
That she may mock my face?
THE PORTER [introducing some one to Cyrano] Sir, some one asks for you. . .
CYRANO [seeing the duenna] God! her duenna!
Cyrano, Le Bret, the duenna.
THE DUENNA [with a low bow]
I was bid ask you where a certain lady
CYRANO [overwhelmed] See me?
THE DUENNA [courtesying] Ay, Sir! She has somewhat to tell.
CYRANO Somewhat?. . .
THE DUENNA [still courtesying] Ay, private matters!
CYRANO [staggering] Ah, my God!
To-morrow, at the early blush of dawn,
CYRANO [leaning against Le Bret] My God!
THE DUENNA Afterwhat place for a few minutes speech?
CYRANO [confused] Where? Ah!. . .but. . .Ah, my God!. . .
THE DUENNA Say!
CYRANO I reflect!. . .
THE DUENNA Where?
CYRANO Atthe pastry-house of Ragueneau.
THE DUENNA Where lodges he?
CYRANO The RueGod!St. Honore!
THE DUENNA [going] Good. Be you there. At seven.
CYRANO Without fail.
The duenna goes out.
Cyrano, Le Bret. Then actors, actresses, Cuigy, Brissaille, Ligniere, the porter, the violinists.
CYRANO [falling into Le Brets arms] A rendezvous. . .from her!. . .
LE BRET Youre sad no more!
CYRANO Ah! Let the world go burn! She knows I live!
LE BRET Now youll be calm, I hope?
CYRANO [beside himself for joy]
Calm? I now calm?
For a few moments the shadows of the actors have been moving on the stage, whispers are heardthe rehearsal is beginning. The violinists are in their places.
A VOICE FROM THE STAGE
CYRANO [laughing] We go!
He moves away. By the big door enter Cuigy, Brissaille, and some officers, holding up Ligniere, who is drunk.
CYRANO Well, what now?
A lusty thrush
CYRANO [recognizing him] Ligniere!. . .What has chanced?
CUIGY He seeks you!
BRISSAILLE He dare not go home!
CYRANO Why not?
LIGNIERE [in a husky voice, showing him a crumpled
CYRANO A hundred men? Youll sleep in your own bed!
LIGNIERE [frightened] But
CYRANO [in a terrible voice, showing him the lighted lantern
held by the porter, who is listening curiously]
CUIGY A hundred!. . .
CYRANO Less, to-nightwould be too few!
The actors and actresses, in their costumes, have come down from the stage, and are listening.
LE BRET But why embroil yourself?
CYRANO Le Bret who scolds!
LE BRET That worthless drunkard!
CYRANO [slapping Ligniere on the shoulder]
Wherefore? For this cause;
AN ACTRESS Indeed, that was a graceful thing!
CYRANO Ay, was it not?
THE ACTRESS [to the others] But why a hundred men gainst one poor rhymer?
ANOTHER ACTRESS [jumping from the stage] Oh! I shall come and see!
CYRANO Come, then!
ANOTHER [jumping downto an old actor] And you?. . .
Come allthe Doctor, Isabel, Leander,
ALL THE WOMEN [dancing for joy] Bravo!a mantle, quick!my hood!
JODELET Come on!
Play us a march, gentlemen of the band!
ALL To the Porte de Nesle!
CYRANO [standing on the threshold]
Ay, to the Porte de Nesle!
He goes out. Ligniere staggers first after him, then the actresses on the officers armsthe actors. The procession starts to the sound of the violins and in the faint light of the candles.Curtain.
The Poets Eating-House.
Ragueneaus cook and pastry-shop. A large kitchen at the corner of the Rue St. Honore and the Rue de lArbre Sec, which are seen in the background through the glass door, in the gray dawn.
On the left, in the foreground, a counter, surmounted by a stand in forged iron, on which are hung geese, ducks, and water peacocks. In great china vases are tall bouquets of simple flowers, principally yellow sunflowers.
On the same side, farther back, an immense open fireplace, in front of which, between monster firedogs, on each of which hangs a little saucepan; the roasts are dripping into the pans.
On the right, foreground with door.
Farther back, staircase leading 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 Flemish luster is alight. 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 from the ceiling by a string with which it can be drawn up and down, and big game is hung around it.
The ovens in the darkness under the stairs give forth a red glow. The copper pans shine. The spits are turning. Heaps of food formed into pyramids. Hams suspended. It is the busy hour of the morning. Bustle and hurry of scullions, fat cooks, and diminutive apprentices, their caps profusely decorated with cocks feathers and wings of guinea-fowl.
On metal and wicker plates they are bringing in piles of cakes and tarts.
Tables laden with rolls and dishes of food. Other tables surrounded with chairs are ready for the consumers.
A small table in a corner covered with papers, at which Ragueneau is seated writing on the rising of the curtain.
Ragueneau, pastry-cooks, then Lise. Ragueneau is writing, with an inspired air, at a small table, and counting on his fingers.
FIRST PASTRY-COOK [bringing in an elaborate fancy dish] Fruits in nougat!
SECOND PASTRY-COOK [bringing another dish] Custard!
THIRD PASTRY-COOK [bringing a roast, decorated with feathers] Peacock!
FOURTH PASTRY-COOK [bringing a batch of cakes on a slab] Rissoles!
FIFTH PASTRY-COOK [bringing a sort of pie-dish] Beef jelly!
RAGUENEAU [ceasing to write, and raising his head]
Auroras silver rays begin to glint een now on the copper pans,
and thou, O
THE COOK How much too short?
RAGUENEAU Three feet.
He passes on farther.
THE COOK What means he?
FIRST PASTRY-COOK [showing a dish to Ragueneau] The tart!
SECOND PASTRY-COOK The pie!
RAGUENEAU [before the fire]
My muse, retire, lest thy bright eyes be reddened by the fagots
ANOTHER APPRENTICE [also coming up with a tray covered by a
Master, I bethought me erewhile of your tastes, and made this,
He uncovers the tray, and shows a large lyre made of pastry.
RAGUENEAU [enchanted] A lyre!
THE APPRENTICE Tis of brioche pastry.
RAGUENEAU [touched] With conserved fruits.
THE APPRENTICE The strings, see, are of sugar.
RAGUENEAU [giving him a coin]
Go, drink my health!
LISE Tis passing silly!
She puts a pile of papers on the counter.
Bags? Good. I thank you.
And am I not free to turn at last to some use the sole thing
RAGUENEAU Groveling ant!. . .Insult not the divine grasshoppers, the sweet singers!
Before you were the sworn comrade of all that crew, my friend,
you did not
RAGUENEAU To turn fair verse to such a use!
LISE Faith, tis all its good for.
RAGUENEAU Pray then, madam, to what use would you degrade prose?
The same. Two children, who have just trotted into the shop.
RAGUENEAU What would you, little ones?
FIRST CHILD Three pies.
RAGUENEAU [serving them] See, hot and well browned.
SECOND CHILD If it please you, Sir, will you wrap them up for us?
RAGUENEAU [aside, distressed]
Alas! one of my bags!
LISE [impatiently] What are you dallying for?
Here! here! here
By good luck he has made up his mind at last!
She mounts on a chair, and begins to range plates on a dresser.
RAGUENEAU [taking advantage of the moment she turns her back, calls back the children, who are already at the door] Hist! children!. . .render me back the sonnet to Phillis, and you shall have six pies instead of three.
The children give him back the bag, seize the cakes quickly, and go out.
RAGUENEAU [smoothing out the paper, begins to declaim] Phillis!. . . On that sweet name a smear of butter! Phillis!. . .
Cyrano enters hurriedly.
Ragueneau, Lise, Cyrano, then the musketeer.
CYRANO Whats oclock?
RAGUENEAU [bowing low] Six oclock.
CYRANO [with emotion] In one hours time!
He paces up and down the shop.
RAGUENEAU [following him] Bravo! I saw. . .
CYRANO Well, what saw you, then?
RAGUENEAU Your combat!. . .
RAGUENEAU That in the Burgundy Hotel, faith!
CYRANO [contemptuously] Ah!. . .the duel!
RAGUENEAU [admiringly] Ay! the duel in verse!. . .
LISE He can talk of naught else!
CYRANO Well! Good! let be!
RAGUENEAU [making passes with a spit that he catches up]
At the envois end, I touch!. . .At the envois end, I touch!.
. .Tis fine, fine!
CYRANO What hour is it now, Ragueneau?
RAGUENEAU [stopping short in the act of thrusting to look at
Five minutes after six!. . .I touch!
LISE [to Cyrano, who, as he passes by the counter, has absently shaken hands with her] Whats wrong with your hand?
CYRANO Naught; a slight cut.
RAGUENEAU Have you been in some danger?
CYRANO None in the world.
LISE [shaking her finger at him] Methinks you speak not the truth in saying that!
Did you see my nose quiver when I spoke? Faith, it must have
RAGUENEAU But tis impossible; my poets are coming. . .
LISE [ironically] Oh, ay, for their first meal o the day!
Prythee, take them aside when I shall make you sign to do so. .
RAGUENEAU Ten minutes after six.
CYRANO [nervously seating himself at Ragueneaus table, and
drawing some paper
RAGUENEAU [giving him the one from behind his ear] Herea swans quill.
A MUSKETEER [with fierce mustache, enters, and in a stentorian voice] Good-day!
Lise goes up to him quickly.
CYRANO [turning round] Whos that?
RAGUENEAU Tis a friend of my wifea terrible warriorat least so says he himself.
CYRANO [taking up the pen, and motioning Ragueneau away]
RAGUENEAU A quarter after six!. . .
CYRANO [striking his breast]
Aya single word of all those here! here! But writing, tis
easier done. .
He writes. Through the glass of the door the silhouettes of their figures move uncertainly and hesitatingly.
Ragueneau, Lise, the musketeer. Cyrano at the little table writing. The poets, dressed in black, their stockings ungartered, and covered with mud.
LISE [entering, to Ragueneau] Here they come, your mud-bespattered friends!
FIRST POET [entering, to Ragueneau] Brother in art!. . .
SECOND POET [to Ragueneau, shaking his hands] Dear brother!
High soaring eagle among pastry-cooks!
FOURTH POET Tis at Phoebus own rays that thy roasts turn!
FIFTH POET Apollo among master-cooks
RAGUENEAU [whom they surround and embrace] Ah! how quick a man feels at his ease with them!. . .
FIRST POET We were stayed by the mob; they are crowded all round the Porte de Nesle!. . .
Eight bleeding brigand carcasses strew the pavements thereall
CYRANO [raising his head a minute] Eight?. . .hold, methought seven.
He goes on writing.
RAGUENEAU [to Cyrano] Know you who might be the hero of the fray?
CYRANO [carelessly] Not I.
LISE [to the musketeer] And you? Know you?
THE MUSKETEER [twirling his mustache] Maybe!
CYRANO [writing a little way off:he is heard murmuring a word from time to time] I love thee!
FIRST POET Twas one man, say they all, ay, swear to it, one man who, single-handed, put the whole band to the rout!
SECOND POET Twas a strange sight!pikes and cudgels strewed thick upon the ground.
CYRANO [writing] . . .Thine eyes. . .
THIRD POET And they were picking up hats all the way to the Quai dOrfevres!
FIRST POET Sapristi! but he must have been a ferocious. . .
CYRANO [same play] . . .Thy lips. . .
FIRST POET Twas a parlous fearsome giant that was the author of such exploits!
CYRANO [same play] . . .And when I see thee come, I faint for fear.
SECOND POET [filching a cake] What hast rhymed of late, Ragueneau?
CYRANO [same play]
. . .Who worships thee. . .
RAGUENEAU [to second poet] I have put a recipe into verse.
THIRD POET [seating himself by a plate of cream-puffs] Go to! Let us hear these verses!
FOURTH POET [looking at a cake which he has taken] Its cap is all a one side!
He makes one bite of the top.
FIRST POET See how this gingerbread woos the famished rhymer with its almond eyes, and its eyebrows of angelica!
He takes it.
SECOND POET We listen.
THIRD POET [squeezing a cream-puff gently] How it laughs! Till its very cream runs over!
SECOND POET [biting a bit off the great lyre of pastry] This is the first time in my life that ever I drew any means of nourishing me from the lyre!
RAGUENEAU [who has put himself ready for reciting, cleared his throat, settled his cap, struck an attitude] A recipe in verse!. . .
SECOND POET [to first, nudging him] You are breakfasting?
FIRST POET [to second] And you dining, methinks.
How almond tartlets are made.
THE POETS [with mouths crammed full] Exquisite! Delicious!
A POET [choking] Homph!
They go up, eating.
CYRANO [who has been watching, goes toward Ragueneau] Lulled by your voice, did you see how they were stuffing themselves?
RAGUENEAU [in a low voice, smiling]
Oh, ay! I see well enough, but I never will seem to look,
CYRANO [clapping him on the shoulder]
Friend, I like you right well!. . .
One haughty glance of my eye can conquer any man that should
CYRANO Pooh! Conquering eyes, methinks, are oft conquered eyes.
LISE [choking with anger] But
I like Ragueneau well, and somark me, Dame LiseI permit not
that he be
LISE But. . .
CYRANO [who has raised his voice so as to be heard by the gallant] A word to the wise. . .
He bows to the musketeer, and goes to the doorway to watch, after looking at the clock.
LISE [to the musketeer, who has merely bowed in answer to Cyranos bow] How now? Is this your courage?. . .Why turn you not a jest on his nose?
THE MUSKETEER On his nose?. . .ay, ay. . .his nose.
He goes quickly farther away; Lise follows him.
CYRANO [from the doorway, signing to Ragueneau to draw the poets away] Hist!. . .
RAGUENEAU [showing them the door on the right] We shall be more private there. . .
CYRANO [impatiently] Hist! Hist!. . .
RAGUENEAU [drawing them farther] To read poetry, tis better here. . .
FIRST POET [despairingly, with his mouth full] What! leave the cakes?. . .
SECOND POET Never! Lets take them with us!
They all follow Ragueneau in procession, after sweeping all the cakes off the trays.
Cyrano, Roxane, the duenna.
Ah! if I see but the faint glimmer of hope, then I draw out my
THE DUENNA Four, Sir, an it like you.
CYRANO Are you fond of sweet things?
THE DUENNA Ay, I could eat myself sick on them!
CYRANO [catching up some of the paper bags from the counter] Good. See you these two sonnets of Monsieur Beuserade. . .
THE DUENNA Hey?
CYRANO . . .Which I fill for you with cream cakes!
THE DUENNA [changing her expression] Ha.
CYRANO What say you to the cake they call a little puff?
THE DUENNA If made with cream, Sir, I love them passing well.
Here I plunge six for your eating into the bosom of a poem by
THE DUENNA Ay, to the core of my heart!
CYRANO [filling her arms with the bags] Pleasure me then; go eat them all in the street.
THE DUENNA But. . .
CYRANO [pushing her out] And come not back till the very last crumb be eaten!
He shuts the door, comes down toward Roxane, and, uncovering, stands at a respectful distance from her.
Blessed be the moment when you condescend
ROXANE [who has unmasked]
To thank you first of all. That dandy count,
CYRANO Ha, De Guiche?
ROXANE [casting down her eyes] Sought to impose on me. . .for husband. . .
Ay! Husband!dupe-husband!. . .Husband a la mode!
Confession next!. . .But, ere I make my shrift,
CYRANO Ay, you would come each spring to Bergerac!
ROXANE Mind you the reeds you cut to make your swords?. . .
CYRANO While you wove corn-straw plaits for your dolls hair!
ROXANE Those were the days of games!. . .
CYRANO And blackberries!. . .
ROXANE In those days you did everything I bid!. . .
CYRANO Roxane, in her short frock, was Madeleine. . .
ROXANE Was I fair then?
CYRANO You were not ill to see!
Ofttimes, with hands all bloody from a fall,
CYRANO I got itplaying at the Porte de Nesle.
ROXANE [seating herself by the table, and dipping her handkerchief in a glass of water] Give here!
CYRANO [sitting by her] So soft! so gay maternal-sweet!
And tell me, while I wipe away the blood,
CYRANO Oh! A hundrednear.
ROXANE Come, tell me!
No, let be. But you, come tell
ROXANE [keeping his hand]
Now, I dare!
CYRANO Ah!. . .
ROXANE But with one who knows not.
CYRANO Ah!. . .
ROXANE Not yet.
CYRANO Ah!. . .
ROXANE But who, if he knows not, soon shall learn.
CYRANO Ah!. . .
A poor youth who all this time has loved
CYRANO Ah!. . .
Leave your hand; why, it is fever-hot!
CYRANO Ah!. . .
ROXANE [bandaging his hand with her handkerchief]
And to think of it! that he by chance
CYRANO Ah!. . .
ROXANE [laughing] Is cadet in your own company!
CYRANO Ah!. . .
On his brow he bears the genius-stamp;
CYRANO [rising suddenly, very pale] Fair!
ROXANE Why, what ails you?
Nothing; tis. . .
I love him; all is said. But you must know
CYRANO How? You have never spoken?
ROXANE Eyes can speak.
CYRANO How know you then that he. . .?
Oh! people talk
CYRANO He is cadet?
ROXANE In the Guards.
CYRANO His name?
ROXANE Baron Christian de Neuvillette.
CYRANO How now?. . .He is not of the Guards!
Ah, how quick,
THE DUENNA [opening the door] The cakes are eaten, Monsieur Bergerac!
Then read the verses printed on the bags!
ROXANE No, his bright locks, like DUrfes heroes. . .
ROXANE Ah no! I guessI feelhis words are fair!
All words are fair that lurk neath fair mustache!
ROXANE [stamping her foot] Then bury me!
CYRANO [after a pause]
Was it to tell me this you brought me here?
Nay, but I felt a terror, here, in the heart,
And we provoke
Ah! Think how I
CYRANO [between his teeth] Not causelessly!
CYRANO Ay, ay.
ROXANE Then you will be his friend?
CYRANO I swear!
ROXANE And he shall fight no duels, promise!
You are kind, cousin! Now I must be gone.
CYRANO Ay! Ay!
A hundred men against you? Now, farewell.
CYRANO Ay, ay!
Oh, bid him write!
CYRANO [bowing to her] I have fought better since.
She goes out. Cyrano stands motionless, with eyes on the ground. A silence. The door [right] opens. Ragueneau looks in.
Cyrano, Ragueneau, poets, Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, the cadets, a crowd, then De Guiche.
RAGUENEAU Can we come in?
CYRANO [without stirring] Yes. . .
Ragueneau signs to his friends, and they come in. At the same time, by door at back, enters Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, in Captains uniform. He makes gestures of surprise on seeing Cyrano.
CYRANO [raising his head] Captain!. . .
Our hero! We heard all! Thirty or more
CYRANO [shrinking back] But. . .
CARBON [trying to draw him away]
Come with me!
CARBON Theyre drinking opposite, at The Bears Head.
CYRANO I. . .
CARBON [going to the door and calling across the street in a voice of thunder] He wont come! The heros in the sulks!
A VOICE [outside] Ah! Sandious!
Tumult outside. Noise of boots and swords is heard approaching.
CARBON [rubbing his hands] They are running cross the street!
CADETS [entering] Mille dious! Capdedious! Pocapdedious!
RAGUENEAU [drawing back startled] Gentlemen, are you all from Gascony?
THE CADETS All!
A CADET [to Cyrano] Bravo!
ANOTHER [shaking his hands] Vivat!
CYRANO [not knowing whom to reply to] Baron!. . .Baron!. . .I beg. . .
RAGUENEAU Are you all Barons, Sirs?
THE CADETS Ay, every one!
RAGUENEAU Is it true?. . .
Aywhy, you could build a tower
LE BRET [entering, and running up to Cyrano]
Theyre looking for you! Heres a crazy mob
CYRANO [alarmed] What! Have you told them where to find me?
LE BRET [rubbing his hands] Yes!
A BURGHER [entering, followed by a group of men] Sir, all the Marais is a-coming here!
Outside the street has filled with people. Chaises a porteurs and carriages have drawn up.
LE BRET [in a low voice, smiling, to Cyrano] And Roxane?
CYRANO [quickly] Hush!
THE CROWD [calling outside] Cyrano!. . .
A crowd rush into the shop, pushing one another. Acclamations.
RAGUENEAU [standing on a table]
Lo! my shop
PEOPLE [crowding round Cyrano] My friend!. . .my friend. . .
Meseems that yesterday
LE BRET [delighted] Success!
A YOUNG MARQUIS [hurrying up with his hands held out]
Thou!. . .Marry!. . .thou!. . .Pray when
I would present you, Sir, to some fair dames
Ah! and who
LE BRET [astonished] Whats wrong?
A MAN OF LETTERS [with writing-board] A few details?. . .
LE BRET [nudging his elbow]
CYRANO Who cares?
This paperbut it is of great importance!. . .
A POET [advancing] Sir. . .
CYRANO What, another!
. . .Pray permit I make
SOME ONE [also advancing] Pray, Sir. . .
CYRANO Enough! Enough!
A movement in the crowd. De Guiche appears, escorted by officers. Cuigy, Brissaille, the officers who went with Cyrano the night before. Cuigy comes rapidly up to Cyrano.
CUIGY [to Cyrano]:
DE GUICHE [bowing to Cyrano]
. . .Who would express his admiration, Sir,
THE CROWD Bravo!
CYRANO [bowing] The Marshal is a judge of valor.
He could not have believed the thing, unless
CUIGY With our own eyes!
LE BRET [aside to Cyrano, who has an absent air] But. . .you. . .
LE BRET But. . .You suffer?
Before this rabble?I?. . .
DE GUICHE [to whom Cuigy has spoken in a low voice]
In feats of arms, already your career
CYRANO Ay, with the Cadets.
A CADET [in a terrible voice] With us!
DE GUICHE [looking at the cadets, ranged behind Cyrano]
Ah!. . .All these gentlemen of haughty mien,
CYRANO Ay, Captain!
Since all my companys assembled here,
CYRANO [making two steps toward De Guiche]
My Lord de Guiche, permit that I present
DE GUICHE [seated with haughty carelessness in an armchair
brought quickly by Ragueneau]
A poet! Tis the fashion of the hour!
CYRANO No, Sir,no mans!
LE BRET [overjoyed] Great Heavens!
I imagine you have rhymed
LE BRET [in Cyranos ear]
Your play!your Agrippine!
DE GUICHE Take them to him.
CYRANO [beginning to be tempted and attracted] In sooth,I would. . .
DE GUICHE He is a critic skilled He may correct a line or two, at most.
CYRANO [whose face stiffens at once]
Impossible! My blood congeals to think
But when a verse approves itself to him
He pays less dear
DE GUICHE You are proud.
CYRANO Really? You have noticed that?
A CADET [entering, with a string of old battered plumed beaver
hats, full of holes, slung on his sword]
See, Cyrano,this morning, on the quay
CARBON Spolia opima!
ALL [laughing] Ah! ah! ah!
He who laid that ambush, faith!
BRISSAILLE Who was it?
The CADET [in a low voice, to Cyrano, showing him the beavers] What do with them? Theyre full of grease!a stew?
CYRANO [taking the sword and, with a salute, dropping the hats
at De Guiches feet]
Sir, pray be good enough to render them
DE GUICHE [rising, sharply]
My chair therequick!I go!
VOICE [in the street] Porters for my lord De Guiche!
DE GUICHE [who has controlled himselfsmiling] Have you read Don Quixote?
DE GUICHE I counsel you to study. . .
A PORTER [appearing at back] My lords chair!
DE GUICHE . . .The windmill chapter!
CYRANO [bowing] Chapter the Thirteenth.
DE GUICHE For when one tilts gainst windmillsit may chance. . .
CYRANO Tilt I gainst those who change with every breeze?
. . .That windmill sails may sweep you with their arm
CYRANO Or upwardto the stars!
De Guiche goes out, and mounts into his chair. The other lords go away whispering together. Le Bret goes to the door with them. The crowd disperses.
Cyrano, Le Bret, the cadets, who are eating and drinking at the tables right and left.
CYRANO [bowing mockingly to those who go out without daring to salute him] Gentlemen. . .Gentlemen. . .
LE BRET [coming back, despairingly] Heres a fine coil!
CYRANO Oh! scold away!
At least, you will agree
CYRANO Yes!I exaggerate!
LE BRET [triumphantly] Ah!
But for principleexample too,
Oh! lay aside that pride of musketeer,
Ay, and then?. . .
Alone, an if you will! But not with hand
By dint of seeing you at every turn
LE BRET Lunacy!
Well, what if it be my vice,
LE BRET [after a silence, taking his arm]
Speak proud aloud, and bitter!In my ear
CYRANO [vehemently] Hush!
Christian has just entered, and mingled with the cadets, who do not speak to him; he has seated himself at a table, where Lise serves him.
Cyrano, Le Bret, the cadets, Christian de Neuvillette.
A CADET [seated at a table, glass in hand]
CYRANO In its time!
He goes up on Le Brets arm. They talk in low voices.
THE CADET [rising and coming down]
The story of the fray! Twill lesson well
CHRISTIAN [raising his head] Prentice! Who?
ANOTHER CADET This sickly Northern greenhorn!
FIRST CADET [mockingly]
CHRISTIAN What may that be?
ANOTHER CADET [in a terrible voice]
CHRISTIAN Oh! tis the. . .
Hush! oh, never breathe that word,
He points to Cyrano, who is talking with Le Bret.
ANOTHER [who has meanwhile come up noiselessly to sit on the
tablewhispering behind him]
ANOTHER [in a hollow voice, darting on all-fours from under
the table, where he had crept]
And if you would not perish in flower o youth,
ANOTHER [clapping him on the shoulder]
A word? A gesture! For the indiscreet
Silence. All, with crossed arms, look at Christian. He rises and goes over to Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, who is talking to an officer, and feigns to see nothing.
CARBON [turning and looking at him from head to foot] Sir!
Pray, what skills it best to do
Give them proof
He turns his back on him.
CHRISTIAN I thank you.
FIRST CADET [to Cyrano] Now the tale!
ALL The tale!
CYRANO [coming toward them]
The tale?. . .
CHRISTIAN Than ones nose!
Silence. All slowly rise, looking in terror at Cyrano, who has stopped dumbfounded. Pause.
CYRANO Who on Gods earth is that?
A CADET [whispering]
It is a man
CYRANO [making a step toward Christian] To-day?
CARBON [in a low voice]
Yes. . .his name is
CYRANO [checking himself]
Good! It is well. . .
CHRISTIAN My nose!. . .
Every one starts up. Christian balances on his chair.
CYRANO [in a choked voice]
. . .My teeth!
CHRISTIAN My nose!. . .
My finger,. . .in the crack
CHRISTIAN Over the nose. . .
CYRANO [wiping his forehead]
. . .O th knuckles! Ay,
CHRISTIAN A crack o th nose.
CYRANO I parry itfind myself. . .
CHRISTIAN Nose to nose. . .
CYRANO [bounding on to him]
Heaven and earth!
CHRISTIAN A noseful. . .
CYRANO [white, but smiling]
CHRISTIAN Nosing the wind!
I charge!gore two, impale onerun him through,
CYRANO [bursting out] Great God! Out! all of you!
The cadets rush to the doors.
FIRST CADET The tiger wakes!
CYRANO Every man, out! Leave me alone with him!
We shall find him minced fine, minced into hash
I am turning pale,
CARBON Let us be gone.
ANOTHER He will not leave a crumb!
ANOTHER I die of fright to think what will pass here!
ANOTHER [shutting door right] Something too horrible!
All have gone out by different doors, some by the staircase. Cyrano and Christian are face to face, looking at each other for a moment.
CYRANO Embrace me now!
CHRISTIAN Sir. . .
CYRANO You are brave.
CHRISTIAN Oh! but. . .
CYRANO Nay, I insist.
CHRISTIAN Pray tell me. . .
CYRANO Come, embrace! I am her brother.
CHRISTIAN Whose brother?
CYRANO Hers i faith! Roxanes!
CHRISTIAN [rushing up to him]
CYRANO Cousinbrother!. . .the same thing!
CHRISTIAN And she has told you. . .?
CHRISTIAN She loves me? say!
CHRISTIAN [taking his hands] How glad I am to meet you, Sir!
CYRANO That may be called a sudden sentiment!
CHRISTIAN I ask your pardon. . .
CYRANO [looking at him, with his hand on his shoulder] True, hes fair, the villain!
CHRISTIAN Ah, Sir! If you but knew my admiration!. . .
CYRANO But all those noses?. . .
CHRISTIAN Oh! I take them back!
CYRANO Roxane expects a letter.
CHRISTIAN Woe the day!
CHRISTIAN I am lost if I but ope my lips!
CYRANO Why so?
CHRISTIAN I am a foolcould die for shame!
None is a fool who knows himself a fool.
Bah! One finds battle-cry to lead th assault!
CYRANO And, when you stay, their hearts, methinks, are kinder?
No! for I am one of those mentongue-tied,
And I, meseems, had Nature been more kind,
CHRISTIAN Oh, to express ones thoughts with facile grace!. . .
CYRANO . . .To be a musketeer, with handsome face!
Roxane is precieuse. Im sure to prove
CYRANO [looking at him]
Had I but
CHRISTIAN [with despair] Eloquence! Where to find it?
That I lend,
CHRISTIAN How so?
Think you you can repeat what things
CHRISTIAN What do you mean?
Roxane shall never have a disillusion!
CHRISTIAN But, Cyrano!. . .
CYRANO Will you, I say?
CHRISTIAN I fear!
Since, by yourself, you fear to chill her heart,
CHRISTIAN Your eyes flash!
CYRANO Will you?
Will it please you so?
It!. . .
The letter, that she waits for even now!
CYRANO [taking out the letter he had written] See! Here it isyour letter!
CYRANO Take it! Look, it wants but the address.
CHRISTIAN But I. . .
CYRANO Fear nothing. Send it. It will suit.
CHRISTIAN But have you. . .?
Oh! We have our pockets full,
Were it not well
CYRANO Twill fit like a glove!
CHRISTIAN But. . .
Ah, credulity of love! Roxane
CHRISTIAN My friend!
He throws himself into Cyranos arms. They remain thus.
Cyrano, Christian, the Gascons, the musketeer, Lise.
A CADET [half opening the door]
Naught here!. . .The silence of the grave!
ALL THE CADETS [entering, and seeing Cyrano and Christian embracing] Oh!. . .
A CADET This passes all!
THE MUSKETEER [mockingly] Ho, ho!. . .
Our demon has become a saint?
Then we may speak about his nose, henceforth!. . .
CYRANO [cuffing his head] Clove-heads.
General delight. The cadets have found the old Cyrano again! They turn somersaults.
A small square in the old Marais. Old houses. A perspective of little streets. On the right Roxanes house and the wall of her garden overhung with thick foliage. Window and balcony over the door. A bench in front.
From the bench and the stones jutting out of the wall it is easy to climb to the balcony. In front of an old house in the same style of brick and stone. The knocker of this door is bandaged with linen like a sore thumb.
At the rising of the curtain the duenna is seated on the bench.
The window on Roxanes balcony is wide open.
Ragueneau is standing near the door in a sort of livery. He has just finished relating something to the duenna, and is wiping his eyes.
Ragueneau, the duenna. Then Roxane, Cyrano, and two pages.
And then, off she went, with a musketeer! Deserted and ruined
THE DUENNA Well, but how came it about that you were thus ruined?
Oh! Lise loved the warriors, and I loved the poets! What cakes
THE DUENNA [rising, and calling up to the open window] Roxane, are you ready? They wait for us!
ROXANES VOICE [from the window] I will but put me on a cloak!
THE DUENNA [to Ragueneau, showing him the door opposite]
They wait us there opposite, at Clomires house. She receives
RAGUENEAU The Tender Passion?
THE DUENNA [in a mincing voice]
ROXANES VOICE I come! I come!
A sound of stringed instruments approaching.
CYRANOS VOICE [behind the scenes, singing] La, la, la, la!
THE DUENNA [surprised] They serenade us?
CYRANO [followed by two pages with arch-lutes] I tell you they are demi-semi-quavers, demi-semi-fool!
FIRST PAGE [ironically]
You know then, Sir, to distinguish between semi-quavers and
CYRANO Is not every disciple of Gassendi a musician?
THE PAGE [playing and singing] La, la!
CYRANO [snatching the lute from him, and going on with the phrase] In proof of which, I can continue! La, la, la, la!
ROXANE [appearing on the balcony] What? Tis you?
CYRANO [going on with the air, and singing to it] Tis I, who come to serenade your lilies, and pay my devoir to your ro-o-oses!
ROXANE I am coming down!
She leaves the balcony.]
THE DUENNA [pointing to the pages] How come these two virtuosi here?
Tis for a wager I won of DAssoucy. We were disputing a nice
ROXANE [coming out of the house] Ah! How handsome he is, how brilliant a wit! Andhow well I love him!
CYRANO [smiling] Christian has so brilliant a wit?
ROXANE Brighter than even your own, cousin!
CYRANO Be it so, with all my heart!
Ah! methinks twere impossible that there could breathe a man on
CYRANO [incredulously] No, no!
Fie! That is ill said! But lo! men are ever thus! Because he is
CYRANO He hath an eloquent tongue in telling his love?
In telling his love? why, tis not simple telling, tis
CYRANO How is he with the pen?
Still better! Listen,here:
And thus it goes on. . .
Lord! first he has too much, then anon not enough! How much
heart does the
ROXANE You would vex a saint!. . .But tis your jealousy.
CYRANO [starting] What mean you?
Ay, your poets jealousy! Hark now, if this again be not
CYRANO [smiling approvingly in spite of himself]
Ha! those last lines are,hm!. . .hm!. . .
ROXANE And this. . .
CYRANO [enchanted] Then you have his letters by heart?
ROXANE Every one of them!
CYRANO By all oaths that can be sworn,tis flattering!
ROXANE They are the lines of a master!
CYRANO [modestly] Come, nay. . .a master?. . .
ROXANE Ay, I say ita master!
CYRANO Goodbe it so.
THE DUENNA [coming down quickly]
Here comes Monsieur de Guiche!
ROXANE [to Cyrano]
Ay, of my own dear secret! He loves me, and is powerful, and, if
CYRANO [entering the house] Good! good!
De Guiche appears.
Roxane, De Guiche, the duenna standing a little way off.
ROXANE [courtesying to De Guiche] I was going out.
DE GUICHE I come to take my leave.
ROXANE Whither go you?
DE GUICHE To the war.
DE GUICHE Ay, to-night.
DE GUICHE I am ordered away. We are to besiege Arras.
ROXANE Ahto besiege?. . .
DE GUICHE Ay. My going moves you not, meseems.
ROXANE Nay. . .
I am grieved to the core of the heart. Shall I again behold
you?. . .When?
ROXANE [indifferently] Bravo!
DE GUICHE Of the Guards regiment.
ROXANE [startled] What! the Guards?
Ay, where serves your cousin, the swaggering boaster. I will
find a way to
ROXANE [choking] What mean you? The Guards go to Arras?
DE GUICHE [laughing] Bethink you, is it not my own regiment?
ROXANE [falling seated on the benchaside] Christian!
DE GUICHE What ails you?
ROXANE [moved deeply] OhI am in despair! The man one loves!at the war!
DE GUICHE [surprised and delighted]
You say such sweet words to me! Tis the first time!and just
when I must
ROXANE [collected, and fanning herself] Thus,you would fain revenge your grudge against my cousin?
DE GUICHE My fair lady is on his side?
ROXANE Nay,against him!
DE GUICHE Do you see him often?
ROXANE But very rarely.
He is ever to be met now in company with one of the cadets,. .
ROXANE Of high stature?
DE GUICHE Fair-haired!
ROXANE Ay, a red-headed fellow!
DE GUICHE Handsome!. . .
DE GUICHE But dull-witted.
One would think so, to look at him!
DE GUICHE What then? Tell. . .
If, when the regiment march to Arras, he were left here with his
DE GUICHE [coming nearer] O woman! woman! Who but a woman had eer devised so subtle a trick?
See you not how he will eat out his heart, while his friends
You love me, then, a little?
ROXANE Tis a proof of love!
DE GUICHE [showing some sealed papers]
Here are the marching orders; they will be sent instantly to
DE GUICHE [coming close to her]
Oh! how I love you!to distraction! Listen! To-nighttrue, I
ROXANE But, of this be rumored, your glory. . .
DE GUICHE Bah!
ROXANE But the siegeArras. . .
DE GUICHE Twill take its chance. Grant but permission.
DE GUICHE Give me leave!
ROXANE [tenderly] It were my duty to forbid you!
DE GUICHE Ah!
You must go!
DE GUICHE O heavenly word! You love, then, him?. . .
ROXANE . . .For whom I trembled.
DE GUICHE [in an ecstasy]
Ah! I go then!
ROXANE Yes, my friend!
He goes out.
THE DUENNA [making behind his back a mocking courtesy] Yes, my friend!
ROXANE [to the duenna]
Not a word of what I have done. Cyrano would never pardon me for
Roxane, The duenna, Cyrano.
We are going to Clomires house.
THE DUENNA [putting her little finger in her ear] Yes! But my little finger tells me we shall miss them.
CYRANO Twere a pity to miss such apes!
They have come to Clomires door.
Oh, see! The knocker is muffled up!
She lifts it carefully and knocks with precaution.
ROXANE [seeing that the door opens]
Let us enter!
CYRANO [quickly, as she is going in]
CYRANO [eagerly] Well, say.
ROXANE But you will be mute?
CYRANO Mute as a fish.
I shall not question him at all, but say: Give rein to your
CYRANO [smiling] Very good!
ROXANE But secret!. . .
ROXANE Not a word!
She enters and shuts the door.
CYRANO [when the door is shut, bowing to her] A thousand thanks!
The door opens again, and Roxane puts her head out.
ROXANE Lest he prepare himself!
CYRANO The devil!no, no!
BOTH TOGETHER Secret.
The door shuts.
CYRANO [calling] Christian!
I know all that is needful. Heres occasion
CHRISTIAN I will wait for Roxane here.
No, no! I say.
And how know you I cannot speak?
CYRANO [bowing] Speak for yourself, my friend, and take your chance.
He disappears behind the garden wall.
Christian, Roxane, the duenna.
ROXANE [coming out of Clomires house, with a company of friends, whom she leaves. Bows and good-byes] Barthenoide!Alcandre!Gremione!
THE DUENNA [bitterly disappointed] Weve missed the speech upon the Tender Passion!
Goes into Roxanes house.
ROXANE [still bowing]
CHRISTIAN [sits by her on the bench. A silence] Oh! I love you!
ROXANE [shutting her eyes] Ay, speak to me of love.
CHRISTIAN I love thee!
CHRISTIAN I. . .
ROXANE Vary it!
CHRISTIAN I love you so!
ROXANE Oh! without doubt!and then?. . .
And thenI should beoh!so gladso glad
ROXANE [with a little grimace]
I hoped for cream,you give me gruel! Say
CHRISTIAN Oh utterly!
ROXANE Come, come!. . .unknot those tangled sentiments!
CHRISTIAN Your throat Id kiss it!
CHRISTIAN I love thee!
ROXANE [half-rising] Again!
CHRISTIAN [eagerly, detaining her] No, no! I love thee not!
ROXANE [reseating herself] Tis well!
CHRISTIAN But I adore thee!
ROXANE [rising, and going further off] Oh!
CHRISTIAN I am grown stupid!
And that displeases me, almost as much
CHRISTIAN But. . .
ROXANE Rally your poor eloquence thats flown!
CHRISTIAN I. . .
ROXANE Yes, you love me, that I know. Adieu.
She goes toward her house.
CHRISTIAN Oh, go not yet! Id tell you
ROXANE [opening the door]
You adore me?
CHRISTIAN But I would fain. . .
She shuts the door in his face.
CYRANO [who has re-entered unseen] I faith! It is successful!
Christian, Cyrano, two pages.
CHRISTIAN Come to my aid!
CYRANO Not I!
But I shall die,
And how can I, at once, i th devils name,
CHRISTIAN [seizing his arm] Oh, she is there!
The window of the balcony is now lighted up.
CYRANO [moved] Her window!
CHRISTIAN Oh! I shall die!
CYRANO Speak lower!
CHRISTIAN [in a whisper] I shall die!
CYRANO The night is dark. . .
All can be repaired.
CHRISTIAN But. . .
CYRANO Hold your tongue!
THE PAGES [reappearing at backto Cyrano] Ho!
He signs to them to speak softly.
FIRST PAGE [in a low voice]
Weve played the serenade you bade
CYRANO [quickly, in a low voice]
Go! lurk in ambush there,
SECOND PAGE What tune, Sir Gassendist?
Gay, if a woman comes,for a man, sad!
CYRANO [picking up stones and throwing them at the window] Some pebbles! wait awhile!
ROXANE [half-opening the casement] Who calls me?
ROXANE Whos that?
ROXANE [disdainfully] Oh! you?
CHRISTIAN I would speak with you.
CYRANO [under the balconyto Christian] Good. Speak soft and low.
ROXANE No, you speak stupidly!
CHRISTIAN Oh, pity me!
ROXANE No! you love me no more!
CHRISTIAN [prompted by Cyrano]
You sayGreat Heaven!
ROXANE [who was about to shut the casement, pausing] Hold! tis a trifle better! ay, a trifle!
CHRISTIAN [same play]
Love grew apace, rocked by the anxious beating. . .
ROXANE [coming out on to the balcony]
That is better! But
CHRISTIAN [same play]
Ah, Madame, I assayed, but all in vain
ROXANE Still better!
CHRISTIAN [same play]
Thus he strangled in my heart
ROXANE [leaning over the balcony]
CYRANO [drawing Christian under the balcony, and slipping into his place] Give place! This waxes critical!. . .
To-day. . .
CYRANO [imitating Christianin a whisper]
Night has come. . .
ROXANE But my words find no such impediment.
They find their way at once? Small wonder that!
ROXANE Meseems that your last words have learned to climb.
CYRANO With practice such gymnastic grows less hard!
ROXANE In truth, I seem to speak from distant heights!
True, far above; at such a height twere death
ROXANE [moving] I will come down. . .
CYRANO [hastily] No!
ROXANE [showing him the bench under the balcony] Mount then on the bench!
CYRANO [starting back alarmed] No!
ROXANE How, you will not?
CYRANO [more and more moved]
Stay awhile! Tis sweet,. . .
Ay, it is sweet! Half hidden,half revealed
ROXANE You were!
Yet never till to-night my speech has sprung
ROXANE Why not?
CYRANO Till now I spoke haphazard. . .
ROXANE Tis true, your voice rings with a tone thats new.
CYRANO [coming nearer, passionately]
Ay, a new tone! In the tender, sheltering dusk
CYRANO [off his balance, trying to find the thread of his
Ay,to be at last sincere;
ROXANE Mocked, and for what?
For its mad beating!Ay,
ROXANE A wild flowers sweet.
CYRANO Ay, but to-nightthe star!
ROXANE Oh! never have you spoken thus before!
If, leaving Cupids arrows, quivers, torches,
ROXANE But wit?. . .
If I have used it to arrest you
ROXANE But wit? I say. . .
In love tis crime,tis hateful!
Well, if that moments come for ussuppose it!
All, all, all, whatever
ROXANE [agitated] Why, this is love indeed!. . .
Ay, true, the feeling
He kisses passionately one of the hanging tendrils.
Ay! I am trembling, weeping!I am thine!
Then let death come!
CHRISTIAN [under the balcony] A kiss!
ROXANE [drawing back] What?
ROXANE You ask. . .?
I. . .
CHRISTIAN Since she is moved thusI will profit by it!
CYRANO [to Roxane]
My words sprang thoughtlessly, but now I see
ROXANE [a little chilled] How quickly you withdraw.
Yes, I withdraw
CHRISTIAN [to Cyrano, pulling him by his cloak] Why?
CYRANO Silence, Christian! Hush!
ROXANE [leaning over] What whisper you?
I chid myself for my too bold advances;
Enter a capuchin friar, with a lantern. He goes from house to house, looking at every door.
Cyrano, Christian, a capuchin friar.
CYRANO [to the friar] What do you, playing at Diogenes?
THE FRIAR I seek the house of Madame. . .
CHRISTIAN Oh! plague take him!
THE FRIAR Madeleine Robin. . .
CHRISTIAN What would he?. . .
CYRANO [pointing to a street at the back]
He goes out.
CYRANO Good luck! My blessings rest upon your cowl!
He goes back to Christian.
CHRISTIAN Oh! win for me that kiss. . .
CHRISTIAN Soon or late!. . .
Tis true! The moment of intoxication
A sound of shutters reopening. Christian goes in again under the balcony.
Cyrano, Christian, Roxane.
ROXANE [coming out on the balcony]
A kiss! The word is sweet.
ROXANE Hush! hush!
A kiss, when all is said,what is it?
ROXANE Hush! hush!
A kiss, Madame, is honorable
The Queen of France, to a most favored lord
ROXANE What then?
CYRANO [speaking more warmly]
Buckingham suffered dumbly,so have I,
CYRANO [asidesuddenly cooled] True,I forgot!
ROXANE Must I then bid thee mount to cull this flower?
CYRANO [pushing Christian toward the balcony] Mount!
ROXANE This heart-breathing!. . .
ROXANE This brush of bees wing!. . .
CHRISTIAN [hesitating] But I feel now, as though twere ill done!
ROXANE This moment infinite!. . .
CYRANO [still pushing him] Come, blockhead, mount!
Christian springs forward, and by means of the bench, the branches, and the pillars, climbs to the balcony and strides over it.
CHRISTIAN Ah, Roxane!
He takes her in his arms, and bends over her lips.
Aie! Strange pain that wrings my heart!
ROXANE Who is it?
II was but passing by. . .
CHRISTIAN [astonished] Cyrano!
ROXANE Good-day, cousin!
CYRANO Cousin, good-day!
ROXANE Im coming!
She disappears into the house. At the back re-enter the friar.
CHRISTIAN [seeing him] Back again!
He follows Roxane.
Cyrano, Christian, Roxane, the friar, Ragueneau.
THE FRIAR Tis here,Im sure of itMadame Madeleine Robin.
CYRANO Why, you said Ro-LIN.
No, not I.
ROXANE [appearing on the threshold, followed by Ragueneau, who carries a lantern, and Christian] What ist?
THE FRIAR A letter.
THE FRIAR [to Roxane]
Oh, it can boot but a holy business!
ROXANE [to Christian] De Guiche!
CHRISTIAN He dares. . .
Oh, he will not importune me forever!
THE FRIAR [with great delight]
O worthy lord! I knew naught was to fear;
ROXANE [to Christian, in a low voice] Am I not apt at reading letters?
ROXANE [aloud, with despair] But this is horrible!
THE FRIAR [who has turned his lantern on Cyrano] Tis you?
CHRISTIAN Tis I!
THE FRIAR [turning the light on to him, and as if a doubt struck him on seeing his beauty] But. . .
I have overlooked the postscriptsee:
. . .Oh!
ROXANE [with a martyrs look]
THE FRIAR A quarter of an hour.
CYRANO [pushing them all toward the house] Go! I stay.
ROXANE [to Christian] Come!. . .
Now, how to detain De Guiche so long?
Cyrano, De Guiche.
DE GUICHE [who enters, masked, feeling his way in the dark] What can that cursed Friar be about?
The devil!. . .If he knows my voice!
DE GUICHE [looking at the house]
Tis there. I see dim,this mask hinders me!
CYRANO [sitting up, and speaking with a Gascon accent] From the moon!
DE GUICHE From?. . .
CYRANO [in a dreamy voice] Whats oclock?
DE GUICHE Hes lost his mind, for sure!
CYRANO What hour? What country this? What month? What day?
DE GUICHE But. . .
CYRANO I am stupefied!
DE GUICHE Sir!
Like a bomb
DE GUICHE [impatiently] Come now!
CYRANO [rising, in a terrible voice] I say,the moon!
DE GUICHE [recoiling] Good, good! let it be so!. . .Hes raving mad!
CYRANO [walking up to him] I say from the moon! I mean no metaphor!. . .
DE GUICHE But. . .
Wast a hundred yearsa minute, since?
DE GUICHE [shrugging his shoulders] Good! let me pass!
CYRANO [intercepting him]
Where am I? Tell the truth!
DE GUICHE Morbleu!
The fall was lightning-quick! no time to choose
DE GUICHE I tell you, Sir. . .
CYRANO [with a screech of terror, which makes De Guiche start
No? Can it be? Im on
DE GUICHE [putting a hand to his face] What?
CYRANO [feigning great alarm] Am I in Africa? A native you?
DE GUICHE [who has remembered his mask] This mask of mine. . .
CYRANO [pretending to be reassured] In Venice? ha!or Rome?
DE GUICHE [trying to pass] A lady waits...
CYRANO [quite reassured] Oh-ho! I am in Paris!
DE GUICHE [smiling in spite of himself] The fool is comical!
CYRANO You laugh?
CYRANO [beaming with joy]
I have shot back to Paris!
He puffs as if to blow it away.
DE GUICHE [beside himself] Sir!. . .
CYRANO [just as he is about to pass, holds out his leg as if
to show him something and stops him]
In my legthe calfthere is a tooth
DE GUICHE Milk?
CYRANO From the Milky Way!
DE GUICHE Oh, go to hell!
CYRANO [crossing his arms]
I fall, Sir, out of heaven!
DE GUICHE Come, make an end! I want. . .
CYRANO Oh-ho! You are sly!
DE GUICHE Sir!
You would worm all out of me!the way
DE GUICHE [angrily]
Ha, ha!to know how I got up?
DE GUICHE [wearied] Hes mad!
No! not for me the stupid eagle
DE GUICHE Ay, tis a fool! But tis a learned fool!
No imitator I of other men!
DE GUICHE [turning round] Six?
First, with body naked as your hand,
DE GUICHE [surprised, making one step toward Cyrano] Ah! that makes one!
CYRANO [stepping back, and enticing him further away]
And then, the second way,
DE GUICHE [making another step] Two!
CYRANO [still stepping backward]
Orfor I have some mechanic skill
DE GUICHE [unconsciously following him and counting on his fingers] Three!
Or [since fumes have property to mount]
DE GUICHE [same play, more and more astonished] Well, that makes four!
Or smear myself with marrow from a bull,
DE GUICHE [amazed] Five!
CYRANO [who, while speaking, had drawn him to the other side
of the square near a bench]
Sitting on an iron platformthence
Here are six excellent expedients!
CYRANO Why, none!a seventh!
DE GUICHE Astonishing! What was it?
CYRANO Ill recount.
DE GUICHE This wild eccentric becomes interesting!
CYRANO [making a noise like the waves, with weird gestures] Houuh! Houuh!
DE GUICHE Well.
CYRANO You have guessed?
DE GUICHE Not I!
DE GUICHE [overcome by curiosity, sitting down on the bench] Then?
Oh! then. . .
DE GUICHE [springing up]
What? Am I mad?
The same. Roxane, Christian, the friar, Ragueneau, lackeys, the duenna.
DE GUICHE [to Roxane]
CYRANO [bowing] I shall not fail to follow your advice.
THE FRIAR [showing with satisfaction the two lovers to De Guiche] A handsome couple, son, made one by you!
DE GUICHE [with a freezing look]
ROXANE Why so?
DE GUICHE [to Christian]
Even now the regiment departs.
ROXANE It goes to battle?
DE GUICHE Without doubt.
ROXANE But the Cadets go not?
Oh ay! they go.
ROXANE [throwing herself in Christians arms] Christian!
DE GUICHE [sneeringly to Cyrano] The wedding-night is far, methinks!
CYRANO [aside] He thinks to give me pain of death by this!
CHRISTIAN [to Roxane] Oh! once again! Your lips!
CYRANO Come, come, enough!
CHRISTIAN [still kissing Roxane] Tis hard to leave her, you know not. . .
CYRANO [trying to draw him away] I know.
Sound of drums beating a march in the distance.
DE GUICHE The regiment starts!
ROXANE [To Cyrano, holding back Christian, whom Cyrano is
Oh!I trust him you!
I will try my best, but promise. . .
ROXANE But swear he shall be prudent?
CYRANO Again, Ill do my best, but. . .
In the siege
All that man can do,
ROXANE That he shall be faithful!
CYRANO Doubtless, but. . .
ROXANE That he will write oft?
CYRANO [pausing] That, I promise you!
The Cadets of Gascony.
Post occupied by company of Carbon de Castel-Jaloux at the siege of Arras.
In the background an embankment across the whole stage. Beyond, view of plain extending to the horizon. The country covered with intrenchments. The walls of Arras and the outlines of its roofs against the sky in the distance. Tents. Arms strewn about, drums, etc. Day is breaking with a faint glimmer of yellow sunrise in the east. Sentinels at different points. Watch-fires. The cadets of Gascony, wrapped in their mantles, are sleeping. Carbon de Castel-Jaloux and Le Bret are keeping watch. They are very pale and thin. Christian sleeps among the others in his cloak in the foreground, his face illuminated by the fire. Silence.
Christian, Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, Le Bret, the cadets, then Cyrano.
LE BRET Tis terrible.
CARBON Not a morsel left.
LE BRET Mordioux!
CARBON [making a sign that he should speak lower]
Curse under your breath. You will awake them.
But that is sorry comfort for the sleepless!. . .
Firing is heard in the distance.
Oh, plague take their firing! Twill wake my sons.
Firing is again heard, nearer this time.
A CADET [moving] The devil!. . .Again.
CARBON Tis nothing! Tis Cyrano coming back!
Those who have lifted up their heads prepare to sleep again.
A SENTINEL [from without] Ventrebieu! Who goes there?
THE VOICE Of CYRANO Bergerac.
The SENTINEL [who is on the redoubt] Ventrebieu! Who goes there?
CYRANO [appearing at the top] Bergerac, idiot!
He comes down; Le Bret advances anxiously to meet him.
LE BRET Heavens!
CYRANO [making signs that he should not awake the others] Hush!
LE BRET Wounded?
Oh! you know it has become their custom to shoot at me every
morning and to
LE BRET This passes all! To take letters at each days dawn. To risk. . .
CYRANO [stopping before Christian]
I promised he should write often.
LE BRET Get you quick to bed.
Nay, never scold, Le Bret. I ran but little risk. I have found
me a spot
LE BRET You should try to bring us back provision.
A man must carry no weight who would get by there! But there
LE BRET Oh!. . .tell me!. . .
CYRANO Nay, not yet. I am not certain. . .You will see!
CARBON It is disgraceful that we should starve while were besieging!
Alas, how full of complication is this siege of Arras! To think
CYRANO It were well done if he should be besieged in his turn.
LE BRET I am in earnest.
CYRANO Oh! indeed!
To think you risk a life so precious. . .for the sake of a
letter. . .Thankless one.
CYRANO I am going to write another.
He enters the tent and disappears.
The same, all but Cyrano. The day is breaking in a rosy light. The town of Arras is golden in the horizon. The report of cannon is heard in the distance, followed immediately by the beating of drums far away to the left. Other drums are heard much nearer. Sounds of stirring in the camp. Voices of officers in the distance.
A CADET [sitting up] I am so hungry!
ANOTHER I am dying of hunger.
CARBON Up with you!
THIRD CADET Cannot move a limb.
FOURTH CADET Nor can I.
THE FIRST [looking at himself in a bit of armor] My tongue is yellow. The air at this season of the year is hard to digest.
ANOTHER My coronet for a bit of Chester!
If none can furnish to my gaster wherewith to make a pint of
chyle, I shall
ANOTHER Oh! something! were it but a crust!
CARBON [going to the tent and calling softly] Cyrano!
ALL THE CADETS We are dying!
CARBON [continuing to speak under his breath at the opening of
Come to my aid, you, who have the art of quick retort and gay
SECOND CADET [rushing toward another who is munching something] What are you crunching there?
FIRST CADET Cannon-wads soaked in axle-grease! Tis poor hunting round about Arras!
A CADET [entering] I have been after game.
ANOTHER [following him] And I after fish.
ALL [rushing to the two newcomers] Well! what have you brought?a pheasant?a carp?Come, show us quick!
THE ANGLER A gudgeon!
THE SPORTSMAN A sparrow!
ALL TOGETHER [beside themselves] Tis more than can be borne! We will mutiny!
CARBON Cyrano! Come to my help.
The daylight has now come.
The SAME. Cyrano.
CYRANO [appearing from the tent, very calm, with a pen stuck
behind his ear and a book in his hand]
What is wrong?
THE CADET I have something in my heels which weighs them down.
CYRANO And what may that be?
THE CADET My stomach!
CYRANO So have I, faith!
THE CADET It must be in your way?
CYRANO Nay, I am all the taller.
A THIRD My stomachs hollow.
CYRANO Faith, twill make a fine drum to sound the assault.
ANOTHER I have a ringing in my ears.
CYRANO No, no, tis false; a hungry stomach has no ears.
ANOTHER Oh, to eat somethingsomething oily!
CYRANO [pulling off the cadets helmet and holding it out to him] Behold your salad!
ANOTHER What, in Gods name, can we devour?
CYRANO [throwing him the book which he is carrying] The Iliad.
ANOTHER The first minister in Paris has his four meals a day!
CYRANO Twere courteous an he sent you a few partridges!
THE SAME And why not? with wine, too!
CYRANO A little Burgundy. Richelieu, sil vous plait!
THE SAME He could send it by one of his friars.
CYRANO Ay! by His Eminence Joseph himself.
ANOTHER I am as ravenous as an ogre!
CYRANO Eat your patience, then.
THE FIRST CADET [shrugging his shoulders] Always your pointed word!
Ay, pointed words!
CRIES FROM ALL Im hungry!
CYRANO [crossing his arms]
All your thoughts of meat and drink!
The cadets sit with bowed heads; their eyes have a far-off look as if dreaming, and they surreptitiously wipe away their tears with their cuffs and the corner of their cloaks.
CARBON [to Cyrano in a whisper] But you make them weep!
Ay, for homesickness. A nobler pain than hunger,tis of the
soul, not of
CARBON But you weaken their courage by playing thus on their heart-strings!
CYRANO [making a sign to a drummer to approach]
Not I. The hero that sleeps in Gascon blood is ever ready to
awake in them.
He makes a signal; the drum beats.
ALL THE CADETS [stand up and rush to take arms] What? What is it?
You see! One roll of the drum is enough! Good-by dreams,
A CADET [looking toward the back of the stage] Ho! here comes Monsieur de Guiche.
ALL THE CADETS [muttering] Ugh!. . .Ugh!. . .
CYRANO [smiling] A flattering welcome!
A CADET We are sick to death of him!
ANOTHER CADET With his lace collar over his armor, playing the fine gentleman!
ANOTHER As if one wore linen over steel!
THE FIRST It were good for a bandage had he boils on his neck.
THE SECOND Another plotting courtier!
ANOTHER CADET His uncles own nephew!
CARBON For all thata Gascon.
Ay, false Gascon!. . .trust him not. . .
LE BRET How pale he is!
Oh! he is hungry, just like us poor devils; but under his
cuirass, with its
Let us not seem to suffer either! Out with your cards, pipes,
and dice. . .
He walks up and down, reading a little book which he has drawn from his pocket. Tableau. Enter De Guiche. All appear absorbed and happy. He is very pale. He goes up to Carbon.
The same. De Guiche.
DE GUICHE [to Carbon]
CARBON [aside] He has nothing left but eyes.
DE GUICHE [looking at the cadets]
Here are the rebels! Ay, Sirs, on all sides
CARBON I am free, moreover,will not punish
DE GUICHE Ah!
I have paid my companytis mine.
CYRANO [without lifting his eyes from his book] And your white scarf?
DE GUICHE [surprised and gratified]
You know that detail?. . .Troth! It happened thus
While caracoling to recall the troops
The cadets pretend not to be listening, but the cards and the dice-boxes remain suspended in their hands, the smoke of their pipes in their cheeks. They wait.
I say, that Henri Quatre
Silent delight. The cards fall, the dice rattle. The smoke is puffed.
DE GUICHE The ruse succeeded, though!
Same suspension of play, etc.
Oh, may be! But
DE GUICHE Oh, ay! Another Gascon boast!
Another Gascon vaunt! You know the scarf
CYRANO [drawing the scarf from his pocket, and holding it out to him] Here it is.
Silence. The cadets stifle their laughter in their cards and dice-boxes. De Guiche turns and looks at them; they instantly become grave, and set to play. One of them whistles indifferently the air just played by the fifer.
DE GUICHE [taking the scarf]
I thank you. It will now enable me
He goes to the rampart, climbs it, and waves the scarf thrice.
ALL Whats that?
THE SENTINEL [from the top of the rampart]
See you yon man
DE GUICHE [descending]
Tis a false Spanish spy
DE GUICHE [carelessly knotting on his scarf]
Tis opportune. What were we saying?
Ay, if the Spaniards knew, twere ill for us,
Oh! they know.
For my false spy
CARBON [to cadets] Make ready!
All rise; sounds of swords and belts being buckled.
DE GUICHE Twill be in an hour.
FIRST CADET Good!. . .
They all sit down again and take up their games.
DE GUICHE [to Carbon] Time must be gained. The Marshal will return.
CARBON How gain it?
You will all be good enough
CYRANO Vengeance! oho!
I do not say that, if I loved you well,
CYRANO Permit that I express my gratitude. . .
I know you love to fight against five score;
He goes up with Carbon.
CYRANO [to the cadets]
We shall add to the Gascon coat of arms,
De Guiche speaks in a low voice with Carbon at the back. Orders are given. Preparations go forward. Cyrano goes up to Christian, who stands with crossed arms.
CYRANO [putting his hand on Christians shoulder] Christian!
CHRISTIAN [shaking his head] Roxane!
At least, Id send
I had suspicion it would be to-day,
CYRANO Will you. . .?
CHRISTIAN [taking the letter]
CHRISTIAN This little spot!
CYRANO [taking the letter, with an innocent look] A spot?
CHRISTIAN A tear!
Poets, at last,by dint of counterfeiting
CHRISTIAN Wept? why?
Oh!. . .death itself is hardly terrible,. . .
CHRISTIAN [snatching the letter from him] Give me that letter!
A rumor, far off in the camp.
VOICE Of SENTINEL Who goes there? Halloo!
CARBON What is it?
A SENTINEL [on the rampart] Tis a carriage!
All rush to see.
In the camp?
Everyone is on the rampart, staring. The bells come nearer.
DE GUICHE The Kings service? How?
All descend and draw up in line.
CARBON Uncover, all!
The Kings! Draw up in line!
The carriage enters at full speed covered with dust and mud. The curtains are drawn close. Two lackeys behind. It is pulled up suddenly.
CARBON Beat a salute!
A roll of drums. The cadets uncover.
DE GUICHE Lower the carriage-steps!
Two cadets rush forward. The door opens.
ROXANE [jumping down from the carriage] Good-day!
All are bowing to the ground, but at the sound of a womans voice every head is instantly raised.
The same. Roxane.
DE GUICHE On the Kings service! You?
ROXANE Ay,King Loves! What other king?
CYRANO Great God!
CHRISTIAN [rushing forward] Why have you come?
ROXANE This siegetis too long!
CHRISTIAN But why?. . .
ROXANE I will tell you all!
CYRANO [who, at the sound of her voice, has stood still, rooted to the ground, afraid to raise his eyes] My God! dare I look at her?
DE GUICHE You cannot remain here!
But I say yes! Who will push a drum hither for me?
CYRANO [coming up to her] But how, in Heavens name?. . .
How found I the way to the army? It was simple enough, for I had
CYRANO But tis sheer madness! Where in the fiends name did you get through?
ROXANE Where? Through the Spanish lines.
FIRST CADET For subtle craft, give me a woman!
DE GUICHE But how did you pass through their lines?
LE BRET Faith! that must have been a hard matter!. . .
None too hard. I but drove quietly forward in my carriage, and
True, that smile is a passport! But you must have been asked
Yes, frequently. Then I would answer, I go to see my lover. At
CHRISTIAN But, Roxane. . .
Forgive me that I said, my lover! But bethink you, had I said
CHRISTIAN But. . .
ROXANE What ails you?
DE GUICHE You must leave this place!
CYRANO And that instantly!
LE BRET No time to lose.
CHRISTIAN Indeed, you must.
ROXANE But wherefore must I?
CHRISTIAN [embarrassed] Tis that. . .
CYRANO [the same] In three quarters of an hour. . .
DE GUICHE [the same] Or for. . .
CARBON [the same] It were best. . .
LE BRET [the same] You might. . .
ROXANE You are going to fight?I stay here.
ALL No, no!
He is my husband!
CHRISTIAN Why do you look at me thus?
ROXANE I will tell you why!
DE GUICHE [in despair] Tis a post of mortal danger!
ROXANE [turning round] Mortal danger!
CYRANO Proof enough, that he has put us here!
ROXANE [to De Guiche] So, Sir, you would have made a widow of me?
DE GUICHE Nay, on my oath. . .
I will not go! I am reckless now, and I shall not stir from
CYRANO Oh-ho! So our precieuse is a heroine!
ROXANE Monsieur de Bergerac, I am your cousin.
A CADET We will defend you well!
ROXANE [more and more excited] I have no fear of that, my friends!
ANOTHER [in ecstasy] The whole camp smells sweet of orris-root!
And, by good luck, I have chosen a hat that will suit well with
That is not to be brooked! I go to inspect the cannon, and shall
De Guiche goes out.
The same, all but De Guiche.
CHRISTIAN [entreatingly] Roxane!
FIRST CADET [to the others] She stays!
ALL [hurrying, hustling each other, tidying themselves]
A comb!Soap!My uniform is torn!A needle!A ribbon!Lend
ROXANE [to Cyrano, who still pleads with her] No! Naught shall make me stir from this spot!
CARBON [who, like the others, has been buckling, dusting,
brushing his hat, settling his plume, and drawing on his cuffs,
advances to Roxane, and ceremoniously]
It is perchance more seemly, since things are thus, that I
present to you
THE CADET [with a low reverence] Madame. . .
Baron de Casterac de Cahuzac,Vidame de Malgouyre Estressac
ROXANE But how many names have you each?
BARON HILLOT Scores!
CARBON [to Roxane] Pray, upon the hand that holds your kerchief.
ROXANE [opens her hand, and the handkerchief falls] Why?
The whole company start forward to pick it up.
CARBON [quickly raising it]
My company had no flag. But now, by my faith, they will have the
ROXANE [smiling] Tis somewhat small.
CARBON [tying the handkerchief on the staff of his lance] Buttis of lace!
A CADET [to the rest]
I could die happy, having seen so sweet a face, if I had
something in my
CARBON [who has overheard, indignantly] Shame on you! What, talk of eating when a lovely woman!. . .
But your camp air is keen; I myself am famished. Pasties, cold
A CADET All that?
ANOTHER But where on earth find it?
ROXANE [quietly] In my carriage.
Now serve upcarve! Look a little closer at my coachman,
THE CADETS [rushing pellmell to the carriage]
ROXANE [looking after them] Poor fellows!
CYRANO [kissing her hand] Kind fairy!
RAGUENEAU [standing on the box like a quack doctor at a fair] Gentlemen!. . .
THE CADETS Bravo! bravo!
. . .The Spaniards, gazing on a lady so dainty fair, overlooked
the fare so
CYRANO [in a whisper to Christian] Hark, Christian!
. . .And, occupied with gallantry, perceived not
Applause. The galantine passes from hand to hand.
CYRANO [still whispering to Christian] Prythee, one word!
And Venus so attracted their eyes that Diana could secretly pass
Enthusiasm. Twenty hands are held out to seize the shoulder of mutton.
CYRANO [in a low whisper to Christian] I must speak to you!
ROXANE [to the cadets, who come down, their arms laden with food] Put it all on the ground!
She lays all out on the grass, aided by the two imperturbable lackeys who were behind the carriage.
ROXANE [to Christian, just as Cyrano is drawing him apart] Come, make yourself of use!
Christian comes to help her. Cyranos uneasiness increases.
RAGUENEAU Truffled peacock!
FIRST CADET [radiant, coming down, cutting a big slice of
By the mass! We shall not brave the last hazard without having
RAGUENEAU [throwing down the carriage cushions] The cushions are stuffed with ortolans!
Hubbub. They tear open and turn out the contents of the cushions. Bursts of laughtermerriment.
THIRD CADET Ah! Viedaze!
RAGUENEAU [throwing down to the cadets bottles of red
Flasks of rubies!
ROXANE [throwing a folded tablecloth at Cyranos head] Unfold me that napkin!Come, come! be nimble!
RAGUENEAU [waving a lantern] Each of the carriage-lamps is a little larder!
CYRANO [in a low voice to Christian, as they arrange the cloth together] I must speak with you ere you speak to her.
RAGUENEAU My whip-handle is an Arles sausage!
ROXANE [pouring out wine, helping]
Since we are to die, let the rest of the army shift for itself.
All for the
FIRST CADET It is all so good!. . .
Tut!Red or white?Some bread for Monsieur de Carbon!a
knife! Pass your
CYRANO [who follows her, his arms laden with dishes, helping her to wait on everybody] How I worship her!
ROXANE [going up to Christian] What will you?
ROXANE Nay, nay, take this biscuit, steeped in muscat; come!. . .but two drops!
CHRISTIAN [trying to detain her] Oh! tell me why you came?
ROXANE Wait; my first duty is to these poor fellows.Hush! In a few minutes. . .
LE BRET [who had gone up to pass a loaf on the end of a lance to the sentry on the rampart] De Guiche!
Quick! hide flasks, plates, pie-dishes, game-baskets!
Hurry!Let us all
In an instant all has been pushed into the tents, or hidden under doublets, cloaks, and beavers. De Guiche enters hurriedlystops suddenly, sniffing the air. Silence.
The same. De Guiche.
DE GUICHE It smells good here.
A CADET [humming] Lo! Lo-lo!
DE GUICHE [looking at him] What is the matter?You are very red.
The matter?Nothing!Tis my bloodboiling at the thought of
ANOTHER Poum, poumpoum. . .
DE GUICHE [turning round] Whats that?
THE CADET [slightly drunk] Nothing!. . .Tis a song!a little. . .
DE GUICHE You are merry, my friend!
THE CADET The approach of danger is intoxicating!
DE GUICHE [calling Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, to give him an
Captain! I. . .
CARBON [crimson in the face, hiding a bottle behind his back, with an evasive movement] Oh!. . .
I have one cannon left, and have had it carried there
A CADET [reeling slightly] Charming attention!
ANOTHER [with a gracious smile] Kind solicitude!
How? they are all gone crazy?
FIRST CADET Pooh!
DE GUICHE [furious, going up to him] But. . .
THE CADET Gascon cannons never recoil!
DE GUICHE [taking him by the arm and shaking him] You are tipsy!but what with?
THE CADET [grandiloquently] With the smell of powder!
DE GUICHE [shrugging his shoulders and pushing him away, then going quickly to Roxane] Briefly, Madame, what decision do you deign to take?
ROXANE I stay here.
DE GUICHE You must fly!
ROXANE No! I will stay.
DE GUICHE Since things are thus, give me a musket, one of you!
DE GUICHE Because I toomean to remain.
CYRANO At last! This is true valor, Sir!
FIRST CADET Then you are Gascon after all, spite of your lace collar?
ROXANE What is all this?
DE GUICHE I leave no woman in peril.
SECOND CADET [to the first] Hark you! Think you not we might give him something to eat?
All the viands reappear as if by magic.
DE GUICHE [whose eyes sparkle] Victuals!
THE THIRD CADET Yes, youll see them coming from under every coat!
DE GUICHE [controlling himself, haughtily] Do you think I will eat your leavings?
CYRANO [saluting him] You make progress.
DE GUICHE [proudly, with a light touch of accent on the word breaking] I will fight without br-r-eaking my fast!
FIRST CADET [with wild delight] Br-r-r-eaking! He has got the accent!
DE GUICHE [laughing] I?
THE CADET Tis a Gascon!
All begin to dance.
CARBON DE CASTEL-JALOUX [who had disappeared behind the rampart, reappearing on the ridge] I have drawn my pikemen up in line. They are a resolute troop.
He points to a row of pikes, the tops of which are seen over the ridge.
DE GUICHE [bowing to Roxane] Will you accept my hand, and accompany me while I review them?
She takes it, and they go up toward the rampart. All uncover and follow them.
CHRISTIAN [going to Cyrano, eagerly] Tell me quickly!
As Roxane appears on the ridge, the tops of the lances disappear, lowered for the salute, and a shout is raised. She bows.
THE PIKEMEN [outside] Vivat!
CHRISTIAN What is this secret?
CYRANO If Roxane should. . .
CHRISTIAN Should?. . .
CYRANO Speak of the letters?. . .
CHRISTIAN Yes, I know!. . .
CYRANO Do not spoil all by seeming surprised. . .
CHRISTIAN At what?
I must explain to you!. . .Oh! tis no great matterI but
thought of it to-
CHRISTIAN Tell quickly!
CYRANO You have. . .written to her oftener than you think. . .
CHRISTIAN How so?
Thus, faith! I had taken it in hand to express your flame for
you!. . .At
CHRISTIAN Ah!. . .
CYRANO Tis simple enough!
CHRISTIAN But how did you contrive, since we have been cut off, thus. . .to?. . .
CYRANO . . .Oh! before dawn. . .I was able to get through. . .
CHRISTIAN [folding his arms]
That was simple, too? And how oft, pray you, have I written?. .
CYRANO More often still.
CHRISTIAN What! Every day?
CYRANO Yes, every day,twice.
CHRISTIAN [violently] And that became so mad a joy for you, that you braved death. . .
CYRANO [seeing Roxane returning] Hush! Not before her!
He goes hurriedly into his tent.
Roxane, Christian. In the distance cadets coming and going. Carbon and De Guiche give orders.
ROXANE [running up to Christian] Ah, Christian, at last!. . .
CHRISTIAN [taking her hands]
Now tell me why
ROXANE Love, your letters brought me here!
CHRISTIAN What say you?
Tis your fault if I ran risks!
What!for a few
Hold your peace!
CHRISTIAN But. . .
I read, read againgrew faint for love;
A love sincere!
ROXANE Ay, that it can!
CHRISTIAN You come. . .?
O, Christian, my true lord, I come
CHRISTIAN [horror-stricken] Roxane!
And later, loveless frivolous
CHRISTIAN And now?
Ah! you yourself have triumphed oer yourself,
CHRISTIAN [stepping backward] Roxane!
Be happy. To be loved for beauty
CHRISTIAN Oh!. . .
ROXANE You are doubtful of such victory?
CHRISTIAN [pained] Roxane!
I see you cannot yet believe it.
I do not ask such love as that!
CHRISTIAN No! the first love was best!
Ah! how you err!
I should love still!
CHRISTIAN Say not so!
ROXANE Ay, I say it!
CHRISTIAN Ugly? How?
ROXANE Ugly! I swear Id love you still!
CHRISTIAN My God!
ROXANE Are you content at last?
CHRISTIAN [in a choked voice] Ay!. . .
ROXANE What is wrong?
CHRISTIAN [gently pushing her away] Nothing. . .I have two words to say:one second. . .
ROXANE But?. . .
CHRISTIAN [pointing to the cadets]
Those poor fellows, shortly doomed to death,
ROXANE [deeply affected] Dear Christian!. . .
She goes up to the cadets, who respectfully crowd round her.
Christian, Cyrano. At back Roxane talking to Carbon and some cadets.
CHRISTIAN [calling toward Cyranos tent] Cyrano!
CYRANO [reappearing, fully armed] What? Why so pale?
CHRISTIAN She does not love me!
CHRISTIAN Tis you she loves!
CHRISTIAN For she loves me only for my soul!
Yes! Thusyou see, that soul is you,. . .
CHRISTIAN Oh, I know it!
CYRANO Ay, tis true!
CYRANO Ay! and worse!
CHRISTIAN Then tell her so!
CHRISTIAN And why not?
CYRANO Look at my face!be answered!
CHRISTIAN Shed love mewere I ugly.
CYRANO Said she so?
CHRISTIAN Ay! in those words!
Im glad she told you that!
CHRISTIAN That I intend discovering!
CYRANO No! I beg!
CHRISTIAN Ay! she shall choose between us!Tell her all!
CYRANO No! no! I will not have it! Spare me this!
Because my face is haply fair, shall I
And I,because by Natures freak I have
CHRISTIAN Tell all!
CYRANO It is ill done to tempt me thus!
Too long Ive borne about within myself
Or union, without witnesssecret
CYRANO My God!he still persists!
I will be loved myselfor not at all!
CYRANO It will be you.
CYRANO No! no!
ROXANE [coming up quickly] What?
Cyrano has things
She hastens to Cyrano. Christian goes out.
Roxane, Cyrano. Then Le Bret, Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, the cadets, Ragueneau, De Guiche, etc.
ROXANE Important, how?
CYRANO [in despair. to Roxane]
Hes gone! Tis naught!Oh, you know how he sees
Did he doubt
CYRANO [taking her hand] But are you sure you told him all the truth?
ROXANE Yes, I would love him were he. . .
Does that word
ROXANE I. . .
CYRANO [smiling sadly]
Twill not hurt me! Say it! If he were
CYRANO [ardently] Hideous!
ROXANE Hideous! yes!
ROXANE He could not be grotesque to me!
CYRANO Youd love the same?. . .
ROXANE The samenay, even more!
CYRANO [losing command over himselfaside]
My God! its true, perchance, love waits me there!
LE BRET [entering hurriedlyto Cyrano] Cyrano!
CYRANO [turning round] What?
LE BRET Hush!
He whispers something to him.
CYRANO [letting go Roxanes hand and exclaiming] Ah, God!
ROXANE What is it?
CYRANO [to himselfstunned] All is over now.
ROXANE What is the matter? Hark! another shot!
She goes up to look outside.
CYRANO It is too late, now I can never tell!
ROXANE [trying to rush out] What has chanced?
CYRANO [rushing to stop her] Nothing!
Some cadets enter, trying to hide something they are carrying, and close round it to prevent Roxane approaching.
And those men?
What was I saying? Nothing now, I swear!
She rushes up, pushing every one aside.
CYRANO All is over now!
ROXANE [seeing Christian lying on the ground, wrapped in his cloak] O Christian!
LE BRET [to Cyrano] Struck by first shot of the enemy!
Roxane flings herself down by Christian. Fresh reports of cannonclash of armsclamorbeating of drums.
CARBON [with sword in the air] O come! Your muskets.
Followed by the cadets, he passes to the other side of the ramparts.
THE VOICE OF CARBON [from the other side] Ho! make haste!
CARBON FORM LINE!
CARBON HANDLE YOUR MATCH!
Ragueneau rushes up, bringing water in a helmet.
CHRISTIAN [in a dying voice] Roxane!
CYRANO [quickly, whispering into Christians ear, while Roxane distractedly tears a piece of linen from his breast, which she dips into the water, trying to stanch the bleeding] I told her all. She loves you still.
Christian closes his eyes.
ROXANE How, my sweet love?
CARBON DRAW RAMRODS!
ROXANE [to Cyrano] He is not dead?
CARBON OPEN YOUR CHARGES WITH YOUR TEETH!
CARBON READY! PRESENT!
ROXANE [seeing a letter in Christians doublet]
A letter!. . .
She opens it.
CYRANO [aside] My letter!
Musket reportsshoutsnoise of battle.
CYRANO [trying to disengage his hand, which Roxane on her knees is holding] But, Roxane, hark, they fight!
ROXANE [detaining him]
Stay yet awhile.
CYRANO [standing upbareheaded] Ay, Roxane.
ROXANE An inspired poet?
CYRANO Ay, Roxane.
ROXANE And a mind sublime?
CYRANO Oh, yes!
A heart too deep for common minds to plumb,
CYRANO [firmly] Ay, Roxane.
ROXANE [flinging herself on the dead body] Dead, my love!
CYRANO [asidedrawing his sword]
Ay, and let me die to-day,
Sounds of trumpets in the distance.
DE GUICHE [appearing on the rampartsbareheadedwith a wound
on his foreheadin a voice of thunder]
It is the signal! Trumpet flourishes!
See, there is blood
A VOICE [outsideshouting] Surrender!
VOICE OF CADETS No!
RAGUENEAU [standing on the top of his carriage, watches the battle over the edge of the ramparts] The dangers ever greater!
CYRANO [to De Guichepointing to Roxane]
I will charge!
ROXANE [kissing the letterin a half-extinguished voice] O God! his tears! his blood!. . .
RAGUENEAU [jumping down from the carriage and rushing toward her] Shes swooned away!
DE GUICHE [on the rampartto the cadetswith fury] Stand fast!
A VOICE [outside] Lay down your arms!
THE CADETS No!
CYRANO [to De Guiche]
Now that you have proved your valor, Sir,
DE GUICHE [rushing to Roxane, and carrying her away in his
So be it! Gain but time,
Tumult. Shouts. Cadets reappear, wounded, falling on the scene. Cyrano, rushing to the battle, is stopped by Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, who is streaming with blood.
CARBON We are breaking! I am woundedwounded twice!
CYRANO [shouting to the Gascons]
GASCONS! HO, GASCONS! NEVER TURN YOUR BACKS!
The fife plays. The wounded try to rise. Some cadets, falling one over the other down the slope, group themselves round Cyrano and the little flag. The carriage is crowded with men inside and outside, and, bristling with arquebuses, is turned into a fortress.
A CADET [appearing on the crest, beaten backward, but still
Let us salute them!
A CRY IN THE ENEMYS RANKS Fire!
A deadly answering volley. The cadets fall on all sides.
A SPANISH OFFICER [uncovering] Who are these men who rush on death?
CYRANO [reciting, erect, amid a storm of bullets]
The bold Cadets of Gascony,
His voice is drowned in the battle.
Fifteen years later, in 1655. Park of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in Paris. Magnificent trees. On the left the house: broad steps on to which open several doors. An enormous plane tree in the middle of the stage, standing alone. On the right, among big boxwood trees, a semicircular stone bench.
The whole background of the stage is crossed by an alley of chestnut trees leading on the right hand to the door of a chapel seen through the branches. Through the double row of trees of this alley are seen lawns, other alleys, clusters of trees, winding of the park, the sky.
The chapel opens by a little side door on to a colonnade which is wreathed with autumn leaves, and is lost to view a little farther on in the right-hand foreground behind the boxwood.
It is autumn. All the foliage is red against the fresh green of the lawns. The green boxwood and yews stand out dark.
Under each tree a patch of yellow leaves.
The stage is strewn with dead leaves, which rustle under foot in the alleys, and half cover the steps and benches.
Between the benches on the right hand and the tree a large embroidery frame, in front of which a little chair has been set.
Baskets full of skeins and balls of wool. A tapestry begun.
At the rising of the curtains nuns are walking to and fro in the park; some are seated on the bench around an older Sister.
The leaves are falling.
Mother Marguerite, Sister Martha, Sister Claire, other sisters.
SISTER MARTHA [to Mother Marguerite]
Sister Claire glanced in the mirror, oncenay, twice, to see if
MOTHER MARGUERITE [to Sister Claire] Tis not well.
But I saw Sister Martha take a plum
MOTHER MARGUERITE [to Sister Martha] That was ill done, my sister.
SISTER CLAIRE A little glance!
SISTER MARTHA And such a little plum!
MOTHER MARGUERITE I shall tell this to Monsieur Cyrano.
SISTER CLAIRE Nay, prithee do not!he will mock!
SISTER MARTHA Hell say we nuns are vain!
SISTER CLAIRE And greedy!
MOTHER MARGUERITE [smiling] Ay, and kind!
Is it not true, pray, Mother Marguerite,
Ay! and more!
He only has the skill to turn her mind
ALL THE SISTERS
He is so droll!Its cheerful when he comes!
SISTER MARTHA But, he is not a faithful Catholic!
SISTER CLAIRE We will convert him!
THE SISTERS Yes! Yes!
SISTER MARTHA But. . .God. . .
MOTHER MARGUERITE Nay, never fear! God knows him well!
Butevery Saturday, when he arrives,
Ah! says he so? Well, the last time he came
SISTER MARTHA Mother!
MOTHER MARGUERITE Hes poor.
SISTER MARTHA Who told you so, dear Mother?
MOTHER MARGUERITE Monsieur Le Bret.
SISTER MARTHA None help him?
He permits not.
SISTER MARTHA [to Sister Claire, in a low voice] The Marshal of Grammont?
SISTER CLAIRE [looking at him] Tis he, I think.
SISTER MARTHA Tis many months now since he came to see her.
THE SISTERS He is so busy!The Court,the camp!. . .
SISTER CLAIRE The world!
They go out. De Guiche and Roxane come forward in silence, and stop close to the embroidery frame.
Roxane; the Duke de Grammont, formerly Count de Guiche. Then Le Bret and Ragueneau.
And you stay here stillever vainly fair,
THE DUKE Still faithful?
THE DUKE [after a pause] Am I forgiven?
ROXANE Ay, since I am here.
THE DUKE His was a soul, you say?. . .
ROXANE Ah!when you knew him!
Ah, may be!. . .I, perchance, too little knew him!
ROXANE Hung from this chain, a gentle scapulary.
THE DUKE And, dead, you love him still?
THE DUKE [after another pause] Cyrano comes to see you?
LE BRET Ill!very ill.
THE DUKE How?
ROXANE [to the Duke] He exaggerates!
All that I prophesied: desertion, want!. . .
Ah! but his sword still holds them all in check;
THE DUKE [shaking his head] Time will show!
Ah, but I fear for himnot mans attack,
Ay, there is one who has no prize of Fortune!
LE BRET [with a bitter smile] My Lord Marshal!. . .
Pity him not! He has lived out his vows,
LE BRET [in the same tone] My Lord!. . .
THE DUKE [haughtily]
True! I have all, and he has naught;. . .
ROXANE I go with you.
The Duke bows to Le Bret, and goes with Roxane toward the steps.
THE DUKE [pausing, while she goes up]
Ay, true,I envy him.
ROXANE [ironically] You are pensive?
True! I am!
LE BRET [raising his arms to heaven]
Prudent! He!. . .
ROXANE [who has stayed on the steps, to a sister who comes toward her] What is it?
THE SISTER Ragueneau would see you, Madame.
Let him come.
LE BRET Bathing-man. . .
ROXANE Then actor. . .
LE BRET Beadle. . .
ROXANE Wig-maker. . .
LE BRET Teacher of the lute. . .
ROXANE What will he be to-day, by chance?
RAGUENEAU [entering hurriedly]
Tell all your miseries
RAGUENEAU But, Madame. . .
Roxane goes out with the Duke. Ragueneau goes toward Le Bret.
Le Bret, Ragueneau.
Since you are here, tis best she should not know!
LE BRET Cowards! O Cyrano!
RAGUENEAU I ranI saw. . .
LE BRET Tis hideous!
Saw our poet, Sirour friend
LE BRET Hes dead?
NobutI bore him to his room. . .
LE BRET He suffers?
RAGUENEAU No, his consciousness has flown.
LE BRET Saw you a doctor?
RAGUENEAU One was kindhe came.
My poor Cyrano!We must not tell this
Said,what, I know notfever, meningitis!
LE BRET [dragging him toward the right] Come! Through the chapel! Tis the quickest way!
ROXANE [appearing on the steps, and seeing Le Bret go away by
the colonnade leading to the chapel door]
Monsieur le Bret!
She descends the steps.
Roxane alone. Two sisters, for a moment.
Ah! what a beauty in Septembers close!
SISTER MARTHA It is the parlors best!
A SISTER [coming to the steps] Monsieur de Bergerac.
Roxane, Cyrano and, for a moment, Sister Martha.
ROXANE [without turning round]
What was I saying?. . .
CYRANO [who has succeeded in reaching the chair, and has seated himselfin a lively voice, which is in great contrast with his pale face] Ay! It is villainous! I ragedwas stayed. . .
ROXANE By?. . .
CYRANO By a bold, unwelcome visitor.
ROXANE [absently, working] Some creditor?
Ay, cousin,the last creditor
No, not yet! I put it off;
Oh, well, a creditor can always wait!
CYRANO Haply, perforce, I quit you ere it falls!
He shuts his eyes, and is silent for a moment. Sister Martha crosses the park from the chapel to the flight of steps. Roxane, seeing her, signs to her to approach.
ROXANE [to Cyrano] How now? You have not teased the Sister?
CYRANO [hastily opening his eyes]
SISTER MARTHA [who makes a movement of astonishment on seeing his face] Oh!
CYRANO [in a whisper, pointing to Roxane]
Hush! tis naught!
SISTER MARTHA [aside]
I know, I know!
CYRANO Ay, ay!
SISTER MARTHA There, see! You are more reasonable to-day!
ROXANE [who hears them whispering] The Sister would convert you?
SISTER MARTHA Nay, not I!
Hold! but its true! You preach to me no more,
ROXANE Oh! oh!
CYRANO [laughing] Good Sister Martha is struck dumb!
SISTER MARTHA [gently] I did not wait your leave to pray for you.
She goes out.
CYRANO [turning to Roxane, who is still bending over her
That tapestry! Beshrew me if my eyes
I was sure
A light breeze causes the leaves to fall.
CYRANO The autumn leaves!
ROXANE [lifting her head, and looking down the distant
Soft golden brown, like a Venetians hair.
Ay, see how brave they fall,
ROXANE What, melancholyyou?
CYRANO [collecting himself] Nay, nay, Roxane!
Then let the dead leaves fall the way they will. . .
CYRANO [growing whiter and whiter]
CYRANO Mondaynot muchClaire changed protector.
CYRANO [whose face changes more and more]
Tuesday, the Court repaired to Fontainebleau.
He closes his eyes. His head falls forward. Silence.
ROXANE [surprised at his voice ceasing, turns round, looks at
him, and rising, terrified]
CYRANO [opening his eyes, in an unconcerned voice]
What is this?
ROXANE But. . .
That old wound
ROXANE Dear friend!
Tis nothing, twill pass soon;
Each of us has his wound; ay, I have mine,
Twilight begins to fall.
His letter! Ah! you promised me one day
ROXANE What would you?His letter?
CYRANO Yes, I would fain,to-day. . .
ROXANE [giving the bag hung at her neck] See! here it is!
CYRANO [taking it] Have I your leave to open?
She comes back to her tapestry frame, folds it up, sorts her wools.
Roxane, adieu! I soon must die!
ROXANE But how you read that letter! One would think. . .
CYRANO [continuing to read]
My life, my love, my jewel, my sweet,
The shades of evening fall imperceptibly.
You read in such a voiceso strangeand yet
She comes nearer very softly, without his perceiving it, passes behind his chair, and, noiselessly leaning over him, looks at the letter. The darkness deepens.
Here, dying, and there, in the land on high,
ROXANE [putting her hand on his shoulder]
How can you read? It is too dark to see!
ROXANE Twas you!
CYRANO No, never; Roxane, no!
ROXANE I should have guessed, each time he said my name!
CYRANO No, it was not I!
ROXANE It was you!
CYRANO I swear!
I see through all the generous counterfeit
The sweet, mad love-words!
ROXANE The voice that thrilled the nightyou, you!
CYRANO I swear you err.
ROXANE The soulit was your soul!
CYRANO I loved you not.
ROXANE You loved me not?
CYRANO Twas he!
ROXANE You loved me!
ROXANE See! how you falter now!
CYRANO No, my sweet love, I never loved you!
CYRANO [holding out the letter to her] The bloodstains were his.
Why, then, that noble silence,kept so long
CYRANO Why?. . .
Le Bret and Ragueneau enter running.
The same. Le Bret and Ragueneau.
LE BRET What madness! Here? I knew it well!
CYRANO [smiling and sitting up] What now?
LE BRET He has brought his death by coming, Madame.
Why, true! It interrupted the Gazette:
He takes off his hat; they see his head bandaged.
What says he? Cyrano!His head all bound!
To be struck down,
RAGUENEAU Ah, Monsieur!. . .
CYRANO [holding out his hand to him]
RAGUENEAU [amid his tears] Trim the lights for Molieres stage.
Yes; but I shall leave to-morrow.
LE BRET What! a whole scene?
Oh, yes, indeed, Monsieur,
LE BRET Moliere has stolen that?
Tut! He did well!. . .
RAGUENEAU [sobbing] Ah! how they laughed!
Look you, it was my life
ROXANE [rising and calling] Sister! Sister!
CYRANO [holding her fast]
Call no one. Leave me not;
ROXANE Live, for I love you!
No, In fairy tales
ROXANE I have marred your lifeI, I!
You blessed my life!
LE BRET [pointing to the moon, which is seen between the trees] Your other lady-love is come.
CYRANO [smiling] I see.
ROXANE I loved but once, yet twice I lose my love!
Hark you, Le Bret! I soon shall reach the moon.
LE BRET What are you saying?
I tell you, it is there,
LE BRET [rebelliously]
No, no! It is too clumsy, too unjust!
CYRANO Hark to Le Bret, who scolds!
LE BRET [weeping] Dear friend. . .
CYRANO [starting up, his eyes wild]
What ho! Cadets of Gascony!
LE BRET His science stillhe raves!
Mais que diable allait-il faire,
ROXANE I swear it you!. . .
CYRANO [shivering violently, then suddenly rising]
Not there! what, seated?no!
LE BRET Cyrano!
ROXANE [half fainting] Cyrano!
All shrink back in terror.
Why, I well believe
He springs forward, his sword raised; it falls from his hand; he staggers, falls back into the arms of Le Bret and Ragueneau.
ROXANE [bending and kissing his forehead] Tis?. . .
CYRANO [opening his eyes, recognizing her, and smiling] MY PANACHE.
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