Act IV. Scene 5
The same. Roxane.
DE GUICHE: On the King's service! You?
ROXANE: Ay, — King Love's! What other king?
CYRANO: Great God!
CHRISTIAN (rushing forward): Why have you come?
ROXANE: This siege — 'tis 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!
ROXANE (merrily): But I say yes! Who will push a drum hither for me? (She seats herself on the drum they roll forward): So! I thank you. (She laughs): My carriage was fired at (proudly): by the patrol! Look! would you not think 'twas made of a pumpkin, like Cinderella's chariot in the tale, — and the footmen out of rats? (Sending a kiss with her lips to Christian): Good-morrow! (Examining them all): You look not merry, any of you! Ah! know you that 'tis a long road to get to Arras? (Seeing Cyrano): Cousin, delighted!
CYRANO (coming up to her): But how, in Heaven's name? . . .
ROXANE: How found I the way to the army? It was simple enough, for I had but to pass on and on, as far as I saw the country laid waste. Ah, what horrors were there! Had I not seen, then I could never have believed it! Well, gentlemen, if such be the service of your King, I would fainer serve mine!
CYRANO: But 'tis sheer madness! Where in the fiend's 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! . . .
ROXANE: None too hard. I but drove quietly forward in my carriage, and when some hidalgo of haughty mien would have stayed me, lo! I showed at the window my sweetest smile, and these Senors being (with no disrespect to you) the most gallant gentlemen in the world, — I passed on!
CARBON: True, that smile is a passport! But you must have been asked frequently to give an account of where you were going, Madame?
ROXANE: Yes, frequently. Then I would answer, 'I go to see my lover.' At that word the very fiercest Spaniard of them all would gravely shut the carriage-door, and, with a gesture that a king might envy, make signal to his men to lower the muskets leveled at me; — then, with melancholy but withal very graceful dignity — his beaver held to the wind that the plumes might flutter bravely, he would bow low, saying to me, 'Pass on, Senorita!'
CHRISTIAN: But, Roxane . . .
ROXANE: Forgive me that I said, 'my lover!' But bethink you, had I said 'my husband,' not one of them had let me pass!
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!
ROXANE: He is my husband! (She throws herself into Christian's arms): They shall kill us both together!
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 . . .
ROXANE: I will not go! I am reckless now, and I shall not stir from here! — Besides, 'tis amusing!
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!
ROXANE: And, by good luck, I have chosen a hat that will suit well with the battlefield! (Looking at De Guiche): But were it not wisest that the Count retire? They may begin the attack.
DE GUICHE: That is not to be brooked! I go to inspect the cannon, and shall return. You have still time — think better of it!
(De Guiche goes out.)