Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Act I — Scene 1

Act I. Scene 1

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): Hollo! You there! Your money!

THE TROOPER: I enter gratis.

THE DOORKEEPER: Why?

THE TROOPER: Why? I am of the King's 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): The play will not begin till two. The pit is empty. Come, a bout with the foils to pass the time.

(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 doublet): See, here be cards and dice. (He seats himself on the floor): Let's play.

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): I made free to provide myself with light at my master's expense!

A GUARDSMAN (to a shop-girl who advances): 'Twas prettily done to come before the lights were lit!

(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): They're 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 their provisions): By coming early, one can eat in comfort.

A BURGHER (conducting his son): Let us sit here, son.

A CARD-PLAYER: Triple ace!

A MAN (taking a bottle from under his cloak, and also seating himself on the floor): A tippler may well quaff his Burgundy (he drinks): in the Burgundy Hotel!

THE BURGHER (to his son): 'Faith! A man might think he had fallen in a bad house here! (He points with his cane to the drunkard): What with topers! (One of the fencers in breaking off, jostles him): brawlers! (He stumbles into the midst of the card-players): gamblers!

THE GUARDSMAN (behind him, still teasing the shop-girl): Come, one kiss!

THE BURGHER (hurriedly pulling his son away): By all the holies! And this, my boy, is the theater where they played Rotrou erewhile.

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! . . . (Briskly, to the second page, the moment the doorkeeper's back is turned): Have you string?

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