Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Act I — Scene 1

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 youths): Hark ye, young cut-purses, lend an ear, while I give you your first lesson in thieving.

SECOND PAGE (calling up to others in the top galleries): You there! Have you peashooters?

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-ruffles — cut 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, L'Epy, 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.)

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As Cyrano writes a love letter to Roxane, he does not sign it because