Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Act I — Scene 4

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): Compliments! Bravo! Let me congratulate! . . . Quite unsurpassed! . . .

A WOMAN'S VOICE: There is a hero for you! . . .

A MUSKETEER (advancing to Cyrano with outstretched hand): Sir, permit; Naught could be finer — I'm a judge I think; I stamped, i' faith! — to show my admiration!

(He goes away.)

CYRANO (to Cuigy): Who is that gentleman?

CUIGY: Why — D'Artagnan!

LE BRET (to Cyrano, taking his arm): A word with you! . . .

CYRANO: Wait; let the rabble go! . . . (To Bellerose): May I stay?

BELLEROSE (respectfully): Without doubt!

(Cries are heard outside.)

JODELET (who has looked out): They hoot Montfleury!

BELLEROSE (solemnly): Sic transit! . . . (To the porters): Sweep — close all, but leave the lights. We sup, but later on we must return, For a rehearsal of to-morrow's farce.

(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?

CYRANO (proudly): Because . . . (Changing his tone as the porter goes away): I have no money! . . .

LE BRET (with the action of throwing a bag): How! The bag of crowns? . . .

CYRANO: Paternal bounty, in a day, thou'rt 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): Hum! (Cyrano and Le Bret turn. She comes timidly forward): Sir, my heart mislikes to know you fast. (Showing the buffet): See, all you need. Serve yourself!

CYRANO (taking off his hat): Gentle child, Although my Gascon pride would else forbid To take the least bestowal from your hands, My fear of wounding you outweighs that pride, And bids accept . . . (He goes to the buffet): A trifle! . . . These few grapes. (She offers him the whole bunch. He takes a few): Nay, but this bunch! . . . (She tries to give him wine, but he stops her): A glass of water fair! . . . And half a macaroon!

(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.)

THE BUFFET-GIRL: Thank you, kind Sir! (She courtesies): Good-night.

(She goes out.)

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