LE BRET (in a low voice to Ragueneau): Montfleury comes on the scene?
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 shepherd's dress, a hat wreathed with roses drooping over one ear, blowing into a ribboned drone pipe.)
THE PIT (applauding): Bravo, Montfleury! Montfleury!
MONTFLEURY (after bowing low, begins the part of Phedon): 'Heureux qui loin des cours, dans un lieu solitaire, Se prescrit a soi-meme un exil volontaire, Et qui, lorsque Zephire a souffle sur les bois . . . '
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 is't? . . .
(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, Montfleury — fear 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! . . .