Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Act II — Scenes 3-4

CYRANO (who has been watching, goes toward Ragueneau): Lulled by your voice, did you see how they were stuffing themselves?

RAGUENEAU (in a low voice, smiling): Oh, ay! I see well enough, but I never will seem to look, fearing to distress them; thus I gain a double pleasure when I recite to them my poems; for I leave those poor fellows who have not breakfasted free to eat, even while I gratify my own dearest foible, see you?

CYRANO (clapping him on the shoulder): Friend, I like you right well! . . . (Ragueneau goes after his friends. Cyrano follows him with his eyes, then, rather sharply): Ho there! Lise! (Lise, who is talking tenderly to the musketeer, starts, and comes down toward Cyrano): So this fine captain is laying siege to you?

LISE (offended): One haughty glance of my eye can conquer any man that should dare venture aught 'gainst my virtue.

CYRANO: Pooh! Conquering eyes, methinks, are oft conquered eyes.

LISE (choking with anger): But —

CYRANO (incisively): I like Ragueneau well, and so — mark me, Dame Lise — I permit not that he be rendered a laughing-stock by any . . .

LISE: But . . .

CYRANO (who has raised his voice so as to be heard by the gallant): A word to the wise . . .

(He bows to the musketeer, and goes to the doorway to watch, after looking at the clock.)

LISE (to the musketeer, who has merely bowed in answer to Cyrano's bow): How now? Is this your courage? . . . Why turn you not a jest on his nose?

THE MUSKETEER: On his nose? . . . ay, ay . . . his nose.

(He goes quickly farther away; Lise follows him.)

CYRANO (from the doorway, signing to Ragueneau to draw the poets away): Hist! . . .

RAGUENEAU (showing them the door on the right): We shall be more private there . . .

CYRANO (impatiently): Hist! Hist! . . .

RAGUENEAU (drawing them farther): To read poetry, 'tis better here . . .

FIRST POET (despairingly, with his mouth full): What! leave the cakes? . . .

SECOND POET: Never! Let's take them with us!

(They all follow Ragueneau in procession, after sweeping all the cakes off the trays.)

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