Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Act II — Scenes 5-6

CYRANO: How? You have never spoken?

ROXANE: Eyes can speak.

CYRANO: How know you then that he . . . ?

ROXANE: Oh! people talk 'Neath the limes in the Place Royale . . . Gossip's chat Has let me know . . .

CYRANO: He is cadet?

ROXANE: In the Guards.

CYRANO: His name?

ROXANE: Baron Christian de Neuvillette.

CYRANO: How now? . . . He is not of the Guards!

ROXANE: To-day He is not join your ranks, under Captain Carbon de Castel-Jaloux.

CYRANO: Ah, how quick, How quick the heart has flown! . . . But, my poor child . . .

THE DUENNA (opening the door): The cakes are eaten, Monsieur Bergerac!

CYRANO: Then read the verses printed on the bags! (She goes out): . . . My poor child, you who love but flowing words, Bright wit, — what if he be a lout unskilled?

ROXANE: No, his bright locks, like D'Urfe's heroes . . .

CYRANO: Ah! A well-curled pate, and witless tongue, perchance!

ROXANE: Ah no! I guess — I feel — his words are fair!

CYRANO: All words are fair that lurk 'neath fair mustache! — Suppose he were a fool! . . .

ROXANE (stamping her foot): Then bury me!

CYRANO (after a pause): Was it to tell me this you brought me here? I fail to see what use this serves, Madame.

ROXANE: Nay, but I felt a terror, here, in the heart, On learning yesterday you were Gascons All of your company . . .

CYRANO: And we provoke All beardless sprigs that favor dares admit 'Midst us pure Gascons — (pure! Heaven save the mark! They told you that as well?

ROXANE: Ah! Think how I Trembled for him!

CYRANO (between his teeth): Not causelessly!

ROXANE: But when Last night I saw you, — brave, invincible, — Punish that dandy, fearless hold your own Against those brutes, I thought — I thought, if he Whom all fear, all — if he would only . . .

CYRANO: Good. I will befriend your little Baron.

ROXANE: Ah! You'll promise me you will do this for me? I've always held you as a tender friend.

CYRANO: Ay, ay.

ROXANE: Then you will be his friend?

CYRANO: I swear!

ROXANE: And he shall fight no duels, promise!


ROXANE: You are kind, cousin! Now I must be gone. (She puts on her mask and veil quickly; then, absently): You have not told me of your last night's fray. Ah, but it must have been a hero-fight! . . . — Bid him to write. (She sends him a kiss with her fingers): How good you are!


ROXANE: A hundred men against you? Now, farewell. — We are great friends?

CYRANO: Ay, ay!

ROXANE: Oh, bid him write! You'll tell me all one day — A hundred men! — Ah, brave! . . . How brave!

CYRANO (bowing to her): I have fought better since.

(She goes out. Cyrano stands motionless, with eyes on the ground. A silence. The door (right) opens. Ragueneau looks in.)

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