Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Act II — Scenes 7-8


LE BRET (nudging his elbow): 'Tis Theophrast, Renaudet, . . . of the 'Court Gazette'!

CYRANO: Who cares?

LE BRET: This paper — but it is of great importance! . . . They say it will be an immense success!

A POET (advancing): Sir . . .

CYRANO: What, another!

THE POET: . . . Pray permit I make A pentacrostic on your name . . .

SOME ONE (also advancing): Pray, Sir . . .

CYRANO: Enough! Enough!

(A movement in the crowd. De Guiche appears, escorted by officers. Cuigy, Brissaille, the officers who went with Cyrano the night before. Cuigy comes rapidly up to Cyrano.)

CUIGY (to Cyrano): Here is Monsieur de Guiche? (A murmur — every one makes way): He comes from the Marshal of Gassion!

DE GUICHE (bowing to Cyrano): . . . Who would express his admiration, Sir, For your new exploit noised so loud abroad.


CYRANO (bowing): The Marshal is a judge of valor.

DE GUICHE: He could not have believed the thing, unless These gentlemen had sworn they witnessed it.

CUIGY: With our own eyes!

LE BRET (aside to Cyrano, who has an absent air): But . . . you . . .


LE BRET: But . . . You suffer?

CYRANO (starting): Before this rabble? — I? . . . (He draws himself up, twirls his mustache, and throws back his shoulders): Wait! . . . You shall see!

DE GUICHE (to whom Cuigy has spoken in a low voice): In feats of arms, already your career Abounded. — You serve with those crazy pates Of Gascons?

CYRANO: Ay, with the Cadets.

A CADET (in a terrible voice): With us!

DE GUICHE (looking at the cadets, ranged behind Cyrano): Ah! . . . All these gentlemen of haughty mien, Are they the famous? . . .

CARBON: Cyrano!

CYRANO: Ay, Captain!

CARBON: Since all my company's assembled here, Pray favor me, — present them to my lord!

CYRANO (making two steps toward De Guiche): My Lord de Guiche, permit that I present — (pointing to the cadets): The bold Cadets of Gascony, Of Carbon of Castel-Jaloux! Brawling and swaggering boastfully, The bold Cadets of Gascony! Spouting of Armory, Heraldry, Their veins a-brimming with blood so blue, The bold Cadets of Gascony, Of Carbon of Castel-Jaloux: Eagle-eye, and spindle-shanks, Fierce mustache, and wolfish tooth! Slash-the-rabble and scatter-their-ranks; Eagle-eye and spindle-shanks, With a flaming feather that gayly pranks, Hiding the holes in their hats, forsooth! Eagle-eye and spindle-shanks, Fierce mustache, and wolfish tooth!

'Pink-your-Doublet' and 'Slit-your-Trunk' Are their gentlest sobriquets; With Fame and Glory their soul is drunk! 'Pink-your-Doublet' and 'Slit-your-Trunk,' In brawl and skirmish they show their spunk, Give rendezvous in broil and fray; 'Pink-your-Doublet' and 'Slit-your-Trunk' Are their gentlest sobriquets!

What, ho! Cadets of Gascony! All jealous lovers are sport for you! O Woman! dear divinity! What, ho! Cadets of Gascony! Whom scowling husbands quake to see. Blow, 'taratara,' and cry 'Cuckoo.' What, ho! Cadets of Gascony! Husbands and lovers are game for you!

DE GUICHE (seated with haughty carelessness in an armchair brought quickly by Ragueneau): A poet! 'Tis the fashion of the hour! — Will you be mine?

CYRANO: No, Sir, — no man's!

DE GUICHE: Last night Your fancy pleased my uncle Richelieu. I'll gladly say a word to him for you.

LE BRET (overjoyed): Great Heavens!

DE GUICHE: I imagine you have rhymed Five acts, or so?

LE BRET (in Cyrano's ear): Your play! — your 'Agrippine!' You'll see it staged at last!

DE GUICHE: Take them to him.

CYRANO (beginning to be tempted and attracted): In sooth, — I would . . .

DE GUICHE: He is a critic skilled: He may correct a line or two, at most.

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