Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Act II — Scenes 9-10

CYRANO (wiping his forehead): . . . 'O' th' knuckles! Ay,' But I cried, 'Forward, Gascon! Duty calls! On, Cyrano!' And thus I ventured on . . . When, from the shadow, came . . .

CHRISTIAN: A crack o' th' nose.

CYRANO: I parry it — find myself . . .

CHRISTIAN: Nose to nose . . .

CYRANO (bounding on to him): Heaven and earth! (All the Gascons leap up to see, but when he is close to Christian he controls himself and continues): . . . With a hundred brawling sots, Who stank . . .

CHRISTIAN: A noseful . . .

CYRANO (white, but smiling): Onions, brandy-cups! I leapt out, head well down . . .

CHRISTIAN: Nosing the wind!

CYRANO: I charge! — gore two, impale one — run him through, One aims at me — Paf! and I parry . . .


CYRANO (bursting out): Great God! Out! all of you!

(The cadets rush to the doors.)

FIRST CADET: The tiger wakes!

CYRANO: Every man, out! Leave me alone with him!

SECOND CADET: We shall find him minced fine, minced into hash In a big pasty!

RAGUENEAU: I am turning pale, And curl up, like a napkin, limp and white!

CARBON: Let us be gone.

ANOTHER: He will not leave a crumb!

ANOTHER: I die of fright to think what will pass here!

ANOTHER (shutting door right): Something too horrible!

(All have gone out by different doors, some by the staircase. Cyrano and Christian are face to face, looking at each other for a moment.)

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