Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Act III — Scenes 11-12

Act III. Scene 11

Cyrano, De Guiche.

DE GUICHE (who enters, masked, feeling his way in the dark): What can that cursed Friar be about?

CYRANO: The devil! . . . If he knows my voice! (Letting go with one hand, he pretends to turn an invisible key. Solemnly): Cric! Crac! Assume thou, Cyrano, to serve the turn, The accent of thy native Bergerac! . . .

DE GUICHE (looking at the house): 'Tis there. I see dim, — this mask hinders me! (He is about to enter, when Cyrano leaps from the balcony, holding on to the branch, which bends, dropping him between the door and De Guiche; he pretends to fall heavily, as from a great height, and lies flat on the ground, motionless, as if stunned. De Guiche starts back): What's this? (When he looks up, the branch has sprung back into its place. He sees only the sky, and is lost in amazement): Where fell that man from?

CYRANO (sitting up, and speaking with a Gascon accent): From the moon!

DE GUICHE: From? . . .

CYRANO (in a dreamy voice): What's o'clock?

DE GUICHE: He's lost his mind, for sure!

CYRANO: What hour? What country this? What month? What day?

DE GUICHE: But . . .

CYRANO: I am stupefied!


CYRANO: Like a bomb I fell from the moon!

DE GUICHE (impatiently): Come now!

CYRANO (rising, in a terrible voice): I say, — the moon!

DE GUICHE (recoiling): Good, good! let it be so! . . . He's raving mad!

CYRANO (walking up to him): I say from the moon! I mean no metaphor! . . .

DE GUICHE: But . . .

CYRANO: Was't a hundred years — a minute, since? — I cannot guess what time that fall embraced! — That I was in that saffron-colored ball?

DE GUICHE (shrugging his shoulders): Good! let me pass!

CYRANO (intercepting him): Where am I? Tell the truth! Fear not to tell! Oh, spare me not! Where? where? Have I fallen like a shooting star?

DE GUICHE: Morbleu!

CYRANO: The fall was lightning-quick! no time to choose Where I should fall — I know not where it be! Oh, tell me! Is it on a moon or earth, that my posterior weight has landed me?

DE GUICHE: I tell you, Sir . . .

CYRANO (with a screech of terror, which makes De Guiche start back): No? Can it be? I'm on A planet where men have black faces?

DE GUICHE (putting a hand to his face): What?

CYRANO (feigning great alarm): Am I in Africa? A native you?

DE GUICHE (who has remembered his mask): This mask of mine . . .

CYRANO (pretending to be reassured): In Venice? ha! — or Rome?

DE GUICHE (trying to pass): A lady waits. .

CYRANO (quite reassured): Oh-ho! I am in Paris!

DE GUICHE (smiling in spite of himself): The fool is comical!

CYRANO: You laugh?

DE GUICHE: I laugh, But would get by!

CYRANO (beaming with joy): I have shot back to Paris! (Quite at ease, laughing, dusting himself, bowing): Come — pardon me — by the last water-spout, Covered with ether, — accident of travel! My eyes still full of star-dust, and my spurs Encumbered by the planets' filaments! (Picking something off his sleeve): Ha! on my doublet? — ah, a comet's hair! . . .

(He puffs as if to blow it away.)

DE GUICHE (beside himself): Sir! . . .

CYRANO (just as he is about to pass, holds out his leg as if to show him something and stops him): In my leg — the calf — there is a tooth Of the Great Bear, and, passing Neptune close, I would avoid his trident's point, and fell, Thus sitting, plump, right in the Scales! My weight Is marked, still registered, up there in heaven! (Hurriedly preventing De Guiche from passing, and detaining him by the button of his doublet): I swear to you that if you squeezed my nose It would spout milk!


CYRANO: From the Milky Way!

DE GUICHE: Oh, go to hell!

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