Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Act III — Scenes 8-10

Act III. Scene 8

Cyrano, Christian.

CHRISTIAN: Oh! win for me that kiss . . .


CHRISTIAN: Soon or late! . . .

CYRANO: 'Tis true! The moment of intoxication — Of madness, — when your mouths are sure to meet Thanks to your fair mustache — and her rose lips! (To himself): I'd fainer it should come thanks to . . .

(A sound of shutters reopening. Christian goes in again under the balcony.)

Act III. Scene 9

Cyrano, Christian, Roxane.

ROXANE (coming out on the balcony): Still there? We spoke of a . . .

CYRANO: A kiss! The word is sweet. I see not why your lip should shrink from it; If the word burns it, — what would the kiss do? Oh! let it not your bashfulness affright; Have you not, all this time, insensibly, Left badinage aside, and unalarmed Glided from smile to sigh, — from sigh to weeping? Glide gently, imperceptibly, still onward — From tear to kiss, — a moment's thrill! — a heartbeat!

ROXANE: Hush! hush!

CYRANO: A kiss, when all is said, — what is it? An oath that's ratified, — a sealed promise, A heart's avowal claiming confirmation, — A rose-dot on the 'i' of 'adoration,' — A secret that to mouth, not ear, is whispered, — Brush of a bee's wing, that makes time eternal, — Communion perfumed like the spring's wild flowers, — The heart's relieving in the heart's outbreathing, When to the lips the soul's flood rises, brimming!

ROXANE: Hush! hush!

CYRANO: A kiss, Madame, is honorable: The Queen of France, to a most favored lord Did grant a kiss — the Queen herself!

ROXANE: What then?

CYRANO (speaking more warmly): Buckingham suffered dumbly, — so have I, — Adored his Queen, as loyally as I, — Was sad, but faithful, — so am I . . .

ROXANE: And you Are fair as Buckingham!

CYRANO (aside — suddenly cooled): True, — I forgot!

ROXANE: Must I then bid thee mount to cull this flower?

CYRANO (pushing Christian toward the balcony): Mount!

ROXANE: This heart-breathing! . . .

CYRANO: Mount!

ROXANE: This brush of bee's wing! . . .

CYRANO: Mount!

CHRISTIAN (hesitating): But I feel now, as though 'twere ill done!

ROXANE: This moment infinite! . . .

CYRANO (still pushing him): Come, blockhead, mount!

(Christian springs forward, and by means of the bench, the branches, and the pillars, climbs to the balcony and strides over it.)

CHRISTIAN: Ah, Roxane!

(He takes her in his arms, and bends over her lips.)

CYRANO: Aie! Strange pain that wrings my heart! The kiss, love's feast, so near! I, Lazarus, Lie at the gate in darkness. Yet to me Falls still a crumb or two from the rich man's board — Ay, 'tis my heart receives thee, Roxane — mine! For on the lips you press you kiss as well The words I spoke just now! — my words — my words! (The lutes play): A sad air, — a gay air: the monk! (He begins to run as if he came from a long way off, and cries out): Hola!

ROXANE: Who is it?

CYRANO: I — I was but passing by . . . Is Christian there?

CHRISTIAN (astonished): Cyrano!

ROXANE: Good-day, cousin!

CYRANO: Cousin, good-day!

ROXANE: I'm coming!

(She disappears into the house. At the back re-enter the friar.)

CHRISTIAN (seeing him): Back again!

(He follows Roxane.)

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