Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Act IV — Scenes 5-7

Act IV. Scene 5

The same. Roxane.

DE GUICHE: On the King's service! You?

ROXANE: Ay, — King Love's! What other king?

CYRANO: Great God!

CHRISTIAN (rushing forward): Why have you come?

ROXANE: This siege — 'tis too long!

CHRISTIAN: But why? . . .

ROXANE: I will tell you all!

CYRANO (who, at the sound of her voice, has stood still, rooted to the ground, afraid to raise his eyes): My God! dare I look at her?

DE GUICHE: You cannot remain here!

ROXANE (merrily): But I say yes! Who will push a drum hither for me? (She seats herself on the drum they roll forward): So! I thank you. (She laughs): My carriage was fired at (proudly): by the patrol! Look! would you not think 'twas made of a pumpkin, like Cinderella's chariot in the tale, — and the footmen out of rats? (Sending a kiss with her lips to Christian): Good-morrow! (Examining them all): You look not merry, any of you! Ah! know you that 'tis a long road to get to Arras? (Seeing Cyrano): Cousin, delighted!

CYRANO (coming up to her): But how, in Heaven's name? . . .

ROXANE: How found I the way to the army? It was simple enough, for I had but to pass on and on, as far as I saw the country laid waste. Ah, what horrors were there! Had I not seen, then I could never have believed it! Well, gentlemen, if such be the service of your King, I would fainer serve mine!

CYRANO: But 'tis sheer madness! Where in the fiend's name did you get through?

ROXANE: Where? Through the Spanish lines.

FIRST CADET: — For subtle craft, give me a woman!

DE GUICHE: But how did you pass through their lines?

LE BRET: Faith! that must have been a hard matter! . . .

ROXANE: None too hard. I but drove quietly forward in my carriage, and when some hidalgo of haughty mien would have stayed me, lo! I showed at the window my sweetest smile, and these Senors being (with no disrespect to you) the most gallant gentlemen in the world, — I passed on!

CARBON: True, that smile is a passport! But you must have been asked frequently to give an account of where you were going, Madame?

ROXANE: Yes, frequently. Then I would answer, 'I go to see my lover.' At that word the very fiercest Spaniard of them all would gravely shut the carriage-door, and, with a gesture that a king might envy, make signal to his men to lower the muskets leveled at me; — then, with melancholy but withal very graceful dignity — his beaver held to the wind that the plumes might flutter bravely, he would bow low, saying to me, 'Pass on, Senorita!'

CHRISTIAN: But, Roxane . . .

ROXANE: Forgive me that I said, 'my lover!' But bethink you, had I said 'my husband,' not one of them had let me pass!

CHRISTIAN: But . . .

ROXANE: What ails you?

DE GUICHE: You must leave this place!


CYRANO: And that instantly!

LE BRET: No time to lose.

CHRISTIAN: Indeed, you must.

ROXANE: But wherefore must I?

CHRISTIAN (embarrassed): 'Tis that . . .

CYRANO (the same): — In three quarters of an hour . . .

DE GUICHE (the same): — Or for . . .

CARBON (the same): It were best . . .

LE BRET (the same): You might . . .

ROXANE: You are going to fight? — I stay here.

ALL: No, no!

ROXANE: He is my husband! (She throws herself into Christian's arms): They shall kill us both together!

CHRISTIAN: Why do you look at me thus?

ROXANE: I will tell you why!

DE GUICHE (in despair): 'Tis a post of mortal danger!

ROXANE (turning round): Mortal danger!

CYRANO: Proof enough, that he has put us here!

ROXANE (to De Guiche): So, Sir, you would have made a widow of me?

DE GUICHE: Nay, on my oath . . .

ROXANE: I will not go! I am reckless now, and I shall not stir from here! — Besides, 'tis amusing!

CYRANO: Oh-ho! So our precieuse is a heroine!

ROXANE: Monsieur de Bergerac, I am your cousin.

A CADET: We will defend you well!

ROXANE (more and more excited): I have no fear of that, my friends!

ANOTHER (in ecstasy): The whole camp smells sweet of orris-root!

ROXANE: And, by good luck, I have chosen a hat that will suit well with the battlefield! (Looking at De Guiche): But were it not wisest that the Count retire? They may begin the attack.

DE GUICHE: That is not to be brooked! I go to inspect the cannon, and shall return. You have still time — think better of it!

ROXANE: Never!

(De Guiche goes out.)

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