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

Act IV. Scene 6

The same, all but De Guiche.

CHRISTIAN (entreatingly): Roxane!

ROXANE: No!

FIRST CADET (to the others): She stays!

ALL (hurrying, hustling each other, tidying themselves): A comb! — Soap! — My uniform is torn! — A needle! — A ribbon! — Lend your mirror! — My cuffs! — Your curling-iron! — A razor! . . .

ROXANE (to Cyrano, who still pleads with her): No! Naught shall make me stir from this spot!

CARBON (who, like the others, has been buckling, dusting, brushing his hat, settling his plume, and drawing on his cuffs, advances to Roxane, and ceremoniously): It is perchance more seemly, since things are thus, that I present to you some of these gentlemen who are about to have the honor of dying before your eyes. (Roxane bows, and stands leaning on Christian's arm, while Carbon introduces the cadets to her): Baron de Peyrescous de Colignac!

THE CADET (with a low reverence): Madame . . .

CARBON (continuing): Baron de Casterac de Cahuzac, — Vidame de Malgouyre Estressac Lesbas d'Escarabiot, Chevalier d'Antignac-Juzet, Baron Hillot de Blagnac-Salechan de Castel Crabioules . . .

ROXANE: But how many names have you each?

BARON HILLOT: Scores!

CARBON (to Roxane): Pray, upon the hand that holds your kerchief.

ROXANE (opens her hand, and the handkerchief falls): Why?

(The whole company start forward to pick it up.)

CARBON (quickly raising it): My company had no flag. But now, by my faith, they will have the fairest in all the camp!

ROXANE (smiling): 'Tis somewhat small.

CARBON (tying the handkerchief on the staff of his lance): But — 'tis of lace!

A CADET (to the rest): I could die happy, having seen so sweet a face, if I had something in my stomach — were it but a nut!

CARBON (who has overheard, indignantly): Shame on you! What, talk of eating when a lovely woman! . . .

ROXANE: But your camp air is keen; I myself am famished. Pasties, cold fricassee, old wines — there is my bill of fare? Pray bring it all here.

(Consternation.)

A CADET: All that?

ANOTHER: But where on earth find it?

ROXANE (quietly): In my carriage.

ALL: How?

ROXANE: Now serve up — carve! Look a little closer at my coachman, gentlemen, and you will recognize a man most welcome. All the sauces can be sent to table hot, if we will!

THE CADETS (rushing pellmell to the carriage): 'Tis Ragueneau! (Acclamations): Oh, oh!

ROXANE (looking after them): Poor fellows!

CYRANO (kissing her hand): Kind fairy!

RAGUENEAU (standing on the box like a quack doctor at a fair): Gentlemen! . . .

(General delight.)

THE CADETS: Bravo! bravo!

RAGUENEAU: . . . The Spaniards, gazing on a lady so dainty fair, overlooked the fare so dainty! . . .

(Applause.)

CYRANO (in a whisper to Christian): Hark, Christian!

RAGUENEAU: . . . And, occupied with gallantry, perceived not — (His draws a plate from under the seat, and holds it up): — The galantine! . . .

(Applause. The galantine passes from hand to hand.)

CYRANO (still whispering to Christian): Prythee, one word!

RAGUENEAU: And Venus so attracted their eyes that Diana could secretly pass by with — (He holds up a shoulder of mutton): — her fawn!

(Enthusiasm. Twenty hands are held out to seize the shoulder of mutton.)

CYRANO (in a low whisper to Christian): I must speak to you!

ROXANE (to the cadets, who come down, their arms laden with food): Put it all on the ground!

(She lays all out on the grass, aided by the two imperturbable lackeys who were behind the carriage.)

ROXANE (to Christian, just as Cyrano is drawing him apart): Come, make yourself of use!

(Christian comes to help her. Cyrano's uneasiness increases.)

RAGUENEAU: Truffled peacock!

FIRST CADET (radiant, coming down, cutting a big slice of ham): By the mass! We shall not brave the last hazard without having had a gullet-full! — (quickly correcting himself on seeing Roxane): — Pardon! A Balthazar feast!

RAGUENEAU (throwing down the carriage cushions): The cushions are stuffed with ortolans!

(Hubbub. They tear open and turn out the contents of the cushions. Bursts of laughter — merriment.)

THIRD CADET: Ah! Viedaze!

RAGUENEAU (throwing down to the cadets bottles of red wine): Flasks of rubies! — (and white wine): — Flasks of topaz!

ROXANE (throwing a folded tablecloth at Cyrano's head): Unfold me that napkin! — Come, come! be nimble!

RAGUENEAU (waving a lantern): Each of the carriage-lamps is a little larder!

CYRANO (in a low voice to Christian, as they arrange the cloth together): I must speak with you ere you speak to her.

RAGUENEAU: My whip-handle is an Arles sausage!

ROXANE (pouring out wine, helping): Since we are to die, let the rest of the army shift for itself. All for the Gascons! And mark! if De Guiche comes, let no one invite him! (Going from one to the other): There! there! You have time enough! Do not eat too fast! — Drink a little.- -Why are you crying?

FIRST CADET: It is all so good! . . .

ROXANE: Tut! — Red or white? — Some bread for Monsieur de Carbon! — a knife! Pass your plate! — a little of the crust? Some more? Let me help you! — Some champagne?- -A wing?

CYRANO (who follows her, his arms laden with dishes, helping her to wait on everybody): How I worship her!

ROXANE (going up to Christian): What will you?

CHRISTIAN: Nothing.

ROXANE: Nay, nay, take this biscuit, steeped in muscat; come! . . . but two drops!

CHRISTIAN (trying to detain her): Oh! tell me why you came?

ROXANE: Wait; my first duty is to these poor fellows. — Hush! In a few minutes . . .

LE BRET (who had gone up to pass a loaf on the end of a lance to the sentry on the rampart): De Guiche!

CYRANO: Quick! hide flasks, plates, pie-dishes, game-baskets! Hurry! — Let us all look unconscious! (To Ragueneau): Up on your seat! — Is everything covered up?

(In an instant all has been pushed into the tents, or hidden under doublets, cloaks, and beavers. De Guiche enters hurriedly — stops suddenly, sniffing the air. Silence.)

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