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

Act IV. Scene 7

The same. De Guiche.

DE GUICHE: It smells good here.

A CADET (humming): Lo! Lo-lo!

DE GUICHE (looking at him): What is the matter? — You are very red.

THE CADET: The matter? — Nothing! — 'Tis my blood — boiling at the thought of the coming battle!

ANOTHER: Poum, poum — poum . . .

DE GUICHE (turning round): What's that?

THE CADET (slightly drunk): Nothing! . . . 'Tis a song! — a little . . .

DE GUICHE: You are merry, my friend!

THE CADET: The approach of danger is intoxicating!

DE GUICHE (calling Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, to give him an order): Captain! I . . . (He stops short on seeing him): Plague take me! but you look bravely, too!

CARBON (crimson in the face, hiding a bottle behind his back, with an evasive movement): Oh! . . .

DE GUICHE: I have one cannon left, and have had it carried there — (he points behind the scenes): — in that corner . . . Your men can use it in case of need.

A CADET (reeling slightly): Charming attention!

ANOTHER (with a gracious smile): Kind solicitude!

DE GUICHE: How? they are all gone crazy? (Drily): As you are not used to cannon, beware of the recoil.


DE GUICHE (furious, going up to him): But . . .

THE CADET: Gascon cannons never recoil!

DE GUICHE (taking him by the arm and shaking him): You are tipsy! — but what with?

THE CADET (grandiloquently): — With the smell of powder!

DE GUICHE (shrugging his shoulders and pushing him away, then going quickly to Roxane): Briefly, Madame, what decision do you deign to take?

ROXANE: I stay here.

DE GUICHE: You must fly!

ROXANE: No! I will stay.

DE GUICHE: Since things are thus, give me a musket, one of you!

CARBON: Wherefore?

DE GUICHE: Because I too — mean to remain.

CYRANO: At last! This is true valor, Sir!

FIRST CADET: Then you are Gascon after all, spite of your lace collar?

ROXANE: What is all this?

DE GUICHE: I leave no woman in peril.

SECOND CADET (to the first): Hark you! Think you not we might give him something to eat?

(All the viands reappear as if by magic.)

DE GUICHE (whose eyes sparkle): Victuals!

THE THIRD CADET: Yes, you'll see them coming from under every coat!

DE GUICHE (controlling himself, haughtily): Do you think I will eat your leavings?

CYRANO (saluting him): You make progress.

DE GUICHE (proudly, with a light touch of accent on the word 'breaking'): I will fight without br-r-eaking my fast!

FIRST CADET (with wild delight): Br-r-r-eaking! He has got the accent!

DE GUICHE (laughing): I?

THE CADET: 'Tis a Gascon!

(All begin to dance.)

CARBON DE CASTEL-JALOUX (who had disappeared behind the rampart, reappearing on the ridge): I have drawn my pikemen up in line. They are a resolute troop.

(He points to a row of pikes, the tops of which are seen over the ridge.)

DE GUICHE (bowing to Roxane): Will you accept my hand, and accompany me while I review them?

(She takes it, and they go up toward the rampart. All uncover and follow them.)

CHRISTIAN (going to Cyrano, eagerly): Tell me quickly!

(As Roxane appears on the ridge, the tops of the lances disappear, lowered for the salute, and a shout is raised. She bows.)

THE PIKEMEN (outside): Vivat!

CHRISTIAN: What is this secret?

CYRANO: If Roxane should . . .

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