Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Act V — Scene 1

Act V. Scene 1

Mother Marguerite, Sister Martha, Sister Claire, other sisters.

SISTER MARTHA (to Mother Marguerite): Sister Claire glanced in the mirror, once — nay, twice, to see if her coif suited.

MOTHER MARGUERITE (to Sister Claire): 'Tis not well.

SISTER CLAIRE: But I saw Sister Martha take a plum Out of the tart.

MOTHER MARGUERITE (to Sister Martha): That was ill done, my sister.

SISTER CLAIRE: A little glance!

SISTER MARTHA: And such a little plum!

MOTHER MARGUERITE: I shall tell this to Monsieur Cyrano.

SISTER CLAIRE: Nay, prithee do not! — he will mock!

SISTER MARTHA: He'll say we nuns are vain!

SISTER CLAIRE: And greedy!

MOTHER MARGUERITE (smiling): Ay, and kind!

SISTER CLAIRE: Is it not true, pray, Mother Marguerite, That he has come, each week, on Saturday For ten years, to the convent?

MOTHER MARGUERITE: Ay! and more! Ever since — fourteen years ago — the day His cousin brought here, 'midst our woolen coifs, The worldly mourning of her widow's veil, Like a blackbird's wing among the convent doves!

SISTER MARTHA: He only has the skill to turn her mind From grief — unsoftened yet by Time — unhealed!

ALL THE SISTERS: He is so droll! — It's cheerful when he comes! — He teases us! — But we all like him well! — — We make him pasties of angelica!

SISTER MARTHA: But, he is not a faithful Catholic!

SISTER CLAIRE: We will convert him!

THE SISTERS: Yes! Yes!

MOTHER MARGUERITE: I forbid, My daughters, you attempt that subject. Nay, Weary him not — he might less oft come here!

SISTER MARTHA: But . . . God . . .

MOTHER MARGUERITE: Nay, never fear! God knows him well!

SISTER MARTHA: But — every Saturday, when he arrives, He tells me, 'Sister, I eat meat on Friday!'

MOTHER MARGUERITE: Ah! says he so? Well, the last time he came Food had not passed his lips for two whole days!

SISTER MARTHA: Mother!

MOTHER MARGUERITE: He's poor.

SISTER MARTHA: Who told you so, dear Mother?

MOTHER MARGUERITE: Monsieur Le Bret.

SISTER MARTHA: None help him?

MOTHER MARGUERITE: He permits not. (In an alley at the back Roxane appears, dressed in black, with a widow's coif and veil. De Guiche, imposing-looking and visibly aged, walks by her side. They saunter slowly. Mother Marguerite rises): 'Tis time we go in; Madame Madeleine Walks in the garden with a visitor.

SISTER MARTHA (to Sister Claire, in a low voice): The Marshal of Grammont?

SISTER CLAIRE (looking at him): 'Tis he, I think.

SISTER MARTHA: 'Tis many months now since he came to see her.

THE SISTERS: He is so busy! — The Court, — the camp! . . .

SISTER CLAIRE: The world!

(They go out. De Guiche and Roxane come forward in silence, and stop close to the embroidery frame.)

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