Act V. Scene 6
The same. Le Bret and Ragueneau.
LE BRET: What madness! Here? I knew it well!
CYRANO (smiling and sitting up): What now?
LE BRET: He has brought his death by coming, Madame.
ROXANE: God! Ah, then! that faintness of a moment since . . . ?
CYRANO: Why, true! It interrupted the 'Gazette:' . . . Saturday, twenty-sixth, at dinner-time, Assassination of De Bergerac.
(He takes off his hat; they see his head bandaged.)
ROXANE: What says he? Cyrano! — His head all bound! Ah, what has chanced? How? — Who? . . .
CYRANO: 'To be struck down, Pierced by sword i' the heart, from a hero's hand!' That I had dreamed. O mockery of Fate! — Killed, I! of all men — in an ambuscade! Struck from behind, and by a lackey's hand! 'Tis very well. I am foiled, foiled in all, Even in my death.
RAGUENEAU: Ah, Monsieur! . . .
CYRANO (holding out his hand to him): Ragueneau, Weep not so bitterly! . . . What do you now, Old comrade?
RAGUENEAU (amid his tears): Trim the lights for Moliere's stage.
RAGUENEAU: Yes; but I shall leave to-morrow. I cannot bear it! — Yesterday, they played 'Scapin' — I saw he'd thieved a scene from you!
LE BRET: What! a whole scene?
RAGUENEAU: Oh, yes, indeed, Monsieur, The famous one, 'Que Diable allait-il faire?'
LE BRET: Moliere has stolen that?
CYRANO: Tut! He did well! . . . (to Ragueneau): How went the scene? It told — I think it told?
RAGUENEAU (sobbing): Ah! how they laughed!
CYRANO: Look you, it was my life To be the prompter every one forgets! (To Roxane): That night when 'neath your window Christian spoke — Under your balcony, you remember? Well! There was the allegory of my whole life: I, in the shadow, at the ladder's foot, While others lightly mount to Love and Fame! Just! very just! Here on the threshold drear Of death, I pay my tribute with the rest, To Moliere's genius, — Christian's fair face! (The chapel-bell chimes. The nuns are seen passing down the alley at the back, to say their office): Let them go pray, go pray, when the bell rings!
ROXANE (rising and calling): Sister! Sister!
CYRANO (holding her fast): Call no one. Leave me not; When you come back, I should be gone for aye. (The nuns have all entered the chapel. The organ sounds): I was somewhat fain for music — hark! 'tis come.
ROXANE: Live, for I love you!
CYRANO: No, In fairy tales When to the ill-starred Prince the lady says 'I love you!' all his ugliness fades fast — But I remain the same, up to the last!
ROXANE: I have marred your life — I, I!
CYRANO: You blessed my life! Never on me had rested woman's love. My mother even could not find me fair: I had no sister; and, when grown a man, I feared the mistress who would mock at me. But I have had your friendship — grace to you A woman's charm has passed across my path.
LE BRET (pointing to the moon, which is seen between the trees): Your other lady-love is come.
CYRANO (smiling): I see.
ROXANE: I loved but once, yet twice I lose my love!
CYRANO: Hark you, Le Bret! I soon shall reach the moon. To-night, alone, with no projectile's aid! . . .
LE BRET: What are you saying?
CYRANO: I tell you, it is there, There, that they send me for my Paradise, There I shall find at last the souls I love, In exile, — Galileo — Socrates!
LE BRET (rebelliously): No, no! It is too clumsy, too unjust! So great a heart! So great a poet! Die Like this? what, die . . . ?
CYRANO: Hark to Le Bret, who scolds!
LE BRET (weeping): Dear friend . . .
CYRANO (starting up, his eyes wild): What ho! Cadets of Gascony! The elemental mass — ah yes! The hic . . .
LE BRET: His science still — he raves!
CYRANO: Copernicus Said . . .