Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Act V — Scene 6

CYRANO: Mais que diable allait-il faire, Mais que diable allait-il faire dans cette galere? . . . Philosopher, metaphysician, Rhymer, brawler, and musician, Famed for his lunar expedition, And the unnumbered duels he fought, — And lover also, — by interposition! — Here lies Hercule Savinien De Cyrano de Bergerac, Who was everything, yet was naught. I cry you pardon, but I may not stay; See, the moon-ray that comes to call me hence! (He has fallen back in his chair; the sobs of Roxane recall him to reality; he looks long at her, and, touching her veil): I would not bid you mourn less faithfully That good, brave Christian: I would only ask That when my body shall be cold in clay You wear those sable mourning weeds for two, And mourn awhile for me, in mourning him.

ROXANE: I swear it you! . . .

CYRANO (shivering violently, then suddenly rising): Not there! what, seated? — no! (They spring toward him): Let no one hold me up — (He props himself against the tree): Only the tree! (Silence): It comes. E'en now my feet have turned to stone, My hands are gloved with lead! (He stands erect): But since Death comes, I meet him still afoot, (He draws his sword): And sword in hand!

LE BRET: Cyrano!

ROXANE (half fainting): Cyrano!

(All shrink back in terror.)

CYRANO: Why, I well believe He dares to mock my nose? Ho! insolent! (He raises his sword): What say you? It is useless? Ay, I know But who fights ever hoping for success? I fought for lost cause, and for fruitless quest! You there, who are you! — You are thousands! Ah! I know you now, old enemies of mine! Falsehood! (He strikes in air with his sword): Have at you! Ha! and Compromise! Prejudice, Treachery! . . . (He strikes): Surrender, I? Parley? No, never! You too, Folly, — you? I know that you will lay me low at last; Let be! Yet I fall fighting, fighting still! (He makes passes in the air, and stops, breathless): You strip from me the laurel and the rose! Take all! Despite you there is yet one thing I hold against you all, and when, to-night, I enter Christ's fair courts, and, lowly bowed, Sweep with doffed casque the heavens' threshold blue, One thing is left, that, void of stain or smutch, I bear away despite you.

(He springs forward, his sword raised; it falls from his hand; he staggers, falls back into the arms of Le Bret and Ragueneau.)

ROXANE (bending and kissing his forehead): 'Tis? . . .

CYRANO (opening his eyes, recognizing her, and smiling): MY PANACHE.


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