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For fourteen years you played the part of an old friend who came to be amusing!
Fifteen years later, in 1655, the nuns of the Convent of the Ladies of the Cross in Paris talk about Cyrano. They say he makes them laugh, and they remark how he has come every week for more than ten years to visit his cousin Roxane, who first came to live in the convent after the death of her husband.
Roxane enters the park of the convent accompanied by de Guiche, who, now an old man, is still magnificent and one of the most powerful nobles in France. He asks Roxane if she is still faithful to Christian’s memory, and she says she is. He asks if she has forgiven him, and she replies, “I am here.” She says that she always wears Christian’s last letter next to her heart. She tells de Guiche that Cyrano comes to visit her every week and gives her an impromptu gazette, telling her all the news. Le Bret enters and tells Roxane and de Guiche that things are going badly for Cyrano—he is old, poor, and disliked by a host of enemies as a result of his constant satirical attacks on hypocrites in society. De Guiche says that they should not pity him, because Cyrano lives his life as he chooses. De Guiche says that he would be proud to shake Cyrano’s hand. Privately, de Guiche tells Le Bret that he has heard at court that some nobles are planning to kill Cyrano. Le Bret agrees to try to keep Cyrano at home.
Ragueneau rushes in and appears upset. As Roxane leaves to talk with de Guiche, Ragueneau tells Le Bret that as Cyrano strolled beneath a high window, some lackeys pushed a massive log of wood down onto him, breaking his skull. He is barely alive. If he tries to raise his head, he may die. Le Bret and Ragueneau hasten to his side.
After they leave, Roxane reemerges and sits down beneath an autumn tree to sew. A nun announces Cyrano’s arrival.
Cyrano enters. He is pale and seems to be suffering. But he talks happily to Roxane, becoming solemn only when he tells her that he must go before nightfall. Roxane protests, then reminds Cyrano to tease the nuns, and he stuns Sister Marthe by cheerfully declaring that he will let her pray for him that night at vespers. Cyrano gives Roxane a comical summary of the news of the court, but his face becomes more and more tortured, and he finally loses consciousness.
Roxane runs to his side, and he comes to, telling her his injury meant nothing and is merely an old wound. Roxane touches her heart and says they all have their old wounds. Cyrano asks about Christian’s letter and reminds Roxane that he would like to read it someday. She says it is stained with blood and tears and is therefore hard to read. But she gives it to him, and he begins to read the words he wrote for her so many years ago.
Take a Study Break!