Cyrano de Bergerac

Full Text

Scene 1.V.

Full Text Scene 1.V.

Scene 1.V.

Cyrano, Le Bret.

CYRANO (to Le Bret):
Now talk--I listen.
(He stands at the buffet, and placing before him first the macaroon):
Dinner!. . .
(then the grapes):
Dessert!. . .
(then the glass of water):
Wine!. . .
(he seats himself):
So! And now to table!
Ah! I was hungry, friend, nay, ravenous!
(eating):
You said--?

LE BRET:
These fops, would-be belligerent,
Will, if you heed them only, turn your head!. . .
Ask people of good sense if you would know
The effect of your fine insolence--

CYRANO (finishing his macaroon):
Enormous!

LE BRET:
The Cardinal. . .

CYRANO (radiant):
The Cardinal--was there?

LE BRET:
Must have thought it. . .

CYRANO:
Original, i' faith!

LE BRET:
But. . .

CYRANO:
He's an author. 'Twill not fail to please him
That I should mar a brother-author's play.

LE BRET:
You make too many enemies by far!

CYRANO (eating his grapes):
How many think you I have made to-night?

LE BRET:
Forty, no less, not counting ladies.

CYRANO:
Count!

LE BRET:
Montfleury first, the bourgeois, then De Guiche,
The Viscount, Baro, the Academy. . .

CYRANO:
Enough! I am o'erjoyed!

LE BRET:
But these strange ways,
Where will they lead you, at the end? Explain
Your system--come!

CYRANO:
I in a labyrinth
Was lost--too many different paths to choose;
I took. . .

LE BRET:
Which?

CYRANO:
Oh! by far the simplest path. . .
Decided to be admirable in all!

LE BRET (shrugging his shoulders):
So be it! But the motive of your hate
To Montfleury--come, tell me!

CYRANO (rising):
This Silenus,
Big-bellied, coarse, still deems himself a peril--
A danger to the love of lovely ladies,
And, while he sputters out his actor's part,
Makes sheep's eyes at their boxes--goggling frog!
I hate him since the evening he presumed
To raise his eyes to hers. . .Meseemed I saw
A slug crawl slavering o'er a flower's petals!

LE BRET (stupefied):
How now? What? Can it be. . .?

CYRANO (laughing bitterly):
That I should love?. . .
(Changing his tone, gravely):
I love.

LE BRET:
And may I know?. . .You never said. . .

CYRANO:
Come now, bethink you!. . .The fond hope to be
Beloved, e'en by some poor graceless lady,
Is, by this nose of mine for aye bereft me;
--This lengthy nose which, go where'er I will,
Pokes yet a quarter-mile ahead of me;
But I may love--and who? 'Tis Fate's decree
I love the fairest--how were't otherwise?

LE BRET:
The fairest?. . .

CYRANO:
Ay, the fairest of the world,
Most brilliant--most refined--most golden-haired!

LE BRET:
Who is this lady?

CYRANO:
She's a danger mortal,
All unsuspicious--full of charms unconscious,
Like a sweet perfumed rose--a snare of nature,
Within whose petals Cupid lurks in ambush!
He who has seen her smile has known perfection,
--Instilling into trifles grace's essence,
Divinity in every careless gesture;
Not Venus' self can mount her conch blown sea-ward,
As she can step into her chaise a porteurs,
Nor Dian fleet across the woods spring-flowered,
Light as my Lady o'er the stones of Paris!. . .

LE BRET:
Sapristi! all is clear!

CYRANO:
As spiderwebs!

LE BRET:
Your cousin, Madeleine Robin?

CYRANO:
Roxane!

LE BRET:
Well, but so much the better! Tell her so!
She saw your triumph here this very night!

CYRANO:
Look well at me--then tell me, with what hope
This vile protuberance can inspire my heart!
I do not lull me with illusions--yet
At times I'm weak: in evening hours dim
I enter some fair pleasance, perfumed sweet;
With my poor ugly devil of a nose
I scent spring's essence--in the silver rays
I see some knight--a lady on his arm,
And think 'To saunter thus 'neath the moonshine,
I were fain to have my lady, too, beside!'
Thought soars to ecstasy. . .O sudden fall!
--The shadow of my profile on the wall!

LE BRET (tenderly):
My friend!. . .

CYRANO:
My friend, at times 'tis hard, 'tis bitter,
To feel my loneliness--my own ill-favor. . .

LE BRET (taking his hand):
You weep?

CYRANO:
No, never! Think, how vilely suited
Adown this nose a tear its passage tracing!
I never will, while of myself I'm master,
let the divinity of tears--their beauty
Be wedded to such common ugly grossness.
Nothing more solemn than a tear--sublimer;
And I would not by weeping turn to laughter
The grave emotion that a tear engenders!

LE BRET:
Never be sad! What's love?--a chance of Fortune!

CYRANO (shaking his head):
Look I a Caesar to woo Cleopatra?
A Tito to aspire to Berenice?

LE BRET:
Your courage and your wit!--The little maid
Who offered you refreshment even now,
Her eyes did not abhor you--you saw well!

CYRANO (impressed):
True!

LE BRET:
Well, how then?. . .I saw Roxane herself
Was death-pale as she watched the duel.

CYRANO:
Pale?

LE BRET:
Her heart, her fancy, are already caught!
Put it to th' touch!

CYRANO:
That she may mock my face?
That is the one thing on this earth I fear!

THE PORTER (introducing some one to Cyrano):
Sir, some one asks for you. . .

CYRANO (seeing the duenna):
God! her duenna!