Cyrano, Le Bret. Then actors, actresses, Cuigy, Brissaille, Ligniere, the porter, the violinists.
CYRANO (falling into Le Bret's arms):
A rendezvous. . .from her!. . .
You're sad no more!
Ah! Let the world go burn! She knows I live!
Now you'll be calm, I hope?
CYRANO (beside himself for joy):
Calm? I now calm?
I'll be frenetic, frantic,--raving mad!
Oh, for an army to attack!--a host!
I've ten hearts in my breast; a score of arms;
No dwarfs to cleave in twain!. . .
No! Giants now!
(For a few moments the shadows of the actors have been moving on the stage,
whispers are heard--the rehearsal is beginning. The violinists are in their
(He moves away. By the big door enter Cuigy, Brissaille, and some officers, holding up Ligniere, who is drunk.)
Well, what now?
A lusty thrush
They're bringing you!
CYRANO (recognizing him):
Ligniere!. . .What has chanced?
He seeks you!
He dare not go home!
LIGNIERE (in a husky voice, showing him a crumpled letter):
This letter warns me. . .that a hundred men. . .
Revenge that threatens me. . .that song, you know--
At the Porte de Nesle. To get to my own house
I must pass there. . .I dare not!. . .Give me leave
To sleep to-night beneath your roof! Allow. . .
A hundred men? You'll sleep in your own bed!
CYRANO (in a terrible voice, showing him the lighted lantern held by the porter, who is listening curiously):
Take the lantern.
(Ligniere seizes it):
Let us start! I swear
That I will make your bed to-night myself!
(To the officers):
Follow; some stay behind, as witnesses!
A hundred!. . .
Less, to-night--would be too few!
(The actors and actresses, in their costumes, have come down from the stage, and are listening.)
But why embroil yourself?
Le Bret who scolds!
That worthless drunkard!--
CYRANO (slapping Ligniere on the shoulder):
Wherefore? For this cause;--
This wine-barrel, this cask of Burgundy,
Did, on a day, an action full of grace;
As he was leaving church, he saw his love
Take holy water--he, who is affeared
At water's taste, ran quickly to the stoup,
And drank it all, to the last drop!. . .
Indeed, that was a graceful thing!
Ay, was it not?
THE ACTRESS (to the others):
But why a hundred men 'gainst one poor rhymer?
(To the officers):
Gentlemen, when you shall see me charge,
Bear me no succor, none, whate'er the odds!
ANOTHER ACTRESS (jumping from the stage):
Oh! I shall come and see!
ANOTHER (jumping down--to an old actor):
And you?. . .
Come all--the Doctor, Isabel, Leander,
Come, for you shall add, in a motley swarm,
The farce Italian to this Spanish drama!
ALL THE WOMEN (dancing for joy):
Bravo!--a mantle, quick!--my hood!
Play us a march, gentlemen of the band!
(The violinists join the procession, which is forming. They take the
footlights, and divide them for torches):
Brave officers! next, women in costume,
And, twenty paces on--
(He takes his place):
I all alone,
Beneath the plume that Glory lends, herself,
To deck my beaver--proud as Scipio!. . .
--You hear me?--I forbid you succor me!--
One, two three! Porter, open wide the doors!
(The porter opens the doors; a view of old Paris in the moonlight is seen):
Ah!. . .Paris wrapped in night! half nebulous:
The moonlight streams o'er the blue-shadowed roofs;
A lovely frame for this wild battle-scene;
Beneath the vapor's floating scarves, the Seine
Trembles, mysterious, like a magic mirror,
And, shortly, you shall see what you shall see!
To the Porte de Nesle!
CYRANO (standing on the threshold):
Ay, to the Porte de Nesle!
(Turning to the actress):
Did you not ask, young lady, for what cause
Against this rhymer fivescore men were sent?
(He draws his sword; then, calmly):
'Twas that they knew him for a friend of mine!
(He goes out. Ligniere staggers first after him, then the actresses on the officers' arms--the actors. The procession starts to the sound of the violins and in the faint light of the candles.)