Cyrano de Bergerac

Full Text

Scene 5.I.

Full Text Scene 5.I.

Scene 5.I.

Mother Marguerite, Sister Martha, Sister Claire, other sisters.

SISTER MARTHA (to Mother Marguerite):
Sister Claire glanced in the mirror, once--nay, twice, to see if her coif
suited.

MOTHER MARGUERITE (to Sister Claire):
'Tis not well.

SISTER CLAIRE:
But I saw Sister Martha take a plum
Out of the tart.

MOTHER MARGUERITE (to Sister Martha):
That was ill done, my sister.

SISTER CLAIRE:
A little glance!

SISTER MARTHA:
And such a little plum!

MOTHER MARGUERITE:
I shall tell this to Monsieur Cyrano.

SISTER CLAIRE:
Nay, prithee do not!--he will mock!

SISTER MARTHA:
He'll say we nuns are vain!

SISTER CLAIRE:
And greedy!

MOTHER MARGUERITE (smiling):
Ay, and kind!

SISTER CLAIRE:
Is it not true, pray, Mother Marguerite,
That he has come, each week, on Saturday
For ten years, to the convent?

MOTHER MARGUERITE:
Ay! and more!
Ever since--fourteen years ago--the day
His cousin brought here, 'midst our woolen coifs,
The worldly mourning of her widow's veil,
Like a blackbird's wing among the convent doves!

SISTER MARTHA:
He only has the skill to turn her mind
From grief--unsoftened yet by Time--unhealed!

ALL THE SISTERS:
He is so droll!--It's cheerful when he comes!--
He teases us!--But we all like him well!--
--We make him pasties of angelica!

SISTER MARTHA:
But, he is not a faithful Catholic!

SISTER CLAIRE:
We will convert him!

THE SISTERS:
Yes! Yes!

MOTHER MARGUERITE:
I forbid,
My daughters, you attempt that subject. Nay,
Weary him not--he might less oft come here!

SISTER MARTHA:
But. . .God. . .

MOTHER MARGUERITE:
Nay, never fear! God knows him well!

SISTER MARTHA:
But--every Saturday, when he arrives,
He tells me, 'Sister, I eat meat on Friday!'

MOTHER MARGUERITE:
Ah! says he so? Well, the last time he came
Food had not passed his lips for two whole days!

SISTER MARTHA:
Mother!

MOTHER MARGUERITE:
He's poor.

SISTER MARTHA:
Who told you so, dear Mother?

MOTHER MARGUERITE:
Monsieur Le Bret.

SISTER MARTHA:
None help him?

MOTHER MARGUERITE:
He permits not.
(In an alley at the back Roxane appears, dressed in black, with a widow's coif and veil. De Guiche, imposing-looking and visibly aged, walks by her side. They saunter slowly. Mother Marguerite rises):
'Tis time we go in; Madame Madeleine
Walks in the garden with a visitor.

SISTER MARTHA (to Sister Claire, in a low voice):
The Marshal of Grammont?

SISTER CLAIRE (looking at him):
'Tis he, I think.

SISTER MARTHA:
'Tis many months now since he came to see her.

THE SISTERS:
He is so busy!--The Court,--the camp!. . .

SISTER CLAIRE:
The world!

(They go out. De Guiche and Roxane come forward in silence, and stop close to the embroidery frame.)