The same. Le Bret and Ragueneau.
What madness! Here? I knew it well!
CYRANO (smiling and sitting up):
He has brought his death by coming, Madame.
Ah, then! that faintness of a moment since. . .?
Why, true! It interrupted the 'Gazette:'
. . .Saturday, twenty-sixth, at dinner-time,
Assassination of De Bergerac.
(He takes off his hat; they see his head bandaged.)
What says he? Cyrano!--His head all bound!
Ah, what has chanced? How?--Who?. . .
'To be struck down,
Pierced by sword i' the heart, from a hero's hand!'
That I had dreamed. O mockery of Fate!
--Killed, I! of all men--in an ambuscade!
Struck from behind, and by a lackey's hand!
'Tis very well. I am foiled, foiled in all,
Even in my death.
Ah, Monsieur!. . .
CYRANO (holding out his hand to him):
Weep not so bitterly!. . .What do you now,
RAGUENEAU (amid his tears):
Trim the lights for Moliere's stage.
Yes; but I shall leave to-morrow.
I cannot bear it!--Yesterday, they played
'Scapin'--I saw he'd thieved a scene from you!
What! a whole scene?
Oh, yes, indeed, Monsieur,
The famous one, 'Que Diable allait-il faire?'
Moliere has stolen that?
Tut! He did well!. . .
How went the scene? It told--I think it told?
Ah! how they laughed!
Look you, it was my life
To be the prompter every one forgets!
That night when 'neath your window Christian spoke
--Under your balcony, you remember? Well!
There was the allegory of my whole life:
I, in the shadow, at the ladder's foot,
While others lightly mount to Love and Fame!
Just! very just! Here on the threshold drear
Of death, I pay my tribute with the rest,
To Moliere's genius,--Christian's fair face!
(The chapel-bell chimes. The nuns are seen passing down the alley at the back, to say their office):
Let them go pray, go pray, when the bell rings!
ROXANE (rising and calling):
CYRANO (holding her fast):
Call no one. Leave me not;
When you come back, I should be gone for aye.
(The nuns have all entered the chapel. The organ sounds):
I was somewhat fain for music--hark! 'tis come.
Live, for I love you!
No, In fairy tales
When to the ill-starred Prince the lady says
'I love you!' all his ugliness fades fast--
But I remain the same, up to the last!
I have marred your life--I, I!
You blessed my life!
Never on me had rested woman's love.
My mother even could not find me fair:
I had no sister; and, when grown a man,
I feared the mistress who would mock at me.
But I have had your friendship--grace to you
A woman's charm has passed across my path.
LE BRET (pointing to the moon, which is seen between the trees):
Your other lady-love is come.
I loved but once, yet twice I lose my love!
Hark you, Le Bret! I soon shall reach the moon.
To-night, alone, with no projectile's aid!. . .
What are you saying?
I tell you, it is there,
There, that they send me for my Paradise,
There I shall find at last the souls I love,
LE BRET (rebelliously):
No, no! It is too clumsy, too unjust!
So great a heart! So great a poet! Die
Like this? what, die. . .?
Hark to Le Bret, who scolds!
LE BRET (weeping):
Dear friend. . .
CYRANO (starting up, his eyes wild):
What ho! Cadets of Gascony!
The elemental mass--ah yes! The hic. . .
His science still--he raves!
Said. . .
Mais que diable allait-il faire,
Mais que diable allait-il faire dans cette galere?. . .
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.
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!
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!
ROXANE (half fainting):
(All shrink back in terror.)
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!
I know you now, old enemies of mine!
(He strikes in air with his sword):
Have at you! Ha! and Compromise!
Prejudice, Treachery!. . .
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):