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Cyrano de Bergerac
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READ STUDY GUIDE: Act II, scenes i–vi


Act II, Scene iii

Ragueneau, Lise, Cyrano, then the musketeer.
What's o'clock?
RAGUENEAU (bowing low):
Six o'clock.
CYRANO (with emotion):
In one hour's time!
(He paces up and down the shop.)
RAGUENEAU (following him):
Bravo! I saw. . .
Well, what saw you, then?
Your combat!. . .
That in the Burgundy Hotel, 'faith!
CYRANO (contemptuously):
Ah!. . .the duel!
RAGUENEAU (admiringly):
Ay! the duel in verse!. . .
He can talk of naught else!
Well! Good! let be!
RAGUENEAU (making passes with a spit that he catches up):
'At the envoi's end, I touch!. . .At the envoi's end, I touch!'. . .'Tis
fine, fine!
(With increasing enthusiasm):
'At the envoi's end—'
What hour is it now, Ragueneau?
RAGUENEAU (stopping short in the act of thrusting to look at the clock):
Five minutes after six!. . .'I touch!'
(He straightens himself):
. . .Oh! to write a ballade!
LISE (to Cyrano, who, as he passes by the counter, has absently shaken hands
with her):
What's wrong with your hand?
Naught; a slight cut.
Have you been in some danger?
None in the world.
LISE (shaking her finger at him):
Methinks you speak not the truth in saying that!
Did you see my nose quiver when I spoke? 'Faith, it must have been a
monstrous lie that should move it!
(Changing his tone):
I wait some one here. Leave us alone, and disturb us for naught an it were
not for crack of doom!
But 'tis impossible; my poets are coming. . .
LISE (ironically):
Oh, ay, for their first meal o' the day!
Prythee, take them aside when I shall make you sign to do so. . .What's
Ten minutes after six.
CYRANO (nervously seating himself at Ragueneau's table, and drawing some paper
toward him):
A pen!. . .
RAGUENEAU (giving him the one from behind his ear):
Here—a swan's quill.
A MUSKETEER (with fierce mustache, enters, and in a stentorian voice):
(Lise goes up to him quickly.)
CYRANO (turning round):
Who's that?
'Tis a friend of my wife—a terrible warrior—at least so says he himself.
CYRANO (taking up the pen, and motioning Ragueneau away):
(To himself):
I will write, fold it, give it her, and fly!
(Throws down the pen):
Coward!. . .But strike me dead if I dare to speak to her,. . .ay, even one
single word!
(To Ragueneau):
What time is it?
A quarter after six!. . .
CYRANO (striking his breast):
Ay—a single word of all those here! here! But writing, 'tis easier done. .
(He takes up the pen):
Go to, I will write it, that love-letter! Oh! I have writ it and rewrit it
in my own mind so oft that it lies there ready for pen and ink; and if I lay
but my soul by my letter-sheet, 'tis naught to do but to copy from it.
(He writes. Through the glass of the door the silhouettes of their figures
move uncertainly and hesitatingly.)
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