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Cyrano de Bergerac
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READ STUDY GUIDE: Act II, scenes vii–xi

 

Act II, Scene vii

Cyrano, Ragueneau, poets, Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, the cadets, a crowd, then
De Guiche.
RAGUENEAU:
Can we come in?
CYRANO (without stirring):
Yes. . .
(Ragueneau signs to his friends, and they come in. At the same time, by door
at back, enters Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, in Captain's uniform. He makes
gestures of surprise on seeing Cyrano.)
CARBON:
Here he is!
CYRANO (raising his head):
Captain!. . .
CARBON (delightedly):
Our hero! We heard all! Thirty or more
Of my cadets are there!. . .
CYRANO (shrinking back):
But. . .
CARBON (trying to draw him away):
Come with me!
They will not rest until they see you!
CYRANO:
No!
CARBON:
They're drinking opposite, at The Bear's Head.
CYRANO:
I. . .
CARBON (going to the door and calling across the street in a voice of
thunder):
He won't come! The hero's in the sulks!
A VOICE (outside):
Ah! Sandious!
(Tumult outside. Noise of boots and swords is heard approaching.)
CARBON (rubbing his hands):
They are running 'cross the street!
CADETS (entering):
Mille dious! Capdedious! Pocapdedious!
RAGUENEAU (drawing back startled):
Gentlemen, are you all from Gascony?
THE CADETS:
All!
A CADET (to Cyrano):
Bravo!
CYRANO:
Baron!
ANOTHER (shaking his hands):
Vivat!
CYRANO:
Baron!
THIRD CADET:
Come!
I must embrace you!
CYRANO:
Baron!
SEVERAL GASCONS:
We'll embrace
Him, all in turn!
CYRANO (not knowing whom to reply to):
Baron!. . .Baron!. . .I beg. . .
RAGUENEAU:
Are you all Barons, Sirs?
THE CADETS:
Ay, every one!
RAGUENEAU:
Is it true?. . .
FIRST CADET:
Ay—why, you could build a tower
With nothing but our coronets, my friend!
LE BRET (entering, and running up to Cyrano):
They're looking for you! Here's a crazy mob
Led by the men who followed you last night. . .
CYRANO (alarmed):
What! Have you told them where to find me?
LE BRET (rubbing his hands):
Yes!
A BURGHER (entering, followed by a group of men):
Sir, all the Marais is a-coming here!
(Outside the street has filled with people. Chaises a porteurs and carriages
have drawn up.)
LE BRET (in a low voice, smiling, to Cyrano):
And Roxane?
CYRANO (quickly):
Hush!
THE CROWD (calling outside):
Cyrano!. . .
(A crowd rush into the shop, pushing one another. Acclamations.)
RAGUENEAU (standing on a table):
Lo! my shop
Invaded! They break all! Magnificent!
PEOPLE (crowding round Cyrano):
My friend!. . .my friend. . .
Cyrano:
Meseems that yesterday
I had not all these friends!
LE BRET (delighted):
Success!
A YOUNG MARQUIS (hurrying up with his hands held out):
My friend,
Didst thou but know. . .
CYRANO:
Thou!. . .Marry!. . .thou!. . .Pray when
Did we herd swine together, you and I!
ANOTHER:
I would present you, Sir, to some fair dames
Who in my carriage yonder. . .
CYRANO (coldly):
Ah! and who
Will first present you, Sir, to me?
LE BRET (astonished):
What's wrong?
CYRANO:
Hush!
A MAN OF LETTERS (with writing-board):
A few details?. . .
CYRANO:
No.
LE BRET (nudging his elbow):
'Tis Theophrast,
Renaudet,. . .of the 'Court Gazette'!
CYRANO:
Who cares?
LE BRET:
This paper—but it is of great importance!. . .
They say it will be an immense success!
A POET (advancing):
Sir. . .
CYRANO:
What, another!
THE POET:
. . .Pray permit I make
A pentacrostic on your name. . .
SOME ONE (also advancing):
Pray, Sir. . .
CYRANO:
Enough! Enough!
(A movement in the crowd. De Guiche appears, escorted by officers. Cuigy,
Brissaille, the officers who went with Cyrano the night before. Cuigy comes
rapidly up to Cyrano.)
CUIGY (to Cyrano):
Here is Monsieur de Guiche?
(A murmur—every one makes way):
He comes from the Marshal of Gassion!
DE GUICHE (bowing to Cyrano):
. . .Who would express his admiration, Sir,
For your new exploit noised so loud abroad.
THE CROWD:
Bravo!
CYRANO (bowing):
The Marshal is a judge of valor.
DE GUICHE:
He could not have believed the thing, unless
These gentlemen had sworn they witnessed it.
CUIGY:
With our own eyes!
LE BRET (aside to Cyrano, who has an absent air):
But. . .you. . .
CYRANO:
Hush!
LE BRET:
But. . .You suffer?
CYRANO (starting):
Before this rabble?—I?. . .
(He draws himself up, twirls his mustache, and throws back his shoulders):
Wait!. . .You shall see!
DE GUICHE (to whom Cuigy has spoken in a low voice):
In feats of arms, already your career
Abounded.—You serve with those crazy pates
Of Gascons?
CYRANO:
Ay, with the Cadets.
A CADET (in a terrible voice):
With us!
DE GUICHE (looking at the cadets, ranged behind Cyrano):
Ah!. . .All these gentlemen of haughty mien,
Are they the famous?. . .
CARBON:
Cyrano!
CYRANO:
Ay, Captain!
CARBON:
Since all my company's assembled here,
Pray favor me,—present them to my lord!
CYRANO (making two steps toward De Guiche):
My Lord de Guiche, permit that I present—
(pointing to the cadets):
The bold Cadets of Gascony,
Of Carbon of Castel-Jaloux!
Brawling and swaggering boastfully,
The bold Cadets of Gascony!
Spouting of Armory, Heraldry,
Their veins a-brimming with blood so blue,
The bold Cadets of Gascony,
Of Carbon of Castel-Jaloux:
Eagle-eye, and spindle-shanks,
Fierce mustache, and wolfish tooth!
Slash-the-rabble and scatter-their-ranks;
Eagle-eye and spindle-shanks,
With a flaming feather that gayly pranks,
Hiding the holes in their hats, forsooth!
Eagle-eye and spindle-shanks,
Fierce mustache, and wolfish tooth!
'Pink-your-Doublet' and 'Slit-your-Trunk'
Are their gentlest sobriquets;
With Fame and Glory their soul is drunk!
'Pink-your-Doublet' and 'Slit-your-Trunk,'
In brawl and skirmish they show their spunk,
Give rendezvous in broil and fray;
'Pink-your-Doublet' and 'Slit-your-Trunk'
Are their gentlest sobriquets!
What, ho! Cadets of Gascony!
All jealous lovers are sport for you!
O Woman! dear divinity!
What, ho! Cadets of Gascony!
Whom scowling husbands quake to see.
Blow, 'taratara,' and cry 'Cuckoo.'
What, ho! Cadets of Gascony!
Husbands and lovers are game for you!
DE GUICHE (seated with haughty carelessness in an armchair brought quickly by
Ragueneau):
A poet! 'Tis the fashion of the hour!
—Will you be mine?
CYRANO:
No, Sir,—no man's!
DE GUICHE:
Last night
Your fancy pleased my uncle Richelieu.
I'll gladly say a word to him for you.
LE BRET (overjoyed):
Great Heavens!
DE GUICHE:
I imagine you have rhymed
Five acts, or so?
LE BRET (in Cyrano's ear):
Your play!—your 'Agrippine!'
You'll see it staged at last!
DE GUICHE:
Take them to him.
CYRANO (beginning to be tempted and attracted):
In sooth,—I would. . .
DE GUICHE:
He is a critic skilled:
He may correct a line or two, at most.
CYRANO (whose face stiffens at once):
Impossible! My blood congeals to think
That other hand should change a comma's dot.
DE GUICHE:
But when a verse approves itself to him
He pays it dear, good friend.
CYRANO:
He pays less dear
Than I myself; when a verse pleases me
I pay myself, and sing it to myself!
DE GUICHE:
You are proud.
CYRANO:
Really? You have noticed that?
A CADET (entering, with a string of old battered plumed beaver hats, full of
holes, slung on his sword):
See, Cyrano,—this morning, on the quay
What strange bright-feathered game we caught!
The hats
O' the fugitives. . .
CARBON:
'Spolia opima!'
ALL (laughing):
Ah! ah! ah!
CUIGY:
He who laid that ambush, 'faith!
Must curse and swear!
BRISSAILLE:
Who was it?
DE GUICHE:
I myself.
(The laughter stops):
I charged them—work too dirty for my sword,
To punish and chastise a rhymster sot.
(Constrained silence.)
The CADET (in a low voice, to Cyrano, showing him the beavers):
What do with them? They're full of grease!—a stew?
CYRANO (taking the sword and, with a salute, dropping the hats at De Guiche's
feet):
Sir, pray be good enough to render them
Back to your friends.
DE GUICHE (rising, sharply):
My chair there—quick!—I go!
(To Cyrano passionately):
As to you, sirrah!. . .
VOICE (in the street):
Porters for my lord De Guiche!
DE GUICHE (who has controlled himself—smiling):
Have you read 'Don Quixote'?
CYRANO:
I have!
And doff my hat at th' mad knight-errant's name.
DE GUICHE:
I counsel you to study. . .
A PORTER (appearing at back):
My lord's chair!
DE GUICHE:
. . .The windmill chapter!
CYRANO (bowing):
Chapter the Thirteenth.
DE GUICHE:
For when one tilts 'gainst windmills—it may chance. . .
CYRANO:
Tilt I 'gainst those who change with every breeze?
DE GUICHE:
. . .That windmill sails may sweep you with their arm
Down—in the mire!. . .
CYRANO:
Or upward—to the stars!
(De Guiche goes out, and mounts into his chair. The other lords go away
whispering together. Le Bret goes to the door with them. The crowd
disperses.)
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