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Cyrano de Bergerac
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READ STUDY GUIDE: Act IV, scenes i–v

 

Act IV, Scene i

Christian, Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, Le Bret, the cadets, then Cyrano.
LE BRET:
'Tis terrible.
CARBON:
Not a morsel left.
LE BRET:
Mordioux!
CARBON (making a sign that he should speak lower):
Curse under your breath. You will awake them.
(To the cadets):
Hush! Sleep on.
(To Le Bret):
He who sleeps, dines!
LE BRET:
But that is sorry comfort for the sleepless!. . .
What starvation!
(Firing is heard in the distance.)
CARBON:
Oh, plague take their firing! 'Twill wake my sons.
(To the cadets, who lift up their heads):
Sleep on!
(Firing is again heard, nearer this time.)
A CADET (moving):
The devil!. . .Again.
CARBON:
'Tis nothing! 'Tis Cyrano coming back!
(Those who have lifted up their heads prepare to sleep again.)
A SENTINEL (from without):
Ventrebieu! Who goes there?
THE VOICE Of CYRANO:
Bergerac.
The SENTINEL (who is on the redoubt):
Ventrebieu! Who goes there?
CYRANO (appearing at the top):
Bergerac, idiot!
(He comes down; Le Bret advances anxiously to meet him.)
LE BRET:
Heavens!
CYRANO (making signs that he should not awake the others):
Hush!
LE BRET:
Wounded?
CYRANO:
Oh! you know it has become their custom to shoot at me every morning and to
miss me.
LE BRET:
This passes all! To take letters at each day's dawn. To risk. . .
CYRANO (stopping before Christian):
I promised he should write often.
(He looks at him):
He sleeps. How pale he is! But how handsome still, despite his sufferings.
If his poor little lady-love knew that he is dying of hunger. . .
LE BRET:
Get you quick to bed.
CYRANO:
Nay, never scold, Le Bret. I ran but little risk. I have found me a spot
to pass the Spanish lines, where each night they lie drunk.
LE BRET:
You should try to bring us back provision.
CYRANO:
A man must carry no weight who would get by there! But there will be
surprise for us this night. The French will eat or die. . .if I mistake not!
LE BRET:
Oh!. . .tell me!. . .
CYRANO:
Nay, not yet. I am not certain. . .You will see!
CARBON:
It is disgraceful that we should starve while we're besieging!
LE BRET:
Alas, how full of complication is this siege of Arras! To think that while
we are besieging, we should ourselves be caught in a trap and besieged by the
Cardinal Infante of Spain.
CYRANO:
It were well done if he should be besieged in his turn.
LE BRET:
I am in earnest.
CYRANO:
Oh! indeed!
LE BRET:
To think you risk a life so precious. . .for the sake of a letter. .
.Thankless one.
(Seeing him turning to enter the tent):
Where are you going?
CYRANO:
I am going to write another.
(He enters the tent and disappears.)
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