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Cyrano de Bergerac
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Act IV, Scene vii

The same. De Guiche.
DE GUICHE:
It smells good here.
A CADET (humming):
Lo! Lo-lo!
DE GUICHE (looking at him):
What is the matter?—You are very red.
THE CADET:
The matter?—Nothing!—'Tis my blood—boiling at the thought of the coming
battle!
ANOTHER:
Poum, poum—poum. . .
DE GUICHE (turning round):
What's that?
THE CADET (slightly drunk):
Nothing!. . .'Tis a song!—a little. . .
DE GUICHE:
You are merry, my friend!
THE CADET:
The approach of danger is intoxicating!
DE GUICHE (calling Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, to give him an order):
Captain! I. . .
(He stops short on seeing him):
Plague take me! but you look bravely, too!
CARBON (crimson in the face, hiding a bottle behind his back, with an evasive
movement):
Oh!. . .
DE GUICHE:
I have one cannon left, and have had it carried there—
(he points behind the scenes):
—in that corner. . .Your men can use it in case of need.
A CADET (reeling slightly):
Charming attention!
ANOTHER (with a gracious smile):
Kind solicitude!
DE GUICHE:
How? they are all gone crazy?
(Drily):
As you are not used to cannon, beware of the recoil.
FIRST CADET:
Pooh!
DE GUICHE (furious, going up to him):
But. . .
THE CADET:
Gascon cannons never recoil!
DE GUICHE (taking him by the arm and shaking him):
You are tipsy!—but what with?
THE CADET (grandiloquently):
—With the smell of powder!
DE GUICHE (shrugging his shoulders and pushing him away, then going quickly to
Roxane):
Briefly, Madame, what decision do you deign to take?
ROXANE:
I stay here.
DE GUICHE:
You must fly!
ROXANE:
No! I will stay.
DE GUICHE:
Since things are thus, give me a musket, one of you!
CARBON:
Wherefore?
DE GUICHE:
Because I too—mean to remain.
CYRANO:
At last! This is true valor, Sir!
FIRST CADET:
Then you are Gascon after all, spite of your lace collar?
ROXANE:
What is all this?
DE GUICHE:
I leave no woman in peril.
SECOND CADET (to the first):
Hark you! Think you not we might give him something to eat?
(All the viands reappear as if by magic.)
DE GUICHE (whose eyes sparkle):
Victuals!
THE THIRD CADET:
Yes, you'll see them coming from under every coat!
DE GUICHE (controlling himself, haughtily):
Do you think I will eat your leavings?
CYRANO (saluting him):
You make progress.
DE GUICHE (proudly, with a light touch of accent on the word 'breaking'):
I will fight without br-r-eaking my fast!
FIRST CADET (with wild delight):
Br-r-r-eaking! He has got the accent!
DE GUICHE (laughing):
I?
THE CADET:
'Tis a Gascon!
(All begin to dance.)
CARBON DE CASTEL-JALOUX (who had disappeared behind the rampart, reappearing
on the ridge):
I have drawn my pikemen up in line. They are a resolute troop.
(He points to a row of pikes, the tops of which are seen over the ridge.)
DE GUICHE (bowing to Roxane):
Will you accept my hand, and accompany me while I review them?
(She takes it, and they go up toward the rampart. All uncover and follow
them.)
CHRISTIAN (going to Cyrano, eagerly):
Tell me quickly!
(As Roxane appears on the ridge, the tops of the lances disappear, lowered for
the salute, and a shout is raised. She bows.)
THE PIKEMEN (outside):
Vivat!
CHRISTIAN:
What is this secret?
CYRANO:
If Roxane should. . .
CHRISTIAN:
Should?. . .
CYRANO:
Speak of the letters?. . .
CHRISTIAN:
Yes, I know!. . .
CYRANO:
Do not spoil all by seeming surprised. . .
CHRISTIAN:
At what?
CYRANO:
I must explain to you!. . .Oh! 'tis no great matter—I but thought of it to-
day on seeing her. You have. . .
CHRISTIAN:
Tell quickly!
CYRANO:
You have. . .written to her oftener than you think. . .
CHRISTIAN:
How so?
CYRANO:
Thus, 'faith! I had taken it in hand to express your flame for you!. . .At
times I wrote without saying, 'I am writing!'
CHRISTIAN:
Ah!. . .
CYRANO:
'Tis simple enough!
CHRISTIAN:
But how did you contrive, since we have been cut off, thus. . .to?. . .
CYRANO:
. . .Oh! before dawn. . .I was able to get through. . .
CHRISTIAN (folding his arms):
That was simple, too? And how oft, pray you, have I written?. . .Twice in
the week?. . .Three times?. . .Four?. . .
CYRANO:
More often still.
CHRISTIAN:
What! Every day?
CYRANO:
Yes, every day,—twice.
CHRISTIAN (violently):
And that became so mad a joy for you, that you braved death. . .
CYRANO (seeing Roxane returning):
Hush! Not before her!
(He goes hurriedly into his tent.)
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