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Cyrano de Bergerac
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Act V, Scene i

Mother Marguerite, Sister Martha, Sister Claire, other sisters.
SISTER MARTHA (to Mother Marguerite):
Sister Claire glanced in the mirror, once—nay, twice, to see if her coif
suited.
MOTHER MARGUERITE (to Sister Claire):
'Tis not well.
SISTER CLAIRE:
But I saw Sister Martha take a plum
Out of the tart.
MOTHER MARGUERITE (to Sister Martha):
That was ill done, my sister.
SISTER CLAIRE:
A little glance!
SISTER MARTHA:
And such a little plum!
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
I shall tell this to Monsieur Cyrano.
SISTER CLAIRE:
Nay, prithee do not!—he will mock!
SISTER MARTHA:
He'll say we nuns are vain!
SISTER CLAIRE:
And greedy!
MOTHER MARGUERITE (smiling):
Ay, and kind!
SISTER CLAIRE:
Is it not true, pray, Mother Marguerite,
That he has come, each week, on Saturday
For ten years, to the convent?
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
Ay! and more!
Ever since—fourteen years ago—the day
His cousin brought here, 'midst our woolen coifs,
The worldly mourning of her widow's veil,
Like a blackbird's wing among the convent doves!
SISTER MARTHA:
He only has the skill to turn her mind
From grief—unsoftened yet by Time—unhealed!
ALL THE SISTERS:
He is so droll!—It's cheerful when he comes!—
He teases us!—But we all like him well!—
—We make him pasties of angelica!
SISTER MARTHA:
But, he is not a faithful Catholic!
SISTER CLAIRE:
We will convert him!
THE SISTERS:
Yes! Yes!
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
I forbid,
My daughters, you attempt that subject. Nay,
Weary him not—he might less oft come here!
SISTER MARTHA:
But. . .God. . .
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
Nay, never fear! God knows him well!
SISTER MARTHA:
But—every Saturday, when he arrives,
He tells me, 'Sister, I eat meat on Friday!'
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
Ah! says he so? Well, the last time he came
Food had not passed his lips for two whole days!
SISTER MARTHA:
Mother!
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
He's poor.
SISTER MARTHA:
Who told you so, dear Mother?
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
Monsieur Le Bret.
SISTER MARTHA:
None help him?
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
He permits not.
(In an alley at the back Roxane appears, dressed in black, with a widow's coif
and veil. De Guiche, imposing-looking and visibly aged, walks by her side.
They saunter slowly. Mother Marguerite rises):
'Tis time we go in; Madame Madeleine
Walks in the garden with a visitor.
SISTER MARTHA (to Sister Claire, in a low voice):
The Marshal of Grammont?
SISTER CLAIRE (looking at him):
'Tis he, I think.
SISTER MARTHA:
'Tis many months now since he came to see her.
THE SISTERS:
He is so busy!—The Court,—the camp!. . .
SISTER CLAIRE:
The world!
(They go out. De Guiche and Roxane come forward in silence, and stop close to
the embroidery frame.)
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