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- Cyrano De Bergerac - 10/48 -

My fear of wounding you outweighs that pride, And bids accept. . . (He goes to the buffet): A trifle!. . .These few grapes. (She offers him the whole bunch. He takes a few): Nay, but this bunch!. . . (She tries to give him wine, but he stops her): A glass of water fair!. . . And half a macaroon!

(He gives back the other half.)

LE BRET: What foolery!

THE BUFFET-GIRL: Take something else!

CYRANO: I take your hand to kiss.

(He kisses her hand as though she were a princess.)

THE BUFFET-GIRL: Thank you, kind Sir! (She courtesies): Good-night.

(She goes out.)

Scene 1.V.

Cyrano, Le Bret.

CYRANO (to Le Bret): Now talk--I listen. (He stands at the buffet, and placing before him first the macaroon): Dinner!. . . (then the grapes): Dessert!. . . (then the glass of water): Wine!. . . (he seats himself): So! And now to table! Ah! I was hungry, friend, nay, ravenous! (eating): You said--?

LE BRET: These fops, would-be belligerent, Will, if you heed them only, turn your head!. . . Ask people of good sense if you would know The effect of your fine insolence--

CYRANO (finishing his macaroon): Enormous!

LE BRET: The Cardinal. . .

CYRANO (radiant): The Cardinal--was there?

LE BRET: Must have thought it. . .

CYRANO: Original, i' faith!

LE BRET: But. . .

CYRANO: He's an author. 'Twill not fail to please him That I should mar a brother-author's play.

LE BRET: You make too many enemies by far!

CYRANO (eating his grapes): How many think you I have made to-night?

LE BRET: Forty, no less, not counting ladies.

CYRANO: Count!

LE BRET: Montfleury first, the bourgeois, then De Guiche, The Viscount, Baro, the Academy. . .

CYRANO: Enough! I am o'erjoyed!

LE BRET: But these strange ways, Where will they lead you, at the end? Explain Your system--come!

CYRANO: I in a labyrinth Was lost--too many different paths to choose; I took. . .

LE BRET: Which?

CYRANO: Oh! by far the simplest path. . . Decided to be admirable in all!

LE BRET (shrugging his shoulders): So be it! But the motive of your hate To Montfleury--come, tell me!

CYRANO (rising): This Silenus, Big-bellied, coarse, still deems himself a peril-- A danger to the love of lovely ladies, And, while he sputters out his actor's part, Makes sheep's eyes at their boxes--goggling frog! I hate him since the evening he presumed To raise his eyes to hers. . .Meseemed I saw A slug crawl slavering o'er a flower's petals!

LE BRET (stupefied): How now? What? Can it be. . .?

CYRANO (laughing bitterly): That I should love?. . . (Changing his tone, gravely): I love.

LE BRET: And may I know?. . .You never said. . .

CYRANO: Come now, bethink you!. . .The fond hope to be Beloved, e'en by some poor graceless lady, Is, by this nose of mine for aye bereft me; --This lengthy nose which, go where'er I will, Pokes yet a quarter-mile ahead of me; But I may love--and who? 'Tis Fate's decree I love the fairest--how were't otherwise?

LE BRET: The fairest?. . .

CYRANO: Ay, the fairest of the world, Most brilliant--most refined--most golden-haired!

LE BRET: Who is this lady?

CYRANO: She's a danger mortal, All unsuspicious--full of charms unconscious, Like a sweet perfumed rose--a snare of nature, Within whose petals Cupid lurks in ambush! He who has seen her smile has known perfection, --Instilling into trifles grace's essence, Divinity in every careless gesture; Not Venus' self can mount her conch blown sea-ward, As she can step into her chaise a porteurs, Nor Dian fleet across the woods spring-flowered, Light as my Lady o'er the stones of Paris!. . .

LE BRET: Sapristi! all is clear!

CYRANO: As spiderwebs!

LE BRET: Your cousin, Madeleine Robin?

CYRANO: Roxane!

LE BRET: Well, but so much the better! Tell her so! She saw your triumph here this very night!

CYRANO: Look well at me--then tell me, with what hope This vile protuberance can inspire my heart! I do not lull me with illusions--yet At times I'm weak: in evening hours dim I enter some fair pleasance, perfumed sweet; With my poor ugly devil of a nose I scent spring's essence--in the silver rays I see some knight--a lady on his arm, And think 'To saunter thus 'neath the moonshine, I were fain to have my lady, too, beside!' Thought soars to ecstasy. . .O sudden fall! --The shadow of my profile on the wall!

Cyrano De Bergerac - 10/48

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