Edmond Rostand

Cyrano de Bergerac

A Play in Five Acts: Act Five

Translated by A. S. Kline © Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved

This work may be freely reproduced, stored, and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose. Permission to perform this version of the play, on stage or film, by amateur or professional companies, and for commercial purposes, should be requested from the translator.


Contents


Act Five

Cyrano's Gazette

Fifteen years later, in 1655, the Park of the Convent that the Sisters of the Holy Cross occupy in Paris.

Magnificent trees. On the left the house: broad steps onto which open several doors. An enormous plane tree in the middle of the stage, standing alone. On the right, among big boxwood trees, a semicircular stone bench.

The whole background of the stage is crossed by an alley of chestnut trees leading on the right hand to the door of a chapel seen through the branches. Through the double row of trees of this alley are seen lawns, other alleys, clusters of trees, the depths of the park, the sky.

The chapel opens by a little side door on to a colonnade which is wreathed with autumn vine leaves, and is lost to view a little farther on in the right-hand foreground behind the boxwood.

It is autumn. All the foliage is red against the fresh green of the lawns. The green boxwood and yews stand out dark. Under each tree a patch of yellow leaves. The stage is strewn with dead leaves, which rustle under foot in the alleys, and half cover the steps and benches.

Between the bench on the right and the tree a large embroidery frame, in front of which a little chair has been set. Baskets full of skeins and balls of wool. A tapestry begun.

As the curtain rises, nuns are walking to and fro in the park; some are seated on the bench around an older Sister. The leaves are falling.

Entrance to the Convent of the French Capuchins in Athens

‘Entrance to the Convent of the French Capuchins in Athens’
Charles Meryon, Jacques-Philippe Le Bas, Auguste Delâtre, 1854, The Rijksmuseum


Scene One

Mother Marguérite, Sister Martha, Sister Claire, other sisters.

Sister Martha (to Mother Marguérite)

Sister Claire glanced twice in the mirror, to see

how her coif looked,

Mother Marguérite (to Sister Claire)

It’s unattractive.

Sister Claire But Sister Martha took a plum from the tart

this morning: I saw it.

Mother Marguérite (to Sister Martha)

That’s bad, sister Marthe.

Sister Claire Quite a tiny glance!

Sister Martha Quite a tiny plum, though!

Mother Marguérite This evening I’m going to tell Monsieur Cyrano.

Sister Claire No! He’ll laugh at us!

Sister Martha He’ll say we nuns

are very vain!

Sister Claire And greedy!

Mother Marguérite (smiling)

And very good!

Sister Claire For ten years now, Mother Marguérite de Jésus,

he’s come here every Saturday, hasn’t he!

Mother Marguérite True,

longer! Ever since his cousin, fourteen years today,

brought here the worldly grief of her widow’s veil,

to join our woollen coifs, and fell among the nuns,

like a great dark bird among a flock of white ones!

Sister Martha He alone, since she’s taken refuge in this convent,

has known how to ease a grief that will not lessen.

All the Sisters He’s so droll! - It’s cheerful when he visits, truly!

- He teases us! He’s kind! - We all love him dearly!

- We make pastries for him, with angelica!

Sister Martha But, he’s not a Catholic very strong in prayer!

Sister Claire We’ll convert him!

The Sisters Yes! Yes!

Mother Marguérite I forbid you,

my children, even to begin to try to.

Don’t torment him: perhaps he’ll visit us less!

Sister Martha But... God...

Mother Marguérite Be assured: God knows of his goodness!

Sister Martha On Saturdays, when he arrives, in his proud way,

he tells me, ‘Sister, I ate meat yesterday!’

Mother Marguérite Ah! Did he tell you that?... Well, last time, before

we saw him, for two days he’d not eaten!

Sister Martha Mother!

Mother Marguérite He is poor.

Sister Martha Who told you so?

Mother Marguérite Monsieur Le Bret.

Sister Martha No one helps him at all?

Mother Marguérite No, that, he won’t permit.

(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 Marguérite rises.)

- Come now, we must go in... Madame Madeleine

is walking, with her visitor, in the garden,.

Sister Martha (to Sister Claire, in a low voice)

It’s the Marshal de Grammont?

Sister Claire (looking at him)

Yes, I think so.

Sister Martha He hasn’t been to see her for months, you know!

The Sisters He’s so busy! - The Court! – The Field!

Sister Claire The world’s cares!

(They go out. De Guiche and Roxane come forward in silence, and stop close to the embroidery frame.)


Scene Two

Roxane, the Duke de Grammont, formerly Comte de Guiche. Then Le Bret and Ragueneau.

The Duke And you remain, wasting your beauty, there,

always in black?

Roxane Always.

The Duke Ever faithful?

Roxane Ever.

The Duke (after a pause)

You’ve forgiven me?

Roxane (humbly, gazing at the convent’s cross)

I have, since I came here.

(Another pause.)

The Duke Truly a great spirit?...

Roxane One had to know him!

The Duke Ah! One had to?... I knew him too little it seems!

... His last letter: always next to that heart of yours?

Roxane Like a sweet rosary, it hangs from this velvet cord.

The Duke And, though he’s dead, you love him?

Roxane At times it seems

he isn’t wholly dead, our hearts meet, in dreams,

and his love hovers round me, still living, then!

The Duke (after another pause)

Does Cyrano come to see you?

Roxane Yes, often.

- My old friend is just like the Gazette to me.

He visits: a regular thing: here, under this tree,

they place his chair, if it’s fine: I wait for him

I sew: the clock strikes: - and at the last chime

I hear - I never even turn to look! - his cane

tapping on the steps: he sits down: mocks, again,

my eternal tapestry: gives me a vignette

of all the week’s news, and...

(Le Bret appears on the steps.)

Why, here’s Le Bret!

(Le Bret descends.)

How is our friend?

Le Bret Ill.

The Duke Oh?

Roxane (to the Duke)

An exaggeration!

Le Bret All I predicted: loneliness, destitution!...

His writings only make him fresh enemies!

He attacks false courtiers, false piety,

false heroes, plagiarisers, - everyone!

Roxane But their terror of his sword is genuine.

No one will ever subdue him.

The Duke (shaking his head)

Who knows?

Le Bret It’s not his being attacked I fear, it’s those

December days that steal, on wolf’s paws,

into his dark room, loneliness, famine’s claws:

those are the assassins who’ll finish him off!

- Each day he tightens his belt another notch.

His poor nose is the colour of old ivory.

He’s only a black serge coat, and that one’s shabby.

The Duke Ah! He’s no coming man, that’s for certain! – But all

the same, don’t pity him too much.

Le Bret (with a bitter smile)

My Lord Marshal!...

The Duke Don’t pity him too much: living his convictions,

free in his thoughts, as well as in his actions!

Le Bret (in the same tone)

My Lord! ...

The Duke (haughtily)

I know, yes: I have everything, and he

has nothing...

but I’d shake his hand, most willingly.

(Bowing to Roxane)

Adieu!

Roxane I’ll accompany you.

(The Duke bows to Le Bret, and goes with Roxane toward the steps.)

The Duke (pausing, while she climbs the steps)

Yes, I do envy such

as him – Don’t you see, that if one succeeds too much

in life, one feels – having done nothing truly bad,

heaven knows - a thousand small self-disgusts, that add

to the sum of what’s not remorse, but a vague unease:

a Duke’s robes draw after them, among furred draperies,

as one climbs to grandeur, by grandeur’s icy steps,

the rustle of dry illusions and regrets,

as when you climb these steps, among the trees,

your widow’s robe draws after it...dead leaves.

Roxane (ironically)

You’re a great dreamer, then?...

The Duke Ah! Yes!

(As he is going out, suddenly)

Monsieur Le Bret!

(To Roxane)

A word, if you’ll allow?

(He goes to Le Bret, and in a low voice)

It’s true, that no one yet

dares to attack your friend: - but many hate him:

and someone said yesterday, in the Queen’s card-game:

‘That Cyrano may be killed in some accident.’

Le Bret Ah?

The Duke Yes. Let him not go out: be prudent.

Le Bret (raising his arms to heaven)

Prudent!

He’s coming here. I’ll warn him. Yes, but! ...

Roxane (who has stayed on the steps, to a sister who comes toward her)

What is it?

The Sister Ragueneau to see you, Madame.

Roxane He may visit.

(To the Duke and Le Bret)

He comes to tell his woes. Feeling dissatisfied

one day with being an author, in turn he’s tried

singer...

Le Bret Bath-house keeper ...

Roxane Actor...

Le Bret Sexton...

Roxane Wig-maker...

Le Bret Master of the lute ...

Roxane And what now, I wonder?

Ragueneau (entering hurriedly)

Ah! Madame!

(He sees Le Bret.)

Monsieur!

Roxane (smiling)

Tell all of your troubles

to Le Bret, I’ll be back.

Ragueneau But, Madame ...

(Roxane goes out with the Duke. Ragueneau goes toward Le Bret.)


Scene Three

Le Bret, Ragueneau.

Ragueneau After all,

since you’re here I’d prefer she doesn’t know!

I was going to see your friend a moment ago...

was still twenty paces away... when I saw him

go out. I went to meet him. Saw him turning

the corner...and I ran...when out of a window

as he passed – did it happen by chance?...perhaps so! -

A Servant let a large piece of timber fall.

Le Bret The cowards!...Cyrano!

Ragueneau I reached him and I saw...

Le Bret It’s atrocious!

Ragueneau Our friend, dear Sir, our poet...

saw him there, on the ground - a great wound to his head!

Le Bret He’s killed?

Ragueneau No! But...my God! I carried him home,

up to his room!...Ah! You should see that tiny room!

Le Bret Is he in pain?

Ragueneau No, Sir, he lost consciousness.

Le Bret A doctor?

Ragueneau One of them came, out of goodness.

Le Bret My poor Cyrano! - Let’s not say anything

sudden to Roxane! - The doctor?

Ragueneau He was talking

of fever – and I know not what – brain damage!

Ah! If you saw him - his head swathed in a bandage!...

Let’s go quickly! - There’s no one by his bedside! -

if he gets up!... He might kill himself if he tries!

Le Bret (dragging him toward the right)

Go this way! It’s quicker! Go, through the chapel!

Roxane (appearing on the steps, and seeing Le Bret go away by the colonnade leading to the chapel door)

Monsieur Le Bret!

(Le Bret and Ragueneau disappear without answering.)

Why does Le Bret go, though I call?

It’s some new trouble of our good Ragueneau’s.

(She descends the steps.)


Scene Four

Roxane alone. Two sisters, for a moment.

Roxane Ah! How sweetly the last day of September glows!

My sorrow herself smiles. She whom April offends,

allows herself to be wooed at calm Autumn’s end.

(She seats herself at the embroidery frame. Two sisters come out of the house, and bring a large armchair under the tree.)

Ah! Here comes the ancient chair that seats my dear

old friend!

Sister Martha But it’s the best one in the parlour!

Roxane Thank you, sister.

(The sisters go.)

He’ll come now.

(She seats herself. A clock strikes.)

There... the hour’s striking.

- My silks! - The hour has struck! That’s surprising!

Today, for the very first time, will he be late?

The sister at the door - my thimble?...Ah, I see it! -

is exhorting him to penitence.

(A pause.)

She is indeed!

- He won’t be much longer, now. - Oh! A dead leaf! -

(She brushes the leaf from her sewing.)

Besides, nothing could – my scissors?...In my bag! -

prevent him coming here...

A Sister (coming to the steps)

Monsieur de Bergerac.


Scene Five

Roxane, Cyrano and, for a moment, Sister Martha.

Roxane (without turning round)

What did I say!...

(She embroiders. Cyrano appears, very pale, his hat pulled down over his eyes. The sister who had announced him retires. He descends the steps slowly, with visible difficulty in holding himself upright, bearing heavily on his cane. Roxane still works at her tapestry.)

Ah! These faded colours...

How to match them, now?

(To Cyrano, with playful reproach)

After all these fourteen years,

late, for the very first time!

Cyrano (who has succeeded in reaching the chair, and has seated himself - in a lively voice, which makes a great contrast with his pale face)

Yes, it’s maddening!

I’m furious. I was delayed, such an irritating thing!...

Roxane By? ...

Cyrano By a visit: one unwelcome enough.

Roxane (absently, working)

Ah! Yes! Something troublesome?

Cyrano Cousin, it was

troublesome.

Roxane You resolved it?

Cyrano Yes, I had to say:

excuse me, but today is Saturday,

the day when I must knock on a certain door:

nothing must stop me: so, return in an hour!

Roxane (carelessly)

Well! That person will certainly wait to see you:

before evening falls, I can’t do without you.

Cyrano Maybe a little earlier I might depart.

(He shuts his eyes, and is silent for a moment. Sister Martha crosses the park from the chapel to the flight of steps. Roxane, seeing her, signs to her to approach.)

Roxane (to Cyrano)

You’ve not teased Sister Marthe?

Cyrano (hastily opening his eyes)

True!

(In a comically loud voice)

Sister Marthe!

Come here!

(The sister glides up to him.)

Ah, ha! Bright eyes and always downcast!

Sister Martha (lifting her eyes and smiling)

But...

(she makes a gesture of astonishment on seeing his face)

Oh!

Cyrano (in a whisper, pointing to Roxane)

Hush! It’s nothing! -

(Loudly, in a blustering voice)

Yesterday I broke fast!

Sister Martha I know.

(Aside)

That’s why he’s so pale! Come to the refectory,

and I’ll make you drink a bowl of soup, presently,

a big bowl of hot soup...Will you be there?

Cyrano Yes, yes!

Sister Martha Ah! You’re much more reasonable to-day, dear guest!

Roxane (who hears them whispering)

Is she trying to convert you?

Sister Martha I stop myself, you see!

Cyrano But it’s true! You, always chattering so religiously,

You don’t preach at me? That’s astonishing, isn’t it!...

(With burlesque fury, flourishing his stick)

By my wooden sabre! I’ll astonish you a bit!

Wait! I’ll allow you ...

(He pretends to be seeking for something to tease her with, and to have found it.)

Ah! Is this not something novel!...

To...to pray for me, this evening, in your chapel!

Roxane Oh! Oh!

Cyrano (laughing)

Sister Martha’s filled with stupefaction!

Sister Martha (gently)

But, I didn’t wait to receive your permission.

(She goes out.)

Cyrano (turning to Roxane, who is still bending over her work)

The devil if I’ll ever see, dear tapestry,

your completion!

Roxane I waited for that pleasantry.

(At that moment a light breeze causes the leaves to fall.)

Cyrano The leaves!

Roxane (lifting her head, and looking down the distant alley)

They’re made of a Venetian gold.

Look at them falling!

Cyrano How lovely as they go!

From branch to soil, in so short a trajectory,

how they contrive to show that final beauty:

despite their terror of rotting, in earth’s night,

they wish their fall to have the grace of flight!

Roxane Melancholy, you?

Cyrano (collecting himself)

No, not at all, Roxane!

Roxane Then let the plane-tree leaves fall, and you can...

tell me a little of the news you bring today.

My Gazette?

Cyrano Listen.

Roxane Ah!

Cyrano (growing paler and paler)

The nineteenth, Saturday:

having eaten eight helpings of fruit conserve

the King had a fever: two lancet cuts served

to condemn the sickness for lèse-majesté,

and the royal pulse was calm again, they say!

On Sunday, were consumed, at the Queen’s grand ball,

seven hundred and sixty three white wax candles:

our troops, they say, have beaten the Austrians:

four witches were hanged. The little dog of Madame

d’Athis sadly required to be purged again...

Roxane Monsieur de Bergerac, will you please be silent!

Cyrano Monday – nothing – Lygdamire changed her lover.

Roxane Oh!

Cyrano (whose face changes more and more)

Tuesday, all the Court were at Fontainebleau.

Wednesday, La Montglat said to Comte de Fiesque:

‘No!’ Thursday - Mancini, was Queen!- Well scarcely less!

The twenty-fifth, La Monglat, to Comte Fiesque, said:

‘Yes.’ And Saturday, the twenty-sixth...

(He closes his eyes. His head falls forward. Silence.)

Roxane (surprised at his voice ceasing, turns round, looks at him, and rising, terrified)

He’s fainted?

(She runs toward him, crying)

Cyrano!

Cyrano (opening his eyes, in an unconcerned voice)

What is it?...What?...

(He sees Roxane bending over him, and, hastily pressing his hat on his head, and shrinking back in his chair)

No! No! I assure you,

it’s nothing! Let me be!

Roxane But ...

Cyrano It’s only my wound ...

from Arras...that...sometimes...you know ...

Roxane My poor friend!

Cyrano But it’s nothing. It’s ending.

(He smiles with an effort.)

See! It’s at an end!

Roxane Each of us has his wound: mine is still living:

always fresh, it’s here, all that old suffering,

(She puts her hand to her breast.)

It’s here, beneath this fading letter where you could,

if you looked, still see the tears, the stains of blood!

(Twilight begins to fall.)

Cyrano His letter! Didn’t you say one day you’d suffer

me to read it?

Roxane Ah you wish to? His letter?

Cyrano Yes...I would...to-day...

Roxane (giving him the bag from round her neck)

Take it!

Cyrano (taking it)

Can I open it?

Roxane Open...read!...

(She comes back to her tapestry frame, folds it up, sorts her wools.)

Cyrano (reading)

Roxane, farewell, since I shall die!...

Roxane (stopping, astonished)

Aloud?

CyranoI think my love that it will be tonight!

My soul still heavy with unspoken love, I pass!

No more, no longer, will my intoxicated eyes, alas,

my glances for which...

Roxane How you read, so fine!...

His letter.

Cyrano (continuing)

...for which it meant tremulous delight,

be able to kiss the gestures you make, in flight:

and I see, again, that little familiar way

you have of touching your forehead, and wish to say...

Roxane How you read it, now - that letter!

Cyrano And say, again:

Farewell!...

Roxane You read it...

Cyrano My dear, my dear one,

my treasure...

Roxane (dreamily ):

In a voice, so...

Cyrano My love!...

Roxane In a voice, so...

(she shivers)

Ah...not one that I hear for the first time, though

(She comes nearer very softly, without his perceiving it, passes behind his chair, and, noiselessly leaning over him, looks at the letter. The darkness deepens.)

CyranoMy heart has never forgotten you for one second,

and I am, and will be, even in the world beyond,

the one who loves you beyond measure, the one...

(The shades of evening fall imperceptibly.)

Roxane (putting her hand on his shoulder)

How are you able to read, now? Night has fallen!

(He starts, turns, sees her close to him. Suddenly alarmed, he holds his head down. Then in the dusk, which has now completely enfolded them, she says, very slowly, with clasped hands)

Was this, for fourteen years, the role he was playing:

of the kind old friend, here merely to be amusing?

Cyrano Roxane!

Roxane Then, it was you!

Cyrano No, no, Roxane!

Roxane I should have guessed it when he said my name!

Cyrano No! It was not me!

Roxane It was you!

Cyrano Roxane, I swear!

Roxane I see through the whole generous affair:

The letters: that was you!

Cyrano No!

Roxane The sweet, mad words, too,

that was you!

Cyrano No!

Roxane The voice in the night: that was you!

Cyrano I swear to you it was not.

Roxane The soul, it was yours!

Cyrano I did not love you.

Roxane You loved me!

Cyrano (desperately)

It was his!

Roxane You loved me!

Cyrano (in a weaker voice)

No!

Roxane Already you speak more softly!

Cyrano No, no, my dear love, I did not love you, truly!

Roxane Ah! The things that have died...that are re-born!

- Why were you silent for fourteen years, when,

on this letter, which means nothing as far as he’s

concerned, the tears were yours?

Cyrano (holding out the letter to her)

The blood was his.

Roxane Why, then, choose to allow that sublime silence

to be broken to-day?

Cyrano Why? ...

(Le Bret and Ragueneau enter running.)

Edmond Rostand: Cyrano de Bergerac - Before the Final Scene

‘Edmond Rostand: Cyrano de Bergerac - Before the Final Scene’
L'ILLUSTRATION, 8 January 1898, Wikimedia Commons


Scene Six

The same. Le Bret and Ragueneau.

Le Bret What nonsense!

Ah! I was sure of it! He’s here!

Cyrano (smiling and sitting up)

Now what?

Le Bret He’s killed himself being here, Madame!

Roxane Dear God!

But, just a moment ago...that faintness?...that?...

Cyrano It’s true! I’ve not completed my ‘Gazette:

...Saturday, the twenty-sixth, an hour before dining,

Monsieur De Bergerac killed, by an assassin.

(He takes off his hat; they see his head bandaged.)

Roxane What is he saying? Cyrano! - His head all bandaged!

Ah! What have they done to you? Why?...

Cyrano ‘By the sword,

struck by a hero, to die of a thrust to the heart!’...

- Yes, that’s what I said!...Fate knows the jester’s art!...

And now for me to be killed, by a servant, my God,

ambushed, struck from behind by a blow from a log!

That’s fine. I’ve failed in everything, even my dying.

Ragueneau Ah, Monsieur!...

Cyrano Ragueneau, let’s have less crying!

(holding out his hand to him)

What have you turned to now, old friend, and where?

Ragueneau (amid his tears)

I’m a snuffer of candles for...for...Molière

Cyrano Molière!

Ragueneau But I’m leaving tomorrow, fast as I can:

Ah, I can’t bear it!...Yesterday, they played ‘Scapin

and he’s stolen your scene!

Le Bret Lock stock and barrel too!

Ragueneau The famous: ‘What the Devil was he going to do?...’

Le Bret Molière’s stolen that from you?

Cyrano Ah! He’s quite correct!...

(to Ragueneau)

That scene, didn’t it produce a fine effect?

Ragueneau (sobbing)

Ah! Monsieur, they laughed so!

Cyrano Yes, what my life was for

was to be the one who prompts – and is ignored!

(To Roxane)

Remember the night when Christian filled the air

with words beneath your balcony? All my life’s there:

while I remained below, in the shadowy blackness,

others climbed higher, to gather glory’s kiss!

That’s just, and I declare, on the tomb’s dark sill,

Molière has genius: Christian was beautiful!

(The chapel-bell chimes. The nuns are seen passing down the alley at the back, to perform their offices.)

Let them go and pray, now that the bell rings!

Roxane (rising and calling)

Sister! Sister!

Cyrano (holding her fast)

No, no! Don’t run and bring

anyone! When you return, I won’t be there.

(The nuns have entered the chapel. We hear the organ.)

I lacked a little harmony...and now it’s here.

Roxane I love you, live!

Cyrano No! It’s only in storybooks

one says: ‘I love you!’ to the Prince of the Sorry Looks,

and he feels his ugliness fade, at those words of light...

but you’ll see I’m as I was, the same, in your sight !

Roxane I’ve been your unhappiness, I, I!

Cyrano You?...Never!

I never knew feminine sweetness. Even my mother

could never find me handsome. I had no sister, I

feared, later still, some mistress’s mocking eye.

But through you one love, at least, has been my own.

Through my life, by your grace, passed one silken gown.

Le Bret (Showing him the moon, which is seen descending among the branches)

Your other love’s there: come to see you!

Cyrano (smiling)

To my eyes.

Roxane I’ve only loved one being, and I’ve lost him twice!

Cyrano Le Bret, I’m going to climb to the moon’s bright gleam,

without the need, this time, to invent a machine...

Le Bret What are you saying?

Cyrano Why yes, I tell you, there lies

the place they’ll send me to find my Paradise.

There’s more than one soul, exiled there, I love:

I’ll find Socrates and Galileo again, above.

Le Bret (rebelliously)

No, no! It’s too stupid in the end, and it’s too

unjust! Such a poet! So great a heart, such virtue!

To die like this?...

Cyrano Here’s Le Bret, grumbling, you see!

Le Bret (weeping)

My dear friend ...

Cyrano (starting up, his eyes wild)

They’re the Cadets of Gascony!

- The elemental mass...Yes?...There’s the snag...Discuss...

Le Bret Science...in his delirium!

Cyrano Copernicus

Said...

Roxane Oh!

Cyrano But what the Devil was he doing, you see,

what the Devil was he doing there, in the galley?...

Physicist, Metaphysician,

Poet, duellist, and musician,

And Voyager to the Heavens,

Master of how to answer-back,

A Lover too - but not to his gain! -

Here lies Hercule Savinien

De Cyrano de Bergerac,

Who was all things, and all in vain.

But I must go, I cannot stay: forgive me:

you see, the moonlight comes to take me!

(He has fallen back in his chair: Roxane’s sobbing recalls him to reality; he gazes at her, and touches her veil)

I’d not have you grieve any the less for your fine

good, handsome Christian: only, when my spine

has been gripped by the great frost, I’d request

a double meaning be given that widow’s dress:

in your grief for him, grieve for me a little, though.

Roxane I swear it!...

Cyrano (shivering violently, then suddenly rising)

Not there! Not sitting in my chair! No!

(They spring toward him.)

- Don’t help me! - None of you!

(He props himself against the tree.)

Only this tree!

(Silence.)

He comes. Already I feel I’ve feet of marble,

- And gloves of lead!

(He stands erect.)

Oh! But...since he’s on his way,

I’ll meet him standing,

(He draws his sword.)

And with my sword, at bay!

Le Bret Cyrano!

Roxane (half fainting)

Cyrano!

(All shrink back in terror.)

Cyrano I believe he’s staring...

that he dares to stare at my nose, that Ruffian!

(He raises his sword.)

What do you say? It’s useless?...I know, ah yes!

But one cannot fight hoping only for success!

No! No: it’s still more sweet if it’s all in vain!

- Who are all you, there! – Thousands, you claim?

Ah, I know you all, you old enemies of mine!

Deceit!

(He strikes in air with his sword.)

There! There! Ha! And Compromise!

Prejudice, Cowardice! ...

(He strikes.)

That I make a treaty?

Never, never! – Ah! Are you there, Stupidity?

- I know that you’ll lay me low in the end

No matter! I fight on! I fight! I fight again!

(He makes passes in the air, and stops, breathless.)

Yes you take all from me: the laurel and the rose!

Take them! Despite you there’s something though

I keep, that tonight, as I go to meet my Deity,

will brush the blue threshold beneath my feet,

something I bear, in spite of you all, that’s

free of hurt, or stain,

(He springs forward, his sword raised;

and that’s...

(The sword falls from his hand; he staggers, and falls back into the arms of Le Bret and Ragueneau.)

Roxane (bending and kissing his forehead)

that’s? ...

Cyrano (opening his eyes, recognizing her, and smiling as he speaks: the actor must try to convey the multiple meanings of the word panache, a feather, the plume in his hat, display, swagger, attack, or just spirit.)

My panache.

Curtain.