Cyrano de Bergerac
How we cite our quotes:
Hmph! – Well, then, the real reason why you hate
Montfleury – Come, the truth, now!
Who cannot hold his belly in his arms,
Still dreams of being sweetly dangerous
Among the women – sighs and languishes,
Making sheeps’ eyes out of his great frog’s face –
I hate him ever since one day he dared
Smile upon –
Oh, my friend, I seemed to see
Over some flower a great snail crawling! (I. 532-540)
It is hypocritical that Cyrano mocks Montfleury for his appearances, but not his character.
May I know? You have never said –
Whom I love? Think a moment. Think of me –
Me, whom the plainest woman would despise –
Me, with this nose of mine that marches on
Before me by a quarter of an hour!
Whom should I love? Why – of course – it must be
The woman in the world most beautiful. (I. 542-548)
Cyrano falls victim to the same shallowness as those around him; he judges himself for his appearances, not for his character.
Who and what is this woman?
Mortally, without meaning; exquisite
Without imagining. Nature’s own snare
To allure manhood. A white rose wherein
Love lies in ambush for his natural prey.
Who knows her smile has known a perfect thing.
She creates grace in her own image, brings
Heaven to earth in one movement of her hand –
Nor thou, O Venus! balancing thy shell
Over the Mediterranean blue, nor thou,
Diana! marching through broad, blossoming woods,
Art so divine as when she mounts her chair,
And goes abroad through Paris! (I. 551-563)
Cyrano admires Roxane solely for her beauty.