Cyrano de Bergerac
ANOTHER COMEDIENNE (Jumps down, speaks to a Comedian
costumed as an old man.)
CYRANO Come all of you – the Doctor, Isabelle,
Léandre – the whole company – a swarm
Of murmuring, golden bees – we’ll parody
Italian farce and Tragedy-of-Blood;
Ribbons for banners, masks for blazonry,
And tambourines to be our rolling drums! (I. 654-660)
RAGUENEAU (Raises his head; returns to mere earth.)
Over the coppers of my kitchen flows
The frosted-silver dawn. Silence awhile
The god who sings within thee, Ragueneau!
Lay down the lute – the oven calls for thee!
(Rises; goes to one of the cooks.)
Here’s a hiatus in your sauce; fill up
RAGUENEAU (Measures on his finger.)
One more dactyl.
RAGUENEAU (Before the fireplace)
Veil, O Muse, thy virgin eyes
From the lewd gleam of these terrestrial fires!
(To First Pastrycook)
Your rolls lack balance. Here’s the proper form –
An equal hemistich on either side,
And the caesura in between.
(To another, pointing out an unfinished pie)
Of crust should have a roof upon it.
(To another, who is seated on the hearth, placing poultry on a spit)
And you –
Along the interminable spit, arrange
The modest pullet and the lordly Turk
Alternately, my son – as great Malherbe
Alternates male and female rimes. Remember,
A couplet, or a roast, should be well turned. (II. 3-19)
LE BRET (Astounded)
The devil? –
A MAN OF LETTERS (With a portfolio)
May I have the details?...
CYRANO You may not.
LE BRET (Plucking Cyrano’s sleeve)
Theophraste Renaudot! – Editor
Of the Gazette – your reputation!...
A POET (advances)
Your full name? I will compose
A pentacrostic –
That will do!
(Movement. The crowd arranges itself. De Guiche appears, escorted by Cuigy, Brissaille, and the other officers who were with Cyrano at the close of the First Act.)
CUIGY (Goes to Cyrano.)
Monsieur de Guiche! –
(Murmur. Everyone moves.)
A message from the Marshal
De Gassion –
DE GUICHE (Saluting Cyrano)
Who wishes to express
Through me his admiration. He has heard
Of your affair –
he Marshal speaks
As an authority. (II. 275-285)