Cyrano de Bergerac
Watching you other people making friends
Everywhere – as a dog makes friends! I mark
The manner of these canine courtesies
And think: "My friends are of a cleaner breed;
Here comes – thank God – another enemy!"
But this is madness!
Method, let us say.
It is my pleasure to displease. I love
Hatred. Imagine how it feels to face
The volley of a thousand angry eyes –
The bile of envy and the froth of fear
Spattering little drops about me – You –
Good nature all around you, soft and warm –
You are like those Italians, in great cowls
Comfortable and loose – Your chin sinks down
In to the folds, you shoulders droop. But I –
The Spanish ruff I wear around my throat
Is like a ring of enemies; hard, proud,
Each point another pride, another thorn –
So that I hold myself erect perforce.
Wearing the hatred of the common herd
Haughtily, the harsh collar of Old Spain,
At once a fetter and – a halo! (II. 438-459)
It grew dark,
You could not see your hand before your eyes.
I marched on, thinking how, all for the sake
Of one old souse
(They slowly sit down, watching him.)
who wrote a bawdy song
Whenever he took –
A noseful –
(Everyone rises. CHRISTIAN balances himself
on two legs of his chair.)
- Took a notion.
Whenever he took a notion – For his sake,
I might antagonize some dangerous man,
One powerful enough to make me pay –
Through the nose –
CYRANO (wipes the sweat from his forehead.)
- Pay the Piper. After all,
I thought, why am I putting in my –
- My oar…Why am I putting in my oar?
The quarrel’s none of mine. However – now
I am here, I may as well go through with it.
Come Gascon – do your duty! – Suddenly
A sword flashed in the dark. I caught it fair –
On the nose –
On my blade. Before I knew it,
There I was –
Rubbing noses –
CYRANO (pale and smiling)
With half a score at once. I handed one –
A nosegay – (II. 494-512)
You have courage!
You are brave –
That pleases me. (II. 525-526)