Cyrano de Bergerac
Cunning and Cleverness Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Then she may be
One of those aesthetes…Intellectuals,
You call them – How can I talk to a woman
In that style? I have no wit. This fine manner
Of speaking and of writing nowadays –
Not for me! I am a soldier – and afraid. (I. 77-82)
Christian readily admits that he is not a clever man when it comes to speaking. This shows that the manner of speaking and writing in seventeenth century France were relatively refined and complex.
FIRST MARQUIS [on Comte de Guiche]
Gascon, yes – but cold
And calculating – certain to succeed –
My word for it. (I. 173-175)
Comte de Guiche is known for his deviousness. His intelligence, in sharp contrast to Cyrano’s, is characterized as morally corrupt, merciless, and even evil. Where Cyrano’s intelligence is spirited and often improvisatory, de Guiche’s is more cold and calculating – and often geared towards seeking revenge.
MONTFLEURY (After bowing to the applause, begins the role of Phedon)
"Thrice happy he who hides from pomp and power
In sylvan shade of solitary bower;
Where balmy zephyrs fan his burning cheeks – "
A VOICE (From the midst of the hall)
Wretch! Have I not forbade you these three weeks? […]
CYRANO (Arises in the centre of the floor, erect upon a chair, his arms folded, his hat cocked ferociously, his moustache bristling, his nose terrible.)
Presently I shall grow angry!
(Sensation at his appearance)
MONTFLEURY (To the Marquis)
If you protect me –
A MARQUIS (Nonchalantly)
Well – proceed!
If you dare breathe one balmy zephyr,
I’ll fan your cheeks for you! (I. 213-226)
Cyrano uses Montfleury’s own opening lines from La Clorise to mock and threaten him and eventually shame him off the stage.