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Quotes

Quote #1

A GUARDSMAN (to a flower girl who comes forward)
How sweet
Of you to come before they light the hall!
(Puts his arm around her)
FIRST CAVALIER (Receives a thrust of the foil)
A hit!
SECOND LACKEY
A club!
THE GUARDSMAN (Pursuing the girl)
A kiss!
THE FLOWER GIRL (Pushing away from him)
They’ll see us!
THE GUARDSMAN (Draws her into a dark corner)
No danger! (I. 8-10)

The language of lovers renders the game of love a battle of words, a verbal sparring. It is fitting that this dialogue takes place at the very start of the play, since it sets the stage for what is to follow.

Quote #2

ANOTHER MAN (Draws a bottle from under his cloak and sits down with the others)
Here’s the spot
For a jolly old sot to suck his Burgundy –
(Drinks)
Here – in the house of the Burgundians! (I. 13-14)

Wordplay and verbal cunning also feature prominently in the play, so again Rostand readies us (at the start of the first act) for what is to come.

Quote #3

THE CITIZEN (To his son)
Would you not think you were in some den of vice?
(Points with his cane at the drunkard)
Drunkards –
(In stepping back, one of the cavaliers trips him up)
Bullies! –
(He falls between the lackeys)
Gamblers! –
(Behind him as he rises, still struggling with the Flower Girl)
One kiss –
THE CITIZEN
Good God!
(Draws his son away quickly) (I. 15)

Language synchronizes with action and provides the play with a verbal rhythm.

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