Cyrano de Bergerac
How we cite our quotes:
Oh, not that ever! No,
That would be too grotesque – tears trickling down
All the long way along this nose of mine?
I will not so profane the dignity
of sorrow. Never any tears for me!
Why, there is nothing more sublime than tears,
Nothing! – Shall I make them ridiculous
In my poor person? (I. 587-593)
Cyrano has such respect for the dignity of sorrow that he dares not defame it with his ugly crying face. This respect for tears is one of his most deeply held values.
I suppose you have written a tragedy –
They all have.
LE BRET (Aside to Cyrano)
Now at last you’ll have it played –
Why not? Take it to him.
He is himself a dramatist;
Let him rewrite a few lines here and there,
he’ll approve the rest.
CYRANO (His face falls again.)
My blood curdles to think of altering
Ah, but when he likes a thing
He pays well.
Yes – but not so well as I –
When I have made a line that sings itself
So that I love the sound of it – I pay
Myself a hundred times. (II. 335-346)
Cyrano shows his integrity by refusing to sell himself and his work to the Cardinal for money. He loves his craft so much that he staunchly refuses to let anyone alter a single word of it.
I hired them to do the sort of work
We do not soil our hands with – punishing
A drunken poet…(II. 354-356)
De Guiche’s concern for appearance dictates his attitudes toward fighting and battle, just as Cyrano’s concerns for principles do for him.