Cyrano de Bergerac Principles Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Line)
At least this latest pose of yours—
Ruining every chance that comes your way—
Then I exaggerate!
LE BRET (Triumphantly)
Oh, you do!
On principle. There are things in this world
A man does well to carry to extremes. (II.371-376)
Cyrano admits to the overblown nature of his principles, but doesn’t apologize for it.
So, when I win some triumph, by some chance,
Render no share to Caesar—in a word,
I am too proud to be a parasite,
And if my nature wants the germ that grows
Towering to heaven like the mountain pine,
Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes—
I stand, not high it may be—but alone! (II.428-434)
These lines are particularly interesting when we consider them in the light of Cyrano’s later action in cahoots with Christian; he stands not alone, in this case, and arguably takes a parasitic approach to winning Roxane’s love.
I leave to-night—but—let you through my hands
Now, when I feel you trembling?—Listen—Close by,
In the Rue d’Orleans, the Capuchins
Have their new convent. By their law, no layman
May pass inside those walls. I’ll see to that—
Their sleeves are wide enough to cover me—
The servants of my Uncle-Cardinal
Will fear his nephew. So—I’ll come to you
Masked, after everyone knows I have gone—
Oh, let me wait one day!—
If this be known,
The war—your duty—
DE GUICHE (Blows away an imaginary feather.)
Only say yes! (III.119-130)
De Guiche, in sharp contrast to Cyrano, has no problem throwing away his reputation for lust. His action of waiting inside a convent (a place for God’s virgin daughters) to fornicate with Roxane has not the least wisp of honor or duty in it.