Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano de Bergerac Principles Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
LE BRET At least this latest pose of yours – Ruining every chance that comes your way – Becomes exaggerated – CYRANO Very well, Then I exaggerate! LE BRET (Triumphantly) Oh, you do! CYRANO Yes; 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.
CYRANO 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.
DE GUICHE 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! – ROXANE If this be known, Your honor – DE GUICHE Bah! – ROXANE The war – your duty – DE GUICHE (Blows away an imaginary feather.) Phoo! 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.