Cyrano de Bergerac
How we cite our quotes:
CARBON (Softly to Cyrano)
You make them weep –
For homesickness – a hunger
More noble than that hunger of the flesh;
It is their hearts now that are starving.
But you melt down their manhood.
CYRANO (Motions the drummer to approach.)
You think so?
Let them be. There is iron in their blood
Not easily dissolved in tears. (IV. 99-105)
Cyrano appeals to the men through one of his most deeply held devotions – the love of home, the Gascon country. He nobly believes that one can overcome physical hardship – starvation, in this case – by relying on intense loyalties for comfort and courage.
A CADET (Looks up stage.)
Aha – Monsieur de Guiche!
THE CADETS (Mutter among themselves.)
He makes me weary!
With his collar
Of lace over his corselet –
Like a ribbon
Tied round a sword!
Bandages for a boil
On the back of his neck –
A courtier always!
The Cardinal’s nephew! (IV. 109-114)
Carbon’s men hate Comte de Guiche for his petty vanity. They paint him as effeminate with all his lace trimmings and his fussiness to get the smallest of wounds bandaged. Again, we see that this man is the opposite of Cyrano.
From that spy of mine
I learned of their intention. His report
Will determine the point of their advance.
The fellow asked me what to say! I told him:
"Go out between the lines; watch for my signal;
Where you see that, let them attack there."
CARBON (To the Cadets)
(All rise. Noise of sword belts and breastplates being buckled on.)
You may have perhaps an hour.
Oh – An hour!
(They all sit down and resume their games once more.)
DE GUICHE (To Carbon)
The great thing is to gain time.
Any moment the Marshal may return.
And to gain time?
You will all be so kind
As to lay down your lives!
Ah! Your revenge?
I make no great pretence of loving you!
But – since you gentlemen esteem yourselves
Invincible, the bravest of the brave,
And all that – why need we be personal?
I serve the king in choosing…as I choose!
Sir, permit me to offer – all our thanks.
DE GUICHE (Returns the salute.)
You love to fight a hundred against one;
Here is your opportunity! (IV. 189-206)
De Guiche sends the entire company to its death in a hopeless battle simply to get revenge on Cyrano.