Cyrano de Bergerac
How we cite our quotes:
Lignière – that friend of yours –
CHRISTIAN (same business)
Good as dead –
Understand? Ambuscaded. Wrote a song
About – no matter. There’s a hundred men
Waiting for him to-night – I’m one of them.
A hundred? Who arranged this?
Secret. (I. 188-192)
Lignière has mentioned that he wrote a parodic song about Comte de Guiche earlier, so one can infer that it is the Comte that sent the 100 men to kill him. This is an early indication of the depth of the Comte’s depravity; he is so offended by a mocking song that he sends 100 armed men against one drunkard simply to assuage his pride.
A VOICE (In the back of the hall, sings.)
Monsieur de Cyrano
Must be another Caesar –
Let Brutus lay him low,
And play us "La Clorise"!
ALL THE CROWD (Singing)
"La Clorise!" "La Clorise!"
Let me hear one more word of that same song,
And I destroy you all! (I. 244-250)
To those who mock his interruption of La Clorise, Cyrano threatens death. He is particularly stung by this disembodied sing-song voice because it so echoes his own entrance – his poetic verbal mocking of Montfleury.
Did you not ask, my dear, why against one
Singer they send a hundred swords?
(Quietly, drawing his own sword)
They know this one man for a friend of mine! (I. 676-678)
Cyrano knows his enemies well enough to suspect that they are easily pricked by his bold insulting words and will stop at nothing to avenge themselves upon him – even if it means hurting innocent bystanders – like Cyrano’s friends – along the way. This ulterior motive establishes the Comte as a mortal enemy of Cyrano from the very beginning.