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CYRANO DE BERGERAC
First digital edition 2017 by Gianluca Ruffini
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CYRANO DE BERGERAC CHRISTIAN DE NEUVILLETTE COUNT DE GUICHE RAGUENEAU LE BRET CARBON DE CASTEL-JALOUX THE CADETS LIGNIERE DE VALVERT A MARQUIS SECOND MARQUIS THIRD MARQUIS MONTFLEURY BELLEROSE JODELET CUIGY BRISSAILLE THE DOORKEEPER A LACKEY A SECOND LACKEY A BORE A MUSKETEER ANOTHER A SPANISH OFFICER A PORTER A BURGHER HIS SON A PICKPOCKET A SPECTATOR A GUARDSMAN BERTRAND THE FIFER A MONK TWO MUSICIANS THE POETS THE PASTRY COOKS ROXANE SISTER MARTHA LISE THE BUFFET-GIRL MOTHER MARGUERITE THE DUENNA SISTER CLAIRE AN ACTRESS THE PAGES THE SHOP-GIRL
The crowd, troopers, burghers (male and female), marquises, musketeers, pickpockets, pastry-cooks poets, Gascons cadets, actors (male and female), violinists, pages, children, soldiers, Spaniards, spectators (male and female), precieuses, nuns, etc.
A Representation at the Hotel de Bourgogne. The hall of the Hotel de Bourgogne, in 1640. A sort of tennis-court arranged and decorated for a theatrical performance.
The hall is oblong and seen obliquely, so that one of its sides forms the back of the right foreground, and meeting the left background makes an angle with the stage, which is partly visible.
On both sides of the stage are benches. The curtain is composed of two tapestries which can be drawn aside. Above a harlequin’s mantle are the royal arms. There are broad steps from the stage to the hall; on either side of these steps are the places for the violinists. Footlights.
Two rows, one over the other, of side galleries: the highest divided into boxes. No seats in the pit of the hall, which is the real stage of the theater; at the back of the pit, i.e., on the right foreground, some benches forming steps, and underneath, a staircase which leads to the upper seats. An improvised buffet ornamented with little lusters, vases, glasses, plates of tarts, cakes, bottles, etc.
The entrance to the theater is in the center of the background, under the gallery of the boxes. A large door, half open to let in the spectators. On the panels of this door, in different corners, and over the buffet, red placards bearing the words, ‘La Clorise.’
At the rising of the curtain the hall is in semi-darkness, and still empty. The lusters are lowered in the middle of the pit ready to be lighted.
The public, arriving by degrees. Troopers, burghers, lackeys, pages, a pickpocket, the doorkeeper, etc., followed by the marquises. Cuigy, Brissaille, the buffet-girl, the violinists, etc. (A confusion of loud voices is heard outside the door. A trooper enters hastily.)
THE DOORKEEPER (following him): Hollo! You there! Your money!
THE TROOPER: I enter gratis.
THE DOORKEEPER: Why?
THE TROOPER: Why? I am of the King’s Household Cavalry, ‘faith!
THE DOORKEEPER (to another trooper who enters): And you?
SECOND TROOPER: I pay nothing.
THE DOORKEEPER: How so?
SECOND TROOPER: I am a musketeer.
FIRST TROOPER (to the second): The play will not begin till two. The pit is empty. Come, a bout with the foils to pass the time.
(They fence with the foils they have brought.)
A LACKEY (entering): Pst. . .Flanquin. . .!
ANOTHER (already there): Champagne? . . .
THE FIRST (showing him cards and dice which he takes from his doublet): See, here be cards and dice. (He seats himself on the floor): Let’s play.
THE SECOND (doing the same): Good; I am with you, villain!
FIRST LACKEY (taking from his pocket a candle-end, which he lights, and sticks on the floor): I made free to provide myself with light at my master’s expense!
A GUARDSMAN (to a shop-girl who advances): ‘Twas prettily done to come before the lights were lit!
(He takes her round the waist.)
ONE OF THE FENCERS (receiving a thrust): A hit!
ONE OF THE CARD-PLAYERS: Clubs!
THE GUARDSMAN (following the girl): A kiss!
THE SHOP-GIRL (struggling to free herself): They’re looking!
THE GUARDSMAN (drawing her to a dark corner): No fear! No one can see!
A MAN (sitting on the ground with others, who have brought their provisions): By coming early, one can eat in comfort.
A BURGHER (conducting his son): Let us sit here, son.
A CARD-PLAYER: Triple ace!
A MAN (taking a bottle from under his cloak, and also seating himself on the floor): A tippler may well quaff his Burgundy (he drinks): in the Burgundy Hotel!
THE BURGHER (to his son): ‘Faith! A man might think he had fallen in a bad house here! (He points with his cane to the drunkard): What with topers! (One of the fencers in breaking off, jostles him): brawlers! (He stumbles into the midst of the card-players): gamblers!
THE GUARDSMAN (behind him, still teasing the shop-girl): Come, one kiss!
THE BURGHER (hurriedly pulling his son away): By all the holies! And this, my boy, is the theater where they played Rotrou erewhile.
THE YOUNG MAN: Ay, and Corneille!
A TROOP OF PAGES (hand-in-hand, enter dancing the farandole, and singing): Tra’ a la, la, la, la, la, la, la, lere. . .
THE DOORKEEPER (sternly, to the pages): You pages there, none of your tricks! . . .
FIRST PAGE (with an air of wounded dignity): Oh, sir! such a suspicion!. . . (Briskly, to the second page, the moment the doorkeeper’s back is turned): Have you string?
THE SECOND: Ay, and a fish-hook with it.
FIRST PAGE: We can angle for wigs, then, up there i’ th’ gallery.
A PICKPOCKET (gathering about him some evil-looking youths): Hark ye, young cut-purses, lend an ear, while I give you your first lesson in thieving.
SECOND PAGE (calling up to others in the top galleries): You there! Have you peashooters?
THIRD PAGE (from above): Ay, have we, and peas withal!
(He blows, and peppers them with peas.)
THE YOUNG MAN (to his father): What piece do they give us?
THE BURGHER: ‘Clorise.’
THE YOUNG MAN: Who may the author be?
THE BURGHER: Master Balthazar Baro. It is a play! . . .
(He goes arm-in-arm with his son.)
THE PICKPOCKET (to his pupils): Have a care, above all, of the lace knee-ruffles--cut them off!
A SPECTATOR (to another, showing him a corner in the gallery): I was up there, the first night of the ‘Cid.’
THE PICKPOCKET (making with his fingers the gesture of filching): Thus for watches
THE BURGHER (coming down again with his son): Ah! You shall presently see some renowned actors. . .
THE PICKPOCKET (making the gestures of one who pulls something stealthily, with little jerks): Thus for handkerchiefs
THE BURGHER: Montfleury. . .
SOME ONE (shouting from the upper gallery): Light up, below there!
THE BURGHER: . . .Bellerose, L’Epy, La Beaupre, Jodelet!
A PAGE (in the pit): Here comes the buffet-girl!
THE BUFFET-GIRL (taking her place behind the buffet): Oranges, milk, raspberry-water, cedar bitters!
(A hubbub outside the door is heard.)
A FALSETTO VOICE: Make place, brutes!
A LACKEY (astonished): The Marquises! in the pit?. . .
ANOTHER LACKEY: Oh! only for a minute or two!
(Enter a band of young marquises.)
A MARQUIS (seeing that the hall is half empty): What now! So, we make our entrance like a pack of woolen-drapers! Peaceably, without disturbing the folk, or treading on their toes! Oh, fie! Fie! (Recognizing some other gentlemen who have entered a little before him): Cuigy! Brissaille!
(Greetings and embraces.)
CUIGY: True to our word! . . .Troth, we are here before the candles are lit.
THE MARQUIS: Ay, indeed! Enough! I am of an ill humor.
ANOTHER: Nay, nay, Marquis! see, for your consolation, they are coming to light up!
ALL THE AUDIENCE (welcoming the entrance of the lighter): Ah! . . .
(They form in groups round the lusters as they are lit. Some people have taken their seats in the galleries. Ligniere, a distinguished-looking roue, with disordered shirt-front arm-in-arm with christian de Neuvillette. Christian, who is dressed elegantly, but rather behind the fashion, seems preoccupied, and keeps looking at the boxes.)
The same. Christian, Ligniere, then Ragueneau and Le Bret.
BRISSAILLE (laughing): Not drunk as yet?
LIGNIERE (aside to Christian): I may introduce you? (Christian nods in assent): Baron de Neuvillette.
THE AUDIENCE (applauding as the first luster is lighted and drawn up): Ah!
CUIGY (to Brissaille, looking at Christian): ‘Tis a pretty fellow!
FIRST MARQUIS (who has overheard): Pooh!
LIGNIERE (introducing them to Christian): My lords De Cuigy. De Brissaille. . .
CHRISTIAN (bowing): Delighted! . . .
FIRST MARQUIS (to second): He is not ill to look at, but certes, he is not costumed in the latest mode.
LIGNIERE (to Cuigy): This gentleman comes from Touraine.
CHRISTIAN: Yes, I have scarce been twenty days in Paris; tomorrow I join the Guards, in the Cadets.
FIRST MARQUIS (watching the people who are coming into the boxes): There is the wife of the Chief-Justice.
THE BUFFET-GIRL: Oranges, milk. . .
THE VIOLINISTS (tuning up): La, la.
CUIGY (to Christian, pointing to the hall, which is filling fast): ‘Tis crowded.
CHRISTIAN: Yes, indeed.
FIRST MARQUIS: All the great world!
(They recognize and name the different elegantly dressed ladies who enter the boxes, bowing low to them. The ladies send smiles in answer.)
SECOND MARQUIS: Madame de Guemenee.
CUIGY: Madame de Bois-Dauphin.
FIRST MARQUIS: Adored by us all!
BRISSAILLE: Madame de Chavigny. . .
SECOND MARQUIS: Who sports with our poor hearts! . . .
LIGNIERE: Ha! so Monsieur de Corneille has come back from Rouen!
THE YOUNG MAN (to his father): Is the Academy here?
THE BURGHER: Oh, ay, I see several of them. There is Boudu, Boissat, and Cureau de la Chambre, Porcheres, Colomby, Bourzeys, Bourdon, Arbaud. . .all names that will live! ‘Tis fine!
FIRST MARQUIS: Attention! Here come our precieuses; Barthenoide, Urimedonte, Cassandace, Felixerie. . .
SECOND MARQUIS: Ah! How exquisite their fancy names are! Do you know them all, Marquis?
FIRST MARQUIS: Ay, Marquis, I do, every one!
LIGNIERE (drawing Christian aside): Friend, I but came here to give you pleasure. The lady comes not. I will betake me again to my pet vice.
CHRISTIAN (persuasively): No, no! You, who are ballad-maker to Court and City alike, can tell me better than any who the lady is for whom I die of love. Stay yet awhile.
THE FIRST VIOLIN (striking his bow on the desk): Gentlemen violinists!
(He raises his bow.)
THE BUFFET-GIRL: Macaroons, lemon-drink. . .
(The violins begin to play.)
CHRISTIAN: Ah! I fear me she is coquettish, and over nice and fastidious! I, who am so poor of wit, how dare I speak to her, how address her? This language that they speak to-day ay, and write confounds me; I am but an honest soldier, and timid withal. She has ever her place, there, on the right, the empty box, see you!
LIGNIERE (making as if to go): I must go.
CHRISTIAN (detaining him): Nay, stay.
LIGNIERE: I cannot. D’Assoucy waits me at the tavern, and here one dies of thirst.
THE BUFFET-GIRL (passing before him with a tray): Orange drink?
THE BUFFET-GIRL: Milk?
THE BUFFET-GIRL: Rivesalte?
LIGNIERE: Stay. (To Christian): I will remain awhile. Let me taste this rivesalte.
(He sits by the buffet; the girl pours some out for him.)
CRIES (from all the audience, at the entrance of a plump little man, joyously excited): Ah! Ragueneau!
LIGNIERE (to Christian): ‘Tis the famous tavern-keeper Ragueneau.
RAGUENEAU (dressed in the Sunday clothes of a pastry-cook, going up quickly to Ligniere): Sir, have you seen Monsieur de Cyrano?
LIGNIERE (introducing him to Christian): The pastry-cook of the actors and the poets!
RAGUENEAU (overcome): You do me too great honor. . .
LIGNIERE: Nay, hold your peace, Maecenas that you are!
RAGUENEAU: True, these gentlemen employ me. . .
LIGNIERE: On credit! He is himself a poet of a pretty talent. . .
RAGUENEAU: So they tell me.
LIGNIERE: Mad after poetry!
RAGUENEAU: ‘Tis true that, for a little ode. . .
LIGNIERE: You give a tart. . .
RAGUENEAU: Oh! a tartlet!
LIGNIERE: Brave fellow! He would fain fain excuse himself! And for a triolet, now, did you not give in exchange. . .
RAGUENEAU: Some little rolls!
LIGNIERE (severely): They were milk-rolls! And as for the theater, which you love?
RAGUENEAU: Oh! to distraction!
LIGNIERE: How pay you your tickets, ha? with cakes. Your place, to-night, come tell me in my ear, what did it cost you?
RAGUENEAU: Four custards, and fifteen cream-puffs. (He looks around on all sides): Monsieur de Cyrano is not here? ‘Tis strange.
LIGNIERE: Why so?
RAGUENEAU: Montfleury plays!
LIGNIERE: Ay, ‘tis true that that old wine-barrel is to take Phedon’s part to-night; but what matter is that to Cyrano?
RAGUENEAU: How? Know you not? He has got a hot hate for Montfleury, and so!--has forbid him strictly to show his face on the stage for one whole month.
LIGNIERE (drinking his fourth glass): Well?
RAGUENEAU: Montfleury will play!
CUIGY: He cannot hinder that.
RAGUENEAU: Oh! oh! that I have come to see!
FIRST MARQUIS: Who is this Cyrano?
CUIGY: A fellow well skilled in all tricks of fence.
SECOND MARQUIS: Is he of noble birth?
CUIGY: Ay, noble enough. He is a cadet in the Guards. (Pointing to a gentleman who is going up and down the hall as if searching for some one): But ‘tis his friend Le Bret, yonder, who can best tell you. (He calls him): Le Bret! (Le Bret comes towards them): Seek you for De Bergerac?
LE BRET: Ay, I am uneasy. . .
CUIGY: Is it not true that he is the strangest of men?
LE BRET (tenderly): True, that he is the choicest of earthly beings!
LE BRET: Musician!
LIGNIERE: And of how fantastic a presence!
RAGENEAU: Marry, ‘twould puzzle even our grim painter Philippe de Champaigne to portray him! Methinks, whimsical, wild, comical as he is, only Jacques Callot, now dead and gone, had succeeded better, and had made of him the maddest fighter of all his visored crew, with his triple-plumed beaver and six-pointed doublet, the sword-point sticking up ‘neath his mantle like an insolent cocktail! He’s prouder than all the fierce Artabans of whom Gascony has ever been and will ever be the prolific Alma Mater! Above his Toby ruff he carries a nose! ah, good my lords, what a nose is his! When one sees it one is fain to cry aloud, ‘Nay! ‘tis too much! He plays a joke on us!’ Then one laughs, says ‘He will anon take it off.’ But no! Monsieur de Bergerac always keeps it on.
LE BRET (throwing back his head): He keeps it on and cleaves in two any man who dares remark on it!
RAGUENEAU (proudly): His sword ’tis one half of the Fates’ shears!
FIRST MARQUIS (shrugging his shoulders): He will not come!
RAGUENEAU: I say he will! and I wager a fowl a la Ragueneau.
THE MARQUIS (laughing): Good!
(Murmurs of admiration in hall. Roxane has just appeared in her box. She seats herself in front, the duenna at the back. Christian, who is paying the buffet-girl, does not see her entrance.)
SECOND MARQUIS (with little cries of joy): Ah, gentlemen! she is fearfully terribly ravishing!
FIRST MARQUIS: When one looks at her one thinks of a peach smiling at a strawberry!
SECOND MARQUIS: And what freshness! A man approaching her too near might chance to get a bad chill at the heart!
CHRISTIAN (raising his head, sees Roxane, and catches Ligniere by the arm): ‘Tis she!
LIGNIERE: Ah! is it she?
CHRISTIAN: Ay, tell me quick, I am afraid.
LIGNIERE (tasting his rivesalte in sips): Magdaleine Robin, Roxane, so called! A subtle wit a precieuse.
CHRISTIAN: Woe is me!
LIGNIERE: Free. An orphan. The cousin of Cyrano, of whom we were now speaking.
(At this moment, an elegant nobleman, with blue ribbon across his breast, enters the box, and talks with Roxane, standing.)
CHRISTIAN (starting): Who is yonder man?
LIGNIERE (who is becoming tipsy, winking at him): Ha! ha! Count de Guiche. Enamored of her. But wedded to the niece of Armand de Richelieu. Would fain marry Roxane to a certain sorry fellow, one Monsieur de Valvert, a viscount, and accommodating! She will none of that bargain; but De Guiche is powerful, and can persecute the daughter of a plain untitled gentleman. More by token, I myself have exposed this cunning plan of his to the world, in a song which. . .Ho! he must rage at me! The end hit home. . .Listen!
(He gets up staggering, and raises his glass, ready to sing.)
CHRISTIAN: No. Good-night.
LIGNIERE: Where go you?
CHRISTIAN: To Monsieur de Valvert!
LIGNIERE: Have a care! It is he who will kill you (showing him Roxane by a look): Stay where you are, she is looking at you.
CHRISTIAN: It is true!
(He stands looking at her. The group of pickpockets seeing him thus, head in air and open-mouthed, draw near to him.)
LIGNIERE: ‘Tis I who am going. I am athirst! And they expect me in the taverns!
(He goes out, reeling.)
LE BRET (who has been all round the hall, coming back to Ragueneau reassured): No sign of Cyrano.
RAGUENEAU (incredulously): All the same. . .
LE BRET: A hope is left to me that he has not seen the playbill!
THE AUDIENCE: Begin, begin!
The same, all but Ligniere. De Guiche, Valvert, then Montfleury.
A marquis (watching De Guiche, who comes down from Roxane’s box, and crosses the pit surrounded by obsequious noblemen, among them the Viscount de Valvert): He pays a fine court, your De Guiche!
ANOTHER: Faugh! . . .Another Gascon!
THE FIRST: Ay, but the cold, supple Gascon that is the stuff success is made of! Believe me, we had best make our bow to him.
(They go toward De Guiche.)
SECOND MARQUIS: What fine ribbons! How call you the color, Count de Guiche? ‘Kiss me, my darling,’ or ‘Timid Fawn?’
DE GUICHE: ‘Tis the color called ‘Sick Spaniard.’
FIRST MARQUIS: ‘Faith! The color speaks truth, for, thanks to your valor, things will soon go ill for Spain in Flanders.
DE GUICHE: I go on the stage! Will you come? (He goes toward the stage, followed by the marquises and gentlemen. Turning, he calls): Come you Valvert!
CHRISTIAN (who is watching and listening, starts on hearing this name): The Viscount! Ah! I will throw full in his face my. . . (He puts his hand in his pocket, and finds there the hand of a pickpocket who is about to rob him. He turns around): Hey?
THE PICKPOCKET: Oh!
CHRISTIAN (holding him tightly): I was looking for a glove.
THE PICKPOCKET (smiling piteously): And you find a hand. (Changing his tone, quickly and in a whisper): Let me but go, and I will deliver you a secret.
CHRISTIAN (still holding him): What is it?
THE PICKPOCKET: Ligniere. . .he who has just left you. . .
CHRISTIAN (same play): Well?
THE PICKPOCKET: His life is in peril. A song writ by him has given offense in high places, and a hundred men, I am of them, are posted tonight. . .
CHRISTIAN: A hundred men! By whom posted?
THE PICKPOCKET: I may not say a secret. . .
CHRISTIAN (shrugging his shoulders): Oh!
THE PICKPOCKET (with great dignity): . . .Of the profession.
CHRISTIAN: Where are they posted?
THE PICKPOCKET: At the Porte de Nesle. On his way, homeward. Warn him.
CHRISTIAN (letting go of his wrists): But where can I find him?
THE PICKPOCKET: Run around to all the taverns,The Golden Wine Press, the Pine Cone, The Belt that Bursts, The Two Torches, The Three Funnels, and at each leave a word that shall put him on his guard.
CHRISTIAN: Good, I fly! Ah, the scoundrels! A hundred men ‘gainst one! (Looking lovingly at Roxane): Ah, to leave her! . . . (looking with rage at Valvert): and him! . . .But save Ligniere I must!
(He hurries out. De Guiche, the viscount, the marquises, have all disappeared behind the curtain to take their places on the benches placed on the stage. The pit is quite full; the galleries and boxes are also crowded.)
THE AUDIENCE: Begin!
A BURGHER (whose wig is drawn up on the end of a string by a page in the upper gallery): My wig!
CRIES OF DELIGHT: He is bald! Bravo, pages, ha! ha! ha! . . .
THE BURGHER (furious, shaking his fist): Young villain!
LAUGHTER AND CRIES (beginning very loud, and dying gradually away): Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!
LE BRET (astonished): What means this sudden silence? . . . (A spectator says something to him in a low voice): Is’t true?
THE SPECTATOR: I have just heard it on good authority.
MURMURS (spreading through the hall): Hush! Is it he? No! Ay, I say! In the box with the bars in front! The Cardinal! The Cardinal! The Cardinal!
A PAGE: The devil! We shall have to behave ourselves. . .
(A knock is heard upon the stage. Everyone is motionless. A pause.)
THE VOICE OF A MARQUIS (in the silence, behind the curtain): Snuff that candle!
ANOTHER MARQUIS (putting his head through the opening in the curtain): A chair!
(A chair is passed from hand to hand, over the heads of the spectators. The marquis takes it and disappears, after blowing some kisses to the boxes.)
A SPECTATOR: Silence!
(Three knocks are heard on the stage. The curtain opens in the centre Tableau. The marquises in insolent attitudes seated on each side of the stage. The scene represents a pastoral landscape. Four little lusters light the stage; the violins play softly.)
LE BRET (in a low voice to Ragueneau): Montfleury comes on the scene?
RAGUENEAU (also in a low voice): Ay, ‘tis he who begins.
LE BRET: Cyrano is not here.
RAGUENEAU: I have lost my wager.
LE BRET: ‘Tis all the better!
(An air on the drone-pipes is heard, and Montfleury enters, enormously stout, in an Arcadian shepherd’s dress, a hat wreathed with roses drooping over one ear, blowing into a ribboned drone pipe.)
THE PIT (applauding): Bravo, Montfleury! Montfleury!
MONTFLEURY (after bowing low, begins the part of Phedon): ‘Heureux qui loin des cours, dans un lieu solitaire, Se prescrit a soi-meme un exil volontaire, Et qui, lorsque Zephire a souffle sur les bois. . .’
A VOICE (from the middle of the pit): Villain! Did I not forbid you to show your face here for month?
(General stupor. Everyone turns around. Murmurs.)