Monday, February 4, 2013

Quote 11 - "I did not wait for you to say I might"

 Cyrano de Bergerac, Act V, Scene V, by Edmond Rostand

-          Cyrano, having a mortal wound, visits his love Roxane for the last time, but does not let her see his wound or let her guess that he will shortly die…
-         CYRANO:  [He has succeeded in reaching the chair, and has seated himself, and speaks in a lively voice which is in great contrast to his pale face.] Yes, yes - maddening! I was detained by…
-         ROXANE:  Well?
-         CYRANO:  A visitor, most unexpected.
-         ROXANE:  was your visitor tiresome?
-         CYRANO:  Why, hardly that – inopportune, let us say – an old friend of mine – at least a very old acquaintance.
-         ROXANE:  Did you tell him to go away?
-         CYRANO:  For the time being, yes. I said: “Excuse me – this is Saturday – I have a previous engagement, one I cannot miss, even for you – Come back an hour from now.”
-         ROXANE:  Your friend will have to wait: I shall not let you go till dark.
-         CYRANO:  Perhaps, a little before dark, I must go…
[He leans back in the chair, and closes his eyes.  SISTER MARTHA crosses above the stairway.  ROXANA sees her, motions her to wait, then turns to CYRANO.]
-         ROXANE:  Look – somebody waiting to be teased.
-         CYRANO:  [quickly opening his eyes] Of course! [in a comically loud voice] Sister, approach! [The SISTER glides toward him.] Beautiful downcast eyes! So shy…
-         SISTER MARTHA:  You…[who makes a movement of astonishment upon seeing his face] Oh!
-         CYRANO:  [in a whisper, pointing to ROXANE] Sh! It's nothing! [loudly, in a blustering voice] I ate meat yesterday!
-         SISTER MARTHA: Yes, I know. [aside] That is why he looks so pale! [to CYRANO, in a whisper] In the refectory, before you go – come to me there – I’ll make you a great bowl of soup! Will you come?
-         CYRANO:  Ah – will I come!
-         SISTER MARTHA:  you are quite reasonable today!
-         ROXANE:  Has she converted you?
-         SISTER MARTHA:  Oh, no – not in the world!
-         CYRANO:  Why, now I think of it, that is so – You bursting with holiness, and yet you never preach!  Astonishing I call it…  [with burlesque ferocity] Ah – now I’ll astonish you… I am going to – [with the air of seeking for a good joke and finding it] Let you pray for me tonight at vespers!
-         ROXANE:  Aha!
-         CYRANO:  Look at herabsolutely struck dumb!
-         SISTER MARTHA:  [gently] I did not wait for you to say I might.

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