Cyrano de Bergerac eText - Act V

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Act V

Cyrano's Gazette

It is fifteen years later, in 1655, at the park of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in Paris. The park is filled with magnificent trees. On the left is the house, containing broad steps onto which open several doors. An enormous plane tree is in the middle of the stage, standing alone. On the right, among big boxwood trees, is a semicircular stone bench.

The whole background of the stage is crossed by an alley of chestnut tress leading on the right-hand side to the door of a chapel seen through the branches. Through the double row of trees of this alley are seen lawns, other alleys, clusters of trees, the winding of the park, and the sky.

The chapel opens by a little side door onto a colonnade which is wreathed with autumn leaves, and is lost to view a little farther on in the right-hand foreground behind the boxwood.

It is autumn. All the foliage is red against the fresh green of the lawns. The green boxwood and yews stand out darkly. Under each tree is a patch of yellow leaves. The stage is strewn with dead leaves, which rustle under foot in the alleys, and partially cover the steps and benches.

Between the bench on the right-hand side and the tree, a large embroidery frame is set up, in front of which is a little chair. There are baskets full of skeins and balls of wool. A tapestry has been started in the frame.

At the rising of the curtain, NUNS are walking to and fro in the park. Some are seated on the bench around an older nun. The leaves are falling.

Scene I

MOTHER MARGUERITE, SISTER MARTHA, SISTER CLAIRE, and other SISTERS.

[They go out. DE GUICHE and ROXANE come forward in silence, and stop close to the embroidery frame.]

SISTER MARTHA:
[to MOTHER MARGUERITE] Sister Claire has looked in the mirror not just once but twice today to see how her head-dress looks on her!
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
[to SISTER CLAIRE] That's not good.
SISTER CLAIRE:
But I saw Sister Martha steal a plum out of the tart!
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
[to SISTER MARTHA] That was a bad deed, my sister.
SISTER CLAIRE:
Just a little glance!
SISTER MARTHA:
And just a little plum!
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
I'll tell this to Monsieur Cyrano.
SISTER CLAIRE:
Oh, please don't! He'll make fun of us!
SISTER MARTHA:
He'll say that we nuns are vain!
SISTER CLAIRE:
And greedy!
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
[smiling] Yes, and kind!
SISTER CLAIRE:
Is it not true, Mother Marguerite, that he has come to the convent every Saturday for ten years?
MOTHER MARGUERITE: Yes, and even longer than that. Ever since the day his cousin was brought here, wearing her widow's veil among our white habits and looking like a blackbird among a flock of white doves. That was fourteen years ago now.
SISTER MARTHA:
He's the only one who can distract her from the terrible grief she still feels every day.
ALL THE SISTERS:
He's so funny!—It's cheerful when he comes!—He teases us!—We like him so much!—He enjoys our pastries!
SISTER MARTHA:
But he is not a faithful Catholic!
SISTER CLAIRE:
We will convert him!
THE SISTERS:
Yes! Yes!
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
I forbid you to attempt that, my daughters. He might grow tired of it and come here less often.
SISTER MARTHA:
But God—
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
Do not fear! God knows him well!
SISTER MARTHA:
But, every Saturday, when he arrives, he tells me, “Sister, I ate meat on Friday!”
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
Oh, is that what he says? Well, the last time he came, he hadn't eaten for two whole days!
SISTER MARTHA:
Mother!
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
He's poor.
SISTER MARTHA:
Who told you that, dear Mother?
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
Monsieur Le Bret.
SISTER MARTHA:
No one helps him?
MOTHER MARGUERITE:
He won't permit anyone to help him. [In an alley at the back ROXANE appears, dressed in black, with a widow's coif and veil. DE GUICHE, imposing-looking and visible aged, walks by her side. They saunter slowly. MOTHER MARGUERITE rises.] It's time we go in. Madame Madeleine walks in the garden with a visitor.
SISTER MARTHA:
[to SISTER CLAIRE, in a low voice] It's the Marshal of Grammont, isn't it?
SISTER CLAIRE:
[looking at him] Yes, I think so.
SISTER MARTHA:
It's been many months since he came to see her.
THE SISTERS:
He's so busy! What with the Court, the Army—
SISTER CLAIRE:
His worldly concerns!

Scene II

ROXANE and the DUKE OF GRAMMONT, formerly COUNT DE GUICHE. Then LE BRET and RAGUENEAU.

[There is another pause.]

[The DUKE bows to LE BRET and goes with ROXANE toward the steps.]

[ROXANE goes out with the DUKE. RAGUENEAU goes toward LE BRET.]

DUKE:
And you remain here, still beautiful, still in mourning?
ROXANE:
Still in mourning.
DUKE:
Still faithful?
ROXANE:
Still faithful.
DUKE:
[after a pause] Do you forgive me?
ROXANE:
Yes, since I've come here.
DUKE:
Was he really all that you say he was?
ROXANE:
Yes. But he showed his true self only to those who knew him well.
DUKE:
I see. Perhaps I did not know him well at all. And his last letter is always next to your heart?
ROXANE:
It hangs right here on this ribbon around my neck, like a holy relic.
DUKE:
And, even though he is dead, you love him still?
ROXANE:
At times, it feels like he's not really dead. Our hearts still speak, as if his love is still alive, and wraps itself around me!
DUKE:
[after another pause] Does Cyrano come to see you?
ROXANE:
Oh, yes! My dear old friend never fails to come! We call him my “Gazette” because he brings me the news every week. His chair waits beneath this tree, when the weather is nice. I sit and embroider while I wait for him. When the clock strikes the hour of his arrival, I don't even turn to look, because I know that before the last stroke is heard, I'll hear his cane tapping down the steps. He seats himself and gently mocks my tapestry that's forever unfinished. He tells me all the gossip of the week…[LE BRET appears on the steps.] Why, here's Le Bret! [LE BRET descends.] How goes it with our friend?
LE BRET:
Very badly!
DUKE:
How?
ROXANE:
[to the DUKE] He's exaggerating!
LE BRET:
Everything I predicted is happening! Cyrano is living in poverty and isolating himself from the world! Everything he writes makes him another new enemy! He attacks false saints, false soldiers, false noble-men, thieving authors—everyone!
ROXANE:
Ah! But his sword still holds them all in check. No one gets the better of him.
DUKE:
[shaking his head] Time will tell!
LE BRET:
Oh, I fear for him! But it's not the attack of men that I fear. Solitude, hunger, cold December days, the lonely wolf-like way he steals into his dreary room—these are the assassins that will come for him! Each day he tightens his belt one more hole. His poor nose is tinted like old ivory. He has only one shabby serge suit left!
DUKE:
Yes, it's true, fortune hasn't smiled upon him. But he is not to be pitied!
LE BRET:
[with a bitter smile] My Lord—
DUKE:
Don't pity him! He has lived honestly, according to his own vows. He is free in his thoughts and free in his actions!
LE BRET:
[in the same tone] My Lord, you—
DUKE:
[haughtily] True! I have everything and he has nothing! Yet I'd be proud to shake his hand! [bowing to ROXANE] Now I must say my good-bye.
ROXANE:
I'll walk you out.
DUKE:
[pausing, while she goes up] It's true. I do envy him sometimes. When a man's life is full of success, even though he hasn't acted wrongly, he still feels a thousand self-disgusts. It's not necessarily remorse he feels, but a dim, vague uneasiness. And, as he mounts the steps of worldly fame, he sometimes hears the sounds of dead illusions and vain regrets whispering and rustling among the folds of his fur-lined cloak, just as your mourning robe sweeps the dying autumn leaves in its train as you mount the terrace steps.
ROXANE:
[ironically] My, you're in a thoughtful mood!
DUKE:
I am. [suddenly, as he is going out] Monsieur Le Bret! [to ROXANE] Will you excuse me for a moment while I have a word with him? [He goes to LE BRET and speaks in a low voice.] It's true that no one dares to attack your friend, but many do hate him. Yesterday, during a card game at court, I heard someone say, “That Cyrano may die by accident someday soon!” Tell him to be prudent and stay indoors!
LE BRET:
[raising his arms to heaven] Prudent! Him? He's coming here today. I'll warn him, but—
ROXANE:
[who has stayed on the steps, to a SISTER who comes toward her] What is it?
SISTER:
Ragueneau would like to see you, Madame.
ROXANE:
Let him in. [to the DUKE and LE BRET] He comes to tell me his troubles. Ever since he became an author, he's had to take jobs as a singer…
LE BRET:
A bathhouse attendant…
ROXANE:
An actor…
LE BRET:
A beadle…
ROXANE:
Wig-maker…
LE BRET:
Lute-teacher…
ROXANE:
I wonder what he'll be today.
RAGUENEAU:
[entering hurriedly] Ah! Madame! [He sees LE BRET.] Ah! And you, Sir!
ROXANE:
[smiling] Tell Le Bret all your troubles. I shall return shortly.
RAGUENEAU:
But, Madame…

Scene III

LE BRET, RAGUENEAU.

[She descends the steps.]

RAGUENEAU:
I'm glad you're here! It's best that she not know! I was going to Cyrano's house just now. I was but a few steps from the house, when I saw him go out. I hurried after him. I saw him turn the corner, and suddenly, from out of a window just above him—I cannot say whether it was by accident or not—a lackey dropped a large piece of wood!
LE BRET:
Cowards! Oh, Cyrano!
RAGUENEAU:
I ran to him, and I saw—
LE BRET:
Oh, how horrible!
RAGUENEAU:
I saw our dear poet, our friend, lying on the ground with a large wound in his head!
LE BRET:
Is he dead?
RAGUENEAU:
No. I carried him to his room. Oh, what a terrible thing to see! That dreary little garret!
LE BRET:
Is he suffering?
RAGUENEAU:
No, he's unconscious.
LE BRET:
Have you called a doctor?
RAGUENEAU:
I found a kind doctor, and he came.
LE BRET:
My poor Cyrano! We must not tell this to Roxane all at once. What did the doctor say?
RAGUENEAU:
I don't really know! He spoke of fever, and something about the brain! Oh, if you could see him—his head all bound up! But let's hurry! There's no one by his bed, and if he tries to get up, he might very well die!
LE BRET:
[dragging him toward the right] Come! Through the chapel! It's the quickest way!
ROXANE:
[appearing on the steps, and seeing LE BRET go away by the colonnade leading to the chapel door] Monsieur Le Bret! [LE BRET and RAGUENEAU disappear without answering] I call him, and he doesn't stop! Ragueneau's troubles must be really bad this time!

Scene IV

ROXANE alone. Two SISTERS, for a moment.

ROXANE:
Ah! What beauty the autumn brings! My sorrow has eased. April's joy sharpened it, but now September's calm comforts it. [She seats herself at the embroidery frame. Two SISTERS come out of the house and set a large armchair under the tree.] Here is the famous armchair for my dear faithful friend!
SISTER MARTHA:
It's the best one in the parlor!
ROXANE:
Thank you, sister. [The SISTERS go.] He'll be here any moment now. [She seats herself. A clock strikes.] The hour strikes. I'll begin my embroi- dery. [after a moment] The last stroke of the hour! How strange for him to be late! Perhaps the sister at the door is—Where's my thimble?—is preaching to him. Yes, that must be it! Surely he'll come soon! Ah, a dead leaf. [She brushes off the leaf from her work.] Nothing could—My scissors? Oh yes, here in my bag—could prevent him from coming.
A SISTER:
[coming to the steps] Monsieur de Bergerac.

Scene V

ROXANE, CYRANO and, for a moment, SISTER MARTHA.

[He shuts his eyes, and all is silent for a moment. SISTER MARTHA crosses the park from the chapel to the flight of steps. ROXANE, seeing her, signs for her to approach.]

[She goes out.]

[A light breeze causes the leaves to fall.]

[He closes his eyes. His head falls forward. There is silence.]

[Twilight begins to fall.]

[She goes back to her tapestry frame, folds it up, and sorts her wools.]

[The shades of evening fall imperceptibly.]

[She comes nearer very softly, without his perceiving it, passes behind his chair, and, noiselessly leaning over him, looks at the letter. The darkness deepens.]

[LE BRET and RAGUENEAU enter running.]

ROXANE:
[without turning around] What was I saying? [She embroiders. CYRANO, very pale, his hat pulled down over his eyes, appears. The SISTER who had announced him retires. He descends the steps slowly, with a visible difficulty in holding himself upright, bearing heavily on his cane. ROXANE still works at her tapestry.] The colors have faded. How can I make them match now? [to CYRANO, with playful reproach] Late—for the first time in fourteen years!
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! It's scandalous! I was so angry! I was detained…
ROXANE:
By?
CYRANO:
By a bold, unwelcome visitor.
ROXANE:
[absently, working] Some creditor?
CYRANO:
Yes, cousin. The last creditor who has a debt to claim from me.
ROXANE:
And have you paid it?
CYRANO:
No, not yet! I put it off. I said, “Have mercy! This is Saturday, the day I have a standing meeting that nothing should prevent. Come back in an hour!”
ROXANE:
[carelessly] Oh, well, a creditor can always wait! I shall not let you go before twilight falls!
CYRANO:
I may have to leave you before it falls.
ROXANE:
[to CYRANO] Aren't you going to tease Sister Martha today?
CYRANO:
[quickly opening his eyes] Of course! [in a comically loud voice] Sister! Come here! [The SISTER glides up to him.] Such lovely eyes! Why do you always keep them cast down to the ground?
SISTER MARTHA:
[who makes a movement of astonishment upon seeing his face] Oh!
CYRANO:
[in a whisper, pointing to ROXANE] Hush! It's nothing! [loudly, in a blustering voice] I ate meat yesterday!
SISTER MARTHA:
[aside] He must be pale from hunger! [to CYRANO, in a whisper] Come into the refectory soon and I'll make you a bowl of soup! Will you come?
CYRANO:
Yes, yes!
SISTER MARTHA:
Ah! You're more reasonable today than usual!
ROXANE:
[who hears them whispering] Is the sister trying to convert you?
SISTER MARTHA:
No, not I!
CYRANO:
It's true! You with your holy words! You used to preach to me all the time, but not anymore! I'm astonished! [with mock fury] Well, I can astonish you too! Listen here! I permit you… [He pretends to be seeking for something to tease her with, and to have found it.] I've got it! I permit you to pray for me tonight at chapel!
ROXANE:
Oh!
CYRANO:
[laughing] Good Sister Martha is struck speechless!
SISTER MARTHA:
[gently] I've never waited for your permission.
CYRANO:
[turning to ROXANE, who is still bending over her work] That tapes- try! Will I ever see the end of that eternal thing?
ROXANE:
I've been waiting for you to make fun of it!
CYRANO:
The autumn leaves!
ROXANE:
[lifting her head, and looking down the distant alley] Golden brown and red, like a painting by Titian. See how they fall!
CYRANO:
Ah, see how bravely they fall. Still lovely, even on their last short journey to the ground, where they'll rot within the clay. They hide the horror of that end by floating down so carelessly and gracefully!
ROXANE:
You sound melancholy!
CYRANO:
[collecting himself] No, no, Roxane!
ROXANE:
Then let the dead leaves fall as they will. Chat with me. Haven't you any news to tell, my Court Gazette?
CYRANO:
I'll begin right now.
ROXANE:
Good!
CYRANO:
[growing whiter and whiter, struggling against pain] On Saturday, the nineteenth, after having eaten several helpings of pear jelly, the King felt feverish. The court physician convicted the illness of high treason and executed it, and now the royal pulse beats at a normal pace once again. At the Queen's ball on Sunday, seven hundred wax candles were burned. Our troops, they say, have chased away John of Austria. Four witches were hanged. The little dog of Madame d'Athis had an enema—
ROXANE:
That's enough, Monsieur de Bergerac!
CYRANO:
On Monday, not much happened. Lygdamire took a new lover.
ROXANE:
Oh!
CYRANO:
[whose face changes more and more] On Tuesday, the Court went off to Fontainebleau. On Wednesday, Madame Montglat said “No” to Count de Fiesque. On Thursday, Olympe Mancini became the Queen of France—well, almost! On Friday, Madame Montglat said “Yes” to Count de Fiesque. And today, Saturday the twenty-sixth…
ROXANE:
[surprised at his voice ceasing, turns around, looks at him, and rises, terrified] He's fainted! [She runs toward him, crying.] Cyrano!
CYRANO:
[opening his eyes, in a vague voice] What's this? [He sees ROXANE bending over him and hastily presses his hat on his head and shrinks back in his chair.] It's nothing! I swear! Let me be!
ROXANE:
But—
CYRANO:
It's just that old wound from Arras acting up. It hurts sometimes.
ROXANE:
Dear friend!
CYRANO:
’Tis nothing. It will pass soon. [He smiles with an effort.] See! It has passed already!
ROXANE:
Each of us has his own wound. I have mine, too. It still hasn't healed up, my old wound! [She puts her hand on her breast.] ’Tis here, beneath this letter brown with age, all stained with tears and blood.
CYRANO:
His letter! You promised that one day you would let me read it.
ROXANE:
Do you really want to read it?
CYRANO:
Yes, I do. In fact, I'd like to read it right now.
ROXANE:
[removing the little bag which hangs from her neck] Here it is!
CYRANO:
[taking it] Do I have your permission to open it?
ROXANE:
Yes, open it and read!
CYRANO:
[reading] Goodbye, Roxane! I soon must die! My soul is heavy with love untold. No more shall my eyes feast on your smallest gestures. I think of the way you touch your cheek, softly, with your finger, as you speak! I know that gesture so well! My heart cries out, and I cry, “Farewell!”
ROXANE:
How well you read that letter! It's as if…
CYRANO:
[continuing to read] My life, my love, my jewel, my sweet! My heart has been yours in every beat!
ROXANE:
You read in such a voice! A voice I've heard somewhere before!
CYRANO:
My heart has never left you. In this world and in the next, I am the one who loves you—
ROXANE:
[putting her hand on his shoulder] How can you read? It's too dark to see! [He starts, turns, sees her close to him. Suddenly alarmed, he holds his head down. Then in the dusk, which has now completely enfolded them, she speaks, very slowly, with clasped hands.] And, for fourteen years now, he has played the part of the kind old friend who comes to laugh and chat.
CYRANO:
Roxane!
ROXANE:
It was you!
CYRANO:
No, Roxane, no!
ROXANE:
I should have guessed it each time you said my name!
CYRANO:
No, it was not I!
ROXANE:
It was you!
CYRANO:
I swear!
ROXANE:
I see through the whole generous lie! The letters—you!
CYRANO:
No!
ROXANE:
The sweet, mad love-words! All yours!
CYRANO:
No!
ROXANE:
That voice that thrilled me in the night! You!
CYRANO:
I swear you're mistaken.
ROXANE:
The soul—it was your soul!
CYRANO:
I loved you not!
ROXANE:
You did love me!
CYRANO:
No! It was he!
ROXANE:
You loved me!
CYRANO:
[in a weakening voice] No!
ROXANE:
You're faltering now. You're denying it less strongly.
CYRANO:
No, my sweet love, I never loved you!
ROXANE:
Ah! So many long-dead things are being reborn now! Why did you keep your silence all these fourteen years when the tears on this letter, which he never wrote, are your tears?
CYRANO:
[holding out the letter to her] The blood is his.
ROXANE:
Why, then, have you broken your noble silence today?
CYRANO:
Why?…

Scene VI

The same, with LE BRET and RAGUENEAU.

[He takes off his hat. They all see that his head is bandaged.]

[Everyone shrinks back in terror.]

Curtain.

LE BRET:
What madness! He's here! I knew it!
CYRANO:
[smiling and sitting up] Of course I am! What is it?
LE BRET:
Madame, he has brought his death by coming here.
ROXANE:
Oh, God! That moment just now, when you fainted—!
CYRANO:
Ah, yes! The moment that so rudely interrupted the “Gazette.” As I was saying, on Saturday, the twenty-sixth, at dinner-time, Monsieur de Bergerac was murdered.
ROXANE:
What is he talking about? Cyrano! Those bandages! What's hap- pened? How? Who?
CYRANO:
To be struck down by a sword in the heart, from a worthy oppo- nent's hand! That's what I had dreamed of! Oh, how Fate mocks me! I, of all men, killed in an ambush! Struck from behind, and by a lackey's hand! ’Tis very fitting. I've failed in everything, even in death.
RAGUENEAU:
Oh, Sir!
CYRANO:
[holding out his hand to him] Ragueneau, don't weep so bitterly! What are you doing for money now, old comrade?
RAGUENEAU:
[amid his tears] I snuff out the lights in the theater. I work for Molière.
CYRANO:
Molière!
RAGUENEAU:
Yes, but I'm quitting tomorrow. I cannot bear it! Yesterday, they played Scapin, and they used a scene stolen from you!
LE BRET:
The whole scene!
RAGUENEAU:
Yes, the famous one: “What the devil is he doing?”
LE BRET:
Molière stole that from you!
CYRANO:
Hush! I'm glad he took it. Tell me, how was the scene?
RAGUENEAU:
[sobbing] Oh! It was wonderful! The audience laughed and laughed!
CYRANO:
It's been my life's role to prompt others to greatness and to be forgotten myself. [to ROXANE] Do you remember that night, when Christian spoke to you from under your balcony? Well, there was the allegory of my whole life: I stand in the shadows, at the foot of the lad- der, while others lightly climb their way up to Love and Fame! Here, on the threshold of death, I see the justice of it—Molière has genius and Christian had beauty! [The chapel-bell chimes. The nuns are seen passing down the alley at the back, to say their prayers.] Let them go pray. Their bell is ringing!
ROXANE:
[rising and calling] Sister! Sister!
CYRANO:
[holding her fast] Don't go after them! If you leave me, I'll be gone for good when you come back. [The nuns have all entered the chapel. The organ sounds.] Ah! I was in need of some music, and here it is!
ROXANE:
Please live! I love you!
CYRANO:
In fairy tales, when the lady says “I love you” to the beast, his ugli- ness disappears. But this is no fairy tale. I remain the same, even after you speak the magic words.
ROXANE:
I am the source of your life's unhappiness! I!
CYRANO:
No. You have blessed my life! Never in my life had I been loved by a woman. Even my mother could not see past my ugliness. I had no sister and, when grown a man, I feared all women would mock me. But I have had your gracious friendship. Because of you, a woman's charm has finally passed across my path.
LE BRET:
[pointing to the moon, which is seen between the trees] Your other lady-love has come.
CYRANO:
[smiling] I see.
ROXANE:
I loved one man, and now I've lost him twice!
CYRANO:
Tonight, Le Bret, I shall reach the moon, without the aid of any projectile!
LE BRET:
What are you saying?
CYRANO:
I tell you, it's there that I'll have my Paradise. There I shall find at last the exiled souls that I love—Galileo, Socrates…
LE BRET:
[rebelliously] No, no! This is too unjust! So great a poet! So great a heart! To die like this?
CYRANO:
Listen to Le Bret, always scolding!
LE BRET:
[weeping] Dear friend…
CYRANO:
[starting up, his eyes wild] The bold cadets of Gascony!…The elemental mass!…Ah, yes!…There's the thing…
LE BRET:
Still speaking science, even in his delirium.
CYRANO:
Copernicus said…
ROXANE:
Oh!
CYRANO:
“But what the devil was he doing there? What the devil was he doing there, on that galley?” [He declaims.] Philosopher, physician, poet, brawler, musician; famed for his lunar expedition and for duels and battles no less; and lover too, to his own distress! Here lies Hercule Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac, who was everything yet was nothing. I beg your pardon, but I cannot stay. See, the moon's rays come to call me up! [He has fallen back in his chair. The sobs of ROXANE call him back to reality. He looks for a long moment at her and touches her veil.] I would not ask you to mourn that good, brave Christian less faithfully. I would only ask that when my body is cold and in the ground, that you wear your mourning clothes for two, and mourn me for a while, as you mourn him.
ROXANE:
I swear I will!
CYRANO:
[shivering violently, then suddenly rising] No! Not seated! [They all spring toward him.] Let no one hold me up! [He props himself up against the tree.] Only this tree! [There is silence.] It comes. Even now my feet have turned to stone. My hands are heavy like lead. [He stands erect.] But since Death comes, I'll meet him standing. [He draws his sword.] And with sword in hand!
LE BRET:
Cyrano!
ROXANE:
[half fainting] Cyrano!
CYRANO:
I see him! He, the noseless one, dares to mock my nose! How insolent! [He raises his sword.] You say it's useless. That I know. But who fights believing that every battle will be a success? I fought for lost causes and fruitless quests! You there! I see you! Thousands of you! All enemies of mine, I know you now! Ah! There's Falsehood! [He strikes the air with his sword.] And Compromise! Prejudice! Treachery! [He strikes.] Will I surrender? Strike an agreement? Never! And there you are, Folly! I know you'll be the one to take me down, at last. Yet I'll fall fighting, fighting still! [He makes passes in the air, and stops, breath- less.] You've stripped me of the laurel and the rose! Of glory and love! Take it all! But there is still one thing I hold against you, and when I enter God's house tonight, I shall wave one thing in salutation, across heaven's blue threshold. For there is one thing I have left, void of smear or stain, and I take it with me despite you. [He springs forward, his sword raised. It falls from his hand. He staggers and falls back into the arms of LE BRET and RAGUENEAU.]
ROXANE:
[bending and kissing his forehead] And that is—?
CYRANO:
[opening his eyes, recognizing her, and smiling] My white plume.