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CYRANO



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CYRANO



OPERA IN FOUR ACTS



BY

WALTER DAMROSCH



WORDS BY

J. HENDERSON

After the Drama by EDMOND ROSTAND
English Version Copyright, J9J3, by FRED RULLMAN, Inc.

PUBLISHED BY FRED RULLMAN, Inc.

AT THE THEATRE TICKET OFFICE, 111 BROADWAY

NEW YORK



CHARACTERS



CYRANO DE BERGERAC Baritone

ROXANE Soprano

L,ISE . . Soprano

DUENNA Alto

A FLOWER GIRL Soprano

A MOTHER SUPERIOR Alto

CHRISTIAN Tenor

RAGUENEAU Tenor

A CADET Tenot

DEGuiCHE Bass

LE BRET Bass

A TALL MUSKETEER Bass

MONTFLEURY Tenor

A PRIEST Bass

FIRST CAVALIER * .... Bass

SECOND CAVALIER Tenor

THIRD CAVALIER Bass

Chorus of Premises, Pages, Nuns, Cavaliers,
Gascony Cadets, Marqidses, etc.



SYNOPSIS

ACT I.

The great hall of the Hotel de Bourgogne, in 1640. A sort of tennis-court
arranged and decorated for theatrical performances.

The hall is a long rectangle, seen obliquely, so that one side of it constitutes
the background, which runs from the position of the front wing on the right, to
the line of the furthest wing on the left, and forms an angle with the stage,
\vhich is equally seen obliquely.

This stage is furnished on both sides along the wings with benches. The
drop curtain is composed of two tapestry hangings, which can be drawn apart.
Above a harlequin cloak, the royal escutcheon. Broad steps lead from the raised
platform of the stage into the house. On either side of these steps the musicians'
seats. A row of candles fills the office of footlights.

Two galleries run along the side ; the lower one is divided into boxes. No
seats in the pit, which is the stage proper. At the back of the pit, that is to
say. at the right, in the front, a few seats raised like steps, one above the other;
and under a stairway which leads to the upper seats and of which the lower
end only is visible, a stand decked with small candelabra, jars full of flowers,
flagons and glasses, dishes heaped with sweatmeats, etc.

In the centre of the background, under the box tier, the entrance to the
theatre, large door which half opens to let in the spectators. On the panels ot
this door, and in several corners, and above the sweetmeat stand, red playbills
announcing LA CLORISE.

At the rise of the curtain the house is nearly dark and still empty. The
chandeliers are let down in the middle of the pit until time to light them.

The audience arriving gradually. Cavaliers, burghers, lackeys pages, the
fiddlers, etc

ACT II.

Ragueneau's shop. Cooking place on the right of stage. Tables with prep-
arations of various kinds on them. Large double door at back leading into street.
Set in general in the same way as in the original. At rise of curtain several
-cooks are seen at work. Much bustle and movement. Ragueneau seated at a
small table, left, writing with puzzled face and scanning his lines on his fingers.

ACT III.

(Street before the house of ROXANE. Balcony with vines on the columns.
House of CLOMIRE opposite with practicable door and steps. At rise of curtain,
moonlight. Soft music and chorus heard in the house of CLOMIRE.

ACT IV SCENE I.

(Camp of the Gascony cadets. Arras in the distance. Earthwork in the
l>ackground. Tents, etc., in the foreground. Sunrise. The cadets lie asleep
about the stage. All are ragged, pale and gaunt. LE BRET on watch. Silence on
stage after curtain rises. Then shots are heard outside.)

ACT IV SCENE II.

(The park of a neighboring convent. Shade trees. At the right the entrance
to the convent. In the center a large tree. At the left a semi-circular stone
seat. Vines, flowers, etc. The stage is filled with nuns in an attitude of prayer.)



CYRANO



ACT I.



CAVALIER.



We come too early : how shall we kill
the time?

SECOND CAVALIER
I'll sing to you my latest rhyme.

A MUSKETEER (pursuing a flower
girl).

Give me one kiss, and I will call you
queen.

GIRL.

You are too bold. Take care ; we
shall be seen.

ANOTHER CAVALIER.

How stupid is this waiting. Will you
have a bout with me?

FOURTH CAVALIER.

Right gladly, and I'll hit you, one, two,
three. (They fence.)

(Enter PAGES.)

CHORUS o? PAGES (singing a faran-
dole).

THE CROWD.

Bring in more lights ! The play, the

play begin;
Bring on the actors, be they fat or

thin;
Let us have drama, prose or merry

verse ;
Rid us of thinking, nothing could be

worse.



(Enter a band of M



THE MARQUISES.



What ! We enter all too early,
Are we soldiers rude and burly?
Shall we tarry, sorry wights?
In the dark? Where are the lights?
(Candle lighter enters and lights
candles. )

(Enter CHRISTIAN AND LE BRET.)
CHRISTIAN.

You who know the stories of the town,
Miladi's fan, her cloak, her glove,
The very lace upon her satin gown,
Oh, tell me who is she I lover

LE BRET.

I crave your pardon of your hand and

grace ;
I may not know her 'till I see her

face.

CHRISTIAN.

Oh, for the day of the grand crusade.
When a soldier won by a soldier's

fame;
And the flashing blow of a manly

blade
Would carve a path to a noble

dame.

I am no dealer in pretty words ;
I cannot twitter with these fine birds ;
If she's poetic, I have no tropes;
If she is subtle, farewell, my hopes !
In yonder box she always sits;
There, near the end.

LE BRET.
Alas !

CHRISTIAN. .
Whv sav vou so?



CYRANO



LE BRET.

It is Roxane, whose wit is like a

sword :
With words alone her heart you

may attack,
!\nd be repelled, if by you she is

bored.

She's cousin to the brave de Ber-
gerac.

(Enter RAGUENEAU.)

CHRISTIAN.
I know him not.

RAGUENEAU.

I heard a mighty name.
Good masters, I am here to seek the
same.

(To CHRISTIAN) Know you not CYRA-
NO, the wise, the brave, the great?

His blade is half the shears of fate.

His wit is quicker than a bounding
ball.

And he's a poet, master of us all.

Hat with triple feather,

Doublet with a flowing skirt

Cloak and sword together

Sweep behind with saucy flirt.

While before him goes

His most majestic nose.

Oh, masters, what a nose is there.

But speak about it none, may dare.

Save in the house and under breath;

It is the very nose of death.

The nose before, the sword behind

Wise men to them both are blind.

CHRISTIAN.

An errant boaster, I'll be bound.
(retires up stage}.

LE BRET (looking round).
Good Ragueneau, he can't be found.

RAGUENEAU.

He will be here, for he has made a

bet

To stop the play, and he'll not forget.
Montfleury he's forbidden to appear;
You'll see he will be here.



(Enters PRECIEUSES, follozved by
ROXANE.)

THE PRECIEUSES.

The lace upon the garb of love are we
By dainty hands alone caressed to be.
No vulgar passion shall assail our

hearts.
They may be pierced alone by gentle

darts.

MARQUISES.

For you our hearts are gently beating,
Receive our most devoted greeting;
For you we're sighing, we are kneel-
ing:

Oh, ladies fair, be not unfeeling;
But hearken to our vows of love.

(As ROXANE enters after the PRE-
CIEUSES, the MARQUISES and CAVA-
LIERS follow her with bows and
adulation. She waves them all off
with her fan. The PRECIEUSES
ascend the stairs to the boxes.
ROXANE pauses on the third step.)

ROXANE.

Ah, messieurs, gallant and gay,

We come to see the play,

Not you. But spare us all your vows

repeated

A woman's favor is not meeted
To many words, to many smiles ;
To win a heart you must use deeper

wiles.
Oh, woo a woman not with pretty

graces,
Nor yet with oft repeated burning

vows,
And woo her not with silken hose and

laces,
Nor yet with pretty airs and lowly

bows.
Dream not to win her by a melting

glance,
Nor with the singing of your shining

blade ;

For all your pride and pomp and cir-
cumstance
By one quick flash of wit may be

dismayed.
You'll not overtake the love you are

pursuing

With languid eyelid and a dulcet tone ;
Seek for the soul of her you would

be wooing,
And melt it by the glory of your own.



CYRANO



PAGES.

She's pretty, but she makes too much

ado,
We know a quicker way than that to

woo.

(The MARQUISES crowd around
ROXANE, but DE GUICHE enters and
pushes in front of them.}

DE GUICHE (offering his hand to
escort her to box).

None but the brave deserve the fair.

ROXANE.
Am I so brave? Well, then I dare.

(Accepts his escort, MARQUISES re-
tire in disgust.)

(Overture by the orchestra on the
stage. The play of BARO begins.)

(Enter MONTFLEURY on the mimic
stage.)

MONTFLEURY (as Phaedo).

Happy the man, who freed from fash-
ion's fickle sway,

In exile self-prescribed whiles peace-
ful hours away,

And when the zephyrs sigh amid the
murmuring trees

CYRANO (in the crowd).

Fat one, I forbade you to appear !

( General consternation.)

VOICES.
Who is it? What is this surprise?

RAGUENEAU.
"Tis he, I win !



But



MoNTFlvEURY.



CYRANO (rising in his place and draw-
ing his sword).

Mountain ! Remove thyself from off
the plain.

MONTFLEURY (going).
Excuse me, gentles, but I feel a pain.

(MoNTFEEURY goes off. General hub-
bub. CYRANO comes down stage and

is surrounded by the crowd.)



VARIOUS VOICES.

This is an insult ! We have paid to/

see the play !
Who is it dares to drive our pet away ?

CYRANO.

Be silent all. Does any one object?
I have a talisman to win respect.

(Lays hand on hilt.)

DE GUICHE (who has come down
from the box-')

We came to hear Baro's immortal
verse.

CYRANO.
My friend, such immortality's a curse.

PRECIEUSES.

To slur Baro's delightful name.
How dare he? What a shame?

CYRANO.

Beautiful creatures, do you bloom and

shine;
Be ministers of dreams, your smiles

our anodyne.
But though for "La Clorise" you all

may weep,

Baro's narcotic shall not make you
sleep.

DE GUICHE.

This is too much. Sir. do you stop all

shows
By pushing into them your mighty

nose?

CYRANO.

Poor wit to poorer manners wed.

I'll tell you what you might have said.

Although with fancy's passion not in-
flamed,

You could have posed and courteously
declaimed :

O lordly nose, no wind so bold

As dares to give the whole of you a
cold.

Or this: Wert thou a man or army
born.

That thou must carry such a bugle
horn ?

Or else this parody of beauteous
thought.



CYRANO



From "Pyramus and Thisbe" neatly
caught,

Behold the nose that spoiled its mas-
ter's face.

And now is blushing at its own dis-
grace.

But you, monsieur, have no such
words as these;

I speak more wit than you if I but
sneeze.



Buffoon !



DE GUICHE.



CYRANO.



Ai ! That does awake the nerve
Within my rapier, it will forth to
serve. (Draws.)



DE GUICHE.



A poet fight?



CYRANO.



I will not run away

But improvise a ballad while we play.

And at the last line I shall touch.

DE GUICHE.

My friend, you promise far too much
(Draws.)

CYRANO (declaiming).

Ballade of the duel which deBergerac
Fought with a noble who good sense

did lack.
That is the title. Now. sir. the attack.

THE CROWD.

Aha ! With eagerness we're on the
rack.

(Tableau A ring, in the pit, of those
interested. The pages climb to good
places to sec. All the women stand
in the boxes. CYRANO closes his
c\cs a moment as if in thought, then
looks up to ROXAXE, advances and
crosses swords with DEGuiCHE.)

CYRANO.

Xow gentles and ladies all fair.
Look well on this noble and me ;
1 rhyme you a rhyme debonair
And as light as the foam of the sea,
Yet not all devoid of esprit ;
A song of a nobleman vain,



And the chime of the ballad shall be
I touch as I end the refrain.

(They begin to fence.)
Good brother, I pri' thee despair
Of stopping my ballad or me;
My sword will be into your lair
Or ever my feint you may see.
For I guard from my head to my knee,
While blows on your falchion I rain ;
And the chime of my ballad shall be
I touch as I end the refrain.
Oh, queens of our hearts, do you see,
How the sword beats the time of the

strain?

For the chime of my ballad shall be
I touch as I end the refrain.

( With the last line CYRANO lunges and
DEGUICHE staggers. CYRANO bows.
Applause from the crotud. Flowers
are thrown from the boxes. Men-
congratulate CYRANO. RAGUENEAU
dances with joy. LE BRET is tear-
full \ anxious.)

DEGuiCHE (supported by friends).

Sometime, my poet, we shall meet :
And then remember that revenge is
sweet.

(CYRANO makes a gesture of contempt.
DEGuiCHE is supported off. All fol-
low except CYRANO and LE BRET.)

ROXANE.

( . Is she passes CYRANO after descend-
in (j from her box.)

Cousin, your sword and wit keep well

m tune
But yonder gentle will not pardon

soon.
These dull men are the flint, you sharp

ones steel
Beware the fire the sparks will make.

CYRANO.
I kneel

Before your grace.
Forewarned,

I am forearmed. Also I am adorned
In that you smile upon me from your
skies.

(Exit ROXANE attended- /

CYRANO.

So much for fools. And yet who is

the wise?
I played but for the favor of her eyes.



CYRANO



love?



LE BRET.



CYRANO.



You stare, and yet I am a man ;
Despite this nose I dare to love

Roxane.
Yes, even this may smell the budding

spring.
And e'en my eyes may look across this

mount
To where, beside some clear and

sunny fount,

The roses blossom and the robins sing;
And if I see a lover and his lass
Go hand in hand along the verdant

grass,

I think that I would gladly give my all
If joy like this my lonely life would

grace ;

And then I see upon the garden wall
The shadow of my face!

LE BRET.

My friend! (CYRANO motions him
away and turns aside as if to hide
his emotion. Enter DUENNA.)

DUENNA.

Most reverend and gracious sir, my
mistress bids me say that she has
something for your private ear.

CYRANO
My private ear!

DUENNA.
There are things

CYRANO.
Ah, my heart !

DUENNA.

To-morrow at the very break of day
She goes into the church to pray.
When that is done her cousin she will

seek,
Tell me where she alone with him can

speak.

CYRANO.

With me alone?
Am I the sport of fate?
At Ragueneau's the pastry cook's I
wait.



ENSEMBLE.

DUENNA.

How noble, how noble his bearing.
How eager the light of his eyes ;
But yet for him who would be caring?
His nose, what a terrible size !

CYRANO.

Oh, long will the night be a-wearing
E'er dawn shall encrimson the skies ;
But the darkness will be not despair-
ing;
'Twill flee from the light of her eyes.

LE BRKT.

Away with your gloomy despairing.
Live now in a happy surmise !
To-morrow you'll early be faring
To read the bright speech of her eyes.

DUENNA.
We'll be there. Fail us not at seven.

CYRANO.

I shall come. 'Twill be foretaste of
heaven.

(Exit DUENNA followed by LE BRET.
Actors appear on the stage and be-
gin a rehearsal.)

CYRANO.

Now could I the very mountain fell

With blinding sweeps of lightning
steel !

Now could I with one poetic spell

The lifetime of a heart reveal !

Now could I hold a thousand men at
bay,

My sword the key to blank oblivious
gate,

My arm the rhythmic pendulum of
Fate-

And make for every blow a rounde-
lay !

AN ACTOR.

Silence there! We're trying to re-
hearse.

CYRANO.

To hell with thee and with thy tawdry
verse !

( Re-enter LE BRET.)



C Y R A X O



LE BRET.

Cyrano, DeGuiche is on thy track !
A hundred men await thee to attack.

CYRANO.

Who told him that I was in the mood?
A hundred? For my blade they shall
be food.

ACTORS.

Against one man a hundred? What
is this?

CYRANO.

Sweet friends, I'll woo them with a

kiss. (Draws sword.)
The sharp salute of death. Oh, bliss!

VARIOUS ACTORS.

What a rare fight 'twill be!
Let us go out to see.

CYRANO.

Bravo. But you may only look.
No interference w r ill I brook.
And YOU crood fiddlers, play a merry
hit,

To time the dancing of my happy hilt.

(The actors and actresses come down
from t lie stage with the candles.
The fiddlers fall into the train.)

CYRANO.

So, that is meet my spirit to attune
And forth we fare a most important
troop



Of prize comedians to the lady moon
But I alone shall make the final swoop.
Ye, gods, I think I never have lived

before ;

A hundred? Give me fifty score.
Come on, my friends. Throw wide

the door.

( LE BRET opens the door. View of
Paris in the moonlight. Soft music.)

CYRANO.

Lo, Paris, that sleeps and is breathless
In silence and midnight mist ;
Lo, Paris, immutable, deathless,
Her brow by the moonbeam kissed !
The dream of the centuries round

thee,

The luminous guardians above ;
The calm of the peace all around thee
A shrine for the couch of my love :



(Turns and sees the actors
BRET waiting for him.)



and



Break, silence of night ! W T ake a hun-

dred alarms !
Cyrano de Bergerac proclaims "To

arms !"

( To the sound of the violins and with
the flickering of the candles, the
procession moves out, CYKANC
twenty steps ahead, LE BRET fol-
lowin'g and the actors dancing and
capering in the rear.)

CURTAIN.



10



CYRANO



ACT II.



RAGUENEAU ( rising ) .



The morning sun turns copper pan

to gold
And burns to silver all the pewter

spoons ;
The soaring Muse her fancy's wings

shall fold,
The lyre shall hum with useful cook-

ing tunes.

AN APPRENTICE (approaching Rague-
neau and showing his work).

Xougat of fruit !

ANOTHER APPRENTICE.
Pound cake a la Richelieu!

A THIRD.
Pastry of cakes a la Charlemagne!

A FOURTH.

Potpourri du Boeuf a la "Pomone" du
Cambert !

AN APPRENTICE (approaching with

a candied lyre).

t

This in your honor I have made.

RAGUENEAU.

Vit and fancy you've displayed;
lake this coin and drink my health.

(Enter LISE.)

My wife! Pray, hide your little
wealth.

(Apprentice retires.)

Observe this lyre, a tribute to my
fame.



Such waste of dough ! It is a shame !



RAGUENEAU.

What have you there? The poems

of my friends
Made into paper bags! To what sad.

ends
We come at last !

LISE.
It is the only way they ever pay..

(Enter CYRANO.)

CYRANO.
What is the hour of this long day:

RAGUENEAU.
Six o'clock. And I was there!

CYRANO (impatiently walking about).
Where ?

RAGUENEAU.

The duel! What blows did rain!
"And I touch as I end the refrain."

LiSE.

That seems to be his whole delight;
He talks of it from morn 'till niglit.

RAGUENEAU.
And the chime of the ballad shall be

CYRANO ( in tcrruptui;; \ .
What time is it?

RAGUENEAU.
Five minutes past six.

CYRANO (going to the writin,/ table
and seat in a himself }

v

Shall I plunge my heart into a sea of.'
ink ?

(Enter a TALL MUSKETEER.)



CYRANO



11



MUSKETEER (to LISE).

Good-morning !

CYRANO.
Quiet. I cannot think.

RAGUENEAU.

A friend of my wife, most deadly and
severe.

CYRANO.
What time is it?

RAGUENEAU.
A quarter past.

CYRANO.

Come, now, good pen.
My thoughts in sober line arrayed,
I'll write the dream I cannot tell,
And she shall read me passing well.

(He writes.}

(Enter half a dozen lanky and ill-fed
poets.)

THE POETS.

Eagle of pastry cooks !

Lord of the pie !
We praise thee. we love thee,

Without thee we'd die.
To the fire, to the fire of thy oven

\Ve bring our Pierian flame.
And chant in a festival chorus

The height of thy glorious fame.

(During the ensemble the poets eat
right and left. )

LiSE.

Xow that my husband is befooled and

blind.
You may speak freely ; I'll be kind.

MUSKETEER.

Every day I come to put

MY valor underneath your foot.

*

CYRANO.

The light of the love that I bear thee
Illumines my dreams and my days ;

But never my visions can dare thee
To follow their passionate ways.

If that I dream, I dream of thee;

If I awake, thine eyes and lips I see.



RAGUENEAU.

Oh, honor far beyond imagination!
In my poor shop he has found inspira-
tion.

CYRANO (having finished the letter).

So speed my hopes. There is no need

to sign it ;
Into her hand myself I shall consign.;

it.

A POET.

Ragueneau, what have you writ of
late.

RAGUENEAU.
A recipe for making cake.



How great !



POET.



POETS.



Let us hear it !

RAGUENEAU.

"How to make almond cheese cake."
Eggs you get a half a dozen free from

all rancidity,
Break them in a pannikin and beat

them 'till they're white;
Lemons, too, you strain a few to get

the smart acidity,
Throw in milk of almonds 'till you

have the mixture right.
Syrup sweet as much as meet you add

to make it saccharine,
Pour the whole into a mold of dough

as light as snow ;
Add a pinch of creamy cheese and sift

a powdered cracker in,
Put it in the oven while the cinders

gently glow.
Let it bake adagio and wait with calm

placidity
Until the crust is golden brown a>

Andalusian wine ;
Then take it out and let it cool, you'll

eat it with avidity,
And cheese cake a la Ragueneau
you'll say is all divine!

A POET.
Perfection is outdone by you.



12

OTHKR POETS.
Tis rubbish of the rarest make.



CVRAXO (looking off through center

door).

(To Poets),
Now begins the sunlight of this

happy day,

Her duenna yonder comes this way.
Messieurs, go warm your fancies in

the sun.

RAGUENEAU (driving them out}.

When he says a thing that thing is
done.

(RAGUENEAU with his hands full of
paficr bags with the poems on them
follows them out. CYRANO ap-
proaches the tall musketeer who is
still talking to LiSE.)

CYRANO.
Your presence also I no more require.

LISE (as musketeer starts to go).

With rage and grief I think I shall

expire.
Why do you not defy him to his face ?

MUSKETEER.

Defy him to his face ! His face !
That face!

(Exit hastily, LiSE following him
angrily. )

(Enter the DUENNA.)
DUENNA.

Sir, my mistress bids me say

( ROXANE appears at the door.}
CYRANO.

Madame, have you taste for honeyed
cakes ?

DUENNA.

I dote upon them to the verge of
death.

CYRANO (filling bags).

Here then within the soft melting
heart



CYRANO



Of Saint Amant's most intimate

ballade,
I prison for thee tarts of precious

jam,
And puffs of cream as white as Alpine

snow.

Go feed thyself to indigestion's brink,
But do so in the street.

DUENNA.

Sweet sir, I go.

(Exit into street.}

(As soon as she is off ROXANE comes
down.}

ROXANE.

First let me thank you for that yester-
day

You did rebuke a churl, who seeks to
force

His hand upon me in unwelcome
bonds.

CYRANO.

I am glad I served you. Yet again
I shall be glad to play your humble
slave.

ROXANE.

For this T came but first I must dis-
close

(Hesitating}

I must discover Are you still the
same,

As in the days when we were boy and
girl?



ROXANE.

The days are gone, the years are sped

Since we as children played to-
gether ;
And all the roses now are dead,

That blossomed in that sunny

weather.
How sweet it is now to recall

Those hours that come no more to

cheer us;
To think our forest world and all

Its magic shadows yet are near us.
Come back in memory to the glade,

Just you and I and not another;
Once more I'll be a little maid,

And you shall be my elder brother.

CYRANO.

It comes again as if 'twere yesterday.
And then



CYRANO



13



ROXANE.

Those were the days of long and
happy games.

CYRANO.
And berries somewhat sour.

ROXANE.

The time when you obeyed

The sharp commands of her with

whom you played.

Sometimes as we two roamed the land,
Forgetful of the passing hours,
You, seeking for me rarest flowers,
Would meet with thorns and hurt

your hand.
And I, forgetting that you were my

brother,
And playing that I w r as your little

mother,

Would look severe and scold,
And seize your hand to hold.

(She takes his hand and stops
amazed.)

Why, what is this? A cut! The

same!
You stupid boy, for shame, for


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Online LibraryWalter DamroschCyrano : an opera in four acts → online text (page 1 of 3)