Cyrano de Bergerac:
Ah, no young sir!
You are too simple. Why, you might have said –
Oh, a great many things! For example, thus: –
AGGRESSIVE: I, sir, if that nose were mine,
I’d have it amputated – on the spot!
FRIENDLY: How do you drink with such a nose?
You ought to have a cup made specially.
DESCRIPTIVE: ‘Tis a rock – a crag – a cape –
A cape? say rather, a peninsula!
INQUISITIVE: What is that receptacle –
A razor case or a portfolio?
KINDLY: Ah, do you love the little birds
So much that when they come and sing to you,
You give them this to perch on? INSOLENT:
Sir, when you smoke, the neighbors must suppose
Your chimney is on fire. CAUTIOUS: Take care –
A weight like that might make you topheavy.
THOUGHTFUL: Somebody fetch my parasol –
Those delicate colors fade so in the sun!
PEDANTIC: Does not Aristophanes
Mention a mythological monster called
Surely we have here the original!
FAMILIAR: Well, old torchlight! Hang your hat
Over that chandelier – it hurts my eyes.
ELOQUENT: When it blows, the typhoon howls,
And the clouds darken. DRAMATIC: When it bleeds –
The Red Sea! ENTERPRISING: What a sign
For some perfumer! LYRIC: Hark – the horn –
Of Roland calls to summon Charlemagne! –
SIMPLE: When do they unveil the monument?
RESPECTFUL: Sir, I recognize in you
A man of parts, a man of prominence –
RUSTIC: Hey? What? Call that a nose? Na na –
I be no fool like what you think I be –
That there’s a blue cucumber! MILITARY:
Point against cavalry! PRACTICAL: Why not
A lottery with this for the grand prize?
Or – parodying Faustus in the play –
“Was this the nose that launched a thousand ships
And burned the topless towers of Ilium?”
These my dear sir, are things you might have said
Had you some tinge of letters, or of wit
To color your discourse. But wit, – not so,
You never had an atom – and of letters,
You need but three to write you down –an Ass.
Moreover, – if you had the invention, here
Before these folks to make a jest of me –
Be sure you would not then articulate
The twentieth part of half a syllable
Of the beginning! For I say these things
Lightly enough myself, about myself,
But I allow none else to utter them.
(One of my favorite speeches from the play! Shakespeare is great, but I haven’t heard anyone yet to beat Cyrano!)