A Great Poet – with Quite the Feature!

English: Lloyd Corrigan (left) & José Ferrer i...

English: Lloyd Corrigan (left) & José Ferrer in Cyrano de Bergerac – cropped screenshot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Hippocampelephantocamelos?

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!)

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