Edmond Rostand, fully Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand

Rostand, fully Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand

French Poet, Playwright and Dramatist best known for Cyrano De Bergerac

Author Quotes

VALVERT: Your ... your nose is ... errr ... Your nose ... is very large! CYRANO: [gravely] Very. VALVERT: [laughs] Ha! CYRANO: [imperturbable] Is that all? Valvert: But... CYRANO: Ah, no, young man, that is not enough! You might have said, dear me, there are a thousand things ... varying the tone ... For instance ... Here you are: — Aggressive: "I, monsieur, if I had such a nose, nothing would serve but I must cut it off!" Amicable: "It must be in your way while drinking; you ought to have a special beaker made!" Descriptive: "It is a crag! ... a peak! ... a promontory! ... A promontory, did I say? ... It is a peninsula!" Inquisitive: "What may the office be of that oblong receptacle? Is it an inkhorn or a scissor-case?" Mincing: "Do you so dote on birds, you have, fond as a father, been at pains to fit the little darlings with a roost?" Blunt: "Tell me, monsieur, you, when you smoke, is it possible you blow the vapor through your nose without a neighbor crying "The chimney is afire!"?" Anxious: "Go with caution, I beseech, lest your head, dragged over by that weight, should drag you over!" Tender: "Have a little sun-shade made for it! It might get freckled!" Learned: "None but the beast, monsieur, mentioned by Aristophanes, the hippocampelephantocamelos, can have borne beneath his forehead so much cartilage and bone!" Off-Hand: "What, comrade, is that sort of peg in style? Capital to hang one's hat upon!" Emphatic: No wind can hope, O lordly nose, to give the whole of you a cold, but the Nor-Wester!" Dramatic: "It is the Red Sea when it bleeds!" Admiring: "What a sign for a perfumer's shop!" Lyric: "Art thou a Triton, and is that thy conch?" Simple: "A monument! When is admission free?" Deferent: "Suffer, monsieur, that I should pay you my respects: That is what I call possessing a house of your own!" Rustic: "Hi, boys! Call that a nose? You don't gull me! It's either a prize parrot or a stunted gourd!" Military: "Level against the cavalry!" Practical: "Will you put up for raffle? Indubitably, sir, it will be the feature of the game!" And finally in parody of weeping Pyramus: "Behold, behold the nose that traitorously destroyed the beauty of its master! and is blushing for the same!" — That, my dear sir, or something not unlike, is what you could have said to me, had you the smallest leaven of letters or wit; but of wit, O most pitiable of objects made by God, you never had a rudiment, and of letters, you have just those that are needed to spell "fool!" — But, had it been otherwise, and had you been possessed of the fertile fancy requisite to shower upon me, here, in this noble company, that volley of sprightly pleasentries, still should you not have delivered yourself of so much as a quarter of the tenth part of the beginning of the first ... For I let off these good things at myself, and with sufficient zest, but do not suffer another to let them off at me!"

The dream, alone, is of interest. What is life, without a dream?

My pessimism goes to the point of suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists.

A large nose is in fact the sign of an affable man, good, courteous, witty, liberal, courageous, such as I am.

What say you? It is useless? Ay, I know
But who fights ever hoping for success?
I fought for lost cause, and for fruitless quest!
You there, who are you! — You are thousands! Ah!
I know you now, old enemies of mine!
Have at you! Ha! and Compromise!
Prejudice, Treachery! ...
Surrender, I?
Parley? No, never! You too, Folly, — you?
I know that you will lay me low at last;
Let be! Yet I fall fighting, fighting still!

What would you have me do?
Search out some powerful patronage, and be
Like crawling ivy clinging to a tree?
No thank you.
Dedicate, like all the others,
Verses to plutocrats, while caution smothers
Whatever might offend my lord and master?
No thank you.
Kneel until my knee-caps fester,
Bend my back until I crack my spine,
And scratch another’s back if he’ll scratch mine?
No thank you.
Dining out to curry favour,
Meeting the influential till I slaver,
Suiting my style to what the critics want
With slavish copy of the latest can’t?
No thanks!
Ready to jump through any hoop
To be the great man of a little group?
Be blown off course, with madrigals for sails,
By the old women sighing through their veils?
Labouring to write a line of such good breeding
Its only fault is that it’s not worth reading?
To ingratiate myself, abject with fear,
And fawn and flatter to avoid a sneer?
No thanks, no thanks, no thanks!
But just to sing,
Dream, laugh, and take my tilt of wing,
To cock a snook whenever I shall choose,
To fight for yes and no, come win or lose,
To travel without thought of fame or fortune
Wherever I care to go to under the moon!
Never to write a line that hasn’t come
Directly from my heart: and so, with some
Modesty, to tell myself: My boy,
Be satisfied with a flower, a fruit, the joy
Of a single leaf, so long as it was grown
In your own garden. Then, if success is won
By any chance, you have nothing to render to
A hollow Caesar: the merit belongs to you.
In short, I won’t be a parasite; I’ll be
My own intention, stand alone and free,
And suit my voice to what my own eyes see!

Take it, and turn to facts my fantasies.

Well when I write my book, and tell the tale of my adventures--all these little stars that shake out of my cloak-- I must save those to use for asterisks!

My heart always timidly hides itself behind my mind. I set out to bring down stars from the sky, then, for fear of ridicule, I stop and pick little flowers of eloquence.

And what is a kiss, specifically? A pledge properly sealed, a promise seasoned to taste, a vow stamped with the immediacy of a lip, a rosy circle drawn around the verb 'to love.' A kiss is a message too intimate for the ear, infinity captured in the bee's brief visit to a flower, secular communication with an aftertaste of heaven, the pulse rising from the heart to utter its name on a lover's lip: 'Forever.

All our souls are written in our eyes.

A great nose may be an index of a great soul.

A kiss is a secret which takes the lips for the ear.

What would you have me do?
Seek for the patronage of some great man,
And like a creeping vine on a tall tree
Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone?
No thank you! Dedicate, as others do,
Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon
In the vile hope of teasing out a smile
On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad
For breakfast every morning? Make my knees
Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,-
Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust?
No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine
That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns
Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right
Too proud to know his partner's business,
Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire
God gave me to burn incense all day long
Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you!
Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps
And licking fingers?-or-to change the form-
Navigating with madrigals for oars,
My sails full of the sighs of dowagers?
No thank you! Publish verses at my own
Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint
Of a small group of literary souls
Who dine together every Tuesday? No
I thank you! Shall I labor night and day
To build a reputation on one song,
And never write another? Shall I find
True genius only among Geniuses,
Palpitate over little paragraphs,
And struggle to insinuate my name
In the columns of the Mercury?
No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid,
Love more to make a visit than a poem,
Seek introductions, favors, influences?-
No thank you! No, I thank you! And again
I thank you!-But...
To sing, to laugh, to dream
To walk in my own way and be alone,
Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat
Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No,
To fight-or write.To travel any road
Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt
If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne-
Never to make a line I have not heard
In my own heart; yet, with all modesty
To say:"My soul, be satisfied with flowers,
With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them
In the one garden you may call your own."
So, when I win some triumph, by some chance,
Render no share to Caesar-in a word,
I am too proud to be a parasite,
And if my nature wants the germ that grows
Towering to heaven like the mountain pine,
Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes-
I stand, not high it may be-but alone!

The insufferable arrogance of human beings to think that Nature was made solely for their benefit, as if it was conceivable that the sun has been set afire merely to ripen men's apples and head their cabbages.

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Rostand, fully Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand
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French Poet, Playwright and Dramatist best known for Cyrano De Bergerac