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Vicomte de Valvert
: [to Cyrano
] Dolt! Insolent puppy! Jabbernowl! Cyrano de Bergerac
: [bowing, sarcastically
] How do you do? And I - Cyrano Savinien Hercule de Bergerac!
Vicomte de Valvert
: [amused at Cyrano
] Madame, that nose of his, presently he will take it off? Roxane
: [controlling her anger at Valvert
] No, monsieur, he keeps it, and Heaven help the man who smiles. Good night.
Vicomte de Valvert
: Monsieur, your nose... your nose is rather large. Cyrano de Bergerac
: Rather? Vicomte de Valvert
: Oh, well... Cyrano de Bergerac
: Is that all? Vicomte de Valvert
: Well of course... Cyrano de Bergerac
: Oh, no, young sir. You are too simple. Why, you might have said a great many things. Why waste your opportunity? For example, thus: AGGRESSIVE: I, sir, if that nose were mine, I'd have it amputated on the spot. PRACTICAL: How do you drink with such a nose? You must have had a cup made especially. 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 to see you, you give them this to perch on. CAUTIOUS: Take care! A weight like that might make you top-heavy. ELOQUENT: When it blows, the typhoon howls, and the clouds darken! DRAMATIC: When it bleeds, the Red Sea. SIMPLE: When do they unveil the monument? MILITARY: Beware, a secret weapon. ENTERPRISING: What a sign for some perfumer! RESPECTFUL: Sir, I recognize in you a man of parts. A man of... prominence! Or, LITERARY: Was this the nose that launched a thousand ships? 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: A, S, S. Ass! Vicomte de Valvert
: Insolent puppy, dolt, bunpkin, fool! Cyrano de Bergerac
: How do you do? And I, Cyrano Savinien Hercule de Bergerac. Antoine Comte de Guiche
: Vicomte, come. Vicomte de Valvert
: Such arrogance, this scarecrow. Look at him! No ribbons, no lace, not even gloves! Cyrano de Bergerac
: True! I carry my adornments only on my soul, decked with deeds instead of ribbons. Manful in my good name, and crowned with the white plume of freedom. Vicomte de Valvert
: But... Cyrano de Bergerac
: But, I have no gloves. A pity too. I had one - the last of an old pair - and lost that. Very careless of me. A gentleman offered me an impertinence. I left it - in his face. Vicomte de Valvert
: [Drawing his rapier
] So be it! Cyrano de Bergerac
: You shall die exquisitely! Vicomte de Valvert
: Oh, a poet? Cyrano de Bergerac
: Oh, yes, a poet. So, while we fight, I'll improvise a ballade for you, and as I end the refrain, thrust home. Vicomte de Valvert
: Will you? Cyrano de Bergerac
: I will. Ballade of the duel at the Theatre of the Burgoyne, between de Bergerac and... a barbarian. Vicomte de Valvert
: What do you mean by that? Cyrano de Bergerac
: Oh, that? The title.
Cyrano de Bergerac
: That thing of yours is big, what? Very big. Cyrano de Bergerac
: Precisely what I've been saying. Le Vicomte de Valvert
: Ah! Cyrano de Bergerac
: Nothing more? Just a fatuous smirk? Oh, come, there are fifty-score more varieties of comment you could find, if you possessed a modicum of mind. For instance there's the frank aggressive kind: "If mine achieved such a hypertrophic state, I'd call in a surgeon at once to amputate!" The friendly: "It must dip in your cup, You need a nasal crane to hoist it up." The pure descriptive: "From its size and shape, I'd say it was a rock, a bluff, a cape - No, a peninsula - how picturesque!" The curious: "What's that? A writing desk? The gracious: "Are you fond of birds? How sweet - A Gothic perch to rest their feet." The truculent: "Are you a smoker? I suppose the fumes must gush out fiercely from that nose and people think a chimney's on fire." Considerate: "It will drag you in the mire head first, the weight that's concentrated there. Walk carefully." The tender-hearted swear they'll have a miniature embrella made to keep the rain off, or for summer shade. Then comes the pedant: "Let me see it please. That mythic beast of Aristophenes, the hippocampocamelephant, had flesh and bone like that stuck up in front." Insolent: "Quite a useful gadget, that. You hold it high and then hang up your hat." Emphatic: "No fierce wind from near or far, save the Mistral, could give that nose catarrh." Impressed: "A sign for a perfumery!" Dramatic: "When it bleeds, it's the Red Sea!" Lyric: "Ah, Triton rising from the waters, honking his wretched conch at Neptune's daughters!" Naive: "How much to view the monument?" Speculative: "Tell me, what's the rent for each of both of those unfurnished flats?" Rustic: "Nay, Jarge, that ain't no nose. Why, that's a giant turnip, or a midget marrow. Let's dig it up and load it on the barrow." The warlike: "Train it on the enemy!" Pracitcal: "Put that in a lottery for noses, and it's bound to win first prize." And finally, with tragic sighs and cries, the language finely wrought and deeply felt, "Oh, that this too, too solid nose would melt." This is the sort of thing you could have said, if you, Sir Moron, were a man of letters or had an ounce of spunk inside your head. But you've no letters, have you, save the three required for self-description: S.O.T. You have to live my worsting to your betters, or better, who can best you, meaning me. But be quite sure, you lesser-feathered twit, Even if you possessed the soul and wit, I'd never let you get away with it.
: [to Cyrano with a laugh
] Excuse me, dog-face, but your nose is rather large. Wishbone
: [as Cyrano, mocking him
] My nose is rather large? "Rather large," you say? Is that the best you can do? Ha ha ha ha! I do not need my sword to teach you a lesson; I have words! Let me teach you how to insult my nose, monsieur. You could have said, "Your nose is so big, you should call a doctor and have it amputated!" Or, how 'bout this: "What do ya carry around in that snout, your pens or your whole writing desk?" Ooh, how 'bout this one: "Do you love the birds so much that you let them perch on your nose?" But NO! The best *you* can come up with is, "Your nose is rather large." Well, any fool can see that my nose is rather large, but your brain is rather small!