Edmond Rostand citations

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Edmond Rostand

Date de naissance: 1. avril 1868
Date de décès: 2. décembre 1918
Autres noms:Edmond de Rostand

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Edmond Rostand, né à Marseille le 1er avril 1868 et mort à Paris, 7e, le 2 décembre 1918 , est un écrivain, dramaturge, poète et essayiste français.

Il est l'auteur de l'une des pièces les plus connues du théâtre français, Cyrano de Bergerac. Il est, par ailleurs, l'époux de la poétesse Rosemonde Gérard et le père de l'écrivain, biologiste et académicien français Jean Rostand.

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Citations Edmond Rostand

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„You blessed my life!
Never on me had rested woman's love.“

—  Edmond Rostand
Context: You blessed my life! Never on me had rested woman's love. My mother even could not find me fair: I had no sister; and, when grown a man, I feared the mistress who would mock at me. But I have had your friendship — grace to you A woman's charm has passed across my path. Cyrano, Act 5, Sc. 6

„I know you now, old enemies of mine!
Falsehood!
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!“

—  Edmond Rostand
Context: 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! Falsehood! 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! Cyrano, Act 5, Sc. 6

„Yes, a poet, … and, to such an extent, that while we fence, I will, hop!, extempore, compose you a ballade!“

—  Edmond Rostand
Context: Valvert: Villain, clod-poll, flat-foot, refuse of the earth! Cyrano: [taking off his hat and bowing as if the Vicomte had been introducing himself] Ah? … And mine, Cyrano-Savinien-Hercule of Bergerac! Valvert: [exasperated] Buffoon! Cyrano: [giving a sudden cry, as if seized with a cramp] Aï! … Valvert: [who had started toward the back, turning] What is he saying now? Cyrano: [screwing his face as if in pain] It must have leave to stir … it has a cramp! It is bad for it to be kept still so long! Valvert: What is the matter? Cyrano: My rapier prickles like a foot asleep! Valvert: [drawing] So be it! Cyrano: I shall give you a charming little hurt! Valvert: [contemptous] Poet! Cyrano: Yes, a poet, … and, to such an extent, that while we fence, I will, hop!, extempore, compose you a ballade! Valvert: A ballade? Cyrano: I fear you do not know what that is. Valvert: But … Cyrano: [as if saying a lesson] The ballade is composed of three stanzas of eight lines each … Valvert: [stamps with his feet] Oh! Cyrano: [continuing] And an envoi of four. Valvert: You … Cyrano: I will with the same breath fight you and compose one. And, at the last line, I will hit you. Valvert: Indeed you will not! Cyrano: No? … [Declaiming] Ballade of the duel which in Burgundy house Monsieur de Bergerac fought with a jackanape … Valvert: And what is that, if you please? Cyrano: That is the title. [ … ] Cyrano: [closing his eyes a second] Wait. I am settling upon the rhymes. There. I have them. [in declaiming, he suits the action to the word] Of my broad felt made lighter, I cast my mantle broad, And stand, poet and fighter, To do and to record. I bow, I draw my sword … En garde! With steel and wit I play you at first abord … At the last line, I hit! [They begin fencing] You should have been politer; Where had you best be gored? The left side or the right — ah? Or next your azure cord? Or where the spleen is stored? Or in the stomach pit? Come we to quick accord … At the last line, I hit! You falter, you turn whiter? You do so to afford Your foe a rhyme in "iter"? … You thrust at me — I ward — And balance is restored. Laridon! Look to your spit! … No, you shall not be floored Before my cue to hit! [He announces solemnly] Envoi Prince, call upon the Lord! … I skirmish … feint a bit … I lunge! … I keep my word! [The Vicomte staggers, Cyrano bows. ] At the last line, I hit! Act IV, scene 1, as translated by Getrude Hall

„What say you? It is useless? Ay, I know
But who fights ever hoping for success?“

—  Edmond Rostand
Context: 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! Falsehood! 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! Cyrano, Act 5, Sc. 6

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„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!"“

—  Edmond Rostand
Context: 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!" Act IV, scene 1, as translated by Getrude Hall

„Of my broad felt made lighter,
I cast my mantle broad,
And stand, poet and fighter,
To do and to record.
I bow, I draw my sword …
En garde! With steel and wit
I play you at first abord …
At the last line, I hit!“

—  Edmond Rostand
Context: Valvert: Villain, clod-poll, flat-foot, refuse of the earth! Cyrano: [taking off his hat and bowing as if the Vicomte had been introducing himself] Ah? … And mine, Cyrano-Savinien-Hercule of Bergerac! Valvert: [exasperated] Buffoon! Cyrano: [giving a sudden cry, as if seized with a cramp] Aï! … Valvert: [who had started toward the back, turning] What is he saying now? Cyrano: [screwing his face as if in pain] It must have leave to stir … it has a cramp! It is bad for it to be kept still so long! Valvert: What is the matter? Cyrano: My rapier prickles like a foot asleep! Valvert: [drawing] So be it! Cyrano: I shall give you a charming little hurt! Valvert: [contemptous] Poet! Cyrano: Yes, a poet, … and, to such an extent, that while we fence, I will, hop!, extempore, compose you a ballade! Valvert: A ballade? Cyrano: I fear you do not know what that is. Valvert: But … Cyrano: [as if saying a lesson] The ballade is composed of three stanzas of eight lines each … Valvert: [stamps with his feet] Oh! Cyrano: [continuing] And an envoi of four. Valvert: You … Cyrano: I will with the same breath fight you and compose one. And, at the last line, I will hit you. Valvert: Indeed you will not! Cyrano: No? … [Declaiming] Ballade of the duel which in Burgundy house Monsieur de Bergerac fought with a jackanape … Valvert: And what is that, if you please? Cyrano: That is the title. [ … ] Cyrano: [closing his eyes a second] Wait. I am settling upon the rhymes. There. I have them. [in declaiming, he suits the action to the word] Of my broad felt made lighter, I cast my mantle broad, And stand, poet and fighter, To do and to record. I bow, I draw my sword … En garde! With steel and wit I play you at first abord … At the last line, I hit! [They begin fencing] You should have been politer; Where had you best be gored? The left side or the right — ah? Or next your azure cord? Or where the spleen is stored? Or in the stomach pit? Come we to quick accord … At the last line, I hit! You falter, you turn whiter? You do so to afford Your foe a rhyme in "iter"? … You thrust at me — I ward — And balance is restored. Laridon! Look to your spit! … No, you shall not be floored Before my cue to hit! [He announces solemnly] Envoi Prince, call upon the Lord! … I skirmish … feint a bit … I lunge! … I keep my word! [The Vicomte staggers, Cyrano bows. ] At the last line, I hit! Act IV, scene 1, as translated by Getrude Hall

„Ah, no, young man, that is not enough!“

—  Edmond Rostand
Context: 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!" Act IV, scene 1, as translated by Getrude Hall

„To joke in the face of danger is the supreme politeness, a delicate refusal to cast oneself as a tragic hero.“

—  Edmond Rostand
Speaking to the Académie française in 1903, as quoted by John Lahr in "Fighting and Writing" in The New Yorker (12 November 2007) http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/theatre/2007/11/12/071112crth_theatre_lahr

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