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Scene II Summary
Lignière introduces Christian de Neuvillette to two gentlemen, Cuigy and Brissaille, who comment on his elegant appearance but outmoded clothes. Ligniére explains that his friend has come from Touraine, and Christian adds that he is entering the Guards as a Cadet.
When Lignière grows restless and wants to leave and get another drink, Christian begs him to wait for a little while. Christian, who has fallen in love at first sight with a beautiful lady, wants Ligniere to help him watch for her arrival. He confesses to Ligniere that he also needs help in talking to her, for he does not know how to address a lady with elegance and wit. While the two of them wait, Ragueneau, the patron and pastry cook of actors and poets, enters, wearing his best clothes. Ragueneau, who appears agitated, is looking for Cyrano de Bergerac, who has not yet arrived at the theater. Ragueneau expects there to be a disturbance. Cyrano has forbidden Montfleury to act on the stage for three weeks, but he is cast to play Phaedo in the upcoming performance.
In the course of the conversation, information about Cyrano is revealed. He is a poet, swordsman, scientist, and musician, whose character is described as "odd, impetuous, brash, and outlandish . . . proudest of all the thin-skinned swaggerers lovingly spawned by Gascony." Ragueneau then goes on to describe Cyrano's appearance. He usually wears a feathered hat and a cape, held behind by a sword rising like a cock's tail. A huge nose covers much of his face.
Since De Guiche is already married to Cardinal Richelieu's niece, he is trying to arrange a marriage between Roxane and his protégé, Viscount de Valvert, a weak, accommodating man. Lignière knows that De Guiche has ulterior motives and declares that he has written a song exposing the count's crafty designs. Hearing about Viscount de Valvert, Christian wants to go and have a duel with him, wanting to protect Roxane from him. Lignière, however, restrains him by drawing his attention to Roxane, who seems to watching Christian.