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Scene 4 Summary
De Guiche enters and the cadets ignore him, for they do not want him to see their misery.
Carbon and De Guiche greet each other and are pleased to see that each of them is reduced to skin and bone, proof that no one is escaping the suffering and misery. De Guiche, however, complains that Carbon's cadets hold him in contempt because he is a courtier and not a typical ragged Gascon. He goes on to claim his own great courage, as shown the day before in attacking the troops of Count de Bucquoi at Bapaume.
The perceptive and clever Cyrano interrupts to ask about the white scarf of an officer that is in his possession. It belongs to De Guiche. He was wearing it at the attack the day before. When things started going badly, De Guiche removed the white scarf and threw it on the ground, hoping the enemy would not recognize him as an officer and take him captive. Seeing the act of De Guiche's cowardice, Cyrano picked up the scarf and now produces it, embarrassing De Guiche and proving that he is not courageous as he claimed. De Guiche tries to convince everyone that he dropped the scarf so that he could flee and regroup his men for another attack. No one believes him.
As the cadets prepare to fight, Cyrano grows excited over the thought of battle. Christian, however, is stunned and wants to take time to write a farewell letter to Roxane. Cyrano has already prepared one, which he gives to Christian to read. The letter explains that dying is not nearly so difficult as never seeing Roxane again. As he reads, Christian is startled to see Cyrano's tears on letter. Cyrano explains that the words were so beautiful that they brought tears to his eyes.
Suddenly a carriage is announced. De Guiche thinks it might be the king, and the cadets line up and bow in expectation. Instead of royalty, it is Roxane. Her appearance stuns everyone completely.