Cyrano de Bergerac on War

Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac (who was born in Paris on 6 March 1619 and died 1655) was a French writer and soldier, most widely remembered because he inspired Edmond Rostand’s heroic comedy “Cyrano de Bergerac”(1897) based on his life.
His work “The Other World or The States and Empires of the Moon” (1662), from which the quote is taken, is considered to be one of the first science fiction novels

“Tell me,” she said, “do your princes have no other pretext for war than might makes right?”
“Yes,” I answered, “the justice of their cause.”
“Why, then,” she continued, “do they not choose to be reconciled by impartial judges? And if it is determined that both sides are in the right, then why not maintain the status quo? Or why not play a game of gin rummy for the town or province they’re arguing over? But no, while they cause the death of four million men who are better than they, they stay in their strategy rooms making light of the way the poor fellows are being massacred”

Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac fu uno scrittore e soldato francese, nato a Parigi il 6 marzo 1619 e morto nel 1655.
Oggi è noto per aver ispirato a Edmond Rostand la sua commedia eroica del1897 “Cyrano de Bergerac
La sua opera “L’altro mondo o Gli Stati e gli Imperi della Luna” (1662), da cui è tratta la citazione, è considerata uno dei primi romanzi di fantascienza

“Dimmi”, disse, “i tuoi principi non hanno altro pretesto per la guerra che se non il diritto della forza?
“Sì”, risposi, “la giustizia della loro causa”.
“Perché, allora”, continuò, “non scelgono di riconciliarsi tramite arbitri imparziali? E se capita che entrambe le parti abbiano ragione, allora perché non mantenere lo status quo? O perché non giocarsi a carte la città o la provincia su cui stanno litigando? E mentre loro causano la morte di quattro milioni di uomini che sono migliori di loro, restano nei loro gabinetti a deridere il modo in cui quei poveretti vengono massacrati.”

Savinien de Cyrano, dit de Bergerac (écrivain et soldat français, né à Paris le 6 mars 1619 et mort en 1655).
Il est connu aujourd’hui pour avoir inspiré à Edmond Rostand sa comédie héroïque de “Cyrano de Bergerac” (1897).
Son œuvre “L’autre Monde ou Les États et empires de la Lune” (1662) , dont la citation est tirée est considérée, comme l’un des premiers romans de science-fiction

“Apprenez-moi”, me dit-elle, “vos princes ne prétextent-ils leurs armements que du droit de force?”
“Si fait,” lui répliquai “je, de la justice de leur cause.”
“ Pourquoi donc,” continua-t-elle, “ne choisissent-ils des arbitres non suspects pour être accordés ? Et s’il se trouve qu’ils aient autant de droit l’un que l’autre, qu’ils demeurent comme ils étaient, ou qu’ils jouent en un cent de piquet la ville ou la province dont ils sont en dispute ? Et cependant qu’ils font casser la tête à plus de quatre millions d’hommes qui valent mieux qu’eux, ils sont dans leur cabinet à goguenarder sur les circonstances du massacre de ces badauds.”

Image: Wikipedia – Literature portal – Bergerac illustrated by Zacharie Heince, c. 1654

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67 thoughts on “Cyrano de Bergerac on War

  1. It’s so heart touching and lovely. The dialogue between the lady and the narrator is so beautiful and soul stirring. Fantastic and is perfect for the present war situation. It’s a pleasure to read your blogs.

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  2. Giocarsi a carte un territorio. Ho qualche dubbio che oggi abbiamo fatto progressi! Comunque interessante che un ebreo si ponga come intermediario. Putin ha molti amici ebrei tranne Georgiani. Buona domenica e grazie dei tuoi amorevoli apprezzamenti!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stefano trovo la situazione semplicemente angosciante. Non sapendo fare analisi politiche, mi limito a condividere il dolore di tanti ucraini che devono lasciare le proprie case, i propri cari e piangere i morti . E prego per loro 🙏🏳️‍🌈🙏

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  3. So many educated writers have said similar things over the years. They see human nature very well and try to guide. Alas, the blood lust of megalomaniacs is seldom cooled by intelligent words. They are willing to destroy it all so nobody else can have it either. A wise person once said to me “You can’t reason with someone who is unreasonable.” Stay well Luisa. Allan

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  4. Tutto molto in linea coi tempi correnti!!! Io volutamente ce4co di non parlarne di questo terribile momento, mi limito soltanto a dire che mi sento molto frastornata, incredula che sia potuto accadere!!! E qui mi fermo perchè altrimenti, apriti Sesamo… Buon pomeriggio 🥀😘

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    1. Anch’io evito di fare considerazioni, ma se trovo qualche citazione adatta, soprattutto di un personaggio di cui quel giorno capita l’anniversario di nascita o di morte, non posso fare a meno di postarla 💕💕💕

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  5. We read and learned about Rostand’s play in twelfth grade English Class. I love it and remember it to this day. It’s sensitive and brilliant. I’ve never seen the nose before as seen in the picture of Cyrano in your blog. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Oh, I’m touched by that last statement. What an ingenious thought by Cyrano! Surely, aren’t humans always seing these wonderful solutions instead of sacrificing millions and their property to no avail. Certainly a sad situation with fellow humans. Many thanks for sharing this. I laud Cyrano’s wisdom.

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  7. This is a good one to bring out of the bag at this moment in time Luisa and I believe you’ve done it deliberately to compare it with the situation in Ukraine.
    Cyrano de Bergerac is probably as well known for his large nose as anything else – and so was Pinocchio. Putin may not have a large nose, but he’s told more lies than Pinocchio ever did.

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    1. You guessed it ❣️
      I chose to write about this author, born on this day, because his quote allowed to reflect on what is happening at the moment
      Thank you for your excellent and witty reflection: “Cyrano de Bergerac is probably as well known for his large nose as anything else – and so was Pinocchio. Putin may not have a large nose, but he’s told more lies than Pinocchio ever did.”

      Liked by 1 person

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