Said by actor Benoît Constant Coquelin (Cyrano in the original Paris production of Cyrano de Bergerac) to Eliot Gregory about playwrite Edmond Rostand:
- If Rostand’s play is the best this century has produced, and our greatest critics are unanimous in pronouncing it equal, if not superior, to Victor Hugo’s masterpieces, the young author has not stolen his laurels, but gained them leaf by leaf during endless midnight hours of brain-wringing effort–a price that few in a generation would be willing to give or capable of giving for fame. The labor had been in proportion to the success; it always is! I doubt if there is one word in his `duel’ ballad that has not been changed again and again for a more fitting expression, as one might assort the shades of a mosaic until a harmonious whole is produced. I have there in my desk whole scenes that he discarded because they were not essential to the action of the piece. They will probably never be printed, yet are as brilliant and cost their author as much labor as any that the public applauded to-night. [E. Gregory, The Ways of Men, Classic Reader.com; Hat Tip: HBL]
What an incredibly wonderful quote! I want to find out if the rest of the book is filled with such treasures.