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Eternal French texts: “Le Cid”

“Nous partîmes cinq cents; mais par un prompt renfort
Nous nous vîmes trois mille en arrivant au port,”

“Ô rage ! ô désespoir ! ô vieillesse ennemie !
N’ai-je donc tant vécu que pour cette infamie ?”

Rodrigue, as-tu du coeur?”

À vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire.”

Le combat cessa faute de combattants.”

Those are all quotes extracted from “Le Cid”, a tragicomedy by Pierre Corneille. They are  so well known as standalone quotes that a lot of native French speakers will use them without even knowing their origin. I personally think the full play is worth reading as it includes what most people like in a story: Love, battles, and duels. The book was written in 1636, and even though it is relatively easy to read to most native speakers, the old French structures might confuse beginners who are still learning the structure of the language.

Gallica has several editions of book

Project Gutenberg has an English translation of the text here.


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