Outside the pastry shop, the cadets are gathered, waiting to hear the sounds of Cyrano attacking Christian for insulting his nose. One cadet pokes his head into a window and is shocked to see Christian and Cyrano embracing.
Already Cyrano is sacrificing his most prized asset—his reputation—in order to help Christian, a man he clearly dislikes (or at least doesn’t respect). Cyrano’s peers see him embracing Christian and conclude that he’s changing or “going soft.”
The group concludes that Cyrano no longer minds people talking about his nose. Emboldened, a Second Musketeer goes up to Cyrano and insults his nose. Cyrano immediately hits the Musketeer for his rudeness. The cadets laugh and cheer—the “good old Cyrano” is back.
For the time being, Cyrano’s reputation as a fighter and an aggressive opponent is so strong that one strike is enough to make the cadets forget Cyrano’s seemingly out-of-character interactions with Christian. Only Le Bret and Ragueneau know that Cyrano is helping Christian because he himself loves Roxane.