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The Geisha

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Japanese March

Chorus. Koi-wa-se-ni sumu,
Tori-wa ki-ni tomaru,
Hito-wa nasake-no
Koi-wa-se-ni sumu,
Tori-wa ki-ni tomaru,
Hito-wa nasake-no
Kage, Kage, Kage, Kage-ni.

Takemini places them as music finishes – chairs are brought on for the English – the Japs squat. Takemini has entered during music and taken his post at principal entrance.

Takemini. The Marquis Imari! (Bus. salute)

The Japs prostrate themselves. Enter Imari and Juliette.

Imari. A most satisfactory reception. It is wonderful how popular I am when I give the banquet myself and make all the arrangements in my honour.

Takemini. The English visitors! (Enter English Party. Ladies sit, Officers stand behind.) The Chief Geisha of our Court. (Enter 4 Geisha with samisens and 4 Attendants. They sing.)

Entrance of Geisha

With splendour auspicious, O sunbeams illumine the day,
With perfumes delicious, O flowers make fragrant the way.
O Zephyrs, go carry our songs to the Master of Might,
Who cometh to marry the Rose of his fancy’s delight!
Sing sweetly and shrilly
O twittering birds of the air,
Than lilac or lily
The bride is more daintily fair.
From hill and from valley,
The echoes are greeting the day
With soft fal-lal-lally
And tender fal-lal-lal-lal-lay!
And tender fal-lal-lal-lal-lay!
With splendour auspicious, etc.

After number, enter Wun-Hi, who forces his way past Takemini and Others, who try to keep him out.

Takemini. Most noble Marquis, the Chinaman is here.

Imari. All right, admit him!

Wun-Hi. There, you see, me got Marquis’ permission! How do you do, foleign female devils. Me dancee, singee, then go round with hattee.

Lady C. Chinamen don’t wear hats.

Cunningham. Then I suppose he’ll go round with his pigtail.

Song & Dance – Wun-Hi and Chorus

Wun-Hi. Chinaman no money makee
Allo lifee long!
Washee washee once me takee,
Washee washee wrong!
When me thinkee stealee collars
P’licee mannee come;
Me get finee fivee dollars,
Plenty muchee such!

Chin Chin Chinaman

Muchee muchee sad,
Me afraid
Allo trade
Wellee welle bad!
No-ee joke
Brokee broke
Makee shuttee shop
Chin chin chinaman
Chop, chop chop!

Chorus. Chin Chin Chinaman, etc.

Wun-Hi. When me gette catchee cheatee
Playing piecee card,
Chinaman they allo beatee
Kickee welly hard!
When me takee nicee placee
Makee plenty tea,
Gettee me in more disgracee,
Up they sellee me!

Chin Chin Chinaman, etc.

Chorus. Chin Chin Chinaman, etc.

Dance and exit.

Takemini. Most noble Marquis, a fortune teller craves an audience.

English Party rise and cross to Marquis.

All. A fortune teller! What fun!

Imari. Send her away – I don’t like fortune tellers.

All. Oh, do let us see her!

All rise.

Lady C. Oh, Marquis, do have her in!

Imari. That’s all very well for you, you are not in a hurry – you are not going to be married.

Lady C. Now don’t refuse now, or we’ll never come to your wedding again.

Imari. I’m suspicious of fortune tellers. Besides, they know such a lot.

Lady C. Now you must say yes – do!

Imari. Well, as you are my guests, I can refuse you nothing. (To Takemini) Send her in.

English Party return to seats.

Takemini. Oyuki, the fortune teller!

Melos. Excitement. Enter Mimosa, disguised. She carries a small box.

Mimosa. (Mysteriously through melos) Within this box secrets lie hidden. Fate has filled it with good omens and disasters. Fortunes are concealed in it, and misfortunes. Here – (tapping the box) are riches and ruin. I predict a life basking in sunshine or blasted by volcanoes. You may draw the lot of success or calamity. I foretell love’s triumphs and disappointments, happy marriages and disastrous unions. Who will consult Oyuki’s box of fate?

Cunningham. Have you plenty of good fortune in your box?

Mimosa. To-day the fates are propitious in honour of Most Noble’s marriage.

Imari. That’s very kind of the fates.

Mimosa. So to-day the box is full of good fortune.

Lady C. If that’s so, we’ll consult your oracle. (Approaching Mimosa)

Mimosa. But there’s one black fate – all the others are rosy. Try! (Offers box)

All. Oh, yes, we’ll all try!

Mimosa. Remember that the one black fate is very black indeed. There will be no light on the life of him on whom the lot shall fall.

Imari. Did you see the way she looked at me? I knew I shouldn’t like this woman – she gives me the creeps. Send her away.

Marie. Oh, please don’t!

Mimosa. (Aside) I’m Mimosa… not a word! (Crossing to Lady Constance and returning.)

Lady C. Surely, Marquis, you needn’t be afraid to try your luck. And on your wedding day, too!

Imari. I don’t know.

Mimosa. The most Noble’s exalted position places him above such adversity.

Imari. That’s true. Fate never does much harm to a magistrate. Go on!

Lady C. Now girls!

All the English Party crowd round Mimosa and draw lots from the box, which she reads.

Mimosa. A lover from over the seas, rank and riches – hope fulfilled – fame and rewards – health and happiness – ah, the pretty gentleman with the wicked eye!

Imari. Is the other eye respectable?

Mimosa. Honoured old age…

Grimston. Oh, thanks, that’s awfully jolly!

Mimosa. Stay! Stay! (As they draw the lots too eagerly) There will be none left for the Most Noble…

Imari. I don’t want any, thank you. I’m all right.

Lady C. Oh, but you must take one, Marquis!

Mimosa. The fortune-teller’s reputation would suffer if the Most Noble refuses. (Prostrates herself before him and offers box.)

Imari. (Taking lot) Well, there’s only one blank – so it’s not much risk. Here goes. (Takes card handed by Mimosa. Music chord in orchestra. Melos continues through scene.) What’s that? (Throws card down.)

Mimosa. The Black Fate! (Throws card down.)

All. The Black Fate!

Imari. (Shaking in fright) The Black Fate! Oh dear, I don’t believe in such nonsense. What does it mean.

Mimosa. It foreshadows immediate misery.

Imari. Thanks. Anything else?

Mimosa. The fortune teller cannot exactly say how the misfortune will come, but all your possessions will go from you, pain will rack your every bone, you will be deprived of your rank and you will become hateful in the eyes of every woman.

Imari. (In agony) I’m rather sorry you called. Anything else?

Mimosa. Your equals will despise you, your inferiors jeer at you, until, a pauper dishonoured and disgraced, you will at last meet with terror and anguish a horrible doom! (Chord in orchestra. Music stops.)

Imari. (Prostrate on ground) Why did I let this fiend come here? I feel myself becoming mildewed all over! (To Mimosa) Is there no antidote?

Melos to Mimosa’s exit.

Mimosa. Yes, there is one.

Imari. What is it?

Mimosa. It is written in the prophecy that if the one on whom the Black Fate has fallen be truly loved by a young bride, his punishment shall be turned to pleasure, his horrible doom to a life of delight.

Imari. (Groaning) Oh!

Mimosa. (Insinuatingly) Perhaps most Noble’s young bride truly loves him?

Imari. (Groaning) She says she hates the very ground I walk on! Can’t you do anything for me?

Mimosa. I might. The fortune-teller has a love spell with her which she can cast over your bride and make her love you.

Imari. (Starting up, merrily) Good! Go to her at once – she’s in there – cast your spell over her – make her love me – hurry up.

Mimosa. Will most Noble really permit the fortune-teller to see this bride?

Imari. Yes, I said so. (Going to steps) I’ll order her ladies to admit you at once. (Calls off) Here, Nami! Conduct this witch to Roli Poli San. (On steps) But you are sure you can do what you say?

Mimosa. The love charm has never failed yet. (Exit into Palace)

Imari. Saved, and by a love charm! (Exit into Palace, followed by Juliette.)

Exit English Party. Enter Molly and Mimosa.

Molly. Come along, I’m sick of Japan and weddings, and Marquises – how do I know I can trust you – besides, you know, it was all through you I got into this scrape.

Mimosa. Yes, but when I told you to put on the kimono I didn’t know there was going to be a sale.

Molly. No more did I. I say, didn’t I go cheap?

Mimosa. Now listen. You do not wish to marry this Marquis Imari?

Molly. Not much.

Mimosa. Well, but you must tell him that you are very much in love with him.

Molly. Oh no, I couldn’t tell such an awful fib.

Mimosa. When the Marquis thinks the English girl likes him, he will let her have more freedom.

Molly. And then he’ll trust me and I’ll run away?

Mimosa. No, you needn’t run away. Listen, all your English friends will be at the ceremony and they will rescue you. You know the French mousme? She is most anxious to become a Marquise.

Molly. I’m not jealous.

Mimosa. You must insist on one favour. He must let you have the French mousme as a bridesmaid.

Molly. He can’t refuse that. If he does, I shall treat him as the interfering parrot treated the canaries.
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