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The Geisha

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Song – Mimosa

A geisha’s life imagination tints
With all the charming colour of the rose,
And people won’t believe her when she hints
Its beauties are not quite what they suppose.
Because I’m rather quaint and picturesque,
They think that for a butterfly like me
Existence is delightfully grotesque,
How very much mistaken folks may be!

“Oh, dance, my little geisha gay,

And sing your pretty songs!” they say,
But don’t you see
It’s hard on me,
Who sing and dance the livelong day?
“Oh, dance and sing your pretty songs!” they say,
But don’t you see
It’s hard on me,
Who sing the livelong day?

And ever as my samisen I play

Come lovers at my pretty feet to fall,
Who fancy – till I bid them run away -
A geisha’s heart has room enough for all!
Yet love may work his will, if so he please;
His magic can a woman’s heart unlock
As well beneath kimono Japanese
As under any smart Parisian frock.

“We love you, little geisha gay,

Oh won’t you love us, too?” they say;
But don’t you see
It’s lost on me,
Who hear the same thing day by day?
“Oh, dance and sing your pretty songs!” they say,
But don’t you see
It’s hard on me,
Who sing the livelong day?

Exit into Tea House. Enter Lady Constance and Girls, also Cunningham, Grimston and Stanley, meeting Fairfax. Chorus. enter in small groups during following dialogue, so that everybody is on just as “Jack’s the Boy” commences.

Fairfax. What did the Marquis say?

Cunningham. Nothing. He wasn’t at home when we called.

Lady C. My dear, the foreign nobility are very seldom at home – they’re generally at Newmarket or Monte Carlo.

Re-enter Wun-Hi, picks up clothes and tray, crosses to Tea House with them.

Wun-Hi. Me takee clothes to little English girlee – she kickee me out! (Exit.)

Fairfax. Quite right, Lady Constance. Is this sale to take place?

Grimston. I hope so. Rather like a Monday at Tattersall’s, eh, boys?

Cunningham. Well, I think it’s rather a pity to break up such a well-selected stock.

Lady C. Well, I don’t see that we have any right to interfere with the amusement of this barbarian.

Cunningham. Oh yes we have, or what’s the use of our Navy?

Bronville. Keeps a lot of young fellows out of mischief on shore.

Fairfax. Yes, and gives them good work to do at sea. Now, Arthur, don’t run down your profession – Jack’s a useful lad when he’s wanted.

Stanley. I should think he was, indeed!

Song – Fairfax and Officers

Fairfax. Of all the lads that be
There is only one for me,
And his home is on the waters deep and blue;
But a friend he’ll never lack,
For the world’s in love with Jack -
He’s the smartest and the best of fellows, too!
So his hand we like to grip
As he goes aboard his ship,
While the girls are fit to break their pretty hearts –
For he loves them by the score,
When he gaily comes ashore,
And they’re sad when their Jack departs!

Jack’s the boy for work,

Jack’s the boy for play,
Jack’s the lad, when girls are sad,
To kiss the tears away!
Hard as nails afloat,
Best of friends ashore,
Jack ahoy! You’re just the boy
That all our hearts adore!

All. Jack’s the boy for work, etc.

Fairfax. When Jack has got his pay
He’s the gayest of the gay,
For the money in his pocket burns a hole,
And he’s never happy quite
Till he’s spent it left and right,
Like a jovial and careless hearted soul!
Though he’s very far from shy
When a pretty girl is by,
Yes a lad may surely kiss and never tell.
And when duty calls him back
Taut and trim goes jolly Jack,
To the ship that he loves so well!

Jack’s the boy for work, etc.

All. Jack’s the boy for work, etc.

Exit Fairfax into Tea House. Chorus exit in groups.

Lady C. Where’s Molly?

Cunningham. I don’t know. Who saw her last?

Lady C. I left her here.

Ethel. Where can she be? This may be serious.

Juliette enters.

Juliette. What is serious, mademoiselle?

Lady C. We have lost an English girl.

Cunningham. Perhaps she’s taken another coolie for a ride.

Grimston. I daresay she has gone back to the yacht.

Lady C. Most likely. I am not uneasy. Molly Seamore is quite able to take care of herself. I look on her as a young lady with all the modern improvements.

Mabel. We needn’t hurry back.

Juliette. We cannot stay after sunset.

Lady C. Why not?

Juliette. It is against the law to remain outside the city boundary after sunset, and we are two miles outside.

Marie. What’s to be done? I suppose we’d better go.

Enter Imari, Takemini and 2 Policemen.

Lady C. (Eyeing Imari) Take care, Ethel, you’ll be run over. (Laughs) He looks like a Japanese steam roller!

Imari. (Eyeing Lady Constance) Wonderfully fine women, these Europeans. What a pity their marriage laws are so restricted!

Juliette. Most extraordinary Marquis, I can tell you something you don’t know!

Imari. I have never met a French girl who couldn’t.

Juliette. You would marry O Mimosa San?

Imari. Would? I will!

Juliette. She says you cannot marry her because she does not love you.

Imari. I don’t mind that. I’m not going to marry her for her gratification, but for my own. Tell me, French girl, has Mimosa given up the English Officer, her old love?

Juliette. Rather not – a girl never gives up her old love – when it is only two days old!

Imari. (Aside) Then that Chinaman dog has lost his last chance! (To Takemimi) Make arrangements for the sale at once, and see that all foreigners leave the place at sunset. (Takemini bows and instructs Police, who cross to Tea House. To Juliette) I’m just going through the formality of shutting up this Tea House, confiscating all the portable property and selling the apprentices. No more delay.

Juliette. I cannot understand why O Mimosa San will not love you…

Imari. You’re a very intelligent girl!

Enter Chorus gradually.

Juliette. (Head on Marquis’s shoulder) I should consider it a great honour, most respectable Marquis!

Policeman rings gong. Enter Geisha and Wun-Hi, who prostrates himself before Imari.

Wun-Hi. Most Noble, do stoppee sale! Do stoppee sale!

Imari. (To Policemen) Throw him away!

Wun-Hi is carried off.

Wun-Hi. Carried unanimously! (Exit)

Lady C. (To Cunningham) I say, Mr. Cunningham, what’s going to happen?

Cunningham. This grand old Mandarin has lost his licence, so everything is going to be sold up – including the girls. Will you buy a few, Lady Constance?

Lady C. What for?

Cunningham. You might sell them at a profit in London next season.

A dais is brought on for Takemini.

Lady C. Sell girls at a profit during the London season? Why, Mr. Cunningham, you can’t even give them away.

During this, a stool is placed in the centre.

Imari. Commence the sale!
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