Long Mad Chapter 5

Long Mad Chapter 5


MADAME BUTTERFLY

Chapter Five




V

A SONG OF SORROW–AND DEATH –AND HEAVEN








A BIRD flew to the vine in the little porch.

" Ah, Suzuki ! "

But the maid had withdrawn. She clapped her hands violently for her to
return.

" Now why do you go away when "--her momentary anger fled, and she
laughed"--when birds flying to the wistaria ? Go quickly, little maiden, and
see if he is a robin, and if he has completed his nest--quickly."

The maid returned, and said that he was indeed a robin, but that he had no
nest there as yet.

"Oh, how he is slow! Suzuki, let us fine 'nother robin, one that is more
industri-ous--an' domes-tic, aha, ha, ha ! "

" They are all alike," said the girl, cynically.

" They--not! Say so ! "

Suzuki giggled affirmatively. When her mistress took so violently to English
she preferred to express herself in this truly Japanese fashion.

" Inform me, if you please, how much nearer beggary we are to-day than
yesterday, Suzuki."

The girl had exact information for her on this subject. She said they had
just seventeen yen, fifty-four sen, two rin.

" Alas--alas! How we have waste his beau-tiful moaneys ! Tha' 's shame. But
he will not permit that we starve--account he know we have no one aexcep'
him. We all outcasted. Now loog how that is bad! So jus' when it is all gone
he will come with more--lig the stories of ole Kazabu. Oh! lig story of
Uncombed Ronin, who make a large oath that he go'n' be huge foo-l if he
dress his hair until his lord arrive back from the banishment. Lo! when they
cutting his hade off him, account he don' comb his hair, his lord arrive
back, an' say, ' What they doing with him ?' --an' reward him great deal,
account he constant ontil he 'mos' dead. So, jus' when we go'n' out on the
street--, mebby to fine him,--you with Trouble on your back, me with my
samisen, standing up bifore all the people, singing funeral songs, with
faces, oh, 'bout 'mos' so long,"--she illustrated liberally,--" sad
garments, hair all ruffled--so, dancing liddle--so,"--she indicated how she
should dance,--" an' saying out ver' loud, ' O ye people ! Listen, for the
loave of all the eight hundred thousan' gods and goddesses ! Behole, we, a
poor widow, an' a bebby what got purple eyes, which had one hosban', which
gone off at United States America, to naever return no more-- naever!
Aexcep' you have seen him? No? See! This what I thing. Oh, how that is mos'
tarrible! We giving up all our august ancestors, an' gods, an' people, an'
country,-- oh, aeverything,--jus' for him, an' now he don' naever colne no
more! Oh, how that is sad! Is it not? Also, he don' even divorce us, so that
we kin marry with 'nother mans an' git some food. He? He don' even thing
'bout it ! Not liddle bit! He forgitting us--alas! But we got keep his house
nine hundred an' ninety-nine year ! Now thing 'bout that! An' we go'n'
starve bifore, aexcep' you giving us--ah-ah-ah! jus' one sen! two sen! mebby
fi' sen! Oh, for the loave of sorrow, for the loave of constancy, for the
loave of death, jus'--one-- sen! Will you please pity us? In the name of the
merciful Kwannon we beg. Loog ! To move your hearts in the inside you, we
go'n' sing you a song of sorrow--an' death--an' heaven."

She had acted it all with superb spirit, and now she snatched up her
samisen, and dramatized this also; and so sure was she of life and happiness
that this is the song of sorrow and death she sang:

" Hikari nodokeki haru no nobe,

Niwo sakura-no-hana sakari,

Mure kuru hito no tanoshiki ni,

Shibashi uki yo ya wasururan.

" Sunshine on a quiet plain in spring,

The perfume of the blooming cherry- blossoms,

The joy of the gathering crowd,

Filled with love, forget the care of life."

And then, as always, abandonment and laughter.

" Aha, ha, ha ! Aha, ha, ha ! What you thing, liddle maiden ? Tha' 's good
song 'bout sorrow, an' death, an' heaven ? Aha, ha, ha ! What--you--thing?
Speak! Say so!"

She tossed the samisen to its place, and sprang savagely at the maid.

" If that Mr. B. F. Pikkerton see us doing alig those--" ventured the maid,
in the humor of her mistress.

" O-o-o ! You see his eye flame an' scorch lig lightening ! O-o-o ! He
snatch us away to the house--so--so--so!"

The baby was the unfortunate subject for the illustration of this. He began
to whimper.

" Rog-a-by, bebby, off in Japan,

You jus' a picture off of a fan."

This was from Pinkerton. She had been the baby then.

" Ah, liddle beggar, he di'n' know he go'n' make those poetries for you! He
don' suspect of you whichever. Well! I bed you we go'n' have some fun when
he do. Oh, Suzuki! Some day, when the emperor go abroad, we will show him.
You got say these way"--she changed her voice to what she fancied an
impressive male basso: "' Behole, Heaven- Descended-Ruler - Everlasting-
Great-Japan, the first of your subjecks taken his eye out those ver' blue
heaven whence you are descend ! ' Hence the emperor loog on him; then he
stop an' loog; he kin naever git enough loogs. Then he make Trouble a large
prince! An' me? He jus' say onto me: ' Continue that you bring out such
sons.' Aha, ha, ha! What you thing? "

The maid was frankly skeptical.

" At least you kin do lig the old nakodo wish you--for you are most
beautiful."

Cho-Cho-San dropped the baby with a reckless thud, and sprang at her again.
She gripped her throat viciously, then flung her, laughing, aside.

" Speak concerning marriage once more, an' you die. An' tha' 's 'nother
thing. You got know at his United States America, if one is marry one got
stay marry--oh, for aever an' aever! Yaes! Nob'y cannot git himself divorce,
aexcep' in a large courthouse an' jail. Tha' 's way with he--that Mr. B. F.
Pikkerton--an' me--that Mrs. B. F. Pikkerton. If he aever go'n' divorce me,
he got take me at those large jail at that United States America. Tha' 's
lot of trouble; hence he rather stay marry with me. Also, he lig be marry
with me. Now loog ! He leave me a 'mos' largest lot money in Japan; he give
me his house for live inside for nine hundred an' ninety-nine year. I cannot
go home at my grandmother, account he make them outcast me. Sa-ay, you
liddle foolish ! He coming when the robins nest again. Aha ! What you thing?
Say so!"

The maid should have been excused for not being always as recklessly
jubilant as her mistress; but she never was. And now, when she chose silence
rather than speech (which was both more prudent and more polite), she took
it very ill.





Preface to the Second Edition




 Chapter One   Chapter Two  Chapter Three
 Chapter Four  Chapter Five Chapter Six
 Chapter Seven   Chapter Eight  Chapter Nine
 Chapter Ten   Chapter Eleven   Chapter Twelve 
 Chapter Thirteen  The American

Male
Desire
at Cross[cultural]


Purposes



Madame Butterfly


John Philip Long