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East of Suez a Play in Seven Scenes   By: (1874-1965)

Book cover

First Page:

BY W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM

Plays :

EAST OF SUEZ THE CIRCLE THE EXPLORER MRS. DOT A MAN OF HONOUR PENELOPE JACK STRAW LADY FREDERICK THE TENTH MAN LANDED GENTRY THE UNKNOWN SMITH

Novels :

OF HUMAN BONDAGE THE MOON AND SIXPENCE THE TREMBLING OF A LEAF LIZA OF LAMBETH MRS. CRADDOCK THE EXPLORER THE MAGICIAN THE MERRY GO ROUND

ON A CHINESE SCREEN THE LAND OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN

( Sketches and Impressions in Andalusia )

EAST OF SUEZ

A PLAY IN SEVEN SCENES

BY

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM

NEW [Illustration] YORK GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1922. BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

[Illustration]

EAST OF SUEZ.

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ

DAISY GEORGE CONWAY HENRY ANDERSON HAROLD KNOX LEE TAI CHENG SYLVIA KNOX AMAH WU

The action of the play takes place in Peking

SCENES

SCENE PAGE

I A STREET IN PEKING 11

II A SMALL VERANDAH ON AN UPPER STOREY OF THE BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY'S PREMISES 17

III THE TEMPLE OF FIDELITY AND VIRTUOUS INCLINATION 37

IV THE SITTING ROOM IN THE ANDERSONS' APARTMENTS 59

V THE COURTYARD IN THE ANDERSONS' PART OF THE TEMPLE 81

VI A SMALL ROOM IN A CHINESE HOUSE IN PEKING 101

VII THE SITTING ROOM IN THE ANDERSONS' APARTMENTS 121

SCENE I

EAST OF SUEZ

SCENE I

SCENE: A street in Peking

Several shops are shown. Their fronts are richly decorated with carved wood painted red and profusely gilt. The counters are elaborately carved. Outside are huge sign boards. The shops are open to the street and you can see the various wares they sell. One is a coffin shop, where the coolies are at work on a coffin: other coffins, ready for sale, are displayed; some of them are of plain deal, others are rich, with black and gold. The next shop is a money changer's. Then there is a lantern shop in which all manner of coloured lanterns are hanging. After this comes a druggist where there are queer things in bottles and dried herbs. A small stuffed crocodile is a prominent object. Next to this is a shop where crockery is sold, large coloured jars, plates, and all manner of strange animals. In all the shops two or three Chinamen are seated. Some read newspapers through great horn spectacles; some smoke water pipes.

The street is crowded. Here is an itinerant cook with his two chests, in one of which is burning charcoal: he serves out bowls of rice and condiments to the passers by who want food. There is a barber with the utensils of his trade. A coolie, seated on a stool, is having his head shaved. Chinese walk to and fro.

Some are coolies and wear blue cotton in various stages of raggedness; some in black gowns and caps and black shoes are merchants and clerks. There is a beggar, gaunt and thin, with an untidy mop of bristly hair, in tatters of indescribable filthiness. He stops at one of the shops and begins a long wail. For a time no one takes any notice of him, but presently on a word from the fat shopkeeper an assistant gives him a few cash and he wanders on. Coolies, half naked, hurry by, bearing great bales on their yokes. They utter little sharp cries for people to get out of their way. Peking carts with their blue hoods rumble noisily along. Rickshaws pass rapidly in both directions, and the rickshaw boys shout for the crowd to make way. In the rickshaws are grave Chinese. Some are dressed in white ducks after the European fashion; in other rickshaws are Chinese women in long smocks and wide trousers or Manchu ladies, with their faces painted like masks, in embroidered silks. Women of various sorts stroll about the street or enter the shops. You see them chaffering for various articles... Continue reading book >>




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