MADAM BUTTERFLY?

Far-away Nagasaki was the scene of Madam Butterfly's tragic love and death. She was only fifteen-the age of playthings and sweetmeats- when her almond eyes and pretty fluttering ways snared the passing fancy of Lieutenant Pinkerton, an officer in the American Navy. They were married in Japanese fashion. Butterfly understood little of the great business of signing papers, but she did understand that she belonged to the handsome American, and in an innocent desire to please him she renounced the gods of her fathers. Her apostasy was discovered and her relatives cut her off from the family. A little terrified, Butterfly clung all the closer to her husband, and for the brief space of a summer enjoyed idyllic happiness. With the autumn, Pinkerton's ship returned to America, but he promised faithfully to return to his girl-wife, "with the roses, the warm and sunny season, when the red-breasted robins are busy nesting." Three years passed, but no tall fair-haired husband returned to see Madam Butterfly and his little son. Instead, there came a white woman, Pinkerton's legal wife, to beg for the child. Disowned by parents and husband, Butterfly embraced her little Mousko-San, and in an agony of love and despair stabbed herself, just as her repentant lover entered the room and sank upon his knees beside her. Poor victim of man's selfish, thoughtless passion, this little flower of the East was early bruised and broken. Puccini's opera which bears her name, though one of the saddest, is one of the best loved.