HMS Pinafore: Act I

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The Rt.Hon Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B.  (First Lord of the Admiralty)
Captain Corcoran (Commanding H.M.S. Pinafore)
Tom Tucker (Midshipmite)
Ralph Rackstraw (Able Seaman)
Dick Deadeye (Able Seaman)
Bill Bobstay (Boatswain's Mate)
Bob Becket (Carpenter's Mate)
Josephine (the Captain's Daughter)
Hebe (Sir Joseph Porter's First Cousin)
Mrs. Cripps (Little Buttercup)  (A Portsmouth Bumboat Woman)

First Lord's Sisters, his Cousins, his Aunts, Sailors, Marines,


 ACT I.- Noon

SCENE - Quarter-deck of H.M.S. Pinafore.  Sailors, led by
  Boatswain, discovered cleaning brasswork, splicing rope, etc.


  We sail the ocean blue,
  And our saucy ship's a beauty;
  We're sober men and true,
  And attentive to our duty.
  When the balls whistle free
  O'er the bright blue sea,
  We stand to our guns all day;
  When at anchor we ride
  On the Portsmouth tide,
  We have plenty of time to play.

Enter little Buttercup, with large basket on her arm


  Hail, men-o'-war's men - safeguards of your nation
  Here is an end, at last, of all privation;
  You've got your pay - spare all you can afford
  To welcome Little Buttercup on board.


For I'm called Little Buttercup - dear Little Buttercup,
  Though I could never tell why,
But still I'm called Buttercup - poor little Buttercup,
  Sweet Little Buttercup I!

I've snuff and tobaccy, and excellent jacky,
  I've scissors, and watches, and knives;
I've ribbons and laces to set off the faces
  Of pretty young sweethearts and wives.

I've treacle and toffee, I've tea and I've coffee,
  Soft tommy and succulent chops;
I've chickens and conies, and pretty polonies,
  And excellent peppermint drops.

Then buy of your Buttercup - dear Little Buttercup;
  Sailors should never be shy;
So, buy of your Buttercup - poor Little Buttercup;
  Come, of your Buttercup buy!

  BOAT. Aye, Little Buttercup - and well called - for you're
the rosiest, the roundest, and the reddest beauty in all
  BUT.  Red, am I? and round - and rosy!  Maybe, for I have
dissembled well!  But hark ye, my merry friend - hast ever
thought that beneath a gay and frivolous exterior there may lurk
a canker-worm which is slowly but surely eating its way into
one's very heart?
  BOAT.  No, my lass, I can't say I've ever thought that.

Enter Dick Deadeye.  He pushes through sailors, and comes down

  DICK.  I have thought it often.  (All recoil from him.)
  BUT.  Yes, you look like it!  What's the matter with the
man?  Isn't he well?
  BOAT.  Don't take no heed of him; that's only poor Dick
  DICK.  I say - it's a beast of a name, ain't it - Dick
  BUT.  It's not a nice name.
  DICK.  I'm ugly too, ain't I?
  BUT.  You are certainly plain.
  DICK.  And I'm three-cornered too, ain't I?
  BUT.  You are rather triangular.
  DICK.  Ha! ha! That's it.  I'm ugly, and they hate me for
it; for you all hate me, don't you?
  ALL.  We do!
  DICK.  There!
  BOAT.  Well, Dick, we wouldn't go for to hurt any fellow-
creature's feelings, but you can't expect a chap with such a name
as Dick Deadeye to be a popular character - now can you?
  DICK.  No.
  BOAT.  It's asking too much, ain't it?
  DICK.  It is.  From such a face and form as mine the noblest
sentiments sound like the black utterances of a depraved
imagination.  It is human nature - I am resigned.


BUT.  (looking down hatchway).
 But, tell me - who's the youth whose faltering feet
  With difficulty bear him on his course?
BOAT.   That is the smartest lad in all the fleet-
 Ralph Rackstraw!

BUT.  Ha!  That name!  Remorse! remorse!

Enter Ralph from hatchway


  The Nightingale
 Sighed for the moon's bright ray
  And told his tale
 In his own melodious way!
 He sang "Ah, well-a-day!"

ALL.  He sang "Ah, well-a-day!"

  The lowly vale
 For the mountain vainly sighed,
  To his humble wail
 The echoing hills replied.
  They sang "Ah, well-a-day!"

ALL.   They sang "Ah, well-a-day!"


  I know the value of a kindly chorus,
 But choruses yield little consolation
  When we have pain and sorrow too before us!
 I love - and love, alas, above my station!

BUT (aside).   He loves - and loves a lass above his station!
ALL (aside).   Yes, yes, the lass is much above his station!

 Exit Little Buttercup


 A maiden fair to see,
 The pearl of minstrelsy,
  A bud of blushing beauty;
 For whom proud nobles sigh,
 And with each other vie
  To do her menial's duty.
ALL.   To do her menial's duty.

 A suitor, lowly born,
 With hopeless passion torn,
  And poor beyond denying,
 Has dared for her to pine
 At whose exalted shrine
  A world of wealth is sighing.
ALL.   A world of wealth is sighing.

 Unlearned he in aught
 Save that which love has taught
  (For love had been his tutor);
 Oh, pity, pity me-
 Our captain's daughter she,
  And I that lowly suitor!
ALL.   And he that lowly suitor!

  BOAT.  Ah, my poor lad, you've climbed too high: our worthy
captain's child won't have nothin' to say to a poor chap like
you.  Will she, lads?
  ALL.  No, no.
  DICK.  No, no, captains' daughters don't marry foremast
  ALL (recoiling from him).  Shame! shame!
  BOAT.  Dick Deadeye, them sentiments o' yourn are a disgrace
to our common natur'.
  RALPH.  But it's a strange anomaly, that the daughter of a
man who hails from the quarter-deck may not love another who lays
out on the fore-yard arm.  For a man is but a man, whether he
hoists his flag at the main-truck or his slacks on the main-deck.
  DICK.  Ah, it's a queer world!
  RALPH.  Dick Deadeye, I have no desire to press hardly on
you, but such a revolutionary sentiment is enough to make an
honest sailor shudder.
  BOAT.  My lads, our gallant captain has come on deck; let us
greet him as so brave an officer and so gallant a seaman

Enter Captain Corcoran


CAPT.   My gallant crew, good morning.
ALL (saluting).  Sir, good morning!
CAPT.   I hope you're all quite well.
ALL (as before).   Quite well; and you, sir?
CAPT.   I am in reasonable health, and happy
 To meet you all once more.
ALL (as before).   You do us proud, sir!


CAPT.  I am the Captain of the Pinafore;
ALL.  And a right good captain, too!
CAPT.  You're very, very good,
  And be it understood,
 I command a right good crew,
ALL.   We're very, very good,
  And be it understood,
 He commands a right good crew.
CAPT.   Though related to a peer,
 I can hand, reef, and steer,
  And ship a selvagee;
 I am never known to quail
 At the furry of a gale,
  And I'm never, never sick at sea!
ALL.  What, never?
CAPT.  No, never!
ALL.  What, never?
CAPT.  Hardly ever!
ALL.   He's hardly ever sick at sea!
  Then give three cheers, and one cheer more,
  For the hardy Captain of the Pinafore!

CAPT.   I do my best to satisfy you all-
ALL.  And with you we're quite content.
CAPT.  You're exceedingly polite,
  And I think it only right
 To return the compliment.
ALL.  We're exceedingly polite,
  And he thinks it's only right
 To return the compliment.
CAPT.  Bad language or abuse,
  I never, never use,
 Whatever the emergency;
  Though "Bother it" I may
  Occasionally say,
 I never use a big, big D-
ALL.  What, never?
CAPT.  No, never!
ALL.  What, never?
CAPT.  Hardly ever!
ALL.   Hardly ever swears a big, big D-
  Then give three cheers, and one cheer more,
  For the well-bred Captain of the Pinafore!
 [After song exeunt all but CAPTAIN]

Enter Little Buttercup


BUT.  Sir, you are sad!  The silent eloquence
 Of yonder tear that trembles on your eyelash
 Proclaims a sorrow far more deep than common;
 Confide in me - fear not - I am a mother!

CAPT.   Yes, Little Buttercup, I'm sad and sorry-
 My daughter, Josephine, the fairest flower
 That ever blossomed on ancestral timber,
 Is sought in marriage by Sir Joseph Porter,
 Our Admiralty's First Lord, but for some reason
 She does not seem to tackle kindly to it.

BUT. (with emotion).  Ah, poor Sir Joseph!  Ah, I know too well
 The anguish of a heart that loves but vainly!
 But see, here comes your most attractive daughter.
 I go - Farewell!  [Exit.

CAPT. (looking after her).  A plump and pleasing person!   [Exit.

Enter Josephine, twining some flowers which she carries in a small


 Sorry her lot who loves too well,
  Heavy the heart that hopes but vainly,
 Sad are the sighs that own the spell,
  Uttered by eyes that speak too plainly;
 Heavy the sorrow that bows the head
 When love is alive and hope is dead!

 Sad is the hour when sets the sun-
  Dark is the night to earth's poor daughters,
 When to the ark the wearied one
  Flies from the empty waste of waters!
 Heavy the sorrow that bows the head
 When love is alive and hope is dead!

Enter Captain

  CAPT.  My child, I grieve to see that you are a prey to
melancholy.  You should look your best to-day, for Sir Joseph
Porter, K.C.B., will be here this afternoon to claim your
promised hand.
  JOS.  Ah, father, your words cut me to the quick.  I can
esteem - reverence - venerate Sir Joseph, for he is a great and
good man; but oh, I cannot love him!  My heart is already given.
  CAPT. (aside).  It is then as I feared.  (Aloud.)  Given?
And to whom?  Not to some gilded lordling?
  JOS.  No, father - the object of my love is no lordling.
Oh, pity me, for he is but a humble sailor on board your own
  CAPT.  Impossible!
  JOS.  Yes, it is true - too true.
  CAPT.  A common sailor?  Oh fie!
  JOS.  I blush for the weakness that allows me to cherish
such a passion.  I hate myself when I think of the depth to which
I have stooped in permitting myself to think tenderly of one so
ignobly born, but I love him!  I love him!  I love him!  (Weeps.)
  CAPT.  Come, my child, let us talk this over.  In a matter
of the heart I would not coerce my daughter - I attach but
little value to rank or wealth, but the line must be drawn
somewhere.  A man in that station may be brave and worthy, but at
every step he would commit solecisms that society would never
  JOS.  Oh, I have thought of this night and day.  But fear
not, father, I have a heart, and therefore I love; but I am your
daughter, and therefore I am proud.  Though I carry my love with
me to the tomb, he shall never, never know it.
  CAPT.  You are my daughter after all.  But see, Sir Joseph's
barge approaches, manned by twelve trusty oarsmen and accompanied
by the admiring crowd of sisters, cousins, and aunts that attend
him wherever he goes.  Retire, my daughter, to your cabin - take
this, his photograph, with you - it may help to bring you to a
more reasonable frame of mind.
  JOS.  My own thoughtful father!

  [Exit Josephine.  Captain remains and ascends the poop-deck.

 BARCAROLLE. (invisible)

 Over the bright blue sea
  Comes Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B.,
 Wherever he may go
  Bang-bang the loud nine-pounders go!
 Shout o'er the bright blue sea
  For Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B.

[During this the Crew have entered on tiptoe, listening attentive
  to the song.


  Sir Joseph's barge is seen,
 And its crowd of blushing beauties,
  We hope he'll find us clean,
 And attentive to our duties.
  We sail, we sail the ocean blue,
 And our saucy ship's a beauty.
  We're sober, sober men and true
 And attentive to our duty.
  We're smart and sober men,
 And quite devoid of fe-ar,
  In all the Royal N.
 None are so smart as we are.

Enter Sir Joseph's Female Relatives

 (They dance round stage)

REL.   Gaily tripping,
  Lightly skipping,
 Flock the maidens to the shipping.
SAILORS.  Flags and guns and pennants dipping!
 All the ladies love the shipping.
REL.   Sailors sprightly
  Always rightly
 Welcome ladies so politely.
SAILORS.  Ladies who can smile so brightly,
 Sailors welcome most politely.
CAPT. (from poop).  Now give three cheers, I'll lead the way
ALL.   Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah! hurray!

Enter Sir Joseph with Cousin Hebe


 I am the monarch of the sea,
 The ruler of the Queen's Navee,
  Whose praise Great Britain loudly chants.
COUSIN HEBE.   And we are his sisters, and his cousins, and his
REL.   And we are his sisters, and his cousins, and his
SIR JOSEPH.   When at anchor here I ride,
 My bosom swells with pride,
  And I snap my fingers at a foeman's taunts;
COUSIN HEBE.   And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his
ALL.   And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his
SIR JOSEPH.   But when the breezes blow,
 I generally go below,
  And seek the seclusion that a cabin grants;
COUSIN HEBE.   And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his
ALL.   And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his
 His sisters and his cousins,
  Whom he reckons up by dozens,
 And his aunts!


  When I was a lad I served a term
  As office boy to an Attorney's firm.
  I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor,
  And I polished up the handle of the big front door.
 I polished up that handle so carefullee
 That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

 CHORUS. - He polished, etc.

  As office boy I made such a mark
  That they gave me the post of a junior clerk.
  I served the writs with a smile so bland,
  And I copied all the letters in a big round hand-
 I copied all the letters in a hand so free,
 That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

  CHORUS. - He copied, etc.

  In serving writs I made such a name
  That an articled clerk I soon became;
  I wore clean collars and a brand-new suit
  For the pass examination at the Institute,
 And that pass examination did so well for me,
 That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

  CHORUS. - And that pass examination, etc.

  Of legal knowledge I acquired such a grip
  That they took me into the partnership.
  And that junior partnership, I ween,
  Was the only ship that I ever had seen.
 But that kind of ship so suited me,
 That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

  CHORUS. - But that kind, etc.

  I grew so rich that I was sent
  By a pocket borough into Parliament.
  I always voted at my party's call,
  And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.
 I thought so little, they rewarded me
 By making me the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

  CHORUS. - He thought so little, etc.

  Now landsmen all, whoever you may be,
  If you want to rise to the top of the tree,
  If your soul isn't fettered to an office stool,
  Be careful to be guided by this golden rule-
 Stick close to your desks and never go to sea,
 And you all may be rulers of the Queen's Navee!

 CHORUS. - Stick close, etc.

  SIR JOSEPH.  You've a remarkably fine crew, Captain
  CAPT.  It is a fine crew, Sir Joseph.
  SIR JOSEPH. (examining a very small midshipman).  A British
sailor is a splendid fellow, Captain Corcoran.
  CAPT.  A splendid fellow indeed, Sir Joseph.
  SIR JOSEPH.  I hope you treat your crew kindly, Captain
  CAPT.  Indeed I hope so, Sir Joseph.
  SIR JOSEPH.  Never forget that they are the bulwarks of
England's greatness, Captain Corcoran.
  CAPT.  So I have always considered them, Sir Joseph.
  SIR JOSEPH.  No bullying, I trust - no strong language of
any kind, eh?
  CAPT.  Oh, never, Sir Joseph.
  SIR JOSEPH.  What, never?
  CAPT.  Hardly ever, Sir Joseph.  They are an excellent crew,
and do their work thoroughly without it.
  SIR JOSEPH.  Don't patronise them, sir - pray, don't
patronise them.
  CAPT.  Certainly not, Sir Joseph.
  SIR JOSEPH.  That you are their captain is an accident of
birth.  I cannot permit these noble fellows to be patronised
because an accident of birth has placed you above them and them
below you.
  CAPT.  I am the last person to insult a British sailor, Sir
  SIR JOSEPH.  You are the last person who did, Captain
Corcoran.  Desire that splendid seaman to step forward.

 (Dick comes forward)

  SIR JOSEPH.  No, no, the other splendid seaman.
  CAPT.  Ralph Rackstraw, three paces to the front - march!
  SIR JOSEPH (sternly).  If what?
  CAPT.  I beg your pardon - I don't think I understand you.
  SIR JOSEPH.  If you please.
  CAPT.  Oh, yes, of course.  If you please.  (Ralph steps
  SIR JOSEPH.  You're a remarkably fine fellow.
  RALPH.  Yes, your honour.
  SIR JOSEPH.   And a first-rate seaman, I'll be bound.
  RALPH.  There's not a smarter topman in the Navy, your
honour, though I say it who shouldn't.
  SIR JOSEPH.  Not at all.  Proper self-respect, nothing more.
Can you dance a hornpipe?
  RALPH.  No, your honour.
  SIR JOSEPH.  That's a pity: all sailors should dance
hornpipes.  I will teach you one this evening, after dinner.  Now
tell me - don't be afraid - how does your captain treat you,
  RALPH.  A better captain don't walk the deck, your honour.
  ALL.  Aye; Aye!
  SIR JOSEPH.  Good.  I like to hear you speak well of your
commanding officer; I daresay he don't deserve it, but still it
does you credit.  Can you sing?
  RALPH.  I can hum a little, your honour.
  SIR JOSEPH.  Then hum this at your leisure.  (Giving him MS.
music.)  It is a song that I have composed for the use of the
Royal Navy.  It is designed to encourage independence of thought
and action in the lower branches of the service, and to teach the
principle that a British sailor is any man's equal, excepting
mine.  Now, Captain Corcoran, a word with you in your cabin, on a
tender and sentimental subject.
  CAPT.  Aye, aye, Sir Joseph.  (Crossing)  Boatswain, in
commemoration of this joyous occasion, see that extra grog is
served out to the ship's company at seven bells.
  BOAT.  Beg pardon.  If what, your honour?
  CAPT.  If what?  I don't think I understand you.
  BOAT.  If you please, your honour.
  CAPT.  What!
  SIR JOSEPH.  The gentleman is quite right.  If you please.
  CAPT. (stamping his foot impatiently).  If you please!  
SIR JOSEPH.  For I hold that on the seas
  The expression, "if you please",
 A particularly gentlemanly tone implants.
COUSIN HEBE.   And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his
ALL  And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his

 [Exeunt Sir Joseph and Relatives.

  BOAT.  Ah!  Sir Joseph's true gentleman; courteous and
considerate to the very humblest.
  RALPH.  True, Boatswain, but we are not the very humblest.
Sir Joseph has explained our true position to us.  As he says, a
British seaman is any man's equal excepting his, and if Sir
Joseph says that, is it not our duty to believe him?
  ALL.  Well spoke! well spoke!
  DICK.  You're on a wrong tack, and so is he.  He means well,
but he don't know.  When people have to obey other people's
orders, equality's out of the question.
  ALL (recoiling).  Horrible! horrible!
  BOAT.  Dick Deadeye, if you go for to infuriate this here
ship's company too far, I won't answer for being able to hold 'em
in.  I'm shocked! that's what I am - shocked!
  RALPH.  Messmates, my mind's made up.  I'll speak to the
captain's daughter, and tell her, like an honest man, of the
honest love I have for her.
  ALL.  Aye, aye!
  RALPH.  Is not my love as good as another's?  Is not my
heart as true as another's?  Have I not hands and eyes and ears
and limbs like another?
  ALL.  Aye, Aye!
  RALPH.  True, I lack birth-
  BOAT.  You've a berth on board this very ship.
  RALPH.  Well said - I had forgotten that.  Messmates -
what do you say?  Do you approve my determination?
  ALL.  We do.
  DICK.  I don t.
  BOAT.  What is to be done with this here hopeless chap?  Let
us sing him the song that Sir Joseph has kindly composed for us.
Perhaps it will bring this here miserable creetur to a proper
state of mind.


 A British tar is a soaring soul,
  As free as a mountain bird,
 His energetic fist should be ready to resist
  A dictatorial word.
 His nose should pant and his lip should curl,
 His cheeks should flame and his brow should furl,
 His bosom should heave and his heart should glow,
 And his fist be ever ready for a knock-down blow.

  CHORUS. - His nose should pant, etc.

 His eyes should flash with an inborn fire,
  His brow with scorn be wrung;
 He never should bow down to a domineering frown,
  Or the tang of a tyrant tongue.
 His foot should stamp and his throat should growl,
 His hair should twirl and his face should scowl;
 His eyes should flash and his breast protrude,
 And this should be his customary attitude - (pose).

  CHORUS. - His foot should stamp, etc.

[All dance off excepting Ralph, who remains, leaning pensively
  against bulwark.

Enter Josephine from cabin

  JOS.  It is useless - Sir Joseph's attentions nauseate me.
I know that he is a truly great and good man, for he told me so
himself, but to me he seems tedious, fretful, and dictatorial.
Yet his must be a mind of no common order, or he would not dare
to teach my dear father to dance a hornpipe on the cabin table.
(Sees Ralph.)  Ralph Rackstraw!  (Overcome by emotion.)
  RALPH.  Aye, lady - no other than poor Ralph Rackstraw!
  JOS. (aside).  How my heart beats!  (Aloud)  And why poor,
  RALPH.  I am poor in the essence of happiness, lady - rich
only in never-ending unrest.  In me there meet a combination of
antithetical elements which are at eternal war with one another.
Driven hither by objective influences - thither by subjective
emotions - wafted one moment into blazing day, by mocking hope -
- plunged the next into the Cimmerian darkness of tangible
despair, I am but a living ganglion of irreconcilable
antagonisms.  I hope I make myself clear, lady?
  JOS.  Perfectly.  (Aside.)  His simple eloquence goes to my
heart.  Oh, if I dared - but no, the thought is madness!
(Aloud.)  Dismiss these foolish fancies, they torture you but
needlessly.  Come, make one effort.
  RALPH (aside).  I will - one.  (Aloud.)  Josephine!
  JOS. (indignantly).  Sir!
  RALPH.  Aye, even though Jove's armoury were launched at the
head of the audacious mortal whose lips, unhallowed by
relationship, dared to breathe that precious word, yet would I
breathe it once, and then perchance be silent evermore.
Josephine, in one brief breath I will concentrate the hopes, the
doubts, the anxious fears of six weary months.  Josephine, I am a
British sailor, and I love you!
  JOS.  Sir, this audacity!  (Aside.)  Oh, my heart, my
beating heart!  (Aloud.)  This unwarrantable presumption on the
part of a common sailor!  (Aside.)  Common! oh, the irony of the
word!  (Crossing, aloud.)  Oh, sir, you forget the disparity in
our ranks.
  RALPH.  I forget nothing, haughty lady.  I love you
desperately, my life is in your hand - I lay it at your feet!
Give me hope, and what I lack in education and polite
accomplishments, that I will endeavour to acquire.  Drive me to
despair, and in death alone I shall look for consolation.  I am
proud and cannot stoop to implore.  I have spoken and I wait your
  JOS.  You shall not wait long.  Your proffered love I
haughtily reject.  Go, sir, and learn to cast your eyes on some
village maiden in your own poor rank - they should be lowered
before your captain's daughter.


JOS.   Refrain, audacious tar,
 Your suit from pressing,
  Remember what you are,
 And whom addressing!
(Aside.)   I'd laugh my rank to scorn
 In union holy,
  Were he more highly born
 Or I more lowly!
RALPH.   Proud lady, have your way,
 Unfeeling beauty!
  You speak and I obey,
 It is my duty!
  I am the lowliest tar
 That sails the water,
  And you, proud maiden, are
 My captain's daughter!
(Aside.)   My heart with anguish torn
 Bows down before her,
  She laughs my love to scorn,
 Yet I adore her!

  [Repeat refrain, ensemble, then exit Josephine into cabin.

RALPH. (Recit.)   Can I survive this overbearing
 Or live a life of mad despairing,
 My proffered love despised, rejected?
 No, no, it's not to be expected!
  (Calling off.)
 Messmates, ahoy!
 Come here!  Come here!

Enter Sailors, Hebe, and Relatives

ALL.   Aye, aye, my boy,
  What cheer, what cheer?
 Now tell us, pray,
 Without delay,
 What does she say-
  What cheer, what cheer?

RALPH (to Cousin Hebe).
 The maiden treats my suit with scorn,
  Rejects my humble gift, my lady;
 She says I am ignobly born,
  And cuts my hopes adrift, my lady.

ALL.   Oh, cruel one.

DICK.   She spurns your suit?  Oho! Oho!
 I told you so, I told you so.


 Shall we/they submit?  Are we/they but slaves?
  Love comes alike to high and low-
 Britannia's sailors rule the waves,
  And shall they stoop to insult?  No!

DICK.   You must submit, you are but slaves;
  A lady she!  Oho! Oho!
 You lowly toilers of the waves,
  She spurns you all - I told you so!

RALPH.  My friends, my leave of life I'm taking,
 For oh, my heart, my heart is breaking;
 When I am gone, oh, prithee tell
 The maid that, as I died, I loved her well!

ALL (turning away, weeping).
 Of life, alas! his leave he's taking,
 For ah! his faithful heart is breaking;
 When he is gone we'll surely tell
 The maid that, as he died, he loved her well.

[During Chorus Boatswain has loaded pistol, which he hands to

RALPH.  Be warned, my messmates all
  Who love in rank above you-
 For Josephine I fall!

  [Puts pistol to his head.  All the sailors stop their ears.

Enter Josephine on deck

JOS.  Ah! stay your hand - I love you!
ALL.  Ah! stay your hand - she loves you!
RALPH. (incredulously). Loves me?
JOS.  Loves you!
ALL.  Yes, yes - ah, yes, she loves you!


 Sailors and Relatives and Josephine

  Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen,
  For now the sky is all serene;
  The god of day - the orb of love-
  Has hung his ensign high above,
 The sky is all ablaze.

  With wooing words and loving song,
  We'll chase the lagging hours along,
  And if I/we find the maiden coy,
  I'll/We'll murmur forth decorous joy
 In dreamy roundelays!


  He thinks he's won his Josephine,
  But though the sky is now serene,
  A frowning thunderbolt above
  May end their ill-assorted love
 Which now is all ablaze.

  Our captain, ere the day is gone,
  Will be extremely down upon
  The wicked men who art employ
  To make his Josephine less coy
 In many various ways.
 [Exit Dick.

JOS.  This very night,
HEBE.   With bated breath
RALPH.  And muffled oar-
JOS.  Without a light,
HEBE.   As still as death,
RALPH.  We'll steal ashore
JOS.  A clergyman
RALPH.  Shall make us one
BOAT.   At half-past ten,
JOS.  And then we can
RALPH.  Return, for none
BOAT.   Can part them then!
ALL.  This very night, etc.

 (Dick appears at hatchway.)

DICK.   Forbear, nor carry out the scheme you've planned;
 She is a lady - you a foremast hand!
 Remember, she's your gallant captain's daughter,
 And you the meanest slave that crawls the water!
ALL.  Back, vermin, back,
  Nor mock us!
 Back, vermin, back,
  You shock us!
  [Exit Dick

 Let's give three cheers for the sailor's bride
 Who casts all thought of rank aside-
 Who gives up home and fortune too
 For the honest love of a sailor true!
  For a British tar is a soaring soul
 As free as a mountain bird!
  His energetic fist should be ready to resist
 A dictatorial word!
  His foot should stamp and his throat should growl,
  His hair should twirl and his face should scowl,
  His eyes should flash and his breast protrude,
  And this should be his customary attitude - (pose).


© William Schwenck Gilbert