NY PUBLIC LIBRARY THE BRANCH LIBRARIES
3 3333 08115 4144
THE CENTV T , CHILD'
NEW YORK, N.Y, 10019
B a I I a d s
By W. S. GILBERT
With Two-Hundred-and- Fifteen Illustrations by the Author
DAVID McKAY, PUBLISHER
n i Oi i\EW YORK
'"T'^HE "BAB BALLADS' appeared originally in the columns
of "FUN," when that periodical was under the editor-
ship of the late TOM HOOD. They were subsequently repub-
lished in two volumes, one called " THE BAB BALLADS," the
other "MORE BAB BALLADS." The period during which they
were written extended over some three or four years ; many,
however, were composed hastily, and under the discomforting
necessity of having to turn out a quantity of lively verse by a
certain day in every week. As it seemed to me (and to others)
that the volumes were disfigured by the presence of these hastily-
written impostors, I thought it better to withdraw from both
volumes such Ballads as seemed to show evidence of careless-
ness or undue haste, and to publish the remainder in the com-
pact form under which they are now presented to the reader.
It may interest some to know that the first of the series,
44 The Yarn of the Nancy Bell" was originally offered to
"PUNCH," to which I was, at that time, an occasional con-
tributor. It was, however, declined by the then Editor, on the
ground that it was "too cannibalistic for his readers' tastes."
W. S. GILBERT.
CAPTAIN REECE 9
THE RIVAL CURATES 14
ONLY A DANCING-GIRL 19
GENERAL JOHN 21
To A LITTLE MAID 24
JOHN AND FREDDY 25
SIR GUY THE CRUSADER 28
THE BISHOP AND THE BUSMAN 83
THE TROUBADOUR 37
FERDINANDO AND ELVIRA ; OR, THE GENTLE PIEMAN. 41
LORENZO DE LARDY 45
BABETTE'S LOVE 51
To MY BRIDE 54
THE FOLLY OF BROWN 56
SIR MACKLIN 60
THE YARN OP THE ' ' NANCY BELL." 63
THE BISHOP OP RuM-Ti-Foo 66
THE PRECOCIOUS BABY 70
To PHCEBE 74
BAINES CARE w, GENTLEMAN 75
THOMAS WINTERBOTTOM HANCE 79
THE REVEREND MICAH SOWLS 83
A DISCONTENTED SUGAR- BROKER 87
THE PANTOMIME "SUPER" TO HIS MASK 92
THE FORCE OP ARGUMENT 94
THE GHOST, THE GALLANT, THE GAEL, AND THE
THE PHANTOM CURATE 103
THE SENSATION CAPTAIN 105
TEMPO RA MUT ANTUR 109
AT A PANTOMIME Ill
KING BORRIA BUNG ALEE Boo 114
THE PERIWINKLE GIRL 118
THOMSON GREEN AND HARRIET HALE 121
BOB POLTER 124
THE STORY OP PRINCE AGIB 128
ELLEN MCJONES ABERDEEN.. . 133
PETER THE WAG 136
THE THREE KINGS OF CHICKERABOO 140
JOE GOLIGHTLY 144
To THE TERRESTRIAL GLOBE 149
GENTLE ALICE BROWN 150
MISTER WILLIAM 155
BEN ALLAH ACHMET ; OR, THE FATAL Tuai 160
THE BUMBOAT WOMAN'S STORY 163
THE Two OGRES 169
LITTLE OLIVER 173
PASHA BAILEY BEN 178
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL FLARE 183
LOST MR. BLAKE 187
THE BABY'S VENGEANCE 192
THE CAPTAIN AND THE MERMAIDS 196
ANNIE PROTHEROE 200
GREGORY PARABLE, LL.D 206
AN UNFORTUNATE LIKENESS 210
THE KING OP CANOODLE-DUM 214
FIRST LOVE 219
BRAVE ALUM BEY 224
SIR BARNABY BAMPTON Boo 228
THE MODEST COUPLE 232
THE MARTINET 237
THE REVEREND SIMON MAGUS 241
DAMON v. PYTHIAS 245
THE SAILOR BOY TO HIS LASS 248
MY DREAM 253
THE BISHOP OF RuM-Ti-Foo, AGAIN. . 257
THE HAUGHTY ACTOR 261
THE Two MAJORS 266
A WORM WILL TURN 270
EMILY, JOHN, JAMES, AND I 274
THE PERILS OF INVISIBILITY 278
OLD PAUL AND OLD TIM 282
THE CUNNING WOMAN 285
THE MYSTIC SALVAGES 293
THE FAIRY CURATE 297
HONGRBE AND MAHRY 302
THB WAY OF WOOING.. , .307
OF all the ships upon the blue,
No ship contained a better crew
Than that of worthy Captain Reece,
Commanding of The Mantelpiece.
He was adored by all his men,
For worthy Captain Reece, R.N.,
Did all that lay with in him to
Promote the comfort of his crew-
10 THE "BAB* BALLADS.
If ever they were dull or sad,
Their captain danced to them like mad,
Or told, to make the time pass by,
Droll legends of his infancy.
A feather bed had every man,
Warm slippers and hot-water can,
Brown Windsor from the captain's store,
A valet, too, to every four.
Did they with thirst in summer burn ?
Lo, seltzogenes at every turn,
And on all very sultry days
Cream ices handed round on trays.
Then currant wine and ginger pops
Stood handily on all the " tops ; "
And, also, with amusement rife,
A " Zoetrope, or Wheel of Life."
New volumes came across the sea
From Mister Mudie's libraree ;
The Times and Saturday Review
Beguiled the leisure of the crew.
Kind-hearted Captain Reece, R.N.,
Was quite devoted to his men ;
In point of fact, good Captain Reece
Beatified The Mantelpiece.
One summer eve, at half-past ten,
He said (addressing all his men) :
" Come, tell me, please, what I can do
To please and gratify my crew.
u By any reasonable plan
I '11 make you happy if I can ;
My own convenience count as nil :
It is my duty, and I will."
Then up and answered William Lee
(The kindly captain's coxswain he,
A nervous, shy, low-spoken man),
He cleared his throat and thus began :
* You have a daughter. Captain Reece,
Ten female cousins and a niece,
A Ma, if what I 'm told is true,
Six sisters, and an aunt or two.
u Now, somehow, sir, it seems to me,
More friendlv-like we all should be
If you united of 'em to
Unmarried members of the crew.
" If you 'd ameliorate our life,
Let each select from them a wife ;
And as for nervous me, old pal,
Give me your own enchanting gal ! '
Good Captain Reece, that worthy man.
Debated on his coxswain's plan :
" I quite agree," he said, " Bill ;
It is my duty, and I will.
" My daughter, that enchanting gurl,
Has just been promised to an Earl,
And all my other familee
To peers of various degree.
12 THE "AB" 3ALLADS.
1 But what are dukes and viscounts to
The happiness of all my crew ?
The word I gave you l"'ll fulfil ;
It is my duty, and I will.
" As you desire it shall befall,
I '11 settle thousands on you all,
And 1 shall be, despite my hoard,
The onlv bachelor on board."
The boatswain of The Mantelpiece,
He blushed and spoke to Captain Reece
c I beg your honour's leave," he said ;
' If you would wish to go and wed,
" I have a widowed mother who
Would be the very thing for you
She long has loved you from afar :
She washes for you, Captain R."
The captain saw the dame that day-
Addressed her in his playful way
" And did it want a wedding ring ?
It was a tempting ickle sing !
CAPTAIN REECE. 13
" Well, well, the chaplain I will seek,
We '11 all be married this day week
At yonder church upon the hill ;
It is my duty, and I will ! "
The sisters, cousins, aunts, and niece,
And widowed Ma of Captain Eeece
Attended there as they were bid ;
It was their duty, and they did.
THE RIVAL CURATES.
LIST while the poet trolls
Of Mr. Clayton Hooper,
Who had a cure of souls
He lived on curds and whey,
And daily sang their praises,
And then he 'd go and play
With buttercups and daisies.
Wild croquet Hooper banned,
And all the sports of Mammon,
He warred with cribbage, and
He exorcised backgammon.
His helmet was a glance
That spoke of holy gladness ;
A saintly smile his lance ;
His shield a tear of sadness.
His Vicar smiled to see
This armour on him buckled :
With pardonable glee
He blessed himself and chuckled
THE RIVAL CURATES. 15
** In mildness to abound
My curate's sole design is ;
In all the country round
There 's none so mild as mine is ! 3
And Hooper, disinclined
His trumpet to be blowing,
Yet didn't think you 'd find
A milder curate going.
A friend arrived one day
And in this shameful way
He spoke to Mr. Hooper :
" You think your famous name
For mildness can't be shaken,
That none can blot your fame
But, Hooper, you 're mistaken
" Your mind is not as blank
As that of Hopley Porter,
Who holds a curate's rank
it THE "BAB" BA LLA DS.
" He plays the airy flute,
And looks depressed and blighted,
Doves round about him ' toot,'
And lambkins dance delighted.
He labours more than you
At worsted work, and frames it ;
In old maids' albums, too,
Sticks seaweed yes, and names it 1
The tempter said his say,
Which pierced him like a needle-
He summoned straight away
His sexton and his beadle.
(These men were men who could
Hold liberal opinions :
On Sundays they were good
On week-days they were minions.)
* To Hopley Porter go,
Your fare I will afford you
Deal him a deadly blow,
And blessings shall reward you.
* But stay I do not like
And so before you strike,
Make this communication :
THE RIVAL CURATES. 17
I 'II give him this one chance
If he '11 more gaily bear him,
Play croquet, smoke, and dance.
I willingly will spare him."
They went, those minions true,
And told their errand to
The Reverend Hopley Porter.
" What * " said that reverend gent,
" Dance through my hours of leasure ?
Smoke ? bathe myself with scent ?
Play croquet ? Oh, with pleasure !
w Wear all my hair in curl ?
Stand at my door and wink so
At every passing girl ?
My brothers, I should think so !
* For years I 've longed for some
Excuse for this revulsion :
Now that excuse has come
I do it on compulsion ! ! ! *
THE "BAB " BALLADS,
He smoked and winked away
This Reverend Hopley Porter-
The deuce there was to pay
And Hooper holds his ground,
In mildness daily growing-
They think him, all around,
The mildest curate going.
ONLY A DANCING GIEL.
ONLY a dancing girl,
With an unromantic style,
With borrowed colour and curl,
With fixed mechanical smile,
With many a hackneyed wile.
With ungrammatical lips,
And corns that mar her trips.
Hung from the " flies " in air,
She acts a palpable lie,
She 's as little a fairy there
20 THE '< BAB" tiALLADS.
As unpoetical I !
I hear you asking, Why
Why in the world I sing
This tawdry, tinselled thing ?
No airy fairy she,
As she hangs in arsenic green
From a highly impossible tree
In a highly impossible scene
(Herself not over-clean).
For fays don't suffer, I 'm told,
From bunions, coughs, or cold.
And stately dames that bring
Their daughters there to see,
Pronounce the " dancing thing "
No better than she should be,
With her skirt at her shameful kne$
And her painted, tainted phiz :
Ah, matron, which of us is ?
(And, in sooth, it oft occurs
That while these matrons sigh,
Their dresses are lower than hers,
And sometimes half as high ;
And their hair is hair they buy,
And they use their glasses, too,
In a way she 'd blush to do.)
But change her gold and green
For a coarse merino gown,
And see her upon the scene
Of her home, when coaxing down
Her drunken father's frown,
In his squalid cheerless den :
She 's a fairy truly, then !
THE bravest names for fire and flames,
And all that mortal durst,
Were General John and Private James,
Of the Sixty-seventy-first.
General John was a soldier tried,
A chief of warlike dons ;
A haughty stride and a withering pride
Were Major-General John's.
THE "BAB" BALLADS.
A sneer would play on his martial phiz,
Superior birth to show ;
** Pish ! " was a favourite word of his,
And he often said " Ho ! ho !"
Full-Private James described might be
As a man of a mournful mind ;
No characteristic trait had he
Of any distinctive kind.
From the ranks, one day, cried Private James,
" Oh ! Major-General John,
J 've doubts of our respective names,
My mournful mind upon.
" A glimmering thought occurs to me
(Its source I can't unearth),
But I 've a kind of notion we
Were cruelly changed at birth.
" I 've a strange idea, each other's names
That we have each got on.
Such things have been," said Private Jamea
" They have 1 " sneered General John.
" My General John, I swear upon
My oath I think 't is so
" Pish ! " proudly sneered his General John,
And he also said " Ho ! ho ! "
" My General John ! my General John !
My General John ! " quoth he,
"This aristocratical sneer upon
Your face I blush to see !
" No truly great or generous cove
Deserving of them names,
Would sneer at a fixed idea that 's drove
In the mind of a Private James ! "
Said General John, " Upon your claims
No need your breath to waste ;
If this is a joke, Full- Private James,
It's a joke of doubtful taste.
"But, being a man of doubtless worth,
If you feel certain quite
That we were probably changed at birth
I '11 venture to say you 're right."
So General John as Private James
Fell in, parade upon ;
And Private James, by change of names.
Was Major-General John.
TO A LITTLE MAID.
BY A POLICEMAN.
COME with me, little maid,
Nay, shrink not, thus afraid
I '11 harm thee not !
Fly not, my love, from me
I have a home for thee
A fairy grot,
Where mortal eye
Can rarely pry,
There shall thy dwelling be !
List to me, while I tell
The pleasures of that cell,
Oh. little maid !
What though its couch be
Homely the only food
Within its shade ?
No thought of care
Can enter there,
No vulgar swain intrude !
Come with me, little maid,
Come to the rocky shade
I love to sing ;
Live with us, maiden rare
Come, for we u want * thee there,
Thou elfin thing,
To work thy spell,
In some cool cell
In stately Pentonville !
JOHN AND FREDDY.
JOHN courted lovely Mary Ann,
So likewise did his brother Freddy.
Fred was a very soft young man,
While John, though quick, was most unsteady
young Fred had grace all men above,
But John was very much the strongest
"Oh, dance," said she "to win my love
1 11 marry him who dances longest."
John tries the maiden 's taste to strike
With gay, grotesque, outrageous dresses,
And dances comically, like
Clodoche and Co., at the Princess's,
But Freddy tries another style,
He knows some graceful steps, and does 'em
A breathing Poem Woman's smile
A man all poesy and buzzem.
26 THE "BAB" BALLADS.
Now Freddy's operatic pas
Now Johnny's hornpipe seems entrapping
Now Freddy's graceful entrechats
Now Johnny's skilful " cellar-flapping."
For many hours for many days
For many weeks performed each brother,
For each was active in his ways,
And neither would give in to t' other.
After a month of this, they say
(The maid was getting bored and moody)
A wandering curate passed that way,
And talked a lot of goody-goody.
" Oh, my," said he, with solemn frown,
" I tremble for each dancing frater,
Like unregerierated clown
And harlequin at some thee-ayter."
Re showed that men, in dancing, do
Both impiously and absurdly,
And proved his proposition true,
With Firstly, Secondly, and Thirdly,
JOHN AND FREDDY.
For months both John and Freddy danced,
The curate's protests little heeding ;
For months the curate's words enhanced
The sinfulness of their proceeding.
At length they bowed to Nature's rule
Their steps grew feeble and unsteady,
Till Freddy fainted on a stool,
And Johnny on the top of Freddy.
" Decide ! " quoth they, " let him be named
Who henceforth as his wife may rank you."
" I 've changed my views," the maiden said,
" I only marry curates, thank you ! "
Says Freddy, " Here is goings on !
To bust myself with rage I 'm ready."
a I '11 be a curate," whispers John-
" And I," exclaimed poetic Freddy.
But while they read for it, these chaps,
The curate booked the maiden bonny
And when she 's buried him, perhaps,
She '11 marry Frederick or Johnny.
SIR GUY THE CRUSADER
SIR GUY was a doughty crusader,
A muscular knight,
Ever ready to fight,
A very determined invader,
And Dickey de Lion's delight.
Lenore was a Saracen maiden,
The reverse of grotesque,
Her Pa was a bagman at Aden,
Her mother she played in burlesque.
A. coryphee pretty and loyal,
In amber and red,
The ballet she led ;
Her mother performed at the Royal,
Lenore at the Saracen's Head.
SIR GUY -THE CRUSADER. 29
Of face and of figure majestic,
She dazzled the cits
Ecstaticized pits ;
Her troubles were only domestic,
But drove her half out of her wits.
Her father incessantly lashed her,
On water and bread
She was grudgingly fed ;
Whenever her father he thrashed her
Her mother sat down on her head.
Guy saw her and loved her, with reason.
For beauty so bright
Sent him mad with delight ;
He purchased a stall for the season
And sat in it every night.
His views were exceedingly proper,
He wanted to wed,
So he called at her shed
And saw her progenitor whop her
Her mother sit down on her head.
; So pretty," said he, " and so trusting !
You brute of a dad,
You unprincipled cad,
Your conduct is really disgusting.
Come, come, now, admit it 's too bad j
30 THE "BAB" BALLADS.
ft You 're a turband old Turk, and malignant
Your daughter Lenore
I intensely adore,
And I cannot help feeling indignant,
A fact that 1 hinted before.
" To see a fond father employing
A deuce of a knout
For to bang her about,
To a sensitive lover 's annoying."
Said the bagman, " Crusader, get out."
Says Guy, " Shall a warrior laden
With a big spiky knob,
Stand idly and sob,
While a beautiful Saracen maiden
Is whipped by a Saracen snob 1
To London I '11 go from my charmer."
Which he did, with his loot
(Seven hats and a flute),
And was nabbed for his Sydenham armour
At Mr. Ben-Samuel's suit.
Sir Guy he was lodged in the Compter,
Her Pa, in a rage,
Died (don't know his age).
His daughter, she married the prompter,
Grew bulky, and quitted the stage.
HAUNTED ? Ay, in a social way
By a body cf ghosts in a dread array .
But no conventional spectres they
Appalling, grim, and tricky :
I quail at mine as I 'd never quail
At a fine traditional spectre pale,
With a turnip head and a ghostly wail,
And a splash of blood on the dickey !
Mine are horrible, social ghosts,
Speeches and women and guests and hosts,
Weddings and morning calls and toasts,
In every bad variety :
Ghosts who hover about the grave
Of all that 's manly, free, and brave :
You '11 find their names on the architrave
Of that charnel-house, Society.
Black Monday black as its school-room ink-
With its dismal boys that snivel and think
Of its nauseous messes to eat and drink,
And its frozen tank to wash in.
That was the first that brought me grief,
And made me weep, till I sought relief
In an emblematical handkerchief,
To choke such baby bosh in.
First and worst in the grim array
Ghosts of ghosts that have gone their way,
Which I wouldn't revive for a single day
For all the wealth of Plutus
32 THE "AJ?" BALLADS.
Are the horrible ghosts that school-days scared :
If the classical ghost that Brutus dared
Was the ghost of his " Csesar " unprepared,
I J ra sure I pity Brutus.
I pass to critical seventeen ;
The ghost of that terrible wedding scene,
When an elderly colonel stole my queen,
And woke my dream of heaven.
"No school-girl decked in her nurse-room curls
Was my gushing innocent queen of pearls :
If she wasn't a girl of a thousand girls,
She was one of forty-seven !
I see the ghost of my first cigar
Of the thence-arising family jar
Of my maiden brief (I was at the Bar),
(I called the Judge " Your wushup ! ")
Of reckless days and reckless nights,
With wrenched-off knockers, extinguished lights.
Unholy songs, and tipsy fights,
Which I strove in vain to hush up.
Ghosts of fraudulent joint-stock banks,
Ghosts of " copy, declined with thanks,"
Of novels returned in endless ranks,
And thousands more, I suffer.
The only line to fitly grace
My humble tomb, when I 've run my race,
Is, " Eeader, this is the resting-place
Of an unsuccessful duffer."
I 've fought them all, these ghosts of mine,
But the weapons I 've used are sighs and brine,
And now that I 'm nearly forty-nine,
Old age is my chiefest bogy ;
For my hair is thinning away at the crown,
And the silver fights with the worn-out brown 5
And a general verdict sets me down
As an irreclaimable fogy.
THE BISHOP AND THE BUSMAN.
IT was a Bishop bold,
And London was his see,
He was short and stout and round about,
And zealous as could be.
It also was a Jew,
Who drove a Putney bus
For flesh of swine, however fine,
He did not care a cuss.
His name was Hash Baz Ben,
And Jedediah too,
ind Solomon and Zabulon-
This bus-directing Jew.
The Bishop said, said he,
" I '11 see what I can do
To Christianize and make you wise,
You poor benighted Jew."
So every blessed day
That bus he rode outside,
From Fulham town, both up and down,
And loudly thus he cried :
His name is Hash Baz Ben,
And Jedediah too,
And Solomon and Zabulon
This bus-directing Jew."
34 THE "BAB" BALLADS.
At first the busman smiled,
And rather liked the fun
He merely smiled, that Hebrew child,
And said, " Eccentric one ! "
And gay young dogs would wait
To see the bus gc by
(These gay young dogs in striking togs^
To hear the Bishop cry :
* Observe his grisly beard
His race it clearly shows ;
He sticks no fork in ham or pork-
Observe, my friends, his nose.
''His no- ~ie is Hash Baz Ben,
And o edediah too,
And Solomon and Zabulon
This bus-directing Jew."
But though at first amused,
Yet after seven years,
This Hebrew child got awful riled,
And busted into tears.
THE BISHOP AND THE BUSMAN. 35
He really almost feared
To leave his poor abode,
His nose, and name, and beard became
A byword on that road.
At length he swore an oath,
The reason he would know
" I '11 call and see why ever he
Does persecute me so."
The good old Bishop sat
On his ancestral chair,
The busman came, sent up his name,
And laid his grievance bare.
" Benighted Jew," he said,
(And chuckled loud with joy)
" Be Christian, you, instead of Jew
Become a Christian boy.
" I '11 ne'er annoy you more."
" Indeed ? " replied the Jew
" Shall I be freed ? " " You will, indeed ! "
Then " Done ! " said he, " with you ! "
36 THE "BAB" BALLADS.
The organ which, in man,
Between the eyebrows grows,
Fell from his face, and in its place
He found a Christian nose.
His tangled Hebrew beard,
Which to his waist came down,
Was now a pair of whiskers fair-
His name, Adolphus Brown.
He wedded in a year
That prelate's daughter Jane ;
He 's grown quite fair has auburn hair-
His wife is far from plain.
A TROUBADOUR he played
Without a castle wall,
Within, a hapless maid
Responded to his call.
M Oh, willow, woe is me !
Alack and well-a-day !
If 1 were only free
I 'd hie me far away ! "
Unknown her face and name,
But this he knew right well,
The maiden's wailing came
From out a dungeon cell.
A hapless woman lay
Within that dungeon grim
That fact, I Ve heard him say,
Was quite enough for
"I will not sit or lie,
Or eat or drink, I vow,
Till thou art free as I,
Or I as pent as thou."
38 TH "BAB" BALLADS.
Her tears then ceased to flow,
Her wails no longer rang,
And tuneful in her woe
The prisoned maiden sang :
" Oh, stranger, as you play,
I recognize your touch ;
And all that I can say
Is, thank you very much."
He seized his clarion straight,
And blew thereat, until
A warden oped the gate.
" Oh, what might be your will ? "
" I 've come, Sir Knave, to see
The master of these halls :
A maid unwillingly
Lies prisoned in their walls."
With barely stifled sigh
That porter drooped his head,
With teardrops in his eye,
" A many, sir," he said.
He stayed to hear no more,
But pushed that porter by,
And shortly stood before
Sir Hugh de Peckham Rye.
Sir Hugh he darkly frowned,
" What would you, sir, with me ? *
The troubadour he downed
Upon his bended knee.
w I 've come, De Peckham Rye }
To do a Christian task ;
You ask me what would I ?
It is not much I ask.
" Release these maidens, sir,
Whom you dominion o'er-
Upon the second floor.
And if you don't, my lord "
He here stood bolt upright,
And tapped a tailor's sword
" Come out, you cad, and fight
Sir Hugh he called and ran
The warden from the gate :
Gc, show this gentleman
The maid in Forty-eight."
By many a cell they past,
And stopped at length before
A portal, bolted fast :
The man unlocked the door.
THE "BAB" BALLADS.
He called inside the gate
With coarse and brutal shout,
" Come, step it, Forty-eight ! "