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W. S. (William Schwenck) Gilbert.

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THE BAB BALLADS ***




Produced by Chris Curnow, Jwala Kumar Sista, Joseph Cooper
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
http://www.pgdp.net





+Transcriber's Notes+

1. Typographical errors have been silently corrected.

2. Variations of spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.

3. The text version is coded for italics and the like mark-ups i.e.,
a) italics are indicated thus _italic_;
b) small-caps are indicated thus CAPS;
c) bold text is indicated thus =strong=
d) Images in the book are indicated as [Illustration] at
the respective place, between paragraphs.




THE BAB BALLADS




THE BAB BALLADS

WITH WHICH ARE INCLUDED

SONGS OF A SAVOYARD

BY

W. S. GILBERT

[Illustration]

WITH 350 ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

LONDON

MACMILLAN & CO LTD

NEW YORK. ST MARTIN'S PRESS


_This book is copyright in all countries which
are signatories to the Berne Convention_

_Transferred to Macmillan and Co. Ltd._, 1904
_Sixth Edition_ 1904
_Reprinted_ 1906, 1908, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1917, 1919
1920, 1922, 1924, 1926, 1932, 1953, 1960


MACMILLAN AND COMPANY LIMITED
_London Bombay Calcutta Madras Melbourne_

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY OF CANADA LIMITED
_Toronto_

ST MARTIN'S PRESS INC
_New York_


PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN




AUTHOR'S NOTE


About thirty years since, several of "The Bab Ballads" (most of which
had appeared, from time to time, in the pages of _Fun_) were collected
by me, and published by Messrs. George Routledge and Sons. This volume
passed through several editions, and, in due course, was followed by
a second series under the title of "More Bab Ballads," which achieved
a popularity equal to that of its predecessor. Subsequently, excerpts
were made from these two volumes, and, under the title of "Fifty Bab
Ballads," had a very considerable sale; but I soon discovered that in
making the selection for this volume I had discarded certain Ballads
that were greater favourites with my readers than with me. Nevertheless
this issue was followed by many editions, English and American, of "Bab
Ballads," "More Bab Ballads," and "Fifty Bab Ballads," to the no little
bewilderment of such of the public as had been good enough to concern
themselves with my verses. So it became desirable (for our own private
ends) that this confusion should be definitely cleared up; and thus
it came to pass that a reissue of the two earlier collections, in one
volume, was decided upon.

Some seven years since, I collected the most popular of the songs and
ballads which I had written for the series of light operas with which
my name is associated, and published them under the title of "Songs of
a Savoyard." It recently occurred to me that these songs had so much in
common with "The Bab Ballads" that it might be advisable to weld the
two books into one. This is, briefly, the history of the present volume.

I have always felt that many of the original illustrations to "The Bab
Ballads" erred gravely in the direction of unnecessary extravagance.
This defect I have endeavoured to correct through the medium of the two
hundred new drawings which I have designed for this volume. I am afraid
I cannot claim for them any other recommendation,

W. S. GILBERT.

GRIM'S DYKE, HARROW WEALD,
_4th December 1897_.




CONTENTS


PAGE

CAPTAIN REECE 1

THE DARNED MOUNSEER 6

THE RIVAL CURATES 8

THE ENGLISHMAN 13

ONLY A DANCING GIRL 14

THE DISAGREEABLE MAN 16

GENERAL JOHN 18

THE COMING BY-AND-BY 22

TO A LITTLE MAID 24

THE HIGHLY RESPECTABLE GONDOLIER 26

JOHN AND FREDDY 28

THE FAIRY QUEEN'S SONG 32

SIR GUY THE CRUSADER 34

IS LIFE A BOON? 38

HAUNTED 39

THE MODERN MAJOR-GENERAL 42

THE BISHOP AND THE 'BUSMAN 44

THE HEAVY DRAGOON 49

THE TROUBADOUR 51

PROPER PRIDE 56

FERDINANDO AND ELVIRA; OR, THE GENTLE PIEMAN 58

THE POLICEMAN'S LOT 63

LORENZO DE LARDY 64

THE BAFFLED GRUMBLER 69

DISILLUSIONED 71

THE HOUSE OF PEERS 74

BABETTE'S LOVE 76

A MERRY MADRIGAL 81

TO MY BRIDE 82

THE DUKE AND THE DUCHESS 84

THE FOLLY OF BROWN 87

EHEU FUGACES - ! 92

SIR MACKLIN 94

THEY'LL NONE OF 'EM BE MISSED 99

THE YARN OF THE "NANCY BELL" 101

GIRL GRADUATES 106

THE BISHOP OF RUM-TI-FOO 108

BRAID THE RAVEN HAIR 113

THE PRECOCIOUS BABY 114

THE WORKING MONARCH 119

TO PHŒBE 122

THE APE AND THE LADY 123

BAINES CAREW, GENTLEMAN 125

ONLY ROSES 130

THOMAS WINTERBOTTOM HANCE 131

THE ROVER'S APOLOGY 136

A DISCONTENTED SUGAR BROKER 138

AN APPEAL 143

THE PANTOMIME "SUPER" TO HIS MASK 144

THE REWARD OF MERIT 146

THE GHOST, THE GALLANT, THE GAEL, AND THE GOBLIN 148

THE MAGNET AND THE CHURN 153

KING BORRIA BUNGALEE BOO 155

THE FAMILY FOOL 161

THE PERIWINKLE GIRL 164

SANS SOUCI 169

THOMSON GREEN AND HARRIET HALE 171

A RECIPE 175

BOB POLTER 176

THE MERRYMAN AND HIS MAID 182

ELLEN M'JONES ABERDEEN 185

THE SUSCEPTIBLE CHANCELLOR 191

PETER THE WAG 193

WHEN A MERRY MAIDEN MARRIES 198

THE THREE KINGS OF CHICKERABOO 200

THE BRITISH TAR 204

GENTLE ALICE BROWN 205

A MAN WHO WOULD WOO A FAIR MAID 209

THE SORCERER'S SONG 211

THE BUMBOAT WOMAN'S STORY 214

THE FICKLE BREEZE 219

THE TWO OGRES 221

THE FIRST LORD'S SONG 227

LITTLE OLIVER 229

MISTER WILLIAM 235

WOULD YOU KNOW? 240

PASHA BAILEY BEN 242

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL FLARE 248

SPECULATION 254

AH ME! 255

LOST MR. BLAKE 256

THE DUKE OF PLAZA-TORO 262

THE BABY'S VENGEANCE 265

THE ÆSTHETE 271

THE CAPTAIN AND THE MERMAIDS 273

SAID I TO MYSELF, SAID I 278

ANNIE PROTHEROE 280

SORRY HER LOT 286

AN UNFORTUNATE LIKENESS 287

THE CONTEMPLATIVE SENTRY 292

GREGORY PARABLE, LL.D. 294

THE PHILOSOPHIC PILL 299

THE KING OF CANOODLE-DUM 301

BLUE BLOOD 307

FIRST LOVE 309

THE JUDGE'S SONG 315

BRAVE ALUM BEY 317

WHEN I FIRST PUT THIS UNIFORM ON 322

SIR BARNABY BAMPTON BOO 324

SOLATIUM 329

THE MODEST COUPLE 330

A NIGHTMARE 335

THE MARTINET 338

DON'T FORGET! 345

THE SAILOR BOY TO HIS LASS 348

THE SUICIDE'S GRAVE 354

THE REVEREND SIMON MAGUS 356

HE AND SHE 361

DAMON _V._ PYTHIAS 363

THE MIGHTY MUST 367

MY DREAM 368

A MIRAGE 374

THE BISHOP OF RUM-TI-FOO AGAIN 376

THE GHOSTS' HIGH NOON 381

A WORM WILL TURN 383

THE HUMANE MIKADO 388

THE HAUGHTY ACTOR 391

WILLOW WALY! 397

THE TWO MAJORS 399

LIFE IS LOVELY ALL THE YEAR 403

EMILY, JOHN, JAMES, AND I 405

THE USHER'S CHARGE 411

THE PERILS OF INVISIBILITY 413

THE GREAT OAK TREE 418

OLD PAUL AND OLD TIM 420

KING GOODHEART 424

THE MYSTIC SELVAGEE 426

SLEEP ON! 431

THE CUNNING WOMAN 433

THE LOVE-SICK BOY 439

PHRENOLOGY 440

POETRY EVERYWHERE 445

THE FAIRY CURATE 446

HE LOVES! 453

THE WAY OF WOOING 454

TRUE DIFFIDENCE 458

HONGREE AND MAHRY 460

THE TANGLED SKEIN 466

THE REVEREND MICAH SOWLS 467

MY LADY 471

ONE AGAINST THE WORLD 473

THE FORCE OF ARGUMENT 475

PUT A PENNY IN THE SLOT 480

GOOD LITTLE GIRLS 482

THE PHANTOM CURATE 484

LIFE 487

LIMITED LIABILITY 490

THE SENSATION CAPTAIN 492

ANGLICISED UTOPIA 497

AN ENGLISH GIRL 499

TEMPORA MUTANTUR 501

A MANAGER'S PERPLEXITIES 504

OUT OF SORTS 506

AT A PANTOMIME 508

HOW IT'S DONE 512

A CLASSICAL REVIVAL 515

THE STORY OF PRINCE AGIB 518

THE PRACTICAL JOKER 523

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM 526

JOE GOLIGHTLY; OR, THE FIRST LORD'S DAUGHTER 528

HER TERMS 534

THE INDEPENDENT BEE 536

TO THE TERRESTRIAL GLOBE 539

ETIQUETTE 541

THE DISCONCERTED TENOR 547

BEN ALLAH ACHMET; OR, THE FATAL TUM 549

THE PLAYED-OUT HUMORIST 553


INDEX TO FIRST LINES 555

ALPHABETICAL INDEX TO TITLES 561




THE BAB BALLADS

[Illustration]




CAPTAIN REECE


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 within him to
Promote the comfort of his crew.


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.

[Illustration]

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?

"By any reasonable plan
I'll 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.

"Now, somehow, sir, it seems to me,
More friendly-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, "O 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.

"But what are dukes and viscounts to
The happiness of all my crew?
The word I gave you I'll fulfil;
It is my duty, and I will.

"As you desire it shall befall,
I'll settle thousands on you all,
And I shall be, despite my hoard,
The only bachelor on board."

The boatswain of _The Mantelpiece_,
He blushed and spoke to CAPTAIN REECE.
"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!

"Well, well, the chaplain I will seek,
We'll 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 REECE,
Attended there as they were bid;
It was their duty, and they did.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]




THE DARNED MOUNSEER


I shipped, d'ye see, in a Revenue sloop,
And, off Cape Finisteere,
A merchantman we see,
A Frenchman, going free,
So we made for the bold Mounseer,
D'ye see?
We made for the bold Mounseer!
But she proved to be a Frigate - and she up with her ports,
And fires with a thirty-two!
It come uncommon near,
But we answered with a cheer,
Which paralysed the Parley-voo,
D'ye see?
Which paralysed the Parley-voo!


Then our Captain he up and he says, says he,
"That chap we need not fear, -
We can take her, if we like,
She is sartin for to strike,
For she's only a darned Mounseer,
D'ye see?
She's only a darned Mounseer!
But to fight a French fal-lal - it's like hittin' of a gal -
It's a lubberly thing for to do;
For we, with all our faults,
Why, we're sturdy British salts,
While she's but a Parley-voo,
D'ye see?
A miserable Parley-voo!"

So we up with our helm, and we scuds before the breeze,
As we gives a compassionating cheer;
Froggee answers with a shout
As he sees us go about,
Which was grateful of the poor Mounseer,
D'ye see?
Which was grateful of the poor Mounseer!
And I'll wager in their joy they kissed each other's cheek
(Which is what them furriners do),
And they blessed their lucky stars
We were hardy British tars
Who had pity on a poor Parley-voo,
D'ye see?
Who had pity on a poor Parley-voo!

[Illustration]




THE RIVAL CURATES


List while the poet trolls
Of MR. CLAYTON HOOPER,
Who had a cure of souls
At Spiffton-extra-Sooper.

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:

"In mildness to abound
My curate's sole design is,
In all the country round
There's none so mild as mine is!"

And HOOPER, disinclined
His trumpet to be blowing.
Yet didn't think you'd find
A milder curate going.

A friend arrived one day
At Spiffton-extra-Sooper,
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
At Assesmilk-cum-Worter.

"_He_ plays the airy flute,
And looks depressed and blighted,
Doves round about him 'toot,'
And lambkins dance delighted.

[Illustration]


"_He_ labours more than you
At worsted work, and frames it;
In old maids' albums, too,
Sticks seaweed - yes, and names it!"

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
Undue assassination,
And so, before you strike,
Make this communication:

[Illustration]

"I'll give him this one chance -
If he'll more gaily bear him,
Play croquet, smoke, and dance,
I willingly will spare him."

They went, those minions true,
To Assesmilk-cum-Worter,
And told their errand to
The REVEREND HOPLEY PORTER.

"What?" said that reverend gent,
"Dance through my hours of leisure?
Smoke? - bathe myself with scent? -
Play croquet? Oh, with pleasure!


"Wear all my hair in curl?
Stand at my door, and wink - so -
At every passing girl?
My brothers, I should think so!

[Illustration]

"For years I've longed for some
Excuse for this revulsion:
Now that excuse has come -
I do it on compulsion!!!"

He smoked and winked away -
This REVEREND HOPLEY PORTER -
The deuce there was to pay
At Assesmilk-cum-Worter.

And HOOPER holds his ground,
In mildness daily growing -
They think him, all around,
The mildest curate going.

[Illustration]




THE ENGLISHMAN


He is an Englishman!
For he himself has said it,
And it's greatly to his credit,
That he is an Englishman!
For he might have been a Roosian,
A French, or Turk, or Proosian,
Or perhaps Itali-an!
But in spite of all temptations,
To belong to other nations,
He remains an Englishman!
Hurrah!
For the true-born Englishman!

[Illustration]




ONLY A DANCING GIRL


Only a dancing girl,
With an unromantic style,
With borrowed colour and curl,
With fixed mechanical smile,


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Online LibraryW. S. (William Schwenck) GilbertThe Bab ballads. Much sound and little sense → online text (page 1 of 19)