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"Carefully On Tip-Toe Stealing" Lyrics

Gilbert & Sullivan

(Enter Crew on tiptoe, with Ralph and Boatswain meeting Josephine,
who enters from cabin on tiptoe, with bundle of necessaries, and
accompanied by Little Buttercup.)

Crew.
Carefully on tiptoe stealing,
Breathing gently as we may,
Every step with caution feeling,
We will softly steal away.

(Captain stamps — Chord.)

All. (much alarmed)
Goodness me —
Why, what was that?

Dick.
Silent be,
It was the cat!

All. (reassured)
It was — it was the cat!

Captain. (producing cat-o'-nine-tails)
They're right, it was the cat!

Crew.
Pull ashore in fashion steady,
Hymen will defray the fare,
For a clergyman is ready
To unite the happy pair!

(Stamp as before, and Chord.)

All.
Goodness me —
Why, what was that?

Dick.
Silent be,
Again the cat!

All.
It was again that cat!

Captain. (aside)
They're right, it was the cat!

Josephine & Ralph.
Ev'ry step with caution feeling,
We will softly steal away,
Ev'ry step with caution feeling,
We will softly steal away.

Captain. (throwing off cloak)
Hold! (All start.)
Pretty daughter of mine,
I insist upon knowing
Where you may be going
With these sons of the brine.
For my excellent crew,
Though foes they could thump any,
Are scarcely fit company,
My daughter, for you.

Crew.
Now, hark at that, do!
Though foes we could thump any,
We are scarcely fit company
For a lady like you!

Ralph.
Proud officer, that haughty lip uncurl!
Vain man, suppress that supercilious sneer,
For I have dared to love your matchless girl,
A fact well known to all my messmates here!

Captain.
Oh, horror!

Ralph.
I, humble, poor, and lowly born,
The meanest in the port division
The butt of epauletted scorn
The mark of quarter-deck derision
Have dared to raise my wormy eyes
Above the dust to which you'd mould me,
In manhood's glorious pride to rise,
I am an Englishman, behold me!

All.
He is an Englishman!

Boatswain.
He is an Englishman!
For he himself has said it,
And it's greatly to his credit,
That he is an Englishman!

All.
That he is an Englishman!

Boatswain.
For he might have been a Roosian,
A French, or Turk, or Proosian,
Or perhaps Itali-an!

All.
Or perhaps Itali-an!

Boatswain.
But in spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations,
He remains an Englishman!
He remains an Englishman!

All.
For in spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations,
He remains an Englishman!
He remains an Englishman!

Captain. (trying to repress his anger)
In uttering a reprobation
To any British tar,
I try to speak with moderation,
But you have gone too far.
I'm very sorry to disparage
A humble foremast lad,
But to seek your captain's child in marriage,
Why, damme, it's too bad!

(During this, Cousin Hebe and Female Relatives have entered.)

All. (shocked)
Oh!

Captain.
Yes, damme, it's too bad!

All.
Oh!

Captain & Dick.
Yes, damme, it's too bad!

Hebe.
Did you hear him —
Did you hear him?
Oh, the monster overbearing,
Don't go near him —
Don't go near him —
He is swearing —
He is swearing!

(During this, Sir Joseph has appeared on poop-deck. He is
horrified at the bad language.)

Sir Joseph.
My pain and my distress,
I find it is not easy to express;
My amazement, my surprise,
You may learn from the expression of my eyes!

Captain.
My lord — one word — the facts are not before you,
The word was injudicious, I allow.
But hear my explanation, I implore you,
And you will be indignant too, I vow!

Sir Joseph.
I will hear of no defence,
Attempt none if you're sensible.
That word of evil sense,
Is wholly indefensible.
Go, ribald, get you hence
To your cabin with celerity.
This is the consequence
Of ill-advised asperity!

(Exit Captain, disgraced, followed by Josephine.)

All.
This is the consequence,
Of ill-advised asperity!

Sir Joseph.
For I'll teach you all, ere long,
To refrain from language strong,
For I haven't any sympathy for ill-bred taunts!

Hebe.
No more have his sisters, nor his cousins, nor his aunts.

All.
No more have his sisters, nor his cousins, nor his aunts,
No more have his sisters, nor his cousins, nor his aunts,
His cousins, nor his sisters,
Whom he reckons up by dozens, or his aunts!
For he is an Englishman!
For he himself has said it,
And it's greatly to his credit,
That he is an Englishman!
That he is an Englishman!

DIALOGUE

Sir Joseph.
Now, tell me, my fine fellow — for you are a fine fellow —

Ralph.
Yes, your honour.

Sir Joseph.
How came your captain so far to forget himself? I am quite sure
you had given him no cause for annoyance.

Ralph.
Please your honour, it was thus-wise. You see I'm only a topman —
a mere foremast hand —

Sir Joseph.
Don't be ashamed of that. Your position as a topman is a very exalted
one.

Ralph.
Well, your honour, love burns as brightly in the fo'c'sle as it does on
the quarter-deck, and Josephine is the fairest bud that ever blossomed
upon the tree of a poor fellow's wildest hopes.

(Enter Josephine; she rushes to Ralph's arms.)

Josephine.
Darling!

(Sir Joseph is horrified.)

Ralph.
She is the figurehead of my ship of life — the bright beacon that
guides me into my port of happiness — that the rarest, the purest
gem that ever sparkled on a poor but worthy fellow's trusting brow!

All.
Very pretty, very pretty!

Sir Joseph.
Insolent sailor, you shall repent this outrage. Seize him!

(Two Marines seize him and handcuff him.)

Josephine.
Oh, Sir Joseph, spare him, for I love him tenderly.

Sir Joseph.
Pray, don't. I will teach this presumptuous mariner to discipline his
affections. Have you such a thing as a dungeon on board?

All.
We have!

Dick.
They have!

Sir Joseph.
Then load him with chains and take him there at once!
This song was submitted on August 7th, 2005.
Lyrics licensed by LyricFind.

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