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The Bab Ballads With Which are Included Songs of a Savoyard

- By William Schwenck Gilbert
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CAPTAIN REECE
Illustration-Cartoon 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-Cartoon 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! Illustration-Cartoon
"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.

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Questions and Answers The Bab Ballads With Which are Included Songs of a Savoyard

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Word Lists:

Coxswain : the steersman of a ship's boat, lifeboat, racing boat, or other boat.

Widowed : having lost one's spouse by death and not married again

Enchanting : delightfully charming or attractive

Ameliorate : make (something bad or unsatisfactory) better

Rife : (especially of something undesirable or harmful) of common occurrence; widespread

Nil : zero, especially as a score in certain games

Sultry : (of the air or weather) hot and humid

Crew : a group of people who work on and operate a ship, boat, aircraft, spacecraft, or train.

Boatswain : a ship's officer in charge of equipment and the crew.

Droll : curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement

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Rating: B

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