Home  »  Familiar Quotations  »  Sir William Shwenk Gilbert 1836-1911 John Bartlett

John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Sir William Shwenk Gilbert 1836-1911 John Bartlett

    You have a daughter, Captain Reese,
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 them to
Unmarried members of the crew.
          Captain Reese.
    Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold
  And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo’sun tight and a midshipmite
  And the crew of the captain’s gig. 1 
          The Yarn of the “Nancy Bell.”
    Roll on, thou ball, roll on
Through pathless realms of space,
      Roll on!
          To the Terrestrial Globe.
    It’s true I’ve got no shirts to wear,
It’s true my butcher’s bill is due,
It’s true my prospects all look blue,
But don’t let that unsettle you!
      Never you mind!
      Roll on!
      (It roll on.)
          To the Terrestrial Globe.
    He is an Englishman!
  For he himself has said it,
  And it’s greatly to his credit,
That he ’s an Englishman!

  For he might have been a Rooshian
  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.
          The Englishman.
    I love my fellow-creatures, I do all the good I can,
Yet everybody says I’m such a disagreeable man
    And I can’t think why!
          The disagreeable Man.
    Ah, take one consideration with another
  A policeman’s lot is not a happy one!
          The Policeman’s Lot.
    As some day it may happen that a victim must be found
  I ’ve got a little list—I ’ve got a little list.
Of social offenders who might well be under ground
  And who never would be missed—who never would be missed.
          They ’ll none of them be missed.
    Bad language or abuse
I never, never use,
Whatever the emergency;
Though “Bother it” I may
Occasionally say,
I never never use a big, big D.
          The first Lord’s Song.
    Now landsmen all, whoever you may be,
If you want to rise to the top of the tree
If your soul is n’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.
          The first Lord’s Song.
    The Law is the true embodiment
Of everything that’s excellent.
It has no kind of fault or flaw,
And I, my Lords, embody the Law.
          The Lord Chancellor’s Song.
    Things are seldom what they seem,
Skim milk masquerades as cream.
          H. M. S. Pinafore.
    On a tree by a river a little tomtit
Sang “Willow, titwillow, titwillow”
And I said to him, “Dicky-bird, why do you sit
Singing ‘Willow, titwillow, titwillow?’

“Is it weakness of intellect, birdie?” I cried,
“Or a rather tough worm in your little inside?”
With a shake of his poor little head he replied,
“Oh, Willow, titwillow, titwillow!”
          The Suicide’s Grave.
    My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time—
To let the punishment fit the crime.
          The humane Mikado.
    Life’s a pudding full of plums;
Care’s a canker that benumbs,
Wherefore waste our elocution
On impossible solution?
Life’s a pleasant institution,
Let us take it as it comes!
          The tangled Skein.
    Man is nature’s sole mistake.
          Princess Ida.
    As innocent as a new-laid egg.
Note 1.
There were three sailors of Bristol city
Who took a boat and went to sea.
But first with beef and captain’s biscuits
And pickled pork they loaded she.
There was gorging Jack and guzzling Jimmy,
And the youngest he was little Billee.
Now when they got as far as the Equator
They’d nothing left but one split pea.
W. M. Thackeray: Little Billee. [back]