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Dialogue following No. 5
Captain. My child, I grieve to see that you are a prey to melancholy. You should look your best to-day, for Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., will be here this afternoon to claim your promised hand.
Josephine. Ah, father, your words cut me to the quick. I can esteem — reverence— venerate Sir Joseph, for he is a great and good man; but oh, I cannot love him! My heart is already given.
Captain. (aside) It is then as I feared. (aloud) Given? And to whom? Not to some gilded lordling?
Josephine. No, father — the object of my love is no lordling. Oh, pity me, for he is but a humble sailor on board your own ship!
Josephine. Yes, it is true — too true.
Captain. A common sailor? Oh fie!
Josephine. I blush for the weakness that allows me to cherish such a passion. I hate myself when I think of the depth to which I have stooped in permitting myself to think tenderly of one so ignobly born, but I love him! I love him! I love him! (weeps)
Captain. Come, my child, let us talk this over. In a matter of the heart I would not coerce my daughter — I attach but little value to rank or wealth, but the line must be drawn somewhere. A man in that station may be brave and worthy, but at every step he would commit solecisms that society would never pardon.
Josephine. Oh, I have thought of this night and day. But fear not, father, I have a heart, and therefore I love; but I am your daughter, and therefore I am proud. Though I carry my love with me to the tomb, he shall never, never know it.
Captain. You are my daughter after all. But see, Sir Joseph's barge approaches, manned by twelve trusty oarsmen and accompanied by the admiring crowd of sisters, cousins, and aunts that attend him wherever he goes. Retire, my daughter, to your cabin — take this, his photograph, with you — it may help to bring you to a more reasonable frame of mind.
Josephine. My own thoughtful father!
Exit Josephine. Captain remains and ascends the poop-deck.
Page Created 24 May, 2005