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Dialogue following No. 9a
Boatswain. Ah! Sir Joseph's true gentleman; courteous and considerate to the very humblest.
Ralph. True, Boatswain, but we are not the very humblest. Sir Joseph has explained our true position to us. As he says, a British seaman is any man's equal excepting his, and if Sir Joseph says that, is it not our duty to believe him?
All. Well spoke! well spoke!
Dick. You're on a wrong tack, and so is he. He means well, but he don't know. When people have to obey other people's orders, equality's out of the question.
All. (recoiling) Horrible! horrible!
Boatswain. Dick Deadeye, if you go for to infuriate this here ship's company too far, I won't answer for being able to hold 'em in. I'm shocked! that's what I am — shocked!
Ralph. Messmates, my mind's made up. I'll speak to the captain's daughter, and tell her, like an honest man, of the honest love I have for her.
All. Aye, aye!
Ralph. Is not my love as good as another's? Is not my heart as true as another's? Have I not hands and eyes and ears and limbs like another?
All. Aye, Aye!
Ralph. True, I lack birth —
Boatswain. You've a berth on board this very ship.
Ralph. Well said — I had forgotten that. Messmates — what do you say? Do you approve my determination?
All. We do.
Dick. I don t.
Boatswain. What is to be done with this here hopeless chap? Let us sing him the song that Sir Joseph has kindly composed for us. Perhaps it will bring this here miserable creetur to a proper state of mind.
Page Created 31 May, 2005