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Dialogue following No. 18
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 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!
Page Created 30 June, 2005