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No. 8: Not Long Ago
(ROMANCE)
MIDI File MIDI File [31KB, 5' 36 "]


Box.

Not long ago it was my fate
To captivate a widow, at Ramsgate;

Cox.

I, 'tis odd to state,
The same at Margate did, oh!

Box.
By her not liking to be kissed
I thought I'd better try to
In the Life Guards or Blues enlist;
Cox.
How odd! and so did I too.
Box.
I was not tall enough they said;
Cox.
Too short they said of me;
Box.
The infantry I entered,
Cox.
And I the infantree;
Box.
My widow offer'd to purchase my
Discharge from the marching line, oh!
Cox.
That's odd, coincidentally,
The very same did mine, oh!
Box.
I hesitated to consent,
For my consent she waited.
I gave it.
Cox.
Ah! with mine I went,
And never hesitated.
Box.

The happy day came near at length,
We hoped it would be sunny,
I found I needed all my strength
To face the ceremony.
I suddenly found out I was unworthy to possess her,
I told her so at once because I fear'd it might distress her.
Before the words were out of my mouth
There came from the north and flew to the south,
A something that came unpleasantly near,
Clattering, splattering, battering, shattering,
Dashing, clashing, smashing, crashing,
Missing, but whizzing right past my ear.

It shattered itself on the mantel-piece, whop!

Cox.
What was it?
Box.

Ah! tremble, the basin called slop.
It fell at my feet, it would have put
The back of a man who was ever so meek up,
So being thus bated, I retaliated,
And hurl'd at my widow a crockery tea cup.

Cox.
Between you, then, there was a fraction.
Box.
And I was threatened with an action.
Cox.
O ciel! proceed.
Box.
One morn, when I had finished my ablution,
I took —
Cox.
A walk?
Box.

No sir, a resolution.
Friends or foes,
None suppose,
Nobody knows
What I does,
I tie up my clothes,
My shirt and my hose,
My socks for my toes,
My linen for nose,
I think of my woes,
And under the rose,
I pack up my bundle and off I goes.

Cox. (spoken)
Ha! I see you left in a tiff!

Box.

Listen!
I solemnly walked to the cliff,
And singing a sort of a dulcet dirge,
Put down my bundle upon the verge,
Heard the wild sea-gull's mournful cry,
Looked all around, there was nobody nigh,
None but I on the cliff so high,
And all save the sea was bare and dry,
And I took one look at the wave below,
And I rais'd my hand in an agony throe,
And I stood on the edge of the rock so steep,
And I gaz'd like a maniac on the deep.

I cried: "Farewell, farewell to earth,
Farewell, farewell to the land of my birth,
Farewell, farewell to my only love,
To the sea below and the sky above!"

Mr. Box (John Dean) describes to Mr. Cox (George Cummidge) how he faked an imaginary suicide to escape the attentions of Penelope Ann.
Box explains how he faked suicide

With a glance at the sea of wild despair, I cried, "I come,"
My bundle lay there,
At the edge where the coastguard's way was chalked,
Then away —
In the opposite way I walked.
Cox.
What a clever man
What a capital plan,
I've listened with attention,
I think that I should like to try
Your wonderful invention.

Box. Cox.
What a clever man,
What a capital plan,
You've listened with attention.
If you like it, why
Should you not try
My wonderful invention.
What a clever man,
What a capital plan,
I've listened with attention.
I think that I
Should like to try
Your wonderful invention.

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