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ACT 1

No. 4: SONG - Oswald & Chorus

Re-enter CHORUS, surrounding OSWALD.

CHORUS.
  Ribbons to sell, ribbons to sell!
    Ribbons to tie up our hair!
      Who'll buy? I! I!
Who'll buy? I! I!
        I as well!
I as well!
    And now for the fun of the fair!
         
  Ribbons to sell, ribbons to sell!
    Ribbons to tie up our hair!
      Who'll buy? I! I!
Who'll buy? I! I!
Who'll buy? And I as well!
Who'll buy? I! I!
And I as well!
    And now for the fun, the fun of the fair!

Oswald
Oswald
OSWALD.
  Come, simples and gentles, and gather ye
    round,
    And for your attention I'll thank'ee;
  I sell by the pennyweight, pottle, and pound,
    Wares English, French, German, and
  Yankee.
  I've wares for the young, nor left out in the cold
    Are their elders, the more is the pity,
  For I can't help remarking you're none of you old
    And noting you're all of you pretty!
   
I've articles suited to every taste
  And every description of weather;
If any fair lady'll oblige with a waist,
  We'll try on this girdle together!
     
CHORUS.
  Although on his back he may carry a pack,
    He has hands of a wonderful whiteness;
  And this sympathetic young peripatetic
    A paragon is of politeness!

OSWALD.
  My prices are low and my dealings are cash,
    So your pockets I won't dip in deeply;
  Through buying my stock at a great London smash
    I am able to sell very cheaply;
  So bid for it boldly, but please bear in mind
    That the rule of cash down is "de rigueur."
  The price of each article, ladies, you'll find,
    Has been marked in a very plain figure.
   
A complaint the proprietor bids you implore
  In case you're not treated politely,
For I am a type of a travelling store —
  In fact, I'm a premature Whitely!
     
CHORUS.
  He bought up a great metropolitan smash
    At a sacrifice truly alarming;
  He doesn't deduct any discount for cash,
    But his manner is perfectly charming!

OSWALD.
  Now isn't that beautiful? isn't that nice?
    When I tell you the article's German,
  You'll know it could only be sold at the price
    Through a grand international firman.
  A still greater bargain! An article French.
    When I say it's of French manufacture,
  I mean that if worn by a beautiful wench
    A heart it is certain to fracture.
   
But here is the prize — only tuppence — pure gold!
  When I mention, the article's Yankee,
Well, nobody then will require to be told
  That there can't be the least hanky-panky!
      Who'll buy?  
CHORUS.
      Not I!  
OSWALD.
      Who'll buy?  
CHORUS.
      Not I!  
OSWALD.
  A chance like this you mustn't miss!
CHORUS.
  Oh, yes! oh, yes! the chance we'll miss!
    But we've been told, alas!
  That what is sold as Yankee gold
    Is sometimes Yankee brass.

Exeunt CHORUS.


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