H.M.S. Pinafore

by W. S. Gilbert

Start Free Trial

"Rulers Of The Queen's Navee!"

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on July 2, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 161

Context: Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty, arrives aboard the warship Pinafore, surrounded by the glory of his position and the adulation of many female relatives. In a song he reveals the course of his progress to his high office, and the secrets of success in the Royal Navy. He began as office boy for an attorney, and, by doing his tasks well, and always with an attention-getting flair, became an attorney himself, and, in time, a member of Parliament. His fundamental qualification as administrator of the navy was that he had never been to sea, and knew nothing of naval science.

Now, landsmen all, whoever you may be,
If you want to rise to the top of the tree,
If your soul isn't fettered to an office stool,
Be careful to be guided by this golden rule–
Stick close to your desks and never go to sea,
And you all may be Rulers of the Queen's Navee!

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

"And So Do His Sisters, And His Cousins, And His Aunts!"


"Things Are Seldom What They Seem"