"What, Never? Hardly Ever!"

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Last Updated on July 2, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 107

Context: Early in the first act is introduced the crew of the British warship Pinafore and their commander, Captain Corcoran. The feelings of the crew toward him are revealed by the boatswain's injunction to the crew: ". . . let us greet him as so brave an officer and so gallant a seaman deserves." Captain Corcoran gives a summary of his qualities: "Though related to a peer,/ I can hand, reef, and steer,/ And ship a selvagee;/ I am never known to quail/ At the fury of a gale,/ And I'm never, never sick at sea!"

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ALL
What, never?
CAPTAIN
No, never!
ALL
What, never?
CAPTAIN
Hardly ever!
ALL
He's hardly ever sick at sea!

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"Things Are Seldom What They Seem"