W.S. Gilbert


W.S. Gilbert


Soon after the death of a well-known composer, someone who did not keep up with the news asked Gilbert what the maestro in question was doing. “He is doing nothing,” replied Gilbert.

“Surely he is composing,” said the questioner.

“On the contrary,” said Gilbert, “He is decomposing.”


Faint heart never won fair lady!

~W. S. Gilbert [Iolanthe]

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Biographical Note: 

Sir W[illiam] S[chwenck] Gilbert was a British librettist and dramatist famous mainly for his humorous verse collected in Bag Ballads (1869, 1873) and for his collaboration with Sir Arthur Sullivan in such Savoy operas as H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), The Pirates of Penzance (1878), and The Mikado (1885).