Morrice Dancers at Revesby - 1779

M.J.Preston et al (1976)


Folk Play Home Scripts Intro County List Class List Characters

Context:
Location: Revesby, Lincs. (TF2961)
Year: Perf. 1779
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: Plow Boys ; Morrice Dancers

Source:

M.J.Preston, M.G.Smith & P.S.Smith
Morrice Dancers at Revesby
Sheffield, C.E.C.T.A.L., 1976


Cast: (Click on any name for the character name index.)
Text:

{The Plow Boys, or Morris Dancers}

{Enter Fool}

Fool

You gentle Lords of honour
of high & low, I say
We all desire your favour
For to see our pleasant Play
Our Play it is the best kind Sirs
That you would like to know
And we will do our best Sirs
And think it well bestowd
Tho' some of us be little
And some of a middle sort
We all desire your favour
To see our pleasant sport
You must not look on our Actions
Our Wits they are all to seek
So I pray take no exceptions
At what I am agoing to speak
We are come over Mire & Moss
We dance an Hobby Horse
A Dragon you shall see,
And a wild Worm for to Flee.
Still we are all brave, jovial boys
And takes delight in Christmas toys
We are come both for Bread & Beer
And hope for better Cheer.
And something out of your Purse Sir
Which I hope you will be never the Worse Sir
Still we are all brave jovial Boys
And takes delight in Christmas Toys
Come now, Mr. Musick Man play me my delight

Fidler

What is that old Father.

Fool

Ah Boy Times is hard,
I love to have Money in both Pockets

Fidler

You shall have it old Father

Fool

Let me see it

{The Fool then calls in his five Sons: first Pickle Herring, then blue Britches, then Ginger Britches, Pepper Britches, & last calls out}

come now you Mr. Allspice

{They foot it once round the Room, and the Man that is to ride the Hobby Horse goes out, and the rest sing the following song -}

[Rest]

Come in come in thou Hobby Horse,
And bring thy old fool at thy Arse
Sing tanterday, sing tanterday
Sing heigh down, down, with a Derry down a

{Then the Fool and the Horse fights about the Room, whilst the following song is singing by the rest}

[Rest]

Come in, come in, thou bonny wild Worm
For thou hast ta'en many a lucky turn
Sing tanteraday sing tanteraday
Sing heigh down, down with a Derry Down

{The wild Worm is only sprung 3 of 4 Times as the Man walks round the room, and then goes out, & the Horse & the Fool fights again whilst the following song is sung:}

[Rest]

Come in come in thou Dragon stout
And take thy compass round about
Sing tanteraday sing tanteraday
Sing heigh down, down with a derry down
Now you shall see a full fair fight
Betwixt our old Fool and his right
Sing tanteraday sing tanteraday
Sing heigh down, down with a derry down
Now our Scrimage is almost done,
Then you shall see more sport soon
Sing tanteraday, sing tanteraday
Sing heigh down, down with a derry down

The Fool

Up well hark & up well hind
Let every Man then to his own kind
Sing tanteraday sing tanteraday
Sing heigh down, down with a derry down
Come follow me merry Men all
Tho' we have made bold for to call
It is only once by the Year
That we are so merry here.
Still we are all brave jovial Boys
And takes delight in Christmas Toys

{Then they all foot it round the Room and follows the Fool out.}

{The all reenter, and lock their Swords to make the Glass, The Fool runing about the Room}

Pickle Herring

What is the matter now Father

Fool

Why I tell the what Pickle Herring
as I was alooking round about me
through my wooden Spectacles
made of a great huge little tiney bit of leather
placed right behind me, even before me,
I thought I saw a feat thing -

Pickle Herring

You thought you saw a feat thing,
what might this feat thing be think you Father

Fool

How can I tell Boy except I see it again -

Pickle Herring

Would you know it if you see it again

Fool

I cannot tell the Boy, let me get it looked at

{Pickle Herring holding up the Glass says}

[Pickle Herring]

is this it Father

{The Fool looking round says}

[Fool]

Why I protest Pickle Herring the very same thing,
but what might thou call this very pretty Thing

Pickle Herring

What might you call it you are older than I am -

Fool

How can that be Boy when I was born before you

Pickle Herring

That is the reason that makes you older

Fool

Well what dost thou call this very pretty thing

Pickle Herring

Why I call it a fine large looking Glass

Fool

Let me see what I can see in this fine large looking Glass,
here's a hole though it I see, - I see and I see

Pickle Herring

You see and you see; & what do you see.

Fool

Marry e'en a Fool just like the

Pickle Herring

It is only your own face in the Glass -

Fool

Why, a fool may be mistain sometimes Pickle Herring,
but what might this fine large looking Glass cost the -

Pickle Herring

That fine large looking Glass cost me a Guinea -

Fool

A guinea boy,
why I could have bought as good a one at my own Door
for three half pence

Pickle Herring

Why Fools & Cuckholds has always the best luck

Fool

That is a much to say thy Father is one

Pickle Herring

Why you pass for one.

{The Fool keeping the Glass all the while in his Hands, says}

Fool

Why was thou such a Ninnee Boy,
to go to ware a Guinea,
to look for thy Beauty,
where it never was,
but I will shew the Boy
how foolish thou hast wared a deal of good money -

{Then the Fool flings the Glass upon the Floor jumps upon it then the Dancers every one drawing out his own sword, and the Fool dancing about the Room, Pickle Herring takes him by the Collar and says}

Pickle Herring

Father, Father you are so merylly disposed this good time
there is no talking to you,
Here is very bad News.

Fool

Very good News I am glad to hear it
I do not hear good News every day

Pickle Herring

It is very bad News -

Fool

Why what is the matter now Boy

Pickle Herring

We have all concluded to cut off your Head

Fool

be mercyfull to me a Sinner,
if you sh'd do as you have said,
there is no such Thing,
I w'd not lose my Son Pickle Herring for fifty Pounds.

Pickle Herring

It is your Son Pickle Herring that must lose you,
it is your Head we desire to take off

Fool

My Head,
I never had my Head taken off in all my Life

Pickle Herring

You both must & shall -

Fool

hold hold Boy, thou seem'st to be in good earnest,
but I'll tell the where I'll be buryed

Pickle Herring

Why where will you be buried but in the Church Yard
where other People are buried -

Fool

Church Yard I never was buried there in all my life.

Pickle Herring

Why where will you be buried -

Fool

Ah Boy I am often dry
I will be buried in Mr. Mirfin's Ale Celler,

Pickle Herring

It is such a place as I never heard talk off, in all my life

Fool

No nor nobody else Boy

Pickle Herring

What is your fancy to be buried there

Fool

ah Boy, I am oftens dry
& when they come to fill the Quart I'll drink it off,
and they will wonder what is the matter

Pickle Herring

How can you do so when you will be dead,
we shall take your Head from your Body,
and you will be dead.

Fool

If I must die, I will dye with my face to the light for all you -

{Then the Fool kneeling down with the Swords round his Neck - says}

Fool

Now Gentlemen you see how ungrateful my Children is grown,
when I had them all at Home,
small about as big as I am
I put them out to good learning,
I put them to Coxcomb Colledge
& to the University of Loggerheads,
and I took them Home again this good time of Christmas,
and I examin'd them one by one altogether for shortness,
And now they are grown so proud, & so presumptious
they are a-going to kill their old Father for his little means;
So I must dye for all this

Pickle Herring

You must dye Father

Fool

And I will die for all the tother
But I have a little something,
I will give it amongst you as far as it goes,
and then I shall dye quietly

Pickle Herring

I hope you will -

Fool

So to my first Son Pickle Herring
I'll give him the Roaned Nag,
And that will make the Rogue brag,
And to my second Son
I'll give him the brindled Cow;
And to my Third Son
I'll give him the sanded Sow,
And hope I shall please you all enow;
And to my Fourth Son
I'' give him the great ruff Dog
for he always lives like a Hog;
And to my fifth Son
I'll give him the Ram,
And I'll die like a Lamb

{Then they draw their swords and the Fool falls on the Floor, and the Dancers walk once round the Fool, & Pickle Herring stamps with his foot, & the Fool rises on his knees again; and Pickle Herring says}

Pickle Herring

How now Father

Fool

How now there Boy
I have another Squeak for my life

Pickle Herring

You have a many -

{Then the dancers puting their swords round the Fools neck again}

Fool

So I must dye

Pickle Herring

You must dye Father -

Fool

Hold I have yet a little something more to leave amongst you,
& then I hope I shall dye quietly
So to my first Son Pickle Herring
I'll give him my Cap & my Coat
A very good Sute Boy;
And to my second Son
I'll give him my Purse & Apparel
but be sure Boys, you do not quarrel;
As to my other Three;
My Executors they shall be

{Then Pickle Herring puting his hand to his sword}

Fool

hold hold Boy; Now I submit my soul to God

Pickle Herring

a very good thought old Father

Fool

Mareham Church Yard I hope shall have my Bones

{Then the dancers walk round the Fool with their Swords in their Hands, and Pickle Herring stamps with his foot, & says}

[Pickle Herring]

Heigh old Father

Fool

Why Boy since I have been out this troublesome World,
I have heard so much Musick of Fiddles playing, & bells ringing
that I have a great fancy to go away singing,
so prithee Pickle Herring let me have one of thy best Songs

Pickle Herring

You shall have it old Father

Fool

Let me see it

{They Sing}

[Fool & Pickle Herring]

Good People all I pray you now behold
Our old Fool's Bracelet is not made of Gold
But it is made of Iron & good Steel
And unto Death we'll make this old Fool yield

Fool

I pray forbear my Children small
For as I am lost as Parent to you all
O let me live a while your Sport for to advance
That I may rise again and with you have a dance

{The Sons sing.}

[Sons]

Now old Father you now know our Will
That for your Estate we do your Body kill
Soon after Death the Bell for you shall toll
And wish the Lord he may receive your Soul

{Then the Fool falls down, and the Dancers with their Swords in their Hands sings the following Song}

[Dancers]

Good People all you see what we have done,
We have cut down our Father like ye Evening Sun
And here he lies in all his purple gore
And we are afraid he never will dance more

{Fool rises from the floor & says}

[Fool]

No no my Children by chance you are all mistain
For here I find myself I am not slain
But I will rise,, your Sport then to advance
And with you all brave Boys I'll have a dance

{Then the foreman & Cicely dances down and the other Two Couple stand their ground, after a short dance called Jack the brisk young Drummer, they all go out but the Fool, Fidler & Cicely}

Fool

hear you do you please to hear the sport of a Fool

Cicely

a Fool for why

Fool

because I can neither leap skip nor dance,
but cut a Caper thus high,
sound Musick, I must be gon
the Lord of Pool draws nigh -

{Enter Pickle Herring}

Pickle Herring

I am the Lord of Pool,
& here begins my Measure
And after me a Fool
To dance a While for pleasure
In Cupids School

Fool

A Fool a fool a fool,
A Fool I heard thou say
But more the other way
For here I have a Tool
Will make a Maid to play
Although in Cupids school
Come all away

{Enter Blue Britches.}

Blue Britches

I am the Knight of Lee
And here I have a Dagger
Offended not to be.
Come in, thou needy Beggar
And follow me

{Enter Ginger Britches.}

Ginger Britches

Behold behold behold
A man of poor Estate
Not one penny to infold

{Enter Pepper Britches.}

Pepper Britches

My money is out at use or else I would

{Enter Mr. Allspice}

Allspice

With a Hack a hack a hack
See how I will skip & dance.
For joys that we have found
Let each man take his Chance
And we will all dance around

{Then they dance the Sword Dance which is called Nellys Gig, then they run under their Swords, which is called running Battle; Then Three Dancers dances with 3 swords and the foreman jumping over the Swords then the Fool goes up to Cicely}

Fool

Here comes I that never come yet,
Since last time lovy
I have a great Head but little wit
Tho' my Head be great & my Wits be small
I can play the Fool for a while as well as best of you all
My name is noble Anthony
I am as meloncholly as a Mantle Tree
I am come to show you a little sport & activity
& soon too,
make Room for Noble Anthony
And all his good Company.
drive out all these proud Rogues
and let my Lady & I have a parl!

Cicely

O ye Clown, what makes you drive out my Men so soon,

Fool

O Pardon Madam pardon
and I will never offend you more
I will make your Men come in as fast
As ever they did before

Cicely

I pray you at my Sight & drive it not till Night
That I may see them dance once more so lovely I my Sight

Fool

A faith madam & so I will, I will play the Man
And make them come in as fast as ever I can -
But hold Gip Mrs. Clagarse how do you sell Geese

Cicely

Go look Mister Midgecock twelve pence apiece

Fool

Oh the pretty Pardon

Cicely

A Gip for a Frown

Fool

An ale wife for an Apparitor

Cicely

a Rope for a Clown

Fool

Why, all the devise in the country
cannot pull this down
I am a valiant Knight
just come from the Seas
You do know me do you
I can kill ten thousd. tho' they be but Fleas
I can kill you a Man for an ounce of Mustard
Or I can kill you ten thousand for a good Custard
I have an old Sheep skin
And I lap it well in
Sword & Buckler by my side all ready for to fight
Come out you Whores & Gluttons all
for had it not been in this Country
I shd. not have shewen my valour amongst you;
but sound Musick for I must be gone.

{enter Pickle Herring}

Pickle Herring

In first & formost do I come
All for to lead this Race
Seeking the Country far & near
So fair a Lady to embrace,
So fair a Lady did I never see,
So comely in my Sight
Drest in her gaudy Gold
And silver shining bright
She has fingers long, and Rings
Of honor of beaten Gold
My Masters all behold
It is now for some pretty dancing time
And we will foot it fine.

Blue Britches

I am a Youth of Jollitree
Where is there one like unto me
My hair is bush'd very thick;
My Body is like an Hasel stick
My Legs they quaver like an Eel
My Arms become my Body weel
My Fingers they are long & small
Am not I a jolly Youth proper & tall
Therefore Mister Musick Man
Whatsoever may be my chance
It is for my Ladies Love & mine
Strike up the Morris Dance.

{then they foot it once round}

Ginger Britches

I am a jolly young Man of Flesh blood & bone
Give ear my Masters all each one -
And especially you my Lady dear,
I hope you like me well
Of all the gallants here
It is I that doth so well.
Therefore Mister Musick Man,
Whatsoever may be my chance,
It is for my Ladie's love and mine
Strike up the Morris Dance

{then they foot it round}

Pepper Britches

I am my Fathers eldest Son
And Heir of all his Land
And in a short time I hope
It will fall into my Hands
I was brought up at Lindsey Court
All the Days of my Life
Here stands a fair Lady
I wish she was my Wife.
I love her at my Heart
And from her I will never start
Therefore Mr. Musick Man play up my part

Fool

And mine too

{enter Allspice & they foot it round Pickle Herring Suter to Cicely takes her by the Hand & walks about the Room}

Pickle Herring

Sweet Ciss, if thou wilt be my love,
A thousand Pounds I will give thee.

Cicely

No you're too old Sir and I am too young
And alas! old Man that must not be

Pickle Herring

I'll buy the a Gown of violet blue,
A Petticoat imbroadered to thy knee,
Likewise my love to thee shall be true.

Cicely

But alas old Man that must not be.

Pickle Herring

Thou shalt walk at thy pleasure love all the Day
If at Night thou will but come home to me.
And in my House bear all the sway

Cicely

Your Children they'll find fault with me.

Pickle Herring

I'll turn my Children out of Doors

Cicely

And so I fear you will do me

Pickle Herring

Nay then sweet Ciss ne'er trust me more
For I never loved Lass like the before

{enter Fool}

Fool

No nor behind neither
Well met sweet Ciss well over ta'en

Cicely

You are kindly wellcome Sir to me.

Fool

I will wipe my Eyes & I'll look again
Me thinks sweet Ciss I now the see.

Cicely

Raf what has thou to pleasure me

Fool

Why this my dear I will give the,
And all I have it shall be thine

Cicely

Kind Sir I thank you heartelly.

Pickle Herring {to The Fool}

Stand back, stand back thou silly old Swain
This Girl shall go with none but me,

Fool

I will not

Pickle Herring

Stand back, stand back, or I'll cleave thy Brain

{then Pickle Herring goes up to Ciss and says}

O now sweet Ciss I am come to thee

Cicely

You are as wellcome as the rest
Wherein you brag so lustilly.

Fool

For a Thousand Pounds she loves me best
I can see by the twinkling of her Ee.

Pickle Herring

I have store of Gold whereon I boast
Likewise my Sword love, shall fight for the
When all is done love I'll scour the Coast
And bring in gold for thee & me.

Cicely

Your Gold may gain as good as I
But by no means it shall tempt me
For youthfull Years and Frozen Age,
Cannot in any wise agree.

{Then Blue Britches goes up to her and says}

[Blue Britches]

Sweet Mistress be advised by me
Do not let this old Man be denyed,
But love him for his Gold in store
Himself may serve for a Cloak beside.

Cicely

Yes sir but you are not in the right.
Stand back, stand back & do not council me
For I love a lad that will make me laugh
In a secret place, to pleasure me.

Fool

Good wench

Pickle Herring

Love I have a beard as white as milk

Cicely

Ne'er better for that, thou silly old Man

Pickle Herring

Besides my skin love is soft as silk.

Fool

And thy face shines like a dripping Pan

Pickle Herring

Rafe, what has thou to pleasure her

Fool

Why a great deal more Boy than there's in the

Pickle Herring

Nay then old Rogue I thee defye.

Cicely

Pray dear Friends fall not out for me

Pickle Herring

Once I could skip leap dance & sing
Why will not you give place to me.

Fool

Nay then old Rogue I thee defye
For thy Nose stands like a Maypole Tree

{Then goes up Ginger Breeches to Cisley & says}

[Ginger Breeches]

Sweet Mistress mind what this Man doth say
For he speaks nothing but the truth
Look on the Soldier now I pray
See is not he a handsome Youth

Cicely

Sir I am engaged to one I love -
And ever constant I will be .
There is nothing that I prize above.

Pickle Herring

For a thousand Pounds she's gone from me

Fool

Thou may lay two

Cicely {to Pickle Herring}

Old Father for your Reverend Years
Stand you the next Man unto me,
Then he that doth the Weapon bear
For I will have the hind Man of the three.

Fool {to Pickle Herring}

Old Father, a Fig for your old Gold
The Solder he shall bear no Sway
But you shall see & so shall we
'Tis I that carries the Lass away

{Then the dancers takes hold of their Swords, and foots it round the Room, then every Man makes his Obeisance to the Master of the House, and the whole concludes.}

{Finis}

{A Song, called Landlord & Tennant}

Landlord

A story it is true be it known unto you
I have lately fallen Heir to some Land
Some little time ago, I was very poor & low
But have all things now at command
With my Hawk & my Hound & my Gelding for to ride
My Servants to wait & run by my side
Which is the biggest pleasure fortune can provide
I have Rents coming in twice a year.

Tennant

I am a Man behold, that has got great store of gold
And your Tennant I am willing to be,
If you'll let me your Land Sir I'll take it here's my Hand Sir
And a Farmer I'll venture to be
And all that doth against the Land befall
Taxes & Town Charges, you shall pay them all
And all other Repairs, whether they be great or small
Then your Rent, you shall have twice a Year

Landlord

Us Landlords live at ease, eats & drinks what we please
Which is the greatest pleasure that can a Man befall
We sit down by the Fire, drest in rich attire
We have our Servants to wait when we call
I walk up & down in my Chamber & my Room
Likewise in my Closet, amongst my rich perfume
There are few unto me come, or indeed dare presume
For I have Rents coming in twice a Year

Tennant

To the market I do ride, with my Hanger by my side
Which is the biggest pleasure that can a man befall
If a bargain I do see, that will beneficial me
I have money to pay for it all
Then streight into the Alehouse my Chapman for to pay
My Servants follow after, to drive my Goods away
I have no need, to put them up to feed, on Coin & Hay
For to pay you your Rent twice a Year -

Landlord

You bear an outward shew, how it is I do not know
But of late full of money, you are grown
You drink, you drive a Trade, many Bargains you have made
So pray you Mr. Tennant, give some leave to speak
I am very much afraid, many such as you will break
Whilst we honest Landlords, our rents we may go seek
That should be, coming in, twice a Year

Tennant

Kind Sir I do perceive, & I beg you'll give me leave
And I'll answer you, as well as I can
Many Landlords there be, by their bad Husbandry
Are forced to sell off their Land
And when the Land is sold, the Landlord cannot work
Then Streight into the Army he's forced for to lurk
Whilst we poor honest Tennants must work like a Turk
For to pay you, your Rents twice a year

Landlord

Go, go you saucy Blade & do not me degrade,
Nor tell me of selling my Land

Tennant

You have done well with speaking, tell me no more of breaking
And I will obey your Command

Landlord

A Lawyer or a Landlord I am resolved to be

Tennant

Then you should let your Land Sir, to such a one as me.

Landlord

What care I for thee, is not another as good as thee
That will pay me my Rents twice a Year

Tennant

Kind Sir I do think fit, that you I should submit
And you shall have, the upper hand

Landlord

Well said if you can do it, I will never turn you out
You shall Rent some part of my Land

Tennant

I like a loving Landlord & him I mean to pay

Landlord

I like a loving Tennant, sometime of him I'll say
This is to let you know, you Tennants must obey
And pay Landlords, their Rents twice a Year.


Notes:

"October ye 20 1779 the Morrice Dancers (named in Dramatis Personae) acted their merry dancing &c at Revesby in their Ribbon dresses, and two men from Kirtley without any particular dresses sang the Song of Landlord and Tennant.

John Ironmonger acted the Landlord, &

John Clarkson the Tennant."

"Dramatis Personae

Men

The Fool - John Johnson

Pickle Herring - Richd. Johnson

Blue Breeches - Henry Johnson

Pepper Breeches - John Tomlinson

Ginger Breeches - Chas. Hodgson

Mr. Allspice - Thos. Harness

Women

Cicely - John Fisher

Fidler or Mr. Musick Man - John Johnson junr."


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