"St. George and Slasher" - Sandbach, 1817

F.Douce Collection (1817, J.Edwards)


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Context:
Location: Sandbach, Cheshire, England (SJ7560)
Year: Col. 1817
Time of Occurrence: [Not given]
Collective Name: [Not given]

Source:

John Edwards
[St. George and Slasher]
Department of Western Manuscripts, Bodleian Library, Oxford,


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

{St. George and Slasher.}

{Dramatis Personae}

{The King of Egypt. Saint George. Bold Slasher. Sir Guy. First Captain. Second Captain. Doctor. Fool.}

{First Captain enters.}

[First Captain]

Open the Door as I come in,
Hoping your favour for to win,
Whether I rise, stand, or fall,
We'll do our endeavour to please you all
Room, room, brave gallants, room,
And give us leave to sport,
For in this room we mean for to exhort,
And shew you merry rymes [rimes];
Brave gallants you all know
That these are merry times,
And if you'll not believe it to be true,
The next that enters in
Is the captain of this worthy crew

{Enter Second Captain.}

[Second Captain]

I am the Captain of this worthy crew
Whose famous acts & deeds
I can relate to you.
We are not come like those silly boys,
To distract you with the silly noise,
We're come to act the Champion,
And for to bear the name
For so it is recorded
All in the books of fame.
And if you'll not believe me what I say,
Step in Saint George, and boldly lead the [thy] way.

{Enter Saint George.}

[Saint George]

I am Saint George, the noble Champion bold,
And with my glittering sword I've won three crowns of gold,
It's I who fought the fiery dragon,
And brought him to the slaughter,
And by that means I won fair Sabra [Sebra],
The King of Egypt's daughter.
Seven have I won, yet married none,
But since they've begun the thing
Call'd Matrimony, in this land
Which our King George does rule.
With sword in hand,
And who is he who dare [dares] against me stand?
I'll swear I'll cut him down
With my victorious hand.

{Enter Bold Slasher.}

[Bold Slasher]

I am bold Slasher, that man of high renown,
Thy lofty courage may come tumbling down,
But a fall and a fall thou shalt receive of me,
Hold, hold, Saint George, let's fight it out right manfully.

{Saint George replies}

[Saint George]

O Slasher, Slasher, be not thou so hot,
For in this room Saint George thou'st [thou hast] got.
I'll cut thee, hack thee, slash thee, small as flies,
And send thee o'er the seas to make mince-pies.

{Saint George and Slasher sing.}

[St. George and Slasher]

With my sword in my hand to thy heart I will lend,
And then through the grove I will rove,
Let your heart be inclin'd [inclined]
I've contented mind.
Do'nt you carry the jest on too far my brave boys.

Slasher.

Hold, hold, Saint George, let's shake hands before the bloody fight.

{Slasher and Saint George fight, Slasher is killed. and enter Slasher's father.}

The King. [Father]

O cruel Christian what is this thou'st [thou's] done,
Thou hast ruin'd me by killing of my son.

Saint George.

Why should I not him kill
My honour to maintain,
For if he could he would have to me the same.

The King [Father]

O cruel Christian, why didst thou him kill,
Or on the ground his precious blood didst spill,
I'll seek the greatest champion in Merell,
This proud Christian for to over quell.
Step in Sir Guy and help me in my need.
For on the ground my son and heir does bleed.

{Enter Sir Guy.}

[Sir Guy]

I am Sir Guy, one of the chiefest men in the world's wonder,
One of the Vollereigns, with so bold, so surprising, and so proaching,
That I make all Turks, Jews, and Infidels,
Tremble at the name, I, sir Guy.

Sir Guy.

A doctor, a doctor here.

{Enter the Doctor.}

[Doctor]

Hark thee, here am I.

Sir Guy.

What is the fee?

Doctor.

Ten pounds is my fee,
But five I'll take of thee,
But by thy poor appearance
I think thou're [thou's] not worth three.

Sir Guy.

How far hast thou travell'd [travelled]?

Doctor.

From the fire-side [fireside] to the cupboard-side [cupboardside],
From the cupboard-side [cupboard] to the fire-side [fireside] again.

Sir Guy.

No further at all?

Doctor.

Yes, sir, from Rome [France], from Spain
From Rome I came,
To cure the man that here lies slain,
Or I'll charge you nothing for my pain.
And for to cure all diseases,
Come taste my physic [physick] he that pleases.
There is no aches nor pains
But what I've a certain cure for;
The itch, the stitch, the scurvy, and the gout
The aches within and the pains without,
Broken legs and broken arms I am sure,
Those are the easiest things that I can cure.
If any man has got a wife
That makes him weary of this life,
Scolding and bawling about the house
The same as if the Devil was turn'd loose,
Let him bring her here to me,
And I will cure her instantly,
For with one pill I'll make her civil,
Or I'll send her headlong to the Devil.
So here Jack,
Take a little of my Nip-Nap.
Put it into thy Tip-Tap.
Rise up my noble Champion,
And fight him again.

{Slasher comes to life, and speaks.}

[Slasher]

O dear honour'd father leave off your sad grief,
For here you see I'm risen,
And here you see I live.
He is the finest doctor my eyes did ever see.
So, gentlemen and ladies, this ends our play.
So now our play is ended,
Let your voices sing,
Gentlemen and ladies,
God save the King.

{Enter Fool.}

[Fool]

I am not the Prince of Beelzebub,
But on my shoulder I carry a club,
And under my arm a dripping-pan
And I think myself a clever young man.
If my ladle had a tongue it would speak so funny,
And it would do you no harm to put in some money.

{Exit all.}


Notes:

Indexer's Notes:

This text is taken from two transcripts of a manuscript which George Ormerod had intended for publication in his "History of Cheshire". In the event, Ormerod only published an extract as a footnote in his book. The reference is: George Ormerod (1882) History of Cheshire, Vol.I [2nd ed.], London, Routledge, 1882, pp.81-82, footnote p.lxxix.

Ormerod's provenance for the text is "From John Edwards, Booth Lane, Sandbach, 1817"

This text is based primarily on the version transcribed in typescript a descendent - P.J.Ormerod - for Duncan Broomhead, in 1978. However, there is another transcript copied by Douce in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The two copies are substantially in agreement, athough Douce abbreviated some words. Douce's more significant variants are given in square brackets

Notes from a covering letter with P.J.Ormerod's transcript:

"I have kept to Geo. O's version strictly as to punctuation, spelling etc. The copy I have taken my transcript from was a 'proof' which was intended for the 'History,' but was only 'extracted' for the footnote in the final version."

Douce's introduction:

"The following mock drama, fundamentally the same as that at the beginning of this volume and as to many lines the same as my Newcastle printed copy of Alexander & the King of Egypt, was gathered from the mouth of a man who appeared to have been a performer in it himself, by Mr. Ormerod the historian of Cheshire, who will probably insert it in his history of that County."

Douce's postscript:

"I have another of these provincial Interludes in which there is a good deal in common with the present. It was communicated to me in MS by Captain Grose of facetious memory who stated that it had been acted there lately in Cheshire on the borders of Wales.

It may be of Cheshire origin, as I have seen another of the kind (all having St. George as the hero) collected from the mouth of a person who was a performer in it by Dr. Ormerod, who will probably insert it in his intended history of Cheshire."


File History:
14th Nov. 2000 - Entered by Peter Millington
5th Dec. 2000 - Proof-read by Duncan Broomhead & Eddie Cass

The recommended URL for this web page is www.folkplay.info/Texts/81sj76ej.htm
Last generated on 26/12/2007 by P.Millington (Peter.Millington1@virgin.net)