Broughton Xmas Play [Lincs.] - Text C - 1824

C.R.Baskervill (1924), pp.250-258


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Context:
Location: Broughton, Lincolnshire, England (SK9154)
Year: Collected c.1824, Corrected c.1884
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: [Not given]

Source:

C.R.Baskervill
Mummers' Wooing Plays in England
Modern Philology, Feb.1924, Vol.21, No.3, pp.250-258


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

{Enter Merryman}

Merryman

Gentlemen and Ladys
I am com'd to see you all
this merry Time of Christmass
I neither knock nor call
I come in so brisk and bold
with confidence I say.
what can you expect of a fool
which knows no other way
for a fool I know I am
indeed and so do you.
for fools and little Children
for most parts speaks true
My name is noble Antony
as Live and as bligh and as Mad
and as Melancholy as a Manteltree
make room for Noble Antony
and all his Jovial company.

Lady

When I was a Maid in blooming years
my pleasure was all in pride.
my tatling Tongue cou'd never lie still
in service to abide
I thought it long all in my arms
a young Man to embrace
instead of a Man I met with a Clown
is not that a sad pitifull case.

Merryman

A very pittifull case indeed Madam
heigh O where is all this paultry and poor
still paultry in this place
and yet not perfect for shame
step forth
peoples Eyes looks dim
with the very red expectations.

First Ribboner

How now my amorous George
as live and as blith and as mad
and as melancholy as a Manteltree.
what play have you got here to day.

Merryman

Play Boy,

First Ribboner

Yes play
I look upon the title of the Spectimony once a Year
you old Scallibush
nothing but parch pennyworth
tufcoat Calely
old callomufus
you rowling, bowling bangling fool
stand out of my sight.

Merryman

Zounds what a Man have I got here

First Ribboner

you'r quite mistain in me
I'm no talker I'm a Jugler
I can show you the trick of the twelves
as many tricks as there is days in a Year
toils & moils and motes of the Sun
I have them all upon my Finger end
Jack and the Loft quick and be gone

Merryman

now Man I'll warrant tee

1st Ribboner

Now Man I see thou can do something
hold thy hand
here's a Shilling for thy Labour
take that to the paultry of the Poor and thus to them say
thou hast quiet lost the Title of this Play
Calley Flasking jest shall clenge our sight
and you shall hear a new delight.

{First Riber & Lady}

Well met fair Lady in this place
the exersise that is in thee
shall over shed the fairest face
when beauty comes on high degree
since once to you I have told my Mind
I pray fair Lady don't be unkind
It is your beauty makes me stay
I shall go blind and lose my Way.

Lady

Courteous Knight how must this be
you will no answer take of me
you look so great I do declare
you come to me but in a jeer.

First Ribboner

A Jeer dear Love it is not so
I'll make it known before I go
before I go hence from this place
I will obtain your comly face

Lady

Away away from me be gone,
a Witty Man for me or none.

Second Ribner

A Man for wit I am the best
that ever did to you express
I have such causes underhand
no man like I can understand

Lady

A lawyer as I suppose you be
you plead your Cause so wittily
but by and by I'll tell you plain
the Cause you plead it's all in vain.

Second Ribner

My wit it never did me fail
if not for hopes it would prevail
If not for hope my heart would burst
and your Love Il'l put my trust.

Lady

Away away out of my sight
and talk along with yon fair Knight

First and Second Ribner

{Sings}

Be she gone be She gone
farewel I care not
for if she has a pretty thing
I've had my share on't,
For if she's moor land than me
by one half Acre
I'v Plough'd and sown in her Ground
let the fool take her
I have more wisdom than them all
& by your Wisdom you may fall.

Third Ribner

I am my Fathers eldest Son
and heir of all his land
I hope in a short Time
it will all fall in my hands
I was brought up at Linsey Coat
all the days of my Life,
I am walking with this Lady fair
I wish she was my Wife
with fingers long and rings upon
are made of pure Gold
good Master and good Mistress
I would have you here behold.

Lady

It is my Cloathing you admire
it's not my Company you desire
so farewell I'll bid adieu.
Step in kind Sir here's room for you.

Husband Man

In comes I the Husband Man
upon my principal to stand
I'm com'd to Woo this Lady fair
to gain her Love that's all I care

Lady

To gain my Love that never will do
you speak so Clownified to Woe.

Husband Man

I've Cart I've Plow I've husbandry
I've Gold and Silver enough for thee
I've something will do thee good
will nourish thy Veins and warm thy blood
I've something else for thee beside
if thou'lt consent to be my Bride

Lady

My Father's working in his Loom
my Mother Spinning hard at home
their Dinner they have got
their Suppers they want
so pray you be gone and give me your Room.

Antient Man

In comes me the antient Man
to speak for myself the best I can
my old grey Locks they hing so low
speak for myself the best I know.

Lady

Chear up old Man and never fear
wipe thy Eyes and thou'lt see clear.

Antient Man

Aye aye me thinks mee sees the Stars shine bright
my eyes comes to you me hearts delight.

Lady

Does he think I could fancy such an old Man.
no I'll have one of an high degree.

Antient Man

Why then kick me Lady out of the Room
I'll be hang'd over our Kitchen Door
before I'll come to Court you any moor.

Lady

Take your porrige face away.

Antient Man

My Porige face is as hansome as Yars and ugly enough too.

Jane

I comes Jane with a long neck Crane
com'd dabling over the meadow
she's fibed before to show you some Sport
look about you old Maids and Widows
long I have sought but now I've found
my Joy and only Bastard
since you have said so and call'd me whore
Sarrah come take your bastard

Merryman

Bastard It's none of mine it's not a bit like me
I am a Valiant Knight just come from Sea
you never heard talk of me before did you
I kil'd ten Men with a Mess of Mustard
ten thousand with my bright Sword

Jane

I have a Sheep Skin
to wrap them all in
Look about you old Maids and Widows
had I been a Man in this Country known
and my Valour had been shown,
sound Musick sound.

{(three Ribner and Lady Dance)}

Merryman

Stop a bit
I've a bit of a Song to sing to me Lady before I go
I'll snipe my Eyes and Clear my nose
and see what I can do before I go

{Sings}

My Love my Dove my Duck my dear
one pleasant smile my heart will chear
but if on me you cast one frown
I greatly fear it will knock me down.

{Old Man aside}

Antient Man

then ya may get up again.

{Lady sings}

Lady

Indeed kind Sir since you've said so
to banter me that never will do
when I become a Married Wife
then after follows care and strife

{Merryman sings}

Merryman

Alass sweet heart you are mistain
for more than that I'll tell you plain,
a maiden she may come and go
through toil and moil through care and woe
where a married Wife may sit at rest
pray tell to me which Life's the best.

{Lady sings}

Lady

Indeed kind Sir since you have said so
Along and along with you I'll go
I'll wed with none but only you
to all these gallants I'll bid adieu

Merryman

Adieu & adieu to all but you my Dear
you may all behold and see
But it is the fool that leads away the Lady away
I'm com'd to invite you to my Wifes wedding & mine
and what you like the best you may bring along with you
how the duce should I know what you all like
some likes fish and some likes flesh
and some likes Kissing and some likes Furmity
but I'll tell you what my Lady and I like
we'll have a Leg of a lark we'll have a Louse to Roast
we'll have a farthing Loaf and A good thumping toast
we'll provide for the Wedding as fast as ever we may
we'll have a jovial wedding the Fiddle shall merrily play

{Three Ribners and Lady (dances)}

Merryman

Now our sport is ended
you've heard our Voices ring
I hope you'r well contented
so God save the King.
we are not the Lond actors
that acts in London court,
we are the Country plow Boys
just com'd from Plow and Cart
we are not the London actors
I told you so before
we have done the best we can
so the best can do no more
so I hope you'r well contented
with what we have shown you here
I wish you a merry Christmass
and a happy new Year
what you please to my Box
and a sup of your Strong Bear.

[The Three Ribners] {Sings}

God bless the Master of this house
and send him long to Reign
and many A Merry Christmass
we wish to see him again
amongst our friends and Neibours
that lives both far & near
I wish you a Merry Christmass
and happy New Year.

{Finis}


Notes:

Indezer's Notes:

Full manuscript title: "Broughton Xmas play corrected by a recollection of 60 years". British Museum Additional Manuscript 33,418, ff.16-17. Although the play text is identified as coming from Broughton, in the geogaphical context of the whole collection of texts, this is likely to be a shortened representation of Brant Broughton near Bottesford. Plain Broughton is in northern Lincolnshire.


File History:
8th August 1996 - Entered by Peter Millington
22nd August 1996 - Corrected, following check against MS in British Library

The recommended URL for this web page is www.folkplay.info/Texts/82sk95bc.htm
Last generated on 26/12/2007 by P.Millington (Peter.Millington1@virgin.net)