"Morrissing" in North Notts. - 1845-1850

E.Sutton (1913)


Folk Play Home Scripts Intro County List Class List Characters

Context:
Location: East Retford, Notts., England (SK7080)
Year: Perf. From about 1845 to 1850
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: Morris

Source:

Edward Sutton
"Morrising" in North Notts.
Notts. Guardian, 13th Dec.1913


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

{The old Morris play at East Retford}

{Dramatis Personae.}

{A Herald, St. George, Hero, Doctor, with Attendants. All fantastically attired.}

{Enter Herald with attendants.}

Herald

Room, room, all in this room:
Ladies and gentlemen, it's Christmas time:
Christmas come but once a year,
And when it comes it brings good cheer -
Sometimes, but not always.

{Tumult heard outside.}

Here's Richard Dick William stands at the door,
Ripping and tearing, cursing and swearing,
Because they won't let him come in.

{A knock heard}

Who is that dare knock so bold?
I'll have to put his feet in some stronger stocks,
Or in some stronger hold:
Step in St. George and clear the way.

{Enter St. George}

St. George

I am St. George, that bold and valiant knight,
Who spilled his blood for England's right;
For England's right, for England's reign,
And all her glories I'll maintain.

{Enter Hero, unobserved.}

Behold! out of yon gloomy wood
A fiery serpent appeared, to strike me dead:
I drew out my old trusty sword
And chopped off that dragon's head.
For my head is made of iron,
My body's made of steel,
My hands and arms are solid brass,
No sword can make me feel.

{Hero comes forward.}

Hero

If thy head be made of iron,
And thy body made of steel,
Thy hands and arms be solid brass -
My sword can make thee feel.

St. George

Who are thou, thou braggart knave?

Hero

I am an old soldier, stout and bold,
And Hero is my name;
A sword is buckled by my side
I hope to win this game

St. George

Thou knowest, Turk, before we fight,
Thou art not able.

Hero

Able or able not, thou dirty dog,
I'll slash thee on thy navel;
I'll cut they body into threescore parts,
And make thy buttons fly!

St. George

Here's at thee. Now, come on!

{They fight; Hero is cut down.}

Hero

Oh, help! help!! help!!!
Where is a Doctor?

Herald

Send for a doctor.
Doctor haste!

Hero

Oh, help! help!! help!!!
Doctor! Doctor!! Doctor!!!

{Doctor enters.}

Doctor

Who calls aloud for me to help?

Hero

It was I.

St. George {to Doctor.}

What can'st thou do?

Doctor

Everything.

St.George

Where hast thou travelled?

Doctor

Through England, Scotland, France and Spain
And now I've come back to England again.

St. George

What can'st thou cure?

Doctor

All sorts.

St. George

What sorts?

Doctor

The itch, the stitch, the grunt, the gout,
The pain within and the pain without;
I can put my arm down a donkey's throat
And turn the animal inside out!

St. George

What else can'st thou cure?

Doctor

I heal the sick, I cure the lame,
I raise the dead to life again -

Hero

Oh, help! help!! help!!!

Doctor

Who calls for help?

St. George

A dog, who sought my life to skelp.

Doctor {to Hero}

Let a little of my bottle
go down thy throttle,
Take my holus bolus quickly down thy throat;

{Pours medicine into his mouth.}

And rise, and sing a merry note.

{Hero rises, and stands up quite cured.}

Herald

Ladies and gents, our play is done,
So please make room for lively fun;
St. George, and all our host, advance,
And shew our friends our Morris Dance.

{The whole here concludes with a characteristic song and dance.}


Notes:

"There is an indescribable pleasure in looking back upon many of the scenes, incidents, and recollections of our early days in this pilgrimage of life, some of which are usually of a more or less romantic character. Amongst many of those which pertain unto myself there is one which is redolent of this forthcoming and ever joyous season of Christmas, and which, possibly, has now in the lapse of years dies out, but whereof a recital, as I perfectly well remember it, may prove an item of Noel-tide interest.

In my youthful days - say from about 1845 to 1850 - at East Retford, where I was born, and where I vegetated until 1858, during each season of Yule there was enacted by youthful bands of entertainers a short sketch known as a 'Morris.' The participants therein perambulated from one to another of certain favoured and promising 'pitches,' calculated to provide a small harvest of pence, and in each place enacted a little play. I saw and heard it performed many times during the seasons above-mentioned; and, the same having ever since been vividly retained in my memory, I am enabled to here give the whole of it nearly word for word."


File History:
18th July 1999 - Entered by Peter Millington

The recommended URL for this web page is www.folkplay.info/Texts/84sk78se.htm
Last generated on 26/12/2007 by P.Millington (Peter.Millington1@virgin.net)