The Four Champions of Great Britain - 1879-1884

"Four Champions of Great Britain" [C.H.Johnson] (1879-1884)


Folk Play Home Scripts Intro County List Class List Characters

Context:
Location: Leeds, Yorkshire, England (SE3034)
Year: Publ. 1879-1884
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: Mumming

Source:

[Anon.]
NEW MUMMING BOOK. : THE FOUR CHAMPIONS OF GREAT BRITAIN : Showing how St. George of England; St. Patrick of Ireland; St. Andrew, of Scotland, and St. David, of Wales conquered the Representatives of all Nations.
Leeds, C.H.Johnson, [c.1879-1884]


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

{The FOUR CHAMPIONS OF GREAT BRITAIN}

Jester-

Good morrow friends, and neighbours all,
Once more we're glad to meet you;
May joy and peace each one befall,
And a merry Christmas greet you.
Kind hearts can make December blithe as May,
And in each morrow find a New Year's Day.

{ENTER ALL THE KNIGHTS}

{Spoken by St. George-}

St. George

Good morrow! good morrow! 'tis a glorious time!
May the day be as merry as a wedding chime:
May you know no sorrow, nor grief's sad tear,
In this season of mirth, and "Happy New Year."
I'm St. George, of England,
As noble, valiant Knight,
As e'er drew sword in honour's cause,
Or did for lady fight.
Read in old stories and there you shall see
How valiantly I made the Dragon flee:
When many hardy strokes I dealt,
And could not pierce his hide,
I ran my sword up to the hilt
In at the Dragon's side;
By which I did his life destroy,
Which cheer'd the drooping King
And caused a universal joy,
And peals of bells did ring.

{Enter King of Egypt, holding Princess Sabrina by the Hand.}

KING OF EGYPT

I'm the King of Egypt,
And hope none will deny
This wondrous act of bold St. George
For which I testify;
And here is the Princess Sabrina fair
My tender, loving daughter,
'Twas in her cause that brave St. George,
He did the Dragon slaughter.

{St. George walks up to Sabrina and embraces her, while St. Patrick comes forward-}

ST.PATRICK

The top o' the' mornin' to yes all!
I'm St. Patrick of Ould Ireland,
And whin unto that land I wint,
'Twas a beautiful, but dire land.
Twas filled with sarpints, toads, an' frogs,
An' all sorts ov ugly varmin,
I chased thim over hills an' bogs,
Wi' me pray'rs an' shillellah-sarmin,
An 'ivver since that happy day
The lands bin rid o' the evil;
Och, wira 'sthru! Och, hullabaloo;
For I sint them to the divil.

CHORUS

Long live the fame of St. Patrick's name,
For his deeds deserve no scorning;
And the happiest day that Ireland knows
Is "St. Patrick's Day in the morning."

{Each character after announcing his introduction stands back}

ST. ANDREW

And I'm St. Andrew fra' the North,
The land o' bonnie Scotland O!
Where oatmeal cakes mak' men of worth,
An' lovely, spankin' lassies O!
The land o' thistles, rock, an' dike
O' hardy men, an' heroes O
For Scotland's sons know how to strike
Wi' dagger, an wi' claymore O.

Chorus-

Sound the trumpet! Praise St. Andrew's name!
For Scotland's Patron Saint shall be;
Shrin'd within the honour's claim
Of all her glory's destiny.

ST. DAVID.

And last, but not the least, am I,
Of Taffy's land the Patron Saint;
I'm here all foes for to defy,
And those who Taffies falsely paint!
'Tis but mean prejudice; you know,
That 'gainst the Welshman's name doth throw
The "Taffy" hue and cry!
Full many a well fought battle's told,
The Welsh are noble, brave and bold
And still can fight and die.

Chorus-

Praise- praise! To St. David, then;
And all the tribes of brave Welshmen,
Whom fools do but belie;
For English Chroniclers do tell,
That Welshmen fought, and fought full well
A fact none can deny;

JESTER.

Kind friends, and neighbours all, you see,
We are a gallant band;
The fight for England's honour free,
Here, now, we take our stand:
And four such noble Knights as these, -
No more announcing needs
But, if you'll pay attention, please,
They'll show their wondrous deeds.

St. George.-

I challenge all my country's foes.

St. Patrick.-

And I'll assist wid mighty blows.

St. Andrew.-

And you shall find me ready too.

St. David.-

Odds blud! and I, as well as you.

{They all follow the Jester round in a circle.}

Jester.-

Ha-ha-ha-ha! Ho-ho-ho-ho!
If we have the good luck to meet with a foe,
We'll wrangle, and jangle,
And strangle and mangle,
And kill him all over,
And send him to "clover."

{Enter St. Denys, (the Patron Saint of France,) who walks up to St George, looking defiant.}

St. George.-

How! brave St. Denys! what mission brings you here
Come, you as foe? or do you hail as friend?
In either case I'll knightly courtesy lend.

St. Denys.-

I heard you vaunt, and so, am come to try
If you can fight as boldly as defy.

St. George.-

I'm sorry for it, for, though both our trades
Are to lead men 'gainst where the foe invades,
I'd rather have you friend and ally be
Than to cross swords with you as enemy.

St. Denys.-

St. George! 'gainst you, I've nought,
But as Patron Saint my country's cause I hold
And shield the glory which her name doth fold.

St. George.-

So be it then, -
Britons can fight, that well, your country knows
And long have been tough and hardy foes
We've thrashed you often, and, can do again,
While "Hearts of Oak," in England's Isle remain,

St. Denys.-

I'm ready, Knight!
Even unto the death with you to fight.

St. George.-

And I the same! This solid earth shall part
Ere hand grows weak, or I find want of heart.

{St. George, and St. Denys fight :- St. Denys loses his sword and falls.}

St. George.-

Yield, Gallic Saint.

Sabrina.- {Rushing up to St. George, and clinging to him}.

Oh, don't St. George! don't kill him!

St. George. -

Unless he yields, his sacred blood I'll spill him.
Leave me, Sabrina, women in these affairs
Should never meddle, but mind domestic cares.
Yet for your sake, I'll end the unsought strife -
That's if he yields; if not, he loses life.

Sabrina. -

Answer, St. Denys! upon your honour true;
Say, do you yield?

St. Denys. -

Upon my word - I do!

St. George. -

Enough! take up your sword, and go your way.

{St. Denys and Sabrina walk away together.}

{[Enter America, Germany, Russia and Turkey.]}

Russia. -

Hold, braggart, hold! Hold, hold ,I say!

St. George.-

By all that's fair and honest, who are these?

Russia.-

Friends, if you like, or foes if you please!

St. George.-

What! all against me, and my little Isle?

Germany.-

Yes, all!

St. George.-

Well,I declare! you make me smile.
You're jesting surely, or mean to crush me quite?

America.-

Such is our aim, and would be our delight.

St. George.-

No doubt! no doubt! but you to be my foe?
I think that we were friends some time ago.

America.-

I guess we were, but now that thought's too late!
Your mad, blind old King George but made us hate
The very name of Britisher, an' so,
I'm your tarnation and eternal foe.

St. George.-

And you, learn'd Germany! you least of all
Did I expect upon me thus to fall.
Ye come like dauntless robbers bold
Or wolves at night upon the poor sheep fold.
What want ye?

America.-

To smash you!

Germany.-

Hash you!

Turkey.-

Dash you!

Russia.-

To pounce upon, and soundly thrash you!

St. George.- {mockingly}

Is there no hope for me?

America.-

I guess not.

Russia.-

Not even the shadow of a chance you've got.

Germany.-

So give in -

Turkey.-

To what we ask.

Russia.-

Deliver! And for Gibraltar I'll bless the giver.

St. George.-

This is amusing; is there ought else you want?
You ask so civilly that I'm sure to grant.

America.-

I want Canada to which you have no right
And which you won by stratagem, not might.

St. George.-

Good "Brother Jonathan" I will not yield.
What I, by arms, won on the battle field.

America.-

Oh, Stars and Stripes! but, you're mighty cheeky.

St. George.-

I cannot stoop to talk to you more meekly.

America.-

You think you're clever, but you're a Noodle!
And can't git over me - Yankee Doodle! -
You're named John Bull, and, you're a bully
I guess you understand me?

ST. GEORGE.-

Yes, fully!
But learn that for you not the least I care
And scorn you as I do yon Russian Bear.

RUSSIA.-

Aha! my friend! you are indeed most pert, you!
I hope my treading on your corns won't hurt you!
But I want India!

ST. GEORGE.-

Your game's too high, mate!

RUSSIA.-

My country's cold, I want a warmer climate.

ST. GEORGE.-

Then go below, you ugly Russian Bear!
Or, say the word, and I'll send you there.

RUSSIA.-

No, thank you Sir!

ST. GEORGE.-

And you, Germany?

GERMANY.-

I and your ships and pow'r upon the sea.

ST. GEORGE.-

Why! That you'll never have, so clear away
Lest that I leave you for the wolves a prey :-
Out of my sight!

GERMANY.-

Indeed I won't! so there! -
With all this help, your power I dare.

ST. GEORGE.-

Hearken, ye cut-throats! All ye seek or want,
My heart and pride will never let me grant;
You'll have to fight!!! - {drawing his sword.}

AMERICA.-

I need no inviting
I'm on you like a greased flash o' lightning.

GERMANY.-

And so am I?

TURKEY.-

And I!

RUSSIA.-

And I, as well as they, your pow'r defy.

ST. PATRICK.-

I'll help you with my sword, St. George, ne'er fear!

ST. ANDREW.-

And so will I!

ST. DAVID.-

I too, with my sword and spear.

ST. GEORGE. - {Waving them back}

Stand all aback! 'tis I! and I alone
Must smile triumphant, or, bleeding, groan.
Me they've insulted. - revenge alone is mine!
Me they've reviled. - therefore I do incline
To show how England stands against the world
With Freedom's Flag 'gainst every foe unfurled.

ST. DENYS.-

But then, my friend! Four men to one's long odds-

ST.GEORGE.-

There are not men; they are but sneaking clods
I'll fight them all; this low ambitious crew:
Shaw kill'd twelve Frenchmen at Waterloo:
Shall I, St. George, then prove myself to be
Less than that Life-Guardsman, in History?
Now by great England's Lion Hearted King,
Whose fame immortal English Ballads sing!
And by great Henry, whose dread name, in France,
Made England's honour in worldly awe advance!
I hold that man my foe who dare invite
Himself with me against these fools to fight.
So come, base robber brood! come one, come all
Or ye, or I, must in the contest fall

{St. George and the four Powers fight. - St. George wounds, and knocks down America and Russia; his foot slips and he falls on one knee; Turkey and Germany rush upon him; when St. Patrick, St. Andrew, and St. David, beat them back. America and Russia, rise and renew the attack, when a mimic battle ensues, - to be kept up at pleasure, - Each Saint wounds, knocks down his foe, and retires, leaving St. George to finish the combat with America, whom he wounds and knocks down; then rests on his sword, looking at them grimly. The Jester now comes forward.}

JESTER.-

Huzza! Huzza!

{All the characters(on St George's side).}

[All on St. George's side]

Huzza!!!

JESTER.-

Is there a doctor to be found
All ready near at hand,
TO cure a deep and deadly wound
And make a villain stand.

DOCTOR.-

Oh, yes, here am I, a notable doctor.

JESTER.-

What can you cure?

DOCTOR.-

Whatever you pleases!

JESTER.-

That's no answer, mention the diseases,

DOCTOR.-

The plithisic, the palsy, the croop and the gout,
Whate'er the disorder, I root it out.
I'll give a coward a heart if he be willing
Or make him stand without the fear of killing
And if any man that's got a scolding spouse,
That wearies him with living in his house
I'll ease complaint and make her civil,
Or else will send her headlong to the devil.
Ribs, legs, or arms, when any's broke I'm sure,
That presently of them I make a cure,
Nay, more than this by far, I will maintain,
If you should break your neck I'll cure it again.
I, in my time, many thousands have directed
And likewise have as many more dissected
So here's a doctor, who travels much from home,
Here take my pills, they cure all ills,
past, present and to come.

JESTER.-

What is your fee?

DOCTOR.-

Fifteen pounds it is my fee,
In money good and round!
But as 'tis such a rogue as he,
I'll cure him for ten pounds.

{Goes over to Russia}

I have a little bottle of Elicumpane;
Here, Bear, take a drop, of my flip-flop,
Pour it down thy little tip-top,
Rise up and fight again.

{Russia and all the fallen characters rise up.}

RUSSIA.-

No thank you, Sir, Indeed, I've had enough!

AMERICA.-

John Bull, I own, for me is rather tough.

ALL.-

Now, brave St. George, we humbly quit the field,
And feel no shame to your prowess thus to yield.

{All the knights now prepare for the Grand Sword Combat,- standing opposite each other in the following order-}

{ST. GEORGE. - KING OF EGYPT.}

{ST. DENYS. - ST. PATRICK.}

{AMERICA. - TURKEY.}

{ST. ANDREW. - RUSSIA.}

{ST. DAVID. - GERMANY.}

{The Jester repeats the following.}

[Jester]

Now, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our sport is just ended,
So while they clash swords
In a way can't be mended -
You prepare for the box,
Which is highly commended:
The box it would speak,
If it had but a tongue!
Saying throw in your money,
Thinking it no wrong -
To encourage us all,
In providing good fun.

{GRAND SWORD COMBAT:-}

{Ann the Knights now cross swords; then cut 1 and 2 above and 1 and 2 below, and cross to partner's place; repeat this and back to places again; form a circle with swords pointing up in the centre march twice round for the same order as above mentioned, then cut 1 and 2, huzza, and finish.}


Notes:

From the front cover:

"CHARACTERS:-

ST. GEORGE OF ENGLAND; Spangles, Armour, and Sword,

ST. PATRICK OF IRELAND; Green Dress, with Shamrock on Breast,

ST. ANDREW OF SCOTLAND; in Highland Dress, and Thistle,

ST. DAVID OF WALES; Blue Dress, with Harp,

SABRINA, JESTER, AND DOCTOR.

REPRESENTATIVES OF NATIONS. - France, America, Russia, Turkey, & Germany

Concluding with the Celebrated Sword Combat."

Full imprint:

"LONDON: T.H.Roberts & Co. 52 Fleet Street, Strand. MANCHESTER: John Heywood. Ridgefield; W.H.Smith & Son, New Brown Street. LEEDS: C.H.Johnson, Publisher, Cloth Hall Street, and all Booksellers & News-Agents."

Indexer's notes:

Only Johnson's name is given at the foot of the final page, indicating him as the primary publisher. The chapbook is undated, but has been dated by M.J.Preston et al to c.1879-1884 from the known history of the publishers.


File History:
15th Dec 2000 - Entered by Peter Millington

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