Dendron Pace Egg Mummers Play, 1904

A.J.Humphris (1909)


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Context:
Location: Dendron, Lancashire, England (SD2470)
Year: Reported 1904
Time of Occurrence: [Not given]
Collective Name: Pace Egg Mummers

Source:

Rev. Arthur J. Humphris
Dendron. The History of a Furness Village.
in: Barrow Field Club and Literary and Scientific Association., 1909, Vol.XVII, pp.243-58. [Copy at Lancashire County Record Office, Preston.]


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

{Enter Actors}

BONEY:

Open this door and let me in,
I hope to please you all within;
Whether I stand, or kneel, or fall,
I'll do my best to please you all,
I am Bold Boney I'll have you to know,
I've brought a small army, but rather too slow,
But rather too slow in firing their guns,
The very last battle I fought was six to one.
Fol da day, fol da day, fol da diddle I dom day
Now ladies and gentlemen,
Stir up the fire and shine a light
to see this jolly act to night;
If you wont believe me what I say
step in King George and clear the way.

{Enter King George}

KING GEORGE:

In step I. King George, the champion ever bold,
In my right hand I carry a glittering sword, with which I won 10, 000 in gold.
'Twas I that fought the fiery dragon, and brought it to its slaughter,
And by these means I won fair Shebra, King of Egypt's daughter.
Enter Prince of Paradine

PRINCE OF PARADINE:

In step I the Prince of Paradine, the black Morocco King,
With sword and buckley by my side, and through the woods I ring,
And of it I'll make bold old boy,
and from thy dearest spot King George,
I'll draw some precious blood.

KING GEORGE:

What's that word thou sayest!
If thou sayest that word again my sword shall break thine head.

PRINCE OF PARADINE:

How can'st thy sword break my head?
My head is made of iron, my body is made of steel,
My hands and feet of knuckle bone, I'll challenge thee to the field.

KING GEORGE:

Declarest thou I am to die?

PRINCE OF PARADINE:

Either thou or I.

KING GEORGE:

Pull out thy sword and fight?

PRINCE OF PARADINE:

Pull out thy sword and fight.

{Enter Old Man}

OLD MAN:

Bear off, bear off, and give them room.

KING GEORGE:

Either one or two must be slain
before the sword I yield again.

OLD MAN:

O, George! O, George, what hast thou done,
Thou'st killed and slain mine only son,
Mine only heir,
Can'st thou see him bleeding there.
O Son! O, Son! I'm sorry to see
thy angry passions rise to such a degree.

{Enter Old Woman}

OLD WOMAN:

O, father, father, never fear
there is a doctor living near
To bring the dead to life again
and the blind to see.

KING GEORGE:

Five pounds for a doctor.

{Enter Doctor}

DOCTOR:

Five pounds is my general fee,
I would not come and attend for a man like thee.

KING GEORGE:

Ten pounds for a doctor.

DOCTOR:

There I am an excellent hatter.

KING GEORGE:

I isn't in want of a hatter,
I's in want of a doctor.

DOCTOR:

Here I am, Jack of all trades

KING GEORGE:

How didst thou come Jack of all trades?

DOCTOR:

By my travels.

KING GEORGE:

How dost thou travel?

DOCTOR {capering about}:

O, this is the way I generally travel,
but I hav'nt got much room here.

King George:

Where hast thou travelled?

DOCTOR:

O, I've travelled Italy, Sicily, France, Portugal and Spain,
Three times round the East West Indies,
and now returned to Old England again.

KING GEORGE:

Is that all?

DOCTOR:

O, dear no, I've travelled from the tip toe, the gallio,
Three doors below the bottom
where I saw houses thatched with pancakes,
and spelked on with black puddings,
horse back bones for rigging stones.

KING GEORGE:

Is that all?

DOCTOR:

O, dear no, I've travelled from my old granny's three square corner cupboard,
Where I've got many a leg of mouse, butter, and scouse,
Potatoe pie giblets, and calf bladder pie,
That's what made me so fat and bulky as I am,
A leg and a thigh fit to tice any young lady
From her father's residence and from boarding school.

KING GEORGE:

I is not talking about fat.

DOCTOR:

Neither am I talking about lean.

KING GEORGE:

What are you talking about?

DOCTOR:

What I can cure

KING GEORGE:

What canst thou cure?

DOCTOR:

O, I can cure the itch, the stitch, the scab, the gout,
If there be 19 devils in Mr. Turk I'll bring one and twenty out.
Why, as I passed through St. Paul's Churchyard the other morning,
even the very dead arose and cried:
'Doctor, Doctor, give us one of your never-failing pills.'

OLD MAN:

Poor Turk is dead, his ghost has fled, no more of him thou'lt see;
But if grand Turk shall rise again, what shall become of thee?

KING GEORGE:

He challenged me to fight with him, and why should I deny,
I'll let him know King George is born, to conquer or to die.

DOCTOR:

His heart goes pit, pit, pat, like a dead lamb's tail,
He's got an awful wound that a coach and six horses might pass through.
But I've got a little bottle in my inside-outside jacket breeches waistcoat pocket,
Which my old granny gave when I was over in Spain,
she called it hokey pokey. Elecampane,
It will cure all ills and bring dead men to life again;
Here, Jack take a little of my nip nap,
let it run down thy tip tap,
Rise up, bold Turk and fight King George again.

KING GEORGE:

The dead man doesn't seem to rise yet doctor.

DOCTOR:

O, but I have not finished him yet.
O, see, O, see, what I have done,
the cleverest doctor under the sun.
Cured his wound and healed his blood,
and gave him something to do him good.

PRINCE OF PARADINE:

O, where have I been this long and weary time?
Fetch me my scratch and pain,
pardon. King George, pardon

KING GEORGE:

No pardon will I give thee,
but I'll wound thee more and more.

OLD MAN:

In jumps I, old Beelzebub,
under my arm I carry my club,
In my club I drop my cash,
and I think myself a canny old man.

OLD WOMAN:

In come I, old Betty Askett,
under my arm I carry my basket,
In my basket I carry my eggs,
and I think myself a canny old lass.

{Altogether sing:}

[All]

[1]

Here we go round all six in a row,
As fine young fellows as ever you saw
Fol da day, fol da day, Fol da diddle I dom day

[2]

Now ladies and gentlemen sitting by the fire,
Put your hands in your pockets it's all we desire,
Put your hands in your pockets, and pull out your purse,
And give us a trifle, you'll not be the worse.
Fol da day, fol da day, fol da diddle I dom day.


Notes:

Humphris' Introduction:

Among the old customs still surviving are Pace Egging, the use of Rum Butter at Christenings, and Fig Sue on Good Friday.

The Pace Egg Mummers.- This piece of rustic pageantry as it now exists is quite modern and part of it cannot date further back than the time of Napoleon. In Harland and Wilkinson's "Lancashire Legends' a similar version to the one below is given. The dramatis personae being St. George, Hector, Slasher, the Prince of Paradine [Palestine], The King of Egypt, a Doctor, a Fool, Beelzebub, and Little Devil Doubt. No doubt it had its original in the miracle plays of which our ancestors were so fond. The following is the version now sung in Dendron Parish:

Indexer's Notes:

Scanned from E.Cass "The Lancashire Pace-Egg Play: A Social History", London, FLS Books, [2001], pp.171-173


File History:
24th February 2002 Scanned and coded by Peter Millington

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