Mumming Play from Longborough, Glos. - 1905-1906

R.J.E.Tiddy (1923) pp.180-184


Folk Play Home Scripts Intro County List Class List Characters

Context:
Location: Longborough, Glos., England (SP1729)
Year: Perf. 1905 or 1906
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: Mumming

Source:

R.J.E.Tiddy
The Mummers' Play
Oxford, University Press, 1923, pp.180-184


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

Headman

Room, a room, brave gallants all,
'Tis but once that on you I do call,
A room, a room a douse a douse
I've brought me besom to sweep your house,
I'll sweep your house so clane so dace so hansom nice.
Here's a party coming here to-night
So please let'um have a light.
A room, a room, brave gentlemen and ladies
Give me a room to sport
That in this house we ma resort
Resort our merry play.
Step in the King of Egypt and clear the way.

King of Egypt

I am the King of Egypt
Bold Slasher is my name
With sword and buckler by my side
I hope to win the game.

Turkey Champion

I am the Turkey Champion:
From Turkeyland I came,
I'm come to fight the English Champion,
Prince George is called his name.
I'll cut him and I'll slash him
As small as little flies,
I'll send him to the cook-shop to make mince pies.

Turkey Champion

Mince pies hot, mince pies cold,
I'll send him to the devil
Till he's nine days old.

Prince George

I am Prince George this noble knight,
I shed my blood for England's right.
Here I walk and here I stand,
Here I take my sword in hand.
So do to God guard your life, sir.

Turkey Champion

What do you say to your life sir?

Prince George

Pound of bread and cheese and a knife sir.

Turkey Champion

We'll have a little more satisfaction
Before we die, sir.

Prince George

All right, sir.
{The Turkish Champion strikes Prince George down}

Headman

On this battle field Prince George was slain
Rise bold fellow and fight again.
{Prince George fights and falls again.}

Headman

Horrible, terrible, what hast thou done?
Thou hast killed my only dearly beloved son
Is there a doctor to be found
To cure him of his deep and deadly wound?

Doctor

Yes: here is a doctor to be found
To cure him of his deep and deadly wound.

Headman

Where does this noble doctor come from ?

Doctor

Where the streets are pitched with penny loaves
and the houses thatched with pancakes.

Headman

Very fine place that.
How much will this noble doctor come for ?
come for 5 ?

Doctor

No.

Headman

What'll you come for then?

Doctor

Five pence three farthings. {To Jack Finney}
Give me a leg on my horse Jack.

Jack

Get on yourself sir.

Doctor

What 's that Jack

Jack

Butcher's halt.

{He gives the doctor a leg on.}

Doctor

Hold my horse, Jack.

Jack

Hold him yourself, sir.

Doctor

What 's that, Jack ?

Jack

Got him fast by the tail, sir.

Doctor

Take him out and rub him down with the besom
stick and sup him up with a rack-staff
and get him ready gen I want him.
I'm a doctor, a doctor's good
With my hand I can stop the blood
I'm not one of these yer shimshams goes about to do their country harm.
I does my country good.
Rather kill nor cure.
What's the matter with this young man?
got the toothache?

Prince George

Yes.

Doctor

How long has this tooth pained you ?

Prince George

Fortnight afore I found of it and three weeks since.

Doctor

Here young man take one of my pills -
cure all ills.
Hips, Pips, Palsy and Gout,
Pains within and pains without.
If the devil's in this will fetch him out.
Does any man do more than me ?
Let Jack Finney come in and see.

{The Headman calls Jack Finney.}

Jack Finney

My name's not Jack Finney.
It 's Mr. Finney,
a man of great pains,
do more than you or are a man at this game.
I'll cure this man if he isn't quite stone-dead.
So I prays thee old fellow raise up thee head.
I cured a magpie once of the toothache.

Headman

How did you do that ?

Jack Finney

Cut his head off and throwed his body into the ditch.

Headman

Oh you cruel barbarous fellow.

Jack Finney

I'm no cruel barbarous fellow at all.
Bring me a woman as been dead ninety nine years,
nine years led in her grave:
I'm bound to maintain her rest part of her life.

Doctor

Allow me to draw your tooth, young man ?

Prince George

Yes.

Doctor

Fetch me my tooth-drawing tack Jack.

Jack Finney

Fetch it yourself sir.

{The doctor hits Jack with a whip.}

Doctor

What's that ?

Jack Finney

I'm going as fast as I can, sir.

Doctor

Hold me up, Jack.

Jack Finney

Tumble down if you can t stand up.

Doctor

What 's that, Jack.

{Jack makes no reply. The doctor pulls the tooth out.}

Doctor

Look here, gentlemen and ladies, a tooth for a Christian.
More like a camel's tooth or an elephant's tooth than any poor Christian's.
Carry a quart of beans twenty miles over hedges and ditches
without spilling the corn.
I went down a long lane, a short lane, a narrow lane, a wide lane,
and I come to a house built with apple dumplings
and thatched with pancakes.
I knocked at the maid and the door came out.
I called for a glass of bread and cheese and a crust of water.
I med a bark and he dogged at me.
I went to a stick and cut a hedge,
fetched him a rattler on the napper
and the spin did blood out.

Beelzebub

Here comes I old Beelzebub
Who on my shoulder I carry my club,
In me hand me dripping pan.
Jukes, gentlemen and ladies, do n't you think I'm a clever young old man.
Last Christmas Eve I turned me spit,
I burnt me finger and have n't found on't it.
Spark fled over the table.
Potlid whacked the ladle,
lep jumps the gridiron 'What! can't you agree?
I'm the judge bring him to me.'
In runs the frying pan with his long tail
and swore he'd send them all to jail.

Hump-backed Jack

Here comes I old Hump-backed Jack
With me wife an family at me back.
Here comes I that 's never been in it,
With my big head and little wit.
My head 's so big, me wit's so small,
I've brought me fiddle to please you all.
My father was a shopkeeper,
That you can plainly see.
He left me this old tin cannister
To make me a hurdy gurdy gee.

Headman

This is a case that we've seen before,
Rise Prince George and well fight no more.

Prince George

Once I was dead and now I am alive,
Blessed be the doctor who made me revive.

Prince George

We all shake hands, never fight no more,
All be brothers as we ever was before.
We wish you merry Christmas and a happy bright New Year,
A pocket full of money and a cellar full of beer,
And a good fat pig in the pigsty to last you all the year.


Notes:

Alfred Tuffley, who started mumming very early in life, acted in this play as late as 1905 or l906.

All the performers blacked their faces. Prince George and the Turkey Champion had swords. Prince George wore a soldier's cap. The other performers wore ribbons in front.

They sang a song at the end of the performance joining hands in a ring.

They called Beelzebub, on whose back the doctor came in, 'the doctor's horse' : but Beelzebub was also known to them as the 'old woman' and was dressed in a frock.


File History:
07/01/1995 - Scanned & OCRed by Peter Millington
12/10/1998 - Encoded by Peter Millington

The recommended URL for this web page is www.folkplay.info/Texts/90sp12ta.htm
Last generated on 26/12/2007 by P.Millington (Peter.Millington1@virgin.net)