Christmas Play from Icomb, Glos. - 1913-1916

R.J.E.Tiddy (1923) pp.174-179


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Context:
Location: Icomb, Glos., England (SP7819)
Year: Col. 1913 to 1916
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: [Not given]

Source:

R.J.E.Tiddy
The Mummers' Play
Oxford, University Press, 1923, pp.174-179


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

{ACT I}

{The leading man introduces the play thus:}

Leading Man

In comes I Old Hind-before,
I comes fust to open your door.
I comes fust to kick up a dust,
I comes fust to sweep up your house.
I went down a dark, narrow lane.
Weren't very dirty, neither very clane;
I come to Wrought-Iron House
Thatched with Brass Candlesticks.
There was an Iron Par Tree before the door,
I knocked at the Door and the Maid came out.
I asked her one, and she gave me one
as hard as a blacksmith's anvil.
I returned her many thanks
She asked me to have a crust of her ale
And a glass of her bread and cheese.
I said, ' Yes thanks', but I meant ' No please '.
I went down a little bit furder,
I come to two men threshing Bacca-Carns,
One hit a rearing blow, t'other hit a driving blow,
Which cut a Bacca-Carn through a nine-inch wall,
Killed a dead dog t'other side,
The dog jumps up and hollowes Bow-wow-wow.
I took me dog without his tail,
And loaded me gun with a long spiked nail.
I met a man, he fled with glee;
I nailed his shadow to a tree.
I've travelled here, I've travelled there;
I should like to taste a drop of your strong beer.

{He drinks and says:}

A Room ! A Room ! Brave Gallants all,
Room to rise and room to fall,
Please to make room for me and my Company all.
We was come round this merry Christmas time
To act activity of young, activity of age,
Some of the funniest activities as ever was acted on King George's stage.

{The introduction is thus concluded.}

Walk in the Royal of Prussia King.

{He says:}

Royal of Prussia King

In comes I the Royal of Prussia King,
Many a battle have I fought in,
England, Ireland, Scotland, and Spain,
Now I return to Old England again.
Where is the man that forbids me stand ?
Said he would knock me down with his gracious hand;
He would hit me, hack me, as small as flies,
Send me to the cook-shop to make mince pies;
Mince pies hot, mince pies cold,
Send me to Giberhalter before I be nine days old.
So he and I will have a try
To see which on the floor shall lie,
So guard thy head and guard thy blows,
For on the floor thee bist sure to go.

{Walk in John Bull Robin. He says:}

John Bull Robin

In comes I little John Bull Robin,
John Bull Robin is my name,
Sword and pistol at my side,
And I wish to win the game,
So thee and I will have a try
To see which on the floor shall lie,
So guard thy head and guard thy blows,
For on the floor thee bist sure to go.

{The Royal of Prussia King and John Bull Robin commence fighting with wooden swords. The King falls wounded, and the leading man makes the following offer.}

Leading Man

Five pounds for a good Doctor. Won't come.
Ten pounds for a good Doctor. Won't come.
Fifteen pounds for a good Doctor. Won't come.
Twenty pounds for a good Doctor. Won't come.
I'll give three good bad farthing for a doctor.

Doctor

I'll come and glad of the money.
Hold my horse, Jack.

Jack

Hold him thee-self.

Doctor

What's that, you saucy young beggar!

Jack

Got ed fast by the tail, Sir.
What be-e to do wi' um when I gets um 'ome ?

Doctor

Oh ! Sup um up with rack staves,
Bed um down with thorns,
gi' um a buccutt of warm ashes to drink
and rub um down dry with a wet snowball.
That 's the way to do a 'oss, Jack.
I am the Doctor come from Spain
To fetch the dead to life again,
And if his life he should transgress
Ten thousand pound 'ull distress the grave.
Bring unto me an old woman
Seven years wed, eight years dead,
Nine years led in her grave.
If her can rise up
And crack one of my small pills
I'll be bound her life to save.

{The Leading man asks the Doctor;}

Leading Man

What else cans't cure ?

Doctor

Why a magpie with tooth-ache.

Leading Man

How'st do it ?

Doctor

Chop his head off and chock his body in the ditch.

Leading Man

I shan't have my man served like that.

{Walk in Jack Finney. He says:}

Jack Finney

Jack Finney is not my name;
Mr. Finney is my name.
In comes I with my bold hart
To see the Doctor play his part
Doctor, thee hasn't done thy part by this man.

Doctor

I thought thee 'ud find fault, Jack, when thee com'st in.
What wants doing now ?

Jack

Large tooth wants drawing.

Doctor

Can'st thee draw 'im?

Jack

I'll have a try.

Doctor

Get out of the road.
I can see thee cass'nt do it.

Jack

No more cass'nt thee without help.

Doctor

Fetch my implements.

Jack

Fetch 'em thee-self.

Doctor

What's that, you saucy young beggar!

Jack

I'll fetch 'em meself.

Doctor

Fetch 'em then and quick about it.

{Jack brings the implements, consisting of hammer, saw, files, pincers, &c., and throws them on the ground.}

Doctor

Well, what do'st want to throw 'em down there fur ?

Jack

For thee to pick 'em up.

Doctor

What 's that, you saucy young beggar ?

Jack

For me to pick 'em up.

Doctor

Pick 'em up, then, and quick about it.

{They fix pincers on a horse's tooth which they pretend to pull from the King's mouth.}

Doctor

Catch olt of my tail and pull.

Jack

Be he out, Sur ?

Doctor

No.

Jack

Be he out yet, Sur ?

Doctor

Yes, and more like a helephant's tooth than a Christian's.
Hold a sack of beans one side and a quart of best ale t'other.
Any better, old. feller ?

King

Yes.

Doctor

Rise up and sing.

{The King sings. Enter Bells Abub. He says:}

Bells Abub

In comes I, old Bells Abub,
And on me shoulder I carry me club,
In me hand me drippin' pan,
Don't you think I'm a jolly old man.
Out of children eleven I've got but seven,
And they be started up to heaven;
Out of the seven I've got but five,
And they be starved to death alive;
Out of the five I've got but three,
And they be popped behind a tree;
Out of the three I've got but one,
And he got round behind the sun.
Me father is an old Shop-keeper.
And you can plainly see;
Me mither gi' I this old tin can
To play the girdy-gee.

{Then enters Little Judy to collect money.}

{They sing songs and finish up with step-dancing and the Broom-stick Dance. Interval, Refreshments, and prepare for:}

{ACT II}

Alexander

Silence, merry gentlemen,
Unto to my conscience say,
For my name is Alexander
And I'll show you thrice to tie;
We are Six of us All.
Six merry Boys are we,
We come to take a ramble
In your houses for to see,
In your houses for to see,
And some treasures for to give,
For what you freely give to us
We freely shall receive.
The next young man that I call in
He glowren of me no,
And he shall slay the Admiral
And then he'll take the Crown.
Who's that coming over yonder Hill?
It 's only Little John Bull Robin to fight thee in thy field.

{Calls him in. Enter John Bull Robin, and starts fighting with Alexander, who is killed. Doctor blunders in and falls across the dead man.}

Alexander

That's a fine way to come into a man half-dead.

Doctor

That 's the way to liven his nerves up.
Let him take a drop of my Inkum Pinkum
mixed up with Cat s Feathers.
Have a drop in his eye, a drop in his nose, and a drop in his mouth.
Any better old feller ?

{Alexander rises up and sings.}

Alexander

Once I was dead, and now I am alive,
Blessed be the Doctor who brought me to revive.


Notes:
[None]

File History:
07/01/1995 - Scanned & OCRed by Peter Millington
12/10/1998 - Encoded by Peter Millington
15/09/1999 - Year of collection adjusted by PTM

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Last generated on 26/12/2007 by P.Millington (Peter.Millington1@virgin.net)