Johnny Jacks Play from Overton, Hants. - 1913

R.J.E.Tiddy (1923) pp.195-199


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Context:
Location: Overton, Hants., England (SU5149)
Year: Col. 1913
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: Johnny Jacks

Source:

R.J.E.Tiddy
The Mummers' Play
Oxford, University Press, 1923, pp.195-199


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

{Walk in Rumour.}

Rumour

In comes I in comes yet
with my great head and little wit.
I'm just come in to please you all.

Father Christmas

Well, young man you've said that well;
I should like to hear you say something else.
Walk in as Rumour.

Rumour

In comes I as Rumour, Rumour is my name.
I have come to show you many sports
to pass away the winter time.
There s old activity and new activity
that you have never seen before
and never will no more.
Old Father Christmas fall from the door.

Father Christmas

In comes I old Father Christmas.
Am I welcome or am I not ?
I hope old Father Christmas will never be forgot
As Christmas comes but once a year
And when it comes it brings good cheer,
A pocketful of money and a cellar full of beer,
Roast beef, plum pudding and mince pies:
Who likes that any better than I ?

Twing Twang

I do.

Father Christmas

I don't know so much as thee doest, little fellow.
There 's room and room and gallons of room,
Send it along to rain,
After me in comes King George
And all his noble train.

{Song by all the performers.}

He comes, he comes, the hero comes:
Sound, sound the trumpet a piece a piece a drum
Along the cannon roar
Walk in King George along the British shore.

King George

In comes I King George
so bold so grand, I does appear
with my whole tribes and Britons by my sides,
I'm come to close the year.
Here's England's right, here's England's wrong.
When I pull out my old rusty rapier.
Oh is there a man before me can stand
That I shall not cut down with my created hand?

[Antagonist]

Oh yes, oh yes, there is a man before thee can stand.
Thou shalt not cut him down with thy created hand.
I'll fight thee, King George like a man of courage bold.
Let thy blood be ever so hot, I'll quickly fetch it cold.

King George

Ah, ah, my little fellow, thee talks very bold
Like a good many more as I've been told.
Pull out thy rusty rapier, pull out thy sword and fight,
Pull out thy purse and pay
By satisfaction I'll have thy life before thee goest away

[Antagonist]

No satisfaction at all King George,
for less than two minutes I'll take thy life away.
Battle to Battle thee and I'll call
To see which on the ground shall fall,
Battle to Battle thee and I'll play
To see which on the ground shall lay.
One shall die and the other shall live:
That's the challenge that I shall give
Room my play.

Father Christmas

Oh dear, oh dear, out of eleven sons I've only got one left.
Walk in Bold Slasher and see what thou canst do with the villain.

Bold Slasher

In comes I Bold Slasher, Bold Slasher is my name,
With my sword and buckle by my side I hope to win the game.
My head is made of iron,
My body's lined with steel:
I'm come to fight thee, King George,
All in this open field.

Father Christmas

I hope thee woot, my little feller.

Bold Slasher

I'll fight thee King George like a man of courage bold...

{Here follows an exact repetition of the dialogue between King George and his previous antagonist.}

Father Christmas

Oh dear, oh dear, out of eleven sons I haven't got one left.
Oh, is there a doctor to be found
which can cure my two sons that lay bleeding on the ground ?

Doctor

Oh yes, oh yes, there is a doctor to be found
as can cure thy two sons that lay bleeding on the ground.

Father Christmas

What is thy skill, Doctor ?

Doctor

Itch, the stitch, the palsy and the gout,
the ridge and pain goes through and out.
I got a little bottle by my side that you commonly call Elegant Paint.
Two drops of that will fetch thy two sons alive again.

Father Christmas

Pray, what is thy fee ?

Doctor

Ten guineas is my fee,
but ten pound I take of thee.

Father Christmas

Try thy skill, Doctor.

Doctor

One drop on the titch bone of his heart
and one drop on the small of his arm.
Arise you two men, and likewise serve the King.

Father Christmas

Well done, my little fellow,
thee bis n't like these quack doctors that goes about half doing their work;
thee doest it.
Have your money now, or wait till you gets it ?

Turkish Knight

Here comes I the Turkish Knight,
Just come from the Turkish Land to fight.
Only me and seven more
Fought and killed eleven score.
Many a hard battle have I been in
For the sake of George our King.
I'll fight thee, King George, like a man of courage bold . . .

{Here follows another repetition of the dialogue between King George and his first antagonist down to the words ' Challenge that I shall give '.}

King George [?]

Go home, go home, you cowardly snipe,
and tell what champions there is in England dwell.
I suppose I got another rare great feller to face now then,
Walk in, Little Twing Twang.

Twing Twang

In comes I little Twing Twang
Headman in this press gang,
Spaniards also.
Now I'm little Johnny Jack
With my wife and family on my back.
Although I am so short and small
I think myself the best man of you all.

King George [?]

Stop, stop, my little feller:
I knowed thy father years and years before:
bought pigs off him,
fatted them up with turnip pecker handles,
and then they all died eating peasean for want of litter.
Who doest think thee bist going to kill ?
Dead mouse ?

Twing Twang

No, thee.
Thee and I had better have a rap or two.

King George [?]

Oh dear, oh dear see what I've been and done
Killed my poor old Father, Abraham Brown
All hear I sits on that is his
Ladies and gentlemen give me what you please,
Money in the box and God save the King.

{Carols}

[All]

God bless the mistress of this house
with a gold chain round her neck
And when her body sleeps at rest
Lord Jesus be her guide
... master ... and merry gentlemen
Our carols is done: we must be going,
we stay no longer here, sir.
We wish you all, both great and small,
we wish you a happy New Year, sir.


Notes:

Collected in 1913 from Charles Cooper, of Bridge St., Overton.

1 The name of the character who speaks first is not given.

2 [Rumour's speech] The word fall seems to be a corruption of forth.

3 If gallons is derived from gallants, then the line Send it along to rain is probably an attempt to make a meaningless corruption intelligible.

King George's antagonist is not named.

The character, given here as King George, who converses with Twing Twang at the end is not named.


File History:
07/01/1995 - Scanned & OCRed by Peter Millington
15/10/1998 - Encoded by Peter Millington

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