Location: Ilmington, Warwickshire, England (SP2143)
Year: Col. 1913 to 1916
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: [Not given]


The Mummers' Play
Oxford, University Press, 1923, pp.226-228



The Caller

In comes I old Mother Christmas,
Welcome or welcome not,
I hope old Mother Christmas
Will never be forgot.


Ladies and Gentlemen all, My son has lately come home
In a silver buttoned waistcoat,
Three-legged flat,
Spats yellow;
Calls the cat a bitch;
As I went up Short thin straight narrow Crooked looking lie
I saw a pig-stye Tied to an elder bush,
A house built of pancakes
Thatched with apple-dumplings.
I knocked at the maiden And out came the door
and asked if I could eat a crust and ale
And drink a glass of bread and cheese;
I said No thank you and meant if you please.

King George

A room! a room! brave gallants all,
Pray give me room to ride,
I've come to show activity
This merry Christmas tide.
Activity of youth, activity of age,
I'll fight the fiercest battle ever fought upon the stage.
Then where's the man that dares to bid me stand?
I'll cut him down with my courageous hand.
I'll cut him, I'll hew him As small as flies
And send him to Satan To make mincepies.
Mincepies hot, mincepies cold,
I'll send him to Satan before he's three days old.

The Caller?

Come in Captain Thunderbolt.

{Captain Thunderbolt enters.}

King George

Who be you? What be you come for?

Captain Thunderbolt

I'm the man that dares to bid thee stand.
Thou saidst thou'd cut me down With thy courageous hand;
Thou saidst thou'd cut me as small as flies
And send me to Satan To make mincepies,
Mincepies hot, mincepies cold
Thou'dst send me to Satan before I was three days old.
Mind thy head and guard the blow,
Mind thy nose and thy feet also.

{They fight and King George falls.}


Doctor, Doctor, do thy part,
King George is wounded through the heart,
Through the heart & through the knee:
Ten guineas to a doctor I'll freely gie.
Come in, Jack Viney.

The Doctor

My name is not Jack Viney, it 's Mr Viney,
a man of great fame.
Can do more than you or any other man again


Oh what can you do?

The Doctor

I can cure a magpie of the tooth-ache.


How should you do that?

The Doctor

Lay his body on a stool and cut his head off.


What else can you do?

The Doctor

I can cure the Itch, the Stitch, the palsy and the gout,
Pains within and pains without.
Humph! Humph! Humph!
The Mullygrups & all other vainglorious diseases.
I can cure this man if he is not quite dead.
Bold fellow, raise up thy head.

{King George remains on The ground. Molly pretends to cry and wants a tooth drawn.}

The Doctor

Jack, fetch my instruments.


I shan't.

The Doctor

What 's that?


I shan't.

{The Doctor runs after him.}

Jack {returning.}

This it, sir [Note 1]

The Doctor



Well, is this it? [Note 1]

The Doctor

No, you fool.

{He kicks Jack out & returns with a pair of tongs. All four try to pull out Molly's tooth and all fall, Molly shows her breeches under her petticoat.}

The Doctor

Ladies and Gentlemen all,
See how this poor man has suffered,
In my box I carry a pill,
In my bottle I carry a smell,
In my hand there 's no disdain.
Rise up, King George, and fight again.


In come I old Beelzebub,
On my shoulders I carry a club,
In my hand a dripping-pan;
Do n't you think I'm a jolly old man?


In comes I which ain't been yet
With my great head & little wit;
With my head so big & my wit so small,
I've brought my fiddle to please you all.
Green sleeves and yellow waists
Hop and jump about like peas, [Note 2]
And I was a-fiddling
A bottle of pea-soup
I had a shot come thro' my elbow
And spoilt all my scraping.

{They all dance.}


Tiddy's Notes:

Note 1: "Here Jack brings in any ridiculous object."
Note 2: "peas is pronounced pays and is intended to rhyme with waists."

Peter Millington's Notes:

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1999-01-15 - Scanned by Martin Collins
1999-08-09 - Encoded by Peter Millington
1999-09-15 - Year of collection adjusted by Peter Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


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