Location: Leafield, Oxfordshire, England (SP3115)
Year: Col. 1913 to 1916
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: [Not given]


The Mummers' Play
Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1923, pp.214-216




A room, a room for we brave gallants all!
Please give me leaf and room to rhyme.
For I'm come to show you activity this merry Christmastime,
Activity aye [Note 1] for youth, activity aye for age,
Which was never seen before upon a common stage.

{Walk in the Royal.}

The Royal

Oh I am the Royal of Prussia King,
Born to defend all Christendom.
We fought many a battle at home and abroad;
That 's all true upon my word:
I fears no Spanish, French, nor Turk,
And there's no man that can do me any hurt.
So let all your noble voices ring,
I am the Royal of Prussia King.
I am the man just come from land.
Where is the man that dare to bid me stand?
I'll hack him and cut him down with my courageous hand
I'll hack him and cut him down as small as flies
And send him to the devil to make mince pies:
Mince pies hot, mince pies cold,
I'll send him to the devil before he's nine days old.

{Walk in Duke.}


I am the Duke just come from land
Where is etc. ut supra
He said he'd hash me etc. ut supra
Now I think myself as bold as he
And with my sword I'll try with he;
So mind thy eye and guard the blow
Or else with my sword I'll strike the' thro'.

{They fight and one falls. (The communicator did not know whether the Royal or the Duke should fall.) The Foreman then calls the doctor.}

The Foreman

Doctor, Doctor, play your part,
for our headman is wounded to the heart,
likewise through the knee.
£10000 I'd give for a noble old doctor if he was but here.

{The Doctor comes in.}


Here comes this noble old doctor then.
This man is in very great pain -
but where does your pain lie most good man.

{The man says. }


In the tooth, Sir.


You must have it drawn. {He turns to Jack Pinney.}
Jack, bring me my pincers, smelling-bottle and pill-box.


Fetch it yourself, Sir.


What 's that ?


I be cumin as fast as I cyan, Sir.

{The doctor ... to draw tooth and Jack pulls him behind. He holds the tooth up.}


Here 's a tooth more like a elephant's tooth
than a Christian's tooth.
See what we doctors can do.
We be n't like you B C Shard [Note 2] doctors.
We travels for ours.

The Foreman

Where hast been and where's come from?


France and Spain and that part of the country.

The Foreman

What canst do and what canst cure?


All sorts of diseases just what my physic pleases
Hard corns and blood corns, sad corns . . .
itch stitch palsy and gout . . .
pains within and pains without.
Fetch me an old woman seven years dead
and seven years lay in her grave.
I'll maintain her life and soul to save
and I'll give her ills and pills to work it through and through
and cleanse her body and stomach too:
And if it's now as it was before,
Rise King George and fight once more.

{They Fight again}


Walk in Jack Pinney.


My name is not Jack Pinney. My name is Mr Pinney.
I can do more than you nor any other man.
And if this man is not quite dead,
King George rise up [Note 3] your head.
Let em all say what they will,
J. P's the best man [Note 4] .


Walk in the Drummer.


In comes the Drummer with all his heart
I hope Jack Pinney have done his part
And with a free good will
I've brought me music to play you still;
And every time when I reply,
Give me some drink when I'm a dry.
My father have killed two very fat hogs
And that you may plainly see,
For I've got one of the skins
to make me a Rubadubadubadubadubadee.


Tiddy Notes:

"The manuscript, which is very hurriedly pencilled has more than one marginal note as to pronunciation. The writer's knowledge of the play was evidently very confused and uncertain."


1. Pronounced I.
2. Something like Bee She Shard. Possibly B.C.Sharp?
3. The accent is on the word up.
4. Presumably King George has just risen to his feet.

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1999-01-15 - Scanned by Martin Collins
1999-06-13 - 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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