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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Play Information

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TitleMummers' play
Alternative Title
WordsGilmour, Felicity
Collected FromUnknown
Occupation
Age
Date
LocationLimpley Stoke
CountyWiltshire
Source Primary
Source SecondaryWAM 83 [1990] p 157 – 160 A Mummers’ Play from Limpley Stoke
Recording
 
The Play
Characters: Father Christmas - a large knobby stick;
Prince of Wales - Half Moon hat, sword and spear;
Prudence - Crown, short sword;
Valiant soldier - Three stearts to his hat, sword;
Frenchman Bold - Five stearts to his hat, sword;
Little Spanish doctor - Cocked hat, a little bottle;
Twing Twang - Hooter hat, small knobby stick.

Father Christmas

Here comes I poor old Father Christmas
Come welcome or welcome not
I hope poor old Father Christmas
Will never be forgot
Christmas comes but once a year
And when he comes he brings very good cheer
Such as roast beef plum pudding mince pies
Who like it better than Old Dad and I?
A jug of your merry Christmas ale
Will make us all merry dance and sing
And a little money in our pocket
Is a very good thing.
A room, a room, brave gallant room, a room it is I say
And let the Prince of Wales walk in this way.

[Enter the Prince of Wales]

Prince of Wales

Here comes I Prince of Wales, Prince of England
With my sword and spear by my sode.
There is one that I do intend -

Prudence [from behind]

Who, do you intend?

Prince of Wales

Thee, Prudence, I do intend
Thou'st brought this nation to starvation
Thou would'st not let the reformial pass
But must and will and shall at last

Father Christmas

A room, a room, brave gallant room, a room it is I say
Let the Prudence walk in this way.

[Enter Prudence]

Prudence

Here comes I Prudence, Prudence Queen of Spain
With this glittering sword in my hand
I am come to cut and slay

Prince of Wales

Who are you come to fight?

Prudence

Thee, Prince of Wales I think 'tis my right.
Thee fight me, and I'll fight thee
As long as both can stand
And then if I am left alive
I'll return at thy command.
I am a bold and a British female
And that my parents know
And I'll stand before thee Prince of Wales.
Which is called the Valiant Knight.

Prince of Wales

That coward came and challenged me
And wanted me excused
But by Job I am an Englishman
And will not be abused.

Prudence [to Valiant Soldier, without] [without is not in the script, but see below]

Second, art thou ready?

Valiant Soldier [without] [without is not in the script but see below]

No! Neither will I take thy part
And if thou say two words to me
I'll stab thee to the heart.

Prudence [to audience]

Now ladies and gentlemens
You see I've got no one to take my part
And yet I'll go through this battle with all my heart.

Prince of Wales

Now thee and I this battle will try
To see which first on the ground shall lie.

[They fight: after a few passes, she falls on one knee]

Prudence

On my bended knees I fall
And pardon to increase
To ask thee Prince of Wales to let me rise
And I'll be thy mortal slave.

Prince of Wales

Rise up thou Prudence, thee I'll forgive
Thou'll promise not to challenge me more while thou'll live

Father Christmas

A room, a room, brave gallant room, a room it is I say
Let the Valiant Soldier walk in this way.

[Enter Valiant Soldier]

Valiant Soldier

Here comes I Valiant Soldier
Bold Slasher is my name
With my sword and buckle by my side
And hopes to win this game
It is me and seven more wounded and killed
Eleven score all French Irish gallant men
And many a battle I've been in
To fight for Queen Victoria our most gracious Queen.

Father Christmas

A room, a room, brave gallant room, a room it is I say
Let the Frenchman Bold walk in this way.

[Enter Frenchman Bold]

Frenchman Bold

Here comes I Frenchman Bold
I swear by all fair means I'll never be controlled
I am come this day to plant my tree
All on the land of Sweet Liberty

[Valiant Soldier and Frenchman Bold fight]

Valiant Soldier

O thou Frenchman Bold draw out thy sword and fight
Draw out thy purse and pay
And give us satisfaction this night
Before thou'st go away.

Frenchman Bold

No satisfaction will I give thee
No money will I pay thee
Both whether I live or die
I'll have this battle out with thee
Both manfully before I goes away

Valiant Soldier [to Prince of Wales]

Second art thou ready?

Prince of Wales

Yes I am ready and willing to take thy part
And if that Frenchman Bold do cut thee down
I'll quickly stab him to his heart.

Valiant Soldier

Now ladies and gentlemens, you see I've got someone to take my part
And I'll go through with this battle with all my heart.

Frenchman Bold

Now thee and I this battle will try
To which first on the ground shall lie.

[Frenchman Bold cuts Valiant Soldier down. Prince of Wales attacks Frenchman Bold]

Prince of Wales

O thou Frenchman Bold what hast thou done
Thou hast cut down one of my brave comrades to the ground
And now I am able and willing and free
And now I means to quickly conquer thee.

[Prince of Wales cuts Frenchman Bold Down]

Prince of Wales

Pray is there ere a Doctor to be found?

Little Spanish Doctor [from without]

Yes there is a doctor to be found
Hopes to cure that man that's dead and deeply wound.

Father Christmas

A room, a room, brave gallant room, a room it is I say
Let the Little Spanish Doctor walk in this way.

[Enter the Little Spanish Doctor]

Little Spanish Doctor

Here comes I the Little Spanish Doctor
Lately come from Roome, Frome, France and Spain
With this bottle in my hand
Which I call the Virgin flame
I've been to Darmino, Darmengo, Indimindigo
South Sandigo, and all parts of the countryo
And now I'm just come back to old England again
I can cure the humps, the dumps, the brown humps
The peppery gall, the lock-a-my-jaw
All pains within, all pains without
Hitch, stitch, the palsy and the gout
I can take a young woman up to ninety nine
I can wrap her up in a box of my turpentine
And that's what I call the hokum, smokum, elecampane
Fetch the dead to life again.

[He goes to Frenchman Bold]

Here's a drop on thee crown, a drop on thee heart
Rise up thou Frenchman Bold to fight thy part.

[Frenchman Bold revives, rises to a kneeling posture and say to Prince of Wales]

Frenchman Bold

On my bended knee I fall
And pardon to increase
To ask thee, Prince of Wales to let me rise
And I'll be thy mortal slave.

Prince of Wales

Rise up thou Frenchman Bold
Go over to thy own country
Tell thy Father and Mother what miracles I have done
Cut down ten thousand to thy one.

[Spanish Doctor raises Frenchman Bold and assists him to one side]

Little Spanish Doctor

Now ladies and gentlemens you see the same little bottle
Has rose the Frenchman Bold on his knees to bend
To raise the Valiant Soldier

[approaching that prostrate warrior]

Little Spanish Doctor [to the Valiant Soldier]

A drop on thee crown, a drop on thee heart
Rise up thou Valiant Soldier and fight thy part

[Valiant Soldier revives, rises to his knees and says to Frenchman Bold]

Valiant Soldier

On my bended knees I fall
And pardon to increase
To ask thee Frenchman Bold to let me rise
And I'll be thy mortal slave.

Frenchman Bold

Rise up thou Valiant Soldier
Go over to thy own country
Fight the French and Spaniards too
And if thou comest here I'll make thee rue

[Valiant Soldier is helped to the side by Little Spanish Doctor]

Little Spanish Doctor

Now ladies and gentlemens you see what miracles this little bottle has done
Cured the sick and healed the wound
And rose the bleeding from the ground.

[Exit Doctor]

Father Christmas

A room, a room, brave gallant room, a room it is I say
Let the Little Twing Twang walk in this way.

[Enter Little Twing Twang]

Twing Twang

Here comes I Little Twing Twang
I thinks myself the cleverest man among you all press-gang
I come to press all humbugs; likewise magistrates, I'm Jolly Jack
'Pon my word I'm very sprack, wife and family at my back
Out of eight aint got but five
All the rest is starved alive
Some on the parish and some at home
Where I do go the rest do come
Now for a jug of your merry Christmas ale
For saa-cy Jack to have a soop
Prince of Wales very sorry to see an empty cup
Now I take off Old Dad's hat
To see how much money I can get
Now all you ladies and gentlemens who's got a crown or a pound to spare
Shave Old Dad and cut his hair
His hair so long and his beard to grey
He want a passol of money to send him away.

[The hat is sent round: and carols are usually sung afterwards]
 
Print Play Verse
 
Notes
Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge 2008

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