Mummers' play

Characters of the Piece

Father Christmas, Valiant Soldier, Royal Russian King and Turkish Knight, Doctor, Jack Vinney


Enter Father Christmas

Father Christmas

'In come I. old Father Christmas,
Welcome or welcome not,
I hop old Father Christmas
Will never be forgot.
Last Christmas Day I turned the spit,
I burnt my fingers and feel on't yet.
The sparks went over the table,
The skimmer beat the ladle,
'Ay, ay,' says the gridiron, 'Can't you two agree?
I am the Justice. Bring them to me.'
A room, a room, sing hey down derry,
I am come this Christmas time to make you all merry.
If there's any offence, I'll go hence,
If not make room for me
And my jolly company.
Come in, the Valiant Soldier.'

Enter the Valiant Soldier

Valiant Soldier

I am the Valiant Soldier bold,
And Slasher is my name,
With my sword and my buckler by my side
I hope to win the game.

Father Christmas

Slasher, Slasher, dossent be too hot,
Before thou knowest who thou'st got.

Valiant Soldier

What grows on Land's End?

Father Christmas

Wheat and rye.

Valiant Soldier

Then there shall be a battle twixt thee and I.
To which first on the ground shall lie.
So mind thy head and guard thy blow:
Mind thy eyes and face also!
Come in the Royal Russian King!

Enter the Royal Russian King

Royal Russian King

I am the Royal Russian King,
I am the Turkish Knight,
And I come from the Turkish land,
And I am bound for to fight.
I don't value thee nor no other man,
Neither English, Dutch, French or Spain,
If any man thinks he can do me harm let his voice ring!
I am the Royal, the Russian King.

Valiant Sailor and the Royal Russian King fight. The Royal Russian King falls.

Royal Russian King

A doctor! A doctor! I really would give five pound
If a good doctor could be found.

Enter the Doctor

Doctor

I will not come for five pound.

Royal Russian King

What will you come for then?

Doctor

I will come for ten pound.
I am a doctor, a doctor good,
And with my hand I can stop the blood.
I have cured in England, I have cured in Spain.
And I am come to old England to cure again.

Valiant Sailor

What can'st thou cure more than any other man?

Doctor

An old magpie with the tooth ache.

Valiant Sailor

How dost do that?

Doctor

First I twist off his head,
Throw his body in the ditch,
Then chop him up as small as flies,
And send him to France to make mince pies.
Mince pies hot, mince pies cold,
Mince pies in the pot nine days old.
Come in Jack Vinney

Enter Jack Vinney

Jack Vinney

My name's not Jack Vinney.

Doctor

What's your name then?

Jack Vinney

My name's Mr Vinney, a man of land and property.

Doctor

Come in then Mr Vinney.

Jack Vinney

Here come I, that's not been hit,
With my great head and little wit;
My head so big and wit so small,
But I'll endeavour to please you all.

As I went up along a straight and crooked lane I saw a pigsty tied to an elden bush. Built with apple dumplings and slated with pancakes. I knocked at the maid and out came the door. She asked me if I could eat half a pint of ale and drink a crust of bread and cheese. I said - 'No thank you, Miss!' but meant 'Yes, if you please!'. So she brought me out a cold leg of nothing and no taters and that's where I got my big belly. I went on a little further and there I saw two old women a-sifting tobacco. One threw a piece through a cast iron platter and beat the bottom out, and another flung a piece through a ten foot wall and injured a poor, dead dog. I had massy on that poor, dead dog and I turned him slap dab inside outwards and sent him to Buckland Hill backwards a-barking.

All dance