The St. George Mummers Play
By Ralph Scotese
Room, room, brave gallants, room!
And give us room to rhyme
We are come to show our activity
Upon this festive time
Whether we rise, stand, or fall,
We do our duty to please you all.
If you don't believe what I do say,
Enter St. George, and clear the way!
(Enter St. George)
In comes I, St. George, from old England sprung,
My famous name throughout the work hath rung,
And may deeds and wonders have I made known;
I've made the tyrants tremble on the throne.
I am St. George, that noble champion bold,
And with my glittering sword I won ten thousand pounds in gold.
'Twas I that fought the fiery dragon and brought it to the slaughter,
And by those means I won the King of Egypt's daughter.
(Enter Black Prince)
In comes I, Black Prince of Paradine, born of high renown,
And soon will I fetch St. George's lofty courage down.
Before St. George shall be received by me,
St. George shall die to all eternity.
Disable! Disable! It lays not within thy power,
For with my broad edged sword I'll soon thee devour.
Stand off Black Prince! And let no more be said,
For if I draw my sword I shall surely break thy head.
How canst thou break my head?
Since my head is made of iron, my body's made of steel,
My hands and feet and knuckle bones,
I challenge thee to feel.
Draw out thy sword and slay,
Pull out thy purse and pay.
For I will have a recompense
Before I go away.
Price of Paradine, where hast thou been,
Or pray, what fine sights hast thou seen?
Dost thou think no-one of thy age
Dare such a one as thee engage?
Lay down thy sword, take up to me a spear,
Then I will fight you without dread or fear.
A battle! A battle! Between you and I
To see on the ground which first shall lie.
Guard your eyes and guard your nose
Or down you go with a very few blows.
(They fight, and the Black Prince is slain.)
Now Prince of Paradine is dead
And all his joys are entirely fled.
Take him and give him to the flies,
And let him no more come near my eyes.
(Enter King of Egypt)
KING OF EGYPT:
I am King of Egypt as plainly doth appear.
I am come to seek my son, my only son and heir.
He is slain.
KING OF EGYPT:
Who did him slay? Who did him kill?
Or on the ground his precious blood did spill?
I did him slay, I did him kill,
And on the ground his precious blood did spill.
Please you, my laws and honour to maintain
Had you been here you would have fared the same.
KING OF EGYPT:
Oh! Cursed Christian! What hast thou done?
Thou hast ruined me and slain mine only son.
He gave me a challenge, who now denies?
See how high he was and see how low he lies.
And there he lies in presence of you all,
I lovingly for a doctor call.
Five pence for a doctor!
O! Here is the doctor. Are you the doctor?
There be no doctor for five pence, for that be not my fee.
But if thou be an honest man, I will take ten pence of thee.
Hove far have you traveled in doctrineship?
O! Very far! I've traveled from Italy, Titterly, France, and Spain.
And safe am returned to cure the deceased in old England again.
And no further?
Oh, yes, a great deal further.
From the fireside and the cupboard, upstairs and into bed.
What sort of disease can you cure?
What's all sorts?
I can cure the itch, the pip, the palsy, and the gout.
If a man has nineteen devils in his skull, I can cast twenty out.
Here, Jack, take this pill. It will go down like a fussfaggot and operate like a forty round ladder.
Those pills of mine are good. They are not like the pills these quacks take about with them. They pick up a few sheep trickling and roll them in flour and call them pilacosha pills.
Mine are a sure cure, they are not the ones that cure for four and twenty hours bur for four and twenty years.
My grandmother forty years after she was dead, rose and stood up with her coffin on her head
To tell the people what wonderful curs her grandson had done!
Come, Jack, get up!
Oh! My back!
What's amiss with thy back?
My back is wounded, and my heart is confounded.
To be struck out of seven senses into fourscore,
The like was never seen in old England before.
Hark! Hark! I hear the silver trumpet sound.
Farewell, St. George, I can no longer stay.
Here comes from post old Ben Bold.
(St. George trips Fool.)
Master, did I ever do thee any harm?
Jack, did every I take thee for my friend?
Thou proud, saucy coxcomb, be gone!
Coxcomb! I defy that name.
With a sword thou ought to be stabbed for the same.
Stabbing is the least I fear.
Appoint the time and place and I will meet you there.
Across the water at the hour of five.
I will meet you there if I'm alive.
Bring the grave-digger!
Bring the undertaker with you!
In come I, old Beelzebub,
And on my shoulder I carry my club,
And in my hand a dripping pan.
Don't you think I'm a jolly old man?
If you don't believe what I say,
Come in, Fiddler, and clear the way
In comes I, who has never been it,
With my great head and little wit.
My head is great, my wit is small,
So I've brought my fiddle to please you all
Now all my dogs, lay down your bones and wimple up your rigs and we'll have a jig.