East Preston Mummers Play (II)
East Preston Mummers Play (II)

This is the text for the Mummers Play performed in the village of East Preston. The play appears to be a later version of an earlier play from the village. Slight additions were made to the play in 1927 by Mr. C Foard from the Iping play as he thought the text was incomplete. These additions are marked in red. The following notes have been made on the costume :

The dress were all home made of calico and other coloured stuffs and excepting the details demanded by the play were according to fancy. The Doctor wore a top hat and frock coat. Little Johny Jack always has three dolls sewn on the back of his costume and corresponds to a jester according to Sharpes notes. The wooden swords were gaudily painted and are carried by the four characters who fight, i.e. King George, Noble Captain, Valiant Soldier and the Turkish Knight.



Father Christmas29
Noble Captain14
King George24
Prince Of Peace2
Turkish Knight13
Valiant Soldier15
Little Jolly Jack12

Father Christmas: In comes I, Old Father Christmas,
Am I welcome or am I not, Be I welcome or be I b'aint
(Pauses for the master of the house to reply)
I hope old father Christmas will never be forgot.
Sometimes cold and sometimes hot, Though I have but a short time to stay,
I'll show you sport and pastime before we go away.
So room, room ladies & gentlemen, I pray,
For I'm the man, that brought the Noble Captain,
And all his gang this way.
So enter Noble Captain.
Noble Captain: In comes I, the Noble Captain,
just lately come from France,
And with my broadsword and jolly Turk,
I'll make King George to dance.
And if I had him here I wonder what would appear,
I'd cut him up as small as mint dust,
And send him to Old Father Christmas,
To Make a pie crust.
Father Christmas: Enter King George.
King George: In comes I, King George you now behold,
Arrayed in scarlet, Blue and Gold.
From England I did spring,
With some of my wonderous works,
Now I'm going to begin,
First in a dungeon I was shut up and left on a rocky stone,
That's where I made my sad and dismal moan,
I fought the fiery dragon through,
And brought him to great slaughter,
And by my great and wondrous works,
I won the King of Egypt's daughter,
So neither to you will I bow or bend.
Noble Captain: Stand off, Stand off,
I take you not to be my friend.
King George: For why, for why, when did I do you wrong?
Noble Captain: Wrong you saucy bounder, get you gone.
King George: Saucy bounder, I defy, that name deserves a stab.
Noble Captain: Stab, Sir, is that the least I have to fear,
Point the place and I meet you there.
King George: The place is pointed all on the ground,
Where I intend to lay your dusky body down.
King George and the Noble Captain fight for a few rounds, then the Prince Of Peace parts them.
Prince Of Peace: In comes I, the Prince of Peace,
This blood and warfare now to cease.
Then all the company join in and sing "The Moon Shines Bright"
Turkish Knight: In comes I, the Turkish Knight,
Just come from Turkish Land to fight.
I'll fight King George's man of courage bold,
And if his blood runs hot I'll soon make it run cold.
King George: Oh, say not so thou Turkish Knight,
But go to your Turkish land and tell,
What people here in old England dwell.
Turkish Knight: Nay let him draw his sword and fight,
Or pull out his purse and pay,
For satisfaction I will Have, before I go away.
King George: No money shall he pull or pay,
But he and you shall fight right manfully,
Till on thy bended knee shall crave,
All for to be my Turkish slave,
So enter my Valiant Soldier.
Valiant Soldier: In comes I, the Valiant Soldier, 'Bon and Slasher" is my name.
My sword is clasped to my knucklebone, I wish to win the game.
My head is made of iron and my heart of stone,
And now 'tis time, I have you know, I lay you on the ground.
So come on, come on you noble Turk, (Turkish Knight) For by my sword you shall die,
I'll cut your driblets through and through,
I'll make your buttons fly.
I've travelled through England, France and Spain,
And many French dogs in my time I've slain,
For what our King shall have his right,
This Turkey Snipe I'll surely fight.
Turkish Knight: Although your feathery cap, it is so high,
I'll cut you down immediately.
A fight ensues and the Turkish Knight falls dead.
Valiant Soldier: Behold, behold what have I done,
I've cut him down like the evening sun,
And ten more of such men I'd fight,
For what our King should have his right.
Father Christmas: Oh, Shambo, Shambo, haste to speed,
For sore my trial and great my need,
Such need as I was never in before,
To see my poor son lie bleeding on the floor,
Legs broken, arms broke, finiking gout in his great toe.
My I (Eye), what a long coffin this man will want,
7ft 9ins & 3/4 should it do go,
But surely, some noble doctor can be found,
To raise this young man from the gory ground.
Noble Captain: Oh, yes! Surely there is a doctor found,
To raise this brown man from the ground,
Father Christmas: So enter, Doctor Good.
Doctor: In comes I, Doctor Good,
With my hand I will stop the blood,
I can cure the sick and heal the wound,
And raise this dead man from the ground.
Father Christmas: What can you cure?
Doctor: I can cure the hipsy, pipsy, palsy or the gout,
Pains within or pains without,
If this man's neck is broke I'll set it again,
Or else I won't have one farthing for my pain.
Father Christmas: Well doctor, what's your fee?
Doctor: Twenty pounds.
Father Christmas: O dear, I can't pay none such money as that.
Doctor (To Little Johny Jack): Saddle my horse Jack I'll be gone
Father Christmas: Stop, stop, Doctor I've a jackass you can ride.
What is your lowest fee Doctor?
Doctor: Nineteen pounds nineteen shillings eleven pence
And three farthings and that is a farthing under price,
Because you're a poor man
Father Christmas: All right. I'll see you paid before morning.
Doctor: Before morning, won't do for me. I wants it now.
Father Christmas: All right, Doctor, I'll see you paid now.
Doctor: Now, you see, ladies and gentlemen,
I've a small box of pills in my left hand trowsers waistcoat pocket,
Which I call me jeniper pills;
Also a little bottle which I call Golden Philosoper (Slozenger) Drops.
I drop one pill in his mouth, One drop on his nose,
And one on his temple, which strikes a light in his whole body.
See he moves a leg already.
Father Christmas: So he does Doctor.
Doctor: As you see, ladies and gentlemen, I'm no quack doctor,
running about the State telling a pack of lies.
I'm a real Spanish Doctor,
And can cure the sick and heal the wound,
And raise the dead before your eyes.
Father Christmas: Bedad you can.
Doctor: Rise young man from off the ground,
And show how you can walk around.
Turkish Knight: Good morning ladies and gentlemen,
The sleep I have had, has done me good,
And now I am awakened, I can no longer stay,
I beg a favour of you all, The Doctor's bill to pay.
Little Jolly Jack: In comes I, Little Jolly Jack,
My wife and family all upon my back.
Though my family be but small,
I can scarce find bread and cheese for them all.
Christmas comes but once a year,
And when it does it brings good cheer,
Roast beef, plum pudding and mince pie,
who likes these better than I?
Christmas fare makes us dance and sing,
Money in the purse is a capital thing,
Ladies and Gentlemen give what you please,
Old Father Christmas will welcomely receive.
The players then finished with "The Dance over the Sticks" which were originally flails. The carol "The Moon Shone Bright" was then sung.

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