The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Mock Play

William Sandys, F. S. A.
Christmas-tide - its History, Festivities and Carols
London: John Russell Smith, 1852

ACT I. — SCENE I.

Enter Alexander.—Alexander speaks.

SILENCE, brave gentlemen; if you will give me an eye,
Alexander is my name, I’ll sing the Tragedy;
A ramble here I took, the country for to see,
Three actors here I’ve brought so far from Italy;
The first I do present, he is a noble king,
He’s just come from the wars, good tidings lie doth bring;
The next that doth come in, he is a doctor good,
Had it not been for him, I’d surely lost my blood:
Old Dives is the next, a miser you may see,
Who, by lending of his gold, is come to poverty.
So, gentlemen, you see four actors will go round;
Stand off a little while, more pastime shall be found.

[Exeunt.

ACT I. — SCENE II.

Enter Actors.

Room, room, brave gallants, give us room to sport,
For in this room we have a mind to resort—
Resort, and to repeat to you our merry rhyme,
For remember, good sirs, this is Christmas time;
The time to cut up goose pies now doth appear,
So we are come to act our merry mirth here
At the sounding of the trumpet, and beating of the drum,
Make room, brave gentlemen, and let our actors come.
We are the merry actors that traverses the street;
We are the merry actors that fight for our meat;
We are the merry actors that show the pleasant play:
Step in, thou king of Egypt, and clear the way.

King of Egypt. I am the king of Egypt, as plainly doth appear
And Prince George he is my only son and heir:
Step in, therefore, my son, and act thy part with me,
And shew forth thy praise before the company.

Prince George. I am Prince George, a champion brave and bold
For with my spear I’ve won three crowns of gold;
‘Twas I that brought the Dragon to the slaughter,
And I that gain’d the Egyptian monarch’s daughter.
In Egypt’s fields I prisoner long was kept,
But by my valour I from them soon ‘scap’d:
I sounded at the gates of a divine,
And out came a giant of no good design;
He gave me a blow, which almost struck me dead,
But I up with my sword, and did cut off his head.

Alexander. Hold, Stacker, hold, pray do not be so hot,
For on this spot thou knowest not who thou’s got;
‘Tis I that’s to hash thee and smash thee as small as flies,
And lend thee to Satan to make minch pies:
Minch pies hot, minch pies cold—
I’ll send thee to Satan ere thou be three days’ old.
But, hold, Prince Georqe, before thou go away,
Either thou or I must die this bloody day;
Some mortal wounds thou shalt receive by me,
So let us fight it out most manfully.

[Exeunt.

Act II.—SCENE I.

Alexander and Prince George fight: the latter is wounded, and falls.

King of Egypt speaks.

Curs’d Christian, what is this thou hast done?
Thou hast ruin’d me by killing my best son.

Alex. He gave me a challenge—why should I him deny?
How high he was, but see how low he lies

K. of Egypt. O Sambo! Sambo help me now,
For I never was in more need;
For thou to stand with sword in hand,
And to fight at my command.

Doct. Yes, my liege, I will thee obey,
And by my sword I hope to win the day:
Yonder stands he who has kill’d my master’s son;
I’ll see if he be sprung from royal blood,
And through his body make an ocean flood.
Gentleman, you see my sword-point is broke,
Or else I’d run it down that villain’s throat.

K. of Egypt. Is there never a doctor to be found,
That can cure my son of his deadly wound?

Doct. Yes, there is a doctor to be found,
That can cure your son of his deadly wound.

K. of Egypt. What diseases can he cure?

Doct. All diseases, both within and without,
Especially the itch, ..., palsy, and the gout;
Come in, you ugly, nasty, dirty ...,
Whose age is threescore years or more,
Whose nose and face stands all awry,
I’ll make her very fitting to pass by.
I’ll give a coward a heart, if he be willing,
Will make him stand without fear of killing.
And any man that’s got a scolding spouse,
That wearies him with living in his house,
I’ll ease him of his complaint, and make her civil,
Or else will send her headlong to the devil.
Ribs, legs, or arms, when any’s broke, I’m sure
I presently of them will make a cure;
Nay, more than this by far, I will maintain,
I'll you should break your neck, I’ll cur’t again.
So here’s a doctor rare, who travels much at home,
Here take my pills, I cure all ills, past, present, and to come:
I in my time many thousands have directed,
And likewise have as many more dissected.
To cure the love-sick maid, like me there’s none,
For with two of my pills the job I’ve done;
I take her home, and rubs her o’er and o’er,
Then if she dies ne’er believe me more.
To cure your son, good sir, I do fear not,
With this small bottle, which by me I’ve got.
The balsam is the best which it contains,
Rise up, my good Prince George, and fight again.

[Exeunt.

ACT II. — SCENE II.

Prince George arises. — Prince George speaks.

O, horrible! terrible! the like was never seen—
A man drove out of seven senses into fifteen
And out of fifteen into fourscore!
O, horrible! terrible! the like was ne’er before.

Alex. Thou silly ass, that lives by grass, dost thou abuse a stranger.
I live in hopes to buy new ropes, and tie thy nose to the manger.

Pr. Geo. Sir, unto you I bend.

Alex. Stand off, thou slave, I think thee not my friend.

Pr. Geo. A slave, sir! that is for me by far too base a name
That word deserves to stab thy honour’s fame.

Alex. To be stab’d, sir, is the least of all my care,
Appoint your time and place, I’ll meet you there.

Pr. Geo. I’ll cross the water at the hour of five.

Alex. I’ll meet you there, sir, if I be alive.

Pr. Geo. But stop, sir,—I’d wish you to a wife, both lusty and young,
She can talk both Dutch, French, and the Italian tongue.

Alex. I’ll have none such.

Pr. Geo. Why, don’t you love your learning?

Alex. Yes, I love my learning as I do my life,
I love a learned scholar, but not a learned wife,
Stand off, had I as many hussians, shusians, chairs, and stools,
As you have had sweethearts, boys, girls, and fools;
I love a woman, and a woman loves me,
And when I want a fool I’ll send for thee.

K. of Egypt. Sir, to express thy beauty, I am not able,
For thy face shines like a very kitchen table;
Thy teeth are no whiter than the charcoal,
And thy breath stinks like the ...!

Alex. Stand off thou dirty dog, for by my sword thou’s die,
I’ll make thy body full of holes, and cause thy buttons flie.

[Exeunt.

Act. III.—SCENE I.

King of Egypt fights, and is killed.

Enter Prince George.

Oh! what is here? Oh! what is to be done?
Our king is slain, the crown is likewise gone;
Take up the body, bear it hence away,
For in this place no longer shall it stay.

The CONCLUSION.

        Bounser Buckler, velvet’s dear,
        And Christmas comes but once a year,
        Though when it comes, it brings good cheer,
        But farewell Christmas once a year.
    Farewell, farewell, adieu! friendship and unity,
I hope we have made sport, and pleas’d the company;
But, gentlemen, you see, we’re but young actors four,
We’ve done the best we can, and the best can do no more.

Editor's Note: Compare A Mock Play printed by William Hone in The Every-Day Book, Volume 2.

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