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Christmas Play from Llanmadoc and Cheriton - 1879

J.D.Davies (1879)

Context

Location: 
Llanmadoc and Cheriton
SS4-9-
Time of Occurrence: 
Christmas
Collective name: 
[Not given]

Source

Author: 
J.D.Davies
Title: 
Historical Notices of the Parishes of Llanmadoc and Cheriton, in the Rural Deanery of West Gower, Glamorganshire. Pt.II
Publication: 
Swansea, H.W.Williams, 1879, pp.85-86

Cast

Father Christmas
Turkish knight
St George
Doctor

Text

{CHRISTMAS PLAY OF ST GEORGE}

{"The performers ­ some with ribbons in their caps and wearing white trousers ­ carry wooden swords in their hands. One of the party represents Father Christmas, and is habited like a very old man, with a long white beard and leaning on a staff. A doctor also forms one of the number and is dressed in some fantastic way. Two others represent St George and a Turkish knight."}

{One of the party steps in and walks round the room, saying:}

[Father Christmas]

Room, room, brave boys, a room.
Within this court I do resort
To show some sport.

{Having delivered this prologue, Father Christmas hobbles in, saying;}

FATHER CHRISTMAS

Here comes I, old Father Christmas,
Welcome or welcome not;
I hope old Father Christmas
Will never be forgot.

{He then goes out and the Turkish Knight enters, saying:}

TURKISH KNIGHT

Here comes I, a Turkish knight,
Come from the Turkish land to fight;
And if St George will meet me here
I'll try his courage without fear.

{Enter St George:}

ST GEORGE

Here comes I, St George,
That worthy champion bold;
And with my sword and spear
I won three crowns of gold.
I fought the dragon bold,
And brought him to the slaughter;
By that I gained fair Sabra,
The King of Egypt's daughter.

TURKISH KNIGHT

St George, I pray thee, be not so bold,
If thy blood be hot, I'll soon make it cold.

ST GEORGE

Thou Turkish knight, I pray forebear,
I'll make thee dread my sword and spear.

{They fight desperately, and the Turkish knight falls.}

ST GEORGE

I have a little bottle, they call it elecampagne,
If the man's alive, let him fight again.

{The knight rises on one knee and fights feebly, but is again struck down. The Turkish knight speaks:}

TURKISH KNIGHT

Oh! pardon me, St George; oh! pardon me, I crave;
Oh! pardon me this once, and I will be thy slave.

ST GEORGE

I'll never pardon a Turkish knight,
Therefore arise and try thy might.

{The Turkish knight renews the combat, but falls again grievously hurt. St George speaks:}

ST GEORGE

Is there a doctor to be found
To cure this man of his deadly wound?

DOCTOR {enters}

Oh! yes, there's a doctor to be found
To cure a deep and deadly wound.

St GEORGE

What can you cure?

DOCTOR

I can cure the itch, the palsy and the gout,
If the devil's in, I'll pull him out.

{The doctor then applies a magic vial to the Turkish knight's nose. He immediately gets up and goes out. One of the party goes round with a hat, and all retire.}

Notes

Peter Millington's Notes:

The initial electronic version of this text was extracted from web page http://www.folkwales.org.uk/arctd6.html, put up by Celfyddydau Mari Arts. Their introduction (which follows) is not clear which one of two source their text was obtained from:

"REV J D DAVIES' TEXT

This text appears in A History Of West Gower, written by the Rev J D Davies in 1887. Edward Laws appears to have lifted it wholesale for his 1888 book Little England Beyond Wales, which is where Sydney Rider found it some 30 years later."

The bibliographic reference cited here was taken from E.C.Cawte et al (1967), on the assumption that it is the same text. It has not yet been proof-read against the original book.

Except for some omitted lines, this text is essentially identical to the Cornish text published by William Sandys in Hone's Everyday Book (1823).