Recruiting Sergeant [1823-1888]
In comes I noble Antony
as mad and as milde and as blythe
as your old Mantle Tree,
make room for noble Antony
and all his jovel company
I have four mery mery actors stands at the door
some can dance and some can sing,
if you will consent they shall come in
When I was a maid in blooming years
my pleasure was all in Pride,
my talking tonge could never be still
in service to abide,
I thought it long a young man
all in my armes to embrace
instead of a young man I met with a Clown,
was not that a sad pituful case.
a pitiful case indeed
but how can we help it.
I ho! I ho! where's all this paultring poor
still paultring in this place
yet not perfect, Farshame, Farshame,
and let your voices ring
In am a Noble Sergent
arrived at here just now,.
My orders are to enlist all
that follow the Cart or the Plow.
likewise the noble Tradesman
their fortune to advance
I boy and I am a fool
to come to see you dance.
you a fool come to see me dance
faith I can sing and dance fool,
I can neither dance sing nor say
but if you begin to sing I shall go away,
Good people give attention
and listen to my song
I will tell you of a young man
before it be long
he is almost broken hearted
the truth I do declare
and beauty as entised him
and drawn him in a snare
In comes I the champion bould,
with my bludy spere,
I won ten thousand pounds in gould.
I fought the firy dragon
and beat him to a slawter,
and by that means gain'd
the King of Egipets Dauter
I turned my slf round and if any man dare face me
I will ash him and smash him as small as flies,
I will send him to Jamacak to make mince pies.
Though talk about ashing and smashing as small as flies
pray the fellow let us have non of these lies,
thou will raise my blood if thou says that thing.
I will stand before the if thou be some King
No! No! no King am I you plainly see
but with my sord I will answer thee
[Third Riboner, or Recruit]
Behold me now I have lost my mate
my drooping wings is on fate
pity my condition I do declare
for this fals girl I am in dispare.
Chear up mandon't be in despair
for in a short time the Lady will there;
Behold now my lady
with fortune and with charmes
so shamefully how I was throughn away,
into this loobys arms,
He swers if I don't marry him
as you may understand,
He will list for a souldier
into some foreign land.
Madame if he consent to Marry you
as once praphaps he may
he will list for a Soldier
and from you run away
I thank you Kind Sir
for the good advice you give
I never mean to marry him
while on this earth I live,
I never mean to marry him,
I would have you for to know
I will have another sweetheart
and with him I won't go
Stand back cock me dow
let my Lady and me have a little discourse together
Madam if you will consent to marry Me
we will marry off at Hand
I have gold and silver
and that will please thee
You shall have a servant Maid
to wait at your command
if you will consent to marry me;
we will marry off at hand
Come my Lads that has a mind for listing
come and go along with me
you shall have all kind of liquers
when you list in Company
and ten Guines then shall be your Bounty
if along with me you will go.
Your hat shall be se neatly dressed
and we will cut a gallant show.
I then kind Sir, I will take your offer
the time away will sweetly pass,
Dash me if I will grieve any longer
for a proud and saucy lass.
In comes the Old Dame Jane,
dabbling about in the middows,
jumping about to show your such sport,
look about you old Maids and widdows
long time I have sawght you
but now I have found you,.
Surry come take you basterd.
In comes the poor old ancient man
I will speak for my self the best I can.
My old grey hairs they hang so long.
I will speak for myself the best I know.
Look up old man and never fere
Wipe your Eyes and you will see clere.
Me thinks me sees you stars shine bright
unto you I fix my hearts delight
Away! Away! From me be gon,
do your think I will fancy an old man like you,
I look of high degree.
Kich my Lady out of the door,
for I will be hang'd upon our Kitchen door
before I will come nigh you any more
Published from a small collection of Lincolnshire plays in British Museum Additional MS 33,418. The manuscript is endorsed "Purchased of E Peacock, Esq. 25 Nov. 1888". The earliest dated text in the collection is 1823.
Although the precise location is not given, it can be assumed that this play came from the same area of Lincolnshire as the other plays in the collection, which is why I have assigned it to 100km grid square SK