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Tipteerers' Duologue from Cocking, Sussex - 1903-1906

R.J.E.Tiddy (1923) pp.200-202

Context

Location: 
Cocking
SU8717
Time of Occurrence: 
Christmas
Collective name: 
Tipteerers

Source

Author: 
R.J.E.Tiddy
Title: 
The Mummers' Play
Publication: 
Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1923, pp.200-202

Cast

Father Christmas
Mince Pie
St George
Doctor
Little Saucy Jack

Text

Father Christmas

In comes I old father Christmas.
Welcome or welcome not.
I hope old father Christmas will never be forgot.
Room Room I say, that I may lead Mince Pie this way.
Walk in Mince Pie and take thy part
And show the gentlefolk the gallant heart.

Mince Pie

Room Room you gallant Earls
Give me room to Ryme,
And I will show you some festivity
This Merry Christmas time.
Bring me the man who bids me stand,
Who says hell kill me with audacious hand.
I'll cut him, and hue him as small as a fly.
And send him to the kitchen to make a Mince Pie.

St George

In comes I St George the man of courage bold.
With my sword & buckler, I have won three crowns of gold.
I fought the Fiery Dragon, and brought him to the Slaughter.
I won the beautiest queen, the King of Briton's Daughter.
So if my mind be high, or if thy mind be low,
Or if thy blood is hot, I will make it cold,
For behind that door there stands my score.
And I can act, and boast, and swager,
And drive them all before me.

{Here St George Mince Pie fight with swords. Mince Pie receives his death-blow & falls to the ground. St George, pointing at him, then says:}

Oh Father, Oh Father, you see what I've done,
I've cut this young man down, like the evening sun,
And for a doctor, you must seek for this young man,
That lies bleeding on the ground.

Father Christmas {coming forward.}

Is there any noble doctor to be found
To raise the dead, to heal the wound,
And to raise this young man up from the ground?

Doctor

Yes, there is a noble doctor to be found
And to raise this young man up from the ground.

Father Christmas

What is thy fee, Doctor?

Doctor

Well, ten pounds is my fee;
But I must take fifteen of thee,
Before I set this gallant free.

Father Christmas

Rather a high fee, Doctor.

Doctor

Well, as you are a poor man, I will throw off a farthing:
That will make it fourteen pounds nineteen shillings and
eleven pence three farthings.

{Father Christmas pays the doctor who, taking a small bottle from his vest pocket and holding it up, continues:}

I have a little bottle by my side,
The fame of which spreadeth far and wide,
The stuff therein is called Hallecumb pain.
It will rise the dead to life again,
lt will cure the Hipsey Pipsey Paulsey and the gout
Pains inside and pains out.
Drop a drop on the poor man's nose.
Arise, young man, and show the gentle folks around
What a noble doctor there is to be found.

{Enter Little Saucy Jack, with two or more dolls at his back.}

Little Saucy Jack

In comes I little Jack
With all my family at my back.
Christmas comes but once a year
And when it comes it brings good cheer:
Roast beef, plum pudding & mince pies
Who takes all these things better than I ?
Christmas fairs makes us dance and sing
And money i'purse is a capital thing.

Notes

Tiddy's Notes:

"Received from a resident of Cocking, who wrote as follows:

'I have copied a Tipteerers' Duologue, which I am sure would interest any one if played properly. My elder brothers played it when lads and my younger brothers played it in this village about ten years ago, but it has not been carried on since. My grandmother first taught my elder brothers, she remembered hearing it when a girl . . . my mother is nearly seventy years of age. Of course we have never let any one else have a copy.

'Tipteerers are men who go from house to house at Xmas time doing this sort of thing: my brothers were praised very much when they did it.'"

"'Hallecumb pain' pronounced Ha-lo-cum-pain. (Note by the writer of the MS.)"

Peter Millington's Notes:

Tiddy only appears to have collected actively between 1913 and 1916. Assuming this text was sent directly to Tiddy, this means the performance date would have been about 1903 to 1906.