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Tredrea Christmas Play - 1822

D.Gilbert (1823)


Time of Occurrence: 
Collective name: 
[Not given]


Davies Gilbert
Ancient Christmas Carols [2nd.ed.]
London, John Nichols & Son, 1823, pp.iii-vi


Saint George
Turkish Knight / Pagan


{"...Two of the sports most used in Cornwall were, the one, a metrical play, exhibiting the successful prowess of St. George exerted against a Mahometan adversary; the other a less dignified representation of some transactions at a market or fair}

{In the first, St. George enters accoutred with complete armour, and exclaims,}

Saint George

Here come I Saint George,
That valiant Champion bold,
And with my sword and spear
I've won three crowns of gold,
I slew the dragon he,
And brought him to the slaughter,
By which I gained fair Sabra,
The King of Egypt's daughter.

{The Pagan enters.}

Turkish Knight

Here come I the Turkish night,
Come from the Turkish land to fight,
And if Saint George do meet me here
. . . bold,
And if your blood is hot,
I soon will make it cold.

{They fight, Turkish Knight falls, and rising on one knee,}

Turkish Knight

Oh! pardon me, Saint George,
Oh! pardon me, I crave,
Oh! give me but my life,
A I will be thy slave.

{Saint George, however, again strikes him down; bu, immediately relenting, calls out,}

Saint George

Is there no doctor to be found,
To cure a deep and deadly wound?

{A Doctor enters, declaring that he has a small phial filled with the juice of some particular plant, capable of recalling any one to life; he tries, however, and fails: when Saint George kills him, enraged by his want of success. Soon after this, the Turkish Knight appears perfectly well; and having been fully convinced of his errors by the strength of Saint George's arm, he becomes a Christian, and the scene closes.}


The author signs off his preface "Tredrea, 1822". The narrative generalises the location to Cornwall in general. However, I have taken the location to be Tredea primarily to distinguish this text from other unlocated Cornish texts.