The Selmeston Tipteerer’s Play

This is the Mummers play to be found at the back of Parish’s Dictionary. The play is short and may have been abridged or the text corrupted. It is particularly notable that the Turk is killed and resuscitated twice.


Father Christmas:

Here come I, Old Father Christmas.
Christmas or not,
I hope old Father Christmas,
will never be forgot.

Make room, make room here, gallant boys,
And give us room to rhyme;
We’ve come to show activity,
Upon a Christmas time.

Acting youth or acting age,
The like was never acted on this stage;
If you don’t believe what I now say,
Enter, St George, and clear the way!


St George:

Here come I, St George the valiant man,
With naked sword and spear in hand;
Who fought the Dragon and brought him to the slaughter,
And for this won the King of Egypt’s oldest daughter.
What man or mortal dare to stand,
Before me with my sword in hand?
I’ll slay him and cut him as small as the flies,
And send him to Jamaica to make mince-pies.


Turkish Knight:

Here come I, a Turkish Knight,
In Turkish land I learned to fight;
I’ll fight St George with courage bold,
And if his blood’s hot will make it cold.

St George:

If thou art a Turkish Knight,
Draw they sword, and let us fight.

They fight; the Turk is killed

St George:

Ladies and gentlemen,
You see what I’ve done,
I’ve cut this Turk down,
Like the evening sun.
Is there any doctor that can be found,
To cure this Knight of his deadly wound?


The Doctor:

Here come I, a doctor,
A ten pound doctor;
I’ve a little bottle in my pocket,
Called hokum, shokum, alicampane.
I’ll touch his nose, eyes, mouth and chin,
And say, ‘Rise, dead man,’ and he’ll fight again.

The Turk, having been carefully examined by the Doctor, is restored and immediately indicates his readiness to renew the combat.

 St George:

Here am I, St.George, with shining armour bright,
I am a famous champion, also a worthy Knight.
Seven long years in a close cave was kept,
And out of that into a prison leapt;
From out of that into a rock of stones,
There I lay down my weary bones.
Many a Giant did I subdue,
And ran a fiery Dragon through.
I fought the man of Tillowtree,
And still may gain the victory.
First I fought in France,
Then I fought in Spain,
And now I’ve come to Selmeston,
To fight the Turk again.

They fight again, and St George is again the conqueror.

St George:

Where is the doctor that can be found,
To cure the Turk of his deadly wound?

The Doctor:

Hocus, pocus, alicampane,
Rise Turkish Knight to fight again.

Ladies and gentlemen, our play is ended,
Our money-box is recommended;
Copper or silver or gold if you can,
Five or six shillings will do us no harm.

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