The Origins and Development of English Folk Plays

Peter Thomas Millington
Ph.D. Thesis, University of Sheffield, May 2002

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Reconstructed Proto-text

To facilitate computerised analysis, each dialogue line type was given a numeric Standard Identifier (Std.ID) - numbered in tens. Some line types have distinct variants, and for these the final digit of the Std.ID was varied to reflect this, e.g.:

3280    And if the Devil's in I'll drive him out
3285    If there are nineteen devils in a man I cast twenty of them out

Where appropriate, only one of the variants is given in the reconstruction, selected at random. In such cases the final digit of the Std.ID has been replaced by an asterisk.

Std.ID    Example Line Line No.
1380    Open the door and let us come in
1390    I hope your favour we shall win
1400    Whether we stand or whether we fall
1410    We'll do our endeavour to please you all
13*    Room, room brave gallants give us room to sport 5
16*    For remember good sirs this is Christmas time
1950    Activity of youth activity of age
1960    The like was never acted on a stage
145*    If you don't believe the words I say
240    Step in Saint George and clear the way 10
1460    I am King George that valiant knight
1470    Who lost his blood for England's right
1480    England's right and England's reason
1490    Makes me carry this bloody weapon
29*    I am Prince George a champion brave and bold 15
30*    With my sword and spear I won ten thousand crowns in gold
310    I fought the fiery dragon and brought him to the slaughter
320    And by that means I gained the King of Egypt's daughter
2100    where is the man that dares bid me stand
211*    I'll cut him down with my courageous hand 20
1500    I am a valiant soldier Slasher is my name
1510    Sword and buckler by my side I hope to win the game
410    I will hash thee and smash thee as small as flies
42*    And send him to the cook shop to make mince pies
3860    Stand off Slasher let no more be said 25
1860    My head is made of iron, my body's made of steel
187*    My hands and feet of best knuckle bone I challenge thee to field
490    O cruel Christian what hast thou done?
500    Thou hast ruined me by killing my best son
53830    To cure the man that here lies slain 30
157*    What is your fee?
158*    Ten pounds is my fee but five I'll take of thee
12540    How camest thou to be a doctor?
12550    I have travelled for it
12560    where have you travelled? 35
160*    I've travelled through Italy High Germany and Spain
1610    And am now returned to old England again
13250    Three times round the world and back again
680    What diseases can you cure?
1620    All diseases whatever you pleases 40
700    The itch pox palsy and the gout
690    All diseases both within and without
328*    If the Devil's in I can fetch him out
323*    I've got a little bottle by my side called elecampane
1650    Here Jack take a little of my nip nap 45
3590    Pour it down thy tip top
1660    Rise up Slasher and fight again
2460    Here comes I old Beelzebub
2470    Upon my shoulder I carry my club
2480    And in my hand a dripping pan 50
2490    Don't you think I'm a jolly old man?
17620    Here comes I that never came yet
3350    With my great head and little wit
17630    Though my head is great and my wits be small


The lines given in Italics indicate what might be alternative speeches for the preceding line(s). The most significant of these are the two introductory speeches for King George. There is evidence to show that the speech in lines 11 to 14 is older than the speech in lines 15 to 19.

© Copyright 2000-2008 by Peter Millington, (, Last updated on 07-Apr-2016