minstrel: here is a period jigg

raymond.wickham at customs.gov.au raymond.wickham at customs.gov.au
Wed May 3 19:17:37 PDT 2000

Singing Simpkin

The names of the persons

Simpkin: a Clown
Bluster: a Roarer
An Old Man
His Wife
A Servant

Enter the Wife, Simpkin following

Wife: Blind Cupid hath made my heart for to bleed,
Simp: But I know a man can help you at need,
With a fa,la,la,la,la,la,la,la,

Wife: My Husband he often a hunting goes,
Simp: And brings home a great pair of horns there's no doubt;
With a fa,la,la,la,la,la,la,la,

Wife: How is't Monsieur Simpkin, why are you so sad?
Simp: I am up to my ears in love, and it makes me stark mad,
With a fa,la,la,la,la,la,la,la,
I am vext, I am tortur'd and troubled at heart,
Wife: But Ile try my skill to take of your smart,
With a fa,la,la,la,la,la,la,la,
And on that condition I give you a kiss,
Simp: But what says your husband when he hears of this?
With a fa,la,la,la,la,la,la,la,
Wife: You know my affection, & no one knows more,
							Knock at the Door
Simp; 'Uds niggers, noggers who knocks at the door
With a fa,la,la,la,la,la,la,la,
Enter Servant  
(The Tune alters)
Serv: There is a Royster at the door,
he seems a Follow stout.
Simp: I beeseech you worthy friend, 
which is the back way out?
Serv: He swears and tears he will come in, 
and nothing shall him hinder.
Simp: I fear hee'l strip me out my skin, 
and burn it into tinder.
Wife:  I have considered of a way, 
and t'will be sure the best.
Simp: What may it be my dearest dear? 
Wife: Creep into this same Chest. 
And though he roar, speak you no word, 
If you'll preserve my favour.
Simp: Shut to the chest , I pray , with speed, 
For something has some saviour.
Blus: I never shall be quiet, 
if she use me in this fashion.
Wife: I am here to bid you welcome, 
what mean you by this passion?
Blus: With some young sweet- faced fellow, 
I thought gone out you were.
Simp: (in the chest) No sooth, the sweet faced fellow, 
is kept a prisoner here.
Blus: Where is the foole thy husband? 
Say, whither is he gone?
Wife: The Wittall is a hunting.
Blus: Then we two are alone: 
But should he come and find me here,
What might the Cuckold think? 
Perhaps he'll call the neighbours in,
Simp: (in the chest) And beat you till you stink.
Blus: Yet in the bloody war was oft, 
My courage I did try.
Wife: I know you have kilt many a man.
Simp: (in the chest) You lie, you slut, you lie.
Blust: I never came before a foe, 
By night nor yet by day,
But that I stoutly rouz'd my self
Simp: (in the chest) And nimbly ran away.
Blus: Within this chest Ile hide myself.
If it chance he should come.
Wife: O no my love, that cannot be
Simp: (in the chest) I have bespoke the room.
Wife: I have a place behind here,
Which yet is known to no man.
Simp: (in the chest) She has a place before to,
But that is all to common.
Old Man at Door
Old man: Wife, wherefore is the door thus barred?
What mean you pray by this?
Wife: Alas! It is my husband.
Simp: (in the chest) I laugh now till I piss.
Blus: Open the chest, Ile into it,
My life else it may cost.
Wife: Alas I cannot open it.
Simp: (in the chest) I believe the key is lost.
Wife: I have bethought my self.
Upon a dainty trick
Blus: What may it be my dearest love?
I prithee now be quick
Wife: You must say that your enemy
Into this house is fled.
And that your heart can take no rest,
Until that he be dead.
Draw quick out your furious blade,
And seem to make a strife.
Swear all th' excuses can be made,
Shall not preserve his life,
Say that a Rogue is fled in here,
That stole away your coin,
And if Ile not deliver him,
You'll take as much of mine.
Blus: Here's no man but myself,
On who shall I complain?
Wife: (aside) This great fool does not understand,
(to blust) This thing you must be feign.
My husband thus must be deciev'd 
And afterwards wee'l laugh
Old man: Wife, since you will not open the door,
Ile break open with my staff.
Enter Old Man
Blus: Good woman shew me to the slave,
His limbs I strait wil tear.
Wife: By all the honesty I have,
Theres no man came in here.
Blus: When I have fought to purchase wealth,
And with my blood did win it
This Rogue has got my purse by stealth
Simp: (in the chest) But ne'er a peny in it
Old man: She's big with child, therefore take heed
You do not fright my wife.
Blust: But know you who the father is?
Simp: (in the chest) The Roarer on my life
Old man: She knows not of your enemy,
Then get you gone you were best.
Wife: (aside) Peace, husband, peace, I tell you true
I have hid him in the chest.
Old man: I am glad on't at my heart, 
But doe not tell him so
Wife: I would not for a thousand pounds
The Roarer should it know
Blus: When next we meet his life is gone
No other must he hope;
Ile kill him whatsoere comes on't
Simp: (in the chest) Pray think upon a rope
Old man: What kind of person is it
That in the chest does lie?
Wife: A goodly hansome sweet young man,
As ere was seen with eye.
Old man: Then let us both entreat of him-
Pray put us not in fear:
We do beseech you go from hence.
Blus: But to morrow Ile be here
Old man: Wife, run with all the speed you can
And quickly shut the door
I would not that the roaring man
Should come in any more
Mean time I wil release the youth
And tell him how we have sped
Be comforted my honest friend  ( helps Simpkin out of chest)
Simp: Alas I am almost dead
My heart is tortur'd in my breast
With sorrow, fear and pain
Old man: Ile fetch some Aqua Vitae 
To comfort you again
Simp: And cause I will requite you 
Whose love doth so excell
Ile graft a pair of horns on your head
That may defend it well
Wife: Good husband, let the man stay here
'Tis dangerous in the street
Old man: I would not for a crown of gold
The Roarer should he meet
For should he come by any harm
They'd say the fault was mine
Wife to Simp: Theres half a crown, pray send him out
To fetch a quart of wine
Simp: There's money for you Sir,
Pray fetch a quart of sack
Old man: 'Tis well, 'tis well, my honest friend,
Ile see you shall not lack
Wife: But if he should dishonest me,
For there are slipp'ry men
Old man: Then he gets not of his half a crown 
One peny back agen
Simp: Thy husband being gone my love,
Wee'l sing, wee'l dance, and laugh,
I am sure he is a good fellow,
And takes delight to quaff
Wife: Ile fold thee in my arms my love,
No matter for his listning  
				The old man and his servant listen
Simp: Gentlemen, some forty weeks hence
You may come to a christening
Old man: O sirrah, I have caught you,
Now do the best you can
Your Schoolmaster nere taught you
To wrong an honest man
Simp: Good Sir, I never went to schole,
Then why am I abused?
The truth is, I am but a foole,
And like a fool am used
Old man: Yet sirrah you had wit enough
To think to cuckold me
Wife: I jested with him, husband,
His knavery to see.
Simp: But now you talk of knaverie
I pray where is my sack?
Old man: You shall want it in your belly, sir
And have it one your back
				They beat him off

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