The Shoemaker’s Holiday – Dramatis Personæ

The Shoemaker’s Holiday

A Pleasant Comedy of the Gentle Craft

Dramatis Personæ

KING OF ENGLAND.
EARL OF LINCOLN.
EARL OF CORNWALL.
SIR ROGER OTLEY, Lord Mayor of London.
SIMON EYRE, shoemaker and afterwards Lord Mayor.
ROWLAND LACY, nephew to Lincoln, afterwards disguised as Hans Meulter.
ASKEW, cousin to Lacy.
HAMMON, a city gentleman.
WARNER, cousin to Hammon.
MASTER SCOTT, friend to Otley.
HODGE (also called ROGER), foreman to Eyre.
FIRK, journeyman to Eyre.
RALPH DAMPORT, journeyman to Eyre.
LOVELL, servant to the King.
DODGER, parasite to Lincoln.
Dutch Skipper.
Boy, apprentice to Eyre.
Boy, servant to Otley.
Servingman to Hammon.

MARGERY, wife to Eyre.
ROSE, daughter to Otley.
JANE, wife to Ralph Damport.
SYBIL, maid to Rose.

Noblemen, Soldiers, Huntsmen, Shoemakers, Apprentices, Servants.

—–

The text of The Shoemaker’s Holiday, as it has come down to us, commences with the following salutation to the readers, followed by two “Three-Man” songs, which would have been sung at key moments during the performance.

—–

TO ALL GOOD FELLOWS, PROFESSORS OF THE
GENTLE CRAFT, OF WHAT DEGREE SOEVER

Kind gentlemen and honest boon companions, I present you here with a merry conceited comedy, called The Shoemaker’s Holiday, acted by my Lord Admiral’s players this present Christmas before the Queen’s most excellent Majesty; for the mirth and pleasant matter by her Highness graciously accepted, being indeed no way offensive.  The argument of the play I will set down in this epistle:  Sir Hugh Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, had a young gentleman of his own name, his near kinsman, that loved the Lord Mayor’s daughter of London; to prevent and cross which love, the Earl caused his kinsman to be sent coronel of a company into France; who resigned his place to another gentleman, his friend, and came disguised like a Dutch shoemaker to the house of Simon Eyre in Tower Street, who served the Mayor and his household with shoes; the merriments that passed in Eyre’s house, his coming to be Mayor of London, Lacy’s getting his love, and other accidents, with two merry three-men’s songs.  Take all in good worth that is well intended, for nothing is purposed but mirth:  mirth lengtheneth long life, which with all other blessings I heartily wish you.
Farewell.

—–

THE FIRST THREE-MAN’S SONG

O the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green;
O and then did I unto my true love say,
Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my Summer’s Queen.

Now the Nightengale, the pretty Nightengale,
The sweetest singer in all the forest’s choir,
Entreats thee, sweet Peggy, to hear thy true love’s tale:
Lo, yonder she sitteth, her breast against a brier.

But O I spy the Cuckoo, the Cuckoo, the Cuckoo;
See where she sitteth, come away my joy:
Come away I prithee, I do not like the Cuckoo
Should sing where my Peggy and I kiss and toy.

O the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green;
O and then did I unto my true love say,
Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my Summer’s Queen.

THE SECOND THREE-MAN’S SONG

This is to be sung at the latter end.

Cold’s the wind, and wet’s the rain,
Saint Hugh be our good speed;
Ill is the weather that bringeth no gain,
Nor helps good hearts in need.

Trowl the bowl, the jolly nut-brown bowl,
And here kind mate to thee;
Let’s sing a dirge for Saint Hugh’s soul
And down it merrily.

Down a down, hey down a down,
Hey derry derry, down a down;                                     Close with the tenor boy
Ho well done, to me let come,
Ring compass gentle joy.

Trowl the bowl, the nut-brown bowl
And here kind &c.  as often as there be men to drink

At last when all have drunk, this verse:

Cold’s the wind, and wet’s the rain,
Saint Hugh be our good speed;
Ill is the weather that bringeth no gain,
Nor helps good hearts in need.

-----

Proceed to Prologue

Return to Introduction

Return to Dekker Page.

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