An Arthurian Miscellany at sacred-texts.com
TOM THUMB, A TRAGEDY
KING ARTHUR, (Mr. Mullart. )
TOM THUMB, (Miss Jones. )
Lord GRIZZLE, (Mr. Jones. )
Mr. NOODLE, (Mr. Marshall. )
Mr. DOODLE, (Mr. Reynolds ).
1 PHYSICIAN, (Mr. Hallam ).
2 PHYSICIAN, (Mr. Dove ).
QUEEN DOLLALOLLA, (Mrs. Mullart ).
PRINCESS HUNCAMUNCA, (Mrs. Jones ).
ACT I. SCENE I.
SCENE The Palace.
Mr. Doodle, Mr. Noodle.
DOODLE . Sure, such a Day as this was never seen!
The Sun himself, on this auspicious Day
Shines like a Beau in a new Birth-Day Suit:
All Nature, O my Noodle! grins for Joy.
NOODLE . This Day, O Mr. Doodle ! is a Day
Indeed, a Day we never saw before.
The mighty Thomas Thumb victorious comes;
Millions of Giants crowd his Chariot Wheels,
Who bite their Chains, and frown and foam like Mad-Dogs.
He rides, regardless of their ugly Looks.
So some Cock-Sparrow in a Farmer's Yard,
Hops at the Head of an huge Flock of Turkeys.
DOODLE. When Goody Thumb first brought this Thomas forth,
The Genius of our Land triumphant reign'd;
Then, then, O Arthur ! did thy Genius reign.
NOODLE . They tell me, it is whisper'd in the Books
Of all our Sages, That this mighty Hero
(By Merlin's Art begot) has not a Bone
Within his Skin, but is a Lump of Gristle.
DOODLE. Wou'd Arthur's Subjects were such Gristle, all!
He then might break the Bones of ev'ry Foe.
NOODLE. But hark! these Trumpets speak the King's Approach.
DOODLE. He comes most luckily for my Petition!
Let us retire a little.
King, Queen, Lord Grizzle, Doodle, Noodle.
KING . Let nothing but a Face of Joy appear;
The Man who frowns this Day, shall lose his Head,
That he may have no Face to frown again.
Smile, Dollalolla; -Ha! what wrinkled Sorrow
Sits, like some Mother Demdike , on thy Brow?
Whence flow those Tears fast down thy blubber'd Cheeks,
Like a swoln Gutter, gushing through the Streets?
QUEEN. Excess of Joy, my Lord, I've heard Folks say,
Gives Tears, as often as Excess of Grief.
KING. If it be so, let all Men cry for Joy,
'Till my whole Court be drowned with their Tears;
Nay, 'till they overflow my utmost Land,
And leave me nothing but the Sea to rule.
DOODLE. My Liege! I've a Petition-
KING. Petition me no Petitions, Sir, to-day;
Let other Hours be set apart for Bus'ness.
To-day it is our Pleasure to be drunk,
And this our Queen shall be as drunk as us.
QUEEN. If the capacious Goblet overflow
With Arrack-Punch -'fore George ! I'll see it out;
Of Rum , or Brandy , I'll not taste a Drop.
KING. Tho' Rack , in Punch , Eight Shillings be a Quart,
And Rum and Brandy be no more than Six,
Rather than quarrel, you shall have your Will.
But, ha! the Warrior comes; Tom Thumb approaches;
The welcome Hero, Giant-killing Lad,
Preserver of my Kingdom, is arrived.
Tom Thumb, attended; King, Queen, Lord Grizzle, Doodle, Noodle.
KING. O welcome, ever welcome to my Arms,
My dear Tom Thumb ! How shall I thank thy Merit?
THUMB. By not b'ing thank'd at all, I'm thank'd enough;
My Duty I have done, and done no more.
QUEEN. Was ever such a lovely Creature seen! [ Aside.
KING. Thy Modesty's a Candle to thy Merit,
It shines itself, and shews thy Merit too.
Vain Impudence, if it be ever found
With Virtue, like the Trumpet in a Consort,
Drowns the sweet Musick of the softer Flute.
But say, my Boy, where didst thou leave the Giants?
THUMB. My Liege, without the Castle Gates they stand,
The Castle Gates too low for their Admittance.
KING. What look they like?
THUMB. Like twenty Things, my Liege;
Like twenty thousand Oaks, by Winter's Hand
Stripp'd of their Blossoms; like a Range of Houses,
When Fire has burnt their Timber all away.
KING. Enough: The vast Idea fills my Soul;
I see them, yes, I see them now before me.
The monst'rous, ugly, barb'rous Sons of Whores,
Which, like as many rav'nous Wolves, of late
Frown'd grimly o'er the Land, like Lambs look now.
O Thumb , what do we to thy Valour owe!
The Princess Huncamunca is thy Prize.
QUEEN. Ha! Be still, my Soul!
THUMB. Oh, happy, happy Hearing!
Witness, ye Stars! cou'd Thumb have ever set
A Bound to his Ambition - it had been
The Princess Huncamunca, in whose Arms
Eternity would seem but half an Hour.
QUEEN. Consider, Sir, reward your Soldier's Merit,
But give not Huncamunca to Tom Thumb.
KING. Tom Thumb! Odzooks, my wide extended Realm
Knows not a Name so glorious as Tom Thumb.
Not Alexander , in his highest Pride,
Could boast of Merits greater than Tom Thumb.
Not Caesar, Scipio , all the Flow'rs of Rome ,
Deserv'd their Triumphs better than Tom Thumb.
QUEEN. Tho' greater yet his boasted Merit was,
He shall not have the Pricess, that is Pos'.
KING. Say you so, Madam? We will have a Trial.
When I consent, what Pow'r has your Denial?
For when the Wife her Husband over-reaches,
Give him the Petticoat, and her the Breeches.
NOODLE. Long Health and Happiness attend the General!
Long may he live, as now, the publick Joy,
While ev'ry Voice is burthen'd with his Praise.
THUMB. Whisper, ye Winds! that Huncamunca's mine;
Ecchoes repeat; that Huncamunca's mine!
The dreadful Bus'ness of the War is over,
And Beauty, heav'nly Beauty! crowns the Toil.
I've thrown the bloody Garment now aside,
And Hymeneal Sweets invite my Bride.
So when some Chimney-Sweeper, all the Day,
Has through dark Paths pursu'd the sooty Way,
At Night, to wash his Face and Hands he flies,
And in his t'other Shirt with his Brickdusta lies.
[ Exeunt all but Grizzle.
Lord Grizzle, Solus.
GRIZZLE. See how the cringing Coxcombs fawn upon him!
The Sun-shine of a Court can, in a Day,
Ripen the vilest Insect to an Eagle:
And every little Wretch, who but an Hour
Before had scorn'd, and trod him under Feet,
Shall lift his Eyes aloft, to gaze at distance,
And flatter what they scorn'd.
Enter Queen, to Lord Grizzle.
QUEEN. Well met, My Lord,
You are the Man I sought. Have you not heard
(What ev'ry Corner of the Court resounds)
That little Thumb will be a great Man made.
GRIZZLE. I heard it, I confess - for who, alas!
Can always stop his Ears - but would my Teeth,
By grinding Knives, had first been set on Edge.
QUEEN. Would I had heard at the still Noon of Night
The dreadful Cry of Fire in ev'ry Street!
Odsbobs! I could almost destroy myself,
To think I should a Grand-mother be made
By such a Rascal. - Sure, the King forgets,
When in a Pudding, by his Mother put,
The Bastard, by a Tinker, on a Stall
Was dropp'd. - O, good Lord Grizzle ! can I bear
To see him, from a Pudding, mount the Throne?
GRIZZLE. Oh Horror! Horror! Horror! cease my Queen,
Thy Voice, like twenty Screech-Owls, wracks my Brain.
QUEEN. Then rouze thy Spirit - we may yet prevent
This hated Match.-
GRIZZLE. We will. - Not Fate, itself,
Should it conspire with Thomas Thumb, should cause it.
I'll swim through Seas; I'll ride upon the Clouds;
I'll dig the Earth; I'll blow out ev'ry Fire;
I'll rave; I'll rant; I'll rush; I'll rise; I'll roar
Fierce as the Man whom smiling Dolphins bore,
From the Prosaick to Poetick Shore.
I'll tear the Scoundrel into twenty Pieces.
QUEEN. Oh, no! prevent the Match, but hurt him not;
For, tho' I would not have him have my Daughter,
Yet, can we kill the Man who kill'd the Giants?
GRIZZLE. I tell you Madam, it was all a Trick,
He made the Giants first, and then he kill'd them;
As Fox-hunters bring Foxes to a Wood,
And then with Hounds they drive them out again.
QUEEN. How! Have you seen no Giants? Are there not
Now, in the Yard, ten thousand proper Giants?
GRIZZLE. Indeed, I cannot positively tell,
But firmly do believe there is not one.
QUEEN. Hence! from my Sight! thou Traytor, hie away;
By all my Stars! thou enviest Tom Thumb.
Go, Sirrah! go; hie away!hie! - thou art
A Setting-Dog - and like one I use thee.
GRIZZLE. Madam, I go.
Tom Thumb shall feel the Vengeance you have rais'd.
So when two Dogs are fighting in the Streets,
With a third dog, the Dog contending meets,
With angry Teeth, he bites him to the Bone,
And this Dog smarts for what that Dog had done.
QUEEN. And whither shall I go? - Alack-a-day!
I love Tom Thumb - but must not tell him so;
For what's a Woman, when her Virtue's gone?
A Coat without its Lace; Wig out of Buckle;
A Stocking with a Hole in't. - I can't live
Without my Virtue, or without Tom Thumb.
Then let me weigh them in two equal Scales,
In this Scale put my Virtue, that, Tom Thumb.
Alas! Tom Thumb is heavier than my Virtue.
But hold!-Perhaps I may be left a Widow:
This Match prevented, then Tom Thumb is mine,
In that dear Hope, I will forget my Pain.
So when some Wench to Tothill-Bridewell's sent,
With beating Hemp, and Flogging, she's content;
She hopes, in Time, to ease her present Pain;
At length is free, and walks the Streets again.
ACT II. SCENE I.
Huncamunca, Cleora, Mustacha.
HUNCAMUNCA . Give me some Musick to appease my Soul,
Gentle Cleora, sing my fav'rite Song.
Cupid, ease a Love-sick Maid,
Bring thy Quiver to her Aid;
With equal Ardor wound the Swain:
Beauty should never sigh in vain.
Let him feel the pleasing Smart,
Drive thy Arrow through his Heart,
When one you wound, you then destroy;
When both you kill, you kill with Joy.
HUNCAMUNCA. O Tom Thumb! Tom Thumb! wherefore art
thou Tom Thumb?
Why had'st thou not been born of Royal Blood?
Why had not mighty Bantam been thy Father?
Or else the King of Brentford, Old or New?
MUSTACHA. I am surprized that your Highness can give your
self a Moment's uneasiness about that little insignificant Fellow,
Tom Thumb. One properer for a Play-thing than a Husband. -
Were he my Husband, his Horns should be as long as his Body.-
If you had fallen in Love with a Grenadier, I should not have
wondered at it. If you had fallen in Love with Something; but to
fall in Love with Nothing!
HUNCAMUNCA. Cease, my Mustacha , on your Duty cease.
The Zephyr , when in flowry Vales it plays,
Is not so soft, so sweet as Thummy's Breath.
The Dove is not so gentle to its Mate.
MUSTACHA. The Dove is every bit as proper for a Husband.
Alas! Madam, there's not a Beau about the Court that looks so
little like a Man. He is a perfect Butterfly, a Thing without
Substance, and almost without Shadow too.
HUNCAMUNCA. This Rudeness is unseasonable; desist,
Or I shall think this Railing comes from Love.
Tom Thumb's a Creature of that charming Form,
That no one can abuse, unless they love him.
CLEORA. Madam, the King.
KING. Let all but Huncamunca leave the Room.
[ Exit Cleora, and Mustacha.
Daughter, I have of late observ'd some Grief
Unusual in your Countenance, your Eyes
That, like two open Windows, us'd to shew
The lovely Beauty of the Room within,
Have now two Blinds before them - What is the Cause?
Say, have you not enough of Meat or Drink?
We've giv'n strict Orders not to have you stinted.
HUNCAMUNCA. Alas! my Lord, a tender Maid may want
What she can neither eat nor drink -
KING. What's that?
HUNCAMUNCA. Oh! Spare my Blushes, but I mean a Husband.
KING. If that be all, I have provided one,
A Husband great in Arms, whose warlike Sword
Streams with the yellow Blood of slaughter'd Giants.
Whose Name in Terrâ incognitâ is known,
Whose Valour, Wisdom, Virtue make a Noise,
Great as the Kettle Drums of twenty Armies.
HUNCAMUNCA. Whom does my Royal Father mean?
KING. Tom Thumb.
HUNCAMUNCA. Is it possible?
KING. Ha! the Window-Blinds are gone,
A Country Dance of Joys is in your Face,
Your Eyes spit Fire, your Cheeks grow red as Beef.
HUNCAMUNCA. O, there's a Magick-musick in that Sound,
Enough to turn me into Beef indeed.
Yes, I will own, since licens'd by your Word,
I'll own Tom Thumb the Cause of all my Grief.
For him I've sigh'd, I've wept, I've gnaw'd my Sheets.
King, Huncamunca, Doodle.
DOODLE. Oh! fatal News-the great Tom Thumb is dead .
KING. How dead!
DOODLE. Alas! as dead as a Door-Nail.
Help, help, the Princess faints!
KING. Fetch her a Dram.
HUNCAMUNCA. Under my Bed you'll find a Quart of Rum.
[ Exit Doodle.
KING. How does my pretty Daughter?
HUNCAMUNCA. Thank you, Papa,
I'm something better now.
KING. What Slave waits there?
[ Enter Slave.
Go order the Physicians strait before me,
That did attend Tom Thumb - now by my Stars,
Unless they give a full and true Account
Of his Distemper, they shall all be hang'd.
DOODLE. [ returns .] Here is the Bottle, and here is the Glass.
I found them both together-
KING. Give them me.
[ fills the Glass.
Drink it all off, it will do you no harm.
King, Huncamunca, Doodle, Physicians.
I PHYSICIAN. We here attend your Majesty's Command.
KING. Of what Distemper did Tom Thumb demise?
I PHYSICAN. He died, may it please your Majesty, of a
Distemper which Paracelsus calls the Diaphormane, Hippocrates the
Catecumen, Galen, the Regon -He was taken with a Dizziness in
his Head, for which I bled him, and put on Four Blisters-he
then had the Gripes, wherefore I thought it proper to apply
a Glister, a Purge, and a Vomit.
2 PHYSICIAN. Doctor, you mistake the Case; the Distemper
was not the Diaphormane, as you vainly imagine; it was the
Peripilusis -and tho' I approve very much of all that you did-let
me tell you, you did not do half enough-you know he complained
of a Pain in his Arm, I would immediately have cut off his Arm,
and have laid open his Head, to which I would have applied
some Trahifick Plaister; after that I would have proceeded to my
Catharticks, Emeticks, and Diureticks.
I PHYSICIAN. In the Peripilusis indeed these Methods are not
only wholesome but necessary: but in the Diaphormane otherwise.
2 PHYSICIAN. What are the Symptoms of the Diaphormane?
I PHYSICIAN. They are various-very various and uncertain.
2 PHYSICIAN. Will you tell me that a Man died of the Diaphomane
in one Hour-when the Crisis of that Distemper does not rise till
I PHYSICIAN. The Symptoms are various, very various and
[To them.] Tom Thumb attended.
THUMB. Where is the Princess? where's my Huncamunca?
Lives she? O happy Thumb! for even now
A Murmur humming skips about the Court,
That Huncamunca was defunct.
KING. Bless me!
Ye Blazing Stars - sure 'tis Illusion all.
Are you Tom Thumb , and are you too alive?
THUMB. Tom Thumb I am, and eke also alive.
KING. And have you not been dead at all? -
TOM THUMB. Not I.
I PHYSICIAN. I told you, Doctor, that Cathartick would
do his Business.
2 PHYSICIAN. Ay, and I am very much surprised to find
it did not.
King, Tom Thumb, Huncamunca, Physicians, Doodle, Noodle.
NOODLE. Great News, may it please your Majesty, I bring,
A Traytor is discover'd, who design'd
To kill Tom Thumb with Poison.
KING. Ha! say you?
NOODLE. A Girl had dress'd her Monkey in his Habit,
And that was poison'd by mistake for Thumb.
KING. Here are Physicians for you, whose nice Art
Can take a dress'd Monkey for a Man.
Come to my Arms, by dearest Son-in-Law!
Happy's the wooing, that's not long a doing;
Proceed we to the Temple, there to tye
The burning Bridegroom to the blushing Bride.
And if I guess aright, Tom Thumb this Night
Shall give a Being to a new Tom Thumb.
THUMB. It shall be my Endeavour so to do.
HUNCAMUNCA. O fie upon you, Sir, you make me blush.
THUMB. It is the Virgin's sign, and suits you well-
I know not where, nor how, nor what I am,
I'm so transported, I have lost my self.
HUNCAMUNCA. Forbid it, all the Stars; for you're so small,
That were you lost, you'd find your self no more.
So the unhappy Sempstress lost, they say,
Her Needle in a Bottle full of Hay.
In vain she look'd, and look'd, and made her Moan;
For ah! the Needle was for ever gone.
[Ex. King, &c.
I PHYSICIAN. Pray, Doctor Church-yard , what is your Peripi-
lusis? I did not care to own my Ignorance to the King; but I
never heard of such a Distemper before?
2 PHYSICIAN. Truly, Doctor Fillgrave , it is more nearly allied
to the Diaphormane than you imagine-and when you know the
one, you will not be very far from finding out the other. But it is
now past Ten; I must haste to Lord Weekleys , for he'll be dead
before Eleven, and so I shall lose my Fee.
I PHYSICIAN. So Doctor, your Servant.
[ Exeunt severally.
Enter QUEEN sola.
QUEEN. How am I forc'd to wander thus alone,
As if I were the Phaenix of my Kind;
Tom Thumb is lost-yet Hickathrift remains,
And Hickathrift's as great a Man as Thumb.
Be he then our Gallant-but ha! what Noise
Comes trav'ling onward, bellowing as loud
As Thunder rumbling through th' AEtherial Plains?
King, Queen, Huncamunca, Courtiers.
KING. Open the Prisons, set the Wretched free,
And bid our Treasurer disburse Six Pounds
To pay their Debts-Let no one weep to-day.
Come, my fair Consort, sit thee down by me.
Here seated, let us view the Dancers Sport,
Bid them advance.-This is the Wedding-Day
Of Princess Huncamunca and Tom Thumb.
[Dance, Epithalamium , and Sports.
SCENE The Last
Noodle, King, Queen, Huncamunca, Courtiers.
NOODLE. Oh Monstrous! Dreadful! Terrible! Oh! Oh!
Deaf be my Ears, for ever blind my Eyes,
Dumb be my Tongue, Feet lame, all Senses lost.
KING. What does the Blockhead mean?
NOODLE. Whilst from my Garret
I look'd abroad into the Street below,
I saw Tom Thumb attended by the Mob,
Twice twenty Shoe-boys, twice two Dozen Links,
Chairmen, and Porters, Hackney Coachmen, Whores;
When on the sudden through the Streets there came
A Cow, of larger than the usual Size,
And in a Moment, guess, oh! guess the rest,
And in a Moment swallow'd up Tom Thumb.
KING. Horrible indeed!
GRIZZLE. Swallowed she him alive?
NOODLE. Alive, alive, Lord Grizzle; so the Boys
Of Fishmongers do swallow Gudgeons down.
GRIZZLE. Curse the Cow that took my Vengeance
from me. [ Aside.
KING. Shut up again the Prisons, bid my Teasurer
Not give three Farthings out - hang all the Culprits,
Guilty or not - no matter - ravish Virgins,
Go bid the School-masters whip all their Boys;
Let Lawyers, Parsons, and Physicians loose,
To rob, impose on, and to kill the World.
[ Ghost of Tom Thumb rises.
GHOST. Tom Thumb I am - but am not eke alive.
My Body's in the Cow, my Ghost is here.
GRIZZLE. Thanks, O ye Stars, my Vengeance is restor'd,
Nor shalt thou fly me - for I'll kill thy Ghost.
[Kills the Ghost.
HUNCAMUNCA. O barbarous Deed! - I will revenge him so.
[ Kills Grizzle.
DOODLE. Ha! Grizzle kill'd - then Murtheress beware.
[ Kills Huncamunca.
QUEEN. O Wretch! - have at thee.
[ Kills Doodle.
NOODLE. And have at thee too.
[ Kills the Queen.
CLEORA Thou'st kill'd the Queen.
[ Kills Noodle.
MUSTACHA. And thou hast kill'd my Lover.
[ Kills Cleora.
KING. Ha! Murtheress vile, take that.
[ Kills Mustacha.
And take thou this.
[ Kills himself, and falls.
So when the Child whom Nurse from Mischief guards,
Sends Jack for Mustard with a Pack of Cards;
Kings, Queens and Knaves, throw one another down,
'Till the whole Pack lies scatter'd and o'erthrown;
So all our Pack upon the Floor is cast,
And all I boast is, that I fall the last.
Next: The Tragedy of Tragedies, by Henry Fielding