The Liststers' Play: Christ Before Herod

Pes, ye brothellis and browlys in this broydenesse inbrased,
And freykis that are frendely your freykenesse to frayne,
Youre tounges fro tretyng of triffillis be trased,
Or this brande that is bright schall breste in youre brayne.
Plextis for no plasis but platte you to this playne,
And drawe to no drofyng but dresse you to drede,
With dasshis.7
Traueylis noyot as traytours that tristis in trayne,
Or by the bloode that Mahounde bledde with this blad schal ye blede.
Thus schall I brittyn all youre bones on brede,
Yae, and lusshe all youre lymmys with lasschis.
Dragons that are dredfull schall derke in ther dennes
In wrathe when we writhe, or in wrathenesse ar wapped.
Agaynste jeauntis ongentill haue we joined with ingendis,
And swannys that are swymmyng to oure swetnes schall be suapped,
And joged doune ther jolynes oure gentries engenderand.
Whoso repreue oure estate we schall choppe tham in cheynes,
All renkkis that are renand to vs schall be reuerande.
Therfore I bidde you sese or any bale be,19
That no brothell be so bolde boste for to blowes.
And yoe that luffis youre liffis, listen to me
As a lorde that is lerned to lede you be lawes.
And ye that are of my men and of my menyoe,
Sen we are comen fro oure kyth as yoe wele knawes,
And semlys all here same in this cyté,25
It sittis vs in sadnesse to sette all oure sawes.
Dux 1
My lorde, we schall take kepe to youre call27
And stirre to no stede but yoe steuen vs,
No greuaunce to grete ne to small.
Ya, but loke that no fawtes befall.30
Dux 2
Lely my lord so we shall,31
Ye nede not no more for to nevyn vs.
Dux 1
Mounseniour, demene you to menske in mynde what I mene
And boune to youre bedward, for so holde I best,
For all the comons of this courte bene avoyde clene,
And ilke a renke, as resoune as, are gone to ther reste-
Wherfore I counsaile, my lorde, yoe comaunde you a drynke.
Nowe certis, I assente as thou sais.38
Se ych a qwy is wente on his ways
Lightly withouten any delayes.
Giffe vs wyne wynly and late vs go wynke,
And se that no durdan be done.
Dux 1
My lorde, vnlase you to lye,43
Here schall none come for to crye.
Nowe spedely loke that thou spie45
That no noyse be neghand this none.
Dux 1
My lorde, youre bedde is new made, you nedis noyot for to bide it.
Ya, but as thou luffes me hartely, laye me doune softely,
For thou wotte full wele that I am full tendirly hydid.
Dux 1
Howe lye yoe my goode lorde?50
Right wele, be this light,50
All hole at my desire.
Wherfore I praye ser Satan oure sire,
And Lucifer moste luffely of lyre,
He sauffe you all sirs, and giffe you goode nyght.
Miles 1
Sir knyght, ye wote we ar warned to wende55
To witte of this warlowe what is the kyngis will.
Miles 2
Sir, here is Herowde all even here at oure hende,57
And all oure entente tyte schall we tell hym vntill.
Miles 1
Who is here?59
Dux 1
Who is there?59
Miles 1
Sir, we are knyghtis kende59
Is comen to youre counsaill this carle for to kill.
Dux 1
Sirs, but youre message may myrthis amende,61
Stalkis furthe be yone stretis or stande stone still.
Miles 2
Yis certis ser, of myrthis we mene,63
The kyng schall haue matteres to melle hym.
The kyng schall haue matteres to melle hym.
We brynge here a boy vs betwene,
Wherefore to haue worschippe we wene.
Dux 1
Wele sirs, so that it turne to no tene,67
Tentis hym and we schall go telle hym.
My lorde, yondir is a boy boune that brought is in blame,
Haste you in hye, thei houe at youre yoate.
What, and schall I rise nowe, in the deuyllis name,
To stighill amang straungeres in stales of astate?
But haue here my hande, halde nowe,
And se that my sloppe be wele sittande.
Dux 1
My lorde, with a goode will Y wolde youe,75
No wrange will I witte at my wittande.
But my lorde, we can tell yoou of vncouthe tythande.
Ya, but loke ye telle vs no tales but trewe.78
Dux 2
My lorde, thei bryng you yondir a boy boune in a bande
That bodus outhir bourdyng or bales to brewe.
Thanne gete we some harrowe full hastely at hande.81
Dux 1
My lorde, ther is some note that is nedfull to neven you of new.
Why, hoppis thou thei haste hym to hyng?83
Dux 2
We wotte noght ther will nor ther wenyng,84
But boodword full blithely thei bryng.
Nowe do than and late vs se of there sayng.86
Dux 2
Lo sirs, ye schall carpe with the kyng,87
And telles to hym manly youre menyng.
Miles 1
Lorde, welthis and worschippis be with you alway.89
What wolde you?90
Miles 2
A worde, lorde, and youre willes were.90
Well, saye on than.91
Miles 1
My lorde, we fare foolys to flay91
That to you wolde forfette.
We, faire falle you therfore.92
Miles 1
My lorde, fro yoe here what we saie93
Itt will heffe vppe youre hertis.
Ya, but saie what heynde haue yoe thore?94
Miles 2
A presente fro Pilate, lorde, the prince of oure lay.
Pese in my presence, and nemys hym no more.96
Miles 1
My lorde, he woll worschippe you faine.97
I consayue yoe are ful foes of hym.98
Miles 2
My lorde, he wolde menske you with mayne,99
And therfore he sendis you this swayne.
Gose tyte with that gedlyng agayne,101
And saie hym a borowed bene sette I noght be hym.
Dux 1
A, my lorde, with youre leve, thei haue faren ferre,
And for to fraiste of youre fare was no folye.
Dux 2
My lorde, and this gedlyng go thus it will greue werre,
For he gares growe on this grounde grete velanye.
Why, menys thou that that myghtyng schulde my myghtes marre?
Dux 1
Nay lorde, but he makis on this molde mekill maystrie.
Go ynne, and late vs see of the sawes ere,109
And but yf thei be to oure bordyng, thai both schalle abye.
Miles 2
My lorde, we were worthy to blame111
To brynge you any message of mysse.
Why than, can ye nemyn vs his name?113
Miles 1
Sir, Criste haue we called hym at hame.114
O, this is the ilke selue and the same-115
Nowe sirs, ye be welcome ywisse.
And in faith I am fayne he is fonne,
His farles to frayne and to fele;
Nowe thes games was grathely begonne.
Miles 2
Lorde, lely that likis vs wele.120
Ya, but dar yoe hete hartely that harlott is he?121
Miles 1
My lorde, takis hede and in haste ye schall here howe.
Ya, but what menys that this message was made vnto me?
Miles 2
My lorde, for it touches to tresoune I trowe.124
Miles 1
My lorde, he is culpabill kende in oure contré
Of many perillus poyntis, as Pilate preves nowe.
Miles 2
My lorde, when Pilate herde he had gone thurgh Galylé
He lerned vs that that lordschippe longed to yoou,
And or he wiste what youre willis were,
No ferther wolde he speke for to spille hym.
Thanne knawes he that oure myghtis are the more?131
Miles 1
Ya, certis sir, so saie we thore.132
Nowe sertis, and oure frenschippe therfore133
We graunte hym, and no greuaunce we will hym.
And sirs, ye are welcome ywisse as ye wele awe,
And for to wende at youre wille Y you warande,
For I haue coveite kyndely that comely to knawe,
For men carpis that the carle schulde be konnand.
Miles 2
My lorde, wolde he saie you soth of his sawe,139
Ye saugh nevir slik selcouth, be see nor be sande.
Nowe gois abakke both and late the boy blowe,141
For I hope we gete some harre hastely at hande.
Miles 1
Jerusalem and the Jewes may haue joie143
And hele in ther herte for to here hym.
Saie, beene-venew in bone fay,145
Ne plesew a parle remoy?
Miles 2
Nay my lorde, he can of no bourdyng, this boy.147
No sir? With thi leue we schall lere hym.148
Filius 1
Mi lorde, se ther knyghtis that knawe and are kene,
How thai come to youre courte withoutyn any call.
Ya sone, and musteris grete maistries, what may this bymene?
Dux 1
My lorde, for youre myghtis are more than thei all152
They seke you as souerayne, and sertis that is sene.
Nowe certis, sen yoe saie so, assaie hym I schall,154
For I am fayner of that freyke then othir fiftene,
Yae, and hym that firste fande, faire myght hym fall.
Miles 1
Lorde, lely we lereth you no legh,157
This liffe that he ledis will lose hym.
Wele sirs, drawes you adrygh,159
And bewscheris, bryngis yoe hym nygh,
For yif all that his sleghtis be slye
Yitte or he passe we schalle appose hym.
O, my harte hoppis for joie
To se nowe this prophette appere.
We schall haue goode game with this boy-165
Takis hede, for in haste yoe schall here.
I leve we schall laugh and haue likyng
To se nowe this lidderon her he leggis oure lawis.
Dux 2
Harke cosyne, thou comys to karpe with a kyng,169
Take tente and be conande, and carpe as thou knowis.
Dux 1
Ya, and loke that thou be not a sotte of thy saying,
But sadly and sone thou sette all thi sawes.
Hym semys full boudisch, that boy that thei bryng.173
Dux 2
Mi lorde, and of his bordyng grete bostyng men blawes.
Whi, therfore haue I soughte hym to see.175
Loke, bewsheris, ye be to oure bodis boune.
Dux 1
Knele doune here to the kyng on thy knee.177
Dux 2
Naye, nedelyngis yt will not be.178
Loo sirs, he mekis hym no more vnto me179
Thanne it were to a man of ther awne toune.
Dux 1
Whe! Go, lawmere, and lerne the to lowte181
Or thai more blame the to-bring.
Nay, dredeles withouten any doute183
He knawes noyot the course of a kyng.
And her beeis in oure bale, bourde or we blynne-
Saie firste at the begynnyng withall, where was thou borne?
Do felawe, for thy faith, latte vs falle ynne.
Firste of thi ferleis, who fedde the beforne?
What, deynes thou not? Lo sirs, he deffis vs with dynne.
Say, whare ledde yoe this lidrone? His langage is lorne.
Miles 1
My lorde, his mervaylis to more and to myne191
Or musteres emange vs both mydday and morne.
Miles 2
Mi lorde, it were to fele193
Of wonderes, he workith tham so wightely.
Miles 1
Whe man, momelyng may nothyng avayle,195
Go to the kyng and tell hyme fro toppe vnto tayle.
Do bringe vs that boy vnto bale,197
For lely we leffe hym noyot lightly.
Dux 1
This mop mennes that he may marke men to ther mede;
He makes many maistries and mervayles emange.
Dux 2
V ml. folke faire gon he feede201
With fyve looffis and two fisshis to fange.
Howe fele folke sais thou he fedde?203
Dux 2
V ml. lorde, that come to his call.204
Ya boye? Howe mekill brede he them bedde?205
Dux 1
But v looffis dare I wele wedde.206
Nowe be the bloode that Mahounde bledde,207
What, this was a wondir at all.
Dux 2
Nowe lorde, ij fisshis blissid he efte209
And gaffe thame, and ther none was forgetyn.
Dux 1
Ya lorde, and xij lepfull ther lefte211
Of releue whan all men had eten.
Of such anodir mangery no man mene may.213
Dux 2
Mi lorde, but his maistries that musteris his myght.
But saie sirs, ar ther sawis soth that thei saie?215
Miles 2
Ya lorde, and more selcouth were schewed to oure sight.
One Lazar, a ladde that in oure lande lay,
Lay loken vndir layre fro lymme and fro light,
And his sistir come rakand in rewfull arraye.
And lorde, for ther raryng he raysed hym full right,
And fro his grath garte hym gang
Euere forthe, withouten any evill.222
We, such lesyngis lastis to lange.223
Miles 1
Why lorde, wene yoe that wordis be wronge?224
This same ladde leuys vs emang.
Why, there hope Y be dedis of the deuyll.226
Why schulde yoe haste hym to hyng
That sought not newly youre newys?
Miles 2
My lorde, for he callis hym a kyng229
And claymes to be a kyng of Jewis.
But saie, is he kyng in his kyth wher he come froo?
Miles 1
Nay lorde, but he callis hym a kyng his caris to kele.
Thanne is it litill wondir yf that he be woo,233
For to be weried with wrang sen he wirkis wele;
But he schalle sitte be myselfe sen yoe saie soo.
Comes nerre, kyng, into courte. Saie, can yoe not knele?
We schalle haue gaudis full goode and games or we goo.
Howe likis tha, wele lorde? Saie. What, deuyll, neuere a dele?
I faute in my reuerant in otill moy,239
I am of fauour, loo, fairer be ferre.
Kyte oute yugilment. Vta! Oy! Oy!
Be any witte that Y watte it will waxe werre.
Seruicia primet,
Such losellis and lurdaynes as thou, loo,
Respicias timet.245
What the deuyll and his dame schall Y now doo?
Do carpe on, carle, for Y can the cure.
Say, may thou not here me? Oy man, arte thou woode?
Nowe telle me faithfully before howe thou fore.
Forthe, frende. Be my faith, thou arte a fonde foode.
Dux 1
My lorde, it astonys hym, youre steuen is so store251
Hym had leuere haue stande stone still ther he stode.
And whedir the boy be abasshid of Herrowde byg blure
That were a bourde of the beste, be Mahoundes bloode.
Dux 2
My lorde, Y trowe youre fauchone hym flaies255
And lettis hym.
Nowe lely I leue the,256
And therfore schall Y waffe it away
And softely with a septoure assaie.
Nowe sir, be perte Y the pray,
For none of my gromys schall greue the.
Si loqueris tibi laus,
Pariter quoque prospera dantur;262
Si loqueris tibi fraus,
Fell fex et bella parantur.
Mi menne, yoe go menske hym with mayne,
And loke yhow that it wolde seme.
Dux 1
Dewcus fayff ser and sofferayne.267
Dux 2
Sir vdins amangidre demayne.268
Go aunswer thaym grathely agayne.269
What, deuyll, whedir dote we or dreme?
Miles 1
Naye we gete noyot o worde, dare Y wele wedde,271
For he is wraiste of his witte or will of his wone.
Ye saie he lakkid youre lawis as yoe that ladde ledde?
Miles 2
Ya lorde, and made many gaudis as we haue gone.274
Nowe sen he comes as a knave and as a knave cledde,
Wherto calle ye hym a kyng?
Dux 1
Nay lorde, he is none,276
But an harlotte is hee.
What, deuyll, Y ame harde stedde,277
A man myght as wele stere a stokke as a stone.
Filius 1
My lorde, this faitour so fouly is affrayde,279
He loked neuere of lorde so langly allone.
No sone, the rebalde seis vs so richely arayed281
He wenys we be aungelis euere-ilkone.
Dux 2
My lorde, Y holde hym agaste of youre gaye gere.283
Grete lordis augh to be gay.284
Here schall no man do to the dere,
And therfore yit nemyne in my nere-
For by the grete god, and thou garre me swere
Thou had neuere dole or this day.
Do carpe on tyte, karle, of thy kynne.
Dux 1
Nay, nedelyngis he neuyns you with none.290
That schalle he bye or he blynne-291
Dux 2
A, leves lorde.292
Lattis me allone.292
Dux 1
Nowe goode lorde, and ye may, meue you no more,293
Itt is not faire to feght with a fonned foode,
But gose to youre counsaille and comforte you there.
Thou sais soth. We schall see yf so will be goode,296
For certis oure sorowes are sadde.
Filius 2
What a deuyll ayles hym?298
Mi lorde, I can garre you be gladde,
For in tyme oure maistir is madde.
He lurkis, loo, and lokis like a ladde,
He is wode lorde, or ellis his witte faylis hym.
Filius 3
Mi lorde, yoe haue mefte you as mekill as yoe may,303
For yhe myght menske hym no more were he Mahounde;
And sen it semys to be soo, latte vs nowe assaie.
Loke, bewscheris, yoe be to oure bodis boune.306
Mi lorde, howe schulde he dowte vs? He dredis not youre dray.
Nowe do fourthe, the deuyll myght hym droune!308
And sen he freyms falsed and makis foule fraye,
Raris on hym rudely, and loke yoe not roune.
Filius 1
Mi lorde, I schall enforce myselffe sen yoe saie soo.
Felawe, be noyot afferde nor feyne not therfore,
But telle vs nowe some truffillis betwene vs twoo,
And none of oure men schall medill tham more.
And therfore by resoune array the,
Do telle vs some poynte for thy prowe.
Heris thou not what Y saie the?317
Thou mummeland myghtyng, I may the
Helpe, and turne the fro tene as Y trowe.
Filius 2
Loke vppe ladde, lightly, and loute to my lorde here,
For fro bale vnto blisse he may nowe the borowe.
Carpe on, knave, kantely, and caste the to corde here,
And saie me nowe somwhat, thou sauterell, with sorowe.
Why standis thou as stille as a stone here?
Spare not, but speke in this place here
Thou gedlyng, it may gayne the some grace here.326
Filius 3
My lorde, this faitour is so ferde in youre face here
None aunswere in this nede he nevyns you with none here.
Do bewsher, for Beliall bloode and his bonys,
Say somwhat-or it will waxe werre.
Filius 1
Nay, we gete nouyot one worde in this wonys.331
Filius 2
Do crie we all on hym at onys.332
All Chylder
Oyoez! Oyoez! Oyoez!333
O, yoe make a foule noyse for the nonys.333
Filius 3
Nedlyng my lorde, it is neuere the nerre.334
Filius 1
Mi lorde, all youre mutyng amendis not a myte,335
To medill with a madman is meruaille to me.
Comaunde youre knyghtis to clothe hym in white
And late hym carre as he come to youre contré.
Lo sirs, we lede you no lenger a lite,339
Mi sone has saide sadly how that it schuld be-
But such a poynte for a page is to parfite.
Dux 1
Mi lorde, fooles that are fonde thei falle such a fee.
What, in a white garmente to goo,343
Thus gayly girde in a gowne?
Dux 2
Nay lorde, but as a foole forcid hym froo.345
How saie yoe sirs, schulde it be soo?346
All Chylder
Ya lord.347
We, than is ther no more,347
But boldely bidde tham be boune.
Sir knyghtis, we caste to garre you be gladde,
Oure counsaile has warned vs wisely and wele.
White clothis we saie fallis for a fonned ladde,
And all his foly in faith fully we feele.
Dux 1
We will with a goode will for his wedis wende,353
For we wotte wele anowe what wedis he schall were.
Dux 2
Loo, here is an haterell here at youre hende355
Alle faciound therfore foolis to feere.
Miles 1
Loo here a joppon of joie,357
All such schulde be gode for a boy.
Dux 1
He schalle be rayed like a roye,359
And schall be fonne in his folie.
Dux 2
We, thanke tham, euyll motte thou the.361
Miles 1
Nay, we gete noyot a worde wele Y warand.362
Miles 2
Man, mustir some meruaile to me.363
Dux 1
What, wene yoe he be wiser than we?364
Leffe we and late the kyng see
Howe it is forcyd and farand.
Mi lorde, loke yf yoe be paied,
For we haue getyn hym his gere.
Why, and is this rebalde arayed?369
My blissing, bewscheris, yoe bere.
Gose, garre crye in my courte and grathely garre write
All the dedis that we haue done in this same degré.
And who fyndis hym greued late hym telle tyte,
And yf we fynde no defaute hym fallis to go free.
Dux 1
Oyoes! Yf any wight with this wriche any werse wate
Werkis beris wittenesse who so wirkis wrang,
Buske boldely to the barre his balis to abate,
For my lorde, be my lewté, will not be deland lang.
My lorde, here apperes none to appeyre his estate.
Wele thanne, fallis hym goo free.380
Sir knyghtis, thanne grathis you goodly to gange,
And repaire with youre present and saie to Pilate
We graunte hym oure frenschippe all fully to fang.
Miles 1
My lorde, with youre leue this way schall we lere,384
Vs likis no lenger here to abide.
Miles 2
Mi lorde, and he worthe ought in were,386
We come agayne with goode chere.
Nay bewscheris, yoe fynde vs not here,388
Oure leue will we take at this tyde
And rathely araye vs to reste,
For such notis has noyed vs or nowe.
Dux 1
Ya, certis lorde, so holde Y beste,392
For this gedlyng vngoodly has greued you.
Dux 2
Loke yoe bere worde as ye wotte,394
Howe wele we haue quitte vs this while.
Miles 1
We, wise men will deme it we dote396
But if we make ende of oure note.
Wendis fourth, the deuyll in thi throte,398
We fynde no defaute hym to file.
Wherfore schulde we flaye hym or fleme hym
We fynde noyot in rollis of recorde;
And sen that he is dome, for to deme hym,
Ware this a goode lawe for a lorde?
Nay losellis, vnlely yoe lerned all to late,404
Go lere thus lordingis of youre londe such lessons to lere.
Repaire with youre present and saie to Pilate
We graunte hym oure poure all playne to appere,
And also oure greuaunce forgeue we algate
And we graunte hym oure grace with a goode chere.
As touchyng this brothell that brawlis or debate,410
Bidde hym wirke as he will, and wirke noght in were.
Go telle hym this message fro me,
And lede fourth that mytyng, euyll motte he the.
Miles 1
Mi lorde, with youre leue, late hym be,414
For all to longe ledde hym haue we.
Miles 2
What, yoe sirs, my lorde, will yoe see?416
What, felawes? Take yoe no tente what I telle you417
And bid you? That yoman ye yoeme.
Miles 2
Mi lorde, we schall wage hym an ill way.419
Nay bewscheris, be not so bryme.420
Fare softely, for so will it seme.
Miles 1
Nowe sen we schall do as ye deme,422
Adewe sir.
Daunce on, in the deuyll way.423

2018 Nov 25  22:07:40