[Then in a resounding voice he begins an antiphon, "O clavis David," which the chorus follows with instruments, as before.
O perfect key of David, and high sceptre of the kindred of Jacob, which openest and no man sperith, thou speakest and no man openeth; come and deliver thy servant mankind, bound in prison, sitting in the darkness of sin and bitter damnation.
Baleus Prolocutor. The matters are such as we have uttered here, As ought not to slide from your memorial; For they have opened such comfortable gear, As is to the health of this kind universal, Graces of the Lord and promises liberal, Which he given to man for every age, To knit him to Christ, and so clear him of bondage. As St. Paul doth write unto the Corinthes plain, Our forefathers were under the cloud of darkness, And unto Christ's days did in the shadow remain; Yet were they not left, for of him they had promise All they received one spiritual feeding doubtless. They drank of the rock which them to life refreshed, For one saving health, in Christ, all they confessed. In the woman's seed was Adam first justified, So was faithful Noah, so was just Abraham; The faith in that seed in Moses forth multiplied, Likewise in David and Esaye that after came, And in John Baptist, which shewed the very Lamb. Though they so afar, yet all they had one justice One mass, as they call it, and in Christ one sacrifice. A man cannot here to God do better service, Than on this to ground his faith and understanding. For all the world's sin alone Christ payed the price, In his only death was man's life always resting, And not in will—works, nor yet in men's deserving, The light of our faith makes this thing evident, And not the practice of other experiment. Where is now free will, which the hypocrites comment? Whereby they report they may at their own pleasure Do good of themselves, though grace and faith be absent, And have good intents their madness with to measure. The will of the flesh is proved here small treasure, And so is man's will, for the grace of God doth all. More of this matter conclude hereafter we shall.
Thus endeth this tragedy or interlude, manifesting the chief promises of God unto Man by all ages in the old law, from the fall of Adam to the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Compiled by John Bayle. Anno Domini 1538.
"ST. GEORGE AND THE DRAGON"
A MODERN CORNISH CHRISTMAS PLAY
Saint George The Dragon Father Christmas The Doctor King of Egypt Turkish Knight The Giant Turpin
Enter the Turkish Knight.
Open your doors, and let me in, I hope your favours I shall win; Whether I rise or whether I fall, I'll do my best to please you all. St. George is here, and swears he will come in, And, if he does, I know he'll pierce my skin. If you will not believe what I do say, Let Father Christmas come in—clear the way. [Retires.
Enter Father Christmas.
Here come I, old Father Christmas, Welcome, or welcome not, I hope old Father Christmas Will never be forgot.
I am not come here to laugh or to jeer, But for a pocketfull of money, and a skinfull of beer, If you will not believe what I do say, Come in, the King of Egypt!—clear the way!
Enter the King of Egypt.
Here I, the King of Egypt, boldly do appear, St. George, St. George, walk in, my only son and heir. Walk in, my son St. George, and boldly act thy part, That all the people here may see thy wond'rous art.
Enter Saint George.
Here come I, St. George, from Britain did I spring, I'll fight the Dragon bold, my wonders to begin. I'll clip his wings, he shall not fly; I'll cut him down, or else I die.
Enter the Dragon.
Who's he that seeks the Dragon's blood, And calls so angry, and so loud? That English dog, will he before me stand? I'll cut him down with my courageous hand. With my long teeth, and scurvy jaw, Of such I'd break up half a score, And stay my stomach, till I'd more.
[St. George and the Dragon fight, the latter is killed.
Father Christmas. Is there a doctor to be found All ready, near at hand, To cure a deep and deadly wound, And make the champion stand.
Oh! yes, there is a doctor to be found All ready, near at hand, To cure a deep and deadly wound, And make the champion stand.
Father Christmas. What can you cure?
Doctor. All sorts of diseases, Whatever you pleases, The phthisic, the palsy, and the gout; If the devil's in, I'll blow him out.
Father Christmas. What is your fee?
Doctor. Fifteen pound, it is my fee, The money to lay down. But, as 'tis such a rogue as thee, I cure for ten pound.
I carry a little bottle of alicumpane; Here Jack, take a little of my flip flop, Pour it down thy tip top; Rise up and fight again.
[The Doctor performs his cure, the fight is renewed, and the Dragon again killed.
Saint George. Here am I, St. George, That worthy champion bold, And with my sword and spear I won three crowns of gold. I fought the fiery dragon, And brought him to the slaughter; By that I won fair Sabra, The King of Egypt's daughter. Where is the man, that now will me defy? I'll cut his giblets full of holes, and make his buttons fly.
The Turkish Knight advances.
Here come I, the Turkish Knight, Come from the Turkish land to fight. I'll fight St. George, who is my foe, I'll make him yield before I go; He brags to such a high degree, He thinks there's none can do the like of he.
Saint George. Where is the Turk, that will before me stand? I'll cut him down with my courageous hand.
[They fight, the Knight is overcome, and falls on one knee.
Turkish Knight. Oh! pardon me, St. George, pardon of thee I crave, Oh! pardon me this night, and I will be thy slave.
Saint George. No pardon shalt thou have, while I have foot to stand, So rise thee up again, and fight out sword in hand.
[They fight again, and the Knight is killed. Father Christmas calls for the Doctor, with whom the same dialogue occurs as before, and the cure is performed.
Enter the Giant Turpin.
Here come I, the Giant, bold Turpin is my name, And all the nations round do tremble at my fame. Where'er I go, they tremble at my sight, No lord or champion long with me would fight.
Saint George. Here's one that dares to look thee in the face, And soon will send thee to another place.
They fight, and the Giant is killed; medical aid is called in as before, and the cure performed by the Doctor, to whom then is given a basin of girdy grout and a kick, and driven out.
Father Christmas. Now, ladies and gentlemen, your sport is most ended, So prepare for the hat, which is highly commended. The hat it would speak, if it had but a tongue; Come throw in your money, and think it no wrong.
FROM THE CORNISH MYSTERY OF THE CRUCIFIXION
Jesus. Woman, seest thou thy son? A thousand times your arms have borne him With tenderness. And John, behold thy mother; Thus keep her, without denial, As long as ye live.
Mary. Alas! alas! oh! sad, sad! In my heart is sorrow, When I see my son Jesus, About his head a crown of thorns He is Son of God in every way, And with that truly a King; Feet and hands on every side Fast fixed with nails of iron. Alas! That one shall have on the day of judgment Heavy doom, flesh and blood, Who hath sold him.
John. O sweet mother, do not bear sorrow, For always, in every way I will be prepared for thee: The will of thy Son is so, For to save so much as is good, Since Adam was created.
Jesus. O Father, Eli, Eloy, . lama sabacthani? Thou art my dear God, Why hast thou left me . a moment alone In any manner?
1st Executioner. He is calling Elias; Watch now diligently If he comes to save him. If he delivers him, really We will believe in him, And worship him ever.
[Here a sponge is made ready, with gall and vinegar. And then the Centurion stands in his tent, and says:
Centurion. I will go to see How it is with dear Jesus: It were a pity on a good man So much contumely to be cast. If he were a bad man, his fellow Could not in any way Truly have such great grace, To save men by one word.
[The Centurion goes down.
2nd Executioner. It is not Elias whom he called; Thirst surely on him there is, He finds it an evil thing. [He holds out a sponge Behold here I have me ready, Gall and hyssop mixed; Wassail, if there is great thirst.
Jesus. Thirst on me there is.
3rd Executioner. See, a drink for thee here; Why dost thou not drink it? Rather shouldst thou a wonder work! Now, come down from the cross, And we will worship thee.
Jesus. O Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit; By thy will take it to thee, As thou sent it into the world.
[Then Jesus shall die. Here the sun is darkened.
THE TOWN CYCLES
I.—THE YORK PAGEANTS
The order of the Pageants of the Play of Corpus Christi, in the time of the mayoralty of William Alne, in the third year of the reign of King Henry V. anno 1415, compiled by Roger Burton, town clerk,—
I. Tanners.—God the Father Almighty creating and forming the heavens, angels and archangels; Lucifer and the angels that fell with him into hell.
II. Plasterers.—God the Father, in his own substance, creating the earth, and all which is therein, in the space of five days.
III. Carde-makers.—God the Father creating Adam of the slime of the earth, and making Eve of the rib, and inspiring them with the spirit of life.
IV. Fullers.—God prohibiting Adam and Eve from eating of the tree of life.
V. Coupers.—Adam and Eve with a tree betwixt them; the serpent deceiving them with apples; God speaking to them and cursing the serpent, and an angel with a sword driving them out of paradise.
VI. Armourers.—Adam and Eve, an angel with a spade and a distaff assigning them labour.
VII. Gaunters.—Abel and Cain killing sacrifices.
VIII. Shipwrights.—God foretelling Noah to make an ark of light wood.
IX. Fyshmongers, Pessyners, Mariners.—Noah in the ark with his wife and three children, and divers animals.
X. Perchemyners, Bukbynders.—Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac; a ram, bush, and angel.
XI. Hosyers.—Moses exalting the serpent in the wilderness; king Pharaoh; eight Jews admiring and expecting.
XII. Spicers.—Mary and a doctor declaring the sayings of the prophets about the future birth of Christ; an angel saluting her. Mary saluting Elizabeth.
XIII. Peuterers, Founders.—Mary, Joseph willing to put her away, an angel speaking to them that they should go to Bethlehem.
XIV. Tylers.—Mary, Joseph, a midwife, the child born lying in a manger betwixt an ox and an ass, and the angel speaking to the shepherds.
XV. Chaundelers.—The shepherds speaking by turns; the star in the east; an angel giving joy to the shepherds that a child was born.
XVI. Goldsmithes, Orfeures.—The three kings coming from the east, Herod asking them about the child Christ; with the son of Herod, two counsellors and a messenger.
XVII. Gold-beters, Mone-makers.—Mary with the child and the star above, and the three kings offering gifts.
XVIII. Masons.—Mary with the child; Joseph, Anna, and a nurse with young pigeons; Simeon receiving the child in his arms, and two sons of Simeon.
XIX. Marashals.—Mary with the child, and Joseph flying into Egypt, by an angel's telling them.
XX. Girdellers, Naylers, Sawters.—Herod commanding the children to be slain, four soldiers with lances, two counsellors of the king, and four women lamenting the slaughter of them.
XXI. Sporiers, Lorymers.—The doctors, the child Jesus sitting in the temple in the midst of them, hearing them and asking them questions. Four Jews, Mary and Joseph seeking him and finding him in the temple.
XXII. Barbers.—Jesus, John the baptist baptising him, and two angels helping them.
XXIII. Vyntners.—Jesus, Mary, bridgeroom and bride, master of the household with his family with six water-pots, where water is turned into wine.
XXIV. Smythes, Fevers.—Jesus upon the pinnacle of the temple; Satan tempting with stones; two angels administering, etc.
XXV. C[orvisors.]—Peter, James and John; Jesus ascending into the mountain and transfiguring himself before them. Moses and Elias appearing, and a voice speaking from a cloud.
XXVI. Elennagers.—Simon the leper asking Jesus if he would eat with him. Two disciples; Mary Magdalene washing the feet of Jesus, and wiping them with her hair.
XXVII. Plummers, Patten-makers.—Jesus, two Apostles, the woman taken in adultery, four Jews accusing her.
XXVIII. Pouch-makers, Botillers, Cap-makers.—Lazarus in the sepurchre; Mary Magdalene, Martha, and two Jews admiring.
XXIX. Vestment-makers, Skynners.—Jesus upon an ass with its foal; twelve Apostles following Jesus; six rich and six poor men, with eight boys with branches of palm trees, constantly saying blessed, etc., and Zaccheus ascending into a sycamore tree.
XXX. Cuttelers, Blade-smythes, Shethers, Scalers, Buklemakers, Horners.—Pilate, Caiaphas, two soldiers, three Jews, Judas selling Jesus.
XXXI. Bakers, Waterleders.—The supper of the Lord and paschal Lamb, twelve apostles; Jesus, tied about with a linen towel, washing their feet. The institution of the sacrament of the body of Christ in the new law, and communion of the Apostles.
XXXII. Cordwaners.—Pilate, Caiaphas, Annas, forty armed soldiers, Malchas, Peter, James, John, Jesus, and Judas kissing and betraying him.
XXXIII. Bowers, Fletchers.—Jesus, Annas, Caiaphas, and four Jews striking and bastinadoing Christ. Peter, the woman accusing him, and Malchas.
XXXIV. Tapisers, Couchers.—Jesus, Pilate, Annas, Caiaphas; two counsellors and four Jews accusing Christ.
XXXV. Littesters.—Herod, two counsellors, four soldiers, Jesus, and three Jews.
XXXVI. Cukes, Water-leders.—Pilate, Annas, Caiaphas, two Jews, and Judas carrying from them thirty pieces of silver.
XXXVII. Sauce-makers.—Judas hanging himself.
XXXVIII. Milners, Tiel-makers, Ropers, Cevers, Turners, Hayresters, Bollers.—Jesus, Pilate, Caiaphas, Annas, six soldiers carrying spears and ensigns, and other four leading Jesus from Herod desiring Barabbas to be released and Jesus to be crucified, and then binding and scourging him, putting a crown of thorns upon his head; three soldiers casting lots for the vesture of Jesus.
XXXIX. Shermen.—Jesus covered with blood bearing his cross towards mount Calvary, Simon Sereneus, etc.
XL. Pynners, Lateners, Paynters.—The cross, Jesus extended upon it on the earth; four Jews scourging him with whips, and afterwards erecting the cross, with Jesus upon it, on Mount Calvary.
XLI. Bouchers, Pulterers.—The cross, two thieves crucified and Jesus suspended betwixt them; Mary the mother of Jesus, John, Mary, James and Salome; a soldier with a lance, and a servant with a sponge. Pilate, Annas, Caiaphas, a centurion, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus taking him down and laying him in the sepulchre.
XLII. Satellers, Sellers, Glasiers.—Jesus destroying hell; twelve good and twelve evil spirits.
XLIII. Carpenters, Joyners.—The centurion declaring to Pilate, Caiaphas and Annas, with other Jews, the signs appearing on the death of Jesus.
XLIV. Cartwrights, Carvers, Sawyers.—Jesus rising from the sepulchre, four soldiers armed, and three Marias lamenting; Pilate, Caiaphas, and Annas; a young man clothed in white sitting in the sepulchre and talking to the women.
XLV. Wyedrawers.—Jesus, Mary, Mary Magdalene with spices.
XLVI. Broggers, Wool-pakkers, Wadsmen.—Jesus, Luke and Cleophas in the form of travellers.
XLVII. Escriviners, Lumners, Questors, Dubbors.—Jesus, Peter, John, James, Philip and other Apostles; Thomas feeling the wounds of Jesus.
XLVIII. Taillyoures.—Mary, John the Evangelist, two angels, and eleven Apostles; Jesus ascending before them, and four angels bearing a cloud.
XLIX. Potters.—Mary, two angels, eleven Apostles, the Holy Ghost descending upon them, and four Jews admiring.
L. Drapers.—Jesus, Mary, Gabriel with two angels, two virgins and three Jews of the kindred of Mary, eight Apostles, and two devils.
LI. Lynwevers.—Four Apostles bearing the shrine of Mary, Fergus hanging upon it with two other Jews, and one angel.
LII. Wevers of wollen.—Mary ascending with a multitude of angels; eight Apostles, with Thomas preaching in the desert.
LIII. Hostilers.—Mary, and Jesus crowning her with a great number of angels.
LIV. Mercers.—Jesus, Mary, twelve Apostles; four angels with trumpets, and four with a lance with two scourges; four good and four bad spirits, and six devils.
II.—THE WAKEFIELD (OR WOODKIRK) PLAYS
From the Towneley Collection
II. Mactatio Abel.
III. Processus Noe cum filiis.
VII. Processus Prophetarum.
IX. Caesar Augustus.
XI. Salutatio Elizabeth.
XII. Prima Pagina Pastorum.
XIII. Secunda Pagina Pastorum.
XIV. Oblatio Magorum.
XV. Fugatio Joseph et Mariae in Egyptum.
XVI. Magnus Herodes.
XVII. Purificatio Mariae.
XVIII. Pagina Doctorum.
XIX. Johannes Baptista.
XX. Conspiratio et Captio.
XXIII. Processus Crucis.
XXIV. Processus Talentorum.
XXV. Extractio Animarum ab Inferno.
XXVI. Resurrectio Domini.
XXVIII. Thomas Indiae.
XXIX. Ascensio Domini.
XXXII. Suspensio Judae.
III.—THE CHESTER PLAYS
I. The Fall of Lucifer, by the Tanners.
II. The Creation, by the Drapers.
III. The Deluge, by the Dyers.
IV. Abraham, Melchisedech, and Lot, by the Barbers and Wax-chandlers.
V. Moses, Balak, and Balaam, by the Hatters and Linen-drapers.
VI. The Salutation and Nativity, by the Wrights.
VII. The Shepherds feeding their flocks by night, by the Painters and Glaziers.
VIII. The three Kings, by the Vintners.
IX. The Oblation of the three Kings, by the Mercers.
X. The Killing of the Innocents, by the Goldsmiths.
XI. The Purification, by the Blacksmiths.
XII. The Temptation, by the Butchers.
XIII. The Blindmen and Lazarus, by the Glovers.
XIV. Jesus and the Lepers, by the Corvisors.
XV. The last Supper, by the Bakers.
XVI. The Passion and Crucifixion of Christ, by the Fletchers, Coopers, and Ironmongers.
XVII. The Descent into Hell, by the Cooks.
XVIII. The Resurrection, by the Skinners.
XIX. The Appearing of Christ to the two Disciples, by the Saddlers.
XX. The Ascension, by the Tailors.
XXI. The Election of St. Mathias, sending of the Holy Ghost, by the Fishmongers.
XXII. Ezekiel, by the Clothiers.
XXIII. Antichrist, by the Dyers.
XXIV. The Day of Judgement, by the Websters.
IV—THE LUDUS COVENTRIAE
I. The Creation.
II. The Fall of Man.
III. The Death of Abel.
IV. Noah's Flood.
V. Abraham's Sacrifice.
VI. Moses and the Two Tables.
VII. The Genealogy of Christ.
VIII. Anna's Pregnancy.
IX. Mary in the Temple.
X. Her Betrothment.
XI. The Salutation and Conception.
XII. Joseph's Return.
XIII. The Visit to Elizabeth.
XIV. The Trial of Joseph and Mary.
XV. The Birth of Christ.
XVI. The Shepherd's Offering.
XVII. Caret in MS. XVIII. Adoration of the Magi. XIX. The Purification.
XX. Slaughter of the Innocents.
XXI. Christ disputing in the Temple.
XXII. The Baptism of Christ.
XXIII. The Temptation.
XXIV. The Woman taken in Adultery.
XXVI. Council of the Jews.
XXVII. Mary Magdalen.
XXVIII. Christ betrayed.
XXX. The Trial of Christ.
XXXI. The Dream of Pilate's Wife.
XXXII. The Crucifixion.
XXXIII. The Descent into Hell.
XXXIV. Sealing of the Tomb.
XXXV. The Resurrection.
XXXVI. The Three Marias.
XXXVII. Christ appearing to Mary Magdalen.
XXXVIII. The Pilgrim of Emaus.
XXXIX. The Ascension.
XL. Descent of the Holy Ghost.
XLI. The Assumption of the Virgin.
I.—Properties and Dresses used for the Coventry Smiths' Pageant of the Trial, Condemnation, and Crucifixion of Christ between the Years 1449 and 1585
The Cross with a Rope to draw it up, and a Curtain hanging before it. Gilding for the Pillar and the Cross. 2 Pair of Gallows. 4 Scourges and a Pillar. Scaffold. Fanes to the Pageant. Mending of Imagery occurs 1469. A Standard of red Buckram. Two red Pensiles of Cloth painted, and silk Fringe. Iron to hold up the Streamer.
4 Gowns and 4 Hoods for the Tormentors.—(These are afterwards described as Jackets of black buckram with nails and dice upon them.) Other 4 gowns with damask flowers; also 2 Jackets party red and black.
2 Mitres (for Cayphas and Annas). A Rochet for one of the Bishops. God's Coat of white leather, 6 skins. A Staff for the Demon. 2 Spears. Gloves (12 pair at once). Herod's Crest of Iron. Scarlet Hoods and a Tabard. Hats and Caps. Cheverel [Peruke] for God. 3 Cheverels and a Beard. 2 Cheverels gilt for Jesus and Peter. Faulchion for Herod. Scarlet Gown. Maces.
II.—The Chester "Bannes" or Bans
Reverende lordes and ladyes all, That at this time here assembled bee, By this messuage understande you shall, That sometymes there was mayor of this citie, Sir John Arnway, Knyghte, who most worthilye Contented himselfe to set out an playe The devise of one Done Randali, moonke of Chester Abbey.
"This moonke, moonke-like, in scriptures well seene, In storyes travelled with the best sorte; In pagentes set fourth, apparently to all eyne, The Olde and Newe Testament with livelye comforte; Intermynglinge therewith, onely to make sporte, Some things not warranted by any writt, Which to gladd the hearers he woulde men to take yt.
"This matter he abrevited into playes twenty-foure, And every playe of the matter gave but a taste, Leavinge for better learninges circumstances to accomplishe, For his proceedinges maye appeare to be in haste: Yet all together unprofitable his labour he did not waste, For at this daye, and ever, he deserveth the fame Which all moonkes deserve professinge that name.
* * * * *
"This worthy Knyghte Arnway, then mayor of this citie, This order toke, as declare to you I shall, That by twenty-fower occupations, artes, craftes, or misteries, These pagentes shoulde be played affter breeffe rehearsall; For every pagente a cariage to be provyded withall, In which sorte we purpose this Whitsontyde, Our pagentes into three partes to devyde.
"Now you worshippful Tanners that of custume olde The fall of Lucifer did set out, Some writers awarrante your matter, therefore be boulde Lustelye to playe the same to all the rowtte; And yf any thereof stand in any doubte, Your author his author hath, your shewe let bee, Good speech, fyne players, with apparill comelye.
"The good symple water-leaders and drawers of deey, See that your Arke in all poyntes be prepared; Of Noy and his children the wholl storye, And of the universall floude, by you shalbe played.
"The Sacrifice that faithfull Abraham of his sonne should make, You barbers and waxe-chaundlers of Aunciente tyme, In the fourth pageante with paines you doe take, In decente sorte set out—the storie is ffine— The offeringe of Melchesedecke of breade and wine, And the presentacion therof set in your playe, Suffer you not in any poynte the story to decaye.
III.—Cornish Miracle Plays
[From Norris's "Ancient Cornish Drama"]
We have no notice of the performance of the Cornish plays earlier than that of Richard Carew, whose survey of Cornwall was first printed in 1602. In his time they even played in regular amphitheatres, and the account he gives is well worth extracting, as it affords a vivid picture by one who was in all probability an eye-witness, nearly three centuries ago. "The quasy miracle, in English, a miracle play, is a kinde of interlude, compiled in Cornish out of some Scripture history, with that grossenes which accompanied the Romanes vetus Comedia. For representing it, they raise an earthen amphitheatre in some open field, having the Diameter of his enclosed playne some 40 or 50 foot. The Country people flock from all sides, many miles off to hear and see it; for they have therein devils and devices, to delight as well the eye as the eare; the players conne not their parts without booke, but are prompted by one called the Ordinary, who followeth at their back with the booke in his hand, and telleth them softly what they must pronounce aloud."
Writing a century and a half later than Carew, Dr. Borlase describes the amphitheatres in which these Cornish plays were given; more particularly one in the parish of St. Just near the Land's End. This round as it was popularly called, was "an exact circle of 126 feet in diameter; the perpendicular height of the bank, from the area within, now seven feet; but the height from the bottom of the ditch without, ten feet at present, formerly more. The seats consist of six steps, fourteen inches wide, and one foot high, with one on the top of all, when the rampart is about seven feet wide." Another round or amphitheatre was described by Dr. Borlase as a perfectly level area 130 feet across, and surrounded by an earthen mound eight feet high.
In such magnificent surroundings of open-air, picturesque country, sea, and sky, were these curious plays given to instruct and edify a multitude drawn at large from the country-side, which often must remain camped for two or three days in the neighbourhood to see the performances out.
IV.—From "The Cornish Drama," by Henry Jenner
(Celtic Review, April 1907)
"The trilogy known as the Ordinalia consists of:—(a) Origo Mundi, which begins with the Creation of the World, ... and ends with the building of Solomon's Temple; (b) Passio Domini, which represents the Temptation of Christ and the events from the Entry into Jerusalem to the Entombment; (c) Resurrectio Domini, which gives the story of the Harrowing of Hell, ... the Resurrection, and the events between the Resurrection and the Ascension with which it ends. Interpolated in the middle is the Legend of St. Veronica, and Tiberius, and the Death of Pilate. Running through all three is the old legend of the Origin of the Wood of the Cross." (Our two Mysteries are from "C").
V.—Contemporary Account of Sir David Lindsay's "Satire of the Three Estates"
(From a Letter Written by Sir Wm. Eure, 26th Jan. 1540)
"In the feast of Ephipane at Lightgowe, before the king, queene, and the whole counsaile, spirituall and temporall.—In the firste entres come in Solace (whose parte was but to make mery, sing ballets with his fellowes, and drink at the interluydes of the play), whoe showed firste to all the audience the play to be played. Next come in a king, who passed to his throne, having nae speche to thende of the play, and then to ratify and approve, as in Parliament, all things done by the rest of the players, which represented The Three Estates. With him came his cortiers, Placebo, Picthank, and Flatterye, and sic alike gard: one swering he was the lustiest, starkeste, best proportionit, and most valeyant man that ever was; and ane other swore he was the beste with long-bowe, crosse-bowe, and culverin, and so fourth. Thairafter there come a man armed in harness, with a swerde drawn in his hande, a Bushop, a Burgesman, and Experience, clede like a Doctor; who set them all down on the deis under the King. After them come a Poor Man, who did go up and down the scaffolde, making a hevie complainte that he was hereyet, throw the courtiers taking his fewe in one place, and his tackes in another; wherthrough he had sceyled his house, his wyfe and childrene beggyng thair brede, and so of many thousands in Scotland; saying thair was no remedy to be gotten, as he was neither acquainted with controller nor treasurer. And then he looked to the King, and said he was not king in Scotland, fore there was ane other king in Scotland that hanged Johne Armstrang, with his fellowes, Sym the Laird, and mony other mae; but he had lefte ane thing undone. Then he made a long narracione of the oppression of the poor, by the taking of the corse-presaunte beists, and of the herrying of poor men by the consistorye lawe, and of many other abusions of the Spiritualitie and Church. Then the Bushop raise and rebuked him. Then the Man of Armes alledged the contraire, and commanded the poor man to go on. The poor man proceeds with a long list of the bushop's evil practices, the vices of cloisters, etc. This proved by Experience, who, from a New Testament, shows the office of a bushop. The Man of Armes and the Burges approve of all that was said against the clergy, and alledge the expediency of a reform, with the consent of Parliament. The Bushop dissents. The Man of Armes and the Burges said they were two, and he but one, wherefore their voice should have most effect. Thereafter the King, in the play, ratified, approved, and confirmed all that was rehearsed."
 rade, quickly.
 sew, i.e. stitch on the planks together.
 "Bow"—the arched frame on which the ship is built.
 Extracts from the Municipal Records of York, 1843, and Walks through the City of York.
 See Appendix C. for the "Chester Banns."
 is impaired.
 been gotten, been born.
 If you go by me.
 speed in help of all.
 slime, or pitch.
 hinder, stop.
 slime, mud.
 Business, occupation.
 And being conquered she deals a slap.
 Thee now must I have in mind.
 in haste.
 without suspicion.
 precious stones.
 bequest: "Maundy" really meant "command."
 nurseling, foster-child.
 fore-buy (pre-purchase with his blood).
 be slack, or slow.
 "middle-yard,"—farm-yard: i.e. instead of all creatures from the farm-yard.
 hesitate, delay.
 in good faith.
 promised I.
 find, find means.
 numb of hand.
 fast tied (to a lord, as a public-house to a brewer).
 a painted sleeve.
 we silly wedded men endure much woe.
 placed, bestead.
 is riven asunder.
 slithers, slides away.
 more and more.
 You are two who wit, or know, all.
 till such time as we have made it.
 stint our wages.
 a light bargain yields badly.
 to make mirth among us.
 "harnes" in original, which may mean "harness."
 such (of such).
 be thwacked, or flogged.
 rumour (ill repute).
 needle—not a little bit.
 brood, children.
 early waked, or perhaps, wearied by watching.
 at once.
 Into thy hands I commend (them), Pontius Pilate.
 chare,—job, as in charwoman.
 The devil of them give warning.
 advisest, sayest so?
 waning moon.
 Help! or Halloo!
 God forbid.
 Horbery Shrubberies, near Wakefield.
 "take on," make game.
 nose (?) The "so he" is meant for a she.
 enow, enough.
 went, were grazing.
 bothers us, makes us suspect.
 been in labour.
 confound it.
 a boy.
 a lie.
 gem, something prankt out, or shown off, like a false gem.
 hight, be called.
 be avenged, wreak vengeance.
 i.e. for a changeling.
 curse nor flout.
 vex about it.
 free, or divine, One.
 name, relate.
 three short notes to a long one.
 shouted it out.
 can mind.
 unlearn'd, rude.
 demon, evil one.
 worker of evil. The "he" in the next line refers to the Holy Babe again.
 pate, little tiny-pate
 set all alight; gave light to all.
 could he (i.e. the babe) tell, name.
 weened; i.e. laughed as if he knew all about it.
 Let us sing it aloft, or aloud!
 "Behold, a Virgin shall conceive!"
 for ever and ever.
 deceits, darknesses.
 physician, healer.
 equal or like.
 wend, journey.
 News, news!
 descent, lineage.
 give advice.
 boldly, openly.
 "The devil run away with you!" The whole of this Herald's speech is in corrupt French, of which only the last speech, evidently a comic "aside," is retained.
 He that reigns, King in Judea and Israel.
 strokes, loud blows.
 (?) and gentle or noble.
 prepared, ready.
 All in company.
 mien, face.
 trouble, or from "haro," help.
 childbed, or lying-in chamber.
 go free.
 wild countryman.
 rede, advice.
 say against it, deny it.
 have been.
 at once.
 i.e. Be not afraid to fall.
 left unsaid.
 each sinew from sinew.
 so may you thrive.
 Good Lord!
 mortice (the hole cut in the ground-piece).
 cast up.
 in wont.
 despoiled, destroyed.
 thinks, knows.
 i.e. Does he think we care how he suffers?
 the grief I bear.
 face, visage.
 garments, aspect.
 nurseling, fed child.
 hold, rest.
 how should I stand still in my place.
 good, gain.
 hard, dearly.
 fair, the opposite of uncouth.
 He will beat down our fall or evil, as he promised.
 without counsel.
 in wont, habitually.
 burst for no grief.
 noble babe.
 against wrong.
 face, complexion.
 beat down our bale, or evil.
 believe thy word.
 dole, or grief thou endurest.
 cast about, cousin, in thy thought.
 swinged with whips.
 at all costs.
 pretended great prophecies.
 unless he can shew still further craft, or art.
 all ways, quite.
 Saying, as in a wise saw.
 draw lots.
 am bewildered.
 What meddle ye with?
 What I wrote is written.
 ill fall the day.
 insults, miscallings.
 knowing, willing.
 host of men, company.
 have compassion.
 were gone.
 put in grave.
 in reason.
 wound in his shroud.
 caused them to make.
 Adam's miss, or fall.
 Sooth to say to thee.
 earthly food—the apple.
 stead, state.
 stayed, kept.
 slake thirst, lessen (or as in "slack a fire").
 gentle, gracious.
 cease, leave.
 And all sing, Salvator Mundi, 1st ver.
 kenn'd, knew.
 on earth.
 wonders many.
 deigneth, dignity.
 leal, true.
 lasting life.
 hal, salvation.
 list I, care I, to live.
 live in man, man's form.
 flumen,—flood, river.
 The Father's voice was made like a man's.
 our cares to cool, cure, allay.
 din, noise.
 to swell.
 my wit waxes thin.
 these souls men from us twine, divide.
 sparrian, to shut, to bar; sparian, preserve.
 Baal, Beryth and Belial.
 lovely of face.
 Lift your heads, oh ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in.
 bolt the gates.
 go his way.
 sturdy in every fight.
 hearest thou?
 are in thrall.
 the devil harry you all.
 ails thee to shout so?
 thy brain, I burst not out.
 shut the gates.
 wend, go.
 or we'll know it.
 gauds, showy deeds.
 from our bale, destruction.
 agreement, or forward precaution, foreword, prearrange.
 his hire, reward.
 to dwell here still.
 since we hear thee say.
 taken in charge.
 rive, take away.
 be nought abased.
 truss up, entangle ("take in the toils").
 ding, knock.
 see p. 153.
 see in the psalter.
 I always said.
 "be naame," a technical term for seizure of another's goods.
 make wreck of your works.
 twine, part asunder.
 stead, place.
 closed, fast shut.
 bailey, outer gate.
 how am I woeful.
 knock, strike, beset.
 Make him.
 stratagem, treachery.
 more, or stronger.
 my gear, weapons, be ready.
 gad-about, vagrant.
 Bel ami, fair friend.
 noise, hubbub.
 pain, afflict.
 ward, keeping.
 aye syne, ever since.
 go nigh.
 ordained heretofore.
 to get his meat, earn his bread.
 I mind, remember.
 mickle, much.
 For no chattles need you crave (lack), or ask.
 manifest, made known.
 to thee, nor none of thine.
 hire, reward.
 win, save (my men from woe).
 concerns, things of note.
 damned souls.
 true prophets' tale.
 bale, destruction.
 quote, or read, the laws.
 convinced ere we part.
 saws, proverbs.
 din, noise.
 neither friend nor foe shall find release in hell.
 sorrows sore shall never cease.
 wend, go.
 take them all from me.
 dwell in woe.
 to a stake.
 with measure and malice (malice aforethought) to meddle.
 Dathan and Abiram, and all of their.
 each one.
 my coming known.
 by row, line by line, all in order.
 judge them worse.
 teach them not to permit.
 follow mine (my laws).
 turn them to it, I trow.
 and make them grow well aware.
 fly not far.
 Bel ami (fair friend), thou shalt be smitten down.
 So said I e'er,—always.
 mickle, great of might.
 in fear.
 since before thee.
 bode-word; (foreboding, forewarning).
 "Thou didst not leave, oh Lord, my soul in hell!"
 Whither the damned shall go.
 live in woe.
 flee, escape.
 flowing milk and honey.
 inhabitants of Jerusalem.
 Because I am a youth.
 Though this is called the Ludus Coventriae, there is no evidence that the cycle ever was played at Coventry, or that at any time more than ten pageants were produced there by the town guilds. The Coventry Nativity Play that we print (from the text of Robert Croo, 1534) is one of the ten. It was played by the "Company of Shearmen and Tailors."