Alfred W. (Alfred William) Pollard.

English miracle plays, moralities, and interludes : specimens of the pre-Elizabethan drama online

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And some to cry out of the bone ake ;
And some I vysyte with brennynge of fyre ;
Of some I wrynge of the necke lyke a wyre;
And some I make in a rope to totter and waiter ;
And some for to hange themselfe in a halter;
And some I vysyte to batayle, warre and murther,
And make eche man to sle other;
To drowne or to sle themselfe with a knyfe; 1940

And all is for theyr ungracyous lyfe.
Yet somtyme I stryke where is none offence,
Bycause I wolde prove men of theyr pacyence.


But nowe a dayes to stryke I have grete cause,
Lydderyns so lytell set by Goddes lawes.
Faders and moders that be neclygent,
And suffre theyr chyldren to have theyr entent,
To guyde them vertuously that wyll not remembre,
Them, or theyr chyldren, ofte tymes I dysmembre ;
Theyr chyldren, bycause that they have no mekenesse ;
I vysyte theyr faders and moders with sekenesse ; 19=1
And yf I se therby that they wyll not amende,
Then myschefe sodaynly I them sende ;
For there is nothynge that more dyspleseth God
Than from theyr chyldren to spare the rod
Of correccyon, but let them have theyr wyll ;
Some I make lame, and some I do kyll ;
And some I stryke with a franesy ;
Of some l of theyr chyldren I stryke out the eye ;
And where the fader by wysdom worshyp hath wonne,
I sende ofte tymes a fole to his sonne. 1961

Wherfore of Adversyte- loke ye be ware,
For when I come, comyth sorowe and care :
For I stryke lordys of realmes and landys,
That rule not by mesure that they have in theyr handys.
That sadly rule not theyr howsholde men;
I am Goddys preposytour, I prynt them with a pen ;
Because of theyr neglygence and of theyr wanton vagys,
I vysyte them and stryke them with many sore plagys.
To take, syrs, example of that I you tell, 1970

And beware of Adversyte by my counsell,
Take hede of this caytyfe that lyeth here on grounde ;
Beholde, howe Fortune of hym hath frounde !
For though we shewe you this in game and play,
Yet it proveth eyrnest, ye may se, every day.
For nowe wyll I from this caytyfe go,
And take myscheffe and vengeaunce of other mo,
1 syme, Text.


That hath deservyd it as well as he.

Howe, where art thou ? come hether, Poverte ;

Take this caytyfe to thy lore. 1980

Here cometh in POVERTE.

POVER. A, my bonys ake, my lymmys be sore ;
Alasse, I have the cyataca full evyll in my hyppe !
Alasse, where is youth that was wont for to skyppe?
I am lowsy, and unlykynge, and full of scurffe,
My colour is tawny, colouryd as a turfife :
I am Poverte, that all men doth hate,
I am baytyd with doggys at every mannys gate ;
I am raggyd and rent, as ye may se;
Full fewe but they have envy at me.
No we must I this carcasse lyft up 1990

He dynyd with delyte, with Poverte he must sup.
Ryse up, syr, and welcom unto me.

Hie accedat ad levandum MAGNYFYCENCE et locabit eum super
locum stratum.

MAGN. Alasse, where is nowe my golde and fe?
Alasse, I say, where to am I brought?
Alasse, alasse, alasse, I dye for thought !

POVER. Syr, all this wolde have bene thought on before :
He woteth not what welth is that never was sore.

MAGN. Fy, fy, that ever I sholde be brought in this snare !
I wenyd ones never to have knowen of care.

POVER. Lo, suche is this worlde ! I fynde it wryt, 2000
In welth to beware, and that is wyt.

MAGN. In welth to beware, yf I had had grace,
Never had I bene brought in this case.

POVER. Nowe, syth it wyll non other be,
All that God sendeth, take it in gre;


For, thoughe you were somtyme a noble estate,
Nowe must you lerne to begge at every mannes gate.

MAGN. Alasse, that ever I sholde be so shamed !
Alasse, that ever I Magnyfycence was named !
Alasse, that ever I was so harde happed, 2010

In mysery and wretchydnesse thus to be lapped !
Alasse, that I coude not myselfe no better gyde !
Alasse, in my cradell that I had not dyde !

POVER. Ye, syr, ye, leve all this rage,

And pray to God your sorowes to asswage :
It is foly to grudge agaynst his vysytacyon.
With harte contryte make your supplycacyon
Unto your Maker, that made both you and me
And, when it pleaseth God, better may be.

MAGN. Alasse, I wote not what I sholde pray ! 2020

POVER. Remembre you better, syr, beware what ye say,
For drede ye dysplease the hygh deyte.
Put your wyll to his wyll, for surely it is he
That may restore you agayne to felycyte,
And brynge you agayne out of adversyte.
Therfore poverte loke pacyently ye take,
And remembre he suffered moche more for your sake,
Howe be it of all synne he was innocent,
And ye have deserved this punysshment. 2029

MAGN. Alasse, with colde my lymmes shall be marde !

POVER. Ye, syr, nowe must ye lerne to lye harde,
That was wonte to lye on fetherbeddes of downe;
Nowe must your fete lye hyer than your crowne :
Where you were wonte to have cawdels for your hede,
Nowe must you monche mamockes and lumpes of

brede ;

And where you had chaunges of ryche aray,
Nowe lap you in a coverlet, full fayne that you may ;


And where that ye were pomped with what that ye wolde,

Nowe must ye suffre bothe hunger and colde :

With courtely sylkes ye were wonte to be drawe ; 2040

Nowe must ye lerne to lye on the strawe;

Your skynne that was wrapped in shertes of Raynes,

Nowe must ye be storm ybeten with showres and raynes ;

Your hede that was wonte to be happed moost drowpy

and drowsy,
Now shal ye be scabbed, scurvy and lowsy.

MAGN. Fye on this worlde, full of trechery,

That ever noblenesse sholde lyve thus wretchydly !

POVER. Syr, remembre the tourne of Fortunes whele,
That wantonly can wynke, and wynche with her hele.
Nowe she wyll laughe, forthwith she will frowne 2o=,o
Sodenly set up, and sodenly pluckyd downe :
She dawnsyth varyaunce with mutabylyte ;
Nowe all in welth, forthwith in poverte :
In her promyse there is no sykernesse ;
All her delyte is set in doublenesse.

MAGN. Alas, of Fortune I may well complayne !

POVER. Ye, syr, yesterday wyll not be callyd agayne :
But yet, syr, nowe in this case,
Take it mekely, and thanke God of his grace ;
For nowe go I wyll begge for you some mete ; 2060
It is foly agaynst God for to plete ;
I wyll walke nowe with my beggers baggys,
And happe you the whyles with these homly raggys.

Discedendo* dicat is fa verba.

A, howe my lymmys be lyther and lame !

Better it is to begge than to be hangyd with shame,

Yet many had lever hangyd to be,

1 Difidendo, Text.


Then for to begge theyr mete for charyte :

They thynke it no shame to robbe and stele,

Yet were they better to begge a great dele ;

For by robbynge they rynne to in manus tuas quecke,

But beggynge is better medecyne for the necke; 2071

Ye, mary, is it, ye, so mote I goo :

A Lorde God, howe the gowte wryngeth me by the too.

tjje pardoner and t{je

A mery playe betwene the pardoner and the frere the curate and
neybour Pratte.

THE FRERE. Deus hie, the Holy Trynyte,
Preserve all that nowe here be !
Dere bretherne, yf ye wyll consyder
The cause why I am come hyder,
Ye wolde be glad to knowe my intent. 5

For I com not hyther for monye nor for rent,
I com not hyther for meate nor for meale,
But I com hyther for your soules heale,
I com not hyther to poll nor to shave,
I com not hyther to begge nor to crave, 10

I com not hyther to glose nor to flatter,
I com not hyther to bable nor to clatter,
I com not hyther to fable nor to lye,
But I com hyther you[r]e soules to edyfye !
For we freres are bounde the people to teche, 15

The gospell of Chryst openly to preche,
As dyd the appostels, by Chryst theyr mayster sent
To turne the people and make them to repent.
But syth the appostels fro heven wolde not come,
We freres now must occupy theyr rome. 20

We freres are bounde to serche mennes conscyens,
We may not care for grotes nor for pens,


We freres have professed wylfull poverte,

No peny in our purse have may we,

Knyfe nor staffe may we none cary, 25

Excepte we shulde from the gospell vary,

For worldly adversyte may we be in no sorowe,

We may not care to day for our meate to morowe,

Bare fote and bare legged must we go also,

We may not care for frost nor snowe, 30

We may have no maner care, ne thynke,

Nother for our meate nor for our drynke,

But let our thoughtes fro suche thynges be as free

As be the byrdes that in the ayre flee,

For why our lorde, clyped swete Jesus, 35

In the gospell speketh to us thus :

Through all the worlde go ye, sayth he,

And to every creature speke ye of me,

And shew of my doctryne and connynge;

And that they may be glad of your comynge, 40

Yf that you enter in any hous any where,

Loke that ye salute them and byd my peas be there ;

And yf that house be worthy and electe,

Thylke peace there than shall take effecte ;

And yf that hous be cursyd or parvert, 45

Thylke peace than shall to your selfe revert ;

And furthermore yf any such there be,

Which do deny for to receyve ye,

And do dyspyse your doctryne and your lore,

At suche a house tarye ye no more, 50

And from your shoes scrape away the dust,

To theyr reprefe, and I, bothe trew and just,

Shall vengeaunce take of theyr synfull dede.

Wherfore, my frendes, to this text take ye hede,

Beware how ye despyse the pore freres, 55

Which ar in this worlde Crystes mynysters;

But do them with an harty chere receyve,

I 2


Leste they happen your houses for to leve,

And than God wyll take vengeaunce in his yre.

Wherfore I now, that am a pore frere, 60

Dyd enquere were any people were,

Which were dysposyd the worde of God to here ;

And, as I cam hether, one dyd me tell

That in this towne ryght good folke dyd dwell,

Which to here the word of God wolde be glad; 65

And as sone as I therof knolege had,

I hyder hyed me as fast as I myght

Entendyd by the grace of God almyght,

And by your pacyens and supportacyon,

Here to make a symple colacyon. 70

Wherfore I requyre all ye in this prese

For to abyde and gyve dew audyence.

But, fyrst of all,

Now here I shall

To God my prayer make, 75

To gyve ye grace
All in thys place.

His doctryne for to take.

And than kneleth downe the frere sayenge his prayers and in
the meane whyle entreth the pardoner with all his relyques
to declare what eche of them ben and the hole power and
vertu thereof.

THE PARDONER. God and saynt Leonarde sende ye all

his grace,

As many as ben assembled in this place ! 80

Good devoute people that here do assemble,
I pray [God] 1 that ye may all well resemble
The ymage after whiche you are wrought,
And that ye save that Chryst in you bought.

1 Good, Text.


Devoute Chrysten people, ye shall all wytte 85

That I am comen hyther ye to vysytte,
Wherfore let us pray thus or I begynne ;
Our savyoure preserve ye all from synne,
And enable ye to receyve this blessed pardon,
Whiche is the greatest under the son, 93

Graunted by the pope in his bulles under lede,
Whiche pardon ye shall fynde whan ye are dede,
That offereth outher grotes or els pens
To these holy relyques whiche, or I go hens,
I shall here shewe in open audyence, 95

Exortynge ye all to do to them reverence.
But first ye shall knowe well that I com fro Rome,
Lo here my bulles, all and some,
Our lyege lorde[s] scale, here on my patent,
I bere with me my body to warant, 100

That no man be so bolde, be he preest or clarke,
Me to dysturbe of Chrystes holy warke,
Nor have no dysdayne, nor yet scorne,
Of these holy relyques which sayntes have worne.
Fyrst here I shewe ye of a holy Jewes shepe 105

A bone, (I pray you take good kepe
To my wordes and marke them well,)
Yf any of your bestes belyes do swell,
Dyppe x this bone in the water that he dothe take
Into his body, and the swellyinge shall slake. no


Here is a mytten eke, as ye may se, 128

He that his hande wyll put in this myttayn,

He shall have encrease of his grayn, 130

That he hath sowne, be it wete or otys,

So that he offer pens or els grotes.

And another holy relyke eke here se ye may,

1 Dyype, Text.


The blessed arme of swete saynt Sondaye,
And who so ever is blessyd with this ryght hande
Can not spede amysse by se nor by lande, 136

And if he offereth eke with good devocyon

He shall not fayle to come to hyghe promocyon.


Here is another relyke, a precyous one, 153

Of All Helowes the blessyd jawbone,

Which relyke without any fayle 155

Agaynst poyson chefely dothe prevayle;

For whom so ever it toucheth, without dout

All maner venym from hym shall issue out,

So that it shall hurt no maner wyghte.

Lo of this relyke the great power and myghte, 160

Which preservyth from poyson every man.

Lo of saynt Myghell eke the brayn pan,

Which for the hed ake is a preservatyfe

To every man or beste that beryth lyfe,

And further it shall stande hym in better stede, 165

For his hede shall never ake whan that he is dede,

For he shall fele no maner grefe nor payn,

Though with a sworde one cleve it than atwayn,

But be as one that lay in a depe slepe,

Wherfore to these relykes now com crouche and crepe,

But loke that ye offerynge to them make, 171

Or els can ye no maner profyte take.

But one thynge, ye women all, I warant you,

Yf any wyght be in this place now

That hath done syn so horryble that she 175

Dare not for shame therof shryven be,


Suche folke shall have no power, nor no grace, 179
To offer to my relykes in this place ! 1 80

And who so fyndeth herselfe out of suche blame
Com hyther to me on Crystes holy name;


And bycause ye
Shall unto me

Gyve credence at the full, 185

Now shall ye se,

Lo here ! the popes bull.

Now shall the frere begyn his sermon and evyn at the same
tyme the pardoner begynneth also to shew and speke of his
bully s and auctorytes com from Rome.

THE FRERE. Date et dabitur vobis :

Good devout people this place of scrypture

PARDONER. Worshypfull maysters, ye shall understand 190

F. Is to you that have no litterature,

P. That pope Leo the x hath graunted with his hand,

F. Is to say in our Englysshe tonge,

P. And by his bulles confyrmed under lede,

F. As departe your goodes the poore folke amonge, 195

P. To all maner people bothe quycke and dede,

F. And God shall than gyve unto you agayne.

P. Ten thousande yeres and as many lentes of pardon,

F. This in the gospell so is wryten playne,

P. Whan they are dede theyr soules for to guardon, 200

F. Therfore gyve your almes in the largest wyse.

P. That wyll with theyr peny or almes dede

F. Kepe not your goodes : fye, fye on covetyse !

P. Put to theyr handes to the good spede

F. That synne with God is most abhomynable, 205

P. Of the holy chapell of swete saynt Leonarde,

F. And is eke the synne that is most dampnable

P. Whiche late by fyre was destroyed and marde.

F. In scrypture eke; but I say, syrs, how


P. Ay by the mas, one can not here' 210

F. What a bablynge maketh yonder felow !
P. For the bablynge of yonder folysshe frere !

[They resume their respective discourses for a little while, but at length
begin to attack each other.]

F. But, I say, thou pardoner, I byd the holde thy peace !

P. And I say, thou frere, holde thy tonge styl ! 2-^2

F. What standest thou there all the day smatterynge?

P. Mary, what standyst thou there all day clatterynge?

FRERE. Mary, felow, I com hyder to prech the word of
God, 255

Whyche of no man may be forbode,
But harde wyth scylence and good entent,
For why it techeth them evydent
The very way and path that shall them lede,
Even to heven gatys, as strayght as any threde; 260
And he that lettyth the worde of God of audyence
Standeth accurst in the greate sentence ;
And so art thou for enterruptynge me.

PARDONER. Nay thou art a curst knave, and that shalt

thou se !

And all suche that to me make interrupcyon 165

The pope sendes them excommunycacyon,
By hys bulles here, redy to be redde,
By bysshoppes and hys cardynalles confyrmed.
And eke yf thou dysturbe me any thynge,
Thou arte also a traytour to the kynge; 270

For here hath he graunted me, under hys brode scale,
That no man, yf he love hys hele,
Sholde me dysturbe or let in any wyse.
And yf thou dost the kynges commaundement dispise,
I shall make the be set fast by the fete. 275

And where thou saydyst that thou arte more mete


Among the people here for to preche,

Bycause thou dost them the very way teche

How to come to heven above,

Therin thou lyest, and that shall I prove, 280

And by good reason I shall make the bow,

And knowe that I am meter than arte thou.

For thou whan thou hast taught them ones the way,

Thou carest not wh'ether they com there, ye or nay,

But whan that thou hast done all togyder, 285

And taught them the way for to com thyder,

Yet all that thou canst ymagyn

Is but to use vertue and abstayne fro syn,

And yf they fall ones than thou canst no more,

Thou canst not gyve them a salve for theyr sore; 290

But these my letters be clene purgacyon,

All thoughe never so many synnes they have don.

But whan thou hast taught them the way and all,

Yet or they com there they may have many a fall

In the way that they com thyther, 295

For why the way to heven is very slydder;

But I wyll teche them after another rate,

For I shall brynge them to heven gate,

And be theyr gydes and conducte all thynges,

And lede them thyther by the purse strynges, 300

So that they shall not fall though that they wolde.

FRERE. Holde thy peace, knave, thou art very bolde !
Thou pratest in fayth even lyke a pardoner !

PARDONER. Why despysest thou the popes mynyster?
Maysters, here I curse hym openly, 305

And therwith warne all this hole company,
By the popes great auctoryte,
That ye leve hym and herken unto me ;
For tyll he be assoyled his wordes take none effecte,
For out of holy chyrche he is now clene rejecte. 310


FRERE. My maysters, he dothe but gest and rave :
It forseth not for the wordes of a knave,
But to the worde of God do reverence,
And here me forthe with dewe audyence.

[They again resume their preaching, but after a little while break out
into a fresh quarrel, upon which comes the stage-direction :]

Than the fyght.
FRERE. Lose thy handes away from myn earys ! 538

PARD. Than take thou thy handes away from my heres !

Nay, abyde, thou [rascal], I am not downe yet ! 540

I trust fyrst to lye the at my fete !
F. Ye, [rascal,] wylt thou scrat and byte?
P. Ye, mary, wyll I, as longe as thou doste smyte !


PARSON. Holde your handes ! a vengeaunce on ye bothe

two !

That ever ye came hyther to make this ado 545

To polute my chyrche, a myschyefe on you lyght !
I swere to you, by God all-myght,
Ye shall bothe repente, every vayne of your harte,
As sore as ye dyd ever thynge, or ye departe.

FRERE. Mayster parson, I marvayll ye wyll gyve lycence
To this false knave in this audience 551

To publysh his ragman rolles with lyes.
I desyred hym y-wys, more than ones or twyse,
To holde his peas tyll that I had done,
But he wolde here no more than the man in the mone,

PARD. Why sholde I suffre the more than thou me? 556
Mayster parson gave me lycence before the,
And I wolde thou knewyst it ! I have relykes here
Other maner stuffe than thou dost bere !


I wyll edefy more with the syght of it 560

Than wyll all the pratynge of holy wryt.
For that, except that the precher hym selfe lyve well,
His predycacyon wyll helpe never a dell,

And I know well that thy lyvynge is nought.


PARSON. No more of this wranglyng in my chyrch ! 570
I shrewe your hartys bothe for this lurche !
Is ther any blood shed here betwen these knaves?
Thanked be God, they had no stavys,
Nor [eggetoles] \ for than it had ben wrong !
Well ye shall synge another songe ! 575

Neybour Prat, com hether I you pray.

PRAT. Why what is this nyse fraye?

PARSON. I can not tell you. One knave dysdaynes another,
Wherefore take ye the tone and I shall take the other,
We shall bestow them there as is most convenyent, 580
For suche a couple. I trow they shall repente
That ever they met in this chyrche here !
Neyboure, ye be constable, stande ye nere.
Take ye that laye knave and let me alone
With this gentylman. By God and by saynt John 585
I shall borowe upon presthode 2 somwhat !
For I may say to the, neybour Prat,
It is a good dede to punysh such, to the ensample
Of suche other how that they shall mell
In lyke facyon as these catyfes do. 590

PRAT. In good fayth, mayster parson, yf ye do so,
Ye do but well to teche them to be ware.

PARDON. Mayster Prat, I pray ye me to spare ;
For I am sory for that that is done;
Wherfore I pray ye forgyve me sone 595

For that I have offendyd within your lybertye,

1 egoteles, Text. prestholde, Text.


And, by my trouthe, syr, ye may trust me,

I wyll never come hether more

Whyle I lyve, and God before.
PRAT. Nay, I am ones charged with the, 600

Wherfore, by saynt John, thou shalt not escape me,

Tyll thou hast scouryd a pare of stokys.
PARSON. Tut, he weneth all is but mockes !

Lay hande on hym, and com ye on, syr frere !

Ye shall of me hardely have your hyre, 605

Ye had none suche this vii yere,

I svvere by God and by our Lady dere.
PARDON. Nay, mayster parson, for Goddys passyon,

Intreate not me after that facyon.

For yf ye do it wyll not be for your honesty. 610

PARSON. Honesty or not, but thou shall se

What I shall do by and by.

Make no stroglynge ! com forthe soberly !

For it shall not avayle the I say.
FRERE. Mary, that shall we trye even strayt-way. 615

I defy the, churle preeste, and there be no mo than thou,

I wyll not go with the, I make God a-vow !

We shall se fyrst which is the stronger !

God hath sente me bonys ! I do the not fere !
PARSON. Ye, by my fayth, wylt thou be there? 620

Neybour Prat, brynge forthe that knave,

And thou, syr frere, yf thou wylt algatys rave
FRERE. Nay, chorle, I the defy !
I shall trouble the fyrst,

Thou shalt go to pryson by and by ! 625

Let me se now ! Do thy worste !

Prat with the pardoner and the parson with the frere.
PARSON. Helpe ! helpe ! Neybour Prat ! Neybour Prat !
In the worship of God, helpe me som what !


PRAT. Nay deale as thou canst with that elfe,

For why I have inoughe to do my selfe ! 630

Alas ! for payn I am almoste dede,
The reede blood so ronneth downe aboute my hede,
Nay, and thou canst, I pray the, helpe me !

PARSON. Nay, by the mas, felowe, it wyll not be !

I have more tow on my dystaffe than I can well spyn !
The cursed frere dothe the upper hand wyn ! 636

FRERE. Wyll ye leve than, and let us in peace departe?

PARSON and PRAT. Ye, by our Lady, even with all our
harte !

FRERE and PARD. Than adew, to the deuyll, tyll we come

PARSON and PRAT. And a myschefe go with you bothe
twayne. 640

Imprynted by Wyllyam Rastell the v. day of Apryll
the yere of our lorde M. ccccc xxx m.

Cum privilegio.



II Thys Enterlude Folowynge Dothe Declare howe that the
greatest boesters are not the greatest doers.




MATER A mother.

MILES A knyght.


Thersites commeth in fyrste havinge a clubbe uppon his necke.

Have in a ruffler foorth of the Greke lande

Called Thersites, if ye wyll me knowe.
Abacke, geve me roume, in my way do ye not stand,

For if ye do, I wyll soone laye you lowe.
In Homere of my actes ye have red, I trow, 5

Neyther Agamemnon nor Ulysses, I spared to checke,
They coulde not bringe me to be at theyr becke !

Of late frome the sege of Troy I retourned,
Where all my harnes excepte this clubbe I lost

In an olde house, there it was quyte burned, 10

Whyle I was preparinge vytayles for the hoste.

I must nedes get me newe, what so ever it cost.


I wyll go seke adventures, for I can not be ydle,
I wyll hamper some of the knaves in a brydle.

It greveth me to heare ho we the knaves do bragge, 15
But by supreme Jupiter, when I am harnessed well,

I shall make the dasters to renne into a bagge
To hyde them fro me, as from the devyll of hell,

I double not but hereafter of me ye shall heare tell,

Howe I have made the knaves for to play cowch quaile.

But nowe to the shop of Mulciber to go I wyll not faile. 21

Mulciber must have a shop made in the place and Thersites

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Online LibraryAlfred W. (Alfred William) PollardEnglish miracle plays, moralities, and interludes : specimens of the pre-Elizabethan drama → online text (page 11 of 26)