Alfred W. (Alfred William) Pollard.

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

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THE HARROWING OF HELL. 167

He lihte of his he3e tour

On-to seinte Marie bour ;

He wes boren for oure nede

In )>is world in poure wede,

In \>is world he wes ded 35

For to lesen ous fram )>e qued.

po Jesu heuede shed his blod

For oure sinnes on j>e rod,

He nam him J>e rihte wei

Unto helle for soj?e to sei; 40

po he cam j>er, J>o seide he,

Asse I shal nou telle )>e.

DOMINUS. Harde gates haui gon,

Sorewes suffred mani on ;

pritti winter and )>ridde half jer 45

Haui woned in londe her.

Almost is so michel gan,

Si)>}>en I bicam first man ;

Ich haue siJ)J>en )?oled and wist

Hot and cold, hunger and j?rist : 50

Man ha]> don me shame inoh

Wi)> word and dede in here woh ;

He nomen me wi}>outen sake,

Bounden min hondon to mi bake ;

He beten me, J>at I ran on blode, 55

Demden me to deje on rode ;

For Adames sinne, ful iwis,

Ich haue |>oled al )>is.

Adam, )>ou hauest dere aboht,

pat J>ou leuedest me noht ; 60

Adam, }>ou hauest aboht sore

And I nil suffre )>at na more ;

I shal }>e bringe of helle pine

And wij> )>e alle mine.

SATAN. Who is jat ich here Jore? 65

Ich him rede speke na more,
For he mai so michel do,
pat he shal ous come to,



168 APPENDIX.

For to ben oure fere

And fondon, hou we pleien here. 70

DOMINUS. [pou miht wel wite bi mi plei,

pat mine willi haue awei !]

Wost ]>ou neuer, what ich am ?

Almost )>e J>ridde winter is gan,

pat j>ou hauest fonded me 75

For to knowe, what I be ;

Sinni found )>ou neuer nan

In me as in o]>er man ;

And J>ou shalt wite wel to-dai,

pat mine willi haue awei, 80

Whan J>ou bileuest al )>in one,

panne miht }>ou grete and grone.
SATAN. Par ma fei ! ich holde mine

Alle )>o, }>at ben her-inne ;

Resoun willi telle J>e, 85

per a}en miht j>ou noht be.

Whoso biggeth ani }>ing,

It is his and his ofspring.

Adam hungri cam me to,

Manrede dide I him me do ; 90

For on appel ich jaf him,

He is min and al his kin.

DOMINUS. Satanas, it wes min

pe appel, )>at J>ou }aue him,

pe appel and \>e appel-tre 95

Bo)>e were maked )>ourh me.

Hou mihtest J>ou on ani wise

Of o)>er mannes ]>ing make marchandise ?

Si)>);en he wes boht wij> min,

WiJ> resoun wil ich hauen him. 100

SATAN. Jesu, wel I knowe ]>e!
pat ful sore rewe}> me ;
pou art louerd ouer al,
Wo is him, )>at }>e knowe ne shal !
Heuene and er)>e tak to )>e, 105

pe soules in helle lef )>ou me !



THE HARROWING OF HELL. 169

Let me haue }>at ich helde,

pat )>ou hauest wel mote J>ou welde !
DOMINUS. Stille be J>ou, Satanas,

pe is fallen ambes as! no

Wendest J>ou, ich were ded for noht?

For mi de)> is mankin boht !

pei, J>at hauen serued me,

Wij> me he shulen in heuene be ;

pou shalt ben in more pine, 1 1 5

pan ani, j?at j?er is her-inne.
SATAN. Ne mai non me werse do,

pan ich haue had hider-to.

Ich haue had so michel wo,

pat I ne recche, whider I go; 120

5if }>ou reuest me of mine,

I shal reue J)e of J>ine ;

I shal go fro man to man

And reue \>e of mani an.
DOMINUS. God wot! I shal speke )>e wij> 125

And do \>e to holde grij) !

So faste shal I binde ]>e,

Litel sholt f>ou reue me.

[Were )>ou among men,

pou woldest me reuen mani of hem.] 1 30

pe smale fendes, )>at ben unstronge,

He shulen among men jonge,

For to hauen alle hem,

pat hem ne willen stonden ajen.

Helle jates I come nou to 135

And ich wille, that he undo.

Where is nou j>is jateward ?

Me j>inke)> he is a coward !
JANITOR. Ich haue herd wordes stronge,

Ne dar I her no lengore stonde ; M

Kepe |>e jates whoso mai,

I lete hem stonde and renne awei.
DOMINUS. Helle jates her I felle !

And si)>j>en wil ich herwe helle.



T 70 APPENDIX.

Satanas, her I J>e binde, 145

Ne shalt J>ou neuer henne winde,
Her shalt thou ben in bondes ai,
Til ]?at come domesdai !

ADAM. Welcome, louerd, god of londe,

Codes sone and godes sonde ; 1 50

Welcome, louerd, mote J>ou be,

Longe haue]> ous )>oht after J>e !

Louerd, nou )>ou art comen to ous,

Bring ous of )>is loj>e hous.

Louerd, wost JJGU, what ich am? 155

pou me shope of er]>, Adam ;

For I )>in heste held noht,

Dere ich haue it her aboht.

Haue merci of ous, godes sone,

Let ous na more her wone ; 160

Alle, )>at her-inne be,

3ore hauen ^erned after j>e ;

We hopen wel )>ourh )>i coming

Of cure sinnes hauen froring.

EUA. Knou me, louerd, ich am Eue ; 165

Ich and Adam )>e were so leere,
pou jaue ous to 5eme parais,
We it jemeden asse unwis !
We J)in heste dide forleten,
po we of }>en appel eten ; 170

So longe haue we ben her-inne,
Dere haue we bet oure sinne.
Louerd, god, jif ous leue,
Adam and me, his wif Eue,
To faren of }>is lo}>e wike 175

To |>e blisse of heuene rike!

DOMINUS. Adam, ich haue 3ouen my lif
For )>e and for Eue, J>i wif;
Wendest )>ou, ich were ded for noht?
For mi de)> wes mankin boht. 180

ABRAHAM. Louerd, Crist, ich it am,
pat )>ou calledest Abraham;



THE HARROWING OF HELL. 171

pou me seidest, }>at of me

Shulde a god childe boren be,

pat ous shulde bringe of pine, 185

Me and wij> me alle mine.

pou art )>e child, )>ou art )>e man,

pat wes boren of Abraham ;

Do nou J>at J>ou bihete me,

Bring me to heuene up wi)> J>e! 190

DOMINUS. Abraham, ich wot ful wel

What J>ou seidest, euerich del ;

pat mi suete moder wes

Boren and shaped of \\ fles.
DAVID. Louerd, ich am Dauid, J>e king, 195

pat boren wes of \>m ofspring ;

Do me also J>ou bihete

pourh J>e la we of J>e prophete ;

Nou J>ou art comen to ous,

Bring ous fram )>is dredful hous ! 200

DOMINUS. David, ]>ou were boren of mi kin,

For }>i godnesse art j>ou min,

More for J>i godnesse,

pan for ani sibnesse.
JOHANNES. Louerd, Crist, ich am Johan, 205

pat )>e folewede in flum Jordan ;

Tuelue mone}> is agon,

pat I )K>lede martirdom ;

pou sendest me ]>e rihte wei

In-to helle for so)>e to sei, 210

pat j>ou, Crist, godes sone,

Sone shuldest J>ider come,

For to lesen of helle pine

Alle, )>at J>ou holdest )>ine.

Nou )>ou art comen, nou J>ou do, 215

pat )>ou seidest me unto !
DOMINUS. Johan, Johan, ich it wat,

pat I sende )>e J>e gat ;

pou shall se, )>at I shal do,

pat I seide er )>e to. 220



J72 APPENDIX.

MOYSES. Louerd, ]>ou jaue me al wi)> skil
pe la we of Sinay upon J>e hil ;
Ich am Moyses, J>e prophete,
Ich held }>e lawes, J>at j>ou hete,
pat men shulde come to bete 225

pe sinne, J?at Adam jwhte suete.

DOMINUS. Moyses, J>at ich hihte }>e

In }>e olde lawe, )>ou didest me ;

And alle )>e o)>er, }?at mine ben,

Shulen to blisse wi)> me ten; 230

pei, }>at nolden on me leuen,

Shulen wij> Satanas bileuen ;

per he shulen wonen ai,

Til J>at come domesdai.

{Anctor\ God, for his moder loue 235

Let ous neuer jnder come !
Louerd, for }>i michele grace
Graunte ous in heuene one place ;
Let ous neuer be forloren

For no sinne, Crist icoren ; 240

Ah bring ous out of helle pine,
Louerd, ous and alle }>ine ;
And jif ous grace to Hue and ende
In }>i seruice and to heuene wende.

Amen,



BROOME PLAY OF ABRAHAM AND ISAAC.
H- 3 ! 6-435-

THE ANGELL. I am an angell, thou mayist se blythe 316

That fro hevyn to the ys senth,
Our lord thanke the an c. sythe,

For the kepyng of hys commawment.
He knowyt thi wyll and also thy harte, 320

That thou dredyst hym above all thyng,
And sum of thy hevynes for to departe

A fayr Ram _yynder I gan brynge,
He standyth teyed, loo! a-mong the breres 324

Now Abraham, a-mend thy mood,
For Ysaac, thy jowng son that her ys,

Thys days schall not sched hys blood ;
Goo, make thy sacryfece with yon Rame. 328

Now for-wyll blyssyd Abraham,
For on to hevyn I goo now hom,

The way ys full gayn.
Take up thy son so free. {Exit Angel. 332

ABRAHAM. A ! lord I thanke the of thy gret grace,

Now am I yeyed on dyvers wysse,
A-rysse up, Ysaac, my dere sunne a-rysse,

A-rysse up, swete chyld, and cum to me. 336

YSAAC. A ! mercy, fader, wy smygth _ye not jyt

A ! smygth on, fader, onys with jour knyfife.

ABRAHAM. Pesse, my swet sir ! and take no thowt,

For our lord of hevyn hath grant thi lyffe 340
Be hys aungell now.
That thou schalt not dey this day, sunne, truly.



j 74 APPENDIX.

YSAAC. A ! fader, full glad than wer I

I-wys ! fader, I sey, I-wys ! 344

Yf thys tale wer trew.

ABRAHAM. An hundred tymys, my son fayer of hew,
For joy thi mowth now wyll I kys.

YSAAC. A! my dere fader, Abraham, 348

Wyll not God be wroth Mat we do thus ?

ABRAHAM. Noo, noo ! harly my swyt son,

For j/yn same Rame he hath us sent

Hether down to us. 352

Kyn best schall dey here in thi sted.
In the worthschup of owr lord a-lon.

Goo fet hym hethyr, my chyld, in ded.

YSAAC. Fader, I wyll goo hent hym be the hed, 356

And bryng yvn. best with me a-non.
A ! scheppe, scheppe ! blyssyd mot thou be,

That ever thow were sent down heder,
Thow schall thys day dey for me, 360

In the worchup of the holy Trynyte.
Now cum fast and goo we to-geder,

To my fader of hevyn.

Thow thou be never so jentyll and good, 364

Fyt had I lever thow schedyst thi blood,

I-wysse, scheppe, than I.
Loo ! fader, I have browt here full smerte

Thys jentyll scheppe, 368

And hym to you. I jfyffe

But lord God, I thanke the with all my hart
For I am glad that I schall leve,
And kys onys my dere moder. 372

ABRAHAM. Now be rygth myry, my swete chyld,
For thys qwyke best that ys so myld,
Here I schall present before all other.

YSAAC. And I wyll fast begynne to blowe 376

Thys fyer schall brene a full good spyd;
But, fader, wyll I stowppe downe lowe,
Ye wyll not kyll me with .yowr sword, I trowe ?



BROOME PLAY OF ABRAHAM AND ISAAC. 175

ABRAHAM. Noo, harly, swet son have no dred, 380

My mornyng ys past,

YSAAC. Ya! but I woold that sword wer in a glad,
For i-wys, fader, yt make me full yll a-gast.



[Here Abraham made hys offryng, knelyng and saying thus :

ABRAHAM. Now lord God of hevyn in Trynyte, 384

Allmyty god omnipotent,
My offeryng I make in the worchope of the,
And with thys qweke best I the present.
Lord reseyve thow myn intent. 388

As art god and grownd of our grace.

DEUS. Abraham, Abraham, wyll mot thow sped,

And Ysaac, thi j/owng son the by,
Truly, Abraham, for thys dede, 392

I schall multyplye _xowres botheres sede

As thyke as sterres be in the skye,

Bothe more and lesse ;

And as thyke as gravell in the see, 396

So thyke multyplyed /our sede schall be,

Thys grant I _j/ow for yowr goodnesse.
Off /ow schall cume frowte gret,

And ever be in blysse with owt .yynd, 400

For y& drede me as God a-lon,
And kepe my commawmentes everyschon.

My blyssyng I ^effe, wer so ever je goo.

ABRAHAM. Loo, Ysaac, my son, how thynke _ye, 404

Be thys warke that we have wrogth,
Full glad and blythe we may be

A^ens the wyll of God that we grucched nott,

Upon thys fayer hetth. 408

YSAAC. A! fader, I thanke our lord every dell,
That my wyt servyd me so wyll,
For to drede God more than my detth.

ABRAHAM. Why ! dere-wordy son, wer thow a-dred ? 412
Hardely, chyld, tell me thy lore.



1 76 APPENDIX.

YSAAC. Fa, be my feyth, fader, now hath I red,
I wos never soo afrayd before,

As I have byn at jt/yn hyll. 4 1 6

But be my feyth, fader, I swere
I wyll never more cume there

But yt be a-^ens my wyll.
ABRAHAM. Fa, cum on with me, my owyn swet sonn, 420

And horn-ward fast now let us goon.
YSAAC. Be my feyth, fader, ther-to I grant,
I had never so good wyll to gon horn,

And to speke with my dere moder. 424

ABRAHAM. A ! lord of hevyn, I thanke the,
For now may I led hom with me
Ysaac, my ^/ownge sonn so fre,

The gentyllest chyld above all other. 428

Thys may I wyll a-voee.
Now goo we forthe, my blyssyd sonn.
YSAAC. I grant, fader, and let us gon,

For be my trowthe wer I at home, 432

I wold never gon owt under that forme.
I prey God ^effe us grace ever mo,
And all thow that we be holdyng to.



NOTES.



YORK PLAY.

SUBJECT. The Creation of the Universe and the Fall of
Lucifer form the subject of a play, or part of a play, in each of
the four great cycles. The versions followed by the different
authors and by the writer of the Cursor Mundi exhibit only
trifling differences, the chief of which are recorded in the notes.
The York Play on this subject may certainly claim pre-eminence
over its rivals. It is full of dramatic vigour, and is pervaded
by a certain homely grandeur of style, which contrasts very
effectively with the baldness of the Coventry playwright or the
turgidity of the Chester.

DIALECT. The dialect in which the York Plays were written
was the Northumbrian, but the language of the plays as they
have come down to us is strongly affected by the influence of a
Midland scribe. Note, however, the Northern a for o in
formaste, one, awne, etc., the Northern form of the second
person singular in thu has, thou lyes, thou was, the plural in s
after the substantival subject,

Thi dedes to this dole nowe has dyghte us (1. 109),
and again the imperative plural in es (the pronoun being absent),

Bothe the nighte and the day, does dewly _yhour deyver.
Note also the present participles in and, ande, and the Northern
forms als, ivhilke, slyke, gyf, sail, etc.

METRE. The metre of this play, like that of the fortieth
and forty-fifth, consists of eight-line stanzas, of which the first
quatrain rimes abab with four beats to the line, the second
quatrain cddc, with three beats. Each v line is alliterative on
three stressed syllables at least.

N



NOTES TO YORK PLAY.

TEXT. The text of this play is taken from the editio princeps
with the following title :

' York Plays. The Plays performed by the Crafts or Mysteries
of York on the day of Corpus Christi in the I4th, i5th and i6th
centuries, Now first printed from the unique manuscript in
the Library of Lord Ashburnham. Edited with introduction
and glossary by Lucy Toulmin Smith. Oxford, at the Clarendon
Press, 1885."

Ego sum Alpha et O., Gr*c. This is compounded of two texts :
Rev. i. 8, ' I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,'
and John xiv. 6, ' I am the way, the truth, and the life.' The
Towneley, Coventry and Chester Plays quote only from the
Revelation.

3. Way unto ivelth wynnyng : i.e. way winning, or leading,
unto wealth (well-being).

5. My blyssyng o ble sail be btendyng, &r*c. : the blissfulness
of my countenance shall be blinding, and when it descends a
protection from harm.

17. But onely the tuorthely warke, &c. : i.e. but my spirit
shall breathe my might only into the worthy work of my will.

23. Nyen ordres of aungels. The nine orders are thus summed
up in the corresponding Chester play

Lord, through thy mighte thou haste us wroughte

Nine orderes heare, that we maye see
Cherubyn and Seraphyn through thy grace,

Thrones and domenaciones in blesse to be.
With principates that order brighte
And potestates in blissful lighte,
Alsoe vertutes through thy greate mighte,

Angell, also arckeangele.
The Cursor Mundi says

Of angels wald he served be
That suld of ordres haf thris thre,
He ches til him that lanerd hend
The men suld mak the ordre tend.

Cotton MS., 429-432.

But in the Towneley Play the tenth order was originally
composed of the Angels who afterwards forfeited their place,
for the Primus demon in reproaching Lucifer says :

Thou has maide IX, there was X.
So also in Ccedmon.



NOTES TO YORK PLAY. 179

25. Nexile : ' an exile, s. aisle, from Lat. axilla, a detached part
of the structure of the world ; here seems to be confounded
with isle? (Note in Miss Smith's Glossary, York Plays, p. 546.)
28. And that welth sail welde, <&*:. / i. e. and [they] that shall
enjoy well-being shall dwell in these habitations.
32. Be put : i. e. that they be put.
49. Markide : i. e. is made conspicuous.
71. Me nedes : i.e. I have no need to trouble myself in any
way.

92. Owe! dewes .' all goes downe : Lucifer's self-gratulation
is here cut short by his fall from heaven. In the Cursor Mundi
and in the Towneley and Chester Plays his sin is represented as
more heinous than that of mere boasting.
Thus in the Cursor we read

'Sette,' he said, 'mi sete I sal
Gain him that heist es of all :
In the north side it sal be sette,
O me servis sal he non gette,
Qui suld I him servis yeild ?
Al sal be at myn auen weild.'

Cotton MS., 457-462.

And in the Plays Lucifer seats himself in God's throne.

106. All oure fode es but filth, wefynde us beforn : i. e. all the
food we find before us is but filth.

125. like war ke eftyr is wroghte : literally, 'There has been
wrought according to each work,' i. e. each work has had its
appropriate consequence.

134. Tham thoght tham : 'Thai thoght tham' would mean
' they thought themselves,' and ' tham thoght thai weren,' ' it
seemed to them they were,' but ' tham thoght tham ' is loose
grammar

142. Before: i.e. in point of time.



N 2



l8o NOTES TO CHESTER PLAYS.

CHESTER PLAYS.

I. NOAH'S FLOOD.

SUBJECT. The Building of the Ark, the entrance into it of
Noah and his Wife, and the Flood, were among the most
popular subjects in the Miracle Cycles. In addition to the
York, Towneley, Coventry, and Chester plays, a Newcastle play
acted by the Shipwrights' Gild is still preserved, and is printed
in Brand's History of Newcastle, vol. ii. In the Miller's Tale
of Chaucer, where a clerk persuades a foolish carpenter to pass
the night in a basket slung from a window in preparation for a
second flood, there are naturally many allusions to Noah. See
especially lines 348-357.

'Hastow nat herd how saved was Noe,
Whan that our Lord had warned him biforn
That al the world with watir schulde be lorn?'

' Yis,' quod this carpenter, ' ful yore ago.'
'Hastow nought herd,' quod Nicholas, 'also
The sorwe of Noe with his felaschipe,
That he hadde or he gat his wyf to schipe ?
Him hadde wel lever, I dar wel undertake,
At thilke tyme, than alle his wetheres blake,
That sche hadde hadde a schip hirself alone.'
The Flood is treated at great length in the alliterative poem
on Noah and in the Cursor Mundi (11. 1625-2000), but there is
no allusion there to the obstinacy of Noah's wife.

METRE. Stanzas of eight lines, for the most part riming
aaab cccb, but occasionally aaab aaab. The fourth and eighth
lines have only three beats, the rest four. There is much use of
alliteration.

TEXT. The Chester Plays have come down to us in five
manuscripts, all transcribed within fifteen years, and all late.
The earliest, written in 1591 by ' Edward Gregorie, a scholar of
Bunbury,' is now in the possession of the Duke of Devonshire,
by whose kindness the present editor has had the use of it for
this edition. The next two transcripts were made by George
Bellin in 1592 and 1600 respectively. These are both in the
British Museum, MS. Add. 10,305 and Harl. 2013. The fourth
copy is in the Bodleian (MS. 175) ; it was written by William



NOTES TO CHESTER PLAYS. 181

Bedford in 1604. The fifth and last, dated 1607, was the work
of James Miller, and this also is in the British Museum (Harl.
2124). The relations of the five MSS. are both interesting and
complicated. All that can be said here is that the transcripts of
1592 (here called B) and 1607 (E) show, especially in this play,
most striking differences, and that the Duke of Devonshire's
MS. (A) is a kind of connecting link between them, though
nearer to B than to E. Harl. 2013 and Bod. 175 belong to
the same group as B and are of no great importance. For
the present edition I have thought it best to follow in the steps
of Wright, and take my text from B ; but I have ventured to
make important corrections on the authority of A and E, and
in particular have printed for the first time a passage of some
forty lines for which E is our sole authority.

I. /, God, that all this ivorlde hath wrought: 'hath' for
' have ' through the interposition of the word ' God.'

4. Are sette fowle in synne : C reads ' Are fowle sotted.'

5. My ghoste shall not linge in mone . . . but tell, S^c. : my
spirit shall only (not . . . but) continue in man for six score
years. Cp. Gen. vi. 3.

8. The : i. e. they.

10. Fowle to flye : gerundial infinitive, cp. 11. 57, 58, a
hacchette wounder keyne to bitte well.

II. The doe me nye, The Folke, &*c.: 'for on earth they, the
folk that are thereon, do me wrong.' This seems better than to
omit (with Wright) the comma after 'nye,' when we must
render : ' for they cause me to harm the folk that are thereon.'

15. Hartelye. A and E read 'inwardlie,' but see Gen. vi. 6~

17. My servante free : 'free,' i.e. noble.

19. The directions here given are paraphrased from Gen. vi.
14-16: 'Make thee an ark of gopher wood (treeyes dry and
light, 1. 20) ; rooms (littill chamberes, 1. 21 ) shalt thou make
in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch
(11. 22-24). And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it
of: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the
breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits
(11. 25-28). A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a
cubit shalt thou finish it above (11. 29-30) ; and the door of the
ark shalt thou set in the side thereof (11. 31-32) ; with lower,
second and third stories (three rowfed chamberes on a roe, 1. 34)
shalt thou make it.'



1 82 NOTES TO CHESTER PLAYS.

21. Thou make : imperative.

27. The meete thoufonge : take thou the measure. 'Meete 'is
the reading of MS. A, for 'nexte ' of B, and ' melt ' of E. The
height as given in Genesis is thirty cubits, not fifty (E) or sixty
(A).

31. A dore shall sit : i. e. shall be placed. This is the reading
of E and rimes with ' wytte ' and ' itt.' A and B both read
' sutte,' the northern spelling of ' shutte.'

34. Three rowfcd chamberes on a roe. These do not answer
to the 'rooms' of Gen. vi. 14, but to the 'lower, second and
third stories ' of verse 16. ' Rowfed ' is the reading of E, and
shows ' ronette ' of A and D to be a mistake for ' rovette,' a
northern spelling of the same word. C reads 'round,' and
gives us also 'on a roe ' instead of the senseless 'one or two' of
the other MSS.

35. Sloive: i.e. slay, is the reading of E and superior to ' flowe '
(? = flood) of the other manuscripts.

40. Saved be for thy sake : another reading from E instead of
the senseless ' shall fall before thy face,' which loses the rime
with ' make ' in 1. 36.

42. To me arte in such will : art so minded towards me.

50. Hye you, leste this waiter fall. E reads ' Helpe for aughte
that may befall.'

66. We mone. The copyist of E mistook this for one word and
modernised it to ' women ' !

75. Every stiche : i.e. every stick. B 'with stiche.'

93. Toppe-castill : a ledging surrounding the masthead (Halli-
well).

94. With cordes and roppes, I hold all meete, E ; the other
MSS. read : ' Bouth cordes and roppes I have all meete.'

115. For non soe righteous man to me: (to me, i.e. in my
sight) A and E. 'For non soe righte, nor non to me,' is the
reading of B.

113-124. Cp. Gen. vii. 1-3.

I I S~ I 33- Cp. Gen. vi. 19-21.

137-144. Cp. Gen. vii. 4.

151. Yf through amendment, &c. : i.e. to see if an explana-
tion of his slowness. The ' hundred wynter and twentye ' of
line 149 are a repetition of the ' six skore yeaires ' of line 7, both
being taken from Genesis vi. 3. But according to Genesis v. 32
Noah was apparently over five hundred before the Ark was



NOTES TO CHESTER PLAYS. 183

begun, and according to Genesis vii. 6 only six hundred when
it was finished. The writer seems to reckon by the ' long hun-
dred.'

155. Thatiich beaste were in stalle: a wish; cf. Ch a . 388, 'And
sone that I were speede.'

170. Fullimartes : i.e. polecats, A; 'fulmart,' E. 'Fillie,
mare also,' B, which clashes with 'horses, mares,' &c. of 1. 162.

187. Cuckoes, curlues, &>. For ' cuckoes ' we have in B
' Duckes,' but our reading is supported both by its alliteration
and by the occurrence in 1. 189 of digges, drackes.'

Who ever knowes. Perhaps we should only regard this as
a loose way of saying ' for anyone who knows to see,' or
'as any one knows;' but lines 189-191 may be taken as ex-
planatory of ' iche one in his kinde,' and the construction be
completed by line 192.

206. But, ' unless ' ; elles, redundant.


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