From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

N-Town Cycle, Play 26 - The First Passion Play: The Prologues of the Lucifer and John the Baptist, Judas and the Conspiracy Against Christ, and Christ's Entry into Jerusalem

1 DEMON I am 3oure lord, Lucifer, þat out of helle cam,
2 Prince of his Werd and gret Duke of Helle!
3 Wherefore my name is clepyd Sere Satan,
4 Whech aperyth among 3ow a matere to spelle.

5 I am norsshere of synne to þe confusyon of man,
6 To bryng hym to my dongeon, þer in fyre to dwelle.
7 Hosoevyr serve me, so reward hym I kan
8 þat he xal syng "wellaway" evyr in peynes felle.

9 Lo, þus bountevous a lord þan now am I
10 To reward so synners, as my kend is:
11 Whoso wole folwe my lore and serve me dayly,
12 Of sorwe and peyne anow he xal nevyr mys.

13 For I began in hefne synne for to sowe
14 Among all þe angellys þat weryn þere so bryth;
15 And þerfore was I cast out into helle ful lowe,
16 Notwithstandyng I was þe fayrest and berere of lyth.

17 3et I drowe in my tayle of þo angelys bryth
18 With me into helle--takyth good hed what I say--
19 I lefte but tweyn a3ens on to abyde here in lyth;
20 But be iijde part come with me, þis may not be seyd nay.

21 Takyth hed to 3oure prince, þan, my pepyl euerychon,
22 And seyth what maystryes in hefne I gan þer do play.
23 To gete a thowsand sowlys in an houre, methynkyth it but skorn
24 Syth I wan Adam and Eve on þe fyrst day.

25 But now mervelous mendys rennyn in myn rememberawns
26 Of on Cryst, wiche is clepyd Joseph and Maryes sone.
27 Thryes I tempte hym be ryth sotylle instawnce,
28 Aftyr he fast fourty days ageyns sensual myth or reson,
29 For of þe stonys to a mad bred; but sone I had conclusyon;
30 þan upon a pynnacle, but angelys were to hym assystent--
31 His answerys were mervelous, I knew not his intencyon;
32 And at þe last to veynglory, but nevyr I had myn intent.

33 And now hath þe xij dysypulys to his attendauns.
34 To eche town and cety he sendyth hem as bedellys,
35 In dyverce place to make for hym puruyauns.
36 The pepyl of hese werkys ful grettly merveyllys:
37 To þe crokyd, blynd and dowm, his werkys provaylys;
38 Lazare, þat foure days lay ded, his lyff recuryd;
39 And where I purpose me to tempt, anon he me asaylys;
40 Mawdelyn playn remyssyon also he hath ensuryd.

41 Goddys son he pretendyth, and to be born of a mayde,
42 And seyth he xal dey for mannys saluacyon.
43 þan xal þe trewth be tryed, and no ferdere be delayd,
44 Whan þe soule fro þe body xal make separacyon.
45 And as for hem þat be vndre my grett domynacyon,
46 He xal fayle of hese intent and purpose also,
47 Be þis tyxt of holde remembryd to myn intencyon:
48 Quia in inferno nulla est redempcio.

49 But whan þe tyme xal neyth of his persecucyon,
50 I xal arere new engynes of malycyous conspiracy!
51 Plenté of reprevys I xal provide to his confusyon.
52 þus xal I false þe wordys þat his pepyl doth testefy.
53 His discipulis xal forsake hym and here maystyr denye;
54 Innovmberabyl xal hese woundys be, of woful grevauns;
55 A tretowre xal countyrfe his deth to fortyfye.
56 þe rebukys þat he gyf me xal turne to his displesauns.

57 Some of hese dyscypulys xal be chef of his ordenawns.
58 þat xal fortefye his term, þat "in trost is treson."
59 þus xal I venge be sotylté at my malycyous grevauns,
60 For nothyng may excede my prudens and dyscrecyon.

61 Gyff me 3oure love, grawnt me myn affeccyon,
62 And I wyl vnclose þe tresour of lovys alyawns,
63 And gyff 3ow 3oure desyrys afftere 3oure intencyon;
64 No poverté xal aproche 3ow fro plentevous abundauns.

65 Byholde þe dyvercyté of my dysgysyd varyauns,
66 Eche thyng sett of dewe naterall dysposycyon,
67 And eche parte acordynge to his resemblauns,
68 Fro þe sool of þe foot to be hyest asencyon:

69 Off fyne cordewan a goodly peyre of long-pekyd schon;
70 Hosyn enclosyd of þe most costyous cloth of crenseyn
71 (þus a bey to a jentylman to make comparycyon),
72 With two doseyn poyntys of cheverelle, þe aglottys of syluer feyn;

73 A shert of feyn Holond (but care not for þe payment!),
74 A stomachere of clere Reynes, þe best may be bowth
75 (þow poverté be chef, lete pride her be present,
76 And all þo þat repreff pride, þu sette hem at nowth);

77 Cadace, wolle, or flokkys, where it may be sowth,
78 To stuffe withal þi dobbelet and make þe of proporcyon
79 Two smale legges and a gret body (þow it ryme nowth,
80 3et loke þat þu desyre to an þe newe faccyon);

81 A gowne of thre 3erdys (loke þu make comparison
82 Vnto all degrees dayly þat passe þin astat);
83 A purse withoutyn mony, a daggere for devoscyon
84 (And here repref is of synne, loke þu make debat);

85 With syde lokkys I schrewe þin here, to þi colere hangyng down,
86 To herborwe qweke bestys þat tekele men onyth;
87 An hey smal bonet for curying of þe crowne.
88 And all beggerys and pore pepyll, haue hem in dyspyte.
89 Onto þe grete othys and lycherye gyf þi delyte.
90 To maynteyn þin astate lete brybory be present.
91 And yf be lawe repreve þe, say þu wylt fyth
92 And gadere þe a felachep after þin entent.

93 Loke þu sett not be precept nor be comawndement:
94 Both sevyle and canoun sett þu at nowth.
95 Lette no membre of God but with othys be rent--
96 Lo, þus his werd at his tyme to myn intent is browth.
97 I, Sathan, with my felawus þis werd hath sowth,
98 And now we han it at houre plesawns.
99 For synne is not shamfast, but boldnes hath bowth
100 þat xal cause hem in helle to han inerytawns.

101 A beggerys dowtere to make gret purvyauns
102 To cownterfete a jentylwoman, dysgeysyd as she can.
103 And yf mony lakke, þis is þe newe chevesauns:
104 With here prevy plesawns to gett it of sum man;
105 Here colere splayed and furryd with ermyn, Calabere, or satan,
106 A seyn to selle lechory to hem þat wyl bey;
107 And þei þat wyl not by it, yet mow xal þei han,
108 And telle hem it is for love--she may it not deney.

109 I haue browth 3ow newe namys, and wyl 3e se why?
110 For synne is so plesaunt to ech mannys intent.
111 3e xal kalle pride "onesté," and "naterall kend" lechory,
112 And covetyse "wysdam" there tresure is present;

113 Wreth, "manhod," and envye callyd "chastement"
114 (Seyse nere sessyon, lete perjory be chef);
115 Glotenye, "rest" (let abstynawnce beyn absent).
116 And he þat wole exorte þe to vertu, put hem to repreff!

117 To rehers al my servauntys, my matere is to breff,
118 But all þese xal eneryth þe dyvicyon eternal.
119 þow Cryst by his sotylté many materys meef,
120 In evyrlastynge peyne with me dwellyn þei xal.

121 Remembre, oure seruauntys whoys sowlys ben mortall,
122 For I must remeffe for more materys to provyde,
123 I am with 3ow at all tymes whan 3e to councel me call;
124 But for a short tyme myself I devoyde.

125 JOHANNES. BAPTIS[TA] I, Johan Baptyst, to 3ow þus prophesye:
126 þat on xal come aftyr me and not tary longe,
127 In many folde more strengere þan I,
128 Of whose shon I am not worthy to lose þe thonge.
129 Wherefore I councel þe 3e reforme all wronge
130 In 3oure concyens of þe mortall dedys sevyn.
131 And for to do penawns loke þat 3e fonge;
132 For now xal come be kyngdham of hevyn.

133 þe weys of oure Lord cast 3ow to aray,
134 And þerin to walk, loke 3e be applyande.
135 And make his pathys as ryth as 3e may,
136 Kepyng ryth forth, and be not declinande
137 Neyther to fele on ryth nor on lefte hande,
138 But in þe myddys purpose 3ow to holde.
139 For þat in all wyse is most plesande,
140 As 3e xal here whan I have tolde.

141 Of his wey for to make moralysacyon,
142 Be þe ryth syde 3e xal vndyrstonde "mercy;"
143 And on þe lefte syde lykkenyd :dysperacyon;"
144 And þe patthe betwyn bothyn þat may not wry
145 Schal be "hope and drede," to walk in perfectly,
146 Declynyng not to fele for no maner nede.
147 Grete cawsys I xal shove 3ow why
148 þat 3e xal sewe þe patthe of hope and drede.

149 On þe mercy of God to meche 3e xal not holde,
150 As in þis wyse, behold what I mene:
151 For to do synne, be þu no more bolde
152 In trost þat God wole mercyful bene.
153 And yf be sensualyté, as it is ofte sene,
154 Synnyst dedly, þu xalt not þerfore dyspeyre;
155 But þerfore do penawns and confesse þe clene,
156 And of hevyn þu mayst trost to ben eyre.

157 þe pathe þat lyth to þis blyssyd enherytawns
158 Is hope and drede, copelyd be conjunccyon.
159 Betwyx þese tweyn may be no dysseuerawns,
160 For hope withoutyn drede is maner of presumpcyon;
161 And drede withowtyn hope is maner of dysperacyon.
162 So these tweyn must be knyt be on acorde.
163 How 3e xal aray þe wey I haue made declar[acyon],
164 Also þe ryth patthis a3ens þe comyng of oure Lord.

Here xal Annas shewyn hymself in his stage beseyn aftyr a busshop of þe hoold lawe in a skarlet gowne, and ouyr þat a blew tabbard furryd with whyte, and a mytere on his hed after þe hoold lawe; ij doctorys stondyng by hym in furryd hodys, and on beforn hem with his staff of astat, and eche of hem on here hedys a furryd cappe with a gret knop in þe crowne; and on stondyng beforn as a Sarazyn, þe wich xal be his masangere, Annas þus seyng:

165 ANNAS As a prelat am I properyd to provyde pes,
166 And of Jewys jewge, þe lawe to fortefye.
167 I, Annas, be my powere xal comawnde, dowteles:
168 þe lawys of Moyses no man xal denye!
169 Hoo excede my comawndement, anon 3e certefye;
170 Yf any eretyk here reyn, to me 3e compleyn.
171 For in me lyth þe powere all trewthis to trye,
172 And pryncypaly oure lawys--þo must I susteyn.

173 3ef I may aspey þe contrary, no wheyle xal þei reyn,
174 But anon to me be browth and stonde present
175 Before here jewge, wich xal not feyn,
176 But aftere here trespace gef hem jugement.
177 Now, serys, for a prose, heryth myn intent:
178 There is on Jesus of Nazareth þat oure lawys doth excede.
179 Yf he procede thus, we xal us all repent,
180 For oure lawys he dystroyt dayly with his dede.

181 Therefore be 3oure cowncel we must take hede
182 What is be[st] to provyde or do in his case.
183 For yf we let hym þus go and ferdere prosede,
184 Ageyn Sesare and oure lawe we do trespace.

185 PRIMUS DOCTOR Serys, his is myn avyse þat 3e xal do:
186 Send to Cayphas for cowncel, knowe his intent.
187 For yf Jesu proce[de], and þus forth go,
188 Oure lawys xal be dystroyd, thes se we present.

189 SECUNDUS DOCTOR Sere, remembre þe gret charge þat on 3ow is leyd,
190 þe lawe to ke[pe], which may not fayle.
191 Yf any defawth prevyd of 3ow be seyd,
192 þe Jewys with trewth wyl 3ow asayl.
193 Tak hed whath cownsayl may best provayl.
194 After Rewfyn and Leyon I rede þat 3e sende--
195 They arn temperal jewgys þat knowyth þe perayl--
196 With 3oure cosyn Cayphas þis matere to amende.

197 ANNAS Now surely þis cowncel revyfe myn herte!
198 3oure cowncel is best, as I can se.
199 Arfexe, in hast loke þat þu styrte,
200 And pray Cayphas my cosyn come speke with me.

201 To Rewfyn and Leon þu go also,
202 And pray hem þei speke with me in hast.
203 For a pryncipal matere þat haue to do,
204 Wich must be knowe or þis day be past.

205 ARFEXE My souereyn, at 3oure intent I xal gon
206 In al þe hast hat I kan hy
207 Onto Cayphas, Rewfyn, and Lyon,
208 And charge 3oure intent þat þei xal ply.

Here goth þe masangere forth; and in þe menetyme Cayphas shewyth himself in his skafhald arayd lych to Annas, savyng his tabbard xal be red furryd with white; ij doctorys with hym arayd with pellys aftyr þe old gyse and furryd cappys on here hedys; Cayphas þus seyng:

209 CAYPHAS As a primat most preudent, I present here sensyble
210 Buschopys of þe lawe with al þe cyrcumstawns.
211 I, Cayphas, am jewge with powerys possyble
212 To distroye all errouris þat in oure lawys make varyawns.
213 All thyngys I convey be reson and temperawnce,
214 And all materis possyble to me ben palpable.
215 Of þe lawe of Moyses I haue a chef governawns;
216 To seuere ryth and wrong in me is termynable.

217 But þer is on Cryst þat [in] oure lawys is varyable;
218 He perverte þe pepyl with his prechyng ill.
219 We must seke a mene onto hym reprevable
220 For yf he procede, oure lawys he wyl spyll!

221 We must take good cowncel in þis case
222 Of þe wysest of þe lawe þat kan þe trewthe telle,
223 Of þe jewgys of Pharasy and of my cosyn Annas.
224 For yf he procede, be prossesse oure lawys he wyl felle.

225 PRIMUS DOCT[OR] Myn lord, plesyt 3ow to pardon me for to say
226 þe blame in 3ow is, as we fynde,
227 To lete Cryst contenue þus day be day,
228 With his fals wicheraft þe pepyl to blynde.
229 He werkyth fals meraclis ageyns all kende,
230 And makyth oure pepyl to leve hem in.
231 It is 3oure part to take hym and do hym bynde,
232 And gyf hym jugement for his gret syn.

233 SECUNDUS DOCTOR Forsothe, sere, of trewth this is þe case:
234 Onto oure lawe 3e don oppressyon
235 þat 3e let Cryst from 3ou pace
236 And wyl not don on hym correxion.
237 Let Annas knowe 3oure intencyon,
238 With prestys and jewgys of þe lawe;
239 And do Cryst forsake his fals oppynyon--
240 Or into a preson lete hem be thrawe!

241 CAYPHAS Wel, serys, 3e xal se withinne short whyle,
242 I xal correcte hym for his trespas.
243 He xal no lenger oure pepyl begyle;
244 Out of myn dawngere he xal not pas!

Here comyth þe masangere to Cayphas; and in þe menetyme Rewfyn and Lyon schewyn hem in þe place in ray tabardys furryd, and ray hodys abouth here neckys furryd; þe masangere seyng:

245 MASANGERE Myn reverent souereyn, and it do 3ow plese,
246 Sere Annas, my lord, hath to 3ou sent.
247 He prayt 3ou þat 3e xal not sese
248 Tyl þat 3e ben with hym present.

249 CAYPHAS Sere, telle myn cosyn I xal not fayl.
250 It was my purpose hym for to se
251 For serteyn rnaterys þat wyl provayle,
252 þow he had notwth a sent to me.

253 MASAGER I recomende me to 3oure hey degré.
254 On more massagys I must wende.
255 CAYPHAS Farewel, sere, and wel 3e be.
256 Gret web my cosyn and my fre[n]de.

Here þe masager metyth with þe jewgys, sayng:

257 MASAGER Heyl, jewgys of Jewry, of reson most prudent!
258 Of my massage to 3ou I make relacyon:
259 My lord, Sere Annas, hath for 3ou sent,
260 To se his presens withowth delacyon.

261 REWFYN Sere, we are redy at his comawndement
262 To se Sere Annas in his place.
263 It was oure purpose and oure intent
264 To a be with hym withinne short space.

265 LEYON We are ful glad his presence to se;
266 Sere, telle hym we xal come in hast:
267 No delacyon þerin xal be,
268 But to his presens hye us fast.

269 MASAGER I xal telle my lord, seris, as 3e say,
270 3e wyl fulfylle al his plesawns.
271 REWFYN Sere, telle hym we xal make no delay,
272 But come in hast at his instawns.

Here þe masangere comyth to Annas, þus seyng:

273 MASAN[GER] My lord, and it plese 3ou to haue intellygens,
274 Ser Cayphas comyth to 3ou in hast.
275 Rewfyn and Lyon wyl se 3oure presens,
276 And se 3ow here or þis day be past.

277 ANNAS Sere, I kan þe thank of þi dyligens.
278 Now ageyn my cosyn I wole walk.
279 Serys, folwyth me onto his presens,
280 For of these materys we must talk.

Here Annas goth down to mete with Cayphas, and in þe menetyme þus seyng:

281 CAYPHAS Now onto Annas let us wende,
282 Ech of vs to knowe otherys intent.
283 Many materys I haue in mende,
284 þe wich to hym I xal present.

285 PRIMUS DOCTOR C[AYPHAS] Sere, of all othere thyng, remembre þis case:
286 Loke þatJesus be put to schame.
287 SECUNDUS DOCTOR C[AYPHAS] Whan we come present beforn Annas,
288 Whe xal rehers all his gret blame.

Here þe buschopys with here clerkys and þe Pharaseus mett [at] þe mydplace, and þer xal be a lytil oratory with stolys and cusshonys, clenly beseyn lych as it were a cownsel hous; Annas þus seyng:

289 ANNAS Welcome, Sere Cayphas and 3e jewgys alle!
290 Now xal 3e knowe all myn entent:
291 A wondyr case, serys, here is befalle
292 On wich we must gyf jewgement--
293 Lyst þat we aftere þe case repent--
294 Of on Cryst, þat Goddys sone som doth hym calle.
295 He shewyth meraclys and sythe present
296 þat he is prynce of pryncys alle.

297 The pepyl so fast to hym doth falle,
298 Be prevy menys as we aspye,
299 3yf he procede, son sen 3e xalle
300 þat oure lawys he wyl dystrye.

301 It is oure part þ[i]s to deny.
302 What is 3oure cowncell in þis cas?
303 CAYPHAS Be reson þe trewth here may we try.
304 I cannot dem hym withouth trespace
305 Because he seyth in every a place
306 þat he [is] Kyng of Jewys in every degré.
307 þerfore he is fals, knowe wel þe case:
308 Sesar is kyng, and non but he!

309 REWFYN He is an eretyk and a tretour bolde
310 To Sesare and to oure lawe, sertayn,
311 Bothe in word. and in werke, and 3e beholde;
312 He is worthy to dey with mekyl peyn!

313 LEON þe cawse þat we been here present:
314 To fortefye þe lawe; and, trewth to say,
315 Jesus ful nere oure lawys hath shent--
316 þerfore he is worthy for to day!

317 PRIMIUS DOCTOR AN[NAS] Serys, 3e þat ben rewelerys of þe lawe,
318 On Jesu 3e must gyf jugement.
319 Let hym fyrst ben hangyn and drawe,
320 And þanne his body in fyre be brent.

321 SECUNDUS Now xal 3e here be intent of me:
322 Take Jesu, þat werke us all gret schame,
323 Put hym to deth! Let hym not fle,
324 For than þe comownys, þei wyl 3ow blame.

325 PRIMUS DOCTOR CAYP [HAS] He werke with wechecrafte in eche place,
326 And drawyth þe pepyl to hese intent.
327 Bewhare, 3e jewgys, let hym not passe;
328 þan, be my trowthe, 3e xal repent.

329 SECUNDUS DOCTOR CAYPHAS Serys, takyth hede onto þis case,
330 And in 3oure jewgement be not slawe.
331 þer was nevyr man dyd so gret trespace
332 As Jesu hath don ageyn oure lawe.

333 ANNAS Now, bretheryn, þan wyl 3e here myn intent?
334 These ix days let us abyde.
335 We may not gyf so hasty jugement,
336 But eche man inqwere on his syde:
337 Send spyes abouth þe countré wyde
338 To se, and recorde, and testymonye.
339 And þan hese werkys he xal not hyde,
340 Nor haue no power hem to denye.

341 CAYPHAS This cowncell acordyth to my reson.
342 ANNAS And we all to be same.

343 JESUS Frendys, beholde þe tyme of mercy,
344 The whiche is come now, withowt dowth.
345 Mannys sowle in blys now xal edyfy,
346 And þe Prynce of þe Werd is cast owth.

347 Go to 3on castel þat standyth 3ow ageyn,
348 Sum of myn dyscyplis--go forth, 3e to.
349 þere xul 3e fyndyn bestys tweyn:
350 An asse tyed and here fole also.
351 Vnlosne þat asse and brynge it to me pleyn.
352 Iff any ma[n] aske why þat 3e do so,
353 Sey þat I haue nede to þis best, certeyn,
354 And he xal not lett 3ow 3oure weys for to go.
355 þat best brynge 3e to me.
356 PRIMUS APOSTOLUS Holy prophete, we gon oure way;
357 We wyl not 3oure wourd delay.
358 Also sone as þat we may,
359 We xal it brynge to the.

Here þei fecch þe asse with þe fole, and þe burgeys seyth:

360 BURGENSIS Herke, 3e men, who 3aff 3ow leve
361 Thus his best for to take away?

362 But only for pore men to releve
363 This asse is ordayned, as I 3ow say.
364 PHIUPPUS Good sere, take this at no greff.
365 Oure maystyr us sent hedyr þis day.
366 He hath grett nede, withowt repreff
367 þerfore not lett us, I þe pray,
368 þis best for to lede.
369 BURGENSIS Sethyn þat it is so þat he hath 3ow sent,
370 Werkyth his wyll and his intent:
371 Take þe beste, as 3e be bent,
372 And evyr wel mote 3e spede.

373 JACOBUS MINOR This best is brought ryght now here, lo,
374 Holy prophete, at þin owyn wylle.
375 And with his cloth anon also,
376 his bestys bak we xal sone hylle.
377 PHILIPPUS Now mayst þu ryde whedyr þu wylt go,
378 Thyn holy purpos to fulfylle.
379 Thy best ful redy is dyth þe to;
380 Bothe meke and tame, þe best is stylle.
381 And we be redy also,
382 Iff it be plesynge to þi ssyght,
383 The to helpe anon forthryght,
384 Vpon his best þat þu were dyght,
385 þi jurney for to do.

Here Cryst rydyth out of þe place and he wyl, and Petyr and Johan abydyn stylle; and at þe last, whan þei haue don þer prechyng, ]ei mete with Jesu.

386 PETRUS. O 3e pepyl dyspeyryng, be glad!
387 A grett cawse 3e haue, and 3e kan se:
388 The Lord, þat allthynge of nought mad,
389 Is comynge 3oure comfort to be.
390 All 3oure langoris salvyn xal be;
391 3oure helthe is more than 3e kan wete.
392 He xal cawse þe blynde þat þei xal se,
393 þe def to here, þe dome for to speke.

394 þei þat be crokyd, he xal cause hem to goo,
395 In þe wey þat Johan Baptyst of prophecyed.
396 Sweche a leche kam 3ow nevyr non too.
397 Wherfore, what he comawndyth, loke [b]e applyed!
398 þat som of 3ow be blynd, it may not be denyid,
399 For hym þat is 3oure makere, with 3oure gostly ey 3e xal not knowe.
400 Of his comaundementys in 3ow gret necglygens is aspyed;
401 Wherefore def fro gostly heryng clepe 3ow I howe.

402 And some of 3ow may not go, 3e be so crokyd,
403 For of good werkyng in 3ow is lytyl habundawns.
404 Tweyn fete heuery man xuld haue, and it were lokyd,
405 Wyche xuld bere þe body gostly, most of substawns:
406 Fyrst is to love God above all other plesawns;
407 þe secunde is to love þi neybore as þin owyn persone.
408 And yf þese tweyn be kepte in perseverawns,
409 Into þe celestyal habytacyon 3e arn habyl to gone.

410 Many of 3ow be dome. Why? For 3e wole not redresse
411 Be mowthe 3oure Dedys Mortal, but þerin don perdure.
412 Of þe wych but 3e haue contrycyon and 3ow confesse,
413 3e may not inheryte hevyn, his I 3ow ensure.
414 And of all þese maladyes 3e may haue gostly cure,
415 For be hevynly leche is comyng 3ow for to vicyte.

416 And as for payment, he wole shewe 3ow no red[d]ure,
417 For with þe love of 3owre hertys he wole be aqwhyte.

418 JOHANNES APOSTOLUS Onto my brotherys forseyd rehersall
419 þat 3e xuld 3eve þe more veray confydens,
420 I come with hym as testymonyall,
421 For to conferme and fortefye his sentens.
422 þis lord xal come without resystens;
423 Onto þe cetyward he is now comyng.
424 Wherefore dresse 3ow with all dew dylygens
425 To honowre hym as 3oure makere and kyng.

426 And to fulfylle þe prophetys prophesé,
427 Vpon an asse he wole hedyr ryde,
428 Shewyng 3ow exawmple of humylyté,
429 Devoydyng þe abhomynable synne of pryde,
430 Whech hath ny conqweryd all þe werd wyde,
431 Grettest cause of all 3oure trybulacyon.
432 Vse it hoso wole, for it is þe best gyde
433 þat 3e may haue to þe place of dampnacyon.

434 Now, brothyr in God, syth we have intellygens
435 þat oure Lord is ny come to þis ceté,
436 To attend upon his precyous presens
437 It syttyth to us, as semyth me.
438 Wherfore to mete whit hym now go we.
439 I wold fore nothyng we where to late.
440 To þe cetéward fast drawyth he;
441 Mesemyth he is ny at be [g]ate.

Here spekyth þe iiij ceteseynys, þe fyrst þus seyng:

442 PRIMUS CIUES DE JERUSALEM Neyborys, gret joye in oure herte we may make
443 þat þis hefly kyng wole vycyte þis cyté!
444 SECUNDUS CIUES Yf oure eerly kyng swech a jorné xuld take,
445 To don hym honour and worchepe besy xuld we be.
446 TERCIUS CIUES Meche more, þan, to þe hevynly kyng bownd are we
447 For to do þat xuld be to his persone reuerens.
448 QUARTUS CI[UES] Late vs þan welcome hym with flowrys and brawnchis of þe tre,
449 For he wole take þat to plesawns becawse of redolens.

Here þe iiij ceteseynys makyn hem redy for to mete with oure Lord, goyng barfot and barelegged and in here shyrtys, savyng þei xal have here gownys cast abouth them. And qwan þei seen oure Lord þei xal sprede þer clothis beforn hym, and he xal lyth and go þerupon. And þei xal fall downe upon þer knes all atonys, þe fyrst þus seyng:

450 PRIMUS ClUES Now blyssyd he be þat in oure Lordys name
451 To us in any wyse wole resorte.
452 And we beleve veryly þat þu dost þe same,
453 For be þi mercy xal spryng mannys comforte.

Here Cryst passyth forth. þer metyth with hym a serteyn of chylderyn with flowrys, and cast beforn hym. And they synggyn "Gloria laus," and beforn on seyt:

454 Thow sone of Davyd, þu be oure supporte
455 At oure last day whan we xal dye!
456 Wherefore we alle atonys to þe exorte,
457 Cryeng mercy! Mercy! Mercye!

458 JESU. Frendys, beholde þe tyme of mercy,
459 þe wich is come now withowtyn dowth.
460 Mannys sowle in blysse now xal edyfy,
461 And þe Prynce of þe Werd is cast owth.
462 As I haue prechyd in placys abowth,
463 And shewyd experyence to man and wyf,
464 Into þis werd Goddys sone hath sowth
465 For veray loue man to revyfe.

466 The trewthe of trewthis xal now be tryede,
467 And a perfyth of corde betwyx God and man,
468 Wich trewth xal nevyr be dyvide--
469 Confusyon onto þe fynd Sathan.

470 PRIMUS PAUPER HOMO þu sone of Davyd, on vs haue mercye,
471 As we must stedfast belevyn in þe.
472 þi goodnesse, Lord, lete us be nye,
473 Whech lyth blynd here and may not se.

474 SECUNDUS PAUPER HOMO Lord, lete þi mercy to us be sewre,
475 And restore to us oure bodyly syth!
476 We know þu may us wel recure
477 With þe lest poynt of þi gret myth.

478 JESU 3owre beleve hath mad 3ou for to se
479 And delyveryd 3ou fro all mortal peyn.
480 Blyssyd be all þo þat beleve on me
481 And se me not with here bodyly eyn.

Here Cryst blyssyth here eyn and þei may se, þe fryst seyng:

482 PRIMUS PAUPER HOMO Gromercy, Lord, of þi gret grace!
483 I þat was blynd now may se.
484 SECUNDUS PAUPER HOMO Here I forsake al my trespace
485 And stedfastly wyl belevyn on þe.

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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. N-Town Cycle, Play 26 - The First Passion Play: The Prologues of the Lucifer and John the Baptist, Judas and the Conspiracy Against Christ, and Christ's Entry into Jerusalem. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. Date Visited.