The Digby Mary Magdalene Play


1 Lines 36–39: If there be found among my people any inconstancy / [That is] Against me in any circumstance, / [Or anyone who] grouches or complains about my golden gods, / I will harm such scoundrels with murder and misfortune

2 Lines 63–65: I am in solace protected from all sorrowful sighs, / And so shall all my posterity / live thus royally in tranquility

3 Lines 75–78: Here is a group of qualities / knit together in modest behavior, as is openly shown; / To my knowledge there was never such another, / Except for my wife, who was their mother

4 Lines 90–92: Grant me grace to live according to your desires / And so to govern myself with respect to them / That we may have lasting joy

5 For releasing us from poverty’s pains

6 Lines 97–100: This [gift], we find, will preserve us from penury, / [And] from worldly labors, thus comforting me, / For this livelihood (Magdalene Castle) is fitting for a king’s daughter, / This pleasant place, truth be told

7 If there are any scoundrels who argue against me

8 Lines 175–76: And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings / in the brightness of thy rising (Isaias 60:3)

9 Lines 183–85: Of which the prophecy eloquently speaks: / The scepter shall not be taken from Judea, nor a ruler from / his thigh, until he comes that is to be sent (Genesis 49:10)

10 You dastards! You scoundrels! May the devil tear you apart

11 Lines 189-90: A sword! A sword! Would that these rascals were slain! / You longbones! Scoundrels! Retract that word (i.e., the prophecy of the coming of Christ)

12 Because of him many more shall be ruined by murder

13 Lines 197–200: Second Soldier: My lord, all such shall be brought before your presence, / And [they shall] live under your domination, / Or else [they shall be] condemned to death by mortal sentence, / If we get them under our control

14 Lines 205–08: [Should] some rumor [of him] spread in my lands, / privately or publically, around my jurisdiction / While I have such men, I need not fear / That he (Christ) shall be anything except under our control, without a doubt

15 Lines 238–39: Rebuking all renegade robbers, / For no pity do I spare to put them to pain

16 I will not back down from what I have just rehearsed (said)

17 Lines 281–82: This duress will permit me to live no longer, / Unless God in his grace restores me soon

18 Lines 294–95: Under clover now lie buried the cares of my father, / Who was once here, very merry and happy

19 Lines 300–02: By reason [you, Lazarus,] are our leader and governor; / Therefore we will remain with you. / We will never separate [from you], whatever should happen

20 And especially [because we are brother and sister], I entreat you [to enter the Castle]

21 Lines 328–29: And whoever will not [dwell under World’s domination] will soon be passed over [for advancement] / Wherever I, Covetousness, am in charge

22 Lines 330–33: I ask you please to make no mention of that (the prospect of refusal mentioned by Covetyse). / [Instead] make such as these to know my sovereignty, / And then they will be pleased to make supplication [to me], / If they find themselves in any need

23 Lines 338–43: For I have comforting cordials to restore me / compounds of galingale, amber, and pearls — / All this is for my pleasure, to combat all vexations. / All noxious things I shall set aside (remove from me). / Clary (a medicinal plant), long pepper, with grains of paradise / Ginger and cinnamon [I shall have] all the time

24 [Than] to embrace and kiss my fair spouse Lechery

25 [I am] Satan, your sovereign, endowed with every circumstance (advantage)

26 The boldest in bower (dwelling) are put at my mercy

27 Lines 366–67: For I despise them (mankind) for having the joy / That Lucifer with his legions lost because of pride

28 I will remove him (mankind) from grace wherever he lives

29 Lines 375–76: And you shall accept my counsel as a guide, / Oh, that we were quickly gone for my sake

30 Lines 383–84: You must dedicate yourself, and all those pledged to you / To make this worshipful woman (Mary Magdalene) our servant

31 Would that the King of Flesh were here with his assembly

32 You shall bring great mirth to their hearts [by appearing before them]

33 Lines 424–25: You shall ask to be in her service and attend upon her, / For you [rather than others] shall soonest enter [the Castle], you beautiful beryl

34 Lines 430–33: Now all of the six (remaining deadly sins) who are here, / To win her (Mary Magdalene’s) good will, work in this manner / To enter her person through Lady Lechery’s effort, / So that she (Mary Magdalene) may at last be condemned to hell

35 Lines 440–44: Hail, lady, most praiseworthy of family connection! / Hail, [oh one] brilliant as the shining sun! / Many people are comforted by your kind trust. / Brighter than burnished are your beams of beauty, / Most gracious [one] with your angelic delights

36 Who are you that have thus commended me?

37 Your gracious obedience transports me to tranquility

38 Your tongue (speech) is so amiable and rationally arranged

39 Why no happiness resorts to (remains with) you

40 Lines 458–59: Take pains to put aside such disappointments / Commit yourself to the pastimes that best please you

41 Lines 476–80: Here is wine from Malta and malmsey (a strong sweet wine), / Clary wine (sweet drink of wine, honey, and spice), claret, and many more, / (Dutch) Wine from Guelder and (Spanish wine) from Galicia, and [wine] made at Groine (Spain), / Wine from Guienne (France) and vernage (Italy), I say too, / There are no better, however far you travel

42 Beware of thirst; set down that [drink]

43 With some pretty barmaid I would gladly speak privately

44 I have a shirt of Rennes linen with wide, loose sleeves

45 I will advise sovereigns and disdain subjects

46 My doublet (jacket) and my hose always match perfectly

47 With hair against hair I love to play very much

48 Accept my love into your alliance (may I be among those closest to you)

49 No, princess, by God, you are my heart’s healer / I wish to God you would feel my love

50 Courtesy teaches you [to restrain yourself]

51 You know a lot about nurture (good breeding)

52 A, largess, largess (the gift of Mary’s fall) to all you lords at once

53 To her sight he is more attractive than any enthroned king

54 Farewell, [Satan, who is] best suited to bring all [our] sorrows to an end

55 For they are beneficial to a blossom of [amorous] bliss (i.e., herself)

56 To entertain my guests to the best of my ability

57 And my household servants are ready with the arrangements

58 Why do you not consider that God created you from nothing

59 Lines 602–03: Ah, how the spirit of goodness (good spirit) has prompted me this time / And tempted me with the title (name) of true perfection

60 Lines 606–07: Ah, how pensiveness (anxiety) overwhelms me / Because I have sinned everywhere

61 God reward you, Simon, that you wish to know me

62 But since you graciously offer (vouchsafe) me a dinner

63 Lines 631–32: Oh I, cursed wretch who has wrought great sorrow / Against my creator, greatest in might

64 Lines 637–38: Yet good Lord of Lords, my enduring (perennial) hope [is] / To stand with you in grace and see [your] favor

65 Lines 640, s.d.: Here Mary shall wash the feet of the prophet (Jesus) with the tears of her eyes, wiping them with her hair, and then anoint them with a precious ointment. Jesus says

66 Who were poor and could make no restitution

67 One owed him a hundred pence for sure

68 They asked him for forgiveness, and he essentially forgave them

69 He who owed him the most, by my reasoning

70 And may you thereby be made whole (healthy) in your soul

71 Lines 680–81: Blessed are you, contemplative repast (spiritual nourishment) / [May you be my] health and physician for my sickness

72 Lines 688–89: [You] who once were in the desert (spiritual wasteland), / And from the darkness have purchased (gained) the light

73 Lines 692–93: Oh thou, glorious Lord, [who] related this for my advantage / To recover my soul’s health at this time

74 I entrust to you those in the state of good [self-]governance

75 Lines 713–14: You are called redemption, the defender of souls / [The spiritual state of which] shall be obscured by your blessed mortality (your humanity)

76 Lines 719–21: Most humbly we attest our faith, / That we, safe from evil, may come glorified to your bliss, / And we desire to be fed by your spiritual food

77 King of Devils (Satan): Ah, out, out and harrow! I am made mad by hate

78 With these beetle-browed (shaggy-browed) bitches (scoundrels), I am ready to contend

79 Ya, these hard scourges on your buttocks will bite

80 Come up [from hell], you bastards, and whip the itch away

81 Lines 741, s.d.: Here shall the other devils set the house on fire and make soot (smoke), and Mary shall go to Lazarus and Martha

82 Lines 748–50: Oh brother (Lazarus), my heart’s consolation / The blessed prophet [Jesus who is] singular in his blessedness / And brings me comfort

83 [He is] the brilliance of light and the true light

84 My head is buzzing! Everything is becoming dark for me

85 Oh, Lord Jesus, Our soothing sweetness

86 Lines 796–97: Lord, [may you] comfort your humble lover (Lazarus), / Your creature who cries out to you

87 Lines 802–06: Of all infirmities, there is none to compare with death; / For of all afflictions, it is impossible / To understand rationally. To comprehend God’s creative work / [and] The joy in [his] heavenly Jerusalem / Can never be brought together [and articulated] by clerical knowledge (John 11:4)

88 Lines 824–25: May Jesus, my Lord, be your help / And may he be your spirit’s well-being

89 Since your (God’s) power is most honorable

90 Lines 841, s.d.: Here the one knight makes the [grave]stone ready, and another brings in the weepers, arrayed in black

91 The time of true knowledge (recognition) has come

92 To fulfill a petition that is within my power [to grant]

93 If he [only] sleeps, he may be saved by [your] knowledge

94 And so in my mother I was incarnated in purity

95 Lines 865–68: Therefore, quickly follow me now, / To demonstrate truly that Lazarus is dead; / Wherefore I am joyful, I tell you, / That I may acquaint you [with this circumstance], so that you may believe it

96 O, you righteous regent, reigning in justice

97 Line 910, s.d.: Here shall Lazarus arise, bound with linen clothes [and covered], in a sheet

98 Lines 915–17: I should have rotted, like the tinder (i.e., wood) / Flesh [should have been] eaten away from the bones. / Now is above ground that which (Lazarus’ body) lately was under [it]

99 Because of which you are made whole (healthy) in your souls

100 Go away, go away, you unworthy wretches

101 When I go eagerly and fiercely to the field [of battle]

102 Lines 934–35: When banners begin to wave and trumpets begin to blow / I am considered the head, the highest among all heathens

103 I have a pleasing young woman who is fresh as the falcon

104 Most to be honored for your conditions (circumstances)

105 No person gleams as you do, to my comfort and well-being

106 Lines 955–56: Your admirable deeds separate (protect) me from adversity / I am careful to keep my person from impurity

107 For of all prisons that were ever harmful, none [is as harmful] as hell

108 Lines 967–70: The King of Joy entered therein, as bright as a blazing fire! / Because of the terror of his frightening banner, our fellowship fled in every direction. / When he touched it [the gates] with his touch, they broke like glass, / And split asunder, as if [his touch] had been thunder

109 For with his (Christ’s) wild work (his death, harrowing of hell, and resurrection), he has redeemed all of them

110 Lines 990–91: And [it (Christ’s judgment) shall be] weighed by judicious balance / And [shall be] given by lawful judgment

111 Lines 992, s.d.: Here shall enter the three Marys, dressed as chaste women, with signs of the Passion printed (represented) on their breasts, thus saying Magdalene

112 Who (Christ) through your power humbly bowed down

113 That (man’s soul) otherwise had been forever in pain

114 Lord, incline (bow down) your heavens and descend (Psalms 143:5)

115 Who could suffer such altogether hideous pain

116 Lines 1039–41: Ah, distressed is my inward soul, / Which should guide my body, / Because of my Lord’s heaviness (suffering)

117 Whatever has become of him (where he has gone) cannot be explained

118 Gladly would I learn, if I knew how

119 Oh, thou precious Emperor, thou high divine [one]

120 Lines 1089–91: This knowledge of your deity (divinity) [is a joyful tiding] / To all people who shall possess [it] / And know it to be possible

121 Would that we might meet with that good Lord

122 All those are blessed who sorrowfully abstain

123 In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, amen (Matthew 28:19)

124 I have in mind a matter (business) to move (affect) you

125 See to it that my altar is arrayed (prepared)

126 What, master! Would you have your lover [brought] to your bed

127 For, by my faith, you bear (carry) Watt’s pack (a paunch)

128 Lines 1182–83: Now, boy, to my altar I will go / And put on my [liturgical] vestments and my array

129 May snakes and toads be your bells (or, in your bellies)

130 Let us sing our [religious] service musically (by note), I say

131 I hum and I hurry, I do what I can

132 Stop! May the devil frighten you

133 Lines 1243–45: [May] the holy Mahound and the dear Dragon, / [and] the good Golyas bring you to bliss / With Belial, [to remain] in everlasting bliss

134 Caesar, our sovereign, must know the truth

135 Joseph of Arimathea has taken him away

136 One message, of our writing, you must [carry]

137 As this writing does relate

138 Claim your reward, messenger, and be gone

139 Hail, goodly one, granter of all graces (favors)

140 Lines 1314–15: Pilate recommends himself to you; / His letter concerns a prophet

141 And afterward was buried, as seemed reasonable to them

142 By his disciples who loved him

143 Lines 1325–26: I marvel how they did [steal away with the body], considering the body’s corruption; / I bet they were fed an unsatisfactory food

144 Lines 1329–30: Also I will have chronicled the year and reign [of this event] / So that [it] shall never be forgotten, whosoever looks thereupon [the chronicle]

145 Ah, his great kindness may not [depart] from my memory

146 In the moon, unchanging in goodness, I rested (took my place)

147 For mankind, the defense against the fiend (devil)

148 Empress of hell, who makes resistance [against it]

149 Lines 1361–63: [She is] the precious cinnabar (a purgative), that makes its way through the body. / She is the musk, [medicinal] against the heart’s extreme reactions, / The gentle gillyflower against the heart’s sickness

150 Nor can any of her [his mother’s] clerks (learned men) write about her joys [fully and adequately]

151 With heavenly message I intend now to visit [her]

152 And you shall be accepted as a holy apostoless

153 He who caused seven devils to flee from my person (body)

154 Lower the sails! Let the anchor fall to the ground

155 Skillfully in [to the harbor]; be sure to measure the depth

156 I cannot because I’m too sleepy, I swear to God! / You shall endure it [the boy’s refusal], even if you were my sire (father)

157 What do you want this time?

158 Lines 1417–18: Now you shall learn [how to] wed a damsel / She [the whip] will not kiss you in jest

159 And you shall have [something] for your profit (i.e., I will pay you)

160 You shall not want for passage by ship

161 This design we would (wish to) understand

162 And labor constantly without growing weary

163 So that (i.e., as an example that) all should show reverence

164 I think they pertain to my gods

165 Sir, if I said [anything] amiss, I will go back (i.e., revisit what I said)

166 Hence to the temple let us go

167 Don’t you see how pleasantly they (the gods) stand

168 Lines 1552–53: The Lord [is] my light; whom shall I fear? / The Lord [is] protector of my life; of whom should I be afraid? (Psalms 26:1)

169 Subdue the pride of impure idols

170 Let not their pride lay claim to your power

171 Wherever the high name Jesus is spoken

172 Ah, out! How angry I am to be deluded thus

173 I have become so sick with that illness

174 Who (Daniel) was relieved with sustenance by Habakkuk, your messenger

175 Bid her to ask for some his goods (riches) in a peaceful manner

176 Line 1597, s.d.: Then the angel descends. The first says

177 Lines 1599–1600: He bids you to make your way to the king / to assay if he will condescend [to help you]

178 Command him to relieve you, to God’s satisfaction

179 Line 1609, s.d.: Here, with the angels bearing lights before her, Mary goes to the king’s bed

180 You have at your disposal all the world’s wealth

181 I counsel you to turn [from your current thinking] and amend your disposition

182 Line 1617, s.d.: Here Mary departs, and the angel and Mary change their clothing, and the king says

183 Line 1641, s.d.: Then the soldier goes over to Mary

184 Line 1645, s.d.: Then Mary goes over to the king

185 Line 1651, s.d.: It is my intention to refresh (provide support for) you

186 I am glad to be in your presence

187 I will ask of you neither land nor reckoning (payment) [in return for this endowment]

188 Line 1698–99: Let me go with you / And be made a Christian woman

189 And from that befalls many an unexpected circumstance

190 In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

191 Line 1715, s.d.: And then the ship comes into the platea (place), and the sailor says

192 Set [the ship’s course] there, if we may (are able)

193 Line 1724, s.d.: And then the king goes over to the ship, and the king says

194 We would [be] very glad to cross over [the sea]

195 Lines 1731–32: Yes, but so may I thrive, I suppose / your payment will be meager, given your hasty passage

196 You want to take her out of the country

197 Lines 1755–56: For truly it [my dire situation] will not be otherwise / It [the situation] makes my heart very sorrowful this day

198 Between us a sad parting comes at this time

199 So shall my child [be dead], I fear

200 A child, the offspring of the two of us

201 We should all have greater well being

202 Line 1790, s.d.: Then they row to the mountain, and the king says

203 Line 1796, s.d.: Then they row from the mountain, and the sailor says

204 [And they are obliged] never to oppose him

205 Of whom [Mary Magdalene] I suspect no guile

206 If you will maintain your belief after (according to) my teaching

207 Line 1842, s.d.: Then he sprinkles him with water

208 Lines 1843–44: Ah, holy father, how my heart will find instruction painful unless you explain the doctrine [of my new faith]

209 And edify (strengthen) your faith by seeing them (the holy places) for yourself

210 Grant us your pure blessing

211 Line 1863, s.d.: And then the king crosses to the ship and says

212 Quickly cast the sail around

213 Line 1878, s.d.: And then the ship goes around the platea. The king says

214 I think I begin to see the rock

215 Ah, good Lord, may your grace strengthen us

216 From grievous sleep she (the queen) begins to be revived

217 Lines 1899–1900: O worshipful virgin, for our salvation / O beautiful and chaste one, come from a noble lineage

218 You have wrapped (surrounded) us in well-being, protected from all change

219 For I have visited the holy places, one by one

220 Line 1914, s.d.: And then they row from the mountain, and the sailor says

221 And I [will] always [be] your friend [whether] far and near (i.e., wherever we may be)

222 Be not at all inconstant towards God

223 For they are blessed that are so true

224 They are blessed who give food to the hungry and the thirsty

225 Hail, thou chosen and chaste [one], alone among women

226 And has driven away all the deceptions of evil

227 To obtain for myself more spiritual strength

228 Oh blessed lady, do not impoverish us [with your absence]

229 And everyday I shall be your bede woman (i.e., one who prays for you)

230 May he who lives and reigns without end bless you

231 Lines 1976–77: It (Mary Magdalene’s leaving) alters my complexion, / That this sweet cyperus (an aromatic plant) would do so (depart)

232 From my love [for God] his (Mahond’s) pride shall be profaned

233 My conscience craves (requires) that I do thus

234 Of worldly foods I will abandon all partaking

235 Lines 2001–02: [And I will be nourished] by the food that comes from heaven on high, / By the contemplative food that God will send me

236 Line 2018, s.d.: Here shall two angels descend into the wilderness, and another two shall bring an oble (eucharistic wafer), openly appearing aloft in the clouds; the two beneath shall bring Mary [up to the clouds], and she shall receive the bread (the oble), and then go again into the wilderness

237 Mary, God greets you with heavenly inspiration

238 Honor and praise for that blessed birth (of Jesus)

239 Line 2030, s.d.: Here shall she be greeted by angels with reverent song: Mary has been assumed into the clouds. The heavens rejoice, the angels praising the son of God. And Mary says

240 [Who] with melody of angels showed me joy and pleasure

241 Lines 2049–50: The joy of [heavenly] Jerusalem has openly revealed you — / The which [joy] I never saw these thirty winters and more

242 I pray (beseech) you sincerely to reveal to me [something about] your Lord

243 And through that holy manna (the consecrated body of Christ), I live in truthfulness

244 Lines 2079–80: Bid him provide my body in the form of bread (the eucharist), / To housel (administer the sacrament to) her

245 Line 2100, s.d.: Here appear the angel and the priest with the body of the Lord (the eucharist)

246 Lines 2106–09: I thank you, Lord of ardent love, / For determining (deciding) that this celestial bread / I should receive at this time / [And] thereby illuminate my soul

247 Lines 2117–18: I commend my spirit. You have redeemed me, Lord God of Truth (Psalms 30:6)

248 This body will I care for (protect) from all manner of harm

249 Sovereigns, thus ends the substance of this play

250 Line 2139, s.d.: Here ends the original of Saint Mary Magdalene

251 If there be anything amiss, [may the reader] amend it


Abbreviations: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; B: Medieval Drama, ed. Bevington; BMH: Late Medieval Religious Plays, ed. Baker, Murphy, and Hall; C: Coletti, “‘Curtesy doth it yow lere’: The Sociology of Transgression in the Digby Mary Magdalene”; Chester: The Chester Mystery Cycle, ed. Lumiansky and Mills; CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, ed. Benson; EETS: Early English Text Society; F: Findon, Lady, Hero, Saint; GL: Critical Edition of the Legend of Mary Magdalena, ed. Mycoff; LA: Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda Aurea, ed. Ryan; M: Maltman, “Light In and On the Digby Mary Magdalene”; ME: Middle English; MED: Middle English Dictionary; MDS: Coletti,Mary Magdalene and the Drama of Saints; MP: Macro Plays, ed. Eccles; NT: N-Town Play, ed. Spector; PDD: Coletti, “‘Paupertas est donum Dei’”; s.d.: stage direction; Towneley: The Towneley Plays, ed. Stevens and Cawley; Whiting: Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases.

1 forfetur. MED, forfeture (n.), sense 2c. In phrases with “in,” the phrase means “on pain of losing, under penalty of losing.”

9 Tyberyus Sesar. Roman emperor (42 BCE–37 CE) during the life and ministry of Jesus. No other ME life of Mary Magdalene depicts Caesar as ruler. Velz (“Sovereignty in the Digby”) argues that the appearance of Tiberius and his political functionaries Herod and Pilate establishes the play’s focus on forms of sovereignty and subjection, just and unjust rule. Mitchell-Buck (“Tyrants, Tudors”) notes an abundance of tyrants in the play.

20 Serybyl (speech heading). This unusual name appears to denote an official function. BMH (pp. 197–98) suggest possible echoes of the Sibyl and the similarity of Serybyl to the “skrybe” addressed in line 114. Serybyl is called “Syrybbe” at line 33.

21 Belyall. A biblical term, deriving from 2 Corinthians 6:15 and 3 Kings 21:10, and indicating the personification of evil, often used as a synonym of Satan.

24 provost. MED, provost (n.), sense a: “the representative of a king or emperor in a country or district; governor, administrator.”

44, s.d. all the pepul. This is the first of several scenes in the play indicating the presence of a group, implying even a small crowd, of non-speaking characters.

46 wyn and spycys. Wine sweetened and seasoned with spices was a regular feature of meals prepared for aristocrats and other prosperous medieval people. For recipes and commentary, see Freedman, Out of the East, pp. 22–23. Dugan (Ephemeral History of Perfume, p. 37) notes that the play’s “many calls for ‘wine and spices’ mimic structures of trade symbolism . . . [and provide] stage properties culled from medieval markets.”

49 Syrus (speech heading). Medieval versions of Mary Magdalene’s legendary life created a domestic backstory for her reputed career as a sinner by giving her a nuclear family. The Digby play amplifies her father Syrus’ brief role in that story. The Legenda Aurea, Jacobus de Voragine’s thirteenth-century collection of saints’ lives, provided the best known and most influential version of Mary Magdalene’s legendary acts and wanderings (GL, pp. 117–44). Textual commentary on the play in BMH include detailed extracts from Jacobus’ vita, thereby enabling comparison with the Digby play’s representation of these non-biblical elements.

51 bower. MED, bour (n.), sense 1a: “a dwelling, house, mansion, cottage.”

55 be cleffys so cold. BMH (p. 198) note the playwright’s use here of a common verse tag, citing an analogy in the Croxton Play of the Sacrament, “be the clyffys cold” (line 100).

71 ful of femynyté. Cyrus is the first to speak this important word in the play (see lines 423, 516, 943, 1356). T. Williams (Inventing Womanhood, pp. 149, 4) argues that “femininity” emerges as a new gendered term in late medieval English writing, calling attention to the “evolution of gendered language” in a period when “what it meant to be a woman . . . was very much an open question.” Dixon (“‘Thys Body of Mary’”) discusses the bodily dimensions of femininity in the play and in late medieval women’s spirituality.

71–74 Here is Mary . . . . hart with consolacyon. C (p. 5) notes that Cyrus’ courtly language here anticipates the idiom employed by the King of Flesh (line 423) and the king of Marseilles (lines 942–49), as well as the entire verbal performance of Mary Magdalene’s tempter, Curiosity. Such language also affirms the “jentyll” status claimed by Cyrus and his family (lines 105, 112–13). Cyrus’ introduction of his children (see also lines 66–70) resembles the account of their many physical and social gifts in the thirteenth-century life of the saint sometimes attributed to Rabanus Maurus. See Life of Saint Mary Magdalene, ed. Mycoff, p. 29.

73 merrorys. MED, mirour (n.), sense 3a: “a model of good or virtuous conduct.”

81 thys castell. When Cyrus identifies his bequest to daughter Mary Magdalene as thys castell, he both draws upon Jacobus de Voragine’s idea that she derived her identity from the castle Magdalo, as Caxton’s translation puts it (GL, p. 118), and situates his family within the social and economic matrix of the feudal world. See PDD, pp. 347–49. At the same time, medieval literary castles are potent and multivalent symbols, pointing to spiritual and material allegorical meanings. For example, as Riggio has shown (“Allegory of Feudal Acquisition”), in the East Anglian morality play Castle of Perseverance, the trope of the individual Christian soul’s protective spiritual enclosure spills out onto the economic realities and pressures of feudal society. Mary Magdalene’s castle merits attention in light of the proliferation of allegorical castles in medieval English and continental literature. See Cornelius, “Figurative Castle.”

83–84 Thes gyftes . . . . in good mynd. Cyrus repeats the idiom of late medieval testators who similarly pledged that their bequests were made under such conditions: John Baret (1463), “I, John Baret . . . of good mynde and memorye”; and John Wastell (1515), “I, John Wastell . . . beyng of good and hool mynde.” See Tymms, Wills and Inventories, pp. 15, 113.

87–88 Ye have grauntyd swych a lyfelod . . . . from all nessesyté. MED, lif-lod(e (n.), sense 2a; MED, necessité (n.), sense b. Lazarus invokes key terms from late medieval discourses on poverty and charity; Mary Magdalene explicitly refers to the “peynes of poverté” from which their father’s gift frees her and her siblings (line 96). These terms signal the play’s engagement with the relationship of economic discourses and social practices to construction of spiritual identities by the dominant classes in late medieval England. See PDD, pp. 347–49.

93–94 Thatt God . . . . hony be kynd. Mary Magdalene’s reference to the “sweet” name of God anticipates the preoccupation with the name of Jesus expressed later in the play; see lines 761, 1446, 1468, 1555–62, 2031–32, 2124. From the thirteenth century, the Name of Jesus was the subject of a devotional cult that attracted monastic and lay participants. The Holy Name was honored in the Jesus mass and eventually in the new liturgical Feast of the Name of Jesus. The cult of the Holy Name was particularly popular in England. Declared official by the province of York in 1489, the Feast of the Holy Name appears frequently in liturgical service books of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the period in which the Digby Magdalene was composed and copied in its single manuscript. See Pfaff, New Liturgical Feasts, pp. 62–83, and Renevey, “Name above Names.” F (p. 58) suggests that Mary’s reference to sweetness “introduces the first of many allusions in the play to the Song of Songs.”

97 streytnes. MED, streitnes(se (n.), sense 6a: “trouble, difficulty . . . hardship (esp. financial hardship), straitened circumstances; a state of impoverishment.”

106 So mekly. MED, mek (adj.), sense 1b: “full of loving kindness, benevolent, kind, sweet”; and MED, meke (adv.): “humbly, submissively.”

107–09 Hey in heven . . . . shal hens passe. Mary Magdalene and her siblings appear to be proto-Christians, all making reference to a singular God in this scene.

110 mygthtys. MED, might (n.), sense 3a: “ability, capability, capacity.”

111 enhanse. MED, enhauncen (v.), sense 5: “to elevate or advance (someone to a high rank or station).”

112 wyn and spycys. Cyrus’ call for wine and spices caps a scene in which he and his children declare their interest in the comfort afforded by material assets. On land-grabbing and conspicuous consumption by East Anglian gentry whom the play seems implicitly to address, see PDD, pp. 347–49. As Coletti notes (“Design of the Digby Play”), this is the first of many scenes associating Mary Magdalene with corporeal, heavenly, and sacramental food. See also note to line 46 above.

117 Herowdys. Among the several generations of the Herodian dynasty, scripture and traditions of biblical commentary attend to three important rulers: Herod the Great (of Ascalon), his son Herod Antipas, and his grandson, Herod Agrippa. Writers of medieval English biblical drama follow traditions associated with Herod the Great, appointed by the Romans as King of the Jews in 37–34 BCE; but the sources they used sometimes conflated elements of the lives of these different Herods. For example, the Herod who was contemporary with the adult Jesus — and would be the historically accurate figure in the Digby play’s scriptural narrative — was Herod Antipas. Nonetheless, the play gives him attributes that other English biblical dramas ascribed to Herod the Great, who was responsible for the Massacre of the Innocents (Matthew 2:13–18). See Coletti (“Story of Herod”) for discussion of and extensive bibliography on this figure in medieval drama.

118 Pylat. Luke’s gospel (3:1) names Pilate as governor of Judea in the reign of Tiberius Caesar. See note to lines 1255–56 below.

120–28 Take hed . . . . make with malynacyon. The syntax of the emperor’s speech is convoluted and unclear: he commands Herod and Pilate either to do harm to any people in their respective realms who speak against Caesar himself and his laws and gods; or he warns them that such will be the fate of those persons. The reference at line 126 to the regent who holds “his croun” from Caesar by right pertains only to Herod.

120 my precept wretyn be. On the importance of writing and its attestation to complex influences of late medieval documentary culture, see Lim, “Pilate’s Special Letter.”

121 owit wrech. Literally, “to owe (or incur) harm.” MED, ouen (v.), sense 2; and MED, wrech(e (n.), sense 2. See also the textual note on this line.

127 harlettys. MED, harlot (n.), sense 1b: “as term of abuse: scoundrel, knave, rogue, reprobate, base fellow, coward.”

133 So bere thes lettyrs. Scherb (Staging Faith, p. 179) highlights the secular and spiritual importance of letters in the play. See also Lim, “Pilate’s Special Letter.” Northway (“It’s All in the Delivery”) discusses the relationship of letter-bearing to documentary practices and political culture in the early modern period, but with interesting implications for the Digby Magdalene.

136 Nuncyus (speech heading). Scherb (Staging Faith, pp. 172–73) notes the prevalence of messengers in large-scale East Anglian plays such as the Digby Magdalene, where they serve to link the occupants of various scaffolds. Messengers are also prominent in the Castle of Perseverance and the N-Town Plays.

140 In the wyld, wanyng world. MED, waning(e (ger.), sense 3c, notes that this phrase “in a direct address” means “a curse upon you.”

143 Mahond. Medieval English drama is replete with characters who profess devotion to Mohammed (Mahond, Mahowne, Mahowdys, etc.), the prophet of Islam whom they erroneously take for a god. Although dramatic invocations of Mohammed function differently from play to play, they generally denote a false god whose worship is contrasted to devotion to Christianity’s true God. Appeals to Mahond/Mahowne in biblical plays are always anachronistic, since the prophet of Islam was not born until the sixth century. The Digby Herod is not the only Jew in English biblical drama to pledge loyalty to Mahond; e.g., the Towneley manuscript’s “Herod” play associates its main character with Mahowne (Towneley, 1:183–204); and the Jews of the Croxton Play of the Sacrament also invoke Machomet (see lines 149, 209, 332, 453). The Digby Herod’s swearing by “Mahondys bonys” (line 142) echoes Christian oaths that anatomized the body of Christ, a practice that Chaucer’s Pardoner excoriates (CT VI[C] 629–60), and demonstrates the tendency, in ME dramatic texts, for worship of Mahond to mimic that of the Christian god. See Chemers, “Anti-Semitism” and Leshock, “Representation of Islam.”

156 in dowt. MED, dout(e (n.), sense 4: “a cause or reason for fear; something to be feared; danger, peril.”

158–59 Lord of Alapye . . . . Beryaby, and Bedlem. BMH (pp. 283–84) modernize these names: Aleppo, Asia, Tyre, Hebron, Beersheba, Bethlehem. Similar geographical catalogs appear in the Croxton Play of the Sacrament (lines 94–116); the Castle of Perseverance (MP, p. 8, lines 170–78); and the N-Town Play (NT, 1:218–19, lines 157–75).

163 provostycacyon. The word is a fine example of the playwright’s ingenious creation of neologisms. BMH (p. 199) provide the gloss: “whom I serve in the office of provost.”

167 Phylysofyr (speech heading). Herod’s consultation with philosophers who interpret biblical prophecy in the play (lines 175–76, 184–85) is reminiscent of his conversations with the Magi and other wisdom figures in the Magi and Innocents plays of the English biblical cycle plays. The most extensive such discussion appears in play 8, “The Three Kings,” of the Chester Cycle (Chester, 1:156–74).

171–76 skreptour gevytt informacyon . . . . splendore ortus tui. Lim notes that the reading practices of Herod and his philosophers rely on a mode of literal interpretation that “ignores the spiritual message of the Gospel” (“Pilate’s Special Letter,” p. 6).

172 rehersse. MED, rehersen (v.), sense 1a: “to narrate (a story, that something happened), report, tell; describe.”

188 fleyyng flappys. MED, fleing (ger.1), sense 2a: “loss of skin by burning, scalding, tearing, etc.; an abrasion; an excoriation”; MED, flappe (n.), sense 2: “a device for slapping or striking; a flapper; a scourge.”

190 Ye langbaynnes! Loselles! Herod’s angry response to the interpretation of scriptural prophecy also echoes the name-calling, boasting, and cries for vengeance that characterize his performance in the English biblical cycles. See Coletti, “Story of Herod” and references therein.

194 They ar but folys. Primus Miles here refers to the philosophers who have advised Herod but implicitly also to the books that the wise men invoke.

202 grettly rejoysyth to my sprytes indede. In a typical twisting of grammar and syntax, the playwright (or scribe) adds the gratuitous preposition “to,” which must take as its object “sprytes,” the word that also acts as direct object of the verb “rejoysyth.” The sense of lines 202–03 thus seems to be: “This [the soldier’s announcement] is to me a gracious exhortation, one that brings great joy to my spirits.”

204 I woll suffer non to spryng of that kenred. Herod declares his interest in halting the production of lineage by the genealogy (“kenred,” or kindred) whose triumph is asserted in biblical prophecies. Plays on the Massacre of the Innocents in medieval English biblical drama represent this subject with imagination and creativity. Foundational to Herod’s wrathful anxiety in these plays is the medieval account of his own tortured genealogical and familial crimes. In this account, Herod is motivated by political ambitions that sought to disavow his low birth as well as the derivative nature of power held not in his own right but by Roman sanction. Based on Josephus’ Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities and developed by Eusebius’ Historia Ecclesiastica, the medieval English story of Herod took shape in Peter Comestor’s Historia Scholastica, Ranulph Higden’s Polychronicon, and their translation and redaction in many historical and homiletic works. See Coletti, “Story of Herod,” pp. 40–47; and “Saint Anne Dedication,” pp. 34–36. In the Killing of the Children (BMH, p. 101, lines 125–26), a play on the Massacre preserved in the same manuscript as Mary Magdalene, for example, Herod’s dynastic ambitions are reinforced by a soldier who erroneously declares: “we hold you for chef regent, / By titelle of enheritaunce, as your auncetours beforn.”

209–12 Heyll . . . . in thi regensy. The first of many moments of greeting and salutation in the play, the scene points to the wide ranging signifying capacities of the behavior and gestures that accompany them. Palmer (“Gestures of Greeting”) provides a rich inventory of possibilities that invite application to such moments, e.g., Mary Magdalene’s many angelic greetings.

213–14 sofereyn . . . . soveren. The spelling of the same word within the space of two lines highlights the scribe’s inconsistencies, and possible haste.

217–24 Be he sekyr . . . . thorow the hartt. BMH (p. 200) note the strong resemblance to lines 97–104 in The Killing of the Children (also in BMH, pp. 98–115).

234 pregedyse. MED, prejudice (n.), sense 2c is a legal term meaning “detriment or damage caused to persons, organizations, or property by the disregarding or violation of a legal right.”

237 prommyssary and presedent. MED, procuratour (n.), sense 1c: “the governor of a province; a viceroy, regent, or deputy”; MED, president (n.), sense 1a: “a ruler or head of either sovereign or subordinate status; often, one invested with judicial powers.”

238 inperrowpent. See the textual note for this line.

253 lover. MED, lover(e (n.2), sense 1c: “one who loves his king, a loyal subject.”

257 Martes. Pilate’s invocation of Mars, the Roman god of war, affirms his aggressive persona even as it adds another detail to the play’s allusions to Western classical antiquity.

264, s.d. Syrus takyt his deth. Occurring without warning, Cyrus’ demise exemplifies the horror of the mors improvisa, the unanticipated death that could catch body and soul unaware and unprepared, as underscored by “sodenly” at line 276, s.d. On mors improvisa, see Duffy, Stripping of the Altars, pp. 310–13; for this scene, see Coletti, “Social Contexts,” pp. 294–95. Appleford’s Learning to Die provides important insights that can inform the Digby play’s representations of death and dying.

270 help me to my bede. Noting the proliferation of sleeping subjects and dead bodies in the play, M (p. 258) observes: “No medieval play makes such extensive use of beds as does the Digby Mary Magdalene.”

276, s.d. avoydyt. MED, avoiden (v.), sense 5a: “to depart from or abandon (a place, a position); vacate (a dwelling); go away, withdraw.” The Digby author uses this verb frequently in his stage directions.

285 inwyttissymus God. See MED, witen (v.1). The verb form, with its various meanings related to possession of knowledge, would seem to be the basis for one of the Digby playwright’s experiments with aureate diction, in this instance affirming Mary Magdalene’s elaboration of attributes of the deity. My reading departs from that of BMH (p. 200).

299 Thys castell is owerys with all the fee. See MED, fe (n.2). Lazarus’ term unambiguously situates possession of the castle within the economy of late medieval inheritance practices.

304, s.d. Her shal entyr . . . thus seyyng the World. The appearance of this evil cohort, presumably on separate scaffolds, marks the play’s shift from the biblical historical world to an allegorical one. No other ME life of Mary Magdalene makes her the victim of colluding immoral forces. The World, the Flesh, the Devil, and the Seven Deadly Sins are not only frequent subjects but also organizing principles of anonymous medieval homiletic and catechetical writing and works by well known ME writers; e.g., among their many literary identities, Chaucer’s Parson’s Tale and Gower’s Confessio Amantis are both penitential works structured by appeals to the Seven Deadly Sins. The Digby Magdalene’s cohort of tempters also appear together, though differently grouped, in the East Anglian Castle of Perseverance. BMH (pp. 200–01) compare the two plays’ arrangement of these evil alliances.

306 prymatt portature. MED, primate (adj.): “highest in rank, chief”; MED, portour (n.), sense a (“a bearer”) is probably used metaphorically here.

311 recure. MED, recuren (v.), sense 8a: “to acquire (something), obtain; achieve (peace, one’s purpose).”

312 whele of fortune. World’s alliance with the wheel of fortune is hardly surprising. The concept of Fortune and her wheel figures ubiquitously in medieval reflections on the instability of human circumstances and fates, i.e. human existence in the material world. Boethius’ adaptation of the Roman goddess Fortuna in The Consolation of Philosophy (523 CE) established the basic terms for representations of Fortune over the next millennium. For an overview, see Greene, “Fortune.”

313–22 In me restyt . . . . of so gret puernesse. BMH (p. 201) cite Morton Bloomfield’s classic study The Seven Deadly Sins (pp. 234 ff.) to affirm the traditional association of the seven sins with metals of the then seven planets, which here include the sun and moon (lines 315–16).

324 seven prynsys of hell. That is, the Seven Deadly Sins.

329 mynystracyon. MED, ministracioun (n.), sense 3: “governing service or management.”

333, s.d. Her shal entyr the Kyng of Flesch wyth Slowth, Gloteny, Lechery. Appropriately, the King of Flesh is accompanied by the sins associated with bodily transgressions, such as Sloth’s laziness, Gluttony’s overindulgence in food and drink, and Lechery’s overindulgence in sexual behaviors.

335 deyntys. MED, deinte (n.), sense 4: “a luxury; a precious thing.”

338–44 For I have comfortatywys . . . . delycyus use I. Flesh’s “deyntys delycyows” constitute a virtual catalog of the most popular medieval spices, including galingale, long pepper, and grains of paradise; their representation here introduces the aromatic balms that will become the penitent Magdalene’s iconic emblem. As Freedman (Out of the East, pp. 1–75) notes, these and other spices attained widespread use in medieval cookery, but they were also understood to have medicinal properties, as were certain gemstones (Flesh also possesses “margaretton” or pearls in line 339). Dugan (Ephemeral History of Perfume, pp. 38–41) traces the unfolding of the olfactory sense in the play, noting its power to trespass bodily and other boundaries. BMH (p. 201) note that similar catalogs appear in The Croxton Play of the Sacrament (lines 173–88) and John Heywood’s Play Called the Four PP (lines 604–43). Flesh’s claim to jurisdiction over these pharmaceutical products makes him a sort of diabolical apothecary and a carnal foil to the Christus medicus, Christ the physician, appearing elsewhere in the play; see Coletti, “Social Contexts,” pp. 292–93 and sources cited therein. The ubiquitous presence of spices in medieval food preparation and medicine suggests that Flesh’s “comfortatywys” would likely be familiar to the dramatic audience. F (pp. 83–88) discusses the overlapping properties of culinary and medicinal herbs in the play.

352–55 O ye prynse . . . . to your jentylnesse. Lechery’s appeal to the language of status echoes the interests of Cyrus and his family in the play’s earlier scene (lines 49–113).

354 aprowe. MED, ap(p)reven (v.), sense 4: “to approve of (something); of an authority: approve, sanction, endorse, confirm formally.”

356 byrd. MED, birde (n.1), sense 1: “a woman of noble birth; damsel, lady.” See also the note to line 565 below.

357 to halse. MED, halsen (v.2), sense 1a: “to embrace or caress (somebody) as a sign of affection; embrace or fondle (somebody) sexually.”

358–76 Now I . . . . for my sake. Devils play a decisive role in the Digby play. DiSalvo (“Unexpected Saints,” pp. 70–75) states that the play’s inclusion of “supernatural elements associated with . . . devils” enables the protagonist “to be” a “saint” (p. 70). DiSalvo compares the devils of Mary Magdalene with those of its companion play in Bodleian MS Digby 133, The Conversion of St. Paul. The play’s devils also provide occasions for its most spectacular scenes.

358 prykkyd in pryde. See MED, priken (v.), sense 8a. BMH (p. 202) cite the appearance of this common tag of being ‘pricked’ or ‘dressed up’ in pride in the East Anglian Castle of Perseverance (MP, p. 8, line 159 and p. 9, line 209).

360 atyred. MED, tiren (v.3), sense 2a: “to equip (a knight) for battle, arm; also, prepare (oneself) for combat or a military expedition.”

363 bryng to abaye. MED, abai (n.), sense 2 cites the phrase “at abai” to mean “in extreme difficulties, at the mercy of an enemy.”

366–67 For at hem . . . . for ther pryde. Here the Devil explains his reasoning for instigating the fall of humankind and his continuing interest in tempting humanity, now represented by the vulnerable Mary Magdalene: he is jealous of the joy that Lucifer lost when he fell from heaven to hell, a joy that humanity somehow proleptically still experiences, even though Christ’s death, and the redemption that accompanies it, have yet to occur in the world of the play. Nomenclature in this passage is confusing. The speaker self-identifies as Satan (line 359); whereas some accounts make Satan the fallen angel Lucifer, here Satan speaks as if Lucifer is a different being (lines 366–67).

368 The snarys that I shal set wher nevyr set at Troye. The devil’s allusion to the snares, or tricks, whereby the Greeks overcame the city of Troy bears witness to the deep knowledge of the Trojan story in late medieval England. Resources on this topic are vast; for a foundational study see Benson, History of Troy.

375 skowte. Possibly from MED, scouten (v.): “to search, scout.”

377 Wyth wrath or wyhyllys we shal hyrre wynne. A potentially confusing shift of pronouns occurs suddenly here. In the preceding speech Satan has spoken of his desire to besiege the human soul; accordingly he uses specifically masculine or gender-neutral plural pronouns (“he” in lines 366, 370; “hym” in line 372; “hem” in lines 366, 369, 370). The use of feminine singular pronouns by Wrath and Envy (“hyrre” in line 377; “hur” in line 378) signals an abrupt shift of focus to Mary Magdalene. See also BMH (p. 202) on variant readings of this line.

383 afyauns. The rhyme scheme here may have prompted the playwright to conflate MED, affiaunce (n.), sense 2; and MED, affinité (n.), sense 1c.

384 A woman of whorshep ower servant to make. Satan employs the feudal language of service to signify the relationship of the World, the Flesh, and the Devil to their minions. For example, Satan commands “knythtys” (line 373) and is the head of a “howshold” (line 403). Lechery tempts Mary Magdalene by offering her “servyse” and “atendauns” (line 424). See MED, servaunt (n.), sense 1a; service (n.), sense 3c; and worship(e (n.), sense 3b. The spelling of “whorshep” (worship) may involve a pun here, given Mary Magdalene’s traditional reputation for sexual profligacy.

387 asemlanus. MED, as(s)emble (n.), sense 2: “a group of people gathered for a purpose.”

407 arere. MED, areren (v.), sense 13a: “to arouse or stir up (somebody), stimulate or incite (to action).”

412 comprehend. MED, comprehenden (v.), sense 3a: “to put . . . into words, describe, explain.”

413 devyse. MED, devis (n.), sense 3c: “a device, scheme, stratagem, intrigue.”

414–17 Serys . . . . beryt the pryse. Mary Magdalene is also targeted by disguised allegorical tempters in Lewis Wager’s Life and Repentaunce of Mary Magdalene (White, Reformation Biblical Drama, pp. 11–28), where the evil crew includes Pride of Life, Cupiditie, and Carnall Concupiscence.

420 She shal byn abyll to dystroye helle. Mundus’ extraordinary claim about the unfallen Magdalene seems to conflate her powers with those of the Virgin Mary; as such, his is the first of many allusions aligning the play’s heroine with the mother of Jesus. In fearing that Mary Magdalene may be able to “destroy hell,” Mundus invokes scriptural commentary that identified the Virgin Mary as the woman of Genesis 3:14–15 who will “crush” the serpent’s head. Hence Mundus’ statement seems to associate the defeat of the serpent (Genesis 3:14–15 reports God’s warning to the successful tempter of Adam and Eve) with a more general destruction of hell, the serpent (Lucifer/Satan’s) home. Spector (NT, 2:421n2/259–66; 434n7/51–2) cites allusions to this attribute of the Virgin Mary in the N-Town plays of the “Fall of Man” (1:32, lines 259–66) and “Jesse Root,” or the Prophets’ Play (1:67, lines 49–56), noting that this symbolic understanding of Marian power also appears in the Anglo-Norman Jeu d’Adam and Philippe de Mézières’ play on the Presentation of Mary in the Temple. For the texts, see B, p. 101, lines 479–90; and Philippe de Mézières’ Campaign, ed. Coleman, p. 102, lines 19–21.

425 beral of bewte. F (pp. 59–60) notes the frequent appearance of the beryl in medieval English lyric poetry. Medieval lapidaries describe the beryl as a gemstone “that fostered love between man and woman” (p. 59), alluding also to the gem’s potentially erotic meanings. At the same time, lapidaries also speak to the beryl’s healing properties.

428 Spiritus malyngny. The designation of the Bad Angel as a “spiritus malyngny” (or “malyng” as in line 434) anticipates the play’s later interest in establishing the authenticity and moral probity of spiritual visitations. See notes to lines 601–02, 716, 1376, and 2010.

430 all the six. That is, the remaining six deadly sins, excluding Lechery, who is already engaged in the effort to bring Mary Magdalene to sin.

438 I trotte hyr to tene. MED, tenen (v.), sense 1: “to do somebody harm; harass, annoy, oppress.”

439, s.d. Her shal alle . . . . Lechery shall entyr the castell. Luxuria’s easy access to Mary Magdalene’s castle, which is also her namesake, suggests the architectural allegorization of the body as castle of the soul, capable of warding off malevolent moral intruders through the exercise of virtue but also vulnerable to succumbing to them. See note to line 81 above; Findon, “‘Now is aloft,’” p. 249; and Whitehead, Castles of the Mind, pp. 87–116.

440–44 Heyl, lady . . . . your aungelly delycyté. Luxuria’s address (“Heyl . . . Heyl”) ironically echoes Gabriel’s Annunciation to the Virgin Mary portrayed in other English biblical plays. In the Towneley Annunciation, Mary similarly inquires about her visitor’s identity: “What is thi name?” (Towneley, lines 77–107). D. Williams (French Fetish, pp. 114–17) notes how quickly Mary Magdalene picks up Lechery’s seductive language, an idiom, coded as French and feminine, that “removes Mary from the humdrum quotidian, and places her . . . within the rarified world of French romance” (p. 115). Williams suggests that Lechery, even though she is “Lady Lechery,” is intent on seducing Mary Magdalene, thereby creating opportunities for homoerotic play that would only be compounded if both parts were played by boys or young men. Lechery’s language becomes more obscure and convoluted as the scene unfolds, e.g., lines 456–59.

440 alyauuns. MED, allia(u)nce (n.), sense 3: “family connections established through marriage.”

441 oryent. MED, orient (adj.), sense c: “brilliant, shining, fair.”

447 ravyssyt. See MED, ravishen (v.), sense 4. The sense of ravishment carries a wide semantic range in ME, connoting both physical and spiritual senses of being emotionally and mentally moved or transported.

457 obusyons may brede myche dysese. MED, abusioun (n.), sense 1: “misuse, perversion, abuse”; dysese. MED, disese (n.), sense 1b: “that which inflicts hardship, misery, or misfortune; grievance, harm, injury, wrong.” The naming of Mary Magdalene’s “dysese” introduces here the notion of physical as well as spiritual illness that will eventually be healed by Christ, the “hartys leche” to which Magdalene’s speech ironically alludes in line 461.

459 Prynt. MED, emprenten (v.), sense 8: “to stimulate, arouse, or move (a person) to a state of mind or a course of action.”

462–69 Brother Lazarus . . . . place from wreche. Here Mary Magdalene entrusts the keeping of her castle to her brother Lazarus and sister Martha. The guardianship of property and household was a constant preoccupation of East Anglian landed families. See PDD, pp. 347–49.

463 in substawns. MED, substaunce, sense 6e. When used with “in,” the phrase means “for all intents and purposes, in the main, generally.”

469 wreche. MED, wrech(e (n.), sense 2: “destruction; misery; harm; also, calamity, misfortune.”

470 I am a taverner. The scene of Mary Magdalene’s seduction in the tavern is one of the playwright’s major additions to her traditional vita. Taverns appear frequently in medieval comic and homiletic writing, where they figure as sites of both amusement and sin. Scherb (Staging Faith, pp. 175–76) highlights the pleasures and dangers of some medieval literary taverns. As Coletti observes, the Digby play’s tavern is also implicated in, and evokes the values of, commercial exchange in the medieval mercantile economy. Mary Magdalene’s tavern repartee, first with Luxuria and then Curiosity, is inflected by status-consciousness; see C, pp. 6–7, and sources cited therein. According to Strohm (“Three London Itineraries,” p. 10), the medieval urban tavern was “a place where reconsideration . . . of social status might occur.” In the Dutch play Mary of Nemmegen, another unruly girl meets trouble in a tavern similarly situated at the intersection of economics and morality. See Sponsler, Drama and Resistance, pp. 95–102. Streitman (“Face of Janus”) discusses resemblances between the Digby saint play and the Dutch play.

474–80 Of wynys . . . . ye can goo. The international wine list of which the taverner boasts gives a worldly wise dimension to the site of Mary Magdalene’s assignation, especially from a commercial perspective. BMH (p. 203) gloss the taverner’s wine list primarily in terms of country of origin; however, “clary wynne,” “claret,” and “vernage” signify types of wine or medicinal drinks. See MED, clare (n.1); claret (n.1); vernage (n.). The list is reminiscent of the list of countries where Aristorius’ “merchaundyse renneth” in the Croxton Play of the Sacrament (lines 93–116).

481 thee comfort and thee sokower. MED, comforten (v.), sense 3a: “to refresh (somebody with food or drink); refresh oneself”; MED, socouren (v.), sense 1b: “to furnish sustenance; furnish (somebody) with the necessities of life.” The two reflexive verbs here show the dramatist employing two words when one would have done.

486 good restoratyff. The taverner’s recommendation of his wine as an effective cordial that provides relief from “stodyys and hevynes” (line 488) elides the wine’s intoxicating functions with quasi-medicinal purposes.

490 To me ye be courtes and kynde. Mary’s attention to the taverner’s courtesy prefigures her interactions with the gallant.

491 Hof, hof, hof! A frysch new galaunt. By the mid-fifteenth century, the gallant was recognized as a satiric and socioeconomic type, especially by moralists and homilists who condemned the gallant’s material excess, sartorial extravagance, and aspirations to high social status. The Digby play’s gallant thus aligns Mary Magdalene’s seduction with a well-developed discourse of social critique. See Davenport, “‘Lusty Fresche Galaunts’” and C, pp. 7–12, and sources cited therein. According to Davenport (p. 114), “hoff (or hof or huffa)” is a signature of the gallant’s speech. The gallant makes frequent appearances in medieval East Anglian drama. In Satan’s prologue to N-Town’s “Conspiracy” play and Wisdom, Lucifer dons the guise of the gallant. The eponymous protagonist of the Macro Mankind is lured into sin by a trio of gallants: Nought, New Guise, and Nowadays. Superbia, or Pride, in the Castle of Perseverance sports a gallant’s attire. Cox (The Devil and the Sacred, pp. 64–65) claims that the Digby play’s Curiosity, like the gallants in the N-Town “Conspiracy” and the Castle of Perseverance, is aristocratic; in support, he cites Curiosity’s affiliations with the “sevyn prynsys of hell” (line 324) and Satan’s rousing of his “knythtys” (line 373). The social affiliations of the evil characters, according to Cox, mirror Mary Magdalene’s identification as an aristocrat.

493–94 Wene ye . . . . com to town. The gallant’s anxiety about a mercantile identity picks up on the taverner’s commercial concerns. D. Smith (“‘To Passe the See’”) maintains that these issues point to the urban interests of the Digby play. See also C, pp. 8–9.

495 rownd. MED, rounen (v.), sense 1b: “to speak in private, speak in confidence, hold a private conversation.”

496–502 I have a shert . . . . evyr together abyde. The Digby play gallant’s inventory of his clothing is among the most detailed in medieval English drama. As C (pp. 9–10) observes, the gallant’s investment in attire encodes anxieties about social status that late medieval sumptuary laws and didactic discourses about clothing sought to regulate. N. Smith’s Sartorial Strategies analyzes the relationship between the gallant’s exhibitionism, sartorial display, and the performance of sin, as well as the figurative possibilities of aristocratic attire. A rare illustration of Mary Magdalene’s suitor appears in a late fourteenth-century Italian fresco cycle depicting the saint’s life in ten scenes. See Anderson, “Her Dear Sister,” pp. 49, 55–56.

500 awye. See MED, avaien (v.), sense a: “to inform, advise, or instruct (somebody).”

503 I woll . . . to seme yyng. On variable understandings of youth in the Middle Ages, see Dunlop (Late Medieval Interlude, pp. 9–21).

504 With here agen the her I love mych pleyyng. F (p. 64) notes the gallant’s shift to coarser language here. BMH (p. 204) comment on his allusion to “an intimate encounter of hair against hair.”

506 I do it for no pryde. The gallant’s protestation is an ironic double-entendre; the Bad Angel who soon rejoices in Mary’s seduction identifies her tempter as “Pryde, callyd Coriosté” (line 550).

511 Coryossyté. The gallant is given a name. The term curiosity bears a lot of semantic weight. See MED, curiousité (n.); all senses elaborated in the MED’s definitions seem to apply here. Zacher (Curiosity and Pilgrimage, p. 31) states that medieval curiositas was frequently associated with pride. The thirteenth-century play known as Courtois d’ Arras bears interesting similarities to the dramatic scenario and characterization of the much later Digby Magdalene, though the late medieval English play splits between the gallant Curiosity and Mary Magdalene the attributes of the French dramatic protagonist. See Symes, A Common Stage, pp. 71–80.

515 daysyys iee. MED, daies-ie (n.). Curiosity invokes the European daisy or marguerite. A common native flower, the daisy also carries complex meanings. Citing works by Chaucer, Machaut, Usk, Froissart and others, F (pp. 67–70) notes the daisy’s popularity as trope in medieval European courtly literature.

515–19 A, dere dewchesse . . . . peynnes of perplexité. Curiosity’s come-on to the emotionally vulnerable Mary Magdalene and his contributions to their ensuing dialogue echo the convoluted, aureate idiom and rhetorical situation of the late ME poem known as “The Craft of Lovers,” as do Lechery’s wooing of Mary Magdalene (lines 440–59) and the dialogue that introduces the king and queen of Marseilles (lines 942–60). “The Craft of Lovers” stages a conversation between a lover and a lady initially identified as a “curyous” argument (ed. Kooper, line 2); wildly metaphoric, its evocation of courtship calls attention to the manner and terms of courtly language (e.g., lines 78–79). The three extant manuscript versions of the poem are associated with John Shirley; John Stow included “The Craft of Lovers” in his 1561 edition of Chaucer’s Works. See Kooper, “Slack Water Poetry.” F (p. 64) notes the poem’s relevance to the play.

516–17 Splendaunt of colour . . . . Your sofreyn colourrys. MED, colour (n.), sense 3a: “color . . . of the face; complexion”; sense 5c: “manner.” Curiosity seems to pun here on various meanings of ME colour, including sense 4 (“a stylistic device, figure, or embellishment”), thereby commenting on the florid rhetoric with which he first addresses Mary Magdalene.

520 wene ye that I were a kelle. Without citing a source, BMH (p. 251) define “kelle” as “a fishnet or a woman’s cap,” which they extrapolate to mean “prostitute” or “loose woman.” AND variously defines kalle (n.) (also kele and kelle) as “net”; “hair-net”; “head-gear.” To gloss this line Karras (“Holy Harlots,” p. 23n69) cites MED, kelis (n. pl.): “ill-bred” or “low-class people.” Mary Magdalene, then, seems to respond to Curiosity’s sudden come-on, by asking “What do you think I am, a loose woman?

526 I can nat refreyn me. MED, refreinen (v.2), sense 2c: “to restrain, contain, or control oneself.”

swete lelly. Like the daisy, the lily makes frequent appearances in courtly literature. F (p. 70) suggests Curiosity invokes the more elegant flower in response to Mary Magdalene’s concern expressed in line 520. The lily is also a common symbol of the Virgin Mary chastity.

527 Syr, curtesy doth it yow lere. To Curiosity’s declaration that he cannot restrain himself, Mary Magdalene retorts, “Courtesy should teach you how to do that”; or “You should know better.” Her invocation of courtesy here, as C (pp. 12–16) argues, points to the larger drama of social identities that the playwright weaves into the saint’s vita.

529 ye conne. MED, connen (v.), sense 3a: “to have mastery of (a skill), be versed or competent in (a craft, occupation, activity).”

530 wol yow dawns. F (p. 74) places Mary Magdalene’s dance in a complex set of imaginative and epistolary intertexts. The gallant’s invitation implicitly signals the presence of instrumental music in this scene. Brokaw (Staging Harmony, pp. 12–49) considers how the play uses music to express “temptation, sin, and the entrapments of fleshly pleasures” (p. 17); she stresses the importance of musical sound in the sensory reception of medieval drama. Brokaw also compares the Digby Magdalene to Wisdom as examples of East Anglian drama that stage complex religious confessions through their musical appeals; as these notes indicate, the two plays bear other similarities to each other. On Mary Magdalene as a dancer, see Davidson, “Middle English Saint Play,” p. 83. Loewen (“Conversion of Mary Magdalene”) analyzes the German Passion Plays’ extensive use of music to dramatize Mary Magdalene’s conversion from sin to pious living. In these plays, musical performance integrates the homiletic rhetoric of Franciscan preachers and the spiritual possibilities expressed in musical notation. For a general discussion of musical performance in the play, see Rastall, Heaven Singing, pp. 173–74.

533 beryt. MED, beren (v.1), sense 7a: “to possess (a quality, capacity, power, virtue, etc.).”

534 ye be with other ten. I adapt this gloss from BMH, p. 204, based on MED, tene (n.2), sense 3a.

536 Soppes in wynne. Wine figures prominently in Mary Magdalene’s seduction. Birney (“‘Sop in Wyn’”) explains that the sop, a small amount of food, in wine was thought to have medicinal properties.

543–46 Evyn at your wyl . . . . for your sake. C (pp. 1–4) notes the congruence of Mary Magdalene’s moral demise with negative examples of medieval English conduct literature. Still, compared to English Reformation portrayals of Mary Magdalene’s transgressions and those in continental medieval dramas, the Digby play’s portrait of Mary Magdalene’s sinful behaviors in this scene and at lines 564–71 is relatively tame. For continental examples, see Loewen, “Conversion of Mary Magdalene.” Badir (Maudlin Impression, pp. 32–40) and Atkin (Drama of Reform, pp. 109–14) discuss the sexually explicit, salacious exchange between Mary and her tempters in Wager’s Life and Repentaunce of Mary Magdalene; see White, Reformation Biblical Drama (pp. 16–28). Citing The Old English Martyrology, The Northern Passion, The South English Legendary, and Bokenham’s Legendys of Hooly Wummen, Badir (p. 31) notes that medieval English accounts of the saint’s life tend not to draw out Mary’s profligate past, focusing instead on her roles as contemplative and preacher. See also MDS, pp. 100–50.

549 grogly gromys. D. Williams (French Fetish, p. 116) glosses this phrase as “unsavory chaps,” but as BMH note (p. 204), the phrase “fallyn in owr” does not allow this meaning. (See MED, grom (n.), sense 3a.) BMH suggest the dramatist “may well have been employing a traditional alliterative phrase with no clear idea of its sense.”

550 Pryde, callyd Coriosté. The gallant’s lavish clothing and smooth rhetoric also enable his disguise in Wisdom (MP, p. 125), where Lucifer masquerades as a gallant.

555 tremyl and trott. BMH (p. 204) call the phrase “a common tag” that means to “shake and jump for joy,” citing Mundus in the Castle of Perseverance (line 457).

559 of hure al helle shall make rejoysseyng. Allegorical tempters never explain why Mary Magdalene is considered such a welcome target by those who want to bring her down. Their approach to her, through courtliness and flattery of her social status, resonates in their celebration of her downfall: she is paradoxically a “soveryn,” or mighty, elevated, “servant” (line 556) who “hath hure fet in synne.”

560 to nobyl kyngys. Rex Diabolus here addresses the World and the King of Flesh.

564–71 A God be . . . . halse and kysse. This final image of Mary Magdalene before she responds to the Good Angel’s imprecations depicts her as a romance heroine, longing and waiting for her lover. F (pp. 75–79) notes the scene’s important intersection with the imagery and idiom of secular love poetry. Occurring in none of the sources for the play, this scene provides the play’s “only glimpse . . . of Mary’s sensual life” (F, p. 75). Within a few decades, English reformist drama would turn the fallen woman into a complicated icon of all that needed reform in traditional, medieval religious practice, especially the use and veneration of images and other material realizations of devotional expression. Badir (Maudlin Impression, p. 40) says that Wager turns Mary into a decorated idol; Atkin (Drama of Reform, p. 106) finds her standing in for all religious imagery that the reformed church would replace with the Word of God.

564 my valentynys. F (pp. 76–78) aligns Mary Magdalene’s plea on behalf of her putative lovers with the medieval Valentine poetry of courtly writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer, John Clanvowe, John Gower, John Lydgate, Oton de Granson, and Charles d’Orléans.

565 byrd. MED, birde (n.1). The MED cites very contrary meanings: a “bird” (sense 1) is most often “a woman of noble birth, a damsel,” a fair lady, etc. But the word (sense 3a) can also denote “a man of noble birth, scion, lord.” The latter would seem to be what Mary Magdalene intends here; alternatively, she may be punning on ME brid (sense 1a), that is, the avian creatures whom Chaucer in The Parliament of Foules also associates with the “valentines” whose arrival Mary awaits in her arbor. F (pp. 76–77) discusses the connection between birds and lovers in medieval Valentine poetry.

566 bote. MED, bote (n.1), sense 1a: “advantage, help, profit, good, benefit.”

568 this erbyre. MED, herber (n.1). Mary Magdalene’s arbor taps the MED’s multiple meanings for this word; it is a “pleasure garden” (sense a); an “herb garden” (sense b); a “bower covered with flowers, vines, [and] shrubs” (sense e). F (pp. 98–100) surveys these multiple possibilities. For example, Mary’s arbor calls to mind both the medieval Garden of Love, frequently depicted in illustrated manuscripts of the Roman de la Rose, and the Garden of Eden. The sensuous language of the female speaker in the garden also evokes the hortus conclusus, or enclosed garden of the Song of Songs, unleashing potential for her identification with the Song’s Bride. Scherb (Staging Faith, p. 177) finds religious valences in Mary’s speech, including echoes of biblical imagery of the garden in Song of Songs 4:5–6; Ecclesiastes 24:42, and Isaias 58:11.

571, s.d. Her shal Mary lye doun and slepe in the erbyre. According to F (pp. 93–98), the arbor scene is part of a major romance “meme” in the play, the motif of “the sleeper in the garden.” In this framework, the arbor or garden is a liminal space where “life-changing intervention from a realm beyond the everyday world” can occur (p. 94). F surveys appearances of and variations on this important motif in a wide range of Middle English romances.

572 Symont Leprus (speech heading). The playwright seems to have confused Simon the Pharisee of Luke 7:36–50, with Simon the Leper in Matthew 26:6–16 and Mark 14:3–11. In all three passages Jesus is anointed by an unnamed woman, but only in the home of Simon the Pharisee does Jesus relate the parable of the two debtors, as he also does in the Digby play. Jesus’ parable of the two debtors does not appear in Jacobus’ life of Mary Magdalene.

573 solas. MED, solasen (v.), sense 1a: “to entertain (somebody), amuse; please (one’s heart or soul); cheer up (one’s life).”

576–79 Into the seté . . . . with this ordynowns. Simon’s concern for proper provisions for his dinner guests is consistent with other instances in the play that highlight the household and its management, perhaps addressing the values of the play’s target audience and/or its producers. Simon’s reference to officers performing “this ordynowns” situates his action squarely within the arena of rules and regulations, proper behavior and social custom. See MED, ordinaunce (n.).

577 porvyawns. MED, purveiaunce (n.), sense 3a: “the act of procuring or providing that which is necessary, especially food, equipment, etc.; provisioning.”

581 perfytnesse. See MED, parfitnes(se (n.), sense 1. In characterizing Jesus as the “prophet” of perfection, Simon invokes the ideal that will become the goal of Mary Magdalene’s spiritual life. Devotional works such as Walter Hilton’s Scale of Perfection promoted these ideals for religious and sometimes lay contemplatives. As MDS (pp. 100–101) elaborates, Hilton singles out Mary Magdalene for her achievement of contemplative perfection.

587, s.d. Her entyr Symont into the place, the Good Angyll thus seyyng to Mary. The simultaneity of these different actions, Simon entering the playing place to welcome Jesus in the next scene and Mary’s imminent conversion, furnish a clear instance of dramatic possibilities afforded by the play’s platea and loca staging. Like the evil allegorical beings who tempt Mary and the “spiritus malyngny” (line 428), the Good Angel is the playwright’s invention. No other version of the saint’s life makes her the subject of such spiritual visitations.

588 Woman, woman, why art thou so onstabyll. Compare Lady Lechery’s very different salutation at lines 440–44, a difference that marks the spiritual and psychological distance Mary Magdalene has traveled in the interval between the two greetings.

590 veryabyll. MED, variable (adj.), sense 2a: “of a person: inconstant, unsteadfast; treacherous, untrustworthy.”

594 Salve for thi sowle. MED, salve (n.1), sense 1c: “a spiritual or religious remedy.”

598–99 remembyr how sorowful . . . . angure and ir. The Good Angel reminds Mary Magdalene of the torment that will await her in hell if she remains unrepentant.

601 I am the gost of goodnesse. The angel’s self-identification as a “good” spirit (and Mary Magdalene’s confirmation of that attribute in the next line) is the first of the play’s several allusions to late medieval discourses on discretio spirituum, or the discernment of spirits: admonitions and guidelines intended to educate the devout soul on the truth or falsehood, sacred or demonic origins of spiritual visitations that took the form of visions, sensations, and/or voices. A frequent topic of works of spiritual direction such as Hilton’s Scale of Perfection, The Chastising of God’s Children, and The Cloud of Unknowing, proper discernment of the sources of spiritual visitation was of major concern to late medieval women mystics such as Margery Kempe and Bridget of Sweden. See MDS (pp. 117–21) and Voaden, God’s Words.

602–07 how the speryt . . . . on every syde. Mary Magdalene’s self-assessment and self-reproach echo themes of medieval confessional literature, as does her occupation by and release from seven devils (line 691, s.d.; see also lines 631–40; 748–57). More specifically, her delineation of her spiritual condition as the interplay of exterior forces and interior inclinations resembles what Raskolnikov (“Confessional Literature”) calls “vernacular psychology.”

603 temtyd me. Noting an Augustinian parallel between the three goals of rhetoric — to teach, delight, and persuade — and the three steps of temptation — suggestion, pleasure, and consent — Scoville (Saints and the Audience, pp. 38–39) explains Mary Magdalene’s unusual word choice here.

605 wonddyd. MED, wounden (v.), sense 5a: “to inflict emotional pain, distress.”

612 oyle of mercy. Mary Magdalene’s metaphor for the mercy she seeks from prophet Jesus is a fitting counterpoint to the “swete bawmys” (line 613) with which she will anoint him in Simon’s house and also seek out his dead body in his tomb. The conflation of several anointing women in scripture, including the unnamed one who approaches Jesus in the home of Simon the Pharisee, and the Mary Magdalene who bears witness to the resurrection in all four gospels, enabled Gregory the Great’s creation of the composite Magdalene, thereby joining the anointer to the sinner. The anointing scene of Luke 7 provides the core of Gregory’s influential Homily 33; see Gregory the Great, Forty Gospel Homilies, pp. 268–79. Dugan (Ephemeral History of Perfume, p. 39) calls Mary Magdalene’s exchange of her arbor’s precious balms (line 569) for the sweet balms of anointing an instance of contrapasso, “a structure of penitence demanding that any absolution match the nature of the sin.” Dugan also introduces the notion that the play’s staging itself may have employed its various scents.

615 mastyr most of magnyfycens. Note the play’s use of epithets for the deity.

639–40 Thow knowyst . . . . hart reward me. Mary makes an unusual claim about Jesus’ knowledge of her spiritual intentions, her “hart and thowt”; see also line 696. The focus on interior piety, in contrast to outward religious expression, was an important strain of late medieval devotion. As C (p. 17) explains, such pieties were especially congenial to the habits and preferences of the prosperous late medieval laity, whose interests are otherwise so frequently addressed in the Digby Magdalene.

642–44 For this grett repast . . . . seyn to thee. In the verses from Luke 7 from which this scene draws, Jesus reprimands Simon because he identifies the anointing woman as a sinner. In the play, Jesus admonishes Simon even though he has not expressed displeasure about the woman. See BMH, p. 204, and the note to line 674 below.

643 fectually. MED, effectualli (adv.), sense 2: “diligently, earnestly, zealously.”

649–77 Symond, ther was a man . . . . be thou made therby. Luke 7:41–49.

660 as my reson yef can. In this difficult phrase, the scribe has written ȝef, perhaps by mistake.

672 aplye. MED, applien (v.), sense 5a: “to strive or undertake (to do something).”

674 Wherfor, in thi conscyens, thou owttyst nat to replye. Jesus’ statement here may explain his rebuke of Simon even though the man says nothing about the anointing woman in the Digby play. (See note to lines 642–44 above.) Jesus suggests knowledge of Simon’s inward expression, “in . . . conscyens,” that is, of his disapproval. See MED, conscience (n.), sense 1.

678–85 blessyd be thou . . . . pacyens and charyté. Mary Magdalene’s words upon receiving Jesus’ forgiveness constellate important themes and metaphors elaborately developed elsewhere in the play. After addressing Jesus as “lord of evyrlastyng lyfe,” she immediately invokes his birth from his mother Mary, “that puer vergynne” who, though she makes no appearance in the play, nonetheless figures in it as an abiding reference point for Mary Magdalene. See MDS, pp. 151–54. As Coletti (“Design of the Digby Play”) points out, the newly converted woman employs metaphors of nourishment (“repast contemplatyf”) to describe Jesus’ effect upon her and represents her own transformation through a trope of clothing, as she resolves to “enabyte” herself with humility. The trope of “enhabiting,” as MDS (p. 263n28) notes, recalls the Pauline concept of ‘putting on’ the new man in Christ (Ephesians 4:23–24; Galatians 3:27–28; Romans 13:12–14; Colossians 3:9–10). It is tempting to speculate how these metaphoric changes of array might have been materially realized on stage. In Wager’s Life and Repentance (White, Reformation Biblical Drama, p. 55, line 1765, s.d.), Mary Magdalene marks her conversion with a literal change of clothing.

681 Agens my seknes, helth and medsyn. The Digby play’s saint also casts Mary’s sinful condition as a “seknes” from which she is healed by Christus medicus, her “helth and medsyn.” See also lines 594, 677, 693, 759, and 763, and Coletti, “Social Contexts,” pp. 291–92. Keyser (“Examining the Body Poetic,” pp. 145–58) discusses how the play’s use of this figurative language conforms to the medieval medical paradigm.

683 enabyte. MED, habiten (v.), sense 2: “to attire oneself, dress.”

687 inward mythe. See note to lines 639–40 above.

688 desert. MED, desert (n.2), sense 2. Negative connotations of the “desert” that Mary Magdalene’s soul occupies before her conversion anticipate the positive associations of the wilderness (line 1971, s.d.) that later furnishes her contemplative retreat (sense 2a).

689 And from therknesse hast porchasyd lyth. Jesus employs a metaphoric commonplace of medieval discourses of redemption, which rendered the theology of salvation in economic terms. The foundation of these discourses is the idea that God redeemed the world by ‘buying it back’ (from the Latin redimere). See PDD, pp. 341–42; Rosenthal, Purchase of Paradise; Georgianna, “Love So Dearly Bought,” p. 89.

691 Vade in pace. Luke 7:50.

691, s.d. Wyth this word . . . . hell with thondyr. This remarkable stage direction points up the Digby play’s fondness for vivid dramatic spectacle. The second part of the direction, complete with sound effects, demonstrates the playwright’s inventive depiction of Mary Magdalene’s life of sin, which the play develops in an elaborate allegory. The “dyllys” here are the Seven Deadly Sins. The first portion of the stage direction, though, draws upon the composite Magdalene’s biblical identity, specifically the Gregorian construction that conflated the woman named Magdalene, from whom Jesus cast seven devils (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2) with the sinful woman of Luke 7. Tamburr (Harrowing of Hell, p. 146) notes echoes here of the Harrowing of Hell, wherein Christ’s conquering of the devil within the soul of the individual believer parallels that greater redemptive action. Christ was, according to Tamburr, channeling Justin Martyr, the great exorcist. The exorcism of Mary Magdalene’s deadly sins or demons is one of three such scenes in East Anglian drama. In Wisdom (MP, pp. 143–46, lines 901–80), Anima emerges as a Magdalene figure by virtue of this and other similarities. As MDS notes (p. 98), Wisdom “reads and plays like an allegorical dress rehearsal for the more elaborate . . . treatment of related themes in the Digby Magdalene.” Sixteenth-century marginalia in the Macro manuscript (MP, p. xxix) include a ballad that mentions Mary Magdalene, Mary of Egypt, and the Virgin Mary. N-Town’s “Last Supper” conflates Mary Magdalene’s scriptural exorcism in the gospels of Luke and Mark with the anointing episode from Luke 7, and relocates this conflation to the scene of the Last Supper. See NT, 1:269–71, lines 141–92; and for discussion of these episodes see MDS, pp. 84–94.

693 Sowle helth attys tyme for to recure. See MED, soule-hele (n.); MED, recuren (v.), sense 2a. Mary Magdalene’s recovery of “soul health” and Jesus’ promise to make her “hol in sowle” (line 677) invoke a specialized term from medieval devotional literature analyzed by Raskolnikov in Body Against Soul.

694 whanhope. See MED, wanhope (n.), sense 1a. Wanhope, or despair (Latin tristitia), was a subject of extensive commentary on the part of the Church fathers and later medieval exegetes. Discussions focused on whether despair was itself a “deadly” sin and, if not, what its relationship to sin must be. In the later Middle Ages despair was considered a subset of the sin of sloth (Latin acedia). Wenzel (Sin of Sloth, pp. 68–96) provides a basic account. For a recent overview and analysis, see Huber, “‘Y am sorwe,’” pp. 1–22.

697 the techeyng of Isaye in scryptur. Revealing a precocious knowledge of the Old Testament, Mary Magdalene proclaims her trust in Isaiah’s prophecies of the coming savior. Possible allusions here include Isaias 9:6–7, which announces the birth of the child who will sit on David’s throne and whose “name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.” The mention of the names to be ascribed to the deity (“et vocabitur nomen eius”) resonate with the play’s sustained interest in the name of Jesus. See the note to lines 93–94 above. Mary Magdalene may also have in mind here Isaias 11:1–2, which speaks of the flower and rod that will rise from the root of Jesse and upon whom the spirit of the Lord will rest.

699–700 Blyssyd be they . . . . in credens. John 20:29. BMH (p. 206) mistakenly cite John 10 but nonetheless correctly note the oddity of a comment that in John’s gospel Jesus makes to Thomas, not Mary Magdalene. The remark directly follows Mary Magdalene’s attestation of the scriptural, i.e., written, foundations of her renewed faith. Citing the unusual placement of this scriptural citation, MDS (pp. 192–93) suggests that its admonition regarding the relationship of sight to belief applies to both the Magdalene’s outrageous corporeal testimony of faith and the material resources of theater.

705–21 Holy God . . . . we desyern. M (p. 264) declares this speech “theologically speaking . . . very odd” and states it “could hardly have been written for an angel.” Citing the Play of Mary Magdalene, ed. Lewis, p. 132, BMH identify the speech as “a tripartite hymn to the Holy Trinity” that treats “each person of the Trinity in succession” (p. 206). Coming immediately after Jesus’ exit from the stage, the Good Angel’s metaphorically rich and conceptually challenging speech, or hymn, directs attention to the Digby play’s representation of the deity, and more specifically, to its Christology. In sharp contrast to important strands of medieval piety that emphasized Christ’s human nature, the Good Angel focuses on exceptional attributes that foreground his “devynyté” and “soverreyn sapyens.” The Good Angel even implies that Jesus’ humanity, his “blessyd mortalyté,” has “obscuryd” his divine nature. As MDS explains (pp. 114–17), this characterization recalls the Christology that Walter Hilton, in the Scale of Perfection, propounds in relation to a program of contemplation.

716 spryte of errour. The Good Angel once more refers to the discernment of spirits in its “rejoysyng of Mawdleyn” (line 704, s.d.). See note to line 601 above.

719 consyngne. MED, signen (v.1), sense 2c: “to sign (a document, letter, an act, etc.) with one’s name or signature; also, authenticate . . . with a signature or seal.”

720 malyngne. MED, maligne (n.), sense b: “wickedness, treachery.”

721 gostely bred. The Good Angel appears to allude to the eucharistic sacrament, but the various references to material and spiritual consumption in the play suggest that the term “gostely bred” involves more expansive forms of spiritual nourishment.

722–47 A, owt, owt . . . . ower felaws blake. Comedic antics of demons were a staple of medieval English dramatizations of the Harrowing of Hell and the Last Judgment. Cox (The Devil and the Sacred, p. 70) notes demonic infighting here.

722 hampord wyth hate. MED, hamperen (v.), sense c: “to attack; harass (the heart), vex, torment.” As Tamburr notes, (Harrowing of Hell, pp. 159–61), the disturbance of the devils registered here anticipates Christ’s Harrowing of Hell, reported later in lines 963–92.

724 betyll-browyd bycheys. The alliteration employed in the devils’ repartee calls attention to the play — and the playwright’s — awareness of distinct linguistic idioms.

725 Belfagour and Belzabub. BMH (p. 206) suggest that Belfagour is probably the Moabite deity mentioned in Numbers 25:3–5, to whom the Israelites are initiated. Belzabub, or Beelzebub, appears variously in the Old and New Testaments as a Philistine god, a demon, and as a synonym for Satan.

727–28 The jugment . . . . judycyal-lyke astate. The theme of judgment has recently surfaced in the scene of Mary Magdalene’s repentance and Jesus’ intuition of Simon’s opinion about her. The mock trial to which the devils submit Spiritus Maligni, or the Bad Angel, is reminiscent of the mock court that occurs in Mankind (MP, pp. 175–77, lines 662–725).

730 As flat as fox. Whiting F601 cites the Digby play as the sole instance of this phrase.

731 Primus Diabolus (speech heading). Mostly likely the scribe, rather than the playwright, changes the name of the character identified as Rex Diabolus at line 722. Similarly, Spiritus Maligni at line 730 becomes Malinus Spiritus at line 733. Inconsistency in speech headings, both in actual names and the spelling of names, is a regular feature of the manuscript; see Introduction, p. 19.

735–36 thys hard balys . . . . I wol be wreke. The punishment inflicted by the devils upon the Bad Angel and the Seven Deadly Sins corresponds to the iconography of the Last Judgement window at St. Mary’s Church in Fairford, Gloucestershire. See Ross’ webpage:, window 15.

737 skore awey the yche. MED, scoren (v.), sense a: “to cut (something).”

738 wyth thys panne, ye do hym pycche. MED, pichen (v.) In blackening their failed minions with pitch, the devils transfer to them their own iconographic associations with blackness; some reference to festive customs may also be at work here. See Vaughn, Performing Blackness, pp. 18–22.

739, s.d. Here shall they serve all the sevyn as they do the frest. The stage direction indicates that “all the sevyn,” the Seven Deadly Sins, accompany Spiritus Maligni when he delivers the message about their collective, failed attempt to secure Mary Magdalene’s place in hell. Findon (“‘Now is aloft,’” p. 251) comments that “the expulsion of Deadly Sins is a positive development for Mary, but a disaster for the sins themselves.”

741 lordeynnys. MED, lording(e (n.). The term, which denotes persons occupying positions of mastery or lordship, may be used ironically here.

743, s.d. Here shall the tother deyllys sett the howse on afyere . . . and to Martha. The “howse” situates this spectacle of demonic punishment in physical terms, probably identifying a specific locus, or place, in the playing space. The fire and smoke produced here indicate medieval dramatists’ appreciation for pyrotechnic thrills, as well as the technical capacities of medieval drama’s sponsors and players to create burning spectacles. Dramatic records from Coventry report payments for “kepyng of hell mowthe & the fyer” and document many uses of gunpowder. See Schreyer, Shakespeare’s Medieval Craft, pp. 140–41, 228n33.

748–59 O brother . . . . helyd myn infyrmyté. This abrupt and unremarked shift of scene finds Mary Magdalene returned to her siblings in Castle Magdalene. Her speech of greeting to Martha and Lazarus rehearses metaphors and motifs appearing earlier in the play: a Christology that focuses on God as “kyng” and creator, and the representation of her sin as an “infyrmyté” to be healed.

751 delectary. This word seems to combine the idea of being “spiritually or intellectually delightful” and “a state or condition of happiness.” See MED, delectable (adj.), sense b, and MED, delectacioun (n.), sense 3b. Compare lines 337 and 791.

757 Revertere. Jeffrey (“English Saints’ Plays,” p. 87) links Magdalene’s account to the wordplay on vertere/revertere/convertere in Augustine’s Confessions.

760–61 Now worchepyd . . . . is callyd Savyower. Martha’s praise of the “hey name Jhesu”and its Latin rendering as Savyower signals the play’s attention to the late medieval cult of the Holy Name of Jesus. See note to lines 93–94 above.

762 evyn of dewe. MED, dever (n.), sense 3b: “whatever is due or proper.”

763 To alle synfull and seke, he is sokour. Martha too recognizes the motif of Jesus as physician, Christus medicus. See note to lines 678–85 above.

765 obessyawnse. MED, obeisaunce (n.), sense 3a: “respectful submission, homage; deference, reverence.”

768–75 Cryst, that is the lyth . . . . nyth and day. M (pp. 265–66) notes that Mary’s speech translates the opening lines of Christe qui lux es et dies, a Compline hymn from the Sarum rite used from the first Sunday of Lent to Passion Sunday. The hymn was frequently translated into ME. M (p. 279) cites Breviarium ad Usum Insignis Ecclesiae Sarum, 1:dlxxiii, 2:228–29.

773 ded slep. M (p. 266) notes that references to “grevos slepe” (line 852) or the gravis somnus of the hymn, throughout the play suggest that the playwright “worked from the Latin text rather than from the translation. Instances of dramatic gravis somnus apply not only to Mary Magdalene but to Lazarus (line 852) and the queen of Marseilles (line 1896).

777–80 deth is sett . . . . wax alle swertt. The play represents the death of Lazarus from John 11 in graphic detail. Apparently stumbling (“I faltyr and falle”), Lazarus first experiences distress as he becomes “onquarte”; see MED, unquert(e (adj.). He reports “a bome,” or buzzing in his head (MED, bomben (v.)) and appears to lose consciousness, as he waxes “swertt” (MED, swart (adj.), sense b). Keyser (“Examining the Body Poetic,” pp. 145–58) discusses the deaths of Lazarus and Cyrus in light of medieval medical knowledge. The Digby play’s interest in physical illness, considered alongside its awareness of medicinal herbs and its use of metaphors of health and healing in spiritual as well as material contexts, may suggest that at some point its auspices were connected to the culture of the medieval hospital. See Coletti, “Social Contexts.”

782 no lengar now I reverte. MED, reverten (v.), sense 3. See note for line 757 above.

783 I yeld up the gost. Like the death of Cyrus earlier in the play, the death of Lazarus depicts the late medieval awareness — and fear — of sudden death. In fact, Lazarus does not die when he here yields up the “gost,” but forty lines later at line 823, s.d.

787 shal gete yow leches. The Christus medicus trope returns here and when Lazarus and Mary Magdalene affirm poetically, in rhyme, the congruence of his “bodely helth” (line 823) and his “gostys welth” (line 825). On the trope, see Rawcliffe, Medicine for the Soul, pp. 103–08.

devyde. MED, dividen (v.), sense 1a(c): “to break (something) up; demolish, destroy.”

794 melleflueus swettness. See MED, swetenes(se (n.), sense 5, but overlapping with other senses. Carruthers (“Sweetness,” p. 1001) states that medieval “‘sweetness’ — dulcedo, suavitas — is among the most mixed and trickiest of concepts”; but Mary and Martha’s intended meaning here seems unambiguous. In light of the play’s representation of Mary Magdalene as a mystic and contemplative (see MDS, pp. 100–50), Richard Rolle’s account (in Fire of Love) of the contemplative’s experience of spiritual love as calor, dulcor, and canor (heat, sweetness, and song) also resonates with the sisters’ devout testimony.

796 Lover to thee, Lord. See MED, lover(e (n.2), sense 1b. The idea of the loving relationship between Jesus and Lazarus originates in the Gospel of John 11:3, where Mary and Martha seek Jesus’ help for their brother, “whom [he] loves” (“quem amas”). But the playwright’s term here (and at lines 798 and 800) to represent Lazarus’ relationship to Jesus is also a familiar trope of medieval devotional and mystical writing, used to describe the devout individual’s relationship to the deity in his humanity. Julian of Norwich’s A Vision Showed to a Devout Woman famously begins: “Methought I wolde have bene that time with Mary Maudeleyne and with othere that were Cristes loverse”; Writings of Julian, ed. Watson and Jenkins, p. 63. The notion of the believer as Christ’s beloved derives from allegorical interpretations of the Song of Songs.

802–10 Of all infyrmyté . . . . in heven gloryfyed. The opening of Jesus’ speech is inspired by John 11:4. Jesus “said to them: ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God’” (Infirmitas haec non est ad mortem, sed pro gloria Dei). The Digby playwright, however, departs from the biblical prompt to have Jesus proclaim the inscrutability of both death and the eternal joys of heaven, which can be understood neither by reason nor academic knowledge (“counnyng of clerke”); or such at least is the point that the speech develops, despite the difficulties of line 802, which might also be the result of scribal confusion. MDS (pp. 121–24) discusses the play’s critique of clerical learning and its portrayal of sacred cognition. Cockett (“Actor’s Carnal Eye,” p. 71) cites this passage as one of three addressing the limitation of words to express spiritual matters (the others occur at lines 1100–03 and 1364–65). The play’s interest in affective and somatic forms of religious knowledge, he contends, not only comports with practices of late medieval affective pieties (as exemplified by East Anglian women mystics Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe), but also anticipates the work of the actor who might “operate as a medium for sacred truth.”

804 werke. Especially in opposition to “the joye . . . [of] Jherusallem hevenly” in the next line, the meaning of “werke” here is difficult to determine. For the many options, see MED, werk (n.1).

805 Jherusallem hevenly. To gloss this difficult passage, BMH (p. 207) cite 1 Corinthians 2:9, where Paul speaks of the inability of human knowledge to access God’s sacred mysteries and wisdom.

817 weyys. MED, wei (n.4), sense a: “misery, trouble, woe.”

822 sharp showyr. MED, shour (n.), sense 4a: “An attack of physical or emotional suffering.”

831 drewyn. MED, drauen (v.), sense 1e(d): “to tear down, fell, . . . kill.”

832–33 We must nedys . . . . hym wythowt delay. John’s gospel does not mention the necessity for Lazarus’ speedy burial.

834–37 As the use . . . . wythowtyn lesyng. The weepers gathered by Mary Magdalene are the late medieval stand-ins for the consoling Jews of John 11:19 and 31; Mary’s consciousness of how the act of mourning “must be donne” links the burial of Lazarus not only to Jewish and Middle Eastern funeral customs but also to those of late medieval England. Mourners “clad in blake” frequently appeared in late medieval funerals, especially those of the well-to-do (see also the stage direction after line 841).The 1519 will of Anne Sulyard of Suffolk provided for 24 poor men and women “to be clad in Blak with hoodes of the same.” Such mourners were often recipients of the deceased person’s charity. See PDD, p. 350 and the sources cited therein.

846 very. MED, verrei (adj.), sense 6b(a) lists the word as “an emphatic.”

849 Jude. John 11:7. The Digby play’s representation of the death and raising of Lazarus follows John’s gospel closely, but not slavishly; e.g., the play sharply differentiates Jesus’ separate encounters with Mary and Martha by showing Lazarus die in between them.

850 Lazar, my frynd. Although she focuses on a twelfth-century Lazarus play from Fleury, Ashley’s analysis (“Fleury Raising of Lazarus”) of that play’s complex Christology resonates here: she notes that the Fleury Jesus is both friend and intimate of Lazarus and a powerful victor. See the Digby Lazarus’ praise of Christ’s “werkys of wondyre” at lines 912–13.

852 grevos slepe. Jesus introduces the metaphor of death as sleep in John 11:11. See note to line 773 above.

854 be skyll. See MED, skil (n.), sense 7a. The disciple’s remark may collapse John 11:12, “Lord, if he sleep, he shall be well” (Domine, si dormit, salvus erit), and John 11:37, “Could not he that opened the eyes of the man born blind have caused that this man not die?” (Non poterat hic, qui aperuit oculos caeci nati, facere ut hic non moreretur?). The mention of Jesus’ “skyll” picks up on the latter, while the disciple’s anticipation that Lazarus might be “savyd” suggests a mistranslation of the Latin salvus.

855–64 That is trew . . . . of my deité. In another noteworthy addition to John’s account of the Lazarus episode, Jesus here both gives notice of his virgin birth and briefly summarizes his imminent Passion.

857 nemyows. BMH (p. 258) note the derivation from Latin nimium, meaning “beyond measure” or “excessive.”

865 folow me now. Fitzhenry (“Vernacularity and Theater,” p. 227) notes the coincidence of the Digby Christ’s “mobile, preaching” ministry and Wycliffite models of Christ.

866 For Lazar is ded, verely to preve. It is unclear why Jesus would want to openly “preve” Lazarus’ death. In an alternative parsing of this line, that which Jesus seeks to demonstrate openly might be the “deité” of line 864.

868, s.d. Here shal Jhesus . . . on Jew tellyt Martha. John’s gospel identifies the companions of Mary and Martha as Jews. See note to lines 834–37 above.

873–92 A, Lord . . . . doth this dyscus. See John 11:20–32.

886 son of sapyens. Scripture provides foundations for the association of Christ, as the second person of the Trinity, with Wisdom: Isaias 11:1–2; Luke 7:35; Luke 11:31 and 49; and 1 Corinthians 1:24. See Riggio, Play of “Wisdom,” p. 184. The Macro play known as Wisdom (MP, pp. 114–52) elaborates on late medieval understanding of Christ as Wisdom; a substantial fragment of that play is also preserved in the manuscript that contains the single extant version of the Digby Magdalene. Christ is addressed and appears as Wisdom in the N-Town “Assumption of Mary” play (NT, 1:390–91, lines 94–114).

889 regent. MED, regent (n.), sense b: “one who governs in place of a sovereign.” Here “regent” is an apt designation for Jesus as the second person of the Trinity, albeit not yet recognized.

892 dyscus. MED, discussen (v.), sense 1a: “to investigate (a matter, an opinion); examine (one’s conscience, a belief); weigh (deeds) for judgment.”

895 wys. MED, wisen (v.), sense 3a: “to guide (somebody along a route or toward a goal), direct.”

903–10 Now, Father . . . . hethyr to me. Jesus’ words once more depart from their gospel source (John 11:41–43), this time in his appeal as the human son of his divine father.

911–20 A, my makar . . . . here ded apere. Because the risen Lazarus of John’s gospel does not speak, medieval writers who wanted to represent this episode had enormous leeway in devising words for the man newly returned from death. The Digby play’s Lazarus perhaps alludes to a comment that John gives to Martha (11:39) when he refers to the rot that should have consumed his flesh and bones. Lazarus figures in medieval English drama display a range of responses to the miraculous testimony to Jesus’ divinity that they represent. Ashley (“Resurrection of Lazarus”) discusses Lazarus figures in medieval English and French dramas.

920, s.d. Here all the pepull . . . Jhesus, Jhesus, Jhesus. John’s gospel mentions no such spirited endorsement of faith. Like the stage directions at lines 44 and 841, this provision for dramatic action calls attention to the ‘extras’ that populate the stage of the Digby Magdalene even as it recalls Martha’s devotion to the “hey name Jhesu” called “Savyower” (lines 760–61).

921 advertacyounys. A noun form, “that which is made known,” derives from ME adverten (v.), “to observe, perceive” (MED, sense 1); but see also MED, advertisen (v.), sense 2c: “to make (something) known, make clear or manifest, declare, show.”

922 Wherethorow. See MED, wher-thurgh. (adv. & conj.), sense 3a(c).

924 Vade in pace. These are Jesus’ words to the woman who anoints him in the home of Simon the Pharisee in Luke 7:50, the woman whom the Digby play, and a preceding millennium of scriptural and religious tradition, identified as Mary Magdalene.

924, s.d. Here devoydyt Jhesus. This stage direction marks the play’s turn to Mary Magdalene’s legendary, post-biblical life, developed in many of her medieval vitae but based fundamentally on Jacobus de Voragine’s Legenda Aurea; see GL. Furnivall (Digby Plays, p. 98) divided the play here, indicating all that follows as “part two.” The king and queen of Marcylle, or Marseilles, introduced here, are central figures in the legendary life.

925 Avantt! Avant thee. MED, avaunt (interj.), sense c: “away, be off, avaunt.”

927 Ye brawlyng breellys and blabyr-lyppyd bycchys. MED, braulen (v.1), sense 1; MED, brali (adj.); and MED, brauler(e (n.); all these words denote noisy and quarrelsome people. See also MED, bicche (n.), sense 2. The redundant reprimand serves the alliterative poetic line, as the king’s ranting speech marks a notable shift in the tone and idiom of the play at this point, perhaps explaining why Furnivall perceived the need to divide it here.

929 I am a sofereyn. Velz (“Sovereignty in the Digby”) discusses this important motif in the plays.

934 bemmys. MED, beme (n.1), sense a: “a trumpet, especially one used in warfare or hunting.”

942 I have a favorows fode and fresse as the fakown. MED, fode (n.2), sense 3b. The king shifts abruptly from tyrannical to amorous, courtly speech. According to F (pp. 79–81), the imagery of flowers, animals, and gemstones that punctuates the king and queen’s exchange is common to medieval love lyrics. Of special interest, as F notes (p. 80), is the king’s identification of his wife with the “fakown,” an aristocratic bird of prey. The king associates himself with the lion (line 944), another aristocratic animal “common in . . . romance and courtly society as well as heraldry” (F, p. 81).

947 felecyows. This word derives from MED, felicité (n.), sense 2a: “happiness; delight, joy, pleasure.”

950–57 Regina (speech heading) . . . . is my prosperyté. The queen’s speech is difficult linguistically and syntactically. She continues the king’s courtly discourse but takes it to the next level of obscurity. F (p. 81) states that line 952’s “boldest ondyr baner bryth” echoes Song of Songs 2:4: “his banner over me is love.”

953 coroscant. The word derives from Latin coruscus (adj.), meaning “flashing, gleaming, glittering.”

956 I privyde. MED, providen (v.), sense 4a: “to take care . . . protect (somebody [or] oneself).”

958 berel brytest of bewté. In praising his wife as a bright, beautiful beryl, the king recalls Flesh’s address to Lady Lechery (see note to “beral of bewte” at line 425). F (p. 82) comments on this similarity, suggesting that the carry-over to the queen of romantic and erotic attributes is complicated by her aristocratic status.

961 Now, comly knygthys. The king’s call for his knights to follow their assumed duties turns his legendary kingdom into a medieval aristocratic household, very much like the one overseen by Mary Magdalene’s father Cyrus (see line 112 and its note).

962, s.d. spycys and wynne. See notes to lines 46 and 112 above.

963 Owt, owt, harrow. The devil who delivers news of Christ’s Crucifixion, Harrowing of Hell, and Resurrection is remarkably well-informed about basic Christian doctrine. With its notice of the “Kyng of Joy[’s] . . . . wondyrfull worke” (lines 967–76), his report of these events even gestures toward the Christology present elsewhere in the play. This counter-intuitive instruction in Christian theology by a character coded as evil also occurs in the Croxton Play of the Sacrament (lines 393–441), when Jonathas and the other Jews explain the eucharistic sacrament and rehearse the “substaunce of . . . [Christian] lawe.” The non-scriptural Harrowing of Hell is derived from the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus. The episode, which provided for Christ’s release of righteous souls in hell during the interval between his crucifixion and resurrection, was very popular in medieval English literature, appearing in all of the biblical cycles. DiSalvo (“Unexpected Saints,” p. 74) notes that the devils who disappear from the play at this point are “replaced by the pagan priest of Marseilles.”

968 fray. MED, frai (n.), sense 2: “a fit of fright.”

989 deleverans. MED, deliverance (n.), sense 2c notes the term can refer to “Judgment Day.”

992, s.d. Here shall entyr . . . . thus seyyng Mawdlyn. This stage direction invokes a social identity (“chast women”) and a visual image (“sygnis of the passon”) extremely important in late medieval religious culture. The introduction of the three Marys as chaste women aligns them with the social role of the vowess, a lay woman who formally professed before ecclesiastical authority her intention to pursue a chaste life in world. The stage direction’s notice of the women’s array further signals the vowess’ symbolic apparel. See MDS, pp. 50–53. The symbols of the Passion “pryntyd” on this attire allude either to the arma Christi, a cluster of images representing the instruments of the Passion, or to a more focused image, sometimes called ‘arms of the Passion,’ that showed Christ’s wounds depicted against the background of the cross. See Duffy, Stripping of the Altars, p. 246; Cooper and Denny-Brown, eds., Arma Christi; and MDS, p. 248n3. The latter image was associated particularly with the late medieval Bridgettine orders, whose sisters wore white linen crowns on which were sewn, in cruciform pattern, pieces of red cloth in the shape of drops of blood and whose lay brothers wore mantles decorated with white crosses and red patches “‘for the reuerence of the fyve woundys of crist.’” See Jones and Walsham, “Syon Abbey,” p. 13. BMH (p. 209) compare this passage to Mankind, line 322 (MP, p. 164).

995–98 For here . . . . For here. See Luke 23:27–28. Scoville (Saints and the Audience, p. 49) connects the Marys’ rhetorical emphasis with the “memorial techniques of antiquity and of medieval rhetorical education,” here replacing the imaginary landscapes of memory theory with “the actual landscape of the playing space.”

998–99 For here . . . . ther kyng ryall. Mary Jacobe’s recollection of the mocking of Christ on his way to Calvary is as laconic as scriptural reports of it; BMH (p. 209) cite Matthew 27:30, Mark 15:19. “The Announcement to the Three Marys” in the N-Town Play fills in this picture with imaginative details drawn from scriptural exegesis and devotional writings.

1003 mervelows mell. Merveillous (adj.) has a wide semantic range, embracing the “wonderful” (sense 1a), the “miraculous” (sense 2a), and the “horrifying” (sense 4a). MED, mel (n.2), sense 1 (“occasion”) may gloss ME “mell” here. But the word also resonates with French mêlée or mellé, denoting “combat” and/or “struggle” (AND, mellé).

1005 Heylle, gloryows crosse. BMH (p. 209) note the resemblance of the three Marys’ speech to a hymn to the cross, citing the example of Salve crux sancta.

1016 anoytt. MED, enointen (v.), sense 2a: “to apply an aromatic unguent, to perfume” and sense 2b: “to embalm.”

1023–30 Ye women presentt . . . . natt be delayyd. All of the synoptic gospels report the angels’ announcement of the Resurrection to the three Marys: Matthew 28:1–6; Mark 16:1–6; Luke 24:1–10.

1027 wyre. MED, wer(e (n.5), sense 1a: “a feeling or personal condition of doubt or uncertainty; also, hesitancy, indecision.”

1037 defend. MED, defenden (v.), sense 3b: “to protect, save (somebody).”

1045–46 And also . . . . techeyng and exortacyon. Peter alludes here to his denial of knowing Jesus, attested in all the canonical gospels: Matthew 26:73–75; Mark 14:68–72; Luke 22:56–62; John 18:15–27.

1049 sudare cloth. MED, sudari(e (n.), sense 2: “the piece of linen used to wrap Christ's head before his burial.”

1052 Where he is becum. MED, bicumen (v.), sense 5a: “to happen.” My gloss here follows modern usage of the word. A literal ME version might be “What has happened to him?”

1060, s.d. Hic aparuit Jhesus. The stage direction does not specify how Jesus looks when he appears, but Mary Magdalene’s notice at line 1079 that she supposes he “had byn Symoud the gardenyr” suggests that the figure playing Jesus wears the clothing or, more likely, bears the implements of a gardener.

1061–95 Woman, woman . . . . me byn meke. Occurring only in John’s gospel (20:11–17), Mary Magdalene’s meeting with Christ as a gardener, the most famous of her few appearances in scripture, provided the foundation for influential exegetical traditions, as well as inspiration for popular iconographic motifs.

1068 And I hys lover and cause wyll phy. The final part of the sentence beginning at line 1065 is difficult to parse. BMH (p. 209) note the derivation of “phy” from the French fier, to trust. See Godefroy, Lexique de l’ancien Français, fier (v.), p. 270. The word “cause” is more problematic, perhaps denoting MED, cause (n.) sense 5: “aim, intent; purpose, end.” Accordingly, Mary Magdalene would be saying “I am his lover and [I] trust his intent or purpose.” But given the scribe’s many errors, it is possible that here “cause” mistakenly stands in for another word.

1074–75 Towche me natt . . . . and onto yowers. Jesus’ scriptural admonition to Mary Magdalene (John 20:17) has a long and productive presence in medieval English drama. In addition to the Digby saint play, all of the English biblical cycles stage the risen Christ’s conversation with Mary Magdalene in John 20, as do the meditative texts preserved in Bodleian Library MS e Museo 160 (BMH edit these as “Christ’s Burial” and “Christ’s Resurrection”). MDS (pp. 205–09) analyzes the various interpretations that ME dramatists conferred on this biblical scene. Beyond these dramatic witnesses to John 20:17, the most infamous late medieval English account of Christ’s noli me tangere has to be that of Margery Kempe (Book, p. 197), who reports her determined resistance to Christ’s prohibition of physical contact. See MDS, pp. 82–84. For recent scholarly encounters with noli me tangere, see Bieringer, Demasure, and Baert, To Touch or Not.

1079 Symoud the gardenyr. On the motif of Christ as gardener, see BMH, p. 210.

1081 Mannys hartt is my gardyn here. The metaphor of the heart or soul as garden also appears in Wisdom (MP, p. 117, lines 89–92). A large fragment of Wisdom (about two-thirds of the play) is preserved with the other plays in Bodleian Library MS Digby 133; like Mary Magdalene, it too bears the initials of its one-time owner, Miles Blomefyld.

1085 smelle full sote. MED, swet(e (adj.), conflating senses 2 (“sweet-smelling, fragrant, aromatic”) and 4 (“agreeable, delightful, pleasing”).

1086 Emperowere. As MDS argues (pp. 112–14, 116–17), Mary Magdalene’s attribution of imperial glory to the risen Christ contributes to a dramatic Christology that consistently focuses on his divine power, rule, and authority. At the same time, her imperial epithet is an unusual response to Christ’s noli me tangere, the scriptural episode par excellence that medieval exegetes — and dramatists — understood as focusing on her longing for a human, accessible savior.

1090 obteyne. MED, obteinen (v.), sense b: “to gain (something spiritual or intangible).”

1093 vervens. MED, fervence (n.), sense 2: “the ardor or excitement (of love).”

1097 Jhesus, Jhesus, Jhesus. Mary’s exclamation here points once again to the play’s interest in and promotion of the late medieval cult of the Holy Name. See note to lines 93–94 above.

1099 moryd. MED, moren (v.2), sense a: “to increase; improve; augment . . . enhance; intensify.”

1100–03 Itt is innumerabyll . . . . itt doth excelle. MED, innumerable (adj.), sense a. Mary Magdalene employs the inexpressibility topos, which appears elsewhere in the play (see note to lines 802–10 above). BMH (p. 210) query the possible significance of her numerical figure.

1104 Now less us go to the setté, to ower lady dere. Mary Salome’s exhortation that the three women report their news about Christ’s Resurrection to his mother (“ower lady dere”) is not supported in scripture. In the N-Town Play (NT, 1:352–54, lines 73–136), Christ appears to his mother to provide irrefutable evidence of his resurrection. In his commentary on the scene, N-Town editor Spector (2:519–20) notes sources in Pseudo-Bonaventure’s Meditationes vitae Christi and its English translation, Nicholas Love’s Mirrour of the Blessed Lyf of Jesu Christ.

1111 Awete. The playwright employs the Greek word from Matthew 28:9, “Hail.”

1112 nymyos. See line 857 and its note.

1115–16 for to sosteynne . . . . sore refreynne. See MED, refreinen (v.2), sense 2d. Jesus’ opening line echoes Mary Salome’s petition, picking up on the “–eynne” rhyme that concludes it. The change of speakers here calls attention to the way the Digby playwright’s verse aspires to stanzaic form, in this case splitting the stanza between the two speakers.

1121–22 Goo ye . . . . go into Gallelye. Matthew 28:10.

1124 Bodyly, wyth here carnall yye. Jesus’ reference to the “carnall yye” transforms the simple announcement of Matthew’s gospel into commentary on forms of spiritual knowledge. As MDS (pp. 126–27) explains, at various moments the Digby Magdalene suggests investments in late medieval discourses dedicated to forms of spiritual knowledge, particularly those with a personal, experiential dimension.

1133 aprise. MED, pris(e (adj.), sense a: “of men or women: worthy, noble, excellent; also, most noteworthy, outstanding.”

1140 Mahond. Although the king at line 1136 mentions plural “goddys” to be honored by a “sacryfyce,” his queen here identifies the principal object of their devotion as “Mahond.” See note to line 143 above.

1143–50 Now, my clerke Hawkyn . . . . servyse is sayd. The first exchange between the pagan priest and his clerk, named Hawkyn, is potentially confusing. The priest commands the clerk to prepare his altar for the sacrifice that the king of Marseilles has just proposed; Hawkyn responds with a non sequitur, alluding to the priest’s illicit sexual relationships with women. Despite the priest’s denials, the clerk’s allusions turn preparations for the pagan rite into a competitive, salacious moment. The scene anticipates a similar conflict between the shipmaster and his boy later in the play. Weimann (Shakespeare and the Popular Tradition, pp. 138–42) associates the priest’s boy with the Garcio type, named for the unruly servant in the Towneley “Mactacio Abel” play, whose role it is to challenge the master, employing verbal inversion and word play to unsettle the master’s rule. Weimann identifies other Garcio figures in the Towneley and Chester Shepherds’ plays, and the Towneley “Coliphizacio,” or Play of the Buffeting. The Digby priest and boy are also reminiscent of the master-servant rivalry between the quack doctor Brundyche and his boy Colle in the Croxton Play of the Sacrament (lines 525–96). In this and subsequent comedic episodes at lines 1395–1422 and 1716–44, F (p. 124) suggests a resemblance to fabliaux and ventures a comparison to the interludes of masters and servants in the plays of Terence.

1148 brayd. MED, breid (n.1), sense 4a notes that the phrase “in a breid” means “in a moment, presently, instantly, forthwith; suddenly.”

1151 Sentt Coppyn. The priest swears by an imaginary saint. BMH (p. 210) suggest several possibilities for the name’s significance; for example, St. James/Jacob, with Cobbin as a diminutive, and a Jew named Copin, hanged for the murder of St. Hugh of Lincoln. The name also appears in “The Buffeting of Christ” in Towneley, where “King Copyn” seems to mean “impostor” (1:258, line 241). Stevens and Cawley observe that “Copyn” may derive from ME cop, “a crest on the head of a bird . . . [or figuratively a] coxcomb” (2:558n241).

1153 jorny. See MED, journei (n.). Several senses of the word are relevant here: a day’s sport (sense 2a) or an undertaking or service (sense 3). With obvious sexual connotations, the clerk seems to say that he will have the first go at the imaginary “lemman” (line 1149) over whom he and the priest suddenly are competing.

1154 Wattys pakke. BMH (pp. 210–11) cite Whiting W56 and state the term means “that one is fat, or that one is deceived in love.” In light of the clerk’s insulting remarks about how the priest’s great size affects his comeliness to women, both meanings seem possible here.

1155 grett Morell. BMH (p. 211) observe that “Morell” is “a common name for a black horse, especially a draught horse.”

1157 grett as the dywll of hell. In late medieval iconography, devils are often represented with huge bellies, like the one apparently possessed by the priest.

1159–63 Whan women comme . . . . I dare sey. In the late Middle Ages, women were frequently singled out as the largest and most likely audience for sermons.

1160 houkkyn. See MED, hoken (n.) and hokinge (ger.), with a figurative sense, “to fish with hooks,” especially with the sense of allurement and temptation. The priest’s clerk thus boasts of his sexual prowess.

1161 Kyrchon and fayer Maryon. BMH (p. 284) identify these as girls’ names.

1163 ryde. The clerk’s boy comments on how his master’s large size would trouble any horse that carries him; but in light of their exchange, the sexual connotation seems inescapable. See MED, riden (v.), sense 9.

1168 quell. MED, quellen (v.1), sense 1a: “to kill, slay.”

1169 belle. MED, bellen (v.1): “to swell up”; and belen (v.): “to inflame.”

1171 grenne. MED, grein (n.), sense b: “a fork of the body, crotch.”

1173–74 Loo, mastyrs . . . . is asprongyn late. MDS (pp. 158–59) discusses the sexual innuendo and homoerotic potential in this display of unruly masculine desire.

1179 Yower servyse. The king’s remark signals that the action to follow both resembles and parodies services conducted by more familiar “prystys and clerkys” (line 1178). The preparation of the altar, the donning of vestments, and the recitation of a “lesson” or reading (lines 1182–84) are elements of late medieval Christian religious practice, as is the reference to “offyse” at line 1225. Weimann (Shakespeare and the Popular Tradition, pp. 5–6) locates this episode in a long tradition that parodied ecclesiastical and liturgical forms, rites, and teachings.

1186 Leccyo mahowndys viri fortissimi sarasenorum. That is, the lectio (lesson) of Mahound, mightiest of Saracens.

1187–97 Glabriosum ad glumandum . . . . Castratum raty rybaldorum. The clerk’s garbled, incomprehensible lesson employs dog-Latin, identified by the adding of the genitive plural (–orum) to a series of nouns. Scherb (“Blasphemy and the Grotesque,” p. 236) notes that the mock lectio “consists of a series of gnomic utterances rather than a linear argument or narrative”; its “phrases fail to form coherent sentences, but they do invoke motifs that . . . associate the pagan temple with blasphemy and grotesque.” According to Scherb, these motifs focus on food and bodily consumption (“Gormoerdorum alocorum” and “fartum cardiculorum”); sex (“Castratum”); and the “perversion or inversion of ideal Christian religious values.” BMH (p. 211) state that the mock reading’s “Snyguer snagoer werwolfforum / Standgardum lamba beffettorum” is a “common figure for the careless priest.” The playwright here seems also to be taking delight in the comic possibilities of sound: “Snyguer snagoer” and “Rygour dagour.” Brokaw (Staging Harmony, p. 34) suggests a musical dimension, noting the “mock plainsong” of the boy’s chant. Such play with ecclesiastical and liturgical Latin idioms occurs elsewhere in medieval English drama. See Rastall, “Sounds of Hell,” pp. 106–08, 123; The Play of the Dice or “Processus Talorum” inTowneley, 1:309–10, lines 1–46. As Goldie (“Audiences for Language-Play,” pp. 199–202) demonstrates, linguistic play with differences between Latin and English was a regular feature of medieval English drama. He notes its appearance in the Macro plays Mankind and Wisdom as well as biblical dramas. Goldie locates this dramatic language play in larger contexts of audience reception, using evidence from medieval grammatical and preaching texts to suggest possible horizons of audience expectation and complex possibilities for the apprehension of linguistic play.

1198 Howndys and hoggys, in heggys and hellys. BMH (p. 211) usefully deem this a “roundabout way of saying hell-hounds and hedgehogs.”

1200 Ragnell and Roffyn. BMH (p. 211) identify these as common names for demons, appearing in Chester’s “Fall of Lucifer” (line 260) and “Antichrist” (line 647).

in the wavys. BMH (p. 211) note that the scribe here may have misconstrued the word as wayys, meaning “ways or paths.”

1213 Wyth thi wesdom and thi wytt. Ashley (“‘Wyt’ and ‘Wysdam’”) discusses this theological commonplace in the N-Town Plays.

1218 besawnt. MED, besaunt (n.). In medieval usage, the word signifies various coins, some of them biblical; a besaunt was also a gold coin originating in Byzantium, an exotic locale that is consistent with the play’s evocation of the geographical world.

1227 the trebyll to syng. MED, treble (n.), sense b. The priest’s clerk indicates that their singing will be done in parts, with the clerk taking the “trebyll,” or high part, suggesting the boy is truly a youth whose voice has yet to change. Whatever the two perform (“Syng both”), the priest reprimands the clerk’s poor performance at line 1229. Rastall (“Sounds of Hell,” p. 106) comments on the failure of this moment as musical performance.

1232–37 For here may . . . . Mahowndys own yeelyd. Like the Pardoner in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the priest invites (line 1236) his audience to “kisse the relikes” (CT VI[C] 944). The priest’s appeal invokes the medieval cult of relics, which ascribed spiritual power to fragments of the physical remains of holy people, i.e. Christ and his saints, as well material objects associated with them. Extending the play’s representation of a conflated Muslin/pagan religion in terms of the practices of late medieval Christianity, the priest touts the benefit of contact with Mahound’s “nekke bon” and “yeelyd,” just as the Pardoner impresses upon the Canterbury pilgrims the virtues of the Virgin Mary’s veil and Saint Peter’s sail (CT I[A] 694–97). But the Digby priest also undercuts his promise by inverting the usual benefit believed to follow from contact with holy relics; his relics will make their devotees “blynd forevyr more” (line 1240). Akbari (Idols in the East, pp. 217–20) aligns the Digby play with other late medieval representations of Islam that make relics central to Muslim worship, comparing the king of Marseilles to Muslim rulers in the Sowdone of Babylone and other ME romances. Unlike literary versions in which the disavowal of a caricatured Muslim worship results in the convert’s destruction of the idols, the Digby play makes the demise of the “maments” (lines 1553, s.d.; 1561, s.d.) the direct result of Mary Magdalene’s prayer (lines 1552–61). On the medieval cult of relics, see Geary, Furta Sacra.

1241 bede. MED, bed(e (n.), senses 1a and b: “prayer” or “a supplication.” The priest’s language is difficult here because the “ytt” of line 1240 seems to have several referents, “cause” in line 1239 and “bede” in line 1240.

1243 Mahownd the holy. See the textual note for this line.

Dragon. BMH (p. 212) suggest that the scribe intends “Dagon,” a Philistine deity. This reading comports with the priest’s inclusion of “Golyas” (line 1244) in his prayer, probably signifying Goliath, the Philistine giant killed by David in 1 Samuel 17. Both names contribute to the exoticism of the pagan religion of Marseilles. The collocation of Mahownd, Dragon, and Golyas may reflect a tendency in medieval representations of Islam (Akbari, Idols in the East, p. 203) to make proponents of the religion worshipers of a three-fold pantheon of false gods, usually Muhammad, Apollo, and Tervagant.

1245 Belyall. See note to line 21 above.

1255–56 He was put . . . . in my thowth. Self-identifying earlier in the play as “juge of Jherusalem” (line 231), Pilate expresses misgivings about the legal proceedings that led to Jesus’ death. Late medieval English drama variously characterizes Pilate as a morally complex figure, ranging from an actively evil person to someone who finds himself in difficult circumstances and tries to make the best of a bad deal, the latter with foundations in scripture. See A. Williams, Characterization of Pilate. Like ME biblical plays from Chester and York and in the Towneley and N-Town compilations, the Digby saint play fashions far more elaborate plotting amongst the Holy Land officials than is provided for by scriptural accounts.

1260 Joseph of Baramathye. All the canonical gospels identify Joseph of Arimathea as a follower of Jesus; he is best known for retrieving Jesus’ body after his crucifixion and, with Nicodemus, burying it in a rocky tomb.

1262 sotylté. See MED, sotilté (n.), senses 1 and 2, especially “a clever device, an apt contrivance.”

1267 a pystyll of specyallté. The Second Sergeant calls attention to the role of letters as a mode of political communication, adding to the play’s interest in the power of writing. Lim (“‘Take Writing,’” pp. 134–78) discusses this aspect of the play in relation to late medieval documentary culture.

1280, s.d. Her goth the masengyr to Herodys. As in the play’s early scenes, the platea and loca staging effectively represents the sharing of documentary communication across distances.

1302–03 In every place . . . . be hys ofyce. Pilate’s acknowledged obedience to imperial authority as well as the hierarchy of secular power that the play illustrates may conjure more local images of political control and the service expected of particular appointments and political positions in the late medieval East Anglian environment from which the Digby Magdalene emerged. For illustrative examples, see Moreton, Townshends and Their World and Richmond, The Paston Family.

1308 deversyté. MED, diversité (n.), sense 4a: “an adverse circumstance; an unkind or hostile act.” Compare line 955.

1322–24 The therd nyght . . . . away they yode. This notion — that Christ did not rise from the dead but rather was simply stolen away through a conspiracy of his disciples — resonates with skepticism about or attempts to suppress news of the resurrection in other ME biblical dramas. See, for example, the Towneley “Resurrection,” 1:335–55.

1323 dyleccyon. MED, dileccioun (n.), sense a: “divine or spiritual love,” and sense b: “mundane love.”

1326 froward fode. See MED, froward (adj.), sense 1. BMH (p. 212) question whether this line refers to the Last Supper. But the playwright here puns on both senses of “fode” as nourishment and as person. See MED, fode (n.1 and n.2). The Provost’s notice of the “froward fode” fed to those who stole Christ’s dead body, with its “corupcyon” (line 1325), would then indicate the unfortunate circumstance of their having to make off with a smelly corpse. The Middle English eucharistic pun on Christ as creature and as food seems inescapable too.

1335, s.d. dysypyll. The disciple who enters with Mary Magdalene here is otherwise unremarked in the play. With respect to the disposition of space in the play, Mary’s location at this direction is unclear.

1336–48 A . . . . brothyrn departyd asondyr. The speech condenses a significant period of time, since Mary last spoke at the scene of Resurrection. Since then, Christ has ascended to heaven, and his disciples have begun their evangelical work in “dyvers contreys her and yondyr” (line 1346). See Acts 2:1–12.

1342 mencyon. MED, mencioun (n.), sense 2a: “recollection, remembrance.”

1348, s.d. Her shall hevyn opyn, and Jhesus shall shew. The appearance of Jesus in heaven, from which he praises his mother and commands Mary Magdalene to “converte the land of Marcyll” (line 1371), has no precedent in textual and iconographic traditions of the medieval Magdalene. The scene underscores the complexity of the play’s staging, including its dependence on multi-level loci that provided for up and down movement. This disposition is essential for the activity of the angels from this moment to the end of the play, as well as for Mary Magdalene’s own ascent into the heavens. Davis (“As Above, So Below”) constructs a stage plan for the play based in part on its requirement for elevated playing stations. Davidson (Technology, pp. 81–100, 119–22) discusses the ingenuity and technological know-how that enabled such dramatic raising and lowerings, for example at line 1375, s.d.: Tunc decendet angelus. Meredith and Tailby (Staging of Religious Drama, pp. 94–96) cite uses of such stage machinery in French, Italian, and Spanish plays.

1349–71 O . . . . land of Marcyll. Containing some of the play’s most densely metaphoric language, Jesus’ encomium to the Virgin Mary is a compendium of familiar and unusual Marian tropes, drawing upon both scriptural exegesis and medical horticulture. The temple of Solomon (3 Kings 10:18–20) and fleece of Gideon (Judges 6:36–40) are common Marian figures, as are images of her illuminating capacities, represented here by the “paleys of Phebus bryghtnesse.” Noting this passage’s dependence on ME Marian lyrics and liturgy, F (p. 60) comments on Mary’s association with heavenly bodies and light. The paratactic structure of this passage accumulates metaphoric attributes of the Virgin without providing an overarching narrative or statement. The speech extends the play’s Christological interests by underscoring the Virgin Mary’s crucial role in the production of Jesus’ manhood, and therefore, his godhead, as MDS (pp. 163–68) explains. Bennett (“Meaning of the Digby”) notes the Marian allusions in these and other scenes. Scherb (Staging Faith, p. 200) suggests that Jesus may be addressing an actual representation of the Virgin Mary located somewhere in the playing space.

1352–55 She was my tapyrnakyll . . . . my manhod myth. Jesus employs three different metaphors of architectural or other material enclosure — “tapyrnakyll,” “paleys,” “vessell” — to signify the incarnation of Christ in the Virgin Mary’s womb. As Gibson observes (“‘Porta Haec Clausa Erit’”) scriptural exegesis frequently figured Mary’s inviolate womb through images of enclosure, such as the tabernacle.

1356–59 My blyssyd mother . . . . to make resystens. The idea of the Virgin Mary as protector against the devil was common in medieval spiritual lore; her triumph over hell was established in scriptural exegesis. See note to line 420 above.

1359 resystens. MED, resistence (n.), sense 2a: “nonphysical opposition, e.g., moral, political, etc.”

1360–63 She is . . . . the cardyakyllys wrech. Jesus shifts metaphoric registers in order to praise the Virgin Mary’s identification with medicinal plans and herbs. Unable to describe Mary’s virtue in language (lines 1364–65), Jesus “describes her instead through an epistemology of scent” that displaces, according to Dugan (Ephemeral History of Perfume, p. 40), the King of Flesh’s “worldly amalgamation of ambergris, galingale, and clary with powerful musk, precious incense, cinnamon, and English gillyflower.” As Keyser (“Examining the Body Poetic,” pp. 161–218) shows, John Lydgate’s Life of Our Lady similarly explores the Virgin as an agent of health and healing.

1361 seche. MED, sechen (v.), sense 10b: “to visit,” or “of a medicinal herb, [to] make its way to . . . a wound.”

1362 vyolens. MED, violence (n.), sense 1c: “drastic or excessive efficacy, potency.”

1363 cardyakyllys. MED, cardiacle (n.), sense a: “a malady characterized by pain in the heart and palpitation; also, a disease characterized by feebleness and profuse sweating” or sense b: “a similar condition caused by excessive emotion.”

1364–65 The goodnesse . . . . joyys can wryth. The playwright again invokes the inexpressibility topos, See note to lines 802–10 above.

1367 cast. MED, casten (v.), sense 19c: “to give or devote (oneself) to.”

1368 Raphaell. The angel Raphael is named only in the Book of Tobias 12:15.

1370–71 Byd here passe . . . . land of Marcyll. In no other ME version of the life of Mary Magdalene does the saint’s journey to Marseilles issue from Jesus’ direct command. Most lives of the saint follow LA’s master narrative, which provided for Mary Magdalene to leave the Holy Land, with companions Lazarus, Martha, and Maximin, on a rudderless ship. According to F (pp. 104–11), this crucial departure from the traditional vita makes Mary Magdalene’s dramatic story into an instance of another medieval romance meme, that of the “woman cast adrift.” F surveys illustrations of this important motif in Chaucer, Gower, and ME romance. The Digby play’s significant departures from the influential account in LA are worthy of detailed comparison with other versions of the saint’s vita.

1372–75 O gloryus Lord . . . . them to porchasse. Unique to the play’s life of the saint are the angelic messengers who fulfill such a crucial role here and elsewhere. See Scherb, “Worldly and Sacred Messengers.”

1376 Abasse. See MED, abaishen (v.), sense 1a. The angel’s reassurance echoes Gabriel’s words to the Virgin Mary in Luke 1:30; see also the angelic reprise of the Annunciation in the N-Town “Assumption”; NT, 1:393, line 151. In Mary Magdalene’s case, Voaden (God’s Words, p. 62) notes that angel Gabriel’s identical words to Zacharias (Luke 1:13) were invoked by a fifteenth-century preacher to emphasize the importance of correct discernment of spirits. See note to line 601 above. A different form of the word (“abaffe”) occurs at line 1438.

1381 holy apostylesse. MED, apostlesse (n.): “female disciple.” By designating Mary Magdalene’s mission to Marseilles as that of a holy apostle, the play draws upon and affirms the long tradition of scriptural commentary that accorded spiritual authority to Mary Magdalene deriving from her role as witness to and messenger of Christ’s resurrection. In the later Middle Ages, this tradition was invoked to authorize women’s sacred speech and their role as teachers and preachers. See MDS, pp. 134–47; Jansen, “Apostolorum Apostola”; and Davis, “Apostolesse’s Social Network.”

1386 He that from my person seven dewllys mad to fle. Mary Magdalene here confirms Gregory the Great’s conflation of the witness to Christ’s resurrection in John 20 with the woman from whom he exorcized seven devils in Luke 7.

1391–92 Now to the see . . . . sheppyng to asspy. When Mary acts on the angel’s command to convert the land of Marseilles, she inaugurates a series of sea voyages that give geographical credibility to the many real-world locations — Jerusalem, Rome, Marseilles — that the play depicts. D. Smith (“‘To Passe the See’”) observes that the play demonstrates a new awareness of the physical and geographical world ushered in by extensive maritime travel, an awareness that departs from spiritualized spaces depicted in medieval mappa mundi. On the play’s geographical awareness see also Scherb, “Worldly and Sacred Messengers.”

1394, s.d. Here shall entyre a shyp with a mery song. Among the many demanding requirements of the Digby Magdalene’s staging, none is more ambitious than the ship that must cross the playing place for three different journeys. Godfrey (“Machinery of Spectacle,” pp. 155–56n6) discusses practical requirements for the ship in performance, identifying visual analogues in late medieval manuscripts and paintings. Pierre Gringore’s illustrations for pageants designed to welcome Mary Tudor to Paris in 1514, in BL MS Cotton Vespasian B.II, include one for a fully-rigged ship, complete with sailors in a festive mood. See Baskerville, Pierre Gringore’s Pageants. The Digby play’s association of the shipmen with merriment may pick up on the appearance of ship pageants in public entertainments (Baskerville, p. xxi). Meredith and Tailby (Staging of Religious Drama, pp. 98–99) cite dramatic records reporting the appearance of boats in European medieval drama.

1395 Stryke! Stryke! Lett fall an ankyr to grownd. From this dramatic moment until Mary Magdalene concludes her spiritual mission to Marseilles, the play represents the mariner and seafaring in general with notable historical accuracy and material specificity. Despite the comedic encounters that introduce the shipmaster, the play’s portrait of the personnel and economics of seafaring provides a window on medieval maritime practices. See Ward, World of the Medieval Shipmaster.

1397 sownd. MED, sounden (v.1), sense b: “to measure the depth of (water), sound.”

1400–01 I may natt . . . . were my syere. The exchange between the shipmaster and his boy that begins here is challenging to unpack, full of cryptic allusions to sexual themes and rivalry. Citing lack of evidence about indentured apprenticeships to train shipmasters, Ward (World of the Medieval Shipmaster, p. 103) notes the adolescent boys could be committed by their families to learn seafaring. As MDS (pp. 160–61, 183) notes, the shipmaster and his boy reprise the conflict between the pagan priest and Hawkyn.

1408 poynt. MED, pointe (n.1), sense 5b notes that the phrase to “ben a pointe” means “to be about (to do something).”

1411 seyll. MED, seilen (v.), sense 3a; and seil(e (n). The term “seyll” functions as a metonymy for the occasion of the journey itself.

1412 fayer damsell. The shipman’s boy alludes to the feminine presence of a “damsell” whom the master reinterprets in violent terms, as the “damsell” is implicated in the master’s whip.

1414 rue. MED, reuen (v.1), sense 1a: “to regret (something).”

1415 sped. MED, speden (v.), sense 4a: “to give assistance; assist; help (somebody) to attain success.” To “ben sped” means to “be successful.”

1418–19 skorn. MED, scorn (n.), sense 2a: “mockery.” The phrase “on scorn” means “mockingly, derisively.”

1421 corage. MED, corage (n.), sense 3a: “valor, courage”; sense 3b: “fortitude.” Following so closely upon the boy’s expressed desire for a “damsel,” his diminished “corage” here cannot help but invoke the sexual connotations of the term as in sense 2b. Such is the situation of aged January in Chaucer’s Merchant’s Tale (CT IV[E] 1808).

1432 avayle. MED, availle (n.), sense 4a: “monetary gain, income, profit; reward, remuneration.”

1446 O Jhesu, thi mellyfluos name. The idiom of the play shifts abruptly here, as Mary Magdalene assumes her role as apostle. On her address to the name of Jesus, see notes to lines 93–94, 697, 760–61, 1097, and 1554–61. Scoville (Saints and the Audience, pp. 30–54, 113–16) discusses the saint’s rhetorical profile as a preacher, for example, her successful ethos and her use of the high style.

1450 resortt. MED, resorten (v.), sense 2a: “to advance, go; come, proceed.”

be grett convenyens. MED, convenientli (adv.), sense 2a: “fittingly, properly, rightly.” The text captures the adverbial sense with the use of the preposition “be.”

1453 of hys Godhed and of hys powere. Mary Magdalene’s claim on behalf of Jesus’ Godhead and power points to a dramatic Christology that was invested in the divinity of the savior, which Mary Magdalene elaborates in the remainder of this speech; e.g., her reference at line 1454 to “kyng Crist.” MDS (pp. 110–17) observes that the play’s Christology parallels that of Walter Hilton’s Scale of Perfection, a popular late medieval spiritual and theological text.

1459 mannys sowle the reformacyon. Reforming the soul was a central goal of the spiritual program set forth in Hilton’s Scale of Perfection. Although Mary Magdalene here identifies that goal for the king of Marseilles, her own spiritual development in the play corresponds to the stages of spiritual progress that Hilton describes. See MDS, pp. 103–10.

1465 rebon. MED, rebound (n.). BMH (p. 264) cite Old French rebondir. Compare MED’s definition of “rejoinder, reply.”

1467 compassyd. MED, compassen (v.), sense 5b: “to go or travel around in (an area).”

1469 losyd. MED, losen (v.2), sense 4a: “to bring (somebody or something) to destruction, destroy, ruin, mar, break.”

1483 In principio erat verbum. The saint invokes the gospel of John 1:1 and responds to the king’s question with an account of the creation that follows Genesis 1, which also begins “in principio.” This specificity marks a major departure from the play’s major source in Jacobus’ LA, which thus describes Mary Magdalene’s preaching in Marseilles (GL, p. 123): “And when the blessyd Marie Magdalene sawe the peple assembled at this temple for to doo sacrefyse to th[e] ydollis, she aroos up peasibly with a glad visage, a dyscrete tongue and wel spekyng, and began to preche the faythe & lawe of Ihesu Cryst.” Among all the medieval English vitae of the saint, the Digby playwright uniquely identifies Mary Magdalene as a public preacher of vernacular scripture. In so doing, the play draws upon a long tradition of exegetical and homiletic traditions that examined, and often asserted, Mary Magdalene’s spiritual authority and her right to preach. MDS (pp. 134–47) traces this conversation from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries, arguing that it directly informs the play’s portrait of the saint as preacher.

1493–94 The sonne to . . . . labor wythowtyn werynesse. The sun’s difficult “labor” recalls the work of illuminating the earth in which Apollo attempted, and failed, to instruct Phaeton. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. Miller, book 2, pp. 62–77.

1500 holy wrytt. Mary Magdalene understands sacred scripture as a form of writing. On the importance of writing in the play, see Lim, “‘Take Writing,’” pp. 134–78; and “Pilate’s Special Letter.”

1506 Fysche in flod and fowle in flyth. The account of creation evokes a common medieval topos, represented in the famous ME lyric, “Foweles in the frith.” See Moser, “‘And I Mon Wax Wod.’”

1526 resonnys. MED, resoun (n.2), sense 8a: “speech, talk, discourse; pl. words, remarks.”

1529 And cut the tong owt of thi hed. The king’s threat departs from the punishments promised by tyrants to other female saints revered in the Middle Ages. Virgin martyrs suffered other kinds of torture; but one, Saint Christine, did have her tongue cut out. According to Christine de Pizan’s Book of the City of Ladies (trans. Richards, pp. 234–40), Saint Christine made the best of a bad situation by spitting out that tongue, which struck her torturer in the eye, blinding him. The association of women with transgressive speech is ubiquitous in western misogyny, particularly in its prohibitions of women’s teaching and preaching.

1530 return. MED, returnen (v.), sense 1c: “to reverse the direction of (something) . . . also, change (wrong to right).”

1534 ware. MED, waren (v.1), sense 1b: “to be mindful of . . . heed.” The sense of this line is “Let us go to the temple, of which we should take note.”

1536–39 Come on all . . . . se thow how. The play exhibits an important tendency of the medieval West to represent followers of Islam as idol worshipers. As Akbari (Idols in the East, p. 216) notes, these representations mirror medieval Christian religious practice even as they invert Islam’s monotheism and Christianity’s worship of a triune god. Ironically, Islamic rejection of the use of images in religious worship is similarly inverted to identify a common Christian practice — using sacred images to approach the divine — with a transgressive idolatry. Akbari (pp. 210–16, 219) notes similar dramatic strategies of representation in the Jeu de Saint Nicolas.

1537, s.d. all hys atendaunt. The stage direction suggests the king moves with an entourage, even though none of its members, except for his queen, speak in the play.

1542–45 Speke, god lord . . . . of all blysse. The king’s attempt to demonstrate the power of his false gods or idols and all the trappings of the vaguely pagan religion that the play associates with Mahound ironically anticipate English reformers’ identification of Mary Magdalene with the very material and imaginative excess of religious expression that they sought to suppress. Badir (Maudlin Impression, pp. 36–41) states that Wager’s Life and Repentaunce makes the fallen Magdalene into a decorated idol who in effect represents the unreformed church. The Digby play’s treatment of the deluded religious practices of Marseilles has complex historical and confessional resonances.

1554–61 Now Lord of lordys . . . . rythwysnesse here dyscus. Mary Magdalene’s prayer offers the most elaborate instance of devotion to the Name of Jesus expressed in the play. As Renevey (“Name above Names”) points out, worship of the holy Name was an important theme in late medieval English mystical and spiritual writings and was widely promoted by Richard Rolle and Walter Hilton. Devotion to the Name of Jesus is attested elsewhere in late medieval East Anglia. John Lydgate makes it a notable theme of “The Testament”; see Minor Poems, ed. MacCracken, 1:329–62. Gibson (Theater of Devotion, pp. 49, 187–88n91) notes that fifteenth-century Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, was home to a large and popular lay confraternity dedicated to “The Holy Name of Jesus.” The Croxton Play of the Sacrament, widely associated with Bury, concludes with a blessing offered “in wyrshyppe of thys name gloryows” (lines 1004–07). See also the note to lines 93–94 above.

1556 violatt. MED, violaten (v.), sense 1a: “to defile something, render impure or unholy, desecrate.” Here, the past participle is used.

1561 dyscus. MED, discussen (v.), sense 1c: “to make something known, reveal.”

1561, s.d. Here shall come . . . . thus seyyng. This stage direction signals one of the most elaborate and complex instances of stage business in medieval English drama. For shock value it is on a par with the Croxton Play of the Sacrament’s provision for a boiling, bursting cauldron from which the voice of Jesus speaks (lines 713–40). Records of medieval performances in continental Europe show the frequent use of fireworks and gunpowder as well as of the cloud and possible trapdoor required for this scene (Meredith and Tailby, Staging of Religious Drama, pp. 107, 94–97). On the theatrical production of fire and other burning effects, see Butterworth, “Hellfire.” A similar instance of female prayer enlisting divine power to overcome pagan worship appears in John Capgrave’s East Anglian Life of Saint Katherine (ed. Winstead, book 5, lines 1321–58).

1564 concludytt. MED, concluden (v.), sense 6a. After the conflagration of his gods and the literal fall of his priest, the king experiences a moment of illumination. He acknowledges the deception that has hitherto controlled his beliefs and resolves to revenge, or “bewreke,” its source (line 1562), which has caused him suffering and adversity. He is ready to strike a deal with Mary Magdalene, if her god can provide a son and heir for him and his wife.

1574–77 I wax all seke . . . . me dyth. The king’s sudden illness is difficult to interpret, as is his invocation of the “yen suek” that afflicts him. BMH (p. 214) note the conundrum but do not venture a gloss. F (pp. 153–55) argues the comedic potential of this episode, noting the king’s sudden illness cannot help but recall the quick onslaught of sickness — and death — experienced by Cyrus and Lazarus earlier in the play. But the king does not die. See also L. King, “Sacred Eroticism,” pp. 196–97.

1577, s.d. Here the kyng . . . thus seyyng. The stage direction’s mention of an old lodge “wythowt the gate” points to a specific and evocative arrangement of stations on the platea, one able to accommodate the distinction between those inside (the king of Marseilles) and those outside (Mary Magdalene).

1579 reddure. MED, reddour (n.1), sense b: “severe treatment”; and possibly reddoure: “fear, fright.”

1581 demene me wyth mesuer. MED, demeinen (v.), sense 2c: “to treat (somebody in a certain way)”; see MED, mesure (n.), sense 8a. It is worth noting that the phrase “withouten mesure” means “mercilessly, ruthlessly” (sense e).

1582–83 As thou savydyst . . . . Abacuk thi masengyre. Mary Magdalene compares her plight to that of Daniel, who was miraculously fed by Habakkuk while expecting to be devoured in the lions’ den (Daniel 14:30–42).

1587 Mary my lover. See note to line 796 above.

1590 Now, awngelys, dyssend. The Digby playwright invents the angels’ role in this scene, making Jesus a kind of stage manager for the illuminated spectacle of Mary Magdalene’s appearance to the king and queen of Marseilles.

1592 weyys pacyfycal. Jesus’ instruction to the messenger angels — that they tell Mary Magdalene to speak to the king in a “peaceful” manner — seems a deliberate counter to, and rebuke of, the nature of her appeal to the king in GL (p. 124). There she appears to the king only after having made two visionary appearances to the queen, without result. Mary Magdalene approaches the king “with a frownyng & angri visage lyke fire, lyke as al the hous had brennyd, and sayd: ‘Thou tyraunt & membre of thy fader the deuyl, with that serpent thy wife.’”

1597 aplye. MED, ap(p)lien (v.), sense 6: “to comply (with an agreement or request), submit (to certain conditions); obey.”

1600–01 Hym to asay . . . . hem to asaye. The playwright, or possibly the scribe, lapses here with this circular sentence.

1604 mentyll of whyte. The notice of the “araye” that Mary Magdalene appears to share with the angels contributes to the play’s awareness of clothing as a sign of spiritual states. Compare Mary at lines 1606–07; see Coletti, “Design of the Digby Play.” MDS (pp. 181–82) discusses Mary Magdalene’s white clothes as a token of her spiritual virginity.

1608 wond. MED, wonden (v.), sense 1a: “To hold back because of doubt or indecision, hesitate” and/or sense b: “to hold back because of fear, be afraid; shrink back.”

1610–17 Thow froward kyng . . . . from thi good. Mary Magdalene’s appeal to the king for sustenance resonates with medieval discourses that addressed the necessity of charity toward the poor. Anticipating the saint’s preaching about poverty at lines 1923–30, her interaction with the king here calls attention to her own involuntary poverty (when she later retreats to the wilderness, she will exercise voluntary poverty). Both of these were recognized in the complex social practices and discourses that accompanied medieval understandings of poverty and charity. For example, Mary’s mention of “hongor, threst, and cold” specifies the three basic ‘needs’ identified in those discourses, just as the king’s promise of “mete and mony, and clothys for the nyth” (line 1652) offers charity to assuage them. As Coletti argues (PDD, pp. 358–68), the Digby play represents Mary Magdalene’s entire life, and especially her encounters in Marseilles, as an elaborate staging of these discourses’ central terms and principles.

1610 trobelows. MED, troublous (adj.), sense 3: “mentally or emotionally agitated, distressed.”

1613 cold. See the textual note for this line.

1617, s.d. Here Mari voydyt . . . seyyng the kyng. The change of clothing for Mary Magdalene signaled by the stage direction suggests that she here removes the “mentyll of whyte” that she donned, unremarked, at the bidding of Secundus Angelus (line 1604). The king confirms that he received a “shewyng” from a woman clad “[a]ll in whyte” (line 1623).

1626 good. BMH capitalize: Good. Although the manuscript clearly reads “good” here, the sense of the queen’s exclamation suggests that “God” would be a more appropriate word to designate the source of the visions she and the king have just experienced. BMH’s capitalization make the word a metonymy.

1630–33 To us she spake . . . . wythowtyn dowthe. The play’s queen expands upon the advice given by her counterpart in GL by asserting that she and her husband must act charitably to those in “nede.” Her response models the behavior of well-to-do, late-medieval East Anglian matrons, who promoted and engaged in the performance of the “comfortable works,” including the provision of “almesse” mentioned at line 1641. See Hill, Women and Religion, pp. 118–66.

1646–48 The mythe . . . . wyth yow be. Mary Magdalene’s Trinitarian focus anticipates her Latin blessing at line 1715 and enables her provocative assertion (lines 1662–64) that the conversion of the king and queen results from “the Holy Gost into thi brest sentt down,” almost as if they have been subject to an incarnational visitation as in Luke 1:35.

1649 sythe. MED, sith (n.), sense 4a: “a specified point in time.”

1654 Goddys cummaundement. Assisting the poor is a major theme of the New Testament; see e.g., Matthew 25:34–36; Mark 10:21; Luke 3:11, 14:12–14.

1660 pryme. BMH (p. 215) suggest that “the canonical hour is probably a metaphor of a new beginning.”

1670 O blyssyd woman, rote of ower savacyon. The queen’s apostrophe initiates the play’s association of Mary Magdalene with divine attributes and links the queen’s profession of faith with her new-found fecundity. The conflation of the saint’s intercessory power vis-à-vis conception and aristocratic pursuit of an heir occurs in the Vie de la Magdalene that Louise of Savoy commissioned from François Demoulins de Rochefort in 1516. See Johnston, “The Magdalene and ‘Madame,’” pp. 281–83.

1680 Petyr, my mastyr. The sequence of dramatic events whereby the king and queen conceive a child and profess faith in Mary Magdalene’s Christian God differs from those of the GL, where the king remains skeptical, resolving to seek out Peter “to wyte yf it were trewe that Marie Magdalene had prechyd of Ihesu Cryste” (p. 126).

1687 I sese yow this day. MED, seisen (v.), sense 2a. The king’s terminology identifies his turning over his kingdom to Mary as an act of feudal enfeoffment, a more legalistic gesture than the notice in GL (p. 127) that the king and queen “left alle theyr thynges in the kepyng of Marie Magdalene.”

1691 neythyr lond nore rekynyng. MED, rekening(e (ger.), senses 2a (“a record of use of money or property; a statement of accounts”) and b (“money owed, a debt”). The king employs the official idiom of property and commerce as he delivers “powere pleyn” (line 1692) to Mary.

1693–1711 Now, worshepfull lord . . . . Mary Maugleyn. The idiom of the king and queen’s interaction departs markedly from the aureate language with which they first addressed each other, as if Mary Magdalene’s intervention has clarified their speech as well as converted their souls.

1697–99 worshepfull sovereyn . . . . made to be. The queen’s address to her husband associates their relationship with the hierarchical structures of late medieval royal families. Her desire to accompany him on pilgrimage, as Morrison observes (Women Pilgrims, pp. 3, 18), comports with the experience of medieval women who themselves frequented or sent proxies to pilgrimage sites associated with fertility and childbirth.

1701 the wyttys of wommen, how they byn wylld. The king’s assessment of his wife echoes familiar associations of femininity and irrationality in misogynist discourse. MDS (pp. 162–63) discusses the play’s multifaceted critique of femininity. See also F, pp. 58–61.

1702 fallytt many a chanse. MED, fallen (v.), sense 34a: “to come by luck or chance (to a person) . . . to happen (to a person), befall (a person)”; MED, chaunce (n.), sense 1a: “something that happens or takes place; an occurrence or event, especially one that is unexpected, unforeseen, beyond human control, or attributed to providence or destiny.”

1708–09 Wyff, syn that . . . . no more seyn. The king’s consent to the queen’s request to accompany him marks the beginning of their story’s resemblance to that of Pericles, most notably in Shakespeare’s version. These similarities depend upon romantic elements of both plays’ depictions of travel and pilgrimage. See Rochester, “Space and Staging”; Womack, “Sea of Stories.”

1715 In nomine Patrys, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. Mary Magdalene’s blessing of the departing king and queen renders her almost clerical, by virtue of the Latin idiom and the authority that assumes the spiritual power to bless in the first place.

1734–35 Thou hast stollyn . . . . owt of lond. The shipmaster’s allegations of impropriety, signaled by the king’s haste to depart, add another dimension to the play’s attention to illicit and transgressive sexualities. Offering Chaucer’s Shipman’s Tale as an example, F (p. 152) cites “the discourse about sex, money, and exchange that often circulates through tales of merchants and mercantile exchange.”

1739 Ten marke I wyll thee gyff. The king’s financial negotiation with the shipmaster recalls Mary Magdalene’s similar awareness of the cost of the sea journey (lines 1431–32). The MED identifies the marke (n.2), sense 2a as a “monetary unit equivalent to 160 pennies or 2/3 of a pound sterling.” Morrison (Women Pilgrims, p. 54) notes that medieval shipmasters could improve upon a voyage’s profitability by transporting pilgrims. F (pp. 148–52) also discusses the play’s portrayal of the mariner and his crew and its relation to late medieval seafaring practices.

1745–65 A, lady, hellp . . . . Domine. At some point in these lines the queen gives birth, her distress causing her to appeal to “Mary, Mary.” She laments the “defawte of wommen” (line 1762), i.e. midwives, who might have assisted in the birth that now brings about her death. Guillaume le Clerc’s Anglo-Norman life of the saint (“Romance of Mary Magdalene,” p. 192) depicts the queen’s plight, and that of childbearing women generally with heightened emotional detail. The misfortune of the woman who endures an ordinary human birth without “wommannys help” (line 1759) recalls the very different situation of the Virgin Mary, who effortlessly gives birth to the baby Jesus with no midwives in attendance and retains her radiant virginity in the process.

1747 flower of wommanned. The queen’s apostrophe, presumably to Mary Magdalene, as the “flower of womanhood” introduces an epithet more commonly applied to the Virgin Mary and signals the confusion between and identification of the reformed saint and the mother of Jesus that, as MDS notes (pp. 169–79, 185–89) figures prominently in the latter portions of the play. T. Williams’ discussion of evolving gendered terminology in late medieval English writing observes that “womanhood” here signals the exercise of feminine power (Inventing Womanhood, p. 151).

1765 In manus tuas. An abbreviated echo of Luke 23:46: Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum (“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”).

1776 What wethyr may this be. Apart from the queen’s mention of the “flod” in which she hopes not to “drench” (line 1746), this is the play’s main notice of the storm at sea, described in greater length in GL (p. 127) and with notable meteorological detail in Guillaume le Clerc’s Anglo-Norman life of the saint; see “Romance of Mary Magdalene,” pp. 191–93.

1783 Gyntyll serys. The king sweetens his request to the mariner and his men by applying to them an attribute — gentility — that would seem not to pertain to persons of their social class. On the play’s attention to the idiom of social class, see C; and for its application to the shipmaster and crew particularly, see PDD, pp. 353–57). Ward (World of the Medieval Shipmaster, p. 103) notes that the medieval shipping trade provided opportunities for class mobility and social advancement through the overlapping roles of owner, shipmaster, and merchant.

1784 Yender is a roch. In light of the king’s journey in search of baptism by Saint Peter, Scherb (Staging Faith, p. 178) notes the possibility of the biblical pun, petrus, or rock.

1798 Zaf. This word has confused the play’s previous annotators because, spelled with the ME yogh (ȝ), ȝaf bears resemblance to other ME words. BMH (p. 215) confirm Jaffa, the port city adjacent to Tel Aviv in ancient Palestine, as the correct referent. Whereas Mary Magdalene in GL tells the king that Peter resides in Rome, the Digby saint gives no indication of his whereabouts when she tells the king to seek him. The Digby playwright may have had the mariner call out “the portt Jaf” because Jaffa is the site of important miracles enacted by Peter in Acts 9:36–42 and 10:5–23.

1802–07 here is all . . . . for yower wage. The king confirms that he has met the terms of the economic agreement he made at lines 1739–41, employing vocabulary that suggests a charter-party, the name given to such agreements involving transport by ship. See Ward, World of the Medieval Shipmaster, pp. 229–34.

1802 connownt. MED, covenaunt (n.) sense 1a: “an agreement between parties binding them to certain provisions” and sense 2a: “Law. A formal contract; a contract under seal; the indentured contract of a servant or apprentice.”

1804 graunt. MED, graunt (n.), sense 1d: “promise, assurance, guarantee.”

1806 styntt. MED, stent(e (n.), sense b: “an allotted portion of income; a share.”

1824 this pylgramage. In calling his journey a pilgrimage, the king aligns his voyage with spiritual practices familiar to the play’s late medieval audiences.

1835–42 Syr, than what . . . . fynd to stond. In GL (p. 133) the king and queen, upon returning to Marseilles, are baptized together by Maximin, a companion of Mary Magdalene who drops out of the Digby play’s version of the saint’s life.

1843–44 my hart wyll be sor . . . . nat the sentens. I have modified BMH’s literal rendering: “If you don’t declare the meaning of God’s commandments” (p. 216). See MED, sor(e (adj. 2), sense 5a and/or c; MED, commaundement (n.), sense 1; MED, sentence (n.), sense 2a.

1845–50 Syr, dayly ye . . . . feyth to edyfy. Peter insists that the king seek true “experyens” through his own direct “inspeccyon” of holy places. In late medieval religious and epistemological discourses, the term “experience” connotes knowledge acquired through sense perceptions, attributes, and behaviors of the perceiving subject in contrast to knowledge obtained from official culture as codified in written texts and institutional discourses. When Peter directs the king to seek “very experyens,” he invokes an emergent value in late medieval spirituality that emphasized private, affective experiences as legitimate modes of knowing apart from traditional conceptions of authority. Increasing attention to knowledge acquired in this manner coincides with developments in lay, vernacular religious culture. See Watson, Richard Rolle, pp. 22–23; “Conceptions of the Word,” pp. 102–03; and “Middle English Mystics,” pp. 551–54.

1847 eloquens. MED definitions for this word do not readily explain its usage here. Perhaps Peter is suggesting that the king’s proximity to him (“Wyth me shall ye dwall”) will result in the king’s acquisition (after MED, eloquence (n.), sense 1a) of greater fluency or powers of persuasion related to his newly found faith. Or, perhaps “eloquens” serves mainly to complete the rhyme with “experyens” (line 1846) and “delygens” (line 1849).

1848 stacyons. MED, stacioun (n.), sense 2a. Peter is clearly directing the king to visit famous Christian landmarks in the Holy Land, but some medieval pilgrims would have understood “visiting the stations” to mean a journey to the many churches of Rome associated with the dispensing of pardon. Appearing in the Vernon (Bodleian Library MS Eng. poet. a. 1) and other important manuscripts, “The Stacions of Rome,” provided pilgrims with an itinerary for such a visit and a catalog of available pardons (The Stacions of Rome, ed. Furnivall, pp. 1–24).

1853 Itt is gon full to yere. The king confirms the passage of the two years that, according to the GL, he spends in the Holy Land. The text contains nothing to indicate how the passing of that time might have been represented on stage.

1864 callyd aftyr cold. Neither BMH, who suggest the phrase is a formula (p. 216), nor B, who suggests the Boy is deliberately confusing “hold” with “cold” (p. 744, line 1865n), is satisfying. Perhaps Boy refers here to the abrupt manner in which the king calls out the shipman in the previous line. MED, colde (adv.): “unfeelingly,” “distressingly,” “cruelly.”

1873 Wythowtyn ony connownt. Compare lines 1802–07.

1875–78 Grobbe, boy . . . . as thou can. The playwright’s attention to nautical practices (e.g., reading the direction of the winds and casting sails) particularizes sea voyaging in the play far more than does GL and other narrative versions of Mary Magdalene’s legendary life.

1893 indure. MED, enduren (v.), sense 1a: “to strengthen (the body), fortify (the spirit).”

1895 that puer vergyn. The king’s apostrophe to “that puer vergyn” appears to refer to the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, whom the queen elusively invokes at lines 1747–48. But the king’s exclamation also initiates a series of encomia to the Virgin and Mary Magdalene (lines 1899–1902) that elide the two women. MDS (pp. 151–54; 169–75) discusses the play’s emphasis on this identification. Morrison’s notice (Women Pilgrims, p. 74) that the Virgin Mary was an important symbol “for childbearing women in their pilgrimage activities” applies to the queen’s situation here.

1905 be Maryus gyddauns. In GL (p. 132), the queen reports her sojourn in the Holy Land under Mary Magdalene’s guidance.

1910 For I have gon the stacyonnys. MED, stacioun (n.), sense 2a. The queen’s claim to have “gon the stacyonnys,” i.e. to have made a pilgrimage to the holy places, resonates with recorded experiences of medieval women pilgrims. Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII who died in childbirth in 1503, paid proxy pilgrims to visit Marian and other shrines associated with healing influences for pregnant women; see Morrison, Women Pilgrims, p. 74. In April 1502, Elizabeth paid William Crowmer, gentleman usher, for delivering money to her for “hire offring to the high aultier at Richmond upon Estre day after high masse in going hire stacions.” See Nicolas, Privy Purse Expenses, p. 6. Richmond’s high altar refers to the Carthusian monastery at Sheen, a royal foundation from the time of Henry V.

1920 nobyllys. MED, noble (n.2), sense a: “an English gold coin usually equivalent to 6 shillings and 8 pence.”

1923–38 O dere fryndys . . . . Amen. The king and queen disembark from their voyage to find Mary Magdalene preaching a sermon loosely based on the Beatitudes of Matthew’s gospel (5:1–12). Although ME versions of the saint’s life frequently report that she preached, the Digby play once more presents Mary Magdalene as a preacher of vernacular scripture. See PDD, pp. 357–59.

1927–28 Thow yow in poverté . . . . nyth and day. Mary Magdalene’s endorsement of poverty and charity is of a piece with the Digby play’s framing of her entire vita in terms of material and economic transactions. See note to lines 1610–17 above.

1929 sowth. MED, soth (adj.), sense 3: “of a person, the heart, etc.: honest, sincere; faithful.”

1930 paupertas est donum dei. See 2 Corinthians 8:2, 9; and Ecclesiastes 11:14. BMH (p. 217) cite the response of Patience to Haukyn in Piers Plowman (B text, 14.275). Poverty as a donum dei derives from the opening of Augustine’s De Patientia. See Schmidt’s notes on passus 14.275 (Langland, Piers Plowman, p. 343).

1939–47 Heyll be thou . . . . and prynsses bothe. The king and queen resume their apostrophes to a Mary who bears attributes of the virgin mother of Jesus (“tabernakyll of the blyssyd Trenité”); yet these “hail Marys” also address the woman who sustained the abandoned queen and her child, identified as Mary Magdalene at line 1902. See note to line 1895 above.

1950 alle yower pepyll. Mary Magdalene’s “alle yower pepyll present” implies supernumeraries on stage.

1952 sowle helth. In the most basic sense, soul health or ME sowlehele (from the Latin salus anima) denotes “healing of the soul, salvation” (MED, soule-hele (n.), sense b). But, as Raskolnikov (Body Against Soul, p. 10) notes, the term was also associated with medieval modes of didactic writing, addressed to lay people and the clerics who ministered to them, that anatomized the soul/self.

1953 the Holy Gost hath take resedens. Mary Magdalene provocatively describes the king and queen as imbued by the Holy Spirit in a manner that resembles the divine act whereby the Son of God was incarnated in the Virgin Mary. See note to lines 1646–48 above.

1954 desepcyon of wrech. This phrase is difficult to parse, but it seems to suggest that the Holy Spirit has driven out the errors of the couple’s prior religious experience (and its vengefulness). See MED, wrech(e (n.), sense 1c; and decepcioun (n.), sense b.

1957–58 But now . . . . yower hertys ese. Mitchell-Buck (“Tyrants, Tudors”) discusses Mary Magdalene’s role as “governor” in light of the Digby play’s possible mid-sixteenth century performance, suggesting its resonance with Tudor audiences thinking of the rule of Henry VIII’s daughters. The argument about the play’s 1562 performance in Essex is Coldeway’s (“Chelmsford Records”).

1960 More gostly strenkth me to purchase. Economic metaphors of redemption recur as Mary Magdalene prepares for her eremetic life. See note to line 689 above.

1961 comprehend. MED, comprehenden (v.), sense 5d: “to attain to, achieve, accomplish (something).”

1966 bede woman. MED, bede-woman (n.), sense b. In declaring her intention to be “bede woman” for the king and queen, Mary Magdalene locates their relationship in the context of late medieval almsgiving, which sought redeeming prayers for benefactors in exchange for their gifts. MDS (pp. 66–67) describes how late medieval women’s religious communities offered prayers for their benefactors.

1971, s.d. Her goth Mary into the wyldyrnesse. Wilderness is a figure for the eremitic desert, of which Mary Magdalene speaks at line 1989.

1977 swete sypresse. F (pp. 84–88) elaborates the complex significance of “sypresse,” the plant known as galingale and bearing culinary and medicinal properties. Citing imaginative literature, herbals, and encyclopedia lore, F notes the potential for confusion between the cypress plant and the tree known by the same name. This verbal confusion parallels other overlapping meanings that bear upon allusions to cypress in the Digby play. All of these meanings are operative at line 2046, when the hermit priest describes Mary Magdalene as “swetter than . . . cypresse.”

1981–82 But my londdys . . . . Peter me badde. The king’s post-conversion zeal to build churches and destroy false gods follows GL, but neither that work nor earlier scenes of the play make these actions the result of Saint Peter’s mandate.

1985 perplyxcyon. The playwright works changes on ME perplextif (n.) or perplexité (n.), sense c, to express the “perilous situation” that the king intends to inflict upon those who challenge his new faith.

1989–2002 In this deserte . . . . be contemplatyff. Mary Magdalene’s allusive speech invokes gestures and attributes that align her declared intentions with late medieval pursuit of the contemplative life. See MDS, pp. 105–08; 124–27. F (pp. 26–32) also discusses the saint as contemplative.

1989 deserte. Mary Magdalene’s withdrawal to the desert signals her pursuit of the contemplative life, attraction to which she anticipates earlier in the play. From its formation in the eleventh century, the saint’s legendary vita eremetica incorporated elements of the life of Mary of Egypt, another penitent female saint associated with sexual sins. See Karras, “Holy Harlots” and GL, pp. 227–29. The iconography of Mary Magdalene as desert hermit called for her to be dressed only in the cloak of her flowing hair; see Friesen, “Saints as Helpers in Dying.”

1991 abyte. Compare line 683.

1995 concyens. MED, conscience (n.), sense 2: “the faculty of knowing what is right, especially with reference to Christian ethics; the moral sense, one’s conscience; awareness of right and wrong.”

2003 swettnesse of prayors. Mary’s vow, notes Dugan (Ephemeral History of Perfume, p. 40), reaches Jesus in heaven as “a sweetly scented prayer.”

2006 into the clowdys ye do hyr hauns. MED, enhauncen (v.), sense 1a: “to raise (something) physically, make higher.” Jesus’ appearance and his command to the angels who will elevate Mary Magdalene so that she can partake of “the fode that commyt from heven” (line 2001) initiate complicated stage business, as the saint and the angels who guide and protect her move back and forth between heavenly and earthly locales.

2007 Ther fede wyth manna. The “refection celestial and no bodily metes” that Mary Magdalene receives through her ecstatic elevation in GL (p. 134) here becomes manna, the miraculous food mentioned in the Hebrew bible. Mary Magdalene’s manna is identified with the eucharistic at line 2018, s.d. where the angels feed Mary an oble, or Eucharistic wafer.

2009 afyawns. MED, affiaunce (n.): “assurance, confidence, trust.”

2010 fynddys frawd. In another invocation of the discretio spirituum, Jesus assures Mary Magdalene that her ecstatic elevation and the visionary experience accompanying it will not be an instance of fiendish deception; she confirms as much at line 2034. See note to line 601 above.

2011–14 O thou redulent rose . . . . of ower Lady. Primus Angelus’ praise of Jesus incorporates tropes — rose, palm, gem — appearing elsewhere in the play, tropes notably associated with the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene.

2018, s.d. oble. MED, oblé (n.). According to the MED, this ME term for the sacramental wafer derives from the participial form (oblatum) of Latin offerre, “to offer.” The Last Supper scene of N-Town (NT 1:277, line 372, s.d.) states: “Here shal Jesus take an oblé in his hand.”

2019 influens. MED, influence (n.), sense 3a: “an inherent power or quality” and sense b: “inspiration.”

2022 Inhansyd in heven above vergynnys. See MED, enhauncen (v.), sense 5a and c. Although Mary Magdalene’s elevation to a heavenly state outranking virgins may seem an unlikely outcome for a woman known for her sexual transgressions, medieval scriptural exegetes and homilists, as MDS (pp. 176–79) explains, did signify her spiritual condition in those terms.

2023 byggyd. MED, biggen (v.), sense 2a: “to dwell or live (in a place, among people), reside; inhabit (the Earth).”

2027 Fiat voluntas tua. The phrase appears in Matthew 6:10, but the usage here also echoes the Virgin Mary’s words at the moment of the Incarnation in Luke 1:38: fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum (“be it done to me according to thy word”).

2030 as hys blyssyd wyll isse. BMH (p. 234) gloss the oddly spelled “isse” as the third person singular form of MED, ben (v.): “to be.”

2030, s.d. Her shall she be halsyd. MED, halsen (v.2), sense 1 and/or 3. Several overlapping meanings of the ME verb halsen — to embrace, physically and spiritually; to encircle — point to the visual possibilities of this spectacular dramatic scene. The indications for song here and in the next part of the stage direction remind us of the importance of music and singing in the Digby saint play’s final moments. See Brokaw, Staging Harmony, pp. 43–49.

Asumpta est Maria in nubibus. As M (p. 273) notes, the stage direction signals the singing of the Lauds antiphon for the liturgical celebration of the Virgin Mary’s Assumption; the hymn further reinforces the identification of Mary Magdalene with the mother of Jesus that appears elsewhere in the play. Cox (The Devil and the Sacred, p. 50) notes connections between this scene and the “Assumption of Mary” in N-Town, where the antiphon is also sung. See NT, 1:409, line 522. These intriguing prompts underscore the heightened potential for spectacular stage action and imagery called up by Mary Magdalene’s legendary life.

2031–32 O, thou Lord . . . . be thi name. Despite Mary Magdalene’s customary association with the human Christ whose body she seeks at his resurrection, the Digby playwright also appeals to the saint’s connection with Christ as a figure of power and dominion.

2038, s.d. an holy prest. Provided by the saint’s legendary life, the appearance of the curious priest, primed to perform his clerical role, furthers the association of Mary Magdalene with Mary of Egypt.

2043 namys sevynne. As BMH (p. 217) note, this term probably refers to traditions of biblical commentary that identified seven names for the Hebrew God. In the Towneley “Second Shepherds’ Play,” Mak makes his entrance calling upon “Lord, for thy naymes vii.” See Towneley, 1:134, line 274; 2:500n274.

2045–52 Heyl, creature . . . . of yower Lord. Casting Mary Magdalene in the role of Christ’s beloved, the priest’s first address to her invokes the scriptural commonplace of the heavenly Jerusalem. Walter Hilton makes Jerusalem the goal of the contemplative’s spiritual pilgrimage, the perfection or “perfythnesse” that the priest attributes to Mary: “Jerusalem . . . bitokeneth contemplacion in perfighte love of God” (Scale of Perfection, ed. Bestul, book 2, ch. 21, lines 1129–30).

2046 cypresse. Once again, the word probably refers not to the tree, but to a species of the cyperus genus, many of which possess aromatic properties. BMH provide “galingale” as a gloss (p. 237). See note to line 1977 above.

2049 expresse. MED, expres(se (adv.), sense a: “(to state or show) clearly, plainly, explicitly, specifically.”

2054 selle. Mary Magdalene identifies her hermit’s desert abode with a term that also signified an individual’s dwelling place within institutional monasticism.

2065 Prest (speech heading). The unnamed priest stands in for Maximin, companion of Mary Magdalene who, in the saint’s legendary life, travels with her to Marseilles, where he eventually becomes bishop of Aix. As MDS (pp. 131–33) notes, the Digby play’s omission of Maximin, an important figure in the GL’s vita, enables the dramatic Magdalene to exhibit a different relationship to clerical authority and institutions.

2070 But tyme is comme that I shall asende. See MED, ascenden (v.), sense 1a. Mary Magdalene ambiguously speaks of her anticipated death in terms that call to mind the literal, bodily ascension to heaven of Christ and the bodily assumption of his mother. Although the saint’s death finds her enduringly connected to the earth, which she kisses at the moment of her passing (line 2114), the play’s final scenes repeatedly elide her fundamental differences from the Virgin Mary, echoing the relationship between Christ and his mother made familiar through the account of the Virgin Mary’s Assumption in GL. The N-Town “Assumption of Mary,” based largely on Jacobus’ version of that event, provides a useful lens on these similarities. Like the Digby play, the “Assumption” adapts for the stage a narrative account of female bodily exaltation: the Virgin Mary takes up eternal, bodily residence in heaven beside her son, and Mary Magdalene is raised up by angels to receive daily feedings of manna. In addition to specific verbal resemblances between the two works identified in these explanatory notes, N-Town’s “Assumption” play occasionally departs from GL in the same ways as does the Digby Magdalene. For example, both plays show Jesus explaining from on high the special privileges he grants to the Virgin and Mary Magdalene. See NT, 1:387–409.

2074 a crown to bere. Jesus’ promise to Mary Magdalene of a crown as her rightful reward looks back to the moment when he called for her to be “inhansyd” above virgins (line 2022). The crown was a material, visible sign of the virgin’s spiritual state. As Hotchin (“Nun’s Crown”) explains, in late medieval monastic practice, the wearing of the crown symbolized the professed virgin’s privileged spiritual status. M (p. 273) suggests a parallel with the coronation of the Virgin Mary.

2090 In a vestment I wyll me aray. Compare the pagan priest at lines 1182–83.

2094 palme of grett vytory. The palm is an emblem of martyrdom and virginity; for Mary Magdalene it must signify the latter, though she is herself victorious over worldly temptation and material travails. This symbol appears frequently in medieval iconography of the saints. In LA’s (2:78) account of the Virgin Mary’s Assumption, an angel presents Mary with a “palm branch from paradise,” to be carried before the bier upon her death. N-Town’s “Assumption” play includes a similar line: “A braunce of a palme — owth of paradis com this” (NT, 1:392, line 134). The Magdalene’s reception of the palm here probably draws upon all of these associations.

2097 veryawns. MED, variaunce (n.), sense 3b notes that the phrase “withouten variaunce” means “without wavering, steadfastly.”

2101 inure. MED, inure (adj): “in accordance with established practice, customary.”

2106 to determyn. MED, determinen (v.), sense 2a: “to decide upon something; resolve to do something.”

2106–08 This celestyall bred . . . . to illumyn. Mary receives the sacrament in herimo; but, as Morris (“German Iconography,” pp. 90–91) states, illustrations of this moment in various genres of continental art often depicted her last communion occurring in a church or before an altar.

2110 opprese. MED, oppressen (v.), sense 2a: “to overcome, put down, or subdue (somebody) in battle; fig. overcome (a vice, virtue, etc.).” Here, the term is used in a passive construction.

2115–18 In manus tuas . . . . Dominus Deus veritatis. Along side other motifs in this final scene (the saint’s receipt of the eucharist properly cared for and presented by an appropriately garbed priest, complete with acolytes), Mary Magdalene’s words echo the liturgical rite for the dying. See M, p. 274.

2116 wysse. MED, wissen (v.), sense 1: “to instruct (somebody, oneself, a person’s thoughts), enlighten, advise, admonish; also, guide the actions of somebody, direct.”

2129–30 Thys body . . . . reverens and solemnyté. Mary Magdalene is peacefully interred in the play, but the site of her burial — and claims to possess her relics — were contested subjects from the thirteenth century, as her established cult at Vézelay in Burgundy gave way to powerful claims advanced by political and religious forces in Provence. See Jansen, “Mary Magdalen.”

2131–39 Sufferens . . . . lett us syng. The text shifts abruptly as it moves from representing the saint’s life to addressing a dramatic audience. The designation of that audience as “sufferens,” or sovereigns, comports with other instances of audience address in East Anglian drama and also suggests frameworks for thinking about the important — and lost — social and institutional contexts for medieval East Anglian dramatic performances. For an inventory of examples across dramatic genres, see MDS, pp. 244–45n56.The reference in line 2138 to “clerkys” is tantalizing, especially in view of the grand ambitions of the Digby Magdalene text and the virtually invisible footprint, on the ground, of possible circumstances for the performance of this play.

2131 sentens. MED, sentence (n.), sense 5, especially sense c: “a passage of prose or verse in a written work; the text of such a passage.”

2139 Te Deum laudamus. The play provides for the singing of a popular hymn that was put to many different religious and social uses in the Middle Ages, suggesting that the “clerkys” to whom the command to sing is addressed (line 2138) would have no difficulty responding; see Brokaw, Staging Harmony, pp. 45–47. The Croxton Play of the Sacrament (line 1007) and the Castle of Perseverance (line 3649) also conclude with the singing of Te Deum.

2139, s.d. Explicit oreginale de Sancta Maria Magdalena. BMH (p. 218) determine the reference to an “oreginale” as evidence that the scribe was “working from an ‘official’ copy, the play-book,” an object that is clearly not the play’s single extant manuscript. In the copious records of the Chester Cycle, the term “Regenall,” or “orygenall,” suggests a master text, like the York register, to which individual guilds regularly had recourse for the copying of their plays. See Clopper, “History and Development,” pp. 241–42.

2140–43 Yff ony thyng . . . . that to amend. These lines may communicate the interests of the playwright or the scribe; presumably these are not the same person. In light of the obviously dramatic nature of the text whose transcription has just concluded, the reference to “redars” suggests a complex relationship between the performative and readerly dimensions of the Digby Magdalene as a textual artifact.


Abbreviations: B: Bevington, Medieval Drama, pp. 687–753; BMH: Baker, Murphy, and Hall, Late Medieval Religious Plays, pp. 24–95; MS: Bodleian Library MS Digby 133.

1 Inperator. MS: the speaker’s name is written at the top center of the page. Appearing directly to the right of it are the initials M. B., the signature by which Myles Blomefield registered his ownership of the manuscripts of medieval drama in his possession (see Introduction, p. 8).

2 audyens. So MS. BMH: audyeans.

4 be. MS: inserted above the line.

world. MS: word. So also at lines 304, s.d., 305, 380, s.d., 381, 408, s.d., hereafter silently emended.

12 regeons. So MS. BMH: regeouns.

22 porchase. MS has indeterminate letter or blotted error between c and h.

23 am. MS: written above the line.

25 pesabyl. MS: s cancelled after this word.

possessyon. So BMH. MS: possesson.

26 disobedyent. So BMH. MS: obedyent.

28 shall. MS: xal. The scribe commonly used x rather than the digraph sh for [ʃ]. I emend silently hereafter.

32 nat. MS: inserted above the line.

36 weryons. So MS. BMH: weryouns.

38 or2. MS: altered from on.

grocth. So MS, BMH. B: grocch.

40 swyche. MS: indeterminate letter cancelled before this word; BMH identify cancelled letter as w.

45 am I plesyd. So BMH. MS lacks the personal pronoun.

49 kyngges. So BMH. MS: kyggys.

52 commaund. So BMH. MS: commaud.

58 knett. MS: Superscript n. BMH mistakenly identify superscript n in knottys in this line.

caytyfys. So BMH. MS: cayftyys.

63 al. MS: written above the line.

66 to me ful trew. So MS. BMH emend as ful trew to me for the sake of rhyme.

71 is. MS: written above the line.

72 of beuté. So BMH. MS lacks preposition.

78 Save. Written in margin where MS has cancelled of.

86 kyndnes. MS: d written above the line.

90 plesowns. So MS. BMH: plesowans.

93 Thatt. So MS. BMH: Thou.

96 Owt. MS: superscript t here and throughout, silently emended hereafter.

99 dowttyr. MS: scribe has written abbreviation -ys instead of -yr.

109  Whan ye shal hens passe. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 107 and 108.

110 all. MS: h cancelled before this word.

113 Onto thes ladys of jentylnes. MS: line written to the right of line 112.

121 owit. MS: ow with superscript t; thus emended by B. BMH: wythowt. I have adopted Bevington’s emendation because owit wrech (owed harm) makes grammatical sense in light of the series of “if” clauses that follow this line. Nonetheless, the line may involve some scribal error.

125 in. MS: written above the line.

133 Herowdys. MS: indeterminate letter cancelled between w and d.

145 faytours. MS: s written above the line.

148 shal. MS: written above make.

160 governons. So MS. BMH: governouns.

162 me. MS: inserted above the line.

166 ondyrstond. MS: written as two words, with indeterminate letter cancelled between.

175 in lumine tuo. So BMH. MS: in lumine.

176 splendore. So BMH. MS: spelndore.

179 me. MS: written above the line.

184 sceptrum de Juda. So BMH. MS: septrum Juda.

185 qui mitendus. So BMH. MS: imitendus.

186 I. So BMH. MS: omitted.

187 dastardys. MS: dastardus.

190 that. MS: written above the line.

192 marryd. So BMH. MS: marry.

194 ar. MS: written above the line.

200 ondyr. MS: indeterminate letter cancelled before this word.

203 replycacyon. So BMH. MS: replycayon.

205 voys. MS, BMH: woys. B emends as woth.

208, s.d. masengyr. So BMH. MS: omitted.

213 Tyberyus. The scribe frequently writes the -us abbreviation after the letter u, thus rendering the word Tyberyuus. Hereafter I silently omit the redundant u.

218 Forto. So BMH. MS: for.

219 them. So BMH. MS: the.

220 wythin. MS: in inserted over caret.

222 swych. Repeated in MS.

224 perce. So MS. BMH: perce them.

225 wyth. The scribe probably intended wyght (quickly), a word that appears at line 227 and whose meaning is also apt here.

227 wygth. MS: sond wygth.

229 rychesse. So BMH. MS: rychsse.

232 Tyberius. MS: i added above.

234 pregedyse. MS: predy cancelled before.

235 yow. MS: written above the line.

236 ye. So BMH. MS: he.

to. MS: written above the line.

237 prommyssary. So BMH. MS: prmmyssary.

and. MS: ss cancelled after this word. B: ser.

presedent. So BMH. MS: presdent.

238 inperrowpent. So BMH. MS: inper rowpent. This word exemplifies an obscurity that editors have struggled to explain. My gloss follows BMH, p. 200.

240 what. MS: qwat. I silently emend hereafter.

seye. So BMH. MS: sye.

248, s.d. Her. MS: y cancelled after. Stage directions are written in red from this point to the end of the play.

280 this. So BMH. MS: is.

282 God. MS: me cancelled after.

288 bryng. So BMH. MS: bryg.

292 lyf I. MS: lyf y. B omits personal pronoun.

298 exprese. MS: written in right margin; fulfylle cancelled before.

303 systyr. So BMH. MS: systyrs.

305 evyr. MS: b cancelled after this word.

315 perteynyng. So BMH. MS: altered from perteynyt.

316 mone. MS: sonne cancelled before.

327 dwellyn. So BMH, silently emended. MS: dwellyng. B: be dwellyng.

333, s.d. Kyng. So MS. BMH: Kynge.

Lechery. MS: written above the line at the right margin.

358 pyrles, prykkyd. So MS. B: pirked, prikkyd.

359 yower. So BMH. MS: ower.

362 and. So BMH. MS: omitted.

365 wyth. So BMH, B. Omitted in MS.

may. MS: d cancelled before this word.

387 asemlanus. So MS. BMH: asemlaunvs.

389 Thys tyde. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of line 387.

393 Com as fast as he may ryde. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 390 and 391.

395 masege. MS: ge written above the line.

402 yow. MS: written above line.

404 counseyl. BMH observe that the scribe used the incorrect abbreviation yr for the elided nasal. Similar substitutions occur in the spelling of counsell at lines 412, 421, and 436.

for. So BMH. MS: fo.

405 where. So BMH. MS: whre.

410 ye. MS: send cancelled after.

417 Of that castel beryt the pryse. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 415 and 416.

421 But yf your counseyll may othyrwyse devyse. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 418–20.

422 ye. MS: superscript e.

431 Speaker’s rubric (Satan) repeated at the top of fol. 104v.

436 Syrrys. So BMH. MS: Syrrus. r1 is a superscript.

439, s.d. Mary. So BMH. MS: omitted.

447 debonarius. MS: debonariuus. Letters iu written above the line, not ius noted by BMH.

449 receyve. MS: ve written above the line.

459 yow. MS: yow yow. Repeated yow cancelled after this word.

sportys. MS: d cancelled before this word.

465 betake. So MS, B. BMH: beteche.

469, s.d. seyyng. So BMH. MS: seyyg.

475 is. So BMH. MS: omitted.

478 Grome. So MS, B. BMH: Groine.

480 bettyr. So BMH. MS: berttyr.

490, s.d. galaunt. MS: of cancelled after this word.

493 What. MS: written above cancelled w.

Wene. MS: possibly mene. BMH: mene.

marchant. MS: galaunt cancelled before.

495 sum. MS: written above the line.

501 somyr. MS: wyn cancelled before.

508 in. MS: i.

514 drynk. So BMH. MS: dryng.

515 Coryosté. MS: repeated at top of fol. 107v as Coriosté.

525 womanly. MS: m written over l, but cancellation noted by BMH may be the nasal abbreviation.

531 Mary Maudleyn. MS: Coriosté cancelled before speech marker.

535 sen. MS: seyn cancelled before.

536 love ye. So MS, B. BMH: love ye thos.

538 am. MS: written above the line.

539 My love in yow gynnyt to close. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 537 and 538.

546 To dye for your sake. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 544 and 545.

563 semlyest. So BMH. MS: semyest.

585 nere. MS: nye cancelled before.

589 wol. MS: inserted above the line.

590 veryabyll. MS: a added above.

593 lust. So BMH. MS: lost.

597 in. MS: inserted above the line.

600 mercy. MS: ye cancelled before.

614, s.d. Leprus. MS: written below the line in the right margin.

622 wythinne. MS: ne inserted above the line.

630 syt. MS: altered from set.

637 hope is perhenuall. So BMH. MS: hope perhenuall.

640, s.d. Jhesus dicit. MS: repeated at top of fol. 109v.

642 repast. So BMH. MS: rpast.

650 well. So BMH. MS: woll.

658 man. MS: written below the line at the right margin.

659 Symond. MS: Jhesus cancelled before.

662 quesson. So MS. BMH: quessyon.

665 al. So MS. BMH: all.

670 entent. MS: in before this word.

674 conscyens. MS: e added above.

676 wrecchednesse. So MS. BMH note alteration of e to ss.

684 wyl. So MS. BMH: wyll.

686 contrysson. So MS. BMH: contryssyon.

689 porchasyd. MS: l cancelled before this word.

693 tyme. MS: my cancelled before.

694 dred. MS: written below the line at the right margin.

695 thi. MS: I was cancelled before.

701 contrysson. So MS. BMH: contryssyon.

705 omnipotency. So BMH. MS: omipotency.

706 governons. So MS. BMH: governouns.

708 devyn. MS: dey cancelled before.

709 And. MS: ad cancelled before this word.

723 to. MS: inserted above line.

725, s.d. dyvllys. MS: v written above.

727 Tercius. So MS. BMH silently emend: Rex.

728 judycyal-lyke. MS: d cancelled before this word.

731 Primus. So MS. BMH silently emend: Rex. Also at lines 735, 740, and 744.

736 wreke. So BMH. MS: wroke.

738 hym. MS: y altered from e.

739, s.d. serve. MS and BMH: serva.

741 lordeynnys. MS: the cancelled before.

744 fals. So BMH. MS: ffals written below the line.

754 deversarye. MS: de added above the line.

768 Mary Maudleyn. MS: Mary M Mary M. Repeated Mary M cancelled. BMH emend silently as Magdalen; also at lines 784, 815, 824, 834, 889, 894.

787 gete. MS: written above the line.

791 prophet. So BMH. MS: prophe.

hatt. MS: inserted above the line.

793 yower. So BMH. MS: yow.

803 impossyble. So BMH. MS: inpossible.

815 Lord. MS: c cancelled before this word.

817 weyys. MS: e inserted above.

823, s.d. Mortuus. So BMH. MS: mortuis. This is one of a few stage directions written in the right margin.

831 drewyn. It is unclear if this w is orthographically the same as v, the option B chooses. In either case there is little difference between being drewyn (drawn) and drevyn (driven) down by death.

836 be. MS: inserted above the line.

845, s.d. Lay him in. MS: written in right margin.

846 cogynysson. So MS. BMH: cognyssyon.

851 chyldyurn. So BMH. B: childyrne. MS: chyldynre.

853 Dissipulus. So MS. BMH: Dissipulys.

volunté. MS: w cancelled before this word.

865 I. So MS, BMH. B: omits.

867 Wherfor. So BMH. MS: whefor.

868, s.d. The scribe has squeezed the stage direction between lines 868 and 869.

876 thysse. MS: written below the line at right margin.

888 from. MS: fro cancelled before.

889 rythewys. MS: thow cancelled before.

equité. MS: written below the line at right margin.

891 be. MS: written below the line at right margin.

892 Good. MS: o inserted above word.

894 monument. So BMH. MS: moment.

895 that. MS: that and another indeterminate letter cancelled before; BMH identify cancelled letter as o.

ye. MS: the cancelled before.

900 remeve. MS: remembyr cancelled before.

902, s.d. The scribe has again squeezed the stage direction between two lines of the spoken text.

904 glory. MS: written below the line.

909 me. MS: inserted over caret. Ink is badly smudged at the beginning of this line.

912 wondyre. MS: b cancelled between n and d.

913 nothyng. So BMH. MS: nothyg.

916 away. MS: was cancelled between a and w.

921 yower. MS: ower cancelled before.

928 Obedyenly. MS: Why lowt ye natt lo cancelled before.

937 the. MS: y cancelled before this word.

so bold. MS: written below the line at the right margin.

944 losty. So MS. BMH indicate here possibility of lofty.

lyon. MS: written below line at the right margin.

949 O, my blysse, in beuteus bryght. MS: line written to the right of lines 946–48.

957 plesant. MS: pleant. Here and elsewhere for the s the scribe has written the yogh for intervocalic s (/z/) . See also lines 1304, 1490, 1503, 1505, 1513, 1519, 1539, 1547, 1585, 1689.

959 ruby. So BMH. MS: rubu.

960 plesaunt. So BMH. MS: pleaunt.

my. MS: l before, incorrectly cited by BMH as cancelled.

962, s.d. a dylle. MS: inserted above the line.

963 yelle. MS: e cancelled before this word.

966 brasse. MS: written below the line at the right margin.

967 blase. MS: written below the line at the right margin.

968 asondyr. MS: letter y altered from e or vice versa.

972 passon. So MS. BMH silently emend: passyon.

973 On. So BMH. MS: O.

979 wrowth. MS: written above cancelled wethe.

983 atrey. MS: indeterminate letter cancelled between a and t.

985 Yet. So BMH. MS: ye.

eye. MS: ye cancelled before.

986 everychon. MS: written below the line at the right margin.

992 in fine. So MS. BMH note that the abbreviation employed here could also mean in sum, the option they and B choose. But in fine better comports with the idiom and meaning of the devil’s speech.

992, s.d. passon. So MS. BMH: passyon.

upon. So MS. BMH: ypon.

Mawdlyn. So MS. BMH: Mawdleyn. My examination of the manuscript concurs with BMH’s observation that the “red line drawn through [the] first line of directions” was “apparently” not intended to cancel it. This line resembles other red lines drawn at the tops of pages to mark the upper margin (e.g., see folios 119r and 121v). The scribe appears, however, to have written the first line of the stage direction over the red line, not the reverse as suggested by BMH.

997 Mary Jacobe. So BMH, expanding silently here and elsewhere. MS: M Jacobe.

998 Jewys. MS, BMH: jevys. Inserted above the line.

1001 Mary Salome. So BMH, expanding silently here and elsewhere. MS: M Salome.

intollerabyll. So BMH. MS: s cancelled after this word.

1003 haddyst. MS: hast cancelled before.

1004 is. MS: inserted above the line.

1004, s.d. folowyng. MS: yng inserted above the line.

The speech marker M Maudleyn is cancelled in the right margin. I adopt at line 1005 the emended speech marker of BMH, which calls for all three Marys to speak.

1007 Mannys sowle to bye from all thraldam. So MS. BMH emend for consistency of rhyme: Mannys sowle from all thraldam to bye.

1008 in. MS: shold a be cancelled after. BMH: in peyne shold a be boun.

1011 Mary Maudleyn. MS: M Magdleyn. BMH expand silently here and at lines 1031, 1055, 1059, 1063, 1070, 1078, s.d. 1095, etc.

1015 Mary Jacobe. MS: Speaker’s rubric omitted here. I concur with the logic of BMH’s emendation, which is based on the three Marys sequenced responses at this moment in the play. The red lines that precede and follow the speech at lines 1015–18 appear regularly in the manuscript to divide speeches by different speakers. B does not note a change of speaker here.

1017 mynd. So BMH. MS: myd.

1019 boundys. MS: v cancelled before this word.

1022, s.d. angelys. MS: angelus. BMH observe the scribe’s erroneous abbreviation. The scribe has clearly employed the same -us abbreviation that we see in the speakers’ rubrics at lines 1023 and 1027 and in gracyus at line 1016 and precyus at line 1018. A comparison with the final words in these lines (wound[ys] and stoundd[ys], respectively) illustrates the scribe’s distinction between -us and -ys. The correct form in the stage direction would produce the plural angel[ys]. Elsewhere the scribe confuses angelus and angelys; for example, see line 2066 and 2077.

1023 Angelus. So MS. BMH: Primus Angelus.

1026 Go. MS: written above cancelled go.

1039 inward. MS, BMH: invard.

1046, s.d. Here. So BMH. MS: how.

1047 [Petyr]. The MS identifies no speaker here. BMH and B emend.

1053 seyd. MS: d written above word.

resurrexon. So MS. BMH: resurrexyon.

1054 MS: speaker’s rubric Jhon repeated here at top of fol. 119v.

1056 and. MS: inserted above the line.

1058 Wom sekest. MS: indeterminate letters inserted above the line, and cancelled, between these words; BMH identify cancelled letters as st.

1060, s.d. Hic aparuit Jhesus. MS: written in right margin.

1068 I. MS: inserted above the line.

1077 hevnly. So BMH. MS: hevly.

1078 fyrst. MS: fr cancelled before this word.

1079 Symoud. So MS. BMH: Symound.

gardenyr. MS: first letter blotted; g added above.

1083 fowle. So BMH. MS: flowle. Scribe may have cancelled the superfluous letter l.

1086 Mary Maudleyn. MS: J cancelled before unnormalized manuscript speech marker, M Magdleyn.

1091 posybylyté. So BMH. MS: posybyle.

1096 systyrs. So BMH. MS: systyr.

1100 expresse. MS: a cancelled before this word.

1111 I. MS: inserted over the line.

1120 In nomine Patrys, ett Felii ett Spiritus Sancti, amen. MS: line written in red.

1125 O. MS: added in margin.

1127 thow. MS: stroke of letter cancelled before.

1133 aprise. MS: ri added above.

1134 meve. MS: ve added above.

1139 curteys. MS: r added above.

1149 syde. MS: written below the line in the right margin.

1153 ded. MS: inserted above caret.

1158 Onshapli thou art to see. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1155 and 1156.

1159 women. So MS. BMH: woman.

1162 They love me bettyr than thee. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1160 and 1161.

me. So BMH. MS: partial letter cancelled after.

1170 On thi ars com mych wondyre. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1168 and 1169.

1174 This kenred is asprongyn late. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1171 and 1172.

1177, s.d. Bete hym. Rex diciit. MS: written to the right of the line.

1178 this. MS: added above.

1181 bryng. So BMH. MS: bryg.

1186 sarasenorum. MS: sarasensore. BMH silently emend, probably for consistency of final orum in all lines of this doggerel Latin. This line is written in red.

1188 Gormoerdorum. So MS. BMH: Gormondorum.

1193 Snyguer. MS: Sy cancelled before this word.

1194 lamba. So BMH. MS: la cancelled before this word.

1209, s.d. Rex dicitt. MS: written in right margin.

1213 Wyth thi wesdom and thi wytt. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1210 and 1211.

1217 Here in thi presens as I sett. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1214–16.

1220 be. MS: o cancelled before this word.

1227, s.d. Syng both. MS: written in right margin.

1228 dyvll. MS: indeterminate letter blotted before this word.

1230 Butt now, syr, kyng, quene, and knyth. MS: a red line separates lines 1229 and 1230, but there is no change of speaker.

1234 er. MS, BMH: or.

ever. MS: A faint line through this word suggests its possible cancellation. In that case er ye gon (before you go) would make sense in the context of the speech.

1236 this. MS: five or six letters cancelled before; word(s) not discernable; BMH identify cancelled letters as mewyer ye.

1239 And. MS: ȝ cancelled before this word.

1241 This same holy bede. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1238 and 1239.

bede. MS: final letter obscured by binding. BMH posit the letter e, hence their bede, which they gloss as “prayer.” The scribe usually distinguishes the letters e and o and here clearly has written be; nonetheless, “this same holy body” offers a better fit with Presbiter’s praise of the virtues of Mahownd’s relics.

1243 holy. So BMH. MS, B: body. BMH reverse lines 1243 and 1244 based on the verse form. See BMH, pp. 211–12.

1246 That. MS: t altered from e.

1248 That is ower god in fere. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1245 and 1246.

1249 serjauntys. MS: xall cancelled before.

1260 Baramathye. MS: m cancelled before this word.

1261 Serjantt. So MS. BMH add Primus before.

1277 Pylatti. MS: final letter obscured by binding, but a second t can be discerned. BMH: Pylatus.

1278 that. So MS. BMH: tho lordys.

ryall. MS: l cancelled before this word.

1283 passon. So MS. BMH: passyon.

1287 am. MS: inserted above.

1292 nere. MS: before this word the scribe appears to have cancelled a mistaken stroke of the pen.

1298 aprise. So BMH, emending silently. MS: apise.

1299 Wych. So MS. BMH emend silently: Wyche.

1303 be. MS: inserted above.

1309 natt. MS: it cancelled before.

1311 sentens. So BMH. MS: sentellys. BMH emend here and at line 1315.

1318 to. MS: inserted above.

1323 desypyllys. MS: py inserted above this word.

1329 the2. MS: inserted above.

1333 for. So BMH. This line is bracketed and written in the margin to the right of lines 1331 and 1332; binding partly obscures the word after Mery.

to. MS: fo cancelled before.

1334 renown. MS: of cancelled before.

1336 ded. MS: written below the line at the right.

1343 alle. So BMH. MS: l cancelled before this word.

1345 dysyllpyllys. So MS. BMH: dysypyllys.

1348 ferr. MS: inserted above.

1348, s.d. Jhesus. This word is repeated at the end of the line. This stage direction is divided from the preceding line with a horizontal line drawn in red ink.

shew. So MS. BMH emend: shew [hymself].

1351 the. MS: I cancelled before this word. In added in margin.

1353 Phebus. MS: scribe has written character yogh instead of abbreviation for us.

1358 hevnly. So MS. BMH: heuenly.

1368 myn. MS: scribe has written my with superscript abbreviation for er.

1375, s.d. Tunc decendet angelus. MS: written in right margin.

1376 Abasse. MS: indeterminate letter cancelled between A and b; BMH identify cancelled letter as b.

1385 commaunddement. So BMH. MS: commauddement.

1388 thoys. MS: y cancelled before this word.

1389 be browth. MS: written below the line.

1395 Stryke! Stryke! So BMH. MS: stryke skryke.

1404 good. MS: o inserted above.

1405 forhongord. So MS, BMH. B: sor hongord.

1409 I1. So BMH. MS: Cy cancelled before this word.

1410 forlorn. MS: lonr cancelled between for and lorn.

1418, s.d. Bete hym. MS: written in right margin.

1427 same. MS: m written over another letter.

1428 to. MS: inserted above.

1429 I. MS: inserted above.

1430 Is of the lond of Marcyll. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1428 and 1429.

1435 Yondyr. So MS. BMH: Yond ther.

Torke. So MS. BMH: Torkye.

1437–38 Yendyr is the lond of Satyllye / Of this cors we thar nat abaffe. I follow the emendation of BMH, reversing lines 1437 and 1438. This order preserves the verse form employed by the playwright here and accords with the sequence of events. The stage direction at line 1438 is written to the right of lines 1436 and 1437. B retains the manuscript order of lines 1437 and 1438 and places the direction for singing between lines 1436 and 1437.

1439 BMH silently emend here, adding the speaker’s rubric Shepmen.

1444 Sett off! Sett off from lond. So B. BMH give this line to the Boy. MS: The speech marker, The Boy, appears next to line 1445.

1448 vyctoré. MS: written above a cancelled vytory.

1452 shew. So BMH. MS: she.

1456 yow. MS: written twice.

way. So BMH. MS: omitted.

1469 mysbelef. So BMH. MS: mysbele.

1476 And. MS: preceded by ampersand.

1480 That wold I lerne; itt is my plesyng. This is the last line on folio 129r. At the bottom right appears the speaker’s rubric (Mary) for the speech beginning at the top of folio 129v. At the bottom of folio 129r the scribe has written Jhesu mercy. Furnivall believed these words to be part of Mary’s speech. BMH (p. 213) suggest that they indicate the scribe’s “pious outburst.”

1492 sterrys. MS: and cancelled after; ampersand written above.

1503 it. MS: inserted above a cancelled is.

1526 hast. MS: a cancelled before this word.

1530 return. So BMH. MS: retur.

1541 sestt. MS: s2 changed from y.

1542 lord. MS: added above the line.

1549 Onto. MS: to inserted above.

1551 knees. MS: indeterminate letter cancelled before this word.

1553 mee. MS: q cancelled after this word.

1560 Good. MS: one o added above.

1561, s.d. clerk. So BMH. MS: cler.

1574 I. MS: a cancelled before this word.

1576 suek. So MS. BMH: sueke.

1577 hath. So MS. BMH: heth.

1588 asstat t. So BMH. MS: assatt.

1590 awngelys. So BMH. MS: awngelus.

1609, s.d. angelys. So BMH. MS: angelus.

1613 cold. So MS. BMH emend as chelle for the sake of the rhyme scheme.

1617, s.d. chongg. MS: voyd cancelled before. Final letter of chongg partially obscured by the margin.

1620 shewyng. MS: is cancelled before.

1622 saw. MS: w altered from x or y.

1626 good. So MS. BMH: Good. See the explanatory note for this line.

1627 may. MS: indeterminate letter cancelled before this word.

1633 I tell yow, wythowtyn dowthe. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of line 1632.

1638 My. MS: I cancelled before.

1639 yower. So BMH. MS: ower.

1641, s.d. transit. So BMH. MS: transiunt.

1643 the. MS: w cancelled before this word.

1648 wyth. MS: inserted above.

1649 yowre. MS: inserted above cancelled ow.

1653 wyth. MS: s cancelled before this word.

1655 myschef. So BMH. MS: mysch.

1661 malycyows. So BMH. MS: l cancelled before this word.

1684 God. MS: inserted above.

1695 onto. MS: to added above.

1707 me. MS: inserted above.

1714 save. MS: fe cancelled before.

1715, s.d. tunc. MS: tt cancelled before this word.

1718 And yf thou aspye ony lond. MS: line written to the right of lines 1716 and 1717.

1721 ondyrstond. So BMH. MS: line is written to the right of lines 1719 and 1720; last three letters obscured by binding.

1724 That stondyt upon a strond. MS: line written to the right of lines 1722 and 1723.

1735 Thou woldyst ledd hyr owt of lond. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1733 and 1734.

1736 God. MS: a letter, probably o, has been cancelled before d.

1737 shall. MS: repeated and not cancelled.

1738 Or ellys I woll nat wend. MS: line written to the right of line 1737.

1740 up. MS: I cancelled before.

1741 In the Holy Lond. MS: line written to the right of line 1740.

1744 Hens that we were. MS: line written to the right of line 1743.

1749 A. MS: inserted above in red.

1766 wyff. MS: f cancelled before. BMH mistakenly note this change at line 1749.

1773 me. MS: inserted above.

1774 Yf thi wyl it be. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1771–73.

1777 Ower mast woll all asondyr. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1775–76.

1778 ley. MS: inserted above.

1780 Cast hyr owt, or ellys we synke ondyr. MS: line written to the right of lines 1778 and 1779; final two letters of ondyr not visible because of trimming. BMH emend.

1786 And my chyld hyr by. MS: line written to the right of lines 1784–85.

1790 I sey yow, verely. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1788 and 1789.

1790, s.d. Tunc remigant ad montem, et dicit rex. MS: This stage direction appears as cancelled after line 1796, suggesting that the scribe realized he had written it in the wrong place but neglected to put the direction before the speech of the king that it clearly introduces. I follow the emendation of BMH. B omits.

remigant. So BMH. MS: remigat.

1796 To be ther gyde here. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1794–95.

1796, s.d. remigant. So BMH. MS: remigat.

a monte. So BMH. MS: a montem.

1800 And belyve go me fro. MS: Line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1797–99.

1819 shall. MS: thee sey n cancelled after this word.

1822 Mercyll. So MS. BMH: Marcyll.

1825 tell. MS: inserted above.

1827 the. MS: inserted above.

1829 Satyrnas. So MS. BMH: Saternas.

1830 commaundmenttys. So BMH. MS: commaundmettys.

1838 From the fyndys bond. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1836–37.

1840 baptysse. MS: bast cancelled before. BMH do not note this cancellation.

1842 Agens the fynd to stond. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1839–41.

1844 cummaunddementt. So BMH. MS: cummauddementt.

1847 dwall. So B. MS: wall.

1848 and 2. MS: inserted above.

1850 feyth. MS: e inserted above.

1856 lawe. So B. MS, BMH: lave.

1859 That feythfully I crave. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1856 and 1857.

1862 kepe. MS: ȝ cancelled after this word. Line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1860–61.

1866 Be1. MS: b cancelled after.

1870 Help me over the se. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1868–69.

1873 ony. MS: two letters, difficult to distinguish, cancelled before.

1874 Comme in, in Goddys name. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1871–73.

1878 As well as thou can. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1875–77.

1882 I shall qwyt yower mede. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1879–81.

1883 In. So BMH. MS: I.

1886 Verely, indeed. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1883–85.

1890 thee. MS: ȝ cancelled before this word.

1897 shynne. MS: y written over e.

1903 wrappyd. So BMH. MS: wrppyd.

varyawns. MS: final two letters difficult to discern because of binding.

1904 into. So BMH. MS: i to.

1907 precyus. MS: inserted above.

1909 Wherfor. So BMH. MS: Whefor.

1914, s.d. nauta. MS: partial letter cancelled before. BMH do not note this cancellation.

1916 Mercylle. So MS. BMH: Marcylle.

1918 I prye yow for my sake. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1915 and 1916.

1921 thi. So MS. BMH: þe.

1922 Cryst save thee from wo and wrake. MS: line bracketed and written to the right of lines 1919–21.

1924 think. So BMH, B. MS: omitted.

yow. MS: both cancelled after.

1926 he. MS: inserted above.

1928 Yitte. So BMH. MS: itte.

1930 donum. So BMH. MS: domum.

1934 men. MS: written below the line at the right.

1935 dysstroccyon. MS: ss written over another letter.

1938 Amen. MS: written in red.

1938, s.d. qwuene. So MS. BMH: quvene.

1939 Lord. MS: inserted above.

1944 nobyllnesse. MS: l cancelled between second l and nesse. So BMH.

1946 thi. MS: inserted above.

1949 wythowt. MS: b cancelled before this word.

1955 knowlege. So BMH. MS: knowle.

1958 have. MS: inserted above.

1966 yower. So BMH. MS: ower.

1971, s.d. thus. MS: x cancelled before this word. BMH do not note this cancellation.

1985 swych. So BMH. MS: wych.

1992 me. MS: inserted above.

1996 stryffe. So BMH. MS: styffe.

2011 sprong. So BMH. MS: sporng.

2014 born. MS: written above cancelled bornd.

2015 commaunddement. So BMH. MS: commauddement.

2021 Thou shall byn onoryd wyth joye and reverens. This is the last line on fol. 141r. The scribe skipped fol. 141v and 142r, writing turne on the othyr syde in red at the top of 141v.

2030, s.d. Her shall she . . . . Et dicit Mari. Only the first part of the stage direction is written is red, as is the scribe’s practice for much of the manuscript. The use of black ink for the Latin verses of the hymn thus mark them as spoken text rather than stage direction.

2034 no1. MS: inserted above, not no2 as cited by BMH.

2038, s.d. prest2. MS: final word obscured by binding.

2044 graunt. MS: gruant. BMH: gravnt.

2051 perfytnesse. So BMH. MS: perfynesse.

2052 shew. So BMH. MS: she.

2066 angelys. So BMH. MS: angelus.

2073 possesson. So MS. BMH: possessyon.

2074 enirytawns. So BMH. MS: Probable letter i inserted above.

2075 savacyon. MS: In an interesting slip, the scribe has cancelled damnacyon and written the more appropriate savacyon above.

2076 fere. MS: e cancelled before this word.

2077 angelys. So BMH. MS: angelus.

2085 cummaundytt. So BMH. MS: cummaudytt.

2092 Straytt. MS: a written above.

2097 thee. MS: inserted above.

2101 inure. I follow the reading of BMH. MS: indeterminate word.

2107 tyme. MS: tym cancelled before.

reseyve. MS: ve added above.

2108, s.d. Her she reseyvyt it. MS: written directly to right of line 2108.

2112 recummend. So BMH. MS: recumdmend.

2118 veritatis. MS: final letters obscured by binding. Line written to the right of lines 2115–17.

2119 reseyve. MS: s altered from r.

2122, s.d. Gaudent in celis. MS: written to the right of lines 2120 and 2121.

2126 game. So BMH. MS: name.

2131 sentens. MS: final letter missing with corner of this page.
Print Copyright Info

The Digby Mary Magdalene Play

IMPERATOR, Tiberius Caesar
SERABYL, his scribe
SYRUS, lord of Magdalene castle
his children:
NUNCIUS, messenger to Caesar
HEROD, lord of Jerusalem
PRIMUS MILES (soldier)
PILATE, judge in Jerusalem
SENSUALITY, messenger to WORLD
TWO DEVILS, Belfagour and Belzabub
TWO SOLDIERS, attendant upon LAZARUS
TWO ANGELS, at Christ’s tomb
PETER, the disciple
JOHN, the disciple
PRESBYTER, a heathen priest
NUNCIUS, PILATE’s messenger
ANGEL, called Raphael
PRIEST, a hermit

fol. 95r








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Mary Maudleyn







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Secundus Phylysofyr





Primus Miles


Secundus Miles




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Primus Serjunt

Secundus Serjunt


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Mary Maudleyn






Mary Maudleyn


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The Flesch

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Bad Angyl


Mary Maudleyn


Mary Maudleyn



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Mary Maudleyn




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Mary Maudleyn





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Mary Maudleyn


Mary Maudleyn


Mary Maudleyn



Mary Maudleyn


Mary Maudleyn


Mary Maudleyn


[Bad Angyl]




Rex Diabolus



Mary Maudleyn


Symont Leprus


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[Good Angyl]




Mary Maudleyn



Symond Leprus


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Symond Leprus



Symond Leprus


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[Mary Maudleyn]



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Bonus Angelus




Rex Diabolus

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Secundus Diabolus

Tercius Diabolus

Spiritus Maligni

Primus Diabolus

Malinus Spiritus

Primus Diabolus

Primus Diabolus

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Mary Maudleyn





Mary Maudleyn






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Mary Maudleyn

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Mary Maudleyn

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Mary Maudleyn


Mary Maudleyn





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[Rex Marcylle]











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[Mary Maudleyn]


Mary Jacobe


Mary Salome

[Three Marys]


Mary Maudleyn

[Mary Jacobe]

Mary Salome



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Mary Maudleyn

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Mary Maudleyn

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Mary Salome

Mary Jacobe


Mary Salome



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Rex Marcyll









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Nuncyus Pylatti







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The Mastyr


The Mastyr

The Boy

Mary Maudleyn


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Mary Maudleyn




The Boy

Mary Maudleyn






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Mary Maudleyn





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Mary Maudleyn
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Mary Maudleyn

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Secundus Angelus

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[Primus Angelus]


Secundus Angelus


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Primus Angelus


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[Mary Maudleyn]



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Secundus Angelus

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Mary Maudleyn

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Primus Angelus

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I command sylyns, in the peyn of forfetur,
To all myn audyens present general!
Of my most hyest and mytyest volunté
I woll it be knowyn to all the world unyversal
That of heven and hell chyff rewlar am I,
To wos magnyfycens non stondyt egall.
For I am soveren of al soverens subjugal
On to myn empere, beyng incomparable
Tyberyus Sesar, wos power is potencyal.
I am the blod ryall, most of soverenté,
Of all emperowers and kynges my byrth is best,
And all regeons obey my myty volunté.
Lyfe and lem and goodys all be at my request,
So, of all soverens, my magnyfycens most mytyest
May nat be agaynsayd of frend nor of foo;
But all abydyn jugment and rewle of my lyst.
All grace upon erth from my goodnys commyt fro,
And that bryngis all pepell in blysse so.
For the most worthyest, woll I rest in my sete.

Syr, from your person growyt moch grace!

Now, for thin answer, Belyall blysse thi face!
Mykyl presporyté I gyn to porchase;
I am wonddyn in welth from all woo.
Herke thou, provost, I gyff thee in commandment
All your pepull preserve in pesabyl possessyon.
Yff any ther be to my goddys disobedyent,
Dyssever tho harlottys and make to me declaracyon.
And I shall make all swych to dye,
Thos precharsse of Crystys incarnacyon!

Lord of all lorddys, I shall gyff yow informacyon.

Lo, how all the world obeyit my domynacyon!
That person is nat born that dare me dysseobey!
Syrybbe, I warne yow, se that my lawys
In all your partyys have dew obeysauns.
Inquere and aske, eche day that daunnes,
Yf in my pepul be found ony weryons
Contrary to me in ony chansse,
Or with my goldyn goddys grocth or grone
I woll marre swych harlottys with mordor and myschanse1
Yff ony swyche remayn, put hem in repreffe,
And I shall you releff.

Yt shall be don, lord, withowtyn ony lett or withowt doth.

Lord and lad to my law doth lowte.
Is it nat so? Sey yow all with on showte!

Here answerryt all the pepul at onys: “Ya, my lord, ya.”

So, ye froward folkes, now am I plesyd!
Sett wyn and spycys to my consell full cler.
Now have I told yow my hart, I am wyll plesyd.
Now lett us sett don alle and make good chyr.

[Castle of Magdalene]

Her entyr Syrus, the fader of Mary Maudleyn.

Emperor and kyngges and conquerors kene,
Erlys and borons and knytes that byn bold,
Berdys in my bower so semely to senne,
I commaund yow at onys my hestes to hold.
Behold my person, glysteryng in gold,
Semely besyn of all other men.
Cyrus is my name, be cleffys so cold,
I command yow all obedyent to beyn.
Woso woll nat, in bale I hem bryng,
And knett swyche caytyfys in knottys of care.
Thys castell of Maudleyn is at my wylddyng,
With all the contré, bothe lesse and more,
And Lord of Jherusalem. Who agens me don dare?
Alle Beteny at my beddyng be.
I am sett in solas from al syyng sore,
And so shall all my posteryté,
Thus for to leven in rest and ryalté.2
I have her a sone that is to me ful trew,
No comlyar creatur of Goddys creacyon;
To amyabyll douctors full brygth of ble
Ful gloryos to my syth an ful of delectacyon.
Lazarus, my son in my resspeccyon,
Here is Mary, ful fayur and ful of femynyté,
And Martha, ful of beuté and of delycyté,
Ful of womanly merrorys and of benygnyté.
They have fulfyllyd my hart with consolacyon.
Here is a coleccyon of cyrcumstance:
To my cognysshon nevyr swych anothyr,
As be demonstracyon knett in contynens,
Save alonly my lady that was ther mother.3
Now Lazarus, my sonne, whech art ther brothyr,
The lordshep of Jherusalem I gyff thee aftyr my dysses;
And Mary, thys castell alonly an non othyr;
And Martha shall have Beteny, I say exprese.
Thes gyftes I graunt yow withowtyn les
Whyll that I am in good mynd.

Most reverent father, I thank yow hartely
Of yower grett kyndnes shuyd onto me.
Ye have grauntyd swych a lyfelod worthy
Me to restreyn from all nessesyté.
Now, good Lord, and hys wyll it be,
Graunt me grace to lyve to thy plesowns,
And agens hem so to rewle me,
Thatt we may have joye wythowtyn veryans.4

Thatt God of pes and pryncypall counsell,
More swetter is thi name than hony be kynd.
We thank yow, fathyr, for your gyftes ryall,
Owt of peynes of poverté us to onbynd.5
Thys is a preservatyff from streytnes we fynd,
From worldly labors to my coumfortyng,

For thys lyfflod is abyll for the dowttyr of a kyng,
Thys place of plesauns, the soth to saye.6

O, ye good fathyr of grete degré,
Thus to departe with your ryches,
Consederyng ower lowlynes and humylyte,
Us to save from worldly dessetres.
Ye shew us poyntes of grete jentylnes,
So mekly to mayntyn us to your grace.
Hey in heven avansyd mot yow be high;
In blysse, to se that Lordys face
Whan ye shal hens passe.
Now I rejoyse wyth all my mygthtys.
To enhanse my chyldryn, it was my delyte.
Now, wyn and spycys, ye jentyll knyttes,
Onto thes ladys of jentylnes.

Here shal they be servyd wyth wyn and spycys.


Syr provost and skrybe, juggys of my rem,
My massengyr I woll send into ferre cuntré
Onto my sete of Jherusalem,
Onto Herowdys, that regent ther ondyr me,
And onto Pylat, jugges of the countré.
Myn entent I woll hem teche.
Take hed, thou provost, my precept wretyn be,
And sey I cummaund hem, as they woll be owit wrech,
Yf ther be ony in the cuntré ageyn my law doth prech,
Or ageyn my goddys ony trobyll tellys,
That thus agens my lawys rebellys,
As he is regent and in that reme dwellys,
And holdyth his croun of me be ryth,
Yff ther be ony harlettys that agens me make replycacyon,7
Or ony moteryng agens me make with malynacyon.

Syr, of all this they shall have informacyon,
So to uphold yower renoun and ryte.

Now, massengyr, withowtyn taryyng,
Have here gold onto thi fe.
So bere thes lettyrs to Herowdys the kyng,
And byd hem make inquyrans in every cuntré,
As he is jugge in that cuntré beyng.

Soveren, your arend it shall be done ful redy,
In all the hast that I may;
For to fullfyll your byddyng,
I woll nat spare nother be nyth nor be day.

Here goth the masengyr toward Herowdys.

[Herod’s Palace]

In the wyld, wanyng world, pes all at onys!
No noyse, I warne yow, for greveyng of me.
Yff yow do, I shal hourle off yower hedys, be Mahondys bonys,
As I am trew kyng to Mahond so fre.
Help, help, that I had a swerd!
Fall don, ye faytours, flatt to the ground.
Heve off your hodes and hattys, I cummaund yow alle;
Stand bare hed, ye beggars! Wo made yow so bold?
I shal make yow know your kyng ryall.
Thus woll I be obeyyd thorow al the world,
And who so wol nat, he shal be had in hold,
And so to be cast in carys cold,
That werkyn ony wondyr agens my magnyfycens.
Behold these ryche rubyys, red as ony fyr,
With the goodly grene perle ful sett abowgth.
What kyng is worthy or egall to my power?
Or in this world, who is more had in dowt
Than is the hey name of Herowdys, kyng of Jherusalem,
Lord of Alapye, Assye, and Tyr,
Of Abyron, Beryaby, and Bedlem?
All thes byn ondyr my governons.
Lo, all thes I hold withowtyn reprobacyon.
No man is to me egall, save alonly the emperower,
Tyberyus, as I have in provostycacyon.
How sey the phylyssoverys be my ryche reyne?
Am nat I the grettest governowur?
Lett me ondyrstond; whatt can ye seyn?

Soveren, and it plece yow, I woll expresse:
Ye be the rewlar of this regyon,
And most worthy sovereyn of nobylnes
That evyr in Jude barre domynacyon.
Bott, syr, skreptour gevytt informacyon,
And doth rehersse it verely,
That chyld shal remayn of grete renoun,
And all the world of hem shold magnyfy:
Et ambulabunt gentes in lumine tuo et reges
In splendore ortus tui.8

And whatt seyst thow?

The same weryfyyt my bok; as how,
As the skryptour doth me tell,
Of a myty duke shal rese and reyn,
Whych shal reyn and rewle all Israell.
No kyng agens hys worthynes shall opteyn,
The whech in profesy hath grett eloquence:
Non auferetur sceptrum de Juda et dux de
Femore eius, donec veniet qui mitendus est.9

A, owt, owt! Now am I grevyd all wyth the worst!
Ye dastardys! Ye doggys! The dylfe mote yow draw10
With fleyyng flappys I byd yow to a fest.
A swerd, a swerd! Thes lordeynnes wer slaw!
Ye langbaynnes! Loselles! Forsake ye that word!11
That caytyff shall be cawth, and suer I shall hem flaw;
For hym many mo shal be marryd with mordor.12

My sovereyn lord, dyssemay yow ryth nowt.
They ar but folys, ther eloquens wantyng;
For in sorow and care sone they shall be cawt.
Agens us they can mak no dysstonddyng.

My lord, all swych shall be browte before your audyens,13
And levyn ondyr your domynacyon,
Or elles dammyd to deth wyth mortal sentense,
Yf we hem gett ondyr ower gubernacyon.

Now thys is to me a gracyows exsortacyon,
And grettly rejoysyth to my sprytes indede.
Thow these sottes agens me make replycacyon,
I woll suffer non to spryng of that kenred,
Some voys in my lond schall sprede,
Prevely or pertely in my lond abowth.
Whyle I have swych men, I nede not to drede
But that he shal be browt ondyr, withowtyn doth.14

Her commyt the emperowers masengyr, thus sayyng to Herodys:

Heyll, prynse of bountyowsnesse!
Heyll, myty lord of to magnyfy!
Heyll, most of worchep of to expresse!
Heyll, reytyus rewlar in thi regensy!
My sofereyn, Tyberyus, chyff of chyfalry,
Hys soveren sond hath sent to yow here:
He desyrth yow and preyyt on eche party
To fulfyll hys commaundment and desyre.

Here he shall take the lettyrs onto the kyng.

Be he sekyr, I woll natt spare
Forto complyshe his cummaunddment,
Wyth sharp swerddes to perce them bare
In all countres wythin this regent
For his love to fulfyll his intentt.
Non swych shall from ower handys stertt,
For we woll fulfyll his ryall juggement
Wyth swerd and spere to perce thorow the hartt!
But, masengyr, reseyve thys lettyr wyth,
And ber ytt onto Pylattys syth.

My lord, it shall be done ful wygth.
In hast I woll me spede!

[Jerusalem — Pilate’s Palace]

Now ryally I reyne in robys of rychesse,
Kyd and knowyn both ny and ferre
For juge of Jherusalem, the trewth to expresse,
Ondyr the Emperower Tyberius Cesar.
Therfor I rede yow all, bewarre
Ye do no pregedyse agen the law.
For and ye do, I wyll yow natt spare,
Tyl ye have judgment to be hangyd and draw.
For I am Pylat, prommyssary and presedent.
All renogat robber inperrowpent,
To put hem to peyn, I spare for no peté.15
My serjauntes semle, what seye ye?
Of this rehersyd I wyll natt spare.16
Plesauntly, syrrys, aunswer to me,
For in my herte I shall have the lesse care.

As ye have seyd, I hold it for the best,
Yf ony swych among us, may we know.

For to gyff hem jugment, I holdd yt best,
And so shall ye be dred of hye and low.

A, now I am restoryd to felycyté!

Her comyt the emprorys masengyr to Pylat.

Heyll, ryall in rem in robis of rychesse!
Heyl, present thou prynsys pere!
Heyl, jugge of Jherusalem, the trewth to expresse!
Tyberyus, the emprower, sendyt wrytyng herre,
And prayyt yow, as yow be his lover dere,
Of this wrytyng to take avysement
In strenthyng of his lawys cleyr,
As he hath set yow in the state of jugment.

Her Pylat takyt the lettyrs with grete reverens.

Now, be Martes so mythy, I shal sett many a snare
His lawys to strenth in al that I may.
I rejoyse of his renown and of his wylfare,
And for thi tydyngges, I geyff thee this gold today.

A, largeys, ye lord, I crye this day!
For this is a geft of grete degré.

Masengyr, onto my sovereyn thou sey
On the most specyall wyse recummend me.

Her avoydyt the masengyr, and Syrus takyt his deth.

[Castle of Magdalene]

A, help, help! I stond in drede!
Syknes is sett ondyr my syde.
A, help! Deth wyll aquyte me my mede!
A gret God, thou be my gyde!
How I am trobyllyd both bak and syde.
Now, wythly help me to my bede.
A, thys rendyt my rybbys! I shall nevyr goo nor ryde.
The dent of deth is hevyar than led.
A, lord, lord, what shal I do this tyde?
A gracyows God, have ruth on me,
In this world no lengar to abyde.
I blys yow, my chyldyrn. God mot with us be!

Her avoydyt Syrus sodenly, and than sayyng Lazarus:

Alas, I am sett in grete hevynesse!
Ther is no tong my sorow may tell,
So sore I am browth in dystresse.
In feyntnes I faltyr for this fray fell;
This dewresse wyl lett me no longar dwelle,
But God of grace sone me redresse.17
A, how my peynys don me repelle.
Lord, withstond this duresse!

The inwyttissymus God that evyr shal reyne,
Be his help an sowlys sokor.
To whom it is most nedfull to cumplayn,
He to bryng us owt of ower dolor.
He is most mytyest governowre,
From soroyng us to restryne.

A, how I am sett in sorowys sad,
That long my lyf I may nat indeure.
Thes grawous peynes make me ner mad.
Undyr clowyr is now my fathyris cure,
That sumtyme was here ful mery and glad.18
Ower Lordes mercy be his mesure,
And defeynd hym from peynes sad.

Now, systyrs, ower fatherys wyll we woll exprese;
Thys castell is owerys with all the fee.

As hed and governower, as reson is,
And on this wyse abydyn with yow wyll wee.
We wyll natt desevyr, whattso befalle.19

Now, brothyr and systyr, welcum ye be,
And therof specyally I pray yow all.20

Her shal entyr the Kyng of the World, the Flesch, and the Dylfe
with the Seven Dedly Synnys, a Bad Angyll, an an Good Angyl,
thus seyyng the World:

[Stage of the World]

I am the World, worthyest that evyr God wrowth,
And also I am the prymatt portature
Next heveyn, yf the trewth be sowth,
And that I jugge me to skryptur.
And I am he that longest shal induere
And also most of domynacyon.
Yf I be hys foo, woo is abyll to recure?
For the whele of fortune wyth me hath sett his senture.
In me restyt the ordor of the metellys sevyn,
The whych to the seven planyttys ar knett ful sure:
Gold perteynyng to the sonne, as astronemere nevyn;
Sylvyr to the mone, whyte and pure;
Iryn onto the Maris that long may endure;
The fegetyff mercury onto Mercuryus;
Copyr onto Venus, red in hys merrour;
The frangabyll tyn to Jubyter, yf ye can dyscus;
On this planyt Saturne, ful of rancure,
This soft metell led, nat of so gret puernesse.
Lo, alle this rych tresor wyth the World doth indure.
The seven prynsys of hell of gret bowntosnesse,
Now who may presume to come to my honour?

Ye, worthy World, ye be gronddar of gladnesse
To them that dwellyn ondyr yower domynacyon.

And who so wol nat, he is sone set asyde,
Wher as I, Covetyse, take mynystracyon.21

Of that, I pray yow, make no declareracyon.
Make swych to know my soverreynte,
And than they shal be fayn to make supplycacyon,
If that they stond in ony nesessyté.22

Her shal entyr the Kyng of Flesch wyth Slowth, Gloteny, Lechery.

[Stage of the King of Flesh]

I, Kyng of Flesch, florychyd in my flowers,
Of deyntys delycyows I have grett domynacyon.
So ryal a kyng was nevyr borne in bowrys,
Nor hath more delyth ne more delectacyon.
For I have comfortatywys to my comfortacyon:
Dya galonga, ambra, and also margaretton —
Alle this is at my lyst, agens all vexacyon.
Alle wykkyt thyngys I woll sett asyde.
Clary, pepur long, wyth granorum paradysy,
Zenzybyr and synamom at every tyde —23
Lo, alle swych deyntyys delycys use I.
Wyth swyche deyntyys I have my blysse.
Who woll covett more game and gle
My fayere spowse Lechery to halse and kysse?24
Here is my knyth Gloteny, as good reson is,
Wyth this plesaunt lady to rest be my syde.
Here is Slowth, anothyr goodly of to expresse;
A more plesaunt compeny doth nowhere abyde.

O ye prynse, how I am ful of ardent lowe,
With sparkylles ful of amerowsnesse!
With yow to rest fayn wold I aprowe,
To shew plesauns to your jentylnesse.

O ye bewtews byrd, I must yow kysse!
I am ful of lost to halse yow this tyde.

Here shal entyr the prynse of dyllys in a stage and
helle ondyrneth that stage, thus seyyng the Dylfe:

[The Devils’ Stage]

Now I, prynse pyrles, prykkyd in pryde,
Satan, yower sovereyn, set wyth every cyrcumstanse,25
For I am atyred in my towyr to tempt yow this tyde.
As a kyng ryall I sette at my plesauns,
Wyth Wrath and Invy at my ryall retynawns.
The bolddest in bowyr I bryng to abaye,26
Mannis sowle to besegyn and bryng to obeysauns.
Ya, wyth tyde and tyme I do that I may,
For at hem I have dysspyte that he shold have the joye
That Lycyfer wyth many a legyown lost for ther pryde.27
The snarys that I shal set wher nevyr set at Troye.
So I thynk to besegyn hem be every waye wyde.
I shal getyn hem from grace whersoevyr he abyde,28
That body and sowle shal com to my hold,
Hym for to take.
Now, my knythtys so stowth
Wyth me ye shall ron in rowte,
My consell to take for a skowte,
Whytly that we were went for my sake.29

Wyth wrath or wyhyllys we shal hyrre wynne.

Or wyth sum sotyllté sett hur in synne.

Com of, than, let us begynne
To werkyn hure sum wrake!

Her shal the Deyvl go to the World wyth hys compeny.

[Stage of the World]

Heyle, World, worthyest of abowndans!
In hast we must a conseyll take:
Ye must aply yow wyth all your afyauns,
A woman of whorshep ower servant to make.30

Satan, wyth my consell I wyll thee avansse.
I pray thee, cum up onto my tent.
Were the Kyng of Flesch her with hys asemlanus!31
Masengyr! Anon that thou werre went
Thys tyde.
Sey, the Kyng of Flesch wyth grete renown,
Wyth hys consell that to hym be bown,
In alle the hast that evyr they mown,
Com as fast as he may ryde.

My Lord, I am your servant, Sensualyté.
Your masege to don, I am of glad chyr.
Ryth sone in presens ye shal hym se,
Your wyl for to fulfylle her.

Her he goth to the Flesch, thus seyyng:

[Stage of the King of Flesh]

Heyl, lord in lond, led wyth lykyng!
Heyl, Flesch in lust, fayyrest to behold!
Heyl, lord and ledar of emprore and kyng!
The worthy World, be wey and wold,
Hath sent for yow and your consell.
Satan is sembled wyth hys howshold,
Your counseyl to have most for aweyle.

Hens in hast that we ther where!
Lett us make no lengar delay.

Gret myrth to ther hertys shold yow arere,32
By my trowth I dare safly saye.

Her commyt the Kyng of Flesch to the World, thus seyyng:

[Stage of the World]

Heyl be yow, soverens lefe and dere!
Why so hastely do ye for me send?

A, we are ryth glad we have yow here,
Ower counsell togethyr to comprehend.
Now, Satan, sey your devyse.

Serys, now ye be set, I shal yow say:
Syrus dyyd this odyr day.
Now Mary, hys dowctor, that may,
Of that castel beryt the pryse.

Sertenly, serys, I yow tell,
Yf she in vertu stylle may dwelle,
She shal byn abyll to dystroye helle,
But yf your counseyll may othyrwyse devyse.

Now ye, Lady Lechery, yow must don your attendans,
For yow be flowyr fayrest of femynyté.
Yow shal go desyyr servyse and byn at hure atendauns,
For ye shal sonest entyr, ye beral of bewte.33

Serys, I abey your counsell in eche degré.
Stryttwaye thethyr woll I passe.

Spiritus malyngny shal com to thee,
Hyre to tempt in every plase.
Now all the six that here be,
Wysely to werke, hyr favor to wynne,
To entyr hyr person be the labor of Lechery,
That she at the last may com to helle.34
How, how, spiritus malyng, thou wottyst what I mene?
Cum owt, I sey! Heryst nat what I seye?

Syrrys, I obey your counsell in eche degree.
Stryttwaye thethyr woll I passe.
Speke soft, speke soft, I trotte hyr to tene.
I prey thee pertly, make no more noyse.

Her shal alle the Seven Dedly Synnys besege the castell tyll Mary
agre to go to Jherusalem. Lechery shall entyr the castell wyth
the Bad Angyl, thus seyyng Lechery:

[The Castle of Magdalene]

Heyl, lady, most laudabyll of alyauuns!
Heyl, oryent as the sonne in hys reflexité!
Myche pepul be comfortyd be your benyng afyauns.
Bryter than the bornyd is your bemys of bewté,
Most debonarius wyth your aungelly delycyté.35

What personne be ye that thus me comendyd?36

Your servant to be, I wold comprehende.

Your debonarius obedyans ravyssyt me to trankquelyté.37
Now, syth ye desyre, in eche degree,
To receyve yow I have grett delectacyon.
Ye be hartely welcum onto me!
Your tong is so amyabyll, devydyd wyth reson.38

Now, good lady, wyll ye me expresse
Why may ther no gladdnes to yow resort?39

For my father I have had grett hevynesse;
Whan I remembyr, my mynd waxit mort.

Ya, lady, for all that, be of good comfort,
For swych obusyons may brede myche dysese.
Swych desepcyons potyt peynys to exsport;
Prynt yow in sportys whych best doth yow plese.40

Forsothe, ye be welcum to myn hawdyens!
Ye be my hartys leche.
Brother Lazarus, and it be yower plesauns,
And ye, systyr Martha, also in substawns,
This place I commend onto your governons
And onto God I yow betake.

Now, systyr, we shal do your intente,
In this place to be resydent
Whyle that ye be absent,
To kepe this place from wreche.

Here takyt Mary hur wey to Jherusalem wyth Luxsurya, and
they shal resort to a tavernere, thus seyyng the tavernere:

[A Tavern in Jerusalem]

I am a taverner, wytty and wyse,
That wynys have to sell, gret plenté.
Of all the taverners, I bere the pryse,
That be dwellyng wythinne the ceté.
Of wynys I have grete plenté,
Both whyte wynne and red that is so cleyre.
Here is wynne of Mawt and malmeseyn,
Clary wynne, and claret, and other moo,
Wyn of Gyldyr and of Galles, that made at the Grome,
Wyn of Wyan and Vernage, I seye also,
Ther be no bettyr as ferre as ye can goo.41

Lo, lady, thee comfort and thee sokower.
Go we ner and take a tast;
Thys shal bryng your sprytys to favor.
Tavernere, bryng us of the fynnest thou hast.

Here, lady, is wyn, a repast
To man and woman, a good restoratyff.
Ye shall nat thynk your mony spent in wast;
From stodyys and hevynes it woll yow relyff.

Iwys, ye seye soth, ye grom of blysse.
To me ye be courtes and kynde.

Her shal entyr a galaunt, thus seyyng:

Hof, hof, hof! A frysch new galaunt!
Ware of thryst; ley that adoune!42
What? Wene ye, syrrys, that I were a marchant
Because that I am new com to town?
Wyth sum praty tasppysstere wold I fayne rownd!43
I have a shert of reynnys wyth slevys peneawnt,44
A lase of sylke for my lady constant.
A, how she is bewtefull and ressplendant!
Whan I am from hyre presens, lord, how I syhe!
I wol awye sovereyns and soiettys I dysdeyne.45
In wyntyr a stomachyr, in somyr non att al;
My dobelet and my hossys evyr together abyde.46
I woll, or even, be shavyn for to seme yyng.
With here agen the her I love mych pleyyng —47
That makyt me ilegant and lusty in lykyng.
Thus I lefe in this world; I do it for no pryde.

Lady, this man is for yow, as I se can,
To sett yow in sporttys and talkyng this tyde.

Cal him in, tavernere, as ye my love will han,
And we shall make ful mery yf he wolle abyde.

How, how, my mastyre, Coryossyté!

What is your wyll, syr? What wyl ye wyth me?

Here ar jentyll women dysyore your presens to
And for to drynk with yow this tyde.

A, dere dewchesse, my daysyys iee!
Splendaunt of colour, most of femynyté!
Your sofreyn colourrys, set wyth synseryté!
Consedere my love into yower alye,48
Or ellys I am smet wyth peynnes of perplexité.

Why, syr, wene ye that I were a kelle?

Nay, prensses, parde, ye be my hertys hele.
So wold to God ye wold my love fele!49

What cause that ye love me so sodenly?

O, nedys I must, myn own lady.
Your person, itt is so womanly,
I can nat refreyn me, swete lelly.

Syr, curtesy doth it yow lere.50

Now, gracyus gost wythowtyn pere,
Mych nortur is that ye conne.
But wol yow dawns, my own dere?51

Syr, I asent in good manyr.
Go ye before, I sue yow nere,
For a man at alle tymys beryt reverens.

Now, be my trowth, ye be with other ten.
Felle a pese; tavernere, let us sen
Soppes in wynne. How, love ye?

As ye don, so doth me.
I am ryth glad that met be we;
My love in yow gynnyt to close.

Now, derlyng dere, wol yow do be my rede?
We have dronkyn and ete lytyl brede.
Wyll we walk to another stede?

Evyn at your wyl, my dere derlyng,
Thowe ye wyl go to the worldys eynd
I wol nevyr from yow wynd,
To dye for your sake.

Here shal Mary and the galant avoyd, and the Bad Angyll goth to
the World, the Flych and the Dylfe, thus sayyng the Bad Angyl:

[The Stage of the World]

A lorges, a lorges, lorddys alle at onys!52
Ye have a servant fayur and afyabylle,
For she is fallyn in ower grogly gromys.
Ya, Pryde, callyd Coriosté, to hure is ful laudabyll,
And to hure he is most preysseabyll,
For she hath graunttyd hym al hys bonys.
She thynkyt hys person so amyabyll,
To here syte, he is semelyare than ony kyng in tronys.53

A, how I tremyl and trott for these tydyngys!
She is a soveryn servant that hath hure fet in synne.
Go thow agayn and ewer be hur gyde.
The laudabyll lyfe of lecherry let hur nevyr lynne,
For of hure al helle shall make rejoysseyng.

Her goth the Bad Angyl to Mari agayn.

Farewell, farewell, ye to nobyl kyngys this tyde,
For hom in hast I wol me dresse.

Farewell, Satan, prynsse of pryde!

Farewell, semlyest, alle sorowys to sesse.54

Her shal Satan go hom to hys stage, and Mari shal entyr into
the place alone, save the Bad Angyl, and all the Seven Dedly Synnys
shal be conveyyed into the howse of Symont Leprous. They shal be
arayyd lyke seven dylf, thus kept closse. Mari shal be in an erbyr,
thus sayyng:

A, God be wyth my valentynys,
My byrd swetyng, my lovys so dere!
For they be bote for a blossum of blysse,55
Me mervellyt sore they be nat here!
But I woll restyn in this erbyre,
Amons thes bamys precyus of prysse,
Tyll som lover wol apere
That me is wont to halse and kysse.

Her shal Mary lye doun and slepe in the erbyre.

[House of Simon Leper]

This day holly I pot in rememberowns
To solas my gestys to my power.56
I have ordeynnyd a dynere of substawns,
My chyff freyndys therwyth to chyre.
Into the seté I woll apere,
For my gestys to make porvyawns,
For tyme drayt ny to go to dynyr,
And my offycyrs be redy with this ordynowns.57
So wold to God I myte have aqueyntowns
Of the profyth of trew perfytnesse,
To com to my place and porvyowns.
It wold rejoyse my hert in gret gladnesse,
For the report of hys hye nobyllnesse
Rennyt in contreys fer and nere.
Hys precheyng is of gret perfythnes,
Of rythwysnesse, and mercy cleyre.

Her entyr Symont into the place, the Good Angyll thus
seyyng to Mary:

Woman, woman, why art thou so onstabyll?
Ful byttyrly thys blysse it wol be bowth.
Why are thou agens God so veryabyll?
Wy thynkys thou nat God made thee of nowth?58
In syn and sorow thou art browth,
Fleschly lust is to thee full delectabyll;
Salve for thi sowle must be sowth,
And leve thi werkys vayn and veryabyll.
Remembyr, woman, for thi pore pryde,
How thi sowle shal lyyn in helle fyre.
A, remembyr how sorowful itt is to abyde
Wythowtyn eynd in angure and ir!
Remembyr thee on mercy, make thi sowle clyre.
I am the gost of goodnesse that so wold thee gydde.

A, how the speryt of goodnesse hat promtyt me this tyde.
And temtyd me wyth tytyll of trew perfythnesse!59
Alas, how bettyrnesse in my hert doth abyde!
I am wonddyd with werkys of gret dystresse.
A, how pynsynesse potyt me to oppresse,
That I have synnyd on every syde!60
O, Lord, wo shall put me from this peynfulnesse?
A, woo shal to mercy be my gostly gyde?
I shal porsue the prophett, wherso he be,
For he is the well of perfyth charyté.
Be the oyle of mercy he shal me relyss.
With swete bawmys, I wyl sekyn hym this syth,
And sadly folow hys lordshep in eche degré.

Here shal entyr the prophet with hys desyplys, thus seyyng
Symont Leprus:

Now ye be welcom, mastyr most of magnyfycens.
I beseche yow benyngly ye wol be so gracyows,
If that it be lekyng onto yower hye presens
Thys daye to com dyne at my hows.

Godamercy, Symont, that thou wylt me knowe,61
I woll entyr thi hows with pes and unyté.
I am glad for to rest ther grace gynnyt grow,
For wythinne thi hows shal rest charyté,
And the bemys of grace shal byn illumynows.
But syth thou wytystsaff a dynere on me,62
With pes and grace I entry thi hows.

I thank yow, mastyr most benyng and gracyus,
That yow wol, of your hye soverenté.
To me itt ys a joye most speceows,
Wythinne my hows that I may yow se.
Now syt to the bord, mastyrs alle!

Her shal Mary folow alonge wyth this lamentacyon:

O I, cursyd cayftyff that myche wo hath wrowth
Agens my makar, of mytys most!63
I have offendyd hym with dede and thowth,
But in hys grace is all my trost,
Or ellys I know well I am but lost,
Body and sowle damdpnyd perpetuall!
Yet, good Lord of Lorddys, my hope is perhenuall
Wyth thee to stand in grace and favour to se.64
Thow knowyst my hart and thowt in especyal;
Therfor, good Lord, aftyr my hart reward me.

Her shal Mary wasche the fett of the prophet wyth the terrys
of hur yys, whypyng hem wyth hur herre, and than anoynt hym
wyth a precyus noyttment. Jhesus dicit:65

Symond, I thank thee speceally
For this grett repast that here hath be.
But, Symond, I tell thee fectually,
I have thyngys to seyn to thee.

Mastyr, what your wyll be,
And it plese yow, I well yow here;
Seyth your lykyng onto me,
And al the plesawnt of your mynd and desyyr.

Symond, ther was a man in this present lyf,
The wyche had to dectours well suere,
The whych wher pore and myth make no restoratyf.66
But stylle in ther dett ded induour.
The on owt hym an hondyrd pense ful suere,67
And the other fefty, so befell the chanse;
And becawse he cowd nat hys mony recure,
They askyd hym for foryevnesse, and he foryaf in substans.68
But, Symont, I pray thee, answer me to this sentens:
Whych of thes to personnys was most beholddyn to that man?

Mastyr, and it plese your hey presens,
He that most owt hym, as my reson yef can.69

Recte judicasti. Thou art a wyse man,
And this quesson hast dempte trewly.
Yff thou in thi concyens remembyr can,
Ye to be the dectours that I of specefy.
But, Symond, behold this woman in al wyse,
How she wyth terys of hyr bettyr wepyng,
She wassheth my fete and dothe me servyse,
And anoytyt hem wyth onymentys, lowly knelyng,
And with hur her, fayur and brygth shynnyng,
She wypeth hem agayn wyth good entent.
But, Symont, syth that I entyrd thi hows,
To washe my fete thou dedyst nat aplye,
Nor to wype my fete thou were nat so favorus;
Wherfor, in thi conscyens, thou owttyst nat to replye.
But, woman, I sey to the verely,
I forgeyffe thee thi wrecchednesse,
And hol in sowle be thou made therby!70

O, blessyd be thou, lord of evyrlastyng lyfe,
And blyssyd be thi berth of that puer vergynne!
Blyssyd be thou, repast contemplatyf,
Agens my seknes, helth and medsyn.71
And for that I have synnyd in the synne of pryde,
I wol enabyte me wyth humelyté.
Agens wrath and envy, I wyl devyde
Thes fayur vertuys, pacyens and charyté.

Woman, in contrysson thou art expert,
And in thi sowle hast inward mythe,
That sumtyme were in desert,
And from therknesse hast porchasyd lyth.72
Thy feyth hath savyt thee and made thee bryth.
Wherfor I say to thee, “Vade in pace.”

Wyth this word sevyn dyllys shall devoyde from the woman,
and the Bad Angyll entyr into hell with thondyr.

O thou, gloryus Lord, this rehersyd for my sped,
Sowle helth attys tyme for to recure.73
Lord, for that I was in whanhope, now stond I in dred,
But that thi gret mercy wyth me may endure.
My thowth thou knewyst wythowtyn ony dowth.
Now may I trost the techeyng of Isaye in scryptur,
Wos report of thi nobyllnesse rennyt fere abowt.

Blyssyd be they at alle tyme
That sen me nat and have me in credens.
With contrysson thou hast mad a recumpens,
Thi sowle to save from all dystresse.
Beware and kepe thee from alle neclygens,
And aftyr thou shal be partenyr of my blysse.

Here devodyt Jhesus wyth hys desipyllys, the Good Angyll
rejoysyng of Mawdleyn:

Holy God, hyest of omnipotency,
The astat of good governons to thee I recummend,74
Humbylly besecheyng thyn inperall glorye
In thi devyn vertu us to comprehend.
And, delectabyll Jhesu, soverreyn sapyens,
Ower feyth we recummend onto your pur peté,
Most mekely prayyng to your holy aparens,
Illumyn ower ygnorans with your devynyté.
Ye be clepyd redempcyon, of sowlys defens,
Whyche shal ben obscuryd be thi blessyd mortalyté.75
O Lux Vera, graunt us yower lucense,
That wyth the spryte of errour I nat seduet be.
And, Sperytus Alme, to yow most benyne,
Thre persons in trenyté and on God eterne,
Most lowly ower feyth we consyngne,
That we may com to your blysse gloryfyed from malyngne,
And wyth your gostely bred to fede us, we desyern.76


A, owt, owt and harrow! I am hampord wyth hate!77
In hast wyl I set our jugment to se!
Wyth thes betyll-browyd bycheys I am at debate.78
How, Belfagour and Belzabub, com up here to me!

Here aperytt to dyvllys before the mastyr.

Here, Lord, here! What wol ye?

The jugment of harlottys here to se,
Settyng in judycyal-lyke astate.
How, thow Bad Angyll! Apere before my grace.

As flat as fox, I falle before your face.

Thow theffe! Wy hast thou don alle this trespas,
To lett yen woman thi bondys breke?

The speryt of grace sore ded hyr smyth,
And temptyd so sore that ipocryte.

Ya, thys hard balys on thi bottokkys shall byte!79
In hast, on thee I wol be wreke.
Cum up, ye horsons, and skore awey the yche,80
And wyth thys panne, ye do hym pycche!
Cum off, ye harlottys, that yt wer don!

Here shall they serve all the sevyn as they do the frest.

Now have I a part of my desyere!
Goo in to this howsse, ye lordeynnys here,
And loke ye set yt on afeyere —
And that shall hem awake!

Here shall the tother deyllys sett the howse on afyere
and make a sowth, and Mari shall go to Lazar and to Martha.81

So, now have we well afrayyd these felons fals!
They be blasyd, both body and hals!
Now to hell lett us synkyn als
To ower felaws blake!

[The Castle of Magdalene]

O brother, my hartys consolacyown!
O blessyd in lyffe and solytary!
The blyssyd prophet, my confortacyown,82
He hathe made me clene and delectary,
The wyche was to synne a subjectary.
Thys kyng, Cryste, consedyryd hys creacyown;
I was drynchyn in synne deversarye,
Tyll that Lord relevyd me be hys domynacyon.
Grace to me he wold nevyr denye,
Thow I were nevyr so synful, he seyd,
O, I, synful creature, to grace I woll aplye;
The oyle of mercy hath helyd myn infyrmyté.

Now worchepyd be that hey name Jhesu,
The wyche in Latyn is callyd Savyower!
Fulfyllyng that word evyn of dewe,
To alle synfull and seke, he is sokour.

Systyr, ye be welcum onto yower towere.
Glad in hart of yower obessyawnse,
Wheyl that I leffe, I wyl serve hym wyth honour,
That ye have forsakyn synne and varyawns.

Cryst, that is the lyth and the cler daye,
He hath oncuryd the therknesse of the clowdy nyth,
Of lyth the lucens and lyth veray,83
Wos prechyng to us is a gracyows lyth,
Lord, we beseche thee as thou art most of myth,
Owt of the ded slep of therknesse defend us aye.
Gyff us grace evyr to rest in lyth,
In quyet and in pes to serve thee nyth and day.

Her shall Lazar take hys deth, thus seyyng:

A, help, help, systyrs, for charyté!
Alas, deth is sett at my hart!
A, ley on handys! Wher are ye?
A, I faltyr and falle! I wax alle onquarte.
A, I bome above! I wax alle swertt.84
A, good Jhesu, thow be my gyde.
A, no lengar now I reverte!
I yeld up the gost. I may natt abyde.

O good brother, take coumforth and myth,
And lett non hevynes in yower hart abyde.
Lett away alle this feyntnesse and fretth,
And we shal gete yow leches yower peynys to devyde.

A, I syth and sorow and sey, “Alas!”
Thys sorow is apoynt to be my confusyon.
Jentyl systyr, hye we from this place,
For the prophet to hym hatt grett delectacyon.
Good brothere, take somme confortacyon,
For we woll go to seke yower cure.

Here goth Mary and Martha, and mett with Jhesus, thus seyyng:

[Mary Maudleyn and Martha]

O, Lord Jhesu, ower melleflueus swettness,85
Thowe art grettest lord in glorie!
Lover to thee, Lord, in all lowlynesse,
Comfort thi creatur that to thee crye!86
Behold yower lover, good Lord, specyally,
How Lazare lyth seke in grett dystresse.
He is thi lover, Lord, suerly.
Onbynd hym, good Lord, of hys hevynesse!

Of all infyrmyté, ther is non to deth.
For of all peynnys that is impossyble
To undyrestond be reson; to know the werke,
The joye that is in Jherusallem hevenly,
Can nevyr be compylyd be counnyng of clerke:87
To se the joyys of the Fathyr in glory,
The joyys of the Sonne whych owth to be magnyfyed,
And of the therd person the Holy Gost truly,
And alle three but on in heven gloryfyed!
Now, women that arn in my presens here,
Of my wordys take avysement.
Go hom agen to yower brothyr Lazere —
My grace to hym shall be sent.

O, thow gloryus Lord here present,
We yeld to thee salutacyon!
In ower weyys we be expedyent.
Now, Lord, us defend from trybulacyon.

Here goth Mary and Martha homward, and Jhesus devodyt.

[Castle of Magdalene]

A, in woo I waltyr as wavys in the wynd!
Awey is went all my sokour.
A, deth, deth, thou art onkynd!
A, A, now brystyt myn hartt! This is a sharp showyr!
Farewell, my systyrs, my bodely helth.

Mortuus est.

Jhesu, my Lord, be yower sokowre,
And he mott be yower gostys welth.88

Goddys grace mott be hys governour.
In joy evyrlastyng fore to be.

Amonge alle good sowlys, send hym favour,
As thi powere ys most of dygnyté.89

Now, syn the chans is fallyn soo,
That deth hath drewyn hym don this day,
We must nedys ower devyrs doo:
To the erth to bryng hym wythowt delay.

As the use is now, and hath byn aye,
Wyth wepars to the erth yow hym bryng.
Alle this must be donne as I you saye,
Clad in blake, wythowtyn lesyng.

[Grave of Lazarus]

Gracyows ladyys of gret honour,
This pepull is com here in yower syth,
Wepyng and weylyng with gret dolour,
Because of my lordys dethe.

Here the on knyght make redy the ston, and
other bryng in the wepars, arayyd in blak.90

Now, good fryndys that here be,
Take up thys body wyth good wyll,
And ley it in hys sepoltur, semely to se.
Good Lord, hym save from alle manyr ille!

Lay him in. Here al the pepyll resort to the castell,
thus seyyng Jhesus:

Tyme is comyn of very cognysson.91
My dyssyplys, goth wyth me
For to fulfyll possybyll peticion.92
Go we together into Jude.
There Lazar, my frynd, is he.
Gow we together as chyldyurn of lyth,
And from grevos slepe, sawen heym wyll we.

Lord, it plese yower myty volunté,
Thow he slepe, he may be savyd be skyll.93

That is trew, and be possybilyté;
Therfor of my deth shew yow I wyll.
My fathyr, of nemyows charyté,
Sent me, hys son, to make redemcyon,
Wyche was conseyvyd be puer verginyté,
And so in my mother had cler incarnacyon.94
And therfore must I suffyre grevos passyon
Ondyre Pounse Pylat, wyth grett perplexité,
Betyn, bobbyd, skoernyd, crownnyd with thorne —
Alle this shall be the soferens of my deité.
I, therfor, hastely folow me now,
For Lazar is ded, verely to preve;
Wherfor I am joyfull, I sey onto yow,
That I knowlege yow therwyth, that ye may it beleve.95

Here shal Jhesus com with hys dissipulys, and on Jew tellyt Martha:

A, Martha, Martha, be full of gladnesse!
For the prophett ys comyng, I sey trewly,
With hys dyssypyllys in grett lowlynesse.
He shall yow comfortt wyth hys mercy.

Here Martha shall ronne agen Jhesus, thus seyyng:

A, Lord, me, sympyl creatur, nat denye,
Thow I be wrappyd in wrecchydnesse.
Lord, and thou haddyst byn here, verely,
My brother had natt a byn ded, I know well thysse.

Jhesus dicit

Martha, docctor, onto thee I sey,
Thy brother shall reyse agayn.

Yee, Lord, at the last day,
That I beleve ful pleyn.

I am the resurreccyon of lyfe, that evyr shall reynne,
And whoso belevyt verely in me
Shall have lyfe evyrlastyng, the soth to seyn.
Martha, belevyst thow this?

Ye, forsoth, the Prynsse of blysch!
I beleve in Cryst, the son of sapyens,
Whyche wythowt eynd ryngne shall he,
To redemyn us freell from ower iniquité.

Here Mary shall falle to Jhesus, thus seyyng Mary:

O, thou rythewys regent, reynyng in equité,96
Thou gracyows Lord, thou swete Jhesus!
And thou haddyst byn here, my brothyr alyfe had be.
Good Lord, myn hertt doth this dyscus.

Wher have ye put hym? Sey me thys.

In hys monument, Lord, is he.

To that place ye me wys.
Thatt grave I desyre to se.
Take off the ston of this monument.
The agrement of grace here shewyn I wyll.

A, Lord, yower preseptt fulfyllyd shall be.
Thys ston I remeve wyth glad chyr.
Gracyows Lord, I aske thee mercy.
Thy wyll mott be fullfyllyd here!

Here shall Martha put off the grave ston.

Now, Father, I beseche thyn hey paternyté,
That my prayour be resowndable to thi Fathyrod in glory,
To opyn theyn erys to thi Son in humanyté,
Nat only for me, but for thi pepyll verely,
That they may beleve and betake to thi mercy.
Fathyr, fore them I make supplycacyon.
Gracyows Father, graunt me my bone!
Lazer, Lazer! Com hethyr to me!

Here shall Lazar aryse, trossyd wyth towellys, in a shete.

A, my makar, my savyowr, blyssyd mott thu be!97
Here men may know thi werkys of wondyre.
Lord, nothyng is onpossybyll to thee.
For my body and my sowle was departyd asondyr.
I shuld a rottytt, as doth the tondyre,
Fleysch from the bonys a-consumyd away.
Now is aloft that late was ondyr!98
The goodnesse of God hath don for me here,
For he is bote of all balys to onbynd,
That blyssyd Lord that here ded apere.

Here all the pepull and the Jewys, Mari, and Martha, wyth
on voys sey thes wordys: “We beleve in you, Savyowr, Jhesus,
Jhesus, Jhesus!”

Of yower good hertys I have advertacyounys,
Wherethorow in sowle, holl made ye be.99
Betwyx yow and me be nevyr varyacyounys,
Wherfor I sey, “Vade in pace.”

Here devoydyt Jhesus wyth hys desypyllys. Mary and Martha
and Lazare gon hom to the castell, and here begynnyt
[Rex Marcylle] hys bost:


Avantt! Avant thee, onworthy wrecchesse!100
Why lowtt ye nat low to my lawdabyll presens,
Ye brawlyng breellys and blabyr-lyppyd bycchys,
Obedyenly to obbey me wythowt offense?
I am a sofereyn semely that ye se butt seyld,
Non swyche ondyr sonne, the sothe for to say!
Whanne I fare fresly and fers to the feld,101
My fomen fle for fer of my fray!
Even as an enperower I am onored ay,
Wanne baner gyn to blasse and bemmys gyn to blow.
Hed am I heyest of all hethennesse holld!102
Both kynggys and cayserys I woll they shall me know,
Or ellys they bey the bargayn that evyr they were so bold!
I am Kyng of Marcylle, talys to be told,
Thus I wold it were knowyn ferre and nere.
Ho sey contraly, I cast heym in carys cold,
And he shall bey the bargayn wondyr dere!
I have a favorows fode and fresse as the fakown,103
She is full fayur in hyr femynyté.
Whan I loke on this lady, I am losty as the lyon.
In my syth
Of delycyté most delycyows,
Of felachyp most felecyows,
Of alle fodys most favarows —
O, my blysse, in beuteus bryght!

O of condycyons and most onorabyll,104
Lowly I thank yow for this recummendacyon —
The bounteest and the boldest ondyr baner bryth,
No creatur so coroscant to my consolacyon.105
Whan the regent be resydent, itt is my refeccyon.
Yower dilectabyll dedys devydytt me from dyversyté.
In my person I privyde to put me from polucyon,106
To be plesant to yower person, itt is my prosperyté.

Now, godamercy, berel brytest
Godamercy, ruby, rody as the rose.
Ye be so plesaunt to my pay, ye put me from peyn.
Now, comly knygthys, loke that ye forth dresse
Both spycys and wyn here in hast!

Here shall the knygtys gete spycys and wynne, and here
shall entyr a dylle in orebyll aray, thus seyyng:


Owt, owt, harrow! I may crye and yelle,
For lost is all ower labor, wherfor I sey alas!
For of all holddys that evyr hort, non so as hell!107
Owur barrys of iron ar all to-brost, stronge gatys of brasse!
The Kyng of Joy entyryd in therat, as bryth as fyrys blase!
For fray of hys ferfull banere, ower felashep fled asondyr.
Whan he towcheyd it wyth hys toukkyng, they brast as ony glase,
And rofe asondyr, as it byn wyth thondore!108
Now ar we thrall that frest wher fre,
Be the passon of hys manhede.
On a crosce on hye hangyd was he,
Whyche hath dystroyd ower labor and alle ower dede.
He hath lytynnyd lymbo and to paradyse yede!
That wondyrfull worke werkytt us wrake:
Adam and Abram and alle hyre kynred,
Owt of ower preson to joy were they take!
All this hath byn wrowth syn Freyday at none.
Brostyn don ower gatys that hangyd were full hye!
Now is he resyn. Hys resurreccyon is don,
And is procedyd into Galelye.
Wyth many a temptacyon we tochyd hym to atrey,
To know whether he was god ore non.
Yet, for all ower besynes, bleryd is ower eye,
For wyth hys wyld werke he hath wonne hem everychon!109
Now, for the tyme to come,
Ther shall non falle to ower chanse
But at hys deleverans.
And weyyd be rythfull balans,
And yowyn be rythfull domme.110
I telle yow alle, in fine, to helle wyll I gonne!

Here shall entyr the thre Mariis, arayyd as chast women,
wyth sygnis of the passon pryntyd upon ther brest, thus
seyyng Mawdlyn:111

[Place of the Crucifixion]

Alas, alas, for that ryall bem!
A, this percytt my hartt worst of all!
For here he turnyd agen to the woman of Jerusalem,
And for wherynesse lett the crosse falle.

Thys sorow is beytterare than ony galle,
For here the Jewys spornyd hym to make hym goo,
And they dysspyttyd ther kyng ryall,
That clyvytt myn hart and makett me woo.

Yt ys intollerabyll to se or to tell,
For ony creature that stronkg tormentry.
O Lord, thou haddyst a mervelows mell!
Yt is to hedyows to dyscry.

Al the Maryys with on voyce sey this folowyng:

Heylle, gloryows crosse! Thou baryst that Lord on hye,
Whych be thi myght deddyst lowly bowe doun,112
Mannys sowle to bye from all thraldam,
That evyrmore in peyne shold a-be,113
Be record of Davyt wyth myld stevyn:
Domine, inclina celos tuos et dessende!114

Now to the monument lett us gon,
Wheras ower Lord and savyower layd was,
To anoynt hym body and bone,
To make amendys for ower trespas.

[The Sepulchre]

Ho shall putt doun the led of the monument,
Thatt we may anoytt hys gracyus woundys,
Wyth hartt and mynd to do ower intentt
With precyus bamys, this same stounddys?

Thatt blyssyd body wythin this boundys,
Here was layd wyth rufull monys.
Nevyr creature was borne upon gronddys
That myght sofere so hediows a peyne at onys.115

Here shall apere to angelys in whyte at the grave:

Ye women presentt, dredytt yow ryth nowth!
Jhesus is resun and is natt here.
Loo, here is the place that he was in browth.
Go, sey to hys dysypyllys and to Petur he shall apere.

In Galelye, wythowtyn ony wyre,
Ther shall ye se hym lyke as he sayd.
Goo yower way, and take comfortt and chyr,
For that he sayd shall natt be delayyd.

Here shall the Maryys mete with Petyr and Jhon.

O, Petyr and John, we be begylyd!
Ower Lordys body is borne away!
I am aferd itt is dyffylyd.
I am so carefull, I wott natt whatt to saye.

Of thes tydynggys gretly I dysmay!
I woll me thethere hye wyth all my myth.
Now, Lord defend us as he best may.
Of the sepulture we woll have a syth.

A, myn inward sowle stondyng in dystresse —
The weche of my body shuld have a gyde —
For my lord stondyng in hevynesse,116
Whan I remembyr hys woundys wyde.

The sorow and peyne that he ded drye
For ower offens and abomynacyon!
And also I forsoke hym in hys turmentry;
I toke no hede to hys techeyng and exortacyon.

Here Petyr and Jhon go to the sepulcur and the Maryys folowyng.

A, now I se and know the sothe!
But, gracyus Lord, be ower protexcyon!
Here is nothyng left butt a sudare cloth,
That of thi beryyng shuld make mencyon.

I am aferd of wykkytt opressyon.
Where he is becum, it can natt be devysyd.117
Butt he seyd aftyr the third day he shuld have resurrexon.
Long beforn, thys was promysyd.

Alas, I may no lengar abyde,
For dolour and dyssese that in my hartt doth dwell.

Woman, woman, wy wepest thou?
Wom sekest thou with dolare thus?

A, fayn wold I wete, and I wyst how,118
Wo hath born away my Lord Jhesus.

Hic aparuit Jhesus.

Woman, woman, wy syest thow?
Wom sekest thou? Tell me this.

A, good syr, tell me now,
Yf thou have born awey my Lord Jhesus.
For I have porposyd in eche degré,
To have hym wyth me verely,
The wyche my specyall Lord hath be,
And I hys lover and cause wyll phy.

O, O, Mari!

A, gracyus Mastyr and Lord, yow it is that I seke!
Lett me anoynt yow wyth this bamys sote.
Lord, long hast thou hyd thee from my spece,
Butt now wyll I kesse thou for my hartys bote!

Towche me natt, Mary! I ded natt asend
To my Father in deyyté and onto yowers.
Butt go sey to my brotheryn I wyll pretende
To stey to my Father in hevnly towyrs.

Whan I sye yow fyrst, Lord, verely,
I wentt ye had byn Symoud the gardenyr.

So I am for sothe, Mary.
Mannys hartt is my gardyn here.
Therin I sow sedys of vertu all the yere.
The fowle wedys and vycys I reynd up be the rote.
Whan that gardyn is watteryd wyth terys clere,
Than spryng vertuus and smelle full sote.

O thou dereworthy Emperowere, thou hye devyne!119
To me this is a joyfull tydyng,
And onto all pepull that aftyr us shall reyngne,
Thys knowlege of thi deyyté,
To all pepull that shall obteyne,
And know this be posybylyté.120

I wol show to synnars as I do to thee
Yf they woll wyth vervens of love me seke.
Be stedfast, and I shall evyr wyth thee be,
And wyth all tho that to me byn meke.

Here avoydyd Jhesus sodenly, thus seyyng Mary M:

O systyrs, thus the hey and nobyll influentt grace
Of my most blessyd Lord Jhesus, Jhesus, Jhesus!
He aperyd onto me at the sepulcur ther I was!
That hath relevyd my woo and moryd my blysche.
Itt is innumerabyll to expresse,
Or for ony tong for to tell,
Of my joye how myche itt is,
So myche my peynnys itt doth excelle!

Now less us go to the setté, to ower lady dere,
Hyr to shew of hys wellfare,
And also to dyssypyllys that we have syn here,
The more yt shall rejoyse them from care.

Now, systyr Magdleyn, wyth glad chyr.
So wold that good Lord we myth wyth hym mete!121

To shew desyrows hartys I am full nere,
Women, I apere to yow and sey “Awete!”

Now, gracyus Lord, of yowur nymyos charyté,
Wyth hombyll hartys to thi presens complayne,
Grauntt us thi blyssyng of thi hye deyté,
Gostly ower sowlys for to sosteynne.

Alle tho byn blyssyd that sore refreynne.122
We blysch yow, Father and Son and Holy Gost,
All sorow and care to constryne
Be ower power, of mytys most.
In nomine Patrys, ett Felii ett Spiritus Sancti, amen!123
Goo ye to my brethryn and sey to hem ther,
That they procede and go into Gallelye,
And ther shall they se me as I seyd before,
Bodyly, wyth here carnall yye.

Here Jhesus devoydytt agen.

O thou gloryus Lord of heven regyon,
Now blyssyd be thi hye devynyté,
Thatt evyr thow tokest incarnacyon,
Thus for to vesyte thi pore servantys thre.
Thi wyll, gracyows Lord, fulfyllyd shall be.
As thou commaundyst us in all thyng,
Ower gracyows brethryn we woll go se
Wyth hem to seyn all ower lekeyng.

Here devoyd all the thre Maryys, and the King
of Marcyll shall begynne a sacryfyce.

Now, lorddys and ladyys of grett aprise,
A mater to meve yow is in my memoryall:124
This day to do a sacryfyce,
Wyth multetude of myrth before ower goddys all,
Wyth preors in aspecyall before hys presens,
Eche creature wyth hartt demure.

To that lord curteys and kynd,
Mahond, that is so mykyll of myth,
Wyth mynstrelly and myrth in mynd,
Lett us gon ofer in that hye kyngis syth.

Here shall entyr an hethen prest and hys boye.

Now, my clerke Hawkyn, for love of me,
Loke fast myn awter wer arayd!125
Goo ryng a bell, to or thre.
Lythly, chyld, it be natt delayd,
For here shall be a grett solemnyté,
Loke, boy, thou do it wyth a brayd!

Whatt, mastyr! Woldyst thou have thi lemman to thi beddys syde?126
Thow shall abyde tyll my servyse is sayd.

Boy! I sey, be Sentt Coppyn,
No swyche wordys to thee I spake!

Wether thou ded or natt, the fryst jorny shall be myn,
For, be my feyth, thou beryst Wattys pakke!127
But, syr, my mastyr, grett Morell,
Ye have so fellyd yower bylly with growell,
That it growit grett as the dywll of hell.
Onshapli thou art to see!
Whan women comme to here thi sermon,
Pratyly wyth hem I can houkkyn,
Wyth Kyrchon and fayer Maryon,
They love me bettyr than thee,
I dare sey. And thou shulddys ryde,
Thi body is so grett and wyde,
That nevyr horse may thee abyde,
Exseptt thou breke hys bakk asoundyre!

A, thou lyyst, boy, be the dyvll of hell!
I pray god, Mahond mott thee quell.
I shall whyp thee tyll thi ars shall belle!
On thi ars com mych wondyre!

A fartt, mastyr, and kysse my grenne!
The dyvll of hell was thi emme.
Loo, mastyrs, of swyche a stokke he cam;
This kenred is asprongyn late.

Mahoundys blod, precyows knave!
Stryppys on thi ars thou shall have,
And rappys on thi pate!

Bete hym. Rex diciit:

Now, prystys and clerkys of this tempyll cler,
Yower servyse to sey, lett me se.

A, soveryn Lord, we shall don ower devyr.
Boy, a boke anon thou bryng me!
Now, boy, to my awter I wyll me dresse;
On shall my vestment and myn aray.128

Now than, the lesson I woll expresse,
Lyke as longytt for the servyse of this day:

Leccyo mahowndys viri fortissimi sarasenorum:
Glabriosum ad glumandum glumardinorum,
Gormoerdorum alocorum, stampatinantum cursorum,
Cownthtys fulcatum, congruryandum tersorum,
Mursum malgorum, mararagorum,
Skartum sialporum, fartum cardiculorum,
Slaundri stroumppum, corbolcorum,
Snyguer snagoer werwolfforum,
Standgardum lamba beffettorum,
Strowtum stardy strangolcorum,
Rygour dagour flapporum,
Castratum raty rybaldorum.

Howndys and hoggys, in heggys and hellys,
Snakys and toddys mott be yower bellys!129
Ragnell and Roffyn, and other in the wavys,
Grauntt yow grace to dye on the galows!

Now, lordys and ladyys, lesse and more,
Knele all don wyth good devocyon.
Yonge and old, rych and pore,
Do yower oferyng to Sentt Mahownde,
And ye shall have grett pardon,
That longytt to this holy place,
And receyve ye shall my benesown,
And stond in Mahowndys grace.

Rex dicitt.

Mahownd, thou art of mytys most,
In my syth a gloryus gost.
Thou comfortyst me both in contré and cost,
Wyth thi wesdom and thi wytt,
For truly, lord, in thee is my trost.
Good Lord, lett natt my sowle be lost.
All my cownsell well thou wotst,
Here in thi presens as I sett
Thys besawnt of gold, rych and rownd,
I ofer ytt for my lady and me,
That thou mayst be ower counfortys in this stownd,
Sweth Mahound, remembyr me!

Now, boy, I pray thee, lett us have a song!
Ower servyse be note, lett us syng, I say.130
Cowff up thi brest, stand natt to long.
Begynne the offyse of this day.

I home and I hast, I do that I may,131
Wyth mery tune the trebyll to syng.

Syng both.

Hold up! The dyvll mote thee afray,132
For all owt of rule thou dost me bryng!
Butt now, syr, kyng, quene, and knyth,
Be mery in hartt everychon!
For here may ye se relykys brygth —
Mahowndys own nekke bon!
And ye shall se er ever ye gon,
Whattsomever yow betyde.
And ye shall kesse all this holy bon,
Mahowndys own yeelyd!
Ye may have of this grett store —
And ye know the cause wherfor —
Ytt woll make yow blynd forevyr more,
This same holy bede.
Lorddys and ladyys, old and ynge,
Mahownd the holy and Dragon the dere,
Golyas so good to blysse may yow bryng,
Wyth Belyall, in blysse everlastyng,133
That ye may ther in joy syng,
Before that comly kyng
That is ower god in fere.


Now, ye serjauntys semly, what sey ye?
Ye be full wetty men in the law.
Of the dethe of Jhesu I woll avysyd be —
Ower soferyn Sesar the soth must nedys know.134
Thys Jhesu was a man of grett vertu,
And many wondyrs in hys tyme he wrowth.
He was put to deth be cawsys ontru,
Wheche matyr stekytt in my thowth.
And ye know well how he was to the erth browth,
Wacchyd wyth knygths of grett aray.
He is resyn agayn, as before he tawth,
And Joseph of Baramathye he hath takyn awey.135

Soferyn juge, all this is soth that ye sey,
But all this must be curyd be sotylté,
And sey how hys dysypyllys stollyn hym away —
And this shall be the answer, be the asentt of me.

So it is most lylly for to be!
Yower councell is good and commendabyll.
So wryte hym a pystyll of specyallté,
And that for us shall be most prophytabyll.

Now, masengyr, in hast hether thou com!
On masage thou must, wyth ower wrytyng,136
To the soferyn emperower of Rome.
But fryst thu shall go to Herodys the kyng,
And sey how that I send hym knowyng
Of Crystys deth, how it hath byn wrowth.
I charge thee, make no lettyng,
Tyll this lettyr to the emperower be browth!

My lord, in hast yower masage to spede
Onto that lordys of ryall renown,
Dowth ye nat, my lord, it shall be don indede.
Now hens woll I fast owt of this town!

Her goth the masengyr to Herodys.

Heyll, soferyn kyng ondyr crown!
The prynsys of the law recummende to yower heynesse,
And sendytt yow tydyngys of Crystys passon,
As in this wrytyng doth expresse.137
A, be my trowth, now am I full of blyss!
Thes be mery tydyngys that they have thus don.
Now certys I am glad of this,
For now ar we frendys that afore wher fon.
Hold a reward, masengyr, that thow were gon,138
And recummend me to my soferens grace.
Shew hym I woll be as stedfast as ston,
Fere and nere and in every place.

Here goth the masengyr to the emperower.


Heyll be yow, sofereyn, settyng in solas!
Heyll, worthy wythowtyn pere!
Heyll, goodly to grauntt all grace!139
Heyll, emperower of the world, ferr and nere!
Soferyn, and it plese yower hye empyre,
I have browth yow wrytyng of grett aprise,
Wych shall be pleseyng to yower desyre,
From Pylatt, yower hye justyce.
He sentt yow word wyth lowly intentt.
In every place he kepytt yower cummaundement,
As he is bound be hys ofyce.

A, welcum, masengyr of grett pleseauns!
Thi wrytyng anon lett me se.
My juggys, anon gyffe atendans,
To ondyrstond whatt this wrytyng may be,
Wethyr it be good are ony deversyté,
Or ellys natt for myn avayll.
Declare me this in all the hast!

Syr, the sentens we woll dyscus,
And it plese yowere hye exseleyns.
The intentt of this pystull is thus:
Pylatt recummendytt to yower presens,
And of a prophett is the sentens,140
Whos name was callyd Jhesus.
He is putt to dethe wyth vyolens,
For he chalyngyd to be kyng of Jewys.
Therfor he was crucyfyed to ded,
And syn was beryyd, as they thowth reson.141
Also, he cleymyd hymsylf son of the Godhed.
The therd nyght he was stollyn away wyth treson,142
Wyth hys desypyllys that to hym had dyleccyon;
So wyth hym away they yode.
I mervayll how they ded, wyth the bodyys corupcyon;
I trow they wer fed wyth a froward fode!143

Crafty was ther connyng, the soth for to seyn.
Thys pystyll I wyll kepe wyth me yff I can;
Also I wyll have cronekyllyd the yere and the reynne,
That nevyr shall be forgott, whoso loke theron.144
Masengyre, owt of this town wyth a rage!
Hold this gold to thi wage,
Mery for to make!

Farewell, my lord of grett renown,
For owt of town my way I take.

Her entyr Mawdleyn wyth hyr dysypyll, thus seyyng:

A, now I remembyr my lord that put was to ded
Wyth the Jewys, wythowtyn gyltt or treson.
The therd nygth he ros be the myth of hys Godhed;
Upon the Sonday had hys gloryus resurrexcyon.
And now is the tyme past of his gloryus asencyon;
He steyyd to hevyn, and ther he is kyng.
A, hys grett kendness may natt fro my mencyon.145
Of alle manyr tonggys he gaf us knowyng,
For to undyrstond every langwage.
Now have the dysyllpyllys take ther passage,
To dyvers contreys her and yondyr;
To prech and teche of hys hye damage,
Full ferr ar my brothyrn departyd asondyr.

Her shall hevyn opyn, and Jhesus shall shew.

O, the onclypsyd sonne, tempyll of Salamon!
In the mone I restyd, that nevyr chonggyd goodnesse;146
In the shep of Noee, fles of Judeon.
She was my tapyrnakyll of grett nobyllnesse;
She was the paleys of Phebus brygthnesse;
She was the vessell of puere clennesse,
Wher my Godhed gaff my manhod myth:
My blyssyd mother, of demure femynyté,
For mankynd, the feynddys defens,147
Quewne of Jherusalem, that hevnly ceté,
Empresse of hell, to make resystens.148
She is the precyus pyn, full of ensens,
The precyus synamvyr, the body thorow to seche.
She is the muske agens the hertys of vyolens,
The jentyll jelopher agens the cardyakyllys wrech.149
The goodnesse of my mothere no tong can expresse,
Nere no clerke of hyre, hyre joyys can wryth.150
Butt now of my servantt I remembyr the kendnesse;
With hevenly masage I cast me to vesyte.151
Raphaell, myn angell in my syte,
To Mary Maudleyn decende in a whyle,
Byd here passe the se be my myth,
And sey she shall converte the land of Marcyll.

O gloryus Lord, I woll resortt
To shew your servant of yower grace.
She shall labor for that londys comfortt,
From hevynesse them to porchasse.

Tunc decendet angelus.

Abasse thee noutt, Mary, in this place!
Ower lordys preceptt thou must fullfyll.
To passe the see in shortt space,
Onto the lond of Marcyll.
Kyng and quene converte shall ye,
And byn amyttyd as an holy apostylesse.152
Alle the lond shall be techyd alonly be thee,
Goddys lawys onto hem ye shall expresse.
Therfore hast yow forth wyth gladnesse,
Goddys commaunddement for to fullfylle.

He that from my person seven dewllys mad to fle,153
Be vertu of hym alle thyng was wrowth;
To seke thoys pepull I woll rydy be,
As thu hast comaunddytt, in vertu they shall be browth.
Wyth thi grace, good Lord in deité,
Now to the see I wyll me hy,
Sum sheppyng to asspy.
Now spede me, Lord, in etyrnall glory!
Now be my spede, allmyty Trenité!

Here shall entyre a shyp with a mery song.

[Jerusalem — The Coast]

Stryke! Stryke! Lett fall an ankyr to grownd.154
Her is a fayer haven to se!
Connyngly in, loke that ye sownd!155
I hope good harborow have shal wee.
Loke that we have drynke, boy thou!

I may natt for slep, I make god a vow!
Thou shall abyde ytte, and thou were my syere.156

Why, boy, we are rydy to go to dynere!
Shall we no mete have?

Natt for me, be of good chyr,
Thowe ye be forhongord tyll ye rave,
I tell yow plenly beforn!
For swyche a cramp on me sett is,
I am a poynt to fare the worse.
I ly and wryng tyll I pysse,
And am a poyntt to be forlorn!

Now, boy, whatt woll ye this seyll?157

Nothyng butt a fayer damsell!
She shold help me, I know it well,
Ar ellys I may rue the tyme that I was born!

Be my trowth, syr boye, ye shal be sped!
I wyll hyr bryng onto yower bed!
Now shall thou lern a damsell to wed —
She wyll nat kysse thee on skorn!158

Bete hym.

A skorn! No, no, I fynd it hernest!
The dewlle of hell motte the brest,
For all my corage is now cast.
Alasse, I am forlorn!

Mastyr of the shepe, a word with thee.

All redy, fayer woman! Whatt wol ye?

Of whense is thys shep? Tell ye me,
And yf ye seyle wythin a whyle.

We woll seyle this same day,
Yf the wynd be to ower pay.
This shep that I of sey,
Is of the lond of Marcyll.

Syr, may I natt wyth yow sayle?
And ye shall have for yower avayle.159

Of sheppyng ye shall natt faylle,160
For us the wynd is good and saffe.
Yondyr is the lond of Torke,
I wher full loth for to lye!
Yendyr is the lond of Satyllye —
Of this cors we thar nat abaffe.

Now shall the shepmen syng.

Stryk! Beware of sond!
Cast a led and in us gyde!
Of Marcyll this is the kynggys lond.
Go a lond, thow fayer woman, this tyde,
To the kynggys place. Yondyr may ye se.
Sett off! Sett off from lond!

All redy, mastyr, at thyn hand.

Her goth the shep owt of the place.


O Jhesu, thi mellyfluos name
Mott be worcheppyd wyth reverens!
Lord, graunt me vyctoré agens the fyndys flame,
And yn thi lawys gyf this pepyll credens.
I wyll resortt be grett convenyens;
On hys presens I wyll draw nere,
Of my Lordys lawys to shew the sentens,
Bothe of hys Godhed and of hys powere.

Here shall Mary entyr before the kyng.

Now, the hye kyng Crist, mannys redempcyon,
Mote save yow, syr kyng, regnyng in equité,
And mote gydde yow the way toward savasyon.
Jhesu, the Son of the mythty Trenité,
That was, and is, and evyr shall be,
For mannys sowle the reformacyon,
In hys name, lord, I beseche thee,
Wythin thi lond to have my mancyon.

Jhesu? Jhesu? What deylle is hym that?
I defye thee and thyn apenyon!
Thow false lordeyn, I shal fell thee flatt!
Who made thee so hardy to make swych rebon?

Syr, I com natt to thee for no decepcyon,
But that good Lord Crist hether me compassyd.
To receyve hys name, itt is yower refeccyon,
And thi forme of mysbelef be hym may be losyd.

And whatt is that lord that thow speke of her?

Id est salvator, yf thow wyll lere,
The Secunde Person, that hell ded conquare,
And the son of the Father in Trenyté.

And of whatt power is that god that ye reherse to me?

He mad hevyn and erth, lond and see,
And all this he mad of nowth.

Woman, I pray thee, answer me!
Whatt mad God at the fyrst begynnyng?
Thys processe ondyrstond wol we,161
That wold I lerne; itt is my plesyng.

Syr, I wyll declare al and sum,
What from God fryst ded procede.
He seyd, “In principio erat verbum,”
And wyth that he provyd hys grett Godhed.
He mad heven for ower spede,
Wheras he sytth in tronys hyee;
Hys mynystyrs next, as he save nede,
Hys angelus and archangyllys, all the compeny.
Upon the fryst day God mad all this,
As it was plesyng to hys intent.
On the Munday, he wold natt mys,
To make sonne, mone, and sterrys and the fyrmament,
The sonne to begynne hys cors in the oryent,
And evyr labor wythowtyn werynesse,162
And kepytt hys cours into the occedentt.
The Twysday, as I ondyrstond this,
Grett grace for us he gan to incresse.
That day he satt upon watyris,
As was lykyng to hys goodnesse,
As holy wrytt berytt wettnesse.
That tyme he made both see and lond,
All that werke of grett nobyllnesse,
As it was plesyng to hys gracyus sond.
On the Weddysday, ower lord of mythe,
Made more at hys plesyng,
Fysche in flod and fowle in flyth,
And all this was for ower hellpyng.
On the Thorsday, that nobyll kyng
Mad dyverse bestys, grett and smale.
He gaff hem erth to ther fedyng,
And bad hem cressyn be hylle and dale.
And on the Fryday, God mad man,
As it plesett hys hynesse most,
Aftyr hys own semelytude than,
And gaf hem lyfe of the Holy Gost.
On the Satyrday, as I tell can,
All hys werkys he gan to blysse.
He bad them multyply and incresse than,
As it was plesyng to hys worthynesse.
And on the Sonday, he gan rest take,
As skryptur declarytt pleyn,
That al shold reverens make163
To hyr makar that hem doth susteyn —
Upon the Sonday to leven in hys servyse,
And hym alonly, to serve I tell yow pleyn.

Herke, woman, thow hast many resonnys grett!
I thyngk onto my goddys aperteynyng they beth.164
But thou make me answer son, I shall thee frett,
And cut the tong owt of thi hed!

Syr, yf I seyd amys, I woll return agayn.165
Leve yower encomberowns of perturbacyon,
And lett me know what yower goddys byn,
And how they may save us from treubelacyon.

Hens to the tempyll that we ware,166
And ther shall thow se a solom syth.
Come on all, both lesse and more,
Thys day to se my goddys myth!

Here goth the kyng wyth all hys atendaunt to the tempyll.

Loke now, what seyyst thow be this syth?
How pleseaunttly they stond, se thow how?167
Lord, I besech thi grett myth,
Speke to this Chrisetyn that here sestt thou!
Speke, god lord, speke! Se how I do bow!
Herke, thou pryst! What menytt all this?
What? Speke, good lord, speke! What eylytt thee now?
Speke, as thow artt bote of all blysse!

Lord, he woll natt speke whyle Chriseten here is.

Syr kyng, and it plese yower gentyllnesse,
Gyff me lycens my prayors to make

Onto my God in heven blysch,
Sum merakyll to shewyn for yower sake.

Pray thi fylle tyll then knees ake!

Dominus, illuminacio mea, quem timbeo?
Dominus, protecctor vite mee, a quo trepedabo?168

Here shal the mament tremyll and quake.

Now Lord of lordys, to thi blyssyd name sanctificatt,
Most mekely my feyth I recummend.
Pott don the pryd of mamentys violatt!169
Lord, to thi lover thi goodnesse descend;
Lett natt ther pryd to thi posté pretend,170
Wheras is rehersyd thy hye name Jhesus!171
Good Lord, my preor I feythfully send;
Lord, thi rythwysnesse here dyscus!

Here shall come a clowd from heven and sett the tempyl
on a fyre, and the pryst and the clerk shall synke, and the
kyng gothe hom, thus seyyng:

A, owt! For angur I am thus deludyd!172
I wyll bewreke my cruell tene!
Alas, wythin mysylfe I am concludytt!
Thou woman, comme hether and wete whatt I mene.
My wyff and I together many yerys have byn,
And nevyr myth be conceyvyd wyth chyld.
Yf thou for this canst fynd a mene,
I wyll abey thi god and to hym be meke and myld.

Now, syr, syn thou seyst so,
To my Lord I prye wyth reythfull bone.
Beleve in hym and in no mo,
And I hope she shall be conceyvyd sone.

Avoyd, avoyd! I wax all seke!
I wyll to bed this same tyde.
I am so wexyd wyth yen suek,173
That hath nere to deth me dyth!

Here the kyng goth to bed in hast, and Mary goth in to
an old logge wythowt the gate, thus seyyng:

Now Cryst, my creatur, me conserve and kepe,
That I be natt confunddyd wyth this reddure.
For hungore and thurst to thee I wepe!
Lord, demene me wyth mesuer.
As thou savydyst Daniell from the lyounys rigur,
Be Abacuk thi masengyre, relevyd wyth sustynouns,174
Good Lord, so hellpe me and sokore,
Lord, as itt is thi hye pleseawns!


My grace shall grow and don decend
To Mary my lover, that to me doth call,
Hyr asstatt for to amend.
She shall be relevyd with sustinons corporall.
Now, awngelys, dyssend to hyr in especyall,
And lede hyr to the prynssys chambyr ryth.
Bed hyre axke of hys good be weyys pacyfycal.175
And goo yow before hyr wyth reverent lyth.

Blyssyd Lord, in thi syth
We dyssend onto Mary.

We dyssend from yower blysse bryth;
Onto yower cummaundement we aplye.

Tunc dissenditt angelus. Primus dyxit:176

Mary, ower Lord wyll comfortt yow send!
He bad, to the kyng ye shuld take the waye,
Hym to asay, yf he woll condesend,177
As he is slepyng, hem to asaye.

Byd hym releve yow, to goddys pay,178
And we shal go before yow wyth solem lyth;
In a mentyll of whyte shall be ower araye.
The dorys shall opyn agens us be ryth.

O gracyus God, now I undyrstond!
Thys clothyng of whyte is tokenyng of mekenesse.
Now gracyus Lord, I woll natt wond,
Yower preseptt to obbey wyth lowlynesse.

Here goth Mary, wyth the angelys before hyre to the kynggys
bed, wyth lythys beryng, thus seyyng Mary:179

Thow froward kyng, trobelows and wood,
That hast at thi wyll all worlddys wele,180
Departe wyth me wyth sum of thi good,
That am in hongor, threst, and cold.
God hath thee sent warnygys felle.
I rede thee, torne, and amend thi mood.181
Beware of thi lewdnesse for thi own hele,
And thow, qwen, turne from thi good.

Here Mari voydyt, and the angyll and Mary chongg hyr
clotheyng, thus seyyng the kyng:182

A, this day is com! I am mery and glad!
The son is up and shynyth bryth.
A mervelows shewyng in my slep I had,
That sore me trobelyd this same nyth:
A fayer woman I saw in my syth,
All in whyte was she cladd;
Led she was wyth an angyll bryth,
To me she spake wyth wordys sad.

I trow from good that they were sentt!
In ower hartys we may have dowte.
I wentt ower chambyr sholld a brentt,
For the lyth that ther was all abowth.
To us she spake wordys of dred,
That we shuld help them that have nede,
Wyth ower godys, so God ded byd,
I tell yow, wythowtyn dowthe.

Now, semely wyff, ye sey ryth well.
A, knyth, anon, wythowtyn delay!
Now, as thou hast byn trew as stylle,
Goo fett that woman before me this daye!

My sovereyn lord, I take the waye.
She shall com at yower pleseawns.
Yower soveryn wyll I wyll goo saye,
Itt is almesse hyr to avawns.

Thunc transit miles ad Mariam.183

Sped well, good woman! I am to thee sentt,
Yow for to speke wyth the kyng.

Gladly, syr, at hys intentt,
I comme at hys own pleseyng.

Tunc transytt Maria ad regem.184

The mythe and the powere of the heye Trenyté,
The wysdom of the Son, mott governe yow in ryth!
The Holy Gost mott wyth yow be.
What is yowre wyll? Sey me in sythe.

Thow fayer woman, itt is my delyth,
Thee to refresch is myn intentt,185
Wyth mete and mony, and clothys for the nyth,
And wyth swych grace as God hathe me lentt.

Than fullfylle ye Goddys cummaundement,
Pore folk in myschef them to susteyn.

Now, blyssyd woman, reherse here presentt,
The joyys of yower lord in heven.

A, blyssyd the ower and blyssyd be the tyme,
That to Goddys lawys ye wyll gyff credens!
To yowerselfe ye make a glad pryme
Agens the fenddys malycyows violens.
From God above comit the influens,
Be the Holy Gost into thi brest sentt down,
For to restore thi offens,
Thi sowle to bryng to evyrlastyng salvacyon.
Thy wyffe, she is grett wyth chyld!
Lyke as thou desyerst, thou hast thi bone!

A, ye! I fel ytt ster in my wombe up and down!
I am glad I have thee in presens.186
O blyssyd woman, rote of ower savacyon,
Thi God woll I worchep with dew reverens.

Now fayer woman, sey me the sentens,
I beseche thee, whatt is thi name?

Syr, agens that I make no resystens.
Mary Maudleyn, wythowtyn blame.

O blyssyd Mary, ryth well is me,
That ever I have abedyn this daye.
Now thanke I thi God, and specyally thee,
And so shall I do whyle I leve may.

Ye shall thankytt Petyr, my mastyr, wythowt delay.
He is thi frend, stedfast and cler.
To allmythy God he halp me pray,
And he shall crestyn yow from the fynddys power,
In the syth of God an hye.

Now, suerly, ye answer me to my pay.
I am ryth glad of this tyddyngys!
Butt, Mary, in all my goodys I sese yow this day,
For to byn at yower gydyng,
And them to rewlyn at yower pleseyng,
Tyll that I comme hom agayn.
I wyll axke of yow neythyr lond nore rekynyng,187
But I here delever yow powere pleyn.

Now, worshepfull lord, of a bone I yow pray,
And it be pleseyng to yower hye dygnité.

Madam, yower desyere onto me say.
What bone is that ye dysyere of me?

Now, worshepfull sovereyn, in eche degré,
That I may wyth yow goo,
A Crestyn womman made to be.188
Gracyus lord, it may be soo.

Alas, the wyttys of wommen, how they byn wylld!
And therof fallytt many a chanse.189
A, why desyer it yow, and ar wyth chyld?

A, my sovereyn, I am knett in care,
But ye consedyr now that I crave,
For all the lovys that ever ware,
Behynd yow that ye me not leve!

Wyff, syn that ye woll take this wey of pryse,
Therto can I no more seyn.
Now Jhesu be ower gyd, that is hye justyce,
And this blyssyd womman, Mary Maugleyn!

Syth ye ar consentyd to that dede,
The blyssyng of God gyff to yow wyll I.
He shall save yow from all dred,
In nomine Patrys, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.190

Ett tunc navis venit in placeam et nauta dicit:191

Loke forth, Grobbe, my knave,
And tell me what tydyngys thou have,
And yf thou aspye ony lond.

Into the shrowdys I woll me hye.
Be my fythe, a castell I aspye,
And as I ondyrstond!

Sett therwyth, yf we mown,192
For I wott itt is a havyn town
That stondyt upon a strond.

Ett tuncc transitt rex ad navem, et dicit rex:193

How, good man, of whens is that shep?
I pray thee, syr, tell thou me.

Syr, as for that, I take no kepe.
For what cause enquire ye?

For causys of nede, seyle wold we,
Ryth fayn we wold over byn.194

Yee, butt me thynkytt, so mote I thee,
So hastely to passe, yower spendyng is thyn.195
I trow, be my lyfe,
Thou hast stollyn sum mannys wyffe;
Thou woldyst ledd hyr owt of lond!196
Neveretheles, so God me save,
Lett se whatt I shall have,
Or ellys I woll nat wend!

Ten marke I wyll thee gyff,
Yf thou wylt set me up at the cleyff
In the Holy Lond.

Set off, boy, into the flod!

I shall, mastyr! The wynd is good.
Hens that we were!

Lamentando regina.

A, lady, hellp in this nede,
That in this flod we drench natt!
A, Mary, Mary, flower of wommanned!
O blyssyd lady, foryete me nowth!

A, my dere wyffe, no dred ye have,
Butt trost in Mary Maudleyn,
And she from perellys shall us save,
To God for us she woll prayyn.

A, dere hosbond, thynk on me,
And save yowersylfe as long as ye may,

For trewly itt wyll no otherwyse be,
Full sor my hart it makytt this day.197
A, the chyld that betwyx my sydys lay —
The wyche was conseyvyd on me be ryth —
Alas, that wommannys help is away!
An hevy departyng is betwyx us in syth,198
Fore now departe wee!
For defawte of wommen here in my nede,
Deth my body makyth to sprede.
Now, Mary Maudleyn, my sowle lede!
In manus tuas, Domine!

Alas, my wyff is ded!
Alas, this is a carefull chans!
So shall my chyld, I am adred,199
And for defawth of sustynons.
Good Lord, thi grace graunte to me
A chyld betwen us of increse,200
An it is motherles!
Help me my sorow for to relesse,
Yf thi wyl it be!

Benedicité, benedicité!
What wethyr may this be?
Ower mast woll all asondyr!

Mastyr, I therto ley myn ere,
It is for this ded body that we bere.
Cast hyr owt, or ellys we synke ondyr.

Make redy for to cast hyr owt.

Nay, for Goddys sake, do natt so!
And ye wyll hyr into the se cast,
Gyntyll serys, for my love do.
Yender is a roch in the west,
As ley hyr theron all above,
And my chyld hyr by.

As therto I asent well.
And she were owt of the vessell,
All we shuld stond the more in hele,201
I sey yow, verely.

Tunc remigant ad montem, et dicit rex:202

Ly here, wyff, and chyld thee by.
Blyssyd Maudleyn be hyr rede!
Wyth terys wepyng, and grett cause why,
I kysse yow both in this sted.
Now woll I pray to Mary myld
To be ther gyde here.

Tunc remigant a monte, et nauta dicit:203

Pay now, syr, and goo to lond,
For here is the portt Zaf, I ondyrstond;
Ley down my pay in my hand,
And belyve go me fro!

I graunt thee, syr, so God me save!
Lo, here is all thi connownt.
All redy thou shall it have,
And a marke more than thi graunt,
And thou, page, for thi good obedyentt;
I gyff yow besyde yower styntt,
Eche of yow a marke for yower wage!

Now he that mad bothe day and nyth,
He sped yow in yower ryth,
Well to go on yower passage!


Now all creaturs upon mold,
That byn of Crystys creacyon,
To worchep Jhesu they are behold,
Nore nevyr agens hym to make varyacyon.204

Syr, feythfully I beseche yow this daye,
Wher Petyr the apostull is, wete wold I.

Itt is I, syr, wythowt delay.
Of yower askyng tell me why.

Syr, the soth I shall yow seyn,
And tell yow myn intentt wythin a whyle.
Ther is a woman hyth Mary Maudleyn,
That hether hath laberyd me owt of Mercyll —
Onto the wyche woman I thynke no gyle —205
And this pylgramage causyd me to take —
I woll tell you more of the stylle —
For to crestyn me from wo and wrake.

O, blyssyd be the tyme that ye are falle to grace,
And ye wyll kepe yower beleve aftyr my techeyng,206
And alle-only forsake the fynd Satyrnas,
The commaundmenttys of God to have in kepyng.

Forsoth, I beleve in the Father that is of all wyldyng,
And in the son, Jhesu Cryst,
Also in the Holy Gost, hys grace to us spredyng;
I beleve in Crystys deth and hys uprysyng.

Syr, than whatt axke ye?

Holy father, baptym, for charyté,
Me to save in eche degré
From the fyndys bond.

In the name of the Trenité,
Wyth this watyr I baptysse thee,
That thou mayst strong be
Agens the fynd to stond.

Tunc aspargit illum cum aqua.207

A, holy fathyr, how my hart wyll be sor
Of cummaunddementt, and ye declare nat the sentens!208

Syr, dayly ye shall lobor more and more,
Tyll that ye have very experyens.
Wyth me shall ye dwall to have more eloquens,
And goo vesyte the stacyons by and by;
To Nazareth and Bedlem, goo wyth delygens,
And be yower own inspeccyon, yower feyth to edyfy.209

Now, holy father, dereworthy and dere,
Myn intent now know ye.
Itt is gon full to yere
That I cam to yow overe the se,
Crystys servont and yower to be,
And the lawe of hym evyr to fulfyll.
Now woll I hom into my contré.
Yower puere blyssynd graunt us tylle —210
That feythfully I crave!

Now in the name of Jhesu,
Cum Patre et Sancto Speritu
He kepe thee and save.

Et tunc rex transit ad navem et dicit:211

Hold ner, shepman, hold, hold!

Sir, yendyr is on callyd aftyr cold.

A, syr! I ken yow of old.
Be my trowth, ye be welcum to me!

Now, gentyll marranere, I thee pray,
Whatsoever that I pay,
In all the hast that ye may,
Help me over the se!

In good soth, we byn atenddawntt;
Gladly ye shall have yower graunt,
Wythowtyn ony connownt.
Comme in, in Goddys name!
Grobbe, boy, the wynd is nor-west;
Fast abowth the seyle cast!212
Rere up the seyll in all the hast,
As well as thou can!

Et tunc navis venit ad circa placeam. Rex dicit:213

Mastyr of the shyp, cast forth yower yee!
Me thynkyt the rokke I gyn to aspye!214
Gentyll mastyr, thether us gye;
I shall qwyt yower mede.

In feyth, it is the same ston
That yower wyff lyeth upon!
Ye shall be ther even anon,
Verely, indeed!

O thou myty Lord of heven region,
Yendyr is my babe of myn own nature,
Preservyd and keptt from all corrupcyon!
Blyssyd be that Lord that thee doth socure!
And my wyff lyeth here fayer and puer!
Fayere and clere is hur colour to se!
A, good Lord, yower grace wyth us indure,215
My wyvys lyfe for to illumyn.
A, blyssyd be that puer vergyn!
From grevos slepe she gynnyt revyve!216
A, the sonne of grace on us doth shynne.
Now blyssyd be God, I se my wyff alyve!

O virgo salutata, for ower savacyon!
O pulcra et casta, cum of nobyll alyauns!217
O almyty maydyn, ower sowlys confortacyon!
O demur Maudlyn, my bodyys sustynauns!
Thou hast wrappyd us in wele from all varyawns,218
And led me wyth my lord into the Holy Land.
I am baptysyd as ye are, be Maryus gyddauns,
Of Sent Petyrys holy hand.
I sye the blyssyd crosse that Cryst shed on hys precyus blod;
Hys blyssyd sepulcur also se I.
Wherfor, good hosbond, be mery in mode,
For I have gon the stacyonnys, by and by.219

I thanke it, Jhesu, with hart on hye,
Now have I my wyf and my chyld both!
I thank ytt Maudleyn and ower lady,
And ever shall do, wythowtyn othe.

Et tunc remigant a monte, et nauta dicit:220

Now are ye past all perelle;
Her is the lond of Mercylle.
Now goo a lond, syr, whan ye wyll,
I prye yow for my sake.

Godamercy, jentyll marraner!
Here is ten pounds of nobyllys cler.
And ever thi frynd both ferre and nere.221
Cryst save thee from wo and wrake!

Here goth the shep owt of the place and Maud seyth:


O dere fryndys, be in hart stabyll,
And think how dere Cryst hathe yow bowth.
Agens God be nothyng vereabyll;222
Thynk how he mad all thyng of nowth.
Thow yow in poverté sumtyme be browth,
Yitte be in charyté both nyth and day,
For they byn blyssyd that so byn sowth,223
For paupertas est donum dei.
God blyssyt alle tho that byn meke and good,
And he blyssyd all tho that wepe for synne.
They be blyssyd that the hungor and the thorsty gyff fode;224
They be blyssyd that byn mercyfull agen wrecched men;
They byn blyssyd that byn dysstroccyon of synne;
These byn callyd the chyldyren of lyfe,
Onto the wyche blysse, bryng both yow and me,
That for us dyyd on the rode tre. Amen.

Here shall the kyng and the qwuene knele doun. Rex dicit:

Heyll be thou Mary, ower Lord is wyth thee!
The helth of ower sowllys and repast contemplatyff!
Heyll, tabyrnakyll of the blysssyd Trenité!
Heyll, counfortabyll sokore for man and wyff!

Heyll, thou chosyn and chast of wommen alon!225
It passyt my wett to tell thi nobyllnesse!
Thou relevyst me and my chyld on the rokke of ston,
And also savyd us be thi hye holynessse.

Welcum hom, prynse and prynsses bothe!
Welcom hom, yong prynsse of dew and ryth!
Welcom hom to your own erytage wythowt othe,
And to alle yower pepyll present in syth!
Now are ye becum Goddys own knyght,
For sowle helth, salve ded ye seche,
In hom the Holy Gost hath take resedens,
And drevyn asyde all the desepcyon of wrech.226
And now have ye a knowlege of the sentens,
How ye shall com onto grace.
But now in yower godys agen I do yow sese;
I trost I have governyd them to yower hertys ese.
Now woll I labor forth, God to plese,
More gostly strenkth me to purchase.227

O blyssyd Mary, to comprehend
Ower swete sokor, on us have peté!

To departe from us, why should ye pretende?
O blyssyd lady, putt us natt to that poverté!228

Of yow and yowers I wyll have rememberauns,
And dayly yower bede woman for to be,229
That alle wyckydnesse from yow may have deleverans,
In quiet and rest that leve may ye.

Now thanne, yower puere blyssyng graunt us tylle.

The blyssyn of God mott yow fulfyll.
Ille vos benedicatt, qui sene fine vivit et regnat!230

Her goth Mary into the wyldyrnesse, thus seyyng Rex:

A, we may syyn and wepyn also,
That we have forgon this lady fre —
It brynggytt my hart in care and woo —
The whech ower gydde and governor should a be.

That doth perswade all my ble,
That swete sypresse that she wold so.231
In me restytt neyther game nor gle
That she wold from owere presens goo.

Now of hyr goyng I am nothyng glad.
But my londdys to gyddyn I must aplye,
Lyke as Sancte Peter me badde.
Chyrchys in cetyys I woll edyfye,
And whoso agens ower feyth woll replye,
I woll ponysch swych personnys with perplyxcyon.
Mahond and hys lawys I defye!
A, hys pryde owt of my love shall have polucyon,232
And holle onto Jhesu I me betake!

Mari in herimo.

[The Desert]

In this deserte abydyn wyll wee,
My sowle from synne for to save.
I wyll evyr abyte me wyth humelyté,
And put me in pacyens, my Lord for to love.
In charyté my werkys I wol grave,
And in abstynens, all dayys of my lyfe.
Thus my concyens of me doth crave;233
Than why shold I wyth my consyens stryffe?
And ferdarmore, I wyll leven in charyté,
At the reverens of ower blyssyd lady,
In goodnesse to be lyberall, my sowle to edyfye.
Of worldly fodys I wyll leve all refeccyon,234
Be the fode that commyt from heven on hye,
Thatt God wyll me send, be contemplatyff.235


O, the swettnesse of prayors sent onto me
Fro my wel-belovyd frynd wythowt varyouns.
With gostly fode relevyd shall she be.
Angellys, into the clowdys ye do hyr hauns,
Ther fede wyth manna to hyr systynouns.
Wyth joy of angyllys, this lett hur receyve.
Byd hur injoye wyth all hur afyawns,
For fynddys frawd shall hur non deseyve.

O thou redulent rose that of a vergyn sprong!
O thou precyus palme of vytory!
O thou osanna, angellys song!
O precyus gemme, born of ower Lady!
Lord, thi commaunddement we obeyy lowly!
To thi servant that thou hast grauntyd blysse,
We angellys all obeyyn devowtly.
We woll desend to yen wyldyrnesse.

Here shall to angyllys desend into wyldyrnesse, and
other to shall bryng an oble, opynly aperyng aloft in the
clowddys; the to benethyn shall bryng Mari, and she shall
receyve the bred, and than go agen into wyldyrnesse.236

Mari, God gretyt thee wyth hevenly influens!237
He hath sent thee grace wyth hevenly synys.
Thou shall byn onoryd wyth joye and reverens,
Inhansyd in heven above vergynnys.
Thou hast byggyd thee here among spynys;
God woll send thee fode be revelacyon.
Thou shall be receyvyd into the clowddys,
Gostly fode to reseyve to thi savacyon.

Fiat voluntas tua in heven and erth!
Now am I full of joye and blysse.
Laud and preyse to that blyssyd byrth!238
I am redy, as hys blyssyd wyll isse.

Her shall she be halsyd wyth angyllys wyth reverent song:

Asumpta est Maria in nubibus. Celi gaudent, angeli
laudantes felium Dei.

Et dicit Mari:239

O, thou Lord of lorddys, of hye domenacyon!
In heven and erth worsheppyd be thi name!
How thou devydyst me from houngure and vexacyon!
O, gloryus Lord, in thee is no frauddys nor no defame!
But I shuld serve my Lord, I were to blame,
Wych fullfyllyt me wyth so gret feliceté,
Wyth melody of angyllys shewit me gle and game,240
And have fed me wyth fode of most delycyté.

Her shall speke an holy prest in the same wyldyrnesse,
thus seyyng the prest:

[The Desert]

O Lord of lorddys! What may this be?
So gret mesteryys shewyd from heven,
Wyth grett myrth and melody,
With angellys brygth as the levyn!
Lord Jhesu, for thi namys sevynne
As graunt me grace that person to see!

Her he shal go in the wyldyrnesse and spye Mari in hyr
devocyon, thus seyyng the prest:

Heyl, creature, Crystys delecceon!
Heyl, swetter than sugur or cypresse!
Mary is thi name be angyllys relacyon;
Grett art thou wyth God for thi perfythnesse!
The joye of Jherusallem shewyd thee expresse —
The wych I nevyr save this thirty wyntyr and more —241
Wherfor I know well thou art of gret perfytnesse.
I woll pray yow hartely to shew me of yower Lord!242

Be the grace of my Lord Jhesus,
This thirty wyntyr this hath byn my selle,
And thryys on the day enhansyd thus,
Wyth more joy than ony tong can telle.
Nevyr creature cam ther I dwelle,
Tyme nor tyde, day nore nyth,
That I can wyth spece telle,
But alonly wyth goddys angyllys brygth.
But thou ar wolcum onto my syth,
If thou be of good conversacyon.
As I thynk in my delyth,
Thow sholddyst be a man of devocyon.

In Crystys law I am sacryed a pryst,
Mynystryyd be angelys at my masse.
I sakor the body of ower Lord Jhesu Cryst,
And be that holy manna, I leve in sowthfastnesse.243

Now I rejoyse of yower goodnesse,
But tyme is comme that I shall asende.

I recummend me wyth all umbylnesse;
Onto my sell I woll pretend.

Her shall the prest go to hys selle, thus seyyng Jhesus:


Now shall Mary have possesson,
Be ryth enirytawns a crown to bere.
She shall be fett to evyrlastyng savacyon,
In joye to dwell wythowtyn fere.
Now, angelys, lythly that ye were ther!
Onto the prystys sell apere this tyde.
My body in forme of bred that he bere,
Hur for to hossell, byd hym provyde.244

O blyysyd Lord, we be redy
Yower massage to do wythowtyn treson!

To hyr I wyll goo and make reportur,
How she shall com to yower habytacyon.

Here shall to angyllys go to Mary and to the prest,
thus seyyng the angellys to the prest:

Syr pryst, God cummaundytt from heven region,
Ye shall go hosyll hys servont expresse,
And we wyth yow shall take mynystracyon,
To bere lyth before Hys body of worthynesse.

Angyllys, wyth all umbyllnesse,
In a vestment I wyll me aray,
To mynystyr my Lord of gret hynesse.
Straytt therto I take the way.

In herimo.

[The Desert]

Mary, be glad, and in hart strong
To reseyve the palme of grett vytory!
This day ye shall be reseyvyd wyth angellys song!
Yower sowle shall departe from yower body.

O good Lord, I thank thee withowt veryawns!
This day I am groundyd all in goodnesse,
Wyth hart and body concludyd in substawns.
I thanke thee, Lord, with speryt of perfythnesse!

Hic aparuit angelus et presbityr cum corpus domenicum.245

Thou blyssyd woman, inure in mekenesse,
I have browth thee the bred of lyf to thi syth,
To make thee suere from all dystresse,
Thi sowle to bryng to evyrlastyng lyth.

O thou mythty Lord of hye magesté,
This celestyall bred for to determyn,
This tyme to reseyve it in me,
My sowle therwith to illumyn.

Her she reseyvyt it.

I thanke thee, Lord of ardent love!246
Now I know well I shall nat opprese.
Lord, lett me se thi joyys above!
I recummend my sowle onto thi blysse.
Lord, opyn thi blyssyd gatys!
Thys erth at this tyme fervenly I kysse!
In manus tuas, Domine.
Lord, wyth thi grace me wysse.
Commendo spiritum meum. Redemisti me,
Dominus Deus veritatis.247

Now reseyve we this sowle, as reson is,
In heven to dwelle us among.

Wythowtyn end to be in blysse,
Now lett us syng a mery song!

Gaudent in celis.

O good God, grett is thi grace!
O Jhesu, Jhesu, blessyd be thi name!
A, Mary, Mary, mych is thi solas,
In heven blysse with glé and game.
Thi body wyl I cure from alle manyr blame,248
And I wyll passe to the bosshop of the seté,
Thys body of Mary to berye be name,
Wyth all reverens and solemnyté.

Sufferens, of this processe, thus enddyt the sentens249
That we have playyd in yower syth.
Allemythty God, most of magnyfycens,
Mote bryng yow to hys blysse so brygth,
In presens of that kyng.
Now, frendys, thus endyt thys matere,
To blysse bryng tho that byn here.
Now, clerkys, wyth voycys cler,
Te Deum laudamus” lett us syng.

Explicit oreginale de Sancta Maria Magdalena.250

Yff ony thyng amysse be,
Blame connyng, and nat me.
I desyer the redars to be my frynd,
Yff ther be ony amysse, that to amend.251

Emperor; silence; under penalty of loss; (see note); (t-note)
audience; (t-note)
chief ruler
whose; equal
whose; mighty; (see note)
royal highest in

will; (t-note)

opposed by; by foe
endure; pleasure
kindness comes

As; will; seat

much grace emanates; (see note)

your; Belial; (see note)
Great; begin to acquire; (t-note)
wrapped; woe; (t-note)
command you; (see note)
peaceful; (t-note)
gods; (t-note)
Isolate those scoundrels
such; (t-note)


regions; due


such; reprove them; (t-note)

delay; doubt

one shout

once; (see note)

disobedient; (t-note)
(see note)


brave; (see note); (t-note)
barons; knights; are
Young women; house; attractive; see; (see note)
at once; orders to obey; (t-note)
Deemed comely among
cliffs; (see note)
Whoso; suffering; them
bind such wretches; (t-note)
surrounding lands
Who dares act against me
Bethany is at my bidding

very; (t-note)
more attractive
Two; daughters; very; countenance
sight and; delight
regard (sight)
very fair; (see note) (see note); (t-note)
completely beautiful and delightful; (t-note)
virtues; kindness; (see note)

only; and; (see note)
lie; (see note)

For; shown; (t-note)
livelihood; (see note)
keep; hardship
may it be

[fol. 97r]; peace; (see note); (t-note)
sweeter; by nature
impoverishment; (see note)


father of great social stature you are good
Thus to part with
lowly estate
To spare us worldly distress
examples; great
benevolently; keep us; (see note)
High; may you be advanced; (see note)

pass from here (die); (t-note)
to the fullness of my abilities; (see note); (t-note)
to elevate to prosperity; (see note)
(see note)

scribe; judges; realm
distant region
(see note)
(see note)
heed that my orders be in writing; (see note) (see note)
that harm will come to them; (see note); (t-note)
against; gods; speaks ill
realm; (t-note)
crown; right
(see note)
muttering; evil intent


as your payment
(see note); (t-note)

errand; readily; (see note)

neither; night

Curse on you, silence at once; (see note)
angering me
hurl off; heads
noble; (see note)
down; scoundrels; (t-note)
Take off; hoods
bare headed; Who

into a miserable condition
Who; devises
feared; (see note)
(see note)

are; control; (t-note)
equal; except for; (t-note)
whom I serve as provost; (see note)
philosophers about; reign

say; (t-note)

please; (see note)

Judea held
scripture; gives; (see note)
truly report; (see note)
continue in
shall glorify him

mighty duke [who] shall rise


[fol. 99r]; completely grieved; (t-note)
flaying whips; command; feast; (see note)

(see note); (t-note)
caught; surely; him; flay

First Soldier; dismay; not at all
fools; lacking; (see note); (t-note)
soon; caught
They cannot withstand us


spirits indeed; (see note)
Although; fools oppose me; (t-note)
allow no one; from that lineage; (see note)


generous prince; (see note)
worthy to extol

righteous ruler; kingdom
chief of chivalry; (see note); (t-note)
desires; beseeches; in every way

He may be sure; hesitate; (see note)
to fulfill; (t-note)
pierce bare flesh; (t-note)
kingdom; (t-note)

escape; (t-note)

in haste; (t-note)
bear; sight

[fol. 100r]; quickly; (t-note)

reign; robes; (t-note)
Recognized; near
As judge
do no damage to existing law; (see note); (t-note)
if you do; (t-note)
torn to pieces; (t-note)
procurator and ruler; (see note); (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)

attractive; say you; (t-note)

So that; concern

First Sergeant
If [there be] any such

Second Sergeant; give them
feared by high and low


present one; peer of princes

emperor; writing here
beseeches; since you are his loyal subject; (see note)
strengthening; plain
Since; seat

Mars so mighty; (see note)
strengthen; can do
I am happy for; well-being

largesse (generosity)
gift; quality

exits; dies; (see note)

grant me my reward
troubled (pained in)
quickly; (see note)
tears my ribs
stroke; heavier
at this time
I shall not remain long in this world
bless; May God be

exits; (see note)

sorrowfully; put in distress
weakness; deadly attack; (t-note)

do attack me
[may I] withstand

most wise; (see note)
[May] he be your soul’s succor
necessary to appeal
That he may bring us out of our sadness; (t-note)

restrain (keep)

[fol. 101v]
no longer; endure; (t-note)
grievous pains; nearly

desert (reward)
protect; sorrowful

fulfill; (t-note)
ours; income; (see note)


(see note)
and a

wrought (made); (t-note)
principal supporter; (see note)
Next to heaven; sought
For that I call scripture as my witness
greatest in
someone’s foe; who; thrive; (see note)
center; (see note)
is fixed; metals; (see note)
planets; securely knit
sun; says; (t-note)
moon; (t-note)
Iron; Mars
fugitive (unstable)
Copper; mirror (image)
breakable tin; Jupiter
And to; rancor
lead; purity
treasure; endure
princes; bounty (generosity); (see note)
approximate my


(see note)


(t-note); (see note)

By means of delicious luxuries; (see note)
royal; bowers
Nor has [one]; delight; pleasure
(see note)


could wish for greater mirth and sport

knight; as reason would have it
another good one to speak of
cannot be found anywhere

Lechery; prince; love; (see note)
remain; gladly would I agree; (see note)
show; gentility

beauteous young woman; (see note)
lust (desire) to embrace you right now; (see note)


Devil; peerless; dressed up; (see note) (see note); (t-note)
fitted out; time; (see note)
sit; pleasure
in my royal retinue; (t-note)
(see note)
besiege; obedience
time; what I can; (t-note)
(see note)

snares (traps); were never; (see note)
plan to besiege them by every means

So that; control
[And thus] I will capture him
stout (strong)
run together
(see note)

wiles; win her over; (see note)

subtlety cause her to sin

cause her some harm

abundantly worthy
take counsel
(see note)
(see note)

advance (promote) you

(see note); (t-note)
were on your way
At this time; (t-note)


deliver; cheer (disposition); (t-note)
Very soon; before you

by pleasure
by highway and forest
for the greatest profit; (t-note)

[fol. 104r]; were there; (t-note)

Sensuality; (see note)


very pleased [that]
to plan; (see note)
tell your device (plan); (see note)

that you are seated; (see note)
daughter; maiden
bears the prize; (t-note)

remains virtuous
be able; (see note)
Unless; (t-note)

attend upon her; (t-note)

(see note)

obey; in every way
Straightaway there; go

An evil spirit; (see note)
Her; everywhere
(see note)

do you know
Do you not hear


hurry in order to torment her; (see note)
ask you openly

besiege; (t-note); (see note)

kindred; (see note) (see note)
brilliant; (see note)


(see note); (t-note)
since; desire [it]; every way
pleasure; (t-note)

[fol. 105r]; say to me

becomes deadened

abuses; breed; unease; (see note)

(see note); (t-note)

Truly; presence
healer of my heart
if; pleasure; (see note)
truly; (see note)
commend; (t-note)

harm; (see note)


(see note)
wines; in great abundance
take the prize
Who are; city
(see note)
white; clear; (t-note)



help yourself; (see note)
Let’s go closer; taste
comfort your spirits

cordial; (see note)
is spent wastefully
cares and burdens; relieve

Certainly; the truth; man
courteous; (see note)

young man of fashion; (t-note)

lively; (see note)

Do you suppose; sirs; (see note); (t-note)
newly arrived in
(see note); (t-note)
(see note)
silken sash; faithful

away from her; sigh
(see note)
[I wear] a waistcoat; summer; (t-note)

before evening; look young; (see note)
(see note)
elegant; amorous in my desires
live; (see note)

pleasures; at this time; (t-note)

if; have
stay (remain)

Curiosity (the gallant); (see note)

are; [who] desire

duchess; daisy; (see note) (see note); (t-note)
Bright; complexion; (see note)
sovereign disposition; sincerity

else; smitten (struck); pains

think; loose woman; (see note)

Why do you; suddenly

restrain myself; lily; (see note)

(see note)

spirit; peer
(see note)
dance; (see note)

I will follow close behind you
times possesses; (see note)

you are grieved by other things; (see note)
Fill a cup; let’s see (we’ll have); (t-note)
Sops; (see note); (t-note)

begins; (t-note)

[fol. 107r]; counsel (advice)


Even; (see note)
Though; end
wend (go)


grisly snares; (see note)
laudable; (see note)
worthy of praise
boons (requests)

tremble; news; (see note)
ever; guide
Because of; (see note)

King of Devils; two; (see note)
home; go

[fol. 107v]


garden (arbor)

(see note) (see note)
lover dear; (see note)
(see note)
marvel greatly
(see note)
Among; balms of price
accustomed to embrace

(see note)

completely I intend to keep; (see note)
(see note)
prepared a sumptuous dinner
best friends; cheer
city; appear (go); (see note)
guests; preparations; (see note)
draws near

make the acquaintance
prophet (Christ); perfection; (see note)
purveyance (the dinner)

Runs (circulates); (t-note)

righteousness; pure

(see note)

(see note)
bitterly; bought; (t-note)
inconstant (variable); (see note); (t-note)

very pleasurable; (t-note)
Salve (salvation); sought; (see note)
abandon; actions
because of
lie; fire; (t-note)
(see note)
end in anger and ire
pure; (t-note)
spirit; guide; (see note)

(see note)
(see note)
grieved by works; (see note)

who; remove
who; spiritual guide
pursue; wherever
By; oil; relieve; (see note)
seek; time

disciples; (t-note)

(see note)
kindly; gracious
If it be to your high presence’s liking

peace; unity
where; begins to grow
charity shall remain; (t-note)
beams; enlightening


most pleasing

come to the table; (t-note)

eternally damned

especially; (see note)
according to the wishes of


repast (meal); (see note); (t-note)
earnestly; (see note)

If; will hear you
Speak what you like

(see note)
Who; two debtors; surely; (t-note)

ever; debt; endure

fifty; as it happened
could not; recover

address this problem
two; indebted; (t-note)

may it please; (t-note)
(see note)

You have judged rightly
question; have judged (deemed); (t-note)
two; debtors of whom I speak
in every way; (t-note)
tears; bitter
serves me
them; ointments, humbly
her hair; bright
since; entered
did not offer; (see note)
ought not; (see note); (t-note)
forgive; (t-note)

(see note)
birth; pure virgin

(see note)
clothe myself; humility; (see note)
oppose; (t-note)

[fol. 110v]; contrition; (t-note)
strength (might); (see note)
(see note)
(see note); (t-note)
faith; saved; bright
Go in peace; (see note)

depart; (see note)

(see note); (t-note)
because; despair; (see note); (t-note)
Unless; (t-note)
thoughts; doubt
trust; Isaiah; (see note)
Whose; circulates widely

those who; times; (see note)
see; on faith
made recompense; (t-note)

afterwards; partner

Good Angel; (see note); (t-note)
divine; include; (t-note)
sapience (wisdom); (t-note)
pure pity (mercy)
spiritual manifestation
ignorance; divinity

True Light; brilliance
spirit; seduced (led astray); (see note)
Bounteous Spirit; kind
trinity; one; eternal
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)

(see note); (see note)
haste; (t-note)
(see note)
(see note)

appear two devils; (t-note)

Second Devil; What do you want

Third Devil; (see note); (t-note)
As I sit in my judicial position; (t-note)

Evil Spirit; (see note)

First Devil; (see note); (t-note)
allow that; bonds

struck her heavily
greatly; hypocrite

(see note)
avenged; (t-note)
(see note)
pan; darken him with pitch; (see note); (t-note)
were done; (see note)

first; (t-note)

(see note); (t-note)
on fire

(see note)

frightened; (t-note)
burned; neck
fellows (companions)

(see note)

pure; delectable; (see note)
Who had been a slave to sin
considered (remembered)
drowning in many sins; (t-note)
relieved; power

Though; extremely; “Turn back”; (see note)
dedicate myself
healed; infirmity (sickness)

(see note)
just as deserved; (see note)
sick; remedy; (see note)

[fol. 112v]
[I am] glad; for; respect; (see note)
While; live
For (Because); instability

light; clear; (see note); (t-note)
uncovered; darkness

darkness protect us always; (see note)

(see note)
lay your hands on me
become totally uneasy

I can no more revive myself; (see note)
give up; spirit; (see note)

[fol. 113r]; be strong
Let pass; fretting
doctors; destroy; (see note); (t-note)

appointed; ruin
let us go quickly
takes great pleasure in him; (t-note)


(see note)

(see note)

Release him; from

(see note)
(see note)
(see note)

who are

give; greetings
In our woes we have great need; (see note); (t-note)
protect; tribulation


am tossed like waves
Gone; help

breaks; pain; (see note)
[and] my bodily

He dies; (t-note)


[fol. 114r]

because; circumstance has thus fallen
drawn him down; (see note); (t-note)
do our duty; (see note)
him (his body)

custom; always; (see note)
weepers (mourners)
as I tell you; (t-note)
black; truly

wailing; sadness


sepulchre; reverently
every kind of harm

return; (t-note)

(see note); (t-note)

Judea; (see note)
(see note)
children; light; (t-note)
save; (see note)

Disciple; [if] it please; powerful intent; (t-note)
(see note)

it is possible; (see note)

boundless; (see note)

Who; conceived; by pure

Under Pontius Pilate; distress
mocked; scorned
suffering; divinity
(see note); (t-note)
(see note)

one; (see note); (t-note)


run toward

do not deny me; (see note)
if you had been
this; (t-note)

Jesus says


I clearly believe that

whoever believes

sapience (wisdom); (see note)
Who shall reign without end
frail ones; our; (t-note)


[fol. 115v]; (see note); (t-note)

If; would be alive; (t-note)
ponder; (see note); (t-note)


direct me; (see note); (t-note)

covenant; will I show

your order
remove; (t-note)

May thy will


your high; (see note)
may resound; Fatherhood; (t-note)
your ears

commend themselves

boon (request); (t-note)

may you be; (see note)
wondrous works; (t-note)
impossible; (t-note)


enacted this
remedy; suffering
did appear

(see note)

evidence; (see note); (t-note)
Between; divergence; (see note)
Go in peace
(see note)

(see note)

[fol. 116v]; King of Marseilles; (see note)
bow; praiseworthy
rascals; thick-lipped scoundrels; (see note)
[Thus] obediently; (t-note)
seldom see; (see note)

foes; fear; attack
ever honored
(see note)

pay the price; (t-note)

Whoever speaks contrarily
(see note)

look upon; lusty; (t-note)
sight [she is]
delight; delightful
companionship; happy; (see note)
young ladies; pleasing
beauteous brightness; (t-note)

[fol. 117r]; Queen; (see note)
most bountiful
(see note)
refreshment (nourishment)

(see note)

King; thank you; beryl brightest; (see note)
ruddy; (t-note)
to my liking; keep me; (t-note)
see to it; arrange; (see note)

(see note)
devil horribly attired; (t-note)

Devil; (see note); (t-note)

bars; broken up; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)

slaves; once were free
Because of; human nature; (t-note)
destroyed; deeds
lightened; is gone to
does us harm
Abraham; their kindred
done; noon; (t-note)
He is gone
tried to test him; (t-note)
or not
busyness (labor); bleared; (t-note)
in times to come
to our fortunes
Except by his (Christ’s) judgment; (see note)

in conclusion; (t-note)

(see note)

beam (cross)
(see note)
because of weariness

more bitter; (t-note)
kicked; (see note); (t-note)
scorned; royal
rends; sorrowful

forceful torment
horrible struggle; (see note); (t-note)
too hideous to tell; (t-note)

one; (t-note)

bore (carried); (see note)

redeem; slavery; (t-note)
David; voice

[fol. 118v]; (t-note)

Who; remove; lid; (t-note)
anoint; (see note)
at this time

space; (t-note)
rueful moans

appear two; (t-note)

Angel; fear; (see note); (t-note)
into which he was brought

doubt; (see note)
just as


[fol. 119r]; are beguiled (deceived)

afraid; defiled
full of care

will hurry there
protect us as only he can; (see note)
sepulcher; sight


torment; (see note)
paid no attention


truth; (t-note)

winding sheet; (see note)
burying gives evidence

wicked (evil)
(see note)
ago; (t-note)

longer endure
distress; (t-note)

why do you weep
Whom; dolor (grief); (t-note)

Who; carried

Here Jesus appears; (see note); (t-note)

why do you sigh; (see note)

resolved in every way
Who; has been
I [am]; trust; (see note); (t-note)

hidden; speech
kiss; remedy

have not ascended; (see note)
ascend; (t-note)

saw; (t-note)
thought; gardener; (see note); (t-note)

(see note)
weeds; tear; root; (t-note)

very sweet smells; (see note)

(see note); (t-note)


(see note)

fervor; (see note)



flowing; (t-note)
(see note)
appeared; where
relieved; increased; (see note)
too great; (see note); (t-note)

pains; exceed

city; (see note)
make known
what; seen

desirous; very
Hail; (see note); (t-note)

beyond measure; (see note)
[We who] with

Spiritually; sustain; (see note)

constrain (control)
greatest in might
(see note)

their physical eye; (see note)




speak of; liking (pleasure)

King; worth; (see note); (t-note)
great mirth
special prayers
demure (sober)

[fol. 121v]; Queen; courteous; (t-note)
great; (see note)
go offer; sight


Priest; (see note)

two or three
Quickly; delayed

in haste; (see note)

Clerk; (t-note)
wait; divine office

by; (see note)

first undertaking; (see note); (t-note)
(see note)
(see note)
filled; belly; gruel
grows; devil; (see note)
Ill-shapen; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
Cunningly; hook (fornicate); (see note)
(see note)
if you should ride; (see note)

no horse can abide (carry) you
Unless; back asunder

may kill you; (see note)
whip; until; ass; swell; (see note)
many wonders; (t-note)

groin; (see note)
stock (lineage); (see note)
kindred is lately sprung (risen up); (t-note)

blows; head

The king says; (t-note)

pure; (t-note)
say; (see note)

do our duty

Such as belongs to

(see note); (t-note)
(see note)


Hounds; hogs; hedges; hells; (see note)

waves; (see note)

Make; Saint


The king says; (t-note)

greatest in power
sight; spirit
country; coast
wisdom; (see note); (t-note)

you well know
set; (t-note)
coin; (see note)

at this time; (t-note)

Clear your throat; too
office (service)

treble; (see note)

They both sing; (t-note)

knight; (t-note)
bright relics; (see note)
neck bone
before you go; (t-note)
Whatever happens to you
kiss; (t-note)
If you would know the reason why; (t-note)

prayer; (see note); (t-note)
(see note) ; (t-note)

(see note)

in common; (t-note)

will be advised

miracles; worked
for reasons untrue; (see note)
sticks; thought
Guarded by; armaments
he previously taught
(see note); (t-note)

taken care of by cunning; (see note)
[we must] say; have stolen

special epistle (letter)
(see note)


brought about

[fol. 124v]; Pilate’s messenger; (t-note)
hence will I [go]

(see note)

commend themselves
passion; (t-note)

friends; before; foes


Far and near; (t-note)


and [if] it; imperial majesty
worth; (t-note)

(see note)
office (position); (t-note)

at once
give [your] attention

or anything malicious; (see note)
profit; (t-note)

meaning; (t-note)
commends himself

claimed; (t-note)

third; (see note)
(see note); (t-note)

(see note)


Have; for


(see note)

death; (see note); (t-note)
By; guilt
third; arose

rose up
(see note)
many languages; knowledge; (t-note)

their journeys; (t-note)
countries here
injury (the Passion)
Very far; separated; (t-note)

appear; (see note); (t-note)

un-eclipsed sun; (see note)

ship; Noah, fleece; Gideon; (t-note)
tabernacle; (see note)
palace; Phoebus’; (t-note)

gave; manhood might
(see note)

city; (t-note)
(see note)
pine; incense; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)

(see note)
sight; (see note); (t-note)
Bid her cross the sea by my power; (see note)

proceed; (see note)
deliver them from sadness

Then the angel will descend; (t-note)

Fear not; (see note); (t-note)
precept (command)
cross; time

(see note)
taught solely by


[fol. 127r]; (see note)
those; ready; (t-note)

sea; hie (go quickly); (see note)
Some ship; see

(see note)

Shepman; (see note); (t-note)
Here; port
(see note)
See to it

(see note)


[fol. 127v]; (t-note)
made very hungry; rave; (t-note)
I told you plainly before
has come upon me
likely to; (see note)
twist and turn; (t-note)
about; destroyed; (t-note)

(see note)

(see note)

Or else; regret; (see note)

helped; (see note)

(see note)


In jest; earnest
May the devil of hell break you
vigor; overthrown; (see note)


[fol. 128r]

From where
sail; soon

advantage; (t-note)
of which I speak; (t-note)

(see note)

Turkey; (t-note)
would be; tell a lie
Antalya (southern Turkey); (t-note)
From; course; need not go back

Lower the sails; land; (t-note)
Take a sounding; guide



[fol. 128v]

sweetly flowing; (see note)
May it be
fiend’s; (t-note)
give; people credence (belief)
proceed expeditiously; (see note)
Onto his (the king’s)
meaning; (t-note)
(see note)

May; justice
guide; salvation; (t-note)

soul [is]; (see note)


[fol. 129r]; What the devil is he?
wretch; knock you down
daring; answer; (see note)

hither; directed; (see note)
by; undone; (see note); (t-note)

It is the Savior; learn
who; conquer


from nought (nothing); (t-note)

pleasure; (t-note)

[fol. 129v]
first did
In the beginning was the Word; (see note)
our help
Where he sits on high thrones
as he saw the need


stars; (t-note)
sun; course; east; (see note)

keep; west

the waters
bears witness; (see note)

intention; (t-note)

Fish; birds; flight; (see note)

gave; to feed them
to increase

pleased; highness
similitude (likeness)
gave; through the


he rested

their maker; sustains them
serve him alone; clearly

great words; (see note); (t-note)

Unless; soon; harm
(see note)

[fol. 130v]; (see note); (t-note)
burdens of worry

(see note)
solemn sight
(see note)

attendants; (see note)


Christian; you see here; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
priest; means

if it

heaven’s bliss; (t-note)

your; ache; (t-note)


idol; tremble

sanctified; (see note)
meekly; commit
(see note)
send down

prayer; (t-note)
righteousness; demonstrate; (see note)

(see note); (t-note)

revenge; misfortune
have made up my mind; (see note)


pray; worthy boon (request)
no others

Go away; sick; (see note); (t-note)
[go] to; right now
nearly brought me to death; (t-note)

(see note)
lodging outside

defeated; harshness; (see note)
Because of
treat; measure (moderation); (see note)
lion’s severity; (see note)

high pleasure

(see note)
estate (condition); (t-note)
bodily sustenance
especially; (see note); (t-note)
lead her directly
(see note)

First Angel

Second Angel; bright
comply; (see note)

(see note)
While; to test them

mantle; white; array; (see note)
doors; toward; right

token (sign)
hesitate; (see note)


hostile; troublous and mad; (see note) (see note)

Distribute to; some; riches
Who is; thirst; (see note); (t-note)
ignorance; spiritual health
queen; your possessions

(see note(t-note)

showing (vision); (t-note)
greatly troubled me; night

by a bright angel

Queen; believe; (see note); (t-note)
fear; (t-note)
thought; should have burned
Because of
spoke; authority; (see note)

goods; as; did bid
doubt; (t-note)

speak very

declare [to her]
alms; advance (assist)


May you prosper
[in order] for you; (t-note)

(see note)
may (they); right
Tell me now; (see note); (t-note)


lent me; (t-note)

(see note)
misfortune; (t-note)


give credence
beginning; (see note)
fiend's malicious; (t-note)
comes; spiritual power
atone for

Just as; desire; request

feel; stir

root; (see note)

tell me


lived until


(see note)

christen; fiend's
sight; (t-note)

surely; liking

with all; endow; (see note)
under your control

(see note)
deliver; full

request; (see note)
If it be

desire; (t-note)

in every way; (see note)

may it be so

wits; wild; (see note)
(see note)
since you are

knit (bound up)
Unless; what I now
loves; were
Don't leave me behind; (t-note)

since; special voyage; (see note)

Since; deed

(see note)


tidings (information)
see; (t-note)

ship’s rigging; go quickly

haven (harbor)
shore; (t-note)

[fol. 135r]; from where does that ship come


need sail

stolen; (see note)
Let [me] see; (t-note)
else; go; (t-note)

marks (in currency); (see note)
deliver; cliff; (t-note)


That we were hence (let’s go); (t-note)

The queen lamenting

distress; (see note)
womanhood; (see note)
do not forget me

[fol. 135v]; do not fear; (t-note)

while you can

lies between my sides
Which; by right
woman’s; not here

Because of default (lack)
spreads throughout
Into your hands, Lord; (see note)

sorrowful chance (fortune)

lack of nourishment

release; (t-note)

Bless us
weather; (see note)
Our mast will break asunder; (t-note)

bet my ear; (t-note)
because of

If; sea
do [otherwise]; (see note)
Yonder; rock; (see note)
upon it
beside her; (t-note)




great reason for it

their guide; (t-note)


[fol. 136v]
Jaffa; (see note)

quickly go from me; (t-note)

covenant (agreed sum); (see note) (see note)
mark (in currency); what is due; (see note)
in addition to your allotted income; (see note)

[May] he help

beholden (obliged)


truth; (t-note)

hither; brought; (t-note)

pilgrimage; (see note)
circumstances; (t-note)
christen; woe; harm

fallen (come); (t-note)

completely; fiend Satanas; (t-note)


Christ’s; Resurrection

ask; (see note)

in every way
bondage; (t-note)


[fol. 137v]; (see note)

daily; labor; (see note)
Until; true experience
dwell; (see note); (t-note)
visit; holy places; (see note); (t-note)
Bethlehem; diligently

precious; dear

two years; (see note)

servant; yours
always; (t-note)
will I [go]; country


With the Father and the Holy Spirit

Come near

yonder; one [who]; (see note)

know; from earlier times
By; (t-note)

[fol. 138r]; mariner
Whatever the payment
sea; (t-note)

Truly; on duty
any covenant; (see note); (t-note)
(see note)


eye (i.e., look out there)

guide us thither
pay; reward; (t-note)

stone; (t-note)
On which your wife lay
at once


succors (aids) you; (t-note)
clear; see
(see note)
virgin; (see note)

shine; (t-note)

almighty; consolation
modest; body’s sustenance
Mary’s guidance; (see note)
saw; on which; (t-note)

mood; (t-note)
(see note)


for it


[fol. 139r]; peril

pray (ask); (t-note)

gentle mariner
nobles (a currency); (see note)
harm; (t-note)

(see note)
bought (redeemed); (t-note)

from nothing; (t-note)
brought; (see note)
Yet; (t-note)
(see note)
poverty is God’s gift; (see note); (t-note)

toward; (t-note)
destruction of sin; (t-note)

died; cross; (t-note)


(see note); (t-note)

surpasses my wit; (t-note)
saved; (t-note)

rightful prince
heritage by natural right; (t-note)
(see note)
you have become
remedy did you seek; (see note)
whom; residence; (see note)
(see note)
substantial knowledge; (t-note)

goods again; endow; (see note)
trust; ease; (t-note)

(see note)

accomplish; (see note)
succor; pity

part; venture

(see note); (t-note)


to us

May the blessing

(see note); (t-note)

sigh; weep
Because; lost; excellent

Who; guide

(see note)
remains; play; joy

rule; apply [myself]; (see note)
cities; edify (build)
whoever; complain
punish; distress; (see note); (t-note)

wholly; betake myself

Mary in the desert

remain; (see note) (see note)

always clothe myself; (see note)
patience; (t-note)

Then; strive (contend); (see note)
furthermore; live; (t-note)

generous; strengthen

(see note)
From; friend; variance (change)
spiritual; relieved
cause her to be raised up; (see note)
feed; sustenance; (see note)
enable her to
Bid; enjoy; faith in us; (see note)
fiend’s fraud shall not deceive her; (see note)

fragrant; (see note); (t-note)
from; (t-note)
humbly; (t-note)
to whom you
descend; yon(der)

(see note)

(see note)
honored; (t-note)
Raised up; virgins; (see note)
settled; thorns; (see note)

Spiritual food; for

Your will be done; (see note)

according to; (see note)

(see note); (t-note)

(see note)

separated; hunger
fraud; dishonor; (t-note)
Who so fills; felicity


(see note(t-note)


bright; lightening
seven names; (see note)


beloved; (see note)
sweeter; cyperus; (see note)
because of your perfection
(see note)


cell; (see note)
thrice each day raised up

At no time; nor
With whom I can speak
welcome; sight
manner of living
must be

ordained priest; (see note)
Served; (t-note)

time; ascend; (see note)

commend myself; humility
cell; go

possession; (t-note)
By true inheritance; bear; (see note); (t-note)
fetched (brought); (t-note)
equal; (t-note)
quickly; (t-note)
at this time

deliver; betrayal

dwelling place


housel; with haste

array myself; (see note)
Straight; (t-note)

In the desert

receive; victory; (see note)

steadfastly; (see note); (t-note)
essentially brought to an end
spirit of perfection

practiced; (see note); (t-note)
brought; sight
sure (secure)

(see note) (see note)


be overwhelmed; (see note)

commend; (t-note)
Into your hands, Lord; (see note)
direct; (see note)


as is right; (t-note)

They rejoice in heaven; (t-note)

much (great); solace

go; bishop; city
bury; (see note)

(see note); (see note); (t-note)

May [he]

those; are
We praise you, God; (see note)

(see note)

amiss; (see note)
desire; readers; friend

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