6. Pharaoh

Play 6, PHARAOH: FOOTNOTES


1 Here begins Pharaoh

2 Peace! On pain of punishment, let no man pass

3 And submit your life and body to my desire

4 And since then they have always continued to increase [in population]

5 Lines 49–50: They will confound you completely / unless they soon cease first [to multiply]

6 Then Moses enters with a staff in his hand, etc.

7 Here he hastens to the bush, and God speaks to him, etc.

8 Lines 351–53: And I think it is much more of a marvel / that during these three days there has been / such darkness that nobody can see anyone else

9 Lines 364–65: Perchance we shall capture them, / and hinder (or destroy) them before tomorrow at noon

10 Here shall they pass through the sea

11 Then the sea shall drown them

12 Here ends Pharaoh.


Play 6, PHARAOH: EXPLANATORY NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: Chester: The Chester Mystery Cycle, ed. Lumiansky and Mills (1974); CT: The Canterbury Tales, ed. Benson (1987); DSL: Dictionary of the Scots Language; Elliott: The Apocryphal New Testament, ed. Elliott; EP: The Towneley plays, ed. England and Pollard (1897); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MS: Huntington MS HM 1 (“the Towneley manuscript”); N-Town: The N-Town Plays, ed. Sugano (2007); OED: Oxford English Dictionary; REED: Records of Early English Drama; SC: The Towneley Plays, eds. Stevens and Cawley (1994); s.d.: stage direction; Whiting: Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases; York: The York Corpus Christi Plays, ed. Davidson (2011).

In the manuscript, this play follows the incomplete and misplaced Prophets pageant, reordered in this edition and rendered part of the Advent sequence. The misplacement could in part be due to Moses’ being the first speaker in the Prophets pageant; the title given the play (much as for the Jacob pageant as explained above) could have been derived from the first speech heading (on a presumably untitled exemplar), rather than from the importance of the Pharaoh in relation to Moses. The Pharaoh play itself closely parallels the Hosiers’ pageant from York, from which it was clearly borrowed. Differences between the texts range from minor linguistic or stylistic variations to the presence or absence of entire lines and stanzas; several lines missing from the Towneley text can and likely should be supplied from York, while three isolated quatrains and the final 12-line stanza from Towneley are without parallel in York. SC suggest that the three quatrains may be “the remnants of full twelve-line stanzas” from the hypothetical copy-text for the Towneley play (p. 465), namely, an earlier version of what was copied into the official extant York Register in the late fifteenth century. However, as they note, all of these apparent interpolations continue the rhyme scheme of the final four lines or cauda of the preceding 12-line stanza, whereas the existing play has no such repetition between stanzas; nor does any of the interpolated material echo the likely source of the York pageant and its stanza form, namely, The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament (see SC, p. 465, citing the work of Richard Beadle). The second of these quatrains, however, closely echoes a significant verse from the original biblical source that is absent from the Paraphrase (see note to lines 113–16 below), implying a carefully considered and informed addition to the text — either of the Towneley play or of its immediate source — while the other two add relatively little in comparison. The Towneley text also lacks two counselors that confer with Pharaoh in York, dividing their lines between the two soldiers (Egiptius 1 and 2 in the York manuscript). Another notable difference is that Towneley includes stage directions (following lines 88, 108, 391, and 413), which are entirely lacking in the extant York version (see the note to lines 418–30, below). The biblical source for the events represented here is Exodus 2–14.


1 Peas! Of payn that no man pas. “On (or ‘of’) pain” was a standard phrase, often followed by a specific penalty (“of death,” or “of xx shillings”). This line is more forceful and alliterative than its parallel in the extant York pageant: “O pees, I bidde that no man passe” (York 11.1). Similarly, the reference to “helth” in line 4 reinforces the alliterative pattern of the line, unlike “liff” (“life”) in the York text.

5 Kyng Pharro my fader was. According to the biblical book of Exodus, Moses knew at least two pharaohs (rulers) of Egypt: one who orders the killing of the firstborn sons (see lines 73–76 and Exodus 1:22) — a fate from which the infant Moses escapes, being subsequently raised by Pharaoh’s daughter (as per Exodus 2) — and another whom he as an adult confronts, and who ultimately drowns in the sea pursuing the fleeing Israelites. Both York and Towneley apparently conflate the two (as does the Qur’an), although line 235 (see also York 11.223) refers to this Pharaoh’s father as having found “Greatt defawte” with Moses. Nonetheless, the “father” referred to here is explicitly the Pharaoh associated with “Joseph, . . . Jacob son” (line 45).

7 I am hys hayre, as age wyll asse. I am his heir, as age demands — that is, as first-born son. The form asse (to ask or demand; see MED asken (v.) sense 5a), emended here from has on the basis of the equivalent line in York (see Textual Note), is also used in this play at line 138 — an instance cited in the MED entry for asken (v.), sense 5a.

13–16 Full low he . . . . boste ye blaw. This quatrain is the first of three without parallel in the York Hosiers’ pageant.

19 put hymself in preasse. The phrase can mean to get into trouble or find one’s self under pressure, but can also refer to coming forward in a crowd, or more specifically coming forward with complaints (MED presse (n.), sense 1a(d)), something that would certainly trouble Pharaoh.

40 Oure lordshyp. SC, following York, emend the line to read “Youre lordship” (SC p. 466n39–40).

43 full fell folk ther was fun. Following York, which refers to “Tho felons folke” (York 11.39) in the parallel stanza, “fell” is glossed here as meaning “treacherous” (see MED fel (adj.)). However, given the references to population increase, the word could also mean “many” (MED fele (indef. num.)).

99 Byshope Jettyr shepe. See Exodus 3:1: “Now Moses fed the sheep of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Madian.”

105 A bush I se burnand. See Exodus 3:2–3. The bush that burns but is not consumed and through which God speaks has been an important symbol throughout Judeo-Christian society and culture.

113–16 Do of thy shoyes . . . . is halowd well. This quatrain, the second passage unique to the Towneley text, is essentially a versification of Exodus 3:5, a passage without parallel in The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament. The line “Wyth mowth as I thee mell” literally means “As I tell you with [my] mouth.”

129–32 Bot I wyll . . . . go in hast. This, the last of the three quatrains unique to the Towneley play, serves as a clear (if arguably unnecessary) transition between the stanzas that precede and follow it.

159–64 Afore the kyng . . . . by myne intent. In Exodus 4:2–5, God has Moses throw down his rod in his presence, which then turns into a snake and back into a rod; here the action itself, involving what would doubtless have been an impressive stage effect, is reserved until the scene with Pharaoh at lines 246–57.

186 I am he that is the same. This line is an English paraphrase of the preceding line in Latin, from Exodus 3:14, closely associated with the Tetragrammaton, the four-letter Hebrew name of God (not to be spoken within Jewish tradition) usually transliterated (and extended) as Yahweh or, earlier, Jehovah.

199 God manteyn you. Moses here addresses the Israelites, having apparently left the area signifying “thys montayn syde” (line 98) where he speaks with God; after line 216 he moves to an area signifying Pharaoh’s palace. At lines 368–69, he will again address the Israelites, having just heard from Pharaoh and company within the same stanza. The distance between parties thus appears to have been minimal, here as in York, where a single wagon stage was likely used both for the mountain and for Pharaoh’s palace, while the Israelites may well have remained at street level.

273–76 the waters . . . . Ar turnyd into reede bloyde. This is the first of the ten biblical plagues; see Exodus 7:17–21.

283 For todys and froskys may no man flyt. The second plague; see Exodus 8:2–14.

285 Greatte mystys. The third plague is of gnats; see Exodus 8:16–17.

294 lykyng land. The line in the manuscript (unlike its counterpart in York 11.282) ends with “lang,” which preserves the expected rhyme but not the sense; like “land of lykyng” in line 371 (see note, below), the phrase refers to the promised land.

303 ragyd the dwyll. As SC suggest, ragyd (“ragged”) may be used here as the proper name of a devil (SC p. 469n303); this word is missing from the equivalent line in York. However, it could be a verb (“What, raged the devil . . .”) or a misplaced adjective, devils being associated with a ragged appearance (see the note to 1.137). Line 336 in the MS has “the ragyd the dwyll,” here emended to “the ragyd dwyll” on the basis of line 412 (“the raggyd dwyll”); the equivalent lines in York all use the unqualified term “devil.”

305–07 Grete loppys over . . . . oure bestys dede ly. Both York and Towneley conflate the fourth and fifth of the biblical plagues, of flies (“loppys” also means “fleas” but these do not fly) and of a disease affecting livestock. See Exodus 8:21–24 and 9:3–6.

307 And in every place oure bestys dede ly. The equivalent line in York begins a four-line speech that includes a line missing from the Towneley stanza: York has 1 Egiptius respond to a three-line speech by 2 Egiptius, saying “Lorde, oure beestis lyes dede and dry / Als wele on myddyng als on more,” before adding “Both oxe, horse, and asse / Fallis dede doune sodanly” (York 11.295–98; see lines 308–09 here, ascribed to Soldier 2).

326–28 sich powder . . . . man and wyfe. In Exodus 9:8–10, throwing ashes into the air brings about the sixth plague, of boils, here associated with leprosy (MED mesel (n.), sense 2).

329 Thus ar we hurt with hayll and rayn. For the seventh plague, see Exodus 9:18–26.

336 the ragyd dwyll. See Textual Note, and the note to line 303, above.

339 To Moyses have his folk to leyd. The York text follows this line (assigned to 1 Egiptius) with a three-line speech ascribed to 1 Consolator: “Lorde, war they wente, than walde it sese, / So shuld we save us and oure seede; / Ellis be we lorne, this is no lese” (York 11.329–31). The first two of these lines are missing from the Towneley text, while the last is equivalent to line 340 here.

348 Wyld wormes. These are the locusts of Exodus 10:4–15 — the eighth plague.

352–53 thise thre dayes . . . Sich myrk that no man may other se. The ninth plague is of darkness for three days; see Exodus 10:21–23.

354[c]–57 Grete pestilence is comyn . . . .Then is oure pride over past. The tenth plague was the death of all the first-born children of Egypt (Exodus 11:4–6); death is brought by “pestilence,” a term associated with the bubonic plague. The Black Death was responsible for the death of a large portion of the population of England (as in continental Europe) in 1348, and struck periodically thereafter.

371 land of lykyng. The phrase, which (like “lykyng land” at line 294) could translate as “the land of pleasure,” here refers to the promised land — “a land that floweth with milk and honey,” according to Exodus 3:17.

372 fals feynd. The phrase used here to describe Pharaoh is commonly used to signify the devil (see for example 3.51); the York text, more unusually but with the same force, here has “felowns fende” (York 11.363: “wicked fiend”).

391, s.d. Hic pertransient mare. MS: this stage direction, absent from the York text, is written beside line 390 (see Textual Note), but the action of crossing the sea (whatever way this may have been done in performance) should apparently follow line 391 with its exhortation to immediate action (“fownd ye now”).

410 Mahowne. Devotion to Muhammad (“Mahownde” in York 11.400), and to the devil, is a common attribute of tyrants (including Jewish tyrants such as Herod) in medieval English biblical plays, signifying their status as un- or anti-Christian.

418–30 Lofe we may . . . . Amen. This final stanza is unique to Towneley, but might well have been the original final stanza in the York Hosiers’ pageant. The extant copy, however, ends with a speech ascribed not to Moses but to the first boy:

Now ar we wonne fra waa
And saved oute of the see.
Cantemus domino,
To God a sange synge wee. (York 11.404–07)

“Cantemus domino” is the incipit or opening line of the song of Moses and the Israelites from Exodus 15:1–20 — a well-known text associated with the Lenten liturgy. The same song might suitably have followed the final Towneley stanza, as well; at several points in the York manuscript, sixteenth-century hands have added stage directions indicating singing where there is no clear indication of this in the dialogue itself, only occasionally specifying what is to be sung (see the stage directions at York 9.266; 12.157, 165, 253; 22.91; 25.287, 544; 37.36, 384; and 38.186). Conversely, the York play may simply have been rewritten expressly to introduce the song, omitting the final stanza.

421 Lovyd be that lord Emanuell. This name is explicitly associated with Jesus in Matthew 1:23, quoting Isaiah 7:14; see also 10.425, 12.309–11, and 14.1–4, as well as the final note to 7.a (After 234).


Play 6, PHARAOH: TEXTUAL NOTES




ABBREVIATIONS: EP: The Towneley Plays, ed. England and Pollard (EETS, 1897); Facs: The Towneley Cycle: A Facsimile of Huntington MS HM 1, ed. Cawley and Stevens; MED: Middle English Dictionary; MS: Huntington MS HM 1 (base text); SC: The Towneley Plays, ed. Stevens and Cawley (EETS, 1994); s.d.: stage direction; Surtees: The Towneley Mysteries, ed. Raine; York: The York Corpus Christi Plays, ed. Davidson (2011).

Before 1 MS: in the top right corner a later hand has written Litsters pagonn. The page prior to this appears originally to have contained the beginning of the Pharaoh play, given that the large title (Incipit Pharaoh) remains partly visible, but all the writing has been erased.

7 as age wyll asse. So SC. MS: as age wyll has. (York 11.7: as elde will asse; see Explanatory Note.)

11 knawne. So EP, emended for rhyme. MS: knowne.

13 Full low he shall be thrawne. MS: another hand has written lyster play in the right margin.

40 Oure lordshyp. See Explanatory Note.

47 And. So SC. MS: In, perhaps anticipating the third word of the line.

58 Foure hundredth. MS: iiij C.

60 thre hundreth thousand. So EP. MS: CCC thousand.

109 Moyses, Moyses. These words, which are extra-metrical and have no equivalent in the York pageant, are written in the margin in the same hand, in red like the stage direction that follows.

171 neyn. So EP. MS: ix.

182 thy. So SC. MS: my. The emendation is supported both by York 11.170 and Exodus 3:13.

184 skape. So SC. MS: skake.

252 dog. MS: letters erased after this word appear to be a g along with an abbreviation for ys.

263 venyance. So SC. MS: venyange.

266 may no longer. So SC. MS: may longer. York 11.254 supplies the missing word.

285 mysys. MS: mystys. York 11.273: myses (see MED mise (n. pl.3)).

287 it. MS has is crossed out before this word.

294 land. MS: lang. York 11.362: lande. See Explanatory Note.

307 And in every place oure bestys dede ly. MS: a line is evidently missing after this one; see Explanatory Note.

310 Pharaoh (speech heading). MS: Phoraoh.

330 vynys. MS: vnys. York 11.319: wynes.

336 the ragyd dwyll. MS: the ragyd the dwyll; the emendation is supported by the similarity of line 412; see Explanatory Note to line 303

339 To Moyses have his folk to leyd. MS: two lines are evidently missing after this line; see Explanatory Note.

352 thre. So EP. MS: iij.

353 myrk. MS: myst. York 11.344 has myrke, darkness being the ninth plague.

356 Pestilence. MS: pentilence.

391, s.d. Hic pertransient mare. MS, SC: s.d. follows line 390; see Explanatory Note.

 
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Pharaoh
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Moses
God
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Boy 2

Incipit Pharao. 1

Peas! Of payn that no man pas, 2
Bot kepe the course that I commaunde,
And take good hede of hym that has
Youre helth all holy in hys hande.
For Kyng Pharro my fader was,
And led thys lordshyp of thys land.
I am hys hayre, as age wyll asse,
Ever in stede to styr or stand;
All Egypt is myne awne
To leede aftyr my law.
I wold my myght were knawne
And honoryd as hyt awe.

Full low he shall be thrawne
That harkyns not my sawe,
Hanged hy and drawne,
Therfor no boste ye blaw.

Bot as for kyng I commaund peasse
To all the people of thys empyre.
Looke no man put hymself in preasse
Bot that wyll do as I desyre,
And of youre wordys look that ye seasse;
Take tent to me, youre soferand syre,
That may youre comfort most increasse,
And to my lyst bowe lyfe and lyre. 3
My lord, if any here were
That wold not wyrk youre wyll,
If we myght com thaym nere,
Full soyn we shuld theym spyll.

Thrughout my kyngdom wold I ken,
And kun hym thank that wold me tell,
If any were so waryd men
That wold my fors downe fell.
My lord, ye have a maner of men
That make great mastrés us emell:
The Jues that won in Gersen.
Thay ar callyd chyldyr of Israel;
Thay multyplye full fast,
And sothly we suppose
That shall ever last,
Oure lordshyp for to lose.

Why, how have thay sych gawdys begun?
Ar thay of myght to make sych frayes?
Yei, lord, full fell folk ther was fun
In Kyng Pharao youre fader dayes.
Thay cam of Joseph, was Jacob son;
He was a prince worthy to prayse.
And sythen in ryst have thay ay ron. 4
Thus ar thay lyke to lose youre layse;
Thay wyll confound you cleyn
Bot if thay soner sesse. 5
What, devyll, is that thay meyn,
That thay so fast incresse?

How thay incres full well we ken,
As oure faders dyd understand.
Thay were bot sexty and ten
When thay fyrst cam into thys land,
Sythen have sojerned in Gersen
Foure hundreth wynter, I dar warand;
Now ar thay nowmbred of myghty men
Moo then thre hundreth thousand,
Wythouten wyfe and chyld
Or hyrdys that kepe thare fee.
How thus myght we be begyld?
Bot shall it not be,

For wyth quantyse we shall thaym quell
So that thay shall not far sprede.
My lord, we have hard oure faders tell,
And clerkys that well couth rede,
Ther shuld a man walk us amell
That shuld fordo us and oure dede.
Fy, on hym to the devyll of hell!
Sych destyny wyll we not drede.
We shal make mydwyfys to spyll them
Where any Ebrew is borne,
And all menkynde to kyll them;
So shall thay soyn be lorne.

And as for elder have I none awe;
Sych bondage shall I to thaym beyde,
To dyke and delf, bere and draw,
And to do all unhonest deyde,
So shall these laddys be halden law,
In thraldom ever thare lyfe to leyde.
Now, certys, thys was a sotell saw;
Thus shall these folk no farthere sprede.
Now help to hald theym downe;
Look I no fayntnes fynde.
All redy, lord, we shall be bowne
In bondage thaym to bynde.

Tunc intrat Moyses cum virga in manu, etc. 6

Gret God that all thys warld began,
And growndyd it in good degré,
Thou mayde me, Moyses, unto man
And sythen thou savyd me from the se.
Kyng Pharao had commawndyd than
Ther shuld no man chyld savyd be;
Agans hys wyll away I wan.
Thus has God shewed hys myght for me.
Now am I sett to kepe
Under thys montayn syde
Byshope Jettyr shepe,
To better may betyde.

A, Lord, grete is thy myght;
What man may of yond mervell meyn?
Yonder I se a selcowth syght,
Sych on in warld was never seyn:
A bush I se burnand full bryght
And ever elyke the leyfes ar greyn.
If it be wark of warldly wyght
I wyll go wyt, wythoutyn weyn.
Moyses, Moyses!

Hic properat ad rubrum et dicit ei Deus, etc. 7

                             Moyses, com not to nere
Bot styll in that stede thou dwell,
And harkyn unto me here;
Take tent what I thee tell.

Do of thy shoyes in fere
Wyth mowth as I thee mell.
The place thou standys in there
Forsothe is halowd well.

I am thy Lord, wythouten lak,
To lengthe thi lyfe even as I lyst;
I am God that som tyme spake
To thyn elders as thay wyst,
To Abraam and Isaac,
And Jacob I sayde shuld be blyst,
And multytude of them to make
So that thare seyde shuld not be myst,
Bot now thys kyng Pharao
He hurtys my folk so fast,
If that I suffre hym so
Thare seyde shuld soyne be past.

Bot I wyll not so do,
In me if thay wyll trast,
Bondage to bryng thaym fro.
Therfor thou go in hast,

To do my message have in mynde,
To hym that me sych harme mase.
Thou speke to hym wyth wordys heynde
So that he let my people pas,
To wyldernes that thay may weynde,
To worshyp me as I wyll asse.
Agans my wyll if that thay leynd,
Ful soyn hys song shall be “alas.”
A, Lord, pardon me wyth thy leyf.
That lynage luffys me noght;
Gladly thay wold me greyf
If I sych bodworde broght.

Good Lord, lett som othere frast
That has more fors the folke to fere.
Moyses, be thou nott abast.
My bydyng shall thou boldly bere;
If thay with wrong away wold wrast,
Outt of the way I shall thee were.
Good Lord, thay wyll not me trast
For all the othes that I can swere;
To neven sych noytys newe
To folk of wykyd wyll
Wythouten tokyn trew,
Thay wyll not tent thertyll.

If that he wyll not understand,
Thys tokyn trew that I shall sent:
Afore the kyng cast downe thy wand
And it shall turne to a serpent;
Then take the tayll agane in hand,
Boldly up look thou it hent,
And in the state that thou it fand
Then shal it turne by myne intent.
Sythen hald thy hand soyn in thy barme
And as a lepre it shal be lyke,
And hole agane withouten harme.
Lo, my tokyns shal be slyke,

And if he wyll not suffre then
My people for to pas in peasse,
I shall send venyance, neyn or ten,
Shall sowe full sore or I seasse;
Bot the Ebrewes won in Jessen
Shall not be merkyd with that measse;
As long as thay my lawes wyll ken,
Thare comforth shall ever increasse.
A, lord, to luf thee aght us well,
That makys thy folk thus free.
I shall unto thaym tell
As thou has told to me.

Bot to the kyng, Lord, when I com,
If he aske what is thy name
And I stand styll both deyf and dom,
How shuld I skape withoutten blame?
I say thee thus: Ego sum qui sum;
I am he that is the same.
If thou can nother muf nor mom
I shall sheld thee from shame.
I understand full well thys thyng;
I go, Lord, with all the myght in me.
Be bold in my blyssyng;
Thi socoure shall I be.

A, Lord of luf, leyn me thy lare
That I may truly talys tell.
To my freyndys now wyll I fare,
The chosyn childre of Israell,
To tell theym comforth of thare care,
In dawngere ther as thay dwell.
God manteyn you evermare,
And mekyll myrth be you emell.
A, master Moyses dere,
Oure myrth is all mowrnyng;
Full hard halden ar we here
As carls under the kyng.

We may mowrn both more and myn.
Ther is no man that oure myrth mase,
Bot syn we ar all of a kyn
God send us comforth in thys case.
Brethere, of youre mowrnyng blyn;
God wyll delyver you thrugh his grace,
Out of this wo he wyll you wyn
And put you to youre pleassyng place,
For I shall carp unto the kyng
And fownd full soyn to make you free.
God graunt you good weyndyng
And evermore with you be.

Kyng Pharao, to me take tent.
Why, boy, what tythyngys can thou tell?
From God hymself hydder am I sent
To foche the chyldre of Israell;
To wyldernes he wold thay went.
Yei, weynd thee to the devyll of hell.
I gyf no force what he has ment.
In my dangere, herst thou, shall thay dwell
And, fature, for thy sake
Thay shalbe put to pyne.
Then wyll God venyance take
Of thee and of all thyn.

On me? Fy on thee, lad; out of my land!
Wenys thou thus to loyse oure lay?
Say, whence is yond warlow with his wand
That thus wold wyle oure folk away?
Yond is Moyses, I dar warand,
Agans all Egypt has beyn ay.
Greatt defawte with hym youre fader fand;
Now wyll he mar you if he may.
Fy on hym! Nay, nay, that dawnce is done.
Lurdan, thou leryd to late!
God bydys thee graunt my bone
And let me go my gate.

Bydys God me? Fals losell, thou lyse.
What tokyn told he, toke thou tent?
He sayd thou shuld dyspyse
Both me and hys commaundement;
Forthy apon thys wyse
My wand he bad in thi present
I shuld lay downe and thee avyse
How it shuld turne to oone serpent;
And in hys holy name
Here I lay it downe.
Lo, syr, here may thou se the same.
A ha, dog, the devyll thee drowne!

He bad me take it by the tayll
For to prefe hys powere playn;
Then he sayde wythouten fayll
Hyt shuld turne to a wand agayn.
Lo, syr, behold.
                         Wyth yla-hayll,
Certys, this is a sotell swayn.
Bot thyse boyes shall abyde in bayll;
All thi gawdys shall thaym not gayn,
Bot wars both morn and none
Shall thay fare for thi sake.
I pray God, send us venyance sone
And on thi warkys take wrake.

Alas, alas, this land is lorn!
On lyfe we may no longer leynd.
Sych myschefe is fallen syn morn
Ther may no medsyn it amend.
Why cry ye so, laddys, lyst ye skorn?
Syr kyng, sych care was never kend
In no mans tyme that ever was borne.
Tell on, belyfe, and make an end.
Syr, the waters that were ordand
For men and bestys foyde
Thrughoutt all Egypt land
Ar turnyd into reede bloyde;

Full ugly and full yll is hytt
That both fresh and fayre was before.
O ho! this is a wonderfull thyng to wytt,
Of all the warkys that ever wore.
Nay, lord, ther is anothere yit
That sodanly sowys us full sore,
For todys and froskys may no man flyt;
Thay venom us so both les and more.
Greatte mystys, syr, ther is both morn and noyn,
Byte us full bytterly;
We trow that it be doyn
Thrugh Moyses oure greatte enmy.

My lord, bot if this menye may remefe,
Mon never myrth be us amang.
Go say to hym we wyll not grefe,
Bot thay shall never the tytter gang.
Moyses, my lord gyffys leyfe
To leyd thi folk to lykyng land
So that we mend of oure myschefe.
Full well I wote thyse wordys ar wrang,
But hardely all that I heytt
Full sodanly it shall be seyn;
Uncowth mervels shal be meyt
And he of malyce meyn.

A, lord, alas, for doyll we dy.
We dar look oute at no dowre.
What, ragyd the dwyll of hell, alys you so to cry?
For we fare wars then ever we fowre.
Grete loppys over all this land thay fly
And where thay byte thay make grete blowre,
And in every place oure bestys dede ly.
Hors, ox, and asse,
Thay fall downe dede, syr, sodanly.
Wé, lo, ther is no man that has
Half as mych harme as I.

Yis, syr, poore folk have mekyll wo
To se thare catall thus out cast
The Jues in Gessen fayre not so;
Thay have lykyng for to last.
Then shall we gyf theym leyf to go
To tyme this perell be on past;
Bot or thay flytt oght far us fro
We shall them bond twyse as fast.
Moyses, my lord gyffys leyf
Thi meneye to remeve.
Ye mon hafe more myschefe
Bot if thyse talys be trew.

A, lord, we may not leyde thyse lyfys.
What, dwyll, is grevance grofen agayn?
Ye, syr, sich powder apon us dryfys,
Where it abidys it makys a blayn;
Mesell makys it man and wyfe.
Thus ar we hurt with hayll and rayn.
Syr, vynys in montanse may not thryfe;
So has frost and thoner thaym slayn.
Yei, bot how do thay in Gessen,
The Jues, can ye me say?
Of all thyse cares no thyng thay ken;
Thay feyll noght of oure afray.

No, the ragyd dwyll, sytt thay in peasse
And we every day in doute and drede?
My lord, this care wyll ever encrese
To Moyses have his folk to leyd,
Els be we lorn, it is no lesse;
Yit were it better that thai yede.
Thes folk shall flyt no far
If he go welland wode.
Then will it sone be war;
It were better thay yode.

My lord, new harme is comyn in hand.
Yei, dwill, will it no better be?
Wyld wormes ar layd over all this land;
Thai leyf no floure nor leyf on tre.
Agans that storme may no man stand,
And mekyll more mervell, thynk me,
That thise thre dayes has bene durand;
Sich myrk that no man may other se. 8
A, my lord.
                   Hagh!
                             Grete pestilence is comyn;
It is like ful long to last.
Pestilence, in the dwilys name,
Then is oure pride over past.

My lord, this care lastys lang,
And will to Moyses have his bone;
Let hym go, els wyrk we wrang.
It may not help to hover ne hone.
Then will we gif theym leyf to gang,
Syn it must nedys be doyn.
Perchauns we sall thaym fang,
And mar them or to-morn at none. 9
Moyses, my lord he says
Thou shall have passage playn.
Now have we lefe to pas;
My freyndys, now be ye fayn.

Com furth, now sall ye weynd
To land of lykyng you to pay.
Bot Kyng Pharao, that fals feynd,
He will us eft betray;
Full soyn he will shape us to sheynd
And after us send his garray.
Be not abast; God is oure freynd
And all oure foes will slay.
Therfor com on with me;
Have done, and drede you noght.
That Lord, blyst myght he be
That us from bayll has broght.

Sich frenship never we fand,
Bot yit I drede for perels all:
The Reede See is here at hand;
Ther shal we byde to we be thrall.
I shall make way ther with my wand,
As God has sayde to sayf us all;
On ayther syde the see mon stand
To we be gone, right as a wall.
Com on wyth me, leyf none behynde.
Lo, fownd ye now youre God to pleasse.

Hic pertransient mare. 10

O Lord, this way is heynd;
Now weynd we all at easse.

Kyng Pharao, thyse folk ar gone.
Say, ar ther any noyes new?
Thise Ebrews ar gone, lord, everichon.
How says thou that?
                                 Lord, that tayll is trew.
Wé, out! Tyte that they were tayn.
That ryett radly shall thay rew.
We shall not seasse to thay be slayn,
For to the see we shall thaym sew;
So charge youre chariottys swythe
And fersly look ye folow me.
All redy, lord, we ar full blyth
At youre byddyng to be.

Lord, at youre byddyng ar we bowne,
Oure bodys boldly for to beyd;
We shall not seasse, bot dyng all downe
To all be dede, withouten drede.
Heyf up youre hertys unto Mahowne:
He will be nere us in oure nede.
Help, the raggyd dwyll! We drowne!
Now mon we dy for all oure dede.

Tunc merget eos mare. 11

Now ar we won from all oure wo,
And savyd out of the see.
Lovyng gyf we God unto;
Go we to land now merely.

Lofe we may that Lord on hyght,
And ever tell on this mervell.
Drownyd he has Kyng Pharao myght;
Lovyd be that lord Emanuell.
Heven, thou attend, I say in syght,
And erth, my wordys here what I tell:
As rayn or dew on erth doys lyght,
And waters herbys and trees full well,
Gyf lovyng to Goddys magesté.
Hys dedys ar done, hys ways ar trew;
Honowred be he in Trynyté.
To hym be honowre and vertew.
Amen.

Explicit Pharao. 12
 








(t-note)

(see note)


wholly
(see note)

heir; demand; (see note); (t-note)
[this] place
own

known; (t-note)
it ought to be

(see note)
command

boast; (t-note)



(see note)

cease
Pay attention; sovereign lord



work
them
soon; kill

know
offer him thanks
cursed


mischief among us
live; Goshen
children



(see note); (t-note)

tricks
disturbances
very many; found; (see note)



increase; run; (t-note)
laws


mean




sixty

Since; have [they] sojourned
Four hundred; warrant; (t-note)
numbered
More; (t-note)
Not counting
herders; livestock



cunning; subdue

heard
could
among



midwives; kill
Hebrew
to kill all male children
soon; lost


bid
dig; delve; carry; pull
unpleasant deeds
held low
slavery
clever speech


faintness
ready





fixed

afterwards; sea


I got away

tend
mountain
(see note)
Until things are better


understand
wonderful
Such a one
(see note)
alike; leaves
work; earthly creature
find out, without a doubt
(t-note)



too
place; remain
listen
Pay attention to

Take off both your shoes; (see note)
as I tell you

blessed

indeed
lengthen; desire

knew

blessed

seed; lacking


allow
seed; soon

(see note)
trust
from
haste

give
makes
gracious

go
demand
Against; remain
soon
by your leave
lineage

message

try
force; unite
dismayed

turn
protect


mention such new matters


pay attention



Before; staff; (see note)


seize
found

Then; bosom
leper
whole
thus



vengeance; (t-note)
grieve before
who live in Goshen
bothered; affliction
acknowledge







(t-note)
deaf; dumb
escape; (t-note)
I am who I am
(see note)
neither whisper nor mumble



[fol. 23r]
comfort

incline me toward your teaching
tales



danger
(see note)
much joy; among

[turned to] mourning

tenants

mourn; less
makes


Brothers; leave off

deliver

call
start
journey


pay attention

here
fetch

go
do not care
At my mercy
traitor
punishment




Think; destroy our law
from where; warlock
lead

always
default; found
ruin
dance
Lout; learned
request
way

deceitful scoundrel; lie
sign; heed


Therefore; way
presence
advise




(t-note)


prove



With a curse
clever boy
remain; misery
tricks; help
worse; morning and afternoon

soon; (t-note)
vengeance

ruined
Alive; remain; (t-note)
since
medicine
desire
known

at once
ordained; (see note)
nourishment

red blood



see
deeds; were

pains
toads and frogs; flee; (see note)
poison
gnats; (see note); (t-note)
bitterly
done; (t-note)
enemy

unless these people leave
Must; joy
vex
more quickly go
gives leave; [fol. 24r]
promised land; (see note); (t-note)

untrue
promised

Unknown; encountered
intends anything malicious

sorrow
door
ails; (see note)
fare worse; fared
flies; (see note)
blisters
dead; (see note); (t-note)

suddenly
(t-note)


much
cattle

pleasure

Until; peril
But before
bind

people
must have
Unless


grown
drives; (see note)
settles; blisters
Leprous
hail; rain; (see note)
vines; mountains; (t-note)
frost; thunder



fear

(see note); (t-note)


Until; (see note); (t-note)
lost; lie
went

boiling mad
worse; [fol. 24v]
went



(see note)
leave; flower nor leaf

much
during; (see note); (t-note)
darkness; (t-note)


(see note)

(t-note)


long
request

linger nor delay
leave to go
done
Perchance; capture




glad

go
please; (see note)
(see note)
again
soon; contrive; destroy
army
frightened




misery

found
perils

remain; slaves

save
either; must
until
leave; [fol. 25r]
hasten

(see note); (t-note)

pleasant
proceed


new annoyances
every single one

tale
Quickly; caught
revelry promptly; grieve
until
pursue
quickly
fiercely
glad


ready
bodies; obey
strike
Until; doubtless
Lift; (see note)


must; deeds



rescued


merrily

Love; (see note)
of this marvel
[fol. 25v]
(see note)

hear
does alight

praise


virtue



 


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