21. The Dice

Play 21, THE DICE: FOOTNOTES


1 Here begins the pageant of the dice

2 Lines 1–13: You who stand by, perceive / That I am of marvelous worth. / Know this: / I will kill you unless you are silent. / Learn, all of you, / That I am of divine nature / And majesty; / Do not injure me by speaking, / This I command. / [Being] neither talkative / Nor derisive, / Demand peace / While I am speaking

3 Lines 35–36: I govern the laws / Of the Jews

4 Lines 49–50: Unless you bare your heads in this place

5 Dear sirs, stop searching [for words] and see that you are silent

6 For you shall give up that prize; you need not plead

7 Yet go no further on account of nothing that belongs to you

8 And I serve no manner of man but myself

9 I am given a rag that is suitable for no one

10 With all the displeasure of the will and might of Mahowne

11 Now are we obliged, since you ordered us to withhold, on your hood (see note)

12 And I am glad of that game: one try — who shall begin?

13 And I have seen as great a man fail to keep his promise

14 Eight? Ah, by God’s arms that is poor. What was wrong with me?

15 Loyal to our law, who will lie for no person

16 Lines 365–66: Sir, since you have won this wager, will you of your great goodness grant this garment to me?

17 Because you threaten me so fiercely, as if it were triple the worth

18 Many thanks and [good] remembrance, and this shall be kept in mind

19 God keep you, sirs (Dieu vous garde, monseigneurs)

20 Here ends the pageant of the dice


Play 21, THE DICE: 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).

Gambling for the robe of Jesus is mentioned in all four gospel accounts, and explicitly cited as fulfillment of prophecy (based on Psalm 21:19) both in Matthew 27:35 and in John 19:23–24, the latter being the source for the idea that the robe is seamless (see lines 296–98) and thus indivisible. The robe, one of the more important relics of the Middle Ages (see note to 9.785), is mentioned in several of the Towneley plays; the gambling itself is represented in the Crucifixion play (see 20.560–68 and note), which is problematic for the idea of the Towneley plays as a performable sequence. The play is problematic in other ways as well, even aside from its mix of sometimes ill-defined stanza forms. Both the incipit and the explicit for this play refer to the processus talentorum — that is, the pageant of the talents. However, the torturers here are not gambling for money (talentorum); nor do they draw lots here, as they do in the Crucifixion play and in the gospel sources. Instead they ultimately gamble by means of dice — that is, talorum, the genitive plural form of talus, meaning ankle-bone, from which a die was made (see line 339 and note). This is the sole extant play with such a focus, and commonly identified with York’s lost “pageant of the Millers, in which Pilate and other soldiers used to play at dice [ad talos] for the clothing of Jesus and to cast lots for them and to divide them among themselves” (REED: York, p. 733; see also p. 48) — a pageant that was produced by the Millers prior to 1422, when it and others were replaced by a single, longer pageant. The original pageant may well be the basis of the current play, but with additions from different sources and in a variety of stanza forms, likely made at different times and altered or corrupted in the process (for further commentary see Peter Meredith, “The York Millers’ Pageant and the Towneley Processus Talentorum”). Pilate’s opening speech is in the distinctive 13-line 'bob and wheel' stanza, but in Latin and comically pretentious macaronic English-Latin verse; the 13-line stanzas at the end of the play turn it into a sort of morality play against dicing, suggesting individual, stand-alone performance.


28 Kyng Atus gate me of Pila. A slightly different version of the legend of Pilate’s parentage, and the source of his name, is mentioned in York 30.10–18.

51–52 Redy my swerde . . . to shere now. Pilate is, typically, brandishing a sword; see 17.5 and note.

66–78 Loke that no boy . . . . me pay. SC break this irregular 13-line stanza into a quatrain followed by what they call one of two “truncated stanzas of the Wakefield form” (p. 583, the other such stanza being the last in the extant play). The next five lines appear to be the end of a similar stanza followed by two quatrains — effectively another irregular 13-line stanza in reverse. These may once have been part of a more regular stanza sequence, but the lengthy, partly alliterated lines in two quatrains (lines 66–69 and 84–87) are unusual.

69 By myghty Mahowne. That is, Muhammad, as (generic) false god; see note to 6.410. Such references are very frequent in this play (see lines 116, 140, 183–84, 245, 285, 288, 345, 381, and 436) as in the pageant of Caesar Augustus in the Advent sequence (see note to 7.b.9).

85 Boy, lay me downe softly. Pilate is apparently speaking to the Counselor, whom he calls “boy” at lines 203 and 240. Herod makes precisely the same request of an attendant in York 31.48, while both Pilate (30.127) and Caiaphas (29.80–83) in the York Passion sequence similarly ask to be put to bed.

92 War, war, for now com I. Like the two who follow (see lines 132, 164), Torturer 1 enters through the audience, and addresses them.

101 I spuyd and spyt right in his face. See 19.81.

121 this garmente. That is, the seamless robe of John 19:23.

124–27 For whosoever . . . . he theym were. That is, whoever wears these clothes need never worry as to where he goes, since he seems to lose nothing. The robe is said in some sources such as the Golden Legend (see 1:212–13) to have the power to protect its wearer.

131 So semely in oure gere. In Coventry, according to a record from 1490, the torturers wore distinctive black clothing decorated “with nayles & dysse” (that is, nails and dice). See REED: Coventry, p. 73; the same record is cited at 19.166.

143 Spyll-payn, in fayth, I hight. In faith, I am called Spill-pain. The MED tentatively defines this name as meaning “one who indiscriminately causes pain” (spillen (v.), sense 9), citing this line. This is the only Torturer given a name.

146 a newe play. See also line 177. In the Buffeting, the torturers refer to their 'game' of hot cockles or blind man’s buff as “a new play of Yoyll” (see 18.498 and note); however, as described in the lines that follow, this “play” could also refer to the scourging, which does immediately precede the crucifixion as suggested in lines 152–53.

174 Lyn. Presumably King’s Lynn in Norfolk, an important port in the later Middle Ages.

211 You carles unkynde. Pilate either addresses more than one counselor here, one of whom never speaks, or refers to the single counselor as part of a noisy crowd that includes the torturers or perhaps the audience; see also line 242.

229 Sett thee with sorow, then semys thou the les. That is, be properly humble or else. The first phrase means to be or appear sorrowful — a wish for ill luck on someone — while the second refers to looking smaller or more inferior.

244 Ye knaw not the comon cowrs that longys to a kyng. That is, you (plural) do not know how to behave with a king. As indicated by the reference to “felowse” in the previous line, Pilate addresses more than one individual. Given that Torturer 1 speaks the next line, it is likely that Pilate addresses the Counselor along with the Torturers who have apparently been making noise since their entrance, albeit at a distance (see note to line 211, above).

250 Ye wote that ye demyd this day apon desse. You know that which you judged today on your dais — “that” being Jesus.

257 Lefe syrs, let be youre laytt and loke that ye layn. This line is the sole citation in both the MED and OED for the use of this noun as referring to search or seeking (OED lait (n.3); MED leit (n.2)). However, Pliate clearly focuses here on the Torturers’ speech as such, advising them not simply to be silent, as is common in these plays, but to stop searching — that is, for words. The OED also notes a later dialectical use of the verb to refer to hesitating in speech, alongside another citation from Towneley, in which Jesus uses the same verb in relation to his explication to the Doctors of other words, namely, the ten commandments (14.184) — see OED lait (v.2), sense 2.

265 I ment that no mytyng shuld mell hym of this. “This” refers to the garments of Jesus, which Pilate evidently snatches away from the torturers in the previous line (“that appentys unto me”); in line 267, Torturer 1 refers to Pilate as having to give it up.

275 Take thou this, and thou that, and this shall be thyne. Pilate evidently deals out three small pieces of the robe, yet it clearly remains whole (see line 300). Either he is simply indicating the parts of the robe that he would theoretically give to the others if he were indeed to “shere it in shredys” as suggested (line 274[a]), or cheating by giving them other pieces of cloth, or the miraculous robe remains miraculously intact, much as in the multiplication of the loaves and fishes — a miracle that occurs in all four gospel accounts, but notably twice in Matthew (14:13–21, 15:32–39) and in Mark (6:31–44, 8:1–9).

278–79 To tymely I toke it to take it thee untyll / The farest and the fowllest thy felowse to fang. That is, I brought the robe too soon, allowing you to take the best and give your fellows the worst.

283 lap. That is, a mere piece or flap of cloth (see MED lappe (n.), sense 3). See also the note to line 275 above.

289–91 Drede you not . . . . as it fallys. Fear not at all, for we will do so (that is, take the garment, see line 287); grieve not greatly, you will only get this gown as it divides by four (that is, you will get only the quarter that is your share). Both of the formulaic alliterative phrases that begin these lines are repeated later in the play; see lines 316, 303, and 334.

301 on youre hud. While similar to the phrase “by thy hood” (9.339; see also “my hode” at 2.218 and 8.196), this line appears to call for a gesture on the part of Pilate that could be taken for such an oath (perhaps mockingly — see line 304), such as touching his hat as he speaks. See also line 347[b] and note.

331 Thryrteen ar on thre. That is, the numbers on the three dice as thrown by Pilate add up to thirteen — a famously unlucky number associated with betrayal.

334 the next shall be nar. That is, the next throw will be better — nearer to a clear win.

339 thise byched bones. See also line 350. The same cursing reference to dice is found in Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Tale (CT VI[C] 656).

346 Seven is bot the seconde. That is, the second highest non-winning score, Torturer 1 having thrown eight.

347[b] Do shott at thi hud. This phrase is perhaps related to the common asseveration “by one’s hood” (see line 301 and note) but with an abusive edge; “shot” can refer to defecation (see for instance the play of Mankind, lines 782–86).

351 Felowse, in forward here have I fefteen. The phrase in forward literally means “by agreement” (as glossed by SC p. 675) or “according to promise” — here referring to the third Torturer’s promise to win, or his ‘agreement’ with the dice to “go now on gud” (line 349).

353 whistyll ye in the wenyande. The waning moon or waniand was considered unlucky (see note to 2.227–29), but here Pilate accuses Torturer 3 of whistling to push the dice toward a high score; see line 360.

364 For if it were duble full dere is it boght. Torturer 3 worries that he has won the robe at the expense of Pilate’s good will, which could cost him greatly. See also line 370, where he refers to Pilate’s threats as tripling the apparent cost.

395–96 As Fortune assyse / Men wyll she make. The image of Fortune with her wheel, which brings some upward while casting others down, making and breaking human success, is very common in medieval literature.

410–12 His hyppys then bakys / No symnell / Forhote. He then bakes no hot simnel — that is, fine bread, signifying the wealth lost by the turning of Fortune’s wheel. The phrase “his hips” (see 9.805–06 and note) here effectively serves as a comic title, parallel in form to “his highness.”

414–15 Is ther none other skyfte / Bot syfte, lady, syfte. That is, is there nothing other than constant trial? The word skift can refer to a trick or device, or to any attempt at doing something, or to fate, while “to sift” — aside from its literal meaning of putting through a sieve — means to try or put to trial (see MED siften (v.) and OED sift (n.), sense 2).


Play 21, THE DICE: 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 talorum. So SC. MS: talentorum. See headnote to this play in Explanatory Notes.

1–4 Cernite qui statis . . . . cedam ni taceatis. MS: the first lines are written in a formal variant of the main Anglicana hand.

8 noceatis. So SC. MS: neceatis.

31 vulgari. SC: wulgari. MS: wlgari.

33 vult. SC: wult. MS: wlt.

53 Atrox armipotens. MS: this stanza begins at the top of the page with an uncancelled extra-metrical line, omitted here, combining lines 53 and 56: Atrox armipotens: I graunt men girth by my good grace.

90 hanged. So MS. SC: hangyd.

99 swere. So EP, SC. MS: swe.

124 close. MS: the long s is written over another letter.

166 I have. MS: I is written in the margin, the scribe having apparently first started the line with have.

216 me. MS: se is crossed out before this word.

252 nowar. So SC. EP: ay war; MS: no war, no badly worn and very faint.

273 And I myster to no maner of mans bot myn. MS: the rule separating speeches is written in black above this line and as far as the name Pilatus, with a short red line after that speech heading.

290 Grefe you not greatly, ye gett not this gowne. MS: before this line in the left margin a later hand has written Omnipotenti in brown ink, the O having been mostly cropped.

291 foure. MS: iiij.

292 then craftely to cutt it were I bowne. So EP, SC. MS: then were I bowne craftely to cutt it, emended for rhyme.

305 Tytt shuld I spede for to spyll hym. MS: before this line in the left margin in faded brown ink a later hand has written reator [Creator?], any previous letters having been cropped, and The below that in larger letters.

331 Thryrteen. So EP. MS: xiij.

337 aght. So EP. MS: viij.

346 Seven. So EP. MS: vij.

351 fefteen. So EP. MS: xv.

360 puf. MS: this word is preceded by a partial uncancelled letter (perhaps anticipating the b of blaw at the end of this line).

370 throlé. MS: sore crossed out before this word.

435 Dew vows garde monsenyours. So SC. MS: Dew vows mon senyours.

After 438 talorum. So SC. MS: talentorum (as in opening line); see headnote to this play in Explanatory Notes.

 
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21. The Dice

from: The Towneley Plays  2017







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Pilate
Torturer 1
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Counselor

Incipit processus talorum. 1

Cernite qui statis
Quod mire sim probitatis.
Hec cognoscatis:
Vos cedam ni taceatis.
Cuncti discatis
Quasi sistam vir deitatis
Et maiestatis;
Michi fando ne noceatis,
Hoc modo mando.
Neve loquaces
Sive dicaces,
Poscite paces
Dum fero fando. 2

Stynt, I say; gyf, men, place
Quia sum dominus dominorum;
He that agans me says,
Rapietur lux oculorum.
Therfor gyf ye me space,
Ne tendam vim brachiorum,
And then get ye no grace;
Contestor iura polorum.
Caveatis!
Rewle I the Juré
Maxime pure;
Towne quoque rure,
Me paveatis.

Stemate regali,
Kyng Atus gate me of Pila;
Tramite legali
Am I ordand to reyn apon Juda.
Nomine vulgari
Pownce Pilate, that may ye well say.
Qui bene vult fari
Shuld call me fownder of all lay.
Judeorum
Jura guberno. 3
Pleasse me and say so.
Omnia firmo
Sorte deorum.

Myghty lord of all,
Me Cesar magnificavit.
Downe on knees ye fall!
Greatt God me sanctificavit,
Me to obey over all
Regi reliquo quasi David.
Hanged hy that he sall
Hoc iussum qui reprobavit.
I swere now:
Bot ye youre hedys
Bare in thies stedys, 4
Redy my swerde is
Of thaym to shere now.

Atrox armipotens,
Most myghty callyd in ylk place,
Vir quasi cunctipotens,
I graunt men girth by my good grace.
Tota refert huic gens
That none is worthier in face
Quin eciam bona mens
Doith trowth and right bi my trew lays
Silete
In generali
Sic speciali;
Yit agane byd I:
Jura tenete.

Loke that no boy be to bustus, blast here for to blaw,
Bot truly to my talkyng loke that ye be intendyng.
If here be any boy that will not loutt till oure law,
By myghty Mahowne hygh shall he hyng.
South, north, eest, west,
In all this warld in lengthe and brede,
Is none so doughty as I, the best,
Doughtely dyntand on mule and on stede.
Therfor I say
Loke that ye lowte to my lykance,
For dowte of dynt in grevaunce;
Dilygently ply to my plesance,
As prynce most myghty me pay.

And talke not a worde,
For whoso styrres or any dyn makys,
Deply in my daunger he rakys,
That as soferan me not takys
And as his awne lorde.

He has myster of nyghtys rest that nappys not in noynyng.
Boy, lay me downe softly and hap me well from cold;
Loke that no laddys noy me, nawder with cryyng nor with cronyng,
Nor in my sight ones greve me so bold.
If ther be any boyes that make any cry
Or els that will not obey me,
He were better be hanged hy
Then in my sight ones mefe me.

War, war, for now com I,
The most shrew in this cuntry.
I have ron full fast in hy
Hedir to this towne;
To this towne now comen am I
From the mownt of Calvery
Ther Crist hang, and that full hy,
I swere you bi my crowne.

At Calvery when he hanged was
I spuyd and spyt right in his face
When that it shoyn as any glas,
So semely to my sight;
Bot yit for all that fayr thyng
I loghe hym unto hethyng
And rofe of his clethyng.
To me it was full light.

And when his clothes were of in fere,
Lord, so we loghe and maide good chere,
And crownyd that carle with a brere
As he had bene a kyng.
And yit I did full propurly:
I clappyd his cors by and by;
I thoght I did full curiously,
In fayth, hym for to hyng.

Bot to Mahowne I make avowe:
Hedir have I broght his clethyng now
To try the trowthe before you,
Even this same nyght,
Of me and of my felowse two
With whom this garmente shall go.
Bot Sir Pilate must go therto,
I swere you by this light.

For whosoever may get thise close
He ther never rek where he gose,
For he semys nothyng to lose
If so be he theym were.
Bot now, now, felose, stand on rowme,
For he commes, shrewes, unto this towne,
And we will all togeder rowne,
So semely in oure gere.

War, war, and make rowme,
For I will with my felose rowne,
And I shall knap hym on the crowne
That standys in my gate.
I will lepe and I will skyp
As I were now out of my wytt,
Almost my breke thay ar beshyt
For drede I cam to late.

Bot by Mahowne now am I here,
The most shrew, that dar I swere,
That ye shall fynde awwhere;
Spyll-payn, in fayth, I hight.
I was at Calvery this same day
Where the kyng of Jues lay,
And ther I taght hym a newe play;
Truly me thoght it right.

The play, in fayth, it was to rowne
That he shuld lay his hede downe,
And sone I bobyd hym on the crowne;
That gam me thoght was good.
When we had played with hym oure fyll,
Then led we hym unto an hyll,
And ther we wroght with hym oure will
And hang hym on a rud.

No more now of this talkyng,
Bot the cause of my commyng:
Both on ernest and on hethyng
This cote I wold I had,
For if I myght this cote gett
Then wold I both skyp and lepe,
And therto fast both drynke and ete,
In fayth, as I were mad.

War, war, within thise wones,
For I com rynyng all at ones.
I have brysten both my balok stones,
So fast hyed I hedyr,
And ther is nothyng me so lefe
As murder a mycher and hang a thefe;
If here be any that doth me grefe
I shall them thresh togedir.

For I may swere with mekill wyn,
I am the most shrew in all myn kyn
That is from this towne unto Lyn.
Lo, here my felowse two.
Now ar we thre commen in,
A new gam for to begyn,
This same cote for to twyn
Or that we farther go.

Bot to Syr Pilate, prynce, I red that we go hy,
And present hym the playnt how that we ar stad;
Bot this gowne that is here, I say you forthy,
By myghty Mahowne I wold not he had.

I assent to that sagh by myghty Mahowne
Let us weynde to Sir Pilate withoutten any fabyll
Bot syrs bi my lewté he gettys not this gowne
Unto us thre it were right prophetabyll

Spill-payn, what says thou?
Youre sawes craftely assent I unto.
Then will I streght furth in this place
And speke with Sir Pilate wordys oone or two,
For I am right semely and fare in the face,
And now shall we se or we hence go.

Sir, I say thee, by my lewtee,
Where is Sir Pilate of pryce?
Sir, I say thee, as myght I thé,
He lygys here, in the dewyll servyce.

With that prynce, fowll myght he fall,
Must we have at do.
I shall go to hym and call
And loke what ye will say hym to.

My lord, my lorde!
What, boy, art thou nyse?
Call nomore; thou has callid twyse.
My lord.

What mytyng is that that mevys me in my mynde?
I, lord, youre counselloure, pight in youre saw.
Say, ar ther any catyffys combred that ar unkynde?
Nay lord, none that I knawe.

Then noy us no more of this noyse.
You carles unkynde, who bad you call me?
By youre mad maters I hald you bot boyes,
And that shall ye aby, els fowll myght befall me;
I shall not dy in youre dett.
Bewshere, I byd thee up thou take me,
And in my sete softly loke that thou me sett.

Now shall we wytt, and that in hy,
If that saghe be trew that thou dyd say;
If I fynde thee with lesyng, lad, thou shall aby
For to mell in the maters that pertenyth agans the lay.

Nay sir, not so: withoutten delay
The cause of my callyng is of that boy bold,
For it is saide sothely now this same day
That he shuld dulfully be dede,
Certayn,
Then may youre cares be full cold
If he thus sakles be slayn.

Fare and softly, sir, and say not to far.
Sett thee with sorow, then semys thou the les;
And of the law that thou leggys be wytty and war
Lest I greve thee greatly with dyntys expres.
Fals fatur, in fayth, I shall flay thee!
Thy reson unrad I red thee redres,
Or els of thise maters loke thou nomore mell thee.

Why shuld I not mell of those maters that I have you taght,
Thoug ye be prynce peerles withoutt any pere?
Were not my wyse wysdom, youre wyttys were in waght,
And that is seen expresse and playnly right here,
And done in dede.

Why, boy, bot has thou sayde?
Yee, lorde.
Therfor the devyll thee spede, thou carle unkynde.
Sich felowse myght well be on rowme;
Ye knaw not the comon cowrs that longys to a kyng.

Mahowne most myghtfull, he mensk you with mayn,
Sir Pilate, pereles prynce of this prese,
And save you, sir, syttand semely suffrayn.
We have soght to thy sayll, no sayng to sesse
Bot certyfie sone:
Ye wote that ye demyd this day apon desse;
We dowte not his doyng, for now is he done.

Ye ar welcom, iwys; ye ar worthy nowar.
Be it fon so of that fatur, in fayth, then am I fayn.
We have markyd that mytyng; no more shall he mar.
We prayed you, Sir Pilate, to put hym to payn,
And we thoght it well wroght.
Lefe syrs, let be youre laytt and loke that ye layn; 5
For nothyng that may be, nevyn ye it noght.

Make myrth of that mytyng full mekyll we may,
And have lykyng of oure lyfe for los of that lad,
Bot Syr Pilate peerles, a poynt I thee pray:
Hope ye with hethyng that harnes he had
To hold that was hys?
That appentys unto me, mafa! Art thou mad?
I ment that no mytyng shuld mell hym of this.

Mefe thee not, master, more if he mell,
For thou shall parte from that pelfe; thar thou not pleyte. 6
Yit styrt not farer for noght that ye fell. 7
I aske this gowne of youre gyfte; it is not so greatt,
And yit may it agayn you.
How, all in fageyng; in fayth, I know of youre featte.
For it fallys to us four, fyrst will I frayn you.

And I myster to no maner of mans bot myn. 8
Yee, lord, let shere it in shredys.
                                                   Now that hald I good skyll.
Take thou this, and thou that, and this shall be thyn,
And by lefe and by law this may leyfe styll.
O lordyng, I weyn it is wrang!
To tymely I toke it to take it thee untyll
The farest and the fowllest thy felowse to fang.

And thou art payed of thi parte, full truly I trowe.
It is shame for to se I am shapyn bot a shrede.
The hole of this harnes is holdyn to you,
And I am leverd a lap is lyke to no lede, 9
Fortatyrd and torne.
By myghty Mahowne that mylde is of mode,
If he skap with this cote it were a great skorne.

Now sen ye teyn so at this, take it to you,
With all the mawgré of myn and myght of Mahowne. 10
Drede you not doutles, for so will we dow;
Grefe you not greatly, ye gett not this gowne
Bot in foure as it fallys.
Had I a fawchon, then craftely to cutt it were I bowne.
Lo, it here that thou callys.

It is sharp with to shere, shere if thou may.
Even in the mydward to marke were mastré to me.
Most semely is in certan the seym to assay.
I have soght all this syde and none can I se,
Of greatt nor of small.
Bewshers, abyd you, I byd you let be;
I commaunde not to cutt it, bot hold it hole all.

Now ar we bon, for ye bad withhald on youre hud. 11
Wé, harlottys, go hang you, for hole shall it be.
Grefe you not greatly, he saide it for gud.
Wyst I that he spake it in spytyng of me,
Tytt shuld I spede for to spyll hym.
That were hym loth, lord, by my lewté;
Forthi grauntt hym youre grace.
                                                   No grevans I will hym.

Gramercy, thi gudnes.
                                   Yee, bot greve me no more.
Full dere beys it boght, in fayth, if ye do.
Shall I then save it?
                               Yee, so saide I or.
To draw cutt is the lelyst and long cut, lo,
This wede shall wyn.
Sir, to youre sayng yit assent we unto.
Bot oone assay: let se who shall begyn.

Wé, me falles all the fyrst, and forther shall ye.
Nay, drede you not doutles, for that do ye not.
O, he sekys as he wold dyssave us, now we se.
Bewshers, abyde you, heder have I broght
Thre dyse us emang.
That is a gam all the best, bi hym that me boght,
For at the dysyng he dos us no wrang.

And I am glad of that gam: on assay — who shall begyn? 12
Fyrst shall ye, and sen after we all.
Have the dyse and have done, and lefe all youre dyn,
For whoso has most, this frog shall he fall
And best of the bonys.

I assent to youre sayng; assay now I shall
As I wold at a wap wyn all at ones.

Aha, how now, here ar a hepe!
Have mynde then emang you how many ther ar.
Thryrteen ar on thre, thar ye not threpe.
Then shall I wyn, or all men be war.
Truly, lord, right so ye shall.
Bot grefe you not greatly, the next shall be nar
If I have hap to my hand — have here for all!

And I have sene as greatt a freke of his forward falyd; 13
Here ar bot aght turnyd up at ones.
Aght? A, his armes, that is yll. What so me alyd? 14
I was falsly begylyd with thise byched bones.
Ther cursyd thay be!
Well, I wote this wede bees won in thise wones;
I wold be fayn of this frog, myght it fall unto me.

It bees in waght, in fayth, and thou wyn.
No, bot war you away.
Here is baddyst above, by Mahownes bonys.
Seven is bot the seconde, the sothe for to say.

Wé, fy, that is shortt.
                                   Do shott at thi hud.
Now fallys me the fyrst,
And I have hap to this gowne; go now on gud,
The byched bones that ye be. I byd you go bett!

Felowse, in forward here have I fefteen!
As ye wote, I am worthi; won is this wede.
What, whistyll ye in the wenyande? Where have ye beyn?
Thou shall abak, bewshere; that blast I forbede.
Here ar men us emang,
Lele in oure lay, will ly for no leyd 15
And I wytnes at thaym if I wroght any wrang.

Thou wroght no dyssaytt, forsothe, that we saw,
Forthi thou art worthi, and won is this weyd at thyn awne wyll.
Yee, bot me pays not that playng to puf nor to blaw.
If he have right I ne rek or reson thertyll;
I refe it hym noght.
Have gud day, sir, and grefe you not yll,
For if it were duble, full dere is it boght.

Sir, sen thou has won this weyd, say, will thou vowchesafe
Of thi great gudnes this garment on me? 16
Sir, I say you certan, this shall ye not have.
Thou shall forthynk it in fayth. Fy, what, thou art fre?
Unbychid, unbayn.
For ye thrett me so throlé, were it sich thre, 17
Here I gif you this gud.
                                       Now, gramercy agayn.

Mekill thank and myn, and this shal be ment. 18
Bot I had not left it so lightly, had play me it lent.
No, bot he is faythfull and fre, and that shall be ment,
And more if I may:
If he myster to me, amend hym I mon.
I vowchesafe it be so, the sothe for to say.

Now thise dyse that ar undughty,
For los of this good,
Here I forswere hertely,
By Mahownes blood,
For was I never so happy
By mayn nor by mode
To wyn with sich sotelty
To my lyfys fode,
As ye ken.
Thise dysars and thise hullars,
Thise cokkers and thise bollars
And all purs-cuttars —
Bese well war of thise men.

Fy, fy, on thise dyse!
The devill I theym take.
Unwytty, unwyse,
With thaym that wold lake.
As Fortune assyse,
Men wyll she make.
Hir maners ar nyse:
She can downe and uptake,
And rych
She turnes up-so-downe
And under abone;
Most chefe of renowne
She castys in the dyche.

By hir meanes she makys
Dysers to sell
As thay sytt and lakys
Thare corne and thare catell;
Then cry thay and crakkys,
Bowne unto batell.
His hyppys then bakys
No symnell
Forhote,
Bot farewell, thryfte!
Is ther none other skyfte
Bot syfte, lady, syfte?
Thise dysars thay dote.

What commys of dysyng,
I pray you hark after,
Bot los of good in lakyng
And oft-tymes mens slaghter?
Thus sorow is at partyng,
At metyng if ther be laghter;
I red leyf sich vayn thyng
And serve God herafter
For hevens blys.
That lord is most myghty
And gentyllyst of Jury;
We helde to hym holy.
How thynk ye by this?

Well worth you all thre, most doughty in dede.
Of all the clerkys that I knaw most conyng ye be,
By soteltes of youre sawes, youre lawes for to lede.
I graunt you playn powere and frenship frelé,
I say.
Dew vows garde, monsenyours. 19
Mahowne, most myghty in castels and towres,
He kepe you lordyngys and all youres,
And havys all gud day.

Explicit processus talorum. 20
 






(t-note)

(t-note)






(t-note)






Cease
Because I am the lord of lords

The light of his eyes will be ripped out

Lest I extend the strength of my arm

I invoke the authority of the heavens as witness
Beware
Jewry
Most absolutely
Those of town and of country
Be terrified of me

By royal lineage
begat; (see note)
In a legal manner
ordained
My name in the vernacular [is]; (t-note)

Whoever wishes to speak well; (t-note)
laws



I affirm all this
By the oracle of the gods


Caesar exalts me

sanctifies me

Like another King David

Who has rejected this command



(see note)
cut them off

Fierce and strong in battle; (t-note)

An almost omnipotent man
protection
The entire nation declares to him

And indeed, fine mind

Be silent
In general
And in particular

Keep the law

too rude; (see note)
look; listening
submit
hang; (see note)

breadth
valiant
striking blows; horse

submit; pleasure
dread; blow
Diligently attend
please me


stirs; noise
danger; goes
sovereign; takes
own

need; at noon
cover; (see note)
annoy
once; grieve; boldly


(t-note)
once disturb

Beware; (see note)
villainous; country
run; in haste
Here


Where
head; (t-note)


spewed; spit; (see note)
shone
beautiful
yet; fair
laughed; scorn
tore off; clothing


removed altogether
laughed; made
churl; briar

full rightly
struck his body again and again
skillfully
faith

an oath
Here; clothing
truth

companions
(see note)



these clothes; (see note); (t-note)
care; goes

wear
fellows; aside
villains
converse
attire; (see note)

room
fellows converse
knock
path


breeches; beshitten



villainous; dare
anywhere
(see note)


taught
(see note)

whisper
head
soon I hit
game
fill


cross



in earnest; jest
coat; would





in this place
running at once
burst; testicles; (t-note)
hurried I here
dear
robber; thief
that cause me grief
thrash

much delight
of all my kind
King’s Lynn; (see note)
fellows
coming

divide
Before

advise that we hurry
complaint; delayed



speech; [fol. 94r]
go; lies
by my faith
Unless to us three; profitable


words; agree


pleasing
before

faith
noble Sir Pilate
thrive
lies; devil’s service

foul
something to do

examine


foolish
called twice


puny fellow; disturbs
placed at your command
overburdened wretches


annoy
churls; bade; (see note)
concerns; boys
pay for; foul
debt
Fair sir
seat; set; (t-note)

know; haste
speech
lying; pay
meddle; pertain; law




dolefully


innocent


smaller; (see note)
claim; wary
distinct blows
traitor
impudent; advise; amend
concern yourself

speak; taught

peril
clearly


finished speaking

devil speed you
at a distance
custom; pertains; (see note)

honor; might

fair sovereign
hall, not to cease talking
verify soon
dais; (see note)
fear

certainly; nowhere; (t-note)
found; traitor; glad
puny fellow; [fol. 95r]


search; (see note)
name

sport; much
pleasure

scorn; apparel

belongs; by my faith
concern himself with; (see note)

Anger; speak



benefit
craftiness; conduct
Since; ask

(t-note)
tear
hold
(see note)
life; remain
think
early; (see note)
capture

content with; believe
decreed; shred
whole; apparel belongs
(see note)
All tattered
manner
escape; coat

since; rage; [fol. 95v]

doubtless; do; (see note)
Grieve; (t-note)
(t-note)
sword; ready; (t-note)



middle; mastery
try [to cut] the seam


Fair sirs


(see note)
scoundrels
good
Know; to spite me
Quickly; kill; (t-note)
loath; loyalty
Therefore
grievance

Thank you

be it bought

before
most fair
garment

Only one attempt

afterwards
doubtless
seeks; deceive
here
dice; among
game
dicing; wrong

[fol. 96r]
then
stop; noise
frock
dice

agree; try
one throw; at once

are
Notice
you need not quarrel; (see note); (t-note)
beware

nearer; (see note)
luck


eight; at once; (t-note)

betrayed; damned dice; (see note)

garment; in this place
glad; frock

is in peril; if you


truly; (see note); (t-note)

falls short
hood; (see note)

[a] chance at; good
do well

(see note); (t-note)
in this place
(see note)
draw back, fair sir
are; [fol. 96v]



deceit, truly

puff; (t-note)
neither care nor argue
rob
good; grieve
[worth] double; (see note)



certainly
repent
Accursed; disobedient
(t-note)

thank you





is of service; must
truth

these dice; worthless
loss
heartily

lucky
so fervently
subtlety
sustenance
know
dicers; libertines
wranglers; drunkards
thieves
Be wary

these dice


play
ordains; (see note)

are wanton


upside down
above
men of renown
casts; ditch


Dicers
play
Their grain and their cattle
speak sharply
Ready for battle
(see note)
simnel bread
Piping hot
prosperity
trick; (see note)

talk foolishly


listen
playing
often; slaughter

laughter
I advise you [to] leave such vain things



Jewry
support him completely


valiant
cunning
subtleties; words
full; freely

(t-note)




(t-note)
 

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