24. The Pilgrims

Play 24, THE PILGRIMS: FOOTNOTES


1 The pilgrims

2 Here Jesus comes in pilgrim’s clothing

3 Then they should prepare a table

4 Then they shall recline and Jesus shall sit between them; / then Jesus shall bless the bread and break it in three pieces, / and afterwards he shall vanish from their sight, and Luke shall say

5 Here end the pilgrims


Play 24, THE PILGRIMS: 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).

The story of the encounter with the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus, near Jerusalem (see note to line 158 below), is found only in Luke 24:13–33, which gave rise to the tradition that the unnamed pilgrim who accompanies Cleophas was the evangelist Luke himself. Some modern theologians, however, identify the second pilgrim as the wife of Cleophas — Mary Cleophas, traditionally identified with Mary Jacobi (see note to 19.363), who according to John 19:25 witnessed the crucifixion alongside her sister (or possibly sister-in-law), Mary, the mother of Jesus. Neither character is named in the dialogue itself. The play likely started as a pageant written entirely in a 6-line stanza form, but now includes a variety of forms, including a single 13-line 'bob and wheel' stanza (lines 19–31, but atypical in its metrical pattern). Despite this and other evidence of multiple revisions, the play is relatively straightforward and regular in form, each character speaking in full stanzas (of whatever form) except for one shared 7-line stanza (lines 244–50) and a quatrain (lines 281–84) that refer, appropriately enough, to their sharing company. They ultimately share a meal through which the identity of the risen Jesus is revealed.


4–5 Whyls thou had lyfe on lyfe to be / Emangys thise men. That is, while you lived to be alive among these men, or simply, when you were alive.

7–8 That I it ken / I ken it well. The two first 7-line stanzas are linked by a type of verbal repetition known as concatenation, as are several other stanzas (see lines 14–15, 43–44, 97–98). Concatenation is used heavily throughout the York Emmaus pageant (play 40, produced by the Woolpackers and Woolbrokers).

17 His woundes all wete thay ware. See note to 23.364.

32 ever worth thaym wo. That is, forever worthy of woe. In regard to the anti-Semitic idea that Jews as a people are eternally cursed, see the note to 19.293–95.

50–53 Certys . . . . that trew. Certainly, it was a strange thing that they would not trust in that truthful one, neither on account of (miraculous) signs nor due to his teaching.

77–79 For sorow . . . . For hir son sake. That is, I saw her swoon (line 75) for sorrow, and fall down under the cross, for her son’s sake.

90 Asell and gall that was not good. That is, vinegar and gall, which was unfit to drink (being very bitter); see the note to 20.539–40.

103, s.d. apparatus peregrini. Jesus is dressed like Luke and Cleophas, whom he immediately addresses as “Pylgrymes.” Each likely bears a walking stick and satchel and wears a cloak as well as a distinctive wide-brimmed hat — the distinctive garb of a medieval pilgrim. Pilgrims’ hats were often adorned with a badge of some sort — most famously a scallop shell from the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella or, from Jerusalem, a palm leaf or (appropriately for this play) a cross.

106 Have ye youre gates ungrathly gone. That is, are you lost?

110–11 To here theym eft full sore I lang, / Here of yow two. That is, I deeply long to hear the two of you repeat your words.

116 a man by thee alane. That is, you are a solitary man; see line 124. In the Vulgate Latin translation of Luke 24:18, Cleophas refers to Jesus with apparent annoyance (see line 117) as “solus peregrinus” (“the only pilgrim”) in Jerusalem who seems not to know what has happened there.

158 a crosse noght hens a myle. According to Luke 24:13, Emmaus was sixty furlongs (roughly 7.5 miles or 12 kilometers) from Jerusalem. While the pilgrims arrive at “this cyté” at line 273 (see note below), referred to as “Emaus castell” in the Towneley play of Thomas of India (see 25.463 and the note to 25.459–68), their destination is not actually named in this play.

161 His awne lyfe agane shuld by. Terminology normally reserved to refer to the redemption of humankind is here applied to Jesus saving his own life through resurrection.

170–71 Wheder he be rysen and gane / Yit we ne knaw. Luke will later claim to the contrary that “some of us” have seen the empty tomb; see lines 201–05, which is significantly part of a 7-line rather 6-line stanza such as this, and likely of a different origin.

174–76 Ye have it hart . . . . Thyng that ye here. That is, it is a pity that you cannot stand by what you have heard — specifically, prophecy of the resurrection. According to Luke 24:27, Jesus explained all the scriptural prophecies concerning himself to the two pilgrims, beginning with Moses (who is explicitly mentioned in the York Emmaus pageant, 40.134–36, as here in line 224).

192–94 a light . . . . in thare sight. No such incident is mentioned in the gospel accounts, although Luke 24:4 mentions two angels in shining garments at the empty tomb.

222 And so to his Paske bow. And so submit to his Passover — that is, to his role as the sacrificial lamb of God.

224 Take tent to Moyses and othere mo. That is, take note of Moses and others as well. See note to lines 174–76 above.

239 Fro he weynde hens away. That is, from the moment that he leaves this world, to go to heaven.

271–72 Bot if that thou can more of arte / Or yet of lare. That is, in case you know still more that you can teach us.

273 Unto this cyté. Luke refers in line 285 to “this towne.” In the York Nativity play, Joseph refers to the little town of Bethlehem as “this cité” (York 14.9), while at the Entry into Jerusalem the citizens welcome Jesus to “owre cité” (York 25.544, 185), referring in each case both to the pageant wagon stage and to the city of York itself, which effectively stands in for these holy sites. It is unclear what city or what type of stage might be intended to stand in for Emmaus (here unnamed — see note to line 158 above).

284 bi Sant Gyl. Giles or Aegidius, the patron saint of cripples, was an eighth-century hermit.

296, s.d. Tunc recumbent . . . et dicet Lucas. They recline on either side of Jesus at a low table (covered with a cloth, line 291) on which they have placed bread (likely pre-cut to create three pieces); at line 345, Luke refers to their “Syttyng on grownd.” The rest of the stage direction, like the dialogue that follows, suggests a sudden and startling disappearance, such as by a mechanical device.

314–15 For spech and bewté that he has / Man myght hym knaw this day. That is, because of his words and his beauty, he should have been easily recognizable.

350 I knew hym then and sone it kyst. Luke 24:35 states that they knew him in the breaking of the bread; Cleophas takes this a step further and suggests here that he venerated the bread he was given with a kiss.

353–54 all sone he hym withdrogh / Fro he saw that we hym knogh. That is, Jesus suddenly vanished the moment he saw that they had recognized him.

357 Away that he shuld glyde. The word “glide” here implies smooth and swift as well as stealthy movement (see MED gliden (v.)), again suggesting use of a mechanical device (see note above to line 296, s.d.).

360–61 whi held thou noght / When he on borde brake us this breede. Cleophas upbraids Luke for not understanding that this was Jesus when he broke bread at the table (“on borde”).


Play 24, THE PILGRIMS: 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: A sixteenth-century hand has written fysher pagent below the title in black ink, while another hand has written the name Iohn (John) above the decorated initial A — possibly the same hand that has written Ind and Inde in the top margin of the following page, above line 15 and 16.

1–2 Almyghty God Jesu . . . a madyn fre. MS: the first two lines are written in a formal variant of the main Anglicana hand.

18 Alas. MS: w crossed out before this word.

58 lam. MS: bet is cancelled before this word.

74 Luke (speech heading). MS: Lucas is wrongly cued to the next line with a red line separating this line (the first on the page) from line 75.

82 The. So EP, SC. MS: Th.

122 youre skyll. So SC. EP: youre wyll. MS: rhyme word missing after youre.

220 what. MS: th crossed out before this word.

248 rest. So EP, SC. All but the r is missing, a strip having been deliberately cut off the margin of the page.

258 it. So EP, SC. MS: is.

297, s.d. evanebit. MS: the t is not crossed.

 
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24. The Pilgrims

from: The Towneley Plays  2017







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Cleophas
Luke
Jesus

Peregrini. 1

Almyghty God, Jesu! Jesu
That borne was of a madyn fre,
Thou was a lord and prophete trew
Whyls thou had lyfe on lyfe to be
Emangys thise men.
Yll was thou ded, so wo is me
That I it ken.

I ken it well that thou was slayn
Oonly for me and all mankynde;
Therto thise Jues were full bayn.
Alas, why was thou, man, so blynde
Thi lord to slo?
On hym why wold thou have no mynde
Bot bett hym blo?

Blo thou bett hym bare;
His brest thou maide all blak.
His woundes all wete thay ware.
Alas, withoutten lak.

That lord, alas, that leche
That was so meke and mylde,
So well that couth us preche,
With syn was never fylde.
He was full bayn to preche
Us all from warkes wylde.
His ded it will me drech,
For thay hym so begylde
This day.
Alas, why dyd thay so,
To tug hym to and fro?
From hym wold thay not go
To his lyfe was away.

Thise cursyd Jues, ever worth thaym wo,
Oure lord oure master to ded gart go.
All sakles thay gart hym slo
Apon the rode,
And for to bete his body blo
Thay thoght full good.

Thou says full sothe: thay dyd hym payn
And therto were thay ever fayn;
Thay wold no leyf or he was slayn
And done to ded.
Forthi we mowrne with mode and mayn
With rufull red.

Yee, rufully may we it rew,
For hym that was so good and trew
That thrugh the falshede of a Jew
Was thus betrayd;
Therfor oure sorow is ever new,
Oure joy is layd.

Certys, it was a wonder thyng
That thay wold for no tokynyng
Ne yit for his techyng
Trast in that trew;
Thay myght have sene in his doyng
Full great vertu.

For all that thay to hym can say
He answard never, with yee ne nay,
Bot as a lam meke was he ay
For all thare threte;
He spake never by nyght ne day
No wordes greatte.

All if he wor withoutten plight,
Unto the ded yit thay hym dight.
If he had never so mekill myght,
He suffred all;
He stud as still that bright
As stone in wall.

Alas, for doyll, what was thare skyll
That precyous lord so for to spill
And he servyd never none yll,
In worde ne dede,
Bot prayd for theym his Fader till
To ded when that he yede?

When I thynk on his passyon
And on his moder, how she can swoyn,
To dy nere am I bowne;
For sorow I sagh hir make
Under the crosse when she fell downe
For hir son sake.

Me thynk my hart is full of wo.
When I sagh hym to ded go,
The wekyd Jues thay were so thro
To wyrk hym woghe,
His fare body thay maide full blo
With strokes enoghe.

Me thynk my hart droppys all in bloode.
When I sagh hym hyng on the roode
And askyd a drynk with full mylde mode,
Right than in hy
Asell and gall that was not good
Thay broght hym then truly.

Was never man in no kyns steede
That suffred half so greatt mysdede
As he, to ded or that he yede,
Ne yit the care;
Forthi full carefull is my red
Wheresoever I fare.

Whereso I fare he is my mynde,
Bot when I thynk on hym so kynde,
How sore gyltles that he was pyynde
Apon a tre,
Unethes may I hold my mynde,
So sore myslykys me.

Hic venit Jesus in apparatus peregrini. 2

Pylgrymes, whi make ye this mone
And walk so rufully by the way?
Have ye youre gates ungrathly gone?
Or what you alys to me ye say.

What wordes ar you two emange
That ye here so sadly gang?
To here theym eft full sore I lang,
Here of yow two.
It semys ye ar in sorow strang
Here as ye go.

What way for shame, man, has thou tayn
That thou wote not of this affray?
Thou art a man by thee alane;
Thou may not pleasse me to my pay.

I pray you, if it be youre will,
Those wordys ye wold reherse me tyll.
Ye ar all hevy and lykys yll
Here in this way;
If ye will, now shew me youre skyll,
I wold you pray.

Art thou a pilgreme, thiself alone,
Walkand in contry bi thyn oone,
And wote not what is commen and gone
Within few dayes?
Me thynk thou shuld make mone
And wepe here in thi wayes.

Whi, what is done, can ye me say,
In this land this ylk day?
Is ther fallen any affray
In land awrewhare?
If ye can me tell, I you pray,
Or that I farthere fare.

Why, knowys thou not what thyng is done
Here at Jerusalem thus sone
Thrugh wykyd Jues, withoutten hone
And noght lang syn?
For the trewe prophete make we this mone,
And for his pyne.

Yee, for Jesu of Nazarene
That was a prophete true and clene,
In word, in wark, full meke I wene,
And that fonde we;
And so has he full long bene,
As mot I thé,

To God and to the people bath.
Therfor thise daies he has takyn skath;
Unto the ded withoutten hagh
Thise Jues hym dight.
Forthi for hym thus walk we wrath
By day and nyght.

Thise wykyd Jues trayed hym with gyle
To thare high preestys within a whyle,
And to thare prynces thay can hym fyle
Withoutten drede;
Apon a crosse noght hens a myle
To ded he yede.

We trowyd that it was he, truly,
His awne lyfe agane shuld by,
As it is told in prophecy
Of Cristys doyng,
And certys thay will never ly
For no kyns thyng.

Fro he was of the crosse tayn,
He was layde full sone agane
In a grave under a stane,
And that we saw;
Wheder he be rysen and gane
Yit we ne knaw.

Pilgremes, in speche ye are full awth.
That shall I well declare you why:
Ye have it hart, and that is rawth
Ye can no better stand therby,
Thyng that ye here,
And prophetys told it openly
On good manere.

Thay saide a childe there shuld be borne
To by mankynde, combryd in care;
Thus saide David here beforne
And othere prophetys wyse of lare,
And Daniell.
Som saide he ded shuld be
And ly in erth by dayes thre,
And sithen thrugh his pausté
Ryse up in flesh and fell.

Now sir, forsothe, as God me save,
Women has flayed us in oure thoght.
Thay saide that thay were at his grave
And in that sted thay faunde hym noght,
Bot saide a light
Com downe with angels and up hym broght
Ther in thare sight.

We wold not trow theym for nothyng
If thay were ther in the mornyng;
We saide thay knew not his rysyng
When it shuld be;
Bot som of us, without dwellyng,
Wentt theder to se.

Yee, som of us, sir, have beyn thare
And faunde it as the women saide:
Out of that sted that cors was fare,
And also the grave stone put besyde,
We se with ee.
The teres outt of myn ees can glyde
For doyll I dre.

Ye foyles, ye ar not stabyll.
Where is youre witt, I say?
Wilsom of hart, ye ar unabyll
And outt of the right way,
For to trow it is no fabyll
That at is fallen this same day.
He wyst when he sat at his tabill
That Judas shuld hym sone betray.

Me thynk you all untrist to trow
Both in mode and mayn
All that the prophetys told to you
Before, it is no trane.
Told not thay what wyse and how
That Cryst shuld suffre payn,
And so to his Paske bow
To entre till his joy agane?

Take tent to Moyses and othere mo
That were prophetys trew and good:
Thay saide Jesus to ded shuld go
And pynde be on roode,
Thrugh the Jues be maide full blo,
His woundys rynyng on red blode;
Sithen shuld he ryse and furth go
Before right as he yode.

Crist behovid to suffre this,
Forsothe, right as I say,
And sithen enter into his blys
Unto his Fader for ay,
Ever to won with hym and his
Where ever is gam and play;
Of that myrth shall he never mys
Fro he weynde hens away.

Now, sir, we thank it full oft-sythes
The commyng of you heder
To us so kyndly kythes
The prophecy all togeder.

Byleyff now, sirs, for I must weynde,
For I have far of my jornay.
Now sir, we pray you as oure freynde
All nyght to abyde for charité
And take youre rest.
At morne more prest then may ye be
To go full prest.

Sir, we you pray for Godys sake
This nyght penance with us to take,
With sich chere as we can make,
And that we pray.
We may no farthere walk ne wake;
Gone is the day.

Dwell with us, sir, if ye myght,
For now it waxes to the nyght.
The day is gone that was so bright;
No far thou shall.
Mete and drynk, sir, we you hight
For thi good tale.

I thank you both, forsothe, in fere.
At this tyme I ne may dwell here.
I have to walk in wayes sere
Where I have hight;
I may not be withoutten were
With you all nyght.

Now as myght I lyf in qwarte,
At this tyme will we not parte
Bot if that thou can more of arte
Or yit of lare;
Unto this cyté with good harte
Now let us fare.

Thou art a pilgreme as we ar;
This nyght shall thou fare as we fare;
Be it les or be it mare,
Thou shall assay.
Then to-morne thou make thee yare
To weynde thi way.

Freyndys, for to fulfill youre will
I will abyde with you awhyle.
Sir, ye ar welcom, as is skyll,
To sich as we have, bi Sant Gyle.

Now ar we here at this towne.
I red that we go sytt us downe
And for to sowpe we make us bowne
Now of oure fode;
We have enogh, sir, bi my crowne,
Of Godys goode.

Tunc parent mensam. 3

Lo, here a borde and clothe laide,
And breed theron all redy graide.
Sit we downe, we shal be paide
And make good chere;
It is but penaunce; as we saide;
That we have here.

Tunc recumbent et sedebit Jesus in medio eorum;
tunc benediciet Jesus panem et franget in tribus partibus,
et postea evanebit ab ocullis eorum, et dicet Lucas: 4

Wemmow! where is this man becom
Right here that sat betwix us two?
He brake the breed and laide us som;
How myght he hens now fro us go
At his awne lyst?
It was oure Lorde, I trow right so,
And we not wyst.

When went he hens, whedir and how,
What, I ne wote in warld so wyde;
For had I wyten I make a vowe
He shuld have byden what so betyde.

Bot it were Jesus that with us was,
Selcowth me thynke, the sothe to say,
Thus prevaly from us to pas;
I wist never when he went away.
We were full blynde, ever alas!
I tell us now begylde for ay.
For spech and bewté that he has
Man myght hym knaw this day.

A, dere God, what may this be?
Right now was he here by me;
Now is this greatt vanyté,
He is away.
We ar begylyd, by my lewté,
So may we say.

Where was oure hart, where was oure thoght,
So far on gate as he us broght,
Knawlege of hym that we had noght
In all that tyme?
So was he lyke, bi hym me wroght,
Till oon pylgryme.

Dere God, why couth we hym not knawe?
So openly all on a raw
The tayles that he can till us shaw
By oone and oon,
And now from us within a thraw
Thus sone is gone.

I had no knawlege it was he
Bot for he brake this brede in thre
And delt it here to thee and me
With his awne hande;
When he passyd hence we myght not se
Here syttande.

We ar to blame, yee, veramente,
That we toke no better tente
Whils we bi the way wente
With hym that stownd;
Knowlege of hym we myght have hentt
Syttyng on grownd.

Fro he toke breede, full well I wyst,
And brake it here with his awne fyste
And laide it us at his awne lyst
As we it hent;
I knew hym then and sone it kyst
With good intente.

That we hym knew wist he well enogh;
Therfor all sone he hym withdrogh
Fro he saw that we hym knogh
Within this sted.
I have ferly what way and how
Away that he shuld glyde.

Alas, we war full myrk in thoght,
Bot we were both full will of red.
Man, for shame, whi held thou noght
When he on borde brake us this breede?

He soght the prophecy more and les
And told it us right in this sted,
How that he hymself was
With wykid Jues broght to ded
And more.
We will go seke that kyng
That suffred woundes sore.

Ryse, go we hence fro this place;
To Jerusalem take we the pace
And tell oure brethere all the case,
I red, right thus:
From ded to lyfe when that he rase
He apperyd till us.

At Jerusalem, I understande,
Ther hope I that they be dwelland;
In that countré and in that land
We shall theym mete.
Weynd we furth, I dar warand,
Right in the strete.

Let us not tary ne mare,
Bot on oure feete fast lett us fare.
I hope we shall be cachid fro care
Full sone, iwys.
That blyssid childe that Marie bare
Grauntt you his blys.

Expliciunt peregrini. 5
 




(t-note)

(t-note)


were alive; (see note)

Wickedly were you put to death
know; (see note)



willing

slay
would
beat; blue


breast; (see note)
wet (bloody)
lack; (t-note)

healer

could
defiled
ready
works
death; torment





Until

(see note)
to death made go
innocent; made
the rood (cross)
beat; blue


truthfully
glad
would not stop until
death
Therefore; mourn fervently
sorrowful words

regret

falsehood




Certainly; (see note)
token
Nor yet; teaching





yes nor no
lamb; always; (t-note)
their torment

emotional

Although; guilt
death; condemned
Although he was all-powerful

stood


misery; their reason
kill
Although
nor deed

death; went

passion; [fol. 108v]; (t-note)
mother; swoon
ready
saw; (see note)

son’s


saw
wicked; eager; (t-note)
woe
blue
enough

drops
hung
manner
in haste
Vinegar; (see note)


no other place

before he went to [his] death

Therefore; sorrowful; speech


in my memory

very guiltless; tortured
cross
Scarcely
it displeases; (see note)



Pilgrims; lament
sorrowfully
ways; mistakenly; (see note)
ails

among
go
again; long; (see note)

intense sorrow


taken
disturbance
yourself alone; (see note)
satisfaction


to me
heavy and seemingly ill

show; reason; (t-note)



on your own


lament



same
disturbance
anywhere

Before


soon
delay
not long since
we lament
suffering



work; believe


As I may thrive

both
these days; harm
reverence
condemned
Therefore; sorrowful


betrayed; trickery
their; priests
their princes; defile
doubtless
not a mile from here; (see note)
To death he went


own life; redeem; (see note)


certainly; lie
not any

When; off; taken
soon again
stone

(see note)
do not know

idle

heard; pity; (see note)


Although



buy; miserable

learning

dead

And then through his power
skin

truly
frightened

found
(see note)
Came
their

believe
Even if


delay
there; see

there
found
body was gone

saw; eye
tears; eyes
misery; suffer

fools

Errant of heart; incompetent

believe
That which
knew; table
soon

unfaithful; believe
fervently

treachery
manner; (t-note)

Passover submit; (see note)


(see note)

death
tortured
blue
running with red blood
Then
went

was required

then; bliss
always
dwell
game

(see note)

often
here
makes known


By your leave; go


charity
(t-note)
prepared
quickly



such cheer

nor stay awake



becomes night; (t-note)

further
Food; promise


together
may not remain
diverse
promised
without distress


live in good health

(see note)
teaching
heart; (see note)
go



less; more
try
ready




reasonable
by Saint Giles; (see note)


advise
for supper; ready






a table is set
bread; prepared





(see note); (t-note)




between
broke the bread; offered

own desire
believe
did not know it

from here; where
know not; world
thought
remained whatever happened


Wonderful; truly
secretly
knew never
blind
deceived forever
speech; beauty; (see note)


dear

vanity
gone
deceived; by my faith


heart
on the road
Knowledge


To any

could
in turn
show
one after another
moment
soon


Except that; three
dealt; you
own

sitting

yes truly
paid no better attention

time
received



own fist
desire
received
kissed; (see note)


he knew well enough
withdrew; (see note)
knew
place
wonder [at]
glide; (see note)

dim
at a loss for advice
understood; (see note)
at the table










path
brethren
advise
death to life; rose
appeared

[fol. 111v]
dwelling


promise


any more
go
taken from sorrow





 

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