Play 30, Death of Judas; Trials before Pilate and Herod

Play 30, DEATH OF JUDAS; TRIALS BEFORE PILATE AND HEROD: FOOTNOTES

1 And asked that you be at the moot (meeting) hall by daybreak

2 Go your way, good messenger and return my compliments

3 He will be at the moot hall in haste, soon after the day dawns

4 What? Speak, I say! You foul thing, may evil take you

Play 30, DEATH OF JUDAS; TRIALS BEFORE PILATE AND HEROD: EXPLANATORY NOTES


Abbreviations: Bev: Medieval Drama, ed. Bevington (1975); MED: Middle English Dictionary; S: N-Town Play, ed. Spector (1991); s.d.: stage direction.

5 ff. mot halle. The moot hall was a meeting place used as an administrative head­quarters of justice, a town hall, a courtroom, or a council chamber (MED).

17 prime. The first hour of the day, 6:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. sometimes.

48 Shewyth. Bevington renders this "which he shows" (Bev, p. 529).

122 outborn. Born outside of Pilate's jurisdiction (S 2:509).

152, s.d. in astat. Likely, Herod is in his own scaffold on his throne, surrounded by his legal entourage.

177–80 The other English plays, except for York, do not charge Jesus with sorcery. The fifteenth-century punishment for treason (dragging by wild horses, drawing, and burning; or hanging in the gibbet) is described in 27.110–12, 129–32.

237 Compare John 19:36 which refers to the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:46 and Numbers 9:12) and the afflictions of the righteous (Vulgate Psalm 33:20).

245–49 This is a five-line stanza with a triplet, perhaps a remnant of a thirteener stanza.

Play 30, DEATH OF JUDAS; TRIALS BEFORE PILATE AND HEROD: TEXTUAL NOTES

Abbreviations: Bev: Medieval Drama, ed. Bevington (1975); Bl: Ludus Coventriae, ed. Block (1922); PP: Passion Play, ed. Meredith (1990); S: N-Town Play, ed. Spector (1991); s.d.: stage direction; s.n.: stage name.

1–2 MS: large play number 30 written between lines and s.n.s.

18 longer nor. MS: and nor.

31 soldyst. So Bl, Bev. PP, S: seldyst.

45 cetye. MS: ceyt cetye.

59 newe. MS: w newe.

77 an erde. So MS, Bl, PP, S. Bev: han herde.

87 emperour. So MS, Bl, S, Bev. PP notes that MS says emperouur.

97 ye seyn. MS: we canceled and ʒe written above.

105–110 MS: written as two lines in one.

106 is. MS: written above the line.

Before 129 MS: fol. 172v marked 170 in top left.

145 MS: no capitulum.

181 Most excellent kyng. MS: excelynglent.

214 thee. MS: a letter has been canceled before.

229, s.n. HERODES. MS: Hero, remainder cropped.

233, s.n. JUDEUS 1. MS: Jude, remainder cropped.

236, s.d. pulle of. So MS, Bl, PP, S. Bev: off.

237, s.n. JUDEUS 2. MS: Jude, remainder cropped.

241 whyppys. MS: h written over a y.

245 HERODES. MS: omitted.

259 demawnde. So Bev, PP, S. MS, Bl: demawde.

After 261 MS: play ends at bottom of fol. 174v; Play 31 begins top of fol. 175r.
 
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Play 30, Death of Judas; Trials before Pilate and Herod

by: Douglas Sugano (Editor)
from: The N-Town Plays  2007






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CAYPHAS Massangere! Massangere!
MASSANGER Here, lord, here!

CAYPHAS Massanger, to Pylat in hast thu shalt gon
And sey hym we comawnde us in word and in dede
And prey hym that he be at the mot halle anoon,
For we han a gret matere that he must nedys spede.

In hast now, go thi way
And loke thu tery nowth!
MASSANGER It shal be do, lord, be this day.
I am as whyt as thought.
 
(t-note)


haste
commend ourselves
ask; moot hall soon; (see note)
have; take care of

haste
look; tarry not
done; by
swift

 
  [Here Pylat syttyth in his skaffald, and the massanger knelyth to hym, thus seyng:
 





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Al heyl, Sere Pylat, that semly is to se,
Prynce of al this Juré and kepere of the lawe.
My lord Busshop Cayphas comawndyd hym to thee
And prayd thee to be at the mot halle by the day dawe.1

PYLAT Go thi way, praty masanger and comawnde me also.2
I shal be there in hast, and so thu mayst say
Be the oure of prime, I shal comyn hem to.
I tery no longer nor make no delay.
 
seemly
Jewry




haste
By the hour of prime; to them; (see note)
(t-note)

 
  [Here the massanger comith agen and bryngith an ansuere, thus seyng:
 

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MASSANGER Al heyl, myn lordys and buschoppys and princys of the lawe!
Ser Pylat comawndyth hym to you and bad me to you say
He wole be at the mot halle in hast, sone after the day dawe.3
He wold ye shuld be ther be prime withouth lenger delay.

CAYPHAS Now weyl mote thu fare, my good page.
Take thu this for thi massage.
 
bishops
bade

longer

well may
message

 
[THE DEATH OF JUDAS]
 
  [Here enteryth Judas onto the Juwys, thus seyng:
 
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JUDAS I, Judas, have synyd and treson have don,
For I have betrayd this rythful blood!
Here is youre mony agen, all and som,
For sorwe and thowth, I am wax wood.

ANNAS What is that to us? Avyse thee now —
Thu dedyst with us covnawnt make;
Thu soldyst hym us, as hors or kow;
Therfore, thin owyn dedys, thu must take.
 

righteous
again; all of it
sorrow; thought; going insane

Think about it
did; contract
him [to] us; cow; (t-note)
deeds; accept

 
  [Than Judas castyth down the mony and goth and hangyth hymself.
 
[TRIAL BEFORE PILATE]
 


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CAYPHAS Now, serys, the nyth is passyd; the day is come.
It were tyme this man had his jewgement,
And Pylat abydyth in the mot halle alone
Tyl we shuld this man present.

And therfore, go we now forth with hym in hast.
JUDEUS 1 It shal be don, and that in short spas!
JUDEUS 2 Ya, but loke yf he be bownd ryth wel and fast!
JUDEUS 3 He is saff anow. Go we ryth a good pas.
 
sirs; night
judgment
waits; moot hall



done; quickly
make sure
safe enough; pace

 
  [Here thei ledyn Jhesu abowt the place tyl thei come to the halle.
 





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CAYPHAS Sere Pylat, takyht hede to this thing
Jhesus we han beforn thee browth,
Wheche oure lawe doth down bring
And mekyl schame he hath us wrowth.

ANNAS From this cetye into the lond of Galylé,
He hath browth oure lawys neyr into confusion
With hese craftys wrowth be nygramancye,
Shewyth to the pepyl be fals symulacyon.

DOCTOR 1 Ya, yet, sere, another and werst of alle:
Agens Sesare, oure emperour that is so fré,
Kyng of Jewys he doth hym calle.
So oure emperourys power, nowth shulde be?

DOCTOR 2 Sere Pylat, we kannot telle half thee blame
That Jhesus in oure countré hath wrowth!
Therfore, we charge thee in the emperorys name
That he to the deth in hast be browth!

PYLAT What seyst to these compleynts, Jhesu?
These pepyl hath thee sore acusyd
Because thu bryngyst up lawys newe
That in oure days were not usyd.

JHESUS Of here acusyng, me rowth nowth.
So that thei hurt not here soulys, ne non mo.
I have nowth yet founde that I have sowth.
For my Faderys wyl, forth must I go.

PYLAT Jhesus, be this than I trowe thu art a kyng
And the Sone of God, thu art also —
Lord of erth and of allthing.
Telle me the trowth, if it be so.

JHESUS In hefne is knowyn my Faderys intent,
And in this werlde I was born.
Be my Fadyr, I was hedyr sent
For to seke that was forlorn.

Alle that me heryn and in me belevyn
And kepyn here feyth stedfastly,
Thow thei weryn ded, I shal them recuryn
And shal them bryng to blysse endlesly.

PYLAT Lo, serys, now ye an erde this man — how thynk ye?
Thynke ye not all, be youre reson,
But as he seyth it may wel be,
And that shulde be, be this incheson.

I fynde in hym non obecyon
Of errour nor treson, ne of no maner gylt.
The lawe wele, in no conclusyon
Withowte defawth, he shuld be spylt.

DOCTOR 1 Sere Pylat, the law restyth in thee,
And we knowe veryly his gret trespas!
To the emperour, this mater told shal be,
Yf thu lete Jhesus thus from thee pas.

PYLAT Serys, than telle me o thyng —
What shal be his acusyng?

ANNAS Sere, we telle thee altogedyr,
For his evyl werkys, we browth hym hedyr!

And yf he had not an evyldoere be,
We shuld not a browth hym to thee!

PYLAT Takyth hym, than, aftyr youre sawe
And demyth hym after youre lawe.

CAYPHAS It is not lefful to us, ye seyn,
No maner man for to slen.

The cawse why we bryng hym to thee,
That he shuld not oure kyng be.

Weyl thu knowyst, kyng we have non
But oure emperour alon.

PYLAT Jhesu, thu art kyng of Juré?
JHESUS So thu seyst now to me.

PYLAT Tell me, than,
Where is thi kyngham?

JHESUS My kyngham is not in this werld,
I telle thee at o word.

Yf my kyngham here had be,
I shuld not a be delyveryd to thee.

PYLAT Serys, avyse now as ye kan:
I can fynde no defawth in this man.

ANNAS Sere, here is a gret record! Take hed therto,
And knowyng gret myschef in this man,
And not only in o day or to,
It is many yerys syn he began!
We kan telle thee tyme, where and whan
That many a thowsand turnyd hath he,
As all this pepyll record weyl kan,
From hens into the lond of Galylé!

[Et clamabunt, “Ya, ya, ya!”

PYLAT Serys, of o thyng, than, gyf me relacyon
If Jhesus were outborn in the lond of Galelye:
For we han no poer ne no jurediccyon,
Of no man of that contré.
Therfore, the trewth ye telle me,
And another wey I shal provyde
If Jhesus were born in that countré:
The jugement of Herowdys, he must abyde.

CAYPHAS Sere, as I am to the lawe trewly sworn,
To the trewth, I have no fer.
In Galelye I know that he was born —
I can telle in what place and where.
Agens this no man may answere,
For he was born in Bedlem Judé,
And this ye knowe now, all and have don here,
That it stant in the lond of Galelye.

PYLAT Weyl, serys, syn that I knowe that it is so,
The trewth of this I must nedys se.
I undyrstand ryth now what is to do:
The jugement of Jhesu lyth not to me.
Herowde is kyng of that countré,
To jewge that regyon in lenth and in brede.
The jurysdyccyon of Jhesu now han must he.
Therfore, Jhesus, in hast, to hym ye lede.

In hall, thee hast that ye may spede,
Lede hym to the Herownde anon present.
And sey I comawnde me with worde and ded,
And Jhesu to hym that I have sent.

DOCTOR 1 This erand in hast sped shal be,
In all the hast that we can do!
We shal not tary in no degré
Tyl the Herowdys presens we com to.
 
take heed
have; brought
Who
great shame; made

(t-note)
brought; nearly
made by magic
people by; deceit; (see note)


Caesar; noble
call himself
nothing

Sir
wrought
emperor’s
haste be brought



(t-note)


their; I am not concerned
their souls, nor those [of any] others
that [which]; sought


by this then I think

earth; everything
truth

heaven; Father’s

By; here
lost

who hear; believe
their faith
Though; were dead; regain


sirs; have heard; (t-note)
by

If that; be by this reasoning

fault
treason; nor
wills
killed

Sir
truly
matter; (t-note)


Sirs; one
charge

Sir
works; brought; here

been
Have brought

then; words
judge

lawful; see; (t-note)
to slay anyone


Is that he

Well; none
alone

Jewry


then; (t-note)
kingdom; (t-note)

kingdom
in one

kingdom; had been
have been

consider
fault

testimony; heed

on one day or two
years since
when
seduced
can well witness
here; land of Galilee

And they will cry

one; then, give me word
born way out; land; (see note)
Because; have; neither power nor
Over any one
truth


Herod; await

truly; (t-note)
Honestly; equal


Against; respond
Bethlehem of Judea
concluded
is located

sirs, since
truth; must see
right now; to be done
lies

judge; length; breadth
have
haste

To his hall, as quickly as; (t-note)
Herod there now
I greet him; deed


haste


Herod’s

 
[TRIAL BEFORE HEROD]
 
  [Here thei take Jhesu and lede hym in gret hast to the Herowde. And the Herowdys scafald shal unclose shewyng Herowdys in astat (enthroned), all the Jewys knelying except Annas and Cayphas. Thei shal stondyn, et cetera. (see note)
 


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DOCTOR 1 Heyl, Herowde, most excyllent kyng!
We arn comawndyd to thin presens:
Pylat sendyth thee, be us gretyng,
And chargyth us be oure obedyens.
DOCTOR 2 That we shuld do oure dylygens
To bryng Jhesus to Nazareth onto thee
And chargyth us to make no resystens
Becawse he was born in this countré.

ANNAS We knowe he hath wrowth gret folé
Ageyns the lawe, shewyd present.
Therfore, Pylat sent hym onto thee
That thu shuldyst gyf hym jugement.

REX HEROWDES Now, be Mahound, my god of grace,
Of Pylat this is a ded ful kende!
I forgyf hym now his gret trespace,
And schal be his frend withowtyn ende.

Jhesus, to me that he wole sende,
I desyred ful sore hym for to se.
Gret ese in this Pylat shal fynde!
And Jhesus, thu art welcome to me!

JUDEUS 1 My sovereyn lord, this is the case:
The gret falsnesse of Jhesu is opynly knawe.
Ther was nevyr man ded so gret trespas,
For he hath almost dystroyd oure lawe!

JUDEUS 2 Ya, be fals crafte of soserye
Wrowth opynly to the pepyll alle,
And be sotyl poyntys of nygramancye,
Many thowsandys fro oure lawe be falle.

CAYPHAS Most excellent kyng, ye must take hede!
He wol dystroye all this countré, both elde and yyng
Yf he ten monthis more procede!
Be his meraclys and fals prechyng,
He bryngyth the pepyl in gret fonnyng
And seyth dayly among hem alle
That he is Lord, and of the Jewys kyng,
And the Sone of God, he doth hym calle.

REX HERODES Serys, alle these materys, I have herd sayd
And meche more than ye me telle.
Alle togedyr thei shal be layde,
And I wyl take theron cowncelle.

Jhesus, thu art welcome to me —
I kan Pylat gret thank for his sendying.
I have desyryd ful longe thee to se
And of thi meracles to have knowyng.

It is told me thu dost many a wondyr thyng:
Crokyd to gon and blynd men to sen,
And thei that ben dede gevyst hem levyng,
And makyst lepers fayre and hool to ben.

These arn wondyr werkys wroughth of thee!
Be what wey, I wolde knowe the trew sentens!
Now, Jhesu, I pray thee — lete me se
O meracle wroughth in my presens!

In hast now, do thi dylygens
And peraventure, I wyl shew favour to thee!
For now thu art in my presens —
Thyn lyf and deth, here lyth in me!
 

your
by our greeting
by
duty




wrought great harm
shown here and now



by Mohammed
deed; kind



will
greatly; see
benefit



openly known
who has done


by; sorcery; (see note)
Wrought; people
points of black magic
have fallen

(t-note)
will; old; young

By his miracles
error
daily; them

himself

Sirs; matters; heard
much
placed
consider them


owe

understanding

wonderful
Crippled walk; see
have been dead; them life
fair and healthy

amazing works
By; means; meaning
see
One

haste; job
perhaps; show

Your life and death

 
  [And here Jhesus shal not speke no word to the Herowde.
 

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Jhesus, why spekyst not to thi kyng?
What is the cawse thu stondyst so stylle?
Thu knowyst I may deme allthyng:
Thyn lyf and deth lyth at my wylle!

What? Spek, Jhesus! And telle me why
This pepyl do thee so here acuse!
Spare not, but telle me now on hey
How thu canst thiself excuse.

CAYPHAS Loo, serys, this is of hym a false sotylté!
He wyl not speke, but whan he lyst;
Thus, he dysceyvyth the pepyl in eche degré!
He is ful fals, ye veryly tryst!

REX HERODES What? Thu onhangyd harlot! Why wylt thu not speke?
Hast thu skorne to speke onto thi kyng
Becawse thu dost oure lawys breke?
I trowe, thu art aferd of oure talkyng!

ANNAS Nay, he is not aferde, but of a fals wyle
Becawse we shuld not hym acuse
If that he answerd yow ontylle.
He knowyth he cannot hymself excuse.

REX HERODES What? Spek, I say! Thu foulyng, evyl mote thu fare!4
Loke up! The devyl mote thee cheke!
Serys, bete his body with scorgys bare
And asay to make hym for to speke!

JUDEUS 1 It shal be do withoutyn teryeng.
Come on, thu tretour, evyl mot thu thee!
Whylt thu not speke onto oure kyng?
A new lesson we shal lere thee!
 


judge everything



(t-note)
Don’t hold back; in haste


sirs; trick
when he likes
deceives; every way
you can be sure




think; afraid

using a trick

Until; unto


(t-note)
the devil choke thee
Sirs, beat; scourges
attempt

done; delay; (t-note)
traitor, evil may be your reward
will
teach

 
  [Here thei pulle of Jhesus clothis and betyn hym with whyppys. (t-note)
 



240





 
JUDEUS 2 Jhesus, thi bonys we shal not breke,
But we shal make thee to skyppe!
Thu hast lost thi tonge? Thu mayst not speke?
Thu shalt asay now of this whippe!

JUDEUS 3 Serys, take these whyppys in youre hande
And spare not whyl thei last
And bete this tretoure that here doth stonde!
I trowe that he wyl speke in hast.
 
bones; (see note); (t-note)
jump

try

Sirs; whips; (t-note)
while
traitor
believe; quickly

 
  [And qwan (when) thei han betyn hym tyl he is alle blody, than the Herownd seyth:
 
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REX HERODES Sees, serys, I comawnde you be name of the devyl of helle!
Jhesus, thynkyst this good game?
Thu art strong to suffyr schame.
Thu haddyst levyr be betyn lame
Than thi defawtys for to telle?

But I wyl not thi body all spyl,
Nor put it here into more peyn.
Serys, takyth Jhesus at youre owyn wyl
And lede hym to Pylat hom ageyn.
Grete hym weyl and telle hym serteyn
All my good frenchep shal he have.
I gyf hym powere of Jhesus. Thus ye hym seyn
Whether he wole hym dampne or save.

DOCTOR 1 Sere, at your request, it shal be do.
We shal lede Jhesus at your demawnde
And delyver hym Pylat onto
And telle hym all, as ye comawnde.
 
Cease; (see note); (t-note)


would rather
faults

spoil

Sirs

Greet him well

give; over; will say
will condemn

Sir; done
request; (t-note)

(t-note)

 


Go To Play 31, Satan and Pilate’s Wife; Second Trial before Pilate