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Play 11, Pharaoh and Moses


ABBREVIATIONS: AV: Authorized (“King James”) Version; Meditations: Meditations on the Life of Christ, trans. Ragusa and Green; MED: Middle English Dictionary; OED: Oxford English Dictionary; RB: Richard Beadle, ed., York Plays; REED: Records of Early English Drama; YA: Davidson and O’Connor, York Art; York Breviary: Breviarium ad usum insignis ecclesie Eboracensis; York Missal: Missale ad usum insignis ecclesiae Eboracensis.

References to the Ordo paginarum are to REED: York, 1:16–27.

As the play assigned to the Hosiers, makers of stockings and undergarments, this pageant was also adapted for inclusion in the Towneley manuscript. The Exodus narrative appears among the readings for Lent in the York liturgy, and is considered one of the most important of Old Testament stories. Typologically it was believed to foreshadow the Harrowing, as in the Speculum humanae salvationis,1 but in its exposition of release from bondage and tyranny it surely would have resonated with people who felt they were living in this “vale of tears,” the condition of post-lapsarian humankind considered normal and from which only spiritual means can effect release. The story should have been popular in its own right on account of the Red Sea scene, which presumably involved considerable ingenuity in staging; the sea may have been represented by a cloth, as indicated at Coventry by the Smiths’ accounts.2 The Hosiers, a cloth guild, would have been easily able to provide this sort of effect with the help of the Dyers. But it is another effect that is emphasized in the Ordo paginarum, which reports Moses’ raising up of the serpent before Pharaoh, apparently in the presence of eight Jews — an act for which he is suspected of witchcraft. God also appears in the burning bush at line 101, and this would presumably demand the use of a pyrotechnic device. In iconography, through a misreading of the Vulgate, Moses appears with horns, which at Lucerne in 1583 were produced by having two hornlike curls on his head.3 Moses has horns in a panel in the east window of York Minster that also contains a depiction of the Egyptians drowning in the Red Sea, the latter unfortunately now almost indecipherable and confused.4 The episode of Moses and the receiving of the Ten Commandments is omitted in the York pageant. The biblical source for the pageant is Exodus 2–14. The verse form is a twelve-line stanza common in the York plays.

7 his hayre as elde will asse. Affirming primogeniture.

21–24 The tyrant Pharaoh is accompanied by Consolators, who are his sycophants. Consolator I echoes and elaborates his concern about those who have other allegiances than to him — in other words, the Israelites. This is their role throughout. The term Consolators is abbreviated throughout, only once being thus spelled out (at line 219); see discussion in RB, p. 423.

41 Thay come of Joseph. See Genesis 37–47. While Pharaoh describes Joseph as “worthy to prayse” (line 42) the Israelites are now unwelcome aliens in Egypt and are an oppressed minority, albeit a large one since their numbers have grown to a multitude from the time when Joseph and his brothers arrived. Their numbers are calculated in lines 55–58 as upwards of 300,000 men, aside from women, children, and servants, who are not counted.

93–96 Moses is the keeper of his father-in-law Jethro’s sheep after fleeing from Pharaoh (Exodus 3). Jethro is identified as “the priest of Madian” (Exodus 3:1). Moses’ self-banishment was in response to his killing of an Egyptian who was mistreating an Israelite.

105 come noght to nere. See Exodus 3:5: “Come not nigh hither.” There is no indication that Moses should take off his shoes at this point, as in the biblical account. He is standing before God who has appeared in the burning bush, which he has first seen at line 101.

147–52 wande . . . myn entent. The magical wand or rod that becomes a serpent. For discussion of magic tricks of legerdemain, see Butterworth, Magic, though he does not comment on this trick specifically. Moses’ rod was noted in 1500 among the possessions of York Minster, but this was probably a representation, not a relic (Fabric Rolls, p. 224).

154 lepre. An emendation since the manuscript reading of serpent is clearly wrong (corroborated by Towneley). This effect would have taken less skill than the rod/serpent, but similarly would have depended for its effectiveness on the reaction of those standing by, especially Pharaoh.

173 Ego sum qui sum. Exodus 3:14; glossed in the following line.

209 To wildirnesse he walde thei wente. After their liberation will come the years of wandering in the wilderness before they settle in Israel.

219 warlowe with his wande. Already Pharaoh sees Moses as a wizard. This is previous to the miracle of the rod/serpent in lines 231–45.

251 God sende sum vengeaunce sone. This line introduces the plagues of Egypt, which begin to emerge in the next speech by I Egiptius. The plagues will be rapidly reported with the drama set in motion by Pharoah’s duplicity and appearance of relenting from time to time behind a hypocritical front.

261–64 watir . . . Is turned to rede blude. The first plague.

271 tadys and frosshis. Plague of toads and frogs. The second plague.

273 myses. Gnats. The third plague.

293 loppis. The word is of Scandinavian derivation, meaning “fleas”; so L. T. Smith, who was deeply conversant with Northern dialects (York Plays, p. 544). RB suggests “flies” (p. 505). The biblical text describing the fourth plague clearly specifies flies (see Exodus 8:24–31), and it may be presumed that loppis either had been adapted in Northern English to signify flies, or that the author or scribe made an error in using the word incorrectly. Fleas of course do not “flye” (line 293). Whatever the case, Towneley uses the same term (loppys) and also indicates flying (line 305).

295 beestis lyes dede and dry. The fifth plague, “very grievous murrain” (Exodus 9:3).

315 poudre. Powder — i.e., ashes. In Exodus 9:8–11 the ashes were taken up by Moses and allowed to be blown by the wind, causing boils.

317 Like mesellis. Skin affliction, implying leprosy. The sixth plague.

320 thondour-slayne. The effect of storm and lightning which destroy vines everywhere. The seventh plague.

339 Wilde wormes. Locusts, the eighth plague. See Exodus 10:4.

343–44 thre daies . . . So myrke. Three days of darkness. The ninth plague.

345 grete pestelence. Terminology reminiscent of the bubonic plague, which, along with other lethal diseases, afflicted York from time to time after 1349. The tenth plague, in Exodus 11–12, afflicting the firstborn children of Egypt.

404 The Towneley pageant has a stage direction at approximately this point: Tunc merget eos mare (“Then the sea shall drown them” [line 413 s.d.]).

405 s.d. Cantemus domino. Rastall points out that in the York rite this is the incipit of a responsory for matins at Quadrigesima and, with a slightly different text, as a tract for the Easter vigil (Heaven Singing, p. 237). See Exodus 15:1.


ABBREVIATIONS: Bevington: David Bevington, ed., Medieval Drama (1975); Köbling: E. Köbling, “Beiträge zur Erklärung und Textkritik der York Plays”; LTS: Lucy Toulmin Smith, ed., The York Plays (1885); RB: Richard Beadle, ed., The York Plays (1972) (incorporating numerous emendations from other sources); RB2: Richard Beadle, “Corrections to The York Plays,” in Gerald Byron Kinneavy, A Concordance to the York Plays (1986), pp. xxxi–xxxii; s.d.: stage direction; Sykes: A. C. Cawley, ed., “The Sykes MS of the York Scriveners’ Play”; Towneley: Martin Stevens and A. C. Cawley, eds., The Towneley Plays.

The base text for this edition is London, British Library, MS. Add. 35290, called the “Register” in the York civic records and here identified by the abbreviation Reg. Some variations in lineation from the manuscript are not noted here; see RB and Beadle and Meredith’s The York Play: A Facsimile. In most cases the line numbering in the present text is consistent with RB. Lineation of alliterative verse throughout is based on Reg, with line numbering adjusted accordingly to account for half lines. Scribes are identified as follows: Scribe A; Scribe B: main scribe; JC: John Clerke; LH: later scribal hand (unidentified).

1 O pees. Words separated in Reg by deleted letter.

2 comaunde. Indefinite minims in Reg. 12 als it. So LTS; Reg: as it als it; RB: as it.

21 CONSOLATOR. So RB (throughout, following line 219 in Reg; see RB, p. 423).

32 Israell. Reg: corrected by LH.

41 of. So LTS, RB; Reg: of of (corrected). 42 was a prince. Reg: letter a interlined by LH.

61 qwantise. So LTS, RB; Reg: qwantile.

154 as a lepre. So RB, following Towneley; Reg, LTS: serpent.

159 send. Reg: interlined in hand of JC.

175 meve. So LTS, RB; Reg: meke.

183 will I fayre. Reg: written by JC above original scribe’s fayne (deleted).

197 Beith. So RB, noting alteration in Reg by LH (from ?Beeth); LTS: Beeths.

219 Where. So LTS; Reg, RB: When.

219–20 Reg: lines misassigned to I Consolator (ascription deleted).

240 A. So LTS, RB; Reg: Al.

255 II EGIPTIUS. Reg: Originally given to II Consolator (corrected by Scribe B).

257 I CONSOLATOR. So RB; Reg: Consolator.

284 MOYSES. Reg: JC’s emendation over erasure.

289 I EGIPTIUS. Reg: originally assigned to Moyses. JC’s correction, over erasure.

291–92 Reg: Scribe B emended mistake in exchanging speech attributions.

299 REX. Reg: speech attribution to I Egiptius corrected by Scribe B.

315 poudre. So RB; Reg: poure; LTS: pou[d]re.

331 Ellis. So LTS, RB; Reg: Eellis.

342 myscheff. Reg: two final letters added by LH crudely.

345 pestelence. Reg: added by LH above the line.

351 we. Reg: interlined by LH.

372 us. So RB, following Towneley; Reg, LTS: thus.


Footnote 1 Wilson and Wilson, Medieval Mirror, p. 194.

Footnote 2 REED: Coventry, p. 251.

Footnote 3 Meredith and Tailby, Staging, p. 135.

Footnote 4 French, York Minster: The Great East Window, pp. 64–65.

The Hoseers


















































































REX PHARAO   O pees, I bidde that no man passe
But kepe the cours that I comaunde
And takes gud heede to hym that hasse
Youre liff all haly in his hande.
Kyng Pharo my fadir was,
And led the lordshippe of this lande;
I am his hayre as elde will asse,
Evere in his steede to styrre and stande.
All Egippe is myne awne
To lede aftir my lawe;
I will my myght be knawen
And honnoured als it awe.

Therfore als kyng I commaunde pees
To all the pepill of this empire,
That no man putte hym fourthe in prees
But that will do als we desire.
And of youre sawes I rede you sees,
And sesse to me, youre sufferayne sire,
That most youre comforte may encrese,
And at my liste lose liffe and lyre.

I CONSOLATOR   My lorde, yf any were
That walde not wirke youre will,
And we wist whilke thay were,
Ful sone we sall thaym spill.

REX   Thurghoute my kyngdome wolde I kenn
And konne tham thanke that couthe me telle
If any wer so weryd then
That wolde aught fande owre forse to fell.

II CONSOLATOR   My Lorde, thar ar a maner of men
That mustirs grete maistris tham emell,
The Jewes that wonnes here in Jessen
And er named the childir of Israell.
They multyplye so faste
That suthly we suppose
Thay are like, and they laste,
Yowre lordshippe for to lose.

REX   Why, devill, what gawdes have they begonne,
Er thai of myght to make afrayse?

I CONSOLATOR   Tho felons folke, sir, first was fonn
In kyng Pharo youre fadyr dayse.
Thay come of Joseph, Jacob sonn,
That was a prince worthy to prayse,
And sithen in ryste furthe are they run;
Now ar they like to lose our layse.
Thay sall confounde us clene
Bot if thai sonner sese.

REX   What devill ever may it mene
That they so fast encrese?

II CONSOLATOR   Howe they encrese, full wele we kenn,
Als oure elders before us fande;
Thay were talde but sexty and ten
Whan thei enterd into this lande.
Sithen have they sojonerd here in Jessen
Foure houndereth yere, this we warande,
Now are they noumbered of myghty men
Wele more than thre hundereth thowsande,
Withowten wiffe and childe
And herdes that kepes ther fee.

REX   So myght we be bygillid,
Bot certis that sall noght be,
For with qwantise we sall tham qwelle
That thei sall no farrar sprede.

I CONSOLATOR   Lorde, we have herde oure fadres telle
Howe clerkis, that ful wele couthe rede,
Saide a man shulde wax tham emell
That suld fordo us and owre dede.

REX   Fy on tham — to the devell of helle!
Swilke destanye sall we noght drede.
We sall make mydwayes to spille tham,
Whenne oure Ebrewes are borne,
All that are mankynde to kille tham;
So sall they sone by lorne.

For of the other have I non awe,
Swilke bondage sall we to tham bede
To dyke and delfe, beere and drawe,
And do all swilke unhonest dede.
Thus sall the laddis beholden lawe,
Als losellis ever thaire lyff to leede.

II CONSOLATOR   Certis, lorde, this is a sotell sawe,
So sall the folke no farrar sprede.

REX   Yaa, helpes to halde tham doune
That we no fantynse fynde.

I CONSOLATOR   Lorde, we sall ever be bowne
In bondage tham to bynde.

MOYSES   Grete God that all this grounde began
And governes evere in gud degree,
That made me Moyses unto man
And saved me sythen out of the see.
Kyng Pharo he comaunded than
So that no sonnes shulde saved be,
Agayns his wille away I wan,
Thus has God shewed his myght in me.
Nowe am I here to kepe,
Sett undir Synay syde,
The bisshoppe Jetro schepe,
So bettir bute to bide.

A, mercy, God, mekill is thy myght,
What man may of thy mervayles mene!
I se yondyr a ful selcouth syght
Wherof befor no synge was seene.
A busk I se yondir brennand bright,
And the leves last ay inlike grene;
If it be werke of worldly wight
I will go witte withowten wene.

DEUS   Moyses, come noght to nere
Bot stille in that stede dwelle,
And take hede to me here
And tente what I thee telle.

I am thy Lorde, withoutyn lak,
To lengh thi liffe even as me list,
And the same God that somtyme spak
Unto thyne elders als thei wiste.
But Abraham and Ysaac
And Jacob, saide I, suld be bliste
And multyplye and tham to mak
So that ther seede shulde noght be myste.
And nowe kyng Pharo
Fuls thare childir ful faste.
If I suffir hym soo
Thare seede shulde sone be past.

To make thee message have I mende
To hym that tham so harmed hase,
To warne hym with wordes hende
So that he lette my pepull passe
That they to wildirnesse may wende
And wirshippe me als whilom was.
And yf he lenger gar them lende,
His sange ful sone sall be “allas.”

MOYSES   A, Lord, syth, with thy leve,
That lynage loves me noght,
Gladly they walde me greve,
And I slyke boodword brought.

Therfore, Lord, late sum othir fraste
That hase more forse tham for to feere.

DEUS   Moyses, be noght abaste
My bidding baldely to bere.
If thai with wrang ought walde thee wrayste,
Owte of all wothis I sall thee were.

MOYSES   We, Lord, thai wil noght to me trayste
For al the othes that I may swere.
To neven slyke note of newe
To folke of wykkyd will,
Withouten taken trewe,
They will noght take tente thertill.

DEUS   And if they will noght undirstande
Ne take heede how I have thee sente,
Before the kyng cast downe thy wande
And it sall seme as a serpent.
Sithen take the tayle in thy hande
And hardely uppe thou itt hente
In the firste state als thou it fande:
So sall it turne be myn entent.
Hyde thy hande in thy barme,
And as a lepre it sall be like,
Sithen hale withouten harme.
Thi syngnes sall be slyke.

And if he wil not suffre than
My pepull for to passe in pees,
I sall send vengeaunce nine or ten
To sewe hym sararre or I sesse.
Bot the Jewes that wonnes in Jessen
Sall noght be merked with that messe.
Als lange als thai my lawes will kenne
Ther comfort sal I evere encresse.

MOYSES   A, Lorde, lovyd be thy wille
That makes thy folke so free.
I sall tell tham untill
Als thou telles unto me.

But to the kyng, Lorde, whan I come
And he ask me what is thy name
And I stande stille than, defe and dum,
How sal I be withouten blame?

DEUS   I saie thus, Ego sum qui sum,
I am he that I am the same;
And if thou myght not meve ne mum,
I sall thee saffe fro synne and shame.

MOYSES   I undirstande this thyng
With all the myght in me.

DEUS   Be bolde in my blissyng,
Thy belde ay sall I be.

MOYSES   A, Lorde of lyffe, lere me my layre
That I there tales may trewly tell;
Unto my frendis nowe will I fayre,
The chosen childre of Israell,
To telle tham comforte of ther care
And of there daunger that thei in dwell.

God mayntayne you and me evermare,
And mekill myrthe be you emell.

I PUER   A Moyses, maistir dere,
Oure myrthe is al mornyng;
We are harde halden here
Als carls under the kynge.

II PUER   Moyses, we may mourne and myne,
Ther is no man us myrthes mase,
And sen we come al of a kynne
Ken us som comforte in this case.

MOYSES   Beith of youre mornyng blyne,
God wil defende you of your fays.
Oute of this woo he will you wynne
To plese hym in more plener place.
I sall carpe to the kyng
And fande to make you free.

III PUER   God sende us gud tythyngis,
And allway with you be.

MOYSES   Kyng Pharo, to me take tent.

REX   Why, what tydyngis can thou tell?

MOYSES   Fro God of heven thus am I sente
To fecche his folke of Israll;
To wildirnesse he walde thei wente.

REX   Yaa, wende thou to the devell of hell!
I make no force howe thou has mente,
For in my daunger sall thei dwelle.
And faytour, for thy sake,
Thei sall be putte to pyne.

MOYSES   Thanne will God vengeaunce take
On thee and on al thyne.

REX   Fy on thee, ladde, oute of my lande.
Wenes thou with wiles to lose oure laye?
Where is this warlowe with his wande
That wolde thus wynne oure folke away?

II CONSOLATOR   It is Moyses, we wele warrand,
Agayne al Egipte is he ay.
Youre fadir grete faute in hym fande,
Nowe will he marre you if he may.

REX   Nay, nay, that daunce is done:
That lordan leryd overe late.

MOYSES   God biddis thee graunte my bone,
And late me go my gate.

REX   Biddis God me? Fals lurdayne, thou lyes.
What takyn talde he, toke thou tent?

MOYSES   Yaa, sir, he saide thou suld despise
Botht me and all his comaundement.
In thy presence kast on this wise
My wande he bad by his assent,
And that thou shulde thee wele avise
Howe it shulde turne to a serpent.
And in his haly name
Here sal I ley it downe —
Loo, ser, se her the same.

REX   A, dogg, the devyll thee drowne!

MOYSES   He saide that I shulde take the tayle
So for to prove his poure playne,
And sone he saide it shuld not fayle
For to turne a wande agayne.
Loo, sir, behalde.

REX                    Hopp, illa hayle,
Now certis this is a sotill swayne.
But this boyes sall byde here in oure bayle,
For all thair gaudis sall noght tham gayne.
Bot warse, both morne and none
Sall thei fare for thy sake.

MOYSES   God sende sum vengeaunce sone,
And on thi werke take wrake.

I EGIPTIUS   Allas, allas, this lande is lorne,
On lif we may no lenger lende.

II EGIPTIUS   So grete myscheffe is made sen morne,
Ther may no medycyne us amende.

I CONSOLATOR   Sir kyng, we banne that we wer borne;
Oure blisse is all with bales blende.

REX   Why crys you swa, laddis, liste you scorne?

I EGIPTIUS   Sir kyng, slyk care was nevere kende.
Oure watir that was ordand
To men and beestis fudde;
Thurghoute al Egipte lande
Is turned to rede blude.

Full ugly and ful ill is it
That was ful faire and fresshe before.

REX   This is grete wondir for to witt
Of all the werkis that ever wore.

II EGIPTIUS   Nay, lorde, ther is anothir yitt
That sodenly sewes us ful sore,
For tadys and frosshis we may not flitte,
Thare venym loses lesse and more.

I EGIPTIUS   Lorde, grete myses bothe morn and none
Bytis us full bittirlye,
And we hope al by done
By Moyses, oure enemye.

I CONSOLATOR   Lorde, whills we with this menyhe meve
Mon never myrthe be us emange.

REX   Go, saie we sall no lenger greve,
But thai sall nevere the tytar gange.

II EGIPTIUS   Moyses, my lord has grauntyd leve
At lede thy folk to likyng lande
So that we mende of oure myscheve.

MOYSES   I wate ful wele thar wordes er wrange,
That sall ful sone be sene,
For hardely I hym heete
And he of malice mene,
Mo mervaylles mon he mett.

I EGIPTIUS   Lorde, allas, for dule we dye;
We dar not loke oute at no dore.

REX   What devyll ayles yow so to crye?

II EGIPTIUS   We fare nowe werre than evere we fare.
Grete loppis overe all this lande thei flye
That with bytyng makis mekill blure.

I EGIPTIUS   Lorde, oure beestis lyes dede and dry
Als wele on myddyng als on more.
Both oxe, horse, and asse
Fallis dede doune sodanly.

REX   Therof no man harme has
Halfe so mekill as I.

II CONSOLATOR   Yis, lorde, poure men has mekill woo
To see ther catell be out cast.
The Jewes in Jessen faren noght soo;
They have al likyng in to last.

REX   Go, saie we giffe tham leve to goo
To tyme there parellis be overpast,
But or thay flitte overfarre us froo
We sall garre feste tham foure so fast.

II EGIPTIUS   Moyses, my lord giffis leve
Thy men for to remewe.

MOYSES   He mon have more mischeff
But if his tales be trewe.

I EGIPTIUS   We, lorde, we may not lede this liffe.

REX   Why, is ther grevaunce growen agayne?

II EGIPTIUS   Swilke poudre, lord, apon us dryffe,
That whare it bettis it makis a blayne.

I EGIPTIUS   Like mesellis makis it man and wyffe.
Sythen ar they hurte with hayle and rayne
Oure wynes in mountaynes may noght thryve,
So ar they threst and thondour-slayne.

REX    How do thay in Jessen,
The Jewes, can ye aught say?

II EGIPTIUS   This care nothyng they ken,
Thay fele no such affray.

REX   No, devill, and sitte they so in pees
And we ilke day in doute and drede?

I EGIPTIUS   My lorde, this care will evere encrese
Tille Moyses have leve tham to lede.

I 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.

REX   Late hym do fourth, the devill hym spede!
For his folke sall no ferre
Yf he go welland woode.

II CONSOLATOR   Than will itt sone be warre,
Yit war bettir thai yoode.

II EGIPTIUS   We, lorde, new harme is comon to hande.

REX   No, devill, will itt no bettir be?

I EGIPTIUS   Wilde wormes is laide overe all this lande;
Thai leve no frute ne floure on tree;
Agayne that storme may nothyng stande.

II EGIPTIUS   Lord, ther is more myscheff, thynk me,
And thre daies hase itt bene durand
So myrke that non myght othir see.

I EGIPTIUS   My lorde, grete pestelence
Is like ful lange to last.

REX   Owe, come that in oure presence,
Than is oure pride al past.

II EGIPTIUS   My lorde, this vengeaunce lastis lange,
And mon till Moyses have his bone.

I CONSOLATOR   Lorde, late tham wende, else wirke we wrang;
It may not helpe to hover na hone.

REX   Go, saie we graunte tham leve to gange,
In the devill way, sen itt bus be done,
For so may fall we sall tham fang
And marre tham or tomorne at none.

I EGIPTIUS   Moyses, my lorde has saide
Thou sall have passage playne.

MOYSES   And to passe am I paied,
My frendes, bees nowe fayne;

For at oure will now sall we wende
In lande of lykyng for to lende.

I PUER   Kyng Pharo, that felowns fende,
Will have grete care fro this be kende,
Than will he schappe hym us to shende,
And sone his ooste aftir us sende.

MOYSES   Beis noght aferde, God is youre frende,
Fro alle oure fooes he will us fende.
Tharfore comes furthe with me,
Haves done, and drede yow noght.

II PUER   My Lorde, loved mott thou bee,
That us fro bale has brought.

III PUER   Swilke frenshippe never before we fande,
But in this faire defautys may fall.
The Rede See is ryght nere at hande;
Ther bus us bide to we be thrall.

MOYSES   I sall make us way with my wande,
For God hase sayde he save us sall.
On aythir syde the see sall stande
Tille we be wente, right as a wall.
Therfore have ye no drede
But faynde ay God to plese.

I PUER   That Lorde to lande us lede,
Now wende we all at esse.

I EGIPTIUS   Kyng Pharro, ther folke er gane.

REX   Howe nowe, es ther any noyes of newe?

II EGIPTIUS   The Ebrowes er wente ilkone.

REX   How sais thou that?

I EGIPTIUS                     Ther talis er trewe.

REX   Horse harneys tyte, that thei be tane;
This ryott radly sall tham rewe.
We sall not sese or they be slone,
For to the se we sall tham sew.
Do charge oure charyottis swithe
And frekly folowes me.

II EGIPTIUS   My lorde, we are full blithe
At youre biddyng to be.

II CONSOLATOR   Lorde, to youre biddyng we er boune,
Owre bodies baldely for to bede;
We sall noght byde but dyng tham doune
Tylle all be dede, withouten drede.

REX   Hefe uppe youre hartis ay to Mahownde,
He will be nere us in oure nede.
Owte, ay herrowe, devill, I drowne!

I EGIPTIUS   Allas, we dye, for alle our dede.

I PUER   Now ar we wonne fra waa
And saved oute of the see.
Cantemus domino,
To God a sange synge wee.
peace; (t-note)

heir; as seniority will have it; (see note)
place; go about; remain
ought [to be]

(i.e., contradict [me])

sayings; advise; stop
allot; [as] your sovereign

wish; body

(see note); (t-note)
would; do what you wish
know which
soon; destroy (kill)

would I know
give; could
try; power to bring down

displays great deeds; among
live; Goshen (Vulgate: Gessen)
are; (t-note)

likely, if they continue

Be; attack

Those; found [in Egypt]
father’s days
(see note); (t-note)

unchecked (increasing)
destroy; laws (customs)

Unless; sooner cease



Aside from
herdsmen; livestock


trickery; put down; (t-note)
further increase

advise (prophesy)
grow up; among

midwives; kill
boy children
be destroyed

no fear
dig; delve, bear (carry); pull
degrading deeds (tasks)
obey the law

subtle saying



thereafter; sea

slipped away

(see note)
[Mount] Sinai’s slope
Jethro’s sheep
boot (fortune) to wait for

marvels reveal
bush; burning
without change
earthly man
find out; doubt

too; (see note)
place stay

attend to

lengthen; desire


missed (lost)

allow; [to do] so

messenger; meant


in the past
cause; to remain

(royal) line
If I such message

let some; attempt
power to make them afraid

wrong would try to; deceive
dangers; protect

To announce such a matter anew

token (sign)
pay attention

(see note)

boldly; take
be changed by
leper; (see note); (t-note)
Then whole (healed)
signs; such


(i.e., plagues); (t-note)
pursue him more sorrily before I cease

marked (visited) with; suffering


to them

then, deaf and dumb

I am who I am; (see note)

move; speak (whisper); (t-note)


teach; lore
these matters
fare (go); (t-note)

of comfort for



and ponder
people (tribe)

Be; mourning done; (t-note)

pay attention

wished that they; (see note)

consider irrelvant what

Think; destroy; law
(i.e., Who); warlock (wizard); (see note); (t-note)

fault; found

rascal (fool)

let; way

worthless fellow
sign told (revealed); notice







(i.e., Ill luck befall [you])
tricky fellow (trickster)
worse; noon

(see note)

no longer be


curse; (t-note)
sorrow mixed up

do you ridicule

ordained; (see note)


horrible; foul


toads; frogs; move (escape); (see note)
venom destroys

gnats; (see note)

assume all is done

company move
Shall; joy; among

oppress [them]
sooner go

To lead; promised land


boldly; promise
will he encounter

dole; (t-note)
any door


worse; fared
fleas; (see note)

dried up; (see note)
manure pile; moor



(i.e., they continue in felicity)

Until their perils
have them bound four times as fast



powder (ash); drives (blows); (see note); (t-note)

a skin disease (leprosy); (see note)

beaten down; (see note)

suffering; show
feel; ill-fortune

lead [away]

if they; cease
lie; (t-note)

raving mad


locusts; (see note)
fruit; flower

enduring; (see note)

(see note); (t-note)


shall; wish

go away; (t-note)
hesitate or delay

must be
it may happen; capture
before noon tomorrow


as we will
live (stay)

anger; known
intend; destroy
host (soldiers)



matter disasters

must we wait until; captured





are gone everyone


quickly; taken
disturbance soon; be sorry

are bound
boldly; offer
abide; strike

Heave; Mohammed

(cry of distress)

deeds (actions)

have we escaped from woe; (see note)
the [Red] sea
Let us sing to the Lord; (see note)

Go To Play 12, The Annunciation to Mary and the Visitation