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Play 26, The Conspiracy


1 Neither with duke nor knights, my deeds are so undertaken

2 Unless he soon is condemned, he will cause us to be destroyed


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.

Attention to Judas’ conspiracy and betrayal begins early, and the focus remains on this rather than on other events such as the episode of the moneychangers in the Temple in the period following Jesus’ return to Jerusalem. The events will of course move quickly enough to the Passion, which was obviously considered the core of the cycle of plays as also in narrative accounts such as Love’s Mirror. In the treatment of the role of Judas, there is considerable elaboration of the historical material as found in the gospels. The Northern Passion, for example, is typical in following the biblical linking of Judas’ betrayal to the anointing of Jesus’ feet by Mary Magdalen in the house of Simon, shown only in a missing play that was never entered in the Register containing the pageants in the York cycle. The Conspiracy as it appears in the Register shows signs of considerable rewriting of what would have been a simpler and shorter play in 1415 when the Ordo paginarum was compiled. An indication of this is the appearance of the alliterative line, which is evident throughout and which argues for a later date consistent with other pageants that use this verse form. In this edition, the verse is presented as in the manuscript, where, after a part of the opening speech, each alliterative half-line appears as a separate line on the page. As is the custom in this edition, the second part of each alliterative line is indented here with the first word uncapitalized. Stanzas are of fourteen lines, and, in contrast to Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse, contain rhyme.

2 regent of rewle. Pilate, the Roman governor of the region, has the task of preventing civil unrest — a common worry too of the authorities in late medieval England. Typically, he is concerned with his dignity, his wisdom, and the loyalty of others, the latter an important quality when viewed in light of Judas’ action in the pageant. His bragging may be compared to Herod’s in the Nativity plays.

14 wyscus. Perhaps an error for “vicious,” or made up, in which case it probably means “firm, sure of himself.”

20–21 Pilate’s claim to be of countenance “as bright / as blossome on brere” may be ironic if he was fitted with a mask or provided with a painted face to make him appear ugly, as was usual with evil characters.

25–28 Not an offer to discuss, but a threat that all resistance will be handled severely since “all of youre helpe hanges in my hande” (line 28). Like other tyrants, his great fault is pride.

29ff. The appearance of Caiphas and Anna in Pilate’s court at this point is odd, since in the gospels Judas goes to the chief priests in the Temple. In the pageant the meeting serves to link secular authority with the ecclesiastics, who are presented as unstable and vindictive, worse than Pilate. They are fixed in their interpretation of the law, which they have internalized to the point where to question it would be to “argue with themselves.”

43a in oure warde. Within Pilate’s jurisdiction. York was divided into wards for purposes of governance.

45–46 But and his sawe be lawfull . . . to lende. Pilate insists that the allegations against Jesus must be legitimate, though in the end the trial will be a charade and a demonstration of the abuse of power. Pilate makes the point concerning the necessity of a fair trial below at lines 105–07.

72–74 Reference to the overturning of the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple and Jesus’ act of forcibly expelling them along with the animals to be purchased for sacrifices. This was Jesus’ attack on the practices of the Second Temple that was understood as essential to his program of instituting a new law not based on the ritual practices introduced after the Babylonian captivity.

76 appostita. Caiphas accuses Jesus of committing perjury (line 75) and now of being an apostate, one who has rejected the truths of his religion in favor of allegedly false opinions. Caiphas wants him to be forced to submit as heretics were made to reject their heretical views in late medieval England. He will ask for the death penalty.

92b–93 that makeles . . . full rawe. Pilate’s terminology identifies Jesus as the one who is matchless, which would have been seen as the correct designation. This is part of the author’s strategy to maintain the audience’s sympathy with Jesus. The high priests are guilty of allowing their imagination to be detached from reality. They are governed by their anger, which allows their reasoning faculties to wander idly and maliciously.

99 uppon oure Sabbott day / the seke makes he saffe. Jesus works and heals the sick on the Sabbath, and this is not permitted under a strict interpretation of Jewish law. It is a constant complaint during the trial, along with the charge that his sayings are untrue and inconsistent with Second Temple orthodoxy.

110 than may we prophite oure pele. Anna claims to have certified the accuracy of the allegations, and here Pilate agrees to advance the charges against Jesus.

127–54 Judas arrives on the scene and explains the connection with the meal at Simon’s house when Mary Magdalen (actually an unnamed woman in the biblical account, but absorbed into the character of Mary Magdalen in late medieval tradition) was allowed to waste expensive ointment on Jesus when it should have been sold and the money given to the poor. But that is not his concern; as the treasurer of the apostles, he would have embezzled his tenth, which he has now lost. In his greed and general attitude as well as his ultimate despair he is related to Cain. Judas has come to make a bargain and thus to have his revenge.

155 Do open, porter, the porte. Embedded stage direction. There must be a gate and a porter on hand to guard it.

157–58 thou glorand gedlyng . . . growe. The porter (Janitor) provides a description of Judas, who, as in the visual arts, has a face that fails to hide his hostility. The reference to “fals face” (line 161) suggests a mask. The porter is clearly taken aback at the sight of this visitor, and in his next speech accuses him of treason, which of course is accurate. Further descriptive remarks will refer to his appearance as a sign of his disposition. What the audience sees must indeed be “uncomely to kys” (line 200).

163 Mars he hath morteysed his mark. Mars, as the god of war, was associated with wrath by the medieval mythographers, and his red color seems be an indicator also of the hue of Judas’ face. Traditionally Judas may have red hair and a beard of the same color, though Mellinkoff reports that the only firm evidence from dramatic records she has found is from Lucerne (Outcasts, 1:150–53). The reference to the “mark” may suggest Cain’s mark, directly opposed to the seal ceremonially given to the children of God as part of the rite of baptism. The point would have been made clearer if, as one must suspect, the character of Judas was presented as an ugly caricature.

188 I schall buske to the benke / wher baneres are bright. Embedded stage direction. The bench is the seat of judgment from which Pilate will be expected to issue a verdict. Banners are present during the Trial plays, where they are held by the soldiers; see Pageant 33, lines 160–83, below.

211 be noght abayst to byde at the bar. Literally at the bar of justice before Pilate.

215 marchaundyse. Jesus becomes a marketable item to be bought and sold. The Meditations had called Judas a “most evil merchant” (p. 325).

229b thirti pens and plete, no more than. The Harleian manuscript of the Northern Passion explains: “oure lord Jhesu was salde / for threty penis plainly talde, / And nowther for les ne for mare” (p. 19).

247 fales fende. The manuscript has frende, but Smith (York Plays, p. 227), followed by Beadle, plausibly emends to fende. This line and the ones that follow seem confused.

254a of lande. In context it is hard to see what is meant unless, though questionable, the “lurdayne” is to slip away to another “lande.”

276 take ther thi silvere. Embedded stage direction. Oddly, it seems to be Pilate who hands over the money, but he may simply be observing the transaction.

280 jocounde and joly I am. So is Judas now, in contrast with his despair later.

287–91 Pilate still insists that the “sotte” Jesus might be “sakles,” and hence he advises restraint in the torment to which he will be put. Nevertheless, this is insufficient to make Pilate a sympathetic character.


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 PILATUS. Speech identification by LH in Reg.

13 grone. So RB; Reg, LTS: grume.

34a thurgh. So LTS, RB; Reg: thurgh thurgh.

85b tales. So LTS, RB; Reg: tales tales.

89b deland. So RB; Reg, LTS: derand.

117 PILATUS. So Reg in LH, correcting ascription to CAYPHAS by JC.

128 Unjust. So RB; LTS: Un-just; Reg: Uncust.

133b that. So LTS, RB; Reg: Tat.

183b drawen. So LTS, RB; Reg: drawe.

191 Assignment to Judas deleted in Reg.

211 bar. So LTS, RB; Reg: bay.

226a justified. So LTS, RB; Reg: justified b.

232 hym. So LTS, RB; Reg: hm.

247 fende. So LTS, RB; Reg: frende.

250 hastely hang. So LTS, RB; Reg: hastely hym hang.

252–54 Reg: lines initially ascribed to Pilatus (deleted).

268 faythe. So RB; LTS: [?faythe]; Reg omits.

280 Reg: at right, by LH: Caret hic; JC has added Janitor and Judas.

284 In LH in right margin in Reg: Caret hic.

The Cuttelores



























































PILATUS   Undir the ryallest roye of rente and renowne,
Now am I regent of rewle this region in reste,
Obeye unto bidding bud busshoppis me bowne,
And bolde men that in batayll makis brestis to breste.
To me betaught is the tent this towre begon towne,
For traytoures tyte will I taynte, the trewthe for to triste,
The dubbyng of my dingnité may noght be done downe,
Nowdir with duke nor dugeperes, my dedis are so dreste.1
My desire muste dayly be done
With thame that are grettest of game,
And ther agayne fynde I but fone,
Wherfore I schall bettir ther bone.
But he that me greves for a grone,
Beware, for wyscus I am.

Pounce Pilatt of thre partis
   than is my propir name.
I am a perelous prince
   to prove wher I peere.
Emange the philosofers firste
   ther fanged I my fame,
Wherefore I fell to affecte
   I fynde noght my feere.
He schall full bittirly banne
   that bide schall my blame,
If all my blee be as bright
   as blossome on brere.
For sone his liffe shall he lose,
   or left be for lame,
That lowtes noght to me lowly
   nor liste noght to leere.
And thus sen we stande in oure state
Als lordis with all lykyng in lande,
Do and late us wete if ye wate
Owthir, sirs, of bayle or debate,
That nedis for to be handeled full hate
Sen all of youre helpe hanges in my hande.

CAIPHAS   Sir, and for to certefie the soth in youre sight,
As to you for oure soverayne semely we seke.

PILATUS   Why, is ther any myscheve that musteres his myght
Or malice thurgh meene menn us musters to meke?

ANNA   Ya, sir, ther is a ranke swayne
   whos rule is noght right,
For thurgh his romour in this reme
   hath raysede mekill reke.

PILATUS   I here wele ye hate hym,
   youre hartis are on heght,
And ellis if I helpe wolde
His harmes for to eke.
But why are ye barely thus brathe?
Bees rewly, and ray fourth youre reasoune.

CAIPHAS   Tille us, sir, his lore is full lothe.

PILATUS   Beware that we wax noght to wrothe.

ANNA   Why, sir, to skyfte fro his skath
We seke for youre socoure this sesoune.

PILATUS   And if that wrecche in oure warde
   have wrought any wrong,
Sen we are warned we walde witte
   and wille or we wende;
But and his sawe be lawfull,
   legge noght to lange,
For we schall leve hym if us list
   with luffe here to lende.

I DOCTOR   And yf that false faytor
   youre fortheraunce may fang,
Than fele I wele that oure folke
   mon fayle of a frende.
Sir, the strengthe of his steven ay still is so strange
That but he schortely be schent, he schappe us to schende.2
For he kennes folke hym for to call
Grete God Son, thus greves us that gome,
And sais that he sittande be schall
In high heven, for there is his hall.

PILATUS   And frendis if that force to hym fall,
It semes noght ye schall hym consume.

But that hymselfe is the same
   ye saide schulde descende,
Youre seede and you then all for to socoure.

CAYPHAS         A, softe sir, and sese,
For of Criste whan he comes
   no kynne schall be kenned;
But of this caytiffe kynreden
   we knawe the encrese.
He lykens hym to be lyke God,
   aylastand to lende,
To lifte uppe the laby to lose or relesse.

PILATUS   His maistreys schulde move you,
   youre mode for to amende.

ANNA   Nay, for swilke mys fro malice
   we may noght us meese,
For he sais he schall deme us, that dote,
And that tille us is dayne or dispite.

PILATUS   To noye hym nowe is youre noote,
But yitt the lawe lyes in my lotte.

I DOCTOR   And yf ye will witt, sir, ye wotte,
That he is wele worthy to wyte.

For in oure Temple has he taught
   by tymes moo than tenne
Where tabillis full of tresoure lay
   to telle and to trye
Of oure cheffe mony changers;
   butte, curstely to kenne,
He caste tham overe, that caystiffe,
   and counted noght therby.

CAYPHAS   Loo, sir, this is a perjurye
   to prente undir penne,
Wherfore make ye that appostita,
   we praye you, to plye.

PILATUS   Howe mene ye?

CAYPHAS         Sir, to mort hym for movyng of men.

PILATUS   Than schulde we make hym to morne
   but thurgh youre maistrie.
Latte be, sirs, and move that no more
But what in youre Temple betyde?

I MILES   We, thare, sir, he skelpte oute of score
That stately stode selland ther store.

PILATUS   Than felte he tham fawte before
And made the cause wele to be kydde.

But what taught he that tyme
   swilk tales as thou telles?

I MILES   Sir, that oure Tempill is the toure
   of his troned sire,
And thus to prayse in that place
   oure prophettis compellis,
Tille hym that has posté
   of prince and of empire.
And thei make domus Domini
   that deland thare dwellis,
The denn of the derfenes
   and ofte that thei desire.

PILATUS   Loo, is he noght a madman
   that for youre mede melles?
Sen ye ymagyn amys,
   that makeles to myre,
Youre rankoure is raykand full rawe.

CAYPHAS   Nay, nay, sir, we rewle us but right.

PILATUS   Forsothe, ye ar over cruell to knawe.

CAYPHAS   Why, sir, for he wolde lose oure lawe
Hartely we hym hate as we awe,
And therto schulde ye mayntayne oure myght.

For why, uppon oure Sabbott day
   the seke makes he saffe
And will noght sesse for oure sawes
   to synke so in synne.

II MILES   Sir, he coveres all that comes
   recoveraunce to crave,
But in a schorte contynuaunce
   that kennes all oure kynne.
But he haldis noght oure haly dayes —
   harde happe myght hym have —
And therfore hanged be he
   and that by the halse.

PILATUS       A, hoo, sir, nowe, and holde in.
For thoff ye gange thus gedy
   hym gilteles to grave
Withouten grounde yow gaynes noght,
   swilke greffe to begynne.
And loke youre leggyng be lele
Withowtyn any tryfils to telle.

ANNA   For certayne owre sawes dare we seele.

PILATUS   And than may we prophite oure pele.

CAYPHAS   Sir, bot his fawtes wer fele,
We mente noght of hym for to melle.

For he pervertis oure pepull
   that proves his prechyng,
And for that poynte ye schulde prese
   his poosté to paire.

II DOCTOR   Ya, sir, and also that caytiff
   he callis hym oure kyng,
And for that cause our comons are casten in care.

PILATUS   And if so be, that borde to bayll will hym bryng
And make hym boldely to banne the bones that hym bare.
For why that wrecche fro oure wretthe schal not wryng,
Or ther be wrought on hym wrake.

I DOCTOR                                 So wolde we it ware,
For so schulde ye susteyne youre seele
And myldely have mynde for to meke you.

PILATUS   Wele witte ye this werke schall be wele,
For kende schall that knave be to knele.

II DOCTOR   And so that oure force he may feele,
All samme for the same we beseke you.

JUDAS   Ingenti pro injuria, hym Jesus, that Jewe,
Unjust unto me, Judas, I juge to be lathe,
For at oure soper as we satte, the sothe to pursewe
With Symond Luprus full sone,
   my skiffte come to scathe.
Tille hym ther brought one a boyste
   my bale for to brewe,
That baynly to his bare feete
   to bowe was full braythe.

Sho anoynte tham with an oynement
   that nobill was and newe,
But for that werke that sche wrought
   I wexe woundir wrothe.
And this, to discover, was my skill,
For of his penys purser was I,
And what that me taught was untill
The tente parte that stale I ay still.
But nowe for me wantis of my will
That bargayne with bale schall he by.

That same oynement, I saide,
   might same have bene solde
For silver penys in a sowme
   thre hundereth, and fyne
Have ben departid to poure men
   as playne pité wolde.
But for the poore ne thare parte
   priked me no peyne,
But me tened for the tente parte,
   the trewthe to beholde,
That thirty pens of three hundereth
   so tyte I schulde tyne.
And for I mysse this mony
   I morne on this molde,
Wherfore for to mischeve
   this maistir of myne,
And therfore faste forthe will I flitte
The princes of prestis untill
And selle hym full sone or that I sitte
For therty pens in a knotte knytte.
Thusgatis full wele schall he witte
That of my wretthe wreke me I will.

Do open, porter, the porte of this prowde place
That I may passe to youre princes
   to prove for youre prowe.

JANITOR   Go hense, thou glorand gedlyng,
   God geve thee ille grace.
Thy glyfftyng is so grymly
   thou gars my harte growe.

JUDAS   Goode sir, be toward this tyme,
   and tarie noght my trace,
For I have tythandis to telle.

JANITOR         Ya, som tresoune I trowe,
For I fele by a figure in youre fals face
It is but foly to feste affeccioun in you;
For Mars he hath morteysed his mark
Eftir all lynes of my lore,
And sais ye are wikkid of werk
And bothe a strange theffe and a stark.

JUDAS   Sir, thus at my berde and ye berk
It semes it schall sitte yow full sore.

JANITOR   Say, bittilbrowed bribour,
   why blowes thou such boste?
Full false in thy face in faith can I fynde;
Thou arte combered in curstnesse
   and caris to this coste.
To marre men of myght
   haste thou marked in thy mynde.

JUDAS   Sir, I mene of no malice
   but mirthe meve I muste.

JANITOR   Say, onhanged harlott,
   I holde thee unhende.
Thou lokist like a lurdayne
   his liffelod hadde loste.
Woo schall I wirke thee away but thou wende.

JUDAS   A, goode sir, take tente to my talkyng this tyde,
For tythandis full trew can I telle.

JANITOR   Say, brethell, I bidde thee abide,
Thou chaterist like a churle that can chyde.

JUDAS   Ya, sir, but and the truthe schulde be tryed,
Of myrthe are ther materes I mell.

For thurgh my dedis youre dugeperes
   fro dere may be drawen.

JANITOR   What, demes thou till oure dukes
   that doole schulde be dight?

JUDAS   Nay, sir, so saide I noght;
If I be callid to counsaille
   that cause schall be knawen
Emang that comely companye,
   to clerke and to knyght.

JANITOR   Byde me here, bewchere,
   or more blore be blowen,
And I schall buske to the benke
   wher baneres are bright,
And saie unto oure sovereynes
   or seede more be sawen
That swilke a seege as thiselff
   sewes to ther sight.
My lorde nowe, of witte that is well,
I come for a cas to be kydde.

PILATUS   We, speke on, and spare not thi spell.

CAYPHAS   Ya, and if us mystir te mell,
Sen ye bere of bewté the bell,
Blythely schall we bowe as ye bidde.

JANITOR   Sir, withoute this abatyng,
   ther hoves, as I hope,
A hyve helte full of ire, for hasty he is.

PILATUS   What comes he fore?

JANITOR         I kenne hym noght, but he is cladde in a cope;
He cares with a kene face uncomely to kys.

PILATUS   Go, gete hym that his greffe
   we grathely may grope
So no oppen langage be goyng amys.

JANITOR   Comes on bylyve to my lorde,
   and if thee liste to lepe,
But uttir so thy langage
   that thou lette noght thare blys.

JUDAS   That lorde, sirs, myght susteyne youre seele
That floure is of fortune and fame.

PILATUS   Welcome, thy wordis are but wele.

CAYPHAS   Say, harste thou, knave, can thou not knele?

PILATUS   Loo, here may men faute in you fele.
Late be, sir, youre scornyng, for schame.

Bot, bewshere, be noght abayst to byde at the bar.

JUDAS   Before you, sirs, to be brought
   abowte have I bene,
And allway for youre worschippe.

ANNA   Say, wotte thou any were?

JUDAS   Of werke, sir, that hath wretthid you,
   I wotte what I meene.
But I wolde make a marchaundyse
   youre myscheffe to marre.

PILATUS   And may you soo?

JUDAS   Els madde I such maistries to meve.

ANNA   Than kennes thou of som comberaunce
   oure charge for to chere?
For, cosyne, thou art cruell.

JUDAS   My cause, sir, is kene,
For if ye will bargayne or by,
Jesus this tyme will I selle you.

I DOCTOR   My blissing, sone, have thou forthy.
Loo, here is a sporte for to spye.

JUDAS   And hym dar I hete you in hye
If ye will be toward I telle you.

PILATUS   What hytist thou?

JUDAS          Judas Scariott.

PILATUS                              Thou art a juste man
That will Jesus be justified
   by oure jugement.
But howe gates bought schall he be?
   Bidde furthe thy bargayne.

JUDAS   But for a litill betyng
   to bere fro this bente.

PILATUS   Now, what schall we pay?

JUDAS         Sir, thirti pens and plete, no more than.

PILATUS   Say, ar ye plesid of this price
   he preces to present?

II DOCTOR   Ellis contrarie we oure consciens
   consayve sen we can
That Judas knawes hym culpabill.

PILATUS      I call you consent,
But Judas, a knott for to knytt,
Wilte thou to this comenaunt accorde?

JUDAS   Ya, at a worde.

PILATUS         Welcome is it.

II MILES   Take therof, a traytour, tyte.

I MILES   Now leve, ser, late no man wete
How this losell laykis with his lord.

PILATUS   Why, dwellis he with that dochard
   whos dedis has us drovyd?

I MILES   That hase he done, ser, and dose,
   no dowte is this day.

PILATUS   Than wolde we knawe why this knave
   thus cursidly contryved.

II MILES   Enquere hym sen ye can best
   kenne if he contrarie.

PILATUS   Say, man, to selle thi maistir
   what mysse hath he moved?

JUDAS   For of als mekill mony he made me delay;
Of you, as I resayve, schall but right be reproved.

ANNA   I rede noght that ye reken us
   oure rewle so to ray,
For that the fales fende schall thee fang.

I MILES   When he schall wante of a wraste.

I DOCTOR   To whome wirke we wittandly wrang.

II DOCTOR   Tille hym bot ye hastely hang.

III DOCTOR   Youre langage ye lay oute to lang,
But Judas, we trewly thee trast.

For truly thou moste lerne us
   that losell to lache,
Or of lande, thurgh a lirte,
   that lurdayne may lepe.

JUDAS   I schall you teche a token
   hym tyte for to take
Wher he is thryngand in the thrang,
   withouten any threpe.

I MILES   We knawe hym noght.

JUDAS          Take kepe than that caytiffe to catche
The whilke that I kisse.

II MILES         That comes wele thee, corious, I cleepe.
But yitt to warne us wisely,
   allwayes muste ye wacche.
Whan thou schall wende forthwith
   we schall walke a wilde hepe,
And therfore besye loke now thou be.

JUDAS   Yis, yis, a space schall I spie us
Als sone as the sonne is sette, as ye see.

I MILES   Go forthe, for a traytoure ar ye,

II MILES   Ya, and a wikkid man.

I DOCTOR                                  Why, what is he?

II DOCTOR   A losell, ser, but lewté shuld lye us,

He is trappid full of trayne the truthe for to trist.
I holde it but folye his faythe for to trowe.

PILATUS   Abide in my blyssing,
   and late youre breste,
For it is beste for oure bote
   in bayle for to bowe.
And Judas, for oure prophite
   we praye thee be prest.

JUDAS   Yitt hadde I noght a peny
   to purvey for my prowe.

PILATUS   Thou schalte have delyveraunce,
   belyve at thi list,
So that thou schall have liking
   oure lordschipp to love.
And therfore, Judas, mende thou thy mone
And take ther thi silvere all same.

JUDAS   Ya, nowe is my grete greffe overegone.

I MILES   Be lyght than.

JUDAS   Yis, latte me allone,
For tytte schall that taynte be tone,
And therto jocounde and joly I am.

PILATUS   Judas, to holde thi behest
   be hende for oure happe,
And of us helpe and upholde
   we hete thee to have.

JUDAS   I schall bekenne you his corse
   in care for to clappe.

ANNA   And more comforte in this case
   we coveyte not to crave.

I MILES   Fro we may reche that rekeles,
   his ribbis schall we rappe
And make that roy, or we rest,
   for rennyng to raffe.

PILATUS   Nay, sirs, all if ye scourge hym
   ye schende noght his schappe,
For if the sotte be sakles
Us sittis hym to save.
Wherfore when ye go schall to gete hym,
Unto his body brew ye no bale.

II MILES   Oure liste is fro lepyng to lette hym,
But in youre sight sownde schall ve sette hym.

PILATUS   Do flitte nowe forthe till ye fette hym,
With solace all same to youre sale.
most royal king; revenue; (t-note)
rule; peace; (see note)
commands; must; oblige
entrusted; care; turreted
quickly; attaint; trust
my status (by right of title)

(i.e., most skillful)
grieves me with a groan; (t-note)
vicious (see note)



countenance; (see note)


let us know if you know (hear); (see note)
Either; bale

(see note)

mean (low); subdue


realm; (t-note)
riot (commotion)

(i.e., you are excited)
so angry
Be calm (Behave); set forth

very hateful

too angry

escape; malice
(i.e., at this time)

custody; (see note)

would know
sayings; (see note)
allege; too long
in peace; allow

favor; gain
may fail
voice always; strong


should belong

(i.e., descendants)


rascal’s kindred


error from malice
judge; fool
to; insult; malice

persecute; note (i.e., task)

understand; know

(see note)
count; sort out

maliciously; reveal

apostate; (see note)

kill; influencing


beat outrageously
stood selling; goods

at fault


enthroned father


house of the Lord
dealing; (t-note)

benefit is involved
matchless; ensnare; (see note)
rancor; rashly evident


ought [to]

sick; sound; (see note)
cease; sayings (complaints)

keeps; holy


though; proceed; precipitously
allegations be true
silly stories

sayings (charges); certify

put forward; accusation; (see note)

faults; many
become involved

power; reduce

cast into worry

joke; sorrow; (t-note)
Therefore; wrath; escape

sense of well-being
make mild of mind

taught; kneel


Because of a great injury; (see note)
loathsome; (t-note)
Simon Leprous
conspiracy; harm
To; box



became very angry
pence (money) treasurer

buy (purchase)

given; poor
not for their part

grieved; tenth

quick (sharp); lose



bargain made
In this manner; know
anger revenge

door; (see note)


glowering gadling (rascal); (see note)

make; to swell (i.e., become terrified)

hinder; course of action

by the expression
fixed; sign; (see note)

(i.e., a reprobate)

beard; bark (shout)

beetle-browed briber

encumbered by malice
come; place

I’d rather choose mirth

unless you go

brothel (worthless person)

but if

from harm; (t-note)

[to] dole; put

hurry; bench
(see note)

ere; sowed
sues (requests an audience)
made known

need to stir
Since; bear; beauty

hive full up to hilt; anger

know; cloak
goes about with

directly; examine
open (careless)

(i.e., go quickly)
speak thus
disturb; their calm



Leave aside

But; afraid; wait; (see note); (t-note)


know; danger


agreement; (see note)

(i.e., assertions to allege)

know; trouble
concern; cheer (alert)


find out

promise; quickly
in sympathy with what I

are you called

Who wishes; brought to justice; (t-note)

by what means


pence; in full; (see note)


Else against
responsible; (t-note)


covenant agree


leave; know
scoundrel plays

deeds; angered



of him
find; offend

(i.e., what has he done)

much; withheld from me
receive; redressed

rule; take seriously
false fiend; take; (see note); (t-note)

lack; trick

knowingly wrong


spin out too much
trust; (t-note)

must teach
trick; (see note)
rascal may slip off

pressed; throng
dispute (question)

Take care

becomes you well, curious, I say


in a large crowd
busy look

scoundrel; loyalty; belie

stuffed full; deception

stop; complaints
bale; submit

put forth; comfort

as you wish
(i.e., a reason)

altogether; (see note)

grief gone away

happy then

quickly; criminal; taken
(see note); (t-note)

worthy; good luck


show; body


seize; reckless one

(i.e., trying to avoid us); rave [in pain]

(see note)
injure; body
fool; guiltless
sits (as a judge)
get (entrap)

desire; fleeing; prevent

well-being; hall

Go To Play 27, The Last Supper