REX Pes, ye brothellis and browlys, in this broydenesse inbrased,1
And freykis that are frendely your freykenesse to frayne,
Youre tounges fro tretyng of triffillis be trased,
Or this brande that is bright schall breste in youre brayne.
Plextis for no plasis, but platte you to this playne,
And drawe to no drofyng, but dresse you to drede,
Traveylis noght as traytours that tristis in trayne
Or by the bloode that Mahounde bledde, with this blad schal ye blede.
Thus schall I brittyn all youre bones on brede
Yae, and lusshe all youre lymmys with lasschis.
Dragons that are dredfull schall derke in ther denne
In wrathe when we writhe or in wrathenesse ar wapped;
Agaynste jeauntis ongentill have we joined with ingendis,2
And swannys that are swymmyng to oure swetnes schall be suapped,
And joged doune ther jolynes oure gentries engenderand.
Whoso repreve oure estate we schall choppe tham in cheynes.
All renkkis that are renand to us schall be reverande.
Therfore I bidde you sese or any bale be
That no brothell be so bolde boste for to blowes,
And ye that luffis youre liffis, listen to me
As a lorde that is lerned to lede you be lawes.
And ye that are of my men and of my menye,
Sen we are comen fro oure kyth as ye wele knawe
And semlys all here same in this cyté,
It sittis us in sadnesse to sette all oure sawes.
I DUX My lorde, we schall take kepe to youre call
And stirre to no stede but ye steven us,
Ne grevaunce to grete ne to small.
REX Ya, but loke that no fawtes befall.
II DUX Lely, my lord, so we shall;
Ye nede not no more for to nevyn us.
I DUX Mounseniour, demene you to menske in mynde what I mene
And boune to youre bodword, for so holde I best,
For all the comons of this courte bene avoyde clene,
And ilke a renke, as resoune as, are gone to ther reste;
Wherfore I counsaile, my lorde, ye comaunde you a drynke.
REX Nowe certis, I assente as thou sais,
Se ych a qwy is wente on his ways
Lightly withouten any delayes.
Giffe us wyne wynly and late us go wynke
And se that no durdan be done.
Tunc bibit Rex.
I DUX My lorde, unlase you to lye,
Here schall none come for to crye.
REX Nowe spedely loke that thou spie
That no noyse be neghand this none.
I DUX My lorde, youre bedde is new made;
you nedis noght for to bide it.
REX Ya, but as thou luffes me hartely,
laye me doune softely,
For thou wotte full wele
that I am full tendirly hydid.
I DUX Howe lye ye, my goode lorde?
REX Right wele, be this light,
All holé at my desire,
Wherfore I praye Ser Satan, oure sire,
And Lucifer moste luffely of lyre,
He sauffe you all, sirs, and giffe you goode nyght.
I MILES Sir knyght, ye wote we are warned to wende,
To witte of this warlowe what is the kyngis will.
II MILES Sir, here is Herowde all even here at oure hende,
And all oure entente tyte schall we tell hym untill.
I MILES Who is here?
I DUX Who is there?
I MILES Sir, we are knyghtis kende
Is comen to youre counsaill this carle for to kill.
I DUX Sirs, but youre message may myrthis amende,
Stalkis furthe be yone stretis, or stande stone still.
II MILES Yis, certis, ser, of myrthis we mene;
The kyng schall have matteres to melle hym.
We brynge here a boy us betwene,
Wherfore have worschippe, we wene.
I DUX Wele, sirs, so that it turne to no tene,
Tentis hym and we schall go telle hym.
My lorde, yondir is a boy boune that brought is in blame;
Haste you in hye, thei hove at youre gates.
REX What, and schall I rise nowe, in the devyllis name
To stighill amang straungeres in stales of astate?
But have here my hande, halde nowe,
And se that my sloppe be wele sittande.
I DUX My lorde, with a goode will I wolde youe,
No wrange will I witte at my wittande.
But, my lorde, we can tell you of uncouthe tythandes.
REX Ya, but loke ye telle us no tales but trewe.
II DUX My lorde, thei bryng you yondir a boy boune in a bande
That bodus outhir bourdyng or bales to brewe.
REX Thanne gete we some harrowe full hastely at hande.
I DUX My lorde, ther is some note that is nedfull to neven you of new.
REX Why, hoppis thou thei haste hym to hyng?
II DUX We wotte noght ther will nor ther wenyng,
But boodword full blithely thei bryng.
REX Nowe do than and late us se of there sayng.
II DUX Lo, sirs, ye schall carpe with the kyng
And telles to hym manly youre menyng.
I MILES Lorde, welthis and worschippis be with you alway.
REX What wolde thou?
II MILES A worde, lorde, and youre willes were.
REX Well, saye on, than.
I MILES My lorde, we fare foolys to flay,
Yt to you wolde forfette.
REX We, faire falle you therfore.
I MILES My lorde, fro ye here what we saie,
Itt will heffe uppe youre hertis.
REX Ya, but saie what heynde have ye thore?
II MILES A presente fro Pilate, lorde, the prince of oure lay.
REX Pese in my presence, and nemys hym no more.
I MILES My lorde, he woll worschippe you faine.
REX I consayve ye are ful foes of hym.
II MILES My lorde, he wolde menske you with mayne,
And therfore he sendis you this swayne.
REX Gose tyte with that gedlyng agayne
And saie hym a borowed bene sette I noght be hym.
I DUX A, my lorde, with youre leve, thei have faren ferre,
And for to fraiste of youre fare was no folye.
II DUX My lorde, and this gedlyng go thus it will greve werre,
For he gares growe on this grounde grete velanye.
REX Why, menys thou that that myghtyng schulde my myghtes marre?
I DUX Nay, lorde, but he makis on this molde mekill maystrie.
REX Go ynne, and late us see of the sawes ere,
And but yf thei be to oure bordyng,
thai both schalle abye.
II MILES My lorde, we were worthy to blame
To brynge you any message of mysse.
REX Why, than can ye nemyn us his name?
I MILES Sir, Criste have we called hym at hame.
REX O, this is the ilke selve and the same.
Nowe, sires, ye be welcome, ywisse.
And in faith I am fayne he is fonne,
His farles to frayne and to fele,
Nowe thes games was grathely begonne.
II MILES Lorde, lely that likis us wele.
REX Ya, but dar ye hete hartely that harlott is he?
I MILES My lorde, takis hede, and in haste ye schall here howe.
REX Ya, but what menys that this message was made unto me?
II MILES My lorde, for it touches to tresoune, I trowe.
I MILES My lorde, he is culpabill kende in oure contré
Of many perillus poyntis, as Pilate preves nowe.
II MILES My lorde, when Pilate herde he had gone thurgh Galyle,
He lerned us that that lordschippe longed to you,
And or he wiste what youre willis were,
No ferther wolde he speke for to spille hym.
REX Thanne knawes he that oure myghtis are the more?
I MILES Ya, certis sir, so saie we thore.
REX Nowe, sertis, and oure frenschippe therfore
We graunte hym, and no grevaunce we will hym.
And sirs, ye are welcome, ywisse, as ye wele awe,
And for to wende at youre wille I you warande,
For I have coveite kyndely that comely to knawe,
For men carpis that the carle schulde be konnand.
II MILES My lorde, wolde he saie you soth of his sawe,
Ye saugh nevir slik selcouth, be see nor be sande.
REX Nowe gois abakke both, and late the boy blowe,
For I hope we gete some harre hastely at hande.
I MILES Jerusalem and the Jewes may have joie
And hele in ther herte for to here hym.
REX Saie, beene-venew in bone fay,
Ne plesew et a parle remoy?
II MILES Nay, my lorde, he can of no bourdyng, this boy.
REX No, sir, with thi leve we schall lere hym.
I FILIUS Mi lorde, se ther knyghtis that knawe and are kene
How thai come to youre courte withoutyn any call.
REX Ya, sone, and musteris grete maistries,
what may this bymene?
I DUX My lorde, for youre myghtis are more than thei all,
They seke you as soverayne and sertis that is sene.
REX Nowe certis, sen ye saie so, assaie hym I schall,
For I am fayner of that freyke then othir fiftene.
Yae, and hym that first fande, faire myght hym fall.
I MILES Lorde, lely we lereth you no legh,
This liffe that he ledis will lose hym.
REX Wele, sirs, drawes you adrygh
And, bewscheris, bryngis ye hym nygh,
For yif all that his sleghtis be slye,
Yitte or he passe we schalle appose hym.
O, my harte hoppis for joie
To se nowe this prophette appere.
We schall have goode game with this boy;
Takis hede, for in haste ye schall here.
I leve we schall laugh and have likyng
To se nowe this lidderon her he leggis oure lawis.
II DUX Harke, cosyne, thou comys to karpe with kyng;
Take tente and be conande, and carpe as thou knowis.
I DUX Ya, and loke that thou be not a sotte of thy saying,
But sadly and sone thou sette all thi sawes.
REX Hym semys full boudisch, that boy that thei bryng.
II DUX Mi lorde, and of his bordyng grete bostyng men blawes.
REX Whi, therfore have I soughte hym to see,
Loke, bewscheris, ye be to oure bodis boune.
I DUX Knele doune here to the kyng on thy knee.
II DUX Naye, nedelyngis yt will not be.
REX Loo, sirs, he mekis hym no more unto me
Thanne it were to a man of ther awne toune.
I DUX Whe, go lawmere, and lerne thee to lowte
Or thai more blame thee to bring.
REX Nay, dredeles withouten any doute
He knawes noght the course of a kyng,
And her beeis in oure bale, bourde or we blynne.
Saie firste at the begynnyng withall, where was thou borne?
Do, felawe, for thy faith, latte us falle ynne.
Firste of thi ferleis, who fedde thee beforne?
What, deynes thou not? Lo, sirs, he deffis us with dynne.
Say, whare ledde ye this lidrone? His langage is lorne.
I MILES My lorde, his mervaylis to more and to myne,
Or musteres emange us both mydday and morne.
II MILES Mi lorde, it were to fele
Of wonderes, he workith tham so wightely.
I MILES Whe, man, momelyng may nothyng avayle;
Go to the kyng and tell hyme fro toppe unto tayle.
REX Do bringe us that boy unto bale,
For lely we leffe hym noght lightly.
I DUX This mop menyes that he may marke men to ther mede;3
He makes many maistries and mervayles emange.
II DUX Five thousand folke faire gon he feede
With fyve looffis and two fisshis to fange.
REX Howe fele folke sais thou he fedde?
II DUX Five thousand, lorde, that come to his call.
REX Ya, boye, howe mekill brede he them bedde?
I DUX But five looffis, dare I wele wedde.
REX Nowe, be the bloode that Mahounde bledde,
What, this was a wondir at all.
II DUX Nowe, lorde, two fisshes blissid he efte,
And gaffe thame and ther none was forgetyn.
I DUX Ya, lorde, and twelve lepfull ther lefte
Of releve whan all men had eten.
REX Of such anodir mangery no man mene may.
II DUX Mi lorde, but his maistries that musteris his myght.
REX But saie, sirs, ar ther sawis soth that thei saie?
II MILES Ya, lorde, and more selcouth were schewed to oure sight.
One Lazar, a ladde that in oure lande lay,
Lay loken undir layre fro lymme and fro light,
And his sistir come rakand in rewfull arraye;
And lorde, for ther raryng he raysed hym full right
And fro his grath garte hym gang
Evere forthe, withouten any evill.
REX We, such lesyngis lastis to lange.
I MILES Why, lorde, wene ye that wordis be wronge?
This same ladde levys us emang.
REX Why, there hope I be dedis of the devyll.
Why schulde ye haste hym to hyng
That sought not newly youre newys?
II MILES My lorde, for he callis hym a kyng
And claymes to be a kyng of Jewis.
REX But saie, is he kyng in his kyth where he come froo?
I MILES Nay, lorde, but he callis hym a kyng his caris to kele.
REX Thanne is it litill wondir yf that he be woo,
For to be weried with wrang sen he wirkis wele;
But he schalle sitte be myselfe sen ye saie soo.
Comes nerre, kyng, into courte. Saie, can ye not knele?
We schalle have gaudis full goode and games or we goo.
Howe likis tha? Wele, lorde. Saie — what, devyll nevere a dele?
I faute in my reverant in otill moy,
I am of favour, loo, fairer be ferre.
Kyte oute yugilment. Uta, oy, oy!
Be any witte that I watte it will waxe werre.
Such losellis and lurdaynes as thou, loo.
What the devyll and his dame schall I now doo?
Do carpe on, carle, for I can thee cure,
Say, may thou not here me? Oy, man, arte thou woode?
Nowe telle me faithfully before howe thou fore;
Forthe, frende, be my faith, thou arte a fonde foode.
I DUX My lorde, it astonys hym, youre steven is so store;
Hym had levere have stande stone still ther he stode.
REX And whedir the boy be abasshid of Herrowde byg blure,
That were a bourde of the beste, be Mahoundes bloode.
II DUX My lorde, I trowe youre fauchone hym flaies
And lettis hym.
REX Nowe lely I leve thee,
And therfore schall I waffe it away,
And softely with a septoure assaie.
Nowe, sir, be perte I thee pray,
For none of my gromys schall greve thee.
Si loqueris tibi laus,
Pariter quoque prospera dantur;
Si loqueris tibi fraus,
Fell fex et bella parantur.4
Mi menne, ye go menske hym with mayne
And loke yhow that it wolde seme.
I DUX Dewcus, fayff, ser, and sofferayne.
II DUX Sir Udins, amangidre demayne.
REX Go, aunswer thaym grathely agayne.
What, devyll, whedir dote we or dremys.
I MILES Naye, we gete noght o worde, dare I wele wedde,
For he is wraiste of his witte or will of his wone.
REX Ye saie he lakkid youre lawis as ye that ladde ledde.
II MILES Ya, lorde, and made many gaudis as we have gone.
REX Nowe sen he comes as a knave and as a knave cledde,
Wherto calle ye hym a kyng?
I DUX Nay, lorde, he is none,
But an harlotte is hee.
REX What devyll, I ame harde stedde,
A man myght as wele stere a stokke as a stone.
I FILIUS My lorde, this faitour so fouly is affrayde,
He loked nevere of lorde so langly allone.
REX No, sone, the rebalde seis us so richely arayed,
He wenys we be aungelis evere ilkone.
II DUX My lorde, I holde hym agaste of youre gaye gere.
REX Grete lordis augh to be gay;
Here schall no man do to thee dere,
And therfore yit nemyne in my nere,
For by the grete God, and thou garre me swere
Thou had nevere dole or this day.
Do carpe on tyte, karle, of thy kynne.
I DUX Nay, nedelyngis he nevyns you with none.
REX That schalle he bye or he blynne.
II DUX A, leves lorde.
REX Lattis me allone.
I DUX Nowe, good lorde, and ye may, meve you no more;
Itt is not faire to feght with a fonned foode,
But gose to youre counsaille and comforte you there.
REX Thou sais soth, we schall see yf so will be goode,
For certis oure sorowes are sadde.
II FILIUS What a devyll ayles hym?
Mi lorde, I can garre you be gladde,
For in tyme oure maistir is madde;
He lurkis, loo, and lokis like a ladde.
He is wode, lorde, or ellis his witte faylis hym.
III FILIUS Mi lorde, ye have mefte you as mekill as ye may,
For yhe myght menske hym no more, were he Mahounde;
And sen it semys to be soo, latte us nowe assaie.
REX Loke, bewscheris, ye be to oure bodis boune.
I DUX Mi lorde, how schulde he dowte us? He dredis not youre drays.
REX Nowe do fourthe, the devyll myght hym droune,
And sen he freyms falsed and makis foule frayes,
Raris on hym rudely, and loke ye not roune.
I FILIUS Mi lorde, I schall enforce myselffe sen ye saie soo.
Felawe, be noght afferde nor feyne not therfore,
But telle us nowe some truffillis betwene us twoo,
And none of oure men schall medill tham more.
And therfore by resoune array thee,
Do telle us some poynte for thy prowe.
Heris thou not what I saie thee?
Thou mummeland myghtyng, I may thee
Helpe and turne thee fro tene, as I trowe.
II FILIUS Loke uppe, ladde, lightly and loute to my lorde here,
For fro bale unto blisse he may nowe thee borowe.
Carpe on, knave, kantely, and caste thee to corde here,
And saie me nowe somwhat, thou sauterell, with sorowe.
Why standis thou as stille as a stone here?
Spare not, but speke in this place here,
Thou gedlyng, it may gayne thee some grace here.
III FILIUS My lorde, this faitour is so ferde in youre face here,
None aunswere in this nede he nevyns you with none here.
Do, bewsheris, for Beliall bloode and his bonys,
Say somwhat or it will waxe werre.
I FILIUS Nay, we gete nought one worde in this wonys.
II FILIUS Do crie we all on hym at onys,
AL CHYLDER Oyes, Oyes, Oyes!
REX O, ye make a foule noyse for the nonys.
III FILIUS Nedlyng, my lorde, it is nevere the nerre.
I FILIUS Mi lorde, all youre mutyng amendis not a myte,
To medill with a madman is mervaille to mene;
Comaunde youre knyghtis to clothe hym in white
And late hym carre as he come to youre contré.
REX Lo, sirs, we lede you no lenger a lite.
Mi sone has saide sadly how that it schuld be;
But such a poynte for a page is to parfite.
I DUX Mi lorde, fooles that are fonde, thei falle such a fee.
REX What, in a white garmente to goo
Thus gayly girde in a gowne?
II DUX Nay, lorde, but as a foole forcid hym froo.
REX How saie ye, sirs, schulde it be soo?
AL CHYLDER Ya, lord.
REX We, than is ther no more
But boldely bidde tham be boune.
Sir knyghtis, we caste to garre you be gladde,
Oure counsaile has warned us wisely and wele:
White clothis we saie fallis for a fonned ladde,
And all his foly in faith fully we feele.
I DUX We will with a goode will for his wedis wende,
For we wotte wele anowe what wedis he schall were.
II DUX Loo, here is an haterell here at youre hende,
All faciound therfore foolis to feere.
I MILES Loo, here a joppon of joie,
All such schulde be gode for a boy.
I DUX He schalle be rayed like a roye
And schall be fonne in his folie.
II DUX We, thanke tham, evyll motte thou thee.
I MILES Nay, we gete noght a worde, wele I warand.
II MILES Man, mustir some mervaile to me.
I DUX What, wene ye he be wiser than we?
Leffe we and late the kyng see
Howe it is forcyd and farand.
Mi lorde, loke yf ye be paied,
For we have getyn hym his gere.
REX Why, and is this rebalde arayed?
Mi blissing, bewscheris, ye bere.
Gose, garre crye in my courte
and grathely garre write
All the dedis that we have done in this same degré.
And who fyndis hym greved
late hym telle tyte;
And yf we fynde no defaute
hym fallis to go free.
I DUX Oyes. Yf any wight with this wriche any werse wate,
Werkis, beris wittenesse who so wirkis wrang,
Buske boldely to the barre, his balis to abate,
For my lorde, be my lewté, will not be deland.
My lorde, here apperes none to appeyre his estate.
REX Wele thanne, fallis hym goo free.
Sir knyghtis, thanne grathis you goodly to gange
And repaire with youre present and saie to Pilate
We graunte hym oure frenschippe all fully to fang.
I MILES My lorde, with youre leve this way schall we lere,
Us likis no lenger to abide here.
II MILES Mi lorde, and he worthe ought in were,
We come agayne with goode chere.
REX Nay, bewscheris, ye fynde us not here;
Oure leve will we take at this tyde
And rathely araye us to reste,
For such notis has noyed us or nowe.
I DUX Ya, certis, lorde, so holde I beste,
For this gedlyng ungoodly has greved you.
II DUX Loke ye bere worde as ye wotte,
Howe wele we have quitte us this while.
I MILES We, wise men will deme it we dote,
But if we make ende of oure note.
REX Wendis fourth, the devyll in thi throte.
We fynde no defaute hym to slee.
Wherfore schulde we flaye hym or fleme hym
We fynde noght in rollis of recorde.
And sen that he is dome, for to deme hym,
Ware this a goode lawe for a lorde?
Nay, losellis, unlely ye lerned all to late,
Go lere thus lordingis of youre londe such lessons to lere.
Repaire with youre present and saie to Pilate
We graunte hym oure poure all playne to appere,
And also oure grevaunce forgeve we algate,
And we graunte hym oure grace with a goode chere.
As touchyng this brothell that brawlis or debate,
Bidde hym wirke as he will, and wirke noght in were.
Go telle hym this message fro me,
And lede fourth that mytyng, evyll motte he thee.
I MILES Mi lorde, with youre leve, late hym be,
For all to longe ledde hym have we.
II MILES What, ye sirs, my lorde, will ye see?
REX What, felawes, take ye no tente what I telle you
And bid you, that yoman ye yeme?
II MILES Mi lorde, we schall wage hym an ill way.
REX Nay, bewscheris, be not so bryme,
Fare softely, for so will it seme.
I MILES Nowe sen we schall do as ye deme,
REX Daunce on, in the devyll way.
(see note); (t-note)
men; manliness inquire into
speaking; trifles; suppressed
Plead; places; fall down; plain
riot; behave in fear
Work; rely on deception
hack; (i.e., every one)
beat; lashes; (t-note)
anger are wrapped
cut; nobles begetting
men; reigning; revering
cease ere; misery
seriousness to set forth; sayings (ideas)
may you please; honor; (t-note)
remain obliged; command
are all gone away
all men; as reason requires; (see note)
Then the king drinks; (t-note)
unlace; (see note)
have very tender skin
(i.e., wholly as I wish)
told; (see note)
Herod’s hall; hand
Sneak forth by
bound; as one blamed
intervene; in court
overgarment; not askew; (see note)
(i.e., will I wish to know of)
bodes either entertainment; trouble
if it were your will
make fools to [be] punished
(i.e., may you prosper)
creature (person); (t-note)
Peace; name; (see note)
honor; [all his] strength
borrowed bean set; by
come from afar
if; grieve worse
marvels; question; experience
dare; promise honestly
known [to be]; country
until he knew
ought [to be]
wished naturally; comely person
say; churl; cunning
saw; such wonders; sea
let; give vent
matter of significance; (see note)
welcome in good faith; (see note)
(i.e., Doesn’t it please you to speak with me)
certainly; seen (obvious)
more interested in; man than [any]
wicked fellow; expounds
Pay attention; cunning
set forth; words (sayings)
idle talk; boasting; give vent
good men; orders obedient
fool; reverence (bow)
protocol; (see note)
custody, entertain [us]; put an end
(i.e., Speak); begin
marvels; fed (raised)
deign; deafens; din; (t-note)
rascal; lost; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
partake of; (t-note)
deeds [are] what show; (t-note)
sayings true; (t-note)
locked; earth; leam (gleam); (t-note)
rushing in distress
up from; grave made; go
lies; too long
until recently; (i.e., annoyance)
cares to alleviate
cursed; wrong; performs good deeds
deal (i.e., no speaking)
(i.e., am not honored); (see note)
appearance; by far
I fear; worse
dull fellows; rascals
Let him be wary and fear
[Come] forth; foolish person
astonishes; voice; strong; (see note)
rather; where he stood
hinders him [from speaking]; (t-note)
get not a; wager
found fault with
clad; (see note)
looked at; for so long alone
ought; finely dressed
necessarily; speaks [to]; nothing
pay for; concludes
leave (enough of this)
fight; fond fool
commands bound (obliged)
go forth; drown; (t-note)
frames (makes) falsehood; riots
Roar; mutter; (t-note)
point (detail); profit
deceiver; afraid of
speaks to; (i.e., at all)
bones (relics); (t-note)
Necessarily; nearer; (t-note)
detain; longer a little (time)
too perfect (i.e., difficult)
try to cause
are appropriate; foolish
garment; hands; (t-note)
announce; (see note)
appropriately cause to be written
[it] befalls him
man; wretch; worse knows; (t-note)
return; (see note)
(i.e., if he acts suspiciously)
matters; annoyed; ere
judge; [act] foolish
slay; (see note)
legal rolls; (see note)
in all respects
suspiciously; (see note)
small (insignificant) fellow
yeoman; look after