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Play 32, The Remorse of Judas


1 What amount do you wish to borrow, quickly, let me see


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.

The 1415 description of the Remorse of Judas in the Ordo paginarum is too fragmentary to be useful except for the reference to the thirty coins as pieces of silver, as in the Conspiracy (Play 26, line 276) and in the biblical account. Thirty pennies, designated here in the playtext, would have been a small amount of money, by the end of the fifteenth century equivalent to perhaps a week’s wages, depending on one’s occupation.1 The biblical sources are the brief accounts in Matthew 27:3–10, which includes Judas’ suicide, and Acts 1:18–19. The pageant as we have it is a much expanded version of the story, again a new play or rewriting in the long alliterative line, mostly in eight-line or eleven-line stanzas and based on the elaboration of the narrative as found in the Northern Passion. The extant text likewise adds Pilate to the characters noted in the Ordo paginarum. While the second listing of pageants in the Memorandum Book A/Y additionally lists a Suspensio Jude pageant, also noted in 1432 as having Judas “burst in the middle,”2 this play is lost. The dramatic ending of Judas’ life in which a devil emerges from his bowels, though included elsewhere as at Coventry where a hook was purchased in 1578 for his hanging,3 was never added to Cooks and Waterleaders’ (or Watercarriers’) drama about his remorse. The selfishness and callousness of the priests and of Pilate are emphasized, culminating in what can only be described as theft of land by these bullies that will be the field of blood from the knight who only wants to mortgage it.

16 Nor no man to grath hym no gate. Purvis’ translation “Begin not to go on your gate” (York Cycle of Mystery Plays, p. 248) is speculative. The MED, citing this line, glosses “grath . . . gate” as “go away, set off, depart.”

23 golde wyre. Pilate’s self-flattery reveals at least that his hair color is blond.

26 prince prevyd undir palle. Here a generic secular gown distinguishing a man of authority, but it would have been sufficiently elaborate to identify Pilate’s high status.

75 faute in hym I fynde none. Pilate is rejecting as legal grounds for conviction the recital once more of allegations by Anna and Caiphas. Compare Luke 23:4. He will, however, give them a chance to confront Jesus again and to accuse him by summoning him back to court (the legal term is “racleyme,” in line 79).

85–87 on the raynebowe . . . oure dedis. Jesus has referred to the rainbow as a sign that appeared to Noah and that will again appear at the Last Day when he returns to judge the living and the dead “aftir oure dedis.”

90 wene ye be wiser than we. Here is highlighted the contrast between the view of Jesus that Pilate and the others have of him on the one hand, and the audience’s perception of him as both God and Man. The arrogance of his accusers undercuts audience sympathy for them and helps to focus attention on the suffering Savior. Note the use of the word “sauterell,” implying “babbler,” in relation to Jesus in line 93.

115–16 be Beliall bonis . . . of golde. Swearing by Belial’s bones, or relics. No bribe will be sufficient in this instance to effect Jesus’ release.

129 comaundis us to drynke. Embedded stage direction; they drink as Judas appears in order to recite his monologue prior to greeting Pilate and the chief priests in line 153.

130–52 Judas reveals his plan to return the thirty pence, which would be his only chance of redemption, but despairs about his own spiritual condition, for he has performed such a heinous deed as to betray his innocent (“Sakles,” line 142) master.

168 we bought hym. Caiphas insists that Jesus has been purchased like a piece of property and regards him like a slave who can be killed, if that is their wish. This is a violation of human rights as understood in the fifteenth century as clearly as today, for Judas had absolutely no legal right to sell him in the first place.

214–24 Judas’ trespass is beyond redemption because he is able only to express remorse and not to be truly repentant; as the Harleian manuscript of the Northern Passion states, “He thoght his wikkednes was so grete / That forgifnes might he none gete” (1:87, line 856a–b). His offer to serve Sir Pilate faithfully will only be greeted with derision. Judas is indeed a celebrity (see line 212), but only as one of the prize villains of history along with Cain.

270 Take it agayne that ye toke me. Embedded stage direction. Judas hands over the bag of coins to Anna, who will not accept it but will pass it back quickly to the traitor (line 274).

289 traytoure attaynte. Caiphas regards Judas as a convicted criminal; he has accepted the fact of his guilt, the equivalent of pleading guilty in the court. Legal terms, such as would have been recognized in fifteenth-century England, are used here and subsequently by Caiphas and Judas himself.

305–06 Me thare aske no mercy, for none mon I gete, / . . . schall fordo me. Judas shows himself to be in the depths of despair, which is the lack of the hope of salvation and expectation of hell as a just reward. This is of course presumption, theologically speaking, since no one is beyond salvation if one uses the means of penance and absolution available to all; see Snyder, “Left Hand of God,” p. 34, citing Origen, In Matt. 117. Despair without repentance is often depicted as leading to suicide, and is so depicted in numerous illustrations of the Vices, most famously in Giotto’s representation in fresco in the Arena Chapel at Padua; for further examples, see the list in Hourihane, Virtue and Vice, pp. 350–52. Judas’ death was particularly gruesome since his mouth had kissed Jesus and thus his soul could not leave him by that route with his last breath, as normally; instead, as the Northern Passion explains, his soul left “his wambe” and “ went out / And his entrailes so fell him fra” (1:87, Harleian manuscript, lines 861–62).

318 take me nowe unto my dede. The suicide will be offstage. As Judas leaves, he flings down the money bag (see line 324). Oddly, Pilate will be the one to say that the money shall not come into their corbonan (they use the Latin term from the Vulgate signifying “treasury” in Matthew 27:6 and also in the Harleian manuscript of the Northern Passion, 1:89, line 873).

347 A place . . . wolde I wedde sette. The knight’s wish is to mortgage his land, not to sell it (see line 352). In the Cornish Ordinalia, the man who arrives to offer sale of property, for “thek-warn-ugans [thirty] sterlyn [sterling],” is the Crozier Bearer (Ancient Cornish Drama, 1:346, line 1554), but it is a straightforward sale, not a dishonest one in which he is cheated.

349 fre be my fredome. He is a freeman, able to own property, and he holds legal title to the plot of land, called Calvary.

371 The Felde of Bloode. See Acts 1:19; Northern Passion, 1:91.


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 Pees. Reg: capital P sketched in (strapwork initial).
me. Deleted in Reg, retained by LTS, RB.

3 lowte me. So LTS, RB; Reg: lord me (me deleted).

27 to behold. At right in Reg, misplaced at line 25, addition by JC.

46 His. So LTS, RB; Reg: This.

73 not. So RB; Reg, LTS: nowe.

91 neven it. So LTS, RB; Reg: nevenist.

110 to hym. So RB; Reg, LTS omit hym.

111 land. Reg: entered at end of line by JC.

123–24 Lineation as in RB.

129 Reg: in right margin, by later hands: Hic caret; loquela de primo filio and et aliis.

149 bote myght be. So RB; Reg: myght be bote; LTS suggests loke howe beste that bote myght be.

154–55 Reg: in left margin, by LH: Hic caret loquela magna et diversa.

170 JUDAS. Added in Reg in LH.

231 worthi. So LTS, RB; Reg: wothi.

239 Following line is missing in Reg; LTS suggests I crye you sore.
Reg: notation at right: caret hic (canceled).

261 Line written at right in Reg at line 258, and also by JC at line 260 (deleted).

277 thus. So RB; Reg, LTS: thu.

282 Following line is missing in Reg; LTS suggests: Nor mercy none.

298 talke. In Reg, t and k are corrected (overwritten).

326 RB suggests a line might be missing here.

329 PILATUS. So RB here; LTS at line 333.
skill. So LTS, RB; Reg: skall.

339 Reg: at left by LH: Hic caret.

363 Reg: at right by a LH: Hic caret; JC has added loquela.


Footnote 1 Dyer, Standards of Living, p. 215.

Footnote 2 REED: York, 1:48, trans. 2:733.

Footnote 3 REED: Coventry, p. 289.

The Cokis and Watirlederes














































































PILATUS   Pees, bewscheres, I bidde you, that beldis here aboute me,
And loke that ye stirre with no striffe but stande stone still,
Or, by the Lorde that me liffe lente, I schall garre you lowte me,
And all schall byde in my bale that wirkis noght my will.
Ye rebaldis that regnys in this rowte,
Ye stynte of youre stevenyng so stowte,
Or with this brande that dere is to doute,
All to dede I schall dryve you this day.

For Sir Pilate of Pounce as prince am I preved,
As renke moste royall in richeste array,
Ther is no berne in this burgh has me aboute hevyd,
But he sekis me for sovereyne, in certayne I saie,
To knawe,
Therfore take hede to youre lordis estate
That none jangill or jolle at my gate,
Nor no man to grath hym no gate
Tille I have seggid and saide all my sawe.

For I ame the luffeliest lappid and laide
With feetour full faire in my face,
My forhed both brente is and brade
And myne eyne thei glittir like the gleme in the glasse;

And the hore that hillis my heed
Is even like to the golde wyre;
My chekis are bothe ruddy and reede,
And my coloure as cristall is cleere.

Ther is no prince prevyd undir palle
But I ame moste myghty of all to behold,
Nor no kyng but he schall come to my call,
Nor grome that dare greve me for golde.

Sir Kayphas, thurgh counsaill thi clergy is kid,
For thy counsaille is knowyn for connand and clere,
And Sir Anna, thyn aunswer aught not to be hidde,
For thou is one and is abill and aught to be nere
In Parlament playne.
And I am prince pereles, youre poyntis to enquere.
How saie ye, Jues, of Jesus that swayne?
Have done, sirs, sais on youre sawis,
What tytill nowe have ye unto hym?
And lely ye loke uppon youre lawes,
Saye, why sente ye so sone for to spille hym?

ANNA   Sir, that is prince and lorde of oure laye,
That traitour untrewe that ye of telle us,
Nowe certayne and sone the soth schall I saie:
It is Jesus that japer that Judas ganne selle us.
He marres oure men in all that he may,
His merveylis full mekill is mustered emelle us,
That faitoure so false.
He dois many derffe dedis on oure Sabotte day,
That unconnand conjeon he castis hym to quelle us;
Fro man onto man he will compelle us
And undo you and ourselffe als.
Youreselffe he will fordo
And he halde furth this space,
And all this Jurie to
Yf that ye graunte hym grace.

PILATUS   Sir Anna, this aunswere allow I nothyng,
I halde it but hatereden, this artikill hale,
And therfore, ser busshoppe, at my biddyng,
Do telle me nowe trewly the texte of this tale.
Do termyne it trewly and tyte
And lely ye lede it by the lawe,
Felonye or falsed evyn here I defie it;
Saie me sadly the soth, for love or for awe.

KAYPHAS   Sir Pilate, the talis the traitoure has tolde,
It hevys us in harte full haly to here tham:
The warlowe with his wilis he wenys tham to wolde,
The ladde with his lesyngis full lightly gan lere tham.
Full tyte will he take tham untill hym
And he thus forth go with his gaudis
Or speche oversprede; ya, bettir is to spille hym,
The faitoure is so felle with his false fraudis.

PILATUS   Youre aunsweres is hedouse and hatefull to here.
Hadde I not herde hym and myselfe had hym sene,
Yitt ye myght have made me to trowe you intere,
But faute in hym I fynde none, but conande and clene.
For conande and clene can I clepe hym,
No faute can I fynde to reffuse hym;
I hope yitt in haste ye schall here hym
Whanne he comys to racleyme; than may ye cuse hym.

I MILES   Lorde, fele of his ferles in faith have we fonne,
Yone harlotte hevys oure hartis full of hate ire,
He sais hymselffe that he is Goddis Sone
And schall sitte on the right hande beside his awne sire.

II MILES   Ther talis is full trewe that we telle.
On the raynebowe the rebalde it redis,
He sais he schall have us to hevene or to hell
To deme us a day aftir oure dedis.

PILATUS   To deme us? In the devyll name!
Say whedir, saie whedir to the devyll?
What dastardis, wene ye be wiser than we?

I MILES   Mi lorde, with youre leve, we neven it for non ill,
He has mustered his mervayles to mo than to me.
Mi soverayne lorde, yone sauterell he sais
He schall caste doune oure Tempill, noght for to layne,
And dresse it uppe dewly within thre daies
As wele as it was, full goodely agayne.

ANNA   Ya, sir, and on oure awne Sabott day,
Thanne werkis he werkis full wele.

PILATUS   We, fye on hym, faitour, for ay,
For thei are darke dedis of the devyll.

KAYPHAS   Sir, a noysomemare note newly is noysed,
That grevis me more than any kynne thyng;
He claymes hym clerly till a kyngdome of Jewes
And callis hymselffe oure comeliest kyng.

PILATUS   Kyng, in the devillis name — we, fye on hym, dastard!
What, wenys that woode warlowe overewyn us thus lightly?
A begger of Bedlem, borne as a bastard,
Nowe, by Lucifer lath I that ladde, I leve hym not lightly.

ANNA   Sir, the harlotte is at Heroudes hall evyn her at your hande.

PILATUS   I sente to hym that warlowe, the devyll myght hym wery.

KAIPHAS   It langis to youre lordschippe be lawe of this land,
As soverayne youreselffe, to sitte of enquery.

ANNA   Sir, the traitoure has tolde us mo trufullis truly
Wolde tene you full tyte and we you tham tolde.

PILATUS   Nowe, be Beliall bonis, that boy schall abie
And bring on his bak a burdeyne of golde.

I FILIUS   Mi lorde that is ledar of lawis of this lande,
Ye sente hym youreselfe to Herowde the kyng
And sais, “The dome of that doge lies holy in your hande
To deme hym or lose hym at youre likyng.”

And thus ye comaunded youre knyghtis for to saie,
For Sir Heroude will serche hym full sore
So that he wende with no wilis away;
And therfore, my goode lorde, move you no more.

KAIPHAS   Nowe, certis, this was wele saide,
But sir, wille ye sese nowe, and we schall se syne.

PILATUS   Sir Kayphas and Anna, right so nowe I thynke,
Sittis, in Mahoundis blissing, and aske us the wyne,
Ye knyghtis of my courte, comaundis us to drynke.

JUDAS   Allas, for woo that I was wrought
Or evere I come be kynde or kynne;
I banne the bonys that me furth brought,
Woo worthe the wombe that I bredde ynne,
So I may bidde.
For I so falsely did to hym
That unto me grete kyndnesse kidde.

The purse with his spens aboute I bare,
Ther was none trowed so wele as I.
Of me he triste no man mare,
And I betrayed hym traytourly
With a false trayne.
Sakles I solde his blessid body
Unto Jues for to be slayne.

To slaa my sovereyne assente I,
And tolde them the tyme of his takyng;
Shamously myselfe thus schente I
So sone for to sente to his slayng.
Nowe wiste I howe he myght passe that payne
To loke that howe beste bote myght be.
Unto the Jues I will agayne
To save hym he myght passe free,
This ware my will.
Lorde, welthe and worschippe mot with yow be.

PILATUS   What tythandis, Judas, tellis thou us till?

JUDAS   My tydyngis are tenefull, I telle you,
Sir Pilate, therfore I you praye;
My maistir that I gune selle you,
Gode lorde, late hym wende on his way.

KAIPHAS   Nay, nedelyngis, Judas, that we denye;
What mynde or mater has moved thee thus?

JUDAS   Sir, I have synned full grevously,
Betraied that rightwisse bloode, Jesus,
And maistir myne.

KAYPHAS   Bewscher, what is that till us?
The perill and the plight is thyne.

Thyne is the wronge, thou wroughte it,
Thou hight us full trulye to take hym,
And oures is the bargayne: we bought hym.
Loo, we are alle sente for to slee hym.

JUDAS   Allas, that may me rewe full ill,
Giffe ye assente hym for to slaa.

PILATUS   Why, what wolde thou that we did thertill?

JUDAS   I praie you, goode lorde, late hym gaa,
And here is of me youre paymente hale.

KAYPHAS   Naie, we will noght so.
We bought hym for he schulde be slayne.

To slee hym thiselffe thou assente it.
This wate thou wondirly wele.
What right is nowe to repente?
Thou schapist thiselffe unseele.

ANNA   Do waie, Judas, thou dose for noght.
Thy wordis I warne thee are in waste;
Thyselffe to selle hym whanne thou us sought,
Thou was agaynste hym thanne the moste
Of us ilkan.

KAYPHAS   We schall be venged on hym in haste,
Whedir that evere he will or none.

PILATUS   Ther wordis that thou nevys noght nedis it,
Thou onhanged harlott, harke what I saie:
Spare of thy spekyng, noght spedis it,
Or walke oute at the dore, in the devill way.

JUDAS   Why will ye thanne noght latte hym passe
And have of me agayne youre paie?

PILATUS   I telle thee, traytoure, I wille it noght.

JUDAS   Allas, thanne am I lorne,
Bothe bone and bloode;
Allas the while, so may I saie,
That evere I sente to spille his bloode.

To save his bloode, sirs, I saie youe,
And takes you thare youre payment hole.
Spare for to spille hym, I praye youe,
Ellis brewe ye me full mekill bale.

PILATUS   Nay, heriste thou, Judas, thou schall agayne,
We will it nought, what devyll art thou?
When thou us sought thou was full fayne
Of this money. What aylis thee nowe
For to repente?

JUDAS   Agayne, sirs, here, I giffe it you,
And save hym that he be noght schent.

PILATUS   To schende hym thyselfe has thee schamed.
Thou may lathe with thi liffe that thou ledis,
Fondely as a false foole thiselffe has famed;
Therfore the devyll thee droune for thy darfe dedis.

JUDAS   I knawe my trespasse and my gilte.
It is so grete it garres me grise,
Me is full woo he schulde be spilte.
Might I hym save of any wise,
Wele were me than;
Save hym, sirs, to youre service
I will me bynde to be your man.

Youre bondeman, lorde, to be
Nowe evere will I bynde me,
Sir Pilate, ye may trowe me,
Full faithfull schall ye fynde me.

PILATUS   Fynde thee faithfull? A, foule mot thee falle
Or thou come in oure companye,
For, by Mahoundes bloode, thou wolde selle us all.
Thi service will we noght for it
Thou art unknowen.
Fals tiraunte, for thi traitoury
Thou art worthi to be hanged and drawen.

Hanged and drawen schulde thou be knowen
And thou had right, by all goode reasoune.
Thi maistirs bloode thou biddist us save,
And thou was firste that did him treasoune.

JUDAS   I cry you mercy, lorde, on me rewe,
This werryd wight that wronge has wrought;
Have mercy on my maistir trewe
That I have in youre bandome brought
. . .
PILATUS   Goo, jape thee, Judas, and neven it noght
Nor move us of this matere more.

ANNA   No more of this matere thou move thee,
Thou momeland mytyng emell;
Oure poynte expresse her reproves thee
Of felonye falsely and felle.

KAIPHAS   He grucchis noght to graunte his gilte,
Why schonnys thou noght to schewe thi schame?
We bought hym for he schulde be spilte,
All same we were consente to the same
And thiselffe als.
Thou feyned noght for to defame,
Thou saide he was a traytoure fals.

PILATUS   Yaa, and for a false faitoure
Thyselffe full fully gon selle hym;
O, that was a trante of a traytour
So sone thou schulde goo to begile hym.

I MILES   What, wolde thou that we lete hym ga?
Yon weried wight that wrought such wronge,
We will noght lose oure bargayne swaa,
So lightely for to late hym gang;
And reson why
Latte we that lotterell liffe ought long,
It will be fonde, in faith, foly.

II MILES   Yone folte, for no foole schall he fynde us,
We wotte all full wele howe it was,
His maistir whanne he gune bringe us,
He praied yow, my goode lord, late hym not passe.

PILATUS   Nay, sertis, he schalle noght passe free
That we for oure mony has paied.

JUDAS   Take it agayne that ye toke me,
And save hym fro that bittir braide,
Than were I fayne.

ANNA   Itt serves of noght that thou has saide,
And therfore takis it tyte agayne.

PILATUS   Tyte agayne, traytoure, thou take it,
We wille it noght welde within oure wolde;
Yitt schalte thou noght, sawterell, thus sune forsake it,
For I schall sers hym myselffe sen thou has hym solde.

KAIPHAS   Forsake it, in faith, that he ne schall,
For we will halde hym that we have;
The payment chenys thee withall,
Thee thar no nodir comenaunte crave,
. . .
JUDAS   Sen ye assente hym for to slaa,
Vengeaunce I crie on you ilkone!

Ilkane I crie, the devill fordo youe,
And that myghte I both here and see
Herde hevenyng here I unto youe,
For sorowe onsought ye on me se.

KAIPHAS   Whe, fye on thee, traytoure attaynte, at this tyde;
Of treasoune thou tyxste hym that triste thee for trewe.
Do buske thee henne, brothell, no lenger thou abide,
For if thou do, all thi respouns sare schall thee rewe.
Say wote thou noght who is I?
Nowe be my nociens, myght I negh nere thee,
In certayne, ladde, yitt schulde I lere thee
To lordis to speke curtaisely.

PILATUS   Go thy gatis, geddlyng, and greve us no more,
Leffe of thi talke, the devill mot thee hange.

JUDAS   That att ye toke me, take it you there,
Ther with youre maistrie make yowe emange
And clayme it you clene,
Me lathes with my liff, so liffe I to lang.
My traitourfull torne he turment my tene.

Sen for my treasoune have I tane unto me,
Me thare aske no mercy, for none mon I gete;
Therfore in haste myselffe schall fordo me.
Allas, the harde while that evere ete I meete.
Thus schall I marke my mytyng meede
And wirke me wreke with harte and will,
To spille myselffe nowe wille I spede,
For sadly have I servyd thertill.
So walaway
That evere I was in witte or wille
That tristy trewe for to betraye.

Allas, who may I meve to?
Shall I me take non othir reede?
Miselffe in haste I schall fordoo,
And take me nowe unto my dede.

KAIPHAS   Have done, nowe, Sir Pilate, late se what ye saie
As touchyng this money that we here have
That Judas in a wreth has wavyd away
And keste us crabbidly, that cursed knave.
Howe saie ye therby?

ANNA   Sir, sen he it slang, we schall it save.

KAYPHAS   Tite truste it tille oure tresorie.

PILATUS   Nay, sir, noght soo.

JUDAS                                     Why, sir, how than?

PILATUS   Sir, it schall nought combre us;
   nor come in oure corbonan.

KAYPHAS   No, tille oure tresory certayne;
   farther schall it nought.

PILATUS   And se youreselffe soth certayne and skill,
It is price of the bloode that we with it boght;
Therfore some othir poynte I purpose it till,
And thus I devyse.
A spotte of erthe for to by, wayte nowe I will,
To berie in pilgrimes that by the wey dies.

Pilgrimes and palmeres to putte there,
Sir Kaiphas and Anna, assente ye therto?
And othere false felons that we forfare.

ANNA   As ye deme, lorde, so wille we doo.

ARMIGER   Hayle, Sir Pilate, perles and prince of this empire;
Haile, the gaiest on grounde, in golde ther ye glide;
Haile, the louffeliest lorde of lyme and of lyre
And all the soferans semely that sittith thee beside.

PILATUS   What wolde thou?

ARMIGER                             A worde, lorde, and wende.

PILATUS   Nowe thou arte welcome, iwisse.

But delyvere thee lightly withouten any lette,
We have no tome all day to tente onto thee.

ARMIGER   A place here beside, lorde, wolde I wedde sette.

PILATUS   What title has thou therto? Is it thyne awne free?

ARMIGER   Lorde, fre be my fredome me fallis it.
This tale is full trewe that I telle you,
And Calvary locus men callis it;
I wolle it wedde sette, but not for to selle you.

PILATUS   What wolde thou borowe, bewshire, belyve, late me se?1

ARMIGER   If it ware youre lekyng, my lorde, for to lene it,
Thirty pens I wolde ye lente onto me.

KAYPHAS   Yis, bewshire, that schall thou have.

PILATUS   Shewe us thi dedis and have here thi mony.

ARMIGER   Have her, gode lord, but loke ye thame save.

PILATUS   Yis, certis, we schall save thame full soundely,
And ellis do we noght dewly oure devere.
Faste, freke, for thy faith, on thy fote fonde thee,
For fro this place, bewschere, I soile thee for evere.

ARMIGER   Now sorowe on such socoure as I have soght,
For all my tresoure thurgh tresoune I tyne.

I tyne it untrewly by tresoune,
Therfore nowe my way will I wende,
For ye do me no right nor no resoune
I betake you all to the fende.

PILATUS   Nowe, certis, we are served att all,
This place is purchesed full propirly;
The Felde of Bloode loke ye it call,
I comaunde ilkone forthy.

KAIPHAS   Sir, as ye comaunde us, call it schall we soo,
But my lorde, with youre leve, we may lende her no lengar
But faste late us founde to fang on oure foo,
Yone gedlyng ongodly has brewed us grete angir.

ANNA   Do way, sir busshoppe, and be not abaste,
For loste is all oure lekyng, lepe he so light.

KAIPHAS   Nay, sir, he schall not trusse so tite, and that he ye traste,
For it wynnes us no worschippe the werkis of yone wight,
But grete angir.
Forthy late us dresse us his deth for to dite,
And late we this lotterell leve her no lengar.

PILATUS   Sir Kayphas, thurgh counsaile comaunde we oure knyghtis
To wacche on yone warlowe
What way that he wendis,
Do dresse you nowe dewly
To yone doderon you dightis,
And lette noght to laite hym
In lande where he lendis,
Nor levys hym noght lightly.

II MILES   In faith, we schall fette hym
Full farre fro his frendis.

PILATUS   Nowe walkis on in the wanyand,
And wende youre way wightely.
dwell; (t-note)

prevail; crowd
stop (cease); shouting
sword; dangerous; fear

boy; raised up

(see note)

high is and broad

hair; covers; head
(see note)

proved (acknowledged); royal robe; (see note)

man; grieve

intelligence; clarity





scoffer; did

great; are manifested among; (t-note)
unwise idiot

If; hold

malicious; whole

pronounce; quickly
truly; uphold

grieves; wholly to hear
wiles; to wield (control)
lies; teach
quickly; to
spread out; kill

believe; entirely (sincerely)
fault; wisdom; purity; (see note)

returns when summoned; accuse

many; marvels; discovered
(i.e., fills our hearts)

interprets; (see note)

judge; one day

(see note)

mention; (t-note)

not to be concealed
raise it up again

more noisome matter; heard
sort of

crazy warlock to defeat; easily

harass (trouble); (t-note)

belongs; (t-note)
to preside at a court of inquiry

displease you quickly if

bones; pay (the penalty); (see note)
If [he]


tricks (deceptions); (t-note)

cease; later

(see note); (t-note)

(see note)



had confidence



Shamefully; was guilty

remedy (redemption); (t-note)








(see note)



agreed (to)

create misery for yourself

not yet put to (the) death (you deserve)
Refrain from


return to you


extremely happy


hate your life
been made a celebrity
wicked deeds

(see note)
causes; to shudder in terror


(i.e., even if)
You were
villain; betrayal

accursed man


[line missing, see note]
play the jester; say

mumbling insignificant person
as expressed here convicts

shuns; show

hesitated; denounce



wicked man
(i.e., release him)
scoundrel live any longer
foolish; folly

fool (idiot)

began [to]

(see note)

have within our power
babbler (hypocrite); soon; (t-note)
search (examine)

other agreement; (t-note)

[line missing, see textual note]

Hard vengeance

convicted; (see note)
charged; trusted
(miserable) answers; rue
know you not who I am
by; inclinations; come near

Leave off; (t-note)

(i.e., share it among you)

I hate my; too long
traitorous act; torments; rage

Since; taken
(see note)
commit suicide
ate; meat (food)
little reward

trusty true [one]


(see note)

thrown; bad-naturedly






fitting; (t-note)



peerless; (t-note)
move gracefully
limb; body

time; attend

mortgage; (see note)

free on account of; (see note)

mortgage it

desire; bestow

deed [to property]

man; feet go
assoil (release)

have lost


(see note)

remain here no longer

liking (hope), escape

go so quickly

scoundrel live

watch for

wretch; go
fail; seek


waning [of the moon] (i.e., an evil time)

Go To Play 33, The Second Trial before Pilate