The Towneley plays

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Title
The Towneley plays
Author
Anonymous
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London ; New York: Published for the Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press
[1966]
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Oxford Text Archive number: U-1397-B

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http://name.umdl.umich.edu/Towneley
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"The Towneley plays." In the digital collection Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/Towneley. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 21, 2024.

Pages

The Deliverance of Souls

Jesus
My fader me from blys has send Line 1 Till erth for mankynde sake, Line 2 Adam mys forto amend, Line 3 My deth nede must I take. Line 4 I dwellyd ther thryrty yeres and two, Line 5 And somdele more, the sothe to say; Line 6 In anger, pyne, and mekyll wo, Line 7 I dyde on cros this day. Line 8 Therfor till hell now Will I go, Line 9 To chalange that is myne; Line 10 Adam, eue, and othere mo, Line 11 Thay shall no longer dwell in pyne. Line 12 The feynde theym wan With trayn, Line 13 Thrugh fraude of earthly fode, Line 14 I haue theym boght agan Line 15 With shedyng of my blode. Line 16 And now I will that stede restore, Line 17 which the feynde fell fro for syn; Line 18 Som tokyn will I send before, Line 19 with myrth to gar thare gammes begyn. Line 20 A light I will thay haue Line 21 To know I will com sone; Line 22 My body shall abyde in graue Line 23 Till all this dede be done. Line 24

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Adam
My brether, herkyn vnto me here! Line 25 More hope of helth neuer we had; Line 26 Fower thowsand and sex hundreth yere Line 27 haue we bene here in darknes stad; Line 28 Now se I tokyns of solace sere, Line 29 A gloryous gleme to make vs glad, Line 30 Wher thrugh I hope that help is nere, Line 31 That sone shall slake oure sorowes sad. Line 32
Eve
Adam, my husband heynd, Line 33 This menys solace certan; Line 34 Sich light can on vs leynd Line 35 In paradyse full playn. Line 36
Isaiah
Adam, thrugh thi syn Line 37 here were we put to dwell, Line 38 This wykyd place within; Line 39 The name of it is hell; Line 40 here paynes shall neuer blyn, Line 41 That wykyd ar and fell. Line 42 loue that lord with wyn, Line 43 his lyfe for vs wold sell. Line 44 Adam, thou well vnderstand Line 45 I am Isaias, so crist me kende. Line 46 I spake of folke in darknes walkand, Line 47 I saide a light shuld, on theym lende; Line 48 This light is all from crist commande Line 49 That he till vs has hedir sende, Line 50 Thus is my poynt proved in hand,, Line 51 as I before to fold, it kende. Line 52
Simeon
So may I tell of farlys feyll, Line 53 ffor in the tempyll his freyndys me fande, Line 54 Me thoght daynteth with hym to deyll, Line 55 I halsid hym homely with my hand; Line 56

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Line 56 I saide, lord, let thi seruandys leyll Line 57 pas in peasse to lyf lastande; Line 58 Now that myn eeyn has sene thyn hele Line 59 no longer lyst I lyf in lande. Line 60 This light thou has purvayde Line 61 ffor theym that lyf in lede; Line 62 That I before of the haue saide Line 63 I se it is fulfillyd in dede. Line 64
John the Baptist
As a voce cryand I kend Line 65 The wayes of crist, as I well can; Line 66 I baptised hym with both myn hende Line 67 in the water of flume Iordan; Line 68 The holy gost from heuen discende Line 69 As a white dowfe downe on me than; Line 70 The fader voyce, oure myrthes to amende, Line 71 Was made to me lyke as a man; Line 72 "[yond is my son,"] he saide, Line 73 "[and which me pleasses full well,"] Line 74 his light is on vs layde, Line 75 and commys oure karys to kele. Line 76
Moyses
Now this same nyght lernyng haue I, Line 77 to me, moyses, he shewid his myght, Line 78 And also to anothere oone, hely, Line 79 where we stud on a hill on hyght; Line 80 As whyte as snaw was his body, Line 81 his face was like the son for bright, Line 82 Noman on mold, was so myghty Line 83 grathly durst loke agans that light; Line 84 And that same light here se I now Line 85 shynyng on vs, certayn, Line 86 where thrugh truly I trow Line 87 that we shall sone pas from this payn. Line 88

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Ribald
Sen fyrst that hell was mayde / And I was put therin, Line 89 Sich sorow neuer ere I had, / nor hard I sich a dyn; Line 90 My hart begynnys to brade / my wytt waxys thyn, Line 91 I drede we can not be glad / thise saules mon fro vs twyn. Line 92 how, belsabub! bynde thise boys, / sich harow was neuer hard in hell. Line 93
Belzebub
Out, rybald,! thou rores, / what is betyd? can thou oght tell? Line 94
Ribald
whi, herys thou not this vgly noyse? Line 95 thise lurdans that in lymbo dwell. Line 96 Thay make menyng of many Ioyse, Line 97 and Muster myrthes theym emell. Line 98
Belzebub
Myrth? nay, nay! that poynt is past, Line 99 more hope of helth shall thay neuer haue. Line 100
Ribald
They cry on crist full fast, Line 101 And says he shall theym saue. Line 102
Belzebub
yee, though he do not, I shall, Line 103 ffor they ar sparyd in specyall space; Line 104 whils I am prynce and pryncypall Line 105 they shall neuer pas out of this place. Line 106 Call vp astarot and anaball Line 107 To gyf vs counsell in this case; Line 108 Bell, berith, and bellyall, Line 109 To mar theym that sich mastry mase. Line 110 Say to sir satan oure syre, Line 111 and byd hym bryng also Line 112 Sir lucyfer, lufly of lyre. Line 113
Ribald
All redy lord, I go. Line 114
Jesus
Attollite portas, principes, vestras & eleuamini porte eternales, & introibit rex glorie. Line 115

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Ribald
out, harro, out! what devill is he Line 116 That callys hym kyng ouer vs all? Line 117 hark belzabub, com ne, Line 118 ffor hedusly I hard hym call. Line 119
Belzebub
Go, spar the yates, yll mot thou the! Line 120 And, set the waches on the wall; Line 121 If that brodell com ne Line 122 With vs ay won he shall; Line 123 And if he more call or cry, Line 124 To make vs more debate, Line 125 lay on hym hardely, Line 126 And make hym go his gate. Line 127
David
Nay, with hym may ye not fyght, Line 128 ffor he is king and conqueroure, Line 129 And of so mekill myght, Line 130 And styf in euery stoure; Line 131 Of hym commys all this light Line 132 that shynys in this bowre; Line 133 he is full fers in fight, Line 134 worthi to wyn honoure. Line 135
Belzebub
honowre! harsto, harlot, for what dede? Line 136 Alle erthly men to me ar thrall; Line 137 That lad that thou callys lord, in lede Line 138 he had neuer harbor, house, ne hall. Line 139 how, sir sathanas! com nar Line 140 And hark this cursid rowte! Line 141
Sathanas
The devill you all to-har! Line 142 What ales the so to showte? Line 143 And me, if I com nar, Line 144 thy brayn bot I bryst owte! Line 145
Belzebub
Thou must com help to spar, Line 146 we ar beseged, abowte. Line 147

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Sathanas
Besegyd aboute! whi, who durst be so bold, Line 148 for drede to make on vs a fray? Line 149
Belzebub
It is the Iew that Iudas sold, Line 150 ffor to be dede this othere day. Line 151
Sathanas
how! in tyme that tale was told,, Line 152 that trature trauesses vs all-way; Line 153 he shalbe here full hard, in hold,, Line 154 bot loke he pas not, I the pray. Line 155
Belzebub
Pas! nay, nay, he will not weynde Line 156 ffrom hens or it be war; Line 157 he shapys hym for to sheynd, Line 158 All hell or he go far. Line 159
Sathanas
ffy, faturs! therof shall he fayll, Line 160 ffor all his fare I hym defy; Line 161 I know his trantes fro top to tayll, Line 162 he lyffys by gawdys and, glory. Line 163 Therby he broght furth of oure bayll Line 164 The lath lazare of betany, Line 165 Bot to the Iues I gaf counsayll Line 166 That thay shuld, cause hym dy; Line 167 I enterd, ther into Iudas, Line 168 that forward to fulfyll, Line 169 Therfor his hyere he has, Line 170 All wayes to won here styll. Line 171
Ribald
Sir sathan, sen we here the say Line 172 thou and the Iues were at assent, Line 173 And wote he wan the lazare away Line 174 that vnto vs was taken to tent, Line 175 hopys thou that thou mar hym may Line 176 to Muster the malyce that he has ment? Line 177 ffor and he refe vs now oure pray Line 178 we will ye witt or he is went. Line 179

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Sathanas
I byd the noght abaste, Line 180 bot boldly make you bowne, Line 181 With toyles that ye intraste, Line 182 And dyng that dastard downe. Line 183
Jesus
Attollite portas, principes, vestras, &c. Line 184
Ribald
Outt, harro! what harlot is he Line 185 that sayes his kyngdom shalbe cryde? Line 186
David
That may thou in sawter se, Line 187 for of this prynce thus ere I saide; Line 188 I saide that he shuld, breke Line 189 youre barres and bandys by name, Line 190 And of youre warkys take wreke; Line 191 now shall thou se the same. Line 192
Jesus
ye prynces of hell open youre yate, Line 193 And let my folk furth gone; Line 194 A prynce of peasse shall enter therat Line 195 wheder ye will or none. Line 196
Ribald
What art thou that spekys so? Line 197
Jesus
A kyng of blys that hight ihesus. Line 198
Ribald
yee, hens fast I red thou go, Line 199 And mell the not with vs. Line 200
Belzebub
Oure yates I trow will last, Line 201 thay ar so strong I weyn; Line 202 Bot if oure barres brast, Line 203 ffor the they shall not twyn. Line 204
Jesus
This stede shall stand, no longer stokyn; Line 205 open vp, and, let my pepill pas. Line 206
Ribald
Out, harro! oure bayll is brokyn, Line 207 and brusten ar all oure bandys of bras! Line 208

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Line 208
Belzebub
harro! oure yates begyn to crak! Line 209 In sonder, I trow, they go, Line 210 And hell, I trow, will all to-shak; Line 211 Alas, what I am wo! Line 212
Ribald
lymbo is lorne, alas! Line 213 sir sathanas com vp; Line 214 This wark is wars then it was. Line 215
Sathanas
yee, hangyd be thou on a cruke! Line 216 Thefys, I bad ye shuld, be bowne, Line 217 If he maide mastres more, Line 218 To dyng that dastard, downe, Line 219 sett hym both sad and sore. Line 220
Belzebub
To sett hym sore, that is sone saide! Line 221 com thou thi self and serue hym so; Line 222 we may not abyde his bytter brayde, Line 223 he wold vs mar and we were mo. Line 224
Sathanas
ffy, fature! wherfor were ye flayd? Line 225 haue ye no force to flyt hym fro? Line 226 loke in haste my gere be grayd, Line 227 my self shall to that gadlyng go. Line 228 how! thou belamy, abyde, Line 229 with all thi boste and beyr! Line 230 And tell me in this tyde Line 231 what mastres thou makys here. Line 232
Jesus
I make no mastry bot for myne; Line 233 I will theym saue, that shall the sow; Line 234 Thou has no powere theym to pyne, Line 235 bot in my pryson for thare prow Line 236 here haue they soriornyd,, noght as thyne, Line 237 bot in this wayrd, thou wote as how. Line 238
Sathanas
why, were has thou bene ay syn, Line 239 that neuer wold negh theym nere or now? Line 240

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Jesus
Now is the tyme certan Line 241 My fader ordand her for, Line 242 That thay shuld, pas fro payn, Line 243 In blys to dwell for euermore. Line 244
Sathanas
Thy fader knew I well by syght, Line 245 he was a wright, his meett to wyn; Line 246 Mary, me mynnys, thi moder hight, Line 247 the vtmast ende of all thy kyn; Line 248 Say who made the so mekill of myght? Line 249
Jesus
Thou wykyd feynde, lett be thi dy[n]! Line 250 my fader wonnes in heuen on hight, Line 251 In blys that neuer shall blyn; Line 252 I am his oonly son, / his forward, to fulfyll, Line 253 Togeder will we won, / In sonder when we wyll. Line 254
Sathanas
Goddys son! nay, then myght thou be glad, Line 255 for no catell thurt the craue; Line 256 Bot thou has lyffyd ay lyke a lad, Line 257 In sorow, and as a sympill knaue. Line 258
Jesus
That was for the hartly luf I had Line 259 Vnto mans saull, it forto saue, Line 260 And forto make the masyd and mad,, Line 261 And for that reson rufully to rafe. Line 262 My godhede here I hyd Line 263 In mary, moder myne, Line 264 where it shall neuer by kyd Line 265 to the ne none of thyne. Line 266
Sathanas
how now? this wold I were told, in towne; Line 267 thou says god is thi syre; Line 268 I shall the prove by good reson Line 269 thou moyttys as man dos into myre. Line 270

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Line 270 To breke thi byddyng they were full bowne, Line 271 And soyn they wroght at my desyre; Line 272 ffrom paradise thou putt theym downe, Line 273 In hell here to haue thare hyre; Line 274 And thou thy self, by day and nyght, Line 275 taght euer all men emang, Line 276 Euer to do reson and right, Line 277 And here thou wyrkys all wrang. Line 278
Jesus
I wyrk no wrang, that shall thou wytt, Line 279 if I my men fro wo will wyn; Line 280 My prophetys playnly prechyd it, Line 281 All the noytys that I begyn; Line 282 They saide that I shuld be that ilke Line 283 In hell where I shuld intre in, Line 284 To saue my seruandys fro that pytt Line 285 where dampnyd saullys shall syt for syn. Line 286 And ilke true prophete tayll Line 287 shalbe fulfillid, in me; Line 288 I haue thaym boght fro bayll, Line 289 in blis now shall they be. Line 290
Sathanas
Now sen thou lyst to legge the lawes, Line 291 thou shalbe tenyd or we twyn, Line 292 ffor those that thou to witnes drawes Line 293 ffull euen agans the shall begyn; Line 294 As salamon saide in his sawes, Line 295 who that ones commys hell within Line 296 he shall neuer owte, as clerkys knawes, Line 297 therfor, belamy, let be thy dyn. Line 298 Iob thi seruande also Line 299 In his tyme can tell Line 300 That nawder freynde nor fo Line 301 shall fynde relese in hell. Line 302

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Jesus
he sayde full soyth, that shall thou se, Line 303 In hell shalbe no relese, Line 304 Bot of that place then ment he Line 305 where synfull care shall euer encrese. Line 306 In that bayll ay shall thou be, Line 307 where sorowes seyr shall neuer sesse, Line 308 And my folke that were most fre Line 309 shall pas vnto the place of peasse; Line 310 ffor they were here with my will, Line 311 And so thay shall furth weynde; Line 312 Thou shall thiself fulfyll Line 313 euer wo withoutten ende. Line 314
Sathanas
Whi, and will thou take theym all me fro? Line 315 then thynk me thou art vnkynde; Line 316 Nay, I pray the do not so; Line 317 Vmthynke the better in thy mynde; Line 318 Or els let me with the go, Line 319 I pray the leyffe me not behynde! Line 320
Jesus
Nay, tratur, thou shall won in wo, Line 321 and till a stake I shall the bynde. Line 322
Sathanas
Now here I how thou menys emang, Line 323 with mesure and malyce forto mell; Line 324 Bot sen thou says it shalbe lang, Line 325 yit som let all-wayes with vs dwell. Line 326
Jesus
Yis, wytt thou well, els were greatt wrang; Line 327 thou shall haue caym that slo abell, Line 328 And all that hastys theym self to hang, Line 329 As dyd Iudas and architophell; Line 330 And daton and abaron / and all of thare assent, Line 331 Cursyd tyranttys euer ilkon / that me and myn tormente. Line 332 And all that will not lere my law, Line 333 That I haue left in land, for new, Line 334 That makys my commyng knaw, Line 335 And all my sacramentys persew; Line 336

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Line 336 My deth, my rysyng, red by raw, Line 337 Who trow thaym not thay ar vntrewe; Line 338 vnto my dome I shall theym draw, Line 339 And Iuge theym wars then and Iew. Line 340 And thay that lyst to lere / my law, and lyf therby, Line 341 Shall neuer haue harmes here, / bot welth as is worthy. Line 342
Sathanas
Now here my hand, I hold, me payde, Line 343 thise poyntys ar playnly for my prow; Line 344 If this be trew that thou has saide, Line 345 we shall haue mo then we haue now; Line 346 Thies lawes that thou has late here laide, Line 347 I shall theym lere not to alow; Line 348 If thay myn take thay ar betraide, Line 349 and I shall turne theym tytt I trow. Line 350 I shall walk eest, I shall walk west, Line 351 and gar theym wyrk well war. Line 352
Jesus
Nay feynde, thou shalbe feste, Line 353 that thou shall flyt no far. Line 354
Sathanas
ffeste? fy! that were a wykyd treson! Line 355 belamy, thou shalbe smytt. Line 356
Jesus
Devill, I commaunde the to go downe Line 357 into thi sete where thou shall syt. Line 358
Sathanas
Alas, for doyll and care! Line 359 I synk into hell pyt! Line 360
Ribald
Sir sathanas, so saide I are, Line 361 now shall thou haue a fytt. Line 362
Jesus
Com now furth, my childer all, Line 363 I forgyf you youre mys; Line 364 With me now go ye shall Line 365 to Ioy and endles blys. Line 366
Adam
lord, thou art full mekyll of myght, Line 367 that mekys thiself on this manere, Line 368 To help vs all as thou had vs hight, Line 369 when both forfett I and my fere; Line 370

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Line 370 here haue we dwelt withoutten light Line 371 Fower thousand and sex hundreth yere; Line 372 Now se we by this solempne sight Line 373 now that thi mercy makys vs dere. Line 374
Eve
lord, we were worthy / more tornamentys to tast; Line 375 Thou help vs lord with thy mercy / as thou of myght is mast. Line 376
John the Baptist
lord, I loue the inwardly, Line 377 that me wold, make thi messyngere, Line 378 Thi commyng in erth to cry, Line 379 and tech thi fayth to folk in fere; Line 380 Sythen before the forto dy, Line 381 to bryng theym bodword that be here, Line 382 how thay shuld haue thi help in hy, Line 383 now se I all those poyntys appere. Line 384
Moyses
Dauid, thi prophete trew, Line 385 oft tymes told, vnto vs, Line 386 Of thi commyng he knew, Line 387 and saide it shuld, be thus. Line 388
David
As I saide ere yit say I so, Line 389 "[ne derelinquas, domine, Line 390 Animam meam in inferno;"] Line 391 "[leyfe neuer my saull, lord, after the, Line 392 In depe hell wheder dampned, shall go; Line 393 suffre thou neuer thi sayntys to se Line 394 The sorow of thaym that won in wo, Line 395 ay full of fylth, and may not fle."] Line 396
Moyses
Make myrth both more and les, Line 397 and loue oure lord we may, Line 398 That has broght vs fro bytternes Line 399 In blys to abyde for ay. Line 400
Isaiah
Thefor now let vs syng Line 401 to loue oure lord ihesus; Line 402 Vnto his blys he will vs bryng, Line 403 Te deum laudamus. Line 404
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