The Towneley plays

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Title
The Towneley plays
Author
Anonymous
Publication
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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Link to this Item
http://name.umdl.umich.edu/Towneley
Cite this Item
"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 22, 2024.

Pages

Caesar Augustus

Imperator
Be styll, beshers, I commawnd yow, Line 1 That no man speke a word here now Line 2 Bot I my self alon; Line 3 And if ye do, I make a vow, Line 4 Thys brand abowte youre nekys shall bow, Line 5 ffor thy be styll as ston: Line 6 And looke ye grefe me noght, Line 7 ffor if ye do it shall be boght, Line 8 I swere you by mahowne; Line 9 I wote well if ye knew me oght, Line 10 To slo you all how lytyll I roght, Line 11 Ston styll ye wold syt downe. Line 12 ffor all is myn that vp standys, Line 13 Castels, towers, townys, and landys, Line 14 To me homage thay bryng; Line 15 ffor I may bynd and lowse of band, Line 16 Euery thyng bowys vnto my hand, Line 17 I want none erthly thyng. Line 18

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Line 18 I am lord and syr ouer all, Line 19 All bowys to me, both grete and small, Line 20 As lord of euery land; Line 21 Is none so comly on to call, Line 22 Whoso this agane says, fowll shall be fall, Line 23 And therto here my hand. Line 24 ffor I am he that myghty is, Line 25 And hardely all hathennes Line 26 Is redy at my wyll; Line 27 Both ryche, and poore, more & les, Line 28 At my lykyng for to redres, Line 29 whether I wyll saue or spyll. Line 30 Cesar august I am cald,, Line 31 A fayrer cors for to behald, Line 32 Is not of bloode & bone; Line 33 Ryche ne poore, yong ne old,, Line 34 Sych an othere, as I am told, Line 35 In all thys warld, is none. Line 36 Bot oone thyng doys me full mych care, Line 37 I trow my land wyll sone mysfare Line 38 ffor defawte of counsell lele; Line 39 My counsellars so wyse of lare, Line 40 help to comforth me of care, Line 41 No wyt from me ye fele. Line 42 As I am man moost of renowne, Line 43 I shall you gyf youre waryson Line 44 To help me if ye may. Line 45
Primus Consultus
To counsell you, lord, we ar bowne, Line 46 And for no man that lyfys in towne Line 47 wyll we not let, perfay; Line 48 youre messyngere I reede ye call, Line 49 ffor any thyng that may befall, Line 50

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Line 50 Byd hym go hastely, Line 51 Thrugh out youre landys ouer all, Line 52 Amang youre folk, both grete and small Line 53 youre gyrth & peasse to cry; Line 54 ffor to commaunde both yong & old,, Line 55 None be so hardy ne so bold, Line 56 To hold of none bot you; Line 57 And, who so doth, put them in hold, Line 58 And loke ye payn theym many fold. Line 59
Imperator
I shall, I make a vowe; Line 60 Of thys counsell well payde am I, Line 61 It shall be done full hastely, Line 62 wyth outen any respytt. Line 63
Secundus Consultus
My Lord abyde awyle, for why? Line 64 A word to you I wold cleryfy. Line 65
Imperator
Go on, then, tell me tytt. Line 66
Secundus Consultus
All redy, lord, now permafay, Line 67 Thys haue I herd syn many day, Line 68 ffolk in the contre tell; Line 69 That in this land shuld dwell a may, Line 70 The which sall bere a chylde, thay say, Line 71 That shall youre force downe fell. Line 72
Imperator
Downe fell? dwyll! what may this be? Line 73 Out, harow, full wo is me! Line 74 I am full wyll of reede! Line 75 A, fy, and dewyls! whens cam he Line 76 That thus shuld reyfe me my pawste? Line 77 Ere shuld I be his dede. Line 78 ffor certys, then were my worshyp lorne, Line 79 If sych a swayn, a snoke horne, Line 80 Shuld thus be my suffrane; Line 81 may I wyt when that boy is borne, Line 82 In certan, had the dwyll hit sworne, Line 83 that gadlyng shuld agane. Line 84

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Primus Consultus
Do way, lord, greyf you not so, Line 85 youre messyngere ye cause furth go Line 86 Aftyr youre cosyn dere, Line 87 To speke with you a word, or two, Line 88 The best counsell that lad to slo, Line 89 ffull soyn he can you lere; Line 90 ffor a wyse man that knyght men know. Line 91
Imperator
Now I assent vnto thi saw, Line 92 of witt art thou the well; Line 93 ffor all the best men of hym blowys; Line 94 he shall neuer dystroy my lawes, Line 95 were he the dwyll of hell. Line 96 Com lyghtfote, lad, loke thou be yare Line 97 On my message furth to fare, Line 98 go tytt to sir syryn; Line 99 Say sorow takys me full sare, Line 100 pray hym to comforth me of care, Line 101 As myn awne dere cosyn; Line 102 And bot if thou come agane to nyght, Line 103 look I se the neuer in syght, Line 104 neuer where in my land. Line 105
Nuncius
yis, certys, lord, I am full lyght, Line 106 or noyn of the day, I dar you hyght, Line 107 to bryng hym by the hand. Line 108
Imperator
yai, boy, and as thou luffys me dere, Line 109 Luke that thou spy, both far and nere, Line 110 Ouer all in ych place; Line 111 If thou here any saghes sere, Line 112 Of any carpyng, far and nere, Line 113 Of that lad, where that thou gase. Line 114
Nuncius
All redy, lord, I am full bowne, Line 115 To spyr and spy in euery towne, Line 116

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Line 116 After that wykkyd, queyd; Line 117 If I here any runk or rowne, Line 118 I shall fownd to crak thare crowne, Line 119 Ouer all, in ylk a stede; Line 120 And therfor, lord, haue now good day. Line 121
Imperator
Mahowne he wyse the on thi way, Line 122 That weldys water and wynde; Line 123 And specyally, here I the pray, Line 124 To spede the as fast as thou may. Line 125
Nuncius
yis, lord, that shall ye fynde. Line 126 Mahowne the saue and se, sir syryne! Line 127 Cesar, my lord, and youre cosyn, Line 128 he gretys you well by me. Line 129
Sirinus
Thou art welcom to me and myn; Line 130 Com nere and tell me tythandys thyn, Line 131 Tyte, what thay may be. Line 132
Nuncius
My lord prays you, as ye luf hym dere, Line 133 To com to hym, if youre wyll were, Line 134 To speke with hym awhyle. Line 135
Sirinus
Go grete hym well, thou messyngere, Line 136 say hym I com, and that right nere, Line 137 Behynd, the not a myle. Line 138
Nuncius
All redy, lord, at youre byddyng. Line 139 Mahowne the menske, my lord kyng, Line 140 And save the by see and sand. Line 141
Imperator
Welcom, bewshere, say what tythyng, Line 142 Do tell me tyte, for any thyng, Line 143 What herd thou in my land? Line 144
Nuncius
I herd, no thyng, lord, bot goode; Line 145 Syr syryn, that I after yode, Line 146 he wyll be here this nyght. Line 147
Imperator
I thank the by mahownes bloode; Line 148 Thise tythyngys mekyll amendys my mode; Line 149 Go rest, thou worthy wyght. Line 150

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Sirinus
Mahowne so semely on to call, Line 151 he saue the, lord of lordis all, Line 152 Syttyng with thi meneye. Line 153
Imperator
Welcom, sir syrynne, to this hall, Line 154 Besyde my self here sytt thou shall, Line 155 Com vp belyf to me. Line 156
Sirinus
yis, lord, I am at youre talent. Line 157
Imperator
Wherfor, sir, I after the sent, Line 158 I shall the say full right; Line 159 And therfor take to me intent, Line 160 I am in poynt for to be shent. Line 161
Sirinus
how so, for mahownes myght? Line 162
Imperator
syr, I am done to vnderstand, Line 163 That a qweyn here, in this land, Line 164 shall bere a chyld, I wene, Line 165 That shall be crowned kyng lyfand, Line 166 And all shall bow vnto his hand; Line 167 Thise tythyngys doth me teyne. Line 168 he shall commaunde both ying and old, Line 169 None be so hardy ne so bold Line 170 To gyf seruyce to me; Line 171 Then wold, my hart be cold Line 172 If sich a beggere shold Line 173 My kyngdom thus reyf me; Line 174 And therfor, sir, I wold the pray, Line 175 Thy best counsell thou wold me say, Line 176 To do what I am best; Line 177 ffor securly, if that I may, Line 178 If he be fonden I shall hym slay, Line 179 Aythere by eest or west. Line 180
Sirinus
Now wote ye, lord, what that I reede; Line 181 I counsell you, as ete I brede, Line 182

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Line 182 what best therof may be; Line 183 Gar serche youre land in euery stede, Line 184 And byd that boy be done to dede, Line 185 who the fyrst may hym see; Line 186 And also I rede that ye gar cry, Line 187 To fleme wyth all that belamy, Line 188 That shuld be kyng with crowne; Line 189 Byd ych man com to you holly, Line 190 And bryng to you a heede penny, Line 191 That dwellys in towere or towne; Line 192 That this be done by the thyrde day, Line 193 Then may none of his freyndys say, Line 194 Bot he has mayde homage. Line 195 If ye do thus, sir, permafay, Line 196 youre worship shall ye wyn for ay, Line 197 If thay make you trowage. Line 198
Imperator
I thank you, sir, as myght I the, Line 199 ffor thyse tythyngys that thou tellys me, Line 200 Thy counsell shall avayll; Line 201 lord and syre of this cowntre, Line 202 wythouten ende here make I the, Line 203 ffor thy good counsell; Line 204 My messyngere, loke thou be bowne, Line 205 And weynd belyf from towne to towne, Line 206 And be my nobyll swane; Line 207 I pray the, as thou luffys mahowne, Line 208 And also for thy waryson, Line 209 That thou com tytt agane. Line 210 Commaunde the folk holly ichon, Line 211 Ryche ne poore forgett thou none, Line 212 To hold, holly on me, Line 213 And lowtt me as thare lord alone; Line 214 And who wyll not thay shall be slone, Line 215 This brand thare bayll shal be. Line 216

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Line 216 Therfor thou byd both old and ying, Line 217 That ich man know me for his kyng, Line 218 ffor drede that I thaym spyll, Line 219 That I am lord, and in tokynyng, Line 220 Byd ich man a penny bryng, Line 221 And make homage me tyll. Line 222 To my statutys who wyll not stand, Line 223 ffast for to fle outt of my land, Line 224 Byd thaym, withouten lyte; Line 225 Now by mahowne, god all weldand, Line 226 Thou shall be mayde knyght with my hand, Line 227 And therfor hye the tyte. Line 228
Nuncius
All redy, lord, it shall be done; Line 229 Bot I wote well I com not sone, Line 230 And therfor be not wroth; Line 231 I swere you, sir, by son and moyne, Line 232 I com not here by fore eft none, Line 233 wheder ye be leyfe or loth; Line 234 Bot hafe good day, now wyll I weynd, Line 235 ffor longer here may I not leynd, Line 236 Bot grathe me furth my gate. Line 237
Imperator
Mahowne that is curtes and heynd, Line 238 he bryng thi Iornay well to eynd, Line 239 And wysh the that all wate. Line 240
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