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[Scene 1: The Council in Heaven. Contemplacion : ffowre thowsand sex undryd foure zeres,

I telle, man ffor his offens and ffowle foly hath loyn zeres in the peynes of helle, and were wurthy to ly therin endlesly ; But thanne shulde perysche zour grete mercy. good Lord, have on man pyte ; haue mende of the prayour seyd by Ysaielete mercy meke thi hyest magestewolde God thu woldyst breke thi hefne myghtye and com down here into erth, and levyn zeres thre and threttye, thyn famy sch]t ffolke with thi fode to fede. To staunche th[eir] th[yrjst lete thi syde blede, ffor erst wole not be mad redempcion. Cum vesyte vs in this tyme of nede ; of thi careful creatures, Lord, haue compassyon. A! woo to vs wrecchis, if wrecchis be, ffor God hath addyd ssorwe to sorwe. I prey the, Lord, thi sowlys com se, how thei ly and sobbe for syknes and sorwe; with thi blyssyd blood ffrom balys hem borwe, thy careful creaturys cryenge in captyvyte,



1 geres] omit K

5 and 12) MS has full forms thanne and thyn. 12 famyscht] famyt MS H 13 their thi MS H thyrst | thryst MS H

17 if ] crossed out and that substituted in MS, that H 20 for syknes and sorwe] crossed out and bothe eve and morwe substituted in MS H, but see note on source of ll. 17-18 21 balys ] babys H 22] MS has full form thy

A! tary not, gracious Lord, tyl it be to-morwe!
The devyl hath dysceyved hem be his iniquite.

25 A! q(uod Jeremye, who shal gyff wellys to myn

that I may wepe bothe day and nyght

to se oure bretheryn in so longe peynes ? (59a here myschevys amende may thi meche myght! As grett as the se, Lord, was Adamys contryssyon

30 ffrom oure hed is falle the crowne;

man is comeryd in synne. I crye to thi syght:
Gracyous Lord, gracyous Lord, gracyous Lord, come

downe !

Virtutes : Lord, plesyth it thin hyz domynacion

on man that thu made to haue pyte. 35 Patryarchys and p(ro)phetys han made supply

oure offyse is to presente here p(re)yeres to the;
Aungelys, Archaungelys, we thre
that ben in the fyrst ierarchie,

ffor man to thin hy mageste
40 mercy! mercy! mercy! we crye.

The aungel, Lord, thu made so gloryous,
whos synne hath mad hym a devyl in helle,
he mevyd man to be so contraryous;

man repented, and he in his obstynacye doth dwelle. 45 hese grett males, good Lord, repelle,

and take man onto thi grace;
lete thi mercy make hym with aungelys dwelle,
of Locyfere to restore the place.

25 and 35 ) MS has contractions qd and pphetys 25 eynes ] eynos MS, corrected by later hand 36 preyeres ) pyeres MS the MS has full form 46 onto] on to MS H



NUNC EXURGAM. ET GEMITUM PAUPERUM ffor the wretchydnes of the nedy, and the porys lamentacion, now shal I ryse that am Almyghty. tyme is come of reconsyliacion. my p(ro)phetys with prayers haue made suppli- [59 b]

cacion; my contryte creaturys crye all for comforte; all myn aungellys in hefne, withowte cessacion, 55 they crye that grace to man myght exorte.


Veritas : Lord, I am thi dowtere Trewthe,

thu wilt se I be not lore.
thyn vnkynde creatures to save were rewthe,
the offens of man hath grevyd the sore.
whan Adam had synnyd, thu seydest yore,
that he shulde deye and go to helle,
and now to blysse hym to restore!
twey contraryes mow not togedyr dwelle.


Thy trewthe, Lord, shall leste withowtyn ende,
I may in no wyse ffro the go;
that wretche that was to the so vnkende,
he may not haue to meche wo;
he dyspysyd the and plesyd thi ffo.
thu art his creatour and he is thi creature:
thu hast lovyd trewthe, it is seyd evyrmo,
therfore in peynes lete hym evyrmore endure.


Mi(sericordi)a: O Fadyr of mercy, and God of com

forte! that counselle us in eche trybulacion,

53 prophetys ) pphetys 56, 59, 60 ) MS has full forms they, thyn, the 73 Misericordia ) mia MS



75 lete zour dowtere, mercy, to zow resorte,

and on man that is myschevyd haue compassyon ; hym grevyth fful gretly his transgressyon.

all hefne and erthe crye ffor mercy;
[60a] me semyth th[er] shuld be non excepcion,
80 ther prayers ben offeryd so specyally.

Trewthe sseyth she hath evyr be, than
I graunt it wel she hath be so;

and thu seyst endlesly that mercy thu hast kept ffor
than, mercyabyl Lorde, kepe us bothe to.
Thu seyst:Veritas mea et mi(sericordi)a mea cum ip(s)o,
Suffyr not thi sowlys, than, in sorwe to slepe.
that helle hownde, that hatyth the, byddyth hym ho,

thi love, man, no lengere lete hym kepe.
Justicia : Mercy, me merveylyth what zow movyth.

ze know wel I am your systere, Ryghtwysnes.
god is ryghtful and ryghtffulnes lovyth,
man offendyd hym that is endles,
Therfore his endles punchement may nevyr sees;
also he forsoke his makere that made hym of clay,
and the devyl to his mayster he ches;
shulde he be savyd? Nay! Nay! Nay !
As wyse as is God he wolde a-be ;
this was the abhomynabyl p(re)sumpcion.

it is seyd, ze know wel this of me, 200 that the ryghtwysnes of God hath no diffynicion.

Therfore late this be oure conclusyon: he that sore synnyd ly stylle in sorwe; he may nevyr make a seyth be resone, whoo myght thanne thens hym borwe? 79 ther] thi MS H

81 Trewthe ] Threwthe MS H 84, 85, 86 ) MS has full forms than, thu, than. 85 misericordia ) mia MS ipso ] ipo MS 93, 101, 104 ) MS has full forms therfore, thanne, thens.



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