From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
The Towneley Cycle, Play 9 - Caesar Augustus
001 Imperator. Be styll, beshers, I commawnd yow,
002 That no man speke a word here now
003 Bot I my self alon;
004 And if ye do, I make a vow,
005 Thys brand abowte youre nekys shall bow,
006 Ffor thy be styll as ston:
007 And looke ye grefe me noght,
008 Ffor if ye do it shall be boght,
009 I swere you by mahowne;
010 I wote well if ye knew me oght,
011 To slo you all how lytyll I roght,
012 Ston styll ye wold syt downe.
013 Ffor all is myn that vp standys,
014 Castels, towers, townys, and landys,
015 To me homage thay bryng;
016 Ffor I may bynd and lowse of band,
017 Euery thyng bowys vnto my hand,
018 I want none erthly thyng.
019 I am lord and syr ouer all,
020 All bowys to me, both grete and small,
021 As lord of euery land;
022 Is none so comly on to call,
023 Whoso this agane says, fowll shall be fall,
024 And therto here my hand.
025 Ffor I am he that myghty is,
026 And hardely all hathennes
027 Is redy at my wyll;
028 Both ryche, and poore, more & les,
029 At my lykyng for to redres,
030 Whether I wyll saue or spyll.
031 Cesar august I am cald,
032 A fayrer cors for to behald,
033 Is not of bloode & bone;
034 Ryche ne poore, yong ne old,
035 Sych an othere, as I am told,
036 In all thys warld, is none.
037 Bot oone thyng doys me full mych care,
038 I trow my land wyll sone mysfare
039 Ffor defawte of counsell lele;
040 My counsellars so wyse of lare,
041 Help to comforth me of care,
042 No wyt from me ye fele.
043 As I am man moost of renowne,
044 I shall you gyf youre waryson
045 To help me if ye may.
046 Primus Consultus. To counsell you, lord, we ar bowne,
047 And for no man that lyfys in towne
048 Wyll we not let, perfay;
049 Youre messyngere I reede ye call,
050 Ffor any thyng that may befall,
051 Byd hym go hastely,
052 Thrugh out youre landys ouer all,
053 Amang youre folk, both grete and small
054 Youre gyrth & peasse to cry;
055 Ffor to commaunde both yong & old,
056 None be so hardy ne so bold,
057 To hold of none bot you;
058 And, who so doth, put them in hold,
059 And loke ye payn theym many fold.
060 Imperator. I shall, I make a vowe;
061 Of thys counsell well payde am I,
062 It shall be done full hastely,
063 Wyth outen any respytt.
064 Secundus Consultus. My Lord abyde awyle, for why?
065 A word to you I wold cleryfy.
066 Imperator. Go on, then, tell me tytt.
067 Secundus Consultus. All redy, lord, now permafay,
068 Thys haue I herd syn many day,
069 Ffolk in the contre tell;
070 That in this land shuld dwell a may,
071 The which sall bere a chylde, thay say,
072 That shall youre force downe fell.
073 Imperator. Downe fell? dwyll! what may this be?
074 Out, harow, full wo is me!
075 I am full wyll of reede!
076 A, fy, and dewyls! whens cam he
077 That thus shuld reyfe me my pawste?
078 Ere shuld I be his dede.
079 Ffor certys, then were my worshyp lorne,
080 If sych a swayn, a snoke horne,
081 Shuld thus be my suffrane;
082 May I wyt when that boy is borne,
083 In certan, had the dwyll hit sworne,
084 That gadlyng shuld agane.
085 Primus Consultus. Do way, lord, greyf you not so,
086 Youre messyngere ye cause furth go
087 Aftyr youre cosyn dere,
088 To speke with you a word, or two,
089 The best counsell that lad to slo,
090 Ffull soyn he can you lere;
091 Ffor a wyse man that knyght men know.
092 Imperator. Now I assent vnto thi saw,
093 Of witt art thou the well;
094 Ffor all the best men of hym blowys;
095 He shall neuer dystroy my lawes,
096 Were he the dwyll of hell.
097 Com lyghtfote, lad, loke thou be yare
098 On my message furth to fare,
099 Go tytt to sir syryn;
100 Say sorow takys me full sare,
101 Pray hym to comforth me of care,
102 As myn awne dere cosyn;
103 And bot if thou come agane to nyght,
104 Look I se the neuer in syght,
105 Neuer where in my land.
106 Nuncius. Yis, certys, lord, I am full lyght,
107 Or noyn of the day, I dar you hyght,
108 To bryng hym by the hand.
109 Imperator. Yai, boy, and as thou luffys me dere,
110 Luke that thou spy, both far and nere,
111 Ouer all in ych place;
112 If thou here any saghes sere,
113 Of any carpyng, far and nere,
114 Of that lad, where that thou gase.
115 Nuncius. All redy, lord, I am full bowne,
116 To spyr and spy in euery towne,
117 After that wykkyd, queyd;
118 If I here any runk or rowne,
119 I shall fownd to crak thare crowne,
120 Ouer all, in ylk a stede;
121 And therfor, lord, haue now good day.
122 Imperator. Mahowne he wyse the on thi way,
123 That weldys water and wynde;
124 And specyally, here I the pray,
125 To spede the as fast as thou may.
126 Nuncius. Yis, lord, that shall ye fynde.
127 Mahowne the saue and se, sir syryne!
128 Cesar, my lord, and youre cosyn,
129 He gretys you well by me.
130 Sirinus. Thou art welcom to me and myn;
131 Com nere and tell me tythandys thyn,
132 Tyte, what thay may be.
133 Nuncius. My lord prays you, as ye luf hym dere,
134 To com to hym, if youre wyll were,
135 To speke with hym awhyle.
136 Sirinus. Go grete hym well, thou messyngere,
137 Say hym I com, and that right nere,
138 Behynd, the not a myle.
139 Nuncius. All redy, lord, at youre byddyng.
140 Mahowne the menske, my lord kyng,
141 And save the by see and sand.
142 Imperator. Welcom, bewshere, say what tythyng,
143 Do tell me tyte, for any thyng,
144 What herd thou in my land?
145 Nuncius. I herd, no thyng, lord, bot goode;
146 Syr syryn, that I after yode,
147 He wyll be here this nyght.
148 Imperator. I thank the by mahownes bloode;
149 Thise tythyngys mekyll amendys my mode;
150 Go rest, thou worthy wyght.
151 Sirinus. Mahowne so semely on to call,
152 He saue the, lord of lordis all,
153 Syttyng with thi meneye.
154 Imperator. Welcom, sir syrynne, to this hall,
155 Besyde my self here sytt thou shall,
156 Com vp belyf to me.
157 Sirinus. Yis, lord, I am at youre talent.
158 Imperator. Wherfor, sir, I after the sent,
159 I shall the say full right;
160 And therfor take to me intent,
161 I am in poynt for to be shent.
162 Sirinus. How so, for mahownes myght?
163 Imperator. Syr, I am done to vnderstand,
164 That a qweyn here, in this land,
165 Shall bere a chyld, I wene,
166 That shall be crowned kyng lyfand,
167 And all shall bow vnto his hand;
168 Thise tythyngys doth me teyne.
169 He shall commaunde both ying and old,
170 None be so hardy ne so bold
171 To gyf seruyce to me;
172 Then wold, my hart be cold
173 If sich a beggere shold
174 My kyngdom thus reyf me;
175 And therfor, sir, I wold the pray,
176 Thy best counsell thou wold me say,
177 To do what I am best;
178 Ffor securly, if that I may,
179 If he be fonden I shall hym slay,
180 Aythere by eest or west.
181 Sirinus. Now wote ye, lord, what that I reede;
182 I counsell you, as ete I brede,
183 What best therof may be;
184 Gar serche youre land in euery stede,
185 And byd that boy be done to dede,
186 Who the fyrst may hym see;
187 And also I rede that ye gar cry,
188 To fleme wyth all that belamy,
189 That shuld be kyng with crowne;
190 Byd ych man com to you holly,
191 And bryng to you a heede penny,
192 That dwellys in towere or towne;
193 That this be done by the thyrde day,
194 Then may none of his freyndys say,
195 Bot he has mayde homage.
196 If ye do thus, sir, permafay,
197 Youre worship shall ye wyn for ay,
198 If thay make you trowage.
199 Imperator. I thank you, sir, as myght I the,
200 Ffor thyse tythyngys that thou tellys me,
201 Thy counsell shall avayll;
202 Lord and syre of this cowntre,
203 Wythouten ende here make I the,
204 Ffor thy good counsell;
205 My messyngere, loke thou be bowne,
206 And weynd belyf from towne to towne,
207 And be my nobyll swane;
208 I pray the, as thou luffys mahowne,
209 And also for thy waryson,
210 That thou com tytt agane.
211 Commaunde the folk holly ichon,
212 Ryche ne poore forgett thou none,
213 To hold, holly on me,
214 And lowtt me as thare lord alone;
215 And who wyll not thay shall be slone,
216 This brand thare bayll shal be.
217 Therfor thou byd both old and ying,
218 That ich man know me for his kyng,
219 Ffor drede that I thaym spyll,
220 That I am lord, and in tokynyng,
221 Byd ich man a penny bryng,
222 And make homage me tyll.
223 To my statutys who wyll not stand,
224 Ffast for to fle outt of my land,
225 Byd thaym, withouten lyte;
226 Now by mahowne, god all weldand,
227 Thou shall be mayde knyght with my hand,
228 And therfor hye the tyte.
229 Nuncius. All redy, lord, it shall be done;
230 Bot I wote well I com not sone,
231 And therfor be not wroth;
232 I swere you, sir, by son and moyne,
233 I com not here by fore eft none,
234 Wheder ye be leyfe or loth;
235 Bot hafe good day, now wyll I weynd,
236 Ffor longer here may I not leynd,
237 Bot grathe me furth my gate.
238 Imperator. Mahowne that is curtes and heynd,
239 He bryng thi Iornay well to eynd,
240 And wysh the that all wate.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The Towneley Cycle, Play 9 - Caesar Augustus. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http:www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.