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· That the doctryne of wysdom we may sew.
Sapientia patris graunt that for hys passyon.

Amen.' At the end is a list of the characters, but it does not include Will, nor any of the persons who come in to dance.

The moral enforced by the two preceding pieces is the same as that of the third Moral-play, which I shall call Mankind. It is, however, mixed up with the grossest obscenity, and seems calculated for an audience of a lower rank : nevertheless, it appears by the introductory speech of Mercy, that persons of the higher orders sat during the performance, while the rest stood. He says• O, ye soverens that sytt, and ye brothern that stonde

ryght uppe, * Pryke not your felycytes on thyngs transytorye' &c.

The piece contains a good deal that is curious, and some characters are introduced that have much individuality about them. It seems that Mercy is dressed like a friar, and being joined by three persons called Nought, New-guise, and Now-a-days, they jeer him, and tell him, when he wishes to advise them, that his body is full of Englysh Laten. After a good deal of mere nonsense and absurd buffoonery, they leave Mercy on the stage, and Mankind enters

My name is Mankynde : I have my composycyon • Of a body and of a soull, of condycyon contrarye : • Be twyx the tweyn ys a grett dyvisyon; • He that shulde be sojecte now he hath the victory.




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Thys ys to me a lementable story,
To se my flesch of my soull to have governaunce :
Wher the good wyff ys master, the good man may be

sory.' While Mercy is warning Mankind to eschew vice, New-guise enters with a broken head, which his wife had given him. Nought and Now-a-days also arrive, and Mercy advises Mankind to avoid their company, and to beware of the artifices of the fiend Tutivillus, here spelt Tytivillus, but the same demon whose name has already frequently occurred.

· Beware of Tytivillus, for he lesyth no way, · That goth in vysybull and wyll not be sene: • He wyll ronde * in your ere, and cast a net be for

your eyn : He ys worst of them all.' It afterwards appears that he has the power of making himself invisible; and that the net spoken of is not figurative but material, for he is so furnished. It is singular, that after Mercy has withdrawn, Mankind sits down on the stage to write-

• Her wyll I sytt and tytyll in this papyr
· The incomparable astat of my permycyon.

Worshypfull Soverence, I have wretyn here
· The gloryuse remembrance of my nobyll condycyon.
• To have remos, and memory of mysylff thus wretyn yt ys,
* To defende me from all superstycyus charmys.'

Being provided with a spade, he falls to digging for his subsistence. Nought, New-guise, and Now-adays enter, and having sung a song of mere filth, with

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* Whisper.

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the burden, . It is wretyn with a cole,' Mankind

' drives them off, inflicting divers wounds, some of no very decorous kind. Mischief, who seems to act a part like that of the Vice, recalls them

• Alac, alac! venez, venez, cum hether with sorowe!' and they return and conjure up Tutivillus in a very singular manner.

Myscheff. How, how, a mynstrell! know ye ony ont? • Nought. I kan pype in a Walsyngham wystyll. Myscheff. Blow a pase, and you shall bryug hym in with

a flewte. Tytivillus. I com, with my leggs under me.'

He sends Nought, New-guise, and Now-a-days upon expeditions to commit depredations of all kinds, and when they make their exit he gives them his left-handed blessing

Goo your wey, a devell wey, go your wey all, • I blysse you with my lyfte honde, foull you befall.?

Mankind, weary with labour, lays down his spade, and Tutivillus, invisible, carries it off. Mankind goes out into a place called the yerde,' but soon returns and falls asleep upon the ground. Tutivillus causes him to dream that his friend Mercy is hanged, and relates to the audience the substance of the dream, adding * But yet I herde, sers, he brake his necke ab herode in

France, *But I thynke he rydyth on the galous to lern for to

dance ; the meaning of which seems to be, that he had heard

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that Mercy had broken his neck, as Herod was représented to do in France in some Mistère *. Mankind wakes, transformed to all evil dispositions, and Newguise arrives with a broken halter about his throat, having narrowly escaped hanging. He says of himself and his companions• We were nere sent Patrykes wey f, by hym that me bought; • I was twychyde by the neke, the game was begunne:

A grace was the halter brast a sonder, ecce signum, • The halff is a bowte my neke, we had a nere runne.'

How Nought and Now-a-days escaped we are not told, but Mischief : conde his neke verse:' he enters in fetters, pretending humorously that he is a man in armour, which occasions the rattling, and he is followed by the rest. Mankind joins them, and a good deal passes on the subject of making him a new jacket, which operation is intrusted to New-guise. It should seem that this process makes the outside of Mankind correspond with his inside, and he becomes an adept in the seven deadly sins.

At this point Mercy again suddenly makes his appearance, and Mischief and the others endeavour to hide Mankind from his sight, who becomes sensible of his lost condition, and in despair calls for a rope to hang himself. Mercy finds him, but Mankind dares

* No doubt there was a variety in the mode in which the death of Herod was produced. We have already seen, when speaking of the eighteenth play of the Ludus Coventriæ, that in the French Mistère Herod comunits suicide. Possibly ab herode is miswritten in the text for the French à l'herode.

† An allusion to St. Patrick's Purgatory.

not come from his lurking-place. The conclusion is entirely serious, and sufficiently dull. Mankind repents, and is reconciled to Mercy; while Mischief, Nought, New-guise, and Now-a-days, run off without the infliction of any poetical justice. Mercy at great length warns all to avoid them, and especially to beware of Tutivillus, who represents the sin of the flesh* And propylly Titivillus syngnyfyth the fende of helle, • The flesch, that ys, the unclene concupyssens of your

body. . · Beware of Titivillus with his net.'

Mankind then retires — hic erit Mankend and Mercy speaks the epilogue. By two Latin lines at the end, it seems that a monk, who calls himself Hynghus, had once been the owner, or possibly was the author, of this most singular manuscript.

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