PILATE: Under the royalest ruler of revenue and renown, Now am I regent, and rule all this region in rest. To obey all my bidding my bishops are bound, And bold men that in battle burst open breasts. To me entrusted is the care of this turreted town, For traitors I shall taint, the truth for to trust. The dubbing of my dignity may not be done down Neither by duke nor knights doughty, my deeds are so dressed. My desire must daily be done By them that are greatest of men. Few against me ever moan; Therefore I shall better their boon. But he that grieves me with his groan, Beware! For brutal I am. Pontius Pilate of three parts then, in my proper name: I am a perilous prince to meet where I appear. First among philosophers-there I founded my fame; Therefore I feel perfectly, I have no peer. He shall bitterly bemoan, who abides in my blame (Though all my face be as bright as a blossom on briar), For soon his life shall he lose, or he shall be left lame, That bows not to me lowly, or likes not to hear. And thus, since we stand in our state As lords with all pleasure in land, Do let us know if you spot Either, sirs, strife or debate That needs to be handled full hot, Since all your help hangs in my hand. CAIAPHAS: Sir, for to certify the truth in your sight, To you as our sovereign seemly, we do seek. PILATE: Why? Is there any miscreant who musters his might, Or malice by mean men we need to make meek? ANNAS: Yes, sir, there is a rank man whose rule is not right, For through his rumour in this realm, he has raised a great reek. PILATE: I hear well you hate him; your hearts are on height, To hear if I will help his fortune to break. But why are you utterly wroth? Be calm, and reveal now your reason. CAIAPHAS: To us, sir, his lore is full loath. PILATE: Beware that you wax not too wroth. ANNAS: Why, sir, to escape without scathe We seek for your succour this season. PILATE: Well, if that wretch in our ward has wrought any wrong, Since we are warned, we would well understand. But if his word is lawful, allege not too long, For we shall leave him, if we like, with love to the end. 1 CLERK: But if that false liar has your furtherance for long, Then feel I well that our folk must lack for a friend. Sir, the strength of his sayings is always so strong, That unless he is suppressed, he brings us to an end. For, he makes folk him to call Great God's son. Thus grieves us that boy. And he says that to be seated he shall In high Heaven, for there is his hall. PILATE: Well, friends, if that power to him should fall, It seems you should not him destroy; Perhaps he is the same that you said should descend, Your people and you then all for to succour- CAIAPHAS: Ah, soft, sir, and cease! For Christ, when he comes, shall have no known kin, But of this wretch's kindred we know the increase. He likens himself to God, everlasting, without end, To lift up the burden, to bind or release. PILATE: His saying should make you your mood to amend. ANNAS: No, for such evil, from malice we may not cease, For he says he shall judge us, that dote, And that, to us, is insult and spite. PILATE: To harass him now is your note; But yet the law lies in my lot. 1 CLERK: And if you will, sir, think this thought: That he is a blameworthy blight. For in our temple has he taught, times more than ten, Where tables full of treasure lay to tell and to try Of our chief money-changers. But, cursedly then, He cast them over, that criminal, and thought nothing thereby. CAIAPHAS: Look, sir, this is a perjury to print with the pen; Therefore, make that apostate, we pray you, to comply. PILATE: How mean you? CAIAPHAS: Sir, to kill him for subverting men. PILATE: Then should we make him to mourn, through might arbitrary. Enough, sirs; suggest it no more- But what in your temple was shown? 1 SOLDIER: Ha! There, sir, he beat out of score Those who stood there, just selling their store. PILATE: Then he thought they were guilty before, And made the cause well to be known. But what taught he that time? Such tales as you tell? 1 SOLDIER: Sir, that our temple is the tower of his enthroned sire; And, thus, to pray in that place our prophets compel To him, that has power over prince and empire. And, they make the domus domini, those who dealing there dwell, A den of iniquity as often as they desire. PILATE: Well, is he not a madman whose acts serve you well, Since you plan to destroy him, though blameless, with ire? Your rancour is running now raw. CAIAPHAS: No, no, sir, we conduct ourselves right. PILATE: Indeed, you are overly cruel, you know. CAIAPHAS: Why, sir? He would destroy our law; We hate him as much as we owe. In this you should maintain our might. Because, on our Sabbath day, the sick he makes safe, And will not cease, at our order, to sink so in sin. 2 SOLDIER: Sir, he cures all that come recovery to crave In but a brief moment; this knows all our kin. But he keeps not our holy days (Bad luck may he have!), Therefore, let him hang, and that by the neck- PILATE: Ah, ho, now, sir, and hold in. For though you get giddy, to bring him guiltless to grave, Without grounds you gain nothing, such grief to begin; And let your alleging be loyal, Without any trifles to tell. ANNAS: For certain, our words do we seal. PILATE: Then profitably may we appeal. CAIAPHAS: Sir, if his faults were not real, We would not with him trouble ourselves. For he perverts all our people that listen to his preaching, And for that point you should press him, his power to impair. 2 CLERK: Yes, sir, and also, that criminal says he's our king, And for that cause, our commoners are all cast in care. PILATE: If it be so, that boast to bale will him bring, And make him boldly to curse the bones that him bore. For that wretch, from our wrath there is no escaping Before there is vengeance on him. 1 CLERK: So we would it were, For thus you should sustain your weal, If you wisely decide to agree. PILATE: Know this: that this work shall be well, For that knave shall be taught how to kneel. 2 CLERK: And so that our force he may feel, Together for that, beg do we. JUDAS: Ingenti pro inuria-him, Jesus, that Jew, Unjust to me, Judas, I judge to be loath. For, at supper as we sat (the truth to pursue), With Simon the Leper, my old plan came to waste. To him there brought one a box, my ruin to brew, Who eagerly to his bare feet to bow was in haste. She anointed them with an ointment that noble was and new, But for that work that she wrought, I grew wonderly wroth. For this (to disclose) was my skill: Of his pennies, the purser was I, And whatever was trusted me till, The tenth part I stole, and would still. But now, I have not what I will; That bargain with harm he shall buy! That same ointment, I said, might well have been sold For silver coins, in a sum of three hundred, and then Have been given to the poor, as plain pity would. But, for the poor, their misfortune did not cause me pain, I just wanted the tenth part (the truth to behold). That thirty coins of three hundred, I needs must decline! And because I miss this money, I mourn in this road; Therefore, to make mischief for this master of mine, Therefore, fast forth will I flit The princes of priests until, And sell him at once before I sit, For thirty coins, in a knot knit. And thus he shall understand it: That, of anger, avenge me I will. Now, open, porter, the portal of this proud place, So that I may pass to your princes, for your good to act now. PORTER: Get off, you glowering rascal! God give you ill grace; Your glaring is so ghastly you make my guts growl. JUDAS: Good sir, be helpful this time, and hinder not my haste, For I have tidings to tell. PORTER: Yes, some treason, I'd vow, For I feel, by the figure of your false face, It is a folly to fasten affection on you. For Mars, he has made there his mark, By all the laws of my lore, And says you are wicked of work, And both a strong thief and a stark. JUDAS: Sir, thus at my beard if you bark, For you things shall seem very sore. PORTER: Say, beetle-browed briber, why blow you such boast? For falsehood in your face, in faith, I can find. You are encumbered with cursedness, and come to this coast To mar men of might; it is marked in your mind. JUDAS: Sir, I mean you no malice; it is mirth I move most! PORTER: Look, you unhanged miscreant, I think you unkind; You look like a wretch who his livelihood has lost. Unless you go now, I shall harm you, you'll find. JUDAS: Ah, good sir, be attent to my talking this tide, For tidings of truth I can tell. PORTER: Say, wretch, let your talking abide; You chatter like a churl who can chide. JUDAS: But sir, if the truth should be tried, Of mirth are these matters I tell, For through my deeds your leaders from harm may be drawn. PORTER: What? Think you that harm on our dukes shall alight? JUDAS: No, sir, I said not. If I am called to council, the cause shall be known Among that comely company, to clerk and to knight. PORTER: Abide here, good fellow, before more boasts are blown, And I shall bustle to the bench where banners are bright And say unto our sovereigns, before more seed is sown, That such a man as yourself sues to their sight. My lord, now, of wisdom the well, I come for a case to be heard. PILATE: Well, speak on, and spare not to tell. CAIAPHAS: Yes, and if it concerns us ourselves, Since you bear of beauty the bell, Blithely we shall bow at your word. PORTER: Sir, in a word, there comes as I speak A man hilt-full of ire, for hasty he is. PILATE: What comes he for? PORTER: I know not; he is clad in a cloak. He comes with a keen face, uncomely to kiss. PILATE: Go get him; of his grievance enquiry we'll make, So that no careless talk shall be going amiss. PORTER: Come on at once to my lord, if all haste you like, But so speak your language that you stop not their bliss. JUDAS: May that lord, sirs, sustain your weal That flower is of fortune and fame. PILATE: Welcome. Your words are but well. CAIAPHAS: Say, do you hear me, knave? Can you not kneel? PILATE: Look, here may men fault in you feel. Leave off, sir, your scorning, for shame. But good fellow, be not afraid to stand at the bar. JUDAS: To be brought before you, sirs, busy have I been, And always for your honour. ANNAS: Know you something to fear? JUDAS: Of a work, sir, that has angered you, I know what I mean. But I would make a bargain, to end the threat here. PILATE: And can you? JUDAS: To assert these things otherwise, mad I would seem. ANNAS: You know of some encumberance that should cause us care? Well, cousin, you are cruel. JUDAS: My cause, sir, is keen. For if you will bargain or buy, Jesus at this time will I sell you. 1 CLERK: My blessing you'll soon have thereby! Look, here is a sport for to spy. JUDAS: To you, quickly give him shall I, If you will deal with me, I tell you. PILATE: What is your name? JUDAS: Judas Iscariot. PILATE: You are a just man, Who should wish Jesus justified by our judgement. But in what way bought shall he be? Bring forth your bargain. JUDAS: Only some money; with this, I'm content. PILATE: What shall we pay? JUDAS: Sir, thirty pence in full, no more then. PILATE: Say, are you pleased with this price he presses us to present? 2 CLERK: Or else contrary to our consciences, perceive since we can That Judas knows him culpable. PILATE: I call that consent. But Judas, this knot now to knit: Will you to this covenant accord? JUDAS: Yes, at a word. PILATE: Welcome is it. 2 SOLDIER: Now look-an eager counterfeit. 1 SOLDIER: To know, dear sir, no man permit, How this villain trifles with his lord. PILATE: What? Dwells he with that dotard who to vex us all strives? 1 SOLDIER: That has he done, sir, and does, no doubt, to this day. PILATE: Then would we know why this knave thus cursedly contrives. 2 SOLDIER: Question him, since you can best find if he gainsay. PILATE: Speak, man; to sell your master, what misdeed has he moved? JUDAS: Of just that much money he made me delay; What I get here from you shall but right be reproved. ANNAS: I think that you mock us, with our rule thus to play. For that, to the fiend you'll belong- 1 SOLDIER: -for when, of a wretch, he has need- 1 CLERK: -to whom we work, knowingly, wrong- 2 CLERK: -until him we hastily hang. CAIAPHAS: Your language you lay out too long! But, Judas, we trust you indeed, For truly you must teach us, onto that villain to latch, Or, out of land, through a trick, that lowlife may leap. JUDAS: I shall show you a sign, that you quickly may snatch Him where he stands in the throng, without any slip. 1 SOLDIER: We know him not. JUDAS: Take care then that criminal to catch The which I shall kiss. 2 SOLDIER: That becomes you well, I say, you creep. But yet, to warn us wisely, always you must watch. When you go ahead, we shall follow with a heap Of good men; and so, now, get busy. JUDAS: Yes, yes, a chance shall I spy us As soon as the sun sets; you'll see. 1 SOLDIER: Go on, you thing of treachery. 2 SOLDIER: Yes, and a wicked man. 1 CLERK: Why, what is he? 2 CLERK: A villain, sir, unless truth should belie us. He is loaded with lies. The truth for to trust, I think it but folly in his faith to trust now. PILATE: Abide in my blessing; stop arguing thus, For it is best for us all in such strife for to bow. And Judas, for our profit, we pray you make haste. JUDAS: Yet I have not a penny for my efforts to show. PILATE: You shall have all your pay soon enough for your taste, So that you shall be pleased, our lordship to love. And therefore, Judas, amend all this moan, And take there your silver hereby. JUDAS: Yes, now is my great grief all gone. 1 SOLDIER: Be quick, then. JUDAS: Yes, let me alone, For fast shall that traitor be done; And therefore, jocund and jolly am I. PILATE: Judas, to hold all your vow, our good in mind keep. And for our part, we promise, support you shall have. JUDAS: I shall give you his body, in care for to clap. ANNAS: And more comfort in this case we covet not to crave. 1 SOLDIER: When we can reach that reckless one, his ribs we shall rap, And make that wretch, before we rest, from running, to rave. PILATE: No, sirs, although you scourge him, you must break not his shape. For if the sot be innocent, we must his life save. Therefore, when you shall go to get him, To his body brew no distress. 2 SOLDIER: We mean from escape to prevent him. But, sound in your sight, we shall set him. PILATE: Go on, get you forth, till you fetch him, Together, with joy, to your place.
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