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in a hous that is desolat, withowty any wall,

ffyer nor wood non here is. Varia: Joseph, myn husbond, abydyn here I shal,

ffor here wyl be born the kyngys sone of blys.

105

Joseph: Now, jentyll wyff, be of good myrth,

and if ze wyl owght haue telle me what ze thynk;
I shal not spare for schep nor derth, -
now telle me zour lust of mete and drynk.

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Maria: ffor mete and drynk lust I ryght now[ght],

allmyghty god my fode shal be.
now that I am in chawmere brought,
I hope ryght well my chylde to se.
Therfore, husbond, of zour honeste
avoyd zow hens out of this place,
and I alone with humylite
here shal abyde goddys hy3 grace.

84 a

115

I 20

Joseph: All redy, wyff, zow for to plese,

I wyl go hens out of your way,
and seke sum mydwyuys zow for to ese,
whan that ze trauayle of childe this day.
ffare well, trewe wyff, and also clene may !

God be zour comforte in trinyte!
Maria: to god in hevyn for zow I pray,

he zow p(re)serve wherso ze be!

hic dum Ioseph est absens parit Maria filium vnigenitum.

109 nowght] nowth MS

124 preserve pserve MS

130

135

[Scene 4]
125 Joseph: Now god, of whom comyth all releffe,

and as all grace in the is grownde,
so saue my wyff from hurt and greff
tyl I sum mydwyuys for here haue fownde!
Travelynge women in care be bownde
with grete throwys whan thei do grone;
god helpe my wyff that sche not swownde,
I am ful sory sche is alone.
It is not conuenyent a man to be
ther women gon in travalynge,
wherfore sum mydwyff ffayn wold I se,

my wyff to helpe that is so zenge. [84 b) zelomy: Why makyst thu, man, suche mornyng?

telle me sum dele of zour gret mone.
Joseph: my wyff is now in gret longynge

trauelyng of chylde, and is alone.
ffor godys loue that sytt in trone,
as ze [be] mydwyuys that kan zour good,
help my zonge spowse in haste anone, -

I drede me sore of that fayr food.
145 Salome: be of good chere and of glad mood!

we ij mydwyuys with the wyll go;
ther was nevyr woman in such plyght stood,
but we were redy here help to do.
My name is Salomee, all men me knowe
ffor a mydwyff of wurthy fame.
whan women travayl grace doth growe,

theras I come I had nevyr shame.
zelomy: and I am gelomye, men knowe my name;

we tweyn with the wyl go togedyr,

140

150

142 be] omit MS H

153, 154] MS has full forms and, the

155

and help thi wyff fro hurt and grame.
Com forth, Joseph, go we strey[ght] thedyr.

160

Joseph: I thank zow, damys, ze comforte my lyff.

streyte to my spowse walke we the way. In this pore logge lyght mary, my wyff,

hyre for to comforte gode frendys assay. Salome: We dare not entre this logge in fay,

ther is therin so gret bryghtnes;
mone be nyght nor sunne be day
Shone nevyr so clere in ther lyghtnesse.

[85]

165

zelomye: Into this hous dare I not gon,

the woundyrfful lyght doth me affray. Joseph : than wyl myself gon in alon,

and chere my wyff if that I may.

[Scene 5]

170

All heyl, maydon and wyff! I say,
how dost thu fare telle me thi chere.
the for to comforte in gesyne this day
tweyn gode mydwyuis I haue brought here.

The for to help, that art in harde bonde,
zelomye and Salomee be com with me;
ffor dowte of drede withowte thei do stond,
and dare not come in for lyght that they se.

175

hic maria subridendo dicat :

Maria : The myght of the godhede in his mageste

wyl not be hyd now at this whyle;

156 streyght] streyth MS 169 no new paragraph in MS 167, 171, 173, 176 ] MS has full forms than, the, the, they

180

185

190

the chylde that is born wyl preve his modyr fre,

a very clene mayde, and therfore I smyle.
Joseph : Why do ze lawghe, wyff? ze be to blame;

I pray zow, spowse, do no more so,
In happ the mydwyuys wyl take it to grame,
and at your nede helpe wele non do.
Iff ze haue nede of mydwyuys, lo!
Per aventure thei wyl gon hens,
therfore be sad, and ze may so,

and wynnyth all the mydwyuis good diligens. [85 b] Maria : husbond, I pray zow dysplese zow nowsght),

thow that I lawghe and gret joye haue.
here is the chylde this werde hath wrought,

born now of me that all thynge shal saue.
Joseph: I aske zow grace, for I dyde raue,

O, gracyous childe, I aske mercy!
as thu art lord and I but knaue,
fforgeue me now my gret foly!
Alas! mydwyuis, what haue I seyd ?
I pray zow com to us more nere,
ffor here I fynde my wyff a mayd,
and in here arme a chylde hath here;
bothe mayd and modyr sche is in fere,

that god wole haue may nevyr more fayle.
Salome : modyr on erth was nevyr non clere,

withowth sche had in byrth travayle. 205 zelomy: In byrth trauayle muste sche nedys haue,

or ellys no chylde of here is born.
Joseph : I pray zow, dame, and ze vowchesaue,

195

200

com se the chylde my wyff beforn.

186 pera venture]

179, 186 ) MS has full forms the, thei Paventure MS

189 nowght] nowth MS

210

215

[86]

220

Salome: Grete god be in this place!

Swete systyr, how fare ze?
Maria: I thank the fadyr of his hy3 grace,

his owyn son and my chylde here ze may se. zelomye : All heyl, mary, and ryght good morn!

who was mydwyfe of this ffayr chylde? Maria: he that nothynge wyl haue forlorn

Sent me this babe, and I mayd mylde.
zelomye : with honde lete me now towch and fele;

yf ze haue nede of medycyn,
I shal zow comforte and helpe ryght wele,

as other woman, yf ze haue pyn.
Maria: Of this fayr byrth, that here is myn,

peyne nere grevynge fele I ryght non. I am clene mayde and pure virgyn, tast with your hand zour self alon.

hic palpat gelomye beatam virginem, dicens : zelomy: O myghtfulle god! haue mercy on me!

a merveyle that nevyr was herd beforn
here opynly I fele and se, -
a fayr chylde of a mayden is born,
and nedyth no waschynge as other don.
fful clene and pure forsoth is he,
withowtyn spott or ony polucyon,
his modyr nott hurte of virgynite.
Coom nere, good systyr Salome;
beholde the brestys of this clene mayd,
fful of fayr mylke how that thei be,
and hyre chylde clene, as I fyrst sayd ;
as other ben now[ght] fowle arayd,
but clene and pure both modyr and chylde.

225

230

235

237 nowght] nowth MS

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