Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

of the suspicions he had previously harboured, and asks pardon of the Divinity for the same.

Under the head denominated, De la Nativité de Jésus, (Of the Birth of Jesus), the Almighty, foreseeing the moment when his Son shall come into the world, depatches his angels to attend upon Mary during that night, who is made to express herself in the following terms:

O! doulx Dieu, de moi te souvienne,
Comme y a parfaite crédence.
A ta haulte magnificence
Et clere illumination,
O riche tresor de clemence!
O dirine incarnation!
Bien doy en exaltacion,
En virtu de devotion.
Honnorer ce mistere en moy,
Quant sous quelque vexation,
Sans fracture, ne corruption,

Le fruit de mon ventre reçoy.
The conception, or the first day's performance, being
ended, under head the fifth, which represents the mys-
tery of the passion, Saint John thus addresses Christ,
who demands of him the performance of the baptismal

Pas requerir ne me devés,
Car mon cher Seigneur, vous sçarés
Qu'il n'affuret pas a ma nature,

Je suis creature,
Et pour facture,
De simple stature,
Humble viatcur:

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


[merged small][ocr errors]

Ce servit laydure,
Et chose trop dure,
Laver en eaüe pure
Mon hault Créateur.
Tu és precepteur,
Je suis serviteur ;
Tu es le pasteur,
Je suis l'auditeur ;
Tu es le ducteur,
Moy consecuteur,

Sans qui rien ne puis, &c.
And under the same head, God the Father is made to
commence a speech in the following manner:

Hic est Filius meus dilectus,

In quo mihi bene complacui.
Cestuy cy, c'est mon Fils amé Jesus,

Qui bien me plaist, ma plaisance est en luy, &c. During the representation of the fourth day, after Jesus is crucified on the stage, under the head, La quarte Parolle de Jesus en Croix, Christ is thus made to express himself;—

Hely, hely, lama zabatani:
Deus meus ut quid me dereliquisti?
Mon Dieu, mon pere de lassus,
Comme quoy ma tu lessé cy?
J'en souffre tant que je n'en puis plus ;
Et d'apre douleur suis transi :
Je ne reconfort de milli,
Non plus qu'ung poure homme oublyé,
Recoy la douleur de celuy,
Que tu voys tant humilié.

[ocr errors]

Another mystery of equal consequence with the foregoing, --was Le Mistere des Actes des Apostres (Mystery of the Acts of the Apostles); partly composed by Arnoul Greban, a canon of Mans, and born at Compiegne in 1450. Simon Greban, native of the same place, a monk of Saint Richier in Ponthieu, and brother to the former, being also secretary of Charles duke of Anjou, earl of Maine, and a doctor of theology, living under Charles VII., completed the manuscript which Arnoul had left unfinished. This mystery was first performed at Bourges in 1536, and continued for the space of forty days; which plays, says Jean Chaumau, in his history of Berri, “ were less labourious, never having before been divided into acts and scenes, or so well and excellently plaid by grave men who knew well by signs and gesticulations to feign the personages they represented, insomuch so, that the spectators judged the matter to be true and not feigned; the theatre consisting of two stories, surpassing every thing in solemnity, covered above with a spread curtain to protect the audience from the intemperance and ardor of the sun, being excellently painted in gold and azure, and other rich colours, impossible to be by words expressed."

This mystery was afterwards represented at various periods at Mans, Angers, Tours, and Paris. In this piece, God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the twelve apostles, &c. are introduced; it was published in black letter in 1541, occupying two folio volumes, the first containing five, and the second four books.

On the entrance of the duke of Bedford, regent of France, into Paris, on the eighth of September, 1424, Le

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Mistere du Vieil Testament et du Nouvel (The Mystery of
the Old Testament and the New), was represented by
the young people of Paris, without speaking or singing,
as if they were images raised against a wall.

Le Mistere depuis la Conception de Notre Dame jusque
Joseph la mena en Egipte (The Mystery from the Con-
ception of our Lady till Joseph conducted her into Egypt),
represented on a scaffolding before the Trinity, which
erection reached from beyond Saint Saviour's to the end
of the street named Ernetal; upon the entrance of
Henry VI. of England, king of France and Eu, into
Paris, the first Sunday in Advent, being the second of
December 1431.

Le Mistere de la Sainte Hostie (The Mystery of the
Sacred Host) was played by twenty-six persons, and com-
menced with these lines :-

Lisez ce fait, grand et petit,
Comment un faux et maudit Juif
Lapida moult cruellement

De l'Autel le tres Saint Sacrement.
In Le Mistere du Juif (The Mystery of the Jew),
being a continuation of the foregoing, the Jew ap-
peared in a chariot, having before him the holy gospels,
as if he was being conducted to be burnt; after whom
marched Justice, his wife and his children. Along the streets
were two scaffoldings whereon were enacted most piteous
mysteries. This procession being made, the fifteenth day
of May, 1444, on a Friday, the bishops of Paris and
of Beauvais, with two abbés, carried the body of our
Lord from Saint John in Greve upon their shoulders,
and from thence proceeded to the street of Les Billettes

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

to fetch the knife wherewith the false Jew had dissected the flesh of our Lord, and from thence it was carried with the holy cross and other relics, to Saint Catherine du Val of the students; and this procession was performed, because great hope was entertained that a peace would be concluded between the kings of France and of England.

In 1491, appeared a mystery entitled, Vengeance de la Mort de Notre Seigneur Jesus Christ, et Destruction de la Ville de Jerusalem par l'Empereur Vespasian et Titus ; (Mystery of Vengeance for the Death of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Destruction of the City of Jerusalem by the Emperors Vespasian and Titus;) written in verse, and performed before Charles VIII. In this piece figured all the sacred personages of Scripture.

Le Mistere de la Passion de Saint George (The Mystery of the Passion of Saint George), was performed in the hotel of Belle, by the Parisians, during the festival of the Pentecost, which occurred upon the last day of May, in order that they might show their love to the king of England, his queen, and the nobles of the said country.

In 1478, La Patience de Job (The Patience of Job), was represented by forty-nine persons; and, The Assumption of the glorious Virgin Mary, by thirty-eight performers.

Le Mistere du Vieil Testament (Mystery of the Old Testament), was printed about 1500, occupying one thick volume in folio, and contains no less than twentythree mysteries.

In the first, God creates heaven; the angels precipitate

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »