By craftsmen and mean men, these pageants are played,
And to commons and countrymen accustomably before:
If better men and finer heads now come, what can be said?
The pageants of the old English town-guilds, and the other mysteries and interludes that follow, have still an uncommon reality about them if we take them in the spirit in which they were originally acted. Their office as the begetters of the greater literary drama to come, and their value as early records, have, since Sharp wrote hisDissertation on the Coventry Mysteries in 1816, been fully illustrated. But they have hardly yet reached the outside reader who looks for life and not for literary origins and relations in what he reads. This is a pity, for these old plays hide under their archaic dress the human interest that all dramatic art, no matter how crude, can claim when it is touched with our real emotions and sensations. They are not only a primitive religious drama, born of the church and its feasts; they are the genuine expression of the town life of the English people when it was still lived with some exuberance of spirits and communal pleasure. As we read them, indeed, though it be in cold blood, we are carried out of our book, and set in the street or market-square by the side of the "commons and countrymen," as in the day when Whitsuntide, or Corpus Christi, brought round the annual pageantry to Chester, Coventry, York, and other towns.
Of the plays that follow, six come from the old town pageants, reflecting in their variety the range of subject and the contemporary effect of the cycles from which they are taken. They are all typical, and show us how the scenes and characters of the east were mingled with the real life of the English craftsmen and townsfolk who acted them, and for whose pleasure they were written. Yet they give us only a small notion of the whole interest and extent of these plays. We gain an idea of their popularity both from the number of them given in one town and the number of places at which regular cycles, or single pageants, were represented from year to year. The York plays alone that remain are forty-eight in all; the Chester, twenty-four or five; the Wakefield, thirty-two or three. Even these do not represent anything like the full list. Mr. E. K. Chambers, in an appendix to his Mediæval Stage, gives a list of eighty-nine different episodes treated in one set or another of the English and Cornish cycles. Then as to the gazette of the many scattered places where they had a traditional hold: Beverley had a cycle of thirty-six; Newcastle-on-Tyne and Norwich, each one of twelve; while the village and parochial plays were almost numberless. In Essex alone the list includes twenty-one towns and villages, though it is fair to add that this was a specially enterprising shire. At Lydd and New Romney, companies of players from fourteen neighbouring towns and villages can be traced in the local records that stretch from a year or so before, to eight years after, the fifteenth century.
Mrs. J. R. Green, in her history of Town Life in that century, shows us how the townspeople mixed their workday and holiday pursuits, their serious duties with an apparent "incessant round of gaieties." Hardly a town but had its own particular play, acted in the town hall or the parish churchyard, "the mayor and his brethren sitting in state." In 1411 there was a great play, From the Beginning of the World, played in London at the Skinner's Well. It lasted seven days continually, and there were the most part of the lords and gentles of England. No copy of this play exists, but of its character we have a pretty sensible idea from various other plays of the Creation handed down from the north-country cycles. In the best of them the predestined Adam is created after a fashion both to suggest his treatment by Giotto in the medallion at Florence, and his lineaments as an English mediæval prototype:--
"But now this man that I have made,
With the ghost of life, I make him glad,
Rise up, Adam, rise up rade,
A man full of soul and life!"
But to surprise the English mediæval smith or carpenter, cobbler or bowyer, when he turns playgoer at Whitsuntide, assisting at a play which expressed himself as well as its scriptural folk, we must go on to later episodes. The Deluge in the Chester pageant, that opens the present volume, has among its many Noah's Ark sensations, some of them difficult enough to mimic on the pageant-wagon, a typical recall of the shipwright and ark-builder. God says to Noah:--
A ship soon thou shalt make thee of trees, dry and light.
Little chambers therein thou make,
And binding pitch also thou take,
Within and out, thou ne slake
To anoint it thro' all thy might.
In the York Noah's Ark pageant, which seems to be the parent-play in England of all its kind, we have this craftsman's episode much enlarged. "Make it of boards," God says, "and wands between!"
Thus thriftily and not over thin,
Look that thy seams be subtly seen
And nailéd well, that they not twin:
Thus I devised it should have been;
Therefore do forth, and leave thy din
Then, after further instructions, Noah begins to work before the spectators, first rough-hewing a plank, then trying it with a line, and joining it with a gynn or gin. He says:--
More subtilely can no man sew;
It shall be clinched each ilk and deal,
With nails that are both noble and new,
Thus shall I fix it to the keel:
Take here a rivet, and there a screw,
With there bow, there now, work I well,
This work, I warrant both good and true.
To complete the pedigree of this scene we must turn to the old poem, the "Cursor Mundi," which, written in the fourteenth century, the time when the northern miracle-plays were taking decisive shape, appears to have served their writers as a stock-book. The following passage is own brother to that in the York miracle-play:--
A ship must thou needs dight,
Myself shall be the master-wright.
I shall thee tell how broad and long,
Of what measure and how strong.
When the timber is fastened well,
Wind the sides ever each and deal.
Bind it first with balk and band,
And wind it then too with good wand.
With pitch, look, it be not thin!
Plaster it well without and in!
The likeness we see is startling: so near to the other indeed as to suggest almost a common authorship.
As for the pastoral plays in the same towns, we find the shepherds and countrymen were just as well furnished with rough cuts from the life. The most real and frankly illustrative, and by no means the least idyllic of them is perhaps the Chester play of the three shepherds. It was not played by countrymen but by townsmen, like the other plays in the town cycles, being in this case the "Paynters and Glasiors" play. The first shepherd who opens it talks of the "bower" or cote he would build, his "sheep to shield," his "seemly wethers to save:"--
From comely Conway unto Clyde
Under tyldes them to hide
A better shepherd on no side
No earthly man may have
For with walking weary I have methought
Beside thee such my sheep I sought
My long-tail'd tups are in my thought
Them to save and heal
In the Death of Abel, another Chester play, Cain comes in with a plough, and says:--
A tiller I am, and so will I be,
As my daddy hath taught it me
I will fulfil his lore
In the subsequent incident of the corn that Cain is to offer for his sacrifice, we hear the plain echo of the English farmer's voice in the corn-market mixing with the scriptural verse: "This standing corn that was eaten by beasts," will do:
God, thou gettest no better of me,
Be thou never so grim
So throughout the plays the folk-life of their day, their customs and customary speech, are for ever emerging from the biblical scene.
In trying to realise how the miracle-plays were mounted and acted, we shall find the best witness at Chester. This was a rather late one. Archdeacon Rogers, who saw them in 1594, when they had been going on for something like three centuries in all. From his account (in the Harleian Miscellany) it appears the Chester plays were given on Whit-Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
"The manner of these plays were, every company had his pageant or part, a high scaffold with two rooms, a higher and a lower, upon four wheels. In the lower they apparelled themselves, and in the higher room they played, being all open on the top, that all beholders might hear and see them." They were played, he goes on to say, in every street:
"They began first at the abbey gates, and when the first pageant was played, it was wheeled to the high cross before the mayor, and so to every street. So every street had a pageant playing before it at one time, till all the pageants for the day appointed were played. When one pageant was near ended, word was brought from street to street, that so they might come in place thereof, exceeding orderly, and all the streets have their pageants before them, all at one time playing together, to see which plays was great resort and also scaffolds and stages made in the streets in those places where they determined to play their pageants."
The same writer explains elsewhere that these plays were divided into twenty-four pageants, according to the number of the city companies, and that each company brought out its own pageant.
At York, whose plays Miss L. Toulmin Smith edited in 1887, we can turn to Davies's two books and the local records, to complete the Chester description. Those who travel to York by rail to-day, and there dismount, as most of us have often done, to walk through the city to the cathedral, will be interested to find that the railway station now stands where once was Pageant Green. Near it was formerly another kind of station, where stood the houses hired to keep the pageants stored and put away from one year's show to another. The word "pageant," (pagina, or plank), we ought to recall, was used for the stage, or wheeled car of two stories, before it was used for the show set forth upon it. Davies helps us, as we perambulate York to-day, to mark where the old pageants were performed in 1399, at twelve stations, which were fixed and stated beforehand. The first station was at the gates of the Priory of the Holy Trinity in Mickle Gate, and the pageants were moved on them in turn to places at Skelder Gate end, North Street, Conyng Strete, Stane Gate and the gates of the Minster, so to the end of Girdler Gate; while the last of all was "upon the pavement." But the stations were subject to change, and there was much competition among wealthy householders (one of whom may have been the Robert Harpham mentioned in a 1417 list) to have the pageant played before their windows. The highest bidder gained the coveted right.
Before the actual day came, a town-crier was sent round the city to proclaim the "banes" or banns. Arms were forbidden: "We command that no man go armed in this city with swords ne with carlill-axes, in disturbance of the king's peace and the play, or hindering of the procession of Corpus Christi, and that they leave their harness in their inns, saving knights and squires of worship that ought to have swords borne after them!" The plays began betimes. We read that at York the players were to be ready "at the mid-hour betwixt the IVth and Vth of the clock in the morning." Finally, for the players themselves, care was taken to secure good ones for the several parts. Sometimes a player doubled or trebled the characters in a particular play.
All through the XIVth and XVth centuries miracle-plays went on being performed regularly, or irregularly, in most of the English towns and larger villages. One of the smaller cycles was that of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, played at Corpus Christi, from 1426 onwards. The Three Kings of Cologne is mentioned in 1536, which the goldsmiths, plumbers, glaziers, and others were to play. Here the pageants were not movable ones, but were given at fixed points. No doubt some of the spots associated with the Whitsuntide "shuggy-shows" (as I remember them in my time) were originally show-grounds of the town pageants too. Only one play of the Newcastle series has survived, and that fitly enough, having regard to the Tyneside shipbuilding, is a shipwrights' play. Unluckily it has been so modernised that not a vestige of the local colour or Tyneside dialect remains.
We come now to the date and origin of these town pageants. Of the three chief cycles earliest mention is to be found at Chester, and it carries us doubtfully back to 1268. Sir John Arnway was mayor in that year, according to one account: but the name recurs pretty positively in 1327-8, and about that time Randall Higgenet, a monk of Chester Abbey, wrote the plays. But in the text handed down they are of a much later style of diction, and no doubt later in date than the Towneley or York series.
About the real origin of these plays there can be no question. They began in the churches as liturgy plays, which were given at the Christmas, Easter, and other festivals, illustrating in chief the birth, life, death and passion of Christ. We owe to Professor Skeat the recovery of some fragments of liturgical plays in Latin, which have been reprinted by Professor Manly, in his Specimens of the Pre-Shakesperean Drama. The earliest example there is may be dated as early as 967, an important landmark for us, as it is often assumed that we have no dramatic record of any kind in these islands earlier than the Norman Conquest. Another generation or two of research, such as the pioneer work of Dr. Furnivall and the Early English Text Society has made possible, and we shall distinguish clearly the two lines of growth, French and Norman, English and Saxon, by which the town-pageants and folk-plays of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries came to a head. Then the grafting of the English pastoral on the church-play, after it had been carried out into the open town or market-place, may become clear. Then, too, one will know how charged with potential dramatic life was the mind of him who wrote that interlude in four lines of the "Three Queens and the Three Dead Men," which contains in it the essence of a thousand moralities.
1st Queen. I am afeard.
2nd Queen. Lo, what I see?
3rd Queen. Me thinketh it be devils three!
1st Dead Body. I was well fair
2nd Dead Body. Such shall thou be.
3rd Dead Body. For Godes love, be-ware by me!
These breathe, not a Norman, but an Anglo-Saxon fantasy, and they speak for themselves. But many tell-tale documents exist to mark the concurrent Norman and English development that went on in the English mediæval literature, and was seen and felt in the church and guild plays, just as it went on in the towns themselves. It finds at last its typical expression in an interlude like the Coventry Nativity-play, reprinted in this volume. Long before the miracle-play was written in the form it finally took, and about the time when William of Rouen, after much trouble with his son Robert culminating at the battle of Gerberoi, was about to return to England, the new opening in the church in this country became one to tempt poor foreign students of some parts and some ambition. Among these was a graduate of the University of Paris, one Geoffrey, known to us now as Geoffrey of St. Albans. He had been offered the post of master of the abbey school at that place, but when he arrived after some delay--due perhaps to his going to see a mystery play at Paris--he found the post filled up. He then made his way to Dunstable, and while there proved his spirit by getting up a miracle-play of "Sancta Katarina." He borrowed copes from St. Albans in which to dress the actors; unluckily a fire took place, and the costumes were burnt. Thereupon he seems to have rendered himself up as it were in pious pledge for their loss, for he became a monk. In 1119 he was elected abbot, and if we give him about twenty-one years in which to rise to that dignity, we can date the St. Katharine play at 1098 or 9. This passage in a life of that time is a clue to the further history of the religious play in England. Geoffrey's attempt to present one at Dunstable, no doubt a reproduction of one he had seen in France, is an instance of the naturalisation process that slowly went on.
The distinct break in the history of the miracle-play that made it from a church into a town pageant occurred about the close of the thirteenth century. From a performance within the church building it went on then into the church-yard, or the adjoining close or street, and so into the town at large. The clerics still kept a hand in its purveyance; but the rise of the town guilds gave it a new character, a new relation to the current life, and a larger equipment. The friendly rivalry between the guilds, and the craftsmen's pride in not being outdone by other crafts, helped to stimulate the town play, till at length the elaborate cycle was formed that began with sunrise on a June morning, and lasted until the torch-bearers were called out at dusk to stand at the foot of the pageant.
The earliest miracle-plays that we can trace in the town cycles date back to the early years of Edward III. The last to be performed in London, according to Prynne, was Christ's Passion, which was given in James I.'s reign. It was produced "at Ely House, Holborn, when Gundomar lay there on Good Friday at night, at which there were thousands present." This was a late survivor, however, called to life by a last flicker of court sunshine on the occasion of the state visit of a Spanish ambassador. Here is an extreme range of over three centuries; and the old religious drama was still being performed in a more and more uncertain and intermittent fashion all through the dramatic reign of Shakespeare.
The ten plays that follow in this volume represent in brief the late remnant of this early drama, rescued at the point where it was ending its primitive growth, soon to give way to plays written with a consciously artistic sense of the stage. They are headed by the great and simple tragic masterpiece, in which they say their last word: the morality of Everyman, the noblest interlude of death the religious imagination of the middle ages has given to the stage. The two following Old Testament plays, The Deluge and the Sacrifice of Isaac, are the third and fourth pageants in the Chester series; played respectively by the Water-Leaders and Drawers of the river Dee, and by the Barbers and Wax-Chandlers. The next is from Coventry, a Nativity play, played by the Shearmen and Tailors. From the Wakefield series, preserved in the Towneley collection, we have three plays, the famous second shepherds' play, with the Crucifixion and the Harrowing of Hell, or extraction of souls from Hell (Extractio Animarum ab Inferno). Two Cornish mysteries of the Resurrection are included: The Three Maries at the Tomb, and Mary Magdalen bringing the News to the Apostles. Then follows Bishop Bale's oracular play of God's Promises, which is in effect a series of seven interludes strung on one thread, united by one leading idea, and one protagonist, the Pater Cœlestis.
In these religious and moral interludes, the dramatic colouring, however crude, is real and sincere. The humours of a broad folk-comedy break through the scriptural web continually in the guild plays like those in which Noah the shipbuilder, or the proverbial three shepherds, appear in the pageant. Noah's unwilling wife in the Chester Deluge, and Mak's canny wife in the Wakefield shepherd's play, where the sheep-stealing scenes reveal a born Yorkshire humorist, offer a pair of gossips not easy to match for rude comedy. Mak's wife, like the shepherd's in the same pastoral, utters proverbs with every other breath: "A woman's avyse helpys at the last!" "So long goys the pott to the water, at last comys it home broken!"
Now in hot, now in cold,
Full woeful is the household,
That wants a woman!
And her play upon the old north-country asseveration, "I'll eat my bairn,"--
If ever I you beguiled,
That I eat this child
That lies in this cradle,
(the child being the stolen sheep), must have caused towns-folk and country-folk outrageous laughter. Mak's wife is indeed memorable in her way as the Wife of Bath, Dame Quickly, or Mrs. Gamp.
There is nothing so boldly drawn in the Coventry Nativity. But there you have a startlingly realistic treatment joined to an emotional lyricism of the simplest charm:
Neither in halls, nor yet in bowers,
Born would he not be
Neither in castles, nor yet in towers
That seemly were to see.
As I outrode this enderes night
Of three jolly shepherds, I saw a sight;
And all about their fold a star shone bright,
They sang "Terli, terlow!"
So merrily the shepherds their pipes can blow.
In this Coventry play we have nearly all the ingredients--foreign, liturgical, or homely English--of the composite miracle play brought together. It bears traces of many hands; and betrays in the dialogue of the formal characters the rubricated lines of the church play on which it was based. The chief characters live, move and act their recognised parts with the certainty of the folk in a nursery tale. Herod out-Herods himself with a Blunderbore extravagance:--
I am the cause of this great light and thunder;
It is through my fury that they such noise do make.
My fearful countenance, the clouds so doth incumber
That oftentimes for dread thereof, the very earth doth quake.
"Fee, fi, fo, fum!" might be the refrain of this giant's litany. The other types are as plainly stamped. The shepherd's are from the life, and contrast well with the stilted and rather tiresome prophets. The scenes at the babe's crib when the offerings are made of the shepherds' pipe, old hat, and mittens, are both droll and tender.
The tragic counterparts of these scenes are those where the Three Executioners work their pitiless task to an end at the Crucifixion, or where the Three Maries go to the grave afterwards in the Cornish mystery, or where Isaac bids his father bind his eyes that he shall not see the sword. It was for long the fashion to say, as Sir Walter Scott did, that these plays had little poetic life, or human interest in them. But they are, at their best, truly touched with essential emotions, with humour, terror, sorrow, pity, as the case may be. Dramatically they are far more alive at this moment, than the English drama of the mid-nineteenth century.
In the Cornish mysteries we lose much by having to use a translation. But something of the spirit and life survive in spite of it, and one detached passage from another of the plays, that of the Crucifixion, is printed in the appendix, which loses nothing by being compared with the treatment in other miracle-plays. Also in the Appendix will be found an interesting note from Norris's Ancient Cornish Drama, on the mode in which the Cornish mysteries were played; and a brief account by Mr. Jenner of the trilogy contained in that work.
There remains John Bayle's play of God's Promises. Its author was born at the sea-doomed city of Dunwich in Suffolk, in 1495. Destined for the church, he showed his obstinacy early by marrying in defiance of his cloth. He was lucky and unlucky in being a protégé of Thomas Cromwell, and had to fly the country on that dangerous agent's death. He returned when the new order was established, and became Bishop of Ossory, had to suffer and turn exile for his tenets again in Mary's reign; but found safe harbourage for his latter years at Canterbury, where he died. He wrote, on his own evidence, more than twenty plays, of which God's Promises, the Life of John the Baptist, and King John, a history play of interest as a pioneer, are best known. He himself called God's Promises a tragedy, but unless the sense of Sodom hanging in the balance, while Abraham works down to its lowest point the diminishing ratio of the just to be found there, or of David's appearing before the Pater Cœlestis as the great judge, of dramatic or tragic emotion there is little indeed. But Bayle's rhetoric easily ran to the edge of suspense, as in the opening of his seventh act, where he puts the dramatic question in the last line:--
I have with fearcenesse mankynde oft tymes corrected,
And agayne I have allured hym by swete promes.
I have sent sore plages, when he hath me neglected,
And then by and by, most confortable swetnes.
To wynne hym to grace, bothe mercye and ryghteousnes
I have exercysed, yet wyll he not amende.
Shall I now lose hym, or shall I hym defende?
And what could be finer than the setting he gives to the antiphon, O Oriens Splendor, at the end of the second act?
To turn from Bayle's play to the heart-breaking realities of Everyman is like turning from a volume of all too edifying sermons to the last chapters of one of the gospels. Into the full history of this play, opening a difficult question about the early relations between Dutch and English writers and printers, there is no room here to go. The Dutch Everyman--Elckerlijk--was in all probability the original of the English, and it was certainly printed a few years earlier. Richard Pynson, who first imprinted the English play at the Sign of the George in Fleet Street, was printing at his press there from the early years of the sixteenth century. The play itself may have been written, and first performed, in English, as in Dutch, a generation or more before.
It was written, no doubt, like most of the plays in this volume, by a churchman; and he must have been a man of profound imagination, and of the tenderest human soul conceivable. His ecclesiastical habit becomes clear enough before the end of the play, where he bids Everyman go and confess his sins. Like many of the more poignant scenes and passages in the miracle-plays that follow it, this morality too leaves one exclaiming on how good a thing was the plain English of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
The relation of the several miracle-plays here printed to the town-cycles from which they come will be seen at a glance on reference to the tables of pageants that appear in the Appendix. We may take it that all these town and country plays represent continually used and frequently tinkered texts, that must in some cases have passed through many piecemeal changes. In making them easy to the average reader of to-day, who takes the place of the mediæval playgoer at a Corpus Christi festival, their latest copyists have but followed in the wake of a series of Tudor scribes who renewed the prompt-books from time to time. In this process, apart from the change of spelling, the smallest possible alteration has been made consistent with the bringing of the text to a fair modern level of intelligibility. Old words that have been familiarised in Malory or Shakespeare, or the Bible, or in the Border Ballads and north-country books, or in Walter Scott, or the modern dialect of Yorkshire, are usually allowed to stand, and words needed to keep the rhyme, are left intact. But really hard words, likely to delay the reader, are glossed. One Towneley play, the Extractio Animarum, another and a most spirited example of the "Harrowing of Hell," mysteries that thrilled the people long ago, is given in the original spelling, as some test of the change effected in the others. Further, in the Appendix will be found a late example of a St. George and the Dragon doggerel Christmas play, which comes from Cornwall, and which in a slightly varying form has been played in many shires, from Wessex to Tyneside, within living memory. This shows us the last state of the traditional mystery, and the English folk-play as it became when it was left to the village wits and playwrights to produce it, without any co-operation from the trained eye and hand of a parson or a learned clerk. Of some other forms of our earlier drama, not omitting the Welsh interludes of Twm o'r Nant, it may be possible to give illustrations in a later book, companion to this. Only so much is given here as may interest the reader, who is a playgoer first of all, and asks for entertainment and a light in these darker passages of the old British drama.
Finally the amplest acknowledgments are due to those who have worked upon these present plays, including Mrs. C. Richardson, M.A., Mr. O'Brien, Mr. Roberts, Miss Hawkins, G. R., and Mr. Ezra Pound; and to the various editors of the "Early English Text Society," who have made this book possible. Especially should tribute be paid to Dr. Furnivall for his permission to make use of the Society's texts, and his interest in this uncertain attempt to capture the outer public too, and attract it to that ever-living literature to which he has devoted so many days of his young old-age.
Everyman: a moral play otherwise called: A Treatyse how the hye fader of heven sendeth dethe to somon every creature to come and gyve a counte of theyr lyves in this worlde], translated from the Dutch play, Elckerlijk, 1520 (?); published in Dodsley's Select Collection of Old English Plays, etc., vol. I., 1874; reprint of one of Skot's editions, collated with his other edition and those of Pynson, Ed. H. Logeman, 1892; with an introduction by F. Sidgwick, 1902; reprinted by W. W. Greg from the Edition by John Skot preserved at Britwell Court, 1904; set to music by H. Walford Davies, etc. (with historical and analytical notes), 1904; J. S. Farmer, Six Anonymous Plays (Early English Dramatists), 1905; with designs by Ambrose Dudley, 1906; in Broadway Booklets, 1906; with introduction, note-book, and word list, J. S. Farmer (Museum Dramatists), 1906.
Miracle Plays: Towneley Mysteries, ed. by Surtees Society, 1836; Pollard, Early English Text Society, 1897. York Mysteries, ed. Lucy Toulmin Smith, 1885. Chester Mysteries, ed. Th. Wright, Shakespeare Society, 1843-47; Deimling, Early English Text Society, 1893, etc.; T. H. Markland (two plays), Roxburghe Club, 1818. Coventry Mysteries, ed. Halliwell, Shakespeare Society, 1841. See also Sharp, Dissertation on the Coventry Mysteries. For other Mysteries see Davidson, Modern Language Notes, vii.; E. Norris, Ancient Cornish Drama, 1859.
Selections, or Separate Plays: Harrowing of Hell, ed. Halliwell, 1840; Collier, Five Miracle Plays, 1867; Dr. E. Mall, 1871; A. W. Pollard, English Miracle Plays, 1895; Specimens of the Pre-Shakespearean Drama, 1897, 2 vols. (a third vol. to come), Prof. Manly. See J. H. Kirkham (Enquiry into Sources, etc.), 1885. Abraham and Isaac, ed. L. Toulmin Smith (Brome Hall MS.), 1886; R. Brotanek (Dublin MS.), Anglia, xxi.
General Literature: Ward, History of English Dramatic Literature, 1875-6; Payne Collier, The History of English Dramatic Poetry, 1879; K. Hase, Miracle Plays, trans. A. W. Jackson, 1880; C. Davidson, Studies in English Mystery Plays, 1892; A. W. Pollard, English Miracle Plays, Moralities, and Interludes, Specimens of pre-Elizabethan Drama, etc., 1895; K. Chambers, The Mediæval Stage, 1903; A full bibliography is given in F. H. Stoddard, References for Students of Miracle Plays and Mysteries, 1887.