Thursday, October 14, 2004

Ancient Mysteries...

I've stumbled across another gem, a book called Ancient Mysteries Described, Especially the English Mystery Plays, founded on Apocryphal New Testament Story, Extant among the Unpublished Manuscripts in the British Museum by William Hone, dated 1823. It's in smashing condition (some of the pages haven't even been cut!) and contains some wonderful illustrations of scenes from the mystery plays.
I haven't had time to examine it properly yet, but the following caught my eye:
Mary discoursing with Joseph informs him that Elizabeth is with Child and proposes to visit her.
Joseph - A! godys sake! is she with child? sche
Then wole her husbond zakarye be mery;
In Montana they dwell, fer hens, so moty the
In the cety of Juda, I know it veryly,
It is hens, I trowe, myles two & ffyfty.

Personally, I'm somewhat surprised that St. Joseph is so loose in his use of God's name and to discover that the parents of St. John the Baptist were from Montana.

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