Passus vndevicesimus & explicit dobet & incipit dobest
Bx.19.1: See Introduction V.3.2 for discussion of the relationship between Bx and Cx, and F and Cx, in this passus. Thus I awaked & wrote · what I had dremed
And diȝte me derely · & dede me to [kirke]Bx.19.2: kirke: Doubtfully adopting the CrF reading as the minority form. On the distribution of kirke / cherche see Introduction IV.1. RK's text has kyrke, recording no variants, though in fact P (as printed by Skeat) has churche.
To here holy þe masse · & to be houseled afterBx.19.3: Beta4 drops ll. 3b-4a.
In myddes of þe masse · þo men ȝedeBx.19.4: ȝede: MCr and F have wente, but this is not supported by Cx. to offrynge
I fel eftsones a-slepe · & sodeynly me metteBx.19.5: me mette: Supported by Cx against F's y drempte. We shall not regularly note such instances of F's unique variants.
And riȝte lyke in alle lymes · to owre lorde ihesu
AndBx.19.9: And: LWHm are supported by Cx. Other beta mss. drop it; F has A-non. þanne called I conscience · to kenne me þe sothe
Bx.19.12: MWHmC here have a paraph.Quod conscience & kneled þo · þise aren PieresBx.19.12: Pieres: The beta reading, and clearly preferable on grounds of sense: "These are Piers' arms, but (ac) he who comes is Christ". This is confirmed by Bx.18.23-7. Perhaps quod contributes to aaa/xx alliteration, as again in l. 15 (aaa/bb). However, F's cristis is also the reading of Cx. RK, p. 123, suggest it is an error prompted by the alliteration; if so, F's reading is by coincidence or contamination. The alternative is that cristis is archetypal (if not original), corrected by beta. armes
His coloures & his cotearmure · acBx.19.13: ac: Dropped in F to remove an illogicality created by the reading cristis in the line above. CrC have and, as does the P family of C. he þat cometh so blody
¶ Why calle ȝe hym cryst quod I · sithenes iuwes calle[d]Bx.19.15: called: With the past tense this refers to Bx.18.40-3. Hm and beta4 have past tense, as does Cx. Note also the past tense of F's named. The best beta mss. have the present tense as in the a-verse, and this might be a Bx error. hym ihesus
Patriarkes & prophetes · prophecyed bifore
Ne none so nedeful to nempne · by nyȝte ne by daye
To be called a kniȝte is faire · for men shal knele to hym
And of hardynesse of herte · & of hendenesseBx.19.31: hendenesse: CO add bothe (Cf. F's also). Neither is supported by Cx.
To make lordes of laddesBx.19.32: of laddes: Supported by Cx, against Cr or ladyes and HmGF and ladys. · of londe þat he wynneth
And þo þat bicome crysten · by conseille of þe baptis[m]eBx.19.38: þe baptisme: An obvious error in Bx, corrected in L to baptiste as in Cx. F smooths by dropping þe. Hm omits 38b-39a.
Aren frankeleynes freBx.19.39: fre: OF as well as Cx have & fre. men · þorw fullyng þat þei toke
And gentel men with ihesu · for Ihesus was yfolled
And conquerour of conquest · his lawes & his largeBx.19.43: KD, p. 133, scan this line aaa/bb, with two staves on conquerour; but its sense is also questionable. Schmidt (1995), taking the line to be dependent on l. 42, translates: "And (it befits) a conqueror to maintain and guard his laws and his munificence by virtue of his act of conquest" (p. 327). Yet it is only kings who, in the following ll. 46-7 "keep and defend" these people, as at Bx.20.258. The verbs are not applicable to a conqueror such as Christ here in ll. 50-62, for he carries "his laws and his munificence" into his newly conquered territory, binding some and freeing others at the Harrowing of Hell. It may be that something was lost at an early stage between 43a and 43b, leaving the line as it stands in Bx. Cx differs only by having his before conquest and the synonym layes for lawes.
And so ded Ihesus þe iewes · he iustified & tauȝte hem
Þo was he ihesus of iewes called · gentel prophete
And kynge of herBx.19.49: her: MCrF omit, but Cx has it. kyngdome · & croune bar of þornes
That he ne arosBx.19.52: ne aros: So L as in Cx; MCrW have naroos, HmG ne ros, O no roos and CF aros. & regned · and rauysshed helle
Bx.19.56-9: These four lines from F were omitted in beta, perhaps skipping from one paraph to the next. They are essential to the narrative and are confirmed by Cx, which offers corrections at several points. [¶ AndBx.19.56: And: F's & þanne is not supported by Cx. toke [Lucifer the lothelich]Bx.19.56: Lucifer the lothelich: As in Cx. F has lotthly lucifer. · þat lorde was of helle
And bonde [him] as [he is bounde]Bx.19.57: him as he is bounde: This is the reading of Cx (a few mss. omit him). F has the nonsensical his as his bondeman, though his might be emended to him. · with bondes of yren
Who was hardier þanne he · hisBx.19.58: his: So Cx; F has þat his. herte blode he shadde
To maken alle folke fre · þat folweth his laweBx.19.59: lawe: F has the plural, but Cx has sg.]
¶ And sith he [ȝiueth]Bx.19.60: ȝiueth: F's present is the reading of the X family of Cx and follows logically from folweth in the previous line. Beta's past tense, though supported by the P family, is perhaps prompted by its omission of lines 56-9, and he ȝaf in l. 54. For the appropriateness of the present "as referring to Christ's continuing grant of heaven to the just", see Schmidt (2008), 454. largely · alle his lele lyges
¶ Ac þe cause þat he cometh þus · with crosse of hisBx.19.63: crosse of his: So LWO. MCr have cros of þe, HmCG have cros of; F reads his cros of his. Cx is no guide, since the X family reads his cros and his and the P family croys and hus. passioun
Is to wissen vs þere-wyth · þat whan þatBx.19.64: þat whan þat: So beta. Cx has þat whan; F just has whan. we ben tempted
And cam to take mankynde · kynges and aungeles
¶ Kynges come after · kneled & offred
Mirre & moche golde · with-outen mercyBx.19.77: mercy: Evidently the reading of both Bx and Cx. Cr is naturally puzzled and alters to mede, as does the M corrector (overwriting muche gold). F, also dissatisfied, alters with-outen to with myche, and adds Ensens to complete the three gifts (as in l. 88). One C scribe, similarly motivated, begins Rechels Golde & myr. See Schmidt (2008), 454-5. askynge
Or any kynnes catel · but knowlechyngBx.19.78: knowlechyng: So apparently beta, though MCr have knoweliche, and G has past tense as in Cx. F has þey knowlechid, possibly representing alpha. hym soeuereigne
Bothe of sondeBx.19.79: sonde: Supported by Cx against londe in beta2. sonne & see · & sithenes þei went
In-to her kyngene kyth · by conseille of angelesBx.19.80: conseille of angeles: Supported by Cx against F's kennynge of an angel.
And there was þat worde fulfilled · þe which þow ofBx.19.81: þow of: As Cx. F's first þou is probably motivated by alliteration with ful-fyld. speke
And al þe witte of þe worlde · was in þo þre kyngesBx.19.84: kynges: Supported by Cx against F's þynges.
Resoun & riȝtfulnesseBx.19.85: riȝtfulnesse: So LC. Though C mss. are split, this is evidently the reading of Cx. All other B mss. have riȝtwisnesse / rightuousnes, which may, of course, be right, even if not archetypal. In l. 90 below Riȝtwisnesse is secure and supported by Cx and it may have prompted scribes to adopt it here. See Schmidt (2008), 455. · & reuth þei offred
¶ That o kynge cam with resoun · keuered vnder sense
Þe secounde kynge sitthe · sothlicheBx.19.89: sitthe sothliche: Cr has sothly sithens he, as does M, with he added as an alteration. F also has he, as does the P family of C, but the X family is without it. There is no metrical need for the pronoun, since -liche is disyllabic. offred
Riȝtwisnesse vnder red golde [·] resouns felaweBx.19.90: F drops ll. 90b and 91a.
And resoun to riche goldeBx.19.92: riche golde: Clearly an error (since justice is likened to gold), but the reading of both Bx and Cx. F rewrites the a-verse and W drops the line altogether. Schmidt (1995) conjectures richels, "incense", calling this "one of the stronger indications that B1 was the basis of the C revision" (p. 405). · to riȝte & to treuthe
[Erthe]licheBx.19.96: Ertheliche: F is supported by Cx and by superior sense. Beta's Thre yliche, though possible, appears likely to be a misreading. honest þinges · wasBx.19.96: was: LF only, but supported by Cx. Other B mss. have were. For other examples of pl. was preserved by L and alpha, see l. 47 and note to Bx.17.11. offred þus at ones
Was neyther kynge ne conquerour · til he gan toBx.19.99: gan to: Certainly Bx, though Cx has alliterating comsed. wexe
In þe manere of a man · & þat by moche sleight
As it bicometh a conquerour · to konneBx.19.101: konne: F's knowe is not supported by Cx. many sleightes
And so did ihesu in his dayes · who-so had tyme toBx.19.103: had tyme to: Certainly Bx, though Cx has alliterating durste. telle it
Sum-tyme he suffred · & sum-tyme he hydde hym
As kynde is of a conquerour · so comsed ihesu
Water in-to wyn tournedBx.19.111: Water in-to wyn tourned: So beta. F has he turnede at the end of the previous line, with some support from Cx where the a-verse is Turned watur into wyn. Perhaps the standard prose order of F and Cx is more likely to be scribal, as argued by RK, p. 123. For the contrary view see Schmidt (2008), 455. · as holy writ telleth
And þere bigan god · of his grace toBx.19.112: to: F's omission, shared with beta4, is not supported by Cx. dowel
BotheBx.19.116: Bothe: Apparently beta, though omitted by WHmF to avoid the repetition. Most of the X family of C have it, though the others omit. to lered & to lewed · to louye owre enemys
So atte festeBx.19.117: atte feste: WHm have at þat feeste, as do the majority of C mss. firste [·] as I bifore tolde
And þo was he cleped & called [·] nouȝt holyBx.19.119: holy: This is the beta reading. Yet CrF have onely, and M is altered to that reading, agreeing with Cx. On the face of it, onely does not give appropriate sense, since Langland's scheme is that Jesus was not called Christ until he became a conqueror. Kane (2005) interprets onely as an adj. "peerless", but see Barney (2006), 121, who conjectures nouȝt cryst but onely Ihesu, "not Christ but rather Jesus". The sense of holy is straightforward, even if it reads like a line-filler, to introduce a long dip into the b-verse. For further discussion see Burrow (2009), 90-1. cryst but Ihesu
Þat she furste & formest · ferme shuldeBx.19.122: ferme shulde: F reverses the order, as does Cx. RK, p. 123, note this as "variation to prose order". bilieue
He wrouȝt þat bi no witte · but þorw worde one
And fedde with two fisshes · & with fyue loues
Þus he conforted carfulBx.19.130: carful: Supported by Cx against CrF þe carefull. · & cauȝte a gretter name
For defe þorw his doynges · & dombe speke [& herde]Bx.19.132: & dombe speke & herde: F supported by Cx (though mss. XYU have he for &). Beta has to here & dombe speke he made, imposing a more obvious order and perhaps not recognising speke as a past tense form.
For þe dedes þat he did · fili dauid ihesusBx.19.135: fili dauid ihesus: This word order is supported by Cx.
For dauid was douȝtiestBx.19.136: douȝtiest: F and Cx supply the definite article. · of dedes in his tyme
The berdes þoBx.19.137: The berdes þo: Supported by Cx against beta4 (þat for þo) and F's revision to avoid berdes. songe · Saul interfecit mille · et dauid decem milia ·
To be kaisere or kynge · of þe kyngedome of iuda
¶ Where-ofBx.19.142: Where-of: F has Þerfore; Cx has Hereof. [hadde caiphas]Bx.19.142: hadde caiphas: So F and Cx. Beta reverses to prose order. enuye · & other of þeBx.19.142: other of þe: The beta reading; F has oþire konynge. Both could be additions to lengthen a short b-verse, since Cx has just other. iewes
AndBx.19.143: And: F (and Hm) omit, but beta is supported by Cx. forto doun hym to deth · day & nyȝte þei casten
Þat þat blessed body · of burieles shulde riseBx.19.148: shulde rise: The word-order, reversed in WHm, is supported by Cx. For rise, Bx may have read arise as in MCr supported by Cx. F has vp ryse.
And his moder Marie · þus men bifore demedBx.19.150: demed: Secure for Bx, though Cx has deuyned.
¶ The knyȝtes þat kepten itBx.19.151: it: Supported by Cx. Beta4 reads hym, and Hm is altered to that reading, following on from l. 147. · biknewe[n]Bx.19.151: biknewen: F agrees with Cx. Beta, having lost the final syllable of the verb, provides the long dip by adding a pronoun, thus anticipating the clause of the next line. hem-seluen
Þat angeles & archangeles · ar þe day spronge
Come knelynge [·] to þeBx.19.153: þe: F and Cx have þat. corps & songenBx.19.153: & songen: In beta this is followed by cristus resurgens, but both F and Cx postpone the Latin to the start of the following line. F characteristically supplies konyngly to fill out a short b-verse and provide alliteration. But the caesura follows knelynge, though all B scribes take it to follow corps. This is the reading of Cx, with F providing crucial, if characteristically "improved" support. Our argument is that both F and beta reacted to the short line with its uncertain placement of the caesura: F added the adverb konyngly to provide b-verse alliteration, and beta took the Latin from the next line, dropping the detached b-verse of l. 154 as a consequence, perhaps taking it as a scribal gloss on the Latin. See note to next line.
[Cristus resurgens · and he ros after]Bx.19.154: Cristus resurgens · and he ros after: See note to previous line. Beta has taken the Latin as the end of the line above, and perhaps assumed the English to be a scribal gloss, thus losing this whole line. But and he ros after is necessary to the narrative: "after that he rose, true man ...". F offers the reading of Cx with characteristic elaboration, extending the Latin quote and adding the adverb a-noon. For F's he, Cx reads it; see note to l. 151.
Verrey man bifor hem alle · & forth with hem ȝedeBx.19.155: ȝede: In L the scribe has inserted he, bringing it into line with other beta mss. that have lost he in the line above, but Bx was probably without it, as suggested by the agreement of F and Cx.
¶ The iewes preyed hem peesBx.19.156: pees: F and Cx read of pees. In view of the variations of the b-verse in both F and Cx (see next note), we follow beta throughout the line. · & bisouȝte þe knyȝtesBx.19.156: & bisouȝte þe knyȝtes: F supplies alliteration with alle þo propre knyghtis, but this has no support from Cx, which reads & preyed þo knyhtes, suggesting that Bx may have avoided the repetition of the verb.
Goynge toward galile · in godhed &Bx.19.160: &: F and the X family of C repeat the preposition in, but beta and the P family omit it. manhed
Sic oportet cristum pati & intrare &c ·Bx.19.164-5: These two lines are omitted by F but are in Cx.
For þatBx.19.165: þat: MWHmCO supply a second þat; only LCrG are without it (the line is lost in F). A few C mss. also have þat þat, but it seems clear that Cx had þat. wommen witeth · may nouȝte wel be conseille
¶ Peter parceyued alBx.19.166: al: Inserted by the L scribe and omitted by MCr, but supported by Cx. þis · & pursued after
Bothe iames & Iohan · Ihesu forBx.19.167: for: Secure for Bx, but not in Cx. to seke
Tadde & ten mo · with Thomas of ynde
To peter & to his aposteles · and seyde pax vobis
Deus meus & dominus meusBx.19.176: Deus meus & dominus meus: CrF reverse the nouns to the order of John 20.28 perhaps as a correction of Bx. Cf. lorde ... god in the next line. Cx also has the Vulgate order. F's additional b-verse gives a good line, but has no support from Cx.
Thow art my lorde I bileue · god lorde ihesuBx.19.177: F's b-verse is not supported by Cx.
Þow deydest & deth þoledest · and deme shalt vs alleBx.19.178: F's variants are not supported by Cx.
And now art lyuynge & lokyngeBx.19.179: F's a-verse is not supported by Cx. · & laste shalt euere
¶ Crist carped þanne · and curteislich seyde
And blessed mote þeiBx.19.183: þei: Beta evidently had þei alle, obscuring the parallel with the previous a-verse, but GF are supported by Cx. be · in body & in soule
Beati qui non viderunt [& crediderunt]Bx.19.186: & crediderunt: Hm, beta4 and F are supported by Cx. It may be, of course, that scribes expanded beta's abbreviation of the quotation.
¶ And whan þis dede was done · dobest he tauȝteBx.19.187: tauȝte: Neither beta or F took sone is supported by Cx, which reads thouhte. But tauȝte makes excellent sense; see Burrow (2009), 93 n. 15.
And ȝaf Pieres power · and pardoun he graunted
To alle manereBx.19.189: manere: The majority of C mss. read maner of, as do CrCF, but the best texts of the X family read maner. F commonly expands to manere of, as in the following line. men · mercy & forȝyfnes
Hym myȝte men toBx.19.190: Hym myȝte men to: LC are supported by the best mss. of the X family of C. Other scribes in both traditions take various actions to avoid a construction they fail to understand, as do KD (pp. 120-1) and RK (pp. 134-5). But ll. 188-90 mean: "He gave Piers power, and granted pardon, mercy and forgiveness to all sorts; [granted] him power to absolve men of all kinds of sins." For an interpretation of the archetypal reading see Barney (2006), 128. assoille · of alle manereBx.19.190: manere: F again has manere of, as do CrG, not supported by Cx. synnes
In couenant þat þei come · & knewlecheBx.19.191: knewleche: The past tense in WHm is actually the reading of Cx, though a few C mss. have the present, as Bx clearly does. to paye
To pieres pardon þe plowman · redde quod debes
¶ Anone after an heigh · vp in-to heuene
AndBx.19.198: And: LG have And wil, without support from Cx. rewarde hym riȝte wel · þat reddit quod debet
And what persone payeth it nouȝt · punysshen he þinkethBx.19.200: Cx offers no support for F's b-verse.
And demen hem at domes-daye · bothe quikke & dedBx.19.201: Again F has a unique b-verse, which is presumably designed to offer a more regular alliterative pattern.
[¶]Bx.19.204: ¶: The paraph is in WHmCF, and is entirely appropriate. Þus conscience of crist · & of þe crosse carped
One spiritus paraclitus · to Pieres & toBx.19.206: to (2): Not in F; beta has the support of most C mss. his felawes
In lyknesse of a liȝtnynge · heBx.19.207: he: Omitted in some C mss., but none support F's &. lyȝte on hem alle
[¶]Bx.19.209: ¶: In L there is an unrubricated paraph marker, missed because the scribe failed to leave a line-space. M has a line-space and HmC a paraph. I wondred what þat was · & wagged conscience
And was afered ofBx.19.210: of: So beta (F out). Cx has for. the lyȝte · for in fyres lyknesse
¶ Quod conscience & kneled · þis is crystes messager
And cometh fro þe grete god · &Bx.19.213: &: So beta, but dropped by F and Cx. grace is his name
And þanneBx.19.218: þanne: Dropped by F but supported by the X family of C. The P family begins Tho. bigan grace · to go with piers plowman
Tresore to lyue by · to her lyues endeBx.19.222: Beta4 omits 222b-231a by eyeskip.
For antecryst & his · al þe worlde shal greue
Shullen come & be curatoures · ouer kynges & erlisBx.19.227: erlis: F's knyghtis has no support from Cx.
And gaf eche man a grace · to gyeBx.19.232: gye: As in Cx. CrW have gide; beta4 reads go. with hym-seluen
That ydelnesse encombre hym nouȝt · envyeBx.19.233: envye: F and Cx have ne envyȝe. ne pryde
¶ SomeBx.19.235: Some: Secure for Bx. The X family of C reads Som men, the P family To somme men (cf. Cr). he ȝaf wytte · with wordes to shewe
Witte to wynne her lyflode withBx.19.236: The a-verse is revised in Cx, avoiding the repetition of witte. · as þe worlde asketh
¶ And some he kenned crafte · & kunnynge of syȝte
With sellyng & buggynge · her bylyfBx.19.241: bylyf: "subsistence". MCr, Hm (altered) and F read liflode. Many C scribes also have difficulty with the word. to wynne
And some he lered to laboureBx.19.242: laboure: Beta drops 242b and 243a through eyeskip (laboure ... labour). F is supported by Cx. [· on londe and on water
And lyue by þat labour] · a lele lyf & aBx.19.243: a (2): Omitted by beta4 and F, but supported by Cx. trewe
And somme he tauȝte to tilie · to dyche & to theccheBx.19.244: thecche: Beta4 has hegge, F has þresche, both probably misreadings. Most C mss. read to teche and to coke, but some make the obvious correction of teche to theche. See KD, pp. 174-5; RK, p. 125.
To wynne with her lyflode · by lore of his techyngeBx.19.245: Cx has an entirely different line here.
And some to dyuyne &Bx.19.246: &: M's and to is shared with some of the X family of C. diuide · noumbres to kenne
And some to compas craftilyBx.19.247: And some to compas craftily: Cx omits some and craftily. · & coloures to make
And some to se & to saye · what shulde bifalle
Bothe of wel & of wo · telle it or it felleBx.19.249: telle it or it felle: In Cx the b-verse is and be ywaer bifore.
¶ And some to ryde & toBx.19.251: ryde & to: Supported by the P family of C, while Hm and beta4 have ryde and summe to as in the X family. F's rekne & has no support. recoeureBx.19.251: recoeure: So L; cf. F's rekewre. See MED recuren (Lat recurare), formally different from MED recoveren (OFr), as in the other mss. · þat vnriȝtfullyBx.19.251: vnriȝtfully: Supported by Cx against wrongfully in W. The odd riȝtfully in Hm perhaps reflects puzzlement with the ironic reference to foluyles lawes in l. 253. was wonne
Bx.19.253: L alone has a paraph at the top of the page. Presumably it was meant to precede And in the next line.And fecchen it fro fals men · with foluyles lawes
[¶]Bx.19.254: ¶: The paraph, misplaced at the head of the previous line in L, is supported by WHm. Cf. the parallels in ll. 235, 240 and 251; though apparently not ll. 242 (W only), 244 and 246 (WHm only). And some he leredBx.19.254: lered: CrHmGF read lerned, a common variation; cf. e.g. Bx.1.148, 153, and l. 256 below. C mss. also vary. to lyue · in longynge to ben hennes
In pouerte & in p[acie]nceBx.19.255: pacience: HmF are supported by Cx, though three C mss. read penaunce. The beta reading must be penaunce, so how did Hm come by the right reading? Both penaunce and pacience are frequently collocated with pouerte; cf. especially Bx.14.231 and 19.67. · to preye for alle crystene
And alle he lered to be lele · & eche a crafte loue other
Þinketh alleBx.19.260: alle: F has alle now. The line is omitted by beta4. quod grace · þat grace cometh of my ȝifte
Loke þat none lakke other · but loueth alleBx.19.261: alle: Not in Cx. as bretheren
¶ And whoBx.19.262: who: Cx reads he. þat moste maistries can · be myldest of berynge
And after craftes conseille · clotheth ȝow & fede
For I make Pieres þeBx.19.265: þe: GF are without it. C mss. vary. plowman · my procuratour & my reve
My proworBx.19.267: prowor: "overseer". Supported by Cx, though some scribes stumble over it. & my plowman · Piers shal ben on erthe
And for to tulye treuthe · a teme shal he haue
¶ Grace gaue Piers a teme · foureBx.19.269: foure: W supplies of, as does the P family of C. gret oxen
And ioigned to hem one Iohan · most gentil of alle
¶ AndBx.19.274: And: F has & ȝit; Cx has And sethe. grace gaue pieres · of his goodnesseBx.19.274: gaue pieres · of his goodnesse: The word-order in F, of his goodnesse / gaf peers is supported by Cx. It is perhaps a revision, but could be an error in Cx, or in beta influenced by l. 269. See RK, p. 123, who adopt the beta reading. foure stottis
Al þat his oxen eryed · þey to harweBx.19.275: harwe: MCrF supply it, as do a couple of C mss. after
On hyȝte Austyne · & ambrose an other
Wyth two [aithes]Bx.19.280: aithes: This is the reading of Cx. MED eithe (OE egþe, "harrow") records no other instance. F preserves it in the form hayȝtes. Beta and some C mss. have the much easier synonym harwes, picked up from the verb in the previous line. þat þei hadde · an olde & a newe
Id est vetus testamentum & nouumBx.19.281: nouum: F's addition of testamentum has no support from Cx.
ÞatBx.19.288: Þat: LMCrCG are supported by Cx against And in WHm, To in O, and For he in F. cast for to kepeBx.19.288: kepe: So Bx, though Cx has kele, "cool". a crokke · toBx.19.288: to (2): F and Cx read &. saueBx.19.288: saue: F repeats keepe to strengthen the aaa/xx alliteration, as do two C scribes. þe fatte abouen
Shulde neuere mete ne [myschief]Bx.19.291: myschief: i.e. starvation. Beta is understandably puzzled and replaces with mochel drynke. F is supported by Cx. · make hym to swelle
Ne sholde no scorner ne scoldeBx.19.292: ne scolde: F and Cx omit, to the detriment of the alliteration. · oute of skyl hym brynge
Ne wynnynge ne weltheBx.19.293: welthe: W's wele is not supported by Cx. Beta4 drops the line. · of wordeliche ricchesse
Ne no mete in his mouth · þat maister Iohan spiced
And who-so eet of þat seed [·] hardy wasBx.19.298: was: The beta reading is supported by Cx. WHm have was he; F has he was. eure
Myȝte no lesynge[s] ne lyereBx.19.300: lesynges ne lyere: Only L has sg. lesynge, which could nevertheless be right. For ne, F reads of. C mss. have instead lyare with lesynges, though X and three other mss. have sg. lesynge. · ne losse of worldely catel
And pl[e]yethBx.19.303: pleyeth: "plead in court", MED pleien v. (2), from ple. LCr playeth is a misunderstanding of the uncommon verb. F has the easier and unambiguous verb pleted. Cx has plede, which could be either present or past tense. See RK, p. 123 and n. 42; Barney (2006), 151. al with pacyence · & parce michi domine
And coueredBx.19.304: couered: CrCGF have the present tense, but Cx has the past. hym vnder conseille · of catoun þe wyse
And he þat eet of þat seed · shulde be euereBx.19.307: euere: Cx has euene. trewe
With god &Bx.19.308: With god &: F's & of god is not supported by Cx. nouȝt agast · but of gyle one
May nouȝte ben aspyed · forBx.19.310: for: Cx has thorw. spiritus iusticie
¶Bx.19.311: ¶: LWHm have a paraph, not entirely appropriately in the middle of the account of the fourth seed. That it was in beta at least is further suggested by M's misplacement of a paraph marker at the next line, which is at the top of the leaf. Spiritus iusticie · spareth nouȝte to spilleBx.19.311: KD, p. 119, and RK, p. 133, detect misdivision and padding in this and the next two lines in both Bx and Cx.
Hem þat ben gulty · & forto correcteBx.19.312-13: Among C mss., X has "Hem þat ben gulty · and forto corecte the kyng / And the kyng falle in any a gulte", while P divides the line after corecte.
Þe Kynge ȝif he falleBx.19.313: falle: F's a-verse has no support from Cx. See previous note. · in gylte or in trespasse
For counteth he no kynges wrattheBx.19.314: F's a-verse has no support from Cx. · whan he in courte sitteth
Noither of duke ne of deth · þat he ne dede þeBx.19.316: þe: So LF and Cx. Dropped by beta1. lawe
He dede equite to alle · euene-forth his powereBx.19.318: powere: Cx reads knowyng.
Wyth oldeBx.19.320: olde: F twice adds the definite article in the a-verse, without support from Cx. lawe and newe lawe · þat loue myȝte wexe
Amonge þ[ise]Bx.19.321: þise: Uncertain. F is supported by Cx. LMCrCG have þe; WHm have þo. foure vertues · and vices destroye
¶Bx.19.322: ¶: The paraph is appropriate, though indicated in LM only. F begins &, but For is supported by Cx. For comunelich in contrees · kammokes & wedes
And so don vices · vertues worthyBx.19.324: worthy: In Cx this reads forþi quod Peres, and it is clear that Bx has misdivided the line. F characteristically expands a short line.
Ordeigne þe an hous PiersBx.19.328: Piers: So Cx. Probably beta read quod Piers (picked up from the following line), retained by LMCr, with WHm making an obvious correction by dropping quod, and beta4 dropping both words. F moves Peers to the beginning of the line. · to herberwe in þi cornes
¶ And grace gaue hym þe crosse · withBx.19.331: with: F's & is not supported by Cx. þe croune of þornes
That cryst vpon caluarye · for mankynde on pynedBx.19.332: on pyned: Beta is supported by Cx against F's kawhte.
He made a maner morter · &Bx.19.334: &: F omits; beta is supported by Cx. mercy it hiȝte
And of al holywrit · he madeBx.19.337: made: Supported by Cx. F substitutes wroghte to alliterate with writ. a rofe after
A carte hyȝte cristendome · to carye [home] pieresBx.19.340: home pieres: As in Cx. Beta drops home while F drops pieres (but supplies it in the next line), perhaps both simplifying for metrical reasons. sheues
[And þe [londe] of bileue · þe lawe of holychirche]Bx.19.344: The line is preserved only by F, but it is in Cx. For londe as in Cx, F reads loore, but cf. londe of longynge Bx.11.8. F also supplies & to begin the b-verse, but Cx does not have it. There seems nothing to have prompted beta's omission, except that the line was at the end of the paragraph, so it may be an addition in C.
¶ Now is Pieres to þe plow · &Bx.19.345: &: Secure for Bx, but not in Cx. pruyde it aspyde
And gadered hym a grete oest · to greuenBx.19.346: to greuen: So LMC, and presumably beta. W has for to greven, and Hm for greuyn. CrG, reading to greue him, misunderstand the construction with the object in the next line. F, making the same mistake, has greven hym. Cx reads simply greue(n), with a few mss. adding to or hym. It is likely enough that Bx read greuen, with scribes reacting to the short b-verse. he þinketh
Blowe hem doune & breke hem · & bite atwo þe moresBx.19.348: þe mores: "roots". F rewrites the b-verse as & beetyn doun here maneres. The P family of C alters to rotes.
And sent forth surquydou[re]sBx.19.349: surquydoures: "arrogant one" (for this form in F see MED surquidrous), which both F and Cx interpret as plural (but cf. l. 351), and so read sergawntys in place of seriaunt. Beta has the commoner form surquidous. See Schmidt (2008), 460. · his seriaunt of armes
And tolde hem tydynges · þat tyne þei shulde þe sedes
That Pieres þere hadde ysowen · þe cardynal vertuesBx.19.353: In C, the X family begins That sire Peres sewe. The P family ends the previous line with sholde and therefore begins The seedes that syre Peers sewe, a satisfactory a-verse. Bx must also have been defective as a result of mislineation, and perhaps the a-verse read That Piers sewe, with beta and F expanding in different ways. See Schmidt (2008), 460.
Confessioun & contricioun · and ȝowre carte þeBx.19.356: þe: F has of; most C mss. omit. byleue
Shal be coloured so queyntly · and keuered vnder owreBx.19.357: owre: So L and most beta mss. Cr has your, perhaps from the line above, while WF omit, perhaps to shorten a heavy b-verse. There is the same variation in C mss., with most reading oure. sophistrie
Þat consci[ence]Bx.19.358: conscience: L reads conscioun, with the line marked for correction. Cx supports beta's version of the line; F tries to improve sense and alliteration. shal nouȝte · knowe by contricioun
Ne no maner marchaunt · þat with moneye deleth
Where he wynne wyth riȝteBx.19.361: riȝte: CrF follow this with or, but it is not in Cx. · with wronge or with vsure
¶ With suche coloures & queyntiseBx.19.362: & queyntise: Supported by Cx against MCr and coueityse and F y-peyntid. · cometh pryde yarmed
¶ Quod conscience to alle crystene þo · my conseille is toBx.19.366: to (2): Cx has instead we or þat we. F's b-verse is y conseyle þe to wende. wende
Hastiliche in-toBx.19.367: in-to: Beta is supported by the P family of C, but F's to has support from the X family. vnyte · & holde we vs þere
And preye we þat a pees were · in Piers berne þe plowman
Bx.19.370: O resumes. To gone agayne pryde · but grace were with vs
And cryde & comaunded · al crystene peple
For toBx.19.373: For to: Secure for Bx; Cx begins To. deluen a dycheBx.19.373: a dyche: LMWG, and so presumably the beta reading, supported by the X family of C. HmCOF have instead and dike/dych (Cr and digge). The P family of C has and dike a deop diche. · depe abouteBx.19.373: aboute: Beta is supported by the X family of C. F's alle abowte is supported by the P family. vnite
That holycherche stode in vniteBx.19.374: in vnite: This makes sense as a pun, "united". F's strong develops the sense of this, looking forward to l. 376 and adding alliteration with stoode. Cx reads instead in holinesse, alluding to the moat that is to be dug, but this is perhaps picked up from RK.21.380 (= Bx.19.392). · as it a pyle [were]Bx.19.374: were: L omits, with the line marked for correction. For Bx a pyle were, Cx reads were a pyle.
And make a muche mote · þat myȝte ben a strengthe
Lyeres and questmongeresBx.19.381: Lyeres and questmongeres: Cx has instead A sysour and a sompnour. For questmongere see Alford (1988), 124. · þat were forsworen ofte
And for syluer were forswore · sothely þei wist itBx.19.383: F's puzzling b-verse has no support from Cx.
¶ Þere nas no crystene creature · þat kynde witte hadde
Saue schrewes one · suche as I spak ofBx.19.385: Cx drops this line. F characteristically expands a short line.
Somme þorw bedes byddynge · and someBx.19.387: some: In beta and the P family of C, but not in F or the X family. þorwBx.19.387: þorw (2): Secure for Bx, but Cr and Cx have bi, carrying the b-verse alliteration. pylgrymageBx.19.387: pylgrimage: Only W has the plural. It is, however, the reading of Cx.
¶ And þanne welledBx.19.389: welled: The reading walmede in F suggests that Bx might have had the form walled (MED wallen v.(1)), as in Cx. water · for wikked werkes
Clennesse of þeBx.19.391: of þe: WHm repeat out of from the line above. comune · & clerkes clene lyuynge
[¶]Bx.19.393: ¶: The paraph is in WHm, with a line-space in M. I care nouȝte quod conscience · þough pryde come nouthe
Þat han laboured lelly · al þis lente tyme
Here is bred yblessed · and goddes body þer-vnderBx.19.397: þer-vnder: F, reading þere-Inne, is perhaps uncomfortable with the theological use, MED ther-under 2 (b).
Grace þorw goddes worde · gaue PieresBx.19.398: Pieres: Cx has Peres the ploughman. power
In helpe of her hele · onys in a moneth
[Or]Bx.19.406: Or: "Or, in other words, ...". F agrees with Cx on much the harder reading. Probably beta altered it, as do a few C mss. Beta has support for the rest of the a-verse. vche man forȝyue other · and þat wyl þe pater noster
Bi ihesu for al ȝowre ianglynge · withBx.19.410: with: Cx has aftur, as in the next line. F's form of the line is not supported. spiritus iusticie
Ne after conscience by cryste · whil I canBx.19.411: whil I can: C mss. vary between y couth and for y couthe. F's b-verse is not supported. selle
Bothe dregges & draffe · and drawe itBx.19.412: it: This is the beta reading; F's b-verse is too different to reveal alpha. O makes a sensible correction by dropping the pronoun (since the object is in the following line), and thereby agrees with Cx. Cf. l. 346 for a similar instance of scribes reading line by line. at on hole
Þikke ale and þinne ale · forBx.19.413: for: Not in F. Cx has and. Perhaps both for and and are scribal expansions. þat is my kynde
Of spiritus iusticie · þow spekest moche an ydelBx.19.415: F rewrites the b-verse to increase the alliteration.
¶ Caytyue quod conscience · cursed wrecche
Vnblessed artow brewere · but if þe godBx.19.417: þe god: F reverses to god þe, agreeing with the P family of C. helpe
But þow lyue by loreBx.19.418: lore: F adds the definite article, as do some of the P family of C. · of spiritus iusticie
But conscience þe comune fedeBx.19.420: þe comune fede: "feed the people". The beta reading (with GO corrupting fede to seede). Beta is supported by the P family of C. F's reading be þyn comoun foode makes good sense addressed to the brewer, but it is exactly paralleled in only one C ms. The X family is divided, with one group reading þy comune fode and the other be comune fode. KD and RK emend to be þy comunes; see the discussion in RK, p. 126, where they argue that the adj. comoun "did not seem to have been used in the exact sense required, namely `customary, day-to-day'". For further evaluation of the readings, see Barney (2006), 167. See notes to next line. · and cardynale vertues
Leue itBx.19.421: it: F's me has no support from Cx. wel þei benBx.19.421: þei ben: The beta reading, referring to the people (comune, l. 420), treated as pl. also in l. 465. F has þou art addressed to the brewer, continuing the sense of its previous line. Cx's has instead we been, which avoids any difficulty. See note to l. 420. loste · bothe lyf & soule
¶ Thanne is manyBx.19.422: many: Among B mss. only L omits a, but L has the support of most C mss. man ylost [·] quod a lewed vycory
Man to me þat me couthBx.19.424: to me þat me couth: F simplifies to þat cowde me, but beta is supported by Cx (although the P family drop the second me). telle · of cardinale vertues
Or þat acounted conscience · at aBx.19.425: at a: Beta is supported by some C mss., where at is perhaps added to fill out a b-verse shortened by loss of the final phrase (see next note). However, Cx seems to have been without the preposition, as F. cokkes fether or an hennesBx.19.425: or an hennes: Omitted by F and some C mss., but in Cx. See previous note.
For her pelure andBx.19.428: her pelure and: Lost in F, but supported by Cx. her palfreyes mete · & piloures þat hem folweth
Þe comune clamat cotidie · eche a man toBx.19.429: to: WHmF have til, but it is not supported by Cx. other
Þe contre is þe curseder · þatBx.19.430: þat: F shares the easier þere with the P family of C. Note repeated þere in the next line. cardynales come Inne
And þere they ligge and lenge mosteBx.19.431: moste: In MCrCGO the punctuation follows lenge, with moste as adj. qualifying lecherye, but with the punctuation in LWHmF it is an adverb. · lecherye þere regneth
Bx.19.432: Note that WHmCF have a paraph.For-þi quod þis vicori · be verrey god I wolde
But in her holynesse · holdenBx.19.434: holden: Supported by most C mss. against past tense helden in CrWCG. hem stille
At Auynoun amonge iuwesBx.19.435: iuwes: Beta has þe iuwes, but the definite article is easily added and the generalised sense as in F and Cx is appropriate. · cum sancto sanctus eris &c
Or in Rome as here rule wole · þe reliques to kepe
And grace þat þow gredest so of · gyourBx.19.438: gyour: F's sholde be gyȝere is not supported by Cx. The P family has were gyour. of alle clerkes
And PieresBx.19.439: Pieres: F moves with his newe plowh to the b-verse and adds plowman for the alliteration, but it is not in Cx. with his newe plow · & eke with his oldeBx.19.439: eke with his olde: F has þe olde (though with also in the a-verse). In C the X family has also his olde; the P family ends the line hus olde boþe.
Emperour of al þe worlde · þat alle men were cristene
And wel worth piers þe plowman · þat [pur]suethBx.19.443: pursueth: Both Bx and Cx. In L it is altered by erasure to sueth. god in doyng
Qui pluit super iustos · & iniustos at ones
As bryȝte as to þe best man · &Bx.19.446: &: Evidently the beta reading, though CrW agree with F and Cx in reading or, which is equally possible. to þe beste woman
[So blessed be Pieres þe plowman · þat peyneth hym to tulye]Bx.19.450: This line from Cx (RK.21.437) is not in any ms. of B. We presume it must have been in Bx to account for the loss in F of ll. 448-50 by eye-skip on peers plowhman peyneþ hym to tylye. It is important to note that three C mss. make the same error. On this argument, beta retained ll. 448-9 but skipped the following line thinking he had already copied it. So KD, p. 90 ("omission caused by homoteleuton").
As for a trewe tydy man · al tymes ylyke
And cleymeth bifor þe kynge · to be keper ouer crystene
Aȝeyne þe olde lawe & newe laweBx.19.459: newe lawe: So beta; F reads þe newe, losing the alliteration. C mss. have several variants. · as Luke [bereth] witnessBx.19.459: bereth witness: For the b-verse exactly as in F and Cx, see Bx.9.78 and 11.285, and cf. 2.38, 7.93, 10.367, 11.236, 11.263 etc. which all end "X bears witness". Beta has þer-of witnesseth.
Non occides michi vindictam &cBx.19.460: F's completion of the quotation is not supported by Cx.
It semeth by so ·Bx.19.461: Scribes show uncertainty about the placing of punctuation, with L having it after both semeth and so, F after so and hym-selue, and HmGO after hym-sylf. Our punctuation follows WMC. hym-self hadd hisBx.19.461: his: OF add owne to fill out a b-verse shortened by mispunctuation; see previous note. It is not in Cx. wille
That heBx.19.462: That he: Beta is supported by the P family of C with Þat he or Þat hym. F begins He; the X family begin He or Hym. ne reccheth riȝte nouȝte · of alBx.19.462: al: The reading of beta; F's b-verse is too much altered to be sure of the alpha reading. The X family of C does not have the word; the P group has al þe oþer, as does O. þe remenaunte
And tourne her witte to wisdome · & to weleBx.19.464: wele: The beta reading, supported by the X family of C. The P family has welþe, as do WF. For the reverse situation see l. 293. See RK, p. 126, who defend welþe on the grounds it is less likely in context. ofBx.19.464: of: Cx has instead for þe. F's b-verse is not supported. soule
But if þei sow[n]eBx.19.467: sowne: "relate to". F is supported by Cx. L's sowe is a simple misreading or mistranscription; the other beta mss. have forms of the verb "see". The verb is not used elsewhere in the B-text. as by syȝte · somwhat to wynnynge
Of gyle ne of gabbynge · gyue þei neuere tale
EcheBx.19.471: Eche: Beta is supported by the P family of C. The X family begins For vche, giving partial support to F's For euerey. man sotileth a sleight · synne toBx.19.471: to: F is supported by Cx. Beta reads forto for the metre, as do a few C mss., but synne is disyllabic. Cf. Bx.2.177, 18.241, and see Duggan (1990), 175. hyde
And coloureth it for a kunnynge · and a clene lyuynge
Conseilleth me by her acounte · & my clerkes wrytynge
¶Bx.19.477: ¶: Supported only by LM. With spiritus intellectus · they sekeBx.19.477: seke: Beta's reading makes excellent sense and provides ax/ax alliteration. F has tooken, which is the reading of the P family of C and a few of the X family, but the X family reading appears to be cote as in XYU, meaningless in context (for the verb, meaning "clothe", see RK.3.181). Others of the X family alter this to cutt or counte. Probably, then, toke is also a conjectural revision of a Cx error. It makes poor sense, and Kane (2005) unconvincingly interprets it as MED tuken in the sense "find fault with". For objections, see the discussion in Barney (2006), 181. þe reues rolles
And with spiritus fortitudinis · fecche [it] I woleBx.19.478: fecche it I wole: Apparently the beta reading, though L loses it (the line is marked for correction), and W adds after. F's reading is fanciful, but perhaps indicates dissatisfaction with a short b-verse. Cx has fecche hit wolle he null he. Schmidt (1995), 408 argues that Bx might have lost the last phrase, with the line then conjecturally repaired.
I am Kynge with croune · þe comune to reule
And holykirke & clergye · fro cursed men to defendeBx.19.481: to defende: Supported by Cx. The b-verse is shortened by OF (dropping to), and by WHm (reading fende / fonde).
Þere I may hastlokest it haueBx.19.483: hastlokest it haue: Although the P family of C follows the order of Hm, the variants of CrGF are not supported. · for I am hed of lawe
ForBx.19.484: For: Evidently the reading of Bx, though W And agrees with Cx. ȝe ben but membres · & I aboue alle
And what I take of ȝow two · I take it atteBx.19.487: atte: "at the", as usual in L. C mss. have at þe, at and of (cf. MCr). techynge
Of spiritus iusticie [·]Bx.19.488: L places the punctuation after I. for I iugge ȝow alle
So I mayBx.19.489: I may: Reversed by MCr, but supported by Cx. baldely be houseled · for I borwe neuere
¶ In condicioun quod conscience · þat þow konneBx.19.491: konne: The reading of most C mss. RK adopt the minority reading þe comune. defende
[Þat þou þine askyng haue ·]Bx.19.493: Þat þou þine askyng haue: "(and on condition) that you take what you want (in the way the law decrees)". Though this may seem acceptable as a restoration of the authorial B reading, it is harder to justify as the reading of Bx. However, the argument is this. The beta a-verse seems obviously scribal: it lacks alliteration, partially repeats the previous a-verse, and has no support from Cx, which has That thow haue al thyn askyng. This gives reasonable support for F's reading, except for non-alliterating lykyng. In fact the scribe has written the word over an erasure, and we suppose he substituted a synonym to avoid the repetition of asken in the b-verse. The reading of Bx may, of course, been exactly that of Cx, with F reordering and omitting al. See RK, p. 127. as þiBx.19.493: þi: CrOF have þe. C mss. are also split, with þe in the P family. lawe asketh
Omnia tua suntBx.19.494: tua sunt: F and Cx reverse the order. ad defendendum set non ad depredandum
And I awakned þere-with · & wrote as me mette