Passus quartus de visione vt supra
Cesseth sei[de]Bx.4.1: seide: The past tense in alpha and Hm is shared with AC. þe kynge · I suffre ȝow no lengere
¶ Nay bi criste quod conscience · congeye me for euereBx.4.4: for euere: This is secure for Bx, though A has rather, as does beta4, with F reading rather sone, presumably by contamination or by anticipation of the next line. The three best mss. of the X family of C have are, "sooner", but all others have rather.
Comaunde hym þat he come · my conseille to here
For he shal reule my rewme · and rede me þe besteBx.4.9: Following this line, O (supported by Cr23C2Y) has the line "Of Mede & of moo oþere . & what man schal hir wedde", adopted from AC but absent from Bx.
How þow lernest þe peple · lered and lewedeBx.4.11: lered and lewede: The reading of R (= alpha?) supported by Cx, and by seven A mss. Beta includes the definite article twice, presumably in response to a short b-verse. F has boþe ... & þe.
¶ I am fayne of þat forwarde · seyde þe freke þanne
And seide as þe kynge baddeBx.4.14: seide ... badde: F has tolde hym as þe kyng seide. Cx has sayde for both verbs. Ax has Seide ... sente. · and sithen toke his leue
¶ I shal arraye me to ride quod resoun [·] reste þe a whileBx.4.15: L omits punctuation, and its position varies in other mss. W and alpha have it after resoun, MO after ride.
And called catoun his knaue · curteise of speche
And lete warrok itBx.4.20: it: The reference is to the saddle securely fastened with girths. This is clearly the reading of Bx. Burrow (1990), 139-44, calls the text "hopelessly confused", and discusses the possibility of taking vppon in l. 19 as an adverb. Galloway (2006), 381 considers this further. Beta2 and GF smooth by altering it to him, as in AC. wel · with witty wordes gerthes
For he wil make wehe · tweyeBx.4.22: tweye: The form is supported by LMR; see Adams (2000), 176. er he be there
And resoun with hym ritte · rownynge togideres
Whiche maistries Mede · maketh on þis ertheBx.4.25: erthe: The reversed word-order in alpha is an error; both the alliterative scheme and the order in the revised line in Cx support beta.
Folwed hemBx.4.27: hem: The attestation of LMO + alpha, with support from AC, guides choice of this reading over CrWHmG hym. faste · hauedBx.4.27: haued: It looks as though Bx lost for þei before haued. The obvious omission is corrected, perhaps partly on the basis of Ax, in all but the two most reliable mss., LR. Note, however, that M, also independent at this stage, expands to for he, probably by conjecture. The line is marked for correction in L. to done
In þe cheker and atBx.4.28: and at: The reading of Bx is uncertain. L's and at has support from R's atte, and LR agreement is usually decisive. However, MGF have and, which could be the archetypal reading, expanded differently by other scribes. Yet Beta2 and CO are supported by Ax with and in (the line is not in C), and also by the same a-verse in Bx.P.93 (and RK.P.91). þeBx.4.28: þe (2): Not in MHmF. Most A mss. have neither instance of þe in the line. Cf. the same a-verse in Bx.P.93 (without either article) and RK.P.91 (where readings vary). chauncerie · to be discharged of þinges
And riden fast for resoun [·] shulde rede hem þe besteBx.4.29: Following the punctuation of CO + alpha. L has nothing and MWHm punctuate after shulde.
And bad resoun ride faste · and recche of her noither
¶ Ac þereBx.4.35: þere(1): "where"; beta2 and F have where. is loue and lewte · þei wil nouȝte come þere
Contricio & infelicitas in vijs eorum &c
Or as many capones · or for a seem of otes
For-þi resounBx.4.42: resoun: Alpha omits, losing the alliteration. lete hem ride · þo riche bi hem-seluen
[¶]Bx.4.44: ¶: Alpha's paraph finds support from the paragraph in Cr. And þanne resoun rode faste · þe riȝte heiȝe gate
And wordeden wel wyseli · a gret while togideres
And Margarete of hir maydenhode · maugre here chekis
I dar nouȝte for fere of hymBx.4.54: hym: Only WHm have hem (theym G). There is the same variation in A mss. · fyȝte ne chyde
He borwed of me bayard · heBx.4.55: he (2): Thus beta, against alpha + CrHm and. Most A mss. have the alpha reading, as does the P family of C, but the X family has the beta reading. We follow copy-text. brouȝte hym home neure
Ne no ferthynge þer-fore · for nauȝteBx.4.56: nauȝte: LM + alpha give this strong support for Bx against ought in all other mss. AC also have nouȝt. I couthe plede
ForstallethBx.4.58: Forstalleth: So beta and Ax; R has He forstalleth, and F & to for-staleþ (sic). Cx begins the line with And. my feyres · and fiȝteth in my chepynge
And breketh vp my bernes doreBx.4.59: bernes dore: So LWHmR, against berne dore in MCrF, and berne dores in GO. AC vary similarly. · and bereth aweye my whete
And taketh me but a taile · for ten quarteres of otesBx.4.60: of otes: Agreement of LR (together with WCO) suggests that this is perhaps the Bx reading, though since Ax and Cx have otes only, this could equally represent Bx.
Þat wronge was a wikked luftBx.4.64: luft: "evil person". This unusual nominal use (MED lift adj. 3(b)) provokes confusion and avoidance among the scribes. Cx simplifies to man. · and wrouȝte moche sorweBx.4.64: wrouȝte moche sorwe: Perhaps Cx inherited R's word order, muche sorwe wrouȝte, altering sorwe to wo for the alliteration.
And seide had I loue of my lordeBx.4.67: my lorde: Cr and Alpha omit, losing the alliteration. This heavy a-verse is Ax, but Cx drops þe kynge. þe kynge · litel wolde I recche
¶ Þo wanBx.4.69: wan: So LCR, as well as the parallel a-verse in A (K.4.53); Kane (2005) glosses "profited". M is corrected to wente, the reading of the other B mss. See Adams (2000), 181. F omits this and the next three lines. wisdome · and sire waryn þe witty
Who-so worcheth biBx.4.72: bi: Supported by Ax against the variants by my in MO and my in C. wille · wratthe maketh ofte
¶ Thanne wowed wronge · wisdome ful ȝerne
Bx.4.78: WHm and R have a paraph.Wisdome and witte þanne [·] wenten togideres
¶ Pees put forþ his hed · and his panne blody
To ouercome þe kynge · with catel ȝif þei myȝte
And late hym nouȝte þis seuene ȝere · seen his feet ones
BettereBx.4.94: Bettere: The beta reading, supported by AC against alpha's Þat bettere. is þat bote · bale adoun brynge
¶ Pitously pees þanne · prayed to þe kynge
So þat þe kynge assent · I can seye no bettere
For Mede hath made m[yn]Bx.4.105: myn: The alpha reading, supported by AC against beta's me. amendes · I may namore axe
¶ Nay quod þe Kynge þo · so me crystBx.4.106: cryst: So beta, against alpha's non-alliterating god. In Ax the b-verse is so god ȝiue me blisse (K.4.91); in Cx the line is revised to Nay by crist quod þe kyng for Consiences sake (RK.4.99). helpe
For loupe he so liȝtly · laughen he wolde
¶ Somme men redde Resoun þo · to haue reuthe on þat schrewe
Til lordes and ladies · louien alle treuthe
And haten al harlotrye · to heren itBx.4.117: it(1): So LCO and alpha, as well as the X family of C; erased in M, in line with beta2 + G, together with the P family of C. or to mouthen it
And childryn cherissyng · be chastyngBx.4.119: chastyng: "chastisement" (MED chastiinge); clearly Bx, with HmF chastised the easier reading though also that of Ax. Cx has chasted. with ȝerdes
And harlotes holynesse · be holden for an hyneBx.4.120: an hyne: lit. "servant", in context something of small consequence. R replaces it with nauȝte, F with vanyte. Beta is supported by Ax but Cx revises. For discussion see Galloway (2006), 405-6; Turville-Petre (2006), 233-4.
Til clerken coueitise be · to clothe þe pore and to fedeBx.4.121: to fede: Despite the scribal tendency to add to with an infinitive, the agreement of LR (+ CO) suggests that this is Bx, with other scribes dropping to from a b-verse that is already heavy. There is no parallel in A, and C is revised to be cloth for þe pore (RK.4.114).
And til prechoures prechyng · be preued on hem-seluen
¶ And til seynt Iames be souȝte · þere I shal assigne
And alle Rome-renneres · for robberes ofBx.4.130: of: So LMCOR, supported by Ax, revised in C. byȝende
Noyther graue ne vngraue · golde noither siluer
Vppon forfeture of þat fee · who-so fynt hymBx.4.133: hym: i.e. "if anyone catches him". Beta2 corrupts to it; A mss. vary between the two pronouns, while C mss., although split between hym and hem, effectively support Bx. at Douere
But ifBx.4.134: if: The agreement of LR and CrWCGO would suggest that this is from Bx, though MHmF without it are paralleled by AC. it be marchaunt or his man · or messagere with lettres
¶ And ȝet quod resoun bi þe Rode · I shal no reuthe haue
That I were kynge with crowne · to kepen a Rewme
Ne gete my grace [þorw]Bx.4.143: þorw: Alpha's preposition is supported by AC against beta's for. giftes · so me god saue
And ȝif ȝe worken it in werke · I wedde myne eres
Alle to construe þis clause · andBx.4.152: and: This has the support of LR and WHmC, though F reads al and MCrGO omit, presumably reacting to its oddity. In both A and C the b-verses are quite different. for þe kynges profit
¶ Waryn wisdome · wynked vppon Mede
I falle in floreines quod þatBx.4.158: þat: So beta, against alpha's þe. Either could be Bx. See KD, p. 143. freke · an faile speche ofte
And witt acorded þer-with · and comended his wordes
¶ Loue lete of hir liȝte · and lewte ȝitBx.4.163: ȝit: Beta is supported by Cx against wel in Hm and alpha. lasse
And seide it so heiȝe [·] þat al þe halle it herde
For þe moste comune of þat courte [·] called hire an hore
For ofte haue I quod heBx.4.171: he: F takes the form to be feminine, referring to Mede, and MHm alter to she, but the reference is obviously to the sheriff's clerk. · holpe ȝow atte barre
And ȝit ȝeue ȝe me neuere · þe worthe of a russhe
And gan wax wrothe with lawe · for Mede almoste had shent it
And deme ȝow bi þis day · as ȝe han deserued
And as mosteBx.4.183: moste: There seems nothing to choose between beta and alpha's alle except the scribal tendency to exaggerate. There is no parallel line in AC. folke witnesseth welBx.4.183: wel: R's a-verse presumably represents alpha, with F's as alle wyȝes witnesse an effective attempt to improve the alliteration. · wronge shal be demed
¶ Quod conscience to þe kynge · but þe comune wil assent
But if I reule þus ȝowre rewme · rende out my guttes
¶ And I assent [quod]Bx.4.190: quod: Support is strong from alpha + HmGO, together with Ax. M's seith is a correction. On the other hand, the alliterative pattern would support seith as in LCrWC. In C the line is rewritten to alliterate on /w/ (RK.4.183). þe kynge · by seynte Marie my lady
Be my conseille comen [·]Bx.4.191: L misplaces the punctuation after clerkis. of clerkis and of erlis
Ac redili resoun [·] þow shalt nouȝte ride fro me
¶ I am aredyBx.4.194: aredy: LMOR have this form; Cr has redy (as does Ax); WHmCGF have al redy. quod resoun · to reste with ȝow euere
So conscience be of owreBx.4.195: owre: M's yowre is paralleled in a number of A mss. conseille · I kepe no bettere
And I graunt quod the kynge · goddes forbode [he]Bx.4.196: he: R shares this reading with Ax. Both F (with þou) and beta (with it) miss the reference to Conscience. faile