fol. 1rI
PassusB prol
hic incipit Petrus P......lowman
de visione liber primus
G.1.0: The two lines of the heading are bracketed together on the right. The script is more formal than that used in the body of the text and the heading may have been added by WH. See Introduction I.12. Compare finitur visionem in the left hand margin on f.32v G.8.217.m.1.
InG.1.1: The <I> is in a different ink from that of the original transcription, and appears to have been added at the same time as the heading, and therefore probably by WH. See note to head. a someres seyson when soft was the sonne
I shoope me In srowdes as I a shepe were
In habyte as a heremyte vnholy off werkes
went wyde yn thys world wonders to here
& on a may mornyng on maluverne hylles
me befell a ferly off fayry In thoght
I was wery for-wandred & went me to rest
vndre a brood bank by G.1.8: A virgule has been added to separate the words by and a, which were originally written without an intervening space. The ink used is very similar to that used for the <u> to <v> changes and it therefore seems probable that this and other virgules may have been added by the original scribe (i.e. by hand1.1) as part of his later programme of corrections (see Introduction II.1.1 and II.1.1.3). a borne syde
and as I lay & leyned & loked vpon the waters
I slomered In-to a slepyng InG.1.10: The scribe altered In to Itt but then crossed through and rewrote as yt. yt sweyd so merye
then gan I to meten a meruvelouvs sweuvene
that I was In wyldernes wyst I neuere where
as I beheld In-to þe est on heygh to the sonne
I seyghe a touvr on a toft tryelyche y-maked
a depe dale byneth a dongeon thereynne
wyth depe dychys & derke & dredefuvll off syght
a fayre feld full off folke fond I þer-betwene
off all maner off men þe meyne & þe ryche
worchyng & wanderyng as þe world asketh
some puvtten theym to plogh / pledenG.1.20: The G Cr1 reading pleden could be a form of "played" (the reading of remaining B manuscripts) with northern loss of the dipthong, but it could also be read as the present tense of the verb "to plead" (="wrangle"?). full selde
In settyng & In sowyng swonken full harde
And wynnen that wasters In glotonye dystroyen
some puvtten theym to pryde & appareledG.1.23: Though not recorded as a G variant by Kane and Donaldson, the ampersand is definitely present, bringing G's reading into line with that of F and H. See George Kane and E. Talbot Donaldson, eds, Piers Plowman. The B Version: Will's Visions of Piers Plowman, Do-Well, Do-Better and Do-Best. An Edition in the Form of Trinity College Cambridge MS B.15.17, Corrected and Restored from the Known Evidence, with Variant Readings, rev. ed. (London: Athlone Press; Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1988). No other B manuscripts read & appareled (all lack "and"). theym therafter
In covntenance off clothyng comen dysgysed
In preyers & pennance puvtten þeim manye
for þe louve off ouvr lord lyuveden full streyte
In hope to hauve after heuven-rych blysse
& ankers & heremytes þat held þeim In þer selles
& couvetenG.1.29: In addition to the alteration of <u> to <v> in coueten, the loop of the first <e> has been re-outlined in brown ink. noght In contrey to cayren abowteG.1.29: Consideration of the scribe's usual practice suggests that the curl attached to the <t> of abowte is a residual <e> rather than an abbreviation mark.
For no lycorouvs lyuvelod theyrG.1.30: The <r> of theyr is in slightly darker ink and may be a later addition. Note that it takes up most of the space between words and that the preceding <y> lacks the rising hairline stroke which normally precedes a following letter (compare the same word at G.1.34). lygham to please
some chosen chaffere þei cheuvene þe better
as ytt semyth to ouvr syght þat suvch men thryuven
and some myrthys to make as mynstrelles donne
& getten gold wyth theyr glee / synnles I troweG.1.34: The G H reading trowe (for remaining manuscripts leue) corresponds to that of Ax.
butt Iapers & Ianguvlers Iuvdas chyldesren
Feynen þem fantysyes & Foles themG.1.36: The minims here are ill-defined; it is possible that the scribe wrote theim rather than them, but the latter would be a more usual form for the G scribe. maken
& hauve þer wytt att wyll to worche yff þei shuvld
þat paule preychyth off them I wyll prouve ytt here
qui loquitur turpeloquium ys lucyfers hyne
fol. 1vI
bydders & beggers fast abovte yeyd
Wyth þer belyes & þer bagges obff bred G.1.41: The alteration from ob to off appears to have been made after the following word, bred, had already been written, since it uses up most of the space between the two words. fuvll cruvmmed
fast fayten for þer fode fouvghten atte ale
In glotonye god woot goo þei to bedde
& rysen wyth rybawdye as roberdes knauves
slepandslep and sorye slowthe shewythG.1.45:The G reading shewyth, shared with Cr12 C, may be a genuine variant but note that, since the spellings <sh> and <s> are to some extent interchangeable in G, especially in the earlier sections of the text (see Introduction III.4.1), the G spelling here may represent seweth, as in most remaining B manuscripts. theym euver
pylgrimmes & palmers plyghten þem to-gedder
for to seke seynt Iames and seyntes att rome
þei went forth In þer way wyth many wyse tales
& had leuve for to lye all þer lyuvys after
I seygh some þat seydon þat they had soght seyntes
to yche a tale þei told ther tong was tempered to lye
more þen to say soth / ytt semed by þer speche
heremytes on a hepe wyth hoked stauvys
wenten to walsyngam & þer wenchys after
greyte lobyes & long þat loth were to swynke
clothed þem In copys to be knowen from other
and shoopen theym heremytes theyre easse for to hauve
IG.1.58:This <I> is one of the capitals which indicate the beginnings of chapters. See the corresponding summary in the Table of Contents at f.101v (the account of the second chapter of the first passus) and see also C. David Benson and Lynne S. Blanchfield, The Manuscripts of Piers Plowman: the B-version (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1997), 133. The large capital is presumably intended to replace the inline smaller capital. For large and decorated capitals at the beginnings of other chapters see Judith A. Jefferson, "Divisions, Collaborations and other topics: the table of contents in Cambridge University Library, MS Gg.4.31" in John A. Burrow and Hoyt N. Duggan, eds, Medieval Alliterative Poetry: Essays in Honour of Thorlac Turville-Petre (Dublin:Four Courts Press, 2010), 140-152, esp.141-44, and for evidence suggesting that the majority of such capitals may have been added by WH, see Jefferson, "Divisions", 148-50. This particular example, however, appears to have been added by the original scribe at the time of writing; presumably he recognised his error in failing to leave a space for a larger capital.
I fond there freres all þe fouvre orders
þat preychend þe pepole for profytt off theym-seluven
& glosen þe gospell as þem gode lykythe
For couvetes off copes construved as þem lyked
many off thes masters mowe clothe theym att lykyng
for þer money & marchandyce marchen to-gedders
for sythe charyte was chapman & chefe to shryuveG.1.64: The first of these alterations (whereby sryue becomes shryue) appears to have been made by the original scribe and later re-outlined in brown ink. The faint mark of the original correction is still visible at the bottom of the tail of the <h>. Compare the similar - and also very faint - addition by the original scribe at G.1.89. lordes
many farlyes hauve fallen In a fewe yeres
but yff holye chuvrche & they hold not better to-gedders
þe most myscheyfe on mold ys mouvnyttyng vpG.1.67: G's reading vp for most manuscripts wel was originally shared by O. However, O adds wel to give vp wel, a reading shared with C2. fast
þer prechyd a perdoner as he a prest were
brouvght forth a bull wyth many bysshopes seylles
& sayd þat hym-selffe myght assoylen theym all
off falsnes& fastyng & off a-wowes broken
lewed men leuved hym & lyked hys wordes
comen vp knelyng to kyssen hys bulles
he buvnched þem wyth hys breyuvett & bleyred theyre eyne
& rauvght hym hys ragman rynges & broches
þus they gyuven theym gold glottuons to kepe
& lenvenG.1.77: In the case of G, the G Cr12 reading leven results from the mistaken identification by the <u> to <v> corrector (hand1.1) of the letter <n> as a <u> (Most manuscripts read leneth). It seems possible that the reading in Cr12 was taken from G or from a G-related manuscript; see Introduction II.2.1.2. ytt suvch loseles þat leychyrye hawnten
were þe bysshop ye blessedG.1.78: G misreads the y- past participle prefix as ye (cf. most manuscripts yblissed). For G's treatment of this prefix, see Introduction III.1. or worth both hys yeres
hys seyle shuvld not be sent to deceyue the poeple
but ytt ys noght butt þe bysshope þat þei both preychythe
for þe peryche prest & þe perdoner perten þe syluver
that þe perycyoners shuvld hauve yff they y ne were
fol. 2rI
persones & peryche prestes pleyned theym to the bysshop
that theyr perychys were pore syth the pestelence tyme
to hauve a lycence & leuve att london to dwell
& syngen there for symonye syluver ys so swete
bysshopes & bachelers both masters & doctores
that hauve cuvre vnder cryst and crownyng In tokne
& sygne that they shuvlden shryuveG.1.89: The ink of the <h> added to sryue to give shryue is paler than that of the rest of the word, but exactly the same colour as the <as> of masters two lines above, and the form corresponds to that used elsewhere by the original scribe. It therefore seems likely that the correction was made by the original scribe. See also G.1.64. theyr perychynores
preychen & preyen for theym & for þe pore fede
lyggen at london In lenten & elles
some seruven the kyng & hys syluver tellen
In checker & In chauncerye chalangen hys dettes
off wardes & wardemotes weyuvys and streyuvys
some seruven as seruvantes lordes & ladyes
& yn þe styd off stuverdes sytten & demen
theyr messe & theyr matyns & many off þeir houvrs
are done vndeuotelyche drede ys att þe last
lest cryst In constorye a-cuvrse full many
I perceyuved off þe poyer þat petuvr had to kepe
to bynden & vnbynden as the boke tellyth
how þat he ytt laft wyth louve as ouvr lord hyght
amongest fowre wertews best off all wertuves
that cardynales bene called & and closyng gates
there cryst ys In kyngdome to close & to shette
& to open ytt to them & heyuven blysse shewe
but off þe cardynales att couvrte þat kaught off that name
& power presuvmed In theym a pope for to make
to hauve þat power þat petur had Impuvngen I nyll
for In louve & letteruvre the electyon belongyth
for-thy I can & can noght off þatG.1.111: The brownish ink of added þat appears to be the same as that used for the change from <u> to <v> in the following word. couvrt speke more
Then cam þer a knyghtG.1.112: The original word replaced by kyng is unclear but the final <t> is visible. kyng knygthode hym ledde
myght off the comuvnes made hym to reynge
andthenG.1.114: Kane and Donaldson do not record G then for most manuscripts And þanne as a variant. came kynd wytt & clerkes he made
for to covncell þe kyng and the comuvne sauve
the kyng & knyghthode and clargye bothe
casten þat the comunmvneG.1.117: As far as it is possible to tell, the original G reading was comune (as at G.1.115). However, the way the <v> has been written over the minims has obscured the <n>, making it necessary for the corrector to provide an abbreviation mark. shuvld theym-selfen fynd
þisG.1.118: Kane and Donaldson do not record this as a variant, and, since the superscript letters are rather unclear, it is possible that the G scribe did in fact intend to write þe. communvne contryuved off kynd wytt craftes
& for þe profett off þe people plomen ordened
to tyll & to trauvell as treweG.1.120: Added <e> on trewe appears to be in the same ink as the alterations of <u> to <v>. lyve askethe
the kyng & þe comuvne & kynd wytt þe thyrd
shop G.1.122: The loop of the <h> in shop has been enlarged in brown ink. law & loyalte ych man to know hys owene G.1.122: The majority of B manuscripts have final <e>, but hand1's preferred form elsewhere is without -e. See G.5.157, G.6.595, G.7.86 etc., though note the forms with final <e> at G.17.190 and G.17.199. Note also the similar deletion at G.1.207, where it seems possible that the deleted letter may have been an <s>. This deletion is in black ink.
then loked vp a luvnatyke a leleneG.1.123: As far as the deleted letters before lene are concerned, it is possible that the scribe originally wrote <ke>-, but it seems more likely that the first letter was an <l> but that the second letter, i.e. the <e>, may have been ill-formed, that an attempt has been made to correct it, and that this has been abandoned. thyng wyth-all
fol. 2vI
& knelyng to þe kyng clargeally he sayde
cryst kepe the syr kyng & theG.1.125: O originally had þe þi for G the, most manuscripts þi, but in O þe has been cancelled. M's reading þi results from correction. kyngryche
and lene the leyde thy land So loyalte þe louve
and for þi ryghtfull reuvllyng be rewarded In heyuvun
and sythen In þe eyre an heyht a angell off heyuven
lowed todyd G.1.129: In G's original reading (lowed to, which is also the reading of most B manuscripts) lowed is a verb (="descended"). The alteration to lowed dyd results from misinterpretation of lowed as an adverb, something which also occurs in F, where the a-verse reads & lowhde spak in Latyn. speke In latyn for lewde men ne koude
Iangle ne Iuvgge þat Iuvstyfye theym shuold
butt sufferen & seruven forthy seyd the angell
sum rex sum princeps neutrum fortasse deinceps
O qui Iura regis cristi specialia regis
hoc vtG.1.134: The G Hm reading vt (for most manuscripts quod) is also present in the C version. In Hm this reading appears as part of a long passage written over an erasure (this particular section is written by Hm's Hand3, who is also the Hm rubricator). See note to this line in Michael Calabrese, Hoyt N. Duggan and Thorlac Turville-Petre, eds, The Piers Plowman Electronic Archive, Vol.6: San Marino, Huntington Library MS HM 128 (Hm, Hm2) (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer for SEENET and the Medieval Academy of America, 2008), and for further discussion of the relationship between Hm and G, see G's Introduction II.2.1.2. agas melius Iustus es esto pius
nudum ius a te vestiri vult pietate
qualia vis metere talia grana sere
si Ius nudatur nudo de Iure metatur
si seritur pietas de pietate metas
then greuved hym a golyerdes a gloton off wordes
& to the angell on heyhe answered after
dum rex a regere dicatur nomen habere
nomen habet sine re studeat nisiG.1.142: In Hm the reading studeat nisi, which is shared with G (most manuscripts read nisi studet) appears over an erasure. Iura tenere
then gan all þe commuvne crye In vers off latyn
to the kynges covncell constrewe wo-so wold
precepta regis sunt nobis vincula legis
wyth that ran there a rouvte off rattons att ons
þe profycy
& small myse wyth theym mow then a thowsand
off þe catt
& comen to a covncell for the comuvn profytt
For a catt off a covntrey come when hym lyked
SG.1.150: The letter <S> is formed from a series of linked dots. This and similar marks enable the reader to find sections referred to in the table of contents. See f.101v. As Benson and Blanchfield point out (Manuscripts, 132), the mark is referred to in this table, so it has clearly been added as part of the original preparation of the manuscript. The form of the letter, however, suggests the possibility that such marks were the work of WH rather than the original scribe; see the form of the capitals used by WH on ff.69v, 72v and 103r, and see further Jefferson, "Divisions," esp. 148-50.
& ouverlepe theym lyghlycheG.1.150: Spellings of "lightly" without <t> are recorded by the MED. & laghte theym att hys wyll
& pleyde wyth theym perylouvslyche & possed a-bovte
for dovte off dyuers dredeG.1.152: Kane and Donaldson observe that the error in G's reading drede (for most manuscripts dredes) is "noted" but it is difficult to see what they mean unless they are referring to the following added virgule, something which would raise questions about other similar additions. /G.1.152: Once again, the colour of the added virgule is the same as that of the <u> to <v> changes and it therefore seems likely that it was made by the original scribe at a later date (see further Introduction II.1.1 and II.1.1.3). Virgules are frequently omitted in the earlier stages of the original transcription but become more frequent as the text progresses. we dare not well loke
but yff we gruge att hys gamme he wyll greuve vs all
crache vs or clawe vs and In hys clochys hold
that vs lothes owre lyfe or he lett vs passe
myght we wyth any wytt hys wyll wythstand
we myght be lordes a-loft & lyuven att oure easse
A raton off reynowne most reynable off tonge
seyd for a souvereyne help to hym-seluvenG.1.159: A brown-ink flourish, apparently an abbreviation for <n>, has been added to the final <e> of original selue. This is in the same ink as the earlier alteration of <u> to <v>. The addition brings G's reading into line with that of O C2. Kane and Donaldson do not record this G reading, though they do record the readings of O and C2.
I hauve senvese[n]e G.1.160: The form of the alteration from sene to seve is unusual and it is possible that the corrector realised his mistake and tried to remedy it. seggys quodh he In the cyte off london
beyren bees beȝes full bryght a-bovte theyre neckes
& some colers wyth crafty werke vncovpeled they wentenG.1.162: M originally had wenden, as most manuscripts; the M reading wenten (shared with G Cr W Hm) results from correction.
both In warren & In wast where theym-seluve lykedG.1.163: In M the <d> of "liked" (a reading which M shares with G Cr1 W H) is written over an erasure. Most manuscripts read lyketh.
and other wyle they are elles-were as I here tell
were ther a bell on hys beygh by Iohn as me thynkyth
men myght wytt were they went & a-wey renne
& ryght so quod the ratonG.1.167: The minims at the end of raton are poorly defined. Kane and Donaldson read rato. reyson me sheweth
to bygen a bell off bras or off bryght syluver
fol. 3rI
and .. knytten on a coler for ouvr comen profytt G.1.169: G Cr1 W Hm omit a line at this point: "And hangen it vp-on þe cattes hals · þanne here we mowen."
whereG.1.170: The <w> of where is slightly odd and it seems possible that the scribe originally started to write an initial <h>. he ryt or rest or rennyth to playe
and yff hym lyst for to layke / then loke they mowen
and peren In hys presence wyle hym pl play lykyth
and yff he wrath hym beware and hys wasy shonye
and thys rouvte off ratons to thys reyson assented
butt thogh þe bell was broghtG.1.175: W's reading ybrouȝt, which is also the reading of a number of C manuscripts, is the reading adopted by Kane and Donaldson and Schmidt. Most B manuscripts have some form of "bought." & on the beygh hanged
there nas rotenr[a]ton In the rouvte for all the realme off france
that duvrst hauve bouvnden þe bell a-bovte þe cattes neck
ne hangen abovte þe cattes hales all england to wynne
and helden theym vnhardy and theyre covncell feble
and letten theyre labouvr lost & all theyre long studye
a movsce þat moch good covld as me tho thoght
stroke forth sternely & stode before theym all
and to þe rouvte off ratons rehersed thes wordes
thogh we kyllenG.1.184: Cr W Hm Y H also use the present tense of the verb "to kill." Remaining B manuscripts have either the preterite or the pluperfect. þe catt yet shall theyreG.1.184: Very residual <e> on theyre. come a-nother
to kachen vs & all our kynd / thogh we crepe vndre benchys
forthy I covncell all the commuvne to lett the catt pas
& be we neuer so bold the bell hym to shewe
for I herde my syre seyne seyuven yers passed
there the catt ys a kyten ys full elenge
that wyttnessyth woly wrytt wo-so wyll ytt rede
ve terre vbi rex puer est & cetera.
For may no renvkere[n]ke there rest hauve for ratons by nyght
the wyle he caccheth conyngesG.1.193: For the dropping of the g of unaccented -yng in original conynges, see H. C. Wyld, A History of Modern Colloquial English, 3rd ed. (Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1953), 289-90, E. J. Dobson, English Pronunciation 1500-1700, 2 vols (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1957), 950-1, Richard Jordan, Handbook of Middle English Grammar: Phonology, translated and revised by Eugene Joseph Crook (The Hauge: Mouton, 1974), § 175. Jordan suggests that the change occurred in the fourteenth century in the North and North Midlands, but in the fifteenth century in the South. he couvytyth not our cayrencar[y]en
butt fedyth hym all wyth weneson defame we hym neuer
butt better ys a lytull losse then a long sorowe
they mase amonge vs all thoght we mysse a shreweG.1.196: The alteration from srewe to shrewe has been made in brown ink and is therefore clearly a later change. The form of the alteration, however, corresponds to that of similar changes made by the original scribe, see, e.g., that at G.1.89.
for many mennes malt we mysse wold dystroy
& also the rovte off ratons rend mennes clothys
noere the catt off the couvrte þat canne youG.1.199: The minims at the end of you are residual; basically just a horizontal line. ouer lerype
for had ye ratons your wyll ye covld not reuvle you-selueG.1.200: Once again, G's minims are poorly defined. Kane and Donaldson read yo for G you.
I say for me quod the movsce I se so mykyll after
shall neuer catt ne kyton by my covncell be greuved
ne carpyng off thys coloresG.1.203: The alteration which results in colores brings G into line with the C version manuscripts. Remaining B manuscripts read coler. that costed me neuer
& thogh ytt cost me beknow I nold
but suffer as hym-selfe wyll to do as hym lykyth
couvplede & vncouvplede to cache watt they mowe
forthy ech a wyse wyght I warne wytt well hys oweneG.1.207: Compare with the apparent deletion of final <e> on owene at G.1.122. However, the presence of a hairline riser may suggest that the original final letter here was a sigma <s>. /
watt thys metall bemeneth ye menne that be merye
deuvyneG.1.209: The alteration of <u> to <v> which results in devyne is in a different ink from the main body of such corrections and the form of the letter is more elaborate. ye for I ne dare by dere god In heyuvenG.1.209: The alteration of <u> to <v> in original heyuen has become just a residual brown smudge.
yet houved there a huvndreth in howuves off sylke
fol. 3vI
sargeantes theym semed þat seruven att the barre
pleyden for peynespen[y]es and powndes the lawe
and noght for þe louve off our lord vnlose theyre lyppes onsce
thow myghtest better mete mysteG.1.214: Final <e> on myste has been added half above and half below the cross of the <t> so that this now also forms the cross of the <e>. on maluveren hylles
then gett a muomme off hys moth. mowthe tyll money be shewed
barons & buvrgesys & bondemen also
I sagh In þis assemble as ye shall here hereafter
baxters brewsters and bochers many
wollen websters & weyuvers off lynnen
taylyouvres tynkersG.1.220: Kane and Donaldson adopt G's reading "tinkers" (for remaining B manuscripts and tynkeres). The majority of A manuscripts also lack "and" at this point in the line, but their reading is otherwise different. & tollers In markettes
masones & mynvoresmy[n]ores & many other craftys
off alkynnes laborers loppen forth some
as dykers & deluvers that done þeir dedes all
& dryuve forth þe long day wyth / dieu soit dame emmnvye G.1.224: The third and fourth minims of original emme have been changed to a <v> and a tail has been added to the fifth and sixth.
cokes & theyr knauves cryen wott pyes wott
good gees & gryses gowego we dyne gowego we
tauerners vntyll theym told the same
wyte wyne & ossey & red wyne off gascoygne
off þe ryne & the rochell the rost to defyen
all thys I sagh slepyng & seyuven sythes more
explicit primus passus de visione