fol. 24v (cont.)I
Passus Sextus de visione vt supra . — —
R.6.3: There is no paraph marker here because there was no space for one (the passus initial extends down slightly beyond this line in the left margin). Quatȝ perkyn þe plowman by seint peter of rome .
I wilR.6.6: Among the other B copies, only LCY share R's wil (the rest read wolde). That the latter form of the verb was original in the A version seems obvious (though three of its manuscripts—Ra, U, and La—support a future meaning in place of the conditional); but the reading of Cx is more problematic. Most C copies agree with the AB majorities on wolde, but three of the most authoritative X-family witnesses, XYcI, support the RLCY reading. wenden with ȝow and þe weye teche .
What schuld we wommen werche þereR.6.8: Most beta manuscripts of all other sub-groups read þe, but the LM pair agrees with alpha. whiles .
Þe nedy and þe naked nemeth hede how aR.6.15: a, "they." lyggeth .
InR.6.28: There is a mark above the <I> of In. It appears to be a backwards <c> in brown, touched with red. couenaunt þat þow kepe holy cherche and my-selue .
To bores and to bukkesR.6.31: Cf. beta's brockes; F rewrites the a-verse. Both Ax and Cx agree with R's lection. þat breketh a-doun myn hegges .
To fulfille þiR.6.36: R's þi is unique; Bx reads þis, which is also the reading of a plurality of A witnesses in a very similar rendering of this line. forwarde þouȝ I fiȝte schulde .
And þouȝ ȝe mowe amercy menR.6.40: Beta reads hem. In a slightly revised line, the C tradition agrees here with alpha, reading men. lat mercy be taxoure .
And mekenesse ȝoureR.6.41: Both F and beta attest þi. The same is true of Cx. maystere maugre medeR.6.41: R's uninflected form is unique among the B manuscripts; the others have medes. However, a majority of C witnesses, including the best X-family copies, agree with R's form. chekes .R.6.41: Here the scribe again omits his usual insertion of a blank line to mark a new paragraph, presumably because the next line is the last of the side.
Nyme it nauȝt an aunter þowR.6.43: R's aunter þow is an alpha reading; beta has auenture ȝe; however, though five A witnesses support auenture, it seems clear that the entire phrase, in both Ax and Cx was rendered as in alpha. mowe it nauȝt deserue
For in a chanelR.6.50: chanel, "charnel house." For the spelling, see MED, s.v. charnel n.(1). at cherche clerkesR.6.50: Beta reads cherles, which clearly reflects Bx (and agrees with C). Alpha's variant (F = a clerk) is deficient in alliteration as well as less suitable to the context (levelling of social classes beyond death). ben euel to knowe .
And þat þow be trewe of tongeR.6.52: Beta reads of þi tonge. Most A witnesses agree on this reading with beta, as does the X family of C manuscripts. However, four A copies (TDH2V) agree with alpha's omission of any determiner. Most of the P family in the C tradition attest the presence of hys at this point. and tales þat þow hatie .
Holde nauȝtR.6.54: No beta manuscript attests nauȝt. Two A copies agree with alpha at this point, but most support beta. By contrast almost all C witnesses support alpha's use of the double negative in this a-verse, although the Russell-Kane edition emends this evidence away. with non herlotes ne here nauȝt here tales .
¶¶ And caste on meR.6.61: Only L agrees with R in attesting me my. F and the other beta copies simply show my. Ax and Cx agree against B in reading this phrase as third-person description: He caste on (his = A) / (hym his = C) cloþis. It is interesting to note that the one difference between the A and C phrases parallels the grammatical difference between LR and the other B witnesses. my clothes I-clouted and I-hole .
And maken hymR.6.69: Beta reads hem here, but both Ax and Cx agree with alpha's hym. merie þeremyde maugre ho-so it be-grucche .R.6.69: Beta transposes the final phrase as bigruccheth it. This word order parallels that found in the X family of C (the P family omits it completely, as do several of the less authoritative copies in the B tradition). However, the A witnesses strongly support alpha's phrasing at this point.
I schal fynde hem fode þat feithfullyche libbeth .R.6.71: Here the scribe again omits his usual insertion of a blank line to mark a new paragraph, presumably because the next line is the last of the side.
For holy cherche is hote of hem no tythe to aske .R.6.78: R's aske is unique; both beta and F read take. However, both Ax and Cx agree with R's reading.
Þei ben aschaped good auntour nowR.6.80: Beta reads auenture in place of alpha's auntour, but Ax and Cx agree with alpha's form. Also, most beta copies omit alpha's now, but its occurrence in LM clearly attests its authenticity, both in beta and Bx. Almost all C witnesses—and a majority of A copies—attest the presence of this adverb. god hem amende .
His sone hiȝt suffre þi souereynes haueR.6.83: Beta reads to hauen. A majority of the A witnesses supports beta (none supports alpha), but Cx clearly agrees with alpha in omitting to. here wille .
For-thy I wil ar I wende do write my queste .R.6.88: R's queste is unique in form but identical in sense to beta's reading (See MED, s. v. quiste [n.]); cf. F's enqweste and beta's biqueste. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta's form.
In dei nomine amen I make it my-selue he schal haue my soule .R.6.89: Here alpha differs from beta by merging the opening phrase from the archetype's next line (= He shal haue my soule ) with this one, and then truncating the third line by deleting its final phrase (= for so I bileue), so that the three lines in Langland's presumptive original are reduced to two non-alliterating ones.
Þat best hath I-serued it and fro þe fende I-keped itR.6.90: R's I-keped is unique; F rephrases this verse, with his own unique verb phrase (weyvid fram yt); the cognate beta reading is it defende. Both Ax and Cx substantially agree with beta's phrasing in this entire passage, where alpha was clearly corrupt (cf. note at R6.89). .
Til I come tilR.6.91: R's til before his acountes is unique among the B witnesses. Ax, like beta and F, shows to here, but Cx agrees with R. his acountes as my crede tellethR.6.91: Beta adds me before telleth. A majority of A manuscripts agrees with beta on this addition, but a minority (ChHaLaEWaMa) supports alpha's omission of the pronoun. Moreover, Cx clearly supports alpha in omitting me. .
For of my corne and catel he crauede tithe .R.6.94: R uniquely omits a determiner before tithe. Most B witnesses agree with Ax in attesting þe before the noun; however, Cr agrees with Cx in reading my at this point.
And dele amonge my douȝteres and my dere childresR.6.99: R's form is unique; all other witnesses in the B tradition have children. Two C manuscripts (XI) agree with R, but most agree with the B majority. .
For þouȝ I deyedeR.6.100: Beta's form agrees with the reading of both Ax and Cx. to-day my dette is Iquited .R.6.100: R's singular is unique; F shows a plural, dettys ben alle qwitte, and beta attests a slightly different plural phrasing, dettes ar quitte. The A tradition clearly supports the F/beta plural format here, but the C tradition is divided, much of the P family concurring with F/beta while the X family (and a few P copies) support R's singular.
¶ Now is perkyn and þeseR.6.107: Beta reads his; F has þe. Most A copies support F's reading. Among the C manuscripts, the P family also agrees with F, but the X family reading, þis, concurs with R's þese. pilgrimes to þe plow faren .
And ȝeedR.6.115: R's And ȝeed to is unique; otherwise R reads the line as beta does (which begins the line simply with To . F completely rephrases the line, but the fact that F's rewritten line begins & wente indicates that R's unique opening probably derives from alpha. Both the A and C versions begin this line by omitting R's opening (the former reading the phrase exactly as beta does). to ouer-sen hem hym-self and ho-so best wrouȝte .
And þouȝ ȝe deyedeR.6.122: R's deyede is unique. All other B manuscripts show a present-tense form here, as do the A and C versions. for deul þe deuel haue þat recche .
ÞoR.6.132: R's reading is unique and clearly defective; beta has Ȝe and F reads Þat ȝee. Both the A and C versions confirm the correctness of beta's reading. ben wastoures I wot wel treutheR.6.132: R's omission of and at the beginning of the b-verse is unique. The A version confirms the presence and location of this conjunction, as found in beta and F. wot welR.6.132: R's redundancy (reiterated wel in the b-verse) is unique. þe sothe .
Whiche þei weren in þis world his werkemen apayreth .R.6.134: Beta reads appeyred. F has a-peyre.
But if he blyndeR.6.138: R's omission of the verb here is unique; cf. F's he þat is blynd and beta's he be blynde. or brokelegged or bolted with yrenes . .
¶¶ In lecherie and in losyngrie lyue[ȝe] lyue and in sleuthe .R.6.145: There is an ink blot, probably the result of offset, that has the appearance of a second punctus far to the right of the intended line terminal punctus and just inside the ruling margin.
And of my catel to cope hem with þat haue cloystres in kerkesR.6.149: R's in kerkes is unique; the other B witnesses read and cherche(s). .
Ne postles but þei preche conne and ȝutR.6.151: R's ȝut is a unique addition to the text of Bx. haue pouer of þe bisshoppe .
¶¶ A bretonere a braggere abosteda bostedR.6.156: A, "he." peres alse .
And bad hym go pissen onR.6.157: Beta reads with. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta. his plow forpyned schrewe .
And ofR.6.159: R's And of is an alpha phrase (F omits of). The X family of C also begins the line with And. Though two A manuscripts (KMa) also begin the line exactly as R does, Ax, like beta, omits And. þi floure and of þi flesche fecche whanne vs liketh .
And fram þes wastoures wolues-kynnes þat maketh þisR.6.163: Although G agrees with R, beta reads þe; F omits the entire line. Cx supports the RG reading. world dere .
Worth neuer plente amonge poepleR.6.165: R uniquely omits þe before poeple. þe while my plow liggeth .
Or þow schalt abugge withR.6.168: R's with is unique. The other B manuscripts read by. þe lawe by þe ordre þat I bere .
¶¶ I was nouȝt woneR.6.169: R's form here is unique; Bx reads wont. to werche quod wastour & now wil I nouȝt bygynne .
¶ R.6.173: Beta begins this line with Now by. The same phrase as beta's occurs in Ax and opens a revised version of the line in Cx Be þe perel of my soule quod peres I schal apeyre ȝow alle .
Awreke me of þis wastoures quod he þat þis world schenden .R.6.175: Though manuscripts O and G agree with R's terminal inflection for this verb, ( a feature also mirrored by several A witnesses), beta itself, as with Ax, presumably read schendeth. F has shende.
And wronge hym so by þe wombe þat al watred his eyȝes .R.6.177: R's b-verse is unique; F and beta agree in reading þat bothe his eyen wattered. However, R's b-verse agrees exactly with the same phrase in both Ax and Cx; it is, therefore, presumably the original reading in B.
Ne hadde peres with a pese lofe preyed honger sese .R.6.181: Cf. beta's hunger to cesse. Both Ax and Cx agree on a different phrase, with a less obvious verb, for this line's ending: hym byleue.
¶ Faytoures for fere hereof flowen inR.6.186: All other B witnesses read into; both Ax and Cx agree with them against R. bernes .
Þat hunger was nouȝt hardyR.6.188: Although G agrees here with alpha, beta itself reads so hardy, a reading also attested by half of the A manuscripts (RaUHaJEWaMaH). On the other hand, Cx clearly agrees with alpha's reading (i.e., the omission of so). on hem for to loke .
For þat was bake for bayarde was bote to manyR.6.196: Beta reads for many, the same phrase as in Cx. F substitutes þe for the phrases found here in R and beta. hungri .
And many a beggere for benes fayneR.6.197: R's fayne is unique; cf. F's ful bown and beta's buxome. was to swynke .
And what peres preyed hem for toR.6.199: R's for is not attested by any other B manuscript. do as prest as a sparhauke .
ye be so wanton so pro.e so
Ac I preye þe ar þow passe quod peres þoR.6.205: Beta omits þo. to honger .
Of beggeres and of bydderes what best is to doneR.6.206: R's is in this b-verse is shared only with F and Y; the entire phrase shows considerable minor variation among the B witnesses, but the original reading of beta is probably that of the majority of beta copies, what best be to done. This agrees with the reading of Cx. By contrast, R's b-verse agrees exactly with Kane's reconstruction of the phrase in Ax (though a majority of A manuscripts reverse the key phrase to is best). .
ItR.6.210: R's It is unique among the B manuscripts; most, including F, read Þey. However, R's reading agrees with that found in Ax and Cx, both of which begin the line And (h)it. aren arenaren my blody bretheren quod peres &R.6.210: Both F and beta have for where R reads &. Ax and Cx agree with F/beta here. god bouȝte vs alle . The parchment here was torn long ago and repaired by stitching. The tear extended the length of these nine lines and is approximately 6 cm. long from its beginning at the page edge, running diagonally inwards and downwards. At its bottom it is approximately 2.5 cm. in from the page margin.
¶ I here nowR.6.215: R's I here now is unique; cf. F's Now here wel me and beta's Here now. The beta variant is identical with that found in Ax. quod hunger and holde it for a wisdome .
And if þe gomes grucche bydde hem go andR.6.219: Beta here omits and, a feature also found in half of the A manuscripts and in a majority of the P family of the C version. swynke .R.6.219: Alpha omitted the following line attested by beta manuscripts (and by both of the other versions of the poem):
And he shal soupe swettere whan he it hath deseruid.
And he shal soupe swettere whan he it hath deseruid.
¶¶ AcR.6.220: Both F and beta have And, which is also the reading of seven A and of seven C copies; R's Ac is probably archetypal in the C version but may not be original in A. if þow fynde any freke þat falshedR.6.220: R's falshed is unique; cf. F's False and beta's fortune. The Ax reading is fortune, but the Cx variant, in a slightly revised line, is fals men. hath apayred .
Þeyȝ þei don euel lat þowR.6.228: Only L supports R's attestation of þow here; all other B copies omit it. god a-worthe .
And if þow beR.6.230: R uniquely omits the modal wilt before be. gracious to god do as þe gospel techeth .
And by-loweR.6.231: Most beta manuscripts read biloue, but LM support the alpha reading, which is clearly the subtler, harder word. þe amonges lowe men so schaltow lacche grace .
Facite vobis amicos de mamona iniquitatis .R.6.232: Here the R scribe fails to insert his customary blank line between verse strophes; no reason for this omission is apparent.
¶¶ Ȝe I be-hote godR.6.235: Beta reads þe. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta's reading. quod hunger or elles þe bible lyeth .
¶ And sapience seith þe same I seyȝR.6.239: R uniquely omits a word in this phrase; beta reads seigh it in. Ax agrees with beta. in þe bible .
¶¶ Matheu with mannes face mouthethR.6.242: Beta reads a past-tense form of the same verb: mouthed. Though A manuscripts offer a striking variety of possibilities at this point , Kane chose the alpha form as likeliest to represent Langland's original. But the alpha form may not, in fact, signify any real difference from beta anyway (i.e., the alpha scribe may not be intending a present-tense inflection with his "-eth" suffix. See the Introduction III.2.2.10 for a complete discussion. þis wordes .
Þat seruus nequam had a manR.6.243: Although MED, s. v. mnam, lists man as a possible form taken by mnam, it seems clear that this spelling is merely a scribal error (Langland is the only source cited by the dictionary for the word itself) evoked by an unfamiliar foreign term. Alpha passed this error to R and F, which share it with BoCot (and with AH of the A tradition). & for he wolde nouȝt chaffare .
And by-nam hym his napm This word is foreign in origin and quite rare, and spellings of it vary considerably on that account. OED2 and MED identify the headword as mnam. OED2 lists nam as the only recognized variant and Langland as the only citation. However, among the A copies, Vernon shows another presumably valid spelling variation, rendering the word at 7.225 (Kane) as npnam. MED also cites Piers Plowman as the only source but lists a wider variety of forms, including mnamme, namp, mam, and man. In light of the fact that Langland is the only source cited, however, it seems probable that several of these "variant forms" are merely scribal errors. for he ne wold werche .
And þat he weneth for toR.6.250: Beta reads wel to, which is also the reading of both Ax and the X family of C (most of the P family simply omit the phrase). haue I wil it hym bi-reue .
Of alle a wokeR.6.261: Woke, "week." werche nauȝt so oure wombe aketh .
Ete nouȝt I hoteR.6.266: Among B copies, R uniquely omits þee in the phrase, hote þe er. Though four A manuscripts (JLaAMa) share this omission, it seems clear that Ax read as beta does, including þee. However, Cx omits the pronoun and renders this phrase exactly as R does. er hunger þe take .
And his cloke of calabre with alle knappesR.6.275: F reads with knoppis, while beta has alle þe knappes. Ax appears to read this b-verse as & þe knoppis of gold. of golde .
Þer aren mo morareres þanR.6.278: R's morareres is a nonce word, apparently meaning "killers, murderers." The presence of moraynerys in F suggests that some version of the reading was in alpha. Most beta witnesses have For morthereres aren mony leches as their a-verse. The defective alliteration of both sub-archetypes suggests that Bx itself was corrupt here. The likeliest authorial reading for B is that of A: Þere arn mo liȝeris þan lechis. leches lord hem amende .
Wend now hunger whan þow wilt þat wel þow be euere .R.6.281: Cf. F's þe betyȝde and beta's be þow euere. In his parallel-text edition of Piers, A. V. C. Schmidt errs by listing R's reading here as a dittography, yow yow. Apparently, this error stems not from R itself, which is quite clear, but from Schmidt's reliance on the apparatus of Kane-Donaldson, which here displays a rare mistake. In any event, the correct reading is probably that of beta since it matches the reading of Ax and of a majority of C witnesses for this phrase. However, key X family witnesses (XIUcDc) reverse the crucial phrase, reading thow be and thus agreeing with the B-version's manuscript R against beta.
Ac I haue percyle and porett and many queynte herbes .R.6.291:R's queynte herbes is unique. Cf. F's propre herbys and beta's kole plantes. Most A witnesses agree with beta's reading (albeit non-alliterating), but Kane has changed his mind since 1960 and in the revised Athlone edition of A opines that the metrically appropriate reading of manuscripts AMaH (plante colis) is likelier to be original (461).
Benes and baken apples þei brouȝten in here lappe .R.6.298: R's singular is unique among the B copies; the others read lappes. However, R's reading is supported by Cx and by three important A witnesses (TDCh). The other A manuscripts agree with the B majority.
With grene poret and pesesR.6.303: R's plural is the same alpha form attested in F (pesis); the beta plural, also found in a majority of A copies, reads pesen. to poyson hunger þei thouȝte .
¶¶ And þo ne wolde no wastourR.6.307: R's ne is a unique addition to this phrase. F has þan wolde no while beta reads þo wolde wastour noȝt. Beta's phrase is identical to the wording of Cx and probably to that of Ax (some A copies attest nolde for wolde). werche but wandren aboute .
But of coket or ofR.6.309: R's of is a unique addition to this line. clerematyn or elles of clene whete .
DeynedR.6.313: Beta reads Deyned nouȝt to dyne. F completely rewrites the line. Though Ax clearly agrees with beta, most C manuscripts omit noȝt in this phrase, but three (IP2Ac) include it and X has it added by another hand. to dyne o-day niȝte-olde wortes .R.6.313: There is an apparently random ink blot (having the appearance of a second punctus) approximately 1.3 cm. to the right of the intended punctus.
But if it be fresche flesche other fische for chillyng of his mawe .R.6.315: R and F run this line of archetypal B together with the next by splicing this a-verse, But . . . other fische (= KD6.310) to the b-verse of the next line (= KD6.311), for chillyng of here mawe. In fact, R is the only B witness (despite its conflation of two lines) to read for chillyng of his mawe—the reading of the X family of C and of four A manuscripts (including Kane's copytext, T). Most of the other B witnesses attest hir(e), the predominant reading in the A-version copies and in the P family of C.
¶ ÞanneR.6.321: F begins this line with & þus; beta begins it And þanne. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta. curseth he þe kyng and alle his conseylle after .
For hunger hiderward hasteth hym fulR.6.326: No beta manuscript attests ful. Both Ax and Cx also omit it. faste .
He schal a-wake with watR.6.327: R's reading here (wat) makes no sense, but as usual is closer to the presumptive original reflected in beta (water) than is F's reading (what), which, typically, looks like a smoothed rationalization of irreparable error. Apparently alpha left off the final loop from water. wastoures to chaste .
Thorȝ flodR.6.329: R uniquely reads a singular form here. All other B manuscripts show a plural, e.g., flodes. F actually reverses the entire phrase, reading þorhȝ fowle wederys & floodis. Cx agrees with the B majority in attesting a plural, flodes, but a clear majority of A witnesses agrees with R on the singular form. and foule wederes fruytes schullen fayle .
And a mayde haue þe maystrie and multipliedR.6.332: Both L and M confirm this alpha reading (M with an <ed> added in a different ink over an erasure), but all other beta manuscripts read multiplie. be eyghte