Mathew with mans face mouthed these words
¶ Mathew wiþ mannes face · mouthe þise wordes
¶¶ Matheu with mannes face
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 .