Passus vicesimus de visione & primus de dobest

[And]Bx.20.1: And: F is supported by Cx (though otherwise F rewrites the line). Beta has Thanne as a more appropriate opening for a passus (as Bx.10.1, 11.1), but Langland often plunges in medias res; see especially Bx.13.1. as I went by þe way · whan I was þus awaked
Heuy-chered I ȝede · and elynge in herte
IBx.20.3: I: So beta, but F and Cx begin For I. RK, p. 123, reject the F + Cx readings of ll. 3, 7 and 9 as coincidental error, describing For here as a "more explicit substitution". See also l. 11. ne wiste where to ete · ne at what place
And it neighed nyeghe þe none · & with nede I mette
That afronted me foule · and faitour me called
CoudestowBx.20.6: Coudestow: L is supported by F and Cx against Kanstow in other beta witnesses. nouȝte excuse þe · as dede þe Kynge & other
Þat þow toke to þi bylyfBx.20.7: þi bylyf: So beta, though F's lyve by is also the reading of Cx. Athough the noun is a favourite of Langland's, it appears to have been obsolescent, and MED has no citations after c. 1300 apart from Piers Plowman. Scribes of C are particularly prone to avoid it; e.g. at RK.16.338 substitutions are liflode, lyvyng and breed. See note to Bx.19.241 (= RK.21.235), where bylyf is altered by MCrHmF to lyflode. See RK, p. 123. · to clothes and to sustenance
As byBx.20.8: As by: "according to". LMCr are supported by the P family of C. WHmCGO read And, which makes poor sense.The construction is "excuse yourself that you took according to the teaching of spiritus temperancie". F has & þat was; the X family of C has Was, meaning "excuse yourself that what you took ... was by the teaching ...". techynge & byBx.20.8: by (2): Omitted by beta4, F and the P family of Cx. tellynge · of spiritus temperancie
AndBx.20.9: And: "provided that" (so RK, p. 123). F and Cx also make good sense with & þat. þow nome namore · þan nede þe tauȝte
AndBx.20.10: And: Supported by the X family of C; the P family omits. F's For has no support. nede neBx.20.10: ne (1): LWHmCG are supported by some of the X family of C. Other scribes omit. hath no lawe · ne neure shal falle in dette
For þre thynges heBx.20.11: he: The reading of beta, though F and Cx read þat he. taketh · his lyf forto saue
That is mete whan men hym werneth · & he no moneye weldeth
Bx.20.13: L has an inappropriate paraph (the line is at the top of the page).Ne wyght none wil benBx.20.13: none wil ben: The beta reading, against F's þat wille ben. In C, ms. X reads þat now wol be, though others in the X family have none for now. The P family begins the line And wot that non wol be. his borwe · ne wedde hath noneBx.20.13: ne wedde hath none: Beta reading is preferable since alliteration is on /w/ not /n/. Yet F's ne no wed haþ is that of the X family of C; the P family reads noþer haþ wed. to legge
And he cauȝteBx.20.14: cauȝte: i.e. "stole". Cx has present tense; F has caste. in þat cas · & come þere-to by sleighte
He synneth nouȝte sothelich · þat so wynneth his fode
And þough he come so to a clothe · and can no better cheuysaunce
Nede anon-riȝte · nymeth hym vnder meynpryse
And if hym lyst for to lape · þe lawe of kynde wolde
That he dronke at eche diche · ar he for thurste deyde
So nede at grete nede · may nymen as for his owne
Wyth-oute conseille of conscience · or cardynale vertues
So þat he suwe & saue · spiritus temperancie
¶ For is no vertue by fer [·] toBx.20.23: by fer to: F has by-fore, as do a few C mss. spiritus temperancie
Neither spiritus iusticie · ne spiritus fortitudinis
For spiritus fortitudinis · forfaiteth ful oft
He shal do more þan mesure · many tymeBx.20.26: tyme: F has tymes, with similar variation among C mss. See note to Bx.11.387 for alpha's tendency to prefer tymes. & ofte
And bete men ouer bitter · and somme [body]Bx.20.27: body: Here R resumes, to provide this reading, supported by Cx and alliteration. F has the plural. Beta reads of hem. to litel
And greue men gretter · þan goode faith itBx.20.28: it: Dropped by HmCGO, as by the P family of C. wolde
¶ And spiritus iusticie · shal iuggen wol he nol he
After þe kynges conseille · & þe comune lyke
And spiritus prudencie · in many a poynte shal faille
Of þat he weneth wolde falle · if his wytte ne were
Wenynge is no wysdome · ne wyse ymagynacioun
Homo proponit & deus disponit · & gouerneth alleBx.20.34: & gouerneth alle: In alpha the line-break occurs after alle; in beta it is after good vertues. Alpha's arrangement is supported as Bx and Cx by the P family of C, which has god gouerneth alle. The X family sets the Latin on its own, but then breaks the lines after hym and lombe. KD and Schmidt break after disponit, vertues, meketh. The problem is caused by the short line God gouerneth all good vertues, compounded by the replacement in Bx of God by &.
Good vertues [and]Bx.20.35: and: R is supported by the X family of C against beta's Ac. F and the P family rearrange in different ways. nede is next hym · for anon he meketh
And as low as a lombe · for lakkyng þatBx.20.36: þat: Alpha is supported by most C mss., though some have of þat, as in beta. hym nedeth
[¶ For nede maketh nede · fele nedes lowe-herted]Bx.20.37: Beta omits the line, which Barney (2006), 202, suggests may be a late addition. R's form of the line is supported by the X family of C.
[Philosophres]Bx.20.38: Philosophres: Though alpha is supported by Cx, beta has a good line, with Wyse men alliterating on /w/. Perhaps this is a case of revision, or alpha contamination from C. See notes to ll. 37 and 39. forsoke wel[th]eBx.20.38: welthe: Alpha is supported by Cx against wele in beta. · for þey wolde be nedy
And woneden [wel elengly]Bx.20.39: wel elengly: Alpha's reading, supported by Cx, may be a revision of beta's in wilderness. · & wolde nouȝte be riche
¶ And god al his grete ioye · gostliche he left
And cam & toke mankynde · and bycam nedy
So [he was nedy]Bx.20.42: So he was nedy: R's order is supported by the X family of C; F's prose order, He was so needy, by the P family. Beta has So nedy he was. as seyth þe boke · in many sondry places
Þat he seyde in his sorwe · on þe selue Rode
Bothe fox & foule · may fleighe to hole & crepe
And þe fisshe hath fyn · to flete with toBx.20.45: to (2): Alpha has or to, taking reste as a verb, but it is not supported by Cx or by sense: Kane (2005) glosses reste as "safety". reste
Þere nede hath ynome me · þat I mote nede abyde
And suffre sorwes ful sowre · þat shal to ioye tourne
For-þi be nouȝte abasshed · to bydeBx.20.48: byde: Beta4 and R have bidde, as does the P family of C. The X family supports bide, which follows on from l. 46. and to be nedy
Syth he þat wrouȝte al þe worlde · was wilfullich nedy
Ne neuer none so nedy · ne pouerere deyde
¶ Whan nede had vndernomeBx.20.51: vndernome: All except OR have the object me, though it is inserted in M. In C it is in all mss. except XYU, the three most authoritative of the X family. Cf. l. 46, which probably prompted the addition. þus · anon I felle aslepe
And mette ful merueillously · þat in mannes forme
Antecryst cam þanne · and al þe croppe of treuthe
Torned it vp-so-doune · and ouertilte þe rote
And [made]Bx.20.55: made: Alpha supported by Cx. Beta omits. fals sprynge & sprede · & spede mennes nedes
In eche a contre þere he cam · he cutte awey treuthe
And gert gyle growe þere · as he a god were
[¶]Bx.20.58: : The paraph is in WHm and alpha. In L the line is at the top of the page. Freres folwed þat fende · for he ȝaf hem copes
And religiouse reuerenced hym · and rongen here belles
And al þe couent camBx.20.60: cam: Beta has forth cam, F has cam holly. Neither has support from C. R is supported by the X family of C; the P family has þo cam. · to welcome [a]Bx.20.60: a: R is supported by the most reliable of the X family of C. The reading is a little more difficult than þat, as in beta and F, as well as the P family of C. tyraunt
And alle hise as wel as hym · saue onlich folis
Which folis were welBx.20.62: wel: Omitted by alpha and the P family of C, but supported by the X family. [gladd]erBx.20.62: gladder: Alpha is supported by Cx against beta's leuer. [·] to deye þan to lyue
Lengore sith le[ute]Bx.20.63: leute: Alpha is supported by Cx. Beta read lenten, with the obvious error corrected in Cr, and visibly corrected in Hm by the revising hand. · was so rebuked
And a fals fende antecriste · ouer alle folke regned
And þat wereBx.20.65: were: Beta is supported by Cx. Alpha's we is an obvious error. mylde men & holy · þat no myschief dredden
Defyed al falsenesse · and folke þat it vsed
And what Kynge þat hem conforted · knowynge hem [gy]leBx.20.67: hem gyle: "them to deceive"? R probably preserves the Bx reading, where Cx has here gyle. Beta revises to hem any while to make better sense.
They cursed and her conseille · were it clerke or lewed
¶ Antecriste hadde thus sone · hundredes at his banere
And Pryde it bareBx.20.70: it bare: Clearly the reading of Bx as well as Cx. Hm, F and the P family of C all expand in different ways. See RK, p. 130 and n. 50. · boldely aboute
With a lorde þat lyueth · after lykynge of body
That cam aȝein conscience · þat kepere was & gyoure
Ouer kynde crystene · and cardynale vertues
¶ I conseille quod conscience þo · cometh with me ȝe foles
In-to vnyte holy cherche · and holde we vs there
And crye we to kynde · þat he come & defende vs
Foles ·Bx.20.77: The punctuation after Foles is in LWOF, and so is perhaps archetypal. fro þis fendes lymes · for Piers loue þe plowman
And crye we [on]Bx.20.78: on: Alpha is supported by Cx against beta's to. alle þe comune · þat þei come to vnite
And þere abide and bikere · aȝein beliales children
¶ Kynd conscience þo herde · and cam out of þe planetes
And sent forth his foreioures [·] feures and fluxes
Coughes and cardiacles · crampes and tothaches
Rewmes & radegoundes · and roynouse scallesBx.20.83: scalles: "skin diseases". W has scabbes, an easier reading, but it is also the reading of Cx. See RK, p. 121.
Byles and bocches · and brennyng agues
Frenesyes & foule yueles · forageres of kynde
Hadde yprykked and prayed [·] polles of pepleBx.20.86: peple: MCrCGOF add the definite article, but it is not in Cx.
LargelichBx.20.87: Largelich: Beta's Þat largelich is not supported by Cx. a legioun · leseBx.20.87: lese: Probably past, though R's lose is present. Cx has lees. her lyf sone
¶ There was harrow and help · here cometh kynde
With deth þat is dredful · to vndone vs alle
¶ The lorde that lyued after lust · tho alowde cryde
After conforte aBx.20.91: conforte a: R (= alpha) omits; F expands speculatively to make up the loss. knyghte · to come and bere his banere
Alarme alarme quod þat lorde [·] eche lyf kepe his owne
¶ ÞanneBx.20.93: Þanne: So alpha, supported by Cx; beta has And þanne. mette þis men · ar mynstralles myȝte pipe
And ar heraudes of armes · hadden descreued lordes
Bx.20.95-6: Beta4 omits these two lines. ¶ Elde þe horeBx.20.95: hore: Beta is supported by Cx. F reads the rare horel, "fornicator", and R is apparently corrected to that reading. · he was in þe vauntwarde
And bare þe banere bifor deth · by riȝte he it claymed
Kynde come after [hym]Bx.20.97: hym: Alpha is supported by Cx; beta omits. · with many kene sores
As pokkes and pestilences · and moche poeple shente
So kynde þorw corupciouns · kulled ful manye
¶ Deth cam dryuendeBx.20.100: dryuende: Note that L and alpha have this form of the present participle. See note to Bx.17.50. after · and al to doust passhedBx.20.100: passhed: Beta is supported by Cx. F has daschede, and in R paschte is corrected to daschte.
Kynges & Knyȝtes · kayseres and popes
Lered ne lewed · he le[f]tBx.20.102: left: Alpha is supported by Cx against beta's let. no man stonde
That he hitte euene · þat euere stiredBx.20.103: þat euere stired: The wording of LWR is supported by Cx. after
Many a louely lady · and lemmanes knyghtesBx.20.104: lemmanes knyghtes: "lover-knights". So R. Beta misunderstands and adds of. F rewrites, but its inclusion of hire could perhaps indicate that Bx read as Cx, which reads here lemmanes knyhtes.
Swouned and swelted · for sorwe of dethes dyntes
¶ Conscience of his curteisye · to kynde he bisouȝte
To cesse & suffre · and see where þei wolde
Leue pryde pryuely · and be parfite cristene
¶ And kynde cessed tho · to se þe peple amende
Fortune gan flateren thenne · þo fewe þat were alyue
And byhight hem longe lyf · and lecherye he sent
Amonges al manere men · wedded & vnwedded
And gadered a gret hoste · al agayne conscience
Bx.20.114: : The paraph is in beta and F. This lecherye leyde on · withBx.20.114: with: Beta has with a, but alpha is supported by Cx. laughyng chiere
And with pryue speche · and peynted wordes
And armed hym in ydelnesse · and in hiegh berynge
He bare a bowe in his hande · and manye blodyBx.20.117: blody: With support from LMCr, beta4 and R, this is presumably the reading of Bx. However, WHmF brode is also the reading of Cx, and is better in context. Schmidt (1995), 409, conjectures that Bx had the form blode, independently corrected by beta3 and F. arwes
Weren fethered with faire biheste · and many a false truthe
Wit[h]Bx.20.119: With: L's Wit is marked for correction, as at Bx.5.612. Beta has With his, but alpha without his is supported by Cx. vntydy tales · he tened ful ofte
Conscience and his compaignye · of holi[kirke]Bx.20.120: kirke: Cr and alpha. Beta and Cx read non-alliterating cherche. See Introduction IV.1. þe techeres
¶ Thanne cam coueityse · and caste how he myȝte
Ouercome conscience · and cardynal vertues
And armed hym in auaryce · and hungrilicheBx.20.123: hungriliche: MED records R's vngriseliche as a unique instance. Presumably alpha had F's form vngryly, "hungrily", misread by R. lyued
His wepne was al wiles · to wynnen & to hyden
With glosynges andBx.20.125: and: Beta must have had and with (though beta4 drops with). Alpha presumably had and, as in R, supported by Cx, with F adding with. gabbynges · he gyled þe peple
Symonye hym se[ude]Bx.20.126: seude: "followed" (MED seuen v.(1)). R is supported by Cx. The form was easily misread as sende (pa.t.) by both beta and F. See Schmidt (1995), 409. · to assaille conscience
And preched to þe peple · and prelates þei hemBx.20.127: hem: Omitted by MCr. Cx is without it, following a different a-verse And presed on þe pope. See Barney (2006), 214, for discussion of the versions. maden
To holden with antecryste · her temperaltes to saue
And come to þe kynges conseille · as a kene baroun
And kneled toBx.20.130: kneled to: Cx reads knokked. conscience [·] in courte aforBx.20.130: afor: Beta4 and alpha have before, as does Cx. For discussion of these variants, see note to Bx.5.12. hem alle
And gart gode feith flee · and fals to abide
And boldeliche bar adown · with many a briȝteBx.20.132: briȝte: Beta is supported by alliteration and Cx. Alpha has rede. noble
Moche of þe witte and wisdome · of westmynster halle
He iugged tilBx.20.134: iugged til: W has Iogged to, as does Cx. The sense of the verb is uncertain: see OED jug v.4, jag v., jog v; Kane (2005) s.v. iogged glosses "thrust his way". Bx may have misunderstood it as "judged", i.e. "condemned". a iustice · and iusted in his ere
And ouertilte al his treuthe · with take þis vpBx.20.135: vp: Cx has on. amendement
And [in-]toBx.20.136: in-to: Alpha and Hm; perhaps a little more appropriate than beta's to. C mss. are similarly divided: the P family agrees with beta. þe arches in haste · he ȝede anone after
And torned Ciuile in-to symonye · and sitthe he toke þe official
For a [menyuere mentel]Bx.20.138: menyuere mentel: Alpha is supported by Cx. Beta has mentel of menyuere. · he made lele matrimonye
Departen ar deth cam · & [a]Bx.20.139: a: Dropped by beta, but alpha is supported by Cx. deuos shupte
¶ Allas quod conscience & cried þoBx.20.140: þo: Dropped by F and the P family of C. · wolde criste of hisBx.20.140: his: In Cx; dropped in R. grace
That coueityse were cristene · þat is so kene [to fiȝte]Bx.20.141: to fiȝte: Alpha is supported by Cx against beta's a fiȝter.
And bolde and [a]bidyngBx.20.142: abidyng: So alpha and CrHmO, against bidyng in the others. C mss. are also split, with the X family and some of the P family reading abidyng. There is support for abidyng from the same a-verse in Bx.19.302. · [þe]Bx.20.142: þe: Not in beta, and Cx is also split, but alpha is supported by the best of both families of C. while his bagge lasteth
¶ And þanne lowgh lyf · and leet dagge his clothes
And armed hym in haste · in harlotes wordes
And helde holynesse a iape · and hendenesse a wastour
And lete leute a cherle · and lyer a fre man
Conscience and conseille · he counted it folyeBx.20.147: folye: Beta4 and R, supported by Cx. LMHm (hence beta?) have a folye, Cr at foly, W at a flye; F has but folye.
¶ Thus relyed lyf · for a litel fortune
And prykedBx.20.149: pryked: Bx clearly has past tense, though W has the present, as do the most reliable C mss. forth with pryde [·] preyseth he no vertue
[Ne]Bx.20.150: Ne: Beta has He (A in L), though Hm has and, and W has Ne, agreeing with alpha and Cx. careth nouȝte how kynde slow · and shal come atte laste
And culleBx.20.151: culle: Supported by Cx against alpha's calle. alle erthely creatureBx.20.151: creature: LR and original M have the distributive sg. against the plural in others. Cx is also split. · saue conscience one
Lyf leep asydeBx.20.152: leep asyde: Beta is supported by Cx against alpha's curious reading seith occide. · and lauȝte hym a lemman
Heel & I quod he · and hieghnesse of herte
Shal do þe nouȝte drede · noyther deth ne elde
And to forȝete sorweBx.20.155: sorwe: MCr read deþ from the line above. Cx has instead ȝowthe. · and ȝyue nouȝte of synne
¶ This lyked lyf · and his lemman fortune
And geten in her glorie · a gadelyng atte laste
One þat moche woBx.20.158: wo: Omitted by alpha. wrouȝte · sleuthe was his name
Sleuthe wex wonder ȝerne · and sone was of age
And wedded one wanhope · a wenche of þe stuwes
Her syre was a sysour · þat neure swore treuthe
One Thomme two tonge · ateynte at vch a queste
¶ ThisBx.20.163: This: Beta is supported by Cx. R has Þus and F omits. sleuthe wasBx.20.163: was: Beta4 has wex, but this is not supported by Cx. warBx.20.163: war: Cx has sley. of werre · and a slynge made
And threwe drede of dyspayre · a dozein myle aboute
For care conscience þo · cryed vpon elde
And bad hymBx.20.166: hym: Omitted by alpha, but beta is supported by Cx. fonde to fyȝte · and afere wanhope
¶ And elde hent good hope · and hastilich he shifteBx.20.167: shifte: "got moving" (refl.). Cx has instead shroef. hym
And wayued awey wanhope · and with lyf he fyȝteth
And lyf fleigh for fere [·] to fysyke after helpe
And bisouȝte hym of socoure · and of his salue hadde
And gaf hym golde good woon · þat gladded h[er] herte[s]Bx.20.171: her hertes: Beta has his herte, following the sg. in the a-verse. R alone has the plural, but is supported by the best C mss., six of which also have here for his in l. 170. See next note.
And þeiBx.20.172: þei: F alters to he, following the sg. pronouns of ll. 170-1. Schmidt (2008), 467, explains that the distinction is between the art of Fysyke and its practitioners. See previous note. gyuen hym agayne [·] a glasen houve
Lyf leued þat lechecrafte · lette shulde elde
And dryuenBx.20.174: dryuen: Alpha has to driue, as do some of the P family of C, but the rest omit to. awey deth · with dyasBx.20.174: dyas: "remedies". Beta is supported by Cx against alpha's dayes. and dragges
¶ And elde auntred hym on lyf · and atte laste he hitte
A Fisicien with a forred hood · þat he fel in aBx.20.176: a (3): As in Cx. MCrC have þe (inserted in M). O omits. palsye
And þere deyed þat doctour · ar thre dayes after
Now I see seyde lyf · þat surgerye ne Fisyke
May nouȝte a myte auaille · to medle aȝein elde
And in hope of his hele · gode herte heBx.20.180: he: Omitted by R, but Cx has it. hente
And rode so to reuel · a ryche place and a merye
The companye of conforteBx.20.182: conforte: Beta4 corrupts to court. · men cleped it sumtyme
And elde anone after [hym]Bx.20.183: hym: Alpha supported by Cx against beta's me. Beta fails to understand that the reference is to Lyf. · and ouer myne heed ȝede
And made me balled bifore · and bare on þe croune
So harde he ȝede ouer myn hed · it wil be seen eure
¶ Sire euel ytauȝte elde quod I · vnhende go with the
Sith whanne was þe way · ouer menBx.20.187: men: L alone has the uninflected gen., but RK record the C reading as menne. hedes
Haddestow be hende quod I · þow woldest haue asked leue
¶ Ȝe leue lordeyne quod he · and leyde on me with age
And hitte me vnder þe ere · vnethe may ich here
He buffeted me aboute þe mouthe · & bett out my [wange-]tetheBx.20.191: wange-tethe: Beta drops wange, though it is included in Cx, which has the b-verse as in R. Beta must have had & bett out my tethe as in LMCr, with variations in WHm and beta4.
And gyued me in goutes · I may nouȝte go at large
And of þe wo þat I was in · my wyf had reuthe
And wisshed [wel]Bx.20.194: wel: R alone, but supported by Cx. Beta has ful, F has often. witterly · þat I were in heuene
For þe lyme þat she loued me fore · and leef was to fele
On nyȝtes namely · whan we naked were
I ne myght in no manere · maken it at hir wille
So elde and [he]Bx.20.198: he: "she". Only R has the h- form, but it is necessary for the alliteration and is supported by Cx. See Introduction IV.1. Beta reads she sothly, lengthening a short a-verse, but neither R or Cx has the adverb. F rewrites the a-verse. · [it hadden]Bx.20.198: it hadden: R's order is supported by Cx, altered to prose order in all other B mss. forbeten
¶ And asBx.20.199: as: Beta is supported by Cx against alpha's was. I seet in þis sorwe · I say how kynde passed
And deth drowgh nieghBx.20.200: niegh: MCrF have neer (from OE comparative), but it is not supported by Cx. me · for drede gan I quake
And cried to kynde · out of care me brynge
Loo elde þe hoore · hath meBx.20.202: me: Beta is supported by Cx against alpha's my lif. biseyeBx.20.202: biseye: 'dealt with'; MED bisen 4(b). Supported by Cx against variants in CrGR.
Awreke me if ȝowre wille be · for I wolde ben hennes
¶ Ȝif þow wilt ben ywroken · wende in-to vnite
And holde þe þere eure · tyl I sende for þe
And loke þow conne somme crafte [·] ar þow come þennes
[¶]Bx.20.207: : The paraph to mark the dreamer's words is in WHmC and alpha, with a line-space in M. Conseille me kynde quod I · what crafte [be]Bx.20.207: be: R's subjunctive is supported by Cx against is in beta. F rephrases. best to lerne
[¶]Bx.20.208: : In L the scribe left a line-space but the rubricator did not supply the paraph to mark Kynde's words. It is in WHmC and alpha, with a line-space in M. Lerne to loue quod kynde · & leueBx.20.208: leue: Alpha and Cr are supported by Cx in omitting of. Beta perhaps avoids the x / x / x rhythm of the b-verse, as F does by adding craftys. alle othre
¶ How shal I come to catel so · to clothe me and toBx.20.209: to (3): Supported by Cx, though dropped by HmGF and erased in M. fede
[¶]Bx.20.210: : Though lacking in LR and therefore somewhat doubtful, the paraph to mark Kynde's words is in WHmCF, with a line-space in M. And þow loue lellyBx.20.210: lelly: Beta adds quod he, but it is not in alpha or Cx. · lakke shal þe neure
[Wede] ne wordly [mete]Bx.20.211: Wede ... mete: Alpha's order is supported by Cx. Note the spelling wordly for "worldly" in LR, perhaps archetypal. · whil þi lyf lasteth
¶ And þere by conseille of kynde · comsedBx.20.212: comsed: So R. Beta has I comsed, F has he comsede. In Cx the line reads: And y bi conseil of kynde comsed to Rome, though eight mss. move the pronoun to the b-verse. Evidently þere is a Bx error for I, the omission of which is supplied in the b-verse by all scribes except R. to rowme
Thorw contricioun & confessioun · tyl I cam to vnite
And þere was conscienceBx.20.214: conscience: Dropped in alpha; F patches. constable · cristene to saue
And biseged sothly · with seuene grete gyauntz
Þat with Antecrist helden · hard aȝein conscience
¶ Sleuth with his slynge · an[d]Bx.20.217: and: Probably an archetypal error for an. MCrCR have and, as do five C mss. including X (misreported by RK). All other scribes in both versions make the necessary and obvious correction to an; M is corrected by adding an. hard sautBx.20.217: saut: LHm and alpha are supported by Cx against assaut. Cf. variants at l. 301. heBx.20.217: he: LWHm and alpha supported by Cx. Other mss. omit. made
Proude prestes come with hym [· passyng an hundreth]Bx.20.218: passyng an hundreth: Alpha is supported by Cx and alliteration against beta's moo þan a thousand.
In paltokes & pyked shoes · & pisseres longe knyues
Comen aȝein conscience · with coueityse þei helden
¶ By [þe]Bx.20.221: þe (1): In R only, but supported by Cx. MED cites no other examples of this form of the oath, though cf. by þe holy Marie etc. Marie quod a mansed preste · [was]Bx.20.221: was: Omitted by beta. Alpha is supported by Cx. of þe marche of yrlonde
I counte namore conscience · bi so I cacche syluer
Than I do to drynke · a drauȝte of good ale
And so seide sexty [·] of þe same contreye
And shoten aȝein with shotte · many a shef of othes
And brode hoked arwes · goddes herte & his nayles
And hadden almost vnyte · and holynesse adowne
¶ Conscience cryed helpe · clergye or ellis I falle
Thorw inparfit prestes · and prelates of holicherche
Freres herden hym crye · and comen hym to helpe
Ac for þei couth nouȝte wel her craft · conscience forsoke hem
¶ Nede neghed tho nere · and conscience he tolde
That þei come for coueityseBx.20.233: coueityse: Alpha misunderstands Nede's advice and adds no. · to haue cure of soules
And for þei arn poure par-auenture · for patrimoigne hem failleth
Thei wil flatre to fare wel · folke þat ben riche
And sithen þei chosen chele · and cheytifteBx.20.236: cheytifte: As in LWR and Cx, though other beta mss. alter the noun to the adj. cheitif, and F reads chastite &. For the suggestion that poverte was a marginal gloss incorporated into the text in Bx and Cx, see RK, p. 136. pouerte
Lat hem chewe as þei chese · and charge hem with no cure
Bx.20.238-9: Two lines omitted by alpha but attested by Cx. The likely explanation for the omission is eyeskip from For (238) to For (240), suggesting that alpha's exemplar began l. 240 with For rather than Bx And (see note). For lomer he lyeth · þat lyflode mote begge
Þan he þat laboureth for lyflode · & leneth it beggeres
AndBx.20.240: And: Supported by Cx against alpha's For. sithen Freres forsoke · þeBx.20.240: þe: Beta is supported by Cx, though it is dropped by G and alpha. felicite of erthe
Lat hem be as beggeres · or lyue by angeles fode
¶ Conscience of þis conseille þoBx.20.242: þo: Dropped by alpha and by some of the P family of C. · comsed for to laughe
And curtei[s]lichBx.20.243: curteisliche: The line in L is marked for correction. conforted hem · and called in alle freres
And seide sires sothly · welcome be ȝe alle
To vnite and holicherche · ac on thyng I ȝow preye
Holdeth ȝow in vnyte · and haueth none envye
To lered ne to lewed · but lyueth after ȝowre rewle
And I wil be ȝowre borghe · ȝe shal haue bred and clothes
And other necessaries anowe · ȝow shal no thyng [lakke]Bx.20.249: lakke: Alpha is supported by Cx against beta's faille, which is perhaps picked up from l. 234. For ȝow, F has ȝee as subject, as do a few C mss. R's þow is odd in context.
With þat ȝe leue logyk · and lerneth for to louye
For loue laft þei lordship · bothe londe and scole
Frere Fraunceys and Dominyk · for loue to ben holy
¶ And if ȝe coueyteth cure · kynde wil ȝow te[ll]eBx.20.253: telle: Alpha is supported by Cx against beta's teche.
That in mesure god made · alle manere thynges
And sette itBx.20.255: it: Supported by Cx against hem in CrWF. at a certeyne · and at a syker noumbre
And nempned [hem]Bx.20.256: hem: Omitted by beta, but alpha is supported by Cx. See next note. names neweBx.20.256: newe: Not in Cx at all, and presumably a Bx error, since it makes poor sense in either position in the line. In Bx it was probably in the a-verse, prompting beta to drop hem to lighten a heavy verse, and alpha to move it into the b-verse to qualify numbred, with no better sense. · and noumbred þe sterres
Qui numerat multitudinem stellarumBx.20.257: stellarum: Alpha evidently agreed with Cx in omitting & omnibus eis &c, and F struggles to complete the familiar quotation.
Bx.20.258: : The paraph is in beta and F, following the Latin line. Kynges & knyghtes [·] þat kepenBx.20.258: kepen: Oddly, R's illogical past tense is supported by three of the best of the X family of C. It could therefore be archetypal error. and defenden
Han officers vnder hem · and vch of hem certeyneBx.20.259: certeyne: WHmOF have a certein as in Cx, but LR and CrCG omit the article. This is evidently a Bx error, with scribes making an obvious correction, as the M scribe does visibly.
And if þei wage men to werre · þei write hem in noumbre
Wil no tresorere [taken] hem [wages]Bx.20.261: taken hem wages: Beta alters to hem paye, shortening a long a-verse but losing the alliteration. Alpha is supported by Cx. For hem R uniquely reads hym as in l. 259. In Cx this line is followed by Bote hy ben nempned in þe nombre of hem þat been ywaged (RK.21.261), necessary to complete the sense. Its loss in Bx causes WHm to move l. 261 to the end of the paragraph to follow l. 263, and C2 to invent a new line: but he kunne rekene ariȝt her names in his rollis. Cr, followed by revised M, more simply begins the line Or they wil, and F has Ellys wille. · trauaille þei neure so sore
Alle other in bataille · ben yholde bribours
Pilours and pykehernois · in eche a p[arisch]Bx.20.263: parisch: Beta has place, but alpha is supported by Cx. [a]cursedBx.20.263: acursed: MCrCGO and alpha are supported by Cx against ycursed in LWHm.
Bx.20.264: : The paraph is in beta and F. Monkes and monyals · and alle men of Religioun
Her ordre andBx.20.265: Her ordre and: Presumably alpha dropped ordre, with R faithfully copying Her and as heraude, and F characteristically revising to make sense. her reule wil · to han a certeyne noumbre
Of lewed and of lered · þe lawe wol and axeth
A certeyn for a certeyne · saue onelich of freres
For-þi quod conscience by cryst · kynde witte me telleth
It is wikked to wage ȝow · ȝe wexeth out ofBx.20.269: out of: Beta and Cx. R's of on is probably the alpha reading, revised by F to ouer ony for sense. noumbre
Heuene hath euene noumbre · and helle is with-out noumbre
For-þi I wolde witterly · þat ȝe were in þe Registre
And ȝowre noumbre vndre notarieBx.20.272: notarie: MCrWCO's gen. is not supported by Cx. sygne · & noyther mo ne lasse
Bx.20.273: : The paraph is in beta and F. Enuye herd þis · and heet freres goBx.20.273: go: LWC have to go, not supported by Cx. to scole
And lerne logyk and lawe · and eke contemplacioun
And preche men of plato · and preue it by seneca
Þat alle þinges vnder heuene · ouȝte to ben in comune
¶ [H]eBx.20.277: He: So alpha and Cx. Beta begins And ȝit he. lyeth as I leue · þat to þe lewed so precheth
For god made to men a lawe · and Moyses it tauȝte
Non concupisces rem proximi tui
And euele is þis yholde · in parisches of engelonde
For parsones and parish prestes [·] þat shulde þe peple shryue
Ben curatoures called · to knowe and to hele
Alle þat ben her parisshiens · penaunceBx.20.283: penaunce: Probably plural; alpha has penaunces. For variation with and without <-s>, see note to Bx.14.211. There is similar variation in C mss. enioigneBx.20.283: enioigne: All except R read to enioigne, which has minority support from C mss.
And be[n]Bx.20.284: ben: For once F probably represents alpha and is supported by Cx. R takes infin. ben as pres. pl. Beta clarifies with shulden be(n). ashamed in her shrifte · ac shame maketh hem wende
And fleen to þe freres · as fals folke to westmynstre
That borweth and bereth it þider · and þanne biddeth frendes
Ȝerne of forȝifnesse · or lenger ȝeres leueBx.20.287: leue: The reading of LR and probably alpha (F's rewrite includes bleve), supported by Cx. Beta1 has loone, adopted by RK, p. 128, who explain the financial arrangement. For leue, "dispensation", see Alford (1988), 88.
¶ Ac whil he is in westmynstre · he wil be bifore
And makeBx.20.289: make: Beta's infinitive is supported by Cx against alpha's maketh. hym merye [·] with other mennesBx.20.289: mennes: For R's gen. pl. men, cf. l. 187 and note. Some C scribes have the same form. goodis
And so it fareth with moche folke · þat toBx.20.290: to: Alpha supported by Cx against beta's to þe (though Cr also has to). freres shryuethBx.20.290: shryueth: WOF have hem shryueþ, as do some of the P family of C.
As sysours and excecutours · þei [shulBx.20.291: shul: Alpha is supported by Cx against beta's wil. ȝeue] þeBx.20.291: ȝeue þe: The L scribe omitted the verb, and the omission was subsequently miscorrected. freres
A parcel to preye for hem · & make hemBx.20.292: hem (2): R is supported by Cx against hem-self in beta. F rewrites the b-verse to pad it out, but that then involves rewriting the next line to avoid repetition. myrye
With þe residue and þeBx.20.293: þe (1 & 2): The definite article is omitted by R in both cases, and the first of them is added by the corrector in M. F has both in a rewritten line. Cx drops þe residue and. remenaunt · þat other men biswonke
And suffre þe ded in dette · to þe day of dome
¶ Enuye herfore · hated conscience
And freres to philosofye · he fonde hem to scole
The while coueytise and vnkyndenesse · conscience assailled
In vnite holycherche · conscience helde hym
And made pees porter · to pynne þe ȝates
Of alle taletellers · and tyterers [a]nBx.20.300: an: So R, supported by the X family of C. Beta has in, F has of ydelte. In L the phrase is elsewhere always an ydel (Bx.5.592, 14.210, 19.415). ydel
Ypocrisye and heBx.20.301: he: The h- form is necessary for the alliteration. Presumably Bx took it to be sg., but Cx understands that it must be plural and alters to they. · an hard sautBx.20.301: saut: LHmOR supported by Cx against assaut in MCrWCG. Cf. l. 217. F omits the line. þei made
Ypocrysie atte ȝate · hard gan fiȝte
And wounded wel wykkedly · many [a]Bx.20.303: a: CrW and alpha are supported by Cx. Most beta scribes omit it. wise techer
Þat with conscience acorded · and cardinale vertues
[¶]Bx.20.305: : The paraph is in WHmC and alpha. In L the line is at the top of the page. Conscience called a leche · þat coude wel shryue
GoBx.20.306: Go: The reading of LCrHmGOR and original M, supported by the X family of C, against To in CF and revised M, supported by the P family, and To go in W. See next note. salue þo þat syke [were]Bx.20.306: were: Alpha is supported by Cx against ben in beta, who takes Go as an indication of direct speech. · [and]Bx.20.306: and: CrWHm and alpha are supported by Cx, against omission in others. It is added in M. þorw synne ywounded
Shrifte shope sharpe salue · and made men do penaunce
For her mysdedes [·] þat þei wrouȝte hadden
And þat piersBx.20.309: piers: So Bx. Cx has Peres pardon. were payed · redde quod debes
¶ Somme lyked nouȝte þis leche · and lettres þei sent
Ȝif any surgien were [in] þe segeBx.20.311: in þe sege: "among the besiegers". Alpha is supported by Cx against beta's þe segge, "the man". (L is apparently corrected to þe sege.) · þat softer couth plastre
Sire l[i]fBx.20.312: lif: Alpha (and CrHm) supported by Cx against beta's lief. However, beta's reading is attractive ("Sir Happy-to-Live-in-Lechery"), and is adopted by KD. to lyue in leccherye · lay þere and groned
For fastyng of a fryday · he ferde as he wolde deye
Bx.20.314: Only LR are without a paraph at this point. It aptly marks the start of Conscience's speech, otherwise unmarked. Perhaps Bx lacked it.Ther is a surgiene in þis sege · þat soft can handle
And more of phisyke bi fer · and fairer he plastreth
One frere flaterere [·] is phisiciene and surgiene
Quod contricioun to conscience · do hym come to vnyte
For here is many a man herte ·Bx.20.318: The punctuation is after herte in LHmORF, before it in MWC, and in both positions in G. Alliteration is on /h/ and the vowel. þorw ypocrisie
¶ We han no nede quod conscience · I wote no better leche
Than persoun or parissh prest · penytancere or bisshop
Saue Piers þe plowman · þat hath powere ouer alleBx.20.321: alle: G and alpha are supported by Cx. Beta has hem alle.
And indulgence may do · but if dette lette it
I may wel suffre seydeBx.20.323: seyde: CrHmF have quod, as does the P family of Cx. conscience · syn ȝe desiren
That frere flaterer be fette · and phisike ȝow syke
¶ The Frere her-of herde · and hyed fasteBx.20.325: faste: MCrF add full to lengthen the b-verse. It is not in Cx.
To a lorde for a lettre · leue to haue to curen
As a curatour he were · and cam with his lettresBx.20.327: lettres: Beta's plural is supported by the P family of C, alpha's sg. by the X family. The sg. seems more logical in view of the sg. in the previous line; however that might have been a motive for altering the plural. We follow copy-text.
Baldly to þe bisshop · & his brief hadde
In contrees þere he comeBx.20.239: come: Beta has come in, but alpha is supported by Cx. · confessiouns to here
And cam þere conscience was · and knokked atte ȝate
¶ Pees vnpynned it · was porter of vnyte
And in haste asked · what his wille were
In faith quod þis frere · for profit and for helthe
Carpe I wolde with contricioun · & þerfore come I hider
¶ He is sike seide pees · and so ar many other
Ypocrisie hath herte hem · ful harde is if þei keure
[¶]Bx.20.237: : The paraph to mark the surgeon's words is in WHmC and alpha, with a line-space in M. I am a surgien seide þe [frere]Bx.20.337: frere: Beta's segge increases the alliteration, but alpha is supported by Cx. · and salues can make
Conscience knoweth me wel · and what I can do bothe
I preye þe quod pees þo · ar þow passe ferther
What hattestow I preye þe · hele nouȝte þi name
¶ Certes seyde his felow [·] sire penetrans domos
[¶]Bx.20.342: : The paraph to mark Pees's reply is in WHmCR, with line-spaces in MF. Ȝe go þi gate quod pees · bi god for al þi phisyk
But þow conne [any]Bx.20.343: any: R is supported by Cx. Beta has somme, F has more. crafte · þow comest nouȝt her-Inne
I knewe such one ones · nouȝte eighte wynter passed
Come in þus ycoped · at a courte þere I dwelt
And was my lordes leche · & my ladyes bothe
And at þe last þis limitour · þo my lorde was out
He salued so owre wommen · til somme were with childe
[¶]Bx.20.349: : The paraph is in WHm and alpha, with a line-space in M. Hende speche het pees [þo]Bx.20.349: þo: Omitted by beta, but alpha is supported by Cx. · opene þe ȝates
Late in þe frere and his felawe · and make hem faire chere
He may se and here [here] · soBx.20.351: here here so: F has er so after a revised a-verse; Beta has here so it. R is supported by Cx. may bifalle
That lyf þorw his lore [·] shal leue coueityse
And be adradde of deth · and with-drawe hym fram pryde
And acorde with conscience · and kisse her either other
[¶]Bx.20.355: : The paraph is in WHmR, with line-spaces in MF. Thus thorw hende speche [·] entred þe frere
And cam in to conscience · and curteisly hym grette
Þow art welcome quod conscience [·] canstow hele sykeBx.20.357: syke: Alpha supported by Cx. Beta has þe syke.
Here is contricioun quod conscience · my cosyn ywounded
Conforte hym quod conscience [·] and take kepe to his sores
The plastres of þe persoun · and poudres [ben]Bx.20.360: ben: So R, supported by Cx. However, beta and F read biten. This is attractive, though too emphatic for an unstressed position. It is probably picked up from l. 362. to sore
[And]Bx.20.361: And: Again R alone is supported by Cx. Beta and F substitute the subject He, otherwise unexpressed. lat hem ligge ouerlonge · and loth is to chaunge hem
Fro lenten to lenten · he lat his plastres bite
¶ That is ouerlonge quod this limitour · I leue I shal amende it
And gothBx.20.364: goth: Beta and F read the easier goth and, as do a few C mss. mainly of the P family, but R agrees with Cx in omitting and. gropeth contricioun · and gaf hym a plastre
Of a pryue payement · and I shal praye for ȝow
For alleBx.20.366: For alle: Cx reads instead And for hem. Cr, beta4 and F agree on And, but Bx is clearly without it. þat ȝe ben holde to · al my lyf-tyme
And make ȝow my ladyBx.20.367: make ȝow my lady: The reading is also that of Cx. For discussion of the crux see RK, p. 136; Barney (2006), 244, Schmidt (2008), 469. · in masse and in matynes
As freresBx.20.368: freres: WHmO alter to the singular, to refer to my lady above. of owre fraternite · for a litel syluer
¶ Thus he goth and gadereth · and gloseth þere he shryueth
Tyl contricioun hadde clene forȝeten · to crye & to wepe
And wake for his wykked werkes · as he was wont to doneBx.20.371: to done: Cx has instead bifore. From here to the end of the poem there are significant differences between Bx and Cx.
For confort of his confessour · contricioun he lafte
Þat is þe souereynest salue · for alkyn synnes
¶ Sleuth seigh þat · and so did pryde
And come with a kene wille · conscience to assaille
Conscience cryde eft · and bad clergyeBx.20.376: and bad clergye: Cx has instead Clergie come. help hym
And also contricioun · fortoBx.20.377: also ... forto: Cx has instead baed Contricioun to come to helpe. kepe þe ȝate
[¶]Bx.20.378: : The paraph is in HmCR, with line-spaces in WMF. He lith and dremethBx.20.378: and dremeth: Cx has instead adreint. seyde pees · and so do many other
The Frere with his phisik · þis folke hathBx.20.379: hath: Alpha reads hath so, but beta is supported by Cx. enchaunted
And plastred hem so esyly · þeiBx.20.380: plastred ... þei: In Cx this reads doth men drynke dwale þat men. drede no synne
¶ Bi cryste quod conscience þo · I wil bicome a pilgryme
And walken as wyde · as alBx.20.382: al: Omitted by CrWOF, but apparently in Bx. Cx instead reads as þe world regneth. þe wordleBx.20.382: wordle: Not an error but a recognised spelling of "world". See note to l. 211. lasteth
To seke Piers þe plowman · þat pryde m[yȝte]Bx.20.383: myȝte: Beta has may, but alpha is supported by Cx. destruye
And þat freres hadde a fyndyng · þat for nede flateren
And contrepleteth me conscience · now kynde me auenge
And sende me happe and hele · til I haue piers þe plowman
And sitthe he gradde after grace · til I gan awake
[pass]us ijus de DobestBx.20.387: [pass]us ijus de Dobest: Written in the margin in LR, and so presumably Bx. See Introduction IV.2.

Explicit hic dialogus petri plowmanBx.20.387: Explicit hic dialogus petri plowman: Supported by LMWGOC. See Introduction IV.2.