<head><foreign>Passus tercius de visione vt supra</foreign></head>
<l> Now is Mede þe Maide · and namo of hem alle</l>
<l> With bedellus & wiþ<note>Bx.3.2: <hi>wiþ</hi> (2): Supported for <hi>Bx</hi> by LR and WHmC, against MCrGOF (F reverses the half lines). Yet neither <hi>Ax</hi> or <hi>Cx</hi> repeats the preposition (<hi>Cx</hi> has <hi>Thorw Bedeles</hi>).</note> bayllyues · brouȝt bifor þe kyng</l>
<l> The kyng called a clerke · can I nouȝt his name</l>
<l> To take Mede þe mayde · and make hire at ese</l>
<l> I shal assaye hir my-self · and sothelich<note>Bx.3.5: <hi>sothelich</hi>: Beta supported by <hi>AC</hi> though the word (meaning "openly, plainly"? or "effectively"? as glossed by Kane (2005)) causes some problems in all versions. R's <hi>couthliche</hi> is presumably the alpha reading, improved by F to <hi>sotilly</hi>. See Hanna (1996), 227.</note> appose</l>
<l> What man of þis [worlde]<note>Bx.3.6: <hi>worlde</hi>: R's reading is supported by <hi>AC</hi>. The beta reading <hi>molde</hi> is prompted by the common alliterative formula, just as F alters <hi>man</hi> to <hi>wyȝe</hi> for the same consideration. Alliteration may fall on <hi>What</hi>.</note> · þat hire were leueste</l>
<l> And if she worche bi my<note>Bx.3.7: <hi>my</hi>(1): Omitted by beta2 and some <hi>A</hi> mss.; <hi>C</hi> rewrites.</note> witte · and my wille folwe</l>
<l> I wil forgyue hir þis <app><rdg>gilte</rdg><rdg>giltes</rdg></app><note>Bx.3.8: <hi>gilte / giltes</hi>: Though beta and <hi>Ax</hi> have the sg., alpha and <hi>Cx</hi> have the pl. Hanna (1996), 228, regards this as "a possible product of Langlandian revision".</note> · so me god help</l>
<l> ¶ Curteysliche þe clerke þanne [·] as þe Kyng hight</l>
<l> Toke Mede bi þe Middel · and brouȝte<note>Bx.3.10: <hi>brouȝte</hi>: F's alliterating <hi>mente</hi> has no parallel in any version. <hi>Cx</hi> rewrites the b-verse. Following this line, F alone has a line without support from other versions.</note> hir in-to chaumbre</l>
<l> A[c]<note>Bx.3.11: <hi>Ac</hi>: R is supported in the less obvious reading by the X family of <hi>C</hi>. The P family omits the conjunction. Beta and F (where the beginning of the line is revised) read <hi>And</hi>, as do some <hi>A</hi> mss. (varying with <hi>But</hi>, <hi>Ac</hi>, <hi>Þan</hi>). Kane (2005), in a subtle entry for <hi>ac</hi>, glosses "moreover" here.</note> þere was myrthe and mynstralcye · Mede to plese</l>
<l> [¶]<note>Bx.3.12: <hi></hi>: In L the paraph is indicated by <hi>cc</hi>, but not inserted. The line is at the top of the page.</note> They þat wonyeth [at]<note>Bx.3.12: <hi>at</hi>: The reading of MG + alpha is supported by <hi>Ax</hi>. <hi>Cx</hi> rewrites.</note> westmynstre · worschiped<note>Bx.3.12: <hi>worshiped</hi>: So LR and CrHmCO. <hi>C</hi> mss. and <hi>A</hi> mss. also divide between past and the easier present.</note> hir alle</l>
<l> Gentelliche wiþ ioye · þe Iustices somme</l>
<l> Busked hem to þe boure · þere þe birde dwelled</l>
<l> To conforte hire kyndely · by clergise leue</l>
<l> And seiden mourne<note>Bx.3.16: <hi>mourne</hi>: MHmO have <hi>mourne þow</hi>, a minor variant in all three versions.</note> nought Mede · ne make þow no sorwe</l>
<l> For we [wil]<note>Bx.3.17: <hi>wil</hi>: The omission in L, original M, and CO is probably a beta error corrected in other mss.</note> wisse þe kynge · and þi wey shape</l>
<l> To be wedded at þi wille · and where þe leue liketh</l>
<l> For al conscience caste · [and] craft<note>Bx.3.19: <hi>caste and craft</hi>: <hi>AC</hi> support beta's word-order against alpha's, and alpha's <hi>and</hi> against beta's <hi>or</hi>.</note> as I trowe</l>
<l> ¶ Mildeliche Mede þanne · mercyed hem alle</l>
<l> Of þeire gret goodnesse · and gaf hem vchone</l>
<l> Coupes of clene golde · and coppis of siluer</l>
<l> Rynges with rubies · and ricchesses<note>Bx.3.23: <hi>richesses</hi>: As a romance loan ending in a sibilant, alpha's reading without <hi>-s</hi> can also be a pl. form. See notes to <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.3.101</ref>, <ref>10.90</ref>, <ref>223</ref>, <ref>227</ref>, <ref>19.73</ref>, etc.</note> manye</l>
<l> The leste man of here meyne · a motoun of golde</l>
<l> Thanne lauȝte þei leue · þis lordes at Mede</l>
<l> ¶ With that comen clerkis · to conforte hir þe same</l>
<l> And beden hire be blithe · for we beth þine owne</l>
<l> Forto worche þi wille · þe while þow myȝte laste<note>Bx.3.28: <hi>þow myȝte laste</hi>: Hm's <hi>thy lyfe lasteth</hi> is the reading of some <hi>A</hi> mss. For <hi>þow myȝte</hi> CrG have <hi>we moune / we may</hi>, the reading of the P family of <hi>C</hi>.</note></l>
<l> [¶]<note>Bx.3.29: <hi></hi>: Though L has no paraph, the scribe leaves a blank line, and WHmC have the paraph. In R the left margin is cropped.</note> Hendeliche heo þanne · bihight hem þe same</l>
<l> To loue ȝow<note>Bx.3.30: <hi>ȝow</hi>: Only LR switch to direct address with this line. M probably did too originally, though the corrector altered to <hi>hem</hi>, the reading of all other <hi>B</hi> mss., and also of <hi>AC</hi>. See note on <hi>ȝowre</hi> in the next line. Cr's additional line is from <hi>C</hi> (RK.3.33).</note> lelli · and lordes to make</l>
<l> And in þe consistorie [at]<note>Bx.3.31: <hi>at</hi>: CrHmOR, supported by <hi>AC</hi>, against <hi>atte</hi> and <hi>at þe</hi> in LMWCG and <hi>in þe</hi> in F. (In L the form <hi>atte</hi> consistently represents "at the".) But cf. <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.P.107n</ref>.</note> courte · do calle ȝowre<note>Bx.3.31: <hi>ȝowre</hi>: Beta2 and G continue with the 3rd person pl., as does <hi>Ax</hi>. <hi>Cx</hi> has <hi>ȝoure</hi>.</note> names</l>
<l> Shal no lewdnesse lette · þe <app><rdg>leode</rdg><rdg>clerkes</rdg></app><note>Bx.3.32: <hi>leode / clerkes</hi>: The beta reading (alliterating aa/aa) is shared with <hi>Ax</hi>, but alpha's <hi>clerkes</hi> is shared with <hi>Cx</hi> (alliterating aa/xa), though <hi>Cx</hi> has the sg., whence Cr's <hi>clerke</hi>.</note> þat I louye</l>
<l> That he ne<note>Bx.3.33: <hi>ne</hi>: Beta is supported by <hi>AC</hi> against alpha's omission.</note> worth first auanced · for I am biknowen</l>
<l> Þere konnyng clerkes · shul clokke bihynde</l>
<l> ¶ Þanne come þere a confessoure · coped as a Frere</l>
<l> To Mede þe<note>Bx.3.36: <hi>þe</hi>: Beta is supported by <hi>AC</hi> against R's <hi>þis</hi> and F's <hi>þat</hi>.</note> mayde · he mellud þis wordes</l>
<l> And seide ful softly · in shrifte as it were</l>
<l> Theiȝ lewed men and lered men · had leyne by þe bothe</l>
<l> And false[hede]<note>Bx.3.39: <hi>falsehede</hi>: (For the spelling cf. <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.5.300</ref>.) R's <hi>falsede</hi> presumably represents alpha (with F reading <hi>Fals</hi>) and is supported by <hi>AC</hi>. Beta reads <hi>falseness</hi>. (F's variants <hi>þey</hi> and <hi>fyftene</hi> are from <hi>A</hi>.)</note> haued yfolwed þe [·] al þis fyfty wyntre</l>
<l> I shal assoille þe my-selue · for a seme of whete</l>
<l> And also be þi bedeman · and bere wel þi message</l>
<l> Amonges kniȝtes and clerkis · conscience to torne</l>
<l> ¶ Thanne Mede for here mysdedes · to þat man kneled</l>
<l> And shroue hire of hire shrewednesse · shamelees I trowe</l>
<l> Tolde hym a tale · and toke hym a noble</l>
<l> Forto ben hire bedeman · and hire brokour als<note>Bx.3.46: <hi>hire brokour als</hi>: G's <hi>hyr bavd after</hi> is contamination from <hi>A</hi>.</note></l>
<l> ¶ Thanne he assoilled hir sone · and sithen he seyde</l>
<l> We han a wyndowe a-wirchyng wil sitten vs [ful]<note>Bx.3.48: <hi>ful</hi>: Only L has <hi>wel</hi>.</note> heigh</l>
<l> Woldestow glase þat gable · and graue þere-inne<note>Bx.3.49: <hi>þere-inne</hi>: R's <hi>þere</hi> merits consideration, since it is the reading of some <hi>A</hi> mss. and of <hi>Cx</hi>. Hanna (1996), 228, suggests the reading <hi>þere-inne</hi> arose from dittographic attraction, <hi>þ'in þi-n|ame</hi>.</note> þi name</l>
<l> Siker sholde þi soule be · heuene to haue</l>
<l> <note>Bx.3.51-62: In place of these twelve lines in beta, alpha has three lines garbled from two lines of <hi>A</hi> (K.3.50-1). <hi>C</hi> has the expanded passage from <hi>B</hi>, but rewrites <hi>Bx</hi>.3.50-1 as RK.3.53-4. The <hi>Bx</hi> archetype may have had the cancelled <hi>A</hi> lines which had been rendered illegible, with an expanded passage on a separate sheet, followed by beta but for some reason not available to alpha. Or alpha's exemplar may have lost the passage by eyeskip from one paraph to the next. On the other hand Hanna (1996), 316 n.26, suggests that the omission "may be an outright case of shocked scribal censorship with partial restoration", pointing out that "the memorial quality of this reading [in alpha] implies quite precisely that the archetypal scribe had no direct access to a manuscript version of A" (217).</note> [¶]<note>Bx.3.51: <hi></hi>: The paraph is attested by alpha and WHmC and an indented line in Cr. It is the first line on the leaf in L, where a paraph is sometimes missed, as on the previous leaf (<ref><hi>Bx</hi>.3.12</ref>).</note> Wist I that quod þat womman<note>Bx.3.51: <hi>þat womman</hi>: MCr's <hi>þe womman</hi> could be correct, since it is supported by <hi>Ax</hi>. <hi>Cx</hi> rewites.</note> · I wolde nouȝt spare</l>
<l> For to be ȝowre frende frere · and faille ȝow neure</l>
<l> Whil ȝe loue lordes · þat lechery haunteþ</l>
<l> And lakkeþ nouȝt ladis · þat loueþ wel þe same</l>
<l> It is a frelete of flesche · ȝe fynde it in bokes</l>
<l> And a course of kynde · wher-of we komen alle</l>
<l> Who may scape þe sklaundre · þe skaþe is sone amended</l>
<l> It is synne of seuene<note>Bx.3.58: <hi>seuene</hi>: So LMC; beta2 and GO have <hi>þe seuene</hi>. <hi>Cx</hi> has <hi>as of seuene</hi>.</note> · sonnest relessed</l>
<l> ¶ Haue mercy quod Mede · of men þat it haunte</l>
<l> And I shal keure ȝowre kirke · ȝowre cloystre do maken</l>
<l> Wowes do whitten · and wyndowes glasen</l>
<l> Do peynten and purtraye · and paye for þe makynge</l>
<l> That eury<note>Bx.3.63: <hi>eury</hi>: The beta reading, supported by <hi>Cx</hi>. Alpha's <hi>vch a</hi> finds some support in <hi>A</hi> mss.</note> segge shal se[e]n<note>Bx.3.63: <hi>seen</hi>: Alpha is supported by <hi>Ax</hi> and by the X family of <hi>C</hi>; the P family has <hi>see</hi> and <hi>seye</hi>. On grounds of sense, <hi>seen</hi> is preferable to beta's <hi>seyn</hi>.</note> · I am sustre of ȝowre hous<note>Bx.3.63: <hi>of ȝowre hous</hi>: Beta is supported by <hi>Ax</hi> and by the derived <hi>of ȝoure ordre</hi> in <hi>Cx</hi> against alpha's weak <hi>to ȝow alle</hi>.</note></l>
<l> ¶ Ac god to alle good folke · suche grauynge defendeth</l>
<l> To writen in wyndowes · of here wel-dedes</l>
<l> On auenture pruyde be peynted þere · and pompe of þe worlde</l>
<l> For crist<note>Bx.3.67: <hi>crist</hi>: The reading of all except R, whose <hi>god</hi> might have been picked up from l. <ref>64</ref>, although it is also the reading of <hi>Cx</hi> (the passage is not in <hi>A</hi>). K-D argue, perhaps rightly, that R's reading is original, and that F's agreement with beta is the common variation of a more explicit reading (p. 168 and n. 89).</note> knoweþ þi conscience · and þi kynde wille</l>
<l> And<note>Bx.3.68: <hi>And</hi>: As in the previous line, R's reading without <hi>And</hi> is unique in <hi>B</hi> mss. but it is the reading of the P family of <hi>C</hi> (the X family conflate this line with the previous). Here F has <hi>Boþe þe</hi> for <hi>And þi</hi>. </note> þi coste and þi coueitise · and who þe catel ouȝte</l>
<l> ¶ For-þi I lere ȝow lordes · leueþ suche werkes</l>
<l> To writen in wyndowes · of ȝowre wel-dedes</l>
<l> Or to greden after goddis men · whan ȝe delen doles</l>
<l> An auenture ȝe han ȝowre hire here · and ȝoure heuene als</l>
<l> <foreign>Nesciat sinistra quid faciat dextra ·</foreign></l>
<l> Lat nouȝte þi left half · late no rathe</l>
<l> Wyte what þow worchest · with þi riȝt syde</l>
<l> For þus bit þe gospel · gode men do here almesse</l>
<l> ¶ Meires and maceres · that menes ben bitwene</l>
<l> Þe kynge and þe comune<note>Bx.3.78: <hi>comune</hi>: F regularly has <hi>comounys</hi> with its political implications (see <title>MED</title> <hi>communes</hi>), e.g. at <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.P.115</ref>, <ref>117</ref>, <ref>118</ref>, <ref>121</ref>, <ref>143</ref>, usually joined by Cr. Here F is joined by GO.</note> [·] to kepe þe lawes</l>
<l> To punyschen on<note>Bx.3.79: <hi>on</hi>: Beta supported by <hi>Ax</hi> and the P family of <hi>C</hi>, against alpha's <hi>vppon</hi> and the X family.</note> pillories · and<note>Bx.3.79: <hi>and</hi>: F's <hi>& on</hi> may be from <hi>A</hi>. Yet <hi>C</hi> mss. have <hi>and on</hi> or <hi>and vppon</hi>.</note> pynynge stoles</l>
<l> Brewesteres and bakesteres · bocheres and cokes</l>
<l> For þise aren men on<note>Bx.3.81: <hi>on</hi>: Alpha again reads <hi>vppoun</hi>; <hi>A</hi> mss. divide between <hi>on</hi> and <hi>of</hi> (as in HmC); <hi>Cx</hi> rewrites.</note> þis molde · þat moste harme worcheth</l>
<l> To þe pore peple [·] þat parcel-mele buggen</l>
<l> ¶ For they<note>Bx.3.83: <hi>For they</hi>: Beta is supported by <hi>Ax</hi> against alpha's <hi>&</hi> or <hi>And also</hi>.</note> poysoun þe peple · priueliche and oft</l>
<l> Thei rychen þorw regraterye · and rentes hem buggen</l>
<l> With þat þe pore people [·] shulde put in here wombe<note>Bx.3.85: <hi>wombe</hi>: The distributive sg. is supported by <hi>AC</hi>.</note></l>
<l> For toke þei on trewly · þei tymbred nouȝt so heiȝe</l>
<l> Ne bouȝte non burgages<note>Bx.3.87: <hi>burgages</hi>: The plural is supported by <hi>AC</hi> against the sg. in alpha (F <hi>bargayn</hi>).</note> · be ȝe ful certeyne</l>
<l> ¶ Ac Mede þe Mayde [·] þe Maire hath bisouȝte</l>
<l> Of alle suche sellers · syluer to take</l>
<l> Or presentz withoute pens · as peces of siluer</l>
<l> Ringes or other ricchesse · þe regrateres to maynetene</l>
<l> ¶ For my loue<note>Bx.3.92: <hi>loue</hi> (1): Beta is supported by <hi>Ax</hi> and by <hi>Cx</hi> (RK.3.119), against alpha's <hi>lord</hi>, perhaps substituted to avoid repetition.</note> quod that lady loue [·] hem vchone</l>
<l> And soffre hem to selle · somdele aȝeins resoun</l>
<l> ¶ Salamon þe sage · a sarmoun he made</l>
<l> For to amende Maires · and men þat kepen lawes</l>
<l> And tolde hem þis teme · þat I telle thynke</l>
<l> <foreign>Ignis deuorabit tabernacula eorum qui libenter accipiunt munera &c</foreign><note>Bx.3.97: Alpha's version of the quotation, omitting the last two words, is not supported by <hi>AC</hi>.</note></l>
<l> Amonge þis lettered ledes · þis latyn is to mene</l>
<l> That fyre shal falle and berne · al to blo askes</l>
<l> The houses and þe<note>Bx.3.100: <hi>þe</hi>: Omitted by Beta2 and G, but supported by <hi>AC</hi>.</note> homes · of hem [þat]<note>Bx.3.100: <hi>þat</hi>: Omitted in L, although a corrector's mark appears in the margin.</note> desireth</l>
<l> Ȝiftes or ȝeresȝyues · bi-cause of here offices<note>Bx.3.101: <hi>offices</hi>: As a romance loan ending in a sibilant, alpha's form may represent a distributive sg. or a plural. See note to l. <ref>23</ref>. There is no parallel in <hi>AC</hi>.</note></l>
<l> ¶ The kynge fro conseille cam · and called after Mede</l>
<l> And ofsent hir alswythe · with seriauntes manye</l>
<l> That<note>Bx.3.104: <hi>That</hi>: W's agreement with <hi>Ax</hi> on <hi>And</hi> is presumably coincidental.</note> brouȝten hir to bowre · with blisse and with ioye</l>
<l> ¶ Curteisliche þe kynge þanne · comsed<note>Bx.3.105: <hi>comsed</hi>: R has the present, presumably by attraction to <hi>melleth</hi>, yet it agrees with <hi>Ax</hi>. The verb is past tense in the rewritten passage in <hi>Cx</hi>.</note> to telle</l>
<l> To Mede þe mayde · melleth þise wordes</l>
<l> Vnwittily womman · wrouȝte hastow oft</l>
<l> Ac worse wrouȝtestow neure · þan þo þow fals toke</l>
<l> But I forgyue [þe]<note>Bx.3.109: <hi>þe</hi> (1): Omitted in L and added in W. Supported by <hi>AC</hi>.</note> þat gilte · and graunte þe my grace</l>
<l> Hennes to þi deth-day · do so namore<note>Bx.3.110: The short b-verse of beta is expanded variously in G, R and F. <hi>Ax</hi> has <hi>do þou</hi> for <hi>Bx</hi> <hi>do</hi>.</note></l>
<l> ¶ I haue a knyȝte conscience · cam late fro biȝunde</l>
<l> Ȝif he wilneth þe to wyf · wyltow hym haue</l>
<l> ¶ Ȝe lorde quod þat lady · lorde forbede<note>Bx.3.113: <hi>forbede</hi>: LCrCGOF are supported by <hi>Ax</hi>; WHm read <hi>forbede it</hi>, and M is corrected to that reading. R's b-verse is that found in <hi>Cx</hi>. It may therefore represent alpha, and an authorial revision to avoid metrical demotion of the verb. However, since F agrees with beta, R's reading is more probably attracted to the b-verse of l. <ref>121</ref> below.</note> elles</l>
<l> But I be holely at ȝowre heste · lat hange me sone</l>
<l> ¶ And þanne was conscience calde · to come and appiere</l>
<l> Bifor þe Kynge and his conseille · as clerkes and othere</l>
<l> <note>Bx.3.117: W and alpha have a paraph.</note>Knelynge conscience · to þe kynge louted</l>
<l> To wite what his wille were · and what he do shulde</l>
<l> ¶ Woltow wedde þis womman quod þe kynge · ȝif I wil assente</l>
<l> For she is fayne of þi felawship · for to be þi make</l>
<l> ¶ Quod conscience to þe kynge · cryst it me forbede</l>
<l> Ar I wedde suche a wyf · wo me bityde</l>
<l> For she is frele of hir feith · <app><rdg>fykel</rdg><rdg>and fykel</rdg></app><note>Bx.3.123: <hi>fykel / and fykel</hi>: <hi>fykel</hi> is the beta reading, despite Hm; supported by <hi>Ax</hi>. R's <hi>and fykel</hi> is the alpha reading (F has <hi>& fals</hi>), supported by <hi>Cx</hi>.</note> of here speche</l>
<l> And maketh men mysdo · many score tymes</l>
<l> Truste of hire tresore · treieth<note>Bx.3.125: <hi>treieth</hi>: CrWG have <hi>betrayeth</hi>, a reversion to the commoner form. <hi>AC</hi> are not parallel here.</note> ful manye</l>
<l> Wyues and widewes · wantounes<note>Bx.3.126: <hi>wantounes</hi>: <title>MED</title> records this as a spelling of <hi>wantonness</hi>, and cf. the CrHm spellings of the word at <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.12.6</ref>.</note> she techeth</l>
<l> And lereth hem leccherye · that loueth hire ȝiftes</l>
<l> Ȝowre fadre she felled · þorw fals<note>Bx.3.128: <hi>fals</hi>: Beta is supported by <hi>Ax</hi>, though three mss. agree with alpha's variant <hi>faire</hi>. The common proverb "Fair behest maketh a fool glad" (<title>MED</title> <hi>bihest(e</hi> 1b.(b)) may have prompted the reading. Cf. <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.11.62</ref> and <ref>20.118</ref> for <hi>faire beheste</hi>.</note> biheste</l>
<l> And hath apoysounde popis · [ap]peired<note>Bx.3.129: <hi>appeired</hi>: Alpha and most beta mss. read <hi>and (ap)peired</hi>, but L, original M, and C are without <hi>and</hi>, as is <hi>Ax</hi>, which suggests that scribes supplied it for a smoother reading. Most beta mss. have the aphetic form of the verb, but <hi>appeired</hi> is the form in alpha + Hm, supported by <hi>Cx</hi> and the majority of <hi>A</hi> mss. R's present tense may represent alpha, since it is shared with <hi>Cx</hi>.</note> holicherche</l>
<l> Is nauȝt a better baude · bi hym þat me made</l>
<l> Bitwene heuene and helle · [and]<note>Bx.3.131: <hi>and</hi> (2): R's reading appears to represent alpha. It is supported by most <hi>A</hi> mss. (though five have <hi>in</hi>) and the X family of <hi>C</hi> (the P family has <hi>alle</hi>). The apparent illogicality of the expression (what lies between heaven, hell and earth?) perhaps prompted beta to revise to <hi>in</hi> and F to revise to <hi>þey men al erthe sowhte</hi>. Schmidt (1995) and Kane (2005) interpret <hi>and</hi> as "if".</note> erthe þough men souȝte</l>
<l> For she is tikil of hire taile · talwis of tonge<note>Bx.3.132: <hi>tonge</hi>: Beta reads <hi>hir tonge</hi>, prompted by the parallel of <hi>hire taile</hi>, but alpha's omission of the pronoun is paralleled by many <hi>A</hi> mss. and by <hi>Cx</hi>.</note></l>
<l> As comune as a cartwey · to eche a knaue þat walketh</l>
<l> To monkes to<note>Bx.3.134: <hi>to</hi> (2): R's <hi>and to</hi> may represent alpha (cf. F), joined by Cr. Beta seems to have the support of <hi>AC</hi>, though some mss. have <hi>and</hi>.</note> mynst[r]alles · to meseles in hegges</l>
<l> Sisoures and sompnoures · suche men hir preiseth</l>
<l> Shireues of shires · were shent ȝif she nere</l>
<l> For she doþ men lese here londe · and here lyf bothe</l>
<l> She leteth passe prisoneres<note>Bx.3.138: <hi>prisoneres</hi>: R has <hi>prisons</hi> again at <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.7.30</ref> (together with most <hi>B</hi> mss.), <ref>14.180</ref> and <ref>186</ref>, and <ref>15.190</ref> (together with LM). See <title>MED</title> <hi>prisoun</hi>, n. 7. All three versions have both variants here. We follow copy-text.</note> · and payeth for hem ofte</l>
<l> And gyueth þe gailers golde · and grotes togideres</l>
<l> To vnfettre þe fals [·] fle where hym<note>Bx.3.140: <hi>hym</hi>: Supported by most <hi>AC</hi> mss. against the plural in MC.</note> lyketh</l>
<l> And takeþ þe trewe<note>Bx.3.141: <hi>þe trewe</hi>: Alpha has <hi>trewthe</hi>, perhaps rightly, but cf. notes to ll. <ref>155</ref> and <ref>247</ref>. There is similar variation in <hi>A</hi> and <hi>C</hi> mss. The X family of <hi>C</hi> has <hi>treuthe</hi>, with the P family reading <hi>trewe</hi> or improving to <hi>þe trewe</hi>.</note> bi þe toppe · and tieth hym<note>Bx.3.141: <hi>hym</hi>: MWG have plural (cf. l. <ref>140</ref>). The sg. is supported by <hi>A</hi> and the X family in <hi>C</hi>.</note> faste</l>
<l> And hangeth hym<note>Bx.3.142: <hi>hym</hi>: MCrWG have plural (cf. ll. <ref>140-1</ref>). The sg. is supported by <hi>A</hi> and the X family of <hi>C</hi>.</note> for hatred · þat harme dede neure</l>
<l> ¶ To be cursed in consistorie · she counteth nouȝte a russhe<note>Bx.3.143: <hi>russhe</hi>: The reading is supported by <hi>AC</hi> against <hi>bene</hi> in beta2 and G. Langland repeats the phrase at <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.11.450</ref>.</note></l>
<l> For she copeth þe comissarie · and coteth his clerkis</l>
<l> She is assoilled as sone · as hir-self liketh</l>
<l> And may neiȝe as moche do · in a moneth one[s]<note>Bx.3.146: <hi>ones</hi>: Alpha, supported by <hi>Ax</hi> and the X family of <hi>C</hi>, against the probable beta reading <hi>one</hi>.</note></l>
<l> As ȝowre secret seel · in syx score dayes</l>
<l> For she is priue with þe pope · prouisoures it knoweth</l>
<l> For sire symonye and hir-selue · seleth hire<note>Bx.3.149: <hi>hire</hi>: LMWCOR, supported by <hi>Cx</hi>, against <hi>þe</hi>. <hi>A</hi> mss. split.</note> bulles</l>
<l> ¶ She blesseth þise bisshopes · þeiȝe þey be lewed<note>Bx.3.150-51: R's conflation into one line represents loss in alpha, which F makes good by invention.</note></l>
<l> Prouendreth persones · and prestes [she]<note>Bx.3.151: <hi>she</hi>: Alpha, despite the disruption, retains the pronoun, supported against beta by <hi>AC</hi>.</note> meynteneth</l>
<l> To haue lemmannes and lotebies · alle here lif-dayes</l>
<l> And bringen<note>Bx.3.153: <hi>bringen</hi>: The infinitive is supported by most <hi>A</hi> mss., but <hi>Cx</hi> has <hi>bringeth</hi> as does beta2.</note> forth barnes · aȝein forbode lawes</l>
<l> There she is wel with þe kynge · wo is þe rewme</l>
<l> For she is fauorable to þe<note>Bx.3.155: <hi>þe</hi>: Beta2 and GF are without the article, treating <hi>fals</hi> as a personification. This is attractive and appropriate, and has the support of <hi>Ax</hi> and the P family of <hi>C</hi>. However, the most reliable <hi>B</hi> mss. (LMR) and CO read <hi>þe fals</hi>, with the support of the X family of <hi>C</hi>. Cf. <hi>þe fals</hi> in l. <ref>140</ref> above, and the note to l. <ref>141</ref>.</note> fals · and fouleth trewthe ofte</l>
<l> ¶ Bi ihesus with here ieweles · <app><rdg>ȝowre</rdg><rdg>þe</rdg></app><note>Bx.3.156: <hi>ȝowre / þe</hi>: The beta reading <hi>ȝowre</hi> is shared with <hi>Ax</hi>; alpha's <hi>þe</hi> is shared with <hi>Cx</hi>.</note> iustices she shendeth</l>
<l> And lith aȝein þe lawe · and letteth hym þe gate</l>
<l> That feith may nouȝte haue his forth · here floreines go so þikke</l>
<l> She ledeth þe lawe as hire list · and louedayes maketh</l>
<l> And doth men lese þorw hire loue · þat lawe myȝte wynne</l>
<l> Þe mase for a mene man · þouȝ he mote hir<note>Bx.3.161: <hi>hir</hi>: A <hi>Bx</hi> error, dropped by GF, presumably by contamination from <hi>AC</hi> or on grounds of sense. The verb <hi>mote</hi>, "litigate", is intransitive.</note> eure</l>
<l> Lawe is so lordeliche · and loth to make ende</l>
<l> With-oute presentz or pens · she pleseth wel<note>Bx.3.163: <hi>wel</hi>: CrR have <hi>ful</hi>, perhaps by alliterative attraction, though it is shared with <hi>Cx</hi> and half the <hi>A</hi> mss.</note> fewe</l>
<l> ¶ Barounes and burgeys · she bryngeth in sorwe</l>
<l> And alle þe comune in kare · þat coueyten lyue in trewthe</l>
<l> For clergye and coueitise · she coupleth togideres</l>
<l> Þis is þe lyf of that lady · now lorde ȝif hir sorwe</l>
<l> And alle that meynteneth here men · meschaunce hem bityde</l>
<l> For pore men mowe haue no powere · to pleyne hem þouȝ þei smerte</l>
<l> Suche a maistre is Mede · amonge men of gode<note>Bx.3.170: F drops this line.</note></l>
<l><note>Bx.3.171: <hi></hi>: The paraph is in beta, with an enlarged rubricated capital in F. The margin is lost in R, and the line is at the bottom of the page.</note> Thanne morned Mede · and mened hire to the kynge</l>
<l> To haue space to speke · spede if she myȝte</l>
<l> ¶ The kynge graunted hir grace [·] with a gode wille</l>
<l> Excuse þe ȝif þow canst · I can namore seggen</l>
<l> For conscience acuseth þe · to congey þe for euere</l>
<l> ¶ Nay lorde quod þat lady · leueth hym þe worse</l>
<l> Whan ȝe wyten witterly · where þe wronge liggeth</l>
<l> There þat myschief is grete · Mede may helpe</l>
<l> And þow<note>Bx.3.179: <hi>þow</hi>: So beta and <hi>Ax</hi>; alpha has <hi>þat þow</hi>, reflected in <hi>Cx</hi> <hi>þat</hi>. With <hi>þat þow</hi>, Mede refers back to the previous line.</note> knowest conscience · I cam nouȝt to chide</l>
<l> Ne depraue þi persone · with a proude herte</l>
<l> Wel þow wost wernard · but ȝif þow wolt gabbe</l>
<l> Þow hast hanged on myne half · elleuene tymes</l>
<l> And also griped my golde · gyue<note>Bx.3.183: <hi>gyue</hi>: FG <hi>and gyue</hi> is from <hi>AC</hi>. For pp. <hi>gyue</hi>, cf. <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.2.151</ref>.</note> it where þe liked</l>
<l> And whi þow wratthest þe now · wonder me thynketh</l>
<l> Ȝit I may as I myȝte · menske þe with ȝiftes</l>
<l> And mayntene þi manhode · more þan þow knoweste</l>
<l> ¶ Ac þow hast famed me foule · bifor þe Kynge here</l>
<l> For kulled I neuere no kynge<note>Bx.3.188: <hi>kynge</hi>: Mede is answering the accusation of <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.3.128</ref>. Beta reads as <hi>AC</hi>; alpha's <hi>kniȝt</hi> perhaps avoids a dangerous topic.</note> · ne conseilled þer-after</l>
<l> Ne dede as þow demest · I do [it] on<note>Bx.3.189: <hi>do it on</hi>: "refer it to" (<title>MED</title> <hi>don</hi> 6(f)), as in <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.1.88</ref>. The lack of the object in LMC suggests a beta error made good in other mss. It is in <hi>Ax</hi>.</note> þe kynge</l>
<l> ¶ In normandye was he nouȝte · noyed for my sake</l>
<l> Ac þow þi-self sothely · shamedest hym ofte</l>
<l> Crope in-to a kaban · for colde of þi nailles</l>
<l> Wendest þat wyntre · wolde haue lasted euere</l>
<l> And draddest to be ded · for a dym cloude</l>
<l> And hiedest homeward · for hunger of þi wombe</l>
<l> ¶ Wiþ-out pite piloure · pore men þow robbedest</l>
<l> And bere here bras at þi bakke · to caleys to selle</l>
<l> There I lafte with my lorde · his lyf for to saue</l>
<l> I made his men meri · and mornyng lette</l>
<l> I batered hem on þe bakke · and bolded here hertis</l>
<l> And dede hem hoppe for hope · to haue me at wille</l>
<l> Had I ben Marschal of his men · bi Marie of heuene</l>
<l> I durst haue leyde my lyf · and no lasse wedde</l>
<l> He shulde haue be lorde of þat londe · a<note>Bx.3.204: <hi>a</hi> (1 & 2): We follow copy-text and CRO (M has been altered in the second case) against the <hi>in</hi> of most other mss. in all three versions. The archetype is not determinable, but preservation of the less usual form (contrast <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.2.91</ref>) in the two most reliable mss. is at least a guide.</note> lengthe and a brede</l>
<l> And also Kyng of þat kitthe · his kynne for to helpe</l>
<l> Þe leste brolle of his blode<note>Bx.3.206: <hi>blode</hi>: Supported by <hi>AC</hi> against alpha's non-alliterating <hi>lond</hi>.</note> · a barounes pere</l>
<l> ¶ Cowardliche þow conscience · conseiledest hym þennes</l>
<l> To leuen his lordeship · for a litel siluer</l>
<l> That is þe richest rewme · þat reyne ouer-houeth</l>
<l> ¶ It bicometh to a kynge · þat kepeth a rewme</l>
<l> To ȝiue Mede to men · þat mekelich hym serueth</l>
<l> To alienes and to alle men [·] to honoure hem with ȝiftes</l>
<l> Mede maketh hym biloued · and for a man holden</l>
<l> <note>Bx.3.214: WHm and alpha have a paraph, as do W and alpha for l. <ref>216</ref> and W and R for l. <ref>218</ref>. Cf. note to l. <ref>222</ref>.</note>Emperoures and Erlis · and al manere lordes</l>
<l> [Thorw]<note>Bx.3.215: <hi>Thorw</hi>: Alpha has firm support from <hi>AC</hi> against beta's <hi>For</hi>.</note> ȝiftes han <app><rdg>ȝonge men</rdg><rdg>ȝoumen</rdg></app><note>Bx.3.215: <hi>ȝonge men / ȝoumen</hi>: These are perhaps just forms of the same word (see <title>MED</title> <hi>yong man</hi> and <hi>yeman</hi>). Beta has the former, agreeing with <hi>Ax</hi>. Alpha has the latter, agreeing with <hi>Cx</hi>.</note> · to [ȝerne]<note>Bx.3.215: <hi>ȝerne</hi>: A metathesised form of <hi>renne</hi>, as in OE, used for the alliteration but frequently altered by scribes. Here beta and <hi>Ax</hi> have the non-alliterating form, while alpha and <hi>Cx</hi> have <hi>ȝerne</hi>.</note> and to ride</l>
<l> The pope and alle<note>Bx.3.216: <hi>alle</hi>: LMCOR, as <hi>Cx</hi>; CrWG supply <hi>the</hi>, Hm <hi>his</hi>. <hi>Ax</hi> has <hi>wiþ his</hi>.</note> prelatis · presentz vnderfongen</l>
<l> And medeth men hem-seluen · to meyntene here lawes</l>
<l> Seruauntz<note>Bx.3.218: <hi>Seruauntz</hi>: Beta2 (CrWHm) + G have <hi>Sergeauntz</hi>, which is a corrected reading in M, as does the P family of <hi>C</hi>. Otherwise <hi>AC</hi> agree on <hi>seruauntz</hi>. </note> for her seruise · we seth wel þe sothe</l>
<l> Taken Mede of here maistre[s]<note>Bx.3.219: <hi>maistres</hi>: The distributive sg. of LOF, though generally to be preferred, is not supported by <hi>AC</hi>.</note> · as þei mowe acorde</l>
<l> Beggeres for here biddynge<note>Bx.3.220: <hi>biddynge</hi>: Alpha's <hi>beggynge</hi> is not supported by <hi>Ax</hi>; <hi>Cx</hi> rewrites.</note> · bidden men Mede</l>
<l> Mynstralles for here murthe · mede þei aske</l>
<l> <note>Bx.3.222: W and alpha have a paraph here, as do W and R at ll. <ref>224</ref> and <ref>226</ref>.</note>Þe kynge hath mede of his men · to make pees in londe</l>
<l> Men þat teche chyldren · craue of hem mede</l>
<l> Prestis þat precheth þe poeple · to gode<note>Bx.3.224: <hi>to gode</hi>: "to (adopt) good behaviour" (rather than an inflected form of "God", which is not found in L). It is supported by <hi>AC</hi> against alpha + Hm <hi>to/of god</hi>, though in <hi>AC</hi> <hi>Asken mede</hi> begins the next line.</note> asken mede</l>
<l> And masse-pans and here mete · at þe mele-tymes</l>
<l> Alkynnes crafty<note>Bx.3.226: <hi>crafty</hi>: Supported by <hi>AC</hi> against <hi>craftes</hi> in CrWG.</note> men · crauen Mede for here prentis</l>
<l> Marchauntz and Mede · mote nede go togideres</l>
<l> No wiȝte as I wene · with-oute Mede may libbe</l>
<l> ¶ Quatȝ þe kynge to conscience · bi criste as me thynketh</l>
<l> Mede is worthi<note>Bx.3.230: <hi>worthi</hi>: Beta has <hi>wel worthi</hi>, probably to beef up the alliteration, but the adverb is not supported by <hi>AC</hi>. <hi>Ax</hi> has the a-verse as in R; <hi>Cx</hi> improves the alliteration by adding <hi>me thinketh</hi>.</note> · þe maistrye to haue</l>
<l> ¶ Nay quod conscience to þe Kynge · and kneled to þe erthe</l>
<l> There aren two manere of Medes · my lorde [bi]<note>Bx.3.232: <hi>bi</hi>: Alpha has support from <hi>Ax</hi> against beta's <hi>with</hi>. <hi>Cx</hi> rewrites. The phrase does not recur, though cf. <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.3.15</ref>.</note> ȝowre leue</l>
<l> Þat one god of his grace · graunteth in his blisse</l>
<l> To þo þat wel worchen · whil þei ben here</l>
<l> The prophete precheth þer-of · and put it in þe sautere</l>
<l> <foreign>Domine quis habitabit in tabernaculo tuo</foreign></l>
<l> Lorde who shal wonye in þi wones · and<note>Bx.3.237: <hi>and</hi>: Alpha omits; there is no parallel in <hi>AC</hi>, and nothing to choose between the variants.</note> with þine holi seyntes</l>
<l> Or resten on<note>Bx.3.238: <hi>on</hi>: The reading of LM + alpha; others have <hi>in</hi>. Notice that two lines above F quotes the Vulgate, "in monte sancto eius", memory of which may have prompted the reading of other mss.</note> þi holy hilles · þis asketh<note>Bx.3.238: <hi>asketh</hi>: Alpha has past tense; there is no parallel in <hi>AC</hi>, though the present has the support of the surrounding context.</note> dauid</l>
<l> ¶ And dauyd assoileth it hym-self [·] as þe sauter telleth</l>
<l> <foreign>Qui ingreditur sine macula · & operatur iusticiam</foreign></l>
<l> Tho þat entren of o colour · and of on wille</l>
<l> And han wrouȝte werkis · with riȝte and with reson</l>
<l> And he þat ne<note>Bx.3.243: <hi>ne</hi>: So LCOR; omitted by beta2 and GF.</note> vseth nauȝte · þe lyf of vsurye</l>
<l> And enfourmeth pore men · and pursueth treuthe</l>
<l> <foreign>Qui pecuniam suam non dedit ad vsuram & munera super innocentem &c ·</foreign><note>Bx.3.245: F omits the line.</note></l>
<l> And alle þat helpeth þe innocent · and halt with þe riȝtful</l>
<l> Withoute mede doth hem gode · and þe trewthe<note>Bx.3.247: <hi>þe trewthe</hi>: R's <hi>þe trewe</hi> must be alpha (F has <hi>trew men</hi>). There is no parallel in <hi>AC</hi>. Cf. <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.3.141n</ref>.</note> helpeth</l>
<l> Suche manere men my lorde · shal haue þis furst Mede</l>
<l> Of god at a<note>Bx.3.249: <hi>a</hi>: CrHm read <hi>her</hi>, with M altered to that reading. F has <hi>his</hi> and GO omit.</note> grete nede · whan þei gone hennes</l>
<l> [¶]<note>Bx.3.250: <hi></hi>: The paraph, certainly appropriate, is recorded in WHmC and alpha.</note> There is an other Mede mesurelees · þat maistres desireth</l>
<l> To meyntene mysdoers · Mede þei take</l>
<l> And þere-of seith þe sauter · in a salmes ende</l>
<l> <foreign>In quorum manibus iniquitates sunt [·] dextera eorum repleta est muneribus</foreign></l>
<l> And he þat gripeth her golde · so me god helpe</l>
<l> Shal abie it bittere<note>Bx.3.255: <hi>bittere</hi>: FGO <hi>bitterly</hi> is easier and perhaps from <hi>A</hi>; R expands to <hi>ful bitter</hi>. For the same a-verse see <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.18.418</ref>, where FGO again have <hi>bitterly</hi>.</note> · or þe boke lyeth</l>
<l> ¶ Prestes and parsones · þat plesynge desireth</l>
<l> That taketh Mede and mone · for messes þat þei syngeth</l>
<l> Taketh here mede here · as Mathew vs techeth</l>
<l> <foreign>Amen amen recipiebant<note>Bx.3.259: <hi><foreign>recipiebant</foreign></hi>: There is variation in the form of the verb in all three versions (as at K.3.64a). The Vulgate has <hi>receperunt</hi>.</note> mercedem suam ·</foreign></l>
<l> ¶ That laboreres and lowe<note>Bx.3.260: <hi>lowe</hi>: Beta, as against alpha and Hm <hi>lewed</hi>. <hi>A</hi> mss. vary similarly. The a-verse <hi>Laboreres and lowe folke</hi> is repeated at <ref><hi>Bx</hi>.5.223</ref> (K.5.135, RK.6.227), where there is similar variation in <hi>A</hi> but not in BC.</note> folke · taketh of her maistres</l>
<l> It is no manere Mede · but a mesurable hire</l>
<l> <note>Bx.3.262: WHm and R have a paraph.</note>In marchandise is no mede · I may it wel avowe</l>
<l> It is a<note>Bx.3.263: <hi>a</hi> (1): Dropped in alpha, but supported by <hi>AC</hi>.</note> permutacioun apertly · a penyworth for an othre</l>
<l> ¶ Ac reddestow neuere <foreign>Regum</foreign> · þow recrayed Mede</l>
<l> Whi þe veniaunce fel · on saul and on his children</l>
<l> God sent to saul · bi samuel þe prophete</l>
<l> Þat agag of amaleke · and al his peple aftre</l>
<l> Shulde deye for a dede · þat done had here aldres</l>
<l> ¶ For-þi seid samuel to saul · god hym-self hoteth</l>
<l> The<note>Bx.3.270: <hi>The</hi>: Undoubtedly <hi>Bx</hi>; LWM follow it with punctuation in response to the line-break between verb and object. HmO have <hi>The to</hi>. <hi>AC</hi> instead have <hi>To</hi>. For discussion see Duggan (1987), 47.</note> · be boxome at [my]<note>Bx.3.270: <hi>my</hi>: Alpha, against beta's <hi>his</hi>, which arises by attraction to the pronoun of the b-verse and ignoring the shift to direct speech. The line is revised from <hi>Ax</hi>, with alpha reading as <hi>Cx</hi>. Further support for alpha's <hi>my biddynge</hi> is provided by the source, in which Saul says to Samuel after his disobedience: "Peccavi quia praevaricatus sum sermonem Domini et verba tua" (1 Kings 15.24).</note> biddynge · his wille to fulfille</l>
<l> Wende to amalec with þyn oste · and what þow fyndest þere slee it</l>
<l> Biernes and bestes · brenne hem to ded</l>
<l> Wydwes and wyues · wommen and children</l>
<l> Moebles and vnmoebles · and al þat þow myȝte fynde</l>
<l> Brenne it bere it nouȝte awey · be it neuere so riche</l>
<l> For mede ne for mone · loke þow destruye it</l>
<l> Spille it and spare it nouȝte · þow shalt spede þe bettere</l>
<l> ¶ And for he coueyted her catel · and þe kynge spared</l>
<l> Forbare hym and his bestes bothe · as þe bible witnesseth</l>
<l> Otherwyse þan he was · warned of þe prophete</l>
<l> God seide to samuel [·] þat saul shulde deye</l>
<l> And al his sede for þat synne · shenfullich<note>Bx.3.282: <hi>shenfullich</hi>: The word causes problems to scribes of all versions. Neither the adj. or adv. occurs elsewhere in the poem.</note> ende<note>Bx.3.282: <hi>ende</hi>: The past tense in alpha and Hm occurs in isolated mss. in the other versions.</note></l>
<l> Such a myschief Mede made [·] saul þe kynge to haue</l>
<l> That god hated hym for euere · and alle his eyres after</l>
<l> ¶ The culorum of þis cas · kepe I nouȝte to shewe<note>Bx.3.285: <hi>shewe</hi>: LMCOR, supported by <hi>AC</hi>, against <hi>telle</hi> of Beta2 (CrWHm) and G; F has <hi>expowne</hi>. There seems no explanation for the variation.</note></l>
<l> An auenture it noyed men · none ende wil I make</l>
<l> For so is þis worlde went · wiþ hem þat han powere</l>
<l> That who-so seyth hem sothes<note>Bx.3.288: <hi>sothes</hi>: Pl. noun, or less probably adverb. WG's <hi>soþest</hi> is easier and prompted by <hi>sonnest</hi> in the b-verse, although it is the reading of <hi>Cx</hi>. Galloway (2006), 362, cites other versions of the saying.</note> · is sonnest yblamed</l>
<l> ¶ I conscience knowe þis · for kynde witt me it<note>Bx.3.289: <hi>me it</hi>: LHmCRF (and unrevised M); <hi>it</hi> is differently placed in other <hi>B</hi> mss. and omitted in <hi>C</hi> and most <hi>A</hi> mss.</note> tauȝte</l>
<l> Þat resoun shal regne · and rewmes gouerne</l>
<l> And riȝte as agag hadde · happe shul somme</l>
<l> Samuel shal sleen hym · and saul shal be blamed</l>
<l> And dauid shal be diademed · and daunten hem alle</l>
<l> And one cristene Kynge · kepen hem alle<note>Bx.3.294: <hi>hem alle</hi>: Before correction L read <hi>alle</hi>, and M may have had the same, revised to <hi>hem echone</hi> in line with Cr. R has <hi>hem alle</hi>, as do all others except F which alters inventively. <hi>Bx</hi> is in error (as several times in these lines), repeating the end of the previous line. <hi>AC</hi> read <hi>vs ichone</hi>.</note></l>
<l> ¶ Shal namore Mede ·<note>Bx.3.295: LR punctuate after <hi>Mede</hi>, having regard to alliteration; others punctuate after <hi>maistre</hi>, paying more attention to rhythm. The phrase <hi>as she is nouthe</hi> replaces <hi>Ax</hi> <hi>on erþe</hi>, with a metrical revision in <hi>Cx</hi>.</note> be maistre as she is nouthe</l>
<l> Ac loue and lowenesse · and lewte togederes</l>
<l> Þise shul be maistres on molde · treuthe to saue</l>
<l> ¶ And who-so trespasseth ayein treuthe · or taketh aȝein his wille</l>
<l> Leute shal don hym lawe · and no lyf elles</l>
<l> Shal no seriaunt for here<note>Bx.3.300: <hi>here</hi>: Even if not strictly grammatical, this is clearly <hi>Bx</hi>, as in L, original M, HmOC and R. CrWG have corrected to <hi>his</hi>, followed by the corrector of M. Most <hi>AC</hi> mss. read <hi>þat</hi>.</note> seruyse · were a silke howue</l>
<l> Ne no pelure in his cloke · for pledyng atte barre</l>
<l> Mede of mys-doeres · maketh many lordes</l>
<l> And ouer lordes lawes · reuleth þe rewmes</l>
<l> ¶ Ac kynde loue shal come ȝit · and conscience togideres</l>
<l> And make of lawe a laborere · suche loue shal arise</l>
<l> And such pees<note>Bx.3.306: <hi>pees</hi>: So alpha, supported by <hi>Cx</hi>; beta adds the article. <hi>Ax</hi> does not have this or the succeeding lines to the end of the passus.</note> amonge þe peple · and a parfit trewthe</l>
<l> Þat iewes shal wene in here witte · and waxen wonder glade</l>
<l> Þat Moises or Messie · be come in-to þis erthe</l>
<l> And haue wonder in here hertis · þat men beth so trewe</l>
<l> ¶ Alle þat bereth baslarde [·] brode swerde or launce</l>
<l> Axe [o]ther hachet · or eny wepne ellis</l>
<l> Shal be demed to þe deth · but if he do it smythye</l>
<l> In-to sikul or to sithe · to schare or to kulter</l>
<l> <foreign>Conflabunt gladios suos in vomeres &c</foreign></l>
<l> Eche man to pleye with a plow · pykoys or spade</l>
<l> Spynne or sprede donge · or spille<note>Bx.3.316: <hi>spille</hi>: Alpha has non-alliterating <hi>lese</hi>. Beta is supported by <hi>Cx</hi>.</note> hym-self with sleuthe</l>
<l> ¶ Prestes and parsones · with placebo to hunte</l>
<l> And dyngen vpon dauid · eche a<note>Bx.3.318: <hi>eche a</hi>: LMCR and O (corrected), against <hi>eche</hi> WHmG or <hi>euery</hi> CrF. The line is not in <hi>AC</hi>.</note> day til eue</l>
<l> Huntynge or haukynge · if any of hem vse</l>
<l> His boste of his benefys · worth bynome hym after</l>
<l> Shal neither kynge ne knyȝte [·] constable ne Meire</l>
<l> Ouer-lede þe comune · ne to þe courte sompne</l>
<l> Ne put hem in panel · to don hem pliȝte here treuthe</l>
<l> But after þe dede þat is don · one dome shal rewarde</l>
<l> Mercy or no mercy · as treuthe wil acorde</l>
<l> ¶ Kynges courte and comune courte · consistorie and chapitele</l>
<l> Al shal be but one courte · and one baroun be iustice</l>
<l> Thanne<note>Bx.3.328: <hi>Thanne</hi>: Undoubtedly <hi>Bx</hi>. <hi>Cx</hi> reads <hi>That</hi>.</note> worth trewe tonge a tidy man · þat tened me neuere</l>
<l> Batailles shal non be · ne no man bere wepne</l>
<l> And what smyth þat ony smyt[hie]<note>Bx.3.330: <hi>smythie</hi>: <hi>Cx</hi> supports alpha's subjunctive. LC's <hi>smyteth</hi> has no support.</note> · be smyte þer-with to dethe</l>
<l> <foreign>Non leuabit gens contra gentem gladium &c ·</foreign></l>
<l> ¶ And er þis fortune falle [·] fynde men shal þe worste</l>
<l> By syx sonnes and a schippe · and half a shef of arwes</l>
<l> And þe myddel of a mone · shal make þe iewes torne<note>Bx.3.334: <hi>torne</hi>: Alpha + G, supported by <hi>Cx</hi>, against beta's <hi>to torne</hi>.</note></l>
<l> And saracenes for þat siȝte<note>Bx.3.335: <hi>þat siȝte</hi>: Beta is supported by <hi>Cx</hi> against alpha's <hi>þe siȝte þere-offe</hi>.</note> · shulle synge <foreign>gloria in excelsis &c</foreign></l>
<l> For Makomet & Mede · myshappe shal þat tyme</l>
<l> For <foreign>melius est bonum nomen quam diuicie multe</foreign></l>
<l> ¶ Also wroth as þe wynde · wex Mede in a while</l>
<l> I can no latyn quod she · clerkis wote þe sothe</l>
<l> Se what salamon seith [·] in sapience bokes</l>
<l> That hij<note>Bx.3.341: <hi>hij</hi>: The form is supported by LMCR against <hi>þei</hi> in others. See Introduction <xref>IV.1</xref>.</note> þat ȝiueth ȝiftes · þe victorie wynneth</l>
<l> & moche<note>Bx.3.342: <hi>moche</hi>: So LMCO + alpha, supported by <hi>Cx</hi>, against <hi>moost</hi> in beta2 (CrWHm) and G.</note> worschip had<note>Bx.3.342: <hi>had</hi>: CrHmF have the expected present tense. The form in the other mss. may be understood as an absolute past participle: "With much honour gained" (Mustanoja, (1960), 559).</note> þer-with · as holiwryt telleth</l>
<l> <foreign>Honorem adquiret qui dat munera &c</foreign></l>
<l> ¶ I leue wel lady quod conscience · þat þi latyne be trewe</l>
<l> Ac þow art like a lady · þat redde a lessoun ones</l>
<l> Was <foreign>omnia probate ·</foreign> and þat plesed here herte</l>
<l> For þat lyne was no lenger [·] atte leues ende</l>
<l> Had [she]<note>Bx.3.348: <hi>she</hi>: The reading is obviously correct and supported by <hi>Cx</hi>, but here and in the next line the reading of L is <hi>ȝe</hi> and M's original reading is altered to <hi>she</hi>. This suggests that beta had an ambiguous form for <hi>she</hi>, perhaps even <hi>ȝe</hi>, recorded in Gloucs. and Worcs. (<title>LALME</title>, 4, 8).</note> loked þat other half · and þe lef torned</l>
<l> [She]<note>Bx.3.349: <hi>She</hi>: See note to previous line.</note> shulde haue founden fele<note>Bx.3.349: <hi>fele</hi>: CrG have <hi>fel</hi>, as in three <hi>C</hi> mss.</note> wordis · folwyng þer-after</l>
<l> <foreign>Quod bonum est tenete</foreign> · treuthe þat texte made</l>
<l> <note>Bx.3.351-58: A series of lines that alliterate irregularly in <hi>Bx</hi>. The lines are omitted or heavily revised in <hi>C</hi>. F makes several b-verse improvements for the sake of alliteration, but they cannot be regarded as derived from <hi>Bx</hi>. F's reading in 352 is an easy substitution of <hi>seyȝe</hi> for <hi>loked</hi>; <hi>ȝee takyn nout þe ende</hi> in 353, and <hi>þat ȝe to me pitte</hi> (356) are inspired by 358 which F omits. F also omits l. <ref>357</ref>.</note> ¶ And so ferde ȝe madame · ȝe couthe namore fynde</l>
<l> Tho ȝe loked on sapience · sittynge in ȝoure studie</l>
<l> Þis tixte þat ȝe han tolde · were gode for lordes</l>
<l> Ac ȝow failled a cunnyng clerke · þat couthe þe lef haue torned</l>
<l> And if ȝe seche sapience eft · fynde shal ȝe þat folweth</l>
<l> A ful teneful tixte · to hem þat taketh Mede</l>
<l> And þat is <foreign>animam autem aufert accipientium · &c ·</foreign></l>
<l> And þat is þe taille of þe tixte · of þat þat ȝe<note>Bx.3.358: <hi>ȝe</hi>: Beta2 (CrWHm) + G read <hi>she</hi>, and M is altered to that reading, evidently ending Conscience's speech at l. <ref>354</ref>, with the remainder as a narrator's comment. There is no parallel in <hi>AC</hi>. F omits the line.</note> schewed</l>
<l> Þat þeiȝe we wynne worschip · and wiþ mede<note>Bx.3.359: <hi>mede</hi>: Alpha's <hi>me</hi> is clearly an error.</note> haue victorie</l>
<l> Þe soule þat þe soude taketh · bi so moche is bounde</l>