fol. 1rI
BPassus P
Rubbing and cropping have rendered some text at the top of the page illegible. The interior characters in Pers are virtually illegible because of rubbing, and the end of Plowman has been lost to cropping. The following is legible:
Incipit Pers þe Plowman
.No. 1668. 201. D.3.10.
Piers the : Plowman.
The shelfmark "D.3.10." is written in a darker ink in a modern hand. Other matter, perhaps a quotation of the first line (?), has been scraped and is illegible.
AlF.1.1: The ornamental capital is blue with red and white flourishes. Set in gold foil is an image of the sleeping dreamer with his head in his left hand and an image of a walled city beneath his feet. He wears three-fingered laborer's gloves, perhaps suggesting that the illustrator has conflated dreamer and plowman.F.1.1: All other B manuscripts begin "In a somer seson . . . ." Though certainty is not possible, the similar ornamental capital in the Ushaw College fragment written in the same workshop suggests that this lection is intended to take advantage of the workman's skill, since an <A> offers more scope for the illustration than an <I>. The change in the text is, in this instance, more probably the work of the immediate scribe than of the F-Redactor. in somer sesoun / whan softe was the sunne
I shoop me in-to shrowdes / as y sheep[a] sheep wereF.1.2: F omits the following line from Bx: "In habite as an heremite vnholy of werkes."
& wente wyde in . þis world / wondres to here
& on May[a] May morwe / on malverne hillis
By-fel me a feerly / as fayrye me thowhte
I was wery of wandrynge / & wente me to reste
Vpon a brood banke / be a boorne syde
& as y lay & lenede / & lokede on þe wawys
I slumbrede in-to slepyng / it swyȝede so merye
Þan gan y to meetyn / a mervelous sweuene
Þat y was in a wyldernesse / wiste y neuere where
I beheld in-to Est[þe] Est / an heyȝ to þe sunne
I seyȝ a tour on a tuft / tryally y-tymbryd
& a deep dale be-nethe / a dongoun þer-Inne
With depe dychis & derke / & dredful to syghte
& a fayr feeld ful of folk / y fond þere be-twene
Of alle manere of men / þe mene & þe ryche
Wyrkynge & wandrynge / as this world askeþ
Summe pitte hem-selue to plowh / & pleyede seldyn
& in settynge & sowynge / þey swonken ful harde
& summe pitte hem to pride / & a-parayled hem þer-after
In contynances of clothynge / kemen fele dysgysydF.1.22: An otiose curl appears over the <g>.
& wonnen þat þese wastoures / with glotenye dystroyenF.1.23: This line appears after F1.20 in Bx.
In prayerys & in penaunces / pitte hem-selue manye
For þe love of oure lord / þei lyvedyn ful streyte
In hope to have to hyre  heuyn-ryche blysse
As Ankrys & hermytys / þat holde hem-selue in sellys
& coueyte nowht in cuntres / to kayren a-bowte
For noF.1.29: An otiose curl appears over the <n>. likorous lyflode / here lykame to plese
& summe chesen chaffare / to cheven þe bettre
As it semeþ to oure syght / þat swiche men thryvyn
& summe merthis to makeF.1.32: F omits the b-verse "as Mynstralles konneth" and the following a-verse: "And geten gold with hire glee." / synneles y leve
But Iaperis & Iangeleris / ben Iudas childryn
Þei feynen hem fantesyes / & folis hem maken
& welden wit at wille / to worche what þei sholde
What Poul precheþ of hem / y wil not preue it heereF.1.36: F omits the following line from Bx: "Qui loquitur turpiloquium is luciferes hyne."
Boþe bidderis & beggeris / faste a-bowtyn wentynF.1.37: F omits the following line from Bx: "Wiþ hire bely and hire bagge of breed ful ycrammed."
& fele fayted for here foode / & fowtyn at þe aleF.1.38: A late seventeenth- or early eighteenth-century Corpus Christi College librarian supplied the following inscription at the bottom of the page: Liber C.C.C Oxon.
Ex dono Gulielmi Fulman A. M. hujus Collegii quondam Socii.
William Fulman (1632-1688), born Penshurst, Kent, in November, 1632, became a scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1647, was expelled in 1648 by Parliamentarians, and at the restoration in 1660 was created M.A. and Fellow of the college. He remained in college until 1669 when he took a living in Gloucestershire, where he died of a fever in 1688. See the Dictionary of National Biography, eds. Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee (Oxford: Oxford U P, 1917): 7.767-68.
fol. 1vI
& god woot with glotenye / þey goon to-gydre to bedde
& rysen vp / with rubawdye / þo roberis knavis
& sleep & sory slewthe / seweth hem euere
Pylgrymes & palmeris / pyghtyn hem to-gydre
To seken seynt Iemes / & seyntis in Rome
& wentyn forþ / on here way / with fele wyse talis
& haddyn leve / for to lyȝen / al here lyve afterF.1.45: F lacks the following lines attested by beta family manuscripts:
I seiȝ somme þat seiden þei hadde ysouȝt Seintes
To ech a tale þat þei tolde hire tonge was tempred to lye
Moore þan to seye sooþ it semed bi hire speche
Heremytes on an heep with hoked staues
Wenten to walsyngham and hire wenches after.
& grete longe lobyes / þat looþ weryn to swynke
Clothid hem in copis / to be knowe fram oþere
& shoop hem lyk hermytis / here ese for to kacche
/ [¶] I fond þere of þe freris / alle þe fowre ordris
Þat precheden þe peple / for profyȝt of hem-selue
& gloseden þe gospel / as hem-selue lykede
For coueytyse of copis / þei construe as þei wille
Fele of þe Maystris / may cloþe hem at lykyng
For here mone & marchaundyse / marchyn to-gydre
For sytthe Charite is chapman / & cheef to shryve lordis
Fele ferlijs have ben falle / in a fewe ȝeeris
& but holy chirche & they / holde bettre to-gydre
Þe mooste myschef on moolde / ys mountynge faste
There prechede a pardoner / as he a preest where
& browhte forþ a bulle / with bysshopis selys
& seyde þat hym-selue / myghte a-soyle hem alle
Of false oþis & fastyngis / & fele avowys brokene
& lewide men belevid hem wel / & lykeden hise woordis
& kemen vp knelynge / & kessede his bulle
& he blessid hem with his brevet / & blerede here eyȝen
& lawhte[r]awhte with his ragman / ryngis & brochis
& þorghȝ þe seelis on þe selk / syluer gret plente These two lines appear only in F.
With wheche his konkebyne at hom / is klad ful klene
& þus men gyven here gold / glotonys to kepe
& be-leven on þo loselis / þat leccherye hawnten
But where þe blessynge bisshop / worþ boþe his eryn
His seel sholde not be sent / to disseyve þe peple
But itit [is] not be þe bisshop / þat so þe boy precheþ
But þe parsoun er þe preest / ys cawse of þe gilteF.1.74: This line appears only in F.
For þe prest & þe pardoner / shulle departen þe syluerF.1.75: The <l> was inserted after the word was initially written, probably by the original scribe.
F.1.76: An early scribe has written an abbreviation for nota in the left margin. Note that the curious mark beneath it is repeated again on passus 27r, again in connection with a nota abbreviation. Þat þe pore men of þe parschȝ  sholde have if þey nere
Bothe parsonys & vikerysF.1.77: F's a-verse is unique. Beta witnesses have "Persons and parisshe preestes." In the absence of R, it is not possible to identify the source of the error. / pleynede to þe bisshop
Þat here parschenys where pore / sitthe þe pestylence tyme
fol. 2rI
To have lycence & leve / at loondenn to dwellyn.
& syngyn þere for Symony / for siluer ys swete.
Boþe Maystris & Bisshopis / & bacheleres & doctoris.F.1.81: F's reading is unique. Beta witnesses have "Bisshopes and Bachelers boþe maistres and doctours." In the absence of R, it is not possible to identify the source of the error.
Þat have cure vndir crist / & konynge to knowe.
& chargeF.1.83: F's charge is unique. Beta witnesses have signe. þat þei sholden at hom / shryvyn here parsshenis.
& prechen & praye for hem  & þe poore leene & feede.
& nowht lyȝn in Londenn / in Lentene & ellys.
& summe seruyn þe kyng / & his syluer tellyn.
In þe cheker & in þe Chauncery / to chalange hise dettes.
Of wardis / & of warde-motis / of wayvis & strayes.
& summe be Clerkis of þe kyngys bench / þe cuntre to shende.F.1.89: This line appears only in F in the B textual tradition. Cf. Kane, A Prol.95.
& summe seruyn as seruauntys / Lordys & ladijs.
& in þe stede oso[f] styward / þey Iuggyn & demen.F.1.91: F's b-verse is unique. Beta witnesses have "sitten and demen."
But here mase ne matynys / ne manye of here oures.
Be not salysbery hews / here Ordynal so tellyþ.F.1.93: This line in F replaces two in Bx:
Arn doon vndeuoutliche drede is at þe laste
Lest crist in consistorie acorse ful manye.
/ [¶] I parceyvede of þat power / þat Peter hadde to kepe
To byȝnde & vnbyȝnde / as þe book telliþ.
How he lefte it with love / as oure lord hym hyghte.
A-mongys foure vertues / most vertuous of hevene.
Þat Cardinalis ben callid / to closen hevene ȝatys.
Þere crist ys in hys kyngdomm / to close & to shette.
& to opene it to hem / & heuene blysse hem shewe.
& þe Cardynalis at þe court / of hem kawtyn name.
For Powher PresumeþPresume[d] in hem / a pope to make.
To haue þe Powher / þat peter hadde / Inpugne y nylle.
For in love & in lettrure / þe leccioun by-longeþ.
For-þy  y can / & can not  of þe cowrt carpyn more.
Þanne kam þere a kyng / knyghthod he ladde.
& þe myght of hyse comonys / maden hym to regne.
& forþ kam kyȝnde wyt  & clerkys he hadde.
For to conseyle þe kyng / & hise comonis save.
& þe kyng & his knyghthod / & þe clergye also.
Þey casten þatF.1.111: The scribe first wrote þe and corrected it to þt. þe comonys / sholde fyȝnde hem-selue.F.1.111: An otiose curl appears above the second <e> in hemselue.
Þe comonys be kynde wit / contriveden craftes.
& for profyȝt of þe peple / plowhmen þey made.
To swynke / & to tylyeF.1.114: F's a-verse is unique. Beta witnesses have "To tilie and to trauaille." / as trewe skyl askeþ.
/ [¶] Þanne þe kyng & comonys / & kyȝnde wit þe thryde.
Schopen lawe / be lewte / ech lyf to knowe his owe.
Þanne lookede a lunatyk / a lene þyng with-alle.
He gan knele to þe kyng / & clergyaly seyde.
Cryst kepe þe sire kyng / & þyn kyngdom ryche.
& levele[n]e þe / so lede þyn lond / so lewhte þe a-lowe.
& for þyn ryght-ful rewlyng / þou be rewardid in heuene.
fol. 2vI
& a-non fram þe hevene on heyȝ / com doun an Angyle.F.1.122: F's line is unique. Bx has "And siþen in þe Eyr an heiȝ an Aungel of heuene." The scribe neglected to supply red touches on the beginning letters of lines and on highlighted words on folios 2v-3r. He sometimes failed throughout the manuscript to supply colored parasigns, though he marked the place for each with a light solidus.
& lowhde spak in Latyn / for lewede men ne sholde.
Ianglyn ne Iuggen hym / ne Iustefye hym with mowþe.
But suffren & seruyn / softly / for-þy  seyde þe angil.
Sum rex sum princeps . neutrum fortasse deinceps.
O qui iura regis . cristi specialia legis[r]egis.
Hoc quod agas melius . iustus es esto pius.
Nudum visF.1.129: Alpha reads vis. All beta family manuscripts read ius with version C. a te . vestireF.1.129: Alpha is responsible for vestire, though the reading is shared by H. Beta witnesses have vestiri. vult pietate.
Qvalia vis metere . talia grana sere.
Si visF.1.131: RFH read vis against ius in all other manuscripts. nudatur . nudo de iure metatur.
Si seritur pietas . de pietate metas.
/ [¶] Thanne grevid hym a Goliardes / a glotoun of woordys.
& to þe Angel on hey  he answerede soone.
Dum rex a regere . dicatur nomen habere
Nomen habet sine re . nisi studet iura tenere.
/ [¶] Thanne cryeden alle þe comonys / with o voys a tonysat onys.F.1.137: Alpha omits the following line attested by beta witnesses: "To þe kynges counseil construe whoso wolde."
Precepta regis . sunt nobis uincula legis.
/ [¶] With þat kemenF.1.139: F's kemen is unique. Bx has ran þer. a rowhte / of Ratonys manye.
& Manye Mees with hem / moo þanne a þowsande
& wentynF.1.141: F's wentyn is unique. Bx has comen. to a conseyl / for þe comoun profyȝt.
For a Cat in þe court / cam whan hire[hym] lykede.
& ouer-leep hem lyghtly / & lawht hem at wylle.
& pleyeþ with vs apertly / & posseþ vs a-bowhte.
& for drede of deeþ / we ne dore not wel looken.
& if we gruccheF.1.146: Alpha is responsible for the omission of of after grucche. F alone has wille in place of gamen. his wille / he wil greve vs sore.
& cracche vs / & clawe vs / & in his cloche vs holde.
Þat we loþyn oure lyf / er he leete vs passen.
/ [¶] But myghte we be ony wit / hys wille with-stonde.
We weryn lordys on lofte / & lyven in gret ese.
/ [¶] Þanne a Ratoun of renoun / moost renable of tunge.
Seyde a resonable resounF.1.152: F's a-verse is unique. Bx has "Seide for a souereyn." / & helplych to hem alle.F.1.152: Alpha is responsible for "hem alle." Beta witnesses have "to hymselue."
I have herd ofF.1.153: F's "herd of" is unique. Beta witnesses have "yseyen." seggis quod he  in þe Cyte of Lundoun.
Þat men beryn bryghte byȝes / a-bowtyn here nekkys.
& summe Coleres of crafty werk / vn-cowpled þey walke.
Boþe in wareyn & in waast / where hem best lykeþ.
& oþire-whylys ellys-where / as weyȝes me telle.F.1.157: F has revised the line, changing the alliterative pattern. Bx has "And ouþer-while þei arn elliswhere as I here telle."
Where þere a belle on here beyȝe / by IesusF.1.158: Alpha is responsible for Iesus. Beta witnesses have Iesu. as me þynkeþ.
Men myghten wetyn / where þei wente / & a-wey renne.
Ryght so quod þe Ratoun / as resoun me sheweth.
It were best to begge a bras belle / or of shyȝnF.1.161: F's shyȝn is unique. Bx has briȝt. syluer.
& knette it on a Coler / for oure Comoune profyȝt
& hange it a-bowte þe Cattys hals / þat here hym we mowe.F.1.163: Alpha lacks the following two lines attested by beta witnesses:
Wher he ryt or rest or renneþ to pleye
And if hym list for to laike þanne loke we mowen.
& a-peren in his absenseF.1.164: F's addition of vus in the b-verse shows that the revision of Bx's presence to absense was intended. / þe while vus pleye lykeþ.
& yf he wratthe / to be war / & hise weye shone.
fol. 3rI
Þanne alle þeF.1.166: Alpha is responsible for þe. Beta witnesses have þis. rowhte of Ratonys / to þis resoun assentid.
But whanne þe belle was bowht / & on þe byȝe hanged.
Þere was no ratoun / of þat rowhte / for þe Rewhme of Fraunce.
Þat durste a bownde þat bond / a-bowte þe Cattys nekke.
Ne honge yt a-bowte hisF.1.170: Alpha and C have his. Beta witnesses have þe cattes. hals / al Ingelond to wynne.
But helden hem-selue vn-hardy / & al here conseyl feble.
& al here labour was loost / & here large costes.
/ [¶] Thanne a Mows / þat mychil good / cowhde / as me thowhte.
Strook forþ sternely / & stood be-fore hem alle.
& to þe rowhte of ratonys / he reersyde þese wordys.
/ [¶] They we haddyn kyllyd þat Cat / ȝyt sholde þere come a-noþir.
& kacche vus & oure kyȝnde / whan we kroule a-bowte.
For-þy  by my conseyl / to soffre þe Cat a-worthe.F.1.178: F's line is unique. Bx has "Forþi I counseille al þe commune to late þe cat worþe."
& no bacheler be so bold / þe belle hym to shewe.F.1.179: See Kane-Donaldson, 176, for their editorial reasoning on re-ordering this passage.
For y herde myn syre seyn / is sevene ȝeer y-passed.
Þere þe Cat ys kytoun / þe court ys elenge.
Þat witnessiþ holy wryt / who-so wille it rede.
Ue terre . ubi puer rex est.F.1.183: A cross is written in the right margin beside this line in an ink like that used by the original scribe.
There may no renke haue reste / for rattys on nyghtis.
/ [¶] For whilis he cacchiþ conyes / he coueyteþ not oure bowkys.F.1.185: bowkys, "bodies, carcasses."
But fediþ hym with fenysoun / defame we hym neuere.
For bettre ys a lytil los / þan a long sorwe.
Þe Maase  a-mong vs alle / þey we mysse a shrewe.
For manye mennys malt ellis / we myȝs wille distroye.
& also ellis ȝee ratonys / wolde renden renkes clothys.F.1.190: F's reading is unique. Bx reads "And also ye route of Ratons rende mennes cloþes." H also omits "route of."
Ne were þe cat of þe court / þat can a-mong ȝow lepe.
For hadde ȝe ratonysF.1.192: Alpha reads ratonys, a reading in which it is joined by GH and the C version. Beta manuscripts have rattes. ȝoure wille / ȝee cowhde not rewle ȝour-selue.
I sey þisF.1.193: Alpha is responsible for the direct object. R has it. Beta manuscripts lack an object. for my-selue quod þe Mous / & see so mychil after.
Shal neuere Cat ne kytoun / by myn conseyl be grevid.
Ne carpynge of his coler / coste me neuere after.
& þowh it costeF.1.196: Alpha and G lack beta's hadde before coste. me catel / by-knowe itF.1.196: An otiose curl appears above the <t>. y nylle.
But suffre as summe oþire do / to slen what hym lykeþ.
Cowpled / & vncowplyd / to cacche what he wille.
& euery wyȝs Mows y warne / to wacche wel hym-selue.
/ [¶] What þis Metelys meneþ / ȝee men / þat been here-Inne.
I ne dar dyvyne it ȝow / be dere god in hevene.
/ [¶] Ȝit hovede þere an hundred / in howfes on Molde.F.1.202: The scribe was perhaps confused by howfes, "coifs." Bx reads "in howues of selk."
Sergawntys þey semeden / þat seruede at þe barre.
Pleteden for þe peny / & pownded þe lawe.
& nowht for oure lordys love / vn-lose here lyppe onys.
Þou myghtyst bettre meten myst / on Maluerne hellys 
Þan getyn a Mum of here mowht / erF.1.207: Alpha is responsible for er. Beta manuscripts have til or but. mone be shewyd.F.1.207: F omits the following line from Bx: "Barons and burgeis and bondemen als."
fol. 3vI
I seyȝ in þis a-semble / as ȝee shulle here after.
Boþe Bakerys / & Brewsteres / & Bocherys manye.
& also wolle websterys / & webberys of Lynene.
& Tayloures & Tynkeres / & tollerys of Market.
& Masonys & Mynowrys / & manye oþire craftys.
Of alleF.1.213: Alpha lacks beta's kynne before lyvynge. lyvynge laborerys / lope þere furthȝ summe.
As dykerys & delueres / þat doon here dedes ylle.
& dryve furthȝ þe fayre day / with deu vous saue dame Emme.
/ [¶] Þere wheren kene Cokys knavis / criȝeden / hote pyes hote 
Goode fatte gryȝs & gees / gowego we dyghne . gowego we.
/ [¶] & þe Tauernerys vn-tyl hem / tolledyn þe same.
With good fyȝn MaluesynF.1.219: F alone has this reading. Bx reads "Whit wyn of Oseye." Malvesie is a sweet Greek wine from Napoli di Malvasia. / or wyn of Gaskoyne.
Or Rochel or RomeneyF.1.220: F's a-verse is unique. Bx reads "Of þe Ryn and of þe Rochel." / þe roost to diffyȝe.
Explicit passus Primus . Petri Plouhman.