fol. 40r (cont.)I
Incipit Passus Octauus
ANdF.8.1: The ornamental capital is written and flourished in green and red ink. as y lay & lookede / vpon þe launde grene.
I þouhte on þe Metelis / hou merveylous þei were.
Tyl sodynly hevynesse / on slepe brouht me þanne.
A-non a merveylous metelys / me tydde to dreme.F.8.4: The defective b-verse is attributable to alpha. Beta witnesses read "mette me þanne."
For y was ravisshidF.8.5: F uniquely omits "riȝt þere" after ravisshid. For at the beginning of the verse is owed to alpha. Beta has That. / & Fortune me fette.
fol. 40vI
& in-to þe lond of longynge / a-loone she me brouhte.
& in a Myrrour þat is Midlerd / she made me in beholde.
& afterwarde she seide to me / here may þou se wondres.
& knowen þat þou coveytist / & come þerto paraunter.
Þere folwede Fortune / foureF.8.10: A greater interest in alliteration than in counting perhaps accounts for F's reading. Bx has "two faire damyseles." faire damyselys.
Concupiscencia carnis / was kallyd þe eldere mayde.
& þe seconde was RycchesseF.8.12: A space is left for the medial virgule. Ful deyntily a-rayed.F.8.12: F's line is unique. Bx reads instead: "And Coueitise of eiȝes ycalled was þat ooþer." F's revision of the name of the second damsel from Coueitise of eighes arises from his confusion of eighe with eighte, the Essex dialectal form of aughte (< OE ǣhte, "property, goods, wealth"). F's attention to this phrase can be seen in the eye-skip which has omitted KD11.46b-52a. The confusion extends even to Elde's exclamation in 42, where Bx's "Allas eiȝe" has become "Allas Richesse." Such a misunderstanding suggests that the origin of this passage in 1 John 2:16 was lost on the redactor. Perhaps the Bx form eiȝe is the source of the confusion, since one other occurrence of the singular form (7.133) is also revised (to hond). The word caused no difficulty at 7.280.
Þanne priȝde of parfyȝt lyvynge / pursuede hem boþe.
& bad me for ony contynanse / a-counte clergye lyte.
Concupiscencia carnis / collid me a-bowte þe nekke.
& seyde / þou art ȝit ȝong & ȝeep / & hast ȝeere y-nowe.
For to lyven longe on londeF.8.17: This repetition of the poet's signature pun does not appear in other B manuscripts. / & loven ladyes manye.
& in þis Mirrour þou may see / merthis y-nowe.
Þat wille leenge þe in lykynge / al þy lyf-tyme.
Þanne Ricchesse seyde þe same / y wil sewe þyn wille.
Tyl þou be a Lord of LondeF.8.21: Or possibly Londis. / leve þe y nylle.
Þat y shal folwe þy felashepe / if Fortune it lyke.
He shal fyȝnde me euere frend / tel Fortune þis tale.F.8.23: Bx reads "quod Fortune þerafter."
Þe Freke þat folweþ my wille / failed neuere blysse.
Þan was þere oon Elde . / þat hevy was of chere.
Man quod he if y meete with þe / be Myȝlde Marie of hevene.
Þou shalt fyȝnde Fortune fayle / at þy mooste neede.
& Concupiscencia carnis / loke clene þou for-sake.
Ful bytterly shalt þou banne ellis / boþe dayes & nyghtis.
Þat euere in þis rewme / rycchesse þou knewe.F.8.30: Bx reads "Coueitise of eiȝe þat euere þow hir knewe."
& priȝde of parfyt lyvynge / In pereyl wille þe brynge.
Ȝee recche þe neuere / quod reccheles / was clad in raggid cloþis.
Folwe forþ Fortunes wil / þou hast ful feer to Elde.
A man may stoupe tyme y-nou / whan he shal tyne his crowne.
Homo proponit quod a poete þoF.8.35: Alpha and C have þo which is omitted in beta manuscripts. Mayster occurs uniquely in F. / Mayster Plato he hyghte
Et deus disponit quod he  lete god doon his wille
If trewþe wille þat it be do / Fortune to folwe.
Concupiscencia carnis / ne Ricchesse of þis rewme.F.8.38: The reading is unique to F. Other B witnesses read "ne Coueitise of eiȝes."
Þey shulle not greve þe grayþly / ne gyle þe but þou knowe.
Ȝee  fare-wel fyppe / quod Fauntele / & forþ gan me drawe.
Tyl concupiscencia carnis / a-cordid with myn werkis.
Allas . Ricchesse quod Elde / & holynesse boþe.
Þat wit shal turne þis wrecche / for wil / to haue lykynge.F.8.43: Alpha by eye-skip omits the following four lines attested by beta manuscripts:
Coueitise of eiȝes conforted me anoon after
And folwed me fourty wynter and a fifte moore
That of dowel ne dobet no deyntee me þouȝte
I hadde no likyng leue me if þee list of hem ouȝt to knowe.
F alone then omits the following lines:
Coueitise of eiȝes com ofter in mynde
Than dowel or dobet among my dedes alle.
Note that C conforms to F's omissions here.
Þan Coueytise & Ricchesse / þei confortid me ofte.
& seyde have þou no conscience / hou þou good shal holde.
Goo confesse to a Frere / & shewe hym þy synnes.
fol. 41rI
For while Fortune is þy frend / Freres wil þe worchepe.F.8.47: The scribe wrote a red "VII" with red flourishes (an error for "VIII") in the upper right margin to indicate the passus number.
& sette[f]ette þe in here fraternyte / & faste for þe praye.
To here providpr[iour] provincial / pardoun for þe to have.
& praye for þe . pol . be . pol . if þou be pecunyous holde.
Pena pecuniaria non sufficit pro spirituali delicto.
Þanne wrowhte y after þat wenche / here wordis weryn so swete.
& tyȝhtly fram ȝowthe / y ȝeede streyght to heelde.
& þan fel Fortune my foo / fro hire faire be-heeste.
& pouerte pursuede me / & pytte me ful lowe.
& þo fond y þe frere a-feerd / & flytyng to me boþe.
A-geyn oure firste forward / for y seide y nolde.
Be beryȝed at here hows / but at my parshȝ chirche.
For y herde onys / how conscience / it tolde.
Þat þere a man were cristnyd / þere sholde he be beryed.
Where heF.8.61: F alone omits were after he. Alpha is responsible for a, which is omitted in beta manuscripts. a parshene or noon / ȝit sholde he þere be grauyd.
& for i tolde þus þe Freris / a fool þei me helde.
& lovede me lasse / for my leele speche.
/ [¶] But y criȝede on my confessour / þat Conyngge hyghte hym-selue.
By my feiþ Frere quod y  ȝee fare lyȝk þese wowerys.
Þat weddyn olde wedewys / for to welden here goodys.
So it fareþ nou be ȝow / for ȝee ne rowhte neuere.F.8.67: The reading is unique to F. Other B manuscripts read "Riȝt so by þe roode rouȝte ye neuere."
Where my body were beryed / so ȝee hadde my syluer.
I have myche merveyle of ȝow / & so haþ many a-noþir.
Why  ȝoure couent coveytyn / to confesse & to beryȝe.
Rathere þan to baptyse / barnes þat ben cathecumys.
Baptysynge & beryenge / boþe ben ful nedful.
But mychil more merytorie / me þynkiþ it ys to cristne.
For a baptisyd man may / as grete Maistris tellyn
Þorghȝ gret contricioun / come in-to heuenly blysse.
Sola contricio
But a barn with-outyn bapteme / may not so sone be savid.
Nisi quis renatus fuerit / þis resoun y radde sone.F.8.78: F completes the Latin tag and then omits the following line from Bx: "Loke ye lettred men wheiþer I lye or noȝt."
And Lewte þoF.8.79: Alpha is responsible for þo, which is absent in beta. lokede on me / for y gan so lowre.
Wherfore lowrest þou quod lewte / & lookede on me harde.
/ [¶] Marye . yf y durste quod y  a-mong men / þis Metelys to a-vowe.
Ȝee be peterF.8.82: An otiose curl appears above the <p>. & poul quod he  & took hem boþe to wytnesse.
Non oderis fratres secreto in corde tuo  sed publice argue illos.
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Þey wille a-geyna-[legge]n quod y  & be þe gospele þus preve.F.8.84: The ascenders on the top lines of this opening and the next are not decorated. As usual, we have recorded the highlighted characters.
How Iustly Iesu seyde / nolite Iudicare quemquam.
Wherof serviþ lawe quod lewte / if no man it with-take.
For falsnesse & fayterye / for sumwhat þe apostle it seide.
Non oderis fratrem These two lines are written as one in all other B manuscripts.
& in þe Sawter also / seyþ dauid þe prophete.
Existimasti inique quod ero tui similis . arguam te & statuam.F.8.90: Bx ends the Latin tag at similis.
/ [¶] It is Licitum for lewede men / to seggyn þe sothe.
If hem lykeþ & lyste / euery lawe euere lawe[euery lawe] it graunteþ.
Except Parsones & prestis / & men of holy chirche.
It falliþ not for þat folk / none talis to telle.
Þowh þe tale were trewe / & it towche to synne.
A þyng þat al þe world whot / wherfore sholdist þou spare.
& redyn yt in retoryk / to a-ratyn dedly synne.
Bot be þou neuere-more þe firste / þe fawty to blame.
& þeyhȝ þou see evil / telle it not / but be sory it were[n]ere mendid.
& ony þyng þat ys prive / publysshe þou it neuere.
Neyþir for leef / ne for loþ / ne lakke for no Envye.
Parum lauda  Vitupera parciuus parcius
/ [¶] He seyþ soþ quod scripture / & stey on heeyȝ & prechede.
But þe matere þat heF.8.104: Bx reads she. The scribe probably took he to refer to the He of the preceding line, for he is an unlikely form of the feminine nominative singular in this scribe's dialect. He is confused about the gender of Scripture in 8.107. mevede / lewede men not knowe yt.F.8.104: Bx reads "if lewed men it knewe," though R also omits if and has knowe. F, confused by the error in alpha, attempted to make sense by adding not and revising the following a-verse.
& if þey knewe latyȝn / leerne oþire þey wolde.
But þei be-leven on þe lord / þat lettrid men hem techeþ.F.8.106: This line is attested only in alpha.
Þus gan he his teeme / y took þerto good heede.
Þat Multi to a Mangerye / & to a mete weryn sompned.
& whan þe peple was plenere come / þe porter vn-pynnyd þe ȝate.
& plukkyd in Pauci privily / & leet þe remnaunt goo rome.
& þanne for teene of þis tyxt / trembreldetremb[le]de myn herte.
& in a weer þan y wex / & with my-selue disputid.
Wheyþir y was chose / or not chose / on holy chirche y þouhte.
Þat vndirfong me at þe funt / for oonoon [of] goddis chosene.
For crist clepiþ vs alle / come if we wolde.
Boþe sarsyȝnes & sismatikis / & so he dide þe Iewis.
O vos omnes scicientesF.8.117: This spelling appears in alpha and in a substantial number of beta witnesses. venite
& bad hem sowke for synne / save at his brest-bon
& drynke boote for bale / drynke[brou]ke yt who þat wolde.
/ [¶] Þan may alle cristene come yn quod y  & cleyme to entre þere.
Þoru þe bloodF.8.121: Alpha and G omit þat after blood. he bowte vs with / & þoru þe bapteme after.
fol. 42rI
Qui crediderit & baptizatus fuerit  saluus erit.F.8.122: F alone completes the quotation. Other B manuscripts end the line with fuerit &c. F.8.122: The scribe appears to have lost count of the passus and to have written "VII" with red flourishes in the top right margin in place of correct "VIII."
For þeyhȝ a man coveytede / his cristendom to receyve. The recast sentence reflects F's efforts to make sense of his exemplar. Alpha, reading receyve for the beta manuscripts' reneye, neatly reversed the point. Beta witnesses read as follows:
For þouȝ a cristen man coueited his cristendom to reneye
Riȝtfully to reneye no reson it wolde.
& vn-ryghtfully he receyve it / no resoun shal save hym.
For may no cherkcher[l] a chartre make / his catel to selle
With-outyn leve of his lord / no level[aw]e wille it graunte.
But he may renne in reragis / & raykeF.8.127: F's rayke is unique. Beta witnesses have rome. R has repeated renne from the a-verse. fram home.
& þey he renne reccheslyrecche[le]sly / or romeþ a-bowte.F.8.128: F's line is unique, but Bx is defective. Most beta manuscripts read "And as a reneyed caytif recchelesly aboute."
Ȝit resoun shal rykne with hym / & rebewke hym at þe laste. Beta omits 129b-130a from Bx by eye-skip on "with him."
& Conscience shal a-counte with hym / & kaste hym in rerage.
& pyttyn hym in strong prisoun / in purgatorie to brenne.
&F.8.132: F's & is unique. Beta witnesses have For, and R has And for. hise reragys rewarde hym þere / til oo day komynge.
But if contricioun kome hym to / & mercy criȝe by his lyve.
& be sory for hise mys-dedys / with mowþ & with herte.
/ [¶] That is soþ seyde scripture / may þere no synne be lettyd.
For mercy mayF.8.136: Alpha is responsible for may before al. al a-mende / ifF.8.136: F's if is unique, though beta's and may well carry the sense "if." See MED s. v. and conj. 5(a). Meeknesse hymF.8.136: F's hym is unique. Beta witnesses have hir and R has he. folwe.
For þey been as bokis telle / a-bove alle goddis werkis.
Misericordia domini  super omnia opera eius.
Ȝee baw  wawF.8.139: F expands the Bx exclamation baw similarly at 15.404.  for bookis quod oon / was broke out of helle.
He was Troianus þe knyght / he took witnesse of þe pope.F.8.140: This line shares with Cr and Cx the omission of "had been a" after Troianus. F consistently reflects Trajan's material in third person rather than Bx's first.
How he was ded & dampned / to dwellyn in derk peyne.
For he was an vn-cristene creature / clerkis knowe þe soþe.
Þat al þe Clergye vndir crist / myghte hym cracche fram helle.
But oonly love & lewte / ofF.8.144: Alpha is responsible for of. Beta witnesses have and. hiseF.8.144: F's hise is shared only by G. Bx has my. lawe-ful doomes.
/ [¶] Seynt Gregory wiste þis wel / what was his cause. Bx reads as follows:
Gregorie wiste þis wel and wilned to my soule
Sauacion for sooþnesse þat he seiȝ in my werkes
And after þat he wepte and wilned me were graunted
Grace wiþouten any bede biddyng his boone was vnderfongen.
& wilnede to his soule / saluacioun & helthe.
For þe soþfastnesse / he seyȝ of hise werkis.
& after þat he wepte / & wisshed hym were grauntyd.
Grace  with-outyn more byddynge / his boone was vndirfongid.
& was savid as ȝee may se / with-outyn song of messis.
Þoru love / & be-leve / & þoru lyvynge in trewþe.
It brouhte hym fram bitter peyne / þere no bede ne myghte.
Loo  ȝee lordis / what lewte doþ / by þat Emperour of Rome.
Þat was an vn-cristene creature / as clerkis knowe in bookis.
Nowht þoru prayere of þe pope / but for his pure trewþe.
So was þat sarsyȝn savid / seynt Gregory bereth witnesse.
Wel awtyn þeF.8.157: Alpha is responsible for þe. Beta witnesses have ye. Though <y> and <þ> are sometimes difficult to distinguish in anglicana hands, this is clearly a <þ>. lawe-keperis / þis lessoun have in mynde.
& on Troianus to þynke / & do trewþe to þe peple.
Þis matere is merk for manye / save men of holy chirche. These lines are preserved in alpha only.
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Þe legende sanctorum / lerneþ ȝow  more largere þan y ȝou telle.
& þus leel love / & leel lyvynge in trewthe
Pytten owt of peyȝne / a payȝnym of Rome.
I-blessid be trowþe / þat brak so helle ȝaatys.
& savede þat sarsyȝn / fram sathenases powher.
Þere no Clergie ne cowhde / ne conynge of lawis.
Þan is love & lewte / ryght a leel science.F.8.166: F omits the following line attested in R: "For þat is þe boke blissed of blisse and of ioye."
God wrouht it / & wroot it / with his owne fynger.
& took it Moyses on þe Mount / alle men / it to leere.
Ȝee lawe withwith[-outen] love quod troianus / leyȝ þere a beene.
Or ony science vndir sunne / of alle þe sevene artis.
But þei ben leerned for goddis love / lost is here tyme.
& for no cause siluer to kacche / ne to be cald a Mayster.
But al for love of oure lord / & þe bettre to love þe peple.
For seynt Iohan seyþ þus / & sothe been hise wordys.
Qui non me diligit  manet in morte
Who loveþ not to lovel[e]ve meF.8.176: James Weldon claims ["Ordinatio and Genre in MS CCC 201: A Mediaeval Reading of the B-Text of Piers Plowman," Florilegium 12 (1995, for 1993): 174 n 24], that F's reading "is absurd, since Trajan is the speaker here." However, it is difficult to say with any confidence that the speaker here is Trajan. Kane and Donaldson, for instance, conclude his speech at the end of line F8.169, and he has clearly ceased speaking by the my in F8.196. The speeches in the middle section of the poem are not clearly voiced. The way that speeches, or parts of speeches, are reassigned in the C revision also points to a lack of commitment as to who is saying what in this "dialogus." / he lyveþ in deþis drede.
& þat alle manere of men / boþe enemyȝs & frendis.
Shulle loven eyþir oþir / as loveþ man hym-selue.
ForF.8.179: Alpha is responsible for For, which is absent from beta. who þat be-leveþ[len]eþ nouht / he loviþ not / god whot þe soþe.
He comandideF.8.180: Alpha is responsible for the preterite comandide, though the reading is shared by C2O. Other beta witnesses have the present tense. ech creature / to conforme hym to love god.
& his neyȝhebore as hym-selue / & hise enemyȝe after.F.8.181: F's reading is unique. Most B manuscripts read "And souereynly pore peple and hir enemyes after."
For / fore hem / þat haten vs / ys most meryȝt to lovyȝe.
And to plese þe poore peple / here prayeris may vs helpe.
For oure Ioyȝe & oure helthe / ysF.8.184: Alpha is responsible for ys, which is absent in beta. Iesu crist of hevene.
& in a poore a-parayle / he pursueþ vs euere.
& lookeþ on vs in here lyknesse / & þat with lovely chere.
To knowe vs be oure kynde herte / & castynge of oure eyȝen.
Wheyþir we love þe loord here / be-fore þe lord of blysse.
He warneþ vs be þe ewangelie / whan we make feestis.
We sholde not calle oure ken þerto / ne non knowe men ryche.F.8.190: Bx's b-verse reads "ne none kynnes riche." R and other beta witnesses have singular kynne.
But kalliþ þe kareful þerto / þe crokede & þe blyȝnde.F.8.191: In relation to Bx this line and the next are transposed.
Cum facitis conuiuia  nolite invitare amicos.
F.8.193: An illegible letter resembling <e> appears with a red touch and a period in the left margin. For ȝoure freendis wille fede ȝou / & with foode a-geyn it quyte.
Boþe festis / & faire ȝiftys / ech frend ȝeldeth so oþire.
& þe poore shal prayeF.8.195: The manuscript is stained, but the <e> is tolerably clear. for ȝow / & a-quyte so ȝoure trauaile.
Þat ȝeveþ hem mete or mone / or a-mendiþ hem for my sake.
God myghte ryche a maad / alle men if he wolde.F.8.197: This line is attested only in alpha.
But for þe beste / summe be ryche / & summe men be poore.
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But alle are we hise creaturys / & of hyse coffres ryche.F.8.199: A "VII" with red flourishes (an error for "VIII") is written in the top right margin.
& bretheryn ben of blood / boþe beggere & Erlys.
For at Caluerye of cristis blood / cristene blood gan springe.
& bodily bretheryn we be-come / of cristis body y-wonne.
As qualiqua[s]i modo geniti / & Ientil men ecchone.
No beggere is a-mogysa-mo[n]gys vs / but if synne it make.
Qui facit peccatum  seruus est peccati.
In þe olde lawe it seiþ / as þe lettre tellyþ.
Þat / þe sone of man / we be callyd echone.
Þe issew is of Adam & Eve / til god & man dyȝede.
& after his ressurrexioun Redemptor was he callyd.
& we hise bretheryn / þoru hym bowht / boþe ryche & poore.
Þerfore love we as leve childryn / & ech man lawhe on oþir.
& of þat / ech man may for-bere / a-mende hym þat is nedy.
& ech man helpe oþir heereF.8.213: Alpha is responsible for heere, which is absent in both beta and C. / for hens shulle we alle.
Alter alterius  onera portate.
& be we not vn-kyȝnde of Catel / ne of konynge neyþir.
For no man whot / hou neyȝ he is / to be y-nome fram boþe.
Þerfore lakke no leef oþir / þeyhȝ he more latyn knowe.
Ne nyme no manir foule / for non is with-outyn defawte.
For what euere Clerkys carpe / of Crystendom or ellis.
Cryst to a comoun woman seyde / in comoun at þe feste.
Þat fides sua sholde save hire / & saluen hire synnes.
ÞatÞa[nne] is beleve a leele helpe / a-bove logyȝk or lawe.
Neyþir logyȝk ne lawe / ne legende of sanctorum .
Been but lytil a-lowed / but beleve hem helpe.F.8.224: F's reading is unique. R has "Is litel alowed þei both but by-leue hem helpe." Beta has "Is litel alowaunce maad but if bileue hem helpe."
For it is ouer-longe ofo[r]F.8.225: or, "ere." F has replaced Bx's er with of. logyk / ony lessoun a-soyle.
& lawe is looþ to lovye / but he lacche syluer.
Boþe Logyk & lawe / love wel boþe to lyȝen.
I conseyle alle cristene men / ȝee cleve not þeron to sore.
For summe wordis fyȝnde y wrete / wher-of feiþ is rote.F.8.229: F's b-verse is unique. Bx has "were of Feiþes techyng."
Þat saveþ synful men / as seyn Iohan beriþ witnesse.
Eadem mensura qua mensi fueritis . remecietur uobis.F.8.231: The red ink of the lombard capital <E> and the last two words is darker than that of the remainder of this quotation, suggesting they were copied at slightly different times.
For-þy  leerne we þe lawe of love / as oure lord techeþ.
& so seyþ seynt Gregory / for synful mannys helthe.F.8.233: F omits Bx's "Melius est scrutari scelera nostra quam naturas rerum."
Why y meve þis matere / þat most is to helpe þe poore.
For in pore lyȝknesse crist / ofte haþ been y-knowe.
Witnesse of þe Gospel / whan he to Emaus wente.
Cleophas ne knew hym nout / þat he cryst were.
For his poore a-parayle / & pilgrymes wedys.
fol. 43vI
Tyl he blessede & brak / þe breed þat þey eetyn.
& so by hise wyrkys / þey wisten þe soþe.
But þey knew hym not be cloþynge / ne be carpynge of tunge.
& al þat was ensample / to vs synful heere.
Þat we shulde ben lowe / & lovely of speche.
& a-parayle vs not proudly / for pilgrimys we ben alle.F.8.244: F omits the following line from Bx: "And in þe apparaille of a pouere man and pilgrymes liknesse."
Ofte crist haþ been y-met / a-mongys nedy peple.
Þere neuere segge hym seyȝ / with syghte / lyk þe ryche.F.8.246: The b-verse in Bx reads "in secte of þe riche." F habitually avoids secte, substituting sewte (F10.734), seut (F11.248), or even selue (F5.499). However, note that at 7.223 F alone reads sekt in place of Bx's book.
/ [¶] Seynt Iohan & oþire seyntis / were seyn in pore cloþynge.
And as pore pylgrimes / prayede men of here goodis.F.8.248: F omits two lines from Bx:
Iesu crist on a Iewes doȝter aliȝte gentil womman þouȝ she were
Was a pure pouere maide and to a pouere man wedded.
Martha on goddis modirF.8.249: F alone confuses Mary Magdalene with Christ's mother. The confusion is odd and not explicable by the scribal omission of the preceding two lines. / made an huge tale.
Vnto Iesu oure saviour / she seyde þese wordis.
Domine non est tibi cure quod soror mea reliquid me sola ministrare.
& crist faire answerede / & eyþeris wil fulfylde.
Boþe Marthis & Maries / as Mattheuh beriþ witnesse.
But pouerte he pitte to-fore / & preysede þe bettre.
Maria optimam partem elegit  que non auferetur ab ea.
& alle þe wise men / þat euere were / as y can a-spyȝe.
Preyse pouerte for best lyf / if pacyence it welde.F.8.257: F's welde is unique. R has wolde, and beta manuscripts have folwe.
& more blessedere be skyle / & bettre þan rycchesse.
Al-þowhȝ it be sour to suffre / þere komeþ swete after.
/ [¶] Ryght as is a walshe-note / withoute / ful bytter ys þe ryȝnde.
& after þat bitter bark / &[be] þe shelle a-weyȝe.
Is a kernel of confort / kyȝndely to restore.
So is after pouerte or penaunce / pacyently y-take.
Makþ a man have meende on god / & a gret wille.
To wepe & to wel bydde / wher-of wexiþ mercy.
Of wiche crist is kernel / to conforte þe soule.
& wel sekerere he slepiþ / þe segge þat ys poore.
& lasse drediþ þe deþ / ne dowhteþ to be robbyd.
Þan he þat ys ryche / Resoun beriþ witnesse.
Pauper ego ludo / dum tu diues meditaris.
/ [¶] & þeyhȝ Salomon seyde þus / as menF.8.271: Alpha is responsible for men. Beta witnesses have folk. seen in þe byble.
Diuicias nec paupertates
A-noþir Poete seyþ / in his pure speche.F.8.273: F has rewritten this line. Bx reads "Wiser þan Salomon was bereþ witnesse and tauȝte."
Þat propre pouerte ys / no possessioun to holde.
But lyve moost in lykynge of god / as Luk bereth witnesse.
Si vis perfectus esse  vade & vende omnia que habes . &c.F.8.276: F alone completes the quotation after vende.
Þis ys to meene to men / þat on þis moolde dwelle.
Who þat wil be pure parfyȝt / mot possessioun for-sake.
Or selle it / as seyþ þe book / & þe siluer delyn þe nedy.
fol. 44rI
To beggerys þat beggyn / & byddyn for goddis sake.F.8.280: The scribe has written in red with red flourishes "VII" in the upper right margin, an error for "VIII."
For faylede neuere man mete / þat myghtful god serueþ.
& Dauid seiþ in þe sawter / & hise sawis ben soþe. Confusion in alpha lies behind F's revision of these lines. For 8.282-283, Bx reads as follows:
As Dauid seiþ in þe Sauter to swiche þat ben in wille
To serue god goodliche ne greueþ hym no penaunce.
R reads as follows:
As dauid seith in þe sauter to swich þat ben in wille.
With eny wel or wo
To serue god godeliche ne greueth hem no penaunte.
Note that only an a-verse appears in R for the equivalent of F8.283.
toF.8.283: Though we have taken the scribe to have intended to mark the first character on each line both as touched in red ink and capitalized, in this instance the contrast between this opening <t> and the capital form at the beginning of the next line is too great to leave without comment. As we have noted before, consistency in such matters is a more steady concern of modern editors than of medieval scribes. swiche as been in wille / to suffre wo / for welthe.
To serue god goodlyF.8.284: An otiose curl is written above the <d>. / ne greviþ hem no peyȝne.
Nichil difficileF.8.285: Alpha is responsible for difficile. Beta witnesses have inpossibile. volentiF.8.285: F omits the following lines from Bx:
Ne lakkeþ neuere liflode lynnen ne wollen
Inquirentes autem dominum non minuentur omni bono.
If prestis weryn alle wise menF.8.286: F's "alle wise men" is unique. R has only "wise," while beta witnesses have "parfite." / þey sholdeF.8.286: F's sholde is unique. Bx has wolde. no siluer take.
For Messis ne Matins / but here mete only.
Neyþir kertyl ne cote / þeyhȝ þey for cold sholde pershe.
But seyn þus for here dygnerF.8.289: F extensively revises the a-verse, the result, perhaps, of misreading a form of Bx's deuoir as dener. Bx reads "And þei hir deuoir dide ...." / as dauid seiþ in þe sawter.
Iudica me deus / & discerne causam meam
Þey sholde speke of spera in deo whan spendynge wantiþ.F.8.291: F's line is unique. Bx has "Spera in deo spekeþ of preestes þat haue no spendyng siluer."
& travayle trewly / & triste on god of hevene.
Þan sholde þey lakke no liflode / neyþir wollene ne lynenn.
For ȝoure tytle of ȝour ordres / telle ȝee ben a-vauncyd.
Þan nediþ ȝou take no mone / for Messe þat ȝee synge.
For he þat took ȝou þat tytle / sholdeF.8.296: The <o> is malformed. take þat ȝe nede.
Or þe BisshopF.8.297: The <B> is atypical here and in F8.307. / þat blessiþ ȝow / if þat ȝee ben worthy.
/ [¶] For makyd neuere kyng no knyght / but catel he hadde.
As fallyþ for his astatF.8.299: F's reading is unique. Most other manuscripts have "As bifel for a knyȝt ...." / or fynde hym for his strengþe.
It is a kareful knyght / & a Caytifis kyngys makyng.
Þat haþ neyþir lond ne lyflodeF.8.301: F's lyflode is unique. Bx has lynage. Beta and C manuscripts follow lynage with riche, but it is absent in alpha. / ne good loos of his hondis.
Þe same y sette to sey þe soþe / by alle swiche prestis.
Þat have neyþir konynge / ne kyn / but here crowne oone.
& here tytle a tale of nouht / to take to / in myschef
He is moore be-levid as y trowe / to lacche þoru his crowne.
A cure  þan for konynge / or knowe for klene berynge.
I have wondir / & why  & wherfore þe Bisshop.
MakenMake[þ] swiche prestis / þat poore men be-trayen.
A Chartre is chalengable / be-fore a cheef Iustyse.
If fals latyn be in þat lettre / þe lawe it repugneþ.F.8.310: F alone reads repugneþ, while Bx has impugneþ. The words overlap in their semantic range (see MED, s.v. repugned v. [2], citing the C substitution in at least one manuscript of repugnen for impugnen at C.Prol.136). The same pattern of variation occurs in F10.125.
Or peyntid þe lynyaryes[parentrelynarie]F.8.311: parentrelynarie, "interlined." / or parcelles ouer-skyppid.
Þe Goome þat it gloseþ / for a goky ys he holde.
/ [¶] Ryght so is he a goky by god / þat in his gospel fayleþ.
Or in þe Messe or Matins / makeþ ony defawhte.
Qvi offendit in vno delitto  reus est in omnibus.F.8.315: Bx reads "Qui offendit in vno in omnibus est reus &c."
Dauid seyþ in þe sawter / to swiche ouer-skipperes.
Spallite deo nostro spalliteF.8.317: F alone omits Bx's "quoniam rex terre deus Israel."  spallite sapienter.
/ [¶] Þe Bisshop shal be blamed / be-fore god / y leve.
Þat krowneþ swiche goddis knyghtis / þat kunne lytil latyn.
fol. 44vI
Neyþir synge ne spalmesF.8.320: An otiose curl is written over the <a>. rede / ne syngyn of a feeste.
For neuere neyþir is blameles / þe Bisshop ne þe chapeleyn.
For boþe been endytyd / & þat ys be ynorancey[g]norance.
Non excusat episcopos nec ydiote crownide chapeleynys.
Þe lookenge of lewede prestis / haþ do me lopeF.8.324: F's lope ["leap" (cf. ON laupa)] is unique. Beta witnesses have lepe. fram pouerte.
Þe wiche y preyse þere pacyence is / more parfyȝt þan is rycchesse.F.8.325: F omits the following line from Bx: "Ac muche moore in metynge þus wiþ me gan oon dispute." The following nine lines, including the repetition of lines 326-27, are unique to F. Whether the differences between the repeated lines reflect the practice of the immediate scribe or another is not determinable.
& þus y fel in þowhtis feele / flappynge in myn herte.
Þat alle myn spiritys weryn sore stoned / & þerwith y waknede.
& as manye & feele þowhtis / felle flappynge in myn herte.
Alle myn spirytis weryn stoned / & þerwith y a-wakede.
& ful sore syȝhede / þe syghte was so mervylous.
& streyhte me / & turnede me / & to my-selue y seide.
Þis ys a mychil merveyle / what menynge it meneþ.
F.8.333: What was probably the scribe's instructions to the rubricator for passus division has been cropped on the left, leaving just <u> and the <us> abbreviation. & in þis þowht stille y lay / a long tyme after.
Explicit Passus Octauus.