IN a somer seson whanne softe was the s.onne
me intoM.P.2: M's original reading without to agreed with GYOC2CLH.
shroudes as I a sheep were
In habite as an hermite vnholy of werkes
Wente wyde in þis worlde won.....dres — to here
AcM.P.5: Kane and Donaldson note that Ac is erased. But the word is simply worn—as are many places on this first leaf.
on a may mornynge on maluerne hulles
Me byfel a ferly of fair.y me thouȝte
I was wery for-wandred and wente me to reste
Vndur a brode banke by a ..bournes syde
And as I laiy and lened and loked on þe wateres
I slombrede in a slepinge it swey..ed so merye .
Thanne gan I to meten a meru......eilous sweuene
That I was in a wildernesse wyste IM.P.12: M's original reading without I agreed with Cr.
...?...And as I bihelde in-
toM.P.13: It may be that the original reading was As I bihelde into, but the corrector miscalculated the space and so had to put in above the line.
þe est an heiȝgh to þe suo
a tour on a tofte .
rielycheM.P.14: The erasure of what is probably a <t> is evidence of discomfort with the rare word trielyche. The same erasure is found in C, while H reads ryaly and HmCr12 read rychely.
A de..ep dale bynethe a doungeoun þere-...Inne
With depe diches & derke and dredeful of sighte
A faire fielde ful of folke fonde I there bitw...ene
Of alle manere of men þe mene and þe ryche
Worchinge and wandrynge as þe world askeþ .
Summe put hem to þe plow pleied ful selde
In settynge and sowynge swonken ful harde
And wonnen that wastours with glotonye destruyeth .
And summe putten hem to pruy
de apparailled hem ..þer-aft..rraft..erM.P.23: The scribe usually wrote aftur, and the corrector occasionally alters to after, e.g. at M.1.70. Here he miscorrects.
In continaunce of clothynge comen disgisede .
In praiers and in penaunce putten hem manye
Al for loue of oure lorde lyueden ful streyte
In hope ...for to haue heuenriche blisse .
As ancres and herm.ytes that holden hem in here selles .
And coue....iten nouȝte in contre to kairen a-bouten
For no likerous l.....iflode her lykame to plese
And somme chosen chaffare thei cheued the bettr.e
As it semeþ to oure siȝt þat suche men thryueth
And somme murthes to make as mynstrales conneth
And geten gold with here glee syn.....nelees
I leueM.P.34: A wormhole has damaged half the <u>.
AsM.P.35: The <s> on As has an extra blot of ink, but it is the same hand and ink as the rest of the word, pace Kane and Donaldson.
iapers and iangelers Iudas chyldren
ÞatM.P.36: The addition of Þat brings M into agreement with YOC2.
Faynen hem fantasies and fooles hem maketh
And han h.....ir wyt at wille to worchen ȝif þei sholde .
That poule precheþ of hem I nel no...ght preue it heere .
Qui loquitur turpiloquium & cetera. est seruus diaboliM.P.39: The abbreviated reading has been expanded by two different fifteenth-century hands. No other manuscript (in any version)
lacks the supplied loquitur. The second half-line is lacking also in LCr1C; other manuscripts have is luciferes hyne or variants upon it, of which the added est seruus diaboli in M is a translation. No direct source for the line has been found (see John Alford, Piers Plowman: A Guide to the Quotations [Binghamton, 1992] p. 33), so that the additions presumably derive from another text of the poem.
Bidders and beggers faste aboute yeden
Wyþ here bely and here bagge of breed ful ycrammed .
Faiteden for here fode fouȝten atte ale
In glotonye god it wot goon ..thei to bedde
And rysen with rybaudie þo Roberdes knaues .
Sleep and sory sleuthe suweth hem euere .
PilgriymesPilgri[r]ymesM.P.46: Pilgymes was formed inadvertently when the corrector combined the <r>and the <i> to form a <y>.
and palmers pliȝted hem to-
To seke seint Iames and saintuys in Rome .
Thei wenten forth in here way with many wyse tales
And hadden leue for to lie al hire l..yf a...fter .
I seigh somme that saiden þei had ysouȝte seint.es
To eche a tale that þei toolde
ngeM.P.51: The intent was to alter the <u> of tunge to <o>, but the result looks more like <a>.
was tempred to lie
More ....than to saie soth it semed by here speche .
Hermytes on a heep with hokud staues
Wenten to walsingham and here wenches aftur .
Grete lobyes and longe þat loþe weren to swynke
Cloþ.eden hem in Copus to be knowen from othere
And shoopen hem heremytes here ese to haue .
s offM.P.58: The addition of off brings M into agreement with H.
alle the foure ordres
Precheden þe p.eple for profit of hem-seluen
Glosud þe gospell as hem good liked
For couetise of copus construede it as þei wolde
Many of þise maystur freres mowe clothen hem at likynge
For here money and marchaundise marchen to-g.idre .
For sith charitee haþ be chapman and chief to shryue lordus
Many ferlis han fallen in a fewe ȝyeeres .
But holy churche and hijM.P.66: And hij has been crossed through. Kane and Donaldson erroneously read hir, combining the top of the punctus elevatus with the <j>. amend itM.P.66: This addition, along with the following and, is in a different hand and ink than the surrounding text. The alteration does not agree with any other B manuscripts.
holde bettur to-
The mooste meschief on molde is mountynge wel faste. vpwardis FastM.P.67: The alteration is not supported by any other B manuscript. The same scribe is probably responsible for drawing the hand in the left margin and for the underlining, and
perhaps also the alteration in M.P.66 above.
Lewede men leued hym wel and lykede his wordus .
Comen vp knelynge to kiss..en his bulles
He bonched blessidM.P.74: The substitution of blessid for bonched is much later than the main hand. The altered reading blessid agrees with FH.
hem with his breuet and blered hire e....yes
And rauȝte with his raggeman rynges and broches
Þus þei g.iuen hire gold glotones to kepe
And leneth itM.P.77: M's original reading without it agreed with OC2CLH.
such loselus þat lecherie haunten
Were þe bisshop y-blessud. or worth boþe his eres
His seel shulde not be sent to desceyue þe p.eple .
Ac it is nouȝt by þe bysshop þat þe boy precheth .
For þe parissh preest and þe pardoner parten þe syluer .
That the pore .....poraileM.P.82: The original word was shorter than poraile. F has men but most A manuscripts have peple, which may well be M's original reading.
of þe parissh shul.de
haue if þei ...?...ne were .
Bisshoppus and bachelers boþe maistrus and doctours
Þat han cure vndur Crist and crounedeM.P.88: M's reading is not shared by other B manuscripts, which vary, though most read crownynge.
And signe þat þei shulden shryuen here paroschiens
Prechen and prayen for hem and þe pore fede
Liggen in london in lenten and elles
Suomme seruen þe kynge and his syluer tellen
In chekker and in Chauncerye chalengen his dettes
Of wardes and wardemotes weyues and streyues
And somme seruen as seruauntz lordus and ladys
And in stede of stywardus sitten and demen
Here messesM.P.97: M shares the form messes with Cr. Other B manuscripts have messe.
and hire matynes and many of here houres
Arn don vndeuoutlich drede is atte þe laste .
Lest Crist in Consistorie acorse ful manye
I parceiuede of þe power þat Petur had to kepe .
To bynde and to vnbynde as þe book telleþ .
How he lefte .
itM.P.102: The revised reading lefte it is shared with CrFH; OC2 have it self; other B manuscripts have it lefte.
loue as oure lord highte
Amonges foure vertues þe beste of alle vertues
Þat Cardinales ben called and closynge ȝyates
Þere Crist is in kyngedome to close and to shutte .
And to open it to hem and heuene blisse shewe
Ac of þe Cardinales atte Courte þat cauȝt of þat name
And power presumed in hem a Pope to make
To han þat power þat Petur hadde inpugnen I nelle
For in loue and lettrure þe eleccioun bilongeth .
For-þi I can and can nouȝte of courte speke more .
a ijM.P.111: A mark resembling a large, drypoint <a> is found on the bottom of this leaf.
Þanne come þere a kyng knyȝthode hym ladde
Miȝte of þe comunes made hym to regne
And þanne come
kynde w..it & M.P.114: It looks likely that the earlier reading was witte followed by and inserted above. The corrector makes the usual alteration to wit and that leaves space for &. No other manuscript omits and.
clerkus he made .
For to conseille þe kyng. and þe comune saue .
And sithen in þe e..ir an heiȝgh an angel of heuene
Lowed to speke in latyn for lewede men ne couþe .
Iangle ne iuge þat iusticeM.P.130: M shares the reading iustice with C2. Other B manuscripts read Iustifie.
hem shulde .
But suffren and seruen for-þ..i saide þe angel .
Sum rex . sum princeps neutrum fortasse deinceps .M.P.132: In addition to the underlining, these Latin verses are bracketed with a curly bracket in the left margin. The same marginal
hand, which is much later than the main text (perhaps 16th-17th century), has written vox angeli in the left margin.
O qui iura regis . .CristiM.P.133: The first graph of this abbreviation is written over an erasure. specialia regis .
Hoc quod agas melius iustus es esto pius
Nudum ius a te vestiri vult pietate
Qualia vis metere talia grana sere
Si ius nudatur . nudo de iure metatur .
Si seritur pietas de pietate metas .
With þat ran þere a route of ratones at ones
And smale mys wyth hem mo þan.. — a þousande .
And comen to a conseil. for here comune profite
For a ...Cat of a ..contre cam whanne hym lik..eed .
And ouerle..ep hem liȝtly and lauȝte hem atte his wille .
And pleyde with hem perillou...sly and possed hem aboute .
For doute of diuerse dredus we dar nouȝt wel looke .
And ȝif we grucchen . of his gamen he wil.. greuen vs alle .
Cracche vs and clawesM.P.154: M's original reading clawes is shared by no other B manuscripts, most of which read clawe vs, though in the b-verse Cr has clawes instead of clochus. vs
and in his clochus holde
Þat vs lotheth þe lif oer he lete vs passe
Miȝte we wiþ any witte his wille with-stonde
We myȝten be lordus a-lofte and l.yuen at oure ese .
A Ratoun of renoun mooste renable of ..tonge .
Seide for a souerain help to hym-selue .
I haue y-se.yn segges quod he in þe Cite of Londoun
Beren biȝes ful briȝt abouten here nekk.es .
me Colers of crafty werk vncouplede
enM.P.162: M's original reading agreed with YOC2CLR. The alteration brings M into agreement with WHmCrG.
Boþe in wareine and in waste where hem leue like.dM.P.163: M shares its revised form liked with WCr1GH. Other manuscripts have the present tense.
And oþerwyle þai arne ellus-where as I here telle .
Were þere a belle on ...hireM.P.165: The original reading may have been his, as in G.
beiȝe by Ihesu
as me th..yn
...?...M.P.166: Something no longer legible is erased in the right margin. Likely it was a guide for alteration to renne.
Men myȝten witen wher þei wente and away .....renne
And riȝt so quod þat Ratoun resoun me sheweþ
To bugge a belle of bras or of briȝte siluer
And knytten itM.P.169: M's original reading without it was shared by Cr23GOC2CL. The alteration brings M into agreement with all other B manuscripts.
on a Coler for oure comune profite .
And hangen it vpon þe Cattus hals þanne heere we mowen .
Where he rit.. or reste or renneth to playe
And ȝif hym lust for to layke þanne loke we mowen .
And peren in his presence þere whyle hym plaie likeþ .
And ȝif him wrattheth be war and his weye shonye .
Al þis route of ratouns to þis resoun assent..eed
Ac þo þe belle was y-bouȝte and on þe beiȝe hanged .
Þere nas ratoun in þe route for al.. þe reume of Fraunce
haue bonden þe bieȝM.P.178: M shares bie with Hm. Other B manuscripts have belle.
boute þe cattus nekke .
Ne hangen itM.P.179: M's original reading without it agreed with GL.
aboute þe cattus hals al Englon...d —
to wynne .
And helden hem vn-hardy and here conseille feble
And leten here labour lo...st and here longe studye .
A mous þat moche goode couthe as me thouȝte
Stro..ok forþ sternly and stoode byforn hem alle .
And to þe route of Ratons reherced þes wordus .
Thouȝgh we cullede þe cat ȝyet shulde þere come a-noþur .
accheM.P.186: M's original reading cracche agreed with OYCLR.
vs and alle
oure kynde þouȝ we croupe vndur benches .
Forthi .I conseille .. alle þe comune to late þe catte worþe .
..And be we neuere so bolde þe belle hym to shewe .
For I herde my sire sain is seuen ȝyere y-passed .
Þere þe catte is a kytoun þe court. is ful elenge .
Þat w..ytnesseþ holy writte whoso wol it rede .
Ve terre vbi puer rex est & cetera .
For may non renc þere reste haue for ratones by nyȝte
Þe while he caccheþ conynges he coueiteþ nouȝt oure caroine .
But fet hym wiþ venesoun defame we hym neuere
For bettur is a litul losse .....than a longe sorwe .
Þe mase amonge vs alle þouȝ we mysse a shrewe
For many mann.es malt we mys wolde destru.ye
And also ȝye route of ratouns rende menn.es clothes
Nere þe cat.. of þat courte þat can ȝyow ouer-lepe .
For hadde ȝye rattes ȝyoure wille ȝye couthe not reule ȝyoure-selue.
I say for me quod þe mous I see so mukel aftur .
Shal neuere þe catt / ne þe kytoun by my conseill be greued .
Ne carpinge of þis coler þat costud me neuere .
And þouȝ it had costed me . catel byknowen it I nolde .
But suffre as hym-self wolde to do as hym likeþ .
Couplede and vncouplede to cacche what þei mowe .
For-þi eche a wyse wiȝte I warne wite wel his owne .
ȜYet houed þere an hundred in ho....vues of silke
Sergeauntes it semed þat serued atte þe barre
# Momming off Men off law For Mone
Pleteden for penies and poundes þe lawe
And nouȝt for loue of oure lord vnlose here lippus onys .
Þow miȝteste bettur mete þe myste on maluerne hulles
.....Than gete a momme of here mouthe but monoye were shewed
Barouns and burgeis and bonde-men als .
I sa.y in þis assemble as ȝye shul here aftur
Baxters and brewsters and bochers manye
Wollenwebsters and weuers . of lynnen
Taillours and tynkers and tollers in marketes
Masouns and mynours and many moM.P.222: M's reading of mo is not shared by other B manuscripts, which read oþer.
Of alkyn libbyng laborers lopun forþ summe
As dikers & deluers þat doth here dedes ille
And dryuen forþ þe ...longeM.P.225: M shares its revised adjective longe with the majority of B manuscripts, but L has dere and F fayre.
th dieu vous saue dame Emme
Cokus and hire knaues crieden hote pies hote
Gode grys and gees gowego we dyne gowego we .