fol. 54r (cont.)I
passus xjus
Passus xjusx[i]jusundecimus[duo]decimus de visione vt supra

I am ymaginatif quod he  Idel was I neuere .
Þouȝ I sit be my-selue  in seknesse ne in helthe .
I haue folewed þe in faith  þis fyue and forty wynter .
And many tymes haue meued þe  to þenke on þin ende .
And howe fele ferneres beR.12.5: Beta has fernȝeres are; F omits the line. faren  and so fewe to comen .
And of þi wilde wantounesse  þo þow ȝonge were .
To amenden it in þi myddel age  lest miȝt þe faile .
fol. 54vI
In þin olde eelde  þat euel can suffre .
Pouerte or penaunce  or preieres bidde .
Si non in prima vigilia nec in secunda . &cetera .
Amende þe ye[]R.12.11: R's ye is a unique addition to the text of Bx. while þow miȝt  þow hast ben warned ofte .
With powstes of penaunceR.12.12: F shows a plural, penances. Beta reads pestilences.  with pouerte & with angres .R.12.12: The page is split horizontally for a space of about 3.8 cm. here, along the length of the b-verse.
And with þis bittere baleyses  god beteth his dere children .
Quem diligo castigo  R.12.14: Alpha omits two lines attested in beta at this point (KD12.13-13α):
And dauid in þe sauter seith of suche þat loueth Ihesus
Virga tua & baculus tuus ipsa me consolata sunt &c.
Al-þouȝ þow strike me with þi staf  with stikke or with ȝerde .
It is but murth as for me  to amende my soule .
And þow medlest þe with makyngeR.12.17: Though M supports alpha's singular, the other beta copies read makynges or mastryes.  and miȝtest go sey þi sauter .
And bidde for hem þat ȝiueth þe brede  for þere are bokes Inowe .
To telle men what dowel is  dobet and dobest bothe .
And prechoures to preue what it is  of many a peire freres .
¶ I seiȝ wel he seide me soth  acR.12.21: This is a unique reading in R; all the other manuscripts have and. somwhat me to excuse .
AndR.12.22: Alpha seems to have been uncomfortable with the enjambment of Bx here, but alpha's extra conjunction (And), instead of smoothing, actually breaks the syntactic pattern of the statement. seide catoun conforted his sone  þat clerk þouȝ he were
To solasen hym sum-tyme  andR.12.23: R's and is shared uniquely with F, but F rewrites the following half-line completely; beta has as. I do whan ich make .
Interpone tuis interdum gaudia curis .
AndR.12.25: Most other B manuscripts here read, of holy men; R shares the omission of the preposition with Hm (and, originally, with C) by convergence. holy men I here quod I  how þei otherwile .
Pleiden þe parfiter  to be in many a place .R.12.26: For R's a place, beta has places. Both versions of the b-verse are obviously corrupt, causing F to rewrite it totally: in here prayeres after.
ȜifR.12.27: The evidence of both beta and F indicates that R has here dropped a word; F begins the line Nou if, while beta begins it Ac if. þere were any witR.12.27: This is a unique form in R; most of the other manuscripts have wight. However, R's wit probably does not represent a substantive difference from the majority reading. OED2, s. v. wight, documents wyt(e) for the fifteenth century and wite for the fourteenth century as variant spellings of wight. MED, s. v. wight, also lists wit(e) as a variant spelling but offers only one example, from the thirteenth century.  þat wolde me telle .
What were dowel and do-bet  and dobest atte laste .
Wold I neuer do werke  but wende to holy cherche .
And þere bidde my bedes  but whan ich eet or slepe .
With poule in his pistlesR.12.31: R is unique in reading the plural pistles, but the serious error of this line, the addition of the preposition With at line head, must reflect a problem in alpha, since F's See Poulis also reads Paul's name as the line's second word. quod he  preueth what is dowel .
Fides . spes . caritasR.12.32: Beta adds & before maior. maiorR.12.32: R uniquely omits a final word from this tag: horum. &cetera .
Feith hope and charite  R.12.33: Reflecting the difference with alpha in the Latin citation from the previous line, beta has and before alle. alle ben goed .
And sauen men sundri tymes  ac non so sone as charite .
For he doth wel with-outen doute  þat doth as leute techeth .
Þat is if þow be man maried  þi make þow louye .
R.12.37: R uniquely omits the conjunction And at line head. Liue forth as lawe wole  þeR.12.37: R's þe is shared exclusively with F and omitted by beta. while ȝe lyue bothe .
Riȝt so if þow be religiouse  ren þow neuere ferther .
To rome ne to roche-madour  but as þi reule techeth .
And holde þe vnder obedience  þat heiȝ waye is to heuene .R.12.40: A new strophe is marked by the usual cc in the margin next to R12.41, but the scribe did not skip a line between 12.40 and 41. This is frequently his habit when the last line of a page begins a new paragraph.
¶ And if ȝþow be mayde & toR.12.41:: Beta reads maiden to for R's mayde & to; F's Mayde meeke & confirms that alpha also read mayde. marie  and miȝt wel contynewe .
fol. 55rI
Seke þow nere seynt forther  for no soule helthe .
For what made lucifer  to lese þe heiȝ heuene .
Or salomon his sapience  otherR.12.44: R's other is unique; F and beta read or. sampson his strengthe .
Iob þe iewe his ioye  dere he it abouȝte .
Aristotel and other mo  Ipocras and virgil .
Alisandre þat alle wan  elengeliche ended .
Catel and kende wit  was combraunce to hem alle .
Felice hire fairenesse  fel hire alle to sclaundre .
And rosamound riȝt so  reufulliche besette .
Þe beaute of hire body  in badd vseR.12.51: For alpha's badd vse, beta has badnesse she. despended .
Of many suche men may IR.12.52: R's men is a unique addition to the text of Bx. Beta transposes alpha's phrase, may I, to I may / myght. rede  of men & of wommen
Þat wise wordes wolde schewe  and werchen þe contrarie
Sunt homines nequam bene de virtute loquentes .
And riche renkes riȝt so  gaderen and sparen .
And þo men þat þei moste haten  minstren it atte laste .
And for þei soffren and see  so many nedy folkes .
And loue hem nauȝt as oure lorde bit  lesen ȝoureR.12.58: For R's ȝoure (a unique reading), F reads here owen and beta has her. soules .
Date et dabitur vobis  .
So catel and kende wit  acombreth ful many . The first half-line in R (12.60a) differs considerably from the text of F, which reads & þerfore catel & vnkynde wit. The beta manuscripts entirely omit R12.60 (= KD12.55) and the four following lines. The C manuscripts include the first three of these alpha lines.
Wo is hym þat hem weldeth  but if he hem wilR.12.61: R's wil probably signifies the same adverbial here as F's wel. Cf. R.11.136:. despende .
Scienti & non facienti varijs flagellis vapulabit .
Sapience seith þe bokeR.12.63: R's a-verse phrasing differs markedly from F's, which reads Þe book seiþ þat sapyence.  swelleth a mannes soule .
Sapiencia inflat . &cetera .
And richesse riȝt so  but if þe rote be trewe .
Ac grace is a graceR.12.66: R's redundancy appears to derive from alpha; F notices the problem but his grate simply substitutes nonsense for the original error. Beta agrees with Cx, reading grasse. þereforeR.12.66: R's þerefore is shared exclusively with F; beta has þerof. Cx agrees with alpha.  þo greuaunces to abate .
Ac grace ne greuethR.12.67: Hand2 has supplied the appropriate reading in the right margin, implying that greueth should be cancelled, but the original reading was never marked as cancelled, either by striking through or by subpuncting. nauȝt  but amonges lowe .
Of pacienceR.12.68: Of is a unique reading in R; F omits the entire line, and beta begins the line with Pacience. and pouerte  þe place is þere it groweth .
And in lele lyuynge men  and in lif-holy .
And þurȝ gifteR.12.70: Before gifte, R uniquely omits a determiner; F has þat while beta has þe. of þe holy goste  as þe gospel telleth .
Spiritus vbi wlt spirat . &cetera .
Clergie and kende wit  cometh of siȝte and techynge .
As þe boke bereth witnesse  to barnes þat can rede .
Quod scimus loquimur quod vidimus testamur .
Of quod scimus cometh clergie  a cunnynge of heuene .
And of quod vidimus cometh kende wit  of siȝte of diuerse poeple .
Ac grace is a gifte of god  & of grete loue springeth .
fol. 55vI
Knewe neuere clerke how it cometh forth  ne kend wit hisR.12.78: F reads the possessive as witys for R's wit his. Beta has witte þe. weyes .
Nescit aliquis vnde venit aut quo vadit
Ac ȝet is clergie to comende  and kende wit bothe .
And nameliche clergie for cristes loue  þat of clergie is rote .
For moyses witnesseth þat god wrote  for to wise þe poeple .
In þe olde lawe as þe lettre telleth  R.12.83: Manuscript G reads the opening of the b-verse exactly as R does, but beta shows þat was at the head of the b-verse; F rewrites the entire b-verse, reading þe lawe so was to þe Iewis. was þe lawe of iewes .
Þat what womman were in deuoutrieR.12.84: R's form is unique here (beta and F attest auoutrie). But cf. KD 2.176, where R's deuoutrie is accepted for alliterative reasons over the beta reading, auoutrie. Since F agrees with R at this point, and since the same base form shows as archetypal at C2.187 (deuoutours), there seems no reason to doubt that it represents an example of contemporary usage. MED, s. v. devoutrie, and OED2, s. v. devoutour, both cite only Piers Plowman, labelling the form as a variation / corruption of auoutrie. taken  were heR.12.84: R's form for the third-person singular feminine pronoun here is the one commonly preferred by this scribe and is, as usual, unique. F and beta agree on she. riche or pore .
With stones men schulde hire striken  and stonen hire to dede .R.12.85: R's to dede is unique but not ungrammatical or substantially different in meaning from the other B manuscripts, which read to deth. Cf. R.3.262: (KD3.267), where R's phrasing is paralleled by many beta manuscripts: brenne hem to dede. Alpha omits the following line from Bx:
A womman as we fynden was gulty of þat dede.
Ac crist of his curteisie  andR.12.86: R's and is unique; beta omits the conjunction while F completely rewrites the b-verse. þoruȝ clergie hire saued .
For þoruȝ cristes carectusR.12.87: For alpha's cristes carectus, beta reads carectus þat cryst wrot .  þe iewes knewe hem-seluen .
Gultier as afor god  and gretter in synne .
Þanne þe womman þat þere was  and wenten aweye for schame .
Þe clergie þat þere was  conforted þe womman .
Holi chercheR.12.91: Though Hm and B agree with alpha's cherche, beta itself here reads kirke. knoweth þis  þat cristes writynge saued .
So clergie is conforte  to creatures þat repenten .
And to mansed men  mischief at here ende .
¶ For godes body miȝte nouȝt be of brede  withoute clergie .
Þe whiche body is bothe  bote to þe riȝtful .
And deth and dampnacioun  to hem þat deyeth euele .
AcR.12.97: R's Ac is unique; cf. F's But and beta's As. cristes carette conforted  and bothe coupable schewed .
Þe womman þat iewes bouȝteb[r]ouȝte  þat ihesus þouȝte to saue .
Nolite iudicare & non iudicabimini . &cetera .
Riȝt so godes body bretheren  but it be worthily taken .
DampnedR.12.101: Although Y supports R's preterite, F and beta attest Dampneth. But the Introduction III.2.2.10 on the R scribe's anomalous tense marking. vs at þe day of dome  as dede þe caretteR.12.101: Beta transposes alpha's phrase and pluralizes the noun: þe carectes dede. þe iewes .
For-þi I conseile þe for cristes sake  clergie þat þow louye .
For kende wit is of his kyn  and neyȝ cosynes bothe .
To oure lorde leue me  for-þi loue hem I rede .
For bothe beth as miroures  to amenden oure defautes .
And lederes for lewed men  and for letterred bothe .
For-thi lakke þow neuere logike lawe  ne his custumes .
Ne countreplede clerkes  I conseile þe for euere .
For as a man may nauȝt se  þat misseth his siȝtes .R.12.109: Beta reads eyghen, which is also the reading of Cx; F has the singular syghte.R.12.109: The final <s> of siȝtes appears to have been written over an erasure; it is, moreover, the tall <s>, which this scribe almost never deploys in word terminal position (cf. the same word at R12.146). Its form also seems abbreviated, with the descender entirely absent. Nevertheless, the ink appears indistinguishable from that used by the scribal hand.
Na more can no clerke  but if he cauȝte it furst þorȝ bokes .
Al-þouȝ men made bokes  god was þe mayster
And seynt spiriȝt þe saumplarie  & seyde what manR.12.112: With the exception of OC2, which agree with alpha, the beta manuscripts here show men. Cx agrees with beta. scholde write .
fol. 56rI
And riȝt as siȝt serueth a man  to se þe heye strete .
Riȝt so lerethR.12.114: Beta has ledeth at this point. Cx, however, agrees with alpha. letterure  lewed men to reson .
And as a blinde man in bataile  bereR.12.115: R's verb form is unique; Bx and Cx read bereth. wepne to fiȝte .
And hath no happe with his ax  his enemy to hitte .
Na more can a kende wedded manR.12.117: R's almost nonsensical kende wedded man (in place of beta's kyndewitted man) reflects alpha corruption, while F's omitting kynde and substituting lewid man represents an attempt to make sense of the half-line.  but clerkes hym teche .
Come for al his kende wit  to cristendom and be saued .
Whiche is þe coffre of cristes tresor  and clerkes kenpeR.12.119: Either the scribe or an early reader caught an error here (kene for kepe) and added a light descender in the same ink as that of the scribe. The shape of the descender matches that of the scribe's authentic <p>. þe keyes .
To vnlouken it at her likynge  and to þe lewed poeple .
ForR.12.121: R is clearly defective here syntactically; but F's grammar seems equally elliptical, and one must conclude that both are responding to some confusion in alpha. Once again, the source of confusion may lie in the fact that this line is enjambed from the previous one. Cf. R's For and F's completely different & graunteþ to beta's Ȝyue. At this point C supports beta, reading To ȝeue. mercy for her mysdedes  if men it wole aske .
Buxumliche & benigneliche  and bidden it asR.12.122: R's as is unique; Bx and Cx have of. grace .
Archa dei in þe holde lawe  leuites it kepten .
Hadde neuere lewed man leue  to leggen honde on þat cheste .
But he were preste or prestes sone  patriark or prophete .
¶ Saul for he sacrifised  sorwe hym be-tydde . These lines are omitted by the beta manuscripts. F's rendering of these lines is sufficiently different from R's that F's lines should be cited here in their entirety (cf. Appendix 1, R12.126-36, for details and any cross-references to the C version):
Saul for his mys-sacrifyse / sorwe hym by-tydde.
& hise sones also / for þat synne myschevedyn
& manye mo oþire men / þat weryn none levites.
þat with archa dei wentyn / with worchepeful reuerencis.
& leyde on hond / & lyfte it vp / & lurn here lyf after.
For-þy ; y conseyle alle creatures / no clergye ȝee dispise.
Ne settiþ lyght be here scyence / what so þei do hem-selue.
Tak here wordis at worþ / here wytnesses be trewe.
& medle not meche with hem / to meve hem to wratthe.
Leest Charyte be chased owt / þan ech man choppeth oþir.
[N]olite tangere Cristos meos.
And his sones al-so  for þat synne myscheued .
And many mo other men  þat were no leuites .
Þat with archa dei ȝedenin reuerence and in worchippe .
And leyden honde þer-on to liften it vp  and loren her lif after .
For-þi I conseil alle creatures  no clergie to dispise .
Ne sette schorte be here science  what-so þei don hem-selue .
Take we her wordes at worthe  for here witnesse be trewe .
And ne medle we nauȝt muche with hem  to meuen any wrathe .
Lest cheste chasen vsto choppe vche man other .
Nolite tangere christos meos  &cetera .
¶ For clergie is kynge and kepereR.12.137: For alpha's compounded phrase, beta reads simply kepere. Alpha's exact reading here is uncertain; cf. F's keye & kepere.  vnder crist of heuene .
Was þer neuere no kniȝt  but clergie hym made .
Ac kende wit cometh  of al kynnes siȝtes .
Of brriddesbriddes & of bestes  of tastes of treuthe  & of deseytes .
¶ Liueres to-foren vs  vsede to make .R.12.141: Alpha and Cr read make, which makes no sense; cf. beta's marke.
Þe selcouþes þat þei seye  here sones for to teche .
And helden it an heiȝ science  here wittes to knowe .
Ac þoruȝ here science sothely  was neuere no soule saued .
fol. 56vI
Ne bouȝteR.12.145: The error here, bouȝte for brouȝte, is found in both R and F and derives from alpha. be here bokes  to blisse ne to ioye .
For alle her kende knowynges  cam but of diuerse siȝtes 
Patriarkes and prophetes  repreuethR.12.147: R's repreueth is unique; F has a different form of the plural with repreven, while beta reads repreued(en). Though two C copies affirm a present-tense verb here, it is obvious that Cx agrees with beta's preterite. R's tense marking may not, however, represent a difference of intention from beta's. Cf. the Introduction III.2.2.10. here science .
And seide here wordes ne here wisdomeR.12.148: Beta has the plural wisdomes; F reads scyence. Though four C copies support R's singular, the vast majority of C manuscripts agrees with beta.was but a folie .
As to þe clergie of criste  counted it but a trefle .
Sapiencia huius mundi stulticia apud .R.12.150: One might construe R's script at the end of this citation as agreeing with the other witnesses if <ap> were taken as ap(ud) and <d>+backslash were seen as an abbreviation for d(eum). Neither Kane-Donaldson nor I read it that way, however. The R scribe never elsewhere uses such an abbreviation for deum and, in fact, no such abbreviation is recognized by Capelli (Dizionario di Abbreviature latine ed italiane) nor by Walther (Lexicon Diplomaticum). Instead R customarily spells the form as deu(m) (six times out of seven—the seventh form is d(eu)m). Moreover, Capelli recognizes the actual form written by R, apd, as a late fourteenth-century form for apud. &cetera .R.12.150: Here alpha omits eleven lines present in beta (and also found in a revised form in Cx):
For þe heihe holigoste heuene shal to-cleue
And loue shal lepe out after into þis lowe erthe
And clennesse shal cacchen it and clerkes shullen it fynde
Pastores loquebantur ad inuicem
He speketh þere of riche men riȝt nouȝt ne of riȝt witty
Ne of lordes þat were lewed men but of þe hexte lettred oute
Ibant magi ab oriente &c.
If any frere were founde þere Ich ȝif þe fyue shillynges
Ne in none beggares cote was þat barne borne
But in a burgeys place of bethlem þe best
Set non erat ei locus in diuersorio & pauper non habet diuersorium.
¶ To pastoures and to poetes  appered anR.12.151: Beta has þe in place of alpha's an. Cx agrees with beta. angel .
And bad hem go to bthlemb[e]thlem  godes burthe to honoure .
And syngenR.12.153: R's infinitive (or present tense) syngen is unique among the B copies; F and beta have song(en). However, the C manuscripts are divided by major groups on this reading, with the X family supporting F/beta while the P family agrees with R. a songe of solace  gloria in excelsis deo .
¶ Riche men rutte þo  and in here reste were . These lines are not found in beta.
Þo it schon to schepherdesR.12.155: R and F differ here (F = Whan to shepperdis a sterre shon), but R's version of this phrase agrees with that found in the C manuscripts.  a schewer of blisse .
AndR.12.156: Beta omits And. Cx agrees with beta. clerkes knewe it wel  and comen with here presentes .
And deden here homage honourabely  to hym þat was almiȝti .R.12.157: There is red offset from R12.91 (fol. 57r) partially covering the last word of this line.
Whi I haue tolde þe al þis  I toke ful gode hede .
How þow contrariedest clergie  with crabbed wordes .
How þat lewed men liȝtloker  þan lettred were Isaued .
Þan clerkes or kende witted men  of cristen poeple .
¶ And þow seydest soth of somme  ac se in whanere .R.12.162: The correct reading is beta's what manere; R here presumably mirrors a loss of text in alpha while F (an ensample) attempts to guess at a suitable correction.
Take to stronge men  and in temese caste hem .
And bothe naked as a nedele  her non sikerR.12.164: Most beta witnesses read sikerer, but L agrees with R's form (as did M until "corrected" into conformity with the CrW family). þan other .
Þat on hath cunnynge and can  swymmen and driuendiuen .
Þat other is lewed of þat labour  lerned neuere swymme .
Which trowest þow of þo to  in temese is in moste drede .
He þat neuere dyued  ne nauȝt can of swymmynge .
Or þe swymmer þat is saf  be so hym-self like .
Þere his felawe flet forth  as þe flode liketh .
And is in drede to drenche  þat neuere dede swymme .R.12.171: Immediately hereafter, alpha omitted a line found in beta:
Þat swymme can nouȝt I seide it semeth to my wittes.
¶ Riȝt so quod þe renke  reson it scheweth .
Þat he þat knoweth clergie  can sannoreR.12.173: Sannore, "sooner," <OE sāna. This form appears in the Z text and it, sanere, and sannour appear in the C version. See Joseph S. Wittig, Piers Plowman: Concordance. Will's Visions of Piers Plowman, Do-Well, do-better and do-best: A Lemmatized Analysis of the English Vocabulary of the A, B and C Versions as Presented in the Athlone Editions, with Supplementary Concordances of the Latin and French Macaronics. (London and New York: Athlone Press, 2001), s. v. soone, p. 609. arise .
Out of synne and heR.12.174: Though Cr agrees with R's reading, beta omits he (F rewrites the entire phrase as to be saf). Cx agrees with beta. be safe  þouȝ he senegeR.12.174: R's unique senege is not an error but, according to OED2, s. v. sin and MED, s. v. sinnen, a legitimate thirteenth and fourteenth-century variant for sin. Cx shows the same form as R at this point. Cf. similar forms at R.17.242: and . ofte .
If hym liketh and leste  þan any lewed lelly .
For if þe clerke be cunnynge  he knoweth what is synne .
And how contricion with-outen confession  conforteth þe soule .
As þow seest in þe sauterR.12.177: A black ink stain partially obscures the <s> of sauter.
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As þow seest in þe sauter  in psalme on or tweyne .R.12.178: At the top right margin of this page, there is a smudged word written in black, beginning with what may be a <D>.
How contricion is comended  for it caccheth a-weye synne .
Beati quorum remisse sunt iniquitates  & quorum tecta sunt peccata .R.12.180: Though Hm supports alpha, beta itself omits the last word of this citation, peccata.
And þis conforteth vch a clerke  and kennethR.12.181: The beta reading is also that of Cx. hym fram wanhope .
In which floed þe fende  fondeth a man hardest .
Þere þe lewed lith stille  and loketh after lente .
And hath no contricion ar he come to schrifte  and canR.12.184: R's phrase manifests a unique omission; cf. F's for þereof ne can and beta's & þanne can. Although the C copies show a number of variations here, the predominant reading is that of beta. he litel telle .
And as his lores-man  lereth hym  byleueth and troweth .
And þat is after person or parisch preste  and par-auenter bothe .R.12.186: Beta omits bothe. There appears to have been a line-division problem at this point in Bx, and Kane-Donaldson recast the first word of the next line of Bx (Vnconnynge) as the final stave word of this line.
Vnkunnynge to lere lewed men  as luk bereth witnesse .
Dum cecus ducit cecum  &cetera .R.12.188: Hereafter alpha omits a line found in beta:
Wo was hym marked þat wade mote with þe lewed.
nota /
¶ Wel may þe barne blisse  þat hym sette to scole .R.12.189: F reads this b-verse as þat sette hym fyrst to skole. Beta has þat hym to boke sette. The beta reading, which alliterates correctly, is also that of Cx.
Þat lyuynge after lettrure  saued hym lif and soule .
Dominus pars hereditatis mee  is a mery verseit .
Þat hath take fro tyburne  twenty stronge theues .
Þere lewed theues ben lolled vp  loke how þei ben saued .
Þe thef þat hadde grace of god  a gode friday as þu speke .R.12.194: A black ink blot intervenes between the final word of this line and the punctus.
Was for he ȝelde hym recreantR.12.195: M here agrees with R on the stave word (recreant), but the beta majority's reading, supported by Cx, is creaunt. F omits the term entirely. to crist  & vpon a crosR.12.195: In place of R's vpon a cros, beta has on þe crosse &. F omits the entire phrase. Though the end of the b-verse is different in C, its version of this line parallels B up to this point and reads Was for A ȝeld hym creaunt to crist. knowlechedR.12.195: R uniquely omits hym before gulty. gulty .R.12.195: Hereafter alpha omits a line preserved in beta:
And grace axed of god and he is euer redy.
Þat buxumliche biddeth it  and ben in wille to amenden hem .
¶ Ac þouȝ þat thef hadde heuene  he hadde non heiȝR.12.197: A red smudge partially covers heiȝ; the same red smudge appears on the facing page, partially obscuring the to of R12.163. No boxing occurs nearby either, so the probable cause is mere spillage of a drop of the rubricator's ink. blisse .
As Seint Iohan and other seintes  þat asseruedR.12.198: R shares this form with L alone; F and beta agree on deserued. The C tradition is divided, but the surviving evidence suggests that that P subarchetype read as RL while the X subarchetype had either serued or deserued. hadde bettere .
Riȝt as som man ȝeue meR.12.199: There is a superfluous loop above the <m> of me, in a darker ink than the text hand. mete  and sette me amydde þe flore .
Ich haue mete more þan I-now  ac nauȝt so muche worchipe
As þo þat sitten at þe side table  or with þe souereynes of þe halle .
But sitte as a beggere bordeles  by my-self on þe grounde .
So it fareth be þat feloun  þat a god friday was saued 
He sitt noither with IohanneR.12.204: R's ne(1) is unique among the B copies; beta omits the word, while F rewrites the line completely. The C manuscripts are split, the X family agreeing with R while the P family supports beta's omission. Symond ne Iude .
Ne with maidenes ne with martires  neR.12.205: R's ne confessoures is a unique reading, the negative being omitted by beta (F has ne with Maydenys). The b-verse of the cognate C line has been revised, but it still begins with ne, as with alpha. confessoures ne widewes .
But be hym-self as a soleine  and serued on þe erthe .
For he þat is ones a thef  is euermore in daunger .
And as lawe liketh  to lyue or to deyeR.12.208: Immediately below this line, and above R12.209, there is a scribally cancelled line which reads And reddite vnicuique iuxta opera sua. .
And reddite vnicuique iuxta opera sua
De peccato propiciato noli esse sine metu .
And forto seruen a seynt  and suche a thef to-gyderes .
It were nother reson ne riȝt  to rewardeR.12.211: Nearly all the other B copies (including F) attest rewarde hem at this point, but Cx agrees with R in omitting hem. bothe I-liche .
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And riȝt as troianus þe trewe kniȝt  tilde nauȝt depe in helle
Þat oure lorde ne hadde hym liȝtliche oute  so leue I þe be in heuene .R.12.213: Alpha was clearly missing the key word of the b-verse, thef, a fact which F, as is his custom, attempts to cover over (so leve y it be in hevene). Beta reads this b-verse precisely as does R, with one addition: so leue I þe thef be in heuene.
For he is in þe lowest of heuene  if oure be-leue be trewe .
And wolloslichewol losliche he lolleth þere  be þe lawe of holy cherche .
AndR.12.216: R's And is unique (but Cx attests the Latin equivalent, Et). Beta reads quia (or Qui), while F begins the line with the phrase Þere þe byble seyþ. redditeR.12.216: Beta has reddit. Cx witnesses reddet. vnicuique iuxta opera sua .
Ac whi þat on thef vponR.12.217: In this a-verse, R's Ac and vpon are unique among the B copies. For the former, F has But while beta reads And. For the latter, F and beta concur in reading on. Though eight C manuscripts support the latter reading, it seems likely that Cx agreed on both variants with R. þe cros  creaunt hym ȝelde .
Rather þan þat other thef  þouȝ þow woldest apose .
Alle þe clerkes vnder criste  ne couthe skileR.12.219: R uniquely omits þe before skile. telle .R.12.219: R's telle is an alpha reading; beta and Cx show assoille.
Quare placuit quia voluit .
¶ And so I seye be þe  þat sekest after þe whies .
And aresonedest resoun  a rebukynge as it were .
And willest of briddes and of bestes  & of here bredynge to knowe .
Whi somme be low and somme a-lofte  þi likynge it were .
And of þe floures in þe frith  and of here faire hewes .
Where-of þei cacche here colourR.12.226: Beta has coloures.  so clere and so briȝte .
And of stonesR.12.227: R uniquely omits þe before stones. and of þe sterres  þow studiest as I leue .
How ever best other bridde  hath so breme wittes .
¶ Clergie ne kende wit  ne knewe neuere þe cause .
Ac kende knoweth þe cause hym-selue  no creature elles .
He is þe pyeR.12.231: R's pye is a unique, unmarked genitive. All the other B manuscripts read pyes. patroen  and putR.12.231: put, 3rd sg. pres. ind., "puts." Though Hm and Cr support this alpha form, most beta witnesses read putteth. it in here ere .
Þat þere þe thorne is thikkest  þereR.12.232: Beta omits alpha's þere(2). to buylde and brede .
And kende kenned þe pecok  to cauken in suche a kende .
And kendeR.12.234: Beta omits kende. kenned Adam  to knowen his priue membres .
And tauȝte hym and eue  to helyen hem with leues .
¶ Lewed men many tymes  maistres þei apposen .
Whi adam ne huled nauȝt furst  his mouth þat ete þe appel .
Rather þan his likkham alowe  lewed asken þus clerkes .
¶ Kende knoweth whi he dede so  ac no clerke elles .
Ac of briddes and of bestes  men be olde tyme .
Ensaumples toke and termes  as telleth þis poetes .
And þat þe fairest foule  foulest engendreth .
And febelest foule of fliȝt is  þat fleth or swymmeth .
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And þat is þe pecok and þe po-hen proude  riche men þei betokeneth .
For þe pecok and men pursuen hym  neR.12.245: R's ne seems to be a unique addition to the text witnessed by the other B manuscripts, but it may in fact be the alpha lection, if F misread his exemplar's ne as he. may nouȝt fle heye .
For þe trailynge of his taile  ouertaken is he sone .
And his flesche is foule flesch  and his fete bothe .
And vnloueliche of ledene  and laithe for to here .
¶ Riȝt so þe riche  if he his ricchesse kepeth .R.12.249: R's kepeth is an alpha form (F = kepiþ); cf. beta's kepe.
And deleth it nauȝt til his deth day  þe taile of alle sorwe .
Riȝt as þe pennes of þe pecok  payned hym in his fliȝte .
So is posession payne  of pans and of nobles .
To alle hem þat it holdeth  til here taile be plokked .
And þouȝ þe riche repente þanne  and be-rewe þe tyme .
Þat euere he gadered so grete  and gaf þere-of so litel .
Þouȝ he crie to criste þanne  with kene wille I leue .
His ledene be in oure lordes ere  lylly[k] apyesa pyes .
And whanne his caroyne schal come  in caue to be buried .
I leue it flaume ful foule  þe folde al aboute .
And alle þe othere þere it lith  enuenymedR.12.260: Both L and Cr concur in this verb form; F and most beta manuscripts read enuenymeþ. þoruȝ his atter .
By þe po feet is vnderstondedR.12.261: R's vnderstonded is a unique form. Most of the other B manuscripts have vnderstonde.  as I haue lerned in auynet .
Executores fals frendes  þat fulfille nauȝt his wille .
Þat was writen and þei witnessesR.12.263: R's explicit plural marking here is unique, but the other B manuscripts, attesting "witnesse," are presumably intending the same meaning as R, using an unmarked plural of the noun, as is found at R2.108.  to werche riȝt as heR.12.263: Beta reads it. wolde .
Þus þe poet preueth  þat þe pecok for his federes is reuerenced .
Riȝt so is þe riche  be reson of his godes .
¶ Þe larke þat is a lasse foule  is more loueliche of ledene .
And wel a-way of wenge  swifter þen þe There is a diagonal tear in the parchment running from this point to the end of swettere in the next line. The scribe has left a gap of approximately 5 spaces between þe and pecok to accommodate this pre-existing imperfection. pecok .
And of flesche be fele folde  fattere and swettere .
To lowe libynge men  þe larke is resembled .
ForR.12.270: Beta omits For. aristotel þe grete clerk  suche tales he telleth .
Þus he likeneth in his glosingeR.12.271: R's non-alliterating stave, glosinge, is descended from alpha. Cf. F's glose and beta's logyk. Although the line is partially revised in the C version, the key term, logyk, agrees with beta's stave word.  þe lest foule oute .
And where he be saf or nouȝt saf  þe sothe wote no clergie .
Ne of sortes ne of salomon  no scripture can telle .
Ac god is so god I hope  þat sitth he gaf hem wittes .
To wissen vs weyes þere-with  þat wissen vs to be saued .
And þe bettere for here bokes  to bidden we ben holden .
Þat god for his grace  gyue here souleR.12.277: R's soule is an alpha variant (cf. F's sowle). Beta reads a plural, soules, the same reading found in Cx. reste .
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For lettred men were lewed men ȝut  ne were lore of þeR.12.278: Beta has her for R's þe. F omits all determiners. bokes .R.12.278: Here the scribe fails to skip a line, even though he marks the next line as beginning a new verse paragraph.
¶ Alle þise clerkes quod I þo  þat on criste leuen  .
Seggen in here sarmons  þat nother sarasynes ne iewes .
Ne no creature of cristes liknesse  with-oute cristendom worth saued .
Contra quod Iquod ymaginatif þo  and cumsed for to loure .
And seyde saluabitur vix iustus in die iudicij .R.12.283: The left side of this boxed line is left open, unconnected.
Ergo saluabitur quod he  and seyde namore latyn .
Troianus was a trewe kniȝt  and toke neuere cristendome .
And he sauf so seyth þe boke  and his soule in heuene .
AcR.12.287: Cf. F's But and beta's For. Among the C copies, UcTChNc agree with F's reading and most the of the P family simply omit the opening conjunction, but most of the X family manuscripts support R's Ac. þere is fullynge of fonte  and fullynge in blode schedynge .
And þoruȝ fuir is fullynge  and þat is ferme byleue .
Aduenit ignis diuinus non comburens sed illuminans .
¶ Ac treutheR.12.290: Here alpha omitted an essential relative pronoun; cf. beta's trewth þat trespassed. Beta's reading is also that of C. trespased neuere  ne transuersed aȝen his lawe .
But lyued as his lawe tauȝteR.12.291: Beta's version of this a-verse shows present-tense verb forms: lyueth and techeth. Though a few copies of C agree with beta on these tenses, the preponderance of evidence from the C manuscripts supports the originality of R's readings.  and leueth þere be no bettere .
And if þere were he walde amende  and in suche wille deyeth .
Ne wolde neuere trewe god  but treweR.12.293: Beta omits trewe, presumably because it was sensed as redundant with the following noun. F strikes the entire phrase (i.e., trewe treuthe) and replaces it with his wil. Cx agrees with R. treuthe were alowed .
And were it worth or worth nauȝte  þe byleue is grete of treuthe .
And an hope hangynge þere-in  to haue a mede for his treuthe .
For deus dicitur quasi dans vitam eternam suis . hoc est fidelibus .
Et alibi si ambulauero in medio vmbre mortis . &cetera .
¶ Þe glose graunteth vpon þat verse  a grete mede to trewetrew[þ]e .
And wit The scribe has skipped approximately five spaces here to allow for a diagonal tear in the parchment; it extends down into the next line, where extra spaces are allowed between kepe and with. Cf. note at , which describes the textual position of the same imperfection on the opposite side of this sheet. and wisdom quod þat weyeR.12.299: Weye, "person, being, man."  was sum-tyme tresor .
To kepe with a comune  no catel was holde betere .
And muche murthe and manhede  & riȝt mydR.12.301: Both F and beta have with. þat he vanesched .