fol. 58v (cont.)I
passus xiius
Passus duodecimus[tertius] decimus de visione vt supra .

And I awaked þere-with  witles nerehande .
And as a freke þat fereR.13.2: Cf. F's a-feerd and beta's fre. Cx appears to have had feye, but X, the best single copy of the final version of Piers Plowman, reads fayre (with the last two letters erased later). were  forth gan I walken .
In maner of a mendinaunt  many ȝere after .
And of þis metynge many tymes  muche þouȝt I hadde .
Furst how fortune me failed  at my moste nede .
And how þat elde mansed me  miȝte we euer meten .
fol. 59rI
And how þat freres folwed  folke þat was riche .
And folke þat was pore  att litel pris þei sette .
And no corps in here kirkeȝerde  ne in here kirke wereR.13.9: This is a unique reading in R; the other B manuscripts show the indicative was. buried .
But quik he by-queth hem auȝt  or schulde help quite her dettes .
And how þusR.13.11: R's þus is unique; other B copies have þis (LMWHm). Most X family copies of the C version agree with the F/beta reading, but four P family copies (RcScZKc) agree with R. Some manuscripts of both major families omit the lection completely. coueytise ouer-cam  clerkes and prestes .R.13.11: There is a pointing hand here in the right margin.
And how þat lewed men ben ladde  but oure lorde hem helpe .
Þoruȝ vnkunnynge curatoures  to incurable peynes .R.13.13: Here RF omit seven lines attested in the beta manuscripts:
And how þat ymagynatyf in dremeles me tolde
Of kynde and of his connyng and how curteise he is to bestes
And how louynge he is to bestes on londe and on water
Leneth he no lyf lasse ne more
Þe creatures þat crepen of kynde ben engendred
And sitthen how ymagynatif seyde vix iustus saluabitur
And whan he had seyde so how sodeynelich he passed
¶ I lay doun longe in þis thouȝte  and at þe last I slepte .
And as A dark smudge partially obscures as in line 15 as well as the first two words of line 16. criste wolde þere come consience  to conforte me inR.13.15: R's in is unique; the other manuscripts omit it. þat tyme .
And bad me come to his courte  with clergie schuld I dyne .
¶ And for consience of clergie spake  I camR.13.17: This is an alpha variant; beta reads come (presumably a preterite as in alpha). wel þe rathere .
And þere I say a mayster  what man he was I neste .
Þat lowe louted  and loueliche to scripture .
¶ Consience knewe hym wel  and welcomed hym faire .
Þei weschen and wipeden  and wente to þe diner .
¶ Ac pacience in þe paleis stode  in pilgrimes clothes .
And preyed mete for charite  for a pore eremite .
¶ Consience called hym in  and curteisliche seide .
Welcome weyeR.13.25: Weye, "person, being, man." go and wasche  þow schalt sitte sone .
¶ Þis meyster was made sitte  as for þe most worthi .
And þanne clergie and consience  and pacience cam after .
¶ Pacience and I  were pote to ben mettes .R.13.28: For alpha's mettes, beta has macches. Though two C manuscripts agree with beta (one being the highly contaminated N, Cx agrees with alpha.
And seten be oure-selue  at a side-borde .
¶ Consience called after mete  and þanne cam scripture .
And serued hymR.13.31: Though Hm and B concur with R's hym, both F and beta have hem; this is also the reading of Cx. þus sone  of sondri metes many .
Of austyn of ambrose  of alle þe foure euaungelistz .
Edentes et bibentes  que apud eos sunt .
Ac þis mayster ne his man  no maner flesch eeten .
Ac þei haddeR.13.35: Where RF read hadde, the beta manuscripts show several variants of eten. Although this passage is revised in C, the verb in the revision agrees with beta. metes of more coste  mortrewes and potages .
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fol. 59vI
Of þat men mys-wonnen  þei maden hem wel at ese . A bracket in the left margin joins these lines together. A nota appears to the left of it.
Ac here sause was ouer soure  and vnsauourly grounde .
In a morter post mortem  of many bitter peyne .
But if þei synge for þo soules  with manyR.13.39: R's with is unique, but many is an alpha variant (the beta phrase = and wepe). Cx agrees with beta. salt teres .
Vos qui peccata hominum comeditis  nisi pro eis lacrimas & oraciones effunderitis .
Ea que in delicijs  in comediscomedis[tis]R.13.41: R's in comedis is unique and ungrammatical; cf. F's comedistis and beta's comeditis. Cx agrees with beta. in tormentis euometis .
¶ Consience ful curteyslich þo  comaunded scripture .
by-fore pacience brede to bringe  and me þat was his mete .R.13.43: Once more, for alpha's mete, beta had either macche or make. Though two C manuscripts agree with beta (one being the highly contaminated N), Cx agrees with alpha.
¶ He sette a soure lof to-fore vs  & seyde agite penitenciam .
And sith he drouȝ vs drinke  dia perseuerans .
¶ As longe quod he  as lifR.13.46: R's phrasing here is unique; F reverses the phrase (=as lyf quod he); most beta copies have quod I as I lyue (manuscript O concurs with alpha in attesting the third-person pronoun). However, most C manuscripts read the phrase as R does. and likam may dure .
Here is propre seruise quod pacience  þere fareth no prince bettere .
¶ And þanne he brouȝt vs forth a mees of other mete  of miserere meiR.13.48: F and all beta copies except Cr add deus to the end of this scriptural citation, but the entire text is deleted from C.
And he brouȝt ofR.13.49: R's phrasing here is unique. Beta adds vs before of. F completely revises the line. beati quorumandR.13.49: R uniquely supplies and to the text attested by beta at this point. F completely revises the line. of beatus vir his makynge .
AndR.13.50: For R's And, F shows & (but in a completely rephrased line) while beta reads Et. quorum tecta sunt peccata  in a dische .R.13.50: R agrees with the beta manuscripts against F in attesting a line break between KD13.54α and KD13.55 after dische. Although this is impossible, and F correctly senses that Langland's alliterative pattern requires a line break immediately after the Latin quotation, it is much more likely that this represents one of F-redactor's many shrewd editorial guesses than that F alone here retains by vertical transmission the reading of Bx.
Of derne schrift dixi  and confitebor tibi
Brynge pacience somme pytaunce  priuelich quod consience .
ÞanneR.13.53: R uniquely omits And at the head of this line. hadde pacience a pitaunce .R.13.53: Where RF divide this material from the ensuing quotation, most beta manuscripts join it to the Latin in a single long line.
Pro hac orabitR.13.54: Here beta distinctively adds ad te to the Latin quotation. However, in a homologous but heavily revised passage, Cx agrees with alpha in omitting this prepositional phrase from the same citation. omnis sanctus  in tempore oportuno .
And consience conforted vs  and carped vs mriem[e]rie tales .
Cor contritum et humiliatum deus non despicies .
Pacience was proude  of þat propre seruise .
And made hym murth with his meneR.13.58: R's mene is unique; cf. F's mowht and beta's mete. Cx agrees with beta.  ac I murned euere .
For þis doctor vp-on þisR.13.59: R's vp-on is unique; R shares þis with Hm alone but shares hey with beta. F reads on þe dees while beta reads on þe heigh dese. hey deyes  dronk wyn so faste .
Ve vobis qui potentes estis ad bibendum vinum .
And eetR.13.61: Cf. R's And eet to F's Þey etym and beta's He eet. Cx agrees with R. many sondry metes  mortrewes and poddynges .
Wombe cloutes and wilde brawn  and egges fryed with grece .
Þanne sayde I to my-self so  pacience it herde .
It is nauȝt foure dayes þat þis freke  by-fore þe den of seyntR.13.64: R's seynt is a unique addition. poules .
Preched of penaunces  þat poul þe apostel suffrede .
In famfam[e] et frigore  and flappes of scourges .
Ter cesus sum  et a iudeis quinquies quadragenas .
fol. 60rI
Ac o worde þei ouer-huppen  at vch a tyme þat þei prechen .
Þat poule in his pistel  to alle þe poeple tolde .
Et in periculoR.13.70: R uniquely differs from the other B manuscripts in rendering the opening phrase of this citation as Et in periculo (cf. beta's Periculum est in). F joins R in omitting est but otherwise attests the same text as beta. The C manuscripts divide on this lection, many P copies agreeing with F while the X family supports beta's reading. falsis fratribus .
Holy writ bit men be-war  I wil nauȝt writen it here .
In englich an auenture  it schuld be rehersed to ofte .
And greue þere-with þat gode men ben  ac gramerienes schul rede .
Vnusquisque a fratre se custodiat .
Quia vt dicitur periculum est in falsis fratribus .
IR.13.76: Alpha and G omit beta's Ac at the opening of this line; though the b-verse in the cognate C line is substantially revised, the opening agrees completely with beta. wist neuere freke þat as frereR.13.76: R uniquely omits a from the phrase attested by beta (but F uniquely revises the entire a-verse). ȝede  by-fore men an englich
Taken it for here teme  and tellen it with-outen glosynge .
AcR.13.78: Both R and F attest an alpha line introduced by a contrastive conjunction (R = Ac; F = But); beta clearly omitted such a conjunction, and Cx agrees with beta. þei prechen þat penaunce  is profitable to þe soule .
And what mischief and male-ese crist for man tholede .
Ac þis godes glotoun quod I  with his grete chekes .
Hath no pite on vs pore  he parfourneth euele .
Þat he precheth andR.13.82: Where R attests and, F has þus & while beta reads he. Most of the X family of C witnesses agree with R. Manuscripts UcDcTCh and most of the P family agree with beta. preuethR.13.82: Both R and F omit the required negative after preueth (beta's phrase = he preueth nouȝt. F substitutes yt). Apparently this omission derives from alpha. The reading of Cx for this a-verse mostly agrees with beta's.  to pacience I tolde .
And wisched witterly  with wil ful egre .
Þat disches and dobleres  by-for þis doctorR.13.84: F reads the end of this b-verse as þe doctour; beta has þis ilke doctour.
Wer molte lede in hereR.13.85: R's here is unique; the other manuscripts read his. mawe  and mahoun a-myddes .
I schal iangle to þis iurdan  with his iuystyR.13.86: This is the alpha reading (F = Iusty). The beta form is iust. Although two C manuscripts (TCh) agree with alpha's form, the Cx reading was iuyste. wombe .
To telle me what penaunce is  of whiche he preched þere ayR.13.87: R's þere ay is unique; cf. F's euere and beta's rather. .
Pacience parceyued what I thouȝt  and badR.13.88: R's bad is an alpha reading; cf. beta's wynked on. me be stille .
And seyde þow schalt se þus sone  whan he may na more
He schal haue a penaunce in his paunche  and puffe at vch a worde .
And þanne schullen his guttes godle  and he schal galpen after.
For now he hath dronke so depe  he wole dyuyne sone
And prouen it hereit [in] hereR.13.93: The source of this emendation is F, which presumptively preserves alpha here; cf. beta's it by her pocalips. Most C witnesses agree with beta. pocalips  and passion of seynt auereys .
Þat noþer bacoun ne braun  neR.13.94: Beta omits ne(2). Among the C copies, the X family agrees with alpha on its inclusion while the P family agrees with beta in omitting ne(2). blaumanger ne mortrewes .
Is nother fisch ne flesch  but fode for þe penauntes .R.13.95: R's þe is unique; F omits a determiner here but agrees with R on penauntes, which is an alpha variant; beta reads the singular, a penaunte. Though C manuscript N agrees with beta (presumably as a result of its usual pattern of micro-contamination), none of the other C copies does and Cx agrees with F.
And þan schal he testifie of a trinite  and take his felawe to witnesse .
What he fonde in a freiel  after a frereR.13.97: The unmarked possessive, frere, is unique to R; other B manuscripts read freres. However, among the C copies, the predominant form in X family manuscripts is the same as R's. leuynge .R.13.97: The punctus is topped by a diagonal slash that rises slightly toward the right; no conventional punctuation mark used by the R scribe matches it. Furthermore, there appears to be a superfluous dot below and slightly to the right of the <g> of leuynge.
And but if þe furste lyne be lesynge  leue me neuer after
And þanne is tyme to talkeR.13.99: Though O agrees with R, beta reads take, a lection also supported by most of the X family of C manuscripts. F has a-posen, but F has also revised the b-verse for this line. Most P family witnesses (and several X family copies) agree with R and O on talke.  and to appose þis doctour .
Of dowel and of dobet  and ȝif dobest be any penaunce .
¶ And I sat stille as pacience seide  and þus sone þis doctour .
As rodi as a rose  robbed his chekes .
Couȝwede and carpede  and consience hym herde .
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fol. 60vI
And tolde hym of a trinite  and toward vs he loked .
¶ What is dowel sir doctour quod I  is do-bestR.13.105: In place of alpha's dobest, beta reads dowel. Once more, N is unique among the C copies, mirroring its beta collational source (= dowel), while several C manuscripts read dobet; nevertheless, Cx clearly agrees with alpha. any penaunce .
¶ Dowel quod þis doctour  and dronk afterR.13.106: R and F differ slightly here (F = dronk a-non þere-after), but alpha's version of this phrase was obviously quite different from beta's. The entire beta b-verse reads and toke þe cuppe and dranke. Though N reproduces beta's b-verse exactly, all the other C manuscripts support alpha, with Cx reading and he dronke aftur. .
Do non euel to þin euencristene  nauȝt by þi powere .
¶ By þis day sir doctour quod I  þanne be ȝe nauȝt in dowel .
For ȝe haueR.13.109: R's haue is the alpha form (supported by Cr); beta reads han. harmed vs to  in þat ȝe eten þe puddynge .
Morterewes and other mete  and we no mussel hadde .
And ȝeR.13.111: Among the B witnesses, R uniquely omits if before ȝe. However, the opening phrase of the same line in Cx shows full agreement with R (though the remainder of the line is revised). fare so in ȝoure fermerie  ferly me thenketh .
But cheste be þere charite schulde be R.13.112: R uniquely splits this line in half.
And ȝonge children durst pleyne .
I wolde permute my penaunce with ȝoure . for I am in poynt to dowel .
¶ Þanne consience fulR.13.115: R's ful is an alpha variant omitted by beta. As usual, C manuscript N agrees with beta's omission, but Cx agrees with alpha. curteislich  a contenaunce he made .
And prentedeR.13.116: R's verb inflection here is unique; F chooses an entirely different lexical root and produces plukkid, while beta reads preynte. Cx agrees with beta. vpon pacience  to prey me to be stille .
And seyde hym-selue sir dottourR.13.117: OED2 fails to note this form. It might represent nothing more than a slip of the pen creating an accidental ascender on the <c>. But the R scribe clearly renders this word in the same way at R18.369 as well. MED cites a parallel from a fifteenth-century manuscript of Hilton's Scale of Perfection: "If þei wilen vndirstonden holi writ and dottours sawes þerof, þei schulden finden as I seye."  and it be youre wille .
What is dowel and dobet  ȝe dyuinoures knoweth .
Dowel quod þis doctour  dosR.13.119: Cf. R's dos with beta's do and F's ys to doon. as clerkes techeth .
And do-bet is he þat techeth  and traueyleth to teche other .
And dobest doth hym-self so  as he seith and precheth .
Qui facit et docuerit magnus vocabitur in regno celorum
¶ Now þou clergie quod consience  carpest what is dowel .
I haue sonesR.13.124: Before sones, R omits seuene, an omission exclusively shared with L (whose corrector supplies the missing word in the right margin). Because of the stemmatic primacy and steady accuracy of both L and R, only two explanations of this apparent omission seem plausible. Either an authorial marginal in Bx was transmitted in the same form by both alpha and beta, allowing the L and R scribes each to overlook it by chance, while other beta scribes noticed and inserted it into their text; or there is no omission here at all, merely an editorial addition of seuene by the scribe of beta prime (progenitor of the CrW subset of beta), a change which then was passed laterally to the corrector of L. In favor of this latter possibility is the fact that the line is metrically unexceptionable in the form shared by LR, and the fact that a reiterative phrase, þo seuene, is invoked two lines below this passage by the archetypal text. The wording there could well suggest to anyone that the number reference might have dropped out of the earlier line and thus invited early editorial "repair." On the other hand, the strongest evidence in favor of the first hypothesis (randomly shared LR error caused by an overlooked marginal) is that seuene occurs in M as part of the scribe's original copying and not as an erasure / writeover (the usual sign, in this otherwise independent witness, of later lateral "correction" from the CrW branch of beta). The line does not appear in the C version. he seyde  seruen in a castel .
Þere þe lorde of lif woneth  to leren hymR.13.125: R shares the spelling hym exclusively with beta copies LM; HmCGYBF read hem and WCrO simply omit any pronoun. The RLM form is likely that of Bx but as such may be merely a Northern relict: hym = standard hem. However, Schmidt assumes that the sons of Clergy in this puzzling allegory are the teachers (rather than the pupils) of the Lord of Life; if so, then hym would be a singular, a substantive lection preserved solely in these three witnesses. what is dowel .
¶ Til I se þo seuene  and my-selue acorden .
I am vn-hardy quod he to eny wiȝt proueR.13.127: R's proue is shared exclusively with F; cf. beta's to preue(n). it .
For on peres þe plowman  hath inpugned vs alle
And sett alle science at a soep  saue loue one .
And no tixtix[t] ne taketh  to meyntene his cause .
But dilige deum  and domine quis habitabit &cetera .
And seyth þat dowel and dobet  aren to infinites .
Which infinites with a faith  fynde oute dobest
Which schal saue mannes soule  þus seyth peres þe plowman .R.13.134: After this line, the R scribe omits his usual line break between verse paragraphs, presumably because the next line is the last one ruled for this side.
¶ I can nauȝt here-on quod consience  ac I knowe wel peres .
fol. 61rI
He wil nauȝt aȝeynes holy writ speke  I dar wel vndertaken .R.13.136: Between fols. 60 and 61 there was a leaf removed (the original cognate of fol. 60) in the course of producing R. Its stub, which measures an average width of 1.4 cm., was pasted down to the current fol. 61, causing this quire (the ninth) to be an irregular one of 7 leaves (8-1). No evidence of text loss or irregularity is apparent in the immediate vicinity of this intervention, but something must have been awry, either with the scribe's initial "casting off" of text, or with his first try at copying fol. 61, to cause such a radical intervention as cancelling a leaf. It may be significant that the text on current fol. 61v begins precisely at a point where the beta manuscripts omit nine lines of authorial material. If this material existed as a marginal addition or an attached slip in R's exemplar, it may have been initially overlooked (as in beta) but then noticed in time to remedy by means of excising a singleton and recopying. Whatever occurred may also relate to a gradual change in lineation noticeable from early in the seventh quire (41r-48v): while the earlier fascicles of R are ruled exclusively for 36 lines, beginning at 42v most sides are ruled for 37, and at the crucial fol. 60, both sides are ruled for 38 lines.
Þanne passe we ouer til peres come  and preue þis in dede .
Pacience hath be in many a placeR.13.138: R's a place is unique; F's agreement here with LWHm in omitting a suggests that Bx read as they do. The other beta copies render this lection as places  and par-auenture knoweth .
Þat no clerke canR.13.139: R's omission of negation before can is an alpha reading shared with OC2; beta has ne can.  as crist bereth witnesse .
Pacientes vincunt et cetera 
At youre preiere quod pacience þo  so no man displese hem .R.13.141: R's hem is unique; the other manuscripts have hym.
Disce quod he doce  dilige inimicos .
Disce and dowel  doce and do-bett .
Dilige and dobest  þus tauȝt me ones .
A lemman þat I louede  loue was hire name .
With wordes and with werkes quod sche  and wille of þin herte .
R.13.147: R uniquely omits Þow at the head of this line. F, on the other hand, preserves all the elements but reverses the phrasing of the a-verse to þy sowle þowh love leely. Loue lely þi soule  al þi Iif-tyme 
And so to lere and to louyeR.13.148: Alpha's a-verse seems to have been garbled here; cf. F's & so to leerne to lowe the and beta's presumably archetypal And so þow lere þe to louye.  for þe lordes loue of heuene .
Þin enemye in alle wise  euenforth with þi-selue .
Cast coles on his hede  of alle kynde speche .
Both with werkes and with wordes  fonde his loue to wynne .
And ley on hym þus with loue  til he lauȝhe on þe .
And but he bow for þis betynge  blynde mote he worthe .
¶ Ac for to fare þus with þi frende  foly it were .
For he þat loueth þe lelly  lyte of þin desireth .R.13.155: R's desireth is an alpha variant; cf. beta's coueiteth.
Kende loue coueyteth nauȝte  no catel but speche .
With half a laumpe lyne in latyn . Ex vi transicionis .
¶ I bere þere-inne a-boute  fast I-bounde dowel .
In a signe of þe saterday  þat sette furste þe kalender .
And alle þe wit of þe wednesday  of þe next weke after
Þe myddel of þe mone  is þe miȝte of bothe .
And here-with am I welcome  þere I haue it with me .
Vndo it and late þis doctour seR.13.163: The presumably archetypal se is shared by RF with L (whose lection was sen before "correction" to the common beta reading, deme). R's and and where are alpha variants; and is simply omitted by beta manuscripts while the meaning of where is rendered in beta by if.where dowel be here-inneR.13.163: R's here-inne is unique. The other witnesses read þerinne. .
For by hym þat me made  miȝte neuere pouerte .
Miseyse ne mischief  ne man with his tonge .
Colde ne care ne companye of theues 
Ne nother hete ne hayl  ne non helle pouke .
Ne nother fuer ne flode  ne fere of þin enemy .
Tene þe eny tyme  and þow take it with þe .
Caritas nichil timet .
fol. 61vI
And eek haue god my soule  and þow wilt it craue . These lines are omitted by the beta manuscripts. F offers numerous variants from R's readings in these lines—and completely omits text for KD13.169 and 171 (= R13.176 and 178)—so the most efficient representation of these differences is to cite F's text here completely (cf. Appendix 1, R13.171-79, for details and any cross-references to the C version):
& eek so have god my soule / & þou wilt love crave.
Þere nys Emperour ne Empresse / neyþir Erl ne baroun.
Þat pure resoun shal the make.
Mayster of alle men / þoruhȝ myght of his reede.
Nowht þoruh no ryche craft / but þoruh wit of hem-selue.
To ȝeve þe al þat þey may ȝeve / as þou for beest ȝeemere.
Pacientes vincunt
Þere nys neyther emperour ne emperesse  erl kynge ne baroun .
Pope ne patriarch þat puyre reson ne schalR.13.173: Where R has ne schal, F errs by omitting negation, producing instead shal the. make .
Þe meyster of alle þo men  þoruȝ miȝt of þis redeles .
Nouȝt thoruȝ wicche-crafte but thoruȝ wit  & þow wilt þi-selue .
Do kynge and quene  and alle þe comune after .
Ȝyue þe alle þat þei may ȝiue  as þe for best ȝemere .R.13.177: R's ȝyue is witnessed in F as To ȝeve; in the b-verse, R's as þe reads as þ(o)u.
And as þou demest wil þei do  alle here dayes after .
Pacientes vincunt . &cetera .
¶ It is but a dido quod þis doctor  a disoures tale .
Alle þe wit of þis worlde  neR.13.181: R's ne is an alpha variant; cf. beta's and. The same variation is attested in the C version, the X family agreeing with beta while the P family supports alpha's reading. wiȝte mennes strenthe .
Can nauȝt conformen a pes  by-twene þe pope and his enemys
Ne by-twene to cristen kynges  can no wiȝt pes make .
Profitable to aither poeple  and put þe table from hym .
And toke clergie and consience  to conseil as it were .
Þat pacience þo moteR.13.186: R's mote is a unique form here, though its semantics are identical with beta's most(e). F completely revises the a-verse, producing & leet Pacyense forþ passe. passe  for pilgrimes kunne wel lye .
¶ Ac consience carped a-loudeR.13.187: R's a-loude is a unique form. The other manuscripts show loude.  and curteysliche seyde .
Frendes fareth wel  and faire spake to clergie .
For I wil go with þis gome  if god wil gyue me grace .
And be pilgrime with pacience  til I haue proued more .
¶ What quod clergie to consience  are ȝe coueytous nowthe .
After ȝeresȝyues or ȝiftes  otherR.13.192: R's other is unique. The remaining B witnesses all begin the b-verse with or. ȝernen to rede redeles .
I schal bringe ȝow a bible  a boek of þe olde lawe .
And lere ȝow if ȝe likenR.13.194: Cf. beta's ȝow lyke.  þe lest poynt to knowe .
PacienceR.13.195: R uniquely omits Þat at the head of this line. þe pilgrime  parfitlych knew euerreR.13.195: R's euerre is shared solely with Hm. Beta and F read neuere, which is required by the sense of the sentence. .
¶ Nay by crist quod consience to clergie  god þe forȝelde .
For alle þat pacience me profereth  proud am I litel .
Ac þe wille of þe weyeR.13.198: Weye, "person, being, man."  and þe wilR.13.198: R's apparent omission of the preposition of before folk is not reflected in F but is shared with several key beta manuscripts. It is quite likely here that R is accurately representing an earlier textual transmission error, not merely creating one of his own. The most salient clue lies in the fact that of is also omitted by L (the best beta copy) as well as by M, C and B. The preposition is later inserted into M above the line by Hand2 (a scribe trying to re-work M's text to match that of the CrW sub-family). These facts suggest that of was either completely omitted or interlinear in Bx, that it was inserted (or remained obscurely interlinear) in beta, and was overlooked by alpha. Then F, who is more attentive to the need for such tidying than is the R scribe, and who has a variety of collational sources at his disposal, simply resupplied it. Cf. this textual situation to that found at R.13.124:. On the other hand, Burrow and Turville-Petre prefer simply defending the reading found in R and L as a "harder reading," by glossing wil as an adjective (= "errant"). As is frequently the case with such suggestions, one must decide whether the reading proposed is merely "harder" or in fact metrically awkward and semantically unlikely. folk here .
Hath meued my moed  to mourne for my synnes .
Þe gode wille of vch aR.13.200: Cf. R's vch a to F's euery and beta's a. wiȝt was nereR.13.200: R's nere is a unique form; all the other copies have neure. bouȝt to þe fulle .
For þere nysR.13.201: R's nys is shared only with L and W (the others read is); however, the attestational authority of these three copies in agreement makes it likely that their form represents the reading of Bx. no tresor þere-to  to a trewe wille .
¶ Haued nauȝt marieR.13.202: R's marie is an alpha variant; beta omits it. magdeleyne more  for a box of salue .
fol. 62rI
Þanne zacheus for he seyde  dimidium bonorum meorum do pauperibus .
And þe pore wydewe  for a peyre of mytes .
Þan alle þo þat offreden  in-to gazophilacium .
¶ Þus curteyslyche consience  congeyd ferst þe frere .
And sitthen softeliche he seyde  in clergies ere
Me were leuer be oure lorde  and I lyue schulde .
Haue pacience parfiteliche  þan half þi pakke of bokes .
¶ Clergie andR.13.210: R's and and F's ne attest to an alpha failure to grasp the meaning of the passage; cf. beta's to (the reading of LHmOCYB) and the easier reading adopted by CrWG (= of). M was altered at some point to the latter reading but almost certainly agreed originally with L. consience  no congeye wolde take .
But seyde ful sobreliche  þow schalt se þe tyme .
Whan þow art weri for-walked  wilne me to conseille .
¶ Þat is soth seyde consience  so me god helpe 
If pacience be oure partynge felawe  & pryue with vs bothe .
Þere ne is wo in þis werlde  þat we ne schulde amende .
And conformen kynges to pees  ofR.13.216: At this point, beta has and. alle kynne londes .
AndR.13.217: And is an alpha variant; the beta manuscripts omit it. sarasynes and surrie  and so forth alle iewesR.13.217: R's alle iewes shows a unique omission; all the other witnesses have alle þe iewes. .
Turnen in to þe trewe faith  and in til one byleue .
¶ Þat is soth quod clergie  I se what þow menest .
I schal dwelle as I do  my deuer to schewen .
And conformen fauntekynes  and other folke I-lered .
Til pacience haue proued þe  and parfit þe maked .
¶ Consience þo with pacience passed  pilgrimes as it were .
Þanne hadde pacience  as pilgrimes han  in his poke vitales .
Sobrete and symple speche  and sothfaste byleue .
To confort hym and consience  if þei come in place .
Þere vnkendenesse and coueytise  is hongerhonger[y] contreyes bothe .
And as þey wenten be þe weye  and of dowel carpedeR.13.228: R's and of dowel carpede is the alpha version of this b-verse (cf. F's & of Dowel carpeden). The beta half-line is of dowel þei carped. .
Þei metten with a ministrale  as me þo thouȝte .
Pacience apposed hym furst  and preyed hym heR.13.230: The phrase hym he is another example of a variant attested exclusively by LMR. The majority beta reading here is simply he while F reads hym. Cx agrees with the beta majority. schulde hem telle .
To consience what craft he couthe  and to what contre he wolde .
¶ Ich am a ministrale quod þat man  my name is actiua vita .R.13.232: In the right margin opposite this line appears a simple gloss: actife. This marginal gloss is in a very light brown hand and has been partially erased.
Alle ydel Iche hatie  for of actif is my name .
fol. 62vI
A waferere welleR.13.234: R's welle is shared exclusively with Cr; all other B copies, including F, disagree, attesting instead some form of wil here. ȝe wite  and serue many lordes .R.13.234: At the top right margin of this side, there is a black ink stain, which also has transferred onto the top left of 63r. At the top left margin, there are pen trials or a cartoon, extending down the left margin to R13.242.
And fewe robes I fonge  or furred gounes .
Coude I lye andR.13.236: R's and is an alpha variant; beta has to. Though C manuscript N also reads to, showing its unique and typical deference to beta against all its versional siblings, Cx agrees with alpha. do men lawhe  þanne lacchen I schulde .
Other mantel or mone  amonges lordes ministrales .
Ac for I can nother tabre ne trumpe  ne telle none gestes .
Farten ne fithelen  at festes ne harpen .
Iape ne iangeleR.13.240: Beta reads iogly in place of alpha's iangele. Cx is uncertain; large numbers of Cwitnesses agree with each of the B sub-archetypal readings.  ne gentyliche pipe .
Ne noyther sayle ne saute  ne synge with þe gyterne .
I haue non gode giftes  of þis grete lordes .
For no brede þat I brouȝtR.13.243: The beta manuscripts read brynge. forth  saue a benison on þe soneday .
Whanne þe prest preyeth þe poeple  here paternoster to bidde .
For peres þe plowman  and þat hym profit waytethR.13.245: R's wayteth is an alpha form; beta shows wayten. .
And þat I am actif  þat Idelnesse hatye .
OfR.13.247: R's Of is unique; cf. beta's For and F's & for. alle trewe trauailoures  and tylieres of þe erthe .
Fro miȝhelmesse to miȝhelmesse  I fynde hem with waferes .
¶ Beggares and bidderes  of my brede crauen .
Faitoures and freres  and folk with brode crounes .
I fynde payn for þe popeR.13.251: The word pope has been cancelled with a later black horizontal line.  and prouendre for his palfreye .
And I hadde neuere of hym  haue god my trewthe .
Nother prouendre ne personage  ȝut of þe popesR.13.253: The word popes has been cancelled with 2 later black horizontal lines. ȝiftes .
Saue a pardoun with a peys of lede  and to polles a-mydde .
Hadde Ich a clerke þat couthe write  I wolde caste hym a bille .
laus & vis Indulgenciarum There is a brace in the left margin, calling attention to this marginal gloss.
Þat he sent me vnder his sel  a salue for þe pestylence .
R.13.257: The beta manuscripts read the opening of this line as And þat. Þat his blissynge and his bulles  bocches mȝtem[y]ȝte destruye .
In nomine meo demonia eicient 
Et super egros manus imponent Et bene habebunt .
And þanne wolde I be prest to þe poeple  paste for to make
And buxum and busy  aboute brede and drinke .
For hym and for alle his  founde ich þat his pardoun .
Miȝt lechen a man  as Ich by-leue it schulde .
For sethe he hath þe powere  þat peter hym-self hadde .
He hath þe pott with þe salue  sothely as me thenketh .
Argentum & aurum non est michi quod autem habeo hocR.13.266: Beta omits alpha's hoc; Cx is uncertain: the X family mostly agrees with beta in omitting this demonstrative, but most P family witnesses include it. tibi do .
In nomine domini surge et ambula .
Ac if miȝt of miracle hym faile  it is for men bethR.13.268: R's inflectional form is unique here; the other B manuscripts read be(n). However, Cx agrees with R. nauȝt worthi
To haue noR.13.269: In place of alpha's no, the beta manuscripts read þe. Cx agrees with beta. grace of god  and no gult of þe pope .R.13.269: The word pope has been cancelled with a later black horizontal line.
fol. 63rI
MayR.13.270: R uniquely omits a word at the head of this line; cf. F's Þere may and beta's For may. Cx agrees with beta. no blissyng don vs bote  but if we wil amende .
Ne mannes masse make pees  amonges cristene poeple .
Til pruide be priuelicheR.13.272: Cf. RF's priueliche with the beta variant purelich. Cx agrees with beta. fordo  and alleR.13.272: R's alle is unique; cf. F's omission (shared by WCrM) and the beta original reading, þat, found in LHmCOG, which is shared with Cx. þoruȝ payne defauteR.13.272: Covering the right margin opposite R13.272-73 is a black inkblot that has also transferred onto 62v. Additionally, a black stain that appears to have originated in the margin of 62v, just inside the aforementioned pen trials of 62v, seems to have transferred to lines 271-72 here, partially obscuring poeple (271) and payne (272).
¶ For ar ich haue brede of mele  ofte mote Ich swete .
And ar þe comune haue corne a-now  many a cold morwenynge .
So ar my wafres ben I-wrouȝte  muche wo I tholie .
¶ Alle londoun I leue  liketh wel my waferes .
And louren whan þei lakken hem  It is nauȝt longe I-passed .
Þere was a careful comune  whan no carte come to towne .
With bakeR.13.279: Beta omits bake and thereby produces an unmetrical line of the format ax/ay. brede fro statfordest[r]atforde  þo gan beggeres wepe .
And werkemen were agast  a litel þis wel be thouȝt longe .
In þe date of oure driȝte  in a druye auerel .
Chicestre Maior
A thousend and thre hondrede  tweyes thretty and tene In the right margin opposite these lines, in a thin black, nearly contemporary hand, someone has written, Chicestre Maior londoun.
My waferes þere were gesene  whanne chichestre were mayre .
¶ I toke greteR.13.284: Beta reads gode. kepe by criste  and consience bothe .
Of haukyn þe actif man  and how he was I-clothed .
He hadde a cote of cristendome  as holy kyrke byleueth .
Ac it was moled in many placeR.13.287: The singular form is unique; the other manuscripts show the plural, places.  with mony sondri plottes .
Of pruyde hehe[re] a plotte and þere a plotte  of unbuxum speche .
Of scornynge and of scoffynge  and of vnskilful berynge
As in apparail and in porte  proude amonges þe poeple .
Other-wise þanne he hath  with hert andR.13.291: R's and is unique; F omits it (and completely rewrites the b-verse), while beta reads or. siȝt schewynge .
Hym wilnyngeR.13.292: R's wilnynge is unique; cf. F's wenynge and beta's willynge. In a cognate passage (from C6), the C version agrees with R on this variant. þat alle men  wenteR.13.292: Wente is a dialect variant for the preterite of ween. OED2, s. v. ween (v.), recognizes the form as viable from the thirteenth through the sixteenth centuries. he were þat he is nauȝte .
For-whi he bosteth and braggeth  with mony bolde othes .
And inobedient to be vnder-nome  of any lyf lyuynge .
And so syngulere by hym-selue  as to siȝt of þe poeple .
Was non suche as hym-selue  ne non so pope-holy .
I-habited as an heremite  an ordre by hym-selue .
Religion sauns reule  and resonable obedience .
Lakkynge lettrede men  and lewed men bothe .
In lykyng of lele lyf  and a lyere in soule .
With in-wit andR.13.301: Alpha and Cr hereafter omit a repeated with found in all other beta copies. oute-wit  ymagynen and stodye .
As best for his body be  to haue a boldeR.13.302: For alpha's bolde, the beta manuscripts have badde. name .
And entermeten hym ouer alle  þere he hath nouȝt to done .
fol. 63vI
Wilnynge þat men wende  his wit were þe beste .
Or for his crafty kunnynge  or of clerkes þe wisest . These lines are omitted by beta. F's rendering of these lines is sufficiently different from R's that F's lines should be cited in their entirety (cf. Appendix 1, R13.305-311, for details and any cross-references to the C version):
Or for his crafty konyngge / of clerkis he were þe wisest.
Or strengest on steede / or styffest gyrt with gyrdel.
& lowlyest to loken on / & leellest of werkys.
& non so holy as he / ne non of lyf clennere.
Or fayrest of fetoures / of face / ne of forme.
Or most sotyl of song / or slyest of hondys.
Or looþ for to leene / & large for to cacche
Or strengest on stede  or styuest vnder gurdel .
And louelokest to loken on  and lelest of werkes .
And non so holy as he  ne of lif clennere .
Or feyrest of feytures  of fourme and of schafte .
And most sotyl of songe  other sleyest of hondes .
And large to lene  losse þere-by to cacche .
And if he gyueth ouȝtR.13.312: R and L alone omit the preposition to before pore. pore gomes  telle what he deleth .
Pore of possession  in purs and in coffreR.13.313: Only R and L end the line with coffre; F omits the entire line and the other beta copies add boþe at the end. .
And as a lion to lokeR.13.314: R's omission of the preposition on after lion is unique. F includes the preposition but rearranges the phrase so that beta's a lyon on to loke is rendered a lyoun to looken on.  and lordeliche of speche .
¶ Boldest of beggeres  a bostere þat nouȝt hath .
In towne and in tauernes  tales to telle .
And segge þinge þat he neuere seyȝ  and for-soth sweren it .
Of dedes þat he neuer dede  demen and boste .
And of werkes þat he wel dede  witnesse and seggen .
Lo if ȝe leue me nauȝt  or þat I lye wenen .
Asketh at hym or at hym  and he ȝow can telle .
What I suffred and seyȝ  and somme-tymes hadde .
And what I couth and knewe  and what kyn I come of .
Alle he wolde þat men wist  of werkes and wordesR.13.324: Beta reads the final phrase of this line as werkes and of wordes. .
Whiche miȝt plese þe poeple  and preysen hem-seluen .
Si hominibus placerem christi seruus non essem .
Et alibi Nemo potest duobus dominis seruire . Both of these red boxings have been blotted and partially erased.
¶ By crist quod consience þo  þi best cote haukyn .
Hath mony moles and spottes  it most ben waschen .
¶ Ȝe ho-so toke hede quod haukyn  by-hynde and by-fore .
What on bakk and on body half  and bi þe to sydes .
Men schuld fynde many frounces  and many foule plottes .
¶ And he turned hym as tyte  and þanne toke I hede .
It was fouler bi felfolde  þan it furst semed .
It was bi-dropped with wrathe  and wikked wille .
With eneuyeR.13.336: R's form here is unique; Kane-Donaldson transcribe it as a nonsense error, enenye; however, a likelier reading of R's intention is that he meant to render the same word as the other witnesses, enuye. and euel speche  entisynge to fiȝte .
lyȝynge or lakkynge
fol. 64rI
Lyȝynge or lakkyngeR.13.337: R's lakkynge is an alpha variant; cf. beta's erroneous laughynge.a lef tonge to chide .R.13.337: R shows two small unique features in reading this line: (1) where the other manuscripts read and in the a-verse, R has or; (2) where most of the others read and at the head of the b-verse, R has a (cf. G's and a and F's & with a).
Alle þat he wiste wikked  bi any wiȝt tellen it .
And blame men by-hynde her bakke  and bidden hem mischance .
And þat he wiste bi wille  tellen it to watte .
And þat watte wiste  wille wiste it after .
And made of frendes foes  þoruȝ a fals tonge .
Or with miȝt of mouthe  or thoruȝ mannes strengthe .
AuengedR.13.344: R uniquely deploys the past tense here; the other B manuscripts show Auenge. However, almost all the C manuscripts endorse R's lection, reading Venged. me fele tymes  other frete my-sulue .
With-inne as a schepstere schere  I schrewed men and cursed .
Cuius malediccione os plenum estR.13.346: R's est amaritudine involves a unique omission. All other B witnesses (as well as Cx) agree on est & amaritudine. amaritudine .
Sub lingua eius labor . et dolor .R.13.347: Alpha omits a second tagline, from Ps. 56.5, & alibi filij hominum dentes eorum arma & sagitte & lingua eorum gladius acutus. Cx agrees with beta and includes the citation. The first Latin quotation is from Ps. 9.28. Both of these red boxings have been blotted and partially erased.
Þere is no lif þat I loue  lestynge any while .
For tales þat I telle  no man tresteth to me .
And whan I may nouȝt haue þe maystrie  whichR.13.350: R's which is unique. F and some of the beta manuscripts (CrWHm) read swich, while others (LGCO) have with. As for M, the beta editor has "corrected" its reading (from the spacing it appears likely that the original reading was with) to the WHm lection. Cx attests suche, but Kane and Russell choose wiþ for their edition of C, presumably on the basis of its being a "harder reading." malencolye I take
Þat I cacche þe crompe  þe cardiacle sum-tyme .
Or an ague in suche an angre  and sum-tyme a feuere .
Þat taketh me alle a twelmoneth  til þat I despise .
Leche-craft orR.13.354: R's or is shared only with L (cf. the common beta reading, of). F reads be. Although two C manuscripts, Q and F, agree with this RL reading, Cx certainly agrees with the beta majority. If this RL lection is, as seems likely, an error (rather than a harder reading distorted by most of their fellow copyists) it would represent a coincidental misreading of a single character. oure lorde  and leue on a wiche
And segge þat no clerk ne can  ne criste as I leue .
nota sowter of sotwerk
To þe souter of south-werk  or of schordych dame emme .R.13.356: In the right margin opposite this line, someone has written sowt(er) of sotwerk. This note is in a thin black, nearly contemporary hand, apparently the same as the note about Chichestre on 63v. To the immediate left of this gloss, between it and the end of the text line, there is a design consisting of a triangle of dots with a penstroke resembling a modern comma extending from the middle of its base.
And segge þat no goddes worde  gaf me neuere bote .
But þoruȝ a charme hadde I chaunce  and my chief hele .
¶ I waited wisloker  and þanne was IR.13.359: Cf. R's I with F's he and beta's it. Apparently the R scribe failed to notice that the confession ends in the previous line and that this description is rendered from the narrator's viewpoint. soyled .
With likynge of lecherie  and by lokynge of mynR.13.360: R's myn is an alpha reading; cf. beta's his. eye .
For vch a mayde þat he mette  he made hire a syngne
Semynge to synwarde  and somme-tyme he gan taste .
Aboute þe mouth or byneth  bygynneth to grope .
Til eytheres wille waxeth kene  and to þe werke ȝeden .
As welR.13.365: Beta reads wel in for alpha's wel. But Cx agrees with alpha. fastyng dayes and fridayes  and for-bode niȝtes .
And as lefR.13.366: Beta reads wel. Cx agrees with alpha. in lente as oute of lente  alle tymes I-liche .
Suche werkes with hem  were neuere out of sesoun .
Til þei miȝt na more  and þanne hadde murie tales .
And how þat lechoures louyen lawen  and iapen .
OrR.13.370: In place of R's unique and incoherent Or, F and beta begin this line And of. Later in the line, R opens the b-verse with and in where all the other copies read in herlotrie and horedom  and in here elde tellen
¶ Þanne pacience parceyued  of poyntes his cote .
k jR.13.371: At the bottom of 64r, in the lower right margin, a signature mark, k j, appears to be partially detectable but is mostly erased. The bottom middle section of this leaf was torn long ago at a diagonal extending upwards to the left for 4 cm.; it was repaired by stitching.
fol. 64vI
Was colmy thoruȝ coueytise  and vnkende desirynge .
More to goed þan to god  þe gome his loue caste .
And ymagined how he it miȝt haue 
With fals mesures and mette  and with fals witnesse .
Lened for loue of þe wed  and lothe to do treuthe .
And awayted þoruȝ whitusR.13.377: Whitus, "wits." Beta reads which wey to bigile instead of R's more apt whitus weyus to begile. Cf. F's wit fele wyȝes to be-gyle.weyus to begile .
And menged his marchandise  and made a goed moustre .
Þe werste with-Inne was  a grete wit I lete it .
And if my neȝbore hadde anR.13.380: Beta has any. Cx agrees with alpha. hyne  or any best elles .
More profitable þan myne  many sleyȝtes Ich made .
How I miȝt haue it  al my wit I caste .
And but if I haddeR.13.383: Here alpha's phrasing differs slightly from beta, which reads but I (it) had. Cx agrees with beta, and supports the LMWHm inclusion of it in the phrase; but the P family mostly agrees with Hm's order (hadde it) while the best X family copies agree with LMW (= it had). bi other way  at þe last I stale it .
Or priuelich his purs schoke  vn-pyked his lokkes .
Other bi niȝt otherR.13.385: R's correlative conjunctions other . . . other are unique; except for F, all the other B copies render both of this pair as or; F agrees with them on the second but renders the first as Eyþir. bi daye  aboute was I euere .
Þoruȝ gyle to gaderen  þe goed þat Ich haue .
¶ If ich ȝede to þe plow  I pynched so narwe .
Þat a fote lande or a forw  fecche Ich wolde .
Of my nexte neyȝbore  or ȝaf hem rede þat repen .R.13.389: Here alpha lost a b-verse and a following a-verse, resulting in the compression of two lines into an aa|bb metrical pattern. In F, the resulting half-line reads whan y sholde repen it.
To sese to me with her sikel  þat I ne sewe neuere .
¶ And ho-so borwed of me  a-boute þe tyme .
With presentes priueliche  or payed somme certeyne .
So walde he or nauȝt walde  wynnen I wolde .
And bothe to kytthe and to kynne  vnkynde of þat Ich hadde .
¶ And ho-so cheped my chaffare  chiden Ich wolde .
But he profered to paye  a peny or tweyne .
More þan it was worth  and ȝut wolde I swere .
Þat it costeR.13.398: Beta becomes more explicit, inserting me after coste. muche more  swore many othes .
¶ In haly dayes at holy cherche  whan Ich herde masse .
HaddeR.13.400: After Hadde, R shares with L alone an obvious error: the omission of the personal pronoun I. Both F and beta include I, as does Cx. This apparently random error, shared exclusively by the two best witnesses to Bx, probably derives from an overlooked marginal correction in that archetypal copy, one that was transmitted faithfully (as a marginal) by both alpha and beta. nere wil wote god  witterly to be-seche .
Mercy for my misdedes  þat I ne morned more .
For losse of goed leue meR.13.402: A stain or discoloration of the parchment has partially obscured me.  þan fore lihames gultes .
As if I hadde dedly synne done  I dradde nauȝt þat so sore .
As whan I lened and leued it loste  or longe ar it were payed .
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So if I kydde any kendenesse  myn euencristene to helpe .
Vppon a cruele coueytise  my consienceR.13.406: In place of alpha's correctly alliterating consience, beta reads herte.R.13.406: Wetting has caused the ink to run, partially blurring the word my and the <co> of consience. gan hange .
And if I sent ouer see  my seruantz to brugges .
Or in-to pruyslonde my prenteys  my profit to wayte .
To marchaunden with monoye  and maken here chaunges .R.13.409: Beta reads eschaunges in place of RF's chaunges. Cx agrees with beta.
Myȝte nereR.13.410: R's nere is a unique form here. The other copies have neuer(e). The C manuscripts attest the majority form. me conforte  in þe mene tyme .
Nother masse ne matynes  ne no maner shytess[yh]tes .R.13.411: R's nonsensical error here is unique among the B copies. The scribe's usual spelling of the word in question is siȝtes, but the spelling adopted here for the emendation is assumed to have been inherited from his exemplar, so that his only mistake is likely to have been a simple reversal of two letters. Two C witnesses, VcAc, render this word as schytes, but Cx presumably had syhtus.
Ne neuer penaunce parfournede  ne paternoster sayde .
Þat my mynde ne was more  in my goed in a doute .
Þan in þe grace of god  and his grete helpes .
Vbi est thesaurus tuus  ibi & cor tuum .
Ȝet glotoun with grete othes  his granementR.13.416: Although listing it as a viable spelling variation, MED, s. v. garnement, offers no other evidence for this spelling of what is commonly rendered garnement (as in F). OED2, s. v. garment, garneament, and garnement, provides no citations either. hadde soyled . These lines are omitted by the beta manuscripts. There are, moreover, substantial variations between R and F in this passage, so that it seems preferable here to cite F's version uninterrupted (cf. Appendix 1, R13.416-25, for details and any cross-references to the C version):
Ȝeet þat goome with grete oþis / his garnement was soiled.
& foule be-flobered it / al with fals speche.
& þere no neede was / nempnede god ydellyche.
& swoor þerby / swythe ofte / a-bowte þe ale cuppe.
& ofte moore eet & drank / þan kynde myȝhte defye.
& sumtyme kawte seknesse / þoruh surfetys ofte.
Þat for dowhte y dredde / to dyȝen in dedly synne.
& into wanhope y wente / y wende neuere to be savid.
Þe wyche slewþe is so slowhȝ / þere may no sleyghte it helpe.
Ne no mercy a-mende it / þe man þat dyȝeþ þere-Inne
And foule beflobered it  as with fals speche .
As þere no nede ne was  godes name an Idel .
Swore þere-by swithe ofte  and al by-swatte his cote
And more mete ete and dronke  þen kende miȝt defie
And kauȝte seknesse sum-tyme  for my forfetes ofte .
And þanne I dradde to deye  in dedlich synne .
Þat in-to wanhope he wratheR.13.423: Compare R's wrathe, an impossible choice, with F's wente. However, the error probably occurred in alpha (cf. Kane-Donaldson's emendation worþ), with F, as usual, struggling to smooth nonsense that R is content to reproduce.and wende nauȝt to be saued .
Þe whiche is sleuthe so slow  þat may no slithes helpe it .
Ne no mercy amenden  þe man þat so deyeth .
AcR.13.426: R's line opening is unique. F and most beta copies simply omit Ac; Hm replaces it with Þe. However, Cx agrees with R. whiche ben þe braunches  þat bringeth a man to sleuthe .
His woman morneth nauȝt for his mysdedes  ne maketh no sorwe
And penaunce þat þe prest enioyneth  perfourneth euele .
Doth non almesdede  drat hym of no synne .
Lyueth aȝeyne þe by-leue  and no lawe holdeth .
Vch day is haly day with hym  or an heyȝ ferie .
And if he auȝt wil here  it is an herlotes tonge .
Whan men carpeth of criste  or of clennesse of soule .
He wexeth wroth and wil nauȝt here  but wordes of murthe .
Penaunce and pore men  and þe passion of seyntes .
He hateth to here þere-of  and alle þat it telleth .
Þise ben þe braunches beth war  þat bryngeth a man to wan-hope .
Ye lordes ye lordesYe lordes and ladies  and legates of holy cherchesR.13.438: R is alone in reading a plural; all other B manuscripts have a singular form, which is also the reading of the C version. .
Þat feden foleR.13.439: The other B manuscripts show a plural, foles. However, Cx agrees with R. sages  flatereres and lyeres 
And han likynge to lithen hem  to do ȝow lawheR.13.440: R's omission of to before this verb is shared only with G among the B witnesses. However, to is also omitted in Cx. .
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Ve vobis qui ridetis .
And ȝiueth hem mete and mede  and pore men refuse .
In ȝoure deth-deyinge  I drede meR.13.443: R here omits beta's ful (F revises the half-line). Though three C manuscripts (McFcNc) agree with beta, Cx agrees with R in omitting the qualifier. sore .
Lest þo thre maner men  to muche sorwe bringeR.13.444: R uniquely omits ȝow before bringe. Cx includes yow. .
Consencientes et agentes  pari pena puniendi sunt .R.13.445: The phrase puniendi sunt is an alpha variant. The beta reading is punientur. Cx agrees with beta.
¶ Patriarkes and prophetes  and prechoures of goddes wordes .
Sauen þoruȝ here sarmon  mannes soule fram helle .
Riȝt so flatereres and foles  aren þe fendes disciples .
To entise men þoruȝ here tales  to synne and herlotrie .
Ac clerkes þat knowethR.13.450: R's inflectional suffix (-eth) is unique among B witnesses; the others show -e(n). Although MSS P and F in the C tradition agree with the majority of B copies on this small issue — i.e., knowe(n) —, the Russell-Kane lemma leaves no doubt that a majority of both sub-families of C agree with R's reading. holy writ  schuld kennen lordes .
What dauid seith of such men  as þe sauter telleth .
Non habitabit in medio domus mee qui facit superbiam quiR.13.452: Among B copies, only Hm joins R in omitting & before qui; however, Cx agrees with R on this omission. loquitur iniqua .
Schulde no herlotR.13.453: There is an otiose curl above the <r> of herlot. haue audience  in halle ne in chaumbres .
There wise men were  witnesseth godes wordes .
Ne non mysproude man  amanges lordes ben a-lowed .
Clerkes and kniȝteswelcometh kynges ministrales . These lines are not found in the beta copies. F's version is sufficiently different to render it preferable to reproduce it as a single passage here rather than as a string of unrelated notes (cf. Appendix 1, R13.456-74, for details and cross-references to the C version):
Boþe knyghtis & Clerkis / wolkome kyngis menstralis.
& for þe love of here loord / þey lyghten hem at festis.
Mychil more me þynkþ þan / ryche men sholde.
Have beggeris be-fore hem / wiche ben goddis menstralis.
As he seyþ hym-selue / seynt Iohan beryþ witnesse.
Qvi vos spernit  me spernit.
/ Þerfore y rede ȝou ryche men / at Revelis whan ȝe make.
For to solace ȝoure soulis / swiche menstralis ȝee have.
Þe poore for a fool sage / ȝee sette at þe table.
& a leerned man to leerne the / what oure lord suffrede.
For to save þy soule / fram Sathan þyn enemy.
& withowtyn flaterynge fythele / of good frydaes storye.
& tak a blynd man þy burdour / or a bedrede womman
To criȝe a largesse to oure lord / þyn goode loos to shewe.
Þese þre manere of menstralis / make men to lawhe.
& in his deþ dyeng / þei doon hym gret confort.
Þat be his lyve he lystned hem / & lovede hem to heere.
Þey solace þy soule / tyl þy-selue be fallyn.
In a wol good hope / a-mongis goode seyntys
And for loue of þe lorde  litheth hem at festes .
Muche more me thenketh  riche men schulde .
Haue beggeres byfore hem  þe whiche ben goddes ministrales .
As he seyth hym-self  seynt Iohan bereth witnesse .
Qui vos spernit me spernit .
For-thi I rede ȝow riche  at reueles whan ȝe maketh .
For to solace ȝoure soules  suche ministrales to haue .
Þe pore for a fol sage  syttynge at þe heyȝ table .
And a lered man to lere þe  what oure lorde suffred .
For to saue þi soule  fram sathan þin enemy .
And fithel þe with-out flaterynge  of gode friday þe storye .
And a blynd man for a bourdeoure  or a bedrede womman .
To crie a largesse  by-for oure lorde  ȝoure gode loos to schewe
Þise thre maner ministrales  maketh a man to lawhe .
And in his deth deyinge  þei don hym grete conforte .
Þat bi his lyue lythed hem  and loued hem to here .
Þise solaseth þe soule  til hym-selue be falle .
In a welhope  amonges worthi seyntes .
ÞereR.13.475: In place of alpha's Þere, beta reads Ac. Cx agrees with alpha. flateres and foles  thoruȝ here foule wordes .
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Leden þo þat louedR.13.476: The beta manuscripts show the present tense louen. hem  to luciferes feste .
With turpiloquio a lay of soweso[r]weR.13.477: R's unique error here was overlooked by Kane-Donaldson.  and luciferes fythele .
¶ Þus haukyn þe actif man  hadde soyled his cote .
Til consience acouped hym þere-of  in a curteys manere .
Whi he ne hadde wasched it  or wiped it with a brusche .