fol. 1rI
Passus secundus de visione Petri Plowman . vt supra

R.2.0: Here the lacuna in the manuscript (running from KD1.141-2.40) ends and text resumes.

To on fals fikel ofR.2.1: Beta omits of. tonge  a fendes byȝete .
Fauel þoruȝ his faire speche  hath þis folke enchaunted .
And alle is lyeres ledynge  þat sche is þus ywedded
To-morwe worth ymad.  þe maydenes bruydale .
And þere miȝt þow wite if þow wilt  whiche þei ben alle .
Þat longeth to þat lordschippe  þe lasse and þe more .
Knowe hem þere if þow canst  and kepen þi tonge .R.2.7: F and some beta copies read keep wel þyn tunge. Other beta witnesses show kepe þow þi tonge. Manuscripts CL agree with R's phrasing. None of the B witnesses agrees with Ax or Cx, which both attest kepe the fro(m) hem alle.
And lak hem nauȝt but late hem worth  til lewte be iustice
And haue poer to puneschen hem  þanne putt forth thy reson
Now I bekenne þe crist quod heR.2.10: He, "she." R's he, repeatedly deployed for the feminine 3rd person sing. pronoun, is relatively uncommon among the B manuscripts in this role.  and his clene moder .
And atR.2.11: At, "that." no consience acombre þe  for coueytise of mede .
Þus left me þat lady  lyggynge a-slepe .
And how mede was ymaried  in meteles me thouȝthe .
Þat alle þe riche retenawans  þat regneth with þe false .
Weren bedeR.2.15: Though identical in meaning to the majority reading, R's form here is unique among the B copies; most of the others, including F, attest boden. Ax agrees with the B majority (although manuscripts VRa agree with R) , but Cx's verb form is uncertain. Though a majority of C witnesses also supports the predominant reading, most P family manuscripts (PVcAcQScFcGc ~ ibede McNc) agree with R. to þisR.2.15: F reads his; beta shows þe. Two A witnesses agree with R (manuscripts LaK), but Ax agrees with beta. Cx is uncertain: the X family reading is identical to that of beta, but the P family reading is þat. bridale  on bothe to sydes . In the right margin, in black ink, there is an early ownership stamp for the Bodleian Library.
Of alle maner of men  þe mene and þe riche .
To marie þis mayde  was many man ensembledR.2.17: For alpha's ensembled (F has ensemblyd þere), beta reads assembled. .
As of kniȝtes and of clerkes  and other comoune poeple .
As sysoures and sompnoures  scheryues and .here clerkes
Bedeles and bayliues  and brokoures of chafare .
Forgoeres and vitayleres  and vocates of þe arches 
I can nouȝt rekene þe route  þat ran a-boute mede .
Ac symonye and cyuile  and sysoures of courtes .
Were moste priue with mede  of any men þouȝte .R.2.24: R's reading here, men þouȝte, is unique error. R is probably reproducing an omission that had already occurred in alpha. As is often the case, F 's homologous reading, þere owte, has more the appearance of an attempted repair than a faithful reproduction of the sub-archetype. The Cx reading here is identical to beta's; however, manuscript X, the single best witness of this version, agrees with R in omitting me but then reinserts it in another hand! X's corrected error may attest to an early documentary parent of both B and C traditions in which the word occurred only as an interlinear correction.
Ac fauel was þe furste  þat fette hire oute of boure .
And as a brokoure brouȝt hire  to be with fals enioyned .
Whanne symonye and cyuile  seiȝ here bethereR.2.27: The variant genitive forms bether, boþer and beire all appear in the manuscripts. wille .
AndR.2.28: For alpha's And, beta reads Thei. Although the line is revised in the C version, its opening is identical to beta's phrase. assented for seluer  to seggenR.2.28: R's verb form here is unique; F has seyn while beta reads seye. as bothe wolde .
Þanne leup lyere forth  and seyde lo here a chartre .
fol. 1vI
Þat gyle with his grete othes  gaf hem to-gyderes .
And preyede cyuile to se  and symony to rede it .
¶ Þanne symony and cyuile  stondethR.2.32: Although R's meaning here is identical to that found in beta (presumably reading stonden), R's verb form is unique at this point in the B tradition; F agrees with YM in reading a preterite, stoden castel. Nevertheless, R's form is probably also the reading of Ax and is certainly the form attested in the X family of C. Among the P manuscripts, the preferred reading is that of FcYcMc (which can also be found among some A witnesses). forth bothe .
And vnfoldeth þe feffement  þat fals hath y-maked .
And þus bygyneth þis gomes  atR.2.34: R's at (cf. R2.11 above) = standard þat and is a unique reading here. The other witnesses attest to. greden ful hiȝe .
Sciant presentesR.2.35: R uniquely omits the end of this citation: & futuri &c. The C version of this citation agrees with that found in F/beta. &cetera .
¶ Wyteth and witnesseth  þat wonyeth vppon þis eerthe .
Þat mede is I-maried  more for hire godes .
Þan for any vertu or fairenesse  or any fre kende .
Falsenesse is fayne of hire  for he wote hire riche .
And fauel with his fikel speche  feffeth by þis chartre .
To be princes in pruyde  and pouerte to despise .
To bagbiten and to bosten  and bere fals witnesse .
To scorne and to scolde  and s.clander to make .
Bold and vnbuxumR.2.44: In beta, the phrasal order of this a-verse is reversed: Vnbuxome and bolde. The beta rendering is, however, the presumptive original since it matches the order found in C.  to breke þe ten hestes .
¶ And þe eerldam of enuye  and wrathe to-gyderes .
With þe chastelett of gestesR.2.46: Cf. F's Ieestys and beta's chest. The C reading agrees with that of beta.  and chaterynge out of tyme .R.2.46: F's b-verse is unique (& þe Iangelynge of synne). For R's tyme, beta reads resoun. The C reading agrees with that of beta.
Þe contee of coueytise  and alle þe costes aboute .
Þat is vsure and auarice  alle I hem graunte .
In bargeynes and in brokages  with alle þe borghe of thefte .
¶ And alle þe lordeschippe of lecherie  in lenthe and in brede .
As in werkes and in wordes  and waytynges with eiȝes .
In wedyngesR.2.52: Cf. F's wenyngis, which is probably the reading of Bx as well as that of alpha; beta reads wedes. The Cx reading is uncertain; the P family agrees with beta, but the X group rejects all the B variants, revising to woldes. and in wischynges  and with ydel þouȝtes .
Þere as wille wolde  and werkmanschipe fayleth .
¶ Glotonye he gaf hem eeke  and grete othes to-gydere .
And alle day to drynke  at dyuerse tauernes .
And þere to iangle and to iape  and iuge here euencristene .
And withR.2.57: R's with is unique; Bx reads in. fastyng-dawes to frete  ar ful tyme were .
And þan to sitten and soupen  til slepe hem assaile .
And bredun as aR.2.59: Beta does not attest a. burgh swyne  and bedden hym esely .
Til slewth and slepe  slyken his sydes .
fol. 2rI
Robart Bente you shalbe with vs at
Budworthe and there to Testyfy
youre knowlegh in a materR.2.61: At the top of fol. 2r, a secretary hand has written in black,
Robart Bente you shalbe with vs at
Budworthe and there to Testyfy
youre knowlegh in a mater
This note may explain the cropped margins of the first few pages of the manuscript: someone appears to have been using them for occasional short notes. Budworth probably refers to one of two ancient parishes in Cheshire, Great Budworth and Little Budworth.
And þanne wanhope to a-wake hym so  with no wille to amende
For he leueth be yloste  þis is hisR.2.62: R's his is unique (but preferable to the F and beta alternatives, which are rejected in its favor by Kane-Donaldson and Schmidt); F reads þe while beta reads here. laste ende .
And þei to haue and to holde  and here heyres after .
A dwellynge with þe deuel  and dampned be foR.2.64: Neither MED nor OED2, s. v. for, cites an example of fo as viable for the preposition signified here, but it occurs in R in four widely separated contexts (cf. R14.60, R15.379, and R20.224) and probably represents an instance of idiolect apocope. euere .
With alle þe .purtenaunces of purgatorie  in-to þe pyne of helle
Ȝelding for þis thinge  at one ȝeres ende .
Here soules to sathan  andR.2.67: R's and is unique; Bx reads to. suffre with hym peynes .
And with hym to wonyen in wo  while god is in heuene .
In wytnesse of þisR.2.69: For alpha's non-alliterating þis, beta properly reads which. Unfortunately, the problem appears to be, at some level, authorial rather than merely scribal. That is, although Ax clearly agrees with beta in alliterating this line on /w/ (using the exact same variants), Cx agrees with alpha just as emphatically in ignoring the normal alliterative pattern. Russell-Kane emend their C text back to the norm, but that seems pointlessly meliorative. At the very least, the aforementioned variant array (which is fairly typical) suggests a cavalier attitude toward such small metrical issues on the part of the C author. þing  wronge was þe furste .
And peres þe pardonere  of paulynes doctrine .
Bette þe bedel of bokyngham-schire .
Reynald þe reue  of rokelond sokene .
Munde þe mellere  and many mo othere .
In date of þe deuel  þis dede I asele .
By siȝt of sire symonye  atR.2.75: This is a unique reading in R; Bx reads and. Cx agrees with the B majority. cyueyles leue .
Þenne tenethR.2.76: Only R deploys a seemingly present-tense form of this verb (but the difference may be illusory; see the Introduction III.2.2.10. Beta reads tened while F has was teenyd. Both Ax and Cx agree here with beta. hym teologye  whan he þis tale yherde .
And seyde to cyuile  now sorwe mote þow haue .
Swiche weddynges to wurche  to wrathe with trewthe
And ar þis weddyng be y-wroȝt  wo the be-tyde .
For mede is moylere  of amendes engendreth .R.2.80: R shares an apparently nonsensical verb inflection (engendreth for engendred) with beta witnesses LCY. Nevertheless, any RL shared form, however odd, is intrinsically likely to be archetypal, albeit perhaps non-authorial—because of their extraordinary accuracy as well as their definitive stemmatic positions. If this lection is not merely a blatant archetypal error (one "corrected" by most later copyists to the expected form), it may be that the R and L scribes (or the Bx scribe) understood the -eth suffix in this word as allomorphic with the past participle suffix -ed / -et attested in other B copies. The final phone of engendreth would then probably have been construed by L and R as /t/ (not the /θ/ which the spelling would suggest to us). Cf. the 1408 London will of John Plot. Twice in this brief document, Plot uses a phonologically identical verbal suffix <-yth> to denote the past participle form usually spelled as <-ed>. In the first instance, Plot requests that "thyr be Spendyth among my Nyebourus in Mete & in drynke" a certain amount of money; in the second, he requests that some of his assets be used for road repairs, or, as he phrases it, "be yspendyth betwene London and ware, of fowle weys, . . . there most nede ys" (The Fifty Earliest English Wills, ed. Frederick J. Furnivall (London: Trübner, 1882), 14-15. A few pieces of evidence scattered throughout manuscripts L and R may support such a conclusion. One wonders, for example, whether the strong preference in manuscripts L and R for the ON-derived spelling of the cardinal number 100 (= hundreth) over the OE-derived form (= hundred) indicates that these scribes, or their models, would have pronounced that word with /θ/ as the final phone, rather than /t/. Such a conclusion seems doubtful. Rather, this spelling preference for the number 100 probably attests the same trivial orthographic anomaly hypothesized above concerning engendreth. For fuller discussion see Introduction III.2.2.10.
And god granteth to gyue  mede to trewthe .
And þow hast gyue hire to a gyloure  now god gyue þe sorwe
Þe tixittixt telleth þe nouȝt so  trewthe wote þe sothe .
For dignus est operarius  hys huyre to haue .
And þow hast fast hire to fals  fy on þi lawe .
For alle by lesynges þow lyuest  and lechores werkes
Symonye and þi-selue  schenden holy cherche .
Þe notaries and ȝee  nuyȝetR.2.88: Some beta copies and F agree in reading noyen but beta itself probably read as LMHm, noyeth. Only R shows what appears to be a preterite form of the verb (but see the Introduction III.2.2.10 regarding the possibility of morphological ambiguity in R's verb-tense marking). In a similar version of this line, Ax agrees with beta and F in using a present-tense form. þe poeple .
Ȝe schulle a-byggen it bothe  by god þat me made .
Wel ȝe wyten wernardes  but if ȝoure witt fayle .
Þat fals is faithles  and falsR.2.91: R's fals is unique; Bx reads fikel. in his werkes .
fol. 2vI
And asR.2.92: Beta reads was. Both Ax and Cx agree here with alpha. a bastarde ybore  of belsabubbes kynne .
And mede is moylere  a mayden of goode .
And miȝte kysse þe kyng  for cosyn and heR.2.94: He, "she." On this variant of the feminine, 3rd person sing. pronoun, see the note at R.2.10:. wolde .
For-thi wercheth by wysdom  and by witt al-so .
And ledeth hire to londoun  þere lawe is yschewed .
If any lawe wil loke  þei ligge to-gyderes .
And þouȝ iustices iuge hire  to be ioyned with fals .
Ȝut beth war of þeR.2.99: R's þe is owed to alpha, though it is shared by GH. Beta omits it. Many A witnesses, as well as Cx, agree with alpha on the presence of this determiner. weddynge  for witty is trewthe .
And consience is of his conseyle  and knoweth ȝow echeone .
And if he fynde ȝow in defaute  and with þe fals holde .
It schal be-sitte ȝoure soules  ful soure atte laste .
¶ Hereto assenteth cyuile  ac symonye ne wolde .
Til he hadde siluer for thisR.2.104: R's this is unique; beta reads his while F rephrases the entire line (which appears to be corrupt at the archetypal level when compared to the rendering in A and C). seruise  and al-so þe notaries .
¶ Þanne fette fauel forth  floreyns ynowe .
And bad gyle to gyue  gold al aboute .
And nameliche to þe notaries  þat hem non ne fayle .
And feffe fals witnesse  with floreyns ynowe .
For heR.2.109: Only L, among beta copies, agrees with alpha's reading here; the other beta witnesses attest þei. However, the LRF reading is almost certainly authorial, matching the reading found in Ax and Cx. may mede a-maystrie  and maken at my wille .
¶ Þo þis gold was Igyue  grete was þe thonkynge .
To fals and to fauel  for here faire ȝiftes .
And comen to conforte  fram care þe fals .
And seyden certes sire  sese schul we neuere .
Til mede be þi wedded wyf  þorȝ wittes of vs alle .
For we haue mede amaysterud  thorȝR.2.115: Beta reads with here, agreeing with the apparent reading of Ax (two A copies, manuscripts LaE, agree with alpha); the C manuscripts support alpha almost unanimously. oure merie speche .
Þat heo graunteth gooR.2.116: For R's goo, F reads for to goo while beta has to gon. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta's phrasing.  with a good wille .
To londoun to loke  if þatR.2.117: R's if þat lawe is unique; F and some beta copies read ȝif þat þe Lawe; other beta witnesses have if þe lawe. The reading of Ax is uncertain (because of a wide variety of variants here) but may have agreed with R's. The reading of Cx is if lawe. lawe walde iuge .R.2.117: R uniquely divides this line after iuge; all other B witnesses divide the line before this word.
Ȝow ioyntly  in ioye for euere .
¶ Þanne was falsenesse fayne  and fauel as blythe .
And leten sompne alle þeR.2.120: R is joined by G in attesting þe (and Ax agrees with the R variant), but the word is not found in F (alle men) or beta (alle segges). The P family of C agrees with beta's rendering of this phrase, but the X family has alle his segges. segges  in schires aboute .
And bad hem alle be bown  beggeres and otheres .R.2.121: R is the only witness for the plural form; all other B copies (except Hm, which shows ellis) attest the singular othere. Both Ax and Cx agree with the F/beta phrasing.
fol. 3rI
M M Butte   N N
Nell           XXXCX
God from SamR.2.122: At the top of fol. 3r are the remains of various sixteenth-century pen trials, scribbled in jagged fashion horizontally, from left to right.
To wenden with hymR.2.122: Though RF opt for the apparently singular form (a reading endorsed by Schmidt), beta agrees with Ax in reading hem, which seems more appropriate to the plural referents named in previous lines; the P family of C also attests this reading, but the X family agrees with alpha. However, MED, s.v "hem," documents hym as an available but rare spelling, especially in the fifteenth century, for the objective case of the third-person plural pronoun. So the difference noted above may be only a clutter of scribal / authorial accidentals. to westmenstre  to witnesse þeR.2.122: For alpha's þe, beta reads þis. A majority of A witnesses supports beta, but a sizeable minority agrees with alpha. dede .
Ac þanne cared þei for caplus  to cayren hem þidur .
And fauel fette forth þenne  folus Inowe .
And sette mede vppeR.2.125: For R's vppe, F has on while beta reads vpon. The same line occurs in the A version, where the reading agrees with F's. a schyriue  I-schoud alle newe . The terminal punctus for each of these lines has been rubbed or partially erased long ago, but they are both sufficiently visible for detection in normal light.
And fals satt on a sysoure  þat softlyche trotted .
And fauel on a flaterere  fetysliche atyred .
Þo hauedR.2.128: Only manuscript L agrees with R's unusual verb form haued (common in the thirteenth century but nowhere cited in MED, s. v. haven, later than about 1330, except for Piers Plowman). Both F and the majority of beta copies read had(de). The same line appears in A, but Kane was not concerned to record such morphemic variations, regarding them all as accidentals. notaries none  anuyed þei were .
For symonye and cyuile  schulden on here feet gange .
Ac þanne swore symonie  and cyuile bothe .
Þat sompnoures schulde be sadeled  and serue hem vchone .
And lat apparayle þeR.2.132: FGH omit any determiner, while beta reads þis. The same array of variants is present at this point in the A witnesses , with no strong evidence for originality. prouisoures  in palfreyes wyse .
Syre symonie hym-selue  schal sitten vppon here bakkes

T     omth Between these two lines is what seems to be a pen trial of uncertain age: T omth.
Denes and southdenes  drawe ȝow to-gyderes .
Erchedeknes and deknesR.2.135: R's deknes is a unique addition unattested in any other B manuscript.  officiales and alle ȝoure regestreres
Lat sadle hem with siluer  oure synne to suffre .
As deuoutrieR.2.137: This is the alpha variant. Beta offers a more common synonym, but one that fails to alliterate: auoutrie. F reverses the noun phrasal order of the a-verse. and deuoses  and derne vsure .
To bere byschoppes aboute  a-brode in visitynge .
Paulines priues  for pleyntes in þe consistorye
Schule serue my-selue  þat cyuile is nempned .
And carte-sadele þe comyssary  oure carte schal he lede
And fecche vs vitailes  at fornicatores .
And makeþ of lyare a lange karte  to leden alle þes othere
As fobberesR.2.144: Beta has Freres. A majority of A witnesses attests folis at this point (though three, manuscripts LaWaN, agree with beta). Cx has fobbes. That support, as well as the word's relative rarity, suggests alpha's variant is likely to be authorial in B. Schmidt accepts fobberes at face value. MED, s. v. fobben, hypothesizes that fobberes was derived from "fobben," v., but cites merely two Piers Plowman manuscripts for the form's existence. Conversely, Kane-Donaldson view alpha's variant as scribal and emend to the C form. and faytoures  þat on here feet rennen .
And þus fals and fauel  fareth forth to-gyderes .
And mede in þe myddes  and alle þese men after .
I haue no tome to telle  þe taile þat hem folweth .
Of many maner man  þat on þis molde libbeth .
John naylleR.2.149: A sixteenth-century signature written vertically upwards appears in the lower left margin of fol. 3r: John naylle.
Ac gyle was forgoere  and gyede hem alle .
fol. 3vI
Sothnesse seiȝ hem wel  and seyde bute a litel .
And prikede his palefrey  and passed hem alle .
And com to þe kynges courte  and consience it tolde .
And consience to þe kynge  carpud it after .
Now by crist quod þe kynge  and I cacche miȝte .
Fals other fauel  otherR.2.155: Beta reads this set of correlative conjunctions as or . . . or. F agrees with R for the first (eyþir) but reverts to the beta variant for the second. A majority of A witnesses agrees with beta (but Kane chooses the alpha set, exemplified in manuscript T, as a "harder reading"). Cx's reading is also somewhat ambiguous, with a majority of witnesses (mostly of the P family) attesting oþur in the first case and a minority (again mainly P family manuscripts) offering the same variant in the second instance. any of his feres .
I wolde be wroke of þoo wrecches  þat wurcheth so ille .
And do hem hange by þe hals  and alle þat hem maynteneth .
Schal neuere man of molde  meyntprise þe leste .
But riȝt as þe lawe wil loke  lat falle on hem alle .
¶ And comanded a constable  þat com atte þe furste .
GooR.2.161: Beta reads To, which is also the reading of Ax. Four C witnesses (IP2FcNc) agree with beta, but Cx clearly agrees with alpha's Goo. atache þo tirantes  for eny thyng I hote .
And fetreth fast falsnesse  for eny kynnes ȝiftes .
And gerdeth of gyles heued  and lete hym goo no furthere .
And ȝif ȝe lacchethR.2.164: R's form is unique; F and most beta copies read lacche(n). Both Ax and Cx appear to agree with the F/beta reading. lyere  lat hym nouȝt asckapen .
Ar he be put on þe pillerie  for eny preyere I hote .
And brengeth mede to me  maugre hem alle .
¶ Drede atte dore stode  and þe dome herde .
And how þe kynge demedeR.2.168: R uniquely fails in alliteration here; F and beta read comaunded.  constables and seriantz .
Falsnesse and his felaschipe  to fetturen and to bynden .
Þanne drede wente wiȝtlyche  and warnede þe fals .
And bad hym flee for fere  and his felawes alle .
¶ Falsenesse for fere þanne  fleiȝtR.2.172: R's form is unique; F and many beta copies read fleiȝ. Other beta witnesses have fledde. Both Ax and Cx appear to agree with the F/beta reading. to þe freres .
And gyle doth hym to go  agast for to deye .
Ac marchantz mette with hym  and made hym abyde .
And by-schetten hym in here schoppe  to schewen here ware .
And apparayled hym as a prentise  þe poeple to serue .
¶ Liȝtliche lyere  leep awey þenne 
Lurkynge þorȝ lanes  to-lugged of many .
He was nawere welcome . for his many tales .
Ouer al I-howted  and I-hote trusse .
fol. 4rI
Til pardoneres haued pite  and pulled hym into house .
Þei weschen hym and wyped hym  and wonden hym in clothesR.2.182: Although Hm agrees with alpha, beta itself must have read cloutes. It is unclear what the reading of Ax was since the alpha / beta disjunction is mirrored by nearly equal numbers of A witnesses. Cx, however, agrees with beta on this form.
And sent hym with seales  on sonedayes to cherches .
And gaf pardon fore pans  pound-mel aboute .
Þanne lowrede leches  and lettres þei sente .
Þat he schulde wonye with hem  watres to loke .
Spiceres speken toR.2.187: Beta has with. Although both readings are available in the A tradition, a large majority of A witnesses agrees with beta. On the contrary, Cx clearly agrees with alpha's to. hym  to spien here ware .
For he couthe onR.2.188: Although Hm supports alpha, beta itself must have read of. Both Ax and Cx agree with alpha's reading. here craft  and knew many gummes .
Ac minestrales and mesageres  metten with hym ones .
And helden hym half aR.2.190: For alpha's half a, beta reads an half. Cx probably read simply half, a variant also found in the A tradition (manuscripts TRaUNMa). However, a plurality of A witnesses agrees with alpha's phrasing (though two agree with beta). ȝere  and elleuene dayes .
Freres with fayre speche  Fetten hym þennes .
And for knowyng of comeres  coped hym as a frere .
Ac he hath leue to lepe out  as ofte as hym liketh .
And is welcome whan he wille  and wonyeth with hem ofte
Alle fledden for fere  and flowen into hyrnes .
Saue mede þe mayde  no manR.2.196: R's no man is unique in the B tradition (four A copies share the reading); F and beta read na mo, which is the reading of Cx and of a majority of the A manuscripts. durste abyde .
Ac trewly to telle  heo tremeled for fere .
And al-soR.2.198: Beta reads ek, which is also the reading of Ax (Cx has bothe). wepte and wrongheo wasR.2.198: Where R has heo was, F reads for she was while beta reads whan she was. Beta's rendering is that attested by the other two versions for this passage. a-thachud .