fol. 13vI
Passus quintus de visione petri plowman . vt supra .

The kyng and his knyȝtes  to þe kerke wente .
To here matynes of þe day  and þe masse after
Þanne awaked I of my wynkyng  and wo was with-alle .
Þat I ne hadde sleped saddere  and I-seyȝen more .
Ac er I hadde faren a furȝlonge  feyntise me hente .
Þat I ne miȝte forthere a foot  for defaut of slepynge .
And sat softly adoune  and sayde my beleue .
AndR.5.8: R uniquely omits so I before babeled and replaces the presumably original on with vppon ; cf. F's y bablede so on. C omits this passage, but in the A version it reads as in the beta manuscripts of B. babeled vppon my bedes  þei brouȝt me a-slepe .
And þanne saw I muche more  þan I befor tolde .
For I say þe felde ful of folke  þat I be-fore of seyde
And how resoun gan arayen hym  alle þe rewme to preche .
And with a crosse by-for þe kyng  cumsede þus to techen .
He preued þat þis pestilensez  was for pure synne .
And þe south-west wynde  on saterday at eue .
Was perteliche for pruydeR.5.15: R's phrase here is that of alpha (cf. F's virtually indentical wording); the beta copies read pure pryde. The A and C versions both agree with alpha.  and for no poynt elles .
Pyries and plumtres  were puffedde to þe erthe .
AndR.5.17: And is an alpha variant (cf. F's somewhat different rendering of this line), but it is not present in the beta manuscripts, nor is it attested in the manuscripts of the other versions at this point. in ensaumple ȝee segges  ȝee schulden do þe bettere .
Beches and brode okes  were blowe to þe grounde .
AndR.5.19: And is an alpha variant completely unattested in beta copies (which begin the line with Torned. However, the alpha reading of this line opening agrees exactly with that of the other two versions. turned vpward here taileR.5.19: Alpha omits beta's in before tokenynge. Both the A and C versions agree at this point with beta. to kenyngetokenynge of drede .
Þat dedly synne ar domesday  schal for-don hem alle .
Of þis matere I miȝt  mamely ful longe .
Ac I schal seye as I sawe  so me god helpe .
How perteliche be-for þe poeple  reson gan to preche .
He bad wastour toR.5.24: R's to is unique among the B manuscripts. The others read go, which is also the reading of the A version and of the P family of C witnesses. However, the X family agrees with R's reading. werche  what he best coude .
And wynnen his wastinge  with som manere crastyscra[f]tys .R.5.25: R's crastys, is probably an alpha error (cf. beta's crafte and F's reconstructed werkys). The phrase is omitted from C, but the A witnesses support beta's rendering.
And preied pernele  hire purfile to lete .
And kepe it in hire coffre  for catel at hire nede .
fol. 14rI
Thomme stouue he tauȝte  to take to stones .R.5.28: R's stones is unique. The other B manuscripts, as well as the other versions, read staues.
And fecche felice home  fram wyuene pyne .
He warned watte  his wif was to blame .
Þat hire hed was worth half marke  his hode nauȝt a groteR.5.31: HmGCotH join R in omitting worth from the final phrase of this line (witnessed by F and most beta copies as nouȝte worth a grote. The majority of A witnesses agrees with this B majority in attesting the word, but RaUChJEK agree with Rawlinson 38 in omitting it. So do all but two of the C witnesses. .
AndR.5.32: R uniquely omits the verb bad before bet here. bet cutte  a bow other tweye .
And bete betoun þere-with  but ȝif heo wolde werche .
And þanne he charged chapmen  to chasteR.5.34: The uncovered final <e> makes R's reading unmetrical. R's verb form is unique among the B witnesses; some beta manuscripts have chastize(n). However, R's form is attested in some copies of both A and C. Likewise, some of the A witnesses agree with beta. The Cx form appears to have been chasten, quite possibly the reading of Bx, since it is also the reading of LCrCG. hire childerne .
Late no wynnynge for-wanyen  þeR.5.35: R uniquely omits Bx's hem at the end of the a-verse and uniquely adds þe at the head of the b-verse. However, the addition of þe is paralleled in the X family of C manuscripts. while þei ben ȝonge .
Ne for no pouste of pestilence  plese hem nauȝt oute of resoun .
My sire seyde so to me  and so dede my dame .
Þat þe leuer childe  þe more lore byhoueth .
And salomon seyde þe same  þat sapience made .
Qui parcit virge odit filium .
Þe englisch of þis latyn is  ho-so wil it knowe .
Ho-so spareth þe sprynge  he spillethR.5.42: Beta omits he. Although three C manuscripts include the pronoun, it seems clear that Cx read here as beta does. his childern .
And sitthen he prouedR.5.43: R's proued is unique and presumably results from scribal anticipation of proue in the next line; beta reads preyed (which is confirmed by both the A and C versions) while F completely rewrites the line. prelatz  and prestes to-gyderes .
Þat ȝee prechen to þe poeple  proue it on ȝow-selue .
And doth it in dede  it schal drawe ȝow to gode .
If ȝe lyuen as ȝe lerne vs  we schal leue ȝow þe bettere .
And sitthe he radde religioun  here rewle to holde .
Lest þe kyng and his conseyle  ȝoure comunes appeyre .
And ben stwardes of ȝoure stedes  til ȝe be rewled bettere .
And siþþen he conseyled þe kynge  þe commune to louye .
It is þi tresor if treson weretreson [n]ereR.5.51: R uniquely drops the negative.  and triacle at þi nede .
And siþþen he preyed þe popeR.5.52: The word pope has been partially erased, though the original reading is visible. The erasure is very old but not the work of the original scribe.  haue pite on holy cherche .
And er he gyue any grace  gouerne furst hym-selue .
And ȝe þat haue lawes to kepe  lat trewthe be ȝoure coueytise .
fol. 14vI
More þanne gold or other giftes  if ȝe wil god plese .
For ho-so contrarieth trewthe  he telth in þe gospel .
Þat god knoweth hem nouȝt  ne no seint of heuene .
Amen dico vobis nescio vos  .
And ȝe þat seke seint Iames  and seintes of rome .
Seketh seint trewthe  for he may saue ȝow alle .
Qui cum patre & filio  þat faire hem befalle .
Þat sueth my sarmoun  and þus seyde resoun .
Þanne ran repentaunce  and reherced his teme .
And gerte wille to wepe  water with his eyȝes .
Pernele proude-herte  platte hire to þe erthe .
And lay longe ar heR.5.66: He, "she." loked  and lord mercy he criedeR.5.66: R alone reiterates the feminine pronoun (in R's typical form, he) in the b-verse. The correctness of the majority reading is confirmed by the text of Ax and Cx. .
And by-hiȝte to hym  þat vs alle made .
HeR.5.68: He, "she." scluldesc[h]ulde vnsowen hire serke  and setten þere an haire .
To affaiten hire flesche  þat fers was to synne .
Schal neuere heyȝ herte me hente  but holde me lowe .
And suffre to be myssayde  and so dede I neuere .
But now wil I meke me  and mercy byseche .
For þisR.5.73: Beta's phrase is For al þis. F has For þ(a)t." I haue  I-hated in myn herte .
Þanne lecchour seyde allas  and on oure lady he cried
To make mercy for his misdedes  bitwene god and his soule .
With þat he schulde on þe dayR.5.76: Cf. beta's þe saterday and F's euery day. The C version is completely revised at this point, but the A reading agrees completely with that of beta.  seuen ȝer þere-after .
Drinke but with þe doke  and dyne but ones .
Enuye with heuy herte  askede after schrifte .
And carfulliche mea culpa  he cumsed to schreweschre[u]e .R.5.79: R's error, schrewe, was not a misreading for shewe (the beta variant) but for schreue, the alpha reading (cf. F's shryve). The A reading agrees with that of beta.
He was as pale as a pelete  in þe palsey he semed .
And clutedR.5.81: This is a unique R reading (Bx = clothed). According to MED, s. v. clouten (v. 1), the form is the past participle of clouten, which usually means "to mend" but here and in a few other documented instances clearly signifies "to wear patched or ragged clothes." in a tauri-mauri[c]auri-mauriR.5.81: R, probably by coincidence, shares the <c/t> confusion with Bm.  I coude nauȝt itR.5.81: R reverses this phrase, which in the other B manuscripts (as well as the A version) reads it nouȝte. descriue .
In a kertel and curteby  and a knyf be his side .
Of a frereR.5.83: R's uninflected form, frere, is unique in the B version. The other copies have freres. However, five A-version manuscripts (DJLaEN) agree with R's unmarked genitive. frokke  were hisR.5.83: In place of alpha's his, beta reads þe. Ax is unclear on this point, a majority agreeing with beta, but a large minority (HaLaEAKWa) agreeing with alpha. fore-sleues .
And as a leek hadde I-leye  longe in þe sonne .
fol. 15rI
So loked he with lene chekes  louring foule .
His body was to-bolle for wrathe  þat he bot his lyppes .
And wryngyed withR.5.87: Beta reads wryngynge he ȝede. F has hise hondis he wrong. þe fist  to wreke hym-self he thouȝte .
With werkes or with wordes  whan he seyȝ his time .
Eche word þat he warp  was of an addreR.5.89: Beta shows a genitive, addres or Neddres. tonge .
Of chydynge and of chalengynge  was his chief lyflode
With bagbityng and withR.5.91: This line's second with is a unique addition in R. bysmere  and berynge of fals wytnesse .
Þis was alle his curteysye  where þat euere he schewed hym .
I wolde be Ischryue quod þis schrewe  and I for schame durste .
I wolde be gladdere by god  þat gybbe hadde mischaunce .
Þan þouȝ I hadde þis woke I-wonne  a weye of essex chese .
I haue a neyȝbore neyȝ me  I haue enuyed hym ofte .
And lowen on hym to lordes  to don hym lese his siluer .
And al-soR.5.98: R's al-so is unique; cf. Bx's made. his frendes ben his fon  þoruȝ my fals tonge .
His grace and his good happes  greueth me ful sore .
By-twene mayne and mayneR.5.100: The form mayne is the R scribe's spelling for meine, "household" (see also R.16.247:). In F the a-verse reads By-twixe hym & manye men; most beta manuscripts have Bitwene many and many. Though MED lists the head form as meine, OED notes that by the opening of the fifteenth century the word was sometimes spelled many, which appears to have been beta's intention. Its authenticity is also supported by a cognate line from the A version, where the phrase reads Betwyn hym & his meyne.  I make debate ofte .
Þat both lyf and lyme  is lost þoruȝ my speche .
And whan I mete hym in markete  þat I most hatye .
I hayls hym hendelich  as I his frende were .
For he is douȝtier þan I  I dar do non other .
Ac hadde I maystrie and miȝt  god wote my wille .
And whan I come to þechercheþe chercheR.5.106: HmF agree with R in reading cherche, but they omit the article. The beta reading, kirke (also the reading of the A tradition), fits the alliterative pattern of the line; cherche was the alpha reading, shared by convergence with Hm.  and schulde knele to þe rode .
And preye for þe poeple  as þe prest techeth .
For pylgrimes and for palmeres  for alle þe poeple after
Þanne I crie on my knes  þat crist ȝif hem sorwe .
Þat bare away my bolle  and my broke schete .
Awey fro þe auter  þanne turne I myn eyȝes .
And beholde how heleyne  hath onR.5.112: R's on is an alpha addition unattested in beta or in the A version. a newe cote
I wysche þenne it were myn  and alle þe web after .R.5.113: Here the scribe omits his usual line break before a new verse paragraph, presumably because he has reached the end of a side.
And of hisR.5.114: R's his is a unique reading among the B manuscripts (both F and beta attest mennes). However, it is clear that Ax reads as R does. lesynge I lawhe  þat lyketh myn herte .
fol. 15vI
Ac for his wynnygewynny[n]geR.5.115: At the beginning of this phrase, R's Ac is unique among the B manuscripts but is also the reading of Ax; by contrast, F has But and beta reads And). As for his (an alpha variant contrasting to beta's hir), a majority of A witnesses agree with RF. I wepe  and wayle þe tyme .
And deme menR.5.116: R's men is unique; F substitutes hem while beta omits it altogether. However, in a slightly different phrase found in the cognate A line (I deme men þere hy don ille), we find unambiguous support for R's reading. þat hij don ylle  þere I do wel worse .
Who-so vndernymeth me hereoffe  Ich hate hym dedly after .
I wolde þat vch a wyȝt  were my knaue .
For ho-so hath more þanne I  þat angreth me sore .
And þus I lyue loue-lees  lyche a lyther dogge .
Þat alle my body bolneth  for bytter inR.5.121: Cf. R's in to F's ys and beta's of; it is unclear what the alpha reading was. The A reading agrees with beta. my galle .
I myȝte nauȝt ete many ȝeres  as a man ouȝte .
For enuye and euel wille  is yuel to defye .
May no sucre ne swete thynge  aswage my swelynge .
Ne no diapenidion  driue it fro myn herte .
Ne noyther schrifte no schame  but ho-so schrape my mawe .
Ȝis redily quod repentaunce  and radde hym to þe beste .
Sorwe of synnes  is sauacioun of soules .
I am euereR.5.129: Beta omits euere. This omission is also found in the A version, but the C version agrees with alpha and includes the qualifier. sory quod þat segge  I am but selde other .
And þat maketh me þus megre  for I ne may me venge .
Amonges burgeys haue I be  dwellynge atte londoun .
And gert bagbytyng be a brokoure  to blame mennes ware .
Whan he solde and I nauȝt  þanne was I aredyR.5.133: Beta reads redy, and F has ful redy. Some C copies agree with beta, but Cx agrees with R's form, aredy. .
To lye and to loure on my neyȝbore  and to lakken his wareR.5.134: R's ware is the alpha reading; cf. beta's chaffare. .
I wil amende þis if I may  þorȝ miȝt of god al-miȝti .
Now waketh wrotheR.5.136: R's waketh is unique (most of the other witnesses have awaketh). Likewise, R's spelling of the following noun (= wrothe, but rendered as Wraþe or wratthe by most of the others) is unique among the B copies—cf. the same spelling at R5.138 (at which point F and the X family of C concur with R's form). According to OED2, s. v. wrath, and MED, s. v. wroth, this spelling is a late adaptation from the adjective wroth, = "angry." Nominal usage is also found in a manuscript of Gower's Confessio (at 3.217) and in the Trinity manuscript of the A-version (at 5.66).  with to white eyȝes .
And nyuelyng with þe nose  and his nekke hangynge .
I am wrotheR.5.138: R's wrothe is a relatively uncommon spelling for this word (cf. R5.136 above), but it is also attested in F and among the X family of C. Beta and the P family of C witness the more usual spellings (e.g, W's wraþe). quatz he  I was sumtyme a frere .
And þe couentR.5.139: R's uninflected form is unique; F and beta read a normal genitive, couentes. On the other hand, the R scribe may have taken the phrase couent gardinere as a compound noun. gardinere  for to graffe ympes .
On lymitoures and listres  lesynges I ymped .
Til þei bere leues  of lowe speche  lordes to plese .
And sitthe þei blosmedR.5.142: The beta phrase, which has the advantage of alliterating properly, is blosmed obrode.  in boure to here schriftes .
And now is falle þere-offe a fruyt  þat folk haue wel leuere .
fol. 16rI
Schewen here schriftes til hem  þan schriuen hem tilR.5.144: Both of R's uses of til in this line are unique; F and beta read to in the first instance. F revises the b-verse substantially (so as to be unsuitable for comparison), but beta again deploys to. here persones .
And now haue persones aperceyued  þat freres parte with hem .
Þes possessioneres prechen  and deprauen freres .
And fyndenR.5.147: The agreement of RF in omitting the first stave of this line (freres in beta) indicates that the error derives from alpha. hem in defaute  as folke bereth witnesse .
Þat whanne þei preche þe poeple  in many places aboute .
I wrathe walke with hymR.5.149: R's hym is unique and obviously an error; F and beta read the plural hem, which agrees with all of the surrounding context, including another pronoun reference later in this same line.  and wisse hem of my bokes .
Þus þei speken of my spiritualte  þat eyther despi.seth other .
Til þei be bothe beggeres  and by spiritualteR.5.151: Beta reads by my spiritualte. F has by almesse. libben .R.5.151: There is a black, vertical line from this point to R5.160 in the right margin.
Or elles alle riche  and riden aboute
I wrathe reste neuere  þat IneI ne mot folwe .
Þis wikked folke  for swich is my grace .
I haue anauntean aunte to nonne  and an abbesseR.5.155: Beta adds bothe at the end of this line. The C version, however, agrees with alpha in omitting it. .
Hire were leuere swowe or swelte  þan suffre any peyne .
I haue be cook in hire kychyne  and þe couent serued .
Many monthes with hem  and with monkes alse .R.5.158: R's alse is unique; the other B manuscripts read bothe. The C reading agrees with that of the B majority.
I was þe prioresses potagere  and other pouer ladyes .
And made hem ioutes of iangelyng  þat dame ione was a bastard .
And dame claris a kniȝtes douȝter  ac a cokewolde was hire sire .
And dame peronel a prestes fyle  prioresse worthe heo neuere .
For heo hadde childe in chirityme  al oure chapitere it wiste .
Of wikked wordes I wrathe  here wortes I-madeR.5.164: Only RLOC2 have the metrically necessary dissyllabic form from OE gemacian. F has a recomposed line, and other B manuscripts have made. .
Til þow lixt and þow lixte  lopen oute at ones .
And eyther hitte other  vnder þe cheke .
Hadde þei had knyues by crist  here eyther hadde kulled othere .
Seynt gregorie was a goed pope  and hadde a goed forwitteR.5.168: In this verse paragraph and the next, the scribal hand becomes noticeably smaller, and yet the 36-line ruling is unchanged from the previous leaf.
Þat no prioresse were prest  for þat he ordeyned .
Þei hadden þanne be infamis þe firste day  þei cunne so euel hele conseyle .
Amonges monkes I miȝt be  and many tyme I schonie .
For þere ben many felle frekes  my feres to aspie .
Bothe priour and suppriour  and oure pater abbas .
And ȝif I telle any tales  þei taken hem to-gyderes .
fol. 16vI
And do me faste fridayes  to brede and to water .
And ȝeet amR.5.176: R's ȝeet is a unique addition to this line, as witnessed in the other B manuscripts. However, it is also clearly attested in the C version. chalenged  in þe chapitelhous .
As I achilda child wereR.5.177: R's line division here is unique and obviously an error; F, beta, and the C version read this phrase as the end of the preceding line .
And baleysed on þe bare hers bakR.5.178: R's cancelled reading, hers, is the Bx original. F agrees with R's "corrected" and euphemized reading, bak, but the C version agrees with the Bx original.  and no breche by-twene .
For-thi haue I no likyng  with þo ledes to wonye .
I ete þere vnthende fissh  and febleR.5.180: The final <e> of feble is blotted. ale drinke .
Ac other-while whan wyn cometh  whan I drynke welR.5.181: Beta reads wyn. at euen .
I haue a flix of a foul mouth  wel fyue dayes after .
Alle þe wikkednesse þat I wote  by any of oure bretheren .
I couthe it in oure cloystre  þat alleR.5.184: R uniquely omits a determiner after alle. A majority of beta copies, and F, read þe here while LMCrW attest owre. Cx agrees with F and the beta majority. couent wot it .
Now repente þe quod repentance  and reherce þow neuere .
Conseille þat þow knoweste  by contenance ne by specheR.5.186: R and F agree with the C version in attesting speche as this line's final stave. By contrast, beta reads riȝte at this point. .
And drink nauȝt ouerdelicatly  ne to depe neyther .
Þat þi wille be cause þere-offe  to wrathe miȝt turne .
Esto sobrius  he seyde  and so heR.5.189: R's so he is a unique addition to the text witnessed by both Bx and Cx. assoyled me after .
And badde me wilne to wepe  my wikkedenesse to amende .
descripcio avaritie
And þanne come coueytyse  I can hym nauȝt descriue .
So hungrilyche and holewe  sire henry hym lokede .
He was bittel-browed  and baber-lipped alse .
With to blered eyȝes  as a blynde hagge .
And as a letheren purce  lolled his chekes .
Wel sydder þanne his chyn  þei chyueld for elde .
And as a bonde-man of his bakun  his berd was bydraueled .
With hisR.5.198: For alpha's his, beta reads an. The C reading agrees with alpha. hode on his hed  a lousy hatt aboue .
And in a tawne tabbarde  of twelue wynter age .
Al to-torne and baudy  and ful of lys crepynge .
But if a lous coude  lepe þe bettere .R.5.201: All the B manuscripts are corrupt, presumably losing most of the original b-verse: But if (þat) a lous couthe (haue lopen / lepen) þe bettre. RF omit þat and avoid the perfect tense. F's reading for this line is unique in other ways as well. The A-version reading for this line's second half is uncertain, with considerable variation between witnesses. Kane chose I may it nouȝt leue. The C b-verse has the appearance of a feeble patch rather than a common original: y leue and y trowe.
He ne schulde nouȝt walkeR.5.202: Cf. beta's She sholde nouȝte haue walked. Evidence from the A and C versions suggests that archetypal B was already misreading the first verb in this line (= wandre in A and C). Though most C manuscripts attest the line's opening as He sholde, manuscripts X and P2 here agree with R's version of the opening phrase, He ne schulde. Among the A copies, the same pattern is apparent, with most opting for some form of he shulde but with ChRaU paralleling R's double-negative syntax. on þat welsch  so was it thredebare .
I haue be coueytouse quod þis caytyf  I be-knowe it here .
For sum-tyme I seruede  symme at þe style .
And was his prentis I-pliȝt  his profit to wayte .R.5.205: R omits his customary blank line between strophes at the juncture of ll. 205-06, presumably because the latter is to fill the last line ruled for this side.
First I lerned to lye  a leef or tweyne .
wikedlyche to weye .R.5.206:These catchwords are partially cropped.
fol. 17rI
Wikkedliche to weye  was my furst lessoun .
To wy and to wynchestre  I wente to þe feyre .
With many maner marchandise  as my mayster me hiȝte .
Ne hadde þe grace of gyle  I-go amonge my ware .R.5.210: The alpha variant ware is supported by LM, but most beta copies read chaffare. However, as is often the case with such splits, both Ax and Cx support the LMRF variant.
It hadde be vnsold þis seuen ȝere  so me god helpe .
Þanne drow I me amonges draperes  my donet to lerne .
To drawe þe lyser a-longe  þe lenger it semed .
Amonge þe riche rayeresR.5.214: R's rayeres, "a maker or seller of striped cloth," is a unique variant among B witnesses; Bx reads rayes. The same variant occurs in manuscript Uc of the C version, but both Ax and Cx clearly attest the same word here as the B majority. For other citations of this R form, see MED, s. v. raier.  I rendred a lessoun .
To brochen hem with a batnedelR.5.215: Most beta manuscripts read paknedle, but L (and perhaps M originally, which has been corrected to pak by erasure and writeover) supports alpha's batnedel. The majority of A witnesses agrees with beta, but manuscripts AE agree with alpha's lection. Batnedel is also the reading of the best C manuscripts (though most of the P family copies agree with the common beta reading).  and playted hem to-gyderes .
And putte hem in a presse  and pyned hem þere-Inne .
Til ten ȝerdes or twelue  tolled oute threttene .
My wif was a webbe  and wolene cloth made .
Heo spak to a spinnesterR.5.219: Beta reads spynnesteres, which is also the reading of Cx. The Ax reading is uncertain since the singular and plural forms are both well attested among extant copies.  to spynnen it oute .
Ac þe pound þat heo payed by  peysed a quarterR.5.220: Beta reads quarteroun, but Ax and Cx confirm alpha's lection. more .
Þan myn owenauncerowen auncer  ho-so weyȝed trewthe .
I bouȝte hire barlyR.5.222: Beta and F read barly malte, but both Ax and Cx confirm R's reading.  heo brewe it to selle .
Peny-ale and puddynge-ale  heo poured to-gyderes .
For laboreres and for low folke  þat lay bi hym-selue .
Þe best of alleR.5.225: R's of alle is unique; F and beta read ale. Among the C manuscripts, the P family omits this lection entirely (as does the cognate line in A), while the X family agrees with the reading of F and beta. lay in my boure  or in my bedde-chaumbre .
And ho-so bummethR.5.226: R is the only B manuscript to render this verb in the present tense (but see the Introduction III.2.2.10 on R's—and alpha's—possibly ambiguous tense marking); the others read bummed. Both Ax and Cx agree with the majority B reading. þere-offe  he bouȝte it þere-after .
A galoun for a grote  god wote no lesse .
And ȝet it com in coppe-mele  þis crafte my wif vseth .R.5.228: The present-tense marking represents alpha's reading (but cf. see the Introduction III.2.2.10 on R's—and alpha's—possibly ambiguous tense marking); cf. beta's vsed. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta.
Rose þe regrater  isR.5.229: The present-tense marking represents alpha's reading; cf. beta's was. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta. hire riȝte name  .
Heo hath I-holdeR.5.230: Cf. beta's holden. A and C witnesses show a mixture of verb forms here, but the P family of C agrees with alpha's form. hokkarie  alle hire lif-tyme .
Ac I swere now so theichthe ich  þat synne wil I lete .
And neuere wikkedlich weye  ne wikked chaffare vse .
But wenden to walsyngham  and my wif alse .
And bidde þe rode of bromeholme  brynge me oute of dette .
Repentedest þow euere quod repentaunce  neR.5.235: Among the B manuscripts, only LM support R's ne; most beta copies read or and F has &. However, Cx clearly agrees with the LMR reading. restitucion madest .
Ȝus ones I was herberwed quod he  with an hepe of chapmen .
fol. 17vI
I ros whan þei were a-reste  and I-rifledR.5.237: LR alone have unmetrical I-rifled. Other B manuscripts have riflede. here males .
Þat was no restitucioun quod repentance  but a robberes thefte .
Þow haddest bettereR.5.239: R shares with LM alone the omission of be in the phrase, be bettere. Their reading is, however, likely to be the original. M later was "corrected" to the majority reading. worthi  be hanged þere-fore .
Þan for alle þat  þat þow hast here schewed .
I wende riflynge were restitucioun quod heo  for I lerned neuere rede on boke .
And IcanI can no french in feyth  but of þe ferþest ende of norfolke .
Vsedestow euere vsurie quod repentance  in alle þi lif-tyme .
Nay sothly heo seyde  saue in my ȝouthe .
I lerned amonges lumbardes  a lessoun and of iewesR.5.245: Cf. beta's and iewes a lessoun. F reads a lessoun be herte. The C reading agrees exactly with R's. .
To weye pans with a peys  and pare þe heuiest .
And lene it for loue of þe cros  to legge a wedde and lese it .
Swiche dedes I dede write  if he his day broke .
Ich haue mo maneres þorȝ regagesR.5.249: Beta has rerages; alpha's reading, regages, is unrecorded in both OED2 and MED s. v. rerage, and arrearage, and is presumably nonsense generated by the misreading of a single graph, an anglicana r.  þan þorȝ miseretur & comodat .
I haue I-lente lordes  and ladies my chaffare .
And ben here brokour after  and brouȝtR.5.251: R shares this error (brouȝt for bouȝte) by convergence with Cot alone. it my-selue .
Exchaunges and cheuysaunces  with suche chaffaresR.5.252: R uniquely deploys the plural form here. I dele .
And lenefolkelene folke þat lese wole  a lippe at eueri noble .
And with lumbardes lettres  I ladde golde to rome .
And toke it be taille þereR.5.255: Cf. R's þere with beta's here; F omits the adverb entirely.  and tolde hem there lasse .
Lenedest þow euere lordes  for loue of here mayntenance . A design is scratched in drypoint in the left margin beside these lines; its shape is that of three pillars of approximately the same length, a vertical pillar with two supporting pillars on its left side; the higher supporting pillar is a flat horizontal, joining the vertical midway along its length, the lower one running diagonally upwards to join the other two at the same point. The effect is almost that of a reversed capital <K>.
Ȝe I haue lent lordes quod heo  louedR.5.257: The attributive phrase, quod heo, is an alpha reading not witnessed in any beta manuscript; cf. F's quod he. me neuere after .
And haue I-mad many kniȝt  bothe mercer and draper .
Þat payed neuere for his prentishode  nauȝt a peyre gloues .
Hastow pyte on pore men  þat mote nedes borwe .
I haue as muche pyte of pore men  as þeR.5.261: R's determiner, þe, is an alpha variant; it is not present in beta manuscripts. pedlere hath of cattes .
Þat wolde kulle hem andR.5.262: and, "if." Beta reads yf. he cacche hem miȝte  for coueytise of here skynnes .R.5.262: At the bottom center margin of 17v, there is a drypoint figure almost identical to the one noted at R5.256 for the left margin. Now, however, the <K> figure faces downwards, and the top is trapezoidal rather than a simple rectangular pillar.
fol. 18rI
Art þow manliche amonge þi neyȝbores  of þi mete and drinke .
I am holden quod he as hende  as hound in hisR.5.264: R's in his kychyne is a metathesis of beta's presumably original text (= is in kychyne). Cf. F's in þe kycchene. kychyne .
Amonges my neyȝbores nameliche  suche a name Ich haue .
Now god lene neuere quod repentaunce  but þow repent þe rather .
Þe grace on þis grounde  þi good wel to bi-sette .
Ne þin vssueR.5.268: R reads vssue, agreeing with L alone (= ysue); M has been erased and overwritten to match the other beta manuscripts' reading, heires. F reads houswif. after þe  haue ioye of þat þow wynneste .
Ne þi seketouresR.5.269: RF's seketoures is an aphetic form of beta's excecutours. wel bi-sette  þe seluer þat þow hem leuest
And þat was wonne with wronge  with wykked men be despended
For were I frere of þat hows  þere good faith and charite is .
I wolde nouȝt cope vs with þi catel  ne oure chercheR.5.272: Two alpha variants are attested here, the second inadequate for the line's alliterative pattern; cf. RF's wolde nouȝt and cherche with beta's nolde and kyrke. amende
Ne haue a peny to my pitance of þine  be my soule hele .
For þe beste boke in oure hows  þouȝ brend gold were þe leues .
And I wiste witterly  þow were swiche as þow telleste .
Seruus es alterius cum fercula pinguia queris .
Pane tuo pocius  vescere liber eris .
Þow art an vnkende creature  I kan þe nauȝt assoile .
Til þow make restitucion quod repentanceR.5.279: Only R records quod repentance. The other B witnesses, including F, are here content with a line having only two alliterating staves. The B manuscript that Langland used in creating C appears to have shared this faulty alliteration since the alliterative key is there shifted from /r/ to /m/ in order to make use of make (=B) / ymad (= C) in the first stave position.  and rekene with hem alle .
And sitthen þat resoun rolle it  in þe registre of heuene .
Þat þow hast made vch man goed  I may þe nauȝt saue .R.5.281: R's saue is unique. The other manuscripts read assoille.
Non dimittitur peccatum nisiR.5.282: The predominant beta variant here is donec, but Cr agrees with alpha. restituatur ablatum .
For alle þat hath of þi good  haue god my trewthe .
Is haldyngeR.5.284: Only LMF agree with R's Is (but F's verb occurs in a completely rewritten line). The other copies show be(n). R's haldynge is unique; the other B copies all show holde(n) as do many P manuscripts in the C tradition. However, the X family of C agrees with R's lection. at þe heyȝ dome  to helpe þe restitueR.5.284: With reference to beta, R's lection here appears at first glance to involve a unique omission. Beta reads þe to restitue. However, the supposition of omission collapses when we notice that the nearly unanimous C reading at this point is identical to R's (F rewrites the line completely). .
And ho-so leueth nauȝt þis be soth  loke in aR.5.285: R's lection is unique; the other manuscripts read þe, as does the C version. sauter glose .
In miserere mei deus  where I mene trewthe .
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti &cetera .
Þere is no laborere wolde leue with hem  þat knoweth peres þe plowman .R.5.288: Kane-Donaldson dismiss this alpha line as spurious because of its reference to Piers Plowman, who has not yet been introduced into the narrative.
ForR.5.289: For is an alpha variant; beta omits it. schal neuere werkman in þis worlde  thriue with þat þow wynnest .
Cum sancto sanctus eris  construe me þat on englische .
Þanne wex þe schrewe in wanhope  and walde haue hanged hym-selue .
Ne hadde repentance þe rathere  confortedR.5.292: Although Hm and G agree with R (presumably by convergence), beta itself had a compound of this verb, needed for alliteration: reconforted; F offers, in a rewritten b-verse, reersyd, which looks like an attempted repair. hym in þis manere .
d ij
fol. 18vI
Haue mercy in þi mende  and with þi mouthe byseche it .
For godes mercy is more  þan alle his other werkes .
Misericordia dominiR.5.295: This is a unique variant in R; the beta copies that contain this citation read eius, the accurate Vulgate form. Approximately half the beta copies and F omit the entire citation. super omnia opera eius . &cetera .
And alle þe wikkednesse in þis world  þat man miȝt worche or þenke
Ne is namore to þe mercy of god  þan in þe see a glede
Omnis iniquitas quantum ad misericordiam dei  est quasi sintilla in medio maris .
For-thi haue mercy in thi mynde  and marchandise leue it .
For þow hast no goed grounde  to gete þe with a wastel .
But if it were with þi tonge  or elles with þi to handes .
For þe goed þat þow haste gete  bygan alle with falshede .
And as longe as þow lyuest þere-with  þow ȝeldest nouȝt but borwest .
And if þow wite neuere to whiche  ne wham to restitute .
Bere it to þe bischoppe  and bydde hym of his grace .
By-sette it hym-selue  as best is for thi soule .
For he schal answere for þe  at þe heyȝ dome .
For þe and for many mo  þat man schal ȝiue a rekenynge .
What he lerned ȝow in lente  leue þow non other .
And what he lente ȝow of oure lordes goed  to lette ȝow fro synne .
Now bygynneth glotoun  for to go to schrifte
And cayres hym to cherchewardeR.5.312: As is frequently the case, R's unique reading here is defective in alliteration (cf. Bx's kirke-ward).  his coupe to schewe .
Ac betoun þe brewestere  bad hym goed morewe .
And asked of hym with þat  whyderward he wolde .
To holy cherche quod he  for to here masse .
And sitthen I wil be schriue  and synne namore .
I haue goed ale gossib quod sche  glotoun wiltow assaye .
Hastow auȝt in þi purce  any hote spices .R.5.318: Although the scribe customarily enters a blank line between paragraphs, following this line he seems to have forgotten to do so because of the heavy prevalence of paraph markers to indicate dialogue.
I haue peper and pioyneR.5.319: R's singular is unique among the B manuscripts but agrees with the reading found in Ax and in the X family of C. The P family of C shows the same plural as the B majority. quod sche  and a pound of garleke .
A ferthyngworth of fenel seed  for fastynge-dayes .
fol. 19rI
Þanne goth glotoun Inne  and grete othes after .
Sesse þe souteres  sate on þe benche .
Watte þe warner  and his wif bothe .
SymmeR.5.324: R's non-alliterating Symme is shared with HmYCBoCot among the B manuscripts but also agrees, oddly, with the reading found in A manuscripts TRaDH2H and with the reading of C manuscript P2. Presumably the cause of these overlapping errors is the mutual resemblance of the relevant capitals. þe tynkere  and tweyne of his prentys .
Hikke þe hakeney-man  and howe þe nedelere .
Clares of cokkeslane  and þe clerke of þe cherche .
AndR.5.327: And is an alpha variant; beta begins the line with Sire. The C version of this line agrees exactly with beta. sire peres of pridie  and peronele of flaundres
Dawe þe dykere  and a doseyne other .
A ribyboure a ratonere  a rakyer of chepe .
A roper a redyng-kynge  and rose þe dissheres douȝter .R.5.330: The phrase dissheres douȝter is an alpha variant; cf. beta's disshere(s). Both the A version and the C version agree with beta on this reading.
Godefrey of garlek-hethe  and grifythR.5.331: F reads Geffrey while beta has gryfin. Both the A version (some copies omit the line completely) and the P family of the C version agree with beta's name form here (P family = griffyng), but the X family of C agrees with R's otherwise unique form. þe walshe .
And vpholders an hepe  herly by þe morwe .
Geue glotoun with gladde chere  goed ale to hansalle .
Clement þe coblere  cast of his cloke .
And toR.5.335: Beta reads atte; F has in. The A version reading agrees with beta while the C version agrees with R's to. þe newfeyrenew feyre  nempnedR.5.335: F and beta both read he nempned; however, both the A archetype and the unanimous C reading agree with R in omitting he. it to selle .
Hikke þe hakeneyman  hit his hood after .
And badde bette þe bocheretoR.5.337: The verbal particle to is an alpha variant completely absent from the beta manuscripts. It does, however, appear in a few A manuscripts (RaUDJ) and in approximately half of the C manuscripts. It may, in fact, be the family reading of the P group. ben on his side .
ÞereR.5.338: R uniquely omits the Bx verb were at this point, treating the participle Ichose at the end of the a-verse as the verb. chapmen Ichose  þis chaffare to preyse .
Ho-so haueth þe hood  schul haue amendes of þe cloke .
ÞoR.5.340:R and Bm are the only witnesses in the B tradition beginning this line with Þo (= not the common adverb but rather the plural demonstrative pronoun, equivalent to Modern English, "Those." See Kane, Glossary, pp. 207-8). The other beta copies all attest Two while F begins the line with Þan. The P family of C is joined by manuscripts Uc and Dc in support of the beta reading, but manuscripts X, I and P2 (probably reflecting the X subarchetype) agree with R and Bm in reading Þo. The A archetype also supports the RBm variant. Presumably R attests this reading by descent from alpha while Bm has it through correction, perhaps from the C exemplar used for its opening passus. Schmidt is probably correct in hypothesizing (II, 353) that Bx actually spelled Þo in this line as To, thus inviting the common subsequent scribal error of Two. risen inR.5.340: R uniquely omits a word from this phrase. Beta reads risen vp in while F has ryse þey ful. The reading of beta is also found in many A manuscripts and is clearly archetypal in that tradition; among the C witnesses, the P family mostly agrees with R (omitting vp from the phrase) while the X family attests its presence. However, many C manuscripts in both families omit in. rape  and rowned to-gyderes .
And preysed þeR.5.341: Beta reads þese in place of alpha's þe. The A reading agrees with alpha, but the C version is split by families, with the P family supporting alpha while the X family agrees with beta. penyworthes  a-part by hym-selue .
Þei coude nauȝt by here consience  acorden in trewthe .
Til robyn þe ropere  arise þe southe .R.5.343: R may well represent Bx here, but the b-verse is plainly wrong. It is obvious that the F redactor has completely recast the b-verse because of its archtypally defective sense; in beta, the b-verse is similarly lacking, reading arose bi þe southe. Both Kane-Donaldson and Schmidt emend this verse conjecturally to conform to the C version: aryse they bisouhte.
And nempned hym for a noumper  þat no debate wereR.5.344: Beta and F read nere in place of R's were, but both G and Hm agree with R (presumably by correction). The A witnesses are split, but a majority agrees with R; the C version reading is unambiguously the same as R's. .
Hikke þe hostelere  hadde þe cloke . In the right margin, a note was written horizontally here, covering three lines, but was later scraped. It appears to be in the same hand (later than that of the scribe) as a number of other erased notes, such as that found on fol. 94r.
In couenaunt þat clement  schulde þe cuppe fille .
And haue hikkes hood hostelere  and holde hym I-serued .
And ho-so repented rathest  schuld arise after .
And grete sire glotoun  with a galoun ale .
Þere was lawhynge and lowrynge  and late go þe cuppe .
And sitten so til euesonge  and syngenR.5.351: The present tense, syngen, is unique to R; cf. F's sunge and beta's songen. R also shows a present-tense form earlier in this line, sitten, where most B witnesses record a past-tense form (but Cr and G agree with R). Context alone would suggest that the past tenses are correct, but the unanimous witness of C manuscripts as well as the attestation of a clear majority of A manuscripts in favor of these forms decides the question. Cf. see the Introduction III.2.2.10 for a discussion of R's problematic tense marking. vmb-while .
Til glotoun haued I-globbed  a galoun and a gille .
fol. 19vI
His guttes gonne to godlyR.5.353: R's godly is shared exclusively with LM. As odd as it first seems, this was almost certainly the form of the verb in Bx. F has gowle while most beta manuscripts read goþelen. The same phrase occurs in the C version, where it reads His gottes gan to gothly. Significantly, a sizeable number of C witnesses agree exactly with manuscripts LMR of B on the spelling of the verb form, and MED, s. v. gothelen, acknowledges both -dly and -þly forms as viable for gothelen, but citations are solely to Piers Plowman. The same limited acknowledgment of these forms is found in OED2, s. v. gothele, and godele(n), -y.  as to gnedyg[r]edy sowes .
He pyssed a potel  in a pater noster while .
HeR.5.355: He is a unique variant; the other B manuscripts read And. However, R's reading is also that of four A manuscripts and of the X family of the C version. Both Kane-Donaldson and Schmidt prefer the F/beta reading, presumably on stylistic grounds since And avoids a syntactic repetition (the previous line begins with He) that modern tastes find clumsy. blew his round rowet  at his rigges bonesR.5.355: Most manuscripts have the compound riggebone, but both rigges and bones are genitives. Manuscript C has the same reading. ende .
Þat alle þatalle [þat herde] þatR.5.356: Here R uniquely omits a key phrase from the archetypal text. horne  held here nose after .
And wischedun it hadde be wexed  with a wips of firses .
He miȝte neyther steppe ne stonde  ere he his staf hadde .
And þanne gan he go  liche a glwemannes bicche .
Sum-tyme a-syde  and sum-tyme arere .
As ho-so leith lynes  for to lacche foules .
AcR.5.362: Ac is unique to R; the other manuscripts read And. The A archetype seems to omit any connective here, but the C version agrees with F / beta. whan he drouȝ to þe dore  þanne dymmed hys eyȝes .
He tremledR.5.363: R's tremled is uniquely supported by L (M having been altered once more to conform to the typical beta reading—for which, see below); F reads tripplid while most betas offer the non-alliterating stombled. Among the A manuscripts, only Vernon offers a viable reading, þrompelde, while the others attest various forms of stombled. As for the C version, though a few opt for stumblet, the majority attest thromblede. Based on its alliterative pattern, this is presumably what Langland wrote originally, but the LR form is almost certainly what it became in Bx. on þe threswolde  and threw to þe erthe .
Clement þe cobblere  cauȝt hym by þe myddel .
For to lifte hym a-lofte  and leyde hym on his knowes .
Ac glotoun was a grete cherle  and a grym in þe liftyng .
And cowede vppe a caudel  in clementes lappe .
Is non so hungri hound  in hertforde-schire .
Durst lape of þe leuyngR.5.369: Beta shows the plural form, leuynges, while F rewrites the a-verse beyond recognition. The C version agrees here with R's singular.  so vnlouely it smauȝte .
With alle þe wo of þis world  his wif and his wenche .
Baren hym toR.5.371: Beta reads home to; although three A copies (VHaN) agree with beta here, both Ax and Cx concur with alpha's omission of hom. his bed  and brouȝte hym þere-inne .
And after alle þis excesse  he hadde an accidie .
Þat he slepe seterday and soneday  til sonne ȝede to rest .
Þanne waked he of his wynkyng  and wiped his eyȝes .
Þe furst word þat he warppe  was where is þe bolle .
His witt gan edewyte hym þo  how wikkedliche he leuede .
And repentance riȝt so  rebuked hym þat tyme .
As þow with wordes and werkes  hast wrouȝt euele in þi lyue .
Schriue þe and be aschamed þere-offe  and schewe it with þi mouthe .
I glotoun quod þe gome  gulty me ȝelde .
Of þatR.5.381: R's Of is unique; the other B witnesses begin the line with Þat. However, the C reading here is identical to R's. I haue trespased with my tonge  I can nauȝt telle how ofte .
Sworen godes soule and his sydesR.5.382: Beta omits the entire R phrase for the end of the a-verse (and his sydes); F reads an abbreviated version, & side. The C reading is probably that of the X family (which agrees exactly with R's). The P family reading (& sides) agrees with F's omission of the possessive but with R's plural number.  and so help me god & holy-domeR.5.382: Beta appears to reverse a key alpha phrase (the latter being more colloquial), rendering alpha's so help me god as so god me help. The C reading for the end of this b-verse is revised but its opening agrees exactly with alpha's phrasing, so helpe me god. Beta's motive for revision was probably metrical, but manuscript M somehow still agrees with alpha and displays a form that may explain both Langland's intention and the apparent lapse in alliteration. Alpha and M read the line as aliterating on /s/ (hence M's selpe) but beta judges that it must alliterate on /g/ and generates the aformentioned phrase reversal to highlight that possibility. .
fol. 20rI
Þere no nede ne was  nyne hundreth tymes .
And ouer-seye me at my soper  and sum-tymesR.5.384: R's -s form here is unique. The other B copies show some-tyme, a reading shared with C. at nones .
Þat I glotoun gurt it vppe  ar I hadde gon a myle .
And I-spilt þat myȝt be spared  and spendR.5.386: R's spend is an alpha variant; cf. F's spend it and beta's spended. on sum hungry .
Ouer delicatlyR.5.387: There is a gap in the parchment between de and licatly caused by a pre-existing tear; the same gap occurs on the other side at R5.417. on fastyng-dayes  dronken and eten bothe .
And sat sum-tyme so longe þereand slepR.5.388: R's and slep is unique; beta appears to reflect Bx accurately with its þat I slepe. Cf. F's þere-at y sleep. and eet at ones .
For loue of tales in tauernes  to eteR.5.389: R's ete is unique and redundant with the preceding line; cf. Bx's drynke. þe more I dyned .
And hied to þe mete er none  when fastyng-dayes were .
Þis schewyng schrifte  quod repentance  schal be merite to þe .
And þanne gan glotoun to grete  and mucheR.5.392: R's muche is unique and may have been adopted to avoid the apparent repetition of the archetype, which reads grete here. doel to make .
For his lither lif  þat he leued hadde .
And auowedR.5.394: Most beta manuscripts read to fast, as does F. GLM agree with R's omission of to. M's corrector adds to above the line. On the other hand, like the beta majority, the A version attests the presence of to in this phrase. faste  for hunger or for thurst .
Schal neuere fische on þe friday  defien in my wombe .
Til abstinence myn aunte  hathR.5.396: R's hath is the alpha form (shared exclusively with F); beta copies show haue, a reading shared with both Ax and Cx. Iȝeue me leue .
And ȝet haue I hated hire  al my lif-tyme .
Þanne come sleuthe al by-slobred  with to slymedR.5.398: Beta reads slymy. A significant majority of C witnesses (XIP2PRcVcAcQScKcGc) agrees with the alpha reading. eyȝes .
I most sitte seyde þe segeR.5.399: R's sege is an unusual spelling of an old-fashioned word (= "man"). More commonly, the word appears in Middle English as segge, but this form is cited by MED, s. v. segge, in one manuscript of the Awntyrs of Arthur, Lincoln Cathedral Library 91: A knyghte carelyone be crownede for kynge; That sege salle be sesede at a sesone (289). The spelling is likewise attested in OED2, s. v. segge, for the fourteenth through the sixteenth century, and a passage from Dunbar is cited.  or elles schulde I nappeR.5.399: There is a superfluous bar over the final <-pe> of nappe. .
I may nouȝt stonde ne stoupe  ne with-oute stole knele .
Were I brouȝt a-bedde  but if my taylende it made .
Schulde no ryngyng do me rise  ere I were ripe to dyne .
He bygan benedicite with a bolke  and his brest knokked .
And roxede and rored  and rutte atte laste .
What awake renk quod repentance  and rape þe to schrifte .
If I schulde deye bi þis daye  quod heR.5.406: Beta omits quod he. The P family of C manuscripts agrees with the alpha reading, but the X family agrees with beta and omits the phrase.  me lest nouȝt to loke .
I can nouȝt parfitlyche my paternoster  as þe prest it syngeth .
But I kan rymes of robyn hood  and randolf erl of chestre
Ac noþer of oure lorR.5.409: R's clipped form for lord is unique among the B manuscripts both here and in R18.61. See Richard Jordan, Handbook of Middle English Grammar: Phonology, translated and revised by Eugene Joseph Crook (The Hague: Mouton, 1974): §199, remark 3. ne of oure lady  þe leste þat euere was maked .R.5.409: Here the scribe omits his customary line break before a new verse paragraph, presumably because the next line will be the final one of this side.
I haue mad vowes fourti  and forȝete hem or morweR.5.410: This occurrence of or is unique; the full phrase in most B witnesses reads on (þe) morne. C has amorwen. .
d iiij
fol. 20vI
I parforned neuere penance  as þe prest me hiȝte .
Ne riȝt sori for my synnes  ȝet was I neuere .
And ȝif I bedde any bedes  but if it be in wrathe .
Þat I telle with my tonge  is to myle fro my herte .
I am ocuped vche a day  halyday and other .
With Idel tales at þe ale  and other-while in cherche .
Godes peyne and his passioun  ful selde thenke I þere-on .R.5.417: A repaired tear in the parchment (existing before its use by the scribe) partially obscures the loop from the <r> in þere-on by which the following <e> is signified.
I visitede neuere sekeR.5.418: R's seke is a non-alliterating alpha variant; cf. beta's fieble, which is also the reading of the C version.. men  ne fetered folke in puttes .
I haddeR.5.419: Cf. alpha's hadde to beta's haue; alpha's reading is also that of the C version. leuere here an herlotrie  or a somer game of souteres .
Or lesynges to lawhe ofR.5.420: R's of is an alpha variant; beta reads at, but Cx agrees with alpha here.  and bilye my neyȝbore .
R.5.421: R uniquely omits a transitional word here in linehead position; cf. F's & and beta's Þan. The C reading agrees with beta's. Al þat euere marke made  mathew Iohan and lucas .
And vigilies and fastyngdayes  alle þis I lateR.5.422: Beta transposes this phrase as late I. F reads the entire phrase as y leet hem passe .
And ligge a-bedde in lente  and my lemman in myn armes .
Til matynes and masse be do  and þan go to þe freres .
Kome I to Ite missa est  I hold me I-serued .
I am nauȝt schriue sumtime  but ȝif sekenesse it make .
Nouȝt twyes in to ȝere  and þanne vpe gesse I schriue me .
I haue be prest and persone  passyng thretty wynter .
Ȝet can I neyther solue ne synge  ne seyntes lyues rede .
But I can fynde in a felde  or in a furlonge an hare .
Better þan in beatus vir  or in beati omnes .
Construe it clausemelR.5.432: R's it clausemel is an alpha variant; cf. beta's oon clause wel.  and kenne it to my parochiens .
I can holde louedayes  orR.5.433: Beta reads and. here a reues rekkenynge .
Ac in canon ne in þe decretales  I can nouȝt rede a lyne .
Ȝif I begge and borwe it  but if it be I-tayled .
I for-ȝete it as ȝerne  and ȝif men me it aske .
Sixe sithes or seuene  I forsake it witR.5.437: R's spelling of with here is unique among the Piers Plowman manuscripts and also fairly unusual in the Middle English corpus. The same spelling is found extensively in Cursor Mundi; it also occurs several times in the Prose Alexander (ca. 1440), once in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, line 113 (where Andrew and Waldron emend it away), and once in Havelok the Dane, line 2489. othes .
And þus I teneR.5.438: Beta transposes this phrase as tene I. trewe men  tete[n] hundreth tymes .
And my seruantes sum-tyme  here salarie is byhynde .
Reuthe is to here rekkenynge  when we schul rede acountes .
So with wikked wille and wrathe  my werk-men I paye .R.5.441: R omits his customary blank line between strophes at the juncture of ll. 441-42, presumably because the latter is to fill the last line ruled for this side.
Ȝif anymanany man doth me a benfeet  or helpeth me at nede .
fol. 21rI
I am vnkende aȝeyn his curteysie  and can nauȝt vnderstande it .
For I haue and haue hadde  sumdel haukes maneres .
I am nauȝt lured with loue  but þere ligge auȝt vnder thoumbeR.5.445: Here the beta manuscripts have a determiner, making the phrase þe thombe. This discrepancy is also apparent in the two major families of C: the P family here agrees with alpha and the X family supports beta. .
Þe kendenesse þat myn euencristene  kudde me ferneȝere .
Sixty sitheR.5.447: This R form is unique; both F and beta read sythes. Once more, the P family of C manuscripts here agrees with R and the X family supports beta (with F's collateral attestation). I slewthe  haue foreȝete it setthe .
In speche and in sparinge of speche  I-spelt many a tyme .
Bothe flesche and fische  and mynR.5.449: Cf. R's erroneous myn to F's fele and beta's many. other vitailes
Bothe brede and ale  buttere melke and chese .
For-sleuthed in my seruise  til it miȝte serue noman .
I ran aboute in ȝouthe  and ȝaf me nouȝt to lerne .
And euere sitthe be beggere  for my foule sleuthe .
Heu michi quodR.5.454: This alpha variant is supported by BoCot, but beta reads quia. The C reading at this point agrees with alpha's. sterilem  vitam duxi iuuenilem .
Repentest þe nouȝt quod repentance  and riȝte with þat he swhounede .
Til vigilate þe veile  fette water at his eyȝes .
And flatte it on his face  and onR.5.457: R uniquely omits the third stave; the other B manuscripts read and faste on. hym cried .
And seyde war þe fram wanhope  wolde þe bytraye .
Ich am sori for my synnes  sey soR.5.459: Although most beta copies omit so and F reads now so, LM support R's so to. Cx shows the same reading as the beta majority. Among the A manuscripts, only EAH attest so in this phrase. to þi-selue .
And bete þi-selue on þe breste  and bidde hym of grace .
For is no gult here so grete  þat his goednesse is more .
Þanne sate sleuthe vppe  and seyned hym swythe .
And made a vow to-for god  for his foule sleuthe .
Schal no soneday be þis seuen ȝere  but ȝif sekenesse meR.5.464: R's me is unique; the other manuscripts read it. Both Ax and Cx read (h)it make. lette .
Þat I ne schal do me er daye  to þe dere cherche .
And heren matynes and masse  as I a monke were .
Schal non ale after mete  halde me thennes .
Til I haue euensonge herde  I be-hote to þe rode .
What I namR.5.469: The defective opening phrase of R's a-verse (What I nam) may well reflect alpha accurately; cf. F's & what y have take to and beta's And ȝete wil I. ȝelde aȝen  if I so muche haue .
Alle þat I wikkedliche wan  sitthen I witt hadde .
And þouȝ meR.5.471: R's me is unique among the B witnesses; the other manuscripts read my, which is also the reading of most manuscripts for the other two versions of Piers. However, manuscripts X and Yc in the C tradition, two of the most authoritative copies, agree at this point with R. lyflode lakke  leten I nelle .
fol. 21vI
Þat vch man schal haue his  ar I hennes wende .
And with þe residue and þe remenant  by þe rode of chestre .
I schal seke treuthe  arst er I se rome .
Roberd þe robbere  on reddite lokede .
And for þere was nauȝt where-of  he wepe swythe sore .
Ac ȝet þe synful schrewe  seyde to hym-selue .
Crist þat on caluare  vppon þe croys deyedeste .
Þo bymas[d]y[s]masR.5.479: Kane-Donaldson commit a rare mistranscription here, rendering this R variant as bysmas. my brother  by-souȝte ȝow of grace .
And haddest mercy on þat man  for memento sake .
So rewe on þis robbere  þat reddere ne haue .
Ne neuere wene to wynne  with craft þat I knowe .R.5.482: For alpha's knowe, all but Cr among the beta copies read owe. However, both Ax and Cx agree with alpha's reading.
But for thi michel mercy  mitigacion I be-seche .
Ne dampne me nauȝt at domes-day  for þat I dede so ille .
What be-fel of þis feloun  I can nauȝt fareR.5.485: This form is unique and Kane-Donaldson treat it as a possibly substantive variant, but it is likelier to be merely an unusual spelling variation for standard faire found in the other B witnesses, as well as in Ax. Cf. MED, s. v. fair (adj.), where this spelling is documented, sporadically, for c. 13-15. schewe .
Wel I wote he wepte faste  water with bothe his eyȝes .R.5.486: Immediately after this line, the alpha tradition omits a line present in beta (and also present with slight differences in Ax and Cx):
And knowleched his gult to cryst ȝete eftsones.
Þat penitencia his pik  he scholde polsche newe .
And lepe with hym ouer londe  al his lif-tyme .
For he hathR.5.489: F omits this verb entirely and the beta copies render it in the past tense as had. Among the A and C manuscripts, only Vernon agrees with R's reading. The others support beta. Cf. the Introduction III.2.2.10 regarding R's problematic tense marking. leyne be latro  luciferes aunte .
And þanne hadde repentance reuthe  and redde hem alle to knele .
For I schal by-seche for alle synful  oure saueoure of grace .
To amende vs of oure mysdedes  and do mercy to vs alle .
R.5.493: The rubricator failed to notice the "cc" paraph marker. Now god quodR.5.493: R agrees with the beta manuscripts about most of this phrase but uniquely omits he at this point (F completely reworks the phrase as & seid god). þat of þi goednesse  gonne þe worlde make .
And of nauȝt madest auȝte  and man most liche to þi-selue
And sitthen suffredest hymR.5.495: In place of alpha's hym, beta reads for, completely misconstruing the meaning of the preceding verb. The C reading is identical to R's form of the alpha phrase. to synne  a sekenesse to vs alle .
And alle for þe best as I be-leue  what-euere þe boke telleth .
O felix culpa . O nessariumne[ce]ssariumR.5.497: The correcting scribe marked the line for correction with a marginal <+>. peccatum ade .
For thorȝ þat synne þi sone  sent was to þis erthe .
And bi-cam man of a mayde  man-kende to saue .
And madest þi-selue with þi sone  and vs synful I-liche .
Faciamus hominem ad ymaginem & similitudinem nostram .
Et alibi  qui manet in caritate in deo manet & deus in eo .
fol. 22rI
And sitthe with þeR.5.503: R's þe selue sone (= "the Son Himself") is unique and probably signifies nothing more than a casual error by the scribe for Bx's þi-self sone ("Thine own Son"). selue sone  in oure seute dyedest .
On godefriday for mannes sake  at fulle tyme of day .R.5.504: The other B witnesses read of þe daye.
Þere þi-selue andR.5.505: Only G agrees with R here; beta and F read ne. þi sone  no sorewe in deth feledest .
But in oure secte was þatR.5.506: Beta reads þe. sorewe  and þi sone it ladde .
Captiuam duxit captiuitatem .
Þe sonne for sorewe þere-offe  les siȝte for a tyme .
Aboute myddaye  whan most liȝt is  and mel-tyme of seyntes .
Feddest þoR.5.510: Beta omits þo while F transposes the phrase to Þo feddyst. The C reading here is identical to R's. with þi fresch blode  oure forfadres in derkenesse .
Populus qui ambulabat in tenebris vidit lucem magnam .
And thorȝ þe liȝt þat lepe oute of þe  lucifer itR.5.512: Beta reads was while F omits the word entirely. The C reading agrees with R's. blent .
And blew alle þin blissed þennesR.5.513: Alpha's þennes (in F = þens boldely) is omitted by beta. However, in a revised version of this line, C includes it.  in-to þe blisse of paradys .
Þe thridde day after  þow ȝedest in oure seute .
A synful marie þe seiȝ  er seynte marie þi dame .
And alle to solace synful  þow suffredest it so were .R.5.516: There is an ink blot over the final <e> of were.
Non veni vocare iustos  sed peccatores ad penitenciam .
And alle þat mark hath I-mad  matheu Iohan and lucas .
Of þin douȝtyest dedes  were don in oure armes .
Verbum caro factum est . & habitauit in nobis .
And by so m.yche itR.5.521: Cx agrees with alpha. semeth  þe sykerlokerR.5.521: This is a unique form in R; F has sikere while beta reads sikerere; nevertheless, Cx agrees exactly with R's comparative, an odd form that appears restricted to texts from the West Midlands (as evidenced by citations from both MED, s. v. sikerli [adv. 3], and OED2, s. v. sickerly.) we mowe .
Byde and bi-seche  if it be þi wille .
Þat art oure fader and oure brothere  be mercyable to vs .
And haue mercyR.5.524: Cf. the beta variant, reuthe, which properly alliterates and agrees with the reading of the C version. on þes ribaudes  þat repenten hem sore
Þat euere þei wrathed þeR.5.525: Beta here attests an additional phrase: in þis worlde .  in worde thouȝt or dedes .
Þanne hent hope an horn  of deus tu conuersus viuificabis nos .
And heR.5.527: Before this verb, R uniquely adds he; the C version reading agrees with the B majority in omitting the pronoun. blew it with beati quorum remisse sunt iniquitates .
Þat alle seyntes in heuene  songen at ones .
Homines & iumenta saluabis quemadmodum multiplicasti misericordiam tuam deus .
A thousend of men þo  throngen to-gyderes .
Cride vppward to crist  and to his clene moder .
fol. 22vI
Grace to godR.5.532: This b-verse of this line appears to have been defective in Bx, but beta's version of the a-verse (To haue grace to go . . .) seems more likely to be original than either F (To graunte swich grace . . .) or R's truncated and semantically deficient Grace to god. The C version reading for the a-verse agrees with that of beta. with hem  trewthe to seke .
Ac þere was wiȝt non so wis  þe weye þider coude .
But blostereden forth as bestes  ouer bankes and hilles .
Til late was and longe  þat þei a lede mette .
Apparayled as a paynym  in pilgrimes wise .
He bare a bordoun I-bounde  with a brode liste .
In a wythewyndes wyse  I-wonden aboute .
A bulleR.5.539: Beta reads bolle which is clearly the intended meaning. Alpha's form is not documented as a variant spelling for this word (= mod. bowl. The C reading agrees with beta's. and a bagge  he bare by hys syde .
An hundred of ampulles  on his hat seten .
Sygnes of a-siseR.5.541: Cf. F's seyntys and beta's Synay. R's reading is supported by Cx and by several A-version manuscripts (including Bodley 851, i.e., Z). Most A copies agree with beta's reading.  and schelles of gales .
And many cruche on his cloke  and þeR.5.542: The beta manuscripts do not attest þe. Both the A and C versions also omit this determiner. cayes of rome .
And þe vernicle before  for men schulde I-knowe .
And se by his seynesR.5.544: Seynes, "signs."  wham he souȝt hadde .
Þis folke frayned hym furst : fro whennes he come .
Fram synay he seyde  and fram oure lordes sepulcre .
In bethlem and in babiloyne  I haue ben in bothe .
In ermony and inR.5.548: R's phrase, and in, is unique. Cr includes and but omits in; both F and the majority of beta copies omit and. The Ax and Cx reading here appears to agree with the F/beta lection. alisaundre  in many other places .
Ȝe may se be my sygnes  þat sitten on myn hatte .
Þat I haue walked ful wyde  in wete and in drye .
And souȝte gode seyntes  for my soule helth .
Knowest þow auȝt a corseint  þat men calleth treuthe .
Koudest þow auȝt wissen vs þe wey  þereR.5.553: R's þere is unique in the B tradition (LaAMaH among the A manuscripts agree with R); F and beta read where, which is also the reading of the A majority. þat wyȝteR.5.553: R's wyȝte agrees only with Cr; F and the beta majority read wy(e), which is also the reading of the A version. dwelleth .
Nay so me god helpe  seyde þe gome þanne .
I seyȝ neuere palmere  with pik ne with scrippe .
Axen after hym ere  til now in þis place .
Peter quod a plowman  and put forth his hed .
I knowe hym as kendely  as clerk doth his bokes .
Consience and kende witt  kenned me to his place .
And deden me suren hemR.5.560: R's hem is an alpha reading, shared exclusively with F, and the plural reference is presumably to the two figures mentioned in the previous line. By contrast, beta deploys a third-person singular accusative, presumably understanding treuthe as the referent. The P family of C witnesses supports the beta reading, but the X subarchetype appears to have omitted the pronoun altogether. sikerly  to serue hym for euere .
Bothe to sowe and to sette  þe while I swynke miȝte .
I haue ben his folwar  al þis fourty wynter .
fol. 23rI
Bothe I-sowe his sede  and sued his bestes .
With-Inne and with-oute  I-wayted his profite .
I dike and I delue  I do þat heR.5.565: Beta reads treuthe for alpha's he. hoteth .
Sum-tyme I sowe  and sum-tyme I thresche .R.5.566: There is a superfluous bar over the final <e> of thresche.
In tayloures crafte inR.5.567: F omits this entire line, but beta reads and here. tynkeres crafte  what treuthe can deuise .
I weue and I wynde  and do what treuthe hoteth .
For þouȝ I seye it my-selue  I serue hyhy[m] to paye .
Ich haue my huyre of hymR.5.570: Beta omits of hym, but both Ax and Cx witness this alpha phrase. wel  and otherwhiles more .
He is þe presteste payer  þat pore men knoweth .
He with-halt no menR.5.572: R's men is unique (cf. beta's hewe and F's man) and forces the following pronoun choice, here, shared by convergence only with Cot. At first glance, F's reading seems closer to alpha (man his), because of the pronoun agreement with beta, but the plural forms shared by R and F later in this line (R = þei ne haue it; F = þat þey haue it) indicate that R is probably, as usual, closer to their common parent. Either way, the beta phrasing, hewe his hyre þat he ne hath it , is almost certainly the original since it preserves the line's alliteration and exactly parallels the text of Ax (and of the a-verse of Cx). here huyre  þat þei ne haue it anone .R.5.572: For R's anone, F has soone while beta reads at euen. Both Ax and Cx support the beta reading.
He is as lowe as a lombe  and louelich of speche .
And if ȝe wilneth to wite  where þat he dwelleth .
I schal wise ȝow witterly  þe weye to his place .
Ȝe leue peres quod þes pilgrymes  and profered hym huyre .
For to wende with hem  to treuthes dwellynge place .
Nay by my soule perelR.5.578: R's perel is unique but may well represent Bx. The alliterative pattern is no more adequate than that of its only competitor, helth (= WCrGLM), but both Ax and Cx attest R's lection. quod peres  and gan for to swerie .
I nolde fonge a ferthyng  for seint Thomas schrine
Treuthe wolde loue me þe lesse  a longe tyme þere-after .
Ac if ȝe wilneth to wende wel  þis is þe weye thider
Ȝe mote go thorȝ mekenesse  bothe men and wyues .
Til ȝe come in-to consience  þat crist wite þe sothe .
Þat ȝe louen oure lorde god  leuest of alle thynges .
And þanne ȝoure neyȝbores nexst  in none wise appaire
Otherwise þan þow woldest  he wrouȝte to þi-selue .R.5.586: In the right margin, beginning here and written vertically up the page to R5.580, there is a signature which has been erased. It appears to be the same hand as on fol. 94r. Still discernible are traces of an initial and a surname in full.
And so bouh forth by a broke  be buxum of þiR.5.587: R's þi (cf. F's þyn) is not attested in beta nor in the A version. speche .
Til ȝe fynden a forthe  ȝoure faderes honoureth .
Honora patrem et matremR.5.589: R's Latin tag omits a final &c found in beta (also, cf. F's unique added phrase ut sis longeuus super terram). Most C witnesses agree on this point with beta.
Wadeth in þat water  and wascheth ȝow wel þere .
And ȝe schul lepe þe lyȝtlokere  alle ȝoure lif-tyme .
And so schalt þow se swere nauȝt  but if it be for nede .
fol. 23vI
And namliche an Idel  þe name of god almiȝti .
Þanne schaltow come bi a crofte  but come þow nauȝt þereInne .
Þe crofte hate coueyte nauȝt  menR.5.595: R uniquely omits a word after men, but the omission probably goes back to alpha. F rewrites by dropping men altogether and uniquely substituting the phrase neyþir maydins, while beta deploys a phrase that parallels Ax : mennes catel. The Cx phrase, menne catel, involves an unmarked genitive that might help account for the error in alpha. ne here wyues .
Ne none of her seruantes  þat nuyen hem miȝte .
Loke þow breke no bowes þere  but if it be onR.5.597: R's on is a unique addition. ȝoure owen .
To stokkes þere stondeth  ac stynte ȝe nauȝt þere .
Þei hatte stele nauȝt ne slee nauȝt  strike forthe by bothe .
And leue hem on þi left halfe  and loke nauȝt þere-after
And hold wel þin haliday  heye til euene .
Þan schalt þow blenche at a beruh  bere no fals wittnesse .
R.5.603: Among the B witnesses, R uniquely omits the subject of this line, which is He in beta (as well as in most A manuscripts) and It in F. However, R's reading (with its ellipsis) is also attested in Cx Is frythed in with floreynes  and other fees manye .
Loke ȝe plukke no plante þere  for perel of ȝoure soulesR.5.604: The plural pronouns in this line represent alpha readings, the first of which is also attested in F; cf. beta's Loke þow and þi soule. However, R's soules is a unique reading since F here goes his own way, rendering the final phrase of this line as þe heyward. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta. .
Þanne schal ȝe sei sothe  so it be to done .
In none manere elles nauȝt  for no mannes byddynge .
Þanne schaltow come to a courte  as clere as þe sonne .
Þe mote is of mercy  þe manere aboute .
And alle þe walles ben of witt  to halden wille oute .
And Icarneled with cristendome  þat kendeR.5.610: In the B tradition, R's þat kende is unique; both F and beta read mankynde. However, both Ax and Cx agree with R and verify that its reading is original. to saue .
I-buterased with by-leue so  or þow best nauȝt I-saued .
And alle þe houses ben I-hyled  halles and chaumbres .
With no lede but with loue  and lowe speche as bretheren .
Þe brugge is of bidde wel  þe bette may þow spede .
Iche pyler is of penaunce  of preyeres to seyntes .
Of almesdedes aren þe hokes  þat þe gates hangen on .
Grace hatte þe gatewarde  a goed man for-sothe .
His man hatte amende ȝow  many manR.5.618: Most beta manuscripts read men here, but LM support alpha's singular, which also happens to be the reading of both Ax and Cx. hym knoweth .
Telleth hym þis tokene  þat truthe wyte þe sothe .
I parfourmed þe penaunce  þe prest me enioyned .
And am ful sori ofR.5.621: Beta reads for here, which is also the reading of the A version; though a majority of C manuscripts also agrees with beta's preposition, some of the most reliable X family witnesses (XYcUcDc) agree with alpha's of. my synnes  and so I schal euere .
fol. 24rI
Whan I thenke þere-on  þei I were a pope .
Byddeth amende ȝow meken hym  to his meister ones .
To wayue vppe þe wykat  þat þe womman schette .
Þo adam and eue  eten appeles vn-rosted .
Per euam cunctis clausa est  & per mariam virginem iterum &ceteraR.5.626: Beta omits iterum and finishes the citation with the phrase patefacta est. The C version includes both elements, reading iterum patefacta est .
For he hath þe keye and þe clikat  þowe þe kynge slepe .
And if grace graunt þe  to go in þis wise .
Þow schalt se in þi-selue  treuthe sitte in þin herte .
In a cheyne of charite  as þow a childe were .
To suffre hym and toR.5.631: R shares this repeated verbal particle solely with G, presumably by convergence. seggeR.5.631: Here R uniquely omits a word; most of the other manuscripts read segge nouȝte. F rewrites the line but also omits the negative, suggesting that the error originated in alpha.  aȝeynes þi sires wille .
Ac be war þanne of wrathe þe  þat is a wikked schrewe .
He hath enuye to hym  þat in þin herte sitteth .
And puckethR.5.634: In the beta tradition, as in many of the A manuscripts and in Cx, this phrase reads pukket forþ. pruyde  to preyse þi-selue .
Þe boldenesse of þi benefetes  maketh þe blynd þanne .
And þanne worstou driuen out as deuh  and þe dore I-closed .
I-cayed and I-clycated  to kepe þe with-outen .
Happely an hundreth wynter  ar þow efte entre .
Þus miȝtow lesen his loue  to lete wel by þi-selue .
And neuere happeliche efte entre  but grace þow haue .
Ac þere aren seuen ȝiftesR.5.641: The Bx reading here was sustren (as in Ax and Cx), and alpha obviously was in error; cf. F's reading, seruauntys, which is probably a characteristic smoothing rather than the original alpha variant.  þat seruen treuthe euere .
And aren porteres ouerR.5.642: Cf. F's at and beta's of. The beta reading agrees with the predominant reading among A witnesses, while the reading of R is that of Cx. þe posternes  þat to þe place longeth .
Þat on hatte abstinence  and vmbleteR.5.643: R's form here is obviously synonymous with the F/beta humilite (which is also the lection found in Ax). However, R's form is treated by MED and OED2, s. v. humblete, not as a spelling variant but as a different, rarer noun, derived from humble by suffixing. MED cites examples from manuscripts of Chaucer's Physician's Tale, Parson's Tale, and the Tale of Melibee. The P family of the C version agrees with the prevalent F/beta reading, but the X family shows the same rare form as R, suggesting that it may well have been the reading in both Bx and Cx. an-other .
Charite and chastite  ben his chief maydenes .
Pacience and pees  miche poeple þei helpeth .
Largenesse þe lady  heR.5.646: He, "she."R.5.646: Cf. L's heo; F and the majority of beta copies read she (though Cr omits any pronoun reference). The A and C manuscripts agree with Cr. lete in ful manye .
Heo hath hulpe a thousend oute  of þe deueles pondfolde .
And hoR.5.648: ho, "who, whoever." is sib to þis seuene  so me god helpe .
Heo is wonderlich welcome  and faire vnderfongen .
And but if þatR.5.650: R's þat is a unique addition to this phrase, which reads in Ax exactly as it does in beta. ȝe be sib  to summe of þis seuene .
It is ful hard be my hed quod peres  for eny of ȝow alle .
To geten Ingonge at any gate þere  but grace be þe more .
fol. 24vI
Now be crist quod a cuttpurs  I haue no kynne þere .
Ne I quod an apewarde  by auȝt þat I knowe .
Wite god quod a wafrestere  wiste I þis sothe .R.5.655: F reads this b-verse as þat y wiste þe sothe. Beta has wist I þis for sothe. Obviously, R is closer to beta here, differing only in omitting for. Ax appears to have had the same reading as beta. Cx is uncertain (a major group of P manuscripts reading þe soþe), but the X family clearly supports beta's version of the phrase.
Schulde I neuer forthere a foot  for no frereR.5.656: Among the B copies, R's frere is a unique reading, an unmarked genitive; many C witnesses agree with the B majority, but most of the X family reads this lection in agreement with R. prechynge .
Ȝus quod peres þe plowman  and poked hem alle to goed .
Mercy is a maydeR.5.658: R's mayde is unique in the B tradition; all other witnesses attest maydene. However, witnesses in the C tradition are split on this reading, most of the X family agreeing with the B majority while most of the P family (as well as several of the X grouping) concur with R's form. þere  hath miȝt ouer hem alle .
And sche is sib to alle synful  and hire sone alse .
And thorȝ þe helpe of hem to  hope þow non other .
Þow miȝt gete grace þere  be so þow go by-tyme .R.5.661: There is an apparently random ink blot, partially erased, immediately below the punctus, giving it, at first glance, the appearance of a modern semicolon.
By seint poule quod a pardonere  par-aunter I be nauȝt welcome .R.5.662: Where the alpha manuscripts have welcome, the beta copies read knowe þere.
I wil go feche my box  with my breuettes  & a bulle with bisshopes lettres .
By crist quod a comune woman  þi company wil I folwe .
Þow schalt sey I am þi suster  IneI ne wote where þei by-come .