fol. 24v (cont.)I
Passus Sextus de visione vt supra .

This were a wikked way  but ho-so hadde a gyde .
Þat wolde folewe vs ech a fote  þus þis folke hem mened .

R.6.3: There is no paraph marker here because there was no space for one (the passus initial extends down slightly beyond this line in the left margin). Quatȝ perkyn þe plowman  by seint peter of rome .
I haue an half acre to erie  by þe heyȝ weye .
Hadde I hered þis half acre  and I-sowen it after .
I wilR.6.6: Among the other B copies, only LCY share R's wil (the rest read wolde). That the latter form of the verb was original in the A version seems obvious (though three of its manuscripts—Ra, U, and La—support a future meaning in place of the conditional); but the reading of Cx is more problematic. Most C copies agree with the AB majorities on wolde, but three of the most authoritative X-family witnesses, XYcI, support the RLCY reading. wenden with ȝow  and þe weye teche .
Þis were a longe lettyng  quod a lady in a sclayre .
What schuld we wommen  werche þereR.6.8: Most beta manuscripts of all other sub-groups read þe, but the LM pair agrees with alpha. whiles .
Summe schal sowe þe sak quod peres  for scheding of þe whete .
And ȝe loueliche ladyes  with ȝoure longe fyngeres .
Þat ȝe haue selke and sendel  to sowe whan tyme is .
Chesibles for chapeleynes  cherches to honoure .
wyues and wydewes .
fol. 25rI
Wyues and wydewes  wolle and flex spynneth .
Maketh cloth I conseile ȝow  ada[n]d kenneth so ȝoure douȝtres .
Þe nedy and þe naked  nemeth hede how aR.6.15: a, "they." lyggeth .
And casteth hym hym, "them." For <a> and hym as spellings of "they" and "them," see MED, s.v. he pron.(3) and hem clothes  for so comaundeth treuthe .
For I schal lene hem lyflode  but if þe londe fayle .
Flesche and brede bothe  to riche antd to pouere .
As longe as I lyue  for þe lordes loue of heuene .
And alle manere of men  þat thorȝ mete and drynke libbeth .
Helpeth hym to werche wyȝtliche  þat wynneth ȝoure fode .
By crist quod a kniȝt þo  he kenneth vs þe beste .
Ac on þe teem treuly  tauȝt was I neuere .
Ac kenne me quod þe kniȝt  and by crist I wil assay .
By seint poule quod perkyn  ȝe profre ȝow so faire .
Þat I schal swynke and swete  and sowe for vs bothe .
And other laboreres do for þi loue  al my lif-tyme .
InR.6.28: There is a mark above the <I> of In. It appears to be a backwards <c> in brown, touched with red. couenaunt þat þow kepe  holy cherche and my-selue .
Fro wastoures and fro wikked men  þat þis world strueth .
And go hunte hardiliche  to hares and to foxes .
To bores and to bukkesR.6.31: Cf. beta's brockes; F rewrites the a-verse. Both Ax and Cx agree with R's lection.  þat breketh a-doun myn hegges .
And go afayte þi faukones  wilde foules to kulle .
For swyche cometh to my crofte  and croppeth my whete .
Curteiseliche þe kniȝt þanne  comsed þes wordes .
By my power peres quod he  I pliȝt þe my treuthe .
To fulfille þiR.6.36: R's þi is unique; Bx reads þis, which is also the reading of a plurality of A witnesses in a very similar rendering of this line. forwarde  þouȝ I fiȝte schulde .
As longe as I lyue  I schal þe meyntene .
Ȝe and ȝet a poynt quod peres  I preye ȝow of more .
Loke ȝe tene no tenaunt  but treuthe wil assente .
And þouȝ ȝe mowe amercy menR.6.40: Beta reads hem. In a slightly revised line, the C tradition agrees here with alpha, reading men.  lat mercy be taxoure .
And mekenesse ȝoureR.6.41: Both F and beta attest þi. The same is true of Cx. maystere  maugre medeR.6.41: R's uninflected form is unique among the B manuscripts; the others have medes. However, a majority of C witnesses, including the best X-family copies, agree with R's form. chekes .R.6.41: Here the scribe again omits his usual insertion of a blank line to mark a new paragraph, presumably because the next line is the last of the side.
And þouȝ pore men profre ȝow  presentes and ȝiftes .
e j
fol. 25vI
Nyme it nauȝt an aunter  þowR.6.43: R's aunter þow is an alpha reading; beta has auenture ȝe; however, though five A witnesses support auenture, it seems clear that the entire phrase, in both Ax and Cx was rendered as in alpha. mowe it nauȝt deserue
For þow schalt ȝelde it aȝen  at on ȝeres ende .
In a ful periliouse place  purgatorie it hatteth .
And mysbede nauȝt þi bonde-man  þe bettere may þow spede .
Þouȝ he be þin vnderlyng here  wel may happe in heuene .
Þat he worth worthier sett  and with more blisse .
Amice ascende superius .
For in a chanelR.6.50: chanel, "charnel house." For the spelling, see MED, s.v. charnel n.(1). at cherche  clerkesR.6.50: Beta reads cherles, which clearly reflects Bx (and agrees with C). Alpha's variant (F = a clerk) is deficient in alliteration as well as less suitable to the context (levelling of social classes beyond death). ben euel to knowe .
Or a kniȝt fram a knaue þere  knowe þis in þin herte .
And þat þow be trewe of tongeR.6.52: Beta reads of þi tonge. Most A witnesses agree on this reading with beta, as does the X family of C manuscripts. However, four A copies (TDH2V) agree with alpha's omission of any determiner. Most of the P family in the C tradition attest the presence of hys at this point.  and tales þat þow hatie .
But if þei ben of wisdom  or of witt þi werkmen to chastie .
Holde nauȝtR.6.54: No beta manuscript attests nauȝt. Two A copies agree with alpha at this point, but most support beta. By contrast almost all C witnesses support alpha's use of the double negative in this a-verse, although the Russell-Kane edition emends this evidence away. with non herlotes  ne here nauȝt here tales .
And nameliche at þe mete  swyche men eschewe .
For it beth þe deueles disoures  I do þe to vnderstonde .
I assente by seint Iame  seyde þe kniȝt þanne .
For to werch by thy wordes  þe while my lyf dureth .
And I schal apparaille me quod perkyn  in pilgrimes wise .
And wende with ȝow I wil  til we fynde treuthe .
And caste on meR.6.61: Only L agrees with R in attesting me my. F and the other beta copies simply show my. Ax and Cx agree against B in reading this phrase as third-person description: He caste on (his = A) / (hym his = C) cloþis. It is interesting to note that the one difference between the A and C phrases parallels the grammatical difference between LR and the other B witnesses. my clothes  I-clouted and I-hole .
My cokeres and my cuffes  for colde of my nayles .
And hange myn hoper at myn hals  in stede of a scrippe .
A buschel of brede-corne  bryng me þere-Inne .
For I wil sowen it my-selue  and sytthen wil I wende .
To pilgrimage as palmeres doun  pardon for to haue .
Ac ho-so helpeth me to erye  or sowen here ere I wende .
Schal haue leue be oure lord  to lese here in herueste .
And maken hymR.6.69: Beta reads hem here, but both Ax and Cx agree with alpha's hym. merie þeremyde  maugre ho-so it be-grucche .R.6.69: Beta transposes the final phrase as bigruccheth it. This word order parallels that found in the X family of C (the P family omits it completely, as do several of the less authoritative copies in the B tradition). However, the A witnesses strongly support alpha's phrasing at this point.
And alle kynne crafty men  þat conne lyuen in treuthe .
I schal fynde hem fode  þat feithfullyche libbeth .R.6.71: Here the scribe again omits his usual insertion of a blank line to mark a new paragraph, presumably because the next line is the last of the side.
Saue Iakke þe iogelour  and Ihonete of þe stiues .
fol. 26rI
And daniel þe dys pleyere  and denote þe bawde .
And frere þe faitoure  and folke of hys ordre .
And robyn þe ribauder  for his rousty wordes .
Treuthe tolde me ones  and badde me tellen it after
Deleantur de libro viuencium  I schulde nauȝt dele with hem .
For holy cherche is hote  of hem no tythe to aske .R.6.78: R's aske is unique; both beta and F read take. However, both Ax and Cx agree with R's reading.
Quia cum iustis non scribantur .
Þei ben aschaped good auntour  nowR.6.80: Beta reads auenture in place of alpha's auntour, but Ax and Cx agree with alpha's form. Also, most beta copies omit alpha's now, but its occurrence in LM clearly attests its authenticity, both in beta and Bx. Almost all C witnesses—and a majority of A copies—attest the presence of this adverb. god hem amende .
Dame worche whan tyme is  peres wif hyȝte .
His douȝtedouȝte[r] hiȝt do riȝt so  or þi dame schal þe bete .
His sone hiȝt suffre  þi souereynes haueR.6.83: Beta reads to hauen. A majority of the A witnesses supports beta (none supports alpha), but Cx clearly agrees with alpha in omitting to. here wille .
Deme hem nauȝt for if þow dost  þow schalt it dere a-bugge .
Lat god I-worth with al  for so his worde techeth .
For now I am holde and hore  and haue of myn owene .
To penaunce and to pilgrimage  I wil passe with þis othere .
For-thy I wil ar I wende  do write my queste .R.6.88: R's queste is unique in form but identical in sense to beta's reading (See MED, s. v. quiste [n.]); cf. F's enqweste and beta's biqueste. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta's form.
In dei nomine amen  I make it my-selue  he schal haue my soule .R.6.89: Here alpha differs from beta by merging the opening phrase from the archetype's next line (= He shal haue my soule ) with this one, and then truncating the third line by deleting its final phrase (= for so I bileue), so that the three lines in Langland's presumptive original are reduced to two non-alliterating ones.
Þat best hath I-serued it  and fro þe fende I-keped itR.6.90: R's I-keped is unique; F rephrases this verse, with his own unique verb phrase (weyvid fram yt); the cognate beta reading is it defende. Both Ax and Cx substantially agree with beta's phrasing in this entire passage, where alpha was clearly corrupt (cf. note at R6.89). .
Til I come tilR.6.91: R's til before his acountes is unique among the B witnesses. Ax, like beta and F, shows to here, but Cx agrees with R. his acountes  as my crede tellethR.6.91: Beta adds me before telleth. A majority of A manuscripts agrees with beta on this addition, but a minority (ChHaLaEWaMa) supports alpha's omission of the pronoun. Moreover, Cx clearly supports alpha in omitting me. .
To haue a reles and a remissioun  on þat rental I leue .
Þe kyrke schal haue my carayne  and kepe myn bones .
For of my corne and catel  he crauede tithe .R.6.94: R uniquely omits a determiner before tithe. Most B witnesses agree with Ax in attesting þe before the noun; however, Cr agrees with Cx in reading my at this point.
I payede it hym prestly  for peryl of my soule .
For-thi is he holden I hope  to haue me in his messe .
And mengen in his memorie  amonge alle cristene
My wif schal haue of þat I wan  with treuthe and namore .
And dele amonge my douȝteres  and my dere childresR.6.99: R's form is unique; all other witnesses in the B tradition have children. Two C manuscripts (XI) agree with R, but most agree with the B majority. .
For þouȝ I deyedeR.6.100: Beta's form agrees with the reading of both Ax and Cx. to-day  my dette is Iquited .R.6.100: R's singular is unique; F shows a plural, dettys ben alle qwitte, and beta attests a slightly different plural phrasing, dettes ar quitte. The A tradition clearly supports the F/beta plural format here, but the C tradition is divided, much of the P family concurring with F/beta while the X family (and a few P copies) support R's singular.
I bare hom þat I borwede  ar I to bedde ȝede .
And with þe residue and þe remenaunt  be þe rode of lukes .
I wil worschipe þerewith  treuthe by my lyue .
e ij
fol. 26vI
And ben his pilgrime at þe plow  for pore menne sake .
My plow-poteR.6.105: Beta reads plow-fote, but Ax clearly agrees with the alpha reading. schal be my pyk-staf  and picchen atR.6.105: Cf. F's a-wey and beta's atwo. Most of the A witnesses agree with R. þe rotes .
And helpe my culter to kerue  and clenese þe forewes .
Now is perkyn and þeseR.6.107: Beta reads his; F has þe. Most A copies support F's reading. Among the C manuscripts, the P family also agrees with F, but the X family reading, þis, concurs with R's þese. pilgrimes  to þe plow faren .
To herye þis haf hacre  holpen hym manye .
Dikeres and delueres  digged vp þe balkes .
Þerewith was perkyn apayd  and preised hem faste .
Other werkmen þere were  þat woruten ful ȝerne .
Vch man in his manere  made hym-self to done .
And somme to plese perkyn  piked vp þe wedes .
At heȝ prime peres  lete þe plow stande .
And ȝeedR.6.115: R's And ȝeed to is unique; otherwise R reads the line as beta does (which begins the line simply with To . F completely rephrases the line, but the fact that F's rewritten line begins & wente indicates that R's unique opening probably derives from alpha. Both the A and C versions begin this line by omitting R's opening (the former reading the phrase exactly as beta does). to ouer-sen hem hym-self  and ho-so best wrouȝte .
He schuld be huyred þere-after  whan heruest-tyme come .
And þanne sete somme  and songen at þe ale .
And hoR.6.118: ho, "they." See MED, s. v. he pron.(3). helpen to eryeR.6.118: Only G agrees with R's assignment of present tense to this verb; only F agrees with R's inclusion of to after the verb. Beta reads hulpen (cf. F's hulpen). R's ho is unique error. his half acre  with how trolly lolly .
Now be þe perille of my soule quod peres  alle in puer tene .
But ȝe arise þe rathere  and rape ȝow to werche .
Schal no greyn þat groweth  glade ȝow at nede .
And þouȝ ȝe deyedeR.6.122: R's deyede is unique. All other B manuscripts show a present-tense form here, as do the A and C versions. for deul  þe deuel haue þat recche .
Þo were faitoures aferde  and feyned hem blynde .
Somme leyde here legges a-lyry  as swiche loseles conneth .
And made here mone to peres  and preyed hym of grace .
For we haue no lymes to labore with  lord graced be ȝe .
Ac we preye for ȝow peres  and for ȝoure plow bothe .
Þat god of his grace  ȝoure greyne multiplye .
And ȝelde ȝow of ȝoure almesse  þat ȝe ȝiuen vs here .
For we may nouȝt swynk ne swete  suche seknesse vs ayleth .
If it be soth quod peres þat ȝe seyne  I schal it sone aspie .
ÞoR.6.132: R's reading is unique and clearly defective; beta has Ȝe and F reads Þat ȝee. Both the A and C versions confirm the correctness of beta's reading. ben wastoures I wot wel  treutheR.6.132: R's omission of and at the beginning of the b-verse is unique. The A version confirms the presence and location of this conjunction, as found in beta and F. wot welR.6.132: R's redundancy (reiterated wel in the b-verse) is unique. þe sothe .
fol. 27rI
And I am his olde hyne  and hiȝte hym to warne .
Whiche þei weren in þis world  his werkemen apayreth .R.6.134: Beta reads appeyred. F has a-peyre.
Ȝe wasten þat men wynnen  with trauayle and with tene .
Ac treuthe schal teche ȝow  his teme to driue .
Or ȝe schal ete barly brede  and of þe broke drynke .
But if he blyndeR.6.138: R's omission of the verb here is unique; cf. F's he þat is blynd and beta's he be blynde. or brokelegged  or bolted with yrenes . .
He schal ete whete brede  and drinke with me-selue .
Til god of his goednesse  amendement hym sende .
Ac ȝe miȝt trauaile as treuthe wolde  & take mete & huyre .
To kepe ken in þe felde  þe corne fro þe bestes .
Diken or deluen  or dyngen vppon scheues .
Or helpe make morter  or bere muk a-felde .
In lecherie and in losyngrie  lyue[ȝe] lyue and in sleuthe .R.6.145: There is an ink blot, probably the result of offset, that has the appearance of a second punctus far to the right of the intended line terminal punctus and just inside the ruling margin.
And al is thorȝ suffraunce  þat vengance ȝow ne taketh .
Ac ancres and heremites  þat eten but at nones .
And namore ar morewe  myn almesse schul þei haue .
And of my catel to cope hem with  þat haue cloystres in kerkesR.6.149: R's in kerkes is unique; the other B witnesses read and cherche(s). .
Ac robert renneaboute  schal nauȝt haue of myne .
Ne postles but þei preche conne  and ȝutR.6.151: R's ȝut is a unique addition to the text of Bx. haue pouer of þe bisshoppe .
Þei schal haue payn and potage  and make hem-self at ese .
For it is an vnresonable religion  þat hath riȝt nauȝt of certeyne .
And þanne gan a wastour to wra.the hym  & wold haue I-fouȝte .
And to peres þe plowman  he profered his gloue .
A bretonere a braggere  abosteda bostedR.6.156: A, "he." peres alse .
And bad hym go pissen onR.6.157: Beta reads with. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta. his plow  forpyned schrewe .
Wil þow or nelle þow  we wil haue oure wille .
And ofR.6.159: R's And of is an alpha phrase (F omits of). The X family of C also begins the line with And. Though two A manuscripts (KMa) also begin the line exactly as R does, Ax, like beta, omits And. þi floure and of þi flesche  fecche whanne vs liketh .
And make vs merie þere-myde  maugre þi chekes .
Þanne peres þe plowman  pleyned hym to þe kniȝte .
fol. 27vI
To kepe hym as couenant was  fram cursed schrewes .
And fram þes wastoures wolues-kynnes  þat maketh þisR.6.163: Although G agrees with R, beta reads þe; F omits the entire line. Cx supports the RG reading. world dere .
For þo waste and wynnen nauȝt  and þat ilke while .
Worth neuer plente amonge poepleR.6.165: R uniquely omits þe before poeple.  þe while my plow liggeth .
Corteyseliche þe kniȝt þanne  as his kende wolde .
Warned wastour  and wissede hym bettere .
Or þow schalt abugge withR.6.168: R's with is unique. The other B manuscripts read by. þe lawe  by þe ordre þat I bere .
I was nouȝt woneR.6.169: R's form here is unique; Bx reads wont. to werche quod wastour  & now wil I nouȝt bygynne .
And leet liȝtly of þe lawe  and lasse of þe knyȝt . There is a brown paraph sign entered at the end of this line, presumably to mark the presence of bygynne, which is carried over from the end of the previous line and written after the paraph.
And sette peres at a pese  and his plow bothe .
And manseyd peres and his men  if þei mette efte-sone .
R.6.173: Beta begins this line with Now by. The same phrase as beta's occurs in Ax and opens a revised version of the line in Cx Be þe perel of my soule quod peres  I schal apeyre ȝow alle .
And houped after honger  þat herde hym at þe furste .
Awreke me of þis wastoures quod he  þat þis world schenden .R.6.175: Though manuscripts O and G agree with R's terminal inflection for this verb, ( a feature also mirrored by several A witnesses), beta itself, as with Ax, presumably read schendeth. F has shende.
Honger in haste þo  hente wastoure by þe mawe .
And wronge hym so by þe wombe  þat al watred his eyȝes .R.6.177: R's b-verse is unique; F and beta agree in reading þat bothe his eyen wattered. However, R's b-verse agrees exactly with the same phrase in both Ax and Cx; it is, therefore, presumably the original reading in B.
He boffette þe bretoner  aboute þe chekes .
Þat he loked like a lanterne  al his lif after .
He bette hem so bothe  he braste nere her guttes .
Ne hadde peres with a pese lofe  preyed honger sese .R.6.181: Cf. beta's hunger to cesse. Both Ax and Cx agree on a different phrase, with a less obvious verb, for this line's ending: hym byleue.
Þei hadde be dolue bothe  ne deme þow non other .
Suffre hem lyue he seyde  and late hem ete with hogges .
Or elles benes and bren  I-bake to-gyderes .
Or elles melke and meyne ale  þus preyed peres for hem .
Faytoures for fere hereof  flowen inR.6.186: All other B witnesses read into; both Ax and Cx agree with them against R. bernes .
And flapten on with flailes  fram morwen til euen .
Þat hunger was nouȝt hardyR.6.188: Although G agrees here with alpha, beta itself reads so hardy, a reading also attested by half of the A manuscripts (RaUHaJEWaMaH). On the other hand, Cx clearly agrees with alpha's reading (i.e., the omission of so).  on hem for to loke .
For a potful of peses  þat peres hadde I-maked .
An hepe of heremites hent hem spades .
And ketten here copes  and curtebies hem made .
fol. 28rI
And wenten as werkmen  with spades and with schoueles .
And doluen and dikeden  to driue awey honger .
Blynde and bedredene  were botened a thousend .
Þat seten to begge seluer  sone were þei heled .
For þat was bake for bayarde  was bote to manyR.6.196: Beta reads for many, the same phrase as in Cx. F substitutes þe for the phrases found here in R and beta. hungri .
And many a beggere for benes  fayneR.6.197: R's fayne is unique; cf. F's ful bown and beta's buxome. was to swynke .
And ech a pore man wel apayde  to haue pesen for his huyre .
And what peres preyed hem for toR.6.199: R's for is not attested by any other B manuscript. do  as prest as a sparhauke .
ye be so wanton so pro.e so
And þere-of was peres proude  and putte hem to werke .
And ȝaf hem mete as he miȝt a-forth  and mesurable huyre .
Þanne hadde peres pyte  and preyed honger to wende .
Home in-to his owene erde  and holden hym þere .
For I am wel awreke now  of wastoures þorȝ þi miȝte .
Ac I preye þe ar þow passe  quod peres þoR.6.205: Beta omits þo. to honger .
Of beggeres and of bydderes  what best is to doneR.6.206: R's is in this b-verse is shared only with F and Y; the entire phrase shows considerable minor variation among the B witnesses, but the original reading of beta is probably that of the majority of beta copies, what best be to done. This agrees with the reading of Cx. By contrast, R's b-verse agrees exactly with Kane's reconstruction of the phrase in Ax (though a majority of A manuscripts reverse the key phrase to is best). .
For I wote wel be þow wente  þei wil werche ful ille .
For meschef it maketh  þei beth so meke nouthe .
And for defaute of here fode  þis folk is at my wille .
ItR.6.210: R's It is unique among the B manuscripts; most, including F, read Þey. However, R's reading agrees with that found in Ax and Cx, both of which begin the line And (h)it. aren arenaren my blody bretheren quod peres  &R.6.210: Both F and beta have for where R reads &. Ax and Cx agree with F/beta here. god bouȝte vs alle . The parchment here was torn long ago and repaired by stitching. The tear extended the length of these nine lines and is approximately 6 cm. long from its beginning at the page edge, running diagonally inwards and downwards. At its bottom it is approximately 2.5 cm. in from the page margin.
Treuthe tauȝte me ones  to louye hem vch one .
And to helpen hem of alle thynge  ay as hem nedeth .
And now wolde I witen of þe  what were þe beste .
And how I miȝt amaystrien hem  & maken hem to werche .
I here nowR.6.215: R's I here now is unique; cf. F's Now here wel me and beta's Here now. The beta variant is identical with that found in Ax. quod hunger  and holde it for a wisdome .
Bolde beggeres and bigge  þat mowen here brede by-swynken .
With houndes bred and hors-bred  holde vppe here hertes .
Abate hem with benes  for bollyng of here ..wombe .
And if þe gomes grucche  bydde hem go andR.6.219: Beta here omits and, a feature also found in half of the A manuscripts and in a majority of the P family of the C version. swynke .R.6.219: Alpha omitted the following line attested by beta manuscripts (and by both of the other versions of the poem):
And he shal soupe swettere whan he it hath deseruid.
AcR.6.220: Both F and beta have And, which is also the reading of seven A and of seven C copies; R's Ac is probably archetypal in the C version but may not be original in A. if þow fynde any freke  þat falshedR.6.220: R's falshed is unique; cf. F's False and beta's fortune. The Ax reading is fortune, but the Cx variant, in a slightly revised line, is fals men. hath apayred .
Or eny maner fals men  fond þow suche to knowe .
Conforte hem with þi catel  for cristes loue of heuene .
Loue hem and lene hem  so lawe of god techeth .
e iiij
fol. 28vI
Alter alterius honera portate 
And alle manere men  þat þow miȝt aspie
Þat nedy ben and nauȝti  helpe hem with þi godes .
Loue hem and lak hem nauȝt  late god take þe veniaunce .
Þeyȝ þei don euel  lat þowR.6.228: Only L supports R's attestation of þow here; all other B copies omit it. god a-worthe .
Michi vindictam et ego retribuam .
And if þow beR.6.230: R uniquely omits the modal wilt before be. gracious to god  do as þe gospel techeth .
And by-loweR.6.231: Most beta manuscripts read biloue, but LM support the alpha reading, which is clearly the subtler, harder word. þe amonges lowe men  so schaltow lacche grace .
Facite vobis amicos de mamona iniquitatis .R.6.232: Here the R scribe fails to insert his customary blank line between verse strophes; no reason for this omission is apparent.
I wald nauȝt greue god quod peres  for alle þe good on grounde .
Miȝte I synneles do as þow seyste  seyde peres þanne .
Ȝe I be-hote godR.6.235: Beta reads þe. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta's reading. quod hunger  or elles þe bible lyeth .
Go to genesis þe geaunt  þe engendrour of vs alle .
In sudore and in swynke  þow schalt þi mete tilye .
And labore for thi lyflode  and so oure lord hiȝte .
And sapience seith þe same  I seyȝR.6.239: R uniquely omits a word in this phrase; beta reads seigh it in. Ax agrees with beta. in þe bible .
PigePige[r] pro frigore  non feld wolde tylie .
And þere-for he schal begge and bydde . & noman bete his hunger .
Matheu with mannes face  mouthethR.6.242: Beta reads a past-tense form of the same verb: mouthed. Though A manuscripts offer a striking variety of possibilities at this point , Kane chose the alpha form as likeliest to represent Langland's original. But the alpha form may not, in fact, signify any real difference from beta anyway (i.e., the alpha scribe may not be intending a present-tense inflection with his "-eth" suffix. See the Introduction III.2.2.10 for a complete discussion. þis wordes .
Þat seruus nequam had a manR.6.243: Although MED, s. v. mnam, lists man as a possible form taken by mnam, it seems clear that this spelling is merely a scribal error (Langland is the only source cited by the dictionary for the word itself) evoked by an unfamiliar foreign term. Alpha passed this error to R and F, which share it with BoCot (and with AH of the A tradition).  & for he wolde nouȝt chaffare .
He hadde maugre of his meystre  for euermore after .
And by-nam hym his napm This word is foreign in origin and quite rare, and spellings of it vary considerably on that account. OED2 and MED identify the headword as mnam. OED2 lists nam as the only recognized variant and Langland as the only citation. However, among the A copies, Vernon shows another presumably valid spelling variation, rendering the word at 7.225 (Kane) as npnam. MED also cites Piers Plowman as the only source but lists a wider variety of forms, including mnamme, namp, mam, and man. In light of the fact that Langland is the only source cited, however, it seems probable that several of these "variant forms" are merely scribal errors.  for he ne wold werche .
And ȝaf þat nam til hym  þat ten napmes hadde .
And with þat he seyde  þat holy cherche it herde .
He þat hath schal haue  and helpe þere it nedeth .
And he þat nauȝt hath schal nauȝt haue  & no man hym helpe .
And þat he weneth for toR.6.250: Beta reads wel to, which is also the reading of both Ax and the X family of C (most of the P family simply omit the phrase). haue  I wil it hym bi-reue .
Kende witt wolde  þat vche a wiȝt wrouȝte .
Or in dichyng or in deluynge  or trauaylyng in preyeres .
Contemplatif lyf or actif lyf  crist wolde men wrouȝte .
Þe sauter seith in a psalme  of beati omnes .
Þe freke þat fedeth hym-selue  with his faythful laboure .
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He is blissed by þe book  in body and in soule .
Labores manuum tuarum &cetera .
Ȝet I prey ȝow quod peres  par charite and ȝe kunne .
Eny lef of leche-craft  lere it me my dere .
For somme of my seruantes  and my-self bothe
Of alle a wokeR.6.261: Woke, "week." werche nauȝt  so oure wombe aketh .
I wot wel quod hunger  what seknesse ȝow eyleth .
Ȝe haue manged ouer-muche  and þat maketh ȝow grone .
Ac I hote þe quod hunger  as þow þin hele wilneste .
Þat þow drynke no day  ar þow dyne sumwhat .
Ete nouȝt I hoteR.6.266: Among B copies, R uniquely omits þee in the phrase, hote þe er. Though four A manuscripts (JLaAMa) share this omission, it seems clear that Ax read as beta does, including þee. However, Cx omits the pronoun and renders this phrase exactly as R does. er hunger þe take .
And sende þe of his sauce  to sauoure with þi lippes .
And kepe summe to soper tyme  and sitte nauȝt to longe .
Arise vppe ar apetit  haue I-ete his fille .
Late nauȝt sire surfet  sitten at þi borde .
Leue hym nauȝt for he is lecherous  and likerous of tonge .
And after many maner metus  his mawe is affyngred .
And if þow diete þe þus  I dar legge myn eres
Þat fisik schal his furred hodes  for his fode selle .
And his cloke of calabre  with alle knappesR.6.275: F reads with knoppis, while beta has alle þe knappes. Ax appears to read this b-verse as & þe knoppis of gold. of golde .
And be fayne by my faith  his fisik to lete .
And lerne to labori with londe  for liflode is swete .
Þer aren mo morareres þanR.6.278: R's morareres is a nonce word, apparently meaning "killers, murderers." The presence of moraynerys in F suggests that some version of the reading was in alpha. Most beta witnesses have For morthereres aren mony leches as their a-verse. The defective alliteration of both sub-archetypes suggests that Bx itself was corrupt here. The likeliest authorial reading for B is that of A: Þere arn mo liȝeris þan lechis. leches  lord hem amende .
Þei don men deye þorȝ here drinkes  ar destine it wolde .
By seint poule quod peres  þis aren profitable wordes .
Wend now hunger whan þow wilt  þat wel þow be euere .R.6.281: Cf. F's þe betyȝde and beta's be þow euere. In his parallel-text edition of Piers, A. V. C. Schmidt errs by listing R's reading here as a dittography, yow yow. Apparently, this error stems not from R itself, which is quite clear, but from Schmidt's reliance on the apparatus of Kane-Donaldson, which here displays a rare mistake. In any event, the correct reading is probably that of beta since it matches the reading of Ax and of a majority of C witnesses for this phrase. However, key X family witnesses (XIUcDc) reverse the crucial phrase, reading thow be and thus agreeing with the B-version's manuscript R against beta.
For þis is a louely lesson  lord it þe forȝelde .
By-hote god quod hunger  hennes ne wil I wende .
Til I haue dyned by þis day  and I-dronke bothe .
I haue no peny quod peres  polettes forto bugge .
fol. 29vI
Ne noyther gees ne gris  but to grene cheses .
A fewe cruddes and creme  and an hauer-cake .
And to loues of benes and bren  I-bake for my fauntes .
And ȝet I sey by my soule  I haue no salt bakun .
Ne no cokenay by crist  coloppes for to make .
Ac I haue percyle and porett  and many queynte herbes .R.6.291:R's queynte herbes is unique. Cf. F's propre herbys and beta's kole plantes. Most A witnesses agree with beta's reading (albeit non-alliterating), but Kane has changed his mind since 1960 and in the revised Athlone edition of A opines that the metrically appropriate reading of manuscripts AMaH (plante colis) is likelier to be original (461).
And eke a kow and a kalf  and a carte mare .
To drawe a-felde my donge  þe while þe drouȝthe lasteth .
And by þis lyflode we mote lyue  til lammasse tyme .
And by þat I hope to haue  heruest in my crofte .
And þanne may I diȝte þi diner  as me dere liketh .
Alle þe pore poeple þo  pesecoddes fetten .
Benes and baken apples  þei brouȝten in here lappe .R.6.298: R's singular is unique among the B copies; the others read lappes. However, R's reading is supported by Cx and by three important A witnesses (TDCh). The other A manuscripts agree with the B majority.
Chibolles and chiruilles  and ripe chiries manye .
And profered peres þis present  to plese with hunger .
Alle hunger ete in haste  and asked after more .
Þanne pore folke for fere  fedde hunger ȝerne .
With grene poret and pesesR.6.303: R's plural is the same alpha form attested in F (pesis); the beta plural, also found in a majority of A copies, reads pesen.  to poyson hunger þei thouȝte .
By þat it neyed nere heruest  newe corn come to chepyng .
Þanne was folke fayne  and fedden hunger with þe beste .
With good ale as glotoun tauȝte  and gerte hunger go slepe .
And þo ne wolde no wastourR.6.307: R's ne is a unique addition to this phrase. F has þan wolde no while beta reads þo wolde wastour noȝt. Beta's phrase is identical to the wording of Cx and probably to that of Ax (some A copies attest nolde for wolde). werche  but wandren aboute .
Ne no beggere ete brede  þat benes inne were .
But of coket or ofR.6.309: R's of is a unique addition to this line. clerematyn  or elles of clene whete .
Ne non halpeni ale  in nonewysenone wyse drinke .
But of þe best and of þe brounest  þat in borewe is to selle .
Laboreres þat haue no londe  to lyue on but here handes .
DeynedR.6.313: Beta reads Deyned nouȝt to dyne. F completely rewrites the line. Though Ax clearly agrees with beta, most C manuscripts omit noȝt in this phrase, but three (IP2Ac) include it and X has it added by another hand. to dyne o-day  niȝte-olde wortes .R.6.313: There is an apparently random ink blot (having the appearance of a second punctus) approximately 1.3 cm. to the right of the intended punctus.
May no peny-ale hem paye  ne no pece of bakun .
But if it be fresche flesche other fische  for chillyng of his mawe .R.6.315: R and F run this line of archetypal B together with the next by splicing this a-verse, But . . . other fische (= KD6.310) to the b-verse of the next line (= KD6.311), for chillyng of here mawe. In fact, R is the only B witness (despite its conflation of two lines) to read for chillyng of his mawe—the reading of the X family of C and of four A manuscripts (including Kane's copytext, T). Most of the other B witnesses attest hir(e), the predominant reading in the A-version copies and in the P family of C.
fol. 30rI
And but if he be hylyche huyred  elles wil he chide .
And þat he was werkeman wrouȝte  waile þe tyme .
Aȝeynes catones conseile  comseth he to iangle .
Paupertatis onus  pacienter ferre memento .
¶ He greueth hym aȝeynes god  and gruccheth aȝeynes reson .
ÞanneR.6.321: F begins this line with & þus; beta begins it And þanne. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta. curseth he þe kyng  and alle his conseylle after .
Suche lawes to loke  laboreres to greue .
Ac whiles hunger was here maistre  þere wolde non of hem chyde .
Ne struestr[i]ue aȝeynes his statute  so sterneliche he lokede .
¶ Ac I warne ȝow werkemen  wynneth while ȝe mowe .
For hunger hiderward  hasteth hym fulR.6.326: No beta manuscript attests ful. Both Ax and Cx also omit it. faste .
He schal a-wake with watR.6.327: R's reading here (wat) makes no sense, but as usual is closer to the presumptive original reflected in beta (water) than is F's reading (what), which, typically, looks like a smoothed rationalization of irreparable error. Apparently alpha left off the final loop from water.  wastoures to chaste .
Ar fyue ȝere be fulfilled  swich famyn schal arise .
Thorȝ flodR.6.329: R uniquely reads a singular form here. All other B manuscripts show a plural, e.g., flodes. F actually reverses the entire phrase, reading þorhȝ fowle wederys & floodis. Cx agrees with the B majority in attesting a plural, flodes, but a clear majority of A witnesses agrees with R on the singular form. and foule wederes  fruytes schullen fayle .
And so seyde saturne  and sent ȝow to warne .
Whanne ȝe se þe sonne amys  and to monkes hedes .
And a mayde haue þe maystrie  and multipliedR.6.332: Both L and M confirm this alpha reading (M with an <ed> added in a different ink over an erasure), but all other beta manuscripts read multiplie. be eyghte
Þanne schal deth withdrawe  and derth be iustice .
And dauwe þe dikere  deye for hunger .
AndR.6.335: The erasure of the line initial is very old though clearly not original.R.6.335: R's [A]nd is unique; all other manuscripts read But, which agrees with the reading of the C version. if god of his goodnesse  graunte vs a trewe .