fol. 33v (cont.)I
Passus octauus ...?...? visione petri plowhman .
Incipit Dowel . Dobet . & Dobest .R.8.0: A second rubricating hand, resembling that of the scribe of Corpus Christi 201 (F), adds, in a slightly different shade of red, the words, de visione petri plowhman. These words are written over an erasure. The same hand adds to the passus heading, in the space that the original scribe always left blank before his first line of text, a second line: Dowel . Dobet . & Dobest . Apparently somewhat later, a third hand, or the second hand using a third shade of red ink, added Incipit at the left margin of the second line. The person responsible for this addition tried to incorporate this new word into the already altered rubric by executing the initial in blue so as to tie it to the passus initial (perhaps wetting and smudging the blue of the initial <Þ> to its left to make the blue <I> of Incipit). At the extreme left margin of the same line as the passus heading, there is the cropped fragment of a guide, apparently three lines long, with single characters in each line detectable but illegible.

Þus I-robed in russet  I romed aboute .
Al a somer sesoun  for to seke dowel .
And frayned ful ofte  of folke þat I mette .
fol. 34rI
If any wiȝt wiste  where dowel wereR.8.4: Beta reads was, which agrees with the reading of both Ax and Cx. at Inne 
And what man he miȝt be  of many man I asked .
AndR.8.6: R's And is unique. F begins the line with But þere was, while beta simply begins with Was. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta. was neuere in þis worldeR.8.6: R uniquely omits wiȝt immediately after neuere. R's in þis worlde, though supported by Cx, is also unique among the B copies; beta and F agree instead on as I went, which is also the reading of many A copies (others have wene rather than wente).  þat me wisse couthe .
Where þis lede lengede  lasse ne more .
¶ Til it by-fel on a friday  to freres I mette .
AndR.8.9: Beta omits And. Ax and Cx agree with beta. maistres of þe menoures  men of grete witte .
I haylsed hem hendely  as I had lerned .
And preyed hem for chariteR.8.11: Though Cr and C support R's reading, F agrees with the beta majority in construing this phrase as French, either pur charitee or par charitee. Though three A manuscripts and one C manuscript agree with R, both Ax and Cx agree with the F/beta form.  ar thei passed forther
If þei knewe any courteR.8.12: R's courte is an alpha variant. Beta has contre. Both Ax and Cx agree with beta.  or costes þerR.8.12: Beta reads as. þei wente .
Where þat dowel dwelleth  doth me to wytene .R.8.13: Hereafter, alpha omits four lines present in beta (and in slightly revised form in the C version):
For þei ben men on þis molde þat moste wyde walken
And knowen contrees and courtes and many kynnes places
Bothe prynces paleyses and pore mennes cotes
And dowel and doyuel where þei dwelle bothe.
¶ Amonges vs quod a[þe] menoures  þat man is dwellyng .
And euer hath as I hope  and euer schal here-after .
Contra quod I as clerke  and comsed to dispute .
And seydeR.8.17: Alpha has apparently lost a phrase: LM read And seide sothli; other beta copies read hem soþly at this point. Cx agrees with LM. sepcies in die cadit iustus .
Seuen sithes seith þe book  synneth þe riȝtful .
And ho-so synneth I sayde  doth euele as me thinketh .
And do-wel and do-euele  mowe nauȝt dwelle to-gyderes .
Ergo he is nauȝt alwey  amonges ȝow freres .
He is other-while elles-where  to wisse þe poeple .
¶ I schal sey þe my sone  seyde þe frere þanne .
How seuen sithes þe sadde man  on þeR.8.24: A majority of beta copies reads a where alpha has þe, but LM agree with alpha. Both Ax and Cx agree with LM / alpha. day synneth .
By a for-bisen quod þe frere  I schal þe faire schewe .
¶ Lat bringe a man in a bot  a-midde aR.8.26:Although F agrees with most beta copies in reading þe, L concurs with R's a here. Both Ax and Cx agree with LR. brode water .
Þe winde and þe water  and þe bot waggynge .
Maketh þe man many time  to falle and to stonde .
For stonde he neuere so stif  he stumbleth if he meue .
Ac ȝet is he saf and sounde  and so hym byhoueth .
For if he ne arise þe rathere  and rauȝte to þe sterneR.8.31: Hm and C2 agree with alpha's sterne, but beta reads stiere. Various A manuscripts attest one or the other of these two readings.
Þe wynd wald andR.8.32: Cf. F's on and beta's wyth. Ax agrees with beta. þe water  þe bot ouer-throwe .
And þanne were his lif loste  thoruȝ lacches of hym-selue .R.8.33: Here the R scribe omits his usual blank line between verse strophes, presumably because the next line is the last ruled one for this side.
¶ And þus it falleth quod þe frere  by folke here on erthe .
f ijus
fol. 34vI
Þe water is likned to þe world  þat wanyeth and wexeth .
Þe godes of þis grounde  aren like to þe grete wawes .
Þat as wyndes and wederes  walketh abouthe .
Þe bot is likned to oure body  þat brutel is of kende .
Þat þoruȝ þe fende and þiR.8.39: L agrees with R here, but all other beta copies attest þe in place of R's þi or F's oure. Ax agrees with the common beta variant, but Cx agrees with F, reading oure at this point. flesch  and þisR.8.39: R's þis is a unique reading among the B witnesses. The others all agree on þe (which is also the reading of Ax). But Cx agrees with R. frele worlde .
Synneth þe sadman  a day seuene sithes .
¶ Ac dedly synne doth he nauȝt  for dowel hym kepeth .
And þat is charite þe chaumpion  chief helpe aȝeynes synne .R.8.42: The punctus at line end is nearly invisible from rubbing.
For he strengtheth man to stonde  and stereth mannes soule
ÞatR.8.44: Beta reads And. But Ax agrees with alpha. þouȝ þi body bowe  as bot doth in þe water .
Ay is þi soule safe  but þi-selue wolle .
Do a dedlysynnededly synne  and drenche so þi-selueR.8.46: Beta and F read þi soule, but Ax agrees with R (though three A copies support the beta/F reading). .
God wil suffre wel þi soule  ȝif þi-selue liketh .
For he ȝaf þe to ȝeresȝiue  to ȝeme wel þi-selue .
And þat is wit and fre wille  to euery wiȝte a porcion .
To fleygefley[n]ge foules  to fisches and to bestes .
Ac þannmeR.8.51: Originally R read þanne; the erasure of þa + minim leaves me, the unstressed form of men, "one," (both F and beta have man). hath moste þere-of  and moste is to blame .
But if he werche wel þerewith  as dowel hym techeth .
¶ I haue no kende knowynge quod I  to conseyue alle þiR.8.53: Beta reads ȝowre, but Ax agrees with alpha. wordes .
Ac if I may leueR.8.54: leue, "live." and loke  I schal go lerne bettre .
¶ I be-kenne þe crist quod þeiR.8.55: R's quod þei is unique and presumably erroneous; W and F both read quod he, Hm simply has quod, and most B witnesses agree with Ax in omitting the entire phrase. Cx, however, agrees with the F/W reading.  þat on þe croyce deyede .
And I seyde þe same  saue ȝow fro mischaunce .
And ȝif ȝow grace on þis grounde  gode men to worthe .
¶ And þus I wente wide-where  walkynge myn one .
By a wild wildernesse  and by a wode side .
Blisse of þoR.8.60: R's þo is supported by Hm and L, but F and most beta copies agree on þe. The A version has an identical a-verse (attesting the same variant as F and the beta majority), but of more consequence is the agreement of Cx with F since the C version witnesses the same complete line. briddes  abyde me made .R.8.60: In place of alpha's abyde me made, beta's b-verse reads brouȝte me aslepe. At first glance, this phrasal difference appears to be one of the many simple instances where beta agrees with Ax against a reading shared by alpha and Cx, both readings being viable. In reality, what seems to have occurred is somewhat less common: the copy of A that Langland was using as the basis of the B revision contained a reversed half-line (made me abide A9.55b) and an ensuing dittography (Blisse of þe briddis A9.58a). In fact, both errors, unrelated to each other, were the fault of the archetypal A scribe — or of the author. Having noticed them while composing B, Langland presumably marked the A9.55b phrase for reversal and then created a correction for the dittography of A9.58a (in the form of a marginal or interlinear): he varied this second occurrence of the repeated phrase to Murþe of hire mouþes and then had to revise the b-verse of the same line (perhaps in the opposite margin) to fit the new alliterative pattern, so we get made me þer to slepe instead of the A-version's brouȝte me a slepe.Confronted with Bx's devotedly passive reproduction of this patchwork revision, the beta scribe seems to have garbled matters in his own unique way, assuming that he was to replace the b-verse of 55 — as it appeared in the underlying A-version text — with the unrevised A-version b-verse of 58, when all that was asked of him was to flip the staves of extant 55b and heed all of the marginal information at line 58. What beta has created, then, is not likely to reflect any authorial state of the text.
And vnder lyndeR.8.61: Though BoCot also omit a determiner before lynde, F and beta agree in reading the phrase as a lynde. The reading of F/beta agrees with that of Ax while the R reading agrees with the phrasing found in Cx. vppo a launde  lened I a stounde .
To lythe þe layes  þat þe foulesR.8.62: Beta reads þo louely foules; F has þe Nytyngalis. Ax reads þat (þe) louely foulis. made .
Murthe of here mouthes  made me þere to slepe .
MerueylokestR.8.64: R uniquely omits Þe at the head of this line. meteles  mette me þanne .
Þat euer dremed wiȝte  in world as I wene .R.8.65: Here the R scribe omits his usual blank line between verse strophes, presumably because the next line is the last ruled one for this side.
¶ A muche man as thouȝte[me] thouȝte  and like to my-selue .
fol. 35rI
Come and called me  by my kende name .
¶ What art þow quod IR.8.68: R uniquely omits þo after quod I. However, this adverb in the other B copies may well be a scribal addition since the same omission as found in R characterizes Cx and half of the A witnesses.  þat þow my name knoweste .
¶ Þat þow wost wel quod he  and no wiȝth bettere .
¶ Wot I what þow arte  thouȝte seyde he þanne .
I haue sewed þe this seuen ȝere  sey þow me no rathere .
¶ Art þow thouȝt quod I þo  þow coudest me wisse where .R.8.72: R uniquely divides this line after where; the other B witnesses divide the line after wisse, beginning the next line with Where.
Þat dowel dwelleth  and do me hymR.8.73: In place of alpha's hym, beta reads þat. Cx renders this line without including either word. to knowe .
¶ Dowel and do-bett  and do-best þe thridde quod he .
Aren thre faire vertues  and beth nauȝt fere to fynde .
Ho-so is trewe of his tonge  and of his to hondes .
And þoruȝ his laboure or þoruȝ his land  his liflode wynneth .
And is tristi of his ta.ylende  taketh but his owene .
And is noȝt dronkelew ne dedeynnous  dowel hym folweth .
¶ Dobet doth riȝt þus  ac he doth muche more .
He is as lowe as a lombe  and loueliche of speche .
And helpeth al men  after þat hem nedeth .
Þe baggus and þe bygurdles  he hath to-broken hem alle .
Þat þe erl auerous  held and his heyres .
And withR.8.85: Beta reads þus with here. Ax agrees with alpha. mammonas mone  he hatz ymade hym frendes .
And is ronne in-toR.8.86: Although most other beta witnesses have to, LM support alpha's in-to. The LMRF reading is also that of Ax and Cx. religion  and hath rendred þe billebi[b]le .
And prechedR.8.87: Though G and O join R in attesting a preterite form for this verb, F and most beta copies read precheth, which is also the reading of the archetypes of the other two versions. to þe poeple  seynt poules wordes .
Libenter suffertis incipientes  cum ipsi sitisR.8.88: With regard to alpha's word order here, it should be noted that F confuses the verb, using scitis), while beta transposes this phrase as sitis ipsi. Those C manuscripts that cite this text in full follow the same phrase order as beta. insapientes .
And suffreth þe vnwyse  with ȝow for to libbe .
And with glade wille doth hem goed  for so god ȝow hoteth .
¶ Dobest is aboue bothe  and bereth a bischopes croce .
Is an hokeR.8.92: In place of R's unique an hoke, both beta and F read hoked. on þat on ende  to halye men fro helle .
A pyke onR.8.93: R parallels beta exactly but uniquely omits is before on; F includes the verb but rearranges the half-line. Ax agrees with beta. þat potente  to pelte adoun þe wikkede .
Þat wayten any wikkednesse  dowel to tene .R.8.94: Here the R scribe omits his usual blank line between verse strophes, presumably because the next line is the last ruled one for this side.
¶ And dowel and do-bett  amogesamo[n]ges hem ordeyned .
fol. 35vI
To croune andR.8.96: R's and is a unique reading. F omits the entire line, and beta reads one to be kynge  to kepen hem alle . For R's kepen hem alle, beta reads rulen hem bothe. F omits the whole line. The alliteration in R is clearly preferable to that in beta, and Cx agrees at least with R's verb. But R's b-verse seems conflated with a similar b-verse properly belonging several lines below this point in Bx (= Crouned one to be kynge to kepin hem alle [KD8.108]). To judge from the evidence of both R and F (each shows corruptions and omissions for several lines in a row), alpha was significantly deficient in this passage. Alpha probably omitted all five of the lines in this passage which are present in beta but missing from R (presumably by eyeskip induced from similar a-verses). The two sub-archtypes rejoin each other at KD8.109, but part of the problem continues beyond that point.
When Kane and Donaldson examined this garbled passage, they hypothesized that alpha's text for this passage was accurately reflected in F (R being solely responsible for the omission in question); they further postulated that Bx itself had lost two lines (i.e., KD8.103 and KD8.105), lines which are now available only in F and in the A-version. Of course it must be recalled that their hypothetical narrative of F's production included the supposition that F had access, for proofing purposes, to a copy of B whose text was superior to that of the common archetype of all extant B manuscripts. However, it must be recalled that F not only reproduces, in this passage, three A lines unattested in any other B manuscript (KD8.113 as well as the two mentioned above). In addition, F puts forward three distinctive A-version variants in lines that do survive in beta (presoun for beta's in yrens [KD8.104]; & be here conseyl wirche for beta's to kepin hem alle [KD8.108]; and so me crist helpe for the R/beta I coueite to lerne) Collectively, this evidence suggests a different, simpler explanation of F's text: having found his alpha copytext deficient in this verse paragraph, the F-scribe (or his predecessor) borrowed all of the missing text from an A manuscript usually available to him.
And to rewle þe rewme  by here thre wittes .
And none otherwise  but as þei thre assented .
¶ I thonked thouȝt þo  þat he me þus tauȝte .
AcR.8.100: Beta reads Ac ȝete sauoureth. F rephrases the entire line but includes ȝyt in its a-verse. Although various beta copies substitute other variants for ȝete, only R completely omits a word here. sauoureth me nauȝt  þi seggyng I coueit to lerne .
How dowel dobet and dobest  don amonges þe poeple .
¶ But wit conne wisse þe quod thouȝt  where þo thre dwelle .
Elles wot I none þat can  þat now is a-lyue .
¶ Þouȝt and I þus  thre dayes we ȝeden .
Disputyng vppon dowel  day after other .
And ar we war wereR.8.106: Both beta and F transpose this phrase to were(n) (y)war. R's phrasing agrees with Ax and with the X family of C. The word order of F/beta agrees with that of the P family of C.  with witt gonne we mete .
He was longe and lene  liche to non other .
Was no pruyd on his apparail  ne pouerte nother .
Sad of his semblant  and of softe chere .
I dorste meue no matere  to make hym to iangle .
But as I bad þouȝt þoo  to be mene by-twene .
And put forthe hisR.8.112: R's his is a unique reading; the other B manuscripts agree with Ax and Cx in reading somme. porpose  to prouen his wittes .
What was dowel fro dobet  and dobest fram hem bothe .
¶ Þan thowȝt in þat tyme  seyde þes wordes .
Whether dowel dobet  and dobest in londe .R.8.115: The loss of the verb here presumably occurred in alpha since F also shows this omission; however, the point of its loss must remain speculative since F has recast the entire line by adding a verb to the a-verse. Bx = ben in londe—the same reading found in Ax (= beþ or ben) and Cx. The fact that M inserts ben as a correction suggests that the word had been omitted in Bx itself and then supplied by the Bx scribe as an interlinear or marginal."
HereR.8.116: Beta reads Here is wille. F rewrites the line. Ax agrees completely with beta. The C version of the line is slightly revised, but the syntax is the same as beta's and includes is. wille wolde I-witt  if wit coude teche hym .
And whether he be man or nomanR.8.117: In place of R's noman (which probably reflects alpha's reading — F reads noon), beta had either womman (the reading of the majority) or man (the reading of L). If L's reading is correct (which seems likelier), then beta also had an interlinear correction, no, which was overlooked by L, transmitted in the same form — as an interlinear — through beta prime, and then deciphered correctly by C as well as the B group (which agree with R) while being garbled to wo by most later witnesses.  þis man fayn wold aspie .
And werchen as þei thre wolde  þis is his entente .