<head><supplied>Prologus de visione Petri Plowman</supplied></head>
<milestone>fol. 77rI</milestone>

<note>R.P.0: <p>Fols. 77r and 80v are both very faded with considerable bleed-through from their opposite sides. In a few cases, the midline punctus elevatus must simply be inferred because the fading makes it indistinct though still visible. Moreover, the bottom and outer margins of all eight sides bound in Lansdowne 398 (77r-80v) are severely cropped.</p> <p>More than one hundred lines at the beginning of the Prologue (= KD Prol.1-124) as well as the end of Passus 1 and the beginning of Passus 2 (= KD1.141 through KD2.40) have been lost from MS R since the early eighteenth century (at the latest). It is likely, but unproveable, that the event behind this loss also accounts for the fact that the surviving first few leaves of MS R (usually referenced as Oxford, Bodleian MS Rawlinson Poetry 38) are now bound into a completely different codex, London, British Library MS Landsowne 398. For more information, see Introduction, <xref>I.10</xref>."</p></note>

<l> Crist kepe þe sire kyng<expan>e</expan>  and þi kyngriche .</l>
<l> And lene þe lede þi land  so lewete þe louye .</l>
<l> And fore þi riȝtful rewelyng  be rewarded in heuene .</l>
<l> <hi></hi> And sithen in þe heir an hey  an aungel of heuene .</l>
<l> Lowede to speke in latyne  fore lewede men ne cowede </l>
<l> Iangele ne Iuge  þat iustifie hem schulde .</l>
<l> Bute suffren an seruen for<seg>-</seg>þi seyde þe angel .</l>
<l> <hi><foreign>Su<expan>m</expan> rex su<expan>m</expan> princeps · <app><lem><sic>veutru<expan>m</expan></sic><corr>[n]eutru<expan>m</expan></corr></lem></app><note>R.P.8: The form of the <v> in <foreign>veutrum</foreign> is slightly blurred, but there is no possibility of transcribing it as <n>. This is a unique error in R.</note> fortasse deinceps .</foreign></hi><note> A light brown brace in the right margin links RP.8-14. There is also some evidence of light brown underlining of the a-verses in RP.9-14, but it may be merely the ruling, which is quite visible on this side.</note></l>
<l> <foreign>O qui iura regis  <expan>christi</expan> specialia regis .</foreign></l>
<l> <foreign>Hoc quod agas melius  iustus es esto pius .</foreign></l>
<l> <foreign>Nudum <app><lem>vis</lem></app><note>R.P.11: Alpha reads <foreign>vis</foreign>. All beta family manuscripts read <foreign>ius</foreign> with the <hi>C</hi> archetype (a few <hi>C</hi> copies agree with alpha).</note> a te  <app><lem>vestire</lem></app><note>R.P.11: Alpha is responsible for <foreign>vestire</foreign>, though the reading is shared by H. All authoritative Beta witnesses have <foreign>vestiri</foreign>, which is also the reading of the <hi>C</hi> version.</note> wlt<note>R.P.11: R's <foreign>wlt</foreign> is a common English scribal spelling for Latin <foreign>vult</foreign>; it appears to have resulted from an association between the customary phonetic value assigned to Latin initial <v> (= /w/) and a popular sense of the origin of the <w> graph itself as a "double v." Because many other European languages, as well as Latin, had no <w> graph, and foundries therefore omitted the form from standard typographic templates, English printers often resorted to using the digraph <vv> to represent English <w> till the end of the seventeenth century. Cf. <ref>R.7.65:</ref> (<foreign>wltis</foreign>), <ref>R.12.71:</ref>, and <ref>R.15.43:</ref> (both <foreign>wlt</foreign>).</note> pietate .</foreign></l>
<l> <foreign>Qualia vis metere  talia grana sere .</foreign></l>
<l> <foreign>Si <app><lem>vis</lem></app><note>R.P.13: Alpha reads <foreign>vis</foreign>. All beta family manuscripts read <foreign>ius</foreign>.</note> nudatur  nudo de iure metatur .</foreign></l>
<l> <foreign>Si seritur <app><lem><sic>pietur pietas</sic><corr>pietas</corr></lem></app> de pietate metas .</foreign></l>
<l> <hi></hi> Þanne greuede hym a golyardas  a gloton of wordes .</l>
<l> And to þe angel an heiȝ  <app><lem>answeres</lem></app><note>R.P.16: Only L agrees with R in this reading; F and all other beta manuscripts agree on the preterite form, <hi>answerde</hi>.</note> after .</l>
<l> <hi><foreign>Dum rex a regere  dicatur nomen h<expan>ab</expan>ere .</foreign></hi><note> In both of these cases, the red boxing has been heavily rubbed.</note></l>
<l> <foreign>Nomen habet sine re  nisi studet iur<del>e</del><add>a</add> tenere .</foreign></l>
<l> <hi></hi> And þanne gan alle <app><lem>a</lem></app><note>R.P.19: R offers two unique readings in this line: (1) where the beta copies have <hi><hi>þe</hi> comune(s)</hi>, R reads <hi><hi>a</hi> comoune</hi>; (2) where beta attests <hi>in vers</hi>, R has <hi>in <hi>a</hi> vers</hi>. F's reading of this line is completely erratic.</note> comoune crie  in <app><lem>a</lem></app> vers of latyn .<note>R.P.19: Immediately hereafter, alpha omits a line present in beta:<lb/>
<hi>To þe kynges conseille construe ho<seg>-</seg>so wolde</hi>.
<l> <hi><foreign>Precepta regis sunt nobis vincula legis .</foreign></hi></l>
<l> <hi></hi> With þat ran þere a route of ratones  at ones .</l>
<l> And smale mys with hem  mo þan a þousand .</l>
<l> And comen to a conseyle  fore here comoune p<expan>ro</expan>fitt<expan>e</expan> .</l>
<l> For a cat of a courte  com whan hym lykede .</l>
<l> And ouer<seg>-</seg>leep<expan>e</expan> hem liȝthliche  and lauȝt hem at his wille .</l>
<l> And pleyed<note>R.P.26: There is a small hole in the parchment here, causing the <d> of <hi>pleyed</hi> to be written slightly above the rest of the line.</note> with hem periliousely  and possed hem aboute .</l>
<l> For doute of diuerse dredes  we dare nouȝt wel loke .</l>
<l> And ȝif we grucchen <app><lem>his</lem></app> ga<expan>m</expan>men<note>R.P.28: R's phrase here is unique; beta and the <hi>C</hi> version attest <hi><hi>of</hi> his game(n)</hi>, while F reads <hi>his wille</hi>.</note>  he will<expan>e</expan> greue vs alle .</l>
<l> Cracche vs or clawe vs  and in his cloches halde .</l>
<l> Þat vs lothes þe lyf  er he lete vs passe .</l>
<l> Miȝt we with any witt  his wille with<seg>-</seg>stonde .</l>
<l> We miȝte be lordes on lofte  and lyuen at oure eese .</l>
<milestone>fol. 77vI</milestone>
<l> <supplied><hi>A</hi></supplied> raton of renou<expan>n</expan>  moste resonable<note>R.P.33: R shares this reading with Hm and with the <hi>C</hi> version; beta and F read <hi>renable</hi>.</note> of tonge .<note> The rubricating scribe managed to touch each of the first characters on this side in red, at least so far as cropping permits us to judge. None of the initials survives in whole, but we have marked initials as rubricated where sufficient fragments remain to verify that fact.</note></l>
<l> <supplied><hi>S</hi></supplied>eyde for a souereyne  helpe to <app><lem>hem alle</lem></app> .<note>R.P.34: In place of alpha's <hi>hem alle</hi>, beta reads <hi>hym-selue</hi>.</note></l>
<l> <supplied><hi>I</hi></supplied> haue I<seg>-</seg>seyne segges q<expan>uo</expan>d hee  in þe citee of london .</l>
<l> <supplied><hi>B</hi></supplied>eren beȝes ful bryȝtte  abouten here nekkes .</l>
<l> <supplied><hi>A</hi></supplied>nd somme coleres of crafty werke  vncoupled þei wenden .</l>
<l> <supplied><hi>B</hi></supplied>oþe in warayne and in waste  whar<expan>e</expan> þaym lef lykeþ .<note>R.P.38: There is considerable variation in attestation for the final phrase. F reads <hi>hem best lykeþ</hi>. Some of the beta copies show <hi>hem-self liked</hi>; others read <hi>hem leue liketh</hi>.</note></l>
<l> <supplied><hi>A</hi></supplied>nd other while þei aren elles<seg>-</seg>where  as I here telle .</l>
<l> <supplied><hi>W</hi></supplied>ere þere <orig>abelle</orig><reg>a belle</reg> on here bye  by <app><lem>Ihesus</lem></app><note>R.P.40: Beta witnesses have <hi>Ihesu</hi>. The <hi>C</hi> manuscripts are divided, a majority reading with beta but a significant minority, in both major branches, agreeing with alpha.</note> as me thenketh .</l>
<l> <supplied><hi>M</hi></supplied>en miȝt wite where þei wente  and away renne .</l>
<l> <supplied><hi>A</hi></supplied>nd riȝt so q<expan>uo</expan>d þat raton  reson me scheweth .</l>
<l> <supplied><hi>T</hi></supplied>o bugge a belle of bras  or of briȝt siluer .</l>
<l> <supplied><hi>A</hi></supplied>nd knetten it on a coler  for oure comoune p<expan>ro</expan>fitt<expan>e</expan> .</l>
<l> <supplied>A</supplied>nd hangen it vp<seg>-</seg>on þe cattes hals  þan here we mowen .<note>R.P.45: Alpha lacks the following two lines attested by beta witnesses and by <hi>Cx</hi>: <lb/>
<hi>Where he ritt or rest or renneth to playe <lb/>
And ȝif him list for to laike þenne loke we mowen.</hi>
<l> <supplied>A</supplied>nd peren in his presens  þere while hym plei lyketh .</l>
<l> <supplied>A</supplied>nd ȝif hym wraþheth ben y<seg>-</seg>war  and hys wey shonye .</l>
<l> <supplied>¶ A</supplied>lle <app><lem>þe</lem></app> route of <app><lem>þe</lem></app><note>R.P.48: The second <hi>þe</hi> in this line is R's unique addition. The first <hi>þe</hi> is an alpha variant (beta has <hi>þis</hi>). The <hi>C</hi> manuscripts are divided on this reading, a majority of the X family agreeing with beta, while a majority of the P family agrees with alpha.</note> ratones  to þis resou<expan>n</expan> þei assented .</l>
<l> <supplied>A</supplied>c þo þe belle was I<seg>-</seg>bouȝt<expan>e</expan>  and on þe bey <app><lem>I<seg>-</seg>hanged</lem></app> .</l>
<l> <supplied>Þ</supplied>ere ne was raton in alle <app><lem>route</lem></app>  for alle þe reme of france .</l>
<l> <supplied>Þ</supplied>at durste haue I<seg>-</seg>bounde þe belle  aboute þe cattes nekke .</l>
<l> <supplied>N</supplied>e hangen it aboute <app><lem>his</lem></app> hals<note>R.P.52: Beta reads <hi>þe cattes hals</hi>. Alpha's <hi>his hals</hi> is also the reading of the <hi>C</hi> version.</note>  alle englond to wynne .</l>
<l> <supplied>A</supplied>nd helden hem vn<seg>-</seg>hardy  and here conseyll<expan>e</expan> feble .</l>
<l> <supplied>A</supplied>nd letu<expan>n</expan> here labour <app><lem>I<seg>-</seg>lost</lem></app>  and alle here longe studie .</l>
<l> <supplied>¶ A</supplied> mous þat muche goed  couthe as me thouȝte .</l>
<l> <supplied>St</supplied>rok forth sternely  and stod by<seg>-</seg>forn hem alle .</l>
<l> <supplied>An</supplied>d to þe route of ratou<expan>n</expan>s  rehersed þis wordes .</l>
<l> <supplied>¶ Þo</supplied>uȝ we <app><lem>had</lem></app> <app><lem>I<seg>-</seg>culled</lem></app><note>R.P.58: In place of alpha's (<hi>had I<seg>-</seg>culled</hi>), beta witnesses read either <hi>kulled</hi> (LMCO) or <hi>killen</hi> (CrWHmG). The <hi>C</hi> version agrees on this reading with alpha.</note> þe cat  yut schulde þer<expan>e</expan> cu<expan>m</expan> an<seg>-</seg>other<expan>e</expan> .</l>
<l> <supplied>To</supplied> crachy vs and alle our<expan>e</expan> kynde  þouȝ we crope vnder benches .</l>
<l> <supplied>Fo</supplied>r<seg>-</seg>þi I conseill<expan>e</expan> alle þe comoune  to late þe catt <app><lem>I<seg>-</seg>worthe</lem></app> .</l>
<l> <supplied>An</supplied>d be we neuer so bolde  þe belle hym to schewe .<note>R.P.61: See note at RP.66.</note></l>
<l> <supplied>Fo</supplied>r I herde my sire seyen  is seuen ȝere I<seg>-</seg>passed .</l>
<l> <supplied>Þer</supplied>e þe cat ys a kytou<expan>n</expan>  þe court is ful elyng<expan>e</expan> .</l>
<l> <supplied>Þa</supplied>t witnesseth holy writt  who<seg>-</seg>so wile it rede .</l>
<milestone>fol. 78rI</milestone>
<l> <hi><foreign><hi>V</hi>e terre vbi puer <app><lem>est rex</lem></app> .</foreign></hi> For may no renk <app><lem>no</lem></app><note>R.P.65: F omits R's double negative and beta reads <hi><hi>þer</hi> reste</hi> in place of R's <hi><hi>no</hi> reste</hi>.</note> reste haue  </l>
<l> <hi>f</hi>or ratones by nyȝte . <seg></seg> <note> It is unclear why the scribe's lineation went wrong here (running together the Latin quotation with half the following English line, so that the b-verse ended up relegated to a line of its own). It seems likely that the problem is related to a larger problem of textual order between KDProl.188 and 197 in <hi>Bx</hi> (See Kane-Donaldson, p. 176, for their editorial reasoning on re-ordering this passage). However, there is no evidence that the R scribe had any clue about the source of the problem. The <f> at the head of RP.66 is not capitalized, but it is touched in red, and the small + in the left margin is probably irrelevant; similar marks are found beside most lines that were to have been boxed in red (unnoted in this edition).</note></l>
<l> <hi></hi> <hi>Þ</hi>e while he caccheth conynges  he coueyteth nauȝt our<expan>e</expan> caray<supplied>ne</supplied> </l>
<l> <hi>B</hi>ut fet hym alle wyth veneson  defame we hym neuere .</l>
<l> <hi><hi>F</hi>or better is a litel los  þen a longe sorwe .</hi></l>
<l> <hi>Þ</hi>e mase a<seg>-</seg>monge vs alle  þeiȝ we misse a schrewe .</l>
<l> <hi>F</hi>or many mann<expan>us</expan> malt<expan>e</expan>  we muys wolde destruye .</l>
<l> <hi>A</hi>nd also ȝe route of ratones  rende mennes clothes .</l>
<l> <hi>N</hi>ere þat cat of þe courte  þat can ȝow ouer<expan>e</expan><seg>-</seg>lepe .</l>
<l> <hi>F</hi>or hadde ȝe ratones ȝour<expan>e</expan> wille  ȝe couthe nouȝt rewele ȝour<expan>e</expan><supplied><seg>-</seg>selue</supplied></l>
<l> <hi>I</hi> seye <app><lem>it</lem></app><note>R.P.75: R's <hi>it</hi> is a unique addition to the line as read by the beta witnesses (at this same point, F uniquely adds <hi>þis</hi>). However, <hi>Cx</hi> agrees on this reading with R.</note> for <app><lem>my<seg>-</seg>self</lem></app><note>R.P.75: Beta reads <hi>me</hi>, a lection also supported by the <hi>C</hi> version.</note> q<expan>uo</expan>d þe mous  I see so muchel after .</l>
<l> <hi>S</hi>chal neuere þe cat ne þe kyton  by my conseil be greued .</l>
<l> <hi>N</hi>e carpyng of þis colere  þat costed me neuere .</l>
<l> <hi>A</hi>nd þouȝ it <app><lem>costed</lem></app> me<note>R.P.78: R's <hi>it costed me</hi> agrees in substance with FG, which also read a simple preterite. Beta has <hi>it had cost(n)e(d) me</hi>. The alpha reading is also that of the <hi>C</hi> version.</note> catel  beknowen it <orig>Inolde</orig><reg>I nolde</reg> .</l>
<l> <hi>B</hi>ut suffre as hym<seg>-</seg>self<note>R.P.79: There is an ink dot (smaller than a punctus) immediately after <hi>hym-self</hi>. From the lack of spacing, it appears to be accidental.</note> wolde  to do as hym liketh .</l>
<l> <hi>C</hi>oupled and vn<seg>-</seg>coupled  to cacche what þei mowe .</l>
<l> <app><lem><hi>F</hi>or</lem></app><note>R.P.81: R's <hi>For</hi> is unique; F has <hi>&</hi> while beta reads <hi>For-þi</hi>.</note> vche a wyse man<note>R.P.81: Cf. beta's <hi>wiȝte</hi> and F's <hi>Mows</hi>.</note> I warne wite wel hys owene .</l>
<l> <hi></hi> <hi>W</hi>hat þis meteles by<seg>-</seg>mene  <app><lem>þe</lem></app><note>R.P.82: Unfortunately, R's hand often fails to distinguish <hi>þ</hi> from <hi>y</hi>. As was the judgment of Kane-Donaldson, our guess here, judging by proximate renderings of both characters, is that R intended <hi>þe</hi>; if that was, in fact, the scribe's intention, the resulting reading is unique error; the other <hi>B</hi> copies read <hi>ȝe</hi>.</note> men þat ben myrie .</l>
<l> <hi>D</hi>euyne ye <app><lem>ne dar I nouȝt</lem></app><note>R.P.83: F rephrases this a-verse extensively; in place of R's <hi>ne dar I nouȝt</hi>, beta reads <hi>for I ne dar</hi>, a phrase that agrees completely with the reading of the <hi>C</hi> version.</note>  by dere god in heuene </l>
<l> <hi><damage></damage></hi><note>R.P.84: The paraph marker for this strophe was either partially erased or badly rubbed.</note> <hi>Ȝ</hi>eet houed þere an hundreth  in houues of silke </l>
<l> <hi>S</hi>eriauntz it semede  <app><lem>at</lem></app><note>R.P.85: R's <hi>at</hi> (cf. R2.11) is formally unique among the <hi>B</hi> witnesses, which uniformly attest the expected <hi>þat</hi>; one <hi>C</hi> manuscript (Dc) shows the same clipped form as R's. Otherwise all agree with <hi>Bx</hi>.</note> s<expan>er</expan>ueden at þe barre .</l>
<l> <hi>P</hi>letedden for penies  and <app><lem>pondres</lem></app><note>R.P.86: Beta reads <hi>poundes</hi> (which is also the reading of <hi>Ax</hi> and <hi>Cx</hi>) while F has <hi>pownded</hi>. R's reading, which was misconstrued by Kane-Donaldson and Schmidt as <hi>poudres</hi>, is unique among the <hi>B</hi> witnesses (manuscript E in the <hi>A</hi> tradition also attests <hi>ponderys</hi>). <title>MED</title>, <hi>s. v.</hi> <hi>ponder</hi>, defines <hi>pondres</hi> as "balance scales" or "weights," but the variant is almost certainly scribal.</note> þe lawe .</l>
<l> <hi>A</hi>nd nouȝt for loue of oure lorde  vnlese here lippes ones .</l>
<l> <hi>Þ</hi>ow miȝtest<expan>e</expan> better mete miste  on maluerne hulles .</l>
<l> <hi>Þ</hi>an gete a mu<expan>m</expan>me of here mouth  <app><lem><del>h</del>er</lem></app> mony <app><lem>hem by</lem></app><note>R.P.89: In place of alpha's <hi>er</hi>, beta copies read <hi>til</hi> or <hi>but</hi>. Only R adds <hi>hem</hi> after <hi>mony</hi>. Later in this half-line, most <hi>B</hi> witnesses read <hi>be</hi>, but LMCY attest <hi>were</hi>. Among the <hi>C</hi> manuscripts, most P family witnesses agree with beta's <hi>til</hi>, while a majority of the X family agrees with alpha's <hi>er</hi>. However, at the end of the half-line, the <hi>C</hi> families fragment their allegiances, most of the P group (and four of the X group — P<hi>2</hi>CotLcBo) now aligning with the more widely attested <hi>B</hi> reading, <hi>be</hi>, while some of the best X witnesses read <hi>wer(e)</hi>, agreeing with LMCY. Both sets of variants were already attested in various <hi>A</hi> copies.</note> I<seg>-</seg>she<supplied>wed</supplied></l>
<l> <hi></hi> <hi>B</hi>arons and burgeis  and bonde<seg>-</seg>men alse .</l>
<l> <hi>I</hi> seiȝ in þis assemble  as ȝe schul here after </l>
<l> <hi>B</hi>axsteres and brewsteres  and bocheres manye .</l>
<l> <hi>W</hi>olle websteres  and weueres of lynnen .</l>
<l> <hi>T</hi>aillours and tynkeres  and tolleres in marketes .</l>
<l> <hi>M</hi>asons and mynours  and many other craftes .</l>
<l> <hi>O</hi>f <app><lem>alle</lem></app> libbynge<note>R.P.96: Beta reads <hi>alkin libbyng</hi>. The entire line is missing from the <hi>A</hi> and <hi>C</hi> versions, but it is witnessed in <hi>Z</hi> (MS Bodley 851), where the phrasing in question is identical to that found in alpha.</note> laboreres  lopen forthe so<expan>m</expan>me .</l>
<milestone>fol. 78vI</milestone>
<l> <hi>A</hi>s dikares and deluares  þat doth here dedes ille .<note> The entire outer margin is cropped, but as far down as the passus division, all initials are visible and all are touched in red. After the rubricated heading for Passus 1, the cropping becomes severe. </note></l>
<l> <hi>A</hi>nd dryueth forth <app><lem>here dayes here</lem></app><note>R.P.98: Cf. R's <hi>here dayes here</hi> with F's <hi>þe fayre day</hi> and beta's <hi>þe longe day</hi>. Beta's reading agrees with that of the <hi>A</hi> version, while the reading of R closely parallels that of <hi>Cx</hi> (= <hi>here days</hi>).</note> . <hi>with deu vous saue dam emme .</hi></l>
<l> <supplied></supplied> <hi>K</hi>okes and here knaues  cryeden hote pies hote .</l>
<l> <hi>G</hi>ode gris and gees  <orig>gowe</orig><reg>go we</reg> dyne <orig>gowe</orig><reg>go we</reg> .</l>
<l> <supplied></supplied> <hi>T</hi>au<expan>er</expan>neres vntil hem  tolde þe same .</l>
<l> <hi>W</hi>hitt wyne of osey  and <app><lem>of gascoyne</lem></app><note>R.P.102: R's <hi>of gascoyne</hi> is deficient in length and alliteration to complete a full half-line, but it is substantively the same as the reading of the P family of <hi>C</hi> manuscripts. F has <hi>wyn of Gaskoyne</hi>, which essentially agrees with both the X family reading in the <hi>C</hi> tradition and with <hi>Ax</hi>. Beta reads, more explicitly, <hi>red wyn of Gascoigne</hi>.</note> .</l>
<l> <hi>O</hi>f þe ryn and þe rochel<note>R.P.103: Beta reads <hi>and <hi>of</hi> þe Rochel</hi>. This is also the reading of <hi>Ax</hi> and <hi>Cx</hi>.</note>  þe rost to defye .</l>
<l> <hi>A</hi>l þis <orig>seyȝI</orig><reg>seyȝ I</reg> slepynge  and seuen sithes more .</l>