Langland’s Ordinatio: The Visio and the Vita Once More.
A reconsideration of his earlier researches (MAE 54 :208-31) in light of Lawrence M. Clopper’s objections (MP 85 : 245-55) confirms the author’s earlier judgment of the non-authorial nature of the structural markers of PPl, even given the unequal distribution of evidence for the conventional ordinatio throughout manuscripts of the three versions. Although the evidence of MS. Laud Misc. 581 may indicate a process of uncompleted simplification of complex segmentation instructions, other evidence within the B tradition (deliberate alterations in MSS. R and C2 to conform to the ordinatio printed by Skeat) points instead toward a process of elaboration by contamination. The four-part division of PPl is ambiguously attested in both the A and B traditions; with regard to A, the most we can conclude is that the common ancestor of extant texts showed some major division at the juncture of A 8/9 with a rubric that indicated beginning of a segment treating Dowel, Dobet, Dobest. With regard to the C text, there is a striking discrepancy among the MSS. as to the proper demarcation of the Dobet section, which in neither of the two major C families coincides, as it does in B, with breaks between dream-visions. Appendices present photostatic copies of the altered passus 7/8 rubric in B manuscripts R and C2; a correlation of two variations of C ordinatio with two from B; and a table listing all rubrics from extant C manuscripts (except those listed in Kane’s edition of the A text).