The Dates of Richard the Redeless and Mum and the Sothsegger.
The greatly enlarged role of Repentance in the B and C confession of the Sins is part of those revisions’ “massive shift toward a more psychological view of Christian perfection.” Only in B and C is the pattern of contritio cordis, confEstablishes a terminus post quem of January 1400 for Richard on the basis of an allusion (2.17) to the Cirencester uprising. Finds in lines 120 and 1672 of Mum references to one of the articles promulgated by the Long Parliament in 1406, and establishes a terminus post quem for Mum of March 1409 on the basis of a reference (line 410) to Arundel’s exemption of the mendicant orders from the necessity of securing licenses to preach in the vernacular.essio oris, and satisfactio operis fully developed, with Repentance serving as an authoritative voice to probe the sincerity of the penitents and declare what constitutes a valid confession. Moreover, his lecture to Coveitise on the necessity of restitution prepares us for the episode of Robert the Robber who, like Dismas, is a thief unable to make restitution but who may be saved nonetheless if his “sorwe” qualifies as contrition. In form Repentance’s prayer in B.5.480-505 is a collect; in content it conforms to the “biblical-creed-narrative” prayer of French romance.
N&Q ns 37 (1990): 270-75.