The title Piers Plowman or, as I prefer to write it, Piers CP lowman, is one which has been frequently misconstrued 1misunderstood by many authors, and concerning which many books have blundered inextricably. It is most important the reader should have a clear idea of what it means, and as is rather a difficult point to explain accurately, I must ask him give me his best attention; and I cannot refrain from adding hope that, if he succeeds in mastering the explanation of it, will refrain from using the phrase in future in the old slovenly The difficulty is three-fold, as originating in a three-fold error. three mistakes commonly made are these. First, Piers man is used as though it were the name of an author tndiy, two poems which are quite distinct, and the respective of which are familiarly expressed as The Vision of Piers )man and Pierce the Ploughmar CsC rede have been frequently founded together; and thirdly, the name of The Vision of Plowman is commonly given to what is really the Liber de :ro Plowman, of which the Vision forms only about a third I must ask the reader to bear in mind that, in what I am going to say, I make no reference whatever to the Crede, do not make any assertion about it till I again expressly tntion it by its full title. Unless this be remembered, our ice of arriving at the truth is much lessened. Just as Christian is not the author of Bunyans Pilgrim s Probut only the subject of it, so Piers the Plowman is not the lor of the Vision, but the subject of it; he is the personage T bif mistake occurs, for instance, in Chaucer s England, vol. ii. p. 230, Matthew Browne; who should have known better.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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