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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume II. The End of the Middle Ages.

I. “Piers the Plowman” and its Sequence

§ 30. Peres the Ploughmans Crede

Next in order of time was, doubtless, the remarkable poem called Peres the Ploughmans Crede, which Skeat assigns to “not long after the latter part of 1393.” The versification is imitated from Piers the Plowman, and the theme, as well as the title, was clearly suggested by it. It is, however, not a vision, but an account of the author’s search for some one to teach him his creed. He visits each of the orders of friars. Each abuses the rest and praises his own order, urging the inquirer to contribute to it and trouble himself no more about his creed. But he sees too much of their worldliness and wickedness, and refuses. At last, he meets a plain, honest ploughman, who delivers a long and bitter attack upon friars of all orders, and, finally, teaches the inquirer the much desired creed. The poem is notable, not only for the vigour of its satire, but also for the author’s remarkable power of description.