Piers the Ploughman (Penguin Classics) by William Langland

By William Langland

Piers the Ploughman, a mixing of prophecy and satirical comedy, is the good consultant English poem of the past due heart Ages.

The paintings of an vague fourteenth-century cleric, Piers the Ploughman is worried with the most important of all poetic issues, the which means of man's existence on the subject of his final future. This religious allegory is decided opposed to a colourful history of teeming medieval existence among the 'Tower of Truth' and the 'Dungeon of Falsehood'. With an advent, Notes and a book-by-book statement at the allegory, J.F. Goodridge's smooth translation of the poem captures the flavor of Langland's shiny photographs and vernacular expressions.

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Edward II I naturally sought to retain this surcharg e in peacetime . H e manage d afte r 136 0 to secur e fro m parliamen t a continuou s series o f renewal s o f the wartim e rate s o f duty . 000 (73), about tw o third s of the king' s yearly revenue in these years. The direc t taxes (the lay tenths and fifteenths ) wen t o n being collected during most o f th e decad e afte r 1348 . Fo r reason s tha t ar e nowher e explained , n o attempt wa s mad e to reasses s the m afresh . A s a concessio n t o th e landowning class the kin g wa s willing , however, t o deduc t fro m th e quota s du e fro m eac h county th e fine s fo r th e breache s o f th e Statut e o f Labourer s impose d o n it s inhabitants.

THE FINANCIAL POLICIES O F ROYAL GOVERNMENTS I 85 4 VIII Between 136 9 an d 138 0 Franc e experience d muc h heavie r interna l taxatio n than England . Charles V did his best to diminish oppositio n to his fiscal policies. He wa s carefu l t o appeas e al l the majo r noble s by increasin g thei r shar e o f th e taxes levie d in their ow n lordships . H e appears t o hav e gon e beyond th e usua l practice i n also extending these concessions to municipalities. Thus the authorities of Rouen received in 137 3 a third of the town's aides ( 98), which represente d th e same proportion a s the share of most of the great barons.

As migh t b e expected , afte r th e plagu e bot h th e Englis h an d th e Frenc h governments persiste d wit h thei r warlik e policie s an d th e usua l fiscal arrange(67) MOLLA T an d WOLFF , op . , p . 112 . Se e als o belo w fo r furthe r evidenc e o f widespread poverty in France in the reig n o f Charles V (1364-80). , 1976) , p. 306 . (69) E . B . F. Meekings (London , 1978) , pp. 230-31 . (70) R . B . DOBSON , Durham Priory, 1400-1450 (Cambridge , 1973) , p . 271 . THE FINANCIAL POLICIES OF ROYAL GOVERNMENTS I 84 6 ments as if nothing had changed.

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