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Conscience defends merchandise as separate from mede (and significantly also from mede in the form of divine grace), but in very limited terms that blur the scholastic distinction between dishonest usury and potentially honest merchandise. III. 240), so that Conscience ties the problem of money specifically to the usury ban. 48 There remains, however, the question of to what extent the “permutacion . . [of ] a penyworþ for anoþer” represents an invocation on Langland’s part of the “just price,” or whether it instead applies an inelastic natural value to merchandise.

XV. 149–50). Anima’s charity here is not the eleemosynary variety, and the “fre liberal wille” (aside from the pun on the author’s name) suggests the connection to free will in grace in William of Ockham, as suggested by Coleman. XV. 151). XV. XV. XV. 159–60). XV. 155). Lending could be charitable, since a virtuously interest-free loan would help a needy person. XV. 159) would reify the taint of finance that the charity was meant to wash away.

247). As it will with Coveitise, “maintenance” appears at a moment when the power of money is most suspect and mede hardest to define, and this invocation of maintenance undermines Mede’s earlier suggestion that kingship requires gift-giving mede. We also see Langland’s concern with the power of money through the repugnance of his imagery here: the admonition that “he þat gripeþ hir gold . . III. 45 David Aers also argues that Langland adds to this repugnance with the misogyny of the marriage metaphor here, and he associates Langland’s contempt for Mede with “the profit economy .

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