Art. 37, Gilote e Johane

ART. 37, GILOTE E JOHANE: EXPLANATORY NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; ANL: Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (R. Dean and Boulton); BL: British Library (London); Bodl.: Bodleian Library (Oxford); CCC: Corpus Christi College (Cambridge); CUL: Cambridge University Library (Cambridge); IMEV: The Index of Middle English Verse (Brown and Robbins); IMEV Suppl.: Supplement to the Index of Middle English Verse (Robbins and Cutler); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MWME: A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050–1500 (Severs et al.); NIMEV: A New Index of Middle English Verse (Boffey and Edwards); NLS: National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh).

1–5 For a later manifestation of this comic trope of a naive young man overhearing what women really think of men, see William Dunbar’s “Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo” (Complete Works, pp. 198–214).

182 soun voler. This phrase has been translated “her will,” but it might mean, alter¬natively, “his will.”

245 Alas, alas, for Godes deth, such womon is yshent! Gilote comically lapses into English. What motivates the outburst is pity for the defrauded woman whose husband cannot satisfy her libido. Compare the similar surprise effect of affective English in While You Play in Flowers (art. 55), lines 19–20.

337 juer a talevas devant. Literally, “to play before the shield.” A bawdy sense is clearly intended, apparently with a crude euphemism for a woman’s genital parts. The word (spelled talevace) recurs as a derogatory term for an old woman in The Knight and the Basket (art. 82), line 37. See Kennedy, p. 175; and Revard 2004, pp. 135–36 n. 18.

340 Pount-Freint. The term means “broken bridge,” a literal translation of the Latin Pontefract, a town near Leeds in Yorkshire. To walk from Winchester in the south to Pontefract in the north means, in effect, to traverse the whole country, moving northward to Ireland. Revard points out that Pontefract, castle site for the earls of Lancaster, was the place where Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, who led the 1321–22 baronial uprising against the Despensers and Edward II, was taken and beheaded in 1322 (2004, pp. 134–35 n. 13). Popularly regarded as a near-saint, Thomas of Lancaster is memorialized as a martyr in another manuscript containing the hand of the Ludlow scribe, London, BL MS Royal 12.C.12 (ca. 1323–26; ed. Wright 1839, pp. 268–72).

345 vyntenuefyme. “Twenty-ninth.” This word was mistakenly read vyntennesyme (“twentieth”) by Jubinal, followed by Dove 1969 and ANL 193. The error was corrected by Kennedy (pp. 176–77), followed by Revard (2004, p. 132) and Reichl (2000, p. 231).


ART. 37, GILOTE E JOHANE: TEXTUAL NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: As: Aspin; Bö: Böddeker; Bos: Bossy; Br: Brook; BS: Bennett and Smithers; BZ: Brandl and Zippel; B13: Brown 1932; B14: Brown 1952; DB: Dunn and Byrnes; Deg: Degginger; Do: Dove 1969; Gr: Greene 1977; Ha: Halliwell; Hal: Hall; Hol: Holthausen; Hor1: Horstmann 1878; Hor2: Horstmann 1896; Hu: Hulme; JL: Jeffrey and Levy; Ju: Jubinal; Kel: Keller; Ken: Kennedy; Le: Lerer 2008; Mc: McKnight; Mi: Millett; MR: Michelant and Raynaud; Mo: Morris and Skeat; MS: MS Harley 2253; Mu: H. M. R. Murray; Pa: Patterson; Pr: Pringle 2009; Rei: Reichl 1973; Rev1: Revard 2004; Rev2: Revard 2005b; Ri1: Ritson 1877; Ri2: Ritson 1885; Ro: Robbins 1959; Sa: Saupe; Si: Silverstein; St: Stemmler 1970; Tr: Treharne; Tu: Turville-Petre 1989; Ul: Ulrich; W1: Wright 1839; W2: Wright 1841; W3: Wright 1842; W4: Wright 1844; WH: Wright and Halliwell.

2 chivaler. So MS, Ju, Ken, Do. Rev1: cheualer.

10 que. So MS, Ju, Ken, Do. Rev1: qe.

11 beal. So MS, Ju, Ken, Do. Rev1: bel.

15 lele. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: tele.

20 e. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: et.

24 d’enconbrer. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: d’encombrer .

25 estez. So MS, Ju, Ken, Rev1. Do: estes .

30 su. So MS, Ju, Ken, Rev1. Do: fu.

31 Pus qe. So MS, Ju, Ken. Do, Rev1: Pus ce qe.

34 Pus qe. So MS, Ju, Ken. Do, Rev1: Pus ce qe.

42 aparteynaunce. So MS, Ju, Do, Rev1. Ken: aparceynaunce .

52 vyt. So Do, Rev1. MS: xyt . Ju: uyt . Ken: eyt .

57 pris. So MS, Ju, Do, Rev1. Ken: pres .

58 Desolé. So MS, Ju, Do, Rev1. Ken: defole.

65 quaunt. So MS, Ju, Do. Ken, Rev1: quant.

70 mesfetz. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: meffetz.

73 lele. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: tele.

88 su. So MS, Ju, Ken, Rev1. Do: fu.

89 salvacioun. So MS, Ju, Do, Rev1 . Ken: salvatioun.

90 E. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: Et.

96 en. So Do, Rev1. MS, Ju, Ken: e.
je. So MS, Ju, Do, Rev1. Ken: omitted.

98 ensaunple. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: ensample.

101 salvacioun. So MS, Ju, Do, Rev1 . Ken: salvatioun.

113 E. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: Et.

118 soume. So MS, Ken, Rev1. Ju, Do: somme.

119 Dieu. So Ken, Rev1. MS, Ju, Do: Bien.
ne. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: de.

121 mesfet. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: meffet.

137 destaunce. So MS, Ju, Do, Rev1. Ken: distaunce.

141 cristen. So MS (crist abbreviated), Do, Rev1. Ju, Ken: cristien.

148 meynz. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: mynz.
l’escole. So MS, Ju, Ken, Do. Rev1: le scole.

156 serra. So MS, Ju, Ken. Do, Rev1: ferra.

157 avez. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: arez.

171 me ussez. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: m’eussez.

174 nulle. So MS Ju, Ken, Rev1. Do: nule.

191 seme. So Ken. MS, Ju, Do, Rev1: seine.

197 e. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: omitted.

198 su. So MS, Ju, Ken, Rev1. Do: fu.

199 e. So MS, Do, Rev1. Ju, Ken: et.

209 deveyer. So MS, Do, Rev1. Ju, Ken: deneyer.

214 E. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: Et.

217 l’autrer. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: l’autr’er.

218 Johane. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: Jehane.

232 tienk. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: tient.

239 rien. So MS, Ju, Do, Rev1. Ken: bien.

243 honme. So MS, Ken. Ju, Do: homme. Rev1: houme.

245 womon. So MS, Do, Rev1. Ju: coomoun. Ken: woman.
yshent. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: y-sheent.

247 jeouene. So MS, Do, Rev1. Ju: geouene.
clerjoun. So Rev1. MS, Ken, Do: clerioun. Ju: clersoun.

255 predicacioun. So MS, Do, Rev1. Ju, Ken,: predicatioun.

256 e. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: et.

263 medicine. So MS, Ju, Ken, Do. Rev1: medecine.

265 par. So MS (ar abbreviated), Ken, Do. Ju, Rev1: pur.

269 lettre. So MS (ett abbreviated), Ju, Ken, Do. Rev1: letre.

273 lyws. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev. Ju: luus.

275 eyn de gré. So MS, Ju. Ken, Do, Rev1: eyndegre.

276 honme. So MS, Ken. Ju: homme. Do, Rev1: houme.

278 ov. So MS, Ju, Ken, Rev1. Do: en.

279 an enter. So MS, Ken, Do, Rev1. Ju: anenter.

280 mis. So MS, Ju, Ken, Do. Rev1: mys.

281 enterré. So MS, Ju, Ken, Rev1. Do: en terre.

283 cas. So MS, Ju, Ken, Do. Rev1: case.

 
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Art. 37, Gilote e Johane

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345



¶ En may par une matyné s’en ala juer,   [Narrator]
En un vert bois ramé, un jeuene chivaler,
Si oyd deus femmes entremedler.
Ly chevaler se arestut privément pur oyer:
Les damoyseles ne le aparsurent mie.
E si lur nouns voletz qe je les vous die,
Gilote e Johane nomer se feseyent,
E de lur vies entreparleyent.

Primes dit Gilote, de jolyf cuer:   [Gilote]
“Je ay un amy que fet apreyser,
Coynte e sage e beal bachiler,
E tot me treove quanqe j’ay mester.”

“Veyre,” dit Johane, “je su pucele,   [Johane]
Entre la gent tenu pur bele,
E, de mon cors, tenue pur lele:
De ce meint prodhome parle novele,
E uncore outre plus qe je vous die.
Ne su mie apayé de tote vostre vie.
Vous vivez malement en vileynie,
En manere de pecchié e de lecherie.
Pur ce je vous lou qe vous lessez
Ceste male vie e vous amendez,
E fetez vous tost bien marier
Pur doute de pecché e d’enconbrer.”

“Veyre,” dit Gilote, “vous estez desçue,   [Gilote]
E de un ben nyent estes vous mué.
Je estoie pucele, mes ore ne su mie,
Ne jamés serroi, pur perdre la vie.
Par la ou vous deites je su en pecché,
Certes, c’est voirs, si su je nee.
Pus qe je primes fu engendré,
Je ne me poey garder de pecché.
Unqe ne fust femme, ne ja serra,
Pus qe Deus Adam primes crea,
Damoisele ne dame, de sa ne de la,
Qe a la foyz ne pecche, coment qe il va.
Vous qe vous tenez digne en virginité,
Plus qe je ne ay si avez vous pecché,
Tes parens e tes amys sovent corocé,
E de jours e de nuytz malement tempté.
E si vous purrez, privément a leysyr
Sauntz aparteynaunce, a pleysyr,
Tot parfere vostre voler,
A peyne si vous vodrez le jeu lesser.
Vous estes al hostiel tot demoraunt,
Mesdit e repris cum un enfaunt.
E ne avez qe vous troeve kerchief ne gant,
Creaunt serez pucele e tenez vous a taunt.
Je su en joie e en jolyveté,
Pres de mon cher ami, qe me fet lee,
De fere ce qe me plest a ma volenté.
Qui qe l’en corouce, vyt il maugree.
La ou vous parlez endreit de mariage,
Noun frai je, Johane. Ce serreit outrage
De vivre en peyne e en damage.
Qe malement se marie ne fet pas qe sage.
Je serroi pris de su en ma mesoun,
Desolé e batu pur poi d’enchesoun;
E aver les enfauntz a trop de foysoun,
E ja ne departyrai de tel laroun.
Unqe ne savoy femme que prist mary,
Qe tost ou tart ne se repenty.
A noun Dieu, Johane, ne est pas issi
Entre moi meismes e mon amy.
Je pus quaunt je vueil partyr de ly
Sauntz congié de prestre ou de autruy,
E choyser un autre tauntost aprés,
E vivre en joie e tous jours en pes,
A dreyn de mes pecchiés estre confés
E de touz mesfetz aver relés.”

“Vous avetz molt parlé a desresoun,   [Johane]
Par maveise creaunce e abusioun,
Quar lele pucelage e virginité
Sunt en ciel e terre sovereyn digneté.
Par plusours ensamples puet estre prové
Qe ce est la fyn de tote bounté.
La premere ensample, qe tot conclud,
Est de la Dame qe primes consut
Nostre douz Salveour, si come ly plust,
Pure virgine de jour e de nuyt;
Virgine estoit devant e aprés,
Virgine e dame demorant en pes.
De totes virgines porta le fes.
Douce Virgine, nous grauntez relés!
E autres ensamples de meintes virgines
Que ore sunt en ciel pures meschines.
E pur ce vous di je, par ceste resoun,
Pucele su e de ce ay le noun,
Come les virgines de salvacioun.
E je de virginale su condicioun,
E vous estes de un degré descendi plus bas.
E si estes del tot passé le pas.
Ja en ta vie ne le recoveras
Le pucelage qe tu perdu as.”

“Vos paroles,” dit Gilote, “sunt a entendre,   [Gilote]
Mes en moltz des pointz vous vueil je reprendre.
De Nostre douce Dame vous estes molt meyndre.
Entre vous e ly ne poez ensaunple feyndre.
Vous estes molt fole, e bien le savom,
De fere nulle ensample ou comparisoun
Entre vous e la Dame de salvacioun,
De qui nostre joie nous tous avom,
Ou de fere ensample de seinte virgines,
Qe sunt en ciel divine meschynes.
Vous estes terrene e si ne savez
Coment a drein vous meismes cheverez.
Vostre virginité ne vous valt rien
Si de mal penser le cuer ne gardez bien.
E Dieu dist meismes par comandement,
‘Multiplier e crestre la gent,
E rendre les almes a ly, Omnipotent.
Celi qe me dedit sei meismes dement.’
E tant come en terre soule viverez,
Une alme a Dieu rendre ne poez.”

¶ “Vous me ditez tro bien, en veritez,   J[ohane]
Si en esposailles fuissent engendrez.
Dreite engendrure est naturele chose;
Ce est la soume de ce e la parclose.”

“Dieu ne exepte par nulle escripture   Gilote
Nulle cristene gent par engendrure.
Quant mon ami de rien ne mesfet,
Je prendroi un autre sauntz fere plet,
E tendroi a ly a ma volenté.
Si bien ne se porte, tost serra chaungé.
De la Magdaleyne vous avez oy retrere,
Qe peccheresse fust quant fust en terre.
Ore est en ciel gloriouse mere
Par sa repentance e sa priere.
Si avez oi dire qe ele fust lors,
La plus orde femme qe unque fust, de cors,
Pleyne de pecchié dedenz e dehors.
E pus de ces pecchez Dieu fist devors.
Autres ensamples dient plusour
Qe Dieus plus ayme un peccheour
Qe se converte a chief de tour
Qe nulle virgine, par escriptour.”

Johane respount santz nulle destaunce:   [Johane]
“Que pecchié de gree en operaunce,
Yl vet en doute e en balaunce
Si Dieu ne ly face de ce aleggaunce.”

¶ “Chescun cristen qe se conust de gré   G[ilote]
Vers soun Creatour aver pecchié,
E cri merci de bone volenté,
Yl serra bien oy e serra salvé.
Turnez le Byble desus e dejus:
Vous ne troverez frere qe vous dirra plus.
Afeytez vous, file! Afeitez vous, fole!
Vous estes meynz sage. Venez a l’escole!
Fetez come je face. Dieu vous avaunce!
Aydez al siecle pur fere creaunce.”

¶ “Vous me avetz conclud, mes ore vueil aprendre   J[ohane]     
Coment je me purroi donque defendre
Si de mes parentz soie reprové.”

“De ce je vous dirroi la fyne verité.   [Gilote]
Vous averez un bachiler jeouene e vaillant,
E a matin e a seir vous serra joyant,
E quant le gu d’amour avez asayee
Sys foiht ou seet, a vostre volentee,
Vous a vostre mere vendrez arere,
E la mere pur vous priera le pere.
Quar naturele chose est a la mere
Eyder la fille en tote manere.
E si vostre pere aprés vous reprent
E vous ledenge a soun talent,
Que vous avez fet noun pas sagement,
Lessez le passer. Ce n’est rien qe vent.
E si devez dire: ‘Sire, si vous plet,
Meinte pucele ad issi fet.
Ne su pas la dreine ne la premere,
E pur quoi serroi je lesse derere?
Si vous me ussez bel part avant mariee,
Ne fuisse je ore de cest arettee.
Fete vos files tost marier,
Quar nulle pucele se puet garder.
La pensee lur dampne e le voler —
Tant ad de joie en le mestier!’”

Donqe ceste Johane un amy prist,   [Narrator]
Plus bel bachiler unqe ne vist.
E come Gilote la out eynz dit,
En totes choses issi le fit.
Johane se cocha ov cel bachiler
Come pucele prest a soun voler,
E il se entremist de son mester.
La gist un ‘hoho’ e un teyser.

¶ Donqe dit Gilote, a chief de tour,   [Gilote]
“Coment vous resemble de le gu d’amour?”

¶ “Certes, Gilote, c’est dreit gu!   [Johane]
Unqe en terre meilour ne fu
A reigne ne dame ne autre vivant!
Par mon ami ai je trové taunt,
Tant juay ov ly ou seme plat,
Qe par un simple ‘escheke’ si ly di ‘mat.’”

¶ Donqe dit Gilote, e parla a Jone,   [Gilote]
“Coment vous resemble? Est la vie bone?”

“La beneson Dieu e sa douce mere   [Johane]
Puissez vous aver, come bone counsilere,
Car je su en joye e en jolyf chere
E su molt amendé en meinte manere,
Si fu bien fole e mal avysee
Qe j’ay pucele tant demoree
E perdu mon temps en vidueté,
Mes si ne fray je mes, en ma leauté.”

¶ Tant ad Johane alé par Wyncestre   [Narrator]
E Gilote sa compaigne, qe fust chef mestre,
De dire ceste aventure e de precher,
Qe a peyne une puet um trover
Que ne s’entremettra de tiel mestier;
Si ele soit requise de jeouene bachiler,
A peyne si ele savera son amour deveyer.

Si, com il alerent un matyn deduaunt,
Une jeuene espose lur vient acontrant,
E quant vist Gilote, si la salua
E counsail e aye ly demaunda,
E dit qe un chivaler ly aveit counté
Qe Gilote fust femme bien enloquyné,
“E dit qe il out oy la desputeysoun   [Uxor]
Qe vous venquistes l’autrer a grant resoun,
E que vous avez Johane ensi consilee
Qe c’est grant joie e grant dentee.”

Gilote assez bien la entendist,   [Gilote]
E, tauntost aprés, la demaundist
Quei fust la chose qe ele coveytoit
Sur totes choses; qe rien ne celeroit.

“Mout y ad a dyre c’est verité,   [Uxor]
Mes a vous, Gilote, ne serra rien cele.
E molt est a dire e a mostrer,
Mes ‘bosoigne fet la voie deforcer.’
Je su jeouene espouse, si ay un baroun,
Mes trop est il fieble en sa mesoun.
Ce est la verité, il ad un vit
Trop est il plyant e trop petit,
E je su molt pres si me tienk clos,
E son vit est touzjours derere mon dors,
E pur fin anguisse me toud mon repos,
E me fet palyr e fremyr le cors.
Me covient moryr pur anguisse fyn
Si je n’eie l’amour de jolif hokekyn.”

“Veyre,” dit Gilote, “vous estes trahy,   [Gilote]
E de ce ne serrez rien abay.
Je mettroi consail; vous averez aye.
Vous averez medicine, si serrez garye.
Trop est femme desçu malement
E forement trahy, qe tiel honme prent.
Yl ne puet foutre ne fere talent.
Alas, alas, for Godes deth, such womon ys yshent!
Demayn quant vostre mary vet de mesoun,
Je vous froy venyr un jeouene clerjoun,
Qe de geu vous trovera grant foissoun,
De meyne e de tresble e de bordoun.”

“Si usse je fet graunt temps passé,   [Uxor]
Mes je me dotay molt de pecché,
E pur ce le ai je uncore lessé
Tant qe je seie mieux avysé.
Car prestres nous dient en lur sermoun,
E si fount les freres en predicacioun,
Qe ce est la mort e confusioun
Femme de prendre autre qe son baron.
E ce ne serroit pur moy de aver amour
E perdre ma alme santz nul retour.”

“N’est il pas baroun tenuz en terre   G[ilote]
Qe ne puet ov sa femme engendrure fere,
Ne il ne puet foutre, ne il ne puet trere.
A force covent medicine quere.
Prestres ne freres, pur lur sermoun,
Ne devez mie doter, par ceste resoun:
Pus qe le frere qe list de son art
Preche al pueple e foute de sa part.
Nous jeouene femmes n’averom regart,
Qe unqe ne veymes lettre ne art.”

“Mes uncore vous vueil prier de plus,   Uxor
Qe n’est avant dit ne mostré desus.
Le roi ad fet fere fortz estatus
Qe font grantz mals en plusours lyws:
Si femme espousé ad guerpi
Par soun eyn de gré son propre mari
E un autre honme ad choysy
En manere de avoutre ov de amy,
E se fet demorer ov son avoter
Un demi an ou un an enter,
E son baron seit mis en cymeter,
Mort e enterré santz revenyr . . . ?”

“Certes,” dit Gilote, “je vous dy veir,   [Gilote]
La femme, en cel cas, pert son doweyr.
Mes la ou le baroun ov bone volentee
Ad sa compaigne a ly recounsilee,
Rien n’i est perdu, mes tot est gaygné,
E accion par bref si serra graunté.”

“E quei si le baron reprendre ne la voleit?”   [Uxor]

“Play de seinte Eglise quei ly valdreit?   [Gilote]
Par play de seinte Eglise la femme esposé
Serra reprise son baroun malgré.
Mes vous frez autre coyntise
Par quei qe vous serrez arere reprise:
Devant vostre baroun vendrez humblement;
Vous li crierez merci molt dulcement,
E prierez qe il eit, pur l’amour de Dee,
Merci de vous e pietee:
‘Je vous ay mesfet en ma vyleynye,
Si ne frai je jamés tant come je ay la vie.
Beau sire baroun, pernez bone cure
Quey me promistes par premesse dure.
Regardez a Dieu e a dreyture.
Vous ne me poez refuser pur nulle aventure.
Quant nous venimes le prestre devant,
Coment vous me deytes avisez vous a tant.
Veiez si la femme; veiez si l’enfant.
Douz sire baroun, tenez covenant.’
Prestres e freres e autre bone gent
Vendront e dirront communement:
‘Recevez ta femme par digne talent,
Pur salver vostre alme hors de torment.’
Quant ceste chose serra mostré,
Vous vendrez devant ly bien atyré.
Le cuer li changera, si avera pieté,
E vous serrez dame bien recounsilé,
E serrez mestresse si come devant,
E serrez riche dame e plus puissant.”

E si come Gilote cestes choses dist,   [Narrator]
¶ Ceste jeouene espouse issi le fist.
E de totes choses qe Gilote la aprist,
Unqe en nul point rien ne faylist.
Cestes bones femmes s’en alerent juer,
Gilote e Johane ensemble a moster.
Ceste matere la comencerent.
Le tixt e la glose desputerent;
Apertement distrent lur argument.

Les femmes respondyrent comunement:   [Uxores]
“Vous avez bien dit e clergialment;
Unqe ne oymes tiel prechement.”

E totes bone femmes al hostel alerent,   [Narrator]
Quar hastive bosoignes lur chacerent,
E solum cet aprise tous feseient,
Si fount il uncore, ou qu’il seient.
Tant sunt celes damoiseles alé avant
Que il n'y a femme ore vivant,
En quel lu que ele soit demorant,
Qe bien ne siet juer a talevas devant.
En Engletere e Yrlaund yl precherent.
Meynt bone terre si envyronerent.
A la vile de Pount-Freint demorerent,
E a lur aprise plusours tornerent.

C’est une bourde de reheyter la gent,
A Wyncestre fet, verroiement,
Le mois de septembre le jour quinsyme,
Le an roy Edward vyntenuefyme,
Le fitz roy Henry qe ama seinte Eglise.
E quant vous avez lu tote ceste aprise,
Priez a Dieu de ciel, roy glorious,
Qe il eit merci e pieté de nous.
¶ In May on a morning there went out to play,   [Narrator]
In a green wood thick with branches, a young knight,
And he heard two women debating.
In secret the knight stopped to listen:
The young ladies weren’t at all aware of him.
And if you want me to tell you their names,
They were called Gilote and Johane,
And they were talking about their lives.

First says Gilote, with a happy heart:   [Gilote]
“I have a lover worth prizing,
A clever and prudent and handsome young man,
And he finds me whatever I need.”

“In truth,” says Johane, “I’m a virgin,   [Johane]
Held as beautiful among people,
And, regarding my body, considered virtuous:
Many a good man speaks about this fact,
And even more than I tell you.
I am not a bit pleased by your life.
You live wickedly in baseness,
In a manner of sin and lechery.
Therefore I admonish you to give up
This wicked life and amend yourself,
And get yourself quickly married
For fear of sin and embarrassment.”

“In truth,” says Gilote, “you’re deceived,   [Gilote]
And you’re bothered by a mere nothing.
I was a virgin, but now I’m not at all,
Nor will I ever be, so may I lose my life.
As for your saying that I’m in sin,
Certainly, it’s true, as I’m born.
Since I was first begotten,
I couldn’t keep from sin.
Never has there been a woman, nor ever will be,
Since God first created Adam,
Single or married, here or there,
Who doesn’t sin sometimes, however it goes.
You who hold yourself worthy in virginity,
You’ve sinned more than I have,
Often vexed your parents and friends,
Wickedly tempted [them] day and night.
And if you could, secretly in leisure
Without being seen, at your pleasure,
Achieve all you wanted,
Scarcely would you want to give up the game.
You’re always staying at home,
Criticized and corrected like a child.
And you don’t have anyone who finds you kerchiefs or gloves,
For they believe you’ll be a virgin and keep yourself as such.
I’m in joy and in delight,
Near my dear lover, who makes me happy,
By doing what pleases me at my will.
Whoever’s mad about it, let him be.
While you speak about marriage,
I won’t have it, Johane. It would be outrageous
To live in suffering and in harm.
Whoever marries badly doesn’t act prudently.
I would be trapped in my house,
Oppressed and beaten for little cause,
[I’d have] to have way too many children,
And I’d never be separated from such a rogue.
I’ve never known a woman who took a husband,
Who sooner or later didn’t regret it.
In God’s name, Johane, it’s not thus
Between myself and my lover.
I can leave him when I want
Without permission from a priest or anyone else,
And choose another immediately afterwards,
And live in joy and always in peace,
And at the end be confessed of my sins
And be absolved of all my misdeeds.”

“You’ve spoken very unreasonably,   [Johane]
In bad faith and error,
For steadfast maidenhood and virginity
Enjoy the highest status in heaven and earth.
It can be proved by many examples
That this is the goal of all goodness.
The first example, which includes all others,
Is that of the Lady who first conceived
Our sweet Savior, as it was pleasing to him,
Pure virgin both day and night;
She was virgin before and after,
Virgin and lady living in peace.
Of all virgins she bore the burden.
Sweet Virgin, grant us absolution!
And there are other examples of many virgins
Who are now pure maidens in heaven.
And therefore I tell you, based on this argument,
I am a maiden and I am known for this,
Like the virgins of salvation.
And I am in a virginal state,
And you have descended to a lower state,
And you have absolutely passed the limit.
Never in your life will you recover
The maidenhood that you’ve lost.”

“Your words,” says Gilote, “are understandable,   [Gilote]
But I want to correct you on many of the points.
You are much less than Our sweet Lady.
Between you and her you can’t feign comparison.
You’re very foolish, and we know it well,
To make any example or comparison
Between yourself and the Lady of salvation,
From whom we have all our joy,
Or to make an example of holy virgins,
Who are divine maidens in heaven.
You are of this world and so you don’t know
How you yourself will fare at the end.
Your virginity is worth nothing to you
If you don’t shield your heart from bad thoughts.
And God himself said as a commandment,
‘Multiply and increase the human race,
And render souls to him, the Omnipotent.
He who contradicts me opposes himself.’
As long as you live alone on earth,
You cannot give God a soul.”

¶ “You speak to me very well, in truth,   J[ohane]
If they were begotten in marriage.
Legal procreation is a natural thing:
It’s the culmination of it and its completion.”

“God doesn’t cast out in any Scripture   Gilote
Any Christian person on account of begetting.
When my lover behaves badly in anything,
I’ll take another without making a plea,
And I’ll keep him according to my desire.
If he doesn’t conduct himself well, he’ll soon be exchanged.
You’ve heard tell of the Magdalen,
Who was a sinner when she was on earth.
Now she’s a glorious mother in heaven
On account of her repentance and her prayer.
And you’ve heard it said that she was then,
Of body, the filthiest woman who ever was,
Full of sin within and without.
And then God separated her from these sins.
Many tell other examples of
How God loves more a sinner
Who’s converted at the very end
Than any virgin, according to Scripture.”

Johane answers without any delay:   [Johane]
“He who sins willingly in deed,
He lives in fear and peril
Unless God gives him relief from this.”

¶ “Each Christian who knows himself willingly   G[ilote]
To have sinned against his Creator,
And begs mercy with a good will,
He'll be well heard and will be saved.
Turn the Bible up and down:
You won’t find a friar who will tell you more.
Educate yourself, girl! Educate yourself, fool!
You're not very prudent. Come to school!
Do as I do. May God prosper you!
Help the world to foster belief.”

¶ “You’ve convinced me, but now I want to learn   J[ohane]
How I’d be able to defend myself
If I were reproved by my parents.”

“I’ll tell you the pure truth about that.   [Gilote]
You’ll have a young and brave man,
And morning and evening he’ll be delighted with you,
And when you have tried the game of love
Six times or seven, according to your desire,
You’ll come back to your mother,
And your mother will approach your father for you.
For it’s a natural thing for a mother
To help her daughter in every way.
And if your father then reproves you
And rails at you as he wants,
That you haven’t acted prudently,
Let it go. It’s nothing but wind.
And you must say: ‘Lord, if it please you,
Many a maiden has done this.
I’m neither the last nor the first,
And why should I be left behind?
If you'd arranged for me to be married well before,
I wouldn’t now be accused of this.
Have your daughters marry early,
For no virgin can protect herself.
Thought and desire condemn them —
There’s so much joy in the craft!’”

Then this Johane took a lover,   [Narrator]
A more handsome young man she never saw.
And just as Gilote had told her earlier,
Thus she did in everything.
Johane went to bed with that young man
As a virgin prepared to do her will,
And he busied himself with his task.
There lay an ‘oo-oo’ and a hush.

¶ Then Gilote says, when it’s all over,   [Gilote]
“How does the game of love seem to you?”

¶ “Certainly, Gilote, it’s a proper game!   [Johane]
Never was there a better one on earth
For a queen or a lady or any other living creature!
I’ve discovered so much through my lover,
I’ve played so much with him where we lie down,
That by a simple ‘check’ I called him ‘mated.’”

¶ Then Gilote speaks, and said to Johane,   [Gilote],
“How does it seem to you? Is life good?”

“God’s blessing and his sweet mother’s   [Johane]
May you have, as a good adviser,
For I’m in delight and in a happy mood
And I’m much improved in many ways,
And I was really foolish and badly advised
That I've remained a virgin so long
And lost my time in chastity,
But I'll no longer do it, by my faith.”

¶ Johane went so much about Winchester   [Narrator]
With her companion Gilote, who was headmaster,
Telling and preaching about this adventure,
That one can scarcely find a woman
Who won't engage in such a task;
If she should be asked by a young man,
She scarcely knows how to turn down his love.

So, as they went out one morning enjoying themselves,
A young wife came upon them,
And when she saw Gilote, she greeted her
And asked her for advice and help,
And said that a knight had told her
That Gilote was a very eloquent woman,
“And he says that he’d heard the disputation   [Wife]
That you won the other day by impressive logic,
And that you’ve advised Johane in such a way
That it's a great joy and a great delight.”

Gilote listened to her very well,   [Gilote]
And, immediately afterwards, she asked
What thing it was that she coveted
Above all things; she should hide nothing.

“It’s true that there’s a lot to say,   [Wife]
But from you, Gilote, nothing will be hidden.
And there’s a lot to say and to show,
But ‘need determines the path.’
I am a young wife, and I have a husband,
But he’s too feeble at home.
The truth is, he has a prick
That’s too pliant and too little,
And I’m very near and he holds me close,
And his prick is always behind my back,
And for pure anguish he steals my rest,
And makes me turn pale and my body tremble.
I’m ready to die on account of pure anguish
If I don’t have the love of a jolly rascal.”

“Truly,” says Gilote, “you’ve been betrayed,   [Gilote]
And you will not be at all troubled by this.
I’ll give advice; you’ll have help.
You’ll have medicine, and you’ll be healed.
Too much is a woman badly deceived
And severely betrayed, who takes such a man.
He can’t fuck or fulfill her desire.
Alas, alas, for God’s death, such a woman is ruined!
Tomorrow when your husband leaves the house,
I'll have a young clerk come to you,
Who will compose for you an abundance of loveplay,
In the middle and the treble and the bass.”

“So I’d have done a long time ago,   [Wife]
But I was very afraid of sinning,
And therefore I’ve still put it aside
Until I might be better advised
For priests tell us in their sermons,
And so do friars in their preaching,
That it is death and confusion
For a woman to take someone other than her husband.
And it wouldn’t serve for me to have love
And lose my soul without any recourse.”

“He’s not considered a husband anywhere   G[ilote]
If he can’t procreate with his wife,
Or if he can’t fuck, or if he can’t shoot.
He must perforce seek medical help.
Neither priests nor friars, for their sermons,
Should you fear a bit, for this reason:
Since the friar who has read about his art
Preaches to the people and fucks as well.
We young women will pay no attention,
Who never saw writing or a liberal art.”

“But still I want to ask you more,   Wife
Which hasn’t been said or demonstrated above.
The king has had firm statutes made
That cause great trouble in many places:
If a married woman has renounced
By her own choice her own husband
And has chosen another man
As her adulterer or lover,
And goes to stay with her adulterer
A half-year or an entire year,
And her husband is put in the cemetery,
Dead and buried with no coming back . . . ?”

“Indeed,” says Gilote, “I tell you truly,   [Gilote]
The woman, in this case, loses her dowry.
But there where the husband with good will
Has reconciled his mate to himself,
Nothing is lost, but everything is gained,
And action by brief will be granted.”

“And what if the husband doesn’t want to take her back?”   [Wife]

“What would a tenet of Holy Church be worth to him?   [Gilote]
By tenet of Holy Church the married woman
Will be taken back despite her husband.
But you'll perform another clever act
By which you’ll be taken back:
You'll come humbly before your husband;
You’ll beg his mercy very tenderly,
And you’ll pray that he have, for God’s love,
Mercy on you and pity:
‘I have done you ill in my baseness,
And I will never again do it as long as I have life.
Handsome lord husband, bear well in mind
What you promised me by a firm promise.
Look to God and to justice.
You cannot refuse me on account of any chance event.
When we came before the priest,
Remember how you spoke to me.
Behold the woman; behold the child.
Sweet lord husband, keep your covenant.’
Priests and friars and other good people
Will come and speak as one:
‘Receive your wife with a worthy desire,
In order to save your soul from torment.’
When this argument is brought forward,
You’ll come before him well attired.
His heart will change, and he’ll have pity,
And you’ll be a lady well reconciled,
And you’ll be mistress just as before,
And you’ll be a wealthy lady and more powerful.”

And just as Gilote had described these things,   [Narrator]
¶ So this young wife did.
And of all the things that Gilote had taught her,
Never in any way at all was she deficient.
These good women went forth to play,
Gilote and Johane together at church.
There they introduced this matter.
They debated the text and the gloss;
They spoke their argument openly.

The wives responded as one:   [Wives]
“You’ve spoken well and in a clerkly way;
We’ve never heard such preaching.”

And all the good women went to the hostelry,   [Narrator]
For urgent needs drove them,
And they did everything according to this teaching,
And they still do, wherever they may be.
So many of these young ladies have gone forth
That there isn’t a woman now alive,
In whatever place she may be dwelling,
Who doesn’t know how to play the game of love.
In England and Ireland they preached.
They traversed many a good land.
They stayed in the town of Pontefract,
And they converted many to their teaching.

This is a jest to please the people,
Performed at Winchester, truly,
On the fifteenth day of September,
In the twenty-ninth year of King Edward,
The son of King Henry who loved Holy Church.
And when you’ve read all this teaching,
Pray to God in heaven, the glorious king,
That he may have mercy and compassion on us.
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Go To Art. 38, Les pelrinages communes que crestiens fount en la Seinte Terre, introduction
Go To Art. 38, Les pelrinages communes que crestiens fount en la Seinte Terre, text