18. Balade: «A Dalida, Jhezabel, et Thays»

GRANSON, 18. BALADE: «A DALIDA, JHEZABEL, ET THAYS»: EXPLANATORY NOTES

ABBREVIATIONS: A: Lausanne, Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire, MS 350; B: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, f. fr. 1727; C: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, f. fr. 1131; D: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, f. fr. 24440; E: Barcelona, Biblioteca de Catalunya, MS 8, Catalan, 1420–30; F: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, f. fr. 2201; K: Lausanne, Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire, IS 4254; N: Brussels, Bibliothèque royale Albert 1er, MS 10961–10970, c. 1465; P: Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Van Pelt Library, MS Codex 902 (formerly Fr. MS 15), 1395–1400; 100B: Les Cent Ballades; Basso: “L’envol et l’ancrage”; BD: Chaucer, The Book of the Duchess; Berguerand: Berguerand, Duel; Boulton: Song; Braddy: Braddy, Chaucer and Graunson; Carden: “Le Livre Messire Ode d’Oton de Grandson; CA: Gower, Confessio Amantis; DL: Guillaume de Machaut, Dit dou lyon; DLA: Guillaume de Machaut, Dit de l’alerion; FA: La fonteinne amoureuse; FC: Wimsatt, French Contemporaries; GW: Granson, Poésies, ed. Grenier-Winther; LGW: Chaucer, The Legend of Good Women; PA: Froissart, Paradis d’Amour; PF: Chaucer, The Parliament of Fowls; Piaget: Grandson, Vie et poésies, ed. Piaget; PL: Guillume de Machaut, Poésies Lyriques; Poirion: Poirion, Poète et prince; TC: Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde; RR: Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, Le Roman de la rose; VD: Guillaume de Machaut, Le livre dou voir dit.

This is one of two of Granson’s ballades employing a vers coupé (a shorter line, of only seven syllables instead of ten) in the fifth line of each stanza. Compare 32.

1–3 Lucresce . . . Hecuba . . . Hilie. Lucrece (or Lucretia) is the virtuous wife who committed suicide after being raped by the son of the king of Rome, as recounted by Livy (The History of Rome, Book I, chapters 57–60). Hecuba is the wife of King Priam of Troy in all versions of the story of the Trojan War. “Hilie” may be Helie or Helia, one of the “Heliades,” daughters of Helios and sisters to Phaeton, who on mourning their brother’s death are turned into poplar trees, weeping tears of amber (see Hyginus, Fabulae 154), though we do not know of any source for the celebration of her chastity. Both Chaucer (LGW F 1680–1885) and Gower (CA 7.4754–5130, and 8.2632–39) tell the story of Lucresce and speak of Hecuba variously, but neither mentions Helia.

8 Dalida, Jhezabel, et Thays. Delilah is the temptress who betrays Samson to the Philistines in Judges XVI. Jezebel is the wife of Ahab, king of Israel (1 Kings XVI–2 Kings IX); she is a worshipper of Baal and a sorceress. Thaïs is a celebrated courtesan and companion of Alexander the Great.

17–19 On Tristan and Iseult see the note to 12.15–16, above. The reference to the fountain is an allusion to one of the best-known (and in the Middle Ages, most frequently illustrated) episodes in the story, when King Mark, Iseult’s husband, spies on the two lovers during their rendezvous at a fountain or spring. Detecting his presence, they conduct a conversation that is calculated to persuade him of Iseult’s fidelity. The story of Jason and Medea is told by many classical authors, among them Ovid (in both the Metamorphoses and the Heroides), Hesiod, and Hyginus, and among other medieval authors, by Benoît de Sainte-Maure (Roman de Troie, lines 715–2044), Guido delle Colonne (Historia Destructionis Troiae, 2.169–393), Chaucer (LGW F 1580–1678), and Gower (CA 3.3247–4373). See also 20.1–2. Paris’s kidnapping of Helen is the immediate cause of the Trojan War, and was also well known from both classical and medieval sources.

GRANSON, 18. BALADE: «A DALIDA, JHEZABEL, ET THAYS»: TEXTUAL NOTES


Abbreviations: A: Lausanne, Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire, MS 350; B: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 1727; C: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 1131; D: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 24440; E: Barcelona, Biblioteca de Catalunya, MS 8, Catalan, 1420–30; F: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, fr. 2201; G: London, Westminster Abbey Library, MS 21; H: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 833, c. 1500; J: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 1952; K: Lausanne, Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire, IS 4254; L: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Rothschild MS I.I.9; M: Carpentras, Bibliothèque Inguimbertine, MS fr. 390; N: Brussels, Bibliothèque royale Albert 1er, MS 10961–10970, c. 1465; O: Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, MS 410, c. 1430; P: Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Van Pelt Library, MS Codex 902 (formerly Fr. MS 15), 1395–1400; Q: Berne, Burgerbibliothek da la Bourgeoisie, MS 473, 1400–40; R: Turin, Archivio di Stato, MS J. b. IX. 10; S: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 24404, 13th century (16th century addition); T: Besançon, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 556, 1826; V: Carpentras, Bibliothèque Inguimbertine, MS 411; W: Brussels, Bibliothèque royale Albert 1er, MS IV 541, 1564–81; Y: Turin, Biblioteca Nazionale e Universitaria, MS L.II.12.

For each poem, we provide the following:

Other editions: The location of the poem in the editions of Grenier-Winther (GW) and Piaget.

Base MS: The manuscript from which our text is taken, using the sigla listed on this page.

Other copies: The other manuscripts in which the poem appears, with the line numbers for excerpts.

Selected variants: Most of the notes record the editors’ emendations. A small number (for instance, regarding the titles) record alternative readings when we did not emend the base text. We do not, however, provide a complete list of variants, for which one may consult Grenier-Winther’s edition. Each note consists of a line number, a lemma (the reading from our text), the manuscript source for the reading that we have chosen, selected readings from other manuscripts; and the reading from the base manuscript when it was rejected. If no manuscript source is listed following the lemma, the adopted reading is the editors’ conjecture.

Other comments on the text, as required.

GW77, Piaget p. 379.
Base MS P. Other copies: A, R.
 
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18. Balade: «A Dalida, Jhezabel, et Thays»







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18. Balade: «A Dalida, Jhezabel, et Thays»

Se Lucresce, la tresvaillant Rommaine,
Ou la bonne Troyenne, Hecuba,
Ou Hilie, qui fu de tel bien plaine
Qu’en voulenté chastement se garda,
Revenoient or en vie,
Au jour d’ui est tant de mal et d’envie
Qu’on les compareroit, ce m’est avis,
A Dalida, Jhezabel, et Thays.

Si seroit ce comparoison vilaine
Et contre droit, mais le monde ainsi va,
Car au jour d’ui, li plusieurs mestent paine
De controuver ce que ja ne sera
Sur ceulx qui ne pensent mie
Fors qu’a honnour et bien et courtoisie,
Et leur donnent le los que fu jadis
A Dalida, Jhezabel, et Thays.

Le doulce Yseut, qui fu a la fontaine,
Ne tu Tristan, Jason, et Medea,
Ne tu, Paris, avec ta belle Helaine:
Ne venez plus pour amer par de ça.
Ce seroit trop grant folie.
L’en vous diroit autant de vilonnie
Comme on fist onques, en nul pays,
A Dalida, Jhezabel, et Thays.
 
18. Ballade: “To Delilah, Jezebel, and Thaïs”

If Lucrece, the very worthy Roman,
Or the virtuous Trojan, Hecuba,
Or Elie, who was of such quality
That willingly did she keep herself chaste,
Were now to come back to life again,
Today there is so much malice and envy
That one would compare them, it seems to me,
To Delilah, Jezebel, and Thaïs.

This would be a villainous comparison
And against what’s right, but so goes the world,
For today, many make an effort
To make up things that will never be
About those who never think at all
About anything but honor, good, and courtesy,
And they give them the praise that once was given
To Delilah, Jezebel, and Thaïs.

Oh sweet Isolde, who was at the fountain,
And you, Tristan, Jason, and Medea,
And you, Paris, with your beautiful Helen:
Do not pass this way again in order to love.
That would be too great a folly.
They would say to you as much villainy
As they did once, in whatever country,
To Delilah, Jezebel, and Thaïs.
 


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