56. Balade: «Car le couroux n’y vault pas une maille»

GRANSON, 56. BALADE:«CAR LE COUROUX N'Y VALUT PAS UNE MAILLE»: 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 five ballades (along with 23, 33, 44, and 58) in which the poet offers his advice on the nature or conduct of love. Of the five, it takes the most realistic, or perhaps we should say resigned, view of the fortunes of love. It is the only of the five to appear in manuscript F, where it stands first, and both Piaget (“Oton de Granson,” p. 408) and Kosta-Théfaine (“Du chant d’amour,” pp. 301–02) suggest that it constitutes a kind of prologue to that collection.

10 Car le couroux n’y vault pas une maille. The expression is proverbial. Compare Cent ballades XXXIII, line 12: “Mais on n’en dourroit une maille [But no one would give a stitch].”

11–18 Le Dieu d’Amours . . . la ne s’en saille. Compare the allegorical tower and garden in 15 and the inn and tower in 78.148–60. Attwood (“Dialectique,” p. 90) notes that the God of Love’s house recalls Fortune’s house in Alain de Lille’s Anticlaudianus, Book VIII; in RR, lines 6049–88, and in Christine de Pisan’s Mutacion de Fortune.

31–35 Gens et gentes . . . une maille. Though not as precise, the speaker’s claim here comes close to the narrator’s admission in 77.391–407 that he himself has no experience in love but that he seeks comfort for those who are lovers. This is a note that occurs nowhere else in Granson’s shorter poems.

GRANSON, 56. BALADE: «CAR LE COUROUX N'Y VALUT PAS UNE MAILLE»: 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; 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.

GW43, Piaget p. 197.
Base MS P. Other copies: A, E, F, L.

8 qui. So E F. A, P: quil.

18 s’en. So A. P: sans.
saille. So A, F. P: saillie.


 
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56. Balade: «Car le couroux n’y vault pas une maille»

Salus assez par bonne entencion,
A tous amans qui le vouldront avoir,
Et aus dames recommendation
De par celui qui vous fait asavoir
Que nul ne doit chalengier par devoir
Les biens d’amours et de graces donnés.
Aidiez vous en tant com vous les tenez.
Quant cil lez veult ravoir qui les vous baille,
Du temps passé mercier le devez,
Car le couroux n’y vault pas une maille.

Le Dieu d’Amours a fait une maison
Comme chastel pres de son grant manoir,
Et si a mis deux huis en son donjon,
Dont l’un a nom Joye, l’autre Dolloir.
Et bien vous dy, se la l’alez veoir,
Par Joye faut que devers ly entrez,
Et par Doulour faut que vous en sailliez.
Nul n’y entre que par la ne s’en saille.
Prenez en gré quant vous en revenrez,
Car le couroux n’y vault pas une maille.

Or me dites, n’est ce pas bien raison
Que li sires face son bon vouloir
En son pays et en sa nacion
Et de ses gens sur qui il a pouoir?
Amours depart ses biens et son avoir,
Dont a aucuns est trop abandonnez,
Aux autres pou, et aux autres assez,
Aux autres riens, pour ce que plus leur faille.
Soit droit ou tort, il faut que vous souffrez,
Car le couroux n’y vault pas une maille

Gens et gentes, se vous me demandez
Comme je sçay les amoureux secréz,
Je n’en dy rien fors que par devinaille
Pour resjoir les cuers desconfortéz,
Car le couroux n’y vault pas une maille.
 
56. Ballade: “For anger just isn’t worth a stitch”   

Abundant greetings, with good will,
To every lover who wishes to receive them,
And commendations to the ladies
On the part of him who wishes to have you know
That no one ought to claim as something owed
The goods that are bestowed by love and grace.
Enjoy them for as long as you have them.
When he who grants them wants to have them back,
You ought to thank him for the time that has passed,
For anger just isn’t worth a stitch.

The God of Love has built a house
Like a fortress near his own great dwelling,
And he has placed two doors there in its tower,
One of which is called Joy, the other Sorrow.
And I assure you, if you go to see it,
You have to enter it by way of Joy,
And you have to leave by way of Sorrow.
No one goes in who doesn’t leave that way.
Accept it willingly when you return,
For anger just isn’t worth a stitch.

Now tell me, doesn’t it stand to reason
That the lord do whatever he wish
In his country and in his nation
And with the people over whom he rules?
Love distributes his goods and his possessions,
Of which to some he allots too much,
To others little, and to others just enough,
To others nothing, so they lack even more.
Whether right or wrong, you have to accept it,
For anger just isn’t worth a stitch.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you ask me
How I know the secrets of love,
I don’t say anything except by supposition
In order to bring joy to troubled hearts,
For anger just isn’t worth a stitch.
 
 








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Le Desert: «Fors que la mort prouchainement»