65. Balade: «Je n’en congnoiz nulle si belle»

GRANSON, 65. BALADE:«JE N'EN CONGOIZ NULLE SI BELLE»: 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 only two of Granson’s independent ballades in octosyllables; see the note to 53.

7 Pymalion. Pygmalion is the sculptor whose statue of a beautiful young woman is brought to life by Venus in response to his prayers. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 10.243–92 and RR, lines 20787–21153.

25–28 Et se le Dieu d’Amours . . . preste d’escondire. Compare 38.21–24.

GRANSON, 65. BALADE:«JE N'EN CONGOIZ NULLE SI BELLE»: 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.

GW84, Piaget p. 244.
Base MS F. No other copies.


 
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65. Balade: «Je n’en congnoiz nulle si belle»

Tous les biens que l’en sauroit
Deviser ne de bouche dire
Sont en celle pour qui reçoit
Mon cuer maint martire.
Ou royaume ne en l’empire,
N’en a nulle de tele façon.
Car je croy que Pymalion
Ne l’eust sceu si bien tailler,
Ne l’en pourroit recouvrer
Une si douce damoiselle.
Par Dieu! sanz les autres blasmer,
Je n’en congnoiz nulle si belle.

Car il n’est homme, s’il la voit
De ces tresbeaux yeux rire,
Qu’il ne faille que sien soit
A tousjours maiz sanz contredire,
Pour ce qu’elle a plus qu’a suffire
De senz, d’onneur et de raison,
Et sa noble condicion
Attrairoit de cuers un millier.
De bel acueil, de doulz parler,
Ne s’i compare nulle a elle.
Pour ce vous di qu’a tout compter
Je n’en congnoiz nulle si belle.

Et se le Dieu d’Amours vouloit
Amer, mieulx ne pourroit eslire.
Mais je croy que point ne l’auroit,
Car trop est preste d’escondire.
Je n’y sçay plus rien a redire
Qu’elle n’ait tout le bon renom
Qu’en dame trouver pourroit on.
Dont c’est merveilles a penser,
Quant en si jeune aage trouver
On puet les biens qui sont en celle
Qui ne fait qu’en .xvi. ans entrer.
Je n’en congnois nulle si belle.

Princes, toute m’entencion
Sera de bien tost retourner
Pour veoir son viaire clerr
Et sa beauté fresche et nouvelle.
Car, a tout bien considerer,
Je n’en congnoiz nulle si belle.
 
65. Ballade: “I don’t know any woman as beautiful”

All the virtues that one was able
To imagine or to describe by mouth
Reside in the one for whom my heart
Receives much suffering.
In the kingdom and in the empire
There is no woman of such a kind.
For I believe that Pygmalion
Could not have fashioned her as well,
Nor would one be able to find
Any maiden as gentle as she.
By God, without disparaging the others,
I don’t know any woman as beautiful.

For there is no man, if he sees her
Laughing with her beautiful eyes,
Who is not compelled to be hers
Forever after, without denial,
For she possesses more than enough
Of sense, of honor, and of reason,
And her noble quality
Would attract a thousand hearts.
In fair welcome, in gentle speech,
No other woman compares to her.
Therefore I tell you that, everything considered,
I don’t know any woman as beautiful.

And if the God of Love desired
To love, he could not choose better.
But I believe that she wouldn’t have him,
For she is too ready to say no.
I don’t know what else to say
But that she has all the good renown
That one could find in a lady.
Thus it is a marvel to think,
When in so young an age one can find
The virtues that are found in her,
Who has just reached sixteen years.
I don’t know any woman as beautiful.

Princes, all of my intention
Will be very quickly to return
To see her bright face
And her beauty, fresh and young.
For when all is taken into account,
I don’t know any woman as beautiful.
 
 







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