71. Le Souhait de Saint Valentin

GRANSON, 71. «LE SOUHAIT DE SAINT VALENTIN»: 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.

The initials of the first six lines of this poem spell out ISABEL; compare 74 and 77, and see the Introduction, pp. 34–36. On the Valentine’s Day setting (line 64, but which is mentioned in the title only in manuscript F), see the Introduction, pp. 32–34.

63–64 Mais que ce fust ce samedi matin, / Pour ce qu’il est le jour saint Valentin. Piaget dismisses the value of the indication of the day of the week on which Saint Valentine’s day fell, here and in 78.1245–46, for determining the date of composition of these poems (p. 163n2), countering his own earlier suggestion (“Oton de Granson,” p. 410n). (Compare Galway, “Isabel of France,” p. 276.) His skepticism is all the more justified in view of the lack of certainty that the saint’s feast was observed on February 14; see the Introduction, pp. 31–34.

GRANSON, 71. :«LE SOUHAIT DE SAINT VALENTIN»: 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.

GW29, Piaget p. 202.
Base MS P. Other copies A, F.

Title Le Souhait de Saint Valentin. So F. A: Souhait. P: Le Souhait en complainte.

28 que le. So A, F. P: quelle.

32 comme a elle le. So A. F: comme elle le. P: comme a le.

45 d’omme si fins. So A, F. P: du me si fins.


 
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71. Le Souhait de Saint Valentin

Il me convient par souhait conforter.
Sans souhaidier, ne porroye porter
Au long aler les griefs mauls que je port.
Bon est souhait qui fait au cuers deport.
En souhaidant, se puet uns homs deduire,
Lui soulacier, et sans nul autre nuire.
Et puisque j’ay des souhais habondance
Et mon souhait ne fait a nul nuisance,
Et j’ay si po des autres biens d’amour,
Souhaidier veil sans fere long demour.
Tout le premier souhait que je veil faire,
S’il ne devoit a ma dame desplaire,
Je vouldroye que je fusse, par m’ame,
Pour homme, tel come elle est pour femme,
Pareille a li de tout amendement,
Et mon cuer fust aussi entierement
En dieu servir et faire bonnes euvres
Comme le sien est, a toute les heures;
Et sceusse mon honneur tant amer
Et moy garder qu’on ne me deust blasmer.
Et vouldroye que j’eusse la grace
D’estre tenus en toute bonne place
Pour aussi bon entremy de gens d’armes
Comme on la tient pour belle entre les dames,
Et fusse plain de voulenté hardie
Tant comme elle est plaine de couardie;
Ne nul travail que je deusse souffrir
Ne me grevast plus que le dormir;
Et mon corps fust si fort et si poissant
Comme le sien est foibles et souffrant;
Et me veint de jouster le mestier
Tout aussi bien comme a elle le dancier;
Et me plaisit si bien mon honneur querre
Comme a li plest estre loing de la guerre,
Et amasse les chevalereux fais
Tant comme elle ame repos et paix.
Et vouldroye que je fusse touzdis
En cuer, en fait, en pensé, et en dis,
Si gracieux comme elle est gracieuse
Et si courtois comme elle est dangereuse,
Si bel pour homme, si plaisant et si gens,
Et tant amez de toutes bonnes gens,
Et fusse nez en si grant gentillesse,
Et en mon cuer eust tant de noblesce,
Que tous mes fais fussent d’omme si fins
Comme les siens sont parfais femenins;
Et feusse tout a la plaisance d’elle,
Si bon et bel comme elle est bonne et belle.
Et quant cilz biens me seroit avenus,
Que bons et beaux seroye devenuz
Et souffisant en tous cas pour li plaire,
Je vouldroye que mi quatre contraire,
Dangier, Reffus, Paour, avec Durté
(Je l’ay longtemps en devise porté,
Et ont souvent mon cuer taint et noircy)
Fussent tournez en Doulceur et Mercy,
Et de Mercy en Grace et Pitié.
Si tourneroit ma dolour en santé,
Et mueroit ma grief dolour en joye.
Et en la fin de mon souhait, vouldroye
Que je fusse de ma dame choisi
Pour son servant, non mie pour ami,
Mais que ce fust ce samedi matin,
Pour ce qu’il est le jour saint Valentin.
 
71. The Saint Valentine’s Wish

I am forced to comfort myself with wishes.
Without wishing, I wouldn’t be able to bear
For very long the grievous pains I bear.
Good is the wish that gives pleasure to the heart.
In wishing, a man can entertain himself,
Comfort himself, and not hurt any other.
And since I have wishes in abundance
And my wish does no harm to anyone,
And I have so few of the other rewards of Love,
I want to make my wish without delay.
The very first wish that I want to make,
If it did not displease my lady,
I would wish that I were, by my soul,
For a man, such as she is for a woman,
Equal to her in each good quality,
And that my heart were just as completely
Engaged in serving God and doing good deeds
As is hers, at every hour;
And that I knew how to love my honor as much,
And to guard lest anyone should blame me.
And I would wish that I had the grace
To be considered in every respectable place
As good among men of arms
As she is considered beautiful among women,
And that I were as full of courageous will
As she is full of timidity;
And that no task that I should endure
Would grieve me any more than sleep;
And that my body were as strong and powerful
As hers is weak and passive;
And that skill in jousting came to me
As easily as dancing does to her;
And that it pleased me to seek my honor
As much as it pleases her to be far from the war,
And that I should love chivalric deeds
As much as she loves repose and peace.
And I would wish that I were always
In heart, in deed, in thought, and in speech,
As gracious as she is gracious
And as courteous as she is reserved,
As good-looking for a man, as charming and well-bred,
And just as well beloved by all good people,
And that I were born to such great gentility,
And that in my heart there were as much nobility,
That all my deeds were as fine for a man
As hers are accomplishments for a woman;
And that I were entirely to her liking,
As good and handsome as she is good and fair.
And when this good fortune happened to me,
That I became handsome and good
And sufficient in every way to please her,
I would wish that my four adversaries,
Danger, Refusal, Fear, along with Harshness
(I have long borne this as my motto,
And they have often colored and darkened my heart)
Were turned into Gentleness and Mercy,
And from Mercy into Grace and Pity.
Then my pain would turn into well-being,
And my grievous sorrow would change into joy.
And in conclusion to my wish, I would wish
That I might be chosen by my lady
As her servant, not at all as her lover,
But that this would take place this Saturday morning,
Because it is Saint Valentine’s Day.
 
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