22. Balade: «S’a ma cause perdoit sa bonne fame»

GRANSON, 22. BALADE: «S’A MA CAUSE PERDOIT SA BONNE FAME»: 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.

Male Bouche (Evil Tongue) is one of the guardians of the rosebud in RR (see the note to 21 above), but in later poetry it takes on a life of its own as the personification of gossip or slander. This is the figure’s only appearance in Granson. On the fear of or the effects of slander in the form of the mesdisans (also a common theme in Machaut), compare 32.4–6, 35.13, 49.14, and 57.28. See also 73.138 and 77.423–24.

GRANSON, 22. BALADE: «S’A MA CAUSE PERDOIT SA BONNE FAME»: 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.

GW64, Piaget p. 355.
Base MS P. Other copies: A.

11 Que. So A. P: Quune.


 
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22. Balade: «S’a ma cause perdoit sa bonne fame»







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22. Balade: «S’a ma cause perdoit sa bonne fame»

Ne doy je bien Male Bouche hair?
Par foy oil, quant par son faulx parler
M’estuet laissier l’aler et le venir
Vers ma dame, que je doy tant amer.
Mais j’ay plus chier, pour son honneur garder,
A m’en tenir que pour moy ait diffame.
On m’en porroit par raison bien blasmer
S’a ma cause perdoit sa bonne fame.

Combien, certes, s’elle ne veult mentir
Mauvaisement, elle n’en puet parler
Que tout honnour; mais pour anientir
Son langage et le faire cesser,
D’elle me vueil un petit eslongier.
Non pas du cuer: il est tout sien, par m’ame.
Bien devroie de tresgrant dueil crever
S’a ma cause perdoit sa bonne fame.

On ne s’en scet si gaitier n’ecapir
Que prest ne soit son arc pour descochier
Fleches teles que qui s’en sent ferir
A grans paine puet garison trouver.
Tel trait doit tout vray amant redouter.
Doubter le vueil pour le bien de ma dame.
Trop aroie le cuer dur et amer
S’a ma cause perdoit sa bonne fame.
 
22. Ballade: “If because of me she lost her good name”

Shouldn’t I really hate Evil Tongue?
In faith, yes, when because of its false speech
I am forced to give up the coming and going
To my lady, whom I must love so much.
But I would rather, in order to guard her honor,
Hold myself apart than for me she be defamed.
One could very rightly blame me for it
If because of me she lost her good name.

How much, indeed, unless it wishes to lie
Maliciously, it cannot say anything about her
Except all honor; but in order to suppress
Its speech and to make it cease,
I want to distance myself a bit from her.
Not in my heart: it is all hers, by my soul.
I should well perish of great grief
If because of me she lost her good name.

One cannot be on watch, nor prevent
Its bow from being ready to shoot
Arrows such that whoever feels them strike
Can find a cure only with great pain.
Such a shot should every true lover dread.
I want to be on guard for the good of my lady.
I would have a heart too hard and bitter
If because of me she lost her good name.
 













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