Chaucer and MS French 15 (Penn)

JAMES I. WIMSATT, CHAUCER AND MS FRENCH 15 (PENN): FOOTNOTES


1 Jeanne Krochalis, who is quite familiar with Penn, states that the date of the script “could definitely be before 1400," though she does not rule out placing it a little later. She identifies the scribes as French, as does A. I. Doyle of Durham University, England. As the latter notes, the French origin of the scribes does not exclude its having been written in England. On the basis of an inspection of the microfilm, Karen Gould concludes that there were at least two scribes. She identifies a change in scribes very near the center of the manuscript, between folios 48v and 49r; text number 149, the first of the two poems by Machaut from Remede de Fortune, begins folio 49. I am indebted to the forenamed scholars, as well as Carter Revard and Linda Voigts, for their generous and expert advice concerning the date and provenance of the manuscript, all in informal communications.

2 Mudge, “Pennsylvania Chansonnier," pp. 10–11. There are two not insuperable objections to Mudge’s hypothesis. The first is that the motto of Bavaria was placed on Penn long after its making and Isabel’s death in 1434; one must postulate, then, that the connection of the codex with Isabel and Bavaria was maintained or understood after she died — not at all impossible. The second objection is that Granson’s poems to Isabel probably were composed much before she came to Paris and married Charles in 1385. Nevertheless, if they were not written for her in the first place, they would have been readily adaptable to her when Granson met her after 1385; lyrics that he perhaps composed for Isabel of York could be presented a second time to Isabel of Bavaria. For identification of Granson’s Isabel as Isabel of York, see Braddy, Chaucer and the French Poet Granson, pp. 73–80. In arguing that the Isabel of the poems was Isabel of Bavaria, and her alone, Piaget, Oton de Grandson, pp. 156–64, ignores the evidence for the dates of composition.

3 For caveats on the implications of Deschamps’ poem, see Calin, “Deschamps’s ‘Ballade to Chaucer’ Again."

4 There are four other lyrics in Penn that have been attributed to Machaut (numbers 36, 37, 157, 188), but they are not in the full collections that the poet himself supervised and are probably not his.

5 From the Louange in this part of Penn are numbers 72, 81–115, 118, 119, 142, 146; from the lyrics set to music numbers 116, 117, 120, 137, 145, 147, 148.

6 Remede de Fortune lyrics are 149 and 150.

7 From the lyrics set to music are 151–55, 158, 160–64, 166–79, 181, 182, 185, 186, 192, 193, 196, 201, 206, 210, 212, 213, 215, 217, 219, 220, 222, 223, 225–27; lyrics found only in Voir Dit are 198–200, 203, 204, 207–09, 211.

8 Numbers 269–71. In the arrangement of Machaut poems in Penn, these probably entered as an afterthought.

9 See the chart of contents of the Machaut collections in Ludwig, Guillaume de Machaut, vol. 1, forty-three manuscripts. J, K, B, and Vg alone agree with E in having the Louange preceding the long dits, but they lack the text of Voir Dit. Vg and B agree with E also in including the complaints among the Louange texts, as the exemplar for Penn evidently did; the later Machaut collections segregated the complaints. Yet it is to be noted that Penn contains two Machaut texts (numbers 72 and 172) that are elsewhere found only in the later collections. This complicates the picture.

10 Les Cents Ballades, p. 213, line 1, echoing Chaucer’s “Merciles Beaute," line 27: “Sin I fro love escaped am so fat."

11 For Chaucer’s uses of Machaut’s lyrics, with references to the important earlier scholarship, see Wimsatt, “Guillaume de Machaut and Chaucer’s Love Lyrics," and “Chaucer, Fortune, and Machaut’s ‘Il m’est avis.’" The poems included in Penn that Chaucer used (identified by the text numbers in Machaut, Guillaume de Machaut: Poésies lyriques) are Louange CXC, CCXXIII, CCLXII; Complaints I, VI; Lays IX, XVII; Balades notées XXXII, XXXVIII, XLIII.

12 See Wimsatt, Marguerite Poetry of Guillaume de Machaut.

13 Granson’s poems in Penn are numbers 18, 20–34, 136, 228, 251–54, 256, 258, 261, 264.

14 The Cinq Balades actually appear in sequential order in Penn, which is not true of all manuscripts that preserve them. They are closer than any previously printed to the renditions Chaucer must have worked with (Scattergood, “Chaucer’s Complaint of Venus," p. 174).

15 Braddy sees the influence going the other way (Chaucer and the French Poet Granson, pp. 57–61 and 64–66); but see Wimsatt, Chaucer and the French Love Poets, pp. 143–46.

16 Mudge, “Pennsylvania Chansonnier," pp. 12–13. Mudge had planned to treat in full the relationship between these works of Chaucer and Granson, but he evidently was not able to do so before he died.

17 Manuscripts A, B, and C are the same as GrA, GrB, and GrC listed in the Key to Abbreviations for Manuscripts (see below). The editions of Piaget, Schirer, and Pagès are numbers 13, 15, and 11 respectively in the Key to Abbreviations for Editions (see below).

18 In A the five balades are found on fols. 100r–101v (I–III), 113r–v (IV), and 88r–v (V); in B fols. 75v–77v (I–V); in C fols.414r–415r (I–IV), 411r (V).

19 See Mudge, “Pennsylvania Chansonnier," p. 12.

20 Pognon, “Ballades mythologiques," pp. 409–10 and 414–15.

21 In his edition of the unpublished balades of Penn, Mudge transcribes the pair, with no attempt to edit, in an appendix of texts that “appear to be considerably corrupt and full of insoluble problems" (“Pennsylvania Chansonnier," pp. 150 and 153–54).

22 Pognon, hampered by the bad text, does not note the allusion to Dante (“Ballades mythologiques").

23 While Dante states that Minos winds his tail around himself as many times as the steps (“gradi," Inferno V.12) that he is sending the soul down, it is not clear at this point whether the starting point is Minos’ position in the second circle, or the top of the Inferno. If the former, then seven times around as Philippe specifies will take the soul to circle nine with the traitors. Later, Guido da Montefeltro makes clear that the latter is meant (XXVII.124–26).

24 Ovid, Metamorphoses V.253–59. In Philippe’s frame of reference, to “make Pegasus fly" (line 26), I take it, is to write effective poetry.

25 For a detailed discussion of classical allusions as literary or musical topoi in a tradition of borrowing to praise fellow writers see Calin, “Deschamps’s ‘Ballade to Chaucer’ Again," p. 79.

26 See Coville, “Philippe de Vitri: notes biographiques," p. 544; and Pognon, “Ballades mythologiques," pp. 400 and 415 (note to line 7).

27 Jean de le Mote, Le Parfait du Paon. Pognon evades the evidence of Campion’s reference to Jean’s Parfait (see below, lines 2–3) and much else in dating the Philippe-Jean exchange between 1328 and 1339 (“Ballades mythologiques," p. 391). Little supports such a date.

28 Note: Much of this translation of the Campion-le Mote exchange is simply a best guess as to the sense of the text as it exists. William Kibler, whose translations of many medieval French texts into English are widely known, has kindly reviewed my translations and made helpful suggestions and corrections, but he grants readily that the sense is often mysterious. No doubt the text is frequently corrupt.

29 Pognon, "Du nouveau sur Philippe de Vitry et ses amis," pp. 50–52. The attack on the unnamed poet appears in Motetus, lines 15–20, and Triplum, lines 1–34.

30 Trowell, "Fourteenth-Century Ceremonial Motet and Its Composer," p. 67.

31 Below are the passages in Jean's balade (placed second) which are parallel, and thus are presumed sources, to parts of Deschamps' two balades (placed first and third). The parallel words and phrases are in italics. Deschamps' balades are found in Oeuvres, vol. 1, #124; vol. 2, #285.

 

Deschamps to Machaut: O fleur des fleurs de toute melodie,
Tresdoulz maistres qui tant fustes adrois,
O Guillaume, mondains dieux d'armonie,
Apres voz faiz, qui obtendra le chois
Sur tous faiseurs? Certes, ne le congnoys.
Vo noms sera precieuse relique,
Car l'en plourra en France et en Artois
La mort Machaut, la noble rhetorique.
La fons Circe
et la fonteine Helie
Dont vous estiez le ruissel et les dois . . .


[Most dear master who was so skilful, O Guillaume, worldly god of harmony, after your accomplishments, who will be chosen above other poets? Indeed, I do not know. Your name will be a precious relic, for all will weep for it in France and in Artois, the death of Machaut, the noble rhetoriquer. The fountain of Cirrha and the well of Helicon, of which you are the source and stream . . .]

Jean to Philippe: O Victriens, mondains dieu d'armonie
Filz Musicans et per a Orpheus,
Supernasor de la fontaine Helye,
Doctores
vrays, en ce pratique Anglus,
Plus clers veans et plus agus qu'Argus
. . .
T'a fait brasser buvrage a trop de lie
Sur moy qui ay de toy fait Zephirus,
Car en la fons Ciree est tes escus . . .


[O man of Vitry, worldly god of harmony, son of Music and peer of Orpheus, greater Naso of the fountain of Helicon, true doctor, Aulus Gellius in this practice, more clear-sighted and more acute than Argus, . . . [The report of Eolus] has made you brew a drink with too many dregs for me, who have made of you Zephirus, for your shield is in the fountain of Cirrha . . .]

Deschamps to Chaucer:
O Socrates plains de philosophie,
Seneque en meurs et Anglux en pratique,
Ovides grans
en ta poeterie,
Briés en parler, saiges en rethorique,
Aigles treshaulz, qui par ta theorique
Enlumines le regne d'Eneas,
L'Isle au Geans, ceuls de Bruth, et qui as
Semé les fleurs et planté le rosier,
Aux ignorans de la langue pandras,
Grant translateur, noble Geffrey Chaucier.
. . .
A toy pour ce de la fontaine Helye . . .


[O Socrates versed in philosophy, Seneca in morals, Aulus Gellius in practical affairs, great Ovid in your poetry, concise in speech, wise in poetic composition, soaring eagle who by your theoretical understanding illuminate the kingdom of Aeneas, the island of Giants — those whom Brut destroyed — and who have sewn there the flowers [of poetry] and planted the rose-tree, you will spread light to those who do not know French, great translator, noble Geoffrey Chaucer . . . For this purpose I ask from you a genuine draught of the spring of Helicon . . .]

An incidental matter that the comparison makes clear is that the reading "fons Circe" in the Deschamps poem to Machaut is incorrect. It should be "Ciree."

32 For Philippe's life and work, see Saunders, "Vitry, Philippe de," 20:22–28; and Coville, "Philippe de Vitri: notes biographiques."

33 For the friendship of Petrarch and Bersuire with Philippe, see Coville, "Philippe de Vitri, notes biographiques," esp. pp. 531–36.

34 Deschamps, Oeuvres, vol. 5, #872; vol. 8, #1474.

35 Langlois, Recueil d'Arts de Seconde Rhétorique, p. 12.

36 Gace de la Buigne, Le Roman des deduis, lines 6345–56.

37 Two balades which illustrate Jean's somewhat extravagant use of names precede the exchange between Philippe and Jean in Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 3343 (B). These are edited by Pognon in "Ballades mythologiques," pp. 407–08.

38 See, e.g., "Ch." Poem V, 1ines 17–21 above; Jean Campion, p. 71, lines 1–5; Chaucer, Anelida and Arcite, lines 15–20; House of Fame, lines 519–22; and Troilus and Criseyde, III.809–11. The various references to "Ciree," "Cirrea" (Cirrha) in their relationships to Dante, Paradiso I.36, provide one interesting aspect of this series of references to Apollo and the Muses.

39 See Thomas, "Jean de le Mote, trouvère," p. 70.

40 Calendar of Patent Rolls, 4.189.

41 For date of poem Li Regret Guillaume Comte de Hainault, see lines 4572–73.

42 For the relationship between Book of the Duchess and Li Regret Guillaume, see Rosenthal, "Possible Source of Chaucer's Book of the Duchess," and Wimsatt, Chaucer and the French Love Poets, pp. 147–49.

43 For names of Simon and poet, and date of poem, see Jean de le Mote, Le Parfait du Paon, lines 3895–3919.

44 Poésies de Gilles Li Muisis, 1:89.

45 See Jean's balade above, lines 14–16.

46 Calendar of Patent Rolls, p. 203; Froissart, Oeuvres de Froissart: Chronique, vol. 1, part 1, note 76.

47 Nigel Wilkins documents Jean de le Mote's presence in England after he wrote the two long poems for Simon of Lille. An entry in the controller's book for July 21, 1343 shows le Mote being paid for entertaining King Edward at Eltham. See Wilkins, "Music and Poetry at Court."

48 MS 6221 is described at length in Deschamps, Oeuvres, 2:xvii–xliv; Raynaud describes all of the Deschamps manuscripts in 11:101–11. Those poems of MS 6221 which are not edited in the body of the Oeuvres (vols. 1–9) are edited in "Pièces attribuables à Deschamps," Oeuvres, 10:i–xciv.

49 The use of envoys with balades became common in the latter part of the fourteenth century among poets who were not musicians; they were never invariably employed. The musical form of the balade did not accommodate the envoy. Machaut, a musician writing early, did not employ them. Froissart (b. 1335, but active into the fifteenth century) seems never to have added envoys to his balades, and Granson did but seldom. It was Deschamps who really took to them and no doubt was largely responsible for their vogue.

50 The fourteen balades of the Penn MS which also appear in MS 6221 are Penn numbers 43, 44, 55, 69, 77, 88, 134, 147, 174, 178, 179, 184, 188, and 236. A fifteenth poem, a rondel used as an illustrative example in the Art de Dictier in MS 6221, is Penn number 105.

51 These are Penn numbers 43, 44, 55, 77, 134, and 236.

52 Though his work has marked differences from Machaut's, Deschamps learned the craft from Machaut and evidently remained very much under his influence. The several balades he wrote on Machaut's and DuGuesclin's deaths (1377 and 1380) lack envoys; the balade to Chaucer (around 1385) has one.

53 I am not suggesting that Machaut wrote all of these poems, but only that they were written in imitation of Machaut's work and capture its spirit.

54 Cailin, "Deschamps's ‘Ballade to Chaucer' Again," p. 81.

55 Froissart's pastourelles are edited by McGregor, in Froissart, Lyric Poems of Jehan Froissart, pp. 151–93.

56 In the Art de Dictier, Deschamps identifies the serventois as an "ouvrage qui se porte au Puis d'Amours, et que nobles hommes n'ont pas acoustumé de ce faire" (Oeuvres, 7:287). For this reason he gives no examples of the serventois; subsequently, he gives similar short shrift to the pastourelle (7:287). The standard form of the pastourelle and the serventois is five stanzas with an envoy. While most of the Middle French five-stanza forms had decasyllabic lines, octosyllabics came to be associated with the pastourelle. For an edition of the Penn pastourelle section, with discussion of the development of the Middle French form, see Kibler and Wimsatt, "Development of the Pastourelle."

57 These are poems numbers 6 and 7 in the manuscript. Both involve dialogues between shepherds lamenting recent events. The first makes reference to a number of battles in the Hundred Years War from its beginning to 1359, and the second is probably based on the pillaging in northern France by "routiers" in 1357 and 1358. The fifteenth poem of the pastourelle section is an allegory involving the black lion of Flanders, the fleur de lis of France, and the leopard of England; it is perhaps the last of the works in time of composition (the later 1360s). This work paints a rather negative picture for England of the current political situation, while the others that deal with political matters are neutral complaints about the ravages of the war.

58 Margival is a village in the north of France near Soissons; in line 48, the narrator places himself in Soissons when he has his dream.

59 Albert C. Baugh discusses the scholarship on the subject, mainly dismissing previously alleged connections between the Panthère and House of Fame, but then he brings forward some parallels of his own ("Chaucer and the Panthère d'Amours," pp. 51–61). I have made my case for its influence in Chaucer and the French Love Poets, pp. 58–61.

60 For information on "Grimace," see Reaney, "Grimace," cols. 920–22; and Wilkins, "Post-Machaut Generation of Poet-Musicians," p. 57. Reaney suggests that the name is a pseudonym.

61 For analysis and statistical summary of the lyric and stanza types of much of the corpus of ascribed lyrics in Middle French, see Poirion, Le Poète et le prince, pp. 303–97.

62 Machaut similarly places a more formally-titled and well-developed Prologue, composed late in his career, at the head of his collected works. In light of the fact that envoys with balades came into fashion after Granson began writing, the placement of his other balades with envoys in the later parts of the major Granson collections (i.e., Neuchâtel and Paris) suggests a rough chronological ordering. The manuscripts of Machaut's and Froissart's works have such approximate arrangement.

63 These seven balades of Granson appear elsewhere only in the Neuchâtel manuscript, while his other poems in Penn appear at least in the Paris and Neuchâtel collections. Since none of the balades unique to Neuchâtel have envoys, it is likely that they belong to a group composed earlier than the rest of his works, among which are several balades with envoy.

64 In manuscripts and editions, the Granson rondeaux appear mostly as ten-line forms, but in these the scribes and editors have not allowed for or indicated the necessary repetition of the refrain. Thus what is presented as ABBA ab abba should appear as ABBA abAB abba ABBA.

65 Nicole's poem does not have quite the same rhyme scheme as the other sixteen-line rondeaux, but it is close. All of the works essentially double the eight-line form.

66 See Poirion's table (Le Poète et le prince, pp. 385–87).

67 See note 2 above.

68 See Braddy, Chaucer and the French Poet Granson, pp. 26–28.

69 See Piaget, Oton de Granson, pp. 49–51, 75–77, and 110–11.

70 Pagès, La Poésie française en Catalogne.

 

JAMES I. WIMSATT, GRANSON’S FIVE BALADES: EXPLANATORY NOTES


[I; MS #30] Balade
Parallel lines in Chaucer’s “Complaint of Venus" (line numbers in parentheses) for which variants in Granson’s poem have possible significance. Particular words in question are italicized. Lines are keyed to Granson line nos.

1 Ther nys so high comfort to my pleasaunce (1)

3 As for to have leyser of remembraunce (3)

5 Upon the manhood and the worthynesse (5)

7 Ther oghte blame me no creature (7)

9 In him is bounte, wysdom, governance (9)

[III; MS #32] Balade

5 The reading in Penn and B of “vii.ans," specifying the period the lover’s wound has been open, recalls the “eight yeer" sickness of Chaucer’s narrator, also uncured, in Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess, lines 36–38. If there is a relationship, Granson would probably be the imitator.

[IV; MS #33] Balade
Parallels in Chaucer’s “Complaint of Venus" (line numbers in parentheses) for which variants in Granson’s poems have possible significance:

2 That men ful dere abye thy nobil thing (26)

4 Wepynge to laughe, and singe in compleynyng (28)

5 And doun to caste visage and lokyng (29)

7 All manuscripts of Chaucer’s poem read “Pleye in slepyng" (31), which editors amend to “Pleyne." All Granson manuscripts support the emendation with “Plaindre" here.

9 Jelousie be hanged be a cable (33)

14 Which ofte he yiveth withouten ordynaunce (38)

15 As sorwe ynogh, and litel of pleasanuce (39)

18 But ful encomberous is the usyng (42)

21 Thus be we ever in drede and sufferyng (45)

[V; MS #34] Balade
Parallels in Chaucer’s “Complaint of Venus" (line numbers in parantheses) for which variants in Granson’s poem have possible significance:

1 But certes, love I sey not in such wise (49)

3 For I so long have been in your service (51)

9 And certis, Love, when I me wel avise (57)

11 Chese the best that ever on erthe wente (60)

13 Now love well, herte, and lok thou never stente (61)

18–19 That Love so high a grace to the sente (66)
To chese the worthieste in alle wise (67)

 

JAMES I. WIMSATT, GRANSON’S FIVE BALADES: TEXTUAL NOTES


[I; P #30] Balade

Rubric P: Complainte neatly erased and Balade written over it. Rubricator’s instruction in the margin, Complainte. A: Balade amouruse. B: Les cinq balades ensievans. C: Autra [Balada].

1 B: biens.

3 C: Commant.

5 B: Et de ses doulz. C: Ne ses. A: fais ses maintiens r.

7 C: Et crois nul. B: me b.

8 A, B: lui.

9 B: li bonte beaute.

11 B: pou de place. C: pou desplace.

12 A: tant de b.

13 C: le vuet.

14 B: jeune is missing.

15 B: femme.

17 C: fet o maul.

18 A: lui, et is missing. C: Tres ben le rier e le.

19 A: soulaces. C: soulassa.

20 C: Si sagement. A: lui scet. B, C: len doit.

21 A: lui. C: nulh ne sen doit l.

23 C: tres bonna. A: fame.

[II; P #31] Balade

Rubric A: Balade amoureuse. C: Autra [Balada].

2 A: a lui . . . estandus.

5 C: Et je. A: croy au.

6 A: Qui onques. C: Home qui vist d.

7 C: Si mes pourquant damour ma enamie.

8 B: et a d.

9–16, 17–24 C inverts these stanzas.

10 A: o. mais f.

11 C: cou elh mens b.

12 C: les biens . . . pus biens.

13 C: Cuers g. muyt netament.

14 B: Dansant chantant et de chiere lie.

15 A, C: p. cilz qui damer. B: p. cil.

17–24 B omits these lines.
17 C: Honour et sans bieute et.

21 A: devroit.

23 A: A Sil lui. C: Si le.

[III: P #32] Balade

Rubric A: Balade amoureuse. C: Autra [Balada].

1 B: bonne b. C: que par.

2 C: en tous.

3 C: Suy je. A, B: suis.

4 C: Dun dart.

5 A: grant temps. C: gran tamps.

6 C: Quencer non es. A: ressanee.

7 A: Et s. C: Qui s.

9–16, 17–24 C inverts these stanzas.
9 C: Et las.

10 A, B: vous prie. C: moy soyas.

12 C: ilh sont fours.

13 C: Dubte me fet e pasor.

14 C: Qui par.

15 C: Qui sans merci no. A: et ma. B: est . . . fine.

17 C: chascus jours. A: renenouvelle.

18 C: Lamour . . . qui soy. B: obeissant.

19 C: Pour atandans le dous.

20 C: De qui. A, B: suis.

21 A, B: suis.

22 C: Je me . . . sus me l. A, B: soustiens.

23 C: mot sa.

[IV; P #33] Balade

Rubric C: Autra [Balad].

1 C: Pardiu amour. A, B: amours.

2 P: Que grans vo ben faytes c. c. A: f. bien c. B: f. comparer.

3 A: Voilles. C: Au l.

4 B: Rire p. C: Ri en.

5 A, B, C: on doit.

8 A, C: au r.

9–16, 17–24 C inverts these stanzas.
9 A: est la m. B: cest lamer. C: mare au d.

10 C: Car elha veult.

11 C: Et ne fait on ch.

12 C: Quelh ne veuilhe trestout a mal t. B, C: vueille.

13 C: Ainsi convient vous dous chier a.

14 C: Et recepvoir souvent en pacienca.

15 C: Asses dautruy en p.

16 A, C: au r.

17 C: Pour pou de temps le ge nest. A: bref temps.

18 C: angoisseux. A: a passer.

19 C: ja soit il aux. A: aux d.

20 B: amis.

21 A: Tousjours. C: Car i lheurs faut mains trevalhs ndurer.

23 C: Et endurer.

24 A, C: au r.

[V; P #34] Balade

Rubric C: Autra [Balada].

1 A: saches . . . vueil. C: le vou.

3 C: Car ja . . . le mart. A, B: jay.

4 B, C: Que.

6 C: puisa ma dama g. B: belle is missing.

7 C: quell soit. B: vers.

8 A, B: lui.

9 C: Et par ma foy q. B: bien dr.

11 A: les biens. B: les bons.

12 C: Pour bien servir l.

13 A, B: cuer ainsi que tu. C: quant tu.

14 C: Que ja neras. B: naras.

15 C: quelh ne.

16 A, B: lui.

18 B: ce que.

19 A: ne dois querir. B: ne quiers. C: Or ne quir. A, B, C: ne empire.

20 C: Car james si b.

21 C: Ne par tes yeulx si belha ne.

22 C: Jaune riant s.

23 C: Car de tous biens est la plus cureuse.

24 A, B: lui.

 

JAMES I. WIMSATT, EXCHANGE BETWEEN VITRY AND LE MOTE: EXPLANATORY NOTES


[MS #62] Balade

2–3 The references to Castor and to the river Albion are puzzling.

7 Orpheus here, I take it, stands as patron and judge of poet-musicians; compare “Ch" Poem X, 1ine 3.

11–12 Rhadamanthus and Minos are two of three sons of Zeus and Europa adopted by Asterios, king of Crete, who, because of their associations with honesty and law, became judges in the underworld after their deaths. For more on the allusion here to Dante’s Inferno V, see the discussion of the balade exchange, above.

19 The fountain of Cirrha signifies here the Hippocrene. Cirrha is a town at the foot of Parnassus.

26 Pegasus created the fountain of the Muses with his hoof when he first took flight, thus “Hippocrene."

[MS #63] La Response

2 See note to #62, line 7 above.

3 Supernasor. I.e., Ovid.

7 For the identity of Hugo, see discussion above.

11–12 Eolus here is represented as blowing rumor through the world.

22 Reference to Arthur of England here continues the identification of Edward III with Arthur in the exchange.

 

JAMES I. WIMSATT, EXCHANGE BETWEEN VITRY AND LE MOTE: TEXTUAL NOTES


[P #62] Balade

1 en. B: o.

2 P: C. et polus comme serfs.

4 Roys. B: Cers. Instead of “Autheus," Pognon reads “Antheus," which he sees as a version of Acteon.

6 sons fais. B: soubz fait.

14 Et a cupers. B: Eacus pers.

15 P: Contiendra.

24 enfes. B: en fais.

[P #63] La Response

2 per a. B: peres.

4 pratique. B: pratilze.

6 P: Angle cesse.

8 n’oy. B: neus; bout.

10 en. B: o.

12 raportes. B: raporter.

22 P: serfs.

27 P: mis ver ne flabe ne.

 

JAMES I. WIMSATT, DESCHAMPS’ BALADE TO CHAUCER: EXPLANATORY NOTES


2 Auglus. This is a puzzling reference, identified by some as Augelus or Giles of Rome (Aegidus romanum), author of On the Governance of Kings, or, more probably, Aulus Gellius, grammarian and Roman judge, author of the popular Noctes Atticae.

6–7 Aeneas’ descendant, Brutus, is, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, the legendary founder of Britain.

9 pandras. While this word has been read as a direct reference to Chaucer’s Pandarus from Troilus and Crisyede, it may well be a verb, pandre, meaning “to disseminate or illuminate." See Wimsatt, Chaucer and His French Contemporaries, p. 251.

 
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Chaucer and MS French 15 (Penn)

That the initials “Ch" stand for Chaucer is an intriguing possibility. The collection as a whole and in its parts has a number of notable connections with the poet and his circle. That a substantial portion of the texts were gathered together in England in his time is especially likely, in the light of Oton de Granson’s associations with the manuscript.

Expert opinion on the script of Penn agrees in placing its production around 1400, the year of Chaucer’s death. The scribes were French.1 The first leaf has written at the top in a separate hand “Droit et ferme," which is the motto of the kingdom of Bavaria and suggests a connection with Charles VI’s queen, Isabel of Bavaria, whom Charles married in 1385. Noting that the manuscript contains a substantial number of the poems of Oton de Granson, two with acrostics on “Isabel," Charles Mudge would identify Penn with a book of Granson’s “balades" that Isabel owned in 1401.2 This is a reasonable suggestion. As we shall see later, the contents might well have been drawn from Granson’s personal collection, whether for a manuscript for Isabel or for another.

In contents Penn is an anthology of fourteenth-century lyrics which seems to have been gathered together with a deliberate aesthetic intention; the anthologist aimed for pleasing variety. He certainly made no attempt to make an inclusive record of any poet’s work, or to display one particular form, or to present particular themes or subjects exhaustively. The poems are spread out by author and type with few uninterrupted large blocks. Beyond the “Ch" initials none of the poets is identified in the rubrics; nevertheless, the authors of 149 of the poems are known from other manuscript sources. Five of the seven authors of these poems have known connections with Chaucer. Dominating the center of Penn are 107 works of Guillaume de Machaut, who among fourteenth-century French poets exerted by far the most important influence on Chaucer. Flanking and interspersed with Machaut’s works in Penn are twenty-seven poems of Oton de Granson, whom Chaucer called the “flower" of French poets. Eustache Deschamps is represented by at least one poem, and seven more in Penn are probably by him. As with Granson, Deschamps’ associations with Chaucer are multiple.3 Others represented are the musician Grimace, three texts; Nicole de Margival, one text; Philippe de Vitry, one; and Jean de le Mote, one. Nicole and Jean evidently influenced Chaucer’s work.

Among other groups of poems in Penn are the fifteen “Ch" works, spread out between texts 235 and 276 and interspersed with the later Granson lyrics. Another distinctive set is formed by the first fifteen poems of the manuscript, all in related five-stanza forms: twelve pastourelles and three “serventois." The last thirty-three poems — which follow the last of the Granson, Machaut, and “Ch" lyrics — form the least interesting group, though not all of these poems are dull.

In order to bring out further the various ways in which Penn is associated with Chaucer, it will be convenient to consider the contents as they pertain to the individual authors. The exchange of poems between Philippe de Vitry and Jean de le Mote provides the freshest and most striking evidence, but its potential relevance to Chaucer is considerably augmented by the fact that Machaut’s and Granson’s poems dominate the collection. For this reason we will take up their works first.

GUILLAUME DE MACHAUT

Machaut’s poems are the heart of Penn; they monopolize the center. All 107 that are certainly his are found between poems 72 and 271 of the 310-lyric collection — all but four between 82 and 227.4 The poems come from all stages and divisions of his work; an analysis suggests that they were selected from one of the full Machaut collections, of which several are extant.

In its order of presentation of Machaut’s poems, Penn does not follow in detail the order of any of the collections, but it is by no means a random offering. It seems that the compiler, in selecting the poems, went back and forth within the sections into which the Machaut manuscripts were always divided. Forty of the first forty-seven Machaut poems in Penn come from his Louange des dames, the collective title of his lyrics not set to music.5 The two lyrics which follow come from a long dit, the Remede de Fortune.6 Then forty-six of the next fifty-five are from the lyrics with musical settings, with the other nine of these from the late long poem the Voir Dit.7 The final three, substantially separated from the others, are from the Louange.8 This summary suggests, and more detailed comparison of the manuscript contents helps to confirm, that the compiler used a collection which began with the Louange, followed with the long dits, and concluded with the lyrics with musical setting and the Voir Dit. Only one of the extant collections conforms to this order, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr. 9221 (E), a late fourteenth-century codex made for the duke of Berry.9 One might posit that the exemplar for Penn had common roots with this manuscript. Such association of Penn with the duke of Berry, even if remote, has interest for this study since Chaucer no doubt became acquainted with this great personage when he was in England for substantial periods of time between 1361 and 1366; the duke was later to echo a line of Chaucer’s in the first line of a balade that he composed: “Puiz qu’a Amours suis si gras eschapé [Since I have escaped from Love so fat]."10

Though the compiler drew from all sections of the Machaut oeuvre, he did show some partiality in what he included. He selected a much higher proportion of the works set to music than of those without music. Only about a seventh of the Louange is represented, but over half of the musical pieces. If one assumes, as seems logical, that the works which had musical settings were more commonly presented than the others, one might surmise that the compiler had become familiar with the Machaut oeuvre particularly in performance, rather than simply from reading, and that he had developed favorites in the process which he included in Penn. This suggests that the compiler was a court figure, instead of a professional scribe or scholar. At the same time, since Penn has a substantial number of nonmusical poems, it was evidently not intended to provide texts for musical purposes. The manuscript, moreover, does not include any of Machaut’s motets, always written for musical presentation, which the major Machaut manuscripts included and Chaucer on occasion made use of in his poetry. The motet originally was a religious type, and it remained so in England. Aside from the motets, Machaut’s other lyric types are well represented in Penn: forty-two balades, thirty rondeaux, twenty virelays, seven chants royaux, five lays, and three complaints.

As far as I can determine, there is no significant inclusion or exclusion by the compiler of specific Machaut poems that we know Chaucer used. Scholars have identified Chaucer’s uses of thirty-six of Machaut’s short poems, and ten of these appear in Penn.11 Since Penn contains about a fourth of his lyrics, statistical probability is just a little more than satisfied. Nevertheless, since we may well believe that Chaucer was familiar with the whole of Machaut’s oeuvre, the fact that his lyrics dominate Penn tends in itself to associate the collection with the English poet.

One point of topical interest. Penn includes Machaut’s Sixth Complainte (number 112), whose opening lines have the acrostic “Marguerite/Pierre." This poem evidently was written for Pierre de Lusignan, king of Cyprus, who was Edward III’s guest in London in 1363 and whom Chaucer memorializes in The Monk’s Tale (CT VII[B2]2391–98).12

OTON DE GRANSON

Granson is well-represented in Penn, with a total of twenty-six of his known lyrics, making the manuscript the third largest collection of his poems. All but two of the poems fall into two groups in Penn; one of these groups precedes and the other follows the bulk of Machaut’s poems. Sixteen Granson texts fall between Penn numbers 18 and 34, and eight between numbers 251 and 264.13 All of the poems are balades except for six complaints in the first group, including the two with acrostics on Isabel. The first group also includes the sequence of five balades which Chaucer in part adapted and translated for the triple balade, “The Complaint of Venus."14 The envoy of the “Complaint" contains the reference to Granson as “flour of hem that make in Fraunce," the only place in his work that Chaucer names a contemporary French poet.

It seems certain that Granson and Chaucer were friends. Granson probably went to England in 1369 after attending the wedding of Lionel of Clarence in Milan; he was in the service of Edward III and Richard II from about that time until 1387, when the death of his father recalled him to Savoy; he returned to England for an extended stay in 1392–96. Granson shows the inspiration of Chaucer’s work in at least two poems: La Complainte de l’an nouvel, which makes use of Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess, and Le Songe Saint Valentin, which was inspired by the Parliament of Fowls.15 The first of these Granson works is found in Penn. The two poets also have in common a penchant, not shared by other prominent poets of the century, for St. Valentine’s Day commemorations.

A significant association of Penn with Chaucer is provided by the text of Granson’s balade sequence. It has some diction and imagery in common with Chaucer’s “Complaint of Venus" that other Granson manuscripts do not share. The rubric is one interesting feature. In Penn the first of the balades originally bore the rubric “complainte," perhaps intended as a title for the group of five though it was later effaced. The other manuscripts identify the poems as balades, as do the present rubrics in Penn.

More certain evidence is provided by the body of the text. As Mudge states, the Penn text of these poems “is not as corrupt as those of the other two collections and shows a greater affinity to that version used by Chaucer."16 The Penn texts of the balade sequence, together with variants from the other manuscripts and notes on the various relationships to Chaucer’s wording, are presented here.

The text of the balade sequence of Granson which is the basis of Chaucer’s “Complaint of Venus" has not been available in anything close to a full edition. Arthur Piaget, whose edition of Granson’s poetry is standard, edits only the Paris manuscript (B), sometimes emending silently with Neuchâtel (A); Ludwig Schirer also edits B; and Amadée Pagès edits the strange Barcelona text (C), noting variants from B.17

As it happens, Penn has the best of the texts and the nearest to Chaucer’s model. Only B and Penn present the five poems in sequence in the order which Chaucer obviously had before him; in the other two manuscripts the texts are separated and the order is mixed.18 Manuscript B treats the poems as a unit, using one rubric, “Les cinq balades ensievans," while in Penn each poem is headed up “Balade." However, as Charles Mudge noticed, the first of the poems in Penn originally had the rubric “Complaint," which he reasonably surmised was intended as a title for all five poems and perhaps was the source of the word “Complaint" in the traditional title of Chaucer’s work.19

Manuscript C presents the worst of the texts, its orthography and some grammatical forms reflecting its Catalan origins. Though it does retain many of the better readings, numerous passages in it are completely different from the other manuscripts and for the most part clearly inferior to them. In the edition I have limited the record of variant readings of C to those in which the sense is affected; nevertheless, C shows more variants than A and B together, which I have more fully recorded.

The text of B is not bad, but it is quite imperfect. It lacks the third stanza of Balade II; as a result of omissions and added words, eight of its lines have too many or too few syllables (I 5,14; II 9; IV 2; V 6, 7, 9, 19); and three readings are inferior or mistaken (I 15; II 5; V 4). While manuscript A breaks up the five-balade unit, the detail of its text is better than that of B. Though the scribe muddles three readings (III 15, 17; IV 3), only two lines are mismetered (II 10, 18). Penn both retains the complete unit and has a very good text. In it also only two lines have imperfect meter (II 15; V 19), and the text makes good sense throughout except at the beginning of Balade V, when the scribe seems to have become confused about the meaning and put verbs in the second and third person when they should be in the first (lines 1 and 3).

In the envoy of his triple balade, “Complaint of Venus," Chaucer states that he is translating Granson “word by word," which is an exaggeration. Only parts of his work can be called a translation; the whole rather is an adaptation of the first, fourth, and fifth poems of Granson’s balade series. Chaucer no doubt chose the best and liveliest poems of the five. He changes the point of view from Granson’s male narrator to a female narrator. The change suggests that he had a specific occasional purpose for the composition. As might be expected, the variant readings which bear on Chaucer’s translation are few. In the notes I have presented all of Chaucer’s lines in which variants might have significance, but I will discuss here only those with reasonably clear implications about Chaucer’s Granson text.

In attempting to ascertain which manuscript is closest to Chaucer’s original we may dismiss C from consideration. If Granson wrote the group of balades while he was in captivity in Spain, which is not improbable, the text of C may be directly related to Granson’s earliest version of the work; nevertheless, it has no unique readings suggestive of Chaucer’s language, and — as an inspection of the recorded variants will verify — there are a good number which destroy or impair the similarities.

Penn no doubt is the closest to Chaucer’s original. The confusion in verbs at the opening of its Balade V obviously impairs the parallel at that point, but this is the only place in Penn where the other manuscripts of the balades are clearly closer to Chaucer’s reading. More indicative than the scribal blunder here are competing readings of Penn, A, and B that make equally sound sense. In these the Penn version is consistently closer to Chaucer. Thus, in Balade I 5, the A manuscript speaks of “ses doulz fais, ses maintiens," instead of “ses doulz fais feminins" as in B and Penn. Though both make sense, it is clear that Chaucer’s noun “manhood" in his corresponding line was suggested by “feminins" (adjusting to the change in point of view). In Balade IV 18, similarly, manuscript A has “encombreux a passer" instead of “a user" of B and Penn which Chaucer’s “the usyng" echoes. In IV 2, A has “faciez bien comparer" and B “faciez comparer," while Penn presents “faciez cher comparer," which is the obvious source of Chaucer’s “ful dere abye." In the same poem, Chaucer’s colorful “Jalousie be hanged be a cable" seems a more likely counterpart of “Jalousie, c’est la mere du deable" of A and Penn than the weaker “l’amer [bitterness] du deable" of B.

In Balade V Penn has three readings closer to “Complaint of Venus" than A and B. An interesting transformation is Chaucer’s change of “de tous les liex eslire" (II, Penn) into “Chese the best that ever on erthe went," which preserves the geographical image of “liex" (“places"), which is not at all present in “de tous les bons" of B and “biens" of C. In V 13,"‘aime . . . si fort que" of Penn is not only clearly superior to “ainsi que" of A and B, but it is also closer to Chaucer’s “love well . . . never stente." Likewise the flat “ce que choisi as" of B in V 18 is not suggestive of Chaucer’s intensive “so high a grace," as “si bien que" is in A and Penn.

There is no question that Penn offers the best text of Granson’s series as a whole and that nearest to Chaucer’s model. In the following edition I have presented the Penn text unaltered throughout except for capitalization, punctuation, and expansion of abbreviations.
[I; MS #30]






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BALADE

Il n’est confort qui tant de bien me face
Quant je ne puis a ma dame parler
Comme d’avoir temps, loizir, et espace
De longuement en sa valour penser
Et ses doulz fais femenins recorder
Dedens mon cuer, c’est ma vie par m’ame,
Ne je ne truis nul homme qui m’en blasme,
Car chascun a joye de li loer.

Il a en lui beauté, bonté, et grace
Plus que nulz homs ne saroit deviser:
C’est grant eür quant en si po despace
Dieu a voulu tous les biens assambler;
Honneur la veult sur toutes honnorer;
Onques ne vy si plaisant jeune dame
De toutes gens avoir si noble fame,
Car chascun etc.

Ou qu’elle soit bien fait et mal efface;
Moult bien li siet le rire et le jouer;
Son cuer esbat et les autres solace
Si liement qu’on ne le doit blasmer;
De li veoir ne se puet nulz lasser;
Son regart vault tous les biens d’un royaume;
Il samble bien qu’elle est tresnoble femme,
Car chascun etc


TRANSLATION

There is no comfort which would do me so much good
When I am unable to speak to my lady
As to have time, leisure, and place
To think at length on her worth
And to recall her sweet feminine actions
In my heart, that is my life by my soul,
Nor do I find any man who will blame me for it,
For everyone has pleasure in praising her.

There is in her beauty, goodness, and grace
More than any man could devise;
It is a great joy that in such a small space
God has brought together all good things;
Honor wishes to honor her above all women;
Never have I seen such a happy young lady
To have such a noble name from all people,
For everyone has pleasure in praising her.

Wherever she is, good is done and evil is absent;
Laughing and playing are very natural to her;
Her heart is playful and solaces the others
So joyfully that one cannot find fault with her;
No one can stop looking at her;
Her look is worth all the goods of a kingdom;
It well seems that she is a most noble lady,
For everyone has pleasure in praising her.
 


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[II; MS #31]






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BALADE

A mon advis Dieu, Raison, et Nature
En lui fourmer se sont bien entendus,
Car faite l’ont de tous les vices pure
Et paree de toutes les vertus.
Ne je ne croy qu’au jour d’ui vive nulz
C’onques veïst dame miex assevie;
Se n’est pourtant que d’amer n’a envie,
Car trop par est son cuer plain de reffus.

Le vis a bel, fassonné a droiture,
Le plus doulcet qui onques fust veüx;
Col, main, et bras, couleur, et cheveleure
De tous les beaux sont les plus beaux tenus;
Corps gracieux, mignotement vestus,
Chantant, dansant, et de maniere lie,
Mais son temps pert qui d’Amours la prie
Car trop etc.

Loyauté, sens, honneur, et nourreture,
Et doulz maintien sont d’elle congneüs;
Tresbien entent et respont par mesure;
De tous les biens est son cuer pourveüx;
Le dieu d’ Amours ne deveroit querir plus
Si li prenoit talent d’avoir amie,
Et si croy je que ceste n’aroit mie
Car trop etc.

TRANSLATION

I believe that God, Reason, and Nature
Have well cooperated in creating her,
For they have made her pure from all the vices
And provided her with all the virtues.
Nor do I think that today there is anyone living
Who ever saw a lady more gracious;
Nevertheless she does not want to love,
For her heart is full of refusal.

She has a beautiful face, perfectly fashioned,
The sweetest that ever has been seen;
Neck, hand, and arm, complexion and hair
Of all the beautiful are thought the most beautiful;
Charming body, prettily attired,
Singing, dancing, and with a joyful demeanor,
But he loses his time who asks for her love,
For her heart is full of refusal.

Loyalty, good sense, honor, and good breeding,
And a sweet manner are natural to her;
She listens well and responds carefully;
Her heart is furnished with all good features;
The God of Love could not find a better
If he desires to have a lady-love,
But I think that she would not have him at all
For her heart is full of refusal.
 
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[III; MS #32]






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BALADE

Or est ainsi que pour la bonne et belle,
Gracieuse, ou tous biens sont manans,
Je sui ferus ou cuer soubz la mamelle
Du dart d’ Amours dont le fer est trenchans.
Et si vous dy qu’il a passé vii. ans,
Mais encor n’est la playe refermee,
Car sans mercy ne peust estre sanee.
Priez pour moy, tous les loyaulx amans.

Helas! Pitié, tresdoulce damoiselle,
Je vous en prie que me soiez aidans.
Contre Dangier soustenez ma querelle,
Car il est fort et ses amis sont grans,
Durté me hait et Paour m’est nuisans.
Se par vous n’est ma sante recouvree
Pour Bien Amer yert ma vie finee.
Priez pour moy etc.

De Bien Amer tous les jours renouvelle
Le cuer de moy qui est obeissans
En attendant le bon plaisir de celle
A qui je sui et vueil estre servans.
Las! Je ne sui que simples et souffrans,
Et me soustien sur ma loyal pensee
Jusques Mercy m’ait sa grace monstree.
Priez etc.

TRANSLATION

Now my plight is that for the good and beautiful,
And gracious, in whom all good things reside,
I am struck in my heart beneath the breast
By the dart of Love, which is very sharp.
And I tell you that it has been more than seven years,
But still the wound has not closed,
For without mercy it cannot be healed,
Pray for me, all the loyal lovers.

Alas! Pity, most sweet lady,
I beseech you to give me help.
Assist my battle with Danger,
For he is strong and his friends are powerful,
Hardness hates me and Fear wounds me.
If my health is not restored by you
For Good Loving my life will be ended.
Pray for me, all the loyal lovers.

By Good Loving my heart
Which is obedient is renewed each day
While awaiting the good pleasure of her
To whom I am, and desire to be, servant.
Alas! I am but innocent and suffering
And sustain myself by my loyal thought
Until Mercy may have shown me her grace.
Pray for me, all the loyal lovers.
 
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[IV; MS #33]






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BALADE

Certes, Amour, c’est chose convenable
Que vos grans bien faciez cher comparer,
Veillier ou lit et jeuner a la table,
Rire en plorant et en plaignant chanter,
Baissier les yeulx quant on voit regarder,
Souvent changier couleur et contenance,
Plaindre en dormant et songier a la dance.
Tout a rebours de ce qu’on veult trouver.

Jalousie, c’est la mere du déable,
Elle veult tout vëoir et escouter,
Ne nulz ne fait chose si raisonnable
Que tout a mal ne le veult tourner.
Amours, ainsi fault vos dons acheter,
Et vous donnez souvant sans ordonnance
Assez doulour et petit de plaisance,
Tout a rebours etc.

Pour .j. court temps le geu est aggreable,
Mais trop par est encombreux a user,
Et, ja soit il a dames honnorable,
A leurs servans est trop grief a porter.
Tousdiz convient souffrir et endurer,
Sans nul certain languir en esperance
Et recevoir mainte male meschance,
Tout a rebours etc.

TRANSLATION

Indeed, Love, it is a proper thing
That you make your great good to be bought dear,
Waking on the bed and fasting at the table,
Laughing in weeping and singing in complaining,
Lowering the eyes when seen staring,
Often changing complexion and expression,
Lamenting while sleeping and dreaming at the dance,
Completely opposed to what one wants to find.

Jealousy, she is the mother of the devil,
She wants to see and hear everything,
And one can do nothing so reasonable
That she will not turn it to evil.
Love, thus one has to buy your gifts,
And you often give without any logical order
Great sorrow and little pleasure,
Completely opposed to what one wants to find.

For a short time the game is agreeable,
But it is much too troublesome to continue,
And even though the ladies are honorable,
It is very unhappy for their servants to bear.
It is ever necessary to suffer and endure,
Always with uncertainty to languish in hope
And to receive many a sad misfortune,
Completely opposed to what one wants to find.
 
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[V; MS #34]






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BALADE

Amours, sachiez que pas ne le veulz dire
Pour moy getter hors des amoureux las,
Car a porté si long temps mon martire
Qu’a mon vivant ne le guerpiray pas.
Il me souffit d’avoir tant de soulas
Que vëoir puisse la belle gracieuse;
Com bien qu’elle est envers moy dangereuse
De li servir ne seray jamais las.

Certes, Amours, quant bien a droit remire
Les hauls estas, les moiens, et les bas,
Vous m’avez fait de tous les liex eslire,
A mon advis, le meilleur en tous cas
Or ayme, Cuer, si fort com tu porras,
Car ja n’avras paine si doloureuse
Pour ma dame qui ne me soit joieuse
De li servir etc.

Cuer, il te doit assez plus que souffire
D’avoir choisi si bien que choisi as.
Ne querir plus royaume n’empire,
Car si bonne jamais ne trouveras,
Ne si belle par mes yeulx ne verras.
C’est jeunesse sachant et savoureuse;
Ja soit elle de m’amour desdaigneuse
De li servir etc.

TRANSLATION

Love, know that I do not want to ask
You to release me from your amorous bindings,
For my martyrdom has lasted so long
That in my life I will never give it up.
It suffices me to have so much solace
As to be able to see the beautiful gracious one;
Even though she stands aloof from me
In serving her I will never be unhappy.

Indeed, Love, when I properly recall
The high estates, the middle, and the lower,
From all of them you have made me choose,
In my judgment, the best in every circumstance.
Now love, Heart, as strongly as you can,
For never will you have pain so sorrowful
For my lady that it would not be joyful to me,
In serving her I will never be unhappy.

Heart, it ought to suffice you more than enough
To have chosen so well as you have chosen.
Search no longer realm or empire,
For so good a one you will never find,
Nor will you ever see one more beautiful through my eyes.
She is youth wise and delectable;
Even though she is disdainful of my love
In serving her I will never be unhappy.
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THE EXCHANGE BETWEEN PHILIPPE DE VITRY AND JEAN DE LE MOTE

Poems 62 and 63 of Penn, entitled “Balade" and “La Response," make a fascinating pair, particularly for students of Chaucer. The first poem is an attack by one poet on another, and the second is a rejoinder by the author attacked. The poet of the response is Jean de le Mote, who in 1339 had dedicated his elegy for William of Hainault, Li Regret Guillaume Comte de Hainault, to the count’s daughter Philippa, Edward III’s queen. The elegy is a likely source for Chaucer. Moreover, the contents of the exchange associate Jean with English court circles and suggest composition in the very years that Chaucer began his service in the courts. The attacking poet is Philippe de Vitry, bishop of Meaux from 1351 to 1361, famous poet-musician and friend of Petrarch. Philippe had such importance in mid-century intellectual life that even a secondhand connection with Chaucer’s milieu is significant.

This exchange is little known and less understood. Its significance for the works of the two poets and relevance to Chaucer have not been grasped, largely because scholars have only known them in the garbled versions of a fifteenth-century manuscript, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 3343.20 The Penn version is much more comprehensible, though by no means without faults and difficulties.21 In the “Balade" Philippe accuses Jean of treason to France through his poetic praise of King Arthur, that is, Edward III. In his rejoinder, also a balade, Jean does not deny being in England or writing the poetry, but states firmly that he does not owe allegiance to the French and that he is serving truth in England. The texts of these two poems which follow are based on Penn, incorporating some readings — set off in brackets — from Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 3343 (B).
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BALADE

De terre en Grec Gaule appellee,
[Castor fuitis fuyans com cers,]
En Albion de flun nommee,
Roys Autheus devenus serfs.
Nicement sers
Quant sons fais d’anfent fains amer
D’amour qu’Orpheus ot despite,
Laou tu n’as d’amour fors l’amer,
En Albion de Dieu maldicte.

T’umbre de fuite yert accusee
Par Radamantus le pervers
Et de roy Minnos condemnee
A vii. tours de queue a revers;
Et a cupers
[Contraindra] ta langue a l’aper,
Comme de renoie traïte,
De Flagiton, l’amere mer,
En Albion de Dieu maldite.

Certes, Jehan, la fons Cirree
Ne te congnoit, ne li lieux vers
Ou maint la vois Caliopee.
Car amoureus diz fais couvers
De noms divers.
Dont aucuns enfes scet user
Com tu, qui ne vaulz une mite
A Pegasus faire voler,
En Albion de Dieu maldite.

TRANSLATION [PHILIPPE DE VITRY]

Out of the land called Gaul in Greek,
In flight, like a deer fleeing Castor,
To Albion named for the river,
You have become a serf of King Arthur.
You serve foolishly
When you pretend to love his youthful deeds
With a love that Orpheus finds hateful,
There where you have no love except bitterness,
In Albion cursed by God.

Your shade in flight will be accused
By Rhadamanthus the perverse
And condemned by King Minos
With seven turns of his tail backwards;
And with reproaches
He will constrain your tongue to loosen
As with a renegade traitor,
At Phlegethon, the bitter sea,
In Albion cursed by God.

Indeed, John, the fountain of Cirrha
Does not know you, nor the green place
Where the voice of Calliope stays.
For you make amorous poems filled
With divers names.
Now any child knows how to write
Like you, who are not able one whit
To make Pegasus fly
In Albion cursed by God.
 


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LA RESPONSE

O Victriens, mondains dieu d’armonie,
Filz Musicans et per a Orpheus,
Supernasor de la fontaine Helye,
Doctores vrays, en ce pratique Anglus,
Plus clers véans et plus agus qu’ Argus,
Angles [en chant], cesse en toy le lyon!
Ne fais de moy Hugo s’en Albion
Suis. Onques n’oy ailleurs [vent] ne volee.
Ne je ne sui point de la nacion
De terre en Grec Gaulle de Dieu amee.

Mais fole atisse, enluminans envie,
Par fauls proces, raportes d’Oleus.
T’a fait brasser buvrage a trop de lie
Sur moy, qui ay de toy fait Zephirus,
Car en la fons Cirree est tes escus;
Tous jours l’ay dit sans adulacion.
Or m’as donné a cupers Flangiton,
Fleuve infernal, et les vij. tours d’entree
Sept tourmens sont. Je ne vueil pas tel don
De terre en Grec Gaulle de Dieu amee.

Contre mal bien servir sers en Albie
Castor, Polus, ne Roys [chiers] Autheus.
Et se li roys Minos enquiert ma vie
Il trouvera Eclo et ses vertus
Pour contrester contre Radamiatus
S’il m’acusoit d’aucune traison.
N’ains [nons ne mis en fable n’en] chançon
Qui n’ait servi en aucune contree.
Sy te supplie, ne banny mon bon nom
De terre en Grec Gaulle de Dieu amee.

TRANSLATION [JEAN DE LE MOTE]

O man of Vitry, worldly god of harmony,
Son of Music and peer of Orpheus,
Greater Naso of the fountain of Helicon,
True doctor, Aulus Gellius in this practice,
More clear-sighted and more acute than Argus,
Angel in song, restrain the lion in you!
Do not make Hugo of me because I am in Albion.
I never had inspiration or flight elsewhere.
And I in no way belong to the nation
Of the land in Greek called Gaul, loved by God.

The report of Eolus always incites foolishly
By false process, inflaming envy.
It has made you brew a drink with too many dregs
For me, who have made of you Zephirus,
For your shield is in the fountain of Cirrha;
I have always said it without flattery.
Now you have given me with reproaches Phlegethon,
The infernal river, and the seven turns upon entering
Are seven torments. I do not wish such a gift
From the land in Greek called Gaul, loved by God.

Serving well against evil I serve in Albion,
Not Castor, Pollux, nor dear King Arthur.
And if King Minos is seeking my life
He will find Echo and her powers
To contest against Rhadamanthus,
If he accuses me of any treason.
I never put a name in fable or song
Which would not have served in any country.
So I entreat you, do not banish my good name
From the land in Greek called Gaul, loved by God.



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The “Balade" is cryptic in detail, but its broad outlines are clear enough. After scornfully accusing Jean of fleeing France and becoming a serf of King Arthur — that is, Edward III — in England, Philippe goes on to describe his prospective punishment in hell and to ridicule his literary endeavors in Edward’s service, in particular his use of names in literary allusions. Of Philippe’s own literary allusions in his balade, the most interesting is that to Minos, who condemns Jean’s spirit with seven turns of his tail after having constrained him to confess his sins. The notion of a demonic Minos who sentences souls in this bizarre fashion is not found in Virgil; it must originate in Dante’s Inferno. This allusion to Dante antedates by far any in French poetry previously identified.22 In Canto V (lines 1–20) Minos stands outside the second circle, and in sentencing each soul that faces him he entwines his tail about himself as many times as the steps the sinner will have to descend to his punishment. One might expect that Philippe would prescribe nine instead of seven turns of the tail to send the traitor to his proper place at the bottom of hell, but Dante’s text invites the discrepancy.23 By contrast, the reference to Rhadamanthus, who is not named by Dante, originates in the Aeneid (VI.566–69). In the third stanza the frame of allusion changes to Ovid. In indicting Jean’s verse as uninspired and childish, Philippe refers to the pool of the Muses, and indirectly to the story of its creation by the hoof of Pegasus.24

The rejoinder by Jean de le Mote is a dignified attempt to answer the accusations point by point and to placate Philippe at the same time. Jean evidently enjoyed prestige as a poet and musician. Nevertheless, he does not stand on his dignity. In response to Philippe’s insults he is self-effacing and diplomatic rather than indignant. He answers the biting attack with praise of Philippe’s compositions, and he converts the refrain that presents England as “cursed by God" into a compliment to France, “loved by God." But Jean is not craven. He denies Philippe’s accusations forthrightly, alleging that he owes no fealty to France, defending his poetic use of names, and declaring that he will answer Minos’ accusations like Echo. He ends with a plea to Philippe not to slander him in France.

It is not certain that in his response Jean evidences a direct familiarity with Inferno. His mentioning King Minos and his “sept tours d’entree" may simply be based on Philippe’s words.25 The reference to Hugo as an example of perfidy, not found in Philippe’s poem, appears to be an allusion to Ugolino, famed resident of the circle of traitors (XXX III.13–78). But coincidentally there is an unidentified Hugo whom Philippe attacks in one of his extant motets; Jean might have known of this Hugo of the motet.26

The contents of the two poems indicate that Jean at the time of the exchange is in England, while Philippe is in France. The poems cannot be dated exactly, but there are some very good clues. One is provided in the two-balade sequel to the Philippe-Jean exchange found in the other (B) manuscript of the exchange, presented below; this sequel indeed makes it possible to identify the Jean of Philippe’s balade as Jean de le Mote. In the first balade a poet named Jean Campion reaffirms Philippe’s criticism of Jean de le Mote, calling him “le Mote," and he makes a reference to Jean’s Parfait du Paon, which he wrote in 1340.27

There are two manuscript texts of the balade exchange between Philippe de Vitry and Jean de le Mote. The better text is in Penn and provides the basis for the edition above. The second text, which supplies some readings for the edition, is Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 3343, a miscellany of prose and poetry, mainly Latin. In this manuscript, the exchange appears as the third and fourth poems in a connected series of six French balades. The first two poems are lovers’ complaints by Jean de le Mote. In the first a man complains, and in the second a woman. In both balades there is abundant, often-obscure reference to mythological (or pseudo-mythological) personages. The poems seem to substantiate the complaint of Philippe that Jean fills his poems of love with “noms divers" (see Philippe’s poem, lines 22–23).

The fifth and sixth poems in the series, which follow Philippe’s attack and Jean’s response, are the poems edited below. In the fifth a poet named Jean Campion, a cleric of Tournai and follower of Philippe, takes up his mentor’s attack on the misuse of names by “le Mote." In his balade Philippe simply identifies the target as “Jehan," but Campion not only employs the surname but also makes an oblique reference to le Mote’s long poem, Le Parfait du Paon (lines 1–3). In his poem Campion assures le Mote that he agrees with the man of Vitry that the Muses have nothing to do with his poems, and he invokes the punishments of Virgil’s hell on him for the wild names he uses. With his own train of proper names stretched out through the poem, and especially with the three-line refrain enumerating the Muses, Campion seems to be parodying and answering his adversary’s style.

Campion here uses the ten-line decasyllabic stanza that le Mote employed in answering Philippe. In responding to Campion, Jean employs the nine-line stanza with octosyllabic lines of Philippe’s original poem. Predictably, he questions Campion’s qualifications for criticizing the poetry of others and his understanding of literary reference. At the same time, he places him in a different category from Philippe, whose strictures he claims to welcome. Go and apply yourself to instructing Beelzebub, he advises Campion.

Both poetic exchanges are lively and obviously written with feeling, though at the same time the scholars’ intellectual pretensions provide much of the matter and some of the fire. The second debate has a particular interest here, as the first one does, because it probably represents an exchange across the Channel. We can only guess that the contention ended with le Mote having the last word. Chaucer may well have known the whole series of six balades.

While the following edition is made from the manuscript, it differs from that of Pognon (see his n.16, p. 55) only in minor details, and some punctuation and capitalization. Pognon’s introduction and notes provide a good deal of information about the poems and their many references, though he admits he does not understand all that is meant. I do not either. One may be confident that both purposeful obscurity and considerable corruption in the manuscript text contribute to the difficulty.28


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MESSIRE JEHAN CAMPIONS

Sur Parnase a le Mote Cyrre et Nise,
Cuide avoir chilz songié, qui le Parfait
Des Vens imparfist, et beu a devise
De la fontene Elycone que a fait
Li chevaulx volans, dont moult s’a mesfait —
Che dist li Victriens, dieus d’armonie —
Car ne congnoist ne congneu. Mené
Ne l’i ont Clyo, Euterpe, Uranie,
Thersicore, Erato, Melponené,
Thalye, Calliope, et Polimnie.

Espoir! Caron en Phlegeton l’esprise,
Ou Athleto en Lethés l’out attrait,
Ou en Cochite ou Thesiphone est prise,
Pour lui mectre el point qu’elle Athamas lait,
Quant en ses dis noms de Bretesque mait
Que n’ont congneu poete en Meonie,
En Manthe, en Peligne, en Verone né,
Ne Flaccus, Clyo, Euterpe, Uranie, etc.

Si lo que se dis de le femme Anchise
Ou de son fil l’archier volage estrait,
Taise tez noms! Mieulx en vaulra s’emprise.
Et se l’avule en Ramnuse o son lait
L’a allechié, je les talaire n’ait
Persé, harpen; ne egyde Gorgonie
Syringe ou barbiton l’ait demené,
A l’onnour Clyo, Euterpe, Uranie,
Thersicore, Erato, Melpomené,
Thalye, Calliope, Polimnie.

TRANSLATION

Le Mote, who ruined the Parfait of the Winds [i.e., Parfait du Paon],
Thinks that on Parnassus he has dreamed of Cyrrha and Nysa,
And that he has drunk plentifully
From the fountain of Helicon,
Which the flying horse made, in which he has greatly erred —
This says the man of Vitry, god of harmony —
For he [le Mote] doesn’t know and hasn’t known.
Clio, Euterpe, Urania,
Terpsichore, Erato, Melpomene,
Thalia, Calliope, and Polhymnia have not guided him.

Perhaps, Charon will burn him in Phlegethon,
Or Alecto draw him to Lethe,
Or to Cocytus where Thesiphone is held,
To put him in the plight that she assigns to Athamas,
When in his poems he puts Breton [i.e., Celtic romance] names,
Which are unknown to poets born in Maeonia [Homer],
Mantua [Virgil], Peligni [Ovid], Verona [Catullus],
Nor Flaccus [Horace], nor Clio, Euterpe, Urania, etc.

So I pray [le Mote], if you treat of the wife of Anchises,
Or of her son the winged archer
Be quiet with your names! His [le Mote’s] work will be better for it.
But if Nemesis in Ramnuse has fed him
With her milk, never will he celebrate
With pipe and lyre
The winged feet of Perseus, nor the shield Gorgonie
To the honor of Clio, Euterpe, Urania,
Terpsichore, Erato, Melpomene,
Thalia, Calliope, Polhymnia.

JEHAN DE LE MOTE RESPOND AUDIT MESSIRE JEHAN COMPION

Tu, Campions, appel faisans
Par le voye regalien,
Mote n’est point chevaulx volans,
Ains vit en le rieule Eliien.
Tu comprens le Philistiien
Et il David en combatant,
Par quoy en fleuve Tantalus
Te baigneront en argüant
Tribles, Florons, et Cerberus.

Sces tu tous les mondains rommans
Et tous les noms, .V. et combien?
Je doubt que li fruis des lubans
Vraiement ne soient li tien.
Il ne m’en cault du Victrien;
Son castoy pren de cuer joyant.
Mais tu! Va, s’apren bergibus!
La tiennent escole de cant
Tribles, Florons etc.

Tu, qui tous vens yes congnoissans,
Congnois tu le Mur Graciien,
Le roc ou Phebus est regnans,
Et tous les clans de cel engien
Et de Cerberus le Mairien?
Nennil, certes. Mais d’ Aridant
Congnistras au fons la jus,
Car la te menront galopant
Tribles, Florons, et Cerberus.

JEAN DE LE MOTE RESPONDS TO MONSIEUR JEAN CAMPION

To you, Campion, I call out
In a royal mode.
Mote is not a flying horse,
Rather he lives in the spring of Helicon.
You represent the Philistine
And he [le Mote] David in fighting,
For which reason while you quibble those will bathe you
In the river Tartarus:
Tribles, Floron, and Cerberus.

Do you know the earthly romances
And all the names — five and how many?
I fear that the fruit of Lebanon
Will indeed not be yours.
I am not concerned about the man of Vitry;
I take his correction with a happy heart.
But you! Go teach Beelzebub!
There those hold a singing school:
Tribles, Floron, etc.

You who are cognizant of all the winds,
Do you know the Wall of the Graces,
The rock where Phoebus reigns,
And all the artifice of that device,
And about the club of Cerberus?
No, no indeed. But the River Eridanus
You will know to the very bottom,
For those will take you there at a gallop:
Tribles, Florons, and Cerberus.
We do not know when le Mote died, but Vitry died in 1361, so we know that the exchange took place between 1340 and 1361. The bitterness of Philippe’s attack and the conciliatory tone of the rejoinder suggest a time of national dissatisfaction in France and of contentment in England; the years after the great English victories at Crecy and Poitiers (1346 and 1356) seem likely. The latter battle was especially disastrous for France because of King Jean’s being taken captive.

Supplying further supporting evidence is a motet that Philippe composed which seems to go with his balade. In the motet he attacks an unnamed writer whom he accuses of feeding the English with the dregs of poetry.29 The writer under attack is probably Jean again; there are no other likely candidates. The fact that Philippe promises in the motet that France will rise again to put an end to English perfidy also seems to signal a low point in French fortunes, Crecy and Poitiers again. The works that irked Philippe, in which Jean praises Edward’s accomplishments, evidently have not survived, though there is a famous Latin motet by John Aleyn that shows what the poetry was like. As Brian Trowell has shown, Aleyn probably composed his motet Sub Arturo for “an unusually magnificent meeting of the Garter Knights at Windsor Castle in 1358, on St George’s day." The guests included the captive king of France, David II of Scotland, the duke of Blois, and Philippe le Hardi of Burgundy. In founding the Order of the Garter Edward had consciously imitated the Arthurian legend, and for the 1358 celebration “he finished the Round Tower, to house his Round Table."30

The long stanzas of Jean de le Mote’s and Jean Campion’s balades — ten lines of decasyllables — also are characteristic of the 1350s and later, when the metrical form of the balade was becoming independent of the musical form. In his earlier balades Jean had used shorter stanzas; the eight balades intercalated in the Parfait du Paon, for instance, have stanzas of from seven to nine lines, with decasyllables found only in two balades with seven-line stanzas. The other balades have shorter lines.

The probability that Chaucer read or heard the pair of balades by Philippe and Jean seems good. They are effective poems, written by well-known authors, which had special topical interest for the English court. The enduring fame of Jean’s response is attested to by another circumstance which has special pertinence to Chaucer. As parallel passages show, the poem almost certainly provides the model for the openings of two famous balades of Deschamps, one addressed to Machaut at his death and the other a tribute to Chaucer.31 From the striking correspondences one may infer that the balade exchange was well known in Deschamps’ literary world two or three decades later, and that Deschamps expected the audience of his balades of praise — including Chaucer — to hear the echoes of the earlier work. The poems, it seems, had become part of a standard corpus of lyrics which most court poets writing in French were familiar with. Because of Jean’s connection with England, Deschamps probably knew that Chaucer in particular was acquainted with the exchange.

The likelihood that Chaucer knew Jean de le Mote in England, and through him became familiar with the writings and ideas of Philippe de Vitry, makes their life and work of substantial potential relevance to Chaucer. Since the two poets are almost unknown to Chaucer scholarship, it seems desirable to present some of the basic information about each of them, with particular attention to their possible significance to Chaucer’s development and career.

PHILIPPE DE VITRY

For a poet as celebrated as Philippe de Vitry was, his surviving work is surprisingly fragmentary. A treatise called Ars Nova on the isochronic music that he and Machaut helped to bring into vogue has been ascribed to him. More certainly his are texts of several motets with music, and four minor poems, including the balade attacking Jean.

Philippe was born in 1291 in one of the six towns in Champagne called Vitry.32 Like Guillaume de Machaut, his fellow Champenois, he had a career both as cleric and trusted deputy of kings, though he filled even more prestigious posts than Machaut did. He served in various major offices under three French kings, Charles IV, Philippe VI, and Jean II, and he was made bishop of Meaux in 1351. His connection with Jean II was particularly close; from 1346, four years before Jean became king, Philippe was absorbed in Jean’s affairs. He arranged Jean’s visit to Clement VI in Avignon in 1350 when Jean had assumed the kingship. In both Paris and Avignon from about 1327 Philippe carried on a friendship with Petrarch, with the two corresponding frequently. Petrarch referred to his friend as “ever a most keen and ardent seeker after truth," “now the foremost poet of France," “a most learned man." Pierre Bersuire, the commentator on Ovid, was another close friend who effusively lauded Philippe.33

Among the several later poets who cite Philippe for his poetic and musical creativity is Eustache Deschamps, who twice brackets him with Machaut,34 especially high praise in the light of Deschamps’ relationship to Machaut as protegé and perhaps nephew. Testifying to the endurance of his reputation is a fifteenth-century reference to Philippe by the author of the Regies de la Seconde Rhetorique, who credits him with being the originator of the “maniere" of the motet, balade, lai, and simple rondeau, as well as a major innovator in music.35 Philippe is third in this author’s list, following Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, and immediately preceding Machaut, who is presented as the one who settled the lyric forms. Once again we find Philippe in most distinguished company, credited with high achievement. Though the paucity of surviving texts by him leaves us somewhat in the dark as to the basis of his poetic fame, there is no doubt that in his time he was a highly honored and influential poet.

Jean de le Mote was not the only writer acquainted with Vitry whom Chaucer might have known in his early days at court. Gace de la Buigne, who accompanied Jean II to London in his captivity following Poitiers, was a friend of Vitry’s of long standing. In his Roman des deduis, a poetic treatise on hunting begun in England, Gace mentions Vitry’s power as composer of motets.36 Nevertheless, as a poet-musician of the popular mode, Jean was more likely than Gace to have been purveyor to Chaucer of the poetic accomplishment and learning of Vitry. It was perhaps as a consequence of Jean’s association with Philippe that Chaucer first learned of the two great Italians, Dante and Petrarch. Philippe’s reference to the Inferno in his balade suggests good knowledge of the Commedia; he might have known Dante personally. Schooled by Philippe’s reports, Jean in turn could have relayed information about Dante, and more about Petrarch, to Chaucer. Indeed, Jean could have met Petrarch in Paris in Philippe’s company. It is curious that Chaucer mentions both Petrarch and Dante by name in more than one poem, while he never mentions Boccaccio despite more obvious opportunities. A reverence for the former two as literary personages, acquired early, might account for the discrepancy in treatment.

More might be said of the specific contents of the Vitry-Mote pair of balades as they relate to Chaucer’s works and to “Ch’s" poems also; for instance, we might consider Vitry’s and Campion’s comments on Jean’s use of proper names in his poetry,37 and ponder also the nexus of references to the pool of the Muses, which has several correspondences in Chaucer and other poets of the time.38 However, exploration of such matters promises to supply only small fragments of the evidence needed to ascertain the full part which Jean de la Mote and Philippe de Vitry played in Chaucer’s career as poet. We may say confidently that both writers were influential figures in mid-century French poetry, and that Jean had a special relationship to Edward III; thereby, both would have been significant factors in Chaucer’s career as poet. While the nature of his particular debt to them remains open to speculation, the presence of the two poems in Penn is most suggestive as regards the time and place of the gathering of materials that went into the manuscript, and as regards the manuscript’s association with Chaucer. The most likely time of composition of the exchange is the years after Poitiers, after 1356, when French fortunes were at a low ebb, Edward III was being celebrated as Arthur, and Chaucer had entered court life. It may be that Geoffrey read Philippe’s attack soon after it was first communicated to Jean, and that he saw Jean’s response shortly after it was composed.

JEAN DE LE MOTE

When or where Jean de le Mote was born is not known. The use of “le" with the feminine “Mote" is characteristic of Picard or Walloon, and accords with associations of Jean with Ghent and with the court of Hainault. The first probable extant reference to him dates from 1325–26, occurring in a record of the chancellery of Hainault that shows a payment to “Jehan de la Mote" for transcribing certain accounts.39 In 1338 Edward III made a grant of twenty pounds annually to “John de la Mote of Ghent" for life or until paid an equivalent value.40 In the next year, 1339, Jean composed the long elegy for William that he dedicated to Queen Philippa.41 As Constance Rosenthal notes, Li Regret Guillaume provides a unique contemporary precedent for Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess in that it presents an elegy in dream vision form. There are also other interesting parallels between the elegies.42 Particularly because of the occasion of Li Regret Guillaume, the death of the queen’s father, Chaucer had good reason for knowing it.

In 1340 Jean wrote two long poems for a patron in Paris, Simon of Lille, goldsmith to King Philip VI. One of these is Le Parfait du Paon, a late addition to the cycle of French Alexander romances.43 The work concerns Alexander’s battles in India against King Melidus. Its eight balades are part of a poetic competition involving Alexander, his generals, and the daughters of Melidus. The other poem is La Voie d’Enfer et de Paradis, an extensive allegorical work showing the ways to hell and to heaven. This poem is composed in stanzas of twelve octosyllabic lines, while the narrative of Le Parfait du Paon is written in Alexandrine laisses, and Li Regret Guillaume in octosyllabic couplets except for thirty intercalated balades.

A reference to Jean by Gilles li Muisis, abbot of St. Martin in Tournay, tells us that Jean was still alive in 1350. In his Meditations Gilles lists four men by name who are composers of “biaus dis." Jean comes third after Guillaume de Machaut and Philippe de Vitry: “Now there remains Jean de le Mote, who composes verse and music well, and makes very lovely dits, by which many a lord is made joyful, so that he has gained honor and esteem as one of the best authors."44 It is notable that Jean is said here to be a composer of music as well as of poetry. No musical settings for his work are extant, but all thirty-eight balades in his long poems might readily be set to music.

It has been suggested to me that Jean’s posture in his response to Philippe is that of a disciple writing to his master. Something like this seems likely. Certainly Jean was not always so polite with his literary brethren as he is in addressing Philippe here. In responding to Campion’s insults he explains that as far as he is concerned Philippe is a privileged individual, but Campion is not: “I don’t mind the words of the man of Vitry. I receive his chastening with joy. But you! Go teach Beelzebub!"45 If he had spent some of his younger years in Paris with Philippe, either as pupil or devotee, then one may add to his education in the flourishing literary circles of Flanders and Picardy an experience with the intellectual atmosphere of Paris and one of its leading figures. In any event, if Jean was around the royal courts in England in the 1350s and 1360s, he clearly would have been a dominating senior literary personage who could have taught Chaucer much about the contemporary art of poetry.

There seem to remain no records of Jean’s later life. No notation of his allowance from Edward is extant after its original bestowal. Perhaps he entered the clergy, a vocation which might explain his statement that he serves against evil, instead of serving Arthur, in England. There is a record from 1361 involving a possible relative of his. An entry in the Calendar of Patent Rolls of Edward mentions a “knight’s fee in Welexham" held by Isabel de la Mote. This may well be the same Isabel de la Mote listed among Queen Philippa’s damsels of the chamber in 1337.46 If she was also a relative of Jean, the possibility of Jean’s being associated closely with Chaucer is stronger, since it seems that Geoffrey’s wife was also a Hainuyer and damsel to Philippa. Philippa Chaucer, of course, would have been substantially younger than Isabel.47

EUSTACHE DESCHAMPS

The absence as well as the presence of poems by Deschamps in Penn has significance for our analysis. Only one balade is surely his, number 44, the single work in Penn that is found also in the major Deschamps collection, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr. 840, a huge codex made shortly after his death and devoted exclusively to his writings. MS 840 includes more than fifteen hundred pieces, among them upwards of a thousand balades; but since Deschamps did not oversee its production it probably does not have all that he wrote, missing in particular works of his earlier years. A likely location of some of his unidentified poems is a manuscript that contains the second largest collection of his known works, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS naf. 6221, which is known to be at least half his.48 Consideration of MS 6221 and its contents, particularly as they overlap with the contents of Penn, is quite suggestive for our purposes here.

Written in the first half of the fifteenth century, MS 6221 is much smaller than MS 840; it comprises 155 pieces, seventy-nine of which appear in MS 840 and may be safely attributed to Deschamps. Of the works in MS 6221, 136 are balades, fifty-eight of which have envoys — including most of those in the manuscript known to be by Deschamps.49 It is among the balades without envoys, however, that Penn has important correspondences with MS 6221. Penn has fourteen balades also contained in MS 6221; in the latter these are found in two discrete balade series.50 The first series has ten balades, MS 6221 numbers 33 to 42, six of which Penn also contains. Of the ten, two appear in MS 840 and are therefore known to be by Deschamps. The light moralizing tone and didactic subject matter common to works in this group make it likely that he was the author of all, and thus of the six poems in Penn.51 If he wrote them, it no doubt was early in his career since nine of the ten lack envoys (including the two which are surely his). Deschamps pioneered and popularized the use of envoys with balades, but he would not have employed them as a usual thing until after Machaut’s death in 1377.52 The time of composition and collection into a group of these ten balades would be the 1360s and early 1370s when Deschamps (b. 1345) was learning the poet’s art.

The second series of balades in MS 6221 which contains works of Penn is longer, comprising the twenty-nine pieces from number 82 to 110. In this group there are no envoys, nor are there works found in the Deschamps MS 840. The subject matter and treatment are not typical of Deschamps unlyrical style, and indeed eight of the poems are known to be by Guillaume de Machaut. All twenty-nine works of the series are love lyrics that resemble in tone the bulk of Machaut’s work.53 Eight poems found in Penn appear in this series, five of them by Machaut. Though the remainder of MS 6221 is largely Deschamps’ or attributable to him, none of the twenty-nine poems probably are his. Placed as they are in the center of the manuscript, they provide a nucleus of standard works around which to gather his lyrics. One is reminded of Penn, in which the Machaut poems also occupy the center, surrounded by lyrics of Granson, “Ch," and Deschamps.

The poems which Penn has in common with MS 6221 are scattered through its first three-quarters. Its associations with the two series of poems in MS 6221 suggest that the Penn collection was being assembled in the same years that those two series were taking shape, before or around 1370. They also suggest that some of the same people had a hand in originating parts of the two collections. These may well have been literary people associated with King Jean of France and his sons, whom Chaucer and his associates would have come to know from their recurrent presence in England after Jean’s capture at Poitiers in 1356 until his death in London in 1364.

Born in 1345, Deschamps was close to being an exact contemporary of Chaucer. The date of this now-famous balade in which Deschamps asserts that Chaucer’s skills as a poet exceed his own remains unknown, but it may have been composed between May and August of 1384, when negotiations for peace in Boulogne resulted in a period of truce between France and England. It may also have been written around 1390, when Deschamps was known to be in contact with the English knight, Sir Lewis Clifford, to whom he most likely entrusted several selections of his work. In either case, the reverence Deschamps exhibits towards Chaucer — a reverence he shows no other poet except his own master, Machaut — is remarkable considering the two men were almost exactly the same age and their countries were at war. The balade, as Calin observes, is a noteworthy testament to the existence of “an international court culture" of shared values that transcended national boundaries to produce an impressive array of literary works, including those of both Deschamps and Chaucer.54

Deschamps’ balade to Chaucer is one of his best poems and one of the most significant documents in understanding the English poet’ relationship to his French contemporaries. The edition and translation here follow Wimsatt, Chaucer and His French Contemporaries, pp. 249–50.
GRANT TRANSLATEUR, NOBLE GEFFROY CHAUCIER
 




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35    

 
O Socratés plains de philosophie,
Seneque en meurs et Auglus en pratique,
Ovides grans en ta poëterie,
Briés en parler, saiges en rethorique,
Aigles treshaulz, qui par ta theorique
Enlumines le regne d’Eneas,
L’Isle aux Geans — ceuls de Bruth — et qu’i as
Semé les fleurs et planté le rosier,
Aux ignorans de la langue pandras,
Grant translateur, noble Geffroy Chaucier!

Tu es d’amours mondains Dieux en Albie,
Et de la Rose, en la terre Angelique,
Qui, d’Angela Saxonne, est puis flourie
Angleterre — d’elle ce nom s’applique
Le derrenier en l’ethimologique —
En bon anglès le livre translatas;
Et un vergier, où du plant demandas
De ceuls qui font pour eulx auctorisier,
A ja longtemps que tu edifias
Grant translateur, noble Geffroy Chaucier!

A toy pour ce de la fontaine Helye
Requier avoir un buvraige autentique,
Dont la doys est du tout en ta baillie,
Pour rafrener d’elle ma soif ethique,
Qui en Gaule seray paralitique,
Jusques a ce que tu m’abuveras.
Eustaces sui, qui de mon plant aras;
Mais pran en gré les euvres d’escolier
Que par Clifford de moy avoir pourras,
Grant translateur, Geoffroy Chaucier!

                                          L’envoy
Poëte hault, loënge d’escuirie,
En ton jardin ne seroie qu’ortie:
Consideré ce que j’ay dit premier,
Ton noble plant, ta douce melodie,
Mais pour sçavoir, de rescipre te prie,
Grant translateur, noble Geffroy Chaucier!

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(see note)


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GREAT TRANSLATOR, NOBLE GEOFFREY CHAUCER!
 




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O Socrates versed in philosophy,
Seneca in morals, Aulus Gellius in practical affairs,
Great Ovid in your poetry,
Concise in speech, wise in poetic composition,
Soaring eagle who by your theoretical understanding
Illuminates the kingdom of Aeneus
The island of the Giants — those whom Brut destroyed — and who have   
Sewn there the flowers [of poetry] and planted the rose tree,
You will spread light to those who do not know French,
Great translator, noble Geoffrey Chaucer!

You are the God of earthly love in Albion
And you translated the book of the Rose
Into good English in the Angelic land
Which, beginning with Angela the Saxon,
Then flourished as England — the name comes from her,
The last in the etymologic series.
For a long time you have been making a garden,
For which you have asked for plants
From those who write for posterity,
Great translator, noble Geoffrey Chaucer!

For this purpose I ask from you
A genuine draught of the spring of Helicon,
Whose stream is wholly in your charge,
In order to gain its relief for my burning thirst,
For in France I will be paralyzed
Until you give me a drink.
I am Eustache, and you will have some plants of mine.
So accept kindly the school of exercises
That I will send you by Clifford,
Great translator, noble Geoffrey Chaucer!

                                          The Envoy
Esteemed poet, eminent among squires,
In your garden I would only be a nettle
In comparison with what I have described before,
Your noble plants, your sweet melody.
Still, I would like to know your opinion, so please respond,
Great translator, noble Geoffrey Chaucer!

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JEAN FROISSART AND THE PASTOURELLE SECTION OF PENN

Considering the substantial diffusion of the works of other fourteenth-century poets, it is remarkable that no poems known to be by Jean Froissart exist outside the large collections devoted to his poetry, manuscripts Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MSS fr. 830 and 831. Like all the other anthologies, Penn has no identified poems of his; however, the set of fifteen poems which opens the manuscript, twelve pastourelles and three serventois, has significant associations with Froissart’s poetry. The works all seem to have been composed in his home territory prior to 1370, and the form and subject matter of several of the pastourelles present unique correspondences among extant texts with Froissart’s twenty pastourelles.55

The fifteen poems, which we may call the pastourelle section, make up the most distinctive group in Penn, and they seem somewhat obtrusively placed at the head of the manuscript. In the remainder of Penn there is a consistent and tasteful alternation of standard court forms — especially balade, rondeau, and virelay — but before we arrive at these there come seriatim the fifteen rather long lyrics with virtually the same metrical form, of types typical of the puy more than the court.56 Furthermore, in matters of dialect these are the most distinctive works of any in the manuscript. The language accords with the numerous place-names in the texts in identifying them as provincial productions from the Picard dialect area. All of this is to say that the pastourelle section provides a clearly-defined introduction to the anthology, but not that it is inappropriate. Like the bulk of the manuscript, it is made up of valuable and interesting poems; the works have an appealing local realism which in certain of them blends into intriguing fantasy; their predominant didactic and historical subject matter imparts moral seriousness to the collection at the outset; and there is sufficient reference to the subject of love and use of literary allusion to foreshadow these major elements in the body of Penn. It is quite possible to see the pastourelle section as a well-thought-out opening to the anthology.

Froissart’s known poems include several chants royaux whose rubrics inform us that they were crowned in the puys of Lille, Abbeville, and Valenciennes. It is clear, then, that he frequented the puys in and around his home territory of Hainault. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the pastourelle was a puy form, Froissart’s compositions of the type were written on court subjects, evidently for court audiences. It seems that in his pastourelles he was attempting to adapt the genre to the mode of the nobility, and to standardize it as a forme fixe. Judging by the absence of imitations, he had little success in the attempt, though his own pastourelles are good poems. Their chief distinctive features are exceptionally long stanzas of octosyllabic lines, and the use of historical and occasional subjects. Some of the Penn pastourelles, especially two written just before Froissart began composing in the form, display the same characteristics, though they do not have the marks of court poems. The two pastourelles have stanzas of fifteen and sixteen octosyllabic lines, and feature dialogues of shepherds in which events of the Hundred Years War figure prominently.57 They thereby are related to Froissart’s Chronicles as well as to his pastourelles.

This group of poems might well have been carried to England and become well-known there. From the time that the future Edward III visited Hainault with his mother in 1326 and became engaged to Count William’s daughter Philippa until the end of Edward’s reign in 1377 England’s ties to the Picard dialect area were particularly strong, with a substantial infiltration of English court circles by people from that area; Jean de le Mote, Froissart, and Chaucer’s wife are three examples. It is possible that one of the Hainuyers or Picards who came to London in these times carried with him the pastourelle section, as a whole or in parts. Froissart in particular might have done so.

NICOLE DE MARGIVAL

Sometime before 1328, probably around 1310, Nicole de Margival composed a long dream poem, Le Dit de la Panthere d’Amours,58 in which he inserted nineteen lyrics: ten of his own, six by Adam de la Halle, and three by others. The seventeenth of these is a rondeau of his, “Soyez lie et menez joye," which his lady sings to the lover when — in his imagination — she grants him her love. This lyric appears separately in Penn (number 202) as well as in two musical repertory manuscripts. Its presence in Penn supports our notion of the manuscript as a collection of lyrics from early and mid-century. No doubt it is one of the earliest in time of composition, and the fact that it is placed well past the midpoint of the manuscript confirms other indications that no rigid principle of chronology was at work in the formation of the collection.

The presence of the rondel adds to the potential connections of Penn with Chaucer. A relationship between Chaucer’s House of Fame and La Panthère d’Amours has been suggested by several scholars, and on the basis of similarities in plot structure I am inclined to agree that there is a connection.59 Though the rondeau in Penn has thoroughly conventional diction, so that in itself it offers no significant precedent for Chaucer’s work, its presence does suggest that the anthologist of Penn could have known La Panthère d’Amours, as Chaucer probably did, from a manuscript in England.

GRIMACE

The only other poet whose known works are represented in Penn is identified simply as “Grimace" in the musical repertory manuscripts which contain his works.60 Five of his poems are known, and texts of three of these, all rhyme royal balades, are in Penn. The origins of the other manuscripts suggest that Grimace worked in the courts of south France; the music suggests that he was contemporary with Machaut, writing before mid-century. Gilbert Reaney speculates that the double balade, “Se Zephirus, Phebus et leur lignie" / “Si Jupiter, qui par grant melodie" (numbers 190 and 191) might have been composed for Counts Gaston Phebus of Foix and John I of Aragon. The presence of the works of Grimace reinforce the early-century associations of the Penn anthology and confirm its broad eclecticism. Travel between England and southern France in the fourteenth century, of course, was common.

LYRIC TYPES AND METRICAL FORMS IN PENN

Even though one has to be content with a relatively scant return for the amount of data considered, and has to settle for probabilities rather than certainties, analysis of the contents of Penn according to the frequency and distribution of metrical types is a good source of information on the manuscript.

In considering the basic makeup of Penn, one may begin with the assumption that manuscripts of Machaut’s work — the impressive codices of the most influential Middle French poet — provided the major exemplars for the subsequent fourteenth-century collections of lyrics. In their presentation of the various lyric types all of the comprehensive Machaut collections offered two differing models. One of these was supplied by the section known as the Louange des Dames, made up of his lyrics not set to music, some 282 works ultimately. In the Louange variety is the organizing principle, with the types intentionally mixed and alternated. Balades dominate, 207 of them providing nearly three-quarters of the total. However, the series of balades are invariably brief, being frequently interrupted by single specimens of the sixty rondeaux, seven chants royaux, and seven virelays.

By contrast, the other model which the Machaut manuscripts supplied dictates a careful segregation of types; the lyrics set to music are always rigidly divided, with a section devoted to the lays followed by separate groups of motets, balades, rondeaux, and virelays. Within the Machaut poems set to music, the balades are numerically less dominant than in the Louange, their total of forty-five comprising little more than a fourth of the whole number. Each of the other types has substantial representation.

The manuscripts of the nonmusician poets of the next generation followed one or the other of the two Machaut models. Froissart’s lyrics are strictly separated by type: lay, pastourelle, chant royal, balade, virelay, and rondeau. The same in general holds for the great Deschamps collection, except only that the rondeaux are intermixed with virelays (apparently reflecting the near kinship of the forms). On the other hand, Granson’s collections follow the model of the Louange. The largest group of Granson lyrics, found in the Neuchâtel manuscript, is like a smaller version of the Louange. The fifty-nine balades, making up 76 percent of the total of seventy-seven poems, are spaced out by a scattering of eight rondeaux, one virelay, eight complaints and related types, and one lay.

Penn, too, follows the model of the Louange in the intermingling of types, but the balade is less dominant in it. Penn has very near the proportions of the total Machaut lyric production, though it includes no motets. Machaut’s balades make up about 57 percent of the sum of his lyrics, while the 108 balades of Penn comprise approximately a third of its 310 poems. Besides the balades, Penn contains fifty-five rondeaux, thirty-eight virelays, twenty-eight five-stanza works (thirteen pastourelles, twelve chants royaux, and three serventois), twelve complaints and related types, and nine lays. Balades are distributed through most of Penn. After the opening pastourelle section, series of balades are interrupted regularly by lays or complaints, and subsequently by an increasing number of rondeaux (after number 81) and virelays (after number 121), and a few chants royaux (after number 93).

If we consider the metrics within the various lyric types we find that the varieties of balades and rondeaux represented in Penn have significance. Numerically the most popular metrical form in the manuscript is Machaut’s favorite in his works, the rhyme royal balade, found in sixty-three poems (including, in Penn, eighteen by Machaut, five by Deschamps, three by Grimace). There are twenty-five of his second favorite, the balade with eight-line ababccdD stanzas (including seventeen by Machaut, one by Granson); and thirty-six of Granson’s most favored form, the balade with eight-line ababbcbC stanzas (including seven by Granson, four by Machaut, one by “Ch").61 The balade with stanzas of ten lines, ababbccdcD, the usual form of “Ch," is represented in Penn by nineteen poems (including eight by “Ch," three by Granson, and one by Jean de la Mote). No other balade forms are particularly important; the remaining twenty-five balades are in sixteen verse forms.

As mentioned more than once, the use of envoy is indicative of the dating of balades. Since the musical form of the balade did not accommodate an envoy, it was only in the last quarter of the fourteenth century with the rise of the nonmusicians that balade envoys came into vogue. Only eleven of the Penn balades have them, all but one of these appearing among the last eighty-two texts. There is perhaps a good reason for the early appearance of the one. It is poem number 20 and the only Granson balade in Penn which has an envoy. Two matters indicate that it was designed as an introductory piece. In the first place, in its substance it seems like one. It opens with the poet offering a “Salut de paix" to all lovers; he goes on to provide a general statement about the life of love, offering disdain to the ill-natured ones. In the second place, it is placed at the head of the Paris collection of Granson poems (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr. 2201), long before any other balades with envoy. In Penn — comparably, though not so ostensibly — it is the first of a series of fifteen Granson works. One might guess that Granson composed it late for use as an introduction.62

The other balades with envoys are numbers 229, 230, 267, 279, 281, 288, 296, 298, 303, and 309. None of the group seem to have attained any circulation, for none appear in any other extant manuscript. The lack of envoys in the balades through a large part of Penn indicates a date before 1375 for most of the poems in that section; if even a few were composed later, we would expect some balade envoys. At the same time, the presence of envoys among the later balades suggests a later date for a substantial proportion of that part. That all poems there are not late, however, is shown by the appearance of early Machaut lyrics as far along as numbers 269–71. Moreover, the seven balades of Granson that appear among numbers 251–64 are probably earlier poems of his.63 With the poems of “Ch" too, which appear between texts numbers 235 and 276, no matter of form suggests late composition.

The forms of the rondeaux of Penn seem to confirm that the later works in time of composition tend to appear in the later part of the manuscript, but that not all in that part are late. Of the fifty-five rondeaux, thirty-three are in the early eight-line form that Machaut and Froissart used almost exclusively, and seventeen are in the sixteen-line form that Granson and later poets favored.64 It is an interesting complication, though, that one of the sixteen-line rondeaux was composed by the earliest known poet represented in the manuscript, Nicole de Margival.65 The eight-line specimens, twenty-six of thirty-three composed by Machaut, all appear in Penn before poem number 210 except for the single “Ch" rondeau (number 260); at the same time, except for Nicole’s poem (number 202), the sixteen-line rondeaux — all anonymous — appear from number 214 on.

We might briefly note the associations of the “Ch" works with other poems of Penn in matters of versification. Among the five-stanza poems of Penn, the four chants royaux most resemble the seven Machaut chants. Unlike the pastourelles, they lack refrain, are uniformly decasyllabic, and have no stanzas longer than twelve lines. All of the five-stanza works in Penn seem relatively early. As for the balades of “Ch," as the analysis above shows, he shares with Granson, Jean de le Mote, and some anonymous poets the ten-line balade stanza. Only “Ch" and Granson are represented by the twelve-line ababb-ccddedE balade stanza (one each). The one balade of “Ch" with an eight-line stanza is in the favored form of Granson, ababbcbC. In Penn, then, his rondeaux and chants associate “Ch" with Machaut, his balades with Granson in particular.

There are also matters of some interest in the relationships one may find of Penn with the organization of the Chaucer manuscripts and the versification of his English works, but most of these are not distinctive enough to warrant comment here. It is perhaps worth remarking that Penn and Chaucer both follow Machaut in making rhyme royal the most favored stanza, and that the second most common stanza in both Penn and Chaucer’s work, The Monk’s Tale rhyme (ababcdcd), happens to be the one most used by Froissart and Granson, as well as favored by Deschamps.66 In his English works Chaucer does not employ the ten-line stanza that “Ch" most uses, which is also well represented in the poems of Froissart, Deschamps, and Granson. Only two of the rondeaux in Penn follow the rhyme scheme of Chaucer’s four specimens in Parliament of Fowls and “Merciles Beaute."

CONCLUSION: GRANSON AS POSSIBLE ANTHOLOGIST OF PENN

The suggestion of Charles Mudge, mentioned earlier, that Penn is “le livre des Balades Messire Othes de Grantson" which belonged to Isabel of Bavaria and for which in 1401 she had made two golden clasps, is quite reasonable though by no means inevitable.67 Penn is well written but it is not an obvious royal display piece, having no illuminations. As for its identification as a book of Granson’s works, even if we attribute a substantial number of the anonymous works to Granson, Machaut would remain the dominant poet of the collection. Of course, if Granson had personally ordered the manuscript to be made for Queen Isabel, the attribution of the whole to him would be quite natural. And if he had dedicated (or rather rededicated) the Isabel poems to her, her contentment with an unilluminated codex would be understandable — the texts themselves would possess the main personal interest.

What is particularly appealing about the theory is that everything we know of the Penn collection seems to fit in with the idea that Granson was the anthologist: the dominance of Machaut, the various other poets represented, the forms represented, and the careful organization. The theory provides a sound basis for suggesting how these particular lyrics came to be organized in the manuscript in the way we find them. In this conclusion, then, I will briefly outline how the manuscript might have come into existence, beginning with some facts about Granson.

Granson’s dates (c. 1340–97) roughly parallel Chaucer’s. His acquaintanceship with men of the English court perhaps began in Savoy in 1362.68 In 1368 he probably accompanied the wedding party of Lionel of Clarence from Savoy to Milan, and he may well have stayed with the same group on their return to London in 1369. In any event he set sail from London in 1372 with the earl of Pembroke, and in the ensuing English naval defeat he was captured by the Spanish and held until 1374. On his release Granson returned to England, and he remained in the service of John of Gaunt and the English kings until 1386 when his father died. From 1392 to 1396 he was back in England for substantial periods of time.

From 1369 until his death in 1397, then, England was the primary center of Granson’s activities, though he spent substantial periods in his home, Savoy, and he traveled around Europe on military and diplomatic missions, developing his contacts especially with the French royal court — a connection which may be substantially documented.69 All indications are that Granson began writing poetry early, and that it was an important avocation for him throughout his life. The Barcelona manuscript contains twelve works that he in all likelihood wrote before his release by the Spanish in 1374.70 Eight of these are found in Penn, including the “Cinq balades ensievans," which are the source for Chaucer’s “Complaint of Venus," and “La Complainte de l’an nouvel," inspired by the Book of the Duchess. Some of the other works seem even earlier, while Granson’s rondeaux and balades with envoys no doubt come substantially later.

With these few facts as background we may postulate the process of gathering the texts which later were to make up Penn. Since Guillaume de Machaut was by far the strongest influence on Granson throughout his career, Granson probably brought a large number of Machaut texts gathered from a full manuscript with him to England in 1369. If not, he would have found comparable collections and a full manuscript or two in England, some a legacy of the extended forced visits of Jean II and his sons. The Machaut texts were to form the nucleus of Penn. In the years from 1369 to 1386, Granson would bring other sets of poems into his personal collection, both works found in England and those picked up in his travels. Among these might well have been (1) a set of Picard pastourelles brought across the Channel by Hainuyer associates of Queen Philippa; (2) the balade exchange between Philippe de Vitry and Jean de le Mote (Jean’s answer obviously composed in England), along with several poems probably written in England filled with the more or less obscure classical references characteristic of Jean (such as Penn numbers 16, 19, 35); (3) a set of works not set to music, mostly balades, which had achieved some currency and would later appear in collections like Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS naf. 6221, Westminster Abbey 21, and the Jardin de Plaisance; (4) a group of texts of lyrics set to music, including some balades of Grimace, one or more poems of Nicole de Margival, and a good number of virelays and eight-line rondels; and (5) some lyrics of his London court friend “Ch" which had probably been composed before Granson arrived in England.

When Granson returned to Savoy in 1386 to claim his inheritance, he would have carried this accumulation of lyrics with him. If some time in the following years he decided to have a book made for Queen Isabel, he assembled the works for a scribe, indicating with considerable care the order in which he desired them to be placed. Toward the beginning, almost directly after the introductory pastourelles, he placed a set of his own works, which he followed with a good number of the better-known lyrics of other poets, including especially works from Machaut’s Louange. After text number 114, all the way to number 227, Machaut’s works that are elsewhere set to music dominate; mixed in with these are a substantial number of rondeaux, virelays, and balades by other poets which probably had also been set to music. After number 227 to the end Granson had put in mainly works not designed for musical accompaniment. Among these are another set of Granson’s works, the “Ch" poems, and three Machaut balades from the Louange. In this final section are also increasingly found lyrics which may not have been part of the collection Granson brought from England. The form and content being in the later Granson manner, the works probably were composed in France by Granson and by poetic disciples of his, poets of less originality and merit than those represented earlier in the collection. After number 276, the last of the “Ch" poems, the manuscript is made up exclusively of such works. But even using these later poems to complete the manuscript, the hundred folios provided in the codex were not quite filled. The last eight were left blank. The scribe indeed may have been interrupted in his work on the last pages in Penn when Granson was tragically killed in a duel in Savoy in 1397.

Lacking a full report by contemporaries, we can only attempt to reconstruct history on the basis of the information that we have. The foregoing reconstruction, which fits very well the many facts we can derive from the contents of Penn, has at least enough of truth in it to provide suggestive insight into the process of composing, collecting, and disseminating the French court lyric in the time that Chaucer was deeply involved in this literary enterprise. Such insight we can get no place else.


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