Analysis of manuscripts: Mölk argues that this song is unique among the troubadours in that the author intended to write it in French, though it may rather be that he intended it to sound French, a distinction not made by the German scholar. He observes that while dialogues between troubadours using Occitan and trouvères using French are preserved in troubadour songbooks, as well as slightly under twenty other French pieces, Gaucelm’s song did not find its way into the French manuscript tradition even though several of his other pieces did. The fact that his French song is preserved in Occitan manuscripts, he observes, means that if one wished to reconstitute his original text this would have to be done on the basis of texts more or less ‘provençalisés’; but it is also unlikely that his original text was really a wholly French text, and that it is therefore not possible to restore the authentic text of Gaucelm’s song (pp. 555-560; see also the refutation of Kolsen by Crescini, «Ancora della “Rotrouenge”, di Gaucelm Faidit», Atti del Reale Istituto veneto di scienze, lettere ed arti, 79, 1920, pp. 1133-1175 ). – The manuscripts descend from a defective archetype (3) and clearly divide CR–V as shown, firstly, by the order and number of stanzas; secondly, by what Mölk (p. 556) identifies as V’s error separativus in 12 (V retorner – CR aler, an error which the source of CR could not have corrected by drawing on a source of V); and thirdly by joint errors in CR (2, 4, 5, 14, 18). The division is also supported by numerous common variants in CR: 10-14, 17-21, 25, 26, 29, 30, 33-38. – Although the coblas doblas structure in CR appears incomplete, V’s stanza VI may be apochryphal: see Kurt Lewent, «Hat Gaucelm Faidit französisch gedichtet?», Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, 40, 1920, pp. 226-230 (pp. 228-229), who argues on the basis of its v. 41 repeating v. 17 (a mistake for 18) almost verbatim, v. 43 repeating vv. 27-28, vv. 45-46 repeating the content of v. 29, and merci (v. 43) having already appeared at the rhyme in v. 45 (a mistake for 37) and bonté v. 44 in v. 36; see also Crescini 1909-1910, p. 67 and Mölk pp. 555-556. Lewent maintains that the stanza was clearly added by someone who felt that the structure was incomplete. Whether or not this is the case (and whether or not there was originally another stanza VI), doubts as to its authorship mean that it cannot be a deciding factor in adopting a base manuscript. – Apart from their joint errors, CR present a number of individual errors which would require patching, C in 3, 4, 7, 36, 38 and R in 5?, 12, 22, 28, 29. V has rather fewer errors: only one (v. 12) in the stanzas preserved by all three manuscripts, plus 42 (x 2) and 46. All mss. contain lines which require elision for the sake of proper scansion (CR 6, V 7, 34, 46) though they should not necessarily be regarded as erroneous. V has been chosen as base because of its lower number of errors and its better reading in 29 (also the view of Mouzat and Mölk). – C repeats the refrain in all of its five stanzas; R gives a shortened version in stanzas II-IV, while V provides it only once, in stanza I.
Order and amount of material:
I. 1 Pvs C ǀ los C, les R ǀ iardins R 2 et] y R ǀ li oyzelet chantier CR 3 a tant dout C, atendent R, atendon V ǀ ylh (ilh R) margis CR 4 mi CR ǀ renouelha C, renouelan R ǀ moy CR ǀ paynser C, pensier R 5 ladonc] queras C, coras R ǀ souient C, souant R ǀ uis clier (cler R) CR 6 que ie no (ne R) pues mie (mia R) oblier CR ǀ the ‘m’ of ‘emblier’ barely legible V 7 quen CR ǀ daimey C, damey R ǀ pauzet C, pozei R 8 muer e u. e u. e muer CR.
II. 9 biele C, bele R ǀ soi R 10 passier C ǀ de sai (sa R) la mier CR 11 em desaizinet men (mon R) p. CR 12 por on R ǀ sique gini ous retorner V 13 q. s. no nay sai r. C, q. s. non (or nom) a sa r. R, ni sai noma samor requis (‘ma’ retouched, uncertain reading) V 14 aretoner V ǀ por qual uis mest os retornier CR 15 quen tel dame pauzet men cuer C [also 23, 31, 39], quen tal damey R, missing V [also 23, 31, 39, 47] 16 don muer e uiu e uiu e muer [also 24, 32, 40] C, missing R [also 24, 32, 48], missing (also 24, 32, 40, 48) V.
III. 17 Ne pus (puesc R) muer que no (ne R) CR ǀ retorn R 18 ali que (quem R) destruj e mauci (mausi R) CR 19 e mal cor blessiet (blese R) d. a. CR 20 que uas li maymeyn e m. CR 21 mas sim prejn (prant R) dutan se (dotanse R) CR ǀ paors R 22 nelenuy C, ne ie luy R 23 quen tel, rest of line missing R.
IV. 25 Las CR ǀ the ‘a’ of ‘sai’ retouched, perhaps after erasure R 26 quilh CR ǀ que mi] de moy CR 27 sa V ǀ ior C 28 fuj CV ǀ canc mal sui (-1) R 29 si no C, sirre R ǀ ualor CR 30 la qual CR ǀ e qual ge s. CR 31 quen tel doney R.
V. 33 Bona dama por di (dieu R) uos pri CR ǀ the last ‘e’ of ‘dame’ and the last two letters of ‘por’ unclear V 34 e por uostra (uotra R) humilitiet (homilitey R) CR 35 ajes merci dest (de R) CR ǀ uotra R 36 e fares CR ǀ franchere bontiet C 37 quar sa (ia R) dis CR 38 de rien si na CR ǀ pitiet C 39 quen tel damey. pauzey mon cuer R 40 don muer e uieu. e vieu e muer R.
VI. [V only] 42 ememeni emporete V 46 cel] cil V.
Dating and historical circumstances:
Previous scholarship and to a certain extent dating has revolved around the rhyme-word marchis (v. 3). Crescini (1909-1910, p. 72) first suggested that li marchis (V) referred to Boniface of Montferrat and the Fourth Crusade, printing e nos atant dont li marchis (‘e ci attende dunque il marchese’), and understanding Boniface to be waiting in Constantinople for help from the crusaders who did not follow him there. Meyer rejected this on the grounds, firstly, that this intrusion of Boniface into a stanza about love is ‘bien peu naturelle’, secondly, that Crescini’s proposed restoration of the text (e nos atant dont li marchis) ‘s’éloigne beaucoup de la leçon fournie à peu près unanimement par les trois mss.’, and finally, that it is ‘d’un provençal bien contestable’ (this third argument in fact having little weight given the linguistic situation outlined under ‘Analysis’, above). He suggests E nos atendon (or E nos atendent) li marchis = ‘et nous attendons la fête de mars’, linking marchis to French marcesche (God. marsesche), the feast of the March Virgin (the Annunciation), translating ‘et que la fête de Mars nous attend’, but adducing no supporting examples. Jeanroy is similarly unconvinced by Crescini’s version, considering a reference to Boniface unlikely in the middle of ‘une banale description du printemps’, and remarking that marchis is in ‘le plus mauvais des trois manuscrits’ (a questionable view of the tradition, see ‘Analysis’ above), and rightly indicating all the manuscript versions indicate a plural verb. He admits that he has been unable to restore the noun, ‘qui a manifestement été estropié par les trois manuscrits’, though suggests mauvis in a note: ‘la mention de cet oiseau étant fréquente dans les descriptions de ce genre; le mot, inconnu au provençal, a pu embarrasser les scribes méridionaux’. Crescini (Vincenzo Crescini, «Per la canzone francese di Gaucelm Faidit», in Atti del Reale Istituto veneto di scienze, lettere ed arti, 70, 1911, pp. 267-273, on pp. 267-271) rejects Meyer’s proposal and abandons his own first idea, now suggesting that marchis in V = marchois and may derive from marechois, and understanding attendre as a synonym for invitare, giving the sense ‘e c’invitano i prati’. Oskar Schultz-Gora, «Zu Gaucelm Faidit Gr. 167, 50», Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literatur, 146, 1924, pp. 249-252 (p. 250), states incorrectly that Jeanroy also rejected this in his 1911 review. Kolsen briefly states (p. 164) that ‘li marquis, deren Kreuzheer Gaucelm angehörte, sind der Markgraf Bonifaz von Monferrat und Graf Balduin’, but as Lewent remarks (p. 230), it is unthinkable that Gaucelm should refer to Baldwin as a marquis. He also rejects a further suggestion of Kolsen (p. 164, n. 1), E nos a tant duich lo marquis, ‘und uns Bonifaz so weit gebracht hat’, on the grounds that Gaucelm is in Syria and Boniface is in Greece, though in fact it is uncertain whether Gaucelm ever reached the Holy Land (Elias d’Ussel’s statement in the bantering BdT 136.3 that Gaucelm spent all his money on visiting the Sepulchre could be ironic), and he could be at some intermediate stopping-point such as Zara or Corfu. – In responding to Crescini’s idea that ‘the meadows are inviting us’, Schultz-Gora (p. 250) highlights a difficulty he perceives with atendre, which is that it is alien to troubadour style to have the inanimate meadows ‘waiting’ or ‘inviting’ an animate direct object, even if the scholar could imagine a troubadour saying something like ‘the heart awaits joy’ or ‘joy awaits me’. Following up on Jeanroy’s note he tentatively suggests the possibility of an original e vos a tant dous’ilh mauvis. Mouzat finds all previous proposals implausible: ‘Nous croyons fermement avec P. Meyer que dans une ouverture printanière un marquis n’a rien à voir. Une attente de la part des croisés ou autres seigneurs nous paraît déplacée aussi et probablement erronée. Aussi ne retiendrons-nous pas non plus: e nos atendons el margis = ‘et nous attendons au rivage (margis = marge de la mer, rive)’. He follows Meyer’s suggestion that marchis may be linked to the month of March, and makes his own that there may have been scribal confusion between ‘avoir’ and ‘être’, ‘a et est, ou encore at, ad au lieu de est’, and prints et nos est tant dous li marchis, ‘et l temps (l’époque de mars) nous est si doux’ (p. 409). This relies on too many guesses. – Mölk (p. 559) proposes e nos atendent les marcis, ‘et nous attendent les mercis’, interpreting marcis as a phonetic variant of mercis, meaning ‘récompense, faveur de la dame’. A difficulty with this is that one would expect the nominative plural of the noun not to have the -s inflection, and it is unclear whether he recognises this when he states in his commentary ‘La signification du mot (au singuler) serait, dans la chanson de Gaucelm, «récompense. faveur de la dame», signification attestée en français, en provençal, d’ailleurs aussi en latin médiévale (merces)’. But if the subject is singular this rules out atendent. – Mölk writes that it would be hard to find an analogy to the construction found here where atendre has an inanimate subject and a personal direct object pronoun, but argues that if necessary one could have recourse to V’s atendon, a 1st p. pl. verbal form found in western France. This second hypothesis would require an emendation of li to les or los, despite the testimony of all three mss (e nos atendon les/los mercis). But in any case the expression seems strained in the absence of other examples of the plural mercis in such a context. In addition, the idea that the courtly lover can somehow be expecting such favours, rather than having to beg for them, is surely alien to the courtly tradition and indeed the rest of the song. The German scholar is at a loss to explain how the manuscripts came to read marchis / margis, but cites a colleague’s recommendation ‘dans le cas d’un texte heureusement rétabli per divinationem, de ne pas se faire des cheveux blancs’ (p. 559). However, this expedient is unnecessary if the manuscript reading li marchis is actually to be trusted. Why make a facilior assumption that Gaucelm cannot have done more than produce ‘une banale description du printemps’? A spring opening is often, naturally enough, the prelude to military and indeed naval enterprise, an obvious example being Bertran de Born’s A vei la coindeta sazos / que aribaran nostras naus (ed. Gérard Gouiran, L’Amour et la guerre: l’œuvre de Bertran de Born, 2 vols, Aix-en-Provence, 1985, no. 36, 1-2, p. 714, and compare no. 37, p. 732, 1-10, Be·m platz lo gais temps de pascor [...] Qan vei per compaignas rengatz / Cavaliers e cavals armatz). If Gaucelm does not go on to compose a political poem he does, clearly, evoke the crusade in the second stanza. As for the verb, it is not hard to see how any of the different manuscripts readings (a tant dout C, atendent R, atendon V) could have arisen from an imperfectly formed or damaged aten donc, giving e nos aten donc li marchis (‘and so the marquis is waiting for us’), or e no s’aten donc li marchis (‘and so the marquis is not delaying’: see PD v. refl. ‘attendre, différer’ and Pero tro al dimars s’aten, in Flamenca (Les Troubadours, ed. René Lavaud and René Nelli, 2 voll., Bruges and Paris, 1960, 1966, vol. I, v. 5720, and AND, atendre1, v. refl., 1, ‘stand, wait’ and 2, ‘wait, delay’). The use of atendre with an inanimate subject and a human object is not in fact a problem: see qu’en aost t’aten lo vas, BdT 173.4, 44, Les Poésies de Jausbert de Puycibot, ed. William P. Shepard, Paris, 1924, p. 13; Adonc sab o li Turx, qe batalha l’aten, The ‘Canso d’Antioca’: an Epic Chronicle of the First Crusade, ed. Carol Sweetenham and Linda Paterson, Aldershot, 2003, v. 290; Emperador, Damiata.us aten, Peirol, BdT 366.28, 29; and where both subject and object are inanimate, Anc hom non vi tans cavalliers / aissi ferir menudamen, /que us colps autra non aten, Flamenca, vol. I, vv. 7974-76. – Pace previous scholarly consensus, this opening is likely to relate to the specific circumstances of the song’s production and performance, at a time when Gaucelm is on his way eastwards in the company of French crusaders. The fact that his song has such a French flavour implies that he is writing for a French audience; and the fact that his lady has made him make a sea crossing places him in a marine environment. The details of Gaucelm’s sea travels at the time of the Fourth Crusade are not known, but he could be at some stopping point between Italy and the Holy Land; it is wrong to assume that he is in Syria (as does Crescini, 1909-1910, p. 71). – However, the second interpretation, e no s’aten donc li marchis (‘and so the marquis is not delaying’) – Boniface is eager to set sail now the spring has arrived – may be the facilior option here. The first, e nos aten donc li marchis (‘and so the marquis is waiting for us’), is more interesting. When might Boniface be waiting for Gaucelm and his companions? Not, as Crescini thought (1909-1910, pp. 90-91), when the marquis was in Constantinople. But in Corfu, he and other leaders, desperate to prevent the break-up of the army, managed to persuade the would-be deserters ‘to remain with the army until Michaelmas, on condition the others would duly swear on the Holy Gospels that from that time onwards, at whatever time they might be required to do so, they would, in all good faith and without any double-dealing, provide them with sufficient ships in which to go to Syria within a fortnight of their making such a demand’, whereupon all boarded ship and sailed on the even of Pentecost 1203 (see Geoffroy de Villehardouin, La Conquête de Constantinople, ed. Edmond Faral, 2 voll., Paris, 1938-1939, vol. I, §§ 113-119 and the translation by Margaret R. B. Shaw, Joinville and Villehardouin: Chronicles of the Crusades, Harmondsworth, 1963, pp. 55-57). Boniface had certainly been waiting for the waverers.
11. CR em desaizinet men [mon R] p. Mölk (p. 557) observes that this permits the reconstruction e dessaisiner, presumably on the basis of dessaisine (AND ‘diseisin, tortious dispossession of another from a freehold, etc’; Godefroy, LR, ‘formalité à l’aide de laquelle on opérait l’aliénation d’un héritage’; compare PD desazimen). He notes that the OF verb deschaser ‘déposséder’ is well attested, as is Occitan descazar, but there is no other attestation of desaizinar in Gallo-Romance, which led Jeanroy to propose dessaisoner ‘abandonner’. ‘Même dans le cas où il aurait raison (les parallèles qu’il cite ne sont pas sûrs), il n’en résulte pas que ce mot serait le mot authentique’ (p. 558). The expression Gaucelm employs here suggests a dispossession both geographical and metaphorical (the lady’s ‘land’ is also her person).
12-13. V’s rhyme-word retorner is likely to be an eyeskip error arising from retornier two lines later (in all mss.), and the line si que gi n’i ous retorner a rewriting. This renders the next line (ni sai no m’a s’amor requis) suspect. All previous scholars follow CR, which read as follows: C per o tan luenh nos fai aler / que samor no nay sai requis, R por on tan luenh nos fai aler / que samor non (or nom) a sa requis. – Crescini (1909-1910, p. 66) translates ‘Perció tanto lontano ci fa andare, che l’amor suo non ho qui richiesto’, with footnote ‘Non ha il poeta richiesto l’amore di sua donna qui, ossi nel paese dove esulte si trova e scrive, tant’è da lei lontano.’ But as Lewent argues, nos cannot mean ‘us’ in this context, and suggests emending nos to no·m: Pero tan luenh no·m fai aler / que s’amor non aia requis. He states that the introduction of a subjunctive is required for the sense, but that this means getting rid of sai, found in all mss. His solution is to convert the line to French, which will allow non to drop out and sai to return (p. 228); but then the single syllable no·m would become ne me in French, so pero, unknown in French, would have to become mais, giving Mais si loin ne me fait aler / que s’amor n’aie çai requis, ‘Aber so weit kann sie mich nicht gehen heissen, dass ich nicht auch hier um ihre Liebe geworben hätte’, i.e. ‘mag sie mich auch noch so weit verbannen ich habe hier nicht aufgehört, um ihre Liebe zu werben’. The emendations and contortions needed here are unsatisfactory, especially as we do not know whether occitanisms were in the original text or at what stage they entered the tradition. Mouzat prints poruec (a French translation of pero) tant loing ne-m’ fait aler / que s’amor n’aïe sa requis and translates ‘pourtant elle ne me fait pas aller si loin que je n’aie requis [et mendié] son amour en deça, [avant le départ]...’, remarking ‘sa, lire ça, en deça’. Mölk ignores Mouzat and adapts Lewent’s proposal, making s’amor nominative, Que s’amor/s/ ne m’ait ça requis, hence ‘Mais elle ne me fait pas aller si loin que son amour ne m’ait attaqué ici’. He gives no examples but this sense is given in PD. Lewent had said that the French negative particle ne has been replaced by the Prov. particle non which led to the replacement of a mais ‘présumé authentique’ by a two-syllable Provençal adversative. ‘La conjecture de Lewent, par moi modifiée, ne me convainc pas entièrement parce que tous les manuscrits présentent les lettres n-o-s-. Mais je n’ai pas encore de proposition meilleure’ (Mölk, p. 558). – While it may seem natural to want to emend nos in 13 to nom (no·m), is it really unacceptable to think of the lady actively distancing herself from the lover, since it is she who is creating the distance (9-10)? I have preferred to retain the CR reading, as well as their s’amor as a direct object. R’s second no with a tilde above can legitimately be interpreted as no·m, and it is easy to see how C’s non can be the result of a misinterpretation of an abbreviation sign. If it is accepted that Gaucelm is intending to make his song sound French – and the strong links existing between his verse form and the trouvère lyric tradition reinforce the idea that he is composing for a largely French audience – it seems acceptable to give the French form of the necessary subjunctive, ait, as does Mölk. I interpret literally ‘yet she does not make herself so distant that she does not here exact from me love for her’, in other words ‘however much she distances herself from me, she still compels me to love her here’.
33. V’s merci, repeated in 37, may be an error.
34. For scansion the last two words must elide.
46. Ms. cil could in theory be Occitan or French nom. m. pl. or French nom. m. sg., but the sense requires it to be an object pronoun, hence the emendation to cel, referring to pretz in the previous line; note that in v. 42 the ms. has i for e in mene. I take mia to be an intensifier, equivalent to mica, and i to refer to the idea of the lady having mercy, which it is clumsy to translate. For scansion mia would need to elide with oblié.
BdT Gaucelm Faidit
Songs referring to the crusades