1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Adam (or Adan) de le Hale

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ADAM (or Adan) DE LE HALE (died c. 1288), French trouvère, was born at Arras. His patronymic is generally modernized to La Halle, and he was commonly known to his contemporaries as Adam d’Arras or Adam le Bossu, sometimes simply as Le Bossu d’Arras. His father, Henri de le Hale, was a well-known Citizen of Arras, and Adam studied grammar, theology and music at the Cistercian abbey of Vaucelles, near Cambrai. Father and son had their share in the civil discords in Arras, and for a short time took refuge in Douai. Adam had been destined for the church, but renounced this intention, and married a certain Marie, who figures in many of his songs, rondeaux, motets and jeux-partis. Afterwards he joined the household of Robert II., count of Artois; and then was attached to Charles of Anjou, brother of Charles IX., whose fortunes he followed in Egypt, Syria, Palestine and Italy. At the court of Charles, after he became king of Naples, he wrote his Jeu de Robin et Marion, the most famous of his works. He died between 1285 and 1288. Adam’s shorter pieces are accompanied by music, of which a transcript in modern notation, with the original score, is given in Coussemaker’s edition. His Jeu de Robin et Marion is cited as the earliest French play with music on a secular subject. The pastoral, which tells how Marion resisted the knight, and remained faithful to Robert the shepherd, is based on an old chanson, Robin m’aime, Robin m’a. It consists of dialogue varied by refrains already current in popular song. The melodies to which these are set have the character of folk-music, and are more spontaneous and melodious than the more elaborate music of his songs and motets. A modern adaptation, by Julien Tiersot, was played at Arras by a company from the Paris Opéra Comique on the occasion of a festival in 1896 in honour of Adam de le Hale. His other play, Le jeu Adan or Le jeu de la Feuillée (c. 1262), is a satirical drama in which he introduces himself, his father and the citizens of Arras with their peculiarities. His works include a Congé, or satirical farewell to the city of Arras, and an unfinished chanson de geste in honour of Charles of Anjou, Le roi de Sicile, begun in 1282; another short piece, Le jeu du pèlerin, is sometimes attributed to him.

The only MS. which contains the whole of Adam’s work is the La Vallière MS. (No. 25,566) in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, dating from the latter half of the 13th century. Many of his pieces are also contained in Douce MS. 308, in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. His Œuvres complètes (1872) were edited by E. de Coussemaker. See also an article by Paulin Paris in the Histoire littéraire de La France (vol. xx. pp. 638-675); G. Raynaud, Recueil des motets français des XIIe et XIIIe siècles (1882); Canchons et Partures des . . . Adan delle Hale (Halle, 1900), a critical edition by Rudolf Berger; an edition of Adam’s two jeux in Monmerqué and Michel’s Théâtre français au moyen âge (1842); E. Langlois, Le jeu de Robin et Marion (1896), with a translation in modern French; A. Guesnon, La Satire à Arras au XIIIe, siècle (1900); and a full bibliography of works on the subject in No. 6 of the Bibliothèque de bibliographies critiques, by Henri Guy.