Lives of Fair and Gallant Ladies/Volume I/Notes
NOTES TO VOLUME I
P. V: The Duc d'Alençon was later called the Duc d'Anjou. He died at Château-Thierry, on Sunday, June 10, 1584, from dysentery, which had almost reduced him to a shadow. Nevers, in his Mémoires (Vol. I, p. 91), maintains that he was poisoned by a maid of one of his mistresses. According to L'Estoile's account, the Duke was given a magnificent funeral in Paris. He was by no means handsome; his pimpled and deformed nose earned for him an epigram during his expedition in Flanders:
Flamands, ne soyez estonnez
Si a François voyez deux nez:
Car par droit, raison et usage,
Faut deux nez à double visage.
P. VIII: Pierre de Bourdeille, Seigneur de l'Abbaye de Brantôme. Was born in Périgord, 1527; died 1614. Of an old and distinguished family. Served his apprenticeship to war under the famous Captain François de Guise. Later Gentleman of the Chamber to two French Kings in succession, Charles IX. and Henri III., being high in favour with the latter; Chamberlain to the Due d'Alençon. As soldier or traveller visited most parts of Europe; intimate with many of the most famous men of his day, including the poet Ronsard. Some time after the death of Charles IX. he retired (disappointed apparently by a diminution of Court favour, and suffering from the results of a serious accident due to a fall from his horse) to his estates in Guyenne, where he employed his leisure in the composition of a number of voluminous works based on reminiscences of the active period of his life.
Vies des Hommes illustres et grands Capitaines français,
Vies des Grands Capitaines étrangers,
Vies des Dames illustres,
Vies des Dames galantes,
Anecdotes touchant des Duels,
Rodomontades et Jurements espagnols,
and sundry fragments.
Souvent femme varie,
Bien fol qui s'y fie!
(Woman is changing ever; fool the man who trusts her!)
P. 3: The word which Molière popularized does not date from that time; it was used much earlier, and in the thirteenth century we see a man pay a fine of twenty ounces of gold for calling an unfortunate husband coucou (cuckold). (Usatica regni Majorici, Anno 1248.) About the middle of the fifteenth century, in a letter of remission to a guilty fellow, we find this curious remark: "Cogul, which is the same (in the vernacular) as coulz or couppault, is one of the vilest insults to be thrust at a married man." At times the word coux was used:
Suis-je mis en la confrairie
Saint Arnoul le seignenur des Coux.
But it was just about the fifteenth century that the confusion appeared between this word and the bird of April (cuckoo); the word coucou (cuckoo), which had been explained by a fable, merely imitated the cry, whereas the word cocu (cuckold) had been derived from the early Low Latin cugus. "Couquou, thus named after its manner of singing and because it is famed for laying its eggs in the nests of other birds; so, inconsistently, he is called a cocu (cuckold) in whose nest another man comes." (Bouchet, Serées.) There is also a play by Passerat on the metamorphosis of a cuckoo which is worth mentioning. (Bib. Nat., manuscrit français, 22565, fo 24 vo.)
P. 4: In the present work the Author constantly uses the words belle et honneste (fair and honourable) to describe such and such a lady, of whom at the same time he speaks as being an unmitigated whore. But when he adds, as he does sometimes, vertueuse (virtuous) to belle et honneste, he implies by this that the lady was chaste and modest, and raised no talk about herself.
P. 7: The prothonotary Baraud was one of those churchmen of whom Brantôme says elsewhere: "It was customary at the time that prothonotaries, even those of good families, should scarcely be learned, but give themselves up to pleasure," etc.
P. 10: Cosimo de Medici, who had his wife Eleonora de Toledo poisoned. The daughter of whom Brantôme speaks was Isabella, whom he married to Paolo Orsini, the Duke of Bracciano. But Cosimo had too marked an affection for this daughter; although she was married, he insisted that she live in Florence and remain with him. Vasari, who painted for the Medici one of the arches of the Palazzo Vecchio, one day surprised the father and the daughter, and recounts the strange adventure which he witnessed. After the death of Cosimo, Paolo Orsini called Isabella to his apartment, and there, according to Litta, "with a rope around her neck coldly strangled her on the night of July 16, 1576, in the act of consummating the marriage." (Medici, t, IV, tavola xiv.) That unhappy woman was one of the most marvellous of her time: beautiful, cultured, musical, she had all the brilliant advantages of the mind and of the body. Meanwhile, she had had as a lover Troilo Orsini, who was attached to her husband as a bodyguard, and who was assassinated in France, where he had retired.
P. 10: Louis de Clermont de Bussy d'Amboise was born towards the middle of the XVIth Century, and took an active part in the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew. On that occasion, profiting by the confusion, he murdered his kinsman Antoine de Clermont, with whom he was at law for the possession of the Marquisat de Renel. Having obtained from his patron the Due d'Anjou the governorship of the Castle of Angers, he made himself the terror of the countryside. Letters of his addressed to the wife of the Comte de Montsoreau, whom he was endeavouring to seduce, having fallen into Charles IX.'s hands, were by him shown to the husband. The latter forced his wife to write a reply to her lover appointing a rendezvous. On his appearing there, Montsoreau and a band of armed men fell upon and despatched him (1579). The comment of the historian de Thou is in these words: "The entire Province was overjoyed at Bussy's death, while the Duke of Anjou himself was not sorry to be rid of him." [Transl.]
P. 11: René de Villequier, Baron de Clairvaux, murdered his first wife, Françoise de la Marck, in cold blood, in 1677 at the Castle of Poitiers, where the Court was residing. He killed at the same time a young girl who was holding a mirror before her mistress at the moment. According to some authorities he acted on the suggestion of the king, Henri III. At any rate he got off with absolute impunity, and within a very short time after was decorated by his Sovereign with the Order of the St. Esprit. [Transl.]
P. 12: Sampietro, the famous soldier of fortune, and commander of the Italian troops under the French Kings Francis I. and Henri II., was born near Ajaccio in Corsica in 1501. He was of humble birth, but his many brilliant feats of war made him celebrated throughout Europe. He actually strangled his wife,—Vanina, a lady of good family, but not in consequence of such misconduct on her part as Brantôme represents. The real circumstances were as follows. Sampietro having attempted to raise his Corsican compatriots in revolt against the Genoese, he was imprisoned and all but put to death by the latter. This roused in him so implacable a hatred of the Genoese State, that on learning that his wife during his absence at Constantinople had condescended to implore his pardon from the Genoese, he deliberately put her to death in the way described. He was himself eventually murdered, being treacherously stabbed in the back by his Lieutenant and friend Vitelli at the instigation of his Genoese enemies. [Transl.]
P. 12: This is another allusion to Paolo Orsini, Duke of Bracciano, who could not overtake Troilo Orsini, and killed Isabella that he might marry Vittoria Accoramboni, whose husband he had assassinated. (Litta, Orsini, t, VII, tav. XXIX.)
P. 15: The Avalos family originally came from Spain, and gave Italy the Marquis de Pescaire, one of the greatest captains of the sixteenth century. It is of him that Brantôme speaks as the viceroy. Maria d'Avalos was married to Carlos Gesualdo, prince of Venousse, and was the niece of this Marquis de Pescaire and of Del Guasto, whom Brantôme describes as "dameret" (foppish) to such a degree that he perfumed the saddles of his horses. He was the one who lost the battle of Cérisoles in 1544.
P. 16: Iliad, Bk. III,—
P. 16: Paul de Caussade de Saint-Mégrin, favorite of the king, was killed on leaving the Louvre by a band of assassins led by Mayenne. He was the lover of Catherine de Clèves, Duchess de Guise. Henri IV., then king of Navarre, who had good reasons not to like favorites, says apropos of this: "I am thankful to the Duc de Guise for refusing to tolerate that a bed favorite like Saint-Mégrin should make him a cuckold. This treatment ought to be meted out to all the little court gallants who try to approach the princesses with the aim of making love to them."
P. 17: Françoise de Saillon, married to Jacques de Rohan. She was saved by a miracle, says Jean Bourdigné's chronicle, in 1526.
P. 17: Brantôme refers to Françoise de Foix, Chateaubriant's lady, regarding whom an old pamphlet of 1606 says as follows: "She could do what she desired, and she desired many things that she ought not to at all. During her lifetime, her husband was ever afflicted and tormented." (Factum pour M. le connestable contre Madame de Guise, 1606.) That is also the opinion of Gaillard in his Histoire de Françoise Ier, t. VII, p. 179, in the 1769 edition, who sees in this passage an allusion to Mme. de Chateaubriant.
P. 17: Jean de Bourdigné, author of Histoire agrégative des Annales et Chroniques d'Anjou et du Maine (Angers, 1529, fol.), was born at Angers. He was a priest and Canon of the Cathedral of his native town. The book is very rare; as a history it is almost worthless, being full of the wildest fables.
P. 17: Francis I. king of France, 1515-1547.
P. 21: Philip II. had his wife Isabelle de Valois poisoned; he suspected her of adultery with Don Carlos, his son of a former marriage.
P. 22: Louis X., surnamed le Hutin, had caused his wife Marguerite de Bourgogne to be strangled at the Château-Gaillard. She had been imprisoned there in 1314. As to Gaston II., of Foix, outraged by the life of debauch Jeanne d'Artois (his mother) led, he obtained from Philippe de Valois an order of internment in 1331.
P. 22: Anne Boleyn, who was the cause of the Anglican schism. The king had had her beheaded because of her infidelity and married Jane Seymour. As to the charge of which Brantôme speaks, Henry VIII. was so keen on that matter that he had caused Catherine Howard to be beheaded because he had not been quite convinced of her virginity.
P. 23: Baldwyn II., cousin and successor of the first Baldwyn, king of Jerusalem, brother of Godfrey de Bouillon, reigned from 1119 to 1131. Brantôme is mistaken here. Baldwyn II. had married Morphie, daughter of Prince de Mélitine; but he had not been formerly married. Does he wish to speak of Baudoin Ire, who repudiated the daughter of the Prince d'Arménie and then Adéle de Monferrat? (Cf. Guillaume de Tyr, liv. II, c. xv.)
P. 23: Read Melitene; this is how the Ancients named this town, the modern name of which is Meletin, in Latin Malatia; in Armenia, on the Euphrates.
P. 23: History of the Holy Land; by William of Tyre.
P. 23: Louis VII. succeeded his father, Louis le Gros, on the throne of France 1137, and died 1180. His wife, whom he divorced soon after his return from the Holy Land, whither she had accompanied him, was Eleanore of Guienne. This divorce was very painful to Louis VII., surnamed le Jeune, because he had to give up the duchy of Aquitaine and cast off the beautiful equestrian seal which he had had engraved for himself in his rank as duke.
P. 24: Suetonius, Cæsar, Chap. VI. Brantôme is thinking of Clodius; but Cicero never made the speech in question.
P. 24: Brantôme (Lalanne edition, t. VIII, p. 198) repeats this anecdote without giving further details.
P. 25: Fulvia. (Sallust, Chap. XXIII.)
P. 25: Octavius (Augustus), first Roman Emperor, was the son of C. Octavius, by Atia, a daughter of Julia, the sister of Julius Cæsar. He was therefore the grand-nephew of the latter, the founder of the Empire and virtual, though not nominal, first Emperor. He married Livia after his divorce of Scribonia.
P. 26: Caligula, the third Roman Emperor, A. D. 37-41. His name was Caius Cæsar, Caligula being properly only a friendly nickname, "Little Boots," bestowed on him as a boy by the soldiers in his father, Germanicus' camp in Germany, where he was brought up. He was inordinately cruel and licentious and madly extravagant. Eventually murdered.
P. 26: Brantôme does not appear to know very well the persons he is speaking of here: Hostilla is Orestilla; Tullia is Lollia; Herculalina is Urgulanilla.
P. 27: Claudius, the fourth Roman Emperor, A.D. 41-54. The notorious Messalina was his third wife. For a lurid picture of her immoralities see Juvenal's famous Sixth Satire.
P. 28: Giovanni Boccaccio, the author of the Decameron, was born at Paris in 1313, being the (illegitimate) son of a wealthy merchant of Florence. He died 1375 at Certaldo, a village near Florence, the original seat of the family.
P. 28: Does the following chanson refer to the same woman?
On void Simonne
Proumener aux bordeaux
Matin, soir, nonne,
Avec ses macquereaux.
(Bib. Nat., ms. français 22565, f 41 v.)
P. 28: This is indeed one of the most curious passages of the book, and I am glad to remove one of Lalanne's doubts. Brantôme is really talking of a statue, an antique piece which was found July 21, 1594, in a field near the Saint-Martin priory. It had been admirably conserved. Unfortunately, Louis XIV. having claimed it later, it was placed on a barge which sank in the Garonne, and was never recovered. (O'Reilly, History of Bordeaux, 1863, Vol. II.) The statue is described as having had one breast uncovered and curled hair, a description that agrees only partly with Visconti's type (Iconographie romaine, t. II., planche 28), in which Messalina is not décolleté and carries her son. Was the Bordeaux statue indeed a Messalina?
P. 31: Brantôme is mistaken; Nero caused Octavia to be killed. (See Suetonius, Nero, Chap. XXXV.)
P. 31: Nero, fifth Roman Emperor, A. D. 54-63.
P. 31: Domitian succeeded his father Titus on the Imperial throne; reigned from A. D. 81 to 96.
P. 31: Pertinax, a man of peasant birth, but who had carved out for himself a distinguished career as soldier and administrator, was elected Emperor by the Prætorian Guards on the murder of Cornmodus, A. D. 193. Himself murdered after a two months' reign.
P. 32: Septimius Severus, Emperor from A.D. 193 to 211. He was a great general and conducted successful campaigns in Britain, where he died,—at York.
P. 33: Philippe Auguste, King of France 1180-1223. Philip Augustus repudiated Ingeburga after twenty-eight days of marriage, and married Agnes de Méranie. The censure of the church induced the king to discard the second marriage and return to Ingeburga (1201). The latter was reputed to have a secret vice which greatly angered the king.
P. 34: Marguerite, daughter of the Archduke Maximilian, whom Charles VIII. rejected in order to marry Anne of Brittany (1491). Louis XII. turned away Jeanne in order to marry the widow of Charles VIII.
P. 34: Charles VIII., 1483-1498, of the House of Valois.
P. 34: Louis XII., successor of the last named, reigned 1498-1515, the immediate predecessor of Francis I.
P. 35: Alfonso V., king of Aragon, who left maxims which were collected by Antonio Beccadelli, surnamed Panormita.
P. 35: Twenty-second tale. M. de Bernage was equerry of King Charles VIII. and the lord of Civray, near Chenonceaux.
P. 36: It is not Semiramis, but Thomyris, who, according to Justin (Bk. I.) and Herodotus (Bk. II.), thrust the head of Cyrus into a vat of blood. Xenophon says, on the contrary, that Cyrus died a natural death.
P. 40: Albert de Gondy, Duke de Retz, was reputed as a practitioner of Aretino's principles. His wife, Claudine Catherine de Clermont, deserved, perhaps wrongfully, to occupy a place in the pamphlet entitled: "Bibliothèque de Mme. de Montpensier."
P. 41: Elephantis is referred to by Martial and Suetonius as the writer of amatory works—"molles Elephantidos libelli," but nothing is known of her otherwise. She was probably a Greek, not a Roman.
P. 41: Heliogabalus, or Elagabalus, Emperor from A. D. 218 to 222. Born at Emesa, and originally high-priest of Elagabalus the Syrian Sun-god. After a very short reign marked by every sort of extravagant folly, he was succeeded by Alexander Severus.
P. 41: The Cardinal de Lorraine, Cardinal du Perron, and others, had been already represented in the same way along with Catherine de Medici, Mary Stuart and the Duchesse de Guise, in two paintings mentioned in the Légende du Cardinal de Lorraine, fol. 24, and in the Réveille-Matin des Français, pp. 11 and 123.
P. 42: I agree with Lalanne that this prince was no other than the Duke d'Alençon. As to the fable of the coupling of the lions, it came from an error of Aristotle, which was repeated by most naturalists until the eighteenth century.
P. 45: Ronsard the poet was born 1524, being the son of Louis de Ronsard, sieur de la Poissonnière, an officer in the household of King Francis I., and died 1586. He enjoyed an immense reputation in his lifetime, and was the favourite poet of Mary Queen of Scots. Her lover, the unfortunate Chastelard, read his Hymne de la mort on the scaffold, and refused any other book or confessor to prepare him for death. Originator and leading member of the famous Pleïade of Poets.
P. 46: He was a Florentine, Luigi di Ghiaceti, who had grown rich by negotiating the taxes with the king. He married the beautiful Mlle. d'Atri, and to please her he had bought for 400,000 francs the estate of Chateauvilain. Mme. de Chateauvilain was a model of virtue, if Brantôme is to be believed; but we wonder, fully agreeing with the author of the notes to the Journal de Henri III., where this lady could have acquired her virtue—was it at the court or at her husband's estate? Besides this gallery of pictures which is mentioned here, Louis Adjecet (the French form for Luigi Ghiaceti) had mistresses with whom he indulged in the low appetites of rich upstarts. He was killed in 1593 by an officer; and his wife withdrew to Langres, where she lived with her children.
P. 47: Ariosto, Orlando furioso, canto XLII., stanza 98.
Ecco un donzello a chi l'ufficio tocca
Por su la mensa un bel nappo d'or fino...
P. 47: Very likely Bernardin Turissan. Brantôme is perhaps referring to the Ragionamento della Nanna, printed in Paris in 1534, without the name of the publisher. The peggio must have been one of those infamous Italian books which the noblemen of the court wrangled over. The Nanna was well known at the French court (see Le Divorce satyrique, t. I. of the Journal de Henri III., 1720 edition, p. 190).
P. 47; Bernardino Turisan, who used as his sign the well-known mark of the Manutii, his kinsmen.
P. 47: Pietro Aretino was born at Arezzo in Tuscany in 1492. The natural son of a plain gentleman he became the companion and protégé of Princes, and their unscrupulous and adroit flatterer. Friend of Michael Angelo and Titian. His works are full of learning and wit,—and obscenity.
P. 48: This book, entitled La Somme des péchés et les remèdes d'iceux (Compendium of all Sins, and the Remedies of the same), printed at Lyons, by Charles Pesnot c. 1584, 4to, and several times since, was compiled by Jean Benedict, a Cordelier monk of Brittany. He has filled it with filth and foulness as full as did the Jesuit Sanchez his treatise De Matrimonio (on Marriage). It is a singular fact that a work so indecent should have been none the less dedicated to the Holy Virgin. As we see from the text, Brantôme and his fellows quite well understood how to turn such works to their advantage and find fresh stories of lubricity in their pages.
P. 49: This Bonvisi, a Lyons banker, had had as receiver Field Marshal de Retz, the son of a Gondi, who had become a bankrupt in Lyons. (Notes of the Confession de Sancy, 1720 edition, t. II., p. 244.)
P. 51: L. Aurelius Commodus (not Sejanus), Emperor A. D. 180-192, was the son of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Faustina. Annius Verus was his brother, and received the appellation of Cæsar along with his elder brother in 166.
P. 58: Antonomasia, properly.
P. 60: The Sanzays were a family of Poitou who had settled in Brittany. René de Sanzay, head of the family at the time in question, had four sons: René, Christophe, Claude, and Charles. René continued the line. Claude was his lieutenant in 1569, as colonel of his forces. Charles married and died only in 1646 (?). Christophe, the second son, was a prothonotary. It seems that Brantôme had Claude in mind. Moreover, the constable of Montmorency having died in 1568 and Claude having been a lieutenant of his brother in 1569, we may conjecture that the adventure of which Brantôme speaks had happened to him previously, for the constable is concerned with his ransom. (Bib. Nat., Cabinet des titres, art. Sanzay.)
P. 61: Cicero, De officis, Bk. IV., Chap. ix.
P. 61: The second son of Charles V.; he was assassinated at the Gate of Barbette, at the end of Rue Vieille-du-Temple, in 1407, by the orders of Jean Sans peur. He had had for a long time adulterous relations with his sister-in-law Isabeau de Bavière. The woman in question here was Marie d'Enghien, wife of Aubert de Cany and mother of the Bâtard d'Orléans. This anecdote has inspired several story-tellers, such as Bandello, Strappardo, Malespini, etc. See also the first of the Cents Nouvelles nouvelles.
P. 61: "Candaules was the last Heracleid king of Lydia. According to the account of Herodotus, he was extremely proud of his wife's beauty, and insisted on exhibiting her unveiled charms, but without her knowledge, to Gyges, his favourite officer. Gyges was seen by the queen, as he was stealing from her chamber, and the next day she summoned him before her, intent on vengeance, and bade him choose whether he would undergo the punishment of death himself, or would consent to murder Candaules and receive the kingdom together with her hand. He chose the latter alternative, and became the founder of the dynasty of the Mermnadæ, about B. C. 715."
P. 62: Jean Dunois, comte d'Orléans et de Longueville, Grand Chamberlain of France, was his natural son by Mariette d'Enghien, wife of Aubert de Cany-Dunois, and is famous in history under the name of the Bastard of Orleans. Born at Paris 1402; died 1468. Distinguished himself at the sieges of Montargis and Orleans (where he was seconded by Jeanne d'Arc) and in many other encounters. The gallant champion of Charles VII. and the great enemy of the English.
P. 65. Henri III., 1574-1589, last king of the House of Valois; succeeded Charles IX.
P. 65: Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, surnamed Tête de fer. He had married Marguerite, sister of Henri II. It was during this journey that the Duchess Marguerite tried to obtain from her nephew Henri III. the retrocession of several fortresses which France still held. (Litta, t. VI., tav. xiv.)
P. 66: Sainte-Soline abandoned Strozzi at the battle of the Iles Ter Tercères.
P. 67. Capaneus was one of the mythical seven heroes who marched from Argos against Thebes (Aeschylus, Septem contra Thebas). "During the siege, he was presumptuous enough to say, that even the fire of Zeus should not prevent his scaling the walls of the city; but when she saw his body was burning, his wife Euadné leaped into the flames and destroyed herself."
P. 67: Alcestis was a daughter of Pelias, and the wife of Admetus, King of Pheræ in Thessaly. According to the legend, Apollo having induced the Fates to promise Admetus deliverance from death, if at the hour of his decease his father, mother or wife would die for him, Alcestis sacrificed herself for her husband's sake. But Heracles brought her back again from the underworld, and "all ended well." The story is the subject of Euripides' beautiful play of Alcestis.
P. 68: Tancred, one of the chief heroes of the First Crusade, was the son of Odo the Good, of Sicily. Date of his birth is uncertain; he died 1112. Type of the gallant soldier and adventurer and the "very perfect, gentle knight."
P. 68: Philippe I.—1060-1108.
P. 68: See Guillaume de Tyr, liv. XI., who tells this anecdote about Tancrède. Bertrade d'Anjou, the wife of Foulques, had been carried off by Philip I., to whom she bore, among other children, Cécile, who married Tancrède.
P. 68: Compare this Albanian savagery with the story of Councillor Jean Lavoix, who lived with the wife of an attorney named Boulanger. The wife having decided to discontinue that liaison, the Councillor grew so furious that he caused her to be slashed and disfigured, although he could not get her nose cut off. He was pardoned after having paid his judges. The following song was written about him:
Chasteauvillain, Poisle et Levois,
Seront jugez tous d'une voix
Par un arrest aussi leger
Que fust celluy de Saint-Leger.
Car le malheur est tel en France
Que tout se juge par la finance.
(Bib. Nat., ms. français, 22563, fo 101.)
P. 70: See Brantôme in the Lalanne edition, t. VIII., p. 148. There must be some mistake here. Jacques d'Aragon, the titular king of Majorca, died in an expedition in 1375, according to the Art de verifier les dates.
P. 70: Charles VII. (surnamed the Victorious), crowned at Poitiers 1422, consecrated at Rheims 1429; died 1461, the King for whom Jeanne d'Arc fought against the Burgundians and English, and who really owed his crown to her.
P. 70: Francis I., 1515-1547.
P. 70: Jeanne I., Queen of Naples, 1353-1381, daughter of Charles Duke of Calabria and grand-daughter of the wise King Robert of Naples.
P. 72: The proverb says, the ferret. It should be the ermine, which animal is said to allow itself to be caught rather than soil itself.
P. 72: The opinion that the female ferret would die if it did not find a male to satisfy her during the mating season was still held by naturalists at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Lalanne is mistaken about the ermine, which, on the contrary, dies of the slightest contamination:
Et moi, je suis si delicate
Qu'une tache me fait mourir.
(Florian, Fables, liv. III., fab. xiii.)
P. 78: Nouvelle III.
P. 78: Unhappy husbands were classified as follows:
Celluy qui, marié, par sa femme est coqu
Et (qui) pas ne le sçait, d'une corne est cornu.
Deux en a cestui-là qui peut dissimuler;
Qui le voit et le souffre, icelluy trois en porte;
Et quatre cestui-là qui meine pour culler
Chez lui des poursuivans. Cil qui en toute sorte
Dit qu'il n'est de ceux-là, et en sa femme croid,
Cinq cornes pour certain sur le front on lui void.
(Bib. Nat., ms. français 22565, fo 41.)
P. 79: It was the marriage of Marguerite of France, the Duchess de Savoie, to Emmanuel Philibert, the Duke de Savoie, which caused the army to grumble.
P. 79: Boccaccio, Seventh tale of the second day.
P. 79: Brantôme alludes here most likely to Marguerite of France, sister of Henri II., who was 45 when she married the Duke of Savoy.
P. 80: Mlle. de Limeuil was the mistress of the Prince de Condé. During the journey of the court at Lyons, in July, 1564, she was confined in the cabinet of the queen mother, who was so furious that she had her locked up in a Franciscan monastery at Auxonne. But the Confession de Sancy and several authors of that time differ from Brantôme in saying that the child was a son and not a daughter, and died immediately after birth. The Huguenots wrote verses about the adventure; but the young lady nevertheless married an Italian, Scipion Sardini, for whom she soon forgot the Prince de Condé. Mlle. de Limeuil called herself Isabelle de La Tour de Turenne, and was Dame de Limeuil.
P. 81: Cosimo I, Duke of Tuscany. Besides, Pope Alexander VI. was also in a somewhat similar situation.
P. 82: Ferdinand II., King of Naples, 1495-96. Died prematurely at the age of 26. Ferdinand II. married the sister of his father, the daughter of the king of Naples and not of Castile.
P. 86: An ancient city of Italy. At the fort of Monte Cimino, in the Campagna 40 miles NN W. of Rome.
P. 86: La Nanna by Aretino, in the chapter on married women, tells of similar practices of deception regarding the virtue of newly married women.
P. 89: Henry IV. of Castile, 1454-1474, a feeble and dissipated Prince, was a brother of Isabelle of Castile. The young man chosen was not a nobleman, but simply an Antinous of negligible origin whom the king created Duke d'Albuquerque. A child, Jeanne, was born of this complacent match, but she did not reign. Castile preferred Henri III.'s sister, Isabelle.
P. 89: Fulgosius (Battista Fregose), born at Genoa 1440, of a family famous in Genoese history, and for a time Doge of his native City. His chief Work, Factorum et Dictorum Memorabilium libri IX. (Memorable Deeds and Words, 9 bks.), has been more than once reprinted. This particular statement is to be found in ch. 3. of Bk. IX.
P. 91: We have here, perhaps, a discreet allusion to Henri IV.'s passion for Mlle. de Tignonville, who had been unmanageable until she married. (See the Confession de Sancy, and t. II., p. 128, of the Journal de Henri III.)
P. 94: François de Lorraine, Duc de Guise, who was killed by Poltrot.
P. 96: The famous Diane de Poitiers, eldest daughter of Jean de Poitiers, Seigneur de St. Vallier, belonging to one of the most ancient families in Dauphiné, was born 1499. At the age of 13 she was married to Louis de Brèze, Comte de Maulevrier, Grand Seneschal of Normandy. She became a widow in 1531. The story of François I. having pardoned her father at the price of her honour, as told by Brantôme and others, is apparently apocryphal. It was not till after the death of her husband, to whom she was faithful and whose name she honoured, that she became the mistress of François I. She was as renowned for her wit and charms of mind as for her beauty. Died 1566.
P. 96: M. de Saint-Vallier, father of Diane de Poitiers. It is not known whether he uttered the word, but his pardon came in time. The headsman had already begged his pardon, according to custom, for killing him, and was about to cut his head off when a clerk, Mathieu Delot, rose and read the royal letter which commuted the capital sentence to imprisonment. The letter is dated February 17, 1523. (Ms. Saint-Germain, 1556, fo 74.)
P. 97: Duke d'Etampes, chevalier of the order and governor of Brittany, an obliging and kind husband.—François de Vivonne, lord of La Chasteigneraie, was among the least meek-minded of the court. Princess de La Roche-sur-Yon having stupidly asked him one day for a domestic favor, he called her "a little muddy princess," which afforded King Francis I. no little laughter. He was killed by Jarnac in a famous duel.
P. 98: An allusion to the demon who threw to the ground the archangel Saint Michael, and who was represented on the collar of the order. It is rather difficult to know of which lady Brantôme is speaking here: the collar of Saint Michael had been given to so many people that it was called "the collar for all animals." (Castelnau, Mémoires, I., p. 363.)
P. 99: Where did Brantôme get this story? Gui de Châtillon had expended on banquets the greater part of his fortune and sold his county to Louis d'Orléans; the latter was merely seventeen at the time. It is difficult to admit that he could have carried on a liaison with a woman so ripe in years. After the death of Gui, Marguerite married an officer of the Duke d'Orléans.
P. 101: Apparently Queen Marguerite de Valois. Marguerite de Valois, sister of Francois I., was born at Angouleme in 1492. Married in 1509 to Charles 4th Duc d'Alençon, who died (1525) soon after the disastrous battle of Pavia, at which François I. was taken prisoner. In 1527 she married Henri d'Albret, king of Navarre. She was a Princess of many talents and accomplishments, and the delight of her brother François I., who called her his Mignonne, and his Marguerite des Marguerites; Du Bellay and Clément Marot were both members of her literary coterie. Authoress of the famous Heptameron, or Nouvelles de la Reine de Navarre, composed in imitation of Boccaccio's Decameron. Died 1549.
P. 101: This is also an allusion to Queen Marguerite. Martigues, one of her lovers, had received from her a scarf and a little dog which he wore at the tournaments.
P. 103: Henri III., who had a short-lived affair with Catherine Charlotte de La Tremoille, the wife of Prince de Condé. But the victory was too easy; the princess was quite corrupt. Later on, the king prostituted her with one of his pages, with whom she conspired to poison her husband. The plot failed. When brought before the Court, she was pardoned; but a servant named Brilland was torn apart by four horses. It was also Henri III. who had debauched Marie de Clèves, the first wife of the same Prince de Condé.
P. 103: May very well refer to Henri de Lorraine, Duc de Guise, assassinated at Blois.
P. 103: Most probably refers to Marguerite de Valois, the king of Navarre, the Duc d'Anjou and the St. Bartholomew.
P. 105: Louis de Béranger du Guasi, one of Henri III.'s favorites, assassinated in 1575 by M. de Viteaux. His epitaph is in the Manuscrit français 22565, fo 901o (Bibliothèque Nationale). Brantôme, who boasts of being a swordsman, forgets that D'Aubigné was also one.
P. 105: A small town of Brittany (Dep. Ille-et-Vilaine), 14 miles from St. Mâlo. Has a cathedral of 12th and 13th centuries; the bishopric was suppressed in 1790.
P. 107: To take a journey to Saint-Mathurin was a proverbial expression which meant that a person was mad. Henri Estienne says that this is a purely imaginary saint; be that as it may, he was credited with curing madmen, and the satirical songs of the time are full of allusions to that healing power. (See Journal de Henri III, 1720 edition, t. II., pp. 307 and 308.)
P. 108: Lalanne proves by a passage from Spartianus that this anecdote is apocryphal, or that at least Brantôme has embellished it for his own needs. (Dames, tom. IX., p. 116.)
P. 108: Hadrian (P. Aelius Hadrianus), 14th in the series of Roman Emperors, A. D. 117-138, succeeded his guardian and kinsman Trajan. His wife, Sabina, here mentioned, was a grand-daughter of Trajan's sister Marciana.
P. 109: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus ("The Philosopher") succeeded Antonius Pius as Emperor in A. D. 168. Died 180. His wife Faustina (as profligate a woman as Messalina herself) was daughter of Pius. Author of the famous Meditations. His son Commodus, who succeeded him as Emperor, was a complete contrast in character to his father, being vicious, weak, cruel and dissolute.
P. 109: Another embellished passage. Faustina had died before Antoninus Commodus was emperor. Moreover, she was only washed (sublevare, says the text) with the blood of the gladiator. (J. Capitolin, Marc-Antoine le Philosophe, Chap. xix.)
P. 113: A discreet and veiled allusion to the amours of Marguerite de Valois and of the Duchess de Nevers with La Môle and Coconas. Implicated in the affair of Field Marshals de Cossé and de Montmorency, La Môle, a Provençal nobleman, and Coconas, a Piedmontese, were beheaded on the square of Grève towards the end of April, 1574, and not killed in battle as Brantôme tries to insinuate. The two princesses, mad with despair, transported the bodies in their carriages to the place of burial, at Montmartre, and kept the heads, which they had had embalmed. (Mémoires de Nevers, I., p. 75, and Le Divorce satirique.)
P. 114: It is Philippe Strozzi, Field Marshal of France, who was born at Venice. Made lieutenant of the naval army in 1579 in order to further the pretensions of Antonio of Portugal, he was defeated, July 28, 1583, and put to death in cold blood by Santa Cruz, his rival. (Vie et mort...de Philippe Strozzi. Paris, Guil. Lenoir, 1608.)
P. 119: Thomas de Foix, lord of L'Escu or Lescun, was the brother of Mme. de Chateaubriant, mistress of François Ier. He was captured at Pavia and carried, mortally wounded, to the home of the lady of whom Brantôme speaks. It was he who, by the surrender of Cremona in 1522, caused France to lose Italy. (Guicciardini, t. III., p. 473, Fribourg edition, 1775.)
P. 120: Paolo Jovio, Dialogo delle imprese militari ed amorose, 1559, p. 13.
P. 120: Blaise de Montluc, author of the Commentaires, a diabolical Gascon, made Field Marshal of France in 1574. The siege of La Rochelle, which is here mentioned, took place in 1573. For details on this personage, see the De Ruble edition of the Commentaires, 1854-74, 5 vols.
P. 120: Paulus Jovius (Paolo Giovio), Historian, was a native of Como; born 1483, died 1552.
P. 122: In his Contre-Repentie (fol. 444, A. of his Works, 1576). Joachim du Bellay, the poet, was born about 1524 at Lire in Anjou, of a noble and distinguished family of that Province. After an unfortunate youth, his talents ensured him a welcome at the Court of François I. and his sister Marguerite de Valois, where he spent some years. Died young, after a life of ill health, in 1560.
P. 122: Francis Rabelais was born about 1483 at Chinon in Touraine, where his father was an apothecary. After a stormy youth and some years spent as a Monk in more than one Monastery of more than one Order, and later wandering the country as a vagabond secular priest, he was admitted Doctor in the Faculty of Medicine at Montpellier. Countless stories of his pranks and adventures are told, many no doubt mythical. He visited Rome as well as most parts of France in the course of his life. He died Curé of Meudon, about 1553.
P. 123: Chastity-belts of this sort were already in use at Venice at the time.
P. 123: There is in the Hennin collection of prints at the Bibliotheque Nationale (t. III., fo 64) a satirical print representing what Brantôme relates here. A lady returns to her husband the key; but behind the bed, the lover, hidden by a duenna, receives from the latter a key similar to the husband's. This instrument of jealousy was the cingulum pudicitiæ of the Romans, the "Florentine lock" of the sixteenth century. Henri Aldegraver also engraved on the sheath of a dagger a lady who is adorned with a lock of this kind. (Bartsch, Peintre-Graveur, VIII., p. 437.) These refinements in jealousy as well as the refinements in debauchery (of which Brantôme will speak later) were of Italian origin. (See on this subject La Description de l'ile des Hermaphrodites, Cologne, 1724, p. 43.)
P. 124: Lampride, Alexandre Sévère, Chap. XXII.
P. 125: Nicolas d'Estouteville, lord of Villeconnin, and not Villecouvin, nobleman of the Chambre, died in Constantinople in February, 1567. He had gone to Turkey to forget a disappointment in love or in politics. Here is his epitaph:
Le preux Villeconin en la fleur de ses ans,5
Hélas! a delaissé nos esbatz si plaisans,
Laissant au temple sainct de la digne Memoire
Son labeur, son renom, son honneur et sa gloire.
P. 127: Dr. Subtil, surname of J. Scott or Duns.
P. 128: Saint Sophronie.
P. 128: See De Thou liv. XLIX. There were, at the court of France, other women who had escaped from Cyprus and who scarcely resembled this heroine. Témoin de la Dayelle, of whom Brantôme speaks in the Dames illustres, in the chapter on the Medicis. (Journal de Henri III., 1720 edition, t. II., p. 142.)
P. 132: Guillot le Songeur is, according to Lalanne, Don Guilan el Cuidador of the Amadis de Gaule.
P. 132: "Guillot le Songeur," a name applied to any Pensive man,—from the knight Julian le Pensif, one of the characters of the Amadis of Gaul.
P. 136: Danae, daughter of Acrisius, King of Argos, who confined her in brazen tower, where Jupiter obtained access in the form of a golden shower.
P. 137: An allusion to Duke Henri de Guise. His wife Catherine de Clèves had, in addition to her "bed lovers," many other intrigues. (See the Confession de Sancy, Chap. VIII., notes.)
P. 138: Trajan (M. Ulpius Trajanus), Emperor A. D. 98-117. His wife Plotina, here mentioned, was a woman of extraordinary merits and virtues, according to the statements of all writers, with one exception, who speak of her. She persuaded her husband to adopt Hadrian who became his successor; but Dion Cassius is the only author who says a word as to her intercourse with the latter having been of a criminal character, and such a thing is utterly opposed to all we know of her character.
P. 141: This refers very likely to Brantôme's voyage to Scotland. He had accompanied Queen Mary Stuart in August, 1561, at the time of her departure from France. Riccio, who was the favorite of "low rank," had arrived one year later; but Brantôme, who is relating something which happened a long time before, is not precise: he is unquestionably responding to a request of Queen Catherine.
P. 144: In this passage, where Brantôme cleverly avows his wiles as a courtier, he refers to the Queen of Spain, Elizabeth, the wife of Philip II. The sister of the princess was Marguerite, Queen of Navarre. The two young infantas, whose portraits are examined in detail, were: the first, Isabella Claire Eugenie (later married to Albert of Austria), who became a nun towards the end of her life; the other, Catherine, married Charles Emmanuel de Savoie in 1585. It is difficult to-day to see the resemblance of the two princesses to their father, in spite of the great number of portraits of all these personages; in fact, we can say that they were scarcely more beautiful than their mother. (Cf. the beautiful portrait in crayon of Queen Elizabeth at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Estampes Na 21, fo 69.)
P. 144: The two Joyeuses: M. du Bouchage, and a gay companion.
P. 145: Marguerite de Lorraine, married to Anne (Duke) de Joyeuse, the favorite of Henri III. The sister-in-law of whom Brantôme speaks could be neither Mme. du Bouchage nor Mme. de Mercoeur, who were spared by the cruelest pamphleteers; he undoubtedly refers to Henriette, Duchess de Montpensier.
P. 146: François de Vendôme, vidam of Chartres? (See Fæneste, 1729 edition, p. 345.)
P. 148: Ariosto, Orlando furioso, canto V., stanza 57:
Io non credo, signor, che ti sia nova
La legge nostra...
P. 149: How can Brantôme, who had friends in the Huguenot camp, deliberately relate such absurd tales?
P. 150: There is a close likeness between this woman and the Godard de Blois, a Huguenot, who was hanged for adultery in the year 1563.
P. 152: At that period several persons bore the name of Beaulieu. Brantôme may have in mind Captain Beaulieu, who held Vincennes for the Ligue in 1594. (Chron. Novenn. III., liv. VII.) The chief prior was Charles de Lorraine, son of the Duke de Guise.
P. 154: The Comtesse de Senizon was accused of having contrived his escape, and brought to book for it.
P. 155: According to his habit, Brantôme disfigures what he quotes. Vesta Oppia alone has the right to the name of "good woman"; Cluvia was a profession-courtesan. (Cf. Livy, XXVI., Chap. xxxiii.)
P. 156: This more human reason is probably truer than the one generally given of Jean's chivalrous conduct regarding his pledge.
P. 156: Jean (surnamed le Bon), King of France, 1350-1364. Taken prisoner by Edward the Black Prince at the battle of Poitiers.
P. 159: Proverb marking the small connection that often exists between gifts of body and good qualities of mind and character.
P. 164: The quotation as given in the text is mutilated and the words transposed. It should read:
"Si tibi simplicitas uxoria, deditus uni
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Nil unquam invita donabis conjuge: vendes
Hac obstante nihil; nihil, haec si nolit, emetur."
Juvenal, Sat. VI, 205 sqq.
that is to say, "If you are attached solely and entirely to your wife,... you will not be able to give a thing away, or sell or buy a thing, without her consent."
P. 164: They used to say of those Italian infamies: "In Spagna, gli preti; in Francia, i grandi; in Italia, tutti quanti."
P. 164: Why not let Boccaccio have the responsibility of this baseness? (Decameron, Vth day, Xth story.)
P. 168: Christine de Lorraine, daughter of Duke Charles, married to Ferdinand I. de Medici. This young princess had arrived in Italy adorned in her rich French gowns, which she soon cast off in favor of Italian fashions. This concession quickly made her a favorite. It was at the wedding of Christine that the first Italian operas were performed. (Litta, Medici di Firenze, IV., tav. xv.)
P. 171: Brantôme is very likely thinking of Princess de Condé, whom Pisani brought before the Parliament, which acquitted her.
P. 174-175: Probably an allusion to Mme. de Sinners and not to Marguerite de Valois, as Lalanne thinks. More tenacious if not more constant than the princess, Louise de Vitry, Lady de Simiers, lost successively Charles d'Humières at Ham, Admiral de Villars at Dourlens, and the Duke de Guise, whom she deeply loved and who gave her so little in return; this does not include Count de Radan, who died at Issoire, and others of less importance. When she reached old age, old Desportes alone remained for her. He had been her first lover, a poet, whom she had forgotten among her warriors; but it was much too late for both of them.
P. 175: Brantôme is mistaken; it is Seius and not Séjanus.
P. 177: Théodore de Bèze, the Reformer; born at Vézelais, in the Nivernais, 1519. Author, scholar, jurist and theologian. Died 1595.
P. 178: All the satirical authors agree in charging Catherine de'Medici with this radical change of the old French manners. It would be juster to think also of the civil wars in Italy, which were not without influence upon the looseness of the armies, and, therefore, upon the whole of France.
P. 179: It is the 91st epigram of Bk. I.
P. 180: Isabella de Luna, a famous courtesan mentioned by Bandello.
P. 180: Cardinal d'Armagnac was Georges, born in 1502, who was successively ambassador in Italy and archbishop of Toulouse, and finally archbishop of Evignon.
P. 181: Quotation badly understood. Crissantis, in the Latin verse, is a participle and not a proper noun. (Cf. Juvenal, sat. iv.)
P. 181: Filènes, from Philenus, a courtesan in Lucian.
P. 181: The line should read,
Ipsa Medullinæ frictum crissantis adorat.
P. 184: Brantôme seems to speak of himself; yet he might merely have played the side rôle of confidant in the comedy.
P. 187: Brantôme refers to the Dialogue de la beauté des dames. Marguerite d'Autriche is not (as he says) the Duchess de Savoie, who died in 1530, but the natural daughter of the Emperor; she married Alessandro de'Medici, and later Ottavio Farnese.
P. 189: The famous Church of Brou, at Bourg, was built in 1511-36 by the beautiful Marguerite of Austria, wife of Philobert II., le Beau, Duke of Savoy, in fulfilment of a vow made by Marguerite of Bourbon, her mother-in-law. It contains the magnificent tombs of Marguerite herself, her husband and mother-in-law. Celebrated in a well-known poem, "The Church of Brou," of Matthew Arnold.
P. 190: Jean de Meung, the poet (nicknamed Clopinel on account of his lameness), was born at the small town of Meung-sur-Loire in the middle of the XIIIth Century. Died at Paris somewhere about 1320. His famous Roman de la Rose was a continuation of an earlier work of the same name by Guillaume de Lorris, completed and published in its final form by Jean de Meung.
P. 192: Twenty-sixth Tale. It is Lord d'Avesnes, Gabriel d'Albret
P. 194: Claudia Quinta (Livy XXIX, 14).
P. 196: Plutarch, Œuvres mélées, LXXVII, t. II., p. 167, in the 1808 edition.
P. 200: The vogue of drawers dated from about 1577; three years later the hoop was in great favor and served to do away with the petticoat. Brantôme probably means that the lady discards the petticoat and wears the hoop over the drawers.
P. 212: The pun on raynette and raye nette cannot be reproduced in English.
P. 213: Etienne Pasquier, the great lawyer and opponent of the Jesuits, was born at Paris, 1529; died 1615.
P. 213: Thibaut, sixth of the name, Comte de Champagne et Brie, subsequently King of Navarre, was born 1201. Surnamed Faiseur de Chansons from his poetic achievements. Brought up at the Court of Philippe-Auguste. The whole romance of his love for Queen Blanche of Castillo is apparently apocryphal; it rests almost entirely on statements of one (English) historian, Matthew Paris. She was 16 years older than he, and is never once mentioned in his poems. P. 213: E. Pasquier, (Euvres, 1723, t. II, p. 38. "Which of the two," says Pasquier, "brings more satisfaction to a lover—to feel and touch his love without speaking to her, or to see and speak to her without touching her?" In the dialogue between Thibaut de Champagne and Count de Soissons, Thibaut preferred to speak.
P. 215: Brantôme aims here at Queen Catherine de'Medici and her favorites.
P. 215: Cf. Plutarch, De Stoicorum repugnantiis, c. xxi.
P. 216: Id., Demetrius, cap. xxvii. Brantôme is mistaken; the woman in question was Thonis.
P. 216: Eighteenth Tale.
P. 216: The "wheel of the nose" was a sort of "mask beard" that women wore in cold weather; it was attached to the hood below the eyes.
P. 220: It was François de Compeys, lord of Gruffy, who sold his estate in 1518 in order to expatriate himself. è P. 221: It is not three but four S's that the perfect lover must carry with him, according to Luis Barabona (Lagrlmas de Angelica, canto IV.), and these four S's mean:
SABIO, SOLO, SOLICITO ET SEGRETO.
These initial letters were much in vogue in Spain during the sixteenth century.
P. 224: This story was popular in Paris; it was amplified and embellished into a drama and ascribed to Marguerite de Bourgogne. Was it not Isabeau de Baviere?
P. 224: Isabeau, or Isabelle, de Bavière, wife of the half imbecile Charles VI. of France, and daughter of Stephen II., Duke of Bavaria, was born 1371; died 1435. Among countless other intrigues was one with the Due d'Orléans, her husband's brother. One of her lovers, Louis de Boisbourdon, was thrown into the Seine in a leather sack inscribed Laissez passer la justice du roi. The famous story of the Tour de Nesles seems mythical.
P. 225: See under Buridan, in Bayle's Dict. Critique. Compare also Villon, in his Ballade of the Dames des Temps Jadis (Fair Dames of Yore):
Semblablement où est la reine,
Qui commanda que Buridan
Fust jeté en un sac en Seine?
(Likewise where is the Queen, who commanded Buridan to be cast in a sack into the Seine?)
P. 227: Plutarch, Anthony, Chap, xxxii.
P. 229: Livy, lib. XXX., cap. xv. Appien, De Rebus punicis, XXVII.
P. 229: Joachim du Bellay, Œuvres poétiques, 1597.
P. 229: La Vieille Courtisane ("The Old Courtesan"), fol. 449. B. of the Œuvres poét. of Joachim du Bellay, edition of 1597.
P. 230: This pun is difficult to explain.
P. 231: Lucian, Amours, XV.
P. 235: Marguerite, wife of Henri IV., whose elegance drew from the old Queen Catherine this remark: "No matter where you may go, the court will take the fashion from you, and not you from the court."
(Brantôme, Elogé de la reine Marguerite.)
P. 235: Brantôme alludes to the Duke d'Anjou.
P. 235: Jeanne de Navarre, wife of Philippe le Bel, King of France, daughter and sole heiress of Henri I. of Navarre, was born 1272, died 1305 at the early age of 33. She was a beautiful and accomplished Princess, and the tales told by some historians reflecting on her character are apparently quite without foundation.
P. 235: The Divorce satyrique attributes this contrivance to Queen Marguerite, who adopted it to make her husband, the King of Navarre, more deeply enamoured and more naughty.
P. 236: These are taken from an old French book entitled: De la louange et beauté des Dames ("Of the Praise and Beauty of Ladies"). François Corniger has put the same into 18 Latin lines. Vencentio Calmeta has rendered them also into Italian verse, commencing with the words: Dolce Flaminia.
P. 236: Pliny speaks of this Helen of Zeuxis.
P. 237: Ronsard, Œuvres, 1584 edition, p. 112. It is a poem addressed to the famous painter Clouet, according to Janet, in which the poet sings the praises of his fair lady. This poem has more than one point in common with the present chapter of the Dames.
P. 238: Marot had arranged this Spanish proverb into a quatrain, and at the time of the Ligue it was applied to the Infanta of Spain:
Pourtant, si je suis brunette,
Amy, n'en prenez esmoy,
Car autant aymer souhaitte
Qu'une plus blanche que moy.
P. 239: Raymond Lulle was a native of Majorca, and lived towards the end of the thirteenth century: he was reputed to be a magician. The story that Brantôme tells was taken from the Opuscula by Charles Bovelles, fol. XXXIV. of the in-4o edition of 1521. The famous Raimond Lulle (generally known in England as Raimond Lully), philosopher and schoolman, was celebrated throughout the Middle Ages for his logic and his commentary on Aristotle, and above all for his art of Memory, or Ars Lulliana. He was born at Palma, the capital of Majorca, in 1235. He travelled in various countries, and died (1315) in Africa after suffering great hardships, having gone there as a missionary.
P. 240: Or Charles de Bouvelles. His life of Raymond Lulle is a quarto, printed at Paris, and published by Ascencius. It is dated 3rd of the Nones of December, 1511. Several other works by the same author are extant.
P. 240: Arnauld de Villeneuve, a famous alchemist of the end of the thirteenth century; he died in a shipwreck, in 1313.
P. 240: Oldrade, a jurist, was born at Lodi in the thirteenth century. His Codex de falsa moneta is not known.
P. 242: Sisteron, in the Department of the Basses-Alpes, on the Durance. Seat of a Bishopric from the 4th Century down to 1770.
P. 242: Aimeric de Rochechouart (1545-1582) was the bishop of Sisteron; he succeeded his uncle Albin de Rochechouart. As to the "very great lady," that applies to one of a dozen princesses.
P. 244: Pliny, XXXIII., cap. iv. Brantôme is mistaken about the temple.
P. 246: Claude Blosset, lady of Torcy, the daughter of Jean Blosset and of Anne de Cugnac. She married Louis de Montberon (in 1553), Baron de Fontaines and Chalandray, first gentleman of the king's bed-chamber. The beautiful Torcy, as she was called, had been presented to Queen Eleonor by Mme. de Canaples, the enemy of Mme. d'Etampes.
P. 246: Hubert Thomas, Annales de vita Friderici II. Palatini (Francfort, 1624), gives no idea of this exaggeration of Queen Eleonor's bust, who was promised to Frederick Palatine.
P. 248: Suetonius, Octavius Augustus, cap. lxix.
P. 249: Henri de Lorraine, Duc de Guise, nicknamed le Balafré, born 1550. Murdered by the King's (Henri III.) orders at Blois in 1588.
P. 249: Due d'Anjou, afterwards Henri III.
P. 250: The personages in question are probably Bussy d'Amboise and Marguerite de Valois.
P. 252: The king was Henri II., and the grand widow lady the Duchess de Valentinois. They thought it was due to a charm.
P. 254: Pico della Mirandola, Opera omnia, t. II., liv. III., chap, xxii., in the 1517 edition.
P. 254: Pico della Mirandola, one of the greatest of all the brilliant scholars of the Renaissance, and so famous for the precocity and versatility of his talents, was born 1463. After completing his studies at Bologna and elsewhere, he visited Rome, where he publicly exhibited a hundred propositions De omni re scribili, which he undertook to defend against all comers. The maturity of his powers he devoted to the study of religion and the Platonic philosophy. He died 1494, on the day of Charles VIII.'s entry into Florence.
P. 255: Ferdinando Francesco Avalos, Marquis de Pescaire, of a well-known Neapolitan family, began his career as a soldier in 1512 at the battle of Ravenna. Distinguished himself by the capture of Milan (1521) and numerous other brilliant feats of arms. Took an important part in the battle of Pavia, where François I. of France was taken prisoner. Wounded in that battle, and died in the same year, 1625. His wife was the celebrated Vittoria Colonna.
P. 257: Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. XV., Chap, vii. Herod the Great; died B. C. 4. He put to death his wife Mariamné, as well as her grandfather and his own sons by her.
P. 258: Shiraz, a town of Persia, capital of the Province of Pars, famous for its roses, wine and nightingales, sung by the Persian poets Hafiz and Saadi.
P. 258: Plutarch, Alexander, Chap. XXXIX.
P. 268: It is in his Observations de plusieurs singularités (Paris, 1554) that Belon reports this fact. (Liv. III., chap. x., p. 179.)
P. 261: The usual form is Ortiagon. The woman is the beautiful Queen Chiomara. (Cf. Livy, XXXVIII., cap. xxiv., and Boccaccio, De Claris mulieribus, LXXIV.) Chiomara, wife of Ortiagon, King of Galatia, was taken prisoner by the Romans when Cn. Manlius Vulso invaded Galatia, B. C. 189. The story is told by Polybius (XXII., 21).
P. 262: Suetonius, Cæsar, LII.
P. 263: Livy, XXX., cap. xv.
P. 263: Plutarch, Cato the Elder. Brantôme attributes the anecdote to Scipion.
P. 265: Charles de Lorraine, Cardinal de Guise, known as Cardinal de Lorraine, died in 1574. He played an important rôle at the Council of Trente. Brantôme refers to the truce of Vaucelles between Henri II. and the Emperor, which Cardinal Caraffa had succeeded in breaking in 1556. This passage had evidently been written before 1588, the year of the death of another Cardinal de Guise, the brother of Balafré.
P. 265: The beautiful Venitians are described by Vecellio as wearing exquisite gowns on holidays. (See Vecellio, Habiti antichi, Venice, 1590.)
P. 266: This passage is not in the Dies geniales by Alessandro, but in Herodotus, II., chap. ix.
P. 267: What Brantôme says of Flora is not true. The woman in question was not called Flora, but Acca Taruntia.
P. 269: Pausanius, Suetonius, and Manilius have not written special works on women. Brantôme is no doubt referring to the anecdotes that are found in their works.
P. 273: This princess was Catherine de'Medeci.
P. 275: The same story has been told of Mademoiselle, cousin german of Louis XIV., with this addition that she was in the habit of giving any of her pages who were tempted by her charms a few louis to enable them to satisfy their passion elsewhere.
P. 276: Suetonius, Vitellius, cap. ii.: "Messalina petit ut sibi pedes præberet excalceandos." Brantôme prefers to quote in his own manner.
P. 276: LVIIth Tale.
P. 276: Undoubtedly the grand prior François de Lorraine, who accompanied Mary Stuart to Scotland; however, D'Aumale and Remé d'Elbeuf also accompanied her.
P. 281: Philip II., of Spain, son of Charles the Fifth, born 1527; died 1588. The husband of Queen Mary of England.
P. 282: Béatrix Pacheco was lady of honor to Eleonor d'Autriche prior to 1544 with several other Spanish ladies; she became Countess d'Entremont through her marriage with Sébastien d'Entremont. Her daughter, the woman in question here, was Jacqueline, the second wife of Admiral de Coligny, against whom the enemies of her husband turned; she was not, however, beyond reproach.
P. 284: The description which follows was textually taken by Brantôme from account printed at Lyons, in 1549, entitled: "La magnificence de la superbe et triomphante entrée de la noble et antique cité de Lyon faicte au très-chrestien Roy de France Henry deuxiesme."
P. 286: Brazilian wood, known before the discovery of America. Brésil is a common noun here.
P. 287: The king's visit to Lyons took place September 18, 1548.
P. 288: La volte was a dance that had come from Italy in which the gentleman, after having made his partner turn two or three times, raised her from the floor in order to make her cut a caper in the air. This is the caper of which Brantôme is speaking.
P. 288: Paul de Labarthe, lord of Thermes, Field Marshal of France, died in 1562. (Montluc, Ruble edition, t. II., p. 55.)
P. 289: Scio (Chios) was the only island in the Orient where the women wore short dresses.
P. 298: Suetonius, Caligula, XXV. "Cæsonia was first the mistress and afterwards the wife of the Emperor Caligula. She was neither handsome nor young when Caligula fell in love with her; but she was a woman of the greatest licentiousness ... At the time he was married to Lollia Paulina, whom, however, he divorced in order to marry Cæsonia, who was with child by him, A. D. 38.... Cæsonia contrived to preserve the attachment of her imperial husband down to the end of his life; but she is said to have effected this by love-potions, which she gave him to drink, and to which some persons attributed the unsettled state of Caligula's mental powers during the latter years of his life. Cæsonia and her daughter (Julia Drusilla) were put to death on the same day that Caligula was murdered, A. D. 41."
P. 299: The Emperor Caracalla (M. Aurelius Antoninus) was the son of the Emperor Septimus Severus and was born at Lyons, at the time his father was Governor of Gallia Lugdunensis. Caracalla (like Caligula) is really only a nickname, derived from the long Gaulish cloak which he adopted and made fashionable. Reigned from Severus' death at York in 211 to his own assassination in 217. His brother Geta was at first associated with him in the Empire. Him he murdered, and is said to have suffered remorse for the act to the end of his life,—remorse from which he sought distraction in every kind of extravagant folly and reckless cruelty.
P. 299: Spartianus, Caracalla, Chap. x.
P. 300: This son was Geta.
P. 301: Béatrix was the daughter of Count Guillaume de Tenda; to her second husband, Phillipe Marie Visconti, she brought all the wealth of her first husband, Facino Cane. In spite of her ripe years, Béatrix was suspected of adultery with Michel Orombelli, and Phillipe Marie had them both killed. As a matter of fact this was a convenient way of appropriating Facino Cane's wealth.
P. 301: Collenuccio, liv. IV., anno 1194.
P. 301: Filippo Maria Visconti; born 1391, died 1447. Last Duke of Milan of the house of Visconti, the sovereignty passing at his death to the Sforzas.
P. 301: Facino (Bonifacio) Cane, the famous condottiere and despot of Alessandria, was born of a noble family about 1360. The principality he eventually acquired in N. Italy embraced, besides Alessandria, Pavia, Vercelli, Tortona, Varese, and all the shores of the Lago Maggiore. Died 1412.
P. 301: Mother of Frederick II.
P. 301: Pandolfo Collenuccio, famous as author, historian and juris-consult towards the end of the XIVth century. Born at Pesaro, where he spent most of his life, and where he was executed (1500) by order of Giovanni Sforza, in consequence of his intrigues with Cæsar Borgia, who was anxious to acquire the sovereignty of that city.
P. 302: Daughter of Bernardin de Clermont, Vicomte de Tallard.
P. 302: Brantôme undoubtedly aims here at Marguerite de Clermont.
P. 303: Jean de Bourdeille.
P. 303: Renée, daughter of Louis XII., married to the Duke of Ferraro. She was ungainly but very learned.
P. 304: Marguerite d'Angoulème.
P. 312: Meung-sur-Loire, dep. Loiret, on right bank of the Loire, eleven miles below Orléans.
P. 312: Eclaron, dép. .
P. 312: Leonor, Duke de Longueville.
P. 312: François de Lorraine, Duke de Guise.
P. 313: Louis I., Prince de Condé.
P. 313: Captain Averet, died at Orléans in 1562.
P. 313: Compère was the name King Henri II. gave the Constable de Montmorency.
P. 316: Octavius is translated Octavie by Brantôme. Cf. Suetonius, Caligula, XXXVI., and Octavius Augustus, LXIX.
P. 316: Suetonius, Nero, XXXIV.
P. 318: Brantôme undoubtedly refers to Henri III. and to the Duke d'Alençon, his brother.
P. 319: Plutarch names this woman Aspasia and makes her a priestess of Diana. Cf. Artaxerxes-Mnemon, Chap. XXVI.
P. 319: Collenuccio, liv. V., p. 208.
P. 319: Artaxerxes I. (Longimanus), King of Persia for forty years, B. C. 465 to 425; he succeeded his father Xerxes, having put to death his brother Darius.
P. 320: Wife of François d'Orléans.
P. 320: Diane died at the age of 66, April 22, 1566; she was born in 1499.
P. 320: Jacqueline de Rohan-Gié, married to François d'Orléans, Marquis de Rothelin.
P. 321: François Robertet, widow of Jean Babou, whose second husband was Field Marshal d'Aumont.
P. 321: Catherine de Clermont, wife of Guy de Mareuil, grandmother of the Duke du Montpensier, François, surnamed the Prince-Dauphin.
P. 321: Gabrielle de Mareuil, married to Nicolas d'Anjou, Marquis de Mézières.
P. 321: Jacqueline or Jacquette de Montberon.
P. 321: Françoise Robertet, widow of Jean Babon de la Bourdaisière.
P. 322: Paule Viguier, baronne de Fontenille.
P. 322: Françoise de Longwi.
P. 322: The praise of this Toulousean beauty is to be found in the very rare opuscule by G. Minot, De la beauté, 1587.
P. 323: Anne d'Este. She was not exempt from the faults of a corrupt court.
P. 323: This journey occurred in 1574.
P. 323: Louis XII.
P. 324: Jean d'O, seigneur de Maillebois.
P. 324: It is not François Gonzagne, but Guillaume Gonzagne, his brother and successor to the duchy of Mantoue, born in 1538, died in 1587.
P. 325: He returns here to the Duchess de Guise.
P. 326: At the wedding of Charles Emmanuel, married to Catherine, daughter of Philip II. of Spain.
P. 327: Marie d'Aragon, wedded to Alphonse d'Avalos, Marquis del Guasto or Vasto.
P. 327: Henri II., son of Francis I., and husband of Catherine de Medici. Born 1518. Came to throne in 1547; accidentally killed in a tourney by Montgommeri 1559.
P. 327: Paul IV. (of the illustrious Neapolitan family of Caraffa) was raised to the chair of St. Peter in 1558; died 1559.
P. 327: This viceroy was Don Perafan, Duke d'Alcala, who entered Naples June 12, 1559.
P. 328: Claude de Lestrange?
P. 331: Brantôme's memory fails him. Of the two daughters of the Marquess, Béatrix, the first married Count de Potenza; the other, Prince de Sulmone.
P. 336: His son was François Ferdinand, Viceroy of Sicily, died in 1571.
P. 337: Soliman II.
End of Volume One.