Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/513

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498
PROVENÇAL LITERATURE


There is no doubt they betook themselves to poetry not merely for their own pleasure, but for the sake of the gifts to be obtained from the nobles whose courts they frequented. A very different position was occupied by such important persons as William of Poitiers, Raimbaut of Orange, the Viscount of Saint Antonin, William of Berga and Blacatz, who made poetry for their own amusement, but contributed not a little, by thus becoming troubadours, to raise the profession.

The profession itself was entirely dependent on the existence and 'prosperity of the feudal courts. The troubadours could hardly expect to obtain a livelihood from any other quarter than the generosity of the great. It will consequently be well to mention the more important at least of those princes who are known to have been patrons and some of them practise rs of the poetic art. They are arranged approximately in geographical order, and after each are inserted the names of those troubadours with whom they were connected. France.-ELEANOR or GUIENNE, Bernart de Ventadour (Ventadorn); HENRY CURTMANTLE, son of Henry II. of England, Bertran de Born (?); RICHARD CCEUR DE L1oN, Arnaut Daniel, Peire Vidal, Folquet of Marseilles, Gaucelm Faidit; ERMENGARDE or NARBONNE (1143-1192), Bernart de Ventadour, Peire Rogier, Peire d'Alvernha; RAIMON V., count of Toulouse (1143-1194), Bernart de Ventadour, Peire Rogier, Peire Raimon, Hugh Brunet, Peire Vidal, Folquet of Marseilles, Bernart de Durfort; RAIMOIQ VI., count of Toulouse (1194-1222), Raimon de Miraval, Aimeric de Pegulhan, Aimeric de Belenoi, Ademar lo Negre; ALPHONSE II., count of Provence (1185-1209), Elias de Barjols; RAIMON BERENGER IV., count of Provence (1209-1245), Sordel; BARRAL, viscount of Marseilles (d. c. 1192), Peire Vidal, Folquet de Marseilles; WILLIAM VIII., lord. of Montpellier (1172-1204), Peire Raimon, Arnaut de Mareuil, Folquet de Marseilles, Guiraut de Calanson, Aimeric de Sarlat; ROBERT, dauphin of Auvergne (1169-1234), Peirol, Perdigon, Pierre de Maensac, Gaucelm Faidit; Gu1L1.AuME DU BAUS, prince of Orange (1182-1218), Raimbaut de Vacqueiras, Perdigon; SAVARIC DE MAULEON (1200-1230), Gaucelm de Puicibot, Hugh de Saint Circq; BLACATZ, a Provengal noble (1200?-1236), Cadenet, Ioan d'Aubusson, Sordel, Guillem Figueira; HENRY I., count of Rodez (1208-1222?), Hugh de Saint Circq; perhaps HUGH IV., count of Rodez (1222?-1274) and HENRY II., count of Rodez (1274-1302), Guiraut Riquier, Folquet de Lunel, Serveri de Girone, Bertran Carbonel; NUNYO SANCHEZ, count of Roussillon (d. 1241), Aimeric de Belenoi; BERNARD IV., count of Astarac (1249-1291), Guiraut Riquier, Amanieu de Sescas.

Spain.-ALPHONSE II., king of Aragon (1 162-1196), Peire Rogier, Peire Raimon, Peire Vidal, Cadenet, Guiraut de Cabreira, Elias de Barjols, the monk of Montaudon, Hugh Brunet; PETER II., king of Aragon (1196-1213), Raimon de Miraval, Aimeric de Pegulhan, Perdigon, Ademar lo Negre, Hugh of Saint Circq; ]AMEs I., king of Aragon (1213-1276), Peire Cardinal, Bernart Sicart de Maruejols, Guiraut Riquier, At de Mons; PETER III., king of Aragon (1276-1285), Paulet of Marseilles, Guiraut Riquier, Serveri de Girone; Atruoxso IX., king of Leon (1138-1214), Peire Rogier, Guiraut de Borneil, Aimeric de Pegulhan, Hugh de Saint Circq; ALPHONSO X., king of Castile (1252-1284), Bertran de Lamanon, Bonifaci Calvo, Guiraut Riquier, Folquet de Lunel, Arnaut Plages, Bertran Carbonel.

Italy.-BoN1rAcE II, marquis of Montferrat (1192-1207), Peire Vidal, Raimbaut de Vacqueiras, Elias Cairel, Gaucelm Faidit (?); FREDERICK II., emperor (1215-1250), Jean d'Aubusson, Aimeric de Pegulhan, Guillem Figueira; AZZO VI., marquis of Este (1196-1212). Aimeric de' Pegulhan, Rambertin de Buvalelli; Azzo VIII., marquis of Este (1215-1264). Aimeric de Pegulhan. The first thing that strikes one in this list is that, while the troubadours find protectors in Spain and Italy, they do not seem to have been welcomed in French-speaking countries. This, however, must not be taken too absolutely. Provengal poetry was appreciated in the north of France. There is reason to believe that when Constance, daughter of one of the counts of Arles, was married in Q98 to Robert, king of France, she brought along with her Provencal jongleurs. Poems by troubadours are quoted in the French romances of the beginning of the 13th century; some of them are transcribed in the old collections of French songs, and the preacher Robert de Sorbon informs us in a curious passage that one day a jongleur sang a poem by Folquet of Marseilles at the court of the king of France. But in any case it is easy to understand that, the countries of the langue d'oui having a full developed literature of their own suited to the taste of the people, the troubadours generally referred to go to regions where they had less to fear in the way of competition.

The decline and fall of troubadour poetry was mainly due to political causes. When about the beginning of the 13th century the Albigensian War had ruined a large number of the nobles and reduced to lasting poverty a part of the south of France, the profession of troubadour ceased to be lucrative. It was then that many of those poets went to spend their last days in the north of Spain and Italy, where Provengal poetry had for more than one generation been highly esteemed. Following their example, other poets who were not natives of the south of France began to compose in Provengal, and this fashion continued till, about the middle of the 13th century, they gradually abandoned the foreign tongue in northern Italy, and somewhat later in Catalonia, and took to singing the same airs in the local dialects. About the same time in the Provencal re'gion the Hame of poetry had died out save in a few places-Narbonne, Rodez, Foix and Astarac-where it kept burning feebly for a little longer. In the I4th century composition in the language of the country was still practised; but the productions of this period are mainly works for instruction and edification, translations from Latin or sometimes even from French, with an occasional romance. As for the poetry of the troubadours, it was dead for ever. Form.-Originally the poems of the troubadours were intended to be sung. The poet usually composed the music as well as the words; and in several cases he owed his fame more to his musical than to his literary ability. Two manuscripts preserve specimens of the music of the troubadours, but, though the subject has been recently investigated, we are hardly able to form a clear opinion of the originality and of the merits of these musical compositions. The following are the principal poetic forms which the troubadours employed. The oldest and most usual generic term is vers, by which is understood any composition intended to be sung, no matter what the subject. At the close of the 12th century it became customary to call all verse treating of love canso-the name vers being then more generally reserved for poems on other themes. The sirventesc differs from the 'vers and the camo only by its subject, being for the most part devoted to moral and political topics. Peire Cardinal is celebrated for the s-irventescs he composed against the clergy of his time. The political poems of Bertran de Born are sirventescs. There is reason to believe that originally this word meant simply a poem composed by a sirvent (Lat. serviens) or manat-arms. The sin/entesc is very frequently composed in the form, sometimes even with rhymes, of a love song having acquired some popularity, so that it might be sung to the same air. The tenson is a debate between two interlocutors, each of whom has a stanza in turn. The partimen (Fr. jeu parti) is also a poetic debate, but it differs from the tension in so far that the range of debate is limited. In the first stanza one of the partners proposes two alternatives; the other partner chooses one of them and defends it, the opposite side remaining to be defended by the original propound er. Often in a final coupler a judge or arbiter is appointed to decide between the parties. This poetic game is mentioned by William, count of Poitiers, at the end of the 11th century. The pastor eta, afterwards paslorela, is in general an account of the love adventures of a knight with a shepherdess. All these classes have one form capable of endless variations: five or more stanzas and one or two envois. The dansa and balada, intended to mark the time in dancing, are pieces with a refrain. The alba, which has also a refrain, is, as the name indicates, a waking or morning song at the dawning of the day. All those classes are in stanzas. The descort is not thus divided, and consequently it must be set to music right through. Its name is derived from the fact that, its component parts not being equal, there is a kind of “ discord ” between them. It is generally reserved for themes of love. Other kinds of lyric poems, sometimes with nothin new about them except the name, were developed in the south of France; but those here mentioned are the more important.

Narrative Poetry.-Although the strictly lyric poetry of the troubadours forms the most original part of Provengal literature, it must not be supposed that the remainder is of trifling importance.

Narrative poetry, especially, received in the south of France a great development, and, thanks to recent discoveries, a considerable body of it has already become known. Several classes must be distinguished: the chanson de geste, legendary or apparently historical, the romance of adventure and the novel. Northern France remains emphatically the native count of the chanson de geste; but, although in the south different socig conditions, a more delicate taste, and a higher state of civilization prevented a similar profusion of tales of war and heroic deeds, Provengal literature has some highly important specimens of this class. The first place belongs to Girart de Roussillon, a poem of ten thousand verses, which relates the struggles of Charles Martel with his powerful