'San faille, de touz les pechiez,
don li chetis est antechiez,
a Dieu les les, bien s'an chevisse.
4Quant li plera, si l'an punisse.
Mes por ceus dom Amors se plaint,
car g'en ai bien oï le plaint,
'Naturally, I leave to God all the sins with which the wretch is stained; let God take care of them and punish them when He pleases. But of those of whom Love complains (for I have indeed heard the complaint),
je meïsmes, tant con je puis,
8m'an plaing et m'an doi plaindre, puis
qu'il me renient le treü
que tretuit home m'ont deü
et tourjorz doivent et devront
12tant con mes oustilz recevront
I complain, myself, as much I can, and I should do so because they have denied me the tribute that all men have owed me, and always do and always will owe me as long as they receive my tools.
Genyus, li bien anpalez,
en l'ost au dieu d'Amours alez,
qui moult de moi servir se peine
16et tant m'aime, g'en sui certaine;
que par son franc queur debonere
plus se veust ver mes euvres trere
que ne fet fers vers aïmant.
20Dites li que saluz li mant,
et a dame Venus, m'amie,
puis a toute la baronie,
fors seulemant a Faus Semblant,
24por qu'il s'aut james assemblant
avec les felons orguilleus,
les ypocrites perilleus,
des quex l'Escriture recete
28que ce sunt li pseudo prophete.
Si rai je moult soupeçoneuse
Attenance d'estre orguilleuse
et d'estre a Faus Samblant samblable,
32tout samble ele humble et charitable.
Faus Samblant, s'il plus est trouvez
avec tex traïstres prouvez,
ja ne soit en ma saluance,
36ne li ne s'amie Attenance.
O Genius, with the gift of speech go among the army to the God of Love, who strives mightily to serve me and who, I am certain of it, loves me so much that with his open, good natured heart he wants to draw close to my works more than iron does to a magnet. Tell him that I send greetings to him and to my friend, the lady Venus, and to his entire barony as well, except False Seeming alone, because he always goes congregating with those proud criminals, those dangerous hypocrites of whom Scripture says that they are pseudo-prophets. And I suspect Abstinence to be very proud and like False Seeming, however humble and charitable she seems.
If False Seeming is found any more in the company of such confirmed traitors, may neither he nor his friend Abstinence take part in my salvation.
Trop font tel gent a redouter,
bien les deüt Amours bouter
hors de son ost, s'il li pleüst,
40se certeinement ne seüst
qu'il li fussent si necessaire
qu'il ne peüst sanz eus riens faire.
Mes s'il sunt advocat por eus
44en la cause au fins amoureus,
don leur mal saient alegié,
cest barat leur pardone gié.
Alez, amis, au dieu d'Amors
48porter mes plainz et mes clamors,
non pas por ce qu'il droit m'an face,
mes qu'il se confort et solace
quant il orra ceste nouvele,
52qui mout li devra estre bele
et a noz anemis greveine;
et lest ester, ne li soit peine,
le soussi que mener l'an voi.
56Dites li que la vos anvoi
por touz ceus esconmenier
qui nous veulent contrarier.
Et por assoldre les vaillanz
60qui de bon queur sunt travaillanz
au regles droitemant ansivre
qui sunt escrites an mon livre,
et formant a ce s'estudient
64que leur lignages monteplient
et qui pensent de boien amer,
car ges doi touz amis clamer,
Such people are very much to be feared. If Love had not been so sure that they were so necessary to him that he could do nothing without them, he should have thrown them out of his army, if it pleased him. But if there are advocates to lessen their wickedness in the case for courtly lovers, I pardon them their fraud.
Go, my friend, to the God of Love, carrying my complaints and my pleas, not in order for him to do me justice, but in order that he may take comfort and solace when he hears this news, which should be very pleasing to him and harmful to our enemies, and in order that he may cease to be troubled by the worry with which I see him occupied. Tell him that I send you there to excommunicate all those who want to work against us, and that I send you to absolve the valiant ones who work with good heart to follow strictly the rules that are written in my book, those stalwarts who strive mightily to multiply their lineages and who think about loving well, for I must call them all my friends
por leur ames metre en delices,
68mes qu'il se gardent bien des vices
que j'ai ci devant racontez,
qu'il effacent toutes bontez.
Pardon qui bien soit soffisanz
72leur donez, non pas de ·x· anz,
nou priseraient un denier,
mes a tourjorz pardon plenier
de tretout quan que fet avront,
76quant bien confessier s'en savront.
Et quant en l'ost serez venuz,
ou vos serez mout chiers tenuz,
puis que saluez les m'avroiz
80si con saluer les savroiz,
publiez leur, en audiance
ce pardon et ceste santance,
que je vueill que ci soit escrite.'
in order to delight their souls. But they are to guard themselves well against the vices that I have told you about before, for they destroy all goodness. Give them a pardon that is fully satisfactory, not for ten years, for they would not think it worth a penny, but a full pardon forever for everything that they have done when they know fully how to confess their sins.
And after you will have joined the army, where you will be held very dear, and after you have greeted them for me as you know how, publicly announce the pardon and judgment that I wish to be written here.'
84Lors escrit cil, et cele dite,
puis la seele et la li baille,
et li prie que tost s'an aille,
mes qu'ele soit ainceis assoste
88de ce qui son panser li oste.
Then he wrote and she spoke, and afterward she sealed it, gave it to him, and begged him to go off immediately as long as she might be absolved for what had been taken off her mind.
Si tost conme ot esté confesse
dame Nature, la deesse,
si con la loi veust et li us,
92li vaillanz prestres Genyus
tantost l'assolt et si li done
penitance avenant et bone
selonc la grandeur dou forfet
96qu'il pansoit qu'ele eüst forfet.
As soon as the goddess Lady Nature had confessed, then straightway, as law and custom wish it, the valiant priest Genius absolved her and gave her a penance that was suitable and good, one that accorded with the magnitude of the infamy that he thought she had committed.
Anjoint li qu'ele demourast
dedanz sa forge et labourast
si conme ainz labourer souloit
100quant de neant ne se douloit,
et son servise adés feïst
tant qu'autre conseill i meïst
li rois qui tout peut adrecier
104et tout fere et tout depecier.
'Sire, dist ele, volantiers.'
- 'Et je m'an vois andemantiers,'
fet Genyus, 'plus que le cours
108par fere aus fins amanz secours,
mes que desafublez me saie
de ceste chasuble de saie,
de ceste aube et de cest rochet.'
112Lors va tout pandre a ·i· crochet,
et vest sa robe seculiere,
qui mains anconbreuse li ere,
si con s'il alast queroler,
116et prant eles por tost voler.
He enjoined her to remain within her forge and labour as she was accustomed to do when she had no sorrow; he told her always to perform her service in this way until the King who can arrange everything and make and destroy everything might give some other counsel.
'Sire,' she said, 'I will do so willingly.'
'And meanwhile,' said Genius, 'I will go off very quickly to bring help to courtly lovers. But first I will take off this silk chasuble, this alb and surplice.' Then he went to hang everything on a hook and dressed in his less cumbersome worldly clothing, as if he were going off to a carol. He then took wings to fly away immediately.
Lors remaint Nature en sa forge,
prent ses marteaus et fiert et forge
tretout ausinc conme devant;
120et Genyus plus tost que vant
ses eles bat et plus n'atant,
en l'ost s'an est venuz a tant.
Mes Faus Samblant n'i treuve pas,
124partiz s'an iert plus que le pas
des lors que la vielle fu prise
qui m'ouvri l'uis de la porprise
Nature remained in her forge, took her hammers and struck out and shaped everything as she had done before, while Genius, with no more delay, beat his wings faster than the wind. He came quickly to the army, but did not find False Seeming there. He had left in a hurry as soon as the Duenna was captured, the one who opened the door of the enclosure for me
et tant m'ot fet avant aler
128qu'a Bel Acueill me lut paler.
Il n'i vost onques plus atandre,
ainz s'an foui san congié prandre.
Mes, san faille, c'est chose atainte,
132il treuve Attenance Contrainte,
qui de tout son poair s'apreste
de courre aprés a si grant heste,
quant el voit le prestre venir,
136qu'anviz la peüst l'an tenir;
car o prestre ne se meïst,
por quoi nus autres la veïist,
qui li donast ·iiii· besanz,
140se Faus Samblant ne fust presanz.
Genyus, san plus de demeure,
en icele meïsmes heure,
si con il dut touz les salue,
144et l'acheson de sa venue,
san riens metre en oubli, leur conte.
Je ne vos quier ja fere conte
de la grant joie qu'il li firent
148quant ces noveles antandirent,
ainz vueill ma parole abregier
por voz oreilles alegier,
car maintes foiz cil qui preesche,
152quant briefmant ne se despeesche,
an fet les auditeurs aler
par trop prolixemant paler.
and helped me advance to the point where I was allowed to speak to Fair Welcoming; he had not wanted to wait any longer, but had fled without asking leave. There is no question, however, that Genius found Constrained Abstinence, who, when she saw the priest coming, got ready with all her might to run after False Seeming in such great haste that she could hardly be held back. In fact, she would not have been seen in the priest's company even if someone had given her four bezants, unless it was in the presence of False Seeming.
At that same time, Genius, not delaying any further, greeted them all as he was supposed to and, forgetting nothing, told them the reason for his coming. I shall not try to make a story out of the great joy that they showed when they heard this news; instead I want to shorten my account and lighten your ears; many times, when a preacher does not dispatch briefly, he makes his audience leave by being too prolix in his speaking.
Tantost li diex d'Amours affuble
156a Genius une chasuble;
Straightway the God of Love put a chasuble on Genius.
anel li baille et croce et mitre
plus clere que cristal ne vitre.
N'i quierent autre paremant,
160tant ont grant antalentemant
d'oïr cele sentance lire.
Venus, qui ne cessoit de rire
ne ne se poait tenir quaie,
164tant par estoit jolive et gaie,
por plus anforcier la natheme
quant il avra feni son theme,
li met ou poign ·i· ardant cierge,
168qui n'estoit pas de cire vierge.
Genyus, san plus terme metre,
s'est lors por lire mieuz la letre
selonc les fez devant contez
172seur ·i· grant eschaufaut montez,
He gave him a ring, a crosier, and a mitre clearer than crystal or glass. They had so great a desire to hear his judgment read that they sought no other preparation. Venus, who was so delighted and gay that she could not stop laughing, could not keep quiet. She placed a burning torch in his hand, which was not of virgin wax, in order to enforce his anathema when he would have finished his speech.
Without taking any more time, Genius then mounted a large platform, the better to read the text, according to the things recounted before.
et li baron sidrent par terre,
n'i vostrent autres sieges querre.
Et cil sa chartre leur desploie
176et sa main antour soi tournoie
et fet signe et dit qu'il se tesent;
et cil, qui ses paroles plesent,
s'antreguignent et s'antreboutent.
180Atant s'apesent, si escoutent,
et par tex parole commance
La diffinitive santance :
The barons sat on the ground and didn't want to seek any other seats. Genius unfolded the charter, made a sign with his hand all around him, and called for silence. Those whom his words pleased looked at and nudged one another. Then they quieted down immediately and listened.
And with these words, the definitive sentence began:
'De l'auctorité de nature
184Qui de tout le monde a la cure
Comme vicaire et connestable
A l'anpereeur pardurable
'By the authority of Nature, who has the care of the whole world, as vicar and constable of the eternal emperor,
Qui siet en la tour souveraine
188De la noble cité mondaine,
Dont il fist nature ministre,
Qui touz les biens i amenistre
Par l'influance des esteles,
192Car tout est ordené par eles
Selonc les droiz anperiaus
Dont nature est officiaus,
Qui toutes choses a fet nestre
196Puis que cist mondes vint an estre
Et leur dona terme ansemant
De grandeur et d'acroissemant,
N'onques ne fist riens par noiant
200Souz le ciel qui va tournoiant
Entour la terre san demeure,
Si hauz desouz comme deseure,
Ne ne cesse ne nuit ne iour
204Mes touriorz tourne san seiour
Saiez tuit escommenié
Li delleal, li renié,
Et condampné san nul respit,
208Qui les euvres ont en despit,
Soit de grant gent soit de menue,
Par cui nature est soutenue
Et cil qui de toute sa force
212De garder nature s'efforce
Et qui de bien amer se peine
Sanz nule pensee vileine,
Mes que leaument i travaille,
216Floriz en paradis s'an aille.
who sits in the sovereign tower of the noble city of the world, of which he made Nature the minister; Nature who administers all good things through the influence of the stars, for they ordain everything according to the imperial justice that Nature executes; Nature, who has given birth to all things since this world came into being, who gives them their allotted time for growth and increase, and who never for nothing made anything under the heaven that continues without delay to turn around the earth, as high below as above, and never stops, night or day, but turns always without rest - by the authority of Nature, all those disloyal apostates, of high rank or low, who hold in despite the acts by which Nature is supported, be you excommunicated and condemned without any delay. And let him who strives with all his force to maintain Nature, who struggles to love well, without any base thought, but with lawful labour, go off to paradise decked with flowers.
Mes qu'il se face bien confés,
J'en praing seur moi tretout son fes
De tel poair com iou puis prandre;
220Ja pardon n'anportera mandre.
Mar leur ait nature doné,
Au2 faus dont i'ai ci sarmoné,
Greffes, tables, marteaus, enclumes,
224Selonc ses lais et ses coustumes,
Et sos, a pointes bien aguës
A l'usage de ses charrues,
Et iaschieres, non pas perreuses,
228Mes planteïves et herbeuses
Qui d'arer et de trefoïr
Ont mestier, qui an veult ioïr,
Quant il n'an veulent laborer
232Pour lui servir et honourer,
Ainz veulent nature destruire
Quant ses anclumes veulent fuire,
Et ses tables et ses iaschieres
236Qu'el fist precieuses et chieres,
Pour ses choses continuer,
Que mort ne les peüst tuer.
Bien deüssent avoir grant honte
240Cil delleal dont je vous conte,
Quant il ne daignent la main metre
En3 tables pour escriure letre
Ne pour fere anprainte qui pere.
244Moult sunt d'antancion amere,
Qu'el devandront toutes mossues
S'el sunt en oiseuses tenues.
As long as he makes a good confession, I will take on me all his deeds with such power as I can bring to them, and he will never have to bear the smallest pardon for them.
It was an evil hour when Nature, in accordance with her laws and customs, gave to those false ones of whom I have been speaking their styluses and tablets, hammers and anvils, the ploughshares with good sharp points for the use of their ploughs, and the fallow fields, not stony but rich and verdurous, that need to be ploughed and dug deep if one wants to enjoy them; it is an evil hour when they do not want to labour at serving and honouring Nature, but wish rather to destroy her by preferring to flee from her anvils, her tablets and fallow fields, which she made so precious and so dear in order to continue things so that Death might not kill them.
These disloyal creatures of whom I tell should be greatly ashamed when they do not deign to put their hands to the tablets to write a letter or make an imprint that shows. The tablets have a very cruel future, since they will become all rusty if they are kept idle.
Quant san cop de martel ferir
248Lessent les anclumes perir,
Or s'i peut la roueille anbatre,
Sanz oïr marteler ne batre.
Les iaschieres, qui n'i refiche
252Le soc, redemourront4 an friche.
Vis les puisse l'an anfoir,
Quant les oustiz osent foir
Que Diex de sa main antailla
256Quant a ma dame les bailla,
Qui pour ce les li vost baillier
Qu'el seüt autex antaillier
Pour doner estre pardurables
260Au5 creatures corrompables.
Moult euvrent mal, et bien le samble,
Car se tretuit li homme ansanble
·Lx· anz foir les voloient,
264James home n'angendreroient!
Et se ce plest a Dieu, san faille,
Donc veult il que li mondes faille
Ou les terres demourront nues
268A peuplaier aus bestes mues
S'il6 nouveaus homes ne fesoit
Ou ceuls feïst resouciter
272Pour la terre arriers habiter.
Et se cil vierges se tenoient
·Lx· anz, derechief faudroient
Si que, se ce li devoit plere,
276Touriorz les avroit a refere.
Now that they let the anvils perish without striking a blow with the hammer, the rust can bring them down, and no one will hear them hammered or beaten. If no one thrusts the ploughshare into the fallow fields, they will remain fallow. These people might as well be buried alive when they dare to flee from the tools that God shaped with his hand when he gave them to my lady. He wanted to give them to her so that she would know how to fashion similar ones in order to give eternal existence to creatures subject to corruption.
It seems certain that these disloyal creatures work great evil, because if all men together wished to avoid their tools for sixty years, men would never engender. If this situation is pleasing to God, then he certainly wants the world to fail or the lands to remain bare, peopled with dumb animals, unless he made new men, if it pleased him to make them again, or revived the others to repopulate the earth. Then if these people kept themselves virgin for sixty years, they would perish again, so that, if God should please, he would always have to make them again.
Et s'il iert qui dire vossist
Que Dex le vouloir en tossist,
A l'un par grace, a l'autre non.
280Pour ce qu'il a si bon renon
N'onques ne cessa de bien fere,
Donc li redevroit il bien plere
Que chascuns autretel feïst
284Si qu'autel grace an lui meïst.
Si ravré ma conclusion
Que tout aille a perdicion.'
And if there were anyone who wanted to say that God in his grace took the desire away from one and not from another, then, since his renown is so great and he has never ceased to do good, it should be pleasing to him to create everyone the same, so that he might put such grace in them. Thus I come back to my conclusion that everything would go to perdition.'