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verses in each other's praise. Those of the Countess of Die were full of boasts of the beauty and bravery of the gallant knight to whom she had given her heart, of his noble extraction, unspotted honor, and dexterity in the use of arms. These verses Adhemar constantly carried about his person, and often sung stanzas of them in the company of knights and · ladies. With all this encouragement, however, and these assurances that his affection was reciprocated, he contrived to tall sick from the violence of his passion. The Countess visited bim on his death bed, he kissed her hand, of course, and expired. The mother of the Countess erected a splendid mausoleum to his memory, on which was engraved the story of his feats of arms; and the Countess herself became a nun in the convent of St. Honorius of Tharascon, and died of grief.
This is a ridiculous story enough; that of Fouquet of Marseilles is more probable. Fouquet, the son of a rich Genoese merchant, being somewhat distinguished by his courage and his talent for Provensal poetry, was retained at the court of Beral des Baulx, lord of Marseilles, and loaded with favours. The return he made for this kindness was an attempt to corrupt the wife of his friend and patron, in which however he did not succeed. On the death of Beral and his lady, he retired to a monastery of the Cistirtian order, was chosen Abbé of Thorondet in Provence, then Bishop of Marseilles, and finally Archbishop of Toulouse. In this last station, he became exceedingly furious against heretics, headed in person the war of extermination against the Albigenses, about the year 1198, and committed murders and robberies innumerable.
Anselme Faydit was of a more cheerful disposition, and provided he was well satisfied with the quantity and quality of his viands, troubled himself very little about controverted points in theology.
“He sung in the very best manner, was a good Provensal poet, and composed exceedingly well both the words and the tunes of his ballads. He was one who always made good cheer, living without care for the future, by reason whereof he lost all his substance at dice. He then became a noted comic poet, selling his comedies and tragedies for three or four thousand livres each, and sometimes more, according to the invention, whereby he gained large sums of money. He was so liberal, lavish, and gluttonous in his eating and drinking, that he squandered all that he gained by his poetry, and became fat beyond measure. He was at one time in great misery and poverty,
not receiving gifts from any person, until Richard King of England took him into his service, with whom he remained till his death in 1189, receiving many fair and rich presents. He married Guilhamone of Soliers, a lady of a noble Provensal family, whom he had enticed by fair speeches from a convent of nuns in Provence, and carried about with him to the courts of princes. She was beautiful, learned, and well instructed in all excellent accomplishments, and sung exceeding well the songs that her Anselme made. But on account of the dissolute life they led together, she became as fat as he, and being overtaken with sickness, died."-p. 62, 63.
Anselme, however, does not seem to have been inconsolable for the death of his wife. He wandered from the court of one prince to that of another, every where received with caresses, and loaded with presents, eating and drinking to his heart's content, jesting, laughing, and singing, and selling his tragedies and comedies, which, by the way, were only a kind of ballads, and died at length in a ripe and corpulent old age. While Anselme was thus squandering the gifts of his patrons, Arnaud de Marveil was heaping them together. He was a gentleman of a decayed family in Provence, who on receiving his education, went to the court of Roger II. Viscount of Beziers, where he became enamoured of the Countéss, composed verses in her praise, and sung them in her presence, but from a feeling of modesty, attributed their composition to others. His passion for the Countess seems to have been platonic enough as respected her person, but less refined and spiritual as respected her goods and chattels. He soon saw that he was not likely to make his fortune as a singer of other men's ballads, and, “ being constrained by his passion," as Nostradamus expresses it, he avowed himself an original poet, and came out with a flaming sonnet, addressed to the Countess, in which he implores her to listen to his virtuous addresses, and compassionately grant his just demands:
“This sonnet had so much virtue and efficacy with the Countess, that no longer rejecting the chaste prayers of Arnaud, she condescended and listened to them graciously; wherefore she furnished him with clothes, and arms, and horses, and held his poems at a high price and value."-p. 66.
Rambaud de Vaqueiras was not so successful with his mistress. She gave him a little encouragement at first, but afterwards withdrew it entirely.
“Wherefore Rambaud, moved with poetic fury, made a poem in divers languages, to correspond with his unhappy case-saying therein, that in like manner as he had changed her opinion of him, so he had changed languages. The first stanza was written in Provensal, the second in the Tuscan dialect, the third in French, the fourth in Gascon, the fifth in Spanish, and the final stanza in the said five languages mingled together."p. 79, 80.
Rambaud survived this paroxysm of poetic fury, and afterwards accompanied Boniface Ill. Marquis of Montferrat, in the fourth crusade against the infidels. The poet signalized himself on this occasion, by acts of the most heroic valour, was made a knight, and received an important post in the government of Thessalonica.
Pierre Vidal, or Peyre Vidal according to the Provensal orthography, has been called the maddest lover and the wisest poet among all the troubadours.
“ He was a good and sovereign musician, a delectable poet in the Provensal language, and the most ready to invent and compose that had been known for a long time. He was a great boaster; every thing that he saw which pleased him, he thought and called his own; he sung enormous and incredible follies of love and of arms, and spoke evil of every body. He went to the court of René, prince of Marseilles, a patron of the Provensal poets, who took him with him to the Holy Land in 1227, where he became enamoured of a beautiful Greek lady, and married her. And they made him believe that she was niece of the emperor of Constantinople, and that by reason thereof all the empire of the east belonged to him. And he, giving credit to all this, applied all the gold and silver that he gained by his poetry, to the building of ships to go the conquest of his vain empire, and changed the imperial arms, gules, to a trident of gold, giving himself the title of Emperor, and his wife that of Empress. He was in love with all the ladies he saw, and made love to them all, and offered his services to them all. He had such an opinion of himself, that he was not ashamed to lay his commands on them, as their lord and master, and believed that they were all dying to have him for their lover, and that he was the most renowned knight in the world, and the most beloved of the ladies. In one of his songs, he boasts that neither snow, nor rain, nor dark tempests, shall hinder him from executing his high and glorious enterprises; and he compares himself to Gawain, in that all which he takes or touches he breaks and grinds to powder, and adds, that he has only to go the conquest of his empire to make the whole world tremble.”—pp. 97, 99. VOL. I.
The poems of Pierre Vidal have been praised for the beauty of the sentiment, and the numerousness of the verse. The following is his personification of that passion, which divided the hearts of the Troubadours with the thirst of military glory. The Love of Pierre Vidal is not Love the baby-such as he was represented in the pastoral age, and by those who prattle of his power and his emblems at the present day, wearing the wings of a bird at his shoulders, and carrying a bow, the weapon of the earliest times, in his hands. It is Love grown up-the gallant and graceful knight-such as he was wont to bow in the courts of princes, and combat in the presence of bright eyes at the tournament. “ The earth was sown with early flowers, thie heavens were clear and
The sketch given by Nostradamus of the life of William Durant, is not a little edifying, -inasmuch, in the first place, as it shows that the one may be a tolerable poet, and yet an excellent lawyer; and, in the second place, as it preserves a very sound maxim of a very wise man.
“He was the greatest jurisconsult of his time, and more famous than any one who has written after him, as well in the theory as in the practice of the law, on account of his knowledge, in which, some have called him the speculator, and others the father of practice. In his youth, he applied himself to the reading of the best books that could be found, and lived in a continual sobriety of life, which was a means of singular efficacy towards the strengthening of his memory. And every one was in admiration of the goodness of his memory, for when he had read any delectable book in the Provensal, whether it were prose or rhyme, he was able to recite it immediately, word for word. He held, that gluttony and drunkenness stupified the understanding, and altogether offuscated and darkened the recollection. He made many beautiful poems in praise of a lady of the house of Balbs, in the Provensal language, in which he was well versed, and an excellent poet. Saint Cesary saith, that he often used this sentence, in the advice he gave to pleaders in the courts, when he knew that their cause was weak,
. Mais val calar, ..
Que fol parlar. Which, being interpreted, signifies—that it is better to be silent, than to talk idly."--pp. 125-127.
William Durant was not the only Troubadour who was a lawyer. Lanfranc Sygalle was also of the long robe, “ a wise and prudent man, a good orator and counsellor, a sergeant at law, making an occupation and profession of the laws and of arms." Boniface of Castellane followed different maxims from those of the grave and severe William Durant. Durant derived his inspiration from continual sobriety, Boniface from the bottle.
" It was a wonder to see him when he had well drunken; he was agitated with an incredible poetic fury, writing or declaiming poetry with all the madness of a prophet, sparing no person of what degree soever he might be. And in the final couplet of the most part of his songs, it was his wont to put these words -bouka qu'as tu dich? mouth, what hast thou said ? As if he almost repented that he had said so much, knowing well that his tongue, although he said the truth, might one day work him hurt.”—p. 136.
It does not appear, after all, that Boniface, in the bitterness and severity of his satires, exceeds Sordel of Mantua, a troubadour, of whom Nostradamus says, “ that he surpassed in Provensal verse, all the other Genoese and Tuscan poets, who for the sweetness of our Provensal language, delighted therein more than in their mother tongue." Sordel was taken into the service of Raymond Berenger V. count of Provence, when only fifteen years old. Even at that early age, his talent for Provensal poetry, gave promise of the high excellence which he afterwards attained. There he addicted himself to all the studies of the age, and excelled in them all. He disdained to waste, like the common herd of troubadours, his talent upon the trite and trivial topic of love, but chose subjects of morals and philosophy, and in his verses, boldly reprehended the vices of the great. On the death of a distinguished Provensal gentleman, of the name of Blachas, or Blacas, he took occasion to