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THE LITERATURE



OF THE



FRENCH RENAISSANCE



Sontion: C. J. CLAY AND SONS,

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS WAREHOUSE,
AVE MARIA LANE.

(glasgoto: 50, WELLINGTON STREET.



M


i i\




i. i' SS-,



1l£i0>ig: F. A. BROCKHAUS.

#tfo Jfork: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

6ombag anb Calcutta: MACMILLAN & CO., Ltd.



[All Rights reserved^



THE LITERATURE



OF THE



FRENCH RENAISSANCE



BY

ARTHUR TILLEY, M.A.

FELLOW AND LECTURER OF KING'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE



VOLUME II



CAMBRIDGE:

AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS

1904



©ambritige



PRINTED BY J. AND C. F. CLAY,
AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS.



College
Library



I9o4-

CONTENTS



CHAPTER XVII

THE LESSER STARS
i. Tyard, Belleau, Baif

TyaRD and his poetry

His sonnet on Sleep. BELLEAU

His translation of " Anacreon"; his Bergerie; Avril

His Pierres precieuses; UAmethyste

J. -A. de Baif ; his education .

His Amours; his collected works

His Mimes ....

His experiments in metre

Founds the Academic depoesie et de musique

His later years and death

2. Magny, Tahureau, Louise Lade, /amy ft



La pierre aqueuse



Magny ; compared to A. de Musset ....

His Amours and Gayetes .

His Souspirs; two sonnets quoted .....
His Odes ..........

Two Odes quoted

His general characteristics. TAHUREAU

His sonnets .........

Stanzas from De la vanite des hommes ....

His Dialogues. The literary circle of Poitiers

Louise Labe

Her life and poems ; three sonnets quoted

Her Dedal de/olie et d'amour

Inferior poets ; La Boetie

One of his sonnets quoted. Scevole de Sainte-Marthe

His sonnets ; his Pacdotrophia and Elogia

JamyN; his translations of Homer ; his sonnets

His servility towards his royal patrons ....



PAGE

I
2
3

4
5
6



9
io



ib.
1 1

12

13
14

15
16

17
18

19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26



1 1 1 9869



VI



CONTENTS



PAGE

3. The work of the Pleiad

The poetical creed of the Pleiad 27

Reforms in vocabulary 28

Reforms in syntax ; theory of style 29

Defects ; the substitution of literature for life ; contempt for the

multitude 30

Lack of self-criticism 31

Services of the Pleiad to poetry. Bibliography .... 32



CHAPTER XVIII



THE SECOND GENERATION



Change from Greek to Latin ideals .....
Ronsard's retirement from the Court ; new developements

1. Du Bartas

Du Bartas; his Judith and Uranie

Publication of his Semaines

Decay of his fame; characteristics of his work

Specimens of his style

His use of compound epithets .

His patriotism; quotation

P. DE Brach and his poetry. PiBRAC

His Quatrains; specimens quoted .

His Les plaisirs de la vie rustique

2. Desportes

DESPORTES; his sojourn in Italy

His Premieres CEuvres published; his success at Court

His latter days; his hospitality ; his plagiarisms

His Italian models; his wit .......

His sonnet to Sleep; his songs ; Rozette .....

Another song

Stanzas from his poem on country life .....
His spiritual sonnets ; his debt to the Diana of Montemor
General characteristics of his poetry .....

PASSERAT ; his work as a Latin scholar; his epitaph

Merits of his style; his villanelle

His ode on May-day

DURANT; his poetry

Rapin ; his poetry

Guy DE TOURS; his youthful poetry; one of his sonnets quoted



34

35



36
37
38
40

41
42

43
44
45



ib.

46

47
48

49

5i
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59



CONTENTS vii

PAGE

3. Vauqueli?i de la Fresnaye

Jean le Houx and his Vaux de Vire 60

Specimen quoted. Vauquelin de la Fresnaye .... 61

His Foresteries; his public career ; his collected poems ... 62

Character of his poetry 63

Specimens 64

His satires; his Art poetique ........ 65

The lyrics of Garnier and Montchrestien. Decreasing pro-
duction of poetry during the last quarter of the sixteenth

century ........... 67

Bibliography .68



CHAPTER XIX

THE RENAISSANCE DRAMA

Religious mysteries prohibited ; decline of mediaeval comedy . . 70
Influence of the classical drama ....... 71

Performance of Ronsard's translation of the Plutus of Aristophanes 72



1 . Tragedy

Performances of Jodelle's Clcopatre lb.

Analysis of Cleopdtre -73

Character of Cleopatra; versification. Influence of Seneca . . 74

Italian tragedy . . 75

Jodelle's treatment of the Chorus. The Medee of Bastier DE la

Peruse. Jodelle's Didon 76

His later work; one of his sonnets quoted 77

Grevin ; his Cesar 78

His travels and death 79

RlVAUDEAU's A man; Scaliger's Poetice 80

Unity of time and place in Jodelle's and GreVin's plays . . .81

Jean de la Taille's De Vart de la Tragedie 82

His life and writings 83

One of his songs quoted 84

His Saiil and Les Gabeonites. JACQUES DE la Taille ... 85

Beza's Abraham sacrifiant. Des Masures's David ... 86

Irregular tragedy ; La Soltane 87

Philanire. Lack of stage experience ...... 88



viii CONTENTS

PAGE

Garnier; his Porcie 90

Hippolyte; Come lie 91

Marc-Antoine; La Troade; Antigone 92

Les Juives 93

Chorus from Les Juives 94

Montchrestien; his L Ecossaise 95

His other plays 97

Tragi-comedy ; earliest use of the name 98

Lucelle 99

Garnier's Bradamante . 101



2. Comedy

Italian comedy ; Ariosto .

Character of his comedies

The Mandragola ; Gli Ingannati

Jodelle's Eugene

Grevin's Les Esbahis

Belleau's La Reconnue; Jean de laTaille's Les Cor

Baif's translations; performance of Le Brave; Italian actors at

Paris

Larivey ; general character of his comedies

Les Esprits and his other comedies .....

O. de Turnebe's Les Contents

Les Neapolitaines of F. d'Amboise; Perrin's Les Escoliers
Godard's Les Desguisez ; Le Loyer's Le muet insettse
Failure of Renaissance drama ; its caus*es



102
103
104
105
106
107

108
109
no
11 1
112

US
114



3. Pastoral drama

Dramatic eclogues. Pastoral plays; Filleul'S Les Ombres . .115
Influence of the Diana and of Tasso's Aminta. N. de Montreux i 16
Other pastoral plays. Bibliography 117



CONTENTS



PART III ( 1 580-1605)

MONTAIGNE



CHAPTER XX

THE RETURN TO NATURE

PAGE

Condition of France from 1580 to 1594 123

Growth of French prose. Literature becomes more serious and

more national . . 124

Pare and Palissy ; their lack of classical learning . . . .125

Pare; his career as a surgeon 126

His writings 127

His Apologie et voyages . .128

Palissy 129

His life to 1563; his Recepte veritable . . . . . .130

His style 131

Specimens of his style . . . . . . . . .132

His later life and his Discours admirables . . . . 133

Passage from De Vart de terre . 134

Bibliography 135



CHAPTER XXI

MONTAIGNE

Montaigne a favourite with Englishmen

His father, Pierre Eyquem ; his mother a Protestant; his manner

of education .

At the College of Guyenne; becomes a magistrate. La Boetie
His Contr'un ...........

His influence on Montaigne ; his death. Montaigne's marriage.

Death of his father

Translates R. de Sebonde's Theologia naturalis; publishes La

Boe'tie's writings. Resigns his magisterial office



136

137
138
139

140
141



His chateau; the library 142



CONTENTS



His books. Greek and Latin Sentences

Life in retirement from 1571 to 1580. Publication of his Essays
His travels ........

Appointed Mayor of Bordeaux. Second term of office

Henry of Navarre's visit to his chateau. The plague

Publication of his Essays with the Third book

Letters to Henry IV. Death .

Questions raised by his Essays

Growth of his Essays ; First book

Second book ; self-portraiture .

Envoi and preface .....

Third book; its bolder character. Quotations

The posthumous edition of 1595

Additions to the Essays. Montaigne's design

His portrait

Comparison with his character as presented in his Journal

Character of his self-revelations. His debt to Seneca and Plutarch

Their influence on him

His philosophy of life

Distinction between his theories and his practice

His views on education

His religion

His scepticism .....
The Apologie de Raymond de Sebonde
Character of his scepticism
His style; its impressionism
His method; Essay On Coaches
Imaginative character of his style
Examples of his style
Bibliography .....



PAGE

M3
144

145
146

147
148
149
150

151
152
153
154



53



157
158

159
160
161
162

163
164
165
166
167
169
171
172
174
175
176



CHAPTER XXII

THE FOLLOWERS OF RABELAIS

Rabelais's imitators .180

Yver and his Printemps .181

Tabourot 183

Du Fail; his Propos rustiques 184

His Baliverneries and Contes et discours d'Eutrapc/ . . .185
Cholieres 186

BOUCHET 187

Beroalde de Verville 188

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . .189



CONTENTS



XI



CHAPTER XXIII

MEMOIRS AND LETTERS

i. Brantome, Margaret of Valois, Henry IV, Monluc,
La None



BRANTOJME compared with Montaigne

His career

His character; his writings

Character of his biographies

His digressions; his style

His view of the society of his day

Margaret of Valois ; her memoirs and letters

Henry IV; his letters

Letter to la belle Corisande

Letters to Crillon and others

La Noue ; his Discours politiques et

Specimens of his style

Its character ....

Moni.uc ; his character .

His military career; his defence of Siena

Comnlentaires .......

His wound ; another passage from his Cointnentaires
His retirement and death ; his style



militaires



passage



from his



2. UEstoile, Tava tines, Sully

Memoirs of the period .........

P. de L'Estoile ; his Memoires-Journaux

JEAN DE TAVANNES; compared with Saint-Simon .
VIEILLEVILLE ; his memoirs more or less fictitious ....

Choisnin. Boyvin du Villars. Rabutin. Salignac. Coligny

Castelnau. Mergy. Mme. du Plessis-Mornay

Sully; the form of his memoirs .......

An excellent story-teller; his character ......

Publication of his memoirs ........

Bibliography . . .



PAGE

190

191
192

193
194
194

195
196

197
199
200
201
202
203

204
205
206



207
208
209
210
21 1
212
213
214
215
216



CHAPTER XXIV

HISTORY AND POLITICAL SCIENCE



Memoirs and contemporary history .
Histories of La Place and La Planche
Palma Cayet. La Popeliniere .



218

219
220



Xll



CONTENTS



J.-A. DETHOU; his Historiae sui temporis

His choice of Latin a mistake .

Du HAILLAN'S history of France. Beginnings of scientific history
BODIN; his Methodus; his Six livres de la Republique .

General estimate of ; special features

Bodin's preference for hereditary monarchy .

His advocacy of religious toleration ; his Colloquium Heptaplomeres

Bibliography



PAGE

221

222

223

224

225

226

227
id.



CHAPTER XXV

THE SATIRE MENIPP^E



Minor pamphlets of the wars of religion ; Le Tigre
Le Livre des Marchands. The Discours merveilleux
The Franco-Gallia and the Vindiciae contra tyrannos
The League and the legitimists; Dorleans and Belloy. The two
Discours of HURAULT DU Fay ; the Anti-Espagnol of

ARNAUD

The Politiques ; Gillot and his friends ....

Le Roy; Chrestien ; P. Pithou

The genesis of the Satire Menippee; its contents
Character of the Satire; the speeches ....
Speech of Mayenne, the Cardinal Legate, and others

Speech of D'Aubray

Passages quoted

General character of the speech. Verses
Sainte-Aldegonde's Tableau des differens de la religion
Bibliography .........



229
230
231



233
234
235
236
237
238

239
240
241

242



CHAPTER XXVI

D'AUBIGNE

Satirical character of Les Tragiques. D'Aubigne's versatility

His life; scene at Amboise

His military career in the service of Henry of Navarre; his retire-
ment to Maillezais ....
His last years at Geneva ; his publications
His character. His Histoire Universelle
Its plan and character ....
Dramatic scenes; portraits
Political summaries. The Confession de Sancy



244

245

246

247
248

249
250
251



CONTENTS



Xlll



PAGE

Les aventures de Fceneste . . . . . . . . .252

D'Aubigne"'s stories; his letters 253

His prose style ........... 254

Specimen passages .......... 255

His youthful poetry {Printemps) ....... 256

Its character .'......... 257

His epic La Creation; Les Tragiques 258

Its lack of composition 259

Passages from the Second book {Les Princes) ..... 260

Single lines and couplets 261

Bibliography 262



forerunner of



CHAPTER XXVII

THE YEARS OF TRANSITION

The restoration of order

Characteristics of the period of transition: (1) repose, (2) serious-
ness, (3) decline of imagination. Bertaut

His official poems

His volume of love-poetry ....

Passage from the first elegy ....

His volume of graver poetry; its character;
Malherbe

Influence of Tasso. Du Perron .

His prose. Du Plessis-Mornay .

His De la verite de la religion chrestienne

Charron's Les trois verites; his appearance and character

Publication of La Sagesse; his death

Plagiarisms of La Sagesse; analysis of its contents

Second book .......

Third book

Purpose of the book; its popularity .

Du VAIR; his position as a writer; his political action

His treatises; De la Constance es catamites publiques

His De V "eloquence francoise .....

Chief forensic speakers of his day ....

Pulpit oratory .

Political oratory; Du Vair as a speaker ; his career from 1596

His style; specimen passage ....

OSSAT and JEANNIN. O. DE SERRES
His Theatre d' Agriculture ; its character .

Specimen of his style

Bibliography



First book



264

265
266
267



269
270
271
272

273
274
275
276
277
278
279
280
281
282
283
284
285
286
287



=89



CONTENTS



CHAPTER XXVIII

REGNIER

Regnier belongs to the Renaissance ....

His life

The beginnings of Satire in France ; Satire in Italy
Ariosto. Burlesque ........

Satirical poems of Du Bellay and Ronsard

Of Jean de la Taille. Satires of Vauquelin de la Fresnaye

Regnier's first attempts

Satires III-VI

Satires Vli-ix. First edition of his Satires
Satires X and XI ; imitations of Berni and Caporali

Satire XIII {Macette) ; sources

Character of Macette

The religious revival. Regnier's last satires

Regnier as an observer of life ; his lack of constructive power

Individuality of his style .......

Examples ..........

Regnier and Malherbe .......

Note on the date of Regnier's earliest satire
Bibliography



PAGE

291
292

293
294
295
296
297
298
299
300
301
302
303
303
304

305
306

307
308



CHAPTER XXIX

CONCLUSION

Contrast between the first and the second period

Renaissance and Reform

Third period; reaction against Italian influence

Attitude of Montaigne towards the Renaissance; the developement

of individualism and free inquiry .....

Characteristics of Renaissance literature ; individualism .
Vividness; imagination ........

Weakness in artistic conception and execution

Absence of a central standard ; provincial centres ; Bordeaux

Poitiers ; Rouen ; Eastern France

The growth of French prose ; Rabelais and Calvin ; disappearance

of archaisms from the language .....

Amyot. Montaigne .........

French prose becomes more orderly and logical. Literatures of the

English and the French Renaissance compared
The French Renaissance excels in memoirs, conies, and satire; re

semblance between the two literatures ....



310

3H
312

313
315
3i6

317
3i8

319

320
321



323



CONTENTS XV

PAGE

The qualities of the French race; the influence of the environment

and the " moment " 324

Influence of humanism. Renaissance literature unclassical in form 325

This due to the lack of the critical spirit 326



Appendix E. The authorship of the Discours merveilleux . . 327

„ F. The genesis of the Satire Mctiippee

1. Bibliography of the more important early

editions 329

2. The primitive text ...... 330

„ G. On some biographical and bibliographical works . 332

„ H. Chronological table 336



CORRIGENDA



p. 68, 1. 24. For 1549 read 1594.
p. 189, 1. 5. For 1513 read 1583.
p. 217, 1. 12. For 1738 read 1638.



CHAPTER XVII

THE LESSER STARS

I. Tyard, Belle ate, Ba'if.

Of the remaining members of the Pleiad, Jodelle is chiefly
known by his dramatic work and must therefore be reserved
for a later chapter, while Dorat wrote little French poetry
and that of no importance. Pontus de Tyard was a poet
only in his younger days 1 . He was a man of property and
exercised much hospitality at his chateau of Bissy in the
Maconnais. In 1 578 he was made bishop of Chalons-sur-Saone.
He lived till the very end of our period, dying in 1605, the
year in which Malherbe came to Paris. His first volume of
poetry, composed chiefly of sonnets, entitled Erreurs amou-
reuses, appeared at the close of 1549 2 . Like Du Bellay's Olive,
which had appeared, as we have seen, earlier in the year, it
shews strong marks of the combined influence of Petrarchism
and the doctrine of spiritual love, and thus furnishes additional
evidence of how closely at first the Pleiad trod in the footsteps
of the school of Lyons. As in the case of Sceve, Tyard's
favourite models were the Italians who flourished at the close
of the fifteenth century, especially Cariteo and Tebaldeo,
whose sugared conceits he delights in reproducing. Two
years later (1 55 1 ) he shewed his interest in the subject of
spiritual love by translating the Dialoghi di amove of Leo
Hebraeus 3 and in the same year he published Continuation

1 1521-1605. See Pasquier, Recherches, VII. c. x. ; Jeandet, Pontus de Tyard.

2 The printing was finished November 5 ; the date of the privilege is
September 13, 1549.

;i It appeared without his name, but with his device; see ante, I. 137 — 8.

T. II. I



2 THE LESSER STARS [CH.

des Erreurs atnotireuses. A third book of Erreurs and a
volume entitled Livre de vers lyriques, both of which appeared
in 1555, shew more traces of the influence of Ronsard, but
throughout his short poetical career Tyard remained more or
less independent of the chief of the Pleiad 1 . His work is
unoriginal, correct and dull, but one sonnet, which first
appeared in the collected edition of his poems published in
1573, is worth quoting :

Pere du doux repos, Sommeil, pere du Songe,
Maintenant que la nuict, d'une grande ombre obscure,
Faict a cest air serain humide couverture,
Viens, Sommeil desire, et dans mes yeux te plonge.

Ton absence, Sommeil, languissamment allonge
Et me fait plus sentir la peine que j'endure.
Viens, Sommeil, l'assoupir et la rendre moins dure,
Viens abuser mon mal de quelque doux mensonge.

Ja le muet Silence un esquadron conduit
De fantosmes ballans dessous l'aveugle nuict ;
Tu me dedaignes seul, qui te suis tant devot !

Viens, Sommeil desire", m'environner la teste,
Car, d'un vceu non menteur, un bouquet je t'appreste
De ta chere morelle et de ton cher pavot 2 .

It may be added that Tyard, true to his strong Italian
proclivities, not only used terza rima but was the first to
introduce the sesiina into France. There are two examples
of it in his Erreurs amoureuses 3 .

There remain Remy Belleau and Jean-Antoine de Baifr- .
of whom Belleau is decidedly the better poet. With little
originality or vigour he reaches by dint of careful obser-
vation, patient workmanship, good taste, and sincerity a high
level of execution. He had a genuine love of country life
and simple country ways, and his eclogues shew more of the
spirit of Virgil than those of any other writer of his school.
Of all the members of the Pleiad he was Ronsard's closest
friend and most constant companion. Born, according to

1 See F. Flamini, in Rev. de la Ken. 1. 43 fF.

2 CEuvres, ed. Marty- Laveaux, p. 166; Saintsbury, Specimens of French
I iterature, p. 68.

s L. E. Kastner, History of French Versification, p. 284, prints three strophes
and the envoi of a sestina.



XVII] THE LESSER STARS 3

Colletet, in 1526 or 1 527 1 , he made his debut in 1556 with the
translation of " Anacreon " to which reference has already
been made. His renderings are neat and graceful enough,
but Ronsard hit the mark when, punning on his name, he
said he was too sober to translate Anacreon 2 . In the same
year he became attached to the household of Rene de Lorraine,
Marquis d'Elbeuf, a younger brother of the Due de Guise,
and accompanied him on the ill-starred expedition to Naples
in 1557. Some six years later he became tutor to his son
and took up his residence at the chateau of Joinville. His
principal works are a comedy, of which hereafter, a Bergerie,
and Amours et nonveaux ec hauges de pierres precieuses . The
Bergerie is divided into a premiere and seconde journee, the
first 'day' being published separately in 1565 and the complete
work in 1572. It consists of various poems, more or less
relating to country life, strung together on a loose thread of
prose after the fashion of Sannazaro's Arcadia. Among the
more noteworthy are a Chant pastoral on the death of Joachim
du Bellay 3 , an Epithalame for Charles de Lorraine and Claude,
daughter of Henry II 4 , and a song beginning Douce et belle
bouc/ielette 5 . But the best and the best known i s Avril 6 :

Avril, l'honneur et des bois

Et des mois,
Avril, la douce esperance
Des fruits qui sous le coton

Du bouton
Nourrissent leur jeune enfance ;
Avril, l'honneur des prez verds,

Jaunes, pers,
Qui d'une humeur bigarree
Emaillent de mille fleurs

De couleurs
Leur parure diaprde.

1 Colletet, whose Life is prefixed to Gouverneur's edition, says that he died
March 7, 1577, aged fifty. The day of the month is wrongly given (see post).

2 Tu es un trop sec hiberon

Pour un tourneur d'Anacreon. Odes, II. xxii.

3 CEuvres, ed. Marty-Laveaux, I. 293 (first published separately in 1560).

4 ib. 238. 5 id. 279.

6 id. 201; translated by A. Lang, Ballads and Lyrics of Old France, p. 19.



4 THE LESSER STARS [CH.

There is nothing highly original in this poem, written as
it was after Ronsard's Bel aabespin florissant, but it is exceed-
ingly graceful and throughout the whole thirteen stanzas there
is not a flaw in the workmanship. For such originality as
Belleau possessed we must look to his Pier res precieuses or
metamorphoses 1 . Here his talent for portraying the physical
aspect of things, which is comparable to that of Theophile
Gautier, shews to advantage. The best of the purely narrative
pieces is UAiuet.li.ystp., which contains the following elaborate
and glowing description of the car of Dionysus :

D'un pied prompt et leger ces folles Bassarides
Environnent le char ; l'une se pend aux brides
Des onces mouchetez d'estoiles sur le dos,
Onces a l'ceil subtil, au pied souple et dispos,
Au mufie herisse de deux longues moustaches ;
L'autre met dextrement les tigres aux attaches
Tisonnez sur la peau, les couple deux a deux :
lis ronflent de colere et vont rouillant les yeux.
Un fin drap d'or frise, seme" de pedes fines,
Les couvre jusqu'au flanc, les houpes a crespines
Flottent sur le genou : plus humbles devenus,
On agence leur queue en tortillons menus.
D'or fin est le branquar, d'or la jante et la roue
Et d'yvoire indien est la pouppe et la proue :
L'une soustient le char, l'autre dans le moyeu
Des rouleaux accouplez met les bouts de l'essieu,
Puis tirant la surpente allegrement habile,
Arreste les anneaux d'une longue cheville
Dans les trous du branquar : le dessus est couvert
De liene menu et de ce pampre verd
Ou pendent a l'envy les grappes empourpre'es
Sous les tapis rameux des fueillades pampre'es 2 .

La Perle* is a fairly good lyric, though more descriptive
than lyrical, but the gem of the whole series is the lyrical
romance entitled La pierre aqueuse or Aquamarine — which
begins as follows :

C'estoit une belle brune
Filant au clair de la lune,

1 Les amours et nouveaux eschanges de pierres precieuses : vertus et frcprictez
d'icelles, 1576.

2 CEuvres, 11. 171. 3 ib. 186.



Online LibraryArthur Augustus TilleyThe literature of the French renaissance (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 34)