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Cortois and vilain; a study of the distinctions made between them by the French and Provencal poets of the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries online

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of the God of Love, whom he term vilains :

Trop est li diex d'amors vilains,

Quant si a fait foellir ces rains.

A tort sunt cil arbre flouri,

Puisque nos somes departi.

Vv. 592-4 of L'Atre Perillous criticise the injustice of vilaine death
in taking the good and leaving the evil :

Ahi mors ! tant par es vilaine,

Qui les bons prens tout a eslais,

Et laisces vivre les mauvais !
A passage of similar sentiment is found in L'Escoufte, vv. 2414-9:

N'est pas encor la mors trop ivre

Ki velt prenre si fait baron,

Ains velt faire grant mesprison ;

Si fait ele, et grant vilenie,

Quant ele ensi prent et lanie

. I . preudome conme . j . mauvais.

The dishonesty of the vilain is mentioned in several passages.
Vv. 23-6 of the Dit sur les Vilains declare that the vilain steals as
much from his lord as the latter gives him :

Se tu che fa lo vilan

Al so signer chi e plan ?

El no gie daria mai tanto

Ch'el no toge altretanto.

In vv. 1983-7 of Perceval the 1 maiden whom Perceval found in the
tent complains of his thefts, calling him vilain :

Mais .i. vallet galois i ot,

Anieus et vilain et sot,

Qui a de vostre vin beu,

Tant com lui plot et bon li fu,

Et manga de vos .iii. pastes.

Vv. 25-6 of Bartsch, A. R. u. P., i 35, refer to the vilain as full of
graipaille (thievishness). V. 6467 of Perceval characterizes theft
as vilain et fol.

Testimony as to the treacherous nature of the vilain is found in
vv. 204-8 of Le Coiironnenient dc Louis, which advise against



CORTOIS AND VILAIN. 47

accepting his advice on the ground that he would deceive for very
little :

Et altre chose et vueil filz acointier,

Que se tu vis, il t'avra grant mestier :

Que de vilain ne faces conseillier,

Fill a prevost ne de fil a veier

II boisereient a petit por loier.
Compare with the above v. 7774 of the Enfances Ogier:

Car de vilain vilain conseil a on.

In vv. 1081-4 of Eliduc, M. de France, Lais, Guilliadun complains
of Eliduc, saying that he deceived her vileinement, i. e. as a vilain
would have done:

Vileinement descunseilliee

m'a en altre terre laissiee.

Trahie m'a, ne sai que deit.

Mult est fole, qui hume creit !

Vv. 2661-4 of Part ono pens de Blois declare that the vilain only
waits for a good opportunity to harm one of whom he is afraid.
Vv. 67-74 of Le Donnei des Amants compare the vilain to a dog
who wags his tail in a friendly manner and then bites :

Mastins e li vilein de but

De nature resemblent mut:

Chen de cue fet bel semblant,

Et pus si mort tut en emblant ;

Moet la cue, mort de la dent,

Et li vilain fet ensement:

Quant li vileins plus vus losenge,

Gardez devers vus ne mesprenge.

Vv. 6166-7 of Perceval characterize tra'ison (treachery) as laide et
vilaine. Vv. 3165-6 of Lancelot place vilenie in the same category
as traison et felenie. Vv. 325-7 of Du chevalier qui fist les c. parler,
Fabliaux vi 147, employ vilenie as a synonym for treachery.

The implication that the vilain does not fight fairly is also found.
To take unfair advantage of one who has been overcome in combat
is termed vilenie in vv. 993-9 of Erec :

"Ha ! vassaus," fet il, "conquis m'as.

Merci ! Ne nrocirre tu pas,

Des que tu m'as outre et pris :

Ja n'an avroies los ne pris.



48 CORTOIS AND VILAIN.

Se tu des or mes me tochoies,

Trop grant vilenie feroies.

Tien m'espee, je la te rant."

Folquet de Marseille, Rayn. Choix iii, p. 154, says that it is folly for
a man to fight one stronger than himself, and that he takes a risk
when he contends with one equal in strength, while to fight with
one weaker than himself is vilania.



X.

THE CORTOIS IS GENEROUS; THE VILAIN IS STINGY,
(a) THE CORTOIS IS GENEROUS.

Generosity is that quality of the cortois which has been more
generally noticed than any other by writers who have touched upon
the subject o<f cortoisie. The ideas of cortesia and larghezza were
so closely associated in the minds of those for whom Dante wrote
that he thought it necessary to caution them against considering
cortesia to consist in larghezza andmothing more. In the Convito,
tr. ii, c. u, says: E non siano li miseri volgari anche di qucsto
vocabolo ingannati, eke credono ] che cortesia non sia altro che
larghezza: che larghezza e una speziale e non generate cortesia.
Andre le Chapelain in his De Amore (ed. Trojel, p. 65) recom-
mends generosity to those who would be cortois in the words :
Sed et, si Merit pauperes esnrire et eis alimenta praestiterit, magna
curialitas atque largitas reputatur. Prof. H. R. Lang, in a note on
Courtesy in the Cancioneiro Gallego-Castelhano, vol. i p. 167, after
quoting Jeanroy's definition of the term, says: "One of the most
essential elements of courtesy thus conceived was liberality, benefi-
cence. Hence Dante (Vita Nuova, c. xliii; cf. Convito iv, 20)
speaks of God, the giver of all good and perfect gifts, as the sire
della cortesia, and Petrarch, in the celebrated canzone Italia mia,
addresses him as Signor cortese!'

The direct testimony in mediaeval texts to the part played by
generosity in cortoisie is considerable. Wace, Brut, vv. 6763-8,
states that Vortiger was called cortois because of his generous gifts :

Tant lor a Vortiger done

Et tant a cascuns honore

N'i ot un sol qui ne deist,

Oiant qui oir le volsist,



CORTOIS AND VI LAIN. 49

Que Vortiger ert plus cortois

Et mius vaillans que n'ert li rois.
In another passage in the same poem (vv. 1605-6) Wace says:

Et Anor fut li plus cortoise

Et mius sot demener ricoise.

The author's view of a cortois use of wealth has been shown in
the lines previously quoted, and we have no difficulty in recognizing
the implication of liberality here. Chretien de Troies, in Erec, vv.
3181-5, gives an instance of Erec's generosity, for which he calls
him cortois:

Quant mangie orent et beii,

Erec cortois et larges fu.

Amis, fet il, an guerredon

Vos faz d'un de mes chevaus don.

Prenez celui qui miauz vos siet !

Marie de France in the lay of Milun, vv. 322-332, describing Milun,
says that he became acquainted with wealthy knights, and jousted
with them, invariably coming off conqueror; and that all he gained
in ransoms he gave to his poor friends, and maintained them,
spending liberally. Then in v. 332 she sums up all his excellences
in the words, mult fu curteis, mult sot honur. The author of De
Court oisie, in vv. 128-9, admonishes those who would be cortois
to learn to give well. In Gay don, vv. 10822-4, we are told in the
words of the King of France that he gives the great seneschalship
of "sweet France" to Gaydon. Thereupon Duke Naynmes ex-
claims: C'est asses cortoisie. In vv. 2510-5 of L 'Atre Perillous
we are told of a knight who n'ert pas vilain, and the explanation of
his implied cortoisie follows :

Ki fist au matin atorner,

Quant il vit qu'il durent monter,

Un palefroi moult ricement,

Tout en ert fres I'acesmement,

Li lorains, li frains et la sele.

The author of Flamenca, in a passage too long to be quoted here
(vv. 1745-1768), tells of the extreme generosity of Guillem de
Nivers lo cortes (v. 1761). He not only gave rich gifts to his
friends, but they felt perfectly free to lodge where they liked and
live high at his expense, and their host never spoke of payment,



50 CORTOIS AND V 1 LAIN.

so sure was he of being amply recompensed as soon as a tourney
or a war brought Guillem de Nivers that way. 1

There is a large amount of less direct, but still important testi-
mony to be found in the frequent and close association of the ideas
of cortoisie and generosity in the lines of the mediaeval poets. An
early example of this is to be found in Philippe de Thaun's Bestiaire,
vv. 5-8:

Pur 1'onur d'une geme

Ki mult est bele feme

E est curteise e sage,

De bones murs e large:

In this, as in many other cases, the quality of generosity is men-
tioned among other favorable attributes of the cortois. Wace,
Brut, vv. 2727-8, speaks of one who knew how to make himself
popular Par cortoisie, et par doner. In Chretien de Troies' Yvain
we find the lines (1293-7) :

De vostre enor, biaus sire chiers,

Ne fu onques nus chevaliers

Ne de la vostre cortoisie.

Largesce estoit la vostre amie

Et hardemanz vostre compainz ;
and in Cligcs, vv. 184-5 :

Meis gardez que mout soiiez larges

Et cortois et bien afeitiez.
Two lines in Chretien's Erec (1561-2),

Ses peres est frans et cortois,

Mes que d'avoir a petit pois,

are evidence that he considered that true cortoisie was not, however,
limited to the wealthy class. Marie de France in the lay of
Chaitivel, vv. 35-8, says of four Breton knights,

II n'aveient guaires d'ee

mes mult erent de grant bealte

Additional passages illustrating the generosity of the cortois are as fol-
lows : Flamenco,, vv. 5284-8; Bertrand de Pujet, Rayn. Choix iv, p. 375 and
p. 376; Fabliaux i 12, vv. 43-9; ibid., iii 71, vv. 322-7 (cf. vv. 317-9) ; ibid.,
iii 84, vv. 7-14; ibid., v 136, vv. n, 14-18; Bartsch, A. R. u. P., ii 62, vv. 19-24;
ibid., iii 2, vv. 10-15; ibid., iii 54, v. 26.



CORTOIS AND VILAIN.

e chevalier pruz e vaillant,
large, curteis e despendant. 1



(b) THE VILAIN IS STINGY.

The stinginess of the vilain is implied in vv. 902-4 of Guillaume
d'Angleterre, where covetousness is termed vilainne. In Li respit
del curteis et del vilain, strophe 41, we have the following direct
statement :

Moult porte queor vilein

Et trop a estreit mein

Ke rien ne sect fors prendre.

In the fablel Dn chevalier qui -fist les c. parler, Fabliaux vi 147, vv.
188-170, a lack of liberality is termed vilenie:

Et nos avon fait vilenie,

Qui riens ne li avons done

Dont il nos doie savoir gre.

The stinginess of the vilain is referred to in the Roman de la Rose,
\ p. 74 :

Ne te fai tenir por aver,

Car ce te porroit moult grever;

II est raison que li amant

Doignent du lor plus largement

Que cil vilains entitle et sot.

The complaints of a woman married to a vilain (Bartsch, A. R.
u. P., i 64, vv. 15-16) are due to his miserliness:

A un vilain m'ont donee mi parent,

qui ne fet fors auner or et argent.

The fablel Du Vilain Mire {Fabliaux iii 74), vv. 1-2, and the
Fablel d'Aloul (ibid., i 24), vv. 5-6, mention a vilain who was
avers et c(h)iches.

Chretien de Troies in Cliges, vv. 4547-8, associates stinginess
with vilenie in a list of undesirable qualities :

Chiches et fos et contrefeiz

Et vilains an diz et an feiz.

In Yvain, vv. 4381-4, we are told that no one is any longer noble
or cortois, but that every one asks for himself that which he does

1 See also Tydorel, vv. 221-4; ibid., v. 454; Perceval, vv. 29076-9; Fab-
liaux iv 106, vv. 456-7; Breviari d'Amor, vv. 33794.



52 CORTOIS AND VILAIN.

not for another, even though he himself has no need of it. It is
against this "dog in the manger" attitude that Andre le Chapelain
(De Amore, p. 122) makes the plebeian woman remonstrate with
the words : Inurbanum satis esse videtur et a bonis moribus mani-
feste deviare cognoscitur, si bonum, quod quisque sibi habere non
potest, alteri prorsus velit denegare petenti. Inurbanum in this
connection without doubt has the same force as the French adjective
vilain. Vv. 188-190 of the Lai de I'Oiselet declare that the vilain
prefers getting money to courting ladies :

Or m'ot cil vilains pleins d'envie,
Qui aime asses mieus le denier
Qu'il ne face le donoier.



XL

THE CORTOIS IS RICHLY DRESSED; THE VILAIN IS POORLY DRESSED.
(a) THE CORTOIS IS RICHLY DRESSED.

As the personal characteristics of the cortois were of an order
superior to those of other men, so his dress was more elaborate
and of finer quality. The troubadour Garis lo Brus, quoted in the
Breviari d' Amor, vv. 32238-9, thus defines cortoisie :

Cortezi' es en gent garnir
Et en gent aculhir.

N'Arnaut Guilhem de Marsan in his Ensenhamen, Appel, Prov..
Chrest., St. 112, vv. 9-16, says that the wearing of fine white shirts
gives to an excellent knight the appearance of cortoisie:

Car totz pros cavayers
deu vestir a sobriers
camizas de ransan
primas, car ben estan,
e blancas totas vetz,
que mielhs en semblaretz
cortes et ensenhatz
en totz locx on venhatz.

Vv. 26749-53 of Perceval speak of one hundred cortoises maidens
who were richly clad:



CORTOIS AND VILAIN. 53

Bien i avoit .c. damoisieles,

Avenans, cortoises et bieles,

Acesmees de riche atour

Et viestues d'une coulour

De samis a bendes d'orfrois.

Le Chevalier a I'Epee, vv. 37-46, describes the attitre of a knight
who "clothed himself in the manner of the cortois" :

Cortoisement s'aparella :

Uns esperons a or chauga

Sor tines chauces decopees

De drap de soie bien ovrees ;

Si ot unes braies chauciees,

Mout tres blanches et mout dougiees,

Et chemise gascorte et lee

De lin menuement ridee,

Et un mantel afuble:

Mout richement fu atorne.

The Lai du Trot, w. 77-86, mentions a group of maidens Ki
cortoises furent et beles, S'estoient molt bien acesmees; upon their
heads they wore chaplets of roses and of eglantine. L'Atre Peril-
lous, vv. 3752-4, refers to a maiden who was Et cortoise et bien
acesmee.

(b) THE VILAIN IS POORLY DRESSED.

Evidence upon this point is chiefly negative, although inferences
may be drawn from those passages in which the generally uncouth
appearance of the vilain is described (see pp. 76-7). Negative evi-
dence is found in those passages in which one who is richly dressed,
or finely equipped, is said not to be vilain, or not to resemble a
vilain. Eneas, vv. 1495-9:

conreez fu le Troien,

com por aler en bois, molt bien :

le cuivre al col, 1'arc en la main,

ne resemblot de rien vilain;

ce vos semblast que fust Febus.
Marie de Erance, Lais, Lanval, vv. 175-71

Quant il fu vestuz de nuvel,

suz ciel nen ot plus bel dancel ;

n'esteit mie fols ne vileins.



54 CORTOIS AND VILAIN.

Amadas et Ydoine, vv. 1698-9:

Com cil qui n'est mie vilains,
Ot un blans gans de Castiaudun.

Perceval, vv. 28635-41 :

Atant est d'ime cambre issue
Une dame ki fu viestue
D'ime escarlate teinte en graine;
Trop me seroit anuis et paine
De la biaute de li escrire;
Mais tant vos puis center et dire
Que n'estoit vilaine ne fole.

Durmart le Galois, vv. 3859-3865:

Mais ses(t) ostes qui molt fu ber
Li fist un mantel aporter
D'une escarlate clere et fine,
La penne estoit tote d'ermine.
Li Galois s'en est arfiebles,
Asses fu la nuit regardes,
Ne sembla pas filz de vilain.



XII.

THE CORTOIS IS COURAGEOUS; THE VILAIN IS A COWARD,
(a) THE CORTOIS IS COURAGEOUS.

Direct characterizations of the cortois as courageous are found
as follows. In Wace, Brut, vv. 11517-21, the first mariner is thus
commended for venturing upon an unknown sea:

Mult fu hardis, mult fu cortois

Cil qui nes fist premierement

Et en mer se mist od le vent,

Terre querre qu'il ne veoit,

Et rivage qu'il ne savoit.

Vv. 56-60 of the Lai d'Ignaures tell how the hero of the lay spent
a part of his cortoise vie at tournaments, showing his courage by
jousting with many knights :



CORTOIS AND V 1 LAIN. 55

Molt demainne cortoise vie,

Et quant tornoi estoient pris,

II i aloit querre son pris

A . xx . chevaliers u a trente,

Et si n'avoit c'un poi de rente.

The Doctrinal le Sausage, stanza 28, implies the courage of the
cortois by criticising- as lacking in cortoisie those who are very
quarrelsome, but yet are of no account in wars and in tournaments :

D'une autre gent me sui merveilliez mainte foiz

Qui font granz aatines, outrages et desroiz

Et si ne valent riens aus guerres n'aus tornoiz :

Certes, ce poise-moi qu'il ne sont plus cortois.

Hugues Capet, vv. 4792-5, characterizes death for one's lord as
cortoisie :

Qui muert pour son signeur, il mettrt en courtoissie.

Je moray liement se vous cuers s'i alye ;

Car sachiez j'aime mieux, douce dame prisie,

Morir a grant honour que vivre en vilonnie.
Further testimony as to the part played by courage in cortoisie
is given by passages in which the two ideas are associated. Wace,
Brut, vv. 2261-4:

Hardis fu et biax et cortois,

Cil trespassa trestos les rois

Qui en Bretaigne orent este

De hardiment et de biaute. 1

The courage of the cortois was, however, not without its reason-
able limits, according to Chretien de Troies. In vv. 4326-30 of
Yvain he represents the hero as, hesitating for a moment to attack
la presse (v. 4337), as any man who was cortois and intelligent
might do:

Mes sire Yvains vient, si la voit

Au feu ou an la viaut ruiier,

Et ce li dut mout enuiier.

Cortois ne sages ne seroit,

Qui de rien nule an doteroit.

His hesitation was only momentary, however; cf. vv. 4337-8. The
same poet, in Yvain, vv. 3192-5, represents li cortois as being over-

1 See also Erec, vv. 2499-2502 ; Marie de France, Lais, Milun, vv. 13-14 ;
Le Breviari d'Amor, vv. 30922-3; Gaufrey, vv. 3756-7.



56 CORTOIS AND VILAIN.

come by Yvain, showing that though he considered the cortois
courageous he did not consider them as necessarily invincible :

Car li cortois, li preuz, li buens,

Mes sire Yvains tot autresi

Les feisoit venir a merci

Con li faucons fet les cerceles.

(b) THE VILAIN IS A COWARD.

Wace mentions the faint-heartedness of the vilain in Brut, vv.
62401 :

N'i avoit fors la vilenaille

Qui n'avoit qure de bataille,
and in the Roman de Rou, vv. 11195-8:

N'osoent uilain laborer,

Ne boes ioindre, ne champs arer,

Ne marcheant par uile aler,

Ne marcheandise porter.

In Thebes, vv. 2779-2780, Meleages is termed vilains because of his
lack of courage :

Meleages, mout ies vilains,

N'ies pas de hardement certains.

Benoit de Sainte-More speaks of the cowardice of the vilain in
Troie, vv. 6040-2 :

N'i a vilain ne vavassor

Qui ne guerpisse son maneir,

N'en i ose uns sols remaneir.

neas, vv. 6888-90, uses the cowardice of the vilain in a comparison
as if it were a well-known fact :

vos avez la teche al vilain,

ki la endreit hue son chien

o il n'ose aler por rien.

Erec, vv. 801-4, relates how the vilainne jant (v. 798) drew back
before a knight who was armed merely with a rod :

Li cuens est venuz an la place,

As vilains vient, si les menace,

Une verge tient an sa main :

Arriers se traient li vilain.

Elie de Saint Gille, vv. 582-5, thus describes the fright of a vilain
at the sight of carnage:



CORTOIS AND VILAIN. 57

A iceste parolle .i. vilain lor est sors

Et portoit se cuingnie dont ot ovre le jor.

Quant il voit les paiens detranchies en I'erbous,

En fuie vaut torner, car mout ot grant paour.

Cleomades, vv. 143-8, declares that not even shame will keep the
vilain from running away from danger :

Tel gent pour leur seignour morroient,

La ou li vilain s'en fuiroient ;

Car li vilains par droit ne crient

Honte quant de vilain lieu vient;

Ne vilain ne sevent cremir

Honte, quant il cuident morir.

The fablel De I' oustillement au vilain, Fab. ii 43, states (vv. 87-92)
in what manner the vilain shall arm himself to defend his land, but
(vv. 111-114) advises him not to be in the front rank of the fight:

Mes gart qu'il ne soit mie

Devant a Tescremie,

Quar il feroit que fols,

S'il ert aus premiers cops.

In other passages the cowardice of the vilain, though not directly
alleged, is implied. Guiraut de Ouentinhac, quoted in the Breviari
d'Amor, vv. 33596-7, declares that the tendency to be easily fright-
ened is gran vilanatge, i.e. very characteristic of the vilain. In
vv. 7981-7 of Perceval, Gawain says that for him to weakly turn
back from his undertaking would be trop vilains. Vv. 611-4 of
Tyolet imply that the vilain would not dare to enter a tournament:

'Tar foi," fet il, "sire Gauvain,

Or me tenez vos por vilain,

Qui me dites que n'os porter

Ma lance en estor por joster."

Perceval, vv. 17995-8 and 18001-2, characterizes one who shows his
faint-heartedness by weeping as lacking in cortoisie, i.e. vilain :

"Dites-moi, fait-il, sire rois,

Vous n'estes mie si cortois

Que j'ai o'i toustans center;

Que rois ne doit mie plorer.



Floret aves et duel mene,
Foible cuer aves.



58 CORTOIS AND VILAIN.

XIII.

THE CORTOIS IS VERSED IN THE ART OF COURTLY LOVE; THE VILAIN
IS IGNORANT OF COURTLY LOVE.

(a) THE CORTOIS IS VERSED IN THE ART OF COURTLY LOVE.

The God of Love is represented as being cortois. Hugues
Brunet, Rayn. Choix iii, p. 315:

Amors, que es us esperitz cortes.

Love bears the banner of cortoisie, and whoever will serve him will
be free from wienie. Le Roman de la Rose, i p. 63 :

Qu' Amors porte le gonfanon

De Cortoisie et la baniere,

Et si est de tele maniere,

Si dous, si frans et si gentis,

Que quiconques est ententis

A li servir et honorer,

Dedans lui ne puet demorer

Vilonnie ne mesprison,

Ne nule mauvese aprison.
Love is accompanied by Cortoisie. Bartsch, A. R. u. P., ii 2, vv. 3-6 :

. . . selonc un pandant

trovai Bone-Amor floretes coillant,

en sa compaignie

Sen et Cortoisie.
To love is cortoisie. Marcabrus, Rayn. Choix iii, p. 373 :

E cortezia es d'amar.

The same idea is expressed in similar terms by Garis lo Brus, quoted
in Le Breviari d'Amor, v. 32240, and by N'Uc de la Bachalairia,
quoted in Le Breviari d'Amor, v. 32252. Blacas, Rayn. Choix
m > P- 337> represents a lover as saying that if his lady loved him
as well as he loved her she would be doing gran cortezia. Peire
Raimon de Toulouse, Rayn. Choix iii, p. 129, associates cortezia
with courtly love:

Lo jorn que sa cortezia

Me mostret, e m fetz parer

Un pauc d'amor ab plazer.

Chretien de Troies in Lancelot, vv. 4377-8, defines cortoisie as
service for one's lady:

Ainz est amors et corteisie

Ouanqu'an puet feire por s'amie.



CORTOIS AND VI LAIN. 59

Perceval's musing over the drops of blood upon the snow and
recalling his lady's face is termed by Gawain a cortois thought;
Perceval, vv. 5824-5, 5828-37:

"Et jou estoie si pensis

D'un penser ki moult me plaisoit,

One devant moi, en icest leu,

avoit .iii. gotes de fresc sane

Qui enluminoient le blanc;

En Fesgarder m'estoit avis

Que la fresce color del vis

M'amie la biele veisse,

Ne ja partir ne m'en quesisce."

"Certes, fait mesire Gauvains,

Cis pensers n'estoit pas vilains,

Aingois ert moult cortois et dos."

Guillaume Magret, Rayn. Choix iii, p. 419, speaks of love as a
cortois disease:

Mas s'ieu muer de tan cortes mal

Cum amors es, ja no m'er grieu.

Since love was looked upon by the poets as inseparable from
cortoisie, it was but natural that they should limit its enjoyment
to the cortois. This notion was often expressed. Le Breviari
d'Amor, vv. 32215-6:

Qui vol done d'amor far son pro

Cove qu'el sia cortes.
Pierre Rogiers, Rayn. Choix iii, p. 35 :

Et amors ten se ab los cortes.

The same thought is expressed figuratively by Marcabrus, Rayn.
Choix v, p. 251 :

Qui ses bauzia

Vol amor alberguar,

De cortezia

Deu sa maison joncar.

Chretien de Troies, Yvain, vv. 21-23, lamenting the "good old
times," wrote:

Car cil qui soloient amer

Se feisoient cortois clamer

Et preu et large et enorable.



60 CORTOIS AND VILAIN.

The same poet, Wackernagle p. 15, says:

Nuls, sil nest cortois et saiges,

Ne puet riens damors aprendre.

The Breviari d'Amor insists upon this quality of cortoisie in a lover
in three passages. Vv. 30176-9:

Quar qui es be enamorat

Deu esser cortes e celat,

Gardan se de dire folor

Si be vol aver d'est' amor.
Ibid., vv. 287-9, 297-300:

Or voil a ton estat venir,

comment tu te doiz contenir,

se vers amours veuz assener.

O tout cen doiz estre cortois

des chevelz siques es ortois :

par courtoisie et par largesce

puet Ten monter en grant hautesce.

Ibid., vol. i, p. 21, cortezia is mentioned as one of the virtues of
the tree of knowledge of good and evil which everyone must pluck
who wishes to have the fruit of ladies' love. In Le Roman de la
Rose, i p. 74, we are again told that a lover must be cortois :

Qui d'Amors vuet faire son mestre,

Cortois et sans orguel doit estre.

In another passage from the same work the God of Love tells the
Lover that one who would kiss his lips must be cortois; ibid., i p. 63.
Vv. 689-694 of La Clef d'Amors declare that a letter to one's lady
must be couched in cortois language, without any word of vilanie,
if it is to touch her heart. Las Leys d'Amors, Appel, Prov. Chrest.,
St. 124, lines 40-42, declare that one who is in love must show
himself cortes in his actions and in his words. Andre le Chapelain
in De Amore, p. 106, among his "twelve chief precepts of love" gives
the following : In omnibus urbanum te constituas et curialem.

Certain passages mention cortois who are lovers. Lanfranc
Cigala, Appel, Prov. Chrest., St. 32, vv. 45-47, says of his lady:

que li cal tan cortezia


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