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VOLUME XVII NUMBER 1 WINTER 1993 



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RENAISSANCE 



AND REFORMATION 




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RENAISSANCE 



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VOLUME XVI I 






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NUMÉRO 1 



HIVER 1993 



Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme is published quarterly (February, May, 
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Winter / hiver 1993 (date of issue: February 1994) 

Publication Mail Registration No. 5448 ISSN 0034-429X 




New Series, Vol. XVII, No. 1 Nouvelle Série, Vol. XVII, No. 1 

Old Series, Vol. XXIX, No. 1 1993 Ancienne Série, Vol. XXIX, No. 1 



CONTENTS / SOMMAI 




EDITORIAL 

3 

ARTICLES 

Re-reading iht folie: Louise Labé's Sonnet XVIII 

and the Renaissance Love Heritage 

by Deborah Lesko Baker 

5 

"Stone Walls" and "I'ron Bars:" Richard Lovelace and 
the Conventions of Seventeenth-Century Prison Literature 

by Raymond A. Anselment 
16 

Aneau, des Emblèmes d'Alciat et de V Imagination poétique aux 

Métamorphoses d'Ovide: pratique d'un commentaire 

par Marie Claude Malenfant et Jean-Claude Moisan 

35 

"Is Abbot Isidore also among the Prophets?:" Protestant Influences upon the 

Annotated Bible of Isidore Clarius 

by R. Gerald Hobbs 

53 



BOOK REVIEWS / COMPTES RENDUS 

Jan Miernowski. Dialectique et connaissance dans la Sepmaine de Du 

Bartas: ''Discours sur discours infiniment divers" 

recensé par James Dauphiné 

73 

Steve Rappaport. Worlds Within Worlds. 

Structures of Life in Sixteenth-Century London 

reviewed by C. J. Neville 

76 

Luisa Rotondi Secchi Tarugi. Pio II e la cultura del suo tempo 

recensé par Louis Valcke 
79 

John Dixon Hunt. Garden and Grove: The Italian Renaissance Garden in 

the English Imagination: 1600-1750; and Robert Munter & 

Clyde L. Grose. Englishmen Abroad Being an Account of their 

Travels in the Seventeenth Century 

reviewed by Kenneth R. Bartlett 

80 

Etienne Jodelle. L'Amour obscur, poèmes choisis par Robert Melançon 

recensé par Anna Bettoni 
83 

Mary Ann Radzinowicz. Milton 's Epies and the Book of Psalms 

reviewed by Judith S. Herz 

85 

WORK IN PROGRESS 

89 

ANNONCES / ANNOUNCEMENTS 

91 



EDITORIAL 



Avec ce premier numéro du volume 
XVII, nous sommes particulièrement 
heureux de vous offrir deux nouvelles 
raisons - il y en avait déjà beaucoup! - 
de lire Renaissance et Réforme. La pre- 
mière vise à rendre le survol du contenu 
des articles plus faciles. C'est pourquoi 
nous avons demandé aux collaborateurs 
et collaboratrices de nous fournir un bref 
résumé de l'argumentation de leur texte. 
Ce résumé apparaîtra régulièrement à la 
tête de chacun des articles. En outre, 
nous vous présentons une toute nouvelle 
section, intitulée "Recherches en cours" 
qui permettra de faire connaître à tout le 
réseau des abonnés de la revue les tra- 
vaux et projets en marche dans l'un ou 
l'autre des domaines de l'étude de la 
Renaissance, au Canada ou ailleurs dans 
le monde. Nous espérons que cette rubri- 
que permette de mieux faire connaître ce 
qui se passe au Canada même, et aussi 
d'encourager les contacts entre cher- 
cheurs canadiens et chercheurs étran- 
gers. Le réseau des lecteurs et lectrices 
de Renaissance et Réforme s'étend véri- 
tablement sur les cinq continents, ce qui 
en fait un important outil de diffusion 
d'idées et d'analyse. 



There are already quite a few rea- 
sons to read Renaissance and Reforma- 
tion. The quality of its articles, for 
instance, or the depth of its reviews. Yet, 
with this first issue of Volume XVII 
come two new features which we hope 
will make the reading of our journal even 
more compelling. On the one hand, we 
have asked our contributors to provide us 
with a short summary of their article. 
This summary appears in italics at the 
top of each article. On the other hand, we 
offer you a brand new section, entitled 
"Work in Progress." Here, our objective 
is to help publicize among our many 
readers the current research projects in 
all the areas of the Renaissance, and to 
encourage contacts between researchers 
in Canada or abroad. We hope that you 
will appreciate and use to its full extent 
this new tribune. Rnaissance and Refor- 
mation has a extensive network of read- 
ers on the five continents and is thus an 
important tool for the dissemination of 
knowledge and ideas. 



Re-reading the folie. 

Louise Labé's Sonnet XVIII and the 

Renaissance Love Heritage 



DEBORAH LESKO BAKER 



S 



ummary: Louise Labé's Sonnet XVIII is far from subtle in its forceful 
representation of sexual intimacy. After François Rigolot and Ann Rosalind 
Jones, Deborah Lesko Baker suggests a new reading of this most famous 
poem, and attempts to demonstrate how Louise Labé employs and ironizes 
the Petrarchan poetic tradition. Sonnet XVIII becomes thus a concerted 
dialogue with Petrarch's Canzoniere. 

In the poem-by-poem analyses accompanying his 1972 edition of Louise 
Labé's sonnets, Peter Sharratt remarks that although sonnet XVIII is probably 
the most celebrated text of the lyonnais poet's corpus, it is among the most 
difficult to discuss.^ Indeed, with the exception of Sharratt' s own commen- 
tary and the more recent penetrating analyses by François Rigolot, Peggy 
Kamuf and Ann Rosalind Jones, critical response to Labé's sonnets often 
tends to make limited or generalized reference to this anthology favorite.-^ It 
is not hard to speculate on why this might be so. Sonnet XVIII is, after all, 
far from subtle in its immediate and forceful suggestion of sexual intimacy, 
and although its conclusion waxes philosophical with an overt Neoplatonic 
turn, it quite frankly does not at first seem all that deep or in need of intensive 
explication. 

As with much Renaissance poetry, however, some of the most fruitful 
insights come from a careful investigation of the text in relationship to its 
anterior and contemporary poetic traditions. For example, after pointing out 
the multiplicity of traditions that inform Labé's sonnet (the Latin Basium, 
Neo-latin poetry. Pléiade aesthetics. Biblical humanism, Cabalism, and 
Neoplatonism), Rigolot concentrates most strongly on the unexplored theo- 
logical element as he develops the compelling link between the lips (from the 
Latin labia, evoking the name Labé) that embrace/speak in the poem and the 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Reforme, XXIX, 1 (1993) 5 



6 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Biblical drama of language from Genesis, to Babel, to Pentecost. On the 
nearer side of the spectrum of influence stand the Renaissance movements of 
Petarchism and Neoplatonism, and it is here, I believe, that more remains to 
be said. In her seminal article on the poetics of Louise Labé and Pernette du 
Guillet, Ann Rosalind Jones stresses that "women poets wrote within but 
against the center of the traditions that surrounded them, using Neoplatonic 
and Petrarchan discourse in revisionary and interrogatory ways." ^ If Labé's 
revision of Neoplatonism in sonnet XVIII has already been observed, her 
subversion of the Petrarchan tradition deserves more specific and detailed 
attention. A new close reading of the poem can sensitize us to the details of 
poet language that effectuate Lx)uise Labé's challenge to both of these 
Renaissance traditions. Such a reading can reveal that sonnet XVIII, perhaps 
more than any other single poem, creates an original and compelling set of 
values for the female poetic speaker's amatory discourse as well as for her 
sense of self. 

Raise m'encor, rebaise moy et baise: 
Donne m'en un de tes plus savoureus, 
Donne m'en un de tes plus amoureus: 
Je t'en rendray quatre plus chaus que braise. 

Las, te pleins-tu? ça que ce mal j'apaise, 
En t'en donnant dix autres doucereus. 
Ainsi meslans nos baisers tant heureus 
Jouissons nous l'un de l'autre à notre aise. 

Lors double vie à chacun en suivra. 
Chacun en soy et son ami vivra. 
Permet m'Amour penser quelque folie: 

Tousjours suis mal, vivant discrettement. 
Et ne me puis donner contentment, 
Si hors de moy ne fay quelque saillie.^ 

Whether we follow Enzo Giudici's bipartite division of the sonnet into a 
"partie scénique" (lLl-8) and a "partie monologique" (n.9-14) (Guidici, 
188) or Rigolot's tripartite division including "un appel à la jouissance" 
(Ll-8), "une leçon philosophique" (L9-10) and "un aveu personnel" (Lll- 
14) (p. 17), what emerges blatantly in the first part of the poem is the famous 
depiction of erotic intimacy between the poetic speaker and her lover. Of 
course, this very depiction or sensual communion is in itself the overarching 



Renaissance et Réforme / 7 



subversion of Petrarchan discourse, which is based on the self-turned suffer- 
ing of a poetic speaker consigned to love an absent, inaccessible Beloved. But 
beyond the anti-Petrarchan sensuality as a thematic construct, the semantic 
and rhetorical structure of the quatrains fights against the isolated, auto- 
reflexive character of the Petrarchan speaker. Line one's triple imperative not 
only replace solitary contemplation by a concrete event in media res (Rigolot, 
17), but puts the call for action squarely on the Other rather than on the Self. 
In addition, the highly chiasmic structure of the second-person imperatives 
and first-person pronouns in this line is the first rhetorical signal of a 
reciprocity and mutual exchange between lovers which Petrarchan discourse 
categorically denies.- 

This crucial notion of reciprocity and mutual exchange is strengthened 
by other elements of diction in the two quatrains. Adjective and pronoun 
structures here are key. Whereas the Petrarchan speaker collapses into the 
solipsisticye and prefers the more distant elle to the more proximate tu, there 
is an exactly equal number (six) of first and second-person pronouns or 
possessive adjectives in lines one through six. Moreover, Labé employs the 
quintessential verbs of exchange, the couple "donner-rendre" (11. 2-4, 6), as 
a complement to the verb "baiser" in evoking the shared kisses.^ In lines seven 
and eight, both verbs and pronoun/adjective structures reflect a movement 
from satisfying reciprocity and exchange to joyous unification. Here the 
mingling of boundaries between Self and Other captured by the present 
participle "meslans" culminates in the almost hyperbolic enumeration of 
first-person plural forms: 

Ainsi meslans nos baisers tant heureus 
JouissoAZ5 nous l'un de l'autre à notre aise. 

The nous form as imperative, pronoun, or possessive adjective is rare in 
male-authored Petrarchan sequences and when used evokes a profoundly 
different type of union. In Labé' s lyonnais contemporary, Maurice Scève, 
whose volume Délie is the first important French imitation of Petrarch's 
Canzoniere, this structure occurs only in the final poems of the love sequence, 
when after a long separation from his Beloved the speaker approaches a partial 
transcendence of his unsatisfied experience.^ Labé's nous brings the possi- 
bility of the lovers' union back to earth and makes the achievement of 
satisfaction a joint effort! 

Up to this point we have studied clearly fl«r/-Petrarchan verbal and 
pronomial structures. But a final view of this sonnet's first part shows that 
Labé also employs, but deftly ironizes, certain key elements of the Petrarchan 



8 / Renaissance and Reformation 



vocabulary. By ending the first quatrain with the word "braise," she draws 
attention to the whole scope of Petrarchan fire imagery, which typically 
evokes either the consuming pain of unrequited desire or the salutary purga- 
tion provided by the acceptance of suffering. In Labé's use, of course, the 
intensity of deprivation is transformed into the intensity of sensual fulfillment, 
and the term becomes associated with an erotic surfeit rather than a lack 
(especially since the speaker's kisses are hyperboHcally metaphorized as 
''plus chaus que braise"). Even more striking is the semantic richness of line 
five, which features a series of conventional terms which might well be used 
to describe the plight of the unhappy Petrarchan lover: "Las," a diminutive 
of hélas, thus an exclamation of suffering; "se plaindre," a classic verb of 
suffering or complaints; and "mal," the nominalization of that suffering. Here 
Labé's irony becomes quasi-humorous as the poetic speaker seeks to relieve 
the "pain" of her still un-satiated lover's appetite by accelerating the rate of 
her kisses.^ Certainly no one would pity this lover's plight! And in a final 
subtle barb to her tradition's crisis of deprivation, Labé ends the line with the 
verb "apaiser," which in invoking the notion of relief, also invokes the notion 
of peace (paix, or the Italian pace) so dear yet elusive to the Petrarchan lover. 
For that traditional Petrarchan lover, peace might only be imagined after 
death, or at least after an extended period of absence and distance from the 
Beloved.^ In Louise Labé's erotic scene, more contact - not more distance - 
is the answer, and relief or peace is as close in time as it is in space. The only 
death that could conceivably bring relief in this sonnet would be a symbolic 
sexual one. 

With its abrupt change in tone, the first tercet ushers forth the unex- 
pected philosophical implications of the poem's opening scene: 

Lors, double vie à chacun en suivra. 
Chacun en soy et son ami vivra. (11.9-10) 

Most commentators have pointed out in these lines Labé's formulation of an 
omnipresent Neoplatonic maxim: that true love involves a transmigration and 
exchange of souls in which the lovers "die" unto themselves only to be reborn 
in their spiritual union with the Beloved. In her book Images littéraires de la 
femme à la Renaissance, Madeleine Lazard emphasizes that whereas fellow 
lyonnais poets Maurice Scève and Pernette du Guillet can conceive of a 
metaphysical conjunction of lovers only through the transcending of erotic 
desire, Louise Labé exuUs physical love as the catalyst of complete spiritual 
union. ^ Her revision of Neoplatonism therefore, is a much more open accom- 
modation of sexual love; more than a catalyst, in fact, sexual love becomes 



Renaissance et Réforme / 9 



the emblem or analogy for Platonic union. But there is a further revision of 
the tradition as well. In Louise Labé's diction, the accent falls not on the idea 
of figurative self-death occurring as the lover's soul migrates toward the 
Beloved's, but on the idea of double life: life within the Beloved and life 
within the Self. The priority given to a double existence is affirmed as well 
in the language of the text, since "life" appears both as a substantive and as 
a verb. In this affirmation of life, there is no denial or subjugation of the self 
-just continued reciprocity with the Other.^^ 

Even in the midst of Labé's revision of a fundamental Neoplatonic 
principle, her dialogue with the Petrarchan tradition subtly continues. In lines 
nine and ten she subverts once again the Petrarchan notion of spiritual union 
as something conceivable only at a great temporal distance from the Beloved. 
She pointedly ends these two lines with verbs in the future, a tense which her 
Petrarchan contemporary Scève uses exclusively in the final poems of Délie 
to envision that far-away moment beyond earthly life when oneness with his 
Beloved might be possible. In fact, Labé's two verbs, "suivra" and "vivra," 
are the final two verbs of Scève' s entire sequence. But Labé introduces her 
own future verbs by the sharply anti-Petrarchan adverb "Lors," which defines 
the lovers' spiritual unification as close at hand, coming right on the heels, as 
it were, of their passionate embraces. These two future tenses, therefore, have 
the same temporal status as the "rendray" in line four, which suggests the ease 
and rapidity with which kisses are exchanged. By ironizing the Petrarchan 
verbs, Louise Labé posits the doubly un-Petrarchan idea of an undelayed and 
unprohlematic access to spiritual union through the very agency of physical 
love.^^ 

The final line of the first tercet is both pivotal and problematic. Labé's 
return to the imperative is profoundly different here as she appears to replace 
the passionate address to her lover with an earnest request for permission from 
personified Love to contemplate some sort of madness. How can we fruitfully 
make sense of this line? To my mind, an enlightening reading has been offered 
by Rigolot, who suggests that the speaker is asking permission from Platonic 
Love to accept the notion that real love does indeed go beyond the Hmits of 
reason, that the very search for union with the Other is a kind of madness. ^^ 
But if the Neoplatonic exchange of souls is in itself accepted as a concept 
exceeding human reason, still the kind of "folie" for which Labé is asking 
permission seems much more extreme and potentially more shocking. I would 
propose that the madness which the poet wants valorized here is her own 
departure from the Neoplatonic and Petrarchan traditions that determine her 
discourse. In this light, the "Amour" being addressed in line eleven might be 



10 / Renaissance and Reformation 



viewed not only as the personification of spiritualized or Platonic love, but 
also as the love god Cupid who hovers over the Petrarchan love lyric, instilling 
a passion that is strictly non-reciprocal and forever unattainable. Surely a 
revision of Neoplatonism which openly designates physical union as an 
emblem of spiritual union and which stresses continued life in the Self (rather 
than self-death) in the movement toward life within the Other might seem 
aberrant or "mad." Likewise, a revision of Petrarchism which replaces the 
anguished solitary lover with a vision of the couple unified physically and 
spiritually on earth defies the very rationale of the system and thus also is 
"mad." 

In sum, then, the "folie" of this poem is more than the realm beyond 
reason to which passion can carry a lover; it is the movement beyond the limits 
of literary tradition that the artist carries out in her poetic creation. And as the 
punctuation ending line eleven suggests, the "folie" can be referred not only 
back to what has already been said, but ahead to the speaker's culminating 
statement. From this point of view, the second tercet is an elaboration and a 
refinement of the first. Abandoning the semi-didactic tone and third-person 
perspective of lines ten and eleven, the poet reassumes her passionate first- 
person voice to continue defining the "madness" - that is, her passage beyond 
the boundaries of her twin contemporary love traditions: 



Toujours suis mal, vivant discrettement. 

Et ne me puis donner contentement. 

Si hors demoy ne fay quelque saillie. (11.12-14) 

As in the previous tercet, Labé's exploration of the "folie" involves a nuanced 
ironization of both Neoplatonic and Petrarchan diction and ideas. First, the 
double sense of the adverb "discrettement" in the sixteenth century (Rigolot, 
18; Sharratt, 91; Jones, CE 172) seems simultaneously to connect and to sever 
the speaker from conventional discourse. In its ontological meaning of 
separateness, "discrettement" appropriately describes the state of solitude 
that eternalizes the "mal" of the Petrarchan lover; likewise it captures a 
grief-provoking failure to achieve the union with the Other on which Neopla- 
tonic love is based. On the other hand, when "discrettement" is taken to mean 
"wisely" or "properly" in the moral sense, the lasting suffering which the 
speaker expresses in line twelve ('Toujours suis mal") seems ill-fitted to 
either tradition. In the typical Neoplatonic dictum, lovers willingly accept to 
pursue their spiritual union with prudent restraint. And in Petrarchan poetry, 
ahhough the lover may not overcome the pain of being separate and alone, 



Renaissance et Réforme /Il 



he generally valorizes the moral propriety which will hopefully gain him some 
distant heavenly reward. ^-^ 

From this curiously divided statements - and the first, moreover, that 
seems to focus on the speaker's inner emotions - Labé moves to another 
compelling subversion of conventional rhetoric. Her speaker in line thirteen 
turns further inward with an overtly self-reflexive utterance addressing how 
she might give /lers^// satisfaction.^"^ Such self-reflexive language is a major 
feature of the Petrarchan voice, in which it encapsulizes the lover's fall into 
self-obsession as a reaction to a feminine presence which is amorphous at 
best.^^ However, the traditional solipsistic associations of Labé's reflexive 
language are sharply overturned in the closing line by a final and even more 
striking ironization of Petrarchan diction. This line tells us that the condition 
required by the speaker to gain self-satisfaction is the ability to move "outside 
of herself - "hors de moy."^^ The expression "hors de moy" in Petrarchan 
terms, as used by Scève, for example, conveys the tortured lover's perceived 
breakdown and loss of Self in response to the conflicted contemplation of his 
unfulfilled love experience. ^^ In taking up this highly charged phrase, Labé 
dramatically replaces its traditional meaning with her own: going "outside of 
herself is nothing other than the quest for a multifaced lover's union that she 
has pursued throughout the poem. Thus, that self-reflexive rhetoric noted in 
line thirteen, far from suggesting a wounded Petrarchan self falling into 
solipcism, demonstrates a strong, integrated self that understands its own 
happiness depends not on interiority, but on exteriority - on the active pursuit 
of life with the Beloved. ^^ Additionally, it goes almost without saying that 
Labé's "hors de moy" simultaneously reinvokes the Neoplatonic vocabulary, 
while broadening and transforming it through the speaker's insistence on 
fulfilled desire as a prerequisite to complete union. 

We need to turn, finally, to Labé's choice of the curious word "saillie 
to conclude her sonnet. Like the word "discrettement" in line twelve, "saillie 
enjoys several different connotations within its basic meaning of a forceful 
rupture or "breaking out" (Rigolot, 19; Sharratt, 91-92; Jones, CE 172). One 
unavoidable connotation here is sexual, since in the sixteenth century the 
word is already used to refer to animal copulation. In this sense the speaker 
clearly plays on her will to abandon moral discretion by implicitly relating 
the amatory union celebrated in her poem to a consumated sexual act. But it 
would be too simple to accept that Labé uses such a powerful word only to 
make a sexual pun. "Saillie" is also a military term in the Renaissance, 
designating an aggressive outward movement of attack. To my mind, this 
combattive connotation suggests the conflictual posture that Labé forges 



?? 



>j 



12 / Renaissance and Reformation 



toward her contemporary Petrarchan and Neoplatonic traditions, and her use 
of the word strongly reflects the "breaking out" of these traditions that her 
sonnet achieves. This is all the more plausible in that the sixteenth century 
also gives the word "saillie" a verbal sense, that being any sort of rhetorical 
digression, oddity, or excess.^^ Labé's manipulations of conventional diction 
and rhetoric throughout the sonnet function expressly as such oddities, as such 
provocative "saillies," or verbal sallies away from the discourse of her 
male-authored models. If the erotic "saillie" or consumation will help bring 
the speaker satisfaction on the personal level, it is the creative "saillie" or 
revision of tradition that will bring iht poet satisfaction on the artistic level. 
In conclusion, Louise Labé's famous journey outside of herself ("hors 
de moy") in sonnet XVIII is at last a courageously double one. Paradoxically, 
in imagining the love experience as a move outward toward the Other, toward 
a fully-realized spiritual and physical union in this life, she overcomes the 
ontological disorientation of the Petrarchan lover and recuperates a positive 
sense of internal selfhood for the lyric speaker. At the same time, and equally 
paradoxically, in implicitly defining her artistic endeavor as an outward reach 
to explore and transform the diction of her poetic Others, she arrives at the 
creation of an original voice, and comes back to find an authentic poetic self. 

Georgetown University 

Notes 

1. Louise Labé. Sonnets, introd. and commentaries by Peter Sharratt (Austin: University 
of Texas Press, Edinburgh Bilingual Library 7, 1972), 89. 

2. François Rigolot. "Signature et signification: Les baisers de Louise Labé, Romanic 
Review 75:1 (1984) 10-24; Peggy Kamuf. "A Double Life (Femmeninism II)," in Men 
in Feminism, ed. Alice Jardine and Paul Smith (New York: Methuen, 1987) 93-97; 
Ann Rosalind Jones. The Currency of Eros: Women's Love Lyric in Europe, 1540-1620 
[CE] (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), 171-172. 

3. Ann Rosalind Jones. "Assimilation with a Difference: Renaissance Women Poets and 
Literary Influence," Yale French Studies 62, (1981) 135. 

4. Louise Labé. Oeuvres complètes, ed. Enzo Giudici (Genève: Librairie Droz, 1981). 
Peggy Kamuf 's English translation (Jardine, ed. 271) is useful for its careful attention 
to the diction of the original: 

Kiss me again, and again, and again: 
Give me one of your most delicious ones. 
Give me one of your most loving ones: 
I will give you back four hotter than coals. 

Alas, are you suffering? That is the ill I shall soothe 
By giving you ten more, sweeter still. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 13 



Thus mingling our happy kisses 

Let us enjoy one another at our leisure. 

From there will follow a double life for each. 
Each will live in self and in the beloved. 
Permit (me) my Love to think a certain madness: 

I ma always unwell, living discreetly, 
And can give myself no contentment. 
If I do not go outside myself. 

5. In commenting on Labé's revision of Catullus' famous lines calling his mistress to join 
him in a hyperbolic exchange of kisses, Jones stresses the female poet's appropriation 
of the traditionally male kiss poem and suggests that Labé's "direct command and her 
promise to reciprocate, even to outdo her male lover, typify her posture as amorous 
and poetic rival" (GE 171). 

6. For examples of Scève's use of the nous form as well as Labé's reworking of it in her 
Sonnet 13, see my "Louise Labé's Conditional Imperatives," Sixteenth Century Journal 
21:4(1990)528-529. 

7. In "Louise Labé's Deceptive Petrarchism," Modern Language Studies 9 (1981), 52, 
Karen F. Wiley points out the "crooning, motherly accents" of this line, which she sees 
blending with and enhancing the sensuality of the poem. Jones observes a similar dual 
positioning of the female speaker as "maternal-sounding soother of pain" and "inviter 
to shared pleasure" (CE 171). 

8. Petrarch's lyric speaker declares in the penultimate poem of the Canzoniere: 

si che, s'io vissi in guerra et in tempesta 

mora in pace et in porto: et se la stanza 

fu vana, almen sia la partiat onesta (S. 365, 11.9-11) 

Quotations of the Canzoniere are from Petrarch 's Lyric Poems, ed. and trans. 
Robert Durling (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976). 

9. Madeleine Lazard. Images littéraires de la femme à la Renaissance (Paris: Presses 
Universitaires de France, 1985) 52. 

10. See Kamuf (94-95) for a suggestive discussion of Louise Labé's original twist on this 
Neoplatonic motif. 

11. For a more ambivalent view of the effect of Labé's future tenses in 1 1 .9-10, see Rigolot 
(18). 

12. Rigolot (18). Rigolot's argument here is substantiated with convincing references to 
Labé's Débat de Folie et d'Amour, in which the relationship between these two notions 
is explored in an allegorical trial directed by the Olympian gods. Jones sheds additional 
light on the various levels of apology at stake in this plea to Love, in the context of 
Labé's position as poet and woman in sixteenth-century France (CE 172). 

13. Kamuf (95) goes so far as to read Labé's "suis mal" as an assertion of "unbeing" rather 
than of suffering, a profound ontological lack provoked by the double-edged notion of 
"vivant discrettement." 



14 / Renaissance and Reformation 



14. Rigolot's close reading notes: "Au vers 13 ('Et ne me puis donner contentment') 
l'infinitif réfléchi indique que l'amante est à la fois sujet et objet de son plaisir ambigu: 
elle se donne à elle-même la satisfaction d'échapper à la raison" (19). 

15. See, for example, the Petrarchan speaker's self-reflexive shame in Sonnet I of the 
Canzoniere: "di ne medesmo meco mi vergogno," 1. 11. In the Délie, Scève's lyric 
speaker utters similar self-referential structures, as in D. 317, 1. 1: "Mon mal se paist 
de mon propre dommage." Scève quotations are from The Délie of Maurice Scève, éd. 
I.D. McFarlane (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966). 

16. Note that Labé's avoidance of the;e in this line subtly underlines the movement outside 
the self. 

17. See D. 93, 1. 7-10: 

Car moy constraint, & par forcée preuue 
Le soir me couche esueillé hors de moy. 
Et le matin veillant aussi me treuue, 
Tout esploré en mon piteux esmoy. 

18. For the notions of interiority and exteriority applied to the lyric speaker, see Peter 
Baker. Obdurate Brilliance: Exteriority and the Modern Long Poem (Gainesville: 
University of Florida Press, 1991). Although as the title indicates. Baker's work treats 
long poems in the modernist and postmodernist movements, his theoretical distinctions 
are useful for the study of the Renaissance lyric tradition. 

19. Sharratt (91-92) notes Cotgrave's example of "saillie" used in a verbal sense, and cites 
a particularly apt quotation from Montaigne - one which beautifully highlights the 
"artistic" dimension of Labé's conclusion: 

"Les saillies poétiques, qui emportent leur auteur et le ravissent hors de soy, 
pourquoy ne les attribuerons nous à son bonheur?" (I, XXIV) 



'Stone Walls' and Tron Bars': Richard 
Lovelace and the Conventions of 
Seventeenth-Century Prison Literature 



RAYMOND A. ANSELMENT 



S, 



'ummary: In transcending stone walls and iron bars, Lovelace's well- 
known song "To Al'thea, From Prison" celebrates a freedom distinctly at 
odds with prevailing, often religiously inspired transformations of seven- 
teenth-century carcéral realities. Lovelace 's celebration of ''Minds innocent 
and quiet" fashions from traditional conventions of prison literature a 
political statement that redefines freedom through stoic resolve. Refusing to 
be bound in either song or spirit, the poem binds loyalists together in rituals 
of love and faith that create in the untroubled mind and the untrammeled 
soul a secular religion. For a moment in the 1640s, Lovelace uniquely 
captured the mirthful spirit of stoicism buoyed by the love, friendship, and 
loyalties expressed in its trinity of wine, women, and royalism. 

Stone Walls doe not a Prison make, 
Nor I'ron bars a Cage; 
Mindes innocent and quiet take 
That for an Hermitage; 
If I have freedome in my Love, 
And in my soule am free; 
Angels alone that sore above, 
Injoy such Liberty. 
Richard Lovelace 

To be in prison under any circumstance is a bitch, but to be in prison and 
innocent of the charge is a most muthafucka. Etheridge Knight 

Compared to the brutal realism of the lines Etheridge Knight wrote from the 
Indiana State Prison of the 1960s, the romantic idealism of the poem Richard 
Lovelace composed allegedly in the London Gatehouse prison of the 1640s 
sounds excessively optimistic and even glib. Metaphorically prison defines 



Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XXIX, 1 (1993) 15 



16 / Renaissance and Reformation 



for both writers a sense of membership in a beleaguered, if not suppressed 
social class; and each asserts his identity amidst isolation and suffering. The 
months Lovelace spent without freedom seem, however, almost irrelevant to 
his prison poetry. Unlike Knight and the strident voices from twentieth-cen- 
tury prisons, Lovelace denies the possibility "that physical brutality is as 
nothing compared to the brutality of the soul incurred by years and years of 
cancerous prison life."^ Perhaps his was not the experience of the modern 
penal institution; perhaps literary conventions and political loyalties deter- 
mined his response. The answers may lie both within the larger tradition of 
prison literature and within the specific contexts of the seventeenth century. 
To understand Lovelace's transformation as well as transcendence of his 
confinement and to appreciate anew his famous song 'To Althea, From 
Prison," the seventeenth-century relationship between the realities of prison 
life and the conventions of prison literature warrant reconsideration.^ In a 
century given to paradox, it may then become apparent, Richard Lovelace's 
indomitable, festive stoicism is a distinct and individualistic part of a historic 
moment. 

From the outset it must be made clear, however, that Lovelace's expe- 
rience behind stone walls and iron bars cannot be dated much less defined 
with any certainty. For his role in delivering the Kentish petition, Lovelace 
spent several months in London's Gatehouse where, according to Anthony à 
Wood,^ before being freed on bail in June 1642 "he made that celebrated song 
called Stone Walls do not a Prison Make, cfec." He is generally thought to have 
written ''To Lucasta. From Prison" at the same time. Although a recent 
Lovelace editor dates both poems in the ten-month period the poet spent in 
Peterhouse before being discharged in April 1649, one month before the 
publication of Lucasta, the licensing of this volume in the Stationers' Register 
on 4 February 1648 further supports the probability that the pieces "fram'd," 
in Wood's account, "for the press" while at Peterhouse were actually all 
written earlier. Allusions in both poems suggest this possibility, though 
neither these songs nor "The Vintage to the Dungeon'' can be dated precisely."^ 
Even if the relationship between the poet's imprisonment and his work were 
established, the nature of Lovelace's experiences in the Gatehouse and at 
Peterhouse eludes certain definition. 

The little that is known about the various seventeenth-century prisons 
suggests they may have been quite unlike later carcéral systems.^ Men and 
women were not ordinarily sentenced to definite terms of imprisonment, and 
they did not face the solitude and deprivation that characterize the discipline 
and punishment increasingly dominant after the eighteenth century.^ Rather 



Renaissance et Réforme / 17 



than subject individuals to an isolation and a regimentation designed to 
transform behavior, institutions such as Newgate or the Fleet were intended 
largely to hold people until their fates were determined. John Lilburne 
succinctly defines their essential purpose when he protests to the lieutenant 
of the Tower in which he was held, 'T doe not find any Law that makes prisons, 
places of executions, punishment, or torment, but only places of safe custody 7 
In this and the other tracts published during the 1640s, Lilburne adds his voice 
to the group of writers who decry a system that openly favored wealth and 
social class. Although prison walls may well bias their views of the life within, 
these seventeenth-century complaints, petitions, and remonstrances give 
some sense of the conditions Lovelace may have endured. 

Traditional practice disregarded their widely voiced assertion "that aal 
prisons and Goales what ever, he the Kings, for the publike good, and 
therefore are to he repared and fumished as prisons at the common Charge." ^ 
Common law might not justify the system of fees and payments that had 
evolved, but well before the seventeenth-century gaolers and wardens 
claimed the right to exact payments for their services. Prisoners paid a fee to 
the keeper when first committed to confinement; another fee freed them from 
chains; and other sums provided numerous comforts. A list of charges in "The 
forme of the table that shall hange in the hall in the Fleete" outlines a sliding 
scale based on social position and "Lawes."^ Prisons divided along class as 
well as economic lines, and those with sufficient means could hire their own 
chambers, bring their families and servants, and enjoy many amenities. John 
Lilburne, for example, paid fifteen shillings a week for chamber rent while 
the former Lord Mayor Sir Richard Garney paid three pounds for chamber 
and twenty-five pounds a week for diet.^^ The warden of the Fleet, Alexander 
Harris, in fact felt constrained to apologize for removing Edmund Cham- 
berlayne to another chamber because the prisoner "laye at liberty in the 
Wardens Freehould, yea had two of the Wardens owne lodgings, a Studdy 
and another roome, where his wife, children, and Servants did (as it were) 
keepe continuall hospitallitie, gameing and discourseing with others over the 
Wardens owne Bedd Chamber, Soe as the Warden when he came weary home 
at night could neither take his rest nor be private."^ ^ 

The inequities of this fee system are particularly apparent in the seven- 
teenth century among the writers who protested their imprisonment for debt. 
While some actually welcomed the new life, where through elaborate strate- 
gies they could dupe their creditors and live well on the gains, most increas- 
ingly saw themselves as victims of extortion and oppression. Prison for them 
commonly appeared a hopeless economic hell. In Geffray Minshull's graphic 



18 / Renaissance and Reformation 



acount of his fate in King's Bench Prison, prisoners at the mercy of "marble- 
hearted jaylers" are likened to 

a poore weather-beaten bird, who hauing lost the shoare, is driuen by 
tempest to hang vpon the sailes and tackHngs of a prison: the jaylor is 
the saylor, and if hee beate that bird off to sinke her in the seas, when by 
climbing vp to the maine top, or perhaps by lifting vp his hand, hee may 
take it and lend it heat from his warme bosome, it is an argument that his 
heart is made of the same rocks, that lie in wait to destroy ships in the 
ocean. ^^ 

Civil war exacerbated the conditions of imprisonment and intensified 
the complaints of another group, the close prisoners. Although protests 
against the restraint of prisoners inirons or in rooms, where "noe man may 
speake or bring them victuall; but the Warden is specially to provide for 
them,"^^ appear earlier in the century, charges of abuse are prominent on all 
sides during the 1640s. A "true relation" of John Lilburne's suffering in the 
Fleet reported to Parliament in February 1646 alleges that he was "laid in 
yrons, and his freinds denyed accesse to him; and that the officers of the Fleet 
strongly endeavoured to starve him''^'^ Royalists also suffered for their 
loyalty, as the lengthy petition for "competent maintenance" published in 
June 1647 reveals. Its signers declare themselves prisoners of war who have 

been lockt up in our Chambers close Prisoners for one or two yeares 
together, and none of our friends suffered to come at us but with our 
Keepers, or to minister to our wants, nor allowed a penny of maintenance 
by those that have held us Prisoners, but have been bidden, Either to 
starve, or eate the walls wee were kept in}^ 

Complaints about the hardships they and their families have suffered pale, 
however, when compared to the account of misery endured by the men at 
Oxford who refused to swear the oath of allegiance and were subjected to the 
tyranny of William Smith when the keeper carried out his threat to "make us 
take it, or he would make us to shit as small as a Rat."^^ Confinement of large 
numbers of prisoners in one room, some afflicted with smallpox and others 
left to putrify until the prisoners paid for their burials, was an extreme in the 
abuses of war; but a wide latitude countenanced close imprisonment "for 
matters of State."^"^ 

Whether the dashing Cavalier who delivered the Kent petition, "lived 
beyond the income of his estate,"^^ and suffered the consequences of the 
doomed 1648 uprising was ever incarcerated as a close prisoner or endured 
the deprivation of the fee system cannot be established. Rank and money may 



Renaissance et Réforme / 19 



have insulated the eldest son of an established family from the complaints 
about "Goals being the very sinks and common sewers of all wickedness," 
for he never shares their view of prison as a "daily death" that suffocates the 
spirit and buries men alive. ^^ He also ignores the contemporary cries of 
prisoners tormented by loss "of the benefit which Beasts enjoy, to walke 
abroad" and isolated by confinement "to the narrow limits of a prison where 
wee scarce ever converse with ought but our owne miseries; heare nothing 
but the clocke that tells our woes, our dayes and nights being both, as it were, 
produced at once, and twins in misery. "^^ But even if he had escaped the bonds 
of close confinement and had been imprisoned only in the comfortable 
Knights' or Warden! s chambers, Lovelace would have understood how each 
prisoner remains ultimately "a slaue in the eye of all freedome, fettered in the 
lap of his mother, (his country)."^^ He chose nevertheless to see his separation 
from the world and his confinement within prison walls from another, 
traditionally ennobling context. 

By redefining space and freedom this tradition inspired prisoners to 
transform harsh reality and to transcend physical boundaries. The common- 
places seen in the poem Francis Wortley published in 1646 while a prisoner 
in the Tower of London collapse distinctions between the wide world and the 
narrow cell: 

Imprisonment, admit it neere so close, 

Is to a wise man but his soules repose; 

And the lesse roome he hath, his soul's more free 

Then when she had her wanton liberty. ^^ 

Within and without are confounded "When sight's contracted and ismore 
intent," and confinement may indeed seem more desirable than freedom. 
George Wither insists that "my Mind, that spight of prison's free, / When ere 
she pleases any where can be"; and John Taylor believes that "a laile a 
Schoole of vertue is, / A house of study and of contemplation." Both are part 
of a rich tradition David Lloyd invokes when he uses Gregory of Nyssa's 
words to describe the imprisonment of Sir Robert Berkeley: "he might be 
Imprisoned, but not Restrained; or if Restrained, cloistered rather than 
Imprisoned; as an holy Anchorite, rather than an Offendor, retiring from a 
sad world, and not forced from it; where when alone, never less alone, not the 
suffering, but the cause making the punishment, as well as the Martyr; he 
thought his body always a streighter prison to his soul, than any prison could 
be to his body."^^ 



20 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Such triumph of the mind over the body is often stoic and usually 
Christian. The consolation Boethius found in philosophy as he awaited 
execution was well-known in the seventeenth century, and writers offer their 
own counterparts to his belief, "The serene man who has ordered his life 
stands above menacing fate and unflinchingly faces good and bad fortune. "'^'* 
Prison imagery quite naturally lends metaphoric force to Joseph Hall's 
influential neostoic definition of the Christian fortitude exemplified by the 
patient man who calmly accepts the sentence of injustice: "The Gaolers that 
attend him, are to him his Pages of honour; his dungeon, the lower part of the 
vault of heaven; his rack or wheele, the staires of his ascent to glory; he 
challengeth his executioners, and encounters the fiercest paines with strength 
of resolution."^ Prominent among the "Comfortable Cordials" William 
Prynne allegedly wrote in Latin on the Tower of London walls and published 
in a 1641 translation is his adaptation of Seneca: 

A godly Man's at large in every place. 
Still chearefull, well content, in blessed case, 
Vnconquer'd; he a secret Heaven still beares 
About within his brest, which sad things cheares. 
Dispells his blackest cloudes of griefe, off shakes 
His chaines; and closest prisons open makes.^^ 

The proverbial patience of Job also assumes an importance in Francis 
Wortley's characterization of the contented prisoner who turns upwards in 
contemplation, and years in London's prisons could not alter George Wither' s 
steadfast commitment to the will of God and the promise of a liberty beyond. 
The undistinguished lines of poetry that celebrate in the seventeenth 
century the "cleer Conscience" and the "upright heart" are often derivative 
and seldom moving, but their authors would have others believe that they 
themselves had transcended prison tedium and despair with a faith in the 
indomitable human spirit. Taught by religion that the world is a prison and 
the soul a prisoner, many not surprisingly accepted the consolation, 

A Jayl's the centre of this Iron-age, 
Yet not my Prison, but mine Hermitage. 
He that can boldly dare, yet justly do, 
Fortune's his Subject, and his Vassal too.^^ 

Sustained by the righteousness of their cause and an unwavering faith in God, 
the more zealously fervent ballads and prison meditations bear witness to the 
inward Peace and Tranquillity of Mind" that enabled the faithful to accept 



u 



Renaissance et Réforme / 21 



affliction patiently and to "rejoice, and in a Dungeon sing / For joy of heart, 
that Christ is there."^^ 

Lovelace's celebration of "Mindes innocent and quiet" departs in its 
stoic resolve from these well-established religious contexts. The version of 
''ToAlthea, From Prison" published in 1649 in fact appears less religiously 
connotative than any of its six manuscript variations.-^^ The emphasis in two 
of these on "the spotlesse soule and Innocent" and the stress in the remaining 
four on "A spotlesse mind, and innocence" or "Innocent" are less neutral than 
the final "Mindes innocent and quiet." When compared to "The Pensive 
Prisoner's Apology," an undated seventeenth-century adaptation of the song 
to Althea, Lovelace's eschew al of a specifically moral and religious tenor is 
even more apparent. Between the two opening and the concluding stanzas 
taken from Lovelace's song, the anonymous pastiche of prison poetry adds 
nine stanzas of decidedly didactic and Christian consolation.-^^ The guidance 
of faith, hope, and patience it emphasizes and the liberty through Christ it 
proclaims recall the values and language found often in the religious traditions 
but never in Lovelace's poetry. The stanzas in ''To Althea, From Prison" that 
lead to Lovelace's resolution suggest indeed that in this poem as well as in 
his other prison poetry Lovelace celebrates a stoicism consciously at odds 
with prevailing, religiously inspired transformations of prison's harshness. 

Secular rather than divine love enthralls the prisoners of Lucasta. The 
paradox of confined freedom evoked in the first stanza of ''To Althea, From 
Prison" envisions a realm of carefree liberty and seductive sensuousness that 
might initially be confused with a fashionable literary exercise: 

When Love with unconfined wings 

Hovers within my Gates; 

And my divine Althea brings 

To whisper at the Grates: 

When I lye tangled in her haire, 

And fetterd to her eye; 

The Gods that wanton in the Aire, 

Know no such Liberty. (11. 1-8, p. 78) 

Lovelace invites the reader to imagine the speaker literally confined to prison 
but then defies any sense of physical separation. The abstract love that brings 
Althea and the grates that frustrate the lovers' union dissolve: the two lovers 
become= love and are one. Realistically the speaker would have had to invite 
Althea into his cell in order to "lye tangled in her haire," a possibility that 
rank and money could have brought about; but poetically the tenuous line 



22 / Renaissance and Reformation 



between the literal and the figurative in the image of entanglement neither 
tolerates nor provokes literal-minded objection. The "snaring haires" of 
Francis Beaumont's "The Willing Prisoner to His Mistris" and the "nets of 
Gold whose Tramels might insnare" in Henry Glapthorne's "To Lucinda. He 
being in Prison" are part of a conventional poetic situation, and in many 
instances the text does not clarify the nature of the prison. ^^ Lovelace's 
adaptation, however, goes beyond the traditional compliment that informs 
this poetic play. 

Although other poems in the volumes to Lucasta succumb to a 
Petrarchan enthrallment, Lx)velace's tributes to his Aramanthas, Amyntors, 
and Altheas often test the conventional understanding of love's liberty. 
Particularly in the 1649 collection tributes to women celebrate the inspiration 
and fulfillment found in the paradoxical liberation of captivity. Lucasta ends 
with the lovers triumphantly "chain 'd" or "Fast pinion 'd in each others armes" 
(p. 118), and throughout the preceding poems separation from the source of 
light is a threat that must be overcome. The lady who in the famous lines of 
''To Lucasta, Going to the Warres" makes love and honor one symbolizes 
elsewhere the completion embodied in the women of the Caroline masques, 
and in her various names she gives purpose to a poetic world unusually 
preoccupied with images of captivity, bondage, and imprisonment. Separated 
from her in ''To Lucasta, From Prison," the poet finds only contradiction and 
confusion in "an universall mist," for she seems to become synonymous with 
the "sacred Beame" that also flows from the King's "Starry Waine." Simi- 
larly in "ToAlthea, From Prison" the confined love that surpasses the freedom 
of mythological deities creates a sense of oneness that also assumes a 
masquelike and Royalist note. 

The next stanza explicitly gives political dimension to Lovelace's adap- 
tation of the conventional prison conceit. The "unconfined wings" that bring 
the paradoxical bondage of Althea are paralleled in the liberation from "thirsty 
griefe": 



When flowing Cups run swiftly round 

With no allaying Thames, 

Our carelesse heads with Roses bound. 

Our hearts with Loyall Flames; 

When thirsty grief in Wine we steepe, 

When Healths and draughts go free, 

Fishes that tipple in the Deepe, 

Know no such Libertie. (11. 9-16) 



Renaissance et Réforme / 23 



The lines recall the exhortation in "The Vintage to the Dungeon'' to throw off 
the shackles of care and to break the manacles of sorrow: 

Live then Pris'ners uncontrol'd; 
Drinke oth' strong, the Rich, the Old, 
Till Wine too hath your Wits in hold; 
Then if still your JolHtie, 
And Throats are free; 

Chorus 

Tryumph in your Bonds and Paines, 

And daunce to th'Musick of your Chaînes. (11. 8-14, p. 46) 

But the freely flowing wine is not the mirth of an alcoholic reverie. Unlike 
the carousing tenor of "The Vintage/' the song to Althea extols the healths 
that slake troubled hearts and intensify "Loyall Flames." The circle formed 
as the cup goes round circumscribes a Cavalier fellowship and loyalty distinct 
from the religious tenor of much seventeenth-century prison poetry. 

Writers had, of course, long praised the carefree conviviality of drinking, 
but in the 1640s tributes to the cup assumed unmistakable political associa- 
tions. Even before Parliament banned the traditional rite of drinking healths 
to the monarch, Royalists had been stigmatized as revelling with Bacchus, 
and recent cultural studies have shown how attitudes towards festive mirth 
reflect political and religious differences.^^ In the prison literature of this 
decade, the extremes are apparent in William Prynne's and Francis Wortley's 
expressions of political defiance. Prynne pointedly contrasts the cropped ears 
he suffered with the jewels worn by courtiers and concludes, 

Chaînes, Mutilations, Pillories, Brandes bring, 
To godly Christians farre more joyes, heaping 
Most large rewards upon them. Players, Playes, 
Jests, Dancing, Maskes, Songs, generate alwayes 
But deadly Laughters, feigned shoutes. 

Most "happie" is the inmate who has Christ as his "Fellow-prisoner, who doth 
gladde / With heavenly Sunbeames, Goales that are most sad."-^^ The Tower 
also echoes a distinctly different commitment in the communal festivity of 
Wortley's "Loyall Song of the Royall Feast." The personal suffering 
acknowledged in the long catalogue of "loyall blades" and the royal concern 
counterpointed in the refrain culminate in the heahhs to the King and his 
family. The royal huntsman Charles had provided the occasion for the feast, 
sending the prisoners of Parliament "Two brace of Bucks to mend the cheere"; 



24 / Renaissance and Reformation 



and his grateful subjects respond, "Wee'l drink them o're and o're again / 
Else we're unthankfull creatures."^"^ Bound in loyal service and cheerful 
camaraderie, Wortley and his peers create in 1647 a faint imitation of the 
Whitehall festive mirth Prynne excoriates; others opposed to the zealous spirit 
that threatened the old order joined in their own ritual drinking. 

Not all prisoners, however, raised their cups only to the Caroline cry, 
"Let's merrily quaff our wine / To the King and his Consort divine. "•^*' Long 
before the numerous catches and songs of the 1640s and '50s encouraged all 
listeners to "Ne'er trouble thy self at the times or their turnings" and to "Ne'er 
chain nor imprison thy soul up in sorrow,"^^ alcohol had provided English 
prisoners an escape from boredom and depression. Early seventeenth-century 
accounts of prison life complain that "euery chamber is nothing els but a 
continuall drinking roome" whose inhabitants waste away their lives and 
money on exorbitantly priced wine and beer.^^ Though alcoholism must have 
been a constant problem throughout the penal system, by the outbreak of the 
civil war a popular image tended to displace the often bitter Jacobean 
impression of prisoners who "must chant merry songs, / Like birds in cages, 
and are glad to sing / Sweet tunes to those, who them to thraldome bring."^^ 
Carousers who drank their liberty from the depths of the bowl now did so 
with defiance: "Our Dungeon is deep, but our Cups are so too; / Then Drink 
we round in despite of our foes, / And make our hard Irons cry clink in the 
close."-^^ The oblivion of alcohol still attracted prisoners who wished to 
escape oppression in wine and thereby create their own versions of the tipsy, 
whirling world of civil upheaval, but the fortunes of war as well as of 
temperament prompted the King's supporters to fashion other images of the 
reveller. The author of The Cambridge Royalist Imprisoned, who boasts of 
drinking his parliamentarian gaolers under the table, sings with uplifted cup 
and swaggering confidence of the gallant spirit and royal leadership that mark 
the early months of conflict.'*^ "The contented Prisoner his praise of Sack" 
finds another music in the bondage of chains as he drowns cares in wine and 
conquers fate with silence, confident that contentment is his "If our con- 
science be cleere, / And our title be good." The author of this poem, alterna- 
tively entitled "The loyal Prisoner,'"^^ avoids any overt political commitment, 
but his allegiances are unmistakable in a period where "He that won't drink 
and sing, / Is a Traytor to's King."^^ 

This quintessential gesture of loyalism gains still greater signficance in 
Lovelace's prison poem to Althea. Gracefully and naturally he adds to the 
royal healths his loyal songs: 



Renaissance et Réforme / 25 



When (like committed Linnets) I 
With shriller throat shall sing 
The sweetnes, Mercy, Majesty, 
And glories of my KING; 
When I shall voyce aloud, how Good 
He is, how Great should be; 
Inlarged Winds that curie the Flood, 
Know no such Liberty. (11. 17-24) 

Lovelace disregards the warning in a common emblem that the nightingale 
"Beinge kepte in cage, she ceaseth for to singe, / And mournes, bicause her 
libertie is barde"; and.he does not heed the further moral "The Prouerbe saithe, 
the bounde must still obey, / And bondage bringes, the freest man in awe.'"*^ 
Like the linnet, one of the most aerial, free roving, and sociable of finches, 
the speaker refuses to be bound in song and spirit. In bearing testimony to the 
King's greatness, albeit with a "shriller throat," the song is witness to 
Lovelace's unvanquished loyalty. The unheard music to be voiced aloud and 
the healths that keep the round of flowing wine create harmony in discordant 
times. 

The music of love and loyalty behind the iron bars is not the harmonious 
communion of Prynne and the other religious prisoners. Lovelace does not 
envision the "sweet society and fellowship" that united the prisoners at 
Colchester in prayer and brought them comfort "by reading, singing, and 
brotherly obligations, whereby your Prison was turned into a Temple and 
Sanctuary, as the Coalers house, and other prisons, was by Paul and Silas. '' 
Nor does the song to Althea forsake the "vain songs . . . sung to the World" 
for the "Psalms, Hymns, and spiritual Songs, making melody in the heart."^ 
Its royal music cannot be confused with the rapturous contemplation that 
transports the confined beyond all thought of affliction as it transforms prison 
into paradise, yet it also should not be associated simply with the increasingly 
common escapist mirth: 

Come, pass about the bowl to me, 
A health to our distressed King; 
Though we're in hold, let cups go free, 
Birds in a cage may freely sing."^^ 

The harmony Lovelace encourages brings loyalists together in rituals of love 
and faith that create in the hermitage of the quiet mind and the heaven of the 
untrammeled soul a secular religion. 



26 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Lovelace's essentially stoic alternative to much seventeenth-century 
prison literature celebrates, in effect, a trinity that is at once traditional and 
distinctive. The simple assertion of mirthful freedom in "The Vintage to the 
Dungeon'' and the obvious devotion to both the beloved lady and the King in 
"To Lucasta. From Prison" are transformed in the song to Althea into the 
celebration of wine, women, and royahsm that transcends the immediate 
experience of the London prisons.^ Where other writers found it to their 
advantage to accentuate and perhaps exaggerate the hardships of prison, 
Lovelace fashioned his own political statement from the well-established 
conventions of prison literature that redefine the limits of freedom. In the 
strife-torn 1640s prison bound him closely to a threatened class and occa- 
sioned an idealistic defiance. His is the "Free-borne Loyaltie" of the "cleare 
Cavalier" who finds both inspiration and solace in the knowledge that " Vertue 
is her own reward, and fortune is a Whore. ""^^ Lovelace may have found 
encouragement in the other prison poems of the 1640s, or he may have helped 
inspire the works that appear during this decade; the uncertain dating of these 
poems renders the issue of influence moot. None of Lovelace's contemporar- 
ies, however, brings all the literary conventions and loyalist values together 
in similar fashion, for the seemingly effortless transformations in ''To Althea, 
From Prison" surprisingly have no immediate parallels among the prison 
poems prompted by the political upheaval. 

The closest approximation, a piece attributed to Roger L'Estrange, 
underscores Lovelace's uniqueness. This thirteen-stanza poem may have 
appeared in print two years before the publication of Lucasta, and conceivably 
its author may have known the song to Althea in manuscript, or perhaps the 
long piece may have been known to Lovelace;"^^ whatever the relationship, 
the two poems shape a common body of ideas with markedly different spirit. 
Although David Lloyd approvingly quotes all seventy-eight lines as the 
"generous Expressions of a worthy Personage, '"^^ the poem widely antholo- 
gized under different titles in the seventeenth century fails to rise above its 
prosaic certitude: 

That which the world miscalls a jail, 

A secret closet is to mee; 

Whilst a good conscience is my bail; 

And innocence, my liberty. 

Locks, walls, bars, solitude, together mett, 

Make me no prizoner, but an anchoret.^^ 



Renaissance et Réforme / 27 



With great prolixity and little verve, subsequent lines invoke the stoic apathy 
that overcomes prison's torment as they seek the inspiration that transforms 
the cell into a citadel. The presence of an Althea or Lucasta is felt only 
indirectly: "The manacles upon my arme / I, as my sweetheart's bracelets, 
wear"; and the Royalist recourse to wine is absent. In his contemplative and 
decidedly religious solitude the speaker is bound in paradoxical freedom to 
the suffering monarch: 

Have you not seen the nightingale, 
A pilgrim coopd up in a cage, 
How she doth sing her wonted tale 
In that, her narro.w hermitage? 

Even such her chanting melody doth prove. 

That all her barrs are trees, her cage a grove. 

I am that bird, whom they combine 
Thus to deprive of liberty. 
So, though they doe my corps confine, 
Yet (maugre hate) my soul is free; 

And though immured, I can chirp and sing 

Disgrace to rebels, glory to my king. 

The song is Cavalier in subject, but the melody lacks grace, and the harmony 
seems flat. L' Estrange does not possess the deft touch characteristic of the 
Caroline sons of Ben Jonson; and, more important, he does not recognize the 
mirthful dimension of the Cavalier devotion. The women in Lovelace's poetry 
inspire a love and honor either explicitly or implicitly synonymous with the 
King, and raising a cup to the monarch's health and being raised by the image 
of the beloved seem in the context of ''To Althea, From Prison" one. 

Writers less studied and more lyrical than L' Estrange also fail to dupli- 
cate Lovelace's spirit,^ ^ and the aftermath of defeat dampened the loyalist 
mirth of comrades in chains. Where once the caged linnet sang the uplifting 
notes of royal music, the dominant song is now discordant. The nightingale 
in Thomas Jordan's poem has grown "sick, sick, sick," and the "Royal vocal 
wood" where once each bird sang in sweet concord "Is defil'd by Rebels, 
where they hug / Their Leaguer Lady / Jug, jug, jug."^^ Those who drink the 
now forbidden royal healths struggle to stave off disillusionment and cyni- 
cism in a homeland that has become for Royalists a prison. The revellers in 
"The Royal Rant" who call for the bar boy "think upon the dayes / Of Love 
and Musick, Loyalty and Playes"; they are not, however, completely dispirited: 



28 / Renaissance and Reformation 



In a dungeon deep we lye, 

Crampt with cold captivity, 

Where the bedless bottom owns 

Nothing to relieve our bones; 

Yet such is the sacred scope of the soul 

That we never think 

Of the stink 
When cold water we drink. 
For Conscience crowns the bowl.^-' 

In the dungeon that England has become, an unsullied conscience and a 
steadfast soul comforted those who w^aited the turn of fortune's wheel. Their 
voices, however, sometimes strain with a new bravado: 

Clog me with Chains, your envies tire. 

For when I will, I can expire; 

And when the puling fit of Life is gone, 

The worst that cruel man can do, is done.%5%4 

Cups could only be raised mutely to the fame of a king "we dare not name," 
the brimmers of sack were drained of their inspiration, and Royalist prisoners 
lapsed into indifference.^^ The value of a gesture once fraught with political 
significance now appears questionable. 

Lovelace also reflects this altered temperament in his subsequent publi- 
cation, LucastaJ^osthume Poems. No prison poems appear in the 1660 
volume published two years after its author's death, and the Cavalier trinity 
is no longer upheld with confidence. Lucasta reappears as a source of light, 
"She that holy makes the Day, / And 'stills new Life in fields of Fueillemort" 
(p. 135); but new forces abroad threaten her call to "play and sport," and she 
inspires little of the honor and love that give serious dimension to the image 
of women in the earlier volume. The call for the camaraderie of loyal 
fellowship and brimming cups is also noticeably less apparent, and the 
wedding of "Mad Love with wilde Canary" follows a drunken harmony suited 
to a staggering world. In the new era of "brave Oliver -Brutus,'' references to 
the old order are veiled, and a sense of enclosure is far more pervasive than 
the literal walls and bars of Lucasta. Flies caught in cobwebs, toads paralyzed 
by spiders, and falcons impaled by herons are emblems of a world in which 
all seem fated to consume or be consumed. The undaunted spirits who like 
the falcon or the rhinoceros triumphantly assert themselves in death offer an 
ennobling consolation, but the "Sage Snayl" that turns in upon itself is the 
"Wise Emblem of our Politick World." In the stoic self-containment the snail 



Renaissance et Réforme / 29 



exemplifies, Lovelace appears to embrace the enclosure he had long sought 
to transcend: "Thou sleep 'st within thy Marble Cell; / Where in dark contem- 
plation plac'd, / The sweets of Nature thou dost tast" (p. 137). 

The movement inward suits the times, for the decline and defeat of the 
King's cause had dated the resolve of the song to Althea. At some moment 
in the 1640s, before the image of Cavalier superiority dissolved in the 
inevitable loss, Lovelace captured the mirthful spirit of a less restrictive 
stoicism buoyed by the love, friendship, and loyalties of the Caroline world. 
But when the optimism of the Royalists waned, the realities of imprisonment 
remained, and the prison poem synonymous with Lovelace's Cavalier life and 
spirit seemed a quixotic ideal. In the earlier war- torn England, Lovelace 
shared the heightened awareness of space and time that force prisoner and 
poet alike to confront the meaning of liberty.^^ His response to an increasing 
loss of freedom shapes a long tradition of stoicism into a testimony to the 
unvanquished human spirit, an affirmation that counters with its secular faith 
the fervor of the imprisoned religious zealots. Forthrightly proclaimed, his 
transcendent values convey the resonance of the past and the conviction of 
the moment with a deceptive simplicity that invites yet resists the jaded 
response: 

Let Stoics boast of a contented mind, 
The joy and pleasure of a life confin'd, 
That in imprisonment the soul is free — 
Grant me, ye gods, but ease and liberty .^^ 

University of Connecticut 

Notes 

1. Etheridge Knight, "Inside These Walls," in Black Voices from Prison, ed. Etheridge 
Knight (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1970), p. 129. 

2. Neither the conventions nor the development of seventeenth-century prison literature 
has been studied. Numerous writers have, of course, responded to imprisonment, and 
lists of these authors as well as some critical commentary can be found in a range of 
works: John A. Langford, Prison Books and Their Authors (London: W. Tegg, 1861); 
Isidore Abramowitz, The Great Prisoners (New York: E. P. Button, 1946); H. Bruce 
Franklin, The Victim as Criminal and Artist (New York: Oxford University Press, 
1978); In Prison, ed. James E. Trupin (New York: Mentor, 1975); Chikwenye Okon 
Jo Ogunyemi, "The Song of the Caged Bird: Contemporary African Prison Poetry," 
Ariel 13 (1982): 65-84. 

3. Anthony à ^ood, Athenae Oxonienses, ed. Philip Bliss (London, 1817), 3: 461. 



30 / Renaissance and Reformation 



4. Thomas Clayton, éd., Cavalier Poets: Selected Poems (Oxford: Oxford University 
Press, 1978), p. 275; H. M. Margoliouth's review of Wilkinson's Lovelace edition, 
Review of English Studies 3 (1927): 94; Willa McClung Evans, "Lovelace's Concept 
of Prison Life in The Vintage to the Dungeon," Philological Quarterly 26 (1947): 
62-68; Manfred Weidhorn, Richard Lovelace (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1970), 
pp. 59, 71. 

5. Recent scholarship has focused on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and com- 
parable attention has not been given to either the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries. 
The most useful survey is Clifford Dobb, "London's Prisons," in Shakespeare in His 
Own Age, ed. Allardyce NicoU, Shakespeare Survey 17 (Cambridge: Cambridge 
University Press, 1964): 87-100. Although they concentrate on the earlier centuries, 
two other studies are relevant: Ralph B. Pugh, Imprisonment in Medieval England 
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968) and John Bellamy, Crime and Public 
Order in England in the Later Middle Ages (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973), 
pp. 162-198. Some sense of contemporary seventeenth-century accounts of prison life 
is suggested in Phillip Shaw, "The Position of Thomas Dekker in Jacobean Prison 
Literature," PMLA 62 (1947): 366-391, and W. Carew Hazlitt, "A Tentative Catalogue 
of Our Prison-Literature, Chronologically Arranged," The Bibliographer 6 (1884): 
70-75. The following discussion draws heavily upon The Catalogue of the Pamphlets, 
Books, Newspapers, and Manuscripts ... Collected by George Thomason, 1640-1661, 
ed. G. K. Fortesque (London: William Clowes and Sons, 1908). 

6. In Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: 
Pantheon Books, 1977), Michel Foucault concludes, "In short, penal imprisonment, 
from the beginning of the nineteenth century, covered both the deprivation of liberty 
and the technical transformation of individuals" (p. 233). 

7. John Lilburne, The Oppressed Mans Oppressions declared (London, 1646), p. 2. 

8. Ibid., p. 3. 

9. Alexander Harris, The Oeconomy of the Fleete, ed. Augustus Jessopp, Camden Society, 
New Series 25 (London: J. B. Nichols and Sons, 1879), inserted between pp. 152-53. 

10. Lilburne, The Oppressed Mans Oppression offers a good summary of fees. 

11. Harris, Op. cit., pp. 120-121. 

12. Geffray Minshu\\,Essayes and Characters of a Prison and Prisoners (London, 1618), 
reprinted for W. and C. Tait (Edinburgh: James Ballantyne and Co., 1821), p. 70. 

13. Harris, Op. cit., p. 58. 

14. John Lilburne, A true relation of the materiall passages of Lieut. Col. lohn Lilburnes 
sufferings (London, 1646), p. 4. 

15. A True Relation of the Cruell and UnparalleVd Oppression (London, 1647), p. 2. 

16. Edmund Chillenden, The Inhumanity of the Kings Prison-Keeper at Oxford (London, 
1643), p. 4. 

17. Harris, Op. cit.„ p. 58. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 31 



18. Wood, Athenae Oxonienses, 3: 462. 

19. A brief dolorous Remonstrance (London, 1648), broadside; An Appeale to Heaven 
(London, 1644), p. 6. 

20. The humble Remonstrance and Complaint of Many thousands of poore distressed 
Prisoners (London, 1643), p. 6. 

2L Minshull, Essays and Characters, p. 76. 

22. Francis Wortley, "Upon a true contented Prisoner," in Characters and Elegies (Lon- 
don, 1646), p. 56. 

23. George Wither, The Shepeards Hvnting , 1622, in Juvenilia Poems, printed for the 
Spenser Society (Manchester: Charles S. Simms, 1871), p. 529; John Taylor, "The 
Vertve of a lay le, " in The Praise and Vertve of a J ay le andJaylers, in All the Workes 
oflohn Taylor The Water-Poet (London, 1630), p. 128; David Lloyd, Mémoires of the 
Lives, Actions, Sufferings <& Deaths of Those Noble, Reverend, and Excellent Person- 
ages (London, 1668), p. 97. 

24. Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, trans. Richard Green (Indianapolis: Bobbs- 
Merrill, 1962), p. 9. 

25. Joseph Hall, "Of a Patient man," in Characters ofVirtves and Vices, ed. Rudolf Kirk 
(New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1948), p. 155. See also, for example, 
"The Christian Stoick," in A Poetical Rhapsody, 1602-1621, ed. Hyder E. Rollins 
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1931), 1: 290-291. 

26. William Prynne, Comfortable Cordials, in Mouvnt-Orgveil (London, 1641), p. 3. 

27. Samuel Speed, "The free Prisoner," in Prison-Pietie (London, 1677), p. 96; see also 
Speed's "Advice to Prisoners," pp. 126-127, and Wither's ''Confinement is more 
advantageous than L/6erry," in i4 Triple Paradox (London, 1661), and An Improvement 
of Imprisonment (London, 1661), in Miscellaneous Works, the second and third 
collections published by the Spenser Society in 1872 and 1874. Thomas More develops 
the standard Christian view of the world as a prison in A Dialogue of Comfort Against 
tribulation. Part Three, Chapters 19-21. 

28. John Griffith, Some Prison-Meditations and Experiences (London, 1663), p. 12. 
Lovelace, of course, would not have been familiar with the later Interregnum pieces 
that are more zealously fervent than the prison mediations of William Prynne and 
George Wither. Still others earlier embraced imprisonment and execution eager to give 
testimony to their religious conviction and certain of their spiritual freedom. None is 
as extreme as the Catholic in "Calvary mount is my delight," a ballad that ends with 
the speaker's eager anticipation of the hanging, drawing, and quartering that await him; 
but all anticipate freedom from the bonds, fetters, and chains of life and sin. See Old 
English Ballads, 1553-1625, ed. Hyder E. Rollins (Cambridge: Harvard University 
Press, 1920), pp. 147-151, and in the same edition, "O God above relent," "Jerusalem, 
thy joys divine," "Some men for sudden joy do weep," and "True Christian hearts, 
cease to lament." Ballads also commonly recorded the religious testimonies of repent- 
ent criminals about to be executed. 



32 / Renaissance and Reformation 



29. C. H. Wilkinson transcribes these manuscripts in his edition The Poems of Richard 
Lovelace (1930; rpt. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), 276-286; he also mentions 
another manuscript "with peculiar but unimportant variations" (p. 350). Wilkinson's 
edition will be cited in the text. 

30. "The Pensive Prisoner's Apology," in The Roxburghe Ballads, ed. William Chappell, 
printed for the Ballad Society (London: Stephen Austin and Sons, 1875), 3: 179-182. 
The dating of this ballad is uncertain, and the editor's belief that the poem alludes to a 
line from a Restoration play is questionable. The British Library catalogue suggests 
that the poem may have been published around 1670. 

31. The Wyatt piece in TotteV s Miscellany entitled "The lover describeth his restless state," 
for example, appears to a modern editor to be about the poet's imprisonment in 1541. 
Similarly Raleigh's "My body in the walls captived" has been read as a reflection of 
his incarceration in the Tower; and a poem like Arthur Gorges' "The Prisone sweet 
that Captyve holdes my minde" challenges attempts to separate the biography of the 
author's prison stays from the paradoxes standard in Petrarchan love poetry - The 
Poems of Francis Beaumont, in The Works of the English Poets ed. Alexander Chalmers 
(London: J. Johnson, 1810), 6: 190; The Plays and Poems of Henry Glapthorne, ed. R. 
H. Shepherd (London: John Pearson, 1874), 2:182-183; Sir Thomas Wyatt: The 
Complete Poems, ed. R. A. Rebholz (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981), p. 362; 
Sir Walter Raleigh, Selected Writings, ed. Gerald Hammond (Manchester: Carcanet 
Press, 1984), p. 282; The Poems of Sir Arthur Gorges, ed. Helen Estabrook Sandison 
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), p. 214. 

32. David Underdown, Rebel, Riot, and Rebellion (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985) and 
Leah S. Marcus, The Politics of Mirth (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 
1986). As Underdown suggests, "Roundheads noted the 'admired jollity, and frequent 
drunken meetings' of cavalier gentlemen" and "their encouragement of resistance to 
Parliament by the use of hospitality and feasting" (p. 268). Paul H. Hardacre stresses 
the Royalist defiance in drinking healths once they were forbidden: The Royalists 
During the Puritan Revolution (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1956), p. 75. 

33. Prynne, Comfortable Cordials pp. 5, 3. 

34. Francis Wortley , "A Loyall Song of the Royall Feast, kept by the Prisoners in the Towre 
in August last" (London, 1647), broadside. 

35. Thomas Jordan, "A Chirping Cup," in A Royal Arbor (London, 1664), reprinted by J. 
Payne Collier in Illustrations of Old English Literature (London, 1866), p. 93. 

36. "A Catch," in Merry Drollery Compleat (London, 1661), ed. J. Woodfall Ebsworth 
(Boston: Lincolnshire, 1875), p. 219; see also Henry Bold, Latine Songs, With their 
English: and Poems (London, 1685), p. 40. 

37. Minshull, Essays and Characters pp. 84-85. 

38. Ibid., p. 79.. 

39. William Cartwright, "A Catch," in Merry Drollery Compleat, p. 289. The song appears 
in the first act of The Royal Slave, a play performed at Oxford in 1636. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 33 



40. The Cambridge Royallist Imprisoned (London, 1643), particularly sigs. A2v- A3 v. This 
attitude is less attractively seen in another account of the same period written by a 
prisoner who had fallen into the hands of the Royalists at Oxford and who complains 
of two Cavaliers encouraged "to drinke healths and carrouses in the roome with Mr. 
Frankling to abuse and torment him"; Chillenden, The Inhumanity of the Kings 
Prison-Keeper at Oxford, p. 10. 

41. The poem is entitled "The loyal Prisoner" in The Loyal Garland, ed. J. O. Halliwell, 
Percy Society, vol. 29 (London, 1850):50-52. Woodfall Ebsworth designates Francis 
Wortley the author in Choyce Drollery (London, 1656), (Boston, Lincolnshire, 1876), 
p. 300. 

42. Alexander Brome, "A Catch," in Alexander Brome Poems, ed. Roman R. Dubinski 
(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982), 1: 174. 

43. Geffrey Whitney, a Choice of Emblèmes (Leyden, 1586), p. 101. 

44. Samuel Fairclough, The Prisoners Praises for Their Deliverance from their long 
Imprisonment in Colchester (London, 1650), p. 31; Speed, Prison-Pietie, sig. A5r. 

45. Brome, "The Royalist," 1: 1 17. A year after this poem was written Marchamont Nedham 
wrote in Mercurius Pragmaticus (14 December 1647), "Come let us live, and laugh 
away / The follies of this Age; / Treason breeds care; we'll sing and play / Like birds 
within a cage." He reprinted this poem as par of A Short History of the English Rebellion 
(London, 1680), p. 8. 

46. Cf. Douglas Bush's definition of "the cavalier trinity, beauty, love, and loyal honour" 
in English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century, 1 600-1 660 (New York: 
Oxford University Press, 1962), p. 122. 

47. "On Loyalty in the Cavaliers," attributed to Samuel Butler in Westminster Drolleries 
(London, 1671), 1672, ed. J. Woodfall Ebsworth (Boston, Lincolnshire, 1875), 2: 
48-51. 

48. G. Thorn-Drury's response to "Merry Thoughts in a Sad Place," Notes and Queries 
10th ser., 1 (1904):250. 

49. Lloyd, Mémoires pp. 96-97. 

50. The poem is published with variations as "The Requiem of Libertie of an Imprisoned 
Royalists," "Loyalty Confined," and "The Loyal Prisoner." The text is that reproduced 
by Andrew Clark in "Merry Thoughts in a Sad Place," Notes and Queries, 10th ser., 1 
(1904): 141. 

51. See, for example, Pathericke Jenkyn, "To Amorea from Prison," in Amorea, the Lost 
Lover (London, 1661), p. 9; Thomas Weaver, "A Song in Prison," in Songs and poems 
of Love and Drollery (London, 1654), pp. 6-7. 

52. Jordan, "The Royal Rant," p. 144. 

53. Jordan, "The Royal Rant," p. 143. 

54. Thomas Flatman, "The Immoveable," in Poems and Songs (London, 1674), p. 112. 



34 / Renaissance and Reformation 



55. Brome, "The Prisoners," 1:150-151; Weaver, "To certain Prisoners, who had 
appointed a Drinking-Match," pp. 44-45. 

56. In "Les Poètes et la prison" Albert Béguin has suggested that there may well be "a 
natural and substantial bond, a significant affinity" between the poet and the prisoner, 
both of whom are especially sensitive to confinements they seek to escape; Création 
et destinée (Neuchâtel, 1973), 1:145^6, as quoted by Victor Brombert, The Romantic 
Prison (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), p. 3. 

57. "The Paradox," in Poems on Affairs of State, éd. Galbraith M. Crump (New Haven: 
Yale University Press, 1968), 4: 225 



Aneau, des Emblèmes d'Alciat et de 

1 ' Imagination poétique aux Métamorphoses 

d'Ovide: pratique d'un commentaire 

MARIE CLAUDE MALENFANT &: JEAN-CLAUDE MOISAN 



rvésumé: La pratique du commentaire chez Aneau, telle qu'elle s'affine 
dans son oeuvre d'emblématiste, de traducteur et de commentateur, 
'"emblematise" cette tendance renaissante où l'interprétant des textes 
réitère la glose séculaire tout en s' appropriant cette tradition. Ainsi le 
commentaire anellien évolue, de 1549 à 1556, d'une pratique ''inter- 
textuelle" à une pratique "autoréférentielle: " V intertexte qu 'Aneau sollicite 
en marge des Trois Premiers Livres de la Metamorphose convie dès lors sa 
propre autorité, au même titre que celle des glossateurs qui le précèdent. 

La mention du nom de Barthélémy Aneau évoque, pour nous, contemporains, 
l'image d'un personnage austère: directeur du Collège de la Trinité, 
emblématiste le "plus didactique"^ de la Renaissance, pédagogue dont la 
production s'avère "plus livresque que littéraire."^ Pourtant, il nous faut bien 
reconnaître que ce rigoureux humaniste prend parfois plaisir à jouer des arts 
de seconde rhétorique, usant de rimes équivoques pour émailler le texte de 
ses emblèmes de jeux de mots qui se "voudraient" habiles, comme ce 
calembour sur Pan, le "satyr adolescent" qui se détourne de la bonne voie 
pour suivre l'amour, les "vertus à dos laissant,"^ ou encore ces vers de 
l'emblème de la "Bataille des Galz, ou coqs:" "Contre leur genre ilz sont 
acoup hardiz: Contre l'estrange ilz sont acouardiz." Et il nous faut également 
admettre que le souci de clarté et de limpidité qui lui est généralement habituel 
est quelquefois desservi par une propension à la "versification abusive;" 
certaines ambiguïtés - fort peu nombreuses, il faut le souligner - exigent en 
effet une seconde lecture, tant le vers fut forcé, étiré pour gagner sa dixième 
ou onzième syllabe.^ Mais ce n'est pas Aneau, le versificateur revendiquant 
le statut de poète dans sa "Préface de cause" à V Imagination poétique^ que 
nous désirons étudier ici. Nous chercherons plutôt à définir dans ses grandes 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XXIX, 1 (1993) 35 



36 / Renaissance and Reformation 



lignes l'usage caractéristique qu'il fait du commentaire, tant dans ses produc- 
tions que dans ses travaux de traduction; un usage qui contribue à assurer la 
polyvalence du texte par cette réutilisation perpétuelle de signifiants auxquels 
Aneau confère, de l'une à l'autre de ses oeuvres, divers signifiés, glosant une 
image ou une fable selon différentes acceptions d'un même symbole, telle la 
métamorphose de Daphne en Laurier qui représente ici "honneur de 
virginité," et là "jeunesse sotte fuyant Prudence."^ 

Nous ne pouvons qualifier cette pratique exemplaire du commentaire de 
"systématique,"^ mais, du moins, devons-nous admettre qu'elle cherche à se 
systématiser. Dans sa "Preparation de voie à la lecture..." qui précède 
l'édition de 1556 des Métamorphoses d'Ovide, Aneau annonce ainsi le 
programme de sa glose: 

les Poètes ne doivent estre leus froidement, & à la lettre pour la seulle 
parolle. [...] Mais aussi (comme tresbien l'enseigne Plutharch au livre 
de ouyr les Poètes) pour le sens, fault qu'ilz soient espluchez, & entenduz 
en leurs figurations, & mystères cachez. Car à la vérité (comme je l'ay 
apprins du bon Chevalier de Terre noire) TOUTE fable Poétique se doibt, 
& peut r'apporter par allégorie, ou à la Philosophie Naturelle donnant 
enseignement, & doctrine, ou à la Philosophie Moralle ayant commande- 
ment, & conseil, ou à l'histoire baillant mémoire & exemple: & quelque 
fois à deux, & quelque fois à toutes trois. Pour lesquelles choses mieux 
entendre j'en escriray icy aucuns exemples, qui feront prejudication à 
tous les autres.^ 

"Aucuns exemples" qui, toutefois, trahissent le projet d'allégorisation du 
texte pour faire quelques échappées vers la moralisation: 

Bacchus enflambé de feu celeste, & plongé es eaux par les Nymphes, est 
le Moral de Sobriété: donnant à entendre qu'il fault tempérer d'eau pure 
la chaleur du vin.^ 

Cette légère transgression au programme dès la préface amorce une dérive de 
l'allégorisation vers la moralisation qui s'accentuera dans les notes 
marginales du texte d'Ovide. Au point que la morale usurpe même les 
fonctions de l'allégorie morale implicite^^ qui tait l'une de ses composantes 
et laisse au destinataire le plaisir de créer le lien entre les comparés; une 
usurpation qui substitue à l'efficacité de cette "figure didactique",^^ 
"l'insignifiance"^^ de poncifs qui nous semblent éculés,^^ ou encore, 
dissémine ça et là dans le "destroct de marge," quelques réflexions morales 
lapidaires qui, selon Françoise Bardon, "relèvent beaucoup plus de 
l'emblématique que du simple résumé référentiel."^"* 



Renaissance et Réforme / 37 



De ce fait, l'intention d'allégorisation avouée par Aneau dans sa préface 
aux Métamorphoses aurait une valeur de précaution rhétorique tout aussi 
douteuse que la prétention de "redonner vie aux images mortes" (inemployées 
par l'éditeur Macé Bonhomme) dans sa "préface de cause" à V Imagination 
poétique: dans un cas comme dans l'autre, il s'agit d'une justification "après- 
coup" qui cherche à donner l'impression d'une entreprise cohérente, qu'elle 
soit glossatrice ou traductrice du texte ou de l'image. Une cohérence dont 
nous pouvons douter, a priori, tant le commentaire des Métamorphoses est 
fragmenté, morcelle, disparate. ^^ Mais une cohérence qui, cependant, se fait 
jour peu à peu lorsque, par-delà les bribes isolées, émergent des réseaux de 
significations qui se -correspondent d'une oeuvre à l'autre. Nous nous pro- 
posons d'observer les modalités de ce dialogue entre les oeuvres, en étudiant 
les phénomènes de structuration simple, intermédiaire et complexe de réseaux 
interne ou externe aux Métamorphoses. 

Alison Saunders, au cours de ses recherches sur l'emblème ou sur 
l'influence d'Ovide à la Renaissance, a déjà remarqué qu'il existe des liens 
indéniables entre le commentaire des Métamorphoses et les emblèmes de 
V Imagination poétique'}^ elle aborde même le problème de la moralisation, 
mais sans cependant y insister autrement que pour mettre en évidence soit les 
équivalences, soit les disparités de significations que peut engendrer un même 
emblème ovidien.^^ De plus, comme son étude s'attache surtout à la pratique 
emblématique, elle analyse essentiellement les rapports d'influence entre le 
texte d'Ovide, l'emblème et le commentaire sur la fable, considérant ainsi 
l'édition des Métamorphoses par Aneau comme le point d'arrivée d'une 
réflexion amorcée dès V Imagination poétique qui, pour sa part, s'inspirait 
déjà des fables ovidiennes. 

Mais le dialogue entre les oeuvres d' Aneau ne se limite pas à une simple 
redondance de propos dans les productions de 1552 et 1556: nous pouvons 
en effet affirmer que le commentaire des Emblèmes d'Alciat, le recueil 
d'emblèmes La Décade de la description ... des animaux, ouvrages publiés 
tous deux en 1549, y participent eux aussi: ils constituent en quelque sorte les 
prémisses d'une longue réflexion qui ne s'achèvera qu'avec les 
Métamorphoses. De même, le dialogue ne se limite pas au seul commentaire 
sur l'image: nous croyons que c'est toute la pratique du commentaire, qu'il 
soit suscité par un texte ou une image, qui est emblématique. Tout d'abord 
parce que son fonctionnement peut s'assimiler à celui de l'emblème qui, à la 
Renaissance, selon Gisèle Mathieu-Castellani, "actualise la théorie 
linguistique du signe [...]. La figure [...] y a le statut de signifiant, 
l'épigramme celui du signifié: l'une et l'autre composeraient ensemble les 



38 / Renaissance and Reformation 



deux faces inséparables du signe, dont l'inscription fixerait le réfèrent d'ordre 
conceptuel." ^^ Chaque commentaire marginal, chaque glose inscrite en creux 
de la traduction surcodent l'image textuelle ou iconique d'une façon telle 
qu'ils imposent leur sens, recouvrant tantôt plusieurs acceptions, d'une façon 
tout aussi arbitraire en fait, que le signe linguistique, ou fixant tantôt une seule 
signification. De fait, ils remplissent ainsi la fonction de l'inscription, sauf 
que la multiplication de manchettes de natures différentes pour un même 
couple signifiant-signifié a pour conséquence de fixer - lorsqu'on lit les 
gloses d'une façon linéaire, les unes à la suite des autres - un réfèrent 
plurivoque, tandis que le recoupement de gloses qui se combinent en réseau 
génère un réfèrent univoque.^^ Nous verrons d'ailleurs plus loin comment 
certains signes, de par leur réfèrent stable, constituent des réseaux de signifi- 
cation quasi invariable (tel le réseau de l'éloquence), confirmant ainsi 
l'heureuse réflexion de François Cornillat selon laquelle V^'' invention 
anellienne' ne signifie pas qu'on a trouvé un sens à l'image, mais qu'on a 
réussi à montrer que l'image est image de ce 56/is-là."^^ 

La pratique du commentaire peut également être qualifiée 
d'emblématique lorsqu'on considère le jeu de mot qui "emblematise" le nom 
même de l'auteur, dès les premières pages de V Imagination poétique, en 
interprétant l'Ouroboros, symbole de l'éternité, comme r"Aneau," le "ser- 
pent sur soy se retordant." Kees Meerhoff affirme, en regard de cette image, 
que l'oeuvre d'Aneau est d'abord "intertextuelle au plus haut degré, se 
nourissant des textes d' autrui, les soumettant à un travail d'appropriation et 
de transformation":^^ ce qui est, dans un premier temps, une simple citation 
de la glose séculaire devient ainsi, par la modulation de cette glose constam- 
ment répétée, un procédé de citation autoréférentielle. Par exemple, le "juste 
milieu [. . .] thème de nombreux emblèmes"^^ s 'inspirant de la fable ovidienne 
d'Icare où Dédale conseille à son fils de tenir le juste milieu,^^ est traité ainsi 
dans VHecatomgraphie de Gilles Corrozet,^"^ sous le titre "Faire tout par 
moyen:" 

Qui trop s'exalte, trop se prise 
Qui trop s'abesse, il se desprise 
Mais celui qui veult faire bien 
Il se gouverne par moyen. 

Aneau commente donc l'emblème d'Alciat sur Icare tombant du cieP^ - qui 
comme Phaëton, "échouent parce qu'ils visent trop haut" - par une formule^^ 
qui s'apparente singulièrement aux deux premiers vers de Corrozet (même 



Renaissance et Réforme / 39 



nombre de syllabe, emploi de comparatifs antithétiques par rapport à un 
moyen terme): 

Icare filz de Dedal volant trop hault avec plumes colées de cire, laquelle 
fondue pour trop approcher du soleil, des aeles déplumées tomba en mer 
[...] car, 

Qui plus hault monte qu'il ne doibt, 

Plus bas descend qu'il ne vouldroit. 

Puis, dans les Métamorphoses, le commentaire sur la fable de Phaëton^^ entre 
en étroite correspondance avec l'emblème de Corrozet, fragmentant son 
propos en deux manchettes distantes de plus de 300 vers: la première demeure 
encore très près du lieu commun du juste milieu (v. 266), tandis que la seconde 
est autoréférentielle au plus haut degré, reprenant mot pour mot la sentence 
formulée en 1549 par V Imagination poétique?^ 



TEXTE D'OVIDE, trad, par Marot 


COMMENTAIRE D'ANEAU, livre 2 


Et pour donner eschauffoison égale 
A terre et Ciel, ne monte ne dévale: 
Car si ton char en l'air hault monter 

laisses, 
Le Ciel ardras: si aussi tu l'abaisses. 
Par mesme feu la Terre destruiras: 
Tien le moyen, à seurté tu iras. 
Et Phaëton [...] 
Cheut renversé: Fortune ainsi le traicte 


Le prince ne se doit trop 
eslever ne trop ravaler (264) 
Moyen estât est le plus seur (v. 266) 

Yssue de témérité. Qui plus 

hault monte qu'il ne doibt, plus bas 

descend qu'il ne vouldroit (v. 590) 



Nous voyons avec cet exemple comment des réseaux à relation simple 
(deux ouvrages) et à signification univoque (déterminée d'abord par la glose 
traditionnelle), s'étendent d'un ouvrage à l'autre et font l'objet d'une appro- 
priation plus ou moins étendue par suite d'une fragmentation qui peut 
s'insérer dans deux passages éloignés - comme ici, plus de 300 vers - ou 
couvrir quelques vers du texte, ou encore, ponctuer l'ensemble de la fable. 
Le signe subit ainsi chez Aneau une surdétermination, non pas à cause de 
l'originalité absolue de sa glose, mais bien de l'utilisation qu'il en fait: le 
signe y acquiert une valeur qui tend à demeurer constante, et peut se combiner 
à d'autres signes, en réseaux simples ou complexes.-^^ 

Celui que nous citions à l'instant est un réseau simple de correspondance 
externe entre les oeuvres d' Aneau créé par fragmentation.-^^ De la même 
manière, les manchettes glosant la métamorphose de Cygnus au livre 2 des 
Métamorphoses résuhent d'une segmentation du commentaire sur l'emblème 
"Eloquente vieillesse" et se répartissent sur 16 vers. 



40 / Renaissance and Reformation 



IMAGINATION POÉTIQUE, 


MÉTAMORPHOSES, 


p. 39 


manchettes, p. 132 


Car les gens vieux de chaleur dénuez 


Vieillesse est froide & humide (700) 


Ont les poilz blancz, de froid usage les 


Chaleur naturelle default à vieillesse (702) 


signes 


Vieillesse retourne en innocence (694) 


en innocence, & doux parler, blancz 




Cygnes, (vers 6 et ss) 




D'un meur vieillard est douce l'oraison 

CAR (ce que diet Homère en un 
passage)^^ 




Dueil avance vieillesse, & vieillesse 


affoiblit & adoulcit la voix, & accroist 


COMME LE chant du mourant Cygne est 


eloquence comme en Nestor Homeric. 


doux. 


(686) 


Ainsi estoit le parler, entre tous, 




Du vieil Nestor. De la bouche duquel 




Couloit la voix, plus douce que le miel 




(v. 10 et ss) 





Enfin, l'extension maximale est illustrée par le fait que l'emblème de 
Narcisse de V Imagination poétique génère cinq manchettes qui rappellent, 
tout au long de la fable, du vers 703 au vers 1208, la leçon à tirer de cet 
exemplum et un sixième commentaire qui reprend et résume l'ensemble du 
discours moralisant. 



IMAGINATION POÉTIQUE, 
p. 66 


MÉTAMORPHOSES, 
manchettes, p. 234-235 


Narcis ayant sa beauté veuë en l'eau : 
Fut amoureux de soy, tant se vit beau. 
Et desprisant tous autres, nul n'ayma 
Fors que soy mesme, & en soy s'enflamma. 
D'ond peu à peu languissant, d'estre ainsi 
Sans jouissance aimant : devint transi. 
Tant qu'en perdant sentiment par stupeur : 
Fondit du tout : & fut changé en fleur. 

[...] 

Celle Fontaine est V amour de soy mesme 
Ou qui se mire : autre que soy il n'ayme. 
De soy pourtant connoissance n'ayant. 
Tant qu'à la parfin en devient au néant. 


1- Admiration, amour & estime de soy 

(V. 851) 

2- Faux cuyder, & outre cuydance 

de soy. (v. 853) 

3- Vantance de soy mesme. (v. 874) 

4- Vantance, & estime de soy. (v. 936) 

5- Narcis est à dire stupeur, ou 
endormy de sens ( 703) 

6- Stupeur, & faulte de sens jusque à 
la mort, par amour de soy mesme & 
oultrecuy dance. (v. 1208) 



Certains commentaires donc, comme le font notre sixième manchette et 
celle de l'exemple qui suit, au lieu de participer à l'éclatement et à la 
dispersion d'une allégorie, abrègent, en le condensant, le développement de 
la figure pour offrir au lecteur une glose parvenue désormais à son point de 
condensation le plus extrême. DdinsV Imagination poétique, Aneau commente 



Renaissance et Réforme / 41 



par une même explication deux exempla (la fable ovidienne de Jupiter qui 
prend le déguisement de Diane et l'anecdote de Pompeia, épouse de Jules 
César^^), en décrivant longuement la stratégie de séduction que constitue 
r«effemination des mœurs», une tactique d'approche amoureuse qui est 
condensée, en marge du texte d'Ovide, par une seule formule lapidaire. 



IMAGINATION POÉTIQUE, 


METAMORPHOSES, 


p. 41 


manchettes, p. 138 


Si quelqu 'un veult corrompre par bénin 


Effemination de moeurs, gestes, habitz et 


Approchement, le sexe femenin : 


parolles donne accès aux femmes. 


Des meurs de femme, & des habitz s'habille. 


(v. 785) 


Comme une femme ineptement babille. 




En délaissant la gravité d'un homme : 




Prenne mollesse, & mignardise. Comme 




Si femme il fust sans barbe coimpt, 




& miste. 




En se fardant (s'il à [sic] visage triste) 




Se colorant de cerusse, & de pourpe. 




Brief, à tout geste efféminé soit propre 




ainsi orné vers sa désirée aille 




Et doux devis de parolles luy baille, 




Entremeslant petite mignardise 




Qui peu à peu le feu d'amour attise, [v. 1 à 10] 





Il survient même des cas où la condensation de l'allégorie atteint un point 
de contraction si extrême que la manchette perd de son intelligibilité - du 
moins pour un lecteur du XX^ siècle. Ainsi, le sens relativement nébuleux de 
ce commentaire des Métamorphoses: "Centaure est demy homme et demy 
cheval signifiant raison conjointe"^'^ ne s'éclaire qu'à la lecture de l'emblème 
sur Chiron, dans V Imagination poétique, alors qu'Aneau précise: 

L'IMAGE donc de Chiron faict entendre 
Que qui vouldra à haulte chose tendre: 
Visant au but de celeste maison, 
Luy fault avoir LABEUR AVEC RAISON.35 

Nous avons traité jusqu'à maintenant des phénomène de fragmentation 
et de condensation, dans les marges des Métamorphoses, d'une signification 
auparavant conférée à une fable par un seul emblème ou commentaire d'un 
ouvrage antérieur. Cependant, la glose de 1556 peut également résulter de la 
condensation de plusieurs explications allégoriques développées dans 
plusieurs endroits d'un seul ouvrage. La définition, au second livre des 
Métamorphoses, de la couronne de laurier constitue un exemple de ce mouve- 



42 / Renaissance and Reformation 



ment vers un dialogue plus étendu entre les oeuvres. La manchette, qui 
énumère laconiquement les caractéristiques de l'attribut apollinien, "la 
coronne de laurier est poétique, & triomphale, & imperialle,"^^ résume en fait 
trois commentaires des Emblèmes d'Alciat: celui de la "Science" qui traite de 
ses valeurs "imperialle et poétique," ceux du "Lhierre" et du "Laurier" qui 
s'attachent, respectivement, à ses significations "poétique" puis 
"triomphalle." 



EMBLEMES 








D'ALCIAT: 






MÉTAMORPHOSES 


imperialle & 








poétique 


poétique 


triomphalle 




Le cygne fut jadis 


Les Poètes se 


Les Empereurs 


La coronne de laurier est 


Roy: frère de 


coronnent de 


après leurs 


poétique, & triomphale, & 


Phaëton, Oyseau 


Laurier et de 


conquestes, & 


imperialle"^^ 


fluvial, chantant 


L'hierre, qui 


victoires. 




très doulcement. 


toujours verdoie 


triumphans 




& de très-grande 


par dedans, par 


portoient le 




blancheur. 


dehors est palle. 


Laurier en main. 




consacrée à 


& porte bayes de 


& teste, en 




Phoebus Prince 


couleur d'or. 


branche, & en 




des Muses, & des 


pour enseigne 


coronne^^. 




Poètes : Lesquelz 


que ilz sont pâlies 






le portent à leurs 


d'estude par 






enseignes : car ilz 


dehors, & dedans 






sont de Laurier 


leurs escriptz 






coronné comme 


toujours 






Roys.^"^ 


reverdissans par 
aetemel honneur, 
précieux & 
illustres comme 
ror38 







Quelles qu'en soient les modalités (fragmentation ou condensation), le 
processus demeure invariable: un lieu commun, issu de la tradition, est 
réutilisé par Aneau dans plusieurs oeuvres, reformulation qui, en définitive, 
a une valeur d'appropriation. Les réseaux de signification complexe 
procèdent de la même manière, à cela près que, du fait qu'ils mettent en 
relation plus d'un ouvrage antérieur avec les Métamorphoses, ils accentuent 
et amplifient la pratique de l'autoréférentialité. Prenons l'exemple de la glose 
d' Aneau sur un lieu commun fréquemment sollicité à la Renaissance,"^^ celui 
d'Actéon métamorphosé en cerf, un sujet abordé en 1549, en 1552, puis, 
finalement, condensé en 1556 par une manchette qui délaisse la paranomase 
(Actéon = cerf = serf) - une figure désormais intégrée au texte d'Ovide par 
la traduction d'Aneau - pour ne plus conserver que l'essence de la glose. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 43 



EMBLEMES D'ALCIAT 


IMAGINATION 


MÉTAMORPHOSES 


(1549) 


POETIQUE (1552) 


(1556) 


On fainct Acteon avoir esté 
mué en cerf, & mangé par 
ses propres chiens. Ainsi 
ceulx, qui pour contre faire 
les nobles, entretiennent 


G malheureux le Seigneur, 

lequel paist 

Gourmans, Flateurs, & avec 

eux se plaist. 

Luy mesme estant la proie, 


Image d'un noble, & 
liberal, destruict par ses 
flateurs domestiques, & par 
les envieux^l 


espadaciers, & lèvent 
cornes d'oultrecuidance, 


& venaison 

Mise devant les chiens de 




deviennent serfz à leurs 


sa maison. 




gens, & leur bien est 
finalement par iceulx 
consommé.'*^ 


Auxquels flateurs, le sien, 
&sa 

[personne 
A dévorer, & mocquer 
abandonne. 

Et à la fin, de Seigneur 
devient Serf.'^-^ 





Certains sujets bénéficient d'un traitement encore plus étendu, d'une 
extension du dialogue qui précise et affine le commentaire: ainsi, l'allégorie 
de la double origine de l'homme, une question qui préoccupe, semble-t-il, 
tous les glossateurs des fables d'Ovide, s'étale sur quatre lieux, condensant 
progressivement l'antithèse du corps et de l'esprit, avec son corollaire, 
l'opposition entre la position debout et la position des animaux - le regard 
tourné vers la terre -, pour ne donner, finalement, dans les Métamorphoses, 
que les conclusions du raisonnement (voir tableau, p. 44). 

Le phénomène le plus remarquable, dans l'exégèse d'Aneau, est que 
cette propension à surdéterminer certains signifiants mythiques des 
Métamorphoses contribue à installer, en marge du texte, des réseaux 
extrêmement complexes qui ne se restreignent plus seulement à la réflexion 
ou l'allégorisation morale, comme nous le voyions jusqu'à maintenant. Le 
réseau de l'éloquence, par exemple, fait appel aux trois types de l'allégorie 
(naturelle, morale et historique) pour commenter l'apparition, dans le texte, 
de plusieurs figures de dieux ou de héros et de leurs attributs dont nous ne 
mentionnerons que les principaux: Pallas, la chouette et la corneille; Mercure, 
le caducée, le bouclier. Battus et la pierre de touche; Cadmus et les dents du 
serpent de Mars. Ce réseau semble avoir été "tissé" si étroitement que le fait 
de toucher à un seul élément signifiant de l'ensemble interpelle quasi 
systématiquement les signifiants connexes, qui, eux, sont cependant absents 
des vers de la fable. Nous songeons principalement à ce signifié constant de 
"Pallas = Sapience" qui, dans le commentaire sur la métamorphose de Coronis 
en Corneille au second livre,'*^ s'adjoint un troisième terme que nous 



44 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Decade de la Description 


Emblèmes 


Imagination 


Métamorphoses 




d'Alciat 


poétique 




De la preference et 


Emblème, 


OR tous les deux. 


Rabat de la 


domination de l'homme, 


donnant à 


sans nulles 


bestiale forme. 


sur toutes bestes: à luy 


entendre l'homme 


controverses, / 


signe de 


donnée, par Dieu le 


estre de diverses 


sont composez de 


condemnation à 


Créateur. Translation du 


nature, selon ses 


parties diverses. / 


servilité. (1, v. 


huyctiesme Pseaulme de 


diverses parties 


Et leur essence est 


166) 


David, en chapellet de 


supérieures et 


d'esprit, & de 




troys dixains. [...] Tu has 


inférieures. C'est 


corps / Conjoinctz 




voulu à ses piedz tout 


a savoir divine & 


en un par 




submettre, / Tous 


raisonnable : & 


merveileux 




animaulx voulans. 


humaine au 


accordz. / l'esprit 




nageans marchans. / Tu 


dessus. Bestiale & 


montant tient la 




has soubmis à luy, 


diabolicque au 


vigueur du feu, / 




(comme le maistre). 


dessoubz. (p. 119) 


Et le Ciel son 




Brebis, et boeufz, toutes 




original lieu. / le 




bestes es champs, [...]/ 




corps de terre est 




Brief tu l'as faict image à 




formé, et en signe 




toy semblable / Et par 




/ Tousjours il 




raison de tous le 




prend vers terre sa 




gouverneur. [A5v°] 




racine, /l'esprit 




Decade sur la droite, et 




au Ciel fait lever 




eslevee stature de 




mains, et face : / 




l'homme [...]/ L'animal 




Quoy que le corps 




sainct de hault 




à soy tenir le face. 




entendement / failloit 




(p. 69) 




encor : pour dominer le 








reste. / L'ors l'homme 








vint, ou bien divinement / 








ou de la terre encore non 








moleste: / Mais retenant 








de nature celeste. / Faict 


• 






au patron des tout 








moderans Dieux, / Car 








toute beste ha la teste, & 








les yeux / Vers terre 








enclins. (A7v'') 








L'homme animant 








raisonnable (car telle / Sa 








forme escrit le Grec & le 








Rommain) / En corps 








mortel, ayant ame 








imortelle [a8r°] 









Renaissance et Réforme / 45 



pourrions formuler ainsi: " = élévation d'esprit par l'éloquence qui sert à 
Sapience." Plus loin dans le texte, l'équation "Pallas = Sapience = Éloquence" 
est réactivée lors du combat de Cadmus contre le serpent de Mars, où les 
armes sont éloquence. Cependant, la référence au réseau ne s'appuie plus, ici, 
sur des assimilations aussi clairement explicitées par la glose, et ne se 
caractérise plus par l'adéquation directe (comme l'illustrent les précédentes 
équations): la glose renvoie maintenant, par extension, à des referents 
préalablement fixés; autrement dit, certaines manchettes proposaient déjà, 
plus tôt dans la succession narrative, cette adéquation signe-référent, ce qui 
permet le renvoi implicite au réseau. Ainsi, nulle part dans la glose Cadmus 
n'est assimilé directement à l'éloquence, et le texte d'Ovide ne fait que très 
brièvement allusion à la déesse de l'Eloquence, en précisant que le héros 
bénéficie de la protection de Pallas; ces éléments s'avèrent pourtant suffisam- 
ment signifiants pour générer, en marge du texte du troisième livre, le rappel 
de l'exemple "historique" de la "Preparation...:'"^^ "Prompte éloquence 
pénètre;'"*^ "De parolle éloquente les aguillons demeurent au coeur, comme 
de l'oraison de Pericles;'"^^ "Confutation totalle de caute malice, par 
poignante eloquence, raison et vertu.'"^^ Ce cas particulier de réitération d'un 
commentaire mériterait une analyse plus exhaustive, mais nous croyons avoir 
ici suffisamment fondé l'hypothèse selon laquelle ce réseau représente un 
avatar exemplaire de la pratique autoréférentielle chez Aneau : non seulement 
les dix-huit occurences de l'Eloquence recoupent-elles trois ouvrages 
antérieurs, mais encore sont-elles omniprésentes, de la préface d 'Aneau au 
3^ livre d'Ovide; plus encore, ce réseau cumule toutes les variantes de degré 
(simple, intermédiaire, complexe) et de mode (fragmentation,^^ condensa- 
tion^^) dont nous avons traité jusqu'ici. 

Mais cette belle cohérence ne doit pas nous laisser croire que la genèse 
du commentaire chez Aneau se caractérise systématiquement, et 
nécessairement, par une adéquation aussi évidente entre le lieu commun, 
source du commentaire, sa réactualisation intertextuelle puis, le cas échéant, 
autoréférentielle. De fait, d'après les observations d'Alison Saunders 
auxquelles nous devrions apporter quelques nuances,^^ les signifiants glosés 
par Aneau (comme par les commentateurs de la Renaissance) ne dénotent pas 
toujours un réfèrent univoque, ce qui implique qu'une même vignette ou un 
même texte, peut générer soit des commentaires similaires - tel que nous 
venons de le voir -, soit des réflexions qui n'ont rien de commun entre elles. 
Le même commentaire peut émaner de diverses sources (imagées ou narra- 
tives) comme, à l'inverse, plusieurs commentaires de différentes natures 
accompagnent parfois un même texte ou une même vignette. Il nous faut 



46 / Renaissance and Reformation 



toutefois spécifier que la polyvalence du signe connaît certaines limites, 
rarement outrepassées par le commentateur: si nous reconnaissons que les 
figures des dieux antiques peuvent recouvrir des significations radicalement 
antinomiques, il n'en demeure pas moins que, dans les marges des 
Métamorphoses, Lycaon ne représentera jamais un bon seigneur, Phaëton 
demeurera l'incarnation d'une jeunesse téméraire qui "ose plus qu'elle ne 
peut," et Narcisse mourra par "outrecuidance, orgueil et amour de soy 
mesme." 

Cet usage relativement concerté de la polyvalence du signe laisse 
soupçonner une intention susasoire bien arrêtée. Une impression confortée 
par le fait que la glose déborde des cadres de la triple exégèse allégorique (le 
programme avoué par la préface d'Aneau) en multipliant indications d'ordre 
poétique ou rhétorique,^^ constatations et indications sur le texte qui ne 
relèvent pas de l'allégorie,^^ sentences et maximes issues du sens commun. ^^ 
Et toutes ces manchettes, couplées à celles plus explicitement allégoriques, 
ont pour effet de créer, à l'intérieur dts Métamorphoses, des réseaux internes 
de signification: une pratique autoréférentielle qui, par redondances et 
recoupements, vise à expliquer le texte, le commenter, ou encore suggérer un 
comportement, à inculquer une conduite. Ainsi, dès que les vers d'Ovide font 
allusion à Diane, qu'elle soit ou non mise en scène par la fable, Aneau rappelle 
que l'exercice physique chasse les désirs du corps. Et la gradatio des 
récurrences semble avoir pour objectif principal de parvenir à énoncer une 
leçon qui soit la plus explicite possible : au livre 1, vers 956, on lit : "exercice 
laborieux vray remède d'amour;"^^ puis au vers 1375: "exercice entretient 
chasteté;"^^ au livre 2, vers 765, Aneau précise: "exercice et labeur amortit 
affection de luxure "^^ et, enfin, au vers 816 du même livre: "labeur et exercice 
amortit plusieurs vices bestiaux. "^^ 

Nous pourrions reprendre ici pour le compte d'Aneau, en les adaptant 
toutefois, les observations de Simone Perrier sur Georgette de Montenay: "il 
[...] semble que la présence d'une intention, d'une voix têtue, se substitu[e] 
à cette voix qui en général dans les emblèmes est la voix de tout le monde et 
de personne;"^ une voix qui, au-delà des commentaires sur l'image, explique 
le texte pour suggérer, conseiller, dicter, interdire, et surtout, rappeller, à 
chaque fois que cela est possible, la leçon à tirer de tel ou tel signe. Une voix 
pour laquelle le texte narratif se révèle être un support d'où tirer une morale; 
une voix pour qui le texte assume, dans la pratique de la glose, une fonction 
similaire à celle de l'image dans la pratique de l'emblème. Car, malgré le 
caractère "imposé" des ouvrages d'emblèmes à la Renaissance - les éditeurs, 
le plus souvent, plaçaient une commande auprès de versificateurs pour 



Renaissance et Réforme / 47 

rentabiliser les bois de gravures déjà existantes^ ^ -, nous croyons que, pour 
Aneau, le texte prévaut sur l'image, comme la glose sur la fable. 

La polyvalence du signe, qu'il soit narratif ou iconographique, illustre 
bien qu'en définitive, l'auteur seul choisit, privilégie un sens plutôt qu'un 
autre, impose ce sens, à l'exclusion des autres lorsqu'il produit son com- 
mentaire: le fait de faire appel à des lieux communs pour dégager une 
signification n'amoindrit en rien la liberté du commentateur, puisque c'est à 
lui qu'il revient de sélectionner UNE signification particulière parmi le vaste 
éventail des topoï édictés par la tradition. Et, d'après la préface de son édition 
âts Métamorphoses, le texte représenterait, lui aussi, une forme vide que l'on 
doit faire signifier, car si "les bons, & anciens Poètes" ont "soubz telle 
fabuleuses escorce [couvert] vérité & sapience," ils ont cependant laissé "la 
noix à casser, & le noyau à cercher & gouster aux excellents et divins 
espritz."^^ Lorsqu'on considère qu'un commentateur poursuit sa réflexion, 
épure peu à peu la morale à tirer du texte ovidien pendant plus de sept années; 
qu'il s'approprie graduellement les leçons imposées par une longue tradition 
allégorique pour instaurer en leur lieu et place, en marge de la fable, des 
réseaux de signification cohérents; qu'il substitue à l'allégorie la moralisation 
en citant les conclusions de ses propres commentaires; ou encore qu'il cherche 
à énumérer systématiquement les acceptions d'un signe, comme on tente de 
"vider un sujet," quitte à laisser poindre l'ambiguïté, il est difficile de ne pas 
lui concéder le droit de se compter au nombre de ces "excellens et divins 
esprits". . . 

Université Laval 

Notes 

L Alison Saunders, "The Sixteenth-Century French Emblem: Decoration, Diversion, or 
Didactism," Renaissance Studies, 3, 2 (juin 1989), p. 132. 

2. Greta Dexter, "U Imagination poétique," Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, 
37(1975), p. 51. 

3. Imagination poétique, p. 28, v. 14-15, et encore p. 82. 

4. Aneau indique dans sa préface, folio br.°: "Je donc ay traduict seullement le troisiesme 
livre par doublets alternans de dix à onze syllabes pour meilleure resonnace jasoit que 
plus difficile, mais d'autant plus belle [...]." Citons quelques exemples: au livre 3 des 
Métamorphoses, vers 310-313: "Un creuz voulté que le verd bois couvroit. / Non ouvré 
d'art, ne main de creature / Mais bien avoit l'art contrefaict Nature / Par son esprit;" 
aux vers 442 à 445: "Celle grand tourbe à travers la forest / Par grand désir de proie 
rencontrée / Par les Rochiers, scoigles, faix, sans entrée/ Par oit voie est, et par où non, 
le suyct." (nous soulignons); vers 700: Narcisse " Desja povoit estre aimé digne estre." 



48 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Et dans V Imagination poétique, p. 56: "[...] Pallas la Déesse / Avec sa picque en vertu 
esbranlee / Ouvre la porte à l'envie esveillée / EST-CE pourtant que Sapience, en vie 
/D'homme qui soit: n'est jamais sans envie? [...]/Car la vertu aux malins picque porte 
/ Et à l'envie Honneur ouvre la porte." 

5. François Cornillat, "De l'usage des images muettes: Imagination poétique de 
Barthélémy Aneau," L'Esprit Créateur, 28, 2 (été 1988), p. 79: la "Préface de Cause 
[...] s'efforce d'installer son auteur dans le rôle, non d'un translateur-commentateur, 
mais d'un poète, capable d"inspirer âme' à ce qui en manque. Le rapport image-texte 
retourne ainsi le rapport texte-commentaire." 

6. Respectivement, Métamorphoses et Imagination poétique. Alison Saunders, "The 
Influence of Ovid on a Sixteenth-Century Emblem Book: Barthélémy Aneau's 
Imagination poétique," Nottingham French Studies, XVI, 1 (1977), p. 9. 

7. Certains signes demeurent univoques, d'autres ne suscitent que des réflexions pon- 
tifiantes. De longs pans du texte d'Ovide, surtout au troisième livre, ne s'accompagnent 
d'aucun commentaire, alors que la glose s'intègre à la traduction. 

8. Folio a6vo. 

9. Folio blvo. 

10. Nous référons ici uniquement aux cas de réflexion ou d'allégorisation morale, sans 
tenir compte, pour l'instant, des autres types de commentaires qui enfreignent 
également, mais d'une autre façon, les règles d'usage de la glose qu'avait lui-même 
établies Aneau. 

11. Olivier Reboul, Introduction à la rhétorique (Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 
1991), p. 136: "si l'allégorie est didactique, ce n'est pas parce qu'elle rend les choses 
plus claires et plus concrètes, c'est au contraire parce qu'elle intrigue. [...] De là aussi 
son rôle argumentatif: [...] si [les gens] acceptent le phore (la lettre), ils s'engagent 
aussi à accepter le thème (l'esprit)." 

12. Guy Demerson dans ses "Réflexions de synthèse" du collectif L'emblème à la Renais- 
sance, Actes de la journée d'étude du 10 mai 1980 de la Société Française des 
Seiziémistes (Paris, CDU - SEDES, 1980), p. 149, traite de l'insignifiance des 
emblèmes qui prennent appui sur des objets banals pour leur conférer, hors du contexte 
quotidien, une valeur hautement signifiante. 

13. Par exemple: "Qui se tait consent;" "la Nuict porte conseil;" "Mort corporelle, fin de 
maux." 

14. "Les Métamorphoses d'Ovide et l'expression emblématique," Latomus, XXXV 
(1976), pp. 88 et 89. Voici les exemples qu'elle en donne: "le sang des geans transmué 
en hommes cruelz est la generation des mauvais princes, en enfans pires que les pères;" 
"exercice laborieux vray remède d'amour;" "chose celée est plus prisée;" "amour est 
accompagné de craincte;" "le prince ne se doibt trop eslever ne trop ravaler;" "le 
gouverneur mal régissant induict les mauvais à mal faire, faict fuyr les bons," etc. 

15. Ghislaine Amielle, Les traductions françaises des Métamorphoses d 'Ovide (Paris, Jean 
Touzet, 1989), p. 149: "Aneau fournit parfois plusieurs sens pour une fable, d'où 



Renaissance et Réforme / 49 



l'impression pour le lecteur de se trouver face à une analyse disparate, qu'accentue la 
forme éclatée des notes." Et encore, voir la communication de Jean-Claude Moisan, 
"Origine, échange, enrichissement; texte, traduction et glose sur les âges du monde: 
Ovide, Marot, Aneau," prononcée lors du Colloque "Réforme Humanisme Renais- 
sance: Or, argent. Echange à la Renaissance," Lyon, 12-14 septembre 1991 (à paraître): 
"le commentaire d'Aneau, en un mot, est tellement éclaté, qu'il est impossible 
d'affirmer qu'il suit le programme et le modèle qu'il s'était proposé dans la préface. Il 
semble plutôt agir comme un producteur de bribes d'emblèmes [...], et même comme 
producteur de bribes tout court." 

16. Nous renvoyons, pour cette étude, principalement aux articles "Picta Poesis: The 
Relationship between Figure and Text in the Sixteenth-Century French Emblem Book," 
Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, 48, 3 (1986), 621-652; et "The Influence 
of Ovid on a Sixteenth-Century Emblem Book: Barthélémy Aneau's Imagination 
poétique," Nottingham French Studies, XVI, 1 (1977), 1-19. 

17. Voir l'exemple de Daphne cité plus haut. 

18. "La Parleuse Muette," L 'Esprit Créateur, 28, 2 (été 1988), p. 26. 

19. Évidemment, nous ne pouvons affirmer que, systématiquement, un réfèrent est soit 
univoque, soit plurivoque. Nous dégageons ici les tendances générales, en tenant 
compte du fait que pour déterminer l'univocité ou la plurivocité du signe, il faut 
nécessairement isoler les commentaires qui s'y rapportent, en spécifier la nature, la 
visée, et le type d'allégorie auquel ils renvoient. Sinon, nous serions tentés de croire 
que la multiplication des manchettes, allégoriques ou non, infère nécessairement la 
polyvalence du signe ... 

20. François Cornillat, art. cit., p. 86. 

21. "Rhétorique néo-latine et culture vernaculaire. Les Analyses textuelles de Barthélémy 
Aneau," Études Littéraires, 24, 3 (hiver 1991-1992), p. 64. 

22. Cité par M. T. Jones-Davies, dans son article "Figures emblématiques dans les masques 
jonsoniens: reflets du monde des idées de la Renaissance," dans le collectif Emblèmes 
et devises au temps de la Renaissance (Paris, Jean Touzet, 1981), pp. 43—44. 

23. Livre VIII, v. 203 à 206. 

24. Edition princeps de VHécatomgraphie de Gilles Corrozet (Paris, Chez Deny s Janot, 
1540); édition lyonnaise en 1548 (réédition: Paris, Honoré Champion, 1905), p. 132. 

25. 1549, "Aulx Astrologues," p. 126. 

26. M. T. Jones-Davies, art. cit., p. 33. 

27. Cette sentence sera reprise par l'Imagination poétique (1552, p. 181), mais cette fois 
au second degré, pour commenter l'emblème des singes juchés sur un arbre: "PLUS 
LE FOL EN HAULT ETAT MONTE: / TANT PLUS MANIFESTE SA HONTE. [...] 
/ Telz sont les gens brutaux, d'homme masquez,/ Plus honneurs sont haux, plus sont 
mocquez,/ CAR l'homme sot, montant où il ne doibt:/ Plus hault est mis: et plus beste 
on le veoit." 



50 / Renaissance and Reformation 



28. Livre 2, V. 264 et 587. 

29. En fait, Aneau cite textuellement ce proverbe vulgaire que nous avons retrouvé dans 
l'édition de 1519 des Proverbia gallicana et dans celle d^s Proverbes anciens flamengs 
et français correspondants de sentences les unes aux autres (1548, pp. 55 et 136). Il 
faudrait donc considérer qu 'Aneau joue sur plusieurs "registres" dans sa pratique du 
commentaire - glose traditionnelle, savante, populaire, etc. - et que cette diversité peut 
s'expliquer, en partie, par la diversité des destinataires visés par son entreprise. 

30. Bien entendu, il ne s'agit pas là d'une règle absolue puisque la pratique du commentaire 
chez Aneau cumule, pour ainsi dire, plusieurs formes: cette combinatoire des signes 
ne peut s'envisager que dans la perspective où il est possible d'isoler et de regrouper 
des commentaires comparables, "tendus" vers une même direction. 

31. Citons encore ce commentaire à l'emblème d'Alciat qui génère deux courtes man- 
chettes, lors de la rencontre de Pallas et d'Envie. 

EMBLEMES D'ALCL^T, p. 93 (Ftr« MÉTAMORPHOSES, manchettes, p. 76 

L'envieux s'entretient en son venimeux 

courage, voit à regret le bien d'aultruy, Félicité est le tourment d'envie (v. 1448) 

se consume soy mesme, 

et bat aultruy de langue picquante Médisance procède d'evie (v. 1444) 

32. Iliade, chant 1, v. 250. 

33. Emblème "Emulation pour prendre," pp. 41-42: "AINSI jadis Jupiter, (qui visé / Avoit 
la nymphe en l'habit desguisé / Et au maintien de Diane & en l'eage:) / De Callisto 
ravit le pucellage. / SOUBZ tel habit dissimulé, POMPEE / Femme à Cesar dicateur, 
fut trompée: / Par un Rommain nommé claude Le Bel. / Répudiée après, sans nul 
rappel." 

34. Glose des Métamorphoses, livre 2, v. 1158. 

35. P. 25. De même, le terme "battologie," employé dans les manchettes des 
Métamorphoses (livre 2, v. 1302), ne nous est nettement intelligible que par 
l'explication allégorique de V Imagination poétique (p. 91): 

Quand en tenant controvers parlement 
Un grand parleur se couppe: tellement 
Que sa raison à soy mesme ambiguë 
Se contrarie: et son diet redargue. 
Son adversaire adoncques le surprent 
Dessus ce poinct: et jusque au but le rend 
De non parler, mis au bout de son rolle. 

36. Livre l,p. 69, v. 1105. 

37. Commentaire aux Emblèmes d'Alciat, "Science," p. 225, Plr°. 

38. Ibid., "Les arbres:" "Lhierre," p. 253, Q7ro. 

39. Ibid., "Les arbres:" "Laurier," p. 261, R3ro. 

40. Livre l,p. 69, v. 1105. 

41. Citons seulement Boccace, Bible des Poètes, Nathale Conti. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 51 



42. "Desloyaulté," p. 76, Eov^. 

43. P. 59 (même vignette). 

44. Livre 3, p. 213, v. 490. 

45. Spécialement les vers 1078, 1089 et 1091. 

46. "Preparation de voir à la lecture et intelligence...," folio 2bv^: "Cadmus Phoenicien 
qui envoie de son père pour recouvrer la seigneurie d'Europe, & de ce ne pouvant venir 
à chef par ce que ses gens furent defaictz par l'astuce Grecque, finallement s'arresta à 
Thebes par luy fondée: & par Sapience (qui est Pallas) surmonta la callidité, & 
malignité grecque (qui est le serpent tortueux) & sema les seize dens d'icelluy (car 
autant en ont les serpens) qui sont les seize lettres qu'il apporta de Phenice & les 
espandit par la Grèce. [ . . . ] Ainsi la semence de dens serpentines faicte par Cadmus est 
l'invention des lettres par luy espandues en la Grèce [...] D'ond sortirent gens savans 
bien instruictz de tous ars & sciences, qui sont les hommes armez. Lesquelz 
s'entretuarent. Car les gens literez en disputant se confutent les ungz les aultres jouxte 
ce que diet Marc Antoine l'Orateur. Hz se poignent entre eulx de leurs Aguillons ou 
bien (comme diet Joseph contre Appion) que les Grecz se redarguent de mensonge les 
uns les aultres." 

47. Vers 136. 

48. Vers 142. 

49. Vers 174. 

50. Exemple de fragmentation d'un réseau simple: 



EMBLEMES D'ALCIAT, p. 93 



L'envieux s'entretient en son venimeux 
courage, voit à regret le bien d'aultruy, 
se consume soy mesme, et bat aultruy 
de langue picquante. 

Exemple de fragmentation d'un réseau complexe: 



COMMENTAIRE AUX 
MÉTAMORPHOSES (2. v. 1430, 
1143,1448) 

Sapience et vertu concite envie. 
Médisance procède d'envie. 
Félicité, est le tourment d'envie. 



EMBLEMES 
D'ALCIAT 

Laquelle [eloquence] 
surmonte toute malice, 
et obtient grand grace 
à celluy qui l'ha. 



IMAGINATION 
POÉTIQUE 

MONSTRANT qu'il fut 
un prince vertueux / En 
Eloquence, en 

Armes, et tous deux / En sens 
et dicz, de Sapience, et d'art / 
Clair, et agu, et soubdain 
comme un d'ard. 



COMM. AUX 
MÉTAMORPHOSES 
(3, V. 136, 142 et 174 

Prompte éloquence 
pénètre. 

De parolle éloquente les 
aguillons demeurent 
au coeur, comme de 
l'oraison de Pericles. 
Confutation totalle de caute 
malice, par poignante 
eloquence, raison et vertu. 



52 / Renaissance and Reformation 



51 Exemple de condensation d'un réseau complexe: 



EMBLEMES 
D'ALCIAT 



IMAGINATION 
POÉTIQUE 



Laquelle [eloquence] 
surmonte toute malice, 
et obtient grand grace 
àcelluy qui l'ha. 



COMM. AUX 
MÉTAMORPHOSES 

(3, V. 1489) 

Eloquence ouvre 

l'entendement 

ses contestateurs rend 

estonnez. 



52 



[...] mais tant est esbahie / 
De l'Eloquence entre tous & 
bien ouye: / Qu'elle demeure 
en ecstase estonnée / Muette 
ainsi comme en pierre tournée. 

[...] Par les faictz de ces 
deux Doctes Escriptz, et fors 
Gestes des Preux, / Les hommes 

sont tellement estonnez: / 
Qu'on les diroit estre en 
pierre tournez. 

The Influence of Ovid on a Sixteenth-Century Emblem Book: Barthélémy Aneau's 
Imagination poétique " loc. cit., 1-19. 

53. Voir, entre autres, au livre 1, p. 1, vers 2, "proposition;" p. 2, vers 6, "invocation" et 
vers 11, "exorde de narration;" aux livres 1, vers 385, p. 26 et 2, vers 114, p. 101: 
"argument du plus au moins," etc. De plus, remarquons comment, par ce relevé des 
figures, des lieux et des parties du discours, Aneau institue en exemple le texte d'Ovide. 

54. Livre 1, vers 476, "assentiment adulatoire des conseillers;" livre 2, vers 1556, 
"privauté;" livre 3, vers 1048, "reproche d'ignorance," et vers 1082, "repréhension 
d'ivrognerie," ou encore aux vers 282 et 348, "ici Ovide entend..." 

55. Livre 1, vers 1082 et livre 2, vers 1046, "beauté nuisible;" livre 1, vers 1014, "bas états 
ne sont aimés des femelles;" Livre 2, vers 104, "trop grande facilité est repentable au 
père et dommageable au fils;" livre 3, vers 571, "le dire doit être confirmé par le fait," 
et vers 1119, "victoire par force plus honorable que par déception," etc. 

56. Daphne, qui règle sa conduite sur celle de Diane, prie son père de la dispenser du 
mariage, comme Jupiter l'a fait pour la déesse. 

57. lo, "En vénerie et virginal' noblesse [...]/ Ensuyvoit Diane la Déesse / De l'Isle Ortyge." 

58. Callisto "estoit de Diane compagne: / Et n'y eut fille en toute la montaigne / De 
Menalus, d'elle plus fort aymée." 



59. 



60 



"Sur ce voicy (avec sa chaste bande) / Venir Diane aval la forest grande / De Menalus, 
bien fiere en son courage / D'avoir occis mainte beste sauvage." 



La circulation du sens dans Les emblèmes chrestiens de G. de Montenay (1571)," La 
Nouvelle Revue du Seizième Siècle, 9 (1991), p. 73. Noter que c'est l'organisation, la 
structuration, et non la nature du commentaire qui individualise cette voix qui prononce 
quand même des lieux communs et rejoint, par là, l'indéterminé. 

61. Voir l'article d' Alison Saunders, "The Sixteenth-Century French Emblem Book: 
Writers and Printers," 5rwé// Frances/, XXXI, fasc. 2 (mai-août 1987), 173-190. 

62. "Preparation de voie à la lecture, & intelligence de la Metamorphose d'Ovide, & de 
tous Poètes fabuleux," folio a6r°. 



"Is Abbot Isidore also among the 
Prophets?": Protestant Influences upon 
the Annotated Bible of Isidore Clarius 



R. GERALD HOBBS 



S 



ummary: This paper attempts to recognize the important role played by 
Isidore Clarius in the reform of the Vulgate in the Sixteenth Century. In his 
preface, prolegomena and notes to the Bible, Clarius provided a form of 
pre-Tridentine Biblical scholarship which enjoyed more affinities with evan- 
gelical Protestant scholarship than with much of the Italian Biblical heri- 
tage. Isidore Clarius was one of the mitred abbots delegated by Paul III to 
the Council of Trent. In spite of his presence at Trent and his reputation as 
a scholar, Clarius could not escape the censorship which struck his Bible 
after the Index of 1564. 

There is abundant evidence that for the two decades preceding the meeting 
of the Council of Trent, works of the Swiss and German Protestant Reformers, 
their biblical commentaries in particular, circulated easily in Italy. In partic- 
ular, they were common currency in milieux marked by that evangelical 
humanism which sought a reform of the church effected through a return to 
the sources of the faith in Scripture and the writings of the Fathers.^ None- 
theless the demonstration of a conscious literary dependence by a father of 
the Council of Trent upon the Protestant Reformers of the upper Rhine valley 
could only underline the extraordinary theological diversity of that intellec- 
tual climate described by Fenlon in his study of Reginald Pole.^ This paper 
will show this to be the case for the Benedictine mitred abbot, Isidore Clarius 
or Chiari, through an examination of his revised and annotated 'Vulgate' 
published in Venice in 1542.^ 

Three centuries ago the sharp eyes of Richard Simon detected Clarius' 
dependence upon the work of Sebastian Munster, the Basel philologist, 
cosmographer and author of evangelical exegetica."^ In addition to his plagia- 
rism of a known heretic, Simon reproached Clarius for methodological 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XXIX, 1 (1993) 53 



54 / Renaissance and Reformation 



confusion. The abbot, in Simon's view, ought either to have produced a new 
translation of his own, or to have concentrated on purging the old of copyists' 
errors. Instead he had published a hybrid as unscientific as it was unsatisfac- 
tory. Since the Seventeenth Century those few persons who have given any 
attention to Clarius have contented themselves with a repetition of Simon's 
strictures. This paper will attempt, within severely defined limits, an initial 
examination of Clarius' work, with particular reference to his sources. 

Clarius and his Vulgata 

Taddeo Cucchi was born in 1495 in the northern Italian town of Chiari 
(Brescia); he adopted "Isidore" upon becoming a Benedictine in 1517, and 
"Clarius" in deference to his place of birth.^ Clarius' rise to the rank of abbot 
of Pontida in Bergamo was accompanied by a reputation for biblical scholar- 
ship. In 1536-37 Paul III named him to the papal Reform Commission where 
he was in close association with cardinal Contarini and his fellow Benedictine 
(and subsequent cardinal) Gregorio Cortese. During this period Fenlon iden- 
tifies Clarius as a formative influence upon Reginald Pole, with whom he 
would enjoy further contact during the first years of Trent.^ 

Already known for his adhortatio ad concordiam, published in 1540 
with a dedication to Contarini^, Clarius undertook the following year the most 
ambitious project of his career, a three-part annotated Bible, the Vulgata 
aeditio Veteris ac Novi Testamenti, which appeared in a handsome folio 
edition from the presses of Peter Schoeffer in Venice in 1542.^ It may be noted 
in passing that Schoeffer - a member of the well-known Mainz family of 
printers whose activity in Venice had begun only the previous year - had 
earlier been active in both Worms and Strasbourg in the printing of Reforma- 
tion literature, including notably the so-called "Worms Prophets", the Ger- 
man translation of the Hebrew prophets by Ludwig Haetzer assisted by Hans 
Denck, both known for their radical Protestantism.^ 

In a three-page prefatory epistle to the reader, Clarius sets forth in elegant 
and limpid prose his motivation and working principles. What began as a 
private project shared with a few associates, is now, at the insistence of 
friends, being reluctantly submitted to the public. ^^ He would have preferred 
the modesty of anonymous publication, had this not become of late a hallmark 
of heresy - a prudent observation, in the year of Paul Ill's reorganization of 
the Roman Inquisition. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 55 



Clarius was moved to the present endeavour by his observation of two 
recurring deficiencies in the wealth of biblical commentaries both traditional 
and contemporary. In the first place 

in the studied labours of all of these, that edition which the whole world 
uses - and I suspect always will - has not yet been freed from its present 
miserable condition. No one has taken the trouble to correct the errors 
with which it teems at every turn, a scandalous state of affairs considering 
that there exists in our day any number of persons who could have 
remedied this.^^ 

Furthermore, although the Church's Bible has many passages in need of 
explanation, Clarius notes that few works do so within the compass of a single 
volume. Accordingly; his Vulgata will make conveniently accessible, to the 
general reader as well as to the specialist, a purified text accompanied by brief 
annotations. As these clear the obstacles from the comprehension of the letter, 
the devout reader will the more easily and joyously advance to meditation 
upon the spiritual truths of Scripture. 

What principles does Clarius claim to have followed in the revision of 
the Latin Bible? In the first place, although he could have worked from the 
Hebrew sources himself, to avoid rendering his readers captive to personal 
idiosyncracies he has preferred to rely primarily upon the efforts of other 
scholars. These authorities were not however deployed without discrimina- 
tion. Where the Hebrew seemed not to differ radically from the sense of the 
existing Latin, he preferred to retain the familiar, adding a note to enlighten 
the reader as to the difference with the Hebrew. 

Had I chosen to work with goldsmith's scales instead of using the 
standard of popular usage, I should certainly have offended the ears of the 
Church, and I would not have accomplished my purpose, the preservation of 
the common edition. ^^ 

Such respect for tradition notwithstanding, Clarius felt himself obliged 
to revise or annotate in close to 8000 instances, and more, he confesses, 
remains to be done. It is however his hope that his work will prove a useful 
beginning upon which, with the blessing of the Church's leadership, others 
will build until the task is fully accomplished. 

Several elements of this preface invite comment. Both style and content 
situate Clarius firmly in the camp of biblical humanism. The candor with 
which he unhesitatingly characterizes the defects of the received Latin makes 
clear his preference for the authority of the original tongues. Manifestly he 
had not been convinced by the arguments for the authority of the Church's 



56 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Latin Bible made in 1529 by the Vatican librarian Agostino Steucho; for the 
latter the task of scholarship was essentially to restore the Latin to its pristine 
form purged of copyists' errors.^-^ It is more surprising to find no justification 
of his labours by appeal to the work of Jerome or Origen, or to the Council 
of Vienne which had decreed in 1311 the establishment of chairs of Semitic 
studies in five European centres, invocations common in the prefaces of 
renaissance biblical scholars. ^"^ Similarly, there is no deference expressed for 
the interpretations of the Fathers. If this is honest in the light of his intention, 
viz. annotation in the light of the Hebrew, it also distinguishes him from more 
conservative Catholic biblical scholars like Richard of Le Mans.^^ On the 
other hand, Clarius does not propose, as did his contemporary Santés 
Pagnini^^, a completely new translation more faithful to the Hebraica Veritas, 
the Hebrew original. ^^ Common sense told him the familiar Latin would 
continue to be the Church's Bible; his concern was to improve it in relation 
to the Hebrew sources. For pragmatic and pastoral reasons then, rather than 
"paring to the quick," ^^ he would correct only where it was manifest that the 
traditional rendering had missed significantly the sense of the Hebrew. 

The preface is followed by a catena of eight biblical quotations, an 
exhortation to the study of Scripture, while the final two pages of the 
prolegomena, under the title "Haec docent sacra bibliorum scripta" summa- 
rize the central truths of Scripture with a distinctly evangelical ring. Since we 
cannot know whether the inclusion of these pages was the decision of Clarius 
or of his printer, too much weight should not be placed upon their presence. 
In any event, their provenance was the 1532 Bible of the still eminently 
respectable Robert Estienne of Paris.^^ 

Clarius' Bible was issued in three parts (though the three are bound 
together in every copy I have seen), of which the first contains Genesis to Job, 
while the second, with separate title-leaf, includes the remainder of the Old 
Testament. The deutero-canonical books of the Old Testament are in their 
traditional places in the Christian canon, not set apart at the end of the Old 
Testament as would become the Protestant fashion (if they were printed at 
all), and the much-loved Prayer of Mariasses (destined ultimately to disappear 
even from Roman Catholic Bibles) appears at the end of Second Chronicles. 
Yet there are indications that Clarius was not unaffected by humanist criticism 
of the Christian canon. Prior to the first book of Samuel, he reproduces 
Jerome's prologue on canon with its expressed preference for the more 
restricted Jewish canon. Furthermore, while the Hebrew canonical books 
receive an annotation (in fine italic print) which occupies the bottom one-third 
of a typical page, the deutero-canonical books rarely have any notes at all. In 



Renaissance et Réforme / 57 



an oft-censored paragraph appended to the first chapter of Ecclesiasticus, 
Clarius declines to undertake either text revision or annotation of that book, 
on the grounds that in its present Latin form it varies so radically from the 
Greek - he did not of course know the Hebrew version recovered only at the 
end of the 19th century - that any attempt to revise could only result in a 
wholly new translation. Annotation would therefore be impossible, unless one 
wished to philosophize upon this mass of errors, as too many exegetes had 
already done.^^ 

The third and final part contains the New Testament followed by an 
addendum of two pages of additional notes and a 27-page "Index rerum et 
sententiarum", this too perhaps the publisher's responsibility. 

Clarius' Sources 

My attention was first drawn to the Clarius Vulgate by striking textual 
reminiscences of the work of the Strasbourg Reformer, Martin Bucer, on the 
Psalms. These suggested that Clarius might have used as sources more than 
the Munster Bible that Simon had detected, that perhaps this north Italian 
biblical humanist with known links to the reform movement in the Italian 
church might have had a particular affinity for the exegesis of the evangelical 
upper Rhineland school, that sodalitas of humanist Biblical scholars in 
Strasbourg, Basel and Zurich.-^^ Accordingly, this paper explores the hypoth- 
esis of such a connection by means of an examination of seven passages 
selected from the Old Testament^^ with an eye to the range of biblical 
commentaries available in 1540 from the pens of the "prophets" (exegetes) 
of Strasbourg, Basel and Zurich. Limiting this study to the Old Testament, 
though it corresponds to what was for Clarius the principal task, leaves as a 
desideratum another examination of his New Testament revision and notes.^ 

(a) Text revision 

(i) The first observation is that Clarius was working from a Vulgate of the Estienne 
1532 family. In November of that year, Robert Estienne issued the second of 
his series of splendid Latin Bibles. ^"^ As already in 1528, Estienne made 
extensive use of Carolingian manuscripts borrowed from St-Denis, St-Ger- 
main-des-Prés and the Sorbonne to complete a correction of the current text, 
his operating assumption being that those readings were preferable which 
corresponded more closely to the Hebrew. The 1532 Bible was quickly repro- 
duced in several Lyon and Antwerp editions, any one of which Clarius may 
have possessed. In 1540, however, Estienne bowed to Sorbonne critics and in 



58 / Renaissance and Reformation 



his folio Bible of that year returned to a more traditional form of the Vulgate, 
the variants in his manuscripts being indicated in the margin. 

Clarius employed a small diacritical mark (+) to indicate his own revisions 
of the Vulgate text. A comparison of the other readings wherein his text differs 
from a common form of the received text shows that he is consistently following 
the Estienne 1532.^^ Several other elements confirm the Estienne prototype. 
The only marginalia in Clarius' Vulgate are biblical cross-references which 
correspond at most points precisely to those of the Estienne edition.^^ The 
division between chapters one and two of Hosea agrees with that in Estienne.^^ 
Finally, the two prefatory tables referred to above are taken verbatim from 
Estienne 1532, not 1540, where their evangelical tone was significantly 
muted.^^ 

The attraction of Estienne' s Bible for our Benedictine abbot becomes more 
apparent when we compare the former's preface with that of Clarius. Like the 
latter, Estienne avoids attribution of the received text to St. Jerome. He is 
concerned to preserve and enhance the integrity of the Vulgate; but the many 
disparities between it and the Hebrew would trouble any reader setting it 
alongside one of the new translations. Accordingly Estienne has included a set 
of marginal notes gleaned for him by an unnamed scholar from Jewish as well 
as Christian sources, employing diacritical marks in the fashion of Origen and 
Jerome to identify for the reader the Latin's divergences from the Hebrew. 
Where, however, "our translation [i.e. the Vulgate] differs from the others only 
verbally and not in sense, no annotation is given." Furthermore no attempt has 
been made to annotate the books that lack a Hebrew original (i.e. the deutero- 
canonical) since their manuscript tradition was hopelessly confused. Now that 
the work is done, let the Church's leaders be judge of its utility. ^^ 

(ii) In the second place, Clarius does indeed introduce only a modest number of 
revisions into his Vulgate. In the 90 verses in our study there are about 20 
changes indicated, while a further 14 are tacitly adopted (these last almost 
certainly from his model Estienne). As might be expected the poetry of the Song 
of Hannah and the Psalms is more frequently revised than is the prose of 
Genesis. Overall the ratio of revisions to verses is 1:4.5, or 1:2.6 if the tacit 
corrections be also included. 

(iii) Who are these others whose lucubrations Clarius has borrowed? In first place 
Sebastian Munster, whose Hebrew-Latin Bible appeared first in 1534.^^ His 
was not the first complete new translation of the Hebrew - that honour goes to 
the Dominican of Lucca, Santés Pagnini.^^ But three features of MUnster's 
Bible made it preferable for many readers to that of Pagnini: it set the Hebrew 



Renaissance et Réforme / 59 



and new Latin translation in parallel columns, the Latin itself is less wooden 
and literal than that of Pagnini, and it was accompanied by a set of succinct 
annotations, many gleaned from rabbinic literature. 

Next in importance is the multi-volume Bible with verse-by-verse com- 
mentary from the erstwhile Franciscan and teacher of Miinster, Conrad 
Pellican. Since 1526 Pellican was teaching Hebrew Scriptures in Zurich. ^^ His 
Bible is at first sight a surprising item on Clarius' list of authorities. By the 
early 1540's, there could have been no doubt of the heretical provenance of 
biblica printed by Froschauer of Zurich! Yet the origin of several revisions, 
particularly in selections A and B is beyond doubt;^^ elsewhere over-lapping 
with other sources, particularly the Estienne, makes certainty difficult. In fact, 
Pellican would have been an attractive tool. Like Clarius, the former Franciscan 
remained committed to the ongoing place of the Vulgate in the church. Its 
elucidation by means of variant readings from the Hebrew (often placed in 
parentheses within the text) could be hoped to serve to perpetuate "the venerable 
authority of the popular translation amongst the Christian people. "-^"^ 

Two other, relatively minor sources of revisions can be identified. The first 
is the paraphrased Psalter of Jan van Campen (Campensis), the second the 
massive commentary on the Psalms by Bucer of Strasbourg. Each of these is 
much more significant in the annotations and their discussion can be left until 
later. 

(iv) What can be said of Clarius' use of these sources? First and foremost, he 
exercises his own judgement in their deployment. It is apparent that he often 
passes over emendations proposed by both Estienne and Pellican. He obviously 
dislikes the contemporary fashion of giving common names a more Hebraic 
form (e.g. Moscheh for Moses); and resists the impulse, for example, to turn 
the "paradise of pleasure" of Genesis 2,8 into the "Garden of Eden" Though 
he takes cognizance of the Hebrew interjection Selah in a note at Ps 3,5.,^^ it 
is not introduced into the text of the Psalms, as is the case in Pellican, while 
Estienne inserts an asterisk at each occurrence. Hebraisms he avoids where 
their introduction would not contribute materially to the understanding of the 
literal sense. -^^ 

On two occasions he reminds the reader of his principle: "we learn in such 
passages to express the sense rather than the words," an expression which 
locates him decisively on one side of the debate over the nature of biblical 
translation.^^ On occasion he can retain a reading on what seem theological 
grounds. Thus at Ps 3,6 he retains "exsurrexi" with its Christological overtones, 
though "evigilavi" is given by Miinster, Pellican and Estienne. -^^ Again he does 



60 / Renaissance and Reformation 



not replace the "faciamus" spoken by the Creator at Gen 2,18 with "faciam" - 
apparently preferring to retain the same form as that used in Gen 1,26; in this 
instance he does not even remark on the discrepancy, though all his sources 
urge the emendation. 

On the other hand he can take bold action where he deems it warranted. In 
Psalm 14 there were in the Vulgate three units of text not present in the Hebrew: 
the phrase "non est usque ad unum" at the end of v.l; a catena of quotations 
(from other psalms and Isaiah 59) inserted after v. 3 on the basis of its occur- 
rence at Rm 3,13-18; and in v. 5, a fragment "ubi non erat timor" imported from 
the parallel Ps 53,6. Perhaps because of its Christological application, Clarius 
does not follow his contemporary sources, retaining the offending member in 
v.l without comment. The other two however are dropped, the former without 
even an explanation and in defiance of what more traditional scholars consid- 
ered Pauline warrant for its inclusion.^^ 

(b) Annotation 

(i) Turning to the second of Clarius' tasks, we observe first that annotations occur 
with greater frequency than do text revisions. This is consistent with his 
operating principle, which called for him to avoid revisions not strictly neces- 
sary for the sense, drawing attention instead to the variant in the notes. 
Annotations of this sort are often but a few words, whereas those that elucidate 
difficult passages can be considerably more extensive. On the ninety verses in 
our seven passages, there are 59 formal notes, which become 72 when those 
that combine two or more verses are broken up. Moreover another seven are 
given in the 1557 edition. Thus the ratio of notes to verses is 1:1.14, approach- 
ing one per verse.^^ 

(ii) Amongst Clarius' authorities, Sebastian Munster easily holds first place, 
figuring in about one-half the notes on Genesis, up to three-quarters on Samuel, 
though considerably less in some of the psalms. As might be expected this often 
takes the form of a gloss of the Hebrew not thought important enough to insert 
as a revision. In the prophets. Munster furnishes the historical introduction that 
begins the annotation of each book. From Miinster too Clarius draws explana- 
tions of Hebraisms or of features of the ancient world, and occasionally a quote 
from the Targum or a mediaeval rabbinic comentator. Miinster's brevity and 
clarity of style are such that on occasion, we find Clarius taking over the 
Basler's résumé of a Bucer comment, in preference to the more verbose form 
in which Bucer gave it. Very frequently Clarius uses Miinster verbatim."*^ 



Renaissance et Réforme / 61 



Here too the commentaries of Conrad Pellican hold second place, though 
their contribution varies greatly from selection to selection. At places in the 
prophets Pellican seems behind one-half the notes; he contributes less in 
Genesis and Samuel, and very little in the Psalms. Pellican's format was a 
paragraph of comment per verse of text. From this Clarius occasionally lifted 
a phrase verbatim; more often he paraphrased an idea in his own words. This 
style of use makes identification of borrowings less simple than with Miinster; 
there are occasions when one wonders if both authors may be reading a common 
source. Yet enough is certain to permit the observation that Clarius appreciated 
Pellican's combination of an historico-literal interpretation with moralistic 
observations, that he found attractive Pellican's emphasis upon Christ in the 
Old Testament and the displacement of Israel as people of God by the Church. 
On the other hand he usually ignores the Zuricher's allegorizing and hardly 
surprisingly, his Protestant propaganda. ^^ 

Pellican's absence in the Psalter, one discovers, is because Clarius went 
directly to the source Pellican himself had used liberally, the lengthy commen- 
tary on the Psalms by Martin Bucer of Strasbourg, published in 1529 and 
extensively revised and enlarged in 1532.^^ The work, which broke important 
new ground with a fresh, very paraphrastic translation of the Psalms and a 
commentary based to a significant degree upon mediaeval rabbinic scholarship, 
had appeared under the pseudonym "Aretius Felinus of Lyon"; thus shielded 
from the accusation of heresy it circulated widely, and we should not be 
surprised to find Clarius possessing a copy. Obviously attracted by the work, 
Clarius borrowed heavily, in the process making his Psalms annotation much 
lengthier than for any other book. He begins each psalm with a statement of its 
theme, as a rule paraphrased from Felinus/Bucer, albeit sometimes by way of 
Miinster. A notable feature of Bucer' s work is his quest for an historia, that 
historical moment that stimulated the composition of individual psalms, in 
whose light the details of the text may be expounded. From Bucer Clarius 
adopts a number, though by no means all of these; but their place in his notes 
is small. In this respect he is, like Pellican, more drawn to the Christological 
application of the Davidic materials.^^ Yet conversely he is willing to follow 
Bucer - perhaps encouraged by Pellican and Miinster's example - in the 
Strasbourger's rejection of the allegorical sense as primary in Psalm 19, despite 
the Pauline application of Psalm 19,5 to the preaching of the apostles in Romans 
10.'*^ Bucer's rabbinic materials, his lexical studies, classical references and 
rhetorical criticism as well as his interpretive summaries are scanned with 
discrimination; his prolix and diffuse style is skillfully abbreviated and para- 



62 / Renaissance and Reformation 

phrased, such that a page of the Strasbourger can be accurately summarized in 
a brief paragraph."*^ 

One other contemporary Hebraist makes the occasional appearance in the 
Psalms annotations. Jan van Campen (Campensis), professor at the Trilingue 
in Louvain, published at Nuremberg in 1532 dL Paraphrase of the Psalter, after 
permission had been refused in Brussels."^^ Widely appreciated, it reappeared 
in various guises, sometimes printed in parallel with the Hebraicum of St. 
Jerome, sometimes with the 1532 rendering by Zwingli! Campensis spent two 
years in Italy, for a time in the household of Reginald Pole, for a time in Rome 
under Contarini's patronage. He was thus almost certainly known personally 
to Clarius, who will have found Campensis' fervent biblical humanism and 
irenical zeal congenial with his own temperament. In the three psalms studied, 
phrases from Campensis occur on ten occasions. 

Finally, the Estienne Bible, whose major role in the text revision has 
already been discussed, contributes also to the annotations, its marginal notes 
occurring from time to time as examples of alternative ways of translating the 
text. 

(iv) Some general observations to conclude this section. The sources with which 
Clarius is working are never identified by name. This may be prudence, in the 
light of the taint of heresy that attached to several. It also corresponds, however, 
to his practice when he makes use of rabbinical materials found in Munster and 
Bucer. Unlike these two, who generally name the source they are quoting, 
Clarius falls back on the traditional "certain Jews," or simply cites without any 
reference at all.^^ 

Although in the seven selections studied most of Clarius' sources were 
satisfactorily identified, there are some unresolved areas. In Isaiah in particular, 
he seems to have had a source beyond Munster and Pellican; could this have 
been notes from Campensis' lectures in Padua?^^ In some notes Clarius himself 
added a classical reference. ^^ The tone of the annotations is uniformly irenical. 
If Clarius naturally omits Protestant propaganda, he is not interested in scoring 
the heretics. Thus although very attracted to Bucer's exposition of Psalm 19, 
when the latter disparages those neoterici who erect false dichotomies between 
Law and Gospel, Clarius ignores this mild barb directed at Luther and 
Bugenhagen. 

One cannot conclude this discussion of the annotation without a word of 
comment on the absentees. If as we have seen, three leading exegetes of the 
upper Rhine school are amongst his authorities, others of their colleagues 
apparently were not. This I conclude from the fact that neither Oecolampadius 



Renaissance et Réforme / 63 

nor Zwingli figures in the Isaiah annotation, nor is Capito present in Hosea.^^ 
Equally striking is his failure to utilize the products of Italian biblical scholar- 
ship: Felix Pratensis and Agostino Giustiniani on the Psalter, Agostino Steucho 
on Genesis, and above all, the Bible of Santés Pagnini.^^ For each, Clarius' 
reasons will have been different; that to all of them he preferred the product of 
north European scholars, several of whom were known Protestants, is 
remarkable. 

A Father of Trent 

Isidore Clarius was one of three mitred abbots delegated by Paul III to the 
council of Trent. Arriving in January 1546, after some procedural debate the 
abbots were seated with a single vote between them.^-^ In the light of the 
present study, we may appropriately ask what role Clarius played in the 
sessions of early 1546 on Scripture and the Church. 

In the often fiery debates of February j^"^ the role of the three abbots is 
discreet. Clarius appears first by name in ih& Acta on May 20, when he argues 
in the name of the three for making primary the reading and study of Scripture 
in the monastic discipline, to the prejudice of scholastic theology. Subse- 
quently he intervenes on several occasions in the justification debate.^^ 
Clarius was of course recognized as an interested party in the biblical 
discussions. On March 1, Thomas Caselli, the Dominican bishop of Bertinoro, 
pointed to Clarius' Vulgate as an elegant example of what the church required, 
viz., not a new Bible but the correction of the old.^^ Is there any evidence for 
Clarius' engagement in these debates? 

In his useful but tendentious //w^ory of the Council of Trent, Paolo Sarpi 
reports an interesting intervention by Clarius, in which he is said to have 
presented an overview of the history of the Vulgate, arguing that it was a 
conflation of the work of Jerome and of the older Itala, and that it would be 
rash for the church to accord it an inspiration specifically disclaimed even by 
Jerome himself. Although no translation could ever equal the original Hebrew 
and Greek, he could acquiesce in a conciliar preference for the Vulgate, once 
it had been corrected against the originals. This would address the problem 
of the confusion created for the faithful by the host of new translations in 
circulation; a corrected official Vulgate would gradually bring these other 
translations into disuse. In the interim, the council might forbid the making 
of new ones.^^ 

In an article published in 1905 Stephen Ehses rejected the authenticity 
of this speech, pointing out that Sarpi had set it in the congregation of the 



64 / Renaissance and Reformation 



theologians on February 20 where, as a father of the council, Clarius had no 
place other than as an auditor. Furthermore he could speak in any event only 
as part of the triumvirate.^^ Jedin has found the arguments of this article less 
than compelling in other respects.^^ Without pretending to competence in the 
intricacies of the council, I note that the debates within the general congrega- 
tion on April 1 and 3 record two interventions in the name of the abbots whose 
general tenor agrees with the speech in Sarpi. On the former day, while giving 
general approval to the decree on Scripture and tradition, the abbots include 
amongst other points that they would prefer not to ascribe the Psalter formally 
to David, nor do they like the formula pari pietatis affectu with its equation 
of the reverence due Scripture and tradition. ^^ Two days later in the debate 
on abuses and their remedy, the opinion of the abbots is recorded that to have 
a sole authoritative Vulgate must involve correction of the errors and corrup- 
tion of the current text on the basis of the Hebrew and the Greek. Consistent 
with this respect for the Hebrew is their preference for omitting mention of 
the Septuagint in the decree. In the voting which followed the abbots 
supported Cardinal Pole's plea that the one official version of the Church be 
trilingual, that is, include the Hebrew and the Greek originals. On this they 
were in the minority. ^^ 

When the points raised by the abbots in congregation are compared with 
the preface and operating principles of Clarius' Vulgate on the one hand, and 
on the other with Sarpi' s report, the overall consistency supports the general 
authenticity of the latter. Given Clarius' reputation as a biblical scholar and 
the favourable notice he had already received on the floor of council, it should 
hardly surprise if his two fellow abbots deferred to his expertise in the biblical 
debate. Ehses' argument that an individual abbot could not speak is disproved 
by the events of May 20.^^ Thus, while Clarius was present at the congrega- 
tions of theologians after February 20 only as an observer, as Ehses argues, 
it seems safest to conclude that Sarpi has brought together materials relating 
to both theological and general congregations of late-March and early-April 
1546 which, while perhaps not strictly accurate minutes, represent responsi- 
bly the general tenor of the debate and the positions of the speakers, including 
that of Clarius. 

The Council passed to other matters. For his part, the following January 
Clarius added to his responsibilities the diocese of Foligno, where he left the 
reputation of a reformer devoted to the pastoral formation of his clergy. 
Apparently he continued to find time for his studies, for a second edition of 
his Bible appeared in 1557, two years after his death, this time from the 
well-known Venetian firm of the Giunti.^^ The title is changed, now reading 



Renaissance et Réforme / 65 



Biblia sacrosancta veteris ac novi testamenti, the omission of "Vulgate" 
certainly due to the decisions of Trent with their requirement of an official 
text. A short preface is added, in which the reader is informed that this second 
edition "by popular demand" includes numerous additions to both text revi- 
sion and annotation by Clarius himself. An "Ordo librorum" also appears with 
the prolegomena. In all other respects, however, these latter are untouched, 
so that Clarius' critique of the Vulgate in the original preface is intact.^^ 

Two years later, however, the Index of Paul IV, like that of the Spanish 
Inquisitor General of the same year, listed the work of Clarius amongst its 
"Biblia prohibita". With the so-called Trent Index of 1564, this radical 
censure of a Father of the Council was made precise. The preface and 
prolegomena of Clarius' Bible were to be removed, and its title to allow no 
possible confusion of his text with that of the Vulgate.^^ This limited censure 
accounts then for the existence of a third 'edition' of Clarius, dated 1564. 
While the new title page takes cognizance of the Tridentine strictures, the 
publisher in fact merely removed the offending four prefatory leaves from his 
existing 1557 stock, retaining the "ordo librorum", and put his Clarius back 
on the shelves. The copies I have examined retain the 1557 colophon.^^ 

Although the 1564 Index made no mention of notes, these did not escape 
the scrutiny of vigilant censors elsewhere. The regularity with which certain 
passages - notably at Ps. 8,6, at Jeremiah 7,4 and the comments on the 
Ecclesiasticus text observed above - are blacked out in most surviving copies, 
show that they figured on someone's list of delenda.^^ 

Seventeenth-century England looked upon Clarius with a kinder eye. He 
was among the exegetes of the previous century to find a new lease on life by 
inclusion in the voluminous Critici sacri, published at London in 1660, and 
subsequently reissued in Frankfurt at the turn of the next century. 

This has been but a preliminary study. Nonetheless it suggests two 
concluding observations. First, the strictures of Simon and others notwith- 
standing, the place of Clarius needs to be recognized in the history of the Bible 
in the 16th century. In his struggle for a reformed Vulgate which should reflect 
faithfully the sense of the original, in his preference amongst contemporary 
exegetes for the work of the northern European humanists, he represented a 
form of pre-Tridentine Catholic biblical scholarship which because of its 
presuppositions found itself enjoying more affinities with some evangelical 
Protestant scholarship than with much of Italian biblica. The work of Roussel 
on Claude Guillaud of Autun^^ suggests that there were others who shared 
these views, amongst whom we may name Estienne's Guillaume Fabritius 
and François Vatable.^^ Theirs was of course the minority view at Trent, the 



66 / Renaissance and Reformation 



application of whose decisions relegated their work, at least for Catholics, to 
the backshelves of archives. But there are insights to be gained too from the 
losers of historic confrontations. Which in turn reminds us that we have still 
much to learn about the complex of ideas, personalities and activities that was 
the reform party in Italy in the two decades leading up to the first period of 
the council of Trent. Any reply then to the question in the title of this paper, 
would do well to recall the ambiquity with which its biblical original was put 
(1 Sam. 10:11). At this juncture we can at least note that abbot Isidore danced 
discreetly before the Lord in the company of the Rhineland evangelical 
prophets. 

Vancouver School of Theology 

Notes 

1. Such a definition would include Erasmian Catholics as well as persons more attracted 
to what became Protestant thought: e.g.in Naples and in Lucca in the groups around 
Peter Martyr Vermigli: ?hi\ip McNair, Peter Martyr in Italy (Oxford, 1967), 147-149. 
Cf. the letter of T. Quarterius to Martin Bucer, 22.10.1534 from Torino, in ed. J. V. 
PoUet, Martin Bucer: Etudes sur la correspondance (Paris 1958f.) 2, 486. It seems that 
it is now also established that Juan Valdés drew upon German evangelical sources: 
Carlos Gilly, "Juan de Valdés: Ûbersetzer und Bearbeiter von Luthers Schriften in 
seinem Dialogo doDoctrina'\ ARC 74(1983) 257-305, esp. 278-80 (Oecolampadius). 

2. Dermott Fenlon, Heresy and Obedience in Pre-Tridentine Italy: Pole and the Counter- 
Reformation (Cambridge, 1977). 

3. There is debate over the appropriateness of the term Vulgate applied to the Church's 
Bible before the Council of Trent. In this instance, it is the term Clarius himself chose 
for his edition of the Bible, a title subsequently censured by the Council. 

4. Histoire critique du Vieux Testament (Rotterdam, 1685), 320-321. On Miinster see 
infra, n.26. 

5. Friedrich Lauchert, Die italianischen literarischen Gegner Luthers (Freiburg in Br. 
1912), #27, 443-^51; LTK 2, 1215; Enc. Catt. 3, 1771. 

6. op. dr., 30-31. 

7. Lauchert, 445f. 

8. Its full title: Vulgata aeditio Veteris ac Novi testamenti, quorum alterum adHebraicam, 
alterum ad Graecam veritatem emendatum est diligentissime, ut nova aeditio non facile 
desyderetur, et vetus tamen hie agnoscatur: adiectis ex eruditis scriptoribus scholiis, 
ita ubi opus est, locupletibus, ut pro commentariis sint: multis certe locorum millibus 
praesertim difficilioribus lucem afferunt. Author e Isidoro Clario Brixiano Monacho 
Casinate. Venetiis apud Petrum Schoeffer Maguntinum Germanum. Anno M D XLII. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 67 



9. Aile Propheten (Worms, 1527). On Schoeffer, F.W.E. Roth, "Die Mainzer 
Buchdruckerfamilie Schôffer der lungere in Basel und Venedig", Zentralblatt fur 
Bibliothekswezen 19 (1902) 456-459. 

10. "...quod mihi duntaxat ac familiaribus meis usui esse posset": as well as friends. 
"Familiares" can be those of the household, perhaps the monks under his care. 

11. Sign, iiv.: "Nam in his horum omnium studiis atque laboribus aeditio ilia, qua totus 
Christianus orbis utitur - ac semper ut facile coniecto usurus est - nondum squallorem 
suum deposuerat, nee ei quisquam errores, quibus innumeris pene scatebat, adimere 
adhuc curaverat; quae res eo magis reprehensione digna mihi videbatur, quo eorum 
maior esset hac aetate copia, qui huic malo mederi potuissent." 

12. Ibid, "si statera aurificis et non populari potius quadam trutina uti voluissem, offensae 
fuissent omnino ecclesiae aures, neque id quod cogitaveram esset consecutum, ut 
scilicet vulgata aeditio agnosceretur." The metaphor is from Cicero, De oratore 2,159. 

13. In his Veteris Testamenti ad Hebraicam veritatem recognitio. Steucho would likewise 
be delegated to the Council of Trent. For his defence of Jerome's authorship of the 
Vulgate and its superiority to all other versions see the preface, fol. 84-85 (Venice 
1591) v.l: "in qua editione si quid aut mendosum reperitur aut ab Hebraica veritate 
dissonum, aut additum aut detractum, vel nuUius est moment! aut scriptorum vitio 
contigit". Th. Freudenbevger, Augustinus Steuchus, RGST 64/65, (Miinster 1935). 

14. Cf. e.g. Agostino Giustiniani, Psalterium Hebraeum, Graecum, Arabicum et 
Chaldaeum (Genoa 1516), pref. to Leo X (to Origen); Santés Pagnini, Biblia. Habes 
in hoc libro ... novam tranlationem (Lyon 1527-1528) pref. to Clement VII (to Jerome 
and the Council of Vienne). For the Vienne decree, see Corpus luris Canonici, ed. 
Friedberg, 2, 1179. 

15. Richard Cenomanus, Collationes ad Psalmos (Paris, 1541) publ. as a companion to 
Peter Lombard's commentaries on the Psalter, and reprinted with them in MPL 191. 

16. Above n.l4. See Anna Morisi Guerra, "Santi Pagnini traducteur de la Bible", in Théorie 
et pratique de l'Exégèse. Actes du 3^ Colloque International sur l'histoire de l'exégèse 
biblique au XVP siècle, ed. Irena Backus & Francis Higman, Geneva 1990, 191-198. 

17. Jan van Campen in Louvain reported in 1532 the rumour that Clement VII had set a 
commission of six Christians and six Jews to the task (preface to his Psalter, see infra 
n.44). 

18. Clarius: "Verum quod ad castigationes pertinet, consilium id fuit meum non ad vivum, 
quod aiunt, omnia resecare"; cf. Cicero, De amicitia 18, Loeb 126. 

19. This leaf was frequently removed by censors from copies of both the 1542 and 1557 
editions of Clarius. It can still be found in the copy in the Paris Bibliothèque Nationale, 
shelfmark A209. The source is Robert Estienne's Biblia (Paris, 1532), Sign. *iii r.v. 
Cf. Jiirgen Quack Evangelische Bibelvorreden von der Reformation bis zur Aufklarung 
(Gutersloh 1975, QFRG 43), 117-120. 

20. From a rare uncensored copy in the Bibliotheca Nacional, Madrid, Reserve, shelfmark 
U 4489: "Decreveram autem quod et Sapientia Salomonis feci, et hunc cum Graeco 



68 / Renaissance and Reformation 



collatum emendare, sed ita multis locis inter se discrepant, ut susceptam provinciam 
in ipso initio deposuerim, nam fuisset potius novum librum facere et alium, pro eo qui 
in Latinorum manibus est, reponere. Cum ergo emendare non licuerit, multo minus 
obscuriora loca illustrare scholiis potui, quae non nisi ablatis a textu erroribus sunt 
adhibenda, ne, quod hactenus a multis factum est, in ipsis erroribus cogeremur 
philosophari (vol.2, p.l37). 

21. See B. Roussel, "De Strasbourg à Bale et Zurich: une école rhénane d'exégèse (ca 1525 
-ca 1540)", RHPR 68 (1988) 19-39; and Roussel and Hobbs, "Strasbourg et l'AEécole 
rhénaneAF d'exégèse (1525-1540), in BSHPF 135(1989) 36-53. 

22. The texts chosen for this study are: (A) Genesis 2; (B) 1 Sam 2, 1-11; (C) Psalm 3; (D) 
Psalm 14(13); (E) Psalm 19(18); (F) Isaiah 1:1-12; (G) Hosea 1. Note that Hebrew 
(MT) and Vulgate traditions do not always coincide in chapter and verse divisions and 
numbering. In this paper I shall use throughout the MT system. 

23. Since my initial writing of this paper, Maria Cristina Pauselli has begun study of 
Clarius' work on the New Testament under the direction of Dr.Irena Backus of the 
Institut d'Histoire de la Réformation in Geneva. 

24. Cf. Biblia Breves in eadem annotationes, ex doctissimis interpretationibus et 
Hebraeorum commentariis ... Parisiis, ex officina Robert Stephani. M D XXXII. Cum 
privilégia Regis. Cf. Elizabeth Armstrong, Robert Estienne: Royal Printer (Cambridge 
1954); Henri Quentin, Mémoire sur l'établissement du texte de la Vulgate (Rome, Paris 
1922: Collectanea biblica latina, 6), p. 104-120. 

25. In G, e.g. there are no identified revisions, but 5 readings that concur with Estienne 
1532 against the traditional Vg; in F the 3 variants not identified as revisions again 
concur with Estienne 1532. The reading at Hosea 1, 2 is that of Estienne 1532 against 
Estienne 1540. For a standard Vg I have used the Brant text of Basel 1498. 

26. In A, C, F and G exactly. At B they are omitted; at E there is an additional "Prov. 30.a" 
whose provenance I have not identified; at D Estienne has a series of 9 (relating to the 
catena from Rom. 3) which are reproduced with several errata and omissions. 

27. After 1,11, as also in Pellican. The Brant Vg is after 1,9, as is the MT in the Venetian 
rabbinic Bibles; Miinster is after 1,12. 

28. Cf. supra n.l9. A comparison of the indices may reveal further correspondences. 

29. Ibid. Sign. *ii r.v. The "vir doctus aliquis" who worked for and with Estienne is 
identified in the 1540 preface as one Guillaume Fabritius, a canon of Poitiers. 

30. En tibi lector Hebraica Biblia Latina Planeque Nova (Basel 1534). Karl H. Burmeister, 
Sebastian Munster. Eine Bibliographie (Wiesbaden 1964); on M. most recently see 
Jerome Friedman, The Most Ancient Testimony (Athens, Ohio 1983) passim. 

31. Supra nn. 14,16. 

32. En damus tibi Christianissime lector Commentaria Bibliorum et ilia brevia quidem . . 
. qui et Vulgatam commentariis insérait aeditionem, sed ad Hebraeicam lectionem 
accurate emendatam . . . (Zurich, 1532-39), 7 vols. Cf. Chr. ZuTcher, Konrad Pellicans 
Wirken in Zurich, ZBRG 4 (Zurich 1975), 85-152. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 69 



33. e.g. opportunus for similis sui at Gen 2,20. 

34. See Pellican's defence of this preference in the preface (vol. 1, Sign. B 2v.-3r.) where 
he makes it clear that he would have preferred his Bible simply to have been printed 
with the Vulgate. On this debate within the Rhineland school, cf. Hobbs, "Ecole 
rhénane" 47-8. 

35. Apparently overlooking the fact that its first appearance is two verses earlier. 

36. Thus at 1 Sm 2,5, the barren continues to be promised "plurimos", not "septem" (as 
the Hebrew translates literally). Apparently Clarius was also not interested in promot- 
ing numerological speculations. 

37. At Ps 19,4; also at Gen 2,1 : both comments added in 1557 edition. On the debate, which 
opposed a reverence for the original (even to the word order) with an insistence on the 
necessity of translating sense to sense, see Hobbs, "Exegetical projects and problems: 
a new look at an undated letter from Bucer to Zwingli" in Prophet, Pastor, Protestant: 
the Work ofHuldrych Zwingli after 50 years, ed. E. J. Furcha & H. W. Pipkin (Allison 
Park, Pa. 1984), 94-96. 

38. Clarius does note the issue in his annotations; but he is impressed above all by the 
providential application of these words concerning David to Christ. 

39. On the handling of this textual issue by a variety of 16th C. exegetes, see Hobbs, 
"Hebraica Veritas et traditio apostolica: St. Paul as interpreter of the Psalms in the 
16th C." in ed. David C.Steinmetz, The Bible in the Sixteenth Century (Durham, NC, 
and London 1990),83-99.221-31. 

40. These occur as follows (1542 & 1557): A (25vv):16 & 2; B (llvv): 11; C (9vv): 10 & 
2; D (7vv): 5; E (15vv): 12 & 1; F (12vv): 8 & 1; G (llvv): 10 & 1. 

41. E.g. at Gen 2,11-14, Clarius excerpts verbatim a note on the identification of two of 
the rivers, omitting the material on the Tigris, presumably because it was better known. 
At Ps 19, the introduction to the Ps is Bucer, in part paraphrased by Clarius, in part by 
Munster whence it is taken up verbatim. 

42. At Gen 2,16-17 he does not use Pellican's allegorical treatment of the Garden. Later 
at 2,18 he likewise passes over Pellican's comments on the evils of enforced celibacy; 
he does however paraphrase Pellican's comment that the replacement of the man's rib 
by flesh after the making of woman (2,21) symbolizes the diminishing of virility that 
comes through intimacy with women! 

43. Sacrorum Psalmorum libri quinque [Strasbourg] (1529); cf. Hobbs, "How firm a 
foundation: Martin Bucer's historical exegesis of the Psalms" in Church History 53 
(1984) 411-491. I am at work on a critical edition of his work for the Martini Buceri 
Opera Latina (Leiden, SMRT). 

44. E.g. at Ps 3, for his introduction CI. excerpts from Bucer on David's perils at the hands 
of Absalom, and his composition of the psalm "suo exemplo ad fidendum Domino 
provocare". In 1557 he adds a sentence loosely based upon Bucer (or Pellican's 
abridgement of him) underlying the typological application of the text to Christ. In 
Psalm 3, the historia has of course canonical warrant (v.l). At Ps 2, CI. accepts an 



70 / Renaissance and Reformation 



hypothetical historia proposed by Bucer; on the other hand he makes no mention of 
Bucer's proposal for Ps 14. 

45. Clarius makes extensive use of Bucer on this psalm; there are 13 lines of biblical text 
for 66 lines of notes (by comparison the following psalm has a ratio of 8:12). Amongst 
the materials borrowed, Bucer's discussion of the correct way to relate the Old 
Testament to the New. 

46. The note at Ps 19,5 {Soli posait) is a good illustration. The opening statement, of the 
superiority of the sun to any star is Bucer digested by Miinster; the comparison of the 
sun to a bridegroom and a striking reference to contemporary Jewish wedding customs 
are verbatim Bucer; a reference to John 3,29, the simile of a runner with a quotation 
from Homer and cross-reference to Ps 18,34, and comment upon the elegance of the 
simile and its lesson for us, all follow in succession from Bucer, partly verbatim, partly 
paraphrased. 

47. Psalmorum omnium iuxta hebraicam veritatem paraphrastica interpretatio 
(Nuremberg 1532). On Campensis see H. De Vocht History of the Foundation and Rise 
of the Collegium Trilingue Louvaniense, 3, 158-208 (Louvain 1954 Humanistica 
Louvaniensia, 12). 

48. So at Gen 2,3 (from Miinster) and the intro. to Ps 14 (from Bucer). The exception seems 
to be the translations from the Targum: Hos 1,22 ("Jonathan"), or often "Chaldaeus." 

49. Fenlon, op. cit. 30. 

50. At Gen 2,19 where he adds "opinor ex hoc loco Platonem venisse in eam opinionem . 
. ." on the naming of earth's creatures; at 2,11 he adds a Homeric reference to a note 
otherwise from Miinster. 

51. For these and other commentaries of the Rhenish evangelicals, see Roussel, "De 
Strasbourg", p. 37. 

52. Felix Pratensis, Psalterium ex hebreo diligentissime ad verbum fere tralatum (Venice 
1515); on Steucho, supra n.l3; Giustiniani & Pagnini, n.l4. 

53. H. O. Evennett "Three Benedictine abbots at the Council of Trent" in Studia 
Monastical(1959) 343-377. 

54. On the Scripture issues before the Council, H. Jedin, Geschichte des Konzils von Trient 
2 (Freiburg in Br. 1957) chap. 2. 

55. Stephen Ehses, "Zwei Trienter Konzilsvota . . . Isidorus Clarius", Romische 
Quartalschrift 27(1913), Geschichte, 25-28. 

56. Concilium Tridentinum: Diariorum, Actorum . . . Nova Collectio, (Freiburg in Br. 
1901f.), v.l :Diarium III (Massarelli) p.507. 

57. Histoire du Concile de Trente (Bale 1738), 1, 278-280. 

58. "Hat Paolo Sarpi fiir seine Geschichte des Konzil von Trient aus Quellen geschopft die 
jetzt nicht mehr fliessen", Historisches Jahrbuch 26(1905) 313. 

59. op. c/r. 458n.l5. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 71 



60. Conc. Trid. 5, 46. 

61. Ibid. 63.65-66. 

62. Ibid., 149-150. 

63. Apparently the heirs of Luc Antonio Giunti: Cf. G. Fumagalli, Lexicon typographicum 
italiae (Firenze 1905) 141-143.462-468. 

64. Contrary to Lauchert, op. cit. 443-445. 

65. Fr. H. Reusch, Die Indices Librorum Prohibitorum des Sechszehnten Jahrhunderts, 
(Tubingen 1886) p. 207.217.247-248. 

66. In the BN, Paris, shelf no. A212; in the BN Madrid, no. 1/43 781. 

67. The Ecclesiasticus is given supra n.20. The Ps. 8:6 (taken from Bucer) reads: "Nam 
hanc dignitatem, qua caeteris dominemur, ob peccatum magna ex parte amissam, 
Christo credentes recipimus". From Jer. 7 (paraphrased from Miinster): "Ait ergo 
propheta exteriorem cultum Dei minime gratum esse Deo, si interim pessime vivatur". 

68. "La formation biblique du clergé d'Autun entre 1540 at 1550: Bucer plagié, le chanoine 
Guillaud censuré. Recherches nouvelles sur Claude Guillaud (1493-1551) Théologal 
d'Autun", in Horizons européens de la Réforme en Alsace . . . (Strasbourg: Istra 1980) 
313-337. 

69. See D. Barthélémy, "Origine et rayonnement de la 'Bible de Vatable'" in Théorie et 
pratique de l'Exégèse, ed.I. Backus & F Higman, EPH 43 (Geneva 1990), 385-401. 



Book Reviews / Comptes rendus 



Jan Miernowski. Dialectique et connaissance dans La Sepmaine de Du Bartas: 
"Discours sur discours infiniment divers". Genève, Droz, 1992, Pp. 347. 

L'année 1992 a été particulièrement faste aux études bartasiennes: édition de La 
seconde sepmaine (Paris, Klincksieck, SFTM), parution des actes du colloque Du 
Bartas 1590-1990 (Mont-de-Marsan, Editions interuniversitaires) et publication 
chez Droz de la thèse de Jan Miernowski: Dialectique et connaissance dans La 
Sepmaine de Du Bartas: "Discours sur discours infiniment divers ". Il est manifeste 
désormais que la production de ce poète longtemps réputée difficile, voire inacces- 
sible, sort du purgatoire, est enfin lue, appréciée et largement commentée. 

Dès l'introduction, Jan Miernowski, à la différence du point de vue traditionnel 
considérant les longueurs et digressions de La Sepmaine comme autant de fai- 
blesses, précise que c'est justement "cette dérive du savoir et de l'expression 
poétique" (p. 17) qu'il entend étudier, expliquer et justifier. A rencontre de l'opi- 
nion commune de la critique, il a donc décidé de rendre compte du "discours sur 
discours infiniment divers" présent dans La Sepmaine, en ayant recours à une 
analyse relevant de la poétique. Nous pourrions observer que jugement des critiques 
bartasiens et perspective retenue par Miernowski procèdent de la même constata- 
tion: pour tous, il y a bien des longueurs, mais Jan Miernowski entend prouver que 
ces "listes interminables" (p. 18) résultent d'une nécessité, d'une cohérence interne 
à l'élaboration de l'oeuvre, d'une problématique d'ordre poétique et idéologique 
permettant au "code dialectique" (p. 14) révélé et mis en évidence de fonder une 
lecture originelle de La Sepmaine. 

Les cinq parties de ce livre sont le résultat d'une organisation rigoureuse. Après 
une première partie, intitulée "Description: littérature et art oratoire," qui constitue 
en fait une introduction, la seconde partie, "Création: l'espace divisé du discours 
poétique" est de l'ordre de l'analyse du phénomène étudié. La troisième partie, 
"Res: la dialectique humaniste comme conditionnement de la description barta- 
sienne" fournit les éléments majeurs, choix et vues de Miernowski qui seront 
confirmés par la quatrième partie, "Verbum: le déploiement des listes à la surface 
du texte poétique," la cinquième partie, "De la dialectique à la connaissance" étant 
à la fois un dépassement et une relecture où en termes de poétique sont expliqués 
autrement les choix stylistiques de Du Bartas en tant que poète chrétien. Une 



74 / Renaissance and Reformation 



conclusion clôt cette démarche en rapprochant Du Bartas du maniérisme. Ce simple 
rappel pourrait déjà susciter quelques réflexions. C'est ainsi que la quatrième partie, 
relativement brève, est assez arbitrairement séparée de la troisième. De même, 
pourquoi conclure, de manière aussi inattendue, sur le maniérisme de Du Bartas? 
Rien, ou presque rien, dans le cours de l'ouvrage ne laissait prévoir une telle 
hypothèse, finalement plaquée et très extérieure à tout ce qui a été judicieusement 
démontré. Si l'esthétique de Du Bartas est de type maniériste, - ce que nous ne 
croyons pas -, il eût fallu le démontrer davantage et ce d'autant plus qu'une oeuvre 
comme La Sepmaine apparaît fort éloignée des conceptions et des poétiques de type 
maniériste que le colloque d'octobre 1983 à Turin avait si magistralement étudiées 
(Turin, Albert Meynier, 1986). 

Jan Miernowski, avec brio et finesse, souligne - première partie - combien le 
"statut de la description" annexée par la dialectique a modifié les conditions de 
création et de lisibilité d'un texte littéraire. C'est à partir de cette analyse fondatrice 
qu'il faut en fait reprendre et comprendre la thèse soutenue: la description devient 
pour Du Bartas une catégorie nécessaire. Au nom de cette catégorie est analysé 
"l'espace du discours poétique," ce qui entraîne Miernowski à concevoir et à 
formuler des perspectives novatrices: en témoigne notamment celle touchant à "la 
mémoire textuelle" (p. 51). Arrive l'admirable troisième partie, celle où Jan Mier- 
nowski donne vraiment toute sa mesure, celle où ses rapprochements, explications 
et jugements sont pertinents, remarquables et lumineux car, toujours avec comme 
origine la dialectique humaniste (Ramus y est fort justement mis en contribution), 
il délimite les profondes conséquences de "la stratégie descriptive" (p. 98) de Du 
Bartas, lequel a opté pour la création d'un texte plutôt que de fournir un nouveau 
commentaire du début de la Genèse. La veine "didascalique" du poète gascon se 
trouve ainsi justifiée. Nous paraissent plus discutables la terminologie et l'argumen- 
tation de la quatrième partie qui exigent la conception d'un "lecteur renaissant" (p. 
206) et rapprochent par le biais de l'analogie "l'arsenal limité des stratégies 
stylistiques" (p. 205), le déploiement des "listes interminables," l'écriture de 
morceaux canoniques et l'esthétique de la varietas. La cinquième partie, parce 
qu'elle tente d'expliquer "l'autocensure théologique" du poète (p. 282), offre une 
heureuse et salutaire remise en cause de tout ce qui a été avancé à propos de la 
démarche chrétienne de l'auteur de La Sepmaine. Une telle lecture prouve qu'il est 
juste de penser que Du Bartas systématiquement renvoie à lui-même (p. 313), qu'il 
se nourrit de son texte. Il est capital également de situer le rôle et la raison d'être 
des stratégies stylistiques adoptées par le poète et que Thevenin avait su pressentir. 
Grâce à sa connaissance de la dialectique humaniste et de la poétique contempo- 
raine, Jan Miernowski opère d'audacieuses synthèses et ne cesse de souligner 
l'originalité de l'entreprise bartasienne. 

11 nous semble simplement que les options de Miernowski sont parfois, 
cependant, fort peu convaincantes. A titre d'exemple, parmi d'autres passages très 



Renaissance et Réforme / 75 



contestables, il faudrait revenir aux pages concernant la langue adamique, pages 
montrant les bornes d'une interprétation univoque, ignorant tel ou tel point de vue 
récemment exprimé, par exemple, dans les travaux de M.- L. Demonet-Launay, R. 
Esclapez ou M. Jacquemier. Comment, en effet, accepter la démonstration proposée 
dès lors qu'elle est tronquée ou amputée de remarques essentielles fondant toute la 
complexité de l'interprétation? Dans un autre registre, il est regrettable que l'exa- 
men de "l'épaisseur de la similitude et de la métaphore" (pp. 63-70) soit si bref, si 
peu nuancé, car en dépit d'analyses remarquables (p. 68), on ne peut s'empêcher, à 
la suite des études de F. Roudaut consacrées à La Boderie (Le point centrique...), 
d'envisager autrement les données et choix bartasiens. Plus d'une fois, Jan Mier- 
nowski aurait par ailleurs gagné à cultiver la simplicité, à refuser les effets faciles, 
redondants, voire agaçants d'une "théorisation" factice et constante, d'une rhétorique 
artificielle que l'on rencontre si fréquemment lorsque règne sans partage la poétique. 

Le livre de Jan Miernowski incontestablement fera cependant date parce qu'il 
est le premier, à propos du "docte gascon," à organiser une perspective de type 
poétique aussi stimulante, aussi fine et globalement aussi juste. C'est vrai que 
Miernowski a réussi, là où habituellement se mesure l'échec, à passer du commen- 
taire à 1 ' idéologie, du texte à ses substrats esthétiques, de la dialectique à la poétique. 
Sa vaste culture et son érudition lui ont donc permis de manière tout à fait 
exceptionnelle de rendre compte avec précision du fonctionnement de La Sepmaine 
en relation avec une réflexion conduite, en son temps, par le poète sur la dialectique 
et la poésie. L'éminente qualité de la vision critique proposée atteste une avancée 
décisive dans le domaine de la recherche bartasienne et accroît les regrets, très 
légitimes, éprouvés face à une étude accordant si peu de place aux publications 
récentes sur Du Bartas comme à celles concernant le maniérisme. Un aggiornamen- 
to minimal aurait été bienvenu. 

Mais il y a dans ce livre utile une rare intuition de ce qu'un auteur a pu 
pressentir quant aux stratégies de ses choix littéraires, ce qui suffit amplement à son 
succès et à sa postérité. C'est pour cela que Dialectique et connaissance dans La 
Sepmaine de Du Bartas sonne si juste et demeurera une indispensable lecture 
propédeutique à la découverte de l'imaginaire aussi bien que de la dialectique de 
Du Bartas. "Est poète celui auquel la difficulté inhérente au vers donne des idées - 
et ne l'est pas celui auquel elle les retire:" cette définition de Paul Valéry, susceptible 
de caractériser la tentative de Du Bartas, illustre aussi le fondement de ce que Jan 
Miernowski a voulu démontrer dans son livre intelligent et précieux, à savoir que 
les stratégies stylistiques de Du Bartas s'accompagnent toujours d'une strate de 
réflexions portant sur Dieu, l'Oeuvre parfaite, l'art absolu - qui n'est pas l'art 
maniériste - et cette beauté si simple et si lumineuse des premières aubes du monde. 
D'où l'émerveillement que peut susciter La Sepmaine^ poème subordonnant tout à 
l'expression divine et surtout humaine de la beauté. 

JAMES DAUPHINÉ, Université de Pau 



76 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Steve Rappaport. Worlds within Worlds: Structures of Life in Sixteenth-Century 
London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Pp. xv,449. 

One of the chief preoccupations of historians who write about early modern cities 
is the attempt to reconstruct as accurately as possible the conditions under which 
people prospered or struggled, succeeded or failed. Most often the exercise includes 
a revision of interpretations offered by previous writers on the subject. Steve 
Rappaport's impressive study of social structures in Tudor London follows this 
tradition: it represents both a thought-provoking historiographical review of the 
work of earlier historians, and a new interpretation of the economic and social 
conditions which shaped the careers of men who became members of the city's 
liveried companies. 

In the first five chapters of the book the author undertakes a careful reappraisal 
of the social and economic evidence which has led previous historians to portray 
sixteenth-century London in an unfavourable light. His own findings suggest that 
the capital was, in fact, "admirably free" of the serious level of disorder which 
characterised its Continental counterparts in the same period, that perennial com- 
plaints about unemployment were symptomatic merely of the marked changes in 
the structure of London's economy which occurred in the second half of the century, 
and that the so-called "price revolution", though contributing to a general decline 
in people's standard of living, was not accompanied by either widespread hunger 
or dire poverty. 

Rappaport's scholarship is best revealed in the second portion of the book, 
where he suggests new methods for analyzing social mobility. Here he bases his 
arguments on a sample group of 1000 men, 530 "entrants" enroled in the city's 
register of freemen between 1551 and 1553, and 470 masters under whom they 
served. In Chapter 6 he reviews, then rejects, the model of urban social structure 
found in the work of W.G. Hoskins and other historians of London, which 
defines the structure of the city in terms of a pyramid, with the bottom two-thirds 
of the population living "below or very near the poverty line" and, at the top, a 
very small minority of people who jealously controlled most of the city's wealth. 
He argues that a more accurate picture of social structure may be drawn by 
examining the means by which power was distributed in the city. There existed 
in sixteenth-century London several levels of administrative units - in effect "a 
multitude of worlds within worlds," in which power and authority were shared by 
freemen of all ranks. Under the watchful eyes of the aldermen officials of the city's 
parishes, wards and precincts performed a variety of social and administrative 
services, from peace keeping to poor relief. But even more significant were the 
everyday aspects of authority and social control exercised by the livery companies. 
In an exhaustive survey of the scope of activities of a legal and social nature 
carried out by company members, Rappaport demonstrates convincingly that the 



Renaissance et Réforme / 77 



companies contributed to the governance of the city to a degree which has not yet 
been fully appreciated. 

The livery companies themselves were conscious of the crucial role they 
played in the economic, political, legal and social life of London; consequently, 
admission to their ranks was a highly prized privilege. Within the companies was 
another series of worlds within worlds, a hierarchy which included assistants, 
liverymen, householders, journeymen and apprentices. Each estate was clearly 
defined, with the highest status groups (the assistants and liverymen) enjoying 
privileges and assuming responsibilities denied to lesser men, but admission to the 
companies, which carried with it the freedom of the city, promised all prospective 
members some share in the political and economic life of the city. 

In Chapter 8 Rappaport criticizes the methods traditionally adopted by histo- 
rians to examine social mobility. "Social stratification is normally conceived of 
statically, its focus being the structural inequity of a society at some point in time." 
He proposes, instead, to study social stratification "dynamically." Thus, he tracks 
the career paths of some 528 of his 1000 entrants and masters, and compares and 
contrasts two models: social mobility determined by "achievement" (that is, an 
individual's personal skills), and by "ascription" (mobility determined chiefly by 
external factors, such as an individual's family background). His findings strongly 
support the contention that the opportunities for social mobility in sixteenth-century 
London were considerable. 

Apprenticeship was the means by which seven of every eight men became 
freemen of London and members of the livery companies. Ascriptive characteris- 
tics such as family wealth had little direct effect on the length of time which young 
men spent learning the skills of their chosen trade or craft; family background, 
however, did go some way towards determining who apprenticed in the city's 
wealthiest and most prestigious companies, and who secured the best masters. 
Ultimately, these factors influenced the whole course of a man's career. Thus, the 
sons of gentlemen, yeomen and native Londoners were generally recruited by the 
twelve most prestigious companies, and served their apprenticeships under masters 
who were liverymen. The sons of husbandmen, by contrast, trained in the lesser 
companies, usually under masters who were mere householders. 

Ascriptive characteristics likewise played only an indirect role in determining 
which apprentices went on to become householders; opportunities for setting up 
shop were open to all journeymen, and most had taken this step within two or three 
years of completing their training. In general, then, there was still in operation at 
this level a "contest mobility system, a process in which what you did apparently 
mattered more than who you were." Once again, however, family wealth and 
patronage ensured that the ascent to the level of householder within a company was 
accomplished most rapidly by the sons of high-status families and men who had 
trained under liveried masters. 



78 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Opportunities to enter the higher levels of the company estate hierarchy were 
more severely limited, and here ascriptive characteristics and patronage played key 
roles in determining which men were recruited into the ranks of the company elite. 
In the twelve great companies at least, young men who had apprenticed under 
liverymen (that is, sons of high-status families) were nearly four times more 
successful than other men in being offered the livery. Such men were also virtually 
guaranteed to rise to the highest ranks in the company, that is, to serve as wardens, 
assistants and ultimately as master of the company. In terms of social mobility, then, 
the estate hierarchy of the sixteenth-century companies was "rather fluid," with a 
generally equitable system of competition determining admission to the lower 
ranks, but a "fairly permeable barrier" separating mere householders from the 
liveried elite. 

Rappaport's book is beautifully written and demonstrates an impressive com- 
mand of the voluminous sources upon which it is based. It remains, nevertheless, a 
study of only one segment, however numerous and influential, of sixteenth-century 
London, and the author's conclusions are, in this sense, overambitious. In addition, 
the numerous company records which survive from the sixteenth century bear 
witness to a system in which members of parishes, wards, precincts, and the liveried 
companies worked together in a remarkably efficient manner to deal with incidents 
of minor violence, debt and fraud, but the story which these records retell is only a 
partial one, and though other types of judicial record are not plentiful, they are not 
as rare as Rappaport suggests. Assize records from the Home Counties, to cite but 
one example, bespeak a level of violence in the general environs of London which 
legal historians suggest reflected conditions within the city; among other things, 
they reveal a high incidence of criminal activity on the part of individuals identified 
clearly as citizens and companymen of London. Rappaport's apprentices and 
companymen themselves lived in a world within a larger world, and the conditions 
under which they lived and prospered were significantly different from those which 
governed the lives of the less privileged. 



C.J. NEVILLE, Dalhousie University 



Renaissance et Réforme / 79 

Pio II e la cultura del suo tempo, a cura di Luisa Rotondi Secchi Tarugi. Milan, 
Guerini e Associati, 1991. 

Ce fort volume rassemble une trentaine de textes illustrant diverses facettes de cette 
personnalité hors du commun que fut Enea Silvio Piccolomini (1405-1463). On y 
suit l'itinéraire personnel de celui qui, en 1456, devint pape sous le nom de Pie II. 
On le voit, préoccupé d'architecture et d'urbanisme, rénover sa Corsignano natale 
qui, pour honorer son nom, s'appellera désormais Pienza. Historien, fin observateur 
des hommes de son temps, il fut, avec ses Commentant et son De viris suae aetatis 
Claris, le mémorialiste de son époque. Homme de lettres, formé à Florence par 
Filelfo, il composa des élégies qui lui valurent d'être couronné poète par Frédéric 
III. Esprit concret, ne se confinant pas aux seuls cénacles théoriques et littéraires, 
profondément intéressé par toutes les manifestations de l'esprit humain, il entreprit 
une vaste Historia rerum ubique gestarum tandis que sa célèbre Histoire des deux 
amants devint la première biographie romancée de la littérature occidentale. Ega- 
lement pédagogue - quel humaniste ne le serait? - il exposa ses conceptions de 
l'éducation dans un De librorum educatione. Secrétaire du cardinal Capranica, il 
participa au douloureusement célèbre Concile de Bale. Il y choisit d'abord le parti 
hostile à Eugène IV, puis, ayant sans doute pu observer de trop près la démocratie 
conciliaire, il se rallia à la thèse monarchique de la primauté pontificale. A Bale, il 
rencontra Nicolas de Cues, avec qui il se lia d'une indéfectible amitié: souvent ce 
seront les idées du Cusain que l'on retrouvera sous l'élégante prose du pape 
humaniste. C'est de cette époque que datent plusieurs brefs qui illustrent les 
relations que Pie II entretenait avec Florence et les Médicis, et dont on trouvera ici 
une traduction en langue italienne. De la même période date cette étonnante "Lettre 
à Mahomet II," objet de plusieurs textes du présent livre, où l'on voit le pape 
proposer au Sultan de mettre fin à la guerre en se convertissant au christianisme: 
nouveau Constantin, il pourrait alors atteindre au sommet de la gloire, réalisant 
enfin l'union du genre humain sous le signe de la croix. Cette lettre resta simple 
exercice de rhétorique et, déçu par l'égoïsme et les dissentions des royaumes 
chrétiens. Pie II mourut à Ancone, alors qu'il attendait en vain les renforts qui lui 
auraient permis de se lancer dans une impossible croisade. 

Tels sont quelques-uns des aspects mis en lumière et étudiés dans ce volume 
qui, par la variété des thèmes abordés comme par la grande qualité de la majorité 
des exposés qu'il contient, deviendra sans doute une référence obligée à qui voudra 
mieux comprendre l'étonnant personnage que fut Piccolomini. 

Notons que cet ouvrage est le premier à être publié par l'Istituto di Studi 
Umanistici F.Petrarca, dont le congrès de fondation, sous l'égide de Luisa Rotondi 
Secchi Tarugi, eut lieu en juillet 1989. S'ouvre ainsi une collection dont le titre 
Mentis itinerarium souligne à la fois l'unité et la perspective particulière. L'Institut 
F. Petrarca prend la relève du Centro Angelo Poliziano et s'inscrit dans la même 



80 / Renaissance and Reformation 



tradition de mécénat éclairé. Diversifiant quelque peu ses activités, il organise 
également des sessions d'études patronnées par l'Académie des Sciences et des 
Lettres de Milan. C'est dans ce cadre que Paul O. Kristeller, président honoraire de 
l'Institut, avait donné une conférence portant sur les "Teorie umanistiche délia vita 
attiva e délia vita contemplativa." Vu son grand intérêt, ce texte est repris dans le 
présent volume, même s'il ne relève pas directement de son objet propre. 

Souhaitons au jeune Institut et à sa nouvelle collection une pleine réussite dans 
l'épanouissement de leurs virtualités, dont, au vu des présentes prémices, on ne peut 
douter. 

LOUIS VALCKE, Université de Sherbrooke 



John Dixon Hunt. Garden and Grove: The Italian Renaissance Garden in the 
English Imagination: 1600-1750. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986. 
Pp. ix, 268. Illustrations. Robert Munter and Clyde L. Grose. Englishmen 
Abroad, Being an Account of Their Travels in the Seventeenth Century, 
Lewiston and Queenston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1987. Pp. ix, 483. 

The history of travel has been recognized as an important aspect of intellectual and 
cultural history. In particular, the study of the influence of foreign places and 
peoples upon the English imagination has provided a useful entrée into the devel- 
opment of the island kingdom in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a period 
of fundamental significance in the creation of an indigenous English Renaissance. 
The two books reviewed here add to this knowledge, but in very different ways. The 
first, Garden and Grove is a splendid analysis of the influence of the Italian 
Renaissance garden in England; the second. Englishmen Abroad is essentially a 
collection of readings selected out of the travel accounts written during the seven- 
teenth century. 

Garden and Grove is a wonderful book in many ways. In a relatively short text, 
richly illustrated, John Dixon Hunt has traced the attraction and the continuing 
influence of Italian gardens in England. It evokes the obsession with classical 
antiquity as illustrated in garden design, description and allusion. The Renaissance 
desire to recreate the ancient world extended very much to gardens; and the attempts 
to recover the gardens described by Pliny, Varro and others, as well as the introduc- 
tion of statuary, specific buildings and, later, ruins all refer back to the classical 
conception of the locus amoenus. 

Other elements were introduced into gardens in Italy; theatres which united art 
and nature, theatres which represented the ars memoriae, loggie which linked 
interior and exterior space, water jokes, fountains, grottos, musical instruments and 
much more. And, the influence of the Ovid of the Metamorphoses illustrated the 



Renaissance et Réforme / 81 



potential for marrying the literature of the classical past and the garden. Eventually, 
such diverse and rich elements coalesced to create "miniature worlds" in gardens, 
worlds not only evocative of the past but conducive to a rich variety of experience, 
sensation and form. 

The addition of displays of curiosities, botanical collections, varied topogra- 
phies, perspectives and hydraulic machinery blurred the distinctions between art 
and nature. Superimpose upon this the interrelation of garden and farm and the 
ideal of the italianate garden develops into more than an ideal of Renaissance 
sensibility and classical intent: it becomes a functional ideal, a real place which 
delights the senses, occupies the mind and sets a stage for a complete and cultivated 
life. 

Hunt divides his study into two parts. The first is devoted to Italy and the 
English experience of gardens in Italy; the second concerns England and the attempt 
on the part of Englishmen to domesticate the italianate garden at home. This second 
section is as rich as the first, although heavily dependent upon it. In essence, the 
author develops in this section the changing concept of the garden in England, 
illustrating the importance of the garden as theatre and as a set for power and display. 
Country houses began to create self-consciously Italian gardens in the later six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries. The contributions of Inigo Jones, Lord Arundel, 
Sir John Danvers and John Evelyn as well as the lesser theorists and patrons of the 
italianate garden are discussed as are the gardens of Aubrey, Shaftesbury, Burling- 
ton and Kent, among others. 

One of the most provocative - and perhaps most contentious - elements of 
Garden and Grove is the suggestion that the "English" garden of the eighteenth 
century constitutes a kind of Whig symbol. England, according to Hunt, was seen 
as the true heir of the Romans and the English garden contained not only so many 
of the elements of the classical garden but also much of the cultural and ideological 
baggage of the Republic in opposition to the "fussy" Dutch and grand, imperial 
French gardens of Le Nôtre. Given this theory. Hunt is able to explain the 
introduction of gothic vocabulary into follies and ruins as a statement of the English 
accent in which the Roman truths were uttered. And, most interestingly, Hunt 
continues by suggesting the "English" garden is the landscape context of these 
truths, providing natural vistas and broad uncluttered walks as the setting for the 
classical and historical - and, indeed, political - allusions desired by the great Whig 
aristocrats who effected the Glorious Revolution. 

Hunt's study is, then, both informative and provocative. It is brilliantly 
researched and illustrated, supported by excellent notes and an index. The quality 
of the production is appropriate to his theme. In fact, in this age of poor proofreading 
and printing, I found only one minor error: Aubrey's villa at Easton Piercy (p.30) 
is cited in an alternate spelling, Easton Pierse, nine pages later. The very insignifi- 
cance of this observation illustrates the quality of the book in all regards. 



82 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Munter and Grose's Englishmen Abroad is very different in kind and intent. It 
is in no way a scholarly book and cannot be considered as such. Divided into ten 
sections containing primary source excerpts from explorers, colonists, merchants, 
royalty, grand tourists, diplomats, scientists, adventurers and "mere travellers," 
Englishmen Abroad attempts to be as inclusive as possible in discussing the 
experience of the 39 travellers represented in order to illustrate a "composite type" 
of the seventeenth-century traveller, according to Munter 's preface. It is a fine 
ambition and an important subject; but the book falls so short of any acceptable 
level of scholarly standards that it can at best be seen as an interesting, if eccentric, 
piece of popular history. 

First, the selections, each introduced by the editors, are often not cited by 
edition, page reference, or, indeed, any standard bibliographical information. There 
is no bibliography, so it is almost impossible to discover the sources in some cases. 
When some meagre material is provided it reads: "The following selections have 
been taken from that [edition] of J.A. Doyle, a photographic facsimile published in 
1896"; or, "The following excerpts... have been taken from the first journal as 
printed in Purchas his Pligrimes. Second, the principles of edition used in the text 
are arbitrary and conform to no standard method. Third, the categories of travellers 
appear equally arbitrary. Why, for example, are there no students or artists; and why 
is the exclusion of religious exiles (whose travel accounts are often particularly 
useful) "logical?" Fourth, the lack of an index makes the volume virtually unusable 
for comparative research, despite the authors' intentions. Fifth, there are no foot- 
notes or citations of any kind, making the selected texts less accessible and the 
introduction virtually worthless. 

Indeed, the weakness of the introduction questions why it was even provided. 
It is full of unsubstantiated generalizations, out of date scholarship, and superficial 
observations. The authors apparently know almost nothing of the history of travel, 
especially in the sixteenth century, and little about the context of the genre they are 
seeking to elucidate. Some brief examples: Medieval men, as modern demographic 
and village studies have shown, were indeed mobile and did often "stray far from 
birthplace, glebe or glen"; continental travel and residence in the sixteenth century 
were extremely important to the history of the English Renaissance: the instances 
of Reginald Pole, Thomas Hoby, Richard Morison, Sir Thomas Wyatt (Elder and 
Younger) alone should indicate this; and it is strange to state with absolute convic- 
tion but no support such things as: "It became the thing to do for every literate sailor, 
venturing his life in unknown seas, to maintain a journal and to illustrate it as 
well...". If this is indeed true, I, for one, would be very much interested to see the 
results. 

Finally, it is impossible to comment on the production of the book because it 
is so difficult to check the transcriptions. However, in the introduction, there are 



Renaissance et Réforme / 83 



examples of poor proofing: Papaacy (p. 15), and Brent for what I assume is the 
Brenta river in Venice (p. 18). 

Thus, Englishmen Abroad represents a good idea unfulfilled. The history of 
travel is a very important and useful aspect of intellectual and cultural history; but 
Munter and Grose add nothing to it. John Dixon Hunt's Garden and Grove illustrates 
what can be done in the field of the history of cultural contact; Englishmen Abroad 
represents what should not be done. 

KENNETH R. BARTLETT, University of Toronto 



Etienne Jodelle. L 'Amour obscur, poèmes choisis et présentés par Robert 
Melançon. Paris, Orphée / La Différence, 1991, Pp. 192. 

L'Amour obscur: que l'on pense à l'anthologie ôq L'Amour noir, où Albert-Marie 
Schmidt réunissait des poèmes d'amour de poètes du XVP siècle finissant et de 
l'aube du XVir, maniéristes ou déjà tout à fait baroques. Avec eux, les chantres 
d'un sentiment extrême, et avec leur poésie "dionysiaque" plutôt qu'avec r"apol- 
linisme d'un Ronsard." Robert Melançon préfère établir les liens de parenté que 
tissent les vers à sujet amoureux d'Etienne Jodelle (1532-1573). Dans l'introduc- 
tion au choix de poèmes qu'il publie ici, il leur reconnaît ce "caractère démoniaque" 
qu'avait relevé Du Bellay, et qui fait leur singularité, aussi bien que la "singularité" 
du poète, emporté, avec le lecteur, par le vertige de sa propre poésie, inquiétante et 
fascinante, dans le mouvement de ses vers: dans le mouvement vertical de ses vers 
rapportés notamment, dans cette "fugue" qui "Rend l'âme éprise, prise et au martyre 
étreinte" {Amours, II, v. 10). 

Jodelle est présenté comme le porteur d'"une puissance d'invention verbale" 
extraordinaire: "soulevé par la fureur, en proie au délire poétique," il la rend 
opérante - dans les "épaves," du moins, qui restent du "naufrage" de sa production 
- en raison d'une "force obscure," qui le mène "jusqu'aux limites de la poésie." 
Dans le but de mettre en relief et à la disposition du lecteur moderne cette 
singularité, 1' "expression définitive" que "Jodelle a donné à la passion amoureuse," 
Melançon propose une sélection des oeuvres du poète, d'après le Recueil des 
Inscriptions de 1558, les Oeuvres et Mélanges poétiques posthumes (1574, rééditées 
en 1583 et 1597), d'après V Album de la Maréchale de Retz et les autres manuscrits 
que les éditeurs de Jodelle - Van Bever, Marty-Laveaux et Balmas surtout - ont 
repérés. Sa sélection reprend, suivant l'ordre qu'il a choisi, huit tercets prononcés 
par le Choeur vers la fin de l'Acte V de Didon se sacrifiant; les vers latins - avec 
leur traduction - que Jodelle consacre à la mémoire du secrétaire d'État Florimond 
Robertet, baron d'Alluye, décédé en 1569, mais célébrant de fait sa veuve, cette 
demoiselle de Piennes ("Pianis") qui "Post vim mortis [. . .] laeso vin reddit Amori;" 



84 / Renaissance and Reformation 



une partie des Amours, et notamment les 47 sonnets, deux chapitres de "De 
l'Amour," la chanson "pour le Seigneur de Brunei," la célèbre chanson que Jodelle 
écrivit "pour répondre à celle de Ronsard qui commence, "Quand j'étais libre...," 
deux autres chansons ("Faut-il, chanson, que je désemprisonne" et "Je suis parmi 
le trouble, et le soin, et l'apprêt"), l'élégie intitulée "Madame, si jamais ma douce 
liberté" et l'ode sur la devise de la Maréchale de Retz, "de Noeud et de Feu." Suivent 
les sept sonnets des Contr' Amours et, dans cette même section, le sonnet "Sur la 
devise de la cigale," qui paraît cependant dans les Oeuvres de 1574 dans un autre 
contexte, parmi des sonnets à sujets divers; 17 des 37 pièces que l'on attribue à 
Jodelle, manuscrites dans V Album de la Maréchale de Retz, publiées, à une excep- 
tion près, dans l'ordre que suit le manuscrit; trois sonnets présentés comme "satiri- 
ques," mais dont les deux derniers seulement le sont à notre avis, satiriques et 
sarcastiques, tirés du recueil manuscrit de Poésies satiriques sur Henri III et son 
époque, et dont le premier est au contraire tragique - dans le sens que prend 
l'adjectif pour la poésie néo-pétrarquiste - tiré du Recueil de poésies du Fonds 
français de la Bibliothèque Nationale, ms. 1663, mais faisant encore allusion au 
noeud et au feu de la devise de Claude-Catherine de Retz; deux pièces - une 
française, "A sa Muse," et une latine, avec sa traduction, "In Librum - Elegia - 
publiées par Jodelle à la fin et au début du Recueil des Inscriptions. 

Des notes, visant à "lever des difficultés susceptibles de dérouter un lecteur 
peu familier de la poésie de la Renaissance," suivent le texte, aussi bien qu'un 
glossaire. Avant la biographie de Jodelle et la bibliographie, Melançon insère le 
texte de la chanson de Ronsard "Quand j'étais libre...," citée plus haut, extraite de 
la Nouvelle Continuation des Amours de 1556. 

Le texte des poèmes a été systématiquement modernisé, le volume- et la 
collection même - s'adressant à un public de non spécialistes et se proposant comme 
but l'assimilation de Jodelle à un plus vaste choeur de "paroles poétiques" où 
chantent par exemple un Verlaine, un Gourmont, un Genet. Ici la valeur spécifique 
de l'orthographe de l'époque n'a pas d'importance, si elle ne constitue pas justement 
un obstacle. Au fait, Melançon précise que son édition n'est pas une édition savante 
et - tout lecteur assoiffé de savoir pouvant d'ailleurs se référer à l'édition de Balmas 
des Oeuvres complètes de Jodelle - nous admirons son programme. Son choix non 
érudit ne l'autorisait cependant pas, à notre avis, à intervenir sur le texte de Jodelle 
d'une façon si pesante qu'il le fait et sans le signaler ni en note, ni ailleurs. Des mots 
sont souvent changés par rapport à l'original: la modernisation de "Qui espoincts 
iusqu'au vif d'une douceur trop fière" (Amours, XVI, v. 6), par exemple, fait 
apparaître dans le vers une "douleur" qui annule l'oxymoron topique du doux-amer, 
du doux-féroce: "Qui, époints jusqu'au vif d'une douleur trop fière." De devient et 
au quatrième vers du Sonnet XLII des Amours - "Mais tout orage noir de rouge 
éclair flamboyé" est transcrit "Mais tout orage noir et rouge éclair flamboie" -; 
ailleurs, autre exemple: "Mon espoir se repaît [...]" (Album de la Maréchale de 



Renaissance et Réforme / 85 



Retz, f. 104r°, v. 9) devient "Mon esprit se repaît [...]; "de peurs me glaceans" 
{Amours, XXVI, v. 3) devient "de pleurs me glaçant" (p. 52). Il y a de cela de très 
nombreux exemples. Mais qu'il nous soit permis de considérer comme plus grave 
l'introduction d'une syllabe au premier vers du célèbre "J'ayme, et je n'ayme, je 
me plais au servage" {Album de la Maréchale de Retz, f. 67v°), que Melançon 
modernise en "J'aime et je n'aime pas, je me plais au servage." Par contre, là où 
une intervention légitime corrige le "noeu gordien" du manuscrit {Album de la 
Maréchale de Retz, f. 106v°, v. 12) en "noeud gordien," c'est encore une fois le 
manque d'une signalation en note que nous ne pouvons pas partager, d'autant plus 
que cette même correction avait été déjà proposée par Ruggero Campagnoli dans 
une étude sur les sonnets d'amour de Jodelle. 

On aurait, bien sûr, aimé trouver dans un programme de diffusion de la poésie 
de Jodelle - louable, opportun et bienvenu - plus de respect pour le texte, et plus 
de respect également, pour ces non spécialistes, pour les lecteurs modernes "peu 
familiers" de la Renaissance à qui il s'adresse. Le programme, l'idée même de la 
collection, et le volume n'en perdent évidemment pas par là leur valeur. Car, bien 
sûr encore, ce ne sont que les spécialistes - les lecteurs familiers de la Renaissance 
- que gêne ce manque de respect. 

ANNA BETTONI, Università di Padova 



Mary Ann Radzinowicz. Milton 's Epies and the Book of Psalms. Princeton: 
Princeton University Press, 1989. Pp. xvii, 227. 

Toward the end of her study Mary Ann Radzinowicz quotes Douglas Bush's remark, 
"We cannot feel quite certain what elements in [Psalms 1-8] especially appealed to 
Milton." Her implicit reply is twofold: read Christian Doctrine, and read this book. 
"How Milton Read the Book of Psalms," the title of the introductory chapter, is 
precisely what the book investigates. Although she is interested in the larger 
question of how Milton read scripture, she chose Psalms because "the Psalter is the 
book of both the Old and New Testaments... decisively reread and reinterpreted in 
the very New Testament texts serving as Milton's authority." Working with the 
assumptions "that perfect retrieval of scriptural truth was [Milton's] aim" and that 
Christian Doctrine provides a direct gloss on the poetry, and nearly as familiar, 
possibly as familiar, with Psalms as her subject, Radzinowicz reads them as models 
of lyricism, heroism and multivocality in a thematic, generic and stylistic examina- 
tion of the two epics. 

The strategy of the argument is curious (argument might not even be the right 
word, for this is an investigation, not a polemic, and only incidentally a reading) in 
its movement from Paradise Regained to Paradise Lost, that is from a relatively 



86 / Renaissance and Reformation 



simple to a more complex process of imitation, commentary and echoing that 
constitutes Milton's use of Psalm materials. It works heuristically, however, in 
making the reader the better able to follow Radzinowicz in the densely suggestive 
sequence of allusions, citations, cross references that fill the Paradise Lost pages. 

The Paradise Regained chapters examine Wisdom song and Psalms of Witness 
in a discussion that makes their contrasting interpretation by the Son and Satan 
within the text the thematic matter of the text. The Messianic psalms interpreted in 
Hebrews are gathered within Milton's plot to shape the confrontation between 
Satan's "carnal literalism" and the Son's "spiritual literalism." Similarly in her 
discussion of psalm genres, Radzinowicz shows how the emphasis on witness and 
ripe time (the "nunc dimittis" of Simeon in Luke 2:29) informs the contrasting 
understanding of time for Satan and the Son. For Satan, history is determined, 
freedom is illusory; for the Son, history is perfected in the fullness of time. The 
proof texts for this argument, those assembled by Milton in Christian Doctrine, are: 
1, 14, 19, 37, 49, 78, 112, 119, 127, 133, as well as the related 37, 73, 139, 94, 105. 
Thus wisdom psalms are seen to reside at the core of the epic, constituting its 
mimesis. 

Wisdom song has a much smaller role in Paradise Lost, where the primary 
genres are the prophetic psalms (as models for the proems), the blessing psalms (as 
models for the historic events of the plot) and thanksgiving psalms (less models 
themselves than means for linking other psalm genres). In Paradise Lost, psalms 
do not contribute "simply to variety and multivocality, ... but to narrative or 
psychological fluidity." Furthermore "the intention to subsume narrative poetry into 
lyric controls the nature of Milton's individual adaptations," so that (in a wonderful 
formulation) "the deep structure resulting from the rage for order is the lyric." 

The most original part of the study is the second Paradise Lost chapter where 
Radzinowicz examines death and creation in light of the relevant Psalm clusters in 
Christian Doctrine, examining Milton's interest in these Psalms as a repository of 
revealed truth and as the register of the process of this acknowledgement. This 
emphasis on process is crucial to her argument of Milton as moralist, as Adam must 
learn David's certainty of mortality. The depiction of death across the poem is also 
in process, moving from simple personification allegory to beginning to historicize 
and typologize death. Psalms 49 and 89 in their personification of death both 
authorize Milton's allegory and prefigure its effacement, just as his typological 
reading of Psalm 22 allows him to demythologize his allegory. The argument for 
Milton's mortalism (not as biographical fact, but as a thematic, structural necessity 
within the poem, a point beautifully argued by Balachandra Rajan a few years ago) 
runs parallel to the argument for the poem's enactment of a belief in the creation of 
all things out of pre-existent matter. Just as Milton's thematic consideration of 
Psalms in Paradise Regained gave him a language for the debate over sonship, so 
his thematic consideration of creation psalms constructed an argument for the 



Renaissance et Réforme / 87 



materiality and liistory of all things as part of the ongoing (though never within the 
poem resolved) dispute over when God made invisible creation and of what he made 
the material world. 

Radzinowicz's book concludes with an examination of a group of frequently 
recurring psalms as they sum up the major points: 2 as crucial io Paradise Regained 
for the theme of sonship and to Paradise Lost for its prophetic aspect; 8 as it 
illustrates plain style parallelism (a fine examination of the rhetorical means of 
adapting and naturalizing Hebrew metrics occurs in the "Interchapter" between 
Parts One and Two); 18 and 78 as theophanies and as generic mixings of lyric kinds; 
51 as it illustrates decorum in the discriminating between the laments of Adam and 
Eve; 19, 89, 104 as examples of moral didacticism, suggesting what poetry can 
teach, what it can reveal of the poetic vocation. The refrain -thematic incorporation, 
generic imitation, parallelistic echoing - closes the book by striking its major and 
often repeated chords. 

The claim is convincing, but it was convincing by the end of the introduction. 
The repetitive method finally tires rather than continues to illumine (although 
occasionally there is a gleaming formulation that more than repays the reader: 
discussing the visibility, the concreteness of scriptural metaphors, she remarks, "To 
a man who once could see but can see no longer, this spectacular lucidity must have 
counted"). Much the same critical method was used in Toward Samson Agonistes, 
but there the materials were sufficiently varied and the individual readings suffi- 
ciently compelling that the repeated retracings and teleological plot had greater 
potential for surprise. Furthermore, while there is no doubt that Milton read Psalms 
as carefully as Radzinowicz claims, at any given citation the conjunction is infer- 
ential. Does cause explain effect or effect suggest cause? And the assumption that 
the relationship between Christian Doctrine and the poetry is transparent (a position 
that she has held for some time, arguing forcefully for it at the close of the earlier 
book) is certainly open to challenge. Finally the elaborate analysis of the psalms 
often yields quite standard readings, as for example that Satan, Sin and Death 
construct an infernal parody of the Trinity. 

As literary archaeology, Milton 's Epics and the Book of Psalms is splendid and 
all students of Milton are in her debt for this compilation of echoes and allusions. 
But what is finally missing is a sufficiently powerful argument to activate this 
extraordinary mass of materials. One learns a lot about Psalms, but somewhat less 
about Milton's poems. 

JUDITH SCHERER HERZ, Concordia University 



Work in progress / Travaux en cours 



T) 



he aim of this new section of Renaissance and Reformation is to introduce 
our readers to various research projects now in progress in Canada or 
elsewhere in the world. Please let us know if you are aware of a research 
project or group that may be of interest to our readers. *** Dans cette 
nouvelle rubrique, nous vous présentons différents projets de recherche 
ayant cours au Canada ou ailleurs dans le monde. N'hésitez pas à nous faire 
connaître de tels projets qui pourraient intéresser nos lecteurs et lectrices. 

MARGOT 

Le groupe MARGOT (Moyen Age et Renaissance: Groupe de recherche - 
Ordinateurs et Textes) comprend à l'Université de Waterloo Delbert Russell 
et Hannah Fournier, et à l'Université de Montréal Jean-Philippe Beaulieu. 
Trois éditions de textes sont à paraître bientôt: Hélisenne de Crenne,Le Songe 
de madame Hélisenne et Les Epistres familières et invectives, et Mme de 
SdXni-BdXTCion, Les Jumeaux Martir s. Suite au colloque tenu a l'Université de 
Waterloo en mai 1993, nous avons aussi terminé l'édition du numéro spécial 
de la TQwuQ Atlantis, consacré aux "Femmes et textes sous l'Ancien Régime". 
Le livre paraîtra à l'automne 1993. 

Nous travaillons actuellement à plusieurs éditions. Delbert Russell a 
presque terminé son édition critique de la Vie de saint Richard, evesque de 
Chichester et commence un travail d'édition collaboratif (avec A. R. Harden 
et F. Collins) de la Vie de S. Fraunceys. Hannah Fournier, Jean-Philippe 
Beaulieu et d'autres continuent le travail d'édition desA^v/5 et Presens de 
Marie de Gournay. Avec des étudiants et nos collègues, nous entreprenons 
plusieurs éditions d'oeuvres de femmes: [Mlle de Senecterre], Orasie (Jean- 
Philippe Beaulieu); Mlle de Beaulieu, L 'Histoire de la Chiarmonte (Jean- 
Philippe Beaulieu); Marie de Pech de Calages, Judith (Hannah Fournier); 
Mlle Cosnard, Les chastes martyrs (Hannah Fournier et Carmeta Abbott); 
Marie de Côteblanche, Epitre à Mme de Saluées (Hannah Fournier); Mme de 
Gomez, Nouvelle Ameriquaine (Hannah Fournier). Ces textes, sous forme 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XXIX, 1 (1993) 89 



90 / Renaissance and Reformation 



électronique, seront ajoutés à ceux que nous avons déjà et que nous mettons 
à la disposition de collaborateurs en visite sous forme de bases de données 
PAT ou LECTOR. A l'avenir nous espérons produire des éditions 
électroniques commerciales. 

D'autres projets coopératifs nous préoccupent: à l'heure actuelle, nous 
sommes heureux de collaborer avec Colette Winn de Washington University 
in St. Louis aux préparatifs d'un second colloque sur les textes de femmes 
sous l'Ancien Régime, prévu pour 1995. Hannah Fournier, en consultation 
avec une collègue de l'Université de Rostov-sur-Don, propose une étude, et 
peut-être une édition des pièces françaises de Catherine II de Russie. Delbert 
Russell propose de collaborer à des études de l'oeuvre de Nicole Bozon et de 
la versification anglo-normande. Nous invitons nos collègues à communiquer 
avec nous à MARGOT, Department of French, University of Waterloo, 
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3GL 



Annonces / Announcements 



Revue néerlandaise d'histoire de l'Eglise 

Les directeurs de la revue Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis, les professeurs J. 
Trapman et E. G. E. van der Wall, souhaitent faire connaître ce périodique, qui a pris depuis 
quelques années une envergure plus grande. En effet, la revue ne se limite plus à la simple 
histoire de l'Eglise aux Pays-Bas, mais s'intéresse aussi au développement des questions 
dogmatiques. On peut s'informer sur la remise des articles et les tarifs d'abonnement en 
écrivant à E. J. Brill, postbus 9000, 2300 PA Leiden, Pays-Bas. 

Modem Language Association's book prizes 

The Modern Language Association offers a large number of prizes each year for books 
published by members and non-members in a variety of fields. Of interest to scholars working 
in the field of Renaissance Studies are prizes such as the Scaglione Prizes for literary 
translation, French and Francophone Studies, Germanic Studies, Comparative Literary Stu- 
dies, the Howard R. Marraro Prize for Italian Studies, the James Russell Lowell Prize for 
English Studies. Each prize consists of a cash award and a certificate. The address for sending 
books, applications, and letters of nomination is MLA Prizes, 10 Astor Place, New York, New 
York 10003, USA. 

Literature and Politics in the Reign of James I 

The Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium is considering sponsoring a day-long 
symposium on "Literature and Politics in the Reign of James I" to be held in January 1994. If 
interested in presenting a paper, please contact Joseph Black, Centre for Reformation and 
Rénaissance Studies, Victoria College, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1K7. 

Crossing the Boundaries / Franchir les frontières 

A Conference on the subject of "Boundaries" in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance will be 
held at the University of Western Ontario on March 12, 1994. For more information, please 
contact the organizers: Profs. Nicholas Watson and Richard Hillman, Department of English, 
University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 3K7 

The Interaction of Disciplines in Early Modem Europe 

The theme of the 1994 conference of the Pacific Northwest Renaissance Conference will be 
"Beating the Bounds: The Formation and Interaction of the Disciplines in Early Modem 
Europe". The Conference will be held at Reed College on March 18-19, 1994. For more 



92 / Renaissance and Reformation 



information, please write to Prof. David Harris Sacks, Department of History, Reed College, 
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97202, USA. 

Le Mécénat et Tinfluence des Guise 

Un colloque intitulé "Le Mécénat et l'influence des Guise" aura lieu au Château du Grand 
Jardin, Joinville (Haute-Marne), France, du 31 mai au 4 juin 1994. Le colloque réunira des 
historiens, des musicologues des littéraires et des historiens de l'art. Pour tout renseignement, 
veuillez communiquer avec le prof. Yvonne Bellenger, Faculté des Lettres, Université de 
Reims, 57, rue Pierre-Taittinger, 51100 Reims, France. 

Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies 

The next meeting of the Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies will be held June 5-7, 1994 
at the University of Calgary. Papers related to the following topics are especially welcome: 
Music in the Renaissance; Teaching the Renaissance; Emblems; Florence 1494; European 
Consequences of the Wars of Italy; Theoretical Approaches to the Study of the Renaissance; 
Conclusion of the French Wars of religion. For more information, please write to Prof. Ronald 
Bond, Department of English, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, 
Alberta T2N1N4. 

Société Canadienne d'Etudes de la Renaissance 

Le congrès annuel de la SCER aura lieu les 5-7 juin 1994 à l'Université de Calgary. On 
accueillera tout particulièrement les projets de communication dans les domaines suivants: la 
musique à la Renaissance; l'enseignement de la Renaissance; les emblèmes; Florence 1494; 
les conséquences pour l'Europe des guerres d'Italie; approches théoriques à l'étude de la 
Renaissance; la fin des guerres de religion en France. Pour de plus amples renseignements, 
veuillez communiquer avec le Prof. Ronald Bond, Department of English, University of 
Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4. 

Le dialogique 

Voilà le titre d'un colloque international sur le dialogue (philosophie, littérature, linguistique), 
prévu pour les 15-16 septembre à l'Université du Maine, Le Mans, France. On peut se 
renseigner en écrivant au Prof. J. -C. Beacco, Département de français, Université du Maine, 
Avenue Olivier Messiaen, 72017 Le Mans Cedex, France. 

Healing, Magic and Belief in Europe 

A conference on the subject of Healing, Magic and Belief in Europe, 15th-20th Centuries, is 
to be held 21-25 September 1994 at the University of Amsterdam. For more information, 
please contact Marijke Gijswift-Hofstra, Department of History, Universiteit van Amsterdam, 
Spuistraat 134, 1012 VB Amsterdam, The Netheriands. 



® 



The editor welcomes submissions on any aspect of the Renaissance and the 
Reformation period. Manuscripts in duplicate should be sent to the editorial 
office: 

Renaissance and Reformation 
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University of Guelph 
Guelph, Ontario NIG 2W1 
CANADA 

Submissions in English or in French are refereed. Please follow the MLA 
Handbook, with endnotes. Copyright remains the property of individual 
contributors, but permission to reprint in whole or in part must be obtained 
from the editor. 

The journal does not accept unsolicited reviews. However, those interested in 
reviewing books should contact the Book Review Editor. 

* * * 

La revue sollicite des manuscrits sur tous les aspects de la Renaissance et de la 
Réforme. Les manuscrits en deux exemplaires doivent être postés à l'adresse 
suivante: 

Renaissance et Réforme 
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la fin de votre texte. Les droits d'auteur sont la propriété des collaborateurs et 
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La revue sollicite ses propres comptes rendus. Si vous désirez rédiger des comptes 
rendus, veuillez communiquer directement avec le responsable de la rubrique 
des livres. 



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VOLUME XVII NUMBER 2 SPRING 1993 



RENAISSANCE 

AND REFORMATION 













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Publication Mail Regisunation No. 5448 ISSN 0034-429X 




New Series, Vol. XVII, No. 2 Nouvelle Série, Vol. XVII, No. 2 

Old Series, Vol. XXIX, No. 2 1993 Ancienne Série, Vol. XXIX, No. 2 



CONTENTS / SOMMAIRE 



EDITORIAL 

3 



ARTICLES 

Leone de' Sommi and Jewish Theatre in Renaissance M 



ll^ 






by Donald Beecher 
5 

Garnier's Historical Sources in Les Juifves 

by Damon di Mauro ^& .^5 

21 ^^ ^^ 

Les opinions politiques d'un avocat parisien sous Henri IV: Amîn c ^ AMJ tiuld 

par Michel De Waele £^^ "^ 

33 Qsr ^ 

"Ryse Up Eliscr - Woman Trapped in a Lay: Spenj©(i^"AjHJlL" 

by Marianne Micros i!^ Os 

63 eÇ .» 

BOOK REVIEWS/COMPTES REN] 




Winfried Schleiner. Melancholy, Genius and Utopi(fiij^:;ffie i^missance 

reviewed by Douglas H. Parkefr'S^ ^ii? 

74 

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Political Writini^s 
reviewed by Peter Remnant 

77 



Kyriaki Christodoulou. Montaigne et la Grèce 

recensé par Michel Bideaux 

79 

Paula C. Clarke. The Soderini and the Medici: Power and Patronage in 

Fifteenth-Century Florence 
reviewed by Konrad Eisenbichler 

83 

Leeds Barroll and James Shapiro. Medieval 

and Renaissance Drama, V 

reviewed by Judith M. Kennedy 

84 

Sebastian De Grazia. Machiavelli in Hell 

reviewed by Salvatore Di Maria 

86 

Peter Pierson. Commander of the Armada: 

The Seventh Duke of Medina Sidonia 

reviewed by Ronald S. Love 

88 

Thomas F. Mayer. Thomas Starkey and the Commonwealth. Humanist 

Politics and religion in the Reign of Henry VIH 

reviewed by W. J. Jones 

90 

WORK IN PROGRESS/TRAVAUX EN COURS 

95 

ANNOUNCEMENTS/ANNONCES 

97 



EDITORIAL 



Dans un article assez récent ("La 
politique ne m'intéresse pas," Possibles, 
hiver 1990), Serge Bruneau évoquait les 
liens qui, autrefois, unissaient jusqu'à les 
confondre bien souvent l'art et la politi- 
que. Il songeait alors au militantisme de 
notre siècle et à la défaite du marxisme 
et des autres idéologies de gauche à tra- 
vers le monde. Et il s'en prensiit à une 
certaine pensée du post-modernisme qui 
rejette toute forme d'intervention de l'ar- 
tiste dans le réel social. Or, l'histoire de 
la Renaissance, peut-être moins fondée 
dans l'idéalisme politique, montre plutôt 
que la place des individus dans l'univers 
social, qu'ils soient artistes ou membres 
de la classe politique, est une affaire de 
compromis, des compromis parfois dé- 
chirants. Ainsi, un certain nombre de 
textes que nous vous présentons dans ce 
numéro de Renaissance et Réforme trai- 
tent de ces positions de compromis: no- 
tamment la présentation que nous fait 
Michel De Waele de l'avocat parisien 
Antoine Amauld, monarchiste sans trop 
l'être; l'étude du théâtre juif à Mantoue 
que nous propose Donald Beecher; ou 
encore le portrait de tolérance que brosse 
pour nous à partir de VAprill de Spenser 
Marianne Micros. Toute la Renaissance 
est faite d'un fort courant de pensée cri- 
tique, et cette pensée trouve ses racines 
dans un engagement politique de l'ar- 
tiste. La présentation que fait Salvatore 
di Maria du livre de De Grazia sur 
Machiavel en est la plus simple 
confirmation. 



In a recent article ("La politique ne 
m'intéresse pas," Possibles, winter 1990), 
Serge Bruneau talks about the strong 
connections between art and politics in 
the past. In his criticism of post-modern- 
ist thought, Bruneau reflects about our 
own century of intellectual involvement, 
and notes naturally the recent collapse of 
marxism and other leftist ideologies 
around the world. He criticizes post- 
modernist thinkers for denying the direct 
role of the artists in our social reality. The 
history of the Renaissance in Europe 
shows, however, that the respective posi- 
tion of individuals, whether in the artistic 
world or in other spheres of activity, 
generally leads to compromises and 
sometimes impossible choices. Some of 
the articles included in this issue of 
Renaissance and Reformation deal with 
such questions of choice and compro- 
mise. It is certainly the case of Michel De 
Waele' s account of the ambivalence of 
Antoine Amauld, an influential Parisian 
lawyer under Henri IV, and his later deci- 
sion to support the French monarchy. 
One may sense the same position of real- 
ism in Donald Beecher's study of the 
Jewish theatre in Mantua, or perhaps in 
Marianne Micros's analysis of Spenser's 
views on women in Aprill. It seems that 
most of the Renaissance is a product of 
critical thinking, as opposed to magic, 
and that this critical thinking Hnds its 
roots for most artists in political involve- 
ment. There is no better illustration of 
this sense of compromise than in Sebas- 
tian De Grazia's biography of 
Machiavelli, as reviewed here by Salva- 
tore di Maria. 



Leone de' Sommi and Jewish Theatre in 
Renaissance Mantua 



DONALD BEECHER 



S 



ummary : This is a study of a Renaissance artist and his patrons, but with 
an added complication, insofar as Leone de ' Sommi, the gifted academician 
and playwright in the employ of the dukes of Mantua in the second half of 
the sixteenth century, was Jewish and a lifelong promoter and protector of 
his community. The article deals with the complex relationship between the 
court and the Jewish ''université" concerning the drama and the way in 
which dramatic performances also became part of the political, judicial and 
social negotiations between the two parties, as well as a study of Leone's 
role as playwright and negotiator during a period that was arguably one of 
the best of times for the Jews of Mantua. 

The study of politics pertains both to the acquisition and the exercising of 
authority, as well as to the organizational processes that affect the relation- 
ships between interest groups. The study of literature pertains to texts, their 
organizations and meanings. Except that the exercising of authority often 
passes through the medium of texts with all that such a medium implies by 
way of shaping messages, while the production of texts is also a gesture or a 
strategy in the expressions of authority or in the negotiations between interest 
groups. In Renaissance Italy the political dimensions of cultural production 
seem particularly self-evident because of the court patronage system. In the 
city states of northern Italy during the sixteenth century, rulers often pursued 
aggressive policies as patrons of the arts, linking the prowess of their families 
and the prestige of their states, not only with trade and military might, but 
with the magnificence of their cultural achievements. Artistic endeavours 
took place in a context of competition as rulers sought to increase the 
splendour of their courts, and as artists vied for recognition and favour. 
Implicit in such a production system is an economy of artistic supply and 
demand. Bearing such circumstances in mind, the scholar, in studying these 
productions, might not only suspect but assume that they would reflect in their 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 2 ( 1 993) 5 - j *f . 



6 / Renaissance and Reformation 



matter and biases the political pressures inherent in the production system 
itself. 

Reading the relations of power between patrons and artists can be a 
complex process insofar as authors are inclined to belie the terms of produc- 
tions in their dedications, and patrons are disincHned to record their rationales 
for the processes of cultural selection. In spite of these limiting circumstances 
culture may nevertheless be read, may be constructed, in accordance with 
what we know of political systems of power and exchange. They are perhaps 
the only working models apt for coming to terms with the politics of artistic 
production. But if the study of the politics of culture is made problematic by 
the indeterminacies of power and influence - where demands must appear 
absolute, yet measure themselves to the temperaments and realities of supply, 
talent, and resources - it becomes potentially more problematic where cultural 
production is carried out by members of a minority community, one that 
depends for its security and privileges entirely upon the prince who is also 
the commanding patron in cultural affairs. In such circumstances if it becomes 
difficult to separate the artistic patronage system from the relationships 
between those interest groups in all other negotiated areas: religious, judicial 
and social. That is to say, cultural production must also be perceived as an 
element of negotiation, in a far larger sphere of organizational processes. 
Such was the case in Mantua where members of the Jewish community 
participated in the cultural life of the city, not as independent artists, but as 
members of a Jewish performing organization called upon to furnish, at their 
own cost, theatrical performances for carnival and for court festivities — 
essentially as a form of taxation whereby the community was made to bear 
substantial portions of the costs demanded by the state in its pursuit of a policy 
tantamount to cultural imperialism. 

Such a contribution to the Mantuan state, even when viewed as a form 
of taxation, nevertheless embodied a two-way organizational process 
whereby the Jews could also conduct the transaction as a means for reclaiming 
power - for through their dutiful "payment" in the form of dramatic perfor- 
mances they had expectations of reward and protection. That is to say, the 
plays carried the identity of the service group - these were plays by "the 
Hebrews" - and they were offered under constraint; it is precisely these 
features that gave this form of cultural participation contractual value, even 
if nothing of an immediately material nature was contingent upon the produc- 
tions. That the Jews were under command did not cancel the fact that they 
also had the control over the creation of the spectacle. Such productions then 
could be constructed on the one hand by the Jews as free and generous gifts, 



Renaissance et Réforme / 7 



and on the other by the princes as service to be repaid in the form of privileges 
for the artists and protection for the Jewish community. The emerging 
hypothesis is that both forms of construction were implicit in the presentation 
of the annual play by the Jews, namely an unfaltering response to ducal 
command in keeping with an established tradition, and the protection of the 
Jewish community as an artistic resource. Hence, in coming to terms with this 
Mantuan institution as a relation of power and service, we must allow for 
symbiosis, in that while the dukes had the power to command, the Jews also 
contributed to a tradition they took to be in their own interests, one that 
allowed certain of their members to gain considerable prestige, and one that 
may have been perceived by the università, or Jewish governing body, to be 
a valuable component in their search for community development and 
autonomy. 

The hypothesis proposed is that the performances of the Jewish players 
were linked in material ways to the entire set of negotiations that defined 
official Judeo-Christian relations in the city. Yet nowhere do contemporary 
documents specify directly that the plays were employed as a negotiating tool, 
or even that they were perceived to be a form of taxation. The thesis must be 
advanced largely through arguments of circumstance, juxtaposition of events, 
and probabilities of an intuitive kind. Could the dukes be expected to separate 
in their minds the pleasures of the theatre from the animosities produced by 
trade rivalries between Christian and Jewish merchants and the need for 
protective policies for the Jewish populace? Or could the Jews, in producing 
the annual carnival play, forget that the dukes alone had the power to protect 
them from anti- Semitic rioting and papal decrees for the implementation of 
regulations that would curtail their economic growth and limit their civil 
liberties? These associations create circumstantial evidence suggesting that a 
kind of contaminatio of thinking would have taken place on both sides, and 
that the theatrical productions, as contributions by a visible minority, would 
figure in the power negotiations between the two groups. 

It is pertinent that the most outstanding Jewish playwright of the period, 
a man whose career was in fact a product of this unique Mantuan theatrical 
arrangement, in the dedication of his last and only surviving Italian play. The 
Three Sisters, constructs the relationship between the prince and the play- 
wright largely in terms of the patronage system wherein he sees himself as a 
humble servant who, out of pure devotion, offers his work to the prince. 
Vincenzo Gonzaga, in 1588, was still in his first year as duke, while Leone 
de' Sommi, then about 61 or 62 years old, was within three or four years of 
the end of his long and distinguished career as playwright, choreographer, 



8 / Renaissance and Reformation 



producer, academician, diplomat, and benefactor to his community. His 
purpose in the dedication was to wish the duke long Hfe and happiness, and 
to remind him that a performance of the play was forthcoming, presumably 
for the carnival season of 1589. That performance would involve the "uni- 
versal participation" of his nation, a nation, he goes on to say, whose "only 
desire [was] to live under the grace of your Most Serene Highness."' In 
essence. De' Sommi promotes the play and its eventual performance as an 
offering of his entire community. In the language of dedications, it was a 
gentle reminder of the importance of his cultural transaction to the entire 
Jewish community. His conventional tone of subservience may also bear 
echoes of apprehension, not only for the duke's future, but for his own at the 
outset of a new administration. Vincenzo was no stranger to Leone, for even 
during his years as prince Vincenzo had been much involved in the promotion 
of dramatic events, an involvement that, as duke, he would turn into a series 
of projects that would prove almost financially fatal to the state. Leone had 
every reason to be concerned for the role the Jews might be compelled to play 
in the pursuit of such a policy. Thus in wishing good health to the new duke, 
Leone implies his continued willingness to serve, while in subtle ways he 
hints at loyalties of his nation meriting rewards. 

Jewish cultural empowerment and participation in Mantuan court life 
was itselfthe result ofthe creation ofa particular "moment" in cultural history. 
This moment was the combined product of the secularization of civil life 
during the Renaissance, the resources created by the pursuit of aggressive 
economic policies, and the competition among princes in artistic matters. The 
Mantuan Jews had arrived at unprecedented levels of mobility and self-deter- 
mination under Guglielmo Gonzaga. He had followed a policy that included 
a full recognition of the advantages for the state in strengthening Jewish 
commercial and banking interests. With this stimulation came opportunities 
for the growth of Jewish culture, along with a climate conducive to Jewish 
participation in the cultural life of the city and court. Such an arrangement 
with the Jews gave a competitive edge to Mantua's cultural and economic 
cultural and economic ambitions. Under Guglielmo a balance was achieved 
through accorded privileges, repression of anti-semitic hostilities, and heavy 
taxation - a balance whereby the Jews were allowed to prosper even though 
their contribution to the state was substantial. This is one set of terms, at least, 
for constructing the Judeo-Christian contract that both permitted and neces- 
sitated the full flowering ofthe Jewish theatrical tradition. 

Mantua's encouragement of Jewish banking and manufacturing 
throughout the sixteenth century brought about a population growth from 



Renaissance et Réforme / 9 

about 200 in 1500 to some 1600 ninety years later.- In 1511 the Jews were 
given their first charter confirming their banking and trade privileges; this 
charter also defined the community as a "university" or a kind of guild-of- 
the-whole. In due course this governing body developed its various major and 
minor council and specialized committees.-^ Among those to appear was the 
comedy committee, a group of three community members responsible for the 
production and financing of the annual carnival play. It was to remain for 
many years a part of the università, answering to the court demands for 
performances by the Jewish players. 

If the Jews were to thrive for such purposes, they had to be protected 
from papal legislation, unfair commercial competition, and popular repres- 
sions. In exchange' for protection they were heavily taxed, but for their 
contribution to the economic and cultural prosperity of the state they were 
also often rewarded with greater cultural, religious, and judicial autonomy. 
Theatre was but one of the channels of power exchange in the general contract. 
As for integration, there were reticences and barriers on both sides. Such 
Christian institutions as the Accademia degli Invaghiti, the Mantuan acad- 
emy, with very few exceptions, remained entirely closed to Jews, while within 
the Jewish community there was resistance to the new liberalization of policy 
that might create temptations to abandon Hebrew culture and to assimilate 
into Italian society. Throughout the period there were constant philosophical 
speculations concerning the self-identity of both Christians and Jews in 
relation to each other. A further study of these issues here would lead away 
from the matter at hand, but they are a part of the general transaction involving 
Jewish participation in Christian culture and the Christian reception of that 
contribution. Through and around the examination of the two politeiai there 
emerged a generation of Jewish players and artists who allowed themselves 
to participate in the two worlds, predicated, it is to be expected, on the belief 
that the interests of the Jewish nation could be most effectively served through 
a full participation in the cultural life of the Christian state.'* 

This "moment" for the Jewish community under Guglielmo was surely 
one of the best of times for them. Yet even during these years the Jews could 
never forget the lingering threat of religious intolerance and papal menace. 
In 1555 Pope Paul IV had issued the bull cum nimis cihsurdam that sought to 
control usury and to outlaw clandestine marriages, namely those not per- 
formed by a priest before three witnesses after the publishing of banns — 
measures that could be employed against the Jews.'^ Such pressures caused 
extensive emigration from the Papal States from mid-century onward; many 
of those who fled swelled the populations of the northern Italian cities. For 



10 / Renaissance and Reformation 



many years Guglielmo defied papal regulations, although certain compro- 
mises came into effect in 1576 after the arrival of an emissary sent by Gregory 
XII to insist upon the publicizing of the laws even if they were not to be strictly 
enforced.^ The Mantuan Jews could not have been indifferent to the fact that 
by 1571 Cosimo I had already imposed the ghetto upon the Jews of Florence 
and SienaJ or that neighbouring Ferrara had placed so much pressure on the 
Marranos hving there in 1581 that most of them moved on to Venice.^ Such 
selected examples serve to illustrate the stress that must have been part of the 
general consciousness of the Mantuan community throughout the period. 

In fact, stressful situations did not arise only in neighbouring states. 
There were also conflicts between Christians and Jews in Mantuan territory, 
most of them arising over commercial competition and trade disputes. Other 
tensions arose over religious territoriality. When the Jesuits settled in the 
church of San Salvatore in the heart of the Jewish quarter, the Jews were 
obliged, in 1584, to pay the sum of 3,300 gold scudi to have them relocated 
- a sum insufficient to cover the costs of 35 dramatic productions at court by 
the Jewish players. Simonsohn, on a different score, points out that despite 
the open and liberalized ambience in Mantua during this period, carnival 
remained a time of anti-semitic rioting, confirming the fundamental "differ- 
ence" that separated the two communities.^ These were occasions upon 
which the dukes were proud to display iron policies against civil disturbances, 
often going so far as to impose the death penalty upon the rioters - measures 
that might merely have exacerbated the antagonism. Such a response had its 
basis not only in the need for law-and-order, but also in the need to place 
economic interests ahead of popular beliefs about the conduct of the Jews at 
the time of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. These confrontations 
give more immediate evidence of the political overtones potentially attributed 
to every gesture of the Jewish community. 

It is difficult to assess the degree to which such corresponding events 
affected the production and reception of the Jewish performances, or how 
those performances affected the rapport between the two communities. That 
these comedies might have united audiences and palliated subversive energies 
is an attractive thesis, but whatever these plays achieved in terms of the 
affective or cathartic, they nevertheless take on poUtical dimensions in light 
of the ethnic tensions that must have at least partially conditioned their 
reception. 

Archival documentation, though incomplete, permits a degree of 
informed speculation about the origins of the Jewish players and their contri- 
bution to Mantuan culture. We can only surmise just how and when the idea 



Renaissance et Réforme /Il 



of the annual play became part of official court policy. The first performance 
on record by Jewish actors outside their own community took place in Pesaro 
in 1489. It was a Judith and Holof ernes offered at the wedding of Maddalena 
Gonzaga and Duke Francisco Maria of Urbino. ^^ The fact of the performance 
by Jewish players already says much about their theatrical interests and 
capacities, although the inappropriateness of the subject may mean, equally, 
that it was merely a convenient adaptation of a work already in repertory for 
performance within the Jewish community. In 1520 the Jews were requested 
to play for another festive occasion, the accession of Marchese Federico 
Gonzaga. We may only presume that during the intervening 3 1 years the Jews 
had performed in unrecorded circumstances. A letter by the court secretary 
of Mantua written in 1525 not only confirms a performance by the Jews in 
that year, but also that the costs of the production were borne by the 
università}^ The letter does not say that this was the first time for such an 
arrangement, but it fixes a date after which the practice could become 
tradition. In much the same way that the expertise and proficiency in theatrical 
matters developed by the Jews created an exploitable resource in cultural 
terms, the play as a form of taxation became an exploitable resource for the 
dukes in financial terms. There were, of course, limitations on such demands 
determined by what the Jews could reasonably afford both in terms of 
manpower and in terms of resources. The productions for the court were 
particularly costly. An average play involved about 500 participants and cost 
100 gold scudi. But costs often went higher. In 1598 De' Sommi's The Three 
Sisters was performed under the direction of Abraham Sarfati with the aid of 
several assistants. The Jews had been assessed for the entire cost of the duke's 
celebrations through a tax levied upon the community, including the equiva- 
lent of 250 gold scudi for the play. These taxes were clearly an added burden, 
but it was understood by the Gonzagas that such sums could not be supplied 
unless the commercial prosperity of the community was also maintained. 
There seems to have been a working formula by which cultural production 
was directly attached to commercial empowerment, and in this implicit 
formula we may have one of the most direct ties between cultural production 
and political negotiations. Theatre and financial opportunities were part of a 
continually renegotiated social and economic contract. 

There were political overtones of a different nature in the groupings of 
the plays for performance during carnival as well as at court. Often plays were 
presented in pairs, which, for the Jews, meant staging their plays in juxtapo- 
sition to plays by the professional commedia dell' arte as they travelled 
through the region. Because the approbation of the dukes was critical to the 



12 / Renaissance and Reformation 



well-being of the players, and, by extension, to the well-being of the entire 
Jewish community which they represented, they must have felt the competi- 
tion to a special degree, simply because plays performed together automati- 
cally offer themselves for comparison and judgement. It should be stressed 
that the Jews were not singled out for participation in this kind of format, for 
the professional troupes were also pitted against each other. The earliest date 
to which this practice can be assigned, where the Jews were concerned, was 
1549, when, for the wedding of Duke Francesco and Caterina, one play was 
provided by ''gli Hebrei," and a second by the "recitanti."'^ Fascinating 
insights would arise from a close parallel study of Jewish and commedia 
delVarte productions in consideration of the way in which pairing which 
might have contributed to the artistic definition of each group, but the paucity 
of texts, scenarios and related documentation makes such comparisons 
impossible. Speculation suggests that these mirror performances might have 
brought in more contrasting styles - the Jewish troupe working essentially in 
the erudite tradition with written texts and formal conventions, the commedia 
deU'arte players concentrating on their masks, on their improvisatory acting 
style, and on their repertoire of lazzi. Yet such pairings might equally have 
produced sidelong glances leading to appropriations from each other in the 
area of acting styles, plot elements, practical jokes, language, and the use of 
the acting space. Both were vying for courtly favour and there can be little 
doubt that the dukes proposed just such tandem spectacles as an incentive to 
more exciting and polished performances. 

The troupe of Alberto Ganassa played often in Mantua, and it should be 
mentioned that their performances were also paired with other deU'arte 
troupe plays, as they were for example in 1568.'^ Vincenzo Gonzaga, before 
as well as after becoming duke, was greatly interesting in these players. The 
famous Gelosi were in Mantua as early as 1579 and in succeeding years 
played for the Mantuan carnival. Isabella Andreini so impressed Prince 
Vincenzo in 1586 that he accepted her daughter Livinia as his gold-child.'^ 
If Leone de' Sommi's The Three Sisters was indeed performed for carnival 
during the 1 589 season, it would have been in a dazzling context, for both the 
Confidenti and the Gelosi were in town, the former offering La Zingana, the 
latter La Pazzia; it was an occasion for comparing performances by the most 
renowned troupes of that era.'^ The presence of these players was a very real 
part of the milieu in which the Jewish plays were performed. 

In 1554 two leading members of the Jewish community, Jacob Sullam 
(or Sulani) and Samuel Shalit directed an elaborate spectacle featuring stage 
machines.'^ For a state visit in 1563 the Jews performed the Suppositi of 



Renaissance et Réforme / 1 3 



Ariosto, in 1 568 a play by Faroni, in 1 582 a tragedy by Giraldi Cinzio, in 1 583 
the Straccioni of Annibal Caro with its complex triple plot.'^ In fact, many 
more plays were presented, but the records are lacking whereby they can be 
identified. 

Reading patterns of tradition in sequences of factual documentation is a 
familiar historical process; the next step is reading principles of cultural 
politics in those traditions, because we cannot imagine them coming into 
existence except through negotiation and relations of power between rival 
performing groups, between playwrights and their patrons, and between 
members of an ethnic minority and the state. This study, so far, has dealt with 
the probable circumstances leading to the rise of this Mantuan tradition of the 
Jewish theatrical troupe as a mutual arrangement between dukes seeking to 
expand the cultural life of the city and court, and the Jews seeking to remain 
in favour with those who could protect them as a minority threatened by 
popular unrest, commercial rivalry, and the Inquisition. The dukes seized 
upon an "idea" of performance as a form of taxation, while the Jews had seized 
upon opportunities allowed them by a unique set of cultural and political 
circumstances in developing their theatrical expertise. That such circum- 
stances should also foster the appearance of an outstanding playwright, 
impresario, and director is also to be expected. It is what we know about this 
man's professional career that allows us to come to our clearest sense of the 
political dimensions of the Jewish theatrical tradition. 

In the mid 1560s Leone De' Sommi wrote an academic treatise on 
theatrical production entitled / quattro dialoghi in materia di 
rappresentazioni scheniche, a work that offers the most complete account of 
theatrical practices and conventions from the period.'^ He would have been 
nearing 40 when he wrote it, and clearly knew a great deal about the matter 
from first hand experience. At the beginning of the Third Dialogue, 
Massimiano, the interlocutor usually taken for Leone himself, states that he 
had "directed more plays than he had written", which is to confirm that he 
had done both. Presumably De' Sommi began his career as a director, and by 
degrees turned his attention to the need for new and appealing plays which 
he then began to supply in increasing numbers. Only one of Leone's plays 
can be dated with assurance before 1565. It is his Zahud bedihuta de- 
Qiddushim (A Comedy of Betrothal) written in Hebrew, perhaps towards 
1550, and intended for performance during Purim.'^ Although the documen- 
tary evidence concerning plays in Hebrew is slight (this text is, in fact, the 
first complete theatrical work in Hebrew to survive from the Italian Renais- 
sance), this play at least testifies to the existence of a parallel theatrical 



14 / Renaissance and Reformation 



tradition within the Jewish community. That tradition would allow a young 
Jewish writer like Leone to gain some training by first writing in his own 
language. Its early date allows us to outline a playwrighting career that 
covered at least forty active years from the 1550s down to his death in 1592 
or 1593. 

Fourteen plays may be assigned to Leone with confidence, although 
there are hints of several more, thereby encouraging us to think that he wrote 
up to one new play each year from about 1565 onward. The fourteen plays 
known by title were, until 1904, available in the 16 manuscript volumes of 
his works housed in the National Library in Turin.^^ After the fire in that year 
that left the library in ruins, only two of Leone's plays have been recovered 
from other sources, the Hebrew comedy, perhaps his first play, and The Three 
Sisters, which was among his last. Leone is mentioned throughout the period 
in letters, court records, receipt books, and related documents, but these 
references are often inexplicit with regard to dates, titles of plays, and the 
occasions for which they were presented. It is known that he wrote comedies, 
tragedies, pastoral plays and intermezzi, not only for carnival, but for the court 
and the academy. We cannot be certain that his plays were performed 
exclusively by the Jewish troupe, and, to be sure, there is no way to determine 
the degree to which his plays were designed to accommodate the strengths of 
the group. There is no documentation concerning the kinds of remuneration 
he might have received for his efforts. We do know that he enjoyed the favour 
of the court over many years, and that such favour must have been the result 
largely of his success as a playwright. We must hence assume that in Leone 
the Jewish players had found among their members a man of talent as writer 
and director who could help them achieve their goals in the service of the 
Mantuan state. 

De' Sommi's elegiac pastoral I doni was performed in 1575 following 
the death of Don Cesare Gonzaga, and in that same year another of his plays 
was performed at court on the occasion of a state visit. His La Drusilla, a 
pastoral tragedy, was dedicated to Cesare Gonzaga and performed at the 
request of the Academy of the Invaghiti. Carol MacClintock suggests that De' 
Sommi was commissioned for a play for the wedding of Vincenzo Gonzaga 
and Margherita Fameze in 1568 with music by Giaches de Wert.^^ His La 
fortunata was staged for carnival in 1581, and in that same year his // 
giannizzero was played for Vincenzo' s birthday in August. Only a few more 
titles and dates can be assigned, but the profile emerging is of a man who was 
probably involved in most of the Mantuan court productions of the period, as 
well as in some of the major events in nearby Ferrara - a city where he spent 



Renaissance et Réforme / 15 



time during his student years and to which he returned to serve as choreog- 
rapher in the 1584 production of // Pastor Fido?^ 

There were two particular ambitions in Leone's life, each with political 
overtones, that he was unable, or only partially able, to achieve. In 1562 the 
Accademia degli Invaghiti was founded under a charter initially issued by 
Pope Paul IV. Because of its religious affiliations, Jews were excluded from 
membership. Nevertheless, for a man of Leone's scholarly bent of mind, an 
assembly of passionate amateurs interested in humanism, new thinking and 
experimentation in the arts and sciences offered an attractive context in which 
to pursue his own interests. It appears that the post of scrittore was created 
in due course especially for De' Sommi, thereby allowing his participation 
through a circumvention of the regulations.^^ Leone may have written his 
Four Dialogues in order to gain entry to the academy, and in 1564 he was 
paid by the academy for a mascherata performed ''quasi aVimprovvisd*' in 
honour of one of the member s.-^"* Sixteen years later, there were no signs of 
waning favour, for in 1580 Ferrante Gonzaga of Guastalla, then the leader of 
the institution, interceded with Duke Guglielmo to have Leone excused from 
wearing the Jewish badge.^^ De' Sommi' s second ambition was, in 1567 or 
1568, to open a public theatre in Mantua, an idea that might have led to a 
commercialization of the theatre similar to later developments in Madrid and 
London. But his prestige, combined with a pledge to use a portion of the 
proceeds to aid the poor of Mantua, was insufficient inducement to gain the 
approval he sought.-^^ His failure need not be attributed to racial discrimina- 
tion; this was after all a period favourable to Jewish commercial enterprises. 
That commercial theatre did not develop generally in the Italian city states 
has rather more to do with the relationship between cultural production and 
courtly ambitions. The Gonzagas would have seen such a proposal as Leone's 
as a threat to their monopoly over cultural production in the city, no matter 
who its originator might have been. 

During his active years as playwright, choreographer, impresario, and 
director. De' Sommi also served as a diplomat for his community. In 1577 he 
was a member of the Jewish delegation seeking greater jurisdiction for the 
Jewish courts "in matters of personal status, taking evidence, and certifying 
documents."^^ Success for this mission meant fuller control over the legal 
and financial affairs of members of the community and an important new 
measure of autonomy. These were significant goals for the università, and 
there can have been no doubt in their minds that a record of progress 
throughout that period was in no small part due to the gratitude of the court 
for the services they had corporately rendered. Such was the nature of their 



16 / Renaissance and Reformation 



^'contract" with the state. By the logic implicit in this contract, the cultural 
contributions must have figured in the exchange of services for privileges. 
The same tact that Leone must have evinced to maintain favour as a play- 
wright he appears to have exercised as a diplomat. Eleven years later, in 1 588, 
he was described as a man frequently at court as the official bearer of his 
nation's petitions. At the same time that his Three Sisters was dedicated to 
the duke, he was also negotiating a place for Jewish middlemen in the silk 
trade - a suit that was granted in 1 590 against acrimonious complaints by the 
Christian guilds. '^^ The animosity that resulted from these trade rivalries 
throughout the period should not be minimized, and to separate these frictions 
from the tradition of anti-Jewish rioting during carnival would be naive. These 
are reminders of the pronounced differences that separated Gentiles from 
Jews, even in this period of relative liberalism and prosperity. The extent to 
which the negotiator for Jewish trade relations could function effectively as 
a playwright at the same time - perhaps create carnival comedies that might 
serve as measures of goodwill and oï détente - invites speculation, although 
in the absence of interpretative documents we have only circumstantial 
inferences to guide us. 

The Three Sisters becomes a key document because it is the only 
surviving carnival play by a Jewish playwright, and hence furnishes the only 
text that may be studied as a gesture of strategy in the negotiations between 
these two interest groups. Surprisingly, the play borrows much from two 
celebrated satirists, Aretino and Machiavelli, but principally in the areas of 
language and plot ideas - elements which Leone tempers to accord with the 
most standard of morals and the most neutral of political views. The play is 
full of spectacle and variety, and it makes novel use of the conventional 
character types. But there is no satire, whether of citizen mores or of courtly 
excesses. Leone appears to have placed none of his diplomatic intentions in 
jeopardy by spicing his plays with subtextualized messages or subversive 
overtones. In this almost negative way, a text secured against ambiguity was 
itself a political gesture, for it is in the nature of theatrical language to invite 
double meanings. De' Sommi worked out his own style of intrigue comedy 
that honoured erudite conventions, exploited the potential for spectacle, and 
generated spectator interest in apparent deference to the codes of pleasure and 
power that circumscribed his creativity. The result was a new formula for 
theatre that concentrated upon artistic effects and innovative spectacle at the 
cost of a representational theatre based on social observation and commen- 
tary. Leone's more mannerist forms of dramatization may have been the 



Renaissance et Réforme / 17 



indirect resuit of his position as playwright for the Jewish community and of 
his diplomatic roles on behalf of that community. 

Leone seems to have expended considerable energy in cultivating 
Vincenzo Gonzaga's favour, even before his accession; Vincenzo's passion 
for the theatre, in fact, provided abundant opportunity for the expression of 
Leone's talents. He might have sensed that this was the closest way to the 
prince's heart — that to collaborate in the creation of grand theatrical 
spectacles was the best way to cultivate Vincenzo's receptivity to the needs 
of the Jewish community. There may, too, have been a growing sense of 
urgency to win such support through theatrical production because 
Vincenzo's accession to power, together with his ambitious plans for court 
splendour in the arts, coincided with the erosion of the commercial strength 
and autonomy of the Jews.-^^ A new moment was, in fact, in the making. 
Vincenzo had neither his father' s sense of expediency in political matters, nor 
his parsimony in material matters. De' Sommi may have had his premonitions 
about Vincenzo's nature, standing to gain much from his lavish spending on 
court spectacles, but to lost much from his inability, or lack of desire, to hold 
counter- reformation policies at bay. The new climate brought back a theolog- 
ical culture that insisted upon the isolation of religious groups out of fear of 
mutual contamination. Friars such as Bartolomeo da Solution, active in 
Mantua just after the turn of the century, preached openly of the dangers of 
the Jewish presence.^^ One by one the gains made by the Jews over the century 
were revoked until, by 1612, the Jews of Mantua were resettled into a ghetto. 
The annual play continued, and in consequence, the comedy committee of the 
Jews was not dissolved until 1650. But the efforts of the players appear to 
have lost all significance as an element in the negotiations for Jewish privi- 
leges. It is noteworthy that in 1635, when the Jewish play was cancelled, it 
was replaced by the payment of additional taxes.-^' By that time the traditional 
play had become merely an obligation upon which a monetary value could 
be placed and collected in the event of default. 

In 1588, however, Leone could still venture the presentation of his play 
as the gift of a maker to a patron. There was still room for a degree of rhetorical 
construction of the artifact as the cultural property of the creator and hence 
an object that could be traded in exchange for something deemed of equivalent 
worth. The most we may be able to conclude about De' Sommi is that he had 
talents as a playwright that brought rewards sufficient to make his theatrical 
commitment a hfelong one, and talents as a diplomat that earned for him the 
highest praise of his community as a benefactor at the time of his death. -^^ 
Documentation allows no closer association of these two talents — only that 



1 8 / Renaissance and Reformation 



they were the efforts of the same man. And yet, insofar as the differences that 
separated Jews and Christians were openly negotiated and hence politicized, 
it would appear unavoidable that such relations conditioned both the reception 
of the Jewish performances and Leone's career as playwright and diplomat, 
so that the two activities of his professional life were, in essence, one. 

The exchange of power and the interaction between Christians and Jews 
may have, in fact, been far more concentrated in the theatrical productions of 
the Jews than would at first appear probable. Vincenzo was culturally ambi- 
tious and he had a long-standing tradition of Jewish theatre to develop and to 
exploit. Naturally, the Jewish community would seek to read this contribution 
as a negotiable service that had political value for them. Leone de' Sommi 
seems to have been at the centre of these negotiations for almost 40 years, in 
essence internalizing that exchange as the defining principle of his career. 
That he managed to maintain favour with court, academy, and Jewish com- 
munity for so long a period testifies to his remarkable political and diplomatic 
expertise. 

Carleton University 

Notes 

1. Leone De' Sommi, The Three Sisters, ed. Donald Beecher & Massimo Ciavolella, 
Carleton Renaissance Plays in Translation No. 1 4 (Ottawa: Dovehouse Editions, 1 992), 
p. 52. 

2. Salo Wittmayer Baron. A Social and Religious History of the Jews, vol 14 (New York: 
Columbia University Press, 2nd éd., 1969), p. 99. 

3. For further information on the founding and organization of the université see Shlomo 
Simonsohn. History of the Jews in the Duchy of Mantua (Jerusalem: Kiryeth Sepher 
Ltd., 1979), pp. 325ff. 

4. Leone De' Sommi, The Three Sisters, "Introduction," pp. 6-8. 

5. Iain Fenlon. Music and Patronage in Sixteenth-Century Mantua, I (Cambridge: Cam- 
bridge University Press, 1980), p. 40. 

6. Fenlon p. 40. 

7. Jonathan I. Israel, European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism 1550-1750 (Oxford: 
Clarendon Press, 1985), pp. 72-73. 

8. Israel, p. 47. 

9. Simonsohn, p. 25, n. 92. 

10. Fenlon, p. 40. 

1 1. A. D' Ancona. Le origini del teatro italiano, 2 \o\s. ÇTorino,LocscheT, 1891), II, 401-2. 

12. Simonsohn, p. 657. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 19 



13. Pierre Louis Duchartre. The Italian Comedy (New York: Dover Publications, 1966), 
p. 81. 

14. Duchartre, p. 89. 

15. Winifred Smith. Italian Actors of the Renaissance (New York: Benjamin Blom, 1 968), 
p. 46; Duchartre, p. 91. 

16. Fenlon, p. 41; Simonsohn, p. 657. 

17. Simonsohn, pp. 661-62. 

18. Leone De' Sommi. Quattro dialoghi in materia di rappresentazione sceniche, ed. 
Ferruccio Marotti (Milano: II Polifilo, 1968). This treatise was also translated by 
Allardyce NicoU in The Development of the Theatre (London: George G. Harrap & 
Co., 5th éd., 1966). 

19. Leone De' Sommi,-A Comedy of Betrothal, ed. Alfred S. Golding (Ottawa: Dovehouse 
Editions, 1988). 

20. Leone De' Sommi, Tre sorelle, comedia, ed. Giovanna Romei (Milano: II Polifilo, 
1982), pp. 77ff. 

2 1 . Carol MacClintock, Giaches de Wert (1535-1596) Life and Works (American Institute 
of Musicology, 1966), p. 42. 

22. D'Ancona, II, 540. Vincenzo married a Farnese in 1568 and Leanore de' Medici in 
1584. His sister Margherita, also an avid patron of the arts, was drawn away to Ferrara 
by marriage in 1579 and took many of Mantua's artists with her. Vincenzo was in 
competition with Ferrara in an effort to attract artists back to Mantua (Fenlon, p. 126). 
The Jews also performed in 1584 for Vincenzo's second wedding, offering Pino da 
Cagli's Gli ingiusti sdegni with dances and intermedi by De' Sommi (Fenlon, pp. 
41-42). They withdrew their play for Carnival in 1587 for lack of rehearsal time 
(D'Ancona, II, p. 425). 

23. Jefim Schirmann, "Juda Sommo fondateur du théâtre hébreu," Revue de la pensée juive, 
no. 5, 11(1950-51), pp. 88-89. 

24. Fenlon, p. 37. 

25. Simonsohn, p. 660. 

26. Marotti in De' Sommi, Quattro dialoghi, p. xliv. 

27. Simonsohn, p. 355. 

28. Simonsohn, p. 267. 

29. Simonsohn, p. 271. 

30. Fenlon, pp. 39-40. 

31. Simonsohn, pp. 665ff. 

32. De' Sommi, in 1585, requested to purchase land, assumed to be for the purpose of 
constructing a synagogue - for which he is celebrated in his epitaph. Schirmann, p. 89; 
D. Kaufmann, "Leone de Sommi Portaleone (1527-1592) Dramatist and Founder of a 
Synagogue at Mantua," Jewish Quarterly Review, X (1898), pp. 445-61. 



Garnier's Historical Sources in Lesjuifves 



DAMON DI MAURO 



s 



ummary: Robert Garnier's "Les Juifves " (1583) is generally considered 
to be the crown jewel of the French Renaissance stage. At the close of his 
prefatory "Argument'' to the play, Gamier obligingly furnishes the histori- 
cal sources from which he has taken the story of the sufferings of Zedekiah 
and his family. However, the bibliographic information which the tragedian 
supplies in his "Argument" contains at least one error with respect to the 
Bible, and a second error pertaining to Flavius Josephus's "Jewish Anti- 
quities" is more than likely as well. 

At the close of his prefatory Argument to Les Juifves (1583), Robert Gamier 
indicates the historical sources from which he has taken the story of the 
sufferings of Zedekiah and his family: 

Ce sujet est pris des 24 et 25 chapitres du 4 livre des Roys, du 36 chapitre 
du 2 livre des Chroniques, et du 29 de Jeremie, et est plus amplement 
traitté par Josephe au 9 et 10 chapitres du 10 des Antiquitez.* 

This article will attempt to show that the summary bibliography which the 
foremost tragedian of the French Renaissance stage supplies here in his 
Argument contains at least one error with respect to the Bible, and that a 
second error pertaining to Flavius ]o^tp\mi' s, Jewish Antiquities is more than 
likely as well. 

The Bible 

Indeed, the narrative found in 2 Kings 24: 17-20 and 25: 1-21-^ contains 
nearly all of the events which Robert Garnier retraces in his Argument to Les 
Juifves: Zedekiah' s submission to Nebuchadnezzar and his rebellion against 
the same; the last agony of Jerusalem weakened by a siege without and 
ravaged by a famine within; the breach made in the city; the flight of Zedekiah 
and his entourage; the capture of the fugitives on the plains of Jericho; the 
judgment meted out to the perjured king at Riblah; and finally the deportation 
of the chosen race to Babylon. The reign of Zedekiah, the fall of Jerusalem, 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 2 (1993) 21 



22 / Renaissance and Reformation 



and the captivity of the Jews are likewise dealt with, though in a more 
abbreviated manner, in 2 Chronicles 36: 11-21.^ However, the mention of 
Jeremiah 29 corresponds to none of the events described above and must be 
called into question. 

In previous studies of Garnier's last and greatest tragedy, the historical 
biblical sources have not come under close scrutiny. All too often critics have 
accepted at face value the bibliographic notations which the humanist drama- 
tist himself obligingly furnishes in his Argument and have contented them- 
selves to merely repeat these scriptural references in their works.'* Only M.-M. 
Mouflard, in her erudite and nearly exhaustive study of the sources of 
Gamier' s theatre, has noted that the third biblical narrative referred to in the 
Argument present some difficulty: "Mais la référence à Jérémie XXIX 
désigne un faux prophète et non le roi."^ Mouflard is quite right; for although 
Jeremiah does indeed mention a "Zedekiah" in the 29th chapter of the book 
which bears his name, and even foretells his death by the hands of 
Nebuchadnezzar, the prophet specifically identifies him as the "son of 
Maaseiah" and accuses him of false prophecy (Jer 29: 21-23). This 
"Zedekiah" has, of course, nothing to do with the last king of Judah, whose 
father was Josiah, the well-known religious reformer. Why then did Gamier 
cite Jeremiah 29? Mouflard is silent on that score. She only points out that 
this text is a problematical source for Les Juifves and pursues the matter no 
further. 

Simply enough, it would appear that the wrong chapter of Jeremiah is 
cited at the conclusion of the Argument accompanying Les Juifves. There is 
good reason to believe that chapter 39 of this book, and not chapter 29, is the 
source which Gamier means to indicate. This is because the events described 
in the 39th chapter of Jeremiah are more in conformity with those which the 
tragedian details in his prefatory piece and which form the essence of his play. 
To demonstrate this, it would be well to quote from the brief summary which 
Jacques Lefèvre d'Etaples places, in his famous translation of the Scriptures 
(1530), at the head of the chapter in question: 

Comment la cite fut prinse / & Sedechias soy fuyant fut prins / & luy 
furent les yeulx crevez. . . 

A close inspection of the text itself of Jeremiah 39 will confirm nearly all the 
information relevant to the Zedekiah story. The only pertinent facts that it 
does not mention are Zedekiah' s initial appointment to the throne and his 
subsequent revolt against his overlord.^ 



Renaissance et Réforme / 23 



Further weight can be added to the identification of Jeremiah 39 as the 
more appropriate reading at the close of the Argument by the marginal notes 
in sixteenth-century editions of the Bible. These draw a close parallel 
between Jeremiah 39 and another biblical passage which Garnier correctly 
cites in the Argument as a source for his work: 2 Kings 25. The phenomenon 
can be observed in Jacques Lefèvre d'Etaples's edition of the Bible: at the 
beginning of Jeremiah 39, he cross-references the first part of 2 Kings 25 ("4 
des roi. 25. a."), while at the beginning of 2 Kings 25, he indicates that the first 
few verses of Jeremiah 39 ("iere. 39.a.") constitute a parallel passage. The 
same is true of Pierre-Robert Olivétan's equally well-known Protestant 
version of the Scriptures (1535): a marginalium at the head of Jeremiah 39 
first summarizes the contents of that portion of Scripture ("La prise de 
Jerusalem soubz Zedekiah") and then draws the reader's attention to 2 Kings 
25 ("2 Roys 25. a."), while a cross-reference to the first part of 2 Kings 25 
repays the favor by sending the reader back to Jeremiah 39 ("Jere. 39.a."). In 
short, since it is clear that 2 Kings 25 is indeed a legitimate source for 
Gamier' s sacred drama, it follows that he must have also had Jeremiah 39 in 
mind in citing his biblical sources at the end of the Argument.^ 

But did Robert Garnier actually make use of Jeremiah 39 in composing 
his religious tragedy? The case can be made that he did. It so happens that 
this particular portion of Scripture contains one very important detail that 2 
Kings 24-25 and 2 Chronicles 36 do not. Only Jeremiah 39 reveals that 
Nebuchadnezzar was not content to merely butcher Zedekiah' s sons before 
their father's eyes, but, at the same time, "le roy de Babilone occist tous les 
nobles de Juda" (Lefèvre' s Bible). This would explain Garnier' s reference in 
the Argument to "les principaux seigneurs de Jerusalem" who were also 
executed by Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah and would justify the corresponding 
scene in the tragedy itself (see lines 1902-1908, 1967-1982). It should be 
remarked that Flavius Josephus says it quite differently: [Nebuchadnezzar] 
"ordonna, que ses enfans et ses amis plus familiers [emphasis added] fussent 
occis en sa presence."^ There is some distance from the nobles of Judah, of 
which the Bible speaks, to Zedekiah' s most intimate friends, as the Jewish 
historian would have it. Thus, the indication that the Assyrian king also put 
the noblemen of Jerusalem to the sword at Riblah could only have been culled 
from Jeremiah 39. 

Now that it is clear that Jeremiah 39 is the true source for Garnier' s play, 
it might well be asked to what the ill-assorted reference to Jeremiah 29 in the 
Argument is due. A typographical error is not implausible. It is quite conceiv- 
able that a "2" was printed instead of a "3,", hence the chapter "29 de Jeremie" 



24 / Renaissance and Reformation 



and not the chapter "39." However, one might wonder why Gamier did not 
seek to rectify this error when he undertook the ne varietur edition of his 
tragedies in 1585. This would suggest that he did not realize that the reference 
was inaccurate. Moreover, M.-M. Mouflard has brought to light some of the 
playwright's other mistakes in citing his historical sources, from the Argu- 
ments of earlier works, and she notes: "L'attitude de Gamier envers ses 
sources historiques se caractérise d'abord par sa désinvolture; il se croit obligé 
de citer les textes historiques, alors qu'il ne mentionne pas alors ses sources 
littéraires, mais ses références sont souvent fausses."^ Because this would not 
be the first time that Gamier had inaccurately cited a passage as a source for 
his work, it is less likely that a misprint occurred here in the Argument to Les 
Juifves. Rather, the tragic author himself should be blamed. Even so, his 
substitution of Jeremiah 39 would be easy enough to understand. It would be 
due to a mental lapse on his part and would merely betray a faulty memory. 

Flavius Josephus's Jewish Antiquities 

It seems that Robert Gamier is once again mistaken when he states in his 
Argument to Les Juifves that the story of Zedekiah is treated by Flavius 
Josephus "au 9 et 10 chapitres du 10 des Antiquitez." More precisely, the 
story of the last king of Judah is found in chapters 10 and 1 1 of the same book 
of the Jewish Antiquities. To show this, it will perhaps suffice here to list the 
chapter headings for the three texts at issue as they appear in the famous 
French edition of the histories of Flavius Josephus which Gilbert Génébrard 
published in 1578:*o 

IX. Comment Nabuchodonosor Roy de Babylon, changeant d'avis, 
assiégea Joacin, qui se rendit de son bon gré, et fut emmené captif en 
Babylon. 

X. Comment Sedecias fut constitué Roy en Hierusalem par le Roy de 
Babylon. 

XI. Comment Nabuchodonosor donna l'assaut aux Juifs, les bastant 
incessamment par l'espace de dixhuit jours: et à la parfin print 
Hierusalem par force, et transporta le peuple en Babylon. 

The material of the last two chapters seems to square better with the events 
outlined in the Argument and most clearly falls within the province of the 
play's action. As one can plainly see, chapter 10 deals with the circumstances 
surrounding Zedekiah' s establishment as king. The 1 1th chapter, besides its 



Renaissance et Réforme / 25 



general description of Jerusalem besieged and taken by storm, naturally 
recounts the tragic fate of Gamier' s hero as well. 

This time, however, critics have been attentive to the imperfect corre- 
spondence between the chapter numbers to which Gamier refers in his 
Argument and those which one finds in Génébrard' s edition of the Antiquities. 
M.-M. Mouflard attributes this discrepancy to Garnier's usual nonchalance 
in citing his historical sources. *' According to her, though, the playwright 
would have actually drawn on chapters 5 to 11 of book 10 of the Jewish 
Antiquities, this is to say from Josiah's ascension to the throne to the depor- 
tation of the Jewish people.'^ The implication is that Garnier should have 
cited all of these texts in his Argument. While it is quite true that the characters 
of Les Juifves discuss some of those events which directly precede the 
collapse of Jemsalem and which thus bear upon the current plight of the 
Hebrew nation, namely the death of Josiah and the misfortune of the last king 
of Judah (hnes 397-444; cf. lines 1110-1178), none of these events are 
recorded in the Argument. Instead, Garnier' s prefatory piece is solely devoted 
to the tragic destiny of Zedekiah. So there is no reason to believe that he meant 
to cite any other portion of book 10 of the Jewish Antiquities besides those 
chapters 10 and 1 1 which deal explicitly with the story of the fallen king. 

Another student of Garnier's sources, D. Seidmann, of course recogniz- 
ing that at least the 11th chapter of book 10 of the Jewish Antiquities is 
absolutely essential to the Zedekiah story, postulates "une faute d'impression 
qu'ont reproduite toutes les éditions des Juifves. ''^^ What this critic does not 
seem to know, though, is that Gamier himself had been mistaken before, and 
that he also was so in the very same sentence of the Argument to Les Juifves 
where he apparently commits a mental error in substituting Jeremiah 29 for 
39. Because Seidmann does not consider the possibility that the tragic author 
himself could err, he is forced to conclude that a publishing error occurred. 
But the theory itself is seriously flawed, as D. Stone has pointed out: 

Are we to assume that 10 was printed instead of 1 1 ? If so, a text that read 
"9 & 1 1 " would be incorrect. The mistake would have to have been either 
the omission of "& 1 1 " after "9 & 10" or the omission of the number 10 
before the ampersand and the printing of 10 for 11 after the ampersand 
— nothing so simple as a "faute d'impression."'^ 

For his part, Stone goes on to prove the existence of sixteenth-century editions 
of Flavius Josephus's Jewish Antiquities which produce different chapter 
divisions than those which one finds in Gilbert Génébrard' s version. What is 
most significant about this discovery is that the chapters 9 and 10 of book 10 



26 / Renaissance and Reformation 



of the said editions would furnish the essence of Garnier's Les Juifves, as the 
chapter headings in an early French translations of the Jewish Antiquities by 
Guillaume Michel will sufficiently show:'^ 

IX. De la captivité du roy Joachim en Babilone et obstination de 
Sedechias contre le prophète Hieremie. 

X. De la destruction de Hierusalem par les Chaldees. 

Stone therefore believes that the bibliographic information which Gamier 
provides at the end of his Argument is entirely accurate and that Génébrard 
must not be the right source for his borrowings from the Antiquities. 

Nevertheless, Stone's contention that the Argument is error free is not 
as air-tight as it would at first seem. By his own admission the alternative 
textual tradition which he unearths had been "relegated to a secondary 
position" '^ by the time of the publication of Les Juijves. Indeed, by the middle 
of the sixteenth century this system of chapter division for Flavius Josephus's 
histories, which is based on Tyrannius Rufinus' s ancient Latin translation and 
which Guillaume Michel reproduces in his French version, had well-nigh 
been abandoned. A new generation of translations of the Jewish Antiquities, 
undoubtedly patterned on the original Greek text recently published at Basel 
(1544),'^ follow the chapter divisions which are also found in Génébrard. 
While it is well-worth noting that the succeeding editions of the Antiquities 
often preserve the older textual tradition by placing in the margins a series of 
Roman numerals to signal the alternative chapter divisions, the numeral "X" 
happens to be wanting in the margin of Génébrard' s text, thus making it highly 
improbable that this important and influential edition — which Gamier is 
commonly purported to have used — would have drawn his attention to 
them.'^ This would mean that if the Renaissance tragedian truly did find the 
story of Zedekiah treated in chapters 9 and 10 of book 10 of the Jewish 
Antiquities, it could only have been in an all but antiquated version. 

But the most serious drawback to Stone's hypothesis is that it is not 
corroborated by a linguistic comparison of the texts themselves, for he does 
not examine any of Robert Gamier' s specific borrowings from Flavius 
Josephus in light of the different sixteenth-century editions of the Jewish 
Antiquities in order to determine in precisely which two chapters of book 10, 
9 and 10 or 10 and 1 1 , the dramatist approached the story of Zedekiah. To be 
sure, the mass of Gamier' s borrowings from the Antiquities are generally 
unremarkable and do not permit one to identify the exact edition he used. Yet 



Renaissance et Réforme / 27 



certain lexicological similarities between Les Juifves and Génébrard' s version 
of the Antiquities have been established by previous critics.'^ 

The most notable of these concerns Zedekiah's dramatic appearance 
before Nebuchadnezzar. When the king of Babylon at last sights his wayward 
vassal, one reads in Génébrard that he specifically upbraids him for his 
"wickedness" and "disloyalty": 

Nabuchodonosor l'ayant devant soy commença à l'appeler meschant et 
desloyal [emphasis added], qui avait rompu sa foy, et mis en oubly ses 
promesses: car il avoit promis de garder ce pais souz le Roy de Babylon.'^^ 
(Livre X, Chapitre XI) 

Gamier reproduces the same terms in the corresponding scene of his tragedy: 

Toy, méchant desloyal [emphasis added], le pire de la terre. 

Tu as induit ton peuple à me faire la guerre, (lines 1375-1376). 

It should be noticed that the epithets found in Guillaume Michel's version of 
this explosive encounter are sufficiently different: 

Et quant Nabuchodonosor le veit / il lappella malheureux et mauvais 
[emphasis added] et non remembrable de son jurement quil avoit faict 
de luy conserver la province.-^' (Livre X, Chapitre X) 

Another indication that Garnier consulted Génébrard' s edition of the Jewish 
Antiquities also deserves mention. When Zedekiah and his fellow fugitives 
are overtaken by the Chaldean men of war on the plains of Jericho, one reads 
in this translation: 

Ses amis et les princes qui s'en estoient fuys avec luy, voyans les ennemis 
près d'eux, l'abandonnèrent et chacun s 'esquarta ça et là, où l'espérance 
de se pouvoir sauver le poussoit. Il demeura presque 5eM/. .. [emphasis 
added] (Livre X, Chapitre XI) 

Michel's text laconically states: 

[Zedekiah] fut suivy par lesditz princes des Babiloniens / et prins auprès 
de Hiericho: car ses amys et princes senfuyrent. Et fut mené au roy de 
Babilone... (Livre X, Chapitre X) 

But if one examines Les Juifves, one finds that Gamier' s debt to Génébrard' s 
version involves more that just vague reminiscence, for there are specific 
textual imitations of such expressions as "s'écarter" (line 789) and "demeurer 
seul" (line 790): 



28 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Alors nous commençons à nous batter et destordre, 
Deçà delà courir en un confus desordre, 
Les hommes s'escarter où les chassoit la peur: 
Le roi seul demeura [emphasis added] trop attendry de coeur. 

(lines 787-790). 

It is, of course, impossible to prove that the influence of Génébrard's version 
upon Gamier was exclusive. Still, while it cannot be ruled out that the 
dramatist consulted more than one edition of the Jewish Antiquities in 
composing his religious tragedy, and even an edition in which the story of 
Zedekiah appears in chapters 9 and 10 of book 10, one can be certain that he 
used the version found in Génébrard, where it is related in chapters 10 and 
1 1 . At the same time, there is a definite pattern of oversight and error which 
emerges from the abbreviated bibliographies which Gamier customarily 
fumishes at the close of the Arguments accompanying his tragedies. The 
Argument to Les Juifves already contains one mistake with respect to the 
biblical source. It therefore stands to reason that Flavius Josephus is 
imperfectly cited as well. 

In conclusion, Robert Gamier commits at least one error, and very likely 
two, in citing his historical sources in the Argument to Les Juifves. He 
evidently is guilty of a mental error in stating that the subject of this biblical 
tragedy is found in Jeremiah chapter 29, instead of chapter 39, where it is 
actually discussed. In all likelihood, Garnier is once more mistaken in 
specifying chapters 9 and 10 of book 10 of the Jewish Antiquities as the other 
source of his work, for the Zedekiah story is treated more exacdy in chapters 
10 and 1 1 of the same book 10 in Gilbert Génébrard's edition — which the 
dramatist is known to have used. But lest Gamier be taxed with indifference 
towards his historical sources, it is worth considering what his practice and 
manner of citation might reveal about his own leaming and that of his time. 
Apparently, Gamier did not feel the need to have the original documents at 
hand at the time of writing, but relied on his memory to quote them. He was 
not, however, always able to recall specific details with precision. Neverthe- 
less, the willingness and ease with which he cites the texts he consulted 
implies a certain confidence in his erudition and a measure of familiarity with 
the source material. Indeed, inaccurate or imperfect citation on the part of 
Renaissance authors such as Robert Gamier could indicate, quite paradoxi- 
cally, that the sources had tmly been assimilated. 

Mankato State University 



Renaissance et Réforme / 29 



Notes 

1 . The edition referred to in this article is that of R. Lebègue, Oeuvres complètes de Robert 
Gamier, vol. 1: Les Juifves, Bradamante, Poésies diverses (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 
1949). 

2. It should be noticed that Gamier' s own nomenclature here ("4 livre des Roys") would 
confirm what critics have usually assumed, and not a few times explicitly stated, that 
he read Holy Writ either in the Vulgate or in a Catholic vernacular version. The French 
Protestant Bibles, it will be remembered, had adopted the Hebrew designation as early 
as Pierre-Robert Olivétan's first edition: "Le Second livre des Roys / qui est le 
quatriesme / Selon les Latins," La Bible qui est toute la Saincte escriture. En laquelle 
sont contenus le Vieil Testament et le Nouveau, translatez en Françoys... (Neuchâtel: 
Pierre de Wingle, 1535). 

3. One might wonder. why the Catholic playwright did not adopt the Vulgate's nomen- 
clature for this book as well, for the title "Paralipomenon," taken over by the Latins 
from the Greeks, had also been brought into currency in Renaissance France. Never- 
theless, the title "Chroniques" which Robert Gamier employs here in h\s Argument can 
in no ways be construed to be any less "Catholic," for it had the very sanction of Saint 
Jerome himself, who, in commenting on the original Hebrew denomination, remarked 
that the book might be more appropriately styled "Chronicles": "DABRE AJAMIN, 
id est, verba dierum, quod significantius Chronikon totius divanae historiae possumus 
appelare": Prologus Galeatus, PL, XXVIII, 554. In fact, Jacques Lefèvre d'Etaples, 
having retained the traditional transcription "Paralipomenon" in his first vernacular 
edition of the Scriptures, hastens to cite the opinion of this eminent church doctor: 
"Sainct Hierome lapelle la Cronique / ou le recueil de toutes les divines Histoires": La 
Saincte Bible en Françoys, translatée selon la pure et entière traduction de sainct 
Hierome... (Anvers: Martin Lempereur, 1530). Even the Protestants, in this case, do 
not remount to the Veritas hebraica, but consider Jerome's title more representative of 
the book and make it their own. In general, then, one can say that in the sixteenth 
century the work was known by two titles, "Paralipomenon" and "Chroniques," 
although the former begins to yield ground to the latter, and that not only in Protestant 
circles but in Catholic circles too. 

4. This is regrettably the case even with the most scrupulous studies of the influence of 
Scripture upon Les Juifves: see R. Lebègue, Les Juives de Robert Gamier, 3rd éd. 
(Paris: Centre de documentation universitaire "Les cours de la Sorbonne," 1979), p. 
35; and D. Seidmann, La Bible dans les tragédies religieuses de Garnier et de 
Montchrestien (Paris: Nizet, 1971), pp. 21-22. 

5. M.- M. Mouflard, Robert Garnier J 545-1590, vol. III, Les Sources (La Roche-sur- 
Yon: Imprimerie Centrale de l'Ouest, 1964), p. 184. 

6. These facts are found in 2 Kings 24 and 2 Chronicles 36, both of which are quoted by 
Garnier in the Argument as sources for his work, and rightly so. 

7. The point which needs to made here, though, is that not only in Renaissance editions 
of Holy Writ, but in modern versions of the Scriptures and in biblical commentaries of 
every age as well, the marginalia and cross-references inextricably link the three 
narrative passages which Garnier apparently means to indicate in his prefatory piece: 



30 / Renaissance and Reformation 



2 Kings 24-25, 2 Chronicles 36 and Jeremiah 39. These texts can even be said to form 
a unity. While it is true that Jeremiah 52 also treats the Zedekiah story, it is thought 
that this chapter - a sort of historical appendix - was added to the book of Jeremiah to 
show how the prophet's message of doom was fulfilled. In fact, both Lefèvre in his 
Bible and Olivétan in his, refer to Jeremiah 52 as a "Repetition" of previous texts. One 
can safely assume, then, that because Jeremiah 52 does not add any new information 
to the story of Zedekiah, Gamier did not deem it necessary to cite this text as well in 
his Argument. 

8. Histoire de Flave Josephe Sacrificateur Hebrieu mise en François, Gilbert Génébrard 
(Paris: Michel Sonnius, 1578), Livre X, Chapitre XL 

9. Op. cit., p. 191 . For instance, Mouflard finds that Gamier' s references to his historical 
sources in the Arguments accompanying Porcie and Cornélie are particularly careless 
and fraught with error: see pp. 160, 166. 

10. Op. cit. 

11. Op. cit., p. 184. 

12. Although Mouflard in fact says that "ce sont les chapitres 5-10) (et non 9-10) qui ont 
surtout inspiré Gamier," she most certainly means to include the 1 1th chapter of book 
10 as well, for many of the passages from ihc Antiquities which she cites in her detailed 
comparison of Josephus and Gamier are taken from this last chapter: Ibid.. 184-190. 

13. Op. cit., p. 21. 

14. D. Stone, Jr., "Robert Gamier and Josephus Flavius," Harvard Library Bulletin, XX 
(1972), p. 185. 

15. Joseph Juif et Hebrieu, Hystoriographe Grec, de Lantiquite Judaique, Nouvellement 
translaté de Latin en Vulgaire Francoys (Paris: Estienne Caveiller, 1539). 

16. Art.cit., p. 186. 

17. Flavii losephi. Opera (Basileae: Froben, 1554). The rise and fall of Zedekiah are 
discussed in chapters 10 and 1 1 of book 10 of this edition. 

18. It is important to note that Gilbert Génébrard' s version is not his own. In reality, 
Génébrard' s translations is that of François Bourgoing, who is responsible for at least 
three vernacular editions of Flavius Josephus's Jewish Antiquities, in 1558, 1562, and 
1569 respectively. In his preface to the reader, Génébrard is perfectly clear about why 
he has found it necessary to republish his predecessor's text: 

Ne t'esmerveille pas, amy lecteur, si après un certain Hérétique nommé 
Bourgoing, j'ay voulu revoir et renouveller en François l'Historiographe 
Josephe, d'autant que, outre une infinité de bestises et asneries procedees de 
celuy, qui ne sçavoit ny Grec ny Hebrieu, et bien peu entendoit le Latin de 
Sigismond Gelenius, lequel seul il s'estoit proposé de suivre, il y a meslé de 
la poison, à la manière des autres hérétiques. 

In ail events, the chapter divisions of book 10 of the Jewish Antiquities as well as their 
contents correspond absolutely in both Bourgoing and Génébrard. This means that 
Gamier could very well have used Bourgoing' s edition in preparing his tragedy. One 



Renaissance et Réforme / 3 1 



reason for preferring Génébrard's version is that it is closer in date to Les Juifves. 
Another is that Génébrard would have been well known to Gamier as a prominent figure 
in the Counter-Reformation movement. Moreover, it is not impossible that Gamier and 
Génébrard frequented the same literary circles and knew one another on a more 
personal basis, for they both sent commendatory sonnets to André Thevet for his 
famous work. Les vrais pourtraits et vies des hommes illustres (Paris: Veuve J. Kervert 
etG. Chaudière, 1584). 

19. See R. Lebègue, op.cit., pp. 35, 92, 102 and 134, as well as his critical edition of the 
play, p. 276; M.- M. Mouflard, op.cit., pp. 188-189; and D. Seidmann, op.cit., p. 22. 

20. If Génébrard's edition is actually that of François Bourgoing, it should also be stated 
that Bourgoing's edition is itself derivative, having been translated from Sigismundus 
Gelenius's Latin text: "Quem postquam in conspectu habuit Nabuchodonosor, impium 
et foedifragum vocare coepit...," Flavii Josephi, Opera (Basileae: Frobren, 1554). 

21. Guillaume Michel's version is based on the latin of Tyrannius Rufinus: "Venientem 
quoque ad se regem: Nabuchodonosor impium et infoelicem vocare coepit...," Flavii 
Josephi, Opera (Venetiis: Bernardinus Vercellenses, 1502). 



Les opinions politiques d'un avocat 
parisien sous Henri IV: Antoine Arnauld 



MICHEL DE WAELE 



R 



.ésumé: Antoine Arnauld est surtout connu des historiens pour ses 
attaques virulentes contre les Jésuites. Mais cet avocat parisien a participé 
à tous les débats qui secouèrent la France durant le règne d'Henri IV. 
Royaliste convaincu, ardent défenseur des privilèges du parlement, ses 
opinions politiques reflètent les positions des nombreux robins qui, tout en 
s' inquiétant des tendances centralisatrices du roi et de certains de ses 
conseillers, souhaitaient voir le monarque et la monarchie respectés de 
nouveau par l'ensemble des Français après trente ans de guerres civiles. 

Le 12 juillet 1594, Antoine Arnauld prononce dans l'enceinte du parlement 
parisien un vibrant plaidoyer en faveur de l'Université de Paris dans le cadre 
du procès opposant cette institution à la Société de Jésus. Cette harangue eut 
un retentissement énorme, devenant "avec les Lettres Provinciales, une des 
sources qui ont fourni le plus d'arguments aux ennemis de la Compagnie."' 

Le succès de ce discours eut cependant un effet néfaste sur son auteur. En 
effet, les historiens ont "oublié" d'étudier les autres facettes du personnage, 
ne retenant de lui que ses prises de position contre les Jésuites.^ Ses enfants, 
qui deviendront d'ardents défenseurs du jansénisme en France, retiennent 
davantage l'attention des chercheurs. Sa fille, la mère Marie- Angélique, 
réformera l'abbaye de Port- Royal; son fils, le "Grand Arnauld" publiera de 
nombreux traités défendant la pensée janséniste.^ S'agit-il là pourtant des 
seuls points d'intérêt de cet avocat? 

Arnauld, il est vrai, n'est pas à proprement parler un "penseur" politique.. 
Il ne développe pas de théories personnelles sur les sujets faisant l'objet de 
débats en France à la fin des guerres de religion. Il intervient cependant dans 
plusieurs controverses qui secouent le royaume au tournant du XVIP siècle: 
les relations entre nobles de robe et nobles d'épée, le gallicanisme, le gouver- 
nement en général, le développement économique de la France. A une époque 
où près de la moitié des magistrats sont les premiers de leur famille à siéger 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 2 ( 1 993) 33 



34 / Renaissance and Reformation 



au sein du parlement et n'ont pas grandi au sein de la "République des 
Lettres," composée par les anciennes familles de robe, gardiennes des tradi- 
tions parlementaires, Arnauld défendra toujours avec virulence les coutumes 
et privilèges de cette institution à l'intérieur du royaume. Cette position mérite 
d'être examinée en détail, car, malgré tout le respect manifesté par Arnauld 
pour le roi et pour la monarchie, elle se traduira par une opposition à Henri 
IV durant la première partie de son règne. 

Le cheminement politique d'Antoine Arnauld nous éclaire sur les agisse- 
ments d'un certain nombre de parlementaires qui, fidèles au Béarnais durant 
les guerres de religion, s'opposeront presque conscientieusement à celui-ci 
après la reconquête du royaume par le roi. Soucieux de la stabilité de la France 
et du bien-être des Français, ces juristes lui reprocheront de ne pas s'occuper 
assez de ses sujets et de ne pas respecter les traditions qui avaient assuré jadis 
la grandeur de la nation. Arnauld n'a certes pas l'influence ou la réputation 
d'un Achille de Harlay, premier président du parlement de Paris, d'un Jacques 
Auguste de Thou, président à mortier ou de ses collègues avocats Etienne 
Pasquier et Antoine Loisel. Toutefois, l'étude de ses écrits montre que les 
idées défendues par les grands parlementaires traditionnalistes trouvent des 
échos favorables parmi les avocats du parlement, que la division du monde 
judiciaire parisien au tournant du XVIP siècle affecte l'ensemble du corps 
judiciaire. 



Antoine Arnauld est baptisé le 6 août 1560 en l'église Saint André des Arts, 
à Paris. Son père, bien que fidèle à la foi protestante, préféra, comme bon 
nombre de ses contemporains favorables à la Réforme, faire baptiser ses 
enfants. L'éducation première du jeune Arnauld se déroule ainsi dans la 
religion réformée, la famille se convertissant au catholicisme après la Saint- 
Barthélémy. Arnauld étudie ensuite au Collège de Navarre où il est reçu très 
jeune maître es arts. 

Avocat au parlement de Paris, Arnauld se fait rapidement remarquer de ses 
collègues par son éloquence. Il succède à son père comme procureur général 
de Catherine de Médicis et occupe également une charge d'auditeur des 
comptes, charge qu'il abandonne rapidement pour se consacrer uniquement 
au barreau. 

Le patriotisme d' Arnauld, un des traits majeurs de son caractère, éclate au 
grand jour dans quatre pamphlets, écrits alors que Paris se trouve aux mains 
des catholiques extrémistes de la Ligue."* Ce sentiment national intense, qui 
se manifeste dès les premiers écrits, se retrouvera dans toutes ses oeuvres. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 35 



Quatre notions retiennent particulièrement son attention: le roi et le royaume; 
la France et les Français; l'histoire nationale; et l'Eglise gallicane. Il ne fait 
jamais mention de la langue française, pourtant l'un des éléments majeurs de 
la conscience nationale durant la deuxième moitié du XVP siècle. La langue 
française, comme symbole de la conscience nationale, se manifesta surtout 
pour contrer la prédominance de l'italien. Les pamphlétaires royaUstes n'in- 
sistent jamais sur le danger de voir l'espagnol supplanter le français en cas 
de victoire de la Ligue. ^ 

Dans ses quatre premiers textes, Arnauld dénonce l'ingérence de l'Espagne 
dans les affaires françaises. Il tente également de regrouper ses concitoyens 
autour du roi légitime en mettant de l'avant, en accord avec la politique royale 
de réconciliation nationale, toute une série de concepts tels que la France, la 
patrie, l'Etat, la monarchie. Ces écrits jouiront d'un certain succès: en effet, 
rapidement traduit en anglais et distribué outre-Manche, V Anti-Espagnol 
sera republié en France en 1592 et en 1594. 

L'année 1594 marque un tournant important dans la vie d' Arnauld. Choisi 
par l'Université de Paris pour la représenter dans le procès l'opposant aux 
Jésuites, il livre, le 12 juillet, un plaidoyer qui ne laisse personne indifférent.^ 
Encore imprégné du caractère impétueux du pamphlétaire, Arnauld se laisse 
emporter par sa passion jusqu'à l'aveuglement. La calomnie tient une place 
importante dans ses propos, ce que lui reprocheront un certain nombre de ses 
contemporains, dont le chroniqueur Pierre de l'Etoile, pourtant peu sympa- 
thique aux Jésuites.^ 

Son patriotisme inspirera à Arnauld deux autres textes. En 1598, Henri IV 
contrôle la majeure partie de son royaume. Seule la Bretagne, tenue par le duc 
de Mercoeur, lui résiste encore. Arnauld publie alors un texte dans lequel il 
soutient les entreprises royales contre la province et le duc rebelles. En 1600, 
alors que la France et la Savoie sont aux prises au sujet du marquisat de 
Saluées, Arnauld dénonce la politique ambitieuse de la maison savoyarde.^ 

Arnauld aborde une nouvelle phase de sa carrière en 1602. Chassée de 
France après l'attentat commis par Jean Chastel contre le roi le 27 décembre 
1594, la Compagnie de Jésus entreprend au début du XVIP siècle des 
négociations en vue de son rétablissement dans le royaume. Celles-ci irritent 
au plus haut point Arnauld qui s'élève contre l'éventuel retour de la Société 
en France.^ Mais, ayant été bannie par un arrêt du parlement, la Société de 
Jésus ne peut être réintégrée par Henri IV sans contrevenir à un décret de sa 
cour souveraine. 

Ne se contentant plus de discourir contre les "méfaits" des Jésuites, 
Arnauld amorce une réflexion sur la place et les pouvoirs du souverain et du 



36 / Renaissance and Reformation 



parlement au sein de l'appareil gouvernemental. Son attachement pour la 
monarchie l'avait tenu éloigné des nombreux débats qui avaient éclaté sur la 
nature du gouvernement pendant les guerres de religion. Mais, faisant partie 
de la lignée plus "traditionnaliste" des parlementaires, il défend avec achar- 
nement les anciens privilèges de l'institution lorsque ceux-ci se trouvent 
menacés. 

L'attitude d'Henri IV et de certains de ses conseillers qui, tel Sully, veulent 
cantonner le parlement dans son rôle strictement juridique, a de quoi faire 
réfléchir Amauld. De plus en plus, le pouvoir central emploie des intendants 
et des commissaires pour accomplir des tâches jadis dévolues aux parlemen- 
taires. Le développement de la vénalité des offices affecte la position sociale, 
économique et politique de ces hommes à l'intérieur du royaume. C'est donc 
un cri d'alarme que lance Arnauld en 1608: plus personne ne respecte la 
justice, plus personne ne considère la vertu et le mérite; seule importe 
maintenant la richesse. ^^ 

Arnauld publiera un dernier texte adressé cette fois à Louis XIII, dans 
lequel il reprend ses critiques au sujet de la vénalité des offices, affirmant là 
qu'il s'agit du principal danger menaçant la France. Cette dernière, toutefois, 
doit également prendre garde aux duels qui minent les rangs de la noblesse, 
au déficit commercial enregistré avec l'Espagne, et à la faiblesse de sa 
marine. * ' 

Cinq ans plus tard, en décembre 1619, Antoine Amauld s'éteint, laissant à 
ses enfants une fortune considérable. A une époque où la chasse aux offices 
était monnaie courante au sein de la noblesse de robe, il a préféré conserver 
sa position d'avocat, refusant de nombreux postes offerts par les grands du 
royaume. Ce comportement s'oppose sur bien des points à celui de certains 
de ses collègues, de nouveaux pourvus notamment, pour qui la profession 
judiciaire constitue un investissement ou une simple étape dans la progression 
sociale ou politique. Pour Arnauld, elle représente davantage un devoir sacré, 
rempli de responsabilités.^^ 

* 9|( * 

Le sentiment nationaliste intense chez Arnauld, son attachement profond 
à la monarchie, l'amènent, pendant les guerres de religion, à se rallier au parti 
des Politiques. Ceux-ci sont prêts à reconnaître comme leur souverain le 
protestant Henri de Navarre, pour peu qu'il se convertisse au catholicisme. 
Le Béarnais, suite à l'assassinat du roi Henri III le l^'^ août 1589, devient le 
titulaire légitime de la couronne selon les règles établies par la loi salique. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 37 



Le nouveau roi a fort à faire pour reconquérir son royaume. Il ne contrôle 
qu'un sixième de celui-ci au moment de son accession. Hérétique relaps, 
excommunié par le pape, Henri IV promet dès son arrivée sur le trône de ne 
pas toucher à la religion catholique et de convoquer un concile pour régler la 
querelle religieuse. Il se convertit au catholicisme en juillet 1593. Il achète la 
fidélité de la plupart des chefs ligueurs, consentant à débourser des sommes 
énormes. Il pardonne à ses anciens ennemis leur rébellion, n'exilant (bien 
souvent temporairement) que quelques dizaines d'entre eux à la fm des 
guerres civiles. Lorsque ses armées capturent une ville, il interdit à quiconque, 
en commençant par ses propres procureurs, de revenir sur les événements 
passés. Il garantit à la ville et à ses habitants le maintien de leurs anciens 
privilèges. Il tente de regrouper ses sujets autour d'un objectif commun en 
déclarant la guerre à l'Espagne le 17 janvier 1595. En 1598, il proclame l'Edit 
de Nantes par lequel il espère voir la paix reUgieuse revenir dans le royaume. 
Finalement, en adoptant une politique mercantiliste, il tente de développer 
l'économie nationale. 

Les robins ont l'impression d'avoir grandement contribué aux succès 
d'Henri IV. De fait, dans la guerre de propagande qui opposait le parti royal 
et la Ligue dans la dernière phase des guerres de religion, le roi a pu compter 
sur l'appui de nombreux juristes qui écrivaient, souvent sur commande, des 
textes dénonçant l'action des ligueurs et de leurs alliés espagnols. De plus, la 
majorité des parlementaires parisiens suivent le roi dans son exil à Tours de 
1589 à 1594. Leurs collègues restés à Paris, alors que les catholiques zélés 
contrôlent la capitale, contribuent à leur façon à la victoire du Béarnais. Ils 
s'opposent aux prétentions extrémistes de la Ligue et distillent tranquillement 
le credo royaliste dans l'esprit des opposants au Béarnais. ^^ 

Mais plus encore, les parlementaires croient que ce dernier leur doit 
presque directement son trône. En 1593, les Etats-Généraux ligueurs s'assem- 
blent à Paris pour élire un roi. Le Cardinal de Bourbon, que les ligueurs 
avaient reconnu comme tel sous le nom de Charles X, était mort en mai 1590. 
Personne n'avait été désigné pour le remplacer. Ce projet ne peut toutefois 
être mené à terme. Un arrêt du parlement de Paris qui, épuré par la Ligue, 
était resté jusque là à peu près fidèle à la cause catholique, confirme le droit 
inaliénable d'Henri IV à la couronne en rappelant la prédominance de la loi 
salique. Le roi, sa légitimité confirmée, peut donc compléter la reconquête de 
son royaume. Les parlementaires rappelleront fréquemment cet épisode pour 
justifier la place qu'ils désirent occuper au sein du gouvernement national. '"^ 

Antoine Amauld met pour sa part sa plume au service d'Henri IV. Il sera 
l'un des pamphlétaires les plus virulents de l'époque, s 'acharnant sur les 



38 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Espagnols, accusés de vouloir s'emparer de la couronne française. Au temps 
des guerres de religion, les Espagnols jouissent d'une très mauvaise réputa- 
tion en Europe.'^ Dès le milieu du XV^ siècle, les ambassadeurs italiens en 
poste dans la péninsule ibérique propagent, dans leurs Relations, l'image d'un 
peuple peu industrieux, grossier, orgueilleux, rusé, pauvre et avare. Ils soup- 
çonnent le sang espagnol d'être fortement teinté de couleur juive ou maure. 
L'expansion de la puissance de Madrid tout au cours du XVP siècle entraîne 
une recrudescence de tous ces bruits. La France ne reste pas insensible à ces 
cris, d'autant que, depuis la fin XV^ siècle, elle affronte l'Espagne sur les 
différents champs de bataille européens. 

Soupçonnés de vouloir créer un empire universel envers et contre tous, 
n'hésitant pas à recourir à l'assassinat politique pour parvenir à leurs fins, les 
Castillans font l'objet d'une vaste campagne de dénigrement en France tout 
au long du siècle. Ainsi, en 1536, certains pamphlétaires ont vu la main de 
Madrid derrière la mort du dauphin de France, le fils de François P"".^^ La 
publication en 1552 de la Brevissima relacion de la destruccion de las Indias 
par Bartholomé de Las Casas et les événements de la guerre civile aux 
Pays-Bas fournissent aux pamphlétaires des guerres de religion de nombreux 
exemples de "l'atrocité" des soldats de Philippe II et du triste sort qui attend 
les Français s'ils laissent Madrid prendre possession de la France. 

Dans ses pamphlets, Arnauld joue uniquement sur les peurs primaires de 
la population, face à ce qu'il présente comme une entreprise de conquête de 
la part de Madrid. ^^ Il décrit la triste vie des Espagnols sous la férule d'un roi 
tyrannique, qui ne respecte ni l'Eglise qu'il prétend pourtant défendre, ni ses 
sujets. Il dépeint dans les deux Philippiques à la France la condition atroce 
dans laquelle sont tombées les populations maintenant placées sous la domi- 
nation espagnole, comme les Indiens d'Amérique ou les habitants des Pays- 
Bas. ^^ Rarement il s'en prend directement aux Français qui soutiennent le 
parti Ugueur. Il ne s'attaque nommément qu'au président Jeannin qui, en 
1592, est allé à Madrid offrir la couronne de France à une infante espagnole, ^^ 
au Duc de Mayenne, chef nominal du parti ligueur, qui préfère la domination 
d'un Philippe II à celle d'Henri IV, et au marquis de Vitry qui, fidèle serviteur 
d'Henri III, est allé tout de suite après l'assassinat de ce dernier plier le genou 
devant ses meurtriers présumés.^^ 

Se conformant aux principes avancés par le Béarnais, Arnauld cherche à 
pardonner aux Français leur engagement contre leur roi légitime. Séduits par 
l'or espagnol ou trompés par les discours des prédicateurs et des Jésuites, les 
ligueurs font davantage preuve d'irresponsabilité que de mauvaise volonté. 
On ne retrouve pas dans les pamphlets de notre avocat des attaques contre le 



Renaissance et Réforme / 39 



système politique que certains de ses collègues croient déceler au sein du parti 
des catholiques extrémistes, soupçonnés de vouloir abattre la monarchie pour 
instaurer la démocratie. Il n'en fait mention que vaguement à une seule 
reprise.^ ^ 

Malgré son gallicanisme virulent, qui se manifeste surtout dans ses textes 
écrits contre les Jésuites, Amauld ne s'attaque pas non plus à l'ingérence de 
la papauté dans les affaires temporelles françaises de cette époque. Cette 
ingérence n'est pourtant pas négligeable: en mai 1589, Sixte Quint excom- 
munie et dépose Henri III. En septembre 1585, il avait déjà déclaré Henri de 
Navarre et Henri de Condé inaptes à monter sur le trône français, déclaration 
renouvelée par Grégoire XIV en 1591. Certains pamphlétaires critiqueront 
sévèrement ces interventions.-^^ Amauld, toutefois, fidèle à son discours 
anti-espagnol, accuse Madrid de manipuler complètement les Saints Pères. 
Marionnettes entre les mains de PhiUppe II et, avant lui, de Charles Quint, les 
Papes, tout comme les ligueurs, ne peuvent être tenus complètement respon- 
sables de leurs actes. 

Amauld s'attaque, dès 1590, à l'intervention de Madrid dans les affaires 
françaises. Mais, il faut bien l'avouer, il n'ajoute rien de neuf au discours 
anti-espagnol. Il reprend les thèses servies par tous les ennemis de l'Espagne 
à cette époque: l'ambition et la tyrannie des monarques, l'inhumanité de 
l'inquisition, l'intransigeance de la population et son fanatisme religieux, la 
cmauté lors de la répression des révoltes. Tout ce qui concerne l'Espagne sert 
en fait de contre-exemple aux qualités du roi de France, de ses sujets et de 
son royaume. 

Ces textes permettent ainsi de voir quelles qualités Amauld recherche chez 
un roi. Ses sujets ne connaissent pas Henri IV lorsqu'il monte sur le trône le 
1^"^ août 1589. Eloigné de la Cour depuis 1576, son retour auprès d'Henri III 
ne date que du 30 avril précédent. Lors de son séjour à la Cour de 1572 à 
1576, il se fait remarquer par ses talents de danseur, de chasseur et par ses 
aventures amoureuses, laissant l'impression d'un prince léger. Cette image, 
bien qu'elle ne rende pas hommage à l'intelligence du Béarnais, correspond 
en partie toutefois à la réalité. En avril 1584, alors que la mort imminente du 
duc d'Anjou fera d'Henri de Navarre l'héritier présomptif de la Couronne, 
les principaux conseillers du Béarnais le convient à mener enfin une vie digne 
de sa nouvelle situation. -^^ 

Eloigné du gouvemement central, occupé à guerroyer, le nouveau souve- 
rain n'a pu apprendre les rouages de l'administration du royaume en partici- 
pant, par exemple, au Conseil du roi. Les panégyriques qui lui sont adressés 
au début de son règne insistent donc sur ses vertus guerrières alors que son 



40 / Renaissance and Reformation 



prédécesseur fut louange, au début du sien, tant pour ses actions militaires 
que pour ses interventions passées au cours des séances du Conseil.^"^ De 
nombreux partisans du Béarnais se sentent donc justifiés de glisser dans leurs 
écrits des indications plus ou moins précises sur ce qu'ils attendent d'Henri 
IV. 

Se servant du contre-exemple de Philippe II, "demi-maure, demi juif, 
demi-sarrazin," Arnauld demande un vrai Français comme souverain, ce qui 
lui permet d'écarter les prétendants de la maison de Lorraine à la succession 
au trône.^^ La clémence d'Henri IV contraste avec la cruauté des rois 
espagnols, sa franchise l'emporte sur leur fausseté. Le Béarnais aime ses 
sujets, ne désire que leur repos, alors que Philippe II "ne semble être en terre 
que comme un fléau pour la battre." Le roi castillan n'ose pas affronter 
lui-même les armées ennemies. Il se terre derrière ses montagnes et envoie 
sa noblesse se faire massacrer à sa place. Cela ne le dérange pas, car il craint 
les nobles, n'a pas confiance en eux. Jaloux de tout le monde, il interdit à ses 
sujets de se rencontrer de peur qu'ils ne complotent contre lui. Ceux-ci ont 
appris à s'opposer et à se révolter devant les impôts excessifs levés par 
Madrid. Le peuple ne doit attendre de Philippe II que le mépris, l'esclavage, 
la mort. 

Henri IV, de son côté, aimera ses sujets, et particulièrement sa noblesse. Il 
écoutera ainsi les conseils de celle-ci pour l'aider à administrer convenable- 
ment le royaume. Loyaux, ses sujets pourront avoir confiance en lui. Géné- 
reux, mais non dépensier, il ne sombrera ni dans l'avarice, ni dans une trop 
grande libéralité. Il garantira un règne de paix aux Français, ce qui lui 
permettra de maintenir à un niveau acceptable les impôts. Roi clément, il 
évitera les punitions injustifiées et inutiles. Roi juste, il fera en sorte que la 
justice et ses mandataires soient respectés. Il s'assurera du redressement de 
la religion, veillant à ce que les abus disparaissent de l'Eglise et à ce que les 
huguenots rejoignent tranquillement le giron de celle-ci. Mais, avant toute 
chose, le roi cherchera à pacifier son royaume. 

La politique de réconciliation nationale mise de l'avant par Henri IV vise 
à appaiser les tensions franco-françaises, non à les entretenir. Arnauld utilise 
les Espagnols comme un exutoire à ses passions. Il ne tente pas de cacher les 
"crimes" commis par les membres du parti catholique, mais plutôt de les 
expliquer. Il fait appel, dès lors, à des faiblesses bien humaines pour excuser 
leur révolte: stupidité, légèreté, cupidité, ambition. On le surprend même à 
prendre pitié de ces "pauvres Hgueurs, à qui le jugement et la prévoyance ont 
toujours plus défailly que la bonne volonté."^^ Toutefois, Arnauld ne par- 
donne pas à certains membres du clergé d'avoir "converti en fiel la douceur 



Renaissance et Réforme / 41 



de la parole divine."^^ Les prédicateurs méritent le sort que leur réserve Henri 
IV: l'exil. 

Chassés progressivement du royaume, les Espagnols ne représentent plus 
une menace véritable pour la sécurité nationale à la fm de l'année 1594. 
Toutefois, leurs agents, les soldats choisis par Philippe II pour "attiser et 
allumer continuellement ce grand feu, dans lequel cette monarchie a quasi été 
consumée" sont toujours présents en France et vivent impunément au coeur 
même de Paris, à deux pas du Louvre et du roi. 

En bon gallican, Arnauld ne pouvait tolérer la présence des Jésuites en 
France. La "conjuration" Papauté-Espagne-Société de Jésus représente, à ses 
yeux, une menace directe pour les droits et privilèges de l'EgUse en France. 
Dans ses textes, il s'attarde peu sur les débats théologiques entourant la 
question des Jésuites: sont-ils réguliers ou sécuUers? Que penser du nom 
même de l'ordre? Arnauld s'intéresse davantage aux actes perpétrés, ou 
supposément perpétrés, par des membres de la Compagnie lors des guerres 
civiles. 

Le rôle joué par les Jésuites pendant les guerres de religion demeure assez 
confus. En 1585-86, alors qu'un des leurs, le père Edmond Auger est le 
confesseur attitré d'Henri III, ses collègues Claude Matthieu et Henri Samier 
travaillent activement pour le duc de Guise. Le provincial de l'ordre, Odon 
Pigenat, et le général Aquaviva tentent de garder une certaine neutralité, mais 
ne réussissent pas à la faire respecter par leurs ouailles. Il semble bien qu'il 
existe deux factions au sein de l'ordre à cette époque: une gallicane, plus 
proche du roi, et une autre ultramontaine, fidèle à la Ligue. ^^ Quelle fut alors 
l'attitude des Jésuites au cours des premières années du règne d'Henri IV? 
Certains font d'eux les moteurs de la Ligue, d'autres les modérateurs.^^ 

Arnauld s'attaque vigoureusement à la Société de Jésus qu'il accuse de 
vouloir s'emparer, pour le compte du roi d'Espagne, des richesses et de l'âme 
des Français. Prêts à tout pour atteindre ces objectifs, les Jésuites s'en 
prennent aux bases mêmes de la nation, notamment aux liens unissant les 
sujets à leur roi. Deux propositions soutenues par quelques-uns d'entre eux 
soulèvent particulièrement l'ire d' Arnauld. La première concerne le pouvoir 
du pape de délier les sujets du serment d'allégeance au souverain. La 
deuxième affirme qu'un monarque excommunié par le pape peut être assas- 
siné en qualité de tyran. Ces propositions viennent en parfaite contradiction 
avec les doctrines de l'Eglise gallicane, défendues passionnément par Ar- 
nauld. Dès lors, il accuse la Compagnie d'avoir armé Jacques Clément, le 
meurtrier d'Henri III, et d'avoir fomenté toutes les tentatives d'assassinat 
politique commises en Europe au cours de la deuxième moitié du XVP siècle. 



42 / Renaissance and Reformation 



L'acharnement d'Amauld contre les Espagnols, puis, une fois que le 
danger représenté par ceux-ci s'estompe, contre les Jésuites, est avant tout 
politique. A la recherche d'outils en faveur de la réconciliation nationale, il 
tente de canaliser les énergies des Français contre des ennemis extérieurs à 
la nation. Ce faisant, Amauld n'agit pas seul: de nombreux écrits anti-Jésuites 
restés jusque là à l'état de manuscrits sont publiés simultanément en 1595. 

La hargne de notre avocat contre les Jésuites vient-elle du fait qu'il 
favorisait en secret le calvinisme? De nombreuses personnes ont voulu le faire 
croire. C'est le cas, entre autres, de Philippe Hurault de Cheverny, chancelier 
du royaume, qui prétend que les "calomnieuses allégations" d' Arnauld et de 
Louis Dole, qui représentait au procès les curés de la capitale, "ne servirent 
à la fin que de les faire reconnaître pour tels que chacun les soupçonnait."^^ 
Le jésuite Louis Richéome qui, en 1595, répond sous le couvert d'un pseu- 
donyme au plaidoyer d' Arnauld affirme, dès l'avant- propos de sa défense, 
que les protestants se cachent derrière les attaques du parlement.-^* 

Les huguenots devaient, en effet, espérer le renvoi hors de France d'un 
ordre religieux voué à 1' eradication de l'hérésie et à l'éducation catholique 
de la jeunesse. Mais, bien qu'élevé au sein d'une famille protestante, Arnauld 
professe régulièrement dans ses textes son attachement au catholicisme. 
Celui-ci a joué, selon lui, un rôle important dans l'histoire nationale puisque 
"son commencement en France achève de trancher le lien de la servitude du 
Romain."^^ Amauld voit donc dans la religion catholique un symbole de 
l'indépendance du royaume. Sa haine des Jésuites vient davantage de son 
attachement au gallicanisme qu'à une hypothétique foi protestante. 

On peut toutefois se surprendre du ton adopté par Amauld dans son 
plaidoyer. De nombreux auteurs ont mis en lumière les exagérations, les 
erreurs, les invraisemblances que l'on retrouve dans cette furieuse diatribe. 
Le père Richéome affirme y avoir relevé "plus de trois cents mensonges 
évidents, et environ deux cents calomnies; d'ignorance, et sottises à force."-^^ 
Pourquoi, alors que Paris vient tout juste de se rendre au roi et que la France 
est sur la voie de la pacification, faire retentir encore une fois les trompettes 
de la guerre? Pourquoi le faire alors que, depuis son accession au trône en 
1589, Henri IV appelle les Français à l'oubli des fautes passées? 

Outre la théorie du "complot" protestant évoquée plus haut, certains 
historiens ont avancé que l'Université de Paris cherchait à faire oublier au 
plus vite le soutien qu'elle avait elle-même accordé à la Ligue en déclarant, 
entre autres, Henri de Navarre inapte à monter sur le trône de France. Charger 
les Jésuites de tous les maux servait ainsi à décharger la conscience de ceux 
qui pouvaient avoir quelques reproches à s'adresser quant à leur attitude lors 



Renaissance et Réforme / 43 



des guerres civiles.^^ Les Jésuites, présentés comme une troupe de soldats 
étrangers, remplacent les Espagnols comme exutoire aux passions françaises. 
De plus, il est indéniable que les parlementaires gallicans désiraient se 
débarasser d'ultramontains aussi ardents et que l'Université voulait régler une 
querelle vieille de plus de 30 ans.^^ Mais s'il avait probablement ces idées en 
tête, Amauld pense surtout à une chose: la survie du roi. Telle sera la hantise 
des parlementaires durant tout le règne d'Henri IV; telle est l'idée qui explique 
la virulence de la polémique anti-jésuite au tournant du XVIP siècle. 

Les magistrats perçoivent Henri IV d'abord et avant tout comme un 
guerrier ne détenant pas la formation requise pour devenir un bon chef de 
gouvernement. La vivacité de son esprit, si utile lors d'une bataille, lui permet 
de prendre des décisions politiques rapides, mais ses conseillers doivent 
soigneusement lui préparer auparavant le terrain.-^^ Cette opposition entre le 
roi soldat et le roi gouvernant perturbe les parlementaires qui rappellent 
fréquemment à Henri IV qu'il ne règne pas pour lui seul, qu'il a la responsa- 
bilité de ses sujets, qu'il doit donc rester en vie en prenant moins de risques, 
particulièrement à la guerre.^^ Si les magistrats ne peuvent empêcher le 
Béarnais de charger à la tête de ses troupes, comme il le fait régulièrement, 
ils peuvent le prémunir contre les assassins éventuels que sont les Jésuites et 
leurs élèves. 

Cette phobie du tyrannicide explique pourquoi le parlement de Paris, 
profitant d'une cause qui ne le concernait en rien, renouvelle son arrêt 
d'expulsion contre les Jésuites en 1597.^^ Elle explique également la vigueur 
de la polémique anti-jésuite lors de leur rappel par Henri IV en 1603 et lors 
de l'assassinat du roi en 1610. Arnauld s'en fait l'écho: dans son plaidoyer 
de 1594 et dans le Franc et véritable discours de 1602, il supplie le roi de 
penser à sa survie. 

La mort du roi replongerait la France dans le chaos des guerres civiles. Les 
théories avancées par des jésuites tels Juan de Mariana et Emmanuel Sa, 
théories soutenant le tyrannicide, inquiètent au plus haut point les parlemen- 
taires qui, après plus de 30 ans de guerres civiles, désirent voir la France vivre 
en paix et le roi s'attaquer aux problèmes de base qui ont favorisé le 
développement des troubles: une fiscalité trop élevée, une justice trop peu 
respectée, des privilèges accordés à tort et à travers, le mérite et la vertu 
supplantés par la richesse. Pour mettre un terme à ces excès, la stabilité du 
gouvernement est indispensable; le royaume a besoin d'un gouvernement 
central fort, d'un règne paisible, d'un règne d'une longue durée et d'une 
succession au trône assurée. 



44 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Henri IV doit vivre. Tant du point de vue psychologique que sur le plan 
politique, la survie du roi prend une importance énorme. Depuis 1589, le 
Béarnais est présenté comme 1' "Hercule français," celui qui, par sa vaillance, 
mettrait un terme aux guerres civiles. Suite à 40 ans de règne assurés par des 
rois faibles, mineurs ou impuissants, la propagande royale fait de son cham- 
pion le panacée à tous les maux de la France. Elu de Dieu, Henri IV est le roi 
providentiel, le sauveur du royaume. De là découlent la hantise des magistrats 
quant à la survie du roi et leur crainte des Jésuites.^^ 

L'accent mis sur cette question montre le clivage existant parmi les 
parlementaires d'Henri IV. Les adversaires des Jésuites au sein du parlement 
mettent d'abord de l'avant la stabilité poHtique du royaume ou la défense 
d'institutions nationales telles que l'Université de Paris ou l'Eglise gallicane. 
Les défenseurs de l'ordre pensent, eux, à la sauvegarde de la religion catho- 
lique ou même à leurs intérêts personnels: pour certains d'entre eux, la 
gratuité de l'éducation dispensée par les Jésuites prend une grande impor- 
tance.^^ L' indépendance nationale face à la primauté de la religion, et la survie 
à tout prix des institutions selon les anciennes coutumes opposée aux intérêts 
particuliers de leurs membres: les divisions du parlement d'Henri IV tourne- 
ront toujours autour de ces deux questions. 

Les Jésuites ne furent pas les seuls ecclésiastiques à s'impliquer dans la 
Ligue, mais Amauld ne s'intéresse pas aux ordres qui ne sont pas liés à la 
théorie du tyrannicide. Contrairement à ce que l'on serait peut-être en droit 
de s'attendre de la part d'un anti-ligueur acharné, il ne se livre pas non plus 
à une attaque en règle contre le rôle dominant joué par les gens d'Eglise dans 
la vie politique et sociale de la nation durant les guerres civiles. Ceux-ci ont 
pourtant été les hérauts de la rébellion, diffusant constamment dans leurs 
sermons les mots d'ordre des Seize, les chefs de la Ligue parisienne. 

Arnauld ne revient pas sur ce sujet. Pourtant, au cours de cette période, de 
nombreuses personnes s'interrogent sur la place exacte que devaient occuper 
les ecclésiastiques au sein de la société. Arnauld se contente de signaler 
l'importance des prélats dans le maintien du catholicisme en France, notam- 
ment par la supervision du travail des prêtres et des curés de leurs diocèses.^^ 
Il ne formule aucune remarque à l'endroit de ces derniers. 

Ainsi, Arnauld n'aborde jamais les aspects canoniques du gallicanisme, 
c'est-à-dire l'organisation ecclésiastique même du royaume. Il se contente de 
proclamer l'indépendance du roi face à Rome ou face à toute domination 
étrangère. A ce titre, son gallicanisme se rapproche de celui de Pasquier, de 
de Thou ou de Leschassier et s'éloigne de celui d'anciens parlementaires 
ligueurs, tels Hotman ou Lasnier de l'Effretier qui, désireux de faire oubUer 



Renaissance et Réforme / 45 



leur passé ultramontain, défendent une conception plutôt modérée des libertés 
à accorder à l'Église gallicane."^^ 

Malgré cet attachement sincère à son Eglise nationale, Amauld est prêt à 
tolérer provisoirement la coexistence de deux religions au sein de la nation. 
Il reprend à son compte les idées sous-jacentes à tous les edits de tolérance 
signés par les rois de France de 1562 à 1598: la tolérance est perçue comme 
une mesure provisoire permettant, à moyen ou long terme, l'établissement de 
la concorde.^^ 

Pouvait-il adopter une autre position? Le dilemme, tel que se le posent les 
Politiques à la fin des guerres de religion est, somme toute, assez simple: "il 
ne nous reste plus autre chose, ou que de nous ruiner et périr tous ensemble, 
sans que l'un ait à se moquer de son compagnon: ou, de laisser vivre les uns 
et les autres en paix et liberté de conscience.'"^ L'idée de tolérance a ainsi 
fait beaucoup de chemin au cours des guerres civiles. Deux hommes reconnus 
pour leur modération au milieu du XVP siècle, Estienne de La Boétie et 
Michel de Montaigne, soutenaient pour leur part que la tolérance équivalait 
à céder à la violence, à légitimer l'opposition à la volonté royale ."^^ 

En dépit de son gallicanisme farouche, Arnauld, à l'inverse de certains de 
ses contemporains, y compris quelques prélats, ne recherche pas le schisme 
avec Rome."^^ Il ne croit pas non plus qu'un concile national puisse régler le 
différend religieux. Il préfère laisser le temps faire son oeuvre, convaincu que 
la patience et l'éducation ouvriront les yeux des protestants et les inciteront 
à rejoindre le giron de l'Eglise catholique, ou plutôt de l'Eglise gallicane. 

Uni au sein de cette Eglise, les Français ne peuvent se permettre de laisser 
subsister d'autres tensions entre eux, particulièrement des tensions sociales. 
Or, l'animosité est grande entre nobles de robe et nobles d'épée à la fin du 
XVP siècle. Les premiers essaient de s'extirper du Tiers-Etat, alors que les 
seconds s'y opposent car, selon eux, cela signifierait un nivellement social 
dans la roture. 

De nombreux historiens tendent maintenant à minimiser les différences 
fondamentales que l'on percevait auparavant entre aristocrates et robins, à 
considérer ces deux groupes comme une seule classe ayant plus ou moins de 
cohésion. Ce fait est reconnu d'ailleurs par des magistrats vivant loin de la 
capitale."^^ Toutefois, si ce schéma s'applique aux provinces, au sein de 
parlements créés récemment, on ne le retrouve pas à l'intérieur du parlement 
de Paris où la tradition d'indépendance des parlementaires face au pouvoir 
central et à la noblesse est plus ancrée. Il ne s'agit pas de dire que les relations 
entre robins et nobles d'épée sont inexistantes à l'intérieur de la capitale, bien 
au contraire. De nombreux magistrats oeuvrent au sein des maisons des 



46 / Renaissance and Reformation 



grands du royaume. Les contacts entre ces deux groupes sont quotidiens. 
Toutefois, sur le plan politique, les frictions demeurent. Gravitant quotidien- 
nement autour du pouvoir central et se posant tous comme les conseillers 
privilégiés du roi, robins et aristocrates ne peuvent que s'affronter sur la 
question de leur place respective dans l'administration du royaume. 

La faiblesse ou l'impuissance des rois qui régnent de 1559 à 1589 incite 
les différents groupes politiques ou sociaux à tenter d'accroître leur influence 
au sein du royaume et de l'appareil gouvernemental. Ces divisions sont encore 
bien présentes à la fm des guerres civiles et se manifesteront, par exemple, 
lors de l'assemblée des notables tenue à Rouen en 1596.^^ Henri IV et ses 
alliés doivent s'y faire face. Fier d'être un robin, Antoine Arnauld ne montre 
pourtant aucune rancoeur à l'égard de l'ancienne aristocratie dont il respecte 
l'utilité publique et didactique. 

Un sentiment anti-nobiliaire se développe tout au long des guerres de 
religion. Chargés (officiellement) de protéger le roi et de défendre la popula- 
tion contre les invasions étrangères, les nobles d'épée pillent villes et cam- 
pagnes tout en essayant de s'assurer le contrôle des principautés 
indépendantes au détriment du pouvoir central. L'animosité à leur égard 
affecte nécessairement les robins, qui désirent former avec l'ancienne no- 
blesse un seul tout. Or, qui serait intéressé à s'unir à un groupe déprécié par 
l'ensemble de la population? Deux choix s'offrent alors àeux: soutenir qu'une 
nouvelle noblesse, celle de robe, doit supplanter l'ancienne aristocratie ou, 
compte tenu de l'importance des vertus guerrières dans l'idéologie populaire, 
s'efforcer de redorer le blason de la noblesse d'épée pour pouvoir jouir, une 
fois l'union des deux noblesses accomplie, des lauriers des anciens nobles. 
Arnauld adopte cette dernière position. 

L'utilité publique des nobles d'épée ne fait aucun doute à ses yeux. Ceux-ci 
doivent défendre le royaume contre ses ennemis extérieurs. L'histoire de 
France, citée à maintes reprises par Arnauld, se voit remplie des hauts faits 
du premier ordre de la nation "qui au prix de son sang acquiert à son Roy la 
gloire et l'honneur des batailles.'"^^ Par ailleurs, la noblesse des parlemen- 
taires "se voit encore plus illustre, pour être sortie des parlements."^^ Les 
deux groupes jouissent des mêmes qualités les différenciant du populaire: 
vertu, mérite, courage, valeur des ancêtres, environnement familial favorable. 
Se sentant membres à part entière de cette aristocratie attaquée par une large 
part de la population, Arnauld se croit obligé de la défendre. Il la place alors 
sous la protection du roi, arguant que, si sans roi la noblesse n'est rien, sans 
noblesse le roi n'existerait pas. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 47 



Il semble donc qu'Arnauld ait appuyé toutes les facettes de la politique 
royale de réconciliation nationale: réconciliation politique, réconciliation 
religieuse, réconciliation sociale. Son appui va plus loin. Ainsi, bien que 
généralement peu préoccupé par les questions économiques, il soutient tout 
de même les idées mercantilistes avancées par Henri IV, Sully et certains de 
leurs collaborateurs, tels Olivier de Serres ou Barthélémy de Laffemas, en 
vue de favoriser l'économie nationale: développement industriel, balance 
commerciale positive, développement de la marine, développement de colo- 
nies comme la Nouvelle-France.^^ Mais l'idylle ne dure pas. Tout en gardant 
tout son respect pour le roi, Amauld ne fera bientôt plus confiance au 
gouvernement. 



Après 30 ans de guerres civiles, la France ressent le besoin se se stabiliser. 
Les Français recherchent non seulement une sécurité théologique, comme le 
montre le renouveau catholique au début du X VIP siècle, mais également une 
sécurité plus positive à tendance politique.^^ La majorité d'entre eux désirent 
un roi fort, capable de maintenir la paix à l'intérieur du royaume. Les penseurs 
proches du mouvement des Politiques accorderont, dans leurs ouvrages, de 
plus en plus de pouvoirs au souverain, favorisant le développement de 
l'absolutisme. Cette évolution plaît d'ailleurs à Henri IV qui, s'il accepte et 
recherche même les conseils, tient à ce que les décisions finales lui reviennent 
et que sa volonté soit suivie par tous. 

La défense des privilèges corporatifs, religieux ou politiques s'accorde mal 
avec l'obéissance au gouvernement et à son premier représentant, le roi. Mais, 
seul ce dernier est capable de stabiliser le royaume. Henri de Navarre, désigné 
par la loi salique pour régner, doit prendre en main les destinées de la nation. 
Il le fait en tentant de centraliser les pouvoirs, ce qui ne peut manquer de 
provoquer certaines tensions.^^ 

En fait, des conflits éclatent, car, alors qu'il tente de reconquérir son 
royaume, Henri IV ne laisse pas supposer qu'il va adopter plus tard un mode 
de gouvernement de type absolutiste. Occupé à rallier des individus à sa cause, 
il donne aux élites nationales l'impression d'être un roi conciliant, voire 
faible. Les Politiques qui, eux, désirent un monarque fort, s'inquiètent d'ail- 
leurs de la complaisance du roi face à ses anciens ennemis. Les nécessités 
inhérentes à la reconstruction du royaume à la fin des guerres de religion 
amènent finalement le Béarnais à dévoiler son vrai visage. Les partenaires du 
pouvoir royal réagiront à ce changement d'attitude. 



48 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Ainsi, certains juristes de province, au service des grands du royaume, se 
battent pour conserver à leurs maîtres leurs anciens privilèges. Guy Coquille, 
procureur général du duc de Nevers, est peut-être le plus connu d'entre eux.^"^ 
Des villes tentent également de préserver leurs anciennes libertés.^^ Les 
parlemetaires parisiens, pour leur part, s'inquiètent de cette situation. Henri 
IV, mal conseillé, prend des décisions contraires aux intérêts de la France. 
Loin de régler les problèmes ayant entraîné le royaume dans le tourbillon des 
guerres de religion, il les amplifie.^^ 

Pressé par les nécessités de la guerre contre l'arrière garde ligueuse, 
l'Espagne ou la Savoie, le roi multiplie les edits financiers extraordinaires. 
Le parlement refuse de les enregistrer, arguant que le peuple en souffrirait 
trop. Si Henri IV veut trouver de l'argent, qu'il assainisse l'administration de 
ses finances, lui répondent-ils. S'il veut être respecté, qu'il fasse en sorte que 
sa Justice et ses officiers soient respectés à la grandeur du royaume. Le 
souverain demandé par les parlementaires pendant les guerres de la Ligue, 
celui-là que voudrait voir régner Antoine Arnauld, ne correspond pas au 
"nouvel" Henri IV. 

Aux yeux des parlementaires, le Béarnais n'est pas entièrement respon- 
sable de ce qui arrive. Il se laisse manipuler par ses conseillers, plusieurs 
d'entre eux étant d'anciens ligueurs. Le roi devrait s'en débarasser et créer, 
avec l'aide du parlement, un nouveau conseil composé de nobles d'épée, de 
robins, de financiers soucieux de l'état du royaume et du bonheur des sujets. ^^ 
Mais le roi refuse. Le parlement ne dispose donc plus que d'une arme pour 
tenter de guider Henri IV "dans la bonne direction:" il s'agit de bloquer 
l'enregistrement des edits royaux et de faire des remontrances au roi afin de 
lui présenter des alternatives à sa démarche. 

Le parlement vérifie les edits et ordonnances du souverain pour s'assurer 
qu'ils soient conformes à la loi et à la justice, qu'ils soient "justes et 
raisonnables." L'imprécision de ces termes, le manque de clarté du processus 
de vérification permettent tous les abus: "le pouvoir et l'attribution du 
Parlement se connaissent mieux par l'usage que par l'institution," affirme un 
traité datant du règne de Louis XIII. ^^ Les magistrats en profitent pour 
bloquer régulièrement les initiatives royales et dénoncer les mauvais conseil- 
lers du roi. 

Le principe du gouvernement par conseil est né en France en même temps 
que la monarchie. Les individus les plus importants du royaume composent 
les premiers conseils du roi, appelés parlements. La multiplication des affaires 
force Philippe le Bel à sédentariser la cour. Alors que le parlement continue 
à s'occuper des affaires civiles et criminelles, le Grand Conseil, qui 



Renaissance et Réforme / 49 



accompagne le monarque dans ses déplacements, s'intéresse sur une base 
quotidienne aux affaires de l'Etat. Les circonstances amènent toutefois au fil 
des ans les rois de France à requérir l'appui juridique des magistrats dans le 
cas des affaires politiques. Graduellement, le pouvoir d'enregistrement des 
Cours souveraines s'étend à ce domaine, pour devenir incontournable sous 
Henri IV. 

Les ordres du monarque étant, selon Amauld, sans appel, la ou les limites 
de son pouvoir doivent être placées à l'intérieur du processus de décision. 
Malgré la place qu'ils lui accordent au dessus de la loi, les penseurs politiques 
de l'époque considèrent que le roi peut errer en celle-ci et être corrigé par ses 
cours souveraines. C'est le frein de justice présenté par Claude de Seyssel au 
début du XVP siècle, que tous les auteurs reprendront à leur compte.^^ 
Arnauld, pour sa part, insiste moins sur le pouvoir pratique de vérification 
des parlements - il ne s'interroge jamais sur les questions qui sont du ressort 
du parlement - que sur l'importance théorique de répondre aux besoins et 
attentes des sujets. 

Si les ordres du souverain doivent être respectés, ce dernier se doit toutefois 
de prendre le pouls de la population avant de les dicter. ^^ L'enjeu pour les 
différents "groupes de pression" du début du XVIP siècle sera d'avoir 
l'oreille du roi, de se faire valoir comme les plus aptes à le conseiller. Arnauld 
en est bien conscient: "Les Rois ne voient que par les yeux d' autrui, n'enten- 
dent que par les oreilles étrangères," affirme-t-il.^^ 

Mais la meilleure façon de connaître l'avis des sujets ne consiste-t-elle pas 
à convoquer les Etats- Généraux de la nation? Ceux qui se sont tenus pendant 
les guerres de religion laissent un souvenir amer aux Français. Les derniers 
en date, assemblés par la Ligue en 1593, ne devaient-ils pas procéder à 
l'élection d'un roi en dépit de la loi salique? Bien que certains théoriciens 
appuient encore fermement cette institution, Henri IV ne veut pas y faire 
appel .^^ Il préférera convoquer en 1596 une assemblée des notables, institu- 
tion para-légale, pour discuter des problèmes qui assaillent la France à cette 
époque. 

Quoiqu'il accorde beaucoup d'importance au peuple (compte tenu de la 
définition qu'il donne au mot "peuple," cf. n. 60) et qu'il reconnaisse la valeur 
des Etats-Généraux qui "connaissent nieux que tous les autres, l'humeur de 
leur nation,"^^ Amauld, jaloux des privilèges du parlement, n'est pas prêt à 
accorder à la population ou à une autre institution un rôle direct dans la 
conduite des affaires de la nation. Seul le parlement peut conseiller adéqua- 
tement le roi sur une base quotidienne, puisque les États-Généraux ne se 
réunissent qu'occasionnellement. 



50 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Arnauld, contrairement à son beau-père Simon Marion, ne fait pas du 
parlement un abrégé des États-Généraux.^ La cour, ou le peuple, ne peut 
donc jamais imposer sa volonté au roi. Homme passionné, jaloux des privi- 
lèges parlementaires, Arnauld s'efface devant la "raison d'Etat" et la volonté 
royale. Il pardonne aux ligueurs leur insurrection contre le roi légitime car tel 
le veut celui-ci. Malgré ses virulentes sorties à leur endroit, il ne s'attaque 
plus publiquement aux Jésuites après leur rétablissement par Henri IV. En 
cela, il met en pratique ce qu'il prêche lui-même: les désirs du souverain se 
doivent d'être suivis par tous, à la grandeur du royaume.^^ 

Cela ne signifie pas qu'il accepte aveuglément la politique d'Henri IV et 
de certains de ses ministres qui veulent confiner les cours souveraines à un 
rôle purement juridique. Ceux-ci confient de plus en plus de tâches et de 
pouvoirs à des commissaires et à des intendants au détriment des parlements. 
Egalement, le roi élargit la pratique de la vénalité des offices, malgré l'oppo- 
sition à laquelle il fait face de la part des nobles, des ecclésiastiques et d'une 
partie des officiers. Les parlementaires doivent aussi contrer les ambitions 
des nobles d'épée. Ces derniers, dans leur ensemble, jugeaient absolument 
nécessaire la présence des princes du sang, des grands officiers de la Cou- 
ronne et des pairs au Conseil du roi. Certains d'entre eux soutenaient de plus 
que seuls les gentilhommes avaient le droit d'y siéger.^^ De telles visées ne 
pouvaient qu'aiguillonner les prétentions des robins. 

Arnauld, nous l'avons vu, ne doute pas de la valeur de la noblesse tradi- 
tionnelle. Toutefois, il soutient que la conduite des affaires publiques doit 
revenir au monarque et aux cours souveraines, les nobles d'épée devant 
consacrer leurs énergies à défendre le royaume. Les affaires d'Etat demandent 
un minimum de stabilité politique aussi bien que territoriale. Occupés à courir 
les frontières nationales pour y repousser l'étranger, les aristocrates ne 
peuvent conseiller rapidement et efficacement le souverain puisqu'ils n'ont 
qu'une vision partielle du royaume et qu'ils se retrouvent bien souvent 
éloignés de lui. La stabilité politique des parlements au fil des ans et leur 
représentativité nationale leur assurent naturellement le rôle de principaux 
conseillers du monarque. 

A l'instar de tous les historiens de son époque, Arnauld fait commencer 
l'histoire du parlementarisme en France au VHP siècle. Les plus grands 
monarques ont écrit cette histoire: Charles Martel en jeta les fondements; 
Pépin le Bref en autorisa l'établissement; Charlemagne, Hugues Capet et 
Philippe le Bel les renforcèrent. Arnauld s'attarde longuement à rapporter les 
exploits passés des parlements, n' hésitant pas à avancer l' idée qu' ils ont sauvé 
la France à maintes reprises du désastre. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 5 1 



Partisan des cours souveraines, Arnauld attribue à celles-ci plusieurs actes 
que d'autres auteurs allouent aux Etats-Généraux. Cette confusion provient 
de l'origine commune, selon certains, de ces deux institutions. Ainsi, selon 
Loys Le Roy, le monarque avait coutume d'entendre les conseils de ses sujets 
lors d'assemblées périodiques. Devant séparer les plaintes personnelles de 
celles touchant au général de l'Etat, le roi donna mandat au parlement de 
s'occuper des premières alors qu'il continuait à convoquer annuellement les 
États-Généraux pour s'occuper des deuxièmes.^^ Le Roy, contrairement à 
Arnauld qui se fie surtout aux Recherches d'Etienne Pasquier pour présenter 
son histoire du parlement, croit que ce sont les Etats qui contribuèrent à tirer 
le royaume de maintes situations difficiles. 

Pour tous les penseurs politiques de l'époque, cependant, les personnages 
les plus influents du royaume se rassemblaient au sein des premiers parle- 
ments. Les nouveaux parlementaires se recrutant, depuis le début du XVP 
siècle, presque exclusivement dans le monde du barreau, la cour ne peut plus 
d'une façon ou d'une autre prétendre représenter l'opinion des grands corps 
socio-politiques de l'Etat. Pour pallier à ce problème, Arnauld insiste alors 
sur la répartition géographique des huit parlements de France. Se retrouvant 
aux quatre coins du royaume, ils sont à même de recueillir l'avis de l'ensemble 
des habitants du pays. Ils représentent alors "la forme universelle résultant 
des formes particulières des humeurs de chacun," ils servent de lien entre la 
population et le roi.^^ 

Ce lien est indispensable. Il garantit le peuple contre toute tyrannie royale. 
Si l'ensemble des penseurs politiques de l'époque - et Arnauld en fait partie 
- concèdent des pouvoirs absolus au monarque, ils insistent pour rappeler que 
celui-ci a toujours soumis volontairement ces edits à la vérification des 
parlements. Le peuple, voyant que l'édit respecte la justice et le droit, 
l'accepte alors sans rechigner.^^ Cela ne veut toutefois pas dire que la 
population possède un certain pouvoir sur le souverain. 

Arnauld n'adhère à aucun moment à la théorie d'une monarchie "popu- 
laire." Celle-ci, mise de l'avant en 1573 par le protestant François Hotman, 
soutient que le peuple, à l'origine détenteur du pouvoir, a, pour des raisons 
d'ordre pratique, nommé un roi pour veiller à la bonne marche des affaires 
publiques, la population détenant toujours un droit de regard sur les décisions 
du souverain. Cette doctrine, reprise par les ligueurs à la mort de François, 
duc d'Anjou - mort qui faisait du huguenot Henri de Navarre l'héritier 
légitime du trône -, connut diverses fortunes à cette époque.^^ Mais jamais 
Arnauld n'y souscrit, le respect de la loi salique étant trop important à ses 
yeux. 



52 / Renaissance and Reformation 



L'autorité du monarque dépend en grande partie de sa légitimité. La 
monarchie française s'est construite grâce au travail continu des souverains 
qui se sont succédé sur le trône. Amauld cite toujours en exemple de grands 
monarques tels que Charlemagne, saint Louis, Philippe le Bel, Louis XIL Pour 
ces rois, l'obéissance de leurs sujets se trouve à la base de la grandeur du 
royaume.^ ^ 

Le roi peut-il alors se passer de l'avis des parlementaires? S'il ne formule 
pas de menaces précises à ce sujet, Arnauld donne de nombreux exemples de 
rois ou d'empereurs qui ont perdu leur trône pour ne pas avoir respecté les 
conseils de leurs cours souveraines. Ne s' attardant pas uniquement à des 
exemples tirés de l'Antiquité (Périclès, César ou Cléomène), Arnauld insiste 
sur le cas de Charles le Chauve "qui ravala beaucoup de son autorité par le 
mépris de ses parlements, autorité que depuis Louis le Bègue ne put mieux 
remettre, qu'en gagnant le coeur de ses sujets, les rétablissant en leur première 
gloire. "^^ La force du gouvernement dépend de toute une série de facteurs, 
réels ou symboliques. Or, seuls le roi et les parlements peuvent se prévaloir 
d'une certaine puissance symbolique. 

Tout comme ceux du souverain, les actes du parlement reflètent la volonté 
divine. La Justice est "l'instrument très parfait de la divinité; son bras le plus 
fort, son oeil le plus voyant, son âme, si je l'ose dire, ou du moins son plus 
naturel mouvement." Si la monarchie possède un caractère rehgieux certain, 
il en va de même des cours de justice. De façon immédiate, le pouvoir des 
officiers vient du monarque; à l'origine, toutefois, leur puissance vient de 
DïeuP 

Arnauld n'hésite pas à sacraliser la Justice et ses mandataires, les parle- 
ments. Il soutient que ceux-ci peuvent ceindre la Couronne de France, qu'ils 
peuvent se vêtir du manteau d'hermine des souverains, que les fleurs de lys 
ornent leurs trônes. Il fait ainsi appel aux éléments les plus visibles de la 
symbolique française pour démontrer l'importance des cours souveraines: le 
lys de la Vierge, devenus lys royaux, sacralisèrent la monarchie. 

Est-ce à dire que les parlements ont un pouvoir indépendant du roi? Malgré 
ce qu'a pu en penser Pierre de l'Étoile,^"^ aucun magistrat ou penseur politique 
n'a jamais prétendu une telle chose. La justice est royale; les parlementaires 
la reçoivent en commission. Lorsque le roi siège au parlement lors de son Lit 
de Justice, les parlementaires s'inclinent devant son autorité. Toutefois, pour 
bien accomplir leurs tâches, les magistrats ont besoin d'un minimum d'auto- 
nomie. 

En fait, Amauld, tout comme bon nombre de parlementaires à cette époque, 
compare les parlements de France au sénat romain. Celui-ci avait pour 



Renaissance et Réforme / 53 



mission de conseiller l'empereur sans le commander. Ce rôle est cependant 
primordial pour le royaume: "il n'y a chose qui ait plus ruiné de Républiques, 
que dépouiller le Sénat et les magistrats, de leur puissance ordinaire et 
légitime, pour attribuer tout à ceux qui ont la souveraineté."^^ Tout ce que 
désirent les parlements, au début du XVIP siècle, c'est de voir le roi prendre 
leur avis en considération. 

Pour accomplir adéquatement cette tâche qu'ils se donnent, les 
parlementaires doivent jouir d'une liberté relative. Pour que l'action de la 
Justice soit uniforme et respectée, il faut garantir la permanence de l'institu- 
tion et de ses représentants. Arnauld demande au roi de manifester sa 
confiance envers le parlement et envers ses membres, en leur confiant 
davantage de responsabilités, en abolissant la vénalité des offices et restrei- 
gnant l'utiUsation des commissaires. 

La vénalité des offices symbolise la division que l'on retrouve dans la 
milieu judiciaire à cette époque. Une partie des magistrats approuve cette 
pratique et appuie la Paulette, taxe annuelle instituée en 1604 qui assure au 
propriétaire d'une charge pubUque l'entière propriété de son office, car elle 
garantit leur mise de fond dans l'office. Toutefois, les parlementaires attachés 
aux traditions de leur institution s'insurgent de voir l'argent remplacer le 
mérite, l'or remplacer la vertu.^^ 

Malgré tout, Henri IV continue dans la voie qu'il a choisie. La vénalité des 
offices, les abus des partisans - personnes qui achètent du roi un ensemble 
d'offices pour les revendre à leur profit -, l'utilisation des commissaires et 
des intendants empêchent Arnauld de faire confiance au gouvernement. En 
fait, il prédit la perte du royaume à plus ou moins longue échéance. En effet, 
selon lui, tout l'appareil gouvernemental perd de sa crédibilité auprès de la 
population en raison des malversations publiques commises par tous ceux qui 
n'ont à coeur que de s'enrichir. Les ponctions opérées dans le trésor public 
et dans les biens des familles par ces "éponges" provoqueront soit la révolte 
du peuple, et donc un écroulement de la nation par l'intérieur, soit la ruine 
des armées, et donc l'effondrement de la France par l'extérieur.^^ 

Malgré cette vision très pessimiste de l'avenir du royaume, Arnauld, tout 
comme l'ensemble des parlementaires, n'intrigue pas contre le roi. Une 
monarchie forte est nécessaire, surtout après 30 ans de guerres civiles. Les 
magistrats qui se soucient de la France s'opposeront souvent à Henri IV et à 
son gouvernement, non pour défendre des intérêts corporatistes comme on 
l'affirme généralement, mais parce qu'ils veulent que le roi s'attaque aux 
problèmes de base du royaume. "C'est en cette Compagnie où se redressent 
les fautes du gouvernement, et d'oii sortent les résolutions qui maintes fois 



54 / Renaissance and Reformation 



ont sauvé le royaume," affirme le conseiller Jean de Thumery dans une lettre 
à J. A. de Thou7^ La fidélité au souverain doit être inébranlable, mais le 
parlement doit s'assurer que le monarque reçoit de bons conseils et prend des 
décisions éclairées. Malgré ce qu'a pu prétendre récemment un historien 
français, leur attitude n'est en rien anti-monarchique 7^ 

L'enregistrement de l'Edit de Nantes en février 1599 marque la fin de la 
dernière grande bataille entre Henri IV et le parlement de Paris. Certes, des 
conflits éclateront encore, mais sans atteindre des niveaux d'émotion compa- 
rables à ceux de 1595 ou 1597.^^ Est-ce dire qu'Henri IV a gagné son pari 
de faire de la France un royaume unifié, pacifique? Son assassinat, le 16 mai 
1610, et les événements qui suivent sa mort, nous fournissent une réponse 
négative à cette question. Profitant des faiblesses inhérentes à tout gouverne- 
ment de régence - Louis XIII n'avait que neuf ans à la mort de son père -, 
les forces vives de la nation ressortent leurs anciennes protestations. 

Marie de Médicis pense arriver à les mater en convoquant des Etats-Géné- 
raux en 1614. Elle réussit à en contrôler les élections. Mais, une fois réunis, 
les Etats auront une vie bien à eux, les trois groupes qui les composent y allant 
de leurs revendications traditionnelles. Ces revendications vont bien souvent 
à rencontre des poUtiques d'Henri IV. ^^ 



A plus d'un titre, Amauld représente le juriste parisien typique du tournant 
du XVIP siècle. Dans une institution où, en 1600, la plus grande partie des 
conseillers sont les premiers de leur famille à siéger, il s'intègre à la Hgnée 
traditionnaliste, bien qu'il ne soit pas membre à proprement parler du parle- 
ment. Il rejette les prétentions royales visant à confiner le parlement à un rôle 
juridique. Contrairement à beaucoup de ses confrères, il ne participera pas à 
la nouvelle administration centralisée. Certes, tout comme une majorité de 
ses collègues, il favorise ce type de gouvernement. Toutefois, il n'est pas prêt 
à sacrifier les pouvoirs du parlement pour pousser ce système jusqu'à sa limite 
ultime: l'absolutisme. 

Tout au long de sa vie publique, Antoine Amauld se montre dévoué à son 
pays et à son roi. Sa fidélité remonte aux premières étapes de sa carrière alors 
que, habitant d'une ville dominée par les ligueurs extrémistes, il n'hésite pas 
à prendre position pour le protestant Henri IV. Bien qu'il lui en coûte sûrement 
à quelques reprises, Arnauld pUe toujours devant la volonté royale. 

La légende qui entoure Henri IV permet de s'imaginer un souverain près 
de son peuple, aimé de tous. Pourtant, il ne réussit pas à obtenir immédiate- 
ment la confiance d'un groupe important de collaborateurs: les parlementaires 



Renaissance et Réforme / 55 



traditionnalistes. Ceux-ci se fient à la force des coutumes pour dire le droit et 
encadrer un roi novice, qu'ils ne connaissaient pas lors de son arrivée sur le 
trône en 1589. La découverte de ce monarque, l'apprentissage du gouverne- 
ment à ses côtés, ne seront pas toujours faciles. La patience du Béarnais 
aura-t-elle raison de la pesanteur et de l'éloquence des parlementaires pari- 
siens? Le Franc et véritable discours et La Justice aux pieds du roi témoignent 
de sursauts périodiques d'indignation de la part des magistrats. Leurs lettres 
montrent clairement que le Béarnais n'arrive pas à se faire respecter de 
nombre de ses sujets.^^ 

Les parlementaires ne se rebellent pas contre leurs souverains. Cela va à 
rencontre de tous leurs principes. Ils se contentent donc d'écrire des pam- 
phlets et de bloquer encore l'enregistrement de certains edits. Leur opposition 
fait moins de bruit qu'au cours des premières années du règne. Le roi a réussi 
malgré tout à calmer les tensions françaises. Le royaume reprend vie peu à 
peu. Satisfait de la relative stabilité économique qui s'installe, le peuple ne 
tient pas à revivre les guerres civiles. Des révoltes populaires ou nobiliaires 
éclatent sporadiquement, mais elles ne mobilisent pas, ou plus, les passions 
nationales. 

Université McGill 

Notes 

1. H. Fouqueray. Histoire de la Compagnie de Jésus en France des origines à la 
suppression, t. II (Paris, 1972), p. 360. 

2. Il n'existe aucun ouvrage portant spécifiquement sur Arnauld. Voir R. Arnauld d'An- 
dilly. Mémoires in A. Petitot. Collection des mémoires relatifs à V histoire de France 
2^ série, t. 33 (Paris, 1819-1826), pp. 308-320; T. Froment. Essai sur l'histoire de 
V éloquence judiciaire en France avant le dix-septîeme siècle (Paris, 1874), pp. 147- 
218; J. Pannier. L'Église réformée de Paris sous Louis XIII (Strasbourg, 1922), pp. 
246-249; G. Tallement des Réaux. Historiettes, t. 1 (Paris, 1960-1961), pp. 504-514. 

3. "Le vrai titre de gloire d'Arnauld, c'est moins encore le souvenir de ses discours que 
sa noble et forte postérité." Froment, Op, cit., p. 217. 

4. Coppie de V Anti-Espagnol fait à Paris (s. 1., 1590); La première philippique à la 
France suivie de La deuxième philippique à la France (s. 1., 1592); La fleur de lys (s. 
1., 1593). 

5. Sur le sentiment national en France à cette époque, voir M. Yardeni. La conscience 
nationale en France pendant les guerres de religion (1559-1598) (Louvain, 1971). 

6. Plaidoyé de M. Antoine Arnauld avocat en parlement, et ci devant conseiller et 
procureur général de la défunte Reine mère des Rois, pour l'Université de Paris 
demanderesse. Contre les Jésuites défendeurs. (Paris, Mamert Pâtisson, 1594). 



56 / Renaissance and Reformation 



7. "Que si à son plaidoyer il eut apporté plus de modération et moins de passion, laquelle 
ordinairement est sujete au contrôle et à l'envie, il eut été trouvé meilleur de ceux même 
qui n'aiment pas les Jésuites, et qui les souhaitent tous aux Indes, à convertir les 
infidèles." P. de L'Estoile. Mémoires-journaux, t. 6 (Paris, 1879), p. 217. 

8. Libre discours sur la délivrance de la Bretagne (s.l., 1598); La première Savoisienne 
(Grenoble, 1630). 

9. Le franc et véritable discours au Roi. Sur le rétablissement qui lui est demandé pour 
les Jésuites (s. 1., 1602). 

10. La justice aux pieds du Roi pour les parlements de France (s. 1., 1608), 

1 1. Utile et salutaire avis au Roi pour bien régner (s. 1., 1614). 

12. "Lettre de J. Gillot au Président J. A. de Thou" (B.N., Dupuy 675, f° 136-137). Cette 
lettre relate le tumulte que suscite au parlement la création de nouveaux offices en 1 597 
et expose le mépris ressenti par Gillot, un conseiller traditionnaliste, face à ses confrères 
"carriéristes." 

13. G. Du Vair. De la constance et consolation es calamités publiques in Les oeuvres de 
Messire Guillaume Du Vair (Paris, 1641 ), pp. 369-370. Ce point sera reconnu par Henri 
IV comme on le voit dans Les lettres patentes du roi, pour le rétablissement de la Cour 
de parlement de Paris (Paris, 1594). Toutefois, certains parlementaires restés à Paris 
durant cette période, tel Louis Dorléans, donne un appui sans équivoque à la Ligue. 

14. A. Loisel. Pasquier, ou dialogue des avocats du parlement de Paris (Paris, 1844), p. 
104; B. La Roche Flavin. Treize livres des parlements de France (Bordeaux, 1617), p. 2. 

15. Sur la légende noire espagnole, voir J. Juderias. La leyenda negra (Madrid, 1960); G. 
Parker. Philip //(Boston, 1978), pp. 200-212. 

16. Copie de l'arrêt du Grand Conseil donnée à V encontre du misérable et méchant 
empoisonneur de Monseigneur le Dauphin. Avec aucuns épîtres et rondeaux sur la 
mort de mon dit seigneur, (s. 1., 1536). 

17. Coppie de V Anti-Espagnol fait à Paris, p. 4. 

18. Pour un discours similaire, voir Le masque de la Ligue et de l'Espagnol découvert 
(Tous, 1590), p. 48-63. 

19. La seconde philippique à la France, pp. 36-41 . 

20. La fleur de lys (s. 1., 1593), pp. 46-47. Ses attaques contre Mayenne sont moins 
virulentes que celles que l'on peut trouver dans d'autres pamphlets de l'époque, tel 
L'Anti Charles Lorrain (s. 1., 1593), qui présente Mayenne comme un "exécrable 
tyran." 

21. "Ils s'imaginent je ne sais quoi de tel qu'on voit es Pays-Bas, où les Etats ont toujours 
fait quelque contrepoids à l'autorité plus absolue de leur souverain." Première philippi- 
que à la France, pp. 55-56. Pour une critique du "programme politique" ligueur, voir 
Lettre d'un gentilhomme Français, à Dame Jacquette Clément, Princesse boiteuse de 
la Ligue (s. 1., 1590); M. Hurault. Discours sur l'état de la France (Chartres, 1591), 
pp. 30-34. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 57 



22. Voir, par exemple, deux textes de François De Clary: Les lauriers du roi, contre les 
foudres pratiqués par l'Espagnol (Tours, 1590), et Philippiques contre les bulles, et 
autres pratiques de la faction d'Espagne (Tous, 1592). 

23. "C'est pourquoi vous avez à composer votre vie et vos actions, en sorte que, s'il est 
possible, il ne s'y trouve rien à reprendre; ains que chacun y puisse remarquer ce qui 
peut plus contenter son affection. [. . .] Ces amours si découverts, et auxquels vous 
donnez tant de temps, ne semblent plus de saison. Il est temps, sire, que vous fassiez 
l'amour, et à toute la chrétienté, et particulièrement à la France." Lettre à MM. 
Duplessis, de Clervant et de Chassincourt, au roi de Navarre in Mémoires et corre- 
spondance de Duplessis-Mornay, t. II (Paris, 1824-1825), pp. 576-578. 

24. A. Fumée. Panégyrique pour la bienvenue et retour du Très-Chrétien Henri, Roi de 
France et de Pologne (Paris, 1574). Henri IV, roi contesté, fait appel à la propagande 
pour affermir sa prétention à régner. Ses panégyristes sont donc beaucoup plus 
nombreux. Citons, entre autres: le Panegyric au Très-Chrétien Henri IIII, roi de France 
et de Navarre, par S. D. LE. S. L. (Tours, 1 590); Le panégyrique adressé au roi de la part 
de ses bons sujets de la ville de Paris (s. 1., 1590); G. Joly. Panégyrique au roi Henri 
////(Paris, 1594). 

25. Cette discussion repose sur de nombreux passages des quatre pamphlets écrits par 
Arnauld pendant les guerres de religion. Il serait beaucoup trop fastidieux de citer pour 
chaque trait de caractère dépeint l'extrait du texte s'y rapportant. 

26. La seconde philippique à la France, p. 4. 

27. La première philippique à la France, p. 73. 

28. A. L. Martin. Henry HI and the Jesuit Politicians (Genève, 1973). 

29. Pour une illustration de ce débat, voir F. Desjardin. Les Jésuites et l'Université devant 
le parlement de Paris au XVF siècle (Paris, 1877) qui s'en prend à la Société; et la 
réponse de É. de Ponial. L'Université et les Jésuites. Deux procès en cour de parlement 
au XVF siècle (Paris, 1 877) qui les défend. 

30. Mémoires de Cheverny in Petitot. Op. cit., \^^^ série, t. 36, p. 285. 

3 1 . F. des Montaignes. La vérité défendue pour la religion catholique (Francfort, Wilhem 
der Sclaffer, 1595). Ces allégations, que Richéome reprendrarégulièrement par la suite, 
trouvent écho chez bon nombre d'auteurs favorables aux Jésuites. 

32. Coppie de V Anti-Espagnol fait à Paris, p. 5. 

33. F. des Montaignes. Op. cit., p. 22. 

34. S. Linguet. Histoire impartiale des JésuitesD, t. // (s. L, 1768), p. 399; A. Douarche. 
L'Université de Paris et les Jésuites (XVI^ et XVU^ siècles) (Paris, 1888), p. 132. 

35. C. Sutto. "Le père Richéome et le nouvel esprit politique des Jésuites français (XVF 
et XVIF siècles)" in Les Jésuites parmi les hommes aux XVF et XVIF siècles (Cler- 
mont-Ferrand, 1987), pp. 175-184. 

36. "De joindre une longue délibération avec un fait pressé, cela lui est mal-aisé: et c'est 
pourquoi au contraire aux effets de la guerre il est admirable, par ce que le faire et le 



58 / Renaissance and Reformation 



délibérer se rencontrent en un même temps, et qu'à l'un ou à l'autre il apporte toute la 
présence de son jugement. Mais aux conseils qui ont trait de temps, à la vérité, il a 
besoin d'être soulagé." M. Hurault. Op. cit., p. 79. 

37. "Harangue de Achille de Harlay au sacre du roi à Chartres" (B.N. 1 84 1 8, f 273v-274); 
"Au roi, à son retour du siège d'Amiens le 30 octobre 1597, au Louvres" (B.N., Ms fr. 
18417, fo 179-182); A. Arnauld. Plaidoyer pour l'Université de Paris, pp. 39-42. 

38. Sur cette cause, voir S. Marion. Plaidoyé sur lequel a été donné contre les Jésuites 
l'arrêt du 16 octobre 1597 inséré à la fin d'iceluy (Paris, M. Pâtisson, 1597); L. 
Richéome. Réponse de René de La Fon pour les religieux de la Compagnie de Jésus. 
Au Plaidoyé de Simon Marion en l'arrêt donné contre eux le 16 octobre 1597 
(Villefranche, G. Grenier, 1599). Sur le tyrannicide, voir R. Mousnier. L'assassinat 
d'Henri IV {Paris, 1964). 

39. Le père Louis Richéome ne s'y trompe pas. Porte-parole officieux de la Compagnie 
durant toute cette période, il essaie soigneusement de démarquer les Jésuites français 
des théoriciens du tyrannicide qui, selon lui, n'expriment qu'une opinion personnelle. 
Il rappelle régulièrement le pardon général accordé par Henri IV à ses anciens ennemis 
"considérant que tout ce qu'en ont fait vos sujets (durant les guerres civiles) ce n'a été 
par aucune haine particulière contre votre personne, mais pour le zèle de leur religion." 
Plainte apologétique au Roi Très-Chrétien de France et de Navarre pour la Compagnie 
de Jésus (s. 1., 1603), p. 60v. 

40 . M. Greengrass. France in the Age of Henri /V (London, 1984), p. 142. Des visées très 
personnelles pouvaient également motiver certains adversaires des Jésuites. Lers 
partisans n'avaient pas le monopole de l'égoïsme. 

41. Le franc et véritable discours au roi, p. 17, 

42. Sur le gallicanisme, voir V. Martin. Le gallicanisme en France et la réforme catholique 
(Paris, 1919); J. Powis. "Gallican Liberties and the Politics of Later Sixteenth Century," 
The Historical Journal (26, 1983), 515-530; C. Sutto. "Tradition et innovation, réa- 
lisme et utopie: l'idée gallicane en France à la fin du XVF siècle," Renaissance et 
Réforme/Renaissance and Reformation (VIII, 1986), 278-297; J. H. M. Salmon. "Gal- 
licanism and Anglicanism in the Age of Counter Reformation" in J. H. M. Salmon. 
Renaisssance and Revolt {Cdimbr'xdgt, 1987), pp. 155-188. 

43. M. Turchetti. "'Concorde ou tolérance' de 1562 à 1598," Revue historique (v. 274, 
1985), 341-355. 

44. Exhortation et remontrance faite d'un commun accord par les Français Catholiques 
et pacifiques pour la paix in Mémoires de la Ligue, t. 1 , p. 1 32. 

45. É. de La Boétie. Mémoire sur la pacification des troubles (Genève, 1983), p. 52; M. 
de Montaigne. Les essais (Paris, 1978), Livre III, pp. 790-803. Soulignons à propos 
d'Etienne de La Boétie que, récemment, un historien l'a présenté, en se basant sur De 
la servitude volontaire, comme un pamphlétaire anti-monarchiste. Ces deux textes 
s'opposeraient donc, ce qui nous invite à faire de plus amples recherches sur leur auteur. 
Cf. J.-L. Bourgeon. "La Boétie pamphlétaire," Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renais- 
sance {5\, 1989), 289-300. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 59 



46. "Nous avons pris congé du roi et lui avons parlé du règlement des bénéfices. Je lui ai 
dit fort intelligiblement que le pape nous faisait assez connaître ne vouloir qu'aucune 
grâce ne fut espérée de lui et qu'il était temps de faire voir clairement qu'il nous était 
facile se passer de Rome et d'un si mauvais chef qui voulait abolir les anciennes 
franchises et libertés de l'Église de France et particulièrement ruiner l'état ecclésiasti- 
que et le clergé, la plus belle marque de l'état général de ce royaume." "Lettre de A. 
de Harlay à J. A. de Thou," mars 1593 (B.N., Dupuy 675, F« 164). 

47. Par exemple, J. Turquant, magistrat à Rennes, se plaint en septembre 1602 au chance- 
lier de Bellièvre qu'il ne peut mener à bien une affaire "si grandes sont les liaisons de 
parentés, alliances, et le plus souvent d'intérêts d'entre la plus grande part des 
magistrats et la noblesse." (B.N., Ms fr. 15899, f^ 287). Voir R. Harding. Anatomy of 
a Power Elite: The Provincial Governors of Early Modem France (New Haven, 1978); 
J. Dewald. The Formation of a Provincial Nobility: The Magistrates of the Parlement 
of Rouen, 1499- J 6 JO (Princeton, 1980). 

48. J. R. Major. Bellièvre, Sully, and the Assembly of Notables of 1596 (Philadelphia, 
1974). 

49. Utile et salutaire avis au roi pour bien régner, p. 56. 

50. La justice aux pieds du roi pour les parlements de France, p. 33. 

5 1 . Utile et salutaire avis au roi pour bien régner, pp. 36-46. 

52. A ce sujet, voir J. Delumeau. Rassurer et protéger. Le sentiment de sécurité dans 
l'Occident d'autrefois (Paris, 1989). 

53. Les études récentes sur l'absolutisme abordent peu la période henricienne. Voir R. 
Bonney. "Absolutism: What's in a Name," French History (1, 1987), 93-117; J. B. 
Collins. Fiscal Limits of Absolutism: Direct Taxation in early Seventeenth Century 
France (Berkeley, 1988); D. Hickey. The Coming of Absolutism (Toronto, 1986); W. 
Beik. Absolutism and Society in Seventeenth-Century France (Cambridge, 1986). 
Parmi les historiens qui insistent le plus sur le caractère absolutiste d'Henri IV, notons: 
D. Ranum. Paris in the Age of Absolutism (New York, 1968), pp. 51-67; J. R. Major. 
Representative Government in Early Modem France (New Haven, 1980), pp. 259-375. 

54. G. Coquille. Institution aux droits des Français (Paris, 1607). 

55. A. Sanfaçon. "Légendes, histoire et pouvoir à Chartres sous l'Ancien Régime," Revue 
historique (279, 1988), 337-357. 

56. "Qu'il plaise à Sa Majesté considérer le misérable état de son Royaume, la campagne 
désolée, les villes sans traffic, la fureur des gens de guerre qui pillent et ravagent plus 
cruellement la France, a faute de paiements que ne feraient les plus capitaux ennemis." 
"Remontrances de la cour de parlement présentées au roi faisant sa diète à St. Germain, 
en mars 1597" (B.N., N.A.F. 8430, f° 485v. 

57. Ibid., f" 487. Sur ce débat, voir A. Chamberland. Le conflit de 1597 entre Henri IV et 
le parlement de Paris (Paris, 1904). 

58. "Traité de la Cour de Parlement" (A. N.: U. 928, F 19). 



60 / Renaissance and Reformation 



59. C. de Seyssel. La monarchie de France (Paris, 1962). 

60. "C'est un proverbe ordinaire que la voix du peuple (c'est à dire des gens de bien, et 
non de la populace) est la voix de Dieu: parce qu'elle parle de choses notoires, de choses 
qui ont été vues, et en quoi on ne peut mentir." Plaidoyer pour l'Université de Paris 
contre les Jésuites, p. 38. 

61. La justice aux pieds du roi pour les parlements de France, p. 25. 

62. Certains font de la consultation des États-Généraux une des lois fondamentakes du 
royaume: L'Alouette. Des affaires d'Etat. Des finances, du Prince et de sa noblesse 
(Metz, 1597), pp. 2 et 41-42. 

63. Utile et salutaire avis au roi pour bien régner, p. 34. 

64. S. Marion. Plaidoyers (Paris, 1609), pp. 267-269. Pour une critique de l'inefficacité 
des États-Généraux comparée aux résultats obtenus par le parlement, voir B. de La 
Roche Flavin. Treize livres des parlements de France (Bordeaux, 1617), p. 7. 

65. "C'est cette obéissance entière, parfaite, absolue, qui gagne les batailles, qui dissipe 
les ennemis, qui avance le mérite et couronne le labeur, sans laquelle rien ne fleurit, 
rien ne se peut affermir. C'est le vrai lien, l'ornement et la force de toutes choses." 
Plaidoyer pour l'Université de Paris contre les Jésuites, p. 9. 

66. A. Jouanna. Le devoir de révolte (Paris, 1989), pp. 300-312. 

67. L. Le Roy. Les politiques d'Aristote (Paris, 1568), p. 517. Pour une approche sembla- 
ble, voir L. Charondas Le Caron. Pandectes, ou digestes du droit français (Paris, 1 637), 
pp. 117-118. 

68. Utile et salutaire avis au roi pour bien régner, p. 6. 

69. B. du Haillan. De l'état et succès des affaires de France (Paris, 1609), p. 307. 

70. Des bourgeois, tant catholiques que protestants, continueront à la défendre à la fin des 
guerres de religion. R. Mousnier. "L'opposition politique bourgeoise à la fin du XVP 
siècle et au début du XVIF siècle. L'oeuvre de Louis Turquet de Mayeme," Revue 
Historique (2\3, 1955), \-20. 

1 1 . Pour comprendre comment cette obéissance s'est construite, voir J. R. Strayer. "France: 
The Holy Land, the Chosen People, and the Most Christian King" in Action and 
Conviction in Early Modern Europe (Princeron, 1969), 3-16. 

72. La justice aux pieds du roi pour les parlements de France, p. 12. "Otés aux empires 
leur justice, aux royaumes leurs légitimes magistrats, vous les privés de vie." B. de La 
Roche Flavin. Op. cit., p. 286. 

73. La justice aux pieds du roi pour les parlements de France, p. 7. Cette idée sera reprise 
dans B. de La Roche Flavin. Treize livres des parlements de France, p. 689. 

74. P. de L'Estoile. Op. cit., t. 7, p. 93. Sur la crise d'Amiens et l'attitude des parlemtaires 
à cette époque, voir A. Chamberland, Op. cit. 

75. J. Bodin. Les six livres de la République (Paris, 1583), p. 632. Sur la définition qu'il 
donne du sénat romain, voir p. 365. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 61 



76. A ce sujet, voir R. Mousnier. La vénalité des offices sous Henri IV et Louis XIII (Paris, 
1 97 1 ); M. L. Cummings. The Long Robe and the Sceptre (Ph.D. dissertation. University 
of Colorado, 1974). Le chancelier Pomponne de Bellièvre s'oppose fermement à la 
Paulette et rédige à ce sujet un mémoire qu'il transmet au roi. Il y affirme entre autres 
que "le plus hardi acheteur est préféré au plus suffisant et plus homme de bien. Les 
bonnes loix sont nécessaires, mais les loix sont inutiles s'il n'y a pas un bon magistrat 
qui les exerce." Ce mémoire se trouve dans la Revue Henri /V(l, 1906), pp. 184-186. 

77. Utile et salutaire avis au roi pour bien régner, pp. 26-21 . 

78. "Lettre de Jean de Thumery à J. A. de Thou" (B.N., Dupuy 802, f^ 63). 

79. "Qui dit parlementaire, dans la seconde moitié du XVP siècle, dit plus ou moins 
anti-monarchiste." J.-L. Bourgeon. "La Fronde parlementaire à la veille de la Saint 
Barthélémy," Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des Chartes (148, 1990), p. 81. 

80. Certains historiens croient que ces conflits mettaient en danger l'existence même de 
l'État: J. H. Shennan. The Parlement of Paris (Ithaca, 1968), p. 236. 

81. J. M. Hayden. France and the Estates General of 161 4Y (London, 1973). 

82. "Et au lieu qu'ils avaient encore quelque respect à ce nom et à la réputation de notre 
roi ils parlent avec mépris." "Lettre de J. Gillot à J.A. de Thou" (B.N., Dupuy 819, f° 
112). 



"Ryse Up Elisd' - Woman Trapped in a 
Lay: Spenser's "Aprill" 



MARIANNE MICROS 



S 



ummary: In Edmund Spenser's "Aprill, " Colin Cloute, by creating and 
controlling an idealized woman, has silenced the source of his own creative 
power. However, Colin 's lay contains hints that Elisa is neither perfect nor 
passive: complex natural and mythological allusions reveal her vitality and 
strength. Spenser allows the woman's voice to undermine the male poet's 
authority, thus demonstrating the difficult power struggle between mascu- 
line and feminine qualities, between art and life, that both limits and frees 
the poet in his attempt to create art. 

Edmund Spenser, in The Shepheardes Calender, presents multiple perspec- 
tives on love, life, religion, and poetry. All the speakers, however, are male. 
Women are spoken of and sung about in these eclogues, but do not speak 
themselves. These women are of two types, both symbolic of forces which 
affect male existence, one preserving, the other disrupting it. In the April 
eclogue, the idealized, virginal goddess, represented by Elisa, symbolizes 
poetry, peace, and cosmic harmony, while the human lover, Rosalinde, 
symbolizes for Colin his failure as a lover and a poet. These women are silent, 
confined by the limits of the songs in which they are contained, the male 
discourse by which they are described - or absent, spoken about but never 
seen by the reader. They are nevertheless powerful figures, creators and 
destroyers of the life and happiness of the male speakers, particularly Colin 
Cloute. 

There are no successful love relationships between males and females, 
or between males and males, in the poem. In fact, Colin has withdrawn from 
society and from his poetic career because of his failure to win the love of 
Rosalinde. Nevertheless, his song extolling Elisa exists without him, sung by 
Hobbinol and enjoyed by Thenot. Because Hobbinol sings Colin' s song of 
Elisa, she is seen secondhand and from two male perspectives: Colin' s 
perspective, which is one of awe and fear of the feminine, an idealization 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 2 ( 1 993) 63 



64 / Renaissance and Reformation 



which renders her goddess-like, combined with an attempt to control her; and 
Hobbinol's viewpoint, a more practical one which recognizes her power but 
also her humanity. Also present in the poem, by means of a gloss, is the voice 
of E.K., who identifies EUsa as Queen Elizabeth and Colin Cloute as Spenser, 
idealizing both Eli sa and Rosalinde while at the same time reading them as 
actual persons.^ 

Colin Cloute' s Elisa appears to be an ideal female figure, a powerful 
goddess or queen; however, she has been re-defmed by a masculine point of 
view. She therefore becomes a passive icon, the woman of the courtly love 
tradition, a woman who has no power to act and no voice with which to speak. 
Hélène Cixous writes. 

Courtly love is two-faced: adored, deified, assimilated to the idol that 
accepts hommage, she has the rank and honors of the Virgin. Conversely, 
and the same position, in her powerlessness, she is at the disposition of 
the other's desire, the object, the prostitute.'^ 

Colin, by deifying Elisa, has repressed and iconized the feminine, causing his 
own separation from his society and from his art. 

As a poet he needs inspiration from the feminine, which is the source of 
creativity, for centuries symbolized by the Muses. Colin has repressed and 
silenced part of himself by rejecting the vitality of his feminine aspect - he 
has become obsessed with Rosalinde, has entrapped Elisa, and has rejected 
the love of Hobbinol. Cixous writes of the value of bisexuality - the fantasy 
of a complete being which "veils sexual difference," the "location within 
oneself of the presence of both sexes. "^ Colin Cloute has repressed that 
bisexuality; he has not learned what Edmund Spenser learned - the import- 
ance of the co-existence of masculine and feminine characteristics within the 
poet, the value of circular, labyrinthine patterns subverting the hierarchical 
path. Colin Cloute, in his attempt to control the feminine, his failure to 
recognize that other as part of himself, may have silenced himself as a poet. 

Nevertheless, by writing this lay, Colin is attempting to find his muse, 
to find the feminine part of himself from which he can write. He does this, 
however, by appropriating for himself the role of mother, attempting to give 
birth to a female, to stage a play, direct the actors, and then uncreate them at 
the end. His manner of creating is masculine, wielding power and control over 
a powerful female figure. He has thus taken away from EUsa her greatest 
strengths - power, humanity, and voice. Elisa is trapped in a lay, forced to 
play a part. Elizabeth has been disempowered - even four letters of her name 
have been chopped off She has become an icon"* and is in danger of becoming 



Renaissance et Réforme / 65 



an idol,^ but Colin pulls back, in fear, from his idealization of her, alluding 
to Niobe, who was turned to stone because she praised her children too highly. 
Yet CoUn has not succeeded in giving EUsa voice. Jonathan Goldberg calls 
Colin' s lay an elegy, suggesting that Elisa is petrified by the same process 
that elevates her, the process that transforms her into a static icon.^ 

Hélène Cixous and Luce Irigaray^ have described the male definition of 
femininity as "lack, negativity, absence of meaning, irrationality, chaos, 
darkness - in short, as non-Being."^ Julia Kristeva sees the male tendency to 
label and categorize as the cause of the marginaUzation of women. Women, 
according to this phallocentric view, represent "the necessary frontier 
between man and chaos,"^ symbolizing sometimes the darkness of chaos, 
sometimes the virgin motherhood which protects against the chaos. Women 
are consequently either vilified or idealized, both acts effectively silencing a 
woman's individuality and humanity. Elisa is controlled and silenced by the 
poet who brought her into being. She is marginalized by her confinement in 
the poem within a poem and by the absence of her creator. She is marginalized, 
as well, by the poet's praise, which makes her a Virgin, as well as a mother, 
a creature of a perfection which is unattainable for a human being. 

Perhaps, however, she is not so perfect, nor so static, as she first seems. 
Spenser, the poet beyond the poet, allows tension to exist within the poem 
and an underlying questioning of the goddess-status of this woman. The 
framing of the lay by a conversation which reveals the disruptions and 
dissatisfactions within this pastoral world and the fact that the composer of 
the lay has left the pastoral world and separated himself from his poem disrupt 
the harmonious vision of the poem, as do the references to the fictionality of 
the lay and to its creation by a human being. 

Even a historical reading of the poem, as Spenser writing about Queen 
Elizabeth, uncovers undercurrents of dissent. Spenser, perhaps because he 
wished the favour of Queen Elizabeth, perhaps because he feared her power 
and the consequences of presenting her as an ordinary human being, or 
perhaps because he sincerely approved of her rule, follows the conventional 
practice of painting her as a virginal goddess. Because it was difficult for the 
Elizabethans to reconcile the fact of a powerful woman ruler with their 
patriarchal, hierarchical system, they ignored her humanity and saw her as a 
symbolic figure, one usually associated with particular goddesses. Neverthe- 
less, as Frances A. Yates points out, the symbolic effect of these goddess 
figures is ambiguous.*^ Spenser's poem, too, uses symbols which question 
this deification even while seeming to participate in that process. Critics have 
proposed that underlying The Shepheardes Calender is a veiled criticism of 



66 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Elizabeth's possible marriage to the Due d' Alençon, as well as other hidden 
reminders of her humanity and fallibility. These undercurrents create a 
tension between the humanity and divinity, and between the sexuality and 
virginity, of Elisa, as well as between the power and powerlessness of the 
poet. Although, as Montrose writes, "... poetic power helps to create and 
sustain the political power to which it is subservient," ^ ^ Spenser can not make 
his idealized picture reality, nor forget that he is indeed less powerful than 
the woman whose favour he wishes to receive. 

Spenser reveals this uneasy power relationship between himself and 
Elizabeth, Colin and Elisa, poem and poet, by showing Colin' s failed attempts 
to control Elisa and by layering the identity of the speaker of the poem. The 
repeated use of the personal pronoun keeps the reader aware that the song is 
a created fiction, whose creator is present in the song. The question of whether 
the "I" is Colin, Hobbinol, or Spenser adds to the paradox and to the 
recognition of multiple layers of narration in the poem. Nancy Jo Hoffman 
writes of a strongly manipulative "I" in the lay and of a "you" voice which 
involves the audience. ^^ Thus is the reader frequently reminded that this song 
is the creation of a created human being whose identity is enigmatic and 
multiple and that its audience is always changing. 

The fact that the identity of the singer is questioned, or has even been 
erased, makes us further question Colin' s abiUty to control his subject- makes 
visible to us the irony of Colin' s attempts at asserting authority. Colin attempts 
to assert a form of masculine control over Elisa by claiming that it is he who 
is deifying her, he who is accomplishing this harmony and perfection which 
she represents. His frequent use of the first person and his use of the 
imperative demonstrate his attempt to assert authority over this idealized 
figure. He asserts his presence in the poem and his own importance through- 
out the lay: "I sawe Phoebus thrust out his golden hedde, / vpon her to gaze" 
(73-4); "I will not match her with Latonaes seede" (86); "To her will I offer 
a milkwhite Lamb" (96). He even claims possession of Elisa: "Shee is my 
goddesse plaine, / And I her shepherds swayne" (97-8).^^ He gives orders 
throughout the lay: "Shewe thy selfe Cynthia, with thy silver rayes" (82); 
"Let that rowme to my Lady be yeuen" (115). He gives extensive orders to 
the young maidens, scolding them, insisting on their good and chaste behavi- 
our: 

Ye shepheards daughters, that dwell on the greene, hye 

you there apace: 
Let none come there, but that Virgins bene. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 67 



to adome her grace. 
And, when you come, wheras shee is in place, 
See, that your rudenesse doe not you disgrace: 

Binde your fillets faste. 

And girde in your waste. 
For more finesse, with a tawdrie lace. (127-135) 

He instructs the maidens to bring certain kinds of flowers, then ends the 
poem by ordering Elisa to "ryse vp" and the other maidens to depart. He has 
underlined his authority throughout the lay by proclaiming the dominance of 
a male culture, a culture which is based on a system of morality which 
depreciates physical and sexual pleasures (hypocritically perhaps, since he 
desires Rosalinde) and which categorizes and renders symbolic the female's 
position in the hierarchy. 

Despite these seemingly confident assertions of his power, Colin' s lack 
of confidence is at times indicated by his own words. Perhaps he is not so 
sure that he can create, or imitate, this feminine beauty. He calls on the 
nymphs and the Muses: "Helpe me to blaze / Her worthy praise" (43-4). He 
frequently asks questions: "Tell me, have ye seene her angelick face, / Like 
Phoebe fayre?" (64-5); "Where have you seene the like, but there?" (72). 
Colin ends his poem with an apology, "I feare, I haue troubled your troupes 
to longe" (149), and a condition, "And if you come hether, / When Damsines 
I gether, / I will part them all you among" (151-3). His attempts to control 
have been only attempts, and he has not completely succeeded. He is aware 
that Rosalinde has power to reject his love and perhaps realizes that Elisa is 
too perfect to be real. He desires what he cannot possess; as Hobbinol says, 
he "loves the thing, he cannot purchase" (159).^"^ 

Perhaps his lack of confidence is what also leads him to pull back from 
his idealization of Elisa. His praise of Elisa, who "in her sexe doth all excell" 
(45), is a praise with qualifications, a back-handed compliment. He does not 
compare her to men, only to other women. He allows her "[n]o mortall 
blemishe" (54) - no humanity. When he says "ryse up Elisa, decked as thou 
art, / in royall aray" (45-6), he seems to be indicating that she is not always 
dressed this way, nor is she always a queen, but that she is his creation, 
wearing the costume he provided. This goddess is obviously fictional, as is 
his power over her. CoUn's fear of the feminine, or perhaps his unconscious 
realization that this idealized woman cannot exist in the real world, causes 
him to release his characters, paradoxically indicating their fictionality while 
freeing them into the real world. 



68 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Colin Cloute has not succeeded in maintaining control of his own poem. 
He cannot even be certain that future singers of his song and future audiences 
will interpret it as he wishes them to: Hobbinol and Thenot hear it with 
admiration yet pity his sorrow and naivete. Colin' s poem is now separate from 
him, just as Spenser is distant from Colin Cloute. The poem is left to be read 
and interpreted by others. Our contemporary readers of the April lay may seek 
Colin' s, or Spenser's, unconscious inclusions, as well as conscious ones, and 
look for tensions and contradictions. Women may read with sympathy for 
Eli sa and may attempt to see the poem from her viewpoint. 

To consider the poem from Elisa's viewpoint, rather than Colin' s, 
Hobbinol 's, or Thenot' s, is to turn the poem inside out. Colin has withdrawn 
to the woods, thinking himself a failure, leaving Elisa to subvert his song and 
steal his power. Colin' s attempt to idealize her and his attempt to release her 
have both met with failure: Elisa is goddess-like and human, fictional and 
real, as she subtly contradicts his messages. EUsa and the maidens, nymphs, 
and goddesses have a life to them which goes beyond the moment of the 
poem's creation. Not only does the poem live on when its creator departs, but 
the idealized goddesses become human beings at the end of the poem, about 
to slip into the everyday world of humanity. 

For Elisa has found hidden ways to assert herself in the poem, to declare 
herself as alive and complex. The subtext of the lay reveals an image of the 
real woman behind the idealized one, someone who is more than Colin' s 
other, more than angel or monster, ^^ though she has been created fictionally 
by Colin Cloute and actually by Edmund Spenser, a male writer. Elisa 
subverts Colin' s poem, no matter who is singing her song, asserting her own 
humanity and power. The poet beyond the text, Edmund Spenser, subtly 
reveals to readers both Colin' s inadequacies and Elisa's hidden strengths by 
the inclusion of complex natural and mythological allusions which contradict 
assumptions of Elisa's staticity and of Colin' s control of the feminine. The 
poem's subtext also reveals the power and life which Colin could not repress, 
the subversion by an unconscious feminine presence of his conscious attempt 
to control. Elisa appears passive, but she is a powerful ruler and a goddess. 
She is presented as a virgin, but is surrounded by images of sexuality and 
fertility. She is a symbol, a frozen icon, but her human element is hinting that 
it will appear, that she will enter the real world, that she will speak. As Cixous 
writes of woman. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 69 



She has never "held still"; explosion, diffusion, effervescence, abun- 
dance, she takes pleasure in being boundless, outside self, outside same, 
far from a "center," . . . She doesn't hold still, she overflows. ^^ 

Elisa's power and her sexuality become more obvious if one considers the 
connection of the April eclogue to the calendar of which it is part, and 
therefore to the month, season, and zodiac sign of this time of year. April is 
a time of fertility, of pagan and Christian rituals of rebirth and resurrection. 
Major festivals of April honoured mother goddesses such as Venus, Cybele 
and Ceres, ^^ and powerful goddess figures permeate the lay. Venus, the planet 
and the goddess, usually associated with sexual love, presides over April. ^^ 
The sign of the month, Taurus, is named for the shape of a bull which Jupiter 
took when pursuing Europa, another woman representing both chastity and 
fertility; ^^ or it may have been named for lo,^^ turned into a cow by Jupiter 
but guarded from him by Argos, whom Mercury sang to sleep by telling him 
the story of Pan and Syrinx.^ ^ lo and Europa were both honoured as moon 
goddesses,-^^ as were Diana or Cynthia and her mother Latona, both men- 
tioned in "Aprill," and Astraea, as discussed by Yates. The women figures of 
the April lay are mother goddesses, fertility goddesses representing nature 
and the earth, birth and rebirth. These goddesses are extremely powerful and 
may even become violent: Cynthia killed Niobe's children, then turned her 
to stone;^^ this story in fact causes Colin to pull back from his praise of Elisa 
in fear that the moon goddess will destroy him. 

Other female figures in the poem are the Muses, who bring the poet the 
necessary inspiration and who honour Elisa; the Graces, who dance and 
sing;^'* the shepherds' daughters, who bring flowers to strew before the lady. 
Elisa and all those who honour her are powerful and active women. 

Elisa' s chaste fertility and feminine power are further emphasized by the 
emblems. "O quam te memorem virgo?", or "What shall I call you, Virgin?", 
from WirgiV s Aeneid, 1.327-28, is an allusion to Venus, disguised as a nymph 
of Diana. The answer to the question asked in the emblem is "O dea certe."^^ 
She is surely a goddess - but which goddess is paradoxical. Elisa refuses to 
be represented as merely a virgin, an epithet indicating passivity. She is active 
and alive, like Venus. She is struggling in the poem to come to life. She is 
trying to sing. 

The flowers presented to Elisa indicate her vitality as well, by means of 
their symbolic representations of human characteristics and their relation- 
ships to female goddesses.^^ While some flowers, such as lihes and primroses, 
signify purity, youth, and innocence (OED),^^ others are associated with 



70 / Renaissance and Reformation 



young love and sometimes lust: the rose represents love and passion, and 
symbolizes attributes of both Venus and the Virgin Mary;^^ several other of 
the flowers mentioned were considered sacred to Venus - roses,^^ prim- 
roses,-^^ violets,^^ and cowslips;^^ daffodils are a flower of early spring and 
were, according to Gerard, the flowers Europa was gathering when attacked 
by Jupiter in the form of a bulP-^ - therefore representing both innocence and 
fertility, as well as rape and deception; the violet is connected to the story of 
lo^, another tale of rape; the columbine with its horned nectaries sometimes 
symbolizes lust and cuckoldry (OED); coronations, gillyflowers, and sops in 
wine are associated with revelries (OED) and pawnee, or pansies, are also 
called "love-in-idleness" (OED); and the "flowre Délice" or fleur de lys, an 
iris, because of its phallic shape can be seen to "mate" with another flower, 
suggesting sexual intercourse, as has been pointed out by A. K. Hieatt:^^ in 
Colin' s song "The pretie Pawnee, / And the chevisaunce, / Shall match with 
the fayre flowre Délice" (142 - 144). Perhaps this contradictory symbolism 
indicates Elisa's combination of humanness with divinity, virginity with 
love,^^ but whether it is a peaceful union, or an active struggle, is difficult to 
discern. 

Elisa remains in the pastoral world after Colin has gone: this is appro- 
priate since the feminine has often, Uke the pastoral, symbolized the earth, 
nature, the unconscious mind, and the pre-Oedipal or Lacanian Imaginary 
stage of life. Colin has entered the Symbolic world of patriarchal hierarchy 
and consequently has lost contact with the source of his creativity. Although 
he has dispersed his actresses, they remain and he departs. The song lives on, 
separated now from its creator - from both Colin and Spenser. 

This song displays on the surface an ideal harmony which is undercut 
by the tension between Colin' s masculine urge to control and Elisa' s feminine 
creativity. Elisa will not stay within the boundaries supplied by the poet; she 
slips out from categorization as Virgin or Monster, Mother or Whore, reject- 
ing non-Being, chaos, symbolization, as she slides among identities, inhabit- 
ing a paradoxical place which combines art and life, frame and poem, 
masculine and feminine, power and submission. The lively activity of her 
struggle indicates not only her power, but also the talent of the poet Edmund 
Spenser, who allowed contradiction and varied points of view to remain, who 
is an iconoclast, as Gross points out, refusing to let his symbols freeze into 
idols. Spenser succeeds by juxtaposing Colin' s plight with the voices of 
others, by allowing the woman's voice, humanity, and life to peer out from 
the borders and between the lines of the masculine categorization of her. We 
move among these several points of view - Colin' s view of Elisa, Hobbinol's 



Renaissance et Réforme / 71 



view of Elisa and of Colin, and Elisa's complex and contradictory self - as 
we experience this attempt at interweaving complex gender relations, at 
balancing the masculine and the feminine into the identity of a creative artist. 
But we must leave Elisa still struggling for freedom, forced to fight in 
subtle ways with hidden weapons. If the Elisa of the poem obeys orders, she 
is a static figure; if she subverts the poem and the poet's intention, he loses 
control. Will she rise up to obey the poet's bidding ... or will she rise up to 
escape from the poem and enter the human world to assert her own identity? 
She is still silent . . . but the tension in the poem prevents her from freezing 
into staticity. 

University ofGuelph 

Notes 

1. Although Elisa most certainly represents Queen Elizabeth on one level, Colin Cloute, 
I believe, is only one persona, one voice in the poem, of the many with which Spenser 
provides us. Spenser remains separate from these voices, allowing each one to speak 
without providing his own commentary. Patrick Cullen, in Spenser, Marvell, and 
Renaissance Pastoral (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970), states that 
E.K. is only partially correct when he identifies Colin as Spenser. Cullen claims that 
"It is Immerito [Spenser's pseudonym], not Colin, who 'equals' Spenser" and that 
"Colin's antipastoral actions cannot possibly be equated with Spenser's rejection of 
pastoral poetry since, obviously, it is Spenser who is writing the pastoral Calender'"' 
(pp. 78-9). 

2. Hélène Cixous, "Sorties: Out and Out: Attacks/Ways Out/Forays," in r/ieA^^w/>'fior/i 
Woman (with Catherine Clément), trans. Betsy Wing (Minneapolis: University of 
Minnesota Press, 1975; 1988), p. 117. 

3. Cixous, pp. 84-85. 

4. See Thomas H. Cain's Praise in The Faerie Queene (Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 1978), pp. 14 - 24, for a discussion of Spenser's {conization of Elizabeth in the 
April eclogue. 

5. Kenneth Gross, in Spenserian Poetics: Idolatry, Iconoclasm, & Magic (Ithaca: Cor- 
nell University Press, 1985), writes, "Spenser always multiples and opposes perspec- 
tives in his poem, always sets one mode of imagination against another - not for the 
sake of rhetorical display but to keep his ideals from turning into idols, his tropes into 
traps" (p. 15). He is writing of The Faerie Queene, but this technique is already 
evolving in The Shepheardes Calender. Colin Cloute has not quite achieved this feat, 
though he is beginning to in his lay to Elisa. 

6. Jonathan Goldberg, Voice Terminal Echo: Postmodernism and English Renaissance 
Texts (New York: Methuen, 1986), p. 53. 

7. Luce Irigaray, Speculum of the Other Woman, trans. Gillian C. Gill (Ithaca: Cornell 
University Press, 1985). 



72 / Renaissance and Reformation 

8. Toril Moi, Sexual/Textual Politics (London: Routledge, 1985), p. 166. 

9. Moi, p. 167. 

10. Frances A. Yates, Astraea: The Imperial Theme in the Sixteenth Century (London and 
Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975). Yates writes, "The complex and opposite 
mythological ingredients of Elizabeth Virgo as a symbol are thus a suitable reflection 
of the conflicts and antitheses which the Elizabethan settlement tried to evade. Her 
'imperial peace' covered, not without deep internal strains, divided religious opinions" 
(p. 87). 

1 1 . Louis Adrian Montrose, "'Eliza, Queene of Shepheardes,' and the Pastoral of Power," 
ELR, 10(1980), p. 168. 

12. Nancy Jo Hoffman, Spenser's Pastorals: The Shepheardes Calender and "Colin 
Clout" (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1977), p. 100. 

13. All quotations from "Aprill" are from the edition of The Shepheardes Calender 
collected in Spenser: Poetical Works, ed. by J.C. Smith and E. de Selincourt (Oxford: 
Oxford University Press, 1979), pp. 431-435. 

14. See Cain, pp. 19-20, for another analysis of Colin' s use of imperatives and interroga- 
tives - one which comes to different conclusions from mine. 

15. These two kinds of female characters appearing in male-authored novels were defined 
and discussed by Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar in The Madwoman in the Attic: 
the Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (New Haven: 
Yale University Press, 1979). 

16. Cixous, p. 91. 

17. Ovid. Fasti. Book IV. Ovid' s Fasti, trans. Sir James George Frazer (Cambridge, Mass.: 
Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann Ltd., 1959). 

18. See J. Michael Richardson's study of astrological references in The Shepheardes 
Calender, Astrological Symbolism in Spenser's "The Shepheardes Calender" : the 
Cultural Background of a Literary Text, Studies in Renaissance Literature 1 (Lewiston, 
N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1989). Ovid writes that "kindly Venus claims the month 
and lays her hand on it" and describes her power: "She indeed sways, and well deserves 
to sway, the world entire" {Fasti, IV. 85-132). 

19. Ovid, Fasti, V. 603-620, and Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. Frank Justus Miller (Cam- 
bridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971), II. 858-875 and VI. 104. 

20. Ovid,Af£r., I. 611-779. 

21. Ovid, Met., I. 689-737. As critics have pointed out, if Elisa is the daughter of Syrinx 
and Pan, she is song or poetry itself. This myth is a major key to this eclogue, which 
is at one level about the creation of this poem itself. 

22. Robert Graves, The White Goddess (London: Faber and Faber, 1961). 

23. E.K., in the gloss to "Aprill"; Ovid, Met. 6; and Henry Gibbons Lotspeich, Classical 
Mythology in the Poetry of Edmund Spenser (New York: Octagon, 1965), p. 91. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 73 



24. E.K., in his gloss to "Aprill," discusses the Graces' symbolic import, and message to 
us, of giving, receiving, and thanking. L. Staley Johnson, however, in "Elizabeth, 
Bride, and Queen: A Study of Spenser's April Eclogue and the Metaphors of English 
Protestantism" (Spenser Studies II (1981), 75-91), points out the "broken triad of 
giving" in the April eclogue, the disruption in friendships, love relationships, and 
creativity which contradict the message of the Graces. 

25. Virgil's Aeneid, Books I - XII (New York: American Book Company, 1902). C. Day 
Lewis translates this section as follows: "O but what shall I call you, maiden? for your 
face is / Unmortal, and your speech rings not of humankind. / Goddess surely you are. 
..." The Aeneid of Virgil, Garden City: Doubleday, 1952. 

26. Discussions of Spenser's symbolical use of flowers have been included in works by 
Cain, Hoffman, Cullen, and others. 

27. References to the OED are to The Oxford English Dictionary, Compact Edition 
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971). 

28. The rose, and many of the other flowers, are ones which also symbolized Queen 
Elizabeth and often surrounded her in official portraits, as Yates and others have 
pointed out. The mingling of the red rose and the white rose, as E.K. reminds us, 
signified "the uniting of the two principall houses of Lancaster and of Yorke" by Henry 
VIII, whose birth signified a joining of those two families, and his descendents. 

29. Gerard's Herball (London: Bracken Books, 1985), pp. 269-70. 

30. Culpeper's Complete Herbal, and English Physician . . . (Manchester: J. Gleave and 
Son, 1826; Harvey Sales, 1981), p. 126. 

31. Culpeper, p. 191. 

32. Culpeper writes that "Venus lays claim to the herb as her own" . . . and that "the 
ointment or distilled water of it adds beauty, or at least restores it when it is lost," pp. 
38-9. 

33. Gerard, pp. 29-30. Gerard cites Theocritus, "Eidyl 19 or 20," for the connection 
between Europa and daffodils. 

34. Gerard, pp. 199-200. 

35 A.K. Hieatt, "A Spenser to Structure Our Myths (Medina, Phaedria, Proserpina, Acra- 
sia, Venus, Isis)" in Contemporary Thought on Edmund Spenser, ed. by Frushell and 
Vondersmith (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1975), 
pp. 99-120. 

36. Cain, pp. 22-24; Johnson, p. 85. 



Book Reviews / Comptes rendus 



Winfried Schleiner. Melancholy, Genius and Utopia in the Renaissance. 
Wiesbaden: Otto Harassowitz, 1991, Pp. 350. 

In the penultimate chapter of her cogent study entitled Voices of Melancholy {191 \), 
Bridget Gellert Lyons, commenting on Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melan- 
choly, first published in 1621, claims that Burton's definition of the term "melan- 
choly" grew to such a point that it not only became "an enormous catch-all for 
causes and symptoms of disease" but also "the condition of mortality" itself (p. 
147). She adds that "The most striking artistic feature of the Anatomy... is its 
conscious creation of unity out of diversity. Melancholy, broadly defined, serves as 
a unifying theme for a wide variety of subjects and experiences, and there is a great 
play of wit involved in ordering all the material under the various headings of 
melancholy" (p. 148). And she concludes, "In the end, all of human behaviour as 
Burton sees it can be viewed and expressed in terms of melancholy; it has become 
a metaphor large enough to include all of life and to give it artistic shape" (p. 148). 

Lyons' admiration for the skill Burton demonstrates in giving "artistic shape" 
to a notion that without such shaping might lose all meaning because of the 
broadness of its definition contains within it, nevertheless, an implied criticism of 
Burton's all-encompassing definition of melancholy which turns it, in the words of 
an author not unfamiliar with the dramatic portrayal of the term, into "a barber's 
chair to fit all buttocks." 

Lyons' criticism of Burton's all-encompassing definition of melancholy is 
essentially my major criticism of Winfried Schleiner's otherwise impressive and 
scholarly book on the subject. Schleiner attempts to examine the various interpre- 
tations of the term "melancholy" throughout the Renaissance period. In essence he 
traces how the positive relationship between genius and melancholy (which 
includes the power of prophecy and divination) first postulated in Pseudo- 
Aristotle's Problem - XXX, 1, and carried forward by such worthies as Ficino, 
Agrippa and Melanchton, was gradually called into question and undermined by 
other writers to the point where melancholy came to be regarded as a complex 
mental disorder born of an ailing imagination and subject to various forms of 
treatment, some remarkably humane, others less so. As I summarize it, the thesis of 
the book seems straightforward enough. However, in its presentation, Schleiner's 



76 / Renaissance and Reformation 



book is anything but straightforward, in part because, as I mentioned above in my 
reference to Burton's all-encompassing definition, the term "melancholy" is mad- 
deningly protean, and also because Schleiner is reluctant to reduce his discussion 
to certain aspects of melancholy that would help support the thesis he so admirably 
articulates in his introduction. Hamstrung by the broadness of the definition of the 
term itself - something for which he is not responsible - and unwilling to let any 
of it escape his notice - something for which he is responsible - Schleiner often 
ends up in areas of intellectual pursuit which, albeit fascinating, tend to leave his 
thesis behind panting to catch up to him. 

A brief look at the table of contents will clarify what I mean. Chapter One 
traces the "tradition of genial melancholy," while Chapter Two examines critical 
reactions to it. In Chapter Three Schleiner moves the focus of his discussion from 
European attitudes to melancholy to the narrower area of melancholy and divination 
in England, an altogether legitimate and welcome reduction in scope. However, 
after this point the centre of the book no longer holds as Schleiner, in subsequent 
chapters, confronts the notion of melancholy as disease in Luther, Erasmus, and 
Cervantes; melancholy, witchcraft, and male impotence in Renaissance thought; 
melancholy, Utopia and arcadia; melancholy in Shakespeare; and finally, melan- 
choly in Milton. Each of these areas might properly be developed into monographs 
in their own right and Schleiner's discussions of these complex matters, hampered 
by space constraints in an already big book, often strike one as undeveloped. 

For instance, in the chapter on Utopia, a subject treated in about 25 pages 
despite the fact that the term gets top billing in the title of the book, Schleiner gives 
very little attention to Thomas More and melancholy despite the provocative leads 
given to him in Stephen Greenblatt's book Renaissance Self-Fashioning. Then 
again, in the chapter on Shakespeare, Schleiner discusses melancholy in Timon of 
Athens, in one scene in Twelfth Night, in one scene in King Lear, and in a general 
way in The Tempest. Much of what Schleiner says about these plays is perceptive 
and fascinating; much of what he says about many things is brilliant, and his 
significant range of reference and wide-reading in arcane sources is humbling to 
someone less knowledgeable than he. But his book is unwieldy for all that, since 
he fails to control his material in order to present a unified study of the vast subject 
he has gone a long way in mastering. 

At times, as I was reading this book, I got the feeling that Schleiner had done 
his best to stitch together articles he had written over the years on various aspects 
of melancholy and put them altogether between a pair of covers. I fear, however, 
that the tell-tale seams of discrete research projects are all too obvious. And despite 
the depth and intensity of the scholarship in this book, there are mechanical errors 
- numerous spelling mistakes and words omitted from sentences - which undermine 
the scholarly tone. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 77 



In short, Schleiner's book is one that everyone interested in melancholy in the 
Renaissance should read simply because it adds so much to the work already 
available on the subject. Having said that, however, I must add that the author might 
have produced an even better book had he resisted the temptation "to include all of 
life" in a piecemeal way in his discussion. 



DOUGLAS H. PARKER, Laurentian University 



Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Political Writings, translated and edited with an 
introduction and notes by Patrick Riley. Second Edition. (Cambridge texts in 
the History of Political Thought). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 
1988. Pp. xi, 249. 

Leibniz (1646-1716) is best known as a logician, mathematician and metaphysi- 
cian; by training, however, he was a lawyer and made his living as the legal and 
political adviser to a succession of German princelings. Some of the writings in this 
collection result directly from his official duties; others represent more detached 
reflections on the nature of justice, authority and the state. Leibniz was born during 
the last agonies of the Thirty Years War; notions of peace, order and concord occupy 
a central position in his thinking, at all levels. His own efforts to promote peace 
and concord included attempts to reunite the churches of Christendom and to design 
a universal language in which all mankind could communicate and in which 
calculation would replace controversy. Concomitantly he strove to establish learned 
academies, to shore up the Habsburg Empire and to protect the states of Germany 
and the Low Countries from the rapacity of Louis XIV. Although he had little 
success in these endeavours, he did found and was the first president of the Berlin 
Academy of Sciences, and he assisted in raising the House of Hanover to the 
Imperial College of Electors and to the British throne. 

Leibniz's "Manifesto for the Defense of the Rights of Charles III" (1703) was 
written to uphold the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne against Louis*s promo- 
tion of his grandson. His "Mars Christianissimus" (1683) - "very Christian god of 
war" - is a scathing satire on Louis's Christian precepts and bellicose practice. The 
"Portrait of the Prince" (1679), written for the edification of his own employer, 
presents the contrasting picture of a good ruler. Many of his writings are directed 
against Hobbes and his influence: these include the "Caesarinus Fiirstenerius" 
(1677), selections from which are given here, the "Meditation on the Common 
Concept of Justice" (c. 1702-3), and the "Opinion on the Principles of Pufendorf' 
( 1 706). The Preface to his Codex luris Gentium (1693), included here in part, applies 
his principles of justice to the relations between sovereign states. The collections 
also contains several shorter papers and letters. 



78 / Renaissance and Reformation 



The decision to bring this material together in a single volume, in English 
translation, was an excellent one. Many of the papers included are unavailable in 
translation elsewhere and some of them are quite inaccessible even in the original. 
The first edition of Patrick Riley's Leibniz: Political Writings appeared in 1972, 
with a lively, informative and controversial introduction by the editor. In this new 
edition the first 198 pages consist in an unaltered reprint of the first edition, typos 
included. Another forty two pages of text have been added, comprising three short 
papers by Leibniz and 31 pages of introduction by the editor. This new material, 
which consists in revised versions of three journal articles published since 1972, 
adds little to our understanding of Leibniz's political thought. 

How reliable are Riley's translations? A quick spot-check is not reassuring: 
Leibniz's "ne fais ou ne refuse point aisément ce que tu voudrois qu'on te fit ou 
qu'on ne te refusast pas" is translated as "do not do or do not refuse lightly that 
which you would not like to be done to you or which one would not refuse to you" 
(p. 82); Leibniz's "II est très vrai... qu'on ne sçauroit aimer Dieu sans aimer son 
frère" becomes "It is most true... that one cannot know God without loving one's 
brother" (p. 84). When Leibniz refers to "des vérités universelles et éternelles, qui 
expriment l'Estre parfait" Riley buries the key notion of expression in the vague 
statement that universal and eternal truths "are manifested in the perfect Being" (p. 
83). "Mars Christianissimus" contains the curious remark that the French ambassa- 
dors "avoided this unfortunate passage no more than the devil makes holy water" 
(p. 123). We are told that the translation is based on the Academy edition's French 
version but that "a few textual variants preserved in the Foucher de Careil edition 
have been interpolated." Sure enough, Foucher says that the devil "fait l'eau bénite". 
But why prefer this to the Academy edition's "fuit", especially when the Latin 
original has the devil fleeing the cross? By substituting "fuit" and noting that 
"moins" means "less", not "more", we arrive at the statement that the ambassadors 
shunned this passage no less than the devil flees holy water. 

The bibliography, described in the blurb as a "full critical bibliography", has 
been half-heartedly updated for this new edition. It is critical to the extent that it 
has brief comments on each item listed; it is certainly not full. Whether a bibliog- 
raphy of works in half a dozen languages is quite what is needed in a collection of 
translations, in a series primarily intended for students, is another question. But it 
ought at least to list accurately the relevant major articles and the latest editions of 
major books available in English, and for the rest it could list the latest edition of 
Muller's Leibniz-Bibliographie. It does none of these things, and when it refers to 
the splendid Academy edition it ignores the fact that a dozen additional volumes 
have appeared since 1972 and continues to direct "general readers" to inferior 
editions of the original texts. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 79 



In spite of these shortcomings, Riley's Leibniz: Political Writings is a valuable 
contribution to Leibniz studies. But it is a pity that so little advantage has been taken 
of the opportunity provided by the preparation of a new edition. 

PETER REMNANT, University of British Columbia 



Montaigne et la Grèce. Actes du colloque de Calamata et de Messène (23-26 
septembre 1988), présentés par Kyriaki Christodoulou. Paris, Aux Amateurs de 
Livres, 1991, Pp. 254. 

"Quant au grec, duquel je n'ay quasi du tout point d'intelligence" (I, 26) ... Kyriaki 
Christodoulou, par bonheur, ne s'est pas arrêtée à cette confidence des Essais et, à 
l'occasion du quatrième centenaire de l'édition de 1588, a réuni à Messène et 
Calamata (Péloponnèse) des chercheurs désireux comme elle de faire le point sur 
la dette de Montaigne envers la Grèce et sur l'image qu'en propose son livre. C'est 
d'ailleurs à la première de ces deux villes, fondée par cet Epaminondas tant admiré 
de l'auteur des Essais, que l'organisatrice de la rencontre a consacré une commu- 
nication, qui retrace l'histoire de la résistance héroïque contre Sparte, son encom- 
brante voisine. 

Sparte, "Eldorado de la vertu:" de là cette "sorte d'utopie à coloration lacédé- 
monienne" qu'Hélène Moreau voit "continuellement tissée à l' arrière-plan des 
Essais.'' La vaillance stoïcienne, la densité du dire, la grâce sublime affirmée face 
à la mort serviraient-elles d'images de compensation pour l'homme au "moi 
oreiller?" Pas seulement. Montaigne jette un pont hardi entre la divine police dont 
Sparte est redevable à Lycurgue et l'anarchie heureuse des peuples d'Amérique. 
Les deux rêves, estime H. Moreau, se nourrissent l'un de l'autre et Montaigne se 
prend à regretter que les Spartiates n'aient eu connaissance de cette "naïveté si pure 
et simple" des gens du Nouveau-Monde. Contre l'Athènes des discours pipeurs (et, 
faut-il ajouter, la France de "feintise" et dissimulation), Sparte et l'Amérique font 
entendre cette parole "de bonne foy" dont se réclame Montaigne. 

Du plafond de la librairie au livre, ou d'un lieu constellé de sentences grecques 
à un autre oià les citations en cette langue, moins nombreuses, sont soumises au 
bricolage d'une "autotextualité flamboyante:" J. O'Brien montre comment la tra- 
duction, ici transfert concrétisé, actualise la double métaphore de la topique, à la 
fois lieu et thème. 

"C'est mon homme que Plutarque." Soit, mais à bien entendre dans le contexte, 
et Barbara Bowen souligne que cette affinité ne vaut pas allégeance: confiance 
commune dans le pouvoir du langage, mais désaccord sur son usage (Montaigne 
revendique une parole plus privée que publique), sur l'éducation, sur l'interpréta- 
tion: Plutarque est friand de fables, d'oracles et d'allégories et à ces multiples 



80 / Renaissance and Reformation 



expressions du "comme," Montaigne opposerait volontiers le "mais" qui apparaît 
comme son "mot préféré." 

A "l'exercitation de la langue," Montaigne a très tôt préféré "l'exercitation de 
l'ame:" Jeanne Demers rappelle qu'au "discours réglé de la rhétorique," les Essais 
opposent un "désordre programmatique." Au risque, il est vrai, de s'éloigner un peu 
de Calamata, le chapitre I, 40 (Considération sur Cicéron) n'aurait pu qu'affirmer 
davantage cette perspective. 

205 mentions explicites de Platon dans les trois livres des Essais (dont plus 
de la moitié dans les additions postérieures à 1588)! Mais Jean Céard nous invite à 
circonscrire le Platon qui intéresse Montaigne: un auteur qui a choisi de s'exprimer 
par dialogues, un penseur politique convaincu de l'importance du secret et de 
l'illusion. Et quand il cesse de "faire le législateur," c'est pour écrire "selon soy." 
Autre titre de gloire, ce politique réputé idéaliste sait, bien mieux que les disciples 
de Machiavel, faire la part du réalisme. Au rebours de ses contemporains, Mon- 
taigne note avec intérêt la part faite par la République à la communauté des biens, 
des femmes, des enfants. Mais ici encore, sa fidélité est toute relative: lisant le 
philosophe de l'Académie, il "continue à poursuivre sa propre pensée, soit qu'il 
demande à Platon d'apporter sa caution à des idées qui lui sont chères, soit même 
qu'il l'y oblige par des infléchissements plus ou moins discrets." 

Est-il vraiment platonicien, l'homme qui reproche à Platon de trop éloigner 
l'âme des sens, de céder à la tentation angélique? G. Mallary-Masters soupçonne 
derrière la pensée de Montaigne "une dialectique aristotélicienne" en quête "d'une 
moyenne qui soit dynamique" plutôt que d'une "synthèse fixe et immobile." 
Perspective à laquelle ne se ralliera pas aisément Philippe Desan, sensible aux 
vigoureuses dénégations de Montaigne contre l'Ecole, dont les abus font apparaître 
le Stagirite comme "le père des dogmatistes." Le syllogisme, certes, ne fait pas bon 
ménage avec le dialogue cher à l'auteur des Essais; mais si la logique d'Aristote 
répugne à Montaigne, en est-il de même des fondements de son éthique? La question 
reste ouverte. Est-ce bien, d'autre part, au Lysis de Platon que Montaigne pense 
quand il parle de l'amitié? Montaigne n'a pas lu ce texte, estime Lambros Coulou- 
baritis, qui s'emploie à situer sur ce sujet Montaigne entre Platon et Aristote, et 
observe qu'il parle moins de l'amitié que de l'ami par excellence que fut La Boétie, 
et qu'à l'inverse de Platon, mais d'accord avec Aristote, il distingue soigneusement 
amour et amitié, pour conclure enfin "que l'aristotélisme de Montaigne est bien un 
aristotélisme dissident, animé par le feu du platonisme." 

C'est aux épicuriens que s'intéresse Henri Weber, pour montrer que si Epicure, 
dogmatique parmi d'autres, se trouve emporté dans le jeu de massacre de V Apolo- 
gie, et son matérialisme retourné au profit du fidéisme, en revanche, quand il s'agit 
du plaisir et de la douleur, Montaigne retient d'abord la quête de l'ataraxie, 
commune aux stoïciens et aux épicuriens; il célèbre, dans son dernier chapitre, la 
recherche active de la volupté vertueuse: plus proche en cela, donc, d' Epicure que 



Renaissance et Réforme / 8 1 



d' Aristippe, dont le séduisent pourtant la figure, moins exemplaire que paradoxale, 
et une liberté de propos qui ne débouche pas sur un comportement dissolu. Quant 
au pyrrhonisme, Evanghélos A. Moutsopoulos rappelle que si la pensée occidentale 
des temps modernes a privilégié son épistémologie, sa morale elle-même fait de 
l'ignorance un gage de sagesse et de bonheur. 

Selon Pierre-Philippe Druet, Montaigne formule sur sa mort des propositions 
pour une éthique de notre temps, temps de doutes comme l'étaient le sien et celui 
de la Grèce hellénistique: "mesnager notre liberté" (III, 10), mais aussi "valoriser 
le relatif, rendre la relativité signifiante au-delà de tout relativisme simpliste." Au 
confluent des trois sagesses, sceptique, épicurienne et stoïcienne, Montaigne trouve 
(Jean-Marc Gabaude) "un lien entre individualité et universalité et entre pratique 
et théorisation:" affirmation d'un humanisme raisonnable, d'un conservatisme fondé 
en raison, d'un optimisme naturaliste de droit tempéré par un pessimisme de fait. 

Alain Moreau et André Motte se sont partagé la matière olympienne: au 
premier les héros, les dieux au second. Ceux-ci sont de plus en plus présents au fil 
des alongeails; Vénus triomphe aux occurences, même si Apollon a le dernier mot 
des Essais et si aucun des "majeurs" ne manque à l'appel. Montaigne les rencontre, 
non chez les compilateurs anciens ou modernes, mais surtout chez les auteurs 
classiques eux-mêmes, et principalement les poètes de la latinité: aussi leur présence 
dans les Essais est-elle plus poétique qu'archéologique. Fécondité suspecte et 
"merveilleuse y vresse" de cet entendement humain qui "ne sçauroit forger un ciron, 
et forge des Dieux à douzaines" (II, 12)! Et Platon lui-même, dont Montaigne 
pourtant n'approuve pas les mythes relatifs à la rétribution des âmes ... Alain 
Moreau le signale d'entrée: peu de place dans les Essais pour les héros épiques 
grecs, et si Énée est en vedette, c'est à une épopée latine qu'il le doit: un relais 
également patent pour les héros homériques. La sympathie de Montaigne va à Enée 
et Ulysse, à leur faiblesse humaine, et son indifférence aux "fier-à-bras, massacreurs 
de monstres ou de guerriers." Aux portes de l'Olympe peut-être, Alexandre, "le plus 
grand homme, simplement homme," dont Kazimierz Kupisz observe que Mon- 
taigne nous propose non une biographie mais un portrait, contradictoire certes, mais 
la responsabilité en revient en partie au peintre, en partie à son modèle. 

Robert Aulotte développe une analyse toute en nuances pour saisir l'insaisis- 
sable kairos, à la fois tempus opportunum, instant crucial, moment des possibles: 
beaucoup plus en tout cas que cette "bonne occasion" à quoi le réduira bientôt 
Aristote. Il en voit une "parfaite célébration" dans le "Quand je dance, je dance, 
quand je dors, je dors" (III, 13). L'éthique du kairos est aussi une esthétique, celle 
du "rien de trop," une pratique politique de l' à-propos et de la modération, dans la 
médecine comme dans la rhétorique. 

Évoquant la quête de soi chez Montaigne, Jean-Louis Vieillard-Baron accepte 
le nominalisme mis naguère en relief par Antoine Comparot {Nous, Michel de 
Montaigne, 1980), souligne le psychologisme empiriste de Montaigne, qui l'écarté 



82 / Renaissance and Reformation 



d'une doctrine éthique radicale "mais vise à la suffisance," c'est-à-dire "l'autono- 
mie morale;" se cherchant lui-même, Montaigne rencontre autrui: la subjectivité 
rejoint ici "l'art de conférer." Autre rencontre: celle qu'étudie Andrée Comparot, 
entre l'auteur des Essais et l'Espagnol Francisco Sanchez, tous deux faisant du 
doute "un procédé fécond pour l'investigation philosophique et scientifique." 

Parce que Pierre Villey a sous-estimé le poids du leg médiéval dans les Essais, 
Roger Dubuis entreprend de le mettre en relief: maîtrise dans le bon usage de 
l'exemple (ce point appellerait sans doute quelques éclaircissements), crédulité 
vis-à-vis des chroniqueurs, injustice sur le compte de Froissart, mais au total: si ce 
dernier "a esquissé le passage de la chronique à l'histoire, si Commynes l'a 
confirmé, Montaigne en propose non seulement la théorie, mais une véritable 
philosophie." 

Dans la dernière section ("Du monde antique au monde moderne"), le rapport 
à la Grèce apparaît parfois ténu (ce dont certains auteurs, d'ailleurs, ont conscience). 
Mais le titre convient parfaitement aux propos de Charles Béné qui montre que la 
protestation de Montaigne contre la torture s'inspire sans doute du traité Sur les 
délais de la justice divine de Plutarque, mais aussi (comme le fait son contemporain 
Jean Wier) de saint Augustin (dont Montaigne corrige toutefois la résignation); et 
c'est la patristique grecque (saint Jean Chrysostome sur le traitement dont il faut 
user envers les hérétiques) qui est sollicitée pour dénoncer une pratique indigne des 
nations chrétiennes. René Garguilo enfin montre, à l'aide d'une formule de Martin 
du Gard ("Montaigne dans la valise"), comment les Essais, pour les écrivains 
humanistes du XX^ siècle, se voient promus du statut de livre de chevet à celui de 
vademecum: évocation de la lecture agile et avide qu'en font, avec l'auteur des 
Thibaut, des hommes comme Gide ou Duhamel. 

Tirant avec bonheur les conclusions de ce colloque, Jean Céard observe qu'il 
arrive au latin Montaigne "de se reconnaître parfois davantage dans les Grecs, plus 
retenus, plus déliés, plus souples." Non par les hellenica (il y a parfois failli), mais 
par le regard porté sur la Grèce et par une méthode qui les déchiffre comme des 
signes et une "quête d'exemples à la fois singuliers et significatifs." Tout en 
participant de l'intérêt présent porté au modus dicendi montaignien, fait de "con- 
sentement à la fragmentation" et de "mouvement de convergence," le colloque de 
Calamata et Messène rappelle que les Essais, "ramas de miettes philosophiques," 
proposent aussi un modus philosophandi qui n'est pas une vulgarisation, mais une 
nouvelle manière qui "retire la philosophie aux spécialistes. Là est la profonde 
modernité de Montaigne." 

On se félicite de la voir manifestée dans un volume qui témoigne de la vitalité 
des études montaignistes en Grèce, qu'a confirmé la tenue en septembre 1992 de 
deux nouveaux colloques, organisés l'un à Lesbos par K. Christodoulou, de nou- 
veau, et l'autre par Zoé Samaras à Thessalonique. 

MICHEL BIDEAUX, Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier 



Renaissance et Réforme / 83 



Paula C. Clarke. The Soderini and the Medici. Power and Patronage in 
Fifteenth-Century Florence. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991. Pg. 293. 

In presenting the politics, patronage, and power operating in fifteenth-century 
Florence, Professor Clarke could not have hoped for a better study in contrasts than 
the careers of two unlikely brothers, Niccolo and Tommaso Soderini. 

Niccolo and Tommaso were the sons of Lorenzo Soderini, himself the illegiti- 
mate son of Messer Tommaso di Guccio Soderini. The grandfather, a Florentine 
merchant who had ammassed a fortune in Avignon during the 1 360s, had returned 
to Florence by the 1370s, weathered the Ciompi revolt, and become a powerful 
figure in the Albizzi regime of his time. His son Lorenzo, on the other hand, badly 
bungled a fraudulent attempt to prove himself legitimate and ended his days at the 
hands of the executioner. Lorenzo's two young boys were left in such a desparate 
economic situation that their mother was obliged to place the youths and their small 
inheritance under the wardship of the Ujficiali dei Pupilli. Physically separated and 
socially alienated from their clan's support network, the youths were nevertheless 
able to capitalize on their inherited right to hold public office. As soon as they 
reached legal age, they embarked on a political career that, in the course of time, 
lead them both to hold the post of Gonfalonier of Justice, the highest elected office 
in the Florentine government. The economic resources and social prestige they 
acquired eventually lead one of the brothers, Tommaso, to supplant the legitimate 
branch of the family as the undisputed leader of the Soderini clan. Tommaso had 
hitched his star to the Medici wagon and was thus able to rise to be the second most 
politically influential citizen of Florence. His son, Piero, eventually became Gon- 
falonier-for-life during the so-called Soderini Republic (1502-1512). The other 
brother, Niccolo, chose instead to oppose Medicean political manoeuvers, eventu- 
ally fell out of favour and power, and ended his life in exile. 

In narrating the story of the two brothers' diverging careers, the author has 
provided the reader with a revealing view into the complex functioning of Floren- 
tine politics and into the manner in which three generations of Medici - Cosimo the 
Elder, Piero the Gouty, and Lorenzo the Magnificent - maintained control of the 
Florentine political system. Her history of the two brothers' careers, and especially 
her insightful analysis of Tommaso Soderini's rise to power, reveals that friendship 
and support for the Medici was "more instrumental than sentimental" (p. 262), in 
that loyalty to the Medici was always dependent on the rewards and benefits to be 
accrued from it. While Tommaso's career points to the success to be achieved from 
careful and non-dogmatic real-politik, Niccolo's fall from power points instead to 
the temporary quality of friendship bonds and the severe repercussions to be 
suffered from a reactionary stand on principles. 

The volume's scholarly apparatus is suberb, if not enviable. In compiling this 
detailed history of Florentine power and patronage networks the author has made 



84 / Renaissance and Reformation 



excellent use of a vast range of manuscript sources - government documents, 
minutes of meetings, ambassadors' reports, letters - from archives in Florence, 
Milan, Ferrara, Mantua, Modena, Pisa, Venice, Rome, Paris, and London. Such 
extensive and thorough archival work is evident in the high quality of the research 
and the precision of the scholarship that imbues not only the narrative, but the notes 
as well. One is left to wait eagerly for Professor Clarke's next in-depth study. 

KONRAD EÎSENBICHLER, University of Toronto 



Medieval & Renaissance Drama, V, edited by Leeds Barroll and James 
Shapiro. New York: AMS Press, 1 99 L Pp. xi v, 46 L 

This series, which invites articles of a length appropriate "to the task at hand" on 
any topic concerning English drama before 1 642, does not attempt to pursue a single 
theme in each volume. Obviously this volume's sixteen articles, one review article, 
and eighteen reviews focus on English literature, but some show multidisciplinary 
interests, particularly in connection with historical, political, and social concerns. 
In ""Respublica: Rituals of Social Elevation and the Political Mythology of Mary 
Tudor," Douglas F. Routledge analyzes the play's structure in the light of anthro- 
pological theory to reveal its political purpose of portraying Mary as the restorer of 
order after a period of festive inversion and misrule. Theodora A. Jankowski is also 
interested in social and political perceptions of a Tudor Queen, but fmds that Lyly 
failed in his purpose of flattering Elizabeth in Sapho and Phao because he lacked 
"a coherent discourse of female rule" (p. 75) to draw upon, and instead attempted 
unsuccessfully to employ "the romance's language of female flattery" (p. 81). At 
the end of the sixteenth century. Sir John Oldcastle appears to Larry S. Champion 
to reveal new approaches to historical inquiry, in that it seems to allow a double 
perception of historical events, one of which ratifies the aristocratic status quo and 
one which questions and subverts it. 

Economic history is part of the subject of two articles. Roslyn L. Knutson offers 
a reinterpretation of the significance of Henslowe's records of partial payments for 
playtexts, arguing that they show the Admiral's men seeking to exploit the commer- 
cial opportunities arising from the establishment of the Chamberlain's Men across 
the road, rather than taking desperate measures to cope with the new competition. 
Similarly S. P. Cerasano reinterprets the economic facts of Henslowe's and Alleyn's 
Mastership of the Bears, demonstrating that the post was lucrative and prestigious, 
and that bearbaiting was both exciting and attractive in itself, and associated with 
other specularly entertaining and "artistic" effects. 

Alan Somerset and C. E. McGee, both editors of volumes in the REED series, 
offer substantial articles based on fresh documentary evidence. Through an analysis 



Renaissance et Réforme / 85 



of documentation relating to a dispute over a maypole in Shrewsbury in 1591, 
Somerset cautions that new historicist and cultural materialist interpretations of folk 
history and festival may be misled by the rhetoric of participants' reports into seeing 
subversion and containment, rather than as in this case "a dispute among the various 
privileged factions" (p. 254) of the city. McGee provides more than 20 pages of 
transcripts from the diary of William Whiteway, merchant of Dorchester, and from 
the records of the City of London and the Merchant Taylors', as appendices to his 
demonstration of the political and economic motivations behind the City of 
London's financing of a second performance in the Merchant Taylors' Hall of 
Shirley's masque The Triumph of Peace recently performed at Court. 

Lila Geller turns to theology and to religious controversy to support a new 
reading of Middleton's More Dissemblers Besides Women (1615). According to her 
interpretation of Protestant as opposed to Catholic views on vows (especially rash 
or impossible vows), and on matrimony, critics have been wrong to believe that 
Middleton was condemning the central character, the Duchess, for not keeping the 
vow of chastity she made to her dying husband: the play "does not tragically bemoan 
the inability of its characters to keep to lofty standards of self-denial, but rather 
exposes hypocrisy to ridicule and the frailty of self-deception to laughter" (p. 306). 

The articles by G. B. Shand, Albert H. Tricomi, and Stephen K. Wright treat 
medieval rather than Renaissance drama, though the first two (on the Anglo- 
Normand Ordo Repraesentationis Adae or Adam, and on comic experience in the 
English Cycle plays) draw comparisons with Shakespeare, and the third speculates 
in the light of continental analogues on the contents of the lost York Creed play, 
which was still performed well into the sixteenth century. The other articles are 
more exclusively concerned with English literary studies: James R. Siemon offers 
a Bakhtinian approach to The Spanish Tragedy and William W. E. Slights an essay 
on "Bodies of Text and Textualized Bodies in Sejanus and Coriolanus'" Glenn A. 
Steinberg examines plot and improvisation in The Knight of the Burning Pestle; 
Peter M. Wright studies Jonson's stage directions in his 1616 Workes and Leslie 
Thomson surveys the evidence for actual and fictional windows in the staging of 
Renaissance plays. David Scott Kastan's review article "Demanding History" 
affords him the opportunity to heap scorn on Allan Bloom, Lynne Cheney and 
William Bennett, and to eulogize Walter Cohen, Jonathan Dollimore, Alan Sinfield, 
and Stephen Greenblatt. 

There are some reviews of books whose subjects extend beyond the discipline 
of English: Coppèlia Kahn writes on Martin Ingram's Church Courts, Sex and 
Marriage in England, 1570-1640, and O. B. Hardison, Jr. reviews The Apocalypse 
in English Renaissance Thought and Literature, edited by C. A. Patrides and Joseph 
Wittreich. Perhaps mention should be made of Lawrence M. Clopper's review of 
Steven E. Hart and Margaret M. Knapp's "The Aunchant and Famous Cittie:" 
David Rogers and the Chester Mystery Plays:" after a temperate but detailed 



86 / Renaissance and Reformation 



exposition of the book's shortcomings he reveals that he had read the typescript and 
had not recommended publication; he then declares that he wishes to dissociate 
himself from the book, and questions how it came to be published (apparently in a 
shoddy but expensive format). 

Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England is a handsome volume, but is 
not without misprints which begin in the listing of the Editorial Board and can be 
found in running titles as well as scattered through the text. Most saddening to me 
is the repeated "elegaic" (p. 100); most cheering are the "British cultured material- 
ists" on p. 245 (colonial deference?), and the pleasing concept of Cohen's "eclectric 
Marxism" on p. 35 1 . 



JUDITH M. KENNEDY, St. Thomas University 



Sebastian De Grazia. Machiavelli in Hell. Princeton: Princeton University 
Press, 1989. Pp. 497. 

First a word about the title. The Hell in which De Grazia places Machiavelli is not 
the Dantean or the traditional pulpit hell, but rather a place in the afterworld where 
makers of states gather. Membership in this club is reserved for those who founded 
states either through their deeds (princes) or their writing (authors). The last 
category includes famous political theorists, such as Aristotle, Plato and, of course, 
Machiavelli. The fresh conception of Hell, which is actually a comer of paradise or 
simply the "dwelling place of heroes" (p. 385), proceeds from a moral philosophy 
whereby the new political leader, the "prince new" or the founder of states (and 
implicitly, his counselor/tutor) is indeed the savior, the redeemer of a fallen or 
corrupt principality. In carrying out this redemption or in founding a new state, the 
prince at times is "necessitated to enter evil:" if necessary he must kill even his own 
sons, and he would do so for love of his country, which supposedly he loves more 
than his soul (p. 352). But in so doing, the prince risks eternal damnation, for 
"entering into evil" means to sin. Here, De Grazia draws a pivotal distinction 
between sin and sinner, act and actor, deeds and doer. His point is predicated on the 
semantic difference between cruelty and cruelties: the first is an intrinsic trait of a 
wicked individual, the latter is an act which a person (a prince) is often "necessi- 
tated" to commit or perform, even though he is not cruel by nature. But unless one 
accepts Isaac Berlin's suggestion that Machiavelli places the prince with a pagan 
or Greco-Roman morality, the dilemma still remains, for in Judeo-Christian con- 
ventions a sin is a sin, whether committed by sheer cruelty or by necessity of state. 
De Grazia resolves the issue by arguing that in Machiavelli's view God was 
favorably predisposed toward political leaders who sinned for the good of the state. 
The strength of the argument is primarily derived from Chapter XXVI of The 



Renaissance et Réforme / 87 



Prince, where Machiavelli, in exhorting his "prince new" to heroic action, elevates 
him to the level of biblical, historical and mythological figures such as Moses, Cyrus 
and Theseus. Their towering stature notwithstanding, these men and their enter- 
prises, Machiavelli argues, were not necessarily "juster" than the liberation of Italy 
"nor was God more a friend to them than to you [the prince'new']." God, in fact, 
forgives a prince who sins for the benefit of the whole, as He forgave Moses, David, 
St. Peter, etc. Pursuant to this political theology in which the "beloved of God are 
makers of states in deed and writing (p. 385), the princes, the armed prophets, and, 
of course, their counselors emerge as the real heroes. They are, indeed, the few saints 
of a religion that condones sins committed in the name of the common good. After 
all. De Grazia remarks, Machiavelli believes that "the greatest good that one can 
do and the most gratifying to God, is that which one does for one's countr>'" (p. 381). 

This resolution of Machiavelli's long-discussed (im)moral dilemma within the 
premises of christian orthodoxy echoes a view proposed by Machon in his Apologie 
pour Machiavel (1643). But, whereas for Machon (whom De Grazia does not 
acknowledge) a prince is endowed with a sacred nature and, therefore, enjoys divine 
exemption from moral consideration, for De Grazia, he is basically a sinner whose 
princely evil deeds God ultimately forgives. Without pretending to do so. De Grazia 
squares off against those who have viewed Machiavelli's prince operate within a 
non-christian morality. In his position there is also the implied repudiation of 
Croce's seminal view that Machiavelli divorces politics from religion or that politics 
has its own morality. 

But the attempt to reconcile Machiavelli's political theory with christian 
morality, however interesting and revolutionary, is not always convincing. For 
instance, the idea that the "prince new" is motivated by "love of country," and thus 
for the good of those governed, is hardly in keeping with Machiavelli's well-known 
belief that individuals are driven primarily by personal ambition. Think of Cesare 
Borgia's ambitions! Also, De Grazia's immense undertaking comes with the price 
of having to accept often at face value and in haste raw and unmitigated evidence. 
In fact, the reader may have difficulty distinguishing between historical and literary 
evidence, for De Grazia often presents evidence from the Histories or the Letters 
together with quotations from the plays, the poems, and other writings: the distinc- 
tion between the historian and the poet is not always clear. In addition, the 
predilection for textual evidence can be so overwhelming that it often obfuscates 
the argument, as in the case of his treatment of Fortuna. The long discussion aimed 
at establishing the sexual connotation of Fortuna = woman vs. virtu (from vir) could 
have been easily handled with a reference to Pitkin's in-depth study on the same 
topic (Fortune is a Woman, 1984). But inexplicably De Grazia does not take into 
account nor does he acknowledge previous Machiavellian scholarship. At times, 
this causes him to arrive at hasty conclusions. For instance, his rather instinctive 
view of Timoteo as a monk who seeks to make money for charitable purposes 



88 / Renaissance and Reformation 



ignores the established view that Timoteo is one of those greedy friars populating 
the novellistica and the theater of Renaissance Italy. And, his assertion that in The 
Prince "you" (for which Machiavelli uses the singular pronoun tu, or the plural voi, 
depending on the context) refers to one person (p. 32), disregards studies that have 
argued for distinct functions of the two pronouns. Also, commenting on the October 
1525 letter to Guicciardini, De Grazia writes that Machiavelli finally "turns his 
attention to his literary efforts, to the history of Florence he is still working on" (p. 
343). Actually Machiavelli had already presented the work to the Pope in May of 
that year. 

These reservations are minor points vis-à-vis the scope of De Grazia's well 
documented study of Machiavelli's life and thought. Indeed the book is a biography, 
an intellectual biography to be specific, pieced together, like a mosaic, mainly from 
Machiavelli's own works, including references seldom seen before. De Grazia's 
encyclopedic knowledge of the Machiavellian text helps to produce a biographical 
tour de force unprecedented in Machiavellian scholarship. The result is a complete 
picture of Machiavelli, the family man, the citizen, the individual with all his beliefs 
and views, with all his habits and contradictions. The personal traits and mental 
patterns serve as the base for the book's central argument which seeks to place 
Machiavelli's political philosophy within the context of christian morality. 

Certainly, the book would have gained considerably from a critical apparatus 
that would take into account past and present scholarship. However, its absence 
does not detract from a book that affords easy and pleasurable reading partly 
because the reader is not interrupted by constant references to other sources. 
Reading is also facilitated by De Grazia's decision to keep the text all in English, 
placing the original Italian in the notes. His translations from the Italian are flawless. 
Although De Grazia's study may not be the last word on Machiavelli's life and 
thought, it is nonetheless an important critical contribution to Machiavelli scholar- 
ship and should have a place not only in every library but on the shelves of every 
Machiavelli scholar. 

SALVATORE DI MARIA, University of Tennessee 



Peter Pierson. Commander of the Armada: The Seventh Duke of Medina 
Sidonia. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1989. Pp. xiii, 304. 

Perhaps the most welcome result of anniversary celebrations for significant histor- 
ical events is the interest they stimulate in researching and reinterpreting old 
subjects. Certainly, this is the case with the recent 400th anniversary (in 1989) of 
the Spanish Armada, which has produced a number of important new books and 
articles based on fresh approaches and new evidence. One such book is Peter 



Renaissance et Réforme / 89 



Pierson's sympathetic biography of the commander of the Spanish fleet, the duke 
of Medina Sidonia, the first account in any language of the life of this significant 
historical figure. A solidly researched book that draws heavily upon previously 
inaccessible sources from the Medina Sidonia archives, it offers a detailed look at 
the duke's long career, tracing his involvement in the administration and politics of 
late sixteenth-century Spain. 

Pierson's thesis is that the duke of Medina Sidonia's reputation has been treated 
unfairly by generations of historians who have blamed him for the Armada's failure. 
Forgetting his years of service to the Spanish Crown, it is generally concluded that 
in appointing Medina Sidonia to command the fleet, "the Prudent King acted 
imprudently and must have based his choice on the Duke's wealth or some other 
reason that was less than satisfactory" (p.xi). On the contrary, Pierson argues 
convincingly, a close examination of Medina Sidonia's administrative career 
reveals a loyal royal servant of logistical and organizational skill, considerable 
personal initiative and much strategic good sense in maritime affairs, which made 
him a respected adviser to the king and a reasonable choice as Captain General of 
the Ocean-Sea. 

Pierson begins his biography with a detailed examination of Medina Sidonia's 
background as head of the greatest noble family of sixteenth-century Spain. The 
author traces the duke's lineage and his family's rise to prominence in detail, as well 
as the responsibilities - both feudal and familial - that he inherited as a grandee of 
Spain. Having thus laid the background of Medina Sidonia's heritage, with its 
political connections and inherited obligations, Pierson examines the duke's early 
career, concentrating on his part in Philip II's seizure of the Portuguese succession 
in 1580, his role in Spanish-Moroccan affairs, his organization of Andalusia's 
coastal defences and his active involvement in the administration and preparation 
of the annual Indies fleets. Understandably, the campaign of 1588 dominates the 
central chapters of the book, given Medina Sidonia's initial tasks in preparing the 
fleet and his subsequent appointment as its commander. Here Pierson pays close 
attention to Philip II's choice, touching on Medina Sidonia's own misgivings over 
his qualifications to lead. And he provides an extensive analysis of the Armada 
campaign (supported by maps and rich detail on the rival fleets and their move- 
ments) from the Spanish point of view, dealing with the English side only as 
necessary. Pierson then picks up the duke's career after his return to Spain, his 
activities during the English sack of Cadiz and his last years as a respected elder 
statesman who still enjoyed the confidence of his monarch. 

What emerges from Pierson's work is a portrait of the duke as a man of his age, 
deeply involved in the regional and national government of Spain. Dedicated to the 
Crown he served loyally and well, Medina Sidonia was proud of his family heritage 
and jealous of its interests; he was also as ambitious as other contemporary 
noblemen for high royal appointment, but he was responsible, too. For he 



90 / Renaissance and Reformation 



recognized his own shortcomings and refused high office when he felt it beyond his 
experience or personal capacities. Furthermore, he was an able and clear-sighted 
administrator whose advice was sought eagerly on national, imperial and maritime 
affairs, even after his retirement from active service. 

But this portrait is gained almost exclusively through inference. Although 
Pierson explicitly evaluates the duke's military or naval and administrative talents, 
he rarely deals with the intimate man, his personal outlook or motivations, leaving 
the reader with an incomplete impression of the duke. Instead, Pierson 's admitted 
focus is on Medina Sidonia's official career. The problem with this approach is, 
however, that at times the duke seems only to be an incidental figure in the drama 
and not the principal actor. In Chapter VI, for example, he almost entirely disappears 
in the welter of detail over the final preparations for the Armada. As a result, some 
ideal opportunities to probe deeply the duke's mind are missed, especially his 
reluctance to accept the Armada's command. This seems to suggest that Medina 
Sidonia is important only in relation to the background of great events and is 
therefore not worthy of study beyond his official life. 

But it is easy to criticize. The fact remains that Pierson's book is an important 
one. In reconstructing Medina Sidonia's career, the author provides extensive 
details on the organization of sixteenth-century Spain's coastal defence. Also 
valuable are Pierson's brief sketches of the men associated with Medina Sidonia 
and the internal workings of Philip II's government through connections of family 
and clientage. As for Pierson's reinterpretation of the Armada campaign, it is 
exciting and fresh. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, he restores the reputation 
of the commander of that failed "Enterprise of England," giving him his just due. 



RONALD S. LOVE, University of Alberta 



Thomas F. Mayer, Thomas Starkey and the Commonwealth. Humanist Politics 
and Religion in the Reign of Henry VIII. Cambridge Studies in Early Modem 
British History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Pp. x, 316. 

Office maketh man. Most of Starkey' s years were spent in preparation for a brief 
period "in the kingis familye" (p. 211). This was not sufficient to support the 
ambition of a shining vita activa, and his was "not a life of outstanding accomplish- 
ment" (p. 3). He is remembered not for his dashed hopes but by an intended 
instrument of their fulfilment, the unfinished Dialogue (see Professor Mayer's 
edition, Camden 4th ser. vol. 37, 1989), the bulk of which is assigned to 1529-32, 
not a little later as many have thought. The implication of that alone gives us a new 
Starkey, but there is much more in this splendid book, a skilfully constructed study 
of the man and his thought, which manages to be positive despite the author's 



Renaissance et Réforme / 91 



description of his arguments as being negative, designed to clear away fifty years 
of "unhelpful" interpretation. Right from the beginning, the cards are dealt face up: 
Starkey was not a follower in the footsteps of Marsilio, not any kind of Protestant, 
and not a particular enthusiast for, or companion of, Thomas Cromwell. His 
anti-clericalism and taste for church reform are placed in their English context, with 
due appreciation of Colet and Whittinton; his intellectual apparatus is largely 
consigned to an European tradition, particularly that of the north Italian towns; his 
social ideas are mostly left to A.B. Ferguson's The Articulate Citizen (1965). 
Throughout, but especially in response to the question of what it was like to be a 
humanist, attention is directed to "his 'civicism'..., his 'classicism' in both history 
and rhetoric and the religious tension these helped to induce in him" (p. 278). 

The phenomenon of humanism (there are excellent historiographical discus- 
sions), it is agreed, was essentially aristocratic, but the author is a bit heavy handed 
with Starkey's fixation about the nobility. His conception, perhaps more interesting 
for this time, was that of "gret lordys & gentylmen" (Camden vol., p. 118), 
essentially that of nobilitas maior and nobilitas minor, later common currency to 
Thomas Wilson. Bom a second son between 1495 and 1500, his Cheshire family 
was one of decent gentry, neither magnatial nor patrician, origins which in a county 
lacking peers placed him in the top segment of society with respect to responsibility, 
opportunity and education. Grammar school led to Oxford and ordination. Univer- 
sity training in disputation and the study of Aristotle and Cicero provided not just 
the images of classical Greece and republican Rome but something out of their 
vocabulary which first helped to shape Starkey's distinctive language of the com- 
monwealth. Oxford might have shifted the scales towards a vita contemplativa but 
it also produced an insidious antithesis in the person of Reginald Pole, in whose 
circle and service, largely in Italy but including two visits to England and a 
separation in Avignon, Starkey was to spend most of his time up to the end of 1534. 
In Padua, he sucked up Italian thought (Bembo, Bonamico, Contarini, Gabriele, 
Giamoti, Leonico), Peter Martyr was a fellow student, and there would be the 
influence of Kampen, the evangelical who arrived in May 1534. The troubles of 
Florence and Venice were spawning an aristocratic solution, something translatable 
to English conditions. 

Professor Mayer explores the all important delicacies of language, whether 
later in Starkey's dealings with Cromwell, the superficiality of similarity being a 
snare, or earlier as he began to stretch "the parlous English vernacular to cover the 
much more sophisticated coinage of Italian political discourse" (pp. 3-4). The 
argument is that this would produce the first writer of a humanist political dialogue 
in English, his conceptual vocabulary helping to establish "a new literary tradition" 
(pp.4, 280). St. German's structure receives short shrift: "using dialogue as an 
excuse to break treatises into smaller pieces" (p. 63). The King's great matter, the 
vacuum left by Wolsey, and Pole's triumph with the theologians in Paris, flanked 



92 / Renaissance and Reformation 



by trips to England, hastened composition of Starkey's masterpiece. Diversely 
intended to attract Henry VIII and to advance Pole, he designed a programme which 
envisaged the patrician accepting office as leader of a reformed and reforming 
"nobility." Yet he must have had doubts about Pole, from whom he separated for 18 
months at Avignon in pursuit of civil law and theological studies, but switching as 
a practical measure to Padua where he took both degrees. 

Returning to England, Starkey was set to work by Cromwell on intelligence 
reports from Padua and Venice, then to correspond with Pole. Having become a 
preacher, although it is not quite clear if he was a royal chaplain, his lengthy sermon, 
An Exhortation, became his only publication. Recalling one description, "the 
cornerstone of the Anglian via media" (p.218). Professor Mayer does a rescue job, 
exposing this religious treatise as something distinct from the Dialogue. Alas, in 
1536, Strakey was getting nowhere with Pole, whose De Unitate, with its "frantic" 
attack on the head of a church of Satan, was a sickening but not fatal blow. At this 
point, the biographer has to be confronted by the fact that Starkey's one distinctive 
qualification was not learning but his presumed connection with Pole. Otherwise, 
there was nothing special in an intellectual who allowed the supremacy and whose 
anticlericalism did not envisage lay interference touching doctrine. In an Henrician 
twinkling of an eye, trust evaporated. The King wondered if he had been deceived 
about Pole's attitudes and Cromwell concluded that this conservative was reli- 
giously suspect. In a way, both men of power were correct, yet hope remained and 
Henry, at least, could be assuaged. Starkey acquired a good London benefice at the 
end of 1 536, preached before the King early in 1538, and began notes for a refutation 
of Albert Pighe who had salvaged royal thinking. In reality, he had nowhere to go. 

Starkey's positions were not a substitute for the political moorings which he 
is described as having lost (p. 282). One wonders if he ever had any. He reminds 
me of Uriah who was sent forth by David to be killed. His fluctuating inclinations 
- the Pope's authority, a general council, and a remarkable balancing act on 
salvation - can give a milk-and-water impression of this conservative who, as in 
the joke about Henry VIII, seems repeatedly to have come of age. Constant until 
1538 to his framework of leadership by the King in conjunction with a worthy 
nobility, he lost hope in them after he had lost hope in Pole. Bad rulers, once blamed 
on men, were now portrayed as divine punishment. It is a telling passage. His hopes 
for penance and the newness of life were as painfully feeble as his association with 
the conspirators of 1538, almost as though he could not free himself from the glue 
of conservatism. Lacking an alternative, he embraced "the faction with which he 
had flirted almost from the beginning" (p. 283). Had he not fled to Somerset and 
died, probably from the plague, in August 1538, he would almost certainly have 
been indicted and executed. 

This book has much to say on the ambivalence of humanists, but that was not 
Starkey's problem. His standing in learning, amply acknowledged by contemporar- 



Renaissance et Réforme / 93 



ies, was not matched by a commensurate consequence during his brief moment of 
political possibility. Ambitious, but weightless, he had found the wrong patron, and 
when Starkey was settled in England the elusive Pole was elsewhere. Just one of a 
crowd, as far as Henry VIII and his ministers were concerned but for that one talent, 
he is pertinently described as being among the Secretary's tame intellectuals. In 
fact, and contrary to this author's hesitation, it was no small distinction to be "a 
high-powered clerk" of Cromwell, nor was Starkey above boasting, but to describe 
him as "junior minister. . . with portfolio for defending the new religious order" (pp. 
201, 204) is bizarre, except to remind us that the Dialogue - and who actually saw 
it?- is as imaginative as Bagehot's Constitution was to be in the nineteenth century. 
Starkey was one to be maintained or let go at pleasure. In the summer of 1536, he 
sent Henry a manifesto containing proposals for religion and the monasteries, but 
none of his points "had any impact, either positive or negative..." (Camden vol., 
p.ix). He shaped his career around Henry and Pole, perhaps around the aristocracy, 
but would support neither unless they answered his call for reform (p.4). One doubts 
whether they cared greatly. He probably did see himself as spokesman for a potential 
party of the high nobility, but who was he so to think? Whatever may be said about 
Cheshire gentry, he did not belong to those ranks, and his association with titled 
riff-raff in 1538 was singularly pathetic. There was something wrong about Starkey. 
I even suspect the quality which urges the blurb to tell us that he was "the most 
Italianate Englishman of his generation." Expatriates in an exotic society can 
become more native than the natives, and one is uneasy about one who made Paduan 
and Venetian culture his own and "fitted in quickly" (p. 279). Politically, he seems 
so naive as to attract sympathy. One blinks on reading that his little hopeful, before 
the Pilgrimage of Grace, was "trying to put together a grand coalition between 
Cromwell, Henry and Pole for the reform of England" (p. 282). It is at this point 
that Professor Mayer pulls himself together with a reminder that he was "regarded 
of small consequence by Pole..." (p. 282). Precisely! However, for the last 18 
months of his life, it is only Starkey's insignificance which reconciles threatening 
contradictions in descriptions of him as being in opposition and a man in the middle. 
A small man has to be a time-server or serve in another way. He did try, as over 
monasticism, but he was too little to make himself noticeable by opposing Anne, 
which most did, or by supporting Mary, which most did not. Even Professor Mayer 
finds that hard to explain, but he manages a wry line on Starkey's thoughts about 
history; "he had little more success sticking to one view of it than he did in the case 
of anything which offered alternatives:" and, with respect to the 1537 Notes on the 
Old Testament, there is a nice quip about "the humanist difficulty of keeping one 
eye cocked on past and present at the same time" (pp. 285-86). 

Lacking stature in a political world, flitting around intellectually but sticking 
to some fundamentals, the value of Starkey's sophisticated ideas ran out when he 
was exposed as a conservative and the wrong kind of evangelical. Even so, he did 



94 / Renaissance and Reformation 



not have to get involved with conspirators in 1538, and so there is little romantic 
nobility in this man who himself failed to fulfil the extremes of aristocratic 
performance, for he brought up neither good hounds nor wise heirs. 

Starkey, a fine scholar, had no substance behind his dreams of being an 
assistant director, perhaps more, in a theatre controlled by men more powerful, more 
clever, and at least as intelligent as himself. The elements of influence always 
remain the same. Without them, Starkey was a failure. With them, would his ideas 
have had any more immediate impact and would he have been more successful? I 
doubt it. His Dialogue is a mine for quotation, and there are lovely things about 
entail, wardship, and William the Conqueror, and he tells us that there was most 
virtue in the countryside, most vice in the towns, something which might be 
corrected if the gentry managed more often to live in an urban residence. There is 
only a feeble glimmer of understanding about the mechanics and institutions of 
England, and I doubt if he had the slightest conception of what was beginning to 
happen to his native county and its greater frame, the county palatine. Cromwell 
was not out of touch with reality, but Starkey 's Dialogue was. There is too much in 
it of an expatriate dreaming of return to revitalised fields that never were. His, in 
part, was the fantasy of a Merry England which had gone wrong, and yet there is a 
niggling thought that there was, despite everything, some mental association 
between his language and the understanding of the great Secretary. An abiding 
memory from this book, often brilliant, sometimes weighed down by an over-ear- 
nest intensity of discussion, is that Starkey used "cuntry" to mean the whole of 
England. 



W.J.JONES, University of Alberta 



Work in progress / Travaux en cours 



CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF THEORY & CRITICISM 

University of Western Ontario 

X he Centre for the Study of Theory & Criticism at the University of 
Western Ontario is a unique cross-disciplinary forum for research in theory 
and criticism. The Centre was created in 1986 largely in response to the 
growing recognition that disciplinary boundaries tend to limit intellectual 
efforts in a number of areas, particularly where scholars across the human- 
ities and social sciences find themselves addressing common questions about 
the presuppositions of established modes of inquiry and practice. 

The Centre draws its over 150 intramural participants from 23 depart- 
ments, Faculties, and Colleges at the University of Western Ontario. It 
sponsors an active program of visiting speakers, internal colloquia, seminars, 
conferences, and publications on various scales. In recent years, many semi- 
nar topics were more closely related to the Renaissance period: Derrida and 
painting, Bakhtin and Theory, Criticism and History, Foucault and Authority, 
Aesthetics of Art History. 

The centre offers a Masters Program in theory and criticism. Such areas 
of inquiry as literary theory, political theory, aesthetics, linguistics, legal 
theory, cultural studies, and art history are examined from an inter-disciplin- 
ary perspective. The program is designed so that students will begin to 
question entrenched assumptions about the standards of adequacy and the 
nature of the subject matter that have defined orthodox forms of inquiry as 
well as to examine critically the unspoken foundations of their own research. 
In 1993-1994, the invited visiting professor in the program is Linda Hutcheon 
who teaches a course on Theories of Irony. 

The Centre also sponsors a journal, Theoria: A Journal of Theory and 
Criticism, and a series of publications in related theoretical concerns. 

For more information on the CSTR activities and programs, please write 
to the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism, Room 206C, University 
College, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 3K7. 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 2 ( 1 993) 95 



Annonces / Announcements 



Le dialogique 

Le dialogique, voilà. le sujet d'un colloque international sur les formes philoso- 
phiques, littéraires, linguistiques et cognitives du dialogue. Ce colloque aura 
lieu les 15 et 16 septembre 1994 à T Université du Maine, Le Mans, France. Pour 
de plus amplesrenseignements, veuillez écrire à Antoine Compagnon, Départe- 
ment de français. Université du Maine, B.P. 535, 72017 Le Mans Cedex, France. 

Food and Drink in the Middle Ages and Eariy Renaissance 

Food and Drink will be the focus of attention at the 21st Annual ACTA 
Conference to be held on 22-23 April 1994 at the State University of New York, 
Binghamton. For more information, please write to: Prof. Mary Jo Am, Depart- 
ment of English, Bakeless Center for Humanities, Bloomsburg University, 
Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 17815, USA. 

William Tyndale 

The Catholic University of America nd the Folger Institute present a conference 
entitled William Tyndale: Church, State & Word. The conference will be held 
on 14-17 July 1994 at the Catholic University. Inquiries to Prof. Anne M. 
O'Donnell, English Department, Catholic University of America, Washington, 
DC 20064, USA. 

Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies 

The annual conference of the CSRS will be held on 5-7 June 1994 at the 
University of Calgary. For more information, please contact Prof. Ronald Bond, 
Dean of Humanities, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., 
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4. 

Société Canadienne d'Études de la Renaissance 

Le congrès annuel de la SCER aura lieu du 5 au 7 juin 1994 à rUniversité de 
Calgary. Pour de plus amples renseignements, prière de communiquer avec le 



98 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Prof. Ronald Bond, Dean of Humanities, University of Calgary, 2500 University 
Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4. 

Thomas More Symposium 

The Fifth International Thomas More Symposium will be held 20-27 May 1995 
in Mainz, Germany. For information, please write to: Prof. Hermann Boventer, 
Thomas-Morus-Gessellschaft, Hubertushohe 9, Bendberg, 51429 Bergisch- 
Gladbach, Germany. 

Littérature chevaleresque 

Sagesse, démesure et folie dans la littérature chevaleresque, le poème héroïque 
et l'épopée en Europe à la Renaissance, voilà le sujet d'un prochain colloque du 
21 au 23 octobre 1994 à l'Université de Saint-Etienne. Veuillez écrire à l'Institut 
Claude Longeon, 35, rue du Onze Novembre, 42023 Saint-Etienne Cedex 2, 
France. 

Montaigne et M ^ de Gournay 

Pour marquer l'anniversaire de l'édition de 1595 des Essais de Montaigne, la 
Division de liitérature française du XVI^ siècle de la MLA organise une séance 
spéciale consacrée à M ^ de Gournay et l'édition de 1 595. Le congrès de la MLA 
aura lieu à Chicago en 1 995. Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez écrire 
à Ellen S. Ginsberg, Department of Modem Languages, Catholic University of 
America, Washington, D.C. 20064, USA. 

Early Modern Culture, 1450-1850 

This is the topic of the Second Annual Meeting of the Group for early Modem 
Culural Studies at the University of Rochester. The call for papers suggests the 
following areas, among others: Africa and African Diaspora, Colonialism and 
Occidentalism, Pornography, Disease, Death, Everyday Life, Slavery, Commo- 
dities and Fetishism, Travel and Tourism, Resistance and Rebellion, Sexuality, 
Musical Genders. For more information, please write to Prof. Thomas DiPiero, 
Department of Modem Languages and Cultures, 303 Gavett Hall, University of 
Rochester, Rochester, New York 14627, USA. 







The editor welcomes submissions on any aspect of the Renaissance and the 
Reformation period. Manuscripts in duplicate should be sent to the editorial 
office: 

Renaissance and Reformation 
Department of French Studies 
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CANADA 

Submissions in English or in French are refereed. Please follow the MLA 
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contributors, but permission to reprint in whole or in part must be obtained 
from the editor. 

The journal does not accept unsolicited reviews. However, those interested in 
reviewing books should contact the Book Review Editor. 

* * * 

La revue sollicite des manuscrits sur tous les aspects de la Renaissance et de la 
Réforme. Les manuscrits en deux exemplaires doivent être postés à l'adresse 
suivante: 

Renaissance et Réforme 
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vous conformer aux conventions textuelles habituelles, avec l'appareil de notes à 
la fin de votre texte. Les droits d'auteur sont la propriété des collaborateurs et 
collaboratrices; cependant, pour toute reproduction en tout ou en partie, on doit 
obtenir la permission du directeur. 

La revue sollicite ses propres comptes rendus. Si vous désirez rédiger des comptes 
rendus, veuillez communiquer directement avec le responsable de la rubrique 
des livres. 



VOLUME XVII NUMBER 



SUMMER 1993 



RENAISSANCE 

AND REFORMATION 



^^'^. 



W i^/>i^L. ,'^, 





RENAISSANCE 



m 



*■*?■' ''>''.^;* 



VOLUME XVII 



NUMÉRO 



Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme is published quarterly (February, May, 
August, and November); paraît quatre fois l'an (février, mai, août, et novembre). 

© Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies / Société Canadienne d'Études de la 

Renaissance (CSRS / SCER) 

Pacific Northwest Renaissance Conference (PNWRC) 

Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium (TRRC) 

Victoria University Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS), 1990. 

Directeur / Editor 

François Paré (UnivCTsity of Guelph) 

Directrice Adjointe 

Simone Maser (Université d'Ottawa) 

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Summer / été 1 993 (date of issue: July 1 994) 

Publication Mail Registration No. 5448 ISSN 0034-429X 




New Series, Vol. XVII, No. 3 Nouvelle Série, Vol. XVII, No. 3 

Old Series, Vol. XXIX, No. 3 1993 Ancienne Série, Vol. XXIX, No. 3 



CONTENTS / SOMMAIRE 



EDITORIAL 

3 

ARTICLES 

The Pastime of Master F. J. 

by Dale B. Billingsley 

5 

Unica Oblatio Christi: Eucharistie Sacrifice and 

the First Zurich Disputation 

by Keith D. Lewis 

19 

The Fall of Nebuchadnezzar 

by Elizabeth Sauer 

43 

Marc Lescarbot au pays des Ithyphalles 

par Guy Poirier 

73 




BOOK REVIEWS / COMPTES RENDUS 

Gisèle Mathieu-Castellani. La conversation conteuse: 

Les Nouvelles de Marguerite de Navarre 

recensé par Brenda Dunn-Lardeau 

87 



Gary K. Waite. David Joris and Dutch Anabaptism, 1 524- 1 543 

reviewed by Douglas H. Shantz 
90 

Christopher Dyer. Standards of Living in the Later Middle Ages: 

Social Change in England c. 1200-1520 

reviewed by Carola M. Small 

92 

WORK IN PROGRESS / TRAVAUX EN COURS 

97 

ANNOUNCEMENTS / ANNONCES 

99 



EDITORIAL 



Les abonnements à Renaissance et 
Réforme ont eu tendance depuis une di- 
zaine d'années à rester stables, grâce sur- 
tout à l'aide précieuse que nous 
apportent les groupes de chercheurs et à 
la fidélité, dans ces temps difficiles, de 
nos abonnés institutionnels à travers le 
monde. Cette stabilité fait la force de 
notre revue, l'une des plus anciennes au 
Canada. Si l'on en juge par nos nouveaux 
abonnés et nos nouveaux collaborateurs, 
cependant, c'est en Asie que l'intérêt 
pour les études de la Renaissance et de 
la Réforme s'est le plus développé ré- 
cemment. Nous recevons régulièrement 
maintenant des textes de collègues de 
Taiwan, de Singapour, de Corée et du 
Japon, pour ne nommer que ces quatre 
pays importants. Et plusieurs nouveaux 
abonnés institutionnels proviennent aus- 
si de ces quatre pays. Nous en sommes 
non seulement très heureux, mais fran- 
chement fiers. Nous tenterons de renfor- 
cer au cours des prochaines années des 
liens naissants qui ne peuvent qu'enri- 
chir en les diversifiant toutes nos pers- 
pectives sur la Renaissance en Europe. 



For the last ten years the number of 
subscribers to Renaissance and Refor- 
mation has remained fairly stable. We 
have been blessed by the support of our 
sponsoring scholarly organizations, and 

- even in these difficult economic times 

- the renewed commitment of our insti- 
tutional subscribers around the world. 
This is clearly an area of strength for our 
long-standing joumal. If one is to judge 
by the names and addresses of the most 
recent subscribers and contributors, 
however, it is on the Asian continent that 
the scholarly interest for the Renaissance 
and the Reformation is most obviously 
developing at the present time. We now 
regularly receive submissions from col- 
leagues in Taiwan, Singapore, Korea and 
Japan. Many new recent institutional 
subscribers are also from these four 
countries. Needless to say, we are 
extremely proud of this unexpected 
development. Over the next few years, 
we would like to strengthen these bur- 
geoning ties which can only enrich and 
diversify our perspectives on the history 
and the cultures of Europe in the Renais- 
sance. 



The Pastime of Master F. J. 



DALE B. BILLINGSLEY 



S 



ummary: Characters in Gascoigne's "Adventures of Master F. 7." 
(1573) use reading as a pastime by which they sort out or complicate their 
relationships with others; the novel's readers, for their pastime, recreate 
these relationships as they read the novel. These linguistic, rhetorical and 
social pastimes are moves in a serious game of access to power, and the 
"Adventures*' is thus an ironic 'institute' for the transformation of the 
individual. 

To one class of literary works, variously descended from the Platonic dia- 
logue, the representation of leisure is a necessary prerequisite. Without it, 
philosophical conversation in the gymnasium or at dinner parties is impossi- 
ble; night-long discourse about the best courtier, unlikely; garden-talk about 
perfect societies, merely Utopian. For another class of works, leisure is a 
central problem. Where philosophy provides no occupation, leisure trans- 
forms itself from luxury into burden. Faced with empty hours, the characters 
must either fall into lassitude or find a pastime. Many of these characters turn 
for such a pastime to sorting out - or, in some cases, complicating - their 
relationships with others. The readers' task, undertaken in turn partly to fill 
their own leisure, is the re-creation and re-sorting of the relationships pre- 
sented in the work, so that the pastime and the work of fiction are paradoxi- 
cally identical. The problem of 'pastime,' therefore, grounds a broad range 
of literary fiction. The development of modem understanding of play in 
general has largely shaped the directions that literary criticism has taken in 
the treatment of specific texts in which pastime is important. ^ 

George Gascoigne's Discourse of the Adventures passed by Master F. 
J. (1573) displays well the paradoxes of serious play in Elizabethan literature. 
George Gascoigne (c. 1533-1577), a remarkably versatile writer, was a 
prolific poet, playwright of the Supposes (1566, the first surviving EngUsh 
prose play), author of an instructive critical essay, and an innovator in prose 
fiction: the Adventures is generally regarded as the earliest English work in 

Renaissance ai^d Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 3 (1993) 5 



6 / Renaissance and Reformation 



which the outhnes of a novel form can be perceived. Gascoigne's productive 
career may be taken as typical of literary (if not financial) success in the period 
just before the great age of Elizabethan poetry and drama. Modern commen- 
tary on the Adventures has emphasized the seriousness of the pastimes in the 
work, particularly in relation to its literary context. Both as a critique of 
misread romances and as a review of humanist assumptions about literary 
education, the text expresses a conspicuously modem attitude toward the art 
and the act of reading.^ These linguistic, rhetorical and social pastimes can 
thus be seen as moves in a serious game of access to power, and the 
Adventures, therefore, as an ironic 'institute' for the transformation of the 
individual.^ 

In outline, the story is a familiar one. F. J., a young man untried in the 
ways of love, spends the summer at a castle in northern England. There he 
meets the lord's wanton daughter-in-law, Elinor. In the absence of her usual 
paramour, she and F. J. have an affair, which he chronicles in a series of 
poems. Frances, the lord's innocent (but hardly naive) daughter, falls in love 
with F. J. Her indirect warnings to him are useless, and she watches as Elinor 
makes afool of him: casual flirtation leads to adultery; Elinor's ardor cools 
and dies; F. J. at last realizes his foolishness and departs, wiser but embittered. 
The story is told by F. J.' s friend G. T., who "reduce[s] ... into some good 
order" F. J.' s poems and account of their composition."* In G. T.'s telling, 
pastime is a key word, for virtually every scene and episode occurs as a 
pastime for the otherwise unfilled summer days. Dances, dinners, walks and 
rides in the park offer the occasion for the 'discourse' - very often mere idle 
talk - that gives the affair its life, while the pastime is occasionally formaUzed 
in actual games (pp. 87-94, 97-101). In G. T.'s version of the affair, F. J. and 
the other characters occupy their leisure with a particular pastime of love. 

These players occupy themselves with mutual deceits that complicate 
the affair so that its moves and counter-moves require considerable ingenu- 
ity.^ F. J. first commits himself to the pastime by writing a letter ("this telltale 
paper") that Elinor acknowledges at a dance (p. 52). To all appearances, F. J. 
and Elinor are already involved in a pastime, the 'braule' or dance that the 
castle's residents perform. EUnor uses this pastime, however, as a cover for 
her counter-move to F. J.'s letter, an apparently decorous rejection of his suit. 
F. J., committed to the love-game, breaks up the pastime of the dance, thus 
breaking the cover that Elinor had chosen. The attempted deceit of the 
company therefore collapses and instead becomes an invitation for Frances 
and Pergo, an older woman, to join later in the new pastime of love. In the 
sequel, this social deceit has a private aspect: EUnor takes up the game by 



Renaissance et Réforme / 7 



offering a gambit of her own, so that her apparent rejection of F. J. turns out 
to be deceptive. 

Underlying the apparent pastime that F. J. and Elinor devise is a twofold 
problem of communication: conveying the love messages and interpreting 
their meaning. In the earlier part of the Adventures, up to the seduction of 
Elinor (p. 69), F. J.'s occupation is to discover the rules by which this pastime 
is conducted. In a world of deceit, his inexperience makes it difficult for him 
to sort out truth and falsehood. When Elinor re-opens the game, F. J. 
mistakenly takes her at her word: 

Walking in a garden among divers other gentlemen & gentlewomen, with 
a little frowning smyle in passing by him, she delivered unto him a paper, 
with these words. For that I understand not (quoth she) th 'intent of your 
letters, I pray you take them here againe, and bestow them at your 
pleasure... F. J. somewhat troubled with hir angrie looke, did sodenly 
leave the companie, & walking into a parke near adjoyning, in a great rage 
began to wreake his mallice on this poore paper, and the same did rend 
and teare in peeces. When sodenly at a glaunce he perceaved it was not 
of his own hande writing, and therewithall abashed, uppon better regard 
he percey ved in one peece therof written (in Romaine) these letters SHE: 
wherefore placing all the peeces therof, as orderly as he could, he found 
therin written these fewe lynes . . . (pp. 52-53) 

To the others present, Elinor' s remark seems to explain the paper she passes 
to F. J. His inability to understand her deception leads him through several 
stages of confusion. At first he takes the letter to be his own returned, then to 
be an answer from her, and finally to be evidence of collusion with another 
person unknown, to whom F. J.'s first letter is an actual "telltale paper" (p. 
53). In the succeeding letter, F. J.'s reference to "this endles Laberinthe" (p. 
54) may be applied to the affair itself and to the complicated paths of 
communication that the would-be lovers follow. The notes and messages that 
occupy these early stages of the affair are all "a doubtfull she we" and "written 
in counterfeit" (p. 53), so that in each case the true message is buried under 
one or more possible misprisions.^ 

F. J. proves his mastery of deceptive utterance at Elinor's sickbed (p. 
57). In the same series of actions, he deceives the audience of other attendants, 
furthers his suit with Elinor, secures her consent - and cures her nosebleed. 
Finally, he achieves such expertise that he can declare his love aloud, albeit 
in covert form, before the company, by singing an impromptu tintemel that 
Elinor can hear through the closed door of her chamber (p. 62). Having once 
mastered such deception, F. J. uses it consistenUy to confuse others or to 



8 / Renaissance and Reformation 



obscure their understanding of his intentions and actions. His lending a bugle 
to Elinor's husband, for example, is the occasion of a bawdy poem in which 
puns on seed and horns imply cuckholdry (pp. 78-79). Direct communication, 
however expedient it might be, is no pastime for the castle's denizens. They 
occupy themselves instead with indirect or evasive utterances so that the 
pastime of love is drawn out by the necessity of sorting "into some good order" 
all the apparent messages that they send back and forth. F. J.'s mastery of this 
duplicitous style of communication allows him to become a real player of the 
pastime, no longer forced by his inexperienced directness to retreat in a huff 
so as to sort out his confusion. By the middle of the Adventures, one sees that 
the pastime itself holds the community together, making the consummation 
of an affair almost incidental to the elaboration of the deceits it requires. 

If all this business is nothing more than a pastime, and if that pastime 
has priority over other kinds of activity, then F. J. - not EUnor - is the villain 
of this story. As long as the players recognize the pastime and accept its rules, 
all goes well. F. J. can enjoy Elinor's favors without penalty as long as he 
takes the affair merely as a pastime. When his jealousy grows beyond bounds 
(that is, when he fails to recognize others' claim to pastime), he breaks the 
rules.^ At the end of the affair, as G. T. foretold, "his hap was as heavie, as 
hitherto he had bene fortunate" (p. 78). Frances tries one last time to correct 
F. J.'s misunderstanding of the game (p. 104) before Elinor flatly rebuffs him. 
Having overheard "the parting of his Mistresse and hir Secretary, with many 
kind words: wherby it appeared that the one was very loth to départe from the 
other," F. J. confronts her with "this despitefull trechery:" 

and she as fast denied it, untill at last being still urged with such evident 
tokens as he alleged, she gave him this bone to gnawe uppon. And if I did 
so (quod she) what than? (p. 104) 

In the end, the importance of the pastime makes its rules absolute. If once a 
player breaks them, he must be excluded or the pastime is destroyed. "What 
than? Whereunto F. J. returned none answere, but departed ..." (p. 104). The 
moral of the tale, such as it is, seems direct and blunt: play the game or get 
out. F. J. departs to the cold comfort of his muse, getting what revenge he can 
by passing on the tale of the affair to his understanding friend. 

F. J.'s unhappy experiences form the first level of the reader's adventures 
with this text, adventures that, although usually treated as a literary excursion, 
have also important social - or, perhaps more accurately, political - signifi- 
cance. F. J. resembles those courtly arrivistes whose careers and talents have 
been subject to recent scrutiny. As presented by G. T., F. J. is, first of all. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 9 



without antecedents. G. T. begins his story in médias res - "The said F. J. 
chaunced once in the north partes of this Realme to fall in company of a very 
fayre gentlewoman" (p. 51) - but never returns to fill in the background, 
leaving his hero with a biographical lacuna as blank as the earlier history of 
F. J.' s many real contemporaries at the center (and the edges) of political 
power. Plunked down in a rule-bound court, F. J. is ignorant of the rules, 
apparently because he is without the social or familial foundations that should 
have prepared him for the situation. Like his counterparts, he has filled up the 
gaps in his past by recourse to books, tools newly available to his class, that 
both undermined the stability of the old order and reshaped the avenues to 
power. Unlike those real counterparts, however, he chose mistakenly from 
the texts available. The faults of the old chivalric-romance rules lie in the 
damage they do to persons, as F. J. learns to his sorrow, although without 
awareness of the humanist alternative that seems to shape the motives of the 
larger work. In sum, F. J.'s liabilities are ironically captured in the character- 
ization of Elyot's 'governor' as "a gentleman, a fluent denizen of the urban 
court, whose textual hero was not Lancelot but Cicero."^ F. J. is in the wrong 
place ("the north partes of this Realme," not the central urban court) with the 
wrong literary guide and textual hero, and - in his choice of Elinor over 
Frances - with the wrong object in view. A successful affair with Frances 
might at any rate have meant greater access to the unnamed lord of the castle, 
where adultery with Elinor provided nothing permanent at all. Even though 
life at the central court was hardly a pleasant or assured avenue to power, 
contemporary courtiers might easily find even their poor lot in London 
superior to F. J.'s troubles.^ 

Finally, as F. J.'s technical competence and fluency increase, his mis- 
prision of the game at hand is made ironically more obvious. Rather than using 
his adultery as a means of moving to the center of power, F. J. takes the affair 
as an end in itself; he realizes the ideals of his literary models, only to be told 
that those models no longer obtain in his world. And to compete primarily 
with a secretary who had been lately to London, "though his absence were 
unto [Elinor] a disfurnishing of eloquence" (p. 58): as F. J. is a diminished 
Lancelot, so his competitor is a partial, reductive avatar of those whose 
practice of the ars dictaminis led eventually both to eloquence and to power 
in the central court. 

Much of this very broad critique of F. J.'s behavior is expressed or 
implied by G. T., although that narrator is ultimately shown to be mistaken 
as well. G. T. makes F. J.'s romance a comedy, a conversion of genre that 
betrays G. T.'s appearance of sympathy with the young man. 10 To F. J., 



10 / Renaissance and Reformation 



G. T. has at least seemed sympathetic enough to be entrusted with the poems 
that he wrote during his affair, some account of its course and perhaps a 
general sense of the company at the castle (pp. 50-5 1 ). It is G. T. ' s re-creation 
of the affair, however, that the reader follows in the Adventures, which G. T. 
augments with information unavailable to F. J. (e.g., his comparison of Elinor 
and Frances [pp. 66-67], and his characterization of Pergo [p. 87]). Occasion- 
ally G. T. lets the reader see the distortion that F. J.'s perspective creates, as 
in the description of the secretary's appearance: 

to make my tale good, I will (by report of my very good friend F. J.) 
discribe him unto you. Hee was in height, the proportion of two Pigmeys, 
in bredth the thicknesse of two bacon hogges, of presumption a Gyant, of 
power a Gnat, Apishly witted, Knavishly mannerd, & crabbedly favord, 
what was there in him to drawe a fayre Ladies liking? Marry sir even all 
in all, a well lyned pursse, wherwith he could at every call, provide such 
pretie conceytes as pleased hir peevish fantasie, and by that means he had 
throughly (long before) insinuated him self with this amorous dame. This 
manling, this minion, this slave, this secretary, was nowe by occasion 
rydden to London ... (p. 58). 

Here the reader, warned by the initial parenthesis, has the unedited F. J. telling 
his story to G. T. The hyperbolically unflattering description is F. J.'s own 
style, contrasting sharply with G. T.'s. In the steady declension from manling 
to secretary, however, G. T. modulates back into his own plainer, less 
rancorous style that makes F. J.'s 'report' of the secretary doubtful: G. T.'s 
parenthetical note of the source of the description implies that the describer 
might not be entirely credible - the secretary may be no ugly pigmy after all. 
G. T.'s mixture of sympathy and criticism (and, perhaps, envy) is the response 
of Pygmalion: F. J. as presented in the text is the creation of the older narrator, 
and the two coexist for the reader as father/son and as old/young manifestation 
of the same essential being. G. T. is both paternal and patronizing, however, 
and his complex attitude is finally the reductive source of the reader's 
detachment not only from F. J. himself but also from the choices and 
preferences (including that for chivalric romance over courtly eloquence) that 
he expresses. G. T.'s contribution requires from the reader a critical move- 
ment from F. J.'s choices and a displacement of F. J.'s pastimes with another 
game of interpretation, parallel to but on a different level from the chivalric- 
romance pastime that is the object of criticism. 

The quality of G. T.'s contribution to F. J.'s adventures is partly revealed 
by the texture of verbal play in his re-creation. In many places, G. T. imposes 
metaphors of pastime on the basic narrative. Elinor, for example, receiving 



Renaissance et Réforme /Il 



one of F. J.' s poems in the form called terza sequenza, is said to have "retossed 
every card in this sequence" (p. 57) as if sorting through a hand at cards to 
find its value. On a larger scale, whole passages are based upon verbal play 
that arises from G. T.'s reticence and unwillingness to make every joke 
explicit: recognizing and resolving the ambiguities present the reader with a 
more difficult problem of interpretation. Thus, when F. J. takes his sword to 
his first night-time tryst with Elinor (p. 69), G. T. delivers his account with 
an apparently decorous circumlocution that ironically emphasizes the pecu- 
liarity of F. J.'s behavior. At one level, F. J. is merely imitating the courtly 
Lancelot, who carries his sword to a similar tryst with Guinevere in Malory's 
Morte d'Arthur (Book XIX, chap. 6). At another, EUnor's response to the 
sword, qualified by G. T.'s parenthetical remarks, intimates a sexual double 
meaning that remains ambiguous through Frances' discovery of F. J.' s 
stealthy return to his chamber: 

the ladie Fraunces being no lesse desirous to see an issue of these 
enterprises, then F. J. was willing to cover them in secresy, did watch, & 
even at the entring of his chamber doore, perceyved the poynt of his naked 
sworde glistring under the skyrt of his night gowne: wherat she smyled & 
said to hir selfe, this geare goeth well about (pp. 69-70). 

G. T.'s re-creation of events goes beyond the information that F. J. could have 
provided, even in retrospect, to include Frances' remark to herself, in which 
the salient geare carries a secondary signification of 'organs of generation;' 
significantly, only Frances seems to be aware of the double meaning she 
invokes. When G. T. tells how Frances stole F. J.' s actual sword out of his 
chamber (p. 70), the ambiguous usage appears to be resolved, but only until 
Frances' later joke on F. J. (pp. 72-74), during which she hints that she knows 
of the tryst. ^^ 

The construction of the various episodes, their articulation with the 
poems, and a series of structural parallels show the subtlety of G. T.'s 
invention. G. T. uses the license of hindsight to enlarge F. J.'s chronicle of 
the affair. Besides beginning the story in médias res, he places the various 
poems so that they reveal F. J.'s state of mind at the time of composition, 
rather than their effect upon Elinor. Thus the occasion of the first poem in the 
text, "Fair Bersabe, the bright" (p. 52), is Elinor's apparent rejection of F. J.'s 
suit during the 'braule,' but "before [F. J.] coulde put the same in legible 
writinge, it pleased the sayd Mystresse Elinor of hir curtesie thus to deale 
with him" (p. 52), by passing her own letter to him in the garden. In the form 
that G. T. gives the affair, 'legibility' is for awhile a major concern. F. J. tears 



12 / Renaissance and Reformation 



her letter to bits but reconstructs it, only to set himself a problem in literary 
criticism: "For as by the stile this letter of hirs bewrayeth that it was not penned 
by a womans capacitie, so the sequell of her doings may discipher, that she 
had mo ready clearkes than trustie servants in store" (p. 53). He answers this 
problem by setting Elinor one of his own: "he thought not best to commit the 
sayde verses [i.e., 'Fair Bersabe*] willingly into hir custodie, but privilie lost 
them in hir chamber, written in counterfeit" (p. 53). In G. T.'s construction 
of events, F. J. and Elinor afford each other complementary problems in 
'decipherment:' the right hand but the wrong style, and the right style but the 
wrong hand. The question of legibility resolves itself at the moment when 
written communication becomes moot, with F. J.' s acceptance as an acknowl- 
edged lover (pp. 54-55). The lovers do not part, however, until Elinor secures 
F. J.' s letter ("these blabbing leaves"), seemingly as a 'bottom' for winding 
her silk. F. J. is free to construe her meaning as the desire for yet another 
love-token, and the reader to see it retrospectively as the desire for another 
trophy in her collection of fools' works. G. T. himself merely records the 
exchange, passing over its interpretation in silence. 

At a larger structural level, G. T. uses repeated narrative motives and 
parallel incidents to bind the narrative together. The midnight tryst, for 
example, in which the characters' nightgowns play a role both as costume and 
as bedding (p. 69), is foreshadowed by a martial simile also involving apparel: 

[F. J.'s] chaunce was to meete hir alone in a Gallery of the same house: 
where (as I have heard him declare) his manhood in this kind of combat 
was first tryed, and therein I can compare him to a valiant Prince, who 
distressed with power of enemies had conmiitted the safeguard of his 
person to treaty of Ambassade, and sodenly (surprised with a Camnassado 
in his own trenches ) was enforced to yeeld as prisoner. Even so my friend 
F. J. lately overcome by y^ beautifull beames of this Dame Elynor . . . was 
at unwares encountered with his friendly foe ... (p. 54). 

In its immediate context, this simile shows G. T.'s ironic support of F. J.'s 
romance fiction. Given F. J.'s general behavior and his conduct of the affair, 
the only way by which he can be considered a 'valiant Prince' is by a forced 
comparison; rather than demonstrating how ineffective F. J. is as a romance 
hero, G. T. chooses this unlikely comparison as a means of ironic deflation. 
The parenthetical addition to the simile seems excrescent in the immediate 
context, but in the sequel its appropriateness is evident. The camnassado - 
or, as one editor has it, camisado - is literally '"an attack in one's shirt' ... a 
fairly common Renaissance military term meaning a surprise night attack in 
which the attackers wore shirts over their armor to recognize each other." *^ 



Renaissance et Réforme / 13 



As forecast by this simile, the seduction scene is an actual camisado, except 
for the ironic detail that both parties wear nightshirts, obscuring the roles of 
seducer and seduced. 

Likewise, in the earlier part of the Adventures, F. J. visits Elinor to heal 
her of "a great bleeding of the nose" (pp. 56-57). After F. J. falls into his 
jealous illness, a parallel situation occurs when Elinor attempts to cure him 
with perfume (p. 86). When this comedy fails, she attempts another: "Yes 
servaunt (quod she) I will see if you can sleepe any better in my sheets: and 
therwith commaunded hir handmayd to fetch a paire of cleane sheetes" (p. 
90). The obviously provocative remark is passed over, but later the lady 
herself arrives to share the sheets with F. J. in his bed (pp. 91-92). Elinor 
miscalculates the efficacy of her remedy, however, and the seduction she had 
apparently planned turns into a rape, which G. T. once again describes in 
military terms (p. 92). These parallel incidents are landmarks in the course of 
the affair, and show the shifting roles of the two principals in the pastime of 
love. 

The wealth of verbal play, the repeated narrative motives and parallel 
incidents, especially those that rest of G. T.'s own invention, appear in the 
narration with little evidence that the narrator is aware of them, but this 
apparent blindness is intentional. At the outset, G. T.'s letter to H. W. 
expressed his design. His re-creation of F. J.'s affair is also a recreation: the 
Adventures is itself a kind of pastime for him, and he intends it to be used by 
H. W. for "recreation" (p. 51) - in the same double sense. This recreation 
requires of H. W. (and other readers) the same intellectual activity that 
occupies characters within the story. The gossip and voyeurism that occupy 
the characters within the story become, albeit at two removes, the pastime of 
G. T.'s readers. They must re-create (and to some extent, re-order) the 
relationship of the poems to the story, and they must recognize the 
structural parallels and repetition in order to comprehend the pattern of the 
narrative. Finally, the deceits practiced by Elinor and F. J., which include 
gaining possession of and interpreting written works, are manifestly com- 
pounded by G. T.'s passing his narrative to H. W. G. T. makes pastime for 
himself and his readers by betraying F. J., just as Elinor does, and in 
comparison, Elinor's use of F. J.' s 'telltale paper' seems a petty treachery. 
Since G. T.'s parade of learning proves to be riddled with error and igno- 
rance, it is a trap for the unwary or unlearned reader who embraces G. T.'s 
doctrines too uncritically.^^ Finally, the reader's game lies in the search for 
a reliable direction to take in judging the sometimes contradictory voices in 
the text. F. J.' s affair and G. T.'s narration are but the first two of several 



14 / Renaissance and Reformation 



competing interpretations through which the reader moves in the elaborate 
critical pastime constructed by George Gascoigne. 

This pastime of criticism is both formal and substantial. From the 
'valiant Prince' metaphors and the questioni d'amore, the reader learns to 
class the Adventures with chivalric romances, even though the work itself 
ironically revises their conventions. Italian influences - Petrarch's rime, 
Boccaccio's novelle, Ariosto's epic, and (at a further remove) CastigUone's 
dialogue - reveal vistas of the literary tradition that reader and author share 
and make not only the Adventures but also its formal models the objects of 
fun. Criticism also adds substance to the pastime of the work. Within the 
Adventures y the most fervent critic is G. T., who can hardly restrain his 
commentaries on the poems, even though he is not a particularly apt student 
of Gascoigne' s critical theories, set out in "Certaine notes of Instruction" 
(ISTS).^** At the expense of detaining the narrative, G. T. follows the poems 
with sometimes obtuse criticisms of their invention, appropriateness, diction 
or occasion. As long as the plot is taken as primary, these commentaries are 
vexatious, just as the inset stories told by Frances and Pergo seem to be (pp. 
87-94, 97-101). Like the storie, however, the relevance of which F. J. ignores 
to his loss, these critiques are notes of instruction for the reader - who must 
beware that they sometimes act as cautionary examples of what not to do. 
These apparent digressions are disruptive only as long as the reader mistakes 
the pastime that Gascoigne has constructed, for to mistake the pastime is to 
judge it by the wrong rules. By the rules that Gascoigne follows, the apparent 
digressions enrich the text by enlarging the pastime it represents. 

Although G. T. and Gascoigne evidently speak with different voices and 
different ideas, the role of the one and the action of the other blend in this 
pastime, which thus becomes critical in another sense. The sorting out of 
human relationships and motivations - which is only dimly perceived by G. 
T. and scarcely recognized in his critiques - becomes the vital necessity that 
Gascoigne forces on the reader. To do what Gascoigne requires, the reader 
must himself undertake the pastime that occupies the narrative's characters 
in such various ways. F. J.'s reassembling a shredded letter, Elinor' s retossing 
every card in a poetic sequence, G. T.'s re-ordering and re-creating the 
documents and the history of an affair - all are models within the text of the 
reader's activity outside it. 

What the reader learns, therefore, although central to the text, achieves 
importance also through its extratextual applications. Such potentially dan- 
gerous applications may partly explain the bowdlerized version. The pleasant 
Fable of Ferdinando Jeronimi and Leonora de Valasco, translated out of the 



Renaissance et Réforme / 15 



Italian riding tales ofBartello, published in the 1575 Posies. In addition to 
considerable alteration of the story itself, the revision omits the original 
parerga and the character of G. T.,^^ which together account for "an ingenious 
and almost too successful hoax on the 1573 reader," who is led in stages to a 
"self-induced acceptance of the ^discourse' ... as a disguised form of histor- 
ical reality -perhaps autobiographical."^^ Gascoigne's 1575 prefaces demol- 
ish this original complex structure of fictional compilators, placing the work 
explicitly with the cautionary "Weedes to be avoyded" in the three-part moral 
division of the Posies (p. 17) and claiming that the alterations are necessitated 
by the bawdiness of the original. These nominally offensive elements, how- 
ever, are scarcely altered in the 1575 version. Instead, Gascoigne redefines 
the relationship between the central character and the narrator, an adjustment 
that finally says more about the broadly political implications of the original 
than about the proper conduct of love affairs or the moral decorum of the text. 

In 1575, the full expansion of the central character's name implicates 
the fictional world created in the text. The scene is translated from the 
anonymous English castle to an Italy where local habitations and names are 
both exotic and insistent. F. J. himself is transformed from the unpedigreed 
youth of 1573 to "a yong gentleman of Venice, and was come into Lombardie 
to take the pleasures of the countrie" - a man of sufficient parts to merit Lord 
Valasco's consideration as a possible spouse for his elder daughter (p. 383). 
Through virtually the same series of incidents, Ferdinanda and his compan- 
ions come to far more specific ends than the 1573 version proposed: 
Ferdinando to a dissolute life, Frauncischina to a languishing death, and 
Elinor to "long continuance ... of hir accustomed change" (p. 453). 

If this story is, as the narrator claims, a "pleasant and profitable" but 
cautionary "Fable" of lust's excesses (p. 453), it is oddly unimproving. EHnor, 
the most flagrantly lustful character, suffers not at all, while the constant, 
virtuous Frauncischina dies, her heart broken by an inept, self-centered and 
finally stupid boy. Rather than correcting the bawdy story, then, the 1575 
revisions alter the salient political elements of the fiction. The central figure is 
not an arriviste in courtly circles but a "yong gentleman" already accepted and 
entertained; the connection between Lord Valasco and Ferdinando is expHcitly 
related to the marriage of the Lord's elder daughter, changing the young man 
from a chance vagrant into a dynastic satellite; and the scene is shifted from 
northern England - with its obviously and dangerously local application - to 
Italy, where people were notoriously reputed capable of any depravity. 

Changes in the fictional framework accompany these alterations in the 
story. Most obviously, the fallible voice of G. T. is replaced by a virtually 



16 / Renaissance and Reformation 



omniscient (but still chatty and critical) anonymous narrator, whose voice is 
itself the construct of *Bartello,' the putative author of the Table' that 
Gascoigne allegedly translates for the Posies (pp. 384, 453). This shift in 
narratorial stance has a complex effect that might be reckoned as an inverse 
proportion between the locale of the action and Gascoigne' s wiUingness to 
be associated with the text: when the story is set in England, Gascoigne 
obscures his presence behind the parerga, as if to sanitize his relationship to 
a doubtful show, but the shift to Italy allows him to be more expUcit about 
his own presence in the work (although this presence is also obscured by his 
claim to serve merely as translator). This changed fictional frame is 
announced in the changed genre-marker of the title - from * discourse' to 
*fable' - which implies also a change in the quality of the reader's work. The 
former title implies the discursive, evaluative reading that is required to sort 
out and judge the many speakers (the printer, H. W., G. T., F. J.), whereas the 
latter suggests a much less demanding program: a 'fable,' insofar as it is 
accepted at all, is accepted all of a piece on the authority of the central 
character. The 1 575 version thus flattens the discursive ridges that run through 
the 1573 text, in which readers are asked to reconcile contradictions between 
competing textual voices. The early description of Elinor's secretary, for 
example, which G. T. carefully and conspicuously notes as F. J.'s rather than 
his own [the parenthetical "by report of my very good friend F. 7." (p. 58)], 
is differently quaUfied in 1575 ["by the same words that Bartello useth" (p. 
392)]. The change implies Gascoigne' s awareness of the different truth- 
claims made by the respective remarks. Where G. T. ironically diminishes F. 
J.'s rhetoric from his own, the 1575 narrator asserts the accuracy of his 
translation: the former asserts independence of, the latter announces submis- 
sion to another authority over the text. 

If these, then, are the various pleasures of the text, wherein lies the profit 
asserted by the 1575 narrator' s concluding Horation formula (p. 453)? F. J.'s 
failure in 1573 is, at least superficially, a warning against even the attempt to 
break into a superior social class on the presumption of one's learning. If F. 
J. had been truly educated, he would have known to choose Cicero over 
Lancelot. The 1573 version holds out some comfort to courtly readers that 
their established power is proof against the incursions of upstart nonentities. 
The 1575 version, however, removes the implied tension between the classes: 
Ferdinando, Elinor, and Frauncischina are already social equals, and the story 
conveys little comfort for those whose estabUshed power was perceptibly 
threatened by actual persons who challenged tradition with the new learning 
- more intelligent versions of F. J., that is, and more ambitious secretaries. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 17 



At the plot level, then, the two versions point similar if not identical morals 
that reinforce - or, at any rate, leave unchallenged - the security of the class 
order. 

As a whole, however, the pastimes of the text are subversive, and in their 
subversiveness is their profit. To better qualified readers - that is, to the 
aspiring secretaries - the full range of pastimes exercise exactly those skills 
of rhetorical and cultural interpretation that promise promotion and success 
in the slippery world of the court. Gascoigne's achievement in the story of 
Master F. J. is to point out for those who can see how they may actualize their 
potential according to their capacities as interpreters, independent of pedigree 
or rank. The competence of the reader thus shapes the work, making it - 
regardless of the explicit label - either a comfortable 'fable' for the estab- 
lished or a 'discourse' for the aspiring, depending upon the self-consciousness 
of the mind that works through the intricate pastimes of Master F. J. 

University of Louisville 

Notes 

1. See Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens, 3rd ed. (Basel, 1938), and Hugo Rahner, "Der 
spielende Mensch," Eranos-Jahrbuch 1949 (Zurich, 1949). 

2. The two principal lines of criticism are well-represented by Walter R. Davis, Idea and 
Act in Elizabethan Fiction (Princeton, 1969), pp. 94-109, who concentrates upon the 
romance influences; and by Arthur F. Kinney, Humanist Poetics: Thought, Rhetoric, 
and Fiction in Sixteenth-Century England (Amherst, 1986), pp. 89-1 17, who discusses 
the humanist critique. Recent work in social history and rhetorical theory is brought to 
bear on the interpretation offered here: see Frank Whigham, Ambition and Privilege: 
The Social Tropes of Elizabethan Courtesy Theory (Berkeley, 1 984). Interested readers 
will also wish to consult these studies cited by Whigham: Lawrence Stone, The Crisis 
of the Aristocracy, J 5 58- 164 J (Oxford, 1965), and "Social Mobility in England, 
1500-1700," Past and Present, XXXIII (1966), 17-55; and Wallace MacCaffrey, 
"Place and Patronage in Elizabethan Politics," in Elizabethan Government and Society, 
eds, S. T. Bindoff, Joel Hurstfield, and C. H. Williams (London, 1961), pp. 95-126. 

3. 'Institute' is a modern name given to that class of works, including courtesy books, 
that aim to instruct persons in the right behavior for access to power. The Adventures 
may be so considered if ironic inversion of the general form is allowed. See Whigham, 
Ambition, pp. 25-31, and Thomas M. Greene, "The Flexibility of the Self in Renais- 
sance Literature," in The Disciplines of Criticism: Essays in Literary Theory, Interpre- 
tation, and History, eds., Peter Demetz and al. (New Haven, 1968), pp. 241-64. 

4. George Gascoigne 's A Hundreth Sundrie Flowers, ed. with inroduction and notes by 
C. T. Prouty, University of Missouri Studies, vol. 18, no. 2 (Columbia, 1942), p. 51. 

5. Davis, Idea, pp. 104-07; and Frank B. Fieler, "Gascoigne's Use of Courtly Love 
Conventions in The Adventures Passed by Master F. J.,'" Studies in Short Fiction, I 
(1963), 26-32. 



18 / Renaissance and Reformation 



6. Jane Hedley, ''Allegoria: Gascoigne's Master Trope," English Literary Renaissance, XI 
(1981), 148-64; and George E, Rowe, "Interpretation, Sixteenth-Century Readers, and 
George Gascoigne's 'The adventures of Master R J.,'" ELH, XLVIII (1981), 271-89. 

7. An alternative pastime is open to F. J. if he would take up the proper love that Frances 
offers, but he consistently rejects that course. In the oblique way typical of the castle's 
residents, Pergo and Frances offer the questionid'amore that speak to his situation with 
Elinor, but he either refuses or is unable to see their application. See Richard A. 
Lanham, "Narrative Structure in Gascoigne's F. J." Studies in Short Fiction, IV 
(1966), 44-45; Charles W. Smith, "Structural and Thematic Unity in Gascoigne's The 
Adventures of Master F. 7.," Papers on Language and Literature, II (1966), 99-108. 

8. Whigham, Am^/7/on, p. 13. 

9. For a graphic description of the anxieties and dangers of a courtier's life, see Lacey 
Baldwin Smith, Treason in Tudor England: Politics and Paranoia (Princeton, 1986), 
esp. pp. 36-71. 

10. R. P. Adams. "Gascoigne's 'Master F. J.' as Original Fiction," PMLA, LXIII (1958), 
315-26; Leicester Bradner, "Point of View in George Gascoigne's Fiction," Studies in 
Short Fiction, III (1965), 18-22. For a darker reading of G. T.'s role, see Gregory 
Waters, "G. T.'s 'Worthless Enterprise': A Study of the Narrator in The Adventures of 
Master F, 7.," Journal of Narrative Technique, VII (1977), 1 16-27. 

1 1. In the 'dream' Frances invents to intimate her knowledge of F. J.' s tryst, she transforms 
the actual sword into a decorative motif on the "tall Gentleman's" nightgown. The 
dream has a sexual significance, as Frances hints in the remainder: "he recomforted me 
saying, be not afrayd Lady, for I use this garment onely for myne own defence: and in 
this sort went that warlicke God Mars what time he taught Dame Venus to make Vulcan 
a hamer of the newe fashion" (p. 73). The close verbal correspondence between the 
dream-figure's remark and F. J.'s comment to Elinor is an instance of G. T.'s inventing 
a narrative link that a mere recorder of the affair could not have used. The mythological 
comparison points up the adultery of the affair, although its effect is ironic. 

12. Merritt Lawlis, Elizabethan Prose Fiction (Indianapolis, 1967), p. 43, n. 18; and 
Prouty, éd., Sundrie Flowers^ p. 244. 

13. Kinney, Poer/c5, pp. 99-109. 

14. In George Gascoigne, The Posies, ed. John W. Cunliffe (Cambridge, 1907), pp. 
465-473. See also Penelope Scambly Schott, "The Narrative Stance in 'The Adventures 
of Master F. J.': Gascoigne as Critic of His Own Poems," Renaissance Quarterly, 
XXIX (1976), 369-77; but cf. Rowe, "Interpretation." 

15. For an analysis of the differences between the two versions, see Prouty' s biography, George 
Gascoigne (New York, 1942), pp. 189-212; Bradner, "Point of View," pp. 20-22. 

16. Adams, "Original Fiction," p. 316; for an extended discussion of the hoax, see pp. 
315-19. Adams's view, which directly contradicts Prouty 's 'autobiographical' inter- 
pretation in Gascoigne, pp. 189-212, is the more useful and elegant interpretation, 
depending as it does on the idea that The Adventures, whatever their relationship to 
Gascoigne's personal life, is still an original fiction. 



Unica Oblatio Christi: Eucharistie Sacrifice 
and the first Zurich Disputation 



KEITH D. LEWIS 



S 



ummary: The First Zurich Disputation (January 29th, 1523) between 
Ulrich Zwingli and Johann Faber was the earliest Reformation-era public 
debate of the doctrine of the eucharistie sacrifice. While Zwingli was at an 
early and relatively fluid stage in his rejection of eucharistie sacrifice, 
Faber' s defense employed not only traditional scholastic sources but other 
authoritative supports previously unused in the defense of doctrine. Never- 
theless, the polemical atmosphere of the exchange between the two both 
during and after the disputation precluded true clarity and potential common 
ground on this issue. 

For ten long years, our opponents have written many books asserting that 
the mass is a sacrifice, and yet not one of them has defined what sacrifice 
is or is not [Philip Melanchthon, Apologia Confessionis XXIV, XII, 15 
(1531)]. 

The fact that Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli rejected any notion of eucharistie 
sacrifice and insisted on a strictly anamnetic eucharist early-on in his emer- 
gence as a reformer, is well-known. Yet for all that has been written 
concerning Zwingli' s eucharistie theology,^ surprisingly little attention has 
been paid to the actual circumstances of his initial rejection of the doctrine of 
eucharistie sacrifice in the theological context of the First Zurich Disputation 
of January 29th, 1523, during which the vicar-general of the diocese of 
Constance Johann Faber ( 1478-1541) emerged as an impromptu and reluctant 
debating opponent to ZwingH, with whom Faber had been on friendly terms. ^ 
This is especially surprising, when one considers that the Zurich meeting 
appears to have been the first public debate in the sixteenth century between 
a controversial theologian and a major reformation personality concerning 
the doctrine of eucharistie sacrifice. 

The primary purpose of this study is to examine more closely the actual 
theological interplay between Zwingli and Faber concerning the question of 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 3 (1993) 19 



20 / Renaissance and Reformation 



anamnesis and sacrifice, specifically within the context of the disputation and 
the protracted literary polemic which followed in the months after the January 
meeting. Main emphasis will be on Faber's March 1523 Warlich 
Underrichtungy in which he sought to redress inaccuracies of the Hegenwald 
version of the meeting, and on article XVIII of Zwingh's Auslegung der 67 
Schlufireden, which appeared in June of 1523 and sought to expand on the 67 
propositions for debate which Zwingli had rushed into print the night before 
the disputation.^ In so doing, it is hoped that an early window will be provided 
through which to view the formation of fundamental theological misunder- 
standings on both sides concerning the complex and often problematic issue 
of eucharistie sacrifice during the pre-Tridentine period. 

The wording of article XVIII, which was the final article discussed at 
the Zurich meeting, left no doubt that Zwingli rejected the use of sacrificial 
language in describing the mass: "Christ has sacrificed himself once and for 
all eternity as a true and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of all believers; 
therefrom, it follows that the mass is not a sacrifice, but rather a commemo- 
ration (WidergedechtnuB) of the sacrifice and confirmation of the salvation 
which Christ has won for us."^ Faber must have been genuinely surprised to 
have been met with such a theological challenge from Zwingli. Prior to the 
January 1523 meeting, only scant reference to the mass could be found in 
Zwingli' s works,^ and all of Zwingli' s overt challenges to church authority 
had occurred in 1 522, while Faber was absent from the diocese on an extended 
stay in Rome.^ Moreover, Faber and Zwingli had in the past collaborated in 
pursuing the reform of abuses within the diocese of Constance.^ Prior to the 
mention of article XVIII, Faber had consistently avoided engaging in debate 
with Zwingli, in accordance with the instructions of his ordinary Bishop Hugo 
von Hohenlandenburg (1447-1528), whom Faber was representing.^ Yet 
eucharistie sacrifice was the one issue which prompted Faber to bypass the 
bishop's instructions by means of the somewhat casuistical distinction that 
he would respond to Zwingli on this issue "as a Johann" rather than as vicar 
of the diocese.^ 

According to the Hegenwald report, Faber initially, appealed to tradition, 
which is a line of argument he would later pursue in his Warlich 
Underrichtung: "Master Ulrich, you say in your conclusions that the mass is 
no sacrifice. Now I will prove that for over 1400 years the mass has been 
considered a sacrifice ... for missa is a Hebrew word, called sacrifice by us; 
also the apostles called the mass a sacrifice" ^^ Zwingli responded that Faber 
would have to prove the sacrificial nature of the mass from scripture. Based 
on his own exegesis of Hebrews 9: 12-26, but also Hkely due, at least in part. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 21 



to the 1522 appearance in Zurich, of Leo Jud's German translation of Luther's 
De abroganda missa privata}^ Zwingli objected strenuously to what he 
regarded as a doctrine of "many sacrifices," - an objection which would be 
fundamental to his concomitant insistence that the eucharist was only com- 
memorative. The liturgical celebration cannot be the liturgica oblatio of the 
Roman church and cannot constitute any act of sacrifice or intrinsic forgive- 
ness, even in a highly qualified or limited sense, for this would be tantamount 
to a questioning of the efficacy and sufficiency of Christ's unique and wholly 
sufficient sacrifice on the cross. ^^ Rather, the mass is an act of affirmation 
and confirmation of this one unique sacrificial atonement on the cross, and 
demonstrates one's faith in the efficacy of this historic never- to-be-repeated 
act of redemption. 

Fundamental to Zwingli' s rejection of a eucharistie theology which he 
believed promoted the notion of multiple sacrifices was his presupposition 
that sacrifice was synonymous with killing. Thus, Zwingli contends that 
Christ cannot also be offered in the mass as sacrifice, for the Holy Spirit 
speaking from the scriptures makes it clear that Christ can only be sacrificed 
once (semeP), in a sacrifice which surpasses in efficacy and power those of 
the Old Testament, and which redeems the sanctified (geheiligten) for all 
eternity [Hebrews 10:14].^^ If Christ were to be sacrificed frequently as the 
high priests of the Old Testament had done to atone for the sins of the people, 
this would also mean that Christ would have to die frequently. ^"^ Continued 
insistence on a sacrificial eucharist was largely a self-serving ploy by 
"papists", who "contrary to the bright scriptures of God, have made the mass 
into a sacrifice for the living and the dead in order to preserve their erudite 
titles and protect their avarice." ^^ According to Hegenwald, ZwingU did 
concede that missa did not come from Latin or Greek, but pointed out that 
Faber still had not presented scriptural proof that the mass was a sacrifice. ^^ 
He then issued the challenge that if Faber could prove any of the 67 
Schlufireden to be incorrect or that the mass had in fact been regarded as a 
sacrifice since the time of the apostles, Zwingli would reward him with a 
"rabbit cheese"'^. With that, discussion of Article XVIII, at least as it is 
reported by the 34 lines in Hegenwald, came to an end. But this brevity is 
deceptive. In addition to having drawn Faber into the debate in the first place, 
discussion of eucharistie sacrifice had charged the atmosphere of the 
impromptu theological disputation, and was major factor in the abrupt break- 
up of the meeting. Furthermore, it would become the primary focus of the 
ensuing literary polemic between Faber and Zwingli in the months following 
the disputation. 



22 / Renaissance and Reformation 



To what was Zwingli objecting? Most Reformation scholarship no 
longer accepts the notion that Protestant rejection of the sacrificial nature of 
the mass was a reaction to some sort of "monstrous late medieval distortion 
of doctrine."*^ Conceptually, fundamental differences between the patristic 
and medieval views of eucharistie sacrifice were almost imperceptible, 
Lombard's collection of patristic texts continuing to provide the essential 
framework for eucharistie theology up to the sixteenth century. Controversy 
prior to the Reformation had dealt exclusively with teaching transubstantia- 
tion rather than with laying the doctrinal foundations for eucharistie sacri- 
fice,'^ the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries being "innocent of all originality" 
regarding theological speculation about the mass as sacrifice. At the same 
time, Zwingli' s initial rejection of sacrifice cannot simply be dismissed as 
echoes of medieval heretical movements,^^ but must rather be viewed against 
the more orthodox backdrop of late medieval eucharistie theology and praxis; 
although it had never been the intent to deny the sacrificial character of the 
mass, a number of factors led to its de-emphasis, which unwittingly helped 
create a climate in which Zwingli' s outright rejection of eucharistie sacrifice 
would seem to be almost a natural development. 

Zwingli' s obviously legitimate insistence that Christ could only die 
once, and his fundamental stress on the mass as a commemoration of Calvary 
were not innovative, but were in fact integral to fifteenth and sixteenth-cen- 
tury eucharistie theology. Emphasis on anamnesis rather than sacrifice is found 
in a cross-section of popular preaching on the eve of Reformation. The entire 
liturgical event was viewed as a sort of allegorical play, a memoria et 
repraesentatio passionis which served as a didactic tool for instructing the 
faithful in the passion of Jesus.^' The actual consecration, transformation and 
consumption of the elements of bread and wine memorialized (but never 
repeated) the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Christ had died semel in cruce, in 
support of which Hebrews 9:11 was typically cited. One received the fruits of 
Christ's sacrifice, i.e. the effectus passionis, through meditation on the passion 
and reception of His corporeal presence in the elements of bread and wine in the 
text of Uturgical commemoration. It was presupposed that because such 
liturgical anamnesis made present the eternally effective sacrifice of the cross, 
the mass itself had a sacrificial character which was derived (but never 
distinct) from the one sacrifice of the cross.^^ But the presupposition was by 
no means emphasized. In particular, strong emphasis on anamnesis by Scotus 
himself^^ contributed to a de facto de-emphasis on sacrifice, which helped 
create an implicit trichotomy between the sacrifice of the cross (Kreuzopfer), 



Renaissance et Réforme / 23 



the sacrifice of the mass (Mefiopfer), and their unified liturgical commemo- 
ration. 

Such fractionation had particular implications with regard to Zwingli's 
above-mentioned conviction that any notion of eucharistie sacrifice necessar- 
ily connoted the idea of "many sacrifices". Nowhere in late medieval theol- 
ogy was the act of consecration regarded as a sacrificial act in itself. Because 
of the uniqueness of Christ's sacrifice, the mass was spoken of as a com- 
memoratio or recordatio passionis but never as passio Christi?^ Neverthe- 
less, there were growing notions of the limited efficacy of the fruits of the 
mass, due in part to objectifying tendencies of nominalism concerning such 
terms as spiritualia; memoria, and representation but also due to increasing 
emphasis on mass stipends.^^ All of this contributed to a growing perception 
of separation between Kreuzopfer and Mefiopfer; the almost inevitable result, 
as Iserloh states, was that "the mass became detached from the sacrifice of 
the cross, and was considered separately. "^^ 

Such lack of theological precision regarding the eucharist becomes 
especially significant, in light of the fact that Zwingli's education had been 
largely nominalistic, with particular emphasis on the via antiqua of Scotus.^^ 
Consequently, his philosophical presuppositions about the eucharist were 
deeply rooted in the same context which produced such shifting emphases 
concerning the eucharist. In particular, the above-mentioned tendency to 
consider the cross separately from the mass made it possible for Zwingli, in 
good conscience, to reject references to "eucharistie sacrifice" and assert that 
the mass was only a commemoration, while in his own mind remaining 
unquestionably faithful to the sacrifice of the cross.^^ Indeed, Clark pinpoints 
the problem when he remarks that the above factors, especially Scotism, "may 
have given a handle for the Protestant assertion that in the Eucharist there was 
no more than the commemoration of a past sacrifice. "^^ 

The imprecision and fluidity of such shifting emphases in late medieval 
eucharistie praxis would prove problematic not only for Zwingli, but for Faber 
as well, whose own intellectual formation in the via antiqua of Scotus while 
at Tubingen provided the predominant framework in which he viewed theo- 
logical questions.^^ The fact that both Zwingli and Faber had been formed 
in similar philosophical backgrounds could have proven beneficial in bring- 
ing about a commonality of language, yet the strong defensive posture taken 
up by both men early on in the debate would in fact render almost impossible 
any sort of modus loquandi concerning eucharistie sacrifice. 

The years 1 522- 1 526 saw a succession of theological treatises concerned 
with a defense of eucharistie sacrifice.^' Nevertheless, the observation has 



24 / Renaissance and Reformation 



been made that the controversial theologians writing such treatises, although 
more eloquent than their predecessors, said "no more and no less" than those 
before them, and were "seldom thinkers of the first rank" because of their 
almost exclusive concern with preserving the "deposit of faith" regarding the 
eucharist.^^ Nor has Faber's defense and explication of eucharistie sacrifice 
been regarded as exceptional. Lepin does not even include him among those 
he considers to be the "important Catholic theologians" defending the doc- 
trine of eucharistie sacrifice in the period 1520-1540, while another scholar 
dismisses Faber's theology as being of "marginal value;" the remarkable 
statement has even been made that "John Eck must be given the credit for 
spotting the weakness of Zwingli's sacramental theology. "^^ To be sure, 
elucidation of the essence and subleties of Faber's eucharistie theology, 
especially with regard to the relationship between eucharistie anamnesis and 
eucharistie sacrifice is not without difficulties. Faber, as did many other 
controversial theologians, found himself required by circumstances to under- 
take the difficult task of defending doctrine which had either been 
understressed or even non-existent in his own theology.^"^ Nevertheless, it 
can be argued that Faber's response to Zwingli presents a pre-Tridentine 
articulation of eucharistie sacrifice which goes well beyond traditional defi- 
nitions in both its scope and its methodology. 

At the outset of his defense of sacrifice in his Warlich Under richtung, 
Faber rebuked Zwingli for "treating of the eucharist in such a cavalier and 
shameful manner" in having offered Faber a prize if he could prove article 
XVIII to be wrong. But before the end of his Warlich Underrichtung, Faber 
himself would claim confidently to have "won the prize" (i.e. the rabbit 
cheese) from ZwingU.^^ 

Faber began by agreeing with Zwingli's contrasting of Old Testament 
sacrifices and the sacrifice of the cross. One should not doubt that the 
only-begotten son, the word of God become man, was sacrificed on our 
behalf The animal sacrifices of the patriarchs, prophets, and priests of the 
Old Testament were only a likeness {bedeutnifi) and figurative foreshadowing 
of the sacrifice of Christ's flesh and blood on the cross, conveyed to us in our 
reception of the eucharist.^^ Consistent with late medieval eucharistie praxis, 
Faber also maintained with Zwingli that the mass was a commemoration 
igedechtniifi) and thanksgiving.^^ Unlike Zwingli, however, Faber argued 
that the mass was both commemoration and sacrifice, unceasingly offered by 
the holy Christian church throughout the entire world in order that one may 
participate in the effects of the blameless, perpetual sacrifice of Jesus on the 
cross, "whereupon God incarnate shed His blood for us."^^ The sacrifice of 



Renaissance et Réforme / 25 



the mass proclaimed and commemorated that the Son of God had died for the 
unjust and promised righteousness (gerode) for the sinner. Only through 
participation in this anamnetic proclamation of the death of Jesus could one 
fully share in the effectus passionis, thereby becoming victorious and truly 
reconciled with God.^^ 

A key element in Faber' s emphasis on eucharistie sacrifice is his appeal 
to tradition in the form of the consensus fidelium. In his report to the imperial 
government in Innsbruck, Faber remarked that Paul had approved many 
things not explicitly written in scripture, and that it was on this basis that "the 
Christian church everywhere has accepted and celebrates daily this sacrament 
of our Lord in the Mass, which is regarded as sacrifice.'"^^ Similarly, Faber 
argued in his Warlich Underrichtung that he could find no one from the time 
of the twelve apostles down to the present who has denied the sacrificial 
nature of the mass, with the exception of Luther, whom Faber describes as "a 
hater of all priests and a destroyer of the Christian religion.'"*^ Popular and 
canonical acceptance of eucharistie sacrifice proves its validity, for the 
"eastern and western churches, the entire world, and all priests from sunrise 
to sunset and midday to midnight have regarded this sacrament as a sacrifice 
for more than 1000 years." He continues that a sacrificial mass has been part 
of the Latin canon for over 1200 years, and that the Greek liturgy also uses 
the word sacrifice^^ Faber further asserted that such an appeal to ecclesial 
acceptance of eucharistie sacrifice could not be refuted by Zwingli, because 
the inerrancy of the church had been estabhshed by Luther .^^ 

Although Faber himself valued the authority of the medieval doctors,"*^ 
he clearly perceived that reference to scholastic authorities would have been 
rejected out of hand by most of his Zurich audience, not to mention Zwingli. 
Therefore, in the spirit of his close friend Erasmus' exhortation ad fontes, 
Faber turned to the testimony of the fathers in order to buttress his defense of 
eucharistie sacrifice, just as he had done in his opus against Luther .^^ More- 
over, although most of the limited number of church fathers who had written 
on the subject of eucharistie sacrifice were readily available accessible in 
medieval compendia, Faber relied on his recent manuscript searches in 
Roman libraries in order to find new patristic support closer to the time of the 
aposties than hitherto had been utihzed.'^ 

Such support he had found in a manuscript copy of Irenaeus of Lyon's 
Adversus Haereses, the use of which by Faber marked the entry of the 
second-century church father into the body of sixteenth-century controversial 
theology ,^^ and which would be mirrored three years later in Johannes Eck's 
1526 De Sacrificio Missae, in which Eck cites passages of Irenaeus which he 



26 / Renaissance and Reformation 



states he himself has not read in the original, but rather in an excerpted form 
which he credits to Faber."*^ After reiterating the well-known Eusebian 
account of the link between Polycarp, John the Evangelist and Irenaeus, Faber 
writes that this same Irenaeus "wrote several books against the Ebionites, 
Valentinians and other heretics of his time - five of which I have had copied 
but which you and your company have not yet seen.'"^^ Faber continues that 
"This same Irenaeus shows us how Jesus took the bread and wine, and giving 
thanks said 'this is my body and blood,' thus teaching a new sacrifice of the 
New Testament which the church receives from the holy apostles and offers 
to the heavenly father throughout the world." Faber then emphasizes that his 
proof was "not just that of 900, 1000, or 1200 years, but is from the twelve 
apostles themselves."^^ 

In addition to his pioneering use of Irenaeus, Faber also utilized other 
more frequently cited patristic texts in defense of his position. He cites 
Ambrose, "who has written six books on the sacraments [in which] he 
expressly states that the sacrament [of the eucharist] is a sacrifice."^^ In an 
effort to counter perceptions of a repeated sacrifice in the mass, Faber asserts 
the essential union and oneness of the Mefiopfer and kreuzopfer, writing that 
all of Christendom understands that the sacrifice under the form of bread and 
wine is in no way new, but is rather the same sacrifice as that of the cross, 
from which the mass derives its status as living sacrifice and cup of eternal 
life. In order to respond to Zwingli' s assertions that the mass had been turned 
into a sacrifice for the living and the dead, Faber appeals further to two 
orations of Ambrose in which the latter defends the godly and divine nature 
of the eucharist and its corporeal reality, which is offered for both the living 
and the dead?^ It is Zwingli' s view of the mass which Faber insists is a human 
invention, which cannot stand up to the authority of the fathers and of 
Christendom.^^ 

Zwingli' s exegesis of Hebrews 9 had been fundamental to his rejection 
of eucharistie sacrifice, both because of his above-mentioned equation of 
sacrifice with dying, as well as his perception of the sacrifice of the cross as 
a static, never-to-be repeated historical event. Regarding the latter point, 
Faber agreed, for Christ had been "sacrificed visibly and bodily on the wood 
of the cross once for all time." The difference was that in Faber' s view, this 
one unique sacrifice was perpetually mediated in the eucharist, and it was in 
this sense of a sacrificial property rather than sacrificing act that one could 
speak of the eucharist as sacrifice. ^"^ In support of his assertion of the unity 
between the sacrifice of the mass and the sacrifice on the cross, Faber 
paraphrased John Chrysostom' s /n Epistolam ad Hebraeos.^^ The mass was 



Renaissance et Réforme / 27 



not a new sacrifice each day, but rather one sacrifice in commemoration 
(gedechtnifi) of His bitter suffering and death on the cross. This one eternal 
sacrifice is offered daily at the altar, and maintains its oneness of identity with 
the Kreuzopfer by means of a real presence, "for we do not sacrifice one lamb 
today and another tomorrow, but always the one lamb who was sacrificed for 
our sins." Given acceptance of the real presence, a denial of the sacrificial 
nature of the mass as derived from its unity with the cross would in Faber's 
view be tantamount to asserting the impossibility that the body of Christ was 
divisible, "for there can be only one Christ for all time and in all places, and 
thus one body and one mass for all of Christendom."^^ 

Faber's use of Chrysostom's homily on Hebrews, which previously had 
been misattributed to St. Ambrose, was far from unique. The text had been 
included in the sententiae of Peter Lombard as a support for the doctrine of 
eucharistie sacrifice; as Clark remarks, "no text was more constantly quoted 
by the Catholic theologians, both before and during the Reformation, to 
explain the doctrine of the Mass."^^ Yet earlier misattribution and frequency 
of usage notwithstanding, the Chrysostom text provided an eloquent patristic 
foundation in support of Faber's perception that it was in fact a growing 
disjunction of the oneness of the Mefiopfer and Kreuzopfer that was the 
fundamental issue at hand, particularly in light of the scriptural argument 
based on Hebrews that Christ could only die once (semel) seemed to preclude 
any notion of the mass as sacrifice.^^ And it would in fact be the Chrysostom 
text which Zwingli would find the most difficulty addressing in his Aus- 
legung. 

Article 61 of Zwingli' s Schlufireden had questioned the notion of an 
indelible character in priesthood, and had argued that he primary sacerdotal 
responsibihty was preaching the Word of God.^^ Faber inferred rejection of 
a priesthood predicated upon the notion of eucharistie sacrifice, and 
responded with an emphasis on the sacerdotal element in the liturgical 
commemoration of the sacrifice of the cross. It was the priest who perpetu- 
ated in the mass nothing less than that which Christ gave to us, namely. His 
sacrifice on the cross.^ Only through the sacerdotal effication of the real 
presence of Christ in the elements of bread and wine could the sacrifice of 
Christ on the cross achieve fullness of expression, intrinsically necessary if 
one were to benefit fully from Christ's non-repeatable act of redemption. 
Thus, the inseparable nature of the Mefiopfer and Kreuzopfer was seen by 
Faber as being necessarily connected sacerdotally with the anamnetic exhor- 
tation of Jesus to the disciples of the Last Supper. Such insistence by Faber 
on the inseparability of the last supper and the sacrifice of the cross was in 



28 / Renaissance and Reformation 



fact atypical of early pre-Tridentine theologians, and it has been even sug- 
gested that had there been greater emphasis on this inseparability by contro- 
versial theologians, Protestant objections to the doctrine of eucharistie 
sacrifice might have been ameliorated.^^ 

Intrinsic to Faber's defense of a sacerdotal element in his defense of a 
sacrificial dimension of the liturgy was the controversial question of the 
principalis offerens during the mass. As stated above, later medieval theolo- 
gians did not hold the act of consecration to be a sacrificial act in itself. 
Nevertheless, there was often disagreement, especially in fifteenth-century 
theology, as to whether it was Christ Himself or the priest acting in persona 
ecclesiae who perpetuated the sacrifice of the cross (Opferdarbringung).^^ 
Scotism had stressed the latter, since the entire Uturgical commemoration of 
prayers and ritual rather than the single act of consecration was regarded as 
perpetuating the sacrifice.^^ Thomism on the other hand, tended to regard the 
celebrating priest as acting in persona Christi, since the sacrifice of the mass 
was identical to the sacrifice of the cross, and since the same victim was also 
present.^ 

The Scotist rather than Thomist emphasis would seem to have offered 
potentially fertile ground for an attempt to reconcile ZwingU's position with 
that of Faber, particularly given its stress on anamnesis rather than sacrifice, 
and the fact that Faber' s educational background was Scotist. Yet, Faber, 
perhaps in part due to his strong desire to defend the above-mentioned 
sacerdotal component of the mass, seemed to downplay his own scotist 
background and lean more toward the via modema of Thomas, although in a 
modified fashion. Christ does not in Faber' s view directly perpetuate the 
sacrifice of the cross, but enables the church to do so in the person of her 
priests, i.e. sub sacerdote Christi rather than in persona Christi.^^ Faber cites 
support for this sacerdotal "anamnetic imperative" from Cyprian of Carthage 
and Theophilactus of Bulgaria (d. 1 108), both of whom had emphasized the 
importance of the priesthood as an essential bridge between the eternal 
sacrifice of the cross and the temporal perpetuation of this same sacrifice in 
the eucharist.^^ 

Zwingli had challenged Faber to prove eucharistie sacrifice on the basis 
of scripture, and had made clear at the start of the disputation that he regarded 
the presence of the scriptures in Hebrew, Greek and Latin as sufficient 
mechanism for confirmation and validation of any doctrinal decisions reached 
at Ztirich.^^ Although Faber objected to the idea of attempting authoritative 
interpretations of scripture in such a localized context, he nevertheless 
responded to ZwingH's challenge, but on an etymological rather exegetical 



Renaissance et Réforme / 29 



basis. In so doing, Faber turned from the fathers to his own contemporaries 
who had to varying degrees embraced tenets of Christian humanism. Faber 
thus insisted that missah was Hebrew, properly translated as oblatio or 
sacrificium, and invoked the Complutensian Polyglot of the cardinal- scholar 
of Alcala, Francisco Ximenes de Cisneros (1436-1517), specifically pointing 
out that the Latin which corresponded to the Hebrew text of Deuteronomy 
16:10 read "oblationem spontaneam manus tuae quam offeres iuxta 
benedictionem."^^ 

Then, in an effort to stem the potential objections that the Spaniard de 
Cisneros would be regarded as partisan because of his close association with 
papacy and empire, Faber cited additional support from "our own pious 
countryman Doctor Johannes Reuchlin, who in his dictionary under the letter 
*mem' writes that 'Missa is a sacrifice which is offered to the Lord on-high 
as a propitiation (leybpfennig) in itself.' So it is in Deuteronomy 16:10."^^ 
Faber then declared that on the basis of the aforementioned arguments and 
his "faithfulness to the Targum,"^^ he had proven that the mass was "nothing 
other than the sacrifice of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which 
down to the present day has been called missa or liturgia in Greek," and had 
thus met Zwingh's challenge by "overthrowing" article XVIII of Zwingli*s 
67 Schlufireden. Faber concluded that he had made known the truth concern- 
ing the eucharist, and that the matter could rest until he dealt with Luther's 
De abroganda missa privata?^ 

A much overlooked fact is that the June publication of Zwingli's Aus- 
legung der 67 Schlufireden was primarily a response to Faber, who although 
never named, is clearly synonymous with the papists and their beliefs men- 
tioned throughout the Auslegung. Article 18 was the second-longest of the 
expanded and explicated 67 Schlufireden, and focused on the eucharistie 
sacrifice.^^ Zwingli reiterated his insistence that Hebrews had stated clearly 
that Christ had died once, and that the mass therefore could not be a sacrifice. 
To argue to the contrary would call into question the perfection and efficacy 
of the one unique sacrifice of the cross. 

Clearly, Faber' s attempt to argue that sacrifices must be understood in 
the context of the unity of the Kreuzopfer and Mefiopfer continued to be 
synonymous in Zwingli's mind with the notion of a repetition of sacrifice. 
Thus, for Faber to have argued that the word sacrifice was found in scripture 
was in a sense meaningless, for it was rather the etymological issue of how 
precisely one was to define sacrifice which emerges with full force in the 
Auslegung. Zwingli reiterates his contention that sacrifice was synonymous 
with killing, pointing out that the Hebrew zaba, Greek thyein, and Latin 



30 / Renaissance and Reformation 



sacrificare all mean to kill Although he admits that the German word opfren 
does not mean to kill, but rather donate, honor, or lend, he insists nevertheless 
that when one speaks of Christ one must understand opfren to mean suffering 
and dying, for this, he argues, is how it is understood in the language from 
which the German word opfren comes.^^ In contrast to this interpretation, 
Zwingli charged that "the papists fight as did Dr. Martin Plantsch of Tubingen 
on the day of the Zurich Disputation,"^^ who agreed that Christ, in accordance 
with Hebrews, could only be sacrificed once, but who was nevertheless 
offered up in the mass without dying again. One cannot make such distinc- 
tions between offering up, suffering, and death', all are one and the same when 
speaking of Christ's passion, and contradistinctions were simply fabricated 
by slaves of the mass in order to maintain their profits.^^ 

Unfortunately, Zwingli had not explored the ramifications of his own 
argument that opfren meant also to honor, donate or lend. Could it not have 
been argued that the linguistic reception and usage of opfren in a passive 
"having-been-killed" rather than "killing" sense demonstrated that one could 
speak of the mass as a sacrifice without implying a repetition of the death of 
Jesus? Such an argument might have helped bridge the growing chasm over 
whether one could speak of eucharistie sacrifice in any legitimate sense. But 
accepting ZwingU's premise that sacrifice must be understood strictly as the 
act of killing or dying, insistence that commonly accepted eucharistie theol- 
ogy espoused a plurality of sacrifices was inevitable and indeed logical. And 
no one, Zwingli argues, can offer up Christ except Christ Himself, which he 
has done already. Therefore, the only offering up to God which one may 
continue to make, and indeed the highest sacrifice one can make, is of oneself, 
just as Christ has done for us.^^ 

But, in spite of Zwingli' s trenchant refusal to accept any sacrificial 
language being linked terminologically with the eucharist, there was still an 
indication in his Auslegung five months after the disputation, that although 
he and Faber had not met in their respective views of eucharistie sacrifice, 
they at least had been treading common ground. In a manner which seems to 
approximate the emphasis on the unity between Kreuzopfer and Mefiopfer 
espoused by Faber, Zwingli is still able to describe the liturgy as an anamnetic 
renewal of the one sacrifice on the cross: "The body and blood of Christ are 
an eternal legacy, inheritance or testament; in eating and drinking thereof one 
does not sacrifice. Rather, one remembers and renews [emiiweret] that which 
Christ has done, once and for all."^^ The commemoration is a warranty by 
which we recognize and believe in the warranty of our salvation through 
Christ, who although offered up only once, has become a gate and vahd 



Renaissance et Réforme / 3 1 



offering for the sins of everyone, and whose suffering is eternally effective: 
"one eats and drinks his flesh and blood in this faith, recognizing that it has 
been given as a confirmation of the fact that our sins are being forgiven, as if 
Christ had only now died on the cross [emphasis mine]."^^ Was this not 
essentially what Faber had been arguing in defending a unity between 
Kreuzopfer and Mefiopfer, i.e. a mediation of the ejfectus passionis rather than 
a repetition of the sacrifice? When placed in such juxtaposition, Zwingli's 
eucharistie position in the first half of 1523 emerges as one far less revolu- 
tionary and intrinsically incompatible with the pre-Tridentine Catholic posi- 
tion hitherto believed. 

But Zwingli's distaste for abuses in the area of mass stipends and his 
intense dislike of any notion of an efficaciously limited sacrifice had contrib- 
uted strongly to his dogged resistance to any mention of sacrificial language 
in describing the eucharist. Late medieval perceptions of an efficaciously 
limited mass and the resultant disjunction between Kreuzopfer and Mefiopfer 
had indeed contributed to circumstances conducive to Zwingli's almost facile 
rejection of the doctrine of eucharistie sacrifice and concomitant insistence 
that the mass could be nothing more than a specific finite non-sacrificial 
commemoration of the passio Christi, the latter being infinitely effective for 
one's salvation. At the same time, one must question whether Faber' s 
well-intended determination to avoid medieval theologians and theological 
terminology in his response to Zwingli had in fact hampered his ability to 
respond effectively, in that he failed to emphasize sufficiently the larger 
liturgical context of the scotist position and its emphasis on commemoration 
and sacrifice. 

The failure of Zwingli and Faber to come to terms regarding the impasse 
over the eucharist must not be dismissed simply as mutual intransigence and 
a lack of distinction between sacrificial essence and sacrificial act. It is also 
illustrative of certain fundamental theological differences between them 
which emerged during the course of their post-disputation literary exchange, 
particularly with regard to the relationship between temporality and the 
infinite. In Zwingli's view, there could be only one sacrifice of Christ, not 
just because of Hebrews 9, but also because this one sacrifice was rooted in 
a temporal historical moment was never to be repeated.^^ It was only through 
a liturgical, non-sacrificial anamnesis that the sacrifice of the cross was 
perpetuated, without which there could be no intermingling between the 
infinite realm of God and the temporality of history. Faber, on the other hand, 
had laid heavy emphasis on the one sacrifice of the cross as being eternally 
perpetuated temporally in the mass through the instrument of the priesthood 



32 / Renaissance and Reformation 



on behalf of the church. This was the specific "anamnetic imperative" of 
Jesus at the Last Supper, by which the historic act of redemption on the cross 
retained its temporal efficacy. Each individual mass is no new sacrifice, but 
through the priesthood and the eucharistie elements became a commemora- 
tion (Wiedergedechtnus) and perpetuation of the "once-for-all" sacrifice of 
the cross; it is only mistakenly perceived as a new and separate sacrifice 
because of its finite temporal objectification. It was this linkage, and indeed, 
essential oneness, between the redemption of the cross and the sacrificial 
commemoration of the mass which was fundamental to Faber' s eucharistie 
theology. Without it, there could be no "sacrifice of the mass", and indeed, 
it was rejection of such a union between Kreuzopfer and Mefiopfer which 
seems to have played a fundamental role in at least Zwingli's initial rejection 
of eucharistie sacrifice.^^ 

In spite of the impasse, one of the most important results of the theolog- 
ical interaction between Faber and Zwingli which had originated in the 
disputation and had been played out in the ensuing literary polemic was that 
it spurred Zwingli toward producing a much more detailed, comprehensive, 
and credible presentation of his understanding of doctrine in his Auslegung 
der 67 Schlufireden; similarly, Faber and produced at least a provisional 
Catholic definition of the previously vaguely-defined doctrine of eucharistie 
sacrifice, and would later turn to a defense of other controverted areas of 
doctrine.^^ Unfortunately, such a process of "reciprocal conditioning" 
occurred in an atmosphere of contentiousness and polemic, which ultimately 
led not just to clarification concerning differing views of the eucharist, but to 
polarization as well. As polemic from both sides replaced constructive 
dialogue, the understanding of theological differences took a back seat to the 
ardent defense of one's own position, which Winded both Zwingli and Faber 
to the possibility of fundamental theological agreement, and ultimately ren- 
dered hopeless any chances of a mutually agreeable definition of the nature 
and relationship of eucharistie sacrifice and commemoration. Henceforth, 
Zwingli' s treatises on the mass would seek to define what set his view of the 
mass apart from the CathoUc position, while Faber' s later works would be 
largely defensive in tone rather than seeking common ground. ^^ 

In looking at Faber' s response to Zwingli, some summary observations 
can be made. Although little of Faber' s opus the previous year had been 
devoted to the question of sacrifice, his theological encounter with Zwingli 
prompted him to attempt to restore a sense of the unity between the sacrifice 
of the cross, the last supper, and the liturgy. Its centrality as a theme in his 
Warlich Underrichtung as well as in his other theological writings in the 



Renaissance et Réforme / 33 



ensuing four decades brought the issue to the forefront of controversial 
theology. Furthermore, the methodology he employed in the process was 
above all else innovative. Faber saw that the circumstances and aftermath of 
the First Zurich Disputation required that he formulate a credible defense of 
eucharistie sacrifice which would have to be based on new fonts of authority. 
His conscious eschewing of the use of medieval theologians in his response 
to Zwingli, his use of scripture and contemporary Christian humanist schol- 
arship, and his heavy reliance on patristic support all indicate a mind and 
methodology attuned to the changing religious and intellectual currents of the 
sixteenth century. Such an innovative methodology would exercise a strong 
formative influence on other controversial theologians, whose theological 
treatises, along with Faber' s, would ultimately help shape the language of 
Trent concerning eucharistie sacrifice as well as other doctrinal issues. 
Faber' s Zurich encounter with Z wingh and the resulting theological exchange 
demonstrates that the TUbingen-trained theologian certainly merits recogni- 
tion as one of the "important Catholic theologians" grappling with this crucial 
doctrinal issue during the pre-Tridentine period. ^^ 

St. John '5 Seminary 

Notes 

1. There is considerable disagreement concerning Zwingli's early eucharistie theology, 
particularly with regard to the dating of his rejection of transubstantiation and the real 
presence. Moreover, largely on the basis of an argument from silence, his rejection of 
transubstantiation has often been presumed to include a willing and conscious rejection 
of the real presence, although even the famous letter to Thomas Wyttenbach in June of 
1523 can only be said with certainty to reject transubstantiation, and Zwingli in fact 
even seems to affirm the real presence in his Auslegung (esp. ZW II, 143). As Bosshard 
points out, part of the difficulty in achieving a precise understanding of Zwingli's 
eucharistie theology in 1523 is a paucity of sources [S.N. Bosshard, Zwingli, Erasmus, 
Cajetan: Die Eucharistie als Zeichen der Einheit (Wiesbaden, 1978), 12]. For a good 
example of the spirited debate over the chronology and doctrinal presuppositions of 
Zwingli's early eucharistie theology, see the sometimes acrid exchange of letters 
between Kohler and Bauer in Zeitschrift fiir Kirchengeschichte: W. Kohler, "Zu 
Zwinglis altester Abendmahlsauffassung," 45 (1926), 399-408; K. Bauer, "Symbolik 
und Realprasenz in der Abendmahlsanschauung Zwinglis bis 1525," 46 (1927), 97- 
105; and Kohler's "final response" to Bauer in "Zur Abendmahlskontroverse in der 
Reformationszeit, inbesondere zur Entwicklung der Abendmahlslehre Zwinglis," 47 
(1928), 47-56. See also W. Kohler, Zwingli und Luther. Ihr Streit Uber das Abendmahl 
nach seinen politischen und religiosen Beziehungen (Leipzig, 1924); Gottfried Locher, 
Zwingli's Thought: New Perspectives (Leiden, 1981) esp. 220; and Albert Hyma, 
"Hoen's Letter on the Eucharist and Its Influence upon Carlstadt, Bucer, and Zwingli," 
Princeton Theological Review, 24 ( 1 926), 1 24-3 1 . 



34 / Renaissance and Reformation 



2. Research on Faber has been negligible in comparison with other controversial theolo- 
gians. For bibliography, see Herbert Immenkotter, "Johann Fabri (1478-1541)," in 
Katholische Theologen der Reformationszeit, ed. Erwin Iserloh (Miinster, 1984), and 
Christian Radey, Dr. Johann Fabri, Bischofvon Wien (1530-1541), Wegbereiter der 
Katholischen Reform, Rat Konig Ferdinands (Dissertation, Vienna, 1976). For a 
complete list of Faber' s numerous works, see Verzeichnis der im Deutschen 
Sprachbereich Erschienenen Drucke des XVI. Jahrhunderts, vol. 6 (Stuttgard, 1986) 
554-561; cf. Wilbirgis Klaiber, Katholische Kontroverstheologen und Reformer des 
16. Jahrhunderts (Munster, 1978). 

3. Faber' s account was published in March by the Freiburg im Breisgau printer Johannes 
Worlin, under the full title Ein warlich underrictung, wie es zu ZUrch by dem Zwinglin 
ujf den niin undzwentzigsten tag des monats Januarii nest verschinen ergangen sey 
[hereafter cited as Faber, WU; the work is incorrectly attributed to Johann Fabri von 
Heilbronn in the British Museum Catalogue of Books (v. 70, 247)]. In addition, Faber 
sent a brief Bericht, or report of the disputation to the imperial government in 
Innsbruck, published by J. Mayer, "Die Disputation zu Zurich am 29. Januar 1523, 
Katholische Schweizer Blatter, 11 (1895), 51-65, 183-195 (Hereafter cited sls Bericht). 
The Hegenwald account [vol. I, 442-469, Huldreich Zwinglis sammtliche Werke, ed. 
by Emil Egli et al., (Berlin, Leipzig, Zurich, 1905-), hereafter cited as ZW] was 
published on March 3, 1523, as Handlung der Versammlung in der Stadt Ziirich auf 
den 29. Januar 1523. Often inaccurately treated as official acta of the disputation, the 
report was reputedly written by a Zurich schoolmaster named Erhart Hegenwald, but 
there is no known Zurich archival record of Hegenwald, and it was long ago theorized 
by Morikofer that "Hegenwald" was in fact a pseudonym for Zwingli himself [Johann 
Caspar Môrikofer, Ulrich Zwingli (Liepzig, 1867), vol. I, 160]. Regardless of author- 
ship, the biased nature of the Hegenwald account is now widely accepted [e.g. G.R. 
Potter, Zwingli (Cambridge, 1976), 103; Heiko Oberman, Masters of the Reformation: 
the Emergence of a New Intellectual Climate in Europe (Cambridge, 1 98 1 ), 1 9 1 ; Bemd 
Moeller, "Zwinglis Disputationen. Studien zu den Anfângen de Kirchenbildung und 
des Synodalwesens im Protestantismus," Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung fur 
Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonische Abteilung, 56 (1970), 275-324]. For Zwingli' s 67 
Schlufireden, see ZWl, 458-65. In the aftermath of the disputation, he expanded his 67 
Schlufireden in the form of his Auslegung der 67 Schlufireden [ZW II, esp. 1 1 1-57 for 
the text of article 18; for translation, see Carl s. Meyer, Luther's and Zwingli' s 
Propositions for Debate (Leiden, 1963)]. An acrid and biting satirical account of Faber 
and his role at the disputation appeared the following September under the title Das 
Gyren Rupffen (The Plucked Vulture). Likely written by knight-in-exile Ulrich von 
Hutten, the work is of marginal theological significance. For a fuller treatment, see 
Keith D. Lewis, "Ulrich von Hutten, Johann Faber, and Das Gyren Rupffen: A Knight's 
Last Campaign?" Archivfur Reformationsgeschichte, 78 (1987), 124-146. 

4. Hegenwald, ZW I, 460. 

5. The mass was described as "hearing the word of God" and "partaking of Him in the 
eucharist," which is the heavenly bread (himmelsche brot) received and eaten by the 
people (got niesse). Old testament holiness, which had been sought through bloody 
sacrifices (vihischem blUt), was now replaced by the holiness of the New Testament. 
This new testament was centered in the blood of the eternal God, for Christ had stated 
that the cup of his blood was that of a new and everlasting testament. Zwingli further 



Renaissance et Réforme / 35 



spoke of the church of Christ as won through His blood, and argued that communion 
sub utraque should be allowed since it was apostolic practice and has been instituted 
by the Lord himself [Von Erkiesen und Freiheit der Speisen (16 April, 1522), ZW^I, 
74-136; n^\ApologeticusArcheteles (22/23) August, 1522), ZWI, 249-327; 320). But 
other than a paraphrase of the words of institution at the last supper (Apologeticus 
Archeteles, ZW I, 323) we hear nothing further concerning Zwingli's eucharistie 
beliefs, nor do we have any indications of his adhering to anything other than a 
thoroughly orthodox position, until his issuance of the 67 Schlufireden in preparation 
for the January disputation. 

6. The main purpose in Faber's trip to Rome was to consult library resources for patristic 
manuscript material to be included in his extensive theological response to Luther, 
which in August of 1522 was published in Rome by Marcello Silber as Opus adversus 
nova quaedam et a Christiana religione prorsus aliéna dogmata Martini Lutheri 
[hereafter referred to as opus; citations are from both the original 1522 edition as well 
as from the critical edition by A. Naegele, Malleus in haeresim Lutheranam (1524), in 
Corpus Catholicorum, 23/24, 25/26 (Munster i.W., 1946, 1952) hereafter cited as CC). 
For Faber's presence in Rome, see K. Schottenloher, "Johann Fabri in Rom, nach einen 
Berichte Jakob Zieglers," Archiv fUr Reformationsgeschichte, 17 (1908) 31-47. 

7. Zwingli and Faber had collaborated in removing from the diocese of Constance Italian 
indulgence preacher Bernardino Sansone, whose activities were uncomfortably similar 
to those of Tetzel [Iganz Staub, O.S.B., Dr. Johan Fabri, Generalvikar von Konstanz 
(1518-1523) bis zum ojfenen Kampfgegen M. Luther (August 1522) (Einsiedeln, 1911), 
117]. None of Zwingli's treatises explicitly critical of church authority, beliefs, or 
practices appears prior to 1522. Furthermore, there is in fact considerable evidence to 
suggest that in 1522, Zwingli was regarded by Rome as a strong supporter of the 
interests of the papacy. See in particular J. M. Stayer, "Zwingli Before Zurich: 
Humanist Reformer and Papal Partisan", ArchivfUr Reformationsgeschichte, 72 ( 1 98 1 ) 
55-68. 

8. Bishop Hugo appears to have been neither interested nor theologically competent to 
attend the disputation in person. Furthermore, the Constance cathedral chapter did not 
take Zwingli seriously as a reformer in his own right, believing as they did that the 
upcoming meeting was a disputatione d. Ulrici Zwingli in negocio Luterano statuta 
[August Willburger, Die Konstanzer Bischofe Hugo von Landenburg, Balthazar 
Merklin, Johann Lupfen (1496-1537) und die Glaubensspaltung (Munster, 1917); 
Manfred Krebs, éd., Die Protokolle des Konstanzer Domkapitels (Beiheft zur 
Zeitschrift fiir die Geschichte des Oberrheins, vol. 106), 267, # 7510]. In addition to 
Faber, the Constance delegation was completed by Martin Plantsch and Georg Ver- 
genhans, both of whom had received the doctorate in theology from Tubingen. As 
Oberman observes, the Constance delegation was really a "Tubingen delegation" 
(Oberman, Masters of the Reformation, 216-17). 

9. Hegenwald, ZW I, 555 

10 ouch haben die aposteln missam sacrificium geheissen" (Hegenwald, ZW\, 555); cf. 

the mistranslation in Samuel Macaulay Jackson, éd.. Selected Works of Huldreich 
Zwingli (Philadelphia, 1901), p. 100: "and also the apostles were known as missam 
sacrificium y 



36 / Renaissance and Reformation 



1 1. Zwingli sat on the board which oversaw the publication of books in Zurich, and would 
thus almost certainly have been acquainted first-hand with Jud's translation and thus 
with Luther's identical objections to the notion of repetitive sacrifice. For a fuller 
treatment of Jud, who was Luther's principal translator for German-speaking Switzer- 
land, see Karl-Heinz Wyss, Leo Jud, Seine Entwicklung zum Reformator: 1519-1523, 
(Bern, 1976). 

12. If one were to carry the argument in article XVIII to its logical conclusion, it would be 
formulated as such: If the mass is in any way a sacrifice, then the sacrifice of the cross 
is no atonement at all, for this would be tantamount to saying that the sacrifice of Christ 
on the cross was insufficient for our redemption. Therefore, if the mass is a sacrifice, 
it is a meaningless sacrifice, for we have no longer in been redeemed in Christ. As 
Richardson formulates it, "Zwingli understands... that the Supper is a pledge of some- 
thing Christ did for us on the Cross, rather than a pledge of his abiding presence which 
does something for us now" Cyril Richardson, Zwingli and Cranmer on the Eucharist 
(Illinois, 1949), 17. 

13. "Mit einem opffer hat er erfiilt die geheiligten in ewigkeit" (Hegenwald, ZW'^I, 556). 
Whether Zwingli meant this sense of redemption in terms of election is unclear at this 
early stage in his theology. 

14. Hegenwald, ZVVI, 556. Zwingli's rejection of the ubiquity of Christ and his insistence 
that Christ's localization in heaven precluded any notion of a real presence was a much 
later development in his theology. It does not seem to have been an issue for Zwingli 
at this early stage. Hence, one finds no discussion of the real presence. 

15. Hegenwald, ZW I, 557; the same argument had earlier been raised by Luther. 

16. "Wir wissen ouch wol, das missa nitt vom latin oder vonn kriechischer sprach kumpt; 
aber ir thiint kein geschryfft dar" (Hegenwald, ZW I, 557); cf. Jackson's mistranslation 
(p. 102): "We also know well that missa does not come from Hebrew (emphasis mine) 
or Greek; but you present nothing from the scriptures." 

17. Hegenwald, ZW I, 565-6; leporinus caseus; i.e. something rare or extraordinary, 
usually used in a sarcastic sense. The allusion is likely classical, most probably Marcus 
Terentius Varro, De Rusticae, 2, 1 1, 4, who speaks of the coagulum leporinum in this 
vein. Zwingli's usage of the term in the context of his dispute with Faber was perhaps 
inspired by Kdsjager, which was a popular disparaging term for the clergy during the 
nascent Reformation [Frederich Lepp, Schlagworter des Reformationszeitalters (Leip- 
zig, 1908), 3]. 

18. This notion received the greatest prominence in B.J. Kidd's The Later Medieval 
Doctrine of the Eucharistie Sacrifice (London, 1958), in which, as the title implies, 
Kidd argued that the concept of eucharistie sacrifice was a late medieval distortion of 
the mass which could be traced back to "innovations" by Aquinas (p. 38). Clark has 
sufficiently discussed the fundamental and numerous weaknesses of Kidd's book, 
which he charitably refers to as "an unfortunate publication" [Francis Clark, S.J., 
Eucharistie Sacrifice and the Reformation (London, 1967), 45-49]. 

19. The unprecedented nature of the sixteenth-century challenge to, and rejection of, this 
doctrine is clear: Lepin, L'Idée du sacrifice de la messe d'après les théologiens depuis 
l'origine jusqu 'à nos jours (Paris, 1926), 2 14, 241 ; Clark Eucharistie Sacrifice, 76-78); 
Erwin Iserloh, Die Eucharistie in der Darstellung des Johannes Eck, (Munster, 1950), 
57; Erwin Iserloh, "Die Wert der Messe in der Diskussion der Theologen vom 



Renaissance et Réforme / 37 



Mittelalter bis zum 16. Jahrhundert," Zeitschrift fur Katholische Théologie, 83 (1961), 
44-79; Bosshard, Zwingli, Erasmus, Cajetan, 21. 

20. For example, comparisons such as with the Waldensians, in the same manner in which 
attempts have been made to link Luther with Wycliffe and Hus. For a fuller discussion, 
see Joachim Staedtke, "Voraussetzungen der Schweizer Abendmahlslehre", The- 
ologische Zeitschrift, 16 (1960), 19-32. 

21. Willi Massa, S.V.D., Die Eucharistiepredigt am Vorabend der Reformation: Bin 
material-kerygmatische Untersuchung zum Glaubensverstandnis von Altarssakrament 
und Messe am Beginn des 16. Jahrhunderts als Beitrag zur Geschichte der Predigt 
(Siegburg, 1966), 93; Erwin Iserloh, Die Eucharistie, 66. 

22. Iserloh, Die Eucharistie, 139. 

23. "Missa non aequivalet passioni Christi, licet specialius valeat, pro quanto ibi est 
specialior commemoratio oblationis, quam Christus obtulit in cruce, juxta illud Lucae 
22. et I. Cor. c. 2. Hoc facite in meam commemorationem, quia fit Missa tam 
repraesentando illam oblationem in cruce, quam per eam obsecrando, ut scilicet per 
eam Deus acceptet sacrificium Ecclesiac.quod Eucharistia oblata acceptatur non 
ratione voluntatis Christi ut immediate offerentis, ratione ergo voluntatis Ecclesiae 
generalis, ilia autem habet rationem meriti finitam, et esto quod acceptaretur ratione 
voluntatis Christi ut offerentis, hoc est instituentis oblationem, et dantis sibi valorem, 
et acceptationem, tamen non aequivaleret, nee acceptaretur sicut passio Christi, et ita 
esset meritum finitum, cui correspondet bonum debitum virtute sacrificii {Quodlibet, 
XX, n. 22)." 

24. Massa, Die Eucharistiepredigt, 95-99. 

25. "DaB in der Messe die memoria und representatio des Opfers am Kreuz gefeiert wird, 
ist ja nicht so sehr in Frage gestellt, sondern daB diese memoria selbst ein Opfer ist, 
und daB sie ein Opfer sein kann, ohne die Einheit und Dieselbigkeit des Opfers 
aufzulosen (Iserloh, Die Eucharistie, 72). 

26. Iserloh, Die Eucharistie, 149. 

27. W.P. Stephens, The Theology ofHuldrych Zwingli, (Oxford, 1988), 6. 

28. As Cyril Richardson observes, "Zwingli' s eucharistie doctrine is grounded on two 
presuppositions. One is theological and concerns his view of faith. The other is 
philosophical and has to do with his Nominalism and humanism. His opinions on the 
Lord's Supper are the religious and logical consequences of these factors, and, indeed, 
are unintelligible apart from them" (Richardson, Zwingli and Cranmer on the Eucha- 
rist, 5,8). 

29. Clark, Eucharistie Sacrifice, 327. 

30. For Faber's presence at Tubingen, see Heinrich Hermelink, Die Matrikeln der 
Universitat Tubingen, vol I: Die Matrikeln von 1477-1600 (Stuttgard, 1906), 150; and 
Staub, Dr. Johan Fabri, 16. 

3 1 . Iserloh, Die Eucharistie, 20; the plethora of such treatises was also recognized by those 
at whom they were directed. In 1531, Philip Melanchthon remarked in this Apologia 
for the Augsburg Confession that "Sie [die Widersacher] haben zehn ganze Jahre viele 
Bûcher geschrieben, daB die Messe ein Opfer sei, und ihrer keiner hat noch nit 
definiert, was Opfer sei oder nicht sei" (Apologia Confessionis, XXIV, XII, 15). 

32. C\aik, Eucharistie Sacrifice, 91. 



38 / Renaissance and Reformation 



33. Lepin, L'idée du sacrifice, 253-5; Hugo Laemmer, Vortridentinisch-katholische Thé- 
ologie des Reformations -Zeitalters aus den Quellen dargestellt (Berlin, 1858) 62; B. 
A. Gerrish, "The Lord's Supper in the Reformed Confessions", Theology Today, 23 
(1966), 224-243, 240. 

34. Istûoh, Die Eucharistie, I'M. 

35. Faber, WU,{2>. 

36. Faber, WU, e 4; Faber' s stress on Old Testament imagery as prefiguring the sacrifice 
of the cross (and the mass) was a common theme throughout the Middle Ages, due 
largely to Aquinas' reply to the objection that Hebrews 10:14 seemed to demonstrate 
that Christ could not be sacrificed in the mass [Summa Theologiae, 3a, quaes, 83; F. 
X. Arnold, "Vorgeschichte und EinfluB des Trienter MeBopferdekrets auf die 
Behandlung des eucharistischen Geheimnisses in der Glaubensverkiindigung der Neu- 
zeit", in Die Messe in der Glaubensverkiindigung, ed. by F.X.Arnold (Freiburg, 1953), 
124]. 

37. Faber, WU, e 4. In his opus (p 4; CC 1, 249), Faber had emphasized the commemorative 
act of the mass as the visible proclamation in the church of the once-for-all redemption 
on the cross. This liturgica oblatio followed the typology of the Old Testament, 
especially with regard to the notion of affirmation of a covenant. Jesus was referring 
to this unbloody perpetuation of His covenant and sacrifice when at the Last Supper, 
he instituted the sacrifice of the mass according to the words of scripture. 

38. Faber, WU, e 4. 

39. Faber, WU, c 4. 

40. (Faber, fler/c/i/, 193-4) 

41. Faber, VVf/, f 2. 

42. Faber, WU, f 2; cf Faber's opus (p.3; CC I, 247): "Addo, quod haec eadem verba (i.e. 
sacrificium) in missa Graece scripta reperiuntur, qua et iam diu Graeci utuntur ac usi 
fuerunt, testantibus haec vetustissimis codicibus." 

43. Faber, WU, f 2. Likely a reference to Luther's 1 5 1 8 AJ dialogum Silvestri de potestate 
papae responsio {WA I, 644-686, esp. 662), before Luther had made a definitive break 
with Rome. 

44. See for example his Declamationes divine de humane vite miseria (Augsburg, 1 520), 
es. ii-iv, in which Faber praises the use of both Christian and pagan authors from 
antiquity, but also defends use of scholastic authors. 

45. Faber, OpM5, p. 4; CC I, 48. 

46. Faber's activity in collecting manuscripts is detailed in Giovanni Mercati, "Scritti 
ecclesiastici greci copiati da Giovanni Fabri nella Vaticana," Bessarione, 37 (1921), 
88-120; largely through the intercession of Swiss Cardinal Matthaus Schiner (1465- 
1522), Faber had gained access to a number of libraries and collections [see Albert 
Buchi, Kardinal Matthaiis Schiner als Staatsmann und Kirchenfiirst, V. II, (Freiburg 
i.d.S., 1937), esp. 438]. For Faber's personal library, which Urbanus Rhegius once 
stated with hyperbole "rivalled the Ptolemaic library at Alexandria," see Alphons 
Lhotsky. "Die Bibliothek des Bischofs von Wien Dr. Johannes Fabri (1530-1541)," in 
Festschrift Karl Eder zum 70. Geburtstag (Innsbruck, 1959), 71-81. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 39 



47. Faber appears to have been responsible for bringing this work of Irenaeus to the 
attention of the sixteenth century by way of Erasmus, who relied heavily on Faber' s 
manuscript in his own 1526 edition of Irenaeus. See especially José Ruysschaert, "Le 
manuscript 'Romae Descriptum' de l'édition érasmienne d'Irénée de Lyon", Scrinium 
Erasminiaum, éd. by J. Coppens (1969), v. 1, 263-276. 

48. Johannes Eck, De sacrificio missae libri très (1526), éd. E. Iserloh, Corpus 
Catholicorum, 36 (Munster, 1982), p. 91. 

49. Faber, WU,f2. 

50. Faber, WU, f 2; cf. Faber' s remark about the same Iranaeus passage cited in his opus 
against Luther: "Haec Hireneus, non Thomas, non Occam, Ricardus aut Scotus, sed 
doctor vicinus temporum apostolorum: (Faber, opus, p. 4; CC I, 248). 

51. Faber, WU, f 1; Ambrose, De sacramentis libri sex {Corpus Scriptorum 
Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, 73, 13-85, esp. 55, 5, 21). Ambrose was of particular 
importance to Faber' s acceptance of eucharistie anamnesis, and is cited similarly in his 
opus (CC I, 247, esp. n. 1); cf. an almost identical use of this same passage from 
Ambrose in Eck' s De Sacrificio Missae, (CC v. 36, p. 86, esp. n. 21). 

52. More than likely Ambrose's De Mysteriis (Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum 
Latinorum, 73, 113-116). 

53. Faber, WU,g3. 

54. Put simply, such a formula might read "Christ was the sacrifice, Christ is present, so 
too then is the sacrifice." What Faber does not explore is the potential implications 
which Zwingli's rejections of eucharistie sacrifice held for the doctrine of the real 
presence in light of Faber' s stress on this as the necessary bridge between the Kreuzop- 
fer and Mefiopfer, i.e., if Christ is corporeally present in the eucharist because the mass 
is united with the sacrifice of the cross, would Zwingli's later rejection of the real 
presence then be the logical and necessary outcome of his rejection of any sacrificial 
character in the mass? 

55. John Chrysostom, In epistolam ad Hebraeos (Patrologia Graeca, v. 63, 131). 

56. Faber, WU,f4. 

57. Petrus Lombardus, Sententiae in iv libris distinctae, lib. iv, dist. 12, cap. 5; Clark, 
Eucharistie Sacrifice, 75, see also Iserloh, Die Eucharistie, 109-1 10. 

58. The problem of reconciling Hebrews 9 with eucharistie sacrifice, which had also been 
an area of theological speculation during the patristic period, continued to be an area 
of focus during the later Middle Ages. Ironically, it was due in large part to Zwingli's 
rejection and Faber' s defense of eucharistie sacrifice that emphasis on the unity of the 
Kreuzopfer and Mefiopfer would become a standard point of Catholic controversial 
theology, and would ultimately find its way into the eucharistie decrees of the Council 
of Trent. (Iserloh, "Die Wert der Messe," 66); cf Johannes Betz. Eucharistie in der 
Schrift und Patristik, in Handbuch der Dogmengeschichte, ed. M. Schmaus, vol. 4, pt. 
4a. 20-23. 

59. "Von dem character, deB die priester in den letsten zyten sind innen worden, weyBt die 
gotlich gschryfft niit. Sy erkennet ouch kein priester, denn die das gotswort 
verkundend. Denen heist sy eer embieten, das ist: lyblich narung zudienen" (Zwingli, 
67 Schlufireden, ZW I, 464-65). 

60. Faber, WU,f\. 



40 / Renaissance and Reformation 



61. Iserloh, Der Kampf um die Messe in den ersten Jahren der Auseinandersetzung mit 
Luther (Miinster, 1952), 342; see also Clark, Eucharistie Sacrifice, 267 and Iserloh, 
Die Eucharistie, 178-83. Protestant objections were that the Last Supper was a 
testament rather than sacrifice, since the latter would seem to render the sacrifice of 
Calvary unnecessary (Clark, 101). This prompted an eventual large-scale defense of 
this belief by Catholic theologians prior to Trent, and ultimately was a major factor in 
the council's reaffirmation of the inseparability of the sacrifice of the cross and the 
Last Supper (Mansi, v. 33, 128). For a fuller treatment, see M. de la Taille's biased 
but important study "Coena et passio in theologica apologetica contra pseudo- 
reformatores", Gregorianum, 9 (1928), 177-241. 

62. Massa, Die Eucharistiepredigt, 110-111. 

63. Clark, Eucharistie Sacrifice, 326; Iserloh, "Die Wert der Messe", 56, 65-67; for Scotus, 
it is precisely because of the authority of Hebrews that Christ cannot be the one who 
offers during the mass. The sacrifice of the cross is unique. Thus, if Christ were 
principalis offerens during the liturgy, this would make the sacrifice of the cross and 
the sacrifice of the Mass equal (as opposed to unified). The sacrifice of the cross is 
therefore represented in the mass. 

64. Clark, Eucharistie Sacrifice, 327; cf Aquinas: "...etiam sacerdos gerit imaginem 
Christi, in cujus persona et virtute verba pronuntiat ad consecrandum, ut ex supra dictis 
patet. Et ita quodammodo idem est sacerdos et hostia" {Summa Theologiae, 3a, 83,1). 

65. Faber, opus, p 4-q 1; CC, I, 250. 

66. Cyprian of Carthage, Epistola LXIII (PL, 397); cf. Faber' s remark to Luther in 1522: 
"Et Cyprianus in ii. lib. espistolarum ii. epistola: 'Quotienscunque calicem in com- 
memorationem Domini et passionis eius offerimus, id quod constast Dominum fecisse, 
facimus'" (Faber, opus, p 4; CC I, 250); Theophilactus of Bulgaria, Expositio Divi 
Pauli Ad Hebraeos (PG 125, 186). Eck would later cite the same passage from 
Theophilactus in his 1526 De Sacrificio Missae {CC, 36, esp. 101); Faber, WU, f 1. 

67. "Wir haben hie unfalich unnd unparthysch richter, namlich gotliche gschrifft, die nitt 
kan liigen noch triigen. Dieselbigen haben wir zegegen in hebreischer, kriechischer und 
latinischer zungen; die wellen wir zu beyder syten haben zu einem glychen und 
gerechten richter" (Hegenwald, ZW, I 498). 

68. "Besich den frumen cardinalem Toletanum in hispania in seinem biechem [Biichem] 
die er in der hebraischen grecischen nach der sibentzig uBlegen Latin und Chaldaisch 
hat lassen uBgon. Besich dein hebraische bibly Deuterono. am sechtzehenden. Such 
den schoresch missach iiber die wort so wir habent in unser translation oblationem 
spontaneam manue tue quam ojferes iuxta benedictionem" (Faber, WU, f 3); Ximénez 
de Cisneros, Biblia Complutensis, 6 vols. (Salamanca, 1514-1517; reprinted, Rome, 
1984). 

69. Johannes Reuchlin, De rudimentis hebraicis libri III (Pforzheim, 1506; reprint, Georg 
Olms Verlag, 1974), 289. Citation of Reuchlin, under whom Faber had studied at 
Tubingen, was an astute move by Faber. Ximenes was by no means neutral, since the 
cardinal-scholar had shared with the future Adrian VI regency for the soon-to-be 
Charles V, which thus associated Ximenes with the two most visible personalities of 
Christendom (Staub, Dr. Johan Fabri, 16). 

70. "Nun sich ob ich war oder unwar hab geredt/ob ich das Bravium verdienet hab oder 
nit/sich den Targum iiber das Ellech hadebarim ['elleh haDebarîm] so vindest du die 



Renaissance et Réforme / 41 



warheit" (Faber, V/U, f 3). In so alluding to the Targum, one is given a hint of the 
atypical nature of Faber's exegetical style in comparison with other Catholic contro- 
versial theologians of the early Reformation era. Eck would later use the Targum in 
similar fashion in his defense of eucharistie sacrifice (Iserloh, Die Eucharistie, 75). 

7 1 . Faber, WU, f 3. Although Faber never undertook the work, his trenchant identification 
of Zwingli with the larger reform efforts of Luther remained a constant irritant to 
Zwingli, and was undoubtedly a factor in the Swiss reformer's sudden efforts in his 
Auslegung to go to considerable lengths to differentiate his cause and theology from 
that of Luther. 

72. The longest is article XX, which discusses the need for no other mediator than Jesus. 

73. Ironically, Zwingli' s retort to Faber had employed the same sort of etymological 
argument used by the latter. Although, virtually absent from his pre-disputation 
writings, such etymological methodology would henceforth become a familiar part of 
Zwingli' s theological treatises. There seems little evidence to support Bosshard's 
contention that Zwingli had little use for such etymological arguments, especially 
given their prominence in his Auslegung (Bosshard, Zwingli, Erasmus, Cajetan, 1 1). 

74. For reasons which are unclear, Zwingli has confused Faber with Plantsch. 

75. Zwingli, Auslegung (1523); ZW II, 118. 

76. Zwingli, Auslegung ( 1 523); ZW II, 1 20; for a recent explication of this line of reasoning 
in a larger context, see Peter Henrici, S.J., "'Do this in Remembrance of Me:' the 
Sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Faithful", Communio, 12 (1985), 146-57. 

77. Zwingli, Auslegung (1523); ZWW, 150. 

78. ZwmgM, Auslegung (1523); ZH'II, 127-128. 

79. As Zwingli remarks, "We hear rightly that at the very moment it [the blood of Christ] 
was shed, the testament was brought into effect. Yet, since it has not been shed in our 
age, it is therefore not a sacrifice but a memorial and a renewal of that which Christ 
has once poured out and which has made us whole for all eternity {Auslegung 1523; 
ZWW, 136)." 

80. It is important to point out that Zwingli did not specifically deny such a unity, but 
simply ignored this line of argument, perhaps because his theology of such a complete 
and overwhelming act of redemption on the cross left little room for such an admission; 
cf. Faber, WV, e 4. 

81. Whether Faber's insistence that the real presence was at the heart of the eucharistie 
sacrifice in the face of Zwingli' s adamant rejection of the real presence cannot be 
readily determined. Nevertheless, it is at least conceivable that Zwingli in fact had 
seen the logical consistency of Faber's argument, but had become so convinced of the 
correctness of a completely non-sacrificial mass that logically there was no room left 
for the corporeal presence of Christ in the eucharist. In other words, Christ could not 
be bodily present if the mass had no sacrificial dimension. 

82. Recent scholarship has argued that it is in the concept of anamnesis united to the one 
sacrifice of Christ that ecumenical efforts in eucharistie dialogue have the potential to 
find a true common ground. Furthermore, recent Protestant-Catholic dialogue has 
revealed a widespread agreement on, and acceptance of, a sacrificial dimension to the 
eucharist which is based on the notion of an eternally-effective once-for-all sacrifice 
of the cross, the merits of which are mediated (not repeated) to us in the liturgy [M. 



42 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Tillard, O.P., "Sacrificial Terminology and the Eucharist", One in Christ, 17 (1981), 
306-323; Anglican-Roman Catholic Theological Commission, The Final Report 
(Windsor, 1981), 20; Leonard Swidler, "The Eucharist in Ecumenical Perspective", in 
Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 13 (1976), 338]. Modem ecclesial implications of the 
defensive context of sixteenth-century doctrinal formulations by both sides have 
received important attention recently, especially in Karl Lehman and Wolfhart 
Pannenberg, eds. The Condemnations of the Reformation Era: Do They Still Divide? 
(Fortress, 1990), and in David Power's The Sacrifice We Offer: The Tridentine Dogma 
and its Re interpretation (New York, 1987). 

83. An underservedly negative perception of Faber continues to cast both his theology and 
his person in a very dim light. A recent and otherwise reputable Zwingli biography 
describes Faber as "facile, unscrupulous, commonplace, elusive and well-versed in the 
standard textbooks or orthodoxy," while another Zwingli scholar implies that Faber 
resorted to theft of documents in an effort to discredit Zwingli at the Baden Disputation 
of 1526 [G. R. Potter, Zwingli (Cambridge, 1976), 101, n. 2; Gottfried Locher, 
Zwingli's Thought: New Perspectives, 72]. An objective and balanced biography of 
Faber has yet to be written. 



The Fall of Nebuchadnezzar 



ELIZABETH SAUER 



S 



ummary: This paper examines the relationship of verbal expression, 
political engagement, and historical progress in a poem which has tradition- 
ally been labelled undramatic and read as an allegory of Milton 's post- rev- 
olutionary resignation to quietism. While ''Paradise Regained" consists 
primarily of a debate between two speakers and thus appears hostile to 
multivocality, the verbal combat, E. Sauer contends, transforms the poem 
into a historically engaged, politically charged text in which the Son 
challenges the oppressive homogeneity of Satan's opposing discourse and 
reemplots the events of his master-narrative. In part 2, the author argues 
that Satan ' s fall from the temple pinnacle - Nebuchadnezzar's reconstructed 
tower of Babel, the site of contending voices and contested identities in 
"Paradise Regained" - represents the silencing of the monological, negat- 
ing voice and the symbolic collapse of monarchy (Prose, 3: 405). 



Recent twentieth-century critics have challenged traditional readings of Par- 
adise Regained as a non-dramatic and apolitical text. Arthur Milner, who 
interprets the epic as a product of Milton' s quietism, argues, nevertheless, that 
the endorsement of a withdrawal from politics should be regarded as a 
temporary strategy which is only part of a long-term solution. Other critics, 
from Arnold Stein to Joan Bennett and Christopher Hill, have attempted to 
dissuade us from reading Paradise Regained as an allegory of Milton's 
post-revolutionary resignation to quietism by examining the poem in the 
context of the poet's continued commitment to "the good old cause" (Prose, 
7: 387) in the early Restoration years. ^ In this paper, I will offer an interpre- 
tation of Paradise Regained as a multivocal and historically engaged text that 
interrogates dominant ideologies of political authority through its resistance 
to the single "negating" monarchical voice. 

The debate in which Satan and the Son participate in Paradise Regained 
is not a substitute for political activism; rather, it relocates, without confining, 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 3 ( 1 993) 43 



44 / Renaissance and Reformation 



that engagement in a 'Junctionally ambiguous" language which is at once 
political and prophetic. The Son renounces temporal force, but his verbal 
criticism of an absolute and centraUzed governmental power and his proph- 
esied destruction of all monarchies are not the expressions of a quietist 
attitude. Moreover, the Son has only one internal monologue in Paradise 
Regained, one in which he speaks in several voices and in which others are 
also accommodated. Without dominating the debate, the Son criticizes con- 
ventional models of governmental power and creates a language for a new 
Christian heroism, thus engaging in contra-censorship.^ In this paper, I will 
first provide a political context for my reading of the poem by examining 
Milton's representations of Charles's negating voice and of the staging of the 
king's final performance. Thereafter, I will focus on highlights of the verbal 
contest which becomes the forum for the development both of the Son's 
multifaceted identity and the complexly configured narrative of history that 
Satan attempts to control. The final consideration of this paper will be the 
temptation on the pinnacle, which I interpret as a tower of Babel scene - the 
site of contending voices and contested identities. 

The confrontations between the epic's primary speakers are represented 
as verbal debates, initiated by Satan's attempts to test the divine status of the 
Son; Satan hopes to persuade the Son that he is a character in a plot or narrative 
- a poem of history - whose events continually offer new opportunities to 
validate his authority. Rather than presenting him with genuine possibilities, 
Satan, however, censors and gradually narrows the Son's choices in order to 
trap him. When he finally inquires "What dost thou in this World?" (4.372), 
we recognize the limitations of his materialistic vision which prevents him 
from discerning alternatives to his proposals. Censorship, like revenge, 
recoils back upon itself. Satan's temptations differ little from each other and 
ultimately constitute an endlessly repetitive historical continuum. The Son, 
in turn, disrupts that continuum both by developing a language of paradox 
and prophecy^ which challenges Satan's oratory and "smooth answers," and 
by offering alternative ways of engaging the world. 

Though he resists the temptation to establish the kingdom in which he 
is prophesied to reign, the Son does not act outside of history, providence, or 
the plot of the poem;"* rather, he recognizes that he can only participate in the 
narrative rather than determine its outcome. "Thy coming hither ... I bid not 
or forbid" (1.494-95), he responds to Satan, who requests permission to 
engage him in verbal combat. The Son's limited knowledge of his destiny, 
his use of indirection, and his refusal to dominate the debate suggest that he 
is not an author, as the majority of critics have characterized him, but an actor 



Renaissance et Réforme / 45 



in the poem and in the processual course of history. Since the Christian view 
of the narrative of history is, however, that of a closed work, Satan may not 
be out of order in demanding that the principles of closure be made known. 
If the Son writes the poem, he can write Satan out of it. But this is not the 
case; the directions of the debate and of the course of history are determined 
in different ways by both speakers. Whereas Satan remains interested in 
locating the Son in history where he can be dealt with, the Son's use of 
prophecy and paradox in his verbal contest with Satan - a contest that replaces 
the military combat of the classical epics - allows him to challenge Satan's 
censorship and to reemplot^ the events of the master-narrative authored by 
Satan. 

No single voice assumes absolute control over the narrative of history 
or of the poem. Milton includes along with the primary speakers a number of 
dramatic voices which shape the prophetic account of history and the Son's 
role. A monological, hierarchical reading assigns a fixed status to the primary 
and the secondary voices which must, then, achieve their identity within that 
status. A process-oriented view, on the other hand, can leave the status of 
voices indeterminate, treating understanding as emergent and provisional 
rather than as the progressive inscription of a transcendental blueprint. 
Admittedly, the difficulty with talking about secondary voices in Paradise 
Regained is that hardly any are to be heard; with the exception of the prophetic 
voices of the fishermen and Mary,^ the poem is overwhelmingly a debate 
between two principal speakers, thus making its format hostile to multivocal- 
ity. However, in the context of this study, I will argue that the poem's 
dialogism, its diverse representations of history and kingship, and the Son's 
objections to the oppressive homogeneity of the opposing discourse all 
contribute to the multivocal quality of the text. In this unadorned brief epic, 
the Son's voice is iconoclastic, breaking the visual and verbal icons Satan 
offers and creating a language for alternative forms of political engagement. 
The final scene, my primary consideration in part 2 of this paper, is a 
dramatization of the account of Nebuchadnezzar's reconstructed tower of 
Babel. Satan's fall from the pinnacle signifies, I will argue, the silencing of 
the single negating voice and the symbolic collapse of monarchy. 



An examination of some of the seventeenth-century discourses about monar- 
chical authority encoded in literary and extraliterary texts offers insights into 
the different ways in which the history of polity is written and linguistically 



46 / Renaissance and Reformation 



reconstructed during this period. In voicing their opposition to kingship, the 
ParUamentarians not only denounced the idolatry of the royalists, but also 
exposed the tyrannical power invested in the monarchical voice. PhiUp 
Hunton in A Treatise of Monarchie asked the king to "suspend the use of his 
negative voice, resolving to give his royall assent to what shall passe by the 
major part of both Houses freely voting, concerning all matters of grievance 
and difference now depending in the two Houses."^ Henry Parker in Obser- 
vations upon some of his Majesties late Answers and Expresses urged parlia- 
ment to oppose the "negative voice" of the king whose "meer breath . . . blasts 
them in an instant" (213).^ Using exempla and the debate format to mock the 
kings and magistrates who had abused their political power, Milton, in 
Eikonoklastes - an iconoclastic text that served in the aftermath of the regicide 
as a much needed response to the royalist treatise Eikon Basilike - also 
described the negative voice of Charles as one that discouraged political 
representation. The monarch "prevented all reply" (PL 2.467) in the parlia- 
mentary debates by assuming absolute power with his "negative voice." 
Addressing the rights of property which Charles instituted reluctantly or with 
"a negative will," Milton further accused Charles both of using public rhetoric 
to mask private interests and of suppressing opposition by "smoothing" over 
contradiction and difference, as Satan would do in both of Milton's epics: 



We expect therfore somthing more, that must distinguish free Goverment 
from slavish. But in stead of that, this King, though ever talking and 
protesting as smooth as now, sufferd it in his own hearing to be Preacht 
and pleaded without controule, or check, by them whom he most favourd 
and upheld, that the Subject had no property of his own Goods, but that 
all was the Kings right. {Prose, 3: 574) 

Parliament, which attempted to preserve civil liberty and which "shal 
have labourd, debated, argu'd, consulted, and ... contributed for the public 
good all thir Counsels in common'' is tyrannized by the negating voice: 

nothing can be more unhappy . . . [than to be] frustrated, disappointed, 
deny'd and repuls'd by the single whiffe of a negative, from the mouth of 
one wilfull man; nay to be blasted, to be struck as mute and motionless as 
a Parlament of Tapstrie in the Hangings; or els after all thir paines and 
travell to be dissolv'd, and cast away like so many Naughts in Arithmetick, 
unless it be to tume the O of thir insignificance into a lamentation with 
the people, who had so vainly sent them. {Prose, 3: 579) 

The monarchical voice ultimately prevents the reconstruction of the common- 
wealth: "the Rémora of his negative voice, which like to that little pest at Sea, 



Renaissance et Réforme / 47 



took upon it to arrest and stopp the Common- wealth stealing full saile to a 
Reformation" (Prose, 3: 501). Milton breaks the icon of the king's voice by 
which both Parliament and the commonwealth had been rendered mute and 
impotent. Moreover, in supporting Parliament's cause in the pamphlet war, 
Milton at once severs the connection between civil and ecclesiastic power and 
locates the origin of governmental authority in the people themselves {Prose, 
3:211-12). The dominant voice of the treatise is accompanied by the voices 
of the readers and the misguided people betrayed by monarchy who are 
enlisted to oppose the king; the denouncement of tyranny becomes thereby a 
consensual act of voice, a vote against censorship, and a rewriting of the 
master-narrative of history authored by the monarchy. 

The proliferation of images of kingship ensured that royalist censorship 
did not loosen its grip even after the regicide.^ The royalists had resurrected 
the king by casting him as martyr. In his response to Eikon Basilike, Milton 
observes that the self-referential inscription which underwrites the king's 
negative voice discourages multiple interpretations of his final performance: 

In which negative voice to have bin cast by the doom of Warr, and put to 
death by those who vanquisht him in thir own defence, he reck'ns to 
himself more then a negative Martyrdom. But Martyrs bear witness to the 
truth, not to themselves. If I beare witness of my self, saith Christ, my 
witness is not true. He who writes himself A/arryr by his own inscription, 
is like an ill Painter, who, by writing on the shapeless Picture which he 
hath drawn, is fain to tell passengers what shape it is; which els no man 
could imagin: no more then how a Martyrdom can belong to him, who 
therfore dyes for his Religion because it is establisht. {Prose, 3: 575) 

The revolutionary interprets the monarch's heroic death not as one of self- 
denial, but of self-aggrandizement. Throughout the treatise, Milton encour- 
ages a critical reading both of Charles's final dramatic act and of his verbal 
performances: "For in words which admitt of various sense the libertie is ours 
to choose that interpretation which may best minde us of what our restless 
enemies endeavor, and what wee are timely to prevent" {Prose, 3: 342). With 
this proposal, Milton urges a reinterpretation of Charles's text; empowered 
by its deluded readers, Eikon Basilike, according to Milton, rewrites history, 
specifically, the early defeats of the royahsts to ensure that the martyred king 
could still perpetuate "that interest by faire and plausible words, which the 
force of Armes deny'd him" (343). A critical reading of the images and voices 
of monarchy is, then, an act of dissent and political intervention — a reaction 
to censorship and the royalist control of English history. 



48 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Milton actually betrays an earlier attraction to martydrom in 'The 
Passion." However, he aborts the attempt to portray the heroic sacrifice of the 
crucified Christ in the poem, which focuses by the fourth stanza on the poet's 
own passion. Later when Charles appropriated it as a means of justifying 
monarchy, ^^ Milton acquired strong political reasons for refusing to use the 
image of the crucifix in his works. In Eikonoklastes, Milton reminds his 
readers of Christ's testimony: "If I beare witness of my self, saith Christ, my 
witness is not true" (Prose, 3: 575). The poet-revolutionary labels as vainglo- 
rious both the king's act of martyrdom and — though Samson's performance 
would prove to be an exception — inimitable feats of superhuman strength. 
In Paradise Regained, the Son insists then, "I seek not [my glory], but his / 
Who sent me, and thereby witness whence I am" (3.106-07). This response 
is an expression of self-denial anticipating both the Son's martyrdom which 
the poem defers^* and his final words which, we will discover, "admitt of 
various sense." 

In Paradise Regained, the portrayal of the Son as an exemplary political 
and moral leader^ ^ and as an alternative to both the classical epic hero and 
the Renaissance courtier is the subject of the debate between the Son and 
Satan. The establishment of effective leadership and the re-membering of 
truth depend on dialogue and mutual debateswhich both acts must continue 
to encourage. The debate format which Milton continued to defend even in 
his last pamphlet is strategically employed in Paradise Regained. Moreover, 
the verbal contest in the epic is much more than a competition between 
opposites; Satan's arguments, particularly those for active poUtical engage- 
ment, are at one level quite rational and rhetorically persuasive. The Son 
actually betrays a human attraction to the possibility of intervening in the 
nation's political affairs (1.216-20),^^ and even after his soHloquy, the psy- 
chological battle is not over: "such thoughts / Accompanied of things past and 
to come / Lodg'd in his breast" (1.299-301). While the Son undeniably 
remains largely unmoved by Satan's offers, his evasion of direct confronta- 
tion does not transform the poem into a Socratic dialogue or a rhetorical 
exercise.^"* Rather, the poem portrays a different kind of conflict represented 
by the speakers' complex interaction and attempts at achieving authority 
through a historically and politically freighted language.'^ Words incarnate 
the Son and the verbal debate affords Satan an equal opportunity as a 
competitor. 

In the early Restoration years, the voices of resistance were again 
suppressed through the monarchy's reintroduction of censorship. ^^ The Com- 
mons petitioned the king to issue a proclamation ordering the burning of 



Renaissance et Réforme / 49 



Milton's two anti-kingship treatises by the common hangman. The ritual 
served as an extreme act of censorship, while confirming Milton's 
Areopagitican announcement that books are living things empowered by the 
authors and, ironically, by the opponents of their ideas. In adopting poetry as 
a vehicle for poUtical expression, Milton in Paradise Regained, represents 
Satan as the Master of Revels, the censor and monarchist, who attempts to 
provoke the Son to assert his godhead to fulfill the prophecy of his imminent 
reign and the end of worldly history. The temptations are dramatized in the 
debate in which Satan asks the Son to participate, and in which he tries to 
bring history to an end by requiring the Son to provide definitive responses 
to his offers. In effect, Satan tempts him to establish an earthly kingdom or 
to raise Eden in the wilderness, an Eden that God had destroyed in an 
iconoclastic act in book 1 1 of Paradise Lost. The Son's struggle, then, is to 
refuse to adopt the negating voice of the monarch, and instead to develop an 
alternative mode of expression and voice of authority. 

11 

The poem begins not with a panegyric on kingship or a cry of "Astraea 
Redux," but with the Baptist's announcement of "new-baptiz'd" Son of God, 
who arrives unobtrusively: "From Nazareth the Son of Joseph deem'd / To 
the flood Jordan, came as then obscure, / Unmarkt, unknown" (23-5). The 
poet-narrator recalls how the Father heralded his Son, while the Spirit 
descended upon him "in likeness of a Dove" (30-2). God's proclamation 
becomes a refrain in the poem, one that along with the descent of the Spirit 
is subject to various interpretations to complement the multifaceted identity 
of the Son. 

"Nigh Thunder-struck" by the divine voice (35-6), as he is as well as the 
end of the poem (4.627), Satan addresses the council of hell and recounts the 
scene of baptism and the devils' imminent defeat in his own terms. As he 
misconstrued the significance of the "bruise" in Paradise Lost (10.498-500), 
so now Satan misinterprets the judgement pronounced on the devils. He fears 
that history is about to draw to a conclusion with the fulfillment of prophecy: 

that fatal wound 
Shall be inflicted by the Seed of Eve 
Upon my head. Long the decrees of Heav'n 
Delay, for longest time to him is short; 
And now too soon for us the circling hours 
This dreaded time have compast, wherein we 



50 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Must bide the stroke of that long threat' n'd wound. 
At least if so we can, and by the head 
Broken be not intended all our power 
To be infring'd. (53-62) 

Satan repeats and also literalizes "wound" and "head," as the juxtaposition of 
"head / Broken" and even "head. Long" indicates. The circling hours mark 
the return of the past, which haunts Satan and simultaneously assures him that 
his temptation will produce results identical to those of the first seduction: 
"the way found prosperous once / Induces best to hope of like success" 
(104-05). 

Satan's primary error in reading the event is his conventional interpre- 
tation of kingship. Satan literalizes the testimony both of John the Baptist and 
God, thus failing to recognize the symbolic significance of the anointment: 



on his head 
A perfect Dove descend[ed], whatever it meant. 
And out of Heav'n the Sovran voice I heard. 
This is my Son belov'd, in him am pleas'd. 
His Mother then is mortal, but his Sire, 
Hee who obtains the Monarchy of Heav'n, 
And what will he not do to advance his Son? (1.82-8) 

Evidently, Satan still believes in the divine right of kings. Having connected 
monarchy with absolute political power, Satan fears that the Son might usurp 
the dominion which he had claimed for himself (98-9, 124-25). The satanic 
council is amazed by the oratory of "their great Dictator" ( 1 1 3) to whom they 
unanimously entrust their fate. The response to Satan, however, comes not 
from the devils whom Satan addresses, but from God who has only one speech 
in Paradise Regained. By speaking of merit, God contradicts Satan's reading 
of the relationship between the Father and Son (82-8): "I have chose / This 
perfect Man, by merit call'd my Son, / To earn Salvation for the Sons of men" 
(165-67). In his exchange with Gabriel, God sets the stage for the psycholog- 
ical and political drama which will redefine the terms of kingship. 

The angelic voices which sing thereafter in harmony of the Son's future 
trials give way to the solitary voice of the Son, whose "holy Meditations" are 
presented in a soliloquy (1.196-293). The Son's account of his inner turmoil 
and swarming thoughts appears at first to resemble Satan's final apostrophe 
in Paradise Lost (9.473-93). Satan in the earlier epic addresses his own 
thoughts to assist him in forgetting the past, and thereby to justify his 



Renaissance et Réforme / 51 



opportunism: "Occasion . . . now smiles'* (9.480), words repeated by the devil 
throughout Paradise Regained. The apostrophe is locked in word play and 
leads to the seduction of Eve. Milton cautions us in both epics to be highly 
distrustful of apostrophes and soliloquies, the expressions of the solitary voice 
and the divided self.^^ The Son in his soliloquy in Paradise Regained speaks, 
however, of progress as he traces his life from his childhood. Moreover, his 
words complement the external struggle rather than evading it: "far from track 
of men, / Thought following thought, and step by step led on" (1 . 191-92). The 
rhythm of the verses themselves imitates the forward motion of the Son's 
pilgrimage. The Unes, then, are indicative of the progressive course of history 
in which the Son participates. The sohloquy as a whole recalls the laments of 
Adam and Eve after the fall in Paradise Lost insofar as it dramatizes a struggle 
of conscience, anticipates further actions, and is the means to the restoration 
of dialogue. 

Though presented in seclusion, the Son's speech nevertheless accom- 
modates other voices, among them, that of Mary which interrupts and divides 
the Son's soliloquy. Mary's words emanate from within the Son, and yet 
despite the Son's appropriation of her voice, she seems to engage in conver- 
sation with him. Her recommendation is that he convert his thoughts to 
actions: 

High are thy thoughts 
O Son, but nourish them and let them soar 
To what height sacred virtue and true worth 
Can raise them, though above example high; 
By matchless Deeds express thy matchless Sire. (1,229-33) 

Framed by the soliloquy of the Son, the words of Mary - an otherwise 
marginal character in the poem - challenge that containment because they are 
prophetic and also invoke the prophets, Simeon and Anna. In the subsequent 
book, which opens with various characters struggling to understand the Son's 
mysterious identity and destiny, we discover that Mary possesses more insight 
into her son's role than do the fishermen, Andrew and Simon, who regard 
their Saviour's mission in terms of the mihtary deliverance of Israel (2.42- 
8).^^ Mary's interpretation, however, is also derived from a secular under- 
standing of kingship; she concludes that the "Private, unactive, calm, 
contemplative" life of the Son in Nazareth is "Little suspicious to any King" 
(81-2). Moreover, she offers a literal reading of Simeon's predictions that the 
Son would be responsible for the fall and rise of many Israelites and that her 



52 / Renaissance and Reformation 



own end would be a violent one. Yet because she believes that her son is 
destined to fulfill "some great purpose he obscures," she chooses to wait, 
pregnant with anticipation: "I to wait with patience am inur'd; / My heart hath 
been a storehouse long of things / And sayings laid up, portending strange 
events" (102-04). Mary speaks of enclosure and is portrayed as a vessel and 
bearer of the Word; yet because they are prophetic, her words, like her son's, 
are authoritative. Both characters act as prophets and also opt for patient 
vigilance; the identities and the "unsung" heroism of both, therefore, might 
be characterized as feminine. 

In his soliloquy, the Son moves toward self-understanding by attending 
to the various verbal and written accounts of the Messiah's destined role. 
Here, as at the end of the poem, the Son's contested identity is the subject of 
contending voices. John the Baptist leaves the most powerful impression in 
the form of a prophetic announcement of the Son's arrival. Twice subject and 
object are juxtaposed as the Son recollects his growth toward self-awareness; 
the Baptist "with loudest voice proclaim' d / Me him (for it was shown him so 
from Heaven) / Me him whose Harbinger he was" (275-77, my emphasis). 
The baptism is described in different ways by several of the characters in the 
poem, thereby affording each the opportunity to confer an identity on the Son; 
every interpreter of the event rebaptizes him. The Son's multifaceted identity 
is rendered even more obscure by his own paradoxical discourse and by his 
open-ended reading of history which begins with the event of the baptism. 
The descent of the Spirit in the form of a dove and the divine proclamation, 
which signal the commencement of his pilgrimage, are intended, he conjec- 
tures, to bring him out of obscurity (282-89). Nevertheless, the soliloquy ends 
with a note of uncertainty: "I am led / Into this Wilderness, to what intent / 1 
learn not yet, perhaps I need not know; / For what concerns my knowledge 
God reveals" (290-93). 

The wilderness is the site of contention, linguistic confusion, and the 
breakdown of hierarchical distinctions. The Son's soUloquy gives way to 
dialogue to mark the beginning of the temptation in the desert which precedes 
the Son's entry into public life. The Tempter confronts the Son in the guise 
of "an aged man in Rural weeds" (314), reminiscent of Spenser's Archimago 
and Milton's Comus. The sound patterns in the poet-narrator's description 
and the alliteration of "w's" in such words as "wild," "wither' d," "Winter's," 
and "winds" (1.310-18) advance Satan's entrance.'^ The antagonist himself 
imitates the sounds of wildness in the speech that follows (321-34). As a desert 
inhabitant, Satan is at once a social outcast, a wild man who anticipates 
Nebuchadnezzar, and a barbaros or babbler.^^ But the "barren waste" is also 



Renaissance et Réforme / 53 



the home of the marginalized, including Moses, Eliah (1.353-54), and Jesus 
himself. Satan glosses over the differences between the desert's various 
inhabitants when he includes himself among the wretched: 

But if thou be the Son of God, Command 

That out of these hard stones be made thee bread; 

So shalt thou save thyself and us relieve 

With Food, whereof we wretched seldom taste. (342-45) 

The Son in response strips Satan of his disguise - *T discern thee other than 
thou seem' St" (348) - and then declares his godhead by refusing to declare 
it: "Why dost thou then suggest to me distrust, / Knowing who I am, as I know 
who thou art?" (355-56). Paradoxically, it is the Son's evasive statement that 
exposes Satan. This scene foreshadows the "undisguising" and fall of Satan 
at the end of the epic. Moreover, the account recalls the discovery of the 
"Artificer of fraud" by Uriel in Paradise Lost. In the earlier epic, the stripping 
of Satan is a visual act; in Paradise Regained, the revelation of Satan's 
identity is a function of the verbal debate. 

Deprived of the power associated with anonymity, Satan makes a request 
to formalize and continue the debate: "Thy Father, who is holy, wise and pure, 
/ Suffers the Hypocrite or Atheous Priest / To tread his Sacred Courts. ... 
disdain not such access to me" (486-92). A rhetorical exchange would level 
the speakers' hierarchical relationship and would render truth pliable and 
palatable: "Hard are the ways of truth, and rough to walk, / Smooth on the 
tongue discourst, pleasing to th' ear, / And tunable as Silvan Pipe or Song" 
(479-80). The Son carefully avoids any definite answer here and throughout 
the epic: "Thy coming hither, though I know thy scope, / 1 bid not or forbid; 
do as thou find'st / Permission from above; thou canst not more" (494-96). A 
negative response to Satan would prevent the exchange and challenge God's 
own authority. 

Even before the end of the first book, we realize that while the identity 
of the Tempter can no longer be concealed, the power invested in Satan as 
the original adversary and contender against God is not diminished. More- 
over, the poem evokes biblical and political texts which establish a historical 
context for this conferment of power. In Satan's apostrophe to the Sun in book 
4 of the earlier epic, Milton alludes to Revelation 13:5 where John prophesies 
the tyranny of the beast which oppressed all peoples and nations. Milton 
contemporizes the reference in The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates in his 
condemnation of the magistrates who opposed the trial of Charles. Later in A 



54 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Defence of the People of England, Milton would appropriate an Old Testa- 
ment passage and remark similarly on the authority granted to 
Nebuchadnezzar to whom Charles is compared: 

But God, you say, gave over many realms in slavery to Nebuchadnezzar. 
For a definite period, I confess, he did so (Jeremiah 27, 7), but I challenge 
you to show that he gave over the English as slaves to Charles Stuart even 
for half an hour; I would not deny that he permitted it, but I never heard that 
he gave them over. And on the other hand, if God enslaves a people whenever 
they have less power than a tyrant, why should he not also be said to liberate 
them when they have more power than a tyrant? {Prose, 4: 387) 

This account of Charles, the seventeenth-century successor to 
Nebuchadnezzar, provides a context for interpreting the conferment of power 
on Satan to which the poet-narrator, Satan, and the Son in Paradise Regained 
all refer. Offering to reveal to the Son the monarchies of the world that 
Michael had shown to Adam in Paradise Lost, Satan leads his opponent up 
the mountain where he reproduces the scene; "(such power was giv'n him 
then)," the poet-narrator notes (3.251). In the subsequent book, Satan tries to 
tempt the Son with the offer of Rome: **to me the power / Is given, and by 
that right I give it thee" (103-04). After the Son's response, he reasserts his 
authority: "The Kingdoms of the world to thee I give; / For giv'n to me, I give 
to whom I please" (163-4). The Son, in turn, confirms the authority bestowed 
on Satan, but criticizes his abuse of it; he does so by drawing attention to the 
significances of the word "give" which Satan had been using indiscriminately: 

The Kingdoms of the world to thee were giv'n. 
Permitted rather, and by thee usurp 't, 
Other donation none thou canst produce: 
If given, by whom but by the King of Kings, 
God over all supreme? If giv'n to thee. 
By thee how fairly is the Giver now 
Repaid? (4.182-88) 

In denying the origin of his power and using the passive form of the verb give: 
"given to me," Satan makes no allowances for reciprocity or dialogue. Yet he 
demands gratitude and service from the Son when he offers the repossessed 
kingdoms: "worship me as thy superior Lord, / Easily done, and hold them 
of me" (167-68). Like Milton in the first Defence, the Son in response 
historicizes the conferment of power by drawing attention to the terms of the 
original contract and identifying the "Giver." 



Renaissance et Réforme / 55 



Despite the seeming oppositions that the poem creates, particularly by 
contrasting the Son's powerful counter-arguments to Satan's seductions, the 
contraries do interact. The poem dramatizes the duel between the Son and 
Satan in terms of a conflict of opposites, yet the language used by the speakers 
transforms "duel-ism" and dualism into duality. The difference between 
duaUsm and duality is difference itself: in dualism, difference is dichotomy, 
whereas for duality, difference is supplementary, so that the intelligible and 
the sensible, for example, could not exist in isolation.^ ^ Duality, then, assumes 
a dialectical relationship between opposites. 

The paradoxical discourse and multitude of conflicting thoughts which 
the Son experiences indicate that the arena of the poem is at one level the 
complex psyche of the Son himself: "with holiest Meditations fed, / Into 
himself descended" (2. 109-10). The argument that the Son represents reason 
and Satan passion does Uttle justice to the Son's struggles, particularly 
represented by his evasive language, or to the persuasiveness of Satan's 
arguments. Though the Son manages to resist Satan's temptations, he does 
not reject Satan's proposals absolutely. The possibilities for participating in 
the banquet, liberating the oppressed peoples, acquiring classical learning, or 
raising Eden "in the waste Wilderness" (1.7) are not directly dismissed, 
though Satan's proposals offered at this point in time and offered for the 
purpose of self-advancement are not accepted either. Yet rather than promot- 
ing non-action, the Son in his responses challenges the oppositional relation- 
ship between individual and state affairs, and redefines heroism and kingship 
(2.466-67) as self-governance - the prerequisite for political reform. 

To the psychological reading, we can add a seventeenth-century political 
interpretation of the epic that addresses Milton's contribution to the revolu- 
tionary effort prior to and in the wake of the Restoration. The instant solutions 
that Satan proposes to liberate the oppressed and solve Israel's national 
problems are reminiscent of the revolutionaries' attempts at establishing the 
English commonwealth, the kingdom of God on earth. Milton's prophetic 
image in the Areopagitica of the "noble and puissant Nation rousing herself 
like a strong man after sleep" {Prose, 2: 558) is one that the poet-revolutionary 
hoped would be realized through his commitment to the good old cause and 
ultimately through the fall of monarchy. It is, moreover, an allusion to the 
Book of Judges' description of Samson (16:6-14), a symbol of England for 
Milton (Prose, 1 : 858-59). At the same time, the distinction between conti- 
nuity and contiguity in the Areopagitica betrays the tentativeness of the 
proposal to found the ideal earthly paradise for which the revolutionaries 
fought. Satan's political strategies in the poem reveal a desire for historical 



56 / Renaissance and Reformation 



intervention to which, ironically, monarchists and revolutionaries alike were 
attracted during the civil war. Both sides were guilty of attempting to embody 
their visions and to retard historical change. The experience of personal and 
political defeat revealed to Milton the presumption which accompanied his 
promotion of these attitudes and Parliament's appropriation of English his- 
tory. The struggle to resist them is represented in Paradise Regained by the 
verbal contest of the primary contenders, by the inclusion in the poem of 
various personal and political accounts of historical progress, and by the 
staging of the final temptation on the temple pinnacle. 

II 

Since the confusion of tongues at Babel and the dispersion of the Word at 
Pentecost, language resists absolutes and takes revenge on those who would 
use it to suggest that there are no alternatives to a given thought or action. 
Satan's failure to read the Son's historical and political role critically is 
apparent in his rhetorical question: "Reign then; what canst thou better do the 
while?" Throughout the poem, the Son manages through a paradoxical and 
prophetic discourse to offer differing points of view without denying Satan's 
right to speak. In turn, he successfully frustrates Satan's attempts at censoring 
his own words and dictating his actions. In part 2, 1 will argue that Satan's 
fall from the temple pinnacle - the tower of Babel in Paradise Regained - 
represents the silencing of the negating voice and, as Milton suggests in 
Eikonoklastes, the symbolic end of monarchy itself {Prose, 3: 405). 

Satan denies the speakers' conflict by glossing over their different 
motives and moral positions. The rejection of multiple viewpoints is again an 
act of censorship. Milton argued on the eve of the Restoration that the teaching 
and seduction by the false prophets — associated by the advocates of 
censorship with the Church of Thyatira in Revelation 2:20 — could be 
hindered by permitting the conflict of good and evil, that is, by "instant and 
powerfull demonstration to the contrarie; by opposing truth to error, no 
unequal match" (Prose, Of Civil Power 7: 261). In response, then, to Satan's 
temptation to aspire to earthly glory and to emulate "Great yM//M5" (3.39), the 
Son restores multiple definitions to the concepts whose significances Satan 
had limited. He does so by repeating Satan's words and recontextualizing 
them in his answer^^: 

Thou neither dost persuade me to seek wealth 
For Empire's sake, nor Empire to affect 
For glory's sake by all thy argument. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 57 



For what is glory but the blaze of fame, 

The people's praise, if always praise unmixt? 

And what the people but a herd confus 'd, 

A miscellaneous rabble, who extol 

Things vulgar, and well weigh' d, scarce worth the praise? 

They praise and they admire they know not what; 

And know not whom, but as one leads the other; 

And what delight to be by such extoll'd. 

To live upon thir tongues and be thir talk, 

Of whom to be disprais'd were no small praise? (3.44-56) 

The repeated terms "Empire," "glory," "praise," and "extol," as well as the 
words "fame," "confus'd," "rabble," and "tongues" remind us directly of the 
Paradise Lost account of the tower of Babel, which Satan is in fact about to 
show to the Son in this scene (280-81). By seeking glory indiscriminately 
"Regardless whether good or evil fame" {PL 12.47), the followers of the 
unnamed Nimrod in Paradise Lost anticipate both the "miscellaneous rabble" to 
which the Son refers {PR 3.50)^^ and the English nation under the tyranny of 
Charles I and his successor, whom Milton identifies with the King of Babylon. 
The debate over competing definitions of glory, empire, and historical 
development displaces the military battles between warriors in the classical 
epics. In Paradise Regained, the definitions themselves break down when the 
weapons prove ineffective. Book 4 opens with Satan momentarily silenced, 
not so much by the Son's response in book 3 to the temptation of the empires, 
as by his realization that the "persuasive Rhetoric" (4.4) he used to seduce 
Eve was now proving ineffective.^"* Predictability is lost; the futility of Satan's 
temptations is suggested by the juxtaposition of several similes which the 
poet-narrator uses to describe Satan's efforts:^^ 

But as a man who had been matchless held 
In cunning, overreach' t where least he thought, 
To salve his credit, and for very spite 
Still will be tempting him who foils him still, 
And never cease, though to his shame the more; 
Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time, 
About the wine-press where sweet must is pour'd. 
Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound; 
Or surging waves against a solid rock, 
Though all to shivers dash't, th' assault renew, 
Vain batt'ry, and in froth or bubbles end; 
So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse 



58 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Met ever, and to shameful silence brought. 
Yet gives not o'er though desperate of success. 
And his vain importunity pursues. (10-24) 

The piling up of images provides an effective alternative to the epic simile in 
this passage. While the comparisons imitate the collision of "repulse upon 
repulse," each is only an approximation, thereby undercutting the Tempter's 
absolutism. The comparisons of Satan to a spiteful overmatched wrestler, a 
swarm of flies, and then to the surging waves represent the devil's movement 
down the chain of being while also mocking his concomitant belief in 
recurrent and repetitive patterns of history. 

As the surging waves' battery produces only "froth or bubbles," so does 
the rhetoric of the temptations dissolve into what the Son calls "So many 
hollow compliments and lies, / Outiandish flatteries" (124-25). The empires 
which Satan displays also break into fragments. In response to this temptation 
and to Satan's appropriation of world history, the Son predicts that the end of 
time will see not the establishment, but the destruction of all monuments of 
power. In turn, the spiritual Jerusalem will rise from the fallen earthly 
monarchies: 

Know therefore when my season comes to sit 
On David's Throne, it shall be like a tree 
Spreading and overshadowing all the Earth, 
Or as a stone that shall to pieces dash 
All Monarchies besides throughout the world. 
And of my Kingdom there shall be no end: 
Means there shall be to this, but what the means. 
Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell. (146-53)^^ 

The image of the tree is taken from the prophetic Book of Daniel 4:8.^^ There 
Daniel describes Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the great tree whose height 
"reached unto heaven, & the sight thereof to the ends of all the earth." 
According to Daniel's interpretation, the biblical tree is a metaphor for the 
king (4:19). It is cut down and destroyed at the command of a voice from 
heaven which prophesies the end of Nebuchadnezzar's tyranny and the 
commencement of the purgation both of his kingdom and himself (4:20ff.). 
While the Son uses the tree to represent his fumre position as Israel's true 
King, he describes his kingdom as being "like a tree." To literalize the image 
is to accept Satan's reading that the historical event would be fulfilled through 
the founding of a material kingdom.^^ 



Renaissance et Réforme / 59 



The other comparison that the Son draws is between his future heavenly 
kingdom and a stone which destroys the world's monarchies. Again the Son 
alludes to the Book of Daniel (2.26-45), specifically, to Nebuchadnezzar's 
dream of the stone which breaks without explanation from a mountain, 
shattering the gold, silver, bronze, iron, and earthenware statue that represents 
the world's kingdoms. ^^ The dream is allegorical in Daniel's prophecy as well 
as in the Son's account. In the Book of Daniel, however, Nebuchadnezzar 
literalizes the dream by actually constructing the statue which he transforms 
into an idol (3.1-23). The defiance of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - 
who are sent to the fiimace for their refusal to venerate the statue and the king 
- eventually breaks the spell of tyranny. 

In drawing connections between Charles and Nebuchadnezzar, Milton 
denounces the tyrants' idolatry and resistance to dissent and historical 
change.^^ To justify his defence of the regicide and break the icons of the 
martyred Charles, Milton, moreover, heathenizes the king and the Eikon 
Basilike?^ Having reminded his readers of Charles's refusal to call on 
Parliament during his reign, Milton in Eikonoklastes rewrites the monarch's 
prophecy and casts him as Nebuchadnezzar: 

Much [Charles] Prophesies, that the credit of those men who have cast 
black scandals on him shal ere long be quite blasted by the same furnace 
of popular obloquie wherin they sought to cast his name and honour: I 
beleive not that a Romish guilded Portrature gives better Oracle then a 
Babylonish gold'n Image could doe, to tell us truely who heated that 
Furnace of obloquy, or who deserves to be thrown in, Nebuchadnezzar or 
the three Kingdoms. (Prose ^ 3: 498) 

Charles was an idolator in another sense as well: the art with which the 
monarch surrounded himself represented his cultural and aesthetic eUtism, in 
the way that Nebuchadnezzar's statue reflected the narcissism of the Old 
Testament king. Charles's interest in the visual arts, particularly paintings 
which displayed the classical and Renaissance principles of uniformity and 
symmetry, influenced the life of the court. The king surrounded himself with 
a few art connoisseurs, who could appreciate and afford his preferred tastes 
in Rubens and Van Dyck (whom he knighted), and in Titian, Raphael, 
Correggio and Mantegna. Because Charles devoted more attention to the arts 
than to government and policy-making, his court became a social rather than 
a political centre, one which manifested his desire for propriety, decorum, 
and dominance: "the atmosphere encouraged the rather bland ideological 



60 / Renaissance and Reformation 



consensus of the governing circle, and did a great deal to ensure that the latter 
was not political in any traditional or overriding way" (Reeve 195). 

As an iconoclast, Milton in Animadversions urges the creation of a new 
political and spiritual model of leadership as a weapon to destroy the 
"Babylonish gold'n Image:" "throw down your Nebuchadnezzars Image and 
crumble it like the chaffe of the Summer threshing floores, as well the gold 
of those Apostolick Successors that you boast of, as your Constantinian silver, 
together with the iron, the brasse, and the clay of those muddy and strawy 
ages that follow" {Prose, 1: 700-01). Milton here condemns the history of 
empire-building as well as the idolatrous worship both of episcopacy and, 
more generally, of the body of ancient writings; and he recommends, in their 
place, a close study of Scripture: 

Why doe wee therefore stand worshipping, and admiring this unactive and 
livelesse Colossus. . . . Goe therefore, and use all your Art, apply your 
sledges, your levers, and your iron crows to heave and hale your mighty 
Polyphem of Antiquity to the delusion of Novices, and unexperienc't 
Christians. Wee shall adhere close to the Scriptures of God which hee hath 
left us as the just and adequate measure of truth, fitted, and proportion' d 
to the diligent study, memory, and use of every faithfull man. {Prose, 1: 
699-70) 

The Son in Paradise Regained takes this criticism of antiquity further yet. In 
book 4, Satan shows the Son the monuments of Athens which display the 
wisdom of the ancients whose achievements he celebrates in the account 
(4.236-280). Describing the art, architecture, and landscape of Athens, the 
devil intervenes at each location to comment on the lives and philosophies of 
the ancients. Satan's commendation of the Tragedians' art recalls the Para- 
J/5eLo5r description (2.546-65) of the devilish philosophers' own aspirations: 

what the lofty grave Tragedians taught 
In Chorus or Iambic, teachers best 
Of moral prudence, with delight receiv'd 
In brief sententious precepts, while they treat 
Of fate, and chance, and change in human life. 
High actions, and high passions best describing. (261-66) 

Satan attempts to persuade the Son to adopt the ancients as a model first by 
inviting him to participate visually in the scene and then by recommending 
that he use Greek learning to "render [him] a King complete" (282). The Son 
in response insists that readers bring "A spirit and judgement equal or 



Renaissance et Réforme / 61 



superior" to their texts (324) and applies his own judgement to the political 
literature Satan offers for his edification. Without affirming or denying his 
knowledge of the ancients (286-87), the Son resists Satan's attempts at 
molding him into the classical image of the philosopher-king by exposing the 
hollowness of the ancients' doctrines and language, which he replaces with 
the "majestic unaffected style" of his own "native Language" (359, 333) - 
his most effective weapon. 

The Son's answer exhausts Satan's arsenal of arguments: "all his darts 
were spent" (366). The rest of Satan' s speeches consist of reiterated proposals 
which complement his cyclical view of history. In his address to the Son 
thereafter (368-93), Satan first recalls the failed temptations, and then pro- 
poses to return the Son to the wilderness where he first discovered him. The 
false prophet does so, however, with a warning, "yet remember / What I 
foretold thee" (374-75), in which he outlines the consequences of rejecting 
the previous offers. The Son is failing to take advantage of his opportunities, 
the devil warns; now is the moment "When Prophecies of thee are best 
fullfill'd" (381). The stars predict doom for the Son, Satan elaborates. 
Moreover, because the time when the Son will finally reign in the kingdom 
"Real or allegoric" cannot be determined, it is imperative to act now Satan 
insists, failing to discern the kingdom within. 

As the narrative moves toward its culmination and conclusion with the 
temptation on the pinnacle, we become increasingly aware of the interrela- 
tionship of absolutism, tyranny, and confusion. Satan reveals his connection 
with wildness and babble - which anticipates his identification both as 
Nimrod and Nebuchadnezzar, the wild man - when he imitates the voices of 
the wilderness, the tempest, the "Infernal Ghosts," "Hellish Furies," and 
"terrors dire."^^ Moreover, the devil speaks for the voices by explaining their 
significance: "They oft fore-signify and threaten ill: / This Tempest at this 
Desert most was bent; / Of men at thee, for only thou here dwell' st" (464- 
66).^^ He makes the Son acutely aware of his vulnerability at this point by 
suggesting that the elements are conspiring against him. Satan then reminds 
the Son that he is unprotected and isolated in the wilderness and observes that 
the Son is after all only human, as the juxtaposition of "men" and "thee" 
suggests (466). However, Satan's arguments are old and repetitive; thus he 
continues, "Did I not tell thee ... ?" (467). This speech provides a summary 
of his former arguments: the time and means of attaining the kingdom are 
uncertain, the Son will be subject to numerous adversities in the meantime, 
and the many "terrors, voices, prodigies" (482) offer "a sure foregoing sign" 
to validate the devil's predictions. Satan's prophecy - the fulfillment of which 



62 / Renaissance and Reformation 



he deems inmiinent - replaces the biblical prophecy of the Son's reign which 
remains open-ended. 

11 

Interconnected biblical and historical discourses about political authority are 
encoded in Milton's civil war treatises and in both epics which end with 
accounts of the fall of Babel. Chapter 5 of Eikonoklastes, in which Milton 
addresses the king's reluctant institution of the Triennial Act and a second 
bill for the settling of ParUament, concludes with a pinnacle scene: 

His letting some men goe up to the Pinnacle of the Temple was a 
temptation to them to cast him down headlong. In this Simily we have 
himself compar'd to Christ, the Parliament to the Devill, and his giving 
them that Act of settling, to his letting them goe up to the Pinnacle of the 
Temple. A tottring and giddy Act rather then a settling. This was goodly 
use made of Scripture in his Solitudes. But it was no Pinnacle of the 
Temple, it was a Pinnacle of Nebuchadnezzars Palace, from whence hee 
and Monarchy fell headlong together. (Prose, 3: 405) 

Here Charles, a false Christ, is toppled along with monarchy by ParUament. 
In A Defence of the People of England, Milton recalls how Nebuchadnezzar 
was likewise ousted by the people. In correcting the misconceptions of his 
contemporary readers about their limited representation in government, Mil- 
ton turns to the Old Testament to defend his argument about the answerability 
of kings to their people: "Daniel tells us that when king Nebuchadnezzar ruled 
too haughtily men drove him from their society and left him to the beasts. 
Their laws were not called those of the king but of the Medes and the Persians, 
in other words, of the people; and, since they were irrevocable, the kings too 
were bound by them" (Prose, 4: 435). The biblical precedent provides a model 
for the English to exercise their right to self-determination. Moreover, by 
addressing his readers directly and giving the people a voice in the treatise, 
Milton creates the illusion of dialogue with a supportive audience and, 
paradoxically, participates in a Christ-like act of self-denial. 

In this paper, I have already noted several allusions to Nebuchadnezzar 
- the successor to Nimrod - in Paradise Regained, including Satan's refer- 
ence to the ruler and builder of Babylon who conquered Jerusalem (3.28 1-83). 
Babylon is associated with the tower of Babel in the verse ''Babylon the 
wonder of all tongues," and the two are also connected in Paradise Lost 
12.343. The political authority offered to Satan in Paradise Regained was 
given to Nebuchadnezzar, according to Jeremiah 21.1, as Milton indicated in 



Renaissance et Réforme / 63 



A Defence (Prose, 4: 387). The significance of the "pinnacle" and the temple 
on which Satan places the Son has received considerable attention by critics 
who have identified the pinnacle as a tower or as the wing of a temple, 
specifically, that of Herod in Josephus' The Antiquities: "the valley was so 
deep that a man could scarcely see the bottom of it. Herod built a Portico of 
so vast a height, that if a man looked from the roof of it, his head would grow 
giddy, and his sight not be able to reach from that height to the bottom of the 
valley" (15. 11.5). ^"^ Herod' s temple stands on the place of Solomon' s to which 
Milton refers in Paradise Lost 12.334. But the fact that the temple is uniden- 
tified in Paradise Regained suggests that it can represent a number of different 
historical and allegorical temples or towers. The juxtaposition of temples and 
towers occurs several times in the poem: 3.268, 4.34, and in 4.544-47 which 
reads: "underneath them fair Jerusalem, I The holy City, lifted high her 
Towers, / And higher yet the glorious Temple rear'd / Her pile." In his prose 
tracts, Milton uses the image to refer to the prelates who conspired with the 
pope "to support one falling BabeF and to participate in the "Idolatrous 
erection of [exquisite] Temples" or ''spirituall BABEL[S]" {Prose, 1: 528, 
590). In this context, the temple in the poem represents both the tower of 
Babel and Nebuchadnezzar's statue, as well as the height of ambition, pride, 
and confusion.^^ 

In the pinnacle scene, Satan finally challenges the identity of the Son 
directly. The devil first repeats in various ways the refrain of the epic's first 
two books: "Of the Messiah I have heard foretold / By all the Prophets" 
(4.502-03); "I among the rest, / Though not to be Baptiz'd, by voice from 
Heav'n / Heard thee pronounc'd the Son of God belov'd" (512-13); "There- 
fore to know what more thou art than man, / Worth naming Son of God by 
voice from Heav'n, / Another method I must now begin" (538-40). The Son 
had managed to sustain the debate thus far by not conforming to any conven- 
tional - primarily classical - models of authority. Now Satan uses that against 
him: "The Son of God . . . bears no single sense; / The Son of God I also am, 
or was, / And if I was, I am" (517-19), he declares, denying both his difference 
from God and the effect of historical change. The final temptation recalls the 
initial temptation to change the stones into loaves insofar as Satan demands 
both times a miraculous performance which would confirm the hero's divin- 
ity. In order to respond to Satan's final temptation and solve his riddle, the 
Son must reunite words and deeds, as Satan himself had previously recog- 
nized (3.9). The Son's final statement is effective not so much because it is a 
declaration of his godhead, but because words and actions have joined for one 
intervening moment to alleviate all doubt about the Son's merit and status. 



64 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Here at the climax on the pinnacle, quietism constitutes heroic action, sim- 
plicity is most potent, and silence speaks loudest. 

The Son's answer to Satan is represented by a speech-act, that is, his 
words and corresponding actions demonstrate that he merits his title: "Tempt 
not the Lord thy God; he said and stood" (561 ). The speech-act brings together 
what are usually oppositional terms - speech and action - an idea central to 
the temptation scenes in the poem. The Word is in the act of standing made 
flesh. At the same time, the statement, which is subject to multiple critical 
interpretations, complicates both the Son' s identity and performance. The Son 
responds to Satan, and the poet-narrator confirms the identity of the speaker 
both before and after the statement. "The Lord thy God" refers to the Son 
whom Satan must not tempt. However, the Son is not directly declaring his 
divine status at this point because he is quoting Scripture. According to the 
biblical reading, "the Lord thy God" can also refer to the Father whom the 
Son quotes, and whom the Son must obey by not casting himself from the 
pinnacle. The words, in the latter case, do not belong to the Son, and yet, when 
he utters them in the poem, they acquire an ironic and powerful significance 
that overwhelms Satan. Speech in this scene and throughout the poem is a 
form of action, which can be either circular and subversive or engaging, 
paradoxical and open-ended. The accounts of Babel and Pentecost meet at 
this point. Whereas Satan becomes trapped by tautologies and the doubleness 
of his language ("The Son of God I also am, or was, / And if I was, I am" 
[518-19]), the Son uses irony and paradox to resist temptation and definition, 
and to represent his dialectical relationship with God and the scriptural Word. 

The final temptation is also the site of conflicting and contending voices. 
The Son's response to Satan recalls not only Matthew 4:7, Luke 4:12, and 
less directly Mark 1:13, but also a number of Old Testament passages which 
describe the Israelite community under Moses's leadership in contention with 
Yahweh, that is, in rebellion against the Lord (Num. 20: 10). At Massah (place 
of testing) and Meribah (contention) in the desert, the Israelites quarrel with 
and rebel against Yahweh, challenging him to assert his identity (Ex. 17:7; 
Deut. 6: 16; Psalm 95). Because they defied Yahweh, Moses and his followers 
are rendered unclean and unfit to enter the Promised Land. Barred from the 
community (Num. 14:23), they must remain in the wilderness and continue 
wandering. Their testing of Yahweh reminds us of the construction of Babel 
by the followers of Nimrod, the rebel, and anticipates the attempted construc- 
tion of the tower by the English nation, whose "covetous and ambitious" acts 
{Prose, 7: 422) led to the defeat of the revolution and the failure to complete 
the English commonwealth. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 65 



"UnchangM / To hoarse or mute" by the barbarous dissonance of Satan's 
many voices,^^ the Son defeats his opponent without resorting to his superior 
strength, to martyrdom or to declarations of divine status. The one solution 
to the predicament in which the incarnated Son found himself was to refuse 
to acknowledge his godhead and rely instead on his manhood. The answer to 
the riddle which brought the Sphinx down and saved the lives of the people 
is, amazingly, "man." On that basis, I find the reading offered by a number 
of critics that the Son speaks as God or that God speaks through his Son 
problematic. This is not the time for a deus ex machina?^ Nevertheless, the 
Son at this point does reveal his godhead, though not in a manner expected 
by Satan. He offers, rather, a superhuman display of patience, endurance, and 
ultimately of trust, suggested by his last words of the poem (560-61). Rather 
than asserting his divine authority to defeat Satan, and instead of assuming 
the role of martyr, the Son indicates that he merits his position as Son of God 
by relying, paradoxically, only on human discourse. Disempowered as much 
by his own words as by the Son's responses, Satan, suffering from the 
confusion of tongues, falls like the Sphinx who "Cast herself headlong from 
ih' Ismenian steep" (575). 

In A Defence of the People of England, Milton blames the victimized 
English nation for its own fall caused by its failure to challenge the king's 
tyrannical rule. Obsessed with their glossary definitions and with the pomp- 
ous publication of "laborious trifles," the people, supporters of monarchy, 
turned the Sphinx on themselves :^^ 

You had better go and take Martin the cobbler and William the tanner, 
whom you so scorn, as your companions and guides in darkness; though 
actually they could teach you much and solve such foolish riddles of yours 
as: "Is the people a servant in a democracy, when a king is in a monarchy? 
Is all of it, or but a part?" Then when they have acted as your Oedipus you 
should repay them by going to the devil as the Sphinx did; otherwise I can 
see no end to your foolish riddles. {Prose, 4: 389-90) 

The people, who were misguided by their wandering thoughts, speculative 
reasoning, and language games, became entrapped by their own labyrinths, 
thereby anticipating Satan's amazement prior to his fall at the end of the poem. 
Though Satan's reading of the Son throughout the poem cannot be character- 
ized as naive, when he finally asks "What dost thou in this World?" Satan, 
rather than exhausting the Son's range of choices, indicates that his own 
perceptions of engagement in this world are limited: 



66 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Since neither wealth, nor honor, arms nor arts. 
Kingdom nor Empire pleases thee, nor aught , 
By me propos' d in Ufe contemplative. 
Or active, tended on by glory, or fame. 
What dost thou in tiiis World? (4.368-72) 

The temptation is to resort to a particular kind of action, one which very 
much appealed to the Son in his earlier years and which Satan here describes 
as "tended on by glory, or fame" (371), reminiscent of the construction of 
Babel. Satan's question suggests that the Son is involved in more than just 
acting out a destined role or countering Satan's arguments. Paradise 
Regained is not primarily an account about resistance or even endurance: it 
is about the redefinition of political action and intervention in a censored 
environment and about creating alternatives when none seem possible. 

In his last pamphlet Of True Religion written in 1673, Milton maintained 
the need for debate as a way of challenging censorship and of developing a 
multifaceted image of truth. In Paradise Regained, the verbal contest likewise 
promises to continue. Satan returns to his crew which sat consulting, while 
the "meek" and human Son of God returns, as he entered the scene, 
"unobserv'd" to "his Mother's house private" (636-39), having performed the 
previously "unrecorded" deeds "Above Heroic, though in secret done" (1.15). 
The real political arena in the end is the self and the verbal exchanges through 
which expression is achieved; the self, then, is also the base from which the 
composite interest takes effect.^^ 

Brock University 

Notes 

All citations of Milton's poems are from John Milton, John Milton: Complete Poems and 
Major Prose, ed. Merritt Hughes (New York: Odyssey, 1957). Citations of Milton's prose 
are from John Milton, Complete Prose Works of John Milton , ed. Don Wolfe et al. (New 
Haven: Yale University Press, 1953-82), 8 vols. 

1. By political, I do not mean that the poem promotes active engagement in state affairs, 
but rather that as a multivocal text, it interpretively and theoretically resists absolutism 
while also redefining the oppositional relationship between individual and collective 
concerns. See Ashraf H.A. Rushdy, The Empty Garden: The Subject of Late Milton 
(Pittsburgh and London: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992) 345-437. Critics making 
a case for the apolitical content of Paradise Regained include Arthur Milner (John 
Milton and the English Revolution [Totowa, NJ.: Barnes and Noble, 1981]), Herman 
Rapaport (Milton and the Postmodern [Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983]), 
Frederic Jameson ("Religion and Ideology: a Political Reading of Paradise Lost,'' 
Literature, Politics and Theory: Papers from the Essex Conference, 1976-1984, ed. 
Francis Barker et al. [New York: Methuen, 1986] 35-56), and Michael Wilding 



Renaissance et Réforme / 67 



(Dragon's Teeth: Literature in the English Revolution [Oxford: Clarendon, 1987]). 
John Shawcross claims in Paradise Regained: Worthy T'Have Not Remain 'd So Long 
Unsung (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1988) that Paradise Regained has not 
been read as a political poem except by Arnold Stein (1 16). Shawcross himself provides 
a political and dramatic interpretation of the poem; he reminds us that 75.5% of the 
verses are full lines of speech (37). Also see Stanley Fish on the dramatic quality of 
the poem in "The Temptation to Action in Milton's Poetry," ELH 4S (1983): 516-31. 
For a discussion of Paradise Regained as a political text, see Christopher Hill, Milton 
and the English Revolution (London: Faber & Faber, 1977), David Quint, "David's 
Census: Milton's Politics and Paradise Regained,'' Re-membering Milton: Essays on 
the Texts and Traditions, eds. Mary Nyquist and Margaret Ferguson (New York and 
London: Methuen, 1987) 128-47, and Joan Bennett, Reviving Liberty (Cambridge: 
Harvard University Press, 1989). 

2. Roland Barthes defines "contra-censorship" as the ultimate subversion which "does 
not necessarily consist in saying what shocks public opinion, morality, the law, the 
police, but in inventing a paradoxical (pure of any doxa) discourse: invention (and not 
provocation) is a revolutionary act: it cannot be accomplished other than in setting up 
a new language" {Sade / Fourier / Loyola, trans. Richard Miller [Berkeley: University 
of California Press, 1989] 126). In Censorship and Interpretation: The Conditions of 
Writing and Reading in Early Modem England (Madison: University of Wisconsin 
Press, 1984), Annabel Patterson explains that authors build a 'Junctional ambiguity" 
into their texts in response to government censorship, though they ultimately have no 
control over what happens to the text thereafter (18); the development of this symbolic, 
necessarily evasive, language becomes, then, an act of contra-censorship. 

3. As Campanella remarked in the Poetica about Tasso, "the true prophet is one who not 
only says future things, but who scolds princes for their wickedness and cowardice and 
peoples for their ignorance, for sedition, and for bad behaviour" (Bernard Weinberg, 
A History of Literary Criticism in the Italian Renaissance, 2 vols. [Chicago: University 
of Chicago Press, 1963] 2: 1068). For Milton, prophecy is political, multivocal, and 
historically engaged. In the same year that Eikonoklastes was published, the anony- 
mous writer of the tract Strange and Wonderfull Prophesies (London: Printed for 
Robert Ibbitson, 1649) observed that iconoclasm, particularly the breaking of the king's 
image, signalled the redemption of the individual and of the nation (7). The iconoclasm 
paradoxically contributed, however, to a renewed idolatry after the regicide: the 
creation of images of monarchy that celebrated martyrdom. The composition of 
Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained was, I suggest, a response to royalists' celebra- 
tion of monarchy and martyrdom and to their reading of the Restoration as the 
fulfillment of English history. Also see chapter 6, "A Nation of Prophets," in Christo- 
pher Hill's The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas during the English Revo- 
lution (London: Temple Smith, 1972). 

4. Stanley Fish claims that what defeats Satan finally is "the Son's inability or unwilling- 
ness (they amount to the same thing) to recognize the fact that there is a plot at all" 
("Things and Actions Indifferent: The Temptation of Plot in Paradise Regained,'^ 
Milton Studies 17 [1983]: 166). 

5. Hayden White defines emplotment as a mode of explanation: the act of "providing the 
'meaning' of a story by identifying the kind of story that has been told" {Metahistory: 
The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe, [Baltimore: Johns Hopkins 



68 / Renaissance and Reformation 



University Press, 1973] 7). The critic or historian is compelled "to emplot the whole 
set of stories making up his narrative in one comprehensive or archetypal story form" 
(8). 

6. Prophecy offered as a means of empowerment, particularly in Milton's time for the 
radicals, who created origins and genealogies for themselves and often made claims to 
inspiration. Prophecy moves history out of the control of the dominant regime by 
challenging both its conclusiveness and the subject of the historical account itself. In 
Paradise Regained, the Son, the fishermen, and Mary, as well as Simeon and Anna 
provide a number of different interpretations of history and prophecy. The language 
used by the Son and by the secondary characters in their oral histories is necessarily 
inventive and paradoxical. The oral histories have an oracular reach or are functionally 
ambiguous; they may include, though not necessarily, references to specific events of 
the future. 

7. Stephen Collins, From Divine Cosmos to Sovereign State: An Intellectual History of 
Consciousness and the Idea of Order in Renaissance England (New York: Oxford 
University Press, 1989) 159. Also see Don M. Wolfe, Milton in the Puritan Revolution 
(New York: Nelson, 1941) 182-83. 

8. Henry Parker, Observations upon some of his Majesties late Answers and Expresses^ 
Tracts on Liberty in the Puritan Revolution 1 638- 1 647, ed. William Haller, 3 vols. 
(New York: Octagon, 1965) 2: 165-213. Confidence in the word of the king was a 
major concern for Parliamentarians: "The distrust of the few at the helm is not to be 
smoothed away. No one has so much eloquence as to persuade them to show confi- 
dence" (Samuel R. Gardiner, History of the Great Civil War, 4 vols. [New York: AMS 
Press, 1965] 1:81). 

9. The regicide was characterized as a second crucifixion by writers including Abraham 
Cowley, Bishop Henry King, and Clarendon. C.V. Wedgwood claims that "Many, if 
not most, thinking men then in England felt the earth shake under them when a king 
was executed on a public scaffold" {Poetry and Politics Under the Stuarts [Ann Arbor: 
University of Michigan Press, 1964] 102). While many of the royalists' poems and 
ballads which celebrated the king's reign had to be circulated in manuscript because 
censorship by Parliament had restricted printing, royalists managed to appropriate the 
historic event. On the day of the execution, there were advance copies of Eikon Basilike 
already circulating. The book, probably written by John Gauden, Bishop of Worcester, 
comprised what were claimed to be Charles I' s reflections on his rule. Within one and 
one half months, there were twenty editions produced; by 1650, there were thirty-six. 

10. Milton also gathers suppport for his iconoclastic argument by paganizing the speaker 
who possesses the negative voice. The Royalists of the period had branded the 
revolutionaries "barbarians," and compared them to the Huns and Saracens who 
threatened the Christian empire. The revolutionaries, in turn, labelled the king as the 
great oppressive Turk. In Eikonoklastes, Milton criticizes Charles for "fettering" the 
people with a "presumptuous negative voice, tyrannical to the Parlament, but much 
more tyrannical to the Church of God" {Prose, 3: 492; also see 3: 498), thus conferring 
on them no privilege "above what the Turks, Jewes, and Mores enjoy under the Turkish 
Monarchy" (3: 574). Milton appropriates images of barbarism to describe further the 
current enslavement of the people who enjoy as much political freedom as "Turkish 
Vassals enjoy ... under Mahomet and the Grand Signor." The Turk represented an 
imperialist and autocratic government in which absolute rule by the one begot servile 



Renaissance et Réforme / 69 



acquiescence in the many (Stevie Da vies, Images of Kingship in Paradise Lost [Colum- 
bia: University of Missouri Press, 1983] 51-5). 

11. Georgia Christopher states that the Son's self-denying language is indicative of his 
later surrender of life (Milton and the Science of the Saints [Princeton: Princeton 
University Press, 1982] 209). 

12. The poem is also indebted to, yet significantly deviates from, the humanist tradition of 
conduct books written in the Renaissance for the fashioning of the gentleman and the 
instruction and socialization of the courtier, aristocrat, and prince. Such texts included 
The Prince, A Mirror for Magistrates, The Book of the Governor, and The Book of the 
Courtier. 

1 3. The Son's humanity has received much critical attention, particularly (and predictably) 
from Bennett 176, Hill 419, and Milner 168-9. Also see Irene Samuel, "The Regaining 
of Paradise," The Prison and the Pinnacle, ed. Balachandra Rajan (London: Routledge, 
1973)111-34. 

14. Fish lists a series of adverbs and adjectives which indicate that the Son is unmoved by 
Satan's offers: "unalter'd," "temperately," "patiently," "calmly," "Unmov'd," 
"unmov'd," "with disdain," "sagely," and "In brief (166). 

15. Thomas O. Sloane argues that Paradise Regained has no sense of opposition or debate 
because "Jesus refuses to debate. His mode of thought and the narrator's are an escape 
from and an alternative to controversy" (Donne, Milton, and the End of Humanist 
Rhetoric [Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1985] 230). See 
Rushdy who responds conincingly that the Son combines intuitive and suprarational 
thought with "contraversal discourse" wrought out of debate (252-53). 

16. The Act of Uniformity which required all in ecclesiastical office to use The Book of 
Common Prayer silenced Puritan ministers and nonconformists on St. Bartholomew's 
Day, August 24, 1662. The Corporation Act and the Conventicle Act of 1670, "An Act 
to Prevent and Suppress Seditious Conventicles," sought to detain those contemplating 
revolution. See Gerald Robertson Cragg, Puritanism in the Period of the Great 
Persecution 1660-1688 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1957). Christopher 
Kendrick suggests that poetry served Milton as a libidinal reservoir into which political 
desires could be deposited when the poet was silenced in the Restoration period 
(Milton: A Study in Ideology and Form [New York: Methuen, 1986] 90-91). 

1 7. The apostrophe at large reduces the vocative to the descriptive, "eliminating that which 
attempts to be an event;" what is at stake is "the power of poetry to make something 
happen" (Jonathan Culler, The Pursuit of Signs: Semiotics, Literature, Deconstruction 
[Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981] 140). 

18. The fishermen are guilty of incarnating history, as Adam had mistakenly done (Para- 
dise Lost 1 2.384-85) and Satan persists in doing: "Duty to free / Thy Country from her 
Heathen servitude; / So shalt thou best fullfil, best verify / The Prophets old" (3.175- 
78). But unlike Adam and Satan who literalizes prophecy, the fishermen are prepared 
to wait (49) and manage to derive hope from the idea of historical progress and 
possibility (49-57). 

19. Unlike the primary speaker of Paradise Lost, the poet-narrator of Paradise Regained 
remains relatively unobtrusive throughout the poem. Critics have associated the poet- 
narrator's unobtrusiveness with the Son's own "meditative lesson in self-removal" 
(Merrilee Cunningham, "The Epic Narrator in Paradise Regained," Renaissance and 



70 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Reformation 25 [1989]: 217). Fish and Mustazza both directly connect silence with 
obedience and self-denial (Stanley Fish, "Inaction and Silence: The Reader m Paradise 
Regained^ Calm of Mind: Tercentenary Essays ... in Honor of John S. Diekhoff, ed. 
Joseph Wittreich [Cleveland: Case Western Reserve University Press, 1971] 38; 
Leanard Mustazza, "Language as Weapon in Milton's Paradise Regained,'' Milton 
Studies 18 [1983]: 214). However, the Son and the poet-narrator are not silent in the 
poem. The poet-narrator invokes the muse out of fear of muteness: "By proof the 
undoubted Son of God, inspire, / As thou art wont, my prompted Song, else mute" 
( 1 . 1 1 - 1 2). It is Satan himself who is not only rendered mute at various times throughout 
the poem, but who continually attempts to end the dialogue. 

20. A barbaros was for the Greeks anyone who did not speak Greek and thus was 
marginalized from the political community. The barbarous language of Adam and Eve 
in Paradise Lost distances them from the edenic community, and relegates them to the 
"wild Woods forlorn" (9.910) and to the wilderness of the new world (9.1099-1 1 18). 
On the isolation of the sinner from the Israelite community and the erasure of the 
transgressor's name from the Book of Life, see Johannes Pedersen, Israel: Its Life and 
Culture, 4 vols. (London: Oxford University Press, rpt. 1946, 1954) 2: 450-52. 

21 . R.A. Shoaf, Milton, Poet of Duality: A Study ofSemiosis in the Poetry and Prose (New 
Haven: Yale University Press, 1985) 2. 

22. In the poem, the suggestion of combat is presented through patterned verbal duels in 
which a variety of figures of repetition are employed. The most common include ploce 
(repetition of the same word with some words interspersed) and traductio (repetition 
of the same root word in different grammatical forms). See Barbara Lewalski, Milton 's 
Brief Epic: The Genre, Meaning, and Art of Paradise Regained (Providence: Brown 
University Press, 1966) 349. Rhetorical figures are as prominent in the language of the 
Son as in that of Satan. In the speeches of the Son, they serve an iconoclastic function. 
The Son, for example, follows Satan's repeated use in his speech of "glory" and 
"inglorious" by incorporating in his answer repeated uses of "glory" and "glorious" 
(3.44-120). 

23. Marxist critics in particular have had a difficult time attempting to explain the seem- 
ingly undemocratic announcements by the Son. Christopher Hill jumps to Milton's 
defence: "Such words fit John Milton in post-revolutionary England better than they 
fit the Jesus of the gospels. ... The violence of the outburst is also evidence of 
disillusion - with Parliaments which had failed in the forties, fifties and sixties, 
especially in respect of religious toleration, and with the electorate which had brought 
back kings, bishops and intolerance" (426). By the time of the Restoration when the 
confusion caused by the reconstruction of the tower of Babel had spread extensively, 
Milton's enthusiasm for multivocality, represented especially in his Areopagitican 
arguments, had waned considerably {Prose, 7: 365-66). 

24. The poet-narrator often introduces Satan's speeches by drawing attention to his use of 
language: 1.319-20, 1.465-67, 2.1 15-20, 3.5-6, 3.265-66. While Satan's words smooth 
over any sense of tension or contradiction between the speakers, the narrator signals 
Satan's entries in the debates by drawing attention to the divorce of meaning from 
words. The attention given to the language rather than to the content of Satan's speeches 
makes language itself the content. None of the Son's answers, on the other hand, is 
introduced in a like manner. The contrast distinguishes Satan's speeches from the 



Renaissance et Réforme / 71 



Son's, and suggests that the significance of the Son's words extends beyond their 
immediate status as words to speech-acts. 

25. L.J. Reeve claims that Charles continually failed to learn from past experiences 
(Charles I and the Road to Personal Rule [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 
1989] 176). 

26. In Of Reformation, Milton announces: "most Christian People at that day when thou 
the Eternall and shortly-expected King shalt open the Clouds to judge the severall 
Kingdomes of the World, and distributing Nationall Honours and Rewards to Religious 
and just Common-wealths, shalt put an end to all Earthly Tyrannies, proclaiming thy 
universal and milde Monarchy through Heaven and Earth" {Prose, 1: 616). 

27. Despite the Son's repudiation of classical ideals, this passage {Paradise Regained 
4.146-53) shows how he adapts the visionary language of the Book of Daniel to the 
form of a classical simile in which he manages a pair of linked similes. The image of 
the tree itself has classical counterparts in Homer and Virgil which the Son 
defamiliarizes but does not reject (Neil Forsyth, "Having done all to Stand," Milton 
Studies 2\ [1895]: 199-215). 

28. Barbara Lewalski, Milton's Brief Epic, 278; Burton Weber, Wedges and Wings: The 
Patterning of Paradise Regained (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 
1975) 33. 

29. For further significances of the stone see Lewalski, Milton 's Brief Epic, 278-80. 

30. This is not to suggest that right-wing Puritanism was not in various ways equally as 
resistant to multifaceted truths as Charles's philosophy and politics were. 

31. See Florence Sandler, "Icon and Iconoclast," Achievements of the Left Hand, eds. 
Michael Lieb and John Shawcross (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1974) 
181; Davies, Images of Kingship, 53-4. Milton also claimed that Charles's plagiarism 
of Sidney's Pamela prayer confirmed his heathenness {Prose, 3: 362-63). 

32. Like Nimrod, the first postlapsarian hunter, Nebuchadnezzar is portrayed as a wild man 
in medieval and Renaissance iconography. The rebel, from which the name "Nimrod" 
is derived, is responsible for the perversion of language; the confusion of tongues has 
traditionally been interpreted as a cause and sign of barbarism. See Richard 
Bernheimer's description of Nebuchadnezzar's insanity and wildness {Wild Men in the 
Middle Ages: A Study in Art, Sentiment, and Demonology [Cambridge: Harvard 
University Press, 1952] 12-13). 

33. Hill also speaks for the voices by suggesting that they represent Royalist propaganda 
{Milton 419). 

34. John Carey and Alastair Fowler list a number of critical works which identify the 
pinnacle {The Poems of John Milton [London: Longmans, 1968]); also see Weber 62-3, 
and Shawcross 89-91. 

35. The pinnacle scene has been interpreted in numerous ways. Satan's fall from the temple 
represents a final spiritual defeat corresponding to Satan's original fall; it is then a test 
of identity (D.C. Allen, The Harmonious Vision: Studies in Milton 's Poetry [Baltimore 
and New York: Johns Hopkins university Press, 1970] 115; Lewalski, Brief Epic 
315-6), and a moral trial, according to Elizabeth Pope, Paradise Regained: The 
Tradition and the Poem (New York: Russell & Russell, 1962) 80-3. Burton Weber 
argues that the scene is both a test of identity and morals, and that the fall indicates 



72 / Renaissance and Reformation 



that Satan's values are contrary to the nature of the universe and to the Son's 
temperance, justice, and holiness (107-08). Carey and Fowler claim in reference to 
4.538-40 that "Satan's words suggest that the pinnacle episode is to be an attempt to 
discover Christ's identity, not a temptation to vainglory or presumption" (1161). The 
temptation cannot, however, be entirely characterized according to Satan's fmal words. 
Satan in fact does presume to test the obedience as well as the identity of the Son by 
offering him no alternative to casting himself off the pinnacle. Without denying the 
validity of those previously suggested, I am offering a reading of the passage as a recast 
account of the fall of Babel. 

36. Henry Laskowsky, "A Pinnacle of the Sublime: Christ's Victory of Style in Paradise 
Regained:' Milton Quarterly 1 5 ( 1 98 1 ): 1 1 - 1 3. 

37. Northrop Frye argues that the Son withstands the temptations as a human being until 
the pinnacle scene when God takes over ("The Typology of Paradise Regained:^ 
Modem Philology, 53 [1956]: 227-38). My reading of the scene also differs from that 
of Michael Lieb who in The Sinews of Ulysses: Form and Convention in Milton 's Works 
(Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1989) claims that while Oedipus' answer to 
the Sphinx is "man," the Son's is necessarily "God" (107). 

38. Milton uses the Sphinx elsewhere to represent the monarchists (Prose, 3: 413), and 
also to convey the elusiveness of identity, as we find in A Second Defence where Milton 
mocks his anonymous opponent. More, for not identifying himself on the title page of 
Clamor {Prose, 4: 592). 

39. I gratefully acknowledge the support of the Social Science and Humanities Research 
Council of Canada during the preparation of this article. 



Marc Lescarbot au pays des Ithyphalles 



GUY POIRIER 



R< 



.ésumé: L'interprétation de V oeuvre de Marc Lescarbot hésite le plus 
souvent entre V aspect encyclopédique de ses ouvrages et leur dimention 
créative. Dans le présent article, V auteur tente de situer le discours dont se 
réclame V écrivain au coeur du maniérisme poétique du début du XVIF 
siècle. Pour ce faire, V étude de la description des moeurs des Amérindiens 
effectuée par le voyageur au sixième livre de son "Histoire de la Nouvelle- 
France " est déterminante; un discours lescarbotien de la curiosité et de la 
facétie peut alors être identifié. 

En 1968, René Baudry rassemblait des textes et signait l'introduction d'un 
ouvrage de la collection "Classiques canadiens" sur Marc Lescarbot. Il 
présentait alors l'oeuvre de cet avocat désenchanté par le monde de la justice 
comme l'un des "(...) classiques de l'histoire canadienne et de la littérature 
coloniale d'expression française."^ Toujours selon Baudry, V Histoire de la 
Nouvelle -France de Lescarbot, remaniée pendant huit ans, de 1609 à 1617, 
**(...) se vendit bien et eut un grand rayonnement, non seulement en France 
mais aussi à l'étranger (...)"-^ H précise même que la popularité de l'ouvrage 
tenait surtout à "sa tournure d'esprit et à son style".^ D'autres ont déjà 
souligné l'apport particulier de l'oeuvre de Lescarbot à la littérature française 
continentale. A propos du Théâtre de Neptune, par exemple, Paolo Carile 
insiste sur l'originalité de l'oeuvre qui ne procède pas uniquement d'un vague 
exotisme mais enrichit l'imaginaire européen d'une réalité nord-américaine.'* 
Pourtant, bien qu'il soit tentant de faire de Lescarbot un géographe humaniste 
ou l'un des premiers ethnologues de la Nouvelle-France, n'oublions pas que 
les emprunts intertextuels sont multiples^ et contribuent au discours 
historique au même titre que la realtà naturale. 

La critique de l'oeuvre de Lescarbot semble ainsi hésiter entre deux types 
de coefficients d'influence qui se révèlent en fait indirectement proportion- 
nels. Ainsi, l'oeuvre se veut la source de vie des Muses de la Nouvelle-France, 
mais n'échappe cependant pas à la stérilité de l'emprunt et de la copie. Nos 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 3 (1993) 73 



74 / Renaissance and Reformation 



recherches antérieures portant sur l'architecture des allusions à des actes 
contre nature ou à des images liées à la transgression des codes sociaux^ nous 
ont également conduit à lire et à comparer les types de mises en texte 
effectuées par divers auteurs de récits de voyage du domaine français: Jean 
de Léry, André The vet, René de Laudonnière, Jacques Cartier et, bien 
entendu, Marc Lescarbot. Bien que nous ayons remarqué la nature composite 
du texte de Lescarbot, sorte de courtepointe historique, nous avons toujours 
été surpris par les excroissances du méta-discours lescarbotien qui se greffent 
aux passages empruntés à ses prédécesseurs. 

L'idéologie de ce méta-discours se confond le plus souvent au projet 
d'écriture et de colonisation décrit dans les préfaces de ses ouvrages. Cepen- 
dant, le traitement des allusions aux moeurs sexuelles et à certaines pratiques 
religieuses et sociales, comme l'idolâtrie et la danse, se démarque des autres. 
Lescarbot semble en fait utiliser des idéologèmes qui ne trouvent écho chez 
aucun de ses prédécesseurs géographes. Notre regard s'est donc avant tout 
porté vers certaines transformations de la doxa qui, en ce début du XVIP 
siècle, auraient pu l'influencer. 

Comme l'a bien démontré René Baudry, l'écriture de VHistoire de la 
Nouvelle -France se situe à une époque liminale que les historiens de la 
littérature associent parfois à la fin de la Renaissance ou au début du classi- 
cisme. Epoque de métamorphoses, de l'insaisissable Baroque, il ne faudrait 
pas oublier d'y noter la progression constante d'un maniérisme précieux, et 
le curieux mélange que pourra donner la superposition de clichés mythologi- 
ques - parfois usés - auprès d'idéologèmes de la pastorale des missions. Le 
texte de Lescarbot ne se détache pas, à notre avis, de ces grands mouvements 
même si, en fait, l'auteur réagit consciemment contre eux. 

C'est en s' opposant aux modes littéraires de son époque que Marc Lescar- 
bot en vient à proposer aux lecteurs de ses oeuvres la démarche originale qu'il 
veut sienne. Ainsi, dans le Tableau de la Suisse, publié en 1618, l'avocat 
défend les particularités de son ouvrage en souUgnant sa nouveauté, tant dans 
les thèmes abordés que dans la portée conative d'une oeuvre nécessaire, 
pouvons-nous comprendre, à la vie: 

Je sçay que les poésies échauffées de flammes de Cypris aggréent mieux 
à quelques-uns. Mais, Sire, cela est si commun, que j'ay mieux aymé 
prendre un sujet tout nouveau, et repaistre vos yeux de bigarrures de la 
Suisse, que de poesies semblables aux jardins d'Adonis, où n'y avoit que 
des mignardises et simples en pots, et rien de ce qui est de plus nécessaire 
à la vie.^ 



Renaissance et Réforme / 75 



Lescarbot se réclame donc d'un discours nouveau, nécessaire et vital. Dans 
un petit opuscule imprimé en 1629 et intitulé: "La Chasse aux Anglois en l'île 
de Retz", il décrit de façon similaire son entreprise. Le plaisir de voir et de 
montrer, sans demi-teintes, embrasse la totalité de son oeuvre: 

Sire, que vostre Majesté auroit à plaisir de voir par escrit ce qui s'est 
passé en ladite ile souz vos armes victorieuses, d'un style que nul autre 
n'a mis au jour jusques icy: Tel que celuy dont je vous ay quelquefois 
dépeint le païsage de la Suisse et des Alpes, et de vostre Nouvelle-France, 
et des villes des treize cantons. Grisons, et Valais vos Alliés.^ 

Les réflexions quant au travail poétique - entendu ici en tant qu'art de la 
création, poiêtikê - sont légion dans les pièces dédicatoires des oeuvres de 
Lescarbot. Ses histoires et ses discours, en plus de raviver la mémoire de ses 
compatriotes, à l'instar du voeu d'Hérodote,^ doivent également, par un 
principe du regroupement et de l'accumulation, augmenter leur puissance. En 
fait, l'esthétique de la nouveauté et du vital dont se réclame Lescarbot reflète 
l'imaginaire du projet de colonisation et annonce l'action transformatrice des 
métaphores qui seront alors employées pour l'illustrer. Ainsi, dès 1609, dans 
l'épître à la France, le poète plaidait la cause de ses compatriotes qui 
souhaitaient quitter le royaume pour trouver, à l'exemple des poissons de 
la Méditerranée allant frayer dans la mer Noire, des cieux plus cléments: 

Ainsi, (tres-chere Mere) ceux d'entre vos enfants qui voudront quitter 
cette mer salée pour aller boire les douces eaux du Port Royal en la 
Nouvelle-France (...) il leur prendra envie d'y aller peupler la province 
et la remplir de generation. ^® 

La métaphore filée sera reprise dans la suite de l'oeuvre, mais cette fois 
apphquée aux efforts de la découverte et de la colonisation. Les poissons, 
consacrés à Vénus, devront s'unir afin d'affronter l'adversité.^^ 

Le projet de Lescarbot se différencie, selon l'auteur lui-même, de celui de 
ses contemporains. Pourtant, à bien des égards, son oeuvre ne parvient pas à 
s'affranchir totalement de Cypris ou de compléter la métamorphose des mots 
et des enfants de la France assemblés. Des marqueurs (parallèles, séquences 
d'idées et emprunts) parcourent ainsi le récit à contretemps du mouvement 
d'ensemble; l'effet en sera parfois saisissant. L'acte discursif de Lescarbot 
brouille ainsi la perception d'une Nouvelle-France qui, même s'il la voulait 
univoque mais particulière, tangue parfois dangereusement sur les flots d'une 
connaissance approfondie de l'Antiquité, de l'imaginaire d'un projet national 



76 / Renaissance and Reformation 



de colonisation de la Nouvelle-France et d'envolées lyriques qui frôlent dans 
bien des cas la facétie. 

L'Histoire de la Nouvelle-France fut vraisemblablement écrite fort rapi- 
dement (en 17 mois selon René Baudry). La première édition, parue en 1609, 
subit par la suite des transformations au cours des deux rééditions de 1611- 
1612 et de 1617-1618. Cette Histoire reprend le récit des entreprises de 
colonisation de Villegagnon au Brésil, de Laudonnière en Floride et de Cartier 
au Canada; Lescarbot ajoute également l'histoire des débuts de la colonisation 
en Acadie et en Nouvelle-France. Finalement, un livre qui a comme titre: "Les 
Moeurs et façons de vivre des peuples de la Nouvelle- France, et le Rapport 
de terres et mers dont a été fait mention es livres precedents"'^ vient clore le 
tout. 

Ce sixième livre est en fait un récit hybride qui s'avère des plus intéressants 
pour notre propos. S 'éloignant de l'histoire factuelle et de la chronologie des 
récits de ses prédécesseurs, Lescarbot y établit des correspondances, regroupe 
et commente. Ces particularités structurales font que le méta-discours lescar- 
botien, ne pouvant plus disparaître derrière les faits historiques ou les em- 
prunts effectués à ses prédécesseurs, refait surface. La poétique de Lescarbot, 
ce discours nouveau dont il se réclame, se déploie alors dans toute son 
ambiguïté baroque. Reste au lecteur d'en saisir les caractéristiques et la 
portée. 

Le premier passage du sixième livre qui retint d'abord notre attention et 
nous amena à élaborer nos hypothèses se trouve au chapitre XII et traite du 
mariage. Dans un véritable morceau de bravoure, Lescarbot établit alors un 
rapport entre le nouveau thème qu'il va développer et les chapitres précédents. 
Ne reculant devant rien, il s'octroie alors les pouvoirs du créateur afin de, 
littéralement, marier les êtres dont il décrit les moeurs: 

Apres avoir parlé des vétemens, parures, omemens, et peintures des 
Sauvages, il me semble bon de les marier, afin que la race ne s'en perde, 
et que le pais ne demeure desert.'^ 

Le ton du passage est donné; le narrateur n'hésite pas à aborder sans fausse 
pudeur les moeurs sexuelles de ses "Sauvages". De nouveau, à son habitude, 
il débutera par les Amérindiens du Canada. Il relèvera par exemple les 
mentions quant à l'existence de bordels dans les récits de Cartier et de 
Champlain, mais précisera que les autochtones rencontrés en Acadie ne 
possèdent pas de telles institutions.'^ En revanche, il note que le contact avec 
les français a déjà conduit les jeunes filles à modifier leur comportement 
sexuel et à faire preuve d'une discrétion précieuse: "(...) et s'il arrive qu'elles 



Renaissance et Réforme / 77 



s'abandonnent à quelqu'un, c'est en secret". 15 Puis sont ajoutés des 
exemples tirés de récits au Brésil et en Floride, deux terres lointaines où les 
Français tentèrent sans succès de s'établir au XVIe siècle. Les filles de la 
France antarctique se prostituent et leurs pères se veulent leurs souteneurs; 
la syphilis y est répandue, même si elle semble ne pas vraiment préoccuper 
les gens du pays. Peu à peu, Lescarbot en vient à établir les bornes d'un 
"vice" amérindien. Selon lui, les habitants du Nouveau Monde ne sont 
nullement impudiques, et cela s'explique par le fait que la nudité est chose 
du commun. D'ailleurs, les Canadiens évitent les aliments qui pourraient 
provoquer les "Ithyphalles" (sel, épices, vin, viandes) et ils font usage du 
Petun, ce qui selon l'auteur "(...) étourdit les sens, et montant au cerveau 
empêche les functions de Venus." ^^ 

Jusqu'à présent, donc, Lescarbot recrée pour l'Amérindien du Canada un 
certain discours du Bon Sauvage inauguré par Léry et Montaigne. En re- 
vanche, il repousse en une même sphère Européens, Brésiliens et Floridiens 
en évoquant leur goût pour ce qu'il nomme mystérieusement les Ithyphalles. 
Ces fameuses Ithyphalles, qui sont dans ce premier passage associées à des 
pratiques alimentaires européennes, sont un bon exemple du méta-discours 
présent dans l'oeuvre de Lescarbot. Cette image priapique n'apparaît d'ail- 
leurs pas dans les descriptions des codes sexuels des Brésiliens et des 
Floridiens qu'effectuent les auteurs fétiches de Lescarbot: Léry, The vet ou 
Laudonnière. Même si ce terme n'était certainement pas inconnu des contem- 
porains de Lescarbot, ^^ son emploi laisse croire que le lecteur est entraîné 
vers une économie particulière des comportements amoureux. D'ailleurs, 
après avoir loué les vertus des Canadiens, le narrateur rappelle un passage 
tiré de Léry qui aborde la problématique des pratiques homosexuelles pré- 
sentes chez les Tupinambas: 

Jean de Leri loue les Brésiliens en ceste continence: toutefois il adjoute 
que quand ilz se fâchent l'un contre l'autre ilz s'appellent quelquefois 
Tiviré, qui est à dire boulgre; (...)^^ 

Ce passage porte déjà, en fait, sa petite histoire. Dans sa Cosmographie 
universelle de 1575, André The vet mentionne la présence de bardaches et de 
bougerons dans la société tupi, bardaches que l'on nommait Tevir. Il donne 
peu d'indices quant au statut véritable de ces individus, mais il précise 
cependant qu'un nouveau-né mâle est déclaré Tevir si le père a eu des relations 
sexuelles avec la mère pendant la grossesse. ^^ Léry ne mentionne pas 
l'existence de Tevirs avant l'édition de 1580 du Voyage fait en terre de Brésil. 
L'orthographe qu'il emploie alors est Tyvire et son commentaire diffère de 



78 / Renaissance and Reformation 



celui de Thevet. En fait, il indique uniquement que les Tupis se qualifient 
parfois les uns les autres de Tyvire, ce qui semble constituer une forme 
quelconque d'insulte.^^ 

André Thevet et Jean de Léry s'entendent cependant quant à la place que 
doit occuper, dans leurs textes respectifs, une telle allusion. Dans les deux 
cas, en effet, le commentaire s'intègre à des descriptions de coutumes qui 
abordent différents aspects de la génération ou de la vie des femmes et des 
jeunes gens: grossesse, fréquentations pré-nuptiales, etc. Dans L'Histoire de 
la Nouvelle-France de Marc Lescarbot, la position du commentaire est 
révélatrice d'une modification de la connotation. Ainsi, la citation tirée de 
l'oeuvre de Léry suit l'apologie de la nudité, mais précède un discours sur les 
pratiques erotiques des Floridiens. Le Tiviré de Lescarbot occupe dorénavant 
un espace mental bien différent de son homonyme des textes de Jean de Léry 
et d'André Thevet. 

La typologie de l'amour contre nature mais également de l'amour exacerbé 
a donc subi une transformation depuis les mises en imaginaire effectuées par 
les auteurs de récits de voyage de la seconde moitié du XVP siècle. La 
transposition du passage du Tiviré démontre d'ailleurs que Lescarbot le 
comprend selon une grille différente: il ne s'agit plus d'une curiosité naturelle 
liée au monde du féminin, mais d'un aspect de l'érotisme facétieux des 
"Sauvages" qu'il a voulu marier devant nous. De plus, le discours sur les 
Ithyphalles se greffe aux allusions en modifiant de façon assez radicale les 
conditions de réception. Le lecteur de V Histoire de la Nouvelle-France n'aura donc 
plus l'impression de découvrir avec l'auteur des caractéristiques d'un monde 
inconnu, mais bien d'assister à la naissance d'un univers où la facétie se déploiera. 

Examinons de plus près le passage qui clôt le paragraphe sur la nudité et 
la "bougrerie": 



(...) outre que les Floridiens ayment fort le sexe féminin. Et de fait j'ay 
entendu que pour aggreer aux Dames ilz s'occupent fort aux Ithyphalles 
dont nous venons de parler, et pour y parvenir ilz usent fort d'ambre gris, 
dont ilz ont grande quantité,^ ^ voire avec un fouet d'orties, ou autre chose 
semblable, font enfler les joues à cette idole de Maacha que le Roy Asa 
fit mettre en cendres, lesquelles il jetta dans le torrent de Cedron. Les 
femmes d'autre part avec certaines herbes s'efforcent tant qu'elles peu- 
vent faire des restrictions pour l'usage desdits Ithyphalles, et pour le droit 
des parties.^^ 

L'ésotérisme et le maniérisme de l'extrait surprennent. L'épisode biblique du 
roi Asa, qui fit détruire les idoles consacrées à Baal, se superpose bizarrement 



Renaissance et Réforme / 79 



aux cultes priapiques des Grecs et des Romains de l'Antiquité, et ce via 
l'emploi du terme Ithyphalles?^ 

Notons par ailleurs la contradiction qui semble se profiler quant à l'engoue- 
ment pour ces Ithyphalles. L'honmie est d'abord présenté comme agent qui 
souhaite, par l'utilisation de tels artifices, bien servir les dames. C'est l'image 
édulcorée du "fouteur" que l'on retrouve dans la poésie facétieuse du tournant 
du siècle. Puis, à la fin du passage, l'image du désir de la femme est nuancée 
en alléguant une certaine restriction précieuse. Un poète libertin ne saurait 
mieux faire, surprenant son lecteur et s' amusant de son désir débouté. 

Cette excroissance discursive qui groupe différemment et transforme le ton 
de certaines allusions en les ajustant au goût du siècle acquiert finalement 
toute son essence dans une phrase qui vise à rétablir le fil du commentaire sur 
le mariage: "Revenons à noz mariages qui valent mieux que toutes ces 
drôleries là".-^"^ 

Ces "drôleries là", comme le laisse entendre Lescarbot, n'apparaissent 
pourtant pas qu'à une seule occasion dans son récit. Ainsi, au cours du tableau 
ethnographique des moeurs des "Sauvages" qu'il nous brosse, il laisse plus 
d'une fois paraître l'expression bigarrée de son "style". Deux autres passages 
révélateurs peuvent être isolés. D'abord, le premier touche la moralité des 
hommes, et des "prêtres" indigènes; le second est constitué des pratiques de 
socialisation comme la danse ou la tabagie. Dans les deux cas, le texte de 
Lescarbot nous entraîne vers des idéologèmes qui s'éloignent des paramètres 
de son style. 

Abordons d'abord la question de la moralité des hommes et des "prêtres" 
indigènes. Les "Sauvages" canadiens, dans l'ensemble, sont le plus souvent 
épargnés par l'auteur qui n'hésite pas à les associer à des survivants de l'âge 
d'or.^^ Ils sont d'ailleurs à maintes reprises loués dans leur vertu et servent 
de contre-exemple aux autochtones du Brésil et de la Floride où les entreprises 
françaises de colonisation ont échoué. Alors que Léry s'appliquait à faire 
rougir de honte le Français catholique qui respectait moins les lois naturelles 
que les peuples n'ayant aucune connaissance de la révélation, Lescarbot 
utiUse un repoussoir américain afin de justifier ses espoirs de colonisation. 

L'étude morale des moeurs des hommes, à part les commentaires sur la 
religion et ceux sur la syphilis, se réduit à peu. Lescarbot va même jusqu'à 
laisser entendre qu'il exerce une auto-censure sur cette question en déclarant 
que "Les excès des hommes consistent la plus part es choses que j'ay dit 
vouloir omettre, lesquelles je ne lairray de ramener à point s'il vient à 
propos."^^ La formule n'est pas nouvelle, en fait, pour celui qui connaît 
quelque peu les manuels que les confesseurs missionnaires pouvaient à 



80 / Renaissance and Reformation 



répoque consulter. Parfois, de tels énoncés sont suivis, dans les écrits 
religieux, de passages en latin n'expliquant que pour un public restreint les 
détails de la chose. Dans le cas qui nous préoccupe, le silence est imposé, 
avec promesse de faire certaines révélations au bon moment. Pourtant, les 
prétendues révélations dont on a vu un bien chaste exemple en abordant la 
question des Ithyphalles n'appartiennent pas entièrement à l'Amérindien. 

C'est à l'aide de railleries que Lescarbot s'attaque aux moeurs des "de- 
vins". Il n'innove évidemment pas à ce propos, puisque ces ennemis du 
christianisme sont habituellement la cible des premières flèches du chrétien. 
Le rôle social des pauvres honmies est évidemment réduit à peu: ils s'appli- 
quent, en Floride, à soigner les véroles; les Aoutmoins se hissent par impos- 
ture au rôle de médecin et de chirurgien. A l'égard de ceux-ci, "de la dernière 
terre des Indes qui est la plus proche de nous"^^, Lescarbot n'est pas tendre. 
Il quaUfie les cérémonies du sorcier de "chimagrées"^^. Pourtant, une analyse 
de leurs chants est effectuée, d'autant plus que le voyageur a semblé y déceler 
l'utilisation du mot "Alleluya". Finalement, le chapitre se termine, après une 
digression à propos du feu de la Saint- Jean et des habits sacrés sacerdotaux, par 
l'épisode des Maracas tiré de Léry. Les Caraïbes sont alors dépeints à l'instar de 
profiteurs qui font croire aux "autres idiots"^^ que des vivres doivent être offertes 
aux Maracas la nuit. De nouveau, Lescarbot évacue l'impact de ces hommes 
sur la vie des Amérindiens en utilisant cette fois-ci un énoncé moral qui en 
dit long sur le jeu des apparences. Les Caraïbes entrent donc dans le tableau 
de la Nouvelle-France effectué par Lescarbot sous le mode de l'illusion baroque 
et de la fausseté des apparences. Le pouvoir de faire résonner les Maracas et de 
laisser miroiter l'existence des idoles et des pratiques païennes ne peut s'effectuer 
que par l'intervention du narrateur européen: 

De sorte que ce seroit grand forfait de prendre les viandes qu'on présente 
devant ces belles sonnettes, desquelles viandes ces reverens Caraïbes 
s'engraissent joyeusement. Ainsi souz des faux prétextes le monde est 
abusé de toutes parts.^^ 

Le second passage que nous souhaitons analyser porte sur la danse et la 
tabagie, qui font office d'exercices de socialisation pour le "Sauvage". 
Lescarbot décrit la danse en insistant sur les parallèles pouvant être établis 
avec les coutumes des Européens. De nouveau, il se permet une certaine 
légèreté de ton, question de maintenir la continuité du texte mais également 
d'en limiter la portée sémantique: "Apres la panse vient la danse (dit le 
proverbe)". Cette danse, pour l'Européen, est synonyme de débauche: "Mais 
les délices, lubricités et débauchemens les détournèrent depuis à leur usage, 



Renaissance et Réforme / 81 



et ont les danses servi de proxénètes et courratieres d'impudicité (...)"^'. Les 
Amérindiens, en revanche, ne participent pas cette fois-ci à ce mouvement 
vers une plus grande perversité. Leurs danses répondent à des critères 
d'utilité: "aggreer à leurs Dieux (...) faire fête à quelqu'un ou pour se rejouir 
de quelque victoire, ou pour prévenir les maladies". -^^ Nous assistons donc à 
un mouvement inversé bien en accord avec le projet de Lescarbot privilégiant 
l'utile et le nécessaire. La danse est alors exorcisée, tout comme le sera la 
nudité des femmes. Lescarbot précisait ainsi, à propos des Amérindiennes, 
que: "(•••) leurs tétins ne servent- ilz point de flamme d'amour, comme 
pardeça, ains en ces terres là l'amour se traite par la flamme que la nature 
allume en chacun (...)".^^ 

Quant à la tabagie, cette pratique socialisante entraîne plutôt un commen- 
taire galant de la part de l'observateur, commentaire qui pose une pierre de 
plus à l'édifice précieux: 

(...) et toutefois il me semble que la chère n'en est pas si bonne: 
laquelle ne doit pas consister au boire et manger seulement, mais en 
la société de ce sexe que Dieu a donné à l'homme pour l'ayder et lui 
tenir compagnie ^ 

Ce souhait n'est pourtant pas gratuit. Quelques chapitres plus loin, alors qu'il 
traitera de la civilité, Lescarbot précisera que la venue des Français amena un 
raffinement des moeurs. Le Français n'introduira donc pas uniquement le 
précieux aliment qu'est le pain dans le régime des habitants de l'Amérique 
du Nord, mais également le **(•••) doux miel que succent les amans sur les 
lèvres de leurs maistresses (...)".^^ La remarque dénote un processus 
d'acculturation déjà entamé. Nous y percevons quant à nous une appropria- 
tion de l'imaginaire amoureux de l'Amérindien. L'entreprise ira même 
jusqu'à recréer, en terre canadienne, le Forez de la bergère Astrée: "(• •) en 
ce joiiissans de la félicité du premier âge lors que la belle Astrée vivoit parmi 
les hommes".^^ 



L'Histoire de la Nouvelle- France de Marc Lescarbot se révèle donc à la fois 
tributaire du discours historique de la seconde moitié du XVP siècle et d'un 
rapport intime à la réalité du voyage que notre avocat fit en terre acadienne. 
S'ajoute à cette dualité un travail de déplacement, d'occultation, d'exorcisme 
et d'emprunt qui s'inscrit en filigrane à l'écriture d'un imaginaire des nou- 
velles terres françaises en ce début du XVIIe siècle. 



82 / Renaissance and Reformation 



En préface au sixième livre, Marc Lescarbot insistait sur l'importance de 
connaître la diversité des moeurs des nations du monde en admirant la beauté 
de cette science dont Ulysse est en quelque sorte le maître antique. Il précise 
également que ce sixième livre, '*(•••) une des meilleures parties de l'Histoire 
(...)" permettra en quelque sorte aux descendants christianisés du "Sauvage" 
de se souvenir de l'existence de ses ancêtres. Ces deux idées bien campées, 
Lescarbot passe en fait presque sous silence le lien qui doit s'établir entre 
elles. Comment s'effectuera ainsi la métamorphose savante inspirée d'Ulysse 
et permettant la christianisation des nations indigènes? C'est en fait le ton des 
épitres dédicatoires des éditions de V Histoire de la Nouvelle-France qui fait 
office de réponse à cette question. Lescarbot suggère fortement à Louis XIH, 
en 1611, et de façon encore plus pressante en 1617, de favoriser la colonisa- 
tion afin d'étendre sa puissance et assurer la conversion des "Sauvages". 
Distinguant bien son entreprise de celle des Espagnols, ce type de commen- 
taire le rapproche du discours d'un quelconque ministre de la colonisation. 
Mais revenons à la préface du sixième livre et voyons comment son oeuvre 
permettra l'expansion du royaume français. En fait, une courte phrase laisse 
croire que le projet de cette histoire des moeurs était, dès le départ, loin d'être 
dénué de plan. Ainsi, mettant en scène les descendants des "Sauvages", il 
rappelle qu'ils béniront "(...) ceux qui se seront employés à leur conversion, 
et à la reformation de leur incivilité". ^^ Le procès du livre nous est donc livré. 
En décrivant l'incivilité, une clef d'une certaine civilité mythique est offerte 
aux descendants des peuples amérindiens. 

Curieusement, c'est l'étude des moeurs idolâtres, sexuelles et amou- 
reuses qui laisse le mieux transparaître la nature de cette clef. Nous le 
savons maintenant, Lescarbot a consciemment refusé, dans une de ses 
préfaces, de consacrer à la mode poétique de son époque - ce qu'il 
nommait les "poésies échauffées"^^. Le "nécessaire" à la vie devait lui 
servir de rempart contre la facilité à laquelle succombaient ses contempo- 
rains. Cet intérêt pré-scientifique lui permit néanmoins de procéder à la 
création d'un mythe cosmographique au potentiel renouvelé. Le livre sur 
les moeurs ne clôt-il d'ailleurs pas son ouvrage? Après avoir bien établi 
les bases de l'exploration, il devient une nécessaire libation à la vie et 
adopte le rôle de réforme de l'incivilité. Certains aspects des moeurs et des 
pratiques idolâtres seront occultés ou neutralisés grâce à la raison prover- 
biale ou à une vision purifiée de la nature. En revanche, les actes contre 
nature seront par là même transformés en pratiques érotico-amoureuses; 
nous voilà quittes pour ces "drôleries là", et les Ithyphalles de maître 



Renaissance et Réforme / 83 



Lescarbot font désormais un doucereux pied de nez aux tivirés congénitaux 
d'un Thevet. 

Simon Fraser University 

Notes 

Nous tenons à remercier le doyen de la Faculté des Arts de l'Université Simon Fraser ainsi 
que le Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies de Victoria College (Université de 
Toronto) qui nous ont permis de mener à bien nos recherches. 

1. René Baudry, Marc Lescarbot, Montréal, Fides (Collection Classiques Canadiens), 
1968, p. 13. 

2. Ibid., p. 10. 

3. Ibid.,^. 10. 

4. In un' ottica solo europea si puô infine affermare che esse hanno introdotto nella poesia 
francese di Francia un esotismo americano non di maniera ma attento invece al colore 
locale, un esotismo frutto délia partecipazione alla realtà naturale ed umana con la quale 
lo scrittore era venuto in contatto." Paolo Carile, "Marc Lescarbot, primo peota délia 
'Nouvelle France'. Prolegomeni per la presentazione di un 'nuovo' scrittore". Studi di 
cultura Francese ed europea in onore di Lorenza Maranini. (Fasano, Schena, 1983), 
p. 158. 

5. "Pour Lescarbot en revanche, l'histoire ne saurait se passer d'une vaste escorte de 
garants qui sont les récits antérieurs portant sur le même sujet ou sur des objets 
analogues." Frank Lestringant, "Champlain, Lescarbot et la 'conférence' des histoires", 
Scritti sulla Nouvelle-France nel seicento (Paris, Nizet, 1984), p. 70. 

6. Cf. Guy Poirier, "Sodomicques et bougerons; imagologie homosexuelle à la Renais- 
sance", thèse de doctorat. Université McGill, 1990. 

7. Marc Lescarbot, Tableau de la Suisse (Paris, Adrian Perier, 1618) f.a.ii ro et vo. 

8. Marc Lescarbot, La Chasse aux Anglois en l'île de Retz (Paris, François et Julian 
Jacquin, 1629), f. iii ro et vo. 

9. Hérodote de Thourioi expose ici ses recherches, pour empêcher que ce qu'ont fait les 
hommes, avec le temps, ne s'efface de la mémoire et <que de grands et merveilleux 
exploits, accomplis tant par les Barbares que par les Grecs, ne cessent d'être renommés; 
en particulier, ce qui fut cause que Grecs et Barbares entrèrent en guerre les uns contre 
les autres." Hérodote, Histoires, "Clio" (Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1964), p. 13. 

10. Marc Lescarbot, Histoire de la Nouvelle-France (Paris, Jean Milot, 1609). 

11. "Et comme on dit de certains poissons consacrés à Venus, qui naissent de l'écume de 
la mer, que pour se garentir de l'injure et gourmandise des plus grans, ilz s'assemblent 
par milliers, et s'entrelacent en tant de pelotons, qu'ils se rendent assez forts pour se 
défendre: Ainsi m'a semblé bon de mettre en un corps tant de relations et menus écrits 
qui étoient comme ensevelis, afin de les faire revivre, et par cet assemblage m'essayer 
de leur donner une meilleure trempe contre la lime sourde du temps qui tout consomme 



84 / Renaissance and Reformation 



(...)" (Marc Lescarbot, Histoire de la Nouvelle France, (édition de 1618), livre 1, in 
History of New France, vol. 1 (Toronto, Champlain Society, 1907), p. 229. Dans 
l'édition de 1609 (Paris, Jean Milot, 1609), le passage est un peu différent et moins 
aggressif Les petits poissons se garantissent de l'appétit des gros, alors que dans la 
troisième édition, citée précédemment, ils pouvaient se défendre: "Et d'autant que tant 
de Mémoires dispersés se perdent facilement, et ne peuvent résister au temps qui en 
fin consomme toute chose, s'ilz ne sont r' amassés à la façon de ces petits poissons qui 
se voyans exposés à toute sorte d'injure, et en proye à la gourmandise des plus grands, 
s'assemblent par milliers, et s'entrelassent en tant de pelotons, qu'ils se rendent assez 
forts pour se garentir de la gueule des coursaires. Ainsi m'a semblé à propos de joindre 
brièvement, et comme epitome à la description des derniers voyages faits par les Sieurs 
de Monts et de Poutrincourt en la Nouvelle France, ce que noz François ont laissé par 
écrit des découvertes qu'ils ont dés longtemps fait es parties occidentales (...)", p. 5. 

1 2. Pour l'édition de 1609, ce dernier livre - qui était alors le troisième - s'intitulait: "Livre 
troisième, contenant les moeurs, coutumes, et façons de vivre des Indiens Occidentaux 
de la Nouvelle-France, comparées à celles des anciens peuples de pardeça: et particu- 
lièrement de ceux qui sont en même parallèle et degré". (Marc Lescarbot, Histoire de 
la Nouvelle-France (Paris, Jean Milot, 1609), p. 660. 

13. Marc Lescarbot, Histoire de la Nouvelle France, livre 6, in History of New France, 
vol. 3 (Toronto, Champlain Society, 1914), p. 389. À moins d'indiquer le contraire, 
nous citerons désormais l'édition de la Champlain Society (Grant et Biggar) qui reprend 
le texte de la troisième édition de 1618. 

14. "Entre noz Souriquois, il n'est point nouvelle de cela", Ibid., p. 389. 

15. /ftiW.,p. 390. 

16. /ftiW.,p. 390. 

17. Nous pourrions par exemple rappeler l'épisode des andouilles du Quart Livre, de 
Rabelais, alors que l'on associe l'andouille Ithyphalle au serpent du Paradis terrestre: 
"Encores maintient on en certaines Academies que ce tentateur estoit l'andouille 
nommée Ithyphalle, en laquelle feut jadis transformé le bon messer Priapus, grand 
tentateur des femmes par les paradis en Grec, ce sont jardins en François" François 
Rabelais, Le Quart Livre (Genève, Droz, 1947), p. 170. Également, cf. infra note 23. 

1 8. Marc Lescarbot, Histoire de la Nouvelle -France, p. 390. 

19. "(...) d'autant qu'ils disent avoir affaire avec leurs filles lors qu'elles sont encores au 
ventre de la mere et en ce faisant ils paillardent; et si c'est un masle ils le font Bardache 
ou Bougeron, qu'ils nomment en leur langue Tevir ce qui leur est fort detestable et 
abominable, seulement de le penser." André Thevet, La Cosmographie universelle 
(Paris, P. L'Huillier, 1575), f. 933 ro. 

20. "(...) toutesfois, à fin de ne les faire pas aussi plus gens de bien qu'ils ne sont, parce 
que quelques fois en se despitans l'un contre l'autre ils s'appellent Tyvire, c'est à dire 
bougre, on peut de la conjecturer (car je n'en afferme rien) que cest abominable péché 
se commet entr'eux." (Jean de Léry, Histoire d'un voyage fait en terre du Brésil (Paris, 
Droz, 1976), p. 264. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 85 



21. On peut lire, dans les première et seconde éditions, cette portion de phrase qui fut 
occultée par la suite: "lequel ayans fondu au feu ilz le font distiller avec grinsemens 
de dents jusques à l'O^ sacrum, et avec un foiiet d'orties," Marc Lescarbot, Histoire 
de la Nouvelle France, (édition de 1609: Paris, Jean Milot), p. 747; (Édition Tross: 
Paris, Edwin Tross, 1866, mais qui reprend la seconde édition de 1612), p. 715. 

22. Marc Lescarbot, Histoire de la Nouvelle-France, p 390-391. 

23. "Les Grecz l'appellent Phalle, ou Ityphalle, et entre les latins, Columelle l'appelle ainsi, 
disant: 

Mais ébauchant sans art le tronc d'un arbre antique. 
Plante reveremment l'image Ity phallique, 
Membru terriblement, et qui tende sa faux 
Au milieux du jardin contre les larronneaux 
Car il estoit le gardien des jardins" 

De la Cité de Dieu, commentée par Vives, François de Belleforest et Hervert (Paris, 
Michel Sonnius, 1585), p. 48.2.C. 

24. Marc Lescarbot, Histoire de la Nouvelle-France, p. 391. 

25. "Nous qui vivons par-deça souz l'authorité de noz Princes, et des Republiques civili- 
sées, avons deux grans tyrans de nôtre vie, ausquels les peuples du nouveau monde 
n'ont point encore été assujettis, les excès du ventre et l'ornement du corps, et bref tout 
ce qui va à la pompe, lesquels si nous avions quittés, ce seroit un moyen pour r'appeller 
l'ancien âge d'or, et ôter la calamité que nous voyons en la plupart des hommes." Ibid., 
p. 384, 

26. Ibid. p. 384. 

27. Ibid., p. 360. 

28. Ibid., p. 360. 

29. Ibid., p. 362. 

30. Ibid., p. 363. 

31. /^iV/., p. 400. 

32. /^ïU,p. 400. 

33. Ibid., p. 350. 

34. Ibid., p. 394. 

35. /fc/^.,p.416. 

36. Ibid.,^.A\9. 

37. Ibid., p. 345. 

38. Cf. supra, note 7. 



Book Reviews / Comptes rendus 



Gisèle Mathieu-Castellani. La conversation conteuse. Les Nouvelles de 
Marguerite de Navarre. Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1992. Pp. 245. 

Critique littéraire et critique de la critique au style vif, G. Mathieu-Castellani 
examine avec méthode et érudition un certain nombre d'idées reçues sur le genre 
de la nouvelle, les rapports entre Marguerite de Navarre et Parlamente, le féminisme 
de l'oeuvre, V Heptaméron comme nouveau Décamé ron^ etc. 

Ainsi, le topos de la vérité du discours représente le monde vécu, les realia de 
la société contemporaine et constitue une règle du genre de la nouvelle tout comme 
l'oralité du récit. Cependant, l'authenticité est un topos rhétorique visant à assurer 
la crédibilité du récit, ce qui n'empêche pas la rhétorique déniée d'être présente 
partout. En effet, l'histoire vraie mérite d'être critiquée à plusieurs voix plutôt que 
d'autoriser une seule voix magistrale d'origine scolastique à en donner "le vrai 
sens." Cette exigence interne de la vérité se double d'une exigence externe puis- 
qu'elle permet à la nouvelle de se démarquer comme genre par rapport à la poésie 
et aux fictions romanesques contemporaines. 

Parlamente serait-elle V alter ego de Marguerite et la championne des droits de 
la femme? Pour G. Mathieu-Castellani, Parlamente a bien quelque chose de Mar- 
guerite, toutefois "la Narratrice emprunte pour s'exprimer toutes les voix de ses 
devisants, y compris celles des hommes" (p. 202). Quant au féminisme, Parlamente 
serait "une féministe 'ancien style' qui ne demande pas, comme Louise Labé, ou 
quelques décennies plus tard, Marie de Goumay, de nouveaux droits pour la femme 
mais se borne à exalter l'honneur et la chasteté féminines, à défendre les lois 
rigoureuses d'une éthique paulinienne" (p. 201). 

Nouveau Décaméron, V Heptaméron l'est certes par le cadre (comice) à l'ita- 
lienne, la technique d'emboîtement de la structure externe et le contrat narratif que 
Marguerite corrige en faisant dialoguer un nombre équivalent d'hommes et de 
femmes. Mais c'est aussi un anû-Décaméron puisque "nulle nouvelle qui ne soit 
véritable histoire" ne sera transcrite (même si cette règle souffre quelques aména- 
gements) et que les relais transitionnels sont transformés en véritables débats. G. 
Mathieu-Castellani résume ce schéma d'écriture et de réécriture du Décaméron par 



88 / Renaissance and Reformation 



une belle image: 'THeptameron transforme le puissant édifice gothique en char- 
mant palais de la Renaissance aux lignes sobres" (p. 60). 

U étude des liens génétiques amène T auteur à examiner la question de la 
représentation des mentalités et à considérer VHeptaméron comme un document 
anthropologique où sont débattues les valeurs d'un monde ancien avec celles 
émergeantes du discours moderne. G. Mathieu-Castellani montre de manière fort 
convaincante que ''VHeptaméron porte les traces de ces tensions qui animent 
l'idéologie de la Renaissance et fait entendre simultanément, dans la 'dispute' des 
débats, un discours ancien encore soumis à des traditions qui résistent à la pression 
de l'histoire et un discours nouveau qui prend en charge les valeurs modernes, la 
promotion de la femme (en milieu favorisé), la revendication d'égalité, le droit au 
plaisir" (p. 228). Ici, G. Mathieu-Castellani jette les bases d'une étude sur le Moyen 
Age dans l'oeuvre de la reine, étude encore à faire à l'instar de celle de Jean Larmat 
sur Rabelais. Si Marguerite de Navarre ne fait jamais dire à ses devisants que "Le 
temps estoit encore tenebreus" comme l'écrit Gargantua à Pantagruel au chapitre 8 
du Pantagruel, les traces des valeurs du monde courtois et chevaleresque qui sont 
reproduites dans le récit sont l'objet d'une critique, voire d'une parodie à plusieurs 
voix dans les devis. Du coup s'éclaire ce que d'aucuns appellent la voie oblique des 
devis par rapport aux récits, car deux mentalités y sont confrontées. 

L'auteur consacre également plusieurs pages à la poétique, notamment au 
sous-genre de l'histoire tragique illustrée par la 32^ nouvelle ainsi qu'aux récits 
scatologiques des 11^ et 52^ nouvelles, sujet qui rebute encore plus d'un critique, 
nonobstant Bakhtine. 

Une analyse narratologique à la Propp fait ressortir que la 32^ nouvelle est un 
récit de vengeance dans un récit à énigme et celui-ci est emboîté dans un récit 
d'épreuve. Le sens de cette nouvelle qui a laissé perplexes des critiques aussi 
éminents qu'Emile Telle et Nicole Cazauran n'est pas complètement élucidé. En 
effet, non seulement sa fmalité semble-t-elle aller contre le discours d'égalité qui 
traverse VHeptaméron mais même contre celui du premier poème de la reine, Le 
miroir de l'âme pécheresse, où il n'est pas question de justifier la longue vengeance 
et la dure punition d'un mari, mais de louer la douce et miséricordieuse consolation 
divine devant la même faute. G. Mathieu-Castellani souligne à bon droit les silences 
des devisants sur le sort de l'amant tué par le mari. Et si l'on s'intéresse aux gender 
studies, la 32*^ nouvelle fournit un modèle du genre. La seule fois où le terme de 
"crime" est utilisé n'est pas à l'endroit du mari homicide, mais de son épouse à qui 
l'on reproche le "crime d'adultère." La stylistique reflète bien le social, car c'est en 
ces mêmes termes que Jehan Du Pré, un auteur au féminisme traditionnel, décrit 
l'adultère féminin dans Le Palais des Nobles Dames (1534) pour employer l'indul- 
gente expression de "menus plaisirs" dès qu'il s'agit d'un homme. Le schéma du 
deux poids, deux mesures est donc parfaitement intériorisé dans la 32^ nouvelle en 
dépit des positions contraires adoptées ailleurs. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 89 



Les récits scatologiques sont l'occasion d'examiner ce courant et le rapport au 
corps à la Renaissance et d'observer que, de nos jours, ce comique ne semble plus 
aussi apprécié, du moins par le public universitaire français. 

L'histoire littéraire retient que VHeptaméron offre la première transcription en 
français du récit de Lorenzaccio qui a servi à la pièce de Musset du même nom. G. 
Mathieu-Castellani choisit de s'arrêter plutôt à l'influence de la littera du récit et 
de la senîencia des devis des Nouvelles sur deux oeuvres de Balzac: Autre étude de 
femme qui a comme texte-modèle la 32^ nouvelle (et les Histoires tragiques de 
Boaistuau), ainsi que Le lys dans la vallée qui écrit et réécrit la 26^ nouvelle. G. 
Mathieu-Castellani souligne aussi la prégnance du modèle de la nouvelle et de 
l'histoire tragique dans les Diaboliques de Barbey d'Aurevilly. Ces remarques sont 
précieuses à plus d'un titre, car le XIX^ siècle romantique redécouvrit le Moyen 
Age dans le sillage de Sir Walter Scott et de Jules Michelet, mais aussi la Renais- 
sance quoique celle-ci déclancha un engouement moindre que la première période. 
Surtout, il est utile de prendre conscience que ces sources d'inspiration servirent 
aussi bien à créer des oeuvres situées dans un cadre contemporain, où elles furent 
réactualisées, qu'à ressusciter ce passé dans les romans historiques. 

G. Mathieu-Castellani termine le volume en résolvant le paradoxe selon lequel 
VHeptaméron serait le premier roman psychologique français bien que l'on sou- 
tienne par ailleurs que la nouvelle ne soit guère propice à ce genre de notations. 
C'est que chez Marguerite de Navarre, il n'y aurait pas d"'analyse" (psychologi- 
que), mais un riche tableau des symptômes. Aussi, une lecture psychosomatique des 
passions sert à déchiffrer les symboles de la "maladie d'amour," les éléments qui 
distinguent le vilain du gentil, et la psychologie féminine de la masculine, encore 
très liée à la morale. 

Il est important de signaler que les choix théoriques et méthodologiques de 
l'auteur sont en tout point conformes à ceux énoncés dans son article stimulant 
"Objet, méthode," publié dans le collectif Méthodes du discours critique dans les 
études seizièmistes (Paris, 1987). Dans ce dernier, l'auteur rappelle que l'écriture 
est d'abord une réécriture et que la validité méthodologique oblige à critiquer 
l'adéquation à l'objet et à user de plus d'une méthode, car "la méthode ne construit 
que partiellement son objet, ou plutôt elle le reconstruit dans son langage, mais cette 
activité de bricolage laisse des 'restes.' C'est que l'objet du texte se définit aussi 
par sa résistance, et qu'une part, plus ou moins grande, reste irréductible au 
méta-discours le mieux armé" (p. 93). Voilà le sens profond du recours à plusieurs 
méthodes. 

En bonne méthode, il faut conclure que G. Mathieu-Castellani n'a peut-être 
pas tout dit sur VHeptaméron, mais qu'elle en a lumineusement et magistralement 
fait avancer notre compréhension. 

BRENDA DUNN-LARDEAU, Université du Québec à Montréal 



90 / Renaissance and Reformation 

Gary K. Waite. David Joris and Dutch Anabaptism, 1524-1543. Waterloo: 
Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1990, Pp. 235 + x. 

Originally presented as the author's doctoral dissertation at the University of 
Waterloo, this revised version represents both in style and substance an impressive 
first scholarly effort. Waite's stated purpose is to assess the place of David Joris 
(1501-1556) within the Anabaptist movement in the Low Countries prior to his 
move to Basel in 1544. Waite argues that between 1536 and 1544 Joris was the most 
significant leader of non-violent Anabaptism in both south and north Holland. By 
1544 Joris' role had begun to decline as a result of a literary dispute with Menno 
Simons and Simons' vociferous opposition. 

The first two chapters put Joris in context by providing a concise overview of 
early Reform and Anabaptist movements in the Netherlands. An ever-present 
backdrop to the Joris story is the twofold influence of Melchior Hoffman and the 
Munsterite revolution represented by Bernhardt Rothmann. Especially valuable is 
Waite's analysis of the socio-economic context of early Dutch Anabaptism. He 
shows that Holland Melchiorites were "overwhelmingly" from the artisan estate; 
even the leaders in Friesland and Amsterdam came from the higher-ranked crafts. 
In response to the economic crises of the 1520s and 1530s, a wave of out-of-work 
artisans migrated to Amsterdam finding there "not only 'religious salvation,' but 
economic salvation as well" (pp. 29f, 26). 

In the next two chapters Waite covers highlights in Joris' thought and career 
up to 1539. We learn that as a glasspainter in Delft Joris encountered the writings 
of the Theologia Deutsch, Karlstadt and Luther. By 1531 he was "caught up in the 
eschatological excitement which was sweeping the Low Countries in the early 
1530s and was at the very least a Melchiorite in sympathy and ideology well before 
his baptism in 1534" (p. 59). 

Waite's fourth chapter, covering Joris' life from 1534 to 1539, offers insightful 
detail on Joris' personality, including his platonic friendship with a female follower, 
Anneken Jans. Waite suggests that this relationship served to inspire Joris' early 
visions and the ascetic self-denial during which he ate so little that he became 
dangerously weak. Especially interesting is the discussion of Joris' methods of 
avoiding detection and escaping persecution with the help of a wide network of 
friends (pp. 76f). 

The next four chapters offer thematic discussions of social and theological 
aspects of Joris' career which show his importance to Dutch Anabaptism. Among 
the more significant conclusions that Waite offers is the insight that on numerous 
issues Joris tried to mediate between the dualistic apocalypticism of Melchior 
Hoffman and the concrete realized eschatology of Bernhardt Rothmann. On the 
issue of restitution, for example, Joris' "internalized" the crusade, calling for 
renewal of the inner man and political pacifism (pp. 100-103). On the basis of 177 



Renaissance et Réforme / 91 



Anabaptist leaders identified from the studies of Karel Vos and Albert Mellink, Waite 
shows that Davidites had "the largest number of active leaders of any single group" of 
Anabaptists. Joris had moved to the forefront as a result of his efforts as mediator at 
the 1536 conference of Anabaptist leaders in Bocholt, Westphalia (pp. 114, 118). 

Chapter 8 provides a social analysis of Davidite supporters and leaders from 
1536 to 1544. Waite claims to have identified 219 "known" Davidites (although the 
table on page 147 lists only 153), whom he analyses in terms of locality, gender and 
occupation. Unfortunately, Waite supplies no documentation, archival or secondary, 
for these statistics. How were these Dividite supporters known? This failure is 
especially surprising in view of Waite's earlier mention of his sources when 
discussing the social background of Dutch Anabaptists from 1531 to 1535 (Chapter 
2) and of Anabaptist leaders generally (Chapter 6). One can only assume he again 
derived the names from Vos and Mellimk. 

In the last two chapters Waite returns to biography, discussing Joris' transition 
from Anabaptist to Spiritualist in Antwerp from 1539 to 1544, and finally his last 
years in Basel from 1544 to 1556. Waite suggests that Joris' move towards Spiritu- 
alism was encouraged by "his failure to win the allegiance of the Oldenburg 
Munsterites and the brecikdown of dialogue with the Strasbourg Melchiorites," and 
may also have been inspired by the works of Sebastian Franck and Caspar 
Schwenckfeld (pp. 165, 168). In his later years Joris abandoned all expectations of 
an earthly fulfillment of Christ's return. He also became more positive in his view 
of princes and nobility, humanists and scholars, and played down his own role as 
the third David. 

There is much to commend in Waite's study of Joris. He has achieved what 
Roland Sainton did not: a clear picture of Joris' contribution to Dutch Anabaptism. 
He has clarified the precise social basis for Joris' appeal in the Low Countries, 
something Claus-Peter Clasen's Anabaptism: A Social History (1972) never 
attempted, thereby revising Clasen's estimation that Anabaptism was numerically 
insignificant. Waite has also probed the dynamics of Joris' complex personality, and 
shown the nuances and developments of his theology. 

Some criticisms can be made. Waite's use of sources reflects a. substantial 
reliance on Samme Zijlstra's secondary studies (including a frequently-cited article 
on "David Joris" not included in the bibliography). Waite relies on Zijlstra on 
matters of detail, and expresses agreement with him on major points of interpreta- 
tion (pp. 1 1 3, 1 18, 124 n. 24). The reader is left wondering how much Waite's book 
advances our knowledge of Joris' life and significance beyond Zijlstra's studies. On 
the key issue of Joris' prominent role within Dutch Anabaptism, for example, Waite 
offers statistical evidence in further support of Zijlstra's thesis. 

Further, the image of Joris that Waite's interpretation leaves with the reader is 
somewhat surprising in view of his implication that modem scholarship needs to 
move beyond the image of Joris as at best a "deranged narcissist" (p. 1). This is 



92 / Renaissance and Reformation 



precisely the picture that Waite's own interpretation suggests. We are told that 
apparently "Jons' emotional anguish led to physical convulsions," which he con- 
trolled with some kind of medication; that Joris nurtured a relationship "in which 
the prophet held almost cultic sway over his followers;" that he saw himself as a 
prophet "in the lineage of Jesus Christ himself," claiming direct revelation from 
God, and refused to engage in rational discussion of his claims (pp. 80f, 134, 157). 
"Deranged narcissist" sounds like a pretty accurate description. 

Finally, the book lacks a conclusion. This means we are left with no clear 
statement of how Waite views the significance of his own work. The threads of the 
chapters, three of which appeared in abbreviated form as articles, are never pulled 
together, nor are we told how Waite believes his interpretation has significantly 
advanced and revised our understanding of Joris. 

The text of David Joris is supplemented with two maps, nine tables, and eleven 
illustrations, mostly from the Wonder Book (1543 and 1551 editions), all very 
attractively produced. There is a name and subject index which unfortunately omits 
secondary authors, and has no entries for David or Dirkgen Joris or their parents. 
Clearly, however, Waite's book deserves to be read by all scholars interested in the 
Radical Reformation field. 

DOUGLAS H. SHANTZ, Trinity Western University 



Christopher Dyer. Standards of Living in the Later Middle Ages. Social Change 
in England, c. 1200-1520. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. 

To anyone working with the records for wages, prices and productivity from 
medieval continental Europe, the sheer volume of English evidence is a perpetual 
source of envy, incomplete though it may be. Inevitably during the last 30 years 
with the increasing interest in social and economic history inspired by the Annales 
school this has encouraged the production of a huge number of works devoted to 
various aspects of English life and society and to the economic factors which 
influenced them. We have studies of diet (one of Dyer's own chosen fields), housing, 
clothing, and so on. In an attempt to reconstruct peasant life we have a daunting 
number of studies of individual villages or groups of estates. It was high time that 
somebody tried to pull all this together into a form more digestible for students and 
scholars alike. This Dyer has undertaken to do, at least in one area, and we must all 
be grateful to him. This is not, for the most part, a work of original scholarship nor 
does it claim to be: it was commissioned for a series of textbooks designed to 
provide introductions to various reasonably precise topics. The conclusions are not 
new but some of the nuances are; and the coverage of secondary material is 
prodigious. Scholars and students will ignore it at their peril. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 93 



The book falls into three main divisions. The first concerns the aristocracy - 
their incomes and expenditures, and how, if at all, they balanced these. Here Dyer 
is naturally forced to deal with the vexed question of who constituted the aristocracy. 
Wisely avoiding too clear cut economic or legal criteria, he concludes that the 
aristocracy was those who dominated society, who provided military and adminis- 
trative services and who consciously adopted a distinctive lifestyle. Economically 
his aristocratic class covers rather a broad spectrum, including both the great 
magnates and the gentry, men with an income of £3000 and those with a mere £10 
a year; but he argues that differences within this group were matters of quantity not 
quality. Rejecting medieval categories, he also includes many of the clergy whose 
lifestyles were similar to those of lords or gentry within the group. They maintained 
considerable households. Their largest single expense, taking from 25 - 70% of total 
revenue was food, but Dyer rejects almost indignantly the stereotype of late 
medieval lords overindulging themselves, which seems to be overwhelmingly based 
on the rare incident of Archbishop Neville's feast. The most useful part of this 
section is the chapter discussing the problems of the aristocracy in balancing the 
budget. Their revenues had on the whole diminished by the fifteenth century and 
while this was cushioned by a fall in the real price of food, manufactured articles 
had risen in value, catching the upper aristocracy at least in a pincer. This did indeed 
lead to economies in expenditure on food and drink while homes, undeniably more 
luxurious for the lord in the fifteenth century, in fact cost less to build and maintain. 
Households could be reduced; and increased privacy enabled the lord to spend more 
on himself and less on his servants. But the insistence on careful accounting which 
developed in the fourteenth century is symptomatic of the preoccupations of the 
landlords with the need to economise on their expenditures. 

The second and perhaps most valuable part of the book concerns the peasants. 
This group is defined, again very widely, as small scale cultivators regardless of 
their legal status and ranging from yeoman farmers only just below the gentry in 
wealth and status to poor tenants eking out a living from three or four acres held by 
rent, service or both from a landlord. Dyer first tries to reconstruct the peasant 
economy from records much scantier than in the case of the aristocracy for the 
periods before and after 1350. This section is perhaps a little bland. It gives very 
little hint of the controversy which the living standards of peasants have aroused 
for some time: and in particular it sidesteps the issue of the effect of demographic 
change generally on living standards. For instance we are told that "figures from 
serf lists and wills suggest an average of two children" per family. Perhaps - but 
some indication of other estimates (Postan, Titow, etc.), or even that other estimates 
exist, might have been in order, given the virulence of recent debates. Dyer is 
probably right in rejecting generalisations which have very little real meaning in 
favour of case studies. He appreciates the need to demonstrate that the results he 
obtains can legitimately be applied more generally. But the result is to rest much of 



94 / Renaissance and Reformation 



what he says on evidence which is, gepgraphically at any rate, fairly limited. He 
concludes that the later medieval peasants had the ability to enjoy a higher standard 
of living that their thirteenth-century forebears, particularly in the lowest levels of 
the peasant hierarchy. There is nothing very startling here, though the marshalling 
of the data, some of them published before in highly complex form in very detailed 
studies, is a nice achievement of synthesis. 

In some ways more interesting is the discussion of peasants as consumers 
which again covers their diet, their housing, their possessions and their resources 
in general. Dyer does not glamorise the condition of the peasantry - some of them 
lived perilously near starvation particularly before 1350 - but he gives a cle2U"er 
indication of the life of the better-off peasants than is normally available. 

The third section opens with a discussion of urban standards of living and 
consumption, pointing out, among other things, the fact, all too often forgotten, that 
even in the middle ages it cost a good deal more to live in the twowns than in the 
countryside and that lower incomes had to be stretched a lot further. Risks of famine 
were greater and living conditions less hygienic. Still urban dwellers on the whole 
enjoyed a better diet than their rural contemporaries. Their demands were similar - 
food, accomodation and textiles were the main priorities — : even in the twowns 
this was not a consumer society. 

In his discussion of wages and wage labour. Dyer emphasises that most wage 
labourers were underemployed, often combining wage earning with other occupa- 
tions. It is difficult therefore to estimate their standard of living since even the 
builders, the most regularly employed wage earners, did not work at building 
continuously. Nevertheless Dyer does discuss conditions of wage labour and annual 
earnings. He rightly challenges the "bread basket" of consumables used by Phelps 
and Brown in their classic attempt to relate wages to living standards though he 
accepts that their data, if used with sufficient caution, can still be valuable. What 
he also does, mostly by implication, is to reject too statistical an approach to 
medieval data. He includes a few tables and graphs but he does not for example try 
to construct indices which, based on inconclusive data, are as likely to mislead as 
instruct. 

In a book on standards of living it is perhaps greedy to expect more on 
conditions of work. Nevertheless it would have been interesting to have something 
on the effects of conscription and migration on the expectations of labourers. It 
would also have been useful to have rather more discussion of the differences 
between the expectations of rural and urban workers. Granted that some labourers 
moved from one environment to the other, the fact remains that while wages were 
not usually very different, urban costs were higher. Finally, women get rather short 
shrift. Generally - though not invariably - women received lower wages for the 
same work than their male counterparts. Did this mean that their standard of living 
was lower or were they "cushioned" by their families? 



Renaissance et Réforme / 95 



The book concludes with two chapters, one on poverty and charity which 
analyses sources of charity and charts the growing tendency to discriminate between 
deserving and undeserving poor which was to become so marked a characteristic 
of later centuries; the other on the weather and its effect on standards of living, a 
long overdue summary of the work which has come out on weather patterns since 
the 1960s. 

This is not a social and economic history of Late Medieval Britain. Dyer 
focusses fairly rigidly on his chosen topic. Nevertheless, since he accepts that 
standards of living are affected by a large number of variables, it covers a very wide 
field and it does so extremely comprehensively. The book is very readable and the 
combination of detail and generalisation skillful. One of the advantages of a work 
of synthesis is that it can act as a guide to current literature. In this connection the 
bibliography is a little disappointing: it is considerably more selective than the 
notes. The latter, on the other hand, are admirable, and Cambridge University Press 
deserves high praise for keeping them where they should be, at the bottom of the 
page. 



CAROLA M. SMALL, University of Alberta 



Work in Progress/Travaux en cours 



Shakespeare in the Theatre Research Group 

McGill University 

The Shakespeare in the Theatre Research Group is located in the Department of 
English of McGill University. The core group consists of John Ripley, Michael 
Bristol, Leanore Lieblein, Patrick Neilson, Denis Salter, and Catherine Shaw, with 
the active participation of a number of graduate students. It brings together scholars 
who, between them, have expertise in the area of theatre history, theatre practice, 
theatre aesthetics, and cultural theory and critique, to explore the history of Shakes- 
peare in the theatre as an artistic, social, and political phenomenon, employing 
techniques developed by literary critics, historians, and cultural anthropologists. Its 
aim is to integrate lines of research which have traditionally been pursued in relative 
isolation. 

Research sources for this work include promptbooks, account books, playbills, 
costume and set designs, lighting plots and othert heatre documents, illustrations, 
newspaper and periodical reviews, diaries, letters, and, for modern productions, 
discussions with theatre artists. The Research Group has begun to acquire prompt- 
book collections on microfilm, which are available for use by other scholars and 
students. 

Each year the Research Group selects a focus for its work, which is presented in 
monthly colloquia. The subject for 1993-94 was the nature of evidence for the 
stagecentred study of Shakespeare, and a volume on this subject, including invited 
contributions, is currently in preparation under the guest editorship of Edward 
Pechter of Concordia University. The focus for 1994-95 is in visual aspects of 
Shakespeare performance. 

For further information on the Shakespeare in the Theatre Research Group, 
please write to Professor John Ripley, Department of English, McGill Univer- 
sity, 853 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2T6. 



Announcements / Annonces 



Material Structures and Practices in London 

The Folger Institute Center for Shakespeare Studies announces a conference to be 
held 16-18 March 1995 on the material structures and practices that distinguished 
London during the period of Shakespeare's theatrical career. The traditional asso- 
ciation of urban centres with the Renaissance and Reformation, the development of 
nationalized and bureaucratic political and administrative systems, the process of 
democratization, and the commercial structure that spawned capitalism will be some 
of the areas covered during the conference. For more information, please write to the 
Folger Institute, 201 East Capitol Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003-1094, USA. 

Enacting Gender on the English Renaissance Stage 

Unpublished papers are solicited for an anthology of essays on gender and English 
Renaissance drama. The editors are interested in papers that explore topics inclu- 
ding, but not limited to: constructions, ideologies, and conceptualizations of gender; 
gender in/as performance; crossdressing; representations of the body; identity; 
gender and rhetoric; sexuality; desire; transgressions. Abstracts (2-3 pages) to be 
mailed by September 15, 1994 to Anne Russell or Viviana Comensoli, Department 
of English, Wilfrid Laurier University, 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, 
Ontario N2L3C5. 

Renaissance Drama and Law 

Volume 25 (1994) of Renaissance Drama will focus on "Renaissance Drama and 
the Law." Essays are sought which explore the drama's engagement with legal 
texts, and its representations of legal issues and controversies. Deadline for submis- 
sion is December 1, 1994. Please write to: Prof. Frances E. Dolan, Department of 
English, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA. 

Le XV* siècle 

Un colloque international sur le XV^ siècle aura lieu à Salzbourg en Autriche, les 
2-7 juillet 1995. Les propositions de conmiunications doivent parvenir avant le 30 
septembre 1994 aux organisateurs. Prière d'écrire à l'adresse suivante: F*rof. Ulrich 
Mueller, Germanistik, Universitat Salzburg, Academiestr 20, 5020 Salzbourg, Autriche. 

De-Centring the Renaissance: Canada and Europe, 1350-1700 

The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (University of Toronto) 
organizes an international conference which will seek to re-evaluate the points of 



100 / Renaissance and Reformation 



contact between the North American and European traditions at the time of the late 
Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Proposals for papers or sessions in either English 
or French may be sent to the Organizing Committee, c/o Prof. Germaine Warkentin, 
Victoria College, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1K7. 

L'oeuvre scientifique de Marcel Bataillon 

C'est du 10 au 12 mai 1995 à Paris (Centre culturel portugais, Sorbonne et Colegio 
de Espana) que se tiendra un colloque international sur l'humanisme, l'érasmisme, 
l'Amérique coloniale et le "roman" espagnol au XVI^ siècle. Pour tout renseigne- 
ment, il faut s'adresser au Prof. Charles Amiel, Collège de France, 11 place 
Marcelin-Berthelot, 75005 Paris, France. 

Confraternity Studies 

The Society for Confraternity Studies will be sponsoring sessions at the Sixteenth 
Century Studies Conference, 27-29 October 1994, in Toronto. Papers are invited on 
all aspects of the confraternities. Please write to Prof. Nicholas Terpstra, Luther 
College, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2. 

Rabelais en son temps 

Colloque international organisé du 16-21 octobre 1994 par le Centre d'Études sur 
la Renaissance de l'Université de Tours. Pour de plus amples renseignements, 
veuillez écrire à M. Michel Simonin, CESR, Université de Tours, 59 rue Néricault- 
Destouches, 37013 Tours Cedex, France. 

Les femmes écrivains sous P Ancien Régime 

Suite au premier colloque sur la question à l'Université de Waterloo en 1993, un 
second colloque est prévu pour les 28-30 avril 1995 à St. Louis, Missouri. Veuillez 
soumettre toute proposition de communication au Prof. Colette H. Winn, Depart- 
ment of Romance Languages and Literatures, Washington University in St. Louis, 
Campus Box 1077, St. Louis, Missouri 63130-4899, USA. 

State Finance: The European Experience 

Papers are invited for an international conference on state finance: 1200-1800, at 
the University of Essex in Colchester, UK, July 5-8, 1995. Papers on quantitative 
analysis of fiscal data are particularly welcome. Please write to Prof. W. M. Ormrod, 
Department of History, University of York, York YOl SOO, UK. 

Thomas More Symposium 

Fifth Thomas More International Symposium, 20-27 May 1995, in Mainz, Germa- 
ny. For information, please write to: Thomas-Morus-Gesellschaft, Hubertushohe 9, 
51429 Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. 



The editor welcomes submissions on any aspect of the Renaissance and the Reformation 
period. Manuscripts in dupHcate should be sent to the editorial office: 

Renaissance and Reformation 
Department of French Studies 
University of Guelph 
Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 
CANADA 

Submissions in English or in French are refeneed. Please follow the MLA Handbook, with 
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UME XVII NUMBER 4 FALL 1993 



RENAISSANCE 

kND REFORMATION 





RENAISSANCE 




V O L IJ M 1^: XVII N U M E R O 



A U T O M N E 19 9 3 



Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme is published quarterly (February, May, 
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New Series, Vol. XVII, No. 4 Nouvelle Série, Vol. XVII, No. 4 

Old Series, Vol. XXIX, No. 4 1 993 Ancienne Série, Vol. XXIX, No. 4 



CONTENTS / SOMMAI. 




EDITORIAL 

3 

ARTICLES 

Sixteenth Century Hospital Reform: Henri IV and the 

Chamber of Christian Charity 

by Daniel Hickey 

5 

Henri IV et les Jésuites 

par Claude Sutto 

17 

Représentation allégorique d'Henri IV rex impel 

par Marie-France Wagner q^ 

Donne's Model: Henry IV,^:^^^ ^^ 
41 " """"'"^ 




by Anthony Raspa .^^^ \®5 

5^ s5 



Image de force, perception de faiblesse ii^aciéniùehqè d'Henri IV 

par Michel De \Va,ele ^i^ 




'^V 



BOOK REVIEWS / COMPTES RENDUS 

Katherine Duncan-Jones. Sir Philip Sidney: Courtier Poet 

reviewed by Derek N. C. Wood 

61 

A. C. Hamilton, General Editor. The Spenser Encyclopedia 

reviewed by Terry G. Sherwood 

64 

Guillaume de la Taysonnière. L'Attifet des Damoizelles; VÉpithalame 

recensé par Hannah Foumier 
68 

Patricia Fumerton. Cultural Aesthetics: Renaissance Literature 

and the Practice of Social Ornament 

reviewed by A. Kent Hieatt 

69 

C. Lauvergnat-Gagnière. Lucien de Samosate et le lucianisme 

en France au XVI^ siècle 
recensé par Claude- Albert Mayer 

71 

James M. Stayer. The German Peasants' War and 

Anabaptist Community of Goods 

reviewed by Werner O. Packull 

74 

David C. McPherson. Shakespeare, Jonson and the Myth of Venice 

reviewed by William Blissett 
76 

ANNOUNCEMENTS / ANNONCES 

79 



Images et perceptions d'Henri IV Images and Perceptions of Henri IV 



Voici 400 ans qu'Henri de Navarre 
entrait pour la première fois dans la 
capitale de son royaume à titre de roi de 
France. Depuis août 1589, Paris se 
refusait à lui. L'ouverture de ses portes 
le 22 mars 1594 témoignait de 
l'inéluctabilité de la victoire finale 
d'Henri IV sur la Ligue. Quatre ans plus 
tard, la reddition de la Bretagne et la 
promulgation de l'Edit de Nantes mettai- 
ent un point final à la reconquête et à la 
pacification de la France par son roi. 
Henri IV pouvait entrer dans la légende. 

La paix et la concorde entre les 
Français, le compromis en matière de 
religion, la destruction des hordes guer- 
rières par r"Hercule Gaulois" donneront 
un caractère universel au triomphe 
d'Henri IV S 'appuyant sur des réahsa- 
tions concrètes témoignant de sa bien- 
veillance envers ses sujets et de son désir 
de voir la paix régner tant à l'intérieur 
qu'à l'extérieur de son royaume, la lé- 
gende d'Henri IV fleurira dès son vivant 
en France et en Europe. Les réserves 
formulées par quelques uns de ses 
contemporains à n'écorcheront pas le 
mythe du premier Bourbon. 

Témoignage du caractère universel 
du personnage d'Henri IV, des historiens 
et des spécialistes de littérature anglaise 
et française se rencontraient à l'Univer- 
sité Carleton à Ottawa en juin 1993, sous 
les auspices de la Société Canadienne 
d'Études de la Renaissance, pour discu- 
ter du thème "Images et perceptions 
d'Henri IV". Le fruit de leurs réflexions 
vous est présenté dans ce numéro spécial 
de Renaissance et Réforme. 



For the first time 400 years ago Henry of 
Navarre entered the City of Paris as new 
King of France. Since 1589 Paris had 
been out of reach for him. The final 
procession through the open doors of the 
city on March 22, 1594 marked the inev- 
itabiUty of Henri IV' s final victory over 
the rebellious "Ligueurs." Four years 
later, with the Edict of Nantes and the 
surrender of Brittany, the king estab- 
lished his domination over a now paci- 
fied and truly conquered kingdom. Henri 
IV was soon to enter into legend. 

Through peace among the French, 
religious compromise, and the destruc- 
tion of warring armies, the "Hercule 
Gaulois," as Henri IV came to be known, 
acquired a universal fame. The legend 
developped around Henri IV 's sincere 
affection for his subjects and his desire 
for peace within and outside the king- 
dom. The reputation of the first of the 
Bourbons was never really tarnished by 
the reservations expressed by some of 
his contemporaries. 

As a testimony to the vitality of Henri 
rV's legend, a group of scholars in History 
and French and English Uteratures gath- 
ered in June 1993 at Carleton University in 
Ottawa under the sponsorship of the Cana- 
dian Society for Renaissance Studies. The 
theme was: "Images and Perceptions of 
Henri FV." In this special issue of Renais- 
sance and Reformation, we are pleased to 
offer you five papers presented during that 
special session. 

Michel De Waele 
Guest Editor 



Michel De Waele 
Responsable 



Sixteenth Century Hospital Reform: 
Henri IV and the Chamber of Christian 
Charity 



DANIEL HICKEY 



Summary: Created in 1606, the Chamber of Christian Charity was intended 
to fund pensions for former army officers and amputated soldiers by review- 
ing the operations and expropriating surplus revenues from local charitable 
foundations - abbeys, monasteries, hospices and local hospitals. This article 
explores the reasons behind Henri IV' s initiative and the new methods used 
- royal commissioners and a centralized approach - to try to resolve what 
was seen as a traditional problem of corruption and redundancy in French 
poor relief structures. It will analyse the difficulties encountered by the 
Chamber and the legal obstacles to the whole effort to intervene in local 
municipal and ecclesiastical institutions to show that the experiment never 
produced the anticipated results and was abandoned shortly after the king *s 
assassination in 1610. 



T 



lying to stabilize his kingdom at the end of the Wars of Religion and 
reduce his army to a peacetime level of 10,000 men:^ these were the 
objectives which directed Henri IV toward a centralized policy of reviewing 
and suppressing small, inefficient local hospitals in order to use their funds 
to create pensions for former army officers and amputated soldiers. In a 
series of measures typical of Henri IV, traditional actions such as distributing 
pensions and pay-offs to former soldiers were used to alleviate the shock of 
demobilization at the same time that new methods - royal commissioners 
and a centralized approach - were used to expropriate what were perceived 
as the mismanaged local poor relief agencies which had been the object of 
regular royal decrees since early in the sixteenth century. The whole opera- 
tion was intended to be used to increase the funding for military pensions. 



Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 4 (1993) 



6 / Renaissance and Reformation 



This experiment in redirecting poor-relief funds to former officers and 
soldiers was begun in July 1604 when a royal edict carried through on an 
earher project by Henri III ordering that the "Maison des Enfants Rouges du 
Faubourg Saint-Marceau" in Paris should become the "Maison de la charité 
chrétienne," a hospital entirely devoted to caring for poor gentlemen soldiers 
and for those handicapped during military service.-^ Continuing along the 
lines of his predecessor's project and in certain respects going further, Henri 
IV, in June 1606, ordered that a special commission, the Chamber of Christian 
Charity {Chambre de la Charité chrétienne), be set up to review the admin- 
istration of the léproseries, hospitals and abbeys of the kingdom. The new 
aspect of the 1606 edict was the decision that in the cases where abuses were 
found in the functioning or management of the local institutions, this com- 
mission was to have the power to step in to reclaim the funds which had been 
embezzled or even to close down the hospital in question and transfer its 
resources to the Grand Aumônier of France who was to allocate the funds to 
the pensions of poor gentlemen, retired officers or physically handicapped 
soldiers.^ 

Although not entirely new - most of the project had been previously 
spelled out in letters patent issued by Henri III in October 1576 and December 
1577 - the creation of the Chamber of Christian Charity represented a radical 
departure from previous attempts to review the management of local founda- 
tions for poor relief. Just as the numerous royal initiatives in the 1520s, 1530s 
and 1540s, Henri IV' s 'reform' was aimed at making more efficient use of 
what the Crown saw as the inefficient and mismanaged resources of the local 
foundations for poor relief. Funded by capital and land donations often dating 
from the Middle Ages, these maladreries and hospitals were multipurpose; 
they were to receive lepers, treat the sick, lodge impoverished itinerants and 
succour the village poor. They operated side by side with institutions whose 
functions had been specifically limited by their founders, like the Easter 
Charity at Oppède in the Luberon which gave alms to the poor on Good 
Friday, or the foundations in the Périgueux for the distribution of foodstuffs 
on Mardi Gras and Pentecost. Royal authorities perceived these institutions 
as disposing of limited funds and staff, and contended that they had never 
been capable of adequately providing the multitude of services specified in 
their charters. Their role had always been limited to insufficient and indis- 
criminate hand-outs to vagabonds and to the village poor."* 

Many of these institutions had been founded as léproseries and with the 
gradual elimination of the disease which they were founded to treat they were 
seen as redundant. The Crown calculated that a great number of such leproser- 



Renaissance et Réforme / 7 



ies could be shut down and their funds put to more useful purposes. After all, 
in 1266, under Louis VIII, it had been calculated that there were over 2,000 
of them in the kingdom, and there had been up to 43 in the diocese of Paris 
alone. ^ The successors of these institutions were the principal targets of the 
expropriation attempts. 

In 1543, an edict issued by Francis I ordered a census and inventory of 
the remaining léproseries and referred specifically to the problem of the 
mismanagement of these institutions. Judges were told to visit the maladre- 
ries and léproseries of their jurisdiction, inspect their charters, titles and 
financial accounts, look into their management and determine when and to 
whom their accounts were to be presented. When irregularities were found, 
they were to discharge incompetent and dishonest administrators, and replace 
them with two new governors to be named or elected by the community and 
to be chosen from among the honest, solvent bourgeois. These new adminis- 
trators were to take over the management of the revenues of the institution 
presenting their accounts anually to the officials of the town or village.^ 

Going even further, an edict published two years later was specifically 
directed against religious-controlled hospitals, contending that they were 
even more poorly directed than the majority of small hospitals. The adminis- 
trators and prelates who governed these institutions often ignored the inten- 
tions of their founders and constantly tried to reroute holdings and funds 
toward themselves or the members of their religious community. Under the 
pretext that they possessed the title to the heritage, the religious communities 
pretended that they could determine how it was to be used. According to the 
King this often led them to "defraud" the poor, refusing them the food and 
subsistence which was their due and driving them toward the cities of the 
kingdom where collections had to be made to feed the hordes of new 
immigrants. Again he asked local justice officials to visit the hospitals of their 
jurisdictions and look into these abuses. In the cases of corruption or of refusal 
to collaborate, they were to name new administrators and place the hospitals 
under the control of the town or village officials.^ 

All of the edicts were repeated at regular intervals throughout the 
sixteenth century.^ That the provisions asking local justice officials to review 
hospital operations were repeated in 1544, 1546, 1553, 1560, 1561, 1566 and 
1579 indicates that the abuses referred to in these edicts continued to pose a 
major problem. But even more problematical was the apparent inability or 
resistance of local officials to carry through on the investigations. The fact 
that the onus was placed on local officials indicates that assistance was seen 
as essentially a local responsibility: it was understood that local communities 



8 / Renaissance and Reformation 



should put their charities in order so that they would be able to care for their 
own poor and sick inhabitants. This principle was clearly stated in the Edict 
of Moulins in February 1566. The king ordered that the funds of local and 
rural hospitals should be "bel et bien dépensés pour les pauvres," and that, 

the poor of each city, town and village should be fed and cared for by those 
of the city, town or village of which they are natives and residents such 
that they will not wander off and request aid elsewhere.^ 

The text went on to state that the inhabitants of each community, 
according to their ability, should contribute to feed their poor and that the 
collections for that purpose should be carried out under the supervision of the 
mayors, councillors, consuls and parish officials. Should the poor need 
treatment for their illnesses in distant town or city hospitals they should obtain 
a certificate to that effect before leaving their village. '^ 

By the end of the century it was clear that such a locally based approach 
to reviewing léproseries and hospitals was not working. Repeated edicts 
indicate that the Crown remained convinced that the outdated léproseries and 
mismanaged hospitals possessed considerable revenues which the local assis- 
tance efforts remained unable to exploit properly. By 1576 the urgency of 
finding ways to demobiUze the troops assembled during the Wars of Religion 
led the Crown to examine the possibility of rerouting what they saw as poorly 
invested hospital funds to use them as a partial pay-off to the military. It was 
this project which Henri IV transformed into a centralized royal commission 
- the Chamber of Christian Charity. 

What was the status of old and physically handicapped soldiers prior to 
the creation of the Maison de la Chanté chrétienne and the Chamber? As 
Jean-Pierre Bois has noted, it should be emphasized that the royal actions in 
1604, as throughout the seventeenth century, continued to confuse the notions 
of age, social hierarchy and physical handicaps due to wartime injuries. The 
1604 edict appHes to "gentilhommes," "estropiés," and "soldats vieux et 
caducs." This lumping together of different categories of former soldiers was 
typical of the approach which preceded the 1 604 reform. ^ ^ From the thirteenth 
century on aid had been granted to old and amputated soldiers under the 
oblats'y a system in which abbeys founded under a royal charter were made 
responsible for taking them in, feeding and caring for them.*^ Under Francis 
I the oblat was extended to all elective abbeys as the number of old and injured 
soldiers increased. This increase in the numbers of injured and handicapped 
soldiers was also due to changes in the methods of warfare. The introduction 
of firearms and the large-scale use of cannons considerably increased the 



Renaissance et Réforme / 9 



number of injuries and of wartime amputees. The need to provide for these 
men after their amputation was one of the objects of the new legislation.^^ 

The system of granting refuge to old and injured soldiers in French 
abbeys was neither unanimously accepted nor approved by the institutions in 
question. The problem of uneven distribution plagued the system as the 
abbeys in the Paris area were overcrowded with veterans while the more 
distant institutions took in fewer and fewer old soldiers. Arguing that the 
morals and habits of the soldiers were incompatible with monastic life, most 
abbots tended to transform their obligations into monetary payments - pen- 
sions - which were granted to the old and amputated soldiers in order to care 
for them at home. Moreover, the places allocated to the oblats or lay-religious 
("religieux laïs") in each abbey could also be occupied by servants or 
members of certain of the monk's families, such that there were not enough 
places or pensions for all the soldiers who had the right to receive them - this 
was the reason that Francis I had increased the number of abbeys responsible 
for granting such aid.^"* 

Beyond these problems of adapting traditional responses to the new 
problems posed, there was the more wide-ranging challenge of reducing the 
royal army of 10,000 men and, of course, scaling down the numerous feudal 
armies. The size of the French army during a few months in 1548 prior to the 
treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis had approached 50,000 men and in 1562 on the 
eve of the Wars of Religion there were 28,000 enrolled. ^^ It is probable that 
the number of regular and irregular soldiers increased dramatically during the 
Civil and Religious wars, and to attain a lasting peace it was necessary to 
reduce these armies and to stimulate recovery to provide for the former 
soldiers who were to be demobilized. Three different measures were taken to 
try to create the impression that the Crown attributed great value to the 
services which the armies had rendered at the same time that their soldiers 
were being disbanded. 

Initially, even as discussions of reducing the army were taking place, the 
king had already begun looking into measures to improve the treatment of old 
and injured soldiers. In May 1596 an arrêt obtained from the King's Council 
by Simon Le Musnier, "syndic des estropiés," ordered that soldiers be housed, 
fed and treated in the hospital which Henri III had turned over to their service 
by a 1577 edict. '^ The second step was taken in 1604 when this same hospital 
was the object of an edict officially designating it as La Maison de la Charité 
chrétienne to house poor gentlemen and amputated veterans. The document 
went on to establish the structure of the institution, granting it revenues to be 
expropriated from the surpluses reported in the annual accounts of local and 



10 / Renaissance and Reformation 



regional hospitals, from the sums paid by the abbeys for the oblats, and from 
the legal fines which judges ordered to be paid to the poor.^^ To preside over 
the institution and supervise the collection of its revenues, the edict created a 
'bureau' composed of four officiers or "personnes notables" and of four 
gentlemen and old captains. They were to seek out the revenues for the 
institution and to decide upon the admission of the injured and amputated 
veterans and eventually to establish other houses and hospitals in the prov- 
inces.^^ Finally, the difficulties experienced by this 'bureau' in carrying out 
the tasks specified in the edict seem to have led to the third initiative, the 1606 
creation of the Chamber of Christian Charity - a veritable royal commission 
- which seemed to be better structured to carry out its responsibilities than 
the previous measures. As with the 1604 'bureau,' it was to expropriate all or 
portions of the funds held by abbeys, léproseries or mismanaged hospitals 
and to centralize the management of the oblat, traditionally dispensed by the 
abbeys. 

The control of the Chamber by the direction of the French army was 
clear from the beginning and the Constable of Montmorency, himself, was 
appointed to draw up the list of poor gentlemen and handicapped soldiers who 
were to receive pensions: according to the text of the 1606 document, he was 
to study the gravity of the injury or amputation in each case, the date and place 
where the injury occurred and, on the basis of this inquiry, he was to 
recommend the amount of the annual pension to be attributed to each soldier. 
In drawing up this list Montmorency was to be aided by the Duke d'Epernon, 
Colonel of the French infantry.'^ 

The lists of pensions to be paid were to be transmitted to the Chamber 
of Christian Charity, of which both Montmorency and Epemon were mem- 
bers along with the Cardinal du Perron, the Archbishop of Sens, who sat as 
Grand Aumônier, one Secretary of State, the Sieurs de Rochepot, Souvray 
and Château- Vieux, representing the military orders, four Maîtres de requête 
ordinaires, Louis Durant, Martin Langlois, Jean le Guay and Jacques Merault 
and four Councillors from the Grand Conseil, Défriches, Bautru, Guynet and 
de Bermont.^^ At least seven of the above made up a legal quorum for the 
Chamber and they were to be convened and to meet under the direction of the 
Avocat de V Hôtel du Roi, Gilles de Champhnon.^* 

These officials were to preside over the review and examination of the 
léproseries, poorly-administered hospitals and abbeys which were not 
respecting the oblat. They were to send commissioners to inspect the ques- 
tionable institutions and order the procureurs- généraux to draw up a list of 
all the hospitals, léproseries, maladreries and abbeys of the kingdom, their 



Renaissance et Réforme /Il 



locations and the amounts which the Chamber ordered them to pay in 
pensions. The 1606 edict noted that as a result of this review procedure, the 
judges could condemn, without appeal, any institution to pay up to 500 
livres?^ This system functioned from 1606 to 1610: both the appeals heard 
by the Chamber and the decisions rendered are available in the holdings of 
the Archives Nationales. The appeals were numerous: for 1607 and 1609, the 
years for which the series is almost complete, there were respectively 395 and 
480 appeals lodged, but these included frequent repetitions.^^ The decisions 
concerning certain hospitals, like Mante or Beauvais, were appealed almost 
every two months during the entire existence of the reform, which indicates 
the resistance and obstacles faced by the commission. 

In the functioning of the pension payments, the Grand Aumônier 
received lists of the soldiers whom Montmorency and Épernon judged eligible 
to receive allocations and these soldiers were accorded pensions from the lists 
of the amounts which the abbeys, hospitals and léproseries were ordered to 
pay. The pensions seem to have varied and although I could find none of the 
actual lists drawn up, appeal procedures indicate attributions of between 60 
and 80 livres?^ With the exception of the revenues needed to operate the 
Maison de la Charité chrétienne, the amounts assessed to local abbeys, 
léproseries and hospitals were never transferred to Paris: they were to be paid 
directly in pensions to the eligible poor gentlemen and amputated soldiers 
who lived in the region of each institution and who were given vouchers to 
be honoured by the local administrators. Again, the difficulties with the 
functioning of this system can be seen in the appeals addressed to the 
commission by individual soldiers who had been allocated pension vouchers 
which had been honoured by the local institutions. 

Between 1606 and 1611 241 former soldiers who had been allocated 
pensions from local abbeys or hospitals complained that they were not being 
paid and each of them generally lodged more than one appeal. At the same 
time these appeals indicate the institutions which had been ordered to expro- 
priate funds. The former soldiers singled out 176 abbeys which were not 
respecting their vouchers compared to only eight hospitals or fifteen 
maladreries. For André Corvisier, the fact that there were not more protests 
probably suggests that the total number of pensions created was relatively 
modest, a far cry from the figure of several thousand estimated by Jean 
Marchai, and that the repetitions of the appeals show that few institutions 
actually paid the pensions assessed to them.^^ It also becomes clear that the 
project of suppressing the mismanaged hospitals and maladreries became 
secondary to the goal of reappropriating the oblats owed by the abbeys. 



12 / Renaissance and Reformation 



The appeals and legal procedures to delay and eventually block commis- 
sion decisions appear to have seriously compromised the efforts to fund the 
military pensions. Almost immediately after the death of Henri IV, the whole 
experiment was ended. Funds were no longer to be transfered from lepers as 
well as the poor and sick toward poor gentlemen, amputated veterans and old 
soldiers. A 1611 arrêt by Louis XIII explained this decision noting that 
"experience has taught us that the ordinary expenses and the destruction of 
[hospital] buildings during the recent wars [troubles] were so great that the 
revenues of their foundations were totally insufficient and the review of their 
accounts produced too little revenue to be of any aid to future soldiers." The 
document went on to claim that the oblat was sufficient to maintain old and 
handicapped veterans. ^^ This arrêt was completed by 1612 patent letters 
which restated the necessity of continuing to review the accounts of local 
léproseries and hospitals, but ordered that the funds recuperated from these 
inspections should be returned to their original purpose of aiding lepers as 
well as the sick and the poor.^^ 

Why did Louis XIII abandon the policy of according financial aid to old 
and handicapped veterans? The 1611 text argues that, beside the disappoint- 
ing results of the attempts to expropriate abbey and hospital funds for the 
operation, there remained fundamental objections to the use of funds contrib- 
uted to aid the lepers and the poor in order to pay veterans pensions. The 
document noted that lepers remained numerous in France and that the prin- 
cipal goal of the foundations was to come to their aid. Charitable groups 
underlined the fact that there were legal problems involved in using funds 
originally donated for one group in order to aid another. In addition, there 
were questions over the right of the Crown to order these transfers. If the 
initial measures were directed at abbeys and hospitals created by royal 
charters, the suppressions were soon extended to other institutions. 

Traditionally the management of the hospitals had been one of the 
responsibilities of religious officials. While royal edicts and municipal 
authorities had tried to replace the ecclesiastics who governed hospitals 
during the first part of the sixteenth century, the Church had never accepted 
this new policy. The appeals lodged by the abbeys and hospitals against the 
expropriations and suppressions ordered by the Chamber frequently ques- 
tioned the right of the king to intervene in hospital affairs and referred to the 
illegality of the whole procedure. It seems to have been the issue of legality 
rather than the poor results obtained by the commission which led Louis XIII 
to abandon the Chamber of Christian Charity. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 13 



Certainly legal issues and royal rights rarely posed a major problem to 
Henri IV. As with most of the issues seen as creating royal absolutism, the 
king saw the question in eminently practical terms. The need to de-escalate 
and demobilize both royal and feudal armies and the necessity of retiring old 
soldiers and lodging amputees who otherwise could cause social disorder led 
him to reactivate Henri Ill's project of the Maison de la Charité chrétienne 
to be financed from the long-contested foundations for lepers. Enlarging this 
project, he created a royal commission to review systematically the function- 
ing of all the hospitals and léproseries of France in order to distribute veterans 
pensions from their unneeded funding. In all of this project, Henri IV paid 
little attention to his right to carry out such transfers or distributions, to the 
legal position of the original donors of the funds he ordered expropriated, or 
to the independent status of the hospitals whose management was contested. 
The legal and procedural obstacles confronted by this initial attempt at a 
centralized review of the budgets and the functioning of local institutions of 
charity in order to expropriate their "unneeded" funds was far from a resound- 
ing success. It could be questioned whether this failure was due to the 
incapacity of a primitive bureaucracy unable to touch local rights and privi- 
leges or to the clumsy structuring of the Chamber's mandate. In either case 
it certainly demonstrates the blocages to extentions of the Crown's power and 
the limits to the renewal of the "State" under Henri IV. 

Université de Moncton 

Notes 

1. André Corvisier. Armées et sociétés en Europe de 1494 à 1789 (Paris: Presses 
Universitaires de France, 1976), p. 57. 

2. Royal Edict, July 1604, Archives Nationales [hereafter AN] mm. 233. The creation of 
this Maison de la Charité chrétienne followed through on an earlier project announced 
by Henri III in patent letters issued in October 1 576 to create a home for old soldiers 
on the site of the Enfants Rouges, an institution to educate poor orphans. Henri Ill's 
patent letters announced several other elements of his successor's program, like a 
special commission composed of presidents of the Parlement de Paris to look into 
abuses in the administration of local hospitals. See "Lettres patentes," October 1576, 
AN, mm. 233, 

3. Edict du Roy faict en faveur des pauvres gentilshommes ... (Paris, June 1606), AN, 
AD+ 141, pièce 4. 

4. Robert Favreau. "La pauvreté en Poitou et en Anjou à la fin du Moyen Age," in Michel 
Mollat, éd. Études sur l 'histoire de la pauvreté (Moyen Age-XVI^ siècle), 2 vols. (Paris: 
Publications de la Sorbonne, 1974), 1, 589-620; Jean-Marc Bienvenu. "Pauvreté, 
misère et charité en Anjou aux XF et XIF siècles," Le Moyen Age, 72 ( 1 966), 389-425; 
Georges Duby. "Les pauvres des campagnes dans l'Occident médiéval jusqu'au XIII* 



14 / Renaissance and Reformation 



siècle," Revue d'Histoire de l'Église de France, 52 (1%6), 25-32; Michel MoUat. Les 
pauvres au Moyen Age (Paris: Hachette, 1978). 

5. Michel Foucault. Histoire de la folie à l'âge classique (Paris: Pion, 1961), pp. 13-14. 

6. "Edit attribuant aux baillis, sénéchaux et autres Juges la surveillance de l'administration 
des hôpitaux et maladreries," Fontainebleau, 19 December 1543, in Isambert et al. 
Recueil général des anciennes lois françaises depuis l'an 426 jusqu'à la Révolution 
de 1789, 29 vols. (Paris, 1827), XII, 841-43. 

7. "Edit ordonnant que tous administrateurs d^hopitaux seront tenus de rendre compte 
aux prochains juges des lieux ... ," St-Germain-en-Laye, 15 January 1545, in Isambert, 
XII, 897-900. 

8. The Edict of Fontainebleau was repeated on 19 May and 17 June 1544, 26 February 
1546, 12 February 1553, 25 July 1560, December 1560, April 1561, July 1566 and in 
1579. The Edict of St-Germain-en-Laye was modified in the Edict of Rochefort, 26 
February 1546, encouraging baillis and sénéchaux to establish commissioners in their 
jurisdictions to carry out the visits and reforms of the maladeries and hôpitaux. 

9. "Ordonnance sur la reforme de la justice," Moulins, February 1 566, in Isambert, XIV, 
209. 

10. Ibid„2\0-\. 

11. Jean-Pierre Bois. "Le vieillard dans la France moderne, XVII^'"*-XVIII^'"® siècles. 
Essai de problématique pour une histoire de la vieillesse," Histoire Économique et 
Sociale, 1 (1984), 76-77. 

12. Geneviève Voitel-Grenon. "La Chambre de la generalle reformation des hôpitaux, 
hotels-dieu et maladreries de France, 1612-1672," dissertation. École des Chartes 
(Paris, 1973), pp. 150-1. 

13. Robert Chaboche has provided a very detailed study of handicapped soldiers during 
the Thirty Years War and there is no reason to believe that the problem was less evident 
during the Wars of Religion.. See "Les soldats français de la Guerre de Trente Ans, 
une tentative d'approche," Revue d'Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, XX (janv.- 
mars 1973), 11-24. 

14. Claire Guérin. "Une tentative de réforme militaire et hospitalière, 1672-1693: son 
application en Normandie," dissertation. École des Chartes (Paris, 1975), p. 110. 

1 5. Ferdinand Lot. Recherches sur les effectifs des armées françaises des Guerres d'Italie 
aux Guerres de Religion, 1492-1562 (Paris: SEVPEN, 1962), pp. 186 and 190. 

16. Robert Chaboche. "Le sort des militaires invalides avant 1674," chapter II in Les 
Invalides. Trois siècles d'histoire (Paris: Musée de l'Armée, 1974), p. 130. 

17. In his Economies, Sully noted the reasons for this royal intervention, "le roy n'estimant 
pas que des capitaines mal payez, des soldats négligez ... portassent jamais grande 
aimitié à ceux qui les emploieraient, ... se résolut de préparer des moyens pour 
lessouldoyer suffisament, et leur subvenir en leurs nécessitez, playes et maladies" 
(1604), in Sully, Economies, éd. Michaud, vol. 1, p. 620, col. 2. 

1 8. Edit du Roy pour la création de la Maison de la Charité chrétienne (Paris, July 1 604), 
AN, mm. 233. 

19. Edict du Roy faict en faveur des pauvres gentilshommes ... (Paris, June 1606), AN, 
AD+ 141, pièce 4, pp. 7-8. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 15 



20. The names of the four Conseillers au Grand Conseil are not indicated in the edict, but 
they are listed on the first page of the "Premier registre de la Chambre de la Charité 
chrétienne," samedi, 5 août 1606, AN, V7 148, f» 1. 

21. /^/^.,ff. 10-11. 

22. Ibid.Jf. 12-13. 

23. Minutes des enquêtes, 1607, AN, V7 126, 216 folios; 1609, AN, V7 127, 220 folios. 

24. See François de la Barre vs l'Hôpital de Donzy, 19 November 1609, AN, V7 127; and 
Leonard Conault vs le Prieur de N-D de Jorgny, 31 March 1609, AN V7 127, f» 71. 

25. André Corvisier,. "Anciens soldats, oblats, mortes-payés et mendiants dans la première 
moitié du XVIF siècle," 97^ Congrès National des Sociétés Savantes. Nantes, histoire 
moderne (Paris, 1977), vol. 1, 12-16 and 23-25. 

26. Arrêt de Louis XIII, 1 September 161 1, AN, AD+ 152. 

27. Lettres patentes sur la reformation generalle des hôpitaux, hôtels-Dieu, maladreries et 
autres lieux pitoyables du Royaume, 24 October 1612, AN, AD XIV, 1. 



Henri IV et les Jésuites 



CLAUDE SUTTO 



Résunîé:L^5 relations entre la Compagnie de Jésus et Henri IV ont été 
marquées pendant près de quinze ans par des malentendus, des accidents de 
parcours, plus encore par des pressions qui s 'exerçaient sur celle-ci comme 
sur celui-là et qui témoignaient à la fois de l'existence de préjugés et de peurs 
que de l 'importance des grandes questions débattues à cette époque: Réforme 
catholique, libertés gallicanes, tyrannicide, relations entre l'Église et l'État. 
En réalité, le roi comme les Je suite s français savaient fort bien qu 'ils avaient 
intérêt à s'entendre, ce qu'ils firent d'ailleurs en 1603 lorsque Henri IV 
promulgua l'Edit de Rouen. 



T 



raiter d'Henri IV et de la Compagnie de Jésus, c'est aborder bien 
davantage que l'histoire des relations entre un souverain et un ordre reli- 
gieux.' Certes, celle-ci comme celui-là se trouvaient dans une situation qui 
ne laissait pas que d'être difficile. Elle faisait l'objet de vastes débats aussi 
contradictoires que passionnés, teintés, il est vrai, d'une jalousie qu'on se 
gardait bien d'exprimer, et que semblaient déjà justifier une réussite excep- 
tionnelle, mais également une réputation nourrie des noirs desseins qu'on se 
plaisait à lui imputer. Quant à Henri IV, huguenot relaps et excommunié, et, 
comme tel, honni par la papauté et par une bonne partie des catholiques 
français, au point où son trône était peu assuré et sa vie constamment 
menacée, il ne pouvait s'imposer qu'en reconquérant un royaume qui lui 
échappait encore et en se réconciliant avec une Eglise qui n'entendait pas 
passer facilement l'éponge sur son passé. Sur les différends entre la Com- 
pagnie, vouée irrémédiablement à la défense du catholicisme, et le Béarnais, 
peu scrupuleux en matière de fidélité religieuse, il y aurait sans doute déjà 
matière à épiloguer. Toutefois, ces relations laissaient apparaître en filigrane 
la trace de quelques-unes des grandes questions débattues à cette époque, 
qu'elles s'imposassent par la force des choses ou qu'on les invoquât pour 
corser le débat: Réforme catholique, tyrannicide, statut de l'Université, 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 4 ( 1 993) 17 



18/ Renaissance and Reformation 



libertés gallicanes, relations entre l'Église et l'État. Ce large éventail de 
questions, dont l'importance, il faut bien le dire, était à l'époque fondamen- 
tale, ouvrait la porte à divers acteurs qui intervenaient pour faire valoir leurs 
points de vue, pour tenter même d'infléchir, qui le roi, qui les Jésuites, quand 
ils ne cherchaient pas à se substituer à eux ou, à tout le moins, parler en leur 
nom pour prétendre mieux les défendre. Quels qu'aient été ses sentiments 
profonds, le roi ne pouvait se dispenser de tenir compte de l'opinion du 
Parlement de Paris, et les Jésuites français de leurs supérieurs romains et du 
pape. Ces intervenants ne contribueront pas peu à obscurcir ou à compliquer 
le débat, voire à le détourner, et en tout cas, à tenter de retarder indéfini- 
ment une solution satisfaisante. La situation française pouvait, à condition 
d'y faire quelques entorses, présenter des similitudes avec ce que d'au- 
cuns croyaient pouvoir observer à l'extérieur du royaume, ce qui justifiait 
que les tenants de l'un ou de l'autre parti, mais, en vérité, surtout les 
ennemis des Jésuites, invoquassent telle ou telle opinion, tel ou tel 
événement pour servir de caution ou de repoussoir à la cause qu'ils 
défendaient. En dépit de tous ces obstacles, apparemment insurmonta- 
bles, Henri IV et les Jésuites, bien que parfois en délicatesse, ne rompront 
jamais, et ils réussiront en fin de compte à s'entendre, parce que leurs 
intérêts réciproques l'exigeaient, en dépit de tous ceux qui s'efforçaient de 
les en empêcher. Il semble bien, en tout cas, que les crises les plus graves 
où ils furent impliqués, n'ont pas été souhaitées et encore moins déclenchées 
par eux. 

* * * 

La situation des Jésuites paraissait solide. Ils pouvaient compter depuis 
leur arrivée en France sur des alliés qui ne manquaient point de poids. Nombre 
d'évêques, inquiets du danger que présentaient les Huguenots leur étaient 
acquis et les réclamaient dans leur diocèse soit pour y prêcher, soit pour y 
fonder un collège.^ L'un d'entre eux, d'ailleurs, Guillaume du Prat, évêque 
de Clermont, leur avait légué la demeure parisienne des évêques de cette ville 
pour qu'ils pussent y ouvrir un collège. Ainsi soutenus, les Jésuites firent 
florès, ce qui leur valut de subir maintes avanies et jalousies. Les Huguenots 
pouvaient se sentir à bon droit menacés; nombreux étaient les catholiques qui 
ne pensaient pas autrement, soit qu'ils fussent habités par des sentiments 
gallicans, soit qu'ils craignissent tout simplement la ruine de l'Université ou 
l'inféodation de la France à l'Espagne, patrie d'Ignace de Loyola, ou à la 
papauté. Les guerres de religion et la mise en oeuvre de la réforme tridentine 
ne contribuèrent pas peu à alimenter ces craintes. Et il était de notoriété 



Renaissance et Réforme / 19 



publique que TAngleterre, l'Allemagne, les Pays-Bas néerlandais, la Répu- 
blique de Venise, l'Espagne même craignaient, à des titres divers, l'influence 
de la Compagnie.^ Il n'est pas jusqu'à certains papes qui s'efforcèrent de 
modifier les Constitutions.^ Les ennemis de la Compagnie en France surent 
utiliser ces renseignements le moment venu. 

Dès lors que l'on eut assimilé la Compagnie de Jésus à la Réforme 
catholique, la défense des libertés gallicanes servit le plus souvent de prétexte 
et de justification pour la combattre. Certes le gallicanisme^ n'était pas une 
doctrine parfaitement définie et circonscrite, mais plutôt un ensemble de 
pratiques, d'intérêts, de sentiments, voire de réflexes qui variaient plus ou 
moins d'intensité selon les époques. Si l'on prend pour acquis que ses points 
les plus importants étaient le retour aux anciens canons, la supériorité du 
concile sur le pape, l'indépendance du roi au temporel, tous ne les mesuraient 
pas à la même aune et ne les défendaient pas avec la même ardeur. En un mot, 
selon que l'on était théologien, évêque, robin, les libertés gallicanes n'avaient 
pas le même sens ni la même extension. Les robins du Parlement de Paris 
étaient particuHèrement sourcilleux lorsqu'il s'agissait de la défense de ces 
libertés. Par leurs arrêts, notamment contre la réception des canons tridentins, 
et surtout par leurs ouvrages, ils mirent tout en oeuvre pour les justifier ou 
pour les promouvoir. Le plus célèbre de ceux-ci, remarquable par sa concision 
et sa clarté, est le Traictez des droicts et libertez de l'Eglise gallicane de Pierre 
Pithou,^ maintes et maintes fois réédité; d'autres, plus documentés, connaî- 
tront également un grand succès.^ 

Cette promotion des Ubertés gallicanes allait de pair avec la lutte contre 
les Jésuites, encore que l'on pût être Gallican sans être nécessairement hostile 
à la Compagnie de Jésus. La faction la plus intraitable du Parlement de Paris 
estimait que ceux-ci étaient non seulement le fer de lance de la réforme 
tridentine, mais aussi les adversaires les plus dangereux du pouvoir monar- 
chique. Elle profita de toutes les occasions qui lui étaient offertes pour 
s'efforcer, avec opiniâtreté et méthode, de réduire l'influence de la Compa- 
gnie. C'est elle qui réussit à faire bannir les Jésuites du ressort du Parlement 
de Paris après l'attentat de Chastel en 1594,^ qui s'opposa violemment à leur 
rappel et qui, après l'assassinat d'Henri IV en 1610, lança le grand débat sur 
les soi-disant thèses tyrannicides de la Compagnie. Mais la lutte des parle- 
mentaires contre la Compagnie de Jésus témoignait paradoxalement d'une 
double préoccupation: crainte de voir un jour le roi disparaître à la suite d'un 
assassinat et sa succession échoir à un mineur, ce qui, à toutes fins utiles, ne 
pouvait que conduire à une période de turbulence politique; volonté aussi de 



20 / Renaissance and Reformation 



combattre l'absolutisme naissant en tentant de contrôler, autant que faire se 
pouvait, la politique religieuse du roi. 

Sans épouser nécessairement toutes les revendications des robins, l'U- 
niversité de Paris combattait aussi les Jésuites, mais davantage pour défendre 
son prestige et ses privilèges de premier corps d'enseignement du royaume. 
Déjà en 1565, l'Université avait tenté d'empêcher le Collège de Clermont 
d'être intégré en son sein. Elle avait alors fait appel à un jeune avocat gallican, 
Etienne Pasquier, qui prononça pour l'occasion un Plaidoye^ qui valut à son 
auteur une grande renommée. Elle récidiva en 1594, en tentant, cette fois-ci, 
de faire fermer le Collège de Clermont. Dans l'un comme dans l'autre cas, le 
Parlement refusa de se prononcer. Etait-ce parce que les robins ne jugeaient 
pas les arguments avancés par les avocats de l'Université suffisamment 
convaincants, ou parce que les alliés de la Compagnie avait été assez habiles 
pour écarter le danger? 



La monarchie avait, au départ, entretenu de bonnes relations avec la 
Compagnie. Henri II avait signé des lettres patentes en 1551, qui avaient été 
renouvelées par François P^ en dépit de l'opposition de l'Université et des 
réserves du Parlement. Henri III qui eut, en la personne du père Auger, un 
confesseur jésuite, n'en témoigna pas moins une grande méfiance à l'endroit 
de la Compagnie. ^^ Les sympathies ligueuses des pères Matthieu, Sammier, 
Pigenat et Crichton, en particulier, n'y étaient sans doute pas étrangères, mais 
il pensait aussi que les Jésuites ne pouvaient être acceptés en France que s'ils 
renonçaient à se mêler des affaires d'Etat et consentaient à devenir français. 
Henri IV eut les mêmes exigences un quart de siècle plus tard, ce qui pourrait 
laisser croire que c'était bien là le sentiment du pouvoir monarchique. 

Sitôt qu'il eut accédé à la couronne, Henri IV se devait sans doute de 
poursuivre des relations qui, somme toute, n'étaient pas mauvaises. Toutefois 
sa situation politique autant que son statut religieux ne lui laissaient pas une 
grande marge de manoeuvre. Brouillé avec Rome, il aurait dû l'être aussi avec 
la Compagnie. En réalité les choses se passèrent d'une manière passablement 
différente. La papauté ne désespérait pas de voir Henri IV redevenir catholi- 
que. Pouvait-elle d'ailleurs se permettre de battre froid bien longtemps à un 
roi aussi puissant? Quant à Henri IV, il n'était pas sans savoir qu'il devait 
trouver un moyen de revenir au sein de l'Église catholique, pour autant que 
les conditions ne fussent point trop déshonorantes pour lui. La Compagnie de 
Jésus, enfin, se devait d'épouser officiellement l'attitude de la papauté. 
Aquaviva recommanda aux siens de se garder de toute intervention inoppor- 



Renaissance et Réforme / 21 



tune. Toutefois, ses membres français qui devaient subir les avanies suscitées, 
d'une part par la collusion de certains d'entre eux avec une Ligue en pleine 
déroute, de l'autre par l'existence d'un parti anti-jésuite qui attendait son 
heure, qui craignaient en outre pour l'existence même des nombreux établis- 
sements de la Compagnie en France, comprenaient mieux que leurs supérieurs 
romains la nécessité d'une entente rapide, négociée sans que nul ne perde la 
face. Sans doute aussi, étaient-ils conseillés en ce sens par leurs amis français, 
clercs comme laïques, tout aussi soucieux qu'eux d'en venir à une entente et 
de préserver l'essentiel de l'acquis de la Compagnie. Aussi, sans attendre des 
instructions précises en ce sens, certains Jésuites comme Possevino, qui 
n'était pas d'ailleurs l'un des moindres, entreprirent d'oeuvrer pour l'absolu- 
tion du roi et sa réconciliation avec la papauté, tandis que les Jésuites de Paris 
décidaient de prêter serment de fidélité au roi. Cette attitude conciliante, sans 
doute parce qu'elle allait au rebours de leurs attentes, ne pouvait qu'irriter 
davantage les ennemis de la Compagnie, bien décidés à tirer parti de toutes 
les occasions qui s'offraient. L'attentat de Barrière en 1593 et le procès de 
1594 ne comblèrent point leurs attentes, et ce n'est pas faute d'une publicité 
tapageuse destinée à frapper l'opinion publique et qui se poursuivit jusqu'en 
1603. 

L' attentat de Chastel, au contraire, apparut comme providentiel. Aussitôt 
imputé aux Jésuites, il permit aux ennemis de la Compagnie de la chasser du 
ressort du Parlement de Paris et de condamner à la potence le Père Guignard, 
avec force justifications, distillées dans d'innombrables pamphlets. Survenu 
au moment où le roi, le pape et la Compagnie étaient sur le point de se 
réconcilier officiellement, cet événement embrouilla à ce point les affaires 
que l'on fut obUgé de tout recommencer, ou presque. Sans doute Henri IV 
garda-t-il longtemps quelque rancune contre les Jésuites, si l'on en croit 
certains témoignages, mais il se garda bien de prendre des mesures hostiles 
contre la Compagnie. Ni le pape, ni Aquaviva, en dépit des pressions espa- 
gnoles, ne fulminèrent quelque condamnation que ce soit, tandis que Com- 
molet, Sirmond, Tolet et Possevino s'employèrent à hâter l'absolution du roi 
qui fut acquise en 1595. 

L'attitude du roi comme celle des Jésuites était parfaitement logique. 
Elle leur permettait, en dépit de toutes les traverses, de poursuivre des 
relations dont chacun d'entre eux reconnaissait exactement l'importance. 
Henri IV, qui avait déjà pardonné aux Ligueurs - mais à quel prix! -, qui 
s'apprêtait à réintégrer officiellement les Huguenots dans la société française 
par l'Edit de Nantes, qui demeurait coi devant les objurgations de la papauté 
à faire accepter en France les décrets disciplinaires du concile de Trente, qui 



22 / Renaissance and Reformation 



attendait enfin le règlement de son divorce d'avec Marguerite de Valois, ne 
pouvait se permettre d'être arrogant. Bien au contraire. En 1599, il intervint 
brutalement pour empêcher le Parlement de Paris de faire fermer le collège 
de Toumon. Quant aux Jésuites, ils s'efforcèrent toujours de dégager sa 
responsabilité dans cette affaire, sachant fort bien que, au milieu de tant 
d'ennemis, le roi était, par la force des choses, celui sur lequel ils pouvaient 
le mieux s'appuyer. 

Qui, mieux que le père Richeome, dans cinq ouvrages parus entre 1595 
et 1603, sut exposer avec habileté et érudition la pensée des Jésuites français 
sur la question?^ ^ Concilier les intérêts de la Compagnie avec ceux du 
royaume sans heurter les tenants d'une stricte orthodoxie, exalter la puissance 
du roi tout en le mettant en garde contre des conseillers plus soucieux de 
combattre la Compagnie qu'attentifs à son intérêt, montrer que les Jésuites 
étaient en fin de compte ses meilleurs alliés, faire état de leur constant 
patriotisme, condamner vigoureusement la faction gallicane du Parlement 
sans égratigner celui-ci, exposer et justifier l'attitude de la Compagnie avant 
la conversion d'Henri IV, se démarquer, sans toutefois les renier, des écrits 
des Jésuites les plus intransigeants comme Sa. ^^ Il n'est pas dit que les Jésuites 
romains aient apprécié à sa juste valeur cet appel à la conciliation. 

Il porta pourtant fruit puisque les négociations pour le retour de la 
Compagnie, amorcées en 1595, se poursuivirent presque continûment jus- 
qu'en 1603. Dès 1600, le roi ôta au Parlement le dossier pour le confier à son 
Conseil. 

Les robins gallicans avaient en tout cas parfaitement compris la stratégie 
des Jésuites. Pressentant qu'un accord était proche, ils s'efforcèrent de mettre 
le roi en garde contre la Compagnie et de l'inciter à se reposer sur le 
Parlement. Dans deux ouvrages qui firent date dans l'histoire de l' anti-jésui- 
tisme, Amauld^^ et Pasquier^"^ illustrent bien ce que pouvait être le sentiment 
des Gallicans à l'endroit de la Compagnie, qu'ils accusaient d'avoir créé des 
institutions incompatibles avec celles de l'Église universelle, de commettre 
partout les pires méfaits, jusqu'à la faute majeure du régicide, de pactiser avec 
l'Espagne, de séduire parents et élèves pour mieux embrigader ceux-ci dans 
leurs collèges, d'agir par duperie et dissimulation. ... le catalogue de leurs 
turpitudes était infini. Une grande partie de ce discours était déjà en place 
depuis 1565. Toutefois, jamais n'avait-on aussi bien fouillé le passé de la 
Compagnie et surtout l'étendue géographique de son action. En internationa- 
lisant en quelque sorte l'influence de la Compagnie de Jésus, Amauld et 
Pasquier étaient amenés à décrire les réactions qu'elle avait suscitées, et, 
partant, à postuler l'existence d'une similitude entre la situation française et 



Renaissance et Réforme / 23 



celle qui prévalait en Angleterre, aux Pays-Bas ou dans la République de 
Venise. Celle-ci n'avait-elle pas chassé les Jésuites de l'Université de Padoue 
en 1591? Les Appellants anglais, catholiques qui entendaient demeurer 
fidèles à la monarchie, ne subissaient-ils pas la férule du jésuite Blackwell, 
ce qui les avait incités à chercher des appuis en France?^^ L'observation ne 
manquait pas de pertmence. En 1607, au moment de l'Interdit de Venise, Sarpi 
trouva appui auprès de Gillot, Leschassier et Richer. ^^ Après l'assassinat 
d'Henri IV en 1610, les Gallicans fondirent sur les écrits politiques du 
cardinal Bellarmin, déjà écharpés par les Anglais, notamment Jacques P"" et 
John Donne. ^^ 

Mais rien n'y fit. Henri IV était bien décidé à conclure un accord, mais, 
en même temps, il estimait que cet accord ne pouvait se faire qu'entre 
Français. C'est ainsi qu'il négocia directement les clauses de l'Édit de Rouen 
avec les pères Armand et Coton, au grand dépit d'Aquaviva, du pape, du 
nonce qui se virent écartés du dossier, et avertis alors que tout était conclu. 
En fait, la Compagnie retrouvait tout ce qu'elle avait perdu, moyennant quoi 
elle devait promettre de respecter les institutions ecclésiastiques et poUtiques 
françaises et surtout devenir française. 

Dès lors la Compagnie allait prospérer en grande partie grâce à l'action 
du père Coton qui devint le confesseur du roi. Les collèges de Clermont, de 
Rouen et de Bordeaux rouvrirent alors que furent fondés ceux de Moulins, 
Embrun, Carpentras, Poitiers, Caen et surtout La Flèche. 

Cette paix obtenue, ni le roi, ni les Jésuites n'avaient intérêt à la rompre, 
tandis que le Parlement, faute d'en avoir l'occasion attendait son heure. 
Lorsque le De rege et regis institutione^^ de Mariana commença à circuler à 
Paris en 1605, il se vit dénoncé sur le champs par Richeome qui s'en plaignit 
à Aquaviva. Les congrégations provinciales de Paris et de Lyon manifestèrent 
également leur inquiétude devant des propos qui risquaient d'offenser le roi 
et de fournir au Parlement les armes dont il avait besoin pour reprendre les 
hostiUtés. Il fallut la mort d'Henri IV pour que les Jésuites se vissent à 
nouveau accusés de régicide par le Parlement, mais cette fois, le roi n'était 
plus là pour imposer une politique de modération. 

Université de Montréal 

Notes 

1. Pour l'histoire de la Compagnie de Jésus en France, voir H. Fouqueray, Histoire de la 
Compagnie de Jésus en France (Paris, Picard, 1910-1913), tomes I et II. 



24 / Renaissance and Reformation 



2. M. Venard, "Y a-t-il une stratégie scolaire des Jésuites en France au XVF siècle?," 
dans L'Université de Pont-à-Mousson et les problèmes de son temps (Nancy, 1974), 
p. 67-85. 

3. W. B. Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus (St. Louis, The Institute of Jesuit 
Sources, 1972), chap. 2 et 3. 

4. G. Lewey, "The Struggle for Constitutional Government in the Early Years of the 
Society of Jesus," Church History, XXIX (1960), pp. 141-160. 

5. Voir: K. Ganzer, "Gallikanismus und romische Primatsauffassung im Widerstreit," 
Historisches Jahrbuch, 33 (1989), pp. 109-163; J. Powis, "Gallican Liberties and the 
Politics of later Sixteenth-Century France," Ibid., 26 (1982), pp. 515-530; C. Sutto, 
"Tradition et innovation, réalisme et utopie: l'idée gallicane à la fin du XVF et au début 
du XVIF siècles," Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme, 8 (1984), 
pp. 278-297. 

6. Paris, Mamert Pâtisson, 1594. 

7. A. Hotman, Traité des libertez de l'Église gallicane (Paris. Robinot, 1608); J. Leschas- 
sier. De la liberté ancienne et canonique de l'Eglise gallicane (Paris, C. Morel, 1606); 
É. Pasquier,L^5 Recherches de la France (Amsterdam: Les Libraires associés, 1 723), 
livre III. 

8. Notons ici que les Parlements de province ne suivirent pas tous l'exemple du Parlement 
de Paris. Voir C. Sutto, "Quelques conséquences politiques de l'attentat de Jean 
Chastel," Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme,! (1977), pp. 136- 
154. 

9. Paris, Abel l'Angelier, 1594. 

10. Voir A. Lynn Martin, Henry HI and the Jesuit Politicians, (Genève, Droz, 1973). 

11. La vérité défendue (Francfort, Wilhem der Sclaffer, 1595); Très humble remonstrance 
(Bordeaux, Simon Millanges, 1598); Response de René de la Fon (Villefranche, 
Guillaume Grenier, 1599); La chasse du renard Pasquin (Villefranche: Hubert Le 
Pelletier, 1602); Plainte apologétique (Bordeaux, Simon Millanges, 1603). 

12. Aphorismi confessoriorum (Tolède, 1599). 

13. Le franc et véritable discours au roy, sur le restablissement qui luy est demandé pour 
les Jésuites (s.l., 1602). Voir aussi: M. De Waele, Les opinions politiques d'un avocat 
français à la fin des guerres de Religion, Antoine Arnauld, mémoire de maîtrise. 
Université de Montréal, 1988. 

14. Le Catéchisme des Jésuites (1602), éd. C. Sutto (Sherbrooke, Éditions de l'Université 
de Sherbrooke, 1982). 

15. J. Bossy, "Henri IV, the Appellants and the Jesuits," Recusant History, VIII (1965-6), 
p. 80-122. 

16. B. Ulianich, Paolo Sarpi, Lettere ai Gallicani (Wiesbaden, Franz Steiner Verlag, 
1961). 

17. John Donne, Pseudo-Martyr, éd. A. Raspa, (Montréal/Kingston, McGill-Queens Uni- 
versity Press, 1993). 

18. Tolède: 1599. réimprimé à Mayence en 1605. 



Représentation allégorique d'Henri IV rex 

imperator 



MARIE-FRANCE WAGNER 



Résumé: C'est à partir de deux images que nous étudions la représentation 
d'Henri /Vrex imperator. La première, gravée en 1602 et réutilisée quelque 
sept années plus tard, est doublement allégorique; elle met en scène Henri 
IV à la fois Hercule et Alexandre. La description du premier arc de triomphe 
de l'Entrée en Avignon de 1600 peut lui servir de support scriptural. La 
seconde est un portrait mythologique d'Henri IV en Mars, qui foule à ses 
pieds ses armes devenues inutiles. Ces images symboliques s'efforcent de 
présenter le roi converti, puis sacré, dans sa fonction de pacificateur (vain- 
queur des guerres civiles politico-religieuses) et de restaurateur de la mo- 
narchie. Elles représentent la grandeur royale. 

Au Roy. Sonnet 

Sire, vous ne deviez pour le bien de la France 

Régner en autre temps: & si ne deviez pas, 

A votre advenement, avoir d'autres esbas, 

Qu'à venger d'un sujet la criminelle offense. 

Ainsi le grand Alcide esprouvait sa puissance. 

Sur les monstres felons, ainsi par vos combats 

Vous foudroyez la Ligue, & renversez à bas. 

Ses monstres révoltez, qui d'elle ont pris naissance. 

Un plus grand roi que vous, on ne pouvait avoir. 

On ne pouvait aussi plus de rebelles voir. 

Pour servir d'exercice à votre main guerrière. 

Que n'avez- vous permis, ô Dieu! Que ce grand Mars, 

Fist ailleurs arborer ses braves étendars, 

Pour joindre à votre France une terre étrangère?^ 



N. 



ous avons retenu deux images d'une iconographie fort riche où aucun 
attribut n'est oublié pour illustrer le roi victorieux, ses vertus, le souverain 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 4 ( 1 993) 25 



26 / Renaissance and Reformation 



en famille, etc. Nous nous proposons d'étudier la représentation d'Henri IV 
à partir d'une gravure doublement allégorique, celle de Léonard Gaultier: 
Le sceptre de Milice, qui met en scène Henri IV à la fois Hercule, qui a coupé 
la tête de l'hydre, et Alexandre, s'apprêtant à trancher le noeud gordien; la 
description du premier arc de triomphe de l'Entrée de Marie de Médicis en 
Avignon pourrait servir de support scriptural à cette gravure. Et d'un portrait 
mythologique attribué à Ambroise Dubois: Henri IV en Mars, qui foule aux 
pieds ses armes devenues inutiles. Ces images fortement codées sont à base 
de symbolisme humaniste. 

L'allégorie et le portrait sont autant de procédés qui amplifient et 
embellissent les thèmes consacrés et contribuent à la louange d'Henri IV. 
Certes, d'une part, ces représentations participent au panégyrique du roi, 
mais, d'autre part, la survivance de l'image du roi empereur n'est pas 
innocente. En effet, cette idée impériale ne voile-t-elle pas des arrière-pensées 
politiques qui ont surgi des événements de la vie d'Henri de Navarre et des 
faits de son règne? 

Voici d'abord un excursus qui permettra de fixer les données historiques 
du côté de la formule rex imperator. Plus d'un roi a songé à coiffer en plus 
de sa propre couronne la prestigieuse couronne impériale qui ne se donne qu'à 
Rome. C'est, en effet, le pape en personne qui sacre l'empereur: premier rite 
impérial suivi de celui du couronnement. Mais au X^ siècle, l'empire échappe 
définitivement aux descendants de Charlemagne. Cependant les rois de 
France cultivent avec prédilection son souvenir, et se font appeler du titre 
d'honneur très-chrétien (marque particulière de sainteté) qui deviendra l'a- 
panage du seul roi de France et de toute sa race,^ et, à la fin du XV^ siècle, 
un titre de style.-^ Les Carolingiens instituèrent le sacre royal: cérémonie qui 
perd de sa force constitutive au fil des ans, comme en témoigne une première 
analyse juridique de la succession du trône, inspirée par Charles V et traduite 
en français (en 1 378) sous le titre Le Songe du Vergier: long dialogue entre 
un clerc et un chevalier, qui "définit les rapports entre la puissance ecclésias- 
tique et la puissance séculaire."^ On y lit que les rois ne reçoivent "aucun 
novel povez" par le sacre et ils ne sont pas tenus "de se faire oyndre se il ne 
leur plaît pas."'^ Le sacre ne fait que confirmer l'ordre divin de la royauté.^ Et 
par la vertu du chrême contenu dans la Sainte Ampoule,^ le roi acquiert le 
pouvoir de guérir les écrouelles.^ La sacralisation dote la personne "d'une 
aura mystérieuse et d'une force lumineuse," le fruit de ce phénomène 
s'appelle la virtus ("souffle même du règne, force en prise directe à la source, 
celle de la puissance divine"). '^ 



Renaissance et Réforme / 27 



Le sacre royal précède le sacre impérial; il prouve l'indépendance du roi 
par rapport à l'empereur et au pape.'^ Ainsi la royauté française cherche de 
plusenplusà manifester 1 ' absence de toute suprématie de 1 ' Empire et poursuit 
la royauté carolingienne,' ' qu'illustre très bien Gaston Zeller: "Entre 'l'em- 
pereur de France' et son successeur, le roi de France, l'assimilation était 
d'autant plus aisée qu'ils portaient en commun le titre de rex Francorum, 
auquel Charlemagne avait simplement accolé celui d' imperator augustus.''^^ 
La maxime bien frappée "Le roi est empereur en son royaume" est forgée 
avant la fin du XIIP siècle sous le règne de Phlippe IV le Bel.'-^ Le roi, à 
force de persuasion et de propagande, obtint le soutien de l'opinion publique 
contre le pape Boniface VIIL Ainsi l'émergence du concept d'un nouvel État 
découle des accusations d'ingérence dans les affaires intérieures: le royaume 
français est l'élu de Dieu et il constitue le piHer qui soutient l'ÉgUse.*^ 

Le prétendant au trône de France est choisi, d'une part, directement par 
Dieu (ce qui exclut toute intervention du pape ou de l'empereur), son sang 
est sacré; cette caractéristique s'avère "une arme redoutablement efficace aux 
mains de la monarchie. Contre l'empire et la papauté, elle prouve l'indépen- 
dance française. Contre les ennemis du royaume, elle garantit le soutien 
divin." '^ D'autre part, la fameuse loi salique organise la succession à la 
couronne par primogeniture mâle. Ce sont les deux composantes qui se 
dégagent dès l'origine du principe fondateur de la légitimité du pouvoir.'^ 

Cependant les rois continuent de nourrir l'espoir de reprendre la cou- 
ronne impériale. L'impuissance des souverains impériaux entraîne la har- 
diesse de la France; les Allemands accusent celle-ci de vouloir leur disputer 
l'empire, lors des campagnes italiennes, sous Charles VII et Louis XII. A la 
fin du XV^ siècle, "la royauté française manifeste une estime d'elle-même 
qui n'a peut-être pas été dépassée par la suite même au temps de Louis XIV." *^ 
Le Concordat de 1516 faisait de François ¥^ le chef religieux de la France, 
qui en profite pour briguer l'empire lors des élections de 1519, révélant une 
compétition serrée entre le roi et Charles P*^ d'Espagne. Puis le règne d'Henri 
II marque l'apogée de la puissance royale, il manifeste son égalité absolue 
avec l'autorité impériale. Mais l'autorité royale, dont les règles sont remises 
en cause par la Ligue, est emportée par les cruelles guerres de religion; la 
personne royale paraissait jusque là intouchable, car sacrée; cependant, 
l'assassinat d'Henri III est un sacrilège qui porte atteinte à "l'institution du 
Rex chrisîianissimus, révérée non seulement en France, mais dans toute 
l'Europe comme un pilier de l'ordre."'^ Les Ligueurs, apuuyés par le pape 
Sixte-Quint, refusent de reconnaître Henri IV pour roi; c'est Clément VIII 
qui relèvera les sanctions canoniques portées contre le souverain. L'onction 



28 / Renaissance and Reformation 



à Chartres, et non à Reims à cause des circonstances dues à la guerre civile, 
fait roi celui désigné par l'hérédité en 1589, qui doit abjurer auparavant le 
calvinisme en 1593 à Saint-Denis. Henri IV parvient à faire revivre, en partie 
grâce à la paix religieuse, une autorité royale forte. A la fin de son règne, "il 
reprend fort probablement les rêveries exposées à Jacques P*" d'Angleterre en 
1603;"^^ c'est le Grand Dessein de Sully^^ qui propose la redistribution des 
puissances européennes au sein d'une grande "République très chrétienne."^ ^ 
Cette République se donnerait "une force de frappe pour lutter contre les 
nations associées: les Turcs, les Moscovites et la subversion des hérésies."^^ 
La disparition du duc de Clèves, mort sans héritier, provoque des querelles 
entre les protestants, l'empereur et le roi de France qui revendiquent Juliers. 
A cette affaire, Henri IV en arbitre souverain d'Europe tente d'imposer une 
solution personnelle en 1609-1610. 

Le pouvoir royal continue d'évoluer sous l'influence des juristes huma- 
nistes, nourris de l'image idéale de VImperium romanum; il s'y ajoute l'idée 
impériale de pouvoir absolu^^ et celle de roi héroïsé^'*: l'idée antique du 
"héros," demi-dieu dominateur, bienfaisant et juste se glisse dans l'image 
royale. Guillaume Budé énonce dans son Institution du Prince la comparaison 
de César à Alexandre tout en identifiant la République romaine à un gouver- 
nement monarchique: "Jules Cesar, le premier des Césars et celuy qui 
translata en monarchie le gouvernement de Rome, fut homme du plus grand 
cueur et hault esperit dont il soit mémoire en histoire, et qui plus approcha du 
couraige et de la vertu et de la fortune d'Alexandre."^^ Dans l'Institution du 
Prince y à côté d'une réflexion entre la loi et le roi, apparaissent les virtutes 
qui "sont la puissance du combat, et en filigrane, le triomphe, donc la 
gloire"^^: ce goût de la gloire est une caractéristique de la Renaissance qu'une 
procédure d'objectivation personnifie dans le monarque. Ainsi apparaît d'a- 
bord discrètement le couplage moralisateur virtutes/vitia?^ Les vertus élè- 
vent le prince au dessus des autres hommes; par obligation, celui-ci doit être 
vertueux et, par devoir, il doit l'être plus que tous jusqu'à devenir "le mirouër 
dans lequel la vertu se peut voir."^^ Le roi qui, jadis, était une image de Dieu 
sur terre devient en quelque sorte un Dieu-homme. ^^ Les images de la figure 
du prince se transforment en lieux de la quête des vertus et la représentation 
de celles-ci en images éthico-mythologiques. 

Les images sont des instruments au service de la politique, de la gloire 
ou de la religion - les théologiens médiévaux en usaient abondamment pour 
enseigner et convaincre - c'est la monstration de la représentation ecclésiale: 
le "faire voir pour faire croire" de saint Thomas d'Aquin. Fabriquer pour 
illustrer, interpréter et pérenniser un événement ou une institution, l'image. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 29 







Le sceptre de milice 



30 / Renaissance and Reformation 



lieu de comparaison par ressemblance ou dissemblance, permet à la fois 
d'éclairer et de dissimuler. La ressemblance entre l'objet représenté et sa 
représentation, selon la tradition aristotélicienne, fait de l'image perçue une 
illustration du réel effaçant en quelque sorte le statut de la représentation. 
Ainsi, toute intention cachée, véhiculée par la représentation, sera perçue 
comme faisant partie de l'objet réel.-^^ À partir de la réalité, l'image crée une 
fiction à laquelle on veut croire, ou faire croire, comme à une réalité. L'image, 
qui apparaît à un moment déterminé et qui relate une histoire puisée dans un 
répertoire connu, a par conséquent une fonction et un usage précis. L'image 
codée, accumulant de la mémoire, renvoie à des écrits, à des illustrations 
préalables ou simultanées. C'est le cas de la gravure choisie. 

Nous avons répertorié deux gravures identiques de Léonard Gaultier. La 
première publiée, en 1974, par Françoise Bardon - dans Le portrait mytholo- 
gique à la cour de France sous Henri IV et Louis XIIL Mythologie et 
politique^^ - est une représentation allégorique du roi de 1602-^- conservée à 
la Bibliothèque Nationale. La gravure a été reproduite au revers du titre gravé 
par Jacques Granthomme pour Ange Cappel, Maxime, Preuves, Articles, 
Réplique et Ofres. Présentées par le Sr. du Luat Ange Cappel. A Messieurs 
ses Commissaires, Sur la Reformation de la Justice et Abréviation des Procès. 
Par le Restabli s sèment de ses Emoluments, et de V ancien droict Domanial 
des defaux et Amendes. Elle porte l'inscription: "Après l'honneur des Mar- 
tiaux Combats / Faire Justice et trancher les Débats / Garder les bons et punir 
les Cautelles / Des Plaidereaux, sont vertus immoretelles." La gravure est 
aussi conservée aux Estampes Qbl, année 1602, avec la mention: "Portrait 
de Henri IV allégorique au sujet des Règlements qu'il fit cette année, tant 
pour les monnoyes, que contre les Duels, et pour les salaires des avocats et 
procureurs."^^ 

La seconde se trouve au Musée National du Château de Pau (P-56.50.5), 
de 21,3 cm de hauteur et de 15,7 cm de largeur; elle a été publiée dans le 
catalogue des Editions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux: Henri IV et la 
reconstruction du royaume, édité pour le quatrième centenaire de l'avène- 
ment d'Henri IV au trône de France, en 1989.^^-^ Elle y a été reproduite dans 
son intégralité, sans autres marges et sans texte. Elle est signée: L. Gaultier 
fecit, mais elle ne porte pas de date d'exécution, bien qu'elle ait toujours été 
donnée comme étant du début du XVIF siècle (probablement de 1608- 
1609).-^"^ Cette gravure est d'autant plus intéressante qu'elle a été réimprimée 
et qu'elle a traversé les dernières années du règne d'Henri IV.^^^ 

Léonard Gaultier a gravé un Henri IV magnifique, debout, dans ses 
hautes bottes moirées et son harnais richement orfèvre qui se prolonge par 



Renaissance et Réforme / 3 1 



Henri IV en mars 



32 / Renaissance and Reformation 



des cuissards s' articulant en une succession de lames parallèles qui recouvrent 
sa culotte de soie. Des épaulières et de longs brassards complètent T armure. 
Le geste auguste du bras droit armé accentue le hiératisme de la position du 
corps. Autour du cou une fraise à l'espagnole, commune à l'époque. Le visage 
presque de face offre ses traits singuliers. La géométrie construit l'image. 
Tout le personnage s'inscrit dans la verticalité qui partage la largeur de la 
gravure en deux parties égales et qui rejoint, dans le coin supérieur gauche, 
la corde au bout de laquelle est suspendu le noeud gordien: noeud de serpents. 
Parallèle à la corde, l'avant-bras dressé. Dans le coin inférieur droit, la queue 
ondulante de l'hydre, qui pointe, double la demi- verticale de la corde. 

Quatre perpendiculaires coupent l'image. A gauche, l'épée courbe, à la 
turque, et le bras, parallèles, établissent le lien avec la corde du noeud de 
serpents, et expliquent le geste figé. L'inscription centrale - "Le Sceptre de 
MiHce" - divise, au niveau de la taille du roi, la longueur de la gravure en 
deux parties égales. Aux pieds d'Henri IV, d'un côté, le casque à panache et, 
de l'autre, l'hydre décapitée. Les objets, attributs du roi, l'épée et le casque, 
et les images mythologiques, l'hydre et le noeud gordien, ainsi que l'inscrip- 
tion, tous ces signes de niveau référentiel différent forment une combinaison 
inédite et représentent un combat. Le sceptre, comme image de justice, glisse 
dans l'épée qui réduit les méchants sujets de la Ligue; la milice, du latin 
militia, désigne la guerre, le combat. Ainsi s'établit un transfert politique du 
sceptre à l'épée. Et l'on pourrait tracer le carré suivant: le sceptre est au roi, 
ce que l'épée est au combat. Du sceptre à l'épée, il y a donc une assimilation 
allégorique et, du roi au combat, la réalisation d'une image du roi combattant. 
L'ambiguïté est entretenue par l'idée du sceptre comme bâton de combat. Du 
combat étemel de celui qui règne et dont l'immense stature écrase la gravure. 
Ainsi le sceptre iconique et le sceptre scriptural - insigne royal qui marque 
le pouvoir venu verticalement de Dieu^^ - se doublent, se complètent, 
envahissent l'espace et procèdent à la fabrication d'une métaphore princière. 
La milice, au sens dérivé, c'est l'autorité supérieure, dont le sceptre représente 
l'insigne et dont Henri IV est le seul détenteur. 

Cette fameuse gravure relative à l'Édit du roi contre les duels, où Henri 
IV brandit son épée d'Hercule justicier sur l'hydre des querelles, de 1602, est 
interprétée par Françoise Bardon comme un combat figé où Henri IV est seul, 
car "le tête à tête primitif avec la bête est dépassé, la bête n'est plus qu'un 
mot, en bas, au niveau des pieds, relayée par les serpents." Il existe ici une 
relation de contiguïté entre le texte ramassé et l'image qui sont nettement 
séparés. "Après les combats de la guerre, les combats de la paix, disent les 
vers inscrits dans la cartouche."^^ Le roi est une sorte de force supérieure par 



Renaissance et Réforme / 33 



qui le peuple retrouve vie au lendemain de la pacification et de la restauration 
du royaume. Le représenté introduit dans la représentation fusionne avec elle 
et les vertus herculéennes s'incarnent dans l'image d'Henri IV, pour créer 
une allégorie: le nouvel Hercule monarchique, portant la singularité des traits 
d'Henri IV, qui a troqué sa peau de lion, sa massue, sa trousse remplie de 
flèches et portée en écharpe, et son arc d'Hercule gaulois, contre une armure 
d'époque.^^ C'est l'image que le roi tenait à faire transmettre aux puissances 
étrangères et, notamment, à l'Espagne. 

Le texte suivant, qui date de 1601, publié en Avignon, pourrait accom- 
pagner cette gravure, car l'hydre et le noeud gordien y sont inscrits en 
puissance. C'est un extrait du Labyrinthe royal de l'Hercule Gaulois 
triomphant de l'abbé Valladier, représenté à l'entrée de la reine en la 
cité d' Avignon. ^^ 

Hercules défit V hydre. Votre Majesté, par ses mémorables journées d'Arqués, 
d' Yvry, d'Amiens, & autres presque sans nombre a abattu plus d'armées que 
l'Hydre n'avait de goziers; broyant à la moulette de votre coutelas tranchant 
le plus beau vermillon de votre peinture. Hercules chargea le ciel sur ses 
épaules, & vous endossâtes le jour de votre sacre, ce monde de France, où 
brillent les fleurs de lis sur le beau lambris de leur champ azuré, où éclate le 
Soleil de votre gloire. [ . . . ] Vous, Sire, au jour mémorable à toute la 
Chrétienté, que votre Majesté, avec la soumission, & l'obédience d'un roi 
très-chrétien fils aîné de l'église, professe la foi de ses ancêtres, et reçut 
le baiser de paix, la bénédiction, & l'absolution recherchée avec belle 
ferveur, & instance, de sa sainteté; que fîtes vous autre que couper tout à 
fait, le noeud gordien de votre état, et briser une barrière de liens, & de 
chaînes plus épaisses que celles que Sanche le fort Roy de Navarre enfonça 
à la défaite des Arabes; chaînes lesquelles blasonnèrent depuis l'écusson 
du Royaume navarrois, comme les chaînes d'or embellissaient la statue de 
l'ancien Hercule gaulois? (C'est nous qui souhgnons) 

L'entrée triomphale de Marie de Médicis, le 19 novembre 1600 est 
ponctuée de sept arcs de triomphe - éléments de fêtes impériales - dédiés à 
sept dieux, qui rapportent "les plus signalés et héroïques faicts dudit Hercules, 
au sept de sa majesté [ ... ] par lesquels il s'est acheminé à l'immortalité."^ 
L'histoire du roi est mise en parallèle avec celle d'Hercule. La reine doit 
rencontrer le souverain quelques jours plus tard à Lyon. En Avignon, terre 
pontificale, l'entrée de Marie de Médicis revêt une importance particulière: le 
souversin pontif est l'un des artisans du mariage; le thème choisi illustre aussi 
la complexité du parcours poliùque d'Henri IV assimilé à V Hercule Gaulois, 
métaphore traditionnelle des rois de France depuis François P^ 



34 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Hercule estoit, selon Guillaume Budé, éloquence, qui me semble estre 
chose digne de scavoir commémorable, et dit qu'ilz tiroient en peinture 
Hercule de ceste manière. [ . . . ] Et y avoit grant multitude de gens de 
toutes sortes qui le suyvoient comme par force car il les tenoit attachez 
tous par les oreilles à chesnes menues d'or et d'argent, et si se laissoient 
mener voluntiers, et tenoit Hercules les boutz de ces chesnettes en sa 
bouche."*^ 

Ce qui signifie qu'Hercule, étant fort physiquement, peut aussi persuader les 
hommes par la parole - métaphorisée par les flèches de sa trousse. Cette entrée 
théâtralise la vie héroïque du roi tout en exaltant T alliance de Rome et de la 
France. 

Le premier arc du Labyrinthe, présenté et dédié à Mars, c'est-à-dire à la 
vaillance et à la force du roi, a pour sujet l'hydre de Leme. Il signifie que la 
Providence seule mène le monde. Le nouvel Hercule-roi abat les monstres et 
instaure l'âge d'or qui devient réalité pour tous.^^ L'idéal du héros au début 
du XVIP siècle place "la gloire du prince dans l'exercice de Injustice, mais 
aussi dans l'exaltation de la vertu guerrière par excellence, la vaillance .''"^^ 

L'allégorie de la gravure du Musée National du Château de Pau reste 
transparente sous les traits singuliers d'Henri IV. La métaphore d'Hercule"*^ 
qui exalte la vertu héroïque subsiste."^^ Servant à l'iconographie des entrées 
et des frontispices des livres, elle se double de celle d'Alexandre: le noeud de 
serpents - le serpent métaphorise l'incertitude de la paix civile - de Françoise 
Bardon devient le noeud gordien d'Alexandre. "Alexandre le Grand prit pour 
devise un serpent, pour autant qu'il voulait qu'on crût de lui, que sous cette 
figure il était né de Jupiter Ammon.'"^^ L'allégorie représente à la fois 
Hercule qui a décapité l'hydre et Alexandre prêt à trancher le noeud gordien 
- geste qui révèle le sens de la décision et la promesse de gloire. Il y a dans 
cette gravure une juxtaposition d'éléments: un signe historique (le sceptre), 
des signes mythologiques (l'hydre, le noeud) et un signe politique (l'inscrip- 
tion). Ainsi l'image énonce son propre texte, on peut lui trouver sa première 
signification qui est l'évocation d'un fragment de l'histoire héroïque du roi - 
Hercule se révèle au monde par ses travaux éclatants - doublée d'un fragment 
épique - Alexandre incame "le modèle du roi guerrier, conquérant, magna- 
nime.'"*^ L'épiphanie héroïque révélée par Hercule et la rêverie d'excellence 
par Alexandre se trouvent immortalisées dans cette image. De plus Alexandre 
est un modèle guerrier, et l'histoire d'Henri IV est rapportée à ce modèle grec. 
Le nom d'Alexandre garde une aura, une résonnance. Le geste double, 
historico-antique et mythologique, fait d'Henri IV une figure agissante, et ce 



Renaissance et Réforme / 35 



précepte est renforcé par V assimilation du roi à Hercule et à Alexandre - noms 
véhiculant un reste de magie - qui fournissent des exempla dignes d'être 
imités des rois. "Comme les braves successeurs suivent la routte des braves 
devanciers, les braves devanciers portent le flambeau pour montrer le chemin 
aux braves successeurs. Ainsi Hercule éclaira Thésée, Thésée Achille, 
Achille Alexandre, Alexandre César, & César Henry. Ainsi Henry a suivy 
César, César Alexandre, Alexandre Achille, Achille Thésée, & Thésée Her- 
cule, & comme cela croient à leurs successeurs."^^ De la sorte, les thèmes 
du passé, à la fois contraignants et vacants, servent de métaphores au présent. 

L'image mythique et l'image historique ont une fonction transforma- 
trice. Elles combinent description et interprétation, sur le triple registre de la 
fable (récit fondateur), de la légende (récit historique) et de la représentation 
(images codifiées). Elles réalisent l'allégorie d'Henri IV. Il n'y a pas de doute 
sur ce qu'on attend du roi, l'allégorie est transparente. On la comprend, on 
adhère à sa représentation, y compris aux intentions politiques et morales qui 
se sont logées dans sa fabrication. L'allégorie engendrera, par réitération, une 
reconstruction de l'imaginaire - une nouvelle légende qui est de la même 
étoffe que le mythe: une forme de divinisation. 

La mythologie et l'histoire antique sont les réservoirs où l'on peut puiser 
des images, et si celles-ci sont parlantes, c'est qu'elles rencontrent une réalité 
vécue de l'époque. Nous l'avons vu, historiquement, c'est peut-être une 
allusion au Grand Dessein de Sully ou à la guerre de 1609-1610. 

Le modèle recréé, comme les exempla mythologique et historique, est 
un exemple à suivre, à respecter et à dépasser. En 1602, cette gravure 
représente l'Hercule monarchique. Ensuite, le nouveau roi-empereur préfi- 
gure en quelque sorte un modèle légendaire, comme l'ont été ses 'prédéces- 
seurs,' Hercule et Alexandre, confirmé dans la seconde image. 

La seconde représentation est le portrait d'Henri IV en Mars. Il y a une 
nature synonymique entre Mars et Hercule, la vie active. L'allégorie est 
renouvelée en l'absence de modèle antique. C'est une peinture d'apparat 
(huile sur toile de 1,85 cm de longueur sur 1,35 cm de largeur), attribuée à 
Ambroise Dubois et exposée au Musée National du Château de Pau (P- 
81.20.1). Elle faisait pendant, dans la galerie de Diane de Fontainebleau, à 
une Marie de Médicis en Diane. Les traits singuliers du visage du roi, 
légèrement ridé, à la chevelure et à la barbe grisonnantes sont un repère 
nécessaire, d'une part, pour établir la ressemblance et, d'autre part, pour dater 
le portrait des dernières années du règne d'Henri IV. Le monarque est assis 
sur un trône, sous un dais en soie verte moirée (attribut royal), la tête laurée 
(attribut impérial). Il porte des vêtements antiquisants: une cuirasse romaine 



36 / Renaissance and Reformation 



d'un rose tendre, un manteau bleu - et non rouge comme celui de César ou 
d'Alexandre -jeté sur Tépaule, dont le drapé ample suspend le mouvement, 
et des sandales. Pieds nus, le personnage piétine le casque impérial empanaché 
de rouge. Il a Tair de surgir, le mouvement est présent, mais figé. Dans la main 
droite, dirigé vers le bas, le gourdin pointe le casque, flanqué de dépouilles 
guerrières qui indiquent que la bataille est finie. Le regard du roi fixe le spectateur. 
Il y a presque du Jupiter dans cette prestance. Ne serait-ce pas un Mars-impera- 
torl Mars est ici un dieu pacificateur - antithèse d'Alexandre, empereur reconnu 
pour ses exploits guerriers et sa conquête du monde. 

Nous avons analysé deux représentations - la gravure de Léonard 
Gaultier et la peinture d'Ambroise Dubois - qui s'efforcent de présenter le 
roi dans sa fonction de pacificateur et de restaurateur de la monarchie. Henri 
IV, sacré roi après sa conversion au catholicisme, met fin aux guerres civiles 
politico-religieuses et obtient le départ des troupes étrangères. Ainsi l'impé- 
rialisme reUgieux croît autour de la monarchie française. C'est d'ailleurs une 
véritable renovatio impériale que propose la solution de tolérance au pro- 
blème du schisme religieux. Cette idée impériale est mise en scène dans 
l'Entrée de Marie de Médicis en Avignon et court en filigrane dans les 
allégories de Mars désarmé, d'Hercule vainqueur de l'hydre et d'Alexandre 
tranchant le noeud gordien. 

Parfaitement étudiées et voulues, ces figures d'Henri IV rex imperator 
amplifient, transforment et magnifient le roi réel. Instruments de persuasion, 
elles sont à la fois image de propagande du roi, miroir du gouvernement 
henricien et image à laquelle le monarque doit s'efforcer de ressembler. Elles 
deviennent partie intégrante de la légende d'Henri IV qu'elles engendrent au 
même titre que les textes qui, comme ces quelques vers tirés du Tombeau du 
roi, font l'apothéose collective de l'assassinat du roi: 

Pour tombeau de ce Roy de France est trop petite 
L'Europe bien que grande assez loin ne s'étend, 
Il faut que son renom que jusqu'au ciel s'entend. 
Le tour de son Tombeau du Ciel même limite."*^ 

Ces représentations glorifient le roi Henri IV qui deviendra une figure-mo- 
dèle, comme l'empereur Charlemagne, pour son fils Louis XIII et son 
petit-fils Louis XIV. 

Université Concordia, Montréal 



Renaissance et Réforme / 37 



Notes 

1. Les Trois visions de Childeric Quatriesme, Roy de France, pronostics des guerres 
civiles de ce Royaume: & la Prophétie de Basine sa femme, sur les victoires & 
conquêtes de Henry de Bourbon Roy de France et de Navarre, & sur la rencontre faite 
à Fontaine-Française. Plus le triomphe de la liberté Royale sur le prince des villes de 
Bourgogne (Paris, Frédéric Morel, 1595), p. 6. C'est nous qui soulignons. 

2. Colette Beaune, Naissance de la nation France (Paris, Gallimard, 1985), pp. 207 à 229. 
On peut lire en conclusion à la page 229: "Le nom du très chrétien, appliqué indiffé- 
remment au roi, au peuple ou au territoire français, devint peu à peu un objet de gloire 
et d'orgueil, une justification d'être." 

3. Gaston Zeller, Les institutions de la France au XVI^ siècle (Paris, Presses Universitaires 
de France, [1948] 1987), p. 73. 

4. Le Songe du Vergier, éd. Marion Schnerb-Lièvre (Paris, CNRS, 1982), I, p. ix. Le Songe 
du vergier, d'un auteur anonyme, publié d'abord sous le titre de Somnium Viridarii en 
1376, sera remanié et rédigé en français en 1378. 

5. Id., p. 125. Cité par Jean Barbey, Etre roi. Le roi et son gouvernement en France de 
Clovis à Louis XIV (PsiTis, Fayard, 1992), p. 39. Colette Beaune, Op. cit., p. 224, ajoute: 
"A la dispense d'adoubement s'ajouta au 15^ siècle la dispense du sacre." 

6. Le sacre est une "célébration quasi initiatique où se trouve, en un puissant ramassé 
cérémoniel, concentré le secret du monde, celui qu'il ne faut manifester qu'une seule 
fois, à chaque règne humain, pour que se poursuive, dans la certitude confirmée de 
l'ordre divin, la continuité du règne de Dieu." dans Alphonse Dupront, "Sacre, autorité, 
pouvoir: profil d'anthropologie historique," Le sacre des rois. Actes du colloque 
international d'histoire sur les sacres et couronnements royaux (Reims, 1975) (Paris, 
Les Belles Lettres, 1985), p. 323. 

7. Richard A. Jackson, Vive le Roi! A History of the French Coronation from Charles V 
to Charles X (Chapel Hill and London, University of North Carolina Press, 1984), p. 
204. "The legend of the Holy Ampulla [ . . . ] came to dominate the French ceremony 
after the first part of the thirteenth century." 

8. Marc Bloch, Les rois thaumaturges (Paris, Gallimard [1924] 1983). Bloch fait l'histo- 
rique du pouvoir de guérison des monarques français et anglais. 

9. Alphonse Dupront, Op. cit., pp. 327-9. 

10. Colette Beaune, "Les théoriciens français contestataires du sacre au XV^ siècle," Le 
sacre des rois, p. 238. L'auteur ajoute d'ailleurs que jamais un roi n'a été destitué par 
l'empereur. 

11. François Dumont, Cours d'histoire du droit public de François Dumont (Paris, Les 
Cours de Droit, 1954), pp. 90 et s. On peut lire les paroles du Clerc (dans le Songe du 
Vergier, I, p. 58): "Vous faites donques que le roi de France ne soit aucune[me]nt subjet 
de l'impereur, nez plus fort, vous le faites novel impereur." 

12. Gaston Zeller, "Les rois de France, candidats à l'empire," Revue Historique, 173 
(1934), p. 275. 

1 3. Jean Barbey, Op. cit., p. 137. Maxime dont l'origine sicilienne ou française a été l'objet 
de controverses (v. note 139). 

14. Joseph R. Strayer, voir chap. 19: "France: The Holy Land, the Chosen People, and the 
Most Christian King," dans Medieval Statecraft and the Perspectives of History 



38 / Renaissance and Reformation 



(Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1971), pp. 300 à 314. On lit à la page 305: "The 
basic theme ran something like this: the kings of France have alwways been pillars and 
defenders of the faith; the people of France are more devout and pious; the kingdom 
of France is so specially favored by God that it is the most important part of the church." 
Voir aussi Colette Beaune, Op. cit., p. 210. 

15. Colette Beaune, Op. cit., p. 229. 

16. Ce principe de l'hérédité engendrera de célèbres formules: "Le roi ne meurt jamais" 
(Bodin), "le roi est mort, vive le roi." Cités par R. E. Gissey, Le roi ne meurt jamais 
(Paris, 1987), p. 271. Voir aussi Roland Mousnier, Les XVI^ et XVW siècles (Paris, 
Presses Universitaires de France [1953] 1993), essentiellement le chapitre IV, 1 10-138. 

17. Gaston Zeller, Op. cit., pp. 310 et s. 

18. Frances Yates, Astrée. Le symbolisme au XVF siècle (Paris, Belin, 1989), p. 399. 
L'assassinat du duc d'Orléans en 1407 avait déjà été perçu comme un sacrilège. Voir 
Colette Beaune, Naissance de la nation France, p. 224. 

19. Jean-Pierre Babelon, Henri /V (Paris, Fayard, 1984), p. 328. 

20. "Les grands traits de la légende henricienne furent, quant à eux, fixés par les premières 
années du règne personnel de Louis XIV grâce à la publication des ouvrages de Sully 
et d'Hardouin de Péréfixe." Chantai Grell et Christian Michel, L'École des Princes ou 
l'Alexandre disgracié (Paris, 1988), p. 80. 

21. Corrado Vivanti écrit dans "Henri IV, the Gallic Hercules," JWCI, 30 (1967), p. 180: 
"In France, where a whole political tradition extolled the special authority of the most 
Christian King - Empereur dans son Royaume, endowed with near-episcopal power - 
the idea of empire became associated not only with an intention to rule, but also with 
hopes of a religious peace which was to be attained in a purified Christian climate such 
as the traditions of the Gallican Church must perforce restore beyond all schisms and 
controversies for the benefit and example of all the faithful." C'est bien de cela qu'il 
est question ici. 

22. Jean-Pierre Babelon, Op. cit., pp. 938 et s. On y retrouverait groupés quinze États de 
constitution différente. Six monarchies héréditaires: France, Espagne, Grande-Bre- 
tagne, Danemark, Suède, Lombardie (Savoie, Milanais); six monarchies électives: 
Rome (avec Naples), Venise, Empire, Sologne, Hongrie, Bohême; trois républiques 
fédératives: Helvétie (avec Tyrol, Franche-Comté, Alsace), Italie et Belgique (avec 
Pays-Bas espagnols). 

23. Richard A. Jackson, Op. cit., pp. 213-4. Dans ses Harangues, Michel de l'Hôpital 
évoque une troisième caractéristique de l'absolutisme. Cette grandeur est investie 
d'allusions impériales qui, au moyen âge, témoignaient des revendications d'indépen- 
dance au Saint Empire romain germanique et, au début du dix-septième siècle, d'une 
émulation et d'une concurrence avec l'empire de Rome. 

24. Bartolomé Bennassar et Jean Jacquart, Le XVF siècle (Paris, Armand Colin, 1990), pp. 
179 et s. 

25. Voir l'édition de L'Institution du Prince, commentée par Claude Bontems, Le Prince 
dans la France des XVF et XVW siècles (Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1 965), 
f° 60 r, p. 110. Budé fait le parallèle entre les vies d'Alexandre et de César. 

26. Alphonse Dupront, Op. cit., p. 938. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 39 



27. Isabelle Flandrois, L'Institution du Prince au début du XVW siècle (Paris, Presses 
Universitaires de France, 1992). 

28. A. Theveneau, Les morales, où il est traité de l'Institution du jeune Prince des vertus 
qui luy sont requises quand il est Prince et quand il est roy. De la Majesté qu 'il doit 
tenir en ses actions [ ... ] (Paris, Toussaicts Du Bray, 1607), p. 333, cité après Isabelle 
Flandrois, Op. cit., p. 178. 

29. Denis Crouzet, Les guerriers de Dieu. Les violences au temps des troubles de religion, 
de vers 1525 à vers 1610, t. 2 (Paris, 1990), p. 581. L'auteur arrive à cette conclusion 
après avoir analysé l'Entrée de Marie de Médicis en Avignon. Nous pourrons l'appli- 
quer aux portraits choisis. 

30. Christian Jouhaud, dans son article, "Lisibilité et persuasion. Les placards politiques," 
dans Les usages de l 'imprimé, sous la direction de Roger Chartier (Paris, Fayard, 1 987), 
309 à 342, définit la réprésentation selon la tradition aristotélicienne. Voir aussi Hélène 
Merlin, qui pose, en théoricienne, le problème de la représentation, dans "L'épistémé 
classique ou l'épineuse question de la représentation," Littératures Classiques, 19 
(automne 1993), 188-198. On peut y lire: "L'image est réglée sur la ressemblance, 
ressemblance mimétique ou ressemblance ontologique, sans qu'elles s'excluent forcé- 
ment. Le paradigme de la représentation est donc poreux, propre à absorber toute 
l'é/j/^r^m^ renaissante" (p. 191). 

3 1 . Françoise Bardon, Le portrait mythologique à la cour de France sous Henri IV et Louis 
XIII. Mythologie et politique (Paris, Picard, 1974). 

32. B. N. Est. Ed. 12^ Rés. F", Id., p. 54. 

33. Id., p. 144. Pour notre description, nous nous inspirons de celle de Françoise Bardon, 
Op. cit., pp. 54-55. 

34. Henri IV et la reconstruction du royaume (Paris, RMN, 1989), p. 21 1. 

35. Nous remercions M. Paul Mironneau, conservateur du Musée National du Château de 
Pau, pour ces précieux renseignements qu'il a eu la bienveillance de nous communi- 
quer. 

36. Jean Barbey, Op. cit., p. 37. 

37. Françoise Bardon, Op. cit., p. 55. 

38. On peut lire dans Lucien, traduit par Geoffroy Tory, cité par Marc-René Jung, Hercule 
dans la littérature française du XVF siècle (Genève, Droz, 1966), p. 73: "Touteffois 
en ceste figure et espèce il porte l'aornement dudit Hercules, entendu qu'il est vestu 
d'une peau de lion, et qu'en sa main dextre tient une massue, et porte à son col en 
écharpe une trousse, et en sa main senestre ung arc bendé. Finablement, il est ung droit 
Hercules." 

39. Abbé Valladier, Labyrinthe royal de l'Hercule Gaulois triomphant sur le sujet des 
Fortunes, Batailles, Victoires, Triomphes, Mariage, et autres faicts historiques et 
mémorables de Très-Auguste et tres-chrétien Prince Henry IIII Roy de France et de 
Navarre. Représenté à l'entrée triomphante de la royne en la cité d'Avignon. Le 19 
Novembre de l'An M. DC. Ou sont contenues les magnificences et triomphes dressez à 
cet effect par ladite ville (Avignon, Jacques Bramereau, avril 1601). 

40. Ibid., p. 55. Les sept dieux sont: Mars, Apollon, Jupiter, Minerve, Mercure, Diane et 
Vénus. 



40 / Renaissance and Reformation 



41. Guillaume Budé, dans Claude Bontems, Op. cit, f° 23r, p. 89. 

42. Corrado Vivanti (Op. cit., p. 186) écrit à propos de l'arc de triomphe de cette Entrée 
qu'il célèbre la triple renommée d'Henri IV: son pouvoir impérial, sa fonction de 
protecteur de la foi et sa mission de pacificateur universel. 

43. Michel Tyvaert, "L'image du roi: Légitimité et moralité royales dans les histoires de 
France au XVIF siècle," Revue d'Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, XXI (1974), p. 
534. 

44. Marc-René Jung, Op. cit.; voir la très belle étude de Jung sur l'évolution de l'allégorie 
d'Hercule. 

45. Theodore Reff, "Puget's Gallic Hercules," JWCI, XXIX (1966), 250-263. 

46. Pierre L'Anglois, Discours des Hiéroglyphes (Paris, A. L'Angelier, 1583), p. 8. 

47. Préface de Pierre Vidal Naquet, dans Chantall Grell et Christian Michel, Op. cit., p. 8. 

48. Antoine de Bandole, Les Parallèles de César et de Henri IIII avec les commentaires 
de César et les annotations de Biaise de Vigenère (Paris, J. Rebuffé, 1625), pp. 27-28. 
Plutarque est remis à l'honneur à la Renaissance. Jacques Amyot traduit, en 1559, Les 
vies des hommes illustres ou Vies parallèles. 

49. Isaac Habert, Stances sur la mort pitoyable du Roy Henri HII, suivant la copie imprimée 
à Paris. Pour Jacques Petit, 1610. 



Donne's Model: Henry IV 



ANTHONY RASPA 



Summary: Donne 's Pseudo-Martyr is his first major published work and the 
longest that he ever wrote. As he argues in it about the relationship of the state 
and religion to each other, he establishes Henry IV of Navarre, king of France, 
as one of his models of a competent and tolerant king. Henry's credentials for 
the title are his moderation, his steadfastness and fearlessness amid religious 
conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in his own country, and in the 
face of the power of the papacy. In the pages of Pseudo-Martyr, Donne calls 
upon the English Catholics to swear allegiance to James I as a political leader, 
in the same manner in which French Catholics and Protestants swore alle- 
giance to Henry. 



J 



ohn Donne wrote Pseudo-Martyr in 1 609. When he published it in January 
of 1610, four months before Henry of Navarre's assassination, it was the 
first of his works to appear in print. Except for a few prefatory poems that 
he published in other people's works, Pseudo-Martyr, which explores the 
realms of regicide, royal allegiance, religious conversion and the nature of 
church and state, therefore marked his debut as a published author.^ 

Pseudo-Martyr is an unusual work for a man, whose reputation has been 
principally that of a poet, to have chosen to introduce himself to the reading 
public. But its central issues of regicide and allegiance to the monarch were 
pivotal to his own Ufe and to the English-Catholic public to which he 
ostensibly addressed the work. Pseudo-Martyr, therefore, covers a wide field 
of private and public issues, including reUgion, religious conversion, Donne's 
own, from Catholicism to Protestantism, the power of the pope, the origins 
of the power of the secular ruler and his relationship to his people, the 
relationship of the pope to Catholic and Protestant rulers, the duty of a 
Catholic subject to a Protestant king and of a Protestant subject to a Catholic 
king with reference to Henry of Navarre among others, Jesuits, church and 
secular courts, how to assassinate a king and not get caught, and how to 

Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 4 ( 1 993) 4 1 



42 / Renaissance and Reformation 



assassinate a king and what does the would-be assassin do if he fails and 
manages to escape. All of these topics fill the longest work by far that one of 
Britain's major Renaissance poets unleashed on a British reading public, at 
the same time, moreover, that Shakespeare was bidding farewell to the stage 
between 1609 and 1611, with The Tempest, The Winter's Tale and Cymbeline, 
plays about rulers, often members of the same family, drowning, robbing, 
exiling and betraying one another. 

However, there is something yet more striking about Pseudo-Martyr 
than its subject. As an exercise in history, we could replace Donne's name by 
Henry IV of Navarre's and we would discover that the two men were 
interested in similar public issues in which their respective lives at the moment 
were bound up. Consequently, in Pseudo-Martyr, Henry IV King of France, 
he who elsewhere has been described as either a supreme cynic or just 
eminently practical, the man who is reputed to have said that Paris was worth 
a Mass and who may be considered to have thought that God was worth the 
throw of dice,^ the Renaissance man who gave his name to one of the principal 
autoroutes of Quebec City (and this is not said facetiously, as it bespeaks the 
vitality of his reign), the individual in whose name Champlain founded the 
first permanent settlements of the already founded New France and who gave 
birth to the historical puzzle that we are still trying to put together, this man 
is discovered in Pseudo-Martyr as one of John Donne's background models 
for his work. This fact is surprising and difficult to believe only without 
reflection. For what Pseudo-Martyr was concerned with when Donne pub- 
lished it was of general concern across the face of Western Europe. Were not 
the numerous assassinations of kings and queens in the Renaissance, by their 
subjects and by one another, as reflected in Shakespeare's last plays, a sign 
of how Europe's absolute monarchs came to cope with the first lifting of the 
constraints that had once been imposed upon them by the rules of the old 
medieval world order? Once the medieval hierarchies waned, leaving the 
rungs of their social and political ladder in place ~ kings, queens, princes, 
knights and so forth ~ but without any cement of the fealty of vassals among 
them, and before Parliaments developed their own independent constitutional 
rules, the monarchs of Europe, so long as they had the military force to back 
up their power, had relative liberty to seek what they wished. A bright happy 
period might be considered to have existed for monarchs when relatively little 
could impede the fulfillment of their desires, including killing one another, 
providing they had financial and other resources to fulfill them. 

Perhaps from the point of view of someone in literature, if not in history 
or political science, the order of government in at least the first phase of the 



Renaissance et Réforme / 43 



Renaissance appears to have been the feudal system with few of its rules and 
duties. One has only to consider the complete disappearance of the English- 
Catholic hierarchy by 1600. The perception may seem simpUstic, but that is 
the picture of political power that creative literature seems to project. Who- 
ever was born into position had power but there appears to have been few 
intrinsic rules of loyalty between those who wielded power and the governed. 
To all practical intents and purposes, the metaphysical and reUgious order by 
which the rungs of the medieval political and social hierarchy had been held 
in place no longer existed. The pope in the person of Paul V who was still at 
the top of the ladder could blatantly issue two briefs, in 1 606 and 1 607,^ telling 
good English-Catholics that in the name of Christ they were quite justified to 
assassinate James I, the son of the politically executed Catholic Mary Stuart, 
because he was a Protestant. On political grounds Paul's briefs were strongly 
attacked, through legal and political precedents. However, no one challenged 
the religious morality of Paul's incitation, not even Donne,^ until Cardinal 
Giovanni-Battista Montini in the early 1960s, three and a half centuries later, 
took the title of Paul VI in a fruitless attempt to undo what Paul V had done. 

In Pseudo-Martyr, Donne questions the political moraUty of the earUer 
Paul's briefs with vehemence and invective, but references to the Mosaic 
interdiction to kill are absent there as in the rest of the regicide debate. 
Elsewhere, in France, any number of plotters belonging to the Catholic 
League were free without compunction to consider assassinating Henry III, 
in which they succeeded, and Henry IV, in which, after a number of failed 
attempts, they or somebody else succeeded depending on whether or not the 
Queen (Marie de Médicis) was really in on the plot,^ and depending of course 
on whether Henry IV was Catholic, or Protestant, or both, or neither: histori- 
ans do not seem to have pronounced themselves on the matter with finaUty.^ 

The role of Henry IV as a background model begins early in Pseudo- 
Martyr. However, to understand this model, it must be remembered that 
Henry was a Protestant brought up by a Protestant mother and that he later 
became head of the Calvinist Party in France. Then, he saved his life in the 
Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre by abjuring Protestantism, he became 
heir to the throne with the convenient death of Henry Ill's brother, which 
agitated the Catholic side, and when a monk assassinated Henry III, he 
became king. But the process by which he came to solidify his power over 
his throne was complex. When he became the new heir apparent on the death 
of Henry Ill's brother, the then Pope Sixtus V sided with the objectors in the 
persons of radical French Catholics to this would-be Protestant monarch, and 
the French Protestant François Hottoman issued in behalf of the heir-apparent 



44 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Henry his "Brutum fulmen Papae Sixti V", or the brutish fulmination of Pope 
Sixtus V. It is to the general historical incident and to Hottoman's defense of 
Henry, through his references to Hottoman's writings against religious tyr- 
anny, that Donne refers to as early as the opening pages of Pseudo-Martyr 

(p. 11).' 

The parallel on the one hand between Henry, King of France, the 

Protestant son of a Protestant mother, who became a Catholic king and who 

managed to pacify the papacy, and on the other hand the English king, James 

I, the Catholic son of a Catholic mother, who was brought up a Protestant and 

became a Protestant king, but with whom the pope would make no peace, 

could have hardly escaped the contemporary mind. Henry IV serves Donne 

as a model of the ruler to whom English Catholics as well as Protestants could 

certainly swear allegiance, in the manner in which French Catholics as well 

as French Protestants came to swear allegiance to Henry, if only the pope 

came to accept James as rightful king of England. In his original objections 

to the legality of Henry's monarchy, Sixtus had declared that Henry had 

forfeited his rights to the throne of France for not being hostile to heresy and 

not guaranteeing Catholicism to his future kingdom. He even deprived him 

of his crown of Navarre. Of course, Henry continued to reign. But only a few 

years later, Henry made peace with Sixtus' successor Gregory IV.^ The basis 

of Donne's argument in Pseudo-Martyr is that this sort of accommodation 

between Henry and Gregory is also possible between pope and English king 

and English Catholics. It is the papacy that Donne urges to move once more. 

The background model role that Donne bestows on Henry surfaces yet 
more explicitly than in the citations from Hottoman only a few pages later in 
his work. There, the attention is on the negotiations that Cardinals Jacques 
Davy Duperron and Cardinal François de Joyeuse conducted on Henry's 
behalf to attenuate the crisis over legal jurisdictions and land claims between 
the Venetian Republic and the same Paul V who was quarreling with James.^ 

The Venetian crisis, as it came to be known, reached its zenith in 1605 
and 1606, the years but one in which Paul issued his briefs against James, and 
was threatening to break out into open conflict. This time the Donne who 
speaks in Pseudo-Martyr is much less the lawyer, the ex-law student of 
Thavies' Inn and Lincoln's Inn in London, who referred to Hottoman's 
Protestant arguments earlier, and he is much more Donne the diplomat and 
soldier who accompanied Essex on his expeditions in the last years of 
Elizabeth's reign and who went on missions to the Continent alone for James, 
some years later. As Donne lays his case before English Catholics in Pseudo- 
Martyr, he admires the delicacy and firmness with which Henry and his two 



Renaissance et Réforme / 45 



representatives, Duperron and de Joyeuse, negotiated peace between the 
papacy and the Venetian repubUc. He writes: 

And not to speake of the Kingdome of France at this time, because I have 
sepos'd and destin' d a particular Chapter for that consideration [at the end 
of Pseudo-Martyr] , nor of the fresh Historic of the Venetians, maintaining 
their just Lawes for this temporall Jurisdiction: which lawes Parsons, 
[Robert, the Jesuit], without any colour of truth, or escape from malitious 
and grosse deceiving, sayes they have recalled, when as (not to affright 
you with any of those Authours which write on the Venetian part,) you 
may see an excellent relation of that negotiation, and upon what conditions 
the Pope withdrew his censures, in that letter of Cardinal Peron to his 
Master the French King, about Cardinal Joyeuse his instructions, when 
the Pope sent him to Venice for that purpose (p. 15). 

Donne refers to the background of the Venetian crisis, as though it were 
a legal precedent for the pope's toleration of James' Protestantism. This 
background is fraught with events that, if we had been alive and reading in 
1610, we would have immediately understood. Henry emerges from Donne's 
handling of the Venetian crisis as a silent retiring hero. From the English side 
of the channel, in Donne' s eyes, Henry of Navarre appears as a monarch who 
has been maligned by French extremists, Catholic and Protestant alike, who 
has finally come to rule over them and his supportive political centrists too 
with a semblance of internal peace for his country, who has himself made 
peace with the papacy, and who has now the time to try to settle most 
generously the problems of his once most powerful enemies in Rome. The 
Swiss-born career diplomat Duperron of Donne's reference was now a 
Cardinal but he had been born a Calvinist who converted to Catholicism in 
the late 1570s and entered Holy Orders. A firm friend of Henry IV, he became 
his chargé d'affaires in Rome and was created Cardinal there in 1604. With 
that other Cardinal of Donne's reference, de Joyeuse, who also represented 
Henry, in Venice and Rome, Duperron negotiated peace between the Doge 
Leonardo Dona and Paul V. Paul sent Cardinal de Joyeuse to Venice with a 
list of conditions for lifting the excommunication against the city; de Joyeuse 
reported back with the answer, and, as a result of de Joyeuse 's report, 
Duperron wrote his extraordinary letter of 5 April 1607 to Henry in Paris, 
describing in human as well as diplomatic detail, the meeting between de 
Joyeuse and the Pope.* ^ 

Not the least of the Venetian demands, as Donne reminds his English- 
Catholic readers, was that the Jesuits continue to be banished from their state, 
which anyone who read the letter would know was also true to be the case in 



46 / Renaissance and Reformation 



England and once in France as well. Can the Protestant James be so bad, 
Donne asks with his model of Henry, if a Catholic doge of Venice and a 
Catholic king of France can allow Jesuits to be banished too?*^ If the 
publication of diplomatic letters was a form of mass media output for 
conducting wars, Duperron's letter to Henry describing the negotiations 
between de Joyeuse and the Venetians aimed at influencing international 
public opinion, in a manner similar to the allied use of a new-wide screen 
Nintendo coverage in the recent Gulf War. Coming as it did from an ex-Cal- 
vinist turned CathoUc, Duperron's letter to Henry was immediately held to 
be of profound historical importance, and it was published in three languages, 
French, Italian and Latin, in a large volume of mainly political and diplomatic 
addresses to kings entitled Monita Politica in Frankfurt in 1 609. * ^ The volume 
of addresses was supposedly threaded by the common theme of the immense 
power of the Roman curia, it circulated widely throughout Europe, and Donne 
had a copy that he cites numerous times in Pseudo-Martyr. 

But the "mediatic Nintendo war" conducted through that printed letter 
had even more subtle ramifications than that of political reconciliation, with 
or without Jesuits, that we in the present day could have hardly ignored if we 
had been looking at its wide screen in the seventeenth century. The recipient 
of the letter, Henry of Navarre, who must have allowed its publication, and 
Cardinal Duperron, who wrote it, could not have ignored these ramifications 
less than Donne did as be composed Pseudo-Martyr. For the fact was that 
Duperron, the ex-Calvinist, had negotiated Henry IV' s conversion with Pope 
Clement VIII. Moreover, he had conducted this conversion without giving in 
to the pope' s insistence for the reinstallation of the Jesuits in France. And if 
that did not flash bright enough on the "Nintendo screen" of the coverage of 
the war between James and Paul V in the pages of Pseudo-Martyr, most of 
Donne's EngUsh-CathoUc audience to whom he was pleading for their 
allegiance to James, would have also known of an earUer historical Hnk 
between Duperron and James Stuart. At the death of Mary Stuart, James' 
mother, Duperron had delivered in Paris a spectacular oration describing her 
personal and royal virtues. Therefore Duperron, de Joyeuse, Donne, all 
conciliatory men following in the footsteps of one of Pseudo-Martyr's 
background models, Henry of Navarre, were asking English Catholics to see 
reason. 

What remains of Henry of Navarre in Pseudo-Martyr is now due less to 
reasons of the head than to political causes and to John Donne himself. For 
Henry of Navarre is present, and also absent, from Pseudo-Martyr in two 
other ways in which only Donne could have caused him to be. The first of 



Renaissance et Réforme / 47 



these ways is in Donne's reference twice in Pseudo-Martyr to the attempted 
assassination in which Henry lost a tooth instead of his life. In the facetious, 
satiric mode that twentieth-century English literature came to like in his 
poetry, Donne revels however briefly in Henry's failed assassination. In the 
morning in his mistress's apartment, a newly-risen king, fresh out of bed, 
receives his courtiers. The king, whom most historians tend to describe as 
personally a pleasant individual, bends down to help one of his courtiers off 
the floor. But he stoops at the very moment that a young man who is a student 
in a Jesuit college tries to stick a knife into his chest. The young man hits the 
bent figure in the mouth instead of in the chest and he knocks out one of his 
teeth. The young man, Jean Chastel, is said to confess that his Jesuit teachers 
told him to kill the king for God and country, and he is quickly hanged as well 
as is one of his teachers. For Donne, who loves to mix satire with high serious 
political discussion, there is no limit to how confined the power of Jesuits can 
be. 

And yet this hater of Jesuits and Catholicism loved them too much ever 
to leave them alone. For there is a whole second-to-last chapter on Catholic 
France and the justification of papal power in France, and a last chapter on 
England's conversion to Roman Christianity at the end of the sixth century, 
that Donne never wrote. In his "Advertisement to the Reader" prefaced to 
Pseudo-Martyr (p. 8), he tells us that he had planned fourteen chapters for 
the work, and, in his table of contents, he in fact lists all of them; chapter 
thirteen was to deal with the French oath of allegiance that all Frenchmen 
took to their Catholic king, and chapter fourteen with the political indepen- 
dence of England from the papacy in spite of its sixteenth-century conversion 
to Roman Christianity. But he adds that he never wrote these last two chapters 
because those of his friends among whom he had circulated his table of 
contents while he was writing the work objected to them. Pseudo-Martyr ends 
abruptly with chapter twelve. Defiantly, it seems, Donne did not remove the 
titles of the missing chapters from his table of contents when he published the 
work. Donne develops in the last actually written chapters of Pseudo- Martyr 
a theory of papal power and royal secular power that separates them. 

His theory, which would have found its natural conclusion in the exam- 
ples of the two unwritten chapters, makes it possible for the subject of one 
king to adhere at will to the king's religion, or to adhere to the religion of 
another kingdom. That is, an EngUsh-CathoHc could swear allegiance to 
James as secular ruler and yet also swear allegiance to the pope's spiritual 
authority without contravening either source of secular jurisdiction at home 
or religious jurisdiction abroad. Similarly, a Frenchman could swear fealty 



48 / Renaissance and Reformation 



to his king in France and adhere to the religion of the king in England. The 
last two chapters of Pseudo-Martyr were to give historical examples of this 
theory at work. In chapter thirteen deahng with France, the illustration would 
have been of the present day. In chapter fourteen, the example would have 
been drawn from the past when the Italian Augustine of Canterbury converted 
Ethelbert, King of Kent, to Roman Catholicism in 597. 

In his "Advertisement to the Reader," Donne tells us that his friends 
particularly objected to the projected chapter fourteen about England's con- 
version to Christianity. He writes that they really never told him why they 
objected to either chapter thirteen or fourteen, that the chapters were too 
closely tied up for him to think of writing one without the other, and that in 
effect he would not write either to avoid offending those friends of his, 
particularly because he supposedly ignored even at the moment of the 
publication of the work the grounds for their opposition (p. 9). Of course, 
John Donne, one of EngHsh Renaissance Uterature's most lonely mavericks, 
to whom his friend James I systematically denied secular preferment, and who 
never made him in the AngUcan Church more than Dean of Saint Paul' s, could 
not have been so stupid. In his ^'Advertisement to the Reader" what Donne 
says is really nothing but tongue-in-cheek diplomatic evasion that tells much. 
After all, the text of Pseudo-Martyr had to get by the licensing of the 
Stationer's Register. That Donne allowed the titles of chapters thirteen and 
fourteen to be published in the table of contents, while supposedly apologizing 
for them in the "Advertisement," was his way of rejecting the arguments of 
his beloved friends. If Donne was too intellectually wide-minded for the 
pope, he was so as well for his English Protestant friends. For, by showing 
in chapter thirteen how conveniently his theory of international allegiances 
was, according to him, working in present-day France of Henry of Navarre, ^^ 
and in chapter fourteen how well it had worked, at least for a while, when 
Augustine brought the kingdom of Kent out of paganism into the Roman fold, 
in the "Nintendo war" context of its day, Pseudo-Martyr would have ended 
up impUcitly inviting the whole of England back into the see of Rome. 
Explicitly, Donne's work could even be seen as subverting its declared aim 
of defending James against Paul's assassination briefs. 

All of these political manoeuvres about Donne's intentions in his work 
produced a great loss for our present day. When Donne decided not to write 
chapter thirteen because he was not writing chapter fourteen, he also denied 
us a full picture of Henry of Navarre. But we have a glinmier of what chapter 
thirteen would have contained in Donne's first reference to Cardinals Duper- 
ron and de Joyeuse and Henry of Navarre in the early pages of the work. In 



Renaissance et Réforme / 49 



those early pages, Donne tells us he will deal with the cardinals and the king 
now only passingly and that he is reserving his fuller comments for his chapter 
on France later. But the nature of his early references is fraught with political 
suggestions about the nature of the church and state. The thirteenth chapter 
would have undoubtedly developed these suggestions and shown states and 
churches everywhere living in contemporary harmony. Pseudo-Martyr 
therefore leaves us only a shadow of Donne's high esteem for Henry IV of 
France. The shadow is however long enough to point to the values that Donne 
would have us partake with France's moderate, conciliatory Gallican leader. 

Université Laval 

Notes 

1. The prefatory poems are "Amicissimo et meretissimo Ben: lonson" in the 1607 edition 
of Volpone, and "The Expiration" in Alfonso Ferrabosco's book of Ayres in 1609. The 
edition of Pseudo-Martyr used here is that edited by Anthony Raspa (Kingston/Mon- 
treal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993). 

2. On Henry IV's religion, see: M. Wolfe. The Conversion of Henri /V (Cambridge, MA: 
Harvard University Press, 1 993). 

3. "Introduction," Pseudo-Martyr, p. xxxii. 

4. What is in question here are not the political grounds of the pope's interference but the 
lack of reference to the Decalogue as an element in political murders. 

5. Insofar as Henry IV's assassination is concerned, Ravaillac, the king's assassin, always 
maintained even under torture that he had acted alone: R. Mousnier. The Assassination 
of Henri IV (New York: Scribner's, 1973), p. 29. 

6. Recently, R. Love in "The Religion of Henry IV: Faith, Politics, and War, 1553-1593" 
(Ph.D Dissertation, University of Southern California, 1986) has contended that Henry 
was a convinced Protestant when he nevertheless adhered outwardly to Rome in 1 593, 
but other historians like M. Wolfe {The Conversion of Henri IV, p. 123-5) disagree. 

7. Hottoman, author of Francogallia (1573) on state liberty in pre-Roman France, is 
assumed by Donne as well as by Robert Parsons to have also written Vindiciae contra 
Tyrannos (\579), but some modem critics contest the latter authorship: see "Commen- 
tary," Pseudo-Martyr, p. 272. 

8. Donne makes no reference to the Coronation Oath of the kings of France which required 
them to defend Catholicism, a subject that, because of its implications for religious 
tolerance, he could have treated in the unwritten thirteenth chapter of Pseudo-Martyr 
on France. 

9. For a brief description of the Venetian conflict and the negotiations for peace: Pseudo- 
Martyr, pp. 15, 11-18, and "Introduction," p. xxvii. 

10. "Introduction," Pseudo-Martyr, pp. xxvi-xxvii, and p. xlvii. 

1 1 . The Parlement of Paris in January 1 595 expelled the Jesuits, an expulsion which Henry 
tried to stop. He allowed them to return in 1603. 



50 / Renaissance and Reformation 



12. Duperron's letter appeared in Monita Politico, ad Sacri Romani Imperii Principes, de 
Immensa Curiae Romanae potentia moderanda (Frankfurt, 1609). 

1 3. The Edict of Nantes of 1 598 was not intended to be a permanent act of toleration but 
a temporary measure to allow the peaceful conversion of French Protestants to Cathol- 
icism, a question that Donne supposedly would have had to contend with in chapter 
thirteen: M. Turchetti. "Concorde ou tolérance? De 1562 à 1598," Revue Historique, 
556 (October-December, 1985), 341-355. 



Image de force, perception de faiblesse: 
La clémence d'Henri IV 



MICHEL DE WAELE 



Résumé: Parmi les nombreux éléments qui composent la légende d'Henri 
IV, la clémence qu 'il manifesta envers ses ennemis occupe une place de choix. 
Sans elle, affirment de nombreuses personnes, le premier Bourbon n 'aurait 
jamais pu s 'asseoir sur le trône de France. Tous ne partageaient pas cepen- 
dant cet enthousiasme à la fin des guerres de religion. Selon plusieurs 
partisans du roi, cette clémence excessive, loin de montrer la puissance du 
Béarnais, témoignait plutôt de sa faiblesse. 



L 



e 6 juin 1598, menée par le premier président Achille de Harlay, une 
délégation de parlementaires parisiens se présente au Louvres pour féliciter 
Henri IV de sa victoire sur le duc de Mercoeur qui tenait jusque là la Bretagne 
au nom de la Ligue, le parti des catholiques extrémistes lors des guerres de 
religion. La reddition du duc faisait en sorte que toute la France reconnaissait 
maintenant le premier Bourbon pour son souverain légitime; l'ensemble du 
royaume était pacifié. Harlay, dans le compliment qu'il adresse au roi à cette 
occasion, résume les moyens utilisés par ce dernier pour mener à bien la 
pacification de son Etat: 

La réputation de votre vertu guerrière formidable à ces mutins ne les a pas 
seule dompté, l'espérance ou plutôt la certitude de jouir des effets de votre 
clémence épandue en tous endroits de ce royaume vous ont donné cette 
dernière victoire si honorable qu'aucuns n'en reçoient plus de 
commodités que les vaincus outre ce qu'ils ont évité l'expiation 
exemplaire de leur perfidie à laquelle toute la France jugeait que par 
ordonnance divine ils étaient réservés.^ 

Dès le début de son règne, Henri IV tenta de gagner l'appui de ses sujets 
rebelles en leur promettant d'oublier leurs fautes passées pour peu qu'ils 
acceptent de rejoindre son parti. Le 9 décembre 1589, le parlement de Tours, 



Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, XVII, 4 ( 1 993) 5 1 



52 / Renaissance and Reformation 



formé de magistrats royalistes qui avaient fui Paris, tombée aux mains des 
rebelles catholiques, enregistre des lettres patentes du roi qui officialisaient 
cet engagement.^ Bien que certains de ses partisans la trouvent fort excessive 
- on peut détecter une certaine réserve, voire une rancoeur dans le discours 
de Harlay cité plus haut lorsqu'il dit que ce sont les vaincus qui tirent le plus 
de bénéfices de la pacification du royaume - la magnanimité du nouveau roi 
devint rapidement un des thèmes centraux de la propagande royale. 

Ceux qui montraient un certain scepticisme quant aux résultats éventuels 
de cette politique considéraient la clémence comme une arme à double 
tranchant. A leur avis, bien dosée, elle permettait éventuellement au souverain 
et à son peuple de vivre en sécurité et dans la paix. Démesurée par contre, elle 
risquait d'ouvrir la porte aux abus, les malfaisants se sachant assurés de leur 
impunité. Si tous célébraient la clémence comme vertu royale, certaines 
interrogations subsistaient donc quant à son application pratique. En promet- 
tant l'oubli de leurs fautes à ses ennemis avant même d'entreprendre la lutte 
contre eux, Henri IV ne leur transmettait-il pas le message qu'il était trop 
faible pour les combattre? Ne devait- il pas attendre sa victoire finale avant de 
leur pardonner leurs fautes? Associée généralement à l'idée du vainqueur, et 
donc à une image de force, la clémence pouvait ainsi être perçue comme une 
manifestation de faiblesse. Ce double aspect, nous le retrouvons dans les 
débats qui opposent partisans et adversaires de la magnanimité royale au cours 
des premières années du règne d'Henri IV. 

Les Français savaient fort peu de choses de cet Henri de Navarre qui 
devenait soudainement leur roi suite à l'assassinat d'Henri III. Elevé loin de 
la cour, en lutte presque continuelle contre le roi de France depuis 1576, le 
Béarnais n'était pour ainsi dire connu de ses sujets que par le biais de 
pamphlets écrits sur lui par ses ennemis.^ Premier représentant d'une nouvelle 
dynastie, Henri IV devait montrer à ses sujets qu'il était vraiment digne de 
monter sur le trône de saint Louis. Il devait leur prouver qu'il possédait les 
qualités requises pour replacer le royaume au niveau de sa plus grande 
splendeur. Cet objectif devait être atteint le plus rapidement possible, de 
nombreuses personnes contestant ses droits à la couronne. Non seulement le 
Béarnais devait-il conquérir militairement son royaume - il n'en contrôlait 
qu'un sixième lors de son accession au trône -, mais il devait également 
s'emparer au plus tôt de l'âme de ses sujets. 

Ce double défi militaire et moral n'était pas facile à relever. Les exploits 
guerriers d'Henri de Navarre ne garantissaient pas pour autant sa reconnais- 
sance en tant que souverain par l'ensemble des Français. Il se devait égale- 
ment d'agir en roi pour prouver que la France se trouvait réellement sur la 



Renaissance et Réforme / 53 



voie d'un renouvellement devenu nécessaire suite au déclin du royaume 
survenu sous les derniers Valois. Il ne pouvait compter pour ce faire sur les 
éléments symboliques traditionnels qui assuraient au roi de France son 
caractère mystique, vaguement surnaturel et assurément unique. Le sacre, si 
important puisque durant cette cérémonie le monarque était oint du saint 
chrême, la guérison des écrouelles conféraient cette odeur de sainteté aux 
souverains des fleurs de lys. 

Mais la foi protestante d'Henri IV le coupait de ces symboles. Il ne 
touchera les écrouelles que le 10 avril 1594, jour de Pâques. Il avait été sacré 
à Chartres le 27 février précédent après s'être converti au catholicisme en 
juillet 1593. Il lui fallait donc adopter au plus vite un comportement associé 
à l'image royale. Et quelle meilleure façon de montrer aux yeux de tous que 
l'on est véritablement un roi que d'exercer un privilège réservé strictement 
aux seuls souverains: le droit de grâce?* 

Dès le début de son règne Henri IV présente donc un visage bienveillant 
à ses sujets, leur promettant d'oublier leurs fautes passées en échange de leur 
ralliement à sa cause. Dès 1590, ses propagandistes feront une large part à 
cette vertu dans leurs discours. Selon l'avocat Antoine Arnauld, la clémence 
du roi est "ouverte et très assurée: elle surpasse toutes nos fautes, elle est 
immense"; "Tous craindront, mais peu seront punis" renchérit un autre 
royaliste cette même année. ^ Cette clémence servira à asseoir la légitimité 
monarchique du Béarnais mais aussi à le rapprocher de ses sujets, à les 
attacher à sa personne. Dans une lettre adressée au chancelier Pomponne de 
Bellièvre le 18 avril 1603, l'ancien ligueur Louis Dorléans fait d'ailleurs le 
constat suivant: "Que si le roi n'eut pardonné à qui eut-il commandé car toute 
la France était contre lui et à présent elle est glorieusement à lui."^ 

Le pardon est un événement mettant en présence deux individus: la 
personne qui requiert la grâce et celle qui détient le pouvoir de la lui accorder 
ou de la lui refuser.^ Personne n'a droit automatiquement à la clémence; 
l'offrir ne constitue pas une obligation pour le roi. Elle représente quelque 
chose de définitif impliquant une déviation consciente de certaines règles 
publiques par l'autorité possédant le pouvoir suprême sur ces dites règles. Le 
pardon devient un triomphe complet du souverain sur son sujet. Impliquant 
généralement la reconnaissance d'une culpabilité, il exige le repentir du 
demandeur ou à tout le moins son passage par un certain "rituel d'humilia- 
tion." En contrepartie de la rémission de sa peine ou de l'oubli de ses fautes, 
le condamné ou le suspect se donne complètement au roi. La gratitude 
éprouvée par le sujet qui, dès lors, a contracté une dette morale et/ou politique 
envers son souverain doit garantir sa fidélité à celui-ci.^ 



54 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Ce contact personnel qui s'établira ainsi entre Henri IV et ses sujets fera 
sa force. Les edits de pacification de ses prédécesseurs Charles IX et Henri 
III s'appliquaient à l'ensemble du royaume. L'amplitude de leur juridiction 
leur donnait un aspect impersonnel évident à ces mesures. La démarche 
qu'empruntera le Béarnais sera différente. Bien sûr, la juridiction de l'Édit 
de Nantes promulgué en 1598 couvrait la France entière. Mais, auparavant, 
Henri IV s'était attaché à pacifier son royaume, ville après ville, province 
après province. Dès qu'une municipalité ou une région se mettait sous sa 
tutelle, le roi proclamait une ordonnance de paix qui ne concernait que 
celle-ci, et dans laquelle on retrouvait fréquemment des clauses ne s' appli- 
quant de façon spécifique qu'à cette ville ou à cette région.^ 

Les différents edits d'Henri IV n'auraient pu suffire à pacifier le 
royaume. Sa magnanimité s'inscrivait dans un processus plus large de paci- 
fication nationale qui se terminera avec la promulgation de l'Edit de Nantes 
et qui sera marqué entre autres par sa conversion au catholicisme et par la 
déclaration de la guerre contre l'Espagne en 1595. Au plan des relations avec 
les individus, Henri IV devait également inciter les nobles à réintégrer le parti 
royal. Le roi leur offrira pour ce faire des avantages monétaires et sociaux 
immenses. Les coûts excessifs engendrés par l'achat des fidélités des chefs 
ligueurs feront sourciller certains proches conseillers du roi. Leurs reproches 
porteront tout autant sur le principe de ce que l'on pourrait appeler la 
"rémunération de la révolte" que sur des privilèges particuliers consentis à 
ces occasions. La jalousie n'était pas absente chez certains collaborateurs 
d'Henri IV, la part du butin qu'ils escomptaient se retrouvant parfois dans les 
goussets de leurs anciens adversaires. 

Ces critiques s'ajoutent aux réactions mitigées provoquées chez certains 
par la clémence du roi. L'indulgence du Béarnais à l'égard de ses anciens 
ennemis déconcerte en effet bon nombre de ses partisans: "ses ennemis trop 
volontiers, et nous à regret souvent confessons, que c'est le plus doux, le plus 
pardonnant, et le plus oubHeux d'injures qui fut onc."^^ Influencés par la 
philosophie stoïcienne, certains royalistes percevaient la justice comme la 
récompense des bons et la punition des méchants.^ ^ Pour eux, la magnanimité 
excessive d'un monarque s'apparentait à l'injustice. La clémence, croyaient- 
ils, devait n'être exercée que par un roi vainqueur, un souverain en position 
de force. La "Harangue de Monsieur d'Aubray," tirée de la Satyre Ménipée 
publiée en 1593, exprime clairement ce point de vue: "Concluons donc que 
notre roi devrait réserver à user de sa clémence, quand il nous aura tous en sa 
puissance. C'est inclémence voire cruauté, dit Cicéron, de pardonner à ceux 
qui méritent mourir." La Satyre Ménipée, écrit représentatif de la pensée du 



Renaissance et Réforme / 55 



groupe des Politiques, ces catholiques opposés à l'extrémisme de la Ligue et 
qui étaient prêts à reconnaître Henri IV pour peu qu'il se convertisse au 
catholicisme, se montre très sévère au sujet de la clémence manifestée par le 
Béarnais: la magnanimité d'un prince peut être attribuée "à couardise et 
timidité, plutôt qu'à vaillance et générosité"; "La malice des rebelles s'opi- 
niatre et s'endurcit par la douceur dont on use envers eux."^^ 

Plusieurs raisons peuvent expliquer les réserves de certains partisans 
d'Henri IV face à sa magnanimité. Il existe tout d'abord des motivations 
politiques. Charles IX et Henri III avaient tenté vainement de mettre un terme 
aux guerres de religion en usant de douceur. Le Béarnais, en empruntant cette 
même voie, ne risquait-il pas lui-même de subir un échec cuisant? Cette option 
était considérée d' autant plus dangereuse que, pour certains, elle avait conduit 
à l'assassinat du dernier Valois. Henri III aurait en effet ultimement payé de 
sa vie sa bienveillance à l'égard de ses ennemis. ^^ César lui-même, considéré 
à cette époque comme le plus bel exemple de clémence royale, n'était-il pas 
mort de la main d'individus à qui il avait pardonné leur implication dans un 
complot contre sa personne?^^ 

La voie choisie par Henri IV pour pacifier son royaume pouvait en effet 
s'avérer dangereuse. En oubliant les fautes de ses sujets, le Béarnais ne 
pouvait s'assurer du degré du repentir de ceux-ci. En fait, il n'en avait aucune 
idée.^^ Les Ligueurs allaient-ils profiter de cette pause dans les hostilités 
offerte par le roi pour refaire leurs forces? Avaient-ils réellement accepté la 
victoire finale du parti royaliste? De nombreux partisans d'Henri IV crai- 
gnaient une résurgence de la Ligue pour peu que les affaires du royaume 
tournent mal. Malgré la fin des guerres civiles, les Français continuent à 
souffrir de la famine, de la cherté des produits et des affronts des gens de 
guerre. En décembre 1 596, le conseiller au parlement de Paris, Jacques Gillot, 
signale dans une lettre au président Jacques Auguste de Thou que des 
individus travaillaient activement en vue d'une résurrection de la Ligue. '^ 
Arrivant en Provence en 1599, Guillaume Du Vair affirme y avoir trouvé 
beaucoup de pauvreté et des divisions de toutes sortes parmi la population. Il 
craint les conséquences de la promulgation de l'Édit de Nantes sur des esprits 
déjà échauffés. ^^ 

Pour certains partisans d'Henri IV, il semblait nécessaire de faire un 
exemple en punissant au moins les chefs de la rébellion. Selon le pamphlétaire 
royaliste Daniel Drouin qui écrit en 1592, un État ne peut se maintenir si son 
gouverneur ne fait pas preuve occasionnellement d'un minimum de sévérité. 
Il poursuit en affirmant que "Le roi par une trop grande facilité et douceur ne 
fait non moins de dommage que par tyrannie".*^ L'auteur fonde son argu- 



56 / Renaissance and Reformation 



mentation sur les précédents établis par les rois de France. Bien que, selon 
Drouin, ils se fussent toujours montrés moins sévères que les monarques des 
autres nations envers leurs sujets rebelles, les souverains français n'avaient 
épargné ni cordes, ni potences, ni roues et autres supplices pour punir les 
séditieux selon leurs crimes. Chilpéric IV, Louis le Gros, Philippe le Bel, 
Charles VI auraient tous pris soin d'exécuter les chefs des révoltés qui 
s'étaient élevés contre eux.^^ 

Faire preuve d'une telle justice est, selon plusieurs auteurs de l'époque, 
essentiel pour un prince. Pardonner à tout venant, c'est faire preuve de lâcheté 
affirme le président L' Allouette. Michel Hurault, parlant d'Henri III en 1588, 
"le premier roi lequel on a pu hardiment et sans crainte offenser," soutenait 
qu'un excès de clémence et de douceur pouvait être associé à de la noncha- 
lance.^^ En refusant d'examiner les fautes de certains de ses sujets, en les 
oubliant, Henri FV ne faisait-il pas la preuve que le sens de l'équité lui 
manquait? Ne laissait-il pas paraître qu'il était peu ou pas intéressé à redorer 
le blason de la justice? Le redressement de la France que l'on attendait sous 
sa férule impliquait aussi une remise à l'honneur du processus judiciaire. 
Plusieurs Français considéraient que celui-ci avait été foulé aux pieds lors des 
guerres de religion, que plus personne ne respectait l'idéal de justice.^^ Le 
rétablissement de la monarchie, la prise en main des affaires par un roi 
légitime, gonflent les espoirs de certains partisans d'Henri IV: "La force des 
lois reverdira, l'autorité des cours reluira, la fermeté des jugements s'établi- 
ra."^^ En offrant sa clémence avant même de s'être penché sur les fautes de 
ses sujets, Henri IV pouvait donner l'impression de faire peu de cas du 
processus judiciaire et du devoir du prince d'assurer la justice à ses sujets. Ce 
grief était d'autant plus grave que de nombreux auteurs considéraient alors 
que le premier devoir d'un souverain était justement d'assurer la justice à ses 
sujets.^^ 

Se basant sur cette affirmation, des partisans d'Henri IV s'opposeront à 
ce que des officiers ayant choisi le parti de la Ligue puissent réintégrer leur 
charge sans coup férir. François de Clary livre ainsi un plaidoyer passionné 
en 1591 dans lequel il s'indigne de voir la grâce royale s'étendre aux officiers 
qui avaient refusé de suivre le parti du roi légitime.^"^ En fait, si tous célèbrent 
la clémence royale, les principales interrogations à son sujet concernent le 
degré de sa mise en application. Un homme naturellement turbulent ne saurait 
être changé par la douceur dont on use envers lui, selon Guillaume Joly. Pierre 
Poisson de la Bodinière croyait quant à lui qu'il fallait éviter des châtiments 
trop sévères, ceux-ci produisant généralement un désir de vengeance chez le 



Renaissance et Réforme / 57 



condamné. Toutefois, il reconnaissait que les sujets devaient au moins crain- 
dre modérément leur prince.^^ 

Les discussions sur ce sujet, il faut le signaler, n'étaient pas nouvelles. 
Déjà, lors des États-Généraux de 1560, le clergé et le Tiers État avaient 
critiqué l'indulgence des souverains envers les criminels. On s'interrogeait 
également sur le statut des personnes qui voyaient leurs crimes pardonnes par 
le monarque. Ce processus était-il équitable pour toutes les couches de la 
société ou le roi ne viciait-il pas le processus judiciaire pour protéger certains 
privilégiés?^^ 

L'étude de la clémence manifestée par Henri IV à la fin des guerres de 
religion permet de soulever certaines questions relatives à la vie politique et 
sociale de cette époque. L'attitude du roi qui ne condamne à l'exil que 
quelques membres du Tiers Etat - curés, marchands, artisans ou petits 
procureurs - et qui laisse le parlement exécuter quelques individus de basse 
condition convaincus d'avoir trempé dans l'assassinat du président Brisson 
et des conseillers Larcher et Tardif illustre- t-elle d'une certaine façon les 
forces sociales à l'oeuvre en cette fin du XVP siècle? Il semble que l'on 
condamnait alors plus facilement un roturier qu'un noble. Si Henri IV a 
toujours prétendu que le bien-être du peuple français était pour lui primordial, 
ce sentiment ne l'empêche pas d'accorder plus de valeur à la vie d'un membre 
de la noblesse qu'à celle d'un individu issu du Tiers État. 

L' "oubliance" générale décrétée par Henri IV peut nous fournir égale- 
ment quelques indications sur les "droits et libertés" relatifs à la guerre à cette 
époque. Dans ses edits de pacification, le roi n'étabht en effet aucune 
discrimination dans les crimes pardonnes. Les gestes les plus sordides, ceux 
commis par traîtrise ou perfidie ne seront pas retenus contre leurs auteurs. 
Ceci allait à rencontre des coutumes criminelles du temps qui reconnaissaient 
seulement quelques actes comme étant rémissibles. En 1576, le juriste Jean 
Papon retenait onze circonstances pour lesquelles un crime pouvait être 
pardonné par le souverain.^^ En effaçant tout, Henri IV ne laissait-il pas 
sous-entendre que l'idéal chevaleresque ne serait plus considéré en France? 

Héritier d'une monarchie affaiblie, d'une situation politique plus que 
confuse, Henri IV tenta de sortir la France du marasme en liant la fidélité de 
ses sujets à sa personne. Mais, après 30 ans de guerres civiles, les intérêts 
étaient si divers, les appétits si aiguisés que le roi ne put satisfaire tout le 
monde. Quelques fidèles de la première heure se sentirent parfois oubliés par 
la manne royale alors que leurs anciens ennemis profitaient des largesses du 
roi; ils firent savoir à l'occasion leur mécontentement. Toutefois, le charisme 
personnel d'Henri IV réussit à lui garantir un règne somme toute assez calme. 



58 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Les événements qui suivront son assassinat, la cabale des Grands contre la 
régente Marie de Médicis qui pourtant tentait de suivre les politiques établies 
par le roi défunt, qui essayait à coup d'argent de maintenir leur soutien à la 
couronne, montrent bien que la garantie de la paix socio-politique dépendait 
de la fidélité au roi-individu plutôt que de la fidélité à un royaume qui, pour 
beaucoup, demeurait encore quelque chose d'abstrait. 

La voie empruntée par Henri IV pour gagner la fidélité de ses sujets nous 
éclaire donc sur la perception qu'avaient alors les Français des institutions du 
royaume. Le succès du roi reposa sur le contact personnel qu'il put établir 
avec la population. En pacifiant les villes et les régions une à une, en signant 
des traités avec des individus avant de proclamer en 1598 un édit s' appliquant 
à l'ensemble du royaume, le premier Bourbon ne nous indique-t-il pas que 
ses sujets voulaient d'abord s'attacher à un individu - le roi - plutôt qu'à une 
institution - la monarchie - ou à une nation - la France? 

Malgré les réserves que certains de ses partisans ont pu manifester à 
l'égard de la clémence d'Henri IV, la bienveillance de ce dernier deviendra 
partie intégrante de sa légende. Le pardon royal prendra sous le règne des 
Bourbon une signification spéciale. Avant le couronnement de Louis XIII en 
1610, les rois de France n'avaient pas coutume de libérer des prisonniers pour 
célébrer leur montée sur le trône.^^ Non seulement Louis XIII élargira-t-il des 
détenus mais des centaines d'oiseaux seront relâchés dans le ciel de Reims 
lors de la cérémonie du sacre. Grâce à Henri IV, la clémence deviendra un 
symbole incontesté de la puissance souveraine en France. 

Université McGill 

Notes 

1. B[ibliothèque] N[ationale], Ms. fr. 18417, fol. 184-184v. 

2. Seules sont exemptes de ce pardon les personnes associées à l'assassinat d'Henri III 
perpétré le 1er août 1589. A[rchives] N[ationales], Xla 9230, fol. 122. 

3. Discours au vrai de ce qui s 'est passé en V armée conduite par sa majesté, depuis son 
avènement à la Couronne, jusqu 'à la prise des faubourgs de Paris. Et de làjusques à 
la prise de la ville d'Alençon, (s. 1., 1589), p. 5. 

4. Si le droit médiéval accordait à plusieurs autorités la faculté de gracier dans le cadre 
de leur justice, le XVI^ siècle verra le pardon devenir prérogative royale. L. Le Roy, 
Les Politiques d 'Aristote (Paris, 1 568), p. 508; J. Bodin, Les six livres de la République 
(Paris, 1583), pp. 236-238; L. Charondas Le Caron, Pandectes ou digestes du droit 
français (Paris, 1637 [1596]}, pp. 64-67; P. Poisson de la Bodinière, Traité de la 
majesté royale en France (Paris, 1597), pp. 32-33; B. De La Roche Flavin, Treize livres 
des parlements de France (Bordeaux, 1617), p. 9. Sur l'évolution du droit de grâce en 
France, voir: J. Foviaux, La rémission des peines et des condamnations. Droit monar- 
chique et droit moderne (Paris, 1970). 



Renaissance et Réforme / 59 



5. A. Arnauld, Coppie de V Anti-Espagnol fait à Paris (s. 1., 1590), p. 49. Panégyrique au 
Très-Chrétien Henri IV (s. 1., 1590), p. 99v-100. 

6. B. N., Ms. fr. 15900, fol. 440. 

7. N. Davis, Fiction in the Archives. Pardon Taies and their Tellers in Sixteenth Century 
France (Stanford, 1987); J. G. Murphy, "Forgiveness and Resentment", dans J. G. 
Murphy et J. Hampton, Forgiveness and Mercy (Cambridge, 1988), pp. 14-34. 

8. Sur cet aspect de la clémence, voir: D. Ménager, "La politique du don dans les derniers 
chapitres de Gargantua,'' dans The Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Vol. 
8, No. 2 ( 1 978) pp. 179-1 91 . Pour un exemple concret, voir les "Lettres patentes portant 
rémission à Jacques de Maillé d'avoir suivi la Ligue," données au Mans en décembre 
1589, A. N., Xla 8640, fol. 99. Maillé, en échange du pardon royal, promet "de nous 
être si fidèle à l'avenir que nous aurons toute occasion de nous contenter de lui." Ces 
lettres sont enregistrées par le parlement de Tours le 10 janvier 1590: A. N., Xla 9230, 
fol. 154v. 

9. Des articles relatifs aux impositions qui se lèvent sur les rivières Rhône, Saône et Loire 
se retrouvent ainsi à l'article VIII de VEdit et déclaration du roi, sur la réduction de 
la ville de Lyon, sous son obéissance (Lyon, 1594). Des mesures visant à prévenir les 
débordements de la Loire sont prévues dans VEdit du roi sur la réduction de la Ville 
d'Orléans en son obéissance, (Orléans, 1594), article IX. 

10. M. Hurault, Discours sur l'état de la France (Chartres, 1591), pp. 83-84. 

1 1. Il "faut distribuer les loyers selon la vertu, et les peines selon les délits." L. Le Roy, 
Les politiques d'Aristote, p. 591. De l'obéissance due au Prince. Pour faire cesser les 
armes et rétablir la Paix en ce royaume (Caen, 1590), pp. 25-26. Panegyric au 
Très-Chrétien Henri UIL Roi de France et de Navarre, par le S. D. I. E. S. L. (Tours, 
1590), p. 50. Sur ce sujet, voir: P.-L. Vaillancourt, "Tolérance et clémence dans 
quelques traités politiques à l'automne de la Renaissance," dans La Tolérance: nais- 
sance et affirmation d'une idée de l'époque moderne (Poitiers, 1989), pp. 1 17-130. 

1 2. Satyre Ménipée du Catholicon d'Espagne, et de la tenue des États de Paris (s. L, 1 593), 
p. 226-228. 

1 3. Fidèle avertissement du seigneur Vasco Figueiro, gentilhomme Portugais, aux rebelles 
Français, de se retirer de la faction de Philippe // roi d'Espagne, de peur qu'ils ne 
tombent sous sa tyrannique domination. Et de retourner à l'obéissance de leur roi 
naturel et légitime (s. 1., 1591), pp. 59-60. A. Arnauld, La fleur de Lys (s. 1., s. d.), pp. 
18-22. 

14. La Satyre Ménipée se termine sur deux petits poèmes consacrés à ce thème (pp. 
254-255). On trouve les vers suivants dans l'un d'entre eux: 

C'est bien une vertu belle entre les plus belles. 

D'être doux aux vaincus, et pardonner à tous: 
Mais gardez-vous du trop, même envers les rebelles. 

Car César en mourut grand Prince comme vous. 

Les partisans d'Henri IV craignaient comme la peste la mort du roi, que celle-ci 
survienne lors d'une bataille ou par la main d'un assassin. Sur ce sujet voir: M. De 
Waele, "Pour la sauvegarde du roi et du royaume: l'expulsion des Jésuites de France 
à la fin des guerres de religion," à paraître dans Canadian Journal of History/Annales 
Canadiennes d'Histoire, Vol. 29, No.2. 



60 / Renaissance and Reformation 



15. A ce sujet, signalons que dans la Bible le pardon est toujours conditionnel au repentir: 
"Forgive", dans A Theological Word Book of the Bible, éd. Alan Richardson (New 
York, 1951), pp. 85-86. La plupart des auteurs français du XVF siècle affirment que 
le retour vers Dieu d'une personne déchue commence par la prise de conscience de son 
péché: M. Wolfe, The conversion of Henri IV. Politics, Power, and Religious Belief in 
Early Modem France (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 9-16. 

16. "J'ai avis comme assez bon qu'il se dresse une nouvelle Ligue. A laquelle on a convié 
par écrit un gentilhomme de notre quartier bon capitaine qui promet de mettre les lettres 
es mains du roi." B. N., Dupuy 819, fol. 105. 

17. "Lettre de G. Du Vair à J. A. de Thou", 16 juillet 1599, B. N., Dupuy 802, fol. 40. 

18. D. Drouin, Le miroir des rebelles traitant de l'excellence de la Majesté Royale, et la 
punition de ceux qui se sont élevés contre icelle (Tours, 1592), p. 264. 

19. D. Drouin, Le miroir des rebelles, p. 192-215. Ce discours se retrouvait déjà dans le 
Panégyrique au Très-Chrétien Henri IV, pp. 125-135. 

20. L'allouette, Des affaires d 'État. Des finances, du prince et de sa noblesse (Metz, 1 597), 
p. 95;M. Hurault, Excellent et libre discours sur l'état présent de la France (s. 1., 1588), 
pp. 35-36. 

21. M. Hurault, Discours sur l'état de la France, pp. 25-26; Panegyric au Très-Chrétien 
Henri III, pp. 65-68. 

22. Le panégyrique adressé au roi de la part de ses bons sujets de sa ville de Paris (s. 1., 
1590), p. 6; G. Joly, Panégyrique au roi Henri IIII, p. 9. 

23. "La principale marque de souveraineté est la droite et souveraine administration de la 
justice", L. Charondas Le Caron, Pandectes, p. 2. 

24. F. de Clary, Remontrance faite au Grand Conseil du roi sur le rétablissement requis 
par les officiers du roi qui ont suivi la Ligue (Caen, 1591). Cet argument avait déjà été 
présenté dans le Panegyric au Très- Chrétien Henri IV, p. 119. Demeuré à Paris sur 
ordre d'Henri III, François de Clary avait dû demander à Henri IV des lettres patentes 
lui permettant de réintégrer sa charge au grand conseil. Ces lettres datées du 21 
novembre 1589 seront enregistrées le 12 décembre suivant: A. N., V5 1227, fol. 7. 

25. G. Joly, Panégyrique au roi Henri IIII, p. 68. P. Poisson de la Bodinière, Traité de la 
majesté royale en France, pp. 32-33. 

26. ^.T>ay'\s, Fiction in the Archives, pY^.A%-51. 

11. J. Papon, Trias judiciel du Second Notaire (Lyon, 1575), p. 466-471, cité dans: N. 
Davis, Fiction in the Archives, p. 12. Voir également: A. Soman, "Les procès de 
sorcellerie au parlement de Paris (1565-1640)," dans Annales E.S.C., Vol. 32, No. 4, 
1977, p. 790-814. 

28. R. A. Jackson, Vive le Roi! A History of the French Coronation from Charles V to 
Charles X (Chapel Hill, 1984), pp. 94-98. 



Book Reviews / Comptes rendu 



Katherine Duncan- Jones. Sir Philip Sidney: Courtier Poet. New Haven and 
London: Yale University Press, 1991. Pp. xviii, 350. 

Sidney had a violent temper. Suspecting his father's secretary, Molineux, of reading 
his letters, he promised to thrust his dagger into the unfortunate, probably innocent 
clerk. He was fiery, restless, easily affronted, extremely impulsive, infected by his 
mother's ingrained bitterness. He indulged in rash gestures of defiance, challenging 
to the death the anonymous insulting author of Leicester's Commonwealth, instead 
of responding convincingly in print (pp. 260, 266-69). The same suicidal impetuos- 
ity is connected to the wound that killed him. 

His arrogance was noticeable from his early schooldays, but his occasionally 
withdrawn, introverted manner and his intellectual and literary interests were often 
taken for pride. His pride in his ancestry was considerable: "my chiefest honour is 
to be a Dudley" (p. 44); so the insult he received from the less than charming Earl 
of Oxford, on the royal tennis court, rankled and grew to a life-long hatred. Losing 
his first fiancée, Anne Cecil, to Oxford was only one in a lifetime of frustrations, 
of waiting expectantly for appointments, favours and honours which were mostly 
denied him or delayed. 

Money was always a problem. Although he graduated from the "old patched 
doublets and linen hose" of his schooldays (p. 34), he was forced to beg all his life 
from Leicester, Burghley and Walsingham, his father-in-law, whom he eventually 
ruined with the debts he left him. His marriage to Frances was probably part of a 
financial plan to repair his credit. Many of his hopeful projects failed, like his 
investment in Frobisher, who expected to find gold by the ton in Canadian black 
pyrite, costly fool's gold as he discovered (p. 116). 

Sidney's personality emerges vividly from this account, and his relationship 
with the queen is especially well presented. Elizabeth is a dark, louring presence, 
brooding over Sidney's fortunes: cold, ungenerous, suspicious. The Dudley involve- 
ment in the diaster of Lady Jane Grey (who was also related to Philip's mother) lay 
incomfortably in his background. His Roman Catholic connections, and suspected 
inclinations, increased her reserve. Bom in Queen Mary's reign, Philip was godson 
and namesake to Philip II of Spain. In Prague, he risked several meetings with 



62 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Edmund Campion (p. 124-26) and wrote optimistically about the future of the 
recusants to the Catholic Lady Kytson, signing himself "Your Ladyship's fellow 
and friend" (p. 127). Appointments and honours were conceded at last but grudg- 
ingly. The queen even seemed jealous of the respect shown for Sidney by European 
princes like Casimir and William of Orange. Sidney was bitterly aware "how apt 
the Queen is to interpret everything to my disadvantage" (p. 288). He may have 
indulged his dislike for her in his fiction (pp. 17, 177). 

In the famous [Comelis Ketel] portrait of Philip Sidney his smallpox scars are 
not shown. Katherine Duncan-Jones, on the other hand, does not blur over many 
unbeautiful spots hidden in the "hitherto conventional idealization of Sidney" (p. 
227). Nor are the glamour and attractiveness concealed: the pageantry and splendour 
of Kenilworth, 1575; masques and triumphs and jousts, like the "Callophisus 
challenge" (p. 202), in which Sidney was resplendently costumed, bejewelled and 
allegorised; the respect for him across Europe; his unrestrained, even self-destruct- 
ive, generosity from childhood to his death-bed; his graciousness in patronage of 
learning and the arts; his dislike of hunting and of causing pain to animals, and the 
more public virtues that led the unknown diarist to mourn him: "few ages have ever 
brought forth his equal and the very hope of our age seemeth to be utterly extin- 
guished in him" (p. 303). 

Duncan-Jones's biography is a delight to read and wears lightly the consider- 
able scholarship it is based on, which provides new suggestions about material in 
primary sources, including manuscripts. The author passes silently over many older 
writers such as F. S. Boas, referring only once to Mona Wilson to correct an 
unsubstantiated assertion (pp. 297-98), but she leans respectfully on M. W. Wallace. 
Inevitably, some points are treated more satisfactorily elsewhere: Sidney calls 
Italians "discoursers," which she glosses "chatterers" (p. 79); John Buxton com- 
pares another letter which shows Sidney means not "chatterboxes" but "naturally 
delightful talkers" {Sir Philip Sidney and the Renaissance, 1964, p. 68). Elsewhere, 
Sidney himself praises historians, poets, orators for being "discoursers" (p. 170). 
However, Duncan-Jones's book is based on an easy acquaintance with the best and 
the most recent scholarship, for instance, on the personality of Alençon (p. 160) or 
Sir Henry Sidney's military flirtation with Spain (p. 88). Her suggestions for 
alternative readings to those of Ringler, Buxton, Osbom, Marotti and others are 
thoughtful and usually convincing. 

This narrative is well-paced, avoiding the flat, even, chronicle-like delivery of 
some biographies. There is a feeling for dramatic movement and a sense of timing 
as the chapters are shaped to the rhythms of Sidney's life. Occasional colloquial 
and neologistic phrases vary the texture of Duncan- Jones's style: the "jokey asser- 
tion" in the Defence (p. 233), the "irritant, grit-in-oyster-like impetus" in the sonnet 
sequence (p. 238). So do her irony and humour: in the portrait of the Devereux 
sisters, she notes the "distinctively long upper lips which may conceal the large 



Renaissance et Réforme / 63 



front teeth so characteristic of English girls" (p. 196); the flamboyant Prince Alasco 
"was a conspicuous consumer" - of marzipan especially (p. 250). 

The connections noted between Sidney's life and his writing are especially 
numerous and interesting, if necessarily speculative at times. His comforting nurse 
Anne Mantell may have suggested the soothing "mantle black" of the night in one 
poem (p. 9); the tough female Irish sea-captain, Grania O'Malley, may be the origin 
of a victorious old Amazon in the "Old" Arcadia (p. 1 1 1); Pamela, brave in prison 
in the "New" Arcadia, recalls Lady Jane Grey (p. 6); the story of Argalus and the 
disfigured Parthenia reminds us of his father's devotion to his smallpox-scarred 
mother, though fiction allows a happy ending (p. 4). 

There are thoughtful new emphases in readings of Sidney's experiences, for 
instance, of his possible devotion to Marie of Nassau (p. 133). The treatment of 
Sidney's mixed feelings for Languet is well-balanced: he is respectful, even affec- 
tionate but sometimes cloyed and stifled by the insistent, almost amorous old 
scholar. There are new readings of the literature too, for instance, of the political 
significance of The Lady of May (p. 149). Katherine Duncan -Jones's understanding 
of Sidney's personality makes her wonder whether Astrophil and Stella, for all its 
intense emotion and "self-revelation," is not quite a love-story but rather a brilliant, 
detached, rhetorical exercise, a dramatic fiction (p. 242-46). 

There is a hint of ambiguity about Sidney's sexuality. If we allow for the 
problematic of placing modem labels on sexual orientation 400 years ago, his 
closest male friends, Greville (surely) and Dyer (possibly) may both have described 
themselves as "homosexual" and Sidney himself, was "best" with older men (p. 
254). His coldness towards the young wife who saved his fortunes may be relevant 
(p. 254-55). Did he really have moments of wishing himself to be a woman? (p. 
19)? 

Generally, Sidney liked the company of women. In Duncan- Jones's opinion, 
he undestood and respected the points of view of women and was "unusually 
perceptive and sympathetic in his literary presentation of [them]" (p. 182): the 
feelings of a cast-off mistress, the sexuality of older women, the sensibility of 
women yoked to old, foolish husbands, the "fortitude and intelligence of women 
underpressure" (p. 184). Given the patriarchal Elizabethan context, Sidney emerges 
as a figure particularly attractive in this respect to a modern consciousness. Typi- 
cally, his fictional heroines upstage his heroes. 

In having such a biographer (and editor) who is an accomplished scholar as 
well as a sensitive literary critic, Sidney is fortunate. So are we. 

DEREK N. C. WOOD, St. Francis Xavier University 



64 / Renaissance and Reformation 

A. C. Hamilton, General Editor; Donald Cheney, Senior Co-Editor; W. F. 
Blissett, Co-Editor; David A. Richardson, Managing Editor; William M. 
Barker, Research Editor. The Spenser Encyclopedia. Toronto: University of 
Toronto Press, 1990. Pp. xxi, 858. 

Publication of The Spenser Encyclopedia deconstructs the witty truth that a camel 
is a horse designed by a committee. This major contribution to Spenser studies was 
designed and created by an international collection of scholars working together for 
more than a decade. The volume will surely serve Spenser students at many levels 
for a much longer period. Of a very high quality, its potential to sharpen interest in 
Spenser studies, in particular, and English Renaissance studies, in general, should 
not be underestimated. 

Several factors determine the success of such a volume. These include its 
general conception, the editorial team's judgement and strength, the level of the 
intended reader, the rationale for the individual topics and categories, the selection 
of leamed authors, the value of their entries, the plan for editorial oversight, and 
the quality of the publishing. In all these regards. The Spenser Encyclopedia was 
served well. Especially laudable is the decision to fix on the "intelligent senior 
undergraduate" as the "implied reader" (p. xi), thereby encouraging readability 
while making the volume accessible to Spenser students at many levels. (It is a pity 
that this implied reader is not honored more often in scholarly writing). 

The pre-publication history covered by General Editor, A. C. Hamilton, in his 
"Introduction" contributes much to our understanding of the volume's successful 
completion. The fashioning of a Canadian and American editorial team in 197 1 was 
followed by international conferences and meetings to assure "the full cooperation 
by the community of Spenser scholars" (p. xi). A central exercise at these gatherings 
was the discussion of necessary topics, under the assumption that, in the initial 
stages, the more heads involved the better. In principle, these gatherings encouraged 
a broadly cooperative public spirit that contributed to the final editorial decisions. 
Selecting authors for the different entries required a different kind of exercise. The 
intention to bring together "the best that the present generation of critics had to say 
about Spenser" (p. xi) was satisfied by the editorial decision to find the "most 
suitable contributor . . . whether a senior scholar or recent Ph.D." (p. xii). At that 
point the editors had to do their homework. They read the "publications or doctoral 
dissertation of a potential contributor" (p. xii). And I think we can assume that more 
labour was involved than meets the eye in Editor Hamilton's modest account of this 
exercise. Once the contributors were invited, an elaborate editorial procedure 
included many levels of review, proofreading, and consultation between editors and 
authors. But the bottom line is unequivocal: "the contributor alone is finally 
responsible for what is said" (p. xii). 



Renaissance et Réforme / 65 



Although an encyclopedia cannot be all things to all its potential readers, it 
must be useful. One measure of usefulness is the success of its formal scheme. In 
the case of The Spenser Encyclopedia, the alphabetical ordering is supplemented 
by a "Classification of Articles" (pp. vii-x), which groups articles under general 
categories ("Arts: dramatic, visual;" "Biography;" "Characters;" "Chivalric and 
courtly matter," etc.). The index both aphabetizes topics and includes, as their 
subcategories, those entries where the topics are treated. In turn, an alphabetized 
list of contributors (pp. xv-xxi), by indicating their article(s), provides ready access 
to the contents in terms of the scholarly participants. In short, the full system readily 
and usefully displays the contents of the volume. 

The "Classification of Articles" does bear close scrutiny. The obvious question 
whether or not the catégories preceded the selection of topics or vice versa is a 
chicken-or-egg-first question and not the real issue. The categories do reveal the 
direction of the necessarily subjective editorial decisions concerning which general 
subject areas were essential. And Monday morning quarterbacking is irresistible 
here. For my part, two related omissions were surprising. The first is the absence 
of a section on the history of Spenser criticism, an omission particularly conspicu- 
ous, since there is a category entitled "scholarship, reference materials" and an entry 
entitled "scholarship 1579-1932." Changing critical attitudes often drive scholar- 
ship, and a desire to free the encyclopedia from polemical distorsions would neither 
require nor justify omitting a section on criticism. The second omission is a general 
section on politics and government to be consistent with the categories, "history," 
"religion," and "law." The index does little to fill this vacuum. There is no entry for 
government; and the entry, "politics," has only marginal subcategories such as 
"alchemy," "chivalry," "courtesy as social code," while ignoring more obvious 
subcategories such as "monarchy," or "patronage." Moreover, the index entry, 
"power, political," by directing the reader to "politics," where power is not men- 
tioned, proves to be a dead end. My claim - that the absent categories respectively 
on "criticism" and on "politics and government" are related - is a simple one. A 
recent productive turn in criticism and scholarship on English Renaissance litera- 
ture, including the so-called "New Historicism," is a sharpened attention to the 
interpénétration of literature and politics. For example, the representation of "power 
relations" was a compelling subject for Spenser and other poets. It is useful to keep 
in mind that what we call "Spenser" necessarily includes the history of our changing 
grasp of such matters. 

When all is said and done, any encyclopedia can only be as good as its 
individual articles, for which "the contributor alone is finally responsible." The 
reviewer faces the unsettling task of assessing a volume with hundreds of entries. 
A rough equivalent would be reviewing a comprehensive book for all trails in the 
Rocky Mountains (both sides of the Canadian/ American border). The high stan- 
dards set for selecting contributors and the generally high level of their performance 



66 / Renaissance and Reformation 



make the impossibility of comprehensiveness somewhat less unsettling. But indi- 
vidual entries can be judged according to their usefulness. The volume's own 
implied reader suggests one criterion of usefulness that can be applied to all entries. 
Other criteria include workable definitions, obvious and succinct displays of essen- 
tial factors, ready signposts pointing to important scholarship. Above all, the 
contributor must be aware of fashioning a nutshell version of the subject. A few 
examples of entries dealing with especially problematical topics reveal varying 
degrees of success in meeting these requirements. 

The entry, "humanism," by O. B. Hardison, Jr., could be taken as a model for 
this kind of dictionary. It presents clearly and succinctly a complex subject with a 
rich historical develpment. First, we are given the historical context, 1300 to 1650, 
its "most typical features," and the basis of its name; then, "points which recur most 
in humanist writing." And we are told that it is not the so-called "secular humanism" 
of contemporary North America. Two short paragraphs and our implied reader 
already has something solid in hand before being introduced, next, to the inevitable 
complications arising from various scholarly assessments. Then follows the neces- 
sary movement through Western Europe, the obvious players and their roles (e.g., 
Petrarch, Pico, Erasmus), then Spenser's English context, his own involvement, and 
questions about how he can be considered a humanist. The bibliography is modest, 
but suggestive and weighty. This is an impressively useful nutshell. 

By contrast, Marilyn French's "gender" succeeds much less fully in dealing 
with another problematical subject. Here, uncertainties about the proper boundaries 
of a contested subject in modern criticism create very different kinds of problems. 
Androgyny, crossdressing, power relations, marriage and courtship, poetic roles, 
and female monarchs are among the potentially complicating subjects. Inexplicably, 
French ignores almost all other scholarly studies and gives no bibliography, allow- 
ing the misleading inference that there is no debate on these matters. In spite of this 
puzzling omission, she offers a creditable discussion of Spenser's "traditional 
Western conceptions of gender whereby men are associated with power and the 
public realm, and women with love and the private realm" (p. 325). But the puzzling 
failure to say anything about either Elizabeth or Gloriana, who dramatically over- 
turn this pattern, compromises the usefulness of the entry. Likewise, except for a 
brief paragraph on The Shepeardes Calender, there is no discussion of other Spenser 
works beyong The Faerie Queene. At least, Amoretti, Epithalamion, and Fowre 
Hymnes would seem relevant. The missing bibliography would surely lead the 
implied reader to ask where we are expected to go for more on this important subject. 

The voluminous entry on "romance" by Patricia Parker, one of the longest in 
the volume, suffers from the opposite shortcoming. Excessive examples cloud ready 
accessibility; the sphere of reference is deep and wide; and the bibliography is hefty. 
Like humanism, the subject of romance has a complicated history. Rexible working 
definitions and judicious selectivity of detail would be welcome in such an ency- 



Renaissance et Réforme / 67 



clopedia entry. We begin only with an inadequate introductory statement that clearly 
sidesteps definition: "Any discussion of romance broad enough to suggest the many 
strains incorporated in The Faerie Queene must include not only works traditionally 
designated as 'romances' but also romance elements within other texts." Then 
follows a protracted examination of "kinds" (subdivided as biblical, early Christian, 
medieval, Italian, pastoral), and afterwards a much shorter section on "images and 
motifs." Though learned, the entry suffers from a lack of bold generalization 
supported by rigorous selectivity. Perhaps not only implied readers will think that 
the discussion meanders, like romance itself, into more than one wandering wood. 

The entry, "heroic poem since Spenser," by Mary Ann Radzinowicz, 
sucessfully confronts the difficulties of defining a problematic genre with a lengthy 
and complicated history. "The term heroic poem refers to an extended verse 
narrative displaying valued human qualities." Unfortunately, these qualities change 
"from age to age" and "the poetic structures chosen for heroic narrative do not 
remain constant." Even the term "heroic poem," used synonymously with "epic" or 
"historical" in Spenser's time, "scarcely survived the eighteenth century." A 
"loosely conceived mode " still lives even in such recent poets as Lowell and 
Berryman. The crucial question is how many traditional elements are necessary to 
admit a given poem to the tradition. "The history of the heroic poem after Spenser, 
then, can be seen as the history of the transformation and the recombination of the 
formal, thematic, mimetic, affective, and generative elements - both those recog- 
nized by him and those subsequently found valuable, often drawn from parts of the 
tradition Spenser ignored." The horizon is dangerously expandable in this matter. 
Radzinowicz wisely narrows it by discussing only one topic each in the areas of 
form, content and affect. This technique is deft, and the remainder of the discussion 
controlled, informative, and suggestive. The bibliography follows up usefully on 
the suggestions. 

Predictably, the success of individual entries will vary in an encyclopedia, even 
in such a valuable one. But not all encyclopedias will reward browsing with so much 
pleasure as well as substance. Few who browse amongst the entries will resist the 
witty come-on entry, "Marx and Spenser" (i.e., Karl's interest in Edmund's works), 
or entries on such subjects as bowers, dwarfs, fauns, hermits, miniatures, mirrors, 
muses, rivers, satyrs, tapestries, thresholds, veils, and puns, just to name a few. The 
volume contains an impressively broad and varied field of entries offering both 
instruction and delight, for the implied reader as well as the rest of us. We can all 
enter this field repeatedly without fear of exhaustion. 



TERRY G. SHERWOOD, University of Victoria 



68 / Renaissance and Reformation 

Guillaume de la Taysonnière. UAttifetdes Damoizelles; UÉpithalame. Texte 
établi et présenté par Nerina Clerici Balmas. Paris - Genève, Droz, 1992. 

Nerina Clerici Balmas, qui nous est déjà connue pour son édition des Diverses 
poésies de Marc Papillon de Lasphrise, nous rend service en offrant dans ce volume 
deux oeuvres de Guillaume de la Taysonnière qui, malgré l'intérêt qu'elles 
présentent par plus d'un côté, sont difficiles d'accès dans l'édition rarissime de 
1871. La présente édition comporte, avec les deux textes et l'appareil critique 
normal tel une bibliographie, des principes d'édition et des notes, une introduction 
qui rassemble un nombre exhaustif de faits biographiques relatifs à l'auteur et 
surtout à sa famille, un survol du réseau de ses correspondants littéraires qui 
souligne ses préoccupations intellectuelles plutôt hétéroclites, et deux essais qui 
contextualisent chaque texte par rapport à la pensée de l'époque, L'Attifet étant situé 
par rapport à la pensée contemporaine sur l'éducation des femmes et L'Épithalame 
en considérant l'apanage littéraire de rigueur dans cette sorte de poème de cir- 
constances. 

Si l'on se perd un peu dans le détail généalogique familial des de la 
Taysonnière, défaut qu'il faudrait attribuer peut-être à la carence de renseignements 
biographiques sûrs au sujet de l'auteur lui-même, l'exposition de ses intérêts 
intellectuels très variés recrée de façon réussie le portrait d'un gentilhomme dont 
l'enthousiasme presque encyclopédique (poésie, sciences, arithmétique, astrologie) 
nous rappelle la verve du début de la Renaissance plus que l'attitude désabusée de 
la fin du siècle, pourtant contemporaine. 

La mise en situation, quoique sonrunaire, de L'Attifet par rapport aux grands 
traités pédagogiques de la Renaissance, ceux de Castiglione, Érasme, Vives et 
Rabelais, aussi bien que par rapport à d'autres oeuvres comme celles de Bouchet et 
de Barbaro, est très utile pour orienter le lecteur pour qui l'éducation féminine de 
l'époque serait un sujet inconnu. On a lieu de se demander si deux oeuvres de 
Christine de Pisan (disponibles en au moins trois éditions (1497, 1503 et 1536) ne 
pourraient pas figurer également parmi les ancêtres intellectuels de LAttifet, même 
si l'orientation principale de de la Taysonnière fut résolument humaniste. Dans Le 
Livre de la Cité des Dames, Pisan accorde, comme de la Taysonnière, une place à 
l'étude des sciences naturelles dans l'éducation féminine. De même, le Trésor de 
la Cité des Dames, livre de conduite féminine, met l'accent dès le début sur la vertu. 

L'Attifet des Damoizelles, traité de conduite féminine destiné à l'édification de 
la fille de son patron, est un poème de 436 alexandrins, où l'auteur, à côté de 
recommandations conventionnelles en faveur de la piété et de la modestie, propose 
à la jeune fille des études scientifiques et surtout n'accentue jamais son devoir de 
silence et d'obéissance. Il mérite l'attention du lecteur pour la présence de ces 
derniers éléments qui nuance de façon utile les idées reçues actuelles, surtout 
masculines, par rapport à l'éducation féminine. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 69 



Moins intéressant peut-être pour le lecteur moderne, L'Epithalame est un 
poème de circonstances de 324 vers, composé de huitains octosyllabiques et de 
dizains heptasyllabiques, qui témoigne de l'habileté métrique de son auteur autant 
que de son adresse dans les jeux de mots et dans la manipulation du mythe 
néo-platonicien de 1' androgyne, mais qui n'apporte qu'une vision du mariage 
conventionnelle pour l'époque. 

L'annotation des deux textes est discrète et en même temps admirablement 
complète. Dans la liste des auteurs modernes de la bibliographie sélective, il aurait 
été utile pour le lecteur de pouvoir reconnaître les contributions de chercheurs 
anglophones qui se sont penchés sur la question de l'éducation de la femme à la 
Renaissance. Sans que la liste soit exhaustive, on pense à R. Kelso, Doctrine for the 
Lady of the Renaissance (1956), S. Hull, Chaste, Silent and Obedient: English 
Books for Women, 1475-1640 (1982), et M. L. King, Women of the Renaissance 
(1991). 

Amplement appuyée par une excellente introduction et des notes judicieuse- 
ment constituées, cette édition de deux oeuvres du XVr siècle est une contribution 
solide qui permettra une meilleure reconstitution de l'histoire de la femme à la 
Renaissance. 



HANNAH FOURNIER, University of Waterloo 



Patricia Fumerton. Cultural Aesthetics: Renaissance Literature and the 
Practice of Social Ornament. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991. Pp. 
xii, 279. 

The "trivial" aesthetic ornaments of Elizabethan and Jacobean aristocrats (says this 
book) define a forced renegotiation of uneasy, conflictful private and public self- 
hood. Malinowski's Kula gift ring, by which two orders of gifts pass in opposite 
directions around a ring of islands, parallels usefully the interchange of children 
among Elizabethan families in the Graces' sequence of giving, receiving, and 
thanking: generous civility, not pugnacious acquisitiveness. So also a poet's giving 
his creation to a patron in return for favour attempts "to guarantee continued life 
during the death-threatening transformation of [Spenser's] age from gift, or patron- 
age, to market society" (p. 63). The English, however, felt threatened by the pattern 
of Irish child exchange. (Here Fumerton probably builds upon New Historicist 
preoccupations with colonialism, rather than harking to the stronger English atten- 
tiveness to Continental cultural patterns). Spenser's Garden of Adonis combines 
Irish and English notions of fosterage, and culminates in Venus and Adonis's 
peaceful interchange of form and matter, masculinity and feminity (and Englishness 
and Irishness). 



70 / Renaissance and Reformation 



This commonality of social life collapses (we hear) in Jacobean times in "a 
kind of counter-commonality of debased bric-a-brac" - a cultural destructiveness 
comparable, not to the Kula ring, but to self-magnification through destruction of 
goods in the Kwakiutl potlatch. To see this we must first expose the retreat of the 
aristocratic self into a privacy which, constantly violated, removes all reality from 
the still perpetuated fiction of gift-exchange. This occurs in terms of viewings or 
gifts of painted miniature portraits, which are secreted/displayed in private rooms 
or are enclosed in (often abortively) secretive lockets. Or it occurs in gifts of 
sonnets. Both miniatures and sonnets convey/conceal the subject's private individ- 
uality, amounting to an emptiness at the hollow core of public existence. 

Jacobean "voids," however (punning on the pauses in banquets occasioned by 
"voiding," or clearing, tables), express this emptiness most poignantly. These final 
courses of symbolically shaped and inscribed confectionary (peaking in the "sub- 
tlety"), were often spun out of sugar and spices of supposedly only medicinal, not 
nutritional value, were served, for the privacy of select guests, in separate rooms or 
specially designed buildings; were wantonly destroyed by eating or in a terminal 
mob scene. The Jacobean masque, too, was a void, presented in James's Banqueting 
House, whose privacy was often violated by crowds of commoners. Principally, 
however, privacy was created and then violated by discovery scenes, as in Oberon, 
where James, in the audience, saw his privacy embodied by the revelation of a shut 
innermost chamber but then poignantly violated, as a simulacrum of himself moved 
thence outward into public view. Fumerton bolsters her case here with paintings of 
the Annunciation, where purportedly the privacy of the numinously divine is 
guarded by walls and a background door (although in the Tintoretto it is inexplicably 
Mary's privacy, not the Godhead's, which is violated). As a last step, the attempt in 
Neptune's Triumph to render the new mercantilism as idealized giving, receiving, 
and thanking, is destroyed by Jonson's rending his allegory and revealing royal 
complicity in the new market economy. 

One criterion for what precedes: phenomena associated with an age's specific 
characteristics ought to be specific to that age. What specifically links to the 
Elizabethans the idealized bestowal of children on other families? It was a constant 
feature in Western Europe from early medieval times up to the growth of the 
aristocratic practice of sending boys away to school, and the popularization of the 
bourgeois nuclear family. How can it be usefully compared with Kula interchange 
of necklaces and bracelets, when the aristocratic child, once grown, remained 
principally connected with his biological family? While apart, child and family 
maintained loving or dutiful communications (Cf. the Lisle correspondence, 1533- 
40). What specifically links with the Elizabethans the idealized exchange-relation- 
ship of author and patron? A kneeling author presenting his book to a gracious 
magnate is constanly illustrated in medieval books, which in turn claim to benefit 
the recipient and the public. 



Renaissance et Réforme / 7 1 



It is true that in England (not elsewhere) highly subjective sonnets tend to date 
from ca. 1585-1600, but what is specifically "English Renaissance" about diminu- 
tive likenesses purporting to reveal individuality, and kept in secret chambers or in 
lockets? Many of our grandmothers possessed such things. How is it that sugar 
subtleties, destroyed in eating, were nearly as common a feature of medieval as of 
Jacobean banquets? Why should a nervously preserved but uncertainly aborted self 
be held to be the motive for Jacobean artistic concealment? Throughout medieval 
and early modem times, what is repeatedly given as the motive for allegorical or 
other veiling devices is the need to withhold knowledge from those unsuited for it. 
Why should Annunciations preserving the privacy of the numinous be singled out 
to support a theory of aborted privacy in Jacobean masques? Other equally appro- 
priate Renaissance paintings proffer unembarrassedly the full panoply of Godhead 
(Cf. the Sistine frescoes, Durer' s Assumption of the Virgin, etc.). If, on the contrary, 
James I was indeed threatened with the exquisite pain of having his nervous, private 
self violated in a masque, why did he endure it? Didn't Jonson and Inigo Jones need 
to cater to his pleasures? 

This study of a leisured elite's ornaments is, incidentally, very informative. It is 
also dexterous beyong other New Historicist work in deploying the telling episode or 
anecdote. The personalization of style, the management of continually shifting points 
of view, the exploitation of syntactical devices remind us more urgently here of narrative 
history's need for the resources of fictional composition. Fiction, however, is safer. 
Reading Cultural Aesthetics I was often reminded of Penelope Lively's Moon Tiger, in 
which the present-day fictional female historian-protagonist, of great but suspect 
conceptual reach, tries implacably, nervously, but unsuccessfully to hide fi^om her 
nearest and dearest a locket-like ring, given to her by the central male in her life and 
containing what he has put there as a memento of their secret selves. 

A. KENT HIEATT, University of Western Ontario 



C. Lauvergnat-Gagnière. Lucien de Samosate et le Lucianisme en France au 
XV f siècle. Athéisme et polémique. Genève, Droz, 1988, Pp. 434. 

Dans son ouvrage, C. Lauvergnat-Gagnière avance l'hypothèse gratuite que même 
si Lucien n'avait jamais existé, Rabelais aurait écrit ce qu'il a écrit et qu'il n'a 
exercé aucune influence sur la Renaissance française. Le livre de Mme Lauvergnat- 
Gagnière étant tout endèrement consacré à cette "démonstration" et étant donc 
négatif, l'auteur est obligée d'employer nombre de méthodes grâce auxquelles il 
devient possible de faire une part plus que considérable à la coincidence, puisque 
tous les écrits où des critiques et érudits, y compris moi-même, ont vu une véritable 
influence de Lucien sont présentés comme sensibles à de simples coincidences. 



72 / Renaissance and Reformation 



Cette perspective force Lauvergnat-Gagnière à déployer envers ses prédécesseurs 
la simple fin de non-recevoir sous forme cavalière: "Quant aux conclusions . . . nous 
ne les partageons pas du tout" (p. 264). 

La bibliographie contenue dans cette étude est donc un véritable modèle de 
cette fin de non-recevoir. Ainsi de mes travaux consacrés à l'influence de Lucien, 
Lauvergnat-Gagnière omet "L'honnête homme. Molière et Philibert de Vienne" 
(Modem Language Review, 1951) et "The Genesis of a Rabelaisian Character: 
Menippus and Frère Jean des Entommeures" (French Studies, 1 953). De même, elle 
ne cite pas l'étude très importante de T. Peach sur Tahureau, bien qu'elle consacre 
un chapitre entier aux Dialogues de cet auteur. Je sais que C. Lauvergnat-Gagnière 
assure avoir terminé son travail en 1979 et, puisqu'il ne fut publié qu'en 1988, avoir 
été incapable de tenir compte des travaux parus avant 1979. C'est là une mauvaise 
excuse: on ne peut en toute conscience publier un ouvrage hautement polémique en 
omettant de mentionner les travaux parus pendant les neuf années précédentes. 
D'ailleurs, quand elle cite ou analyse certains travaux, elle pousse l'éclectisme au 
point de ne mentionner que ce qui s'accorde avec sa thèse lénifiante et de laisser de 
côté, toujours sans discussion, ce qui la contredirait. Ainsi, à propos du Cymbalum 
Mundi, elle parle de l'ouvrage de D. Neidhardt (Genève, 1959), mais évite bien 
entendu les chapitres que cette erudite consacre à mon travail sur ce sujet. 

Examinons en détail le traitement de l'éloge satirique et citons un passage qui 
prétend que Le poète courtisan de Du Bellay ne doit rien à Lucien: 

Quant à Du Bellay, il n'est pas impossible qu'il ait pensé au Maître de rhétorique 
pour composer son Poète courtisan. . . Mais ces thèmes n'ont rien d'original et 
appellent facilement l'ironie sous la plume d'un Horace, d'un Juvénal, ou, au 
Moyen Age, d'un Eustache Deschamps ou d'un Alain Chartier. Et surtout. Du 
Bellay avait-il besoin d'un "maître," lui qui est expert en l'art de la satire dans plus 
d'un sonnet des Regrets (pp. 296-7)? 

Ce passage illustre à la perfection la fin de non-recevoir. En effet, la découverte que 
Le poète courtisan est un calque du Rhetoron didaskalos est due à R. V. Merrill qui, 
dans "Lucian and Du Bellay's 'Poète courtisan'," nous a donné, non seulement la 
preuve parfaite de ce calque, mais encore a expliqué de façon circonstanciée la 
genèse de cette satire de Du Bellay due au De novae captandae utilitatis et Uteris 
ratione epistola, satire que Tumèbe composa contre Pierre de Paschal et que Du 
Bellay traduisit immédiatement et publia sous le titre de La nouvelle façon défaire 
son profit des lettres avec sa propre imitation de l'écrit de Lucien, Le poète 
courtisan. De tout cela, pas un mot. Lauvergnat-Gagnière ne mentionne ni l'écrit 
de Tumèbe, ni le travail de Merrill, même si elle cite son article dans sa bibliog- 
raphie. Avec de pareilles méthodes, on prouverait aisément que Boileau ne doit rien 
à Horace, que Racine ne doit rien ni à Euripide ni à Sénèque, etc. Pour fournir une 



Renaissance et Réforme / 73 



preuve négative, il n'est rien de tel que de prétendre que le thème n'a rien d'original 
et de nommer, à la volée, Horace, Juvénal, Deschamps et Chartier. 

Si, au moins, C. Lauvergnat-Gagnière avait parlé de Lucain dont la Pharsale 
commence par ce qui est généralement reconnu comme un éloge satirique de Néron, 
si, au moins, pour le Moyen Age, elle avait cité Gervais de Bus dont le Roman de 
Fauve l peut à première vue, bien qu'au fond ce ne soit pas le cas, faire croire à 
l'usage de l'ironie, le lecteur aurait été forcé de réfléchir, de vérifier. D'ailleurs, 
concernant l'usage de l'ironie dans la satire anti-aulique, Lauvergnat-Gagnière cite 
l'ouvrage de R N. Smith, The Anti-Courtier Trend in Sixteenth Century French 
Literature. Or le grand mérite de l'ouvrage de Smith est d'avoir montré que la satire 
anti-aulique médiévale, notamment celle de Deschamps et de Chartier, est lourde 
et dépourvue d'esprit, que ce genre continue jusqu'à environ 1540 quand, sous 
l'influence de Lucien, le ton moralisateur et l'invective sont remplacés par l'ironie. 
C. Lauvergnat-Gagnière fait donc dire à R N. Smith exactement le contraire de ce 
que dit cette erudite. 

Une section entière est aussi consacrée au Débat d'Amour et de Folie de Louise 
Labé. C. Lauvergnat-Gagnière qui prétend ne pas voir les imitations si évidentes de 
Du Bellay, ni celle du Philosophe de Court de Philibert de Vienne, elle qui parle ni 
de L'Amye de Court de Bertrand de la Borderie ni du Médecin Courtisan de Jacques 
Grévin, "découvre" des vingtaines d'imitations de Lucien dans cet écrit. Suivant 
cette méthode, on pourrait dire que tous ces thèmes se retrouvent chez Catulle, 
Virgile et Ovide. De toute façon, l'argument est futile puisque le Débat d'Amour et 
de Folie est un calque de la Virtus Dea de L. B. Alberti, si bien que ces imitations 
doivent être imputées à Alberti. 

Signalons enfin l'omission d'une citation d'un témoin contemporain d'impor- 
tance capitale en ce qui concerne l'influence de Lucien. Dans ses Disputations 
chrestiennes, Pierre Viret donne un passage aussi long qu'important sur les lucia- 
nistes français, passage qui, vu la date de l'ouvrage (1544), ne peut désigner que 
Rabelais et Bonaventure des Périers. Or Viret, tout en comprenant l'athéisme de 
Lucien de même que la satire de toute religion que contiennent ses écrits, le loue 
comme "savant homme, grand orateur & philosophe" et semble même le ranger au 
dessus de Cicéron. Viret, donc, très clairement, n'écrit pas en zélateur condamnant 
en bloc tous les écrits de Lucien, et c'est ce qui donne à son jugement une valeur 
indubitable et des plus précieuses. Ce qu'il reproche à ces "nouveaux lucianistes," c'est 
qu'au lieu de traduire les écrits de Lucien en langue française, ils ne font que "desrober 
ses inventions & argumens, pour les attribuer à eux, comme s'ilz en estoyent les 
premiers autheurs & inventeurs," alors qu'ils ne sont que les "petits disciples" de 
Lucien, qu'ils "n'approchent point son eloquence" et que "s'il faut comparer l'esprit & 
le savoir, il y a autant à dire que de l'apprenti au maistre." Cette omission, si 
caractéristique, condamne le livre de C. Lauvergnat-Gagnière tout entier. 

Claude- Albert MAYER 



74 / Renaissance and Reformation 



James M. Stayer. The German Peasants' War and Anabaptist Community of 
Goods. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1991. Pp. 
X, 227. 

James Stayer has been on the cutting edge of Anabaptist studies for more than two 
decades and is internationally recognized as a leading scholar in the field. His 
Anabaptists and the Sword, published in 1973, opened the way for a new appreci- 
ation of the heterogeneity of Anabaptism, while challenging prevailing assumptions 
about the normativity of nonresistance for the movement. Two years later Stayer 
was instrumental in formulating the polygenesis model of Anabaptist beginnings. 
Now in his most recent book he offers a new synthesis, one built less on static 
theological ideas than on the dynamic historical context and background against 
which Anabaptist ethic and praxis are best understood. Based on a scrupulously 
meticulous reading of the sources and on a judicious interaction with existing 
scholarship Stayer argues that Anabaptist social-economic ethics owed "a crucial, 
if indirect" debt to the broader, popular "communal reformation" that peaked in the 
Peasants' War of 1525. 

The book divides into two parts. Three background chapters constitute the first 
part and provide a frame of reference for reading Anabaptist history from below. 
The first chapter provides a guided tour through the mine filed of Peasants' studies 
as seen through the "Prism of Current Historiography" (Chapter 1). Chapter 2 
documents radicalization by reform-minded pamphleteers of the Reformation mes- 
sage into the Social Gospel which became an intrinsic part of the commoners' quest 
for change. Chapter 3 challenges claims by Claus-Peter Clasen in the only social 
history of Anabaptism to date, namely, that no significant connections existed 
between the Peasants' War and Anabaptism. To the contrary, Stayer's empirical 
investigation suggests that many of the original Anabaptist leaders had a pre-history 
in the peasants' uprising and been decidedly shaped by it. He argues further that 
under the changed circumstances of the peasants' defeat Anabaptism continued in 
part the commoners' program. In this scenario the practice of community of goods 
appears not only as a form of apostolic primitivism based on a literal reading of 
Acts 2 and 4 but also in continuity with the aspirations of the commoners and their 
struggle for just and more equitable economic social relations. 

Part Two begins with an analysis of the social-economic ethics of the branch 
of Anabaptism generally known as Swiss Brethren (Chapter 4). Against the older 
historiography, led by Mennonite scholars like Harold Bender, John H. Yoder and 
Paul Peachy, Stayer argues that the Swiss initially espoused the ideal of community 
of goods, although they never contemplated the abolition of private dwellings or 
held that the community should supersede the family as the basic social unit. 
Thwarted by circumstances the Swiss eventually settled for mutual aid. Chapter 5 
traces the influence of Thomas Muntzer's anti-materialist spirituality on Central 



Renaissance et Réforme / 75 



and South-German Anabaptism. Leaders like Hans Hut gave a more radical expres- 
sion to community of goods by the renunciation of private property in the name of 
spiritual Gelassenheit. This anti-materialist bias prepared the way for the more 
rigorous application of community of goods eventually practiced in Moravia. 
Chapter 6 is dedicated to a descriptive analysis of "war communism" in Anabaptist 
Miintzer. The Miinster episode, long considered an aberration in the history of 
Anabaptism, seems less out if place in Stayer's account. Yet, compared with the 
practices of other groups, the communism which gained notoriety for Miinster 
proved a corrupted form. Stayer blames this corruption in part on the continued 
influence of local urban notables in the Anabaptist kingdom and more importantly 
on the conditions created by war. He concludes that the administration of commu- 
nity of goods in Anabaptist Miinster was determined more by pragmatic consider- 
ations arising from "the circumstances of the siege" than by the "dogmatic 
expression" found in the writings of Bemhard Rothmann. The last chapter concen- 
trates on Anabaptist communal experiments in Moravia under the somewhat mis- 
leading title, "Anabaptist Moravia, 1526-1622: Communitarian Christianity in One 
Country" - misleading because Moravia, as Stayer knows, was never Anabaptist 
nor one country. Instead, this duchy of the kingdom of Bohemia represented a 
hodgepodge of feudal holdings and lordships in which the Anabaptists, even in areas 
of concentration such as the South-East, amounted to no more than ten per cent of 
the population. But the titular misnomer notwithstanding, the chapter provides the 
best overview yet of the development of the Anabaptist-Hutterite communities in 
Moravia. Compared to Miinster, where the host community with its tradition shaped 
and limited the Anabaptist experiment, the refugee situation of Moravia permitted 
a more radical attempt at Christian community formation unencumbered by "the 
dead weight of the tradition-bound host community." The resulting "systematic 
weakening of the family as a focus of productivity and loyalty independent of the 
community" led, according to Stayer, to the triumph of the community "over the 
family" (pp. 144-145) as symbolized by the "pigeon coop" apartment buildings that 
became typical of Hutterite living quarters. There existed "no other such radically 
integrated community anywhere in sixteenth-century Europe" (p. 145). Under 
lay-artisan leadership the town-village distinction was broken down in these com- 
munities and the "social radicalism of the early Reformation lived on unabated." 

Stayer's masterfully crafted reinterpretation of Anabaptist social-economics 
ethics against the background of historical circumstances will, no doubt, influence 
the scholarly discourse for years to come. For while the book represents a genera- 
tional harvest of scholarship, it also reflects the newer sensitivities toward social 
history and anticipates new directions. For non-specialists and specialists alike this 
book opens new, fascinating vistas on the Anabaptist experience. 

WERNER O. PACKULL, Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo 



76 / Renaissance and Reformation 

David G. McPherson. Shakespeare, Jonson, and the Myth of Venice. London 
and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1990. Pp. 157. 

I welcome to my casual collection of books on Venice and Venetians (one of them 
called 38 Venezie) this succinct study, attractively produced, as it should be, given 
its subject. 

Venice has always been a city of the mind and imagination, created by both 
out of a tohu bohu of swampy tideland. The wit of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities 
lies in the fact that one highly visible city is a greater curiosity than any of those 
other instances where we seem to see the fancy outwork nature. A force in the real 
world to be reckoned with by kings and kesars, armies and navies, by Christendom 
East and West and by Islam, Venice has astounded myriads of visitors over the 
centuries, whether they came as crusaders or as tourists on the Grand Tour or the 
mass tour, and it was particularly attractive in the time of Shakespeare and Jonson, 
to both the judicious and the frivolous traveller (pp. 49-50). 

The "Myth" of Professor McPherson's title and text is fourfold - Venice the 
Rich, Venice the Wise, Venice the Just, and Venezia-città galante, each having its 
bright and its dark side (p. 27). The first and last of these need little explanation; 
the middle two in discussion tend to merge. Venice relied for its university on nearby 
(and dependent) Padua and was not itself academically wise like Bologna la dotta; 
and she produced no great mind to set beside Dante or Machiavelli or Vico. Her 
wisdom and her justice are embodied in the complex and effective institutions of a 
political economy which impressed thoughtful observers of the European scene 
from the time of Montaigne to that of Milton. 

The quality of Professor McPherson's treatment of the three Venetian plays of 
the English Renaissance is well indicated by his concluding observations on their 
distinctiveness one from the others: 

In The Merchant of Venice the outstanding function of the Myth is to lend some 
credibility to two fairy-tale plots without, at the same time, destroying the 
atmosphere of romance. Venice was thought to be such an exotic place that the 
poet could give his characters a local habitation without reducing them to the 
plainness of the worksday world. In Othello the larger aspect is the sense of doom 
and inevitability felt by those in the audience who know that Cyprus had long ago 
and forever fallen, and that the sexual reputation of Venice was such as to breed 
suspicion like the shambles breeds flies. In Volpone a heightened sense of the 
pervasive and excessive theatricality in both ancient Rome and its modem rein- 
carnation, Venice, contributes to an understanding of the crucial thematic relation- 
ship in play between theatricality and identity: one must know who one is, and the 
best way to lose that knowledge is to be constantly playing the role of someone 
else (p. 118). 

The treatment of each play abounds in useful and suggestive details. For 
instance, in the discussion of The Merchant it is observed that Shakespeare's main 



Renaissance et Réforme / 77 



source makes little reference to the actual city and that major characters like Portia 
and Shylock have no names of their own but are called "la donna di Belmonte" and 
"il Giudeo": "Shakespeare's play is a good deal more realistic than Giovanni 
Fiorentino's story" (p. 68). Again, one could find one's way round the Venice of 
The Merchant but would be quite lost in the Vienna of Measure for Measure. From 
such well observed details it is possible to build solid structures. Three aspects of 
Venetian social and economic history, all connected with the Myth, apply to the 
play: 

One is the idea . . . that Venice was declining as an economic and military power. 
The second is a related phenomenon which modem historians call the turn 
landward. The third is the notion, clearly related to the Myth of the impartiality of 
Venetian justice, that the Jewish community in Venice was especially rich and 
numerous and that Venice treated Jews especially well. The first bears upon our 
interpretation of the character of Antonio; the second, upon both Bassanio and 
Portia; the third, upon Shylock (p. 51). 

The discussions of Othello and Volpone have comparable virtues. However, to 
prove that I have read this book with attention as well as with pleasure, I should 
touch briefly on a few points that might be reconsidered if it goes into a paperback 
edition. In an old map reproduced on p. 16 the Piazza San Marco is said to be "near 
the top": actually, in a 10 x 10 grid, it would be in square 39. For an illustration (p. 
25) of the costumes appropriate to Venetian notables, the caption identifies 
"Volpone in Volpone'' and "Othello in Othello,'' as if we didn't know. Again, the 
madrigals of Monteverdi are distinguished from those of "the Venetian school" (p. 
42). Monteverdi began his career and made his name at Mantua, to be sure, but he 
spent his last 30 years as choirmaster of San Marco, and so it must be explained 
why this master is not regarded as of the Venetian school. 

William Empson is cited only through another writer (p. 139, n. 1). Empson's 
essay on Volpone is one of the weaker performances of a great critic: he says, for 
instance, that Volpone breaks the law only by impersonating a police officer, 
forgetting his attempted rape of Celia and his conspiracy in obstruction of justice. 
But it deserves proper citation: Hudson Review, 21 (1968), 651-6. A more germane 
and much more considerable article is one which must have been contemporary 
with the writing and publication of this book: R. B. Parker, "An English View of 
Venice: Ben Jonson's Volpone," in Sergio Rossi and Dianella Savoia, eds., Italy and 
the English Renaissance (Milan: Unicopli, 1989), 187-201. Jonsonians will wish to 
read both. 

Professor McPherson's whole treatment of Volpone as protean shape-shifter, 
of his love of role-playing - especially classical roles with a relish of decadence - 
is deftly handled in the context of Venetian theatricality. At the end, however, comes 
the comment: 



78 / Renaissance and Reformation 



He drops all roles and stands before the court as his true self- the healthy magnifico 
. . . Though he has imitated others so much and so long that he is almost unable, 
when necessary for his essential dignity, to return to himself, he does finally come 
back: 'I am Volpone.' And that, I think, is one of the chief reasons that we have 
considerable sympathy for him. In the end, he rediscovers who he is (p. 105). 

As a summary of the final impression left by the whole play, this does not quite 
match mine. I find "true self," "healthy magnifico," and "essential dignity," much 
too positive; and the "sympathy" I feel for Volpone and the other culprits at the end 
is inconsiderable. Several times throughout the play, Volpone has already jumped 
out of his assumed role to resume his character of magnifico without any improve- 
ment of moral stature. The truth is not in him, there is no health in him, nor is there 
any sign here of regret, let alone repentance - only the wolf's black jaw as he savages 
his accomplices. The word "essential" seems remote from this protean improviser, 
and I would prefer "defiance," even "magnificent defiance," to "dignity," which 
implies worth. I am probably in a minority here in denying any tragic quality to this 
grand comedy. It is good to be able to argue with a real writer with real opinions. 

Finally, the illustrations are well chosen, and the frontispiece in colour of part 
of a view of Venice in Civitates Orbis Terrarum (1593) is a delight. 

WILLIAM BLISSETT, University of Toronto 



Announcements / Annonces 



International Society for the Classical Tradition 

The third meeting of the International Society for the Classical Tradition will be 
held, March 8-12, 1995, at Boston University. Papers will be presented on all aspects 
of the transmission, reception, and impact of Graeco-Roman antiquity in other 
cultures and later periods from the ancient world itself to the present time. For more 
information, please contact Prof. Wolfgang Haase, Institute for the Classical Tradi- 
tion, Boston University, 745 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 
02215, USA. E-mail: isct@acs.bu.edu. 

Rabelais: 500 ans après, 1494-1994 

La Maison Française de l'Université Columbia organise un colloque anniversaire 
sur l'oeuvre de Rabelais, prévu pour Octobre 1994. Pour de plus amples 
renseignements, veuillez écrire à Jacqueline Desrez, Maison Française, Columbia 
University, New York, New York 10027, USA. 

Modem Language Association Prizes 

Twelve prizes will be awarded by the Modern Language Association of America in 
1995, including the ML A Prize for a First Book and two new awards: one for a 
scholarly edition, and one for a study of Slavic languages and literatures. For more 
information on the MLA prizes, please contact the Association offices: 10 Astor 
Place, New York, New York 10003, USA. 

De-Centring the Renaissance 

The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (University of Toronto) 
announces an innovative conference to mark the 500th anniversary of Henri VFs 
grant of letters patent to Italian explorer John Cabot on March 5, 1496. The 
conference, multidisciplinary in nature, will attempt to look at conflicting interests 
and interacting forces from within and from outside the North American continent. 
Scholars in Native Studies, Renaissance Studies, Canadian and American Studies, 
and other related fields are invited to contribute papers. For information, please 



80 / Renaissance and Reformation 



write to Prof. Germaine Warkentin, Victoria College, University of Toronto, 
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1K7. E-mail: warkent@epas.utoronto.ca. 

Mickaïl Bakhtine et la pensée dialogique 

Bakhtine sera le sujet d'un séminaire du colloque annuel de Cerisy-la-Salle, France, 
du 3-10 août 1995. Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez communiquer 
avec Clive Thompson, Department of French, University of Western Ontario, 
London, Ontario N6A 3K7. 

Le livre de Gutenberg aux micro-puces 

Un colloque interdisciplinaire sur le livre de l'imprimerie jusqu'à l'informatique 
est prévu pour les 28-30 octobre 1994 à l'Université Queen's, Kingston, Ontario. 
Communications en français et en anglais. Pour s'informer, prière d'écrire au Prof. 
Jean-Jacques Hamm, Département d'études françaises. Université Queen's, Kings- 
ton, Ontario K7L 3N6. 

Histoire des traités du savoir-vivre en Europe 

Colloque pluridisciplinaire prévu pour l'automne 1995 à Paris (dates et lieu exacts 
à déterminer) sur le comportement social tel qu'il peut être compris à partir des 
traités de savoir-vivre du Moyen Age à nos jours. Pour renseignements, écrire au 
Prof. Alain Montandon, UFR Lettres, Université Biaise-Pascal, 29 Avenue 
Gergovia, 63037 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 1, France. 







3920 



The editor welœmes submissions on any aspect of the Renaissance and the Reformation 
period. Manuscripts in duphcate should be sent to the editorial office: 

Renaissance and Reformation 
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Guelph, Ontario NIG 2W1 
CANADA 

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endnotes. Copyright remains the property of individual contributors, but permission to 
rq)rint in whole or in part must be obtained from the editor. 

The joumal does not accept unsolicited reviews. However, those interested in reviewing 
books should contact the Book Review Editor. 

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