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So far as Provence itself is concerned, interest centres almost exclusively in the "sobregaya coruThe over-gay panhia dels VII. trobadors de Tholoza." company. -yfe have now reached the stage of meistergesang, or co - operative authorship, and the efforts made to prolong the term of Troubadour verse issued in a night of lunar academic poetry. The form remained; the glory had departed. In the year 1323 seven of the principal inhabitants of Toulouse conceived the idea of a circular invitation bidding the poets in Languedoc to a contest on May-day 1324. The competition took place, and Arnaut Vidal de Castelnaudary (author of Guilhem de la Barra) won the prize — a violet of pure gold — for a hymn in honour of Mary. It was decided to repeat the event, and a constitution was drawn up, which included a chancellor and seven stewards (mantenedors), and could even boast of bedels. These expressions suggest, what was indeed the case, that the consistory was formed on the model of the universities. It conferred the degrees of bachelor and doctor "of the science of gay knowledge," and the laureate who had thrice gained the prize was entitled to rank as troubadour. The first prize, a golden violet, was given to the best canso or deseort. The second prize, a silver eglantine, rewarded the best sirventes, pastorella, or hymns in honour of the Virgin. And the third prize, a silver marigold, was conferred on the best balada and dansa, and the less meritorious examples of the former classes.
The term "science" correctly defines the poetry as
an artificial product demanding no special inspiration, n» Ley» as an affair of rhyme and rhythm. But a-Amors. „ gay science " is a misnomer. True to its
bourgeois inception, the consistory encouraged, in the compositions submitted to it, a religious tone. The poets were to sing for the glory of God, and instead of earthly maiden were to eulogise Our Lady. And yet, in one sense, the adjective may be deemed in place., inasmuch as the assemblies formed part of the recreation of the people. In 1355 the society commissioned its chancellor, Guilhem Molinier, to draw up the rules of poetical composition, and this was the origin of the Leys d?Amors. In the metrical section the treatise enumerates, distinguishes, and illustrates all the ancient sorts of poetry, with the exception of the tensos, which had apparently fallen into disuse; and no doubt it exercised considerable influence on the later French, Spanish, and Portuguese technique, at the time of the Renaissance. On the other hand, the Leys themselves were indebted to Uc Faidit's Donatz Proensals and the Rasos de Trobar of Raimon Vidal de Besaudun. There are two versions of the Leys <VAmors. One, not yet printed and containing many erasures and corrections, probably represents the first draught. The other, which is at Barcelona, in the archives of the Crown of Aragon, is the work as finally approved.
The name which, more than any other, will always be associated with the Floral Games of
Clemence Isaurt. .
Toulouse is that of Clemence Isaure. The object of a local cult, it is by no means certain that she is anything but a symbol or a myth. In the Town Hall there is, or was, a small marble statue, and, beneath it, a brazen tablet recording that she was descended from an old and illustrious family; that she founded the Floral Games; that she built the Town Hall at her own cost; that she bequeathed to the city markets for corn, wine, fish, and vegetables; and that the residue of her fortune went to the said games. No dates are assigned, though it is known that the statue was erected in 1557; and a sceptic of the day celebrated the occasion in a sarcastic sonnet. At any rate, with sundry variations, such as the substitution of French for Provencal, the Floral Games continued to be held down to the time of the Itevolution, and, as is well known, the present century has witnessed a revival of Provencal literature, mainly through the genius of Mistral.
The topic of old Portuguese poetry has a special interest for English readers, as it was through the oid rortugutse labours of a British diplomatist, Sir Charles I"ary. Stuart, that the study was again brought
into vogue. Having lighted on a collection of ancient inedited songs, he caused them to be transcribed, and, in 1823, a small edition—only twentyfive copies—was published in Paris, with the title: Fragmerdos de hum Cancionciro inedito que se acha na livraria do Ural Collegio dos Nobrcs de J/isboa. Hence the codex is sometimes known as the Cancionciro do Collegia dos Nobres. Since 1825 it has been lodged at the royal castle of Ayuda, near Lisbon. This circumstance has furnished it with a second title, and it is now generally described as the Cancionciro da Ayuda. A third appellation—for which not much can be said, seeing that it is founded on a misapprehension—is Livro das Cantigas do Conde de Barcellos. The codex dates from the first half of the fourteenth, or the last of the thirteenth, century, and is certainly the oldest in existence. Besides this, there are two Italian collections, the Cancionciro da Vaticana and the Cancionciro Colocci-Brancuti, both of the sixteenth century.
While epics were written in Castilian or Leonese,
the language of all peninsular (non-Catalan) trouba
suprmacyo/ dours was Portuguese or Gallician. The
Pnvma. Portuguese poets frankly acknowledge their
dependence on Provencal models, and in the Vatican
song-book it is common to meet with such lines as
"Proei^aes soen muy ben trobar,"
or, by way of reproach,
"Vos non trobades como proencal."
The "art de trobar," as practised in this westernmost kingdom, covers a space of more than a hundred sayaipatronage and fifty years, which may be divided into andezampit. four periods calculated with reference to two kings of Portugal, Affonso III. and Dinis: PneAlfonsine, 1200-1248; Alfonsine, 1248-1280; Dionysian, 1280-1325; and Post-Dionysian, 1325-1350. It is worthy of note that Affonso III. of Portugal married Beatrix, daughter of Alfonso X., the "Alfred the Great" of Castile. Dinis's successor, Alfonso IV.,
nicknamed o bravo, or "the wild," was not poetically inclined. His half-brothers, Dom Pedro Affonso, Count of Barcellos, and Dom Affonso Sanches, were poets, but had to flee their country. They took refuge at the court of Alfonso XI. of Castile. Around this monarch, son of the Portuguese Constance, and husband of the Portuguese Maria, gathered the last of the troubadours.
Alfonso the Wise, though he did so much to promote the use of Castilian, himself sang in Portuguese, possibly because that language is softer, or, not improbably, because the kings of Castile were brought up in Gallicia as remote from the Moors. As many as 450 poems have been attributed to Alfonso X.; 138 to the " trobador de amor," as Dinis was called by his contemporaries; 11 to the Count of Barcellos; and Dom Affonso Sanches, also, is represented in the Vatican MS. There is a fairly long list of troubadours belonging to each period, and the total number of secular poems assigned to the 13 th and 14th centuries, and still preserved, is 1698.
With kings and kings' sons as authors, a discussion of early Portuguese poetry may seem singularly out of place in the present chapter; but" the wind bloweth where it listeth," and you cannot prescribe that the old lyric verse shall be everywhere in the same hands. Moreover, this opinion, natural at first, will be modified as the contents of the songbooks are more closely examined. Of these over a thousand are love-songs, which may be classified in two different ways. Either, with reference to sex, as