Seeing Sens: Guillaumes de Machaut and de Melun

by Elizabeth Eva LEACH

Toward the end of his life, Guillaume de Machaut decided to collect his complete works together into an organized book, which we know as MS A (F-Pn fr.1584).[1] Compared to the earlier MS C (F-Pn fr.1586), MS A contains not only an enlarged list of works but has a couple of additional and innovative bibliographic framing devices. The first is a prescriptive index; the second, a short versified statement of musical poetics prefaced by two pairs of balades with accompanying large-format illuminations (see here and here). This mélange of image, lyric, and narrative verse is usually referred to as the Prologue after its title in a later source—a title I shall use for convenience, even though it is probably not authorial.[2] These framing devices both offer powerful interpretative tools for the reader of Machaut’s works and both, perhaps surprisingly given their lack of musical notation, attest to the centrality of musical lyrics in Machaut’s poetics.[3] Both items also point to the unified nature of his entire output and anticipate and underline clear imprecations to readers found throughout his works that the parts will be enriched by a consideration of the whole of the complete manuscript book. The index, with its famous authorial rubric (‘here is the order that G. de Machau[t] wants his book to have’) has been widely remarked in its role of projecting a scribal poetics of ordering focused on Machaut’s own name.[4]

Ultimately this essay proposes identifications for two of the unidentified male figures in the Prologue. For those unfamiliar with the iconography of the two miniatures in the Prologue, this essays offers an initial exposition, summarizing the current state of research. After that a strong possibility for the identity of male figure who is at the front of the line of Nature’s children in the first author portrait is proposed, followed by a more tentative association for the male courtier among Love’s children in the second author portrait.

The index does not list the Prologue, reflecting the its paratextual status and making it effectively part of the index itself. The Prologue, like the index, seems to have been written especially for MS A. Its purpose is related to that of the index in that it provides a clear construction of a global authorial persona and his ordered book, albeit through allegorical poetry and illuminations, rather than through a scribe-like rubrical mandate.[5] Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet points out that Machaut’s efforts mark a change from typical twelfth- and thirteenth-century prologues, which tended to focus on providing a purely scribal accessus ad auctores, explaining in genealogical fashion a book’s provenance and how the author came to write it. Machaut’s Prologue instead anticipates later kinds of proud authorial-scribal prologues, which set out a plan for the book that follows and introduce its themes.[6]

The Prologue is a short but effective summa of Machaut’s multimedia artistry. It opens with four balades, each preceded by an extensive rubric explaining the circumstances of composition and introducing its speaker. The first pair of balades presents a conversation between Nature and Guillaume de Machaut, the second between Love and Machaut (click on the hyperlinks to view online versions of these images).[7] These two allegorical personages visit the poet in turn and present him with their three children: Sens,[8] Rhetoric, and Music from Nature; Sweet Thought, Pleasure, and Hope from Love. The Prologue texts expound on the projected use of these allegorical offspring in the practice of authorship, and in particular on the relationship of music and joy. The last section is a 184-line section of narrative poetry in the rhyming octosyllabic couplets typical of most of Machaut’s other dits, the final couplet of which introduces the first narrative dit of the book proper by locking its title into its rhyme: ‘Et pour ce vueil, sans plus targier, / Commencier le Dit dou Vergier’ (And so I wish, without further tarrying, to begin the Story of the Orchard). [9] Despite its striking originality and multimedia presentation, the Prologue did not come from nowhere. The Hainuyer poet Jehan de le Mote, whose lyrics Machaut quotes in a number of poems, has a similar ‘prologue’ at the start of his eulogizing poem, Li regret Guillaume (1339).[10] Jean’s Li regret Guillaume has a minimal narrative frame (a dream) and laments William I of Hainaut, father of Queen Philippa of England (wife of Edward III). The narrator peeps at thirty female personifications through a chink in a wall as each in turn laments the dead Count William. In the 96-line opening, the prologue before the narrative proper begins, Jehan de le Mote prays first to Nature for Sens, Souvenir (mental image) and Mesure (Moderation) with which to order his work.[11] He then prays to God, the Virgin, the Archangel (that is, Gabriel), and the Trinity.[12] In Machaut’s Prologue, Sens is the firstborn of the gifts of Machaut’s Nature and the issue of ordering is also central: in replying to Nature, Guillaume de Machaut puns on the two sense of order to affirm that ‘drois est, quant vous m’ordenez / A faire diz amoureux ordenez’ (it is right, because you have ordered me, to compose ordered love poems).[13] Jehan de le Mote’s invocation of the Christian God, the Virgin Mary, and the Angel of the Annunciation is paralleled in the latent Annunciation imagery of Machaut’s presentation of Love in the second Prologue miniature (which I will discuss further below). Both works compare poetry inspired by Nature to the production of a more literally salvific offspring by the Virgin Mary.

From the earliest modern edition of the Prologue it was pointed out that its mixture of lyric and narrative is a ‘run-through of the whole oeuvre of the poet’.[14] From Jean’s poem, whose lyrics he cites in his own, Machaut learnt how to make ‘lyric content predominate and to feature lyric insertions in a slight narrative’.[15] Machaut, typically, goes far beyond his models and his exploitation of three paratextual elements—rubrics, pictures, and music—in the Prologue makes its multimedia statement more powerful than anything that precedes it. The rubrics are the mouthpiece of the scribal Machaut speaking as the voice of the book itself—usually, as here, in red ink. Those that precede the large illuminations of the Prologue are so extensive and detailed that they have been considered Machaut’s own instructions to the illuminator.[16] In their copied context, however, they draw on an earlier precedent in the Roman de la Rose in which rubrication helps to define the separate sections of the text and names the speakers of dialogue passages.[17] The Prologue pictures were painted by the Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy (formerly known as the Master of Copses–‘Le maître des boqueteaux’–because of his trademark use of grouped trees), who illuminated a number of French royal manuscripts in the reign of Charles V.[18]

The paired portraits that open the Prologue in A appear on consecutive rectos, not across an opening. The reader must turn the page to see the second image. Yet the striking mirror imagery of the two portraits, and the fact that they articulate of a number of meaningful binary oppositions germane to the whole of Machaut’s output, pair them incontestably. As well as presenting the poet and introducing his iconographic, narrative, lyric, and musical work, the very opening of Machaut’s book thereby teaches its readers one more practical skill: page turning. Turning pages and preserving mental links between objects in different parts of the unified whole that follows the Prologue will be of vital importance in reading Machaut’s works. As Domenic Leo affirms:

Before embarking on the grandest of journeys, through the poet’s lifetime work, the artist/iconographer asks the viewer to leap back and forth within the Prologue—from image to image, and image to text—then within Machaut oeuvres complètes. The more the viewer is familiar with Machaut’s works and Machaut as a personality, the richer the associations in the Prologue images become.[19]

The analysis of the Prologue images summarizes Leo’s detailed readings as its starting point. Leo’s suspicion that Sens offers a portrait of a living contemporary of Machaut will lead me to propose a candidate for this friend of Machaut in the last section of this essay.

The refrain of the opening balade, voiced by Nature, introduces the three children in the order Sens, Rhetoric, and Music, which is the order they are discussed in the three stanzas of the balade as a whole. The picture, which has an al fresco Machaut standing casually aside from his chair to receive the three children that the crowned figure of Nature is introducing to him, has the allegories in the same order if the line is read from right to left, starting from Machaut himself. Sens, depicted as a theologian in cap and cape, with a facial physiognomy whose level of detail approaches modern ideas of portraiture in showing ‘lifelike’ attributes.[20] The wimpled female religious who accompany him are more standardized depictions, but all three figures are heavily garbed in draped robes, which they are picking up with their hands as they approach Machaut.[21]

Their voluminous religious clothing of the Nature miniature provides an observable contrast to the tight-fitting, secular apparel of the children of Love. Machaut, now indoors, seated, and on the left of the image, is ostensibly startled by the entrance of a winged Love and his three children. Again the children begin with a male figure, here Sweet Thought, whose buttocks taut in tight-fitting hose starkly differentiate him from the religious figures.

As Leo notes, these two portraits articulate various dualities contrasting sacred, chaste, old age, with secular, reproductive youth; they pit the intellect of clerical subjects in a natural outdoor setting against the emotionality of aristocratic rulers in the court or town articulating this around a Machaut ‘hinge’.[22] The religious and intellectual community of Machaut’s clerkly peers, travelling from afar to see him in the opening picture, represents his ‘natural’ gifts, the ‘practique’. The ‘matere’ (‘(subject) matter’) of Love comes instead from his social superiors, the secular world of the court—aristocrats in whose service he is to deploy those gifts, making poems that will bring them joy. Leo has suggested that the narrative’s implied chronology—perhaps itself a form of (pseudo-)autobiography—hints that Machaut was instructed by the religious and then took his gifts to the world of the court, not an unconvincing backstory for a clerical secretary.[23] In the courtly setting he is shown to be the same comical ‘cowardly lover’ as the narrator in the Voir dit, another of Guillaume de Machaut’s poetic alter egos.

Nonetheless, the composition of the pictures upsets an easy duality between religious and aristocratic worlds, since the winged figure of Love also resembles contemporary depictions of the Archangel Gabriel in the Annunciation to the Virgin.[24] Viewed in this way, Machaut becomes an ersatz Marian figure, humble and lowly, startled, but ultimately about to engender something ultimately consoling for the whole of humanity: his book—the one prefaced by the picture—will take the place of a baby. As well as subverting the iconography of the Annunciation, the image also inverts the more traditional author portraits found in books, especially translations commissioned by Charles V and other members of the French royal house, in which the author comes to the enthroned king or patron and, often kneeling, presents a copy of the very book in which the illustration sits.

The Prologue miniatures are the only works of the Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy in MS A.[25] These pictures and their accompanying four balades occupy folios that were added later. Only the narrative section of the Prologue forms part of MS A proper and it evinces a change in the ruling of the page and the scribal hand. The miniatures in the rest of A, those in the originally foliated part of the book are far less accomplished, even ‘provincial’, and François Avril has even suggested that they were done in Reims, perhaps under Machaut’s supervision.[26] Avril noted that they resemble the illuminations in a French translation of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, which is generally thought to have been illuminated in Metz in the first third of the fourteenth century and was known to be in the possession of a Messine family in the sixteenth century, although the decoration on the smaller initials is reminiscent of the style rémois.[27] Although this manuscript is a close match for the style of the rest of A, one of its miniatures resembles closely the composition of the Prologue miniatures (NB: the page here might say it has expired; wait for the session to reload and then reopen the URL).[28] Boethius is depicted lying down at the right of the image. He converses with Philosophy, who brings him two figures representing the liberal arts: Music with a notated book, and a figure that Atkinson cautiously identifies as Rhetoric (which would fit with the text of Bk2, prose 1), but whose crown gives her some visual resonance with Nature in the first Prologue miniature. and Boethius’ Consolation as a text certainly offers clear parallels with Machaut’s own literary project.[29] The Consolation mixes sung lyrics with prose and also offers a moralization of secular ideas and an ethical way forward that is congruent with Christian ideals. Machaut’s similarly mixed book also provides points of allegorical equivalence between the secular and the sacred forms of love. The opening images of the Prologue do exactly this with their diptych of sacred and then secular figures hinged on the central author figure, Machaut.

Is it possible that the same artist(s) who worked on the Boethius MS and the rest of MS A originally drafted the Prologue’s images too, using models similar to those with which they were familiar from their work on the Consolation? And were these opening miniatures then replaced by upgraded copies, based in composition on the originals, but executed more stylishly by the favourite royal artist, perhaps at royal or noble instigation? This would tie in with the hypothetical historical scenario advanced by Domenic Leo in which a patron chose to ‘upgrade’ the dying Machaut’s final, overseen complete-works book by commissioning a redrafting of the opening miniatures from a painter far better than the one Machaut himself had been using locally for the manuscript.[30] The painter they used for the replacement Prologue images had illuminated Machaut manuscripts before and understood Machaut’s regard for the role of image in the construction of his authorial persona. [31] It seems, however, that it was not just Machaut’s portrait that this painter was asked to paint.

Of the ten figures that make up the Prologue miniatures, no fewer than four appear to be instances of portraiture in the sense understood today, that is, realistic likenesses of living figures. Two of these—the person common to both pictures—represent Guillaume de Machaut himself. The other two are the male personifications that stand at the head of each of the sets of children: Sens in the premier presentation of Nature and Sweet Thought in the secondary set of Love. Their maleness is also remarkable: later manuscripts have only female allegories in these places.[32] Domenic Leo gives a detailed description of the physiognomic features of each figure and asks ‘Are these portraiture-like qualities meant to denote reference to specific people who played important roles in Machaut’s life…. Is this a facet of the “puzzle” that was purposefully meaningful for a very specific audience, namely the patrons?’.[33]

The Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy is thought to have trained in a similar milieu to a painter who was responsible for a fresco depicting the legendary Genealogy of the Luxembourgs in Karlštejn castle in the Czech Republic. The surviving fragments of this work also use ‘physiognomic differentiation’ and depict the French Dauphin Charles de Valois, the future Charles V, together with his maternal uncle, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV.[34] Both these Charlies are closely connected to Machaut: the emperor was the son of Machaut’s only known employer, Jean de Luxembourg, King of Bohemia; the Dauphin, who was king at the time of MS A’s compilation, stayed at Machaut’s house in Reims when he was regent in the early 60s and remained a patron.[35]

Realistic portraiture—the creation of likenesses—in the fourteenth century was renewed as a viable mode of depiction, prompted largely by the demands of patrons rather than the skills or desires of artists.[36] Before the later Middle Ages, depiction of specific individuals was signalled by other visual features of a portrait, such as dress, accoutrements, or a verbal text.[37] Indeed the idea of a portrait, especially as used in fourteenth century French (‘portraire’, ‘portraiture’) meant the capturing of the inner essence of identity of a subject as opposed merely to the external surface features, something for which the term ‘contrefaire’ (counterfeit) was used.[38] Georgia Sommers Wright has argued that this late-medieval reinvention of the physiologically differentiated likeness should be approached cautiously, and outlines strict criteria for their identification: the likeness must have been produced during the lifetime of the patron and must be one of at least two that resemble one another.[39]She discusses the only four historical figures—Pope Boniface VIII, Rudolf IV of Austria, Emperor Charles IV, and Charles V of France—that she believes satisfy such strict criteria. The likeness of Machaut here would arguably also fit the bill, but not the figures of Sens and Sweet Thought. Although I agree that it may be ‘wiser to insist upon…criteria of multiple images, resembling one another, made during the life of the patron’ (my emphasis), these criteria are overcautious, especially given records of now lost representations which might have helped meet the second stipulation.[40] Wisdom, here, might well be over-ruled by Sens.

Leo does not venture to propose a concrete historical figure for either Sens or Sweet Thought. While I have a far more tentative suggestion for the latter, I would like to argue strongly for the identification of the figure of Sens as Guillaume II de Melun (d.1376). A discussion of who Guillaume de Melun was, and why this figure might be him, involves an examination of the administration of the troubled reign of King Jean II of France.

Jean de Valois was born in 1319 and married Bonne of Luxembourg, daughter of Machaut’s only securely known employer, King Jean of Bohemia when Jean was thirteen (Bonne was seventeen). Between 1336 and 1348 Bonne gave birth to eleven children, of whom seven survived into adulthood. Bonne died, aged 34, in 1349. In 1350 Jean remarried and became King of France, reigning until his death while in captivity in London in 1364. The events of the last fourteen years of Jean’s life are the most important for the arguments advanced below. Edward III’s challenge to the throne of France was in full swing and the English were in the ascendant in the early stages of the Hundred Years Wars. And from the early 1350s Jean had another challenge to his kingship in the shape of Charles d’Evreux, crowned King of Navarre in 1350, who like the English king, claimed descent through the female line.

Unable to get the Estates to agree to an increase in general taxation, King Jean was reduced to constant currency devaluations to finance the wars; these, in turn, led to unrest and calls for reforms. The period between 1350 and 1355 was turbulent and saw reformers, who blamed France’s misfortunes on Jean’s mismanagement, attracted by the figure of the new pretender to the throne, Charles of Navarre. King Jean and Charles of Navarre came into sharper conflict over Navarre’s complicity in the assassination of the constable of France, Charles La Cerda of Spain, in January 1354.[41] The following year saw the renewal of hostilities with the English, who invaded Normandy. After the battle of Poitiers in 1356, Jean was held captive in England until 1360, leaving his young son Charles effectively in charge of a complete mess. The reformers saw their chance to influence Charles as effective regent of France and Charles of Navarre in turn saw his chance to champion the reforming tendency among the prelates and upper nobility, who angled for his release. In the event he escaped from prison in 1357, initially to keep a low profile in his native Normandy but he returned to Paris in the wake of the peasant uprising known as the Jacquerie to press his advantage against the Dauphin.[42]

Charles of Navarre’s attempts to strike an alliance with the Parisians in June and July 1358 was impeded by their suspicion over his English links, and his erstwhile ally, Etienne Marcel, was murdered by a crowd of Parisians on 31 July. The Dauphin soon returned and took control of government; Charles Bad and his partisan Robert le Coq (the Bishop of Laon) left town and continued war by alliance with English, negotiating peace only in the autumn of 1359.[43] In 1360, Jean II returned from London after signing the treaty of Brétigny, which preserved peace between the English and French for almost a decade.

Historians have commented on the marked homosociability of King Jean II’s human relations, despite his level of sexual reproduction (he and his first wife had eleven children between 1336 and 1348). He seems to have found it difficult to work with men who were not personal friends and he freely visited those he counted in this group at their private houses. His fidelity was remarked as was his demand for love and loyalty in return. His chancellor, Pierre de la Forest signed off a letter to him as ‘your humble creature, your little cardinal of Rouen’; and even contemporaries remarked on the strength of the love between the King and his constable and favourite, Charles of Spain, implying that this love might be improper.[44]

Guillaume de Melun fell into this group of royal intimates amongst whom he was first in terms of efficacy and importance and played a particularly important role in the period immediately following Jean’s return from London, although he was central in the administrations of both Jean and his son Charles throughout the middle decades of the century.[45] Having been awarded an expectative prebend at Chartres in 1331 by Pope John XXII on the petition of Philippe VI, by 1333, while he studied at the University of Paris, Guillaume de Melun held canonries at Paris, Orleans, and Amiens. It seems likely that he studied law at Paris, since on 28 January 1343 he was named as a named counsellor-clerc in the parlement. From 1343 he was custos at the collegiate church of St. Quentin but there was a strong family tradition of being archbishop of Sens, the metropolitan see of Paris. His uncle (also called Guillaume de Melun) was an earlier archbishop of Sens (from 1315 to 1329). When another uncle, Philippe de Melun (archbishop from 1338), died in 1345, Guillaume not only headed the list of executors but also effectively ‘inherited’ the spirituality.[46]

Raymond Cazelles stresses how seriously Guillaume took being archbishop. He reinvested the see with power and energy, visiting its various dioceses and abbeys, arbitrating conflicts and disputing visitation rights.[47] Guillaume de Melun could be quite forceful. Some time between 1353 and 1358, in a row with the abbot of Saint-Germaine d’Auxerre over the payment of dues, Guillaume grabbed the abbot by the beard, pulled out a lot of hairs, and demanded payment. When the Abbot complained about this literally rebarbative treatment Guillaume sarcastically taunted him by saying ‘you’ll get your revenge when they make you pope’. Unhappily for Guillaume, in 1362 this same abbot, Guillaume Grimoard, was elected Pope Urban V. Urban V called Guillaume de Melun to the papal palace in Avignon, reminded him of his earlier insult and promptly translated him from the prestigious metropolitan see to the basically honorific patriarchy of Jerusalem. It was necessary for the French King, Jean II, to go to Avignon in person to intervene on Guillaume de Melun’s behalf; at Jean’s instigation, Guillaume was restored to his former see.[48]

Guillaume de Melun was not just interested in financial order but was also a good administrator with a passion for political and ecclesiastical reform. He put in place serious hygiene measures against the Great Mortality of 1348. As well as being a man of the church, an administrator, and political advisor, he was also a fighter, being taken with Jean II at the battle of Poitiers in 1356.[49] In 1360 founded the feast of Saint Quentin in Sens with a solemn service for his martyrdom on the eve of All Saints. Guillaume played an important role before and during the negotiations of the treatise of Brétigny—at which he sang mass. His central role in stabilizing the currency and creating the gold franc on 5 Dec 1360 is shown by the fact that the discussions that led to this step took place in his residence in Paris.[50] The combination of the theoretical calls for a stable currency (from Nicole Oresme) and seeing the practice of such a policy during his years captive in England meant that Guillaume de Melun was a strong advocate of this new policy.[51] In 1364 he sang the mass at the funeral of King Jean II. When Pierre de Villiers, bishop of Troyes, went to Sens on 9 May 1376 to preside over Guillaume’s own funeral arrangements, Pierre’s celebration at the main altar was initially opposed by the canons of Sens because he was not a suffragan in the metropolitan see. They eventually allowed him to officiate only out of respect for the king ‘in whose service the said Guillaume of good memory persisted in the time that he was living’.[52] This confirms that Guillaume continued in government service up to his death, serving first Jean II and then Charles V. In short, as Cazelles notes, ‘this prelate played a major political role over a long period of time’.[53]

So, why might it be Guillaume de Melun who is depicted at the head of Machaut’s most famous collected works manuscript? Two pieces of circumstantial evidence can be adduced in the first instance, which will be followed by broader and more rarefied speculation. First, Guillaume de Melun was the Archbishop of Sens from 1345 until his death in 1376 and the personification is thus a way of referring to him by his job title.[54] Second, by the time of manuscript A’s compilation he had, according to an identification advanced by Raymond Cazelles, already been personified as the allegorical character Sens in the long mid-fourteenth-century narrative poem the Roman des deduis by the King’s chaplain, Gace de la Buigne.[55] In this poem, Sens (that is, Guillaume de Melun) functions as the most important advisor of the King, Jean II of France:

Sens l’est alez servir premier,

Raison l’a voulu compaignier (ll.1083–4)

Ou siege s’est assis le roy

Et a sa destre pres de soy

A mis seoir Sens le premier

Comme son maistre conseillier (ll.1125–8)

Sens had come to serve him first, Reason wanted to accompany him…On the throne sat the King and on his right, near his person, he had seated Sens, the prime minister, as his master counsellor.

Sens organizes the other personified virtues in the first part of the poem, deciding their seating arrangement and proximity to King Jean, mediating their speeches and preparing them for the battle with the vices in which the first part of the poem culminates. As Guillaume de Melun effectively ran Jean II’s administration in much this way the identification of Sens with the archbishop of Sens would have been unavoidable for contemporaries.

Gace’s poem’s second part contains a long jugement in which the questions debated are firstly ‘which is nobler, hunting with dogs or hunting with hounds?’ and secondly ‘which of these is the better pleasure?’. The debate in Gace’s poem amplifies and refers to one which forms a 1044-line verse section of what is otherwise a prose work, the Livres du Roy Modus et de la Royne Ratio.[56] Modus, like Deduis, has two parts, although here the cynegetic treatise forms the first part.[57] This first part is usually called the Deduis du Roy Modus et de la Royne Ratio in manuscript rubrics and is only not known as the Deduis in modern scholarship to prevent confusion between it and Gace’s poem of a similar name.[58] These two poems form a complementary pair in many ways and their similar titles would have linked them the minds of their original audiences, but they have many differences. Gace’s Deduis refers to two composer-bishops (Philippe de Vitry and Denis le Grant), citing musical pieces by them as points of authority within the debate, which is much longer, more rhetorical, and more elaborate than the similar debate in Modus, although it makes many of the same points.[59]

In both Modus and Deduis the Jugement is made within the poem by submission to a third-party arbitrator. In Deduis, this figure is King Jean II of France, who had asked for the poem to be written for his son, Philippe (later Duke of Burgundy) during the period of the French King’s exile in England after the battle of Poitiers. In Deduis, the King is aided by a number of personifications: in the first part Sens, who has been identified as standing for Guillaume II de Melun, archbishop of Sens; in the second part, Sens’s ‘brother’ Reason aids Jean II in deciding the outcome of the jugement poem, together with another historical figure, the Count of Tancarville. This second part of Deduis is based on a short verse section in the first part of Modus, which contains a jugement, whose arbiter is also the Count of Tancarville.

The two arbitrating counsellors of these poems—Sens and Tancarville—were related far more closely than merely through poetry: the Count of Tancarville, the arbitrator of Modus and assisting Raison with the same debate in Deduis, is Jean II de Melun, the older brother of Guillaume II de Melun, the archbishop of Sens.[60] Tancarville, like his brother, was a powerful and influential figure. He had been fighting for the French since hostilities with England began in 1337 (by which time he was an equerry and already married).[61] As hereditary constable of Normandy he was an intimate of King Jean from the time when Jean was merely Duke of Normandy and was vital in persuading Norman nobles, many of whom also had possessions in England, of their allegiance to the French crown.[62] He was Chamberlain of France and from 1 Dec 1360 sovereign master of the waters and forests of the kingdom. He took up county of Tancarville in February 1352, whose title placed him in the highest echelons of the nobility. Like the King and his own brother Guillaume, Jean de Melun was captured at Poitiers. When Jean II and his retinue (including both the Meluns) returned from captivity, Tancarville took the lead role in war with the brigands whose unlicensed pillaging was threatening law and order throughout France (Machaut has the narrator Guillaume mention these routiers in the Voir dit* as a reason for not being able to travel to see his lady, Toute Belle). The Duchy of Burgundy reverted to the crown when the fifteen-year-old Philippe de Rouvre died of the plague in Nov 1361. Jean II gave Tancarville orders to take possession of the duchy on his behalf, a role he fulfilled for many years.[63]

We know that Machaut knew the Count of Tancarville because he mentions him in the complaint Sire, a vous fais ceste clamour (Complainte no. 7), a work which has been dated to the 1360s on the basis of manuscript transmission, but which might be slightly earlier.[64] The complainant moans that the king used to treat the speaker well when he made him his secretary but now the Count of Tancarville has sent him a horse in such a poor condition that he is effectively without a horse; he would happily travel to France to see the lord but his way is blocked by brigands and he fears weather, gout, plague and falling into a ditch.

The question of how Machaut might have known Tancarville’s brother Guillaume II de Melun cannot be answered by adducing such literary or documentary evidence. Given the prominent political role of the archbishop of Sens and Machaut’s own tight connections to both the French and Navarrese royal houses (not to mention their tight interconnections), it would be strange for them not to have been in frequent contact. There is additional circumstantial evidence. From 1343 Guillaume de Melun was custos at the collegiate church of St. Quentin; Machaut held a benefice there which he gained sometime between 1333 and 1335, which he seems to have been acquired without papal intervention and kept until at least 1364, when he was taxed on the 40 livres a year it brought him.[65] Although the holding of a sine cura benefice does not imply that Machaut was ever present in St Quentin, as a canon at Reims he might have travelled there as part of an annual delegation of canons from all twelve chapters in the archdiocese in St Quentin. This tradition, existing since the thirteenth century, seems to have been re-instituted in 1331 as an important part of ecclesiastical politics after the resolution of a dispute with the pope over the election of Guilluame de Trie as archbishop.[66] Machaut’s motet 18, which names Guillaume de Trie in its upper voices, is paired in all sources with one that uses a tenor taken from a Responsory for St Quentin (M19).[67] Anne Walters Robertson has raised the possibility that Machaut might have served as a delegate to these meetings in St Quentin and offered this pair of motets as a ‘sort of anthem for the canons’ who attended.[68]

If Machaut and Guillaume de Melun didn’t meet in the church of St Quentin, the links both had to Charles de Valois in the period of his regency might nevertheless point to an acquaintance at least two decades old at the time of the compilation of MS A. This source has been dated to 1370–2, at which point both Guillaumes were old men (de Melun pre-deceased de Machaut by only one year in 1376). Given the ecclesiastical/secular pairing of the two pictures, if Sens is the archbishop Guillaume de Melun, it is conceivable that the courtly figure of Sweet Thought represents Jean II de Melun, the Count of Tancarville, who did not die until 1384.[69] Whether or not this second figure can be considered his brother, the representation of the archbishop of Sens as Sens might point to a patron who oversaw what seems to have the last-minute upgrading of the manuscript.[70]

Guillaume de Melun was extremely interested in what we would identify as the broadly artistic aspects of court culture.[71] He invested money in buildings and their artistic contents. He also commissioned deluxe manuscript books: several beautifully illustrated manuscripts survive that bear his arms.[72] Appending his arms to items was one way in which Guillaume de Melun made his patronage clear:a stone statue of the Virgin in the cathedral in Sens bore his arms on her feet.[73] However, he was also interested in having himself represented within the picture more bodily: at the south side of the main altar in the cathedral of Paris, another statue of the Virgin as Our Lady of Consolation was accompanied with a figure of an archbishop engraved so as to identify him and attesting to his hand in the provision of the statue.[74] It would be interesting to know whether this statue bore any physical resemblance to the figure in Machaut’s Prologue.[75]

Given the complexity of the political situation in France in the 1350s and 60s, this identification must remain a hypothesis. It might be, however, that because of the relative lack of political power enjoyed by art and artists in the present, the centrality of Machaut in French political life has been much under-emphasized by those inclined to view his poetry as only conventionally sycophantic or even apolitical. And those also influenced by the designation of Charles of Navarre as Charles le Mauvais (Charles the Bad—the epithet given him by a sixteenth-century Spanish writer), which views him as a traitor to the two Kings of France designated respectively Jean le Bon (Jean the Good) and Charles le Sage (Charles the Wise) are apt to downplay Machaut’s likely role as a Navarrese partisan, at least in the early 1350s. Although Charles of Navarre was a rival for the French throne with Charles de Valois in the 1350s, to be in his service was not the treasonous behavior that later historians perceived it to be.[76] Neither the Confort d’ami that Machaut wrote for Charles of Navarre while the French crown had him imprisoned at Arleux nor the earlier Jugement du roy de Navarre were subject to a soviet-style airbrushing from history; both retained a central place in Machaut’s later collected works, including their copying in MS A.

Both Machaut and his brother Jean can be linked to the house of Navarre: Jean de Machaut served Philippe de Navarre, and his son, Charles of Navarre, who later considered him ‘dilecto suo’ (his favorite).[77] A recent article by Roger Bowers has argued persuasively that Guillaume de Machaut entered Charles’s service after the death of Jean de Luxembourg in 1346.[78] His two of his longer poems mentioned above–Navarre and Confort–are dedicated to Charles, and the latter poem expresses clear reformist sympathies.[79]

The participation of reformers in events of 1356–8 did not harm their careers; on the contrary, Jean II and his son Charles drew their chosen servants from the ranks of the reformers of the Estates most of whom were one time partisans of Charles of Navarre. Both Guillaume and Jean de Melun were part of a stable group of reforming nobles and higher clergy that remained fairly constant from the period after Jean II’s return from England in 1360 until the end of the reign of his son Charles V. This period, in important contrast to the early 1350s, saw twenty-five years of currency stability in France, a shift in fiscal policy for which Guillaume de Melun was largely responsible. The broader group of reformers included Raoul de Louppy and Louis Thésard both of whom certainly knew Machaut.[80]

Both the Melun brothers also had broad Navarrese sympathies in the 1350s and yet retained their centrality in the Valois administration after the breakdown of relations between Charles of Navarre and the Dauphin in May 1358.[81] The subsequent reconciliation between Charles and the Dauphin shows that a vassal that strays can nevertheless be forgiven. This feature of political life in this period of French history applies not just to the higher echelons of the nobility but also to their administrators and servants, especially members of the higher clergy and possibly also culturally high-profile secretaries. This very situation seems to be hinted at in a passage from the Voir dit which seems to make a further reference to one of the Melun brothers—although once more, not Guillaume but his brother Jean.

In the closing part of the Voir dit, after explaining how the five articles of Titus Livius’ Fortune can be applied to his erstwhile beloved Toute Belle, the narrator Guillaume, Machaut’s first-person alter-ego, concludes that his lady and Fortune could be good friends because they are both changeable, like a moulting sparrow hawk.[82] He elaborates this into a story about how a well-bred falcon can be trained and rewarded for its service with the heart of the bird it has killed for its master (ll.8424–73). This equation between women and hawks—famous to English-speaking scholarship because of later uses such as that in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew—was one already that Machaut had already made at length in his didactic Story of the Alerion, which compares four different kinds of birds to different female beloveds.[83] The narrator Guillaume’s reading of this story in the Voir dit (ll.8475–94) casts the lady in the role of the wayward bird, ostensibly like the Alerion. But this makes little logical sense and is undercut by the action that Guillaume takes as a result: Guillaume does not in fact suggest berating and starving a lady who will not see reason and, like the well trained hawk, return to her proper ‘prey’. Instead he says one ought to cease crying and plaining and thank her with head held high, saying ‘if it’s what pleases you, I strongly agree’ (ll.8489–91). This line of acid sarcasm is a tag from what was a well-known refrain; Machaut had used earlier in his output as the refrain of a virelay in which the lover responds to being cast off by his lady, Se ma dame m’a guerpi(V6).[84] The lover ought to conclude that such a lady’s love is worthless because she lacks loyalty. In so doing the exemplum hints a more triangular relationship, one that would better fit the context of the role of the court poet that the Voir dit so thoroughly explores. The falcon hunts birds on behalf of his master much as Machaut woos and praises ladies on behalf of his patrons. Like the falcon, if the poet starts to stray, he can be called back and redirected to the prey that is desired.[85] And like the falcon, the poet does not himself get the bird, which is reserved for his master’s degustation, but he has its heart to sustain him and keep him from hunger. Similarly, the poet addressed the lady on behalf of the patron but is nourished by the love of his audience, whose hearts are his; this sustains him financially as he receives payment and gifts for his work.

Guillaume introduces this story as one he has heard recounted by a count (the pun on ‘conte’ is in the original), who is his lord and great friend (ll.8424–6). He is a man who has placed all his entente in the delight of falconry (ll.8427–8) and ‘en scet trop plus que homs/Et trop plus quautres si deduit’ (knows more about it [falconry] than anyone else and enjoys it more than others; Voir dit, ll.8429–30). Although falconry was almost universally practiced among the European nobility in this period, the most famous and respected devotee of the pastime was indeed a Count—Jean II de Melun, the Count of Tancarville, who, as discussed above, is the judge of the debate between the hawkers and the huntsmen in Henri de Ferrières’s King Modus and assists the King in judging the similar debate in Gace de la Buigne’s Story of the Delights. Thus a servant of the King tells the court poet a tale that might have amorous resonance in its local position in the Voir dit, but hints at a greater applicability as a moral tale for patron-client relations. The hawk is like the court administers or reforming nobles who were temporarily attracted by another prey—allying themselves with Charles of Navarre, for example—before returning at the prompting of their lord to the truth path. Like the hawk they can be forgiven, nourished, and cherished: this is as true for Tancarville as it was for Machaut. If it is indeed the archbishop of Sens who greets Machaut at Nature’s behest and even Tancarville who Love introduces in the second miniature, manuscript A would reflect the enduring love and forgiveness due to a hawk whose prey was always the noblest.

  1. This article was has been presented as a paper to audiences in Oxford and at the 27th Harlaxton Symposium in 2010. Written versions were rejected by Gesta (for whose anonymous readers the article was insufficiently focused on matters art-historical) and JAMS (for whose anonymous readers the article was insufficiently focused on matters musicological). A renewed interest in the early owners and patrons of the Machaut manuscripts shown by Uri Smilansky’s presentation (of a paper jointly authored with Yolanda Plumley) at the Nottingham Med/Ren in July 2012, prompted me to fish this paper out of my files and publish it here, since it might prompt further work. I have done bit of editing since 2010, cutting what was originally a far longer discussion of the Prologue miniatures themselves. A later and fuller exposition of many of its details, especially in the first section about the Prologue, can be found in my Machaut book.  ↩

  2. The title occurs only in the posthumous MS E, which omits the narrative section (see Lawrence Earp, Guillaume de Machaut: A Guide to Research, (New York: Garland, 1995), 203). Overall E exhibits a thoroughgoing lack of interest in Machaut’s authorial ordering intentions (the musical items are radically re-ordered within their genres sections, for instance) and a rather different scribal agenda, which nonetheless offers an important document of Machaut’s posthumous reception.  ↩

  3. Original contents of this footnote now more thoroughly explored in Elizabeth Eva Leach, Guilluame de Machaut: Secretary, Poet, Musician (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011), chapter 3.  ↩

  4. f. Av: ‘Vesci lordenance que G. de Machau wet quil ait en son livre’. See especially Laurence De Looze, Pseudo-Autobiography in the Fourteenth Century: Juan Ruiz, Guillaume de Machaut, Jean Froissart, and Geoffrey Chaucer (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1997), 66–9; and also Kevin Brownlee, Poetic Identity in Guillaume de Machaut (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), esp.16–21; Sylvia Huot, From Song to Book: The Poetics of Writing in Old French Lyric and Lyrical Narrative Poetry (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987), 274–5; and Ardis Butterfield, ‘Articulating the Author: Gower and the French Vernacular Codex’, The Yearbook of English Studies 33, Medieval and Early Modern Miscellanies and Anthologies (2003), 90–92.  ↩

  5. Brownlee, Poetic Identity, 16–20.  ↩

  6. Jacqueline Cerquiglini, ‘Un engin si soutil’: Guillaume de Machaut et l’écriture au XIVe siècle, (Geneva: Slatkine, 1985), 15.  ↩

  7. The foliation here is modern and was added ‘when the appended bifolium was bound incorrectly, hence the inverted folio order for the miniatures’. See Domenic Leo, ‘Authorial Presence in the Illuminated Machaut Manuscripts’ (PhD diss., NYU, 2005), 220fn476, his Appendix 4, and Earp, Guillaume de Machaut, 87–9. In general the Prologue seems to have caused some difficulty with the organization of the gatherings, see Earp, ibid., 205.  ↩

  8. This term, which has a range of meanings, is problematic to translate and will therefore not be translated here, since its significant meaning in the present text is Sens, the place.  ↩

  9. Prologue, in Ernest Hoepffner, Oeuvres de Guillaume de Machaut, 3 vols. (Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1908–1922), 1:12, lines 183–4 (translation mine).  ↩

  10. On Jean as a model for Machaut, see James I. Wimsatt, Chaucer and his French Contemporaries: Natural Music in the Fourteenth Century (Toronto and Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1991), 55–8. All three poets are mentioned together in Gilles li Muisis’s Li meditations; see Kervyn de Lettenhove, ed., Poésies de Gilles li Muisis (Louvain: J. Lefever, 1882), 1:88–9, lines 324–339. The Meditations, too, has a lengthy opening incipit rubric (see ibid., 79) which gives its title, names the author and gives Easter 1350 as the date of composition.  ↩

  11. Aug. Scheler, ed., Jehan de la Mote: Li Regret Guillaume, Comte de Hainaut. Poème inédit du XIVe siècle (Louvain: J. Lefever, 1882), 2, lines 25–34.  ↩

  12. Ibid., 3, lines 49–66.  ↩

  13. Prologue, 1:3, II, ll.5–6.  ↩

  14. Hoepffner, ed., Oeuvres de Guillaume de Machaut, liv: ‘Ce Prologue est comme un raccourci de toute l’oeuvre du poète, tant dans la forme que dans le fond’. Translation from Brownlee, Poetic Identity, 16. Despite the lack of notated music here, music’s presence right at the opening of the book is signalled in several important ways., see Leach, Guillaume de Machaut, chapter 3.  ↩

  15. Wimsatt, Chaucer and his French Contemporaries, 57. Machaut cites lines from two of the lyrics in Li regret in his own balades set to music, B3 and B4. While the citation could be in the opposite direction, this seems less likely, but would anyway, given the contemporaneity of the two men, still show their awareness of one another’s work. See Elizabeth Eva Leach, ‘Death of a Lover and the Birth of the Polyphonic Balade: Machaut’s Notated Balades 1–5’, Journal of Musicology 19 (2002), 488–9 and fn49 on 488, where the mention of ‘Isabelle of Hainault’, should be to Philippa of Hainault.  ↩

  16. Earp, Guillaume de Machaut, 205.  ↩

  17. Huot, From Song to Book, 250. Huot cites Brownlee’s observation that in the later manuscripts of Machaut’s Remede (A and F) the rubric ‘l’amant’ appears only after Hope has begun to educate the narrator; see Brownlee, Poetic Identity, 230n19.  ↩

  18. See François Avril, Manuscript Painting at the Court of France: The Fourteenth Century (1320–1380) (London: Chatto and Windus, 1978), 28 and 96–103 (Plates 29–32).  ↩

  19. Leo, ‘Authorial Presence in the Illuminated Machaut Manuscripts’, 219.  ↩

  20. See Ibid., 229–30, and further below.  ↩

  21. Ibid., 228–230.  ↩

  22. Ibid., 228–9.  ↩

  23. Ibid 236. On Machaut’s propensity for ‘pseudo-autobiography’, see De Looze, Pseudo-Autobiography.  ↩

  24. As Leo points out (‘Authorial Presence’, 240), the pair could also be drawing on the Annunciation to the Shepherds and the Adoration of the Magi, but these are equally iconography of Christmastide, located at the birth of something quite wondrous, so the parallel between the birth of Christ and the birth of Machaut’s work remains.  ↩

  25. This artist also worked on Vg, however. See Earp, Guillaume de Machaut, 133–4.  ↩

  26. François Avril, ‘Les manuscrits enluminés de Guillaume de Machaut: Essai de chronologie’, in Guillaume de Machaut: Poète et Compositeur (Reims: Klincksieck, 1982), 126–7.  ↩

  27. Montpellier Bibliothèque de la Faculté de Medécine (F-MO) H.43; see comments in Jean Porcher, L’enluminure français (Paris: Arts et Mètiers graphiques, 1959), 49, fig.53 and cf. the decoration of fig.54. See also Leo, ‘Authorial Presence’, 240; Avril, ‘Les manuscrits enluminés de Guillaume de Machaut’, 126fn28; See description in J. Keith Atkinson, ed., Boeces: De Consolacion. Edition critique d’après le manuscrit Paris, Bibl. nationale, fr. 1096, avec Introduction, Variantes, Notes et Glossaires (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1996), 8, who compares it to a missal from Reims (Bibl. mun. 230).  ↩

  28. Two of its miniatures are similar easily confused. Leo, ‘Authorial Presence’, for examples illustrates his discussion on p. 240 with plate 163, which shows the similar–but different–miniature on f.2r. Atkinson, ed, Boeces: De Consolacion, 8 notes that f.2r (full opening here; detail here) shows Plato and Socrates being introduced to the supine Boethius by Philosophy at the start of the third metrum of book 1, not the liberal arts as Leo states, which are on f.4v, at the opening of book 2.  ↩

  29. See Sylvia Huot, ‘Guillaume de Machaut and the Consolation of Poetry’, Modern Philology 100 (2002), 169–95. The library’s website (link here but it uses frames so I can’t give a direct reference) labels this entire miniature as showing Boethius, Philosophy and the church, perhaps seeing the pair of figures with a chalice and music as symbolizing a sung mass.  ↩

  30. [Leo, ‘Authorial Presence’]), 244–8. This hypothesis would also require that the original copy of the opening four balades and their accompanying miniatures were also originally on a bifolium that was a later addition to the manuscript.  ↩

  31. In this reading the reverse author portrait is not subversive but appreciative, a loving commemoration to an aged, dying, or dead poet. On the role of the Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy in Vg, see Earp, Guillaume de Machaut, 133–4.  ↩

  32. Leo, ‘Authorial Presence’, 229 and fn499.  ↩

  33. Ibid., 230.  ↩

  34. Ibid., 223fn488 citing Charles Sterling, La peinture médiévale à Paris: 1300–1500 (Paris: Foundation Wildenstein, 1987), 176–9. See reconstruction here  ↩

  35. Earp, Guillaume de Machaut, 42–46, items 1.15.1a-d.  ↩

  36. Georgia Sommers Wright, ‘The Reinvention of the Portrait Likeness in the Fourteenth Century’, Gesta 39 (2000), 117.  ↩

  37. Ibid., 117.  ↩

  38. See Stephen Perkinson, ‘Portraits and Counterfeits: Villard de Honnecourt and Thirteenth-Century Theories of Representation’, in Excavating the Medieval Image: Manuscripts, Artists, Audiences: Essays in Honor of Sandra Hindman, ed. Nina A. Rowe and David S. Areford (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), 13–36.  ↩

  39. Wright, ‘The Reinvention of the Portrait Likeness’, 117, 131.  ↩

  40. [Ibid]((, 131. If, for example, the labeled statue of Guillaume de Melun mentioned below was a likeness, its mere loss makes the difference between the fulfillment and non-fulfillment of these criteria.  ↩

  41. Earp, Guillaume de Machaut, 35; Raymond Cazelles, Société politique, noblesse et couronne sous Jean le Bon et Charles V (Geneva: Droz, 1982), 166. There was a family link between the Meluns and Charles of Spain: in 1327 Charles’s mother Isabelle d’Antoing married the Meluns’ father, Jean I as his second wife (he was her third husband), making the Meluns and Charles stepbrothers; see Cazelles, Société politique, 94.  ↩

  42. See Arthur Layton Funk, ‘Robert le Coq and Etienne Marcel’, Speculum (1944), 486–7.  ↩

  43. Ibid. Charles made a treaty with Edward III on 1 August 1358.  ↩

  44. Cazelles, Société politique, 44–5, 166.  ↩

  45. Ibid., 402.  ↩

  46. Ibid., 403.  ↩

  47. Ibid., 404–5.  ↩

  48. Ibid., 404. Guillaume’s reputed piety did not prevent him having at least one son.  ↩

  49. Ibid., 406.  ↩

  50. Ibid., 402; 409 fn48bis notes that the new franc had the motto ‘Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat’, the same three acclamations that the archbishop of Sens had to pronounce at the masses said for his accession, and at Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost.  ↩

  51. See Ibid., 418–9.  ↩

  52. Ibid., 410.  ↩

  53. Ibid., 410.  ↩

  54. This is an assumption based on knowledge of later English practice. If any reader knows of any evidence that shows archbishops referred to by the name of their See rather than their personal name in documents of this period, please let me know and I’ll add it here!  ↩

  55. See Cazelles’s comments in Ibid., 402–3. Cazelles also claims the poem was started in June or July 1359 and finished in Paris the following year, but he may be referring purely to the first part of the poem (the part where the character Sens is central). His source for this information is not stated. My dates for the whole poem are taken from Åke Blomqvist, ed., Gace de la Buigne: Le Roman des Deduis (Karlshamn: E. G. Johanssons Boktryckeri, 1951), introduction.  ↩

  56. Gunnar Tilander, ed., Les livres du Roy Modus et de la Royne Ratio, 2 vols. (Paris: Société des anciens textes français, 1932). The poem has been identified as being by Henri de Ferrières from an anagram, although some consider this attribution uncertain.  ↩

  57. Its second part is titled Le songe de pestilence.  ↩

  58. Cf. the two poems called the Roman de la Rose, one of which is usually referred to by its subtitle of Guillaume de Dole in modern scholarship.  ↩

  59. See Elizabeth Eva Leach, Sung Birds: Music, Nature, and Poetry in the Later Middle Ages (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007), chapter 4. For a comparison of the debates in each, see Blomqvist, ed., Deduis, 10–12.  ↩

  60. This link significantly strengthens Cazelles’s identification of Sens with Guillaume de Melun. Jean II was Count of Tancarville from 4 February 1352 (Earp, Guillaume de Machaut, 270). He returned to the Dauphin with the second treaty of London and stayed in his Council after its rejection during the invasion of Edward III in the period December 1359-February 1360 (Earp, Guillaume de Machaut, 46, item 1.15.2b). He was present when the treaty of Brétigny was negotiated (1–8 May 1360) and went as hostage to London under its terms until 1361, when he returned to France. He brought back the body of King Jean II in 1364 and thereafter served Charles V. The title of their sister, Isabelle, Dame de Houdain, links her to the place where by July 1330 at the latest Machaut held a perpetual chaplaincy; see Earp Guillaume de Machaut, item 1.6.1b.  ↩

  61. Cazelles, Société politique, 410–11.  ↩

  62. It is worth noting that both Gace de la Buigne and Henri de Ferrières were also Normans, as was Charles of Navarre and that the often fraught interaction between the French crown and Norman nobles played a significant role in the period of the Hundred Years War .  ↩

  63. Cazelles, Société politique, 413–4.  ↩

  64. Earp, Guillaume de Machaut, 270–1 gives the early 1360s on the basis of the manuscript transmission; on p.46 he gives more specifically early 1361. It is transmitted only in the later manuscripts M, A, and G and is addressed to a king. M represents a stage of the collection between Vg and A (see ibid., 95). Several candidates for the king who is addressed have been proposed including the kings of Bohemia (Jean), France (Jean or Charles), Cyprus (Pierre), or Navarre (Charles). Only the first of these is impossible, since the poem must date from after Jean became Count of Tancarville in 1352, by which time Jean de Luxembourg had been dead for six years. The speaker (Guillaume de Machaut’s authorial persona) refers to himself as the king’s secretary, which makes it possible that the addressee is Charles of Navarre, since although there is no formal record of the nature of Machaut’s service to Charles, it is assumed that he was working for him in the early 1350s (see ibid., 33–8). See also Roger Bowers, ‘Guillaume de Machaut and His Canonry of Reims, 1338–1377’, Early Music History 23 (2004), 1–48, 14.  ↩

  65. Ibid., 18–19 item 1.6.1e and 44–45 item 1.15.1b.  ↩

  66. Desportes, Fasti Ecclesiae Gallicanae, 170–1. Guillaume de Trie was elected 28 March 1324 and died 26 September 1334; see also Yossi Maurey, ‘A Courtly Lover and an Earthly Knight Turned Soldiers of Christ in Machaut’s Motet 5’, Early Music History 24 (2005): 169–211, 73–4.  ↩

  67. Anne Walters Robertson, Guillaume de Machaut and Reims: Context and Meaning in His Musical Works (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 70–3.  ↩

  68. Ibid., 74.  ↩

  69. In this case the ‘portrait’ would show him as much younger than his actual age, although this would not be unusual (cf. the depictions of Machaut as the narrator Guillaume and ‘l’amant’ in MS C).  ↩

  70. The alternative is that the upgrade was commissioned by Charles V himself. If the later addition of the Prologue miniatures followed the compilation of the main corpus by more than a couple of years, it could conceivably function as a visual commemoration of Charles V’s most valued compatriots and administrators: Jean II de Melun died in 1384, his brother Guillaume in 1376 and Machaut in 1377. Funerary monuments at this period were noticeably more likely to represent the deceased with a realism approaching modern concepts of portraiture; see Paul Binski, Medieval Death: Ritual and Representation (London: The British Museum Press, 1996), 99–104.  ↩

  71. Cazelles, Société politique, 408–9.  ↩

  72. His pontifical is preserved as GB-Lbl Egerton 931 and carries the arms of Melun and the archbishop of Sens (see picture here); his will left a large missal to the chaplains of Saint-Laurent in the archbishop’s palace at Sens; see Cazelles, Société politique, 407–9 for further evidence of Guillaume’s artistic commissions.  ↩

  73. Reported in Cazelles, Société politique, 408 without further references. If anyone knows a source for this information, please let me know!  ↩

  74. The latter is known only from a seventeenth-century description by Jacques Du Breul, Le theâtre des antiquitez de Paris (Paris: Claude de la Tour, 1612), 13; see also Dorothy Gillerman, ‘The Clôture of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame: Problems of Reconstruction,’ Gesta 14, no. 1 (1975): 41–61, 59: ‘Noble homme Guillaume de Melun Archevesque de Sens, a fait faire ceste histoire entre ces deux pilliers en l’honneur de Dieu, de Nostre Dame, & de Monseigneur sainct Estienne’.  ↩

  75. The description by other two statues and engraving described in Du Breul, Theâtre des antiquitez survive in seventeenth-century drawings by Gaignières, I think because they are tombs (see Gillerman, ‘The Clôture of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame’). As the statue of the Virgin with donor (i.e. Guillaume de Melun) is not a tomb, it is not in the volume of Gaignières drawings cited by Gillerman. If anyone knows of any drawing or trace of this statue, please let me know!  ↩

  76. See the comments in Cazelles, Société politique, 57.  ↩

  77. Earp, Guillaume de Machaut, item 1.11.1f.  ↩

  78. Ibid, 33–8. See also Bowers, ‘Guillaume de Machaut.  ↩

  79. Earp, Guillaume de Machaut, 36, items 1.12.1a-c.  ↩

  80. On Raoul de Vienne, Sire de Louppy see ibid., 30, 34, 228 and Guillaume de Machaut’s Loange balade, Lo250. Louis Thésard, a canon of Reims from 1348 to 1361, was elected archbishop there in 1374, although Machaut did not attend his installation (see Pierre Desportes, Fasti Ecclesiae Gallicanae, Vol. III: Diocèse de Reims. Répertoire prosopographique des évêques, dignitaires et chanoines des diocèses de France de 1200 à 1500 (1998), 180–2).  ↩

  81. See Funk, ‘Robert le Coq and Etienne Marcel’, 485; Cazelles, Société politique, 142, 385, 409.  ↩

  82. The sparrow hawk is the first bird that the narrator-protagonist of Machaut’s Alerion loves and trains; he loses it because it moults. See Guillaume de Machaut, The Tale of the Alerion, trans. Minnette Grunmann-Gaudet and Constance B. Hieatt, 10 (Toronto and Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1994).  ↩

  83. Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, IV, i, 182–205; on Alerion see William Calin, A Poet at the Fountain: Essays on the Narrative Verse of Guillaume de Machaut (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1974), 92–109 (chapter 5); Brownlee, Poetic Identity, 63–93.  ↩

  84. V6 uses this line as an unchanging refrain in both the refrain proper and in the virelay’s tierce section. The extra repetition it thus gained—this melody only ever serving this text—draws attention to it, reinforcing the sarcasm. The line forms the last line of the four-line refrain ‘D’un joli dart’ vdB633, which serves as the tenor of two thirteenth-century motets in the last fascicle of Montpellier: Mo309 (see images here and here) and Mo321 (see images here and here). It is also cited, with music close to that used in the motet tenors, in one of the four manuscripts of Renart le Nouvel; see John Haines, Satire in the Songs of Renart le Nouvel, (Geneva: Droz, 2010), refrain 20=50a l.6278. The song text is copied in full in the pastourelle section of GB-Ob Douce 308, although this source is unnotated. Jacques Boogaart, ‘Encompassing Past and Present: Quotations and Their Function in Machaut’s Motets’, Early Music History 20 (2001), 14 notes its use as a refrain in Machaut’s poem Douce dame, vous ociés à tort (Lo73), which also uses this line as its refrain.  ↩

  85. This is like the third bird of Alerion, the gyrfalcon, which goes after an ignoble prey. In Alerion the narrator-protagonist is so well-schooled by Love at this point that he gets over this loss very quickly.  ↩