|donderdag, 28 juli 2011|
The Amazon Queen, Penthesilea, to Marguerite, queen of Navarra
prominently present on the public scene in the Evangelical wonder years of
1533–34, supplying ammunition to the agitators (broadsheets
against Beda, printed clandestinely in Lyon by Fr. Juste), materially
helping Marguerite to get the Evangelical message through by concentrating on
the essentials of faith (Psalm translation and prayers in the vernacular,
printed officially in Paris in the last part of 1533,
Instruction et Foy). To the list of supportive poems from this period I
am inclined to add the Epistle to M. Bouchart,
which refers to his imprisonment in 1526, but might well be a 1533/4 creation.
Probably around the same time Marot sent an Epistle to Marguerite in which the
Amazon Queen Penthesilea promises her support against the attack from the
‘Sorbonne’: Epistre presentée à la Royne de Navarre par Madame Ysabeau et
deux autres damoyselles habillées en Amazones en une mommerie
(Defaux II, pp. 75–6, notes: pp. 846–51). As can be deduced from
the title this epistle is actually the script for a small theatrical performance
of three ladies, among whom Madame Ysabeau is the leading (speaking) actress.
The three are ambassadors of the Amazon Queen (now residing in the Champs
Elysees for which she thanks Christ). The nymphes also carry surprisingly
christian names: Faith(fulness), Charity and Hope. They are
sent to help Marguerite in defending herself against the "infernal attacks" from
the Sorbonne... "Ces troys cy, croy moy, sont assez fortes / Pour des enfers
rompre les doubles portes." [these three are strong enough to break the double
gates of hell].
This poem was never published. It was discovered by Guiffrey in the 19th Century. Guiffrey suggested that it was written for the wedding of Isabeau de Navarre (16 August 1534) and caused the first argument between Sagon and Marot. In this, he is followed by Mayer and (partly) Defaux; Pierre Villey criticises this superabundance of precision and suggested a more flexible dating: between October 1533 and August 1534. (Villey, Chronologie des oeuvres, pp. 93–4). I agree with Guiffrey. The content speaks against the occasion of a wedding, not to mention the bride performing the leading role on her own wedding. And... Sagon - present at that wedding - would certainly have referred to it in his description of his meeting with Marot and the subsequent fight (golden opportunity to nail Marot: the overt attack on the Sorbonne). Much easier it is to imagine Marot writing this little comforting piece sometime during Marguerite’s conflict with the Sorbonne concerning the publication of her Miroir.
Epistre presentée à la Royne de Navarre par Madame Ysabeau et deux autres damoyselles habillées en Amazones en une mommerie
"Epistle presented to the Queen of Navarra by Mad. Ysabeau and two other youngladies dressed like Amazones, a masquerade.
Penthazillée, Royne des Amazones, à Marguerite, Royne de Navarre
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