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WOMEN

&

MUSIC

cation. Thus the shepherdess is both natural and pure. Sound of body and of mind, she can distin- guish good sense from folly (line 23). She is pre- pared to stand her ground in the face of the knight’s provocations.

worth by seducing her. He will then have the re-

ward he deserves:

“Bada,

fols,

bada”

(line

~5).4~

The knight does not yet give up. He shifts reg- isters, conflating two disparate ideas: the wild beast tamed and the oath of fidelity.

What then are these provocations and how does the shepherdess reply?

ionship “pareill par2

compan-

The first is the offer of protection and (stanzas II and III). Turning the knight’s (like or suitable companionship)

(line 19) into a mocking

“pareillaria’

(line

24),

the

28).45

s h e p h e r d e s s r e j e c t s t h i s a p p r o a c h , q u a l i f y i n g i t a s The companionship “illusion” (ufana) (line

The shepherdess picks up on both of these. First she exposes the futility of homage coming from a man possessed by madness, that is, by lust:

“hom coitatz de follatge

/

Jur’e pliu e

promet

gatge: Si.m fariatz homenatge” (a man pressed by madness Swears and pledges and Thus you would do me homage) (lines 64-66). Then she draws out the implication of bestiality

!

I

guaramees: /

the knight wants between them would leave her with nothing; she figures that out right away.

Intratge trespassatge

by linking it to prostitution.

picks up the previous

(line

(line 68)

59).

For a

Companionship would be more fitting if they were of the same class. To remedy the defect of their differing social classes, the calculating seigner

fee one can pass along certain roads. The venality of women is sharply evoked to unmask the knight’s true intentions. Prostitution is a promi-

proposes that the

vikzna

is really a courtly peasant

nent theme in many

pastourelles.

Peasant women

girl because her father was a knight. Again the

vi-

kzna

vikzna

vi&a’s

47-49).

is quick with a rebuff (stanza VI): her ances- try, she affirms, is pure, and the association of peasant and plow guarantees its authenticity. But the knight. . . is his ancestry so clear? There are those who only pass themselves off as knights (line 40). Innuendo is met with innuendo. But the knight persists. He will try flattery. The possesses by birth perfect beauty (stanza VII); she is in a sense born noble, or at least with one of the major attributes of a noble lady. But the flattery suddenly becomes comic -the knight is a rather crude fellow- when we discover that the beauty would be doubled if the knight just once saw himself above with her below (lines

The shepherdess’s reply plays on a collection of themes and values that early on appear in Occitan

song: The lady is

beautill,

the lover/poet praises

52),

her, enhances her reputation, her pretz (line and then she should reward him. The shepherdess flings back an ironic undercutting of this motif: certainly the knight would not be enhancing her

were looked upon as women of easy virtue, and the notion of prostitution clung readily to their class. The implications of the knight’s clumsy

rhetoric outrage the

vilana

She defends her honor

by categorically rejecting both the act of prostitu- tion and the name of whore. In the strongest state- ment of the poem, she flatly negates the rhyme link of vilana with putana (prostitute) (line 70). One thinks of how she originally defined herself: “sana,” the opposite of the image the knight would project on her.

The knight still can’t quite believe he will fail. He returns in stanza XI to his opening gambit: “we should do what comes naturally, over there,”

“a l’abric pasture).

lone

la

pastura”

(under cover beside the

The shepherdess initially agrees: “Don, oc” (line 78). But then in a masterful rebuff, she turns the knight’s rhetoric against him. She will act ac- cording to what is right, in a correctly natural

manner, according to

mezura

(moderation). She

then sorts out the proper couples -a bit like the

4~.

fai cry

mot!+

I Qu’escarn

excess

penas SKIn,

mockev than Swicten, Cansus, 149.

/

/

parer

dia e non

al” (He who praises his lady more

she is worth makes it appear that his words are

and nothing else). Raimon de

“A

in

For what might be called the “excess praise”

ren

Miraval,

1975), qui

plus

x.5.

val / Laura

dompna,

,

trop

91,148, que non

S 46. Involved in this exchange, too, is the notion that e e L . T . T o p s f i e l d , T r o u b a d o u r s a n d L o v e ( C a m b r i d g e : C a m b r i d g e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s praise is simple “E

theme, see

Switten, Cantos,

83-86.

42

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