Reading from 23 October, fabliau “La Dame Escoillee,” vv. 217-374
|The father says, “Daughter, listen!
If you want to have honor
Fear your lord the count:
|220||If you do not do this, it is your shame.”
The mother says, “Speak to me,
Lovely daughter, over in the corner.”
“Gladly, my mother,” says the daughter
|224||She commands in her ear:
Beautiful daughter, cheer up!
Be proud towards your father;
Take your mother’s example,
|228||Who always contradicted your father.
Thus he said nothing without undoing,
Neither commanded what one would do.
If you want to have honor,
|232||Then contradict your lord,
Put him behind and you in front,
Do few of his commands;
If you do this, you will be my daughter,
|236||If you do not do it, you will be punished.”
“I will do it,” she says, “if I can.
I will deceive my lord.”
“Lord Count,” says the rich man,
|240||“I give you the gift of my daughter:
Take with love, Lord Count,
This palfrey, that is very good,
And these two hunting dogs that are good
|244||And proud and stout and fast.”
The count takes them and thanks him;
He takes his leave, leads his wife,
The count reflects considerably
|248||By what craft and by what ruse
He can make his wife true to him
That she will not resemble her mother
Who was proud and cruel.
|252||Thus they enter a field
A rabbit jumps in front;
The count says, “Now, dogs, chase!
You who are so strong and fast
|256||I order you, on your heads:
Before the third field, you take them!
The lady heard this and laughed.
The rabbit flees, who fears death;
|256.4||Much flees, but he does not escape them:
At the fifth field, they take and hold him.
Behold, the lord comes.
He gets down, pulls out his sword:
|256.8||He cuts off their heads.
The lady marvels much,
Who has a clear and rosy face.
She thinks and says, “This count is proud,
|256.12||Who for so little killed his dogs…!
They take the hare, and go on;
They went back on their path,
The count’s palfrey stumbles.
|256.16||“I command you on your head,”|
|265||Says the count, “do not stumble again!”
The horse didn’t hear him:
After a while he trips again.
|268||The count dismounts, and cuts off his
Head; and he mounts another (horse).
“Sire,” says the lady to the count
“This palfrey and these dogs
|272||Should have been dear to you,
Because of my father, if not for me:
You killed them, and I know not why.
The count says this, “For only this much:
|276||They disobeyed my command.”The count does on, leading his wife.
– From deceptive flattery is fully pained –
And they come to his main city.
|280||There were assembled
The barons and vassals,
That the fate of their lord weighed heavily
Whom they thought to have lost.
|284||They put down the bridge
And go to meet him with great joy.
Several asked him
Who this beautiful lady was.
|288||“Lords, this is your rightful lady.”
— “Our lady?” — “Truthfully, by faith,
I put a ring on her finger!”
“Lady, you are welcome!”
|292||With great joy they received her.
The count prepares his wedding.
He calls the cook and advises him
And commands that he make
|296||Such savory sauces that he knows to please him,
“And very tasty sauces,
That our people are honored
For the honor of the new lady
|300||Concerning whom they say good things.”
Says the cook, “I will prepare them.”
The lady tells him in secret:
“What did the count say to you?” —“Sauces
|304||I should make, many and of many types.”
— “Do you want to please me?” —“Lady, yes!”
— “Makes sure there is only a single one
And that it is a strong garlic sauce,
|308||But that it is well prepared.”
—“I wouldn’t dare!” —“Yes, you will do it!
Never will you displease him
If he knows that I commanded you.
|312||And you must do my will
I can help you or hurt you!”
“Lady,” he says, “your pleasure
I will do, but I will be ashamed;
|316||I’m completely in your hands.
The cook goes into the kitchen,
He perfects his dishes
And the cook makes the garlic sauce.
|320||They announce the washing of hands;
They went up, and sat on the dais
The courses come much in abundance
To the barons and the household.
|324||For each course there is garlic sauce,
But there was enough wine:
Much was the count distressed.
He didn’t know what to do; suffered so
|328||Until the people left.
He asked the cook to come to his chamber.
But not at all for his well being.
He was afraid and came trembling.
|332||“Vassal,” he says, “by what command
Have you made so much garlic sauce,
And left the sauces
That I asked you to make?
|336||The cook heard him and didn’t know what to say:
“Sire,” he says, “I will tell you.
By my lady, sire, I did this.”
“For your lady?” —“Truthfully, sire,
|340||I did not dare contradict her.”
— “By the saints to whom we call to God,
Never will you be protected
From violating my commands.”
|344||From the cook, he takes justice.
He pokes out his eye and removes his ear
And one hand and throws it
on the ground and exiles him.
|348||Then he spoke to his companion:
“Lady,” he says, “by whose counsel
Did you do this deed?”
—“By mine, sire, and I acted incorrectly.”
|352||“No, you didn’t do this, by Saint Denis!
By your own did you not at all.
But now tell me, dear friend,
Who gave you this counsel?”
|356||—“Sire, my mother gave it to me
So that I not lose her qualities,
That I should not obey your commandments
But put mine before all:
|360||Then I would have honor and wealth.
This time I did it:
Now I repent, dear God, please!
—“Dear,” this the count says, “by God,
|364||Never will you be pardoned
without your punishment!”
It jumps and grabs her by the hair,
He lays her on the ground,
|368||So much did he beat her with a thorny stick
That he left her almost dead.
Completely fainted, he carries her to the bed.
There she laid for well three months
|372||And she could not sit at the dais.
There the count had her healed:
Such was she well served.