La Dame Escoillee, Pt. 3

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.
This entry was posted in fabliau. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s