Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Garnier Letter Becket to King Henry II, (Loqui de Deo)

A letter from Becket to King Henry II, c. April 1166, when he was in exile.

This letter is known as Loqui de Deo

This letter is absent from the Latin biographies Guernes might have had access to - Edward Grim and William of Canterbury..

Janet Shirley writes:-

Garnier's versions of these documents [Loqui de Deo, and Exspectans exspectavi] are not exact -sometimes he makes a precis, sometimes he omits or adds a phrase or two, occasionally he misinterprets. He leaves out all references to classical authors and often introduces extra biblical comparisons.

Leena Löfstedt's, of the University of Helsinki, hypothesis is that Becket would have drafted nearly all the letters he sent in his native Old French [Anglo-Norman]. He was no especial scholar of languages; he was known to be weak in Latin. There is no reason to believe that he had any deep knowledge of the Bible or its stories, nor necessarily Gratian's Decretals in their formal Latin. He was a plain speaker in his own language, and understood the basic principles of rhetoric. This was his special skill. This is what he had been taught at Merton Abbey. If the final copies of the letters and correspondence that we read in the Medieval Latin contain classical and/or biblical references which seem to strengthen his arguments against those with perhaps a fuller theological, classical education[Gilbert Foliot (Bishop of London), Roger de Pont L'Évêque (Archbishop of York), ...] these references have probably all been added by his scribes, secretaries, eruditii, circle of scholars, call them what you will, to his draft producing tidy Latin. Of course the latter additions/corrections/"enhancements" would/should have been discussed with him before the letters or correspondences were sent onto their recipients with his seal attached, or in his name, or recorded in the hagiographical archives. Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence [Garnier] it seems when composing his verse Life of Becket that he may have had access to Becket's original Old French drafts [if they ever existed they are now long lost].

Emanuel Walberg, of the University of Lund, is of a different opinion. He thinks Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence cut out all the classical references from the Latin versions before composing his work.





Extract from
http://txm.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/bfm/pdf/becket.pdf
Stanzas 570-608
Lines 2846-3040

570
Des ore vus larrai ces paroles ester.
Voldrai vus les epistles e dire e reconter
Qu’al rei e as evesques enveiad li bons ber,
Qu’il deüssent la pes saint’iglise guarder,
2850 E celes qu’il li firent encontre reporter :

571
« Al gentil Rei Engleis, conte d’Ango, Henri,
Duc Norman, Aquitan, sun seignur e ami,
Thomas li arcevesques, qui jadis le servi
Mais or est suens en Deu, saluz e ovrer si
2855 Qu’il guerpisse e ament tuz les mals qu’a fait ci.

572
J’ai atendu que Deus te volsist visiter,
Que tu de male veie volsisses returner
E tun felun conseil d’entur tei tut oster,
Qui te frea, ço criem, si parfunt avaler
2860 Que ja mais ne purras resurdre ne munter.

573
Suffert ai tut adès, e si m’en sui teüz,
Qu’um me desist : “ Li reis, qui ert morz e perduz,
Tes fiz e tes sire, est trovez e revescuz. ”
Par conseil de feluns ot esté deceüz ;
2865 Or est a saint’iglise pur dreit faire venuz.

574
Encontre saint’iglise ad esté lungement,
Mais des ore trarra a sun delivrement ;
La pitiez de Deu l’a trait a amendement. ” »
Chascun jur prium Deu pur tei el sacrement
2870 Par sa pitié te mette a dreit aveiement.

575
« Pur ço le di que mei, qui dei suz Deu guarder
L’iglise del reaume e les mesfaiz oster,
As essillié e fait hors del païs aler,
Saint’iglise e les suens, qu’i sunt mis, mesmener.
2875 Jo l’ai mis en suffrance, que nel fis amender.

576
Pur ço sui mult dolenz que tu as tant mespris
Vers sainte mere iglise e as suens qu’i sunt mis,
Car jo part as mesfaiz, quant justise n’en fis :
Qui justise est e juges, e il en est jolis,
2880 Il e li pechiere est en uël culpe asis.

577
Saint’Escripture dit, e sil testemonie,
Que li consentanz est del mesfait en partie,
Parkes cil quil deit faire, e puet, e nel chastie.
Car bien pert que cil ad el mesfait conpaignie
2885 Ki ne volt contre – ester a l’aperte folie.

578
Reis, men voil te voldreie plainement chastïer,
Pur ço t’ai fait mes lettres mult sovent enveier.
Ne plus qu’un petiz burs puet l’onur abaisier
Del regne, plus ne deiz, Reis, par nul enconbrier
2890 Les dreiz de saint’iglise abatre ne changier.

579
Li dreit jugement deivent des proveires venir.
Quels que seit li evesques que Deus fait establir,
Mais religiun voille e sun ordre tenir,
Nis s’um le veit cum humme en grant pechié chaïr,
2895 Ne deit par poesté terrïene perir.

580
Li religius prince, qui volt bonté amer,
Deit noveles iglises drescier e alever,
Celes qui sunt chaües e creistre e restorer,
E les proveires Deu e les clers honurer
2900 E par tut maintenir, se nuls les volt grever.

581
Al bon prince devreies Constentin reguarder :
Quant um out fait les clers devant li amener
E um les acusa, tuz les laissa ester.
“ Nul ne vus puet, fet il, fors Damnedeu dampner ;
2905 Jugié ne poëz estre par prince seculer. ”

582
Si cum li saint escrit mustrent e li doctur,
Deus rove les apostles e que lur successur
E tut cil qui laburent el champ Nostre Seignur
Ne seient dechacié n’osté de lur tenur ;
2910 Car serf Jesu Crist sunt e si despensatur.

583
Maistre e pere e pastur sunt li proveire en lei
A trestuz cels qui vivent en cristïene fei.
Deus le het qui sun pere volt metre desuz sei ;
E se nuls bat sun maistre, il se maine a beslei,
2915 Parkes celui qui tient e carcan e balei.

584
Se bon cristïen es e vols ta fei guarder,
– Bien creum e volum qu’en ço voilles ester, –
Fil d’iglise te dei, nun evesque, apeler ;
Les proveires ne deiz enseignier ne mener,
2920 Ensiwre les t’estuet, devant deivent aler.

585
Tes privileges as e leis e poesté ;
Ne toil al devin ordre rien encontre sun gré.
Se par mal conseil as contre Deu meserré,
Que Deus ne traie a tei, chié en humilité :
2925 Se tost ne te repenz, envers tei ad tesé.

586
Que que dient li tuen e li Deu traïtur,
Ne te turne a vilté mais a mult grant honur
Se del tut t’umilies vers le puissant seignur
Qui l’orguilus abat, met l’umble el sié hauçur.
2930 E rei e prince deivent de li aveir poür.

587
De tuz se puet vengier ; ki li puet contrester ?
Suvenir te devreit, Reis, e bien remenbrer
En quei Deus te trovad, cum il t’a fait munter
E creistre e enrichir e tun regne afermer.
2935 Tut t’en portent envie, e enemi e per.

588
Deus t’a eslit, ço dient e li haut e li bas.
Pur les biens que t’a faiz, pur tuz, que li rendras ?
Destruiras ses iglises, ses clers dechaceras
Par conseil des feluns que tu entur tei as,
2940 Par cui encontre Deu e saint’iglise vas ?

589
Li ordené sunt cil qui Deus dit e apele :
“ Qui vus despit, e mei, fait cil qui ne chancele ;
Qui vus het, e mei het e contre mei revele ;
Qui vus fiert, e mei fiert en l’oil, en la purnele. ”
2945 Cil qui mesfait as clers, Deus le het e querele.

590
Se tut le mund aveies as povres departi,
La cruiz eüsses prise e Jesu Crist sewi,
Tut n’avreies a Deu que il t’a fait, meri.
Saül, qui Deus eslist, pur ço que Deu guerpi
2950 E il e sa lignee e sa mesun peri.

591
E li reis Ozias, qui mult est renummez
Pur ço qu’il ot suvent ses enemis matez,
Ultre mesure en est orguilliz e muntez.
A Deu, qui li aida par tut, n’en rendi grez ;
2955 Par surquidier enprist l’ofice as ordenez.

592
Del saint encens porter el temple s’enhardi.
Deus s’en ert cureciez, de liepre le feri.
Par les ordenez Deu, qu’i furent establi,
Fu getez hors del temple. Unkes puis n’en eissi ;
2960 Mesaus fu e lieprus tuz les jors qu’il vesqui.

593
Beals Reis, se tu voleies encerchier les escriz,
Plusurs reis trovereies que Deus out ainz esliz :
Quant il les out el mund muntez e encheriz,
Mal unt encontre Deu lur mestiers acompliz ;
2965 Deus les ad a neent remis e apovriz.

594
Achaz le mestier Deu ensement envaï ;
Encensa cum evesques in domo domini.
Reis esteit, e evesques voleit estre altresi.
Deus s’en esteit iriez, de liepre le covri :
2970 Mesaus fu e degez. Par sun orguil peri.

595
Sur un char fist l’um metre l’arche Deu e covrir.
Li buef eschalcirrerent, l’arche voleit chaïr ;
Oza i mist la main, qui la volt retenir :
L’ire Deu l’abati, sil fist iluec murir,
2975 Car cel mestier deveient li proveire furnir.

596
Reis, suëf se chastie qui d’autrui se chastie ;
Cele parole as tu en plusurs lius oïe.
Reis, li ordené unt saint’iglise en baillie,
N’as poestez del siecle ne la bailla Deus mie.
2980 Tut feel sunt suz li ; ele ad la seignurie.

597
Lai ester autrui dreit, tut ço qu’autrui apent.
Ne chalengier a Deu sun establissement.
De Deu as poesté e tun corunement ;
De prince ne de lei ne l’as seculerment,
2985 Car as prelaz apendent e ordre e sacrement.

598
As leis eclesiaus deit laie lei servir.
Nuls ne deit plaiz d’iglise, se n’est clers, maintenir,
Ne laie leis ne deit la clergil davancir.
Li cristïen rei solent saint’iglise obeïr ;
2990 Lais ne deit clerc fuler, mais chier le deit tenir.

599
Dous choses a el mund par quei est guvernez :
Des reis e des evesques la sainte poestez.
Quant pur jugier sera tuz li munz asemblez,
Li prelat respundrunt pur les reis corunez.
2995 Tant est greindre lur fais e plus pesant asez.

600
Mult des evesques firent jadis escumengier
Reis e enpereürs e d’iglise chacier :
L’empereür Archadie fist iglise voidier
Innocenz l’apostolie, nel volt pur li laissier,
3000 Pur ço que saint Cristone suffri a essillier.

601
Sainz Ambrosies l’evesque pur veir escumenja
L’empereur Teodosie e d’iglise sevra
Pur un altre mesfait, qui mult meindre sembla ;
Mais a la pardefin dignement l’amenda,
3005 Absolutiun prist e a Deu s’acorda.

602
David, reis e prophetes, purjut altrui muillier,
Sun seignur fist ocire e sun buen chevalier.
Natan li enveia Deus pur li chastïer :
Ne li sembla pas hunte de li humilïer
3010 Devant les piez Natan, ne de merci preier.

603
Quant il cria merci, Deus l’en a fait relès ;
Bon le trova e humble e de mal en decès.
Reis, al bon rei devreies essample prendre adès.
Returne tei a Deu, met jus le grevus fes.
3015 Mesfait as en maint liu, dunt encore me tes.

604
Sire Reis, ço t’ai ore aparmaimes escrit,
– E mult ai trespassé que jo ne t’ai pas dit, –
Saveir se tu metreies tun pechié en despit,
Qu’um me desist : “ Tes fiz, qui morz esteit, revit. ”
3020 A mun voil metreit Deus en tei sun esperit.

605
E se tu ne me vols oïr ne heshalcier,
Qui devant le cors Deu soil Deu pur tei preier,
Jo prierai a Deu qu’il se hast de vengier
Les mals e les injuries e le grant reprovier
3025 Que tu e li tuen funt, e nel volez laissier.

606
Certes, jo crierai al Seignur de vertuz :
“ Venge le sanc des tuens, Deus, qui est espanduz,
E lur afflictiuns, dunt numbres n’est oüz.
De tes enemis est li orguilz si creüz
3030 Qui tei e les tuens heent, n’en puis plus estre muz. ”

607
Reis, qui que fet l’ovraigne, de tes mains ert requise ;
Car bien fait le damage qui le mal en atise.
Se tu ne lais ester e clers e saint’iglise,
Deus le vengera tost ; ja ad sa verge prise.
3035 Tens est qu’en uëlté en prenge la justise.

608
Car il set bien as princes lur esperit tolir,
E puet bien les reis batre ; nuls ne li puet fuïr.
La grace Deu te vaille a salu partenir,
S’en veire humilité te vols tost repentir ;
3040 Ensi aies salu. Ja n’en puisses partir. »


References

Saint Thomas (à Becket) (2000). Anne Duggan, ed. The Correspondence of Thomas Becket: Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170. "Letter 68: Becket to king Henry II. c April 1166. Loqui de Deo". Oxford University Press. pp. 266–. ISBN 978-0-19-820892-1.

Materials for the history of Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, canonized by pope Alexander III, A. D. 1173. Vol. V / ed. by James Craigie Robertson,...
Longman (London) (1875-1885) pp 266-
https://archive.org/stream/materialsforhist05robe#page/266/mode/1up

The Letter of the blessed Thomas to King Henry.

1570 Edition, page 289 - John Foxe The Acts and Monuments Online pp. 289-91

[Richard Hurrell Froude; James Bowling Mozley (1839). Remains of the Late Reverend Richard Hurrell Froude: v. 2. J. G. & F. Rivington. pp. 139–41. ???]

J. A. Giles (1846). "Loqui de Deo in English". The Life and Letters of Thomas à Becket: Now First Gathered from the Contemporary Historians. Whittaker. pp. 327–.
John Allen Giles (1846). The Life and Letters of Thomas À Becket: Now First Gathered from the Contemporary Historians. Volume 1. Whittaker and Company. pp. 327–.

Patres ecclesiae anglicanae : Aldhelmus, Beda, Bonifacius, Alcuinus, Lanfrancus, Anselmus, Thomas Cantuar, et reliqui. J.-H. Parker. 1845. pp. 363–.

Michael Staunton (2006). Thomas Becket and His Biographers. Boydell. p. 121. ISBN 978-1-84383-271-3.

Anne Duggan (2007). Thomas Becket: Friends, Networks, Texts and Cult. Chapter IV Classical Quotations in Becket Correspondence. Ashgate/Variorum. ISBN 978-0-7546-5922-8.

Saint Thomas (à Becket) (2000). Anne J. Duggan tr.. The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 176-329. Volume II. Clarendon Press. pp. 1398–9. ISBN 978-0-19-820893-8.

Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. University of California Press. pp. 144–5. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.
La Vie de S. Thomas Becket par Garnier De Pont-Sainte-Maxence et La
Traduction en Ancien Français du Décret de Gratien
Author(s): Leena Löfstedt
Source: Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, Vol. 98, No. 2 (1997), pp. 161-177
Published by: Modern Language Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43345162

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence) (1922). La vie de saint Thomas Becket. C.W.K. Gleerup. pp. pp cvii.
https://archive.org/stream/laviedesaintthom00gueruoft#page/n86/mode/1up


In

LA VIE DE S. THOMAS BECKET PAR GARNIER DE PONT-SAINTE-MAXENCE ET LA
TRADUCTION EN ANCIEN FRANÇAIS DU DÉCRET DE GRATIEN
Author(s): Leena Löfstedt
Source: Neuphilologische Mitteilungen,
Vol. 98, No. 2 (1997), pp. 161-177
Published by: Modern Language Society

Leena Löfstedt writes [translated]

...
In "Canon Law, Plantagenet and St. Thomas Becket", Medioevo Romanzo 1990: I   pp.3-16, we compared several passages of Garnier's versification of the letter "Exspectans exspectaui" with the Latin text of this letter, and with the two corresponding texts of canon law: the Latin text of the Decretum Gratiani (Decretum in the following) and the translation into Old French of this text (Decree). After this comparison, we argued, against Walberg, that instead of translating the Latin letter "Exspectans exspectaui" into French verse, Garnier had versified a French text, a text (now lost) which for its content corresponded to the letter "Exspectans exspectaui", but which for its linguistic expression (words, sentences) had great resemblances to the French Decree. This observation was possible despite the chronological deviation between the versification of Garnier (1171-1174, Anglo-Norman ms, early 13th century) and the unique ms. (Brussels BR 9084, Central ms., Late thirteenth century.) To keep the Decree, and therefore, despite the very likely presence of some rejuvenation in the latter text.

Like a draft French letter, what was this text used by Garnier? We have advanced the hypothesis that Thomas Becket had conceived his letters (at least the letter "Exspectans exspectaui") in French, and that he had cited canon law not from the Latin Decretum, but from the French Decree; And that his clerks had prepared the official versions of the letters in Latin later on by means of the Latin Decretum; And that Garnier had used the French rough drafts of the saint's letters for his life. -We have been able to support our theory of the precedence of a French version of the Exspectans exspectaui in relation to the Latin version of the letter by the observation that the French letter versed by Garnier once gives a text superior to That of the Latin letter. It is a passage independent of canon law where the French letter uses a French proverb which goes very well in the context, contrary to the Latin proverb in the Latin letter. In fact, in this place, the Latin text seems to be a poor translation of the French text (Löfstedt 1990: 9, also below on page 165, under 2976-7)



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