Historia Amoris by Edgar Saltus

Historia Amoris by Edgar Saltus

Author:Edgar Saltus [Saltus, Edgar]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781512095111
Google: IZ3hsgEACAAJ
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: 2015-05-07T03:57:08+00:00

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The decalogue of the Zend-Avesta mentions many strange sins. The strangest among them is sorrow. The Persian abhorred it. His Muhammadan victor, who had learned from him much, learned also its avoidance. If it ever perturbed the Moors, by the time Andalusia was theirs it had vanished. Joy was a creed with them. Their poets made it the cardinal virtue. The Aragonese and Provençals, whom they indoctrinated, made it the basis of the gaya cienca—the gay science of love, and chivalry the parure of the knight.

Before chivalry departed and very shortly after it appeared, that joy, lifted into joie d’amour, glowed like a rose in the gloom of the world. It humanized very notably. It dismissed much that was dark. It brought graces hitherto unknown. It inspired loyalty, fealty and parage—the nobility of noble pride—but particularly the worship of woman.

In the East, woman had also been worshipped. But not as she was in Europe at this period. At no epoch since has she been as sovereign. Set figuratively with the high virtues in high figurative spheres, she ruled on earth only less fully than she reigned in heaven. The cultus, instituted first by the troubadours, then adopted by royals, connected consequently with pride of place, became fashionable among an aristocracy for whose convenience the rest of humanity labored. Too elevating for the materialism of the age that had gone and too elevated for the democracy of the age that followed, it was comparable to a precipitate of the chemistry of the soul projected into the heart of a life splendid and impermanent, a form of existence impossible before, impossible since, a social order very valiant, very courteous, to which the sense of rectitude had not come but in which joy, unparalleled in history, really, if unequally, abounded. Never more obvious, never either was it more obscure. It was abstruse. It had its laws, its jurists, its tribunals and its code.

Chivalry required of the novice various proofs and preliminaries before admitting him to knighthood. The gay science had also its requirements, preparatory tests which young men of quality gave and primary instruction which they received, before their novitiate could terminate. The tests related to women married and single. By address in the lists, by valor in war, by constant courtesy and loyalty, it was the duty of the aspirant to please them. Pending the novitiate no word of love was permitted and any advancement might be lost through an awkwardness of speech or gesture. But the caprices of a lady properly endured and the tests undergone unfalteringly, relations might ensue, in which case, if the lady were single, the connection was not thought contrary to the best traditions, provided that it was a prelude to marriage, nor, if the lady were already married was it thought at variance with those traditions, provided that the articles of the code were observed.[42]

Concerning the origin of the code history stammers. The chief authority, Maître André, said that in Broceliande—a


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