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The Scribe as Editor: Rubrication as Critical Apparatus in Two Manuscripts of the Roman de la Rose Sylvia Huot A T THE END OF THE ROMAN DE LA ROSE,1as the lover is about to reach his long-sought goal, he reflects on the ups and downs of his quest, deciding that “¡1fet bon de tout essaier” (v. 21,521). The passage that follows, an amplification of this fundamental notion, bears equally on the joys and sorrows of love, and on the rhetorical strategy of the poem itself: Ausinc sachiez, et n’an doutez, que qui mal essaie n’avra .ja du bien guieres ne savra; Ainsinc va des contreres choses, les unes sunt des autres gloses... (vv. 21,532-34, 21,543-44) Medieval readers evidently found this an important comment on the poem, for it is one of the passages most frequently marked with a “Nota” in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century manuscripts.2 Modern readers as well have often admired—and puzzled over—the network of contrary and conflicting perspectives spun out in the course of the Rose. But while most people would agree that the poem does present a series of opposing viewpoints, there is considerably less agreement on just what sort of “gloss” these “contrary things” provide on one another. What is the “bon” and the “mal” of the Rose? Is it a disputatio amoris, a drama of temptation and fall, a joyous celebration of sexuality?3This critical debate is nothing new; even within the fourteenth century, the poem was subject to different readings. These are revealed through the critical apparatus—rubrics, miniatures, glosses—with which so many Rose manuscripts are equipped.4 The present study will examine the rubrics found in two manuscripts, representing two broad categories of Rose reception: the Bibl. Nat. MS fr. 1574, from the second half of the fourteenth century, and the late thirteenth- or early fourteenth-century Bibl. Nat. MS fr. 1569. MedievalVOL . XXVII, No. 1 67 L ’E sprit C ré a t e u r ists are already accustomed to the phenomenon of multiple versions of traditional tales, speaking, for example, of the “courtly version” and the “common version” of the Tristan legend. This distinction applies not only to poetic redaction, but also to scribal editorializing: in MSS 1569 and 1574 we find, respectively, a “courtly” and a “clerkly” (or “moralistic”) rendition of the Rose. 1begin with MS 1574. As Langlois has stated, this manuscript is a composite; the middle section (fols. 65-82) was added at a slightly later time, presumably to replace gatherings that had been lost from the original codex.5The majority of rubrics, however, appear in the original portion of the manuscript, and constitute a unified reading of the poem; the newer rubrics, all of which relate to Faus Samblant, do not conflict with this reading. The moral framework for this reading of the Rose is established in the opening pages, through a series of rubrics appearing in the upper margins: Ci commence le Romans de la Rose. Premièrement l’aucteur ce pose: (I'ol. 1) Comment printemps esmeut Jeunesce En oeseuse el en folesce. (I'ol. Iv) Des .x. ymages la pourtraiture, Dont le dieux d’amours n’a cure. (fols. 2, 2v, 3, 3v) Comment Oeseuse qui n’est pas sage A mal l'eredonne passage. (fol. 5) Quiex gens amours tient en s’escole Qui jones gens souvent afole. (fol. 6v, 7) Additional rubrics, situated within the body of the text, articulate the narrative and descriptive passages, as for example: Comment l’amant se lieve au matin et ferme ses manches de une aguille d’argent el va esbatre sur la riviere et lave son visage. (fol. lv, v. 81) Comment Déduit et sa gent meinent la dance, Et Leesce le chant commence. (fol. 6v, v. 727) This rubricated commentary makes clear what has been reiterated by 68 S p rin g 1987 H uot numerous modern critics: the two sets of allegorical personifications are not to be distinguished as virtues and vices, but rather as courtly and anti-courtly—or amorous and non-amorous—qualities. Imposed on this distinction is a moral judgment which views Amours itself as...


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