The Passion of Saint Andrew

A. T. Baker
1916 Modern Language Review  
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more » ... IF we compare the two important articles of M. Paul Meyer on the lives of saints in the thirty-third volume of the Histoire litteraire de la France, we can hardly fail to be surprised that the Apostles have but rarely2 been the subject of a life in verse, whereas in the prose versions in one MS. after another all the Apostles are fully dealt with. This is all the more surprising since the apocryphal writings have served as sources to a considerable number of Old French verse legends, e.g. La 'Nativite Nostre Dame, which according to M. Paul Meyer reproduces in substances the Pseudo-Matthcei Evangelium; the Enfance de Jes,us4; the Descente de Jesus aux Enfers5 together with L'Evangile de Nicodeme6 and the Vengeace de la mort de iTostre Seigneur7. A careful examination of the age of the earliest Latin MSS. and their dissemination in France would no doubt explain this apparent contradiction, since the French verse versions are generally older than the prose adaptations. The poet of the following Passion of Saint Andrew tells that after having treated of love, vanity and folly, and after having led a wild life it is now his intention to narrate a simple moral story; he is now 1 This article was originally written in German and was expected to appear in the Zeitschriftfiir romianlische Philologie in the autumn of 1914. It is only fair to state that it has benefited by several judicious remarks of the editor of that journal-Professor Hoepffner. 2 Among the verse lives we only find the Passion of St Andrew, three versions of St John the Baptist, two versions of St John the Evangelist, and a prose version of a lost verse life of St James. 3 Histoire litteraire, xxxm, p. 366, and R6nsch in Archiv, LXVII, p. 85. 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid. 6 Trois versions publiees par G. Paris et A. Bos (S. a. t. fr.). 7 Vide W. Suchier in Z. f. r. Ph., xxiv, p. 166, with critical text of the last three laisses; also appendix in Vol. xxv [cf. Registerband, p. 201]. This content downloaded from on Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:40:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions A. T. BAKER 'chapelain ' ('serjans' in MS. A) and means to honour God, His Son, the Holy Virgin and the whole choir of Heaven (11. 1-144). He recalls that Andrew brought his brother Peter to Christ and how, after the Ascension, the Apostles were commanded to preach the Gospel to every creature (St Mark xvi. 15). Up to this point and for the somewhat lengthy introduction our poet uses only the well-known Bible story and moral commonplaces. From 1. 161 begins the real story of Andrew-the Apostles cast lots for the provinces in which they were to preach and to St Andrew fell (deviseie, 1. 161) Achaia. In the Acta Andret et Mathice2 it is narrated that when Andrew had heard that Mathew (or Mathias, for the greatest confusion exists in the Latin and Greek MSS. between Mathew the Publican and Mathias chosen in place of Judas, Acts, ch. i) had been cast into prison, he went to his help. Mathew preached in Myrna, the town of the man-eaters, called in our MS. Mirdone3. It is regrettable that this passage in our poem only occurs in one MS., the Arsenal MS. being torn at this place. In this town Mathew had his eyes gouged out and Andrew was dragged through the streets (cf. 11. 167-9). By Andrew's intercession Mathew recovered his sight and it is easy to see why this miracle has been ascribed to Andrew since we find in the Acta Andrece et Mathic (cap. xxi, p. 93) that Andrew laid his hands on forty blind men who were in prison and that they all at once received their sight. From line 177 on our poet translates his main source, the so-called Passio sancti Andrew. This text claims to be the narration of what the priests and elders of all the churches of Achaia had seen with their own eyes and consists mainly of dialogues between Andrew and Egeas the Proconsul. Our poet retains the dialogue form and, with rare digressions into biblical commonplaces, 1 The expression 'ses chapelains' is not quite clear, nor is it plain to what it refers; the copyist of MS. A does not seem to have understood it and replaces it by serjans though he spoils the measure thereby. It would probably be too rash to identify this chaplain with Andreas Capellanus the author of the treatise de arte amandi; the words of the poet in lines 5-14 need not be taken too literally and need certainly not imply an extensive literary activity. A court chaplain however, as Andreas was, moved in society and might well be a writer of occasional verse. According to Pio Rajna (Studi di filologia romalza, v, p. 265) his Tractatus (it may be noted that our poet calls his work traitiers, 1. 120) dates from the end of the twelfth or the beginning of the thirteenth century, and Herr Trojel in his edition of this work does not attempt any closer dating. This would be rather too late for our poem but it is possible to put a first draft of Andreas' tractate as early as 1186-88 and if our poem may be safely placed at the end of the twelfth or beginning of the thirteenth century, it mlight be the work of Andieas. If then little can be said for the authorship of Andreas Capellanus, little can be said against it. It may well be that the expression 'ses chapelains' means no more than that our author was a chaplain of some church or other dedicated to St Andrew. 2 Acta apostolorunm apocrypha, ed. Bonnet, cap. 3 (p. 69). 3 Owing to the confusion between Mathew and Mathias who preached in Macedonia, we have also confusion between Myrna, Smyrna and the province Myrmidonia; from this name, it would appear, comes the Mirdone of our text. 421 This content downloaded from on Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:40:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions The Passion of St Andrew translates carefully the narrative as found in one Latin and two Greek texts. How closely he follows his original may be seen from the following table: Lines 187-226 = Bonnet, cap. 2 The story of the interment of St Andrew by the solicitude of Maximilial (11. 903 ff.) is to be found in various MSS. (cf. variants in Bonnet, p. 36) and with it the Passion ends. To the simple narrative of a saint's life is generally added a more or less considerable growth of miracles2, but in this case, and this is perhaps a proof of the great age of our poem, the original text has received only one extension. Lines 913-924 of our poem translate a passage from Gregory of Tours, Miraculorum Liber I, cap. xxxi: 'Andreas Apostolus magnum miraculum in die solemnitatis suae profert, hoc est manna in modum farinae, vel oleum cum odore nectareo, quod de tumulo ejus exundat. Per id enim quae sit fertilitas anni sequentis ostenditur. Si exiguum profluxerit, exiguum terra profert fructum; si vero fuerit copiosum magnum arva proventum fructuum habere significat3' Since this is the only miracle ascribed to St Andrew by Gregory and as others are attributed to him in various prose versions (cf. Paul Meyer, loc. cit. pp. 404, 408, 413, etc.) we are doubtless right in assuming that Gregory has here served our author as source. 1 Probably not the Maximilla of the story of Mary and Jesus (cf. Romania, xvI, p. 251). 2 Cf. La Vie de saint Richard de Chichester, published by me in Revue des langues romanes, LIII, pp. 247 fol.; Liber miraculorum sancte Fidis, ed. Bouillet; Vie de saint Edouard le Confesseur in Romania, LX, p. 67, etc. I have in preparation a number of saints' lives mainly from the Welbeck MS. (see M. L. R., Vol. vi, p. 476) and nearly all contain a large number of added miracles. 3 'Quoted from Maxima Bibliotheca veterum Patrum, Lugduni, 1677, Tome xi. 422 This content downloaded from on Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:40:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions A. T. BAKER B. MANUSCRIPTS. The manuscripts which contain the Passion now published for the first time, are too well known to need description. They are the Oxford MS. Canonici 741 and the Paris Arsenal 35162; I have called them O and A respectively. The first belongs to the very beginning of the thirteenth century, while the second dates from the year 1265, as is known from a calendar placed at the first page. The difference between the text of the two MSS. is slight, but on account of the greater age of the former and in consideration of two important lacunae in the latter, I had no choice but to take O as the basis of my text. So far as the orthography is concerned, I have followed O and have not considered it necessary to normalise the comparatively few differentiations in the spelling (e.g. ei or e for e < ). C. LANGUAGE. I. Language of the Poet. It is evident froin a number of peculiarities that the language of the poet and that of the scribe differ somewhat widely. I shall therefore confine myself to a consideration only of such forms as are assured either by the rime or by the netre. Vowels. 1. a calls for few remarks; the rime vowels are throughout verb forms either of the Perfect or the Future; a (at) does not even occur in rime, which fact is easily explained by the dialogue form of the story (cf. Introduction, p. 421); it may be remarked however that four or six lines are frequently rimed on the same vowel (cf. ? 62). With following nasal consonant a only rimes with itself; pennance 27 rimes with -an. (For the hesitation between -ence and -ance, see Suchier's Voyelles toniques, ? 39 b; a further example is supplied by the last two lines of a poem published in Bulletin de la Soc. des anciens textes, 1880, p. 67.) ? 2. ai rimes only with itself and so too with a following consonant; the rime words are faire, atraire, retraire, contraire 13 53 etc.; me.sfait :forfait 33; jamais: pais: fais 225 505 etc.; ai with a following group does not occur in the rime. Rimes in ain(s), e.g. pain : main : vain 295 805 are all pure. ? 3. e< Latin a is often writteii ei and so too when a vowel or a consonant follows, e.g. eie, eit, eiz; such endings form a quarter of the total rimes and are all pure; -alis becomes -ez, e.g. cruez : entreiz 179; for aleie : demeie 845, cf. ? 8. ? 4. e; Latin close e only occurs in durece: perece 37; largece : protece 47; elsewhere -itia gives -ise, cf. ? 9. ? 5. Open e in an enclosed syllable is always kept pure, e.g. terre: guerre 883 : conquerre 529; ades : esces 889; feste : beste 405; senestre : celeste 703; angnieal: noveal 413 443 prove nothing. ? 6. e nasal; the rimes are all pure and are very frequent; -ence (with exception of pennance, cf. ? 1) only rimes with itself, 83 485 etc.; we may notice feme : gemme 381 (cf. Suchier, loc. cit. ? 40); with following group e is also pure, e.g. entendre: aprendre 205, cf. 11. 323 349 420 625. 1 P. Meyer in Archives des niissions scientifiques, 2 s6rie, t. 5. 2 Vide Index to Romania, p. 100 and ibid. xxxvii, p. 608. 423 This content downloaded from on Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:40:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 1 In O the rime words of lines 91, 92 are deivions : deparlons and in A deparlons: dedaignons; I am inclined to consider the word as coming from a verb which in Central French is desvoier, but it may be that we should read deinions (i.e. -ini-stands as the sign of the n mouille). 'The reading of A certainly gives colour to this supposition. 2 This form should perhaps be kept in the text; of. foloiet in Vie de Sainte Juliane, 776 and Aiol, 4473; Note of Foerster in his edition. This content downloaded from on Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:40:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Car ce sachies: doble maniere Poomes nos soffrir martire, U enz el cors u el corage, 72 Si curm ]e funt li home sage; En noz pensers martre serons, Se bien et mal enguel soffrons, Si cum richise et povrete, 76 Dolor del cors comme sante; Noz maldisanz beneissons; f",21 Qui mal nos font, bien lor faisons; Lo grant flael et lo torment 80 Ke Deus tremet sor nos sovent, De granz arsins et de chir tens, De trop plovoir et de gries venz, De guerre grant, de pestilence, 84 Soffrons lo tot en pacience. Soions loial, disons verteit, Casteit amons et cariteit; Soit en noz cuels hullriliteiz, 88 Dilections et pietez; Ostons (de nos la tricherie Et falseteit et boiserie; Nostre voisin ne devions, 92 Nostre frere ne deparlons; Car ce dist Deus: qui dampnera Son proeme, condempneiz sera. Altrui honor, altrui richise 96 Ne desirons par convoitise; Ostons del cuer haenge, envide Adultere et homecide. Ce ke Deus heit, de cuer haons, 100 Ce qu'il aimet, trestuit amons. S'ensi vivons tuit vraement, Martre serons spiritalment; Car li saint homme ancienement 104 Furent martiriet doblement: En lur penseir promierement, Puis en apres corporalment. Li un furent encharteret, 108 Destroit loiet et afamnet; Alcant furent detrainet, D)'espeie ocis et demembret. Li Ull furent par mi soiet 112 Et li pluisor em meir noiet: Alcant furent mis en prison Et vif rostit sor le charbon; Li un furent vif escorciet 116 Et tormenteit et decaciet; Alcant batut et flaeleit, En croiz pendut et tormenteit; Si comme fut li pius Andrius 120 En cui honor est ciz traitiers. Escrire vul sa passion, J.i fait l'en ai devotion Por qu'il iercit a Deu me facet 124 )el grant pechiet qui mloi enlacet. Ses chapelains pechieres sui; f",122 Onorer vul et Deni et lui, Et la pie sainte Marie, 128 Et de toz sainz la companie; Ja me sui mis en sa baillie, Et sel commence a Deu aie. Cant Deus del ciel fut descenduz, 132 Et noz freres fut devenuz, Ne guerpit pas ce qu'il astoit, Mais ce prist il qu'il non avoit. Mult abaissat sa seinorie, 136 Cant por nos vint en ceste vie; Vestit nostre hurnaniteit Par sa grande umiliteit; Ki tot creat fut creature,
doi:10.2307/3712771 fatcat:xasqa5rc4zc4fo2ifaic63rpea