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Medieval Music Database

Honte, paour, doubtance de meffaire

ballade by Guillaume de Machaut


Florence: Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Panciatichiano 26, fol. 75v-76 (3/1);
London: Westminster Abbey 21, fol. 22v (text);
New York: Wildenstein Collection, fol. 28 (text), 309v (3/1);
Paris: Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal 5203 (olim 97 BF), fol. 13 (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 843, fol. 195 (text), 241 (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1584 (MachA), fol. 204v (text), 466v (3/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1585 (MachB), fol. 45 (text), 307v (3/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1587 (olim 612), fol. 34v (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 9221 (MachE), fol. 151v (3/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 22546 (MachG), fol. 142v (3/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds nouv. acq. français 6221, fol. 20 (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds nouv. acq. français 23190 (olim Serrant Château, ducs de la Trémoïlle), fol. 30 (lost);
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Library, French MS 15, number 147 (text).


Il codice musicale Panciatichi 26 della Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze, facsimile edition by F. Alberto Gallo, Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 1981, no. 139 (FP).


1. Guillaume de Machaut: Musikalische Werke. Erster Band: Balladen, Rondeaux und Virelais, edited by Friedrich Ludwig, Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1926, p. 28.
2. The Works of Guillaume de Machaut, Second Part, edited by Leo Schrade, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1956. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century III, p. 106.
3. Keyboard Music of the Late Middle Ages in the Codex Faenza 117, edited by D. Plamenac, [n.p.]: American Institute of Musicology, 1972. Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 57, p. 12 (Pn1584).
4. La Louange des Dames, edited by Nigel Wilkins, Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1972, New York: Barnes and Noble, 1973, p. 137 (NYw).

Text Editions

Guillaume de Machaut: poésies lyriques, 2 vols., edited by V. Chichmaref, Paris: 1909, p. 181.


1. MACHABEY, Armand. Guillaume de Machault, 130?-1377: La vie et l'oeuvre musicale, 2 vols, Paris: Richard-Masse-Editeur, 1955. Bibliothèque d'études musicales, pp. 38-39.
2. GÜNTHER, Ursula. Der musikalische Stilwandel der französischen Liedkunst in der zweiten Hälfte des 14. Jahrhunderts, dargestelt an Virelais, Balladen und Rondeax von Machaut., Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hamburg: 1957, Chapter 4.1.
3. SALOP, Arnold. 'The secular polyphony of Guillaume de Machaut', [chapter 2 of his] Studies on the History of Musical Style, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1971, pp. 62-63.
4. DÖMLING, Wolfgang. 'Aspekte der Sprachvertonung in den Balladen Guillaume de Machauts', Die Musikforschung, XXV/3 (1972), p. 301., p. 303.
5. SWARTZ, Anne. 'A new chronology of the ballades of Machaut', Acta Musicologica, XLVI (1974): 192-207.
6. HIRSHBERG, Jehoash. 'Hexachordal and modal structure in Machaut's polyphonic chansons', Studies in Musicology in Honor of Otto E. Albrecht, 1980.
7. REANEY, Gilbert. 'La tonalité des ballades et des rondeaux de Guillaume de Machaut', Guillaume de Machaut, poète et compositeur. Colloque - Table Ronde, 1978, p. 299.
8. GÜNTHER, Ursula. 'Contribution de la musicologie à la biographie et à la chronologie de Guillaume de Machaut', Guillaume de Machaut, poète et compositeur. Colloque - Table Ronde, 1978, pp. 95-116.
9. YUDKIN, Jeremy. Music in Medieval Europe, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1989, pp. 504-508.


1. Guillaume de Machaut. Chansons II, Early Music Studio, directed by Thomas Binkley (1973): EMI-Reflexe IC063-30-109 (GER)/ IC163-30-107/12 (GER).
2. Guillaume de Machaut: 1. The Musical Art of Machaut. 2. Le Remède de Fortune. 3. Veoir Dit., Ensemble Guillaume de Machaut of Paris (1975-1977): Adés 7078 (3 discs).
3. Codex Faenza. Italie XVe siècle, Ensemble Organum, directed by Marcel Pérès (1991): Harmonia Mundi HMC 901354.


Honte, paour, doubtance de meffaire.
Attemprance mettre en sa volente.
Large en refus et lente d'octroy faire.
Raison, mesure, honneur et honneste
Doit en son cuer figurer.
Et mesdisans seur toutes riens doubter
Et en tous fais estre amoureus couarde.
Qui de s'onneur wet faire bonne garde.

Sage en maintieng, au bien penre exemplaire.
Celer a point s'amour et son secre.
Simple d'atour et non vouloir attraire
Pluseurs a li par samblant d'amitie.
Car c'est pour amans tuer;
Foy, pais, amour et loyaute garder.
Ce sont les poins que dame en son cuer garde.
Qui de s'onneur wet faire bonne garde.

Quar quant amour maint en cuer debonnaire.
Jone, gentil, de franchise pare.
Plain de cuidier et de joieus afaire
Et de desir par plaisence engenre.
C'est trop fort a contrester.
Qu'il font souvent senz et mesure outrer;
Pour ce ades pense a ces poins et resgarde
Qui de s'onneur wet faire bonne garde.


A sense of shame, of fear, a dread of doing wrong.
Restraint in indulging the will.
Generosity in refusing and slowness in bestowing.
Reason, moderation, honour and honesty
Must be present in her heart.
And above all things must she fear slanderers
And in all things be a coward in love.
The lady who wishes to guard her honour well.

Wise in behaviour, exemplary in choosing well.
Keeping her love and her secret well concealed.
Simple in adornment and not wishing to attract
Many to her by a show of friendship.
For that will kill a lover;
To keep faith, peace, love and loyalty.
These are the points she keeps in her heart.
The lady who wishes to guard her honour well.

For when love dwells in a gentle heart.
Young, refined, adorned with noble character.
Full of confidence and joyful activity
And of desire brought forth by pleasure.
It is often too strong to prevent them
From exceeding sense and measure;
Therefore let her think constantly on these points and keep watch.
The lady who wishes to guard her honour well.

Text revision and translation © Jennifer Garnham

Content Approved by: MMDB Director
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2003

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