Thursday, January 14, 2010
These Are the Rules
This week I promised we’d look at some of the rules of courtly love. Yes, there were rules. In 1174 Andreas Capellanus, a member of the clergy who served Marie of Champagne wrote The Art of Courtly Love which is basically a manual telling everyone what was correct and what wasn’t. The following rules come from The Art of Courtly Love.
I.Marriage is no real excuse for not loving.
II.He who is not jealous cannot love.
III.No one can be bound by a double love.
IV.It is well known that love is always increasing or decreasing.
V.That which a lover takes against his will of his beloved has no relish.
VI.Boys do not love until they arrive at the age of maturity.
VII.When one lover dies, a widowhood of two years is required of the survivor.
VIII.No one should be deprived of love without the very best of reasons.
IX.No one can love unless he is impelled by the persuasion of love.
X.Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice.
XI.It is not proper to love any woman whom one should be ashamed to seek to marry.
XII.A true lover does not desire to embrace in love anyone except his beloved.
XIII.When made public love rarely endures.
XIV.The easy attainment of love makes it of little value; difficulty of attainment makes it prized.
XV.Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his beloved.
XVI.When a lover suddenly catches sight of his beloved his heart palpitates
XVII.A new love puts to flight an old one.
XVIII.Good character alone makes any man worthy of love.
XIX.If love diminishes it quickly fails and rarely revives.
XX.A man in love is always apprehensive.
XXI.Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love.
XXII.Jealousy, and therefore love, are increased when one suspects his beloved.
XXIII.He whom the thought of love vexes, eats and sleeps very little.
XXIV.Every act of a lover ends in the thought of his beloved.
XXV.A true lover considers nothing good except what he thinks will please his beloved.
XXVI.Love can deny nothing to love.
XXVII.A lover can never have enough of the solaces of his beloved.
XXVIII.A slight presumption causes a lover to suspect his beloved.
XXIX.A man who is vexed by too much passion usually does not love.
XXX.A true lover is constantly and without intermission possessed by the thought of his beloved.
XXXI.Nothing forbids one woman being loved by two men or one man by two women.
Speaking from a modern day viewpoint, some of these sound a bit silly, but many of them ring true, don’t they? Have our idea about love changed much since Capellanus’ time? What do you think?