Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Rules of Courtly Love - Andreas Cappelanus

Since the posting from yesterday was from the era of the troubadours in medieval Europe (1000 - 1400, somewhat arbitrarily) when ideas about Courtly Love were being established, today's is the list of those rules, as related by Andreas Cappelanus sometime around 1184 - 1186.  He was probably a chaplain in the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine - then married to the French king, but better known as the wife of Henry II of England and father of Richard the Lion-hearted.  These 31 rules (and a second set) were in his book "The Art of Courtly Love", written as a letter to instruct a young man on who/how to love.  It's worth reading the Wikipedia entry  about him and this concept since.  (It's particularly fascinating to see the class distinctions: these rules did not apply to lower-class girls, who could be used - even raped - without a second thought.)  It shouldn't be a surprise that many of the observations below are still held today (and true): they are, after all, the beliefs that influence later writers and western society.
The Rules of Love

1. Marriage is no excuse for not loving.
2. He who is not jealous can not love.
3. No one can be bound by two loves.
4. Love is always growing or diminishing.
5. It is not good for one lover to take anything against the will of the other.
6. A male cannot love until he has fully reached puberty.
7. Two years of mourning for a dead lover are prescribed for surviving lovers.
8. No one should be deprived of love without a valid reason.
9. No one can love who is not driven to do so by the power of love.
10. Love always departs from the dwelling place of avarice.
11. It is not proper to love one whom one would be ashamed to marry.
12. The true lover never desires the embraces of any save his lover.
13. Love rarely lasts when it is revealed.
14. An easy attainment makes love contemptible; a difficult one
makes it more dear.
15. Every lover turns pale in the presence of his beloved.
16. When a lover suddenly has sight of his beloved, his heart beats wildly.
17. A new love expels an old one.
18. Moral integrity alone makes one worthy of love.
19. If love diminishes, it quickly leaves and rarely revives.
20. A lover is always fearful.
21. True jealousy always increases the effects of love.
22. If a lover suspects another, jealousy and the efects of love increase.
23. He who is vexed by the thoughts of love eats little and seldom sleeps.
24. Every action of a lover ends in the thought of his beloved.
25. The true lover believes only that which he thinks will please his beloved.
26. Love can deny nothing to love.
27. A lover can never have enough of the embraces of his beloved.
28. The slightest suspicion incites the lover to suspect the worse of his beloved.
29. He who suffers from an excess of passion is not suited to love.
30. The true lover is continuously obsessed with the image of his beloved.
31. Nothing prevents a woman from being loved by two men, or a man
from being loved by two women.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Hi! Just wanted to let you know I enjoyed this one!