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In the undated inventory of books kept in the library of the Great Earl of Kildare virtual ruler of Ireland from until his death in , we find mention of eleven French books as opposed to seven English ones, twenty Irish ones and twenty-one Latin ones. Under the heading :. Hec sunt nomina librorum existent cium in libraria Geraldi, Comitis Kildari :. The Cronicles of England in Frenche. Le quatre choses toutz cestz on un lyve. The Cronicles of Fraunce in French. A Book of Farsses in French Another catalogue of books belonging to the same Earl, entitled "Bokys remayning in the lyberary of Geralde fitz Geralde Erie of kyldare the xv day of ffebruairii A.

Henrici viii xxii" mentions thirty-six French books as opposed to thirty-four Latin ones and twenty-two English ones, an entry headed "Irsh Bokys" having been left blank That medieval Ireland had access to the literature of the period in French is evident from the very considerable number of translations into medieval Irish of the stories of Charlemagne and Arthur.

Arthurian influence is discernable in many texts ; part of the legend of the Holy Grail survives in a manuscript in the Franciscan Library in Dublin. Motifs and reminiscences of these works made their way into a sizable corpus of as yet unpublished Irish versions It would appear too that Irish translators were sometimes working from French versions of Latin texts.

The Latin writer, Statius born in Naples is twice referred to in medieval Irish texts as French, and one of the Irish translations of Statius' Thebaid follows the French rather than the Latin version. It cannot have been written earlier than as the Earldom of Desmond was created in that year :.

Les tiques géantes colonisent la France et l’Europe

Alone am I, single, and without solace, my fate the tyranny of love? Alone I was not wont to be, nor was I ever wont to be comfortless. But he who feels himself deserted and without solace must needs feel consolation in himself. Because of similarity of construction, the Proverbia Comitis Des- monie is generally regarded as coming from the same pen as the list of French proverbs found in the same manuscript immediately preceding the Proverbia :. Folie fet qe en force s'afie ;.

Faux fiers fount feble fameler. Feie ferme fra fausyn fundre.

Foolish is the man who puts his trust in brute force ; fortune makes force to fail : treachery or loyalty by fair words can overthrow ill-advised insolence. Brute force puts to flight the treacherous or the loyal , and violent treacherous men make the weak to die of hunger. Injustice makes the weak to tremble, but firm faith will confound injustice This short work lines long purports to be a description of the entrenchment, in , of the prosperous Norman town of New Ross in County Wexford.

In his famous Description of Ireland , Stanihurst states :. The town of New Ross is builded in a barren soil and planted among a crue of naugthie and prolling neighbours It was to protect themselves against these "naughtie and prolling neighbours" that the inhabitants of that town decided to build a trench and walls around their town in the thirteenth century.

Une mère et sa fille périssent dans un incendie

The poem is a lively account of how workmen were hired to complete the necessary work but as they did not prove to be very assiduous the townsfolk themselves including the ladies decided to do the work instead. Animated descriptions abound of the carolling, the processions and the general merry-making that accompanied the digging of the trenches.

John Seymour suggests, or a French monk front the Continent 21? In all probability, his audience was part of the Norman community of Ireland. As a social document however, it provides us with an interesting picture of the trades exercised by the inhabitants of thirteenth-century New Ross. Darker currents can be glimpsed ; the need to protect and arm oneself in a largely hostile environment. In a wider context,. The most extensive work of Norman-French literature to have survived from medieval Ireland is the line poem entitled by Goddard H. Orpen who edited and translated it in The Song of Dermot and the Earl We do not know how or where Sir George Carew obtained this manuscript.

It is not now possible to state why this poem was written. This may have been mentioned at the beginning of the poem which is now missing, as is the conclusion. Again, because the start of the poem is missing, it is not possible to state for certain who its author was or when exactly he wrote it The main source of the text may have been one Morice Regan, Diarmuid's secretary, although not all historians would agree with this.

The poem itself is situated somewhere between the chanson de geste and the rhymed chronicle so favoured by the Normans. It is a stirring account of invasions, sieges, battles, slaughters, dangers encountered and over-. Daring knights, valiant and chivalrous, cross rivers on white steeds, swift messengers bear urgent messages, a Welshwoman slaughters the Irish in battle and hurls their bodies over a cliff to avenge a lover's death. | Information, radio, télé, sports, art

The poem is written with great simplicity from the point of view of Diarmuid and his Norman allies. The latter are all daring, noble and courtly ; the native Irish, with the exception of Diarmuid himself, are treacherous to a man. Black and white epithets are employed again and again. Its author has been described as a "mediocre rhymster" The work covers the period to although its value as history is doubtful. It appears to have been written some time after the events described, possibly between and Events in it are not recorded in chronological order.

Time is telescoped. Serious omissions occur. While the historical value of the text is questionable,. Its greatest worth, however. It attempts to give this community confidence in its leaders, in itself and in its future by persuading it that God really was on its side this is mentioned several times. It appears to have been intended for a people on the defensive, attempting as it does to assuage their basic insecurity, surrounded — like the community in the Rithmus Facture Ville de Rosse — by a largely hostile native population.

It is not easy to draw definite conclusions from evidence that is not as plentiful as that available from the England of the corresponding period. Although fewer examples remain of the use of French in medieval Ireland, one should not conclude that French did not play as great a role in medieval Ireland as in medieval England.

The survival of such proof is always subject to great hasards and uncertainties. Examples of literature would rarely be mentioned in the catalogues of the libraries of religious houses or included in official manuscripts because of the low esteem in which such compositions were generally held. We have seen that Bishop Ledrede regarded French love-songs as a form of pollution!

Most of the works of French literature that survive from medieval Ireland are to be found in just one manuscript, Harley How many equally valuable manuscripts can have been irrevocably lost? One wonders just how many other equally precious manuscripts must have perished in a country so prone to losing its records, or how many works never made their way into any manuscript. That we know anything of the ability of the commonfolk in medieval Ireland to understand and speak French is due to pure chance : were it not for the reforming zeal of a fourteenth-century Bishop of Kilkenny, much valuable evidence would be lost forever.

The history of the transmission of what was regarded as non-essential information is fraught with such uncertainties. As early as , complaints were made that the Dominicans and Franciscans of Ireland were using Irish This is particularly revealing when one recalls that the Dominicans spread throughout Europe from Toulouse and that for the first two hundred years of their existence in Ireland the Franciscans were extremely French-orientated. French began to decline in late thirteenth- century England as a result of various factors including the beginning of English consciousness of unity in the face of other countries as well as the loss of Normandy in Many writers using French at that period apologise for their poor command of the language.

And Frensch she spak fui faire and fetisly.

After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe,. For Frensch of Parys was to hire unknowe For Chaucer, writing in the middle of the fourteenth century, the French of England was no more than a bastard variety of the speech of Paris, the only true form of French In Ireland too, the French language began to fall into disuse, cut off as it was from its community of origin and threatened on all sides by the spectacular rise of Irish as a vernacular.

By , it would appear that the Normans had abandoned French for Irish.

Hymne du Quebec Gens du pays French English Lyrics Vigneault

I know the language of the Irish as I do French and English. The Irish language is as familiar to me as English, for I have always spoken it with my wife, and introduce it among my children as much as I can Around the same time, the famous Statutes of Kilkenny complained that :. Many English of the said land of Ireland , forsaking the English language, live and govern themselves by the language of the Irish. Gearoid Iarla wrote with astonishing ease, fluency and assurance in a language to which he was relatively new, given that his grandfather,, the first Earl of Desmond, wrote poetry too — but in French : he is none other than the Earl of Desmond to whom Proverbia Comitis Desmonie are generally ascribed and who was described by one of his as "a rymour", a rhymster.

As Alan Bliss adds :. It is not very surprising that the Normans should have adopted Irish, since they had a tradition of linguistic adaptability : when they settled in France they soon abandoned their original Scandanavian language and adopted French This change from French to Irish among the Normans of Ireland would therefore seem to have occurred in the space of one or two generations in the fourteenth century, just as — after centuries of vacillation — the final change from Irish to English took place with the same speed in just one or two generations at the end of the nineteenth century At all events, the reign of French as an international language was drawing to a close in fourteenth and fifteenth-century Ireland, as was the case all over Europe.

In , Stanihurst states :. All the cities and towns or Ireland speak to this day English ; even so in all other places their native language is Irish French is no longer mentioned. French has lived on, curiously, within the Irish language itself which contains a fairly considerable proportion of French loan- words, in vocabulary relating to military, architectural, legal and judicial matters Again, in County Wexford where many of the original Norman invaders settled, traces of French were found in a local dialect as late as the nineteenth century : a small percentage of the terms contained in Jacob Poole's curious glossary of the old dialect of the baronies of Forth and Bargy are French in origin But the bastion of French in contemporary Ireland remains the secondary schools of the country where pupils are still led to believe that in deciding to study French they are embarking on something quite new!

Griesser in Analecta s. Cisterciencis, vol. Historic Manuscripts Commision, 10th. Twelfth century : see Hue de Rotelande, "Ipomedon" -. Demo Give phpBB a try with a fully-featured demo board. Showcase A showcase of popular and unique sites using phpBB. Get Involved Learn how you can get involved with the project.

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