Manuscripts and Special Collections

WLC/LM/6, f. 203r: Heldris de Cornuälle, ‘Le Roman de Silence’, lines 2859-2869 (early 13th century, French)


Auoec ces iogleors . iras
Por cho que biel les seruiras
Et que tu painne i uoelles rendre
Poras des estrumens aprendre
Selens ies encheualerie
Si te ualra laioglerie
Et sil auient que lirois muire
Es cambres ten poras deduire
Ta harpe . et ta viele auras
Enliv decho que ne sauras
Orfrois ne fresials manoier


You will go with these jongleurs
And because you will serve them well
And strive to be of service,
You will learn how to play instruments.
If it takes time for you to master knightly skills
(Then) minstrelsy will serve you well,
And in the future when the King should die
In the (bed)-chamber you will, with your music, be able to entertain.
You will have (with you) your harp and your viol,
(And) these will take the place of the skills you will lack,
Of how to embroider with golden thread1 or embellish woven braids and ribbons 2.

1. Orfrey, very high class embroidery using gold thread

2. Galloons, braids or decorative ribbons would fit with the style of clothes of the period.

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