Critical prefaces of the French Renaissance

By Bernard Weinberg | Go to book overview

PIERRE DE LARIVEY
PROLOGUE TO La Constance 1611

TEXT:

Trois Comedies des six dernieres de Pierre de Lariuey Champenois. A l'imitation des ançiens Grecs Latins & Modernes Italiens. A Sçavoir: La Constance. Le Fidelle. Et les Tromperies. A Troyes, Par Pierre Chevillot, l'Imprimeur du Roy. M.DC.XI. [University of Pennsylvania Library.]

[Cf. Brunet, III, 840, and Supplément, I, 781; Tchemerzine, VII, 33, who points out the existence of a second edition of 1611.]

As in his earlier comedies, Pierre de Larivey again turned to Italian sources when he wrote the three comedies constituting the second volume of his works. La Constance was patterned after Girolamo Razzi's La Gostanza, and its prologue was adapted from that of the Italian author. For bibliography on Larivey and his works see the prefatory note to the excerpts from the 1579 volume, p. 241 above.


[A iij v] PROLOGUE TO La Constance

Quand il print envie à l'autheur de ceste comedie qu'il desire presentement vous faire veoir, il sembloit quasi que ce fust à regret, pource qu'il luy estoit advis qu'elle n'estoit bien parée ny agencée comme il desiroit affin de vous donner, messieurs et dames, quelque agreable contentement; encores qu'elle soit toute simple, ne dressant ses actions qu'à la constance du nom de laquelle il l'a1 voulu nommer. Je sçay bien que plusieurs ne prennent goust qu'à l'antiquité, dont ils font si grande estime qu'ils la logeroient volontiers au ciel, blasmant tous ceux qui ne les ressemblent et ne sont de leur opinion. Autres veullent que com[A iiij]me les aages sont variables et different l'un de l'autre, et d'autant qu'aujourd'huy2 l'on n'use des mesmes choses dont l'on usoit il y a vingt ans, qu'ainsi les modernes comedies ne doivent estre pareilles à celles qui estoient il y a mil six cens ans passez et plus, nostre vivre n'estant pareil au leur. Ceux-là disent qu'en Grece ou à Rome on usoit d'un autre langage, d'autre façon de vivre, d'autres coustumes, d'autres3 loix, et--ce qui importe le plus-- d'une religion toute contraire à la nostre Chrestienne et Catholique; et autres finalement ne s'en esloignent du tout, encores qu'ils se soient oubliez aux reigles, preceptes et usage qu'ont tenu les anciens recommandables comiques qui seront tousjours prisez et estimez d'un chacun. Mais quoy

____________________
1
l'à 1611
2
qu'auioud'huy 1611
3
d'aueres 1611

-277-

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