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Music as erotic magic in a Renaissance romance.


In sixteenth-century France, few books were read so avidly as the series of two dozen novels known collectively as Amadis de Gaule. Yet although it was a roaring success at court, Amadis was scorned by many humanists, who condemned its racy tales of sex, magic, and adventure as lascivious and silly, at best a waste of time better spent on more profound reading. (1) Amadis would seem an unlikely vehicle for the exposition of systems of occult philosophy, usually confined in the Renaissance to Latin texts circulating in a predominantly masculine intellectual community. Yet this was exactly the function imagined for the novel by the alchemist Jacques Gohory (1520-76), adapter of several volumes from the middle of the series. Gohory admitted that many who knew his "studies in more serious and difficult subjects" would find works so "fabulous ... merry and wanton" beneath their attention. (2) Such critics would not only underestimate the need for leisure to balance graver matters, he argues, but, more importantly, would misunderstand romance's power to convey occult wisdom in the form of fable. In Gohory's hands, Amadis was serious stuff: through extensive modifications and additions to his source texts he wove concepts of natural magic and occult philosophy into the narrative structures and textual conventions of his Spanish models and of the previous French adaptations. (3)

Music played a vital role in his project, and added song poems and elaborate scenes of musical performance constitute a significant difference between Gohory's versions and their sources. Music is a point of synthesis for Gohory's seemingly disparate interests in medicine, alchemy, the occult, and romance, bridging problematic gaps between the masculine domains of knowledge, science, and the intellect, and a feminized world of fantasy, recreation, and sensuality. An approach to Gohory's work through music can reintegrate aspects of his career often treated separately, demonstrating how both music and romance participate in the therapeutic goals that inform his more overtly medical, scientific, and magical writings. At the same time, such an approach can address a thorny problem in the history of early modern concepts of music, medicine, and natural magic. The most-often-studied Latin tracts of Neoplatonism and occult philosophy make few explicit or implicit links with identifiable musical repertories, and are frustratingly vague about details of performance practice. Connections with extant music must be constructed by the modern scholar, and generally the move has been a textual one--from philosophical, medical, and occult literature to musical scores and questions of compositional technique--that leaves connections to potential performance contexts unexplored. Related to this, there has been relatively little work on how magical concepts may have spread beyond learned circles into the wider culture to condition contemporaries' experience of music and musical performance. (4)

Gohory's work is particularly valuable in addressing these issues. Unusually among occult philosophers of his generation, his interests in practical music-making have left traces both in imaginative fiction and in contributions to printed music books. In the context of his other writing on natural magic and medicine, reading Gohory's musical prefaces against his adaptations of Amadis provides a unique window onto how a writer steeped in alchemical and medical thought imagined performance situations in which musical magic might be used, and how it might accomplish its effects. Though his Amadis adaptations stop short of providing notated music or citing specific pieces, they nevertheless demonstrate strong links with music prints, the chanson repertory, and its performance practices in French courtly circles of the mid-sixteenth century. Unlike the discussions of music in treatises of Neoplatonic philosophy or in the medical literature, the novels work to establish connections between occult understandings of music and the performance of music at court. At the same time, the success of the Amadis series, which reached a larger and more diverse readership than any of Gohory's more erudite writings, contributed to the vernacularization of concepts of musical magic and helped foster their dissemination into these same courtly circles.

Gohory's advocacy of music coalesces most effectively in book 11 of the French Amadis, with its elaborate scenes of musical courtship. (5) Its main plot concerns a pair of adolescent princes who disguise themselves as Amazon lute singers to gain access to a beautiful princess. The story allows for plentiful descriptions of musical performances, in which the boys' beauty and skill in singing as women inspire such universal admiration that both men and women fall hopelessly in love with them. The novel's gleeful exploitation of the plot's erotic potential, its relatively unabashed treatment of both same-sex eroticism and heterosexual sex, and its evocation of the seductive powers of music are characteristic of the middle volumes of the Amadis series, and are among elements that shaped the novel's popular appeal. Many of the scenes of song performance draw not only on precedents from the French romance tradition, but on medieval and contemporary Italian literature--both in the vernacular (Boccaccio) and in Latin (Colonna)--in which such episodes are common. (6) Yet in Gohory's adaptation, such descriptions of music-making are embedded in a rich web of astrological and alchemical symbol that harnesses this aspect of romance to his broader intellectual program. His musical additions both contribute to his project of converting the romance into a vehicle for Hermetic wisdom, and duplicate its effects in another field, by endowing the performance of secular love songs--like romance reading, an activity often dismissed in the Renaissance as a trivial occupation of leisure time--with profound importance. A close reading of the scenes of musical performance in this book can act to restore the imaginative leap between magical principles and musical repertories and performance contexts to a place in early modern mentalities, demonstrating how the erotics of musical performance and audition could be attached to wider occult meanings in mid-sixteenth-century France.


Gohory's work has long been known to historians of early modern medicine and magic. An intellectual omnivore whose sources included all of the principal Hermetic texts then circulating around Europe, the major Italian works of Neoplatonic philosophy, and a large body of Italian and Spanish literature, he was the author of original poetry and prose in Latin and French as well as of numerous translations. (7) He was among the first and most influential French Paracelsians, instrumental in bringing Ficinian Neoplatonism into dialogue with new concepts of chemical healing. (8) His readings of Marsilio Ficino's (1433-99) De vita and of Francesco Colonna's (ca. 1433-1527) Hypnerotomachia Poliphili have been particularly useful to historians of occult philosophy. (9) And Gohory's French adaptations of Amadis de Gaule have begun to attract attention as part of a general renewal of interest in sixteenth-century prose romance. (10) But one aspect of Gohory's life and work--his lively interest in music as both idea and practice--has never been examined at all. (11) His prefaces to music prints have never been completely identified, much less studied; and his musical additions to Amadis, in the form of songs and performance descriptions, have been treated as texts without sonic implications. (12) Though these writings occupy relatively little space in his large oeuvre, they are more important than a simple page count might suggest.

Born to a Parisian family with a tradition of royal service, Gohory followed the court from 1543 at the latest, was employed as secretary to a series of influential nobles, and accompanied French diplomatic missions to Flanders (1544), England (1546), and Rome (1554-56). He quickly established himself in courtly humanist networks, forming ties with Pleiade poets and other literary figures, as well as with physicians who shared his interests in occult remedies. He probably spent much of the 1560s on the family estate in Issy, where he concentrated on chemical experiments and on furthering his knowledge of Paracelsus. (13) Alchemical concepts were the principal focus of his influential Theophrasti Paracelsi Philosophiae et Medicinae utriusque universae, Compendium (1567), in which Gohory draws comparisons between Paracelsus, the magical philosophy of Ficino, and the work of occult philosophers such as Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516) and Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535). (14) Occult inclinations also shaped his involvement with the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, his contributions to a volume of engravings depicting the story of the Golden Fleece (1563), and his annotated edition of the medieval poem Le livre de la fontaine perilleuse (1572), all of which he considered as carefully disguised alchemical allegories. (15) In his Instruction sur l'herbe petum (1572), the first full-length treatise on tobacco, Gohory is largely concerned with methods of distillation for therapeutic use. Around 1570, shortly before the publication of the Instruction, he created his Lycium Philosophal, a botanical garden and learned academy, at Saint Marceau on the outskirts of Paris. There he continued his work with plant distillations, and experimented with practical magic involving talismans as well as with more orthodox medical cures. (16) Though he seems rarely to have attended court himself during this period, his academy received visits from influential courtiers and he apparently renewed efforts to gain recognition for his work in courtly circles. (17)

Gohory's engagement with the Amadis romances began in 1543, when he wrote a Latin liminary poem for book 4, by the much-admired Nicolas Herberay des Essarts, the French series' first adapter (appendix 1). (18) Their friendship may have motivated Gohory to tackle Amadis himself when Herberay abandoned the project in 1548 after book 8: Gohory was responsible for books 10 and 11, printed in 1552 and 1554. Fifteen years later in 1571 Gohory returned to translate book 13 at the behest of Catherine de Clermont, Comtesse de Retz (1545-1603). His final contribution to the Amadis enterprise was a lengthy preface to Antoine Tiron's version of book 14 in 1574. Gohory's involvement with the romance thus corresponds to two moments in his life when he was moving in court circles and trying to garner patronage from powerful courtiers. He no doubt hoped for the kind of potentially lucrative appointments sometimes enjoyed by alchemists and occult philosophers: he must certainly have been aware that Agrippa, a writer he particularly admired, had held such a post at the French court in the 1520s. (19) Although by his own account Gohory was never successful--laments over his failure to receive recognition at court regularly punctuate his later writing--he believed that using a popular novel to diffuse his ideas would increase his work's appeal for his target audience, particularly for its female members. Unlike earlier Amadis volumes, Gohory's romances were dedicated to prominent court noblewomen: the king's sister, Marguerite de France (1523-74); his mistress, Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566); Catherine de Clermont; and Henriette de Cleves, Duchesse de Nevers (1541-1601). These women were all celebrated by contemporaries for their own intelligence and learning as well as for their active support of men of letters, so that the dedicatees figure as feminized icons of knowledge as well as consumers of fashionable recreation and likely sponsors at court. (20)

In contrast to Amadis, Gohory's musical prefaces appeared only late in his life. In his Instruction sur l'herbe petum, Gohory described how visitors to the Lycium Philosophal would perform together in a specially decorated gallery, showing that music-making figured in the academy's program in the early 1570s. During the same years he contributed to several books produced by the royal music printers Adrian Le Roy and Robert Ballard (appendix 2). In his preface to Le Roy's lute instruction (1570), Gohory claims that his own love of music fostered a longstanding friendship with the book's author. (21) Though there is no reason to doubt him, it was also true that both the reigning king, Charles IX (1550-74), and Catherine de Clermont, dedicatee of Amadis book 13, were keenly interested in music. Nearly all the prefaces introduce music by Charles IX's favorite composer, the celebrated Orlande de Lassus (1532-94). (22) Catherine de Clermont was the dedicatee both of Le Roy's lute instruction and of the Musique of the royal keyboard player Guillaume Costeley (which carries a main dedication to Charles IX and a secondary dedication to Catherine). (23) There are echoes across the prefatory material: Gohory's preface to Le Roy's lute book refers to his forthcoming translation of Amadis book 13, while Charles IX's love of music is mentioned in the preface to the romance. (24) Gohory also sent a copy of Lassus's Mellange to Marguerite de France with an autograph dedication. Marguerite had been the dedicatee of Gohory's first Amadis translation two decades earlier; and, as in the case of Catherine de Clermont, she was the recipient of both a romance and a music collection from Gohory's hands. (25) This suggests that for Gohory music, like romance, seemed a promising way to the hearts of courtly patrons.

Gohory's prefaces repeatedly allude to music's recreational capacities: in dedications to Renaud de Beaune and Jacques Amyot, he underlines how both men listen and sing to "sooth and assuage the tedium of grave cares." (26) Addressing Charles IX, he claims that kings above all need the pleasure of music to counteract the burden of their heavy responsibilities. (27) At the same time he encourages readers to understand this music as potentially more than a simple pastime. His arguments rest upon Neoplatonic concepts of celestial harmony and macrocosm-microcosm correspondence that pervaded contemporary French literary production, in which the unity wrought from the interplay of disparate elements is regulated by laws of harmonious proportion imagined as music. (28) Harmony's role as regulatory principle in both planetary and human contexts underpins Gohory's understanding of music's ethical and therapeutic value. In Lassus's Mellange, Gohory links music's capacity to foster moral behavior and restore mental health in humans to its role in controlling the motion of celestial bodies. (29) In the composer's second book of motets, Gohory more explicitly compares the harmony of the spheres, composed of the varied pitches generated by planetary motion, to the concord between human bodily parts and intellectual faculties that produces physical health and mental acuity. (30) Taking pleasure in music serves as proof of the individual's own healthful harmony, of mental and physical alignment with the cosmos. In Gohory's preface to Le Roy's lute tutor, Le Roy's personal worth is confirmed precisely by his excellence at music: for "it is a token of a person well borne, that his spirite hath been alwayes so inclined to Musicke, as beinge compounded of proportion and temporative harmonic call." (31)

Gohory's praise of Lassus offers a further refinement: "I do protest unto you that if the songes of other Musitians do delight mee, those of Orland do ravish me." (32) Here Gohory posits two categories of musical response, the lower delight and superior ravishment. Ravish is an English rendition of ravir--or possibly of transporter--in the lost French original: both words convey notions of ecstasy and elation as well as the idea of movement, potentially against one's will. This vocabulary resonates with other French courtly writing about music, in which ravishment is closely allied to the Neoplatonic conception of the furors. (33) Thus Pierre de Ronsard begins his preface for a 1560 musical anthology by claiming that the virtuous man reacts to music with joy, quivering from head to foot "as if sweetly ravished, and I know not how stolen away from himself," because his soul retains a memory of its divine origin. Those indifferent to music are "mired in the body," having lost all connection with the "celestial harmony of the heavens." (34)

Among the sources for Ronsard's preface were Pontus de Tyard's Solitaire premier, ou discours des muses et de la fureur poetique (1552), which examines music in the context of the divine furors, and Solitaire second, ou prose de la musique (1555), devoted entirely to music. (35) A second edition of the Solitaire premier appeared in 1575 with a new dedication to Gohory's own sometime patron, the music-loving Catherine de Clermont, assimilating her to the author's muse Pasithee. Pasithee begins the book by singing an ode to the lute; the resemblance of her music to celestial harmony triggers an episode of transport in the Solitaire, which acts as prelude to his explanation of how the soul may achieve union with the divine through love. In the Solitaire second, Tyard describes the effects of a lute performance by the virtuoso Francesco da Milano on an audience at a Milanese banquet, and here the account emphasizes how celestial inspiration empowers the performer to impose the trance state on listeners. Francesco first ravishes himself and his audience, then with superhuman force returns to the world and restores the souls of the auditors, leaving them astonished as if awoken from a divinely-inspired trance. (36)

These oft-cited images of the well-tuned soul and of musical ravishment testify to the currency of Neoplatonic conceptions of music in Gohory's immediate circles. However, in addition to confirming his allegiance to widespread understandings of harmony, his preface to Le Roy's instruction also makes a much more unusual connection in a passage praising the lute: "I will no further dilate the common prayses therof, but onley by the great singularitie of agreement and disagreement which by experience is shewed in it, in this, that if one Lute be sounded neere unto an other that is tuned in the same tune: it is a strange thing and in a manner marvellous, that the stringes of the other Lute will move at the sound and will shake not being at all touched, by an effect of correspondence wonderfull. Which the Poet Augurall in his Chrisopeied: nor other authors of secret Philosophie have forgotten." (37) This is the only French musical preface of the period to make an explicit reference to the alchemical literature: Gohory's authority, the "Poet Augurall," was Giovanni Aurelio Augurelli (ca. 1456-1524), whose Chrysopoeiaie libri III was a lengthy poem on making gold. In the passage Gohory has in mind, Augurelli uses the image of sympathetic string vibration to underline the extraordinary powers of consonance in the natural world: "For think that everything rejoices in its like, and even that everything is assisted externally by its like; especially since nature seeks nature, and, embracing its peer, refuses all contraries. Thus too, though not struck with fingers or plectrum, a string may be moved, as if it sounded in concordance with [other] strings to which it is tuned, so much power has the concord of things in everything." (38)

Though hierarchically organized, the universe is a unified organism in which manipulation at one level could achieve effects at others. Likeness is the conduit that opens channels between objects and beings at different positions and allows them to act upon one another. The sympathetic vibration of strings demonstrates this principle in nature, an illustration repeatedly taken up in early modern occult literature. (39) In the Lassus preface Gohory singles out the lute as model for the discordia concors--the "great singularitie of agreement and disagreement"--a harmonious interplay of difference through similitude, demonstrated by the sympathetic vibration of two instruments whose status as distinct entities is transcended by likeness. The adjectives strange, marvellous, and wonderfull emphasize the occult aspects of the operation.

Another way of thinking about sympathy is love. Eros can then function as a mode of understanding the attractions that bind the universe into a harmonious whole. Since love, whether between astral bodies or between humans, is the connecting energy of the cosmos, it follows that the person who can control these attractions--channelling the desires of substances and beings and directing them at will--is the most powerful of magicians. (40) For example, by manipulating the love of substances for one another, the alchemist can effect the desired transformations in his materials. In Augurelli, the sympathetic vibration of strings thus not only illustrates the general principle of sympathy, but demonstrates the kind of operation the alchemist wishes to perform. And this is the same type of operation that musicians themselves were believed to exercise when they used the invisible power of sound to affect the bodies and spirits of listeners. In occult literature, music is more than the archetype of healthful equilibrium: it is a dynamic agent of change, a means of manipulating substances and beings through the channelling of eros. Orpheus, musician and lover, is the model of the Renaissance magus. Gohory's prefaces consistently assimilate Lassus with the magus figure, casting the composer as a powerful producer of extraordinary effects: as Orpheus was able to move stones with the sound of his cithara, so Lassus moves human spirits. (41)

Though the Le Roy and Ballard prefaces date from late in his career, Gohory's musical interests already mark his early adaptations of Amadis. The music is striking in part through its sheer quantity: Gohory's volumes contain more interpolated song poems than had ever figured in previous instalments of the French series. (42) Though some are loosely based on counterparts in the books' Spanish sources, the majority have no precedent. One song uses a poem by the royal librarian Claude Chappuys, whose poetry figures in many midcentury chanson anthologies, and whose 1543 court panegyric the "Discours de la court" mentions the composers Claude de Sermisy and Pierre Sandrin. (43) All the other texts were apparently Gohory's own work. Many are huitains and dixains of the kind favored by poets of the Marot generation, and set to music by composers such as Sermisy and Clement Janequin. Gohory also wrote strophic poems of the type associated with the incipient air de cour, often set by slightly younger musicians such as Sandrin and Pierre Certon. Several poems are particularly reminiscent of lyrics by Mellin de Saint-Gelais, the leading court poet of the 1540s: one text is particularly closely modeled after Saint-Gelais's well-known song "O combien est heureuse." (44) Saint-Gelais's lyrics often had Italian antecedents: this too is the case for Gohory's "La jeune vierge est semblable a la rose," an accomplished French version of "La verginella e simile alla rosa" (Orlando furioso, canto 1, stanza 42). "La verginella" could be sung to one of the widely-circulated musical formulas used for Ariostan stanzas in Italy, some of which were employed by Saint-Gelais for musical performances of his own poetry in French: Gohory and his courtly readers were certainly aware of the practice, and may have been familiar with specific formulae used to sing "La verginella" and other Ariostan verse. (45) His adaptation of Amadis book 11 features one sung sonnet, echoing the preoccupation of Gohory's friends in the Pleiade with the genre from the late 1540s onward. Though printed sonnet settings with music from this period are scarce, Gohory would have known of the musical supplement to Ronsard's Amours of 1552, which included a piece by his friend Marc-Antoine de Muret as well as sonnet settings by professional court musicians. (46)

Gohory's biographer W. H. Bowen was perplexed by these song texts, remarking that the Amadis poems can seem inconsequential when compared to Gohory's other verse. (47) But Bowen was contrasting the poems with the most high-flown literary production of Gohory and his Pleiade contemporaries, while Gohory's romance additions generally adopt the less ambitious stylistic register of much contemporary poetry destined for song. In fact, Gohory's songs in Amadis represent a helpful overview of the most common types of chanson poetry from midcentury, consistent with the (often anonymous) texts found in contemporary music prints. Gohory also alters musical descriptions to bring them into line with French practice, most obviously by replacing the harps of the Spanish text with lutes. Though relatively few prints of lute song have survived, there is ample testimony from other sources to indicate that singing to the lute was a valued skill among French courtiers. (48) Here Gohory's profession of lengthy friendship with Adrian Le Roy is particularly resonant. Le Roy was himself a virtuoso lutenist who spent the early part of his career in the service of Catherine de Clermont's father, and may have been Catherine's own teacher on the instrument. Some of the first prints he produced after he and Robert Ballard founded their music-publishing firm in 1551 reflect this background, containing lute and guitar arrangements--as both solo instrumental pieces and as accompanied songs--of chansons composed or arranged by court musicians such as Arcadelt and Certon, and that were simultaneously issued as polyphonic vocal pieces in other anthologies the firm produced. Le Roy's books are exactly contemporary with Gohory's first Amadis adaptations, demonstrating how pieces today better known as vocal polyphony were performed by sixteenth-century lute singers: the lute books for which Gohory wrote prefaces in the 1570s contain similar arrangements. (49)

Gohory's descriptions sometimes include other useful scraps of performance practice information. In book 11, for example, Daraide performs the song "Nonobstant qu'Amadis esprouve," first in a highly ornamented solo lute version, and then adds the voice on the second time through. (50) Sources for lute music regularly include plainer and more ornate versions of the same pieces, providing models for the addition of rapid passagework and other ornaments to a song's basic framework. The lute songs in Attaingnant's Tres breve et familiere introduction (1529) are each prefaced with ornamented solo lute versions of the same piece, which could be used as preludes to vocal performance. Nearly all of Adrian Le Roy's volumes of song arrangements for lute and guitar feature such doubles. (51) Thus in addition to their strong idealizing elements, Gohory's musical interludes intersect convincingly with evidence from musical sources about chanson performance practice in courtly circles at midcentury.

Gohory's performance descriptions and song texts evoked music familiar to his courtly readership: the musical additions fostered immediacy and enhanced the homology between the romantic world of Amadis and the court's own social practice. This is in keeping both with Gohory's evident knowledge of practical music-making and the role that Amadis had come to occupy as primer for elegant behavior, and follows a well-established pattern of French rewritings of Amadis as a mirror of the royal court. (52) Yet descriptions of song performance also serve a larger purpose, as Gohory intended the entire novel to do. In his dedication of book 10, Gohory employs the same tactics he would later use for music books, alluding to romance's recreational use while simultaneously alerting the competent reader to the secret wisdom it conceals. He offers the book to Marguerite de France as a pleasant diversion from her study of serious works in Greek and Latin, but says that her patronage will make the book attractive to other aristocrats who do not have her intellectual gifts. For these readers, the romance can serve to sweeten moral instruction just as honey is used to make bitter medicine more palatable to children: "your name by its lustre will make [the book] seem more agreeable to gentlemen and ladies who do not have the stomach to digest more serious and stronger reading: for whom these romances were written for good reason, to furnish them an example and model of chivalry, courtesy, and discretion, that might raise their hearts to virtue, teaching the actions they should imitate or avoid. Which they would not consume so willingly in plain moral instruction, any more than children (as Lucretius says) would take a medicinal drink if the edge of the vessel were not spread with honey: such is for them the lure of the merry tales of strange adventures and love affairs scattered through such stories." (53) These appealing aspects of romance not only serve as bait to attract otherwise reluctant readers, but become a means of encoding sacred mysteries for those capable of piercing the cloak of fable to understand the author's purpose. Gohory claims authority for his procedure in classical myth (the Minotaur, the Golden Fleece, the Twelve Labors of Hercules), medieval romance (tales of the Round Table, the search for the Holy Grail, Merlin's spells), and medieval and contemporary Italian literature (Boccaccio, Colonna), all of which were used to communicate wisdom in the guise of fable. He asserts that readers of "good understanding" will immediately suspect the magical episodes in Amadis of concealing some mystical meaning conveyed through symbol. (54)

Amadis is assimilated to the group of texts that Gohory understood as Hermetic allegory, a claim he would reiterate in his prefaces to subsequent volumes: his image of children lured into drinking medicine presents romance reading as a potentially therapeutic exercise leading to virtuous self-transformation. For some this process may happen unawares, though Gohory's prefaces paradoxically forestall the kind of literal reading, completely innocent of romance's potential moral and mystical aspects, that he posits as typical of the common reader. Instead, he carefully prepares a reading practice for an elite who can appreciate simultaneously the recreational, sensual, and philosophical dimensions of the book: as he says in book 14, good minds "are delighted by reading [romances] for the marvels they contain, preserved [confittes: literally, "pickled" or "conserved"] in the sweet voluptuousness of tales of valorous deeds and amorous exploits." (55)

Gohory's musical additions figure centrally in his project, fulfilling different functions according to textual register and performance context. One category consists of songs of entertainment, with mock-rustic, humorous, or encomiastic texts, performed generally by lower-class characters, often during banquets or festivities. The other main category consists of serious love lyrics, and represents the majority of Gohory's departures from his Spanish models. These are sung by aristocratic characters to their own accompaniment on the lute or harp and generally performed in small gatherings or in intimate settings where the singer is with the beloved or completely alone. Characters react to songs of entertainment (often described as "joyous" or "pleasing" in the text) with amusement and pleasure, a response easily assimilated to Gohory's category of delight. In contrast, performers and listeners of love songs are ravished: they undergo transcendent experiences whose descriptions carry the main weight of Gohory's music-philosophical arguments. Familiar elements of courtly musical practice are thereby attached to a more abstract intellectual discourse that imbues such practices with occult significance. The effect is clearest in book 11, where musical episodes consistently act as fictional elaborations of the Neoplatonic and alchemical principles later expounded in Gohory's prefaces for Le Roy and Ballard.


Virtually all of the love songs in book 11 of Amadis arise from the principal plot, what the title calls the "noble deeds of Agesilan de Colchos, in the lengthy pursuit of the love of Diane, the most beautiful princess in the world." Diane is the daughter of Sidonie, Queen of Guindaye, who was seduced and abandoned by Diane's father, Florisel. Sidonie constructs an enchanted palace in which she locks her daughter away from all men: she has Diane's portrait sent out with her own vow that the knight who can bring her the head of Florisel will have Diane's hand in marriage. Florisel's nephew, the adolescent prince Agesilan, is smitten by the portrait. Hoping that a dose of reality will cure Agesilan of his obsession, his cousin Arlanges proposes a ruse that will allow them to see Diane herself: they will masquerade as Amazon lute singers and gain employment in her service. Using the names Daraide and Garaye, the boys successfully present themselves to Sidonie in feminine disguise, producing musical performances so persuasive that she hires them on the spot for her daughter's entourage. When Agesilan meets Diane he becomes ever more hopelessly enamored, and the attraction is mutual: but it is too dangerous for Agesilan to reveal his identity, and Diane is disturbed by her love for someone she believes to be a woman. The narrative also introduces a subplot involving the love of Arlanges-Garaye for a visiting queen, Cleofile.

In the book's dedication to Diane de Poitiers, Gohory explains that the story is properly hers because of her resemblance to the heroine Diane de Guindaye. Both are manifestations of the "Idea," an imagined perfection whose contemplation is incitement to love: "this story of Diana is especially addressed to your greatness, as properly destined by the sameness of its name. Which signifies an Idea of all perfection of beauty and grace, representing your own similar excellence: which is an imaginary form of harmony of proportion, color and lineament, ravishing the heart in natural admiration, and there igniting an ardent desire for possession, that we call Love." (56) The earthly beauty of the two Dianes mirrors a pure form with the explicitly musical quality of harmonious proportion: it ravishes the beholder and inspires an ardent yearning to experience the divine intelligence that conceived it. Agesilan's "lengthy pursuit" of Diane is at the same time both a pursuit of knowledge and a quest for the divine union through love that was the ultimate goal of Neoplatonic philosophy.

Agesilan receives an appropriate princely education that includes music as an antidote to weightier affairs: sent to Athens at age six, he learns "some practice of the lute and musical singing, so that one day he could use it to sweeten the handling of grave and serious matters: in which he showed an extraordinary dexterity in understanding everything." (57) Like Charles IX and other recipients of Gohory's Le Roy and Ballard dedications, Agesilan's musical ability marks him as exceptionally virtuous in a larger sense. Diane too is trained in music so that by the age of twelve "[she] thought only of taking her ease and pleasure in the delicious abode of her palace with her damsels, strolling through the lovely orchards, gathering flowers there to weave bonnets and bouquets, sometimes going to refresh herself at the fountain, other times sitting on the grass amid her girls like the goddess Diana among her nymphs, taking up a lute and sounding it so melodiously that there was not a listening ear that did not remain enchanted by the harmony, as were people at sea long ago by the song of the Sirens." (58) Gohory continues with a description of Diane's beauty which similarly emphasizes its entrancing effects on the beholder: like the siren qualities of her music, her visual attractiveness is so powerful as to transcend the normal structures of gender relations. (59) This depiction of Diane's graces expands a single sentence in the Spanish model into an account of the audible and visible qualities of the Neoplatonic figure of perfection wrought by nature, the "Idea" of Gohory's preface. (60) Agesilan's own musicality--like that of the courtly patrons to whom Gohory's later writings are directed--predisposes him to appreciate the transcendent qualities of his beloved's song and prepares his spirit for the series of transformations he will undergo in his quest.

Agesilan's first step is to adopt feminine disguise, a partial becoming of the ideal he seeks. Cross-dressing is a regular feature of Renaissance romance, and the Amadis series is no exception. (61) Here the cross-dressers are boys rather than adult men, and the text emphasizes their slenderness, absence of beards, and high voices as contributions to the success of their female impersonation. Since much medical thinking of the time regarded both women and youths as imperfect or as-yet-undeveloped males, the gender identity of adolescents such as Agesilan and Arlanges could be seen as already fluid even before the adoption of their scheme. And musical boys provided one of the most legible instances of transvestism in Renaissance culture, in that singing boys in feminine dress were regularly seen on stage. As Richmond Barbour has observed, boys' sexual indeterminacy formed an important basis of early modern theater's erotic play. (62) This too is the function of the transvestite singers in Amadis, whose interactions in and out of disguise with other characters of both sexes generate a catalogue of potential sexual combinations and furnish readers with a wide range of erotic identifications. Music thus figures prominently in a world where gender confusion functions to stimulate the erotic imagination, rendering novel reading itself an erotic activity--one of the qualities Amadis' detractors condemned. Gohory insistently foregrounds this aspect of the plot by his use of language, referring to the boys as "she" in feminine garb but frequently shifting to "he" when describing their thoughts or motivations. He playfully juxtaposes the opposing gendered pronouns and adjectives in a way that invites, or even forces, reader attention and contributes to the potency of the "transvestite effect," a term used by Marjorie Garber to evoke the power of cross-dressing not only to disturb gender categories but to challenge the stability of all such oppositional binaries. (63) Gohory consistently calls on this capacity in constructing the relationships between his principal characters.

Amadis' transvestite youths provide erotic force, not only in the sense of sexual stimulation, but also in the wider terms embraced by occult understandings of eros, for they offered Gohory scope to emphasize notions of resemblance and sympathy through images of androgyny. The androgyne was a significant figure in Neoplatonic philosophy and in occult and alchemical thought: both traditions are active here. The androgyne exhibits characteristics of both doubleness and incompleteness, both in its original form as a creature combining both sexes, and in its yearning for its absent half following its division. (64) Agesilan can thus not only stand for a failure of stable, gendered oppositions, but can serve to evoke the mutual longing of like for like in nature. His character also suggests the Ficinian use of the androgyne image to symbolize the soul's desire for reunion with the divine essence. In alchemical literature, the androgyne represents the union of the passive feminine principle associated with the moon with the active, masculine solar principle. While the resemblance of Agesilan's adolescent voice and body to a girl's is heightened by feminine dress, the web of allusions attached to Diane's name projects her in turn as virile woman, the huntress goddess Diana of classical myth, and associates her with the moon, icon of instability and mutation; her pursuit of the masculine occupation of the hunt also involves a form of cross-dressing. (65) In the preface to book 11, Gohory further links transvestism and gender ambiguity to divine ceremonies of the cult of Diana: the heroine Diane de Guindaye is urged to pay tribute to her twin Diane de Poitiers, accompanied by her Agesilan "disguised as a damsel, as long ago in a certain country men sacrificed to the goddess of that name in women's clothing, and women in men's." (66)

The interchangeability of Diane and Agesilan as unstable, bigendered figures is enhanced by Gohory's exaggeration of their likeness to each other. (67) Similarity also connects the other pair of lovers, Arlanges and Cleofile, and in their case the resemblance is explicitly linked to the androgyne image when Arlanges exclaims "Because [we are] so similar in body and soul, they join in a perfect union, almost of two in one, that the ancients called homfenin." (68) Agesilan not only looks exactly like Diane but sounds like her: his transvestism is a musical impersonation as well, for he must sing convincingly as a woman. When Sidonie first hears him, she immediately likens the performance to her daughter's, and claims that Daraide was destined to serve Diane, "to whom your exclusive service is due more than to anyone else, given the excellence in music you will find in her, answering your own." (69) In fact Agesilan and Arlanges sing only as Daraide and Garaye, never as men, so that their musicianship is an essential component of their androgynous identities, confirming music's power to transcend, or even efface, difference. (70) Agesilan and Diane, Arlanges and Cleofile are set up as ambiguously gendered pairs whose mutual desire is a manifestation of the natural principle of sympathy, the yearning of like for like; the visual and sonic correspondences between them construct avenues through which eros may invisibly course to create sympathetic effects. Gohory does not make an explicit comparison to sounding lutes as he had done in his translation of Amadis book 10, but the analogy with sympathetic vibration seems clear. (71)


Music's capacity to open sympathetic channels, not only between people but in productive alignment with cosmic forces, was central to its value as natural magic. In his musical prefaces Gohory emphasizes the need for human alignment with the music of the spheres: similarly, in book 11 of Amadis he is concerned with demonstrating the planetary significance of the novel's musical performances. He sets out the astrological foundation of the romance in chapter 2, when he describes the enchanted castle where Diane is imprisoned. This section does not figure in the Spanish model, but was created by Gohory as part of a thorough reworking of the novel's opening: its early placement in the narrative is designed to provide an interpretive key to the entire book. (72) The castle is constructed at Sidonie's command by the magician-architect Cinistides, following an astrological plan. Three buildings make up the donjon de Diane (castle-keep of Diane) which contains the palaces of Venus and Mercury and is governed by the third and richest palace, devoted to Diane and the moon. Four other buildings mark the corners of the surrounding wall: the most elaborate is the palace of Phoebus, the sun, while the others are consecrated to Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The palace of Phoebus is as yet uninhabited, for it is reserved for the hero who will one day unite with Diane. It represents both the ultimate goal of the hero's quest, and the projected union of sun and moon.

Gohory's elaborate description of the seven palaces assigns to each activities, decorations (paintings, statues, and stained-glass windows), and a small room (cabinet) of related objects appropriate to its governing planet:

Each planet is further associated with a metal, used for the utensils of the appropriate palace, and a color, in which all the tablecloths, draperies, hangings, and carpets are rendered. As Rosanna Gorris has shown, Gohory was here drawing on Colonna's description of the marvelous palace of Queen Eleutherilide in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, where the decorations evoke the seven planets, and a lavish banquet features seven vessels of different materials and seven tablecloths of different colors. Gohory's palace differs, however, in that the associations of materials and colors follow the alchemists' planetary attributes, linking the seven planets to the seven common metals and to the seven colors taken by metal during the steps of the alchemical process. (73) Music's place in the dizzyingly multilayered symbolism of the chapter is in the palace of Phoebus, which it shares with the alchemists' supreme metal and the Paracelsians' ultimate cure--gold--and with the herbal medicines made through distillation: "At last there was the most excellent [palace] of all, that of Phoebus: of which the furniture was of gold; a cabinet of all the instruments of music: another of all waters, oils and unguents of medicine: for which the fair garden furnished the herbs, gums and fruits, its squares apportioned according to their diverse properties, one for wounds, another for fevers, here the hot plants, here the cold and so on for the others." (74) Alchemy, music, and the therapeutic use of plants--elements that would later occupy Gohory's Lycium Philosophal--are united under the sign of Apollo. Gohory aligns himself with the solar emphasis of Ficino's astrological thinking as well as with Apollo's association with music and medicine in ancient myth. For Ficino all music fell principally into the sun's domain even though particular musical performances could be adapted to reflect other planetary attributes. (75) The sun also played a central role in Ficinian therapeutic concepts: not only was Apollo the god of medicine, but Ficino believed that the melancholy effect of Saturn on the human spirit was best counteracted by the sun's beneficent force. Among the principal ways of attracting solar influence was the performance of Orphic Hymns. For Ficino, music was a mind medicine, its healing effects on the spirit similar to those obtained by plant remedies for bodily ills.

Significantly for Gohory, a related understanding of music--shorn of its astrological element--arises from Paracelsus's sole discussion of the art in his early treatise De religione perpetua. Here Paracelsus compares the different kinds of music that can be used to treat mental ailments to the variety of plants the physician has available in the garden for medical use, explicitly remarking an equivalence that Gohory projects symbolically through the two cabinets of his solar palace. (76) The somewhat static image of harmonious proportion as a sign of general health here gives way to a representation of music as an active therapeutic agent, used similarly to, and in concert with, other healing tools both medical and magical. In the context of Paracelsian healing, the similitude of music and lovesickness is an advantage, rendering erotic melancholy particularly susceptible to musical treatment: for Gohory, as we will see, musical performances inflame desire, but music also potentially transforms desire's most damaging effects by channelling it towards spiritual goals. (77)

In light of the Paracelsian principle of healing through likeness, Gohory's handling of the scene in which Arlanges first recognizes Agesilan's lovesickness--triggered by Diane's portrait alone at this stage in the narrative--is significant. Gohory rewrites this episode as a consultation peppered with medical terms, in which the physician Arlanges first diagnoses his cousin's complaint and then proposes a series of remedies. Finally realizing that Agesilan is dangerously ill, Arlanges exclaims that they must seek out Diane herself, for "one of our physicians writes, that this wound [of love] is similar to that of the scorpion, and it is necessary (as they say) to take a hair of the beast that did the damage." (78) He then proposes their transformation into female musicians as the means of circumventing Diane's imprisonment: that is, the remedy involves both a physical and a metaphysical rapprochement with the malady's cause.

Gohory's most obvious evocation of musical healing in the subsequent narrative occurs in an episode where a musical cure is proposed for one of Daraide's lovesick swoons. Diane's attendant helps her to revive Daraide and then suggests that Diane pick up her lute as a further restorative: "Then [Lardenie] entreated the princess, in payment for the faithful service of the patient, to consent to take up the lute to delight her, to try and find some harmony that could cure her ills, like [the harmony] used by David the Hebrew for Saul, and in a certain country, for those who are bitten by serpents called Tarantulas." (79) Tarantism--the use of rites involving music to treat patients bitten by venomous spiders--was widespread in Southern Italy in the Renaissance. It was the most common contemporary example of an effective musical cure for a physical ailment, one whose symptoms often included uncontrollable erotic longing. Ficino includes an analysis of tarantism in the De vita to illustrate the "Phoebean and medical" powers of music: his discussion is taken over by Agrippa in his De occulta philosophia, a text Gohory also knew well. (80) The songs of David were a frequently cited (and reassuringly biblical) example of musical therapy for mental ills. Gohory's insertion of examples of musical healing--neither the reference to tarantism or to the psalms figures in the Spanish model--forms part of a substantial reworking of this chapter to include several similar passages. (81) However, this episode is unique in the text: more frequent are descriptions of musical performances whose effect on performers and auditors is not explicitly presented as medical, though they act on the human spirit consistently with Ficinian astrology and music-spirit theory. Following Ficino--as well as Agrippa and later writers who relied on related ideas in their occult writings--the songs resonate with the astral affinities of their texts and performance settings: if all music is solarian, specific performances draw on other planetary influences to achieve their effects.

Most of the musical performances are placed in the sphere of Venus, the tutelary planet of love. They often take place in the palace of Diane, under the influence of Venus, Mercury, and the moon; or, more frequently, in the gardens of the palace of Venus. The erotic associations of gardens were well established in romance, and descriptions of fountains and birdsong--elements similarly boasting longstanding libidinous connotations--usually appear as part of the setting, as in the opening of Gohory's largely new chapter 21, "Concerning the pastime of lute-playing that Diane enjoyed with Daraide and Garaye, and concerning their conversations together": "Diane, seeing herself in possession of two damsels so much to her liking, took herself after dinner to frolic in the garden of the palace of Venus, which seemed to our two maidens the most beautiful [garden] they had ever heard of, especially the glade that was right in the middle, where birds of all kinds came willingly in as great a number as one could have assembled in an aviary, and put forth a marvellous melody: the lovely fountain flowed under the grove where the princess went to sit surrounded by her ladies. Among whom Lardenie said to her that the place was suitable for playing music because of the fauxbourdon of the noisy water and the warbling of the little birds." (82) Similar scenes, in which women perform music in natural settings heavily loaded with sexual imagery, feature in earlier installments of the Amadis series. In this context, the description of Diane at the start of the novel's main action as a musician in the garden of her palace, marks her as a focus of implicitly sexual amorous longing. As in earlier volumes, music helps define the borders of a hypereroticized feminine world, inviting male readers to indulge in voyeuristic fantasy through identification with the heroes: here, cross-dressed boys who eavesdrop by impersonating the female inhabitants. (83)

Throughout chapter 2, Gohory assimilates this imagery to his astrological and alchemical allegory, which further brings music into an arena defined by sensual pleasure. The palace of Venus evokes smell through its perfumes and touch though its balms and baths (which the boys will share with Diane and her other attendants, leading in one instance to a near-discovery of Agesilan's male sex). Later in the text the palace serves as the site for lavish banquets, which Gohory characterizes as appropriate for "Venusian persons" such as the two principal pairs of lovers. (84) Again a significant intertext is the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, whose erotic dreamscape is similarly populated by troops of beautiful women who make music in gardens, invite Poliphilus into marvellous baths, and feed him exquisite foods, and which concludes with his appearance in the heavenly court of Venus. (85) In entering this sphere Agesilan and Arlanges become subject to its astral influence, an influence expressed by the songs they will listen to and perform under the auspices of Venus.


The description of the child-goddess Diane's performances in the garden is the book's first evocation of musical enchantment, linked to the myth of the Sirens, whose voices exercized absolute command over their listeners. The casting of principal characters as musicians in book 11 allows them in turn to assume the Orphic role of powerful magus. Comparisons with Orpheus appear in nearly all sixteenth-century descriptions of gifted musicians, but often without particular emphasis on the occult dimensions of his legend. In contrast, Gohory underlines the magical qualities of successful musical performances. His vocabulary resonates with terms employed by occult writers to describe the power of the magus: words such as nets and chains, which represent audiences as literally spellbound. (86) His descriptions resemble contemporary images of Hercules, another magus figure, often shown with chains joining his mouth to listeners' ears to symbolize the persuasive power of eloquence. (87) In Amadis the chains are formed not of speech but of music, and listeners have their ears chained, nailed, or hung from the players' instruments. Tyard used similar imagery in describing the reactions of Francesco da Milano's audience--the listeners "nailing themselves ... to the strings"--as in Tyard's description, the characters in Amadis are powerless until released by the performer. (88) When they acquiesce to Sidonie's desire to hear a song, Daraide and Garaye transfix their listeners for the music's duration: "[Sidonie] wished to hear another song, which was so sweet of tone and harmony, with the grace of the voices and the ingenuity of the words, that the Queen and her damsels remained silent and immobile, as if they had their ears enchained to the instruments of our two maidens." (89) "Enchaining" is what happens in turn to Daraide as soon as she meets Diane: for as the lute singer uses music to bind her listeners, Diane uses love to fasten the musician with similar "chains" and "bonds." The play on the words enchain (enchaisner), enchant (enchanter), and sing (chanter), and the more general shared vocabulary between Gohory's descriptions of compelling musical magic and of the forceful control love exercises over mind and body, again underlines similarities in process and effect. (90)

Other song performances feature ritual dimensions that recall Ficino's recommendations about the importance of correct ceremonial trappings for the efficacious performance of astral songs. (91) For example, when Daraide performs for the King and Queen of Galdap, King Galinides first places six white candles in silver candlesticks around the fountain that serves as altar for the rite of musical performance. Lunar symbolism is established by the nocturnal setting, the colors white and silver, and the music's inspiration by the love of Diane. The scene concludes with a naming ceremony--a crucial ritual in Renaissance occult philosophy and in Paracelsism--when the king falls to his knees in capitulation to the magus, whose powerful spell has enabled a moment of divine revelation:
  At nightfall, Galinides had six torches of white wax in as many silver
  chandeliers placed around the fountain, where he went to sit with his
  wife and Daraide, whom he begged to enjoy herself as in a land of
  friends without standing on any ceremony, and to sound the lute to
  avoid melancholy: which she did so charmingly, helping the instrument
  with her throat and playing a song so heartrending accompanied with
  such sorrowful gestures, that all three dissolved in tears, though
  moved by different causes. The king and queen had their ears as if
  hung from the strings of the lute, and seemed to see and hear things
  more divine than mortal. Such that Galinides in extreme transport
  kneeled before her exclaiming: "O goddesses Venus and Pallas Athena,
  forgive me if I transfer the honor and veneration that I owe you to
  this maiden, whom you have so abundantly infused with your graces."
  Then bestowing upon her a name formed of the two deities, "I adore
  thee," he said, "earthly Palla-Venus, praying thee from now on to
  grant my wishes and accord me my humble requests." (92)

Here again the power relations of the characters are reversed in the subjection of the rulers of Galdap through music (Agesilan may be a prince, but he is masquerading as a woman servant). The musician achieves not simple temporal power but divine status: through musical performance Daraide becomes the goddess Palla-Venus, worshipped by a follower in an ecstatic trance. The vision of the divine accorded through music is the revelation that permits the king to perceive and name the enchanter. The astral symbolism of the dual name resonates with philosophia, the wisdom based on the union of knowledge and love central to Renaissance Neoplatonism, and with the figure of the learned female patron under whose auspices Gohory's Amadis translations were undertaken. (93)

Gohory's description of singer and listeners dissolving into tears at a sad song helps to disclose how musical spells work. The "different causes" that move performer and listeners are the different love objects--Daraide is in love with Diane, while the King and Queen of Galdap are both hopelessly smitten with Daraide herself--that, however, trigger the same emotions, rendering each character susceptible to the music's power. Gohory's ideas here again rest on Ficinian music-spirit theory, which links song's mimetic ability, its capacity for the imitation of affective states, to its power to attract and transmit astral influence. Performing music expressive of the emotional disposition of a planet affects both singer and listeners with those qualities through the action of music on the human spirit. (94) Thus when Daraide sings to Diane for the first time, Gohory's account emphasizes the affective quality of the song's delivery. Daraide performs "Nonobstant qu'Amadis esprouve," a chanson on the hopelessness of her love for Diane, with tears and sighs appropriate to the sense of the text and to the soft voluptuousness of Venusian love-yearning. With eyes and voice fixed on Diane, she is able to arouse powerful corresponding feelings: "And when on the second time through [Daraide] mingled her silvery voice with the sound of the instrument, keeping her gaze fixed on [Diane], who sometimes saw pearly tears fall from her eyes, and great sighs erupt from her breast when she encountered sorrowful words: such that the princess felt herself excessively moved by a passion thereafter incurable, weeping and sighing in company." (95) Descriptions such as this resonate with Agrippa's comment that songs "pronounced opportunely with vehement affection ... and with the impetus of the imagination, confer the greatest power on the enchanter and immediately transmit it to the thing enchanted, directing it and binding it wherever the emotions and words of the enchanter are aimed." (96) Here the resemblance between Daraide and Diane is exploited through an emotionally charged performance that transmits astral influence through sympathetic channels from singer to listener, causing Diane's spirit in particular to respond "de compagnie" (in company) to Daraide's passions.


Listeners' reactions to musical magic are summed up in the word Gohory uses to describe King Galinides's condition: "transported," an experience of temporary departure from oneself, like the "ravishment" Gohory claimed for his own response to Lassus's music. Musical enchantments in Gohory's Amadis induce trance states that permit the revelation of celestial truth--such as the "things more divine than mortal" seen and heard by the King and Queen of Galdap. Song is the prompt that awakens the soul and encourages it to loosen its ties with the body. For example, when Sidonie performs her own nocturnal rite of retreating to her seaside balcony to contemplate the moon and lament the loss of her lover, Daraide and Garaye conceal themselves beneath the window and listen to her plaints. A complex flow of sympathy inspires Daraide, soon joined by Garaye, to play and sing the chanson "Comme l'argentine face de la Lune" (Like the silvery face of the moon): "Daraide, who heard [Sidonie] and similarly reflected on the moon and Diana, reminding her of her own Diane whose absence haunted [Daraide's] thoughts by night, began to play the lute, and Garaye to play as well, with such melodious sweetness (mixing their voices amid [the sound]) that the Queen was completely transported in pleasure by that unhoped-for harmony: which seemed, I know not how, to suck her soul through her ears, in the same way as she felt on hearing the song of her daughter." (97) For Sidonie, the transformation of passion into song literally sucks her soul through her ears, the narrator's "je ne scay comment" (I know not how) emphasizing the occult nature of the operation. When the song finishes, "all atremble" she sends a page to fetch the singers, her bodily vibration a testimony to the impact and nature of the experience. (98)

Gohory's elaborate description of the exchange of songs that frames Daraide and Diane's first meeting provides a more detailed dissection of the soul's ability temporarily to depart from the body. Daraide's reactions, triggered first by Diane's visible beauty and then by her musical skill, reveal how Ficinian conceptions of the furors inform this experience. As for Ficino, the full spiritual trajectory is available only to male characters (however disguised), though women play a crucial enabling role. The episode begins with Agesilan's first view of Diane. Brought to her chambers by Sidonie, he is ravished by the sight of her: "At the shock of seeing [Diane] Daraide was ravished up to the third heaven (which is the sphere of Venus) and began to say between her teeth, 'Immortal God save me, for I see here the most beautiful and exquisite death.'" (99) The planetary association identifies Daraide's condition as a love madness, which, as in Ficino's accounts of the amatory furor, stimulates an experience of soul loss. Alarmed by her pallor, Diane takes Daraide's hand and finds it cold and trembling; when asked what is the matter, "[Daraide] was unable to respond with a single word: thus she remained with her eyes open as if immobile and deprived of her senses, except for her heart which beat so hard that it seemed it would break and force open her chest." (100) Diane and her ladies minister to Daraide until she "returns to herself" and her temporarily absent soul is restored to its bodily frame. (101)

Daraide's subsequent actions support Ficino's understanding of the furors as simultaneously enabling soul loss and acting as sign of divine possession. (102) Once restored from her faint, Daraide's amatory frenzy manifests itself as song in a performance that cannot be matched by someone not similarly possessed: Garaye refuses to join in as she had before, saying that since she is not in love, her "cold playing" will not harmonize with Daraide's. (103) This is the prelude to Daraide's rendition of "Nonobstant qu'Amadis esprouve," so effective in stirring Diane's passions. When Diane and her two musicians then descend from the palace to the garden of Venus, an attendant suggests that Diane herself should now perform. Diane no sooner begins her song--"De jour en jour ma vie diminue," on the suffering caused by love--than Daraide is ravished again, so much that her soul "seemed to shatter the ties of the body, seeking issue to go and find the one who would draw it as a magnet draws iron." (104) An alarmed Garaye begs Diane to stop playing if she wishes to avoid casting Daraide into another ecstasy. Diane breaks off and asks Daraide what has happened, to which Daraide responds with a description of the song's incitement of desire for celestial union through love: "'What,' said Diane to Daraide, 'my dear, where are you dwelling?' 'In paradise and in hell,' she responded, 'in hell lies my body, that my soul torments and desires to abandon, so rendering it often thus dejected and numbed. And [my soul] then feels itself as if in a celestial glory, taking part in a spiritual voluptuousness in its incorporeal thoughts, wishing nothing but to be joined inseparably to your own.'" (105) Daraide then begins to weep, and explains her tears--the physical signs of her inner alteration--as a distillation operated by love: "that which [the body] comes to distill from the eyes are the vital vapors that the cruel fire of the heart exhales and pushes out of the top." (106) Similar analogies assimilating spiritual transformation to alchemical processes figure in the occult literature: Agrippa, for example, explicitly compares the purifying action of Ficinian love madness to the purification of substances obtained in his laboratory. (107) In Daraide's case, the agent that produces the tears is not only the alchemists' fire: it is Diane's song that has inflamed Daraide's heart, setting in motion the mystical alchemy through which her soul is transformed.

In these scenes, the transport induced by music appears as a primarily spiritual experience that begins with stimulation of sight and hearing--the higher, immaterial senses in Neoplatonic thought. Other bodily action is limited to the pallor, shaking, and fainting that mark the soul's departure or return. Although this may be unexpected in a novel that regularly features explicit sexual material, and which so many contemporaries condemned as lascivious, long deferral of consummation characterizes many of the central relationships in the Amadis series, including, most notably, that of Amadis and Oriane. Diane and Agesilan occupy a similar Neo-Petrarchan position, one relatively easy to assimilate to the strand of Neoplatonic love theory that emphasizes chastity as a component of the striving for the divine. In book 11, their physical interaction is restricted to passionate kisses, though the erotic effect for readers is heightened by transvestism and the characters' frequent discussions of same-sex attraction in these scenes. (108) However, also characteristic of much French courtly Neoplatonism was an effort to assimilate sexual experience to spiritual ascent, a vein of erotic spirituality best represented by Leone Ebreo, whose Dialoghi d'amore (1535) was widely disseminated in France and whose medical, musical, and occult interests were close to Gohory's own. (109) In Gohory's Amadis the integration of sex, magic, and Neoplatonic perfect love is most seamlessly achieved in the relationship between the couple Arlanges and Cleofile, whose apotheosis occurs in a pair of new chapters Gohory added to close the book.

Arlanges has left Guindaye to accompany Cleofile back to Lemnos, disclosing his true identity en route; though Cleofile returns his love and pledges marriage, she insists that he maintain his disguise for the time being so that he may remain with her without compromising her reputation, and once in Lemnos she turns a deaf ear to his repeated pleas for sex. Finally, however, Cleofile takes advantage of a hunt to ride away from her entourage, allowing Arlanges to follow her to an isolated spot in the forest. Their sexual union sets off a full-blown Neoplatonic spiritual ravishment:
  [A]ll their transported and bewildered senses gave way to their souls
  to unite by means of their bodies, each remaining dead in the self and
  alive in the other, almost drunk with the liquor of voluptuousness
  (called the nectar of the gods), almost melting with sweetness as wax
  does in fire, almost ravished in ecstasy, embracing each other with a
  greedy ardor as if they wished to be entirely one inside the other,
  and by this means enjoying the greatest good of this world, that which
  only true lovers know. And whereas the imperfection of this flesh
  envelops the spirit, such that one part taking pleasure deprives the
  other of the rays of love, as when the sun warming and illuminating
  the earth in one place and hemisphere leaves the other in cold and
  darkness; to them it happened differently, and not in a bestial
  fashion, since the corporeal senses were like sleeping slaves, while
  the mistress souls caressed and searched out each other as closely as
  their prisons allowed. (110)

The bodily reactions that accompany the lovers' ecstasy--trembling, pallor, racing hearts, and swooning--duplicate those that listeners feel on hearing effective musical performances. The equation of music with transcendent sexual love in both process and effect is emphasized by the close of the final chapter, in which the lovers' spiritual union is retranslated into song. Though Cleofile has clearly taken part willingly in the tryst, she has regrets on returning to court, and reproaches her lover for the loss of her virginity. Arlanges (back in disguise as Garaye) reassures her by composing a lute song recounting their experience, with their names concealed so that only the two lovers understand its significance. Its text--a lengthy piece in seventeen quatrains--duplicates in verse the physical and spiritual progression of the previous prose narrative. "Arlang" finds "Clyo" in another version of the erotic dream: she is lying in a shady garden by a stream, where birds sing in harmony with the water's sound, and she is calling his name in her sleep, her sighs the evidence of her hidden desires. He awakens her by uncovering and kissing her breast; the removal of her clothing to reveal her body initiates the mystic experience, which continues with her enthusiastic kiss in response and culminates in ecstatic union:
  While the rosy mouths
  of the lovers touch each other,
  their spirits are merged together
  as closely as body to body is joined.
  The two souls are now but one,
  breathing a common breath,
  and by this union of spirits
  their limbs are struck by furor.
  For the soul of Arlang enters
  right to the center of Clyo's body,
  and her soul places itself in him
  to make an exchange for his own. (111)

This song, which Cleofile hears as a "secret discourse of their love," provides a musico-poetic enactment of their spiritual enlightenment, in which song becomes a mode of reexperiencing the state induced by sexual union within perfect love. (112) Gohory is here drawing on music's mimetic capacity as the lovers relive their emotions; and the song incites them to repeat their experience, for Cleofile's delight in the song is so great that she abandons her reproaches and allows their physical relationship to resume. The lovers thereafter meet regularly in secluded spots for sex and, in tribute to the forest that first welcomed them, they carve the chanson's pseudonyms in the trees, surrounding their names with love knots so that their love is celebrated in and perpetuated by nature, growing as the trunks expand through the life of the trees. (113)

Gohory added these chapters and the song in a complete deviation from his Spanish model: they figure as a summation in some ways corresponding to the interpretive key offered by Gohory's added chapter on the enchanted castle at the novel's outset. It thus makes sense to determine how the "Song of Arlanges" might fit into the larger patterns of his occult allegory. The final quatrains of the song shift from a description of the lovers' union to address, first the reader-listener, who is invited to remember his or her own sexual experiences and to compare them with the scene; and then the goddess Venus, invoked to memorialize the characters'--and the reader's--erotic fulfillment:
  True lovers, only you know
  (who have tasted this honey)
  how a double will
  unites, enveloped in voluptuousness.
  Venus (from whom I have my triumph),
  to consecrate the memory of it,
  I hang on the altar of your temple
  a twin heart, model of those two. (114)

While appeals to Venus are a commonplace in love poetry, for Gohory the goddess was also a planet--dissolved into each other as Diana and the moon--so that the song concludes with an astrological ritual involving a talisman, the double heart hung on Venus's altar. The chanson text is immediately followed by a cryptographic exercise, the carving of secret names and symbols on the trees: here it is significant that the pseudonyms of the song are chosen instead of the lovers' real names. Like Agrippa and Trithemius, two authors frequently cited in his writings, Gohory believed in the magical powers of talismans, words and names, and figures such as numbers and symbols: he criticized Ficino for failing to pursue the full implications of their use in magic. (115) Gohory's later work at the Lycium Philosophal included practical experiments with talismans, as well as music-making in a "galerie historiee" (a room decorated with figures in paint or stained glass) whose decorations were a mode of encrypting sacred knowledge. Thus his Amadis, unlike its Spanish model, closes with a super-effective magical ceremony, in which sexual consummation within perfect love sparks a spiritual transformation whose essence is then distilled into songs, talismans, and symbols that gesture toward the larger cosmic significance of the experience.


Gohory's understanding of music is characteristic of a Hermeticist worldview, in which the universe is a book to be read for the divine wisdom secreted there, and is available to be deciphered by those properly informed and aware. This integrative thinking has consequences for the gendered aspects of knowledge production, for although masculine intellect and spirituality continue to occupy a superior position, Gohory's cosmology offers considerable scope for the feminine and sensual aspects of experience as well. Another effect of this way of thinking on its initiates was a need to recognize the potential of even the smallest, most insignificant, act or thing to convey an aspect of the divine intelligence. This lies behind Gohory's reluctance to make neat divisions between the recreational and the worthwhile, the sensual and the intellectual: he prefers instead to locate the value of experience within the individual, who either is or is not capable of understanding the deep significance of sensory impressions, and is or is not able to make meaningful connections between different aspects of daily life and the world beyond immediate human perception.

My exegesis of the musical performances in L'onzieme livre d'Amadis de Gaule conforms with the reading practices Gohory wished to foster and relies upon knowledge of the principles being invoked as well as recognition of various intertexts. How many of the French courtiers who read the volume would have done the same? In his essay "On How Reading the Amadis Books Is No Less Pernicious for Young People, than Reading Machiavelli Is for the Old," the Protestant military chief Francois de La Noue claimed that most readers could not comprehend any deep wisdom hidden under the romance's seductive surface. The essay--a rare foray by La Noue into literary criticism--is largely devoted to two objections to Amadis, which he characterizes as the work of "a courtier magician, clever and adroit." La Noue first argues that the presentation of both good and bad magic in Amadis is harmful, as magic is satanic in and of itself and not through its purpose. La Noue's second major complaint involves Amadis' lasciviousness: he charges that its titillating erotic scenes encourage immoral behavior in young people and are especially detrimental to female chastity. To those who claim that wisdom can be drawn from fables, La Noue responds that the reading required to unveil this wisdom is available only to those rich in "doctrine, aage et experience." (116) Young courtiers, in contrast, are attracted by the novels' heady mix of sex and adventure, and never realize the dangers of swallowing whole these surface aspects of the work. La Noue's critique of the use of romance to sustain complex intellectual arguments never mentions Gohory--who died more than a decade before the Discours was published--but does appear to address directly, and then dismiss, the claims for Amadis he put forth. (117)

Nevertheless, the concept of myth and fable as modes of transmitting occult knowledge had a persistent legacy in alchemical thinking. At the French court, esoteric writers such as Beroalde de Verville (1556-1626) continued to produce romances amid other occult texts. Music retained a privileged status in Hermetic writings: in particular, courtly Paracelsians continued to be deeply interested in music for at least the next century, and several important musical figures were attracted to occult thought. (118) But these tendencies were not limited to intellectual circles, and suggest that, despite La Noue's protests and his own cryptographic tendencies, Gohory's work helped Hermetic concepts to achieve a wider currency. The French court of the later sixteenth century was one of the European strongholds of Platonism, Hermeticism, and Paracelsian medicine, often in violent opposition to the received religious and scientific opinion represented by the theologians and medical faculty of the Sorbonne. (119) Recognizing that the Hermetic ideas circulating at the French court were not restricted to aspects of culture defined by strict notions of science, medicine, and religion, but could encompass both therapeutic and occult understandings of imaginative fiction and music as well, can substantially enrich our interpretation of early modern accounts of romance reading and of musical performance.

A few cases from late sixteenth-century France can serve as examples. When unable to sleep, Henri IV (1553-1610) had pages from Amadis read to him--not by a secretary, poet, or gentleman-in-waiting, but by his chief physician, Andre Du Laurens. A recent study views this as an example of how the most celebrated anatomical writer of the period was treated as a valet: but can not romance reading here be seen as a therapeutic gesture rather than a merely servile one? In a widely-disseminated treatise first published in 1594, Du Laurens recommended "pleasant fables" for the treatment of erotic melancholy, and music as a remedy for all melancholic diseases. (120) According to Brantome (ca. 1540-1614), Henri IV's rejected wife Marguerite de Valois (1553-1615) transformed her exile by a program of self-treatment that involved both voracious reading (including vernacular fiction such as romances) and music-making. Brantome claimed that she wrote poetry and then set it to music that she sang herself to her own lute accompaniment, and then taught to choirboys in her service so that they could perform the songs for her. In his romanticized account this appears as a species of self-tuning that successfully metamorphoses Marguerite's "unfortunate days" into a praiseworthy "tranquil life." (121) An occult understanding of song can help make sense of some of Henri IV's actions when he became smitten by the young Charlotte de Montmorency (1594-1650), Princesse de Conde, after seeing her in a ballet rehearsal in early 1609. Henri, whose sexual appetites and need for domination were notorious, publicly swore to have Charlotte as mistress despite her family's objections: both she and her husband were forced to flee the court for Brussels to escape him. (122) Between July 1609 and April 1610, Henri commanded his court poet, Francois de Malherbe, to write several poems dedicated to her, to be set by the master of his chamber music, the lute singer Pierre Guedron. In a letter to Nicolas de Peiresc, Malherbe describes how upon receiving his poem one evening, Henri immediately sent for Guedron and demanded that he begin the musical setting that very night. (123) Henri's urgency is striking and might be read as in part arising from belief in song as both erotic cure and potential charm--a belief consonant with Henri's well-known confidence in occult and Paracelsian remedies generally.

Gohory's work is thus both symptomatic of, and a contribution to, a French court culture in which both music and romance could figure as far more than mere recreation or trivial fancy, demonstrating how both spiritual and sensual aspects and associations might be encompassed in their meanings. For Gohory, music could bridge divides between study and pleasure, sense and imagination, body and spirit, and the natural world and the unseen forces informing its manifestations. It was both a principal model for the macrocosm-microcosm relationships that underpinned his cosmology; and, through its ability to arouse, imitate, and channel desire, a tool for manipulating these relationships to beneficial effect. In his Amadis, music is a mode of self-realization with links to other medical, alchemical, and occult processes of subjective transformation: songs are potent drugs like those produced by chemical distillation, and powerful charms akin to talismans, incantations, and other magical spells. At the same time, Gohory's work allows a glimpse of how occult understandings could be applied to music as heard within practical contexts. For Gohory--as for many of his courtly readers--song was an important means of achieving spiritual goals, but without cutting it off from its sonic and embodied aspects in the world.


Appendix 1: Gohory and Amadis de Gaule (first editions only)

1543: Author of Latin liminary poem to Le quatriesme livre d'Amadis de Gaule (Paris: Janot, Longis, and Sertenas), adapted by Nicolas Herberay des Essarts.

1552: Adaptor of Le dixiesme livre d'Amadis de Gaule, auquel (continuant les haultz faitz d'armes et prouesses admirables de dom Florisel de Niquee, et des invincibles Anaxartes et la pucelle Alastraxeree sa soeur) est traite de la furieuse guerre qui fut entre les Princes Gaulois et Grecz pour le recouvrement de la belle Helene d'Apolonie (Paris: Groulleau, Longis, and Sertenas), dedicated to Marguerite de France.

1554: Adaptor of L'onzieme livre d'Amadis de Gaule, traduit d'espagnol en francoys, continuant les entreprises chevalereuses et aventures estranges, tant de luy que des Princes de son sang: ou reluisent principalement les hautz faitz d'armes de Rogel de Grece, et ceux d'Agesilan de Colchos, au long pourchas de l'amour de Diane, la plus belle Princesse du monde (Paris: Groulleau, Longis, and Sertenas), dedicated to Diane de Poitiers, duchesse de Valentinois.

1571: Adaptor of Le trezieme livre d'Amadis de Gaule traittant les hauts faits d'armes du gentil chevalier Sylves de la Selve fils de l'Empereur Amadis de Grece et de la Royne de Thebes Finistee: avec les aventures estranges d'armes et d'amours de Rogel de Grece, Agesilan de Colchos et autres, avenues sur l'entreprise et cours de la guerre du grand Roy Bultazar de Russie contre les Chrestiens (Paris: Breyer); dedicated to Catherine de Clermont, comtesse de Retz.

1574: Author of the preface to the reader and dedicatory epistle to Henriette de Cleves, duchesse de Nevers, in Le quatorzieme livre d'Amadis de Gaule (Paris: Du Pre), translated by Antoine Tyron.

Appendix 2: Jacques Gohory's Prefaces to Le Roy and Ballard Prints

1570: Latin liminary poem in Guillaume Costeley, Musique; dedicated by the composer to Charles IX, with secondary dedications to Catherine de Clermont and to Albert de Gondi.

1570: Latin epigram in Orlande de Lassus, Mellange on the portrait of Lassus and Latin elegy to Albert of Bavaria.

1570: French preface to the reader in Adrian Le Roy, Instruction de partir toute musique des huit divers tons en tablature de luth ... (no copy extant; known through the English translation, A briefe and plaine Instruction to set all musicke of divers Tunes in Tableture for the Lute, 1574); dedicated to Catherine de Clermont by Le Roy.

1571: Latin preface to Charles IX (in Superius, Quintus, and Bassus partbooks); reprint of the 1570 epigram on Lassus's portrait (in Contratenor partbook) in Lassus, Secundus liber modulorum, quinis vocibus.

1573: Latin preface to Reginald de Beaune (in Quintus) in Lassus, Tertius liber modulorum, quinis vocibus.

1573: Latin preface to Jacques Amyot (in Contratenor) in Lassus, Moduli sex septem et duodecim vocum.


Note: Sixteenth-century French editions of Amadis de Gaule are listed under the adapter's name: though these works are often cited as if they were simple translations, the additions and changes to the source texts are so extensive that the texts are better considered as versions, or even as new works.

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Les Amadis en France au XVIe siecle. Ed. Robert Aulotte. Paris, 2000.

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Augurelli, Giovanni Aurelio. Chrysopoeiae libri tres. Venice, 1515.

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______. "'No Women Are Indeed': The Boy Actor as Vocal Seductress in Late Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century English Drama." In Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture, ed. Leslie C. Dunn and Nancy A. Jones, 83-102. Cambridge, 1994.

______. "'For, Love's a Good Musician': Performance, Audition, and Erotic Disorders in Early Modern Europe." The Musical Quarterly 82 (1998): 614-53.

______. "Musical Treatments for Lovesickness: The Early Modern Heritage." In Music as Medicine (2000a), 213-45.

______. "'No Pill's Gonna Cure My Ill': Gender, Erotic Melancholy and Traditions of Musical Healing in the Modern West." In Musical Healing in Cultural Contexts, ed. Penelope Gouk, 113-36. Aldershot, 2000b.

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______. "The Earliest Treatise on Tobacco: Jacques Gohory's 'Instruction sur l'herbe Petum.'" Isis 28 (1938): 349-63.

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______. "La comtesse de Retz et l'air de cour des annees 1570." In Le concert des voix et des instruments a la Renaissance, ed. Jean-Michel Vaccaro, 299-315. Paris, 1995.

______. Courtly Song in Late Sixteenth-Century France. Chicago, 2000.

______. "Chivalric Romance, Courtly Love and Courtly Song: Female Vocality and Feminine Desire in the World of Amadis de Gaule." In Musical Voices of Early Modern Women: Many-Headed Melodies, ed. Thomasin LaMay, 63-96. Aldershot, 2005.

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*I am grateful to the British Academy for funding toward this research. I thank Leofranc Holford-Strevens and John Griffiths for help with Latin and Spanish translations. Thanks also to Rosanna Gorris-Camos and Virginia Krause for advice and references; and to Penelope Gouk, Marian Rothstein, Leofranc Holford-Strevens, Richard Freedman, Linda Austern, and an anonymous reader, for comments on early drafts.

(1) The French versions of Amadis de Gaule were based on Spanish (and later Italian) models, extensively adapted for a French readership; the first volume appeared in 1540, and sequels continued until 1615. On the French series in general, see Rothstein, 1999; Les Amadis en France. On the novel's decline in fortunes, see Simonin; specifically on the humanist backlash, see Krause, 121-42.

(2) Gohory, 1571, unfoliated preface: "estudes en subjets plus serieux et ardus"; "fabuleuses ... gayes et lascives."

(3) On Gohory's Amadis as mode of transmitting occult knowledge, see Gorris, 1996 and 2000; Gorris-Camos.

(4) Tomlinson thus deals almost exclusively with late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century Latin tracts on the philosophy of musical magic: he then analyzes early seventeenth-century works by Claudio Monteverdi to show how an understanding of early modern concepts of musical magic might inform a reading of Monteverdi's compositional practice. Austern, 2000a, points out that medical treatises never notate or indicate repertories for the music they recommend. Her compelling readings of specific pieces show how an awareness of contemporary concepts of erotic melancholy can enrich our perceptions of musical style, but are based on music chosen to illustrate this point rather than having an explicit connection to medical texts. Austern, 1998, 2000a, and 2000b, deals principally with musical therapeutics in early seventeenth-century English texts and images: though many of the basic concepts apply to Gohory's work as well, the settings for their deployment are very different from the French royal court.

(5) Gohory, 1554: for a list of extant copies, see Gorris-Camos, 292. Gohory's source text was Feliciano de Silva, Parte tercera de la Coronica del muy excelente principe Florisel de Niquea (Seville, 1546: a first edition, no longer extant, probably appeared in 1535): for a modern edition, see Silva, 1999. On Gohory's changes and additions, see Gorris-Camos, 301; Bowen, 1935, 237-52.

(6) In Boccaccio's Decameron, for example, each day of stories concludes with a song from a member of the company. Gohory cites Boccaccio as an explicit model in his prefaces. Examples of musical scenes with inserted song poems appear in Bembo, 8r-v, 24r-25v, 62v-63r. Similar episodes pervade influential examples of sixteenth-century pastoral romance, from Jacopo Sannazaro's Arcadia (first published in 1502, and then in French translation by Gohory's associate Jean Martin in 1544) to Jorge de Montemayor's Siete libros de la Diana (ca. 1559).

(7) Bowen, 1935, remains the most complete discussion of Gohory's works (see 597-606) and their sources.

(8) Walker, 96-106. More recent evaluations of his significance include Debus, 21-30; Baudry, 25-32; Kahn.

(9) See, for example, Polizzi; Matton.

(10) Before the 1990s, only the first volume of the French Amadis was available in a critical edition, and literary studies were few: O'Connor is a rare exception. Amadis has recently drawn more sustained attention, with a range of articles and two major books--Rothstein, 1999; Les Amadis en France--in the last decade, as well as an ongoing critical edition of the entire series (vols. 1 and 4 have appeared to date), published by Champion under the direction of Michel Bideaux.

(11) "The exception is Gouk, 2005, who argues for music as an essential component of Gohory's (and other early Paracelsians') thought and experimental practice. Walker, 99-100, mentions but does not pursue the musical dimension of Gohory's activities.

(12) Bowen, 1935, 529-53, lists Gohory's Amadis additions but considers them as poems rather than chanson texts.

(13) This biographical summary is based on Bowen, 1935, 2-108. On the chronology of Gohory's Paracelsism, see Kahn, 82-84: Gohory knew some of Paracelsus's work by the mid-1550s at the latest, as he claims to have discussed it with Jean Fernel (1497-1558). On Fernel's influence in establishing theories of occult remedies for disease, and his connection with Paracelsian ideas, see Brockliss and Jones, 128-38.

(14) Gohory, [1567?]. Kahn, 124, establishes the probable publication date: new editions appeared in Frankfurt and Basel the following year.

(15) Gohory apparently revised and corrected Jean Martin's French version of the Hypnerotomachia for the editions of 1554 and 1561: see Gorris, 2000, 129; Colonna, xviii-xxi. On Gohory's alchemical interpretations of Colonna, of the Golden Fleece, and of the Fontaine perilleuse, see Polizzi.

(16) Gohory, 1572, describes the Lycium: see also Bowen, 1938. Talismans are small objects engraved with symbols, believed to attract the astral influences of the planetary configurations under which they were made: they figured in Paracelsian thinking as well as the occult tradition.

(17) Gohory, 1572, unfoliated preface. Throughout the book, Gohory names the important visitors to his academy: he used its dedicatee, Giovanni Francisco Caraffa, as an intermediary to obtain Catherine de' Medici's approval to name the tobacco plant after her, clearly hoping to receive some reward.

(18) Herberay returned the favor by furnishing prefatory poetry for Gohory's translation of Machiavelli: Gorris, 2000, 128.

(19) Agrippa spent the years 1524 to 1527 in Lyon, and 1527 to 1528 in Paris, and was appointed as physician to Louise of Savoy: see Nauert, 83-103. On the appointment of alchemists to court posts more generally, see Smith, 2-3.

(20) Herberay dedicated his volumes to male royal and military patrons. The move to female dedicatees began with Gilles Boileau's dedication of book 9 to Mary of Hungary, and was part of a gradual feminization of the novel and its reading public: see Brooks, 2005, 65-66.

(21) The preface survives only in a 1574 English translation. Le Roy's first lute tutor was probably first published in France in 1567: it survives only in a 1568 English translation that does not contain material by Gohory. The second lute instruction, with Gohory's preface, probably appeared in 1570, as it is cited as a recent publication in Le Roy's preface to his Livre d'airs de cour of 1571. Material from all three books, including Gohory's preface to the second volume, was subsequently included in Le Roy's A briefe and plaine Instruction to set all musicke of divers Tunes in Tableture for the Lute (London, 1574), edited as Le Roy: see 1:ix-xiv, for a reconstruction of the bibliographical history. Gohory's preface is also edited in Lesure and Thibault, 33-35.

(22) See appendix 2. In addition to the volumes of Lassus's music, Le Roy's lute instruction uses chansons by Lassus to demonstrate intabulation techniques. Charles IX's attempts to lure Lassus from his post at the Bavarian court to service in France were cut short only by the monarch's death in 1574. Earlier that year, Charles awarded Lassus a pension of 1,200 livres tournois, more than any court musician was then earning: see Brooks, 2000, 101-02; Freedman, 177-81.

(23) On musical dedications to Catherine de Clermont, see Brooks, 1995; Brooks, 2005, 69-71. Diane de Poitiers was also apparently interested in music. She is described in contemporary sources as an able lute player, and was the dedicatee of a Le Roy and Ballard print of psalm settings by Pierre Certon in 1555: see Cazaux, 62-63.

(24) Gohory, 1571, unfoliated preface.

(25) Marguerite became Duchess of Savoy in 1559; her copy of the Mellange is held in Turin, Biblioteca Universitaria, Ris. Mus. IV, 28-30. The autograph dedication is transcribed in Balmas, 51. The copy was sent to Marguerite through her ambassador M. de Cre--whom Gohory had known in Rome in the 1550s--along with another book (almost certainly Gohory's Compendium on Paracelsus): see Kahn, 125. In the dedication Gohory notes that he undertook the "ornament and decoration" of Lassus's book at the musician's own request: he may have been in contact with the composer through Adrian Le Roy, and could have met him in Rome or during Lassus's trip to the French court in 1571.

(26) Gohory, preface to Lassus, 1573a, unfoliated prefatory material to the Quintus partbook; see also his preface to Lassus, 1573b, unfoliated prefatory material to the Contra partbook.

(27) Gohory, preface to Lassus, 1571, unfoliated prefatory material to Superius, Contra, and Bassus partbooks.

(28) On the harmony of the spheres in Renaissance musical writing, see Palisca, 161-90. On the concept's broader implications, see Gouk, 1999, 14-19; Horden; Tomlinson, 67-100.

(29) Gohory, preface to Lassus, 1570, unfoliated prefatory material (all partbooks): "Plectra and lyres civilize human conduct, and restore disturbed minds to themselves. And Jupiter, who governs the whole world with his nod, turns the planets on their axis with divine sounds" ("Componunt mores humano plectra fidesque: / Emotas mentes restituuntque sibi. / Juppiter et totum nutu quo [recte qui] temperet orbem, / Sidera divinis torquet ab axe tonis").

(30) Gohory, preface to Lassus, 1571: "Nor can any greater indication be found that a person's nature is well constituted than interest and delight in harmony, since in the body of the Microcosm the temperament and, as it were, concord of parts and humors begets health: and, conversely, discord begets disease and pain: and in the mental faculties the former begets ingenuity and intelligence, the latter rough and dull ignorance and slow-wittedness. And in the fabric of the heavens ... there is a great and very sweet sound that soothes the ears of the heavenly ones, which, composed of unequal intervals, is made by the impetus and movement of the spheres, which tempering high with low smoothly produces various concords."

(31) Lesure and Thibault, 33. On the theme of the "well borne" (in this context, "fortunate" rather than "noble") soul as demonstrated by musical affinity, see Brooks, 2000, 126-33.

(32) Lesure and Thibault, 34-35. Gohory reiterates his own love of music--a gesture placing himself within the fortunate group--in the preface to Lassus, 1571: "I, who am affected with an incredible pleasure in music, cannot but be mightily inspired to the praise and publicizing of great teachers of the art."

(33) See Tomlinson, 170-83; Voss, 161-63.

(34) Ronsard, 1560 (Preface): "comme doucement ravy, et je ne scay comment derobe hors de soy," "abastardiz en ce corps mortel," and "celeste armonie du ciel." The preface was revised for a new edition of the book in 1572, just as Gohory was most active in contributing liminary material to the firm's productions. Both versions appear in facsimile in Jacobs, 1982, plates IVa-b; see also Ronsard, 1993, 2:1171-74. The 1572 version adds a passage on the "more than divine" Orlande de Lassus, "who seems alone to have stolen the harmony of the heavens, to rejoice us with it on earth."

(35) See Tyard, 1950 and 1980; on the relationship of the two treatises, see Cathy Yandell's preface to Tyard, 1980, 19-20.

(36) Tyard, 1980, 192-93: "transport ecstatique de quelque divine fureur." For more on Tyard's and Ronsard's conceptions of a Neoplatonic erotics of audition, see Van Orden.

(37) Lesure and Thibault, 34-35. Again there is an echo in Amadis: Gohory, 1574, fol 13r, cites Augurelli in his preface to Tiron's adaptation of book 14. See Gorris, 1996, 68, 79-80.

(38) Augurelli, book III, sig. G[iv]v: "Nam simili gaudere suo simile omne putato, / Atque etiam exterius simili quodcumque iuuari: / Praesertim cum naturam natura requirat, / Atque amplexa parem contraria cuncta recuset. / Sic quoque non digitis, aut plectro pulsa: mouetur / Forte fides, tamquam fidibus tunc assonet ictis / Ipsa, quibus fuerit concordi consona uoce, / In cunctis adeo rerum concordia pollet." I am grateful to Leofranc Holford-Strevens for the identification of Gohory's reference. Soon after its initial publication, the book became a central alchemical text: French translations were published in Lyon (1548) and Paris (1550). Augurelli corresponded with Ficino, and the opening of the Chrysopoeiae is loosely based on Ficino's De vita, also a key text for Gohory: see Matton, 165-66. Gohory's comments on Ficino in the Compendium suggest that Gohory was among the many sixteenth-century writers who believed Ficino to have been an alchemist: see Matton, 124, 158-59.

(39) Walker, 14; see also Gouk, 2000, 175.

(40) Couliano, 91.

(41) See Gohory's prefaces to Lassus, 1570 and 1571. On the magus as manipulator of natural forces, see Webster, 58; on the potency of Orpheus in Renaissance theology and philosophy, see Walker, 23; Voss. On different aspects of the triple equation of music, magic, and love, see Couliano, 87; Austern, 1998; Harran. Gohory the romancier was himself cast as Orpheus in Etienne Jodelle's prefatory poem to Gohory, 1554, a significant move in the context of Gohory's (by then well-known) occult inclinations.

(42) Gohory includes five poems in book 10, eleven in book 11, and five in book 13: they are transcribed and analyzed in Bowen, 1935, 529-53. Only two of Herberay des Essarts's eight volumes feature song texts (three in book 2, and five in book 8); Gilles Boileau's book 9 contains two songs. In book 12, Guillaume Aubert follows Gohory's example by including ten poems.

(43) "D'en aymer trois ce m'est force et contrainte," inserted in Amadis 11: see Bowen, 1935, 530-31; Chappuys, 228-29.

(44) Saint-Gelais was a friend of Herberay and contributed liminary verses to the first volume of Amadis: see Vaganay, 4.

(45) On Saint-Gelais's use of Italian musical formulas to sing French versions of Ariostan verse, see Brooks, 2000, 220-23. On the practice in Italy, see Haar. "La verginella" was among the stanzas of Orlando furioso most often excerpted for such performances, to judge from the number of published musical settings: there were at least nineteen, beginning with Ferrarese Francesco della Viola in 1548. See Haar and Balsano, 52.

(46) On sonnet settings in sixteenth-century France, see Ouvrard; Brooks, 1994. Muret contributed liminary poetry to Gohory's translation of book 10 of Amadis in the same year, 1552, that his chanson was published in the supplement to Ronsard's Amours.

(47) Bowen, 1935, 531-33.

(48) See Le Cocq, 1:4-95. Lute song caused typographical problems because of the difficulty of combining tablature, white mensural notation, and text on the same page: this discouraged printers from adopting the format on more than a few rare occasions.

(49) On Le Roy and Ballard's collection for plucked strings, see Lesure and Thibault, 20-21. On Le Roy's early career, see Brooks, 2005, 69-70: a table showing the relationship of Le Roy's publications of the early 1550s to polyphonic vocal prints and the later lute books in which Gohory was involved appears in ibid., 91.

(50) Gohory, 1554, fol. XXXIXr: "Then Daraide took up the lute and played it with such manual agility, breaking up the music with so many graces and diminutions, that one could not imagine Orpheus being able to add anything. And as for the second time, she mingled her silvery voice with the sound of the instrument." ("Alors Daraide prend le luth et sonne d'une telle agilite de main, decouppant la musique par tant de fredons et passages que l'on ne povoit ymaginer qu'Orfeus y eust rien peu ajouster. Et quand a la seconde foys elle mesla sa voix argentine parmy le son de l'instrument"). The main elements appear in Silva, but Gohory's slight amplifications add musical precision: see Silva, 56: "And with this Daraide picked up the harp, and began to produce marvellous things with as many diminutions as she could make; and began to join her voice to sing with such grace and sweetness." Fredon was used in Renaissance French for a variety of musical procedures: here it probably refers to the short ornaments--turns, trills, and brief roulades--later known as graces, in contrast to the passages, or longer chains of diminutions. Gohory, 1554, fol. XXXVIv, uses the same combination of verbs to describe a lute song duet by Daraide and Garaye: "our maidens triumphed in making graces and diminutions with their fingers, and where appropriate interjected nightingale-like phrases from their sweet throats" ("noz pucelles triomphoient de fredonner et passager de leurs doitz, et a propos entrejettoient des traitz rossignolesques de leurs douces gorges").

(51) The Tres breve et familiere introduction pour entendre et apprendre par soy mesmes a jouer toutes chansons reduictes en la tablature du lutz (Paris, 1529: edited in La Laurencie, Mairy, and Thibault) contains solo lute and lute song versions of the same pieces, mainly love lyrics by Marot and Saint-Gelais set to music by Sermisy, most with concordances to Attaingnant's prints of polyphonic vocal music. Like Le Roy's later books, the print provides models for adapting vocal polyphony for lute song performance. On the diminutions, see Le Cocq, 1:15-16, 21-22.

(52) As Luce Guillerm has shown, Herberay des Essarts recast large sections of his adaptations for this purpose. In book 4, for example, he includes a new chapter describing a palace based largely on Chambord, and deviates from the Spanish model in other ways that align the novel more closely to French political sensibilities and concepts of gallantry: see Herberay des Essarts, 2005, 24-46. Similarly, Gohory claims that the enchanted palace of Diane in his adaptation of book 11 is modeled after Diane de Poitiers's palace at Anet: see Gorris-Camos.

(53) Gohory, 1552, fol. aiir (also edited in Vaganay, 108): "vostre nom par son lustre le ferez passer plus agreable entre les mains des Gentilz-hommes & Damoyselles qui n'ont pas estomac a digerer plus grave & forte lecture. A l'intencion desquelz ont este par bonne raison escritz ces Romans, pour leur former un exemple & patron de Chevalerie, courtoisie, et discretion, qui leur eslevast le coeur a la vertu, enseignant les actes qu'ilz doivent ensuyvre ou eviter. Ce qu'ilz ne gousteroient si voluntiers en plaine instruction morale, non plus que les enfans (comme dit Lucrece) un bruvage medicinal, si le bord du vaisseau ne leur estoit oignt de miel, tel que leur est l'apast des comtes joyeux d'aventures estranges, et amourettes semez parmy telles histoires." Gohory, 1554 (also edited in Vaganay, 125), reiterates this point in the preface to book 11: "the nobility lured by the bait of such pleasure is attracted in favor of virtue, and a gentleman naturally accepts a lesson from his equal [that is, from noble characters such as Amadis] than from a rude and melancholy philosopher.... Thus the common herd who would not lend an ear to Plato and Aristotle, needs the austerity of wisdom to be disguised with some honey and sweetness of voluptuousness." In the dedication of book 13 to Catherine de Clermont, Gohory begins by describing her erudition, then says that a woman of her intellect will perceive the "doctrine" underlying Amadis' surface and its utility in providing "good moral instructions" for the nobility. He concludes his preface to the reader for book 14 of Amadis by remarking that "espritz eleuz" (elect minds) will understand the mystical meaning of novels, while the common reader will be content with "the simple flower of literal reading": Gohory, 1574; see also Gorris, 1996, 77-81.

(54) Gohory, 1552, fols. aiiv-aiir (also in Vaganay, 109). Gohory was, of course, involved in the publication of several of the texts and stories he mentions (such as Colonna's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and the story of the Golden Fleece); and all the myths were subject to alchemical interpretations in the sixteenth century: Gorris, 1996, 65-68. On fable as a source of knowledge in French Renaissance thought, see Yates, 131-51: the Hermetic use of allegory is discussed extensively in Hermeticism and the Renaissance.

(55) Gohory, 1574, fol. 4v: "une infinite de bons espris sont raviz de la lecture de telz livres pour les merveilles y contenues, confittes en douce volupte des discours de gestes generaux et traitz amoureux."

(56) Gohory, 1554, fol. a iir (also Vaganay, 123): "ceste histoire de Diane s'adresse specialement a vostre grandeur, comme proprement destinee par la conformite de son nom. Laquelle, figure une Idee de toute perfection de beaute et grace, representant vostre semblable excellence: qui est une forme imaginaire d'armonie de proportion de couleur et lineature, ravissant le cueur d'admiration naturelle, et y attizant un ardent desir de jouissance, qu'on dit Amour." For more on Gohory's construction of the relationship of Diane de Guindaye and Diane de Poitiers, see Gorris-Camos; on the praise of women patrons and Neoplatonic concepts of ideal beauty, see McGowan, 160-65.

(57) Gohory, 1554, fols. VIIv-VIIIr: "quelque usage du luth et du chant de musique, pour luy adoucir un jour le maniment des graves et serieux affaires: en quoy il monstra une singuliere dexterite a tout comprendre."

(58) Ibid., fol. Xv: "[elle] ne pensoit qu'a prendre ses duis et plaisirs dedans le pourpris delicieux de son palais avec ses damoyselles, se pourmenant par les beaux vergers, en y cueillant fleurettes a tissir chapeaux et bouquetz, ore s'allant rafreschir a la fontaine, aucunefoys se seant sur la verdure au milieu de ses filles comme la deesse Diane entre ses nymphes, prenant un luth et en sonnoit si melodieusement qu'il n'y avoit aureille escoutant qui ne demeurast enchantee de l'armonie, comme jadis on estoit sur la mer du chant de Sereines."

(59) Ibid.: "As well as this then she had already attained the age of twelve, being painted by the great artist nature with the most perfect strokes of her brush, and clothed with colors so naturally pure that all eyes of even the women who gazed on her remained suspended in ecstasy."

(60) Gohory also reverses the order of the Spanish text's praise of Diane's beauty and musical skill, which reads in translation: "And by that time she was already twelve years old, with such beauty that all who were with her lost their wits when gazing on her, and with such grace in playing and singing that in this she was called the Soul of Orpheus." See also Silva, 14. Gohory replaces Silva's reference to Diane's "Soul of Orpheus" nickname with the Siren image, but reinstates it later in the text (fol. XXXVIr) at a point where it is absent in the Spanish model. Arlanges and his beloved Cleofile also both display great musical talent, and the double emphasis on visual and aural beauty features in subsequent descriptions of all four characters, as when Sidonie introduces Daraide and Garaye as "two girls most perfect both in singing and playing music and in their external appearance": fol. XXXVIIv.

(61) The literature on cross-dressing in romance is vast: specifically on Amadis, see Schleiners, 1988, 1992, and 2001.

(62) Barbour, 1012-18; see also Austern, 1994.

(63) Garber, 17.

(64) On sources and uses of the image in sixteenth-century French literature, see Rothstein, 2003.

(65) Diane's love of the hunt is established early in Gohory's treatment: in chapter 2 she chases "all black and russet animals" in the woods surrounding her castle, "dressed and equipped as the poets describe [the goddess] Diana" (Gohory, 1554, fol. IIIv). In earlier volumes of Amadis, Diana had been associated both with Amazons and with cross-dressed boys impersonating them. In book 8, for example, Amadis de Grece's confidant exclaims when he sees his friend in Amazonian garb: "By God, you more resemble a Diana than you do either Amadis of Greece or the Knight of the Burning Sword [his nom d'epee]" (Herberay des Essarts, 1548, fol. CXXv).

(66) Gohory, 1552, fol. a iir (also in Vaganay, 123): "deguise en damoyselle, comme jadis en quelque contree les hommes sacrifioient a la deesse de son nom en habit de femmes, et elles d'hommes." On the use of Diana and the moon to represent the sensory world in magical thought, see Couliano, 70-82.

(67) Other characters repeatedly remark on their physical similarity. For example, Diane's attendant exclaims on first seeing Daraide: "But, my lady, is this not the mouth exactly formed of my lady the princess [Diane], and her own eyes redrawn in their true likeness?" (Gohory, 1554, fol. XXXVIIv).

(68) Ibid., fol. CLIv: "Parquoy estans si semblables de corps et d'ames se joignent en union parfaitte, quasi de deux en un, que les anciens ont appelle homfenin."

(69) Ibid., fol. XXXVIIr: "a laquelle vostre scavoir singulier estoit due plus qu'a autre quelconque, vue l'excellence de musique que trouverez en elle respondant a la vostre."

(70) Schleiner, 1988, 616-19, notes the frequency with which male transvestites in romance perform music. In part a reflection of the enormous influence of Amadis, such episodes also draw on ideas about music's effeminacy, and even its potential to turn male bodies into female ones: see Austern, 1993 and 1994.

(71) In book 10, Amadis de Grece explains to Lucelle, from whom he has been separated by unforeseen events: "there is as well a nature so similar between certain people that pulls them to a mutual affection (that wise men call sympathy), which engenders a complete, fervent and inviolable attraction, of which between you and me our first love gives firm evidence ... your star recalls mine to its principal influence.... We are like two lutes tuned in the same key, so much that in playing the one, the untouched strings of the other (which is beside it) move and shake a straw if you place it on top of them" (Gohory, 1552, fol. CVIIr).

(72) This is one of Gohory's added astrological chapters: others describe the decorations of the palace of Mars and a painted gallery in the palace of Diane. On the placement and importance of these sections, see Gorris, 2000, 137-44.

(73) Ibid., 2000, 140-42.

(74) Gohory, 1554, fol. IIIIr: "Reste le plus excellent de tous, celluy de Febus: duquel les meubles estoient d'or: un cabinet de tous les instrumens de musique: un autre de toutes eaux, huiles et ongnemens de medecine: desquelz le beau jardin fournissoit les herbes, gommes et fruits: estans les quarreaux d'icelluy departis selon les proprietez diverses, l'un pour les playes, l'autre pour les fievres, icy les plantes chaudes, icy les froides et ainsi des autres." Orthodox medical practitioners as well as Paracelsians borrowed techniques of distillation from the alchemists, credited with the development of these techniques in a range of sixteenth-century medical literature: Palmer, 114-17. Gohory provides instructions on making plant distillations in both the Compendium and the Instruction sur l'herbe petum. On his discussions of Ficino's writing on medicinal gold, see Matron, 158-59; on gold as Paracelsian medicine, see Brockliss and Jones, 123.

(75) Walker, 16-18; see also Voss, 166-67.

(76) On Ficino's comparison of music to herbal medicines, see Tomlinson, 132. On Paracelsus's comments, see Horden, 152; Brann, 140-41; Gouk, 2005, 29-30. Like Ficino, Paracelsus claims that music is particularly useful in treating melancholy.

(77) On the difference between Paracelsian treatment by similitude and Galenic beliefs in the curative properties of opposites, see Debus, 9-11; on music as cure for erotic diseases, see Austern, 2000a and b.

(78) Gohory 1554, fol. XXIXv: "il nous la faut aller voir, un de noz docteurs escrit, que cest blessure est semblable a celle du scorpion et qu'il convient prendre (comme l'on dit) du poil mesme de la beste qui a fait le dommage." After Agesilan recounts his symptoms--loss of appetite, desire for solitude, dreaminess, and lack of interest in games and physical exercise--Arlanges first suggests he is in the grip of a passing fancy, proclaims the ailment only a "fievre ... diaire ou esmeridiale" (temporary fever), and prescribes a session of horsemanship followed by a good dinner: when Agesilan then bursts into sobs, Arlanges realizes he is mortally ill and requires this more radical treatment.

(79) Ibid., fol. LXXXXr: "Puis pria la princesse en recompense des services de la patiente, de vouloir prendre le luth pour la resjouir, pour essayer a trouver quelque armonie qui peust guerir ses maladies, comme fut celle de Saul par David l'Hebrieu, et en une contree, ceux qui sont piquez des serpens nommez Tarantes." On David as musical healer and Christian Orpheus, see Yates, 38-39; Gouk, 2005.

(80) Ficino, 1:594 (fol. 1:565) cited and translated in Tomlinson, 164; see also, Tomlinson, 157-70; on tarantism, see Gentilcore.

(81) Gohory, 1554, fols. LXXXIXv-XCIIr (chapter 56), which corresponds to Silva, 155-61 (chapter 53), is devoted to Daraide's conversations with Diane; Daraide's speeches, which deal with topics such as how eyes communicate by occult processes, are full of "mysterious meaning" (fol. LXXXIXv) and "subtlety" (fol. LXXXXr), which fill Diane with wonder. Daraide here acts transparently as Gohory's mouthpiece, with Diane's admiration the appropriate response to this exposition of learning.

(82) Gohory, 1554, fol. XXXIXv ("Du passetemps du luth que print Diane avec Daraide et Garaye, et de leurs menuz propos ensemble"): "Diane se voyant en possession de deux damoyselles qui tant estoient a son gre s'alla esbatre apres disner au jardin du palais de Venus qui sembla a noz deux pucelles le plus beau dont elles eussent jamais ouy parler mesmement la frescade estant droit au mylieu ou les oyseaux de toutes sortes se rendoient volontairement en aussi grand nombre qu'on les eust peu assembler en une voliere et degoisoienr une melodie merveilleuse: la belle fontaine couroit souz la coudroye ou la princesse se vint soir et ses dames a lentour. Entre lesquelles Lardenie luy dit que le lieu estoit propre a sonner a cause du faux bourdon de l'eau bruyante et des fleurtis des oysillons." Fauxbourdon is a method of harmonizing a pre-existent melodic line, usually by adding thirds and sixths above or below the tune; in this period it was a prominent technique in vocal improvisation.

(83) In some cases men conceal themselves to eavesdrop on the music-making; in others they are welcomed by one of the women, who may or may not be aware of the heroes' identities and sex. Such episodes appear throughout the French Amadis, but are particularly prominent in books 8 and 9. Like book 11, these were based on Spanish sources by Feliciano de Silva, who seems to have been particularly fond of such scenes. In fact the Diane-Agesilan plot--covering books 11-12 of the French Amadis, and based on Silva's Florisel de Niquea--is essentially a huge expansion of the Niquee-Amadis de Grece episode of book 8--based on Silva, Noveno libro de Amadis de Gaula, 1530--which also involves a young man masquerading as a female musician in order to approach his beloved.

(84) Gohory, 1554, fols. LXIIr-v, amid descriptions of the musical performance of Daraide, Diane, Cleofile, and Garaye together in quartet.

(85) See, for example, Colonna, 71-86 (original fols. 22r-28r). The scene after Poliphilus is chased from the pyramid (an architectural wonder similar to the Chateau de Febus in Amadis): he traverses a beautiful orchard filled with musical birdsong to find a fountain surrounded by aphrodisiac plants associated with Venus; a group of women approach, singing and playing; when they hear of his lovesickness, they allow him to watch as they bathe and then bring him back to their queen's palace for a sumptuous banquet.

(86) Couliano, 87-89.

(87) Hercules was often cast as an alchemist, and Gohory considered the Hercules myth as an example of Hermetic allegory (see Gorris, 1996, 65-66): thus his adaptation of the chain imagery to music is not surprising. On sixteenth-century uses of the Hercules image, see Jung.

(88) Tyard, 1980, 193: "se clouant ... aux cordes."

(89) Gohory, 1554, fol. XXXVIIr: "[Sidonie] voulut ouyr encore une chancon, qui fut de ton et accord si doux, avec la grace des voix et l'invention des parolles que la Royne et ses damoyselles demouroient quoyes et immobiles, comme s'elles eussent eu les oreilles enchesnees aux instruments de noz deux pucelles." Silva, 53, depicts the queen and her attendants as transfixed by the song: "they [played] with such grace and excellence, adding both their voices, that the queen and her maidens were held suspended" ("ellas lo fizieron con tanta gracia y excelencia, juntas la bozes ambas, que a la reina y sus donzellas tenian suspendidas"); and then rapidly moves on. Gohory expands and adds the image of the chained ears.

(90) Gohory, 1554, fol. XXXIXr: "[Diane] ... was very happy to know [Daraide] was in love with her, hoping by this bond to keep her enchained in [Diane's] company." For more on the similarity of the effects of music and love in early modern occult and medical literature, see Austern, 2000a, 217; Austern, 2000b, 119. Again, to replicate Gohory's deliberate use of pronoun confusion, with its subsequent blurring of gender categories, I follow his example of using feminine pronouns to refer to males in disguise, see page 1227 above.

(91) Ficino claims that the human spiritus can unite with the heavens through love "particularly if we make use of song and light and the perfume appropriate to the deity like the hymns that Orpheus consecrated to the cosmic deities": Ficino, 4:747 (fol. 2:1747), cited and translated in Voss, 160. See also Walker, 22-24. Tomlinson, 63-64, discusses Agrippa's use of this idea.

(92) Gohory, 1554, fols. CXLIv-CXLIIr: "La nuyt venue, Galinides fit mettre six flambeaux de cire blanche en autant de chandeliers d'argent a l'entour de la fontaine, ou il se va soir avec sa femme et Daraide, laquelle il pria soy resjouir comme en pais d'amis sans user d'estrangete aucune et de sonner du luth pour eviter melancolie: ce qu'elle fait si mignonnement, aydant l'instrument de la gorge et touchant un lay si lamentable acompagne de geste douloureux, que tous trois fondoient en larmes, combien que meuz de diverses causes. Le roy et la royne avoient leurs oreilles comme pendues au cordes du luth, a qui sembloit voir et ouir choses plus divines qu'humaines. De facon que Galinides transporte extremement se pose de genoux devant elle exclamant: O deesses Venus et Pallas pardonnez moy si je porte l'honneur et veneration que je vous doy a celle pucelle en qui vous avez voz graces si largement infuses: puis luy imposant nom forme des deux deitez, je t'adore (dit il) terrestre Palla-venus, te suppliant exaucer d'orenavant mes veux et accorder mes devotes requestes."

(93) Hermetic thought accorded particular power to names as expressive of the absolute nature of things: see Tomlinson, 114-18; Ornsby-Lennon. The naming ritual and other ceremonial aspects of the scene do not appear in the Spanish model: Silva, 257. Both Marguerite de France and Diane de Poitiers were regularly depicted as Minerva in contemporary iconography: see Higgott and Biron, 2004.

(94) According to Ficino, "Song imitates and enacts everything so forcefully that it immediately provokes both the singer and hearers to imitate and enact the same thing": Ficino, 1:593 (fol. 1:563), cited and translated in Tomlinson, 112. See also Walker, 14-18.

(95) Gohory, 1554, fol. XXXIXr: "Et quand a la seconde foys elle mesla sa voix argentine parmy le son de l'instrument (tenant son regard fiche sur la princesse) qui luy voyoit parfoys descendre des yeus les larmes perlees, et les gros souspirs debonder de l'estomac a la rencontre des motz douloureux: tellement que la princesse se sentit outree de passion desormais incurable, pleurant et souspirant de compagnie."

(96) Agrippa, 236-37, translated in Tomlinson, 64.

(97) Gohory, 1554, fol. XXXVIv. Note the comparison of her feelings to those she experiences on hearing Diane: "Daraide qui l'oyoit et contemploit semblablement la lune et Diane, luy rementevant la sienne qui luy soit en ses pensees en la nuyt de son absence: A tant commence a toucher le luth, et Garaye pareillement, d'une douceur si melodieuse (incorporant la voix parmy) que la Royne fut toute transportee de plaisir par ceste armonie non esperee: laquelle luy sembloit je ne scay comment succer l'ame par l'oreille, de mesme facon qu'elle le sentoit de la melodie de sa fille."

(98) Ibid.: "toute en tremble."

(99) Ibid., fol. XXXVIIv: "Au sursaut de sa veue Daraide fur ravie jusques au tiers ciel (qui est la sphere de Venus) et commenca a dire entre ses dens: Dieu immortel secourez moy, car je voy la tant belle et exquise mort presente."

(100) Ibid., fol. XXXVIIIr: "A quoy ne luy fut possible de respondre un seul mot: ains demeuroit les yeux ouvertz comme immobile et privee de tout sens, fors que le cueur luy battoit si fort qu'il sembloit devoir rompre et forcer la poitrine."

(101) Ibid. The women "have her hands rubbed, which were cold as ice: and finally a maiden threw so much scented water in her face that she returned to herself."

(102) According to Tomlinson, 177, "The fundamental spiritual trajectory [the furors] aimed to enhance ... was the loosing of the soul from the body and its flight back to its supercelestial place of origin. The highest reaches of this flight were attained only by the soul in the throes of amatory furor, and this made Venus's frenzy the most excellent and powerful of the four.... But at the same time the most prominent earthly manifestations of divine madness, the inspired music and poetry associated particularly with poetic furor, suggested an infused and overflowing soul rather than a disembodied and absent one."

(103) Gohory, 1554, fols. XXXIXv-XLr: "the cold playing of she who was not in love would not go together well with that of the Conquered One" ("le jeu froid d'elle non amoureuse ne symboliseroit bien avec celuy de la VAINCUE"); though she claims not to understand Daraide's passion for her, Diane has just allowed Daraide to take the motto "La Vaincue de Diane" (Conquered by Diane), a feminine version of the emblem with which knights inspired by Diane's portrait have emblazoned their shields.

(104) Ibid., fol. XLr: "qu'il luy sembloit despetre des lyens du corps cercher ysuue pour aller trouver celuy qui l'atireroit comme l'aymant le fer." Magnetism, like string vibration, is an example of a naturally occurring occult process: there is no equivalent to this passage in Silva.

(105) Ibid.: "Comment (dit Diane a Daraide) m'amye ou en estes vous logee? En paradis et en enfer, respond elle, en enfer gist mon corps que l'ame tormente et desire abandonner, dont elle le rend souvent ainsi morne et transye. Et elle lors se sent comme en une gloire celeste, participant une volupte spirituelle en ses pensees incorporelles, ne souhaittant plus que d'estre jointe a la vostre inseparablement."

(106) Ibid.: "ce qu'il vient a distiller de ses yeux sont les vapeurs vitales que le feu cruel du cueur exhale et chasse en haut."

(107) See Brann for a discussion of the image; ibid., 138-39, treats its use by Agrippa.

(108) See, for example, Gohory, 1554, fols. LIXv-LXv ("Concerning the Miserable Life that Daraide Led for the Love of Diane"), in which Daraide confesses her love for Diane to the princess's attendant Lardenie, who embraces and kisses her "a thousand times" to comfort her; Daraide then launches a long speech lamenting the situation of women who love other women. Her discourse is interrupted by the arrival of Diane, who does not understand "this violent love of a girl for a girl" but nevertheless gives Daraide a lingering kiss, to which Daraide responds, "sucking the honey from her rosy mouth."

(109) Leone studied medicine and was active as a court physician; he apparently wrote a treatise on celestial harmony, now lost, and his work is informed by his readings in Kabbalah as well as knowledge of classical and Renaissance Neoplatonic texts. Leone supplies reasons in the Dialoghi why wisdom is best transmitted through allegory, claims Gohory would have found attractive. Two French translations of the Dialoghi, by Denis Sauvage and Pontus de Tyard, appeared in 1551: the latter has been edited as Leon Hebreu. See Perry for an analysis of Leone's synthetic thinking.

(110) Gohory, 1554, fol. CLIIIIv: "[T]ous leurs sens transportez et esperduz donnerent place aux ames de s'unir par le moyen du corps, demeurans chacun mort en soy et vif en l'autre, quasi yvres de la liqueur de volupte (nommee nectar des dieux) quasi fondans de douceur comme au feu la cyre, quasi raviz en extase, s'embrassans d'une ardeur gloute comme s'ilz eussent voulu estre tous entiers l'un en l'autre, et par ce moyen jouissans du souverain bien de ce monde, lequel les vrays amans seulz connoissent, et comme l'imperfection de cette masse envelope les esperitz, tellement qu'une part prenant plaisir prive l'autre des rayons d'amour, ainsi que le soleil eschaufant et enluminant la terre en un endroit et hemisphere laisse l'autre en froideur et obscurite. A eux autrement avint et non en facon bestialle, ains estans les sens corporelz comme serfz endormis, pendant que les ames maistresses s'entrecherent et visitent au plus pres que leurs prisons permettent." O'Connor, 58-59, characterizes this episode as "neo-Platonic love in inaction" and emphasizes its disembodied nature, but this is a misreading: while spiritual ecstasy is clearly its principal focus, the text makes clear that this occurs alongside, and not instead of, sexual gratification. (Cleofile's subsequent accusations on the loss of her virginity remove any doubt the rapturous quality of the prose might spark.)

(111) Gohory, 1554, fol. CLVr: "Tandis que la vermeille bouche / Des amans l'un l'autre touche: / Les espritz sont confus ensemble / Tant corps de pres a corps s'assemble. / Les deux ames ne sont plus qu'une, / Spirans une haleine commune, / Et sont par union d'espritz, / Les membres de fureur espris. / Car l'ame d'Arlang au corps entre / De Clyo jusques en son centre: / Et l'ame d'elle en luy se range / Pour a la sienne faire eschange."

(112) Ibid., fol. CLVv: "secret discours de ses amours."

(113) Ibid.

(114) Ibid.: "Vrays amoureux seulz vous savez / (Qui de ce miel gouste avez) / Comme une double volunte / S'unit confite en volupte. / Venus (de qui tiens ma victoire) / Pour en consacrer la memoire: / Je pendz a l'autel de ton temple / Un cueur jumeau des deux exemple."

(115) Walker, 104-06. Book 11 contains several episodes relying on such concepts, including a chapter in which Agesilan carves symbols on trees that are wondered at but not as yet understood by Diane (Gohory, 1554, fols. LIXr-v), as well as the chapters on the palace of Mars and the galerie historiee.

(116) La Noue, 167: "wisdom, years and experience."

(117) Ibid., 160-76. It is perhaps significant that La Noue claims that reading Machiavelli--whose works Gohory also translated--is as dangerous for the old as reading Amadis is for the young.

(118) This was particularly the case for Paracelsians--such as Heinrich Khunrath, Robert Fludd, and Michael Maier--at the imperial court and the court of Moritz of Hessen: see Gouk, 2005; on the broader courtly context for their activities, see Moran. Practical music-making was also significant to Kepler's thinking, although he rejected the Kabbalistic approach of the Paracelsians: see Pesic. For examples of musicians' contact with alchemy, see Yearsley.

(119) Trevor-Roper, 85; see also Brockliss and Jones, 123-28.

(120) Du Laurens, fols. 145v-146r, 171r-v; Brockliss and Jones, 287-88. The therapeutic interpretation is strengthened by a slightly later English example, in which the young Robert Boyle was prescribed the reading of Amadis to cure the persistent effects of a case of tertian ague: see Johns, 380-83 (my thanks to Richard Wistreich for alerting me to this example).

(121) Brantome 8:82: "She often writes some very beautiful verses and stanzas, which she has sung (and even sings herself, for she has a beautiful and agreeable voice, mingling it with the lute, which she plays very elegantly) by some little boy singers she has; and thus she passes her time and lets flow her unlucky days, without offending anyone, living the tranquil life that she has chosen as the best." I find the combination here of lute song, adolescent boy singers, and misfortune in love (as Brantome reads it) striking as an echo of Gohory's romance.

(122) Dickerman and Walker, 335-36.

(123) Malherbe, 3:142-43 (Letter of 18 February 1610); the letter of 23-25 March (3:143-50) apparently included a manuscript of Guedron's setting of the text, "Que n'estes vous lassees," as melody and bass line. Polyphonic and lute song versions of this song and others made for Malherbe's poems for Charlotte de Conde were published after Henri's death by the royal music printer Pierre Ballard. The letters are quoted and the music transcribed in Verchaly, xxxix-xl.
Table 1: The Palace of Phoebus and Diana

             The Donjon of Diana
Planet       Color         Metal

Venus        green         brass, copper
Mercury      blue, violet  electrum
The moon     white         silver

             The Enclosure of Phoebus
Planet       Color         Metal

Mars         red           iron
Saturn       gray-brown    lead, earthenware
Jupiter      gray-white    pewter
The sun      gold          gold

                     The Donjon of Diana
Planet       Decoration                  Contents

Venus        myths of love (Venus and    gardens, fountains, aviaries;
               Mars)                       perfumed baths
Mercury      myths of Mercury's          library, scientific instruments
The moon     symbols of Diana (bows,     hunting gear, Diana's residence
  (Diana)      arrows); myths of
               transformation (Actaeon,

                    The Enclosure of Phoebus
Planet       Decoration                  Contents

Mars         famous battles and myths    stables and armory
               of war
Saturn       [not specified]             religious ceremonies
Jupiter      myths of Jupiter's          Sidonie's residence
The sun      [not specified]             musical instruments,
  (Phoebus)                                herbal medicine; uninhabited
                                           as reserved for the hero who
                                           will unite with Diana
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Title Annotation:Jacques Gohory's use of music in his version of the book Amadis de Gaule
Author:Brooks, Jeanice
Publication:Renaissance Quarterly
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Dec 22, 2007
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