Almost three weeks ago I started to take a look at the old books I have piling up in my room and on my stair case. For my first installment I looked at the first ten rules of “The Rules of Courtly Love” by Andreas Cappellanus. Today I want to take a look at rules 11-20.
#11: It is not proper to love any woman that one would be ashamed to seek to marry.
This rule confounds me because Cappellanus goes against his own train of thought in a sense. In his earlier rules he says marriage is not an excuse for not loving and it is interesting that he says you should only love someone that you would marry. It’s an interesting mash up of realism and idealism working within the text.
#12: A true lover does not desire to embrace in love anyone except his beloved.
This really is one of those quintessential ideals from the era that I love so much. The loved one is your only object of adoration. You view her in a light much holier than any god. It’s so passionate and extreme to me. I dig it.
#13: When made public love rarely endures.
The truth in those six words is so monumental because it holds up today. When a love stays between two people it is so passionate and intense. When it has to hold up to the opinions of family and friends it begins to get weathered with expectations and doubt.
#14: The easy attainment of love makes it of little value; difficulty of attainment makes it prized.
This is true on multiple levels. There is the adoration route, where one person loves another from afar until the point they can be together. And then there is the route where a couple constantly works at it, where they have to deal with obstacles that test their love.
#15: Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his beloved.
I wonder where all that blood goes? 😉
#16: When a lover catches sight of his beloved his heart palpitates.
I love how the rules turn into sort of a pseudo-observational science at points.
#17: A new love puts to flight an old one.
Ok, a little SOC tangent. My head went to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” with this rule. What better example for this is Romeo instantly forgetting about Rosalind the moment he sees Juliet. I think Romeo may even allude to it (but I don’t want to go through books to see if he does).
#18: Good character alone makes any man worthy of love.
#19: If love diminishes it quickly fails and rarely revives.
My head went here:
#20: A man in love is always apprehensive.
Simple: If you’re in love you don’t want to lose it.
Check back later for part three, rules 21-31