TOLEDE. P. jouer des arts de- (attraper, faire des tours de prestidigitateur)SteveM wrote:... tricksters who were said to have originated in Toledo, were said to be able to turn a cock into a hen.
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cJkG ... ISO-8859-1
C'est pendant ce répit que Renart « li rous » apprend « les arts de Tolède ».
Et il est cornart et deceu
Qui de tail creance est meu.
J'a n'ert par les arz de Tolete
Fine amour quise ne parfete.
le dernier avatar de la légende: "Jouer de arts de Tolède: attraper, tromper,
faire des tours de force". On pourrait se croire loin de l'école de magie, ...
One has to be careful indeed of the master of chance, one may not lose just one's shirt;)
Ha! s’il me prenoit en mercy
Et qu’il prinst toute ma robille!
Mais, he´ las! perdre la coquille,
Mon Dieu! c’est pour fienter partout.
Ha! If he had mercy on me
and took only my clothing!
But, alas! to lose the cock,
my God! that is to empty (piss) everywhere.
Farce de frere Guillebert 16th century.
One who turns the cock into a hen, is said of one who 'knows the arts of Toledo', and of a card shark:
Our bateleur, as one who knows 'the arts of Toledo, appears figuratively at least (through emasculation) to have 'turned a rooster into a hen'!"Toledo's reputation for black magic was owing to the association of Arabic alphabet and numerals with magical talismans. Because of the association of Arabic learning with astrology and alchemy, Toledo became linked in the popular imagination with magic and anyone studying there was de facto open to the accusation of necromancy. "Michael Scot, for one, who was in Toledo in the twelth century, was never able to shake thereafter the suspicion that he had learned the black arts there. Scot's reputed wizardry, moreover, was of a specifically mathematical cast. There are many references: Caesar of Heisterbach tells two stories of student studying the 'arte nigromantia' 'apud Toletum'. In medieval French, "jouer les arts de Tolede! was a common term for running confidence games or card sharking:
"Il fait d'n coq une poulette(He turned a rooster into a hen/he knows the arts of Toledo.)
Il jouer les arts de Tolete."
Medieval science, technology and medicine: An Encyclopedia by Thomas F. Glick, Steven John Livesey, Faith Wallis p.481
From “Mystery of Saint Dennis” in the Duke de la Valliere’s “Bibliothèque du Théâtre François depuis son Origine. Dresde, 1768.”“Sire, il preche un Dieu à Paris
Qui fait tous les mouls et les vauls.
Il va à cheval sans chevauls.
Il fait et defait tout ensemble.
Il vit, il meurt, il sue, il tremble.
Il pleure, il vit, il veille, et dort.
Il est jeune et vieux, foible et forte.
Il fait d’un coq une poulette.
Il joue des arts de roulette,
Ou je ne sçais que ce peut être.”
Sir, he preaches a God at Paris
Who has made mountain and valley.
He goes a horseback without horses.
He does and undoes at once.
He lives, he dies, he sweats, he trembles.
He weeps, he laughs, he wakes and sleeps.
He is young and old, weak and strong.
He turns a cock into a hen.
He knows how to conjure with cup and ball,*
Or I do not know who this can be.
*sic Toulete (toledo) of the orignal version appears to have been changed to roullete in this later version - so instead of knowing the arts of toledo, he knows the art of 'little wheels' - roulette, surely the game of chance of that name dating from c.1745? Or, by extention, he knows the arts of chance/fortune (and her 'little wheel)?
quoted in "an incrementally-published online presentation of Isaac D’Israeli’s Curiosities of Literature, Mysteris, Moralities, Farces and Sotties: a compilation of book-lore whose first volume was issued in 1791, with further instalments being added in 1793, 1807, 1817 and 1823. Most of the articles were scanned from an undated (but probably 1870s or 1880s) single-volume edition of the work, the text in which was reproduced from an older (1820s) edition." Available online here:
http://www.spamula.net/col/archives/200 ... es_an.html
TOLÈDE. Jouer des arts de Tolède.The expression « jouer les arts de Tolede » seems to have been a common French term for conjuror's passes and sleight of hand tricks...
Chapters on Magic in Spanish Literature 1916 by Samuel Montefiore Waxman - Page 22
Attraper, tromper, faire des tours de force. (XVe siècle.)
- Il fait d'un coq une poulette,
He makes of a cock a hen,
- II joue des arts de Toulete. (XVe siècle.)
He plays at the arts of Toledo.
(Mystère de saint Denis. Mystères inédits du XVe siècle, etc., p.116.)
Le livre des proverbes français 1842, By Le Roux de Lincy, Ferdinand Denis:
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=sfTT ... 4fpw&hl=en
Reproduction of 7th edition available as a pdf file from google books here:Isaac D’Israeli’s Curiosities of Literature, Mysteris, Moralities, Farces and Sotties:
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=gfMI ... 2mvk&hl=en
Whether Noblet intended a play on words, or whether he saw in the 'unlucky penis' a lucky accident upon which to accentuate the implicit workplay, it was a very fitting one whether intentional or accidental.
The element of word play used by buffoons in a farce was refered to as coq-à-l'âne, from 'rooster to the donkey' (or as we may say in the equivalent english idiom, cock and bull), synonyms being bon mot, or jeu de mots - play of words. The word bateleur to is synonymous with baratin, a player of words, a bullshitter, a saltimbanque (mountebank), a juggler not only of things, but of words, a 'boniment'.
Un vieux saltimbanque qui, dans un boniment emphatique, annonce qu'il va faire un saut périlleux.
Le charlatan est bruyant. Il vend ses recettes et ses drogues sur les places publiques, sur les champs de foire, aux carrefours des rues où s'attroupe la foule. Il appelle, il arrête les chalands. Sa rhétorique spéciale use de tous les moyens pour retenir, amuser, persuader; son boniment échevelé met à sa discrétion le client ébloui, étourdi, fasciné. Toutefois, s'il cherche à amuser pour mieux envelopper, quelques-uns aussi s'amusent à le voir faire et déployer ses artifices.