Première édition critique de L'Astrée d'Honoré d'Urfé

SignetDeux visages de L'Astrée

Photos d'Urfé Ed. Vaganay**, 1925
Two faces of L'Astrée,
a French critical edition of Honoré d'Urfé's masterpiece, presents the novel and explains its evolution during the author's lifetime.
It is a working tool intended
for neophytes as well as
seventeenth-century specialists.
Photos d'Urfe

Ed. Vaganay**, 1925
Dance composed and interpreted by A. Naigeon : allemande in Marcilly.

Just as Honoré d'Urfé's portraits reveal two aspects of his personality and two moments in his career, this edition analyzes two stages of his seminal work with the help of different fonts and colours. L'Astrée has long been considered to be the "first bestseller" of the French narrative literature, according to H.-J. Martin, specialist in the history of the book (p. 481). Yet until the publication of my critical edition, in 2007, readers of the novel have been confronted with huge linguistic and cultural barriers.

Because of its length and complexity, L'Astrée is not only poorly understood, but also almost unknown. With its almost seven hundred proper names (Index) and its seven hundred thousand words (Dictionnaire), it is indeed a difficult work that blends contradictions and unusual assemblages (Synopsis). L'Astrée combines, in a pastoral setting, the romance of Astrée and Céladon with the fall of the Roman Empire and the painful birth of France following the reunion of the Gallic tribes. It requires a substantial and varied critical apparatus to clarify the fifth-century history, the sixteenth-century vocabulary, the mythological foundation as well as the Christian ethics, Neoplatonic values and Celtic theology. L'Astrée is the French answer to Montemayor's Diana, Cervantes' Galatea, Sidney's and Sannazaro's Arcadia.

Because of its phenomenal success, L'Astrée enjoyed several editions during the seventeenth century. After its author's untimely death, it underwent important transformations. My first task as an editor has been to separate the wheat from the chaff, as I explain in Choix éditoriaux.

Deux visages de L'Astrée
offers a reliable and annotated
This is my purpose.

I present only texts published during Honoré d'Urfé's lifetime, and legally (i.e. with a « privilege », a permission to publish). For the first three volumes, I have chosen the last complete edition published with the author's consent, that of 1621. I would have called this set "The True Astrée," if the formula had not been overused to the point of losing its meaning.

To underline the author's immense labor, variants - displayed and analyzed - have a crucial position in this annotated edition. I juxtapose the edition of reference, that of 1621, with the first edition.

• For the first volume, I compare the 1621 edition
with the anonymous edition of 1607.
• For the second, I compare the 1621 edition
with the edition of 1610.
• For the third, I compare the edition of 1621
with that of 1619.

The first volume of 1607 is at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Department of Manuscripts), that of 1621 is at the Arsenal. Both editions of the second part belong to the Bibliothèque Municipale de Versailles. The 1619 edition of the third volume is at the Mazarine; that of 1621 comes from the Watkinson Library of Trinity College (Hartford, Ct., USA).

In addition to these six original editions, I have set forth an "achronic" edition - which I now call "modern" at a reader's request ; it is downloadable as a Word© document. This text is not a modernized Astrée. It only adopts a uniform and familiar spelling in order to enable the most advanced researches. Here is a simple illustration of its usefulness: unless one uses the "Astrée moderne," it is impossible to count the occurrences of "Forez." This proper name of the author's motherland has been confused - deliberately or not - with its homonym, the common noun, spelled "Forests, Forets, Forestz, Foretz."

This critical edition establishes for the first time that

1. the standard text that we have cited since 1925 is not reliable: Vaganay's edition of L'Astrée is replete with errors;

2. in 1610, with the publication of the second volume and the assassination of Henri IV,
L'Astrée experienced an essential double shift;

3. Honoré d'Urfé personally reviewed his manuscripts, but he did not always monitor or supervise the proof copies;

4. the 1621 edition of the first three volumes of
L'Astrée is the only homogenous and authorized edition,

5. the inclusion of preliminary editions (1607, 1610, 1619)
allows us to accurately examine the evolution of the authors' style and the development of his thought.

In Deux visages de L'Astrée, a vast mosaic of information is incorporated in separate files connected by hyperlinks. Reading the novel is thus no longer necessarily linear.

The Internet user is a lucky reader who can move forward in this critical edition as in a French garden, or in a British park, or even in a wood. Whether he starts with the novel or with the Index of names, he will get directly to what interests him. The Internet user can also rely on the Guide which offers a variety of routes. He can choose to explore the novel and its many sidelines, or to explore the author's life and everything related to it. The independent Internet surfer can proceed without a compass. Clicking on any word with an annotation opens up the riches of the subsoil. Whatever the course, at any time, information enclosed in the left and right columns indicates other tracks. To encourage long-term navigation, bookmarking is available. Moreover, buttons at the top of the screen give access to navigation aids.

Thanks to its highly flexible electronic form, this critical edition is a work in progress. It will certainly see additions and modifications. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

The Trustees of Tufts College hold the copyright to Deux visages de L'Astrée. Texts and documents are provided for the personal use of scholars, students, and the public. Any commercial use or publication without prior authorization is strictly prohibited. Music and pictures are not in the public domain and cannot be copied. To quote Deux visages de L'Astrée please copy and paste the reference given at the bottom of each document. For instance, for this Introduction:

Electronic reference :
"Home". Dernière mise à jour : 10/15/2014.
In Deux visages de L'Astrée. Édition établie par Eglal Henein.
©2005-2014 Tufts University (Medford, MA, U.S.A.).
Édition consultée le [date de la consultation].


1 SignetAcknowledgements

Since 2000, a number of people have contributed to the conception and the construction of Two Faces of L'Astrée. I am very grateful to Tufts University for the invaluable support I received, and for giving a home to my web site. My deepest gratitude goes to the Faculty Research Awards Committee and to the chairmen of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, in particular Professor John Fyler and Professor José Antonio Mazzotti.

Thanks also to Tina Riedel and David Bragg from the Information Technology Services, to Anne Sauer and Robert Chavez from the Digital Collections and Archives Department, and to Naomi Marr from University Relations. I appreciated their patience, which I have often tested. I warmly thank Tisch Library and all the past and present librarians who have helped me, especially Chris Barbour, Chao Chen, AnnMarie Ferraro and Laura Walters. I wish to say my gratitude to Professor Joanne Phillips (Classics Department) and to David Proctor (Graduate student, Classics Department) for their careful translations of Greek texts.

I am as well indebted to patient and helpful advisors outside Tufts. I am grateful to Mark Olsen (ARTFL Project, University of Chicago), Prof. Dr. Peter Fuhring (Conseiller scientifique, Fondation Custodia), Jean-Marc Chatelain (Conservateur, Bibliothèque Nationale de France), Marie-Odile Germain (Conservateur, Bibliothèque Nationale de France) and Sylvie Bleton (Chargée de la Reproduction, Bibliothèque Nationale de France) who were kind enough to answer my many questions. I am extremely grateful to Alain Naigeon who kindly agreed to put his talents at the service of L'Astrée : he composed and played dances that charmed Honoré d'Urfé. I wish to express my gratitude to Henri Coulet (Professor emeritus, Université d'Aix-en-Provence, France) who helped me navigate the meanders of sixteenth century language combined with those of a French edition. I would like to specially thank Sue Reed (Curator, MFA, Boston). She has been the best art history teacher and guide. I am also very grateful to Max Vernet (Professor emeritus, Queen's University, Canada) for examining this web site. His science and his conscientiousness have been very helpful.

Without the extraordinary assistance and unfailing generosity of my brother, Fekri Henein,Two Faces of L'Astrée would still be in gestation.


2 Signet2008

A year after writing my first Acknowledgements, I have the duty and the pleasure to add names of people who helped me with advices, commentaries, critiques and suggestions.

In Goutelas, people from Forez and friends of Forez gave me even more than I asked (that's saying a lot !).
My thanks go, in alphabetical order, to Laurent Barnachon, Paul Bouchet, Roger Chazal, Sabine and André Cheramy, Marc Delacroix, Mireille Delmas-Marty, Patricia Faye-Chazal, Reinhard Krüger and his students, Marie-Claude Mioche, Mr. and Mrs. Niedermeyer, Alfred and Christine Noé, and Thomas Poiss.

In Paris, I benefited from remarks made by Christine de Buzon, Michel Fournier, Paule and Udo Koch, Tatiana Kozhanov, Marie-Gabrielle Lallemand, and Marta Teixeira Anacleto.

Thanks to the Internet, I had fruitful exchanges with Christian Allègre, Etienne Brunet, Arnaud Bunel, Joseph Casazza, Catherine Faivre d'Arcier, Hervé Mondon, Buford Norman, Maxime Préaud, Joseph Salvi, and Dominique Tailliez. I also benefited from advices given by the managers of two French bookstores « Le Bateau Livre » (Montpellier) and « Librairie Pierre-Josse » (Charcé).

In the United Sates, Christiane Romero answered my call for help. Charles Dietrick and Mike Lupi made my website easier to access. Nancy Mimno, with great dedication, helped me transfer my files to the new address.

All those who used
Two Faces of L'Astrée and who can appreciate its easily navigated multilayered structure will understand that I reiterate here my gratitude to my brother, Fekri Henein.


3 SignetOctober 2010

I owe my deepest gratitude to several French institutions that gave me the possibiliy to offer today this edition of a Seventeenth century novel. I will not start with Napoleon and the foundation of French schools in Egypt, but I acknowledge with pleasure and emotion that I owe a lot to the Pensionnat du Sacré-Cœur, to the Cultural services in Cairo and in Boston, and to the Sorbonne, my Alma mater. I hope their representatives, and especially Jacques Fauve, will find here my deepest gratitude.

Thank you very much to all those who helped me unravel the second volume of L'Astrée. This critical edition would be less comprehensive without the generous help and support of Paul Bouchet, Arnaud Bunel, Joseph Casazza, Jean-François Cottier, Marc Delacroix, Michel De Waele, Giovanni Dotoli, Jacques Elfassi, Henriette Goldwyn, Martin Howard, Pierre Kunstmann, Michel Lemaire, Martial Martin, Jacques Messier, Marie-Claude Mioche, Alfred Noé, Buford Norman, David Russel, Marie-Rose Salloum, David Seipp, Marta Teixeira Anacleto, Bruno Tribout and Karen-Dominique Villiaume. Emmanuel Bury, Alexandre Gefen and Françoise Lavocat offered very useful comments.

Thank you to those who allowed me to include part of their web sites, Francis Boucher, Jacques Leclerc, Nicolas Liger and Valérie Potier.

Thank you to the Bibliothèque municipale de Versailles, and specially to Élisabeth Maisonnier and Anne-Bérangère Rothenburger.

Thank you to Tisch Library (Tufts University), and specially to Chao Chen, AnnMarie Ferraro and Laura Walters.

Thank you to the Information Technology Services, at Tufts and elsewhere, and specially to Alyssa Krimsky Clossey, Charles Dietrich, Neal Hirsig, Shawn Maloney, Peter Sanborn and Robert Thomas.

Thank you to all those who sent me messages.

Special thanks to Aleksey Svetlichny, author of the Galerie.

Thanks again to Fekri Henein for his crucial support. He makes miracles to provide Two Faces of L'Astrée with all the assets of electronic technology.


4 Signet2014

I'm very fortunate. Since 2010, help has come from many directions.

My gratitude goes to the librarians and curators who have supported my endeavour. Meeting experts who do not consider books as museum pieces and researchers as intruders has been a comfort and a joy.
Thank you to Thierry Conti (L'Alcazar, Bibliothèque municipale de Marseille), Sally S. Dickinson (Watkinson Library,Trinity College, USA), Annemarie Kaindl (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich) and Bruno Marty (Centre de Conservation du Livre, Carpentras).
Thank you to the Tisch librarians (Tufts University): I know I can always count on the help of Chen Chao, AnnMarie Ferraro, Connie Reik, Laurie Sabol and Laura Walters.

My sincere gratitude goes to those who sent me the echoes of the past preserved in the Archives of Ain (Fanny Aznar, Gilles Philibert, Fabienne Silvestre, Valéry Vesson), of Alpes-Maritimes (Hélène Cavalié, M. Coutelier), of Ariège (Christine Massat, Caroline Piquemal, Jean Cairo, Martine Patet), of Savoie (Sylvie Claus, Anne Vacchiero), of Torino (Maria Barbara Bertini, Maria Gattullo), and of the Musée Savoisien (Laurence Sadoux-Troncy).
A very warm thank you to my friends, Christiane Fabricant and Uta Reese, who generously worked on archival documents in Foix.

My gratitude goes to those in charge of libraries, bookstores and web sites for old books:
Les Bibliothèques Virtuelles Humanistes (Mme le Professeur Demonet and Sandrine Breuil), The Smithsonian Institute (Elizabeth Aldrich, Anne McLean, Virgina Clark, Cynthia Field and Jonathan Kemper), Penn State University (Karen Schwentner), and La Médiathèque de Roanne (Christine Henry and Audrey Mancini). Thank you also to Mohamed Graine (Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon), to Christian Pellet (Presses polytechniques et universitaires romandes, Lausanne), Dale Tatro (Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.), and the Librairie Le Passe-Temps.
I am specially greatful to Lia Poorvu, a colleague and a friend ready to help on all occasions in order to establish contacts.

Thank you again and again to those who allow me to hear the voice of Forez and its surroundings:
Laurent Barnachon (Conseil général de la Loire), Joseph Barou (Forez histoire), Sandrine Beal (La Bâtie d'Urfé), Françoise Bourlot (Observatoire de l'eau), Sophie Chauve (Communauté d'Agglomération Loire Forez), Pierre Grès (Fédération de pêche de la Loire), Pierre-Jean Martinez (DREAL Rhône-Alpes), Marie-Claude Mioche (Centre Culturel de Goutelas), and Xavier de Villele (SYMILAV, Savigneux).

I express my profound gratitude to my colleagues for their advice and expertise:
Francis Assaf (University of Georgia), Benoît Bolduc (New York University), William Brooks (University of Bath, U.K.), Fanny Cosandey (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales), Marc Court (Paris-Sorbone, Paris-IV), Dominique Descotes (Université Blaise-Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand), Mark DeVoto (Tufts University), Gérard Ferreyrolles (Paris-Sorbonne), John Fyler (Tufts University), Richard Goodkin (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Nicolas Graner (Université Paris-Sud), Elizabeth T. Howe (Tufts University), Reinhard Krüger (Universität Stuttgart), Bruno Méniel (Université de Rennes 2), Alfred Noé (Universität Wien), Jean-Michel Roessli (Concordia University, Canada), Daniel Russel (University of Pittsburgh), Marc Surgers (Consultant, Paris), Bruno Tribout (University of Aberdden), Daniel C. Weiner (Boston University).

I reiterate my thanks to generous Internet users:
Jean-Pierre Augier, Jean-Michel Chaumont, Philippe Desterbecq, Jean-Bernard Elzière, Jacky Lorette, Marcel Martinod, Jocelyne Muguet, Jean-Claude Rolland and Pierre Wechter (Scribd.). I can never thank enough Arnaud Bunel, the knowledgeable webmaster of Héraldique européenne.

I have always received the support I needed from my friends. Thank you to Cécile Créhange, Lois Grossman, Rémy Oppert, Sue Reed (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Jean-Pierre Reverseau (Musée de l'Armée, Paris), Emese Soos, and Karen Villiaume.

Thank you to Christian Allègre who reviewed this electronic critical edition and made precious suggestions.

Thank you to Guy Perron, palaeographer, to the translators, Lise Beeotis and Marion Valdoni, and to my editors, Jason Lenicheck and Lucy Fyler.

Thank you to those who wrote to me. Their kind and supportive messages mean a lot to me.

He who does not want to be recognized
 is someone who deserves all your gratitude
Guizot (Article Reconnaissance).

Although my brother, Fekri Henein, did not wish to be named once more in these acknowledgements, I have to award him the place of honour he deserves. Thanks to him this web site remains user friendly. In the name of all lovers of L'Astrée and on my own behalf, I would like to reiterate my thanks in particular for the invaluable Index des noms propres he composed and for the detailed Guide. His skills cleverly organized the visual space of Two Faces of L'Astrée and improved this constantly growing critical edition.



Honoré d'Urfé, L'Astrée

5 SignetL'Astrée relates the adventures of a community whose ancestors chose to distance themselves from wars by becoming shepherds in hamlets along the Lignon River. The story is set in fifth-century Gaul, in the region of Forez, and the action lasts six months. Most of the principal characters are young ; the heroes are not even twenty years old.

L'Astrée also recounts the exploits of knights and ladies - called nymphs - who belong to the court of Amasis, the Lady of Forez, and live in Marcilly, the capital. Amasis has two children, Clidaman and Galathée. Three years before the beginning of the novel, Clidaman organized a game of chance to pair off young men with maidens.

Many outsiders visit Forez, most of them dressed as shepherds. They mingle with people who live in the hamlet but not with people who live in the castle.

L'Astrée is a historical novel as evidenced by the Chronologie historique. The political upheavals of the fifth century deeply affect Alcippe, Céladon's father, and two children kidnapped by invaders. (We know them as Silvandre and Paris). Starting in the second volume, the author inserts narratives that evoke the actual detailed history of the fifth century. He introduces the Roman Empire through the Story of Placidie and the Story of Eudoxe, respectively mother and wife of Valentinen III. The beginnings of the Frank domination appear in the Story of Childéric, the son of Mérovée and father of Clovis. In the fourth volume the Story of Dorinde presents the court of the Bourguignons king, Gondebaud.

Only one historical short story certainly refers to current events that took place in France at the end of the sixteenth century. The Story of Euric, king of the Visigoths, is a veiled narration of the affair of Henri IV and Gabrielle d'Estrées. This story, placed at the beginning of volume three, was published nine years after the king's assassination.

The social organization of Forez changes in the middle of the fourth volume after the untimely death of Honoré d'Urfé. The efforts continuators made to prolong the novel are unsuccessful and unfortunate (see Astrées posthumes). Europe's history is accorded less place and importance. Love stories no longer exhibit self-examination and careful choices. The closure proposed in the fifth volume by Balthazar Baro flouts the scale of values of Honoré d'Urfé. L'Astrée ceases to be the work of a stoic craftsman of the Counter-Reformation.

The authentic Astrée revolves around three plots. The love story of Astrée and Céladon gives the novel its spinal column. The love story of Diane and Silvandre provides a stop watch to indicate the passage of time. The love stories of Galathée supply a calendar mixing the wars of the Frankish kings with a dispute over the government of Forez.

Although Astrée, Céladon, Diane, Silvandre and Galathée are the five pillars of the novel, some three hundred characters orbit around them. Some like Hylas, Adamas or Léonide play very important roles, while others like Aimée, Singiban or Agis have lesser parts. All of them are analyzed in the Tableau des Personnages.


6 SignetThe Central and Paramount Intrigue : Astrée and Céladon

Even before 1607, whatever the context, this emblematic couple eclipses the other characters and embodies the heart of Honoré d'Urfé's work. Thus, in 1666, when a man in the Roman bourgeois wants to seduce a young woman, he gives her L'Astrée to read, learns to imitate Céladon, and attributes the name Astrée to his beloved (FuretiÈre, p. 1007).

Three centuries later, in 1964, it is still Astrée and Céladon on whom a clever editor focuses. Gérard Genette explains that his selection allows to give the novel "coherence, continuity," and even perhaps "significance" (p. 22). In 2007 even Eric Rohmer calls his last film The Romance of Astrée and Céladon, and Louis Bouchet creates a graphic novel based on the love story of Astrée and Céladon.

7 SignetIn the first volume, Astrée and Céladon split up.

At the very beginning of the first book, Astrée, driven by jealousy, banishes Céladon. In despair, Céladon throws himself in the Lignon River but survives, while Astrée believes him dead. Consequently a double story line ensues, for the lives of the protagonists take divergent paths.

Astrée recounts the story of her life to two friends. Although they belong to feuding families, Céladon and she have been in love since their early youth. On a feast day, the shepherd dressed as a woman to make his first declaration of love to her. In a playful Judgment of Pâris, Céladon awarded the legendary apple to Astrée. For three years, the young couple overcame obstacles imposed by Céladon's father. Shortly after the father's death a new type of obstacle emerged : Sémire, a shepherd in love with Astrée, showed her how Céladon recited a poem to another shepherdess. Forgetting that she herself ordered Céladon to pretend to love another woman, Astrée banished Céladon, and now, she cries over his death.

Astrée and her companions receive visitors, shepherds from other hamlets, shepherds from the city of Paris, and strangers disguised as shepherds. They all tell their adventures, and some request an arbitrator.

Meanwhile, nymphs – that is, the aristocratic maidens Galathée, daughter of the Lady of Forez, and two of her retinue – find Céladon unconscious near the river. Thus, denizens of the castle meet town people thanks to Céladon. The nymphs narrate their stories to entertain their young guest.

The love life of the nymphs is upset by the presence of this too lovable young man. In fact, a fake Druid predicted to Galathée that she would love the man she met on the banks of the Lignon. Galathée, falling in love with Céladon, treats him as her prisoner. Actually, the knight Galathée was foretold to meet at the river is Polémas, whom the pretend Druid favors.

In the gardens of Galathée's castle stands an inaccessible fountain of Truth in love. Léonide, one of the nymphs, and later her uncle Adamas, a Druid, explain to Céladon the history and functions of this monument three times enchanted. Then, Léonide and Adamas help the shepherd regain his freedom by lending him a dress.

Because Astrée had ordered him not to appear before her, Céladon does not return to the village.

8 SignetIn the second volume, Astrée and Céladon draw closer.

Now living in a cave, Céladon is once more saved by Léonide and Adamas, even as they give him the opportunity and the means to express his sorrow. At the instigation of the Druid, Céladon builds in the woods a temple to Astrée, goddess of Justice. There the young artist exhibits an enlargement of a portrait the shepherdess offered him, which he decorates with poems.

Adamas encourages his protégé to elevate his thoughts : he explains to Céladon the mysteries of a tolerant religion that combines Christianity and Druidism. Because an oracle seems to order the Druid to work for the happiness of Céladon, Adamas suggests that the young man temporarily take the name and place of his daughter, Alexis, and live with him. This disguise can last only three and a half months. It must end before the end of the annual meeting of the Druids, for the people of Forez will know that the real daughter of Adamas is still in her convent.

Meanwhile, Astrée, always surrounded by shepherds and visitors disguised as such, continues to listen to stories about the more or less appropriate decisions made by lovers.

The alter ego of the novelist, a stranger dressed as a shepherd named Silvandre - silva andros, man of the Forez - mediates between Astrée and Céladon. While Silvandre sleeps in the woods, Céladon leaves on his heart a letter for Astrée. Silvandre shows the letter to the shepherdess and then guides his companions to the place where he received Céladon's letter. As Silvandre loses his way, the group ends up in front of Astrée's temple.

The enlarged portrait and the poems mislead the heroine : Astrée is more than ever convinced that Céladon is dead. She believes the "spirit" of the shepherd built the temple and expressed his love. Céladon nevertheless enjoys a slight reward ; he discovers Astrée asleep and steals a kiss. Believing she had a vision, the maiden wants to build a shrine to Céladon's soul. The funeral takes place in the woods, attended by the nymph Léonide and her cousin, Paris.

Shortly after, a delegation of male shepherds goes to Adamas to welcome his daughter, Alexis, who is Céladon dressed as a female Druid. The disguise is so perfect that it fools even Céladon's brother. Hylas, the womanizer of the novel, falls in love with the fake Druid. Who could doubt the word of Adamas who pretends to be Alexis' father ?

9 SignetIn the third volume, Astrée and Céladon meet again.

At the house of Adamas with her companions, Astrée shows her enthusiastic affection for this Alexis who looks so much like Céladon. During a two day visit, the young couple has intimate conversations. Astrée would like to become a Druid to stay with her new friend. Alexis tells her about her love for a young female Druid who rejected her. The shepherdess Astrée fails to understand this metaphorical transposition of her romance with Céladon.

Adamas' house is the site of the most astonishing titillating scenes. Alexis has her own room, but in the morning, Léonide brings Astrée to her. The Druid, Léonide and Alexis then go to the village and stay with Astrée's uncle. This time, the distribution of beds is more delicate. In Astrée's room, Alexis will be alone in a bed while Astrée will share another bed with Diane, her companion, and Léonide. Astrée's kisses play havoc with Alexis' half resistance. Thus Alexis goes from one extreme to the other : the erotic scenes are followed by pathetic monologues because Alexis-Céladon recognizes that the present situation is hopelessly entangled.

Adamas is summoned to the palace with his daughter and his niece. The Druid has always carefully avoided any meeting between Alexis and Galathée, knowing that the nymph would be less naive than the shepherds because she is less sensitive to his ascendancy. He decides to go to the capital with Léonide only. Alexis remains with Astrée.

10 SignetIn the fourth volume, Astrée and Alexis are united.

Alexis and Astrée are still living in complete intimacy, although the descriptions of their caresses are less frequent. Roles are reversed because Alexis and Astrée have exchanged names and dresses. Alexis-Céladon dressed as a shepherdess is increasingly troubled, physically and mentally, by the favors he receives from Astrée dressed as a female Druid. When a young woman is attacked Alexis-Céladon fights like a man. When all men are accused of being unfaithful, Alexis-Céladon defends the male gender.

Astrée has a dream that ends with the vision of Céladon. She wakes up screaming the name of the shepherd. Despite the logical interpretations offered by Alexis, Astrée remains convinced that Céladon is dead. Yet recognition seems imminent.

The following adventures were not written by Honoré d'Urfé, although his continuators may have used some of his notes in the posthumous fourth volume.
For more information on this issue, pending the completion of the critical edition of the fourth volume in this website, I refer the reader to
les Astrées posthumes.

11 SignetIn the posthumous fourth volume Astrée and Céladon draw closer.

Forez is in a state of alert. The danger comes from a Forezian knight, Polémas, the man wishing to marry Galathée who now wants to take over the government. He will kidnap Adamas' daughter to punish the Druid. Having once again exchanged their garments, Astrée and Alexis both claim to be Adamas' daughter. They both end up in jail but are released by Sémire, a soldier of Polémas, who is none other than the shepherd responsible for the separation of the young couple in the first volume. Sémire immediately recognizes Céladon and says his name in front of Astrée. The shepherdess still manages to interpret what she hears as a confirmation of Céladon's death.

In the fifth volume written by Balthazar Baro, Astrée and Céladon are re-united thanks to a magic spell.

Céladon and Astrée go to Marcilly, where on the recommendation of Adamas Céladon-Alexis may reveal his true identity to Astrée. However, Polémas attacks the city. Pretending to withdraw to pray, Céladon-Alexis fights Polémas and defeats him. Céladon, wounded, hides his identity even from the surgeon.

Adamas reveals the truth to Astrée. The humiliated and mortified shepherdess orders the young man to die. To obey her bidding, Céladon challenges the beasts guarding the fountain of Truth in love. There he discovers Astrée in a faint. Filled with remorse, the young woman planned to meet the same fate. The lions fight each other and are transformed into stone. In a clap of thunder the Love God appears to announce an oracle for the following day after. Astrée and Céladon are re-united. A few days later, the inhabitants of the hamlet and the castle parade before the now available fountain of Truth in love. Many couples celebrate their union.


12 SignetThe Major Supporting Plot : Diane and Silvandre.

This love affair has two special characteristics. First, it is not inserted in a secondary story. Diane and Silvandre begin to love each other before our eyes in real time. Secondly, this relationship demonstrates that facts sometimes contradict Silvandre's theories. The young man who claimed categorically that true love means a widower should remain a widower falls in love with Diane, a shepherdess who (luckily for him) does not remain faithful to her deceased first love.

13 SignetIn the first volume, Diane and Silvandre discover each other.

Silvandre, an orphan, left Savoie and went to Forez to obey an oracle : the fountain of Truth in love η must reveal to him the secret of his origins. He dresses as a shepherd and lives in the hamlet waiting for the fountain to become accessible. Diane also approaches the hamlet after experiencing tragic adventures.

Phillis accuses Silvandre of being insensitive to love. The young man defends himself by saying that he does know how to love. Astrée then suggests a competition. Who will love Diane better, Silvandre or Phillis? Rivals have three months to demonstrate their expertise. Silvandre quickly falls truly in love with Diane.

14 SignetIn the second volume, Diane and Silvandre are in love with each other.

Pretending to pretend, Silvandre shows his true feelings. Diane, on the other hand, explains to Astrée that despite her attraction to the young man, she will never marry him because he does not know his parents. She does not, however, reject his love, since she offers him a bracelet made with her hair.

The son of the druid Adamas, Paris, comes to the hamlet with Léonide. He falls in love with Diane, but she likes him only as a brother.

15 SignetIn the third volume, Diane moves away from Silvandre.

To end the playful competition that harms the interests of his son, Paris, Adamas forces Diane to announce her judgement in public about who loves her better, Phillis or Silvandre. Diane decrees that Phillis is more lovable but Silvandre knows better how to make himself loved. Multiple interpretations of this clever verdict are explored.

The shepherdess Laonice, to avenge a judgment rendered against her by Silvandre in the first volume, slanders the young man. She claims that he loves Madonthe and that he left the village to follow her. Diane is totally convinced. Believing that Silvandre prefers another woman, she allows Paris to ask her mother for her hand in marriage.

16 SignetIn the fourth volume, Diane and Silvandre are separated.

Diane asks Phillis to take back the bracelet offered to Silvandre. Learning about Diane's feelings, Silvandre faints with sorrow. Diane and her companions discover that a branch of mistletoe is burned onto his arm. The desperate Silvandre consults an oracle. The Gods tell him that he must die and that Diane will marry Paris. Silvandre cries while reporting this dire prediction to Diane, Astrée and Phillis. Diane reconciles with Silvandre as soon as she finds out that Laonice lied. She forgets the permission given to Paris.

17 SignetIn the posthumous fourth volume,

D'Urfé's successors have little interest in Diane and Silvandre. This relationship does not evolve.

In the fifth volume by Balthazar Baro, secretary of the novelist, Diane and Silvandre are re-united by a magic spell.

Silvandre wants to kill himself. He goes with Céladon to the fountain of Truth in love. The two shepherds find Diane and Astrée unconscious. They fight with the lions to protect the young girls. The Love God appears. The next day, He pronounces an oracle : Adamas must kill Silvandre. When the Druid sees the branch of mistletoe on Silvandre's arm, he recognizes his long lost son. Diane will marry Silvandre.


18 SignetThe Main Aristocratic Plot : The Loves of Galathée

Galathée falls in love successively with Polémas, Lindamor and Céladon. She also seems tempted to fall in love with Damon d'Aquitaine.

19 SignetIn the first volume, Galathée falls in love three times.

As a little girl in Marcilly, Galathée listens carefully to the stories that Druids tell her father. Fascinated by the country's origins, she is proud to bear the name and wear the clothes of a mythical Galathée who married the Gallic Hercules. She is heiress to the throne, because in the Forezian political system, only women are heads of state.

Polémas, a knight at the Court, is in love with Léonide. When Galathée sees the happy couple in the garden, she summons the nymph and orders her to get away from Polémas. Galathée herself seduces the knight.

As a result of the draw organized by Clidaman, Lindamor is authorized to woo Galathée. This knight, younger than Polémas, wins the heart of the Princess. Lindamor and Galathée send each other love letters thanks to a gardener. Jealous, Polémas claims that Lindamor boasts to be the Princess' favorite. Lindamor, disguised as an anonymous knight, jousts against his rival. At the request of Galathée, he spares the life of his opponent, and withdraws from the field. The Princess deems the unknown knight did not stop fighting fast enough.

When Galathée discovers the identity of the seriously injured knight, she refuses to write him a letter. Léonide, because she likes Lindamor or she dislikes Polémas, claims that Lindamor died and sent his heart to Galathée. Disguised as a gardener, Lindamor presents a very living heart to the Princess. Galathée promises to marry Lindamor as soon as her brother, Clidaman, takes a wife.

Polémas uses the services of Climanthe to regain Galathée. Neither knight nor Forezian, Climanthe is a mysterious character of great skill. He discovers that Lindamor will wear a green coat on the day he leaves Marcilly to fight in the Frankish army. Climanthe then dresses as a Druid, settles in the woods, and claims to predict the future. The fake Druid announces to Galathée that a man in a green coat must make her misfortune. Three days later, Climanthe shows the Princess the reflection of a picture he painted. It is the place where Galathée will find a "diamond" she must take and keep.

This place is at Isoure along the banks of the Lignon. There, Galathée with her favorite companions, Léonide and Silvie, discovers the unconscious Céladon. The nymphs take the shepherd to the palace. Galathée falls in love with him, writes to him, and then openly declares her passion. As the shepherd languishes despite all the efforts of his hostesses, Léonide seeks the help of her uncle, the druid Adamas. With the complicity of Léonide, the Druid gives Céladon women's clothes to wear in order to leave the palace unnoticed by Galathée.

20 SignetIn the second volume, the loves of Galathée stagnate.

When she finds out that Céladon escaped, the Princess is furious. She suspects Léonide to be an accomplice and expels her from the palace. Humiliated by the obvious indifference of her beloved shepherd, Galathée languishes.

A letter from Lindamor asserts that the knight wants revenge on whoever stole Galathée's heart. The Princess fears for Céladon. She wishes that Lindamor and Polémas fight and kill each other. She could then marry Céladon as soon as she succeeds her mother at the head of Forez.

21 SignetIn the third volume, Galathée travels around.

Concerned by bad dreams, Galathée consults an oracle at Montverdun. She learns she has to beware of a love passion that will turn into rage.

She sees a foreigner, Damon d'Aquitaine, fight against the friends of Polémas who insult women. The foreigner kills one of the Forezian knights.

Galathée was hoping to meet the Lignon's shepherdesses. She does not have time to wait, because her mother, Amasis, Lady of Forez, asks to see her at the home of Adamas. A knight of Lindamor, at the request of Amasis, reports the death of prince Clidaman.

Amasis is worried. She has discovered that Polémas exchanges letters with Gondebaud, King of the Bourguignons. Adamas must join the nymphs at Marcilly with his daughter and his niece.

22 SignetIn the authentic fourth volume,

Galathée is reconciled with Léonide. Climanthe reappears disguised as a Druid. To procrastinate, the nymphs claim they will consult him again, even as Polémas prepares his own army.

23 SignetIn the posthumous fourth volume,

At the suggestion of Adamas, Léonide wears Galathée's clothes to deceive Climanthe. Polémas kidnaps Léonide but the nymph manages to escape. When arrested, Climanthe kills himself. Polémas establishes an alliance with the King of the Burgundians to attack Marcilly.

In the fifth volume of Balthazar Baro, secretary of the novelist,

Galathée and Lindamor are reunited. Lindamor fights Polémas, who is killed. Galathée celebrates by dressing as a shepherdess. She reunites with Lindamor, the partner the fountain of Truth in love has given her.


24 SignetThe sage Adamas - whose story d'Urfé did not get the time to write - sums up this immense novel. Acting as the author's agent he explains to the hero the achievements of Love, "the most powerful and blessed" god :

Adventures and misadventures are punishments
He sends to those who do not love well
L'Astrée, II, 2, 120-121).