The Women's Dance of Death, The Authority

The Authority
Guy Marchand, Authority
¶Lacteur.

¶Mirez vous icy mirez femmes
Et mettes vostre affection
A penser a voz poures ames
Qui desirent saluacion
Cy bas nest pas la mansion
Ou vous deuez estre tousiours
Mort met tout a destruction
Grant & petit meurt tous les iours

¶Pour noblesse ne pour honneur
Pour richesse ou pourete
Pour estre dame de valeur
Ou femme de mendicite
Ne differe mort equite:
Mais autant dune part que dautre
Sans auoir mercy ne pite
Huy prent lune: et demain lautre

Le miroir des dames et damoiselles
Miroir des dames

The women's dance of death is also known for a number of old manuscript (e.g.: MS 25434). The dance follows the same structure as then men's, with an authority to introduce and finish. The verses still eight lines, where the eighth line is usually some aphorism.

The first line: »Mirez vous icy mirez femmes« sounds much like "le miroir des dames et damoiselles", where the first verse runs:

Mirez-vous cy, dames et damoiselles,
Mirez-vous cy, et regardes ma face:
Hélas! pensez si vous estes bien belles
Comment la mort toute beauté efface.

Women's dance of death, 1486
Guy Marchant, Women
Men's dance of death, 1485, 1486, etc.
Guy Marchant, Authority

At the top of this page we see the authority who was used to introduce the Danse macabre des femmes from 1491. The was the first edition with woodcuts for all of the women.

Guy Marchant had published the text as early as 1486, but this edition only had the woodcut for queen and duchess, while the authority (picture to the left) clearly was the same person, who had introduced the men's dance earlier on in the same volume (picture to the right).

Variants

Various Artists

Guy Marchant (1486)
Guy Marchant 1486: Women
Guy Marchand (1499)
Guy Marchand 1499: Authority
Claude Nourry (1501)
Claude Nourry 1501: Authority
Nicolas Oudot (1641)
Nicolas Oudot 1641: Authority
(1700)
 1700: Authority
Garnier (1766)
Garnier 1766: Troyes 1766

Up to the Danse macabre des Femmes