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Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais

Part 3 out of 16

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Therefore, to begin his work the better, he requested a learned physician
of that time, called Master Theodorus, seriously to perpend, if it were
possible, how to bring Gargantua into a better course. The said physician
purged him canonically with Anticyrian hellebore, by which medicine he
cleansed all the alteration and perverse habitude of his brain. By this
means also Ponocrates made him forget all that he had learned under his
ancient preceptors, as Timotheus did to his disciples, who had been
instructed under other musicians. To do this the better, they brought him
into the company of learned men, which were there, in whose imitation he
had a great desire and affection to study otherwise, and to improve his
parts. Afterwards he put himself into such a road and way of studying,
that he lost not any one hour in the day, but employed all his time in
learning and honest knowledge. Gargantua awaked, then, about four o'clock
in the morning. Whilst they were in rubbing of him, there was read unto
him some chapter of the holy Scripture aloud and clearly, with a
pronunciation fit for the matter, and hereunto was appointed a young page
born in Basche, named Anagnostes. According to the purpose and argument of
that lesson, he oftentimes gave himself to worship, adore, pray, and send
up his supplications to that good God, whose Word did show his majesty and
marvellous judgment. Then went he unto the secret places to make excretion
of his natural digestions. There his master repeated what had been read,
expounding unto him the most obscure and difficult points. In returning,
they considered the face of the sky, if it was such as they had observed it
the night before, and into what signs the sun was entering, as also the
moon for that day. This done, he was apparelled, combed, curled, trimmed,
and perfumed, during which time they repeated to him the lessons of the day
before. He himself said them by heart, and upon them would ground some
practical cases concerning the estate of man, which he would prosecute
sometimes two or three hours, but ordinarily they ceased as soon as he was
fully clothed. Then for three good hours he had a lecture read unto him.
This done they went forth, still conferring of the substance of the
lecture, either unto a field near the university called the Brack, or unto
the meadows, where they played at the ball, the long-tennis, and at the
piletrigone (which is a play wherein we throw a triangular piece of iron at
a ring, to pass it), most gallantly exercising their bodies, as formerly
they had done their minds. All their play was but in liberty, for they
left off when they pleased, and that was commonly when they did sweat over
all their body, or were otherwise weary. Then were they very well wiped
and rubbed, shifted their shirts, and, walking soberly, went to see if
dinner was ready. Whilst they stayed for that, they did clearly and
eloquently pronounce some sentences that they had retained of the lecture.
In the meantime Master Appetite came, and then very orderly sat they down
at table. At the beginning of the meal there was read some pleasant
history of the warlike actions of former times, until he had taken a glass
of wine. Then, if they thought good, they continued reading, or began to
discourse merrily together; speaking first of the virtue, propriety,
efficacy, and nature of all that was served in at the table; of bread, of
wine, of water, of salt, of fleshes, fishes, fruits, herbs, roots, and of
their dressing. By means whereof he learned in a little time all the
passages competent for this that were to be found in Pliny, Athenaeus,
Dioscorides, Julius Pollux, Galen, Porphyry, Oppian, Polybius, Heliodore,
Aristotle, Aelian, and others. Whilst they talked of these things, many
times, to be the more certain, they caused the very books to be brought to
the table, and so well and perfectly did he in his memory retain the things
above said, that in that time there was not a physician that knew half so
much as he did. Afterwards they conferred of the lessons read in the
morning, and, ending their repast with some conserve or marmalade of
quinces, he picked his teeth with mastic tooth-pickers, washed his hands
and eyes with fair fresh water, and gave thanks unto God in some fine
cantiques, made in praise of the divine bounty and munificence. This done,
they brought in cards, not to play, but to learn a thousand pretty tricks
and new inventions, which were all grounded upon arithmetic. By this means
he fell in love with that numerical science, and every day after dinner and
supper he passed his time in it as pleasantly as he was wont to do at cards
and dice; so that at last he understood so well both the theory and
practical part thereof, that Tunstall the Englishman, who had written very
largely of that purpose, confessed that verily in comparison of him he had
no skill at all. And not only in that, but in the other mathematical
sciences, as geometry, astronomy, music, &c. For in waiting on the
concoction and attending the digestion of his food, they made a thousand
pretty instruments and geometrical figures, and did in some measure
practise the astronomical canons.

After this they recreated themselves with singing musically, in four or
five parts, or upon a set theme or ground at random, as it best pleased
them. In matter of musical instruments, he learned to play upon the lute,
the virginals, the harp, the Almain flute with nine holes, the viol, and
the sackbut. This hour thus spent, and digestion finished, he did purge
his body of natural excrements, then betook himself to his principal study
for three hours together, or more, as well to repeat his matutinal lectures
as to proceed in the book wherein he was, as also to write handsomely, to
draw and form the antique and Roman letters. This being done, they went
out of their house, and with them a young gentleman of Touraine, named the
Esquire Gymnast, who taught him the art of riding. Changing then his
clothes, he rode a Naples courser, a Dutch roussin, a Spanish jennet, a
barded or trapped steed, then a light fleet horse, unto whom he gave a
hundred carieres, made him go the high saults, bounding in the air, free
the ditch with a skip, leap over a stile or pale, turn short in a ring both
to the right and left hand. There he broke not his lance; for it is the
greatest foolery in the world to say, I have broken ten lances at tilts or
in fight. A carpenter can do even as much. But it is a glorious and
praise-worthy action with one lance to break and overthrow ten enemies.
Therefore, with a sharp, stiff, strong, and well-steeled lance would he
usually force up a door, pierce a harness, beat down a tree, carry away the
ring, lift up a cuirassier saddle, with the mail-coat and gauntlet. All
this he did in complete arms from head to foot. As for the prancing
flourishes and smacking popisms for the better cherishing of the horse,
commonly used in riding, none did them better than he. The cavallerize of
Ferrara was but as an ape compared to him. He was singularly skilful in
leaping nimbly from one horse to another without putting foot to ground,
and these horses were called desultories. He could likewise from either
side, with a lance in his hand, leap on horseback without stirrups, and
rule the horse at his pleasure without a bridle, for such things are useful
in military engagements. Another day he exercised the battle-axe, which he
so dexterously wielded, both in the nimble, strong, and smooth management
of that weapon, and that in all the feats practicable by it, that he passed
knight of arms in the field, and at all essays.

Then tossed he the pike, played with the two-handed sword, with the
backsword, with the Spanish tuck, the dagger, poniard, armed, unarmed, with
a buckler, with a cloak, with a target. Then would he hunt the hart, the
roebuck, the bear, the fallow deer, the wild boar, the hare, the pheasant,
the partridge, and the bustard. He played at the balloon, and made it
bound in the air, both with fist and foot. He wrestled, ran, jumped--not
at three steps and a leap, called the hops, nor at clochepied, called the
hare's leap, nor yet at the Almains; for, said Gymnast, these jumps are for
the wars altogether unprofitable, and of no use--but at one leap he would
skip over a ditch, spring over a hedge, mount six paces upon a wall, ramp
and grapple after this fashion up against a window of the full height of a
lance. He did swim in deep waters on his belly, on his back, sideways,
with all his body, with his feet only, with one hand in the air, wherein he
held a book, crossing thus the breadth of the river of Seine without
wetting it, and dragged along his cloak with his teeth, as did Julius
Caesar; then with the help of one hand he entered forcibly into a boat,
from whence he cast himself again headlong into the water, sounded the
depths, hollowed the rocks, and plunged into the pits and gulfs. Then
turned he the boat about, governed it, led it swiftly or slowly with the
stream and against the stream, stopped it in his course, guided it with one
hand, and with the other laid hard about him with a huge great oar, hoisted
the sail, hied up along the mast by the shrouds, ran upon the edge of the
decks, set the compass in order, tackled the bowlines, and steered the
helm. Coming out of the water, he ran furiously up against a hill, and
with the same alacrity and swiftness ran down again. He climbed up at
trees like a cat, and leaped from the one to the other like a squirrel. He
did pull down the great boughs and branches like another Milo; then with
two sharp well-steeled daggers and two tried bodkins would he run up by the
wall to the very top of a house like a rat; then suddenly came down from
the top to the bottom, with such an even composition of members that by the
fall he would catch no harm.

He did cast the dart, throw the bar, put the stone, practise the javelin,
the boar-spear or partisan, and the halbert. He broke the strongest bows
in drawing, bended against his breast the greatest crossbows of steel, took
his aim by the eye with the hand-gun, and shot well, traversed and planted
the cannon, shot at butt-marks, at the papgay from below upwards, or to a
height from above downwards, or to a descent; then before him, sideways,
and behind him, like the Parthians. They tied a cable-rope to the top of a
high tower, by one end whereof hanging near the ground he wrought himself
with his hands to the very top; then upon the same track came down so
sturdily and firm that you could not on a plain meadow have run with more
assurance. They set up a great pole fixed upon two trees. There would he
hang by his hands, and with them alone, his feet touching at nothing, would
go back and fore along the foresaid rope with so great swiftness that
hardly could one overtake him with running; and then, to exercise his
breast and lungs, he would shout like all the devils in hell. I heard him
once call Eudemon from St. Victor's gate to Montmartre. Stentor had never
such a voice at the siege of Troy. Then for the strengthening of his
nerves or sinews they made him two great sows of lead, each of them
weighing eight thousand and seven hundred quintals, which they called
alteres. Those he took up from the ground, in each hand one, then lifted
them up over his head, and held them so without stirring three quarters of
an hour and more, which was an inimitable force. He fought at barriers
with the stoutest and most vigorous champions; and when it came to the
cope, he stood so sturdily on his feet that he abandoned himself unto the
strongest, in case they could remove him from his place, as Milo was wont
to do of old. In whose imitation, likewise, he held a pomegranate in his
hand, to give it unto him that could take it from him. The time being thus
bestowed, and himself rubbed, cleansed, wiped, and refreshed with other
clothes, he returned fair and softly; and passing through certain meadows,
or other grassy places, beheld the trees and plants, comparing them with
what is written of them in the books of the ancients, such as Theophrast,
Dioscorides, Marinus, Pliny, Nicander, Macer, and Galen, and carried home
to the house great handfuls of them, whereof a young page called Rizotomos
had charge; together with little mattocks, pickaxes, grubbing-hooks,
cabbies, pruning-knives, and other instruments requisite for herborizing.
Being come to their lodging, whilst supper was making ready, they repeated
certain passages of that which hath been read, and sat down to table. Here
remark, that his dinner was sober and thrifty, for he did then eat only to
prevent the gnawings of his stomach, but his supper was copious and large,
for he took then as much as was fit to maintain and nourish him; which,
indeed, is the true diet prescribed by the art of good and sound physic,
although a rabble of loggerheaded physicians, nuzzeled in the brabbling
shop of sophisters, counsel the contrary. During that repast was continued
the lesson read at dinner as long as they thought good; the rest was spent
in good discourse, learned and profitable. After that they had given
thanks, he set himself to sing vocally, and play upon harmonious
instruments, or otherwise passed his time at some pretty sports, made with
cards or dice, or in practising the feats of legerdemain with cups and
balls. There they stayed some nights in frolicking thus, and making
themselves merry till it was time to go to bed; and on other nights they
would go make visits unto learned men, or to such as had been travellers in
strange and remote countries. When it was full night before they retired
themselves, they went unto the most open place of the house to see the face
of the sky, and there beheld the comets, if any were, as likewise the
figures, situations, aspects, oppositions, and conjunctions of both the
fixed stars and planets.

Then with his master did he briefly recapitulate, after the manner of the
Pythagoreans, that which he had read, seen, learned, done, and understood
in the whole course of that day.

Then prayed they unto God the Creator, in falling down before him, and
strengthening their faith towards him, and glorifying him for his boundless
bounty; and, giving thanks unto him for the time that was past, they
recommended themselves to his divine clemency for the future. Which being
done, they went to bed, and betook themselves to their repose and rest.

Chapter 1.XXIV.

How Gargantua spent his time in rainy weather.

If it happened that the weather were anything cloudy, foul, and rainy, all
the forenoon was employed, as before specified, according to custom, with
this difference only, that they had a good clear fire lighted to correct
the distempers of the air. But after dinner, instead of their wonted
exercitations, they did abide within, and, by way of apotherapy (that is, a
making the body healthful by exercise), did recreate themselves in bottling
up of hay, in cleaving and sawing of wood, and in threshing sheaves of corn
at the barn. Then they studied the art of painting or carving; or brought
into use the antique play of tables, as Leonicus hath written of it, and as
our good friend Lascaris playeth at it. In playing they examined the
passages of ancient authors wherein the said play is mentioned or any
metaphor drawn from it. They went likewise to see the drawing of metals,
or the casting of great ordnance; how the lapidaries did work; as also the
goldsmiths and cutters of precious stones. Nor did they omit to visit the
alchemists, money-coiners, upholsterers, weavers, velvet-workers,
watchmakers, looking-glass framers, printers, organists, and other such
kind of artificers, and, everywhere giving them somewhat to drink, did
learn and consider the industry and invention of the trades. They went
also to hear the public lectures, the solemn commencements, the
repetitions, the acclamations, the pleadings of the gentle lawyers, and
sermons of evangelical preachers. He went through the halls and places
appointed for fencing, and there played against the masters themselves at
all weapons, and showed them by experience that he knew as much in it as,
yea, more than, they. And, instead of herborizing, they visited the shops
of druggists, herbalists, and apothecaries, and diligently considered the
fruits, roots, leaves, gums, seeds, the grease and ointments of some
foreign parts, as also how they did adulterate them. He went to see the
jugglers, tumblers, mountebanks, and quacksalvers, and considered their
cunning, their shifts, their somersaults and smooth tongue, especially of
those of Chauny in Picardy, who are naturally great praters, and brave
givers of fibs, in matter of green apes.

At their return they did eat more soberly at supper than at other times,
and meats more desiccative and extenuating; to the end that the intemperate
moisture of the air, communicated to the body by a necessary confinitive,
might by this means be corrected, and that they might not receive any
prejudice for want of their ordinary bodily exercise. Thus was Gargantua
governed, and kept on in this course of education, from day to day
profiting, as you may understand such a young man of his age may, of a
pregnant judgment, with good discipline well continued. Which, although at
the beginning it seemed difficult, became a little after so sweet, so easy,
and so delightful, that it seemed rather the recreation of a king than the
study of a scholar. Nevertheless Ponocrates, to divert him from this
vehement intension of the spirits, thought fit, once in a month, upon some
fair and clear day, to go out of the city betimes in the morning, either
towards Gentilly, or Boulogne, or to Montrouge, or Charanton bridge, or to
Vanves, or St. Clou, and there spend all the day long in making the
greatest cheer that could be devised, sporting, making merry, drinking
healths, playing, singing, dancing, tumbling in some fair meadow,
unnestling of sparrows, taking of quails, and fishing for frogs and crabs.
But although that day was passed without books or lecture, yet was it not
spent without profit; for in the said meadows they usually repeated certain
pleasant verses of Virgil's agriculture, of Hesiod and of Politian's
husbandry, would set a-broach some witty Latin epigrams, then immediately
turned them into roundelays and songs for dancing in the French language.
In their feasting they would sometimes separate the water from the wine
that was therewith mixed, as Cato teacheth, De re rustica, and Pliny with
an ivy cup would wash the wine in a basinful of water, then take it out
again with a funnel as pure as ever. They made the water go from one glass
to another, and contrived a thousand little automatory engines, that is to
say, moving of themselves.

Chapter 1.XXV.

How there was great strife and debate raised betwixt the cake-bakers of
Lerne, and those of Gargantua's country, whereupon were waged great wars.

At that time, which was the season of vintage, in the beginning of harvest,
when the country shepherds were set to keep the vines, and hinder the
starlings from eating up the grapes, as some cake-bakers of Lerne happened
to pass along in the broad highway, driving into the city ten or twelve
horses loaded with cakes, the said shepherds courteously entreated them to
give them some for their money, as the price then ruled in the market. For
here it is to be remarked, that it is a celestial food to eat for breakfast
hot fresh cakes with grapes, especially the frail clusters, the great red
grapes, the muscadine, the verjuice grape, and the laskard, for those that
are costive in their belly, because it will make them gush out, and squirt
the length of a hunter's staff, like the very tap of a barrel; and
oftentimes, thinking to let a squib, they did all-to-besquatter and
conskite themselves, whereupon they are commonly called the vintage
thinkers. The bun-sellers or cake-makers were in nothing inclinable to
their request; but, which was worse, did injure them most outrageously,
calling them prattling gabblers, lickorous gluttons, freckled bittors, mangy
rascals, shite-a-bed scoundrels, drunken roysters, sly knaves, drowsy
loiterers, slapsauce fellows, slabberdegullion druggels, lubberly louts,
cozening foxes, ruffian rogues, paltry customers, sycophant-varlets,
drawlatch hoydens, flouting milksops, jeering companions, staring clowns,
forlorn snakes, ninny lobcocks, scurvy sneaksbies, fondling fops, base
loons, saucy coxcombs, idle lusks, scoffing braggarts, noddy meacocks,
blockish grutnols, doddipol-joltheads, jobbernol goosecaps, foolish
loggerheads, flutch calf-lollies, grouthead gnat-snappers, lob-dotterels,
gaping changelings, codshead loobies, woodcock slangams, ninny-hammer
flycatchers, noddypeak simpletons, turdy gut, shitten shepherds, and other
suchlike defamatory epithets; saying further, that it was not for them to
eat of these dainty cakes, but might very well content themselves with the
coarse unranged bread, or to eat of the great brown household loaf. To
which provoking words, one amongst them, called Forgier, an honest fellow
of his person and a notable springal, made answer very calmly thus: How
long is it since you have got horns, that you are become so proud? Indeed
formerly you were wont to give us some freely, and will you not now let us
have any for our money? This is not the part of good neighbours, neither
do we serve you thus when you come hither to buy our good corn, whereof you
make your cakes and buns. Besides that, we would have given you to the
bargain some of our grapes, but, by his zounds, you may chance to repent
it, and possibly have need of us at another time, when we shall use you
after the like manner, and therefore remember it. Then Marquet, a prime
man in the confraternity of the cake-bakers, said unto him, Yea, sir, thou
art pretty well crest-risen this morning, thou didst eat yesternight too
much millet and bolymong. Come hither, sirrah, come hither, I will give
thee some cakes. Whereupon Forgier, dreading no harm, in all simplicity
went towards him, and drew a sixpence out of his leather satchel, thinking
that Marquet would have sold him some of his cakes. But, instead of cakes,
he gave him with his whip such a rude lash overthwart the legs, that the
marks of the whipcord knots were apparent in them, then would have fled
away; but Forgier cried out as loud as he could, O, murder, murder, help,
help, help! and in the meantime threw a great cudgel after him, which he
carried under his arm, wherewith he hit him in the coronal joint of his
head, upon the crotaphic artery of the right side thereof, so forcibly,
that Marquet fell down from his mare more like a dead than living man.
Meanwhile the farmers and country swains, that were watching their walnuts
near to that place, came running with their great poles and long staves,
and laid such load on these cake-bakers, as if they had been to thresh upon
green rye. The other shepherds and shepherdesses, hearing the lamentable
shout of Forgier, came with their slings and slackies following them, and
throwing great stones at them, as thick as if it had been hail. At last
they overtook them, and took from them about four or five dozen of their
cakes. Nevertheless they paid for them the ordinary price, and gave them
over and above one hundred eggs and three baskets full of mulberries. Then
did the cake-bakers help to get up to his mare Marquet, who was most
shrewdly wounded, and forthwith returned to Lerne, changing the resolution
they had to go to Pareille, threatening very sharp and boisterously the
cowherds, shepherds, and farmers of Seville and Sinays. This done, the
shepherds and shepherdesses made merry with these cakes and fine grapes,
and sported themselves together at the sound of the pretty small pipe,
scoffing and laughing at those vainglorious cake-bakers, who had that day
met with a mischief for want of crossing themselves with a good hand in the
morning. Nor did they forget to apply to Forgier's leg some fair great red
medicinal grapes, and so handsomely dressed it and bound it up that he was
quickly cured.

Chapter 1.XXVI.

How the inhabitants of Lerne, by the commandment of Picrochole their king,
assaulted the shepherds of Gargantua unexpectedly and on a sudden.

The cake-bakers, being returned to Lerne, went presently, before they did
either eat or drink, to the Capitol, and there before their king, called
Picrochole, the third of that name, made their complaint, showing their
panniers broken, their caps all crumpled, their coats torn, their cakes
taken away, but, above all, Marquet most enormously wounded, saying that
all that mischief was done by the shepherds and herdsmen of Grangousier,
near the broad highway beyond Seville. Picrochole incontinent grew angry
and furious; and, without asking any further what, how, why, or wherefore,
commanded the ban and arriere ban to be sounded throughout all his country,
that all his vassals of what condition soever should, upon pain of the
halter, come, in the best arms they could, unto the great place before the
castle, at the hour of noon, and, the better to strengthen his design, he
caused the drum to be beat about the town. Himself, whilst his dinner was
making ready, went to see his artillery mounted upon the carriage, to
display his colours, and set up the great royal standard, and loaded wains
with store of ammunition both for the field and the belly, arms and
victuals. At dinner he despatched his commissions, and by his express
edict my Lord Shagrag was appointed to command the vanguard, wherein were
numbered sixteen thousand and fourteen arquebusiers or firelocks, together
with thirty thousand and eleven volunteer adventurers. The great
Touquedillon, master of the horse, had the charge of the ordnance, wherein
were reckoned nine hundred and fourteen brazen pieces, in cannons, double
cannons, basilisks, serpentines, culverins, bombards or murderers, falcons,
bases or passevolins, spirols, and other sorts of great guns. The
rearguard was committed to the Duke of Scrapegood. In the main battle was
the king and the princes of his kingdom. Thus being hastily furnished,
before they would set forward, they sent three hundred light horsemen,
under the conduct of Captain Swillwind, to discover the country, clear the
avenues, and see whether there was any ambush laid for them. But, after
they had made diligent search, they found all the land round about in peace
and quiet, without any meeting or convention at all; which Picrochole
understanding, commanded that everyone should march speedily under his
colours. Then immediately in all disorder, without keeping either rank or
file, they took the fields one amongst another, wasting, spoiling,
destroying, and making havoc of all wherever they went, not sparing poor
nor rich, privileged or unprivileged places, church nor laity, drove away
oxen and cows, bulls, calves, heifers, wethers, ewes, lambs, goats, kids,
hens, capons, chickens, geese, ganders, goslings, hogs, swine, pigs, and
such like; beating down the walnuts, plucking the grapes, tearing the
hedges, shaking the fruit-trees, and committing such incomparable abuses,
that the like abomination was never heard of. Nevertheless, they met with
none to resist them, for everyone submitted to their mercy, beseeching them
that they might be dealt with courteously in regard that they had always
carried themselves as became good and loving neighbours, and that they had
never been guilty of any wrong or outrage done upon them, to be thus
suddenly surprised, troubled, and disquieted, and that, if they would not
desist, God would punish them very shortly. To which expostulations and
remonstrances no other answer was made, but that they would teach them to
eat cakes.

Chapter 1.XXVII.

How a monk of Seville saved the close of the abbey from being ransacked by
the enemy.

So much they did, and so far they went pillaging and stealing, that at last
they came to Seville, where they robbed both men and women, and took all
they could catch: nothing was either too hot or too heavy for them.
Although the plague was there in the most part of all the houses, they
nevertheless entered everywhere, then plundered and carried away all that
was within, and yet for all this not one of them took any hurt, which is a
most wonderful case. For the curates, vicars, preachers, physicians,
chirurgeons, and apothecaries, who went to visit, to dress, to cure, to
heal, to preach unto and admonish those that were sick, were all dead of
the infection, and these devilish robbers and murderers caught never any
harm at all. Whence comes this to pass, my masters? I beseech you think
upon it. The town being thus pillaged, they went unto the abbey with a
horrible noise and tumult, but they found it shut and made fast against
them. Whereupon the body of the army marched forward towards a pass or
ford called the Gue de Vede, except seven companies of foot and two hundred
lancers, who, staying there, broke down the walls of the close, to waste,
spoil, and make havoc of all the vines and vintage within that place. The
monks (poor devils) knew not in that extremity to which of all their sancts
they should vow themselves. Nevertheless, at all adventures they rang the
bells ad capitulum capitulantes. There it was decreed that they should
make a fair procession, stuffed with good lectures, prayers, and litanies
contra hostium insidias, and jolly responses pro pace.

There was then in the abbey a claustral monk, called Friar John of the
funnels and gobbets, in French des entoumeures, young, gallant, frisk,
lusty, nimble, quick, active, bold, adventurous, resolute, tall, lean,
wide-mouthed, long-nosed, a fair despatcher of morning prayers, unbridler
of masses, and runner over of vigils; and, to conclude summarily in a word,
a right monk, if ever there was any, since the monking world monked a
monkery: for the rest, a clerk even to the teeth in matter of breviary.
This monk, hearing the noise that the enemy made within the enclosure of
the vineyard, went out to see what they were doing; and perceiving that
they were cutting and gathering the grapes, whereon was grounded the
foundation of all their next year's wine, returned unto the choir of the
church where the other monks were, all amazed and astonished like so many
bell-melters. Whom when he heard sing, im, nim, pe, ne, ne, ne, ne, nene,
tum, ne, num, num, ini, i mi, co, o, no, o, o, neno, ne, no, no, no, rum,
nenum, num: It is well shit, well sung, said he. By the virtue of God,
why do not you sing, Panniers, farewell, vintage is done? The devil snatch
me, if they be not already within the middle of our close, and cut so well
both vines and grapes, that, by Cod's body, there will not be found for
these four years to come so much as a gleaning in it. By the belly of
Sanct James, what shall we poor devils drink the while? Lord God! da mihi
potum. Then said the prior of the convent: What should this drunken
fellow do here? let him be carried to prison for troubling the divine
service. Nay, said the monk, the wine service, let us behave ourselves so
that it be not troubled; for you yourself, my lord prior, love to drink of
the best, and so doth every honest man. Never yet did a man of worth
dislike good wine, it is a monastical apophthegm. But these responses that
you chant here, by G--, are not in season. Wherefore is it, that our
devotions were instituted to be short in the time of harvest and vintage,
and long in the advent, and all the winter? The late friar, Massepelosse,
of good memory, a true zealous man, or else I give myself to the devil, of
our religion, told me, and I remember it well, how the reason was, that in
this season we might press and make the wine, and in winter whiff it up.
Hark you, my masters, you that love the wine, Cop's body, follow me; for
Sanct Anthony burn me as freely as a faggot, if they get leave to taste one
drop of the liquor that will not now come and fight for relief of the vine.
Hog's belly, the goods of the church! Ha, no, no. What the devil, Sanct
Thomas of England was well content to die for them; if I died in the same
cause, should not I be a sanct likewise? Yes. Yet shall not I die there
for all this, for it is I that must do it to others and send them

As he spake this he threw off his great monk's habit, and laid hold upon
the staff of the cross, which was made of the heart of a sorbapple-tree, it
being of the length of a lance, round, of a full grip, and a little
powdered with lilies called flower de luce, the workmanship whereof was
almost all defaced and worn out. Thus went he out in a fair long-skirted
jacket, putting his frock scarfwise athwart his breast, and in this
equipage, with his staff, shaft or truncheon of the cross, laid on so
lustily, brisk, and fiercely upon his enemies, who, without any order, or
ensign, or trumpet, or drum, were busied in gathering the grapes of the
vineyard. For the cornets, guidons, and ensign-bearers had laid down their
standards, banners, and colours by the wall sides: the drummers had
knocked out the heads of their drums on one end to fill them with grapes:
the trumpeters were loaded with great bundles of bunches and huge knots of
clusters: in sum, everyone of them was out of array, and all in disorder.
He hurried, therefore, upon them so rudely, without crying gare or beware,
that he overthrew them like hogs, tumbled them over like swine, striking
athwart and alongst, and by one means or other laid so about him, after the
old fashion of fencing, that to some he beat out their brains, to others he
crushed their arms, battered their legs, and bethwacked their sides till
their ribs cracked with it. To others again he unjointed the spondyles or
knuckles of the neck, disfigured their chaps, gashed their faces, made
their cheeks hang flapping on their chin, and so swinged and balammed them
that they fell down before him like hay before a mower. To some others he
spoiled the frame of their kidneys, marred their backs, broke their thigh-
bones, pashed in their noses, poached out their eyes, cleft their
mandibles, tore their jaws, dung in their teeth into their throat, shook
asunder their omoplates or shoulder-blades, sphacelated their shins,
mortified their shanks, inflamed their ankles, heaved off of the hinges
their ishies, their sciatica or hip-gout, dislocated the joints of their
knees, squattered into pieces the boughts or pestles of their thighs, and
so thumped, mauled and belaboured them everywhere, that never was corn so
thick and threefold threshed upon by ploughmen's flails as were the
pitifully disjointed members of their mangled bodies under the merciless
baton of the cross. If any offered to hide himself amongst the thickest of
the vines, he laid him squat as a flounder, bruised the ridge of his back,
and dashed his reins like a dog. If any thought by flight to escape, he
made his head to fly in pieces by the lamboidal commissure, which is a seam
in the hinder part of the skull. If anyone did scramble up into a tree,
thinking there to be safe, he rent up his perinee, and impaled him in at
the fundament. If any of his old acquaintance happened to cry out, Ha,
Friar John, my friend Friar John, quarter, quarter, I yield myself to you,
to you I render myself! So thou shalt, said he, and must, whether thou
wouldst or no, and withal render and yield up thy soul to all the devils in
hell; then suddenly gave them dronos, that is, so many knocks, thumps,
raps, dints, thwacks, and bangs, as sufficed to warn Pluto of their coming
and despatch them a-going. If any was so rash and full of temerity as to
resist him to his face, then was it he did show the strength of his
muscles, for without more ado he did transpierce him, by running him in at
the breast, through the mediastine and the heart. Others, again, he so
quashed and bebumped, that, with a sound bounce under the hollow of their
short ribs, he overturned their stomachs so that they died immediately. To
some, with a smart souse on the epigaster, he would make their midriff
swag, then, redoubling the blow, gave them such a homepush on the navel
that he made their puddings to gush out. To others through their ballocks
he pierced their bumgut, and left not bowel, tripe, nor entrail in their
body that had not felt the impetuosity, fierceness, and fury of his
violence. Believe, that it was the most horrible spectacle that ever one
saw. Some cried unto Sanct Barbe, others to St. George. O the holy Lady
Nytouch, said one, the good Sanctess; O our Lady of Succours, said another,
help, help! Others cried, Our Lady of Cunaut, of Loretto, of Good Tidings,
on the other side of the water St. Mary Over. Some vowed a pilgrimage to
St. James, and others to the holy handkerchief at Chamberry, which three
months after that burnt so well in the fire that they could not get one
thread of it saved. Others sent up their vows to St. Cadouin, others to
St. John d'Angely, and to St. Eutropius of Xaintes. Others again invoked
St. Mesmes of Chinon, St. Martin of Candes, St. Clouaud of Sinays, the holy
relics of Laurezay, with a thousand other jolly little sancts and santrels.
Some died without speaking, others spoke without dying; some died in
speaking, others spoke in dying. Others shouted as loud as they could
Confession, Confession, Confiteor, Miserere, In manus! So great was the
cry of the wounded, that the prior of the abbey with all his monks came
forth, who, when they saw these poor wretches so slain amongst the vines,
and wounded to death, confessed some of them. But whilst the priests were
busied in confessing them, the little monkies ran all to the place where
Friar John was, and asked him wherein he would be pleased to require their
assistance. To which he answered that they should cut the throats of those
he had thrown down upon the ground. They presently, leaving their outer
habits and cowls upon the rails, began to throttle and make an end of those
whom he had already crushed. Can you tell with what instruments they did
it? With fair gullies, which are little hulchbacked demi-knives, the iron
tool whereof is two inches long, and the wooden handle one inch thick, and
three inches in length, wherewith the little boys in our country cut ripe
walnuts in two while they are yet in the shell, and pick out the kernel,
and they found them very fit for the expediting of that weasand-slitting
exploit. In the meantime Friar John, with his formidable baton of the
cross, got to the breach which the enemies had made, and there stood to
snatch up those that endeavoured to escape. Some of the monkitos carried
the standards, banners, ensigns, guidons, and colours into their cells and
chambers to make garters of them. But when those that had been shriven
would have gone out at the gap of the said breach, the sturdy monk quashed
and felled them down with blows, saying, These men have had confession and
are penitent souls; they have got their absolution and gained the pardons;
they go into paradise as straight as a sickle, or as the way is to Faye
(like Crooked-Lane at Eastcheap). Thus by his prowess and valour were
discomfited all those of the army that entered into the close of the abbey,
unto the number of thirteen thousand, six hundred, twenty and two, besides
the women and little children, which is always to be understood. Never did
Maugis the Hermit bear himself more valiantly with his bourdon or pilgrim's
staff against the Saracens, of whom is written in the Acts of the four sons
of Aymon, than did this monk against his enemies with the staff of the

Chapter 1.XXVIII.

How Picrochole stormed and took by assault the rock Clermond, and of
Grangousier's unwillingness and aversion from the undertaking of war.

Whilst the monk did thus skirmish, as we have said, against those which
were entered within the close, Picrochole in great haste passed the ford of
Vede--a very especial pass--with all his soldiers, and set upon the rock
Clermond, where there was made him no resistance at all; and, because it
was already night, he resolved to quarter himself and his army in that
town, and to refresh himself of his pugnative choler. In the morning he
stormed and took the bulwarks and castle, which afterwards he fortified
with rampiers, and furnished with all ammunition requisite, intending to
make his retreat there, if he should happen to be otherwise worsted; for it
was a strong place, both by art and nature, in regard of the stance and
situation of it. But let us leave them there, and return to our good
Gargantua, who is at Paris very assiduous and earnest at the study of good
letters and athletical exercitations, and to the good old man Grangousier
his father, who after supper warmeth his ballocks by a good, clear, great
fire, and, waiting upon the broiling of some chestnuts, is very serious in
drawing scratches on the hearth, with a stick burnt at the one end,
wherewith they did stir up the fire, telling to his wife and the rest of
the family pleasant old stories and tales of former times.

Whilst he was thus employed, one of the shepherds which did keep the vines,
named Pillot, came towards him, and to the full related the enormous abuses
which were committed, and the excessive spoil that was made by Picrochole,
King of Lerne, upon his lands and territories, and how he had pillaged,
wasted, and ransacked all the country, except the enclosure at Seville,
which Friar John des Entoumeures to his great honour had preserved; and
that at the same present time the said king was in the rock Clermond, and
there, with great industry and circumspection, was strengthening himself
and his whole army. Halas, halas, alas! said Grangousier, what is this,
good people? Do I dream, or is it true that they tell me? Picrochole, my
ancient friend of old time, of my own kindred and alliance, comes he to
invade me? What moves him? What provokes him? What sets him on? What
drives him to it? Who hath given him this counsel? Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, my
God, my Saviour, help me, inspire me, and advise me what I shall do! I
protest, I swear before thee, so be thou favourable to me, if ever I did
him or his subjects any damage or displeasure, or committed any the least
robbery in his country; but, on the contrary, I have succoured and supplied
him with men, money, friendship, and counsel, upon any occasion wherein I
could be steadable for the improvement of his good. That he hath therefore
at this nick of time so outraged and wronged me, it cannot be but by the
malevolent and wicked spirit. Good God, thou knowest my courage, for
nothing can be hidden from thee. If perhaps he be grown mad, and that thou
hast sent him hither to me for the better recovery and re-establishment of
his brain, grant me power and wisdom to bring him to the yoke of thy holy
will by good discipline. Ho, ho, ho, ho, my good people, my friends and my
faithful servants, must I hinder you from helping me? Alas, my old age
required hence-forward nothing else but rest, and all the days of my life I
have laboured for nothing so much as peace; but now I must, I see it well,
load with arms my poor, weary, and feeble shoulders, and take in my
trembling hand the lance and horseman's mace, to succour and protect my
honest subjects. Reason will have it so; for by their labour am I
entertained, and with their sweat am I nourished, I, my children and my
family. This notwithstanding, I will not undertake war, until I have first
tried all the ways and means of peace: that I resolve upon.

Then assembled he his council, and proposed the matter as it was indeed.
Whereupon it was concluded that they should send some discreet man unto
Picrochole, to know wherefore he had thus suddenly broken the peace and
invaded those lands unto which he had no right nor title. Furthermore,
that they should send for Gargantua, and those under his command, for the
preservation of the country, and defence thereof now at need. All this
pleased Grangousier very well, and he commanded that so it should be done.
Presently therefore he sent the Basque his lackey to fetch Gargantua with
all diligence, and wrote him as followeth.

Chapter 1.XXIX.

The tenour of the letter which Grangousier wrote to his son Gargantua.

The fervency of thy studies did require that I should not in a long time
recall thee from that philosophical rest thou now enjoyest, if the
confidence reposed in our friends and ancient confederates had not at this
present disappointed the assurance of my old age. But seeing such is my
fatal destiny, that I should be now disquieted by those in whom I trusted
most, I am forced to call thee back to help the people and goods which by
the right of nature belong unto thee. For even as arms are weak abroad, if
there be not counsel at home, so is that study vain and counsel
unprofitable which in a due and convenient time is not by virtue executed
and put in effect. My deliberation is not to provoke, but to appease--not
to assault, but to defend--not to conquer, but to preserve my faithful
subjects and hereditary dominions, into which Picrochole is entered in a
hostile manner without any ground or cause, and from day to day pursueth
his furious enterprise with that height of insolence that is intolerable to
freeborn spirits. I have endeavoured to moderate his tyrannical choler,
offering him all that which I thought might give him satisfaction; and
oftentimes have I sent lovingly unto him to understand wherein, by whom,
and how he found himself to be wronged. But of him could I obtain no other
answer but a mere defiance, and that in my lands he did pretend only to the
right of a civil correspondency and good behaviour, whereby I knew that the
eternal God hath left him to the disposure of his own free will and sensual
appetite--which cannot choose but be wicked, if by divine grace it be not
continually guided--and to contain him within his duty, and bring him to
know himself, hath sent him hither to me by a grievous token. Therefore,
my beloved son, as soon as thou canst, upon sight of these letters, repair
hither with all diligence, to succour not me so much, which nevertheless by
natural piety thou oughtest to do, as thine own people, which by reason
thou mayest save and preserve. The exploit shall be done with as little
effusion of blood as may be. And, if possible, by means far more
expedient, such as military policy, devices, and stratagems of war, we
shall save all the souls, and send them home as merry as crickets unto
their own houses. My dearest son, the peace of Jesus Christ our Redeemer
be with thee. Salute from me Ponocrates, Gymnastes, and Eudemon. The
twentieth of September.
Thy Father Grangousier.

Chapter 1.XXX.

How Ulric Gallet was sent unto Picrochole.

The letters being dictated, signed, and sealed, Grangousier ordained that
Ulric Gallet, master of the requests, a very wise and discreet man, of
whose prudence and sound judgment he had made trial in several difficult
and debateful matters, (should) go unto Picrochole, to show what had been
decreed amongst them. At the same hour departed the good man Gallet, and
having passed the ford, asked at the miller that dwelt there in what
condition Picrochole was: who answered him that his soldiers had left him
neither cock nor hen, that they were retired and shut up into the rock
Clermond, and that he would not advise him to go any further for fear of
the scouts, because they were enormously furious. Which he easily
believed, and therefore lodged that night with the miller.

The next morning he went with a trumpeter to the gate of the castle, and
required the guards he might be admitted to speak with the king of somewhat
that concerned him. These words being told unto the king, he would by no
means consent that they should open the gate; but, getting upon the top of
the bulwark, said unto the ambassador, What is the news, what have you to
say? Then the ambassador began to speak as followeth.

Chapter 1.XXXI.

The speech made by Gallet to Picrochole.

There cannot arise amongst men a juster cause of grief than when they
receive hurt and damage where they may justly expect for favour and good
will; and not without cause, though without reason, have many, after they
had fallen into such a calamitous accident, esteemed this indignity less
supportable than the loss of their own lives, in such sort that, if they
have not been able by force of arms nor any other means, by reach of wit or
subtlety, to stop them in their course and restrain their fury, they have
fallen into desperation, and utterly deprived themselves of this light. It
is therefore no wonder if King Grangousier, my master, be full of high
displeasure and much disquieted in mind upon thy outrageous and hostile
coming; but truly it would be a marvel if he were not sensible of and moved
with the incomparable abuses and injuries perpetrated by thee and thine
upon those of his country, towards whom there hath been no example of
inhumanity omitted. Which in itself is to him so grievous, for the cordial
affection wherewith he hath always cherished his subjects, that more it
cannot be to any mortal man; yet in this, above human apprehension, is it
to him the more grievous that these wrongs and sad offences have been
committed by thee and thine, who, time out of mind, from all antiquity,
thou and thy predecessors have been in a continual league and amity with
him and all his ancestors; which, even until this time, you have as sacred
together inviolably preserved, kept, and entertained, so well, that not he
and his only, but the very barbarous nations of the Poictevins, Bretons,
Manceaux, and those that dwell beyond the isles of the Canaries, and that
of Isabella, have thought it as easy to pull down the firmament, and to set
up the depths above the clouds, as to make a breach in your alliance; and
have been so afraid of it in their enterprises that they have never dared
to provoke, incense, or endamage the one for fear of the other. Nay, which
is more, this sacred league hath so filled the world, that there are few
nations at this day inhabiting throughout all the continent and isles of
the ocean, who have not ambitiously aspired to be received into it, upon
your own covenants and conditions, holding your joint confederacy in as
high esteem as their own territories and dominions, in such sort, that from
the memory of man there hath not been either prince or league so wild and
proud that durst have offered to invade, I say not your countries, but not
so much as those of your confederates. And if, by rash and heady counsel,
they have attempted any new design against them, as soon as they heard the
name and title of your alliance, they have suddenly desisted from their
enterprises. What rage and madness, therefore, doth now incite thee, all
old alliance infringed, all amity trod under foot, and all right violated,
thus in a hostile manner to invade his country, without having been by him
or his in anything prejudiced, wronged, or provoked? Where is faith?
Where is law? Where is reason? Where is humanity? Where is the fear of
God? Dost thou think that these atrocious abuses are hidden from the
eternal spirit and the supreme God who is the just rewarder of all our
undertakings? If thou so think, thou deceivest thyself; for all things
shall come to pass as in his incomprehensible judgment he hath appointed.
Is it thy fatal destiny, or influences of the stars, that would put an end
to thy so long enjoyed ease and rest? For that all things have their end
and period, so as that, when they are come to the superlative point of
their greatest height, they are in a trice tumbled down again, as not being
able to abide long in that state. This is the conclusion and end of those
who cannot by reason and temperance moderate their fortunes and
prosperities. But if it be predestinated that thy happiness and ease must
now come to an end, must it needs be by wronging my king,--him by whom thou
wert established? If thy house must come to ruin, should it therefore in
its fall crush the heels of him that set it up? The matter is so
unreasonable, and so dissonant from common sense, that hardly can it be
conceived by human understanding, and altogether incredible unto strangers,
till by the certain and undoubted effects thereof it be made apparent that
nothing is either sacred or holy to those who, having emancipated
themselves from God and reason, do merely follow the perverse affections of
their own depraved nature. If any wrong had been done by us to thy
subjects and dominions--if we had favoured thy ill-willers--if we had not
assisted thee in thy need--if thy name and reputation had been wounded by
us--or, to speak more truly, if the calumniating spirit, tempting to induce
thee to evil, had, by false illusions and deceitful fantasies, put into thy
conceit the impression of a thought that we had done unto thee anything
unworthy of our ancient correspondence and friendship, thou oughtest first
to have inquired out the truth, and afterwards by a seasonable warning to
admonish us thereof; and we should have so satisfied thee, according to
thine own heart's desire, that thou shouldst have had occasion to be
contented. But, O eternal God, what is thy enterprise? Wouldst thou, like
a perfidious tyrant, thus spoil and lay waste my master's kingdom? Hast
thou found him so silly and blockish, that he would not--or so destitute of
men and money, of counsel and skill in military discipline, that he cannot
withstand thy unjust invasion? March hence presently, and to-morrow, some
time of the day, retreat unto thine own country, without doing any kind of
violence or disorderly act by the way; and pay withal a thousand besans of
gold (which, in English money, amounteth to five thousand pounds), for
reparation of the damages thou hast done in this country. Half thou shalt
pay to-morrow, and the other half at the ides of May next coming, leaving
with us in the mean time, for hostages, the Dukes of Turnbank, Lowbuttock,
and Smalltrash, together with the Prince of Itches and Viscount of
Snatchbit (Tournemoule, Bas-de-fesses, Menuail, Gratelles, Morpiaille.).

Chapter 1.XXXII.

How Grangousier, to buy peace, caused the cakes to be restored.

With that the good man Gallet held his peace, but Picrochole to all his
discourse answered nothing but Come and fetch them, come and fetch them,--
they have ballocks fair and soft,--they will knead and provide some cakes
for you. Then returned he to Grangousier, whom he found upon his knees
bareheaded, crouching in a little corner of his cabinet, and humbly praying
unto God that he would vouchsafe to assuage the choler of Picrochole, and
bring him to the rule of reason without proceeding by force. When the good
man came back, he asked him, Ha, my friend, what news do you bring me?
There is neither hope nor remedy, said Gallet; the man is quite out of his
wits, and forsaken of God. Yea, but, said Grangousier, my friend, what
cause doth he pretend for his outrages? He did not show me any cause at
all, said Gallet, only that in a great anger he spoke some words of cakes.
I cannot tell if they have done any wrong to his cake-bakers. I will know,
said Grangousier, the matter thoroughly, before I resolve any more upon
what is to be done. Then sent he to learn concerning that business, and
found by true information that his men had taken violently some cakes from
Picrochole's people, and that Marquet's head was broken with a slacky or
short cudgel; that, nevertheless, all was well paid, and that the said
Marquet had first hurt Forgier with a stroke of his whip athwart the legs.
And it seemed good to his whole council, that he should defend himself with
all his might. Notwithstanding all this, said Grangousier, seeing the
question is but about a few cakes, I will labour to content him; for I am
very unwilling to wage war against him. He inquired then what quantity of
cakes they had taken away, and understanding that it was but some four or
five dozen, he commanded five cartloads of them to be baked that same
night; and that there should be one full of cakes made with fine butter,
fine yolks of eggs, fine saffron, and fine spice, to be bestowed upon
Marquet, unto whom likewise he directed to be given seven hundred thousand
and three Philips (that is, at three shillings the piece, one hundred five
thousand pounds and nine shillings of English money), for reparation of his
losses and hindrances, and for satisfaction of the chirurgeon that had
dressed his wound; and furthermore settled upon him and his for ever in
freehold the apple-orchard called La Pomardiere. For the conveyance and
passing of all which was sent Gallet, who by the way as they went made them
gather near the willow-trees great store of boughs, canes, and reeds,
wherewith all the carriers were enjoined to garnish and deck their carts,
and each of them to carry one in his hand, as himself likewise did, thereby
to give all men to understand that they demanded but peace, and that they
came to buy it.

Being come to the gate, they required to speak with Picrochole from
Grangousier. Picrochole would not so much as let them in, nor go to speak
with them, but sent them word that he was busy, and that they should
deliver their mind to Captain Touquedillon, who was then planting a piece
of ordnance upon the wall. Then said the good man unto him, My lord, to
ease you of all this labour, and to take away all excuses why you may not
return unto our former alliance, we do here presently restore unto you the
cakes upon which the quarrel arose. Five dozen did our people take away:
they were well paid for: we love peace so well that we restore unto you
five cartloads, of which this cart shall be for Marquet, who doth most
complain. Besides, to content him entirely, here are seven hundred
thousand and three Philips, which I deliver to him, and, for the losses he
may pretend to have sustained, I resign for ever the farm of the
Pomardiere, to be possessed in fee-simple by him and his for ever, without
the payment of any duty, or acknowledgement of homage, fealty, fine, or
service whatsoever, and here is the tenour of the deed. And, for God's
sake, let us live henceforward in peace, and withdraw yourselves merrily
into your own country from within this place, unto which you have no right
at all, as yourselves must needs confess, and let us be good friends as
before. Touquedillon related all this to Picrochole, and more and more
exasperated his courage, saying to him, These clowns are afraid to some
purpose. By G--, Grangousier conskites himself for fear, the poor drinker.
He is not skilled in warfare, nor hath he any stomach for it. He knows
better how to empty the flagons,--that is his art. I am of opinion that it
is fit we send back the carts and the money, and, for the rest, that very
speedily we fortify ourselves here, then prosecute our fortune. But what!
Do they think to have to do with a ninnywhoop, to feed you thus with cakes?
You may see what it is. The good usage and great familiarity which you
have had with them heretofore hath made you contemptible in their eyes.
Anoint a villain, he will prick you: prick a villain, and he will anoint
you (Ungentem pungit, pungentem rusticus ungit.).

Sa, sa, sa, said Picrochole, by St. James you have given a true character
of them. One thing I will advise you, said Touquedillon. We are here but
badly victualled, and furnished with mouth-harness very slenderly. If
Grangousier should come to besiege us, I would go presently, and pluck out
of all your soldiers' heads and mine own all the teeth, except three to
each of us, and with them alone we should make an end of our provision but
too soon. We shall have, said Picrochole, but too much sustenance and
feeding-stuff. Came we hither to eat or to fight? To fight, indeed, said
Touquedillon; yet from the paunch comes the dance, and where famine rules
force is exiled. Leave off your prating, said Picrochole, and forthwith
seize upon what they have brought. Then took they money and cakes, oxen
and carts, and sent them away without speaking one word, only that they
would come no more so near, for a reason that they would give them the
morrow after. Thus, without doing anything, returned they to Grangousier,
and related the whole matter unto him, subjoining that there was no hope
left to draw them to peace but by sharp and fierce wars.

Chapter 1.XXXIII.

How some statesmen of Picrochole, by hairbrained counsel, put him in
extreme danger.

The carts being unloaded, and the money and cakes secured, there came
before Picrochole the Duke of Smalltrash, the Earl Swashbuckler, and
Captain Dirt-tail (Menuail, Spadassin, Merdaille.), who said unto him, Sir,
this day we make you the happiest, the most warlike and chivalrous prince
that ever was since the death of Alexander of Macedonia. Be covered, be
covered, said Picrochole. Gramercy, said they, we do but our duty. The
manner is thus. You shall leave some captain here to have the charge of
this garrison, with a party competent for keeping of the place, which,
besides its natural strength, is made stronger by the rampiers and
fortresses of your devising. Your army you are to divide into two parts,
as you know very well how to do. One part thereof shall fall upon
Grangousier and his forces. By it shall he be easily at the very first
shock routed, and then shall you get money by heaps, for the clown hath
store of ready coin. Clown we call him, because a noble and generous
prince hath never a penny, and that to hoard up treasure is but a clownish
trick. The other part of the army, in the meantime, shall draw towards
Onys, Xaintonge, Angomois, and Gascony. Then march to Perigot, Medoc, and
Elanes, taking wherever you come, without resistance, towns, castles, and
forts; afterwards to Bayonne, St. John de Luc, to Fontarabia, where you
shall seize upon all the ships, and coasting along Galicia and Portugal,
shall pillage all the maritime places, even unto Lisbon, where you shall be
supplied with all necessaries befitting a conqueror. By copsody, Spain
will yield, for they are but a race of loobies. Then are you to pass by
the Straits of Gibraltar, where you shall erect two pillars more stately
than those of Hercules, to the perpetual memory of your name, and the
narrow entrance there shall be called the Picrocholinal sea.

Having passed the Picrocholinal sea, behold, Barbarossa yields himself your
slave. I will, said Picrochole, give him fair quarter and spare his life.
Yea, said they, so that he be content to be christened. And you shall
conquer the kingdoms of Tunis, of Hippo, Argier, Bomine (Bona), Corone,
yea, all Barbary. Furthermore, you shall take into your hands Majorca,
Minorca, Sardinia, Corsica, with the other islands of the Ligustic and
Balearian seas. Going alongst on the left hand, you shall rule all Gallia
Narbonensis, Provence, the Allobrogians, Genoa, Florence, Lucca, and then
God b'w'ye, Rome. (Our poor Monsieur the Pope dies now for fear.) By my
faith, said Picrochole, I will not then kiss his pantoufle.

Italy being thus taken, behold Naples, Calabria, Apulia, and Sicily, all
ransacked, and Malta too. I wish the pleasant Knights of the Rhodes
heretofore would but come to resist you, that we might see their urine. I
would, said Picrochole, very willingly go to Loretto. No, no, said they,
that shall be at our return. From thence we will sail eastwards, and take
Candia, Cyprus, Rhodes, and the Cyclade Islands, and set upon (the) Morea.
It is ours, by St. Trenian. The Lord preserve Jerusalem; for the great
Soldan is not comparable to you in power. I will then, said he, cause
Solomon's temple to be built. No, said they, not yet, have a little
patience, stay awhile, be never too sudden in your enterprises. Can you
tell what Octavian Augustus said? Festina lente. It is requisite that you
first have the Lesser Asia, Caria, Lycia, Pamphilia, Cilicia, Lydia,
Phrygia, Mysia, Bithynia, Carazia, Satalia, Samagaria, Castamena, Luga,
Savasta, even unto Euphrates. Shall we see, said Picrochole, Babylon and
Mount Sinai? There is no need, said they, at this time. Have we not
hurried up and down, travelled and toiled enough, in having transfretted
and passed over the Hircanian sea, marched alongst the two Armenias and the
three Arabias? Ay, by my faith, said he, we have played the fools, and are
undone. Ha, poor souls! What's the matter? said they. What shall we
have, said he, to drink in these deserts? For Julian Augustus with his
whole army died there for thirst, as they say. We have already, said they,
given order for that. In the Syriac sea you have nine thousand and
fourteen great ships laden with the best wines in the world. They arrived
at Port Joppa. There they found two-and-twenty thousand camels and sixteen
hundred elephants, which you shall have taken at one hunting about
Sigelmes, when you entered into Lybia; and, besides this, you had all the
Mecca caravan. Did not they furnish you sufficiently with wine? Yes, but,
said he, we did not drink it fresh. By the virtue, said they, not of a
fish, a valiant man, a conqueror, who pretends and aspires to the monarchy
of the world, cannot always have his ease. God be thanked that you and
your men are come safe and sound unto the banks of the river Tigris. But,
said he, what doth that part of our army in the meantime which overthrows
that unworthy swillpot Grangousier? They are not idle, said they. We
shall meet with them by-and-by. They shall have won you Brittany,
Normandy, Flanders, Hainault, Brabant, Artois, Holland, Zealand; they have
passed the Rhine over the bellies of the Switzers and lansquenets, and a
party of these hath subdued Luxembourg, Lorraine, Champagne, and Savoy,
even to Lyons, in which place they have met with your forces returning from
the naval conquests of the Mediterranean sea; and have rallied again in
Bohemia, after they had plundered and sacked Suevia, Wittemberg, Bavaria,
Austria, Moravia, and Styria. Then they set fiercely together upon Lubeck,
Norway, Swedeland, Rie, Denmark, Gitland, Greenland, the Sterlins, even
unto the frozen sea. This done, they conquered the Isles of Orkney and
subdued Scotland, England, and Ireland. From thence sailing through the
sandy sea and by the Sarmates, they have vanquished and overcome Prussia,
Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Wallachia, Transylvania, Hungary, Bulgaria,
Turkeyland, and are now at Constantinople. Come, said Picrochole, let us
go join with them quickly, for I will be Emperor of Trebizond also. Shall
we not kill all these dogs, Turks and Mahometans? What a devil should we
do else? said they. And you shall give their goods and lands to such as
shall have served you honestly. Reason, said he, will have it so, that is
but just. I give unto you the Caramania, Suria, and all the Palestine.
Ha, sir, said they, it is out of your goodness; gramercy, we thank you.
God grant you may always prosper. There was there present at that time an
old gentleman well experienced in the wars, a stern soldier, and who had
been in many great hazards, named Echephron, who, hearing this discourse,
said, I do greatly doubt that all this enterprise will be like the tale or
interlude of the pitcher full of milk wherewith a shoemaker made himself
rich in conceit; but, when the pitcher was broken, he had not whereupon to
dine. What do you pretend by these large conquests? What shall be the end
of so many labours and crosses? Thus it shall be, said Picrochole, that
when we are returned we shall sit down, rest, and be merry. But, said
Echephron, if by chance you should never come back, for the voyage is long
and dangerous, were it not better for us to take our rest now, than
unnecessarily to expose ourselves to so many dangers? O, said
Swashbuckler, by G--, here is a good dotard; come, let us go hide ourselves
in the corner of a chimney, and there spend the whole time of our life
amongst ladies, in threading of pearls, or spinning, like Sardanapalus. He
that nothing ventures hath neither horse nor mule, says Solomon. He who
adventureth too much, said Echephron, loseth both horse and mule, answered
Malchon. Enough, said Picrochole, go forward. I fear nothing but that
these devilish legions of Grangousier, whilst we are in Mesopotamia, will
come on our backs and charge up our rear. What course shall we then take?
What shall be our remedy? A very good one, said Dirt-tail; a pretty little
commission, which you must send unto the Muscovites, shall bring you into
the field in an instant four hundred and fifty thousand choice men of war.
Oh that you would but make me your lieutenant-general, I should for the
lightest faults of any inflict great punishments. I fret, I charge, I
strike, I take, I kill, I slay, I play the devil. On, on, said Picrochole,
make haste, my lads, and let him that loves me follow me.

Chapter 1.XXXIV.

How Gargantua left the city of Paris to succour his country, and how
Gymnast encountered with the enemy.

In this same very hour Gargantua, who was gone out of Paris as soon as he
had read his father's letters, coming upon his great mare, had already
passed the Nunnery-bridge, himself, Ponocrates, Gymnast, and Eudemon, who
all three, the better to enable them to go along with him, took post-
horses. The rest of his train came after him by even journeys at a slower
pace, bringing with them all his books and philosophical instruments. As
soon as he had alighted at Parille, he was informed by a farmer of Gouguet
how Picrochole had fortified himself within the rock Clermond, and had sent
Captain Tripet with a great army to set upon the wood of Vede and
Vaugaudry, and that they had already plundered the whole country, not
leaving cock nor hen, even as far as to the winepress of Billard. These
strange and almost incredible news of the enormous abuses thus committed
over all the land, so affrighted Gargantua that he knew not what to say nor
do. But Ponocrates counselled him to go unto the Lord of Vauguyon, who at
all times had been their friend and confederate, and that by him they
should be better advised in their business. Which they did incontinently,
and found him very willing and fully resolved to assist them, and therefore
was of opinion that they should send some one of his company to scout along
and discover the country, to learn in what condition and posture the enemy
was, that they might take counsel, and proceed according to the present
occasion. Gymnast offered himself to go. Whereupon it was concluded, that
for his safety and the better expedition, he should have with him someone
that knew the ways, avenues, turnings, windings, and rivers thereabout.
Then away went he and Prelingot, the equerry or gentleman of Vauguyon's
horse, who scouted and espied as narrowly as they could upon all quarters
without any fear. In the meantime Gargantua took a little refreshment, ate
somewhat himself, the like did those who were with him, and caused to give
to his mare a picotine of oats, that is, three score and fourteen quarters
and three bushels. Gymnast and his comrade rode so long, that at last they
met with the enemy's forces, all scattered and out of order, plundering,
stealing, robbing, and pillaging all they could lay their hands on. And,
as far off as they could perceive him, they ran thronging upon the back of
one another in all haste towards him, to unload him of his money, and
untruss his portmantles. Then cried he out unto them, My masters, I am a
poor devil, I desire you to spare me. I have yet one crown left. Come, we
must drink it, for it is aurum potabile, and this horse here shall be sold
to pay my welcome. Afterwards take me for one of your own, for never yet
was there any man that knew better how to take, lard, roast, and dress,
yea, by G--, to tear asunder and devour a hen, than I that am here: and
for my proficiat I drink to all good fellows. With that he unscrewed his
borracho (which was a great Dutch leathern bottle), and without putting in
his nose drank very honestly. The maroufle rogues looked upon him, opening
their throats a foot wide, and putting out their tongues like greyhounds,
in hopes to drink after him; but Captain Tripet, in the very nick of that
their expectation, came running to him to see who it was. To him Gymnast
offered his bottle, saying, Hold, captain, drink boldly and spare not; I
have been thy taster, it is wine of La Faye Monjau. What! said Tripet,
this fellow gibes and flouts us? Who art thou? said Tripet. I am, said
Gymnast, a poor devil (pauvre diable). Ha, said Tripet, seeing thou art a
poor devil, it is reason that thou shouldst be permitted to go
whithersoever thou wilt, for all poor devils pass everywhere without toll
or tax. But it is not the custom of poor devils to be so well mounted;
therefore, sir devil, come down, and let me have your horse, and if he do
not carry me well, you, master devil, must do it: for I love a life that
such a devil as you should carry me away.

Chapter 1.XXXV.

How Gymnast very souply and cunningly killed Captain Tripet and others of
Picrochole's men.

When they heard these words, some amongst them began to be afraid, and
blessed themselves with both hands, thinking indeed that he had been a
devil disguised, insomuch that one of them, named Good John, captain of the
trained bands of the country bumpkins, took his psalter out of his
codpiece, and cried out aloud, Hagios ho theos. If thou be of God, speak;
if thou be of the other spirit, avoid hence, and get thee going. Yet he
went not away. Which words being heard by all the soldiers that were
there, divers of them being a little inwardly terrified, departed from the
place. All this did Gymnast very well remark and consider, and therefore
making as if he would have alighted from off his horse, as he was poising
himself on the mounting side, he most nimbly, with his short sword by his
thigh, shifting his foot in the stirrup, performed the stirrup-leather
feat, whereby, after the inclining of his body downwards, he forthwith
launched himself aloft in the air, and placed both his feet together on the
saddle, standing upright with his back turned towards the horse's head.
Now, said he, my case goes backward. Then suddenly in the same very
posture wherein he was, he fetched a gambol upon one foot, and, turning to
the left hand, failed not to carry his body perfectly round, just into its
former stance, without missing one jot. Ha, said Tripet, I will not do
that at this time, and not without cause. Well, said Gymnast, I have
failed, I will undo this leap. Then with a marvellous strength and
agility, turning towards the right hand, he fetched another frisking gambol
as before, which done, he set his right-hand thumb upon the hind-bow of the
saddle, raised himself up, and sprung in the air, poising and upholding his
whole body upon the muscle and nerve of the said thumb, and so turned and
whirled himself about three times. At the fourth, reversing his body, and
overturning it upside down, and foreside back, without touching anything,
he brought himself betwixt the horse's two ears, springing with all his
body into the air, upon the thumb of his left hand, and in that posture,
turning like a windmill, did most actively do that trick which is called
the miller's pass. After this, clapping his right hand flat upon the
middle of the saddle, he gave himself such a jerking swing that he thereby
seated himself upon the crupper, after the manner of gentlewomen sitting on
horseback. This done, he easily passed his right leg over the saddle, and
placed himself like one that rides in croup. But, said he, it were better
for me to get into the saddle; then putting the thumbs of both hands upon
the crupper before him, and thereupon leaning himself, as upon the only
supporters of his body, he incontinently turned heels over head in the air,
and straight found himself betwixt the bow of the saddle in a good
settlement. Then with a somersault springing into the air again, he fell
to stand with both his feet close together upon the saddle, and there made
above a hundred frisks, turns, and demipommads, with his arms held out
across, and in so doing cried out aloud, I rage, I rage, devils, I am stark
mad, devils, I am mad, hold me, devils, hold me, hold, devils, hold, hold!

Whilst he was thus vaulting, the rogues in great astonishment said to one
another, By cock's death, he is a goblin or a devil thus disguised. Ab
hoste maligno libera nos, Domine, and ran away in a full flight, as if they
had been routed, looking now and then behind them, like a dog that carrieth
away a goose-wing in his mouth. Then Gymnast, spying his advantage,
alighted from his horse, drew his sword, and laid on great blows upon the
thickset and highest crested among them, and overthrew them in great heaps,
hurt, wounded, and bruised, being resisted by nobody, they thinking he had
been a starved devil, as well in regard of his wonderful feats in vaulting,
which they had seen, as for the talk Tripet had with him, calling him poor
devil. Only Tripet would have traitorously cleft his head with his
horseman's sword, or lance-knight falchion; but he was well armed, and felt
nothing of the blow but the weight of the stroke. Whereupon, turning
suddenly about, he gave Tripet a home-thrust, and upon the back of that,
whilst he was about to ward his head from a slash, he ran him in at the
breast with a hit, which at once cut his stomach, the fifth gut called the
colon, and the half of his liver, wherewith he fell to the ground, and in
falling gushed forth above four pottles of pottage, and his soul mingled
with the pottage.

This done, Gymnast withdrew himself, very wisely considering that a case of
great adventure and hazard should not be pursued unto its utmost period,
and that it becomes all cavaliers modestly to use their good fortune,
without troubling or stretching it too far. Wherefore, getting to horse,
he gave him the spur, taking the right way unto Vauguyon, and Prelinguand
with him.

Chapter 1.XXXVI.

How Gargantua demolished the castle at the ford of Vede, and how they
passed the ford.

As soon as he came, he related the estate and condition wherein they had
found the enemy, and the stratagem which he alone had used against all
their multitude, affirming that they were but rascally rogues, plunderers,
thieves, and robbers, ignorant of all military discipline, and that they
might boldly set forward unto the field; it being an easy matter to fell
and strike them down like beasts. Then Gargantua mounted his great mare,
accompanied as we have said before, and finding in his way a high and great
tree, which commonly was called by the name of St. Martin's tree, because
heretofore St. Martin planted a pilgrim's staff there, which in tract of
time grew to that height and greatness, said, This is that which I lacked;
this tree shall serve me both for a staff and lance. With that he pulled
it up easily, plucked off the boughs, and trimmed it at his pleasure. In
the meantime his mare pissed to ease her belly, but it was in such
abundance that it did overflow the country seven leagues, and all the piss
of that urinal flood ran glib away towards the ford of Vede, wherewith the
water was so swollen that all the forces the enemy had there were with
great horror drowned, except some who had taken the way on the left hand
towards the hills. Gargantua, being come to the place of the wood of Vede,
was informed by Eudemon that there was some remainder of the enemy within
the castle, which to know, Gargantua cried out as loud as he was able, Are
you there, or are you not there? If you be there, be there no more; and if
you are not there, I have no more to say. But a ruffian gunner, whose
charge was to attend the portcullis over the gate, let fly a cannon-ball at
him, and hit him with that shot most furiously on the right temple of his
head, yet did him no more hurt than if he had but cast a prune or kernel of
a wine-grape at him. What is this? said Gargantua; do you throw at us
grape-kernels here? The vintage shall cost you dear; thinking indeed that
the bullet had been the kernel of a grape, or raisin-kernel.

Those who were within the castle, being till then busy at the pillage, when
they heard this noise ran to the towers and fortresses, from whence they
shot at him above nine thousand and five-and-twenty falconshot and
arquebusades, aiming all at his head, and so thick did they shoot at him
that he cried out, Ponocrates, my friend, these flies here are like to put
out mine eyes; give me a branch of those willow-trees to drive them away,
thinking that the bullets and stones shot out of the great ordnance had
been but dunflies. Ponocrates looked and saw that there were no other
flies but great shot which they had shot from the castle. Then was it that
he rushed with his great tree against the castle, and with mighty blows
overthrew both towers and fortresses, and laid all level with the ground,
by which means all that were within were slain and broken in pieces. Going
from thence, they came to the bridge at the mill, where they found all the
ford covered with dead bodies, so thick that they had choked up the mill
and stopped the current of its water, and these were those that were
destroyed in the urinal deluge of the mare. There they were at a stand,
consulting how they might pass without hindrance by these dead carcasses.
But Gymnast said, If the devils have passed there, I will pass well enough.
The devils have passed there, said Eudemon, to carry away the damned souls.
By St. Treignan! said Ponocrates, then by necessary consequence he shall
pass there. Yes, yes, said Gymnastes, or I shall stick in the way. Then
setting spurs to his horse, he passed through freely, his horse not fearing
nor being anything affrighted at the sight of the dead bodies; for he had
accustomed him, according to the doctrine of Aelian, not to fear armour,
nor the carcasses of dead men; and that not by killing men as Diomedes did
the Thracians, or as Ulysses did in throwing the corpses of his enemies at
his horse's feet, as Homer saith, but by putting a Jack-a-lent amongst his
hay, and making him go over it ordinarily when he gave him his oats. The
other three followed him very close, except Eudemon only, whose horse's
fore-right or far forefoot sank up to the knee in the paunch of a great fat
chuff who lay there upon his back drowned, and could not get it out. There
was he pestered, until Gargantua, with the end of his staff, thrust down
the rest of the villain's tripes into the water whilst the horse pulled out
his foot; and, which is a wonderful thing in hippiatry, the said horse was
thoroughly cured of a ringbone which he had in that foot by this touch of
the burst guts of that great looby.

Chapter 1.XXXVII.

How Gargantua, in combing his head, made the great cannon-balls fall out of
his hair.

Being come out of the river of Vede, they came very shortly after to
Grangousier's castle, who waited for them with great longing. At their
coming they were entertained with many congees, and cherished with
embraces. Never was seen a more joyful company, for Supplementum
Supplementi Chronicorum saith that Gargamelle died there with joy; for my
part, truly I cannot tell, neither do I care very much for her, nor for
anybody else. The truth was, that Gargantua, in shifting his clothes, and
combing his head with a comb, which was nine hundred foot long of the
Jewish cane measure, and whereof the teeth were great tusks of elephants,
whole and entire, he made fall at every rake above seven balls of bullets,
at a dozen the ball, that stuck in his hair at the razing of the castle of
the wood of Vede. Which his father Grangousier seeing, thought they had
been lice, and said unto him, What, my dear son, hast thou brought us this
far some short-winged hawks of the college of Montague? I did not mean
that thou shouldst reside there. Then answered Ponocrates, My sovereign
lord, think not that I have placed him in that lousy college which they
call Montague; I had rather have put him amongst the grave-diggers of Sanct
Innocent, so enormous is the cruelty and villainy that I have known there:
for the galley-slaves are far better used amongst the Moors and Tartars,
the murderers in the criminal dungeons, yea, the very dogs in your house,
than are the poor wretched students in the aforesaid college. And if I
were King of Paris, the devil take me if I would not set it on fire, and
burn both principal and regents, for suffering this inhumanity to be
exercised before their eyes. Then, taking up one of these bullets, he
said, These are cannon-shot, which your son Gargantua hath lately received
by the treachery of your enemies, as he was passing before the wood of

But they have been so rewarded, that they are all destroyed in the ruin of
the castle, as were the Philistines by the policy of Samson, and those whom
the tower of Silohim slew, as it is written in the thirteenth of Luke. My
opinion is, that we pursue them whilst the luck is on our side; for
occasion hath all her hair on her forehead; when she is passed, you may not
recall her,--she hath no tuft whereby you can lay hold on her, for she is
bald in the hind-part of her head, and never returneth again. Truly, said
Grangousier, it shall not be at this time; for I will make you a feast
this night, and bid you welcome.

This said, they made ready supper, and, of extraordinary besides his daily
fare, were roasted sixteen oxen, three heifers, two and thirty calves,
three score and three fat kids, four score and fifteen wethers, three
hundred farrow pigs or sheats soused in sweet wine or must, eleven score
partridges, seven hundred snipes and woodcocks, four hundred Loudun and
Cornwall capons, six thousand pullets, and as many pigeons, six hundred
crammed hens, fourteen hundred leverets, or young hares and rabbits, three
hundred and three buzzards, and one thousand and seven hundred cockerels.
For venison, they could not so suddenly come by it, only eleven wild boars,
which the Abbot of Turpenay sent, and eighteen fallow deer which the Lord
of Gramount bestowed; together with seven score pheasants, which were sent
by the Lord of Essars; and some dozens of queests, coushats, ringdoves, and
woodculvers; river-fowl, teals and awteals, bitterns, courtes, plovers,
francolins, briganders, tyrasons, young lapwings, tame ducks, shovellers,
woodlanders, herons, moorhens, criels, storks, canepetiers, oranges,
flamans, which are phaenicopters, or crimson-winged sea-fowls, terrigoles,
turkeys, arbens, coots, solan-geese, curlews, termagants, and water-
wagtails, with a great deal of cream, curds, and fresh cheese, and store of
soup, pottages, and brewis with great variety. Without doubt there was
meat enough, and it was handsomely dressed by Snapsauce, Hotchpot, and
Brayverjuice, Grangousier's cooks. Jenkin Trudgeapace and Cleanglass were
very careful to fill them drink.

Chapter 1.XXXVIII.

How Gargantua did eat up six pilgrims in a salad.

The story requireth that we relate that which happened unto six pilgrims
who came from Sebastian near to Nantes, and who for shelter that night,
being afraid of the enemy, had hid themselves in the garden upon the
chichling peas, among the cabbages and lettuces. Gargantua finding himself
somewhat dry, asked whether they could get any lettuce to make him a salad;
and hearing that there were the greatest and fairest in the country, for
they were as great as plum-trees or as walnut-trees, he would go thither
himself, and brought thence in his hand what he thought good, and withal
carried away the six pilgrims, who were in so great fear that they did not
dare to speak nor cough.

Washing them, therefore, first at the fountain, the pilgrims said one to
another softly, What shall we do? We are almost drowned here amongst these
lettuce, shall we speak? But if we speak, he will kill us for spies. And,
as they were thus deliberating what to do, Gargantua put them with the
lettuce into a platter of the house, as large as the huge tun of the White
Friars of the Cistercian order; which done, with oil, vinegar, and salt, he
ate them up, to refresh himself a little before supper, and had already
swallowed up five of the pilgrims, the sixth being in the platter, totally
hid under a lettuce, except his bourdon or staff that appeared, and nothing
else. Which Grangousier seeing, said to Gargantua, I think that is the
horn of a shell-snail, do not eat it. Why not? said Gargantua, they are
good all this month: which he no sooner said, but, drawing up the staff,
and therewith taking up the pilgrim, he ate him very well, then drank a
terrible draught of excellent white wine. The pilgrims, thus devoured,
made shift to save themselves as well as they could, by withdrawing their
bodies out of the reach of the grinders of his teeth, but could not escape
from thinking they had been put in the lowest dungeon of a prison. And
when Gargantua whiffed the great draught, they thought to have been drowned
in his mouth, and the flood of wine had almost carried them away into the
gulf of his stomach. Nevertheless, skipping with their bourdons, as St.
Michael's palmers use to do, they sheltered themselves from the danger of
that inundation under the banks of his teeth. But one of them by chance,
groping or sounding the country with his staff, to try whether they were in
safety or no, struck hard against the cleft of a hollow tooth, and hit the
mandibulary sinew or nerve of the jaw, which put Gargantua to very great
pain, so that he began to cry for the rage that he felt. To ease himself
therefore of his smarting ache, he called for his toothpicker, and rubbing
towards a young walnut-tree, where they lay skulking, unnestled you my
gentlemen pilgrims.

For he caught one by the legs, another by the scrip, another by the pocket,
another by the scarf, another by the band of the breeches, and the poor
fellow that had hurt him with the bourdon, him he hooked to him by the
codpiece, which snatch nevertheless did him a great deal of good, for it
pierced unto him a pocky botch he had in the groin, which grievously
tormented him ever since they were past Ancenis. The pilgrims, thus
dislodged, ran away athwart the plain a pretty fast pace, and the pain
ceased, even just at the time when by Eudemon he was called to supper, for
all was ready. I will go then, said he, and piss away my misfortune; which
he did do in such a copious measure, that the urine taking away the feet
from the pilgrims, they were carried along with the stream unto the bank of
a tuft of trees. Upon which, as soon as they had taken footing, and that
for their self-preservation they had run a little out of the road, they on
a sudden fell all six, except Fourniller, into a trap that had been made to
take wolves by a train, out of which, nevertheless, they escaped by the
industry of the said Fourniller, who broke all the snares and ropes. Being
gone from thence, they lay all the rest of that night in a lodge near unto
Coudray, where they were comforted in their miseries by the gracious words
of one of their company, called Sweer-to-go, who showed them that this
adventure had been foretold by the prophet David, Psalm. Quum exsurgerent
homines in nos, forte vivos deglutissent nos; when we were eaten in the
salad, with salt, oil, and vinegar. Quum irasceretur furor eorum in nos,
forsitan aqua absorbuisset nos; when he drank the great draught. Torrentem
pertransivit anima nostra; when the stream of his water carried us to the
thicket. Forsitan pertransisset anima nostra aquam intolerabilem; that is,
the water of his urine, the flood whereof, cutting our way, took our feet
from us. Benedictus Dominus qui non dedit nos in captionem dentibus eorum.
Anima nostra sicut passer erepta est de laqueo venantium; when we fell in
the trap. Laqueus contritus est, by Fourniller, et nos liberati sumus.
Adjutorium nostrum, &c.

Chapter 1.XXXIX.

How the Monk was feasted by Gargantua, and of the jovial discourse they had
at supper.

When Gargantua was set down at table, after all of them had somewhat stayed
their stomachs by a snatch or two of the first bits eaten heartily,
Grangousier began to relate the source and cause of the war raised between
him and Picrochole; and came to tell how Friar John of the Funnels had
triumphed at the defence of the close of the abbey, and extolled him for
his valour above Camillus, Scipio, Pompey, Caesar, and Themistocles. Then
Gargantua desired that he might be presently sent for, to the end that with
him they might consult of what was to be done. Whereupon, by a joint
consent, his steward went for him, and brought him along merrily, with his
staff of the cross, upon Grangousier's mule. When he was come, a thousand
huggings, a thousand embracements, a thousand good days were given. Ha,
Friar John, my friend Friar John, my brave cousin Friar John from the
devil! Let me clip thee, my heart, about the neck; to me an armful. I
must grip thee, my ballock, till thy back crack with it. Come, my cod, let
me coll thee till I kill thee. And Friar John, the gladdest man in the
world, never was man made welcomer, never was any more courteously and
graciously received than Friar John. Come, come, said Gargantua, a stool
here close by me at this end. I am content, said the monk, seeing you will
have it so. Some water, page; fill, my boy, fill; it is to refresh my
liver. Give me some, child, to gargle my throat withal. Deposita cappa,
said Gymnast, let us pull off this frock. Ho, by G--, gentlemen, said the
monk, there is a chapter in Statutis Ordinis which opposeth my laying of it
down. Pish! said Gymnast, a fig for your chapter! This frock breaks both
your shoulders, put it off. My friend, said the monk, let me alone with
it; for, by G--, I'll drink the better that it is on. It makes all my body
jocund. If I should lay it aside, the waggish pages would cut to
themselves garters out of it, as I was once served at Coulaines. And,
which is worse, I shall lose my appetite. But if in this habit I sit down
at table, I will drink, by G--, both to thee and to thy horse, and so
courage, frolic, God save the company! I have already supped, yet will I
eat never a whit the less for that; for I have a paved stomach, as hollow
as a butt of malvoisie or St. Benedictus' boot (butt), and always open like
a lawyer's pouch. Of all fishes but the tench take the wing of a partridge
or the thigh of a nun. Doth not he die like a good fellow that dies with a
stiff catso? Our prior loves exceedingly the white of a capon. In that,
said Gymnast, he doth not resemble the foxes; for of the capons, hens, and
pullets which they carry away they never eat the white. Why? said the
monk. Because, said Gymnast, they have no cooks to dress them; and, if
they be not competently made ready, they remain red and not white; the
redness of meats being a token that they have not got enough of the fire,
whether by boiling, roasting, or otherwise, except the shrimps, lobsters,
crabs, and crayfishes, which are cardinalized with boiling. By God's
feast-gazers, said the monk, the porter of our abbey then hath not his head
well boiled, for his eyes are as red as a mazer made of an alder-tree. The
thigh of this leveret is good for those that have the gout. To the purpose
of the truel,--what is the reason that the thighs of a gentlewoman are
always fresh and cool? This problem, said Gargantua, is neither in
Aristotle, in Alexander Aphrodiseus, nor in Plutarch. There are three
causes, said the monk, by which that place is naturally refreshed. Primo,
because the water runs all along by it. Secundo, because it is a shady
place, obscure and dark, upon which the sun never shines. And thirdly,
because it is continually flabbelled, blown upon, and aired by the north
winds of the hole arstick, the fan of the smock, and flipflap of the
codpiece. And lusty, my lads. Some bousing liquor, page! So! crack,
crack, crack. O how good is God, that gives us of this excellent juice! I
call him to witness, if I had been in the time of Jesus Christ, I would
have kept him from being taken by the Jews in the garden of Olivet. And
the devil fail me, if I should have failed to cut off the hams of these
gentlemen apostles who ran away so basely after they had well supped, and
left their good master in the lurch. I hate that man worse than poison
that offers to run away when he should fight and lay stoutly about him. Oh
that I were but King of France for fourscore or a hundred years! By G--, I
should whip like curtail-dogs these runaways of Pavia. A plague take them;
why did they not choose rather to die there than to leave their good prince
in that pinch and necessity? Is it not better and more honourable to
perish in fighting valiantly than to live in disgrace by a cowardly running
away? We are like to eat no great store of goslings this year; therefore,
friend, reach me some of that roasted pig there.

Diavolo, is there no more must? No more sweet wine? Germinavit radix
Jesse. Je renie ma vie, je meurs de soif; I renounce my life, I rage for
thirst. This wine is none of the worst. What wine drink you at Paris? I
give myself to the devil, if I did not once keep open house at Paris for
all comers six months together. Do you know Friar Claude of the high
kilderkins? Oh the good fellow that he is! But I do not know what fly
hath stung him of late, he is become so hard a student. For my part, I
study not at all. In our abbey we never study for fear of the mumps, which
disease in horses is called the mourning in the chine. Our late abbot was
wont to say that it is a monstrous thing to see a learned monk. By G--,
master, my friend, Magis magnos clericos non sunt magis magnos sapientes.
You never saw so many hares as there are this year. I could not anywhere
come by a goshawk nor tassel of falcon. My Lord Belloniere promised me a
lanner, but he wrote to me not long ago that he was become pursy. The
partridges will so multiply henceforth, that they will go near to eat up
our ears. I take no delight in the stalking-horse, for I catch such cold
that I am like to founder myself at that sport. If I do not run, toil,
travel, and trot about, I am not well at ease. True it is that in leaping
over the hedges and bushes my frock leaves always some of its wool behind
it. I have recovered a dainty greyhound; I give him to the devil, if he
suffer a hare to escape him. A groom was leading him to my Lord
Huntlittle, and I robbed him of him. Did I ill? No, Friar John, said
Gymnast, no, by all the devils that are, no! So, said the monk, do I
attest these same devils so long as they last, or rather, virtue (of) G--,
what could that gouty limpard have done with so fine a dog? By the body of
G--, he is better pleased when one presents him with a good yoke of oxen.
How now, said Ponocrates, you swear, Friar John. It is only, said the
monk, but to grace and adorn my speech. They are colours of a Ciceronian

Chapter 1.XL.

Why monks are the outcasts of the world; and wherefore some have bigger
noses than others.

By the faith of a Christian, said Eudemon, I do wonderfully dote and enter
in a great ecstasy when I consider the honesty and good fellowship of this
monk, for he makes us here all merry. How is it, then, that they exclude
the monks from all good companies, calling them feast-troublers, marrers of
mirth, and disturbers of all civil conversation, as the bees drive away the
drones from their hives? Ignavum fucos pecus, said Maro, a praesepibus
arcent. Hereunto, answered Gargantua, there is nothing so true as that the
frock and cowl draw unto itself the opprobries, injuries, and maledictions
of the world, just as the wind called Cecias attracts the clouds. The
peremptory reason is, because they eat the ordure and excrements of the
world, that is to say, the sins of the people, and, like dung-chewers and
excrementitious eaters, they are cast into the privies and secessive
places, that is, the convents and abbeys, separated from political
conversation, as the jakes and retreats of a house are. But if you
conceive how an ape in a family is always mocked and provokingly incensed,
you shall easily apprehend how monks are shunned of all men, both young and
old. The ape keeps not the house as a dog doth, he draws not in the plough
as the ox, he yields neither milk nor wool as the sheep, he carrieth no
burden as a horse doth. That which he doth, is only to conskite, spoil,
and defile all, which is the cause wherefore he hath of all men mocks,
frumperies, and bastinadoes.

After the same manner a monk--I mean those lither, idle, lazy monks--doth
not labour and work, as do the peasant and artificer; doth not ward and
defend the country, as doth the man of war; cureth not the sick and
diseased, as the physician doth; doth neither preach nor teach, as do the
evangelical doctors and schoolmasters; doth not import commodities and
things necessary for the commonwealth, as the merchant doth. Therefore is
it that by and of all men they are hooted at, hated, and abhorred. Yea,
but, said Grangousier, they pray to God for us. Nothing less, answered
Gargantua. True it is, that with a tingle tangle jangling of bells they
trouble and disquiet all their neighbours about them. Right, said the
monk; a mass, a matin, a vesper well rung, are half said. They mumble out
great store of legends and psalms, by them not at all understood; they say
many paternosters interlarded with Ave-Maries, without thinking upon or
apprehending the meaning of what it is they say, which truly I call mocking
of God, and not prayers. But so help them God, as they pray for us, and
not for being afraid to lose their victuals, their manchots, and good fat
pottage. All true Christians, of all estates and conditions, in all places
and at all times, send up their prayers to God, and the Mediator prayeth
and intercedeth for them, and God is gracious to them. Now such a one is
our good Friar John; therefore every man desireth to have him in his
company. He is no bigot or hypocrite; he is not torn and divided betwixt
reality and appearance; no wretch of a rugged and peevish disposition, but
honest, jovial, resolute, and a good fellow. He travels, he labours, he
defends the oppressed, comforts the afflicted, helps the needy, and keeps
the close of the abbey. Nay, said the monk, I do a great deal more than
that; for whilst we are in despatching our matins and anniversaries in the
choir, I make withal some crossbow-strings, polish glass bottles and bolts,
I twist lines and weave purse nets wherein to catch coneys. I am never
idle. But now, hither come, some drink, some drink here! Bring the fruit.
These chestnuts are of the wood of Estrox, and with good new wine are able
to make you a fine cracker and composer of bum-sonnets. You are not as
yet, it seems, well moistened in this house with the sweet wine and must.
By G--, I drink to all men freely, and at all fords, like a proctor or
promoter's horse. Friar John, said Gymnast, take away the snot that hangs
at your nose. Ha, ha, said the monk, am not I in danger of drowning,
seeing I am in water even to the nose? No, no, Quare? Quia, though some
water come out from thence, there never goes in any; for it is well
antidoted with pot-proof armour and syrup of the vine-leaf.

Oh, my friend, he that hath winter-boots made of such leather may boldly
fish for oysters, for they will never take water. What is the cause, said
Gargantua, that Friar John hath such a fair nose? Because, said
Grangousier, that God would have it so, who frameth us in such form and for
such end as is most agreeable with his divine will, even as a potter
fashioneth his vessels. Because, said Ponocrates, he came with the first
to the fair of noses, and therefore made choice of the fairest and the
greatest. Pish, said the monk, that is not the reason of it, but,
according to the true monastical philosophy, it is because my nurse had
soft teats, by virtue whereof, whilst she gave me suck, my nose did sink in
as in so much butter. The hard breasts of nurses make children short-
nosed. But hey, gay, Ad formam nasi cognoscitur ad te levavi. I never eat
any confections, page, whilst I am at the bibbery. Item, bring me rather
some toasts.

Chapter 1.XLI.

How the Monk made Gargantua sleep, and of his hours and breviaries.

Supper being ended, they consulted of the business in hand, and concluded
that about midnight they should fall unawares upon the enemy, to know what
manner of watch and ward they kept, and that in the meanwhile they should
take a little rest the better to refresh themselves. But Gargantua could
not sleep by any means, on which side soever he turned himself. Whereupon
the monk said to him, I never sleep soundly but when I am at sermon or
prayers. Let us therefore begin, you and I, the seven penitential psalms,
to try whether you shall not quickly fall asleep. The conceit pleased
Gargantua very well, and, beginning the first of these psalms, as soon as
they came to the words Beati quorum they fell asleep, both the one and the
other. But the monk, for his being formerly accustomed to the hour of
claustral matins, failed not to awake a little before midnight, and, being
up himself, awaked all the rest, in singing aloud, and with a full clear
voice, the song:

Awake, O Reinian, ho, awake!
Awake, O Reinian, ho!
Get up, you no more sleep must take;
Get up, for we must go.

When they were all roused and up, he said, My masters, it is a usual
saying, that we begin matins with coughing and supper with drinking. Let
us now, in doing clean contrarily, begin our matins with drinking, and at
night before supper we shall cough as hard as we can. What, said
Gargantua, to drink so soon after sleep? This is not to live according to
the diet and prescript rule of the physicians, for you ought first to scour
and cleanse your stomach of all its superfluities and excrements. Oh, well
physicked, said the monk; a hundred devils leap into my body, if there be
not more old drunkards than old physicians! I have made this paction and
covenant with my appetite, that it always lieth down and goes to bed with
myself, for to that I every day give very good order; then the next morning
it also riseth with me and gets up when I am awake. Mind you your charges,
gentlemen, or tend your cures as much as you will. I will get me to my
drawer; in terms of falconry, my tiring. What drawer or tiring do you
mean? said Gargantua. My breviary, said the monk, for just as the
falconers, before they feed their hawks, do make them draw at a hen's leg
to purge their brains of phlegm and sharpen them to a good appetite, so, by
taking this merry little breviary in the morning, I scour all my lungs and
am presently ready to drink.

After what manner, said Gargantua, do you say these fair hours and prayers
of yours? After the manner of Whipfield (Fessecamp, and corruptly Fecan.),
said the monk, by three psalms and three lessons, or nothing at all, he
that will. I never tie myself to hours, prayers, and sacraments; for they
are made for the man and not the man for them. Therefore is it that I make
my prayers in fashion of stirrup-leathers; I shorten or lengthen them when
I think good. Brevis oratio penetrat caelos et longa potatio evacuat
scyphos. Where is that written? By my faith, said Ponocrates, I cannot
tell, my pillicock, but thou art more worth than gold. Therein, said the
monk, I am like you; but, venite, apotemus. Then made they ready store of
carbonadoes, or rashers on the coals, and good fat soups, or brewis with
sippets; and the monk drank what he pleased. Some kept him company, and
the rest did forbear, for their stomachs were not as yet opened.
Afterwards every man began to arm and befit himself for the field. And they
armed the monk against his will; for he desired no other armour for back
and breast but his frock, nor any other weapon in his hand but the staff of
the cross. Yet at their pleasure was he completely armed cap-a-pie, and
mounted upon one of the best horses in the kingdom, with a good slashing
shable by his side, together with Gargantua, Ponocrates, Gymnast, Eudemon,
and five-and-twenty more of the most resolute and adventurous of
Grangousier's house, all armed at proof with their lances in their hands,
mounted like St. George, and everyone of them having an arquebusier behind

Chapter 1.XLII.

How the Monk encouraged his fellow-champions, and how he hanged upon a

Thus went out those valiant champions on their adventure, in full
resolution to know what enterprise they should undertake, and what to take
heed of and look well to in the day of the great and horrible battle. And
the monk encouraged them, saying, My children, do not fear nor doubt, I
will conduct you safely. God and Sanct Benedict be with us! If I had
strength answerable to my courage, by's death, I would plume them for you
like ducks. I fear nothing but the great ordnance; yet I know of a charm
by way of prayer, which the subsexton of our abbey taught me, that will
preserve a man from the violence of guns and all manner of fire-weapons and
engines; but it will do me no good, because I do not believe it.
Nevertheless, I hope my staff of the cross shall this day play devilish
pranks amongst them. By G--, whoever of our party shall offer to play the
duck, and shrink when blows are a-dealing, I give myself to the devil, if I
do not make a monk of him in my stead, and hamper him within my frock,
which is a sovereign cure against cowardice. Did you never hear of my Lord
Meurles his greyhound, which was not worth a straw in the fields? He put a
frock about his neck: by the body of G--, there was neither hare nor fox
that could escape him, and, which is more, he lined all the bitches in the
country, though before that he was feeble-reined and ex frigidis et

The monk uttering these words in choler, as he passed under a walnut-tree,
in his way towards the causey, he broached the vizor of his helmet on the
stump of a great branch of the said tree. Nevertheless, he set his spurs
so fiercely to the horse, who was full of mettle and quick on the spur,
that he bounded forwards, and the monk going about to ungrapple his vizor,
let go his hold of the bridle, and so hanged by his hand upon the bough,
whilst his horse stole away from under him. By this means was the monk
left hanging on the walnut-tree, and crying for help, murder, murder,
swearing also that he was betrayed. Eudemon perceived him first, and
calling Gargantua said, Sir, come and see Absalom hanging. Gargantua,
being come, considered the countenance of the monk, and in what posture he
hanged; wherefore he said to Eudemon, You were mistaken in comparing him to
Absalom; for Absalom hung by his hair, but this shaveling monk hangeth by
the ears. Help me, said the monk, in the devil's name; is this a time for
you to prate? You seem to me to be like the decretalist preachers, who say
that whosoever shall see his neighbour in the danger of death, ought, upon
pain of trisulk excommunication, rather choose to admonish him to make his
confession to a priest, and put his conscience in the state of peace, than
otherwise to help and relieve him.

And therefore when I shall see them fallen into a river, and ready to be
drowned, I shall make them a fair long sermon de contemptu mundi, et fuga
seculi; and when they are stark dead, shall then go to their aid and
succour in fishing after them. Be quiet, said Gymnast, and stir not, my
minion. I am now coming to unhang thee and to set thee at freedom, for
thou art a pretty little gentle monachus. Monachus in claustro non valet
ova duo; sed quando est extra, bene valet triginta. I have seen above five
hundred hanged, but I never saw any have a better countenance in his
dangling and pendilatory swagging. Truly, if I had so good a one, I would
willingly hang thus all my lifetime. What, said the monk, have you almost
done preaching? Help me, in the name of God, seeing you will not in the
name of the other spirit, or, by the habit which I wear, you shall repent
it, tempore et loco praelibatis.

Then Gymnast alighted from his horse, and, climbing up the walnut-tree,
lifted up the monk with one hand by the gussets of his armour under the
armpits, and with the other undid his vizor from the stump of the broken
branch; which done, he let him fall to the ground and himself after. As
soon as the monk was down, he put off all his armour, and threw away one
piece after another about the field, and, taking to him again his staff of
the cross, remounted up to his horse, which Eudemon had caught in his
running away. Then went they on merrily, riding along on the highway.

Chapter 1.XLIII.

How the scouts and fore-party of Picrochole were met with by Gargantua, and
how the Monk slew Captain Drawforth (Tirevant.), and then was taken
prisoner by his enemies.

Picrochole, at the relation of those who had escaped out of the broil and
defeat wherein Tripet was untriped, grew very angry that the devils should
have so run upon his men, and held all that night a counsel of war, at
which Rashcalf and Touchfaucet (Hastiveau, Touquedillon.), concluded his
power to be such that he was able to defeat all the devils of hell if they
should come to jostle with his forces. This Picrochole did not fully
believe, though he doubted not much of it. Therefore sent he under the
command and conduct of the Count Drawforth, for discovering of the country,
the number of sixteen hundred horsemen, all well mounted upon light horses
for skirmish and thoroughly besprinkled with holy water; and everyone for
their field-mark or cognizance had the sign of a star in his scarf, to
serve at all adventures in case they should happen to encounter with
devils, that by the virtue, as well of that Gregorian water as of the stars
which they wore, they might make them disappear and evanish.

In this equipage they made an excursion upon the country till they came
near to the Vauguyon, which is the valley of Guyon, and to the spital, but
could never find anybody to speak unto; whereupon they returned a little
back, and took occasion to pass above the aforesaid hospital to try what
intelligence they could come by in those parts. In which resolution riding
on, and by chance in a pastoral lodge or shepherd's cottage near to Coudray
hitting upon the five pilgrims, they carried them way-bound and manacled,
as if they had been spies, for all the exclamations, adjurations, and
requests that they could make. Being come down from thence towards
Seville, they were heard by Gargantua, who said then unto those that were
with him, Comrades and fellow-soldiers, we have here met with an encounter,
and they are ten times in number more than we. Shall we charge them or no?
What a devil, said the monk, shall we do else? Do you esteem men by their
number rather than by their valour and prowess? With this he cried out,
Charge, devils, charge! Which when the enemies heard, they thought
certainly that they had been very devils, and therefore even then began all
of them to run away as hard as they could drive, Drawforth only excepted,
who immediately settled his lance on its rest, and therewith hit the monk
with all his force on the very middle of his breast, but, coming against
his horrific frock, the point of the iron being with the blow either broke
off or blunted, it was in matter of execution as if you had struck against
an anvil with a little wax-candle.

Then did the monk with his staff of the cross give him such a sturdy thump
and whirret betwixt his neck and shoulders, upon the acromion bone, that he
made him lose both sense and motion and fall down stone dead at his horse's
feet; and, seeing the sign of the star which he wore scarfwise, he said
unto Gargantua, These men are but priests, which is but the beginning of a
monk; by St. John, I am a perfect monk, I will kill them to you like flies.
Then ran he after them at a swift and full gallop till he overtook the
rear, and felled them down like tree-leaves, striking athwart and alongst
and every way. Gymnast presently asked Gargantua if they should pursue
them. To whom Gargantua answered, By no means; for, according to right
military discipline, you must never drive your enemy unto despair, for that
such a strait doth multiply his force and increase his courage, which was
before broken and cast down; neither is there any better help or outrage of
relief for men that are amazed, out of heart, toiled, and spent, than to
hope for no favour at all. How many victories have been taken out of the
hands of the victors by the vanquished, when they would not rest satisfied
with reason, but attempt to put all to the sword, and totally to destroy
their enemies, without leaving so much as one to carry home news of the
defeat of his fellows. Open, therefore, unto your enemies all the gates
and ways, and make to them a bridge of silver rather than fail, that you
may be rid of them. Yea, but, said Gymnast, they have the monk. Have they
the monk? said Gargantua. Upon mine honour, then, it will prove to their
cost. But to prevent all dangers, let us not yet retreat, but halt here
quietly as in an ambush; for I think I do already understand the policy and
judgment of our enemies. They are truly more directed by chance and mere
fortune than by good advice and counsel. In the meanwhile, whilst these
made a stop under the walnut-trees, the monk pursued on the chase, charging
all he overtook, and giving quarter to none, until he met with a trooper
who carried behind him one of the poor pilgrims, and there would have
rifled him. The pilgrim, in hope of relief at the sight of the monk, cried
out, Ha, my lord prior, my good friend, my lord prior, save me, I beseech
you, save me! Which words being heard by those that rode in the van, they
instantly faced about, and seeing there was nobody but the monk that made
this great havoc and slaughter among them, they loaded him with blows as
thick as they use to do an ass with wood. But of all this he felt nothing,
especially when they struck upon his frock, his skin was so hard. Then
they committed him to two of the marshal's men to keep, and, looking about,
saw nobody coming against them, whereupon they thought that Gargantua and
his party were fled. Then was it that they rode as hard as they could
towards the walnut-trees to meet with them, and left the monk there all
alone, with his two foresaid men to guard him. Gargantua heard the noise
and neighing of the horses, and said to his men, Comrades, I hear the track
and beating of the enemy's horse-feet, and withal perceive that some of
them come in a troop and full body against us. Let us rally and close
here, then set forward in order, and by this means we shall be able to
receive their charge to their loss and our honour.

Chapter 1.XLIV.

How the Monk rid himself of his keepers, and how Picrochole's forlorn hope
was defeated.

The monk, seeing them break off thus without order, conjectured that they
were to set upon Gargantua and those that were with him, and was
wonderfully grieved that he could not succour them. Then considered he the
countenance of the two keepers in whose custody he was, who would have
willingly run after the troops to get some booty and plunder, and were
always looking towards the valley unto which they were going. Farther, he
syllogized, saying, These men are but badly skilled in matters of war, for
they have not required my parole, neither have they taken my sword from me.
Suddenly hereafter he drew his brackmard or horseman's sword, wherewith he
gave the keeper which held him on the right side such a sound slash that he
cut clean through the jugulary veins and the sphagitid or transparent
arteries of the neck, with the fore-part of the throat called the
gargareon, even unto the two adenes, which are throat kernels; and,
redoubling the blow, he opened the spinal marrow betwixt the second and
third vertebrae. There fell down that keeper stark dead to the ground.
Then the monk, reining his horse to the left, ran upon the other, who,
seeing his fellow dead, and the monk to have the advantage of him, cried
with a loud voice, Ha, my lord prior, quarter; I yield, my lord prior,
quarter; quarter, my good friend, my lord prior. And the monk cried
likewise, My lord posterior, my friend, my lord posterior, you shall have
it upon your posteriorums. Ha, said the keeper, my lord prior, my minion,
my gentle lord prior, I pray God make you an abbot. By the habit, said the
monk, which I wear, I will here make you a cardinal. What! do you use to
pay ransoms to religious men? You shall therefore have by-and-by a red hat
of my giving. And the fellow cried, Ha, my lord prior, my lord prior, my
lord abbot that shall be, my lord cardinal, my lord all! Ha, ha, hes, no,
my lord prior, my good little lord the prior, I yield, render and deliver
myself up to you. And I deliver thee, said the monk, to all the devils in
hell. Then at one stroke he cut off his head, cutting his scalp upon the
temple-bones, and lifting up in the upper part of the skull the two
triangulary bones called sincipital, or the two bones bregmatis, together
with the sagittal commissure or dartlike seam which distinguisheth the
right side of the head from the left, as also a great part of the coronal
or forehead bone, by which terrible blow likewise he cut the two meninges
or films which enwrap the brain, and made a deep wound in the brain's two
posterior ventricles, and the cranium or skull abode hanging upon his
shoulders by the skin of the pericranium behind, in form of a doctor's
bonnet, black without and red within. Thus fell he down also to the ground
stark dead.

And presently the monk gave his horse the spur, and kept the way that the
enemy held, who had met with Gargantua and his companions in the broad
highway, and were so diminished of their number for the enormous slaughter
that Gargantua had made with his great tree amongst them, as also Gymnast,
Ponocrates, Eudemon, and the rest, that they began to retreat disorderly
and in great haste, as men altogether affrighted and troubled in both sense
and understanding, and as if they had seen the very proper species and form
of death before their eyes; or rather, as when you see an ass with a brizze
or gadbee under his tail, or fly that stings him, run hither and thither
without keeping any path or way, throwing down his load to the ground,
breaking his bridle and reins, and taking no breath nor rest, and no man
can tell what ails him, for they see not anything touch him. So fled these
people destitute of wit, without knowing any cause of flying, only pursued
by a panic terror which in their minds they had conceived. The monk,
perceiving that their whole intent was to betake themselves to their heels,
alighted from his horse and got upon a big large rock which was in the way,
and with his great brackmard sword laid such load upon those runaways, and
with main strength fetching a compass with his arm without feigning or
sparing, slew and overthrew so many that his sword broke in two pieces.
Then thought he within himself that he had slain and killed sufficiently,
and that the rest should escape to carry news. Therefore he took up a
battle-axe of those that lay there dead, and got upon the rock again,
passing his time to see the enemy thus flying and to tumble himself amongst
the dead bodies, only that he suffered none to carry pike, sword, lance,
nor gun with him, and those who carried the pilgrims bound he made to
alight, and gave their horses unto the said pilgrims, keeping them there
with him under the hedge, and also Touchfaucet, who was then his prisoner.

Chapter 1.XLV.

How the Monk carried along with him the Pilgrims, and of the good words
that Grangousier gave them.

This skirmish being ended, Gargantua retreated with his men, excepting the
monk, and about the dawning of the day they came unto Grangousier, who in
his bed was praying unto God for their safety and victory. And seeing them
all safe and sound, he embraced them lovingly, and asked what was become of
the monk. Gargantua answered him that without doubt the enemies had the
monk. Then have they mischief and ill luck, said Grangousier; which was
very true. Therefore is it a common proverb to this day, to give a man the
monk, or, as in French, lui bailler le moine, when they would express the
doing unto one a mischief. Then commanded he a good breakfast to be
provided for their refreshment. When all was ready, they called Gargantua,
but he was so aggrieved that the monk was not to be heard of that he would
neither eat nor drink. In the meanwhile the monk comes, and from the gate
of the outer court cries out aloud, Fresh wine, fresh wine, Gymnast my
friend! Gymnast went out and saw that it was Friar John, who brought along
with him five pilgrims and Touchfaucet prisoners; whereupon Gargantua
likewise went forth to meet him, and all of them made him the best welcome
that possibly they could, and brought him before Grangousier, who asked him
of all his adventures. The monk told him all, both how he was taken, how
he rid himself of his keepers, of the slaughter he had made by the way, and
how he had rescued the pilgrims and brought along with him Captain
Touchfaucet. Then did they altogether fall to banqueting most merrily. In
the meantime Grangousier asked the pilgrims what countrymen they were,
whence they came, and whither they went. Sweer-to-go in the name of the
rest answered, My sovereign lord, I am of Saint Genou in Berry, this man is
of Palvau, this other is of Onzay, this of Argy, this of St. Nazarand, and
this man of Villebrenin. We come from Saint Sebastian near Nantes, and are
now returning, as we best may, by easy journeys. Yea, but, said
Grangousier, what went you to do at Saint Sebastian? We went, said Sweer-
to-go, to offer up unto that sanct our vows against the plague. Ah, poor
men! said Grangousier, do you think that the plague comes from Saint
Sebastian? Yes, truly, answered Sweer-to-go, our preachers tell us so
indeed. But is it so, said Grangousier, do the false prophets teach you
such abuses? Do they thus blaspheme the sancts and holy men of God, as to
make them like unto the devils, who do nothing but hurt unto mankind,--as
Homer writeth, that the plague was sent into the camp of the Greeks by
Apollo, and as the poets feign a great rabble of Vejoves and mischievous
gods. So did a certain cafard or dissembling religionary preach at Sinay,
that Saint Anthony sent the fire into men's legs, that Saint Eutropius made
men hydropic, Saint Clidas, fools, and that Saint Genou made them goutish.
But I punished him so exemplarily, though he called me heretic for it, that
since that time no such hypocritical rogue durst set his foot within my
territories. And truly I wonder that your king should suffer them in their
sermons to publish such scandalous doctrine in his dominions; for they
deserve to be chastised with greater severity than those who, by magical
art, or any other device, have brought the pestilence into a country. The
pest killeth but the bodies, but such abominable imposters empoison our
very souls. As he spake these words, in came the monk very resolute, and
asked them, Whence are you, you poor wretches? Of Saint Genou, said they.
And how, said the monk, does the Abbot Gulligut, the good drinker,--and the
monks, what cheer make they? By G-- body, they'll have a fling at your
wives, and breast them to some purpose, whilst you are upon your roaming
rant and gadding pilgrimage. Hin, hen, said Sweer-to-go, I am not afraid
of mine, for he that shall see her by day will never break his neck to come
to her in the night-time. Yea, marry, said the monk, now you have hit it.
Let her be as ugly as ever was Proserpina, she will once, by the Lord G--,
be overturned, and get her skin-coat shaken, if there dwell any monks near
to her; for a good carpenter will make use of any kind of timber. Let me
be peppered with the pox, if you find not all your wives with child at your
return; for the very shadow of the steeple of an abbey is fruitful. It is,
said Gargantua, like the water of Nilus in Egypt, if you believe Strabo and
Pliny, Lib. 7, cap. 3. What virtue will there be then, said the monk, in
their bullets of concupiscence, their habits and their bodies?

Then, said Grangousier, go your ways, poor men, in the name of God the
Creator, to whom I pray to guide you perpetually, and henceforward be not
so ready to undertake these idle and unprofitable journeys. Look to your
families, labour every man in his vocation, instruct your children, and
live as the good apostle St. Paul directeth you; in doing whereof, God, his
angels and sancts, will guard and protect you, and no evil or plague at any
time shall befall you. Then Gargantua led them into the hall to take their
refection; but the pilgrims did nothing but sigh, and said to Gargantua, O
how happy is that land which hath such a man for their lord! We have been
more edified and instructed by the talk which he had with us, than by all
the sermons that ever were preached in our town. This is, said Gargantua,
that which Plato saith, Lib. 5 de Republ., that those commonwealths are
happy, whose rulers philosophate, and whose philosophers rule. Then caused
he their wallets to be filled with victuals and their bottles with wine,
and gave unto each of them a horse to ease them upon the way, together with
some pence to live by.

Chapter 1.XLVI.

How Grangousier did very kindly entertain Touchfaucet his prisoner.

Touchfaucet was presented unto Grangousier, and by him examined upon the
enterprise and attempt of Picrochole, what it was he could pretend to, or
aim at, by the rustling stir and tumultuary coil of this his sudden
invasion. Whereunto he answered, that his end and purpose was to conquer
all the country, if he could, for the injury done to his cake-bakers. It
is too great an undertaking, said Grangousier; and, as the proverb is, He
that grips too much, holds fast but little. The time is not now as
formerly, to conquer the kingdoms of our neighbour princes, and to build up
our own greatness upon the loss of our nearest Christian Brother. This
imitation of the ancient Herculeses, Alexanders, Hannibals, Scipios,
Caesars, and other such heroes, is quite contrary to the profession of the
gospel of Christ, by which we are commanded to preserve, keep, rule, and
govern every man his own country and lands, and not in a hostile manner to

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