Gargantua and Pantagruel
Part 9 out of 16
which I knew how to prevent, my hopes should be as high as ever, nor would
I despair. But you here send me to God's privy council, to the closet of
his little pleasures. You, my French countrymen, which is the way you take
to go thither?
My honest father, I believe it will be your best not to come to my wedding.
The clutter and dingle-dangle noise of marriage guests will but disturb
you, and break the serious fancies of your brain. You love repose, with
solitude and silence; I really believe you will not come. And then you
dance but indifferently, and would be out of countenance at the first
entry. I will send you some good things to your chamber, together with the
bride's favour, and there you may drink our health, if it may stand with
your good liking. My friend, quoth Hippothadee, take my words in the sense
wherein I meant them, and do not misinterpret me. When I tell you,--If it
please God,--do I to you any wrong therein? Is it an ill expression? Is
it a blaspheming clause or reserve any way scandalous unto the world? Do
not we thereby honour the Lord God Almighty, Creator, Protector, and
Conserver of all things? Is not that a mean whereby we do acknowledge him
to be the sole giver of all whatsoever is good? Do not we in that manifest
our faith that we believe all things to depend upon his infinite and
incomprehensible bounty, and that without him nothing can be produced, nor
after its production be of any value, force, or power, without the
concurring aid and favour of his assisting grace? Is it not a canonical
and authentic exception, worthy to be premised to all our undertakings? Is
it not expedient that what we propose unto ourselves be still referred to
what shall be disposed of by the sacred will of God, unto which all things
must acquiesce in the heavens as well as on the earth? Is not that verily
a sanctifying of his holy name? My friend, you shall not be a cuckold, if
it please God, nor shall we need to despair of the knowledge of his good
will and pleasure herein, as if it were such an abstruse and mysteriously
hidden secret that for the clear understanding thereof it were necessary to
consult with those of his celestial privy council, or expressly make a
voyage unto the empyrean chamber where order is given for the effectuating
of his most holy pleasures. The great God hath done us this good, that he
hath declared and revealed them to us openly and plainly, and described
them in the Holy Bible. There will you find that you shall never be a
cuckold, that is to say, your wife shall never be a strumpet, if you make
choice of one of a commendable extraction, descended of honest parents, and
instructed in all piety and virtue--such a one as hath not at any time
haunted or frequented the company or conversation of those that are of
corrupt and depraved manners, one loving and fearing God, who taketh a
singular delight in drawing near to him by faith and the cordial observing
of his sacred commandments--and finally, one who, standing in awe of the
Divine Majesty of the Most High, will be loth to offend him and lose the
favourable kindness of his grace through any defect of faith or
transgression against the ordinances of his holy law, wherein adultery is
most rigorously forbidden and a close adherence to her husband alone most
strictly and severely enjoined; yea, in such sort that she is to cherish,
serve, and love him above anything, next to God, that meriteth to be
beloved. In the interim, for the better schooling of her in these
instructions, and that the wholesome doctrine of a matrimonial duty may
take the deeper root in her mind, you must needs carry yourself so on your
part, and your behaviour is to be such, that you are to go before her in a
good example, by entertaining her unfeignedly with a conjugal amity, by
continually approving yourself in all your words and actions a faithful and
discreet husband; and by living, not only at home and privately with your
own household and family, but in the face also of all men and open view of
the world, devoutly, virtuously, and chastely, as you would have her on her
side to deport and to demean herself towards you, as becomes a godly,
loyal, and respectful wife, who maketh conscience to keep inviolable the
tie of a matrimonial oath. For as that looking-glass is not the best which
is most decked with gold and precious stones, but that which representeth
to the eye the liveliest shapes of objects set before it, even so that wife
should not be most esteemed who richest is and of the noblest race, but she
who, fearing God, conforms herself nearest unto the humour of her husband.
Consider how the moon doth not borrow her light from Jupiter, Mars,
Mercury, or any other of the planets, nor yet from any of those splendid
stars which are set in the spangled firmament, but from her husband only,
the bright sun, which she receiveth from him more or less, according to the
manner of his aspect and variously bestowed eradiations. Just so should
you be a pattern to your wife in virtue, goodly zeal, and true devotion,
that by your radiance in darting on her the aspect of an exemplary
goodness, she, in your imitation, may outshine the luminaries of all other
women. To this effect you daily must implore God's grace to the protection
of you both. You would have me then, quoth Panurge, twisting the whiskers
of his beard on either side with the thumb and forefinger of his left hand,
to espouse and take to wife the prudent frugal woman described by Solomon.
Without all doubt she is dead, and truly to my best remembrance I never saw
her; the Lord forgive me! Nevertheless, I thank you, father. Eat this
slice of marchpane, it will help your digestion; then shall you be
presented with a cup of claret hippocras, which is right healthful and
stomachal. Let us proceed.
How the physician Rondibilis counselleth Panurge.
Panurge, continuing his discourse, said, The first word which was spoken by
him who gelded the lubberly, quaffing monks of Saussiniac, after that he
had unstoned Friar Cauldaureil, was this, To the rest. In like manner, I
say, To the rest. Therefore I beseech you, my good Master Rondibilis,
should I marry or not? By the raking pace of my mule, quoth Rondibilis, I
know not what answer to make to this problem of yours.
You say that you feel in you the pricking stings of sensuality, by which
you are stirred up to venery. I find in our faculty of medicine, and we
have founded our opinion therein upon the deliberate resolution and final
decision of the ancient Platonics, that carnal concupiscence is cooled and
quelled five several ways.
First, By the means of wine. I shall easily believe that, quoth Friar
John, for when I am well whittled with the juice of the grape I care for
nothing else, so I may sleep. When I say, quoth Rondibilis, that wine
abateth lust, my meaning is, wine immoderately taken; for by intemperancy
proceeding from the excessive drinking of strong liquor there is brought
upon the body of such a swill-down boozer a chillness in the blood, a
slackening in the sinews, a dissipation of the generative seed, a numbness
and hebetation of the senses, with a perversive wryness and convulsion of
the muscles--all which are great lets and impediments to the act of
generation. Hence it is that Bacchus, the god of bibbers, tipplers, and
drunkards, is most commonly painted beardless and clad in a woman's habit,
as a person altogether effeminate, or like a libbed eunuch. Wine,
nevertheless, taken moderately, worketh quite contrary effects, as is
implied by the old proverb, which saith that Venus takes cold when not
accompanied with Ceres and Bacchus. This opinion is of great antiquity, as
appeareth by the testimony of Diodorus the Sicilian, and confirmed by
Pausanias, and universally held amongst the Lampsacians, that Don Priapus
was the son of Bacchus and Venus.
Secondly, The fervency of lust is abated by certain drugs, plants, herbs,
and roots, which make the taker cold, maleficiated, unfit for, and unable
to perform the act of generation; as hath been often experimented in the
water-lily, heraclea, agnus castus, willow-twigs, hemp-stalks, woodbine,
honeysuckle, tamarisk, chaste tree, mandrake, bennet, keckbugloss, the skin
of a hippopotam, and many other such, which, by convenient doses
proportioned to the peccant humour and constitution of the patient, being
duly and seasonably received within the body--what by their elementary
virtues on the one side and peculiar properties on the other--do either
benumb, mortify, and beclumpse with cold the prolific semence, or scatter
and disperse the spirits which ought to have gone along with and conducted
the sperm to the places destined and appointed for its reception, or
lastly, shut up, stop, and obstruct the ways, passages, and conduits
through which the seed should have been expelled, evacuated, and ejected.
We have nevertheless of those ingredients which, being of a contrary
operation, heat the blood, bend the nerves, unite the spirits, quicken the
senses, strengthen the muscles, and thereby rouse up, provoke, excite, and
enable a man to the vigorous accomplishment of the feat of amorous
dalliance. I have no need of those, quoth Panurge, God be thanked, and
you, my good master. Howsoever, I pray you, take no exception or offence
at these my words; for what I have said was not out of any illwill I did
bear to you, the Lord he knows.
Thirdly, The ardour of lechery is very much subdued and mated by frequent
labour and continual toiling. For by painful exercises and laborious
working so great a dissolution is brought upon the whole body, that the
blood, which runneth alongst the channels of the veins thereof for the
nourishment and alimentation of each of its members, hath neither time,
leisure, nor power to afford the seminal resudation, or superfluity of the
third concoction, which nature most carefully reserves for the conservation
of the individual, whose preservation she more heedfully regardeth than the
propagating of the species and the multiplication of humankind. Whence it
is that Diana is said to be chaste, because she is never idle, but always
busied about her hunting. For the same reason was a camp or leaguer of old
called castrum, as if they would have said castum; because the soldiers,
wrestlers, runners, throwers of the bar, and other such-like athletic
champions as are usually seen in a military circumvallation, do incessantly
travail and turmoil, and are in a perpetual stir and agitation. To this
purpose Hippocrates also writeth in his book, De Aere, Aqua et Locis, that
in his time there were people in Scythia as impotent as eunuchs in the
discharge of a venerean exploit, because that without any cessation, pause,
or respite they were never from off horseback, or otherwise assiduously
employed in some troublesome and molesting drudgery.
On the other part, in opposition and repugnancy hereto, the philosophers
say that idleness is the mother of luxury. When it was asked Ovid, Why
Aegisthus became an adulterer? he made no other answer but this, Because he
was idle. Who were able to rid the world of loitering and laziness might
easily frustrate and disappoint Cupid of all his designs, aims, engines,
and devices, and so disable and appal him that his bow, quiver, and darts
should from thenceforth be a mere needless load and burden to him, for that
it could not then lie in his power to strike or wound any of either sex
with all the arms he had. He is not, I believe, so expert an archer as
that he can hit the cranes flying in the air, or yet the young stags
skipping through the thickets, as the Parthians knew well how to do; that
is to say, people moiling, stirring and hurrying up and down, restless, and
without repose. He must have those hushed, still, quiet, lying at a stay,
lither, and full of ease, whom he is able, though his mother help him, to
touch, much less to pierce with all his arrows. In confirmation hereof,
Theophrastus, being asked on a time what kind of beast or thing he judged a
toyish, wanton love to be? he made answer, that it was a passion of idle
and sluggish spirits. From which pretty description of tickling love-
tricks that of Diogenes's hatching was not very discrepant, when he defined
lechery the occupation of folks destitute of all other occupation. For
this cause the Syconian engraver Canachus, being desirous to give us to
understand that sloth, drowsiness, negligence, and laziness were the prime
guardians and governesses of ribaldry, made the statue of Venus, not
standing, as other stone-cutters had used to do, but sitting.
Fourthly, The tickling pricks of incontinency are blunted by an eager
study; for from thence proceedeth an incredible resolution of the spirits,
that oftentimes there do not remain so many behind as may suffice to push
and thrust forwards the generative resudation to the places thereto
appropriated, and therewithal inflate the cavernous nerve whose office is
to ejaculate the moisture for the propagation of human progeny. Lest you
should think it is not so, be pleased but to contemplate a little the form,
fashion, and carriage of a man exceeding earnestly set upon some learned
meditation, and deeply plunged therein, and you shall see how all the
arteries of his brains are stretched forth and bent like the string of a
crossbow, the more promptly, dexterously, and copiously to suppeditate,
furnish, and supply him with store of spirits sufficient to replenish and
fill up the ventricles, seats, tunnels, mansions, receptacles, and cellules
of the common sense,--of the imagination, apprehension, and fancy,--of the
ratiocination, arguing, and resolution,--as likewise of the memory,
recordation, and remembrance; and with great alacrity, nimbleness, and
agility to run, pass, and course from the one to the other, through those
pipes, windings, and conduits which to skilful anatomists are perceivable
at the end of the wonderful net where all the arteries close in a
terminating point; which arteries, taking their rise and origin from the
left capsule of the heart, bring through several circuits, ambages, and
anfractuosities, the vital, to subtilize and refine them to the ethereal
purity of animal spirits. Nay, in such a studiously musing person you may
espy so extravagant raptures of one as it were out of himself, that all his
natural faculties for that time will seem to be suspended from each their
proper charge and office, and his exterior senses to be at a stand. In a
word, you cannot otherwise choose than think that he is by an extraordinary
ecstasy quite transported out of what he was, or should be; and that
Socrates did not speak improperly when he said that philosophy was nothing
else but a meditation upon death. This possibly is the reason why
Democritus deprived himself of the sense of seeing, prizing at a much lower
rate the loss of his sight than the diminution of his contemplations, which
he frequently had found disturbed by the vagrant, flying-out strayings of
his unsettled and roving eyes. Therefore is it that Pallas, the goddess of
wisdom, tutoress and guardianess of such as are diligently studious and
painfully industrious, is, and hath been still accounted a virgin. The
Muses upon the same consideration are esteemed perpetual maids; and the
Graces, for the like reason, have been held to continue in a sempiternal
I remember to have read that Cupid, on a time being asked of his mother
Venus why he did not assault and set upon the Muses, his answer was that he
found them so fair, so sweet, so fine, so neat, so wise, so learned, so
modest, so discreet, so courteous, so virtuous, and so continually busied
and employed,--one in the speculation of the stars,--another in the
supputation of numbers,--the third in the dimension of geometrical
quantities,--the fourth in the composition of heroic poems,--the fifth in
the jovial interludes of a comic strain,--the sixth in the stately gravity
of a tragic vein,--the seventh in the melodious disposition of musical
airs,--the eighth in the completest manner of writing histories and books
on all sorts of subjects,--and the ninth in the mysteries, secrets, and
curiosities of all sciences, faculties, disciplines, and arts whatsoever,
whether liberal or mechanic,--that approaching near unto them he unbended
his bow, shut his quiver, and extinguished his torch, through mere shame
and fear that by mischance he might do them some hurt or prejudice. Which
done, he thereafter put off the fillet wherewith his eyes were bound to
look them in the face, and to hear their melody and poetic odes. There
took he the greatest pleasure in the world, that many times he was
transported with their beauty and pretty behaviour, and charmed asleep by
the harmony; so far was he from assaulting them or interrupting their
studies. Under this article may be comprised what Hippocrates wrote in the
afore-cited treatise concerning the Scythians; as also that in a book of
his entitled Of Breeding and Production, where he hath affirmed all such
men to be unfit for generation as have their parotid arteries cut--whose
situation is beside the ears--for the reason given already when I was
speaking of the resolution of the spirits and of that spiritual blood
whereof the arteries are the sole and proper receptacles, and that likewise
he doth maintain a large portion of the parastatic liquor to issue and
descend from the brains and backbone.
Fifthly, By the too frequent reiteration of the act of venery. There did I
wait for you, quoth Panurge, and shall willingly apply it to myself, whilst
anyone that pleaseth may, for me, make use of any of the four preceding.
That is the very same thing, quoth Friar John, which Father Scyllino, Prior
of Saint Victor at Marseilles, calleth by the name of maceration and taming
of the flesh. I am of the same opinion,--and so was the hermit of Saint
Radegonde, a little above Chinon; for, quoth he, the hermits of Thebaide
can no more aptly or expediently macerate and bring down the pride of their
bodies, daunt and mortify their lecherous sensuality, or depress and
overcome the stubbornness and rebellion of the flesh, than by duffling and
fanfreluching it five-and-twenty or thirty times a day. I see Panurge,
quoth Rondibilis, neatly featured and proportioned in all the members of
his body, of a good temperament in his humours, well-complexioned in his
spirits, of a competent age, in an opportune time, and of a reasonably
forward mind to be married. Truly, if he encounter with a wife of the like
nature, temperament, and constitution, he may beget upon her children
worthy of some transpontine monarchy; and the sooner he marry it will be
the better for him, and the more conducible for his profit if he would see
and have his children in his own time well provided for. Sir, my worthy
master, quoth Panurge, I will do it, do not you doubt thereof, and that
quickly enough, I warrant you. Nevertheless, whilst you were busied in the
uttering of your learned discourse, this flea which I have in mine ear hath
tickled me more than ever. I retain you in the number of my festival
guests, and promise you that we shall not want for mirth and good cheer
enough, yea, over and above the ordinary rate. And, if it may please you,
desire your wife to come along with you, together with her she-friends and
neighbours--that is to be understood--and there shall be fair play.
How Rondibilis declareth cuckoldry to be naturally one of the appendances
There remaineth as yet, quoth Panurge, going on in his discourse, one small
scruple to be cleared. You have seen heretofore, I doubt not, in the Roman
standards, S.P.Q.R., Si, Peu, Que, Rien. Shall not I be a cuckold? By the
haven of safety, cried out Rondibilis, what is this you ask of me? If you
shall be a cuckold? My noble friend, I am married, and you are like to be
so very speedily; therefore be pleased, from my experiment in the matter,
to write in your brain with a steel pen this subsequent ditton, There is no
married man who doth not run the hazard of being made a cuckold. Cuckoldry
naturally attendeth marriage. The shadow doth not more naturally follow
the body, than cuckoldry ensueth after marriage to place fair horns upon
the husbands' heads.
And when you shall happen to hear any man pronounce these three words, He
is married; if you then say he is, hath been, shall be, or may be a
cuckold, you will not be accounted an unskilful artist in framing of true
consequences. Tripes and bowels of all the devils, cries Panurge, what do
you tell me? My dear friend, answered Rondibilis, as Hippocrates on a time
was in the very nick of setting forwards from Lango to Polystilo to visit
the philosopher Democritus, he wrote a familiar letter to his friend
Dionysius, wherein he desired him that he would, during the interval of his
absence, carry his wife to the house of her father and mother, who were an
honourable couple and of good repute; because I would not have her at my
home, said he, to make abode in solitude. Yet, notwithstanding this her
residence beside her parents, do not fail, quoth he, with a most heedful
care and circumspection to pry into her ways, and to espy what places she
shall go to with her mother, and who those be that shall repair unto her.
Not, quoth he, that I do mistrust her virtue, or that I seem to have any
diffidence of her pudicity and chaste behaviour,--for of that I have
frequently had good and real proofs,--but I must freely tell you, She is a
woman. There lies the suspicion.
My worthy friend, the nature of women is set forth before our eyes and
represented to us by the moon, in divers other things as well as in this,
that they squat, skulk, constrain their own inclinations, and, with all the
cunning they can, dissemble and play the hypocrite in the sight and
presence of their husbands; who come no sooner to be out of the way, but
that forthwith they take their advantage, pass the time merrily, desist
from all labour, frolic it, gad abroad, lay aside their counterfeit garb,
and openly declare and manifest the interior of their dispositions, even as
the moon, when she is in conjunction with the sun, is neither seen in the
heavens nor on the earth, but in her opposition, when remotest from him,
shineth in her greatest fulness, and wholly appeareth in her brightest
splendour whilst it is night. Thus women are but women.
When I say womankind, I speak of a sex so frail, so variable, so
changeable, so fickle, inconstant, and imperfect, that in my opinion
Nature, under favour, nevertheless, of the prime honour and reverence which
is due unto her, did in a manner mistake the road which she had traced
formerly, and stray exceedingly from that excellence of providential
judgment by the which she had created and formed all other things, when she
built, framed, and made up the woman. And having thought upon it a hundred
and five times, I know not what else to determine therein, save only that
in the devising, hammering, forging, and composing of the woman she hath
had a much tenderer regard, and by a great deal more respectful heed to the
delightful consortship and sociable delectation of the man, than to the
perfection and accomplishment of the individual womanishness or muliebrity.
The divine philosopher Plato was doubtful in what rank of living creatures
to place and collocate them, whether amongst the rational animals, by
elevating them to an upper seat in the specifical classis of humanity, or
with the irrational, by degrading them to a lower bench on the opposite
side, of a brutal kind, and mere bestiality. For nature hath posited in a
privy, secret, and intestine place of their bodies, a sort of member, by
some not impertinently termed an animal, which is not to be found in men.
Therein sometimes are engendered certain humours so saltish, brackish,
clammy, sharp, nipping, tearing, prickling, and most eagerly tickling, that
by their stinging acrimony, rending nitrosity, figging itch, wriggling
mordicancy, and smarting salsitude (for the said member is altogether
sinewy and of a most quick and lively feeling), their whole body is shaken
and ebrangled, their senses totally ravished and transported, the
operations of their judgment and understanding utterly confounded, and all
disordinate passions and perturbations of the mind thoroughly and
absolutely allowed, admitted, and approved of; yea, in such sort that if
nature had not been so favourable unto them as to have sprinkled their
forehead with a little tincture of bashfulness and modesty, you should see
them in a so frantic mood run mad after lechery, and hie apace up and down
with haste and lust, in quest of and to fix some chamber-standard in their
Paphian ground, that never did the Proetides, Mimallonides, nor Lyaean
Thyades deport themselves in the time of their bacchanalian festivals more
shamelessly, or with a so affronted and brazen-faced impudency; because
this terrible animal is knit unto, and hath an union with all the chief and
most principal parts of the body, as to anatomists is evident. Let it not
here be thought strange that I should call it an animal, seeing therein I
do no otherwise than follow and adhere to the doctrine of the academic and
peripatetic philosophers. For if a proper motion be a certain mark and
infallible token of the life and animation of the mover, as Aristotle
writeth, and that any such thing as moveth of itself ought to be held
animated and of a living nature, then assuredly Plato with very good reason
did give it the denomination of an animal, for that he perceived and
observed in it the proper and self-stirring motions of suffocation,
precipitation, corrugation, and of indignation so extremely violent, that
oftentimes by them is taken and removed from the woman all other sense and
moving whatsoever, as if she were in a swounding lipothymy, benumbing
syncope, epileptic, apoplectic palsy, and true resemblance of a pale-faced
Furthermore, in the said member there is a manifest discerning faculty of
scents and odours very perceptible to women, who feel it fly from what is
rank and unsavoury, and follow fragrant and aromatic smells. It is not
unknown to me how Cl. Galen striveth with might and main to prove that
these are not proper and particular notions proceeding intrinsically from
the thing itself, but accidentally and by chance. Nor hath it escaped my
notice how others of that sect have laboured hardly, yea, to the utmost of
their abilities, to demonstrate that it is not a sensitive discerning or
perception in it of the difference of wafts and smells, but merely a
various manner of virtue and efficacy passing forth and flowing from the
diversity of odoriferous substances applied near unto it. Nevertheless, if
you will studiously examine and seriously ponder and weigh in Critolaus's
balance the strength of their reasons and arguments, you shall find that
they, not only in this, but in several other matters also of the like
nature, have spoken at random, and rather out of an ambitious envy to check
and reprehend their betters than for any design to make inquiry into the
I will not launch my little skiff any further into the wide ocean of this
dispute, only will I tell you that the praise and commendation is not mean
and slender which is due to those honest and good women who, living
chastely and without blame, have had the power and virtue to curb, range,
and subdue that unbridled, heady, and wild animal to an obedient,
submissive, and obsequious yielding unto reason. Therefore here will I
make an end of my discourse thereon, when I shall have told you that the
said animal being once satiated--if it be possible that it can be contented
or satisfied--by that aliment which nature hath provided for it out of the
epididymal storehouse of man, all its former and irregular and disordered
motions are at an end, laid, and assuaged, all its vehement and unruly
longings lulled, pacified, and quieted, and all the furious and raging
lusts, appetites, and desires thereof appeased, calmed, and extinguished.
For this cause let it seem nothing strange unto you if we be in a perpetual
danger of being cuckolds, that is to say, such of us as have not
wherewithal fully to satisfy the appetite and expectation of that voracious
animal. Odds fish! quoth Panurge, have you no preventive cure in all your
medicinal art for hindering one's head to be horny-graffed at home whilst
his feet are plodding abroad? Yes, that I have, my gallant friend,
answered Rondibilis, and that which is a sovereign remedy, whereof I
frequently make use myself; and, that you may the better relish, it is set
down and written in the book of a most famous author, whose renown is of a
standing of two thousand years. Hearken and take good heed. You are,
quoth Panurge, by cockshobby, a right honest man, and I love you with all
my heart. Eat a little of this quince-pie; it is very proper and
convenient for the shutting up of the orifice of the ventricle of the
stomach, because of a kind of astringent stypticity which is in that sort
of fruit, and is helpful to the first concoction. But what? I think I
speak Latin before clerks. Stay till I give you somewhat to drink out of
this Nestorian goblet. Will you have another draught of white hippocras?
Be not afraid of the squinzy, no. There is neither squinant, ginger, nor
grains in it; only a little choice cinnamon, and some of the best refined
sugar, with the delicious white wine of the growth of that vine which was
set in the slips of the great sorbapple above the walnut-tree.
Rondibilis the physician's cure of cuckoldry.
At that time, quoth Rondibilis, when Jupiter took a view of the state of
his Olympic house and family, and that he had made the calendar of all the
gods and goddesses, appointing unto the festival of every one of them its
proper day and season, establishing certain fixed places and stations for
the pronouncing of oracles and relief of travelling pilgrims, and ordaining
victims, immolations, and sacrifices suitable and correspondent to the
dignity and nature of the worshipped and adored deity--Did not he do, asked
Panurge, therein as Tintouille, the Bishop of Auxerre, is said once to have
done? This noble prelate loved entirely the pure liquor of the grape, as
every honest and judicious man doth; therefore was it that he had an
especial care and regard to the bud of the vine-tree as to the great-
grandfather of Bacchus. But so it is, that for sundry years together he
saw a most pitiful havoc, desolation, and destruction made amongst the
sprouts, shootings, buds, blossoms, and scions of the vines by hoary frost,
dank fogs, hot mists, unseasonable colds, chill blasts, thick hail, and
other calamitous chances of foul weather, happening, as he thought, by the
dismal inauspiciousness of the holy days of St. George, St. Mary, St. Paul,
St. Eutrope, Holy Rood, the Ascension, and other festivals, in that time
when the sun passeth under the sign of Taurus; and thereupon harboured in
his mind this opinion, that the afore-named saints were Saint Hail-
flingers, Saint Frost-senders, Saint Fog-mongers, and Saint Spoilers of the
Vine-buds. For which cause he went about to have transmitted their feasts
from the spring to the winter, to be celebrated between Christmas and
Epiphany, so the mother of the three kings called it, allowing them with
all honour and reverence the liberty then to freeze, hail, and rain as much
as they would; for that he knew that at such a time frost was rather
profitable than hurtful to the vine-buds, and in their steads to have
placed the festivals of St. Christopher, St. John the Baptist, St.
Magdalene, St. Anne, St. Domingo, and St. Lawrence; yea, and to have gone
so far as to collocate and transpose the middle of August in and to the
beginning of May, because during the whole space of their solemnity there
was so little danger of hoary frosts and cold mists, that no artificers are
then held in greater request than the afforders of refrigerating
inventions, makers of junkets, fit disposers of cooling shades, composers
of green arbours, and refreshers of wine.
Jupiter, said Rondibilis, forgot the poor devil Cuckoldry, who was then in
the court at Paris very eagerly soliciting a peddling suit at law for one
of his vassals and tenants. Within some few days thereafter, I have forgot
how many, when he got full notice of the trick which in his absence was
done unto him, he instantly desisted from prosecuting legal processes in
the behalf of others, full of solicitude to pursue after his own business,
lest he should be foreclosed, and thereupon he appeared personally at the
tribunal of the great Jupiter, displayed before him the importance of his
preceding merits, together with the acceptable services which in obedience
to his commandments he had formerly performed; and therefore in all
humility begged of him that he would be pleased not to leave him alone
amongst all the sacred potentates, destitute and void of honour, reverence,
sacrifices, and festival ceremonies. To this petition Jupiter's answer was
excusatory, that all the places and offices of his house were bestowed.
Nevertheless, so importuned was he by the continual supplications of
Monsieur Cuckoldry, that he, in fine, placed him in the rank, list, roll,
rubric, and catalogue, and appointed honours, sacrifices, and festival
rites to be observed on earth in great devotion, and tendered to him with
solemnity. The feast, because there was no void, empty, nor vacant place
in all the calendar, was to be celebrated jointly with, and on the same day
that had been consecrated to the goddess Jealousy. His power and dominion
should be over married folks, especially such as had handsome wives. His
sacrifices were to be suspicion, diffidence, mistrust, a lowering pouting
sullenness, watchings, wardings, researchings, plyings, explorations,
together with the waylayings, ambushes, narrow observations, and malicious
doggings of the husband's scouts and espials of the most privy actions of
their wives. Herewithal every married man was expressly and rigorously
commanded to reverence, honour, and worship him, to celebrate and solemnize
his festival with twice more respect than that of any other saint or deity,
and to immolate unto him with all sincerity and alacrity of heart the
above-mentioned sacrifices and oblations, under pain of severe censures,
threatenings, and comminations of these subsequent fines, mulcts,
amerciaments, penalties, and punishments to be inflicted on the
delinquents: that Monsieur Cuckoldry should never be favourable nor
propitious to them; that he should never help, aid, supply, succour, nor
grant them any subventitious furtherance, auxiliary suffrage, or
adminiculary assistance; that he should never hold them in any reckoning,
account, or estimation; that he should never deign to enter within their
houses, neither at the doors, windows, nor any other place thereof; that he
should never haunt nor frequent their companies or conversations, how
frequently soever they should invocate him and call upon his name; and that
not only he should leave and abandon them to rot alone with their wives in
a sempiternal solitariness, without the benefit of the diversion of any
copes-mate or corrival at all, but should withal shun and eschew them, fly
from them, and eternally forsake and reject them as impious heretics and
sacrilegious persons, according to the accustomed manner of other gods
towards such as are too slack in offering up the duties and reverences
which ought to be performed respectively to their divinities--as is
evidently apparent in Bacchus towards negligent vine-dressers; in Ceres,
against idle ploughmen and tillers of the ground; in Pomona, to unworthy
fruiterers and costard-mongers; in Neptune, towards dissolute mariners and
seafaring men, in Vulcan, towards loitering smiths and forgemen; and so
throughout the rest. Now, on the contrary, this infallible promise was
added, that unto all those who should make a holy day of the above-recited
festival, and cease from all manner of worldly work and negotiation, lay
aside all their own most important occasions, and to be so retchless,
heedless, and careless of what might concern the management of their proper
affairs as to mind nothing else but a suspicious espying and prying into
the secret deportments of their wives, and how to coop, shut up, hold at
under, and deal cruelly and austerely with them by all the harshness and
hardships that an implacable and every way inexorable jealousy can devise
and suggest, conform to the sacred ordinances of the afore-mentioned
sacrifices and oblations, he should be continually favourable to them,
should love them, sociably converse with them, should be day and night in
their houses, and never leave them destitute of his presence. Now I have
said, and you have heard my cure.
Ha, ha, ha! quoth Carpalin, laughing; this is a remedy yet more apt and
proper than Hans Carvel's ring. The devil take me if I do not believe it!
The humour, inclination, and nature of women is like the thunder, whose
force in its bolt or otherwise burneth, bruiseth, and breaketh only hard,
massive, and resisting objects, without staying or stopping at soft, empty,
and yielding matters. For it pasheth into pieces the steel sword without
doing any hurt to the velvet scabbard which ensheatheth it. It chrusheth
also and consumeth the bones without wounding or endamaging the flesh
wherewith they are veiled and covered. Just so it is that women for the
greater part never bend the contention, subtlety, and contradictory
disposition of their spirits unless it be to do what is prohibited and
Verily, quoth Hippothadee, some of our doctors aver for a truth that the
first woman of the world, whom the Hebrews call Eve, had hardly been
induced or allured into the temptation of eating of the fruit of the Tree
of Life if it had not been forbidden her so to do. And that you may give
the more credit to the validity of this opinion, consider how the cautelous
and wily tempter did commemorate unto her, for an antecedent to his
enthymeme, the prohibition which was made to taste it, as being desirous to
infer from thence, It is forbidden thee; therefore thou shouldst eat of it,
else thou canst not be a woman.
How women ordinarily have the greatest longing after things prohibited.
When I was, quoth Carpalin, a whoremaster at Orleans, the whole art of
rhetoric, in all its tropes and figures, was not able to afford unto me a
colour or flourish of greater force and value, nor could I by any other
form or manner of elocution pitch upon a more persuasive argument for
bringing young beautiful married ladies into the snares of adultery,
through alluring and enticing them to taste with me of amorous delights,
than with a lively sprightfulness to tell them in downright terms, and to
remonstrate to them with a great show of detestation of a crime so horrid,
how their husbands were jealous. This was none of my invention. It is
written, and we have laws, examples, reasons, and daily experiences
confirmative of the same. If this belief once enter into their noddles,
their husbands will infallibly be cuckolds; yea, by God, will they, without
swearing, although they should do like Semiramis, Pasiphae, Egesta, the
women of the Isle Mandez in Egypt, and other such-like queanish flirting
harlots mentioned in the writings of Herodotus, Strabo, and such-like
Truly, quoth Ponocrates, I have heard it related, and it hath been told me
for a verity, that Pope John XXII., passing on a day through the Abbey of
Toucherome, was in all humility required and besought by the abbess and
other discreet mothers of the said convent to grant them an indulgence by
means whereof they might confess themselves to one another, alleging that
religious women were subject to some petty secret slips and imperfections
which would be a foul and burning shame for them to discover and to reveal
to men, how sacerdotal soever their functions were; but that they would
freelier, more familiarly, and with greater cheerfulness, open to each
other their offences, faults, and escapes under the seal of confession.
There is not anything, answered the pope, fitting for you to impetrate of
me which I would not most willingly condescend unto; but I find one
inconvenience. You know confession should be kept secret, and women are
not able to do so. Exceeding well, quoth they, most holy father, and much
more closely than the best of men.
The said pope on the very same day gave them in keeping a pretty box,
wherein he purposely caused a little linnet to be put, willing them very
gently and courteously to lock it up in some sure and hidden place, and
promising them, by the faith of a pope, that he should yield to their
request if they would keep secret what was enclosed within that deposited
box, enjoining them withal not to presume one way nor other, directly or
indirectly, to go about the opening thereof, under pain of the highest
ecclesiastical censure, eternal excommunication. The prohibition was no
sooner made but that they did all of them boil with a most ardent desire to
know and see what kind of thing it was that was within it. They thought
long already that the pope was not gone, to the end they might jointly,
with the more leisure and ease, apply themselves to the box-opening
The holy father, after he had given them his benediction, retired and
withdrew himself to the pontifical lodgings of his own palace. But he was
hardly gone three steps from without the gates of their cloister when the
good ladies throngingly, and as in a huddled crowd, pressing hard on the
backs of one another, ran thrusting and shoving who should be first at the
setting open of the forbidden box and descrying of the quod latitat within.
On the very next day thereafter the pope made them another visit, of a full
design, purpose, and intention, as they imagined, to despatch the grant of
their sought and wished-for indulgence. But before he would enter into any
chat or communing with them, he commanded the casket to be brought unto
him. It was done so accordingly; but, by your leave, the bird was no more
there. Then was it that the pope did represent to their maternities how
hard a matter and difficult it was for them to keep secrets revealed to
them in confession unmanifested to the ears of others, seeing for the space
of four-and-twenty hours they were not able to lay up in secret a box which
he had highly recommended to their discretion, charge, and custody.
Welcome, in good faith, my dear master, welcome! It did me good to hear
you talk, the Lord be praised for all! I do not remember to have seen you
before now, since the last time that you acted at Montpellier with our
ancient friends, Anthony Saporra, Guy Bourguyer, Balthasar Noyer, Tolet,
John Quentin, Francis Robinet, John Perdrier, and Francis Rabelais, the
moral comedy of him who had espoused and married a dumb wife. I was there,
quoth Epistemon. The good honest man her husband was very earnestly urgent
to have the fillet of her tongue untied, and would needs have her speak by
any means. At his desire some pains were taken on her, and partly by the
industry of the physician, other part by the expertness of the surgeon, the
encyliglotte which she had under her tongue being cut, she spoke and spoke
again; yea, within a few hours she spoke so loud, so much, so fiercely, and
so long, that her poor husband returned to the same physician for a recipe
to make her hold her peace. There are, quoth the physician, many proper
remedies in our art to make dumb women speak, but there are none that ever
I could learn therein to make them silent. The only cure which I have
found out is their husband's deafness. The wretch became within few weeks
thereafter, by virtue of some drugs, charms, or enchantments which the
physician had prescribed unto him, so deaf that he could not have heard the
thundering of nineteen hundred cannons at a salvo. His wife perceiving
that indeed he was as deaf as a door-nail, and that her scolding was but in
vain, sith that he heard her not, she grew stark mad.
Some time after the doctor asked for his fee of the husband, who answered
that truly he was deaf, and so was not able to understand what the tenour
of his demand might be. Whereupon the leech bedusted him with a little, I
know not what, sort of powder, which rendered him a fool immediately, so
great was the stultificating virtue of that strange kind of pulverized
dose. Then did this fool of a husband and his mad wife join together, and,
falling on the doctor and the surgeon, did so scratch, bethwack, and bang
them that they were left half dead upon the place, so furious were the
blows which they received. I never in my lifetime laughed so much as at
the acting of that buffoonery.
Let us come to where we left off, quoth Panurge. Your words, being
translated from the clapper-dudgeons to plain English, do signify that it
is not very inexpedient that I marry, and that I should not care for being
a cuckold. You have there hit the nail on the head. I believe, master
doctor, that on the day of my marriage you will be so much taken up with
your patients, or otherwise so seriously employed, that we shall not enjoy
your company. Sir, I will heartily excuse your absence.
Stercus et urina medici sunt prandia prima.
Ex aliis paleas, ex istis collige grana.
You are mistaken, quoth Rondibilis, in the second verse of our distich, for
it ought to run thus--
Nobis sunt signa, vobis sunt prandia digna.
If my wife at any time prove to be unwell and ill at ease, I will look upon
the water which she shall have made in an urinal glass, quoth Rondibilis,
grope her pulse, and see the disposition of her hypogaster, together with
her umbilicary parts--according to the prescript rule of Hippocrates, 2.
Aph. 35--before I proceed any further in the cure of her distemper. No,
no, quoth Panurge, that will be but to little purpose. Such a feat is for
the practice of us that are lawyers, who have the rubric, De ventre
inspiciendo. Do not therefore trouble yourself about it, master doctor; I
will provide for her a plaster of warm guts. Do not neglect your more
urgent occasions otherwhere for coming to my wedding. I will send you some
supply of victuals to your own house, without putting you to the trouble of
coming abroad, and you shall always be my special friend. With this,
approaching somewhat nearer to him, he clapped into his hand, without the
speaking of so much as one word, four rose nobles. Rondibilis did shut his
fist upon them right kindly; yet, as if it had displeased him to make
acceptance of such golden presents, he in a start, as if he had been wroth,
said, He he, he, he, he! there was no need of anything; I thank you
nevertheless. From wicked folks I never get enough, and I from honest
people refuse nothing. I shall be always, sir, at your command. Provided
that I pay you well, quoth Panurge. That, quoth Rondibilis, is understood.
How the philosopher Trouillogan handleth the difficulty of marriage.
As this discourse was ended, Pantagruel said to the philosopher
Trouillogan, Our loyal, honest, true, and trusty friend, the lamp from hand
to hand is come to you. It falleth to your turn to give an answer: Should
Panurge, pray you, marry, yea or no? He should do both, quoth Trouillogan.
What say you? asked Panurge. That which you have heard, answered
Trouillogan. What have I heard? replied Panurge. That which I have said,
replied Trouillogan. Ha, ha, ha! are we come to that pass? quoth Panurge.
Let it go nevertheless, I do not value it at a rush, seeing we can make no
better of the game. But howsoever tell me, Should I marry or no? Neither
the one nor the other, answered Trouillogan. The devil take me, quoth
Panurge, if these odd answers do not make me dote, and may he snatch me
presently away if I do understand you. Stay awhile until I fasten these
spectacles of mine on this left ear, that I may hear you better. With this
Pantagruel perceived at the door of the great hall, which was that day
their dining-room, Gargantua's little dog, whose name was Kyne; for so was
Toby's dog called, as is recorded. Then did he say to these who were there
present, Our king is not far off,--let us all rise.
That word was scarcely sooner uttered, than that Gargantua with his royal
presence graced that banqueting and stately hall. Each of the guests arose
to do their king that reverence and duty which became them. After that
Gargantua had most affably saluted all the gentlemen there present, he
said, Good friends, I beg this favour of you, and therein you will very
much oblige me, that you leave not the places where you sate nor quit the
discourse you were upon. Let a chair be brought hither unto this end of
the table, and reach me a cupful of the strongest and best wine you have,
that I may drink to all the company. You are, in faith, all welcome,
gentlemen. Now let me know what talk you were about. To this Pantagruel
answered that at the beginning of the second service Panurge had proposed a
problematic theme, to wit, whether he should marry, or not marry? that
Father Hippothadee and Doctor Rondibilis had already despatched their
resolutions thereupon; and that, just as his majesty was coming in, the
faithful Trouillogan in the delivery of his opinion hath thus far
proceeded, that when Panurge asked whether he ought to marry, yea or no? at
first he made this answer, Both together. When this same question was
again propounded, his second answer was, Neither the one nor the other.
Panurge exclaimeth that those answers are full of repugnancies and
contradictions, protesting that he understands them not, nor what it is
that can be meant by them. If I be not mistaken, quoth Gargantua, I
understand it very well. The answer is not unlike to that which was once
made by a philosopher in ancient times, who being interrogated if he had a
woman whom they named him to his wife? I have her, quoth he, but she hath
not me,--possessing her, by her I am not possessed. Such another answer,
quoth Pantagruel, was once made by a certain bouncing wench of Sparta, who
being asked if at any time she had had to do with a man? No, quoth she, but
sometimes men have had to do with me. Well then, quoth Rondibilis, let it
be a neuter in physic, as when we say a body is neuter, when it is neither
sick nor healthful, and a mean in philosophy; that, by an abnegation of
both extremes, and this by the participation of the one and of the other.
Even as when lukewarm water is said to be both hot and cold; or rather, as
when time makes the partition, and equally divides betwixt the two, a while
in the one, another while as long in the other opposite extremity. The
holy Apostle, quoth Hippothadee, seemeth, as I conceive, to have more
clearly explained this point when he said, Those that are married, let them
be as if they were not married; and those that have wives, let them be as
if they had no wives at all. I thus interpret, quoth Pantagruel, the
having and not having of a wife. To have a wife is to have the use of her
in such a way as nature hath ordained, which is for the aid, society, and
solace of man, and propagating of his race. To have no wife is not to be
uxorious, play the coward, and be lazy about her, and not for her sake to
distain the lustre of that affection which man owes to God, or yet for her
to leave those offices and duties which he owes unto his country, unto his
friends and kindred, or for her to abandon and forsake his precious
studies, and other businesses of account, to wait still on her will, her
beck, and her buttocks. If we be pleased in this sense to take having and
not having of a wife, we shall indeed find no repugnancy nor contradiction
in the terms at all.
A continuation of the answer of the Ephectic and Pyrrhonian philosopher
You speak wisely, quoth Panurge, if the moon were green cheese. Such a
tale once pissed my goose. I do not think but that I am let down into that
dark pit in the lowermost bottom whereof the truth was hid, according to
the saying of Heraclitus. I see no whit at all, I hear nothing, understand
as little, my senses are altogether dulled and blunted; truly I do very
shrewdly suspect that I am enchanted. I will now alter the former style of
my discourse, and talk to him in another strain. Our trusty friend, stir
not, nor imburse any; but let us vary the chance, and speak without
disjunctives. I see already that these loose and ill-joined members of an
enunciation do vex, trouble, and perplex you.
Now go on, in the name of God! Should I marry?
Trouillogan. There is some likelihood therein.
Panurge. But if I do not marry?
Trouil. I see in that no inconvenience.
Pan. You do not?
Trouil. None, truly, if my eyes deceive me not.
Pan. Yea, but I find more than five hundred.
Trouil. Reckon them.
Pan. This is an impropriety of speech, I confess; for I do no more
thereby but take a certain for an uncertain number, and posit the
determinate term for what is indeterminate. When I say, therefore, five
hundred, my meaning is many.
Trouil. I hear you.
Pan. Is it possible for me to live without a wife, in the name of all the
Trouil. Away with these filthy beasts.
Pan. Let it be, then, in the name of God; for my Salmigondinish people
use to say, To lie alone, without a wife, is certainly a brutish life. And
such a life also was it assevered to be by Dido in her lamentations.
Trouil. At your command.
Pan. By the pody cody, I have fished fair; where are we now? But will
you tell me? Shall I marry?
Pan. Shall I thrive or speed well withal?
Trouil. According to the encounter.
Pan. But if in my adventure I encounter aright, as I hope I will, shall
I be fortunate?
Pan. Let us turn the clean contrary way, and brush our former words
against the wool: what if I encounter ill?
Trouil. Then blame not me.
Pan. But, of courtesy, be pleased to give me some advice. I heartily
beseech you, what must I do?
Trouil. Even what thou wilt.
Pan. Wishy, washy; trolly, trolly.
Trouil. Do not invocate the name of anything, I pray you.
Pan. In the name of God, let it be so! My actions shall be regulated by
the rule and square of your counsel. What is it that you advise and
counsel me to do?
Pan. Shall I marry?
Trouil. I have no hand in it.
Pan. Then shall I not marry?
Trouil. I cannot help it.
Pan. If I never marry, I shall never be a cuckold.
Trouil. I thought so.
Pan. But put the case that I be married.
Trouil. Where shall we put it?
Pan. Admit it be so, then, and take my meaning in that sense.
Trouil. I am otherwise employed.
Pan. By the death of a hog, and mother of a toad, O Lord! if I durst
hazard upon a little fling at the swearing game, though privily and under
thumb, it would lighten the burden of my heart and ease my lights and reins
exceedingly. A little patience nevertheless is requisite. Well then, if I
marry, I shall be a cuckold.
Trouil. One would say so.
Pan. Yet if my wife prove a virtuous, wise, discreet, and chaste woman,
I shall never be cuckolded.
Trouil. I think you speak congruously.
Trouil. As much as you will.
Pan. Will she be discreet and chaste? This is the only point I would be
Trouil. I question it.
Pan. You never saw her?
Trouil. Not that I know of.
Pan. Why do you then doubt of that which you know not?
Trouil. For a cause.
Pan. And if you should know her.
Trouil. Yet more.
Pan. Page, my pretty little darling, take here my cap,--I give it thee.
Have a care you do not break the spectacles that are in it. Go down to the
lower court. Swear there half an hour for me, and I shall in compensation
of that favour swear hereafter for thee as much as thou wilt. But who
shall cuckold me?
Pan. By the belly of the wooden horse at Troy, Master Somebody, I shall
bang, belam thee, and claw thee well for thy labour.
Trouil. You say so.
Pan. Nay, nay, that Nick in the dark cellar, who hath no white in his
eye, carry me quite away with him if, in that case, whensoever I go abroad
from the palace of my domestic residence, I do not, with as much
circumspection as they use to ring mares in our country to keep them from
being sallied by stoned horses, clap a Bergamasco lock upon my wife.
Trouil. Talk better.
Pan. It is bien chien, chie chante, well cacked and cackled, shitten,
and sung in matter of talk. Let us resolve on somewhat.
Trouil. I do not gainsay it.
Pan. Have a little patience. Seeing I cannot on this side draw any
blood of you, I will try if with the lancet of my judgment I be able to
bleed you in another vein. Are you married, or are you not?
Trouil. Neither the one nor the other, and both together.
Pan. O the good God help us! By the death of a buffle-ox, I sweat with
the toil and travail that I am put to, and find my digestion broke off,
disturbed, and interrupted, for all my phrenes, metaphrenes, and
diaphragms, back, belly, midriff, muscles, veins, and sinews are held in a
suspense and for a while discharged from their proper offices to stretch
forth their several powers and abilities for incornifistibulating and
laying up into the hamper of my understanding your various sayings and
Trouil. I shall be no hinderer thereof.
Pan. Tush, for shame! Our faithful friend, speak; are you married?
Trouil. I think so.
Pan. You were also married before you had this wife?
Trouil. It is possible.
Pan. Had you good luck in your first marriage?
Trouil. It is not impossible.
Pan. How thrive you with this second wife of yours?
Trouil. Even as it pleaseth my fatal destiny.
Pan. But what, in good earnest? Tell me--do you prosper well with her?
Trouil. It is likely.
Pan. Come on, in the name of God. I vow, by the burden of Saint
Christopher, that I had rather undertake the fetching of a fart forth of
the belly of a dead ass than to draw out of you a positive and determinate
resolution. Yet shall I be sure at this time to have a snatch at you, and
get my claws over you. Our trusty friend, let us shame the devil of hell,
and confess the verity. Were you ever a cuckold? I say, you who are here,
and not that other you who playeth below in the tennis-court?
Trouil. No, if it was not predestinated.
Pan. By the flesh, blood, and body, I swear, reswear, forswear, abjure,
and renounce, he evades and avoids, shifts, and escapes me, and quite slips
and winds himself out of my grips and clutches.
At these words Gargantua arose and said, Praised be the good God in all
things, but especially for bringing the world into that height of
refinedness beyond what it was when I first came to be acquainted
therewith, that now the learnedst and most prudent philosophers are not
ashamed to be seen entering in at the porches and frontispieces of the
schools of the Pyrrhonian, Aporrhetic, Sceptic, and Ephectic sects.
Blessed be the holy name of God! Veritably, it is like henceforth to be
found an enterprise of much more easy undertaking to catch lions by the
neck, horses by the main, oxen by the horns, bulls by the muzzle, wolves by
the tail, goats by the beard, and flying birds by the feet, than to entrap
such philosophers in their words. Farewell, my worthy, dear, and honest
When he had done thus speaking, he withdrew himself from the company.
Pantagruel and others with him would have followed and accompanied him, but
he would not permit them so to do. No sooner was Gargantua departed out of
the banqueting-hall than that Pantagruel said to the invited guests:
Plato's Timaeus, at the beginning always of a solemn festival convention,
was wont to count those that were called thereto. We, on the contrary,
shall at the closure and end of this treatment reckon up our number. One,
two, three; where is the fourth? I miss my friend Bridlegoose. Was not he
sent for? Epistemon answered that he had been at his house to bid and
invite him, but could not meet with him; for that a messenger from the
parliament of Mirlingois, in Mirlingues, was come to him with a writ of
summons to cite and warn him personally to appear before the reverend
senators of the high court there, to vindicate and justify himself at the
bar of the crime of prevarication laid to his charge, and to be
peremptorily instanced against him in a certain decree, judgment, or
sentence lately awarded, given, and pronounced by him; and that, therefore,
he had taken horse and departed in great haste from his own house, to the
end that without peril or danger of falling into a default or contumacy he
might be the better able to keep the prefixed and appointed time.
I will, quoth Pantagruel, understand how that matter goeth. It is now
above forty years that he hath been constantly the judge of Fonsbeton,
during which space of time he hath given four thousand definitive
sentences, of two thousand three hundred and nine whereof, although appeal
was made by the parties whom he had judicially condemned from his inferior
judicatory to the supreme court of the parliament of Mirlingois, in
Mirlingues, they were all of them nevertheless confirmed, ratified, and
approved of by an order, decree, and final sentence of the said sovereign
court, to the casting of the appellants, and utter overthrow of the suits
wherein they had been foiled at law, for ever and a day. That now in his
old age he should be personally summoned, who in all the foregoing time of
his life hath demeaned himself so unblamably in the discharge of the office
and vocation he had been called unto, it cannot assuredly be that such a
change hath happened without some notorious misfortune and disaster. I am
resolved to help and assist him in equity and justice to the uttermost
extent of my power and ability. I know the malice, despite, and wickedness
of the world to be so much more nowadays exasperated, increased, and
aggravated by what it was not long since, that the best cause that is, how
just and equitable soever it be, standeth in great need to be succoured,
aided, and supported. Therefore presently, from this very instant forth,
do I purpose, till I see the event and closure thereof, most heedfully to
attend and wait upon it, for fear of some underhand tricky surprisal,
cavilling pettifoggery, or fallacious quirks in law, to his detriment,
hurt, or disadvantage.
Then dinner being done, and the tables drawn and removed, when Pantagruel
had very cordially and affectionately thanked his invited guests for the
favour which he had enjoyed of their company, he presented them with
several rich and costly gifts, such as jewels, rings set with precious
stones, gold and silver vessels, with a great deal of other sort of plate
besides, and lastly, taking of them all his leave, retired himself into an
How Pantagruel persuaded Panurge to take counsel of a fool.
When Pantagruel had withdrawn himself, he, by a little sloping window in
one of the galleries, perceived Panurge in a lobby not far from thence,
walking alone, with the gesture, carriage, and garb of a fond dotard,
raving, wagging, and shaking his hands, dandling, lolling, and nodding with
his head, like a cow bellowing for her calf; and, having then called him
nearer, spoke unto him thus: You are at this present, as I think, not
unlike to a mouse entangled in a snare, who the more that she goeth about
to rid and unwind herself out of the gin wherein she is caught, by
endeavouring to clear and deliver her feet from the pitch whereto they
stick, the foulier she is bewrayed with it, and the more strongly pestered
therein. Even so is it with you. For the more that you labour, strive,
and enforce yourself to disencumber and extricate your thoughts out of the
implicating involutions and fetterings of the grievous and lamentable gins
and springs of anguish and perplexity, the greater difficulty there is in
the relieving of you, and you remain faster bound than ever. Nor do I know
for the removal of this inconveniency any remedy but one.
Take heed, I have often heard it said in a vulgar proverb, The wise may be
instructed by a fool. Seeing the answers and responses of sage and
judicious men have in no manner of way satisfied you, take advice of some
fool, and possibly by so doing you may come to get that counsel which will
be agreeable to your own heart's desire and contentment. You know how by
the advice and counsel and prediction of fools, many kings, princes,
states, and commonwealths have been preserved, several battles gained, and
divers doubts of a most perplexed intricacy resolved. I am not so
diffident of your memory as to hold it needful to refresh it with a
quotation of examples, nor do I so far undervalue your judgment but that I
think it will acquiesce in the reason of this my subsequent discourse. As
he who narrowly takes heed to what concerns the dexterous management of his
private affairs, domestic businesses, and those adoes which are confined
within the strait-laced compass of one family, who is attentive, vigilant,
and active in the economic rule of his own house, whose frugal spirit never
strays from home, who loseth no occasion whereby he may purchase to himself
more riches, and build up new heaps of treasure on his former wealth, and
who knows warily how to prevent the inconveniences of poverty, is called a
worldly wise man, though perhaps in the second judgment of the
intelligences which are above he be esteemed a fool,--so, on the contrary,
is he most like, even in the thoughts of all celestial spirits, to be not
only sage, but to presage events to come by divine inspiration, who laying
quite aside those cares which are conducible to his body or his fortunes,
and, as it were, departing from himself, rids all his senses of terrene
affections, and clears his fancies of those plodding studies which harbour
in the minds of thriving men. All which neglects of sublunary things are
vulgarily imputed folly. After this manner, the son of Picus, King of the
Latins, the great soothsayer Faunus, was called Fatuus by the witless
rabble of the common people. The like we daily see practised amongst the
comic players, whose dramatic roles, in distribution of the personages,
appoint the acting of the fool to him who is the wisest of the troop. In
approbation also of this fashion the mathematicians allow the very same
horoscope to princes and to sots. Whereof a right pregnant instance by
them is given in the nativities of Aeneas and Choroebus; the latter of
which two is by Euphorion said to have been a fool, and yet had with the
former the same aspects and heavenly genethliac influences.
I shall not, I suppose, swerve much from the purpose in hand, if I relate
unto you what John Andrew said upon the return of a papal writ, which was
directed to the mayor and burgesses of Rochelle, and after him by Panorme,
upon the same pontifical canon; Barbatias on the Pandects, and recently by
Jason in his Councils, concerning Seyny John, the noted fool of Paris, and
Caillet's fore great-grandfather. The case is this.
At Paris, in the roastmeat cookery of the Petit Chastelet, before the
cookshop of one of the roastmeat sellers of that lane, a certain hungry
porter was eating his bread, after he had by parcels kept it a while above
the reek and steam of a fat goose on the spit, turning at a great fire, and
found it, so besmoked with the vapour, to be savoury; which the cook
observing, took no notice, till after having ravined his penny loaf,
whereof no morsel had been unsmokified, he was about decamping and going
away. But, by your leave, as the fellow thought to have departed thence
shot-free, the master-cook laid hold upon him by the gorget, and demanded
payment for the smoke of his roast meat. The porter answered, that he had
sustained no loss at all; that by what he had done there was no diminution
made of the flesh; that he had taken nothing of his, and that therefore he
was not indebted to him in anything. As for the smoke in question, that,
although he had not been there, it would howsoever have been evaporated;
besides, that before that time it had never been seen nor heard that
roastmeat smoke was sold upon the streets of Paris. The cook hereto
replied, that he was not obliged nor any way bound to feed and nourish for
nought a porter whom he had never seen before with the smoke of his roast
meat, and thereupon swore that if he would not forthwith content and
satisfy him with present payment for the repast which he had thereby got,
that he would take his crooked staves from off his back; which, instead of
having loads thereafter laid upon them, should serve for fuel to his
kitchen fires. Whilst he was going about so to do, and to have pulled them
to him by one of the bottom rungs which he had caught in his hand, the
sturdy porter got out of his grip, drew forth the knotty cudgel, and stood
to his own defence. The altercation waxed hot in words, which moved the
gaping hoidens of the sottish Parisians to run from all parts thereabouts,
to see what the issue would be of that babbling strife and contention. In
the interim of this dispute, to very good purpose Seyny John, the fool and
citizen of Paris, happened to be there, whom the cook perceiving, said to
the porter, Wilt thou refer and submit unto the noble Seyny John the
decision of the difference and controversy which is betwixt us? Yes, by
the blood of a goose, answered the porter, I am content. Seyny John the
fool, finding that the cook and porter had compromised the determination of
their variance and debate to the discretion of his award and arbitrament,
after that the reasons on either side whereupon was grounded the mutual
fierceness of their brawling jar had been to the full displayed and laid
open before him, commanded the porter to draw out of the fob of his belt a
piece of money, if he had it. Whereupon the porter immediately without
delay, in reverence to the authority of such a judicious umpire, put the
tenth part of a silver Philip into his hand. This little Philip Seyny John
took; then set it on his left shoulder, to try by feeling if it was of a
sufficient weight. After that, laying it on the palm of his hand, he made
it ring and tingle, to understand by the ear if it was of a good alloy in
the metal whereof it was composed. Thereafter he put it to the ball or
apple of his left eye, to explore by the sight if it was well stamped and
marked; all which being done, in a profound silence of the whole doltish
people who were there spectators of this pageantry, to the great hope of
the cook's and despair of the porter's prevalency in the suit that was in
agitation, he finally caused the porter to make it sound several times upon
the stall of the cook's shop. Then with a presidential majesty holding his
bauble sceptre-like in his hand, muffling his head with a hood of marten
skins, each side whereof had the resemblance of an ape's face sprucified up
with ears of pasted paper, and having about his neck a bucked ruff, raised,
furrowed, and ridged with pointing sticks of the shape and fashion of small
organ pipes, he first with all the force of his lungs coughed two or three
times, and then with an audible voice pronounced this following sentence:
The court declareth that the porter who ate his bread at the smoke of the
roast, hath civilly paid the cook with the sound of his money. And the
said court ordaineth that everyone return to his own home, and attend his
proper business, without cost and charges, and for a cause. This verdict,
award, and arbitrament of the Parisian fool did appear so equitable, yea,
so admirable to the aforesaid doctors, that they very much doubted if the
matter had been brought before the sessions for justice of the said place,
or that the judges of the Rota at Rome had been umpires therein, or yet
that the Areopagites themselves had been the deciders thereof, if by any
one part, or all of them together, it had been so judicially sententiated
and awarded. Therefore advise, if you will be counselled by a fool.
How Triboulet is set forth and blazed by Pantagruel and Panurge.
By my soul, quoth Panurge, that overture pleaseth me exceedingly well. I
will therefore lay hold thereon, and embrace it. At the very motioning
thereof my very right entrail seemeth to be widened and enlarged, which was
but just now hard-bound, contracted, and costive. But as we have hitherto
made choice of the purest and most refined cream of wisdom and sapience for
our counsel, so would I now have to preside and bear the prime sway in our
consultation as very a fool in the supreme degree. Triboulet, quoth
Pantagruel, is completely foolish, as I conceive. Yes, truly, answered
Panurge, he is properly and totally a fool, a
Fatal f. Jovial f.
Natural f. Mercurial f.
Celestial f. Lunatic f.
Erratic f. Ducal f.
Eccentric f. Common f.
Aethereal and Junonian f. Lordly f.
Arctic f. Palatine f.
Heroic f. Principal f.
Genial f. Pretorian f.
Inconstant f. Elected f.
Earthly f. Courtly f.
Salacious and sporting f. Primipilary f.
Jocund and wanton f. Triumphant f.
Pimpled f. Vulgar f.
Freckled f. Domestic f.
Bell-tinging f. Exemplary f.
Laughing and lecherous f. Rare outlandish f.
Nimming and filching f. Satrapal f.
Unpressed f. Civil f.
First broached f. Popular f.
Augustal f. Familiar f.
Caesarine f. Notable f.
Imperial f. Favourized f.
Royal f. Latinized f.
Patriarchal f. Ordinary f.
Original f. Transcendent f.
Loyal f. Rising f.
Episcopal f. Papal f.
Doctoral f. Consistorian f.
Monachal f. Conclavist f.
Fiscal f. Bullist f.
Extravagant f. Synodal f.
Writhed f. Doting and raving f.
Canonical f. Singular and surpassing f.
Such another f. Special and excelling f.
Graduated f. Metaphysical f.
Commensal f. Scatical f.
Primolicentiated f. Predicamental and categoric f.
Train-bearing f. Predicable and enunciatory f.
Supererogating f. Decumane and superlative f.
Collateral f. Dutiful and officious f.
Haunch and side f. Optical and perspective f.
Nestling, ninny, and youngling f. Algoristic f.
Flitting, giddy, and unsteady f. Algebraical f.
Brancher, novice, and cockney f. Cabalistical and Massoretical f.
Haggard, cross, and froward f. Talmudical f.
Gentle, mild, and tractable f. Algamalized f.
Mail-coated f. Compendious f.
Pilfering and purloining f. Abbreviated f.
Tail-grown f. Hyperbolical f.
Grey peckled f. Anatomastical f.
Pleonasmical f. Allegorical f.
Capital f. Tropological f.
Hair-brained f. Micher pincrust f.
Cordial f. Heteroclit f.
Intimate f. Summist f.
Hepatic f. Abridging f.
Cupshotten and swilling f. Morrish f.
Splenetic f. Leaden-sealed f.
Windy f. Mandatory f.
Legitimate f. Compassionate f.
Azymathal f. Titulary f.
Almicantarized f. Crouching, showking, ducking f.
Proportioned f. Grim, stern, harsh, and wayward f.
Chinnified f. Well-hung and timbered f.
Swollen and puffed up f. Ill-clawed, pounced, and pawed f.
Overcockrifedlid and lified f. Well-stoned f.
Corallory f. Crabbed and unpleasing f.
Eastern f. Winded and untainted f.
Sublime f. Kitchen haunting f.
Crimson f. Lofty and stately f.
Ingrained f. Spitrack f.
City f. Architrave f.
Basely accoutred f. Pedestal f.
Mast-headed f. Tetragonal f.
Modal f. Renowned f.
Second notial f. Rheumatic f.
Cheerful and buxom f. Flaunting and braggadocio f.
Solemn f. Egregious f.
Annual f. Humourous and capricious f.
Festival f. Rude, gross, and absurd f.
Recreative f. Large-measured f.
Boorish and counterfeit f. Babble f.
Pleasant f. Down-right f.
Privileged f. Broad-listed f.
Rustical f. Duncical-bearing f.
Proper and peculiar f. Stale and over-worn f.
Ever ready f. Saucy and swaggering f.
Diapasonal f. Full-bulked f.
Resolute f. Gallant and vainglorious f.
Hieroglyphical f. Gorgeous and gaudy f.
Authentic f. Continual and intermitting f.
Worthy f. Rebasing and roundling f.
Precious f. Prototypal and precedenting f.
Fanatic f. Prating f.
Fantastical f. Catechetic f.
Symphatic f. Cacodoxical f.
Panic f. Meridional f.
Limbecked and distilled f. Nocturnal f.
Comportable f. Occidental f.
Wretched and heartless f. Trifling f.
Fooded f. Astrological and figure-flinging f.
Thick and threefold f. Genethliac and horoscopal f.
Damasked f. Knavish f.
Fearney f. Idiot f.
Unleavened f. Blockish f.
Baritonant f. Beetle-headed f.
Pink and spot-powdered f. Grotesque f.
Musket-proof f. Impertinent f.
Pedantic f. Quarrelsome f.
Strouting f. Unmannerly f.
Wood f. Captious and sophistical f.
Greedy f. Soritic f.
Senseless f. Catholoproton f.
Godderlich f. Hoti and Dioti f.
Obstinate f. Alphos and Catati f.
Pantagruel. If there was any reason why at Rome the Quirinal holiday of
old was called the Feast of Fools, I know not why we may not for the like
cause institute in France the Tribouletic Festivals, to be celebrated and
solemnized over all the land.
Panurge. If all fools carried cruppers.
Pantagruel. If he were the god Fatuus of whom we have already made
mention, the husband of the goddess Fatua, his father would be Good Day,
and his grandmother Good Even.
Panurge. If all fools paced, albeit he be somewhat wry-legged, he would
overlay at least a fathom at every rake. Let us go toward him without any
further lingering or delay; we shall have, no doubt, some fine resolution
of him. I am ready to go, and long for the issue of our progress
impatiently. I must needs, quoth Pantagruel, according to my former
resolution therein, be present at Bridlegoose's trial. Nevertheless,
whilst I shall be upon my journey towards Mirelingues, which is on the
other side of the river of Loire, I will despatch Carpalin to bring along
with him from Blois the fool Triboulet. Then was Carpalin instantly sent
away, and Pantagruel, at the same time attended by his domestics, Panurge,
Epistemon, Ponocrates, Friar John, Gymnast, Ryzotomus, and others, marched
forward on the high road to Mirelingues.
How Pantagruel was present at the trial of Judge Bridlegoose, who decided
causes and controversies in law by the chance and fortune of the dice.
On the day following, precisely at the hour appointed, Pantagruel came to
Mirelingues. At his arrival the presidents, senators, and counsellors
prayed him to do them the honour to enter in with them, to hear the
decision of all the causes, arguments, and reasons which Bridlegoose in his
own defence would produce, why he had pronounced a certain sentence against
the subsidy-assessor, Toucheronde, which did not seem very equitable to
that centumviral court. Pantagruel very willingly condescended to their
desire, and accordingly entering in, found Bridlegoose sitting within the
middle of the enclosure of the said court of justice; who immediately upon
the coming of Pantagruel, accompanied with the senatorian members of that
worshipful judicatory, arose, went to the bar, had his indictment read, and
for all his reasons, defences, and excuses, answered nothing else but that
he was become old, and that his sight of late was very much failed, and
become dimmer than it was wont to be; instancing therewithal many miseries
and calamities which old age bringeth along with it, and are concomitant to
wrinkled elders; which not. per Archid. d. lxxxvi. c. tanta. By reason of
which infirmity he was not able so distinctly and clearly to discern the
points and blots of the dice as formerly he had been accustomed to do;
whence it might very well have happened, said he, as old dim-sighted Isaac
took Jacob for Esau, that I after the same manner, at the decision of
causes and controversies in law, should have been mistaken in taking a
quatre for a cinque, or a trey for a deuce. This I beseech your worships,
quoth he, to take into your serious consideration, and to have the more
favourable opinion of my uprightness, notwithstanding the prevarication
whereof I am accused in the matter of Toucheronde's sentence, that at the
time of that decree's pronouncing I only had made use of my small dice; and
your worships, said he, know very well how by the most authentic rules of
the law it is provided that the imperfections of nature should never be
imputed unto any for crimes and transgressions; as appeareth, ff. de re
milit. l. qui cum uno. ff. de reg. Jur. l. fere. ff. de aedil. edict. per
totum. ff. de term. mod. l. Divus Adrianus, resolved by Lud. Rom. in l. si
vero. ff. Sol. Matr. And who would offer to do otherwise, should not
thereby accuse the man, but nature, and the all-seeing providence of God,
as is evident in l. Maximum Vitium, c. de lib. praeter.
What kind of dice, quoth Trinquamelle, grand-president of the said court,
do you mean, my friend Bridlegoose? The dice, quoth Bridlegoose, of
sentences at law, decrees, and peremptory judgments, Alea Judiciorum,
whereof is written, Per Doct. 26. qu. 2. cap. sort. l. nec emptio ff. de
contrahend. empt. l. quod debetur. ff. de pecul. et ibi Bartol., and which
your worships do, as well as I, use, in this glorious sovereign court of
yours. So do all other righteous judges in their decision of processes and
final determination of legal differences, observing that which hath been
said thereof by D. Henri. Ferrandat, et not. gl. in c. fin. de sortil. et
l. sed cum ambo. ff. de jud. Ubi Docto. Mark, that chance and fortune are
good, honest, profitable, and necessary for ending of and putting a final
closure to dissensions and debates in suits at law. The same hath more
clearly been declared by Bald. Bartol. et Alex. c. communia de leg. l. Si
duo. But how is it that you do these things? asked Trinquamelle. I very
briefly, quoth Bridlegoose, shall answer you, according to the doctrine and
instructions of Leg. ampliorem para. in refutatoriis. c. de appel.; which
is conform to what is said in Gloss l. 1. ff. quod met. causa. Gaudent
brevitate moderni. My practice is therein the same with that of your other
worships, and as the custom of the judicatory requires, unto which our law
commandeth us to have regard, and by the rule thereof still to direct and
regulate our actions and procedures; ut not. extra. de consuet. in c. ex
literis et ibi innoc. For having well and exactly seen, surveyed,
overlooked, reviewed, recognized, read, and read over again, turned and
tossed over, seriously perused and examined the bills of complaint,
accusations, impeachments, indictments, warnings, citations, summonings,
comparitions, appearances, mandates, commissions, delegations,
instructions, informations, inquests, preparatories, productions,
evidences, proofs, allegations, depositions, cross speeches,
contradictions, supplications, requests, petitions, inquiries, instruments
of the deposition of witnesses, rejoinders, replies, confirmations of
former assertions, duplies, triplies, answers to rejoinders, writings,
deeds, reproaches, disabling of exceptions taken, grievances, salvation
bills, re-examination of witnesses, confronting of them together,
declarations, denunciations, libels, certificates, royal missives, letters
of appeal, letters of attorney, instruments of compulsion, delineatories,
anticipatories, evocations, messages, dimissions, issues, exceptions,
dilatory pleas, demurs, compositions, injunctions, reliefs, reports,
returns, confessions, acknowledgments, exploits, executions, and other
such-like confects and spiceries, both at the one and the other side, as a
good judge ought to do, conform to what hath been noted thereupon. Spec.
de ordination. Paragr. 3. et Tit. de Offi. omn. jud. paragr. fin. et de
rescriptis praesentat. parag. 1.--I posit on the end of a table in my
closet all the pokes and bags of the defendant, and then allow unto him the
first hazard of the dice, according to the usual manner of your other
worships. And it is mentioned, l. favorabiliores. ff. de reg. jur. et in
cap. cum sunt eod. tit. lib. 6, which saith, Quum sunt partium jura
obscura, reo potius favendum est quam actori. That being done, I
thereafter lay down upon the other end of the same table the bags and
satchels of the plaintiff, as your other worships are accustomed to do,
visum visu, just over against one another; for Opposita juxta se posita
clarius elucescunt: ut not. in lib. 1. parag. Videamus. ff. de his qui
sunt sui vel alieni juris, et in l. munerum. para. mixta ff. de mun. et
hon. Then do I likewise and semblably throw the dice for him, and
forthwith livre him his chance. But, quoth Trinquamelle, my friend, how
come you to know, understand, and resolve the obscurity of these various
and seeming contrary passages in law, which are laid claim to by the
suitors and pleading parties? Even just, quoth Bridlegoose, after the
fashion of your other worships; to wit, when there are many bags on the one
side and on the other, I then use my little small dice, after the customary
manner of your other worships, in obedience to the law, Semper in
stipulationibus ff. de reg. jur. And the law ver(s)ified versifieth that,
Eod. tit. Semper in obscuris quod minimum est sequimur; canonized in c. in
obscuris. eod. tit. lib. 6. I have other large great dice, fair and goodly
ones, which I employ in the fashion that your other worships use to do,
when the matter is more plain, clear, and liquid, that is to say, when
there are fewer bags. But when you have done all these fine things, quoth
Trinquamelle, how do you, my friend, award your decrees, and pronounce
judgment? Even as your other worships, answered Bridlegoose; for I give
out sentence in his favour unto whom hath befallen the best chance by dice,
judiciary, tribunian, pretorial, what comes first. So our laws command,
ff. qui pot. in pign. l. creditor, c. de consul. 1. Et de regul. jur. in
6. Qui prior est tempore potior est jure.
How Bridlegoose giveth reasons why he looked upon those law-actions which
he decided by the chance of the dice.
Yea but, quoth Trinquamelle, my friend, seeing it is by the lot, chance,
and throw of the dice that you award your judgments and sentences, why do
not you livre up these fair throws and chances the very same day and hour,
without any further procrastination or delay, that the controverting party-
pleaders appear before you? To what use can those writings serve you,
those papers and other procedures contained in the bags and pokes of the
law-suitors? To the very same use, quoth Bridlegoose, that they serve your
other worships. They are behooveful unto me, and serve my turn in three
things very exquisite, requisite, and authentical. First, for formality
sake, the omission whereof, that it maketh all, whatever is done, to be of
no force nor value, is excellently well proved, by Spec. 1. tit. de instr.
edit. et tit. de rescript. praesent. Besides that, it is not unknown to
you, who have had many more experiments thereof than I, how oftentimes, in
judicial proceedings, the formalities utterly destroy the materialities and
substances of the causes and matters agitated; for Forma mutata, mutatur
substantia. ff. ad exhib. l. Julianus. ff. ad leg. Fal. l. si is qui
quadraginta. Et extra de decim. c. ad audientiam, et de celebrat. miss. c.
Secondly, they are useful and steadable to me, even as unto your other
worships, in lieu of some other honest and healthful exercise. The late
Master Othoman Vadet (Vadere), a prime physician, as you would say, Cod. de
Comit. et Archi. lib. 12, hath frequently told me that the lack and default
of bodily exercise is the chief, if not the sole and only cause of the
little health and short lives of all officers of justice, such as your
worships and I am. Which observation was singularly well before him noted
and remarked by Bartholus in lib. 1. c. de sent. quae pro eo quod.
Therefore it is that the practice of such-like exercitations is appointed
to be laid hold on by your other worships, and consequently not to be
denied unto me, who am of the same profession; Quia accessorium naturam
sequitur principalis. de reg. jur. l. 6. et l. cum principalis. et l. nihil
dolo. ff. eod. tit. ff. de fide-juss. l. fide-juss. et extra de officio
deleg. cap. 1. Let certain honest and recreative sports and plays of
corporeal exercises be allowed and approved of; and so far, (ff. de allus.
et aleat. l. solent. et authent.) ut omnes obed. in princ. coll. 7. et ff.
de praescript. verb. l. si gratuitam et l. 1. cod. de spect. l. 11. Such
also is the opinion of D. Thom, in secunda, secundae Q. I. 168. Quoted in
very good purpose by D. Albert de Rosa, who fuit magnus practicus, and a
solemn doctor, as Barbatias attesteth in principiis consil. Wherefore the
reason is evidently and clearly deduced and set down before us in gloss. in
prooemio. ff. par. ne autem tertii.
Interpone tuis interdum gaudia curis.
In very deed, once, in the year a thousand four hundred fourscore and
ninth, having a business concerning the portion and inheritance of a
younger brother depending in the court and chamber of the four high
treasurers of France, whereinto as soon as ever I got leave to enter by a
pecuniary permission of the usher thereof,--as your other worships know
very well, that Pecuniae obediunt omnia, and there says Baldus, in l.
singularia. ff. si cert. pet. et Salic. in l. receptitia. Cod. de constit.
pecuni. et Card. in Clem. 1. de baptism.--I found them all recreating and
diverting themselves at the play called muss, either before or after
dinner; to me, truly, it is a thing altogether indifferent whether of the
two it was, provided that hic not., that the game of the muss is honest,
healthful, ancient, and lawful, a Muscho inventore, de quo cod. de petit.
haered. l. si post mortem. et Muscarii. Such as play and sport it at the
muss are excusable in and by law, lib. 1. c. de excus. artific. lib. 10.
And at the very same time was Master Tielman Picquet one of the players of
that game of muss. There is nothing that I do better remember, for he
laughed heartily when his fellow-members of the aforesaid judicial chamber
spoiled their caps in swingeing of his shoulders. He, nevertheless, did
even then say unto them, that the banging and flapping of him, to the waste
and havoc of their caps, should not, at their return from the palace to
their own houses, excuse them from their wives, Per. c. extra. de
praesumpt. et ibi gloss. Now, resolutorie loquendo, I should say,
according to the style and phrase of your other worships, that there is no
exercise, sport, game, play, nor recreation in all this palatine, palatial,
or parliamentary world, more aromatizing and fragrant than to empty and
void bags and purses, turn over papers and writings, quote margins and
backs of scrolls and rolls, fill panniers, and take inspection of causes,
Ex. Bart. et Joan. de Pra. in l. falsa. de condit. et demonst. ff.
Thirdly, I consider, as your own worships use to do, that time ripeneth and
bringeth all things to maturity, that by time everything cometh to be made
manifest and patent, and that time is the father of truth and virtue.
Gloss. in l. 1. cod. de servit. authent. de restit. et ea quae pa. et spec.
tit. de requisit. cons. Therefore is it that, after the manner and fashion
of your other worships, I defer, protract, delay, prolong, intermit,
surcease, pause, linger, suspend, prorogate, drive out, wire-draw, and
shift off the time of giving a definitive sentence, to the end that the
suit or process, being well fanned and winnowed, tossed and canvassed to
and fro, narrowly, precisely, and nearly garbled, sifted, searched, and
examined, and on all hands exactly argued, disputed, and debated, may, by
succession of time, come at last to its full ripeness and maturity. By
means whereof, when the fatal hazard of the dice ensueth thereupon, the
parties cast or condemned by the said aleatory chance will with much
greater patience, and more mildly and gently, endure and bear up the
disastrous load of their misfortune, than if they had been sentenced at
their first arrival unto the court, as not. gl. ff. de excus. tut. l. tria.
Portatur leviter quod portat quisque libenter.
On the other part, to pass a decree or sentence when the action is raw,
crude, green, unripe, unprepared, as at the beginning, a danger would ensue
of a no less inconveniency than that which the physicians have been wont to
say befalleth to him in whom an imposthume is pierced before it be ripe, or
unto any other whose body is purged of a strong predominating humour before
its digestion. For as it is written, in authent. haec constit. in Innoc.
de constit. princip., so is the same repeated in gloss. in c. caeterum.
extra. de juram. calumn. Quod medicamenta morbis exhibent, hoc jura
negotiis. Nature furthermore admonisheth and teacheth us to gather and
reap, eat and feed on fruits when they are ripe, and not before. Instit.
de rer. div. paragr. is ad quem et ff. de action. empt. l. Julianus. To
marry likewise our daughters when they are ripe, and no sooner, ff. de
donation. inter vir. et uxor. l. cum hic status. paragr. si quis sponsam.
et 27 qu. 1. c. sicut dicit. gl.
Jam matura thoro plenis adoleverat annis
And, in a word, she instructeth us to do nothing of any considerable
importance, but in a full maturity and ripeness, 23. q. para ult. et 23. de
How Bridlegoose relateth the history of the reconcilers of parties at
variance in matters of law.
I remember to the same purpose, quoth Bridlegoose, in continuing his
discourse, that in the time when at Poictiers I was a student of law under
Brocadium Juris, there was at Semerve one Peter Dandin, a very honest man,
careful labourer of the ground, fine singer in a church-desk, of good
repute and credit, and older than the most aged of all your worships; who
was wont to say that he had seen the great and goodly good man, the Council
of Lateran, with his wide and broad-brimmed red hat. As also, that he had
beheld and looked upon the fair and beautiful Pragmatical Sanction his
wife, with her huge rosary or patenotrian chaplet of jet-beads hanging at a
large sky-coloured ribbon. This honest man compounded, atoned, and agreed
more differences, controversies, and variances at law than had been
determined, voided, and finished during his time in the whole palace of
Poictiers, in the auditory of Montmorillon, and in the town-house of the
old Partenay. This amicable disposition of his rendered him venerable and
of great estimation, sway, power, and authority throughout all the
neighbouring places of Chauvigny, Nouaille, Leguge, Vivonne, Mezeaux,
Estables, and other bordering and circumjacent towns, villages, and
hamlets. All their debates were pacified by him; he put an end to their
brabbling suits at law and wrangling differences. By his advice and
counsels were accords and reconcilements no less firmly made than if the
verdict of a sovereign judge had been interposed therein, although, in very
deed, he was no judge at all, but a right honest man, as you may well
conceive,--arg. in l. sed si unius. ff. de jure-jur. et de verbis
obligatoriis l.continuus. There was not a hog killed within three parishes
of him whereof he had not some part of the haslet and puddings. He was
almost every day invited either to a marriage banquet, christening feast,
an uprising or women-churching treatment, a birthday's anniversary
solemnity, a merry frolic gossiping, or otherwise to some delicious
entertainment in a tavern, to make some accord and agreement between
persons at odds and in debate with one another. Remark what I say; for he
never yet settled and compounded a difference betwixt any two at variance,
but he straight made the parties agreed and pacified to drink together as a
sure and infallible token and symbol of a perfect and completely well-
cemented reconciliation, sign of a sound and sincere amity and proper mark
of a new joy and gladness to follow thereupon,--Ut not. per (Doct.) ff. de
peric. et com. rei vend. l. 1. He had a son, whose name was Tenot Dandin,
a lusty, young, sturdy, frisking roister, so help me God! who likewise, in
imitation of his peace-making father, would have undertaken and meddled
with the making up of variances and deciding of controversies betwixt
disagreeing and contentious party-pleaders; as you know,
Saepe solet similis esse patri.
Et sequitur leviter filia matris iter.
Ut ait gloss. 6, quaest. 1. c. Si quis. gloss. de cons. dist. 5. c. 2. fin.
et est. not. per Doct. cod. de impub. et aliis substit. l. ult. et l.
legitime. ff. de stat. hom. gloss. in l. quod si nolit. ff. de aedil.
edict. l. quisquis c. ad leg. Jul. Majest. Excipio filios a Moniali
susceptos ex Monacho. per glos. in c. impudicas. 27. quaestione. 1. And
such was his confidence to have no worse success than his father, he
assumed unto himself the title of Law-strife-settler. He was likewise in
these pacificatory negotiations so active and vigilant--for, Vigilantibus
jura subveniunt. ex l. pupillus. ff. quae in fraud. cred. et ibid. l. non
enim. et instit. in prooem.--that when he had smelt, heard, and fully
understood--ut ff.si quando paup. fec. l. Agaso. gloss. in verb. olfecit,
id est, nasum ad culum posuit--and found that there was anywhere in the
country a debatable matter at law, he would incontinently thrust in his
advice, and so forwardly intrude his opinion in the business, that he made
no bones of making offer, and taking upon him to decide it, how difficult
soever it might happen to be, to the full contentment and satisfaction of
both parties. It is written, Qui non laborat non manducat; and the said
gl. ff. de damn. infect. l. quamvis, and Currere plus que le pas vetulam
compellit egestas. gloss. ff. de lib. agnosc. l. si quis. pro qua facit. l.
si plures. c. de cond. incert. But so hugely great was his misfortune in
this his undertaking, that he never composed any difference, how little
soever you may imagine it might have been, but that, instead of reconciling
the parties at odds, he did incense, irritate, and exasperate them to a
higher point of dissension and enmity than ever they were at before. Your
worships know, I doubt not, that,
Sermo datur cunctis, animi sapientia paucis.
Gl. ff. de alien. jud. mut. caus. fa. lib.2. This administered unto the
tavern-keepers, wine-drawers, and vintners of Semerve an occasion to say,
that under him they had not in the space of a whole year so much
reconciliation-wine, for so were they pleased to call the good wine of
Leguge, as under his father they had done in one half-hour's time. It
happened a little while thereafter that he made a most heavy regret thereof
to his father, attributing the causes of his bad success in pacificatory
enterprises to the perversity, stubbornness, froward, cross, and backward
inclinations of the people of his time; roundly, boldly, and irreverently
upbraiding, that if but a score of years before the world had been so
wayward, obstinate, pervicacious, implacable, and out of all square, frame,
and order as it was then, his father had never attained to and acquired the
honour and title of Strife-appeaser so irrefragably, inviolably, and
irrevocably as he had done. In doing whereof Tenot did heinously
transgress against the law which prohibiteth children to reproach the
actions of their parents; per gl. et Bart. l. 3. paragr. si quis. ff. de
cond. ob caus. et authent. de nupt. par. sed quod sancitum. col. 4. To
this the honest old father answered thus: My son Dandin, when Don Oportet
taketh place, this is the course which we must trace, gl. c. de appell. l.
eos etiam. For the road that you went upon was not the way to the fuller's
mill, nor in any part thereof was the form to be found wherein the hare did
sit. Thou hast not the skill and dexterity of settling and composing
differences. Why? Because thou takest them at the beginning, in the very
infancy and bud as it were, when they are green, raw, and indigestible.
Yet I know handsomely and featly how to compose and settle them all. Why?
Because I take them at their decadence, in their weaning, and when they are
pretty well digested. So saith Gloss:
Dulcior est fructus post multa pericula ductus.
L. non moriturus. c. de contrahend. et committ. stip. Didst thou ever hear
the vulgar proverb, Happy is the physician whose coming is desired at the
declension of a disease? For the sickness being come to a crisis is then
upon the decreasing hand, and drawing towards an end, although the
physician should not repair thither for the cure thereof; whereby, though
nature wholly do the work, he bears away the palm and praise thereof. My
pleaders, after the same manner, before I did interpose my judgment in the
reconciling of them, were waxing faint in their contestations. Their
altercation heat was much abated, and, in declining from their former
strife, they of themselves inclined to a firm accommodation of their
differences; because there wanted fuel to that fire of burning rancour and
despiteful wrangling whereof the lower sort of lawyers were the kindlers.
That is to say, their purses were emptied of coin, they had not a win in
their fob, nor penny in their bag, wherewith to solicit and present their
Deficiente pecu, deficit omne, nia.
There wanted then nothing but some brother to supply the place of a
paranymph, brawl-broker, proxenete, or mediator, who, acting his part
dexterously, should be the first broacher of the motion of an agreement,
for saving both the one and the other party from that hurtful and
pernicious shame whereof he could not have avoided the imputation when it
should have been said that he was the first who yielded and spoke of a
reconcilement, and that therefore, his cause not being good, and being
sensible where his shoe did pinch him, he was willing to break the ice, and
make the greater haste to prepare the way for a condescendment to an
amicable and friendly treaty. Then was it that I came in pudding time,
Dandin, my son, nor is the fat of bacon more relishing to boiled peas than
was my verdict then agreeable to them. This was my luck, my profit, and
good fortune. I tell thee, my jolly son Dandin, that by this rule and
method I could settle a firm peace, or at least clap up a cessation of arms
and truce for many years to come, betwixt the Great King and the Venetian
State, the Emperor and the Cantons of Switzerland, the English and the
Scots, and betwixt the Pope and the Ferrarians. Shall I go yet further?
Yea, as I would have God to help me, betwixt the Turk and the Sophy, the
Tartars and the Muscoviters. Remark well what I am to say unto thee. I
would take them at that very instant nick of time when both those of the
one and the other side should be weary and tired of making war, when they
had voided and emptied their own cashes and coffers of all treasure and
coin, drained and exhausted the purses and bags of their subjects, sold and
mortgaged their domains and proper inheritances, and totally wasted, spent,
and consumed the munition, furniture, provision, and victuals that were
necessary for the continuance of a military expedition. There I am sure,
by God, or by his Mother, that, would they, would they not, in spite of all
their teeths, they should be forced to have a little respite and breathing
time to moderate the fury and cruel rage of their ambitious aims. This is
the doctrine in Gl. 37. d. c. si quando.
Odero, si potero; si non, invitus amabo.
How suits at law are bred at first, and how they come afterwards to their
For this cause, quoth Bridlegoose, going on in his discourse, I temporize
and apply myself to the times, as your other worships use to do, waiting
patiently for the maturity of the process, full growth and perfection
thereof in all its members, to wit, the writings and the bags. Arg. in l.
si major. c. commun. divid. et de cons. di. 1. c. solemnitates, et ibi gl.
A suit in law at its production, birth, and first beginning, seemeth to me,
as unto your other worships, shapeless, without form or fashion,
incomplete, ugly and imperfect, even as a bear at his first coming into the
world hath neither hands, skin, hair, nor head, but is merely an inform,
rude, and ill-favoured piece and lump of flesh, and would remain still so,
if his dam, out of the abundance of her affection to her hopeful cub, did
not with much licking put his members into that figure and shape which
nature had provided for those of an arctic and ursinal kind; ut not. Doct.
ff. ad l. Aquil. l. 3. in fin. Just so do I see, as your other worships
do, processes and suits in law, at their first bringing forth, to be
numberless, without shape, deformed, and disfigured, for that then they
consist only of one or two writings, or copies of instruments, through
which defect they appear unto me, as to your other worships, foul,
loathsome, filthy, and misshapen beasts. But when there are heaps of these
legiformal papers packed, piled, laid up together, impoked, insatchelled,
and put up in bags, then is it that with a good reason we may term that
suit, to which, as pieces, parcels, parts, portions, and members thereof,
they do pertain and belong, well-formed and fashioned, big-limbed, strong-
set, and in all and each of its dimensions most completely membered.
Because forma dat esse. rei. l. si is qui. ff. ad leg. Falcid. in c. cum
dilecta. de rescript. Barbat. consil. 12. lib. 2, and before him, Baldus,
in c. ult. extra. de consuet. et l. Julianus ad exhib. ff. et l. quaesitum.
ff. de leg. 3. The manner is such as is set down in gl. p. quaest. 1. c.
Debile principium melior fortuna sequetur.
Like your other worships, also the sergeants, catchpoles, pursuivants,
messengers, summoners, apparitors, ushers, door-keepers, pettifoggers,
attorneys, proctors, commissioners, justices of the peace, judge delegates,
arbitrators, overseers, sequestrators, advocates, inquisitors, jurors,
searchers, examiners, notaries, tabellions, scribes, scriveners, clerks,
pregnotaries, secondaries, and expedanean judges, de quibus tit. est. l. 3.
c., by sucking very much, and that exceeding forcibly, and licking at the
purses of the pleading parties, they, to the suits already begot and
engendered, form, fashion, and frame head, feet, claws, talons, beaks,
bills, teeth, hands, veins, sinews, arteries, muscles, humours, and so
forth, through all the similary and dissimilary parts of the whole; which
parts, particles, pendicles, and appurtenances are the law pokes and bags,
gl. de cons. d. 4. c. accepisti. Qualis vestis erit, talia corda gerit.
Hic notandum est, that in this respect the pleaders, litigants, and law-
suitors are happier than the officers, ministers, and administrators of
justice. For beatius est dare quam accipere. ff. commun. l. 3. extra. de
celebr. Miss. c. cum Marthae. et 24. quaest. 1. cap. Od. gl.
Affectum dantis pensat censura tonantis.
Thus becometh the action or process by their care and industry to be of a
complete and goodly bulk, well shaped, framed, formed, and fashioned
according to the canonical gloss.
Accipe, sume, cape, sunt verba placentia Papae.
Which speech hath been more clearly explained by Albert de Ros, in verbo
Roma manus rodit, quas rodere non valet, odit.
Dantes custodit, non dantes spernit, et odit.
The reason whereof is thought to be this:
Ad praesens ova cras pullis sunt meliora.
ut est gl. in l. quum hi. ff. de transact. Nor is this all; for the
inconvenience of the contrary is set down in gloss. c. de allu. l. fin.
Quum labor in damno est, crescit mortalis egestas.
In confirmation whereof we find that the true etymology and exposition of
the word process is purchase, viz. of good store of money to the lawyers,
and of many pokes--id est, prou-sacks--to the pleaders, upon which subject
we have most celestial quips, gibes, and girds.
Ligitando jura crescunt; litigando jus acquiritur.
Item gl. in cap. illud extrem. de praesumpt. et c. de prob. l. instrum. l.
non epistolis. l. non nudis.
Et si non prosunt singula, multa juvant.
Yea but, asked Trinquamelle, how do you proceed, my friend, in criminal
causes, the culpable and guilty party being taken and seized upon flagrante
crimine? Even as your other worships use to do, answered Bridlegoose.
First, I permit the plaintiff to depart from the court, enjoining him not
to presume to return thither till he preallably should have taken a good
sound and profound sleep, which is to serve for the prime entry and
introduction to the legal carrying on of the business. In the next place,
a formal report is to be made to me of his having slept. Thirdly, I issue
forth a warrant to convene him before me. Fourthly, he is to produce a
sufficient and authentic attestation of his having thoroughly and entirely
slept, conform to the Gloss. 37. Quest. 7. c. Si quis cum.
Quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus.
Being thus far advanced in the formality of the process, I find that this
consopiating act engendereth another act, whence ariseth the articulating
of a member. That again produceth a third act, fashionative of another
member; which third bringing forth a fourth, procreative of another act.
New members in a no fewer number are shapen and framed, one still breeding
and begetting another--as, link after link, the coat of mail at length is
made--till thus, piece after piece, by little and little, by information
upon information, the process be completely well formed and perfect in all
his members. Finally, having proceeded this length, I have recourse to my
dice, nor is it to be thought that this interruption, respite, or
interpellation is by me occasioned without very good reason inducing me
thereunto, and a notable experience of a most convincing and irrefragable
I remember, on a time, that in the camp at Stockholm there was a certain
Gascon named Gratianauld, native of the town of Saint Sever, who having
lost all his money at play, and consecutively being very angry thereat--as
you know, Pecunia est alter sanguis, ut ait Anto. de Burtio, in c.
accedens. 2. extra ut lit. non contest. et Bald. in l. si tuis. c. de opt.
leg. per tot.in l. advocati. c. de advoc. div. jud. Pecunia est vita
hominis et optimus fide-jussor in necessitatibus--did, at his coming forth
of the gaming-house, in the presence of the whole company that was there,
with a very loud voice speak in his own language these following words:
Pao cap de bious hillots, que maux de pipes bous tresbire: ares que de
pergudes sont les mires bingt, et quouatre bagnelles, ta pla donnerien
pics, trucs, et patacts, Sey degun de bous aulx, qui boille truquar ambe
iou a bels embis. Finding that none would make him any answer, he passed
from thence to that part of the leaguer where the huff-snuff, honder
sponder, swashbuckling High Germans were, to whom he renewed these very
terms, provoking them to fight with him; but all the return he had from
them to his stout challenge was only, Der Gasconner thut sich ausz mit ein
iedem zu schlagen, aber er ist geneigter zu stehlen, darum, liebe frawen,
habt sorg zu euerm hauszrath. Finding also that none of that band of
Teutonic soldiers offered himself to the combat, he passed to that quarter
of the leaguer where the French freebooting adventurers were encamped, and
reiterating unto them what he had before repeated to the Dutch warriors,
challenged them likewise to fight with him, and therewithal made some
pretty little Gasconado frisking gambols to oblige them the more cheerfully
and gallantly to cope with him in the lists of a duellizing engagement; but
no answer at all was made unto him. Whereupon the Gascon, despairing of
meeting with any antagonists, departed from thence, and laying himself down
not far from the pavilions of the grand Christian cavalier Crissie, fell
fast asleep. When he had thoroughly slept an hour or two, another
adventurous and all-hazarding blade of the forlorn hope of the lavishingly
wasting gamesters, having also lost all his moneys, sallied forth with
sword in his hand, of a firm resolution to fight with the aforesaid Gascon,
seeing he had lost as well as he.
Ploratur lachrymis amissa pecunia veris,
saith the Gl. de poenitent. distinct. 3. c. sunt plures. To this effect
having made inquiry and search for him throughout the whole camp, and in
sequel thereof found him asleep, he said unto him, Up, ho, good fellow, in
the name of all the devils of hell, rise up, rise up, get up! I have lost
my money as well as thou hast done; let us therefore go fight lustily
together, grapple and scuffle it to some purpose. Thou mayest look and see
that my tuck is no longer than thy rapier. The Gascon, altogether
astonished at his unexpected provocation, without altering his former
dialect spoke thus: Cap de Saint Arnault, quau seys to you, qui me
rebeillez? Que mau de taberne te gire. Ho Saint Siobe, cap de Gascoigne,
ta pla dormy jou, quand aquoest taquain me bingut estee. The venturous
roister inviteth him again to the duel, but the Gascon, without
condescending to his desire, said only this: He paovret jou tesquinerie
ares, que son pla reposat. Vayne un pauque te pausar com jou, peusse
truqueren. Thus, in forgetting his loss, he forgot the eagerness which he
had to fight. In conclusion, after that the other had likewise slept a
little, they, instead of fighting, and possibly killing one another, went
jointly to a sutler's tent, where they drank together very amicably, each
upon the pawn of his sword. Thus by a little sleep was pacified the ardent
fury of two warlike champions. There, gossip, comes the golden word of
John Andr. in cap. ult. de sent. et re. judic. l. sexto.
Sedendo, et dormiendo fit anima prudens.
How Pantagruel excuseth Bridlegoose in the matter of sentencing actions at
law by the chance of the dice.
With this Bridlegoose held his peace. Whereupon Trinquamelle bid him
withdraw from the court--which accordingly was done--and then directed his
discourse to Pantagruel after this manner: It is fitting, most illustrious
prince, not only by reason of the deep obligations wherein this present
parliament, together with the whole marquisate of Mirelingues, stand bound
to your royal highness for the innumerable benefits which, as effects of
mere grace, they have received from your incomparable bounty, but for that
excellent wit also, prime judgment, and admirable learning wherewith
Almighty God, the giver of all good things, hath most richly qualified and
endowed you, we tender and present unto you the decision of this new,
strange, and paradoxical case of Bridlegoose; who, in your presence, to
your both hearing and seeing, hath plainly confessed his final judging and
determinating of suits of law by the mere chance and fortune of the dice.
Therefore do we beseech you that you may be pleased to give sentence
therein as unto you shall seem most just and equitable. To this Pantagruel
answered: Gentlemen, it is not unknown to you how my condition is somewhat
remote from the profession of deciding law controversies; yet, seeing you
are pleased to do me the honour to put that task upon me, instead of
undergoing the office of a judge I will become your humble supplicant. I
observe, gentlemen, in this Bridlegoose several things which induce me to
represent before you that it is my opinion he should be pardoned. In the
first place, his old age; secondly, his simplicity; to both which qualities
our statute and common laws, civil and municipal together, allow many
excuses for any slips or escapes which, through the invincible imperfection
of either, have been inconsiderately stumbled upon by a person so
qualified. Thirdly, gentlemen, I must needs display before you another
case, which in equity and justice maketh much for the advantage of
Bridlegoose, to wit, that this one, sole, and single fault of his ought to
be quite forgotten, abolished, and swallowed up by that immense and vast
ocean of just dooms and sentences which heretofore he hath given and
pronounced; his demeanours, for these forty years and upwards that he hath
been a judge, having been so evenly balanced in the scales of uprightness,
that envy itself till now could not have been so impudent as to accuse and
twit him with any act worthy of a check or reprehension; as, if a drop of
the sea were thrown into the Loire, none could perceive or say that by this
single drop the whole river should be salt and brackish.
Truly, it seemeth unto me, that in the whole series of Bridlegoose's
juridical decrees there hath been I know not what of extraordinary
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