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according to the season meat agreeable to his appetite, and then left off eating when he was like to crack for fulness. As for his drinking, he had neither end nor rule. For he was wont to say, that the limits and bounds of drinking were when the cork of the shoes of him that drinketh swelleth up half a foot high.
Then heavily mumbling a scurvy grace, he washed his hands in fresh wine, picked his teeth with the foot of a pig, and talked jovially with his attendants. Then the carpet being spread, they brought great store of cards, dice, and chessboards.
After having well played, revelled, passed and spent his time, it was proper to drink a little, and that was eleven goblets the man ; and immediately after making good cheer again, he would stretch himself upon a fair bench, or a good large bed, and there sleep two or three hours together without thinking or speaking any hurt. After he was awakened he would shake his ears a little. In the meantime they brought him fresh wine. Then he drank better than ever. Ponocrates showed him that it was an ill diet to drink so after sleeping. “ It is," answered Gargantua, 6 the very life of the Fathers; for naturally I sleep salt, and my sleep hath been to me instead of so much ham.” Then began he to study a little, and the paternosters first, which the better and more formally to despatch, he got up on an old mule which had served nine kings; and so mumbling with his mouth, doddling his head, would go see a coney caught in a net. At his return he went into the kitchen, to know what roast meat was on the spit; and supped very well, upon my conscience, and commonly did invite some of his neighbors that were good drinkers; with whom carousing, they told stories of all sorts, from the old to the new. After supper were brought in upon the place the fair wooden gospels — that is to say, many pairs of tables and cards
– with little small banquets, intermined with collations and rere-suppers. Then did he sleep without unbridling, until eight o'clock in the next morning.
When Ponocrates knew Gargantua's vicious manner of living, he resolved to bring him up in another kind; but for a while he bore with him, considering that nature does not endure sudden changes without great violence. Therefore, to begin his work the better, he requested a learned physician of that time, called Maître Theodorus, seriously to perpend, if it were possible, how to bring Gargantua unto a better course. The said physician purged him canonically with Anticyran hellebore, by which medicine he cleansed all the alteration and perverse habitude of his brain. By this means also Ponocrates made him forget all that he had learned under his ancient preceptors. To do this better, they brought him into the company of learned men who were there, in emulation of whom a great desire and affection came to him to study otherwise, and to improve his parts. Afterwards he put himself into such a train of study that he lost not any hour in the day, but employed all his time in learning and honest, knowledge. Gargantua awaked then about four o'clock in the morning. Whilst they were rubbing him, there was read unto him some chapter of the Holy Scripture aloud and clearly, with a pronunciation fit for the matter; and hereunto was appointed a young page born in Basché, named Anagnostes. According to the purpose and argument of that lesson, he oftentimes gave himself to revere, adore, pray, and send up his supplications to that good God whose word did show his majesty and marvellous judgments. Then his master repeated what had been read, expounding unto him the most obscure and difficult points. They then considered the face of the sky, if it was such as they had observed it the night before, and into what signs the sun was entering, as also the moon for that day. This done, he was apparelled, combed, curled, trimmed, and perfumed, during which time they repeated to him the lessons of the day before. He himself said them by heart, and upon them grounded practical cases concerning the estate of man; which he would prosecute sometimes two or three hours, but ordinarily they ceased as soon as he was fully clothed. Then for three good hours there was reading. This done, they went forth, still conferring of the substance of the reading, and disported themselves at ball, tennis, or the pile trigone; gallantly exercising their bodies, as before they had done their minds. All their play was but in liberty, for they left off when they pleased ; and that was commonly when they did sweat, or were otherwise weary. Then were they very well dried and rubbed, shifted their shirts, and walking soberly, went to see if dinner was ready. Whilst they stayed for that, they did clearly and eloquently recite some sentences that they had retained of the lecture. In the meantime Master Appetite came, and then very orderly sat they down at table. At the beginning of the meal there was read some pleasant history of ancient prowess, until he had taken his wine. Then if they thought good, they continued reading, or began to discourse merrily together; speaking first of the virtue, propriety, efficacy,
and nature of all that was served in at that table; of bread, of wine, of water, of salt, of flesh, fish, fruits, herbs, roots, and of their dressing. By means whereof, he learned in a little time all the passages that on these subjects are to be found in Pliny, Athenæus, Dioscorides, Julius Pollux, Galen, Porphyrius, Oppian, Polybius, Heliodorus, Aristotle, Ælian, and others. Whilst they talked of these things, many times, to be more the certain, they caused the very books to be brought to the table; and so well and perfectly did he in his memory retain the things above said, that in that time there was not a physician that knew half so much as he did. Afterwards they conferred of the lessons read in the morning; and ending their repast with some conserve of quince, he washed his hands and eyes with fair fresh water, and gave thanks unto God in some fine canticle, made in praise of the Divine bounty and munificence. This done, they brought in cards, not to play, but to learn a thousand pretty tricks and new inventions, which were all grounded upon arithmetic. By this means he fell in love with that numerical science, and every day after dinner and supper he passed his time in it as pleasantly as he was wont to do at cards and dice: so that at last he understood so well both the theory and practice thereof, that Tonstal the Englishman, who had written very largely of that purpose, confessed that verily in comparison of him he understood nothing but double Dutch ; and not only in that, but in the other mathematical sciences, as geometry, astronomy, music. For while waiting for the digestion of his food, they made a thousand joyous instruments and geometrical figures, and at the same time practised the astronomical canons.
After this they recreated themselves with singing musically, in four or five parts, or upon a set theme, as it best pleased them. In matter of musical instruments, he learned to play the lute, the spinet, the harp, the German flute, the flute with nine holes, the violin, and the sackbut. This hour thus spent, he betook himself to his principal study for three hours together, or more, as well to repeat his matutinal lectures as to proceed in the book wherein he was ; as also to write handsomely, to draw and form the antique and Roman letters. This being done, they went out of their house, and with them a young gentleman of Touraine, named Gymnast, who taught him the art of riding. Changing then his clothes, he mounted on any kind of a horse, which he made to bound in the air, to jump the ditch, to leap the palisade, and to turn short in a ring both to the right and
left hand. There he broke not his lance ; for it is the greatest foolishness in the world to say, I have broken ten lances at tilts or in fight. A carpenter can do even as much. But it is a glorious and praiseworthy action with one lance to break and overthrow ten enemies. Therefore with a sharp, strong, and stiff lance would he usually force a door, pierce a harness, uproot a tree, carry away the ring, lift up a saddle, with the mail-coat and gauntlet. All this he did in complete arms from head to foot. He was singularly skilful in leaping nimbly from one horse to another without putting foot to ground. He could likewise from either side, with a lance in his hand, leap on horseback without stirrups, and rule the horse at his pleasure without a bridle ; for such things are useful in military engagements. Another day he exercised the battle-axe, which he so dexterously wielded that he was passed knight of arms in the field and at all essays.
Then tossed he the pike, played with the two-handed sword, with the back sword, with the Spanish tuck, the dagger, poniard, armed, unarmed, with a buckler, with a cloak, with a target. Then would he hunt the hart, the roebuck, the bear, the fallow deer, the wild boar, the hare, the pheasant, the partridge, and the bustard. He played at the great ball, and made it bound in the air, both with fist and foot. He wrestled, ran, jumped, not at three steps and a leap, nor a hopping, nor yet at the German jump; “for,” said Gymnast,“ these jumps are for the wars altogether unprofitable, and of no use:” but at one leap he would skip over a ditch, spring over a hedge, mount six paces upon a wall, climb after this fashion up against a window, the height of a lance. He did swim in deep waters on his face, on his back, sidewise, with all his body, with his feet only, with one hand in the air, wherein he held a book, crossing thus the breadth of the river Seine without wetting, and dragging along his cloak with his teeth, as did Julius Cæsar; then with the help of one hand he entered forcibly into a boat, from whence he cast himself again headlong into the water, sounded the depths, hollowed the rocks, and plunged into the pits and gulfs. Then turned he the boat about, governed it, led it swiftly or slowly with the stream and against the stream, stopped it in its course, guided it with one hand, and with the other laid hard about him with a huge great oar, hoisted the sail, hied up along the mast by the shrouds, ran upon the bulwarks, set the compass, tackled the bowlines, and steered the helm. Coming out of the water, he ran furiously up against a hill, and with the same alacrity and swiftness ran down again. He climbed up trees like a cat, leaped from the one to the other like a squirrel. He did pull down the great boughs and branches, like another Milo: then with two sharp well-steeled daggers, and two tried bodkins, would he run up by the wall to the very top of a house like a rat; then suddenly come down from the top to the bottom, with such an even disposal of members that by the fall he would catch no harm.
He did cast the dart, throw the bar, put the stone, practise the javelin, the boar-spear or partisan, and the halbert. He broke the strongest bows in drawing, bended against his breast the greatest cross-bows of steel, took his aim by the eye with the hand-gun, traversed the cannon; shot at the butts, at the papegay, before him, sidewise, and behind him, like the Parthians. They tied a cable rope to the top of a high tower, by one end whereof hanging near the ground he wrought himself with his hands to the very top; then came down again so sturdily and firmly that you could not on a plain meadow have run with more assurance. They set up a great pole fixed upon two trees. There would he hang by his hands, and with them alone, his feet touching at nothing, would go back and fore along the aforesaid rope with so great swiftness, that hardly could one overtake him with running.
Then to exercise his breast and lungs, he would shout like all the devils. I heard him once call Eudemon from the Porte St. Victor to Montmartre. Stentor never had such a voice at the siege of Troy.
Then for the strengthening of his nerves, they made him two great pigs of lead, each in weight 8700 quintals. Those he took up from the ground, in each hand one, then lifted them up over his head, and held them so without stirring three quarters of an hour or more, which was an inimitable force.
He fought at barriers with the stoutest; and when it came to the cope, he stood so sturdily on his feet that he abandoned himself unto the strongest, in case they could remove him from his place, as Milo was wont to do of old, - in imitation of whom he held a pomegranate in his hand, to give it unto him that could take it from him.
The time being thus bestowed, and himself rubbed, cleansed, and refreshed with other clothes, they returned fair and softly; and passing through certain meadows, or other grassy places, beheld the trees and plants, comparing them with what is writ