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ten of them in the books of the ancients, such as Theophrastus, Dioscorides, Marinus, Pliny, Nicander, Macer, and Galen, and carried home to the house great handfuls of them, whereof a young page called Rhizotomos had charge - together with hoes, pick, spuds, pruning-knives, and other instruments requisite for herbarizing. Being come to their lodging, whilst supper was making ready, they repeated certain passages of that which has been read, and then sat down at table. Here remark, that his dinner was sober and frugal, for he did then eat only to prevent the gnawings of his stomach; but his supper was copious and large, for he took then as much as was fit to maintain and nourish him : which indeed is the true diet prescribed by the art of good and sound physic, although a rabble of fond physicians counsel the contrary. During that repast was continued the lesson read at dinner as long as they thought good; the rest was spent in good discourse learned and profitable. After that they had given thanks, they set themselves to sing musically, and play upon harmonious instruments, or at those pretty sports made with cards, dice, or cups, - thus made merry till it was time to go to bed ; and sometimes they would go make visits unto learned men, or to such as had been travellers in strange countries. At full night they went unto the most open place of the house to see the face of the sky, and there beheld the comets, if any were, as likewise the figures, situations, aspects, oppositions, and conjunctions of the stars.
Then with his master did he briefly recapitulate, after the manner of the Pythagoreans, that which he had read, seen, learned, done, and understood in the whole course of that day.
Then prayed they unto God the Creator, falling down before him, and strengthening their faith towards him, and glorifying him for his boundless bounty ; and giving thanks unto him for the time that was past, they recommended themselves to his Divine clemency for the future. Which being done, they entered upon their repose.
If it happened that the weather were rainy and inclement, the forenoon was employed according to custom, except that they had a good clear fire lighted, to correct the distempers of the air. But after dinner, instead of their wonted exercitations, they did abide within, and by way of Apotherapie, did recreate themselves in bottling hay, in cleaving and sawing wood, and in threshing sheaves of corn at the barn.
Then they studied the art of painting or carving; or brought
into use the antique game of knucklebones, as Leonicus hath written of it, and as our good friend Lascaris playeth at it. While playing, they examined the passages of ancient authors wherein the said play is mentioned, or any metaphor drawn from it.
They went likewise to see the drawing of metals or the casting of great ordnance: they went to see the lapidaries, the goldsmiths and cutters of precious stones, the alchemists, coiners of money, upholsterers, weavers, velvet-workers, watchmakers, looking-glass-makers, printers, organists, dyers, and other such kind of artificers; and everywhere giving them wine, did learn and consider the industry and invention of the trades.
They went also to hear the public lectures, the solemn Acts, the repetitions, the declamations, the pleadings of the gentle lawyers, and sermons of evangelical preachers.
He went through the halls and places appointed for fencing, and there played against the masters of all weapons, and showed them by experience that he knew as much in it as, yea, more than they. And instead of herbarizing, they visited the shops of druggists, herbalists, and apothecaries, and diligently considered the fruits, roots, leaves, gums, seeds, and strange unguents, as also how they did compound them.
He went to see jugglers, tumblers, mountebanks, and quacksalvers, and considered their cunning, their shifts, their summersaults, and their smooth tongues ; especially of those of Chauny in Picardy, who are naturally great praters, and brave gibers of fibs, in manner of green apes.
At their return they did eat more soberly at supper than at other times, and meats more desiccative and extenuating; to the end that the intemperate moisture of the air, communicated to the body by a necessary confinity, might by this means be corrected, and that they might not receive any prejudice for want of their ordinary bodily exercise.
Thus was Gargantua governed ; and kept on in this course of education, from day to day profiting, as you may understand such a young man of good sense, with such discipline so continued, may do. Which, although at the beginning it seemed difficult, became a little after so sweet, so easy, and so delightful, that it seemed rather the recreation of a king than the study of a scholar. Nevertheless, Ponocrates, to divert him from this vehement intention of spirit, thought fit, once in a month, upon some fair and clear day, to go out of the city betimes in the morning, either towards Gentilly or Boulogne, or to Montrouge, or Charenton-bridge, or to Vanves, or St. Cloud, and there spend all the day long in making the greatest cheer that could be devised ; sporting, making merry, drinking healths, playing, singing, dancing, tumbling in some fair meadow, unnestling of sparrows, taking of quails, and fishing for frogs and crayfish. But though that day was passed without books or lecture, yet was it not spent without profit; for in the said meadows they repeated certain pleasant verses of Virgil's “ Agriculture,” of Hesiod, and of Politian's “ Husbandry;” would set abroach some witty Latin epigrams, then immediately turned them into rondeaus and ballades in the French language. In their feasting they would sometimes separate the water from the wine that was therewith mixed - as Cato teacheth, De re rustica, and Pliny — with an ivy cup; would wash the wine in a basin full of water, and take it out again with a funnel ; would make the water go from one glass to another, and would contrive little automatic engines, – that is to say, machines moving of themselves.
THE ABBEY OF THELEMA. THERE was left only the monk to provide for; whom Gargantua would have made Abbot of Seuillé, but he refused it. He would have given him the Abbey of Bourgueil, or of Sanct Florent, which was better, or both if it pleased him; but the monk gave him a very peremptory answer, that he would never take upon him the charge nor government of monks. “For how shall I be able," said he, "to rule over others, that have not full power and command of myself? If you think I have done you, or may hereafter do you, any acceptable service, give: me leave to found an abbey after my own mind and fancy." The motion pleased Gargantua very well; who thereupon offered him all the country of Thelema by the river Loire, till within two leagues of the great forest of Port-Huaut. The monk then requested Gargantua to institute his religious order contrary to all others.
“First, then," said Gargantua, "you must not build a wall about your convent, for all other abbeys are strongly walled and mured about.”
Moreover, seeing there are certain convents in the world whereof the custom is, if any women come in, - I mean honorable and honest women, they immediately sweep the
ground which they have trod upon; therefore was it ordained that if any man or woman, entered into religious orders, should by chance come within this new abbey, all the rooms should be thoroughly washed and cleansed through which they had passed.
And because in other monasteries all is compassed, limited, and regulated by hours, it was decreed that in this new structure there should be neither clock nor dial, but that according to the opportunities, and incident occasions, all their works should be disposed of; — “for,” said Gargantua, “ the greatest loss of time that I know is to count the hours. What good comes of it? Nor can there be any greater folly in the world than for one to guide and direct his courses the sound of a bell, and not by his own judgment and discretion.”
Item, Because at that time they put no women into nunneries, but such as were either one-eyed, lame, hump-backed, ill-favored, misshapen, foolish, senseless, spoiled, or corrupt; nor encloistered any men but those that were either sickly, ill. bred, clownish, and the trouble of the house:
(“Apropos,” said the monk, — "a woman that is neither fair nor good, to what use serves she?” “To make a nun of,” said Gargantua. “Yea,” said the monk, "and to make shirts.")
Therefore, Gargantua said, was it ordained, that into this religious order should be admitted no women that were not fair, well-featured, and of a sweet disposition; nor men that were not comely, personable, and also of a sweet disposition.
Item, Because in the convents of women men come not but underhand, privily, and by stealth: it was therefore enacted that in this house there shall be no women in case there be not men, nor men in case there be not women.
Item, Because both men and women that are received into religious orders after the year of their novitiate were constrained and forced perpetually to stay there all the days of their life: it was ordered that all of whatever kind, men or women, admitted within this abbey, should have full leave to depart with peace and contentment whensoever it should seem good to them so to do.
Item, For that the religious men and women did ordinarily make three rows, -- to wit, those of chastity, poverty, and obedience: it was therefore constituted and appointed that in this convent they might be honorably married, that they might be rich, and live at liberty. In regard to the legitimate age, the women were to be admitted from ten till fifteen, and the men from twelve till eighteen.
For the fabric and furniture of the abbey, Gargantua caused to be delivered out in ready money twenty-seven hundred thousand eight hundred and one-and-thirty of those long-wooled rams; and for every year until the whole work was completed he allotted threescore nine thousand gold crowns, and as many of the seven stars, to be charged all upon the receipt of the river Dive. For the foundation and maintenance thereof he settled in perpetuity three-and-twenty hundred threescore and nine thousand five hundred and fourteen rose nobles, taxes exempted from all in landed rents, and payable every year at the gate of the abbey; and for this gave them fair letters patent.
The building was hexagonal, and in such a fashion that in every one of the six corners there was built a great round tower, sixty paces in diameter, and were all of a like form and bigness. Upon the north side ran the river Loire, on the bank whereof was situated the tower called Arctic. Going towards the east there was another called Calær, the next following Anatole, the next Mesembrine, the next Hesperia, and the last Criere. Between each two towers was the space of three hundred and twelve paces. The whole edifice was built in six stories, reckoning the cellars underground for one.
The second was vaulted after the fashion of a basket-handle; the rest were coated with Flanders plaster, in the form of a lamp foot. It was roofed with fine slates of lead, carrying figures of baskets and animals; the ridge gilt, together with the gutters, which issued without the wall between the windows, painted diagonally in gold and blue down to the ground, where they ended in great canals, which carried away the water below the house into the river.
This same building was a hundred times more sumptuous and magnificent than ever was Bonivet; for there were in it nine thousand three hundred and two-and-thirty chambers, every one whereof had a withdrawing-room, a closet, a wardrobe, a chapel, and a passage into a great hall. Between every tower, in the midst of the said body of building, there was a winding stair, whereof the steps were part of porphyry, which is a dark-red marble spotted with white, part of Numidian stone, and part of serpentine marble; each of those steps being