Gargantua and Pantagruel, by Francois Rabelais

Chapter 15

How Gargantua was put under other schoolmasters.

At the last his father perceived that indeed he studied hard, and that, although he spent all his time in it, he did nevertheless profit nothing, but which is worse, grew thereby foolish, simple, doted, and blockish, whereof making a heavy regret to Don Philip of Marays, Viceroy or Depute King of Papeligosse, he found that it were better for him to learn nothing at all, than to be taught such-like books, under such schoolmasters; because their knowledge was nothing but brutishness, and their wisdom but blunt foppish toys, serving only to bastardize good and noble spirits, and to corrupt all the flower of youth. That it is so, take, said he, any young boy of this time who hath only studied two years — if he have not a better judgment, a better discourse, and that expressed in better terms than your son, with a completer carriage and civility to all manner of persons, account me for ever hereafter a very clounch and bacon-slicer of Brene. This pleased Grangousier very well, and he commanded that it should be done. At night at supper, the said Des Marays brought in a young page of his, of Ville-gouges, called Eudemon, so neat, so trim, so handsome in his apparel, so spruce, with his hair in so good order, and so sweet and comely in his behaviour, that he had the resemblance of a little angel more than of a human creature. Then he said to Grangousier, Do you see this young boy? He is not as yet full twelve years old. Let us try, if it please you, what difference there is betwixt the knowledge of the doting Mateologians of old time and the young lads that are now. The trial pleased Grangousier, and he commanded the page to begin. Then Eudemon, asking leave of the vice-king his master so to do, with his cap in his hand, a clear and open countenance, beautiful and ruddy lips, his eyes steady, and his looks fixed upon Gargantua with a youthful modesty, standing up straight on his feet, began very gracefully to commend him; first, for his virtue and good manners; secondly, for his knowledge, thirdly, for his nobility; fourthly, for his bodily accomplishments; and, in the fifth place, most sweetly exhorted him to reverence his father with all due observancy, who was so careful to have him well brought up. In the end he prayed him, that he would vouchsafe to admit of him amongst the least of his servants; for other favour at that time desired he none of heaven, but that he might do him some grateful and acceptable service. All this was by him delivered with such proper gestures, such distinct pronunciation, so pleasant a delivery, in such exquisite fine terms, and so good Latin, that he seemed rather a Gracchus, a Cicero, an Aemilius of the time past, than a youth of this age. But all the countenance that Gargantua kept was, that he fell to crying like a cow, and cast down his face, hiding it with his cap, nor could they possibly draw one word from him, no more than a fart from a dead ass. Whereat his father was so grievously vexed that he would have killed Master Jobelin, but the said Des Marays withheld him from it by fair persuasions, so that at length he pacified his wrath. Then Grangousier commanded he should be paid his wages, that they should whittle him up soundly, like a sophister, with good drink, and then give him leave to go to all the devils in hell. At least, said he, today shall it not cost his host much if by chance he should die as drunk as a Switzer. Master Jobelin being gone out of the house, Grangousier consulted with the Viceroy what schoolmaster they should choose for him, and it was betwixt them resolved that Ponocrates, the tutor of Eudemon, should have the charge, and that they should go altogether to Paris, to know what was the study of the young men of France at that time.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/r/rabelais/francois/r11g/book1.15.html

Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 15:33