Gargantua and Pantagruel, by Francois Rabelais

Chapter 18

How Janotus de Bragmardo was sent to Gargantua to recover the great bells.

Master Janotus, with his hair cut round like a dish a la Caesarine, in his most antique accoutrement liripipionated with a graduate’s hood, and having sufficiently antidoted his stomach with oven-marmalades, that is, bread and holy water of the cellar, transported himself to the lodging of Gargantua, driving before him three red-muzzled beadles, and dragging after him five or six artless masters, all thoroughly bedaggled with the mire of the streets. At their entry Ponocrates met them, who was afraid, seeing them so disguised, and thought they had been some masquers out of their wits, which moved him to inquire of one of the said artless masters of the company what this mummery meant. It was answered him, that they desired to have their bells restored to them. As soon as Ponocrates heard that, he ran in all haste to carry the news unto Gargantua, that he might be ready to answer them, and speedily resolve what was to be done. Gargantua being advertised hereof, called apart his schoolmaster Ponocrates, Philotimus, steward of his house, Gymnastes, his esquire, and Eudemon, and very summarily conferred with them, both of what he should do and what answer he should give. They were all of opinion that they should bring them unto the goblet-office, which is the buttery, and there make them drink like roysters and line their jackets soundly. And that this cougher might not be puffed up with vain-glory by thinking the bells were restored at his request, they sent, whilst he was chopining and plying the pot, for the mayor of the city, the rector of the faculty, and the vicar of the church, unto whom they resolved to deliver the bells before the sophister had propounded his commission. After that, in their hearing, he should pronounce his gallant oration, which was done; and they being come, the sophister was brought in full hall, and began as followeth, in coughing.

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