Gargantua and Pantagruel, by Francois Rabelais

Chapter 40

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. I. 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. in quadam.

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. I. 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. I. 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. I. cod. de spect. l. II. 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. I. 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. I. 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. I. 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. onera.

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. I. c. sicut dicit. gl.

Jam matura thoro plenis adoleverat annis

Virginitas.

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 c. ultimo.

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