How Pantagruel judged so equitably of a controversy, which was wonderfully obscure and difficult, that, by reason of his just decree therein, he was reputed to have a most admirable judgment.
Pantagruel, very well remembering his father’s letter and admonitions, would one day make trial of his knowledge. Thereupon, in all the carrefours, that is, throughout all the four quarters, streets, and corners of the city, he set up conclusions to the number of nine thousand seven hundred sixty and four, in all manner of learning, touching in them the hardest doubts that are in any science. And first of all, in the Fodder Street he held dispute against all the regents or fellows of colleges, artists or masters of arts, and orators, and did so gallantly that he overthrew them and set them all upon their tails. He went afterwards to the Sorbonne, where he maintained argument against all the theologians or divines, for the space of six weeks, from four o’clock in the morning until six in the evening, except an interval of two hours to refresh themselves and take their repast. And at this were present the greatest part of the lords of the court, the masters of requests, presidents, counsellors, those of the accompts, secretaries, advocates, and others; as also the sheriffs of the said town, with the physicians and professors of the canon law. Amongst which, it is to be remarked, that the greatest part were stubborn jades, and in their opinions obstinate; but he took such course with them that, for all their ergoes and fallacies, he put their backs to the wall, gravelled them in the deepest questions, and made it visibly appear to the world that, compared to him, they were but monkeys and a knot of muffled calves. Whereupon everybody began to keep a bustling noise and talk of his so marvellous knowledge, through all degrees of persons of both sexes, even to the very laundresses, brokers, roast-meat sellers, penknife makers, and others, who, when he passed along in the street, would say, This is he! in which he took delight, as Demosthenes, the prince of Greek orators, did, when an old crouching wife, pointing at him with her fingers, said, That is the man.