Now at this same very time there was a process or suit in law depending in court between two great lords, of which one was called my Lord Kissbreech, plaintiff of one side, and the other my Lord Suckfist, defendant of the other; whose controversy was so high and difficult in law that the court of parliament could make nothing of it. And therefore, by the commandment of the king, there were assembled four of the greatest and most learned of all the parliaments of France, together with the great council, and all the principal regents of the universities, not only of France, but of England also and Italy, such as Jason, Philippus Decius, Petrus de Petronibus, and a rabble of other old Rabbinists. Who being thus met together, after they had thereupon consulted for the space of six-and-forty weeks, finding that they could not fasten their teeth in it, nor with such clearness understand the case as that they might in any manner of way be able to right it, or take up the difference betwixt the two aforesaid parties, it did so grievously vex them that they most villainously conshit themselves for shame. In this great extremity one amongst them, named Du Douhet, the learnedest of all, and more expert and prudent than any of the rest, whilst one day they were thus at their wits’ end, all-to-be-dunced and philogrobolized in their brains, said unto them, We have been here, my masters, a good long space, without doing anything else than trifle away both our time and money, and can nevertheless find neither brim nor bottom in this matter, for the more we study about it the less we understand therein, which is a great shame and disgrace to us, and a heavy burden to our consciences; yea, such that in my opinion we shall not rid ourselves of it without dishonour, unless we take some other course; for we do nothing but dote in our consultations.
See, therefore, what I have thought upon. You have heard much talking of that worthy personage named Master Pantagruel, who hath been found to be learned above the capacity of this present age, by the proofs he gave in those great disputations which he held publicly against all men. My opinion is, that we send for him to confer with him about this business; for never any man will encompass the bringing of it to an end if he do it not.
Hereunto all the counsellors and doctors willingly agreed, and according to that their result having instantly sent for him, they entreated him to be pleased to canvass the process and sift it thoroughly, that, after a deep search and narrow examination of all the points thereof, he might forthwith make the report unto them such as he shall think good in true and legal knowledge. To this effect they delivered into his hands the bags wherein were the writs and pancarts concerning that suit, which for bulk and weight were almost enough to lade four great couillard or stoned asses. But Pantagruel said unto them, Are the two lords between whom this debate and process is