Therefore would I beseech you to leave me some few centuries of debts; as King Louis the Eleventh, exempting from suits in law the Reverend Miles d’Illiers, Bishop of Chartres, was by the said bishop most earnestly solicited to leave him some few for the exercise of his mind. I had rather give them all my revenue of the periwinkles, together with the other incomes of the locusts, albeit I should not thereby have any parcel abated from off the principal sums which I owe. Let us waive this matter, quoth Pantagruel, I have told it you over again.
Why new married men were privileged from going to the wars.
But, in the interim, asked Panurge, by what law was it constituted, ordained, and established, that such as should plant a new vineyard, those that should build a new house, and the new married men, should be exempted and discharged from the duty of warfare for the first year? By the law, answered Pantagruel, of Moses. Why, replied Panurge, the lately married? As for the vine-planters, I am now too old to reflect on them; my condition, at this present, induceth me to remain satisfied with the care of vintage, finishing and turning the grapes into wine. Nor are these pretty new builders of dead stones written or pricked down in my Book of Life. It is all with live stones that I set up and erect the fabrics of my architecture, to wit, men. It was, according to my opinion, quoth Pantagruel, to the end, first, that the fresh married folks should for the first year reap a full and complete fruition of their pleasures in their mutual exercise of the act of love, in such sort, that in waiting more at leisure on the production of posterity and propagating of their progeny, they might the better increase their race and make provision of new heirs. That if, in the years thereafter, the men should, upon their undergoing of some military adventure, happen to be killed, their names and coats-of-arms might continue with their children in the same families. And next, that, the wives thereby coming to know whether they were barren or fruitful—for one year’s trial, in regard of the maturity of age wherein of old they married, was held sufficient for the discovery—they might pitch the more suitably, in case of their first husband’s decease, upon a second match. The fertile women to be wedded to those who desire to multiply their issue; and the sterile ones to such other mates, as, misregarding the storing of their own lineage, choose them only for their virtues, learning, genteel behaviour, domestic consolation, management of the house, and matrimonial conveniences and comforts, and such like. The preachers of Varennes, saith Panurge, detest and abhor the second marriages, as altogether foolish and dishonest.