How Pantagruel was present at the trial of Judge Bridlegoose, who decided causes and controversies in law by the chance and fortune of the dice.
On the day following, precisely at the hour appointed, Pantagruel came to Mirelingues. At his arrival the presidents, senators, and counsellors prayed him to do them the honour to enter in with them, to hear the decision of all the causes, arguments, and reasons which Bridlegoose in his own defence would produce, why he had pronounced a certain sentence against the subsidy-assessor, Toucheronde, which did not seem very equitable to that centumviral court. Pantagruel very willingly condescended to their desire, and accordingly entering in, found Bridlegoose sitting within the middle of the enclosure of the said court of justice; who immediately upon the coming of Pantagruel, accompanied with the senatorian members of that worshipful judicatory, arose, went to the bar, had his indictment read, and for all his reasons, defences, and excuses, answered nothing else but that he was become old, and that his sight of late was very much failed, and become dimmer than it was wont to be; instancing therewithal many miseries and calamities which old age bringeth along with it, and are concomitant to wrinkled elders; which not. per Archid. d. lxxxvi. c. tanta. By reason of which infirmity he was not able so distinctly and clearly to discern the points and blots of the dice as formerly he had been accustomed to do; whence it might very well have happened, said he, as old dim-sighted Isaac took Jacob for Esau, that I after the same manner, at the decision of causes and controversies in law, should have been mistaken in taking a quatre for a cinque, or a trey for a deuce. This I beseech your worships, quoth he, to take into your serious consideration, and to have the more favourable opinion of my uprightness, notwithstanding the prevarication whereof I am accused in the matter of Toucheronde’s sentence, that at the time of that decree’s pronouncing I only had made use of my small dice; and your worships, said he, know very well how by the most authentic rules of the law it is provided that the imperfections of nature should never be imputed unto any for crimes and transgressions; as appeareth, ff. de re milit. l. qui cum uno. ff. de reg. Jur. l. fere. ff. de aedil. edict. per totum. ff. de term. mod. l. Divus Adrianus, resolved by Lud. Rom. in l. si vero. ff. Sol. Matr. And who would offer to do otherwise, should not thereby accuse the man, but nature, and the all-seeing providence of God, as is evident in l. Maximum Vitium, c. de lib. praeter.