Then, ah! then, continued Homenas, no hail, frost, ice, snow, overflowing, or vis major; then plenty of all earthly goods here below. Then uninterrupted and eternal peace through the universe, an end of all wars, plunderings, drudgeries, robbing, assassinates, unless it be to destroy these cursed rebels the heretics. Oh! then, rejoicing, cheerfulness, jollity, solace, sports, and delicious pleasures, over the face of the earth. Oh! what great learning, inestimable erudition, and god-like precepts are knit, linked, rivetted, and mortised in the divine chapters of these eternal decretals!
Oh! how wonderfully, if you read but one demi-canon, short paragraph, or single observation of these sacrosanct decretals, how wonderfully, I say, do you not perceive to kindle in your hearts a furnace of divine love, charity towards your neighbour (provided he be no heretic), bold contempt of all casual and sublunary things, firm content in all your affections, and ecstatic elevation of soul even to the third heaven.
A continuation of the miracles caused by the decretals.
Wisely, brother Timothy, quoth Panurge, did am, did am; he says blew; but, for my part, I believe as little of it as I can. For one day by chance I happened to read a chapter of them at Poictiers, at the most decretalipotent Scotch doctor’s, and old Nick turn me into bumfodder, if this did not make me so hide-bound and costive, that for four or five days I hardly scumbered one poor butt of sir-reverence; and that, too, was full as dry and hard, I protest, as Catullus tells us were those of his neighbour Furius:
Nec toto decies cacas in anno,
Atque id durius est faba, et lapillis:
Quod tu si manibus teras, fricesque,
Non unquam digitum inquinare posses.
Oh, ho! cried Homenas; by’r lady, it may be you were then in the state of mortal sin, my friend. Well turned, cried Panurge; this was a new strain, egad.
One day, said Friar John, at Seuille, I had applied to my posteriors, by way of hind-towel, a leaf of an old Clementinae which our rent-gatherer, John Guimard, had thrown out into the green of our cloister. Now the devil broil me like a black pudding, if I wasn’t so abominably plagued with chaps, chawns, and piles at the fundament, that the orifice of my poor nockandroe was in a most woeful pickle for I don’t know how long. By’r our lady, cried Homenas, it was a plain punishment of God for the sin that you had committed in beraying that sacred book, which you ought rather to have kissed and adored; I say with an adoration of latria, or of hyperdulia at least. The Panormitan never told a lie in the matter.
Saith Ponocrates: At Montpelier, John Chouart having bought of the monks of St. Olary a delicate set of decretals, written on fine large parchment of Lamballe, to beat gold between the leaves, not so much as a piece that was beaten in them came to good, but all were dilacerated and spoiled. Mark this! cried Homenas; ’twas a divine punishment and vengeance.