Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.

Chapter 1.XXIII.

How Gargantua was instructed by Ponocrates, and in such sort disciplinated, that he lost not one hour of the day.

When Ponocrates knew Gargantua’s vicious manner of living, he resolved to bring him up in another kind; but for a while he bore with him, considering that nature cannot endure a sudden change, without great violence.  Therefore, to begin his work the better, he requested a learned physician of that time, called Master Theodorus, seriously to perpend, if it were possible, how to bring Gargantua into a better course.  The said physician purged him canonically with Anticyrian hellebore, by which medicine he cleansed all the alteration and perverse habitude of his brain.  By this means also Ponocrates made him forget all that he had learned under his ancient preceptors, as Timotheus did to his disciples, who had been instructed under other musicians.  To do this the better, they brought him into the company of learned men, which were there, in whose imitation he had a great desire and affection to study otherwise, and to improve his parts.  Afterwards he put himself into such a road and way of studying, that he lost not any one hour in the day, but employed all his time in learning and honest knowledge.  Gargantua awaked, then, about four o’clock in the morning.  Whilst they were in rubbing of him, there was read unto him some chapter of the holy Scripture aloud and clearly, with a pronunciation fit for the matter, and hereunto was appointed a young page born in Basche, named Anagnostes.  According to the purpose and argument of that lesson, he oftentimes gave himself to worship, adore, pray, and send up his supplications to that good God, whose Word did show his majesty and marvellous judgment.  Then went he unto the secret places to make excretion of his natural digestions.  There his master repeated what had been read, expounding unto him the most obscure and difficult points.  In returning, they considered the face of the sky, if it was such as they had observed it the night before, and into what signs the sun was entering, as also the moon for that day.  This done, he was apparelled, combed, curled, trimmed, and perfumed, during which time they repeated to him the lessons of the day before.  He himself said them by heart, and upon them would ground some practical cases concerning the estate of man, which he would prosecute sometimes two or three hours, but ordinarily they ceased as soon as he was fully clothed.  Then for three good hours he had a lecture read unto him.  This done they went forth, still conferring of the substance of the lecture, either unto a field near the university called the Brack, or unto the meadows, where they played at the ball, the long-tennis, and at the piletrigone (which is a play wherein we throw a triangular piece of iron at a ring, to pass it), most gallantly exercising their bodies, as formerly they had done their minds.  All their play was

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.