Ellenbog was no coward. In the autumn the vineyards belonging to the Abbey were to be inspected, and the due tithes of wine exacted. Unless this were done the monks would suffer lack; so some one had to be sent, in spite of the last mutterings of the revolt. One vineyard lay at Immenstadt, some distance to the South, and thus Ellenbog at Isny was already part way thither. Moreover, having served as Steward, he would know what was required. The Abbot sent down a horse and bade him go: though the roads were held by armed outlaws, who were reported to be specially hostile to monks. He was afraid; but he summoned his courage and went. If the Abbey seemed a haven before, when he came back to it from the experiences of his ordination at Augsburg, this time it was a refuge and strength against the fear that lurketh in forests and the imagination of pursuing footsteps.
In the autumn of 1495 Erasmus was at length at liberty to go to a university. His patron, the Bishop of Cambray, gave him a small allowance, and the authorities at Steyn were prevailed upon to consent. His purpose was to obtain a Doctor’s degree in Theology; and so he entered the College of Montaigu at Paris, which had been founded in 1388, but had fallen into decay and only recently been revived. In 1483 a certain John Standonck had volunteered to become Principal. By his efforts the college buildings were restored; and by taking in rich pupils he secured means to maintain the Domus Pauperum attached to the College. He was an ardent, enthusiastic person, but rather lacking in judgement; and starved his pauperes in order to be able to have as many as possible on the slender resources available. Erasmus, being delicate and therewith fastidious, complained of the rough and meagre fare—rotten eggs and stinking water; and with good reason, for it made him ill, and he had to spend the summer of 1496 with his friends in Holland.