The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VII (of X)—Continental Europe I
Author: Various
1  2  3  4  5     Next Part
Home - Random Browse




FRANCIS W. HALSEY Associate Editor

With an Introduction, Biographical and Explanatory Notes, etc.

In Ten Volumes

Vol. VII


Funk & Wagnalls Company New York and London Copyright, 1909, by Funk & Wagnalls Company

The Best of the World's Classics







ST. AURELIUS AUGUSTINE—(Born in Numidia, Africa, in 354; died in 430.)

Imperial Power for Good and Bad Men.

(From Book IV, Chapter III, of "De Civitate Dei")

ANICIUS BOETHIUS—(Born about 475, died about 524.)

The Highest Happiness.

(From "The Consolations of Philosophy." Translated by Alfred the Great)

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS—(Born near Aquino, Italy, probably in 1225; died in 1274.)

A Definition of Happiness.

(From the "Ethics")

THOMAS A KEMPIS—(Born in Rhenish Prussia about 1380, died in the Netherlands in 1471.)

Of Eternal Life and of Striving for It.

(From "The Imitation of Christ")


Twelfth Century—1885

GEOFFREY DE VILLE-HARDOUIN—(Born between 1150 and 1165; died in 1212.)

The Sack of Constantinople.

(From "The Chronicles." Translated by Eric Arthur Bell)

JEAN DE JOINVILLE—(Born in 1224, died in 1317.)

Greek Fire in Battle.

(From "The Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France." Translated by Thomas Johnes)


(A French romance of the 12th Century, the author's name unknown)

JEAN FROISSART—(Born in 1337, died in 1410.)

The Battle of Crecy (1346).

(From the "Chronicles." Translated by Thomas Johnes)

PHILIPPE DE COMINES—(Born in France about 1445, died in 1511.)

Of the Character of Louis XI

(From the "Memoirs." Translated by Andrew R. Scoble)

MARGUERITE D'ANGOULEME—(Born in 1492, died in 1549.)

Of Husbands Who Are Unfaithful.

(From the "Heptameron")

FRANCOIS RABELAIS—(Born in 1495, died in 1553.)

I Gargantua in His Childhood.

(From "The Inestimable Life of the Great Gargantua." Translated by Urquhart and Motteux)

II Gargantua's Education.

(From "The Inestimable Life of the Great Gargantua." Translated by Urquhart and Motteux)

III Of the Founding of an Ideal Abbey.

(From "The Inestimable Life of the Great Gargantua." Translated by Urquhart and Motteux)

JOHN CALVIN—(Born in 1509, died in 1564.)

Of Freedom for the Will.

(From the "Institutes")

JOACHIM DU BELLAY—(Born about 1524, died in 1560.)

Why Old French Was Not as Rich as Greek and Latin.

(From the "Defense et Illustration de la Langue Francoise." Translated by Eric Arthur Bell)

MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE—(Born in 1533, died in 1592.)

I A Word to His Readers.

(From the preface to the "Essays." Translated by John Florio)

II Of Society and Solitude.

(From the essay entitled "Of Three Commerces." The Cotton translation, revised by W. C. Hazlitt)

III Of His Own Library.

(From the essay entitled "Of Three Commerces." The Cotton translation, revised by W. C. Hazlitt)

IV That the Soul Discharges Her Passions upon False Objects Where True Ones Are Wanting.

(From the essay with that title. The Cotton translation)

V That Men Are Not to Judge of Our Happiness Till After Death.

(From the essay with that title. The Cotton translation)

RENE DESCARTES—(Born in 1596, died in 1650.)

Of Material Things and of the Existence of God.

(From the "Meditations." Translated by John Veitch)

DUC DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD—(Born in France in 1613, died in 1680.)

Selections from the "Maxims."

(Translated by Willis Bund and Hain Friswell)

BLAISE PASCAL—(Born in 1623, died in 1662.)

Of the Prevalence of Self-Love.

(From the "Thoughts." Translated by C. Kegan Paul)

MADAME DE SEVIGNE—(Born in Paris in 1626, died in 1696.)

I Great News from Paris.

(From a letter dated Paris, December 15, 1670)

II An Imposing Funeral Described.

(From a letter to her daughter, dated Paris, May 6,1672)

ALAIN RENE LE SAGE—(Born in 1668, died in 1747.)

I In the Service of Dr. Sangrado.

(From "Gil Blas." Translated by Tobias Smollett)

II As an Archbishop's Favorite.

(From "Gil Blas." Translated by Tobias Smollett)

DUC DE SAINT-SIMON—(Born in 1675, died in 1755.)

I The Death of the Dauphin.

(From the "Memoirs." Translated by Bayle St. John)

II The Public Watching the King and Madame.

(From the "Memoirs." Translated by Bayle St. John)

BARON DE MONTESQUIEU—(Born in 1689, died in 1755.)

I Of the Causes Which Destroyed Rome.

(From the "Grandeur and Decadence of the Romans")

II Of the Relation of Laws to Human Beings.

(From the "Spirit of Laws." Translated by Thomas Nugent)

FRANCOIS AROUET VOLTAIRE—(Born in Paris in 1694, died in 1778.)

I Of Bacon's Greatness.

(From the "Letters on England")

II England's Regard for Men of Letters.

(From the "Letters on England")

JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU—(Born in 1712, died in 1778.)

I Of Christ and Socrates

II Of the Management of Children.

(From the "New Heloise")

MADAME DE STAEL—(Born in 1763, died in 1817.)

Of Napoleon Bonaparte.

(From "Considerations on the French Revolution")

VISCOUNT DE CHATEAUBRIAND—(Born in 1768, died in 1848.)

In an American Forest.

(From the "Historical Essay on Revolutions")

FRANCOIS GUIZOT—(Born in 1787, died in 1874.)

Shakespeare as an Example of Civilization.

(From "Shakespeare and His Times")

ALPHONSE DE LAMARTINE—(Born in 1790, died in 1869.)

Of Mirabeau's Origin and Place in History.

(From Book I of the "History of the Girondists." Translated by T. Ryde)

LOUIS ADOLPH THIERS—(Born in 1797, died in 1877.)

The Burning of Moscow.

(From the "History of the Consulate and the Empire")

HONORE DE BALZAC—(Born in 1799, died in 1850.)

I The Death of Pere Goriot.

(From the concluding chapter of "Pere Goriot." Translated by Helen Marriage)

II Birotteau's Early Married Life.

(From "The Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau." Translated by Helen Marriage)

ALFRED DE VIGNY—(Born in 1799, died in 1863.)

Richelieu's Way with His Master.

(From "Cinq-Mars; or, The Conspiracy under Louis XIII." Translated by William C. Hazlitt)

VICTOR HUGO—(Born in France in 1802, died in 1885.)

I The Battle of Waterloo.

(From Chapter XV of "Cosette," in "Les Miserables." Translated by Lascelles Wraxall)

II The Beginnings and Expansions of Paris.

(From Book III, Chapter II, of "Notre-Dame de Paris")

ALEXANDER DUMAS—(Born in 1802, died in 1870.)

The Shoulder, the Belt and the Handkerchief.

(From "The Three Musketeers")

GEORGE SAND—(Born in 1804, died in 1876.)

Lelia and the Poet.

(From "Lelia")


354 A.D.—1471 A.D.


Born in Numidia, Africa, in 354 A.D., died in 430; educated at Carthage; taught rhetoric at Carthage; removed to Rome in 383; going thence to Milan in 384, where he became a friend of St. Ambrose; converted from Manicheanism to Christianity by his mother Monica, and baptized by St. Ambrose in 387; made Bishop of Hippo in North Africa in 395; became a champion of orthodoxy and the most celebrated of the fathers of the Latin branch of the Church; his "Confessions" published in 397.


Let us examine the nature of the spaciousness and continuance of empire, for which men give their gods such great thanks; to whom also they exhibited plays (that were so filthy both in actors and the action) without any offense of honesty. But, first, I would make a little inquiry, seeing you can not show such estates to be anyway happy, as are in continual wars, being still in terror, trouble, and guilt of shedding human blood, tho it be their foes; what reason then or what wisdom shall any man show in glorying in the largeness of empire, all their joy being but as a glass, bright and brittle, and evermore in fear and danger of breaking? To dive the deeper into this matter, let us not give the sails of our souls to every air of human breath, nor suffer our understanding's eye to be smoked up with the fumes of vain words, concerning kingdoms, provinces, nations, or so. No, let us take two men, let us imagine the one to be poor, or but of a mean estate, the other potent and wealthy; but withal, let my wealthy man take with him fears, sorrows, covetousness, suspicion, disquiet, contentions,—let these be the books for him to hold in the augmentation of his estate, and with all the increase of those cares, together with his estate; and let my poor man take with him, sufficiency with little, love of kindred, neighbors, friends, joyous peace, peaceful religion, soundness of body, sincereness of heart, abstinence of diet, chastity of carriage, and security of conscience.

[Footnote 1: From "De Civitate Dei," Book IV, Chapter III, published in 426. This work, "as Englisshed" by J. Healey, was published is 1610.]

Where should a man find any one so sottish as would make a doubt which of these to prefer in his choice? Well, then, even as we have done with these two men, so let us do with two families, two nations, or two kingdoms. Lay them both to the line of equity; which done, and duly considered, when it is done, here doth vanity lie bare to the view, and there shines felicity. Wherefore it is more convenient that such as fear and follow the law of the true God should have the swaying of such empires; not so much for themselves, their piety and their honesty (God's admired gifts) will suffice them, both to the enjoying of true felicity in this life and the attaining of that eternal and true felicity in the next. So that here upon earth, the rule and regality that is given to the good man does not return him so much good as it does to those that are under this his rule and regality. But, contrariwise, the government of the wicked harms themselves far more than their subjects, for it gives themselves the greater liberty to exercise their lusts; but for their subjects, they have none but their own iniquities to answer for; for what injury soever the unrighteous master does to the righteous servant, it is no scourge for his guilt, but a trial of his virtue. And therefore he that is good is free, tho he be a slave; and he that is evil, a slave tho he be king. Nor is he slave to one man, but that which is worst of all, unto as many masters as he affects vices; according to the Scriptures, speaking thus hereof: "Of whatsoever a man is overcome, to that he is in bondage."


Born in Rome about 475, died about 524; consul in 510 and magister officiorum in the court of Theodoric the Goth; put to death by Theodoric without trial on the charge of treason and magic; his famous work "De Consolatione Philosophiae" probably written while in prison in Pavia; parts of that work translated by Alfred the Great and Chaucer; secured much influence for the works of Aristotle by his translations and commentaries.


When Wisdom had sung this lay he ceased the song and was silent a while. Then he began to think deeply in his mind's thought, and spoke thus: Every mortal man troubles himself with various and manifold anxieties, and yet all desire, through various paths, to come to one end; that is, they desire, by different means, to arrive at one happiness; that is, to know God! He is the beginning and the end of every good, and He is the highest happiness.

[Footnote 2: From "The Consolations of Philosophy." The translation of Alfred the Great, modernized. Boethius is not usually classed as a Roman author, altho Gibbon said of him that he was "the last Roman whom Cato or Cicero could have recognized as his countryman." Chaucer made a translation of Boethius, which was printed by Caxton. John Walton made a version in 1410, which was printed at a monastery in 1525. Another early version made by George Coluile was published in 1556. Several others appeared in the sixteenth century.]

Then said the Mind: This, methinks, must be the highest good, so that man should need no other good, nor moreover be solicitous beyond that—since he possesses that which is the roof of all other goods; for it includes all other goods, and has all of them within it. It would not be the highest good if any good were external to it, because it would then have to desire some good which itself had not.

Then answered Reason, and said: It is very evident that this is the highest happiness, for it is both the roof and floor of all good. What is that, then, but the best happiness, which gathers the other felicities all within it, and includes, and holds them within it; and to it there is a deficiency of none, neither has it need of any; but they all come from it, and again all return to it; as all waters come from the sea, and again all come to the sea? There is none in the little fountain which does not seek the sea, and again, from the sea it arrives at the earth, and so it flows gradually through the earth, till it again comes to the same fountain that it before flowed from, and so again to the sea.

Now this is an example of the true goods which all mortal men desire to obtain, tho they by various ways think to arrive at them. For every man has natural good in himself, because every man desires to obtain the true good; but it is hindered by the transitory goods, because it is more prone thereto. For some men think that it is the best happiness that a man be so rich that he have need of nothing more; and they choose life accordingly. Some men think that this is the highest good, that he be among his fellows the most honorable of his fellows, and they with all energy seek this. Some think that the supreme good is in the highest power. These desire, either for themselves to rule, or else to associate themselves in friendship with their rulers. Some persuade themselves that it is the best that a man be illustrious and celebrated, and have good fame; they therefore seek this both in peace and in war. Many reckon it for the greatest good and for the greatest happiness, that a man be always blithe in this present life, and fulfil all his lusts. Some, indeed, who desire these riches, are desirous thereof, because they would have the greater power, that they may the more securely enjoy these worldly lusts, and also the riches. Many there are of those who desire power because they would gather overmuch money; or, again, they are desirous to spread the celebrity of their name.

On account of such and other like frail and perishable advantages, the thought of every human mind is troubled with solicitude and with anxiety. It then imagines that it has obtained some exalted goods when it has won the flattery of the people; and methinks that it has bought a very false greatness. Some with much anxiety seek wives, that thereby they may, above all things, have children, and also live happily. True friends, then, I say, are the most precious things of all these worldly felicities. They are not, indeed, to be reckoned as worldly goods, but as divine; for deceitful fortune does not produce them, but God, who naturally formed them as relations. For of every other thing in this world man is desirous, either that he may through it attain to power, or else some worldly lust; except of the true friend, whom he loves sometimes for affection and for fidelity, tho he expect to himself no other rewards. Nature joins and cements friends together with inseparable love. But with these worldly goods, and with this present wealth, men make oftener enemies than friends. By these and by many such things it may be evident to all men that all the bodily goods are inferior to the faculties of the soul.

We indeed think that a man is the stronger because he is great in his body. The fairness, moreover, and the vigor of the body, rejoices and delights the man, and health makes him cheerful. In all these bodily felicities, men seek simple happiness, as it seems to them. For whatsoever every man chiefly loves above all other things, that he persuades himself is best for him, and that is his highest good. When, therefore, he has acquired that, he imagines that he may be very happy. I do not deny that these goods and this happiness are the highest good of this present life. For every man considers that thing best which he chiefly loves above other things; and therefore he persuades himself that he is very happy if he can obtain what he then most desires. Is not now clearly enough shown to thee the form of the false goods, that is, then, possessions, dignity, and power, and glory, and pleasure? Concerning pleasure Epicurus the philosopher said, when he inquired concerning all those other goods which we before mentioned; then said he that pleasure was the highest good, because all the other goods which we before mentioned gratify the mind and delight it, but pleasure alone chiefly gratifies the body.

But we will still speak concerning the nature of men, and concerning their pursuits. Tho, then, their mind and their nature be now dimmed, and they are by that fall sunk down to evil, and thither inclined, yet they are desirous, so far as they can and may, of the highest good. As a drunken man knows that he should go to his house and to his rest, and yet is not able to find the way thither, so is it also with the mind when it is weighed down by the anxieties of this world. It is sometimes intoxicated and misled by them, so far that it can not rightly find out good. Nor yet does it appear to those men that they at all err, who are desirous to obtain this, that they need labor after nothing more. But they think that they are able to collect together all these goods, so that none may be excluded from the number. They therefore know no other good than the collecting of all the most precious things into their power that they may have need of nothing besides them. But there is no one that has not need of some addition, except God alone. He has of His own enough, nor has He need of anything but that which He has in Himself.

Dost thou think, however, that they foolishly imagine that that thing is best deserving of all estimation which they may consider most desirable? No, no. I know that it is not to be despised. How can that be evil which the mind of every man considers to be good, and strives after, and desires to obtain? No, it is not evil; it is the highest good. Why is not power to be reckoned one of the highest goods of this present life? Is that to be esteemed vain and useless which is the most useful of all those worldly things, that is, power? Is good fame and renown to be accounted nothing? No, no. It is not fit that any one account it nothing; for every man thinks that best which he most loves. Do we not know that no anxiety, or difficulties, or trouble, or pain, or sorrow, is happiness? What more, then, need we say about these felicities? Does not every man know what they are, and also know that they are the highest good? And yet almost every man seeks in very little things the best felicities; because he thinks that he may have them all if he have that which he then chiefly wishes to obtain. This is, then, what they chiefly wish to obtain, wealth, and dignity, and authority, and this world's glory, and ostentation, and worldly lust. Of all this they are desirous because they think that, through these things, they may obtain: that there be not to them a deficiency of anything wished; neither of dignity, nor of power, nor of renown, nor of bliss. They wish for all this, and they do well that they desire it, tho they seek it variously. By these things we may clearly perceive that every man is desirous of this, that, he may obtain the highest good, if they were able to discover it, or knew how to seek it rightly. But they do not seek it in the most right way. It is not of this world.


Born near Aquino, Italy, probably in 1225, died in 1274; entered the Dominican order; studied at Cologne under Albertus Magnus; taught at Cologne, Paris, Rome and Bologna; his chief work the "Summa Theologiae"; his complete writings collected in 1787.


The word end has two meanings. In one meaning it stands for the thing itself which we desire to gain: thus the miser's end is money. In another meaning it stands for the near attainment, or possession, or use, or enjoyment of the thing desired, as if one should say that the possession of money is the miser's end, or the enjoyment of something pleasant the end of the sensualist. In the first meaning of the word, therefore, the end of man is the Uncreated Good, namely God, who alone of His infinite goodness can perfectly satisfy the will of man. But according to the second meaning, the last end of man is something created, existing in himself, which is nothing else than the attainment or enjoyment of the last end. Now the last end is called happiness. If therefore the happiness of a man is considered in its cause or object, in that way it is something uncreated; but if it is considered in essence, in that way happiness is a created thing.

[Footnote 3: From the "Ethics." The complete works of Aquinas were published in 1787; but a new and notable edition was compiled in 1883 under the intimate patronage of Pope Leo XIII, to whom is given credit for a modern revival of interest in his writings.]

Happiness is said to be the sovereign good of man, because it is the attainment or enjoyment of the sovereign good. So far as the happiness of man is something created, existing in the man himself, we must say that the happiness of man is an act. For happiness is the last perfection of man. But everything is perfect so far as it is in act; for potentiality without actuality is imperfect. Happiness, therefore, must consist in the last and crowning act of man. But it is manifest that activity is the last and crowning act of an active being; whence also it is called by the philosopher "the second act." And hence it is that each thing is said to be for the sake of its activity. It needs must be therefore that the happiness of man is a certain activity.

Life has two meanings. One way it means the very being of the living, and in that way happiness is not life; for of God alone can it be said that His own being is His happiness. In another way life is taken to mean the activity on the part of the living thing by which activity the principle of life is reduced to act. Thus we speak of an active or contemplative life, or of a life of pleasure; and in this way the last end is called life everlasting, as is clear from the text: "This is life everlasting, that they know Thee, the only true God."

By the definition of Boethius, that happiness is "a state made perfect by the aggregate sum of all things good," nothing else is meant than that the happy man is in a state of perfect good. But Aristotle has exprest the proper essence of happiness, showing by what it is that man is constituted in such a state, namely, by a certain activity.

Action is two-fold. There is one variety that proceeds from the agent to exterior matter, as the action of cutting and burning, and such an activity can not be happiness, for such activity is not an act and perfection of the agent, but rather of the patient. There is another action immanent, or remaining in the agent himself, as feeling, understanding, and willing. Such action is a perfection and act of the agent, and an activity of this sort may possibly be happiness.

Since happiness means some manner of final perfection, happiness must have different meanings according to the different grades of perfection that there are attainable by different beings capable of happiness. In God is happiness by essence, because His very being is His activity, because He does not enjoy any other thing than Himself. In the angels final perfection is by way of a certain activity, whereby they are united to the uncreated good; and this activity is in them one and everlasting. In men, in the state of the present life, final perfection is by way of an activity whereby they are united to God. But this activity can not be everlasting or continuous, and by consequence it is not one, because an act is multiplied by interruption; and, therefore, in this state of the present life, perfect happiness is not to be had by man.

Hence the philosopher, placing the happiness of man in this life, says that it is imperfect, and after much discussion he comes to this conclusion: "We call them happy, so far as happiness can be predicated of men." But we have a promise from God of perfect happiness, when we shall be "like the angels in heaven." As regards this perfect happiness, the objection drops, because in this state of happiness the mind of man is united to God by one continuous and everlasting activity. But in the present life, so far as we fall short of the unity and continuity of such an activity, so much do we lose of the perfection of happiness. There is, however, granted us a certain participation in happiness, and the more continuous and undivided the activity can be the more will it come up to the idea of happiness. And therefore in the active life, which is busied with many things, there is less of the essence of happiness than in the contemplative life, which is busy with the one occupation of the contemplation of truth.


Born in Rhenish Prussia about 1380, died in the Netherlands in 1471; his real name Thomas Hammerken; entered an Augustinian convent near Zwolle in 1407; became sub-prior of the convent in 1423 and again in 1447; generally accepted as the author of "The Imitation of Christ."


Son, when thou perceivest the desire of eternal bliss to be infused into thee from above, and thou wouldst fain go out of the tabernacle of this body, that thou mightest contemplate My brightness without any shadow of change—enlarge thy heart, and receive this holy inspiration with thy whole desire.

[Footnote 4: From "The Imitation of Christ." Altho commonly ascribed to Thomas a Kempis, there has been much controversy as to the real authorship of this famous work. Many early editions bear the name of Thomas, including one of the year 1471, which is sometimes thought to be the first. As against his authorship it is contended that he was a professional copyist, and that the use of his name in the first edition conformed to a custom that belonged more to a transcriber than to an author. One of the earliest English versions of Thomas a Kempis was made by Wyllyam Atkynson and printed by Wykyns de Worde in 1502. A translation by Edward Hake appeared in 1567. Many other early English editions are known.]

Return the greatest thanks to the Supreme Goodness, which dealeth so condescendingly with thee, mercifully visiteth thee, ardently inciteth thee, and powerfully raiseth thee up, lest by thy own weight thou fall down to the things of earth.

For it is not by thy own thoughtfulness or endeavor that thou receivest this, but by the mere condescension of heavenly grace and divine regard; that so thou mayest advance in virtues and greater humility, and prepare thyself for future conflicts, and labor with the whole affection of thy heart to keep close to Me, and serve Me with a fervent will.

Son, the fire often burneth, but the flame ascendeth not without smoke.

And so the desires of some are on fire after heavenly things, and yet they are not free from the temptation of carnal affection.

Therefore is it not altogether purely for God's honor that they act, when they so earnestly petition Him.

Such also is oftentimes thy desire, which thou hast profest to be so importunate.

For that is not pure and perfect which, is alloyed with self-interest.

Ask not that which is pleasant and convenient, but that which is acceptable to Me and My honor; for if thou judgest rightly, thou oughtest to prefer and to follow My appointment rather than thine own desire or any other desirable thing.

I know thy desire, and I have often heard thy groanings.

Thou wouldst wish to be already in the liberty of the glory of the children of God.

Now doth the eternal dwelling, and the heavenly country full of festivity, delight thee.

But that hour is not yet come; for there is yet another time, a time of war, a time of labor and of probation.

Thou desirest to be filled with the Sovereign Good, but thou canst not at present attain to it.

I am He: wait for Me, saith the Lord, until the kingdom of God come.

Thou hast yet to be tried upon earth and exercised in many things.

Consolation shall sometimes be given thee, but abundant satiety shall not be granted thee.

Take courage, therefore, and be valiant, as well in doing as in suffering things repugnant to nature.

Thou must put on the new man, and be changed into another person.

That which thou wouldst not, thou must oftentimes do; and that which thou wouldst, thou must leave undone.

What pleaseth others shall prosper, what is pleasing to thee shall not succeed.

What others say shall be harkened to; what thou sayest shall be reckoned as naught.

Others shall ask, and shall receive; thou shalt ask, and not obtain.

Others shall be great in the esteem of men; about thee nothing shall be said.

To others this or that shall be committed; but thou shalt be accounted as of no use.

At this nature will sometimes repine, and it will be a great matter if thou bear it with silence.

In these, and many such-like things, the faithful servant of the Lord is wont to be tried how far he can deny and break himself in all things.

There is scarce anything in which thou standest so much in need of dying to thyself as in seeing and suffering things that are contrary to thy will, and more especially when those things are commanded which seem to thee inconvenient and of little use.

And because, being under authority, thou darest not resist the higher power, therefore it seemeth to thee hard to walk at the beck of another, and wholly to give up thy own opinion.

But consider, son, the fruit of these labors, their speedy termination, and their reward exceeding great; and thou wilt not hence derive affliction, but the most strengthening consolation in thy suffering.

For in regard to that little of thy will which thou now willingly forsakest, thou shalt forever have thy will in heaven.

For there thou shalt find all that thou willest, all that thou canst desire.

There shall be to thee the possession of every good, without fear of losing it.

There thy will, always one with Me, shall not covet any extraneous or private thing. There no one shall resist thee, no one complain of thee, no one obstruct thee, nothing shall stand in thy way; but every desirable good shall be present at the same moment, shall replenish all thy affections and satiate them to the full.

There I will give thee glory for the contumely thou hast suffered; a garment of praise for thy sorrow; and for having been seated here in the lowest place, the throne of My kingdom forever.

There will the fruit of obedience appear, there will the labor of penance rejoice, and humble subjection shall be gloriously crowned.

Now, therefore, bow thyself down humbly under the hands of all, and heed not who it was that said or commanded this.

But let it be thy great care, that whether thy superior or inferior or equal require anything of thee, or hint at anything, thou take all in good part, and labor with a sincere will to perform it.

Let one seek this, another that; let this man glory in this thing, another in that, and be praised a thousand thousand times: but thou, for thy part, rejoice neither in this nor in that, but in the contempt of thyself, and in My good pleasure and honor alone.

This is what thou hast to wish for, that whether in life or in death, God may be always glorified in thee.




Born between 1150 and 1165, died in 1212; marshal of Champagne in 1191; joined the Crusade in 1199 under Theobault III; negotiated successfully with Venice for the transfer of the Crusaders by sea to the Holy Land; followed the Crusade and chronicled all its events from 1198 to 1207.



This night passed and the day came which was Thursday morning (13 April, 1204), and then every one in the camp armed themselves, the knights and the soldiers, and each one joined his battle corps. The Marquis of Montferrat advanced toward the palace of Bucoleon; and having occupied it, determined to spare the lives of all those he found therein. There were found there women of the highest rank, and of the most honorable character; the sister of the King of France who had been an empress; and the sister of the King of Hungary, and other women of quality. Of the treasure that there was in the palace, I can not speak; for there was so much that it was without end or measure. Besides this palace which was surrendered to the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat, that of Blachem was surrendered to Henry, brother of Count Baldwin of Flanders.

[Footnote 5: From the "Chronicles." This work is important; first, as a record, generally accepted as eminently trustworthy, and second, for its literary excellence, in which sense it has been held in peculiar esteem. George Saintsbury remarks that those chronicles "are by universal consent among the most attractive works of the Middle Ages." They comprize one of the oldest extant examples of French prose. The passage here given was translated for this collection from the old French by Eric Arthur Bell. A translation by T. Smith was published in 1829.

This sack of Constantinople followed what is known as the Latin Conquest. More than thirty sieges of the city have occurred. After the conquest here referred to Constantinople was occupied by the Latins. It was finally wrested from them by Michael Palaeologus. The conquest of 1204 was achieved during the Fourth Crusade. By Latin Conquest is meant a conquest by Western Christians as against its long-time Greek rulers. This conquest was also inspired by the commercial ambition of the Venetians, who had long coveted what were believed to be the fabulous riches of the city. The Latin Empire survived for fifty-six years in a state of almost constant weakness. The conquest had no direct relation to the original purpose of the Crusades, which was the recovery of Jerusalem from the hands of the infidels.]

The booty that was found here was so great that it can only be compared to that which was found in Bucoleon.[6] Each soldier filled the room that was assigned to him with plunder and had the treasure guarded; and the others who were scattered through the city also had their share of spoil. And the booty obtained was so great that it is impossible for me to estimate it,—gold and silver and plate and precious stones,—rich altar cloths and vestments of silk and robes of ermine, and treasure that had been buried under the ground. And truly doth testify Geoffrey of Ville-Hardouin, Marshal of Champagne, when he says that never in the whole of history had a city yielded so much plunder. Every man took as much as he could carry, and there was enough for every one.

[Footnote 6: One of the districts into which the city was divided.]

Thus fared the Crusaders and the Venetians, and so great was the joy and the honor of the victory that God had given them, that those who had been in poverty were rich and living in luxury. Thus was passed Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday in the honor and joy which God had granted them. And they had good cause to be grateful to our Lord, for they had no more than twenty thousand armed men among them all, and by the grace of God they had captured four hundred thousand or more, and that in the strongest city in the world (that is to say, city of any size), and the best fortified.

Then it was announced throughout the whole army by the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat, who was head of the army, and by the barons and the Doge of Venice, that all the booty should be collected and assessed under pain of excommunication. And the places were chosen in three churches; and they put over them as guards French and Venetians, the most loyal that they could find, and then each man began to bring his booty and put it together. Some acted uprightly and others not, for covetousness which is the root of all evil, prevented them; but the covetous began from this moment to keep things back and our Lord began to like them less. Oh God, how loyally they had behaved up to that moment, and the Lord God had shown them that in everything He had honored and favored them above all other people, and now the righteous began to suffer for the wicked.

The plunder and the booty were collected; and you must know that it was not all equally divided, for there were a number of those who retained a share in spite of the dread of Papal excommunication. Whatever was brought to the churches was collected and divided between the French and Venetians equally as had been arranged. And you must know that the Crusaders, when they had divided, paid on their part fifty thousand marks of silver to the Venetians, and as for themselves they divided a good hundred thousand among their own people. And do you know how it was divided? Each horseman received double the share of a foot soldier, and each knight double the share of a horseman. And you must know that never did a man, either through his rank and prowess receive anything more than had been arranged, unless it was stolen.

As for the thefts, those who were convicted of guilt, you must know were dealt with summarily and there were enough people hung. The Count of St. Paul hung one of his knights with his horse collar round his neck, because he had kept something back, and there were a number who kept things back, much and little, but this is not known for certain.

You may be assured that the booty was great, for not counting what was stolen and the share that fell to the Venetians, a good four hundred thousand marks of silver were brought back, and as many as ten thousand animals of one kind and another. The plunder of Constantinople was divided thus as you have heard.


Born about 1224; died in 1317; attended Louis IX in the Seventh Crusade, spending six years in the East; his "Memoirs of Louis IX," presented by him in 1309 to the great grandson of Louis, and first published in 1547.


Not long after this, the chief of the Turks, before named, crost with his army into the island that lies between the Rexi and Damietta branches, where our army was encamped, and formed a line of battle, extending from one bank of the river to the other. The Count d'Anjou, who was on the spot, attacked the Turks, and defeated them so completely that they took to flight, and numbers were drowned in each of the branches of the Nile.

[Footnote 7: From the "Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France," commonly called St. Louis. The passage here given is from Joinville's account of a battle between Christians and Saracens, fought near the Damietta branch of the Nile in 1240. Mr. Saintsbury remarks that Joinville's work "is one of the most circumstantial records we have of medieval life and thought." It was translated by Thomas Johnes, of Hafod, and is now printed in Bohn's library.]

A large body, however, kept their ground, whom we dared not attack, on account of their numerous machines, by which they did us great injury with the divers things cast from them. During the attack on the Turks by the Count d'Anjou, the Count Guy de Ferrois, who was in his company galloped through the Turkish force, attended by his knights, until they came to another battalion of Saracens, where they performed wonders. But at last he was thrown to the ground with a broken leg, and was led back by two of his knights, supporting him by the arms.

You must know there was difficulty in withdrawing the Count d'Anjou from this attack, wherein he was frequently in the utmost danger, and was ever after greatly honored for it.

Another large body of Turks made an attack on the Count de Poitiers and me; but be assured they were very well received, and served in like manner. It was well for them that they found their way back by which they had come; but they left behind great numbers of slain. We returned safely to our camp scarcely having lost any of our men.

One night the Turks brought forward an engine, called by them La Perriere, a terrible engine to do mischief, and placed it opposite to the chas-chateils, which Sir Walter De Curel and I were guarding by night. From this engine they flung such quantities of Greek fire, that it was the most horrible sight ever witnessed. When my companion, the good Sir Walter, saw this shower of fire, he cried out, "Gentlemen, we are all lost without remedy; for should they set fire to our chas-chateils we must be burnt; and if we quit our post we are for ever dishonored; from which I conclude, that no one can possibly save us from this peril but God, our benignant Creator; I therefore advise all of you, whenever they throw any of this Greek fire, to cast yourselves on your hands and knees, and cry for mercy to our Lord, in whom alone resides all power."

As soon, therefore, as the Turks threw their fires, we flung ourselves on our hands and knees, as the wise man had advised; and this time they fell between our two cats into a hole in front, which our people had made to extinguish them; and they were instantly put out by a man appointed for that purpose. This Greek fire, in appearance, was like a large tun, and its tail was of the length of a long spear; the noise which it made was like to thunder; and it seemed a great dragon of fire flying through the air, giving so great a light with its flame, that we saw in our camp as clearly as in broad day. Thrice this night did they throw the fire from La Perriere, and four times from cross-bows.

Each time that our good King St. Louis heard them make these discharges of fire, he cast himself on the ground, and with extended arms and eyes turned to the heavens, cried with a loud voice to our Lord, and shedding heavy tears, said "Good Lord God Jesus Christ, preserve thou me, and all my people"; and believe me, his sincere prayers were of great service to us. At every time the fire fell near us, he sent one of his knights to know how we were, and if the fire had hurt us. One of the discharges from the Turks fell beside a chas-chateil, guarded by the men of the Lord Courtenay, struck the bank of the river in front, and ran on the ground toward them, burning with flame. One of the knights of this guard instantly came to me, crying out, "Help us, my lord, or we are burnt; for there is a long train of Greek fire, which the Saracens have discharged, that is running straight for our castle."


"Aucassin and Nicolette" is the title of a French romance of the thirteenth century, the name of the author being unknown. The only extant manuscript of the story is preserved in the National Library of France. Several translations into English are well known, among them those by Augustus R. MacDonough, F. W. Bourdillon and Andrew Lang.

How the Count Bougart of Valence made war on Count Garin of Beaucaire,—war so great, so marvelous, and so mortal that never a day dawned but always he was there, by the gates and walls and barriers of the town, with a hundred knights, and ten thousand men-at-arms, horsemen and footmen: so burned he the count's land, and spoiled his country, and slew his men. Now, the Count Garin de Beaucaire was old and frail, and his good days were gone over. No heir had he, neither son nor daughter, save one young man only; such an one as I shall tell you. Aucassin was the name of the damoiseau: fair was he, goodly, and great, and featly fashioned of his body and limbs. His hair was yellow, in little curls, his eyes blue-gray and laughing, his face beautiful and shapely, his nose high and well set, and so richly seen was he in all things good, that in him was none evil at all. But so suddenly was he overtaken of Love, who is a great master, that he would not, of his will, be a knight, nor take arms, nor follow tourneys, nor do whatsoever him beseemed. Therefore his father and mother said to him:

"Son, go take thine arms, mount thine horse, and hold thy land, and help thy men, for if they see thee among them, more stoutly will they keep in battle their lives and lands, and thine and mine."

"Father," answered Aucassin, "what are you saying now? Never may God give me aught of my desire, if I be a knight, or mount my horse, or face stour and battle wherein knights smite and are smitten again, unless thou give me Nicolette, my true love, that I love so well."

"Son," said the father, "this may not be. Let Nicolette go. A slave-girl is she, out of a strange land, and the viscount of this town bought her of the Saracens, and carried her hither, and hath reared her and had her christened, and made her his god-daughter, and one day will find a young man for her, to win her bread honorably. Herein hast thou naught to make nor mend; but if a wife thou wilt have, I will give thee the daughter of a king, or a count. There is no man so rich in France, but if thou desire his daughter, thou shall have her."

"Faith! my father," said Aucassin, "tell me where is the place so high in all the world, that Nicolette, my sweet lady and love, would not grace it well? If she were Empress of Constantinople or of Germany, or Queen of France or England, it were little enough for her; so gentle is she and courteous, and debonnaire, and compact of all good qualities."

When Count Garin de Beaucaire knew that he would not avail to withdraw Aucassin, his son, from the love of Nicolette, he went to the viscount of the city, who was his man, and spake to him saying: "Sir Count: away with Nicolette, thy daughter in God; curst be the land whence she was brought into this country, for by reason of her do I lose Aucassin, that will neither be a knight, nor do aught of the things that fall to him to be done. And wit ye well," he said, "that if I might have her at my will, I would turn her in a fire, and yourself might well be sore adread."

"Sir," said the viscount, "this is grievous to me that he comes and goes and hath speech with her. I had bought the maid at mine own charges, and nourished her, and baptized, and made her my daughter in God. Yea, I would have given her to a young man that should win her bread honorably. With this had Aucassin, thy son, naught to make or mend. But sith it is thy will and thy pleasure, I will send her into that land and that country where never will he see her with his eyes."

"Have a heed to thyself," said the Count Garin: "thence might great evil come on thee."

So parted they each from the other. Now the viscount was a right rich man: so had he a rich palace with a garden in face of it; in an upper chamber thereof he had Nicolette placed, with one old woman to keep her company, and in that chamber put bread and meat and wine and such, things as were needful. Then he had the door sealed, that none might come in or go forth, save that there was one window, over against the garden, and quite strait, through which came to them a little air....

Aucassin was cast into prison as ye have heard tell, and Nicolette, of her part, was in the chamber. Now it was summer-time, the month of May, when days are warm, and long, and clear, and the nights still and serene. Nicolette lay one night on her bed, and saw the moon shine clear through a window, and heard the nightingale sing in the garden, and she minded her of Aucassin her friend, whom she loved so well. Then fell she to thoughts of Count Garin of Beaucaire, that he hated her to death; and therefore deemed she that there she would no longer abide, for that, if she were told of, and the count knew where she lay, an ill death he would make her die. She saw that the old woman was sleeping, who held her company. Then she arose, and clad her in a mantle of silk she had by her, very goodly, and took sheets of the bed and towels and knotted one to the other, and made therewith a cord as long as she might, and knotted it to a pillar in the window, and let herself slip down into the garden; then caught up her raiment in both hands, behind and before, and kilted up her kirtle, because of the dew that she saw lying deep on the grass, and so went on her way down through the garden.

Her locks were yellow and curled, her eyes blue-gray and smiling, her face featly fashioned, the nose high and fairly set, the lips more red than cherry or rose in time of summer, her teeth white and small; and her breasts so firm that they bore up the folds of her bodice as they had been two walnuts; so slim was she in the waist that your two hands might have clipt her; and the daisy flowers that brake beneath her as she went tiptoe, and that bent above her instep, seemed black against her feet and ankles, so white was the maiden. She came to the postern-gate, and unbarred it, and went out through the streets of Beaucaire, keeping always on the shadowy side, for the moon was shining right clear, and so wandered she till she came to the tower where her lover lay. The tower was flanked with pillars, and she cowered under one of them, wrapt in her mantle. Then thrust she her head through a crevice of the tower, that was old and worn, and heard Aucassin, who was weeping within, and making dole and lament for the sweet friend he loved so well. And when she had listened to him some time she began to speak....

When Aucassin heard Nicolette say that she would pass into a far country, he was all in wrath.

"Fair, sweet friend," quoth he, "thou shalt not go, for then wouldst thou be my death. And the first man that saw thee and had the might withal, would take thee straightway into his bed to be his leman. And once thou camest into a man's bed, and that bed not mine, wit ye well that I would not tarry till I had found a knife to pierce my heart and slay myself. Nay, verily, wait so long I would not; but would hurl myself so far as I might see a wall, or a black stone, and I would dash my head against it so mightily that the eyes would start and my brain burst. Rather would I die even such a death than know that thou hadst lain in a man's bed, and that bed not mine."

"Aucassin," she said, "I trow thou lovest me not as much as thou sayest, but I love thee more than thou lovest me."

"Ah, fair, sweet friend," said Aucassin, "it may not be that thou shouldest love me even as I love thee. Woman may not love man as man loves woman; for a woman's love lies in her eye, and the bud of her breast, and her foot's tiptoe, but the love of a man is in his heart planted, whence it can never issue forth and pass away."

Now when Aucassin and Nicolette were holding this parley together, the town's watchmen were coming down a street, with swords drawn beneath their cloaks, for Count Garin had charged them that if they could take her, they should slay her. But the sentinel that was on the tower saw them coming, and heard them speaking of Nicolette as they went, and threatening to slay her.

"God," quoth he, "this were great pity to slay so fair a maid! Right great charity it were if I could say aught to her, and they perceive it not, and she should be on her guard against them, for if they slay her, then were Aucassin, my damoiseau, dead, and that were great pity."...

Aucassin fared through the forest from path to path after Nicolette, and his horse bare him furiously. Think ye not that the thorns him spared, nor the briers, nay, not so, but tare his raiment, that scarce a knot might be tied with the soundest part thereof, and the blood spurted from his arms, and flanks, and legs, in forty places, or thirty, so that behind the Childe men might follow on the track of his blood in the grass. But so much he went in thoughts of Nicolette, his lady sweet, that he felt no pain nor torment, and all the day hurled through the forest in this fashion nor heard no word of her. And when he saw vespers draw nigh, he began to weep for that he found her not. All down an old road, and grass-grown, he fared, when anon, looking along the way before him, he saw such an one as I shall tell you. Tall was he, and great of growth, ugly and hideous: his head huge, and blacker than charcoal, and more than the breadth of a hand between his two eyes; and he had great cheeks, and a big nose and flat, big nostrils and wide, and thick lips redder than steak, and great teeth yellow and ugly, and he was shod with hosen and shoon of ox-hide, bound with cords of bark up over the knee, and all about him a great cloak two-fold; and he leaned upon a grievous cudgel, and Aucassin came unto him, and was afraid when he beheld him.

So they parted from each other, and Aucassin rode on; the night was fair and still, and so long he went that he came to the lodge of boughs that Nicolette had builded and woven within and without, over and under, with flowers, and it was the fairest lodge that might be seen. When Aucassin was ware of it, he stopt suddenly, and the light of the moon fell therein.

"Forsooth!" quoth Aucassin, "here was Nicolette, my sweet lady, and this lodge builded she with her fair hands. For the sweetness of it, and for love of her, will I now alight, and rest here this night long."

He drew forth his foot from the stirrup to alight, and the steed was great and tall. He dreamed so much on Nicolette, his right sweet friend, that he fell heavily upon a stone, and drave his shoulder out of its place. Then knew he that he was hurt sore; nathless he bore him with that force he might, and fastened his horse with the other hand to a thorn. Then turned he on his side, and crept backwise into the lodge of boughs. And he looked through a gap in the lodge and saw the stars in heaven, and one that was brighter than the rest; so began he to speak....

When Nicolette heard Aucassin, she came to him, for she was not far away. She passed within the lodge, and threw her arms about his neck, clipt him and kissed him.

"Fair, sweet friend, welcome be thou!"

"And thou, fair, sweet love, be thou welcome!"

So either kissed and clipt the other, and fair joy was them between.

"Ha! sweet love," quoth Aucassin, "but now was I sore hurt, and my shoulder wried, but I take no heed of it, nor have no hurt therefrom, since I have thee."

Right so felt she his shoulder and found it was wried from its place. And she so handled it with her white hands, and so wrought in her surgery, that by God's will who loveth lovers, it went back into its place. Then took she flowers, and fresh grass, and leaves green, and bound them on the hurt with a strip of her smock, and he was all healed....

When all they of the court heard her speak thus, that she was daughter to the King of Carthage, they knew well that she spake truly; so made they great joy of her, and led her to the castle with great honor, as a king's daughter. And they would have given her to her lord a king of Paynim, but she had no mind to marry. There dwelt she three days or four. And she considered by what device she might seek for Aucassin. Then she got her a viol, and learned to play on it; till they would have married her one day to a rich king of Paynim, and she stole forth by night, and came to the seaport, and dwelt with a poor woman thereby. Then took she a certain herb, and therewith smeared her head and her face, till she was all brown and stained. And she had a coat, and mantle, and smock, and breeches made, and attired herself as if she had been a minstrel. So took she the viol and went to a mariner, and so wrought on him that he took her aboard his vessel. Then hoisted they sail, and fared on the high seas even till they came to the land of Provence. And Nicolette went forth and took the viol, and went playing through all the country, even till she came to the castle of Beaucaire, where Aucassin was.


Born in France in 1337, died in 1410; went to England in 1360 by invitation of Queen Philippa, a French woman; visited Scotland in 1365 and Italy in 1368, where he met Petrarch, and Chaucer; published his "Chronicles," covering events from 1325 until about 1400, at the close of the fifteenth century, the same being one of the first books printed from movable types; the modern edition comprizes twenty-five volumes.



The Englishmen, who were in three battles lying on the ground to rest them, as soon as they saw the Frenchmen approach, they rose upon their feet fair and easily without any haste, and arranged their battles. The first, which was the Prince's battle, the archers there stood in manner of a herse and the men of arms in the bottom of the battle. The Earl of Northampton and the Earl of Arundel with the second battle were on a wing in good order, ready to comfort the Prince's battle, if need were.

[Footnote 8: The field of Crecy lies about thirty miles northwest of Amiens, in France. The English under Edward III, numbering about 40,000 men, here defeated the French under Philip VI, numbering 80,000 men, the French loss being commonly placed at 30,000.

Of the merits of Froissart, only one opinion has prevailed. He drew a faithful and vivid picture of events which in the main were personally known to him. "No more graphic account exists of any age," says one writer. Froissart was first translated into English in 1525 by Bourchier, Lord Berners, That translation was superseded later by others. In 1802-1805 Thomas Johnes made another translation, which has since been the one chiefly read.]

The lords and knights of France came not to the assembly together in good order, for some came before and some came after, in such haste and evil order that one of them did trouble another. When the French King saw the Englishmen his blood changed, and said to his marshals, "Make the Genoways go on before, and begin the battle, in the name of God and St. Denis." There were of the Genoways' cross-bows about a fifteen thousand, but they were so weary of going afoot that day a six leagues armed with their cross-bows, that they said to their constables, "We be not well ordered to fight this day, for we be not in the case to do any great deed of arms: we have more need of rest." These words came to the Earl of Alencon, who said, "A man is well at ease to be charged with such a sort of rascals, to be faint and fail now at most need." Also the same season there fell a great rain and a clipse with a terrible thunder, and before the rain there came flying over both battles a great number of crows for fear of the tempest coming.

Then anon the air began to wax clear, and the sun to shine fair and bright, the which was right in the Frenchmen's eyen and on the Englishmen's backs. When the Genoways were assembled together and began to approach, they made a great leap and cry to abash the Englishmen, but they stood still and stirred not for all that; then the Genoways again the second time made another leap and a fell cry, and stept forward a little, and the Englishmen removed not one foot; thirdly, again they leapt and cried, and went forth till they came within shot; then they shot fiercely with their cross-bows. Then the English archers stept forth one pace and let fly their arrows so wholly and so thick, that it seemed snow. When the Genoways felt the arrows piercing through heads, arms, and breasts, many of them cast down their cross-bows, and did cut their strings and returned discomfited. When the French King saw them fly away, he said, "Slay these rascals, for they shall let and trouble us without reason."

Then ye should have seen the men of arms dash in among them and killed a great number of them; and ever still the Englishmen shot whereas they saw thickest press the sharp arrows ran into the men of arms and into their horses, and many fell, horse and men, among the Genoways, and when they were down, they could not relieve again; the press was so thick that one overthrew another. And also among the Englishmen there were certain rascals that went afoot with great knives, and they went in among the men of arms and slew and murdered many as they lay on the ground, both earls, barons, knights, and squires; whereof the King of England was after displeased, for he had rather they had been taken prisoners.

The valiant King of Bohemia called Charles of Luxembourg, son to the noble Emperor Henry of Luxembourg, for all that he was nigh blind, when he understood the order of the battle, he said to them about him, "Where is the Lord Charles my son?" His men said, "Sir, we can not tell; we think he be fighting." Then he said, "Sirs, ye are my men, my companions and friends in this journey: I require you bring me so far forward that I may strike one stroke with my sword." They said they would do his commandment, and to the intent that they should not lose him in the press, they tied all their reins of their bridles each to other and set the King before to accomplish his desire, and so they went on their enemies. The Lord Charles of Bohemia his son, who wrote himself King of Almaine and bare the arms, he came in good order to the battle; but when he saw that the matter went awry on their party, he departed, I can not tell you which way. The King his father was so far forward that he strake a stroke with his sword, yea, and more than four, and fought valiantly, and so did his company; and they adventured themselves so forward that they were there all slain, and the next day they were found in the place about the King, and all their horses tied each to other.

The Earl of Alencon came to the battle right ordinately and fought with the Englishmen, and the Earl of Flanders also on his part. These two lords with their companies coasted the English archers and came to the Prince's battle, and there fought valiantly long. The French King would fain have come thither, when he saw their banners, but there was a great hedge of archers before him. The same day the French King had given a great black courser to Sir John of Hainault, and he made the Lord Thierry of Senzeille to ride on him and to bear his banner. The same horse took the bridle in the teeth and brought him through all the currours of the Englishmen, and as he would have returned again, he fell in a great dike and was sore hurt, and had been there dead, and his page had not been, who followed him through all the battles and saw where his master lay in the dike, and had none other let but for his horse; for the Englishmen would not issue out of their battle for taking of any prisoner. Then the page alighted and relieved his master: then he went not back again the same way that they came; there was too many in his way.

This battle between Broye and Crecy this Saturday was right cruel and fell, and many a feat of arms done that came not to my knowledge. In the night divers knights and squires lost their masters, and sometime came on the Englishmen, who received them in such wise that they were ever nigh slain; for there was none taken to mercy nor to ransom, for so the Englishmen were determined.

In the morning the day of the battle certain Frenchmen and Almains perforce opened the archers of the Prince's battle, and came and fought with the men of arms hand to hand. Then the second battle of the Englishmen came to succor the Prince's battle, the which was time, for they had as then much ado; and they with the Prince sent a messenger to the King, who was on a little windmill hill. Then the knight said to the King, "Sir, the Earl of Warwick and the Earl of Oxford, Sir Raynold Cobham and other, such as be about the Prince your son, are fiercely fought withal and are sore handled; wherefore they desire you that you and your battle will come and aid them; for if the Frenchmen increase, as they doubt they will, your son and they shall have much ado." Then the King said, "Is my son dead, or hurt, or on the earth felled?" "No, sir," quoth the knight, "but he is hardly matched; wherefore he hath need of your aid." "Well," said the King, "return to him and to them that sent you hither, and say to them that they send no more to me for any adventure that falleth, as long as my son is alive: and also say to them that they suffer him this day to win his spurs; for if God be pleased, I will this journey be his and the honor thereof, and to them that be about him." Then the knight returned again to them and shewed the King's words, the which, greatly encouraged them, and repined in that they had sent to the King as they did.

Sir Godfrey of Harcourt would gladly that the Earl of Harcourt, his brother, might have been saved; for he heard say by them that saw his banner how that he was there in the field on the French party: but Sir Godfrey could not come to him betimes, for he was slain or he could come at him, and so was also the Earl of Aumale his nephew. In another place the Earl of Alencon and the Earl of Flanders fought valiantly, every lord under his own banner; but finally they could not resist against the puissance of the Englishmen, and so there they were also slain, and divers other knights and squires. Also the Earl Louis of Blois, nephew to the French King, and the Duke of Lorraine, fought under their banners; but at last they were closed in among a company of Englishmen and Welshmen, and there were slain for all their prowess. Also there was slain the Earl of Auxerre, the Earl of Saint-Pol, and many other.

In the evening the French King, who had left about him no more than a threescore persons, one and other, whereof Sir John of Hainault was one, who had remounted once the King, for his horse was slain with an arrow, then he said to the King, "Sir, depart hence, for it is time; lose not yourself willfully: if ye have loss at this time, ye shall recover it again another season." And so he took the King's horse by the bridle and led him away in a manner perforce. Then the King rode till he came to the castle of Broye. The gate was closed, because it was by that time dark: then the King called the captain, who came to the walls and said, "Who is that calleth there this time of night?" Then the King said, "Open your gate quickly, for this is the fortune of France." The captain knew then it was the King, and opened the gate and let down the bridge. Then the King entered, and he had with him but five barons, Sir John of Hainault, Sir Charles of Montmorency, the Lord of Beaujeu, the Lord d'Aubigny, and the Lord of Montsault. The King would not tarry there, but drank and departed thence about midnight, and so rode by such guides as knew the country till he came in the morning to Amiens, and there he rested.

This Saturday the Englishmen never departed from their battles for chasing of any man, but kept still their field, and ever defended themselves against all such as came to assail them This battle ended about evensong time.


Born in France about 1445, died in 1511; after serving Charles the Bold, went over to Louis XI, in whose household he was a confidant and adviser; arrested on political charges in 1486 and imprisoned more than two years; arrested later by Charles VIII and exiled for ten years; returning to court, he fell into disgrace, went into retirement and wrote his "Memoirs," the first series covering the history of France between 1464 and 1483, the second, the period from 1494 to 1498.


I have seen many deceptions in this world, especially in servants toward their masters; and I have always found that proud and stately princes who will hear but few, are more liable to be imposed upon than those who are open and accessible: but of all the princes that I ever knew, the wisest and most dexterous to extricate himself out of any danger or difficulty in time of adversity was our master King Louis XI. He was the humblest in his conversation and habit, and the most painful and indefatigable to win over any man to his side that he thought capable of doing him either mischief or service: tho he was often refused, he would never give over a man that he wished to gain, but still prest and continued his insinuations, promising him largely, and presenting him with such sums and honors as he knew would gratify his ambition; and for such as he had discarded in time of peace and prosperity, he paid dear (when he had occasion for them) to recover them again; but when he had once reconciled them, he retained no enmity toward them for what has passed, but employed them freely for the future. He was naturally kind and indulgent to persons of mean estate, and hostile to all great men who had no need of him.

[Footnote 9: From the "Memoirs." Louis reigned from 1461 to 1483. It was he, more than any other king, who represt the power of the feudal princes and consolidated their territories under the French monarchy.

Comines has been called "the father of modern history." Hallam says his work "almost makes an epoch in historical literature"; while Sainte-Beuve has declared that from it "all political history takes its rise." Comines was translated into English by T. Banett in 1596. The best-known modern translation is the one in Bohn's Library, made by Andrew R. Scoble.]

Never prince was so conversable nor so inquisitive as he, for his desire was to know everybody he could; and indeed he knew all persons of any authority or worth in England, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, in the territories of the Dukes of Burgundy and Bretagne, and among his own subjects: and by those qualities he preserved the crown upon his head, which was in much danger by the enemies he had created to himself upon his accession to the throne.

But above all, his great bounty and liberality did him the greatest service: and yet, as he behaved himself wisely in time of distress, so when he thought himself a little out of danger, tho it were but by a truce, he would disoblige the servants and officers of his court by mean and petty ways which were little to his advantage; and as for peace, he could hardly endure the thoughts of it. He spoke slightingly of most people, and rather before their faces than behind their backs; unless he was afraid of them, and of that sort there were a great many, for he was naturally somewhat timorous. When he had done himself any prejudice by his talk, or was apprehensive he should do so, and wished to make amends, he would say to the person whom he had disobliged, "I am sensible my tongue has done me a good deal of mischief; but on the other hand, it has sometimes done me much good: however, it is but reason I should make some reparation for the injury." And he never used this kind of apologies to any person but he granted some favor to the person to whom he made it, and it was always of considerable amount.

It is certainly a great blessing from God upon any prince to have experienced adversity as well as prosperity, good as well as evil, and especially if the good outweighs the evil, as it did in the King our master. I am of opinion that the troubles he was involved in in his youth, when he fled from his father and resided six years together with Philip, Duke of Burgundy, were of great service to him; for there he learned to be complaisant to such as he had occasion to use, which was no slight advantage of adversity. As soon as he found himself a powerful and crowned king, his mind was wholly bent upon revenge; but he quickly found the inconvenience of this, repented by degrees of his indiscretion, and made sufficient reparation for his folly and error by regaining those he had injured. Besides, I am very confident that if his education had not been different from the usual education of such nobles as I have seen in France, he could not so easily have worked himself out of his troubles: for they are brought up to nothing but to make themselves ridiculous, both in their clothes and discourse; they have no knowledge of letters; no wise man is suffered to come near them, to improve their understandings; they have governors who manage their business, but they do nothing themselves: nay, there are some nobles who tho they have an income of thirteen livres, will take pride to bid you "Go to my servants and let them answer you," thinking by such speeches to imitate the state and grandeur of a prince; and I have seen their servants take great advantage of them, giving them to understand they were fools; and if afterward they came to apply their minds to business and attempted to manage their own affairs, they began so late they could make nothing of it. And it is certain that all those who have performed any great or memorable action worthy to be recorded in history, began always in their youth; and this is to be attributed to the method of their education, or some particular blessing of God....

Of all diversions he loved hunting and hawking in their seasons; but his chief delight was in dogs. In hunting, his eagerness and pain were equal to his pleasure, for his chase was the stag, which he always ran down. He rose very early in the morning, rode sometimes a great distance, and would not leave his sport, let the weather be never so bad; and when he came home at night he was often very weary, and generally in a violent passion with some of his courtiers or huntsmen; for hunting is a sport not always to be managed according to the master's direction; yet in the opinion of most people, he understood it as well as any prince of his time. He was continually at these sports, lodging in the country villages to which his recreations led him, till he was interrupted by business; for during the most part of the summer there was constantly war between him and Charles, Duke of Burgundy, and in the winter they made truces; so that he had but a little time during the whole year to spend in pleasure, and even then the fatigues he underwent were excessive. When his body was at rest his mind was at work, for he had affairs in several places at once, and would concern himself as much in those of his neighbors as in his own; putting officers of his own over all the great families, and endeavoring to divide their authority as much as possible. When he was at war he labored for a peace or a truce, and when he had obtained it he was impatient for war again. He troubled himself with many trifles in his government which he had better have left alone: but it was his temper, and he could not help it; besides, he had a prodigious memory, and he forgot nothing, but knew everybody, as well in other countries as in his own.

And in truth he seemed better fitted to rule a world than to govern a single kingdom. I speak not of his minority, for then I was not with him; but when he was eleven years he was, by the advice of some of the nobility and others of his kingdom, embroiled in a war with his father, Charles VII, which lasted not long, and was called the Praguerie. When he was arrived at man's estate he was married, much against his inclination, to the King of Scotland's daughter; and he regretted her existence during the whole course of her life. Afterward, by reason of the broils and factions in his father's court, he retired into Dauphiny (which was his own), whither many persons of quality followed him, and indeed more than he could entertain. During his residence in Dauphiny he married the Duke of Savoy's daughter, and not long after he had great disputes with his father-in-law, and a terrible war was begun between them.

His father, King Charles VII, seeing his son attended by so many good officers and raising men at his pleasure, resolved to go in person against him with a considerable body of forces, in order to disperse them. While he was upon his march he put out proclamations, requiring them all as his subjects, under great penalties, to repair to him; and many obeyed, to the great displeasure of the Dauphin, who finding his father incensed, tho he was strong enough to resist, resolved to retire and leave that country to him; and accordingly he removed with but a slender retinue into Burgundy to Duke Philip's court, who received him honorably, furnished him nobly, and maintained him and his principal servants by way of pensions; and to the rest he gave presents as he saw occasion during the whole time of their residence there. However, the Dauphin entertained so many at his own expense that his money often failed, to his great disgust and mortification; for he was forced to borrow, or his people would have forsaken him; which is certainly a great affliction to a prince who was utterly unaccustomed to those straits. So that during his residence at the court of Burgundy he had his anxieties, for he was constrained to cajole the duke and his ministers, lest they should think he was too burdensome and had laid too long upon their hands; for he had been with them six years, and his father, King Charles, was constantly pressing and soliciting the Duke of Burgundy, by his ambassadors, either to deliver him up to him or to banish him out of his dominions. And this, you may believe, gave the Dauphin some uneasy thoughts and would not suffer him to be idle. In which season of his life, then, was it that he may be said to have enjoyed himself? I believe from his infancy and innocence to his death, his whole life was nothing but one continued scene of troubles and fatigues; and I am of opinion that if all the days of his life were computed in which his joys and pleasures outweighed his pain and trouble, they would be found so few that there would be twenty mournful ones to one pleasant.


Born in France in 1492, died in 1549; sister of Francis I; married in 1509 Due d'Alencon, and later Henri d'Albret, King of Navarre; assumed the direction of government after the death of the King in 1554; wrote poems and letters, the latter published in 1841-42; her "Heptameron" modeled on the "Decameron" of Boccaccio, published in 1558 after her death, its authorship perhaps collaborative.


A little company of five ladies and five noble gentlemen have been interrupted in their travels by heavy rains and great floods, and find themselves together in a hospitable abbey. They while away the time as best they can, and the second day Parlamente says to the old Lady Oisille, "Madame, I wonder that you who have so much experience do not think of some pastime to sweeten the gloom that our long delay here causes us." The other ladies echo her wishes, and all the gentlemen agree with them, and beg the Lady Oisille to be pleased to direct how they shall amuse themselves. She answers them:

[Footnote 10: From the "Heptameron," of which a translation by R. Codrington appeared in London in 1654.]

"My children, you ask of me something that I find very difficult,—to teach you a pastime that can deliver you from your sadness; for having sought some such remedy all my life I have never found but one—the reading of Holy Writ; in which is found the true and perfect joy of the mind, from which proceed the comfort and health of the body. And if you ask me what keeps me so joyous and so healthy in my old age, it is that as soon as I rise I take and read the Holy Scriptures, seeing and contemplating the will of God, who for our sakes sent His son on earth to announce this holy word and good news, by which He promises remission of sins, satisfaction for all duties by the gifts He makes us of His love, passion and merits. This consideration gives me so much joy that I take my Psalter and as humbly as I can I sing with my heart and pronounce with my tongue the beautiful psalms and canticles that the Holy Spirit wrote in the heart of David and of other authors. And this contentment that I have in them does me so much good that the ills that every day may happen to me seem to me to be blessings, seeing that I have in my heart, by faith, Him who has borne them for me. Likewise, before supper, I retire, to pasture my soul in reading; and then, in the evening, I call to mind what I have done in the past day, in order to ask pardon for my faults, and to thank Him for His kindnesses, and in His love, fear and peace I repose, assured against all ills. Wherefore, my children, this is the pastime in which I have long stayed my steps, after having searched all things, where I found no content for my spirit. It seems to me that if every morning you will give an hour to reading, and then, during mass, devoutly say your prayers, you will find in this desert the same beauty as in cities; for he who knows God, sees all beautiful things in Him, and without Him all is ugliness....

"I beg you, ladies," continues the narrator, "if God give you such husbands,[11] not to despair till you have long tried every means to reclaim them; for there are twenty-four hours in a day in which a man may change his way of thinking, and a woman should deem herself happier to have won her husband by patience and long effort than if fortune and her parents had given her a more perfect one." "Yes," said Oisille, "this is an example for all married women."—"Let her follow this example who will," said Parlamente: "but as for me, it would not be possible for me to have such long patience; for, however true it may be that in all estates patience is a fine virtue, it's my opinion that in marriage it brings about at last unfriendliness; because, suffering unkindness from a fellow being, one is forced to separate from him as far as possible, and from this separation arises a contempt for the fault of the disloyal one, and in this contempt little by little love diminishes; for it is what is valued that is loved."—"But there is danger," said Ennarsuite, "that the impatient wife may find a furious husband, who would give her pain in lieu of patience."—"But what could a husband do," said Parlamente, "save what has been recounted in this story?"—"What could he do?" said Ennarsuite, "he could beat his wife."...

[Footnote 11: That is, unfaithful husbands.]

"I think," said Parlamente, "that a good woman would not be so grieved in being beaten out of anger, as in being contemptuously treated by a man who does not care for her, and after having endured the suffering of the loss of his friendship, nothing the husband might do would cause her much concern. And besides, the story says that the trouble she took to draw him back to her was because of her love for her children, and I believe it."—"And do you think it was so very patient of her," said Nomerfide, "to set fire to the bed in which her husband was sleeping?"—"Yes," said Longarine, "for when she saw the smoke she awoke him; and that was just the thing where she was most in fault, for of such husbands as those the ashes are good to make lye for the washtub."—"You are cruel, Longarine," said Oisille, "and you did not live in such fashion with your husband."—"No," said Longarine, "for, God be thanked, he never gave me such occasion, but reason to regret him all my life, instead of to complain of him."—"And if he had treated you in this way," said Nomerfide, "what would you have done?"—"I loved him so much," said Longarine, "that I think I should have killed him and then killed myself; for to die after such vengeance would be pleasanter to me than to live faithfully with a faithless husband."

"As far as I see," said Hircan, "you love your husbands only for yourselves. If they are good after your own heart, you love them well; if they commit toward you the least fault in the world, they have lost their week's work by a Saturday. The long and the short is that you want to be mistresses; for my part I am of your mind, provided all the husbands also agree to it."—"It is reasonable," said Parlamente, "that the man rule us as our head, but not that he desert us or ill-treat us."—"God," said Oisille, "has set in such due order the man and the woman that if the marriage estate is not abused, I hold it to be one of the most beautiful and stable conditions in the World; and I am sure that all those here present, whatever air they assume, think no less highly of it. And forasmuch as men say they are wiser than women, they should be more sharply punished when the fault is on their side. But we have talked enough on this subject."


Born in Touraine in 1495, died in Paris in 1553; educated at an abbey and spent fifteen or more years as a monk; Studied medicine in 1530 and practised in Lyons; traveled in Italy; in charge of a parish at Meudon in 1550-52; composed almanacs and edited old medical books; published "Pantagruel" in 1533 and "Gargantua" in 1535, the success of which led to several sequels, the last appearing in the year of his death.



Gargantua, from three years to five, was nourished and instructed in all proper discipline by the commandment of his father, and spent that time like the other little children of the country,—that is, in drinking, eating, and sleeping; in eating, sleeping, and drinking; and in sleeping, drinking, and eating. Still he wallowed in the mire, blackened his face, trod down his shoes at heel; at the flies he did oftentimes yawn, and willingly run after the butterflies, the empire whereof belonged to his father. He sharpened his teeth with a slipper, washed his hands with his broth, combed his head with a bowl, sat down between two stools and came to the ground, covered himself with a wet sack, drank while eating his soup, ate his cake without bread, would bite in laughing, laugh in biting, hide himself in the water for fear of rain, go cross, fall into dumps, look demure, skin the fox, say the ape's paternoster, return to his sheep, turn the sows into the hay, beat the dog before the lion, put the cart before the horse, scratch where he did not itch, shoe the grasshopper, tickle himself to make himself laugh, know flies in milk, scrape paper, blur parchment, then run away, pull at the kid's leather, reckon without his host, beat the bushes without catching the birds, and thought that bladders were lanterns. He always looked a gift-horse in the mouth, hoped to catch larks if ever the heavens should fall, and made a virtue of necessity. Every morning his father's puppies ate out of the dish with him, and he with them. He would bite their ears, and they would scratch his nose. The good man Grangousier said to Gargantua's governesses:

[Footnote 12: From Book I, Chapter XI, of "The Inestimable Life of the Great Gargantua, Father of Pantagruel." The basis of all English translations of Rabelais is the work begun by Sir Thomas Urquhart and completed by Peter A. Motteux. Urquhart was a Scotchman, who was born in 1611 and died in 1660. Motteux was a Frenchman, who settled in England after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and was the author of several plays. This translation has been called "one of the most perfect that ever man accomplished." Other and later versions have usually been based on Urquhart and Motteux, but have been expurgated, as is the case with the passages given here. An earlier version of "Pantagruel," published in London in 1620, was ascribed to "Democritus Pseudomantio."

Rabelais, by common, consent, has a place among the greatest prose writers of the world. In his knowledge of human nature and his literary excellence, he is often ranked as inferior only to Shakespeare. As an exponent of the sentiments and atmosphere of his own time, we find in him what is found only in a few of the world's greatest writers. That he has not been more widely read in modern times, is attributed chiefly to the extraordinary coarseness of language which he constantly introduces into his pages. This coarseness is, in fact, so pervasive that expurgation is made extremely difficult to any one who would preserve some fair remnant of the original.]

"Philip, King of Macedon, knew the wit of his son Alexander, by his skilful managing of a horse;[13] for the said horse was so fierce and unruly that none durst adventure to ride him, because he gave a fall to all his riders, breaking the neck of this man, the leg of that, the brain of one, and the jawbone of another. This by Alexander being considered, one day in the hippodrome (which was a place appointed for the walking and running of horses), he perceived that the fury of the horse proceeded merely from the fear he had of his own shadow; whereupon, getting on his back he ran him against the sun, so that the shadow fell behind, and by that means tamed the horse and brought him to his hand. Whereby his father recognized the divine judgment that was in him, and caused him most carefully to be instructed by Aristotle, who at that time was highly renowned above all the philosophers of Greece. After the same manner I tell you, that as regards my son Gargantua, I know that his understanding doth participate of some divinity,—so keen, subtle, profound, and clear do I find him; and if he be well taught, he will attain to a sovereign degree of wisdom. Therefore will I commit him to some learned man, to have him indoctrinated according to his capacity, and will spare no cost."

[Footnote 13: The famous horse Bucephalus is here referred to.]

Whereupon they appointed him a great sophister-doctor, called Maitre Tubal Holophernes, who taught him his A B C so well that he could say it by heart backward; and about this he was five years and three months. Then read he to him Donat, Facet, Theodolet, and Alanus in parabolis. About this he was thirteen years, six months, and two weeks. But you must remark that in the mean time he did learn to write in Gothic characters, and that he wrote all his books,—for the art of printing was not then in use. After that he read unto him the book "De Modis Significandi," with the commentaries of Hurtebise, of Fasquin, of Tropditeux, of Gaulehaut, of John le Veau, of Billonio, of Brelingandus, and a rabble of others; and herein he spent more than eighteen years and eleven months, and was so well versed in it that at the examination he would recite it by heart backward, and did sometimes prove on his fingers to his mother quod de modis significandi non erat scientia. Then did he read to him the "Compost," on which he spent sixteen years and two months, and that justly at the time his said preceptor died, which was in the year one thousand four hundred and twenty.

Afterward he got another old fellow with a cough to teach him, named Maitre Jobelin Bride, who read unto him Hugutio, Hebrard's "Grecisme," the "Doctrinal," the "Parts," the "Quid Est," the "Supplementum"; Marmoquet "De Moribus in Mensa Servandis"; Seneca "De Quatour Virtutibus Cardinalibus"; Passavantus "Cum Commento" and "Dormi Secure," for the holidays; and some other of such-like stuff, by reading whereof he became as wise as any we have ever baked in an oven.

At the last his father perceived that indeed he studied hard, and that altho he spent all his time in it, he did nevertheless profit nothing, but which is worse, grew thereby foolish, simple, doted, and blockish: whereof making a heavy regret to Don Philip des Marays, Viceroy of Papeligose, he found that it were better for him to learn nothing at all than to be taught such-like books under such schoolmasters; because their knowledge was nothing but brutishness, and their wisdom but toys, bastardizing good and noble spirits and corrupting the flower of youth. "That it is so, take," said he, "any young boy of the present time, who hath only studied two years: if he have not a better judgment, a better discourse, and that exprest in better terms, than your son, with a completer carriage and civility to all manner of persons, account me forever a chawbacon of La Brene."

This pleased Grangousier very well, and he commanded that it should be done. At night at supper, the said Des Marays brought in a young page of his from Ville-gouges, called Eudemon, so well combed, so well drest, so well brushed, so sweet in his behavior, that he resembled a little angel more than a human creature. Then he said to Grangousier, "Do you see this child? He is not as yet full twelve years old. Let us try, if it pleaseth you, what difference there is betwixt the knowledge of the doting dreamers of old time and the young lads that are now."

The trial pleased Grangousier, and he commanded the page to begin. Then Eudemon, asking leave of the viceroy, his master, so to do, with his cap in his hand, a clear and open countenance, ruddy lips, his eyes steady, and his looks fixt upon Gargantua, with a youthful modesty, stood up straight on his feet and began to commend and magnify him, first, for his virtue and good manners; secondly, for his knowledge; thirdly, for his nobility; fourthly, for his bodily beauty; and in the fifth place, sweetly exhorted him to reverence his father with all observancy, who was so careful to have him well brought up. In the end he prayed him that he would vouchsafe to admit of him amongst the least of his servants; for other favor at that time desired he none of heaven but that he might do him some grateful and acceptable service.

All this was by him delivered with gestures so proper, pronunciation so distinct, a voice so eloquent, language so well turned, and in such good Latin, that he seemed rather a Gracchus, a Cicero, an AEmilius of the time past than a youth of his age. But all the countenance that Gargantua kept was that he fell to crying like a cow, and cast down his face, hiding it with his cap; nor could they possibly draw one word from him. Whereat his father was so grievously vexed that he would have killed Maitre Jobelin; but the said Des Marays withheld him from it by fair persuasions, so that at length he pacified his wrath. The Grangousier commanded he should be paid his wages, that they should make him drink theologically, after which he was to go to all the devils. "At least," said he, "to-day shall it not cost his host much, if by chance he should die as drunk as an Englishman."



Maitre Jobelin being gone out of the house, Grangousier consulted with the viceroy what tutor they should choose for Gargantua; and it was betwixt them resolved that Ponocrates, the tutor of Eudemon, should have the charge, and that they should all go together to Paris to know what was the study of the young men of France at that time....

[Footnote 14: From Book I of "The Inestimable Life of the Great Gargantua, Father of Pantagruel." The Urquhart-Motteux translation.]

Ponocrates appointed that for the beginning he should do as he had been accustomed; to the end he might understand by what means, for so long a time, his old masters had made him so foolish, simple, and ignorant. He disposed, therefore, of his time in such fashion that ordinarily he did awake between eight and nine o'clock, whether it was day or not; for so had his ancient governors ordained, alleging that which David saith, Vanum est vobis ante lucem surgere. Then did he tumble and wallow in the bed some time, the better to stir up his vital spirits, and appareled himself according to the season; but willingly he would wear a great long gown of thick frieze, lined with fox fur. Afterward he combed his head with the German comb, which is the four fingers and the thumb; for his preceptors said that to comb himself otherwise, to wash and make himself neat was to lose time in this world. Then to suppress the dew and bad air, he breakfasted on fair fried tripe, fair grilled meats, fair hams, fair hashed capon, and store of sipped brewis.

Ponocrates showed him that he ought not to eat so soon after rising out of his bed, unless he had performed some exercise beforehand. Gargantua answered: "What! have not I sufficiently well exercised myself? I rolled myself six or seven turns in my bed before I rose. Is not that enough? Pope Alexander did so, by the advice of a Jew, his physician; and lived till his dying day in despite of the envious. My first masters have used me to it, saying that breakfast makes a good memory; wherefore they drank first. I am very well after it, and dine but the better. And Maitre Tubal, who was the first licentiate at Paris, told me that it is not everything to run a pace, but to set forth well betimes: so doth not the total welfare of our humanity depend upon perpetual drinking atas, atas, like ducks, but on drinking well in the morning; whence the verse——

1  2  3  4  5     Next Part
Home - Random Browse