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Chapter 28 How Picrochole stormed and took by assault the rock Clermond, and of Grangousier's unwillingness and aversion from the undertaking of war

  • How Picrochole stormed and took by assault the rock Clermond, and o_rangousier's unwillingness and aversion from the undertaking of war.
  • Whilst the monk did thus skirmish, as we have said, against those which wer_ntered within the close, Picrochole in great haste passed the ford of Vede—_ery especial pass—with all his soldiers, and set upon the rock Clermond,
  • where there was made him no resistance at all; and, because it was alread_ight, he resolved to quarter himself and his army in that town, and t_efresh himself of his pugnative choler. In the morning he stormed and too_he bulwarks and castle, which afterwards he fortified with rampiers, an_urnished with all ammunition requisite, intending to make his retreat there,
  • if he should happen to be otherwise worsted; for it was a strong place, bot_y art and nature, in regard of the stance and situation of it. But let u_eave them there, and return to our good Gargantua, who is at Paris ver_ssiduous and earnest at the study of good letters and athletica_xercitations, and to the good old man Grangousier his father, who afte_upper warmeth his ballocks by a good, clear, great fire, and, waiting upo_he broiling of some chestnuts, is very serious in drawing scratches on th_earth, with a stick burnt at the one end, wherewith they did stir up th_ire, telling to his wife and the rest of the family pleasant old stories an_ales of former times.
  • Whilst he was thus employed, one of the shepherds which did keep the vines,
  • named Pillot, came towards him, and to the full related the enormous abuse_hich were committed, and the excessive spoil that was made by Picrochole,
  • King of Lerne, upon his lands and territories, and how he had pillaged,
  • wasted, and ransacked all the country, except the enclosure at Seville, whic_riar John des Entoumeures to his great honour had preserved; and that at th_ame present time the said king was in the rock Clermond, and there, wit_reat industry and circumspection, was strengthening himself and his whol_rmy. Halas, halas, alas! said Grangousier, what is this, good people? Do _ream, or is it true that they tell me? Picrochole, my ancient friend of ol_ime, of my own kindred and alliance, comes he to invade me? What moves him?
  • What provokes him? What sets him on? What drives him to it? Who hath given hi_his counsel? Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, my God, my Saviour, help me, inspire me, an_dvise me what I shall do! I protest, I swear before thee, so be tho_avourable to me, if ever I did him or his subjects any damage or displeasure,
  • or committed any the least robbery in his country; but, on the contrary, _ave succoured and supplied him with men, money, friendship, and counsel, upo_ny occasion wherein I could be steadable for the improvement of his good.
  • That he hath therefore at this nick of time so outraged and wronged me, i_annot be but by the malevolent and wicked spirit. Good God, thou knowest m_ourage, for nothing can be hidden from thee. If perhaps he be grown mad, an_hat thou hast sent him hither to me for the better recovery and re-
  • establishment of his brain, grant me power and wisdom to bring him to the yok_f thy holy will by good discipline. Ho, ho, ho, ho, my good people, m_riends and my faithful servants, must I hinder you from helping me? Alas, m_ld age required hence-forward nothing else but rest, and all the days of m_ife I have laboured for nothing so much as peace; but now I must, I see i_ell, load with arms my poor, weary, and feeble shoulders, and take in m_rembling hand the lance and horseman's mace, to succour and protect my hones_ubjects. Reason will have it so; for by their labour am I entertained, an_ith their sweat am I nourished, I, my children and my family. Thi_otwithstanding, I will not undertake war, until I have first tried all th_ays and means of peace: that I resolve upon.
  • Then assembled he his council, and proposed the matter as it was indeed.
  • Whereupon it was concluded that they should send some discreet man unt_icrochole, to know wherefore he had thus suddenly broken the peace an_nvaded those lands unto which he had no right nor title. Furthermore, tha_hey should send for Gargantua, and those under his command, for th_reservation of the country, and defence thereof now at need. All this please_rangousier very well, and he commanded that so it should be done. Presentl_herefore he sent the Basque his lackey to fetch Gargantua with all diligence,
  • and wrote him as followeth.