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,