Chapter 43 How the scouts and fore-party of Picrochole were met with b_argantua, and how the Monk slew Captain Drawforth, and then was take_risoner by his enemies
Picrochole, at the relation of those who had escaped out of the broil an_efeat wherein Tripet was untriped, grew very angry that the devils shoul_ave so run upon his men, and held all that night a counsel of war, at whic_ashcalf and Touchfaucet (Hastiveau, Touquedillon.), concluded his power to b_uch that he was able to defeat all the devils of hell if they should come t_ostle with his forces. This Picrochole did not fully believe, though h_oubted not much of it. Therefore sent he under the command and conduct of th_ount Drawforth, for discovering of the country, the number of sixteen hundre_orsemen, all well mounted upon light horses for skirmish and thoroughl_esprinkled with holy water; and everyone for their field-mark or cognizanc_ad the sign of a star in his scarf, to serve at all adventures in case the_hould happen to encounter with devils, that by the virtue, as well of tha_regorian water as of the stars which they wore, they might make the_isappear and evanish.
In this equipage they made an excursion upon the country till they came nea_o the Vauguyon, which is the valley of Guyon, and to the spital, but coul_ever find anybody to speak unto; whereupon they returned a little back, an_ook occasion to pass above the aforesaid hospital to try what intelligenc_hey could come by in those parts. In which resolution riding on, and b_hance in a pastoral lodge or shepherd's cottage near to Coudray hitting upo_he five pilgrims, they carried them way-bound and manacled, as if they ha_een spies, for all the exclamations, adjurations, and requests that the_ould make. Being come down from thence towards Seville, they were heard b_argantua, who said then unto those that were with him, Comrades and fellow-
soldiers, we have here met with an encounter, and they are ten times in numbe_ore than we. Shall we charge them or no? What a devil, said the monk, shal_e do else? Do you esteem men by their number rather than by their valour an_rowess? With this he cried out, Charge, devils, charge! Which when th_nemies heard, they thought certainly that they had been very devils, an_herefore even then began all of them to run away as hard as they could drive,
Drawforth only excepted, who immediately settled his lance on its rest, an_herewith hit the monk with all his force on the very middle of his breast,
but, coming against his horrific frock, the point of the iron being with th_low either broke off or blunted, it was in matter of execution as if you ha_truck against an anvil with a little wax-candle.
Then did the monk with his staff of the cross give him such a sturdy thump an_hirret betwixt his neck and shoulders, upon the acromion bone, that he mad_im lose both sense and motion and fall down stone dead at his horse's feet;
and, seeing the sign of the star which he wore scarfwise, he said unt_argantua, These men are but priests, which is but the beginning of a monk; b_t. John, I am a perfect monk, I will kill them to you like flies. Then ran h_fter them at a swift and full gallop till he overtook the rear, and felle_hem down like tree-leaves, striking athwart and alongst and every way.
Gymnast presently asked Gargantua if they should pursue them. To who_argantua answered, By no means; for, according to right military discipline,
you must never drive your enemy unto despair, for that such a strait dot_ultiply his force and increase his courage, which was before broken and cas_own; neither is there any better help or outrage of relief for men that ar_mazed, out of heart, toiled, and spent, than to hope for no favour at all.
How many victories have been taken out of the hands of the victors by th_anquished, when they would not rest satisfied with reason, but attempt to pu_ll to the sword, and totally to destroy their enemies, without leaving s_uch as one to carry home news of the defeat of his fellows. Open, therefore,
unto your enemies all the gates and ways, and make to them a bridge of silve_ather than fail, that you may be rid of them. Yea, but, said Gymnast, the_ave the monk. Have they the monk? said Gargantua. Upon mine honour, then, i_ill prove to their cost. But to prevent all dangers, let us not yet retreat,
but halt here quietly as in an ambush; for I think I do already understand th_olicy and judgment of our enemies. They are truly more directed by chance an_ere fortune than by good advice and counsel. In the meanwhile, whilst thes_ade a stop under the walnut-trees, the monk pursued on the chase, chargin_ll he overtook, and giving quarter to none, until he met with a trooper wh_arried behind him one of the poor pilgrims, and there would have rifled him.
The pilgrim, in hope of relief at the sight of the monk, cried out, Ha, m_ord prior, my good friend, my lord prior, save me, I beseech you, save me!
Which words being heard by those that rode in the van, they instantly face_bout, and seeing there was nobody but the monk that made this great havoc an_laughter among them, they loaded him with blows as thick as they use to do a_ss with wood. But of all this he felt nothing, especially when they struc_pon his frock, his skin was so hard. Then they committed him to two of th_arshal's men to keep, and, looking about, saw nobody coming against them,
whereupon they thought that Gargantua and his party were fled. Then was i_hat they rode as hard as they could towards the walnut-trees to meet wit_hem, and left the monk there all alone, with his two foresaid men to guar_im. Gargantua heard the noise and neighing of the horses, and said to hi_en, Comrades, I hear the track and beating of the enemy's horse-feet, an_ithal perceive that some of them come in a troop and full body against us.
Let us rally and close here, then set forward in order, and by this means w_hall be able to receive their charge to their loss and our honour.