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Chapter 6 Why new married men were privileged from going to the wars

  • But, in the interim, asked Panurge, by what law was it constituted, ordained,
  • and established, that such as should plant a new vineyard, those that shoul_uild a new house, and the new married men, should be exempted and discharge_rom the duty of warfare for the first year? By the law, answered Pantagruel,
  • of Moses. Why, replied Panurge, the lately married? As for the vine-planters,
  • I am now too old to reflect on them; my condition, at this present, inducet_e to remain satisfied with the care of vintage, finishing and turning th_rapes into wine. Nor are these pretty new builders of dead stones written o_ricked down in my Book of Life. It is all with live stones that I set up an_rect the fabrics of my architecture, to wit, men. It was, according to m_pinion, quoth Pantagruel, to the end, first, that the fresh married folk_hould for the first year reap a full and complete fruition of their pleasure_n their mutual exercise of the act of love, in such sort, that in waitin_ore at leisure on the production of posterity and propagating of thei_rogeny, they might the better increase their race and make provision of ne_eirs. That if, in the years thereafter, the men should, upon their undergoin_f some military adventure, happen to be killed, their names and coats-of-arm_ight continue with their children in the same families. And next, that, th_ives thereby coming to know whether they were barren or fruitful—for on_ear's trial, in regard of the maturity of age wherein of old they married,
  • was held sufficient for the discovery—they might pitch the more suitably, i_ase of their first husband's decease, upon a second match. The fertile wome_o be wedded to those who desire to multiply their issue; and the sterile one_o such other mates, as, misregarding the storing of their own lineage, choos_hem only for their virtues, learning, genteel behaviour, domesti_onsolation, management of the house, and matrimonial conveniences an_omforts, and such like. The preachers of Varennes, saith Panurge, detest an_bhor the second marriages, as altogether foolish and dishonest.
  • Foolish and dishonest? quoth Pantagruel. A plague take such preachers! Ye_ut, quoth Panurge, the like mischief also befall the Friar Charmer, who, in _ull auditory making a sermon at Pereilly, and therein abominating th_eiteration of marriage and the entering again in the bonds of a nuptial tie,
  • did swear and heartily give himself to the swiftest devil in hell, if he ha_ot rather choose, and would much more willingly undertake the unmaidening o_epucelating of a hundred virgins, than the simple drudgery of one widow.
  • Truly I find your reason in that point right good and strongly grounded.
  • But what would you think, if the cause why this exemption or immunity wa_ranted had no other foundation but that, during the whole space of the sai_irst year, they so lustily bobbed it with their female consorts, as bot_eason and equity require they should do, that they had drained and evacuate_heir spermatic vessels; and were become thereby altogether feeble, weak,
  • emasculated, drooping, and flaggingly pithless; yea, in such sort that they i_he day of battle, like ducks which plunge over head and ears, would soone_ide themselves behind the baggage, than, in the company of valiant fighter_nd daring military combatants, appear where stern Bellona deals her blows an_oves a bustling noise of thwacks and thumps? Nor is it to be thought that,
  • under the standard of Mars, they will so much as once strike a fair stroke,
  • because their most considerable knocks have been already jerked and whirrite_ithin the curtains of his sweetheart Venus.
  • In confirmation whereof, amongst other relics and monuments of antiquity, w_ow as yet often see, that in all great houses, after the expiring of some fe_ays, these young married blades are readily sent away to visit their uncles,
  • that in the absence of their wives reposing themselves a little they ma_ecover their decayed strength by the recruit of a fresh supply, the mor_igorous to return again and face about to renew the duelling shock an_onflict of an amorous dalliance, albeit for the greater part they hav_either uncle nor aunt to go to.
  • Just so did the King Crackart, after the battle of the Cornets, not cashier us
  • (speaking properly), I mean me and the Quail-caller, but for our refreshmen_emanded us to our houses; and he is as yet seeking after his own. M_randfather's godmother was wont to say to me when I was a boy,—
  • {verse
  • Patenostres et oraisons
  • Sont pour ceux-la, qui les retiennent.
  • Ung fiffre en fenaisons
  • Est plus fort que deux qui en viennent.
  • Not orisons nor patenotres
  • Shall ever disorder my brain.
  • One cadet, to the field as he flutters,
  • Is worth two, when they end the campaign.
  • {verse
  • That which prompteth me to that opinion is, that the vine-planters did seldo_at of the grapes, or drink of the wine of their labour, till the first yea_as wholly elapsed. During all which time also the builders did hardly inhabi_heir new-structured dwelling-places, for fear of dying suffocated throug_ant of respiration; as Galen hath most learnedly remarked, in the second boo_f the Difficulty of Breathing. Under favour, sir, I have not asked thi_uestion without cause causing and reason truly very ratiocinant. Be no_ffended, I pray you.