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Page:Biographical and critical studies by James Thomson ("B.V.").djvu/25

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RABELAIS

ordered that he should be brought in, when he spoke so eloquently and wisely on the subject of his mission that all he asked for Montpellier was granted. His memory has been conserved there by a custom said to be still observed. They kept his collegiate dress, a gown of red cloth, with large sleeves and black velvet collar, bearing his initials embroidered in gold; and the bachelors put on this robe to pass their fifth examination, and when they took it off each retained a small piece as a relic. At the beginning of the seventeenth century it had become so short that it only reached to the waist, and a fresh one was substituted in 1610, which was again renewed in 1720.

Early in 1532 he quitted Montpellier without taking his doctor's degree, although he was thoroughly qualified, and afterward practised, and went to Lyons, where he assisted Etienne Dolet in bringing out various classical works. Here he published the second volume of the medical letters of Manardi, as well as a revised and corrected edition of the Latin version of various treatises of Hippocrates and Galen, and two forged Latin documents, by which he was deceived. Tradition says that he was incited to begin his burlesque "Gargantua" by the complaints of his bookseller that the medical books would not sell; but this is very doubtful, as it is recorded that they were several times re-published. At any rate, the first edition, or, rather, version of the "Gargantua" (for the second had important and, indeed, radical variations) appeared in 1532, under the imposing title of "The great and inestimable Chronicles of the great and enormous giant Gargantua, containing the genealogy, the greatness and strength of his body; also