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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Students of Paris
By William Harrison Ainsworth (1805–1882)
 
From ‘Crichton’

TOWARD the close of Wednesday, the 4th of February, 1579, a vast assemblage of scholars was collected before the Gothic gateway of the ancient College of Navarre. So numerous was this concourse, that it not merely blocked up the area in front of the renowned seminary in question, but extended far down the Rue de la Montagne Sainte-Généviève, in which it is situated. Never had such a disorderly rout been brought together since the days of the uproar in 1557, when the predecessors of these turbulent students took up arms, marched in a body to the Pré-aux-Clercs, set fire to three houses in the vicinity, and slew a sergeant of the guard, who vainly endeavored to restrain their fury. Their last election of a rector, Messire Adrien d’Amboise,—pater eruditionum, as he is described in his epitaph, when the same body congregated within the cloisters of the Mathurins, and thence proceeded, in tumultuous array, to the church of Saint Louis, in the isle of the same name,—had been nothing to it. Every scholastic hive sent forth its drones. Sorbonne, and Montaigu, Cluny, Harcourt, the Four Nations, and a host of minor establishments—in all, amounting to forty-two—each added its swarms; and a pretty buzzing they created! The fair of Saint-Germain had only commenced the day before; but though its festivities were to continue until Palm Sunday, and though it was the constant resort of the scholars, who committed, during their days of carnival, ten thousand excesses, it was now absolutely deserted.  1
  The Pomme-de-Pin, the Castel, the Magdaleine, and the Mule, those “capital caverns,” celebrated in Pantagruel’s conference with the Limosin student, which has conferred upon them an immortality like that of our own hostel, the Mermaid, were wholly neglected; the dice-box was laid aside for the nonce; and the well-used cards were thrust into the doublets of these thirsty tipplers of the schools.  2
  But not alone did the crowd consist of the brawler, the gambler, the bully, and the debauchee, though these, it must be confessed, predominated. It was a grand medley of all sects and classes. The modest demeanor of the retiring, pale-browed student was contrasted with the ferocious aspect and reckless bearing of his immediate neighbor, whose appearance was little better than that of a bravo. The grave theologian and embryo ecclesiastic were placed in juxtaposition with the scoffing and licentious acolyte; while the lawyer in posse, and the law-breaker in esse, were numbered among a group whose pursuits were those of violence and fraud.  3
  Various as were the characters that composed it, not less diversified were the costumes of this heterogeneous assemblage. Subject to no particular regulations as to dress, or rather openly infracting them, if any such were attempted to be enforced—each scholar, to whatever college he belonged, attired himself in such garments as best suited his taste or his finances. Taking it altogether, the mob was neither remarkable for the fashion, nor the cleanliness of the apparel of its members.  4
  From Rabelais we learn that the passion of play was so strongly implanted in the students of his day, that they would frequently stake the points of their doublets at tric-trac or trou-madame; and but little improvement had taken place in their morals or manners some half-century afterward. The buckle at their girdle—the mantle on their shoulders—the shirt to their back—often stood the hazard of the die; and hence it not unfrequently happened, that a rusty pourpoint and ragged chaussés were all the covering which the luckless dicers could enumerate, owing, no doubt, “to the extreme rarity and penury of money in their pouches.”  5
  Round or square caps, hoods and cloaks of black, gray, or other sombre hue, were, however, the prevalent garb of the members of the university; but here and there might be seen some gayer specimen of the tribe, whose broad-brimmed, high-crowned felt hat and flaunting feather; whose puffed-out sleeves and exaggerated ruff—with starched plaits of such amplitude that they had been not inappropriately named plats de Saint Jean-Baptiste, from the resemblance which the wearer’s head bore to that of the saint, when deposited in the charger of the daughter of Herodias—were intended to ape the leading mode of the elegant court of their sovereign, Henri Trois.  6
  To such an extent had these insolent youngsters carried their license of imitation that certain of their members, fresh from the fair of Saint-Germain, and not wholly unacquainted with the hippocras of the sutlers crowding its mart, wore around their throats enormous collars of paper, cut in rivalry of the legitimate plaits of muslin, and bore in their hands long hollow sticks from which they discharged peas and other missiles, in imitation of the sarbacanes or pea-shooters then in vogue with the monarch and his favorites.  7
  Thus fantastically tricked out, on that same day—nay, only a few hours before, and at the fair above mentioned—had these facetious wights, with more merriment than discretion, ventured to exhibit themselves before the cortége of Henri, and to exclaim loud enough to reach the ears of royalty, “à la fraise on connoit le veau!” a piece of pleasantry for which they subsequently paid dear.  8
  Notwithstanding its shabby appearance in detail, the general effect of this scholastic rabble was striking and picturesque. The thick mustaches and pointed beards with which the lips and chins of most of them were decorated, gave to their physiognomies a manly and determined air, fully borne out by their unrestrained carriage and deportment. To a man, almost all were armed with a tough vine-wood bludgeon, called in their language an estoc volant, tipped and shod with steel—a weapon fully understood by them, and rendered, by their dexterity in the use of it, formidable to their adversaries. Not a few carried at their girdles the short rapier, so celebrated in their duels and brawls, or concealed within their bosom a poniard or a two-edged knife.  9
  The scholars of Paris have ever been a turbulent and ungovernable race; and at the period of which this history treats, and indeed long before, were little better than a licensed horde of robbers, consisting of a pack of idle and wayward youths drafted from all parts of Europe, as well as from the remoter provinces of their own nation. There was little in common between the mass of students and their brethren, excepting the fellowship resulting from the universal license in which all indulged. Hence their thousand combats among themselves—combats almost invariably attended with fatal consequences—and which the heads of the university found it impossible to check.  10
  Their own scanty resources, eked out by what little they could derive from beggary or robbery, formed their chief subsistence; for many of them were positive mendicants, and were so denominated: and being possessed of a sanctuary within their own quarters, to which they could at convenience retire, they submitted to the constraint of no laws except those enforced within the jurisdiction of the university, and hesitated at no means of enriching themselves at the expense of their neighbors. Hence the frequent warfare waged between them and the brethren of Saint-Germain des Prés, whose monastic domains adjoined their territories, and whose meadows were the constant battleground of their skirmishes; according to Dulaure—“presque toujours un théâtre de tumulte, de galanterie, de combats, de duels, de débauches et de sédition.” Hence their sanguinary conflicts with the good citizens of Paris, to whom they were wholly obnoxious, and who occasionally repaid their aggressions with interest. In 1407 two of their number, convicted of assassination and robbery, were condemned to the gibbet, and the sentence was carried into execution; but so great was the uproar occasioned in the university by this violation of its immunities that the Provost of Paris, Guillaume de Tignonville, was compelled to take down their bodies from Montfaucon and see them honorably and ceremoniously interred. This recognition of their rights only served to make matters worse, and for a series of years the nuisance continued unabated.  11
  It is not our purpose to record all the excesses of the university, nor the means taken for their suppression. Vainly were the civil authorities arrayed against them. Vainly were bulls thundered from the Vatican. No amendment was effected. The weed might be cut down, but was never entirely extirpated. Their feuds were transmitted from generation to generation, and their old bone of contention with the abbot of Saint-Germain (the Pré-aux-Clercs) was, after an uninterrupted strife for thirty years, submitted to the arbitration of the Pope, who very equitably refused to pronounce judgment in favor of either party.  12
  Such were the scholars of Paris in the sixteenth century—such the character of the clamorous crew who besieged the portals of the College of Navarre.  13
  The object that summoned together this unruly multitude was, it appears, a desire on the part of the scholars to be present at a public controversy or learned disputation, then occurring within the great hall of the college before which they were congregated; and the disappointment caused by their finding the gates closed, and all entrance denied to them, occasioned their present disposition to riot.  14
  It was in vain they were assured by the halberdiers stationed at the gates, and who, with crossed pikes, strove to resist the onward pressure of the mob, that the hall and court were already crammed to overflowing, that there was not room even for the sole of a foot of a doctor of the faculties, and that their orders were positive and imperative that none beneath the degree of a bachelor or licentiate should be admitted, and that a troop of martinets and new-comers could have no possible claim to admission.  15
  In vain they were told this was no ordinary disputation, no common controversy, where all were alike entitled to license of ingress; that the disputant was no undistinguished scholar, whose renown did not extend beyond his own trifling sphere, and whose opinions, therefore, few would care to hear and still fewer to oppugn, but a foreigner of high rank, in high favor and fashion, and not more remarkable for his extraordinary intellectual endowments than for his brilliant personal accomplishments.  16
  In vain the trembling officials sought to clinch their arguments by stating, that not alone did the conclave consist of the chief members of the university, the senior doctors of theology, medicine, and law, the professors of the humanities, rhetoric, and philosophy, and all the various other dignitaries; but that the debate was honored by the presence of Monsieur Christophe de Thou, first president of Parliament; by that of the learned Jacques Augustin, of the same name; by one of the secretaries of state and Governor of Paris, M. René de Villequier; by the ambassadors of Elizabeth, Queen of England, and of Philip the Second, King of Spain, and several of their suite; by Abbé de Brantôme; by M. Miron, the court physician; by Cosmo Ruggieri, the Queen Mother’s astrologer; by the renowned poets and masque writers, Maîtres Ronsard, Baïf, and Philippe Desportes; by the well-known advocate of Parliament, Messire Étienne Pasquier: but also (and here came the gravamen of the objection to their admission) by the two especial favorites of his Majesty and leaders of affairs, the seigneurs of Joyeuse and D’Epernon.  17
  It was in vain the students were informed that for the preservation of strict decorum, they had been commanded by the rector to make fast the gates. No excuses would avail them. The scholars were cogent reasoners, and a show of staves soon brought their opponents to a nonplus. In this line of argument they were perfectly aware of their ability to prove a major.  18
  “To the wall with them—to the wall!” cried a hundred infuriated voices. “Down with the halberdiers—down with the gates—down with the disputants—down with the rector himself!—Deny our privileges! To the wall with old Adrien d’Amboise—exclude the disciples of the university from their own halls!—curry favor with the court minions!—hold a public controversy in private!—down with him! We will issue a mandamus for a new election on the spot!”  19
  Whereupon a deep groan resounded throughout the crowd. It was succeeded by a volley of fresh execrations against the rector, and an angry demonstration of bludgeons, accompanied by a brisk shower of peas from the sarbacanes.  20
  The officials turned pale, and calculated the chance of a broken neck in reversion, with that of a broken crown in immediate possession. The former being at least contingent, appeared the milder alternative, and they might have been inclined to adopt it had not a further obstacle stood in their way. The gate was barred withinside, and the vergers and bedels who had the custody of the door, though alarmed at the tumult without, positively refused to unfasten it.  21
  Again the threats of the scholars were renewed, and further intimations of violence were exhibited. Again the peas rattled upon the hands and faces of the halberdiers, till their ears tingled with pain. “Prate to us of the king’s favorites,” cried one of the foremost of the scholars, a youth decorated with a paper collar: “they may rule within the precincts of the Louvre, but not within the walls of the university. Maugre-bleu! We hold them cheap enough. We heed not the idle bark of these full-fed court lapdogs. What to us is the bearer of a cup and ball? By the four Evangelists, we will have none of them here! Let the Gascon cadet, D’Epernon, reflect on the fate of Quélus and Maugiron, and let our gay Joyeuse beware of the dog’s death of Saint-Mégrin. Place for better men—place for the schools—away with frills and sarbacanes.”  22
  “What to us is a president of Parliament, or a governor of the city?” shouted another of the same gentry. “We care nothing for their ministration. We recognize them not, save in their own courts. All their authority fell to the ground at the gate of the Rue Saint Jacques, when they entered our dominions. We care for no parties. We are trimmers, and steer a middle course. We hold the Guisards as cheap as the Huguenots, and the brethren of the League weigh as little with us as the followers of Calvin. Our only sovereign is Gregory the Thirteenth, Pontiff of Rome. Away with the Guise and the Béarnaise!”  23
  “Away with Henri of Navarre, if you please,” cried a scholar of Harcourt; “or Henri of Valois, if you list: but by all the saints, not with Henri of Lorraine; he is the fast friend of the true faith. No!—No!—live the Guise—live the Holy Union!”  24
  “Away with Elizabeth of England,” cried a scholar of Cluny: “what doth her representative here? Seeks he a spouse for her among our schools? She will have no great bargain, I own, if she bestows her royal hand upon our Duc d’Anjou.”  25
  “If you value your buff jerkin, I counsel you to say nothing slighting of the Queen of England in my hearing,” returned a bluff, broad-shouldered fellow, raising his bludgeon after a menacing fashion. He was an Englishman belonging to the Four Nations, and had a huge bull-dog at his heels.  26
  “Away with Philip of Spain and his ambassador,” cried a Bernardin.  27
  “By the eyes of my mistress!” cried a Spaniard belonging to the College of Narbonne, with huge mustaches curled half-way up his bronzed and insolent visage, and a slouched hat pulled over his brow. “This may not pass muster. The representative of the King of Spain must be respected even by the Academics of Lutetia. Which of you shall gainsay me?—ha!”  28
  “What business has he here with his suite, on occasions like to the present?” returned the Bernardin. “Tête-Dieu! this disputation is one that little concerns the interest of your politic king; and methinks Don Philip, or his representative, has regard for little else than whatsoever advances his own interest. Your ambassador hath, I doubt not, some latent motive for his present attendance in our schools.”  29
  “Perchance,” returned the Spaniard. “We will discuss that point anon.”  30
  “And what doth the pander of the Sybarite within the dusty halls of learning?” ejaculated a scholar of Lemoine. “What doth the jealous-pated slayer of his wife and unborn child within the reach of free-spoken voices, and mayhap of well-directed blades? Methinks it were more prudent to tarry within the bowers of his harem, than to hazard his perfumed person among us.”  31
  “Well said,” rejoined the scholar of Cluny—“down with René de Villequier, though he be Governor of Paris.”  32
  “What title hath the Abbé de Brantôme to a seat among us?” said the scion of Harcourt: “faith, he hath a reputation for wit, and scholarship, and gallantry. But what is that to us? His place might now be filled by worthier men.”  33
  “And what, in the devil’s name, brings Cosmo Ruggieri hither?” asked the Bernardin. “What doth the wrinkled old dealer in the black art hope to learn from us? We are not given to alchemy, and the occult sciences; we practice no hidden mysteries; we brew no philtres; we compound no slow poisons; we vend no waxen images. What doth he here, I say! ’Tis a scandal in the rector to permit his presence. And what if he came under the safeguard, and by the authority of his mistress, Catherine de’ Medicis! Shall we regard her passport? Down with the heathen abbé, his abominations have been endured too long; they smell rank in our nostrils. Think how he ensnared La Mole—think on his numberless victims. Who mixed the infernal potion of Charles the Ninth? Let him answer that. Down with the infidel—the Jew—the sorcerer! The stake were too good for him. Down with Ruggieri, I say.”  34
  “Aye, down with the accursed astrologer,” echoed the whole crew. “He has done abundant mischief in his time. A day of reckoning has arrived. Hath he cast his own horoscope? Did he foresee his own fate? Ha! ha!”  35
  “And then the poets,” cried another member of the Four Nations—“a plague on all three. Would they were elsewhere. In what does this disputation concern them? Pierre Ronsard, being an offshoot of this same College of Navarre, hath indubitably a claim upon our consideration. But he is old, and I marvel that his gout permitted him to hobble so far. Oh, the mercenary old scribbler! His late verses halt like himself, yet he lowereth not the price of his masques. Besides which, he is grown moral, and unsays all his former good things. Mort Dieu! your superannuated bards ever recant the indiscretions of their nonage. Clément Marot took to psalm-writing in his old age. As to Baïf, his name will scarce outlast the scenery of his ballets, his plays are out of fashion since the Gelosi arrived. He deserves no place among us. And Philip Desportes owes all his present preferment to the Vicomte de Joyeuse. However, he is not altogether devoid of merit—let him wear his bays, so he trouble us not with his company. Room for the sophisters of Narbonne, I say. To the dogs with poetry!”  36
  “Morbleu!” exclaimed another. “What are the sophisters of Narbonne to the decretists of the Sorbonne, who will discuss you a position of Cornelius à Lapide, or a sentence of Peter Lombard, as readily as you would a flask of hippocras, or a slice of botargo. Aye, and cry transeat to a thesis of Aristotle, though it be against rule. What sayst thou, Capéte?” continued he, addressing his neighbor, a scholar of Montaigu, whose modest gray capuchin procured him this appellation: “are we the men to be thus scurvily entreated?”  37
  “I see not that your merits are greater than ours,” returned he of the capuch, “though our boasting be less. The followers of the lowly John Standoncht are as well able to maintain their tenets in controversy as those of Robert of Sorbon; and I see no reason why entrance should be denied us. The honor of the university is at stake, and all its strength should be mustered to assert it.”  38
  “Rightly spoken,” returned the Bernardin; “and it were a lasting disgrace to our schools were this arrogant Scot to carry off their laurels when so many who might have been found to lower his crest are allowed no share in their defense. The contest is one that concerns us all alike. We at least can arbitrate in case of need.”  39
  “I care not for the honors of the university,” rejoined one of the Écossais, or Scotch College, then existing in the Rue des Amandiers, “but I care much for the glory of my countryman, and I would gladly have witnessed the triumph of the disciples of Rutherford and of the classic Buchanan. But if the arbitrament to which you would resort is to be that of voices merely, I am glad the rector in his wisdom has thought fit to keep you without, even though I myself be personally inconvenienced by it.”  40
  “Name o’ God! what fine talking is this?” retorted the Spaniard. “There is little chance of the triumph you predicate for your countryman. Trust me, we shall have to greet his departure from the debate with many hisses and few cheers; and if we could penetrate through the plates of yon iron door, and gaze into the court it conceals from our view, we should find that the loftiness of his pretensions has been already humbled, and his arguments graveled. Por la Litania de los Santos! to think of comparing an obscure student of the pitiful College of Saint Andrew with the erudite doctors of the most erudite university in the world, always excepting those of Valencia and Salamanca. It needs all thy country’s assurance to keep the blush of shame from mantling in thy cheeks.”  41
  “The seminary you revile,” replied the Scot, haughtily, “has been the nursery of our Scottish kings. Nay, the youthful James Stuart pursued his studies under the same roof, beneath the same wise instruction, and at the self-same time as our noble and gifted James Crichton, whom you have falsely denominated an adventurer, but whose lineage is not less distinguished than his learning. His renown has preceded him hither, and he was not unknown to your doctors when he affixed his programme to these college walls. Hark!” continued the speaker, exultingly, “and listen to yon evidence of his triumph.”  42
  And as he spoke, a loud and continued clapping of hands proceeding from within was distinctly heard above the roar of the students.  43
  “That may be at his defeat,” muttered the Spaniard, between his teeth.  44
  “No such thing,” replied the Scot. “I heard the name of Crichton mingled with the plaudits.”  45
  “And who may be this Phœnix—this Gargantua of intellect—who is to vanquish us all, as Panurge did Thaumast, the Englishman?” asked the Sorbonist of the Scot. “Who is he that is more philosophic than Pythagoras?—ha!”  46
  “Who is more studious than Carneades!” said the Bernardin.  47
  “More versatile than Alcibiades!” said Montaigu.  48
  “More subtle than Averroës!” cried Harcourt.  49
  “More mystical than Plotinus!” said one of the Four Nations.  50
  “More visionary than Artemidorus!” said Cluny.  51
  “More infallible than the Pope!” added Lemoine.  52
  “And who pretends to dispute de omni scibili,” shouted the Spaniard.  53
  “Et quolibet ente!” added the Sorbonist.  54
  “Mine ears are stunned with your vociferations,” replied the Scot. “You ask me who James Crichton is, and yourselves give the response. You have mockingly said he is a rara avis; a prodigy of wit and learning: and you have unintentionally spoken the truth. He is so. But I will tell you that of him of which you are wholly ignorant, or which you have designedly overlooked. His condition is that of a Scottish gentleman of high rank. Like your Spanish grandee, he need not doff his cap to kings. On either side hath he the best of blood in his veins. His mother was a Stuart directly descended from that regal line. His father, who owneth the fair domains of Eliock and Cluny, was Lord Advocate to our bonny and luckless Mary (whom Heaven assoilzie!) and still holds his high office. Methinks the Lairds of Crichton might have been heard of here. Howbeit, they are well known to me, who being an Ogilvy of Balfour, have often heard tell of a certain contract or obligation, whereby—”  55
  “Basta!” interrupted the Spaniard, “heed not thine own affairs, worthy Scot. Tell us of this Crichton—ha!”  56
  “I have told you already more than I ought to have told,” replied Ogilvy, sullenly. “And if you lack further information respecting James Crichton’s favor at the Louvre, his feats of arms, and the esteem in which he is held by all the dames of honor in attendance upon your Queen Mother, Catherine de’ Medicis—and moreover,” he added, with somewhat of sarcasm, “with her fair daughter, Marguerite de Valois—you will do well to address yourself to the king’s buffoon, Maître Chicot, whom I see not far off. Few there are, methinks, who could in such short space have won so much favor, or acquired such bright renown.”  57
  “Humph!” muttered the Englishman, “your Scotsmen stick by each other all the world over. This James Crichton may or may not be the hero he is vaunted, but I shall mistrust his praises from that quarter, till I find their truth confirmed.”  58
  “He has, to be sure, acquired the character of a stout swords-man,” said the Bernardin, “to give the poor devil his due.”  59
  “He has not met with his match at the salle-d’armes, though he has crossed blades with the first in France,” replied Ogilvy.  60
  “I have seen him at the Manége,” said the Sorbonist, “go through his course of equitation, and being a not altogether unskillful horseman myself, I can report favorably of his performance.”  61
  “There is none among your youth can sit a steed like him,” returned Ogilvy, “nor can any of the jousters carry off the ring with more certainty at the lists. I would fain hold my tongue, but you enforce me to speak in his praise.”  62
  “Body of Bacchus!” exclaimed the Spaniard, half unsheathing the lengthy weapon that hung by his side. “I will hold you a wager of ten rose-nobles to as many silver reals of Spain, that with this stanch Toledo I will overcome your vaunted Crichton in close fight in any manner or practice of fence or digladiation which he may appoint—sword and dagger, or sword only—stripped to the girdle or armed to the teeth. By our Saint Trinidad! I will have satisfaction for the contumelious affront he hath put upon the very learned gymnasium to which I belong; and it would gladden me to clip the wings of this loud-crowing cock, or any of his dunghill crew,” added he, with a scornful gesture at the Scotsman.  63
  “If that be all you seek, you shall not need to go far in your quest,” returned Ogilvy. “Tarry till this controversy be ended, and if I match not your Spanish blade with a Scottish broad-sword, and approve you as recreant at heart as you are boastful and injurious of speech, may Saint Andrew forever after withhold from me his protection.”  64
  “The Devil!” exclaimed the Spaniard. “Thy Scottish saint will little avail thee, since thou hast incurred my indignation. Betake thee, therefore, to thy paternosters, if thou has grace withal to mutter them; for within the hour thou art assuredly food for the kites of the Pré-aux-Clercs—sa-ha!”  65
  “Look to thyself, vile braggart!” rejoined Ogilvy, scornfully: “I promise thee thou shalt need other intercession than thine own to purchase safety at my hands.”  66
  “Courage, Master Ogilvy,” said the Englishman, “thou wilt do well to slit the ears of this Spanish swashbuckler. I warrant me he hides a craven spirit beneath that slashed pourpoint. Thou art in the right, man, to make him eat his words. Be this Crichton what he may, he is at least thy countryman, and in part mine own.”  67
  “And as such I will uphold him,” said Ogilvy, “against any odds.”  68
  “Bravo! my valorous Don Diego Caravaja,” said the Sorbonist, slapping the Spaniard on the shoulder, and speaking in his ear. “Shall these scurvy Scots carry all before them?—I warrant me, no. We will make common cause against the whole beggarly nation; and in the meanwhile we intrust thee with this particular quarrel. See thou acquit thyself in it as beseemeth a descendant of the Cid.”  69
  “Account him already abased,” returned Caravaja. “By Pelayo, I would the other were at his back, that both might be transfixed at a blow—ha!”  70
  “To return to the subject of difference,” said the Sorbonist, who was too much delighted with the prospect of a duel to allow the quarrel a chance of subsiding, while it was in his power to fan the flame; “to return to the difference,” said he, aloud, glancing at Ogilvy; “it must be conceded that as a wassailer this Crichton is without a peer. None of us may presume to cope with him in the matter of the flask and the flagon, though we number among us some jolly topers. Friar John, with the Priestess of Bacbuc, was a washy bibber compared with him.”  71
  “He worships at the shrines of other priestesses besides hers of Bacbuc, if I be not wrongly informed,” added Montaigu, who understood the drift of his companion.  72
  “Else, wherefore our rejoinder to his cartels?” returned the Sorbonist. “Do you not call to mind that beneath his arrogant defiance of our learned body, affixed to the walls of the Sorbonne, it was written, ‘That he who would behold this miracle of learning must hie to the tavern or bordel?’ Was it not so, my hidalgo?”  73
  “I have myself seen him at the temulentive tavern of the Falcon,” returned Caravaja, “and at the lupanarian haunts in the Champ Gaillard and the Val-d’Amour. You understand me—ha!”  74
  “Ha! ha! ha!” chorused the scholars. “James Crichton is no stoic. He is a disciple of Epicurus. Vel in puellam impingit, vel in poculum—ha! ha!”  75
  “’Tis said that he hath dealings with the Evil One,” observed the man of Harcourt, with a mysterious air; “and that, like Jeanne d’Arc, he hath surrendered his soul for his temporal welfare. Hence his wondrous lore; hence his supernatural beauty and accomplishments; hence his power of fascinating the fair sex; hence his constant run of luck with the dice; hence, also, his invulnerableness to the sword.”  76
  “’Tis said, also, that he has a familiar spirit, who attends him in the semblance of a black dog,” said Montaigu.  77
  “Or in that of a dwarf, like the sooty imp of Cosmo Ruggieri,” said Harcourt. “Is it not so?” he asked, turning to the Scot.  78
  “He lies in his throat who says so,” cried Ogilvy, losing all patience. “To one and all of you I breathe defiance; and there is not a brother in the college to which I belong who will not maintain my quarrel.”  79
  A loud laugh of derision followed this sally; and, ashamed of having justly exposed himself to ridicule by his idle and unworthy display of passion, the Scotsman held his peace and endeavored to turn a deaf ear to their taunts.  80
  The gates of the College of Navarre were suddenly thrown open, and a long-continued thunder of applause bursting from within, announced the conclusion of the debate. That it had terminated in favor of Crichton could no longer be doubted, as his name formed the burden of all the plaudits with which the courts were ringing. All was excitement: there was a general movement. Ogilvy could no longer restrain himself. Pushing forward by prodigious efforts, he secured himself a position at the portal.  81
  The first person who presented himself to his inquiring eyes was a gallant figure in a glittering steel corselet crossed by a silken sash, who bore at his side a long sword with a magnificent handle, and upon his shoulder a lance of some six feet in length, headed with a long scarlet tassel, and brass half-moon pendant. “Is not Crichton victorious?” asked Ogilvy of Captain Larchant, for he it was.  82
  “He hath acquitted himself to admiration,” replied the guardsman, who, contrary to the custom of such gentry (for captains of the guard have been fine gentlemen in all ages), did not appear to be displeased at this appeal to his courtesy, “and the rector hath adjudged him all the honors that can be bestowed by the university.”  83
  “Hurrah for old Scotland,” shouted Ogilvy, throwing his bonnet in the air; “I was sure it would be so; this is a day worth living for. Hæc olim meminisse juvabit.”  84
  “Thou at least shalt have reason to remember it,” muttered Caravaja, who, being opposite to him, heard the exclamation—“and he too, perchance,” he added, frowning gloomily, and drawing his cloak over his shoulder.  85
  “If the noble Crichton be compatriot of yours, you are in the right to be proud of him,” replied Captain Larchant, “for the memory of his deeds of this day will live as long as learning shall be held in reverence. Never before hath such a marvelous display of universal erudition been heard within these schools. By my faith, I am absolutely wonder-stricken, and not I alone, but all. In proof of which I need only tell you, that coupling his matchless scholarship with his extraordinary accomplishments, the professors in their address to him at the close of the controversy have bestowed upon him the epithet of ‘Admirable’—an appellation by which he will ever after be distinguished.”  86
  “The Admirable Crichton!” echoed Ogilvy—“hear you that!—a title adjudged to him by the whole conclave of the university—hurrah! The Admirable Crichton! ’Tis a name will find an echo in the heart of every true Scot. By Saint Andrew! this is a proud day for us.”  87
  “In the mean time,” said Larchant, smiling at Ogilvy’s exultations, and describing a circle with the point of his lance, “I must trouble you to stand back, Messieurs Scholars, and leave free passage for the rector and his train— Archers advance, and make clear the way, and let the companies of the Baron D’Epernon and of the Vicomte de Joyeuse be summoned, as well as the guard of his excellency, Seigneur René de Villequier. Patience, messieurs, you will hear all particulars anon.”  88
  So saying, he retired, and the men-at-arms, less complaisant than their leaders, soon succeeded in forcing back the crowd.  89
 
 
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