Gargantua and Pantagruel "Performed To A T"

François Rabelais

"Performed To A T"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The episode on the Island of the Papimaniacs is one of the most satiric in all literature, doubly so coming from a man of the Church. In this diatribe, the decretals and the "extravagants," the extraordinary decrees, are held up to ridicule. Homenas, the bishop who had seen the pope, is the host of Pantegruel and Panurge, who enjoins them to "visit church first, and taverns after."

Now topers, pray observe that while Homenas was saying his dry mass, three collectors, or licensed beggars of the church, each of them with a large basin, went round among the people, saying, with a loud voice, "Pray remember the blessed men who have seen his face." As we came out of the temple, they brought their basins brim full of papimany chink to Homenas, who told us that it was plentifully to feast with; and that, of this contribution and voluntary tax, one part should be laid out in good drinking, another in good eating, and the remainder in both: according to an admirable exposition hidden in a corner of their holy decretals: which was performed to a T, and that at a noted tavern not much unlike that of Will's of Amiens. Believe me, we tickled it off there with copious cramming, and numerous swilling.