Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/790

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773
RABENER—RACAN

of the kind is to be found. Perhaps the nearest approach to it is a jest at the Sorbonne couched in the Pauline phrase about “ the evidence of things not seen," which the author removed from the later editions. But irreverences of this kind, as well as the frequent burlesque citations of the Bible, whether commendable or not, had been, were, have since been, and are common in writers whose orthodoxy is unquestioned; and it must be remembered that the later Middle Age, which in many respects Rabelais represents almost more than he does the Renaissance, was, with all its unquestioning faith, singularly reckless and, to our fancy, irreverent in its use of the sacred words and images, which were to it the most familiar of all images and words. On the other hand, there are in the book, in the description of Gargantua's and Pantagruel's education, in the sketch of the abbey of Thelema, in several passages relating to Pantagruel, expressions which either signify a sincere and unfeigned piety of a simple kind or else are inventions of the most detestable hypocrisy. For these passages are not, like many to be found from the Renaissance to the end of the 18th century, obvious flags of truce to cover attacks—mere bowings in the house of Rimmon to prevent evil consequences. There is absolutely no sign of the tongue in the cheek. They are always written in the author's highest style, a style perfectly eloquent and unaffected; they can only be interpreted (on the free-thinking hypothesis) as allegorical with the greatest difficulty and obscurity, and it is pretty certain that no one reading the book without a thesis to prove would dream of taking them in a non-natural sense. It is not, indeed, to be contended that Rabelais was a man with whom religion was in detail a constant thought, that he had a very tender conscience or a very scrupulous orthodoxy. His form of religious sentiment was not evangelical or mystical, any more than it was ascetic or ceremonial or dogmatic. As regards one of the accepted doctrines of his own church, the excellence of the celibate life, of poverty, and of elaborate obedience to a rule, he no doubt was a strong dissident; but the evidence that, as a Christian, he was unorthodox, that he was even a heretical or latitudinarian thinker in regard to those doctrines which the various Christian churches have in common, is not merely weak, it is practically nonexistent. The counter-testimony is, indeed, not very strong, and still less detailed. But that is not the point. It is sufficient to say that there is absolutely nothing within the covers of Rabelais's works incompatible with an orthodoxy which would be recognized as sufficient by Christendom at large, leaving out of the question those points of doctrine and practice on which Christians differ. Beyond this no wise man will go, and short of it hardly any unprejudiced man will stop.

Bibliography.—The dates of the original editions of Rabelais's world; have been given where possible already. The earlier books were repeatedly reissued during the author's life, and always with some correction. What may be called the first complete edition appeared in 1567 at Lyons, published by Jean Martin. It is computed that no less than sixty editions were printed before the close of the 16th century. A very considerable time, however, elapsed before the works were, properly speaking, edited. Huet devoted much pains to them, but his results were not made public. The first edition which calls for notice, except in a complete bibliography, is that of Le Duchat (Amsterdam, 1711). Le Duchat was a very careful student, and on the whole a very efficient editor, being perhaps, of the group of students of old French at the beginning of the 18th century, which included La Monnoye and others, the most sober, critical and accomplished. But at that time the knowledge of the period was scarcely far enough advanced. The next important date in the bibliography of Rabelais is 1823, in which year appeared the most elaborate edition of his work yet published, that of Esmangart and Johanneau (9 vols.), including for the first time the Songes Drolatiques, a spurious but early and not uninteresting collection of grotesque figure drawings illustrating Gargantua and Pantagruel, and the second edition of M. de l'Aulnaye, containing a bad text but a useful glossary. From this time the editions have been very numerous. Among them may be mentioned those illustrated by Gustave Doré, first on a small scale (1854), afterwards more elaborately (1870); that of the Collection Didot by Burgaud des Marets and Rathery (1857 and later); the Bibliothèque Elzévirienne edition by MM. Lacour and A. de Montaiglon; that of the Nouvelle Collection Jannet (seven small volumes, 1867–74), completed by M. Moland and very useful; and lastly, the edition of M. Marty-Laveaux in the Collection Lemerre (1868–1903), the handsomest, the most accurate, and the most complete, in the scholarly sense, yet published. Commentaries on Rabelais, independent of editions, have been numerous from the work of Jean Bernier, Jugement et nouvelles observations sur les œuvres . . . de M. François Rabelais (1697), onwards. Of those of the last half-century the best are, besides essays in the works of most of the great critics: E. Noel, Rabelais (1850); A. Mayrargues, Rabelais (1868); Jean Fleury (1876); Paul Stapfer (the best of all) (1889); and G. Vallat (1899). Separate points have been treated importantly by A. Heulhard, Dernières années de Rabelais (1884), and others; while the Revue des études Rabelaisiennes (1903 onwards) contains valuable studies, especially those of M. Abel Lefranc.

Rabelais was very early popular in England. There are possible allusions to him in Shakespeare, and the current clerical notion of him is very unjustly adopted by Marston in the words “ wicked Rabelais "; but Bacon described him better as the great jester of France, and a Scot, Sir Thomas Urquhart, translated the earlier books in 1653. This was not worthily completed till the luckless Motteux, or, as his compatriots call him, Le Motteux, finished it with an extensive commentary. It has been frequently reprinted. A new translation by W. F. Smith appeared in 1893. Criticism of a scattered kind on Rabelais in English is abundant, that of Coleridge being the most important, while the constant evidence of his influence in Southey's Doctor is also noteworthy. But he was hardly treated as a whole before Sir Walter Besant's book on the subject in the “ Foreign Classics for English Readers ” (1879), which the author followed up with Readings from Rabelais (1883). Somewhat elaborate treatments of him in connexion with contemporary literature will be found in George Sainsbury's The Earlier Renaissance (1901) and in A. Tilley's Literature of the French Renaissance (1904).  (G. Sa.) 


RABENER, GOTTLIEB WILHELM (1714-1771), German satirist, was born on the 17th of September 1714 at Wachau near Leipzig, and died at Dresden on the 22nd of March 1771. In 1741 he made his debut as satirist in Schwabe's Belustigungen des Verstandes und Witzes, and was subsequently a contributor to the Bremer Beitrdge. Rabener's satires are in prose and mainly levelled at the follies of the middle classes. The papers which he published in the Bremer Beitrfige were subsequently collected in a Sarnrnlung satirischer Schriften (2 vols., 1751), to which two volumes were added in 175 5.

Rabener's Sdmtliche Werke appeared in 6 vols. in 1777; the edition by E. Ortlepp (1839) also contains his correspondence, first published by C. F. Weisse in 1772. See P. Richter, Rabener und Liscow (1884), and D. Jacoby in Allg. Deutsche Biographie (1888).


RABIRIUS, a Latin epic poet of the age of Augustus. Among the papyrus fragments discovered at Herculaneum in the early part of the 19th century were sixty-seven (mutilated) hexameters, referring to the final struggle between Antony and Octavian and the death of Cleopatra, generally supposed to be part of a poem by Rabirius, since Seneca (De Benef. vi. 3, 1) informs us that he Wrote on those subjects. If genuine, they justify the qualified commendation of Quintilian rather than the exaggerated praise of Velleius Paterculus (ii. 36, 3), who couples Rabirius and Virgil as the two most eminent poets of his time.

Fragments in E. Bahrens, Fragrnenta Poetarum Romanorum (1885); W. Scott, Fragrnenta Herculanensia (Oxford, 1885); O. Ribbeck, Geschichte der ramischen Dichtung, ii. (1889); M. Schanz, Gesehichte der rarnischen Litteratur, ii. 1 (1899); Teufiel, Hist. of Roman Literature (Eng. trans., 1900), 252, 9.


RABIRIUS, GAIUS, a Roman senator, who was defended (63 B.C.) by Cicero in a speech still extant. Nearly forty years after the death of L. Appuleius Saturninus, Titus Labienus (whose uncle had lost his life among the followers of Saturninus on that occasion) was put up by Caesar to accuse Rabirius of having been implicated in the murder. Caesar's real object was to warn the Senate against interference by force with popular movements, to uphold the sovereignty of the people and the inviolability of the person of the tribunes. The obsolete accusation of perduellio was revived, and the case was heard before lulius and Lucius Caesar as commissioners specially appointed (duoviri perduellionis). Raibirius was condemned, and the people, to whom the accused had exercised the right of appeal, were on the point of ratifying the decision, when Metellus Celer pulled down the military flag from the Janiculum, which was equivalent to the dissolution of the assembly. Caesar's object having been attained, the matter was then allowed to drop. A nephew, known as C. RABIRIUS Posrunus, was also defended by Cicero (54 B.C.) in the extant speech Pro Rabirio Postumo, when charged with extortion in Egypt and complicity with Aulus Gabinius (q.°v.).

See Cicero, Pro Rabirio, ed, W. E. Heitland (1882); Dio Cassius, xxxvii. 26-28; H. Putsche, Uber das genus judicii der Reds Ciceras pro C. Rabirio (Jena, 1881); O. Schulthess, Der Prazess des C. Rabirius (Frauenfeld, 1891).


RACAN, HONORÉ DE BUEIL, Marquis de (1589-167<>), French poet, was born at the chateau of La Roche-Racan in 1589. He became page at the court of Henry IV. and then entered the army, seeing some active service. Racan was very poor and was practically uneducated, for, if his own account