Rabelais describes the beginning of Gargantua' s adolescence and education from two points of view. The first is his tutelage at the hands of 'Sophist' preceptors, the second is his more formal education under the direction of Ponocrates, the ideal Humanist pedagogue. The first of these procedures is prefaced by that most scatological of Rabelaisian chapters, in which Grandgousier recognizes his young son ' s superior intelligence thanks to the latter's discovery of the most voluptuous manner of wiping his backside. As Jeffery Persels has demonstrated, there can be no doubt as to the significance of this childish diarrhea: Gargantua has not yet been properly educated, and the tons of drivel that enter his mind every day can only be transformed into the mountains of excrement that he expels in inappropriate places ('Straightened' 107-8). As Persels has pointed out, these scatological passages have to be interpreted in theological terms: the babble of a corrupt faith enters the mind and is expelled from the body as foul, unhealthy excrement, just as the excessive food that one eats in an undisciplined way causes the body to be sick and to expel noxious refuse. He also cites the example of the debates between Luther and Thomas More, in which each of these great men accused the other essentially of wallowing in doctrinal shit. In this scatological register, constipation is thus equal to theological confusion and error, while the healthy 'excretion des digestions naturelles' in an appropriate place demonstrates a control of the sphincters that is the material equivalent of a proper spiritual understanding of the divine (103-6).1