THE THIRD BOOK
Francois Rabelais to the Soul of the Deceased Queen of Navarre.
Abstracted soul, ravished with ecstasies,
Gone back, and now familiar in the skies,
Thy former host, thy body, leaving quite,
Which to obey thee always took delight,—
Obsequious, ready,—now from motion free,
Senseless, and as it were in apathy,
Wouldst thou not issue forth for a short space,
From that divine, eternal, heavenly place,
To see the third part, in this earthy cell,
Of the brave acts of good Pantagruel?
The Author's Prologue.
Good people, most illustrious drinkers, and you, thrice precious
gouty gentlemen, did you ever see Diogenes, and cynic philosopher?
If you have seen him, you then had your eyes in your head, or I am
very much out of my understanding and logical sense. It is a gallant
thing to see the clearness of (wine, gold,) the sun. I'll be judged
by the blind born so renowned in the sacred Scriptures, who, having
at his choice to ask whatever he would from him who is Almighty, and
whose word in an instant is effectually performed, asked nothing
else but that he might see. Item, you are not young, which is a
competent quality for you to philosophate more than physically in
wine, not in vain, and henceforwards to be of the Bacchic Council;
to the end that, opining there, you may give your opinion faithfully
of the substance, colour, excellent odour, eminency, propriety,
faculty, virtue, and effectual dignity of the said blessed and
If you have not seen him, as I am easily induced to believe that
you have not, at least you have heard some talk of him. For through
the air, and the whole extent of this hemisphere of the heavens,
hath his report and fame, even until this present time, remained
very memorable and renowned. Then all of you are derived from the
Phrygian blood, if I be not deceived. If you have not so many crowns
as Midas had, yet have you something, I know not what, of him, which
the Persians of old esteemed more of in all their otacusts, and
which was more desired by the Emperor Antonine, and gave occasion
thereafter to the Basilico at Rohan to be surnamed Goodly Ears. If
you have not heard of him, I will presently tell you a story to make
your wine relish. Drink then,—so, to the purpose. Hearken now whilst
I give you notice, to the end that you may not, like infidels, be by
your simplicity abused, that in his time he was a rare philosopher
and the cheerfullest of a thousand. If he had some imperfection, so
have you, so have we; for there is nothing, but God, that is
perfect. Yet so it was, that by Alexander the Great, although he had
Aristotle for his instructor and domestic, was he held in such
estimation, that he wished, if he had not been Alexander, to have
been Diogenes the Sinopian.
When Philip, King of Macedon, enterprised the siege and ruin of
Corinth, the Corinthians having received certain intelligence by
their spies that he with a numerous army in battle-rank was coming
against them, were all of them, not without cause, most terribly
afraid; and therefore were not neglective of their duty in doing
their best endeavours to put themselves in a fit posture to resist
his hostile approach and defend their own city.
Some from the fields brought into the fortified places their
movables, bestial, corn, wine, fruit, victuals, and other necessary
Others did fortify and rampire their walls, set up little
fortresses, bastions, squared ravelins, digged trenches, cleansed
countermines, fenced themselves with gabions, contrived platforms,
emptied casemates, barricaded the false brays, erected the
cavaliers, repaired the counterscarps, plastered the curtains,
lengthened ravelins, stopped parapets, morticed barbacans, assured
the portcullises, fastened the herses, sarasinesques, and cataracts,
placed their sentries, and doubled their patrol. Everyone did watch
and ward, and not one was exempted from carrying the basket. Some
polished corslets, varnished backs and breasts, cleaned the
headpieces, mail-coats, brigandines, salads, helmets, morions,
jacks, gushets, gorgets, hoguines, brassars, and cuissars, corslets,
haubergeons, shields, bucklers, targets, greaves, gauntlets, and
spurs. Others made ready bows, slings, crossbows, pellets,
catapults, migrains or fire-balls, firebrands, balists, scorpions,
and other such warlike engines expugnatory and destructive to the
Hellepolides. They sharpened and prepared spears, staves, pikes,
brown bills, halberds, long hooks, lances, zagayes, quarterstaves,
eelspears, partisans, troutstaves, clubs, battle-axes, maces, darts,
dartlets, glaives, javelins, javelots, and truncheons. They set
edges upon scimitars, cutlasses, badelairs, backswords, tucks,
rapiers, bayonets, arrow-heads, dags, daggers, mandousians,
poniards, whinyards, knives, skeans, shables, chipping knives, and
Every man exercised his weapon, every man scoured off the rust
from his natural hanger; nor was there a woman amongst them, though
never so reserved or old, who made not her harness to be well
furbished; as you know the Corinthian women of old were reputed very
Diogenes seeing them all so warm at work, and himself not
employed by the magistrates in any business whatsoever, he did very
seriously, for many days together, without speaking one word,
consider and contemplate the countenance of his fellow-citizens.
Then on a sudden, as if he had been roused up and inspired by a
martial spirit, he girded his cloak scarfwise about his left arm,
tucked up his sleeves to the elbow, trussed himself like a clown
gathering apples, and, giving to one of his old acquaintance his
wallet, books, and opistographs, away went he out of town towards a
little hill or promontory of Corinth called (the) Cranie; and there
on the strand, a pretty level place, did he roll his jolly tub,
which served him for a house to shelter him from the injuries of the
weather: there, I say, in a great vehemency of spirit, did he turn
it, veer it, wheel it, whirl it, frisk it, jumble it, shuffle it,
huddle it, tumble it, hurry it, jolt it, justle it, overthrow it,
evert it, invert it, subvert it, overturn it, beat it, thwack it,
bump it, batter it, knock it, thrust it, push it, jerk it, shock it,
shake it, toss it, throw it, overthrow it, upside down, topsy-turvy,
arsiturvy, tread it, trample it, stamp it, tap it, ting it, ring it,
tingle it, towl it, sound it, resound it, stop it, shut it, unbung
it, close it, unstopple it. And then again in a mighty bustle he
bandied it, slubbered it, hacked it, whittled it, wayed it, darted
it, hurled it, staggered it, reeled it, swinged it, brangled it,
tottered it, lifted it, heaved it, transformed it, transfigured it,
transposed it, transplaced it, reared it, raised it, hoised it,
washed it, dighted it, cleansed it, rinsed it, nailed it, settled
it, fastened it, shackled it, fettered it, levelled it, blocked it,
tugged it, tewed it, carried it, bedashed it, bewrayed it, parched
it, mounted it, broached it, nicked it, notched it, bespattered it,
decked it, adorned it, trimmed it, garnished it, gauged it,
furnished it, bored it, pierced it, trapped it, rumbled it, slid it
down the hill, and precipitated it from the very height of the
Cranie; then from the foot to the top (like another Sisyphus with
his stone) bore it up again, and every way so banged it and
belaboured it that it was ten thousand to one he had not struck the
bottom of it out.
Which when one of his friends had seen, and asked him why he did
so toil his body, perplex his spirit, and torment his tub, the
philosopher's answer was that, not being employed in any other
charge by the Republic, he thought it expedient to thunder and storm
it so tempestuously upon his tub, that amongst a people so fervently
busy and earnest at work he alone might not seem a loitering slug
and lazy fellow. To the same purpose may I say of myself,
Though I be rid from fear,
I am not void of care.
For, perceiving no account to be made of me towards the discharge
of a trust of any great concernment, and considering that through
all the parts of this most noble kingdom of France, both on this and
on the other side of the mountains, everyone is most diligently
exercised and busied, some in the fortifying of their own native
country for its defence, others in the repulsing of their enemies by
an offensive war; and all this with a policy so excellent and such
admirable order, so manifestly profitable for the future, whereby
France shall have its frontiers most magnifically enlarged, and the
French assured of a long and well-grounded peace, that very little
withholds me from the opinion of good Heraclitus, which affirmeth
war to be the father of all good things; and therefore do I believe
that war is in Latin called bellum, not by antiphrasis, as some
patchers of old rusty Latin would have us to think, because in war
there is little beauty to be seen, but absolutely and simply; for
that in war appeareth all that is good and graceful, and that by the
wars is purged out all manner of wickedness and deformity. For proof
whereof the wise and pacific Solomon could no better represent the
unspeakable perfection of the divine wisdom, than by comparing it to
the due disposure and ranking of an army in battle array, well
provided and ordered.
Therefore, by reason of my weakness and inability, being reputed
by my compatriots unfit for the offensive part of warfare; and on
the other side, being no way employed in matter of the defensive,
although it had been but to carry burthens, fill ditches, or break
clods, either whereof had been to me indifferent, I held it not a
little disgraceful to be only an idle spectator of so many valorous,
eloquent, and warlike persons, who in the view and sight of all
Europe act this notable interlude or tragi-comedy, and not make some
effort towards the performance of this, nothing at all remains for
me to be done ('And not exert myself, and contribute thereto this
nothing, my all, which remained for me to do.'—Ozell.). In my
opinion, little honour is due to such as are mere lookers-on,
liberal of their eyes, and of their crowns, and hide their silver;
scratching their head with one finger like grumbling puppies, gaping
at the flies like tithe calves; clapping down their ears like
Arcadian asses at the melody of musicians, who with their very
countenances in the depth of silence express their consent to the
prosopopoeia. Having made this choice and election, it seemed to me
that my exercise therein would be neither unprofitable nor
troublesome to any, whilst I should thus set a-going my Diogenical
tub, which is all that is left me safe from the shipwreck of my
At this dingle dangle wagging of my tub, what would you have me
to do? By the Virgin that tucks up her sleeve, I know not as yet.
Stay a little, till I suck up a draught of this bottle; it is my
true and only Helicon; it is my Caballine fountain; it is my sole
enthusiasm. Drinking thus, I meditate, discourse, resolve, and
conclude. After that the epilogue is made, I laugh, I write, I
compose, and drink again. Ennius drinking wrote, and writing drank.
Aeschylus, if Plutarch in his Symposiacs merit any faith, drank
composing, and drinking composed. Homer never wrote fasting, and
Cato never wrote till after he had drunk. These passages I have
brought before you to the end you may not say that I lived without
the example of men well praised and better prized. It is good and
fresh enough, even as if you would say it is entering upon the
second degree. God, the good God Sabaoth, that is to say, the God of
armies, be praised for it eternally! If you after the same manner
would take one great draught, or two little ones, whilst you have
your gown about you, I truly find no kind of inconveniency in it,
provided you send up to God for all some small scantling of thanks.
Since then my luck or destiny is such as you have heard—for it is
not for everybody to go to Corinth—I am fully resolved to be so
little idle and unprofitable, that I will set myself to serve the
one and the other sort of people. Amongst the diggers, pioneers, and
rampire-builders, I will do as did Neptune and Apollo at Troy under
Laomedon, or as did Renault of Montauban in his latter days: I will
serve the masons, I'll set on the pot to boil for the bricklayers;
and, whilst the minced meat is making ready at the sound of my small
pipe, I'll measure the muzzle of the musing dotards. Thus did
Amphion with the melody of his harp found, build, and finish the
great and renowned city of Thebes.
For the use of the warriors I am about to broach of new my barrel
to give them a taste (which by two former volumes of mine, if by the
deceitfulness and falsehood of printers they had not been jumbled,
marred, and spoiled, you would have very well relished), and draw
unto them, of the growth of our own trippery pastimes, a gallant
third part of a gallon, and consequently a jolly cheerful quart of
Pantagruelic sentences, which you may lawfully call, if you please,
Diogenical: and shall have me, seeing I cannot be their
fellow-soldier, for their faithful butler, refreshing and cheering,
according to my little power, their return from the alarms of the
enemy; as also for an indefatigable extoller of their martial
exploits and glorious achievements. I shall not fail therein, par
lapathium acutum de dieu; if Mars fail not in Lent, which the
cunning lecher, I warrant you, will be loth to do.
I remember nevertheless to have read, that Ptolemy, the son of
Lagus, one day, amongst the many spoils and booties which by his
victories he had acquired, presenting to the Egyptians, in the open
view of the people, a Bactrian camel all black, and a party-coloured
slave, in such sort as that the one half of his body was black and
the other white, not in partition of breadth by the diaphragma, as
was that woman consecrated to the Indian Venus whom the Tyanean
philosopher did see between the river Hydaspes and Mount Caucasus,
but in a perpendicular dimension of altitude; which were things
never before that seen in Egypt. He expected by the show of these
novelties to win the love of the people. But what happened
thereupon? At the production of the camel they were all affrighted,
and offended at the sight of the party-coloured man—some scoffed at
him as a detestable monster brought forth by the error of nature; in
a word, of the hope which he had to please these Egyptians, and by
such means to increase the affection which they naturally bore him,
he was altogether frustrate and disappointed; understanding fully by
their deportments that they took more pleasure and delight in things
that were proper, handsome, and perfect, than in misshapen,
monstrous, and ridiculous creatures. Since which time he had both
the slave and the camel in such dislike, that very shortly
thereafter, either through negligence, or for want of ordinary
sustenance, they did exchange their life with death.
This example putteth me in a suspense between hope and fear,
misdoubting that, for the contentment which I aim at, I will but
reap what shall be most distasteful to me: my cake will be dough,
and for my Venus I shall have but some deformed puppy: instead of
serving them, I shall but vex them, and offend them whom I purpose
to exhilarate; resembling in this dubious adventure Euclion's cook,
so renowned by Plautus in his Pot, and by Ausonius in his Griphon,
and by divers others; which cook, for having by his scraping
discovered a treasure, had his hide well curried. Put the case I get
no anger by it, though formerly such things fell out, and the like
may occur again. Yet, by Hercules! it will not. So I perceive in
them all one and the same specifical form, and the like individual
properties, which our ancestors called Pantagruelism; by virtue
whereof they will bear with anything that floweth from a good, free,
and loyal heart. I have seen them ordinarily take goodwill in part
of payment, and remain satisfied therewith when one was not able to
do better. Having despatched this point, I return to my barrel.
Up, my lads, to this wine, spare it not! Drink, boys, and trowl
it off at full bowls! If you do not think it good, let it alone. I
am not like those officious and importunate sots, who by force,
outrage, and violence, constrain an easy good-natured fellow to
whiffle, quaff, carouse, and what is worse. All honest tipplers, all
honest gouty men, all such as are a-dry, coming to this little
barrel of mine, need not drink thereof if it please them not; but if
they have a mind to it, and that the wine prove agreeable to the
tastes of their worshipful worships, let them drink, frankly,
freely, and boldly, without paying anything, and welcome. This is my
decree, my statute and ordinance.
And let none fear there shall be any want of wine, as at the
marriage of Cana in Galilee; for how much soever you shall draw
forth at the faucet, so much shall I tun in at the bung. Thus shall
the barrel remain inexhaustible; it hath a lively spring and
perpetual current. Such was the beverage contained within the cup of
Tantalus, which was figuratively represented amongst the Brachman
sages. Such was in Iberia the mountain of salt so highly written of
by Cato. Such was the branch of gold consecrated to the subterranean
goddess, which Virgil treats of so sublimely. It is a true
cornucopia of merriment and raillery. If at any time it seem to you
to be emptied to the very lees, yet shall it not for all that be
drawn wholly dry. Good hope remains there at the bottom, as in
Pandora's bottle; and not despair, as in the puncheon of the
Danaids. Remark well what I have said, and what manner of people
they be whom I do invite; for, to the end that none be deceived, I,
in imitation of Lucilius, who did protest that he wrote only to his
own Tarentines and Consentines, have not pierced this vessel for any
else but you honest men, who are drinkers of the first edition, and
gouty blades of the highest degree. The great dorophages,
bribe-mongers, have on their hands occupation enough, and enough on
the hooks for their venison. There may they follow their prey; here
is no garbage for them. You pettifoggers, garblers, and masters of
chicanery, speak not to me, I beseech you, in the name of, and for
the reverence you bear to the four hips that engendered you and to
the quickening peg which at that time conjoined them. As for
hypocrites, much less; although they were all of them unsound in
body, pockified, scurvy, furnished with unquenchable thirst and
insatiable eating. (And wherefore?) Because indeed they are not of
good but of evil, and of that evil from which we daily pray to God
to deliver us. And albeit we see them sometimes counterfeit
devotion, yet never did old ape make pretty moppet. Hence, mastiffs;
dogs in a doublet, get you behind; aloof, villains, out of my
sunshine; curs, to the devil! Do you jog hither, wagging your tails,
to pant at my wine, and bepiss my barrel? Look, here is the cudgel
which Diogenes, in his last will, ordained to be set by him after
his death, for beating away, crushing the reins, and breaking the
backs of these bustuary hobgoblins and Cerberian hellhounds. Pack
you hence, therefore, you hypocrites, to your sheep-dogs; get you
gone, you dissemblers, to the devil! Hay! What, are you there yet? I
renounce my part of Papimanie, if I snatch you, Grr, Grrr, Grrrrrr.
Avaunt, avaunt! Will you not be gone? May you never shit till you be
soundly lashed with stirrup leather, never piss but by the strapado,
nor be otherwise warmed than by the bastinado.
THE THIRD BOOK.
Chapter 3.I.—How Pantagruel transported a colony of Utopians
Pantagruel, having wholly subdued the land of Dipsody,
transported thereunto a colony of Utopians, to the number of
9,876,543,210 men, besides the women and little children, artificers
of all trades, and professors of all sciences, to people, cultivate,
and improve that country, which otherwise was ill inhabited, and in
the greatest part thereof but a mere desert and wilderness; and did
transport them (not) so much for the excessive multitude of men and
women, which were in Utopia multiplied, for number, like
grasshoppers upon the face of the land. You understand well enough,
nor is it needful further to explain it to you, that the Utopian men
had so rank and fruitful genitories, and that the Utopian women
carried matrixes so ample, so gluttonous, so tenaciously retentive,
and so architectonically cellulated, that at the end of every ninth
month seven children at the least, what male what female, were
brought forth by every married woman, in imitation of the people of
Israel in Egypt, if Anthony (Nicholas) de Lyra be to be trusted. Nor
yet was this transplantation made so much for the fertility of the
soil, the wholesomeness of the air, or commodity of the country of
Dipsody, as to retain that rebellious people within the bounds of
their duty and obedience, by this new transport of his ancient and
most faithful subjects, who, from all time out of mind, never knew,
acknowledged, owned, or served any other sovereign lord but him; and
who likewise, from the very instant of their birth, as soon as they
were entered into this world, had, with the milk of their mothers
and nurses, sucked in the sweetness, humanity, and mildness of his
government, to which they were all of them so nourished and
habituated, that there was nothing surer than that they would sooner
abandon their lives than swerve from this singular and primitive
obedience naturally due to their prince, whithersoever they should
be dispersed or removed.
And not only should they, and their children successively
descending from their blood, be such, but also would keep and
maintain in this same fealty and obsequious observance all the
nations lately annexed to his empire; which so truly came to pass
that therein he was not disappointed of his intent. For if the
Utopians were before their transplantation thither dutiful and
faithful subjects, the Dipsodes, after some few days conversing with
them, were every whit as, if not more, loyal than they; and that by
virtue of I know not what natural fervency incident to all human
creatures at the beginning of any labour wherein they take delight:
solemnly attesting the heavens and supreme intelligences of their
being only sorry that no sooner unto their knowledge had arrived the
great renown of the good Pantagruel.
Remark therefore here, honest drinkers, that the manner of
preserving and retaining countries newly conquered in obedience is
not, as hath been the erroneous opinion of some tyrannical spirits
to their own detriment and dishonour, to pillage, plunder, force,
spoil, trouble, oppress, vex, disquiet, ruin and destroy the people,
ruling, governing and keeping them in awe with rods of iron; and, in
a word, eating and devouring them, after the fashion that Homer
calls an unjust and wicked king, Demoboron, that is to say, a
devourer of his people.
I will not bring you to this purpose the testimony of ancient
writers. It shall suffice to put you in mind of what your fathers
have seen thereof, and yourselves too, if you be not very babes.
Newborn, they must be given suck to, rocked in a cradle, and
dandled. Trees newly planted must be supported, underpropped,
strengthened and defended against all tempests, mischiefs, injuries,
and calamities. And one lately saved from a long and dangerous
sickness, and new upon his recovery, must be forborn, spared, and
cherished, in such sort that they may harbour in their own breasts
this opinion, that there is not in the world a king or a prince who
does not desire fewer enemies and more friends. Thus Osiris, the
great king of the Egyptians, conquered almost the whole earth, not
so much by force of arms as by easing the people of their troubles,
teaching them how to live well, and honestly giving them good laws,
and using them with all possible affability, courtesy, gentleness,
and liberality. Therefore was he by all men deservedly entitled the
Great King Euergetes, that is to say, Benefactor, which style he
obtained by virtue of the command of Jupiter to (one) Pamyla.
And in effect, Hesiod, in his Hierarchy, placed the good demons
(call them angels if you will, or geniuses,) as intercessors and
mediators betwixt the gods and men, they being of a degree inferior
to the gods, but superior to men. And for that through their hands
the riches and benefits we get from heaven are dealt to us, and that
they are continually doing us good and still protecting us from
evil, he saith that they exercise the offices of kings; because to
do always good, and never ill, is an act most singularly royal.
Just such another was the emperor of the universe, Alexander the
Macedonian. After this manner was Hercules sovereign possessor of
the whole continent, relieving men from monstrous oppressions,
exactions, and tyrannies; governing them with discretion,
maintaining them in equity and justice, instructing them with
seasonable policies and wholesome laws, convenient for and suitable
to the soil, climate, and disposition of the country, supplying what
was wanting, abating what was superfluous, and pardoning all that
was past, with a sempiternal forgetfulness of all preceding
offences, as was the amnesty of the Athenians, when by the prowess,
valour, and industry of Thrasybulus the tyrants were exterminated;
afterwards at Rome by Cicero exposed, and renewed under the Emperor
Aurelian. These are the philtres, allurements, iynges,
inveiglements, baits, and enticements of love, by the means whereof
that may be peaceably revived which was painfully acquired. Nor can
a conqueror reign more happily, whether he be a monarch, emperor,
king, prince, or philosopher, than by making his justice to second
his valour. His valour shows itself in victory and conquest; his
justice will appear in the goodwill and affection of the people,
when he maketh laws, publisheth ordinances, establisheth religion,
and doth what is right to everyone, as the noble poet Virgil writes
of Octavian Augustus:
Per populos dat jura.
Therefore is it that Homer in his Iliads calleth a good prince
and great king Kosmetora laon, that is, the ornament of the people.
Such was the consideration of Numa Pompilius, the second king of
the Romans, a just politician and wise philosopher, when he ordained
that to god Terminus, on the day of his festival called Terminales,
nothing should be sacrificed that had died; teaching us thereby that
the bounds, limits, and frontiers of kingdoms should be guarded, and
preserved in peace, amity, and meekness, without polluting our hands
with blood and robbery. Who doth otherwise, shall not only lose what
he hath gained, but also be loaded with this scandal and reproach,
that he is an unjust and wicked purchaser, and his acquests perish
with him; Juxta illud, male parta, male dilabuntur. And although
during his whole lifetime he should have peaceable possession
thereof, yet if what hath been so acquired moulder away in the hands
of his heirs, the same opprobry, scandal, and imputation will be
charged upon the defunct, and his memory remain accursed for his
unjust and unwarrantable conquest; Juxta illud, de male quaesitis
vix gaudet tertius haeres.
Remark, likewise, gentlemen, you gouty feoffees, in this main
point worthy of your observation, how by these means Pantagruel of
one angel made two, which was a contingency opposite to the counsel
of Charlemagne, who made two devils of one when he transplanted the
Saxons into Flanders and the Flemings into Saxony. For, not being
able to keep in such subjection the Saxons, whose dominion he had
joined to the empire, but that ever and anon they would break forth
into open rebellion if he should casually be drawn into Spain or
other remote kingdoms, he caused them to be brought unto his own
country of Flanders, the inhabitants whereof did naturally obey him,
and transported the Hainaults and Flemings, his ancient loving
subjects, into Saxony, not mistrusting their loyalty now that they
were transplanted into a strange land. But it happened that the
Saxons persisted in their rebellion and primitive obstinacy, and the
Flemings dwelling in Saxony did imbibe the stubborn manners and
conditions of the Saxons.
Chapter 3.II.—How Panurge was made Laird of Salmigondin in
Dipsody, and did waste his revenue before it came in.
Whilst Pantagruel was giving order for the government of all
Dipsody, he assigned to Panurge the lairdship of Salmigondin, which
was yearly worth 6,789,106,789 reals of certain rent, besides the
uncertain revenue of the locusts and periwinkles, amounting, one
year with another, to the value of 435,768, or 2,435,769 French
crowns of Berry. Sometimes it did amount to 1,230,554,321 seraphs,
when it was a good year, and that locusts and periwinkles were in
request; but that was not every year.
Now his worship, the new laird, husbanded this his estate so
providently well and prudently, that in less than fourteen days he
wasted and dilapidated all the certain and uncertain revenue of his
lairdship for three whole years. Yet did not he properly dilapidate
it, as you might say, in founding of monasteries, building of
churches, erecting of colleges, and setting up of hospitals, or
casting his bacon-flitches to the dogs; but spent it in a thousand
little banquets and jolly collations, keeping open house for all
comers and goers; yea, to all good fellows, young girls, and pretty
wenches; felling timber, burning great logs for the sale of the
ashes, borrowing money beforehand, buying dear, selling cheap, and
eating his corn, as it were, whilst it was but grass.
Pantagruel, being advertised of this his lavishness, was in good
sooth no way offended at the matter, angry nor sorry; for I once
told you, and again tell it you, that he was the best, little, great
goodman that ever girded a sword to his side. He took all things in
good part, and interpreted every action to the best sense. He never
vexed nor disquieted himself with the least pretence of dislike to
anything, because he knew that he must have most grossly abandoned
the divine mansion of reason if he had permitted his mind to be
never so little grieved, afflicted, or altered at any occasion
whatsoever. For all the goods that the heaven covereth, and that the
earth containeth, in all their dimensions of height, depth, breadth,
and length, are not of so much worth as that we should for them
disturb or disorder our affections, trouble or perplex our senses or
He drew only Panurge aside, and then, making to him a sweet
remonstrance and mild admonition, very gently represented before him
in strong arguments, that, if he should continue in such an
unthrifty course of living, and not become a better mesnagier, it
would prove altogether impossible for him, or at least hugely
difficult, at any time to make him rich. Rich! answered Panurge;
have you fixed your thoughts there? Have you undertaken the task to
enrich me in this world? Set your mind to live merrily, in the name
of God and good folks; let no other cark nor care be harboured
within the sacrosanctified domicile of your celestial brain. May the
calmness and tranquillity thereof be never incommodated with, or
overshadowed by any frowning clouds of sullen imaginations and
displeasing annoyance! For if you live joyful, merry, jocund, and
glad, I cannot be but rich enough. Everybody cries up thrift,
thrift, and good husbandry. But many speak of Robin Hood that never
shot in his bow, and talk of that virtue of mesnagery who know not
what belongs to it. It is by me that they must be advised. From me,
therefore, take this advertisement and information, that what is
imputed to me for a vice hath been done in imitation of the
university and parliament of Paris, places in which is to be found
the true spring and source of the lively idea of Pantheology and all
manner of justice. Let him be counted a heretic that doubteth
thereof, and doth not firmly believe it. Yet they in one day eat up
their bishop, or the revenue of the bishopric—is it not all one?—for
a whole year, yea, sometimes for two. This is done on the day he
makes his entry, and is installed. Nor is there any place for an
excuse; for he cannot avoid it, unless he would be hooted at and
stoned for his parsimony.
It hath been also esteemed an act flowing from the habit of the
four cardinal virtues. Of prudence in borrowing money beforehand;
for none knows what may fall out. Who is able to tell if the world
shall last yet three years? But although it should continue longer,
is there any man so foolish as to have the confidence to promise
himself three years?
What fool so confident to say,
That he shall live one other day?
Of commutative justice, in buying dear, I say, upon trust, and
selling goods cheap, that is, for ready money. What says Cato in his
Book of Husbandry to this purpose? The father of a family, says he,
must be a perpetual seller; by which means it is impossible but that
at last he shall become rich, if he have of vendible ware enough
still ready for sale.
Of distributive justice it doth partake, in giving entertainment
to good —remark, good—and gentle fellows, whom fortune had
shipwrecked, like Ulysses, upon the rock of a hungry stomach without
provision of sustenance; and likewise to the good—remark, the
good—and young wenches. For, according to the sentence of
Hippocrates, Youth is impatient of hunger, chiefly if it be
vigorous, lively, frolic, brisk, stirring, and bouncing. Which
wanton lasses willingly and heartily devote themselves to the
pleasure of honest men; and are in so far both Platonic and
Ciceronian, that they do acknowledge their being born into this
world not to be for themselves alone, but that in their proper
persons their acquaintance may claim one share, and their friends
The virtue of fortitude appears therein by the cutting down and
overthrowing of the great trees, like a second Milo making havoc of
the dark forest, which did serve only to furnish dens, caves, and
shelter to wolves, wild boars, and foxes, and afford receptacles,
withdrawing corners, and refuges to robbers, thieves, and murderers,
lurking holes and skulking places for cutthroat assassinators,
secret obscure shops for coiners of false money, and safe retreats
for heretics, laying them even and level with the plain champaign
fields and pleasant heathy ground, at the sound of the hautboys and
bagpipes playing reeks with the high and stately timber, and
preparing seats and benches for the eve of the dreadful day of
I gave thereby proof of my temperance in eating my corn whilst it
was but grass, like a hermit feeding upon salads and roots, that, so
affranchising myself from the yoke of sensual appetites to the utter
disclaiming of their sovereignty, I might the better reserve
somewhat in store for the relief of the lame, blind, crippled,
maimed, needy, poor, and wanting wretches.
In taking this course I save the expense of the weed-grubbers,
who gain money,—of the reapers in harvest-time, who drink lustily,
and without water,—of gleaners, who will expect their cakes and
bannocks,—of threshers, who leave no garlic, scallions, leeks, nor
onions in our gardens, by the authority of Thestilis in Virgil,—and
of the millers, who are generally thieves,—and of the bakers, who
are little better. Is this small saving or frugality? Besides the
mischief and damage of the field-mice, the decay of barns, and the
destruction usually made by weasels and other vermin.
Of corn in the blade you may make good green sauce of a light
concoction and easy digestion, which recreates the brain and
exhilarates the animal spirits, rejoiceth the sight, openeth the
appetite, delighteth the taste, comforteth the heart, tickleth the
tongue, cheereth the countenance, striking a fresh and lively
colour, strengthening the muscles, tempers the blood, disburdens the
midriff, refresheth the liver, disobstructs the spleen, easeth the
kidneys, suppleth the reins, quickens the joints of the back,
cleanseth the urine-conduits, dilates the spermatic vessels,
shortens the cremasters, purgeth the bladder, puffeth up the
genitories, correcteth the prepuce, hardens the nut, and rectifies
the member. It will make you have a current belly to trot, fart,
dung, piss, sneeze, cough, spit, belch, spew, yawn, snuff, blow,
breathe, snort, sweat, and set taut your Robin, with a thousand
other rare advantages. I understand you very well, says Pantagruel;
you would thereby infer that those of a mean spirit and shallow
capacity have not the skill to spend much in a short time. You are
not the first in whose conceit that heresy hath entered. Nero
maintained it, and above all mortals admired most his uncle Caius
Caligula, for having in a few days, by a most wonderfully pregnant
invention, totally spent all the goods and patrimony which Tiberius
had left him.
But, instead of observing the sumptuous supper-curbing laws of
the Romans —to wit, the Orchia, the Fannia, the Didia, the Licinia,
the Cornelia, the Lepidiana, the Antia, and of the Corinthians—by
the which they were inhibited, under pain of great punishment, not
to spend more in one year than their annual revenue did amount to,
you have offered up the oblation of Protervia, which was with the
Romans such a sacrifice as the paschal lamb was amongst the Jews,
wherein all that was eatable was to be eaten, and the remainder to
be thrown into the fire, without reserving anything for the next
day. I may very justly say of you, as Cato did of Albidius, who
after that he had by a most extravagant expense wasted all the means
and possessions he had to one only house, he fairly set it on fire,
that he might the better say, Consummatum est. Even just as since
his time St. Thomas Aquinas did, when he had eaten up the whole
lamprey, although there was no necessity in it.
Chapter 3.III.—How Panurge praiseth the debtors and borrowers.
But, quoth Pantagruel, when will you be out of debt? At the next
ensuing term of the Greek kalends, answered Panurge, when all the
world shall be content, and that it be your fate to become your own
heir. The Lord forbid that I should be out of debt, as if, indeed, I
could not be trusted. Who leaves not some leaven over night, will
hardly have paste the next morning.
Be still indebted to somebody or other, that there may be
somebody always to pray for you, that the giver of all good things
may grant unto you a blessed, long, and prosperous life; fearing, if
fortune should deal crossly with you, that it might be his chance to
come short of being paid by you, he will always speak good of you in
every company, ever and anon purchase new creditors unto you; to the
end, that through their means you may make a shift by borrowing from
Peter to pay Paul, and with other folk's earth fill up his ditch.
When of old, in the region of the Gauls, by the institution of the
Druids, the servants, slaves, and bondmen were burnt quick at the
funerals and obsequies of their lords and masters, had not they fear
enough, think you, that their lords and masters should die? For,
perforce, they were to die with them for company. Did not they
incessantly send up their supplications to their great god Mercury,
as likewise unto Dis, the father of wealth, to lengthen out their
days, and to preserve them long in health? Were not they very
careful to entertain them well, punctually to look unto them, and to
attend them faithfully and circumspectly? For by those means were
they to live together at least until the hour of death. Believe me,
your creditors with a more fervent devotion will beseech Almighty
God to prolong your life, they being of nothing more afraid than
that you should die; for that they are more concerned for the sleeve
than the arm, and love silver better than their own lives. As it
evidently appeareth by the usurers of Landerousse, who not long
since hanged themselves because the price of the corn and wines was
fallen by the return of a gracious season. To this Pantagruel
answering nothing, Panurge went on in his discourse, saying, Truly
and in good sooth, sir, when I ponder my destiny aright, and think
well upon it, you put me shrewdly to my plunges, and have me at a
bay in twitting me with the reproach of my debts and creditors. And
yet did I, in this only respect and consideration of being a debtor,
esteem myself worshipful, reverend, and formidable. For against the
opinion of most philosophers, that of nothing ariseth nothing, yet,
without having bottomed on so much as that which is called the First
Matter, did I out of nothing become such (a) maker and creator, that
I have created—what?—a gay number of fair and jolly creditors. Nay,
creditors, I will maintain it, even to the very fire itself
exclusively, are fair and goodly creatures. Who lendeth nothing is
an ugly and wicked creature, and an accursed imp of the infernal Old
Nick. And there is made—what? Debts. A thing most precious and
dainty, of great use and antiquity. Debts, I say, surmounting the
number of syllables which may result from the combinations of all
the consonants, with each of the vowels heretofore projected,
reckoned, and calculated by the noble Xenocrates. To judge of the
perfection of debtors by the numerosity of their creditors is the
readiest way for entering into the mysteries of practical
You can hardly imagine how glad I am, when every morning I
perceive myself environed and surrounded with brigades of
creditors—humble, fawning, and full of their reverences. And whilst
I remark that, as I look more favourably upon and give a cheerfuller
countenance to one than to another, the fellow thereupon buildeth a
conceit that he shall be the first despatched and the foremost in
the date of payment, and he valueth my smiles at the rate of ready
money, it seemeth unto me that I then act and personate the god of
the passion of Saumure, accompanied with his angels and cherubims.
These are my flatterers, my soothers, my clawbacks, my smoothers,
my parasites, my saluters, my givers of good-morrows, and perpetual
orators; which makes me verily think that the supremest height of
heroic virtue described by Hesiod consisteth in being a debtor,
wherein I held the first degree in my commencement. Which dignity,
though all human creatures seem to aim at and aspire thereto, few
nevertheless, because of the difficulties in the way and
encumbrances of hard passages, are able to reach it, as is easily
perceivable by the ardent desire and vehement longing harboured in
the breast of everyone to be still creating more debts and new
Yet doth it not lie in the power of everyone to be a debtor. To
acquire creditors is not at the disposure of each man's arbitrament.
You nevertheless would deprive me of this sublime felicity. You ask
me when I will be out of debt. Well, to go yet further on, and
possibly worse in your conceit, may Saint Bablin, the good saint,
snatch me, if I have not all my lifetime held debt to be as a union
or conjunction of the heavens with the earth, and the whole cement
whereby the race of mankind is kept together; yea, of such virtue
and efficacy that, I say, the whole progeny of Adam would very
suddenly perish without it. Therefore, perhaps, I do not think
amiss, when I repute it to be the great soul of the universe, which,
according to the opinion of the Academics, vivifieth all manner of
things. In confirmation whereof, that you may the better believe it
to be so, represent unto yourself, without any prejudicacy of
spirit, in a clear and serene fancy, the idea and form of some other
world than this; take, if you please, and lay hold on the thirtieth
of those which the philosopher Metrodorus did enumerate, wherein it
is to be supposed there is no debtor or creditor, that is to say, a
world without debts.
There amongst the planets will be no regular course, all will be
in disorder. Jupiter, reckoning himself to be nothing indebted unto
Saturn, will go near to detrude him out of his sphere, and with the
Homeric chain will be like to hang up the intelligences, gods,
heavens, demons, heroes, devils, earth and sea, together with the
other elements. Saturn, no doubt, combining with Mars will reduce
that so disturbed world into a chaos of confusion.
Mercury then would be no more subjected to the other planets; he
would scorn to be any longer their Camillus, as he was of old termed
in the Etrurian tongue. For it is to be imagined that he is no way a
debtor to them.
Venus will be no more venerable, because she shall have lent
nothing. The moon will remain bloody and obscure. For to what end
should the sun impart unto her any of his light? He owed her
nothing. Nor yet will the sun shine upon the earth, nor the stars
send down any good influence, because the terrestrial globe hath
desisted from sending up their wonted nourishment by vapours and
exhalations, wherewith Heraclitus said, the Stoics proved, Cicero
maintained, they were cherished and alimented. There would likewise
be in such a world no manner of symbolization, alteration, nor
transmutation amongst the elements; for the one will not esteem
itself obliged to the other, as having borrowed nothing at all from
it. Earth then will not become water, water will not be changed into
air, of air will be made no fire, and fire will afford no heat unto
the earth; the earth will produce nothing but monsters, Titans,
giants; no rain will descend upon it, nor light shine thereon; no
wind will blow there, nor will there be in it any summer or harvest.
Lucifer will break loose, and issuing forth of the depth of hell,
accompanied with his furies, fiends, and horned devils, will go
about to unnestle and drive out of heaven all the gods, as well of
the greater as of the lesser nations. Such a world without lending
will be no better than a dog-kennel, a place of contention and
wrangling, more unruly and irregular than that of the rector of
Paris; a devil of an hurlyburly, and more disordered confusion than
that of the plagues of Douay. Men will not then salute one another;
it will be but lost labour to expect aid or succour from any, or to
cry fire, water, murder, for none will put to their helping hand.
Why? He lent no money, there is nothing due to him. Nobody is
concerned in his burning, in his shipwreck, in his ruin, or in his
death; and that because he hitherto had lent nothing, and would
never thereafter have lent anything. In short, Faith, Hope, and
Charity would be quite banished from such a world—for men are born
to relieve and assist one another; and in their stead should succeed
and be introduced Defiance, Disdain, and Rancour, with the most
execrable troop of all evils, all imprecations, and all miseries.
Whereupon you will think, and that not amiss, that Pandora had there
spilt her unlucky bottle. Men unto men will be wolves, hobthrushers,
and goblins (as were Lycaon, Bellerophon, Nebuchodonosor),
plunderers, highway robbers, cutthroats, rapparees, murderers,
poisoners, assassinators, lewd, wicked, malevolent, pernicious
haters, set against everybody, like to Ishmael, Metabus, or Timon
the Athenian, who for that cause was named Misanthropos, in such
sort that it would prove much more easy in nature to have fish
entertained in the air and bullocks fed in the bottom of the ocean,
than to support or tolerate a rascally rabble of people that will
not lend. These fellows, I vow, do I hate with a perfect hatred; and
if, conform to the pattern of this grievous, peevish, and perverse
world which lendeth nothing, you figure and liken the little world,
which is man, you will find in him a terrible justling coil and
clutter. The head will not lend the sight of his eyes to guide the
feet and hands; the legs will refuse to bear up the body; the hands
will leave off working any more for the rest of the members; the
heart will be weary of its continual motion for the beating of the
pulse, and will no longer lend his assistance; the lungs will
withdraw the use of their bellows; the liver will desist from
convoying any more blood through the veins for the good of the
whole; the bladder will not be indebted to the kidneys, so that the
urine thereby will be totally stopped. The brains, in the interim,
considering this unnatural course, will fall into a raving dotage,
and withhold all feeling from the sinews and motion from the
muscles. Briefly, in such a world without order and array, owing
nothing, lending nothing, and borrowing nothing, you would see a
more dangerous conspiration than that which Aesop exposed in his
Apologue. Such a world will perish undoubtedly; and not only perish,
but perish very quickly. Were it Aesculapius himself, his body would
immediately rot, and the chafing soul, full of indignation, take its
flight to all the devils of hell after my money.
Chapter 3.IV.—Panurge continueth his discourse in the praise of
borrowers and lenders.
On the contrary, be pleased to represent unto your fancy another
world, wherein everyone lendeth and everyone oweth, all are debtors
and all creditors. O how great will that harmony be, which shall
thereby result from the regular motions of the heavens! Methinks I
hear it every whit as well as ever Plato did. What sympathy will
there be amongst the elements! O how delectable then unto nature
will be our own works and productions! Whilst Ceres appeareth laden
with corn, Bacchus with wines, Flora with flowers, Pomona with
fruits, and Juno fair in a clear air, wholesome and pleasant. I lose
myself in this high contemplation.
Then will among the race of mankind peace, love, benevolence,
fidelity, tranquillity, rest, banquets, feastings, joy, gladness,
gold, silver, single money, chains, rings, with other ware and
chaffer of that nature be found to trot from hand to hand. No suits
at law, no wars, no strife, debate, nor wrangling; none will be
there a usurer, none will be there a pinch-penny, a scrape-good
wretch, or churlish hard-hearted refuser. Good God! Will not this be
the golden age in the reign of Saturn? the true idea of the Olympic
regions, wherein all (other) virtues cease, charity alone ruleth,
governeth, domineereth, and triumpheth? All will be fair and goodly
people there, all just and virtuous.
O happy world! O people of that world most happy! Yea, thrice and
four times blessed is that people! I think in very deed that I am
amongst them, and swear to you, by my good forsooth, that if this
glorious aforesaid world had a pope, abounding with cardinals, that
so he might have the association of a sacred college, in the space
of very few years you should be sure to see the saints much thicker
in the roll, more numerous, wonder-working and mirific, more
services, more vows, more staves and wax-candles than are all those
in the nine bishoprics of Britany, St. Yves only excepted. Consider,
sir, I pray you, how the noble Patelin, having a mind to deify and
extol even to the third heavens the father of William Josseaulme,
said no more but this, And he did lend his goods to those who were
desirous of them.
O the fine saying! Now let our microcosm be fancied conform to
this model in all its members; lending, borrowing, and owing, that
is to say, according to its own nature. For nature hath not to any
other end created man, but to owe, borrow, and lend; no greater is
the harmony amongst the heavenly spheres than that which shall be
found in its well-ordered policy. The intention of the founder of
this microcosm is, to have a soul therein to be entertained, which
is lodged there, as a guest with its host, (that) it may live there
for a while. Life consisteth in blood, blood is the seat of the
soul; therefore the chiefest work of the microcosm is, to be making
At this forge are exercised all the members of the body; none is
exempted from labour, each operates apart, and doth its proper
office. And such is their heirarchy, that perpetually the one
borrows from the other, the one lends the other, and the one is the
other's debtor. The stuff and matter convenient, which nature giveth
to be turned into blood, is bread and wine. All kind of nourishing
victuals is understood to be comprehended in these two, and from
hence in the Gothish tongue is called companage. To find out this
meat and drink, to prepare and boil it, the hands are put to work,
the feet do walk and bear up the whole bulk of the corporal mass;
the eyes guide and conduct all; the appetite in the orifice of the
stomach, by means of (a) little sourish black humour, called
melancholy, which is transmitted thereto from the milt, giveth
warning to shut in the food. The tongue doth make the first essay,
and tastes it; the teeth do chew it, and the stomach doth receive,
digest, and chylify it. The mesaraic veins suck out of it what is
good and fit, leaving behind the excrements, which are, through
special conduits for that purpose, voided by an expulsive faculty.
Thereafter it is carried to the liver, where it being changed again,
it by the virtue of that new transmutation becomes blood. What joy,
conjecture you, will then be found amongst those officers when they
see this rivulet of gold, which is their sole restorative? No
greater is the joy of alchemists, when after long travail, toil, and
expense they see in their furnaces the transmutation. Then is it
that every member doth prepare itself, and strive anew to purify and
to refine this treasure. The kidneys through the emulgent veins draw
that aquosity from thence which you call urine, and there send it
away through the ureters to be slipped downwards; where, in a lower
receptacle, and proper for it, to wit, the bladder, it is kept, and
stayeth there until an opportunity to void it out in his due time.
The spleen draweth from the blood its terrestrial part, viz., the
grounds, lees, or thick substance settled in the bottom thereof,
which you term melancholy. The bottle of the gall subtracts from
thence all the superfluous choler; whence it is brought to another
shop or work-house to be yet better purified and fined, that is, the
heart, which by its agitation of diastolic and systolic motions so
neatly subtilizeth and inflames it, that in the right side ventricle
it is brought to perfection, and through the veins is sent to all
the members. Each parcel of the body draws it then unto itself, and
after its own fashion is cherished and alimented by it. Feet, hands,
thighs, arms, eyes, ears, back, breast, yea, all; and then it is,
that who before were lenders, now become debtors. The heart doth in
its left side ventricle so thinnify the blood, that it thereby
obtains the name of spiritual; which being sent through the arteries
to all the members of the body, serveth to warm and winnow the other
blood which runneth through the veins. The lights never cease with
its lappets and bellows to cool and refresh it, in acknowledgment of
which good the heart, through the arterial vein, imparts unto it the
choicest of its blood. At last it is made so fine and subtle within
the rete mirabile, that thereafter those animal spirits are framed
and composed of it, by means whereof the imagination, discourse,
judgment, resolution, deliberation, ratiocination, and memory have
their rise, actings, and operations.
Cops body, I sink, I drown, I perish, I wander astray, and quite
fly out of myself when I enter into the consideration of the
profound abyss of this world, thus lending, thus owing. Believe me,
it is a divine thing to lend,—to owe, an heroic virtue. Yet is not
this all. This little world thus lending, owing, and borrowing, is
so good and charitable, that no sooner is the above-specified
alimentation finished, but that it forthwith projecteth, and hath
already forecast, how it shall lend to those who are not as yet
born, and by that loan endeavour what it may to eternize itself, and
multiply in images like the pattern, that is, children. To this end
every member doth of the choicest and most precious of its
nourishment pare and cut off a portion, then instantly despatcheth
it downwards to that place where nature hath prepared for it very
fit vessels and receptacles, through which descending to the
genitories by long ambages, circuits, and flexuosities, it receiveth
a competent form, and rooms apt enough both in man and woman for the
future conservation and perpetuating of human kind. All this is done
by loans and debts of the one unto the other; and hence have we this
word, the debt of marriage. Nature doth reckon pain to the refuser,
with a most grievous vexation to his members and an outrageous fury
amidst his senses. But, on the other part, to the lender a set
reward, accompanied with pleasure, joy, solace, mirth, and merry
Chapter 3.V.—How Pantagruel altogether abhorreth the debtors and
I understand you very well, quoth Pantagruel, and take you to be
very good at topics, and thoroughly affectioned to your own cause.
But preach it up, and patrocinate it, prattle on it, and defend it
as much as you will, even from hence to the next Whitsuntide, if you
please so to do, yet in the end you will be astonished to find how
you shall have gained no ground at all upon me, nor persuaded me by
your fair speeches and smooth talk to enter never so little into the
thraldom of debt. You shall owe to none, saith the holy Apostle,
anything save love, friendship, and a mutual benevolence.
You serve me here, I confess, with fine graphides and diatyposes,
descriptions and figures, which truly please me very well. But let
me tell you, if you will represent unto your fancy an impudent
blustering bully and an importunate borrower, entering afresh and
newly into a town already advertised of his manners, you shall find
that at his ingress the citizens will be more hideously affrighted
and amazed, and in a greater terror and fear, dread, and trembling,
than if the pest itself should step into it in the very same garb
and accoutrement wherein the Tyanean philosopher found it within the
city of Ephesus. And I am fully confirmed in the opinion, that the
Persians erred not when they said that the second vice was to lie,
the first being that of owing money. For, in very truth, debts and
lying are ordinarily joined together. I will nevertheless not from
hence infer that none must owe anything or lend anything. For who so
rich can be that sometimes may not owe, or who can be so poor that
sometimes may not lend?
Let the occasion, notwithstanding, in that case, as Plato very
wisely sayeth and ordaineth in his laws, be such that none be
permitted to draw any water out of his neighbour's well until first
they by continual digging and delving into their own proper ground
shall have hit upon a kind of potter's earth, which is called
ceramite, and there had found no source or drop of water; for that
sort of earth, by reason of its substance, which is fat, strong,
firm, and close, so retaineth its humidity, that it doth not easily
evaporate it by any outward excursion or evaporation.
In good sooth, it is a great shame to choose rather to be still
borrowing in all places from everyone, than to work and win. Then
only in my judgment should one lend, when the diligent, toiling, and
industrious person is no longer able by his labour to make any
purchase unto himself, or otherwise, when by mischance he hath
suddenly fallen into an unexpected loss of his goods.
Howsoever, let us leave this discourse, and from henceforwards do
not hang upon creditors, nor tie yourself to them. I make account
for the time past to rid you freely of them, and from their bondage
to deliver you. The least I should in this point, quoth Panurge, is
to thank you, though it be the most I can do. And if gratitude and
thanksgiving be to be estimated and prized by the affection of the
benefactor, that is to be done infinitely and sempiternally; for the
love which you bear me of your own accord and free grace, without
any merit of mine, goeth far beyond the reach of any price or value.
It transcends all weight, all number, all measure; it is endless and
everlasting; therefore, should I offer to commensurate and adjust
it, either to the size and proportion of your own noble and gracious
deeds, or yet to the contentment and delight of the obliged
receivers, I would come off but very faintly and flaggingly. You
have verily done me a great deal of good, and multiplied your
favours on me more frequently than was fitting to one of my
condition. You have been more bountiful towards me than I have
deserved, and your courtesies have by far surpassed the extent of my
merits, I must needs confess it. But it is not, as you suppose, in
the proposed matter. For there it is not where I itch, it is not
there where it fretteth, hurts, or vexeth me; for, henceforth being
quit and out of debt, what countenance will I be able to keep? You
may imagine that it will become me very ill for the first month,
because I have never hitherto been brought up or accustomed to it. I
am very much afraid of it. Furthermore, there shall not one
hereafter, native of the country of Salmigondy, but he shall level
the shot towards my nose. All the back-cracking fellows of the
world, in discharging of their postern petarades, use commonly to
say, Voila pour les quittes, that is, For the quit. My life will be
of very short continuance, I do foresee it. I recommend to you the
making of my epitaph; for I perceive I will die confected in the
very stench of farts. If, at any time to come, by way of restorative
to such good women as shall happen to be troubled with the grievous
pain of the wind-colic, the ordinary medicaments prove nothing
effectual, the mummy of all my befarted body will straight be as a
present remedy appointed by the physicians; whereof they, taking any
small modicum, it will incontinently for their ease afford them a
rattle of bumshot, like a sal of muskets.
Therefore would I beseech you to leave me some few centuries of
debts; as King Louis the Eleventh, exempting from suits in law the
Reverend Miles d'Illiers, Bishop of Chartres, was by the said bishop
most earnestly solicited to leave him some few for the exercise of
his mind. I had rather give them all my revenue of the periwinkles,
together with the other incomes of the locusts, albeit I should not
thereby have any parcel abated from off the principal sums which I
owe. Let us waive this matter, quoth Pantagruel, I have told it you
Chapter 3.VI.—Why new married men were privileged from going to
But, in the interim, asked Panurge, by what law was it
constituted, ordained, and established, that such as should plant a
new vineyard, those that should build a new house, and the new
married men, should be exempted and discharged from the duty of
warfare for the first year? By the law, answered Pantagruel, of
Moses. Why, replied Panurge, the lately married? As for the
vine-planters, I am now too old to reflect on them; my condition, at
this present, induceth me to remain satisfied with the care of
vintage, finishing and turning the grapes into wine. Nor are these
pretty new builders of dead stones written or pricked down in my
Book of Life. It is all with live stones that I set up and erect the
fabrics of my architecture, to wit, men. It was, according to my
opinion, quoth Pantagruel, to the end, first, that the fresh married
folks should for the first year reap a full and complete fruition of
their pleasures in their mutual exercise of the act of love, in such
sort, that in waiting more at leisure on the production of posterity
and propagating of their progeny, they might the better increase
their race and make provision of new heirs. That if, in the years
thereafter, the men should, upon their undergoing of some military
adventure, happen to be killed, their names and coats-of-arms might
continue with their children in the same families. And next, that,
the wives thereby coming to know whether they were barren or
fruitful—for one year's trial, in regard of the maturity of age
wherein of old they married, was held sufficient for the
discovery—they might pitch the more suitably, in case of their first
husband's decease, upon a second match. The fertile women to be
wedded to those who desire to multiply their issue; and the sterile
ones to such other mates, as, misregarding the storing of their own
lineage, choose them only for their virtues, learning, genteel
behaviour, domestic consolation, management of the house, and
matrimonial conveniences and comforts, and such like. The preachers
of Varennes, saith Panurge, detest and abhor the second marriages,
as altogether foolish and dishonest.
Foolish and dishonest? quoth Pantagruel. A plague take such
preachers! Yea but, quoth Panurge, the like mischief also befall the
Friar Charmer, who, in a full auditory making a sermon at Pereilly,
and therein abominating the reiteration of marriage and the entering
again in the bonds of a nuptial tie, did swear and heartily give
himself to the swiftest devil in hell, if he had not rather choose,
and would much more willingly undertake the unmaidening or
depucelating of a hundred virgins, than the simple drudgery of one
widow. Truly I find your reason in that point right good and
But what would you think, if the cause why this exemption or
immunity was granted had no other foundation but that, during the
whole space of the said first year, they so lustily bobbed it with
their female consorts, as both reason and equity require they should
do, that they had drained and evacuated their spermatic vessels; and
were become thereby altogether feeble, weak, emasculated, drooping,
and flaggingly pithless; yea, in such sort that they in the day of
battle, like ducks which plunge over head and ears, would sooner
hide themselves behind the baggage, than, in the company of valiant
fighters and daring military combatants, appear where stern Bellona
deals her blows and moves a bustling noise of thwacks and thumps?
Nor is it to be thought that, under the standard of Mars, they will
so much as once strike a fair stroke, because their most
considerable knocks have been already jerked and whirrited within
the curtains of his sweetheart Venus.
In confirmation whereof, amongst other relics and monuments of
antiquity, we now as yet often see, that in all great houses, after
the expiring of some few days, these young married blades are
readily sent away to visit their uncles, that in the absence of
their wives reposing themselves a little they may recover their
decayed strength by the recruit of a fresh supply, the more vigorous
to return again and face about to renew the duelling shock and
conflict of an amorous dalliance, albeit for the greater part they
have neither uncle nor aunt to go to.
Just so did the King Crackart, after the battle of the Cornets,
not cashier us (speaking properly), I mean me and the Quail-caller,
but for our refreshment remanded us to our houses; and he is as yet
seeking after his own. My grandfather's godmother was wont to say to
me when I was a boy,—
Patenostres et oraisons
Sont pour ceux-la, qui les retiennent.
Ung fiffre en fenaisons
Est plus fort que deux qui en viennent.
Not orisons nor patenotres
Shall ever disorder my brain.
One cadet, to the field as he flutters,
Is worth two, when they end the campaign.
That which prompteth me to that opinion is, that the
vine-planters did seldom eat of the grapes, or drink of the wine of
their labour, till the first year was wholly elapsed. During all
which time also the builders did hardly inhabit their new-structured
dwelling-places, for fear of dying suffocated through want of
respiration; as Galen hath most learnedly remarked, in the second
book of the Difficulty of Breathing. Under favour, sir, I have not
asked this question without cause causing and reason truly very
ratiocinant. Be not offended, I pray you.
Chapter 3.VII.—How Panurge had a flea in his ear, and forbore to
wear any longer his magnificent codpiece.
Panurge, the day thereafter, caused pierce his right ear after
the Jewish fashion, and thereto clasped a little gold ring, of a
ferny-like kind of workmanship, in the beazil or collet whereof was
set and enchased a flea; and, to the end you may be rid of all
doubts, you are to know that the flea was black. O, what a brave
thing it is, in every case and circumstance of a matter, to be
thoroughly well informed! The sum of the expense hereof, being cast
up, brought in, and laid down upon his council-board carpet, was
found to amount to no more quarterly than the charge of the nuptials
of a Hircanian tigress; even, as you would say, 600,000 maravedis.
At these vast costs and excessive disbursements, as soon as he
perceived himself to be out of debt, he fretted much; and
afterwards, as tyrants and lawyers use to do, he nourished and fed
her with the sweat and blood of his subjects and clients.
He then took four French ells of a coarse brown russet cloth, and
therein apparelling himself, as with a long, plain-seamed, and
single-stitched gown, left off the wearing of his breeches, and tied
a pair of spectacles to his cap. In this equipage did he present
himself before Pantagruel; to whom this disguise appeared the more
strange, that he did not, as before, see that goodly, fair, and
stately codpiece, which was the sole anchor of hope wherein he was
wonted to rely, and last refuge he had midst all the waves and
boisterous billows which a stormy cloud in a cross fortune would
raise up against him. Honest Pantagruel, not understanding the
mystery, asked him, by way of interrogatory, what he did intend to
personate in that new-fangled prosopopoeia. I have, answered
Panurge, a flea in mine ear, and have a mind to marry. In a good
time, quoth Pantagruel, you have told me joyful tidings. Yet would
not I hold a red-hot iron in my hand for all the gladness of them.
But it is not the fashion of lovers to be accoutred in such dangling
vestments, so as to have their shirts flagging down over their
knees, without breeches, and with a long robe of a dark brown
mingled hue, which is a colour never used in Talarian garments
amongst any persons of honour, quality, or virtue. If some heretical
persons and schismatical sectaries have at any time formerly been so
arrayed and clothed (though many have imputed such a kind of dress
to cosenage, cheat, imposture, and an affectation of tyranny upon
credulous minds of the rude multitude), I will nevertheless not
blame them for it, nor in that point judge rashly or sinistrously of
them. Everyone overflowingly aboundeth in his own sense and fancy;
yea, in things of a foreign consideration, altogether extrinsical
and indifferent, which in and of themselves are neither commendable
nor bad, because they proceed not from the interior of the thoughts
and heart, which is the shop of all good and evil; of goodness, if
it be upright, and that its affections be regulated by the pure and
clean spirit of righteousness; and, on the other side, of
wickedness, if its inclinations, straying beyond the bounds of
equity, be corrupted and depraved by the malice and suggestions of
the devil. It is only the novelty and new-fangledness thereof which
I dislike, together with the contempt of common custom and the
fashion which is in use.
The colour, answered Panurge, is convenient, for it is conform to
that of my council-board carpet; therefore will I henceforth hold me
with it, and more narrowly and circumspectly than ever hitherto I
have done look to my affairs and business. Seeing I am once out of
debt, you never yet saw man more unpleasing than I will be, if God
help me not. Lo, here be my spectacles. To see me afar off, you
would readily say that it were Friar (John) Burgess. I believe
certainly that in the next ensuing year I shall once more preach the
Crusade. Bounce, buckram. Do you see this russet? Doubt not but
there lurketh under it some hid property and occult virtue known to
very few in the world. I did not take it on before this morning,
and, nevertheless, am already in a rage of lust, mad after a wife,
and vehemently hot upon untying the codpiece-point; I itch, I
tingle, I wriggle, and long exceedingly to be married, that, without
the danger of cudgel-blows, I may labour my female copes-mate with
the hard push of a bull-horned devil. O the provident and thrifty
husband that I then will be! After my death, with all honour and
respect due to my frugality, will they burn the sacred bulk of my
body, of purpose to preserve the ashes thereof, in memory of the
choicest pattern that ever was of a perfectly wary and complete
householder. Cops body, this is not the carpet whereon my treasurer
shall be allowed to play false in his accounts with me, by setting
down an X for a V, or an L for an S. For in that case should I make
a hail of fisticuffs to fly into his face. Look upon me, sir, both
before and behind,—it is made after the manner of a toga, which was
the ancient fashion of the Romans in time of peace. I took the mode,
shape, and form thereof in Trajan's Column at Rome, as also in the
Triumphant Arch of Septimus Severus. I am tired of the wars, weary
of wearing buff-coats, cassocks, and hoquetons. My shoulders are
pitifully worn and bruised with the carrying of harness. Let armour
cease, and the long robe bear sway! At least it must be so for the
whole space of the succeeding year, if I be married; as yesterday,
by the Mosaic law, you evidenced. In what concerneth the breeches,
my great-aunt Laurence did long ago tell me, that the breeches were
only ordained for the use of the codpiece, and to no other end;
which I, upon a no less forcible consequence, give credit to every
whit, as well as to the saying of the fine fellow Galen, who in his
ninth book, Of the Use and Employment of our Members, allegeth that
the head was made for the eyes. For nature might have placed our
heads in our knees or elbows, but having beforehand determined that
the eyes should serve to discover things from afar, she for the
better enabling them to execute their designed office, fixed them in
the head, as on the top of a long pole, in the most eminent part of
all the body—no otherwise than we see the phares, or high towers
erected in the mouths of havens, that navigators may the further off
perceive with ease the lights of the nightly fires and lanterns. And
because I would gladly, for some short while, a year at least, take
a little rest and breathing time from the toilsome labour of the
military profession, that is to say, be married, I have desisted
from wearing any more a codpiece, and consequently have laid aside
my breeches. For the codpiece is the principal and most especial
piece of armour that a warrior doth carry; and therefore do I
maintain even to the fire (exclusively, understand you me), that no
Turks can properly be said to be armed men, in regard that codpieces
are by their law forbidden to be worn.
Chapter 3.VIII.—Why the codpiece is held to be the chief piece
of armour amongst warriors.
Will you maintain, quoth Pantagruel, that the codpiece is the
chief piece of a military harness? It is a new kind of doctrine,
very paradoxical; for we say, At spurs begins the arming of a man.
Sir, I maintain it, answered Panurge, and not wrongfully do I
maintain it. Behold how nature, having a fervent desire, after its
production of plants, trees, shrubs, herbs, sponges, and
plant-animals, to eternize and continue them unto all succession of
ages (in their several kinds or sorts, at least, although the
individuals perish) unruinable, and in an everlasting being, hath
most curiously armed and fenced their buds, sprouts, shoots, and
seeds, wherein the above-mentioned perpetuity consisteth, by
strengthening, covering, guarding, and fortifying them with an
admirable industry, with husks, cases, scurfs and swads, hulls,
cods, stones, films, cartels, shells, ears, rinds, barks, skins,
ridges, and prickles, which serve them instead of strong, fair, and
natural codpieces. As is manifestly apparent in pease, beans,
fasels, pomegranates, peaches, cottons, gourds, pumpions, melons,
corn, lemons, almonds, walnuts, filberts, and chestnuts; as likewise
in all plants, slips, or sets whatsoever, wherein it is plainly and
evidently seen, that the sperm and semence is more closely veiled,
overshadowed, corroborated, and thoroughly harnessed, than any other
part, portion, or parcel of the whole.
Nature, nevertheless, did not after that manner provide for the
sempiternizing of (the) human race; but, on the contrary, created
man naked, tender, and frail, without either offensive or defensive
arms; and that in the estate of innocence, in the first age of all,
which was the golden season; not as a plant, but living creature,
born for peace, not war, and brought forth into the world with an
unquestionable right and title to the plenary fruition and enjoyment
of all fruits and vegetables, as also to a certain calm and gentle
rule and dominion over all kinds of beasts, fowls, fishes, reptiles,
and insects. Yet afterwards it happening in the time of the iron
age, under the reign of Jupiter, when, to the multiplication of
mischievous actions, wickedness and malice began to take root and
footing within the then perverted hearts of men, that the earth
began to bring forth nettles, thistles, thorns, briars, and such
other stubborn and rebellious vegetables to the nature of man. Nor
scarce was there any animal which by a fatal disposition did not
then revolt from him, and tacitly conspire and covenant with one
another to serve him no longer, nor, in case of their ability to
resist, to do him any manner of obedience, but rather, to the
uttermost of their power, to annoy him with all the hurt and harm
they could. The man, then, that he might maintain his primitive
right and prerogative, and continue his sway and dominion over all,
both vegetable and sensitive creatures, and knowing of a truth that
he could not be well accommodated as he ought without the servitude
and subjection of several animals, bethought himself that of
necessity he must needs put on arms, and make provision of harness
against wars and violence. By the holy Saint Babingoose, cried out
Pantagruel, you are become, since the last rain, a great
lifrelofre,—philosopher, I should say. Take notice, sir, quoth
Panurge, when Dame Nature had prompted him to his own arming, what
part of the body it was, where, by her inspiration, he clapped on
the first harness. It was forsooth by the double pluck of my little
dog the ballock and good Senor Don Priapos Stabo-stando—which done,
he was content, and sought no more. This is certified by the
testimony of the great Hebrew captain (and) philosopher Moses, who
affirmeth that he fenced that member with a brave and gallant
codpiece, most exquisitely framed, and by right curious devices of a
notably pregnant invention made up and composed of fig-tree leaves,
which by reason of their solid stiffness, incisory notches, curled
frizzling, sleeked smoothness, large ampleness, together with their
colour, smell, virtue, and faculty, were exceeding proper and fit
for the covering and arming of the satchels of generation—the
hideously big Lorraine cullions being from thence only excepted,
which, swaggering down to the lowermost bottom of the breeches,
cannot abide, for being quite out of all order and method, the
stately fashion of the high and lofty codpiece; as is manifest by
the noble Valentine Viardiere, whom I found at Nancy, on the first
day of May—the more flauntingly to gallantrize it afterwards—rubbing
his ballocks, spread out upon a table after the manner of a Spanish
cloak. Wherefore it is, that none should henceforth say, who would
not speak improperly, when any country bumpkin hieth to the wars,
Have a care, my roister, of the wine-pot, that is, the skull, but,
Have a care, my roister, of the milk-pot, that is, the testicles. By
the whole rabble of the horned fiends of hell, the head being cut
off, that single person only thereby dieth. But, if the ballocks be
marred, the whole race of human kind would forthwith perish, and be
lost for ever.
This was the motive which incited the goodly writer Galen, Lib.
1. De Spermate, to aver with boldness that it were better, that is
to say, a less evil, to have no heart at all than to be quite
destitute of genitories; for there is laid up, conserved, and put in
store, as in a secessive repository and sacred warehouse, the
semence and original source of the whole offspring of mankind.
Therefore would I be apt to believe, for less than a hundred francs,
that those are the very same stones by means whereof Deucalion and
Pyrrha restored the human race, in peopling with men and women the
world, which a little before that had been drowned in the
overflowing waves of a poetical deluge. This stirred up the valiant
Justinian, L. 4. De Cagotis tollendis, to collocate his Summum
Bonum, in Braguibus, et Braguetis. For this and other causes, the
Lord Humphrey de Merville, following of his king to a certain
warlike expedition, whilst he was in trying upon his own person a
new suit of armour, for of his old rusty harness he could make no
more use, by reason that some few years since the skin of his belly
was a great way removed from his kidneys, his lady thereupon, in the
profound musing of a contemplative spirit, very maturely considering
that he had but small care of the staff of love and packet of
marriage, seeing he did no otherwise arm that part of the body than
with links of mail, advised him to shield, fence, and gabionate it
with a big tilting helmet which she had lying in her closet, to her
otherwise utterly unprofitable. On this lady were penned these
subsequent verses, which are extant in the third book of the
Shitbrana of Paltry Wenches.
When Yoland saw her spouse equipp'd for fight,
And, save the codpiece, all in armour dight,
My dear, she cried, why, pray, of all the rest
Is that exposed, you know I love the best?
Was she to blame for an ill-managed fear,—
Or rather pious, conscionable care?
Wise lady, she! In hurlyburly fight,
Can any tell where random blows may light?
Leave off then, sir, from being astonished, and wonder no more at
this new manner of decking and trimming up of myself as you now see
Chapter 3.IX.—How Panurge asketh counsel of Pantagruel whether
he should marry, yea, or no.
To this Pantagruel replying nothing, Panurge prosecuted the
discourse he had already broached, and therewithal fetching, as from
the bottom of his heart, a very deep sigh, said, My lord and master,
you have heard the design I am upon, which is to marry, if by some
disastrous mischance all the holes in the world be not shut up,
stopped, closed, and bushed. I humbly beseech you, for the affection
which of a long time you have borne me, to give me your best advice
therein. Then, answered Pantagruel, seeing you have so decreed,
taken deliberation thereon, and that the matter is fully determined,
what need is there of any further talk thereof, but forthwith to put
it into execution what you have resolved? Yea but, quoth Panurge, I
would be loth to act anything therein without your counsel had
thereto. It is my judgment also, quoth Pantagruel, and I advise you
to it. Nevertheless, quoth Panurge, if I understood aright that it
were much better for me to remain a bachelor as I am, than to run
headlong upon new hairbrained undertakings of conjugal adventure, I
would rather choose not to marry. Quoth Pantagruel, Then do not
marry. Yea but, quoth Panurge, would you have me so solitarily drive
out the whole course of my life, without the comfort of a
matrimonial consort? You know it is written, Vae soli! and a single
person is never seen to reap the joy and solace that is found with
married folks. Then marry, in the name of God, quoth Pantagruel. But
if, quoth Panurge, my wife should make me a cuckold—as it is not
unknown unto you, how this hath been a very plentiful year in the
production of that kind of cattle—I would fly out, and grow
impatient beyond all measure and mean. I love cuckolds with my
heart, for they seem unto me to be of a right honest conversation,
and I truly do very willingly frequent their company; but should I
die for it, I would not be one of their number. That is a point for
me of a too sore prickling point. Then do not marry, quoth
Pantagruel, for without all controversy this sentence of Seneca is
infallibly true, What thou to others shalt have done, others will do
the like to thee. Do you, quoth Panurge, aver that without all
exception? Yes, truly, quoth Pantagruel, without all exception. Ho,
ho, says Panurge, by the wrath of a little devil, his meaning is,
either in this world or in the other which is to come. Yet seeing I
can no more want a wife than a blind man his staff—(for) the funnel
must be in agitation, without which manner of occupation I cannot
live—were it not a great deal better for me to apply and associate
myself to some one honest, lovely, and virtuous woman, than as I do,
by a new change of females every day, run a hazard of being
bastinadoed, or, which is worse, of the great pox, if not of both
together. For never—be it spoken by their husbands' leave and
favour—had I enjoyment yet of an honest woman. Marry then, in God's
name, quoth Pantagruel. But if, quoth Panurge, it were the will of
God, and that my destiny did unluckily lead me to marry an honest
woman who should beat me, I would be stored with more than two third
parts of the patience of Job, if I were not stark mad by it, and
quite distracted with such rugged dealings. For it hath been told me
that those exceeding honest women have ordinarily very wicked
head-pieces; therefore is it that their family lacketh not for good
vinegar. Yet in that case should it go worse with me, if I did not
then in such sort bang her back and breast, so thumpingly bethwack
her gillets, to wit, her arms, legs, head, lights, liver, and milt,
with her other entrails, and mangle, jag, and slash her coats so
after the cross-billet fashion that the greatest devil of hell
should wait at the gate for the reception of her damnel soul. I
could make a shift for this year to waive such molestation and
disquiet, and be content to lay aside that trouble, and not to be
engaged in it.
Do not marry then, answered Pantagruel. Yea but, quoth Panurge,
considering the condition wherein I now am, out of debt and
unmarried; mark what I say, free from all debt, in an ill hour, for,
were I deeply on the score, my creditors would be but too careful of
my paternity, but being quit, and not married, nobody will be so
regardful of me, or carry towards me a love like that which is said
to be in a conjugal affection. And if by some mishap I should fall
sick, I would be looked to very waywardly. The wise man saith, Where
there is no woman—I mean the mother of a family and wife in the
union of a lawful wedlock—the crazy and diseased are in danger of
being ill used and of having much brabbling and strife about them;
as by clear experience hath been made apparent in the persons of
popes, legates, cardinals, bishops, abbots, priors, priests, and
monks; but there, assure yourself, you shall not find me. Marry
then, in the name of God, answered Pantagruel. But if, quoth
Panurge, being ill at ease, and possibly through that distemper made
unable to discharge the matrimonial duty that is incumbent to an
active husband, my wife, impatient of that drooping sickness and
faint-fits of a pining languishment, should abandon and prostitute
herself to the embraces of another man, and not only then not help
and assist me in my extremity and need, but withal flout at and make
sport of that my grievous distress and calamity; or peradventure,
which is worse, embezzle my goods and steal from me, as I have seen
it oftentimes befall unto the lot of many other men, it were enough
to undo me utterly, to fill brimful the cup of my misfortune, and
make me play the mad-pate reeks of Bedlam. Do not marry then, quoth
Pantagruel. Yea but, said Panurge, I shall never by any other means
come to have lawful sons and daughters, in whom I may harbour some
hope of perpetuating my name and arms, and to whom also I may leave
and bequeath my inheritances and purchased goods (of which latter
sort you need not doubt but that in some one or other of these
mornings I will make a fair and goodly show), that so I may cheer up
and make merry when otherwise I should be plunged into a peevish
sullen mood of pensive sullenness, as I do perceive daily by the
gentle and loving carriage of your kind and gracious father towards
you; as all honest folks use to do at their own homes and private
dwelling-houses. For being free from debt, and yet not married, if
casually I should fret and be angry, although the cause of my grief
and displeasure were never so just, I am afraid, instead of
consolation, that I should meet with nothing else but scoffs,
frumps, gibes, and mocks at my disastrous fortune. Marry then, in
the name of God, quoth Pantagruel.
Chapter 3.X.—How Pantagruel representeth unto Panurge the
difficulty of giving advice in the matter of marriage; and to that
purpose mentioneth somewhat of the Homeric and Virgilian lotteries.
Your counsel, quoth Panurge, under your correction and favour,
seemeth unto me not unlike to the song of Gammer Yea-by-nay. It is
full of sarcasms, mockeries, bitter taunts, nipping bobs, derisive
quips, biting jerks, and contradictory iterations, the one part
destroying the other. I know not, quoth Pantagruel, which of all my
answers to lay hold on; for your proposals are so full of ifs and
buts, that I can ground nothing on them, nor pitch upon any solid
and positive determination satisfactory to what is demanded by them.
Are not you assured within yourself of what you have a mind to? The
chief and main point of the whole matter lieth there. All the rest
is merely casual, and totally dependeth upon the fatal disposition
of the heavens.
We see some so happy in the fortune of this nuptial encounter,
that their family shineth as it were with the radiant effulgency of
an idea, model, or representation of the joys of paradise; and
perceive others, again, to be so unluckily matched in the conjugal
yoke, that those very basest of devils which tempt the hermits that
inhabit the deserts of Thebais and Montserrat are not more miserable
than they. It is therefore expedient, seeing you are resolved for
once to take a trial of the state of marriage, that, with shut eyes,
bowing your head, and kissing the ground, you put the business to a
venture, and give it a fair hazard, in recommending the success of
the residue to the disposure of Almighty God. It lieth not in my
power to give you any other manner of assurance, or otherwise to
certify you of what shall ensue on this your undertaking.
Nevertheless, if it please you, this you may do. Bring hither
Virgil's poems, that after having opened the book, and with our
fingers severed the leaves thereof three several times, we may,
according to the number agreed upon betwixt ourselves, explore the
future hap of your intended marriage. For frequently by a Homeric
lottery have many hit upon their destinies; as is testified in the
person of Socrates, who, whilst he was in prison, hearing the
recitation of this verse of Homer, said of Achilles in the Ninth of
Emati ke tritato Phthien eribolon ikoimen,
We, the third day, to fertile Pthia came—
thereby foresaw that on the third subsequent day he was to die.
Of the truth whereof he assured Aeschines; as Plato, in Critone,
Cicero, in Primo, de Divinatione, Diogenes Laertius, and others,
have to the full recorded in their works. The like is also witnessed
by Opilius Macrinus, to whom, being desirous to know if he should be
the Roman emperor, befell, by chance of lot, this sentence in the
Eighth of the Iliads—
O geron, e mala de se neoi teirousi machetai,
Ze de bin lelutai, chalepon de se geras opazei.
Dotard, new warriors urge thee to be gone.
Thy life decays, and old age weighs thee down.
In fact, he, being then somewhat ancient, had hardly enjoyed the
sovereignty of the empire for the space of fourteen months, when by
Heliogabalus, then both young and strong, he was dispossessed
thereof, thrust out of all, and killed. Brutus doth also bear
witness of another experiment of this nature, who willing, through
this exploratory way by lot, to learn what the event and issue
should be of the Pharsalian battle wherein he perished, he casually
encountered on this verse, said of Patroclus in the Sixteenth of the
Alla me moir oloe, kai Letous ektanen uios.
Fate, and Latona's son have shot me dead.
And accordingly Apollo was the field-word in the dreadful day of
that fight. Divers notable things of old have likewise been foretold
and known by casting of Virgilian lots; yea, in matters of no less
importance than the obtaining of the Roman empire, as it happened to
Alexander Severus, who, trying his fortune at the said kind of
lottery, did hit upon this verse written in the Sixth of the
Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento.
Know, Roman, that thy business is to reign.
He, within very few years thereafter, was effectually and in good
earnest created and installed Roman emperor. A semblable story
thereto is related of Adrian, who, being hugely perplexed within
himself out of a longing humour to know in what account he was with
the Emperor Trajan, and how large the measure of that affection was
which he did bear unto him, had recourse, after the manner above
specified, to the Maronian lottery, which by haphazard tendered him
these lines out of the Sixth of the Aeneids—
Quis procul ille autem, ramis insignis olivae
Sacra ferens? Nosco crines incanaque menta
But who is he, conspicuous from afar,
With olive boughs, that doth his offerings bear?
By the white hair and beard I know him plain,
The Roman king.
Shortly thereafter was he adopted by Trajan, and succeeded to him
in the empire. Moreover, to the lot of the praiseworthy Emperor
Claudius befell this line of Virgil, written in the Sixth of his
Tertia dum Latio regnantem viderit aestas.
Whilst the third summer saw him reign, a king
And in effect he did not reign above two years. To the said
Claudian also, inquiring concerning his brother Quintilius, whom he
proposed as a colleague with himself in the empire, happened the
response following in the Sixth of the Aeneids—
Ostendent terris hunc tantum fata.
Whom Fate let us see,
And would no longer suffer him to be.
And it so fell out; for he was killed on the seventeenth day
after he had attained unto the management of the imperial charge.
The very same lot, also, with the like misluck, did betide the
Emperor Gordian the younger. To Claudius Albinus, being very
solicitous to understand somewhat of his future adventures, did
occur this saying, which is written in the Sixth of the Aeneids—
Hic rem Romanam magno turbante tumultu
Sistet Eques, &c.
The Romans, boiling with tumultuous rage,
This warrior shall the dangerous storm assuage:
With victories he the Carthaginian mauls,
And with strong hand shall crush the rebel Gauls.
Likewise, when the Emperor D. Claudius, Aurelian's predecessor,
did with great eagerness research after the fate to come of his
posterity, his hap was to alight on this verse in the First of the
Hic ego nec metas rerum, nec tempora pono.
No bounds are to be set, no limits here.
Which was fulfilled by the goodly genealogical row of his race.
When Mr. Peter Amy did in like manner explore and make trial if he
should escape the ambush of the hobgoblins who lay in wait
all-to-bemaul him, he fell upon this verse in the Third of the
Heu! fuge crudeles terras, fuge littus avarum!
Oh, flee the bloody land, the wicked shore!
Which counsel he obeying, safe and sound forthwith avoided all
Were it not to shun prolixity, I could enumerate a thousand such
like adventures, which, conform to the dictate and verdict of the
verse, have by that manner of lot-casting encounter befallen to the
curious researchers of them. Do not you nevertheless imagine, lest
you should be deluded, that I would upon this kind of
fortune-flinging proof infer an uncontrollable and not to be
gainsaid infallibility of truth.
Chapter 3.XI.—How Pantagruel showeth the trial of one's fortune
by the throwing of dice to be unlawful.
It would be sooner done, quoth Panurge, and more expeditely, if
we should try the matter at the chance of three fair dice. Quoth
Pantagruel, That sort of lottery is deceitful, abusive, illicitous,
and exceedingly scandalous. Never trust in it. The accursed book of
the Recreation of Dice was a great while ago excogitated in Achaia,
near Bourre, by that ancient enemy of mankind, the infernal
calumniator, who, before the statue or massive image of the Bourraic
Hercules, did of old, and doth in several places of the world as
yet, make many simple souls to err and fall into his snares. You
know how my father Gargantua hath forbidden it over all his kingdoms
and dominions; how he hath caused burn the moulds and draughts
thereof, and altogether suppressed, abolished, driven forth, and
cast it out of the land, as a most dangerous plague and infection to
any well-polished state or commonwealth. What I have told you of
dice, I say the same of the play at cockall. It is a lottery of the
like guile and deceitfulness; and therefore do not for convincing of
me allege in opposition to this my opinion, or bring in the example
of the fortunate cast of Tiberius, within the fountain of Aponus, at
the oracle of Gerion. These are the baited hooks by which the devil
attracts and draweth unto him the foolish souls of silly people into
Nevertheless, to satisfy your humour in some measure, I am
content you throw three dice upon this table, that, according to the
number of the blots which shall happen to be cast up, we may hit
upon a verse of that page which in the setting open of the book you
shall have pitched upon.
Have you any dice in your pocket? A whole bagful, answered
Panurge. That is provision against the devil, as is expounded by
Merlin Coccaius, Lib. 2. De Patria Diabolorum. The devil would be
sure to take me napping, and very much at unawares, if he should
find me without dice. With this, the three dice being taken out,
produced, and thrown, they fell so pat upon the lower points that
the cast was five, six, and five. These are, quoth Panurge, sixteen
in all. Let us take the sixteenth line of the page. The number
pleaseth me very well; I hope we shall have a prosperous and happy
chance. May I be thrown amidst all the devils of hell, even as a
great bowl cast athwart at a set of ninepins, or cannon-ball shot
among a battalion of foot, in case so many times I do not boult my
future wife the first night of our marriage! Of that, forsooth, I
make no doubt at all, quoth Pantagruel. You needed not to have
rapped forth such a horrid imprecation, the sooner to procure credit
for the performance of so small a business, seeing possibly the
first bout will be amiss, and that you know is usually at tennis
called fifteen. At the next justling turn you may readily amend that
fault, and so complete your reckoning of sixteen. Is it so, quoth
Panurge, that you understand the matter? And must my words be thus
interpreted? Nay, believe me never yet was any solecism committed by
that valiant champion who often hath for me in Belly-dale stood
sentry at the hypogastrian cranny. Did you ever hitherto find me in
the confraternity of the faulty? Never, I trow; never, nor ever
shall, for ever and a day. I do the feat like a goodly friar or
father confessor, without default. And therein am I willing to be
judged by the players. He had no sooner spoke these words than the
works of Virgil were brought in. But before the book was laid open,
Panurge said to Pantagruel, My heart, like the furch of a hart in a
rut, doth beat within my breast. Be pleased to feel and grope my
pulse a little on this artery of my left arm. At its frequent rise
and fall you would say that they swinge and belabour me after the
manner of a probationer, posed and put to a peremptory trial in the
examination of his sufficiency for the discharge of the learned duty
of a graduate in some eminent degree in the college of the
But would you not hold it expedient, before we proceed any
further, that we should invocate Hercules and the Tenetian goddesses
who in the chamber of lots are said to rule, sit in judgment, and
bear a presidential sway? Neither him nor them, answered Pantagruel;
only open up the leaves of the book with your fingers, and set your
Chapter 3.XII.—How Pantagruel doth explore by the Virgilian
lottery what fortune Panurge shall have in his marriage.
Then at the opening of the book in the sixteenth row of the lines
of the disclosed page did Panurge encounter upon this following
Nec Deus hunc mensa, Dea nec dignata cubili est.
The god him from his table banished,
Nor would the goddess have him in her bed.
This response, quoth Pantagruel, maketh not very much for your
benefit or advantage; for it plainly signifies and denoteth that
your wife shall be a strumpet, and yourself by consequence a
cuckold. The goddess, whom you shall not find propitious nor
favourable unto you, is Minerva, a most redoubtable and dreadful
virgin, a powerful and fulminating goddess, an enemy to cuckolds and
effeminate youngsters, to cuckold-makers and adulterers. The god is
Jupiter, a terrible and thunder-striking god from heaven. And withal
it is to be remarked, that, conform to the doctrine of the ancient
Etrurians, the manubes, for so did they call the darting hurls or
slinging casts of the Vulcanian thunderbolts, did only appertain to
her and to Jupiter her father capital. This was verified in the
conflagration of the ships of Ajax Oileus, nor doth this fulminating
power belong to any other of the Olympic gods. Men, therefore, stand
not in such fear of them. Moreover, I will tell you, and you may
take it as extracted out of the profoundest mysteries of mythology,
that, when the giants had enterprised the waging of a war against
the power of the celestial orbs, the gods at first did laugh at
those attempts, and scorned such despicable enemies, who were, in
their conceit, not strong enough to cope in feats of warfare with
their pages; but when they saw by the gigantine labour the high hill
Pelion set on lofty Ossa, and that the mount Olympus was made shake
to be erected on the top of both, then was it that Jupiter held a
parliament, or general convention, wherein it was unanimously
resolved upon and condescended to by all the gods, that they should
worthily and valiantly stand to their defence. And because they had
often seen battles lost by the cumbersome lets and disturbing
encumbrances of women confusedly huddled in amongst armies, it was
at that time decreed and enacted that they should expel and drive
out of heaven into Egypt and the confines of Nile that whole crew of
goddesses, disguised in the shapes of weasels, polecats, bats,
shrew-mice, ferrets, fulmarts, and other such like odd
transformations; only Minerva was reserved to participate with
Jupiter in the horrific fulminating power, as being the goddess both
of war and learning, of arts and arms, of counsel and despatch—a
goddess armed from her birth, a goddess dreaded in heaven, in the
air, by sea and land. By the belly of Saint Buff, quoth Panurge,
should I be Vulcan, whom the poet blazons? Nay, I am neither a
cripple, coiner of false money, nor smith, as he was. My wife
possibly will be as comely and handsome as ever was his Venus, but
not a whore like her, nor I a cuckold like him. The crook-legged
slovenly slave made himself to be declared a cuckold by a definite
sentence and judgment, in the open view of all the gods. For this
cause ought you to interpret the afore-mentioned verse quite
contrary to what you have said. This lot importeth that my wife will
be honest, virtuous, chaste, loyal, and faithful; not armed, surly,
wayward, cross, giddy, humorous, heady, hairbrained, or extracted
out of the brains, as was the goddess Pallas; nor shall this fair
jolly Jupiter be my co-rival. He shall never dip his bread in my
broth, though we should sit together at one table.
Consider his exploits and gallant actions. He was the manifest
ruffian, wencher, whoremonger, and most infamous cuckold-maker that
ever breathed. He did always lecher it like a boar, and no wonder,
for he was fostered by a sow in the Isle of Candia, if Agathocles
the Babylonian be not a liar, and more rammishly lascivious than a
buck; whence it is that he is said by others to have been suckled
and fed with the milk of the Amalthaean goat. By the virtue of
Acheron, he justled, bulled, and lastauriated in one day the third
part of the world, beasts and people, floods and mountains; that was
Europa. For this grand subagitatory achievement the Ammonians caused
draw, delineate, and paint him in the figure and shape of a ram
ramming, and horned ram. But I know well enough how to shield and
preserve myself from that horned champion. He will not, trust me,
have to deal in my person with a sottish, dunsical Amphitryon, nor
with a silly witless Argus, for all his hundred spectacles, nor yet
with the cowardly meacock Acrisius, the simple goose-cap Lycus of
Thebes, the doting blockhead Agenor, the phlegmatic pea-goose Aesop,
rough-footed Lycaon, the luskish misshapen Corytus of Tuscany, nor
with the large-backed and strong-reined Atlas. Let him alter,
change, transform, and metamorphose himself into a hundred various
shapes and figures, into a swan, a bull, a satyr, a shower of gold,
or into a cuckoo, as he did when he unmaidened his sister Juno; into
an eagle, ram, or dove, as when he was enamoured of the virgin
Phthia, who then dwelt in the Aegean territory; into fire, a
serpent, yea, even into a flea; into Epicurean and Democratical
atoms, or, more Magistronostralistically, into those sly intentions
of the mind, which in the schools are called second notions,—I'll
catch him in the nick, and take him napping. And would you know what
I would do unto him? Even that which to his father Coelum Saturn
did—Seneca foretold it of me, and Lactantius hath confirmed it—what
the goddess Rhea did to Athis. I would make him two stone lighter,
rid him of his Cyprian cymbals, and cut so close and neatly by the
breech, that there shall not remain thereof so much as one—, so
cleanly would I shave him, and disable him for ever from being Pope,
for Testiculos non habet. Hold there, said Pantagruel; ho, soft and
fair, my lad! Enough of that,—cast up, turn over the leaves, and try
your fortune for the second time. Then did he fall upon this ensuing
Membra quatit, gelidusque coit formidine sanguis.
His joints and members quake, he becomes pale,
And sudden fear doth his cold blood congeal.
This importeth, quoth Pantagruel, that she will soundly bang your
back and belly. Clean and quite contrary, answered Panurge; it is of
me that he prognosticates, in saying that I will beat her like a
tiger if she vex me. Sir Martin Wagstaff will perform that office,
and in default of a cudgel, the devil gulp him, if I should not eat
her up quick, as Candaul the Lydian king did his wife, whom he
ravened and devoured.
You are very stout, says Pantagruel, and courageous; Hercules
himself durst hardly adventure to scuffle with you in this your
raging fury. Nor is it strange; for the Jan is worth two, and two in
fight against Hercules are too too strong. Am I a Jan? quoth
Panurge. No, no, answered Pantagruel. My mind was only running upon
the lurch and tricktrack. Thereafter did he hit, at the third
opening of the book, upon this verse:
Foemineo praedae, et spoliorum ardebat amore.
After the spoil and pillage, as in fire,
He burnt with a strong feminine desire.
This portendeth, quoth Pantagruel, that she will steal your
goods, and rob you. Hence this, according to these three drawn lots,
will be your future destiny, I clearly see it,—you will be a
cuckold, you will be beaten, and you will be robbed. Nay, it is
quite otherwise, quoth Panurge; for it is certain that this verse
presageth that she will love me with a perfect liking. Nor did the
satyr-writing poet lie in proof hereof, when he affirmed that a
woman, burning with extreme affection, takes sometimes pleasure to
steal from her sweetheart. And what, I pray you? A glove, a point,
or some such trifling toy of no importance, to make him keep a
gentle kind of stirring in the research and quest thereof. In like
manner, these small scolding debates and petty brabbling
contentions, which frequently we see spring up and for a certain
space boil very hot betwixt a couple of high-spirited lovers, are
nothing else but recreative diversions for their refreshment, spurs
to and incentives of a more fervent amity than ever. As, for
example, we do sometimes see cutlers with hammers maul their finest
whetstones, therewith to sharpen their iron tools the better. And
therefore do I think that these three lots make much for my
advantage; which, if not, I from their sentence totally appeal.
There is no appellation, quoth Pantagruel, from the decrees of fate
or destiny, of lot or chance; as is recorded by our ancient lawyers,
witness Baldus, Lib. ult. Cap. de Leg. The reason hereof is, Fortune
doth not acknowledge a superior, to whom an appeal may be made from
her or any of her substitutes. And in this case the pupil cannot be
restored to his right in full, as openly by the said author is
alleged in L. Ait Praetor, paragr. ult. ff. de minor.
Chapter 3.XIII.—How Pantagruel adviseth Panurge to try the
future good or bad luck of his marriage by dreams.
Now, seeing we cannot agree together in the manner of expounding
or interpreting the sense of the Virgilian lots, let us bend our
course another way, and try a new sort of divination. Of what kind?
asked Panurge. Of a good ancient and authentic fashion, answered
Pantagruel; it is by dreams. For in dreaming, such circumstances and
conditions being thereto adhibited, as are clearly enough described
by Hippocrates, in Lib. Peri ton enupnion, by Plato, Plotin,
Iamblicus, Sinesius, Aristotle, Xenophon, Galen, Plutarch,
Artemidorus, Daldianus, Herophilus, Q. Calaber, Theocritus, Pliny,
Athenaeus, and others, the soul doth oftentimes foresee what is to
come. How true this is, you may conceive by a very vulgar and
familiar example; as when you see that at such a time as suckling
babes, well nourished, fed, and fostered with good milk, sleep
soundly and profoundly, the nurses in the interim get leave to sport
themselves, and are licentiated to recreate their fancies at what
range to them shall seem most fitting and expedient, their presence,
sedulity, and attendance on the cradle being, during all that space,
held unnecessary. Even just so, when our body is at rest, that the
concoction is everywhere accomplished, and that, till it awake, it
lacks for nothing, our soul delighteth to disport itself and is well
pleased in that frolic to take a review of its native country, which
is the heavens, where it receiveth a most notable participation of
its first beginning with an imbuement from its divine source, and in
contemplation of that infinite and intellectual sphere, whereof the
centre is everywhere, and the circumference in no place of the
universal world, to wit, God, according to the doctrine of Hermes
Trismegistus, to whom no new thing happeneth, whom nothing that is
past escapeth, and unto whom all things are alike present, remarketh
not only what is preterit and gone in the inferior course and
agitation of sublunary matters, but withal taketh notice what is to
come; then bringing a relation of those future events unto the body
of the outward senses and exterior organs, it is divulged abroad
unto the hearing of others. Whereupon the owner of that soul
deserveth to be termed a vaticinator, or prophet. Nevertheless, the
truth is, that the soul is seldom able to report those things in
such sincerity as it hath seen them, by reason of the imperfection
and frailty of the corporeal senses, which obstruct the effectuating
of that office; even as the moon doth not communicate unto this
earth of ours that light which she receiveth from the sun with so
much splendour, heat, vigour, purity, and liveliness as it was given
her. Hence it is requisite for the better reading, explaining, and
unfolding of these somniatory vaticinations and predictions of that
nature, that a dexterous, learned, skilful, wise, industrious,
expert, rational, and peremptory expounder or interpreter be pitched
upon, such a one as by the Greeks is called onirocrit, or
oniropolist. For this cause Heraclitus was wont to say that nothing
is by dreams revealed to us, that nothing is by dreams concealed
from us, and that only we thereby have a mystical signification and
secret evidence of things to come, either for our own prosperous or
unlucky fortune, or for the favourable or disastrous success of
another. The sacred Scriptures testify no less, and profane
histories assure us of it, in both which are exposed to our view a
thousand several kinds of strange adventures, which have befallen
pat according to the nature of the dream, and that as well to the
party dreamer as to others. The Atlantic people, and those that
inhabit the (is)land of Thasos, one of the Cyclades, are of this
grand commodity deprived; for in their countries none yet ever
dreamed. Of this sort (were) Cleon of Daulia, Thrasymedes, and in
our days the learned Frenchman Villanovanus, neither of all which
knew what dreaming was.
Fail not therefore to-morrow, when the jolly and fair Aurora with
her rosy fingers draweth aside the curtains of the night to drive
away the sable shades of darkness, to bend your spirits wholly to
the task of sleeping sound, and thereto apply yourself. In the
meanwhile you must denude your mind of every human passion or
affection, such as are love and hatred, fear and hope, for as of old
the great vaticinator, most famous and renowned prophet Proteus, was
not able in his disguise or transformation into fire, water, a
tiger, a dragon, and other such like uncouth shapes and visors, to
presage anything that was to come till he was restored to his own
first natural and kindly form; just so doth man; for, at his
reception of the art of divination and faculty of prognosticating
future things, that part in him which is the most divine, to wit,
the Nous, or Mens, must be calm, peaceable, untroubled, quiet,
still, hushed, and not embusied or distracted with foreign,
soul-disturbing perturbations. I am content, quoth Panurge. But, I
pray you, sir, must I this evening, ere I go to bed, eat much or
little? I do not ask this without cause. For if I sup not well,
large, round, and amply, my sleeping is not worth a forked turnip.
All the night long I then but doze and rave, and in my slumbering
fits talk idle nonsense, my thoughts being in a dull brown study,
and as deep in their dumps as is my belly hollow.
Not to sup, answered Pantagruel, were best for you, considering
the state of your complexion and healthy constitution of your body.
A certain very ancient prophet, named Amphiaraus, wished such as had
a mind by dreams to be imbued with any oracle, for four-and-twenty
hours to taste no victuals, and to abstain from wine three days
together. Yet shall not you be put to such a sharp, hard, rigorous,
and extreme sparing diet. I am truly right apt to believe that a man
whose stomach is replete with various cheer, and in a manner
surfeited with drinking, is hardly able to conceive aright of
spiritual things; yet am not I of the opinion of those who, after
long and pertinacious fastings, think by such means to enter more
profoundly into the speculation of celestial mysteries. You may very
well remember how my father Gargantua (whom here for honour sake I
name) hath often told us that the writings of abstinent, abstemious,
and long-fasting hermits were every whit as saltless, dry, jejune,
and insipid as were their bodies when they did compose them. It is a
most difficult thing for the spirits to be in a good plight, serene
and lively, when there is nothing in the body but a kind of voidness
and inanity; seeing the philosophers with the physicians jointly
affirm that the spirits which are styled animal spring from, and
have their constant practice in and through the arterial blood,
refined and purified to the life within the admirable net which,
wonderfully framed, lieth under the ventricles and tunnels of the
brain. He gave us also the example of the philosopher who, when he
thought most seriously to have withdrawn himself unto a solitary
privacy, far from the rustling clutterments of the tumultuous and
confused world, the better to improve his theory, to contrive,
comment, and ratiocinate, was, notwithstanding his uttermost
endeavours to free himself from all untoward noises, surrounded and
environed about so with the barking of curs, bawling of mastiffs,
bleating of sheep, prating of parrots, tattling of jackdaws,
grunting of swine, girning of boars, yelping of foxes, mewing of
cats, cheeping of mice, squeaking of weasels, croaking of frogs,
crowing of cocks, cackling of hens, calling of partridges, chanting
of swans, chattering of jays, peeping of chickens, singing of larks,
creaking of geese, chirping of swallows, clucking of moorfowls,
cucking of cuckoos, bumbling of bees, rammage of hawks, chirming of
linnets, croaking of ravens, screeching of owls, whicking of pigs,
gushing of hogs, curring of pigeons, grumbling of cushat-doves,
howling of panthers, curkling of quails, chirping of sparrows,
crackling of crows, nuzzing of camels, wheening of whelps, buzzing
of dromedaries, mumbling of rabbits, cricking of ferrets, humming of
wasps, mioling of tigers, bruzzing of bears, sussing of kitlings,
clamouring of scarfs, whimpering of fulmarts, booing of buffaloes,
warbling of nightingales, quavering of mavises, drintling of
turkeys, coniating of storks, frantling of peacocks, clattering of
magpies, murmuring of stock-doves, crouting of cormorants, cigling
of locusts, charming of beagles, guarring of puppies, snarling of
messens, rantling of rats, guerieting of apes, snuttering of
monkeys, pioling of pelicans, quacking of ducks, yelling of wolves,
roaring of lions, neighing of horses, crying of elephants, hissing
of serpents, and wailing of turtles, that he was much more troubled
than if he had been in the middle of the crowd at the fair of
Fontenay or Niort. Just so is it with those who are tormented with
the grievous pangs of hunger. The stomach begins to gnaw, and bark,
as it were, the eyes to look dim, and the veins, by greedily sucking
some refection to themselves from the proper substance of all the
members of a fleshy consistence, violently pull down and draw back
that vagrant, roaming spirit, careless and neglecting of his nurse
and natural host, which is the body; as when a hawk upon the fist,
willing to take her flight by a soaring aloft in the open spacious
air, is on a sudden drawn back by a leash tied to her feet.
To this purpose also did he allege unto us the authority of
Homer, the father of all philosophy, who said that the Grecians did
not put an end to their mournful mood for the death of Patroclus,
the most intimate friend of Achilles, till hunger in a rage declared
herself, and their bellies protested to furnish no more tears unto
their grief. For from bodies emptied and macerated by long fasting
there could not be such supply of moisture and brackish drops as
might be proper on that occasion.
Mediocrity at all times is commendable; nor in this case are you
to abandon it. You may take a little supper, but thereat must you
not eat of a hare, nor of any other flesh. You are likewise to
abstain from beans, from the preak, by some called the polyp, as
also from coleworts, cabbage, and all other such like windy
victuals, which may endanger the troubling of your brains and the
dimming or casting a kind of mist over your animal spirits. For, as
a looking-glass cannot exhibit the semblance or representation of
the object set before it, and exposed to have its image to the life
expressed, if that the polished sleekedness thereof be darkened by
gross breathings, dampish vapours, and foggy, thick, infectious
exhalations, even so the fancy cannot well receive the impression of
the likeness of those things which divination doth afford by dreams,
if any way the body be annoyed or troubled with the fumish steam of
meat which it had taken in a while before; because betwixt these two
there still hath been a mutual sympathy and fellow-feeling of an
indissolubly knit affection. You shall eat good Eusebian and
Bergamot pears, one apple of the short-shank pippin kind, a parcel
of the little plums of Tours, and some few cherries of the growth of
my orchard. Nor shall you need to fear that thereupon will ensue
doubtful dreams, fallacious, uncertain, and not to be trusted to, as
by some peripatetic philosophers hath been related; for that, say
they, men do more copiously in the season of harvest feed on
fruitages than at any other time. The same is mystically taught us
by the ancient prophets and poets, who allege that all vain and
deceitful dreams lie hid and in covert under the leaves which are
spread on the ground—by reason that the leaves fall from the trees
in the autumnal quarter. For the natural fervour which, abounding in
ripe, fresh, recent fruits, cometh by the quickness of its
ebullition to be with ease evaporated into the animal parts of the
dreaming person—the experiment is obvious in most—is a pretty while
before it be expired, dissolved, and evanished. As for your drink,
you are to have it of the fair, pure water of my fountain.
The condition, quoth Panurge, is very hard. Nevertheless, cost
what price it will, or whatsoever come of it, I heartily condescend
thereto; protesting that I shall to-morrow break my fast betimes
after my somniatory exercitations. Furthermore, I recommend myself
to Homer's two gates, to Morpheus, to Iselon, to Phantasus, and unto
Phobetor. If they in this my great need succour me and grant me that
assistance which is fitting, I will in honour of them all erect a
jolly, genteel altar, composed of the softest down. If I were now in
Laconia, in the temple of Juno, betwixt Oetile and Thalamis, she
suddenly would disentangle my perplexity, resolve me of my doubts,
and cheer me up with fair and jovial dreams in a deep sleep.
Then did he say thus unto Pantagruel: Sir, were it not expedient
for my purpose to put a branch or two of curious laurel betwixt the
quilt and bolster of my bed, under the pillow on which my head must
lean? There is no need at all of that, quoth Pantagruel; for,
besides that it is a thing very superstitious, the cheat thereof
hath been at large discovered unto us in the writings of Serapion,
Ascalonites, Antiphon, Philochorus, Artemon, and Fulgentius
Planciades. I could say as much to you of the left shoulder of a
crocodile, as also of a chameleon, without prejudice be it spoken to
the credit which is due to the opinion of old Democritus; and
likewise of the stone of the Bactrians, called Eumetrides, and of
the Ammonian horn; for so by the Aethiopians is termed a certain
precious stone, coloured like gold, and in the fashion, shape, form,
and proportion of a ram's horn, as the horn of Jupiter Ammon is
reported to have been: they over and above assuredly affirming that
the dreams of those who carry it about them are no less veritable
and infallible than the truth of the divine oracles. Nor is this
much unlike to what Homer and Virgil wrote of these two gates of
sleep, to which you have been pleased to recommend the management of
what you have in hand. The one is of ivory, which letteth in
confused, doubtful, and uncertain dreams; for through ivory, how
small and slender soever it be, we can see nothing, the density,
opacity, and close compactedness of its material parts hindering the
penetration of the visual rays and the reception of the specieses of
such things as are visible. The other is of horn, at which an entry
is made to sure and certain dreams, even as through horn, by reason
of the diaphanous splendour and bright transparency thereof, the
species of all objects of the sight distinctly pass, and so without
confusion appear, that they are clearly seen. Your meaning is, and
you would thereby infer, quoth Friar John, that the dreams of all
horned cuckolds, of which number Panurge, by the help of God and his
future wife, is without controversy to be one, are always true and
Chapter 3.XIV.—Panurge's dream, with the interpretation thereof.
At seven o'clock of the next following morning Panurge did not
fail to present himself before Pantagruel, in whose chamber were at
that time Epistemon, Friar John of the Funnels, Ponocrates, Eudemon,
Carpalin, and others, to whom, at the entry of Panurge, Pantagruel
said, Lo! here cometh our dreamer. That word, quoth Epistemon, in
ancient times cost very much, and was dearly sold to the children of
Jacob. Then said Panurge, I have been plunged into my dumps so
deeply, as if I had been lodged with Gaffer Noddy-cap. Dreamed
indeed I have, and that right lustily; but I could take along with
me no more thereof that I did goodly understand save only that I in
my vision had a pretty, fair, young, gallant, handsome woman, who no
less lovingly and kindly treated and entertained me, hugged,
cherished, cockered, dandled, and made much of me, as if I had been
another neat dilly-darling minion, like Adonis. Never was man more
glad than I was then; my joy at that time was incomparable. She
flattered me, tickled me, stroked me, groped me, frizzled me, curled
me, kissed me, embraced me, laid her hands about my neck, and now
and then made jestingly pretty little horns above my forehead. I
told her in the like disport, as I did play the fool with her, that
she should rather place and fix them in a little below mine eyes,
that I might see the better what I should stick at with them; for,
being so situated, Momus then would find no fault therewith, as he
did once with the position of the horns of bulls. The wanton, toying
girl, notwithstanding any remonstrance of mine to the contrary, did
always drive and thrust them further in; yet thereby, which to me
seemed wonderful, she did not do me any hurt at all. A little after,
though I know not how, I thought I was transformed into a tabor, and
she into a chough.
My sleeping there being interrupted, I awaked in a start, angry,
displeased, perplexed, chafing, and very wroth. There have you a
large platterful of dreams, make thereupon good cheer, and, if you
please, spare not to interpret them according to the understanding
which you may have in them. Come, Carpalin, let us to breakfast. To
my sense and meaning, quoth Pantagruel, if I have skill or knowledge
in the art of divination by dreams, your wife will not really, and
to the outward appearance of the world, plant or set horns, and
stick them fast in your forehead, after a visible manner, as satyrs
use to wear and carry them; but she will be so far from preserving
herself loyal in the discharge and observance of a conjugal duty,
that, on the contrary, she will violate her plighted faith, break
her marriage-oath, infringe all matrimonial ties, prostitute her
body to the dalliance of other men, and so make you a cuckold. This
point is clearly and manifestly explained and expounded by
Artemidorus just as I have related it. Nor will there be any
metamorphosis or transmutation made of you into a drum or tabor, but
you will surely be as soundly beaten as ever was tabor at a merry
wedding. Nor yet will she be changed into a chough, but will steal
from you, chiefly in the night, as is the nature of that thievish
bird. Hereby may you perceive your dreams to be in every jot conform
and agreeable to the Virgilian lots. A cuckold you will be, beaten
and robbed. Then cried out Father John with a loud voice, He tells
the truth; upon my conscience, thou wilt be a cuckold—an honest one,
I warrant thee. O the brave horns that will be borne by thee! Ha,
ha, ha! Our good Master de Cornibus. God save thee, and shield thee!
Wilt thou be pleased to preach but two words of a sermon to us, and
I will go through the parish church to gather up alms for the poor.
You are, quoth Panurge, very far mistaken in your interpretation;
for the matter is quite contrary to your sense thereof. My dream
presageth that I shall by marriage be stored with plenty of all
manner of goods—the hornifying of me showing that I will possess a
cornucopia, that Amalthaean horn which is called the horn of
abundance, whereof the fruition did still portend the wealth of the
enjoyer. You possibly will say that they are rather like to be
satyr's horns; for you of these did make some mention. Amen, Amen,
Fiat, fiatur, ad differentiam papae. Thus shall I have my
touch-her-home still ready. My staff of love, sempiternally in a
good case, will, satyr-like, be never toiled out—a thing which all
men wish for, and send up their prayers to that purpose, but such a
thing as nevertheless is granted but to a few. Hence doth it follow
by a consequence as clear as the sunbeams that I will never be in
the danger of being made a cuckold, for the defect hereof is Causa
sine qua non; yea, the sole cause, as many think, of making husbands
cuckolds. What makes poor scoundrel rogues to beg, I pray you? Is it
not because they have not enough at home wherewith to fill their
bellies and their pokes? What is it makes the wolves to leave the
woods? Is it not the want of flesh meat? What maketh women whores?
You understand me well enough. And herein may I very well submit my
opinion to the judgment of learned lawyers, presidents, counsellors,
advocates, procurers, attorneys, and other glossers and commentators
on the venerable rubric, De frigidis et maleficiatis. You are, in
truth, sir, as it seems to me (excuse my boldness if I have
transgressed), in a most palpable and absurd error to attribute my
horns to cuckoldry. Diana wears them on her head after the manner of
a crescent. Is she a cucquean for that? How the devil can she be
cuckolded who never yet was married? Speak somewhat more correctly,
I beseech you, lest she, being offended, furnish you with a pair of
horns shapen by the pattern of those which she made for Actaeon. The
goodly Bacchus also carries horns, —Pan, Jupiter Ammon, with a great
many others. Are they all cuckolds? If Jove be a cuckold, Juno is a
whore. This follows by the figure metalepsis: as to call a child, in
the presence of his father and mother, a bastard, or whore's son, is
tacitly and underboard no less than if he had said openly the father
is a cuckold and his wife a punk. Let our discourse come nearer to
the purpose. The horns that my wife did make me are horns of
abundance, planted and grafted in my head for the increase and
shooting up of all good things. This will I affirm for truth, upon
my word, and pawn my faith and credit both upon it. As for the rest,
I will be no less joyful, frolic, glad, cheerful, merry, jolly, and
gamesome, than a well-bended tabor in the hands of a good drummer at
a nuptial feast, still making a noise, still rolling, still buzzing
and cracking. Believe me, sir, in that consisteth none of my least
good fortunes. And my wife will be jocund, feat, compt, neat,
quaint, dainty, trim, tricked up, brisk, smirk, and smug, even as a
pretty little Cornish chough. Who will not believe this, let hell or
the gallows be the burden of his Christmas carol.
I remark, quoth Pantagruel, the last point or particle which you
did speak of, and, having seriously conferred it with the first,
find that at the beginning you were delighted with the sweetness of
your dream; but in the end and final closure of it you startingly
awaked, and on a sudden were forthwith vexed in choler and annoyed.
Yea, quoth Panurge, the reason of that was because I had fasted too
long. Flatter not yourself, quoth Pantagruel; all will go to ruin.
Know for a certain truth, that every sleep that endeth with a
starting, and leaves the person irksome, grieved, and fretting, doth
either signify a present evil, or otherwise presageth and portendeth
a future imminent mishap. To signify an evil, that is to say, to
show some sickness hardly curable, a kind of pestilentious or
malignant boil, botch, or sore, lying and lurking hid, occult, and
latent within the very centre of the body, which many times doth by
the means of sleep, whose nature is to reinforce and strengthen the
faculty and virtue of concoction, being according to the theorems of
physic to declare itself, and moves toward the outward superficies.
At this sad stirring is the sleeper's rest and ease disturbed and
broken, whereof the first feeling and stinging smart admonisheth
that he must patiently endure great pain and trouble, and thereunto
provide some remedy; as when we say proverbially, to incense
hornets, to move a stinking puddle, and to awake a sleeping lion,
instead of these more usual expressions, and of a more familiar and
plain meaning, to provoke angry persons, to make a thing the worse
by meddling with it, and to irritate a testy choleric man when he is
at quiet. On the other part, to presage or foretell an evil,
especially in what concerneth the exploits of the soul in matter of
somnial divinations, is as much to say as that it giveth us to
understand that some dismal fortune or mischance is destinated and
prepared for us, which shortly will not fail to come to pass. A
clear and evident example hereof is to be found in the dream and
dreadful awaking of Hecuba, as likewise in that of Eurydice, the
wife of Orpheus, neither of which was (no) sooner finished, saith
Ennius, but that incontinently thereafter they awaked in a start,
and were affrighted horribly. Thereupon these accidents ensued:
Hecuba had her husband Priamus, together with her children, slain
before her eyes, and saw then the destruction of her country; and
Eurydice died speedily thereafter in a most miserable manner.
Aeneas, dreaming that he spoke to Hector a little after his decease,
did on a sudden in a great start awake, and was afraid. Now hereupon
did follow this event: Troy that same night was spoiled, sacked, and
burnt. At another time the same Aeneas dreaming that he saw his
familiar geniuses and penates, in a ghastly fright and astonishment
awaked, of which terror and amazement the issue was, that the very
next day subsequent, by a most horrible tempest on the sea, he was
like to have perished and been cast away. Moreover, Turnus being
prompted, instigated, and stirred up by the fantastic vision of an
infernal fury to enter into a bloody war against Aeneas, awaked in a
start much troubled and disquieted in spirit; in sequel whereof,
after many notable and famous routs, defeats, and discomfitures in
open field, he came at last to be killed in a single combat by the
said Aeneas. A thousand other instances I could afford, if it were
needful, of this matter. Whilst I relate these stories of Aeneas,
remark the saying of Fabius Pictor, who faithfully averred that
nothing had at any time befallen unto, was done, or enterprised by
him, whereof he preallably had not notice, and beforehand foreseen
it to the full, by sure predictions altogether founded on the
oracles of somnial divination. To this there is no want of pregnant
reasons, no more than of examples. For if repose and rest in
sleeping be a special gift and favour of the gods, as is maintained
by the philosophers, and by the poet attested in these lines,
Then sleep, that heavenly gift, came to refresh
Of human labourers the wearied flesh;
such a gift or benefit can never finish or terminate in wrath and
indignation without portending some unlucky fate and most disastrous
fortune to ensue. Otherwise it were a molestation, and not an ease;
a scourge, and not a gift; at least, (not) proceeding from the gods
above, but from the infernal devils our enemies, according to the
common vulgar saying.
Suppose the lord, father, or master of a family, sitting at a
very sumptuous dinner, furnished with all manner of good cheer, and
having at his entry to the table his appetite sharp set upon his
victuals, whereof there was great plenty, should be seen rise in a
start, and on a sudden fling out of his chair, abandoning his meat,
frighted, appalled, and in a horrid terror, who should not know the
cause hereof would wonder, and be astonished exceedingly. But what?
he heard his male servants cry, Fire, fire, fire, fire! his
serving-maids and women yell, Stop thief, stop thief! and all his
children shout as loud as ever they could, Murder, O murder, murder!
Then was it not high time for him to leave his banqueting, for
application of a remedy in haste, and to give speedy order for
succouring of his distressed household? Truly I remember that the
Cabalists and Massorets, interpreters of the sacred Scriptures, in
treating how with verity one might judge of evangelical apparitions
(because oftentimes the angel of Satan is disguised and transfigured
into an angel of light), said that the difference of these two
mainly did consist in this: the favourable and comforting angel
useth in his appearing unto man at first to terrify and hugely
affright him, but in the end he bringeth consolation, leaveth the
person who hath seen him joyful, well-pleased, fully content, and
satisfied; on the other side, the angel of perdition, that wicked,
devilish, and malignant spirit, at his appearance unto any person in
the beginning cheereth up the heart of his beholder, but at last
forsakes him, and leaves him troubled, angry, and perplexed.
Chapter 3.XV.—Panurge's excuse and exposition of the monastic
mystery concerning powdered beef.
The Lord save those who see, and do not hear! quoth Panurge. I
see you well enough, but know not what it is that you have said. The
hunger-starved belly wanteth ears. For lack of victuals, before God,
I roar, bray, yell, and fume as in a furious madness. I have
performed too hard a task to-day, an extraordinary work indeed. He
shall be craftier, and do far greater wonders than ever did Mr.
Mush, who shall be able any more this year to bring me on the stage
of preparation for a dreaming verdict. Fie! not to sup at all, that
is the devil. Pox take that fashion! Come, Friar John, let us go
break our fast; for, if I hit on such a round refection in the
morning as will serve thoroughly to fill the mill-hopper and
hogs-hide of my stomach, and furnish it with meat and drink
sufficient, then at a pinch, as in the case of some extreme
necessity which presseth, I could make a shift that day to forbear
dining. But not to sup! A plague rot that base custom, which is an
error offensive to Nature! That lady made the day for exercise, to
travel, work, wait on and labour in each his negotiation and
employment; and that we may with the more fervency and ardour
prosecute our business, she sets before us a clear burning candle,
to wit, the sun's resplendency; and at night, when she begins to
take the light from us, she thereby tacitly implies no less than if
she would have spoken thus unto us: My lads and lasses, all of you
are good and honest folks, you have wrought well to-day, toiled and
turmoiled enough,—the night approacheth,—therefore cast off these
moiling cares of yours, desist from all your swinking painful
labours, and set your minds how to refresh your bodies in the
renewing of their vigour with good bread, choice wine, and store of
wholesome meats; then may you take some sport and recreation, and
after that lie down and rest yourselves, that you may strongly,
nimbly, lustily, and with the more alacrity to-morrow attend on your
affairs as formerly.
Falconers, in like manner, when they have fed their hawks, will
not suffer them to fly on a full gorge, but let them on a perch
abide a little, that they may rouse, bait, tower, and soar the
better. That good pope who was the first institutor of fasting
understood this well enough; for he ordained that our fast should
reach but to the hour of noon; all the remainder of that day was at
our disposure, freely to eat and feed at any time thereof. In
ancient times there were but few that dined, as you would say, some
church men, monks and canons; for they have little other occupation.
Each day is a festival unto them, who diligently heed the claustral
proverb, De missa ad mensam. They do not use to linger and defer
their sitting down and placing of themselves at table, only so long
as they have a mind in waiting for the coming of the abbot; so they
fell to without ceremony, terms, or conditions; and everybody
supped, unless it were some vain, conceited, dreaming dotard. Hence
was a supper called coena, which showeth that it is common to all
sorts of people. Thou knowest it well, Friar John. Come, let us go,
my dear friend, in the name of all the devils of the infernal
regions, let us go. The gnawings of my stomach in this rage of
hunger are so tearing, that they make it bark like a mastiff. Let us
throw some bread and beef into his throat to pacify him, as once the
sibyl did to Cerberus. Thou likest best monastical brewis, the
prime, the flower of the pot. I am for the solid, principal verb
that comes after —the good brown loaf, always accompanied with a
round slice of the nine-lecture-powdered labourer. I know thy
meaning, answered Friar John; this metaphor is extracted out of the
claustral kettle. The labourer is the ox that hath wrought and done
the labour; after the fashion of nine lectures, that is to say, most
exquisitely well and thoroughly boiled. These holy religious
fathers, by a certain cabalistic institution of the ancients, not
written, but carefully by tradition conveyed from hand to hand,
rising betimes to go to morning prayers, were wont to flourish that
their matutinal devotion with some certain notable preambles before
their entry into the church, viz., they dunged in the dungeries,
pissed in the pisseries, spit in the spitteries, melodiously coughed
in the cougheries, and doted in their dotaries, that to the divine
service they might not bring anything that was unclean or foul.
These things thus done, they very zealously made their repair to the
Holy Chapel, for so was in their canting language termed the convent
kitchen, where they with no small earnestness had care that the
beef-pot should be put on the crook for the breakfast of the
religious brothers of our Lord and Saviour; and the fire they would
kindle under the pot themselves. Now, the matins consisting of nine
lessons, (it) it was so incumbent on them, that must have risen the
rather for the more expedite despatching of them all. The sooner
that they rose, the sharper was their appetite and the barkings of
their stomachs, and the gnawings increased in the like proportion,
and consequently made these godly men thrice more a-hungered and
athirst than when their matins were hemmed over only with three
lessons. The more betimes they rose, by the said cabal, the sooner
was the beef-pot put on; the longer that the beef was on the fire,
the better it was boiled; the more it boiled, it was the tenderer;
the tenderer that it was, the less it troubled the teeth, delighted
more the palate, less charged the stomach, and nourished our good
religious men the more substantially; which is the only end and
prime intention of the first founders, as appears by this, that they
eat not to live, but live to eat, and in this world have nothing but
their life. Let us go, Panurge.
Now have I understood thee, quoth Panurge, my plushcod friar, my
caballine and claustral ballock. I freely quit the costs, interest,
and charges, seeing you have so egregiously commented upon the most
especial chapter of the culinary and monastic cabal. Come along, my
Carpalin, and you, Friar John, my leather-dresser. Good morrow to
you all, my good lords; I have dreamed too much to have so little.
Let us go. Panurge had no sooner done speaking than Epistemon with a
loud voice said these words: It is a very ordinary and common thing
amongst men to conceive, foresee, know, and presage the misfortune,
bad luck, or disaster of another; but to have the understanding,
providence, knowledge, and prediction of a man's own mishap is very
scarce and rare to be found anywhere. This is exceeding judiciously
and prudently deciphered by Aesop in his Apologues, who there
affirmeth that every man in the world carrieth about his neck a
wallet, in the fore-bag whereof were contained the faults and
mischances of others always exposed to his view and knowledge; and
in the other scrip thereof, which hangs behind, are kept the
bearer's proper transgressions and inauspicious adventures, at no
time seen by him, nor thought upon, unless he be a person that hath
a favourable aspect from the heavens.
Chapter 3.XVI.—How Pantagruel adviseth Panurge to consult with
the Sibyl of Panzoust.
A little while thereafter Pantagruel sent for Panurge and said
unto him, The affection which I bear you being now inveterate and
settled in my mind by a long continuance of time, prompteth me to
the serious consideration of your welfare and profit; in order
whereto, remark what I have thought thereon. It hath been told me
that at Panzoust, near Crouly, dwelleth a very famous sibyl, who is
endowed with the skill of foretelling all things to come. Take
Epistemon in your company, repair towards her, and hear what she
will say unto you. She is possibly, quoth Epistemon, some Canidia,
Sagana, or Pythonissa, either whereof with us is vulgarly called a
witch, —I being the more easily induced to give credit to the truth
of this character of her, that the place of her abode is vilely
stained with the abominable repute of abounding more with sorcerers
and witches than ever did the plains of Thessaly. I should not, to
my thinking, go thither willingly, for that it seems to me a thing
unwarrantable, and altogether forbidden in the law of Moses. We are
not Jews, quoth Pantagruel, nor is it a matter judiciously confessed
by her, nor authentically proved by others that she is a witch. Let
us for the present suspend our judgment, and defer till after your
return from thence the sifting and garbling of those niceties. Do we
know but that she may be an eleventh sibyl or a second Cassandra?
But although she were neither, and she did not merit the name or
title of any of these renowned prophetesses, what hazard, in the
name of God, do you run by offering to talk and confer with her of
the instant perplexity and perturbation of your thoughts? Seeing
especially, and which is most of all, she is, in the estimation of
those that are acquainted with her, held to know more, and to be of
a deeper reach of understanding, than is either customary to the
country wherein she liveth or to the sex whereof she is. What
hindrance, hurt, or harm doth the laudable desire of knowledge bring
to any man, were it from a sot, a pot, a fool, a stool, a winter
mitten, a truckle for a pulley, the lid of a goldsmith's crucible,
an oil-bottle, or old slipper? You may remember to have read, or
heard at least, that Alexander the Great, immediately after his
having obtained a glorious victory over the King Darius in Arbela,
refused, in the presence of the splendid and illustrious courtiers
that were about him, to give audience to a poor certain
despicable-like fellow, who through the solicitations and mediation
of some of his royal attendants was admitted humbly to beg that
grace and favour of him. But sore did he repent, although in vain, a
thousand and ten thousand times thereafter, the surly state which he
then took upon him to the denial of so just a suit, the grant
whereof would have been worth unto him the value of a brace of
potent cities. He was indeed victorious in Persia, but withal so far
distant from Macedonia, his hereditary kingdom, that the joy of the
one did not expel the extreme grief which through occasion of the
other he had inwardly conceived; for, not being able with all his
power to find or invent a convenient mean and expedient how to get
or come by the certainty of any news from thence, both by reason of
the huge remoteness of the places from one to another, as also
because of the impeditive interposition of many great rivers, the
interjacent obstacle of divers wild deserts, and obstructive
interjection of sundry almost inaccessible mountains,—whilst he was
in this sad quandary and solicitous pensiveness, which, you may
suppose, could not be of a small vexation to him, considering that
it was a matter of no great difficulty to run over his whole native
soil, possess his country, seize on his kingdom, install a new king
in the throne, and plant thereon foreign colonies, long before he
could come to have any advertisement of it: for obviating the
jeopardy of so dreadful inconveniency, and putting a fit remedy
thereto, a certain Sidonian merchant of a low stature but high
fancy, very poor in show, and to the outward appearance of little or
no account, having presented himself before him, went about to
affirm and declare that he had excogitated and hit upon a ready mean
and way by the which those of his territories at home should come to
the certain notice of his Indian victories, and himself be perfectly
informed of the state and condition of Egypt and Macedonia within
less than five days. Whereupon the said Alexander, plunged into a
sullen animadvertency of mind, through his rash opinion of the
improbability of performing a so strange and impossible-like
undertaking, dismissed the merchant without giving ear to what he
had to say, and vilified him. What could it have cost him to hearken
unto what the honest man had invented and contrived for his good?
What detriment, annoyance, damage, or loss could he have undergone
to listen to the discovery of that secret which the good fellow
would have most willingly revealed unto him? Nature, I am persuaded,
did not without a cause frame our ears open, putting thereto no gate
at all, nor shutting them up with any manner of enclosures, as she
hath done unto the tongue, the eyes, and other such out-jetting
parts of the body. The cause, as I imagine, is to the end that every
day and every night, and that continually, we may be ready to hear,
and by a perpetual hearing apt to learn. For, of all the senses, it
is the fittest for the reception of the knowledge of arts, sciences,
and disciplines; and it may be that man was an angel, that is to
say, a messenger sent from God, as Raphael was to Tobit. Too
suddenly did he contemn, despise, and misregard him; but too long
thereafter, by an untimely and too late repentance, did he do
penance for it. You say very well, answered Epistemon, yet shall you
never for all that induce me to believe that it can tend any way to
the advantage or commodity of a man to take advice and counsel of a
woman, namely, of such a woman, and the woman of such a country.
Truly I have found, quoth Panurge, a great deal of good in the
counsel of women, chiefly in that of the old wives amongst them; for
every time I consult with them I readily get a stool or two
extraordinary, to the great solace of my bumgut passage. They are as
sleuthhounds in the infallibility of their scent, and in their
sayings no less sententious than the rubrics of the law. Therefore
in my conceit it is not an improper kind of speech to call them sage
or wise women. In confirmation of which opinion of mine, the
customary style of my language alloweth them the denomination of
presage women. The epithet of sage is due unto them because they are
surpassing dexterous in the knowledge of most things. And I give
them the title of presage, for that they divinely foresee and
certainly foretell future contingencies and events of things to
come. Sometimes I call them not maunettes, but monettes, from their
wholesome monitions. Whether it be so, ask Pythagoras, Socrates,
Empedocles, and our master Ortuinus. I furthermore praise and
commend above the skies the ancient memorable institution of the
pristine Germans, who ordained the responses and documents of old
women to be highly extolled, most cordially reverenced, and prized
at a rate in nothing inferior to the weight, test, and standard of
the sanctuary. And as they were respectfully prudent in receiving of
these sound advices, so by honouring and following them did they
prove no less fortunate in the happy success of all their
endeavours. Witness the old wife Aurinia, and the good mother
Velled, in the days of Vespasian. You need not any way doubt but
that feminine old age is always fructifying in qualities sublime—I
would have said sibylline. Let us go, by the help, let us go, by the
virtue of God, let us go. Farewell, Friar John, I recommend the care
of my codpiece to you. Well, quoth Epistemon, I will follow you,
with this protestation nevertheless, that if I happen to get a sure
information, or otherwise find that she doth use any kind of charm
or enchantment in her responses, it may not be imputed to me for a
blame to leave you at the gate of her house, without accompanying
you any further in.
Chapter 3.XVII.—How Panurge spoke to the Sibyl of Panzoust.
Their voyage was three days journeying. On the third whereof was
shown unto them the house of the vaticinatress standing on the knap
or top of a hill, under a large and spacious walnut-tree. Without
great difficulty they entered into that straw-thatched cottage,
scurvily built, naughtily movabled, and all besmoked. It matters
not, quoth Epistemon; Heraclitus, the grand Scotist and tenebrous
darksome philosopher, was nothing astonished at his introit into
such a coarse and paltry habitation; for he did usually show forth
unto his sectators and disciples that the gods made as cheerfully
their residence in these mean homely mansions as in sumptuous
magnific palaces, replenished with all manner of delight, pomp, and
pleasure. I withal do really believe that the dwelling-place of the
so famous and renowned Hecate was just such another petty cell as
this is, when she made a feast therein to the valiant Theseus; and
that of no other better structure was the cot or cabin of Hyreus, or
Oenopion, wherein Jupiter, Neptune, and Mercury were not ashamed,
all three together, to harbour and sojourn a whole night, and there
to take a full and hearty repast; for the payment of the shot they
thankfully pissed Orion. They finding the ancient woman at a corner
of her own chimney, Epistemon said, She is indeed a true sibyl, and
the lively portrait of one represented by the Grei kaminoi of Homer.
The old hag was in a pitiful bad plight and condition in matter of
the outward state and complexion of her body, the ragged and
tattered equipage of her person in the point of accoutrement, and
beggarly poor provision of fare for her diet and entertainment; for
she was ill apparelled, worse nourished, toothless, blear-eyed,
crook-shouldered, snotty, her nose still dropping, and herself still
drooping, faint, and pithless; whilst in this woefully wretched case
she was making ready for her dinner porridge of wrinkled green
coleworts, with a bit skin of yellow bacon, mixed with a
twice-before-cooked sort of waterish, unsavoury broth, extracted out
of bare and hollow bones. Epistemon said, By the cross of a groat,
we are to blame, nor shall we get from her any response at all, for
we have not brought along with us the branch of gold. I have, quoth
Panurge, provided pretty well for that, for here I have it within my
bag, in the substance of a gold ring, accompanied with some fair
pieces of small money. No sooner were these words spoken, when
Panurge coming up towards her, after the ceremonial performance of a
profound and humble salutation, presented her with six neat's
tongues dried in the smoke, a great butter-pot full of fresh cheese,
a borachio furnished with good beverage, and a ram's cod stored with
single pence, newly coined. At last he, with a low courtesy, put on
her medical finger a pretty handsome golden ring, whereinto was
right artificially enchased a precious toadstone of Beausse. This
done, in few words and very succinctly, did he set open and expose
unto her the motive reason of his coming, most civilly and
courteously entreating her that she might be pleased to vouchsafe to
give him an ample and plenary intelligence concerning the future
good luck of his intended marriage.
The old trot for a while remained silent, pensive, and grinning
like a dog; then, after she had set her withered breech upon the
bottom of a bushel, she took into her hands three old spindles,
which when she had turned and whirled betwixt her fingers very
diversely and after several fashions, she pried more narrowly into,
by the trial of their points, the sharpest whereof she retained in
her hand, and threw the other two under a stone trough. After this
she took a pair of yarn windles, which she nine times
unintermittedly veered and frisked about; then at the ninth
revolution or turn, without touching them any more, maturely
perpending the manner of their motion, she very demurely waited on
their repose and cessation from any further stirring. In sequel
whereof she pulled off one of her wooden pattens, put her apron over
her head, as a priest uses to do his amice when he is going to sing
mass, and with a kind of antique, gaudy, party-coloured string knit
it under her neck. Being thus covered and muffled, she whiffed off a
lusty good draught out of the borachio, took three several pence
forth of the ramcod fob, put them into so many walnut-shells, which
she set down upon the bottom of a feather-pot, and then, after she
had given them three whisks of a broom besom athwart the chimney,
casting into the fire half a bavin of long heather, together with a
branch of dry laurel, she observed with a very hush and coy silence
in what form they did burn, and saw that, although they were in a
flame, they made no kind of noise or crackling din. Hereupon she
gave a most hideous and horribly dreadful shout, muttering betwixt
her teeth some few barbarous words of a strange termination.
This so terrified Panurge that he forthwith said to Epistemon,
The devil mince me into a gallimaufry if I do not tremble for fear!
I do not think but that I am now enchanted; for she uttereth not her
voice in the terms of any Christian language. O look, I pray you,
how she seemeth unto me to be by three full spans higher than she
was when she began to hood herself with her apron. What meaneth this
restless wagging of her slouchy chaps? What can be the signification
of the uneven shrugging of her hulchy shoulders? To what end doth
she quaver with her lips, like a monkey in the dismembering of a
lobster? My ears through horror glow; ah! how they tingle! I think I
hear the shrieking of Proserpina; the devils are breaking loose to
be all here. O the foul, ugly, and deformed beasts! Let us run away!
By the hook of God, I am like to die for fear! I do not love the
devils; they vex me, and are unpleasant fellows. Now let us fly, and
betake us to our heels. Farewell, gammer; thanks and gramercy for
your goods! I will not marry; no, believe me, I will not. I fairly
quit my interest therein, and totally abandon and renounce it from
this time forward, even as much as at present. With this, as he
endeavoured to make an escape out of the room, the old crone did
anticipate his flight and make him stop. The way how she prevented
him was this: whilst in her hand she held the spindle, she flung out
to a back-yard close by her lodge, where, after she had peeled off
the barks of an old sycamore three several times, she very
summarily, upon eight leaves which dropped from thence, wrote with
the spindle-point some curt and briefly-couched verses, which she
threw into the air, then said unto them, Search after them if you
will; find them if you can; the fatal destinies of your marriage are
written in them.
No sooner had she done thus speaking than she did withdraw
herself unto her lurking-hole, where on the upper seat of the porch
she tucked up her gown, her coats, and smock, as high as her
armpits, and gave them a full inspection of the nockandroe; which
being perceived by Panurge, he said to Epistemon, God's bodikins, I
see the sibyl's hole! She suddenly then bolted the gate behind her,
and was never since seen any more. They jointly ran in haste after
the fallen and dispersed leaves, and gathered them at last, though
not without great labour and toil, for the wind had scattered them
amongst the thorn-bushes of the valley. When they had ranged them
each after other in their due places, they found out their sentence,
as it is metrified in this octastich:
Thy fame upheld
(Properly, as corrected by Ozell:
Thy fame will be shell'd
By her, I trow.),
Even so, so:
And she with child
Of thee: No.
Thy good end
Suck she shall,
And flay thee, friend,
But not all.
Chapter 3.XVIII.—How Pantagruel and Panurge did diversely
expound the verses of the Sibyl of Panzoust.
The leaves being thus collected and orderly disposed, Epistemon
and Panurge returned to Pantagruel's court, partly well pleased and
other part discontented; glad for their being come back, and vexed
for the trouble they had sustained by the way, which they found to
be craggy, rugged, stony, rough, and ill-adjusted. They made an
ample and full relation of their voyage unto Pantagruel, as likewise
of the estate and condition of the sibyl. Then, having presented to
him the leaves of the sycamore, they show him the short and twattle
verses that were written in them. Pantagruel, having read and
considered the whole sum and substance of the matter, fetched from
his heart a deep and heavy sigh; then said to Panurge, You are now,
forsooth, in a good taking, and have brought your hogs to a fine
market. The prophecy of the sibyl doth explain and lay out before us
the same very predictions which have been denoted, foretold, and
presaged to us by the decree of the Virgilian lots and the verdict
of your own proper dreams, to wit, that you shall be very much
disgraced, shamed, and discredited by your wife; for that she will
make you a cuckold in prostituting herself to others, being big with
child by another than you, —will steal from you a great deal of your
goods, and will beat you, scratch and bruise you, even to plucking
the skin in a part from off you,—will leave the print of her blows
in some member of your body. You understand as much, answered
Panurge, in the veritable interpretation and expounding of recent
prophecies as a sow in the matter of spicery. Be not offended, sir,
I beseech you, that I speak thus boldly; for I find myself a little
in choler, and that not without cause, seeing it is the contrary
that is true. Take heed, and give attentive ear unto my words. The
old wife said that, as the bean is not seen till first it be
unhusked, and that its swad or hull be shelled and peeled from off
it, so is it that my virtue and transcendent worth will never come
by the mouth of fame to be blazed abroad proportionable to the
height, extent, and measure of the excellency thereof, until
preallably I get a wife and make the full half of a married couple.
How many times have I heard you say that the function of a
magistrate, or office of dignity, discovereth the merits, parts, and
endowments of the person so advanced and promoted, and what is in
him. That is to say, we are then best able to judge aright of the
deservings of a man when he is called to the management of affairs;
for when before he lived in a private condition, we could have no
more certain knowledge of him than of a bean within his husk. And
thus stands the first article explained; otherwise, could you
imagine that the good fame, repute, and estimation of an honest man
should depend upon the tail of a whore?
Now to the meaning of the second article! My wife will be with
child, —here lies the prime felicity of marriage,—but not of me.
Copsody, that I do believe indeed! It will be of a pretty little
infant. O how heartily I shall love it! I do already dote upon it;
for it will be my dainty feedle- darling, my genteel dilly-minion.
From thenceforth no vexation, care, or grief shall take such deep
impression in my heart, how hugely great or vehement soever it
otherwise appear, but that it shall evanish forthwith at the sight
of that my future babe, and at the hearing of the chat and prating
of its childish gibberish. And blessed be the old wife. By my truly,
I have a mind to settle some good revenue or pension upon her out of
the readiest increase of the lands of my Salmigondinois; not an
inconstant and uncertain rent-seek, like that of witless,
giddy-headed bachelors, but sure and fixed, of the nature of the
well-paid incomes of regenting doctors. If this interpretation doth
not please you, think you my wife will bear me in her flanks,
conceive with me, and be of me delivered, as women use in childbed
to bring forth their young ones; so as that it may be said, Panurge
is a second Bacchus, he hath been twice born; he is re-born, as was
Hippolytus,—as was Proteus, one time of Thetis, and secondly, of the
mother of the philosopher Apollonius,—as were the two Palici, near
the flood Simaethos in Sicily. His wife was big of child with him.
In him is renewed and begun again the palintocy of the Megarians and
the palingenesy of Democritus. Fie upon such errors! To hear stuff
of that nature rends mine ears.
The words of the third article are: She will suck me at my best
end. Why not? That pleaseth me right well. You know the thing; I
need not tell you that it is my intercrural pudding with one end. I
swear and promise that, in what I can, I will preserve it sappy,
full of juice, and as well victualled for her use as may be. She
shall not suck me, I believe, in vain, nor be destitute of her
allowance; there shall her justum both in peck and lippy be
furnished to the full eternally. You expound this passage
allegorically, and interpret it to theft and larceny. I love the
exposition, and the allegory pleaseth me; but not according to the
sense whereto you stretch it. It may be that the sincerity of the
affection which you bear me moveth you to harbour in your breast
those refractory thoughts concerning me, with a suspicion of my
adversity to come. We have this saying from the learned, That a
marvellously fearful thing is love, and that true love is never
without fear. But, sir, according to my judgment, you do understand
both of and by yourself that here stealth signifieth nothing else,
no more than in a thousand other places of Greek and Latin, old and
modern writings, but the sweet fruits of amorous dalliance, which
Venus liketh best when reaped in secret, and culled by fervent
lovers filchingly. Why so, I prithee tell? Because, when the feat of
the loose-coat skirmish happeneth to be done underhand and privily,
between two well-disposed, athwart the steps of a pair of stairs
lurkingly, and in covert behind a suit of hangings, or close hid and
trussed upon an unbound faggot, it is more pleasing to the Cyprian
goddess, and to me also —I speak this without prejudice to any
better or more sound opinion—than to perform that culbusting art
after the Cynic manner, in the view of the clear sunshine, or in a
rich tent, under a precious stately canopy, within a glorious and
sublime pavilion, or yet on a soft couch betwixt rich curtains of
cloth of gold, without affrightment, at long intermediate respites,
enjoying of pleasures and delights a bellyfull, at all great ease,
with a huge fly-flap fan of crimson satin and a bunch of feathers of
some East-Indian ostrich serving to give chase unto the flies all
round about; whilst, in the interim, the female picks her teeth with
a stiff straw picked even then from out of the bottom of the bed she
lies on. If you be not content with this my exposition, are you of
the mind that my wife will suck and sup me up as people use to gulp
and swallow oysters out of the shell? or as the Cilician women,
according to the testimony of Dioscorides, were wont to do the grain
of alkermes? Assuredly that is an error. Who seizeth on it, doth
neither gulch up nor swill down, but takes away what hath been
packed up, catcheth, snatcheth, and plies the play of hey-pass,
The fourth article doth imply that my wife will flay me, but not
all. O the fine word! You interpret this to beating strokes and
blows. Speak wisely. Will you eat a pudding? Sir, I beseech you to
raise up your spirits above the low-sized pitch of earthly thoughts
unto that height of sublime contemplation which reacheth to the
apprehension of the mysteries and wonders of Dame Nature. And here
be pleased to condemn yourself, by a renouncing of those errors
which you have committed very grossly and somewhat perversely in
expounding the prophetic sayings of the holy sibyl. Yet put the case
(albeit I yield not to it) that, by the instigation of the devil, my
wife should go about to wrong me, make me a cuckold downwards to the
very breech, disgrace me otherwise, steal my goods from me, yea, and
lay violently her hands upon me;—she nevertheless should fail of her
attempts and not attain to the proposed end of her unreasonable
undertakings. The reason which induceth me hereto is grounded
totally on this last point, which is extracted from the profoundest
privacies of a monastic pantheology, as good Friar Arthur Wagtail
told me once upon a Monday morning, as we were (if I have not
forgot) eating a bushel of trotter-pies; and I remember well it
rained hard. God give him the good morrow! The women at the
beginning of the world, or a little after, conspired to flay the men
quick, because they found the spirit of mankind inclined to domineer
it, and bear rule over them upon the face of the whole earth; and,
in pursuit of this their resolution, promised, confirmed, swore, and
covenanted amongst them all, by the pure faith they owe to the
nocturnal Sanct Rogero. But O the vain enterprises of women! O the
great fragility of that sex feminine! They did begin to flay the
man, or peel him (as says Catullus), at that member which of all the
body they loved best, to wit, the nervous and cavernous cane, and
that above five thousand years ago; yet have they not of that small
part alone flayed any more till this hour but the head. In mere
despite whereof the Jews snip off that parcel of the skin in
circumcision, choosing far rather to be called clipyards, rascals,
than to be flayed by women, as are other nations. My wife, according
to this female covenant, will flay it to me, if it be not so
already. I heartily grant my consent thereto, but will not give her
leave to flay it all. Nay, truly will I not, my noble king.
Yea but, quoth Epistemon, you say nothing of her most dreadful
cries and exclamations when she and we both saw the laurel-bough
burn without yielding any noise or crackling. You know it is a very
dismal omen, an inauspicious sign, unlucky indice, and token
formidable, bad, disastrous, and most unhappy, as is certified by
Propertius, Tibullus, the quick philosopher Porphyrius, Eustathius
on the Iliads of Homer, and by many others. Verily, verily, quoth
Panurge, brave are the allegations which you bring me, and
testimonies of two-footed calves. These men were fools, as they were
poets; and dotards, as they were philosophers; full of folly, as
they were of philosophy.
Chapter 3.XIX.—How Pantagruel praiseth the counsel of dumb men.
Pantagruel, when this discourse was ended, held for a pretty
while his peace, seeming to be exceeding sad and pensive, then said
to Panurge, The malignant spirit misleads, beguileth, and seduceth
you. I have read that in times past the surest and most veritable
oracles were not those which either were delivered in writing or
uttered by word of mouth in speaking. For many times, in their
interpretation, right witty, learned, and ingenious men have been
deceived through amphibologies, equivoques, and obscurity of words,
no less than by the brevity of their sentences. For which cause
Apollo, the god of vaticination, was surnamed Loxias. Those which
were represented then by signs and outward gestures were accounted
the truest and the most infallible. Such was the opinion of
Heraclitus. And Jupiter did himself in this manner give forth in
Ammon frequently predictions. Nor was he single in this practice;
for Apollo did the like amongst the Assyrians. His prophesying thus
unto those people moved them to paint him with a large long beard,
and clothes beseeming an old settled person of a most posed, staid,
and grave behaviour; not naked, young, and beardless, as he was
portrayed most usually amongst the Grecians. Let us make trial of
this kind of fatidicency; and go you take advice of some dumb person
without any speaking. I am content, quoth Panurge. But, says
Pantagruel, it were requisite that the dumb you consult with be such
as have been deaf from the hour of their nativity, and consequently
dumb; for none can be so lively, natural, and kindly dumb as he who
How is it, quoth Panurge, that you conceive this matter? If you
apprehend it so, that never any spoke who had not before heard the
speech of others, I will from that antecedent bring you to infer
very logically a most absurd and paradoxical conclusion. But let it
pass; I will not insist on it. You do not then believe what
Herodotus wrote of two children, who, at the special command and
appointment of Psammeticus, King of Egypt, having been kept in a
petty country cottage, where they were nourished and entertained in
a perpetual silence, did at last, after a certain long space of
time, pronounce this word Bec, which in the Phrygian language
signifieth bread. Nothing less, quoth Pantagruel, do I believe than
that it is a mere abusing of our understandings to give credit to
the words of those who say that there is any such thing as a natural
language. All speeches have had their primary origin from the
arbitrary institutions, accords, and agreements of nations in their
respective condescendments to what should be noted and betokened by
them. An articulate voice, according to the dialecticians, hath
naturally no signification at all; for that the sense and meaning
thereof did totally depend upon the good will and pleasure of the
first deviser and imposer of it. I do not tell you this without a
cause; for Bartholus, Lib. 5. de Verb. Oblig., very seriously
reporteth that even in his time there was in Eugubia one named Sir
Nello de Gabrielis, who, although he by a sad mischance became
altogether deaf, understood nevertheless everyone that talked in the
Italian dialect howsoever he expressed himself; and that only by
looking on his external gestures, and casting an attentive eye upon
the divers motions of his lips and chaps. I have read, I remember
also, in a very literate and eloquent author, that Tyridates, King
of Armenia, in the days of Nero, made a voyage to Rome, where he was
received with great honour and solemnity, and with all manner of
pomp and magnificence. Yea, to the end there might be a sempiternal
amity and correspondence preserved betwixt him and the Roman senate,
there was no remarkable thing in the whole city which was not shown
unto him. At his departure the emperor bestowed upon him many ample
donatives of an inestimable value; and besides, the more entirely to
testify his affection towards him, heartily entreated him to be
pleased to make choice of any whatsoever thing in Rome was most
agreeable to his fancy, with a promise juramentally confirmed that
he should not be refused of his demand. Thereupon, after a suitable
return of thanks for a so gracious offer, he required a certain
Jack-pudding whom he had seen to act his part most egregiously upon
the stage, and whose meaning, albeit he knew not what it was he had
spoken, he understood perfectly enough by the signs and
gesticulations which he had made. And for this suit of his, in that
he asked nothing else, he gave this reason, that in the several wide
and spacious dominions which were reduced under the sway and
authority of his sovereign government, there were sundry countries
and nations much differing from one another in language, with whom,
whether he was to speak unto them or give any answer to their
requests, he was always necessitated to make use of divers sorts of
truchman and interpreters. Now with this man alone, sufficient for
supplying all their places, will that great inconveniency hereafter
be totally removed; seeing he is such a fine gesticulator, and in
the practice of chirology an artist so complete, expert, and
dexterous, that with his very fingers he doth speak. Howsoever, you
are to pitch upon such a dumb one as is deaf by nature and from his
birth; to the end that his gestures and signs may be the more vively
and truly prophetic, and not counterfeit by the intermixture of some
adulterate lustre and affectation. Yet whether this dumb person
shall be of the male or female sex is in your option, lieth at your
discretion, and altogether dependeth on your own election.
I would more willingly, quoth Panurge, consult with and be
advised by a dumb woman, were it not that I am afraid of two things.
The first is, that the greater part of women, whatever be that they
see, do always represent unto their fancies, think, and imagine,
that it hath some relation to the sugared entering of the goodly
ithyphallos, and graffing in the cleft of the overturned tree the
quickset imp of the pin of copulation. Whatever signs, shows, or
gestures we shall make, or whatever our behaviour, carriage, or
demeanour shall happen to be in their view and presence, they will
interpret the whole in reference to the act of androgynation and the
culbutizing exercise, by which means we shall be abusively
disappointed of our designs, in regard that she will take all our
signs for nothing else but tokens and representations of our desire
to entice her unto the lists of a Cyprian combat or catsenconny
skirmish. Do you remember what happened at Rome two hundred and
threescore years after the foundation thereof? A young Roman
gentleman encountering by chance, at the foot of Mount Celion, with
a beautiful Latin lady named Verona, who from her very cradle
upwards had always been both deaf and dumb, very civilly asked her,
not without a chironomatic Italianizing of his demand, with various
jectigation of his fingers and other gesticulations as yet customary
amongst the speakers of that country, what senators in her descent
from the top of the hill she had met with going up thither. For you
are to conceive that he, knowing no more of her deafness than
dumbness, was ignorant of both. She in the meantime, who neither
heard nor understood so much as one word of what he had said,
straight imagined, by all that she could apprehend in the lovely
gesture of his manual signs, that what he then required of her was
what herself had a great mind to, even that which a young man doth
naturally desire of a woman. Then was it that by signs, which in all
occurrences of venereal love are incomparably more attractive,
valid, and efficacious than words, she beckoned to him to come along
with her to her house; which when he had done, she drew him aside to
a privy room, and then made a most lively alluring sign unto him to
show that the game did please her. Whereupon, without any more
advertisement, or so much as the uttering of one word on either
side, they fell to and bringuardized it lustily.
The other cause of my being averse from consulting with dumb
women is, that to our signs they would make no answer at all, but
suddenly fall backwards in a divarication posture, to intimate
thereby unto us the reality of their consent to the supposed motion
of our tacit demands. Or if they should chance to make any
countersigns responsory to our propositions, they would prove so
foolish, impertinent, and ridiculous, that by them ourselves should
easily judge their thoughts to have no excursion beyond the duffling
academy. You know very well how at Brignoles, when the religious
nun, Sister Fatbum, was made big with child by the young
Stiffly-stand-to't, her pregnancy came to be known, and she cited by
the abbess, and, in a full convention of the convent, accused of
incest. Her excuse was that she did not consent thereto, but that it
was done by the violence and impetuous force of the Friar
Stiffly-stand-to't. Hereto the abbess very austerely replying, Thou
naughty wicked girl, why didst thou not cry, A rape, a rape! then
should all of us have run to thy succour. Her answer was that the
rape was committed in the dortour, where she durst not cry because
it was a place of sempiternal silence. But, quoth the abbess, thou
roguish wench, why didst not thou then make some sign to those that
were in the next chamber beside thee? To this she answered that with
her buttocks she made a sign unto them as vigorously as she could,
yet never one of them did so much as offer to come to her help and
assistance. But, quoth the abbess, thou scurvy baggage, why didst
thou not tell it me immediately after the perpetration of the fact,
that so we might orderly, regularly, and canonically have accused
him? I would have done so, had the case been mine, for the clearer
manifestation of mine innocency. I truly, madam, would have done the
like with all my heart and soul, quoth Sister Fatbum, but that
fearing I should remain in sin, and in the hazard of eternal
damnation, if prevented by a sudden death, I did confess myself to
the father friar before he went out of the room, who, for my
penance, enjoined me not to tell it, or reveal the matter unto any.
It were a most enormous and horrid offence, detestable before God
and the angels, to reveal a confession. Such an abominable
wickedness would have possibly brought down fire from heaven,
wherewith to have burnt the whole nunnery, and sent us all headlong
to the bottomless pit, to bear company with Korah, Dathan, and
You will not, quoth Pantagruel, with all your jesting, make me
laugh. I know that all the monks, friars, and nuns had rather
violate and infringe the highest of the commandments of God than
break the least of their provincial statutes. Take you therefore
Goatsnose, a man very fit for your present purpose; for he is, and
hath been, both dumb and deaf from the very remotest infancy of his
Chapter 3.XX.—How Goatsnose by signs maketh answer to Panurge.
Goatsnose being sent for, came the day thereafter to Pantagruel's
court; at his arrival to which Panurge gave him a fat calf, the half
of a hog, two puncheons of wine, one load of corn, and thirty francs
of small money; then, having brought him before Pantagruel, in
presence of the gentlemen of the bed-chamber he made this sign unto
him. He yawned a long time, and in yawning made without his mouth
with the thumb of his right hand the figure of the Greek letter Tau
by frequent reiterations. Afterwards he lifted up his eyes to
heavenwards, then turned them in his head like a she-goat in the
painful fit of an absolute birth, in doing whereof he did cough and
sigh exceeding heavily. This done, after that he had made
demonstration of the want of his codpiece, he from under his shirt
took his placket-racket in a full grip, making it therewithal clack
very melodiously betwixt his thighs; then, no sooner had he with his
body stooped a little forwards, and bowed his left knee, but that
immediately thereupon holding both his arms on his breast, in a
loose faint-like posture, the one over the other, he paused awhile.
Goatsnose looked wistly upon him, and having heedfully enough viewed
him all over, he lifted up into the air his left hand, the whole
fingers whereof he retained fistwise close together, except the
thumb and the forefinger, whose nails he softly joined and coupled
to one another. I understand, quoth Pantagruel, what he meaneth by
that sign. It denotes marriage, and withal the number thirty,
according to the profession of the Pythagoreans. You will be
married. Thanks to you, quoth Panurge, in turning himself towards
Goatsnose, my little sewer, pretty master's mate, dainty bailie,
curious sergeant-marshal, and jolly catchpole-leader. Then did he
lift higher up than before his said left hand, stretching out all
the five fingers thereof, and severing them as wide from one another
as he possibly could get done. Here, says Pantagruel, doth he more
amply and fully insinuate unto us, by the token which he showeth
forth of the quinary number, that you shall be married. Yea, that
you shall not only be affianced, betrothed, wedded, and married, but
that you shall furthermore cohabit and live jollily and merrily with
your wife; for Pythagoras called five the nuptial number, which,
together with marriage, signifieth the consummation of matrimony,
because it is composed of a ternary, the first of the odd, and
binary, the first of the even numbers, as of a male and female knit
and united together. In very deed it was the fashion of old in the
city of Rome at marriage festivals to light five wax tapers; nor was
it permitted to kindle any more at the magnific nuptials of the most
potent and wealthy, nor yet any fewer at the penurious weddings of
the poorest and most abject of the world. Moreover, in times past,
the heathen or paynims implored the assistance of five deities, or
of one helpful, at least, in five several good offices to those that
were to be married. Of this sort were the nuptial Jove, Juno,
president of the feast, the fair Venus, Pitho, the goddess of
eloquence and persuasion, and Diana, whose aid and succour was
required to the labour of child-bearing. Then shouted Panurge, O the
gentle Goatsnose, I will give him a farm near Cinais, and a windmill
hard by Mirebalais! Hereupon the dumb fellow sneezeth with an
impetuous vehemency and huge concussion of the spirits of the whole
body, withdrawing himself in so doing with a jerking turn towards
the left hand. By the body of a fox new slain, quoth Pantagruel,
what is that? This maketh nothing for your advantage; for he
betokeneth thereby that your marriage will be inauspicious and
unfortunate. This sneezing, according to the doctrine of Terpsion,
is the Socratic demon. If done towards the right side, it imports
and portendeth that boldly and with all assurance one may go whither
he will and do what he listeth, according to what deliberation he
shall be pleased to have thereupon taken; his entries in the
beginning, progress in his proceedings, and success in the events
and issues will be all lucky, good, and happy. The quite contrary
thereto is thereby implied and presaged if it be done towards the
left. You, quoth Panurge, do take always the matter at the worst,
and continually, like another Davus, casteth in new disturbances and
obstructions; nor ever yet did I know this old paltry Terpsion
worthy of citation but in points only of cosenage and imposture.
Nevertheless, quoth Pantagruel, Cicero hath written I know not what
to the same purpose in his Second Book of Divination.
Panurge then, turning himself towards Goatsnose, made this sign
unto him. He inverted his eyelids upwards, wrenched his jaws from
the right to the left side, and drew forth his tongue half out of
his mouth. This done, he posited his left hand wholly open, the
mid-finger wholly excepted, which was perpendicularly placed upon
the palm thereof, and set it just in the room where his codpiece had
been. Then did he keep his right hand altogether shut up in a fist,
save only the thumb, which he straight turned backwards directly
under the right armpit, and settled it afterwards on that most
eminent part of the buttocks which the Arabs call the Al-Katim.
Suddenly thereafter he made this interchange: he held his right hand
after the manner of the left, and posited it on the place wherein
his codpiece sometime was, and retaining his left hand in the form
and fashion of the right, he placed it upon his Al-Katim. This
altering of hands did he reiterate nine several times; at the last
whereof he reseated his eyelids into their own first natural
position. Then doing the like also with his jaws and tongue, he did
cast a squinting look upon Goatsnose, diddering and shivering his
chaps, as apes use to do nowadays, and rabbits, whilst, almost
starved with hunger, they are eating oats in the sheaf.
Then was it that Goatsnose, lifting up into the air his right
hand wholly open and displayed, put the thumb thereof, even close
unto its first articulation, between the two third joints of the
middle and ring fingers, pressing about the said thumb thereof very
hard with them both, and, whilst the remanent joints were contracted
and shrunk in towards the wrist, he stretched forth with as much
straightness as he could the fore and little fingers. That hand thus
framed and disposed of he laid and posited upon Panurge's navel,
moving withal continually the aforesaid thumb, and bearing up,
supporting, or under-propping that hand upon the above-specified
fore and little fingers, as upon two legs. Thereafter did he make in
this posture his hand by little and little, and by degrees and
pauses, successively to mount from athwart the belly to the stomach,
from whence he made it to ascend to the breast, even upwards to
Panurge's neck, still gaining ground, till, having reached his chin,
he had put within the concave of his mouth his afore-mentioned
thumb; then fiercely brandishing the whole hand, which he made to
rub and grate against his nose, he heaved it further up, and made
the fashion as if with the thumb thereof he would have put out his
eyes. With this Panurge grew a little angry, and went about to
withdraw and rid himself from this ruggedly untoward dumb devil. But
Goatsnose in the meantime, prosecuting the intended purpose of his
prognosticatory response, touched very rudely, with the
above-mentioned shaking thumb, now his eyes, then his forehead, and
after that the borders and corners of his cap. At last Panurge cried
out, saying, Before God, master fool, if you do not let me alone, or
that you will presume to vex me any more, you shall receive from the
best hand I have a mask wherewith to cover your rascally scroundrel
face, you paltry shitten varlet. Then said Friar John, He is deaf,
and doth not understand what thou sayest unto him. Bulliballock,
make sign to him of a hail of fisticuffs upon the muzzle.
What the devil, quoth Panurge, means this busy restless fellow?
What is it that this polypragmonetic ardelion to all the fiends of
hell doth aim at? He hath almost thrust out mine eyes, as if he had
been to poach them in a skillet with butter and eggs. By God, da
jurandi, I will feast you with flirts and raps on the snout,
interlarded with a double row of bobs and finger-fillipings! Then
did he leave him in giving him by way of salvo a volley of farts for
his farewell. Goatsnose, perceiving Panurge thus to slip away from
him, got before him, and, by mere strength enforcing him to stand,
made this sign unto him. He let fall his right arm toward his knee
on the same side as low as he could, and, raising all the fingers of
that hand into a close fist, passed his dexter thumb betwixt the
foremost and mid fingers thereto belonging. Then scrubbing and
swingeing a little with his left hand alongst and upon the uppermost
in the very bough of the elbow of the said dexter arm, the whole
cubit thereof, by leisure, fair and softly, at these thumpatory
warnings, did raise and elevate itself even to the elbow, and above
it; on a sudden did he then let it fall down as low as before, and
after that, at certain intervals and such spaces of time, raising
and abasing it, he made a show thereof to Panurge. This so incensed
Panurge that he forthwith lifted his hand to have stricken him the
dumb roister and given him a sound whirret on the ear, but that the
respect and reverence which he carried to the presence of Pantagruel
restrained his choler and kept his fury within bounds and limits.
Then said Pantagruel, If the bare signs now vex and trouble you, how
much more grievously will you be perplexed and disquieted with the
real things which by them are represented and signified! All truths
agree and are consonant with one another. This dumb fellow
prophesieth and foretelleth that you will be married, cuckolded,
beaten, and robbed. As for the marriage, quoth Panurge, I yield
thereto, and acknowledge the verity of that point of his prediction;
as for the rest, I utterly abjure and deny it: and believe, sir, I
beseech you, if it may please you so to do, that in the matter of
wives and horses never any man was predestinated to a better fortune
Chapter 3.XXI.—How Panurge consulteth with an old French poet,
I never thought, said Pantagruel, to have encountered with any
man so headstrong in his apprehensions, or in his opinions so
wilful, as I have found you to be and see you are. Nevertheless, the
better to clear and extricate your doubts, let us try all courses,
and leave no stone unturned nor wind unsailed by. Take good heed to
what I am to say unto you. The swans, which are fowls consecrated to
Apollo, never chant but in the hour of their approaching death,
especially in the Meander flood, which is a river that runneth along
some of the territories of Phrygia. This I say, because Aelianus and
Alexander Myndius write that they had seen several swans in other
places die, but never heard any of them sing or chant before their
death. However, it passeth for current that the imminent death of a
swan is presaged by his foregoing song, and that no swan dieth until
preallably he have sung.
After the same manner, poets, who are under the protection of
Apollo, when they are drawing near their latter end do ordinarily
become prophets, and by the inspiration of that god sing sweetly in
vaticinating things which are to come. It hath been likewise told me
frequently, that old decrepit men upon the brinks of Charon's banks
do usher their decease with a disclosure all at ease, to those that
are desirous of such informations, of the determinate and assured
truth of future accidents and contingencies. I remember also that
Aristophanes, in a certain comedy of his, calleth the old folks
Sibyls, Eith o geron Zibullia. For as when, being upon a pier by the
shore, we see afar off mariners, seafaring men, and other travellers
alongst the curled waves of azure Thetis within their ships, we then
consider them in silence only, and seldom proceed any further than
to wish them a happy and prosperous arrival; but when they do
approach near to the haven, and come to wet their keels within their
harbour, then both with words and gestures we salute them, and
heartily congratulate their access safe to the port wherein we are
ourselves. Just so the angels, heroes, and good demons, according to
the doctrine of the Platonics, when they see mortals drawing near
unto the harbour of the grave, as the most sure and calmest port of
any, full of repose, ease, rest, tranquillity, free from the
troubles and solicitudes of this tumultuous and tempestuous world;
then is it that they with alacrity hail and salute them, cherish and
comfort them, and, speaking to them lovingly, begin even then to
bless them with illuminations, and to communicate unto them the
abstrusest mysteries of divination. I will not offer here to
confound your memory by quoting antique examples of Isaac, of Jacob,
of Patroclus towards Hector, of Hector towards Achilles, of
Polymnestor towards Agamemnon, of Hecuba, of the Rhodian renowned by
Posidonius, of Calanus the Indian towards Alexander the Great, of
Orodes towards Mezentius, and of many others. It shall suffice for
the present that I commemorate unto you the learned and valiant
knight and cavalier William of Bellay, late Lord of Langey, who died
on the Hill of Tarara, the 10th of January, in the climacteric year
of his age, and of our supputation 1543, according to the Roman
account. The last three or four hours of his life he did employ in
the serious utterance of a very pithy discourse, whilst with a clear
judgment and spirit void of all trouble he did foretell several
important things, whereof a great deal is come to pass, and the rest
we wait for. Howbeit, his prophecies did at that time seem unto us
somewhat strange, absurd, and unlikely, because there did not then
appear any sign of efficacy enough to engage our faith to the belief
of what he did prognosticate. We have here, near to the town of
Villomere, a man that is both old and a poet, to wit, Raminagrobis,
who to his second wife espoused my Lady Broadsow, on whom he begot
the fair Basoche. It hath been told me he is a-dying, and so near
unto his latter end that he is almost upon the very last moment,
point, and article thereof. Repair thither as fast as you can, and
be ready to give an attentive ear to what he shall chant unto you.
It may be that you shall obtain from him what you desire, and that
Apollo will be pleased by his means to clear your scruples. I am
content, quoth Panurge. Let us go thither, Epistemon, and that both
instantly and in all haste, lest otherwise his death prevent our
coming. Wilt thou come along with us, Friar John? Yes, that I will,
quoth Friar John, right heartily to do thee a courtesy, my
billy-ballocks; for I love thee with the best of my milt and liver.
Thereupon, incontinently, without any further lingering, to the
way they all three went, and quickly thereafter—for they made good
speed—arriving at the poetical habitation, they found the jolly old
man, albeit in the agony of his departure from this world, looking
cheerfully, with an open countenance, splendid aspect, and behaviour
full of alacrity. After that Panurge had very civilly saluted him,
he in a free gift did present him with a gold ring, which he even
then put upon the medical finger of his left hand, in the collet or
bezel whereof was enchased an Oriental sapphire, very fair and
large. Then, in imitation of Socrates, did he make an oblation unto
him of a fair white cock, which was no sooner set upon the tester of
his bed, than that, with a high raised head and crest, lustily
shaking his feather-coat, he crowed stentoriphonically loud. This
done, Panurge very courteously required of him that he would
vouchsafe to favour him with the grant and report of his sense and
judgment touching the future destiny of his intended marriage. For
answer hereto, when the honest old man had forthwith commanded pen,
paper, and ink to be brought unto him, and that he was at the same
call conveniently served with all the three, he wrote these
Take, or not take her,
Off, or on:
Handy-dandy is your lot.
When her name you write, you blot.
'Tis undone, when all is done,
Ended e'er it was begun:
Hardly gallop, if you trot,
Set not forward when you run,
Nor be single, though alone,
Take, or not take her.
Before you eat, begin to fast;
For what shall be was never past.
Say, unsay, gainsay, save your breath:
Then wish at once her life and death.
Take, or not take her.
These lines he gave out of his own hands unto them, saying unto
them, Go, my lads, in peace! the great God of the highest heavens be
your guardian and preserver! and do not offer any more to trouble or
disquiet me with this or any other business whatsoever. I have this
same very day, which is the last both of May and of me, with a greal
deal of labour, toil, and difficulty, chased out of my house a
rabble of filthy, unclean, and plaguily pestilentious rake-hells,
black beasts, dusk, dun, white, ash-coloured, speckled, and a foul
vermin of other hues, whose obtrusive importunity would not permit
me to die at my own ease; for by fraudulent and deceitful
pricklings, ravenous, harpy-like graspings, waspish stingings, and
such-like unwelcome approaches, forged in the shop of I know not
what kind of insatiabilities, they went about to withdraw and call
me out of those sweet thoughts wherein I was already beginning to
repose myself and acquiesce in the contemplation and vision, yea,
almost in the very touch and taste of the happiness and felicity
which the good God hath prepared for his faithful saints and elect
in the other life and state of immortality. Turn out of their
courses and eschew them, step forth of their ways and do not
resemble them; meanwhile, let me be no more troubled by you, but
leave me now in silence, I beseech you.
Chapter 3.XXII.—How Panurge patrocinates and defendeth the Order
of the Begging Friars.
Panurge, at his issuing forth of Raminagrobis's chamber, said, as
if he had been horribly affrighted, By the virtue of God, I believe
that he is an heretic; the devil take me, if I do not! he doth so
villainously rail at the Mendicant Friars and Jacobins, who are the
two hemispheres of the Christian world; by whose gyronomonic
circumbilvaginations, as by two celivagous filopendulums, all the
autonomatic metagrobolism of the Romish Church, when tottering and
emblustricated with the gibble-gabble gibberish of this odious error
and heresy, is homocentrically poised. But what harm, in the devil's
name, have these poor devils the Capuchins and Minims done unto him?
Are not these beggarly devils sufficiently wretched already? Who can
imagine that these poor snakes, the very extracts of ichthyophagy,
are not thoroughly enough besmoked and besmeared with misery,
distress, and calamity? Dost thou think, Friar John, by thy faith,
that he is in the state of salvation? He goeth, before God, as
surely damned to thirty thousand basketsful of devils as a
pruning-bill to the lopping of a vine-branch. To revile with
opprobrious speeches the good and courageous props and pillars of
the Church,—is that to be called a poetical fury? I cannot rest
satisfied with him; he sinneth grossly, and blasphemeth against the
true religion. I am very much offended at his scandalizing words and
contumelious obloquy. I do not care a straw, quoth Friar John, for
what he hath said; for although everybody should twit and jerk them,
it were but a just retaliation, seeing all persons are served by
them with the like sauce: therefore do I pretend no interest
therein. Let us see, nevertheless, what he hath written. Panurge
very attentively read the paper which the old man had penned; then
said to his two fellow-travellers, The poor drinker doteth.
Howsoever, I excuse him, for that I believe he is now drawing near
to the end and final closure of his life. Let us go make his
epitaph. By the answer which he hath given us, I am not, I protest,
one jot wiser than I was. Hearken here, Epistemon, my little bully,
dost not thou hold him to be very resolute in his responsory
verdicts? He is a witty, quick, and subtle sophister. I will lay an
even wager that he is a miscreant apostate. By the belly of a
stalled ox, how careful he is not to be mistaken in his words. He
answered but by disjunctives, therefore can it not be true which he
saith; for the verity of such-like propositions is inherent only in
one of its two members. O the cozening prattler that he is! I wonder
if Santiago of Bressure be one of these cogging shirks. Such was of
old, quoth Epistemon, the custom of the grand vaticinator and
prophet Tiresias, who used always, by way of a preface, to say
openly and plainly at the beginning of his divinations and
predictions that what he was to tell would either come to pass or
not. And such is truly the style of all prudently presaging
prognosticators. He was nevertheless, quoth Panurge, so
unfortunately misadventurous in the lot of his own destiny, that
Juno thrust out both his eyes.
Yes, answered Epistemon, and that merely out of a spite and
spleen for having pronounced his award more veritable than she, upon
the question which was merrily proposed by Jupiter. But, quoth
Panurge, what archdevil is it that hath possessed this Master
Raminagrobis, that so unreasonably, and without any occasion, he
should have so snappishly and bitterly inveighed against these poor
honest fathers, Jacobins, Minors, and Minims? It vexeth me
grievously, I assure you; nor am I able to conceal my indignation.
He hath transgressed most enormously; his soul goeth infallibly to
thirty thousand panniersful of devils. I understand you not, quoth
Epistemon, and it disliketh me very much that you should so absurdly
and perversely interpret that of the Friar Mendicants which by the
harmless poet was spoken of black beasts, dun, and other sorts of
other coloured animals. He is not in my opinion guilty of such a
sophistical and fantastic allegory as by that phrase of his to have
meant the Begging Brothers. He in downright terms speaketh
absolutely and properly of fleas, punies, hand worms, flies, gnats,
and other such-like scurvy vermin, whereof some are black, some dun,
some ash-coloured, some tawny, and some brown and dusky, all
noisome, molesting, tyrannous, cumbersome, and unpleasant creatures,
not only to sick and diseased folks, but to those also who are of a
sound, vigorous, and healthful temperament and constitution. It is
not unlikely that he may have the ascarids, and the lumbrics, and
worms within the entrails of his body. Possibly doth he suffer, as
it is frequent and usual amongst the Egyptians, together with all
those who inhabit the Erythraean confines, and dwell along the
shores and coasts of the Red Sea, some sour prickings and smart
stingings in his arms and legs of those little speckled dragons
which the Arabians call meden. You are to blame for offering to
expound his words otherwise, and wrong the ingenuous poet, and
outrageously abuse and miscall the said fraters, by an imputation of
baseness undeservedly laid to their charge. We still should, in such
like discourses of fatiloquent soothsayers, interpret all things to
the best. Will you teach me, quoth Panurge, how to discern flies
among milk, or show your father the way how to beget children? He
is, by the virtue of God, an arrant heretic, a resolute, formal
heretic; I say, a rooted, combustible heretic, one as fit to burn as
the little wooden clock at Rochelle. His soul goeth to thirty
thousand cartsful of devils. Would you know whither? Cocks-body, my
friend, straight under Proserpina's close-stool, to the very middle
of the self-same infernal pan within which she, by an
excrementitious evacuation, voideth the faecal stuff of her stinking
clysters, and that just upon the left side of the great cauldron of
three fathom height, hard by the claws and talons of Lucifer, in the
very darkest of the passage which leadeth towards the black chamber
of Demogorgon. O the villain!
Chapter 3.XXIII.—How Panurge maketh the motion of a return to
Let us return, quoth Panurge, not ceasing, to the uttermost of
our abilities, to ply him with wholesome admonitions for the
furtherance of his salvation. Let us go back, for God's sake; let us
go, in the name of God. It will be a very meritorious work, and of
great charity in us to deal so in the matter, and provide so well
for him that, albeit he come to lose both body and life, he may at
least escape the risk and danger of the eternal damnation of his
soul. We will by our holy persuasions bring him to a sense and
feeling of his escapes, induce him to acknowledge his faults, move
him to a cordial repentance of his errors, and stir up in him such a
sincere contrition of heart for his offences, as will prompt him
with all earnestness to cry mercy, and to beg pardon at the hands of
the good fathers, as well of the absent as of such as are present.
Whereupon we will take instrument formally and authentically
extended, to the end he be not, after his decease, declared an
heretic, and condemned, as were the hobgoblins of the provost's wife
of Orleans, to the undergoing of such punishments, pains, and
tortures as are due to and inflicted on those that inhabit the
horrid cells of the infernal regions; and withal incline, instigate,
and persuade him to bequeath and leave in legacy (by way of an
amends and satisfaction for the outrage and injury done to those
good religious fathers throughout all the convents, cloisters, and
monasteries of this province), many bribes, a great deal of
mass-singing, store of obits, and that sempiternally, on the
anniversary day of his decease, every one of them all be furnished
with a quintuple allowance, and that the great borachio replenished
with the best liquor trudge apace along the tables, as well of the
young duckling monkitoes, lay brothers, and lowermost degree of the
abbey lubbards, as of the learned priests and reverend clerks,—the
very meanest of the novices and mitiants unto the order being
equally admitted to the benefit of those funerary and obsequial
festivals with the aged rectors and professed fathers. This is the
surest ordinary means whereby from God he may obtain forgiveness.
Ho, ho, I am quite mistaken; I digress from the purpose, and fly out
of my discourse, as if my spirits were a-wool-gathering. The devil
take me, if I go thither! Virtue God! The chamber is already full of
devils. O what a swinging, thwacking noise is now amongst them! O
the terrible coil that they keep! Hearken, do you not hear the
rustling, thumping bustle of their strokes and blows, as they
scuffle with one another, like true devils indeed, who shall gulp up
the Raminagrobis soul, and be the first bringer of it, whilst it is
hot, to Monsieur Lucifer? Beware, and get you hence! for my part, I
will not go thither. The devil roast me if I go! Who knows but that
these hungry mad devils may in the haste of their rage and fury of
their impatience take a qui for a quo, and instead of Raminagrobis
snatch up poor Panurge frank and free? Though formerly, when I was
deep in debt, they always failed. Get you hence! I will not go
thither. Before God, the very bare apprehension thereof is like to
kill me. To be in a place where there are greedy, famished, and
hunger-starved devils; amongst factious devils—amidst trading and
trafficking devils—O the Lord preserve me! Get you hence! I dare
pawn my credit on it, that no Jacobin, Cordelier, Carmelite,
Capuchin, Theatin, or Minim will bestow any personal presence at his
interment. The wiser they, because he hath ordained nothing for them
in his latter will and testament. The devil take me, if I go
thither. If he be damned, to his own loss and hindrance be it. What
the deuce moved him to be so snappish and depravedly bent against
the good fathers of the true religion? Why did he cast them off,
reject them, and drive them quite out of his chamber, even in that
very nick of time when he stood in greatest need of the aid,
suffrage, and assistance of their devout prayers and holy
admonitions? Why did not he by testament leave them, at least, some
jolly lumps and cantles of substantial meat, a parcel of
cheek-puffing victuals, and a little belly-timber and provision for
the guts of these poor folks, who have nothing but their life in
this world? Let him go thither who will, the devil take me if I go;
for, if I should, the devil would not fail to snatch me up. Cancro.
Ho, the pox! Get you hence, Friar John! Art thou content that thirty
thousand wainload of devils should get away with thee at this same
very instant? If thou be, at my request do these three things.
First, give me thy purse; for besides that thy money is marked with
crosses, and the cross is an enemy to charms, the same may befall to
thee which not long ago happened to John Dodin, collector of the
excise of Coudray, at the ford of Vede, when the soldiers broke the
planks. This moneyed fellow, meeting at the very brink of the bank
of the ford with Friar Adam Crankcod, a Franciscan observantin of
Mirebeau, promised him a new frock, provided that in the
transporting of him over the water he would bear him upon his neck
and shoulders, after the manner of carrying dead goats; for he was a
lusty, strong-limbed, sturdy rogue. The condition being agreed upon,
Friar Crankcod trusseth himself up to his very ballocks, and layeth
upon his back, like a fair little Saint Christopher, the load of the
said supplicant Dodin, and so carried him gaily and with a good
will, as Aeneas bore his father Anchises through the conflagration
of Troy, singing in the meanwhile a pretty Ave Maris Stella. When
they were in the very deepest place of all the ford, a little above
the master-wheel of the water-mill, he asked if he had any coin
about him. Yes, quoth Dodin, a whole bagful; and that he needed not
to mistrust his ability in the performance of the promise which he
had made unto him concerning a new frock. How! quoth Friar Crankcod,
thou knowest well enough that by the express rules, canons, and
injunctions of our order we are forbidden to carry on us any kind of
money. Thou art truly unhappy, for having made me in this point to
commit a heinous trespass. Why didst thou not leave thy purse with
the miller? Without fail thou shalt presently receive thy reward for
it; and if ever hereafter I may but lay hold upon thee within the
limits of our chancel at Mirebeau, thou shalt have the Miserere even
to the Vitulos. With this, suddenly discharging himself of his
burden, he throws me down your Dodin headlong. Take example by this
Dodin, my dear friend Friar John, to the end that the devils may the
better carry thee away at thine own ease. Give me thy purse. Carry
no manner of cross upon thee. Therein lieth an evident and
manifestly apparent danger. For if you have any silver coined with a
cross upon it, they will cast thee down headlong upon some rocks, as
the eagles use to do with the tortoises for the breaking of their
shells, as the bald pate of the poet Aeschylus can sufficiently bear
witness. Such a fall would hurt thee very sore, my sweet bully, and
I would be sorry for it. Or otherwise they will let thee fall and
tumble down into the high swollen waves of some capacious sea, I
know not where; but, I warrant thee, far enough hence, as Icarus
fell, which from thy name would afterwards get the denomination of
the Funnelian Sea.
Secondly, be out of debt. For the devils carry a great liking to
those that are out of debt. I have sore felt the experience thereof
in mine own particular; for now the lecherous varlets are always
wooing me, courting me, and making much of me, which they never did
when I was all to pieces. The soul of one in debt is insipid, dry,
and heretical altogether.
Thirdly, with the cowl and Domino de Grobis, return to
Raminagrobis; and in case, being thus qualified, thirty thousand
boatsful of devils forthwith come not to carry thee quite away, I
shall be content to be at the charge of paying for the pint and
faggot. Now, if for the more security thou wouldst some associate to
bear thee company, let not me be the comrade thou searchest for;
think not to get a fellow-traveller of me,—nay, do not. I advise
thee for the best. Get you hence; I will not go thither. The devil
take me if I go. Notwithstanding all the fright that you are in,
quoth Friar John, I would not care so much as might possibly be
expected I should, if I once had but my sword in my hand. Thou hast
verily hit the nail on the head, quoth Panurge, and speakest like a
learned doctor, subtle and well-skilled in the art of devilry. At
the time when I was a student in the University of Toulouse
(Tolette), that same reverend father in the devil, Picatrix, rector
of the diabological faculty, was wont to tell us that the devils did
naturally fear the bright glancing of swords as much as the
splendour and light of the sun. In confirmation of the verity
whereof he related this story, that Hercules, at his descent into
hell to all the devils of those regions, did not by half so much
terrify them with his club and lion's skin as afterwards Aeneas did
with his clear shining armour upon him, and his sword in his hand
well-furbished and unrusted, by the aid, counsel, and assistance of
the Sybilla Cumana. That was perhaps the reason why the senior John
Jacomo di Trivulcio, whilst he was a-dying at Chartres, called for
his cutlass, and died with a drawn sword in his hand, laying about
him alongst and athwart around the bed and everywhere within his
reach, like a stout, doughty, valorous and knight-like cavalier; by
which resolute manner of fence he scared away and put to flight all
the devils that were then lying in wait for his soul at the passage
of his death. When the Massorets and Cabalists are asked why it is
that none of all the devils do at any time enter into the
terrestrial paradise? their answer hath been, is, and will be still,
that there is a cherubin standing at the gate thereof with a
flame-like glistering sword in his hand. Although, to speak in the
true diabological sense or phrase of Toledo, I must needs confess
and acknowledge that veritably the devils cannot be killed or die by
the stroke of a sword, I do nevertheless avow and maintain,
according to the doctrine of the said diabology, that they may
suffer a solution of continuity (as if with thy shable thou shouldst
cut athwart the flame of a burning fire, or the gross opacous
exhalations of a thick and obscure smoke), and cry out like very
devils at their sense and feeling of this dissolution, which in real
deed I must aver and affirm is devilishly painful, smarting, and
When thou seest the impetuous shock of two armies, and vehement
violence of the push in their horrid encounter with one another,
dost thou think, Ballockasso, that so horrible a noise as is heard
there proceedeth from the voice and shouts of men, the dashing and
jolting of harness, the clattering and clashing of armies, the
hacking and slashing of battle-axes, the justling and crashing of
pikes, the bustling and breaking of lances, the clamour and shrieks
of the wounded, the sound and din of drums, the clangour and
shrillness of trumpets, the neighing and rushing in of horses, with
the fearful claps and thundering of all sorts of guns, from the
double cannon to the pocket pistol inclusively? I cannot goodly deny
but that in these various things which I have rehearsed there may be
somewhat occasionative of the huge yell and tintamarre of the two
engaged bodies. But the most fearful and tumultuous coil and stir,
the terriblest and most boisterous garboil and hurry, the chiefest
rustling black santus of all, and most principal hurlyburly
springeth from the grievously plangorous howling and lowing of
devils, who pell-mell, in a hand-over-head confusion, waiting for
the poor souls of the maimed and hurt soldiery, receive unawares
some strokes with swords, and so by those means suffer a solution of
and division in the continuity of their aerial and invisible
substances; as if some lackey, snatching at the lard-slices stuck in
a piece of roast meat on the spit, should get from Mr. Greasyfist a
good rap on the knuckles with a cudgel. They cry out and shout like
devils, even as Mars did when he was hurt by Diomedes at the siege
of Troy, who, as Homer testifieth of him, did then raise his voice
more horrifically loud and sonoriferously high than ten thousand men
together would have been able to do. What maketh all this for our
present purpose? I have been speaking here of well-furbished armour
and bright shining swords. But so is it not, Friar John, with thy
weapon; for by a long discontinuance of work, cessation from labour,
desisting from making it officiate, and putting it into that
practice wherein it had been formerly accustomed, and, in a word,
for want of occupation, it is, upon my faith, become more rusty than
the key-hole of an old powdering-tub. Therefore it is expedient that
you do one of these two things: either furbish your weapon bravely,
and as it ought to be, or otherwise have a care that, in the rusty
case it is in, you do not presume to return to the house of
Raminagrobis. For my part, I vow I will not go thither. The devil
take me if I go.
Chapter 3.XXIV.—How Panurge consulteth with Epistemon.
Having left the town of Villomere, as they were upon their return
towards Pantagruel, Panurge, in addressing his discourse to
Epistemon, spoke thus: My most ancient friend and gossip, thou seest
the perplexity of my thoughts, and knowest many remedies for the
removal thereof; art thou not able to help and succour me?
Epistemon, thereupon taking the speech in hand, represented unto
Panurge how the open voice and common fame of the whole country did
run upon no other discourse but the derision and mockery of his new
disguise; wherefore his counsel unto him was that he would in the
first place be pleased to make use of a little hellebore for the
purging of his brain of that peccant humour which, through that
extravagant and fantastic mummery of his, had furnished the people
with a too just occasion of flouting and gibing, jeering and
scoffing him, and that next he would resume his ordinary fashion of
accoutrement, and go apparelled as he was wont to do. I am, quoth
Panurge, my dear gossip Epistemon, of a mind and resolution to
marry, but am afraid of being a cuckold and to be unfortunate in my
wedlock. For this cause have I made a vow to young St. Francis—who
at Plessis-les-Tours is much reverenced of all women, earnestly
cried unto by them, and with great devotion, for he was the first
founder of the confraternity of good men, whom they naturally covet,
affect, and long for—to wear spectacles in my cap, and to carry no
codpiece in my breeches, until the present inquietude and
perturbation of my spirits be fully settled.
Truly, quoth Epistemon, that is a pretty jolly vow of thirteen to
a dozen. It is a shame to you, and I wonder much at it, that you do
not return unto yourself, and recall your senses from this their
wild swerving and straying abroad to that rest and stillness which
becomes a virtuous man. This whimsical conceit of yours brings me to
the remembrance of a solemn promise made by the shag-haired Argives,
who, having in their controversy against the Lacedaemonians for the
territory of Thyrea, lost the battle which they hoped should have
decided it for their advantage, vowed to carry never any hair on
their heads till preallably they had recovered the loss of both
their honour and lands. As likewise to the memory of the vow of a
pleasant Spaniard called Michael Doris, who vowed to carry in his
hat a piece of the shin of his leg till he should be revenged of him
who had struck it off. Yet do not I know which of these two
deserveth most to wear a green and yellow hood with a hare's ears
tied to it, either the aforesaid vainglorious champion, or that
Enguerrant, who having forgot the art and manner of writing
histories set down by the Samosatian philosopher, maketh a most
tediously long narrative and relation thereof. For, at the first
reading of such a profuse discourse, one would think it had been
broached for the introducing of a story of great importance and
moment concerning the waging of some formidable war, or the notable
change and mutation of potent states and kingdoms; but, in
conclusion, the world laugheth at the capricious champion, at the
Englishman who had affronted him, as also at their scribbler
Enguerrant, more drivelling at the mouth than a mustard pot. The
jest and scorn thereof is not unlike to that of the mountain of
Horace, which by the poet was made to cry out and lament most
enormously as a woman in the pangs and labour of child-birth, at
which deplorable and exorbitant cries and lamentations the whole
neighbourhood being assembled in expectation to see some marvellous
monstrous production, could at last perceive no other but the
paltry, ridiculous mouse.
Your mousing, quoth Panurge, will not make me leave my musing why
folks should be so frumpishly disposed, seeing I am certainly
persuaded that some flout who merit to be flouted at; yet, as my vow
imports, so will I do. It is now a long time since, by Jupiter
Philos (A mistake of the translator's.—M.), we did swear faith and
amity to one another. Give me your advice, billy, and tell me your
opinion freely, Should I marry or no? Truly, quoth Epistemon, the
case is hazardous, and the danger so eminently apparent that I find
myself too weak and insufficient to give you a punctual and
peremptory resolution therein; and if ever it was true that judgment
is difficult in matters of the medicinal art, what was said by
Hippocrates of Lango, it is certainly so in this case. True it is
that in my brain there are some rolling fancies, by means whereof
somewhat may be pitched upon of a seeming efficacy to the
disentangling your mind of those dubious apprehensions wherewith it
is perplexed; but they do not thoroughly satisfy me. Some of the
Platonic sect affirm that whosoever is able to see his proper genius
may know his own destiny. I understand not their doctrine, nor do I
think that you adhere to them; there is a palpable abuse. I have
seen the experience of it in a very curious gentleman of the country
of Estangourre. This is one of the points. There is yet another not
much better. If there were any authority now in the oracles of
Jupiter Ammon; of Apollo in Lebadia, Delphos, Delos, Cyrra, Patara,
Tegyres, Preneste, Lycia, Colophon, or in the Castalian Fountain;
near Antiochia in Syria, between the Branchidians; of Bacchus in
Dodona; of Mercury in Phares, near Patras; of Apis in Egypt; of
Serapis in Canope; of Faunus in Menalia, and Albunea near Tivoli; of
Tiresias in Orchomenus; of Mopsus in Cilicia; of Orpheus in Lesbos,
and of Trophonius in Leucadia; I would in that case advise you, and
possibly not, to go thither for their judgment concerning the design
and enterprise you have in hand. But you know that they are all of
them become as dumb as so many fishes since the advent of that
Saviour King whose coming to this world hath made all oracles and
prophecies to cease; as the approach of the sun's radiant beams
expelleth goblins, bugbears, hobthrushes, broams, screech-owl-mates,
night-walking spirits, and tenebrions. These now are gone; but
although they were as yet in continuance and in the same power,
rule, and request that formerly they were, yet would not I counsel
you to be too credulous in putting any trust in their responses. Too
many folks have been deceived thereby. It stands furthermore upon
record how Agrippina did charge the fair Lollia with the crime of
having interrogated the oracle of Apollo Clarius, to understand if
she should be at any time married to the Emperor Claudius; for which
cause she was first banished, and thereafter put to a shameful and
But, saith Panurge, let us do better. The Ogygian Islands are not
far distant from the haven of Sammalo. Let us, after that we shall
have spoken to our king, make a voyage thither. In one of these four
isles, to wit, that which hath its primest aspect towards the sun
setting, it is reported, and I have read in good antique and
authentic authors, that there reside many soothsayers,
fortune-tellers, vaticinators, prophets, and diviners of things to
come; that Saturn inhabiteth that place, bound with fair chains of
gold and within the concavity of a golden rock, being nourished with
divine ambrosia and nectar, which are daily in great store and
abundance transmitted to him from the heavens, by I do not well know
what kind of fowls,—it may be that they are the same ravens which in
the deserts are said to have fed St. Paul, the first hermit,—he very
clearly foretelleth unto everyone who is desirous to be certified of
the condition of his lot what his destiny will be, and what future
chance the Fates have ordained for him; for the Parcae, or Weird
Sisters, do not twist, spin, or draw out a thread, nor yet doth
Jupiter perpend, project, or deliberate anything which the good old
celestial father knoweth not to the full, even whilst he is asleep.
This will be a very summary abbreviation of our labour, if we but
hearken unto him a little upon the serious debate and canvassing of
this my perplexity. That is, answered Epistemon, a gullery too
evident, a plain abuse and fib too fabulous. I will not go, not I; I
will not go.
Chapter 3.XXV.—How Panurge consulteth with Herr Trippa.
Nevertheless, quoth Epistemon, continuing his discourse, I will
tell you what you may do, if you believe me, before we return to our
king. Hard by here, in the Brown-wheat (Bouchart) Island, dwelleth
Herr Trippa. You know how by the arts of astrology, geomancy,
chiromancy, metopomancy, and others of a like stuff and nature, he
foretelleth all things to come; let us talk a little, and confer
with him about your business. Of that, answered Panurge, I know
nothing; but of this much concerning him I am assured, that one day,
and that not long since, whilst he was prating to the great king of
celestial, sublime, and transcendent things, the lacqueys and
footboys of the court, upon the upper steps of stairs between two
doors, jumbled, one after another, as often as they listed, his
wife, who is passable fair, and a pretty snug hussy. Thus he who
seemed very clearly to see all heavenly and terrestrial things
without spectacles, who discoursed boldly of adventures past, with
great confidence opened up present cases and accidents, and stoutly
professed the presaging of all future events and contingencies, was
not able, with all the skill and cunning that he had, to perceive
the bumbasting of his wife, whom he reputed to be very chaste, and
hath not till this hour got notice of anything to the contrary. Yet
let us go to him, seeing you will have it so; for surely we can
never learn too much. They on the very next ensuing day came to Herr
Trippa's lodging. Panurge, by way of donative, presented him with a
long gown lined all through with wolf-skins, with a short sword
mounted with a gilded hilt and covered with a velvet scabbard, and
with fifty good single angels; then in a familiar and friendly way
did he ask of him his opinion touching the affair. At the very first
Herr Trippa, looking on him very wistly in the face, said unto him:
Thou hast the metoposcopy and physiognomy of a cuckold,—I say, of a
notorious and infamous cuckold. With this, casting an eye upon
Panurge's right hand in all the parts thereof, he said, This rugged
draught which I see here, just under the mount of Jove, was never
yet but in the hand of a cuckold. Afterwards, he with a white lead
pen swiftly and hastily drew a certain number of diverse kinds of
points, which by rules of geomancy he coupled and joined together;
then said: Truth itself is not truer than that it is certain thou
wilt be a cuckold a little after thy marriage. That being done, he
asked of Panurge the horoscope of his nativity, which was no sooner
by Panurge tendered unto him, than that, erecting a figure, he very
promptly and speedily formed and fashioned a complete fabric of the
houses of heaven in all their parts, whereof when he had considered
the situation and the aspects in their triplicities, he fetched a
deep sigh, and said: I have clearly enough already discovered unto
you the fate of your cuckoldry, which is unavoidable, you cannot
escape it. And here have I got of new a further assurance thereof,
so that I may now hardily pronounce and affirm, without any scruple
or hesitation at all, that thou wilt be a cuckold; that furthermore,
thou wilt be beaten by thine own wife, and that she will purloin,
filch and steal of thy goods from thee; for I find the seventh
house, in all its aspects, of a malignant influence, and every one
of the planets threatening thee with disgrace, according as they
stand seated towards one another, in relation to the horned signs of
Aries, Taurus, and Capricorn. In the fourth house I find Jupiter in
a decadence, as also in a tetragonal aspect to Saturn, associated
with Mercury. Thou wilt be soundly peppered, my good, honest fellow,
I warrant thee. I will be? answered Panurge. A plague rot thee, thou
old fool and doting sot, how graceless and unpleasant thou art! When
all cuckolds shall be at a general rendezvous, thou shouldst be
their standard-bearer. But whence comes this ciron-worm betwixt
these two fingers? This Panurge said, putting the forefinger of his
left hand betwixt the fore and mid finger of the right, which he
thrust out towards Herr Trippa, holding them open after the manner
of two horns, and shutting into his fist his thumb with the other
fingers. Then, in turning to Epistemon, he said: Lo here the true
Olus of Martial, who addicted and devoted himself wholly to the
observing the miseries, crosses, and calamities of others, whilst
his own wife, in the interim, did keep an open bawdy-house. This
varlet is poorer than ever was Irus, and yet he is proud, vaunting,
arrogant, self-conceited, overweening, and more insupportable than
seventeen devils; in one word, Ptochalazon, which term of old was
applied to the like beggarly strutting coxcombs. Come, let us leave
this madpash bedlam, this hairbrained fop, and give him leave to
rave and dose his bellyful with his private and intimately
acquainted devils, who, if they were not the very worst of all
infernal fiends, would never have deigned to serve such a knavish
barking cur as this is. He hath not learnt the first precept of
philosophy, which is, Know thyself; for whilst he braggeth and
boasteth that he can discern the least mote in the eye of another,
he is not able to see the huge block that puts out the sight of both
his eyes. This is such another Polypragmon as is by Plutarch
described. He is of the nature of the Lamian witches, who in foreign
places, in the houses of strangers, in public, and amongst the
common people, had a sharper and more piercing inspection into their
affairs than any lynx, but at home in their own proper
dwelling-mansions were blinder than moldwarps, and saw nothing at
all. For their custom was, at their return from abroad, when they
were by themselves in private, to take their eyes out of their head,
from whence they were as easily removable as a pair of spectacles
from their nose, and to lay them up into a wooden slipper which for
that purpose did hang behind the door of their lodging.
Panurge had no sooner done speaking, when Herr Trippa took into
his hand a tamarisk branch. In this, quoth Epistemon, he doth very
well, right, and like an artist, for Nicander calleth it the
divinatory tree. Have you a mind, quoth Herr Trippa, to have the
truth of the matter yet more fully and amply disclosed unto you by
pyromancy, by aeromancy, whereof Aristophanes in his Clouds maketh
great estimation, by hydromancy, by lecanomancy, of old in prime
request amongst the Assyrians, and thoroughly tried by Hermolaus
Barbarus. Come hither, and I will show thee in this platterful of
fair fountain-water thy future wife lechering and sercroupierizing
it with two swaggering ruffians, one after another. Yea, but have a
special care, quoth Panurge, when thou comest to put thy nose within
mine arse, that thou forget not to pull off thy spectacles. Herr
Trippa, going on in his discourse, said, By catoptromancy, likewise
held in such account by the Emperor Didius Julianus, that by means
thereof he ever and anon foresaw all that which at any time did
happen or befall unto him. Thou shalt not need to put on thy
spectacles, for in a mirror thou wilt see her as clearly and
manifestly nebrundiated and billibodring it, as if I should show it
in the fountain of the temple of Minerva near Patras. By
coscinomancy, most religiously observed of old amidst the ceremonies
of the ancient Romans. Let us have a sieve and shears, and thou
shalt see devils. By alphitomancy, cried up by Theocritus in his
Pharmaceutria. By alentomancy, mixing the flour of wheat with
oatmeal. By astragalomancy, whereof I have the plots and models all
at hand ready for the purpose. By tyromancy, whereof we make some
proof in a great Brehemont cheese which I here keep by me. By
giromancy, if thou shouldst turn round circles, thou mightest assure
thyself from me that they would fall always on the wrong side. By
sternomancy, which maketh nothing for thy advantage, for thou hast
an ill-proportioned stomach. By libanomancy, for the which we shall
need but a little frankincense. By gastromancy, which kind of
ventral fatiloquency was for a long time together used in Ferrara by
Lady Giacoma Rodogina, the Engastrimythian prophetess. By
cephalomancy, often practised amongst the High Germans in their
boiling of an ass's head upon burning coals. By ceromancy, where, by
the means of wax dissolved into water, thou shalt see the figure,
portrait, and lively representation of thy future wife, and of her
fredin fredaliatory belly-thumping blades. By capnomancy. O the
gallantest and most excellent of all secrets! By axionomancy; we
want only a hatchet and a jet-stone to be laid together upon a quick
fire of hot embers. O how bravely Homer was versed in the practice
hereof towards Penelope's suitors! By onymancy; for that we have oil
and wax. By tephromancy. Thou wilt see the ashes thus aloft
dispersed exhibiting thy wife in a fine posture. By botanomancy; for
the nonce I have some few leaves in reserve. By sicomancy; O divine
art in fig-tree leaves! By icthiomancy, in ancient times so
celebrated, and put in use by Tiresias and Polydamas, with the like
certainty of event as was tried of old at the Dina-ditch within that
grove consecrated to Apollo which is in the territory of the
Lycians. By choiromancy; let us have a great many hogs, and thou
shalt have the bladder of one of them. By cheromancy, as the bean is
found in the cake at the Epiphany vigil. By anthropomancy, practised
by the Roman Emperor Heliogabalus. It is somewhat irksome, but thou
wilt endure it well enough, seeing thou art destinated to be a
cuckold. By a sibylline stichomancy. By onomatomancy. How do they
call thee? Chaw-turd, quoth Panurge. Or yet by alectryomancy. If I
should here with a compass draw a round, and in looking upon thee,
and considering thy lot, divide the circumference thereof into
four-and-twenty equal parts, then form a several letter of the
alphabet upon every one of them; and, lastly, posit a barleycorn or
two upon each of these so disposed letters, I durst promise upon my
faith and honesty that, if a young virgin cock be permitted to range
alongst and athwart them, he should only eat the grains which are
set and placed upon these letters, A. C.U.C.K.O.L.D. T.H.O.U.
S.H.A.L.T. B.E. And that as fatidically as, under the Emperor
Valens, most perplexedly desirous to know the name of him who should
be his successor to the empire, the cock vacticinating and
alectryomantic ate up the pickles that were posited on the letters
T.H.E.O.D. Or, for the more certainty, will you have a trial of your
fortune by the art of aruspiciny, by augury, or by extispiciny? By
turdispiciny, quoth Panurge. Or yet by the mystery of necromancy? I
will, if you please, suddenly set up again and revive someone lately
deceased, as Apollonius of Tyane did to Achilles, and the Pythoness
in the presence of Saul; which body, so raised up and requickened,
will tell us the sum of all you shall require of him: no more nor
less than, at the invocation of Erictho, a certain defunct person
foretold to Pompey the whole progress and issue of the fatal battle
fought in the Pharsalian fields. Or, if you be afraid of the dead,
as commonly all cuckolds are, I will make use of the faculty of
Go, get thee gone, quoth Panurge, thou frantic ass, to the devil,
and be buggered, filthy Bardachio that thou art, by some Albanian,
for a steeple-crowned hat. Why the devil didst not thou counsel me
as well to hold an emerald or the stone of a hyaena under my tongue,
or to furnish and provide myself with tongues of whoops, and hearts
of green frogs, or to eat of the liver and milt of some dragon, to
the end that by those means I might, at the chanting and chirping of
swans and other fowls, understand the substance of my future lot and
destiny, as did of old the Arabians in the country of Mesopotamia?
Fifteen brace of devils seize upon the body and soul of this horned
renegado, miscreant cuckold, the enchanter, witch, and sorcerer of
Antichrist to all the devils of hell! Let us return towards our
king. I am sure he will not be well pleased with us if he once come
to get notice that we have been in the kennel of this muffled devil.
I repent my being come hither. I would willingly dispense with a
hundred nobles and fourteen yeomans, on condition that he who not
long since did blow in the bottom of my breeches should instantly
with his squirting spittle inluminate his moustaches. O Lord God
now! how the villain hath besmoked me with vexation and anger, with
charms and witchcraft, and with a terrible coil and stir of infernal
and Tartarian devils! The devil take him! Say Amen, and let us go
drink. I shall not have any appetite for my victuals, how good cheer
soever I make, these two days to come,—hardly these four.
Chapter 3.XXVI.—How Panurge consulteth with Friar John of the
Panurge was indeed very much troubled in mind and disquieted at
the words of Herr Trippa, and therefore, as he passed by the little
village of Huymes, after he had made his address to Friar John, in
pecking at, rubbing, and scratching his own left ear, he said unto
him, Keep me a little jovial and merry, my dear and sweet bully, for
I find my brains altogether metagrabolized and confounded, and my
spirits in a most dunsical puzzle at the bitter talk of this
devilish, hellish, damned fool. Hearken, my dainty cod.
Mellow C. Varnished C. Resolute C.
Lead-coloured C. Renowned C. Cabbage-like C.
Knurled C. Matted C. Courteous C.
Suborned C. Genitive C. Fertile C.
Desired C. Gigantal C. Whizzing C.
Stuffed C. Oval C. Neat C.
Speckled C. Claustral C. Common C.
Finely metalled C. Virile C. Brisk C.
Arabian-like C. Stayed C. Quick C.
Trussed-up Grey- Massive C. Bearlike C.
hound-like C. Manual C. Partitional C.
Mounted C. Absolute C. Patronymic C.
Sleeked C. Well-set C. Cockney C.
Diapered C. Gemel C. Auromercuriated C.
Spotted C. Turkish C. Robust C.
Master C. Burning C. Appetizing C.
Seeded C. Thwacking C. Succourable C.
Lusty C. Urgent C. Redoubtable C.
Jupped C. Handsome C. Affable C.
Milked C. Prompt C. Memorable C.
Calfeted C. Fortunate C. Palpable C.
Raised C. Boxwood C. Barbable C.
Odd C. Latten C. Tragical C.
Steeled C. Unbridled C. Transpontine C.
Stale C. Hooked C. Digestive C.
Orange-tawny C. Researched C. Active C.
Embroidered C. Encompassed C. Vital C.
Glazed C. Strouting out C. Magistral C.
Interlarded C. Jolly C. Monachal C.
Burgher-like C. Lively C. Subtle C.
Empowdered C. Gerundive C. Hammering C.
Ebonized C. Franked C. Clashing C.
Brasiliated C. Polished C. Tingling C.
Organized C. Powdered Beef C. Usual C.
Passable C. Positive C. Exquisite C.
Trunkified C. Spared C. Trim C.
Furious C. Bold C. Succulent C.
Packed C. Lascivious C. Factious C.
Hooded C. Gluttonous C. Clammy C.
Fat C. Boulting C. New-vamped C.
High-prized C. Snorting C. Improved C.
Requisite C. Pilfering C. Malling C.
Laycod C. Shaking C. Sounding C.
Hand-filling C. Bobbing C. Battled C.
Insuperable C. Chiveted C. Burly C.
Agreeable C. Fumbling C. Seditious C.
Formidable C. Topsyturvying C. Wardian C.
Profitable C. Raging C. Protective C.
Notable C. Piled up C. Twinkling C.
Musculous C. Filled up C. Able C.
Subsidiary C. Manly C. Algoristical C.
Satiric C. Idle C. Odoriferous C.
Repercussive C. Membrous C. Pranked C.
Convulsive C. Strong C. Jocund C.
Restorative C. Twin C. Routing C.
Masculinating C. Belabouring C. Purloining C.
Incarnative C. Gentle C. Frolic C.
Sigillative C. Stirring C. Wagging C.
Sallying C. Confident C. Ruffling C.
Plump C. Nimble C. Jumbling C.
Thundering C. Roundheaded C. Rumbling C.
Lechering C. Figging C. Thumping C.
Fulminating C. Helpful C. Bumping C.
Sparkling C. Spruce C. Cringeling C.
Ramming C. Plucking C. Berumpling C.
Lusty C. Ramage C. Jogging C.
Household C. Fine C. Nobbing C.
Pretty C. Fierce C. Touzing C.
Astrolabian C. Brawny C. Tumbling C.
Algebraical C. Compt C. Fambling C.
Venust C. Repaired C. Overturning C.
Aromatizing C. Soft C. Shooting C.
Tricksy C. Wild C. Culeting C.
Paillard C. Renewed C. Jagged C.
Gaillard C. Quaint C. Pinked C.
Broaching C. Starting C. Arsiversing C.
Addle C. Fleshy C. Polished C.
Syndicated C. Auxiliary C. Slashed C.
Hamed C. Stuffed C. Clashing C.
Leisurely C. Well-fed C. Wagging C.
Cut C. Flourished C. Scriplike C.
Smooth C. Fallow C. Encremastered C.
Depending C. Sudden C. Bouncing C.
Independent C. Graspful C. Levelling C.
Lingering C. Swillpow C. Fly-flap C.
Rapping C. Crushing C. Perinae-tegminal C.
Reverend C. Creaking C. Squat-couching C.
Nodding C. Dilting C. Short-hung C.
Disseminating C. Ready C. The hypogastrian C.
Affecting C. Vigorous C. Witness-bearing C.
Affected C. Skulking C. Testigerous C.
Grappled C. Superlative C. Instrumental C.
My harcabuzing cod and buttock-stirring ballock, Friar John, my
friend, I do carry a singular respect unto thee, and honour thee
with all my heart. Thy counsel I hold for a choice and delicate
morsel; therefore have I reserved it for the last bit. Give me thy
advice freely, I beseech thee, Should I marry or no? Friar John very
merrily, and with a sprightly cheerfulness, made this answer to him:
Marry, in the devil's name. Why not? What the devil else shouldst
thou do but marry? Take thee a wife, and furbish her harness to some
tune. Swinge her skin-coat as if thou wert beating on stock-fish;
and let the repercussion of thy clapper from her resounding metal
make a noise as if a double peal of chiming-bells were hung at the
cremasters of thy ballocks. As I say marry, so do I understand that
thou shouldst fall to work as speedily as may be; yea, my meaning is
that thou oughtest to be so quick and forward therein, as on this
same very day, before sunset, to cause proclaim thy banns of
matrimony, and make provision of bedsteads. By the blood of a
hog's-pudding, till when wouldst thou delay the acting of a
husband's part? Dost thou not know, and is it not daily told unto
thee, that the end of the world approacheth? We are nearer it by
three poles and half a fathom than we were two days ago. The
Antichrist is already born; at least it is so reported by many. The
truth is, that hitherto the effects of his wrath have not reached
further than to the scratching of his nurse and governesses. His
nails are not sharp enough as yet, nor have his claws attained to
their full growth,—he is little.
Crescat; Nos qui vivimus, multiplicemur.
It is written so, and it is holy stuff, I warrant you; the truth
whereof is like to last as long as a sack of corn may be had for a
penny, and a puncheon of pure wine for threepence. Wouldst thou be
content to be found with thy genitories full in the day of judgment?
Dum venerit judicari? Thou hast, quoth Panurge, a right, clear, and
neat spirit, Friar John, my metropolitan cod; thou speakst in very
deed pertinently and to purpose. That belike was the reason which
moved Leander of Abydos in Asia, whilst he was swimming through the
Hellespontic sea to make a visit to his sweetheart Hero of Sestus in
Europe, to pray unto Neptune and all the other marine gods, thus:
Now, whilst I go, have pity on me,
And at my back returning drown me.
He was loth, it seems, to die with his cods overgorged. He was to
be commended; therefore do I promise, that from henceforth no
malefactor shall by justice be executed within my jurisdiction of
Salmigondinois, who shall not, for a day or two at least before, be
permitted to culbut and foraminate onocrotalwise, that there remain
not in all his vessels to write a Greek Y. Such a precious thing
should not be foolishly cast away. He will perhaps therewith beget a
male, and so depart the more contentedly out of this life, that he
shall have left behind him one for one.
Chapter 3.XXVII.—How Friar John merrily and sportingly
By Saint Rigomet, quoth Friar John, I do advise thee to nothing,
my dear friend Panurge, which I would not do myself were I in thy
place. Only have a special care, and take good heed thou solder well
together the joints of the double-backed and two-bellied beast, and
fortify thy nerves so strongly, that there be no discontinuance in
the knocks of the venerean thwacking, else thou art lost, poor soul.
For if there pass long intervals betwixt the priapizing feats, and
that thou make an intermission of too large a time, that will befall
thee which betides the nurses if they desist from giving suck to
children—they lose their milk; and if continually thou do not hold
thy aspersory tool in exercise, and keep thy mentul going, thy
lacticinian nectar will be gone, and it will serve thee only as a
pipe to piss out at, and thy cods for a wallet of lesser value than
a beggar's scrip. This is a certain truth I tell thee, friend, and
doubt not of it; for myself have seen the sad experiment thereof in
many, who cannot now do what they would, because before they did not
what they might have done: Ex desuetudine amittuntur privilegia.
Non-usage oftentimes destroys one's right, say the learned doctors
of the law; therefore, my billy, entertain as well as possibly thou
canst that hypogastrian lower sort of troglodytic people, that their
chief pleasure may be placed in the case of sempiternal labouring.
Give order that henceforth they live not, like idle gentlemen, idly
upon their rents and revenues, but that they may work for their
livelihood by breaking ground within the Paphian trenches. Nay
truly, answered Panurge, Friar John, my left ballock, I will believe
thee, for thou dealest plain with me, and fallest downright square
upon the business, without going about the bush with frivolous
circumstances and unnecessary reservations. Thou with the splendour
of a piercing wit hast dissipated all the lowering clouds of anxious
apprehensions and suspicions which did intimidate and terrify me;
therefore the heavens be pleased to grant to thee at all
she-conflicts a stiff-standing fortune. Well then, as thou hast
said, so will I do; I will, in good faith, marry,—in that point
there shall be no failing, I promise thee,—and shall have always by
me pretty girls clothed with the name of my wife's waiting-maids,
that, lying under thy wings, thou mayest be night-protector of their
Let this serve for the first part of the sermon. Hearken, quoth
Friar John, to the oracle of the bells of Varenes. What say they? I
hear and understand them, quoth Panurge; their sound is, by my
thirst, more uprightly fatidical than that of Jove's great kettles
in Dodona. Hearken! Take thee a wife, take thee a wife, and marry,
marry, marry; for if thou marry, thou shalt find good therein,
herein, here in a wife thou shalt find good; so marry, marry. I will
assure thee that I shall be married; all the elements invite and
prompt me to it. Let this word be to thee a brazen wall, by
diffidence not to be broken through. As for the second part of this
our doctrine,—thou seemest in some measure to mistrust the readiness
of my paternity in the practising of my placket-racket within the
Aphrodisian tennis-court at all times fitting, as if the stiff god
of gardens were not favourable to me. I pray thee, favour me so much
as to believe that I still have him at a beck, attending always my
commandments, docile, obedient, vigorous, and active in all things
and everywhere, and never stubborn or refractory to my will or
pleasure. I need no more but to let go the reins, and slacken the
leash, which is the belly-point, and when the game is shown unto
him, say, Hey, Jack, to thy booty! he will not fail even then to
flesh himself upon his prey, and tuzzle it to some purpose. Hereby
you may perceive, although my future wife were as unsatiable and
gluttonous in her voluptuousness and the delights of venery as ever
was the Empress Messalina, or yet the Marchioness (of Oincester) in
England, and I desire thee to give credit to it, that I lack not for
what is requisite to overlay the stomach of her lust, but have
wherewith aboundingly to please her. I am not ignorant that Solomon
said, who indeed of that matter speaketh clerklike and learnedly,—as
also how Aristotle after him declared for a truth that, for the
greater part, the lechery of a woman is ravenous and unsatisfiable.
Nevertheless, let such as are my friends who read those passages
receive from me for a most real verity, that I for such a Jill have
a fit Jack; and that, if women's things cannot be satiated, I have
an instrument indefatigable,—an implement as copious in the giving
as can in craving be their vade mecums. Do not here produce ancient
examples of the paragons of paillardice, and offer to match with my
testiculatory ability the Priapaean prowess of the fabulous
fornicators, Hercules, Proculus Caesar, and Mahomet, who in his
Alkoran doth vaunt that in his cods he had the vigour of three score
bully ruffians; but let no zealous Christian trust the rogue,—the
filthy ribald rascal is a liar. Nor shalt thou need to urge
authorities, or bring forth the instance of the Indian prince of
whom Theophrastus, Plinius, and Athenaeus testify, that with the
help of a certain herb he was able, and had given frequent
experiments thereof, to toss his sinewy piece of generation in the
act of carnal concupiscence above three score and ten times in the
space of four-and-twenty hours. Of that I believe nothing, the
number is supposititious, and too prodigally foisted in. Give no
faith unto it, I beseech thee, but prithee trust me in this, and thy
credulity therein shall not be wronged, for it is true, and probatum
est, that my pioneer of nature—the sacred ithyphallian champion —is
of all stiff-intruding blades the primest. Come hither, my
ballocket, and hearken. Didst thou ever see the monk of Castre's
cowl? When in any house it was laid down, whether openly in the view
of all or covertly out of the sight of any, such was the ineffable
virtue thereof for excitating and stirring up the people of both
sexes unto lechery, that the whole inhabitants and indwellers, not
only of that, but likewise of all the circumjacent places thereto,
within three leagues around it, did suddenly enter into rut, both
beasts and folks, men and women, even to the dogs and hogs, rats and
I swear to thee that many times heretofore I have perceived and
found in my codpiece a certain kind of energy or efficacious virtue
much more irregular and of a greater anomaly than what I have
related. I will not speak to thee either of house or cottage, nor of
church or market, but only tell thee, that once at the
representation of the Passion, which was acted at Saint Maxents, I
had no sooner entered within the pit of the theatre, but that
forthwith, by the virtue and occult property of it, on a sudden all
that were there, both players and spectators, did fall into such an
exorbitant temptation of lust, that there was not angel, man, devil,
nor deviless upon the place who would not then have bricollitched it
with all their heart and soul. The prompter forsook his copy, he who
played Michael's part came down to rights, the devils issued out of
hell and carried along with them most of the pretty little girls
that were there; yea, Lucifer got out of his fetters; in a word,
seeing the huge disorder, I disparked myself forth of that enclosed
place, in imitation of Cato the Censor, who perceiving, by reason of
his presence, the Floralian festivals out of order, withdrew
Chapter 3.XXVIII.—How Friar John comforteth Panurge in the
doubtful matter of cuckoldry.
I understand thee well enough, said Friar John; but time makes
all things plain. The most durable marble or porphyry is subject to
old age and decay. Though for the present thou possibly be not weary
of the exercise, yet is it like I will hear thee confess a few years
hence that thy cods hang dangling downwards for want of a better
truss. I see thee waxing a little hoar-headed already. Thy beard, by
the distinction of grey, white, tawny, and black, hath to my
thinking the resemblance of a map of the terrestrial globe or
geographical chart. Look attentively upon and take inspection of
what I shall show unto thee. Behold there Asia. Here are Tigris and
Euphrates. Lo there Afric. Here is the mountain of the Moon, —yonder
thou mayst perceive the fenny march of Nilus. On this side lieth
Europe. Dost thou not see the Abbey of Theleme? This little tuft,
which is altogether white, is the Hyperborean Hills. By the thirst
of my thropple, friend, when snow is on the mountains, I say the
head and the chin, there is not then any considerable heat to be
expected in the valleys and low countries of the codpiece. By the
kibes of thy heels, quoth Panurge, thou dost not understand the
topics. When snow is on the tops of the hills, lightning, thunder,
tempest, whirlwinds, storms, hurricanes, and all the devils of hell
rage in the valleys. Wouldst thou see the experience thereof, go to
the territory of the Switzers and earnestly perpend with thyself
there the situation of the lake of Wunderberlich, about four leagues
distant from Berne, on the Syon-side of the land. Thou twittest me
with my grey hairs, yet considerest not how I am of the nature of
leeks, which with a white head carry a green, fresh, straight, and
vigorous tail. The truth is, nevertheless (why should I deny it),
that I now and then discern in myself some indicative signs of old
age. Tell this, I prithee, to nobody, but let it be kept very close
and secret betwixt us two; for I find the wine much sweeter now,
more savoury to my taste, and unto my palate of a better relish than
formerly I was wont to do; and withal, besides mine accustomed
manner, I have a more dreadful apprehension than I ever heretofore
have had of lighting on bad wine. Note and observe that this doth
argue and portend I know not what of the west and occident of my
time, and signifieth that the south and meridian of mine age is
past. But what then, my gentle companion? That doth but betoken that
I will hereafter drink so much the more. That is not, the devil hale
it, the thing that I fear; nor is it there where my shoe pinches.
The thing that I doubt most, and have greatest reason to dread and
suspect is, that through some long absence of our King Pantagruel
(to whom I must needs bear company should he go to all the devils of
Barathrum), my future wife shall make me a cuckold. This is, in
truth, the long and short on't. For I am by all those whom I have
spoke to menaced and threatened with a horned fortune, and all of
them affirm it is the lot to which from heaven I am predestinated.
Everyone, answered Friar John, that would be a cuckold is not one.
If it be thy fate to be hereafter of the number of that horned
cattle, then may I conclude with an Ergo, thy wife will be
beautiful, and Ergo, thou wilt be kindly used by her. Likewise with
this Ergo, thou shalt be blessed with the fruition of many friends
and well-willers. And finally with this other Ergo, thou shalt be
saved and have a place in Paradise. These are monachal topics and
maxims of the cloister. Thou mayst take more liberty to sin. Thou
shalt be more at ease than ever. There will be never the less left
for thee, nothing diminished, but thy goods shall increase notably.
And if so be it was preordinated for thee, wouldst thou be so
impious as not to acquiesce in thy destiny? Speak, thou jaded cod.
Faded C. Louting C. Appellant C.
Mouldy C. Discouraged C. Swagging C.
Musty C. Surfeited C. Withered C.
Paltry C. Peevish C. Broken-reined C.
Senseless C. Translated C. Defective C.
Foundered C. Forlorn C. Crestfallen C.
Distempered C. Unsavoury C. Felled C.
Bewrayed C. Worm-eaten C. Fleeted C.
Inveigled C. Overtoiled C. Cloyed C.
Dangling C. Miserable C. Squeezed C.
Stupid C. Steeped C. Resty C.
Seedless C. Kneaded-with-cold- Pounded C.
Soaked C. water C. Loose C.
Coldish C. Hacked C. Fruitless C.
Pickled C. Flaggy C. Riven C.
Churned C. Scrubby C. Pursy C.
Filliped C. Drained C. Fusty C.
Singlefied C. Haled C. Jadish C.
Begrimed C. Lolling C. Fistulous C.
Wrinkled C. Drenched C. Languishing C.
Fainted C. Burst C. Maleficiated C.
Extenuated C. Stirred up C. Hectic C.
Grim C. Mitred C. Worn out C.
Wasted C. Peddlingly furnished Ill-favoured C.
Inflamed C. C. Duncified C.
Unhinged C. Rusty C. Macerated C.
Scurfy C. Exhausted C. Paralytic C.
Straddling C. Perplexed C. Degraded C.
Putrefied C. Unhelved C. Benumbed C.
Maimed C. Fizzled C. Bat-like C.
Overlechered C. Leprous C. Fart-shotten C.
Druggely C. Bruised C. Sunburnt C.
Mitified C. Spadonic C. Pacified C.
Goat-ridden C. Boughty C. Blunted C.
Weakened C. Mealy C. Rankling tasted C.
Ass-ridden C. Wrangling C. Rooted out C.
Puff-pasted C. Gangrened C. Costive C.
St. Anthonified C. Crust-risen C. Hailed on C.
Untriped C. Ragged C. Cuffed C.
Blasted C. Quelled C. Buffeted C.
Cut off C. Braggadocio C. Whirreted C.
Beveraged C. Beggarly C. Robbed C.
Scarified C. Trepanned C. Neglected C.
Dashed C. Bedusked C. Lame C.
Slashed C. Emasculated C. Confused C.
Enfeebled C. Corked C. Unsavoury C.
Whore-hunting C. Transparent C. Overthrown C.
Deteriorated C. Vile C. Boulted C.
Chill C. Antedated C. Trod under C.
Scrupulous C. Chopped C. Desolate C.
Crazed C. Pinked C. Declining C.
Tasteless C. Cup-glassified C. Stinking C.
Sorrowful C. Harsh C. Crooked C.
Murdered C. Beaten C. Brabbling C.
Matachin-like C. Barred C. Rotten C.
Besotted C. Abandoned C. Anxious C.
Customerless C. Confounded C. Clouted C.
Minced C. Loutish C. Tired C.
Exulcerated C. Borne down C. Proud C.
Patched C. Sparred C. Fractured C.
Stupified C. Abashed C. Melancholy C.
Annihilated C. Unseasonable C. Coxcombly C.
Spent C. Oppressed C. Base C.
Foiled C. Grated C. Bleaked C.
Anguished C. Falling away C. Detested C.
Disfigured C. Smallcut C. Diaphanous C.
Disabled C. Disordered C. Unworthy C.
Forceless C. Latticed C. Checked C.
Censured C. Ruined C. Mangled C.
Cut C. Exasperated C. Turned over C.
Rifled C. Rejected C. Harried C.
Undone C. Belammed C. Flawed C.
Corrected C. Fabricitant C. Froward C.
Slit C. Perused C. Ugly C.
Skittish C. Emasculated C. Drawn C.
Spongy C. Roughly handled C. Riven C.
Botched C. Examined C. Distasteful C.
Dejected C. Cracked C. Hanging C.
Jagged C. Wayward C. Broken C.
Pining C. Haggled C. Limber C.
Deformed C. Gleaning C. Effeminate C.
Mischieved C. Ill-favoured C. Kindled C.
Cobbled C. Pulled C. Evacuated C.
Embased C. Drooping C. Grieved C.
Ransacked C. Faint C. Carking C.
Despised C. Parched C. Disorderly C.
Mangy C. Paltry C. Empty C.
Abased C. Cankered C. Disquieted C.
Supine C. Void C. Besysted C.
Mended C. Vexed C. Confounded C.
Dismayed C. Bestunk C. Hooked C.
Divorous C. Winnowed C. Unlucky C.
Wearied C. Decayed C. Sterile C.
Sad C. Disastrous C. Beshitten C.
Cross C. Unhandsome C. Appeased C.
Vain-glorious C. Stummed C. Caitiff C.
Poor C. Barren C. Woeful C.
Brown C. Wretched C. Unseemly C.
Shrunken C. Feeble C. Heavy C.
Abhorred C. Cast down C. Weak C.
Troubled C. Stopped C. Prostrated C.
Scornful C. Kept under C. Uncomely C.
Dishonest C. Stubborn C. Naughty C.
Reproved C. Ground C. Laid flat C.
Cocketed C. Retchless C. Suffocated C.
Filthy C. Weather-beaten C. Held down C.
Shred C. Flayed C. Barked C.
Chawned C. Bald C. Hairless C.
Short-winded C. Tossed C. Flamping C.
Branchless C. Flapping C. Hooded C.
Chapped C. Cleft C. Wormy C.
Failing C. Meagre C. Besysted C.
(In his anxiety to swell his catalogue as much as possible, Sir
Thomas Urquhart has set down this word twice.)
Deficient C. Dumpified C. Faulty C.
Lean C. Suppressed C. Bemealed C.
Consumed C. Hagged C. Mortified C.
Used C. Jawped C. Scurvy C.
Puzzled C. Havocked C. Bescabbed C.
Allayed C. Astonished C. Torn C.
Spoiled C. Dulled C. Subdued C.
Clagged C. Slow C. Sneaking C.
Palsy-stricken C. Plucked up C. Bare C.
Amazed C. Constipated C. Swart C.
Bedunsed C. Blown C. Smutched C.
Extirpated C. Blockified C. Raised up C.
Banged C. Pommelled C. Chopped C.
Stripped C. All-to-bemauled C. Flirted C.
Hoary C. Fallen away C. Blained C.
Blotted C. Stale C. Rensy C.
Sunk in C. Corrupted C. Frowning C.
Ghastly C. Beflowered C. Limping C.
Unpointed C. Amated C. Ravelled C.
Beblistered C. Blackish C. Rammish C.
Wizened C. Underlaid C. Gaunt C.
Beggar-plated C. Loathing C. Beskimmered C.
Douf C. Ill-filled C. Scraggy C.
Clarty C. Bobbed C. Lank C.
Lumpish C. Mated C. Swashering C.
Abject C. Tawny C. Moiling C.
Side C. Whealed C. Swinking C.
Choked up C. Besmeared C. Harried C.
Backward C. Hollow C. Tugged C.
Prolix C. Pantless C. Towed C.
Spotted C. Guizened C. Misused C.
Crumpled C. Demiss C. Adamitical C.
Frumpled C. Refractory C.
Ballockatso to the devil, my dear friend Panurge, seeing it is so
decreed by the gods, wouldst thou invert the course of the planets,
and make them retrograde? Wouldst thou disorder all the celestial
spheres, blame the intelligences, blunt the spindles, joint the
wherves, slander the spinning quills, reproach the bobbins, revile
the clew-bottoms, and finally ravel and untwist all the threads of
both the warp and the waft of the weird Sister-Parcae? What a pox to
thy bones dost thou mean, stony cod? Thou wouldst if thou couldst, a
great deal worse than the giants of old intended to have done. Come
hither, billicullion. Whether wouldst thou be jealous without cause,
or be a cuckold and know nothing of it? Neither the one nor the
other, quoth Panurge, would I choose to be. But if I get an inkling
of the matter, I will provide well enough, or there shall not be one
stick of wood within five hundred leagues about me whereof to make a
cudgel. In good faith, Friar John, I speak now seriously unto thee,
I think it will be my best not to marry. Hearken to what the bells
do tell me, now that we are nearer to them! Do not marry, marry not,
not, not, not, not; marry, marry not, not, not, not, not. If thou
marry, thou wilt miscarry, carry, carry; thou'lt repent it, resent
it, sent it! If thou marry, thou a cuckold, a cou-cou-cuckoo,
cou-cou-cuckold thou shalt be. By the worthy wrath of God, I begin
to be angry. This campanilian oracle fretteth me to the guts,—a
March hare was never in such a chafe as I am. O how I am vexed! You
monks and friars of the cowl-pated and hood-polled fraternity, have
you no remedy nor salve against this malady of graffing horns in
heads? Hath nature so abandoned humankind, and of her help left us
so destitute, that married men cannot know how to sail through the
seas of this mortal life and be safe from the whirlpools,
quicksands, rocks, and banks that lie alongst the coast of Cornwall.
I will, said Friar John, show thee a way and teach thee an
expedient by means whereof thy wife shall never make thee a cuckold
without thy knowledge and thine own consent. Do me the favour, I
pray thee, quoth Panurge, my pretty, soft, downy cod; now tell it,
billy, tell it, I beseech thee. Take, quoth Friar John, Hans
Carvel's ring upon thy finger, who was the King of Melinda's chief
jeweller. Besides that this Hans Carvel had the reputation of being
very skilful and expert in the lapidary's profession, he was a
studious, learned, and ingenious man, a scientific person, full of
knowledge, a great philosopher, of a sound judgment, of a prime wit,
good sense, clear spirited, an honest creature, courteous,
charitable, a giver of alms, and of a jovial humour, a boon
companion, and a merry blade, if ever there was any in the world. He
was somewhat gorbellied, had a little shake in his head, and was in
effect unwieldy of his body. In his old age he took to wife the
Bailiff of Concordat's daughter, young, fair, jolly, gallant,
spruce, frisk, brisk, neat, feat, smirk, smug, compt, quaint, gay,
fine, tricksy, trim, decent, proper, graceful, handsome, beautiful,
comely, and kind—a little too much—to her neighbours and
Hereupon it fell out, after the expiring of a scantling of weeks,
that Master Carvel became as jealous as a tiger, and entered into a
very profound suspicion that his new-married gixy did keep
a-buttock-stirring with others. To prevent which inconveniency he
did tell her many tragical stories of the total ruin of several
kingdoms by adultery; did read unto her the legend of chaste wives;
then made some lectures to her in the praise of the choice virtue of
pudicity, and did present her with a book in commendation of
conjugal fidelity; wherein the wickedness of all licentious women
was odiously detested; and withal he gave her a chain enriched with
pure oriental sapphires. Notwithstanding all this, he found her
always more and more inclined to the reception of her neighbour
copes-mates, that day by day his jealousy increased. In sequel
whereof, one night as he was lying by her, whilst in his sleep the
rambling fancies of the lecherous deportments of his wife did take
up the cellules of his brain, he dreamt that he encountered with the
devil, to whom he had discovered to the full the buzzing of his head
and suspicion that his wife did tread her shoe awry. The devil, he
thought, in this perplexity did for his comfort give him a ring, and
therewithal did kindly put it on his middle finger, saying, Hans
Carvel, I give thee this ring,—whilst thou carriest it upon that
finger, thy wife shall never carnally be known by any other than
thyself without thy special knowledge and consent. Gramercy, quoth
Hans Carvel, my lord devil, I renounce Mahomet if ever it shall come
off my finger. The devil vanished, as is his custom; and then Hans
Carvel, full of joy awaking, found that his middle finger was as far
as it could reach within the what-do-by-call-it of his wife. I did
forget to tell thee how his wife, as soon as she had felt the finger
there, said, in recoiling her buttocks, Off, yes, nay, tut, pish,
tush, ay, lord, that is not the thing which should be put up in that
place. With this Hans Carvel thought that some pilfering fellow was
about to take the ring from him. Is not this an infallible and
sovereign antidote? Therefore, if thou wilt believe me, in imitation
of this example never fail to have continually the ring of thy
wife's commodity upon thy finger. When that was said, their
discourse and their way ended.
Chapter 3.XXIX.—How Pantagruel convocated together a theologian,
physician, lawyer, and philosopher, for extricating Panurge out of
the perplexity wherein he was.
No sooner were they come into the royal palace, but they to the
full made report unto Pantagruel of the success of their expedition,
and showed him the response of Raminagrobis. When Pantagruel had
read it over and over again, the oftener he perused it being the
better pleased therewith, he said, in addressing his speech to
Panurge, I have not as yet seen any answer framed to your demand
which affordeth me more contentment. For in this his succinct copy
of verses, he summarily and briefly, yet fully enough expresseth how
he would have us to understand that everyone in the project and
enterprise of marriage ought to be his own carver, sole arbitrator
of his proper thoughts, and from himself alone take counsel in the
main and peremptory closure of what his determination should be, in
either his assent to or dissent from it. Such always hath been my
opinion to you, and when at first you spoke thereof to me I truly
told you this same very thing; but tacitly you scorned my advice,
and would not harbour it within your mind. I know for certain, and
therefore may I with the greater confidence utter my conception of
it, that philauty, or self-love, is that which blinds your judgment
and deceiveth you.
Let us do otherwise, and that is this: Whatever we are, or have,
consisteth in three things—the soul, the body, and the goods. Now,
for the preservation of these three, there are three sorts of
learned men ordained, each respectively to have care of that one
which is recommended to his charge. Theologues are appointed for the
soul, physicians for the welfare of the body, and lawyers for the
safety of our goods. Hence it is that it is my resolution to have on
Sunday next with me at dinner a divine, a physician, and a lawyer,
that with those three assembled thus together we may in every point
and particle confer at large of your perplexity. By Saint Picot,
answered Panurge, we never shall do any good that way, I see it
already. And you see yourself how the world is vilely abused, as
when with a foxtail one claps another's breech to cajole him. We
give our souls to keep to the theologues, who for the greater part
are heretics. Our bodies we commit to the physicians, who never
themselves take any physic. And then we entrust our goods to the
lawyers, who never go to law against one another. You speak like a
courtier, quoth Pantagruel. But the first point of your assertion is
to be denied; for we daily see how good theologues make it their
chief business, their whole and sole employment, by their deeds,
their words, and writings, to extirpate errors and heresies out of
the hearts of men, and in their stead profoundly plant the true and
lively faith. The second point you spoke of I commend; for, whereas
the professors of the art of medicine give so good order to the
prophylactic, or conservative part of their faculty, in what
concerneth their proper healths, that they stand in no need of
making use of the other branch, which is the curative or
therapeutic, by medicaments. As for the third, I grant it to be
true, for learned advocates and counsellors at law are so much taken
up with the affairs of others in their consultations, pleadings, and
such-like patrocinations of those who are their clients, that they
have no leisure to attend any controversies of their own. Therefore,
on the next ensuing Sunday, let the divine be our godly Father
Hippothadee, the physician our honest Master Rondibilis, and our
legist our friend Bridlegoose. Nor will it be (to my thinking)
amiss, that we enter into the Pythagoric field, and choose for an
assistant to the three afore-named doctors our ancient faithful
acquaintance, the philosopher Trouillogan; especially seeing a
perfect philosopher, such as is Trouillogan, is able positively to
resolve all whatsoever doubts you can propose. Carpalin, have you a
care to have them here all four on Sunday next at dinner, without
I believe, quoth Epistemon, that throughout the whole country, in
all the corners thereof, you could not have pitched upon such other
four. Which I speak not so much in regard of the most excellent
qualifications and accomplishments wherewith all of them are endowed
for the respective discharge and management of each his own vocation
and calling (wherein without all doubt or controversy they are the
paragons of the land, and surpass all others), as for that
Rondibilis is married now, who before was not,—Hippothadee was not
before, nor is yet,—Bridlegoose was married once, but is not
now,—and Trouillogan is married now, who wedded was to another wife
before. Sir, if it may stand with your good liking, I will ease
Carpalin of some parcel of his labour, and invite Bridlegoose
myself, with whom I of a long time have had a very intimate
familiarity, and unto whom I am to speak on the behalf of a pretty
hopeful youth who now studieth at Toulouse, under the most learned
virtuous doctor Boissonet. Do what you deem most expedient, quoth
Pantagruel, and tell me if my recommendation can in anything be
steadable for the promoval of the good of that youth, or otherwise
serve for bettering of the dignity and office of the worthy
Boissonet, whom I do so love and respect for one of the ablest and
most sufficient in his way that anywhere are extant. Sir, I will use
therein my best endeavours, and heartily bestir myself about it.
Chapter 3.XXX.—How the theologue, Hippothadee, giveth counsel to
Panurge in the matter and business of his nuptial enterprise.
The dinner on the subsequent Sunday was no sooner made ready than
that the afore-named invited guests gave thereto their appearance,
all of them, Bridlegoose only excepted, who was the deputy-governor
of Fonsbeton. At the ushering in of the second service Panurge,
making a low reverence, spake thus: Gentlemen, the question I am to
propound unto you shall be uttered in very few words—Should I marry
or no? If my doubt herein be not resolved by you, I shall hold it
altogether insolvable, as are the Insolubilia de Aliaco; for all of
you are elected, chosen, and culled out from amongst others,
everyone in his own condition and quality, like so many picked peas
on a carpet.
The Father Hippothadee, in obedience to the bidding of
Pantagruel, and with much courtesy to the company, answered
exceeding modestly after this manner: My friend, you are pleased to
ask counsel of us; but first you must consult with yourself. Do you
find any trouble or disquiet in your body by the importunate stings
and pricklings of the flesh? That I do, quoth Panurge, in a hugely
strong and almost irresistible measure. Be not offended, I beseech
you, good father, at the freedom of my expression. No truly, friend,
not I, quoth Hippothadee, there is no reason why I should be
displeased therewith. But in this carnal strife and debate of yours
have you obtained from God the gift and special grace of continency?
In good faith, not, quoth Panurge. My counsel to you in that case,
my friend, is that you marry, quoth Hippothadee; for you should
rather choose to marry once than to burn still in fires of
concupiscence. Then Panurge, with a jovial heart and a loud voice,
cried out, That is spoke gallantly, without circumbilivaginating
about and about, and never hitting it in its centred point.
Gramercy, my good father! In truth I am resolved now to marry, and
without fail I shall do it quickly. I invite you to my wedding. By
the body of a hen, we shall make good cheer, and be as merry as
crickets. You shall wear the bridegroom's colours, and, if we eat a
goose, my wife shall not roast it for me. I will entreat you to lead
up the first dance of the bridesmaids, if it may please you to do me
so much favour and honour. There resteth yet a small difficulty, a
little scruple, yea, even less than nothing, whereof I humbly crave
your resolution. Shall I be a cuckold, father, yea or no? By no
means, answered Hippothadee, will you be cuckolded, if it please
God. O the Lord help us now, quoth Panurge; whither are we driven
to, good folks? To the conditionals, which, according to the rules
and precepts of the dialectic faculty, admit of all contradictions
and impossibilities. If my Transalpine mule had wings, my
Transalpine mule would fly, if it please God, I shall not be a
cuckold; but I shall be a cuckold, if it please him. Good God, if
this were a condition which I knew how to prevent, my hopes should
be as high as ever, nor would I despair. But you here send me to
God's privy council, to the closet of his little pleasures. You, my
French countrymen, which is the way you take to go thither?
My honest father, I believe it will be your best not to come to
my wedding. The clutter and dingle-dangle noise of marriage guests
will but disturb you, and break the serious fancies of your brain.
You love repose, with solitude and silence; I really believe you
will not come. And then you dance but indifferently, and would be
out of countenance at the first entry. I will send you some good
things to your chamber, together with the bride's favour, and there
you may drink our health, if it may stand with your good liking. My
friend, quoth Hippothadee, take my words in the sense wherein I
meant them, and do not misinterpret me. When I tell you,—If it
please God,—do I to you any wrong therein? Is it an ill expression?
Is it a blaspheming clause or reserve any way scandalous unto the
world? Do not we thereby honour the Lord God Almighty, Creator,
Protector, and Conserver of all things? Is not that a mean whereby
we do acknowledge him to be the sole giver of all whatsoever is
good? Do not we in that manifest our faith that we believe all
things to depend upon his infinite and incomprehensible bounty, and
that without him nothing can be produced, nor after its production
be of any value, force, or power, without the concurring aid and
favour of his assisting grace? Is it not a canonical and authentic
exception, worthy to be premised to all our undertakings? Is it not
expedient that what we propose unto ourselves be still referred to
what shall be disposed of by the sacred will of God, unto which all
things must acquiesce in the heavens as well as on the earth? Is not
that verily a sanctifying of his holy name? My friend, you shall not
be a cuckold, if it please God, nor shall we need to despair of the
knowledge of his good will and pleasure herein, as if it were such
an abstruse and mysteriously hidden secret that for the clear
understanding thereof it were necessary to consult with those of his
celestial privy council, or expressly make a voyage unto the
empyrean chamber where order is given for the effectuating of his
most holy pleasures. The great God hath done us this good, that he
hath declared and revealed them to us openly and plainly, and
described them in the Holy Bible. There will you find that you shall
never be a cuckold, that is to say, your wife shall never be a
strumpet, if you make choice of one of a commendable extraction,
descended of honest parents, and instructed in all piety and
virtue—such a one as hath not at any time haunted or frequented the
company or conversation of those that are of corrupt and depraved
manners, one loving and fearing God, who taketh a singular delight
in drawing near to him by faith and the cordial observing of his
sacred commandments—and finally, one who, standing in awe of the
Divine Majesty of the Most High, will be loth to offend him and lose
the favourable kindness of his grace through any defect of faith or
transgression against the ordinances of his holy law, wherein
adultery is most rigorously forbidden and a close adherence to her
husband alone most strictly and severely enjoined; yea, in such sort
that she is to cherish, serve, and love him above anything, next to
God, that meriteth to be beloved. In the interim, for the better
schooling of her in these instructions, and that the wholesome
doctrine of a matrimonial duty may take the deeper root in her mind,
you must needs carry yourself so on your part, and your behaviour is
to be such, that you are to go before her in a good example, by
entertaining her unfeignedly with a conjugal amity, by continually
approving yourself in all your words and actions a faithful and
discreet husband; and by living, not only at home and privately with
your own household and family, but in the face also of all men and
open view of the world, devoutly, virtuously, and chastely, as you
would have her on her side to deport and to demean herself towards
you, as becomes a godly, loyal, and respectful wife, who maketh
conscience to keep inviolable the tie of a matrimonial oath. For as
that looking-glass is not the best which is most decked with gold
and precious stones, but that which representeth to the eye the
liveliest shapes of objects set before it, even so that wife should
not be most esteemed who richest is and of the noblest race, but she
who, fearing God, conforms herself nearest unto the humour of her
Consider how the moon doth not borrow her light from Jupiter,
Mars, Mercury, or any other of the planets, nor yet from any of
those splendid stars which are set in the spangled firmament, but
from her husband only, the bright sun, which she receiveth from him
more or less, according to the manner of his aspect and variously
bestowed eradiations. Just so should you be a pattern to your wife
in virtue, goodly zeal, and true devotion, that by your radiance in
darting on her the aspect of an exemplary goodness, she, in your
imitation, may outshine the luminaries of all other women. To this
effect you daily must implore God's grace to the protection of you
both. You would have me then, quoth Panurge, twisting the whiskers
of his beard on either side with the thumb and forefinger of his
left hand, to espouse and take to wife the prudent frugal woman
described by Solomon. Without all doubt she is dead, and truly to my
best remembrance I never saw her; the Lord forgive me! Nevertheless,
I thank you, father. Eat this slice of marchpane, it will help your
digestion; then shall you be presented with a cup of claret
hippocras, which is right healthful and stomachal. Let us proceed.
Chapter 3.XXXI.—How the physician Rondibilis counselleth
Panurge, continuing his discourse, said, The first word which was
spoken by him who gelded the lubberly, quaffing monks of Saussiniac,
after that he had unstoned Friar Cauldaureil, was this, To the rest.
In like manner, I say, To the rest. Therefore I beseech you, my good
Master Rondibilis, should I marry or not? By the raking pace of my
mule, quoth Rondibilis, I know not what answer to make to this
problem of yours.
You say that you feel in you the pricking stings of sensuality,
by which you are stirred up to venery. I find in our faculty of
medicine, and we have founded our opinion therein upon the
deliberate resolution and final decision of the ancient Platonics,
that carnal concupiscence is cooled and quelled five several ways.
First, By the means of wine. I shall easily believe that, quoth
Friar John, for when I am well whittled with the juice of the grape
I care for nothing else, so I may sleep. When I say, quoth
Rondibilis, that wine abateth lust, my meaning is, wine immoderately
taken; for by intemperancy proceeding from the excessive drinking of
strong liquor there is brought upon the body of such a swill-down
boozer a chillness in the blood, a slackening in the sinews, a
dissipation of the generative seed, a numbness and hebetation of the
senses, with a perversive wryness and convulsion of the muscles—all
which are great lets and impediments to the act of generation. Hence
it is that Bacchus, the god of bibbers, tipplers, and drunkards, is
most commonly painted beardless and clad in a woman's habit, as a
person altogether effeminate, or like a libbed eunuch. Wine,
nevertheless, taken moderately, worketh quite contrary effects, as
is implied by the old proverb, which saith that Venus takes cold
when not accompanied with Ceres and Bacchus. This opinion is of
great antiquity, as appeareth by the testimony of Diodorus the
Sicilian, and confirmed by Pausanias, and universally held amongst
the Lampsacians, that Don Priapus was the son of Bacchus and Venus.
Secondly, The fervency of lust is abated by certain drugs,
plants, herbs, and roots, which make the taker cold, maleficiated,
unfit for, and unable to perform the act of generation; as hath been
often experimented in the water-lily, heraclea, agnus castus,
willow-twigs, hemp-stalks, woodbine, honeysuckle, tamarisk, chaste
tree, mandrake, bennet, keckbugloss, the skin of a hippopotam, and
many other such, which, by convenient doses proportioned to the
peccant humour and constitution of the patient, being duly and
seasonably received within the body—what by their elementary virtues
on the one side and peculiar properties on the other—do either
benumb, mortify, and beclumpse with cold the prolific semence, or
scatter and disperse the spirits which ought to have gone along with
and conducted the sperm to the places destined and appointed for its
reception, or lastly, shut up, stop, and obstruct the ways,
passages, and conduits through which the seed should have been
expelled, evacuated, and ejected. We have nevertheless of those
ingredients which, being of a contrary operation, heat the blood,
bend the nerves, unite the spirits, quicken the senses, strengthen
the muscles, and thereby rouse up, provoke, excite, and enable a man
to the vigorous accomplishment of the feat of amorous dalliance. I
have no need of those, quoth Panurge, God be thanked, and you, my
good master. Howsoever, I pray you, take no exception or offence at
these my words; for what I have said was not out of any illwill I
did bear to you, the Lord he knows.
Thirdly, The ardour of lechery is very much subdued and mated by
frequent labour and continual toiling. For by painful exercises and
laborious working so great a dissolution is brought upon the whole
body, that the blood, which runneth alongst the channels of the
veins thereof for the nourishment and alimentation of each of its
members, hath neither time, leisure, nor power to afford the seminal
resudation, or superfluity of the third concoction, which nature
most carefully reserves for the conservation of the individual,
whose preservation she more heedfully regardeth than the propagating
of the species and the multiplication of humankind. Whence it is
that Diana is said to be chaste, because she is never idle, but
always busied about her hunting. For the same reason was a camp or
leaguer of old called castrum, as if they would have said castum;
because the soldiers, wrestlers, runners, throwers of the bar, and
other such-like athletic champions as are usually seen in a military
circumvallation, do incessantly travail and turmoil, and are in a
perpetual stir and agitation. To this purpose Hippocrates also
writeth in his book, De Aere, Aqua et Locis, that in his time there
were people in Scythia as impotent as eunuchs in the discharge of a
venerean exploit, because that without any cessation, pause, or
respite they were never from off horseback, or otherwise assiduously
employed in some troublesome and molesting drudgery.
On the other part, in opposition and repugnancy hereto, the
philosophers say that idleness is the mother of luxury. When it was
asked Ovid, Why Aegisthus became an adulterer? he made no other
answer but this, Because he was idle. Who were able to rid the world
of loitering and laziness might easily frustrate and disappoint
Cupid of all his designs, aims, engines, and devices, and so disable
and appal him that his bow, quiver, and darts should from
thenceforth be a mere needless load and burden to him, for that it
could not then lie in his power to strike or wound any of either sex
with all the arms he had. He is not, I believe, so expert an archer
as that he can hit the cranes flying in the air, or yet the young
stags skipping through the thickets, as the Parthians knew well how
to do; that is to say, people moiling, stirring and hurrying up and
down, restless, and without repose. He must have those hushed,
still, quiet, lying at a stay, lither, and full of ease, whom he is
able, though his mother help him, to touch, much less to pierce with
all his arrows. In confirmation hereof, Theophrastus, being asked on
a time what kind of beast or thing he judged a toyish, wanton love
to be? he made answer, that it was a passion of idle and sluggish
spirits. From which pretty description of tickling love-tricks that
of Diogenes's hatching was not very discrepant, when he defined
lechery the occupation of folks destitute of all other occupation.
For this cause the Syconian engraver Canachus, being desirous to
give us to understand that sloth, drowsiness, negligence, and
laziness were the prime guardians and governesses of ribaldry, made
the statue of Venus, not standing, as other stone-cutters had used
to do, but sitting.
Fourthly, The tickling pricks of incontinency are blunted by an
eager study; for from thence proceedeth an incredible resolution of
the spirits, that oftentimes there do not remain so many behind as
may suffice to push and thrust forwards the generative resudation to
the places thereto appropriated, and therewithal inflate the
cavernous nerve whose office is to ejaculate the moisture for the
propagation of human progeny. Lest you should think it is not so, be
pleased but to contemplate a little the form, fashion, and carriage
of a man exceeding earnestly set upon some learned meditation, and
deeply plunged therein, and you shall see how all the arteries of
his brains are stretched forth and bent like the string of a
crossbow, the more promptly, dexterously, and copiously to
suppeditate, furnish, and supply him with store of spirits
sufficient to replenish and fill up the ventricles, seats, tunnels,
mansions, receptacles, and cellules of the common sense,—of the
imagination, apprehension, and fancy,—of the ratiocination, arguing,
and resolution,—as likewise of the memory, recordation, and
remembrance; and with great alacrity, nimbleness, and agility to
run, pass, and course from the one to the other, through those
pipes, windings, and conduits which to skilful anatomists are
perceivable at the end of the wonderful net where all the arteries
close in a terminating point; which arteries, taking their rise and
origin from the left capsule of the heart, bring through several
circuits, ambages, and anfractuosities, the vital, to subtilize and
refine them to the ethereal purity of animal spirits. Nay, in such a
studiously musing person you may espy so extravagant raptures of one
as it were out of himself, that all his natural faculties for that
time will seem to be suspended from each their proper charge and
office, and his exterior senses to be at a stand. In a word, you
cannot otherwise choose than think that he is by an extraordinary
ecstasy quite transported out of what he was, or should be; and that
Socrates did not speak improperly when he said that philosophy was
nothing else but a meditation upon death. This possibly is the
reason why Democritus deprived himself of the sense of seeing,
prizing at a much lower rate the loss of his sight than the
diminution of his contemplations, which he frequently had found
disturbed by the vagrant, flying-out strayings of his unsettled and
roving eyes. Therefore is it that Pallas, the goddess of wisdom,
tutoress and guardianess of such as are diligently studious and
painfully industrious, is, and hath been still accounted a virgin.
The Muses upon the same consideration are esteemed perpetual maids;
and the Graces, for the like reason, have been held to continue in a
I remember to have read that Cupid, on a time being asked of his
mother Venus why he did not assault and set upon the Muses, his
answer was that he found them so fair, so sweet, so fine, so neat,
so wise, so learned, so modest, so discreet, so courteous, so
virtuous, and so continually busied and employed,—one in the
speculation of the stars,—another in the supputation of numbers,—the
third in the dimension of geometrical quantities,—the fourth in the
composition of heroic poems,—the fifth in the jovial interludes of a
comic strain,—the sixth in the stately gravity of a tragic vein,—the
seventh in the melodious disposition of musical airs,—the eighth in
the completest manner of writing histories and books on all sorts of
subjects,—and the ninth in the mysteries, secrets, and curiosities
of all sciences, faculties, disciplines, and arts whatsoever,
whether liberal or mechanic,—that approaching near unto them he
unbended his bow, shut his quiver, and extinguished his torch,
through mere shame and fear that by mischance he might do them some
hurt or prejudice. Which done, he thereafter put off the fillet
wherewith his eyes were bound to look them in the face, and to hear
their melody and poetic odes. There took he the greatest pleasure in
the world, that many times he was transported with their beauty and
pretty behaviour, and charmed asleep by the harmony; so far was he
from assaulting them or interrupting their studies. Under this
article may be comprised what Hippocrates wrote in the afore-cited
treatise concerning the Scythians; as also that in a book of his
entitled Of Breeding and Production, where he hath affirmed all such
men to be unfit for generation as have their parotid arteries
cut—whose situation is beside the ears—for the reason given already
when I was speaking of the resolution of the spirits and of that
spiritual blood whereof the arteries are the sole and proper
receptacles, and that likewise he doth maintain a large portion of
the parastatic liquor to issue and descend from the brains and
Fifthly, By the too frequent reiteration of the act of venery.
There did I wait for you, quoth Panurge, and shall willingly apply
it to myself, whilst anyone that pleaseth may, for me, make use of
any of the four preceding. That is the very same thing, quoth Friar
John, which Father Scyllino, Prior of Saint Victor at Marseilles,
calleth by the name of maceration and taming of the flesh. I am of
the same opinion,—and so was the hermit of Saint Radegonde, a little
above Chinon; for, quoth he, the hermits of Thebaide can no more
aptly or expediently macerate and bring down the pride of their
bodies, daunt and mortify their lecherous sensuality, or depress and
overcome the stubbornness and rebellion of the flesh, than by
duffling and fanfreluching it five-and-twenty or thirty times a day.
I see Panurge, quoth Rondibilis, neatly featured and proportioned in
all the members of his body, of a good temperament in his humours,
well-complexioned in his spirits, of a competent age, in an
opportune time, and of a reasonably forward mind to be married.
Truly, if he encounter with a wife of the like nature, temperament,
and constitution, he may beget upon her children worthy of some
transpontine monarchy; and the sooner he marry it will be the better
for him, and the more conducible for his profit if he would see and
have his children in his own time well provided for. Sir, my worthy
master, quoth Panurge, I will do it, do not you doubt thereof, and
that quickly enough, I warrant you. Nevertheless, whilst you were
busied in the uttering of your learned discourse, this flea which I
have in mine ear hath tickled me more than ever. I retain you in the
number of my festival guests, and promise you that we shall not want
for mirth and good cheer enough, yea, over and above the ordinary
rate. And, if it may please you, desire your wife to come along with
you, together with her she-friends and neighbours—that is to be
understood—and there shall be fair play.
Chapter 3.XXXII.—How Rondibilis declareth cuckoldry to be
naturally one of the appendances of marriage.
There remaineth as yet, quoth Panurge, going on in his discourse,
one small scruple to be cleared. You have seen heretofore, I doubt
not, in the Roman standards, S.P.Q.R., Si, Peu, Que, Rien. Shall not
I be a cuckold? By the haven of safety, cried out Rondibilis, what
is this you ask of me? If you shall be a cuckold? My noble friend, I
am married, and you are like to be so very speedily; therefore be
pleased, from my experiment in the matter, to write in your brain
with a steel pen this subsequent ditton, There is no married man who
doth not run the hazard of being made a cuckold. Cuckoldry naturally
attendeth marriage. The shadow doth not more naturally follow the
body, than cuckoldry ensueth after marriage to place fair horns upon
the husbands' heads.
And when you shall happen to hear any man pronounce these three
words, He is married; if you then say he is, hath been, shall be, or
may be a cuckold, you will not be accounted an unskilful artist in
framing of true consequences. Tripes and bowels of all the devils,
cries Panurge, what do you tell me? My dear friend, answered
Rondibilis, as Hippocrates on a time was in the very nick of setting
forwards from Lango to Polystilo to visit the philosopher
Democritus, he wrote a familiar letter to his friend Dionysius,
wherein he desired him that he would, during the interval of his
absence, carry his wife to the house of her father and mother, who
were an honourable couple and of good repute; because I would not
have her at my home, said he, to make abode in solitude. Yet,
notwithstanding this her residence beside her parents, do not fail,
quoth he, with a most heedful care and circumspection to pry into
her ways, and to espy what places she shall go to with her mother,
and who those be that shall repair unto her. Not, quoth he, that I
do mistrust her virtue, or that I seem to have any diffidence of her
pudicity and chaste behaviour,—for of that I have frequently had
good and real proofs,—but I must freely tell you, She is a woman.
There lies the suspicion.
My worthy friend, the nature of women is set forth before our
eyes and represented to us by the moon, in divers other things as
well as in this, that they squat, skulk, constrain their own
inclinations, and, with all the cunning they can, dissemble and play
the hypocrite in the sight and presence of their husbands; who come
no sooner to be out of the way, but that forthwith they take their
advantage, pass the time merrily, desist from all labour, frolic it,
gad abroad, lay aside their counterfeit garb, and openly declare and
manifest the interior of their dispositions, even as the moon, when
she is in conjunction with the sun, is neither seen in the heavens
nor on the earth, but in her opposition, when remotest from him,
shineth in her greatest fulness, and wholly appeareth in her
brightest splendour whilst it is night. Thus women are but women.
When I say womankind, I speak of a sex so frail, so variable, so
changeable, so fickle, inconstant, and imperfect, that in my opinion
Nature, under favour, nevertheless, of the prime honour and
reverence which is due unto her, did in a manner mistake the road
which she had traced formerly, and stray exceedingly from that
excellence of providential judgment by the which she had created and
formed all other things, when she built, framed, and made up the
woman. And having thought upon it a hundred and five times, I know
not what else to determine therein, save only that in the devising,
hammering, forging, and composing of the woman she hath had a much
tenderer regard, and by a great deal more respectful heed to the
delightful consortship and sociable delectation of the man, than to
the perfection and accomplishment of the individual womanishness or
muliebrity. The divine philosopher Plato was doubtful in what rank
of living creatures to place and collocate them, whether amongst the
rational animals, by elevating them to an upper seat in the
specifical classis of humanity, or with the irrational, by degrading
them to a lower bench on the opposite side, of a brutal kind, and
mere bestiality. For nature hath posited in a privy, secret, and
intestine place of their bodies, a sort of member, by some not
impertinently termed an animal, which is not to be found in men.
Therein sometimes are engendered certain humours so saltish,
brackish, clammy, sharp, nipping, tearing, prickling, and most
eagerly tickling, that by their stinging acrimony, rending
nitrosity, figging itch, wriggling mordicancy, and smarting
salsitude (for the said member is altogether sinewy and of a most
quick and lively feeling), their whole body is shaken and ebrangled,
their senses totally ravished and transported, the operations of
their judgment and understanding utterly confounded, and all
disordinate passions and perturbations of the mind thoroughly and
absolutely allowed, admitted, and approved of; yea, in such sort
that if nature had not been so favourable unto them as to have
sprinkled their forehead with a little tincture of bashfulness and
modesty, you should see them in a so frantic mood run mad after
lechery, and hie apace up and down with haste and lust, in quest of
and to fix some chamber-standard in their Paphian ground, that never
did the Proetides, Mimallonides, nor Lyaean Thyades deport
themselves in the time of their bacchanalian festivals more
shamelessly, or with a so affronted and brazen-faced impudency;
because this terrible animal is knit unto, and hath an union with
all the chief and most principal parts of the body, as to anatomists
is evident. Let it not here be thought strange that I should call it
an animal, seeing therein I do no otherwise than follow and adhere
to the doctrine of the academic and peripatetic philosophers. For if
a proper motion be a certain mark and infallible token of the life
and animation of the mover, as Aristotle writeth, and that any such
thing as moveth of itself ought to be held animated and of a living
nature, then assuredly Plato with very good reason did give it the
denomination of an animal, for that he perceived and observed in it
the proper and self-stirring motions of suffocation, precipitation,
corrugation, and of indignation so extremely violent, that
oftentimes by them is taken and removed from the woman all other
sense and moving whatsoever, as if she were in a swounding
lipothymy, benumbing syncope, epileptic, apoplectic palsy, and true
resemblance of a pale-faced death.
Furthermore, in the said member there is a manifest discerning
faculty of scents and odours very perceptible to women, who feel it
fly from what is rank and unsavoury, and follow fragrant and
aromatic smells. It is not unknown to me how Cl. Galen striveth with
might and main to prove that these are not proper and particular
notions proceeding intrinsically from the thing itself, but
accidentally and by chance. Nor hath it escaped my notice how others
of that sect have laboured hardly, yea, to the utmost of their
abilities, to demonstrate that it is not a sensitive discerning or
perception in it of the difference of wafts and smells, but merely a
various manner of virtue and efficacy passing forth and flowing from
the diversity of odoriferous substances applied near unto it.
Nevertheless, if you will studiously examine and seriously ponder
and weigh in Critolaus's balance the strength of their reasons and
arguments, you shall find that they, not only in this, but in
several other matters also of the like nature, have spoken at
random, and rather out of an ambitious envy to check and reprehend
their betters than for any design to make inquiry into the solid
I will not launch my little skiff any further into the wide ocean
of this dispute, only will I tell you that the praise and
commendation is not mean and slender which is due to those honest
and good women who, living chastely and without blame, have had the
power and virtue to curb, range, and subdue that unbridled, heady,
and wild animal to an obedient, submissive, and obsequious yielding
unto reason. Therefore here will I make an end of my discourse
thereon, when I shall have told you that the said animal being once
satiated—if it be possible that it can be contented or satisfied—by
that aliment which nature hath provided for it out of the epididymal
storehouse of man, all its former and irregular and disordered
motions are at an end, laid, and assuaged, all its vehement and
unruly longings lulled, pacified, and quieted, and all the furious
and raging lusts, appetites, and desires thereof appeased, calmed,
and extinguished. For this cause let it seem nothing strange unto
you if we be in a perpetual danger of being cuckolds, that is to
say, such of us as have not wherewithal fully to satisfy the
appetite and expectation of that voracious animal. Odds fish! quoth
Panurge, have you no preventive cure in all your medicinal art for
hindering one's head to be horny-graffed at home whilst his feet are
plodding abroad? Yes, that I have, my gallant friend, answered
Rondibilis, and that which is a sovereign remedy, whereof I
frequently make use myself; and, that you may the better relish, it
is set down and written in the book of a most famous author, whose
renown is of a standing of two thousand years. Hearken and take good
heed. You are, quoth Panurge, by cockshobby, a right honest man, and
I love you with all my heart. Eat a little of this quince-pie; it is
very proper and convenient for the shutting up of the orifice of the
ventricle of the stomach, because of a kind of astringent stypticity
which is in that sort of fruit, and is helpful to the first
concoction. But what? I think I speak Latin before clerks. Stay till
I give you somewhat to drink out of this Nestorian goblet. Will you
have another draught of white hippocras? Be not afraid of the
squinzy, no. There is neither squinant, ginger, nor grains in it;
only a little choice cinnamon, and some of the best refined sugar,
with the delicious white wine of the growth of that vine which was
set in the slips of the great sorbapple above the walnut-tree.
Chapter 3.XXXIII.—Rondibilis the physician's cure of cuckoldry.
At that time, quoth Rondibilis, when Jupiter took a view of the
state of his Olympic house and family, and that he had made the
calendar of all the gods and goddesses, appointing unto the festival
of every one of them its proper day and season, establishing certain
fixed places and stations for the pronouncing of oracles and relief
of travelling pilgrims, and ordaining victims, immolations, and
sacrifices suitable and correspondent to the dignity and nature of
the worshipped and adored deity—Did not he do, asked Panurge,
therein as Tintouille, the Bishop of Auxerre, is said once to have
done? This noble prelate loved entirely the pure liquor of the
grape, as every honest and judicious man doth; therefore was it that
he had an especial care and regard to the bud of the vine-tree as to
the great-grandfather of Bacchus. But so it is, that for sundry
years together he saw a most pitiful havoc, desolation, and
destruction made amongst the sprouts, shootings, buds, blossoms, and
scions of the vines by hoary frost, dank fogs, hot mists,
unseasonable colds, chill blasts, thick hail, and other calamitous
chances of foul weather, happening, as he thought, by the dismal
inauspiciousness of the holy days of St. George, St. Mary, St. Paul,
St. Eutrope, Holy Rood, the Ascension, and other festivals, in that
time when the sun passeth under the sign of Taurus; and thereupon
harboured in his mind this opinion, that the afore-named saints were
Saint Hail-flingers, Saint Frost-senders, Saint Fog-mongers, and
Saint Spoilers of the Vine-buds. For which cause he went about to
have transmitted their feasts from the spring to the winter, to be
celebrated between Christmas and Epiphany, so the mother of the
three kings called it, allowing them with all honour and reverence
the liberty then to freeze, hail, and rain as much as they would;
for that he knew that at such a time frost was rather profitable
than hurtful to the vine-buds, and in their steads to have placed
the festivals of St. Christopher, St. John the Baptist, St.
Magdalene, St. Anne, St. Domingo, and St. Lawrence; yea, and to have
gone so far as to collocate and transpose the middle of August in
and to the beginning of May, because during the whole space of their
solemnity there was so little danger of hoary frosts and cold mists,
that no artificers are then held in greater request than the
afforders of refrigerating inventions, makers of junkets, fit
disposers of cooling shades, composers of green arbours, and
refreshers of wine.
Jupiter, said Rondibilis, forgot the poor devil Cuckoldry, who
was then in the court at Paris very eagerly soliciting a peddling
suit at law for one of his vassals and tenants. Within some few days
thereafter, I have forgot how many, when he got full notice of the
trick which in his absence was done unto him, he instantly desisted
from prosecuting legal processes in the behalf of others, full of
solicitude to pursue after his own business, lest he should be
foreclosed, and thereupon he appeared personally at the tribunal of
the great Jupiter, displayed before him the importance of his
preceding merits, together with the acceptable services which in
obedience to his commandments he had formerly performed; and
therefore in all humility begged of him that he would be pleased not
to leave him alone amongst all the sacred potentates, destitute and
void of honour, reverence, sacrifices, and festival ceremonies. To
this petition Jupiter's answer was excusatory, that all the places
and offices of his house were bestowed. Nevertheless, so importuned
was he by the continual supplications of Monsieur Cuckoldry, that
he, in fine, placed him in the rank, list, roll, rubric, and
catalogue, and appointed honours, sacrifices, and festival rites to
be observed on earth in great devotion, and tendered to him with
solemnity. The feast, because there was no void, empty, nor vacant
place in all the calendar, was to be celebrated jointly with, and on
the same day that had been consecrated to the goddess Jealousy. His
power and dominion should be over married folks, especially such as
had handsome wives. His sacrifices were to be suspicion, diffidence,
mistrust, a lowering pouting sullenness, watchings, wardings,
researchings, plyings, explorations, together with the waylayings,
ambushes, narrow observations, and malicious doggings of the
husband's scouts and espials of the most privy actions of their
wives. Herewithal every married man was expressly and rigorously
commanded to reverence, honour, and worship him, to celebrate and
solemnize his festival with twice more respect than that of any
other saint or deity, and to immolate unto him with all sincerity
and alacrity of heart the above-mentioned sacrifices and oblations,
under pain of severe censures, threatenings, and comminations of
these subsequent fines, mulcts, amerciaments, penalties, and
punishments to be inflicted on the delinquents: that Monsieur
Cuckoldry should never be favourable nor propitious to them; that he
should never help, aid, supply, succour, nor grant them any
subventitious furtherance, auxiliary suffrage, or adminiculary
assistance; that he should never hold them in any reckoning,
account, or estimation; that he should never deign to enter within
their houses, neither at the doors, windows, nor any other place
thereof; that he should never haunt nor frequent their companies or
conversations, how frequently soever they should invocate him and
call upon his name; and that not only he should leave and abandon
them to rot alone with their wives in a sempiternal solitariness,
without the benefit of the diversion of any copes-mate or corrival
at all, but should withal shun and eschew them, fly from them, and
eternally forsake and reject them as impious heretics and
sacrilegious persons, according to the accustomed manner of other
gods towards such as are too slack in offering up the duties and
reverences which ought to be performed respectively to their
divinities—as is evidently apparent in Bacchus towards negligent
vine-dressers; in Ceres, against idle ploughmen and tillers of the
ground; in Pomona, to unworthy fruiterers and costard-mongers; in
Neptune, towards dissolute mariners and seafaring men, in Vulcan,
towards loitering smiths and forgemen; and so throughout the rest.
Now, on the contrary, this infallible promise was added, that unto
all those who should make a holy day of the above-recited festival,
and cease from all manner of worldly work and negotiation, lay aside
all their own most important occasions, and to be so retchless,
heedless, and careless of what might concern the management of their
proper affairs as to mind nothing else but a suspicious espying and
prying into the secret deportments of their wives, and how to coop,
shut up, hold at under, and deal cruelly and austerely with them by
all the harshness and hardships that an implacable and every way
inexorable jealousy can devise and suggest, conform to the sacred
ordinances of the afore-mentioned sacrifices and oblations, he
should be continually favourable to them, should love them, sociably
converse with them, should be day and night in their houses, and
never leave them destitute of his presence. Now I have said, and you
have heard my cure.
Ha, ha, ha! quoth Carpalin, laughing; this is a remedy yet more
apt and proper than Hans Carvel's ring. The devil take me if I do
not believe it! The humour, inclination, and nature of women is like
the thunder, whose force in its bolt or otherwise burneth, bruiseth,
and breaketh only hard, massive, and resisting objects, without
staying or stopping at soft, empty, and yielding matters. For it
pasheth into pieces the steel sword without doing any hurt to the
velvet scabbard which ensheatheth it. It chrusheth also and
consumeth the bones without wounding or endamaging the flesh
wherewith they are veiled and covered. Just so it is that women for
the greater part never bend the contention, subtlety, and
contradictory disposition of their spirits unless it be to do what
is prohibited and forbidden.
Verily, quoth Hippothadee, some of our doctors aver for a truth
that the first woman of the world, whom the Hebrews call Eve, had
hardly been induced or allured into the temptation of eating of the
fruit of the Tree of Life if it had not been forbidden her so to do.
And that you may give the more credit to the validity of this
opinion, consider how the cautelous and wily tempter did commemorate
unto her, for an antecedent to his enthymeme, the prohibition which
was made to taste it, as being desirous to infer from thence, It is
forbidden thee; therefore thou shouldst eat of it, else thou canst
not be a woman.
Chapter 3.XXXIV.—How women ordinarily have the greatest longing
after things prohibited.
When I was, quoth Carpalin, a whoremaster at Orleans, the whole
art of rhetoric, in all its tropes and figures, was not able to
afford unto me a colour or flourish of greater force and value, nor
could I by any other form or manner of elocution pitch upon a more
persuasive argument for bringing young beautiful married ladies into
the snares of adultery, through alluring and enticing them to taste
with me of amorous delights, than with a lively sprightfulness to
tell them in downright terms, and to remonstrate to them with a
great show of detestation of a crime so horrid, how their husbands
were jealous. This was none of my invention. It is written, and we
have laws, examples, reasons, and daily experiences confirmative of
the same. If this belief once enter into their noddles, their
husbands will infallibly be cuckolds; yea, by God, will they,
without swearing, although they should do like Semiramis, Pasiphae,
Egesta, the women of the Isle Mandez in Egypt, and other such-like
queanish flirting harlots mentioned in the writings of Herodotus,
Strabo, and such-like puppies.
Truly, quoth Ponocrates, I have heard it related, and it hath
been told me for a verity, that Pope John XXII., passing on a day
through the Abbey of Toucherome, was in all humility required and
besought by the abbess and other discreet mothers of the said
convent to grant them an indulgence by means whereof they might
confess themselves to one another, alleging that religious women
were subject to some petty secret slips and imperfections which
would be a foul and burning shame for them to discover and to reveal
to men, how sacerdotal soever their functions were; but that they
would freelier, more familiarly, and with greater cheerfulness, open
to each other their offences, faults, and escapes under the seal of
confession. There is not anything, answered the pope, fitting for
you to impetrate of me which I would not most willingly condescend
unto; but I find one inconvenience. You know confession should be
kept secret, and women are not able to do so. Exceeding well, quoth
they, most holy father, and much more closely than the best of men.
The said pope on the very same day gave them in keeping a pretty
box, wherein he purposely caused a little linnet to be put, willing
them very gently and courteously to lock it up in some sure and
hidden place, and promising them, by the faith of a pope, that he
should yield to their request if they would keep secret what was
enclosed within that deposited box, enjoining them withal not to
presume one way nor other, directly or indirectly, to go about the
opening thereof, under pain of the highest ecclesiastical censure,
eternal excommunication. The prohibition was no sooner made but that
they did all of them boil with a most ardent desire to know and see
what kind of thing it was that was within it. They thought long
already that the pope was not gone, to the end they might jointly,
with the more leisure and ease, apply themselves to the box-opening
The holy father, after he had given them his benediction, retired
and withdrew himself to the pontifical lodgings of his own palace.
But he was hardly gone three steps from without the gates of their
cloister when the good ladies throngingly, and as in a huddled
crowd, pressing hard on the backs of one another, ran thrusting and
shoving who should be first at the setting open of the forbidden box
and descrying of the quod latitat within.
On the very next day thereafter the pope made them another visit,
of a full design, purpose, and intention, as they imagined, to
despatch the grant of their sought and wished-for indulgence. But
before he would enter into any chat or communing with them, he
commanded the casket to be brought unto him. It was done so
accordingly; but, by your leave, the bird was no more there. Then
was it that the pope did represent to their maternities how hard a
matter and difficult it was for them to keep secrets revealed to
them in confession unmanifested to the ears of others, seeing for
the space of four-and-twenty hours they were not able to lay up in
secret a box which he had highly recommended to their discretion,
charge, and custody.
Welcome, in good faith, my dear master, welcome! It did me good
to hear you talk, the Lord be praised for all! I do not remember to
have seen you before now, since the last time that you acted at
Montpellier with our ancient friends, Anthony Saporra, Guy
Bourguyer, Balthasar Noyer, Tolet, John Quentin, Francis Robinet,
John Perdrier, and Francis Rabelais, the moral comedy of him who had
espoused and married a dumb wife. I was there, quoth Epistemon. The
good honest man her husband was very earnestly urgent to have the
fillet of her tongue untied, and would needs have her speak by any
means. At his desire some pains were taken on her, and partly by the
industry of the physician, other part by the expertness of the
surgeon, the encyliglotte which she had under her tongue being cut,
she spoke and spoke again; yea, within a few hours she spoke so
loud, so much, so fiercely, and so long, that her poor husband
returned to the same physician for a recipe to make her hold her
peace. There are, quoth the physician, many proper remedies in our
art to make dumb women speak, but there are none that ever I could
learn therein to make them silent. The only cure which I have found
out is their husband's deafness. The wretch became within few weeks
thereafter, by virtue of some drugs, charms, or enchantments which
the physician had prescribed unto him, so deaf that he could not
have heard the thundering of nineteen hundred cannons at a salvo.
His wife perceiving that indeed he was as deaf as a door-nail, and
that her scolding was but in vain, sith that he heard her not, she
grew stark mad.
Some time after the doctor asked for his fee of the husband, who
answered that truly he was deaf, and so was not able to understand
what the tenour of his demand might be. Whereupon the leech bedusted
him with a little, I know not what, sort of powder, which rendered
him a fool immediately, so great was the stultificating virtue of
that strange kind of pulverized dose. Then did this fool of a
husband and his mad wife join together, and, falling on the doctor
and the surgeon, did so scratch, bethwack, and bang them that they
were left half dead upon the place, so furious were the blows which
they received. I never in my lifetime laughed so much as at the
acting of that buffoonery.
Let us come to where we left off, quoth Panurge. Your words,
being translated from the clapper-dudgeons to plain English, do
signify that it is not very inexpedient that I marry, and that I
should not care for being a cuckold. You have there hit the nail on
the head. I believe, master doctor, that on the day of my marriage
you will be so much taken up with your patients, or otherwise so
seriously employed, that we shall not enjoy your company. Sir, I
will heartily excuse your absence.
Stercus et urina medici sunt prandia prima.
Ex aliis paleas, ex istis collige grana.
You are mistaken, quoth Rondibilis, in the second verse of our
distich, for it ought to run thus—
Nobis sunt signa, vobis sunt prandia digna.
If my wife at any time prove to be unwell and ill at ease, I will
look upon the water which she shall have made in an urinal glass,
quoth Rondibilis, grope her pulse, and see the disposition of her
hypogaster, together with her umbilicary parts—according to the
prescript rule of Hippocrates, 2. Aph. 35—before I proceed any
further in the cure of her distemper. No, no, quoth Panurge, that
will be but to little purpose. Such a feat is for the practice of us
that are lawyers, who have the rubric, De ventre inspiciendo. Do not
therefore trouble yourself about it, master doctor; I will provide
for her a plaster of warm guts. Do not neglect your more urgent
occasions otherwhere for coming to my wedding. I will send you some
supply of victuals to your own house, without putting you to the
trouble of coming abroad, and you shall always be my special friend.
With this, approaching somewhat nearer to him, he clapped into his
hand, without the speaking of so much as one word, four rose nobles.
Rondibilis did shut his fist upon them right kindly; yet, as if it
had displeased him to make acceptance of such golden presents, he in
a start, as if he had been wroth, said, He he, he, he, he! there was
no need of anything; I thank you nevertheless. From wicked folks I
never get enough, and I from honest people refuse nothing. I shall
be always, sir, at your command. Provided that I pay you well, quoth
Panurge. That, quoth Rondibilis, is understood.
Chapter 3.XXXV.—How the philosopher Trouillogan handleth the
difficulty of marriage.
As this discourse was ended, Pantagruel said to the philosopher
Trouillogan, Our loyal, honest, true, and trusty friend, the lamp
from hand to hand is come to you. It falleth to your turn to give an
answer: Should Panurge, pray you, marry, yea or no? He should do
both, quoth Trouillogan. What say you? asked Panurge. That which you
have heard, answered Trouillogan. What have I heard? replied
Panurge. That which I have said, replied Trouillogan. Ha, ha, ha!
are we come to that pass? quoth Panurge. Let it go nevertheless, I
do not value it at a rush, seeing we can make no better of the game.
But howsoever tell me, Should I marry or no? Neither the one nor the
other, answered Trouillogan. The devil take me, quoth Panurge, if
these odd answers do not make me dote, and may he snatch me
presently away if I do understand you. Stay awhile until I fasten
these spectacles of mine on this left ear, that I may hear you
better. With this Pantagruel perceived at the door of the great
hall, which was that day their dining-room, Gargantua's little dog,
whose name was Kyne; for so was Toby's dog called, as is recorded.
Then did he say to these who were there present, Our king is not far
off,—let us all rise.
That word was scarcely sooner uttered, than that Gargantua with
his royal presence graced that banqueting and stately hall. Each of
the guests arose to do their king that reverence and duty which
became them. After that Gargantua had most affably saluted all the
gentlemen there present, he said, Good friends, I beg this favour of
you, and therein you will very much oblige me, that you leave not
the places where you sate nor quit the discourse you were upon. Let
a chair be brought hither unto this end of the table, and reach me a
cupful of the strongest and best wine you have, that I may drink to
all the company. You are, in faith, all welcome, gentlemen. Now let
me know what talk you were about. To this Pantagruel answered that
at the beginning of the second service Panurge had proposed a
problematic theme, to wit, whether he should marry, or not marry?
that Father Hippothadee and Doctor Rondibilis had already despatched
their resolutions thereupon; and that, just as his majesty was
coming in, the faithful Trouillogan in the delivery of his opinion
hath thus far proceeded, that when Panurge asked whether he ought to
marry, yea or no? at first he made this answer, Both together. When
this same question was again propounded, his second answer was,
Neither the one nor the other. Panurge exclaimeth that those answers
are full of repugnancies and contradictions, protesting that he
understands them not, nor what it is that can be meant by them. If I
be not mistaken, quoth Gargantua, I understand it very well. The
answer is not unlike to that which was once made by a philosopher in
ancient times, who being interrogated if he had a woman whom they
named him to his wife? I have her, quoth he, but she hath not
me,—possessing her, by her I am not possessed. Such another answer,
quoth Pantagruel, was once made by a certain bouncing wench of
Sparta, who being asked if at any time she had had to do with a man?
No, quoth she, but sometimes men have had to do with me. Well then,
quoth Rondibilis, let it be a neuter in physic, as when we say a
body is neuter, when it is neither sick nor healthful, and a mean in
philosophy; that, by an abnegation of both extremes, and this by the
participation of the one and of the other. Even as when lukewarm
water is said to be both hot and cold; or rather, as when time makes
the partition, and equally divides betwixt the two, a while in the
one, another while as long in the other opposite extremity. The holy
Apostle, quoth Hippothadee, seemeth, as I conceive, to have more
clearly explained this point when he said, Those that are married,
let them be as if they were not married; and those that have wives,
let them be as if they had no wives at all. I thus interpret, quoth
Pantagruel, the having and not having of a wife. To have a wife is
to have the use of her in such a way as nature hath ordained, which
is for the aid, society, and solace of man, and propagating of his
race. To have no wife is not to be uxorious, play the coward, and be
lazy about her, and not for her sake to distain the lustre of that
affection which man owes to God, or yet for her to leave those
offices and duties which he owes unto his country, unto his friends
and kindred, or for her to abandon and forsake his precious studies,
and other businesses of account, to wait still on her will, her
beck, and her buttocks. If we be pleased in this sense to take
having and not having of a wife, we shall indeed find no repugnancy
nor contradiction in the terms at all.
Chapter 3.XXXVI.—A continuation of the answer of the Ephectic
and Pyrrhonian philosopher Trouillogan.
You speak wisely, quoth Panurge, if the moon were green cheese.
Such a tale once pissed my goose. I do not think but that I am let
down into that dark pit in the lowermost bottom whereof the truth
was hid, according to the saying of Heraclitus. I see no whit at
all, I hear nothing, understand as little, my senses are altogether
dulled and blunted; truly I do very shrewdly suspect that I am
enchanted. I will now alter the former style of my discourse, and
talk to him in another strain. Our trusty friend, stir not, nor
imburse any; but let us vary the chance, and speak without
disjunctives. I see already that these loose and ill-joined members
of an enunciation do vex, trouble, and perplex you.
Now go on, in the name of God! Should I marry?
Trouillogan. There is some likelihood therein.
Panurge. But if I do not marry?
Trouil. I see in that no inconvenience.
Pan. You do not?
Trouil. None, truly, if my eyes deceive me not.
Pan. Yea, but I find more than five hundred.
Trouil. Reckon them.
Pan. This is an impropriety of speech, I confess; for I do no more
thereby but take a certain for an uncertain number, and posit the
determinate term for what is indeterminate. When I say, therefore, five
hundred, my meaning is many.
Trouil. I hear you.
Pan. Is it possible for me to live without a wife, in the name of all the
Trouil. Away with these filthy beasts.
Pan. Let it be, then, in the name of God; for my Salmigondinish people
use to say, To lie alone, without a wife, is certainly a brutish life. And
such a life also was it assevered to be by Dido in her lamentations.
Trouil. At your command.
Pan. By the pody cody, I have fished fair; where are we now? But will
you tell me? Shall I marry?
Pan. Shall I thrive or speed well withal?
Trouil. According to the encounter.
Pan. But if in my adventure I encounter aright, as I hope I will, shall
I be fortunate?
Pan. Let us turn the clean contrary way, and brush our former words
against the wool: what if I encounter ill?
Trouil. Then blame not me.
Pan. But, of courtesy, be pleased to give me some advice. I heartily
beseech you, what must I do?
Trouil. Even what thou wilt.
Pan. Wishy, washy; trolly, trolly.
Trouil. Do not invocate the name of anything, I pray you.
Pan. In the name of God, let it be so! My actions shall be regulated by
the rule and square of your counsel. What is it that you advise and
counsel me to do?
Pan. Shall I marry?
Trouil. I have no hand in it.
Pan. Then shall I not marry?
Trouil. I cannot help it.
Pan. If I never marry, I shall never be a cuckold.
Trouil. I thought so.
Pan. But put the case that I be married.
Trouil. Where shall we put it?
Pan. Admit it be so, then, and take my meaning in that sense.
Trouil. I am otherwise employed.
Pan. By the death of a hog, and mother of a toad, O Lord! if I durst
hazard upon a little fling at the swearing game, though privily and under
thumb, it would lighten the burden of my heart and ease my lights and reins
exceedingly. A little patience nevertheless is requisite. Well then, if I
marry, I shall be a cuckold.
Trouil. One would say so.
Pan. Yet if my wife prove a virtuous, wise, discreet, and chaste woman,
I shall never be cuckolded.
Trouil. I think you speak congruously.
Trouil. As much as you will.
Pan. Will she be discreet and chaste? This is the only point I would be
Trouil. I question it.
Pan. You never saw her?
Trouil. Not that I know of.
Pan. Why do you then doubt of that which you know not?
Trouil. For a cause.
Pan. And if you should know her.
Trouil. Yet more.
Pan. Page, my pretty little darling, take here my cap,—I give it thee.
Have a care you do not break the spectacles that are in it. Go down to the
lower court. Swear there half an hour for me, and I shall in compensation
of that favour swear hereafter for thee as much as thou wilt. But who
shall cuckold me?
Pan. By the belly of the wooden horse at Troy, Master Somebody, I shall
bang, belam thee, and claw thee well for thy labour.
Trouil. You say so.
Pan. Nay, nay, that Nick in the dark cellar, who hath no white in his
eye, carry me quite away with him if, in that case, whensoever I go abroad
from the palace of my domestic residence, I do not, with as much
circumspection as they use to ring mares in our country to keep them from
being sallied by stoned horses, clap a Bergamasco lock upon my wife.
Trouil. Talk better.
Pan. It is bien chien, chie chante, well cacked and cackled, shitten,
and sung in matter of talk. Let us resolve on somewhat.
Trouil. I do not gainsay it.
Pan. Have a little patience. Seeing I cannot on this side draw any
blood of you, I will try if with the lancet of my judgment I be able to
bleed you in another vein. Are you married, or are you not?
Trouil. Neither the one nor the other, and both together.
Pan. O the good God help us! By the death of a buffle-ox, I sweat with
the toil and travail that I am put to, and find my digestion broke off,
disturbed, and interrupted, for all my phrenes, metaphrenes, and
diaphragms, back, belly, midriff, muscles, veins, and sinews are held in a
suspense and for a while discharged from their proper offices to stretch
forth their several powers and abilities for incornifistibulating and
laying up into the hamper of my understanding your various sayings and
Trouil. I shall be no hinderer thereof.
Pan. Tush, for shame! Our faithful friend, speak; are you married?
Trouil. I think so.
Pan. You were also married before you had this wife?
Trouil. It is possible.
Pan. Had you good luck in your first marriage?
Trouil. It is not impossible.
Pan. How thrive you with this second wife of yours?
Trouil. Even as it pleaseth my fatal destiny.
Pan. But what, in good earnest? Tell me—do you prosper well with her?
Trouil. It is likely.
Pan. Come on, in the name of God. I vow, by the burden of Saint
Christopher, that I had rather undertake the fetching of a fart forth of
the belly of a dead ass than to draw out of you a positive and determinate
resolution. Yet shall I be sure at this time to have a snatch at you, and
get my claws over you. Our trusty friend, let us shame the devil of hell,
and confess the verity. Were you ever a cuckold? I say, you who are here,
and not that other you who playeth below in the tennis-court?
Trouil. No, if it was not predestinated.
Pan. By the flesh, blood, and body, I swear, reswear, forswear, abjure,
and renounce, he evades and avoids, shifts, and escapes me, and quite slips
and winds himself out of my grips and clutches.
At these words Gargantua arose and said, Praised be the good God
in all things, but especially for bringing the world into that
height of refinedness beyond what it was when I first came to be
acquainted therewith, that now the learnedst and most prudent
philosophers are not ashamed to be seen entering in at the porches
and frontispieces of the schools of the Pyrrhonian, Aporrhetic,
Sceptic, and Ephectic sects. Blessed be the holy name of God!
Veritably, it is like henceforth to be found an enterprise of much
more easy undertaking to catch lions by the neck, horses by the
main, oxen by the horns, bulls by the muzzle, wolves by the tail,
goats by the beard, and flying birds by the feet, than to entrap
such philosophers in their words. Farewell, my worthy, dear, and
When he had done thus speaking, he withdrew himself from the
company. Pantagruel and others with him would have followed and
accompanied him, but he would not permit them so to do. No sooner
was Gargantua departed out of the banqueting-hall than that
Pantagruel said to the invited guests: Plato's Timaeus, at the
beginning always of a solemn festival convention, was wont to count
those that were called thereto. We, on the contrary, shall at the
closure and end of this treatment reckon up our number. One, two,
three; where is the fourth? I miss my friend Bridlegoose. Was not he
sent for? Epistemon answered that he had been at his house to bid
and invite him, but could not meet with him; for that a messenger
from the parliament of Mirlingois, in Mirlingues, was come to him
with a writ of summons to cite and warn him personally to appear
before the reverend senators of the high court there, to vindicate
and justify himself at the bar of the crime of prevarication laid to
his charge, and to be peremptorily instanced against him in a
certain decree, judgment, or sentence lately awarded, given, and
pronounced by him; and that, therefore, he had taken horse and
departed in great haste from his own house, to the end that without
peril or danger of falling into a default or contumacy he might be
the better able to keep the prefixed and appointed time.
I will, quoth Pantagruel, understand how that matter goeth. It is
now above forty years that he hath been constantly the judge of
Fonsbeton, during which space of time he hath given four thousand
definitive sentences, of two thousand three hundred and nine
whereof, although appeal was made by the parties whom he had
judicially condemned from his inferior judicatory to the supreme
court of the parliament of Mirlingois, in Mirlingues, they were all
of them nevertheless confirmed, ratified, and approved of by an
order, decree, and final sentence of the said sovereign court, to
the casting of the appellants, and utter overthrow of the suits
wherein they had been foiled at law, for ever and a day. That now in
his old age he should be personally summoned, who in all the
foregoing time of his life hath demeaned himself so unblamably in
the discharge of the office and vocation he had been called unto, it
cannot assuredly be that such a change hath happened without some
notorious misfortune and disaster. I am resolved to help and assist
him in equity and justice to the uttermost extent of my power and
ability. I know the malice, despite, and wickedness of the world to
be so much more nowadays exasperated, increased, and aggravated by
what it was not long since, that the best cause that is, how just
and equitable soever it be, standeth in great need to be succoured,
aided, and supported. Therefore presently, from this very instant
forth, do I purpose, till I see the event and closure thereof, most
heedfully to attend and wait upon it, for fear of some underhand
tricky surprisal, cavilling pettifoggery, or fallacious quirks in
law, to his detriment, hurt, or disadvantage.
Then dinner being done, and the tables drawn and removed, when
Pantagruel had very cordially and affectionately thanked his invited
guests for the favour which he had enjoyed of their company, he
presented them with several rich and costly gifts, such as jewels,
rings set with precious stones, gold and silver vessels, with a
great deal of other sort of plate besides, and lastly, taking of
them all his leave, retired himself into an inner chamber.
Chapter 3.XXXVII.—How Pantagruel persuaded Panurge to take
counsel of a fool.
When Pantagruel had withdrawn himself, he, by a little sloping
window in one of the galleries, perceived Panurge in a lobby not far
from thence, walking alone, with the gesture, carriage, and garb of
a fond dotard, raving, wagging, and shaking his hands, dandling,
lolling, and nodding with his head, like a cow bellowing for her
calf; and, having then called him nearer, spoke unto him thus: You
are at this present, as I think, not unlike to a mouse entangled in
a snare, who the more that she goeth about to rid and unwind herself
out of the gin wherein she is caught, by endeavouring to clear and
deliver her feet from the pitch whereto they stick, the foulier she
is bewrayed with it, and the more strongly pestered therein. Even so
is it with you. For the more that you labour, strive, and enforce
yourself to disencumber and extricate your thoughts out of the
implicating involutions and fetterings of the grievous and
lamentable gins and springs of anguish and perplexity, the greater
difficulty there is in the relieving of you, and you remain faster
bound than ever. Nor do I know for the removal of this inconveniency
any remedy but one.
Take heed, I have often heard it said in a vulgar proverb, The
wise may be instructed by a fool. Seeing the answers and responses
of sage and judicious men have in no manner of way satisfied you,
take advice of some fool, and possibly by so doing you may come to
get that counsel which will be agreeable to your own heart's desire
and contentment. You know how by the advice and counsel and
prediction of fools, many kings, princes, states, and commonwealths
have been preserved, several battles gained, and divers doubts of a
most perplexed intricacy resolved. I am not so diffident of your
memory as to hold it needful to refresh it with a quotation of
examples, nor do I so far undervalue your judgment but that I think
it will acquiesce in the reason of this my subsequent discourse. As
he who narrowly takes heed to what concerns the dexterous management
of his private affairs, domestic businesses, and those adoes which
are confined within the strait-laced compass of one family, who is
attentive, vigilant, and active in the economic rule of his own
house, whose frugal spirit never strays from home, who loseth no
occasion whereby he may purchase to himself more riches, and build
up new heaps of treasure on his former wealth, and who knows warily
how to prevent the inconveniences of poverty, is called a worldly
wise man, though perhaps in the second judgment of the intelligences
which are above he be esteemed a fool,—so, on the contrary, is he
most like, even in the thoughts of all celestial spirits, to be not
only sage, but to presage events to come by divine inspiration, who
laying quite aside those cares which are conducible to his body or
his fortunes, and, as it were, departing from himself, rids all his
senses of terrene affections, and clears his fancies of those
plodding studies which harbour in the minds of thriving men. All
which neglects of sublunary things are vulgarily imputed folly.
After this manner, the son of Picus, King of the Latins, the great
soothsayer Faunus, was called Fatuus by the witless rabble of the
common people. The like we daily see practised amongst the comic
players, whose dramatic roles, in distribution of the personages,
appoint the acting of the fool to him who is the wisest of the
troop. In approbation also of this fashion the mathematicians allow
the very same horoscope to princes and to sots. Whereof a right
pregnant instance by them is given in the nativities of Aeneas and
Choroebus; the latter of which two is by Euphorion said to have been
a fool, and yet had with the former the same aspects and heavenly
I shall not, I suppose, swerve much from the purpose in hand, if
I relate unto you what John Andrew said upon the return of a papal
writ, which was directed to the mayor and burgesses of Rochelle, and
after him by Panorme, upon the same pontifical canon; Barbatias on
the Pandects, and recently by Jason in his Councils, concerning
Seyny John, the noted fool of Paris, and Caillet's fore
great-grandfather. The case is this.
At Paris, in the roastmeat cookery of the Petit Chastelet, before
the cookshop of one of the roastmeat sellers of that lane, a certain
hungry porter was eating his bread, after he had by parcels kept it
a while above the reek and steam of a fat goose on the spit, turning
at a great fire, and found it, so besmoked with the vapour, to be
savoury; which the cook observing, took no notice, till after having
ravined his penny loaf, whereof no morsel had been unsmokified, he
was about decamping and going away. But, by your leave, as the
fellow thought to have departed thence shot-free, the master-cook
laid hold upon him by the gorget, and demanded payment for the smoke
of his roast meat. The porter answered, that he had sustained no
loss at all; that by what he had done there was no diminution made
of the flesh; that he had taken nothing of his, and that therefore
he was not indebted to him in anything. As for the smoke in
question, that, although he had not been there, it would howsoever
have been evaporated; besides, that before that time it had never
been seen nor heard that roastmeat smoke was sold upon the streets
of Paris. The cook hereto replied, that he was not obliged nor any
way bound to feed and nourish for nought a porter whom he had never
seen before with the smoke of his roast meat, and thereupon swore
that if he would not forthwith content and satisfy him with present
payment for the repast which he had thereby got, that he would take
his crooked staves from off his back; which, instead of having loads
thereafter laid upon them, should serve for fuel to his kitchen
fires. Whilst he was going about so to do, and to have pulled them
to him by one of the bottom rungs which he had caught in his hand,
the sturdy porter got out of his grip, drew forth the knotty cudgel,
and stood to his own defence. The altercation waxed hot in words,
which moved the gaping hoidens of the sottish Parisians to run from
all parts thereabouts, to see what the issue would be of that
babbling strife and contention. In the interim of this dispute, to
very good purpose Seyny John, the fool and citizen of Paris,
happened to be there, whom the cook perceiving, said to the porter,
Wilt thou refer and submit unto the noble Seyny John the decision of
the difference and controversy which is betwixt us? Yes, by the
blood of a goose, answered the porter, I am content. Seyny John the
fool, finding that the cook and porter had compromised the
determination of their variance and debate to the discretion of his
award and arbitrament, after that the reasons on either side
whereupon was grounded the mutual fierceness of their brawling jar
had been to the full displayed and laid open before him, commanded
the porter to draw out of the fob of his belt a piece of money, if
he had it. Whereupon the porter immediately without delay, in
reverence to the authority of such a judicious umpire, put the tenth
part of a silver Philip into his hand. This little Philip Seyny John
took; then set it on his left shoulder, to try by feeling if it was
of a sufficient weight. After that, laying it on the palm of his
hand, he made it ring and tingle, to understand by the ear if it was
of a good alloy in the metal whereof it was composed. Thereafter he
put it to the ball or apple of his left eye, to explore by the sight
if it was well stamped and marked; all which being done, in a
profound silence of the whole doltish people who were there
spectators of this pageantry, to the great hope of the cook's and
despair of the porter's prevalency in the suit that was in
agitation, he finally caused the porter to make it sound several
times upon the stall of the cook's shop. Then with a presidential
majesty holding his bauble sceptre-like in his hand, muffling his
head with a hood of marten skins, each side whereof had the
resemblance of an ape's face sprucified up with ears of pasted
paper, and having about his neck a bucked ruff, raised, furrowed,
and ridged with pointing sticks of the shape and fashion of small
organ pipes, he first with all the force of his lungs coughed two or
three times, and then with an audible voice pronounced this
following sentence: The court declareth that the porter who ate his
bread at the smoke of the roast, hath civilly paid the cook with the
sound of his money. And the said court ordaineth that everyone
return to his own home, and attend his proper business, without cost
and charges, and for a cause. This verdict, award, and arbitrament
of the Parisian fool did appear so equitable, yea, so admirable to
the aforesaid doctors, that they very much doubted if the matter had
been brought before the sessions for justice of the said place, or
that the judges of the Rota at Rome had been umpires therein, or yet
that the Areopagites themselves had been the deciders thereof, if by
any one part, or all of them together, it had been so judicially
sententiated and awarded. Therefore advise, if you will be
counselled by a fool.
Chapter 3.XXXVIII.—How Triboulet is set forth and blazed by
Pantagruel and Panurge.
By my soul, quoth Panurge, that overture pleaseth me exceedingly
well. I will therefore lay hold thereon, and embrace it. At the very
motioning thereof my very right entrail seemeth to be widened and
enlarged, which was but just now hard-bound, contracted, and
costive. But as we have hitherto made choice of the purest and most
refined cream of wisdom and sapience for our counsel, so would I now
have to preside and bear the prime sway in our consultation as very
a fool in the supreme degree. Triboulet, quoth Pantagruel, is
completely foolish, as I conceive. Yes, truly, answered Panurge, he
is properly and totally a fool, a
Fatal f. Jovial f.
Natural f. Mercurial f.
Celestial f. Lunatic f.
Erratic f. Ducal f.
Eccentric f. Common f.
Aethereal and Junonian f. Lordly f.
Arctic f. Palatine f.
Heroic f. Principal f.
Genial f. Pretorian f.
Inconstant f. Elected f.
Earthly f. Courtly f.
Salacious and sporting f. Primipilary f.
Jocund and wanton f. Triumphant f.
Pimpled f. Vulgar f.
Freckled f. Domestic f.
Bell-tinging f. Exemplary f.
Laughing and lecherous f. Rare outlandish f.
Nimming and filching f. Satrapal f.
Unpressed f. Civil f.
First broached f. Popular f.
Augustal f. Familiar f.
Caesarine f. Notable f.
Imperial f. Favourized f.
Royal f. Latinized f.
Patriarchal f. Ordinary f.
Original f. Transcendent f.
Loyal f. Rising f.
Episcopal f. Papal f.
Doctoral f. Consistorian f.
Monachal f. Conclavist f.
Fiscal f. Bullist f.
Extravagant f. Synodal f.
Writhed f. Doting and raving f.
Canonical f. Singular and surpassing f.
Such another f. Special and excelling f.
Graduated f. Metaphysical f.
Commensal f. Scatical f.
Primolicentiated f. Predicamental and categoric f.
Train-bearing f. Predicable and enunciatory f.
Supererogating f. Decumane and superlative f.
Collateral f. Dutiful and officious f.
Haunch and side f. Optical and perspective f.
Nestling, ninny, and youngling f. Algoristic f.
Flitting, giddy, and unsteady f. Algebraical f.
Brancher, novice, and cockney f. Cabalistical and Massoretical f.
Haggard, cross, and froward f. Talmudical f.
Gentle, mild, and tractable f. Algamalized f.
Mail-coated f. Compendious f.
Pilfering and purloining f. Abbreviated f.
Tail-grown f. Hyperbolical f.
Grey peckled f. Anatomastical f.
Pleonasmical f. Allegorical f.
Capital f. Tropological f.
Hair-brained f. Micher pincrust f.
Cordial f. Heteroclit f.
Intimate f. Summist f.
Hepatic f. Abridging f.
Cupshotten and swilling f. Morrish f.
Splenetic f. Leaden-sealed f.
Windy f. Mandatory f.
Legitimate f. Compassionate f.
Azymathal f. Titulary f.
Almicantarized f. Crouching, showking, ducking f.
Proportioned f. Grim, stern, harsh, and wayward f.
Chinnified f. Well-hung and timbered f.
Swollen and puffed up f. Ill-clawed, pounced, and pawed f.
Overcockrifedlid and lified f. Well-stoned f.
Corallory f. Crabbed and unpleasing f.
Eastern f. Winded and untainted f.
Sublime f. Kitchen haunting f.
Crimson f. Lofty and stately f.
Ingrained f. Spitrack f.
City f. Architrave f.
Basely accoutred f. Pedestal f.
Mast-headed f. Tetragonal f.
Modal f. Renowned f.
Second notial f. Rheumatic f.
Cheerful and buxom f. Flaunting and braggadocio f.
Solemn f. Egregious f.
Annual f. Humourous and capricious f.
Festival f. Rude, gross, and absurd f.
Recreative f. Large-measured f.
Boorish and counterfeit f. Babble f.
Pleasant f. Down-right f.
Privileged f. Broad-listed f.
Rustical f. Duncical-bearing f.
Proper and peculiar f. Stale and over-worn f.
Ever ready f. Saucy and swaggering f.
Diapasonal f. Full-bulked f.
Resolute f. Gallant and vainglorious f.
Hieroglyphical f. Gorgeous and gaudy f.
Authentic f. Continual and intermitting f.
Worthy f. Rebasing and roundling f.
Precious f. Prototypal and precedenting f.
Fanatic f. Prating f.
Fantastical f. Catechetic f.
Symphatic f. Cacodoxical f.
Panic f. Meridional f.
Limbecked and distilled f. Nocturnal f.
Comportable f. Occidental f.
Wretched and heartless f. Trifling f.
Fooded f. Astrological and figure-flinging f.
Thick and threefold f. Genethliac and horoscopal f.
Damasked f. Knavish f.
Fearney f. Idiot f.
Unleavened f. Blockish f.
Baritonant f. Beetle-headed f.
Pink and spot-powdered f. Grotesque f.
Musket-proof f. Impertinent f.
Pedantic f. Quarrelsome f.
Strouting f. Unmannerly f.
Wood f. Captious and sophistical f.
Greedy f. Soritic f.
Senseless f. Catholoproton f.
Godderlich f. Hoti and Dioti f.
Obstinate f. Alphos and Catati f.
Pantagruel. If there was any reason why at Rome the Quirinal holiday of
old was called the Feast of Fools, I know not why we may not for the like
cause institute in France the Tribouletic Festivals, to be celebrated and
solemnized over all the land.
Panurge. If all fools carried cruppers.
Pantagruel. If he were the god Fatuus of whom we have already made
mention, the husband of the goddess Fatua, his father would be Good Day,
and his grandmother Good Even.
Panurge. If all fools paced, albeit he be somewhat wry-legged, he would
overlay at least a fathom at every rake. Let us go toward him without any
further lingering or delay; we shall have, no doubt, some fine resolution
of him. I am ready to go, and long for the issue of our progress
impatiently. I must needs, quoth Pantagruel, according to my former
resolution therein, be present at Bridlegoose's trial. Nevertheless,
whilst I shall be upon my journey towards Mirelingues, which is on the
other side of the river of Loire, I will despatch Carpalin to bring along
with him from Blois the fool Triboulet. Then was Carpalin instantly sent
away, and Pantagruel, at the same time attended by his domestics, Panurge,
Epistemon, Ponocrates, Friar John, Gymnast, Ryzotomus, and others, marched
forward on the high road to Mirelingues.
Chapter 3.XXXIX.—How Pantagruel was present at the trial of
Judge Bridlegoose, who decided causes and controversies in law by
the chance and fortune of the dice.
On the day following, precisely at the hour appointed, Pantagruel
came to Mirelingues. At his arrival the presidents, senators, and
counsellors prayed him to do them the honour to enter in with them,
to hear the decision of all the causes, arguments, and reasons which
Bridlegoose in his own defence would produce, why he had pronounced
a certain sentence against the subsidy-assessor, Toucheronde, which
did not seem very equitable to that centumviral court. Pantagruel
very willingly condescended to their desire, and accordingly
entering in, found Bridlegoose sitting within the middle of the
enclosure of the said court of justice; who immediately upon the
coming of Pantagruel, accompanied with the senatorian members of
that worshipful judicatory, arose, went to the bar, had his
indictment read, and for all his reasons, defences, and excuses,
answered nothing else but that he was become old, and that his sight
of late was very much failed, and become dimmer than it was wont to
be; instancing therewithal many miseries and calamities which old
age bringeth along with it, and are concomitant to wrinkled elders;
which not. per Archid. d. lxxxvi. c. tanta. By reason of which
infirmity he was not able so distinctly and clearly to discern the
points and blots of the dice as formerly he had been accustomed to
do; whence it might very well have happened, said he, as old
dim-sighted Isaac took Jacob for Esau, that I after the same manner,
at the decision of causes and controversies in law, should have been
mistaken in taking a quatre for a cinque, or a trey for a deuce.
This I beseech your worships, quoth he, to take into your serious
consideration, and to have the more favourable opinion of my
uprightness, notwithstanding the prevarication whereof I am accused
in the matter of Toucheronde's sentence, that at the time of that
decree's pronouncing I only had made use of my small dice; and your
worships, said he, know very well how by the most authentic rules of
the law it is provided that the imperfections of nature should never
be imputed unto any for crimes and transgressions; as appeareth, ff.
de re milit. l. qui cum uno. ff. de reg. Jur. l. fere. ff. de aedil.
edict. per totum. ff. de term. mod. l. Divus Adrianus, resolved by
Lud. Rom. in l. si vero. ff. Sol. Matr. And who would offer to do
otherwise, should not thereby accuse the man, but nature, and the
all-seeing providence of God, as is evident in l. Maximum Vitium, c.
de lib. praeter.
What kind of dice, quoth Trinquamelle, grand-president of the
said court, do you mean, my friend Bridlegoose? The dice, quoth
Bridlegoose, of sentences at law, decrees, and peremptory judgments,
Alea Judiciorum, whereof is written, Per Doct. 26. qu. 2. cap. sort.
l. nec emptio ff. de contrahend. empt. l. quod debetur. ff. de
pecul. et ibi Bartol., and which your worships do, as well as I,
use, in this glorious sovereign court of yours. So do all other
righteous judges in their decision of processes and final
determination of legal differences, observing that which hath been
said thereof by D. Henri. Ferrandat, et not. gl. in c. fin. de
sortil. et l. sed cum ambo. ff. de jud. Ubi Docto. Mark, that chance
and fortune are good, honest, profitable, and necessary for ending
of and putting a final closure to dissensions and debates in suits
at law. The same hath more clearly been declared by Bald. Bartol. et
Alex. c. communia de leg. l. Si duo. But how is it that you do these
things? asked Trinquamelle. I very briefly, quoth Bridlegoose, shall
answer you, according to the doctrine and instructions of Leg.
ampliorem para. in refutatoriis. c. de appel.; which is conform to
what is said in Gloss l. 1. ff. quod met. causa. Gaudent brevitate
moderni. My practice is therein the same with that of your other
worships, and as the custom of the judicatory requires, unto which
our law commandeth us to have regard, and by the rule thereof still
to direct and regulate our actions and procedures; ut not. extra. de
consuet. in c. ex literis et ibi innoc. For having well and exactly
seen, surveyed, overlooked, reviewed, recognized, read, and read
over again, turned and tossed over, seriously perused and examined
the bills of complaint, accusations, impeachments, indictments,
warnings, citations, summonings, comparitions, appearances,
mandates, commissions, delegations, instructions, informations,
inquests, preparatories, productions, evidences, proofs,
allegations, depositions, cross speeches, contradictions,
supplications, requests, petitions, inquiries, instruments of the
deposition of witnesses, rejoinders, replies, confirmations of
former assertions, duplies, triplies, answers to rejoinders,
writings, deeds, reproaches, disabling of exceptions taken,
grievances, salvation bills, re-examination of witnesses,
confronting of them together, declarations, denunciations, libels,
certificates, royal missives, letters of appeal, letters of
attorney, instruments of compulsion, delineatories, anticipatories,
evocations, messages, dimissions, issues, exceptions, dilatory
pleas, demurs, compositions, injunctions, reliefs, reports, returns,
confessions, acknowledgments, exploits, executions, and other
such-like confects and spiceries, both at the one and the other
side, as a good judge ought to do, conform to what hath been noted
thereupon. Spec. de ordination. Paragr. 3. et Tit. de Offi. omn.
jud. paragr. fin. et de rescriptis praesentat. parag. 1.—I posit on
the end of a table in my closet all the pokes and bags of the
defendant, and then allow unto him the first hazard of the dice,
according to the usual manner of your other worships. And it is
mentioned, l. favorabiliores. ff. de reg. jur. et in cap. cum sunt
eod. tit. lib. 6, which saith, Quum sunt partium jura obscura, reo
potius favendum est quam actori. That being done, I thereafter lay
down upon the other end of the same table the bags and satchels of
the plaintiff, as your other worships are accustomed to do, visum
visu, just over against one another; for Opposita juxta se posita
clarius elucescunt: ut not. in lib. 1. parag. Videamus. ff. de his
qui sunt sui vel alieni juris, et in l. munerum. para. mixta ff. de
mun. et hon. Then do I likewise and semblably throw the dice for
him, and forthwith livre him his chance. But, quoth Trinquamelle, my
friend, how come you to know, understand, and resolve the obscurity
of these various and seeming contrary passages in law, which are
laid claim to by the suitors and pleading parties? Even just, quoth
Bridlegoose, after the fashion of your other worships; to wit, when
there are many bags on the one side and on the other, I then use my
little small dice, after the customary manner of your other
worships, in obedience to the law, Semper in stipulationibus ff. de
reg. jur. And the law ver(s)ified versifieth that, Eod. tit. Semper
in obscuris quod minimum est sequimur; canonized in c. in obscuris.
eod. tit. lib. 6. I have other large great dice, fair and goodly
ones, which I employ in the fashion that your other worships use to
do, when the matter is more plain, clear, and liquid, that is to
say, when there are fewer bags. But when you have done all these
fine things, quoth Trinquamelle, how do you, my friend, award your
decrees, and pronounce judgment? Even as your other worships,
answered Bridlegoose; for I give out sentence in his favour unto
whom hath befallen the best chance by dice, judiciary, tribunian,
pretorial, what comes first. So our laws command, ff. qui pot. in
pign. l. creditor, c. de consul. 1. Et de regul. jur. in 6. Qui
prior est tempore potior est jure.
Chapter 3.XL.—How Bridlegoose giveth reasons why he looked upon
those law-actions which he decided by the chance of the dice.
Yea but, quoth Trinquamelle, my friend, seeing it is by the lot,
chance, and throw of the dice that you award your judgments and
sentences, why do not you livre up these fair throws and chances the
very same day and hour, without any further procrastination or
delay, that the controverting party-pleaders appear before you? To
what use can those writings serve you, those papers and other
procedures contained in the bags and pokes of the law-suitors? To
the very same use, quoth Bridlegoose, that they serve your other
worships. They are behooveful unto me, and serve my turn in three
things very exquisite, requisite, and authentical. First, for
formality sake, the omission whereof, that it maketh all, whatever
is done, to be of no force nor value, is excellently well proved, by
Spec. 1. tit. de instr. edit. et tit. de rescript. praesent. Besides
that, it is not unknown to you, who have had many more experiments
thereof than I, how oftentimes, in judicial proceedings, the
formalities utterly destroy the materialities and substances of the
causes and matters agitated; for Forma mutata, mutatur substantia.
ff. ad exhib. l. Julianus. ff. ad leg. Fal. l. si is qui
quadraginta. Et extra de decim. c. ad audientiam, et de celebrat.
miss. c. in quadam.
Secondly, they are useful and steadable to me, even as unto your
other worships, in lieu of some other honest and healthful exercise.
The late Master Othoman Vadet (Vadere), a prime physician, as you
would say, Cod. de Comit. et Archi. lib. 12, hath frequently told me
that the lack and default of bodily exercise is the chief, if not
the sole and only cause of the little health and short lives of all
officers of justice, such as your worships and I am. Which
observation was singularly well before him noted and remarked by
Bartholus in lib. 1. c. de sent. quae pro eo quod. Therefore it is
that the practice of such-like exercitations is appointed to be laid
hold on by your other worships, and consequently not to be denied
unto me, who am of the same profession; Quia accessorium naturam
sequitur principalis. de reg. jur. l. 6. et l. cum principalis. et
l. nihil dolo. ff. eod. tit. ff. de fide-juss. l. fide-juss. et
extra de officio deleg. cap. 1. Let certain honest and recreative
sports and plays of corporeal exercises be allowed and approved of;
and so far, (ff. de allus. et aleat. l. solent. et authent.) ut
omnes obed. in princ. coll. 7. et ff. de praescript. verb. l. si
gratuitam et l. 1. cod. de spect. l. 11. Such also is the opinion of
D. Thom, in secunda, secundae Q. I. 168. Quoted in very good purpose
by D. Albert de Rosa, who fuit magnus practicus, and a solemn
doctor, as Barbatias attesteth in principiis consil. Wherefore the
reason is evidently and clearly deduced and set down before us in
gloss. in prooemio. ff. par. ne autem tertii.
Interpone tuis interdum gaudia curis.
In very deed, once, in the year a thousand four hundred fourscore
and ninth, having a business concerning the portion and inheritance
of a younger brother depending in the court and chamber of the four
high treasurers of France, whereinto as soon as ever I got leave to
enter by a pecuniary permission of the usher thereof,—as your other
worships know very well, that Pecuniae obediunt omnia, and there
says Baldus, in l. singularia. ff. si cert. pet. et Salic. in l.
receptitia. Cod. de constit. pecuni. et Card. in Clem. 1. de
baptism.—I found them all recreating and diverting themselves at the
play called muss, either before or after dinner; to me, truly, it is
a thing altogether indifferent whether of the two it was, provided
that hic not., that the game of the muss is honest, healthful,
ancient, and lawful, a Muscho inventore, de quo cod. de petit.
haered. l. si post mortem. et Muscarii. Such as play and sport it at
the muss are excusable in and by law, lib. 1. c. de excus. artific.
lib. 10. And at the very same time was Master Tielman Picquet one of
the players of that game of muss. There is nothing that I do better
remember, for he laughed heartily when his fellow-members of the
aforesaid judicial chamber spoiled their caps in swingeing of his
shoulders. He, nevertheless, did even then say unto them, that the
banging and flapping of him, to the waste and havoc of their caps,
should not, at their return from the palace to their own houses,
excuse them from their wives, Per. c. extra. de praesumpt. et ibi
gloss. Now, resolutorie loquendo, I should say, according to the
style and phrase of your other worships, that there is no exercise,
sport, game, play, nor recreation in all this palatine, palatial, or
parliamentary world, more aromatizing and fragrant than to empty and
void bags and purses, turn over papers and writings, quote margins
and backs of scrolls and rolls, fill panniers, and take inspection
of causes, Ex. Bart. et Joan. de Pra. in l. falsa. de condit. et
Thirdly, I consider, as your own worships use to do, that time
ripeneth and bringeth all things to maturity, that by time
everything cometh to be made manifest and patent, and that time is
the father of truth and virtue. Gloss. in l. 1. cod. de servit.
authent. de restit. et ea quae pa. et spec. tit. de requisit. cons.
Therefore is it that, after the manner and fashion of your other
worships, I defer, protract, delay, prolong, intermit, surcease,
pause, linger, suspend, prorogate, drive out, wire-draw, and shift
off the time of giving a definitive sentence, to the end that the
suit or process, being well fanned and winnowed, tossed and
canvassed to and fro, narrowly, precisely, and nearly garbled,
sifted, searched, and examined, and on all hands exactly argued,
disputed, and debated, may, by succession of time, come at last to
its full ripeness and maturity. By means whereof, when the fatal
hazard of the dice ensueth thereupon, the parties cast or condemned
by the said aleatory chance will with much greater patience, and
more mildly and gently, endure and bear up the disastrous load of
their misfortune, than if they had been sentenced at their first
arrival unto the court, as not. gl. ff. de excus. tut. l. tria.
Portatur leviter quod portat quisque libenter.
On the other part, to pass a decree or sentence when the action
is raw, crude, green, unripe, unprepared, as at the beginning, a
danger would ensue of a no less inconveniency than that which the
physicians have been wont to say befalleth to him in whom an
imposthume is pierced before it be ripe, or unto any other whose
body is purged of a strong predominating humour before its
digestion. For as it is written, in authent. haec constit. in Innoc.
de constit. princip., so is the same repeated in gloss. in c.
caeterum. extra. de juram. calumn. Quod medicamenta morbis exhibent,
hoc jura negotiis. Nature furthermore admonisheth and teacheth us to
gather and reap, eat and feed on fruits when they are ripe, and not
before. Instit. de rer. div. paragr. is ad quem et ff. de action.
empt. l. Julianus. To marry likewise our daughters when they are
ripe, and no sooner, ff. de donation. inter vir. et uxor. l. cum hic
status. paragr. si quis sponsam. et 27 qu. 1. c. sicut dicit. gl.
Jam matura thoro plenis adoleverat annis
And, in a word, she instructeth us to do nothing of any
considerable importance, but in a full maturity and ripeness, 23. q.
para ult. et 23. de c. ultimo.
Chapter 3.XLI.—How Bridlegoose relateth the history of the
reconcilers of parties at variance in matters of law.
I remember to the same purpose, quoth Bridlegoose, in continuing
his discourse, that in the time when at Poictiers I was a student of
law under Brocadium Juris, there was at Semerve one Peter Dandin, a
very honest man, careful labourer of the ground, fine singer in a
church-desk, of good repute and credit, and older than the most aged
of all your worships; who was wont to say that he had seen the great
and goodly good man, the Council of Lateran, with his wide and
broad-brimmed red hat. As also, that he had beheld and looked upon
the fair and beautiful Pragmatical Sanction his wife, with her huge
rosary or patenotrian chaplet of jet-beads hanging at a large
sky-coloured ribbon. This honest man compounded, atoned, and agreed
more differences, controversies, and variances at law than had been
determined, voided, and finished during his time in the whole palace
of Poictiers, in the auditory of Montmorillon, and in the town-house
of the old Partenay. This amicable disposition of his rendered him
venerable and of great estimation, sway, power, and authority
throughout all the neighbouring places of Chauvigny, Nouaille,
Leguge, Vivonne, Mezeaux, Estables, and other bordering and
circumjacent towns, villages, and hamlets. All their debates were
pacified by him; he put an end to their brabbling suits at law and
wrangling differences. By his advice and counsels were accords and
reconcilements no less firmly made than if the verdict of a
sovereign judge had been interposed therein, although, in very deed,
he was no judge at all, but a right honest man, as you may well
conceive,—arg. in l. sed si unius. ff. de jure-jur. et de verbis
obligatoriis l.continuus. There was not a hog killed within three
parishes of him whereof he had not some part of the haslet and
puddings. He was almost every day invited either to a marriage
banquet, christening feast, an uprising or women-churching
treatment, a birthday's anniversary solemnity, a merry frolic
gossiping, or otherwise to some delicious entertainment in a tavern,
to make some accord and agreement between persons at odds and in
debate with one another. Remark what I say; for he never yet settled
and compounded a difference betwixt any two at variance, but he
straight made the parties agreed and pacified to drink together as a
sure and infallible token and symbol of a perfect and completely
well-cemented reconciliation, sign of a sound and sincere amity and
proper mark of a new joy and gladness to follow thereupon,—Ut not.
per (Doct.) ff. de peric. et com. rei vend. l. 1. He had a son,
whose name was Tenot Dandin, a lusty, young, sturdy, frisking
roister, so help me God! who likewise, in imitation of his
peace-making father, would have undertaken and meddled with the
making up of variances and deciding of controversies betwixt
disagreeing and contentious party-pleaders; as you know,
Saepe solet similis esse patri.
Et sequitur leviter filia matris iter.
Ut ait gloss. 6, quaest. 1. c. Si quis. gloss. de cons. dist. 5.
c. 2. fin. et est. not. per Doct. cod. de impub. et aliis substit.
l. ult. et l. legitime. ff. de stat. hom. gloss. in l. quod si
nolit. ff. de aedil. edict. l. quisquis c. ad leg. Jul. Majest.
Excipio filios a Moniali susceptos ex Monacho. per glos. in c.
impudicas. 27. quaestione. 1. And such was his confidence to have no
worse success than his father, he assumed unto himself the title of
Law-strife-settler. He was likewise in these pacificatory
negotiations so active and vigilant—for, Vigilantibus jura
subveniunt. ex l. pupillus. ff. quae in fraud. cred. et ibid. l. non
enim. et instit. in prooem.—that when he had smelt, heard, and fully
understood—ut ff.si quando paup. fec. l. Agaso. gloss. in verb.
olfecit, id est, nasum ad culum posuit—and found that there was
anywhere in the country a debatable matter at law, he would
incontinently thrust in his advice, and so forwardly intrude his
opinion in the business, that he made no bones of making offer, and
taking upon him to decide it, how difficult soever it might happen
to be, to the full contentment and satisfaction of both parties. It
is written, Qui non laborat non manducat; and the said gl. ff. de
damn. infect. l. quamvis, and Currere plus que le pas vetulam
compellit egestas. gloss. ff. de lib. agnosc. l. si quis. pro qua
facit. l. si plures. c. de cond. incert. But so hugely great was his
misfortune in this his undertaking, that he never composed any
difference, how little soever you may imagine it might have been,
but that, instead of reconciling the parties at odds, he did
incense, irritate, and exasperate them to a higher point of
dissension and enmity than ever they were at before. Your worships
know, I doubt not, that,
Sermo datur cunctis, animi sapientia paucis.
Gl. ff. de alien. jud. mut. caus. fa. lib.2. This administered
unto the tavern-keepers, wine-drawers, and vintners of Semerve an
occasion to say, that under him they had not in the space of a whole
year so much reconciliation-wine, for so were they pleased to call
the good wine of Leguge, as under his father they had done in one
half-hour's time. It happened a little while thereafter that he made
a most heavy regret thereof to his father, attributing the causes of
his bad success in pacificatory enterprises to the perversity,
stubbornness, froward, cross, and backward inclinations of the
people of his time; roundly, boldly, and irreverently upbraiding,
that if but a score of years before the world had been so wayward,
obstinate, pervicacious, implacable, and out of all square, frame,
and order as it was then, his father had never attained to and
acquired the honour and title of Strife-appeaser so irrefragably,
inviolably, and irrevocably as he had done. In doing whereof Tenot
did heinously transgress against the law which prohibiteth children
to reproach the actions of their parents; per gl. et Bart. l. 3.
paragr. si quis. ff. de cond. ob caus. et authent. de nupt. par. sed
quod sancitum. col. 4. To this the honest old father answered thus:
My son Dandin, when Don Oportet taketh place, this is the course
which we must trace, gl. c. de appell. l. eos etiam. For the road
that you went upon was not the way to the fuller's mill, nor in any
part thereof was the form to be found wherein the hare did sit. Thou
hast not the skill and dexterity of settling and composing
differences. Why? Because thou takest them at the beginning, in the
very infancy and bud as it were, when they are green, raw, and
indigestible. Yet I know handsomely and featly how to compose and
settle them all. Why? Because I take them at their decadence, in
their weaning, and when they are pretty well digested. So saith
Dulcior est fructus post multa pericula ductus.
L. non moriturus. c. de contrahend. et committ. stip. Didst thou
ever hear the vulgar proverb, Happy is the physician whose coming is
desired at the declension of a disease? For the sickness being come
to a crisis is then upon the decreasing hand, and drawing towards an
end, although the physician should not repair thither for the cure
thereof; whereby, though nature wholly do the work, he bears away
the palm and praise thereof. My pleaders, after the same manner,
before I did interpose my judgment in the reconciling of them, were
waxing faint in their contestations. Their altercation heat was much
abated, and, in declining from their former strife, they of
themselves inclined to a firm accommodation of their differences;
because there wanted fuel to that fire of burning rancour and
despiteful wrangling whereof the lower sort of lawyers were the
kindlers. That is to say, their purses were emptied of coin, they
had not a win in their fob, nor penny in their bag, wherewith to
solicit and present their actions.
Deficiente pecu, deficit omne, nia.
There wanted then nothing but some brother to supply the place of
a paranymph, brawl-broker, proxenete, or mediator, who, acting his
part dexterously, should be the first broacher of the motion of an
agreement, for saving both the one and the other party from that
hurtful and pernicious shame whereof he could not have avoided the
imputation when it should have been said that he was the first who
yielded and spoke of a reconcilement, and that therefore, his cause
not being good, and being sensible where his shoe did pinch him, he
was willing to break the ice, and make the greater haste to prepare
the way for a condescendment to an amicable and friendly treaty.
Then was it that I came in pudding time, Dandin, my son, nor is the
fat of bacon more relishing to boiled peas than was my verdict then
agreeable to them. This was my luck, my profit, and good fortune. I
tell thee, my jolly son Dandin, that by this rule and method I could
settle a firm peace, or at least clap up a cessation of arms and
truce for many years to come, betwixt the Great King and the
Venetian State, the Emperor and the Cantons of Switzerland, the
English and the Scots, and betwixt the Pope and the Ferrarians.
Shall I go yet further? Yea, as I would have God to help me, betwixt
the Turk and the Sophy, the Tartars and the Muscoviters. Remark well
what I am to say unto thee. I would take them at that very instant
nick of time when both those of the one and the other side should be
weary and tired of making war, when they had voided and emptied
their own cashes and coffers of all treasure and coin, drained and
exhausted the purses and bags of their subjects, sold and mortgaged
their domains and proper inheritances, and totally wasted, spent,
and consumed the munition, furniture, provision, and victuals that
were necessary for the continuance of a military expedition. There I
am sure, by God, or by his Mother, that, would they, would they not,
in spite of all their teeths, they should be forced to have a little
respite and breathing time to moderate the fury and cruel rage of
their ambitious aims. This is the doctrine in Gl. 37. d. c. si
Odero, si potero; si non, invitus amabo.
Chapter 3.XLII.—How suits at law are bred at first, and how they
come afterwards to their perfect growth.
For this cause, quoth Bridlegoose, going on in his discourse, I
temporize and apply myself to the times, as your other worships use
to do, waiting patiently for the maturity of the process, full
growth and perfection thereof in all its members, to wit, the
writings and the bags. Arg. in l. si major. c. commun. divid. et de
cons. di. 1. c. solemnitates, et ibi gl. A suit in law at its
production, birth, and first beginning, seemeth to me, as unto your
other worships, shapeless, without form or fashion, incomplete, ugly
and imperfect, even as a bear at his first coming into the world
hath neither hands, skin, hair, nor head, but is merely an inform,
rude, and ill-favoured piece and lump of flesh, and would remain
still so, if his dam, out of the abundance of her affection to her
hopeful cub, did not with much licking put his members into that
figure and shape which nature had provided for those of an arctic
and ursinal kind; ut not. Doct. ff. ad l. Aquil. l. 3. in fin. Just
so do I see, as your other worships do, processes and suits in law,
at their first bringing forth, to be numberless, without shape,
deformed, and disfigured, for that then they consist only of one or
two writings, or copies of instruments, through which defect they
appear unto me, as to your other worships, foul, loathsome, filthy,
and misshapen beasts. But when there are heaps of these legiformal
papers packed, piled, laid up together, impoked, insatchelled, and
put up in bags, then is it that with a good reason we may term that
suit, to which, as pieces, parcels, parts, portions, and members
thereof, they do pertain and belong, well-formed and fashioned,
big-limbed, strong-set, and in all and each of its dimensions most
completely membered. Because forma dat esse. rei. l. si is qui. ff.
ad leg. Falcid. in c. cum dilecta. de rescript. Barbat. consil. 12.
lib. 2, and before him, Baldus, in c. ult. extra. de consuet. et l.
Julianus ad exhib. ff. et l. quaesitum. ff. de leg. 3. The manner is
such as is set down in gl. p. quaest. 1. c. Paulus.
Debile principium melior fortuna sequetur.
Like your other worships, also the sergeants, catchpoles,
pursuivants, messengers, summoners, apparitors, ushers,
door-keepers, pettifoggers, attorneys, proctors, commissioners,
justices of the peace, judge delegates, arbitrators, overseers,
sequestrators, advocates, inquisitors, jurors, searchers, examiners,
notaries, tabellions, scribes, scriveners, clerks, pregnotaries,
secondaries, and expedanean judges, de quibus tit. est. l. 3. c., by
sucking very much, and that exceeding forcibly, and licking at the
purses of the pleading parties, they, to the suits already begot and
engendered, form, fashion, and frame head, feet, claws, talons,
beaks, bills, teeth, hands, veins, sinews, arteries, muscles,
humours, and so forth, through all the similary and dissimilary
parts of the whole; which parts, particles, pendicles, and
appurtenances are the law pokes and bags, gl. de cons. d. 4. c.
accepisti. Qualis vestis erit, talia corda gerit. Hic notandum est,
that in this respect the pleaders, litigants, and law-suitors are
happier than the officers, ministers, and administrators of justice.
For beatius est dare quam accipere. ff. commun. l. 3. extra. de
celebr. Miss. c. cum Marthae. et 24. quaest. 1. cap. Od. gl.
Affectum dantis pensat censura tonantis.
Thus becometh the action or process by their care and industry to
be of a complete and goodly bulk, well shaped, framed, formed, and
fashioned according to the canonical gloss.
Accipe, sume, cape, sunt verba placentia Papae.
Which speech hath been more clearly explained by Albert de Ros,
in verbo Roma.
Roma manus rodit, quas rodere non valet, odit.
Dantes custodit, non dantes spernit, et odit.
The reason whereof is thought to be this:
Ad praesens ova cras pullis sunt meliora.
ut est gl. in l. quum hi. ff. de transact. Nor is this all; for
the inconvenience of the contrary is set down in gloss. c. de allu.
Quum labor in damno est, crescit mortalis egestas.
In confirmation whereof we find that the true etymology and
exposition of the word process is purchase, viz. of good store of
money to the lawyers, and of many pokes—id est, prou-sacks—to the
pleaders, upon which subject we have most celestial quips, gibes,
Ligitando jura crescunt; litigando jus acquiritur.
Item gl. in cap. illud extrem. de praesumpt. et c. de prob. l.
instrum. l. non epistolis. l. non nudis.
Et si non prosunt singula, multa juvant.
Yea but, asked Trinquamelle, how do you proceed, my friend, in
criminal causes, the culpable and guilty party being taken and
seized upon flagrante crimine? Even as your other worships use to
do, answered Bridlegoose. First, I permit the plaintiff to depart
from the court, enjoining him not to presume to return thither till
he preallably should have taken a good sound and profound sleep,
which is to serve for the prime entry and introduction to the legal
carrying on of the business. In the next place, a formal report is
to be made to me of his having slept. Thirdly, I issue forth a
warrant to convene him before me. Fourthly, he is to produce a
sufficient and authentic attestation of his having thoroughly and
entirely slept, conform to the Gloss. 37. Quest. 7. c. Si quis cum.
Quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus.
Being thus far advanced in the formality of the process, I find
that this consopiating act engendereth another act, whence ariseth
the articulating of a member. That again produceth a third act,
fashionative of another member; which third bringing forth a fourth,
procreative of another act. New members in a no fewer number are
shapen and framed, one still breeding and begetting another—as, link
after link, the coat of mail at length is made—till thus, piece
after piece, by little and little, by information upon information,
the process be completely well formed and perfect in all his
members. Finally, having proceeded this length, I have recourse to
my dice, nor is it to be thought that this interruption, respite, or
interpellation is by me occasioned without very good reason inducing
me thereunto, and a notable experience of a most convincing and
I remember, on a time, that in the camp at Stockholm there was a
certain Gascon named Gratianauld, native of the town of Saint Sever,
who having lost all his money at play, and consecutively being very
angry thereat—as you know, Pecunia est alter sanguis, ut ait Anto.
de Burtio, in c. accedens. 2. extra ut lit. non contest. et Bald. in
l. si tuis. c. de opt. leg. per tot.in l. advocati. c. de advoc.
div. jud. Pecunia est vita hominis et optimus fide-jussor in
necessitatibus—did, at his coming forth of the gaming-house, in the
presence of the whole company that was there, with a very loud voice
speak in his own language these following words: Pao cap de bious
hillots, que maux de pipes bous tresbire: ares que de pergudes sont
les mires bingt, et quouatre bagnelles, ta pla donnerien pics,
trucs, et patacts, Sey degun de bous aulx, qui boille truquar ambe
iou a bels embis. Finding that none would make him any answer, he
passed from thence to that part of the leaguer where the huff-snuff,
honder sponder, swashbuckling High Germans were, to whom he renewed
these very terms, provoking them to fight with him; but all the
return he had from them to his stout challenge was only, Der
Gasconner thut sich ausz mit ein iedem zu schlagen, aber er ist
geneigter zu stehlen, darum, liebe frawen, habt sorg zu euerm
hauszrath. Finding also that none of that band of Teutonic soldiers
offered himself to the combat, he passed to that quarter of the
leaguer where the French freebooting adventurers were encamped, and
reiterating unto them what he had before repeated to the Dutch
warriors, challenged them likewise to fight with him, and
therewithal made some pretty little Gasconado frisking gambols to
oblige them the more cheerfully and gallantly to cope with him in
the lists of a duellizing engagement; but no answer at all was made
unto him. Whereupon the Gascon, despairing of meeting with any
antagonists, departed from thence, and laying himself down not far
from the pavilions of the grand Christian cavalier Crissie, fell
fast asleep. When he had thoroughly slept an hour or two, another
adventurous and all-hazarding blade of the forlorn hope of the
lavishingly wasting gamesters, having also lost all his moneys,
sallied forth with sword in his hand, of a firm resolution to fight
with the aforesaid Gascon, seeing he had lost as well as he.
Ploratur lachrymis amissa pecunia veris,
saith the Gl. de poenitent. distinct. 3. c. sunt plures. To this
effect having made inquiry and search for him throughout the whole
camp, and in sequel thereof found him asleep, he said unto him, Up,
ho, good fellow, in the name of all the devils of hell, rise up,
rise up, get up! I have lost my money as well as thou hast done; let
us therefore go fight lustily together, grapple and scuffle it to
some purpose. Thou mayest look and see that my tuck is no longer
than thy rapier. The Gascon, altogether astonished at his unexpected
provocation, without altering his former dialect spoke thus: Cap de
Saint Arnault, quau seys to you, qui me rebeillez? Que mau de
taberne te gire. Ho Saint Siobe, cap de Gascoigne, ta pla dormy jou,
quand aquoest taquain me bingut estee. The venturous roister
inviteth him again to the duel, but the Gascon, without
condescending to his desire, said only this: He paovret jou
tesquinerie ares, que son pla reposat. Vayne un pauque te pausar com
jou, peusse truqueren. Thus, in forgetting his loss, he forgot the
eagerness which he had to fight. In conclusion, after that the other
had likewise slept a little, they, instead of fighting, and possibly
killing one another, went jointly to a sutler's tent, where they
drank together very amicably, each upon the pawn of his sword. Thus
by a little sleep was pacified the ardent fury of two warlike
champions. There, gossip, comes the golden word of John Andr. in
cap. ult. de sent. et re. judic. l. sexto.
Sedendo, et dormiendo fit anima prudens.
Chapter 3.XLIII.—How Pantagruel excuseth Bridlegoose in the
matter of sentencing actions at law by the chance of the dice.
With this Bridlegoose held his peace. Whereupon Trinquamelle bid
him withdraw from the court—which accordingly was done—and then
directed his discourse to Pantagruel after this manner: It is
fitting, most illustrious prince, not only by reason of the deep
obligations wherein this present parliament, together with the whole
marquisate of Mirelingues, stand bound to your royal highness for
the innumerable benefits which, as effects of mere grace, they have
received from your incomparable bounty, but for that excellent wit
also, prime judgment, and admirable learning wherewith Almighty God,
the giver of all good things, hath most richly qualified and endowed
you, we tender and present unto you the decision of this new,
strange, and paradoxical case of Bridlegoose; who, in your presence,
to your both hearing and seeing, hath plainly confessed his final
judging and determinating of suits of law by the mere chance and
fortune of the dice. Therefore do we beseech you that you may be
pleased to give sentence therein as unto you shall seem most just
and equitable. To this Pantagruel answered: Gentlemen, it is not
unknown to you how my condition is somewhat remote from the
profession of deciding law controversies; yet, seeing you are
pleased to do me the honour to put that task upon me, instead of
undergoing the office of a judge I will become your humble
supplicant. I observe, gentlemen, in this Bridlegoose several things
which induce me to represent before you that it is my opinion he
should be pardoned. In the first place, his old age; secondly, his
simplicity; to both which qualities our statute and common laws,
civil and municipal together, allow many excuses for any slips or
escapes which, through the invincible imperfection of either, have
been inconsiderately stumbled upon by a person so qualified.
Thirdly, gentlemen, I must needs display before you another case,
which in equity and justice maketh much for the advantage of
Bridlegoose, to wit, that this one, sole, and single fault of his
ought to be quite forgotten, abolished, and swallowed up by that
immense and vast ocean of just dooms and sentences which heretofore
he hath given and pronounced; his demeanours, for these forty years
and upwards that he hath been a judge, having been so evenly
balanced in the scales of uprightness, that envy itself till now
could not have been so impudent as to accuse and twit him with any
act worthy of a check or reprehension; as, if a drop of the sea were
thrown into the Loire, none could perceive or say that by this
single drop the whole river should be salt and brackish.
Truly, it seemeth unto me, that in the whole series of
Bridlegoose's juridical decrees there hath been I know not what of
extraordinary savouring of the unspeakable benignity of God, that
all those his preceding sentences, awards, and judgments, have been
confirmed and approved of by yourselves in this your own venerable
and sovereign court. For it is usual, as you know well, with him
whose ways are inscrutable, to manifest his own ineffable glory in
blunting the perspicacy of the eyes of the wise, in weakening the
strength of potent oppressors, in depressing the pride of rich
extortioners, and in erecting, comforting, protecting, supporting,
upholding, and shoring up the poor, feeble, humble, silly, and
foolish ones of the earth. But, waiving all these matters, I shall
only beseech you, not by the obligations which you pretend to owe to
my family, for which I thank you, but for that constant and
unfeigned love and affection which you have always found in me, both
on this and on the other side of Loire, for the maintenance and
establishment of your places, offices, and dignities, that for this
one time you would pardon and forgive him upon these two conditions.
First, that he satisfy, or put a sufficient surety for the
satisfaction of the party wronged by the injustice of the sentence
in question. For the fulfilment of this article I will provide
sufficiently. And, secondly, that for his subsidiary aid in the
weighty charge of administrating justice you would be pleased to
appoint and assign unto him some pretty little virtuous counsellor,
younger, learneder, and wiser than he, by the square and rule of
whose advice he may regulate, guide, temper, and moderate in times
coming all his judiciary procedures; or otherwise, if you intend
totally to depose him from his office, and to deprive him altogether
of the state and dignity of a judge, I shall cordially entreat you
to make a present and free gift of him to me, who shall find in my
kingdoms charges and employments enough wherewith to embusy him, for
the bettering of his own fortunes and furtherance of my service. In
the meantime, I implore the Creator, Saviour, and Sanctifier of all
good things, in his grace, mercy, and kindness, to preserve you all
now and evermore, world without end.
These words thus spoken, Pantagruel, vailing his cap and making a
leg with such a majestic garb as became a person of his paramount
degree and eminency, farewelled Trinquamelle, the president and
master-speaker of that Mirelinguesian parliament, took his leave of
the whole court, and went out of the chamber; at the door whereof
finding Panurge, Epistemon, Friar John, and others, he forthwith,
attended by them, walked to the outer gate, where all of them
immediately took horse to return towards Gargantua. Pantagruel by
the way related to them from point to point the manner of
Bridlegoose's sententiating differences at law. Friar John said that
he had seen Peter Dandin, and was acquainted with him at that time
when he sojourned in the monastery of Fontaine le Comte, under the
noble Abbot Ardillon. Gymnast likewise affirmed that he was in the
tent of the grand Christian cavalier De Crissie, when the Gascon,
after his sleep, made answer to the adventurer. Panurge was somewhat
incredulous in the matter of believing that it was morally possible
Bridlegoose should have been for such a long space of time so
continually fortunate in that aleatory way of deciding law debates.
Epistemon said to Pantagruel, Such another story, not much unlike to
that in all the circumstances thereof, is vulgarly reported of the
provost of Montlehery. In good sooth, such a perpetuity of good luck
is to be wondered at. To have hit right twice or thrice in a
judgment so given by haphazard might have fallen out well enough,
especially in controversies that were ambiguous, intricate,
abstruse, perplexed, and obscure.
Chapter 3.XLIV.—How Pantagruel relateth a strange history of the
perplexity of human judgment.
Seeing you talk, quoth Pantagruel, of dark, difficult, hard, and
knotty debates, I will tell you of one controverted before Cneius
Dolabella, proconsul in Asia. The case was this.
A wife in Smyrna had of her first husband a child named Abece. He
dying, she, after the expiring of a year and day, married again, and
to her second husband bore a boy called Effege. A pretty long time
thereafter it happened, as you know the affection of stepfathers and
stepdams is very rare towards the children of the first fathers and
mothers deceased, that this husband, with the help of his son
Effege, secretly, wittingly, willingly, and treacherously murdered
Abece. The woman came no sooner to get information of the fact, but,
that it might not go unpunished, she caused kill them both, to
revenge the death of her first son. She was apprehended and carried
before Cneius Dolabella, in whose presence she, without dissembling
anything, confessed all that was laid to her charge; yet alleged
that she had both right and reason on her side for the killing of
them. Thus was the state of the question. He found the business so
dubious and intricate, that he knew not what to determine therein,
nor which of the parties to incline to. On the one hand, it was an
execrable crime to cut off at once both her second husband and her
son. On the other hand, the cause of the murder seemed to be so
natural, as to be grounded upon the law of nations and the rational
instinct of all the people of the world, seeing they two together
had feloniously and murderously destroyed her first son; not that
they had been in any manner of way wronged, outraged, or injured by
him, but out of an avaricious intent to possess his inheritance. In
this doubtful quandary and uncertainty what to pitch upon, he sent
to the Areopagites then sitting at Athens to learn and obtain their
advice and judgment. That judicious senate, very sagely perpending
the reasons of his perplexity, sent him word to summon her
personally to compear before him a precise hundred years thereafter,
to answer to some interrogatories touching certain points which were
not contained in the verbal defence. Which resolution of theirs did
import that it was in their opinion a so difficult and inextricable
matter that they knew not what to say or judge therein. Who had
decided that plea by the chance and fortune of the dice, could not
have erred nor awarded amiss on which side soever he had passed his
casting and condemnatory sentence. If against the woman, she
deserved punishment for usurping sovereign authority by taking that
vengeance at her own hand, the inflicting whereof was only competent
to the supreme power to administer justice in criminal cases. If for
her, the just resentment of a so atrocious injury done unto her, in
murdering her innocent son, did fully excuse and vindicate her of
any trespass or offence about that particular committed by her. But
this continuation of Bridlegoose for so many years still hitting the
nail on the head, never missing the mark, and always judging aright,
by the mere throwing of the dice and chance thereof, is that which
most astonisheth and amazeth me.
To answer, quoth Pantagruel (Epistemon, says the English edition
of 1694, following the reading of the modern French editions. Le
Duchat has pointed out the mistake.—M.), categorically to that which
you wonder at, I must ingeniously confess and avow that I cannot;
yet, conjecturally to guess at the reason of it, I would refer the
cause of that marvellously long-continued happy success in the
judiciary results of his definitive sentences to the favourable
aspect of the heavens and benignity of the intelligences; who, out
of their love to goodness, after having contemplated the pure
simplicity and sincere unfeignedness of Judge Bridlegoose in the
acknowledgment of his inabilities, did regulate that for him by
chance which by the profoundest act of his maturest deliberation he
was not able to reach unto. That, likewise, which possibly made him
to diffide in his own skill and capacity, notwithstanding his being
an expert and understanding lawyer, for anything that I know to the
contrary, was the knowledge and experience which he had of the
antinomies, contrarieties, antilogies, contradictions, traversings,
and thwartings of laws, customs, edicts, statutes, orders, and
ordinances, in which dangerous opposition, equity and justice being
structured and founded on either of the opposite terms, and a gap
being thereby opened for the ushering in of injustice and iniquity
through the various interpretations of self-ended lawyers, being
assuredly persuaded that the infernal calumniator, who frequently
transformeth himself into the likeness of a messenger or angel of
light, maketh use of these cross glosses and expositions in the
mouths and pens of his ministers and servants, the perverse
advocates, bribing judges, law-monging attorneys, prevaricating
counsellors, and other such-like law-wresting members of a court of
justice, to turn by those means black to white, green to grey, and
what is straight to a crooked ply. For the more expedient doing
whereof, these diabolical ministers make both the pleading parties
believe that their cause is just and righteous; for it is well known
that there is no cause, how bad soever, which doth not find an
advocate to patrocinate and defend it,—else would there be no
process in the world, no suits at law, nor pleadings at the bar. He
did in these extremities, as I conceive, most humbly recommend the
direction of his judicial proceedings to the upright judge of
judges, God Almighty; did submit himself to the conduct and
guideship of the blessed Spirit in the hazard and perplexity of the
definitive sentence, and, by this aleatory lot, did as it were
implore and explore the divine decree of his goodwill and pleasure,
instead of that which we call the final judgment of a court. To this
effect, to the better attaining to his purpose, which was to judge
righteously, he did, in my opinion, throw and turn the dice, to the
end that by the providence aforesaid the best chance might fall to
him whose action was uprightest, and backed with greatest reason. In
doing whereof he did not stray from the sense of Talmudists, who say
that there is so little harm in that manner of searching the truth,
that in the anxiety and perplexedness of human wits God oftentimes
manifesteth the secret pleasure of his divine will.
Furthermore, I will neither think nor say, nor can I believe,
that the unstraightness is so irregular, or the corruption so
evident, of those of the parliament of Mirelingois in Mirelingues,
before whom Bridlegoose was arraigned for prevarication, that they
will maintain it to be a worse practice to have the decision of a
suit at law referred to the chance and hazard of a throw of the
dice, hab nab, or luck as it will, than to have it remitted to and
passed by the determination of those whose hands are full of blood
and hearts of wry affections. Besides that, their principal
direction in all law matters comes to their hands from one
Tribonian, a wicked, miscreant, barbarous, faithless and perfidious
knave, so pernicious, unjust, avaricious, and perverse in his ways,
that it was his ordinary custom to sell laws, edicts, declarations,
constitutions, and ordinances, as at an outroop or putsale, to him
who offered most for them. Thus did he shape measures for the
pleaders, and cut their morsels to them by and out of these little
parcels, fragments, bits, scantlings, and shreds of the law now in
use, altogether concealing, suppressing, disannulling, and
abolishing the remainder, which did make for the total law; fearing
that, if the whole law were made manifest and laid open to the
knowledge of such as are interested in it, and the learned books of
the ancient doctors of the law upon the exposition of the Twelve
Tables and Praetorian Edicts, his villainous pranks, naughtiness,
and vile impiety should come to the public notice of the world.
Therefore were it better, in my conceit, that is to say, less
inconvenient, that parties at variance in any juridical case should
in the dark march upon caltrops than submit the determination of
what is their right to such unhallowed sentences and horrible
decrees; as Cato in his time wished and advised that every judiciary
court should be paved with caltrops.
Chapter 3.XLV.—How Panurge taketh advice of Triboulet.
On the sixth day thereafter Pantagruel was returned home at the
very same hour that Triboulet was by water come from Blois. Panurge,
at his arrival, gave him a hog's bladder puffed up with wind, and
resounding because of the hard peas that were within it. Moreover he
did present him with a gilt wooden sword, a hollow budget made of a
tortoise shell, an osier-wattled wicker-bottle full of Breton wine,
and five-and-twenty apples of the orchard of Blandureau.
If he be such a fool, quoth Carpalin, as to be won with apples,
there is no more wit in his pate than in the head of an ordinary
cabbage. Triboulet girded the sword and scrip to his side, took the
bladder in his hand, ate some few of the apples, and drunk up all
the wine. Panurge very wistly and heedfully looking upon him said, I
never yet saw a fool, and I have seen ten thousand francs worth of
that kind of cattle, who did not love to drink heartily, and by good
long draughts. When Triboulet had done with his drinking, Panurge
laid out before him and exposed the sum of the business wherein he
was to require his advice, in eloquent and choicely-sorted terms,
adorned with flourishes of rhetoric. But, before he had altogether
done, Triboulet with his fist gave him a bouncing whirret between
the shoulders, rendered back into his hand again the empty bottle,
fillipped and flirted him in the nose with the hog's bladder, and
lastly, for a final resolution, shaking and wagging his head
strongly and disorderly, he answered nothing else but this, By God,
God, mad fool, beware the monk, Buzansay hornpipe! These words thus
finished, he slipped himself out of the company, went aside, and,
rattling the bladder, took a huge delight in the melody of the
rickling crackling noise of the peas. After which time it lay not in
the power of them all to draw out of his chaps the articulate sound
of one syllable, insomuch that, when Panurge went about to
interrogate him further, Triboulet drew his wooden sword, and would
have stuck him therewith. I have fished fair now, quoth Panurge, and
brought my pigs to a fine market. Have I not got a brave
determination of all my doubts, and a response in all things
agreeable to the oracle that gave it? He is a great fool, that is
not to be denied, yet is he a greater fool who brought him hither to
me,—That bolt, quoth Carpalin, levels point-blank at me,—but of the
three I am the greatest fool, who did impart the secret of my
thoughts to such an idiot ass and native ninny.
Without putting ourselves to any stir or trouble in the least,
quoth Pantagruel, let us maturely and seriously consider and perpend
the gestures and speech which he hath made and uttered. In them,
veritably, quoth he, have I remarked and observed some excellent and
notable mysteries; yea, of such important worth and weight, that I
shall never henceforth be astonished, nor think strange, why the
Turks with a great deal of worship and reverence honour and respect
natural fools equally with their primest doctors, muftis, divines,
and prophets. Did not you take heed, quoth he, a little before he
opened his mouth to speak, what a shogging, shaking, and wagging his
head did keep? By the approved doctrine of the ancient philosophers,
the customary ceremonies of the most expert magicians, and the
received opinions of the learnedest lawyers, such a brangling
agitation and moving should by us all be judged to proceed from, and
be quickened and suscitated by the coming and inspiration of the
prophetizing and fatidical spirit, which, entering briskly and on a
sudden into a shallow receptacle of a debile substance (for, as you
know, and as the proverb shows it, a little head containeth not much
brains), was the cause of that commotion. This is conform to what is
avouched by the most skilful physicians, when they affirm that
shakings and tremblings fall upon the members of a human body,
partly because of the heaviness and violent impetuosity of the
burden and load that is carried, and, other part, by reason of the
weakness and imbecility that is in the virtue of the bearing organ.
A manifest example whereof appeareth in those who, fasting, are not
able to carry to their head a great goblet full of wine without a
trembling and a shaking in the hand that holds it. This of old was
accounted a prefiguration and mystical pointing out of the Pythian
divineress, who used always, before the uttering of a response from
the oracle, to shake a branch of her domestic laurel. Lampridius
also testifieth that the Emperor Heliogabalus, to acquire unto
himself the reputation of a soothsayer, did, on several holy days of
prime solemnnity, in the presence of the fanatic rabble, make the
head of his idol by some slight within the body thereof publicly to
shake. Plautus, in his Asinaria, declareth likewise, that Saurias,
whithersoever he walked, like one quite distracted of his wits kept
such a furious lolling and mad-like shaking of his head, that he
commonly affrighted those who casually met with him in his way. The
said author in another place, showing a reason why Charmides shook
and brangled his head, assevered that he was transported and in an
ecstasy. Catullus after the same manner maketh mention, in his
Berecynthia and Atys, of the place wherein the Menades, Bacchical
women, she-priests of the Lyaean god, and demented prophetesses,
carrying ivy boughs in their hands, did shake their heads. As in the
like case, amongst the Galli, the gelded priests of Cybele were wont
to do in the celebrating of their festivals. Whence, too, according
to the sense of the ancient theologues, she herself has her
denomination, for kubistan signifieth to turn round, whirl about,
shake the head, and play the part of one that is wry-necked.
Semblably Titus Livius writeth that, in the solemnization time of
the Bacchanalian holidays at Rome, both men and women seemed to
prophetize and vaticinate, because of an affected kind of wagging of
the head, shrugging of the shoulders, and jectigation of the whole
body, which they used then most punctually. For the common voice of
the philosophers, together with the opinion of the people, asserteth
for an irrefragable truth that vaticination is seldom by the heavens
bestowed on any without the concomitancy of a little frenzy and a
head-shaking, not only when the said presaging virtue is infused,
but when the person also therewith inspired declareth and
manifesteth it unto others. The learned lawyer Julian, being asked
on a time if that slave might be truly esteemed to be healthful and
in a good plight who had not only conversed with some furious,
maniac, and enraged people, but in their company had also
prophesied, yet without a noddle-shaking concussion, answered that,
seeing there was no head-wagging at the time of his predictions, he
might be held for sound and compotent enough. Is it not daily seen
how schoolmasters, teachers, tutors, and instructors of children
shake the heads of their disciples, as one would do a pot in holding
it by the lugs, that by this erection, vellication, stretching, and
pulling their ears, which, according to the doctrine of the sage
Egyptians, is a member consecrated to the memory, they may stir them
up to recollect their scattered thoughts, bring home those fancies
of theirs which perhaps have been extravagantly roaming abroad upon
strange and uncouth objects, and totally range their judgments,
which possibly by disordinate affections have been made wild, to the
rule and pattern of a wise, discreet, virtuous, and philosophical
discipline. All which Virgil acknowledgeth to be true, in the
branglement of Apollo Cynthius.
Chapter 3.XLVI.—How Pantagruel and Panurge diversely interpret
the words of Triboulet.
He says you are a fool. And what kind of fool? A mad fool, who in
your old age would enslave yourself to the bondage of matrimony, and
shut your pleasures up within a wedlock whose key some ruffian
carries in his codpiece. He says furthermore, Beware of the monk.
Upon mine honour, it gives me in my mind that you will be cuckolded
by a monk. Nay, I will engage mine honour, which is the most
precious pawn I could have in my possession although I were sole and
peaceable dominator over all Europe, Asia, and Africa, that, if you
marry, you will surely be one of the horned brotherhood of Vulcan.
Hereby may you perceive how much I do attribute to the wise foolery
of our morosoph Triboulet. The other oracles and responses did in
the general prognosticate you a cuckold, without descending so near
to the point of a particular determination as to pitch upon what
vocation amongst the several sorts of men he should profess who is
to be the copesmate of your wife and hornifier of your proper self.
Thus noble Triboulet tells it us plainly, from whose words we may
gather with all ease imaginable that your cuckoldry is to be
infamous, and so much the more scandalous that your conjugal bed
will be incestuously contaminated with the filthiness of a monkery
lecher. Moreover, he says that you will be the hornpipe of Buzansay,
that is to say, well-horned, hornified, and cornuted. And, as
Triboulet's uncle asked from Louis the Twelfth, for a younger
brother of his own who lived at Blois, the hornpipes of Buzansay,
for the organ pipes, through the mistake of one word for another,
even so, whilst you think to marry a wise, humble, calm, discreet,
and honest wife, you shall unhappily stumble upon one witless,
proud, loud, obstreperous, bawling, clamorous, and more unpleasant
than any Buzansay hornpipe. Consider withal how he flirted you on
the nose with the bladder, and gave you a sound thumping blow with
his fist upon the ridge of the back. This denotates and presageth
that you shall be banged, beaten, and fillipped by her, and that
also she will steal of your goods from you, as you stole the hog's
bladder from the little boys of Vaubreton.
Flat contrary, quoth Panurge;—not that I would impudently exempt
myself from being a vassal in the territory of folly. I hold of that
jurisdiction, and am subject thereto, I confess it. And why should I
not? For the whole world is foolish. In the old Lorraine language,
fou for tou, all and fool, were the same thing. Besides, it is
avouched by Solomon that infinite is the number of fools. From an
infinity nothing can be deducted or abated, nor yet, by the
testimony of Aristotle, can anything thereto be added or subjoined.
Therefore were I a mad fool if, being a fool, I should not hold
myself a fool. After the same manner of speaking, we may aver the
number of the mad and enraged folks to be infinite. Avicenna maketh
no bones to assert that the several kinds of madness are infinite.
Though this much of Triboulet's words tend little to my advantage,
howbeit the prejudice which I sustain thereby be common with me to
all other men, yet the rest of his talk and gesture maketh
altogether for me. He said to my wife, Be wary of the monkey; that
is as much as if she should be cheery, and take as much delight in a
monkey as ever did the Lesbia of Catullus in her sparrow; who will
for his recreation pass his time no less joyfully at the exercise of
snatching flies than heretofore did the merciless fly-catcher
Domitian. Withal he meant, by another part of his discourse, that
she should be of a jovial country-like humour, as gay and pleasing
as a harmonious hornpipe of Saulieau or Buzansay. The veridical
Triboulet did therein hint at what I liked well, as perfectly
knowing the inclinations and propensions of my mind, my natural
disposition, and the bias of my interior passions and affections.
For you may be assured that my humour is much better satisfied and
contented with the pretty, frolic, rural, dishevelled shepherdesses,
whose bums through their coarse canvas smocks smell of the clover
grass of the field, than with those great ladies in magnific courts,
with their flandan top-knots and sultanas, their polvil, pastillos,
and cosmetics. The homely sound, likewise, of a rustical hornpipe is
more agreeable to my ears than the curious warbling and musical
quavering of lutes, theorbos, viols, rebecs, and violins. He gave me
a lusty rapping thwack on my back,—what then? Let it pass, in the
name and for the love of God, as an abatement of and deduction from
so much of my future pains in purgatory. He did it not out of any
evil intent. He thought, belike, to have hit some of the pages. He
is an honest fool, and an innocent changeling. It is a sin to
harbour in the heart any bad conceit of him. As for myself, I
heartily pardon him. He flirted me on the nose. In that there is no
harm; for it importeth nothing else but that betwixt my wife and me
there will occur some toyish wanton tricks which usually happen to
all new-married folks.
Chapter 3.XLVII.—How Pantagruel and Panurge resolved to make a
visit to the oracle of the holy bottle.
There is as yet another point, quoth Panurge, which you have not
at all considered on, although it be the chief and principal head of
the matter. He put the bottle in my hand and restored it me again.
How interpret you that passage? What is the meaning of that? He
possibly, quoth Pantagruel, signifieth thereby that your wife will
be such a drunkard as shall daily take in her liquor kindly, and ply
the pots and bottles apace. Quite otherwise, quoth Panurge; for the
bottle was empty. I swear to you, by the prickling brambly thorn of
St. Fiacre in Brie, that our unique morosoph, whom I formerly termed
the lunatic Triboulet, referreth me, for attaining to the final
resolution of my scruple, to the response-giving bottle. Therefore
do I renew afresh the first vow which I made, and here in your
presence protest and make oath, by Styx and Acheron, to carry still
spectacles in my cap, and never to wear a codpiece in my breeches,
until upon the enterprise in hand of my nuptial undertaking I shall
have obtained an answer from the holy bottle. I am acquainted with a
prudent, understanding, and discreet gentleman, and besides a very
good friend of mine, who knoweth the land, country, and place where
its temple and oracle is built and posited. He will guide and
conduct us thither sure and safely. Let us go thither, I beseech
you. Deny me not, and say not nay; reject not the suit I make unto
you, I entreat you. I will be to you an Achates, a Damis, and
heartily accompany you all along in the whole voyage, both in your
going forth and coming back. I have of a long time known you to be a
great lover of peregrination, desirous still to learn new things,
and still to see what you had never seen before.
Very willingly, quoth Pantagruel, I condescend to your request.
But before we enter in upon our progress towards the accomplishment
of so far a journey, replenished and fraught with eminent perils,
full of innumerable hazards, and every way stored with evident and
manifest dangers,—What dangers? quoth Panurge, interrupting him.
Dangers fly back, run from, and shun me whithersoever I go, seven
leagues around, as in the presence of the sovereign a subordinate
magistracy is eclipsed; or as clouds and darkness quite evanish at
the bright coming of a radiant sun; or as all sores and sicknesses
did suddenly depart at the approach of the body of St. Martin a
Quande. Nevertheless, quoth Pantagruel, before we adventure to set
forwards on the road of our projected and intended voyage, some few
points are to be discussed, expedited, and despatched. First, let us
send back Triboulet to Blois. Which was instantly done, after that
Pantagruel had given him a frieze coat. Secondly, our design must be
backed with the advice and counsel of the king my father. And,
lastly, it is most needful and expedient for us that we search for
and find out some sibyl to serve us for a guide, truchman, and
interpreter. To this Panurge made answer, that his friend Xenomanes
would abundantly suffice for the plenary discharge and performance
of the sibyl's office; and that, furthermore, in passing through the
Lanternatory revelling country, they should take along with them a
learned and profitable Lanternesse, which would be no less useful to
them in their voyage than was the sibyl to Aeneas in his descent to
the Elysian fields. Carpalin, in the interim, as he was upon the
conducting away of Triboulet, in his passing by hearkened a little
to the discourse they were upon; then spoke out, saying, Ho,
Panurge, master freeman, take my Lord Debitis at Calais alongst with
you, for he is goud-fallot, a good fellow. He will not forget those
who have been debitors; these are Lanternes. Thus shall you not lack
for both fallot and lanterne. I may safely with the little skill I
have, quoth Pantagruel, prognosticate that by the way we shall
engender no melancholy. I clearly perceive it already. The only
thing that vexeth me is, that I cannot speak the Lanternatory
language. I shall, answered Panurge, speak for you all. I understand
it every whit as well as I do mine own maternal tongue; I have been
no less used to it than to the vulgar French.
Briszmarg dalgotbrick nubstzne zos.
Isquebsz prusq: albok crinqs zacbac.
Mizbe dilbarskz morp nipp stancz bos,
Strombtz, Panurge, walmap quost gruszbac.
Now guess, friend Epistemon, what this is. They are, quoth
Epistemon, names of errant devils, passant devils, and rampant
devils. These words of thine, dear friend of mine, are true, quoth
Panurge; yet are they terms used in the language of the court of the
Lanternish people. By the way, as we go upon our journey, I will
make to thee a pretty little dictionary, which, notwithstanding,
shall not last you much longer than a pair of new shoes. Thou shalt
have learned it sooner than thou canst perceive the dawning of the
next subsequent morning. What I have said in the foregoing
tetrastich is thus translated out of the Lanternish tongue into our
All miseries attended me, whilst I
A lover was, and had no good thereby.
Of better luck the married people tell;
Panurge is one of those, and knows it well.
There is little more, then, quoth Pantagruel, to be done, but
that we understand what the will of the king my father will be
therein, and purchase his consent.
Chapter 3.XLVIII.—How Gargantua showeth that the children ought
not to marry without the special knowledge and advice of their
fathers and mothers.
No sooner had Pantagruel entered in at the door of the great hall
of the castle, than that he encountered full butt with the good
honest Gargantua coming forth from the council board, unto whom he
made a succinct and summary narrative of what had passed and
occurred, worthy of his observation, in his travels abroad, since
their last interview; then, acquainting him with the design he had
in hand, besought him that it might stand with his goodwill and
pleasure to grant him leave to prosecute and go through-stitch with
the enterprise which he had undertaken. The good man Gargantua,
having in one hand two great bundles of petitions endorsed and
answered, and in the other some remembrancing notes and bills, to
put him in mind of such other requests of supplicants, which, albeit
presented, had nevertheless been neither read nor heard, he gave
both to Ulric Gallet, his ancient and faithful Master of Requests;
then drew aside Pantagruel, and, with a countenance more serene and
jovial than customary, spoke to him thus: I praise God, and have
great reason so to do, my most dear son, that he hath been pleased
to entertain in you a constant inclination to virtuous actions. I am
well content that the voyage which you have motioned to me be by you
accomplished, but withal I could wish you would have a mind and
desire to marry, for that I see you are of competent years. Panurge
in the meanwhile was in a readiness of preparing and providing for
remedies, salves, and cures against all such lets, obstacles, and
impediments as he could in the height of his fancy conceive might by
Gargantua be cast in the way of their itinerary design. Is it your
pleasure, most dear father, that you speak? answered Pantagruel. For
my part, I have not yet thought upon it. In all this affair I wholly
submit and rest in your good liking and paternal authority. For I
shall rather pray unto God that he would throw me down stark dead at
your feet, in your pleasure, than that against your pleasure I
should be found married alive. I never yet heard that by any law,
whether sacred or profane, yea, amongst the rudest and most
barbarous nations in the world, it was allowed and approved of that
children may be suffered and tolerated to marry at their own
goodwill and pleasure, without the knowledge, advice, or consent
asked and had thereto of their fathers, mothers, and nearest
kindred. All legislators, everywhere upon the face of the whole
earth, have taken away and removed this licentious liberty from
children, and totally reserved it to the discretion of the parents.
My dearly beloved son, quoth Gargantua, I believe you, and from
my heart thank God for having endowed you with the grace of having
both a perfect notice of and entire liking to laudable and
praiseworthy things; and that through the windows of your exterior
senses he hath vouchsafed to transmit unto the interior faculties of
your mind nothing but what is good and virtuous. For in my time
there hath been found on the continent a certain country, wherein
are I know not what kind of Pastophorian mole-catching priests, who,
albeit averse from engaging their proper persons into a matrimonial
duty, like the pontifical flamens of Cybele in Phrygia, as if they
were capons, and not cocks full of lasciviousness, salacity, and
wantonness, who yet have, nevertheless, in the matter of conjugal
affairs, taken upon them to prescribe laws and ordinances to married
folks. I cannot goodly determine what I should most abhor, detest,
loathe, and abominate,—whether the tyrannical presumption of those
dreaded sacerdotal mole-catchers, who, not being willing to contain
and coop up themselves within the grates and trellises of their own
mysterious temples, do deal in, meddle with, obtrude upon, and
thrust their sickles into harvests of secular businesses quite
contrary and diametrically opposite to the quality, state, and
condition of their callings, professions, and vocations; or the
superstitious stupidity and senseless scrupulousness of married
folks, who have yielded obedience, and submitted their bodies,
fortunes, and estates to the discretion and authority of such
odious, perverse, barbarous, and unreasonable laws. Nor do they see
that which is clearer than the light and splendour of the morning
star,—how all these nuptial and connubial sanctions, statutes, and
ordinances have been decreed, made, and instituted for the sole
benefit, profit, and advantage of the flaminal mysts and mysterious
flamens, and nothing at all for the good, utility, or emolument of
the silly hoodwinked married people. Which administereth unto others
a sufficient cause for rendering these churchmen suspicious of
iniquity, and of an unjust and fraudulent manner of dealing, no more
to be connived at nor countenanced, after that it be well weighed in
the scales of reason, than if with a reciprocal temerity the laics,
by way of compensation, would impose laws to be followed and
observed by those mysts and flamens, how they should behave
themselves in the making and performance of their rites and
ceremonies, and after what manner they ought to proceed in the
offering up and immolating of their various oblations, victims, and
sacrifices; seeing that, besides the decimation and tithe-haling of
their goods, they cut off and take parings, shreddings, and
clippings of the gain proceeding from the labour of their hands and
sweat of their brows, therewith to entertain themselves the better.
Upon which consideration, in my opinion, their injunctions and
commands would not prove so pernicious and impertinent as those of
the ecclesiastic power unto which they had tendered their blind
obedience. For, as you have very well said, there is no place in the
world where, legally, a licence is granted to the children to marry
without the advice and consent of their parents and kindred.
Nevertheless, by those wicked laws and mole-catching customs,
whereat there is a little hinted in what I have already spoken to
you, there is no scurvy, measly, leprous, or pocky ruffian, pander,
knave, rogue, skellum, robber, or thief, pilloried, whipped, and
burn-marked in his own country for his crimes and felonies, who may
not violently snatch away and ravish what maid soever he had a mind
to pitch upon, how noble, how fair, how rich, honest, and chaste
soever she be, and that out of the house of her own father, in his
own presence, from the bosom of her mother, and in the sight and
despite of her friends and kindred looking on a so woeful spectacle,
provided that the rascal villain be so cunning as to associate unto
himself some mystical flamen, who, according to the covenant made
betwixt them two, shall be in hope some day to participate of the
Could the Goths, the Scyths, or Massagets do a worse or more
cruel act to any of the inhabitants of a hostile city, when, after
the loss of many of their most considerable commanders, the expense
of a great deal of money, and a long siege, they shall have stormed
and taken it by a violent and impetuous assault? May not these
fathers and mothers, think you, be sorrowful and heavy-hearted when
they see an unknown fellow, a vagabond stranger, a barbarous lout, a
rude cur, rotten, fleshless, putrified, scraggy, boily, botchy,
poor, a forlorn caitiff and miserable sneak, by an open rapt snatch
away before their own eyes their so fair, delicate, neat,
well-behavioured, richly-provided-for and healthful daughters, on
whose breeding and education they had spared no cost nor charges, by
bringing them up in an honest discipline to all the honourable and
virtuous employments becoming one of their sex descended of a noble
parentage, hoping by those commendable and industrious means in an
opportune and convenient time to bestow them on the worthy sons of
their well-deserving neighbours and ancient friends, who had
nourished, entertained, taught, instructed, and schooled their
children with the same care and solicitude, to make them matches fit
to attain to the felicity of a so happy marriage, that from them
might issue an offspring and progeny no less heirs to the laudable
endowments and exquisite qualifications of their parents, whom they
every way resemble, than to their personal and real estates,
movables, and inheritances? How doleful, trist, and plangorous would
such a sight and pageantry prove unto them? You shall not need to
think that the collachrymation of the Romans and their confederates
at the decease of Germanicus Drusus was comparable to this
lamentation of theirs? Neither would I have you to believe that the
discomfort and anxiety of the Lacedaemonians, when the Greek Helen,
by the perfidiousness of the adulterous Trojan, Paris, was privily
stolen away out of their country, was greater or more pitiful than
this ruthful and deplorable collugency of theirs? You may very well
imagine that Ceres at the ravishment of her daughter Proserpina was
not more attristed, sad, nor mournful than they. Trust me, and your
own reason, that the loss of Osiris was not so regrettable to Isis,
nor did Venus so deplore the death of Adonis, nor yet did Hercules
so bewail the straying of Hylas, nor was the rapt of Polyxena more
throbbingly resented and condoled by Priamus and Hecuba, than this
aforesaid accident would be sympathetically bemoaned, grievous,
ruthful, and anxious to the woefully desolate and disconsolate
Notwithstanding all this, the greater part of so vilely abused
parents are so timorous and afraid of devils and hobgoblins, and so
deeply plunged in superstition, that they dare not gainsay nor
contradict, much less oppose and resist those unnatural and impious
actions, when the mole-catcher hath been present at the perpetrating
of the fact, and a party contractor and covenanter in that
detestable bargain. What do they do then? They wretchedly stay at
their own miserable homes, destitute of their well-beloved
daughters, the fathers cursing the days and the hours wherein they
were married, and the mothers howling and crying that it was not
their fortune to have brought forth abortive issues when they
happened to be delivered of such unfortunate girls, and in this
pitiful plight spend at best the remainder of their time with tears
and weeping for those their children, of and from whom they
expected, (and, with good reason, should have obtained and reaped,)
in these latter days of theirs, joy and comfort. Other parents there
have been, so impatient of that affront and indignity put upon them
and their families, that, transported with the extremity of passion,
in a mad and frantic mood, through the vehemency of a grievous fury
and raging sorrow, have drowned, hanged, killed, and otherwise put
violent hands on themselves. Others, again, of that parental
relation have, upon the reception of the like injury, been of a more
magnanimous and heroic spirit, who, in imitation and at the example
of the children of Jacob revenging upon the Sichemites the rapt of
their sister Dinah, having found the rascally ruffian in the
association of his mystical mole-catcher closely and in
hugger-mugger conferring, parleying, and coming with their
daughters, for the suborning, corrupting, depraving, perverting, and
enticing these innocent unexperienced maids unto filthy lewdnesses,
have, without any further advisement on the matter, cut them
instantly into pieces, and thereupon forthwith thrown out upon the
fields their so dismembered bodies, to serve for food unto the
wolves and ravens. Upon the chivalrous, bold, and courageous
achievement of a so valiant, stout, and manlike act, the other
mole-catching symmysts have been so highly incensed, and have so
chafed, fretted, and fumed thereat, that, bills of complaint and
accusations having been in a most odious and detestable manner put
in before the competent judges, the arm of secular authority hath
with much importunity and impetuosity been by them implored and
required, they proudly contending that the servants of God would
become contemptible if exemplary punishment were not speedily taken
upon the persons of the perpetrators of such an enormous, horrid,
sacrilegious, crying, heinous, and execrable crime.
Yet neither by natural equity, by the law of nations, nor by any
imperial law whatsoever, hath there been found so much as one
rubric, paragraph, point, or tittle, by the which any kind of
chastisement or correction hath been adjudged due to be inflicted
upon any for their delinquency in that kind. Reason opposeth, and
nature is repugnant. For there is no virtuous man in the world who
both naturally and with good reason will not be more hugely troubled
in mind, hearing of the news of the rapt, disgrace, ignominy, and
dishonour of his daughter, than of her death. Now any man, finding
in hot blood one who with a forethought felony hath murdered his
daughter, may, without tying himself to the formalities and
circumstances of a legal proceeding, kill him on a sudden and out of
hand without incurring any hazard of being attainted and apprehended
by the officers of justice for so doing. What wonder is it then? Or
how little strange should it appear to any rational man, if a
lechering rogue, together with his mole-catching abettor, be
entrapped in the flagrant act of suborning his daughter, and
stealing her out of his house, though herself consent thereto, that
the father in such a case of stain and infamy by them brought upon
his family, should put them both to a shameful death, and cast their
carcasses upon dunghills to be devoured and eaten up by dogs and
swine, or otherwise fling them a little further off to the
direption, tearing, and rending asunder of their joints and members
by the wild beasts of the field (as unworthy to receive the gentle,
the desired, the last kind embraces of the great Alma Mater, the
earth, commonly called burial).
Dearly beloved son, have an especial care that after my decease
none of these laws be received in any of your kingdoms; for whilst I
breathe, by the grace and assistance of God, I shall give good
order. Seeing, therefore, you have totally referred unto my
discretion the disposure of you in marriage, I am fully of an
opinion that I shall provide sufficiently well for you in that
point. Make ready and prepare yourself for Panurge's voyage. Take
along with you Epistemon, Friar John, and such others as you will
choose. Do with my treasures what unto yourself shall seem most
expedient. None of your actions, I promise you, can in any manner of
way displease me. Take out of my arsenal Thalasse whatsoever
equipage, furniture, or provision you please, together with such
pilots, mariners, and truchmen as you have a mind to, and with the
first fair and favourable wind set sail and make out to sea in the
name of God our Saviour. In the meanwhile, during your absence, I
shall not be neglective of providing a wife for you, nor of those
preparations which are requisite to be made for the more sumptuous
solemnizing of your nuptials with a most splendid feast, if ever
there was any in the world, since the days of Ahasuerus.
Chapter 3.XLIX.—How Pantagruel did put himself in a readiness to
go to sea; and of the herb named Pantagruelion.
Within very few days after that Pantagruel had taken his leave of
the good Gargantua, who devoutly prayed for his son's happy voyage,
he arrived at the seaport, near to Sammalo, accompanied with
Panurge, Epistemon, Friar John of the Funnels, Abbot of Theleme, and
others of the royal house, especially with Xenomanes the great
traveller and thwarter of dangerous ways, who was come at the
bidding and appointment of Panurge, of whose castlewick of
Salmigondin he did hold some petty inheritance by the tenure of a
mesne fee. Pantagruel, being come thither, prepared and made ready
for launching a fleet of ships, to the number of those which Ajax of
Salamine had of old equipped in convoy of the Grecian soldiery
against the Trojan state. He likewise picked out for his use so many
mariners, pilots, sailors, interpreters, artificers, officers, and
soldiers, as he thought fitting, and therewithal made provision of
so much victuals of all sorts, artillery, munition of divers kinds,
clothes, moneys, and other such luggage, stuff, baggage, chaffer,
and furniture, as he deemed needful for carrying on the design of a
so tedious, long, and perilous voyage. Amongst other things, it was
observed how he caused some of his vessels to be fraught and loaded
with a great quantity of an herb of his called Pantagruelion, not
only of the green and raw sort of it, but of the confected also, and
of that which was notably well befitted for present use after the
fashion of conserves. The herb Pantagruelion hath a little root
somewhat hard and rough, roundish, terminating in an obtuse and very
blunt point, and having some of its veins, strings, or filaments
coloured with some spots of white, never fixeth itself into the
ground above the profoundness almost of a cubit, or foot and a half.
From the root thereof proceedeth the only stalk, orbicular,
cane-like, green without, whitish within, and hollow like the stem
of smyrnium, olus atrum, beans, and gentian, full of long threads,
straight, easy to be broken, jagged, snipped, nicked, and notched a
little after the manner of pillars and columns, slightly furrowed,
chamfered, guttered, and channelled, and full of fibres, or hairs
like strings, in which consisteth the chief value and dignity of the
herb, especially in that part thereof which is termed mesa, as he
would say the mean, and in that other, which hath got the
denomination of milasea. Its height is commonly of five or six foot.
Yet sometimes it is of such a tall growth as doth surpass the length
of a lance, but that is only when it meeteth with a sweet, easy,
warm, wet, and well-soaked soil—as is the ground of the territory of
Olone, and that of Rasea, near to Preneste in Sabinia—and that it
want not for rain enough about the season of the fishers' holidays
and the estival solstice. There are many trees whose height is by it
very far exceeded, and you might call it dendromalache by the
authority of Theophrastus. The plant every year perisheth,—the tree
neither in the trunk, root, bark, or boughs being durable.
From the stalk of this Pantagruelian plant there issue forth
several large and great branches, whose leaves have thrice as much
length as breadth, always green, roughish, and rugged like the
orcanet, or Spanish bugloss, hardish, slit round about like unto a
sickle, or as the saxifragum, betony, and finally ending as it were
in the points of a Macedonian spear, or of such a lancet as surgeons
commonly make use of in their phlebotomizing tiltings. The figure
and shape of the leaves thereof is not much different from that of
those of the ash-tree, or of agrimony; the herb itself being so like
the Eupatorian plant that many skilful herbalists have called it the
Domestic Eupator, and the Eupator the Wild Pantagruelion. These
leaves are in equal and parallel distances spread around the stalk
by the number in every rank either of five or seven, nature having
so highly favoured and cherished this plant that she hath richly
adorned it with these two odd, divine, and mysterious numbers. The
smell thereof is somewhat strong, and not very pleasing to nice,
tender, and delicate noses. The seed enclosed therein mounteth up to
the very top of its stalk, and a little above it.
This is a numerous herb; for there is no less abundance of it
than of any other whatsoever. Some of these plants are spherical,
some rhomboid, and some of an oblong shape, and all of those either
black, bright-coloured, or tawny, rude to the touch, and mantled
with a quickly-blasted-away coat, yet such a one as is of a
delicious taste and savour to all shrill and sweetly-singing birds,
such as linnets, goldfinches, larks, canary birds, yellow-hammers,
and others of that airy chirping choir; but it would quite
extinguish the natural heat and procreative virtue of the semence of
any man who would eat much and often of it. And although that of old
amongst the Greeks there was certain kinds of fritters and pancakes,
buns and tarts, made thereof, which commonly for a liquorish
daintiness were presented on the table after supper to delight the
palate and make the wine relish the better; yet is it of a difficult
concoction, and offensive to the stomach. For it engendereth bad and
unwholesome blood, and with its exorbitant heat woundeth them with
grievous, hurtful, smart, and noisome vapours. And, as in divers
plants and trees there are two sexes, male and female, which is
perceptible in laurels, palms, cypresses, oaks, holms, the daffodil,
mandrake, fern, the agaric, mushroom, birthwort, turpentine,
pennyroyal, peony, rose of the mount, and many other such like, even
so in this herb there is a male which beareth no flower at all, yet
it is very copious of and abundant in seed. There is likewise in it
a female, which hath great store and plenty of whitish flowers,
serviceable to little or no purpose, nor doth it carry in it seed of
any worth at all, at least comparable to that of the male. It hath
also a larger leaf, and much softer than that of the male, nor doth
it altogether grow to so great a height. This Pantagruelion is to be
sown at the first coming of the swallows, and is to be plucked out
of the ground when the grasshoppers begin to be a little hoarse.
Chapter 3.L.—How the famous Pantagruelion ought to be prepared
The herb Pantagruelion, in September, under the autumnal equinox,
is dressed and prepared several ways, according to the various
fancies of the people and diversity of the climates wherein it
groweth. The first instruction which Pantagruel gave concerning it
was to divest and despoil the stalk and stem thereof of all its
flowers and seeds, to macerate and mortify it in pond, pool, or lake
water, which is to be made run a little for five days together
(Properly—'lake water, which is to be made stagnant, not current,
for five days together.'—M.) if the season be dry and the water hot,
or for full nine or twelve days if the weather be cloudish and the
water cold. Then must it be parched before the sun till it be
drained of its moisture. After this it is in the shadow, where the
sun shines not, to be peeled and its rind pulled off. Then are the
fibres and strings thereof to be parted, wherein, as we have already
said, consisteth its prime virtue, price, and efficacy, and severed
from the woody part thereof, which is unprofitable, and serveth
hardly to any other use than to make a clear and glistering blaze,
to kindle the fire, and for the play, pastime, and disport of little
children, to blow up hogs' bladders and make them rattle. Many times
some use is made thereof by tippling sweet-lipped bibbers, who out
of it frame quills and pipes, through which they with their
liquor-attractive breath suck up the new dainty wine from the bung
of the barrel. Some modern Pantagruelists, to shun and avoid that
manual labour which such a separating and partitional work would of
necessity require, employ certain cataractic instruments, composed
and formed after the same manner that the froward, pettish, and
angry Juno did hold the fingers of both her hands interwovenly
clenched together when she would have hindered the childbirth
delivery of Alcmena at the nativity of Hercules; and athwart those
cataracts they break and bruise to very trash the woody parcels,
thereby to preserve the better the fibres, which are the precious
and excellent parts. In and with this sole operation do these
acquiesce and are contented, who, contrary to the received opinion
of the whole earth, and in a manner paradoxical to all philosophers,
gain their livelihoods backwards, and by recoiling. But those that
love to hold it at a higher rate, and prize it according to its
value, for their own greater profit do the very same which is told
us of the recreation of the three fatal sister Parcae, or of the
nocturnal exercise of the noble Circe, or yet of the excuse which
Penelope made to her fond wooing youngsters and effeminate courtiers
during the long absence of her husband Ulysses.
By these means is this herb put into a way to display its
inestimable virtues, whereof I will discover a part; for to relate
all is a thing impossible to do. I have already interpreted and
exposed before you the denomination thereof. I find that plants have
their names given and bestowed upon them after several ways. Some
got the name of him who first found them out, knew them, sowed them,
improved them by culture, qualified them to tractability, and
appropriated them to the uses and subserviences they were fit for,
as the Mercuriale from Mercury; Panacea from Panace, the daughter of
Aesculapius; Armois from Artemis, who is Diana; Eupatoria from the
king Eupator; Telephion from Telephus; Euphorbium from Euphorbus,
King Juba's physician; Clymenos from Clymenus; Alcibiadium from
Alcibiades; Gentiane from Gentius, King of Sclavonia, and so forth,
through a great many other herbs or plants. Truly, in ancient times
this prerogative of imposing the inventor's name upon an herb found
out by him was held in a so great account and estimation, that, as a
controversy arose betwixt Neptune and Pallas from which of them two
that land should receive its denomination which had been equally
found out by them both together—though thereafter it was called and
had the appellation of Athens, from Athene, which is Minerva—just so
would Lynceus, King of Scythia, have treacherously slain the young
Triptolemus, whom Ceres had sent to show unto mankind the invention
of corn, which until then had been utterly unknown, to the end that,
after the murder of the messenger, whose death he made account to
have kept secret, he might, by imposing, with the less suspicion of
false dealing, his own name upon the said found out seed, acquire
unto himself an immortal honour and glory for having been the
inventor of a grain so profitable and necessary to and for the use
of human life. For the wickedness of which treasonable attempt he
was by Ceres transformed into that wild beast which by some is
called a lynx and by others an ounce. Such also was the ambition of
others upon the like occasion, as appeareth by that very sharp wars
and of a long continuance have been made of old betwixt some
residentiary kings in Cappadocia upon this only debate, of whose
name a certain herb should have the appellation; by reason of which
difference, so troublesome and expensive to them all, it was by them
called Polemonion, and by us for the same cause termed Make-bate.
Other herbs and plants there are which retain the names of the
countries from whence they were transported, as the Median apples
from Media, where they first grew; Punic apples from Punicia, that
is to say, Carthage; Ligusticum, which we call lovage, from Liguria,
the coast of Genoa; Rhubarb from a flood in Barbary, as Ammianus
attesteth, called Ru; Santonica from a region of that name;
Fenugreek from Greece; Gastanes from a country so called; Persicaria
from Persia; Sabine from a territory of that appellation; Staechas
from the Staechad Islands; Spica Celtica from the land of the Celtic
Gauls, and so throughout a great many other, which were tedious to
enumerate. Some others, again, have obtained their denominations by
way of antiphrasis, or contrariety; as Absinth, because it is
contrary to Psinthos, for it is bitter to the taste in drinking;
Holosteon, as if it were all bones, whilst, on the contrary, there
is no frailer, tenderer, nor brittler herb in the whole production
of nature than it.
There are some other sorts of herbs which have got their names
from their virtues and operations, as Aristolochia, because it
helpeth women in childbirth; Lichen, for that it cureth the disease
of that name; Mallow, because it mollifieth; Callithricum, because
it maketh the hair of a bright colour; Alyssum, Ephemerum, Bechium,
Nasturtium, Aneban (Henbane), and so forth through many more.
Other some there are which have obtained their names from the
admirable qualities that are found to be in them, as Heliotropium,
which is the marigold, because it followeth the sun, so that at the
sun rising it displayeth and spreads itself out, at his ascending it
mounteth, at his declining it waneth, and when he is set it is close
shut; Adianton, because, although it grow near unto watery places,
and albeit you should let it lie in water a long time, it will
nevertheless retain no moisture nor humidity; Hierachia, Eringium,
and so throughout a great many more. There are also a great many
herbs and plants which have retained the very same names of the men
and women who have been metamorphosed and transformed in them, as
from Daphne the laurel is called also Daphne; Myrrh from Myrrha, the
daughter of Cinarus; Pythis from Pythis; Cinara, which is the
artichoke, from one of that name; Narcissus, with Saffron, Smilax,
and divers others.
Many herbs likewise have got their names of those things which
they seem to have some resemblance to; as Hippuris, because it hath
the likeness of a horse's tail; Alopecuris, because it representeth
in similitude the tail of a fox; Psyllion, from a flea which it
resembleth; Delphinium, for that it is like a dolphin fish; Bugloss
is so called because it is an herb like an ox's tongue; Iris, so
called because in its flowers it hath some resemblance of the
rainbow; Myosota, because it is like the ear of a mouse; Coronopus,
for that it is of the likeness of a crow's foot. A great many other
such there are, which here to recite were needless. Furthermore, as
there are herbs and plants which have had their names from those of
men, so by a reciprocal denomination have the surnames of many
families taken their origin from them, as the Fabii, a fabis, beans;
the Pisons, a pisis, peas; the Lentuli from lentils; the Cicerons; a
ciceribus, vel ciceris, a sort of pulse called chickpease, and so
forth. In some plants and herbs the resemblance or likeness hath
been taken from a higher mark or object, as when we say Venus'
navel, Venus' hair, Venus' tub, Jupiter's beard, Jupiter's eye,
Mars' blood, the Hermodactyl or Mercury's fingers, which are all of
them names of herbs, as there are a great many more of the like
appellation. Others, again, have received their denomination from
their forms, such as the Trefoil, because it is three-leaved;
Pentaphylon, for having five leaves; Serpolet, because it creepeth
along the ground; Helxine, Petast, Myrobalon, which the Arabians
called Been, as if you would say an acorn, for it hath a kind of
resemblance thereto, and withal is very oily.
Chapter 3.LI.—Why it is called Pantagruelion, and of the
admirable virtues thereof.
By such-like means of attaining to a denomination—the fabulous
ways being only from thence excepted, for the Lord forbid that we
should make use of any fables in this a so veritable history—is this
herb called Pantagruelion, for Pantagruel was the inventor thereof.
I do not say of the plant itself, but of a certain use which it
serves for, exceeding odious and hateful to thieves and robbers,
unto whom it is more contrarious and hurtful than the strangle-weed
and chokefitch is to the flax, the cats-tail to the brakes, the
sheave-grass to the mowers of hay, the fitches to the
chickney-pease, the darnel to barley, the hatchet-fitch to the
lentil pulse, the antramium to the beans, tares to wheat, ivy to
walls, the water-lily to lecherous monks, the birchen rod to the
scholars of the college of Navarre in Paris, colewort to the
vine-tree, garlic to the loadstone, onions to the sight, fern-seed
to women with child, willow-grain to vicious nuns, the yew-tree
shade to those that sleep under it, wolfsbane to wolves and
libbards, the smell of fig-tree to mad bulls, hemlock to goslings,
purslane to the teeth, or oil to trees. For we have seen many of
those rogues, by virtue and right application of this herb, finish
their lives short and long, after the manner of Phyllis, Queen of
Thracia, of Bonosus, Emperor of Rome, of Amata, King Latinus's wife,
of Iphis, Autolycus, Lycambe, Arachne, Phaedra, Leda, Achius, King
of Lydia, and many thousands more, who were chiefly angry and vexed
at this disaster therein, that, without being otherwise sick or
evil-disposed in their bodies, by a touch only of the Pantagruelion
they came on a sudden to have the passage obstructed, and their
pipes, through which were wont to bolt so many jolly sayings and to
enter so many luscious morsels, stopped, more cleverly than ever
could have done the squinancy.
Others have been heard most woefully to lament, at the very
instant when Atropos was about to cut the thread of their life, that
Pantagruel held them by the gorge. But, well-a-day, it was not
Pantagruel; he never was an executioner. It was the Pantagruelion,
manufactured and fashioned into an halter; and serving in the place
and office of a cravat. In that, verily, they solecized and spoke
improperly, unless you would excuse them by a trope, which alloweth
us to posit the inventor in the place of the thing invented, as when
Ceres is taken for bread, and Bacchus put instead of wine. I swear
to you here, by the good and frolic words which are to issue out of
that wine-bottle which is a-cooling below in the copper vessel full
of fountain water, that the noble Pantagruel never snatched any man
by the throat, unless it was such a one as was altogether careless
and neglective of those obviating remedies which were preventive of
the thirst to come.
It is also termed Pantagruelion by a similitude. For Pantagruel,
at the very first minute of his birth, was no less tall than this
herb is long whereof I speak unto you, his measure having been then
taken the more easy that he was born in the season of the great
drought, when they were busiest in the gathering of the said herb,
to wit, at that time when Icarus's dog, with his fiery bawling and
barking at the sun, maketh the whole world Troglodytic, and
enforceth people everywhere to hide themselves in dens and
subterranean caves. It is likewise called Pantagruelion because of
the notable and singular qualities, virtues, and properties thereof.
For as Pantagruel hath been the idea, pattern, prototype, and
exemplary of all jovial perfection and accomplishment—in the truth
whereof I believe there is none of you gentlemen drinkers that
putteth any question—so in this Pantagruelion have I found so much
efficacy and energy, so much completeness and excellency, so much
exquisiteness and rarity, and so many admirable effects and
operations of a transcendent nature, that if the worth and virtue
thereof had been known when those trees, by the relation of the
prophet, made election of a wooden king to rule and govern over
them, it without all doubt would have carried away from all the rest
the plurality of votes and suffrages.
Shall I yet say more? If Oxylus, the son of Orius, had begotten
this plant upon his sister Hamadryas, he had taken more delight in
the value and perfection of it alone than in all his eight children,
so highly renowned by our ablest mythologians that they have
sedulously recommended their names to the never-failing tuition of
an eternal remembrance. The eldest child was a daughter, whose name
was Vine; the next born was a boy, and his name was Fig-tree; the
third was called Walnut-tree; the fourth Oak; the fifth
Sorbapple-tree; the sixth Ash; the seventh Poplar, and the last had
the name of Elm, who was the greatest surgeon in his time. I shall
forbear to tell you how the juice or sap thereof, being poured and
distilled within the ears, killeth every kind of vermin that by any
manner of putrefaction cometh to be bred and engendered there, and
destroyeth also any whatsoever other animal that shall have entered
in thereat. If, likewise, you put a little of the said juice within
a pail or bucket full of water, you shall see the water instantly
turn and grow thick therewith as if it were milk-curds, whereof the
virtue is so great that the water thus curded is a present remedy
for horses subject to the colic, and such as strike at their own
flanks. The root thereof well boiled mollifieth the joints,
softeneth the hardness of shrunk-in sinews, is every way comfortable
to the nerves, and good against all cramps and convulsions, as
likewise all cold and knotty gouts. If you would speedily heal a
burning, whether occasioned by water or fire, apply thereto a little
raw Pantagruelion, that is to say, take it so as it cometh out of
the ground, without bestowing any other preparation or composition
upon it; but have a special care to change it for some fresher in
lieu thereof as soon as you shall find it waxing dry upon the sore.
Without this herb kitchens would be detested, the tables of
dining-rooms abhorred, although there were great plenty and variety
of most dainty and sumptuous dishes of meat set down upon them, and
the choicest beds also, how richly soever adorned with gold, silver,
amber, ivory, porphyry, and the mixture of most precious metals,
would without it yield no delight or pleasure to the reposers in
them. Without it millers could neither carry wheat, nor any other
kind of corn to the mill, nor would they be able to bring back from
thence flour, or any other sort of meal whatsoever. Without it, how
could the papers and writs of lawyers' clients be brought to the
bar? Seldom is the mortar, lime, or plaster brought to the workhouse
without it. Without it, how should the water be got out of a
draw-well? In what case would tabellions, notaries, copists, makers
of counterpanes, writers, clerks, secretaries, scriveners, and
such-like persons be without it? Were it not for it, what would
become of the toll-rates and rent-rolls? Would not the noble art of
printing perish without it? Whereof could the chassis or
paper-windows be made? How should the bells be rung? The altars of
Isis are adorned therewith, the Pastophorian priests are therewith
clad and accoutred, and whole human nature covered and wrapped
therein at its first position and production in and into this world.
All the lanific trees of Seres, the bumbast and cotton bushes in the
territories near the Persian Sea and Gulf of Bengala, the Arabian
swans, together with the plants of Malta, do not all the them
clothe, attire, and apparel so many persons as this one herb alone.
Soldiers are nowadays much better sheltered under it than they were
in former times, when they lay in tents covered with skins. It
overshadows the theatres and amphitheatres from the heat of a
scorching sun. It begirdeth and encompasseth forests, chases, parks,
copses, and groves, for the pleasure of hunters. It descendeth into
the salt and fresh of both sea and river-waters for the profit of
fishers. By it are boots of all sizes, buskins, gamashes, brodkins,
gambadoes, shoes, pumps, slippers, and every cobbled ware wrought
and made steadable for the use of man. By it the butt and rover-bows
are strung, the crossbows bended, and the slings made fixed. And, as
if it were an herb every whit as holy as the vervain, and reverenced
by ghosts, spirits, hobgoblins, fiends, and phantoms, the bodies of
deceased men are never buried without it.
I will proceed yet further. By the means of this fine herb the
invisible substances are visibly stopped, arrested, taken, detained,
and prisoner-like committed to their receptive gaols. Heavy and
ponderous weights are by it heaved, lifted up, turned, veered,
drawn, carried, and every way moved quickly, nimbly, and easily, to
the great profit and emolument of humankind. When I perpend with
myself these and such-like marvellous effects of this wonderful
herb, it seemeth strange unto me how the invention of so useful a
practice did escape through so many by-past ages the knowledge of
the ancient philosophers, considering the inestimable utility which
from thence proceeded, and the immense labour which without it they
did undergo in their pristine elucubrations. By virtue thereof,
through the retention of some aerial gusts, are the huge rambarges,
mighty galleons, the large floats, the Chiliander, the Myriander
ships launched from their stations and set a-going at the pleasure
and arbitrament of their rulers, conders, and steersmen. By the help
thereof those remote nations whom nature seemed so unwilling to have
discovered to us, and so desirous to have kept them still in
abscondito and hidden from us, that the ways through which their
countries were to be reached unto were not only totally unknown, but
judged also to be altogether impermeable and inaccessible, are now
arrived to us, and we to them.
Those voyages outreached flights of birds and far surpassed the
scope of feathered fowls, how swift soever they had been on the
wing, and notwithstanding that advantage which they have of us in
swimming through the air. Taproban hath seen the heaths of Lapland,
and both the Javas and Riphaean mountains; wide distant Phebol shall
see Theleme, and the Islanders drink of the flood Euphrates. By it
the chill-mouthed Boreas hath surveyed the parched mansions of the
torrid Auster, and Eurus visited the regions which Zephyrus hath
under his command; yea, in such sort have interviews been made by
the assistance of this sacred herb, that, maugre longitudes and
latitudes, and all the variations of the zones, the Periaecian
people, and Antoecian, Amphiscian, Heteroscian, and Periscian had
oft rendered and received mutual visits to and from other, upon all
the climates. These strange exploits bred such astonishment to the
celestial intelligences, to all the marine and terrestrial gods,
that they were on a sudden all afraid. From which amazement, when
they saw how, by means of this blest Pantagruelion, the Arctic
people looked upon the Antarctic, scoured the Atlantic Ocean, passed
the tropics, pushed through the torrid zone, measured all the
zodiac, sported under the equinoctial, having both poles level with
their horizon, they judged it high time to call a council for their
own safety and preservation.
The Olympic gods, being all and each of them affrighted at the
sight of such achievements, said: Pantagruel hath shapen work enough
for us, and put us more to a plunge and nearer our wits' end by this
sole herb of his than did of old the Aloidae by overturning
mountains. He very speedily is to be married, and shall have many
children by his wife. It lies not in our power to oppose this
destiny; for it hath passed through the hands and spindles of the
Fatal Sisters, necessity's inexorable daughters. Who knows but by
his sons may be found out an herb of such another virtue and
prodigious energy, as that by the aid thereof, in using it aright
according to their father's skill, they may contrive a way for
humankind to pierce into the high aerian clouds, get up unto the
springhead of the hail, take an inspection of the snowy sources, and
shut and open as they please the sluices from whence proceed the
floodgates of the rain; then, prosecuting their aethereal voyage,
they may step in unto the lightning workhouse and shop, where all
the thunderbolts are forged, where, seizing on the magazine of
heaven and storehouse of our warlike fire-munition, they may
discharge a bouncing peal or two of thundering ordnance for joy of
their arrival to these new supernal places, and, charging those
tonitrual guns afresh, turn the whole force of that artillery
against ourselves wherein we most confided. Then is it like they
will set forward to invade the territories of the Moon, whence,
passing through both Mercury and Venus, the Sun will serve them for
a torch, to show the way from Mars to Jupiter and Saturn. We shall
not then be able to resist the impetuosity of their intrusion, nor
put a stoppage to their entering in at all, whatever regions,
domiciles, or mansions of the spangled firmament they shall have any
mind to see, to stay in, to travel through for their recreation. All
the celestial signs together, with the constellations of the fixed
stars, will jointly be at their devotion then. Some will take up
their lodging at the Ram, some at the Bull, and others at the Twins;
some at the Crab, some at the Lion Inn, and others at the sign of
the Virgin; some at the Balance, others at the Scorpion, and others
will be quartered at the Archer; some will be harboured at the Goat,
some at the Water-pourer's sign, some at the Fishes; some will lie
at the Crown, some at the Harp, some at the Golden Eagle and the
Dolphin; some at the Flying Horse, some at the Ship, some at the
great, some at the little Bear; and so throughout the glistening
hostelries of the whole twinkling asteristic welkin. There will be
sojourners come from the earth, who, longing after the taste of the
sweet cream, of their own skimming off, from the best milk of all
the dairy of the Galaxy, will set themselves at table down with us,
drink of our nectar and ambrosia, and take to their own beds at
night for wives and concubines our fairest goddesses, the only means
whereby they can be deified. A junto hereupon being convocated, the
better to consult upon the manner of obviating a so dreadful danger,
Jove, sitting in his presidential throne, asked the votes of all the
other gods, which, after a profound deliberation amongst themselves
on all contingencies, they freely gave at last, and then resolved
unanimously to withstand the shocks of all whatsoever sublunary
Chapter 3.LII.—How a certain kind of Pantagruelion is of that
nature that the fire is not able to consume it.
I have already related to you great and admirable things; but, if
you might be induced to adventure upon the hazard of believing some
other divinity of this sacred Pantagruelion, I very willingly would
tell it you. Believe it, if you will, or otherwise, believe it not,
I care not which of them you do, they are both alike to me. It shall
be sufficient for my purpose to have told you the truth, and the
truth I will tell you. But to enter in thereat, because it is of a
knaggy, difficult, and rugged access, this is the question which I
ask of you. If I had put within this bottle two pints, the one of
wine and the other of water, thoroughly and exactly mingled
together, how would you unmix them? After what manner would you go
about to sever them, and separate the one liquor from the other, in
such sort that you render me the water apart, free from the wine,
and the wine also pure, without the intermixture of one drop of
water, and both of them in the same measure, quantity, and taste
that I had embottled them? Or, to state the question otherwise. If
your carmen and mariners, entrusted for the provision of your houses
with the bringing of a certain considerable number of tuns,
puncheons, pipes, barrels, and hogsheads of Graves wine, or of the
wine of Orleans, Beaune, and Mireveaux, should drink out the half,
and afterwards with water fill up the other empty halves of the
vessels as full as before, as the Limosins use to do in their
carriages by wains and carts of the wines of Argenton and
Sangaultier; after that, how would you part the water from the wine,
and purify them both in such a case? I understand you well enough.
Your meaning is, that I must do it with an ivy funnel. That is
written, it is true, and the verity thereof explored by a thousand
experiments; you have learned to do this feat before, I see it. But
those that have never known it, nor at any time have seen the like,
would hardly believe that it were possible. Let us nevertheless
But put the case, we were now living in the age of Sylla, Marius,
Caesar, and other such Roman emperors, or that we were in the time
of our ancient Druids, whose custom was to burn and calcine the dead
bodies of their parents and lords, and that you had a mind to drink
the ashes or cinders of your wives or fathers in the infused liquor
of some good white-wine, as Artemisia drunk the dust and ashes of
her husband Mausolus; or otherwise, that you did determine to have
them reserved in some fine urn or reliquary pot; how would you save
the ashes apart, and separate them from those other cinders and
ashes into which the fuel of the funeral and bustuary fire hath been
converted? Answer, if you can. By my figgins, I believe it will
trouble you so to do.
Well, I will despatch, and tell you that, if you take of this
celestial Pantagruelion so much as is needful to cover the body of
the defunct, and after that you shall have enwrapped and bound
therein as hard and closely as you can the corpse of the said
deceased persons, and sewed up the folding-sheet with thread of the
same stuff, throw it into the fire, how great or ardent soever it be
it matters not a straw, the fire through this Pantagruelion will
burn the body and reduce to ashes the bones thereof, and the
Pantagruelion shall be not only not consumed nor burnt, but also
shall neither lose one atom of the ashes enclosed within it, nor
receive one atom of the huge bustuary heap of ashes resulting from
the blazing conflagration of things combustible laid round about it,
but shall at last, when taken out of the fire, be fairer, whiter,
and much cleaner than when you did put it in at first. Therefore it
is called Asbeston, which is as much to say as incombustible. Great
plenty is to be found thereof in Carpasia, as likewise in the
climate Dia Sienes, at very easy rates. O how rare and admirable a
thing it is, that the fire which devoureth, consumeth, and
destroyeth all such things else, should cleanse, purge, and whiten
this sole Pantagruelion Carpasian Asbeston! If you mistrust the
verity of this relation, and demand for further confirmation of my
assertion a visible sign, as the Jews and such incredulous infidels
use to do, take a fresh egg, and orbicularly, or rather ovally,
enfold it within this divine Pantagruelion. When it is so wrapped
up, put it in the hot embers of a fire, how great or ardent soever
it be, and having left it there as long as you will, you shall at
last, at your taking it out of the fire, find the egg roasted hard,
and as it were burnt, without any alteration, change, mutation, or
so much as a calefaction of the sacred Pantagruelion. For less than
a million of pounds sterling, modified, taken down, and amoderated
to the twelfth part of one fourpence halfpenny farthing, you are
able to put it to a trial and make proof thereof.
Do not think to overmatch me here, by paragoning with it in the
way of a more eminent comparison the Salamander. That is a fib; for,
albeit a little ordinary fire, such as is used in dining-rooms and
chambers, gladden, cheer up, exhilarate, and quicken it, yet may I
warrantably enough assure that in the flaming fire of a furnace it
will, like any other animated creature, be quickly suffocated,
choked, consumed, and destroyed. We have seen the experiment
thereof, and Galen many ages ago hath clearly demonstrated and
confirmed it, Lib. 3, De temperamentis, and Dioscorides maintaineth
the same doctrine, Lib. 2. Do not here instance in competition with
this sacred herb the feather alum or the wooden tower of Pyraeus,
which Lucius Sylla was never able to get burnt; for that Archelaus,
governor of the town for Mithridates, King of Pontus, had plastered
it all over on the outside with the said alum. Nor would I have you
to compare therewith the herb which Alexander Cornelius called
Eonem, and said that it had some resemblance with that oak which
bears the mistletoe, and that it could neither be consumed nor
receive any manner of prejudice by fire nor by water, no more than
the mistletoe, of which was built, said he, the so renowned ship
Argos. Search where you please for those that will believe it. I in
that point desire to be excused. Neither would I wish you to
parallel therewith—although I cannot deny but that it is of a very
marvellous nature—that sort of tree which groweth alongst the
mountains of Brianson and Ambrun, which produceth out of his root
the good agaric. From its body it yieldeth unto us a so excellent
rosin, that Galen hath been bold to equal it to the turpentine. Upon
the delicate leaves thereof it retaineth for our use that sweet
heavenly honey which is called the manna, and, although it be of a
gummy, oily, fat, and greasy substance, it is, notwithstanding,
unconsumable by any fire. It is in Greek and Latin called Larix. The
Alpinese name is Melze. The Antenorides and Venetians term it
Larege; which gave occasion to that castle in Piedmont to receive
the denomination of Larignum, by putting Julius Caesar to a stand at
his return from amongst the Gauls.
Julius Caesar commanded all the yeomen, boors, hinds, and other
inhabitants in, near unto, and about the Alps and Piedmont, to bring
all manner of victuals and provision for an army to those places
which on the military road he had appointed to receive them for the
use of his marching soldiery. To which ordinance all of them were
obedient, save only those as were within the garrison of Larignum,
who, trusting in the natural strength of the place, would not pay
their contribution. The emperor, purposing to chastise them for
their refusal, caused his whole army to march straight towards that
castle, before the gate whereof was erected a tower built of huge
big spars and rafters of the larch-tree, fast bound together with
pins and pegs of the same wood, and interchangeably laid on one
another, after the fashion of a pile or stack of timber, set up in
the fabric thereof to such an apt and convenient height that from
the parapet above the portcullis they thought with stones and levers
to beat off and drive away such as should approach thereto.
When Caesar had understood that the chief defence of those within
the castle did consist in stones and clubs, and that it was not an
easy matter to sling, hurl, dart, throw, or cast them so far as to
hinder the approaches, he forthwith commanded his men to throw great
store of bavins, faggots, and fascines round about the castle, and
when they had made the heap of a competent height, to put them all
in a fair fire; which was thereupon incontinently done. The fire put
amidst the faggots was so great and so high that it covered the
whole castle, that they might well imagine the tower would thereby
be altogether burnt to dust, and demolished. Nevertheless, contrary
to all their hopes and expectations, when the flame ceased, and that
the faggots were quite burnt and consumed, the tower appeared as
whole, sound, and entire as ever. Caesar, after a serious
consideration had thereof, commanded a compass to be taken without
the distance of a stone cast from the castle round about it there,
with ditches and entrenchments to form a blockade; which when the
Larignans understood, they rendered themselves upon terms. And then
by a relation from them it was that Caesar learned the admirable
nature and virtue of this wood, which of itself produceth neither
fire, flame, nor coal, and would, therefore, in regard of that rare
quality of incombustibility, have been admitted into this rank and
degree of a true Pantagruelional plant; and that so much the rather,
for that Pantagruel directed that all the gates, doors, angiports,
windows, gutters, fretticed and embowed ceilings, cans, (cants?) and
other whatsoever wooden furniture in the abbey of Theleme, should be
all materiated of this kind of timber. He likewise caused to cover
therewith the sterns, stems, cook-rooms or laps, hatches, decks,
courses, bends, and walls of his carricks, ships, galleons, galleys,
brigantines, foists, frigates, crears, barques, floats, pinks,
pinnaces, hoys, ketches, capers, and other vessels of his Thalassian
arsenal; were it not that the wood or timber of the larch-tree,
being put within a large and ample furnace full of huge vehemently
flaming fire proceeding from the fuel of other sorts and kinds of
wood, cometh at last to be corrupted, consumed, dissipated, and
destroyed, as are stones in a lime-kiln. But this Pantagruelion
Asbeston is rather by the fire renewed and cleansed than by the
flames thereof consumed or changed. Therefore,
|Arabians, Indians, Sabaeans,
Sing not, in hymns and Io Paeans,
Your incense, myrrh, or ebony.
Come here, a nobler plant to see,
And carry home, at any rate,
Some seed, that you may propagate.
If in your soil it takes, to heaven
A thousand thousand thanks be given;
And say with France, it goodly goes,
Where the Pantagruelion grows.
END OF BOOK III