Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book III.
Francois Rabelais

Part 3 out of 4

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 cats.

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 himself.

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 (In his anxiety to swell
his catalogue as much as possible, Sir Thomas Urquhart has set down this
word twice.) C.
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 acquaintance.

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 fail.

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 husband.

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.

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 sempiternal

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 backbone.

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

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 truth.

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

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

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

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
subterranean devils?

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?

Trouil. Perhaps.

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?

Trouil. Enough.

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?

Trouil. Nothing.

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.

Pan. Hearken.

Trouil. As much as you will.

Pan. Will she be discreet and chaste? This is the only point I would be
resolved in.

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?

Trouil. Somebody.

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 honest

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 genethliac influences.

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

Pantagruel. Panurge.
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.
Contradictory f.
Pedagogical f.
Daft f.
Drunken f.
Peevish f.
Prodigal f.
Rash f.
Plodding 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


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