Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book IV.
Part 2 out of 4
first and foremost, I drink to you all. Come on, box it about; it is good
and cool. In the second place, you, Mr. Steward, take this silver basin; I
give it you freely. Then you, my gentlemen of the horse, take these two
silver-gilt cups, and let not the pages be horsewhipped these three months.
My dear, let them have my best white plumes of feathers, with the gold
buckles to them. Sir Oudart, this silver flagon falls to your share; this
other I give to the cooks. To the valets de chambre I give this silver
basket; to the grooms, this silver-gilt boat; to the porter, these two
plates; to the hostlers, these ten porringers. Trudon, take you these
silver spoons and this sugar-box. You, footman, take this large salt.
Serve me well, and I will remember you. For, on the word of a gentleman, I
had rather bear in war one hundred blows on my helmet in the service of my
country than be once cited by these knavish catchpoles merely to humour
this same gorbellied prior.
A further account of catchpoles who were drubbed at Basche's house.
Four days after another young, long-shanked, raw-boned catchpole coming to
serve Basche with a writ at the fat prior's request, was no sooner at the
gate but the porter smelt him out and rung the bell; at whose second pull
all the family understood the mystery. Loire was kneading his dough; his
wife was sifting meal; Oudart was toping in his office; the gentlemen were
playing at tennis; the Lord Basche at in-and-out with my lady; the
waiting-men and gentle-women at push-pin; the officers at lanterloo, and the
pages at hot-cockles, giving one another smart bangs. They were all
immediately informed that a catchpole was housed.
Upon this Oudart put on his sacerdotal, and Loire and his wife their
nuptial badges; Trudon piped it, and then tabored it like mad; all made
haste to get ready, not forgetting the gauntlets. Basche went into the
outward yard; there the catchpole meeting him fell on his marrow-bones,
begged of him not to take it ill if he served him with a writ at the suit
of the fat prior; and in a pathetic speech let him know that he was a
public person, a servant to the monking tribe, apparitor to the abbatial
mitre, ready to do as much for him, nay, for the least of his servants,
whensoever he would employ and use him.
Nay, truly, said the lord, you shall not serve your writ till you have
tasted some of my good Quinquenays wine, and been a witness to a wedding
which we are to have this very minute. Let him drink and refresh himself,
added he, turning towards the levitical butler, and then bring him into the
hall. After which, Catchpole, well stuffed and moistened, came with Oudart
to the place where all the actors in the farce stood ready to begin. The
sight of their game set them a-laughing, and the messenger of mischief
grinned also for company's sake. Then the mysterious words were muttered
to and by the couple, their hands joined, the bride bussed, and all
besprinkled with holy water. While they were bringing wine and kickshaws,
thumps began to trot about by dozens. The catchpole gave the levite
several blows. Oudart, who had his gauntlet hid under his canonical shirt,
draws it on like a mitten, and then, with his clenched fist, souse he fell
on the catchpole and mauled him like a devil; the junior gauntlets dropped
on him likewise like so many battering rams. Remember the wedding by this,
by that, by these blows, said they. In short, they stroked him so to the
purpose that he pissed blood out at mouth, nose, ears, and eyes, and was
bruised, thwacked, battered, bebumped, and crippled at the back, neck,
breast, arms, and so forth. Never did the bachelors at Avignon in carnival
time play more melodiously at raphe than was then played on the catchpole's
microcosm. At last down he fell.
They threw a great deal of wine on his snout, tied round the sleeve of his
doublet a fine yellow and green favour, and got him upon his snotty beast,
and God knows how he got to L'Isle Bouchart; where I cannot truly tell you
whether he was dressed and looked after or no, both by his spouse and the
able doctors of the country; for the thing never came to my ears.
The next day they had a third part to the same tune, because it did not
appear by the lean catchpole's bag that he had served his writ. So the fat
prior sent a new catchpole, at the head of a brace of bums for his garde du
corps, to summon my lord. The porter ringing the bell, the whole family
was overjoyed, knowing that it was another rogue. Basche was at dinner
with his lady and the gentlemen; so he sent for the catchpole, made him sit
by him, and the bums by the women, and made them eat till their bellies
cracked with their breeches unbuttoned. The fruit being served, the
catchpole arose from table, and before the bums cited Basche. Basche
kindly asked him for a copy of the warrant, which the other had got ready;
he then takes witness and a copy of the summons. To the catchpole and his
bums he ordered four ducats for civility money. In the meantime all were
withdrawn for the farce. So Trudon gave the alarm with his tabor. Basche
desired the catchpole to stay and see one of his servants married, and
witness the contract of marriage, paying him his fee. The catchpole
slapdash was ready, took out his inkhorn, got paper immediately, and his
bums by him.
Then Loire came into the hall at one door, and his wife with the
gentlewomen at another, in nuptial accoutrements. Oudart, in
pontificalibus, takes them both by their hands, asketh them their will,
giveth them the matrimonial blessing, and was very liberal of holy water.
The contract written, signed, and registered, on one side was brought wine
and comfits; on the other, white and orange-tawny-coloured favours were
distributed; on another, gauntlets privately handed about.
How the ancient custom at nuptials is renewed by the catchpole.
The catchpole, having made shift to get down a swingeing sneaker of Breton
wine, said to Basche, Pray, sir, what do you mean? You do not give one
another the memento of the wedding. By St. Joseph's wooden shoe, all good
customs are forgot. We find the form, but the hare is scampered; and the
nest, but the birds are flown. There are no true friends nowadays. You
see how, in several churches, the ancient laudable custom of tippling on
account of the blessed saints O O, at Christmas, is come to nothing. The
world is in its dotage, and doomsday is certainly coming all so fast. Now
come on; the wedding, the wedding, the wedding; remember it by this. This
he said, striking Basche and his lady; then her women and the levite. Then
the tabor beat a point of war, and the gauntlets began to do their duty;
insomuch that the catchpole had his crown cracked in no less than nine
places. One of the bums had his right arm put out of joint, and the other
his upper jaw-bone or mandibule dislocated so that it hid half his chin,
with a denudation of the uvula, and sad loss of the molar, masticatory, and
canine teeth. Then the tabor beat a retreat; the gauntlets were carefully
hid in a trice, and sweetmeats afresh distributed to renew the mirth of the
company. So they all drank to one another, and especially to the catchpole
and his bums. But Oudart cursed and damned the wedding to the pit of hell,
complaining that one of the bums had utterly disincornifistibulated his
nether shoulder-blade. Nevertheless, he scorned to be thought a flincher,
and made shift to tope to him on the square.
The jawless bum shrugged up his shoulders, joined his hands, and by signs
begged his pardon; for speak he could not. The sham bridegroom made his
moan, that the crippled bum had struck him such a horrid thump with his
shoulder-of-mutton fist on the nether elbow that he was grown quite
esperruquanchuzelubelouzerireliced down to his very heel, to the no small
loss of mistress bride.
But what harm had poor I done? cried Trudon, hiding his left eye with his
kerchief, and showing his tabor cracked on one side; they were not
satisfied with thus poaching, black and bluing, and
morrambouzevezengouzequoquemorgasacbaquevezinemaffreliding my poor eyes,
but they have also broke my harmless drum. Drums indeed are commonly
beaten at weddings, and it is fit they should; but drummers are well
entertained and never beaten. Now let Beelzebub e'en take the drum, to
make his devilship a nightcap. Brother, said the lame catchpole, never
fret thyself; I will make thee a present of a fine, large, old patent,
which I have here in my bag, to patch up thy drum, and for Madame St.
Ann's sake I pray thee forgive us. By Our Lady of Riviere, the blessed
dame, I meant no more harm than the child unborn. One of the equerries,
who, hopping and halting like a mumping cripple, mimicked the good limping
Lord de la Roche Posay, directed his discourse to the bum with the pouting
jaw, and told him: What, Mr. Manhound, was it not enough thus to have
morcrocastebezasteverestegrigeligoscopapopondrillated us all in our upper
members with your botched mittens, but you must also apply such
morderegripippiatabirofreluchamburelurecaquelurintimpaniments on our
shinbones with the hard tops and extremities of your cobbled shoes. Do
you call this children's play? By the mass, 'tis no jest. The bum,
wringing his hands, seemed to beg his pardon, muttering with his tongue,
Mon, mon, mon, vrelon, von, von, like a dumb man. The bride crying
laughed, and laughing cried, because the catchpole was not satisfied with
drubbing her without choice or distinction of members, but had also rudely
roused and toused her, pulled off her topping, and not having the fear of
her husband before his eyes, treacherously
trepignemanpenillorifrizonoufresterfumbled tumbled and squeezed her lower
parts. The devil go with it, said Basche; there was much need indeed that
this same Master King (this was the catchpole's name) should thus break my
wife's back; however, I forgive him now; these are little nuptial
caresses. But this I plainly perceive, that he cited me like an angel, and
drubbed me like a devil. He had something in him of Friar Thumpwell.
Come, for all this, I must drink to him, and to you likewise, his trusty
esquires. But, said his lady, why hath he been so very liberal of his
manual kindness to me, without the least provocation? I assure you, I by
no means like it; but this I dare say for him, that he hath the hardest
knuckles that ever I felt on my shoulders. The steward held his left arm
in a scarf, as if it had been rent and torn in twain. I think it was the
devil, said he, that moved me to assist at these nuptials; shame on ill
luck; I must needs be meddling with a pox, and now see what I have got by
the bargain, both my arms are wretchedly engoulevezinemassed and bruised.
Do you call this a wedding? By St. Bridget's tooth, I had rather be at
that of a Tom T--d-man. This is, o' my word, even just such another feast
as was that of the Lapithae, described by the philosopher of Samosata.
One of the bums had lost his tongue. The other two, tho' they had more
need to complain, made their excuse as well as they could, protesting that
they had no ill design in this dumbfounding; begging that, for goodness
sake, they would forgive them; and so, tho' they could hardly budge a
foot, or wag along, away they crawled. About a mile from Basche's seat,
the catchpole found himself somewhat out of sorts. The bums got to L'Isle
Bouchart, publicly saying that since they were born they had never seen an
honester gentleman than the Lord of Basche, or civiller people than his,
and that they had never been at the like wedding (which I verily believe);
but that it was their own faults if they had been tickled off, and tossed
about from post to pillar, since themselves had began the beating. So
they lived I cannot exactly tell you how many days after this. But from
that time to this it was held for a certain truth that Basche's money was
more pestilential, mortal, and pernicious to the catchpoles and bums than
were formerly the aurum Tholosanum and the Sejan horse to those that
possessed them. Ever since this he lived quietly, and Basche's wedding
grew into a common proverb.
How Friar John made trial of the nature of the catchpoles.
This story would seem pleasant enough, said Pantagruel, were we not to have
always the fear of God before our eyes. It had been better, said
Epistemon, if those gauntlets had fallen upon the fat prior. Since he took
a pleasure in spending his money partly to vex Basche, partly to see those
catchpoles banged, good lusty thumps would have done well on his shaved
crown, considering the horrid concussions nowadays among those puny judges.
What harm had done those poor devils the catchpoles? This puts me in mind,
said Pantagruel, of an ancient Roman named L. Neratius. He was of noble
blood, and for some time was rich; but had this tyrannical inclination,
that whenever he went out of doors he caused his servants to fill their
pockets with gold and silver, and meeting in the street your spruce
gallants and better sort of beaux, without the least provocation, for his
fancy, he used to strike them hard on the face with his fist; and
immediately after that, to appease them and hinder them from complaining to
the magistrates, he would give them as much money as satisfied them
according to the law of the twelve tables. Thus he used to spend his
revenue, beating people for the price of his money. By St. Bennet's sacred
boot, quoth Friar John, I will know the truth of it presently.
This said, he went on shore, put his hand in his fob, and took out twenty
ducats; then said with a loud voice, in the hearing of a shoal of the
nation of catchpoles, Who will earn twenty ducats for being beaten like the
devil? Io, Io, Io, said they all; you will cripple us for ever, sir, that
is most certain; but the money is tempting. With this they were all
thronging who should be first to be thus preciously beaten. Friar John
singled him out of the whole knot of these rogues in grain, a red-snouted
catchpole, who upon his right thumb wore a thick broad silver hoop, wherein
was set a good large toadstone. He had no sooner picked him out from the
rest, but I perceived that they all muttered and grumbled; and I heard a
young thin-jawed catchpole, a notable scholar, a pretty fellow at his pen,
and, according to public report, much cried up for his honesty at Doctors'
Commons, making his complaint and muttering because this same crimson phiz
carried away all the practice, and that if there were but a score and a
half of bastinadoes to be got, he would certainly run away with eight and
twenty of them. But all this was looked upon to be nothing but mere envy.
Friar John so unmercifully thrashed, thumped, and belaboured Red-snout,
back and belly, sides, legs, and arms, head, feet, and so forth, with the
home and frequently repeated application of one of the best members of a
faggot, that I took him to be a dead man; then he gave him the twenty
ducats, which made the dog get on his legs, pleased like a little king or
two. The rest were saying to Friar John, Sir, sir, brother devil, if it
please you to do us the favour to beat some of us for less money, we are
all at your devilship's command, bags, papers, pens, and all. Red-snout
cried out against them, saying, with a loud voice, Body of me, you little
prigs, will you offer to take the bread out of my mouth? will you take my
bargain over my head? would you draw and inveigle from me my clients and
customers? Take notice, I summon you before the official this day
sevennight; I will law and claw you like any old devil of Vauverd, that I
will--Then turning himself towards Friar John, with a smiling and joyful
look, he said to him, Reverend father in the devil, if you have found me a
good hide, and have a mind to divert yourself once more by beating your
humble servant, I will bate you half in half this time rather than lose
your custom; do not spare me, I beseech you; I am all, and more than all,
yours, good Mr. Devil; head, lungs, tripes, guts, and garbage; and that at
a pennyworth, I'll assure you. Friar John never heeded his proffers, but
even left them. The other catchpoles were making addresses to Panurge,
Epistemon, Gymnast, and others, entreating them charitably to bestow upon
their carcasses a small beating, for otherwise they were in danger of
keeping a long fast; but none of them had a stomach to it. Some time
after, seeking fresh water for the ship's company, we met a couple of old
female catchpoles of the place, miserably howling and weeping in concert.
Pantagruel had kept on board, and already had caused a retreat to be
sounded. Thinking that they might be related to the catchpole that was
bastinadoed, we asked them the occasion of their grief. They replied that
they had too much cause to weep; for that very hour, from an exalted triple
tree, two of the honestest gentlemen in Catchpole-land had been made to cut
a caper on nothing. Cut a caper on nothing, said Gymnast; my pages use to
cut capers on the ground; to cut a caper on nothing should be hanging and
choking, or I am out. Ay, ay, said Friar John; you speak of it like St.
John de la Palisse.
We asked them why they treated these worthy persons with such a choking
hempen salad. They told us they had only borrowed, alias stolen, the tools
of the mass and hid them under the handle of the parish. This is a very
allegorical way of speaking, said Epistemon.
How Pantagruel came to the islands of Tohu and Bohu; and of the strange
death of Wide-nostrils, the swallower of windmills.
That day Pantagruel came to the two islands of Tohu and Bohu, where the
devil a bit we could find anything to fry with. For one Wide-nostrils,
a huge giant, had swallowed every individual pan, skillet, kettle,
frying-pan, dripping-pan, and brass and iron pot in the land, for want of
windmills, which were his daily food. Whence it happened that somewhat
before day, about the hour of his digestion, the greedy churl was taken
very ill with a kind of a surfeit, or crudity of stomach, occasioned, as
the physicians said, by the weakness of the concocting faculty of his
stomach, naturally disposed to digest whole windmills at a gust, yet unable
to consume perfectly the pans and skillets; though it had indeed pretty
well digested the kettles and pots, as they said they knew by the
hypostases and eneoremes of four tubs of second-hand drink which he had
evacuated at two different times that morning. They made use of divers
remedies, according to art, to give him ease; but all would not do; the
distemper prevailed over the remedies; insomuch that the famous
Wide-nostrils died that morning of so strange a death that I think you ought
no longer to wonder at that of the poet Aeschylus. It had been foretold him
by the soothsayers that he would die on a certain day by the ruin of
something that should fall on him. The fatal day being come in its turn, he
removed himself out of town, far from all houses, trees, (rocks,) or any
other things that can fall and endanger by their ruin; and strayed in a
large field, trusting himself to the open sky; there very secure, as he
thought, unless indeed the sky should happen to fall, which he held to be
impossible. Yet they say that the larks are much afraid of it; for if it
should fall, they must all be taken.
The Celts that once lived near the Rhine--they are our noble valiant
French--in ancient times were also afraid of the sky's falling; for being
asked by Alexander the Great what they feared most in this world, hoping
well they would say that they feared none but him, considering his great
achievements, they made answer that they feared nothing but the sky's
falling; however, not refusing to enter into a confederacy with so brave a
king, if you believe Strabo, lib. 7, and Arrian, lib. I.
Plutarch also, in his book of the face that appears on the body of the
moon, speaks of one Phenaces, who very much feared the moon should fall on
the earth, and pitied those that live under that planet, as the Aethiopians
and Taprobanians, if so heavy a mass ever happened to fall on them, and
would have feared the like of heaven and earth had they not been duly
propped up and borne by the Atlantic pillars, as the ancients believed,
according to Aristotle's testimony, lib. 5, Metaphys. Notwithstanding all
this, poor Aeschylus was killed by the fall of the shell of a tortoise,
which falling from betwixt the claws of an eagle high in the air, just on
his head, dashed out his brains.
Neither ought you to wonder at the death of another poet, I mean old jolly
Anacreon, who was choked with a grape-stone. Nor at that of Fabius the
Roman praetor, who was choked with a single goat's hair as he was supping
up a porringer of milk. Nor at the death of that bashful fool, who by
holding in his wind, and for want of letting out a bum-gunshot, died
suddenly in the presence of the Emperor Claudius. Nor at that of the
Italian buried on the Via Flaminia at Rome, who in his epitaph complains
that the bite of a she-puss on his little finger was the cause of his
death. Nor of that of Q. Lecanius Bassus, who died suddenly of so small a
prick with a needle on his left thumb that it could hardly be discerned.
Nor of Quenelault, a Norman physician, who died suddenly at Montpellier,
merely for having sideways took a worm out of his hand with a penknife.
Nor of Philomenes, whose servant having got him some new figs for the first
course of his dinner, whilst he went to fetch wine, a straggling well-hung
ass got into the house, and seeing the figs on the table, without further
invitation soberly fell to. Philomenes coming into the room and nicely
observing with what gravity the ass ate its dinner, said to the man, who
was come back, Since thou hast set figs here for this reverend guest of
ours to eat, methinks it is but reason thou also give him some of this wine
to drink. He had no sooner said this, but he was so excessively pleased,
and fell into so exorbitant a fit of laughter, that the use of his spleen
took that of his breath utterly away, and he immediately died. Nor of
Spurius Saufeius, who died supping up a soft-boiled egg as he came out of a
bath. Nor of him who, as Boccaccio tells us, died suddenly by picking his
grinders with a sage-stalk. Nor of Phillipot Placut, who being brisk and
hale, fell dead as he was paying an old debt; which causes, perhaps, many
not to pay theirs, for fear of the like accident. Nor of the painter
Zeuxis, who killed himself with laughing at the sight of the antique
jobbernowl of an old hag drawn by him. Nor, in short, of a thousand more
of which authors write, as Varrius, Pliny, Valerius, J. Baptista Fulgosus,
and Bacabery the elder. In short, Gaffer Wide-nostrils choked himself with
eating a huge lump of fresh butter at the mouth of a hot oven by the advice
They likewise told us there that the King of Cullan in Bohu had routed the
grandees of King Mecloth, and made sad work with the fortresses of Belima.
After this, we sailed by the islands of Nargues and Zargues; also by the
islands of Teleniabin and Geleniabin, very fine and fruitful in ingredients
for clysters; and then by the islands of Enig and Evig, on whose account
formerly the Landgrave of Hesse was swinged off with a vengeance.
How Pantagruel met with a great storm at sea.
The next day we espied nine sail that came spooning before the wind; they
were full of Dominicans, Jesuits, Capuchins, Hermits, Austins, Bernardins,
Egnatins, Celestins, Theatins, Amadeans, Cordeliers, Carmelites, Minims,
and the devil and all of other holy monks and friars, who were going to the
Council of Chesil, to sift and garble some new articles of faith against
the new heretics. Panurge was overjoyed to see them, being most certain of
good luck for that day and a long train of others. So having courteously
saluted the blessed fathers, and recommended the salvation of his precious
soul to their devout prayers and private ejaculations, he caused
seventy-eight dozen of Westphalia hams, units of pots of caviare, tens of
Bolonia sausages, hundreds of botargoes, and thousands of fine angels, for
the souls of the dead, to be thrown on board their ships. Pantagruel seemed
metagrabolized, dozing, out of sorts, and as melancholic as a cat. Friar
John, who soon perceived it, was inquiring of him whence should come this
unusual sadness; when the master, whose watch it was, observing the
fluttering of the ancient above the poop, and seeing that it began to
overcast, judged that we should have wind; therefore he bid the boatswain
call all hands upon deck, officers, sailors, foremast-men, swabbers, and
cabin-boys, and even the passengers; made them first settle their topsails,
take in their spritsail; then he cried, In with your topsails, lower the
foresail, tallow under parrels, braid up close all them sails, strike your
topmasts to the cap, make all sure with your sheeps-feet, lash your guns
fast. All this was nimbly done. Immediately it blowed a storm; the sea
began to roar and swell mountain-high; the rut of the sea was great, the
waves breaking upon our ship's quarter; the north-west wind blustered and
overblowed; boisterous gusts, dreadful clashing, and deadly scuds of wind
whistled through our yards and made our shrouds rattle again. The thunder
grumbled so horridly that you would have thought heaven had been tumbling
about our ears; at the same time it lightened, rained, hailed; the sky lost
its transparent hue, grew dusky, thick, and gloomy, so that we had no other
light than that of the flashes of lightning and rending of the clouds. The
hurricanes, flaws, and sudden whirlwinds began to make a flame about us by
the lightnings, fiery vapours, and other aerial ejaculations. Oh, how our
looks were full of amazement and trouble, while the saucy winds did rudely
lift up above us the mountainous waves of the main! Believe me, it seemed
to us a lively image of the chaos, where fire, air, sea, land, and all the
elements were in a refractory confusion. Poor Panurge having with the full
contents of the inside of his doublet plentifully fed the fish, greedy
enough of such odious fare, sat on the deck all in a heap, with his nose and
arse together, most sadly cast down, moping and half dead; invoked and
called to his assistance all the blessed he- and she-saints he could muster
up; swore and vowed to confess in time and place convenient, and then bawled
out frightfully, Steward, maitre d'hotel, see ho! my friend, my father, my
uncle, prithee let us have a piece of powdered beef or pork; we shall drink
but too much anon, for aught I see. Eat little and drink the more will
hereafter be my motto, I fear. Would to our dear Lord, and to our blessed,
worthy, and sacred Lady, I were now, I say, this very minute of an hour,
well on shore, on terra firma, hale and easy. O twice and thrice happy
those that plant cabbages! O destinies, why did you not spin me for a
cabbage-planter? O how few are there to whom Jupiter hath been so
favourable as to predestinate them to plant cabbages! They have always one
foot on the ground, and the other not far from it. Dispute who will of
felicity and summum bonum, for my part whosoever plants cabbages is now, by
my decree, proclaimed most happy; for as good a reason as the philosopher
Pyrrho, being in the same danger, and seeing a hog near the shore eating
some scattered oats, declared it happy in two respects; first, because it
had plenty of oats, and besides that, was on shore. Ha, for a divine and
princely habitation, commend me to the cows' floor.
Murder! This wave will sweep us away, blessed Saviour! O my friends! a
little vinegar. I sweat again with mere agony. Alas! the mizen-sail's
split, the gallery's washed away, the masts are sprung, the
maintop-masthead dives into the sea; the keel is up to the sun; our shrouds
are almost all broke, and blown away. Alas! alas! where is our main course?
Al is verlooren, by Godt! our topmast is run adrift. Alas! who shall have
this wreck? Friend, lend me here behind you one of these whales. Your
lantern is fallen, my lads. Alas! do not let go the main-tack nor the
bowline. I hear the block crack; is it broke? For the Lord's sake, let us
have the hull, and let all the rigging be damned. Be, be, be, bous, bous,
bous. Look to the needle of your compass, I beseech you, good Sir
Astrophil, and tell us, if you can, whence comes this storm. My heart's
sunk down below my midriff. By my troth, I am in a sad fright, bou, bou,
bou, bous, bous, I am lost for ever. I conskite myself for mere madness and
fear. Bou, bou, bou, bou, Otto to to to to ti. Bou, bou, bou, ou, ou, ou,
bou, bou, bous. I sink, I'm drowned, I'm gone, good people, I'm drowned.
What countenances Panurge and Friar John kept during the storm.
Pantagruel, having first implored the help of the great and Almighty
Deliverer, and prayed publicly with fervent devotion, by the pilot's advice
held tightly the mast of the ship. Friar John had stripped himself to his
waistcoat, to help the seamen. Epistemon, Ponocrates, and the rest did as
much. Panurge alone sat on his breech upon deck, weeping and howling.
Friar John espied him going on the quarter-deck, and said to him, Odzoons!
Panurge the calf, Panurge the whiner, Panurge the brayer, would it not
become thee much better to lend us here a helping hand than to lie lowing
like a cow, as thou dost, sitting on thy stones like a bald-breeched
baboon? Be, be, be, bous, bous, bous, returned Panurge; Friar John, my
friend, my good father, I am drowning, my dear friend! I drown! I am a
dead man, my dear father in God; I am a dead man, my friend; your cutting
hanger cannot save me from this; alas! alas! we are above ela. Above the
pitch, out of tune, and off the hinges. Be, be, be, bou, bous. Alas! we
are now above g sol re ut. I sink, I sink, ha, my father, my uncle, my
all. The water is got into my shoes by the collar; bous, bous, bous,
paish, hu, hu, hu, he, he, he, ha, ha, I drown. Alas! alas! Hu, hu, hu,
hu, hu, hu, hu, be, be, bous, bous, bobous, bobous, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho,
alas! alas! Now I am like your tumblers, my feet stand higher than my
head. Would to heaven I were now with those good holy fathers bound for
the council whom we met this morning, so godly, so fat, so merry, so plump
and comely. Holos, bolos, holas, holas, alas! This devilish wave (mea
culpa Deus), I mean this wave of God, will sink our vessel. Alas! Friar
John, my father, my friend, confession. Here I am down on my knees;
confiteor; your holy blessing. Come hither and be damned, thou pitiful
devil, and help us, said Friar John (who fell a-swearing and cursing like a
tinker), in the name of thirty legions of black devils, come; will you
come? Do not let us swear at this time, said Panurge; holy father, my
friend, do not swear, I beseech you; to-morrow as much as you please.
Holos, holos, alas! our ship leaks. I drown, alas, alas! I will give
eighteen hundred thousand crowns to anyone that will set me on shore, all
berayed and bedaubed as I am now. If ever there was a man in my country in
the like pickle. Confiteor, alas! a word or two of testament or codicil at
least. A thousand devils seize the cuckoldy cow-hearted mongrel, cried
Friar John. Ods-belly, art thou talking here of making thy will now we are
in danger, and it behoveth us to bestir our stumps lustily, or never? Wilt
thou come, ho devil? Midshipman, my friend; O the rare lieutenant; here
Gymnast, here on the poop. We are, by the mass, all beshit now; our light
is out. This is hastening to the devil as fast as it can. Alas, bou, bou,
bou, bou, bou, alas, alas, alas, alas! said Panurge; was it here we were
born to perish? Oh! ho! good people, I drown, I die. Consummatum est. I
am sped--Magna, gna, gna, said Friar John. Fie upon him, how ugly the
shitten howler looks. Boy, younker, see hoyh. Mind the pumps or the devil
choke thee. Hast thou hurt thyself? Zoons, here fasten it to one of these
blocks. On this side, in the devil's name, hay--so, my boy. Ah, Friar
John, said Panurge, good ghostly father, dear friend, don't let us swear,
you sin. Oh, ho, oh, ho, be be be bous, bous, bhous, I sink, I die, my
friends. I die in charity with all the world. Farewell, in manus. Bohus
bohous, bhousowauswaus. St. Michael of Aure! St. Nicholas! now, now or
never, I here make you a solemn vow, and to our Saviour, that if you stand
by me this time, I mean if you set me ashore out of this danger, I will
build you a fine large little chapel or two, between Quande and Montsoreau,
where neither cow nor calf shall feed. Oh ho, oh ho. Above eighteen
pailfuls or two of it are got down my gullet; bous, bhous, bhous, bhous,
how damned bitter and salt it is! By the virtue, said Friar John, of the
blood, the flesh, the belly, the head, if I hear thee again howling, thou
cuckoldy cur, I'll maul thee worse than any sea-wolf. Ods-fish, why don't
we take him up by the lugs and throw him overboard to the bottom of the
sea? Hear, sailor; ho, honest fellow. Thus, thus, my friend, hold fast
above. In truth, here is a sad lightning and thundering; I think that all
the devils are got loose; it is holiday with them; or else Madame
Proserpine is in child's labour: all the devils dance a morrice.
How the pilots were forsaking their ships in the greatest stress of
Oh, said Panurge, you sin, Friar John, my former crony! former, I say, for
at this time I am no more, you are no more. It goes against my heart to
tell it you; for I believe this swearing doth your spleen a great deal of
good; as it is a great ease to a wood-cleaver to cry hem at every blow, and
as one who plays at ninepins is wonderfully helped if, when he hath not
thrown his bowl right, and is like to make a bad cast, some ingenious
stander-by leans and screws his body halfway about on that side which the
bowl should have took to hit the pins. Nevertheless, you offend, my sweet
friend. But what do you think of eating some kind of cabirotadoes?
Wouldn't this secure us from this storm? I have read that the ministers of
the gods Cabiri, so much celebrated by Orpheus, Apollonius, Pherecydes,
Strabo, Pausanias, and Herodotus were always secure in time of storm. He
dotes, he raves, the poor devil! A thousand, a million, nay, a hundred
million of devils seize the hornified doddipole. Lend's a hand here, hoh,
tiger, wouldst thou? Here, on the starboard side. Ods-me, thou buffalo's
head stuffed with relics, what ape's paternoster art thou muttering and
chattering here between thy teeth? That devil of a sea-calf is the cause
of all this storm, and is the only man who doth not lend a helping hand.
By G--, if I come near thee, I'll fetch thee out by the head and ears with
a vengeance, and chastise thee like any tempestative devil. Here, mate, my
lad, hold fast, till I have made a double knot. O brave boy! Would to
heaven thou wert abbot of Talemouze, and that he that is were guardian of
Croullay. Hold, brother Ponocrates, you will hurt yourself, man.
Epistemon, prithee stand off out of the hatchway. Methinks I saw the
thunder fall there but just now. Con the ship, so ho--Mind your steerage.
Well said, thus, thus, steady, keep her thus, get the longboat clear
--steady. Ods-fish, the beak-head is staved to pieces. Grumble, devils,
fart, belch, shite, a t--d o' the wave. If this be weather, the devil's a
ram. Nay, by G--, a little more would have washed me clear away into the
current. I think all the legions of devils hold here their provincial
chapter, or are polling, canvassing, and wrangling for the election of a
new rector. Starboard; well said. Take heed; have a care of your noddle,
lad, in the devil's name. So ho, starboard, starboard. Be, be, be, bous,
bous, bous, cried Panurge; bous, bous, be, be, be, bous, bous, I am lost.
I see neither heaven nor earth; of the four elements we have here only fire
and water left. Bou, bou, bou, bous, bous, bous. Would it were the
pleasure of the worthy divine bounty that I were at this present hour in
the close at Seuille, or at Innocent's the pastry-cook over against the
painted wine-vault at Chinon, though I were to strip to my doublet, and
bake the petti-pasties myself.
Honest man, could not you throw me ashore? you can do a world of good
things, they say. I give you all Salmigondinois, and my large shore full
of whelks, cockles, and periwinkles, if, by your industry, I ever set foot
on firm ground. Alas, alas! I drown. Harkee, my friends, since we cannot
get safe into port, let us come to an anchor in some road, no matter
whither. Drop all your anchors; let us be out of danger, I beseech you.
Here, honest tar, get you into the chains, and heave the lead, an't please
you. Let us know how many fathom water we are in. Sound, friend, in the
Lord Harry's name. Let us know whether a man might here drink easily
without stooping. I am apt to believe one might. Helm a-lee, hoh, cried
the pilot. Helm a-lee; a hand or two at the helm; about ships with her;
helm a-lee, helm a-lee. Stand off from the leech of the sail. Hoh! belay,
here make fast below; hoh, helm a-lee, lash sure the helm a-lee, and let
her drive. Is it come to that? said Pantagruel; our good Saviour then help
us. Let her lie under the sea, cried James Brahier, our chief mate; let
her drive. To prayers, to prayers; let all think on their souls, and fall
to prayers; nor hope to escape but by a miracle. Let us, said Panurge,
make some good pious kind of vow; alas, alas, alas! bou, bou, be, be, be,
bous, bous, bous, oho, oho, oho, oho, let us make a pilgrim; come, come,
let every man club his penny towards it, come on. Here, here, on this
side, said Friar John, in the devil's name. Let her drive, for the Lord's
sake unhang the rudder; hoh, let her drive, let her drive, and let us
drink, I say, of the best and most cheering; d'ye hear, steward? produce,
exhibit; for, d'ye see this, and all the rest will as well go to the devil
out of hand. A pox on that wind-broker Aeolus, with his fluster-blusters.
Sirrah, page, bring me here my drawer (for so he called his breviary); stay
a little here; haul, friend, thus. Odzoons, here is a deal of hail and
thunder to no purpose. Hold fast above, I pray you. When have we
All-saints day? I believe it is the unholy holiday of all the devil's crew.
Alas! said Panurge, Friar John damns himself here as black as buttermilk
for the nonce. Oh, what a good friend I lose in him. Alas, alas! this is
another gats-bout than last year's. We are falling out of Scylla into
Charybdis. Oho! I drown. Confiteor; one poor word or two by way of
testament, Friar John, my ghostly father; good Mr. Abstractor, my crony,
my Achates, Xenomanes, my all. Alas! I drown; two words of testament here
upon this ladder.
A continuation of the storm, with a short discourse on the subject of
making testaments at sea.
To make one's last will, said Epistemon, at this time that we ought to
bestir ourselves and help our seamen, on the penalty of being drowned,
seems to me as idle and ridiculous a maggot as that of some of Caesar's
men, who, at their coming into the Gauls, were mightily busied in making
wills and codicils; bemoaned their fortune and the absence of their spouses
and friends at Rome, when it was absolutely necessary for them to run to
their arms and use their utmost strength against Ariovistus their enemy.
This also is to be as silly as that jolt-headed loblolly of a carter, who,
having laid his waggon fast in a slough, down on his marrow-bones was
calling on the strong-backed deity, Hercules, might and main, to help him
at a dead lift, but all the while forgot to goad on his oxen and lay his
shoulder to the wheels, as it behoved him; as if a Lord have mercy upon us
alone would have got his cart out of the mire.
What will it signify to make your will now? for either we shall come off or
drown for it. If we 'scape, it will not signify a straw to us; for
testaments are of no value or authority but by the death of the testators.
If we are drowned, will it not be drowned too? Prithee, who will transmit
it to the executors? Some kind wave will throw it ashore, like Ulysses,
replied Panurge; and some king's daughter, going to fetch a walk in the
fresco, on the evening will find it, and take care to have it proved and
fulfilled; nay, and have some stately cenotaph erected to my memory, as
Dido had to that of her goodman Sichaeus; Aeneas to Deiphobus, upon the
Trojan shore, near Rhoete; Andromache to Hector, in the city of Buthrot;
Aristotle to Hermias and Eubulus; the Athenians to the poet Euripides; the
Romans to Drusus in Germany, and to Alexander Severus, their emperor, in
the Gauls; Argentier to Callaischre; Xenocrates to Lysidices; Timares to
his son Teleutagoras; Eupolis and Aristodice to their son Theotimus;
Onestus to Timocles; Callimachus to Sopolis, the son of Dioclides; Catullus
to his brother; Statius to his father; Germain of Brie to Herve, the Breton
tarpaulin. Art thou mad, said Friar John, to run on at this rate? Help,
here, in the name of five hundred thousand millions of cartloads of devils,
help! may a shanker gnaw thy moustachios, and the three rows of pock-royals
and cauliflowers cover thy bum and turd-barrel instead of breeches and
codpiece. Codsooks, our ship is almost overset. Ods-death, how shall we
clear her? it is well if she do not founder. What a devilish sea there
runs! She'll neither try nor hull; the sea will overtake her, so we shall
never 'scape; the devil 'scape me. Then Pantagruel was heard to make a sad
exclamation, saying, with a loud voice, Lord save us, we perish; yet not as
we would have it, but thy holy will be done. The Lord and the blessed
Virgin be with us, said Panurge. Holos, alas, I drown; be be be bous, be
bous, bous; in manus. Good heavens, send me some dolphin to carry me safe
on shore, like a pretty little Arion. I shall make shift to sound the
harp, if it be not unstrung. Let nineteen legions of black devils seize
me, said Friar John. (The Lord be with us! whispered Panurge, between his
chattering teeth.) If I come down to thee, I'll show thee to some purpose
that the badge of thy humanity dangles at a calf's breech, thou ragged,
horned, cuckoldy booby--mgna, mgnan, mgnan--come hither and help us, thou
great weeping calf, or may thirty millions of devils leap on thee. Wilt
thou come, sea-calf? Fie; how ugly the howling whelp looks. What, always
the same ditty? Come on now, my bonny drawer. This he said, opening his
breviary. Come forward, thou and I must be somewhat serious for a while;
let me peruse thee stiffly. Beatus vir qui non abiit. Pshaw, I know all
this by heart; let us see the legend of Mons. St. Nicholas.
Horrida tempestas montem turbavit acutum.
Tempest was a mighty flogger of lads at Mountagu College. If pedants be
damned for whipping poor little innocent wretches their scholars, he is,
upon my honour, by this time fixed within Ixion's wheel, lashing the
crop-eared, bobtailed cur that gives it motion. If they are saved for
having whipped innocent lads, he ought to be above the--
An end of the storm.
Shore, shore! cried Pantagruel. Land to, my friends, I see land! Pluck up
a good spirit, boys, 'tis within a kenning. So! we are not far from a
port.--I see the sky clearing up to the northwards.--Look to the
south-east! Courage, my hearts, said the pilot; now she'll bear the hullock
of a sail; the sea is much smoother; some hands aloft to the maintop. Put
the helm a-weather. Steady! steady! Haul your after-mizen bowlines. Haul,
haul, haul! Thus, thus, and no near. Mind your steerage; bring your
main-tack aboard. Clear your sheets; clear your bowlines; port, port. Helm
a-lee. Now to the sheet on the starboard side, thou son of a whore. Thou
art mightily pleased, honest fellow, quoth Friar John, with hearing make
mention of thy mother. Luff, luff, cried the quartermaster that conned the
ship, keep her full, luff the helm. Luff. It is, answered the steersman.
Keep her thus. Get the bonnets fixed. Steady, steady.
That is well said, said Friar John now, this is something like a tansy.
Come, come, come, children, be nimble. Good. Luff, luff, thus. Helm
a-weather. That's well said and thought on. Methinks the storm is almost
over. It was high time, faith; however, the Lord be thanked. Our devils
begin to scamper. Out with all your sails. Hoist your sails. Hoist.
That is spoke like a man, hoist, hoist. Here, a God's name, honest
Ponocrates; thou art a lusty fornicator; the whoreson will get none but
boys. Eusthenes, thou art a notable fellow. Run up to the fore-topsail.
Thus, thus. Well said, i' faith; thus, thus. I dare not fear anything all
this while, for it is holiday. Vea, vea, vea! huzza! This shout of the
seaman is not amiss, and pleases me, for it is holiday. Keep her full
thus. Good. Cheer up, my merry mates all, cried out Epistemon; I see
already Castor on the right. Be, be, bous, bous, bous, said Panurge; I am
much afraid it is the bitch Helen. It is truly Mixarchagenas, returned
Epistemon, if thou likest better that denomination, which the Argives give
him. Ho, ho! I see land too; let her bear in with the harbour; I see a
good many people on the beach; I see a light on an obeliscolychny. Shorten
your sails, said the pilot; fetch the sounding line; we must double that
point of land, and mind the sands. We are clear of them, said the sailors.
Soon after, Away she goes, quoth the pilot, and so doth the rest of our
fleet; help came in good season.
By St. John, said Panurge, this is spoke somewhat like. O the sweet word!
there is the soul of music in it. Mgna, mgna, mgna, said Friar John; if
ever thou taste a drop of it, let the devil's dam taste me, thou ballocky
devil. Here, honest soul, here's a full sneaker of the very best. Bring
the flagons; dost hear, Gymnast: and that same large pasty jambic,
gammonic, as you will have it. Take heed you pilot her in right.
Cheer up, cried out Pantagruel; cheer up, my boys; let us be ourselves
again. Do you see yonder, close by our ship, two barks, three sloops, five
ships, eight pinks, four yawls, and six frigates making towards us, sent by
the good people of the neighbouring island to our relief? But who is this
Ucalegon below, that cries and makes such a sad moan? Were it not that I
hold the mast firmly with both my hands, and keep it straighter than two
hundred tacklings--I would--It is, said Friar John, that poor devil
Panurge, who is troubled with a calf's ague; he quakes for fear when his
belly's full. If, said Pantagruel, he hath been afraid during this
dreadful hurricane and dangerous storm, provided (waiving that) he hath
done his part like a man, I do not value him a jot the less for it. For as
to fear in all encounters is the mark of a heavy and cowardly heart, as
Agamemnon did, who for that reason is ignominiously taxed by Achilles with
having dog's eyes and a stag's heart; so, not to fear when the case is
evidently dreadful is a sign of want or smallness of judgment. Now, if
anything ought to be feared in this life, next to offending God, I will not
say it is death. I will not meddle with the disputes of Socrates and the
academics, that death of itself is neither bad nor to be feared, but I will
affirm that this kind of shipwreck is to be feared, or nothing is. For, as
Homer saith, it is a grievous, dreadful, and unnatural thing to perish at
sea. And indeed Aeneas, in the storm that took his fleet near Sicily, was
grieved that he had not died by the hand of the brave Diomedes, and said
that those were three, nay four times happy, who perished in the
conflagration at Troy. No man here hath lost his life, the Lord our
Saviour be eternally praised for it! but in truth here is a ship sadly out
of order. Well, we must take care to have the damage repaired. Take heed
we do not run aground and bulge her.
How Panurge played the good fellow when the storm was over.
What cheer, ho, fore and aft? quoth Panurge. Oh ho! all is well, the storm
is over. I beseech ye, be so kind as to let me be the first that is sent
on shore; for I would by all means a little untruss a point. Shall I help
you still? Here, let me see, I will coil this rope; I have plenty of
courage, and of fear as little as may be. Give it me yonder, honest tar.
No, no, I have not a bit of fear. Indeed, that same decumane wave that
took us fore and aft somewhat altered my pulse. Down with your sails; well
said. How now, Friar John? you do nothing. Is it time for us to drink
now? Who can tell but St. Martin's running footman Belzebuth may still be
hatching us some further mischief? Shall I come and help you again? Pork
and peas choke me, if I do heartily repent, though too late, not having
followed the doctrine of the good philosopher who tells us that to walk by
the sea and to navigate by the shore are very safe and pleasant things;
just as 'tis to go on foot when we hold our horse by the bridle. Ha! ha!
ha! by G--, all goes well. Shall I help you here too? Let me see, I will
do this as it should be, or the devil's in't.
Epistemon, who had the inside of one of his hands all flayed and bloody,
having held a tackling with might and main, hearing what Pantagruel had
said, told him: You may believe, my lord, I had my share of fear as well
as Panurge; yet I spared no pains in lending my helping hand. I considered
that, since by fatal and unavoidable necessity we must all die, it is the
blessed will of God that we die this or that hour, and this or that kind of
death. Nevertheless, we ought to implore, invoke, pray, beseech, and
supplicate him; but we must not stop there; it behoveth us also to use our
endeavours on our side, and, as the holy writ saith, to co-operate with
You know what C. Flaminius, the consul, said when by Hannibal's policy he
was penned up near the lake of Peruse, alias Thrasymene. Friends, said he
to his soldiers, you must not hope to get out of this place barely by vows
or prayers to the gods; no, 'tis by fortitude and strength we must escape
and cut ourselves a way with the edge of our swords through the midst of
Sallust likewise makes M. Portius Cato say this: The help of the gods is
not obtained by idle vows and womanish complaints; 'tis by vigilance,
labour, and repeated endeavours that all things succeed according to our
wishes and designs. If a man in time of need and danger is negligent,
heartless, and lazy, in vain he implores the gods; they are then justly
angry and incensed against him. The devil take me, said Friar John,--I'll
go his halves, quoth Panurge,--if the close of Seville had not been all
gathered, vintaged, gleaned, and destroyed, if I had only sung contra
hostium insidias (matter of breviary) like all the rest of the monking
devils, and had not bestirred myself to save the vineyard as I did,
despatching the truant picaroons of Lerne with the staff of the cross.
Let her sink or swim a God's name, said Panurge, all's one to Friar John;
he doth nothing; his name is Friar John Do-little; for all he sees me here
a-sweating and puffing to help with all my might this honest tar, first of
the name.--Hark you me, dear soul, a word with you; but pray be not angry.
How thick do you judge the planks of our ship to be? Some two good inches
and upwards, returned the pilot; don't fear. Ods-kilderkins, said Panurge,
it seems then we are within two fingers' breadth of damnation.
Is this one of the nine comforts of matrimony? Ah, dear soul, you do well
to measure the danger by the yard of fear. For my part, I have none on't;
my name is William Dreadnought. As for heart, I have more than enough
on't. I mean none of your sheep's heart; but of wolf's heart--the courage
of a bravo. By the pavilion of Mars, I fear nothing but danger.
How Panurge was said to have been afraid without reason during the storm.
Good morrow, gentlemen, said Panurge; good morrow to you all; you are in
very good health, thanks to heaven and yourselves; you are all heartily
welcome, and in good time. Let us go on shore.--Here, coxswain, get the
ladder over the gunnel; man the sides; man the pinnace, and get her by the
ship's side. Shall I lend you a hand here? I am stark mad for want of
business, and would work like any two yokes of oxen. Truly this is a fine
place, and these look like a very good people. Children, do you want me
still in anything? do not spare the sweat of my body, for God's sake.
Adam--that is, man--was made to labour and work, as the birds were made to
fly. Our Lord's will is that we get our bread with the sweat of our brows,
not idling and doing nothing, like this tatterdemalion of a monk here, this
Friar Jack, who is fain to drink to hearten himself up, and dies for fear.
--Rare weather.--I now find the answer of Anacharsis, the noble philosopher,
very proper. Being asked what ship he reckoned the safest, he replied:
That which is in the harbour. He made a yet better repartee, said
Pantagruel, when somebody inquiring which is greater, the number of the
living or that of the dead, he asked them amongst which of the two they
reckoned those that are at sea, ingeniously implying that they are
continually in danger of death, dying alive, and living die. Portius Cato
also said that there were but three things of which he would repent: if
ever he had trusted his wife with his secret, if he had idled away a day,
and if he had ever gone by sea to a place which he could visit by land. By
this dignified frock of mine, said Friar John to Panurge, friend, thou hast
been afraid during the storm without cause or reason; for thou wert not
born to be drowned, but rather to be hanged and exalted in the air, or to
be roasted in the midst of a jolly bonfire. My lord, would you have a good
cloak for the rain; leave me off your wolf and badger-skin mantle; let
Panurge but be flayed, and cover yourself with his hide. But do not come
near the fire, nor near your blacksmith's forges, a God's name; for in a
moment you will see it in ashes. Yet be as long as you please in the rain,
snow, hail, nay, by the devil's maker, throw yourself or dive down to the
very bottom of the water, I'll engage you'll not be wet at all. Have some
winter boots made of it, they'll never take in a drop of water; make
bladders of it to lay under boys to teach them to swim, instead of corks,
and they will learn without the least danger. His skin, then, said
Pantagruel, should be like the herb called true maiden's hair, which never
takes wet nor moistness, but still keeps dry, though you lay it at the
bottom of the water as long as you please; and for that reason is called
Friend Panurge, said Friar John, I pray thee never be afraid of water; thy
life for mine thou art threatened with a contrary element. Ay, ay, replied
Panurge, but the devil's cooks dote sometimes, and are apt to make horrid
blunders as well as others; often putting to boil in water what was
designed to be roasted on the fire; like the head-cooks of our kitchen, who
often lard partridges, queests, and stock-doves with intent to roast them,
one would think; but it happens sometimes that they e'en turn the
partridges into the pot to be boiled with cabbages, the queests with leek
pottage, and the stock-doves with turnips. But hark you me, good friends,
I protest before this noble company, that as for the chapel which I vowed
to Mons. St. Nicholas between Quande and Montsoreau, I honestly mean that
it shall be a chapel of rose-water, which shall be where neither cow nor
calf shall be fed; for between you and I, I intend to throw it to the
bottom of the water. Here is a rare rogue for you, said Eusthenes; here is
a pure rogue, a rogue in grain, a rogue enough, a rogue and a half. He is
resolved to make good the Lombardic proverb, Passato el pericolo, gabbato
The devil was sick, the devil a monk would be;
The devil was well, the devil a monk was he.
How, after the storm, Pantagruel went on shore in the islands of the
Immediately after we went ashore at the port of an island which they called
the island of the Macreons. The good people of the place received us very
honourably. An old Macrobius (so they called their eldest elderman)
desired Pantagruel to come to the town-house to refresh himself and eat
something, but he would not budge a foot from the mole till all his men
were landed. After he had seen them, he gave order that they should all
change clothes, and that some of all the stores in the fleet should be
brought on shore, that every ship's crew might live well; which was
accordingly done, and God wot how well they all toped and caroused. The
people of the place brought them provisions in abundance. The
Pantagruelists returned them more; as the truth is, theirs were somewhat
damaged by the late storm. When they had well stuffed the insides of their
doublets, Pantagruel desired everyone to lend their help to repair the
damage; which they readily did. It was easy enough to refit there; for all
the inhabitants of the island were carpenters and all such handicrafts as
are seen in the arsenal at Venice. None but the largest island was
inhabited, having three ports and ten parishes; the rest being overrun with
wood and desert, much like the forest of Arden. We entreated the old
Macrobius to show us what was worth seeing in the island; which he did; and
in the desert and dark forest we discovered several old ruined temples,
obelisks, pyramids, monuments, and ancient tombs, with divers inscriptions
and epitaphs; some of them in hieroglyphic characters; others in the Ionic
dialect; some in the Arabic, Agarenian, Slavonian, and other tongues; of
which Epistemon took an exact account. In the interim, Panurge said to
Friar John, Is this the island of the Macreons? Macreon signifies in Greek
an old man, or one much stricken in years. What is that to me? said Friar
John; how can I help it? I was not in the country when they christened it.
Now I think on't, quoth Panurge, I believe the name of mackerel (Motteux
adds, between brackets,--'that's a Bawd in French.') was derived from it;
for procuring is the province of the old, as buttock-riggling is that of
the young. Therefore I do not know but this may be the bawdy or Mackerel
Island, the original and prototype of the island of that name at Paris.
Let's go and dredge for cock-oysters. Old Macrobius asked, in the Ionic
tongue, How, and by what industry and labour, Pantagruel got to their port
that day, there having been such blustering weather and such a dreadful
storm at sea. Pantagruel told him that the Almighty Preserver of mankind
had regarded the simplicity and sincere affection of his servants, who did
not travel for gain or sordid profit, the sole design of their voyage being
a studious desire to know, see, and visit the Oracle of Bacbuc, and take
the word of the Bottle upon some difficulties offered by one of the
company; nevertheless this had not been without great affliction and
evident danger of shipwreck. After that, he asked him what he judged to be
the cause of that terrible tempest, and if the adjacent seas were thus
frequently subject to storms; as in the ocean are the Ratz of Sammaieu,
Maumusson, and in the Mediterranean sea the Gulf of Sataly, Montargentan,
Piombino, Capo Melio in Laconia, the Straits of Gibraltar, Faro di Messina,
How the good Macrobius gave us an account of the mansion and decease of the
The good Macrobius then answered, Friendly strangers, this island is one of
the Sporades; not of your Sporades that lie in the Carpathian sea, but one
of the Sporades of the ocean; in former times rich, frequented, wealthy,
populous, full of traffic, and in the dominions of the rulers of Britain,
but now, by course of time, and in these latter ages of the world, poor and
desolate, as you see. In this dark forest, above seventy-eight thousand
Persian leagues in compass, is the dwelling-place of the demons and heroes
that are grown old, and we believe that some one of them died yesterday;
since the comet which we saw for three days before together, shines no
more; and now it is likely that at his death there arose this horrible
storm; for while they are alive all happiness attends both this and the
adjacent islands, and a settled calm and serenity. At the death of every
one of them, we commonly hear in the forest loud and mournful groans, and
the whole land is infested with pestilence, earthquakes, inundations, and
other calamities; the air with fogs and obscurity, and the sea with storms
and hurricanes. What you tell us seems to me likely enough, said
Pantagruel. For as a torch or candle, as long as it hath life enough and
is lighted, shines round about, disperses its light, delights those that
are near it, yields them its service and clearness, and never causes any
pain or displeasure; but as soon as 'tis extinguished, its smoke and
evaporation infects the air, offends the bystanders, and is noisome to all;
so, as long as those noble and renowned souls inhabit their bodies, peace,
profit, pleasure, and honour never leave the places where they abide; but
as soon as they leave them, both the continent and adjacent islands are
annoyed with great commotions; in the air fogs, darkness, thunder, hail;
tremblings, pulsations, agitations of the earth; storms and hurricanes at
sea; together with sad complaints amongst the people, broaching of
religions, changes in governments, and ruins of commonwealths.
We had a sad instance of this lately, said Epistemon, at the death of that
valiant and learned knight, William du Bellay; during whose life France
enjoyed so much happiness, that all the rest of the world looked upon it
with envy, sought friendship with it, and stood in awe of its power; but
soon after his decease it hath for a considerable time been the scorn of
the rest of the world.
Thus, said Pantagruel, Anchises being dead at Drepani in Sicily, Aeneas was
dreadfully tossed and endangered by a storm; and perhaps for the same
reason Herod, that tyrant and cruel King of Judaea, finding himself near
the pangs of a horrid kind of death--for he died of a phthiriasis, devoured
by vermin and lice; as before him died L. Sylla, Pherecydes the Syrian, the
preceptor of Pythagoras, the Greek poet Alcmaeon, and others--and
foreseeing that the Jews would make bonfires at his death, caused all the
nobles and magistrates to be summoned to his seraglio out of all the
cities, towns, and castles of Judaea, fraudulently pretending that he had
some things of moment to impart to them. They made their personal
appearance; whereupon he caused them all to be shut up in the hippodrome of
the seraglio; then said to his sister Salome and Alexander her husband: I
am certain that the Jews will rejoice at my death; but if you will observe
and perform what I tell you, my funeral shall be honourable, and there will
be a general mourning. As soon as you see me dead, let my guards, to whom
I have already given strict commission to that purpose, kill all the
noblemen and magistrates that are secured in the hippodrome. By these
means all Jewry shall, in spite of themselves, be obliged to mourn and
lament, and foreigners will imagine it to be for my death, as if some
heroic soul had left her body. A desperate tyrant wished as much when he
said, When I die, let earth and fire be mixed together; which was as good
as to say, let the whole world perish. Which saying the tyrant Nero
altered, saying, While I live, as Suetonius affirms it. This detestable
saying, of which Cicero, lib. De Finib., and Seneca, lib. 2, De Clementia,
make mention, is ascribed to the Emperor Tiberius by Dion Nicaeus and
Pantagruel's discourse of the decease of heroic souls; and of the dreadful
prodigies that happened before the death of the late Lord de Langey.
I would not, continued Pantagruel, have missed the storm that hath thus
disordered us, were I also to have missed the relation of these things told
us by this good Macrobius. Neither am I unwilling to believe what he said
of a comet that appears in the sky some days before such a decease. For
some of those souls are so noble, so precious, and so heroic that heaven
gives us notice of their departing some days before it happens. And as a
prudent physician, seeing by some symptoms that his patient draws towards
his end, some days before gives notice of it to his wife, children,
kindred, and friends, that, in that little time he hath yet to live, they
may admonish him to settle all things in his family, to tutor and instruct
his children as much as he can, recommend his relict to his friends in her
widowhood, and declare what he knows to be necessary about a provision for
the orphans; that he may not be surprised by death without making his will,
and may take care of his soul and family; in the same manner the heavens,
as it were joyful for the approaching reception of those blessed souls,
seem to make bonfires by those comets and blazing meteors, which they at
the same time kindly design should prognosticate to us here that in a few
days one of those venerable souls is to leave her body and this terrestrial
globe. Not altogether unlike this was what was formerly done at Athens by
the judges of the Areopagus. For when they gave their verdict to cast or
clear the culprits that were tried before them, they used certain notes
according to the substance of the sentences; by Theta signifying
condemnation to death; by T, absolution; by A, ampliation or a demur, when
the case was not sufficiently examined. Thus having publicly set up those
letters, they eased the relations and friends of the prisoners, and such
others as desired to know their doom, of their doubts. Likewise by these
comets, as in ethereal characters, the heavens silently say to us, Make
haste, mortals, if you would know or learn of the blessed souls anything
concerning the public good or your private interest; for their catastrophe
is near, which being past, you will vainly wish for them afterwards.
The good-natured heavens still do more; and that mankind may be declared
unworthy of the enjoyment of those renowned souls, they fright and astonish
us with prodigies, monsters, and other foreboding signs that thwart the
order of nature.
Of this we had an instance several days before the decease of the heroic
soul of the learned and valiant Chevalier de Langey, of whom you have
already spoken. I remember it, said Epistemon; and my heart still trembles
within me when I think on the many dreadful prodigies that we saw five or
six days before he died. For the Lords D'Assier, Chemant, one-eyed Mailly,
St. Ayl, Villeneufue-la-Guyart, Master Gabriel, physician of Savillan,
Rabelais, Cohuau, Massuau, Majorici, Bullou, Cercu, alias Bourgmaistre,
Francis Proust, Ferron, Charles Girard, Francis Bourre, and many other
friends and servants to the deceased, all dismayed, gazed on each other
without uttering one word; yet not without foreseeing that France would in
a short time be deprived of a knight so accomplished and necessary for its
glory and protection, and that heaven claimed him again as its due. By the
tufted tip of my cowl, cried Friar John, I am e'en resolved to become a
scholar before I die. I have a pretty good headpiece of my own, you must
own. Now pray give me leave to ask you a civil question. Can these same
heroes or demigods you talk of die? May I never be damned if I was not so
much a lobcock as to believe they had been immortal, like so many fine
angels. Heaven forgive me! but this most reverend father, Macroby, tells
us they die at last. Not all, returned Pantagruel.
The Stoics held them all to be mortal, except one, who alone is immortal,
impassible, invisible. Pindar plainly saith that there is no more thread,
that is to say, no more life, spun from the distaff and flax of the
hard-hearted Fates for the goddesses Hamadryades than there is for those
trees that are preserved by them, which are good, sturdy, downright oaks;
whence they derived their original, according to the opinion of Callimachus
and Pausanias in Phoci. With whom concurs Martianus Capella. As for the
demigods, fauns, satyrs, sylvans, hobgoblins, aegipanes, nymphs, heroes, and
demons, several men have, from the total sum, which is the result of the
divers ages calculated by Hesiod, reckoned their life to be 9720 years; that
sum consisting of four special numbers orderly arising from one, the same
added together and multiplied by four every way amounts to forty; these
forties, being reduced into triangles by five times, make up the total of
the aforesaid number. See Plutarch, in his book about the Cessation of
This, said Friar John, is not matter of breviary; I may believe as little
or as much of it as you and I please. I believe, said Pantagruel, that all
intellectual souls are exempted from Atropos's scissors. They are all
immortal, whether they be of angels, or demons, or human; yet I will tell
you a story concerning this that is very strange, but is written and
affirmed by several learned historians.
How Pantagruel related a very sad story of the death of the heroes.
Epitherses, the father of Aemilian the rhetorician, sailing from Greece to
Italy in a ship freighted with divers goods and passengers, at night the
wind failed 'em near the Echinades, some islands that lie between the Morea
and Tunis, and the vessel was driven near Paxos. When they were got
thither, some of the passengers being asleep, others awake, the rest eating
and drinking, a voice was heard that called aloud, Thamous! which cry
surprised them all. This same Thamous was their pilot, an Egyptian by
birth, but known by name only to some few travellers. The voice was heard
a second time calling Thamous, in a frightful tone; and none making answer,
but trembling and remaining silent, the voice was heard a third time, more
dreadful than before.
This caused Thamous to answer: Here am I; what dost thou call me for?
What wilt thou have me do? Then the voice, louder than before, bid him
publish when he should come to Palodes, that the great god Pan was dead.
Epitherses related that all the mariners and passengers, having heard this,
were extremely amazed and frighted; and that, consulting among themselves
whether they had best conceal or divulge what the voice had enjoined,
Thamous said his advice was that if they happened to have a fair wind they
should proceed without mentioning a word on't, but if they chanced to be
becalmed he would publish what he had heard. Now when they were near
Palodes they had no wind, neither were they in any current. Thamous then
getting up on the top of the ship's forecastle, and casting his eyes on the
shore, said that he had been commanded to proclaim that the great god Pan
was dead. The words were hardly out of his mouth, when deep groans, great
lamentations, and doleful shrieks, not of one person, but of many together,
were heard from the land.
The news of this--many being present then--was soon spread at Rome;
insomuch that Tiberius, who was then emperor, sent for this Thamous, and
having heard him gave credit to his words. And inquiring of the learned in
his court and at Rome who was that Pan, he found by their relation that he
was the son of Mercury and Penelope, as Herodotus and Cicero in his third
book of the Nature of the Gods had written before.
For my part, I understand it of that great Saviour of the faithful who was
shamefully put to death at Jerusalem by the envy and wickedness of the
doctors, priests, and monks of the Mosaic law. And methinks my
interpretation is not improper; for he may lawfully be said in the Greek
tongue to be Pan, since he is our all. For all that we are, all that we
live, all that we have, all that we hope, is him, by him, from him, and in
him. He is the good Pan, the great shepherd, who, as the loving shepherd
Corydon affirms, hath not only a tender love and affection for his sheep,
but also for their shepherds. At his death, complaints, sighs, fears, and
lamentations were spread through the whole fabric of the universe, whether
heavens, land, sea, or hell.
The time also concurs with this interpretation of mine; for this most good,
most mighty Pan, our only Saviour, died near Jerusalem during the reign of
Pantagruel, having ended this discourse, remained silent and full of
contemplation. A little while after we saw the tears flow out of his eyes
as big as ostrich's eggs. God take me presently if I tell you one single
syllable of a lie in the matter.
How Pantagruel sailed by the Sneaking Island, where Shrovetide reigned.
The jovial fleet being refitted and repaired, new stores taken in, the
Macreons over and above satisfied and pleased with the money spent there by
Pantagruel, our men in better humour than they used to be, if possible, we
merrily put to sea the next day, near sunset, with a delicious fresh gale.
Xenomanes showed us afar off the Sneaking Island, where reigned Shrovetide,
of whom Pantagruel had heard much talk formerly; for that reason he would
gladly have seen him in person, had not Xenomanes advised him to the
contrary; first, because this would have been much out of our way, and then
for the lean cheer which he told us was to be found at that prince's court,
and indeed all over the island.
You can see nothing there for your money, said he, but a huge greedy-guts,
a tall woundy swallower of hot wardens and mussels; a long-shanked
mole-catcher; an overgrown bottler of hay; a mossy-chinned demi-giant, with
a double shaven crown, of lantern breed; a very great loitering noddy-peaked
youngster, banner-bearer to the fish-eating tribe, dictator of mustard-land,
flogger of little children, calciner of ashes, father and foster-father to
physicians, swarming with pardons, indulgences, and stations; a very honest
man; a good catholic, and as brimful of devotion as ever he can hold.
He weeps the three-fourth parts of the day, and never assists at any
weddings; but, give the devil his due, he is the most industrious
larding-stick and skewer-maker in forty kingdoms.
About six years ago, as I passed by Sneaking-land, I brought home a large
skewer from thence, and made a present of it to the butchers of Quande, who
set a great value upon them, and that for a cause. Some time or other, if
ever we live to come back to our own country, I will show you two of them
fastened on the great church porch. His usual food is pickled coats of
mail, salt helmets and head-pieces, and salt sallets; which sometimes makes
him piss pins and needles. As for his clothing, 'tis comical enough o'
conscience, both for make and colour; for he wears grey and cold, nothing
before, and nought behind, with the sleeves of the same.
You will do me a kindness, said Pantagruel, if, as you have described his
clothes, food, actions, and pastimes, you will also give me an account of
his shape and disposition in all his parts. Prithee do, dear cod, said
Friar John, for I have found him in my breviary, and then follow the
movable holy days. With all my heart, answered Xenomanes; we may chance to
hear more of him as we touch at the Wild Island, the dominions of the squab
Chitterlings, his enemies, against whom he is eternally at odds; and were
it not for the help of the noble Carnival, their protector and good
neighbour, this meagre-looked lozelly Shrovetide would long before this
have made sad work among them, and rooted them out of their habitation.
Are these same Chitterlings, said Friar John, male or female, angels or
mortals, women or maids? They are, replied Xenomanes, females in sex,
mortal in kind, some of them maids, others not. The devil have me, said
Friar John, if I ben't for them. What a shameful disorder in nature, is it
not, to make war against women? Let's go back and hack the villain to
pieces. What! meddle with Shrovetide? cried Panurge, in the name of
Beelzebub, I am not yet so weary of my life. No, I'm not yet so mad as
that comes to. Quid juris? Suppose we should find ourselves pent up
between the Chitterlings and Shrovetide? between the anvil and the hammers?
Shankers and buboes! stand off! godzooks, let us make the best of our way.
I bid you good night, sweet Mr. Shrovetide; I recommend to you the
Chitterlings, and pray don't forget the puddings.
How Shrovetide is anatomized and described by Xenomanes.
As for the inward parts of Shrovetide, said Xenomanes; his brain is (at
least, it was in my time) in bigness, colours, substance, and strength,
much like the left cod of a he hand-worm.
The ventricles of his said brain, The stomach, like a belt.
like an auger. The pylorus, like a pitchfork.
The worm-like excrescence, like The windpipe, like an oyster-
a Christmas-box. knife.
The membranes, like a monk's The throat, like a pincushion
cowl. stuffed with oakum.
The funnel, like a mason's chisel. The lungs, like a prebend's
The fornix, like a casket. fur-gown.
The glandula pinealis, like a bag- The heart, like a cope.
pipe. The mediastine, like an earthen
The rete mirabile, like a gutter. cup.
The dug-like processus, like a The pleura, like a crow's bill.
patch. The arteries, like a watch-coat.
The tympanums, like a whirli- The midriff, like a montero-cap.
gig. The liver, like a double-tongued
The rocky bones, like a goose- mattock.
wing. The veins, like a sash-window.
The nape of the neck, like a paper The spleen, like a catcall.
lantern. The guts, like a trammel.
The nerves, like a pipkin. The gall, like a cooper's adze.
The uvula, like a sackbut. The entrails, like a gauntlet.
The palate, like a mitten. The mesentery, like an abbot's
The spittle, like a shuttle. mitre.
The almonds, like a telescope. The hungry gut, like a button.
The bridge of his nose, like a The blind gut, like a breastplate.
wheelbarrow. The colon, like a bridle.
The head of the larynx, like a The arse-gut, like a monk's
vintage-basket. leathern bottle.
The kidneys, like a trowel. The ligaments, like a tinker's
The loins, like a padlock. budget.
The ureters, like a pothook. The bones, like three-cornered
The emulgent veins, like two cheesecakes.
gilliflowers. The marrow, like a wallet.
The spermatic vessels, like a The cartilages, like a field-
cully-mully-puff. tortoise, alias a mole.
The parastata, like an inkpot. The glandules in the mouth, like
The bladder, like a stone-bow. a pruning-knife.
The neck, like a mill-clapper. The animal spirits, like swingeing
The mirach, or lower parts of the fisticuffs.
belly, like a high-crowned hat. The blood-fermenting, like a
The siphach, or its inner rind, multiplication of flirts on the
like a wooden cuff. nose.
The muscles, like a pair of bellows. The urine, like a figpecker.
The tendons, like a hawking- The sperm, like a hundred
glove. ten-penny nails.
And his nurse told me, that being married to Mid-lent, he only begot a good
number of local adverbs and certain double fasts.
His memory he had like a scarf. His undertakings, like the ballast
His common sense, like a buzzing of a galleon.
of bees. His understanding, like a torn
His imagination, like the chime breviary.
of a set of bells. His notions, like snails crawling
His thoughts, like a flight of star- out of strawberries.
lings. His will, like three filberts in a
His conscience, like the unnest- porringer.
ling of a parcel of young His desire, like six trusses of hay.
herons. His judgment, like a shoeing-
His deliberations, like a set of horn.
organs. His discretion, like the truckle of
His repentance, like the carriage a pulley.
of a double cannon. His reason, like a cricket.
Shrovetide's outward parts anatomized.
Shrovetide, continued Xenomanes, is somewhat better proportioned in his
outward parts, excepting the seven ribs which he had over and above the
common shape of men.
His toes were like a virginal on The peritoneum, or caul wherein
an organ. his bowels were wrapped, like
His nails, like a gimlet. a billiard-table.
His feet, like a guitar. His back, like an overgrown rack-
His heels, like a club. bent crossbow.
The soles of his feet, like a cru- The vertebrae, or joints of his
cible. backbone, like a bagpipe.
His legs, like a hawk's lure. His ribs, like a spinning-wheel.
His knees, like a joint-stool. His brisket, like a canopy.
His thighs, like a steel cap. His shoulder-blades, like a mortar.
His hips, like a wimble. His breast, like a game at nine-
His belly as big as a tun, buttoned pins.
after the old fashion, with a His paps, like a hornpipe.
girdle riding over the middle His armpits, like a chequer.
of his bosom. His shoulders, like a hand-barrow.
His navel, like a cymbal. His arms, like a riding-hood.
His groin, like a minced pie. His fingers, like a brotherhood's
His member, like a slipper. andirons.
His purse, like an oil cruet. The fibulae, or lesser bones of his
His genitals, like a joiner's planer. legs, like a pair of stilts.
Their erecting muscles, like a His shin-bones, like sickles.
racket. His elbows, like a mouse-trap.
The perineum, like a flageolet. His hands, like a curry-comb.
His arse-hole, like a crystal look- His neck, like a talboy.
ing-glass. His throat, like a felt to distil hip-
His bum, like a harrow. pocras.
The knob in his throat, like a His loins, like a butter-pot.
barrel, where hanged two His jaws, like a caudle cup.
brazen wens, very fine and His teeth, like a hunter's staff.
harmonious, in the shape of an Of such colt's teeth as his,
hourglass. you will find one at Colonges
His beard, like a lantern. les Royaux in Poitou, and
His chin, like a mushroom. two at La Brosse in Xaintonge,
His ears, like a pair of gloves. on the cellar door.
His nose, like a buskin. His tongue, like a jew's-harp.
His nostrils, like a forehead cloth. His mouth, like a horse-cloth.
His eyebrows, like a dripping-pan. His face embroidered like a mule's
On his left brow was a mark of pack-saddle.
the shape and bigness of an His head contrived like a still.
urinal. His skull, like a pouch.
His eyelids, like a fiddle. The suturae, or seams of his skull,
His eyes, like a comb-box. like the annulus piscatoris, or
His optic nerves, like a tinder- the fisher's signet.
box. His skin, like a gabardine.
His forehead, like a false cup. His epidermis, or outward skin,
His temples, like the cock of a like a bolting-cloth.
cistern. His hair, like a scrubbing-brush.
His cheeks, like a pair of wooden His fur, such as above said.
A continuation of Shrovetide's countenance.
'Tis a wonderful thing, continued Xenomanes, to hear and see the state of
If he chanced to spit, it was whole When he trembled, it was large
basketsful of goldfinches. venison pasties.
If he blowed his nose, it was When he did sweat, it was old
pickled grigs. ling with butter sauce.
When he wept, it was ducks with When he belched, it was bushels
onion sauce. of oysters.
When he sneezed, it was whole When he muttered, it was lawyers'
tubfuls of mustard. revels.
When he coughed, it was boxes When he hopped about, it was
of marmalade. letters of licence and protec-
When he sobbed, it was water- tions.
cresses. When he stepped back, it was
When he yawned, it was potfuls sea cockle-shells.
of pickled peas. When he slabbered, it was com-
When he sighed, it was dried mon ovens.
neats' tongues. When he was hoarse, it was an
When he whistled, it was a whole entry of morrice-dancers.
scuttleful of green apes. When he broke wind, it was dun
When he snored, it was a whole cows' leather spatterdashes.
panful of fried beans. When he funked, it was washed-
When he frowned, it was soused leather boots.
hogs' feet. When he scratched himself, it
When he spoke, it was coarse was new proclamations.
brown russet cloth; so little When he sung, it was peas in
it was like crimson silk, with cods.
which Parisatis desired that When he evacuated, it was mush-
the words of such as spoke to rooms and morilles.
her son Cyrus, King of Persia, When he puffed, it was cabbages
should be interwoven. with oil, alias caules amb'olif.
When he blowed, it was indulg- When he talked, it was the last
ence money-boxes. year's snow.
When he winked, it was buttered When he dreamt, it was of a
buns. cock and a bull.
When he grumbled, it was March When he gave nothing, so much
cats. for the bearer.
When he nodded, it was iron- If he thought to himself, it was
bound waggons. whimsies and maggots.
When he made mouths, it was If he dozed, it was leases of lands.
What is yet more strange, he used to work doing nothing, and did nothing
though he worked; caroused sleeping, and slept carousing, with his eyes
open, like the hares in our country, for fear of being taken napping by the
Chitterlings, his inveterate enemies; biting he laughed, and laughing bit;
eat nothing fasting, and fasted eating nothing; mumbled upon suspicion,
drank by imagination, swam on the tops of high steeples, dried his clothes
in ponds and rivers, fished in the air, and there used to catch decumane
lobsters; hunted at the bottom of the herring-pond, and caught there
ibexes, stamboucs, chamois, and other wild goats; used to put out the eyes
of all the crows which he took sneakingly; feared nothing but his own
shadow and the cries of fat kids; used to gad abroad some days, like a
truant schoolboy; played with the ropes of bells on festival days of
saints; made a mallet of his fist, and writ on hairy parchment
prognostications and almanacks with his huge pin-case.
Is that the gentleman? said Friar John. He is my man; this is the very
fellow I looked for. I will send him a challenge immediately. This is,
said Pantagruel, a strange and monstrous sort of man, if I may call him a
man. You put me in mind of the form and looks of Amodunt and Dissonance.
How were they made? said Friar John. May I be peeled like a raw onion if
ever I heard a word of them. I'll tell you what I read of them in some
ancient apologues, replied Pantagruel.
Physis--that is to say, Nature--at her first burthen begat Beauty and
Harmony without carnal copulation, being of herself very fruitful and
prolific. Antiphysis, who ever was the counter part of Nature,
immediately, out of a malicious spite against her for her beautiful and
honourable productions, in opposition begot Amodunt and Dissonance by
copulation with Tellumon. Their heads were round like a football, and not
gently flatted on both sides, like the common shape of men. Their ears
stood pricked up like those of asses; their eyes, as hard as those of
crabs, and without brows, stared out of their heads, fixed on bones like
those of our heels; their feet were round like tennis-balls; their arms and
hands turned backwards towards their shoulders; and they walked on their
heads, continually turning round like a ball, topsy-turvy, heels over head.
Yet--as you know that apes esteem their young the handsomest in the world
--Antiphysis extolled her offspring, and strove to prove that their shape
was handsomer and neater than that of the children of Physis, saying that
thus to have spherical heads and feet, and walk in a circular manner,
wheeling round, had something in it of the perfection of the divine power,
which makes all beings eternally turn in that fashion; and that to have our
feet uppermost, and the head below them, was to imitate the Creator of the
universe; the hair being like the roots, and the legs like the branches of
man; for trees are better planted by their roots than they could be by their
branches. By this demonstration she implied that her children were much
more to be praised for being like a standing tree, than those of Physis,
that made a figure of a tree upside down. As for the arms and hands, she
pretended to prove that they were more justly turned towards the shoulders,
because that part of the body ought not to be without defence, while the
forepart is duly fenced with teeth, which a man cannot only use to chew, but
also to defend himself against those things that offend him. Thus, by the
testimony and astipulation of the brute beasts, she drew all the witless
herd and mob of fools into her opinion, and was admired by all brainless and
Since that, she begot the hypocritical tribes of eavesdropping dissemblers,
superstitious pope-mongers, and priest-ridden bigots, the frantic
Pistolets, (the demoniacal Calvins, impostors of Geneva,) the scrapers of
benefices, apparitors with the devil in them, and other grinders and
squeezers of livings, herb-stinking hermits, gulligutted dunces of the
cowl, church vermin, false zealots, devourers of the substance of men, and
many more other deformed and ill-favoured monsters, made in spite of
How Pantagruel discovered a monstrous physeter, or whirlpool, near the Wild
About sunset, coming near the Wild Island, Pantagruel spied afar off a huge
monstrous physeter (a sort of whale, which some call a whirlpool), that
came right upon us, neighing, snorting, raised above the waves higher than
our main-tops, and spouting water all the way into the air before itself,
like a large river falling from a mountain. Pantagruel showed it to the
pilot and to Xenomanes.
By the pilot's advice the trumpets of the Thalamege were sounded to warn
all the fleet to stand close and look to themselves. This alarm being
given, all the ships, galleons, frigates, brigantines, according to their
naval discipline, placed themselves in the order and figure of an Y
(upsilon), the letter of Pythagoras, as cranes do in their flight, and like
an acute angle, in whose cone and basis the Thalamege placed herself ready
to fight smartly. Friar John with the grenadiers got on the forecastle.
Poor Panurge began to cry and howl worse than ever. Babille-babou, said
he, shrugging up his shoulders, quivering all over with fear, there will be
the devil upon dun. This is a worse business than that t'other day. Let
us fly, let us fly; old Nick take me if it is not Leviathan, described by
the noble prophet Moses in the life of patient Job. It will swallow us
all, ships and men, shag, rag, and bobtail, like a dose of pills. Alas! it
will make no more of us, and we shall hold no more room in its hellish
jaws, than a sugarplum in an ass's throat. Look, look, 'tis upon us; let
us wheel off, whip it away, and get ashore. I believe 'tis the very
individual sea-monster that was formerly designed to devour Andromeda; we
are all undone. Oh! for some valiant Perseus here now to kill the dog.
I'll do its business presently, said Pantagruel; fear nothing. Ods-belly,
said Panurge, remove the cause of my fear then. When the devil would you
have a man be afraid but when there is so much cause? If your destiny be
such as Friar John was saying a while ago, replied Pantagruel, you ought to
be afraid of Pyroeis, Eous, Aethon, and Phlegon, the sun's coach-horses,
that breathe fire at the nostrils; and not of physeters, that spout nothing
but water at the snout and mouth. Their water will not endanger your life;
and that element will rather save and preserve than hurt or endanger you.
Ay, ay, trust to that, and hang me, quoth Panurge; yours is a very pretty
fancy. Ods-fish! did I not give you a sufficient account of the elements'
transmutation, and the blunders that are made of roast for boiled, and
boiled for roast? Alas! here 'tis; I'll go hide myself below. We are dead
men, every mother's son of us. I see upon our main-top that merciless hag
Atropos, with her scissors new ground, ready to cut our threads all at one
snip. Oh! how dreadful and abominable thou art; thou hast drowned a good
many beside us, who never made their brags of it. Did it but spout good,
brisk, dainty, delicious white wine, instead of this damned bitter salt
water, one might better bear with it, and there would be some cause to be
patient; like that English lord, who being doomed to die, and had leave to
choose what kind of death he would, chose to be drowned in a butt of
malmsey. Here it is. Oh, oh! devil! Sathanas! Leviathan! I cannot
abide to look upon thee, thou art so abominably ugly. Go to the bar, go
take the pettifoggers.
How the monstrous physeter was slain by Pantagruel.
The physeter, coming between the ships and the galleons, threw water by
whole tuns upon them, as if it had been the cataracts of the Nile in
Ethiopia. On the other side, arrows, darts, gleaves, javelins, spears,
harping-irons, and partizans, flew upon it like hail. Friar John did not
spare himself in it. Panurge was half dead for fear. The artillery roared
and thundered like mad, and seemed to gall it in good earnest, but did but
little good; for the great iron and brass cannon-shot entering its skin
seemed to melt like tiles in the sun.
Pantagruel then, considering the weight and exigency of the matter,
stretched out his arms and showed what he could do. You tell us, and it is
recorded, that Commudus, the Roman emperor, could shoot with a bow so
dexterously that at a good distance he would let fly an arrow through a
child's fingers and never touch them. You also tell us of an Indian
archer, who lived when Alexander the Great conquered India, and was so
skilful in drawing the bow, that at a considerable distance he would shoot
his arrows through a ring, though they were three cubits long, and their
iron so large and weighty that with them he used to pierce steel cutlasses,
thick shields, steel breastplates, and generally what he did hit, how firm,
resisting, hard, and strong soever it were. You also tell us wonders of
the industry of the ancient Franks, who were preferred to all others in
point of archery; and when they hunted either black or dun beasts, used to
rub the head of their arrows with hellebore, because the flesh of the
venison struck with such an arrow was more tender, dainty, wholesome, and
delicious--paring off, nevertheless, the part that was touched round about.
You also talk of the Parthians, who used to shoot backwards more
dexterously than other nations forwards; and also celebrate the skill of
the Scythians in that art, who sent once to Darius, King of Persia, an
ambassador that made him a present of a bird, a frog, a mouse, and five
arrows, without speaking one word; and being asked what those presents
meant, and if he had commission to say anything, answered that he had not;
which puzzled and gravelled Darius very much, till Gobrias, one of the
seven captains that had killed the magi, explained it, saying to Darius:
By these gifts and offerings the Scythians silently tell you that except
the Persians like birds fly up to heaven, or like mice hide themselves near
the centre of the earth, or like frogs dive to the very bottom of ponds and
lakes, they shall be destroyed by the power and arrows of the Scythians.
The noble Pantagruel was, without comparison, more admirable yet in the art
of shooting and darting; for with his dreadful piles and darts, nearly
resembling the huge beams that support the bridges of Nantes, Saumur,
Bergerac, and at Paris the millers' and the changers' bridges, in length,
size, weight, and iron-work, he at a mile's distance would open an oyster
and never touch the edges; he would snuff a candle without putting it out;
would shoot a magpie in the eye; take off a boot's under-sole, or a
riding-hood's lining, without soiling them a bit; turn over every leaf
of Friar John's breviary, one after another, and not tear one.
With such darts, of which there was good store in the ship, at the first
blow he ran the physeter in at the forehead so furiously that he pierced
both its jaws and tongue; so that from that time to this it no more opened
its guttural trapdoor, nor drew and spouted water. At the second blow he
put out its right eye, and at the third its left; and we had all the
pleasure to see the physeter bearing those three horns in its forehead,
somewhat leaning forwards in an equilateral triangle.
Meanwhile it turned about to and fro, staggering and straying like one
stunned, blinded, and taking his leave of the world. Pantagruel, not
satisfied with this, let fly another dart, which took the monster under the
tail likewise sloping; then with three other on the chine, in a
perpendicular line, divided its flank from the tail to the snout at an
equal distance. Then he larded it with fifty on one side, and after that,
to make even work, he darted as many on its other side; so that the body of
the physeter seemed like the hulk of a galleon with three masts, joined by
a competent dimension of its beams, as if they had been the ribs and
chain-wales of the keel; which was a pleasant sight. The physeter then
giving up the ghost, turned itself upon its back, as all dead fishes do; and
being thus overturned, with the beams and darts upside down in the sea, it
seemed a scolopendra or centipede, as that serpent is described by the
ancient sage Nicander.
How Pantagruel went on shore in the Wild Island, the ancient abode of the
The boat's crew of the ship Lantern towed the physeter ashore on the
neighbouring shore, which happened to be the Wild Island, to make an
anatomical dissection of its body and save the fat of its kidneys, which,
they said, was very useful and necessary for the cure of a certain
distemper, which they called want of money. As for Pantagruel, he took no
manner of notice of the monster; for he had seen many such, nay, bigger, in
the Gallic ocean. Yet he condescended to land in the Wild Island, to dry
and refresh some of his men (whom the physeter had wetted and bedaubed), at
a small desert seaport towards the south, seated near a fine pleasant
grove, out of which flowed a delicious brook of fresh, clear, and purling
water. Here they pitched their tents and set up their kitchens; nor did
they spare fuel.
Everyone having shifted as they thought fit, Friar John rang the bell, and
the cloth was immediately laid, and supper brought in. Pantagruel eating
cheerfully with his men, much about the second course perceived certain
little sly Chitterlings clambering up a high tree near the pantry, as still
as so many mice. Which made him ask Xenomanes what kind of creatures these
were, taking them for squirrels, weasels, martins, or ermines. They are
Chitterlings, replied Xenomanes. This is the Wild Island of which I spoke
to you this morning; there hath been an irreconcilable war this long time
between them and Shrovetide, their malicious and ancient enemy. I believe
that the noise of the guns which we fired at the physeter hath alarmed
them, and made them fear their enemy was come with his forces to surprise
them, or lay the island waste, as he hath often attempted to do; though he
still came off but bluely, by reason of the care and vigilance of the
Chitterlings, who (as Dido said to Aeneas's companions that would have
landed at Carthage without her leave or knowledge) were forced to watch and
stand upon their guard, considering the malice of their enemy and the
neighbourhood of his territories.
Pray, dear friend, said Pantagruel, if you find that by some honest means
we may bring this war to an end, and reconcile them together, give me
notice of it; I will use my endeavours in it with all my heart, and spare
nothing on my side to moderate and accommodate the points in dispute
between both parties.
That's impossible at this time, answered Xenomanes. About four years ago,
passing incognito by this country, I endeavoured to make a peace, or at
least a long truce among them; and I had certainly brought them to be good
friends and neighbours if both one and the other parties would have yielded
to one single article. Shrovetide would not include in the treaty of peace
the wild puddings nor the highland sausages, their ancient gossips and
confederates. The Chitterlings demanded that the fort of Cacques might be
under their government, as is the Castle of Sullouoir, and that a parcel of
I don't know what stinking villains, murderers, robbers, that held it then,
should be expelled. But they could not agree in this, and the terms that
were offered seemed too hard to either party. So the treaty broke off, and
nothing was done. Nevertheless, they became less severe, and gentler
enemies than they were before; but since the denunciation of the national
Council of Chesil, whereby they were roughly handled, hampered, and cited;
whereby also Shrovetide was declared filthy, beshitten, and berayed, in
case he made any league or agreement with them; they are grown wonderfully
inveterate, incensed, and obstinate against one another, and there is no
way to remedy it. You might sooner reconcile cats and rats, or hounds and
How the wild Chitterlings laid an ambuscado for Pantagruel.
While Xenomanes was saying this, Friar John spied twenty or thirty young
slender-shaped Chitterlings posting as fast as they could towards their
town, citadel, castle, and fort of Chimney, and said to Pantagruel, I smell
a rat; there will be here the devil upon two sticks, or I am much out.
These worshipful Chitterlings may chance to mistake you for Shrovetide,
though you are not a bit like him. Let us once in our lives leave our
junketing for a while, and put ourselves in a posture to give 'em a
bellyful of fighting, if they would be at that sport. There can be no
false Latin in this, said Xenomanes; Chitterlings are still Chitterlings,
always double-hearted and treacherous.
Pantagruel then arose from table to visit and scour the thicket, and
returned presently; having discovered, on the left, an ambuscade of squab
Chitterlings; and on the right, about half a league from thence, a large
body of huge giant-like armed Chitterlings ranged in battalia along a
little hill, and marching furiously towards us at the sound of bagpipes,
sheep's paunches, and bladders, the merry fifes and drums, trumpets, and
clarions, hoping to catch us as Moss caught his mare. By the conjecture of
seventy-eight standards which we told, we guessed their number to be two
and forty thousand, at a modest computation.
Their order, proud gait, and resolute looks made us judge that they were
none of your raw, paltry links, but old warlike Chitterlings and Sausages.
From the foremost ranks to the colours they were all armed cap-a-pie with
small arms, as we reckoned them at a distance, yet very sharp and
case-hardened. Their right and left wings were lined with a great number of
forest puddings, heavy pattipans, and horse sausages, all of them tall and
proper islanders, banditti, and wild.
Pantagruel was very much daunted, and not without cause; though Epistemon
told him that it might be the use and custom of the Chitterlingonians to
welcome and receive thus in arms their foreign friends, as the noble kings
of France are received and saluted at their first coming into the chief
cities of the kingdom after their advancement to the crown. Perhaps, said
he, it may be the usual guard of the queen of the place, who, having notice
given her by the junior Chitterlings of the forlorn hope whom you saw on
the tree, of the arrival of your fine and pompous fleet, hath judged that
it was without doubt some rich and potent prince, and is come to visit you
Pantagruel, little trusting to this, called a council, to have their advice
at large in this doubtful case. He briefly showed them how this way of
reception with arms had often, under colour of compliment and friendship,
been fatal. Thus, said he, the Emperor Antonius Caracalla at one time
destroyed the citizens of Alexandria, and at another time cut off the
attendants of Artabanus, King of Persia, under colour of marrying his
daughter, which, by the way, did not pass unpunished, for a while after
this cost him his life.
Thus Jacob's children destroyed the Sichemites, to revenge the rape of
their sister Dinah. By such another hypocritical trick Gallienus, the
Roman emperor, put to death the military men in Constantinople. Thus,
under colour of friendship, Antonius enticed Artavasdes, King of Armenia;
then, having caused him to be bound in heavy chains and shackled, at last
put him to death.
We find a thousand such instances in history; and King Charles VI. is
justly commended for his prudence to this day, in that, coming back
victorious over the Ghenters and other Flemings to his good city of Paris,
and when he came to Bourget, a league from thence, hearing that the
citizens with their mallets--whence they got the name of Maillotins--were
marched out of town in battalia, twenty thousand strong, he would not go
into the town till they had laid down their arms and retired to their
respective homes; though they protested to him that they had taken arms
with no other design than to receive him with the greater demonstration of
honour and respect.
How Pantagruel sent for Colonel Maul-chitterling and Colonel Cut-pudding;
with a discourse well worth your hearing about the names of places and
The resolution of the council was that, let things be how they would, it
behoved the Pantagruelists to stand upon their guard. Therefore Carpalin
and Gymnast were ordered by Pantagruel to go for the soldiers that were on
board the Cup galley, under the command of Colonel Maul-chitterling, and
those on board the Vine-tub frigate, under the command of Colonel
Cut-pudding the younger. I will ease Gymnast of that trouble, said Panurge,
who wanted to be upon the run; you may have occasion for him here. By
this worthy frock of mine, quoth Friar John, thou hast a mind to slip thy
neck out of the collar and absent thyself from the fight, thou
white-livered son of a dunghill! Upon my virginity thou wilt never come
back. Well, there can be no great loss in thee; for thou wouldst do nothing
here but howl, bray, weep, and dishearten the good soldiers. I will
certainly come back, said Panurge, Friar John, my ghostly father, and
speedily too; do but take care that these plaguy Chitterlings do not board
our ships. All the while you will be a-fighting I will pray heartily for
your victory, after the example of the valiant captain and guide of the
people of Israel, Moses. Having said this, he wheeled off.
Then said Epistemon to Pantagruel: The denomination of these two colonels
of yours, Maul-chitterling and Cut-pudding, promiseth us assurance,
success, and victory, if those Chitterlings should chance to set upon us.
You take it rightly, said Pantagruel, and it pleaseth me to see you foresee
and prognosticate our victory by the names of our colonels.
This way of foretelling by names is not new; it was in old times celebrated
and religiously observed by the Pythagoreans. Several great princes and
emperors have formerly made good use of it. Octavianus Augustus, second
emperor of the Romans, meeting on a day a country fellow named Eutychus
--that is, fortunate--driving an ass named Nicon--that is, in Greek,
Victorian--moved by the signification of the ass's and ass-driver's names,
remained assured of all prosperity and victory.
The Emperor Vespasian being once all alone at prayers in the temple of
Serapis, at the sight and unexpected coming of a certain servant of his
named Basilides--that is, royal--whom he had left sick a great way behind,
took hopes and assurance of obtaining the empire of the Romans. Regilian
was chosen emperor by the soldiers for no other reason but the
signification of his name. See the Cratylus of the divine Plato. (By my
thirst, I will read it, said Rhizotome; I hear you so often quote it.) See
how the Pythagoreans, by reason of the names and numbers, conclude that
Patroclus was to fall by the hand of Hector; Hector by Achilles; Achilles
by Paris; Paris by Philoctetes. I am quite lost in my understanding when I
reflect upon the admirable invention of Pythagoras, who by the number,
either even or odd, of the syllables of every name, would tell you of what
side a man was lame, hulch-backed, blind, gouty, troubled with the palsy,
pleurisy, or any other distemper incident to humankind; allotting even
numbers to the left (Motteux reads--'even numbers to the Right, and odd
ones to the Left.'), and odd ones to the right side of the body.
Indeed, said Epistemon, I saw this way of syllabizing tried at Xaintes at a
general procession, in the presence of that good, virtuous, learned and
just president, Brian Vallee, Lord of Douhait. When there went by a man or
woman that was either lame, blind of one eye, or humpbacked, he had an
account brought him of his or her name; and if the syllables of the name
were of an odd number, immediately, without seeing the persons, he declared
them to be deformed, blind, lame, or crooked of the right side; and of the
left, if they were even in number; and such indeed we ever found them.
By this syllabical invention, said Pantagruel, the learned have affirmed
that Achilles kneeling was wounded by the arrow of Paris in the right heel,
for his name is of odd syllables (here we ought to observe that the
ancients used to kneel the right foot); and that Venus was also wounded
before Troy in the left hand, for her name in Greek is Aphrodite, of four
syllables; Vulcan lamed of his left foot for the same reason; Philip, King
of Macedon, and Hannibal, blind of the right eye; not to speak of
sciaticas, broken bellies, and hemicranias, which may be distinguished by
this Pythagorean reason.
But returning to names: do but consider how Alexander the Great, son of
King Philip, of whom we spoke just now, compassed his undertaking merely by
the interpretation of a name. He had besieged the strong city of Tyre, and
for several weeks battered it with all his power; but all in vain. His
engines and attempts were still baffled by the Tyrians, which made him
finally resolve to raise the siege, to his great grief; foreseeing the
great stain which such a shameful retreat would be to his reputation. In
this anxiety and agitation of mind he fell asleep and dreamed that a satyr
was come into his tent, capering, skipping, and tripping it up and down,
with his goatish hoofs, and that he strove to lay hold on him. But the
satyr still slipped from him, till at last, having penned him up into a
corner, he took him. With this he awoke, and telling his dream to the
philosophers and sages of his court, they let him know that it was a
promise of victory from the gods, and that he should soon be master of
Tyre; the word satyros divided in two being sa Tyros, and signifying Tyre
is thine; and in truth, at the next onset, he took the town by storm, and
by a complete victory reduced that stubborn people to subjection.
On the other hand, see how, by the signification of one word, Pompey fell
into despair. Being overcome by Caesar at the battle of Pharsalia, he had
no other way left to escape but by flight; which attempting by sea, he
arrived near the island of Cyprus, and perceived on the shore near the city
of Paphos a beautiful and stately palace; now asking the pilot what was the
name of it, he told him that it was called kakobasilea, that is, evil king;
which struck such a dread and terror in him that he fell into despair, as
being assured of losing shortly his life; insomuch that his complaints,
sighs, and groans were heard by the mariners and other passengers. And
indeed, a while after, a certain strange peasant, called Achillas, cut off
To all these examples might be added what happened to L. Paulus Emilius
when the senate elected him imperator, that is, chief of the army which
they sent against Perses, King of Macedon. That evening returning home to
prepare for his expedition, and kissing a little daughter of his called
Trasia, she seemed somewhat sad to him. What is the matter, said he, my
chicken? Why is my Trasia thus sad and melancholy? Daddy, replied the
child, Persa is dead. This was the name of a little bitch which she loved
mightily. Hearing this, Paulus took assurance of a victory over Perses.
If time would permit us to discourse of the sacred Hebrew writ, we might
find a hundred noted passages evidently showing how religiously they
observed proper names and their significations.
He had hardly ended this discourse, when the two colonels arrived with
their soldiers, all well armed and resolute. Pantagruel made them a short
speech, entreating them to behave themselves bravely in case they were
attacked; for he could not yet believe that the Chitterlings were so
treacherous; but he bade them by no means to give the first offence, giving
them Carnival for the watchword.
How Chitterlings are not to be slighted by men.
You shake your empty noddles now, jolly topers, and do not believe what I
tell you here, any more than if it were some tale of a tub. Well, well, I
cannot help it. Believe it if you will; if you won't, let it alone. For
my part, I very well know what I say. It was in the Wild Island, in our
voyage to the Holy Bottle. I tell you the time and place; what would you
have more? I would have you call to mind the strength of the ancient
giants that undertook to lay the high mountain Pelion on the top of Ossa,
and set among those the shady Olympus, to dash out the gods' brains,
unnestle them, and scour their heavenly lodgings. Theirs was no small
strength, you may well think, and yet they were nothing but Chitterlings
from the waist downwards, or at least serpents, not to tell a lie for the
The serpent that tempted Eve, too, was of the Chitterling kind, and yet it
is recorded of him that he was more subtle than any beast of the field.
Even so are Chitterlings. Nay, to this very hour they hold in some
universities that this same tempter was the Chitterling called Ithyphallus,
into which was transformed bawdy Priapus, arch-seducer of females in
paradise, that is, a garden, in Greek.
Pray now tell me who can tell but that the Swiss, now so bold and warlike,
were formerly Chitterlings? For my part, I would not take my oath to the
contrary. The Himantopodes, a nation very famous in Ethiopia, according to
Pliny's description, are Chitterlings, and nothing else. If all this will
not satisfy your worships, or remove your incredulity, I would have you
forthwith (I mean drinking first, that nothing be done rashly) visit
Lusignan, Parthenay, Vouant, Mervant, and Ponzauges in Poitou. There you
will find a cloud of witnesses, not of your affidavit-men of the right
stamp, but credible time out of mind, that will take their corporal oath,
on Rigome's knuckle-bone, that Melusina their founder or foundress, which
you please, was woman from the head to the prick-purse, and thence
downwards was a serpentine Chitterling, or if you'll have it otherwise, a
Chitterlingdized serpent. She nevertheless had a genteel and noble gait,
imitated to this very day by your hop-merchants of Brittany, in their
paspie and country dances.
What do you think was the cause of Erichthonius's being the first inventor
of coaches, litters, and chariots? Nothing but because Vulcan had begot
him with Chitterlingdized legs, which to hide he chose to ride in a litter,
rather than on horseback; for Chitterlings were not yet in esteem at that
The Scythian nymph, Ora, was likewise half woman and half Chitterling, and
yet seemed so beautiful to Jupiter that nothing could serve him but he must
give her a touch of his godship's kindness; and accordingly he had a brave
boy by her, called Colaxes; and therefore I would have you leave off
shaking your empty noddles at this, as if it were a story, and firmly
believe that nothing is truer than the gospel.
How Friar John joined with the cooks to fight the Chitterlings.
Friar John seeing these furious Chitterlings thus boldly march up, said to
Pantagruel, Here will be a rare battle of hobby-horses, a pretty kind of
puppet-show fight, for aught I see. Oh! what mighty honour and wonderful
glory will attend our victory! I would have you only be a bare spectator
of this fight, and for anything else leave me and my men to deal with them.
What men? said Pantagruel. Matter of breviary, replied Friar John. How
came Potiphar, who was head-cook of Pharaoh's kitchens, he that bought
Joseph, and whom the said Joseph might have made a cuckold if he had not
been a Joseph; how came he, I say, to be made general of all the horse in
the kingdom of Egypt? Why was Nabuzardan, King Nebuchadnezzar's head-cook,
chosen to the exclusion of all other captains to besiege and destroy
Jerusalem? I hear you, replied Pantagruel. By St. Christopher's whiskers,
said Friar John, I dare lay a wager that it was because they had formerly
engaged Chitterlings, or men as little valued; whom to rout, conquer, and
destroy, cooks are without comparison more fit than cuirassiers and
gendarmes armed at all points, or all the horse and foot in the world.
You put me in mind, said Pantagruel, of what is written amongst the
facetious and merry sayings of Cicero. During the more than civil wars
between Caesar and Pompey, though he was much courted by the first, he
naturally leaned more to the side of the latter. Now one day hearing that
the Pompeians in a certain rencontre had lost a great many men, he took a
fancy to visit their camp. There he perceived little strength, less
courage, but much disorder. From that time, foreseeing that things would
go ill with them, as it since happened, he began to banter now one and then
another, and be very free of his cutting jests; so some of Pompey's
captains, playing the good fellows to show their assurance, told him, Do
you see how many eagles we have yet? (They were then the device of the
Romans in war.) They might be of use to you, replied Cicero, if you had to
do with magpies.
Thus, seeing we are to fight Chitterlings, pursued Pantagruel, you infer
thence that it is a culinary war, and have a mind to join with the cooks.
Well, do as you please, I'll stay here in the meantime, and wait for the
event of the rumpus.
Friar John went that very moment among the sutlers, into the cooks' tents,
and told them in a pleasing manner: I must see you crowned with honour and
triumph this day, my lads; to your arms are reserved such achievements as
never yet were performed within the memory of man. Ods-belly, do they make
nothing of the valiant cooks? Let us go fight yonder fornicating
Chitterlings! I'll be your captain. But first let's drink, boys. Come
on! let us be of good cheer. Noble captain, returned the kitchen tribe,
this was spoken like yourself; bravely offered. Huzza! we are all at your
excellency's command, and we live and die by you. Live, live, said Friar
John, a God's name; but die by no means. That is the Chitterlings' lot;
they shall have their bellyful of it. Come on then, let us put ourselves
in order; Nabuzardan's the word.
How Friar John fitted up the sow; and of the valiant cooks that went into
Then, by Friar John's order, the engineers and their workmen fitted up the
great sow that was in the ship Leathern Bottle. It was a wonderful
machine, so contrived that, by means of large engines that were round about
it in rows, it throw'd forked iron bars and four-squared steel bolts; and
in its hold two hundred men at least could easily fight, and be sheltered.
It was made after the model of the sow of Riole, by the means of which
Bergerac was retaken from the English in the reign of Charles the Sixth.
Here are the names of the noble and valiant cooks who went into the sow, as
Back to Full Books