Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book IV.
Part 3 out of 4
the Greeks did into the Trojan horse:
Sour-sauce. Crisp-pig. Carbonado.
Sweet-meat. Greasy-slouch. Sop-in-pan.
Greedy-gut. Fat-gut. Pick-fowl.
Liquorice-chops. Bray-mortar. Mustard-pot.
Soused-pork. Lick-sauce. Hog's-haslet.
Slap-sauce. Hog's-foot. Chopped-phiz.
Cock-broth. Hodge-podge. Gallimaufry.
All these noble cooks in their coat-of-arms did bear, in a field gules, a
larding-pin vert, charged with a chevron argent.
Lard, hog's-lard. Pinch-lard. Snatch-lard.
Nibble-lard. Top-lard. Gnaw-lard.
Filch-lard. Pick-lard. Scrape-lard.
Fat-lard. Save-lard. Chew-lard.
Gaillard (by syncope) born near Rambouillet. The said culinary doctor's
name was Gaillardlard, in the same manner as you use to say idolatrous for
Stiff-lard. Cut-lard. Waste-lard.
Watch-lard. Mince-lard. Ogle-lard.
Sweet-lard. Dainty-lard. Weigh-lard.
Eat-lard. Fresh-lard. Gulch-lard.
Snap-lard. Rusty-lard. Eye-lard.
Names unknown among the Marranes and Jews.
Ballocky. Thirsty. Porridge-pot.
Pick-sallat. Kitchen-stuff. Lick-dish.
Broil-rasher. Verjuice. Salt-gullet.
Coney-skin. Save-dripping. Snail-dresser.
Dainty-chops. Watercress. Soup-monger.
Pie-wright. Scrape-turnip. Brewis-belly.
Pudding-pan. Trivet. Chine-picker.
Toss-pot. Monsieur Ragout. Suck-gravy.
Mustard-sauce. Crack-pipkin. Macaroon.
Claret-sauce. Scrape-pot. Skewer-maker.
Smell-smock. He was afterwards taken from the kitchen and removed to
chamber-practice, for the service of the noble Cardinal Hunt-venison.
Rot-roast. Hog's gullet. Fox-tail.
Dish-clout. Sirloin. Fly-flap.
Save-suet. Spit-mutton. Old Grizzle.
Fire-fumbler. Fritter-frier. Ruff-belly.
Pillicock. Flesh-smith. Saffron-sauce.
Long-tool. Cram-gut. Strutting-tom.
Prick-pride. Tuzzy-mussy. Slashed-snout.
Prick-madam. Jacket-liner. Smutty-face.
Mondam, that first invented madam's sauce, and for that discovery was thus
called in the Scotch-French dialect.
Loblolly. Sloven. Trencher-man.
Slabber-chops. Swallow-pitcher. Goodman Goosecap.
Scum-pot. Wafer-monger. Munch-turnip.
Gully-guts. Snap-gobbet. Pudding-bag.
Rinse-pot. Scurvy-phiz. Pig-sticker.
Robert. He invented Robert's sauce, so good and necessary for roasted
coneys, ducks, fresh pork, poached eggs, salt fish, and a thousand other
Cold-eel. Frying-pan. Big-snout.
Thornback. Man of dough. Lick-finger.
Gurnard. Sauce-doctor. Tit-bit.
Grumbling-gut. Waste-butter. Sauce-box.
Alms-scrip. Shitbreech. All-fours.
Taste-all. Thick-brawn. Whimwham.
Scrap-merchant. Tom T--d. Baste-roast.
Belly-timberman. Mouldy-crust. Gaping-hoyden.
Hashee. Hasty. Calf's-pluck.
Frig-palate. Red-herring. Leather-breeches.
All these noble cooks went into the sow, merry, cheery, hale, brisk, old
dogs at mischief, and ready to fight stoutly. Friar John ever and anon
waving his huge scimitar, brought up the rear, and double-locked the doors
on the inside.
How Pantagruel broke the Chitterlings at the knees.
The Chitterlings advanced so near that Pantagruel perceived that they
stretched their arms and already began to charge their lances, which caused
him to send Gymnast to know what they meant, and why they thus, without the
least provocation, came to fall upon their old trusty friends, who had
neither said nor done the least ill thing to them. Gymnast being advanced
near their front, bowed very low, and said to them as loud as ever he
could: We are friends, we are friends; all, all of us your friends, yours,
and at your command; we are for Carnival, your old confederate. Some have
since told me that he mistook, and said cavernal instead of carnival.
Whatever it was, the word was no sooner out of his mouth but a huge little
squab Sausage, starting out of the front of their main body, would have
griped him by the collar. By the helmet of Mars, said Gymnast, I will
swallow thee; but thou shalt only come in in chips and slices; for, big as
thou art, thou couldst never come in whole. This spoke, he lugs out his
trusty sword, Kiss-mine-arse (so he called it) with both his fists, and cut
the Sausage in twain. Bless me, how fat the foul thief was! it puts me in
mind of the huge bull of Berne, that was slain at Marignan when the drunken
Swiss were so mauled there. Believe me, it had little less than four
inches' lard on its paunch.
The Sausage's job being done, a crowd of others flew upon Gymnast, and had
most scurvily dragged him down when Pantagruel with his men came up to his
relief. Then began the martial fray, higgledy-piggledy. Maul-chitterling
did maul chitterlings; Cut-pudding did cut puddings; Pantagruel did break
the Chitterlings at the knees; Friar John played at least in sight within
his sow, viewing and observing all things; when the Pattipans that lay in
ambuscade most furiously sallied out upon Pantagruel.
Friar John, who lay snug all this while, by that time perceiving the rout
and hurlyburly, set open the doors of his sow and sallied out with his
merry Greeks, some of them armed with iron spits, others with andirons,
racks, fire-shovels, frying-pans, kettles, grid-irons, oven forks, tongs,
dripping pans, brooms, iron pots, mortars, pestles, all in battle array,
like so many housebreakers, hallooing and roaring out all together most
frightfully, Nabuzardan, Nabuzardan, Nabuzardan. Thus shouting and hooting
they fought like dragons, and charged through the Pattipans and Sausages.
The Chitterlings perceiving this fresh reinforcement, and that the others
would be too hard for 'em, betook themselves to their heels, scampering off
with full speed, as if the devil had come for them. Friar John, with an
iron crow, knocked them down as fast as hops; his men, too, were not
sparing on their side. Oh, what a woeful sight it was! the field was all
over strewed with heaps of dead or wounded Chitterlings; and history
relates that had not heaven had a hand in it, the Chitterling tribe had
been totally routed out of the world by the culinary champions. But there
happened a wonderful thing, you may believe as little or as much of it as
From the north flew towards us a huge, fat, thick, grizzly swine, with long
and large wings, like those of a windmill; its plumes red crimson, like
those of a phenicoptere (which in Languedoc they call flaman); its eyes
were red, and flaming like a carbuncle; its ears green, like a Prasin
emerald; its teeth like a topaz; its tail long and black, like jet; its
feet white, diaphanous and transparent like a diamond, somewhat broad, and
of the splay kind, like those of geese, and as Queen Dick's used to be at
Toulouse in the days of yore. About its neck it wore a gold collar, round
which were some Ionian characters, whereof I could pick out but two words,
US ATHENAN, hog-teaching Minerva.
The sky was clear before; but at that monster's appearance it changed so
mightily for the worse that we were all amazed at it. As soon as the
Chitterlings perceived the flying hog, down they all threw their weapons
and fell on their knees, lifting up their hands joined together, without
speaking one word, in a posture of adoration. Friar John and his party
kept on mincing, felling, braining, mangling, and spitting the Chitterlings
like mad; but Pantagruel sounded a retreat, and all hostility ceased.
The monster having several times hovered backwards and forwards between the
two armies, with a tail-shot voided above twenty-seven butts of mustard on
the ground; then flew away through the air, crying all the while, Carnival,
How Pantagruel held a treaty with Niphleseth, Queen of the Chitterlings.
The monster being out of sight, and the two armies remaining silent,
Pantagruel demanded a parley with the lady Niphleseth, Queen of the
Chitterlings, who was in her chariot by the standards; and it was easily
granted. The queen alighted, courteously received Pantagruel, and was glad
to see him. Pantagruel complained to her of this breach of peace; but she
civilly made her excuse, telling him that a false information had caused
all this mischief; her spies having brought her word that Shrovetide, their
mortal foe, was landed, and spent his time in examining the urine of
She therefore entreated him to pardon them their offence, telling him that
sir-reverence was sooner found in Chitterlings than gall; and offering, for
herself and all her successors, to hold of him and his the whole island and
country; to obey him in all his commands, be friends to his friends, and
foes to his foes; and also to send every year, as an acknowledgment of
their homage, a tribute of seventy-eight thousand royal Chitterlings, to
serve him at his first course at table six months in the year; which was
punctually performed. For the next day she sent the aforesaid quantity of
royal Chitterlings to the good Gargantua, under the conduct of young
Niphleseth, infanta of the island.
The good Gargantua made a present of them to the great King of Paris. But
by change of air, and for want of mustard (the natural balsam and restorer
of Chitterlings), most of them died. By the great king's particular grant
they were buried in heaps in a part of Paris to this day called La Rue
pavee d'Andouilles, the street paved with Chitterlings. At the request of
the ladies at his court young Niphleseth was preserved, honourably used,
and since that married to heart's content; and was the mother of many
children, for which heaven be praised.
Pantagruel civilly thanked the queen, forgave all offences, refused the
offer she had made of her country, and gave her a pretty little knife.
After that he asked several nice questions concerning the apparition of
that flying hog. She answered that it was the idea of Carnival, their
tutelary god in time of war, first founder and original of all the
Chitterling race; for which reason he resembled a hog, for Chitterlings
drew their extraction from hogs.
Pantagruel asking to what purpose and curative indication he had voided so
much mustard on the earth, the queen replied that mustard was their
sanc-greal and celestial balsam, of which, laying but a little in the wounds
of the fallen Chitterlings, in a very short time the wounded were healed and
the dead restored to life. Pantagruel held no further discourse with the
queen, but retired a-shipboard. The like did all the boon companions, with
their implements of destruction and their huge sow.
How Pantagruel went into the island of Ruach.
Two days after we arrived at the island of Ruach; and I swear to you, by
the celestial hen and chickens, that I found the way of living of the
people so strange and wonderful that I can't, for the heart's blood of me,
half tell it you. They live on nothing but wind, eat nothing but wind, and
drink nothing but wind. They have no other houses but weathercocks. They
sow no other seeds but the three sorts of windflowers, rue, and herbs that
may make one break wind to the purpose; these scour them off carefully.
The common sort of people to feed themselves make use of feather, paper, or
linen fans, according to their abilities. As for the rich, they live by
the means of windmills.
When they would have some noble treat, the tables are spread under one or
two windmills. There they feast as merry as beggars, and during the meal
their whole talk is commonly of the goodness, excellency, salubrity, and
rarity of winds; as you, jolly topers, in your cups philosophize and argue
upon wines. The one praises the south-east, the other the south-west; this
the west and by south, and this the east and by north; another the west,
and another the east; and so of the rest. As for lovers and amorous
sparks, no gale for them like a smock-gale. For the sick they use bellows
as we use clysters among us.
Oh! said to me a little diminutive swollen bubble, that I had now but a
bladderful of that same Languedoc wind which they call Cierce. The famous
physician, Scurron, passing one day by this country, was telling us that it
is so strong that it will make nothing of overturning a loaded waggon. Oh!
what good would it not do my Oedipodic leg. The biggest are not the best;
but, said Panurge, rather would I had here a large butt of that same good
Languedoc wine that grows at Mirevaux, Canteperdrix, and Frontignan.
I saw a good likely sort of a man there, much resembling Ventrose, tearing
and fuming in a grievous fret with a tall burly groom and a pimping little
page of his, laying them on, like the devil, with a buskin. Not knowing
the cause of his anger, at first I thought that all this was by the
doctor's advice, as being a thing very healthy to the master to be in a
passion and to his man to be banged for it. But at last I heard him taxing
his man with stealing from him, like a rogue as he was, the better half of
a large leathern bag of an excellent southerly wind, which he had carefully
laid up, like a hidden reserve, against the cold weather.
They neither exonerate, dung, piss, nor spit in that island; but, to make
amends, they belch, fizzle, funk, and give tail-shots in abundance. They
are troubled with all manner of distempers; and, indeed, all distempers are
engendered and proceed from ventosities, as Hippocrates demonstrates, lib.
De Flatibus. But the most epidemical among them is the wind-cholic. The
remedies which they use are large clysters, whereby they void store of
windiness. They all die of dropsies and tympanies, the men farting and the
women fizzling; so that their soul takes her leave at the back-door.
Some time after, walking in the island, we met three hairbrained airy
fellows, who seemed mightily puffed up, and went to take their pastime and
view the plovers, who live on the same diet as themselves, and abound in
the island. I observed that, as your true topers when they travel carry
flasks, leathern bottles, and small runlets along with them, so each of
them had at his girdle a pretty little pair of bellows. If they happened
to want wind, by the help of those pretty bellows they immediately drew
some, fresh and cool, by attraction and reciprocal expulsion; for, as you
well know, wind essentially defined is nothing but fluctuating and agitated
A while after, we were commanded, in the king's name, not to receive for
three hours any man or woman of the country on board our ships; some having
stolen from him a rousing fart, of the very individual wind which old
goodman Aeolus the snorer gave Ulysses to conduct his ship whenever it
should happen to be becalmed. Which fart the king kept religiously, like
another sanc-greal, and performed a world of wonderful cures with it in
many dangerous diseases, letting loose and distributing to the patient only
as much of it as might frame a virginal fart; which is, if you must know,
what our sanctimonials, alias nuns, in their dialect call ringing
How small rain lays a high wind.
Pantagruel commended their government and way of living, and said to their
hypenemian mayor: If you approve Epicurus's opinion, placing the summum
bonum in pleasure (I mean pleasure that's easy and free from toil), I
esteem you happy; for your food being wind, costs you little or nothing,
since you need but blow. True, sir, returned the mayor; but, alas! nothing
is perfect here below; for too often when we are at table, feeding on some
good blessed wind of God as on celestial manna, merry as so many friars,
down drops on a sudden some small rain, which lays our wind, and so robs us
of it. Thus many a meal's lost for want of meat.
Just so, quoth Panurge, Jenin Toss-pot of Quinquenais, evacuating some wine
of his own burning on his wife's posteriors, laid the ill-fumed wind that
blowed out of their centre as out of some magisterial Aeolipile. Here is a
kind of a whim on that subject which I made formerly:
One evening when Toss-pot had been at his butts,
And Joan his fat spouse crammed with turnips her guts,
Together they pigged, nor did drink so besot him
But he did what was done when his daddy begot him.
Now when to recruit he'd fain have been snoring,
Joan's back-door was filthily puffing and roaring;
So for spite he bepissed her, and quickly did find
That a very small rain lays a very high wind.
We are also plagued yearly with a very great calamity, cried the mayor; for
a giant called Wide-nostrils, who lives in the island of Tohu, comes hither
every spring to purge, by the advice of his physicians, and swallows us,
like so many pills, a great number of windmills, and of bellows also, at
which his mouth waters exceedingly.
Now this is a sad mortification to us here, who are fain to fast over three
or four whole Lents every year for this, besides certain petty Lents, ember
weeks, and other orison and starving tides. And have you no remedy for
this? asked Pantagruel. By the advice of our Mezarims, replied the mayor,
about the time that he uses to give us a visit, we garrison our windmills
with good store of cocks and hens. The first time that the greedy thief
swallowed them, they had like to have done his business at once; for they
crowed and cackled in his maw, and fluttered up and down athwart and along
in his stomach, which threw the glutton into a lipothymy cardiac passion
and dreadful and dangerous convulsions, as if some serpent, creeping in at
his mouth, had been frisking in his stomach.
Here is a comparative as altogether incongruous and impertinent, cried
Friar John, interrupting them; for I have formerly heard that if a serpent
chance to get into a man's stomach it will not do him the least hurt, but
will immediately get out if you do but hang the patient by the heels and
lay a panful of warm milk near his mouth. You were told this, said
Pantagruel, and so were those who gave you this account; but none ever saw
or read of such a cure. On the contrary, Hippocrates, in his fifth book of
Epidem, writes that such a case happening in his time the patient presently
died of a spasm and convulsion.
Besides the cocks and hens, said the mayor, continuing his story, all the
foxes in the country whipped into Wide-nostril's mouth, posting after the
poultry; which made such a stir with Reynard at their heels, that he
grievously fell into fits each minute of an hour.
At last, by the advice of a Baden enchanter, at the time of the paroxysm he
used to flay a fox by way of antidote and counter-poison. Since that he
took better advice, and eases himself with taking a clyster made with a
decoction of wheat and barley corns, and of livers of goslings; to the
first of which the poultry run, and the foxes to the latter. Besides, he
swallows some of your badgers or fox-dogs by the way of pills and boluses.
This is our misfortune.
Cease to fear, good people, cried Pantagruel; this huge Wide-nostrils, this
same swallower of windmills, is no more, I will assure you; he died, being
stifled and choked with a lump of fresh butter at the mouth of a hot oven,
by the advice of his physicians.
How Pantagruel went ashore in the island of Pope-Figland.
The next morning we arrived at the island of Pope-figs; formerly a rich and
free people, called the Gaillardets, but now, alas! miserably poor, and
under the yoke of the Papimen. The occasion of it was this:
On a certain yearly high holiday, the burgomaster, syndics, and topping
rabbies of the Gaillardets chanced to go into the neighbouring island
Papimany to see the festival and pass away the time. Now one of them
having espied the pope's picture (with the sight of which, according to a
laudable custom, the people were blessed on high-offering holidays), made
mouths at it, and cried, A fig for it! as a sign of manifest contempt and
derision. To be revenged of this affront, the Papimen, some days after,
without giving the others the least warning, took arms, and surprised,
destroyed, and ruined the whole island of the Gaillardets; putting the men
to the sword, and sparing none but the women and children, and those too
only on condition to do what the inhabitants of Milan were condemned to by
the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
These had rebelled against him in his absence, and ignominiously turned the
empress out of the city, mounting her a-horseback on a mule called Thacor,
with her breech foremost towards the old jaded mule's head, and her face
turned towards the crupper. Now Frederick being returned, mastered them,
and caused so careful a search to be made that he found out and got the
famous mule Thacor. Then the hangman by his order clapped a fig into the
mule's jimcrack, in the presence of the enslaved cits that were brought
into the middle of the great market-place, and proclaimed in the emperor's
name, with trumpets, that whosoever of them would save his own life should
publicly pull the fig out with his teeth, and after that put it in again in
the very individual cranny whence he had draw'd it without using his hands,
and that whoever refused to do this should presently swing for it and die
in his shoes. Some sturdy fools, standing upon their punctilio, chose
honourably to be hanged rather than submit to so shameful and abominable a
disgrace; and others, less nice in point of ceremony, took heart of grace,
and even resolved to have at the fig, and a fig for't, rather than make a
worse figure with a hempen collar, and die in the air at so short warning.
Accordingly, when they had neatly picked out the fig with their teeth from
old Thacor's snatch-blatch, they plainly showed it the headsman, saying,
Ecco lo fico, Behold the fig!
By the same ignominy the rest of these poor distressed Gaillardets saved
their bacon, becoming tributaries and slaves, and the name of Pope-figs was
given them, because they said, A fig for the pope's image. Since this, the
poor wretches never prospered, but every year the devil was at their doors,
and they were plagued with hail, storms, famine, and all manner of woes, as
an everlasting punishment for the sin of their ancestors and relations.
Perceiving the misery and calamity of that generation, we did not care to
go further up into the country, contenting ourselves with going into a
little chapel near the haven to take some holy water. It was dilapidated
and ruined, wanting also a cover--like Saint Peter at Rome. When we were
in, as we dipped our fingers in the sanctified cistern, we spied in the
middle of that holy pickle a fellow muffled up with stoles, all under
water, like a diving duck, except the tip of his snout to draw his breath.
About him stood three priests, true shavelings, clean shorn and polled, who
were muttering strange words to the devils out of a conjuring book.
Pantagruel was not a little amazed at this, and inquiring what kind of
sport these were at, was told that for three years last past the plague had
so dreadfully raged in the island that the better half of it had been
utterly depopulated, and the lands lay fallow and unoccupied. Now, the
mortality being over, this same fellow who had crept into the holy tub,
having a large piece of ground, chanced to be sowing it with white winter
wheat at the very minute of an hour that a kind of a silly sucking devil,
who could not yet write or read, or hail and thunder, unless it were on
parsley or coleworts, and got leave of his master Lucifer to go into this
island of Pope-figs, where the devils were very familiar with the men and
women, and often went to take their pastime.
This same devil being got thither, directed his discourse to the
husbandman, and asked him what he was doing. The poor man told him that he
was sowing the ground with corn to help him to subsist the next year. Ay,
but the ground is none of thine, Mr. Plough-jobber, cried the devil, but
mine; for since the time that you mocked the pope all this land has been
proscribed, adjudged, and abandoned to us. However, to sow corn is not my
province; therefore I will give thee leave to sow the field, that is to
say, provided we share the profit. I will, replied the farmer. I mean,
said the devil, that of what the land shall bear, two lots shall be made,
one of what shall grow above ground, the other of what shall be covered
with earth. The right of choosing belongs to me; for I am a devil of noble
and ancient race; thou art a base clown. I therefore choose what shall lie
under ground, take thou what shall be above. When dost thou reckon to
reap, hah? About the middle of July, quoth the farmer. Well, said the
devil, I'll not fail thee then; in the meantime, slave as thou oughtest.
Work, clown, work. I am going to tempt to the pleasing sin of whoring the
nuns of Dryfart, the sham saints of the cowl, and the gluttonish crew. I
am more than sure of these. They need but meet, and the job is done; true
fire and tinder, touch and take; down falls nun, and up gets friar.
How a junior devil was fooled by a husbandman of Pope-Figland.
In the middle of July the devil came to the place aforesaid with all his
crew at his heels, a whole choir of the younger fry of hell; and having met
the farmer, said to him, Well, clodpate, how hast thou done since I went?
Thou and I must share the concern. Ay, master devil, quoth the clown; it
is but reason we should. Then he and his men began to cut and reap the
corn; and, on the other side, the devil's imps fell to work, grubbing up
and pulling out the stubble by the root.
The countryman had his corn thrashed, winnowed it, put in into sacks, and
went with it to market. The same did the devil's servants, and sat them
down there by the man to sell their straw. The countryman sold off his
corn at a good rate, and with the money filled an old kind of a demi-buskin
which was fastened to his girdle. But the devil a sou the devils took; far
from taking handsel, they were flouted and jeered by the country louts.
Market being over, quoth the devil to the farmer, Well, clown, thou hast
choused me once, it is thy fault; chouse me twice, 'twill be mine. Nay,
good sir devil, replied the farmer; how can I be said to have choused you,
since it was your worship that chose first? The truth is, that by this
trick you thought to cheat me, hoping that nothing would spring out of the
earth for my share, and that you should find whole underground the corn
which I had sowed, and with it tempt the poor and needy, the close
hypocrite, or the covetous griper; thus making them fall into your snares.
But troth, you must e'en go to school yet; you are no conjurer, for aught I
see; for the corn that was sow'd is dead and rotten, its corruption having
caused the generation of that which you saw me sell. So you chose the
worst, and therefore are cursed in the gospel. Well, talk no more of it,
quoth the devil; what canst thou sow our field with for next year? If a
man would make the best of it, answered the ploughman, 'twere fit he sow it
with radish. Now, cried the devil, thou talkest like an honest fellow,
bumpkin. Well, sow me good store of radish, I'll see and keep them safe
from storms, and will not hail a bit on them. But hark ye me, this time I
bespeak for my share what shall be above ground; what's under shall be
thine. Drudge on, looby, drudge on. I am going to tempt heretics; their
souls are dainty victuals when broiled in rashers and well powdered. My
Lord Lucifer has the griping in the guts; they'll make a dainty warm dish
for his honour's maw.
When the season of radishes was come, our devil failed not to meet in the
field, with a train of rascally underlings, all waiting devils, and finding
there the farmer and his men, he began to cut and gather the leaves of the
radishes. After him the farmer with his spade dug up the radishes, and
clapped them up into pouches. This done, the devil, the farmer, and their
gangs, hied them to market, and there the farmer presently made good money
of his radishes; but the poor devil took nothing; nay, what was worse, he
was made a common laughing-stock by the gaping hoidens. I see thou hast
played me a scurvy trick, thou villainous fellow, cried the angry devil; at
last I am fully resolved even to make an end of the business betwixt thee
and myself about the ground, and these shall be the terms: we will
clapperclaw each other, and whoever of us two shall first cry Hold, shall
quit his share of the field, which shall wholly belong to the conqueror. I
fix the time for this trial of skill on this day seven-night; assure
thyself that I'll claw thee off like a devil. I was going to tempt your
fornicators, bailiffs, perplexers of causes, scriveners, forgers of deeds,
two-handed counsellors, prevaricating solicitors, and other such vermin;
but they were so civil as to send me word by an interpreter that they are
all mine already. Besides, our master Lucifer is so cloyed with their
souls that he often sends them back to the smutty scullions and slovenly
devils of his kitchen, and they scarce go down with them, unless now and
then, when they are high-seasoned.
Some say there is no breakfast like a student's, no dinner like a lawyer's,
no afternoon's nunchion like a vine-dresser's, no supper like a
tradesman's, no second supper like a serving-wench's, and none of these
meals equal to a frockified hobgoblin's. All this is true enough.
Accordingly, at my Lord Lucifer's first course, hobgoblins, alias imps in
cowls, are a standing dish. He willingly used to breakfast on students;
but, alas! I do not know by what ill luck they have of late years joined
the Holy Bible to their studies; so the devil a one we can get down among
us; and I verily believe that unless the hypocrites of the tribe of Levi
help us in it, taking from the enlightened book-mongers their St. Paul,
either by threats, revilings, force, violence, fire, and faggot, we shall
not be able to hook in any more of them to nibble at below. He dines
commonly on counsellors, mischief-mongers, multipliers of lawsuits, such as
wrest and pervert right and law and grind and fleece the poor; he never
fears to want any of these. But who can endure to be wedded to a dish?
He said t'other day, at a full chapter, that he had a great mind to eat the
soul of one of the fraternity of the cowl that had forgot to speak for
himself in his sermon, and he promised double pay and a large pension to
anyone that should bring him such a titbit piping hot. We all went
a-hunting after such a rarity, but came home without the prey; for they all
admonish the good women to remember their convent. As for afternoon
nunchions, he has left them off since he was so woefully griped with the
colic; his fosterers, sutlers, charcoal-men, and boiling cooks having been
sadly mauled and peppered off in the northern countries.
His high devilship sups very well on tradesmen, usurers, apothecaries,
cheats, coiners, and adulterers of wares. Now and then, when he is on the
merry pin, his second supper is of serving-wenches who, after they have by
stealth soaked their faces with their master's good liquor, fill up the
vessel with it at second hand, or with other stinking water.
Well, drudge on, boor, drudge on; I am going to tempt the students of
Trebisonde to leave father and mother, forego for ever the established and
common rule of living, disclaim and free themselves from obeying their
lawful sovereign's edicts, live in absolute liberty, proudly despise
everyone, laugh at all mankind, and taking the fine jovial little cap of
poetic licence, become so many pretty hobgoblins.
How the devil was deceived by an old woman of Pope-Figland.
The country lob trudged home very much concerned and thoughtful, you may
swear; insomuch that his good woman, seeing him thus look moping, weened
that something had been stolen from him at market; but when she had heard
the cause of his affliction and seen his budget well lined with coin, she
bade him be of good cheer, assuring him that he would be never the worse
for the scratching bout in question; wishing him only to leave her to
manage that business, and not trouble his head about it; for she had
already contrived how to bring him off cleverly. Let the worst come to the
worst, said the husbandman, it will be but a scratch; for I'll yield at the
first stroke, and quit the field. Quit a fart, replied the wife; he shall
have none of the field. Rely upon me, and be quiet; let me alone to deal
with him. You say he is a pimping little devil, that is enough; I will
soon make him give up the field, I will warrant you. Indeed, had he been a
great devil, it had been somewhat.
The day that we landed in the island happened to be that which the devil
had fixed for the combat. Now the countryman having, like a good Catholic,
very fairly confessed himself, and received betimes in the morning, by the
advice of the vicar had hid himself, all but the snout, in the holy-water
pot, in the posture in which we found him; and just as they were telling us
this story, news came that the old woman had fooled the devil and gained
the field. You may not be sorry, perhaps, to hear how this happened.
The devil, you must know, came to the poor man's door, and rapping there,
cried, So ho! ho, the house! ho, clodpate! where art thou? Come out with a
vengeance; come out with a wannion; come out and be damned; now for
clawing. Then briskly and resolutely entering the house, and not finding
the countryman there, he spied his wife lying on the ground, piteously
weeping and howling. What is the matter? asked the devil. Where is he?
what does he? Oh! that I knew where he is, replied threescore and five;
the wicked rogue, the butcherly dog, the murderer! He has spoiled me; I am
undone; I die of what he has done me. How, cried the devil, what is it?
I'll tickle him off for you by-and-by. Alas! cried the old dissembler, he
told me, the butcher, the tyrant, the tearer of devils told me that he had
made a match to scratch with you this day, and to try his claws he did but
just touch me with his little finger here betwixt the legs, and has spoiled
me for ever. Oh! I am a dead woman; I shall never be myself again; do but
see! Nay, and besides, he talked of going to the smith's to have his
pounces sharpened and pointed. Alas! you are undone, Mr. Devil; good sir,
scamper quickly, I am sure he won't stay; save yourself, I beseech you.
While she said this she uncovered herself up to the chin, after the manner
in which the Persian women met their children who fled from the fight, and
plainly showed her what do ye call them. The frightened devil, seeing the
enormous solution of the continuity in all its dimensions, blessed himself,
and cried out, Mahon, Demiourgon, Megaera, Alecto, Persephone! 'slife,
catch me here when he comes! I am gone! 'sdeath, what a gash! I resign
him the field.
Having heard the catastrophe of the story, we retired a-shipboard, not
being willing to stay there any longer. Pantagruel gave to the poor's box
of the fabric of the church eighteen thousand good royals, in commiseration
of the poverty of the people and the calamity of the place.
How Pantagruel went ashore at the island of Papimany.
Having left the desolate island of the Pope-figs, we sailed for the space
of a day very fairly and merrily, and made the blessed island of Papimany.
As soon as we had dropt anchor in the road, before we had well moored our
ship with ground-tackle, four persons in different garbs rowed towards us
in a skiff. One of them was dressed like a monk in his frock,
draggle-tailed, and booted; the other like a falconer, with a lure, and a
long-winged hawk on his fist; the third like a solicitor, with a large bag,
full of informations, subpoenas, breviates, bills, writs, cases, and other
implements of pettifogging; the fourth looked like one of your vine-barbers
about Ocleans, with a jaunty pair of canvas trousers, a dosser, and a
pruning knife at his girdle.
As soon as the boat had clapped them on board, they all with one voice
asked, Have you seen him, good passengers, have you seen him? Who? asked
Pantagruel. You know who, answered they. Who is it? asked Friar John.
'Sblood and 'ounds, I'll thrash him thick and threefold. This he said
thinking that they inquired after some robber, murderer, or church-breaker.
Oh, wonderful! cried the four; do not you foreign people know the one?
Sirs, replied Epistemon, we do not understand those terms; but if you will
be pleased to let us know who you mean, we will tell you the truth of the
matter without any more ado. We mean, said they, he that is. Did you ever
see him? He that is, returned Pantagruel, according to our theological
doctrine, is God, who said to Moses, I am that I am. We never saw him, nor
can he be beheld by mortal eyes. We mean nothing less than that supreme
God who rules in heaven, replied they; we mean the god on earth. Did you
ever see him? Upon my honour, replied Carpalin, they mean the pope. Ay,
ay, answered Panurge; yea, verily, gentlemen, I have seen three of them,
whose sight has not much bettered me. How! cried they, our sacred
decretals inform us that there never is more than one living. I mean
successively, one after the other, returned Panurge; otherwise I never saw
more than one at a time.
O thrice and four times happy people! cried they; you are welcome, and more
than double welcome! They then kneeled down before us and would have
kissed our feet, but we would not suffer it, telling them that should the
pope come thither in his own person, 'tis all they could do to him. No,
certainly, answered they, for we have already resolved upon the matter. We
would kiss his bare arse without boggling at it, and eke his two pounders;
for he has a pair of them, the holy father, that he has; we find it so by
our fine decretals, otherwise he could not be pope. So that, according to
our subtle decretaline philosophy, this is a necessary consequence: he is
pope; therefore he has genitories, and should genitories no more be found
in the world, the world could no more have a pope.
While they were talking thus, Pantagruel inquired of one of the coxswain's
crew who those persons were. He answered that they were the four estates
of the island, and added that we should be made as welcome as princes,
since we had seen the pope. Panurge having been acquainted with this by
Pantagruel, said to him in his ear, I swear and vow, sir, 'tis even so; he
that has patience may compass anything. Seeing the pope had done us no
good; now, in the devil's name, 'twill do us a great deal. We then went
ashore, and the whole country, men, women, and children, came to meet us as
in a solemn procession. Our four estates cried out to them with a loud
voice, They have seen him! they have seen him! they have seen him! That
proclamation being made, all the mob kneeled before us, lifting up their
hands towards heaven, and crying, O happy men! O most happy! and this
acclamation lasted above a quarter of an hour.
Then came the Busby (!) of the place, with all his pedagogues, ushers, and
schoolboys, whom he magisterially flogged, as they used to whip children in
our country formerly when some criminal was hanged, that they might
remember it. This displeased Pantagruel, who said to them, Gentlemen, if
you do not leave off whipping these poor children, I am gone. The people
were amazed, hearing his stentorian voice; and I saw a little hump with
long fingers say to the hypodidascal, What, in the name of wonder! do all
those that see the pope grow as tall as yon huge fellow that threatens us?
Ah! how I shall think time long till I have seen him too, that I may grow
and look as big. In short, the acclamations were so great that Homenas (so
they called their bishop) hastened thither on an unbridled mule with green
trappings, attended by his apposts (as they said) and his supposts, or
officers bearing crosses, banners, standards, canopies, torches, holy-water
pots, &c. He too wanted to kiss our feet (as the good Christian Valfinier
did to Pope Clement), saying that one of their hypothetes, that's one of
the scavengers, scourers, and commentators of their holy decretals, had
written that, in the same manner as the Messiah, so long and so much
expected by the Jews, at last appeared among them; so, on some happy day of
God, the pope would come into that island; and that, while they waited for
that blessed time, if any who had seen him at Rome or elsewhere chanced to
come among them, they should be sure to make much of them, feast them
plentifully, and treat them with a great deal of reverence. However, we
civilly desired to be excused.
How Homenas, Bishop of Papimany, showed us the Uranopet decretals.
Homenas then said to us: 'Tis enjoined us by our holy decretals to visit
churches first and taverns after. Therefore, not to decline that fine
institution, let us go to church; we will afterwards go and feast
ourselves. Man of God, quoth Friar John, do you go before, we'll follow
you. You spoke in the matter properly, and like a good Christian; 'tis
long since we saw any such. For my part, this rejoices my mind very much,
and I verily believe that I shall have the better stomach after it. Well,
'tis a happy thing to meet with good men! Being come near the gate of the
church, we spied a huge thick book, gilt, and covered all over with
precious stones, as rubies, emeralds, (diamonds,) and pearls, more, or at
least as valuable as those which Augustus consecrated to Jupiter
Capitolinus. This book hanged in the air, being fastened with two thick
chains of gold to the zoophore of the porch. We looked on it and admired
it. As for Pantagruel, he handled it and dandled it and turned it as he
pleased, for he could reach it without straining; and he protested that
whenever he touched it, he was seized with a pleasant tickling at his
fingers' end, new life and activity in his arms, and a violent temptation
in his mind to beat one or two sergeants, or such officers, provided they
were not of the shaveling kind. Homenas then said to us, The law was
formerly given to the Jews by Moses, written by God himself. At Delphos,
before the portal of Apollo's temple, this sentence, GNOTHI SEAUTON, was
found written with a divine hand. And some time after it, EI was also
seen, and as divinely written and transmitted from heaven. Cybele's image
was brought out of heaven, into a field called Pessinunt, in Phrygia; so
was that of Diana to Tauris, if you will believe Euripides; the oriflamme,
or holy standard, was transmitted out of heaven to the noble and most
Christian kings of France, to fight against the unbelievers. In the reign
of Numa Pompilius, second King of the Romans, the famous copper buckler
called Ancile was seen to descend from heaven. At Acropolis, near Athens,
Minerva's statue formerly fell from the empyreal heaven. In like manner
the sacred decretals which you see were written with the hand of an angel
of the cherubim kind. You outlandish people will hardly believe this, I
fear. Little enough, of conscience, said Panurge. And then, continued
Homenas, they were miraculously transmitted to us here from the very heaven
of heavens; in the same manner as the river Nile is called Diipetes by
Homer, the father of all philosophy--the holy decretals always excepted.
Now, because you have seen the pope, their evangelist and everlasting
protector, we will give you leave to see and kiss them on the inside, if
you think meet. But then you must fast three days before, and canonically
confess; nicely and strictly mustering up and inventorizing your sins,
great and small, so thick that one single circumstance of them may not
escape you; as our holy decretals, which you see, direct. This will take
up some time. Man of God, answered Panurge, we have seen and descried
decrees, and eke decretals enough o' conscience; some on paper, other on
parchment, fine and gay like any painted paper lantern, some on vellum,
some in manuscript, and others in print; so you need not take half these
pains to show us these. We'll take the goodwill for the deed, and thank
you as much as if we had. Ay, marry, said Homenas, but you never saw these
that are angelically written. Those in your country are only transcripts
from ours; as we find it written by one of our old decretaline scholiasts.
For me, do not spare me; I do not value the labour, so I may serve you. Do
but tell me whether you will be confessed and fast only three short little
days of God? As for shriving, answered Panurge, there can be no great harm
in't; but this same fasting, master of mine, will hardly down with us at
this time, for we have so very much overfasted ourselves at sea that the
spiders have spun their cobwebs over our grinders. Do but look on this
good Friar John des Entomeures (Homenas then courteously demi-clipped him
about the neck), some moss is growing in his throat for want of bestirring
and exercising his chaps. He speaks the truth, vouched Friar John; I have
so much fasted that I'm almost grown hump-shouldered. Come, then, let's go
into the church, said Homenas; and pray forgive us if for the present we do
not sing you a fine high mass. The hour of midday is past, and after it
our sacred decretals forbid us to sing mass, I mean your high and lawful
mass. But I'll say a low and dry one for you. I had rather have one
moistened with some good Anjou wine, cried Panurge; fall to, fall to your
low mass, and despatch. Ods-bodikins, quoth Friar John, it frets me to the
guts that I must have an empty stomach at this time of day; for, had I
eaten a good breakfast and fed like a monk, if he should chance to sing us
the Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, I had then brought thither bread and
wine for the traits passes (those that are gone before). Well, patience;
pull away, and save tide; short and sweet, I pray you, and this for a
How Homenas showed us the archetype, or representation of a pope.
Mass being mumbled over, Homenas took a huge bundle of keys out of a trunk
near the head altar, and put thirty-two of them into so many keyholes; put
back so many springs; then with fourteen more mastered so many padlocks,
and at last opened an iron window strongly barred above the said altar.
This being done, in token of great mystery he covered himself with wet
sackcloth, and drawing a curtain of crimson satin, showed us an image
daubed over, coarsely enough, to my thinking; then he touched it with a
pretty long stick, and made us all kiss the part of the stick that had
touched the image. After this he said unto us, What think you of this
image? It is the likeness of a pope, answered Pantagruel; I know it by the
triple crown, his furred amice, his rochet, and his slipper. You are in
the right, said Homenas; it is the idea of that same good god on earth
whose coming we devoutly await, and whom we hope one day to see in this
country. O happy, wished-for, and much-expected day! and happy, most happy
you, whose propitious stars have so favoured you as to let you see the
living and real face of this good god on earth! by the single sight of
whose picture we obtain full remission of all the sins which we remember
that we have committed, as also a third part and eighteen quarantaines of
the sins which we have forgot; and indeed we only see it on high annual
This caused Pantagruel to say that it was a work like those which Daedalus
used to make, since, though it were deformed and ill drawn, nevertheless
some divine energy, in point of pardons, lay hid and concealed in it.
Thus, said Friar John, at Seuille, the rascally beggars being one evening
on a solemn holiday at supper in the spital, one bragged of having got six
blancs, or twopence halfpenny; another eight liards, or twopence; a third,
seven caroluses, or sixpence; but an old mumper made his vaunts of having
got three testons, or five shillings. Ah, but, cried his comrades, thou
hast a leg of God; as if, continued Friar John, some divine virtue could
lie hid in a stinking ulcerated rotten shank. Pray, said Pantagruel, when
you are for telling us some such nauseous tale, be so kind as not to forget
to provide a basin, Friar John; I'll assure you, I had much ado to forbear
bringing up my breakfast. Fie! I wonder a man of your coat is not ashamed
to use thus the sacred name of God in speaking of things so filthy and
abominable! fie, I say. If among your monking tribes such an abuse of
words is allowed, I beseech you leave it there, and do not let it come out
of the cloisters. Physicians, said Epistemon, thus attribute a kind of
divinity to some diseases. Nero also extolled mushrooms, and, in a Greek
proverb, termed them divine food, because with them he had poisoned
Claudius his predecessor. But methinks, gentlemen, this same picture is
not over-like our late popes. For I have seen them, not with their
pallium, amice, or rochet on, but with helmets on their heads, more like
the top of a Persian turban; and while the Christian commonwealth was in
peace, they alone were most furiously and cruelly making war. This must
have been then, returned Homenas, against the rebellious, heretical
Protestants; reprobates who are disobedient to the holiness of this good
god on earth. 'Tis not only lawful for him to do so, but it is enjoined
him by the sacred decretals; and if any dare transgress one single iota
against their commands, whether they be emperors, kings, dukes, princes, or
commonwealths, he is immediately to pursue them with fire and sword, strip
them of all their goods, take their kingdoms from them, proscribe them,
anathematize them, and destroy not only their bodies, those of their
children, relations, and others, but damn also their souls to the very
bottom of the most hot and burning cauldron in hell. Here, in the devil's
name, said Panurge, the people are no heretics; such as was our
Raminagrobis, and as they are in Germany and England. You are Christians
of the best edition, all picked and culled, for aught I see. Ay, marry are
we, returned Homenas, and for that reason we shall all be saved. Now let
us go and bless ourselves with holy water, and then to dinner.
Table-talk in praise of the decretals.
Now, topers, pray observe that while Homenas was saying his dry mass, three
collectors, or licensed beggars of the church, each of them with a large
basin, went round among the people, with a loud voice: Pray remember the
blessed men who have seen his face. As we came out of the temple they
brought their basins brimful of Papimany chink to Homenas, who told us that
it was plentifully to feast with; and that, of this contribution and
voluntary tax, one part should be laid out in good drinking, another in
good eating, and the remainder in both, according to an admirable
exposition hidden in a corner of their holy decretals; which was performed
to a T, and that at a noted tavern not much unlike that of Will's at
Amiens. Believe me, we tickled it off there with copious cramming and
I made two notable observations at that dinner: the one, that there was
not one dish served up, whether of cabrittas, capons, hogs (of which latter
there is great plenty in Papimany), pigeons, coneys, leverets, turkeys, or
others, without abundance of magistral stuff; the other, that every course,
and the fruit also, were served up by unmarried females of the place, tight
lasses, I'll assure you, waggish, fair, good-conditioned, and comely,
spruce, and fit for business. They were all clad in fine long white albs,
with two girts; their hair interwoven with narrow tape and purple ribbon,
stuck with roses, gillyflowers, marjoram, daffadowndillies, thyme, and
other sweet flowers.
At every cadence they invited us to drink and bang it about, dropping us
neat and genteel courtesies; nor was the sight of them unwelcome to all the
company; and as for Friar John, he leered on them sideways, like a cur that
steals a capon. When the first course was taken off, the females
melodiously sung us an epode in the praise of the sacrosanct decretals; and
then the second course being served up, Homenas, joyful and cheery, said to
one of the she-butlers, Light here, Clerica. Immediately one of the girls
brought him a tall-boy brimful of extravagant wine. He took fast hold of
it, and fetching a deep sigh, said to Pantagruel, My lord, and you, my good
friends, here's t'ye, with all my heart; you are all very welcome. When he
had tipped that off, and given the tall-boy to the pretty creature, he
lifted up his voice and said, O most holy decretals, how good is good wine
found through your means! This is the best jest we have had yet, observed
Panurge. But it would still be a better, said Pantagruel, if they could
turn bad wine into good.
O seraphic Sextum! continued Homenas, how necessary are you not to the
salvation of poor mortals! O cherubic Clementinae! how perfectly the
perfect institution of a true Christian is contained and described in you!
O angelical Extravagantes! how many poor souls that wander up and down in
mortal bodies through this vale of misery would perish were it not for you!
When, ah! when shall this special gift of grace be bestowed on mankind, as
to lay aside all other studies and concerns, to use you, to peruse you, to
understand you, to know you by heart, to practise you, to incorporate you,
to turn you into blood, and incentre you into the deepest ventricles of
their brains, the inmost marrow of their bones, and most intricate
labyrinth of their arteries? Then, ah! then, and no sooner than then, nor
otherwise than thus, shall the world be happy! While the old man was thus
running on, Epistemon rose and softly said to Panurge: For want of a
close-stool, I must even leave you for a moment or two; this stuff has
unbunged the orifice of my mustard-barrel; but I'll not tarry long.
Then, ah! then, continued Homenas, no hail, frost, ice, snow, overflowing,
or vis major; then plenty of all earthly goods here below. Then
uninterrupted and eternal peace through the universe, an end of all wars,
plunderings, drudgeries, robbing, assassinates, unless it be to destroy
these cursed rebels the heretics. Oh! then, rejoicing, cheerfulness,
jollity, solace, sports, and delicious pleasures, over the face of the
earth. Oh! what great learning, inestimable erudition, and god-like
precepts are knit, linked, rivetted, and mortised in the divine chapters of
these eternal decretals!
Oh! how wonderfully, if you read but one demi-canon, short paragraph, or
single observation of these sacrosanct decretals, how wonderfully, I say,
do you not perceive to kindle in your hearts a furnace of divine love,
charity towards your neighbour (provided he be no heretic), bold contempt
of all casual and sublunary things, firm content in all your affections,
and ecstatic elevation of soul even to the third heaven.
A continuation of the miracles caused by the decretals.
Wisely, brother Timothy, quoth Panurge, did am, did am; he says blew; but,
for my part, I believe as little of it as I can. For one day by chance I
happened to read a chapter of them at Poictiers, at the most
decretalipotent Scotch doctor's, and old Nick turn me into bumfodder, if
this did not make me so hide-bound and costive, that for four or five days
I hardly scumbered one poor butt of sir-reverence; and that, too, was full
as dry and hard, I protest, as Catullus tells us were those of his
Nec toto decies cacas in anno,
Atque id durius est faba, et lapillis:
Quod tu si manibus teras, fricesque,
Non unquam digitum inquinare posses.
Oh, ho! cried Homenas; by'r lady, it may be you were then in the state of
mortal sin, my friend. Well turned, cried Panurge; this was a new strain,
One day, said Friar John, at Seuille, I had applied to my posteriors, by
way of hind-towel, a leaf of an old Clementinae which our rent-gatherer,
John Guimard, had thrown out into the green of our cloister. Now the devil
broil me like a black pudding, if I wasn't so abominably plagued with
chaps, chawns, and piles at the fundament, that the orifice of my poor
nockandroe was in a most woeful pickle for I don't know how long. By'r our
lady, cried Homenas, it was a plain punishment of God for the sin that you
had committed in beraying that sacred book, which you ought rather to have
kissed and adored; I say with an adoration of latria, or of hyperdulia at
least. The Panormitan never told a lie in the matter.
Saith Ponocrates: At Montpelier, John Chouart having bought of the monks
of St. Olary a delicate set of decretals, written on fine large parchment
of Lamballe, to beat gold between the leaves, not so much as a piece that
was beaten in them came to good, but all were dilacerated and spoiled.
Mark this! cried Homenas; 'twas a divine punishment and vengeance.
At Mans, said Eudemon, Francis Cornu, apothecary, had turned an old set of
Extravagantes into waste paper. May I never stir, if whatever was lapped
up in them was not immediately corrupted, rotten, and spoiled; incense,
pepper, cloves, cinnamon, saffron, wax, cassia, rhubarb, tamarinds, all
drugs and spices, were lost without exception. Mark, mark, quoth Homenas,
an effect of divine justice! This comes of putting the sacred Scriptures
to such profane uses.
At Paris, said Carpalin, Snip Groignet the tailor had turned an old
Clementinae into patterns and measures, and all the clothes that were cut
on them were utterly spoiled and lost; gowns, hoods, cloaks, cassocks,
jerkins, jackets, waistcoats, capes, doublets, petticoats, corps de robes,
farthingales, and so forth. Snip, thinking to cut a hood, would cut you
out a codpiece; instead of a cassock he would make you a high-crowned hat;
for a waistcoat he'd shape you out a rochet; on the pattern of a doublet
he'd make you a thing like a frying-pan. Then his journeymen having
stitched it up did jag it and pink it at the bottom, and so it looked like
a pan to fry chestnuts. Instead of a cape he made a buskin; for a
farthingale he shaped a montero cap; and thinking to make a cloak, he'd cut
out a pair of your big out-strouting Swiss breeches, with panes like the
outside of a tabor. Insomuch that Snip was condemned to make good the
stuffs to all his customers; and to this day poor Cabbage's hair grows
through his hood and his arse through his pocket-holes. Mark, an effect of
heavenly wrath and vengeance! cried Homenas.
At Cahusac, said Gymnast, a match being made by the lords of Estissac and
Viscount Lausun to shoot at a mark, Perotou had taken to pieces a set of
decretals and set one of the leaves for the white to shoot at. Now I sell,
nay, I give and bequeath for ever and aye, the mould of my doublet to
fifteen hundred hampers full of black devils, if ever any archer in the
country (though they are singular marksmen in Guienne) could hit the white.
Not the least bit of the holy scribble was contaminated or touched; nay,
and Sansornin the elder, who held stakes, swore to us, figues dioures, hard
figs (his greatest oath), that he had openly, visibly, and manifestly seen
the bolt of Carquelin moving right to the round circle in the middle of the
white; and that just on the point, when it was going to hit and enter, it
had gone aside above seven foot and four inches wide of it towards the
Miracle! cried Homenas, miracle! miracle! Clerica, come wench, light,
light here. Here's to you all, gentlemen; I vow you seem to me very sound
Christians. While he said this, the maidens began to snicker at his elbow,
grinning, giggling, and twittering among themselves. Friar John began to
paw, neigh, and whinny at the snout's end, as one ready to leap, or at
least to play the ass, and get up and ride tantivy to the devil like a
beggar on horseback.
Methinks, said Pantagruel, a man might have been more out of danger near
the white of which Gymnast spoke than was formerly Diogenes near another.
How is that? asked Homenas; what was it? Was he one of our decretalists?
Rarely fallen in again, egad, said Epistemon, returning from stool; I see
he will hook his decretals in, though by the head and shoulders.
Diogenes, said Pantagruel, one day for pastime went to see some archers
that shot at butts, one of whom was so unskilful, that when it was his turn
to shoot all the bystanders went aside, lest he should mistake them for the
mark. Diogenes had seen him shoot extremely wide of it; so when the other
was taking aim a second time, and the people removed at a great distance to
the right and left of the white, he placed himself close by the mark,
holding that place to be the safest, and that so bad an archer would
certainly rather hit any other.
One of the Lord d'Estissac's pages at last found out the charm, pursued
Gymnast, and by his advice Perotou put in another white made up of some
papers of Pouillac's lawsuit, and then everyone shot cleverly.
At Landerousse, said Rhizotome, at John Delif's wedding were very great
doings, as 'twas then the custom of the country. After supper several
farces, interludes, and comical scenes were acted; they had also several
morris-dancers with bells and tabors, and divers sorts of masks and mummers
were let in. My schoolfellows and I, to grace the festival to the best of
our power (for fine white and purple liveries had been given to all of us
in the morning), contrived a merry mask with store of cockle-shells, shells
of snails, periwinkles, and such other. Then for want of cuckoo-pint, or
priest-pintle, lousebur, clote, and paper, we made ourselves false faces
with the leaves of an old Sextum that had been thrown by and lay there for
anyone that would take it up, cutting out holes for the eyes, nose, and
mouth. Now, did you ever hear the like since you were born? When we had
played our little boyish antic tricks, and came to take off our sham faces,
we appeared more hideous and ugly than the little devils that acted the
Passion at Douay; for our faces were utterly spoiled at the places which
had been touched by those leaves. One had there the small-pox; another,
God's token, or the plague-spot; a third, the crinckums; a fourth, the
measles; a fifth, botches, pushes, and carbuncles; in short, he came off
the least hurt who only lost his teeth by the bargain. Miracle! bawled out
Hold, hold! cried Rhizotome; it is not yet time to clap. My sister Kate
and my sister Ren had put the crepines of their hoods, their ruffles,
snuffekins, and neck-ruffs new washed, starched, and ironed, into that very
book of decretals; for, you must know, it was covered with thick boards and
had strong clasps. Now, by the virtue of God--Hold, interrupted Homenas,
what god do you mean? There is but one, answered Rhizotome. In heaven, I
grant, replied Homenas; but we have another here on earth, do you see? Ay,
marry have we, said Rhizotome; but on my soul I protest I had quite forgot
it. Well then, by the virtue of god the pope, their pinners, neck-ruffs,
bib, coifs, and other linen turned as black as a charcoal-man's sack.
Miracle! cried Homenas. Here, Clerica, light me here; and prithee, girl,
observe these rare stories. How comes it to pass then, asked Friar John,
that people say,
Ever since decrees had tails,
And gendarmes lugged heavy mails,
Since each monk would have a horse,
All went here from bad to worse.
I understand you, answered Homenas; this is one of the quirks and little
satires of the new-fangled heretics.
How by the virtue of the decretals, gold is subtilely drawn out of France
I would, said Epistemon, it had cost me a pint of the best tripe that ever
can enter into gut, so we had but compared with the original the dreadful
chapters, Execrabilis, De multa, Si plures; De annatis per totum; Nisi
essent; Cum ad monasterium; Quod delectio; Mandatum; and certain others,
that draw every year out of France to Rome four hundred thousand ducats and
Do you make nothing of this? asked Homenas. Though, methinks, after all,
it is but little, if we consider that France, the most Christian, is the
only nurse the see of Rome has. However, find me in the whole world a
book, whether of philosophy, physic, law, mathematics, or other humane
learning, nay, even, by my God, of the Holy Scripture itself, will draw as
much money thence? None, none, psha, tush, blurt, pish; none can. You may
look till your eyes drop out of your head, nay, till doomsday in the
afternoon, before you can find another of that energy; I'll pass my word
Yet these devilish heretics refuse to learn and know it. Burn 'em, tear
'em, nip 'em with hot pincers, drown 'em, hang 'em, spit 'em at the
bunghole, pelt 'em, paut 'em, bruise 'em, beat 'em, cripple 'em, dismember
'em, cut 'em, gut 'em, bowel 'em, paunch 'em, thrash 'em, slash 'em, gash
'em, chop 'em, slice 'em, slit 'em, carve 'em, saw 'em, bethwack 'em, pare
'em, hack 'em, hew 'em, mince 'em, flay 'em, boil 'em, broil 'em, roast
'em, toast 'em, bake 'em, fry 'em, crucify 'em, crush 'em, squeeze 'em,
grind 'em, batter 'em, burst 'em, quarter 'em, unlimb 'em, behump 'em,
bethump 'em, belam 'em, belabour 'em, pepper 'em, spitchcock 'em, and
carbonade 'em on gridirons, these wicked heretics! decretalifuges,
decretalicides, worse than homicides, worse than patricides,
decretalictones of the devil of hell.
As for you other good people, I must earnestly pray and beseech you to
believe no other thing, to think on, say, undertake, or do no other thing,
than what's contained in our sacred decretals and their corollaries, this
fine Sextum, these fine Clementinae, these fine Extravagantes. O deific
books! So shall you enjoy glory, honour, exaltation, wealth, dignities,
and preferments in this world; be revered and dreaded by all, preferred,
elected, and chosen above all men.
For there is not under the cope of heaven a condition of men out of which
you'll find persons fitter to do and handle all things than those who by
divine prescience, eternal predestination, have applied themselves to the
study of the holy decretals.
Would you choose a worthy emperor, a good captain, a fit general in time of
war, one that can well foresee all inconveniences, avoid all dangers,
briskly and bravely bring his men on to a breach or attack, still be on
sure grounds, always overcome without loss of his men, and know how to make
a good use of his victory? Take me a decretist. No, no, I mean a
decretalist. Ho, the foul blunder, whispered Epistemon.
Would you, in time of peace, find a man capable of wisely governing the
state of a commonwealth, of a kingdom, of an empire, of a monarchy;
sufficient to maintain the clergy, nobility, senate, and commons in wealth,
friendship, unity, obedience, virtue, and honesty? Take a decretalist.
Would you find a man who, by his exemplary life, eloquence, and pious
admonitions, may in a short time, without effusion of human blood, conquer
the Holy Land, and bring over to the holy Church the misbelieving Turks,
Jews, Tartars, Muscovites, Mamelukes, and Sarrabonites? Take me a
What makes, in many countries, the people rebellious and depraved, pages
saucy and mischievous, students sottish and duncical? Nothing but that
their governors and tutors were not decretalists.
But what, on your conscience, was it, do you think, that established,
confirmed, and authorized those fine religious orders with whom you see the
Christian world everywhere adorned, graced, and illustrated, as the
firmament is with its glorious stars? The holy decretals.
What was it that founded, underpropped, and fixed, and now maintains,
nourishes, and feeds the devout monks and friars in convents, monasteries,
and abbeys; so that did they not daily and mightily pray without ceasing,
the world would be in evident danger of returning to its primitive chaos?
The sacred decretals.
What makes and daily increases the famous and celebrated patrimony of St.
Peter in plenty of all temporal, corporeal, and spiritual blessings? The
What made the holy apostolic see and pope of Rome, in all times, and at
this present, so dreadful in the universe, that all kings, emperors,
potentates, and lords, willing, nilling, must depend upon him, hold of him,
be crowned, confirmed, and authorized by him, come thither to strike sail,
buckle, and fall down before his holy slipper, whose picture you have seen?
The mighty decretals of God.
I will discover you a great secret. The universities of your world have
commonly a book, either open or shut, in their arms and devices; what book
do you think it is? Truly, I do not know, answered Pantagruel; I never
read it. It is the decretals, said Homenas, without which the privileges
of all universities would soon be lost. You must own that I have taught
you this; ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
Here Homenas began to belch, to fart, to funk, to laugh, to slaver, and to
sweat; and then he gave his huge greasy four-cornered cap to one of the
lasses, who clapped it on her pretty head with a great deal of joy, after
she had lovingly bussed it, as a sure token that she should be first
married. Vivat, cried Epistemon, fifat, bibat, pipat.
O apocalyptic secret! continued Homenas; light, light, Clerica; light here
with double lanterns. Now for the fruit, virgins.
I was saying, then, that giving yourselves thus wholly to the study of the
holy decretals, you will gain wealth and honour in this world. I add, that
in the next you will infallibly be saved in the blessed kingdom of heaven,
whose keys are given to our good god and decretaliarch. O my good god,
whom I adore and never saw, by thy special grace open unto us, at the point
of death at least, this most sacred treasure of our holy Mother Church,
whose protector, preserver, butler, chief-larder, administrator, and
disposer thou art; and take care, I beseech thee, O lord, that the precious
works of supererogation, the goodly pardons, do not fail us in time of
need; so that the devils may not find an opportunity to gripe our precious
souls, and the dreadful jaws of hell may not swallow us. If we must pass
through purgatory thy will be done. It is in thy power to draw us out of
it when thou pleasest. Here Homenas began to shed huge hot briny tears, to
beat his breast, and kiss his thumbs in the shape of a cross.
How Homenas gave Pantagruel some bon-Christian pears.
Epistemon, Friar John, and Panurge, seeing this doleful catastrophe, began,
under the cover of their napkins, to cry Meeow, meeow, meeow; feigning to
wipe their eyes all the while as if they had wept. The wenches were doubly
diligent, and brought brimmers of Clementine wine to every one, besides
store of sweetmeats; and thus the feasting was revived.
Before we arose from table, Homenas gave us a great quantity of fair large
pears, saying, Here, my good friends, these are singular good pears. You
will find none such anywhere else, I dare warrant. Every soil bears not
everything, you know. India alone boasts black ebony; the best incense is
produced in Sabaea; the sphragitid earth at Lemnos; so this island is the
only place where such fine pears grow. You may, if you please, make
seminaries with their pippins in your country.
I like their taste extremely, said Pantagruel. If they were sliced, and
put into a pan on the fire with wine and sugar, I fancy they would be very
wholesome meat for the sick, as well as for the healthy. Pray what do you
call 'em? No otherwise than you have heard, replied Homenas. We are a
plain downright sort of people, as God would have it, and call figs, figs;
plums, plums; and pears, pears. Truly, said Pantagruel, if I live to go
home--which I hope will be speedily, God willing--I'll set off and graff
some in my garden in Touraine, by the banks of the Loire, and will call
them bon-Christian or good-Christian pears, for I never saw better
Christians than are these good Papimans. I would like him two to one
better yet, said Friar John, would he but give us two or three cartloads of
yon buxom lasses. Why, what would you do with them? cried Homenas. Quoth
Friar John, No harm, only bleed the kind-hearted souls straight between the
two great toes with certain clever lancets of the right stamp; by which
operation good Christian children would be inoculated upon them, and the
breed be multiplied in our country, in which there are not many over-good,
the more's the pity.
Nay, verily, replied Homenas, we cannot do this; for you would make them
tread their shoes awry, crack their pipkins, and spoil their shapes. You
love mutton, I see; you will run at sheep. I know you by that same nose
and hair of yours, though I never saw your face before. Alas! alas! how
kind you are! And would you indeed damn your precious soul? Our decretals
forbid this. Ah, I wish you had them at your finger's-end. Patience, said
Friar John; but, si tu non vis dare, praesta, quaesumus. Matter of
breviary. As for that, I defy all the world, and I fear no man that wears
a head and a hood, though he were a crystalline, I mean a decretaline
Dinner being over, we took our leave of the right reverend Homenas, and of
all the good people, humbly giving thanks; and, to make them amends for
their kind entertainment, promised them that, at our coming to Rome, we
would make our applications so effectually to the pope that he would
speedily be sure to come to visit them in person. After this we went
Pantagruel, by an act of generosity, and as an acknowledgment of the sight
of the pope's picture, gave Homenas nine pieces of double friezed cloth of
gold to be set before the grates of the window. He also caused the church
box for its repairs and fabric to be quite filled with double crowns of
gold; and ordered nine hundred and fourteen angels to be delivered to each
of the lasses who had waited at table, to buy them husbands when they could
How Pantagruel, being at sea, heard various unfrozen words.
When we were at sea, junketting, tippling, discoursing, and telling
stories, Pantagruel rose and stood up to look out; then asked us, Do you
hear nothing, gentlemen? Methinks I hear some people talking in the air,
yet I can see nobody. Hark! According to his command we listened, and
with full ears sucked in the air as some of you suck oysters, to find if we
could hear some sound scattered through the sky; and to lose none of it,
like the Emperor Antoninus some of us laid their hands hollow next to their
ears; but all this would not do, nor could we hear any voice. Yet
Pantagruel continued to assure us he heard various voices in the air, some
of men, and some of women.
At last we began to fancy that we also heard something, or at least that
our ears tingled; and the more we listened, the plainer we discerned the
voices, so as to distinguish articulate sounds. This mightily frightened
us, and not without cause; since we could see nothing, yet heard such
various sounds and voices of men, women, children, horses, &c., insomuch
that Panurge cried out, Cods-belly, there is no fooling with the devil; we
are all beshit, let's fly. There is some ambuscado hereabouts. Friar
John, art thou here my love? I pray thee, stay by me, old boy. Hast thou
got thy swindging tool? See that it do not stick in thy scabbard; thou
never scourest it half as it should be. We are undone. Hark! They are
guns, gad judge me. Let's fly, I do not say with hands and feet, as Brutus
said at the battle of Pharsalia; I say, with sails and oars. Let's whip it
away. I never find myself to have a bit of courage at sea; in cellars and
elsewhere I have more than enough. Let's fly and save our bacon. I do not
say this for any fear that I have; for I dread nothing but danger, that I
don't; I always say it that shouldn't. The free archer of Baignolet said
as much. Let us hazard nothing, therefore, I say, lest we come off bluely.
Tack about, helm a-lee, thou son of a bachelor. Would I were now well in
Quinquenais, though I were never to marry. Haste away, let's make all the
sail we can. They'll be too hard for us; we are not able to cope with
them; they are ten to our one, I'll warrant you. Nay, and they are on
their dunghill, while we do not know the country. They will be the death
of us. We'll lose no honour by flying. Demosthenes saith that the man
that runs away may fight another day. At least let us retreat to the
leeward. Helm a-lee; bring the main-tack aboard, haul the bowlines, hoist
the top-gallants. We are all dead men; get off, in the devil's name, get
Pantagruel, hearing the sad outcry which Panurge made, said, Who talks of
flying? Let's first see who they are; perhaps they may be friends. I can
discover nobody yet, though I can see a hundred miles round me. But let's
consider a little. I have read that a philosopher named Petron was of
opinion that there were several worlds that touched each other in an
equilateral triangle; in whose centre, he said, was the dwelling of truth;
and that the words, ideas, copies, and images of all things past and to
come resided there; round which was the age; and that with success of time
part of them used to fall on mankind like rheums and mildews, just as the
dew fell on Gideon's fleece, till the age was fulfilled.
I also remember, continued he, that Aristotle affirms Homer's words to be
flying, moving, and consequently animated. Besides, Antiphanes said that
Plato's philosophy was like words which, being spoken in some country
during a hard winter, are immediately congealed, frozen up, and not heard;
for what Plato taught young lads could hardly be understood by them when
they were grown old. Now, continued he, we should philosophize and search
whether this be not the place where those words are thawed.
You would wonder very much should this be the head and lyre of Orpheus.
When the Thracian women had torn him to pieces they threw his head and lyre
into the river Hebrus, down which they floated to the Euxine sea as far as
the island of Lesbos; the head continually uttering a doleful song, as it
were lamenting the death of Orpheus, and the lyre, with the wind's impulse
moving its strings and harmoniously accompanying the voice. Let's see if
we cannot discover them hereabouts.
How among the frozen words Pantagruel found some odd ones.
The skipper made answer: Be not afraid, my lord; we are on the confines of
the Frozen Sea, on which, about the beginning of last winter, happened a
great and bloody fight between the Arimaspians and the Nephelibates. Then
the words and cries of men and women, the hacking, slashing, and hewing of
battle-axes, the shocking, knocking, and jolting of armours and harnesses,
the neighing of horses, and all other martial din and noise, froze in the
air; and now, the rigour of the winter being over, by the succeeding
serenity and warmth of the weather they melt and are heard.
By jingo, quoth Panurge, the man talks somewhat like. I believe him. But
couldn't we see some of 'em? I think I have read that, on the edge of the
mountain on which Moses received the Judaic law, the people saw the voices
sensibly. Here, here, said Pantagruel, here are some that are not yet
thawed. He then threw us on the deck whole handfuls of frozen words, which
seemed to us like your rough sugar-plums, of many colours, like those used
in heraldry; some words gules (this means also jests and merry sayings),
some vert, some azure, some black, some or (this means also fair words);
and when we had somewhat warmed them between our hands, they melted like
snow, and we really heard them, but could not understand them, for it was a
barbarous gibberish. One of them only, that was pretty big, having been
warmed between Friar John's hands, gave a sound much like that of chestnuts
when they are thrown into the fire without being first cut, which made us
all start. This was the report of a field-piece in its time, cried Friar
Panurge prayed Pantagruel to give him some more; but Pantagruel told him
that to give words was the part of a lover. Sell me some then, I pray you,
cried Panurge. That's the part of a lawyer, returned Pantagruel. I would
sooner sell you silence, though at a dearer rate; as Demosthenes formerly
sold it by the means of his argentangina, or silver squinsy.
However, he threw three or four handfuls of them on the deck; among which I
perceived some very sharp words, and some bloody words, which the pilot
said used sometimes to go back and recoil to the place whence they came,
but it was with a slit weasand. We also saw some terrible words, and some
others not very pleasant to the eye.
When they had been all melted together, we heard a strange noise, hin, hin,
hin, hin, his, tick, tock, taack, bredelinbrededack, frr, frr, frr, bou,
bou, bou, bou, bou, bou, bou, bou, track, track, trr, trr, trr, trrr,
trrrrrr, on, on, on, on, on, on, ououououon, gog, magog, and I do not know
what other barbarous words, which the pilot said were the noise made by the
charging squadrons, the shock and neighing of horses.
Then we heard some large ones go off like drums and fifes, and others like
clarions and trumpets. Believe me, we had very good sport with them. I
would fain have saved some merry odd words, and have preserved them in oil,
as ice and snow are kept, and between clean straw. But Pantagruel would
not let me, saying that 'tis a folly to hoard up what we are never like to
want or have always at hand, odd, quaint, merry, and fat words of gules
never being scarce among all good and jovial Pantagruelists.
Panurge somewhat vexed Friar John, and put him in the pouts; for he took
him at his word while he dreamed of nothing less. This caused the friar to
threaten him with such a piece of revenge as was put upon G. Jousseaume,
who having taken the merry Patelin at his word when he had overbid himself
in some cloth, was afterwards fairly taken by the horns like a bullock by
his jovial chapman, whom he took at his word like a man. Panurge, well
knowing that threatened folks live long, bobbed and made mouths at him in
token of derision, then cried, Would I had here the word of the Holy
Bottle, without being thus obliged to go further in pilgrimage to her.
How Pantagruel went ashore at the dwelling of Gaster, the first master of
arts in the world.
That day Pantagruel went ashore in an island which, for situation and
governor, may be said not to have its fellow. When you just come into it,
you find it rugged, craggy, and barren, unpleasant to the eye, painful to
the feet, and almost as inaccessible as the mountain of Dauphine, which is
somewhat like a toadstool, and was never climbed as any can remember by any
but Doyac, who had the charge of King Charles the Eighth's train of
This same Doyac with strange tools and engines gained that mountain's top,
and there he found an old ram. It puzzled many a wise head to guess how it
got thither. Some said that some eagle or great horncoot, having carried
it thither while it was yet a lambkin, it had got away and saved itself
among the bushes.
As for us, having with much toil and sweat overcome the difficult ways at
the entrance, we found the top of the mountain so fertile, healthful, and
pleasant, that I thought I was then in the true garden of Eden, or earthly
paradise, about whose situation our good theologues are in such a quandary
and keep such a pother.
As for Pantagruel, he said that here was the seat of Arete--that is as much
as to say, virtue--described by Hesiod. This, however, with submission to
better judgments. The ruler of this place was one Master Gaster, the first
master of arts in this world. For, if you believe that fire is the great
master of arts, as Tully writes, you very much wrong him and yourself;
alas! Tully never believed this. On the other side, if you fancy Mercury
to be the first inventor of arts, as our ancient Druids believed of old,
you are mightily beside the mark. The satirist's sentence, that affirms
Master Gaster to be the master of all arts, is true. With him peacefully
resided old goody Penia, alias Poverty, the mother of the ninety-nine
Muses, on whom Porus, the lord of Plenty, formerly begot Love, that noble
child, the mediator of heaven and earth, as Plato affirms in Symposio.
We were all obliged to pay our homage and swear allegiance to that mighty
sovereign; for he is imperious, severe, blunt, hard, uneasy, inflexible;
you cannot make him believe, represent to him, or persuade him anything.
He does not hear; and as the Egyptians said that Harpocrates, the god of
silence, named Sigalion in Greek, was astome, that is, without a mouth, so
Gaster was created without ears, even like the image of Jupiter in Candia.
He only speaks by signs, but those signs are more readily obeyed by
everyone than the statutes of senates or commands of monarchs. Neither
will he admit the least let or delay in his summons. You say that when a
lion roars all the beasts at a considerable distance round about, as far as
his roar can be heard, are seized with a shivering. This is written, it is
true, I have seen it. I assure you that at Master Gaster's command the very
heavens tremble, and all the earth shakes. His command is called, Do this
or die. Needs must when the devil drives; there's no gainsaying of it.
The pilot was telling us how, on a certain time, after the manner of the
members that mutinied against the belly, as Aesop describes it, the whole
kingdom of the Somates went off into a direct faction against Gaster,
resolving to throw off his yoke; but they soon found their mistake, and
most humbly submitted, for otherwise they had all been famished.
What company soever he is in, none dispute with him for precedence or
superiority; he still goes first, though kings, emperors, or even the pope,
were there. So he held the first place at the council of Basle; though
some will tell you that the council was tumultuous by the contention and
ambition of many for priority.
Everyone is busied and labours to serve him, and indeed, to make amends for
this, he does this good to mankind, as to invent for them all arts,
machines, trades, engines, and crafts; he even instructs brutes in arts
which are against their nature, making poets of ravens, jackdaws,
chattering jays, parrots, and starlings, and poetesses of magpies, teaching
them to utter human language, speak, and sing; and all for the gut. He
reclaims and tames eagles, gerfalcons, falcons gentle, sakers, lanners,
goshawks, sparrowhawks, merlins, haggards, passengers, wild rapacious
birds; so that, setting them free in the air whenever he thinks fit, as
high and as long as he pleases, he keeps them suspended, straying, flying,
hovering, and courting him above the clouds. Then on a sudden he makes
them stoop, and come down amain from heaven next to the ground; and all for
Elephants, lions, rhinoceroses, bears, horses, mares, and dogs, he teaches
to dance, prance, vault, fight, swim, hide themselves, fetch and carry what
he pleases; and all for the gut.
Salt and fresh-water fish, whales, and the monsters of the main, he brings
them up from the bottom of the deep; wolves he forces out of the woods,
bears out of the rocks, foxes out of their holes, and serpents out of the
ground, and all for the gut.
In short, he is so unruly, that in his rage he devours all men and beasts;
as was seen among the Vascons, when Q. Metellus besieged them in the
Sertorian wars, among the Saguntines besieged by Hannibal; among the Jews
besieged by the Romans, and six hundred more; and all for the gut. When
his regent Penia takes a progress, wherever she moves all senates are shut
up, all statutes repealed, all orders and proclamations vain; she knows,
obeys, and has no law. All shun her, in every place choosing rather to
expose themselves to shipwreck at sea, and venture through fire, rocks,
caves, and precipices, than be seized by that most dreadful tormentor.
How, at the court of the master of ingenuity, Pantagruel detested the
Engastrimythes and the Gastrolaters.
At the court of that great master of ingenuity, Pantagruel observed two
sorts of troublesome and too officious apparitors, whom he very much
detested. The first were called Engastrimythes; the others, Gastrolaters.
The first pretended to be descended of the ancient race of Eurycles, and
for this brought the authority of Aristophanes in his comedy called the
Wasps; whence of old they were called Euryclians, as Plato writes, and
Plutarch in his book of the Cessation of Oracles. In the holy decrees, 26,
qu. 3, they are styled Ventriloqui; and the same name is given them in
Ionian by Hippocrates, in his fifth book of Epid., as men who speak from
the belly. Sophocles calls them Sternomantes. These were soothsayers,
enchanters, cheats, who gulled the mob, and seemed not to speak and give
answers from the mouth, but from the belly.
Such a one, about the year of our Lord 1513, was Jacoba Rodogina, an
Italian woman of mean extract; from whose belly we, as well as an infinite
number of others at Ferrara and elsewhere, have often heard the voice of
the evil spirit speak, low, feeble, and small, indeed, but yet very
distinct, articulate, and intelligible, when she was sent for out of
curiosity by the lords and princes of the Cisalpine Gaul. To remove all
manner of doubt, and be assured that this was not a trick, they used to
have her stripped stark naked, and caused her mouth and nose to be stopped.
This evil spirit would be called Curled-pate, or Cincinnatulo, seeming
pleased when any called him by that name, at which he was always ready to
answer. If any spoke to him of things past or present, he gave pertinent
answers, sometimes to the amazement of the hearers; but if of things to
come, then the devil was gravelled, and used to lie as fast as a dog can
trot. Nay, sometimes he seemed to own his ignorance, instead of an answer
letting out a rousing fart, or muttering some words with barbarous and
uncouth inflexions, and not to be understood.
As for the Gastrolaters, they stuck close to one another in knots and
gangs. Some of them merry, wanton, and soft as so many milk-sops; others
louring, grim, dogged, demure, and crabbed; all idle, mortal foes to
business, spending half their time in sleeping and the rest in doing
nothing, a rent-charge and dead unnecessary weight on the earth, as Hesiod
saith; afraid, as we judged, of offending or lessening their paunch.
Others were masked, disguised, and so oddly dressed that it would have done
you good to have seen them.
There's a saying, and several ancient sages write, that the skill of nature
appears wonderful in the pleasure which she seems to have taken in the
configuration of sea-shells, so great is their variety in figures, colours,
streaks, and inimitable shapes. I protest the variety we perceived in the
dresses of the gastrolatrous coquillons was not less. They all owned
Gaster for their supreme god, adored him as a god, offered him sacrifices
as to their omnipotent deity, owned no other god, served, loved, and
honoured him above all things.
You would have thought that the holy apostle spoke of those when he said
(Phil. chap. 3), Many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you
even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is
destruction, whose God is their belly. Pantagruel compared them to the
Cyclops Polyphemus, whom Euripides brings in speaking thus: I only
sacrifice to myself--not to the gods--and to this belly of mine, the
greatest of all the gods.
Of the ridiculous statue Manduce; and how and what the Gastrolaters
sacrifice to their ventripotent god.
While we fed our eyes with the sight of the phizzes and actions of these
lounging gulligutted Gastrolaters, we on a sudden heard the sound of a
musical instrument called a bell; at which all of them placed themselves in
rank and file as for some mighty battle, everyone according to his office,
degree, and seniority.
In this order they moved towards Master Gaster, after a plump, young,
lusty, gorbellied fellow, who on a long staff fairly gilt carried a wooden
statue, grossly carved, and as scurvily daubed over with paint; such a one
as Plautus, Juvenal, and Pomp. Festus describe it. At Lyons during the
Carnival it is called Maschecroute or Gnawcrust; they call'd this Manduce.
It was a monstrous, ridiculous, hideous figure, fit to fright little
children; its eyes were bigger than its belly, and its head larger than all
the rest of its body; well mouth-cloven however, having a goodly pair of
wide, broad jaws, lined with two rows of teeth, upper tier and under tier,
which, by the magic of a small twine hid in the hollow part of the golden
staff, were made to clash, clatter, and rattle dreadfully one against
another; as they do at Metz with St. Clement's dragon.
Coming near the Gastrolaters I saw they were followed by a great number of
fat waiters and tenders, laden with baskets, dossers, hampers, dishes,
wallets, pots, and kettles. Then, under the conduct of Manduce, and
singing I do not know what dithyrambics, crepalocomes, and epenons, opening
their baskets and pots, they offered their god:
White hippocras, Fricassees, nine Cold loins of veal,
with dry toasts. sorts. with spice.
White bread. Monastical brewis. Zinziberine.
Brown bread. Gravy soup. Beatille pies.
Carbonadoes, six Hotch-pots. Brewis.
sorts. Soft bread. Marrow-bones, toast,
Brawn. Household bread. and cabbage.
Sweetbreads. Capirotadoes. Hashes.
Eternal drink intermixed. Brisk delicate white wine led the van; claret
and champagne followed, cool, nay, as cold as the very ice, I say, filled
and offered in large silver cups. Then they offered:
Chitterlings, gar- Chines and peas. Hams.
nished with mus- Hog's haslets. Brawn heads.
tard. Scotch collops. Powdered venison,
Sausages. Puddings. with turnips.
Neats' tongues. Cervelats. Pickled olives.
Hung beef. Bologna sausages.
All this associated with sempiternal liquor. Then they housed within his
Legs of mutton, with Ribs of pork, with Caponets.
shallots. onion sauce. Caviare and toast.
Olias. Roast capons, basted Fawns, deer.
Lumber pies, with with their own Hares, leverets.
hot sauce. dripping. Plovers.
Partridges and young Flamingoes. Herons, and young
partridges. Cygnets. herons.
Dwarf-herons. A reinforcement of Olives.
Teals. vinegar intermixed. Thrushes.
Duckers. Venison pasties. Young sea-ravens.
Bitterns. Lark pies. Geese, goslings.
Shovellers. Dormice pies. Queests.
Curlews. Cabretto pasties. Widgeons.
Wood-hens. Roebuck pasties. Mavises.
Coots, with leeks. Pigeon pies. Grouses.
Fat kids. Kid pasties. Turtles.
Shoulders of mutton, Capon pies. Doe-coneys.
with capers. Bacon pies. Hedgehogs.
Sirloins of beef. Soused hog's feet. Snites.
Breasts of veal. Fried pasty-crust. Then large puffs.
Pheasants and phea- Forced capons. Thistle-finches.
sant poots. Parmesan cheese. Whore's farts.
Peacocks. Red and pale hip- Fritters.
Storks. pocras. Cakes, sixteen sorts.
Woodcocks. Gold-peaches. Crisp wafers.
Snipes. Artichokes. Quince tarts.
Ortolans. Dry and wet sweet- Curds and cream.
Turkey cocks, hen meats, seventy- Whipped cream.
turkeys, and turkey eight sorts. Preserved mirabo-
poots. Boiled hens, and fat lans.
Stock-doves, and capons marinated. Jellies.
wood-culvers. Pullets, with eggs. Welsh barrapyclids.
Pigs, with wine sauce. Chickens. Macaroons.
Blackbirds, ousels, and Rabbits, and sucking Tarts, twenty sorts.
rails. rabbits. Lemon cream, rasp-
Moorhens. Quails, and young berry cream, &c.
Bustards, and bustard quails. Comfits, one hundred
poots. Pigeons, squabs, and colours.
Fig-peckers. squeakers. Cream wafers.
Young Guinea hens. Fieldfares. Cream cheese.
Vinegar brought up the rear to wash the mouth, and for fear of the squinsy;
also toasts to scour the grinders.
What the Gastrolaters sacrificed to their god on interlarded fish-days.
Pantagruel did not like this pack of rascally scoundrels with their
manifold kitchen sacrifices, and would have been gone had not Epistemon
prevailed with him to stay and see the end of the farce. He then asked the
skipper what the idle lobcocks used to sacrifice to their gorbellied god on
interlarded fish-days. For his first course, said the skipper, they gave
Caviare. tops, bishop's-cods, Red herrings.
Botargoes. celery, chives, ram- Pilchards.
Fresh butter. pions, jew's-ears (a Anchovies.
Pease soup. sort of mushrooms Fry of tunny.
Spinach. that sprout out of Cauliflowers.
Fresh herrings, full old elders), spara- Beans.
roed. gus, wood-bind, Salt salmon.
Salads, a hundred and a world of Pickled grigs.
varieties, of cres- others. Oysters in the shell.
ses, sodden hop-
Then he must drink, or the devil would gripe him at the throat; this,
therefore, they take care to prevent, and nothing is wanting. Which being
done, they give him lampreys with hippocras sauce:
Gurnards. Thornbacks. Fried oysters.
Salmon trouts. Sleeves. Cockles.
Barbels, great and Sturgeons. Prawns.
small. Sheath-fish. Smelts.
Roaches. Mackerels. Rock-fish.
Cockerels. Maids. Gracious lords.
Minnows. Plaice. Sword-fish.
Skate-fish. Sharplings. Soles.
Lamprels. Tunnies. Mussels.
Jegs. Silver eels. Lobsters.
Pickerels. Chevins. Great prawns.
Golden carps. Crayfish. Dace.
Burbates. Pallours. Bleaks.
Salmons. Shrimps. Tenches.
Salmon-peels. Congers. Ombres.
Dolphins. Porpoises. Fresh cods.
Barn trouts. Bases. Dried melwels.
Miller's-thumbs. Shads. Darefish.
Precks. Murenes, a sort of Fausens, and grigs.
Bret-fish. lampreys. Eel-pouts.
Flounders. Graylings. Tortoises.
Sea-nettles. Smys. Serpents, i.e. wood-
Mullets. Turbots. eels.
Gudgeons. Trout, not above a Dories.
Dabs and sandings. foot long. Moor-game.
Haddocks. Salmons. Perches.
Carps. Meagers. Loaches.
Pikes. Sea-breams. Crab-fish.
Bottitoes. Halibuts. Snails and whelks.
Rochets. Dog's tongue, or kind Frogs.
If, when he had crammed all this down his guttural trapdoor, he did not
immediately make the fish swim again in his paunch, death would pack him
off in a trice. Special care is taken to antidote his godship with
vine-tree syrup. Then is sacrificed to him haberdines, poor-jack,
minglemangled, mismashed, &c.
Eggs fried, beaten, sliced, roasted in Green-fish.
buttered, poached, the embers, tossed Sea-batts.
hardened, boiled, in the chimney, &c. Cod's sounds.
broiled, stewed, Stock-fish. Sea-pikes.
Which to concoct and digest the more easily, vinegar is multiplied. For
the latter part of their sacrifices they offer:
Rice milk, and hasty Stewed prunes, and Raisins.
pudding. baked bullace. Dates.
Buttered wheat, and Pistachios, or fistic Chestnut and wal-
flummery. nuts. nuts.
Water-gruel, and Figs. Filberts.
milk-porridge. Almond butter. Parsnips.
Frumenty and bonny Skirret root. Artichokes.
Perpetuity of soaking with the whole.
It was none of their fault, I will assure you, if this same god of theirs
was not publicly, preciously, and plentifully served in the sacrifices,
better yet than Heliogabalus's idol; nay, more than Bel and the Dragon in
Babylon, under King Belshazzar. Yet Gaster had the manners to own that he
was no god, but a poor, vile, wretched creature. And as King Antigonus,
first of the name, when one Hermodotus (as poets will flatter, especially
princes) in some of his fustian dubbed him a god, and made the sun adopt
him for his son, said to him: My lasanophore (or, in plain English, my
groom of the close-stool) can give thee the lie; so Master Gaster very
civilly used to send back his bigoted worshippers to his close-stool, to
see, smell, taste, philosophize, and examine what kind of divinity they
could pick out of his sir-reverence.
How Gaster invented means to get and preserve corn.
Those gastrolatrous hobgoblins being withdrawn, Pantagruel carefully minded
the famous master of arts, Gaster. You know that, by the institution of
nature, bread has been assigned him for provision and food; and that, as an
addition to this blessing, he should never want the means to get bread.
Accordingly, from the beginning he invented the smith's art, and husbandry
to manure the ground, that it might yield him corn; he invented arms and
the art of war to defend corn; physic and astronomy, with other parts of
mathematics which might be useful to keep corn a great number of years in
safety from the injuries of the air, beasts, robbers, and purloiners; he
invented water, wind, and handmills, and a thousand other engines to grind
corn and to turn it into meal; leaven to make the dough ferment, and the
use of salt to give it a savour; for he knew that nothing bred more
diseases than heavy, unleavened, unsavoury bread.
He found a way to get fire to bake it; hour-glasses, dials, and clocks to
mark the time of its baking; and as some countries wanted corn, he
contrived means to convey some out of one country into another.
He had the wit to pimp for asses and mares, animals of different species,
that they might copulate for the generation of a third, which we call
mules, more strong and fit for hard service than the other two. He
invented carts and waggons to draw him along with greater ease; and as seas
and rivers hindered his progress, he devised boats, galleys, and ships (to
the astonishment of the elements) to waft him over to barbarous, unknown,
and far distant nations, thence to bring, or thither to carry corn.
Besides, seeing that when he had tilled the ground, some years the corn
perished in it for want of rain in due season, in others rotted or was
drowned by its excess, sometimes spoiled by hail, eat by worms in the ear,
or beaten down by storms, and so his stock was destroyed on the ground; we
were told that ever since the days of yore he has found out a way to
conjure the rain down from heaven only with cutting certain grass, common
enough in the field, yet known to very few, some of which was then shown
us. I took it to be the same as the plant, one of whose boughs being
dipped by Jove's priest in the Agrian fountain on the Lycian mountain in
Arcadia, in time of drought raised vapours which gathered into clouds, and
then dissolved into rain that kindly moistened the whole country.
Our master of arts was also said to have found a way to keep the rain up in
the air, and make it to fall into the sea; also to annihilate the hail,
suppress the winds, and remove storms as the Methanensians of Troezene used
to do. And as in the fields thieves and plunderers sometimes stole and
took by force the corn and bread which others had toiled to get, he
invented the art of building towns, forts, and castles, to hoard and secure
that staff of life. On the other hand, finding none in the fields, and
hearing that it was hoarded up and secured in towns, forts, and castles,
and watched with more care than ever were the golden pippins of the
Hesperides, he turned engineer, and found ways to beat, storm, and demolish
forts and castles with machines and warlike thunderbolts, battering-rams,
ballists, and catapults, whose shapes were shown to us, not over-well
understood by our engineers, architects, and other disciples of Vitruvius;
as Master Philibert de l'Orme, King Megistus's principal architect, has
owned to us.
And seeing that sometimes all these tools of destruction were baffled by
the cunning subtlety or the subtle cunning (which you please) of
fortifiers, he lately invented cannons, field-pieces, culverins, bombards,
basiliskos, murdering instruments that dart iron, leaden, and brazen balls,
some of them outweighing huge anvils. This by the means of a most dreadful
powder, whose hellish compound and effect has even amazed nature, and made
her own herself outdone by art, the Oxydracian thunders, hails, and storms
by which the people of that name immediately destroyed their enemies in the
field being but mere potguns to these. For one of our great guns when used
is more dreadful, more terrible, more diabolical, and maims, tears, breaks,
slays, mows down, and sweeps away more men, and causes a greater
consternation and destruction than a hundred thunderbolts.
How Gaster invented an art to avoid being hurt or touched by cannon-balls.
Gaster having secured himself with his corn within strongholds, has
sometimes been attacked by enemies; his fortresses, by that thrice
threefold cursed instrument, levelled and destroyed; his dearly beloved
corn and bread snatched out of his mouth and sacked by a titanic force;
therefore he then sought means to preserve his walls, bastions, rampiers,
and sconces from cannon-shot, and to hinder the bullets from hitting him,
stopping them in their flight, or at least from doing him or the besieged
walls any damage. He showed us a trial of this which has been since used
by Fronton, and is now common among the pastimes and harmless recreations
of the Thelemites. I will tell you how he went to work, and pray for the
future be a little more ready to believe what Plutarch affirms to have
tried. Suppose a herd of goats were all scampering as if the devil drove
them, do but put a bit of eringo into the mouth of the hindmost nanny, and
they will all stop stock still in the time you can tell three.
Thus Gaster, having caused a brass falcon to be charged with a sufficient
quantity of gunpowder well purged from its sulphur, and curiously made up
with fine camphor, he then had a suitable ball put into the piece, with
twenty-four little pellets like hail-shot, some round, some pearl fashion;
then taking his aim and levelling it at a page of his, as if he would have
hit him on the breast. About sixty strides off the piece, halfway between
it and the page in a right line, he hanged on a gibbet by a rope a very
large siderite or iron-like stone, otherwise called herculean, formerly
found on Ida in Phrygia by one Magnes, as Nicander writes, and commonly
called loadstone; then he gave fire to the prime on the piece's touch-hole,
which in an instant consuming the powder, the ball and hail-shot were with
incredible violence and swiftness hurried out of the gun at its muzzle,
that the air might penetrate to its chamber, where otherwise would have
been a vacuum, which nature abhors so much, that this universal machine,
heaven, air, land, and sea, would sooner return to the primitive chaos than
admit the least void anywhere. Now the ball and small shot, which
threatened the page with no less than quick destruction, lost their
impetuosity and remained suspended and hovering round the stone; nor did
any of them, notwithstanding the fury with which they rushed, reach the
Master Gaster could do more than all this yet, if you will believe me; for
he invented a way how to cause bullets to fly backwards, and recoil on
those that sent them with as great a force, and in the very numerical
parallel for which the guns were planted. And indeed, why should he have
thought this difficult? seeing the herb ethiopis opens all locks
whatsoever, and an echinus or remora, a silly weakly fish, in spite of all
the winds that blow from the thirty-two points of the compass, will in the
midst of a hurricane make you the biggest first-rate remain stock still, as
if she were becalmed or the blustering tribe had blown their last. Nay,
and with the flesh of that fish, preserved with salt, you may fish gold out
of the deepest well that was ever sounded with a plummet; for it will
certainly draw up the precious metal, since Democritus affirmed it.
Theophrastus believed and experienced that there was an herb at whose
single touch an iron wedge, though never so far driven into a huge log of
the hardest wood that is, would presently come out; and it is this same
herb your hickways, alias woodpeckers, use, when with some mighty axe
anyone stops up the hole of their nests, which they industriously dig and
make in the trunk of some sturdy tree. Since stags and hinds, when deeply
wounded with darts, arrows, and bolts, if they do but meet the herb called
dittany, which is common in Candia, and eat a little of it, presently the
shafts come out and all is well again; even as kind Venus cured her beloved
byblow Aeneas when he was wounded on the right thigh with an arrow by
Juturna, Turnus's sister. Since the very wind of laurels, fig-trees, or
sea-calves makes the thunder sheer off insomuch that it never strikes them.
Since at the sight of a ram, mad elephants recover their former senses.
Since mad bulls coming near wild fig-trees, called caprifici, grow tame,
and will not budge a foot, as if they had the cramp. Since the venomous
rage of vipers is assuaged if you but touch them with a beechen bough.
Since also Euphorion writes that in the isle of Samos, before Juno's temple
was built there, he has seen some beasts called neades, whose voice made
the neighbouring places gape and sink into a chasm and abyss. In short,
since elders grow of a more pleasing sound, and fitter to make flutes, in
such places where the crowing of cocks is not heard, as the ancient sages
have writ and Theophrastus relates; as if the crowing of a cock dulled,
flattened, and perverted the wood of the elder, as it is said to astonish
and stupify with fear that strong and resolute animal, a lion. I know that
some have understood this of wild elder, that grows so far from towns or
villages that the crowing of cocks cannot reach near it; and doubtless that
sort ought to be preferred to the stenching common elder that grows about
decayed and ruined places; but others have understood this in a higher
sense, not literal, but allegorical, according to the method of the
Pythagoreans, as when it was said that Mercury's statue could not be made
of every sort of wood; to which sentence they gave this sense, that God is
not to be worshipped in a vulgar form, but in a chosen and religious
manner. In the same manner, by this elder which grows far from places
where cocks are heard, the ancients meant that the wise and studious ought
not to give their minds to trivial or vulgar music, but to that which is
celestial, divine, angelical, more abstracted, and brought from remoter
parts, that is, from a region where the crowing of cocks is not heard; for,
to denote a solitary and unfrequented place, we say cocks are never heard
to crow there.
How Pantagruel fell asleep near the island of Chaneph, and of the problems
proposed to be solved when he waked.
The next day, merrily pursuing our voyage, we came in sight of the island
of Chaneph, where Pantagruel's ship could not arrive, the wind chopping
about, and then failing us so that we were becalmed, and could hardly get
ahead, tacking about from starboard to larboard, and larboard to starboard,
though to our sails we added drabblers.
With this accident we were all out of sorts, moping, drooping,
metagrabolized, as dull as dun in the mire, in C sol fa ut flat, out of
tune, off the hinges, and I-don't-know-howish, without caring to speak one
single syllable to each other.
Pantagruel was taking a nap, slumbering and nodding on the quarter-deck by
the cuddy, with an Heliodorus in his hand; for still it was his custom to
sleep better by book than by heart.
Epistemon was conjuring, with his astrolabe, to know what latitude we were
Friar John was got into the cook-room, examining, by the ascendant of the
spits and the horoscope of ragouts and fricassees, what time of day it
might then be.
Panurge (sweet baby!) held a stalk of Pantagruelions, alias hemp, next his
tongue, and with it made pretty bubbles and bladders.
Gymnast was making tooth-pickers with lentisk.
Ponocrates, dozing, dozed, and dreaming, dreamed; tickled himself to make
himself laugh, and with one finger scratched his noddle where it did not
Carpalin, with a nutshell and a trencher of verne (that's a card in
Gascony), was making a pretty little merry windmill, cutting the card
longways into four slips, and fastening them with a pin to the convex of
the nut, and its concave to the tarred side of the gunnel of the ship.
Eusthenes, bestriding one of the guns, was playing on it with his fingers
as if it had been a trump-marine.
Rhizotome, with the soft coat of a field tortoise, alias ycleped a mole,
was making himself a velvet purse.
Xenomanes was patching up an old weather-beaten lantern with a hawk's
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