Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete.
Part 2 out of 16
Imparibus restat danda secunda modis.
Quam si praestiterit mentem Daemon malus addam,
Cum sapiens totus prodierit Rabelais.
(Reader, the Errata, which in this book are not a few, are casually lost;
and therefore the Translator, not having leisure to collect them again,
craves thy pardon for such as thou may'st meet with.)
The Author's Prologue to the First Book.
Most noble and illustrious drinkers, and you thrice precious pockified
blades (for to you, and none else, do I dedicate my writings), Alcibiades,
in that dialogue of Plato's, which is entitled The Banquet, whilst he was
setting forth the praises of his schoolmaster Socrates (without all
question the prince of philosophers), amongst other discourses to that
purpose, said that he resembled the Silenes. Silenes of old were little
boxes, like those we now may see in the shops of apothecaries, painted on
the outside with wanton toyish figures, as harpies, satyrs, bridled geese,
horned hares, saddled ducks, flying goats, thiller harts, and other
such-like counterfeited pictures at discretion, to excite people unto
laughter, as Silenus himself, who was the foster-father of good Bacchus, was
wont to do; but within those capricious caskets were carefully preserved and
kept many rich jewels and fine drugs, such as balm, ambergris, amomon, musk,
civet, with several kinds of precious stones, and other things of great
price. Just such another thing was Socrates. For to have eyed his outside,
and esteemed of him by his exterior appearance, you would not have given the
peel of an onion for him, so deformed he was in body, and ridiculous in his
gesture. He had a sharp pointed nose, with the look of a bull, and
countenance of a fool: he was in his carriage simple, boorish in his
apparel, in fortune poor, unhappy in his wives, unfit for all offices in the
commonwealth, always laughing, tippling, and merrily carousing to everyone,
with continual gibes and jeers, the better by those means to conceal his
divine knowledge. Now, opening this box you would have found within it a
heavenly and inestimable drug, a more than human understanding, an admirable
virtue, matchless learning, invincible courage, unimitable sobriety, certain
contentment of mind, perfect assurance, and an incredible misregard of all
that for which men commonly do so much watch, run, sail, fight, travel, toil
and turmoil themselves.
Whereunto (in your opinion) doth this little flourish of a preamble tend?
For so much as you, my good disciples, and some other jolly fools of ease
and leisure, reading the pleasant titles of some books of our invention, as
Gargantua, Pantagruel, Whippot (Fessepinte.), the Dignity of Codpieces, of
Pease and Bacon with a Commentary, &c., are too ready to judge that there
is nothing in them but jests, mockeries, lascivious discourse, and
recreative lies; because the outside (which is the title) is usually,
without any farther inquiry, entertained with scoffing and derision. But
truly it is very unbeseeming to make so slight account of the works of men,
seeing yourselves avouch that it is not the habit makes the monk, many
being monasterially accoutred, who inwardly are nothing less than monachal,
and that there are of those that wear Spanish capes, who have but little of
the valour of Spaniards in them. Therefore is it, that you must open the
book, and seriously consider of the matter treated in it. Then shall you
find that it containeth things of far higher value than the box did
promise; that is to say, that the subject thereof is not so foolish as by
the title at the first sight it would appear to be.
And put the case, that in the literal sense you meet with purposes merry
and solacious enough, and consequently very correspondent to their
inscriptions, yet must not you stop there as at the melody of the charming
syrens, but endeavour to interpret that in a sublimer sense which possibly
you intended to have spoken in the jollity of your heart. Did you ever
pick the lock of a cupboard to steal a bottle of wine out of it? Tell me
truly, and, if you did, call to mind the countenance which then you had.
Or, did you ever see a dog with a marrowbone in his mouth,--the beast of
all other, says Plato, lib. 2, de Republica, the most philosophical? If
you have seen him, you might have remarked with what devotion and
circumspectness he wards and watcheth it: with what care he keeps it: how
fervently he holds it: how prudently he gobbets it: with what affection
he breaks it: and with what diligence he sucks it. To what end all this?
What moveth him to take all these pains? What are the hopes of his labour?
What doth he expect to reap thereby? Nothing but a little marrow. True it
is, that this little is more savoury and delicious than the great
quantities of other sorts of meat, because the marrow (as Galen testifieth,
5. facult. nat. & 11. de usu partium) is a nourishment most perfectly
elaboured by nature.
In imitation of this dog, it becomes you to be wise, to smell, feel and
have in estimation these fair goodly books, stuffed with high conceptions,
which, though seemingly easy in the pursuit, are in the cope and encounter
somewhat difficult. And then, like him, you must, by a sedulous lecture,
and frequent meditation, break the bone, and suck out the marrow,--that is,
my allegorical sense, or the things I to myself propose to be signified by
these Pythagorical symbols, with assured hope, that in so doing you will at
last attain to be both well-advised and valiant by the reading of them:
for in the perusal of this treatise you shall find another kind of taste,
and a doctrine of a more profound and abstruse consideration, which will
disclose unto you the most glorious sacraments and dreadful mysteries, as
well in what concerneth your religion, as matters of the public state, and
Do you believe, upon your conscience, that Homer, whilst he was a-couching
his Iliads and Odysses, had any thought upon those allegories, which
Plutarch, Heraclides Ponticus, Eustathius, Cornutus squeezed out of him,
and which Politian filched again from them? If you trust it, with neither
hand nor foot do you come near to my opinion, which judgeth them to have
been as little dreamed of by Homer, as the Gospel sacraments were by Ovid
in his Metamorphoses, though a certain gulligut friar (Frere Lubin
croquelardon.) and true bacon-picker would have undertaken to prove it, if
perhaps he had met with as very fools as himself, (and as the proverb says)
a lid worthy of such a kettle.
If you give no credit thereto, why do not you the same in these jovial new
chronicles of mine? Albeit when I did dictate them, I thought upon no more
than you, who possibly were drinking the whilst as I was. For in the
composing of this lordly book, I never lost nor bestowed any more, nor any
other time than what was appointed to serve me for taking of my bodily
refection, that is, whilst I was eating and drinking. And indeed that is
the fittest and most proper hour wherein to write these high matters and
deep sciences: as Homer knew very well, the paragon of all philologues,
and Ennius, the father of the Latin poets, as Horace calls him, although a
certain sneaking jobernol alleged that his verses smelled more of the wine
So saith a turlupin or a new start-up grub of my books, but a turd for him.
The fragrant odour of the wine, O how much more dainty, pleasant, laughing
(Riant, priant, friant.), celestial and delicious it is, than that smell of
oil! And I will glory as much when it is said of me, that I have spent
more on wine than oil, as did Demosthenes, when it was told him, that his
expense on oil was greater than on wine. I truly hold it for an honour and
praise to be called and reputed a Frolic Gualter and a Robin Goodfellow;
for under this name am I welcome in all choice companies of Pantagruelists.
It was upbraided to Demosthenes by an envious surly knave, that his
Orations did smell like the sarpler or wrapper of a foul and filthy
oil-vessel. For this cause interpret you all my deeds and sayings in the
perfectest sense; reverence the cheese-like brain that feeds you with these
fair billevezees and trifling jollities, and do what lies in you to keep me
always merry. Be frolic now, my lads, cheer up your hearts, and joyfully
read the rest, with all the ease of your body and profit of your reins.
But hearken, joltheads, you viedazes, or dickens take ye, remember to drink
a health to me for the like favour again, and I will pledge you instantly,
Rabelais to the Reader.
Good friends, my Readers, who peruse this Book,
Be not offended, whilst on it you look:
Denude yourselves of all depraved affection,
For it contains no badness, nor infection:
'Tis true that it brings forth to you no birth
Of any value, but in point of mirth;
Thinking therefore how sorrow might your mind
Consume, I could no apter subject find;
One inch of joy surmounts of grief a span;
Because to laugh is proper to the man.
Of the Genealogy and Antiquity of Gargantua.
I must refer you to the great chronicle of Pantagruel for the knowledge of
that genealogy and antiquity of race by which Gargantua is come unto us.
In it you may understand more at large how the giants were born in this
world, and how from them by a direct line issued Gargantua, the father of
Pantagruel: and do not take it ill, if for this time I pass by it,
although the subject be such, that the oftener it were remembered, the more
it would please your worshipful Seniorias; according to which you have the
authority of Plato in Philebo and Gorgias; and of Flaccus, who says that
there are some kinds of purposes (such as these are without doubt), which,
the frequentlier they be repeated, still prove the more delectable.
Would to God everyone had as certain knowledge of his genealogy since the
time of the ark of Noah until this age. I think many are at this day
emperors, kings, dukes, princes, and popes on the earth, whose extraction
is from some porters and pardon-pedlars; as, on the contrary, many are now
poor wandering beggars, wretched and miserable, who are descended of the
blood and lineage of great kings and emperors, occasioned, as I conceive
it, by the transport and revolution of kingdoms and empires, from the
Assyrians to the Medes, from the Medes to the Persians, from the Persians
to the Macedonians, from the Macedonians to the Romans, from the Romans to
the Greeks, from the Greeks to the French.
And to give you some hint concerning myself, who speaks unto you, I cannot
think but I am come of the race of some rich king or prince in former
times; for never yet saw you any man that had a greater desire to be a
king, and to be rich, than I have, and that only that I may make good
cheer, do nothing, nor care for anything, and plentifully enrich my
friends, and all honest and learned men. But herein do I comfort myself,
that in the other world I shall be so, yea and greater too than at this
present I dare wish. As for you, with the same or a better conceit
consolate yourselves in your distresses, and drink fresh if you can come by
To return to our wethers, I say that by the sovereign gift of heaven, the
antiquity and genealogy of Gargantua hath been reserved for our use more
full and perfect than any other except that of the Messias, whereof I mean
not to speak; for it belongs not unto my purpose, and the devils, that is
to say, the false accusers and dissembled gospellers, will therein oppose
me. This genealogy was found by John Andrew in a meadow, which he had near
the pole-arch, under the olive-tree, as you go to Narsay: where, as he was
making cast up some ditches, the diggers with their mattocks struck against
a great brazen tomb, and unmeasurably long, for they could never find the
end thereof, by reason that it entered too far within the sluices of
Vienne. Opening this tomb in a certain place thereof, sealed on the top
with the mark of a goblet, about which was written in Etrurian letters Hic
Bibitur, they found nine flagons set in such order as they use to rank
their kyles in Gascony, of which that which was placed in the middle had
under it a big, fat, great, grey, pretty, small, mouldy, little pamphlet,
smelling stronger, but no better than roses. In that book the said
genealogy was found written all at length, in a chancery hand, not in
paper, not in parchment, nor in wax, but in the bark of an elm-tree, yet so
worn with the long tract of time, that hardly could three letters together
be there perfectly discerned.
I (though unworthy) was sent for thither, and with much help of those
spectacles, whereby the art of reading dim writings, and letters that do
not clearly appear to the sight, is practised, as Aristotle teacheth it,
did translate the book as you may see in your Pantagruelizing, that is to
say, in drinking stiffly to your own heart's desire, and reading the
dreadful and horrific acts of Pantagruel. At the end of the book there was
a little treatise entitled the Antidoted Fanfreluches, or a Galimatia of
extravagant conceits. The rats and moths, or (that I may not lie) other
wicked beasts, had nibbled off the beginning: the rest I have hereto
subjoined, for the reverence I bear to antiquity.
The Antidoted Fanfreluches: or, a Galimatia of extravagant Conceits found
in an ancient Monument.
No sooner did the Cymbrians' overcomer
Pass through the air to shun the dew of summer,
But at his coming straight great tubs were fill'd,
With pure fresh butter down in showers distill'd:
Wherewith when water'd was his grandam, Hey,
Aloud he cried, Fish it, sir, I pray y';
Because his beard is almost all beray'd;
Or, that he would hold to 'm a scale, he pray'd.
To lick his slipper, some told was much better,
Than to gain pardons, and the merit greater.
In th' interim a crafty chuff approaches,
From the depth issued, where they fish for roaches;
Who said, Good sirs, some of them let us save,
The eel is here, and in this hollow cave
You'll find, if that our looks on it demur,
A great waste in the bottom of his fur.
To read this chapter when he did begin,
Nothing but a calf's horns were found therein;
I feel, quoth he, the mitre which doth hold
My head so chill, it makes my brains take cold.
Being with the perfume of a turnip warm'd,
To stay by chimney hearths himself he arm'd,
Provided that a new thill-horse they made
Of every person of a hair-brain'd head.
They talked of the bunghole of Saint Knowles,
Of Gilbathar and thousand other holes,
If they might be reduced t' a scarry stuff,
Such as might not be subject to the cough:
Since ev'ry man unseemly did it find,
To see them gaping thus at ev'ry wind:
For, if perhaps they handsomely were closed,
For pledges they to men might be exposed.
In this arrest by Hercules the raven
Was flayed at her (his) return from Lybia haven.
Why am not I, said Minos, there invited?
Unless it be myself, not one's omitted:
And then it is their mind, I do no more
Of frogs and oysters send them any store:
In case they spare my life and prove but civil,
I give their sale of distaffs to the devil.
To quell him comes Q.B., who limping frets
At the safe pass of tricksy crackarets:
The boulter, the grand Cyclops' cousin, those
Did massacre, whilst each one wiped his nose:
Few ingles in this fallow ground are bred,
But on a tanner's mill are winnowed.
Run thither all of you, th' alarms sound clear,
You shall have more than you had the last year.
Short while thereafter was the bird of Jove
Resolved to speak, though dismal it should prove;
Yet was afraid, when he saw them in ire,
They should o'erthrow quite flat down dead th' empire.
He rather choosed the fire from heaven to steal,
To boats where were red herrings put to sale;
Than to be calm 'gainst those, who strive to brave us,
And to the Massorets' fond words enslave us.
All this at last concluded gallantly,
In spite of Ate and her hern-like thigh,
Who, sitting, saw Penthesilea ta'en,
In her old age, for a cress-selling quean.
Each one cried out, Thou filthy collier toad,
Doth it become thee to be found abroad?
Thou hast the Roman standard filch'd away,
Which they in rags of parchment did display.
Juno was born, who, under the rainbow,
Was a-bird-catching with her duck below:
When her with such a grievous trick they plied
That she had almost been bethwacked by it.
The bargain was, that, of that throatful, she
Should of Proserpina have two eggs free;
And if that she thereafter should be found,
She to a hawthorn hill should be fast bound.
Seven months thereafter, lacking twenty-two,
He, that of old did Carthage town undo,
Did bravely midst them all himself advance,
Requiring of them his inheritance;
Although they justly made up the division,
According to the shoe-welt-law's decision,
By distributing store of brews and beef
To these poor fellows that did pen the brief.
But th' year will come, sign of a Turkish bow,
Five spindles yarn'd, and three pot-bottoms too,
Wherein of a discourteous king the dock
Shall pepper'd be under an hermit's frock.
Ah! that for one she hypocrite you must
Permit so many acres to be lost!
Cease, cease, this vizard may become another,
Withdraw yourselves unto the serpent's brother.
'Tis in times past, that he who is shall reign
With his good friends in peace now and again.
No rash nor heady prince shall then rule crave,
Each good will its arbitrement shall have;
And the joy, promised of old as doom
To the heaven's guests, shall in its beacon come.
Then shall the breeding mares, that benumb'd were,
Like royal palfreys ride triumphant there.
And this continue shall from time to time,
Till Mars be fetter'd for an unknown crime;
Then shall one come, who others will surpass,
Delightful, pleasing, matchless, full of grace.
Cheer up your hearts, approach to this repast,
All trusty friends of mine; for he's deceased,
Who would not for a world return again,
So highly shall time past be cried up then.
He who was made of wax shall lodge each member
Close by the hinges of a block of timber.
We then no more shall Master, master, whoot,
The swagger, who th' alarum bell holds out;
Could one seize on the dagger which he bears,
Heads would be free from tingling in the ears,
To baffle the whole storehouse of abuses.
The thus farewell Apollo and the Muses.
How Gargantua was carried eleven months in his mother's belly.
Grangousier was a good fellow in his time, and notable jester; he loved to
drink neat, as much as any man that then was in the world, and would
willingly eat salt meat. To this intent he was ordinarily well furnished
with gammons of bacon, both of Westphalia, Mayence and Bayonne, with store
of dried neat's tongues, plenty of links, chitterlings and puddings in
their season; together with salt beef and mustard, a good deal of hard roes
of powdered mullet called botargos, great provision of sausages, not of
Bolonia (for he feared the Lombard Boccone), but of Bigorre, Longaulnay,
Brene, and Rouargue. In the vigour of his age he married Gargamelle,
daughter to the King of the Parpaillons, a jolly pug, and well-mouthed
wench. These two did oftentimes do the two-backed beast together, joyfully
rubbing and frotting their bacon 'gainst one another, in so far, that at
last she became great with child of a fair son, and went with him unto the
eleventh month; for so long, yea longer, may a woman carry her great belly,
especially when it is some masterpiece of nature, and a person
predestinated to the performance, in his due time, of great exploits. As
Homer says, that the child, which Neptune begot upon the nymph, was born a
whole year after the conception, that is, in the twelfth month. For, as
Aulus Gellius saith, lib. 3, this long time was suitable to the majesty of
Neptune, that in it the child might receive his perfect form. For the like
reason Jupiter made the night, wherein he lay with Alcmena, last
forty-eight hours, a shorter time not being sufficient for the forging of
Hercules, who cleansed the world of the monsters and tyrants wherewith it
was suppressed. My masters, the ancient Pantagruelists, have confirmed
that which I say, and withal declared it to be not only possible, but also
maintained the lawful birth and legitimation of the infant born of a woman
in the eleventh month after the decease of her husband. Hypocrates, lib.
de alimento. Plinius, lib. 7, cap. 5. Plautus, in his Cistelleria.
Marcus Varro, in his satire inscribed The Testament, alleging to this
purpose the authority of Aristotle. Censorinus, lib. de die natali.
Arist. lib. 7, cap. 3 & 4, de natura animalium. Gellius, lib. 3, cap. 16.
Servius, in his exposition upon this verse of Virgil's eclogues, Matri
longa decem, &c., and a thousand other fools, whose number hath been
increased by the lawyers ff. de suis, et legit l. intestato. paragrapho.
fin. and in Auth. de restitut. et ea quae parit in xi mense. Moreover upon
these grounds they have foisted in their Robidilardic, or Lapiturolive law.
Gallus ff. de lib. et posth. l. sept. ff. de stat. hom., and some other
laws, which at this time I dare not name. By means whereof the honest
widows may without danger play at the close buttock game with might and
main, and as hard as they can, for the space of the first two months after
the decease of their husbands. I pray you, my good lusty springal lads, if
you find any of these females, that are worth the pains of untying the
codpiece-point, get up, ride upon them, and bring them to me; for, if they
happen within the third month to conceive, the child should be heir to the
deceased, if, before he died, he had no other children, and the mother
shall pass for an honest woman.
When she is known to have conceived, thrust forward boldly, spare her not,
whatever betide you, seeing the paunch is full. As Julia, the daughter of
the Emperor Octavian, never prostituted herself to her belly-bumpers, but
when she found herself with child, after the manner of ships, that receive
not their steersman till they have their ballast and lading. And if any
blame them for this their rataconniculation, and reiterated lechery upon
their pregnancy and big-belliedness, seeing beasts, in the like exigent of
their fulness, will never suffer the male-masculant to encroach them, their
answer will be, that those are beasts, but they are women, very well
skilled in the pretty vales and small fees of the pleasant trade and
mysteries of superfetation: as Populia heretofore answered, according to
the relation of Macrobius, lib. 2. Saturnal. If the devil will not have
them to bag, he must wring hard the spigot, and stop the bung-hole.
How Gargamelle, being great with Gargantua, did eat a huge deal of tripes.
The occasion and manner how Gargamelle was brought to bed, and delivered of
her child, was thus: and, if you do not believe it, I wish your bum-gut
fall out and make an escapade. Her bum-gut, indeed, or fundament escaped
her in an afternoon, on the third day of February, with having eaten at
dinner too many godebillios. Godebillios are the fat tripes of coiros.
Coiros are beeves fattened at the cratch in ox-stalls, or in the fresh
guimo meadows. Guimo meadows are those that for their fruitfulness may be
mowed twice a year. Of those fat beeves they had killed three hundred
sixty-seven thousand and fourteen, to be salted at Shrovetide, that in the
entering of the spring they might have plenty of powdered beef, wherewith
to season their mouths at the beginning of their meals, and to taste their
wine the better.
They had abundance of tripes, as you have heard, and they were so
delicious, that everyone licked his fingers. But the mischief was this,
that, for all men could do, there was no possibility to keep them long in
that relish; for in a very short while they would have stunk, which had
been an undecent thing. It was therefore concluded, that they should be
all of them gulched up, without losing anything. To this effect they
invited all the burghers of Sainais, of Suille, of the Roche-Clermaud, of
Vaugaudry, without omitting the Coudray, Monpensier, the Gue de Vede, and
other their neighbours, all stiff drinkers, brave fellows, and good players
at the kyles. The good man Grangousier took great pleasure in their
company, and commanded there should be no want nor pinching for anything.
Nevertheless he bade his wife eat sparingly, because she was near her time,
and that these tripes were no very commendable meat. They would fain, said
he, be at the chewing of ordure, that would eat the case wherein it was.
Notwithstanding these admonitions, she did eat sixteen quarters, two
bushels, three pecks and a pipkin full. O the fair fecality wherewith she
swelled, by the ingrediency of such shitten stuff!
After dinner they all went out in a hurl to the grove of the willows,
where, on the green grass, to the sound of the merry flutes and pleasant
bagpipes, they danced so gallantly, that it was a sweet and heavenly sport
to see them so frolic.
The Discourse of the Drinkers.
Then did they fall upon the chat of victuals and some belly furniture to be
snatched at in the very same place. Which purpose was no sooner mentioned,
but forthwith began flagons to go, gammons to trot, goblets to fly, great
bowls to ting, glasses to ring. Draw, reach, fill, mix, give it me without
water. So, my friend, so, whip me off this glass neatly, bring me hither
some claret, a full weeping glass till it run over. A cessation and truce
with thirst. Ha, thou false fever, wilt thou not be gone? By my figgins,
godmother, I cannot as yet enter in the humour of being merry, nor drink so
currently as I would. You have catched a cold, gammer? Yea, forsooth,
sir. By the belly of Sanct Buff, let us talk of our drink: I never drink
but at my hours, like the Pope's mule. And I never drink but in my
breviary, like a fair father guardian. Which was first, thirst or
drinking? Thirst, for who in the time of innocence would have drunk
without being athirst? Nay, sir, it was drinking; for privatio
praesupponit habitum. I am learned, you see: Foecundi calices quem non
fecere disertum? We poor innocents drink but too much without thirst. Not
I truly, who am a sinner, for I never drink without thirst, either present
or future. To prevent it, as you know, I drink for the thirst to come. I
drink eternally. This is to me an eternity of drinking, and drinking of
eternity. Let us sing, let us drink, and tune up our roundelays. Where is
my funnel? What, it seems I do not drink but by an attorney? Do you wet
yourselves to dry, or do you dry to wet you? Pish, I understand not the
rhetoric (theoric, I should say), but I help myself somewhat by the
practice. Baste! enough! I sup, I wet, I humect, I moisten my gullet, I
drink, and all for fear of dying. Drink always and you shall never die.
If I drink not, I am a-ground, dry, gravelled and spent. I am stark dead
without drink, and my soul ready to fly into some marsh amongst frogs; the
soul never dwells in a dry place, drouth kills it. O you butlers, creators
of new forms, make me of no drinker a drinker, a perennity and
everlastingness of sprinkling and bedewing me through these my parched and
sinewy bowels. He drinks in vain that feels not the pleasure of it. This
entereth into my veins,--the pissing tools and urinal vessels shall have
nothing of it. I would willingly wash the tripes of the calf which I
apparelled this morning. I have pretty well now ballasted my stomach and
stuffed my paunch. If the papers of my bonds and bills could drink as well
as I do, my creditors would not want for wine when they come to see me, or
when they are to make any formal exhibition of their rights to what of me
they can demand. This hand of yours spoils your nose. O how many other
such will enter here before this go out! What, drink so shallow? It is
enough to break both girds and petrel. This is called a cup of
dissimulation, or flagonal hypocrisy.
What difference is there between a bottle and a flagon. Great difference;
for the bottle is stopped and shut up with a stopple, but the flagon with a
vice (La bouteille est fermee a bouchon, et le flaccon a vis.). Bravely
and well played upon the words! Our fathers drank lustily, and emptied
their cans. Well cacked, well sung! Come, let us drink: will you send
nothing to the river? Here is one going to wash the tripes. I drink no
more than a sponge. I drink like a Templar knight. And I, tanquam
sponsus. And I, sicut terra sine aqua. Give me a synonymon for a gammon
of bacon. It is the compulsory of drinkers: it is a pulley. By a
pulley-rope wine is let down into a cellar, and by a gammon into the
stomach. Hey! now, boys, hither, some drink, some drink. There is no
trouble in it. Respice personam, pone pro duos, bus non est in usu. If I
could get up as well as I can swallow down, I had been long ere now very
high in the air.
Thus became Tom Tosspot rich,--thus went in the tailor's stitch. Thus did
Bacchus conquer th' Inde--thus Philosophy, Melinde. A little rain allays a
great deal of wind: long tippling breaks the thunder. But if there came
such liquor from my ballock, would you not willingly thereafter suck the
udder whence it issued? Here, page, fill! I prithee, forget me not when
it comes to my turn, and I will enter the election I have made of thee into
the very register of my heart. Sup, Guillot, and spare not, there is
somewhat in the pot. I appeal from thirst, and disclaim its jurisdiction.
Page, sue out my appeal in form. This remnant in the bottom of the glass
must follow its leader. I was wont heretofore to drink out all, but now I
leave nothing. Let us not make too much haste; it is requisite we carry
all along with us. Heyday, here are tripes fit for our sport, and, in
earnest, excellent godebillios of the dun ox (you know) with the black
streak. O, for God's sake, let us lash them soundly, yet thriftily.
Drink, or I will,--No, no, drink, I beseech you (Ou je vous, je vous
prie.). Sparrows will not eat unless you bob them on the tail, nor can I
drink if I be not fairly spoke to. The concavities of my body are like
another Hell for their capacity. Lagonaedatera (lagon lateris cavitas:
aides orcus: and eteros alter.). There is not a corner, nor coney-burrow in
all my body, where this wine doth not ferret out my thirst. Ho, this will
bang it soundly. But this shall banish it utterly. Let us wind our horns
by the sound of flagons and bottles, and cry aloud, that whoever hath lost
his thirst come not hither to seek it. Long clysters of drinking are to be
voided without doors. The great God made the planets, and we make the
platters neat. I have the word of the gospel in my mouth, Sitio. The
stone called asbestos is not more unquenchable than the thirst of my
paternity. Appetite comes with eating, says Angeston, but the thirst goes
away with drinking. I have a remedy against thirst, quite contrary to that
which is good against the biting of a mad dog. Keep running after a dog,
and he will never bite you; drink always before the thirst, and it will
never come upon you. There I catch you, I awake you. Argus had a hundred
eyes for his sight, a butler should have (like Briareus) a hundred hands
wherewith to fill us wine indefatigably. Hey now, lads, let us moisten
ourselves, it will be time to dry hereafter. White wine here, wine, boys!
Pour out all in the name of Lucifer, fill here, you, fill and fill
(peascods on you) till it be full. My tongue peels. Lans trinque; to
thee, countryman, I drink to thee, good fellow, comrade to thee, lusty,
lively! Ha, la, la, that was drunk to some purpose, and bravely gulped
over. O lachryma Christi, it is of the best grape! I'faith, pure Greek,
Greek! O the fine white wine! upon my conscience, it is a kind of taffetas
wine,--hin, hin, it is of one ear, well wrought, and of good wool.
Courage, comrade, up thy heart, billy! We will not be beasted at this
bout, for I have got one trick. Ex hoc in hoc. There is no enchantment
nor charm there, every one of you hath seen it. My 'prenticeship is out, I
am a free man at this trade. I am prester mast (Prestre mace, maistre
passe.), Prish, Brum! I should say, master past. O the drinkers, those
that are a-dry, O poor thirsty souls! Good page, my friend, fill me here
some, and crown the wine, I pray thee. Like a cardinal! Natura abhorret
vacuum. Would you say that a fly could drink in this? This is after the
fashion of Switzerland. Clear off, neat, supernaculum! Come, therefore,
blades, to this divine liquor and celestial juice, swill it over heartily,
and spare not! It is a decoction of nectar and ambrosia.
How Gargantua was born in a strange manner.
Whilst they were on this discourse and pleasant tattle of drinking,
Gargamelle began to be a little unwell in her lower parts; whereupon
Grangousier arose from off the grass, and fell to comfort her very honestly
and kindly, suspecting that she was in travail, and told her that it was
best for her to sit down upon the grass under the willows, because she was
like very shortly to see young feet, and that therefore it was convenient
she should pluck up her spirits, and take a good heart of new at the fresh
arrival of her baby; saying to her withal, that although the pain was
somewhat grievous to her, it would be but of short continuance, and that
the succeeding joy would quickly remove that sorrow, in such sort that she
should not so much as remember it. On, with a sheep's courage! quoth he.
Despatch this boy, and we will speedily fall to work for the making of
another. Ha! said she, so well as you speak at your own ease, you that are
men! Well, then, in the name of God, I'll do my best, seeing that you will
have it so, but would to God that it were cut off from you! What? said
Grangousier. Ha, said she, you are a good man indeed, you understand it
well enough. What, my member? said he. By the goat's blood, if it please
you, that shall be done instantly; cause bring hither a knife. Alas, said
she, the Lord forbid, and pray Jesus to forgive me! I did not say it from
my heart, therefore let it alone, and do not do it neither more nor less
any kind of harm for my speaking so to you. But I am like to have work
enough to do to-day and all for your member, yet God bless you and it.
Courage, courage, said he, take you no care of the matter, let the four
foremost oxen do the work. I will yet go drink one whiff more, and if in
the mean time anything befall you that may require my presence, I will be
so near to you, that, at the first whistling in your fist, I shall be with
you forthwith. A little while after she began to groan, lament and cry.
Then suddenly came the midwives from all quarters, who groping her below,
found some peloderies, which was a certain filthy stuff, and of a taste
truly bad enough. This they thought had been the child, but it was her
fundament, that was slipped out with the mollification of her straight
entrail, which you call the bum-gut, and that merely by eating of too many
tripes, as we have showed you before. Whereupon an old ugly trot in the
company, who had the repute of an expert she-physician, and was come from
Brisepaille, near to Saint Genou, three score years before, made her so
horrible a restrictive and binding medicine, and whereby all her larris,
arse-pipes, and conduits were so oppilated, stopped, obstructed, and
contracted, that you could hardly have opened and enlarged them with your
teeth, which is a terrible thing to think upon; seeing the Devil at the
mass at Saint Martin's was puzzled with the like task, when with his teeth
he had lengthened out the parchment whereon he wrote the tittle-tattle of
two young mangy whores. By this inconvenient the cotyledons of her matrix
were presently loosed, through which the child sprang up and leaped, and
so, entering into the hollow vein, did climb by the diaphragm even above
her shoulders, where the vein divides itself into two, and from thence
taking his way towards the left side, issued forth at her left ear. As
soon as he was born, he cried not as other babes use to do, Miez, miez,
miez, miez, but with a high, sturdy, and big voice shouted about, Some
drink, some drink, some drink, as inviting all the world to drink with him.
The noise hereof was so extremely great, that it was heard in both the
countries at once of Beauce and Bibarois. I doubt me, that you do not
thoroughly believe the truth of this strange nativity. Though you believe
it not, I care not much: but an honest man, and of good judgment,
believeth still what is told him, and that which he finds written.
Is this beyond our law or our faith--against reason or the holy Scripture?
For my part, I find nothing in the sacred Bible that is against it. But
tell me, if it had been the will of God, would you say that he could not do
it? Ha, for favour sake, I beseech you, never emberlucock or inpulregafize
your spirits with these vain thoughts and idle conceits; for I tell you, it
is not impossible with God, and, if he pleased, all women henceforth should
bring forth their children at the ear. Was not Bacchus engendered out of
the very thigh of Jupiter? Did not Roquetaillade come out at his mother's
heel, and Crocmoush from the slipper of his nurse? Was not Minerva born of
the brain, even through the ear of Jove? Adonis, of the bark of a myrrh
tree; and Castor and Pollux of the doupe of that egg which was laid and
hatched by Leda? But you would wonder more, and with far greater
amazement, if I should now present you with that chapter of Plinius,
wherein he treateth of strange births, and contrary to nature, and yet am
not I so impudent a liar as he was. Read the seventh book of his Natural
History, chap.3, and trouble not my head any more about this.
After what manner Gargantua had his name given him, and how he tippled,
bibbed, and curried the can.
The good man Grangousier, drinking and making merry with the rest, heard
the horrible noise which his son had made as he entered into the light of
this world, when he cried out, Some drink, some drink, some drink;
whereupon he said in French, Que grand tu as et souple le gousier! that is
to say, How great and nimble a throat thou hast. Which the company
hearing, said that verily the child ought to be called Gargantua; because
it was the first word that after his birth his father had spoke, in
imitation, and at the example of the ancient Hebrews; whereunto he
condescended, and his mother was very well pleased therewith. In the
meanwhile, to quiet the child, they gave him to drink a tirelaregot, that
is, till his throat was like to crack with it; then was he carried to the
font, and there baptized, according to the manner of good Christians.
Immediately thereafter were appointed for him seventeen thousand, nine
hundred, and thirteen cows of the towns of Pautille and Brehemond, to
furnish him with milk in ordinary, for it was impossible to find a nurse
sufficient for him in all the country, considering the great quantity of
milk that was requisite for his nourishment; although there were not
wanting some doctors of the opinion of Scotus, who affirmed that his own
mother gave him suck, and that she could draw out of her breasts one
thousand, four hundred, two pipes, and nine pails of milk at every time.
Which indeed is not probable, and this point hath been found duggishly
scandalous and offensive to tender ears, for that it savoured a little of
heresy. Thus was he handled for one year and ten months; after which time,
by the advice of physicians, they began to carry him, and then was made for
him a fine little cart drawn with oxen, of the invention of Jan Denio,
wherein they led him hither and thither with great joy; and he was worth
the seeing, for he was a fine boy, had a burly physiognomy, and almost ten
chins. He cried very little, but beshit himself every hour: for, to speak
truly of him, he was wonderfully phlegmatic in his posteriors, both by
reason of his natural complexion and the accidental disposition which had
befallen him by his too much quaffing of the Septembral juice. Yet without
a cause did not he sup one drop; for if he happened to be vexed, angry,
displeased, or sorry, if he did fret, if he did weep, if he did cry, and
what grievous quarter soever he kept, in bringing him some drink, he would
be instantly pacified, reseated in his own temper, in a good humour again,
and as still and quiet as ever. One of his governesses told me (swearing
by her fig), how he was so accustomed to this kind of way, that, at the
sound of pints and flagons, he would on a sudden fall into an ecstasy, as
if he had then tasted of the joys of paradise; so that they, upon
consideration of this, his divine complexion, would every morning, to cheer
him up, play with a knife upon the glasses, on the bottles with their
stopples, and on the pottle-pots with their lids and covers, at the sound
whereof he became gay, did leap for joy, would loll and rock himself in the
cradle, then nod with his head, monochordizing with his fingers, and
barytonizing with his tail.
How they apparelled Gargantua.
Being of this age, his father ordained to have clothes made to him in his
own livery, which was white and blue. To work then went the tailors, and
with great expedition were those clothes made, cut, and sewed, according to
the fashion that was then in request. I find by the ancient records or
pancarts, to be seen in the chamber of accounts, or court of the exchequer
at Montsoreau, that he was accoutred in manner as followeth. To make him
every shirt of his were taken up nine hundred ells of Chasteleraud linen,
and two hundred for the gussets, in manner of cushions, which they put
under his armpits. His shirt was not gathered nor plaited, for the
plaiting of shirts was not found out till the seamstresses (when the point
of their needle (Besongner du cul, Englished The eye of the needle.) was
broken) began to work and occupy with the tail. There were taken up for
his doublet, eight hundred and thirteen ells of white satin, and for his
points fifteen hundred and nine dogs' skins and a half. Then was it that
men began to tie their breeches to their doublets, and not their doublets
to their breeches: for it is against nature, as hath most amply been
showed by Ockham upon the exponibles of Master Haultechaussade.
For his breeches were taken up eleven hundred and five ells and a third of
white broadcloth. They were cut in the form of pillars, chamfered,
channelled and pinked behind that they might not over-heat his reins: and
were, within the panes, puffed out with the lining of as much blue damask
as was needful: and remark, that he had very good leg-harness,
proportionable to the rest of his stature.
For his codpiece were used sixteen ells and a quarter of the same cloth,
and it was fashioned on the top like unto a triumphant arch, most gallantly
fastened with two enamelled clasps, in each of which was set a great
emerald, as big as an orange; for, as says Orpheus, lib. de lapidibus, and
Plinius, libro ultimo, it hath an erective virtue and comfortative of the
natural member. The exiture, outjecting or outstanding, of his codpiece
was of the length of a yard, jagged and pinked, and withal bagging, and
strutting out with the blue damask lining, after the manner of his
breeches. But had you seen the fair embroidery of the small needlework
purl, and the curiously interlaced knots, by the goldsmith's art set out
and trimmed with rich diamonds, precious rubies, fine turquoises, costly
emeralds, and Persian pearls, you would have compared it to a fair
cornucopia, or horn of abundance, such as you see in antiques, or as Rhea
gave to the two nymphs, Amalthea and Ida, the nurses of Jupiter.
And, like to that horn of abundance, it was still gallant, succulent,
droppy, sappy, pithy, lively, always flourishing, always fructifying, full
of juice, full of flower, full of fruit, and all manner of delight. I avow
God, it would have done one good to have seen him, but I will tell you more
of him in the book which I have made of the dignity of codpieces. One
thing I will tell you, that as it was both long and large, so was it well
furnished and victualled within, nothing like unto the hypocritical
codpieces of some fond wooers and wench-courtiers, which are stuffed only
with wind, to the great prejudice of the female sex.
For his shoes were taken up four hundred and six ells of blue
crimson-velvet, and were very neatly cut by parallel lines, joined in
uniform cylinders. For the soling of them were made use of eleven hundred
hides of brown cows, shapen like the tail of a keeling.
For his coat were taken up eighteen hundred ells of blue velvet, dyed in
grain, embroidered in its borders with fair gilliflowers, in the middle
decked with silver purl, intermixed with plates of gold and store of
pearls, hereby showing that in his time he would prove an especial good
fellow and singular whipcan.
His girdle was made of three hundred ells and a half of silken serge, half
white and half blue, if I mistake it not. His sword was not of Valentia,
nor his dagger of Saragossa, for his father could not endure these hidalgos
borrachos maranisados como diablos: but he had a fair sword made of wood,
and the dagger of boiled leather, as well painted and gilded as any man
His purse was made of the cod of an elephant, which was given him by Herr
Pracontal, proconsul of Lybia.
For his gown were employed nine thousand six hundred ells, wanting
two-thirds, of blue velvet, as before, all so diagonally purled, that by
true perspective issued thence an unnamed colour, like that you see in the
necks of turtle-doves or turkey-cocks, which wonderfully rejoiced the eyes
of the beholders. For his bonnet or cap were taken up three hundred, two
ells and a quarter of white velvet, and the form thereof was wide and round,
of the bigness of his head; for his father said that the caps of the
Marrabaise fashion, made like the cover of a pasty, would one time or other
bring a mischief on those that wore them. For his plume, he wore a fair
great blue feather, plucked from an onocrotal of the country of Hircania the
wild, very prettily hanging down over his right ear. For the jewel or
brooch which in his cap he carried, he had in a cake of gold, weighing three
score and eight marks, a fair piece enamelled, wherein was portrayed a man's
body with two heads, looking towards one another, four arms, four feet, two
arses, such as Plato, in Symposio, says was the mystical beginning of man's
nature; and about it was written in Ionic letters, Agame ou zetei ta eautes,
or rather, Aner kai gune zugada anthrotos idiaitata, that is, Vir et mulier
junctim propriissime homo. To wear about his neck, he had a golden chain,
weighing twenty-five thousand and sixty-three marks of gold, the links
thereof being made after the manner of great berries, amongst which were set
in work green jaspers engraven and cut dragon-like, all environed with beams
and sparks, as king Nicepsos of old was wont to wear them: and it reached
down to the very bust of the rising of his belly, whereby he reaped great
benefit all his life long, as the Greek physicians know well enough. For
his gloves were put in work sixteen otters' skins, and three of the
loupgarous, or men-eating wolves, for the bordering of them: and of this
stuff were they made, by the appointment of the Cabalists of Sanlouand. As
for the rings which his father would have him to wear, to renew the ancient
mark of nobility, he had on the forefinger of his left hand a carbuncle as
big as an ostrich's egg, enchased very daintily in gold of the fineness of a
Turkey seraph. Upon the middle finger of the same hand he had a ring made
of four metals together, of the strangest fashion that ever was seen; so
that the steel did not crash against the gold, nor the silver crush the
copper. All this was made by Captain Chappuys, and Alcofribas his good
agent. On the medical finger of his right hand he had a ring made
spire-wise, wherein was set a perfect Balas ruby, a pointed diamond, and
a Physon emerald, of an inestimable value. For Hans Carvel, the king of
Melinda's jeweller, esteemed them at the rate of threescore nine millions,
eight hundred ninety-four thousand, and eighteen French crowns of Berry, and
at so much did the Foucres of Augsburg prize them.
The colours and liveries of Gargantua.
Gargantua's colours were white and blue, as I have showed you before, by
which his father would give us to understand that his son to him was a
heavenly joy; for the white did signify gladness, pleasure, delight, and
rejoicing, and the blue, celestial things. I know well enough that, in
reading this, you laugh at the old drinker, and hold this exposition of
colours to be very extravagant, and utterly disagreeable to reason, because
white is said to signify faith, and blue constancy. But without moving,
vexing, heating, or putting you in a chafe (for the weather is dangerous),
answer me, if it please you; for no other compulsory way of arguing will I
use towards you, or any else; only now and then I will mention a word or
two of my bottle. What is it that induceth you, what stirs you up to
believe, or who told you that white signifieth faith, and blue constancy?
An old paltry book, say you, sold by the hawking pedlars and balladmongers,
entitled The Blason of Colours. Who made it? Whoever it was, he was wise
in that he did not set his name to it. But, besides, I know not what I
should rather admire in him, his presumption or his sottishness. His
presumption and overweening, for that he should without reason, without
cause, or without any appearance of truth, have dared to prescribe, by his
private authority, what things should be denotated and signified by the
colour: which is the custom of tyrants, who will have their will to bear
sway in stead of equity, and not of the wise and learned, who with the
evidence of reason satisfy their readers. His sottishness and want of
spirit, in that he thought that, without any other demonstration or
sufficient argument, the world would be pleased to make his blockish and
ridiculous impositions the rule of their devices. In effect, according to
the proverb, To a shitten tail fails never ordure, he hath found, it seems,
some simple ninny in those rude times of old, when the wearing of high
round bonnets was in fashion, who gave some trust to his writings,
according to which they carved and engraved their apophthegms and mottoes,
trapped and caparisoned their mules and sumpter-horses, apparelled their
pages, quartered their breeches, bordered their gloves, fringed the
curtains and valances of their beds, painted their ensigns, composed songs,
and, which is worse, placed many deceitful jugglings and unworthy base
tricks undiscoveredly amongst the very chastest matrons and most reverend
sciences. In the like darkness and mist of ignorance are wrapped up these
vain-glorious courtiers and name-transposers, who, going about in their
impresas to signify esperance (that is, hope), have portrayed a sphere--and
birds' pennes for pains--l'ancholie (which is the flower colombine) for
melancholy--a waning moon or crescent, to show the increasing or rising of
one's fortune--a bench rotten and broken, to signify bankrupt--non and a
corslet for non dur habit (otherwise non durabit, it shall not last), un
lit sans ciel, that is, a bed without a tester, for un licencie, a
graduated person, as bachelor in divinity or utter barrister-at-law; which
are equivocals so absurd and witless, so barbarous and clownish, that a
fox's tail should be fastened to the neck-piece of, and a vizard made of a
cowsherd given to everyone that henceforth should offer, after the
restitution of learning, to make use of any such fopperies in France.
By the same reasons (if reasons I should call them, and not ravings rather,
and idle triflings about words), might I cause paint a pannier, to signify
that I am in pain--a mustard-pot, that my heart tarries much for't--one
pissing upwards for a bishop--the bottom of a pair of breeches for a vessel
full of fart-hings--a codpiece for the office of the clerks of the
sentences, decrees, or judgments, or rather, as the English bears it, for
the tail of a codfish--and a dog's turd for the dainty turret wherein lies
the love of my sweetheart. Far otherwise did heretofore the sages of
Egypt, when they wrote by letters, which they called hieroglyphics, which
none understood who were not skilled in the virtue, property, and nature of
the things represented by them. Of which Orus Apollon hath in Greek
composed two books, and Polyphilus, in his Dream of Love, set down more.
In France you have a taste of them in the device or impresa of my Lord
Admiral, which was carried before that time by Octavian Augustus. But my
little skiff alongst these unpleasant gulfs and shoals will sail no
further, therefore must I return to the port from whence I came. Yet do I
hope one day to write more at large of these things, and to show both by
philosophical arguments and authorities, received and approved of by and
from all antiquity, what, and how many colours there are in nature, and
what may be signified by every one of them, if God save the mould of my
cap, which is my best wine-pot, as my grandam said.
Of that which is signified by the colours white and blue.
The white therefore signifieth joy, solace, and gladness, and that not at
random, but upon just and very good grounds: which you may perceive to be
true, if laying aside all prejudicate affections, you will but give ear to
what presently I shall expound unto you.
Aristotle saith that, supposing two things contrary in their kind, as good
and evil, virtue and vice, heat and cold, white and black, pleasure and
pain, joy and grief,--and so of others,--if you couple them in such manner
that the contrary of one kind may agree in reason with the contrary of the
other, it must follow by consequence that the other contrary must answer to
the remanent opposite to that wherewith it is conferred. As, for example,
virtue and vice are contrary in one kind, so are good and evil. If one of
the contraries of the first kind be consonant to one of those of the
second, as virtue and goodness, for it is clear that virtue is good, so
shall the other two contraries, which are evil and vice, have the same
connection, for vice is evil.
This logical rule being understood, take these two contraries, joy and
sadness; then these other two, white and black, for they are physically
contrary. If so be, then, that black do signify grief, by good reason then
should white import joy. Nor is this signification instituted by human
imposition, but by the universal consent of the world received, which
philosophers call Jus Gentium, the Law of Nations, or an uncontrollable
right of force in all countries whatsoever. For you know well enough that
all people, and all languages and nations, except the ancient Syracusans
and certain Argives, who had cross and thwarting souls, when they mean
outwardly to give evidence of their sorrow, go in black; and all mourning
is done with black. Which general consent is not without some argument and
reason in nature, the which every man may by himself very suddenly
comprehend, without the instruction of any--and this we call the law of
nature. By virtue of the same natural instinct we know that by white all
the world hath understood joy, gladness, mirth, pleasure, and delight. In
former times the Thracians and Cretans did mark their good, propitious, and
fortunate days with white stones, and their sad, dismal, and unfortunate
ones with black. Is not the night mournful, sad, and melancholic? It is
black and dark by the privation of light. Doth not the light comfort all
the world? And it is more white than anything else. Which to prove, I
could direct you to the book of Laurentius Valla against Bartolus; but an
evangelical testimony I hope will content you. Matth. 17 it is said that,
at the transfiguration of our Lord, Vestimenta ejus facta sunt alba sicut
lux, his apparel was made white like the light. By which lightsome
whiteness he gave his three apostles to understand the idea and figure of
the eternal joys; for by the light are all men comforted, according to the
word of the old woman, who, although she had never a tooth in her head, was
wont to say, Bona lux. And Tobit, chap.5, after he had lost his sight,
when Raphael saluted him, answered, What joy can I have, that do not see
the light of Heaven? In that colour did the angels testify the joy of the
whole world at the resurrection of our Saviour, John 20, and at his
ascension, Acts 1. With the like colour of vesture did St. John the
Evangelist, Apoc. 4.7, see the faithful clothed in the heavenly and blessed
Read the ancient, both Greek and Latin histories, and you shall find that
the town of Alba (the first pattern of Rome) was founded and so named by
reason of a white sow that was seen there. You shall likewise find in
those stories, that when any man, after he had vanquished his enemies, was
by decree of the senate to enter into Rome triumphantly, he usually rode in
a chariot drawn by white horses: which in the ovation triumph was also the
custom; for by no sign or colour would they so significantly express the
joy of their coming as by the white. You shall there also find, how
Pericles, the general of the Athenians, would needs have that part of his
army unto whose lot befell the white beans, to spend the whole day in
mirth, pleasure, and ease, whilst the rest were a-fighting. A thousand
other examples and places could I allege to this purpose, but that it is
not here where I should do it.
By understanding hereof, you may resolve one problem, which Alexander
Aphrodiseus hath accounted unanswerable: why the lion, who with his only
cry and roaring affrights all beasts, dreads and feareth only a white cock?
For, as Proclus saith, Libro de Sacrificio et Magia, it is because the
presence of the virtue of the sun, which is the organ and promptuary of all
terrestrial and sidereal light, doth more symbolize and agree with a white
cock, as well in regard of that colour, as of his property and specifical
quality, than with a lion. He saith, furthermore, that devils have been
often seen in the shape of lions, which at the sight of a white cock have
presently vanished. This is the cause why Galli or Gallices (so are the
Frenchmen called, because they are naturally white as milk, which the
Greeks call Gala,) do willingly wear in their caps white feathers, for by
nature they are of a candid disposition, merry, kind, gracious, and
well-beloved, and for their cognizance and arms have the whitest flower
of any, the Flower de luce or Lily.
If you demand how, by white, nature would have us understand joy and
gladness, I answer, that the analogy and uniformity is thus. For, as the
white doth outwardly disperse and scatter the rays of the sight, whereby
the optic spirits are manifestly dissolved, according to the opinion of
Aristotle in his problems and perspective treatises; as you may likewise
perceive by experience, when you pass over mountains covered with snow, how
you will complain that you cannot see well; as Xenophon writes to have
happened to his men, and as Galen very largely declareth, lib. 10, de usu
partium: just so the heart with excessive joy is inwardly dilated, and
suffereth a manifest resolution of the vital spirits, which may go so far
on that it may thereby be deprived of its nourishment, and by consequence
of life itself, by this perichary or extremity of gladness, as Galen saith,
lib. 12, method, lib. 5, de locis affectis, and lib. 2, de symptomatum
causis. And as it hath come to pass in former times, witness Marcus
Tullius, lib. 1, Quaest. Tuscul., Verrius, Aristotle, Titus Livius, in his
relation of the battle of Cannae, Plinius, lib. 7, cap. 32 and 34, A.
Gellius, lib. 3, c. 15, and many other writers,--to Diagoras the Rhodian,
Chilon, Sophocles, Dionysius the tyrant of Sicily, Philippides, Philemon,
Polycrates, Philistion, M. Juventi, and others who died with joy. And as
Avicen speaketh, in 2 canon et lib. de virib. cordis, of the saffron, that
it doth so rejoice the heart that, if you take of it excessively, it will
by a superfluous resolution and dilation deprive it altogether of life.
Here peruse Alex. Aphrodiseus, lib. 1, Probl., cap. 19, and that for a
cause. But what? It seems I am entered further into this point than I
intended at the first. Here, therefore, will I strike sail, referring the
rest to that book of mine which handleth this matter to the full.
Meanwhile, in a word I will tell you, that blue doth certainly signify
heaven and heavenly things, by the same very tokens and symbols that white
signifieth joy and pleasure.
Of the youthful age of Gargantua.
Gargantua, from three years upwards unto five, was brought up and
instructed in all convenient discipline by the commandment of his father;
and spent that time like the other little children of the country, that is,
in drinking, eating, and sleeping: in eating, sleeping, and drinking: and
in sleeping, drinking, and eating. Still he wallowed and rolled up and
down himself in the mire and dirt--he blurred and sullied his nose with
filth--he blotted and smutched his face with any kind of scurvy stuff--he
trod down his shoes in the heel--at the flies he did oftentimes yawn, and
ran very heartily after the butterflies, the empire whereof belonged to his
father. He pissed in his shoes, shit in his shirt, and wiped his nose on
his sleeve--he did let his snot and snivel fall in his pottage, and
dabbled, paddled, and slobbered everywhere--he would drink in his slipper,
and ordinarily rub his belly against a pannier. He sharpened his teeth
with a top, washed his hands with his broth, and combed his head with a
bowl. He would sit down betwixt two stools, and his arse to the ground
--would cover himself with a wet sack, and drink in eating of his soup. He
did eat his cake sometimes without bread, would bite in laughing, and laugh
in biting. Oftentimes did he spit in the basin, and fart for fatness, piss
against the sun, and hide himself in the water for fear of rain. He would
strike out of the cold iron, be often in the dumps, and frig and wriggle
it. He would flay the fox, say the ape's paternoster, return to his sheep,
and turn the hogs to the hay. He would beat the dogs before the lion, put
the plough before the oxen, and claw where it did not itch. He would pump
one to draw somewhat out of him, by griping all would hold fast nothing,
and always eat his white bread first. He shoed the geese, kept a
self-tickling to make himself laugh, and was very steadable in the kitchen:
made a mock at the gods, would cause sing Magnificat at matins, and found
it very convenient so to do. He would eat cabbage, and shite beets,--knew
flies in a dish of milk, and would make them lose their feet. He would
scrape paper, blur parchment, then run away as hard as he could. He would
pull at the kid's leather, or vomit up his dinner, then reckon without his
host. He would beat the bushes without catching the birds, thought the
moon was made of green cheese, and that bladders are lanterns. Out of one
sack he would take two moultures or fees for grinding; would act the ass's
part to get some bran, and of his fist would make a mallet. He took the
cranes at the first leap, and would have the mail-coats to be made link
after link. He always looked a given horse in the mouth, leaped from the
cock to the ass, and put one ripe between two green. By robbing Peter he
paid Paul, he kept the moon from the wolves, and hoped to catch larks if
ever the heavens should fall. He did make of necessity virtue, of such
bread such pottage, and cared as little for the peeled as for the shaven.
Every morning he did cast up his gorge, and his father's little dogs eat
out of the dish with him, and he with them. He would bite their ears, and
they would scratch his nose--he would blow in their arses, and they would
lick his chaps.
But hearken, good fellows, the spigot ill betake you, and whirl round your
brains, if you do not give ear! This little lecher was always groping his
nurses and governesses, upside down, arsiversy, topsyturvy, harri
bourriquet, with a Yacco haick, hyck gio! handling them very rudely in
jumbling and tumbling them to keep them going; for he had already begun to
exercise the tools, and put his codpiece in practice. Which codpiece, or
braguette, his governesses did every day deck up and adorn with fair
nosegays, curious rubies, sweet flowers, and fine silken tufts, and very
pleasantly would pass their time in taking you know what between their
fingers, and dandling it, till it did revive and creep up to the bulk and
stiffness of a suppository, or street magdaleon, which is a hard rolled-up
salve spread upon leather. Then did they burst out in laughing, when they
saw it lift up its ears, as if the sport had liked them. One of them would
call it her little dille, her staff of love, her quillety, her faucetin,
her dandilolly. Another, her peen, her jolly kyle, her bableret, her
membretoon, her quickset imp: another again, her branch of coral, her
female adamant, her placket-racket, her Cyprian sceptre, her jewel for
ladies. And some of the other women would give it these names,--my
bunguetee, my stopple too, my bush-rusher, my gallant wimble, my pretty
borer, my coney-burrow-ferret, my little piercer, my augretine, my dangling
hangers, down right to it, stiff and stout, in and to, my pusher, dresser,
pouting stick, my honey pipe, my pretty pillicock, linky pinky, futilletie,
my lusty andouille, and crimson chitterling, my little couille bredouille,
my pretty rogue, and so forth. It belongs to me, said one. It is mine,
said the other. What, quoth a third, shall I have no share in it? By my
faith, I will cut it then. Ha, to cut it, said the other, would hurt him.
Madam, do you cut little children's things? Were his cut off, he would be
then Monsieur sans queue, the curtailed master. And that he might play and
sport himself after the manner of the other little children of the country,
they made him a fair weather whirl-jack of the wings of the windmill of
Of Gargantua's wooden horses.
Afterwards, that he might be all his lifetime a good rider, they made to
him a fair great horse of wood, which he did make leap, curvet, jerk out
behind, and skip forward, all at a time: to pace, trot, rack, gallop,
amble, to play the hobby, the hackney-gelding: go the gait of the camel,
and of the wild ass. He made him also change his colour of hair, as the
monks of Coultibo (according to the variety of their holidays) use to do
their clothes, from bay brown, to sorrel, dapple-grey, mouse-dun,
deer-colour, roan, cow-colour, gingioline, skewed colour, piebald, and the
colour of the savage elk.
Himself of a huge big post made a hunting nag, and another for daily
service of the beam of a vinepress: and of a great oak made up a mule,
with a footcloth, for his chamber. Besides this, he had ten or twelve
spare horses, and seven horses for post; and all these were lodged in his
own chamber, close by his bedside. One day the Lord of Breadinbag
(Painensac.) came to visit his father in great bravery, and with a gallant
train: and, at the same time, to see him came likewise the Duke of
Freemeal (Francrepas.) and the Earl of Wetgullet (Mouillevent.). The house
truly for so many guests at once was somewhat narrow, but especially the
stables; whereupon the steward and harbinger of the said Lord Breadinbag,
to know if there were any other empty stable in the house, came to
Gargantua, a little young lad, and secretly asked him where the stables of
the great horses were, thinking that children would be ready to tell all.
Then he led them up along the stairs of the castle, passing by the second
hall unto a broad great gallery, by which they entered into a large tower,
and as they were going up at another pair of stairs, said the harbinger to
the steward, This child deceives us, for the stables are never on the top
of the house. You may be mistaken, said the steward, for I know some
places at Lyons, at the Basmette, at Chaisnon, and elsewhere, which have
their stables at the very tops of the houses: so it may be that behind the
house there is a way to come to this ascent. But I will question with him
further. Then said he to Gargantua, My pretty little boy, whither do you
lead us? To the stable, said he, of my great horses. We are almost come
to it; we have but these stairs to go up at. Then leading them alongst
another great hall, he brought them into his chamber, and, opening the
door, said unto them, This is the stable you ask for; this is my jennet;
this is my gelding; this is my courser, and this is my hackney, and laid on
them with a great lever. I will bestow upon you, said he, this Friesland
horse; I had him from Frankfort, yet will I give him you; for he is a
pretty little nag, and will go very well, with a tessel of goshawks, half a
dozen of spaniels, and a brace of greyhounds: thus are you king of the
hares and partridges for all this winter. By St. John, said they, now we
are paid, he hath gleeked us to some purpose, bobbed we are now for ever.
I deny it, said he,--he was not here above three days. Judge you now,
whether they had most cause, either to hide their heads for shame, or to
laugh at the jest. As they were going down again thus amazed, he asked
them, Will you have a whimwham (Aubeliere.)? What is that, said they? It
is, said he, five turds to make you a muzzle. To-day, said the steward,
though we happen to be roasted, we shall not be burnt, for we are pretty
well quipped and larded, in my opinion. O my jolly dapper boy, thou hast
given us a gudgeon; I hope to see thee Pope before I die. I think so, said
he, myself; and then shall you be a puppy, and this gentle popinjay a
perfect papelard, that is, dissembler. Well, well, said the harbinger.
But, said Gargantua, guess how many stitches there are in my mother's
smock. Sixteen, quoth the harbinger. You do not speak gospel, said
Gargantua, for there is cent before, and cent behind, and you did not
reckon them ill, considering the two under holes. When? said the
harbinger. Even then, said Gargantua, when they made a shovel of your nose
to take up a quarter of dirt, and of your throat a funnel, wherewith to put
it into another vessel, because the bottom of the old one was out.
Cocksbod, said the steward, we have met with a prater. Farewell, master
tattler, God keep you, so goodly are the words which you come out with, and
so fresh in your mouth, that it had need to be salted.
Thus going down in great haste, under the arch of the stairs they let fall
the great lever, which he had put upon their backs; whereupon Gargantua
said, What a devil! you are, it seems, but bad horsemen, that suffer your
bilder to fail you when you need him most. If you were to go from hence to
Cahusac, whether had you rather, ride on a gosling or lead a sow in a
leash? I had rather drink, said the harbinger. With this they entered
into the lower hall, where the company was, and relating to them this new
story, they made them laugh like a swarm of flies.
How Gargantua's wonderful understanding became known to his father
Grangousier, by the invention of a torchecul or wipebreech.
About the end of the fifth year, Grangousier returning from the conquest of
the Canarians, went by the way to see his son Gargantua. There was he
filled with joy, as such a father might be at the sight of such a child of
his: and whilst he kissed and embraced him, he asked many childish
questions of him about divers matters, and drank very freely with him and
with his governesses, of whom in great earnest he asked, amongst other
things, whether they had been careful to keep him clean and sweet. To this
Gargantua answered, that he had taken such a course for that himself, that
in all the country there was not to be found a cleanlier boy than he. How
is that? said Grangousier. I have, answered Gargantua, by a long and
curious experience, found out a means to wipe my bum, the most lordly, the
most excellent, and the most convenient that ever was seen. What is that?
said Grangousier, how is it? I will tell you by-and-by, said Gargantua.
Once I did wipe me with a gentle-woman's velvet mask, and found it to be
good; for the softness of the silk was very voluptuous and pleasant to my
fundament. Another time with one of their hoods, and in like manner that
was comfortable. At another time with a lady's neckerchief, and after that
I wiped me with some ear-pieces of hers made of crimson satin, but there
was such a number of golden spangles in them (turdy round things, a pox
take them) that they fetched away all the skin of my tail with a vengeance.
Now I wish St. Antony's fire burn the bum-gut of the goldsmith that made
them, and of her that wore them! This hurt I cured by wiping myself with a
page's cap, garnished with a feather after the Switzers' fashion.
Afterwards, in dunging behind a bush, I found a March-cat, and with it I
wiped my breech, but her claws were so sharp that they scratched and
exulcerated all my perinee. Of this I recovered the next morning
thereafter, by wiping myself with my mother's gloves, of a most excellent
perfume and scent of the Arabian Benin. After that I wiped me with sage,
with fennel, with anet, with marjoram, with roses, with gourd-leaves, with
beets, with colewort, with leaves of the vine-tree, with mallows,
wool-blade, which is a tail-scarlet, with lettuce, and with spinach leaves.
All this did very great good to my leg. Then with mercury, with parsley,
with nettles, with comfrey, but that gave me the bloody flux of Lombardy,
which I healed by wiping me with my braguette. Then I wiped my tail in the
sheets, in the coverlet, in the curtains, with a cushion, with arras
hangings, with a green carpet, with a table-cloth, with a napkin, with a
handkerchief, with a combing-cloth; in all which I found more pleasure than
do the mangy dogs when you rub them. Yea, but, said Grangousier, which
torchecul did you find to be the best? I was coming to it, said Gargantua,
and by-and-by shall you hear the tu autem, and know the whole mystery and
knot of the matter. I wiped myself with hay, with straw, with
thatch-rushes, with flax, with wool, with paper, but,
Who his foul tail with paper wipes,
Shall at his ballocks leave some chips.
What, said Grangousier, my little rogue, hast thou been at the pot, that
thou dost rhyme already? Yes, yes, my lord the king, answered Gargantua, I
can rhyme gallantly, and rhyme till I become hoarse with rheum. Hark, what
our privy says to the skiters:
St. Antony's fire seize on thy toane (bone?),
Thou do not wipe, ere thou be gone.
Will you have any more of it? Yes, yes, answered Grangousier. Then, said
In shitting yes'day I did know
The sess I to my arse did owe:
The smell was such came from that slunk,
That I was with it all bestunk:
O had but then some brave Signor
Brought her to me I waited for,
I would have cleft her watergap,
And join'd it close to my flipflap,
Whilst she had with her fingers guarded
My foul nockandrow, all bemerded
Now say that I can do nothing! By the Merdi, they are not of my making,
but I heard them of this good old grandam, that you see here, and ever
since have retained them in the budget of my memory.
Let us return to our purpose, said Grangousier. What, said Gargantua, to
skite? No, said Grangousier, but to wipe our tail. But, said Gargantua,
will not you be content to pay a puncheon of Breton wine, if I do not blank
and gravel you in this matter, and put you to a non-plus? Yes, truly, said
There is no need of wiping one's tail, said Gargantua, but when it is foul;
foul it cannot be, unless one have been a-skiting; skite then we must
before we wipe our tails. O my pretty little waggish boy, said
Grangousier, what an excellent wit thou hast? I will make thee very
shortly proceed doctor in the jovial quirks of gay learning, and that, by
G--, for thou hast more wit than age. Now, I prithee, go on in this
torcheculative, or wipe-bummatory discourse, and by my beard I swear, for
one puncheon, thou shalt have threescore pipes, I mean of the good Breton
wine, not that which grows in Britain, but in the good country of Verron.
Afterwards I wiped my bum, said Gargantua, with a kerchief, with a pillow,
with a pantoufle, with a pouch, with a pannier, but that was a wicked and
unpleasant torchecul; then with a hat. Of hats, note that some are shorn,
and others shaggy, some velveted, others covered with taffeties, and others
with satin. The best of all these is the shaggy hat, for it makes a very
neat abstersion of the fecal matter.
Afterwards I wiped my tail with a hen, with a cock, with a pullet, with a
calf's skin, with a hare, with a pigeon, with a cormorant, with an
attorney's bag, with a montero, with a coif, with a falconer's lure. But,
to conclude, I say and maintain, that of all torcheculs, arsewisps,
bumfodders, tail-napkins, bunghole cleansers, and wipe-breeches, there is
none in the world comparable to the neck of a goose, that is well downed,
if you hold her head betwixt your legs. And believe me therein upon mine
honour, for you will thereby feel in your nockhole a most wonderful
pleasure, both in regard of the softness of the said down and of the
temporate heat of the goose, which is easily communicated to the bum-gut
and the rest of the inwards, in so far as to come even to the regions of
the heart and brains. And think not that the felicity of the heroes and
demigods in the Elysian fields consisteth either in their asphodel,
ambrosia, or nectar, as our old women here used to say; but in this,
according to my judgment, that they wipe their tails with the neck of a
goose, holding her head betwixt their legs, and such is the opinion of
Master John of Scotland, alias Scotus.
How Gargantua was taught Latin by a Sophister.
The good man Grangousier having heard this discourse, was ravished with
admiration, considering the high reach and marvellous understanding of his
son Gargantua, and said to his governesses, Philip, king of Macedon, knew
the great wit of his son Alexander by his skilful managing of a horse; for
his horse Bucephalus was so fierce and unruly that none durst adventure
to ride him, after that he had given to his riders such devilish falls,
breaking the neck of this man, the other man's leg, braining one, and
putting another out of his jawbone. This by Alexander being considered,
one day in the hippodrome (which was a place appointed for the breaking and
managing of great horses), he perceived that the fury of the horse
proceeded merely from the fear he had of his own shadow, whereupon getting
on his back, he run him against the sun, so that the shadow fell behind,
and by that means tamed the horse and brought him to his hand. Whereby his
father, knowing the divine judgment that was in him, caused him most
carefully to be instructed by Aristotle, who at that time was highly
renowned above all the philosophers of Greece. After the same manner I
tell you, that by this only discourse, which now I have here had before you
with my son Gargantua, I know that his understanding doth participate of
some divinity, and that, if he be well taught, and have that education
which is fitting, he will attain to a supreme degree of wisdom. Therefore
will I commit him to some learned man, to have him indoctrinated according
to his capacity, and will spare no cost. Presently they appointed him a
great sophister-doctor, called Master Tubal Holofernes, who taught him his
ABC so well, that he could say it by heart backwards; and about this he was
five years and three months. Then read he to him Donat, Le Facet,
Theodolet, and Alanus in parabolis. About this he was thirteen years, six
months, and two weeks. But you must remark that in the mean time he did
learn to write in Gothic characters, and that he wrote all his books--for
the art of printing was not then in use--and did ordinarily carry a great
pen and inkhorn, weighing about seven thousand quintals (that is, 700,000
pound weight), the penner whereof was as big and as long as the great
pillars of Enay, and the horn was hanging to it in great iron chains, it
being of the wideness of a tun of merchant ware. After that he read unto
him the book de modis significandi, with the commentaries of Hurtbise, of
Fasquin, of Tropdieux, of Gualhaut, of John Calf, of Billonio, of
Berlinguandus, and a rabble of others; and herein he spent more than
eighteen years and eleven months, and was so well versed in it that, to try
masteries in school disputes with his condisciples, he would recite it by
heart backwards, and did sometimes prove on his finger-ends to his mother,
quod de modis significandi non erat scientia. Then did he read to him the
compost for knowing the age of the moon, the seasons of the year, and tides
of the sea, on which he spent sixteen years and two months, and that justly
at the time that his said preceptor died of the French pox, which was in
the year one thousand four hundred and twenty. Afterwards he got an old
coughing fellow to teach him, named Master Jobelin Bride, or muzzled dolt,
who read unto him Hugutio, Hebrard('s) Grecism, the Doctrinal, the Parts,
the Quid est, the Supplementum, Marmotretus, De moribus in mensa servandis,
Seneca de quatuor virtutibus cardinalibus, Passavantus cum commento, and
Dormi secure for the holidays, and some other of such like mealy stuff, by
reading whereof he became as wise as any we ever since baked in an oven.
How Gargantua was put under other schoolmasters.
At the last his father perceived that indeed he studied hard, and that,
although he spent all his time in it, he did nevertheless profit nothing,
but which is worse, grew thereby foolish, simple, doted, and blockish,
whereof making a heavy regret to Don Philip of Marays, Viceroy or Depute
King of Papeligosse, he found that it were better for him to learn nothing
at all, than to be taught such-like books, under such schoolmasters;
because their knowledge was nothing but brutishness, and their wisdom but
blunt foppish toys, serving only to bastardize good and noble spirits, and
to corrupt all the flower of youth. That it is so, take, said he, any
young boy of this time who hath only studied two years,--if he have not a
better judgment, a better discourse, and that expressed in better terms
than your son, with a completer carriage and civility to all manner of
persons, account me for ever hereafter a very clounch and bacon-slicer of
Brene. This pleased Grangousier very well, and he commanded that it should
be done. At night at supper, the said Des Marays brought in a young page
of his, of Ville-gouges, called Eudemon, so neat, so trim, so handsome in
his apparel, so spruce, with his hair in so good order, and so sweet and
comely in his behaviour, that he had the resemblance of a little angel more
than of a human creature. Then he said to Grangousier, Do you see this
young boy? He is not as yet full twelve years old. Let us try, if it
please you, what difference there is betwixt the knowledge of the doting
Mateologians of old time and the young lads that are now. The trial
pleased Grangousier, and he commanded the page to begin. Then Eudemon,
asking leave of the vice-king his master so to do, with his cap in his
hand, a clear and open countenance, beautiful and ruddy lips, his eyes
steady, and his looks fixed upon Gargantua with a youthful modesty,
standing up straight on his feet, began very gracefully to commend him;
first, for his virtue and good manners; secondly, for his knowledge,
thirdly, for his nobility; fourthly, for his bodily accomplishments; and,
in the fifth place, most sweetly exhorted him to reverence his father with
all due observancy, who was so careful to have him well brought up. In the
end he prayed him, that he would vouchsafe to admit of him amongst the
least of his servants; for other favour at that time desired he none of
heaven, but that he might do him some grateful and acceptable service. All
this was by him delivered with such proper gestures, such distinct
pronunciation, so pleasant a delivery, in such exquisite fine terms, and so
good Latin, that he seemed rather a Gracchus, a Cicero, an Aemilius of the
time past, than a youth of this age. But all the countenance that
Gargantua kept was, that he fell to crying like a cow, and cast down his
face, hiding it with his cap, nor could they possibly draw one word from
him, no more than a fart from a dead ass. Whereat his father was so
grievously vexed that he would have killed Master Jobelin, but the said Des
Marays withheld him from it by fair persuasions, so that at length he
pacified his wrath. Then Grangousier commanded he should be paid his
wages, that they should whittle him up soundly, like a sophister, with good
drink, and then give him leave to go to all the devils in hell. At least,
said he, today shall it not cost his host much if by chance he should die
as drunk as a Switzer. Master Jobelin being gone out of the house,
Grangousier consulted with the Viceroy what schoolmaster they should choose
for him, and it was betwixt them resolved that Ponocrates, the tutor of
Eudemon, should have the charge, and that they should go altogether to
Paris, to know what was the study of the young men of France at that time.
How Gargantua was sent to Paris, and of the huge great mare that he rode
on; how she destroyed the oxflies of the Beauce.
In the same season Fayoles, the fourth King of Numidia, sent out of the
country of Africa to Grangousier the most hideously great mare that ever
was seen, and of the strangest form, for you know well enough how it is
said that Africa always is productive of some new thing. She was as big as
six elephants, and had her feet cloven into fingers, like Julius Caesar's
horse, with slouch-hanging ears, like the goats in Languedoc, and a little
horn on her buttock. She was of a burnt sorrel hue, with a little mixture
of dapple-grey spots, but above all she had a horrible tail; for it was
little more or less than every whit as great as the steeple-pillar of St.
Mark beside Langes: and squared as that is, with tuffs and ennicroches or
hair-plaits wrought within one another, no otherwise than as the beards are
upon the ears of corn.
If you wonder at this, wonder rather at the tails of the Scythian rams,
which weighed above thirty pounds each; and of the Surian sheep, who need,
if Tenaud say true, a little cart at their heels to bear up their tail, it
is so long and heavy. You female lechers in the plain countries have no
such tails. And she was brought by sea in three carricks and a brigantine
unto the harbour of Olone in Thalmondois. When Grangousier saw her, Here
is, said he, what is fit to carry my son to Paris. So now, in the name of
God, all will be well. He will in times coming be a great scholar. If it
were not, my masters, for the beasts, we should live like clerks. The next
morning--after they had drunk, you must understand--they took their
journey; Gargantua, his pedagogue Ponocrates, and his train, and with them
Eudemon, the young page. And because the weather was fair and temperate,
his father caused to be made for him a pair of dun boots,--Babin calls them
buskins. Thus did they merrily pass their time in travelling on their high
way, always making good cheer, and were very pleasant till they came a
little above Orleans, in which place there was a forest of five-and-thirty
leagues long, and seventeen in breadth, or thereabouts. This forest was
most horribly fertile and copious in dorflies, hornets, and wasps, so that
it was a very purgatory for the poor mares, asses, and horses. But
Gargantua's mare did avenge herself handsomely of all the outrages therein
committed upon beasts of her kind, and that by a trick whereof they had no
suspicion. For as soon as ever they were entered into the said forest, and
that the wasps had given the assault, she drew out and unsheathed her tail,
and therewith skirmishing, did so sweep them that she overthrew all the
wood alongst and athwart, here and there, this way and that way, longwise
and sidewise, over and under, and felled everywhere the wood with as much
ease as a mower doth the grass, in such sort that never since hath there
been there neither wood nor dorflies: for all the country was thereby
reduced to a plain champaign field. Which Gargantua took great pleasure to
behold, and said to his company no more but this: Je trouve beau ce (I
find this pretty); whereupon that country hath been ever since that time
called Beauce. But all the breakfast the mare got that day was but a
little yawning and gaping, in memory whereof the gentlemen of Beauce do as
yet to this day break their fast with gaping, which they find to be very
good, and do spit the better for it. At last they came to Paris, where
Gargantua refreshed himself two or three days, making very merry with his
folks, and inquiring what men of learning there were then in the city, and
what wine they drunk there.
How Gargantua paid his welcome to the Parisians, and how he took away the
great bells of Our Lady's Church.
Some few days after that they had refreshed themselves, he went to see the
city, and was beheld of everybody there with great admiration; for the
people of Paris are so sottish, so badot, so foolish and fond by nature,
that a juggler, a carrier of indulgences, a sumpter-horse, or mule with
cymbals or tinkling bells, a blind fiddler in the middle of a cross lane,
shall draw a greater confluence of people together than an evangelical
preacher. And they pressed so hard upon him that he was constrained to
rest himself upon the towers of Our Lady's Church. At which place, seeing
so many about him, he said with a loud voice, I believe that these buzzards
will have me to pay them here my welcome hither, and my Proficiat. It is
but good reason. I will now give them their wine, but it shall be only in
sport. Then smiling, he untied his fair braguette, and drawing out his
mentul into the open air, he so bitterly all-to-bepissed them, that he
drowned two hundred and sixty thousand, four hundred and eighteen, besides
the women and little children. Some, nevertheless, of the company escaped
this piss-flood by mere speed of foot, who, when they were at the higher
end of the university, sweating, coughing, spitting, and out of breath,
they began to swear and curse, some in good hot earnest, and others in
jest. Carimari, carimara: golynoly, golynolo. By my sweet Sanctess, we
are washed in sport, a sport truly to laugh at;--in French, Par ris, for
which that city hath been ever since called Paris; whose name formerly was
Leucotia, as Strabo testifieth, lib. quarto, from the Greek word leukotes,
whiteness,--because of the white thighs of the ladies of that place. And
forasmuch as, at this imposition of a new name, all the people that were
there swore everyone by the Sancts of his parish, the Parisians, which are
patched up of all nations and all pieces of countries, are by nature both
good jurors and good jurists, and somewhat overweening; whereupon Joanninus
de Barrauco, libro de copiositate reverentiarum, thinks that they are
called Parisians from the Greek word parresia, which signifies boldness and
liberty in speech. This done, he considered the great bells, which were in
the said towers, and made them sound very harmoniously. Which whilst he
was doing, it came into his mind that they would serve very well for
tingling tantans and ringing campanels to hang about his mare's neck when
she should be sent back to his father, as he intended to do, loaded with
Brie cheese and fresh herring. And indeed he forthwith carried them to his
lodging. In the meanwhile there came a master beggar of the friars of St.
Anthony to demand in his canting way the usual benevolence of some hoggish
stuff, who, that he might be heard afar off, and to make the bacon he was
in quest of shake in the very chimneys, made account to filch them away
privily. Nevertheless, he left them behind very honestly, not for that
they were too hot, but that they were somewhat too heavy for his carriage.
This was not he of Bourg, for he was too good a friend of mine. All the
city was risen up in sedition, they being, as you know, upon any slight
occasion, so ready to uproars and insurrections, that foreign nations
wonder at the patience of the kings of France, who do not by good justice
restrain them from such tumultuous courses, seeing the manifold
inconveniences which thence arise from day to day. Would to God I knew the
shop wherein are forged these divisions and factious combinations, that I
might bring them to light in the confraternities of my parish! Believe for
a truth, that the place wherein the people gathered together, were thus
sulphured, hopurymated, moiled, and bepissed, was called Nesle, where then
was, but now is no more, the oracle of Leucotia. There was the case
proposed, and the inconvenience showed of the transporting of the bells.
After they had well ergoted pro and con, they concluded in baralipton, that
they should send the oldest and most sufficient of the faculty unto
Gargantua, to signify unto him the great and horrible prejudice they
sustain by the want of those bells. And notwithstanding the good reasons
given in by some of the university why this charge was fitter for an orator
than a sophister, there was chosen for this purpose our Master Janotus de
How Janotus de Bragmardo was sent to Gargantua to recover the great bells.
Master Janotus, with his hair cut round like a dish a la Caesarine, in his
most antique accoutrement liripipionated with a graduate's hood, and having
sufficiently antidoted his stomach with oven-marmalades, that is, bread and
holy water of the cellar, transported himself to the lodging of Gargantua,
driving before him three red-muzzled beadles, and dragging after him five
or six artless masters, all thoroughly bedaggled with the mire of the
streets. At their entry Ponocrates met them, who was afraid, seeing them
so disguised, and thought they had been some masquers out of their wits,
which moved him to inquire of one of the said artless masters of the
company what this mummery meant. It was answered him, that they desired to
have their bells restored to them. As soon as Ponocrates heard that, he
ran in all haste to carry the news unto Gargantua, that he might be ready
to answer them, and speedily resolve what was to be done. Gargantua being
advertised hereof, called apart his schoolmaster Ponocrates, Philotimus,
steward of his house, Gymnastes, his esquire, and Eudemon, and very
summarily conferred with them, both of what he should do and what answer he
should give. They were all of opinion that they should bring them unto the
goblet-office, which is the buttery, and there make them drink like
roysters and line their jackets soundly. And that this cougher might not
be puffed up with vain-glory by thinking the bells were restored at his
request, they sent, whilst he was chopining and plying the pot, for the
mayor of the city, the rector of the faculty, and the vicar of the church,
unto whom they resolved to deliver the bells before the sophister had
propounded his commission. After that, in their hearing, he should
pronounce his gallant oration, which was done; and they being come, the
sophister was brought in full hall, and began as followeth, in coughing.
The oration of Master Janotus de Bragmardo for recovery of the bells.
Hem, hem, gud-day, sirs, gud-day. Et vobis, my masters. It were but
reason that you should restore to us our bells; for we have great need of
them. Hem, hem, aihfuhash. We have oftentimes heretofore refused good
money for them of those of London in Cahors, yea and those of Bourdeaux in
Brie, who would have bought them for the substantific quality of the
elementary complexion, which is intronificated in the terrestreity of their
quidditative nature, to extraneize the blasting mists and whirlwinds upon
our vines, indeed not ours, but these round about us. For if we lose the
piot and liquor of the grape, we lose all, both sense and law. If you
restore them unto us at my request, I shall gain by it six basketfuls of
sausages and a fine pair of breeches, which will do my legs a great deal of
good, or else they will not keep their promise to me. Ho by gob, Domine, a
pair of breeches is good, et vir sapiens non abhorrebit eam. Ha, ha, a
pair of breeches is not so easily got; I have experience of it myself.
Consider, Domine, I have been these eighteen days in matagrabolizing this
brave speech. Reddite quae sunt Caesaris, Caesari, et quae sunt Dei, Deo.
Ibi jacet lepus. By my faith, Domine, if you will sup with me in cameris,
by cox body, charitatis, nos faciemus bonum cherubin. Ego occiditunum
porcum, et ego habet bonum vino: but of good wine we cannot make bad
Latin. Well, de parte Dei date nobis bellas nostras. Hold, I give you in
the name of the faculty a Sermones de Utino, that utinam you would give us
our bells. Vultis etiam pardonos? Per diem vos habebitis, et nihil
payabitis. O, sir, Domine, bellagivaminor nobis; verily, est bonum vobis.
They are useful to everybody. If they fit your mare well, so do they do
our faculty; quae comparata est jumentis insipientibus, et similis facta
est eis, Psalmo nescio quo. Yet did I quote it in my note-book, et est
unum bonum Achilles, a good defending argument. Hem, hem, hem, haikhash!
For I prove unto you, that you should give me them. Ego sic argumentor.
Omnis bella bellabilis in bellerio bellando, bellans, bellativo, bellare
facit, bellabiliter bellantes. Parisius habet bellas. Ergo gluc, Ha, ha,
ha. This is spoken to some purpose. It is in tertio primae, in Darii, or
elsewhere. By my soul, I have seen the time that I could play the devil in
arguing, but now I am much failed, and henceforward want nothing but a cup
of good wine, a good bed, my back to the fire, my belly to the table, and a
good deep dish. Hei, Domine, I beseech you, in nomine Patris, Filii, et
Spiritus sancti, Amen, to restore unto us our bells: and God keep you from
evil, and our Lady from health, qui vivit et regnat per omnia secula
seculorum, Amen. Hem, hashchehhawksash, qzrchremhemhash.
Verum enim vero, quandoquidem, dubio procul. Edepol, quoniam, ita certe,
medius fidius; a town without bells is like a blind man without a staff, an
ass without a crupper, and a cow without cymbals. Therefore be assured,
until you have restored them unto us, we will never leave crying after you,
like a blind man that hath lost his staff, braying like an ass without a
crupper, and making a noise like a cow without cymbals. A certain
latinisator, dwelling near the hospital, said since, producing the
authority of one Taponnus,--I lie, it was one Pontanus the secular poet,
--who wished those bells had been made of feathers, and the clapper of a
foxtail, to the end they might have begot a chronicle in the bowels of his
brain, when he was about the composing of his carminiformal lines. But nac
petetin petetac, tic, torche lorgne, or rot kipipur kipipot put pantse
malf, he was declared an heretic. We make them as of wax. And no more
saith the deponent. Valete et plaudite. Calepinus recensui.
How the Sophister carried away his cloth, and how he had a suit in law
against the other masters.
The sophister had no sooner ended, but Ponocrates and Eudemon burst out in
a laughing so heartily, that they had almost split with it, and given up
the ghost, in rendering their souls to God: even just as Crassus did,
seeing a lubberly ass eat thistles; and as Philemon, who, for seeing an ass
eat those figs which were provided for his own dinner, died with force of
laughing. Together with them Master Janotus fell a-laughing too as fast as
he could, in which mood of laughing they continued so long, that their eyes
did water by the vehement concussion of the substance of the brain, by
which these lachrymal humidities, being pressed out, glided through the
optic nerves, and so to the full represented Democritus Heraclitizing and
When they had done laughing, Gargantua consulted with the prime of his
retinue what should be done. There Ponocrates was of opinion that they
should make this fair orator drink again; and seeing he had showed them
more pastime, and made them laugh more than a natural soul could have done,
that they should give him ten baskets full of sausages, mentioned in his
pleasant speech, with a pair of hose, three hundred great billets of
logwood, five-and-twenty hogsheads of wine, a good large down-bed, and a
deep capacious dish, which he said were necessary for his old age. All
this was done as they did appoint: only Gargantua, doubting that they
could not quickly find out breeches fit for his wearing, because he knew
not what fashion would best become the said orator, whether the martingale
fashion of breeches, wherein is a spunghole with a drawbridge for the more
easy caguing: or the fashion of the mariners, for the greater solace and
comfort of his kidneys: or that of the Switzers, which keeps warm the
bedondaine or belly-tabret: or round breeches with straight cannions,
having in the seat a piece like a cod's tail, for fear of over-heating his
reins:--all which considered, he caused to be given him seven ells of white
cloth for the linings. The wood was carried by the porters, the masters of
arts carried the sausages and the dishes, and Master Janotus himself would
carry the cloth. One of the said masters, called Jousse Bandouille, showed
him that it was not seemly nor decent for one of his condition to do so,
and that therefore he should deliver it to one of them. Ha, said Janotus,
baudet, baudet, or blockhead, blockhead, thou dost not conclude in modo et
figura. For lo, to this end serve the suppositions and parva logicalia.
Pannus, pro quo supponit? Confuse, said Bandouille, et distributive. I do
not ask thee, said Janotus, blockhead, quomodo supponit, but pro quo? It
is, blockhead, pro tibiis meis, and therefore I will carry it, Egomet,
sicut suppositum portat appositum. So did he carry it away very close and
covertly, as Patelin the buffoon did his cloth. The best was, that when
this cougher, in a full act or assembly held at the Mathurins, had with
great confidence required his breeches and sausages, and that they were
flatly denied him, because he had them of Gargantua, according to the
informations thereupon made, he showed them that this was gratis, and out
of his liberality, by which they were not in any sort quit of their
promises. Notwithstanding this, it was answered him that he should be
content with reason, without expectation of any other bribe there. Reason?
said Janotus. We use none of it here. Unlucky traitors, you are not worth
the hanging. The earth beareth not more arrant villains than you are. I
know it well enough; halt not before the lame. I have practised wickedness
with you. By God's rattle, I will inform the king of the enormous abuses
that are forged here and carried underhand by you, and let me be a leper,
if he do not burn you alive like sodomites, traitors, heretics and
seducers, enemies to God and virtue.
Upon these words they framed articles against him: he on the other side
warned them to appear. In sum, the process was retained by the court, and
is there as yet. Hereupon the magisters made a vow never to decrott
themselves in rubbing off the dirt of either their shoes or clothes:
Master Janotus with his adherents vowed never to blow or snuff their noses,
until judgment were given by a definitive sentence.
By these vows do they continue unto this time both dirty and snotty; for
the court hath not garbled, sifted, and fully looked into all the pieces as
yet. The judgment or decree shall be given out and pronounced at the next
Greek kalends, that is, never. As you know that they do more than nature,
and contrary to their own articles. The articles of Paris maintain that to
God alone belongs infinity, and nature produceth nothing that is immortal;
for she putteth an end and period to all things by her engendered,
according to the saying, Omnia orta cadunt, &c. But these thick
mist-swallowers make the suits in law depending before them both infinite
and immortal. In doing whereof, they have given occasion to, and verified
the saying of Chilo the Lacedaemonian, consecrated to the oracle at Delphos,
that misery is the inseparable companion of law-debates; and that pleaders
are miserable; for sooner shall they attain to the end of their lives, than
to the final decision of their pretended rights.
The study of Gargantua, according to the discipline of his schoolmasters
The first day being thus spent, and the bells put up again in their own
place, the citizens of Paris, in acknowledgment of this courtesy, offered
to maintain and feed his mare as long as he pleased, which Gargantua took
in good part, and they sent her to graze in the forest of Biere. I think
she is not there now. This done, he with all his heart submitted his study
to the discretion of Ponocrates; who for the beginning appointed that he
should do as he was accustomed, to the end he might understand by what
means, in so long time, his old masters had made him so sottish and
ignorant. He disposed therefore of his time in such fashion, that
ordinarily he did awake betwixt eight and nine o'clock, whether it was day
or not, for so had his ancient governors ordained, alleging that which
David saith, Vanum est vobis ante lucem surgere. Then did he tumble and
toss, wag his legs, and wallow in the bed some time, the better to stir up
and rouse his vital spirits, and apparelled himself according to the
season: but willingly he would wear a great long gown of thick frieze,
furred with fox-skins. Afterwards he combed his head with an Almain comb,
which is the four fingers and the thumb. For his preceptor said that to
comb himself otherwise, to wash and make himself neat, was to lose time in
this world. Then he dunged, pissed, spewed, belched, cracked, yawned,
spitted, coughed, yexed, sneezed and snotted himself like an archdeacon,
and, to suppress the dew and bad air, went to breakfast, having some good
fried tripes, fair rashers on the coals, excellent gammons of bacon, store
of fine minced meat, and a great deal of sippet brewis, made up of the fat
of the beef-pot, laid upon bread, cheese, and chopped parsley strewed
together. Ponocrates showed him that he ought not to eat so soon after
rising out of his bed, unless he had performed some exercise beforehand.
Gargantua answered, What! have not I sufficiently well exercised myself? I
have wallowed and rolled myself six or seven turns in my bed before I rose.
Is not that enough? Pope Alexander did so, by the advice of a Jew his
physician, and lived till his dying day in despite of his enemies. My
first masters have used me to it, saying that to breakfast made a good
memory, and therefore they drank first. I am very well after it, and dine
but the better. And Master Tubal, who was the first licenciate at Paris,
told me that it was not enough to run apace, but to set forth betimes: so
doth not the total welfare of our humanity depend upon perpetual drinking
in a ribble rabble, like ducks, but on drinking early in the morning; unde
To rise betimes is no good hour,
To drink betimes is better sure.
After that he had thoroughly broke his fast, he went to church, and they
carried to him, in a great basket, a huge impantoufled or thick-covered
breviary, weighing, what in grease, clasps, parchment and cover, little
more or less than eleven hundred and six pounds. There he heard
six-and-twenty or thirty masses. This while, to the same place came his
orison-mutterer impaletocked, or lapped up about the chin like a tufted
whoop, and his breath pretty well antidoted with store of the
vine-tree-syrup. With him he mumbled all his kiriels and dunsical
breborions, which he so curiously thumbed and fingered, that there fell not
so much as one grain to the ground. As he went from the church, they
brought him, upon a dray drawn with oxen, a confused heap of paternosters
and aves of St. Claude, every one of them being of the bigness of a
hat-block; and thus walking through the cloisters, galleries, or garden, he
said more in turning them over than sixteen hermits would have done. Then
did he study some paltry half-hour with his eyes fixed upon his book; but,
as the comic saith, his mind was in the kitchen. Pissing then a full
urinal, he sat down at table; and because he was naturally phlegmatic, he
began his meal with some dozens of gammons, dried neat's tongues, hard roes
of mullet, called botargos, andouilles or sausages, and such other
forerunners of wine. In the meanwhile, four of his folks did cast into his
mouth one after another continually mustard by whole shovelfuls.
Immediately after that, he drank a horrible draught of white wine for the
ease of his kidneys. When that was done, he ate according to the season
meat agreeable to his appetite, and then left off eating when his belly
began to strout, and was like to crack for fulness. As for his drinking, he
had in that neither end nor rule. For he was wont to say, That the limits
and bounds of drinking were, when the cork of the shoes of him that drinketh
swelleth up half a foot high.
The games of Gargantua.
Then blockishly mumbling with a set on countenance a piece of scurvy grace,
he washed his hands in fresh wine, picked his teeth with the foot of a hog,
and talked jovially with his attendants. Then the carpet being spread,
they brought plenty of cards, many dice, with great store and abundance of
chequers and chessboards.
There he played.
At flush. At love.
At primero. At the chess.
At the beast. At Reynard the fox.
At the rifle. At the squares.
At trump. At the cows.
At the prick and spare not. At the lottery.
At the hundred. At the chance or mumchance.
At the peeny. At three dice or maniest bleaks.
At the unfortunate woman. At the tables.
At the fib. At nivinivinack.
At the pass ten. At the lurch.
At one-and-thirty. At doublets or queen's game.
At post and pair, or even and At the faily.
sequence. At the French trictrac.
At three hundred. At the long tables or ferkeering.
At the unlucky man. At feldown.
At the last couple in hell. At tod's body.
At the hock. At needs must.
At the surly. At the dames or draughts.
At the lansquenet. At bob and mow.
At the cuckoo. At primus secundus.
At puff, or let him speak that At mark-knife.
hath it. At the keys.
At take nothing and throw out. At span-counter.
At the marriage. At even or odd.
At the frolic or jackdaw. At cross or pile.
At the opinion. At ball and huckle-bones.
At who doth the one, doth the At ivory balls.
other. At the billiards.
At the sequences. At bob and hit.
At the ivory bundles. At the owl.
At the tarots. At the charming of the hare.
At losing load him. At pull yet a little.
At he's gulled and esto. At trudgepig.
At the torture. At the magatapies.
At the handruff. At the horn.
At the click. At the flowered or Shrovetide ox.
At honours. At the madge-owlet.
At pinch without laughing. At tilt at weeky.
At prickle me tickle me. At ninepins.
At the unshoeing of the ass. At the cock quintin.
At the cocksess. At tip and hurl.
At hari hohi. At the flat bowls.
At I set me down. At the veer and turn.
At earl beardy. At rogue and ruffian.
At the old mode. At bumbatch touch.
At draw the spit. At the mysterious trough.
At put out. At the short bowls.
At gossip lend me your sack. At the dapple-grey.
At the ramcod ball. At cock and crank it.
At thrust out the harlot. At break-pot.
At Marseilles figs. At my desire.
At nicknamry. At twirly whirlytrill.
At stick and hole. At the rush bundles.
At boke or him, or flaying the fox. At the short staff.
At the branching it. At the whirling gig.
At trill madam, or grapple my lady. At hide and seek, or are you all
At the cat selling. hid?
At blow the coal. At the picket.
At the re-wedding. At the blank.
At the quick and dead judge. At the pilferers.
At unoven the iron. At the caveson.
At the false clown. At prison bars.
At the flints, or at the nine stones.At have at the nuts.
At to the crutch hulch back. At cherry-pit.
At the Sanct is found. At rub and rice.
At hinch, pinch and laugh not. At whiptop.
At the leek. At the casting top.
At bumdockdousse. At the hobgoblins.
At the loose gig. At the O wonderful.
At the hoop. At the soily smutchy.
At the sow. At fast and loose.
At belly to belly. At scutchbreech.
At the dales or straths. At the broom-besom.
At the twigs. At St. Cosme, I come to adore
At the quoits. thee.
At I'm for that. At the lusty brown boy.
At I take you napping. At greedy glutton.
At fair and softly passeth Lent. At the morris dance.
At the forked oak. At feeby.
At truss. At the whole frisk and gambol.
At the wolf's tail. At battabum, or riding of the
At bum to buss, or nose in breech. wild mare.
At Geordie, give me my lance. At Hind the ploughman.
At swaggy, waggy or shoggyshou. At the good mawkin.
At stook and rook, shear and At the dead beast.
threave. At climb the ladder, Billy.
At the birch. At the dying hog.
At the muss. At the salt doup.
At the dilly dilly darling. At the pretty pigeon.
At ox moudy. At barley break.
At purpose in purpose. At the bavine.
At nine less. At the bush leap.
At blind-man-buff. At crossing.
At the fallen bridges. At bo-peep.
At bridled nick. At the hardit arsepursy.
At the white at butts. At the harrower's nest.
At thwack swinge him. At forward hey.
At apple, pear, plum. At the fig.
At mumgi. At gunshot crack.
At the toad. At mustard peel.
At cricket. At the gome.
At the pounding stick. At the relapse.
At jack and the box. At jog breech, or prick him
At the queens. forward.
At the trades. At knockpate.
At heads and points. At the Cornish c(h)ough.
At the vine-tree hug. At the crane-dance.
At black be thy fall. At slash and cut.
At ho the distaff. At bobbing, or flirt on the
At Joan Thomson. nose.
At the bolting cloth. At the larks.
At the oat's seed. At fillipping.
After he had thus well played, revelled, past and spent his time, it was
thought fit to drink a little, and that was eleven glassfuls the man, and,
immediately after making good cheer again, he would stretch himself upon a
fair bench, or a good large bed, and there sleep two or three hours
together, without thinking or speaking any hurt. After he was awakened he
would shake his ears a little. In the mean time they brought him fresh
wine. There he drank better than ever. Ponocrates showed him that it was
an ill diet to drink so after sleeping. It is, answered Gargantua, the
very life of the patriarchs and holy fathers; for naturally I sleep salt,
and my sleep hath been to me in stead of so many gammons of bacon. Then
began he to study a little, and out came the paternosters or rosary of
beads, which the better and more formally to despatch, he got upon an old
mule, which had served nine kings, and so mumbling with his mouth, nodding
and doddling his head, would go see a coney ferreted or caught in a gin.
At his return he went into the kitchen to know what roast meat was on the
spit, and what otherwise was to be dressed for supper. And supped very
well, upon my conscience, and commonly did invite some of his neighbours
that were good drinkers, with whom carousing and drinking merrily, they
told stories of all sorts from the old to the new. Amongst others he had
for domestics the Lords of Fou, of Gourville, of Griniot, and of Marigny.
After supper were brought in upon the place the fair wooden gospels and the
books of the four kings, that is to say, many pairs of tables and cards--or
the fair flush, one, two, three--or at all, to make short work; or else
they went to see the wenches thereabouts, with little small banquets,
intermixed with collations and rear-suppers. Then did he sleep, without
unbridling, until eight o'clock in the next morning.
How Gargantua was instructed by Ponocrates, and in such sort disciplinated,
that he lost not one hour of the day.
When Ponocrates knew Gargantua's vicious manner of living, he resolved to
bring him up in another kind; but for a while he bore with him, considering
that nature cannot endure a sudden change, without great violence.
Therefore, to begin his work the better, he requested a learned physician
of that time, called Master Theodorus, seriously to perpend, if it were
possible, how to bring Gargantua into a better course. The said physician
purged him canonically with Anticyrian hellebore, by which medicine he
cleansed all the alteration and perverse habitude of his brain. By this
means also Ponocrates made him forget all that he had learned under his
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