Gargantua and Pantagruel
Part 8 out of 16
did usually show forth unto his sectators and disciples that the gods made
as cheerfully their residence in these mean homely mansions as in sumptuous
magnific palaces, replenished with all manner of delight, pomp, and
pleasure. I withal do really believe that the dwelling-place of the so
famous and renowned Hecate was just such another petty cell as this is,
when she made a feast therein to the valiant Theseus; and that of no other
better structure was the cot or cabin of Hyreus, or Oenopion, wherein
Jupiter, Neptune, and Mercury were not ashamed, all three together, to
harbour and sojourn a whole night, and there to take a full and hearty
repast; for the payment of the shot they thankfully pissed Orion. They
finding the ancient woman at a corner of her own chimney, Epistemon said,
She is indeed a true sibyl, and the lively portrait of one represented by
the Grei kaminoi of Homer. The old hag was in a pitiful bad plight and
condition in matter of the outward state and complexion of her body, the
ragged and tattered equipage of her person in the point of accoutrement,
and beggarly poor provision of fare for her diet and entertainment; for she
was ill apparelled, worse nourished, toothless, blear-eyed, crook-
shouldered, snotty, her nose still dropping, and herself still drooping,
faint, and pithless; whilst in this woefully wretched case she was making
ready for her dinner porridge of wrinkled green coleworts, with a bit skin
of yellow bacon, mixed with a twice-before-cooked sort of waterish,
unsavoury broth, extracted out of bare and hollow bones. Epistemon said,
By the cross of a groat, we are to blame, nor shall we get from her any
response at all, for we have not brought along with us the branch of gold.
I have, quoth Panurge, provided pretty well for that, for here I have it
within my bag, in the substance of a gold ring, accompanied with some fair
pieces of small money. No sooner were these words spoken, when Panurge
coming up towards her, after the ceremonial performance of a profound and
humble salutation, presented her with six neat's tongues dried in the
smoke, a great butter-pot full of fresh cheese, a borachio furnished with
good beverage, and a ram's cod stored with single pence, newly coined. At
last he, with a low courtesy, put on her medical finger a pretty handsome
golden ring, whereinto was right artificially enchased a precious toadstone
of Beausse. This done, in few words and very succinctly, did he set open
and expose unto her the motive reason of his coming, most civilly and
courteously entreating her that she might be pleased to vouchsafe to give
him an ample and plenary intelligence concerning the future good luck of
his intended marriage.
The old trot for a while remained silent, pensive, and grinning like a dog;
then, after she had set her withered breech upon the bottom of a bushel,
she took into her hands three old spindles, which when she had turned and
whirled betwixt her fingers very diversely and after several fashions, she
pried more narrowly into, by the trial of their points, the sharpest
whereof she retained in her hand, and threw the other two under a stone
trough. After this she took a pair of yarn windles, which she nine times
unintermittedly veered and frisked about; then at the ninth revolution or
turn, without touching them any more, maturely perpending the manner of
their motion, she very demurely waited on their repose and cessation from
any further stirring. In sequel whereof she pulled off one of her wooden
pattens, put her apron over her head, as a priest uses to do his amice when
he is going to sing mass, and with a kind of antique, gaudy, party-coloured
string knit it under her neck. Being thus covered and muffled, she whiffed
off a lusty good draught out of the borachio, took three several pence
forth of the ramcod fob, put them into so many walnut-shells, which she set
down upon the bottom of a feather-pot, and then, after she had given them
three whisks of a broom besom athwart the chimney, casting into the fire
half a bavin of long heather, together with a branch of dry laurel, she
observed with a very hush and coy silence in what form they did burn, and
saw that, although they were in a flame, they made no kind of noise or
crackling din. Hereupon she gave a most hideous and horribly dreadful
shout, muttering betwixt her teeth some few barbarous words of a strange
This so terrified Panurge that he forthwith said to Epistemon, The devil
mince me into a gallimaufry if I do not tremble for fear! I do not think
but that I am now enchanted; for she uttereth not her voice in the terms of
any Christian language. O look, I pray you, how she seemeth unto me to be
by three full spans higher than she was when she began to hood herself with
her apron. What meaneth this restless wagging of her slouchy chaps? What
can be the signification of the uneven shrugging of her hulchy shoulders?
To what end doth she quaver with her lips, like a monkey in the
dismembering of a lobster? My ears through horror glow; ah! how they
tingle! I think I hear the shrieking of Proserpina; the devils are
breaking loose to be all here. O the foul, ugly, and deformed beasts! Let
us run away! By the hook of God, I am like to die for fear! I do not love
the devils; they vex me, and are unpleasant fellows. Now let us fly, and
betake us to our heels. Farewell, gammer; thanks and gramercy for your
goods! I will not marry; no, believe me, I will not. I fairly quit my
interest therein, and totally abandon and renounce it from this time
forward, even as much as at present. With this, as he endeavoured to make
an escape out of the room, the old crone did anticipate his flight and make
him stop. The way how she prevented him was this: whilst in her hand she
held the spindle, she flung out to a back-yard close by her lodge, where,
after she had peeled off the barks of an old sycamore three several times,
she very summarily, upon eight leaves which dropped from thence, wrote with
the spindle-point some curt and briefly-couched verses, which she threw
into the air, then said unto them, Search after them if you will; find them
if you can; the fatal destinies of your marriage are written in them.
No sooner had she done thus speaking than she did withdraw herself unto her
lurking-hole, where on the upper seat of the porch she tucked up her gown,
her coats, and smock, as high as her armpits, and gave them a full
inspection of the nockandroe; which being perceived by Panurge, he said to
Epistemon, God's bodikins, I see the sibyl's hole! She suddenly then
bolted the gate behind her, and was never since seen any more. They
jointly ran in haste after the fallen and dispersed leaves, and gathered
them at last, though not without great labour and toil, for the wind had
scattered them amongst the thorn-bushes of the valley. When they had
ranged them each after other in their due places, they found out their
sentence, as it is metrified in this octastich:
Thy fame upheld
(Properly, as corrected by Ozell:
Thy fame will be shell'd
By her, I trow.),
Even so, so:
And she with child
Of thee: No.
Thy good end
Suck she shall,
And flay thee, friend,
But not all.
How Pantagruel and Panurge did diversely expound the verses of the Sibyl of
The leaves being thus collected and orderly disposed, Epistemon and Panurge
returned to Pantagruel's court, partly well pleased and other part
discontented; glad for their being come back, and vexed for the trouble
they had sustained by the way, which they found to be craggy, rugged,
stony, rough, and ill-adjusted. They made an ample and full relation of
their voyage unto Pantagruel, as likewise of the estate and condition of
the sibyl. Then, having presented to him the leaves of the sycamore, they
show him the short and twattle verses that were written in them.
Pantagruel, having read and considered the whole sum and substance of the
matter, fetched from his heart a deep and heavy sigh; then said to Panurge,
You are now, forsooth, in a good taking, and have brought your hogs to a
fine market. The prophecy of the sibyl doth explain and lay out before us
the same very predictions which have been denoted, foretold, and presaged
to us by the decree of the Virgilian lots and the verdict of your own
proper dreams, to wit, that you shall be very much disgraced, shamed, and
discredited by your wife; for that she will make you a cuckold in
prostituting herself to others, being big with child by another than you,--
will steal from you a great deal of your goods, and will beat you, scratch
and bruise you, even to plucking the skin in a part from off you,--will
leave the print of her blows in some member of your body. You understand
as much, answered Panurge, in the veritable interpretation and expounding
of recent prophecies as a sow in the matter of spicery. Be not offended,
sir, I beseech you, that I speak thus boldly; for I find myself a little in
choler, and that not without cause, seeing it is the contrary that is true.
Take heed, and give attentive ear unto my words. The old wife said that,
as the bean is not seen till first it be unhusked, and that its swad or
hull be shelled and peeled from off it, so is it that my virtue and
transcendent worth will never come by the mouth of fame to be blazed abroad
proportionable to the height, extent, and measure of the excellency
thereof, until preallably I get a wife and make the full half of a married
couple. How many times have I heard you say that the function of a
magistrate, or office of dignity, discovereth the merits, parts, and
endowments of the person so advanced and promoted, and what is in him.
That is to say, we are then best able to judge aright of the deservings of
a man when he is called to the management of affairs; for when before he
lived in a private condition, we could have no more certain knowledge of
him than of a bean within his husk. And thus stands the first article
explained; otherwise, could you imagine that the good fame, repute, and
estimation of an honest man should depend upon the tail of a whore?
Now to the meaning of the second article! My wife will be with child,--
here lies the prime felicity of marriage,--but not of me. Copsody, that I
do believe indeed! It will be of a pretty little infant. O how heartily I
shall love it! I do already dote upon it; for it will be my dainty feedle-
darling, my genteel dilly-minion. From thenceforth no vexation, care, or
grief shall take such deep impression in my heart, how hugely great or
vehement soever it otherwise appear, but that it shall evanish forthwith at
the sight of that my future babe, and at the hearing of the chat and
prating of its childish gibberish. And blessed be the old wife. By my
truly, I have a mind to settle some good revenue or pension upon her out of
the readiest increase of the lands of my Salmigondinois; not an inconstant
and uncertain rent-seek, like that of witless, giddy-headed bachelors, but
sure and fixed, of the nature of the well-paid incomes of regenting
doctors. If this interpretation doth not please you, think you my wife
will bear me in her flanks, conceive with me, and be of me delivered, as
women use in childbed to bring forth their young ones; so as that it may be
said, Panurge is a second Bacchus, he hath been twice born; he is re-born,
as was Hippolytus,--as was Proteus, one time of Thetis, and secondly, of
the mother of the philosopher Apollonius,--as were the two Palici, near the
flood Simaethos in Sicily. His wife was big of child with him. In him is
renewed and begun again the palintocy of the Megarians and the palingenesy
of Democritus. Fie upon such errors! To hear stuff of that nature rends
The words of the third article are: She will suck me at my best end. Why
not? That pleaseth me right well. You know the thing; I need not tell you
that it is my intercrural pudding with one end. I swear and promise that,
in what I can, I will preserve it sappy, full of juice, and as well
victualled for her use as may be. She shall not suck me, I believe, in
vain, nor be destitute of her allowance; there shall her justum both in
peck and lippy be furnished to the full eternally. You expound this
passage allegorically, and interpret it to theft and larceny. I love the
exposition, and the allegory pleaseth me; but not according to the sense
whereto you stretch it. It may be that the sincerity of the affection
which you bear me moveth you to harbour in your breast those refractory
thoughts concerning me, with a suspicion of my adversity to come. We have
this saying from the learned, That a marvellously fearful thing is love,
and that true love is never without fear. But, sir, according to my
judgment, you do understand both of and by yourself that here stealth
signifieth nothing else, no more than in a thousand other places of Greek
and Latin, old and modern writings, but the sweet fruits of amorous
dalliance, which Venus liketh best when reaped in secret, and culled by
fervent lovers filchingly. Why so, I prithee tell? Because, when the feat
of the loose-coat skirmish happeneth to be done underhand and privily,
between two well-disposed, athwart the steps of a pair of stairs lurkingly,
and in covert behind a suit of hangings, or close hid and trussed upon an
unbound faggot, it is more pleasing to the Cyprian goddess, and to me also
--I speak this without prejudice to any better or more sound opinion--than
to perform that culbusting art after the Cynic manner, in the view of the
clear sunshine, or in a rich tent, under a precious stately canopy, within
a glorious and sublime pavilion, or yet on a soft couch betwixt rich
curtains of cloth of gold, without affrightment, at long intermediate
respites, enjoying of pleasures and delights a bellyfull, at all great
ease, with a huge fly-flap fan of crimson satin and a bunch of feathers of
some East-Indian ostrich serving to give chase unto the flies all round
about; whilst, in the interim, the female picks her teeth with a stiff
straw picked even then from out of the bottom of the bed she lies on. If
you be not content with this my exposition, are you of the mind that my
wife will suck and sup me up as people use to gulp and swallow oysters out
of the shell? or as the Cilician women, according to the testimony of
Dioscorides, were wont to do the grain of alkermes? Assuredly that is an
error. Who seizeth on it, doth neither gulch up nor swill down, but takes
away what hath been packed up, catcheth, snatcheth, and plies the play of
The fourth article doth imply that my wife will flay me, but not all. O
the fine word! You interpret this to beating strokes and blows. Speak
wisely. Will you eat a pudding? Sir, I beseech you to raise up your
spirits above the low-sized pitch of earthly thoughts unto that height of
sublime contemplation which reacheth to the apprehension of the mysteries
and wonders of Dame Nature. And here be pleased to condemn yourself, by a
renouncing of those errors which you have committed very grossly and
somewhat perversely in expounding the prophetic sayings of the holy sibyl.
Yet put the case (albeit I yield not to it) that, by the instigation of the
devil, my wife should go about to wrong me, make me a cuckold downwards to
the very breech, disgrace me otherwise, steal my goods from me, yea, and
lay violently her hands upon me;--she nevertheless should fail of her
attempts and not attain to the proposed end of her unreasonable
undertakings. The reason which induceth me hereto is grounded totally on
this last point, which is extracted from the profoundest privacies of a
monastic pantheology, as good Friar Arthur Wagtail told me once upon a
Monday morning, as we were (if I have not forgot) eating a bushel of
trotter-pies; and I remember well it rained hard. God give him the good
morrow! The women at the beginning of the world, or a little after,
conspired to flay the men quick, because they found the spirit of mankind
inclined to domineer it, and bear rule over them upon the face of the whole
earth; and, in pursuit of this their resolution, promised, confirmed,
swore, and covenanted amongst them all, by the pure faith they owe to the
nocturnal Sanct Rogero. But O the vain enterprises of women! O the great
fragility of that sex feminine! They did begin to flay the man, or peel
him (as says Catullus), at that member which of all the body they loved
best, to wit, the nervous and cavernous cane, and that above five thousand
years ago; yet have they not of that small part alone flayed any more till
this hour but the head. In mere despite whereof the Jews snip off that
parcel of the skin in circumcision, choosing far rather to be called
clipyards, rascals, than to be flayed by women, as are other nations. My
wife, according to this female covenant, will flay it to me, if it be not
so already. I heartily grant my consent thereto, but will not give her
leave to flay it all. Nay, truly will I not, my noble king.
Yea but, quoth Epistemon, you say nothing of her most dreadful cries and
exclamations when she and we both saw the laurel-bough burn without
yielding any noise or crackling. You know it is a very dismal omen, an
inauspicious sign, unlucky indice, and token formidable, bad, disastrous,
and most unhappy, as is certified by Propertius, Tibullus, the quick
philosopher Porphyrius, Eustathius on the Iliads of Homer, and by many
others. Verily, verily, quoth Panurge, brave are the allegations which you
bring me, and testimonies of two-footed calves. These men were fools, as
they were poets; and dotards, as they were philosophers; full of folly, as
they were of philosophy.
How Pantagruel praiseth the counsel of dumb men.
Pantagruel, when this discourse was ended, held for a pretty while his
peace, seeming to be exceeding sad and pensive, then said to Panurge, The
malignant spirit misleads, beguileth, and seduceth you. I have read that
in times past the surest and most veritable oracles were not those which
either were delivered in writing or uttered by word of mouth in speaking.
For many times, in their interpretation, right witty, learned, and
ingenious men have been deceived through amphibologies, equivoques, and
obscurity of words, no less than by the brevity of their sentences. For
which cause Apollo, the god of vaticination, was surnamed Loxias. Those
which were represented then by signs and outward gestures were accounted
the truest and the most infallible. Such was the opinion of Heraclitus.
And Jupiter did himself in this manner give forth in Ammon frequently
predictions. Nor was he single in this practice; for Apollo did the like
amongst the Assyrians. His prophesying thus unto those people moved them
to paint him with a large long beard, and clothes beseeming an old settled
person of a most posed, staid, and grave behaviour; not naked, young, and
beardless, as he was portrayed most usually amongst the Grecians. Let us
make trial of this kind of fatidicency; and go you take advice of some dumb
person without any speaking. I am content, quoth Panurge. But, says
Pantagruel, it were requisite that the dumb you consult with be such as
have been deaf from the hour of their nativity, and consequently dumb; for
none can be so lively, natural, and kindly dumb as he who never heard.
How is it, quoth Panurge, that you conceive this matter? If you apprehend
it so, that never any spoke who had not before heard the speech of others,
I will from that antecedent bring you to infer very logically a most absurd
and paradoxical conclusion. But let it pass; I will not insist on it. You
do not then believe what Herodotus wrote of two children, who, at the
special command and appointment of Psammeticus, King of Egypt, having been
kept in a petty country cottage, where they were nourished and entertained
in a perpetual silence, did at last, after a certain long space of time,
pronounce this word Bec, which in the Phrygian language signifieth bread.
Nothing less, quoth Pantagruel, do I believe than that it is a mere abusing
of our understandings to give credit to the words of those who say that
there is any such thing as a natural language. All speeches have had their
primary origin from the arbitrary institutions, accords, and agreements of
nations in their respective condescendments to what should be noted and
betokened by them. An articulate voice, according to the dialecticians,
hath naturally no signification at all; for that the sense and meaning
thereof did totally depend upon the good will and pleasure of the first
deviser and imposer of it. I do not tell you this without a cause; for
Bartholus, Lib. 5. de Verb. Oblig., very seriously reporteth that even in
his time there was in Eugubia one named Sir Nello de Gabrielis, who,
although he by a sad mischance became altogether deaf, understood
nevertheless everyone that talked in the Italian dialect howsoever he
expressed himself; and that only by looking on his external gestures, and
casting an attentive eye upon the divers motions of his lips and chaps. I
have read, I remember also, in a very literate and eloquent author, that
Tyridates, King of Armenia, in the days of Nero, made a voyage to Rome,
where he was received with great honour and solemnity, and with all manner
of pomp and magnificence. Yea, to the end there might be a sempiternal
amity and correspondence preserved betwixt him and the Roman senate, there
was no remarkable thing in the whole city which was not shown unto him. At
his departure the emperor bestowed upon him many ample donatives of an
inestimable value; and besides, the more entirely to testify his affection
towards him, heartily entreated him to be pleased to make choice of any
whatsoever thing in Rome was most agreeable to his fancy, with a promise
juramentally confirmed that he should not be refused of his demand.
Thereupon, after a suitable return of thanks for a so gracious offer, he
required a certain Jack-pudding whom he had seen to act his part most
egregiously upon the stage, and whose meaning, albeit he knew not what it
was he had spoken, he understood perfectly enough by the signs and
gesticulations which he had made. And for this suit of his, in that he
asked nothing else, he gave this reason, that in the several wide and
spacious dominions which were reduced under the sway and authority of his
sovereign government, there were sundry countries and nations much
differing from one another in language, with whom, whether he was to speak
unto them or give any answer to their requests, he was always necessitated
to make use of divers sorts of truchman and interpreters. Now with this
man alone, sufficient for supplying all their places, will that great
inconveniency hereafter be totally removed; seeing he is such a fine
gesticulator, and in the practice of chirology an artist so complete,
expert, and dexterous, that with his very fingers he doth speak.
Howsoever, you are to pitch upon such a dumb one as is deaf by nature and
from his birth; to the end that his gestures and signs may be the more
vively and truly prophetic, and not counterfeit by the intermixture of some
adulterate lustre and affectation. Yet whether this dumb person shall be
of the male or female sex is in your option, lieth at your discretion, and
altogether dependeth on your own election.
I would more willingly, quoth Panurge, consult with and be advised by a
dumb woman, were it not that I am afraid of two things. The first is, that
the greater part of women, whatever be that they see, do always represent
unto their fancies, think, and imagine, that it hath some relation to the
sugared entering of the goodly ithyphallos, and graffing in the cleft of
the overturned tree the quickset imp of the pin of copulation. Whatever
signs, shows, or gestures we shall make, or whatever our behaviour,
carriage, or demeanour shall happen to be in their view and presence, they
will interpret the whole in reference to the act of androgynation and the
culbutizing exercise, by which means we shall be abusively disappointed of
our designs, in regard that she will take all our signs for nothing else
but tokens and representations of our desire to entice her unto the lists
of a Cyprian combat or catsenconny skirmish. Do you remember what happened
at Rome two hundred and threescore years after the foundation thereof? A
young Roman gentleman encountering by chance, at the foot of Mount Celion,
with a beautiful Latin lady named Verona, who from her very cradle upwards
had always been both deaf and dumb, very civilly asked her, not without a
chironomatic Italianizing of his demand, with various jectigation of his
fingers and other gesticulations as yet customary amongst the speakers of
that country, what senators in her descent from the top of the hill she had
met with going up thither. For you are to conceive that he, knowing no
more of her deafness than dumbness, was ignorant of both. She in the
meantime, who neither heard nor understood so much as one word of what he
had said, straight imagined, by all that she could apprehend in the lovely
gesture of his manual signs, that what he then required of her was what
herself had a great mind to, even that which a young man doth naturally
desire of a woman. Then was it that by signs, which in all occurrences of
venereal love are incomparably more attractive, valid, and efficacious than
words, she beckoned to him to come along with her to her house; which when
he had done, she drew him aside to a privy room, and then made a most
lively alluring sign unto him to show that the game did please her.
Whereupon, without any more advertisement, or so much as the uttering of
one word on either side, they fell to and bringuardized it lustily.
The other cause of my being averse from consulting with dumb women is, that
to our signs they would make no answer at all, but suddenly fall backwards
in a divarication posture, to intimate thereby unto us the reality of their
consent to the supposed motion of our tacit demands. Or if they should
chance to make any countersigns responsory to our propositions, they would
prove so foolish, impertinent, and ridiculous, that by them ourselves
should easily judge their thoughts to have no excursion beyond the duffling
academy. You know very well how at Brignoles, when the religious nun,
Sister Fatbum, was made big with child by the young Stiffly-stand-to't, her
pregnancy came to be known, and she cited by the abbess, and, in a full
convention of the convent, accused of incest. Her excuse was that she did
not consent thereto, but that it was done by the violence and impetuous
force of the Friar Stiffly-stand-to't. Hereto the abbess very austerely
replying, Thou naughty wicked girl, why didst thou not cry, A rape, a rape!
then should all of us have run to thy succour. Her answer was that the
rape was committed in the dortour, where she durst not cry because it was a
place of sempiternal silence. But, quoth the abbess, thou roguish wench,
why didst not thou then make some sign to those that were in the next
chamber beside thee? To this she answered that with her buttocks she made
a sign unto them as vigorously as she could, yet never one of them did so
much as offer to come to her help and assistance. But, quoth the abbess,
thou scurvy baggage, why didst thou not tell it me immediately after the
perpetration of the fact, that so we might orderly, regularly, and
canonically have accused him? I would have done so, had the case been
mine, for the clearer manifestation of mine innocency. I truly, madam,
would have done the like with all my heart and soul, quoth Sister Fatbum,
but that fearing I should remain in sin, and in the hazard of eternal
damnation, if prevented by a sudden death, I did confess myself to the
father friar before he went out of the room, who, for my penance, enjoined
me not to tell it, or reveal the matter unto any. It were a most enormous
and horrid offence, detestable before God and the angels, to reveal a
confession. Such an abominable wickedness would have possibly brought down
fire from heaven, wherewith to have burnt the whole nunnery, and sent us
all headlong to the bottomless pit, to bear company with Korah, Dathan, and
You will not, quoth Pantagruel, with all your jesting, make me laugh. I
know that all the monks, friars, and nuns had rather violate and infringe
the highest of the commandments of God than break the least of their
provincial statutes. Take you therefore Goatsnose, a man very fit for your
present purpose; for he is, and hath been, both dumb and deaf from the very
remotest infancy of his childhood.
How Goatsnose by signs maketh answer to Panurge.
Goatsnose being sent for, came the day thereafter to Pantagruel's court; at
his arrival to which Panurge gave him a fat calf, the half of a hog, two
puncheons of wine, one load of corn, and thirty francs of small money;
then, having brought him before Pantagruel, in presence of the gentlemen of
the bed-chamber he made this sign unto him. He yawned a long time, and in
yawning made without his mouth with the thumb of his right hand the figure
of the Greek letter Tau by frequent reiterations. Afterwards he lifted up
his eyes to heavenwards, then turned them in his head like a she-goat in
the painful fit of an absolute birth, in doing whereof he did cough and
sigh exceeding heavily. This done, after that he had made demonstration of
the want of his codpiece, he from under his shirt took his placket-racket
in a full grip, making it therewithal clack very melodiously betwixt his
thighs; then, no sooner had he with his body stooped a little forwards, and
bowed his left knee, but that immediately thereupon holding both his arms
on his breast, in a loose faint-like posture, the one over the other, he
paused awhile. Goatsnose looked wistly upon him, and having heedfully
enough viewed him all over, he lifted up into the air his left hand, the
whole fingers whereof he retained fistwise close together, except the thumb
and the forefinger, whose nails he softly joined and coupled to one
another. I understand, quoth Pantagruel, what he meaneth by that sign. It
denotes marriage, and withal the number thirty, according to the profession
of the Pythagoreans. You will be married. Thanks to you, quoth Panurge,
in turning himself towards Goatsnose, my little sewer, pretty master's
mate, dainty bailie, curious sergeant-marshal, and jolly catchpole-leader.
Then did he lift higher up than before his said left hand, stretching out
all the five fingers thereof, and severing them as wide from one another as
he possibly could get done. Here, says Pantagruel, doth he more amply and
fully insinuate unto us, by the token which he showeth forth of the quinary
number, that you shall be married. Yea, that you shall not only be
affianced, betrothed, wedded, and married, but that you shall furthermore
cohabit and live jollily and merrily with your wife; for Pythagoras called
five the nuptial number, which, together with marriage, signifieth the
consummation of matrimony, because it is composed of a ternary, the first
of the odd, and binary, the first of the even numbers, as of a male and
female knit and united together. In very deed it was the fashion of old in
the city of Rome at marriage festivals to light five wax tapers; nor was it
permitted to kindle any more at the magnific nuptials of the most potent
and wealthy, nor yet any fewer at the penurious weddings of the poorest and
most abject of the world. Moreover, in times past, the heathen or paynims
implored the assistance of five deities, or of one helpful, at least, in
five several good offices to those that were to be married. Of this sort
were the nuptial Jove, Juno, president of the feast, the fair Venus, Pitho,
the goddess of eloquence and persuasion, and Diana, whose aid and succour
was required to the labour of child-bearing. Then shouted Panurge, O the
gentle Goatsnose, I will give him a farm near Cinais, and a windmill hard
by Mirebalais! Hereupon the dumb fellow sneezeth with an impetuous
vehemency and huge concussion of the spirits of the whole body, withdrawing
himself in so doing with a jerking turn towards the left hand. By the body
of a fox new slain, quoth Pantagruel, what is that? This maketh nothing
for your advantage; for he betokeneth thereby that your marriage will be
inauspicious and unfortunate. This sneezing, according to the doctrine of
Terpsion, is the Socratic demon. If done towards the right side, it
imports and portendeth that boldly and with all assurance one may go
whither he will and do what he listeth, according to what deliberation he
shall be pleased to have thereupon taken; his entries in the beginning,
progress in his proceedings, and success in the events and issues will be
all lucky, good, and happy. The quite contrary thereto is thereby implied
and presaged if it be done towards the left. You, quoth Panurge, do take
always the matter at the worst, and continually, like another Davus,
casteth in new disturbances and obstructions; nor ever yet did I know this
old paltry Terpsion worthy of citation but in points only of cosenage and
imposture. Nevertheless, quoth Pantagruel, Cicero hath written I know not
what to the same purpose in his Second Book of Divination.
Panurge then, turning himself towards Goatsnose, made this sign unto him.
He inverted his eyelids upwards, wrenched his jaws from the right to the
left side, and drew forth his tongue half out of his mouth. This done, he
posited his left hand wholly open, the mid-finger wholly excepted, which
was perpendicularly placed upon the palm thereof, and set it just in the
room where his codpiece had been. Then did he keep his right hand
altogether shut up in a fist, save only the thumb, which he straight turned
backwards directly under the right armpit, and settled it afterwards on
that most eminent part of the buttocks which the Arabs call the Al-Katim.
Suddenly thereafter he made this interchange: he held his right hand after
the manner of the left, and posited it on the place wherein his codpiece
sometime was, and retaining his left hand in the form and fashion of the
right, he placed it upon his Al-Katim. This altering of hands did he
reiterate nine several times; at the last whereof he reseated his eyelids
into their own first natural position. Then doing the like also with his
jaws and tongue, he did cast a squinting look upon Goatsnose, diddering and
shivering his chaps, as apes use to do nowadays, and rabbits, whilst,
almost starved with hunger, they are eating oats in the sheaf.
Then was it that Goatsnose, lifting up into the air his right hand wholly
open and displayed, put the thumb thereof, even close unto its first
articulation, between the two third joints of the middle and ring fingers,
pressing about the said thumb thereof very hard with them both, and, whilst
the remanent joints were contracted and shrunk in towards the wrist, he
stretched forth with as much straightness as he could the fore and little
fingers. That hand thus framed and disposed of he laid and posited upon
Panurge's navel, moving withal continually the aforesaid thumb, and bearing
up, supporting, or under-propping that hand upon the above-specified fore
and little fingers, as upon two legs. Thereafter did he make in this
posture his hand by little and little, and by degrees and pauses,
successively to mount from athwart the belly to the stomach, from whence he
made it to ascend to the breast, even upwards to Panurge's neck, still
gaining ground, till, having reached his chin, he had put within the
concave of his mouth his afore-mentioned thumb; then fiercely brandishing
the whole hand, which he made to rub and grate against his nose, he heaved
it further up, and made the fashion as if with the thumb thereof he would
have put out his eyes. With this Panurge grew a little angry, and went
about to withdraw and rid himself from this ruggedly untoward dumb devil.
But Goatsnose in the meantime, prosecuting the intended purpose of his
prognosticatory response, touched very rudely, with the above-mentioned
shaking thumb, now his eyes, then his forehead, and after that the borders
and corners of his cap. At last Panurge cried out, saying, Before God,
master fool, if you do not let me alone, or that you will presume to vex me
any more, you shall receive from the best hand I have a mask wherewith to
cover your rascally scroundrel face, you paltry shitten varlet. Then said
Friar John, He is deaf, and doth not understand what thou sayest unto him.
Bulliballock, make sign to him of a hail of fisticuffs upon the muzzle.
What the devil, quoth Panurge, means this busy restless fellow? What is it
that this polypragmonetic ardelion to all the fiends of hell doth aim at?
He hath almost thrust out mine eyes, as if he had been to poach them in a
skillet with butter and eggs. By God, da jurandi, I will feast you with
flirts and raps on the snout, interlarded with a double row of bobs and
finger-fillipings! Then did he leave him in giving him by way of salvo a
volley of farts for his farewell. Goatsnose, perceiving Panurge thus to
slip away from him, got before him, and, by mere strength enforcing him to
stand, made this sign unto him. He let fall his right arm toward his knee
on the same side as low as he could, and, raising all the fingers of that
hand into a close fist, passed his dexter thumb betwixt the foremost and
mid fingers thereto belonging. Then scrubbing and swingeing a little with
his left hand alongst and upon the uppermost in the very bough of the elbow
of the said dexter arm, the whole cubit thereof, by leisure, fair and
softly, at these thumpatory warnings, did raise and elevate itself even to
the elbow, and above it; on a sudden did he then let it fall down as low as
before, and after that, at certain intervals and such spaces of time,
raising and abasing it, he made a show thereof to Panurge. This so
incensed Panurge that he forthwith lifted his hand to have stricken him the
dumb roister and given him a sound whirret on the ear, but that the respect
and reverence which he carried to the presence of Pantagruel restrained his
choler and kept his fury within bounds and limits. Then said Pantagruel,
If the bare signs now vex and trouble you, how much more grievously will
you be perplexed and disquieted with the real things which by them are
represented and signified! All truths agree and are consonant with one
another. This dumb fellow prophesieth and foretelleth that you will be
married, cuckolded, beaten, and robbed. As for the marriage, quoth
Panurge, I yield thereto, and acknowledge the verity of that point of his
prediction; as for the rest, I utterly abjure and deny it: and believe,
sir, I beseech you, if it may please you so to do, that in the matter of
wives and horses never any man was predestinated to a better fortune than
How Panurge consulteth with an old French poet, named Raminagrobis.
I never thought, said Pantagruel, to have encountered with any man so
headstrong in his apprehensions, or in his opinions so wilful, as I have
found you to be and see you are. Nevertheless, the better to clear and
extricate your doubts, let us try all courses, and leave no stone unturned
nor wind unsailed by. Take good heed to what I am to say unto you. The
swans, which are fowls consecrated to Apollo, never chant but in the hour
of their approaching death, especially in the Meander flood, which is a
river that runneth along some of the territories of Phrygia. This I say,
because Aelianus and Alexander Myndius write that they had seen several
swans in other places die, but never heard any of them sing or chant before
their death. However, it passeth for current that the imminent death of a
swan is presaged by his foregoing song, and that no swan dieth until
preallably he have sung.
After the same manner, poets, who are under the protection of Apollo, when
they are drawing near their latter end do ordinarily become prophets, and
by the inspiration of that god sing sweetly in vaticinating things which
are to come. It hath been likewise told me frequently, that old decrepit
men upon the brinks of Charon's banks do usher their decease with a
disclosure all at ease, to those that are desirous of such informations, of
the determinate and assured truth of future accidents and contingencies. I
remember also that Aristophanes, in a certain comedy of his, calleth the
old folks Sibyls, Eith o geron Zibullia. For as when, being upon a pier by
the shore, we see afar off mariners, seafaring men, and other travellers
alongst the curled waves of azure Thetis within their ships, we then
consider them in silence only, and seldom proceed any further than to wish
them a happy and prosperous arrival; but when they do approach near to the
haven, and come to wet their keels within their harbour, then both with
words and gestures we salute them, and heartily congratulate their access
safe to the port wherein we are ourselves. Just so the angels, heroes, and
good demons, according to the doctrine of the Platonics, when they see
mortals drawing near unto the harbour of the grave, as the most sure and
calmest port of any, full of repose, ease, rest, tranquillity, free from
the troubles and solicitudes of this tumultuous and tempestuous world; then
is it that they with alacrity hail and salute them, cherish and comfort
them, and, speaking to them lovingly, begin even then to bless them with
illuminations, and to communicate unto them the abstrusest mysteries of
divination. I will not offer here to confound your memory by quoting
antique examples of Isaac, of Jacob, of Patroclus towards Hector, of Hector
towards Achilles, of Polymnestor towards Agamemnon, of Hecuba, of the
Rhodian renowned by Posidonius, of Calanus the Indian towards Alexander the
Great, of Orodes towards Mezentius, and of many others. It shall suffice
for the present that I commemorate unto you the learned and valiant knight
and cavalier William of Bellay, late Lord of Langey, who died on the Hill
of Tarara, the 10th of January, in the climacteric year of his age, and of
our supputation 1543, according to the Roman account. The last three or
four hours of his life he did employ in the serious utterance of a very
pithy discourse, whilst with a clear judgment and spirit void of all
trouble he did foretell several important things, whereof a great deal is
come to pass, and the rest we wait for. Howbeit, his prophecies did at
that time seem unto us somewhat strange, absurd, and unlikely, because
there did not then appear any sign of efficacy enough to engage our faith
to the belief of what he did prognosticate. We have here, near to the town
of Villomere, a man that is both old and a poet, to wit, Raminagrobis, who
to his second wife espoused my Lady Broadsow, on whom he begot the fair
Basoche. It hath been told me he is a-dying, and so near unto his latter
end that he is almost upon the very last moment, point, and article thereof.
Repair thither as fast as you can, and be ready to give an attentive ear to
what he shall chant unto you. It may be that you shall obtain from him what
you desire, and that Apollo will be pleased by his means to clear your
scruples. I am content, quoth Panurge. Let us go thither, Epistemon, and
that both instantly and in all haste, lest otherwise his death prevent our
coming. Wilt thou come along with us, Friar John? Yes, that I will, quoth
Friar John, right heartily to do thee a courtesy, my billy-ballocks; for I
love thee with the best of my milt and liver.
Thereupon, incontinently, without any further lingering, to the way they
all three went, and quickly thereafter--for they made good speed--arriving
at the poetical habitation, they found the jolly old man, albeit in the
agony of his departure from this world, looking cheerfully, with an open
countenance, splendid aspect, and behaviour full of alacrity. After that
Panurge had very civilly saluted him, he in a free gift did present him
with a gold ring, which he even then put upon the medical finger of his
left hand, in the collet or bezel whereof was enchased an Oriental
sapphire, very fair and large. Then, in imitation of Socrates, did he make
an oblation unto him of a fair white cock, which was no sooner set upon the
tester of his bed, than that, with a high raised head and crest, lustily
shaking his feather-coat, he crowed stentoriphonically loud. This done,
Panurge very courteously required of him that he would vouchsafe to favour
him with the grant and report of his sense and judgment touching the future
destiny of his intended marriage. For answer hereto, when the honest old
man had forthwith commanded pen, paper, and ink to be brought unto him, and
that he was at the same call conveniently served with all the three, he
wrote these following verses:
Take, or not take her,
Off, or on:
Handy-dandy is your lot.
When her name you write, you blot.
'Tis undone, when all is done,
Ended e'er it was begun:
Hardly gallop, if you trot,
Set not forward when you run,
Nor be single, though alone,
Take, or not take her.
Before you eat, begin to fast;
For what shall be was never past.
Say, unsay, gainsay, save your breath:
Then wish at once her life and death.
Take, or not take her.
These lines he gave out of his own hands unto them, saying unto them, Go,
my lads, in peace! the great God of the highest heavens be your guardian
and preserver! and do not offer any more to trouble or disquiet me with
this or any other business whatsoever. I have this same very day, which is
the last both of May and of me, with a greal deal of labour, toil, and
difficulty, chased out of my house a rabble of filthy, unclean, and
plaguily pestilentious rake-hells, black beasts, dusk, dun, white, ash-
coloured, speckled, and a foul vermin of other hues, whose obtrusive
importunity would not permit me to die at my own ease; for by fraudulent
and deceitful pricklings, ravenous, harpy-like graspings, waspish
stingings, and such-like unwelcome approaches, forged in the shop of I know
not what kind of insatiabilities, they went about to withdraw and call me
out of those sweet thoughts wherein I was already beginning to repose
myself and acquiesce in the contemplation and vision, yea, almost in the
very touch and taste of the happiness and felicity which the good God hath
prepared for his faithful saints and elect in the other life and state of
immortality. Turn out of their courses and eschew them, step forth of
their ways and do not resemble them; meanwhile, let me be no more troubled
by you, but leave me now in silence, I beseech you.
How Panurge patrocinates and defendeth the Order of the Begging Friars.
Panurge, at his issuing forth of Raminagrobis's chamber, said, as if he had
been horribly affrighted, By the virtue of God, I believe that he is an
heretic; the devil take me, if I do not! he doth so villainously rail at
the Mendicant Friars and Jacobins, who are the two hemispheres of the
Christian world; by whose gyronomonic circumbilvaginations, as by two
celivagous filopendulums, all the autonomatic metagrobolism of the Romish
Church, when tottering and emblustricated with the gibble-gabble gibberish
of this odious error and heresy, is homocentrically poised. But what harm,
in the devil's name, have these poor devils the Capuchins and Minims done
unto him? Are not these beggarly devils sufficiently wretched already?
Who can imagine that these poor snakes, the very extracts of ichthyophagy,
are not thoroughly enough besmoked and besmeared with misery, distress, and
calamity? Dost thou think, Friar John, by thy faith, that he is in the
state of salvation? He goeth, before God, as surely damned to thirty
thousand basketsful of devils as a pruning-bill to the lopping of a vine-
branch. To revile with opprobrious speeches the good and courageous props
and pillars of the Church,--is that to be called a poetical fury? I cannot
rest satisfied with him; he sinneth grossly, and blasphemeth against the
true religion. I am very much offended at his scandalizing words and
contumelious obloquy. I do not care a straw, quoth Friar John, for what he
hath said; for although everybody should twit and jerk them, it were but a
just retaliation, seeing all persons are served by them with the like
sauce: therefore do I pretend no interest therein. Let us see,
nevertheless, what he hath written. Panurge very attentively read the
paper which the old man had penned; then said to his two fellow-travellers,
The poor drinker doteth. Howsoever, I excuse him, for that I believe he is
now drawing near to the end and final closure of his life. Let us go make
his epitaph. By the answer which he hath given us, I am not, I protest,
one jot wiser than I was. Hearken here, Epistemon, my little bully, dost
not thou hold him to be very resolute in his responsory verdicts? He is a
witty, quick, and subtle sophister. I will lay an even wager that he is a
miscreant apostate. By the belly of a stalled ox, how careful he is not to
be mistaken in his words. He answered but by disjunctives, therefore can
it not be true which he saith; for the verity of such-like propositions is
inherent only in one of its two members. O the cozening prattler that he
is! I wonder if Santiago of Bressure be one of these cogging shirks. Such
was of old, quoth Epistemon, the custom of the grand vaticinator and
prophet Tiresias, who used always, by way of a preface, to say openly and
plainly at the beginning of his divinations and predictions that what he
was to tell would either come to pass or not. And such is truly the style
of all prudently presaging prognosticators. He was nevertheless, quoth
Panurge, so unfortunately misadventurous in the lot of his own destiny,
that Juno thrust out both his eyes.
Yes, answered Epistemon, and that merely out of a spite and spleen for
having pronounced his award more veritable than she, upon the question
which was merrily proposed by Jupiter. But, quoth Panurge, what archdevil
is it that hath possessed this Master Raminagrobis, that so unreasonably,
and without any occasion, he should have so snappishly and bitterly
inveighed against these poor honest fathers, Jacobins, Minors, and Minims?
It vexeth me grievously, I assure you; nor am I able to conceal my
indignation. He hath transgressed most enormously; his soul goeth
infallibly to thirty thousand panniersful of devils. I understand you not,
quoth Epistemon, and it disliketh me very much that you should so absurdly
and perversely interpret that of the Friar Mendicants which by the harmless
poet was spoken of black beasts, dun, and other sorts of other coloured
animals. He is not in my opinion guilty of such a sophistical and
fantastic allegory as by that phrase of his to have meant the Begging
Brothers. He in downright terms speaketh absolutely and properly of fleas,
punies, hand worms, flies, gnats, and other such-like scurvy vermin,
whereof some are black, some dun, some ash-coloured, some tawny, and some
brown and dusky, all noisome, molesting, tyrannous, cumbersome, and
unpleasant creatures, not only to sick and diseased folks, but to those
also who are of a sound, vigorous, and healthful temperament and
constitution. It is not unlikely that he may have the ascarids, and the
lumbrics, and worms within the entrails of his body. Possibly doth he
suffer, as it is frequent and usual amongst the Egyptians, together with
all those who inhabit the Erythraean confines, and dwell along the shores
and coasts of the Red Sea, some sour prickings and smart stingings in his
arms and legs of those little speckled dragons which the Arabians call
meden. You are to blame for offering to expound his words otherwise, and
wrong the ingenuous poet, and outrageously abuse and miscall the said
fraters, by an imputation of baseness undeservedly laid to their charge.
We still should, in such like discourses of fatiloquent soothsayers,
interpret all things to the best. Will you teach me, quoth Panurge, how to
discern flies among milk, or show your father the way how to beget
children? He is, by the virtue of God, an arrant heretic, a resolute,
formal heretic; I say, a rooted, combustible heretic, one as fit to burn as
the little wooden clock at Rochelle. His soul goeth to thirty thousand
cartsful of devils. Would you know whither? Cocks-body, my friend,
straight under Proserpina's close-stool, to the very middle of the self-
same infernal pan within which she, by an excrementitious evacuation,
voideth the faecal stuff of her stinking clysters, and that just upon the
left side of the great cauldron of three fathom height, hard by the claws
and talons of Lucifer, in the very darkest of the passage which leadeth
towards the black chamber of Demogorgon. O the villain!
How Panurge maketh the motion of a return to Raminagrobis.
Let us return, quoth Panurge, not ceasing, to the uttermost of our
abilities, to ply him with wholesome admonitions for the furtherance of his
salvation. Let us go back, for God's sake; let us go, in the name of God.
It will be a very meritorious work, and of great charity in us to deal so
in the matter, and provide so well for him that, albeit he come to lose
both body and life, he may at least escape the risk and danger of the
eternal damnation of his soul. We will by our holy persuasions bring him
to a sense and feeling of his escapes, induce him to acknowledge his
faults, move him to a cordial repentance of his errors, and stir up in him
such a sincere contrition of heart for his offences, as will prompt him
with all earnestness to cry mercy, and to beg pardon at the hands of the
good fathers, as well of the absent as of such as are present. Whereupon
we will take instrument formally and authentically extended, to the end he
be not, after his decease, declared an heretic, and condemned, as were the
hobgoblins of the provost's wife of Orleans, to the undergoing of such
punishments, pains, and tortures as are due to and inflicted on those that
inhabit the horrid cells of the infernal regions; and withal incline,
instigate, and persuade him to bequeath and leave in legacy (by way of an
amends and satisfaction for the outrage and injury done to those good
religious fathers throughout all the convents, cloisters, and monasteries
of this province), many bribes, a great deal of mass-singing, store of
obits, and that sempiternally, on the anniversary day of his decease, every
one of them all be furnished with a quintuple allowance, and that the great
borachio replenished with the best liquor trudge apace along the tables, as
well of the young duckling monkitoes, lay brothers, and lowermost degree of
the abbey lubbards, as of the learned priests and reverend clerks,--the
very meanest of the novices and mitiants unto the order being equally
admitted to the benefit of those funerary and obsequial festivals with the
aged rectors and professed fathers. This is the surest ordinary means
whereby from God he may obtain forgiveness. Ho, ho, I am quite mistaken; I
digress from the purpose, and fly out of my discourse, as if my spirits
were a-wool-gathering. The devil take me, if I go thither! Virtue God!
The chamber is already full of devils. O what a swinging, thwacking noise
is now amongst them! O the terrible coil that they keep! Hearken, do you
not hear the rustling, thumping bustle of their strokes and blows, as they
scuffle with one another, like true devils indeed, who shall gulp up the
Raminagrobis soul, and be the first bringer of it, whilst it is hot, to
Monsieur Lucifer? Beware, and get you hence! for my part, I will not go
thither. The devil roast me if I go! Who knows but that these hungry mad
devils may in the haste of their rage and fury of their impatience take a
qui for a quo, and instead of Raminagrobis snatch up poor Panurge frank and
free? Though formerly, when I was deep in debt, they always failed. Get
you hence! I will not go thither. Before God, the very bare apprehension
thereof is like to kill me. To be in a place where there are greedy,
famished, and hunger-starved devils; amongst factious devils--amidst
trading and trafficking devils--O the Lord preserve me! Get you hence! I
dare pawn my credit on it, that no Jacobin, Cordelier, Carmelite, Capuchin,
Theatin, or Minim will bestow any personal presence at his interment. The
wiser they, because he hath ordained nothing for them in his latter will
and testament. The devil take me, if I go thither. If he be damned, to
his own loss and hindrance be it. What the deuce moved him to be so
snappish and depravedly bent against the good fathers of the true religion?
Why did he cast them off, reject them, and drive them quite out of his
chamber, even in that very nick of time when he stood in greatest need of
the aid, suffrage, and assistance of their devout prayers and holy
admonitions? Why did not he by testament leave them, at least, some jolly
lumps and cantles of substantial meat, a parcel of cheek-puffing victuals,
and a little belly-timber and provision for the guts of these poor folks,
who have nothing but their life in this world? Let him go thither who
will, the devil take me if I go; for, if I should, the devil would not fail
to snatch me up. Cancro. Ho, the pox! Get you hence, Friar John! Art
thou content that thirty thousand wainload of devils should get away with
thee at this same very instant? If thou be, at my request do these three
things. First, give me thy purse; for besides that thy money is marked
with crosses, and the cross is an enemy to charms, the same may befall to
thee which not long ago happened to John Dodin, collector of the excise of
Coudray, at the ford of Vede, when the soldiers broke the planks. This
moneyed fellow, meeting at the very brink of the bank of the ford with
Friar Adam Crankcod, a Franciscan observantin of Mirebeau, promised him a
new frock, provided that in the transporting of him over the water he would
bear him upon his neck and shoulders, after the manner of carrying dead
goats; for he was a lusty, strong-limbed, sturdy rogue. The condition
being agreed upon, Friar Crankcod trusseth himself up to his very ballocks,
and layeth upon his back, like a fair little Saint Christopher, the load of
the said supplicant Dodin, and so carried him gaily and with a good will,
as Aeneas bore his father Anchises through the conflagration of Troy,
singing in the meanwhile a pretty Ave Maris Stella. When they were in the
very deepest place of all the ford, a little above the master-wheel of the
water-mill, he asked if he had any coin about him. Yes, quoth Dodin, a
whole bagful; and that he needed not to mistrust his ability in the
performance of the promise which he had made unto him concerning a new
frock. How! quoth Friar Crankcod, thou knowest well enough that by the
express rules, canons, and injunctions of our order we are forbidden to
carry on us any kind of money. Thou art truly unhappy, for having made me
in this point to commit a heinous trespass. Why didst thou not leave thy
purse with the miller? Without fail thou shalt presently receive thy
reward for it; and if ever hereafter I may but lay hold upon thee within
the limits of our chancel at Mirebeau, thou shalt have the Miserere even to
the Vitulos. With this, suddenly discharging himself of his burden, he
throws me down your Dodin headlong. Take example by this Dodin, my dear
friend Friar John, to the end that the devils may the better carry thee
away at thine own ease. Give me thy purse. Carry no manner of cross upon
thee. Therein lieth an evident and manifestly apparent danger. For if you
have any silver coined with a cross upon it, they will cast thee down
headlong upon some rocks, as the eagles use to do with the tortoises for
the breaking of their shells, as the bald pate of the poet Aeschylus can
sufficiently bear witness. Such a fall would hurt thee very sore, my sweet
bully, and I would be sorry for it. Or otherwise they will let thee fall
and tumble down into the high swollen waves of some capacious sea, I know
not where; but, I warrant thee, far enough hence, as Icarus fell, which
from thy name would afterwards get the denomination of the Funnelian Sea.
Secondly, be out of debt. For the devils carry a great liking to those
that are out of debt. I have sore felt the experience thereof in mine own
particular; for now the lecherous varlets are always wooing me, courting
me, and making much of me, which they never did when I was all to pieces.
The soul of one in debt is insipid, dry, and heretical altogether.
Thirdly, with the cowl and Domino de Grobis, return to Raminagrobis; and in
case, being thus qualified, thirty thousand boatsful of devils forthwith
come not to carry thee quite away, I shall be content to be at the charge
of paying for the pint and faggot. Now, if for the more security thou
wouldst some associate to bear thee company, let not me be the comrade thou
searchest for; think not to get a fellow-traveller of me,--nay, do not. I
advise thee for the best. Get you hence; I will not go thither. The devil
take me if I go. Notwithstanding all the fright that you are in, quoth
Friar John, I would not care so much as might possibly be expected I
should, if I once had but my sword in my hand. Thou hast verily hit the
nail on the head, quoth Panurge, and speakest like a learned doctor, subtle
and well-skilled in the art of devilry. At the time when I was a student
in the University of Toulouse (Tolette), that same reverend father in the
devil, Picatrix, rector of the diabological faculty, was wont to tell us
that the devils did naturally fear the bright glancing of swords as much as
the splendour and light of the sun. In confirmation of the verity whereof
he related this story, that Hercules, at his descent into hell to all the
devils of those regions, did not by half so much terrify them with his club
and lion's skin as afterwards Aeneas did with his clear shining armour upon
him, and his sword in his hand well-furbished and unrusted, by the aid,
counsel, and assistance of the Sybilla Cumana. That was perhaps the reason
why the senior John Jacomo di Trivulcio, whilst he was a-dying at Chartres,
called for his cutlass, and died with a drawn sword in his hand, laying
about him alongst and athwart around the bed and everywhere within his
reach, like a stout, doughty, valorous and knight-like cavalier; by which
resolute manner of fence he scared away and put to flight all the devils
that were then lying in wait for his soul at the passage of his death.
When the Massorets and Cabalists are asked why it is that none of all the
devils do at any time enter into the terrestrial paradise? their answer
hath been, is, and will be still, that there is a cherubin standing at the
gate thereof with a flame-like glistering sword in his hand. Although, to
speak in the true diabological sense or phrase of Toledo, I must needs
confess and acknowledge that veritably the devils cannot be killed or die
by the stroke of a sword, I do nevertheless avow and maintain, according to
the doctrine of the said diabology, that they may suffer a solution of
continuity (as if with thy shable thou shouldst cut athwart the flame of a
burning fire, or the gross opacous exhalations of a thick and obscure
smoke), and cry out like very devils at their sense and feeling of this
dissolution, which in real deed I must aver and affirm is devilishly
painful, smarting, and dolorous.
When thou seest the impetuous shock of two armies, and vehement violence of
the push in their horrid encounter with one another, dost thou think,
Ballockasso, that so horrible a noise as is heard there proceedeth from the
voice and shouts of men, the dashing and jolting of harness, the clattering
and clashing of armies, the hacking and slashing of battle-axes, the
justling and crashing of pikes, the bustling and breaking of lances, the
clamour and shrieks of the wounded, the sound and din of drums, the
clangour and shrillness of trumpets, the neighing and rushing in of horses,
with the fearful claps and thundering of all sorts of guns, from the double
cannon to the pocket pistol inclusively? I cannot goodly deny but that in
these various things which I have rehearsed there may be somewhat
occasionative of the huge yell and tintamarre of the two engaged bodies.
But the most fearful and tumultuous coil and stir, the terriblest and most
boisterous garboil and hurry, the chiefest rustling black santus of all,
and most principal hurlyburly springeth from the grievously plangorous
howling and lowing of devils, who pell-mell, in a hand-over-head confusion,
waiting for the poor souls of the maimed and hurt soldiery, receive
unawares some strokes with swords, and so by those means suffer a solution
of and division in the continuity of their aerial and invisible substances;
as if some lackey, snatching at the lard-slices stuck in a piece of roast
meat on the spit, should get from Mr. Greasyfist a good rap on the knuckles
with a cudgel. They cry out and shout like devils, even as Mars did when
he was hurt by Diomedes at the siege of Troy, who, as Homer testifieth of
him, did then raise his voice more horrifically loud and sonoriferously
high than ten thousand men together would have been able to do. What
maketh all this for our present purpose? I have been speaking here of
well-furbished armour and bright shining swords. But so is it not, Friar
John, with thy weapon; for by a long discontinuance of work, cessation from
labour, desisting from making it officiate, and putting it into that
practice wherein it had been formerly accustomed, and, in a word, for want
of occupation, it is, upon my faith, become more rusty than the key-hole of
an old powdering-tub. Therefore it is expedient that you do one of these
two things: either furbish your weapon bravely, and as it ought to be, or
otherwise have a care that, in the rusty case it is in, you do not presume
to return to the house of Raminagrobis. For my part, I vow I will not go
thither. The devil take me if I go.
How Panurge consulteth with Epistemon.
Having left the town of Villomere, as they were upon their return towards
Pantagruel, Panurge, in addressing his discourse to Epistemon, spoke thus:
My most ancient friend and gossip, thou seest the perplexity of my
thoughts, and knowest many remedies for the removal thereof; art thou not
able to help and succour me? Epistemon, thereupon taking the speech in
hand, represented unto Panurge how the open voice and common fame of the
whole country did run upon no other discourse but the derision and mockery
of his new disguise; wherefore his counsel unto him was that he would in
the first place be pleased to make use of a little hellebore for the
purging of his brain of that peccant humour which, through that extravagant
and fantastic mummery of his, had furnished the people with a too just
occasion of flouting and gibing, jeering and scoffing him, and that next he
would resume his ordinary fashion of accoutrement, and go apparelled as he
was wont to do. I am, quoth Panurge, my dear gossip Epistemon, of a mind
and resolution to marry, but am afraid of being a cuckold and to be
unfortunate in my wedlock. For this cause have I made a vow to young St.
Francis--who at Plessis-les-Tours is much reverenced of all women,
earnestly cried unto by them, and with great devotion, for he was the first
founder of the confraternity of good men, whom they naturally covet,
affect, and long for--to wear spectacles in my cap, and to carry no
codpiece in my breeches, until the present inquietude and perturbation of
my spirits be fully settled.
Truly, quoth Epistemon, that is a pretty jolly vow of thirteen to a dozen.
It is a shame to you, and I wonder much at it, that you do not return unto
yourself, and recall your senses from this their wild swerving and straying
abroad to that rest and stillness which becomes a virtuous man. This
whimsical conceit of yours brings me to the remembrance of a solemn promise
made by the shag-haired Argives, who, having in their controversy against
the Lacedaemonians for the territory of Thyrea, lost the battle which they
hoped should have decided it for their advantage, vowed to carry never any
hair on their heads till preallably they had recovered the loss of both
their honour and lands. As likewise to the memory of the vow of a pleasant
Spaniard called Michael Doris, who vowed to carry in his hat a piece of the
shin of his leg till he should be revenged of him who had struck it off.
Yet do not I know which of these two deserveth most to wear a green and
yellow hood with a hare's ears tied to it, either the aforesaid
vainglorious champion, or that Enguerrant, who having forgot the art and
manner of writing histories set down by the Samosatian philosopher, maketh
a most tediously long narrative and relation thereof. For, at the first
reading of such a profuse discourse, one would think it had been broached
for the introducing of a story of great importance and moment concerning
the waging of some formidable war, or the notable change and mutation of
potent states and kingdoms; but, in conclusion, the world laugheth at the
capricious champion, at the Englishman who had affronted him, as also at
their scribbler Enguerrant, more drivelling at the mouth than a mustard
pot. The jest and scorn thereof is not unlike to that of the mountain of
Horace, which by the poet was made to cry out and lament most enormously as
a woman in the pangs and labour of child-birth, at which deplorable and
exorbitant cries and lamentations the whole neighbourhood being assembled
in expectation to see some marvellous monstrous production, could at last
perceive no other but the paltry, ridiculous mouse.
Your mousing, quoth Panurge, will not make me leave my musing why folks
should be so frumpishly disposed, seeing I am certainly persuaded that some
flout who merit to be flouted at; yet, as my vow imports, so will I do. It
is now a long time since, by Jupiter Philos (A mistake of the
translator's.--M.), we did swear faith and amity to one another. Give me
your advice, billy, and tell me your opinion freely, Should I marry or no?
Truly, quoth Epistemon, the case is hazardous, and the danger so eminently
apparent that I find myself too weak and insufficient to give you a
punctual and peremptory resolution therein; and if ever it was true that
judgment is difficult in matters of the medicinal art, what was said by
Hippocrates of Lango, it is certainly so in this case. True it is that in
my brain there are some rolling fancies, by means whereof somewhat may be
pitched upon of a seeming efficacy to the disentangling your mind of those
dubious apprehensions wherewith it is perplexed; but they do not thoroughly
satisfy me. Some of the Platonic sect affirm that whosoever is able to see
his proper genius may know his own destiny. I understand not their
doctrine, nor do I think that you adhere to them; there is a palpable
abuse. I have seen the experience of it in a very curious gentleman of the
country of Estangourre. This is one of the points. There is yet another
not much better. If there were any authority now in the oracles of Jupiter
Ammon; of Apollo in Lebadia, Delphos, Delos, Cyrra, Patara, Tegyres,
Preneste, Lycia, Colophon, or in the Castalian Fountain; near Antiochia in
Syria, between the Branchidians; of Bacchus in Dodona; of Mercury in
Phares, near Patras; of Apis in Egypt; of Serapis in Canope; of Faunus in
Menalia, and Albunea near Tivoli; of Tiresias in Orchomenus; of Mopsus in
Cilicia; of Orpheus in Lesbos, and of Trophonius in Leucadia; I would in
that case advise you, and possibly not, to go thither for their judgment
concerning the design and enterprise you have in hand. But you know that
they are all of them become as dumb as so many fishes since the advent of
that Saviour King whose coming to this world hath made all oracles and
prophecies to cease; as the approach of the sun's radiant beams expelleth
goblins, bugbears, hobthrushes, broams, screech-owl-mates, night-walking
spirits, and tenebrions. These now are gone; but although they were as yet
in continuance and in the same power, rule, and request that formerly they
were, yet would not I counsel you to be too credulous in putting any trust
in their responses. Too many folks have been deceived thereby. It stands
furthermore upon record how Agrippina did charge the fair Lollia with the
crime of having interrogated the oracle of Apollo Clarius, to understand if
she should be at any time married to the Emperor Claudius; for which cause
she was first banished, and thereafter put to a shameful and ignominious
But, saith Panurge, let us do better. The Ogygian Islands are not far
distant from the haven of Sammalo. Let us, after that we shall have spoken
to our king, make a voyage thither. In one of these four isles, to wit,
that which hath its primest aspect towards the sun setting, it is reported,
and I have read in good antique and authentic authors, that there reside
many soothsayers, fortune-tellers, vaticinators, prophets, and diviners of
things to come; that Saturn inhabiteth that place, bound with fair chains
of gold and within the concavity of a golden rock, being nourished with
divine ambrosia and nectar, which are daily in great store and abundance
transmitted to him from the heavens, by I do not well know what kind of
fowls,--it may be that they are the same ravens which in the deserts are
said to have fed St. Paul, the first hermit,--he very clearly foretelleth
unto everyone who is desirous to be certified of the condition of his lot
what his destiny will be, and what future chance the Fates have ordained
for him; for the Parcae, or Weird Sisters, do not twist, spin, or draw out
a thread, nor yet doth Jupiter perpend, project, or deliberate anything
which the good old celestial father knoweth not to the full, even whilst he
is asleep. This will be a very summary abbreviation of our labour, if we
but hearken unto him a little upon the serious debate and canvassing of
this my perplexity. That is, answered Epistemon, a gullery too evident, a
plain abuse and fib too fabulous. I will not go, not I; I will not go.
How Panurge consulteth with Herr Trippa.
Nevertheless, quoth Epistemon, continuing his discourse, I will tell you
what you may do, if you believe me, before we return to our king. Hard by
here, in the Brown-wheat (Bouchart) Island, dwelleth Herr Trippa. You know
how by the arts of astrology, geomancy, chiromancy, metopomancy, and others
of a like stuff and nature, he foretelleth all things to come; let us talk
a little, and confer with him about your business. Of that, answered
Panurge, I know nothing; but of this much concerning him I am assured, that
one day, and that not long since, whilst he was prating to the great king
of celestial, sublime, and transcendent things, the lacqueys and footboys
of the court, upon the upper steps of stairs between two doors, jumbled,
one after another, as often as they listed, his wife, who is passable fair,
and a pretty snug hussy. Thus he who seemed very clearly to see all
heavenly and terrestrial things without spectacles, who discoursed boldly
of adventures past, with great confidence opened up present cases and
accidents, and stoutly professed the presaging of all future events and
contingencies, was not able, with all the skill and cunning that he had, to
perceive the bumbasting of his wife, whom he reputed to be very chaste, and
hath not till this hour got notice of anything to the contrary. Yet let us
go to him, seeing you will have it so; for surely we can never learn too
much. They on the very next ensuing day came to Herr Trippa's lodging.
Panurge, by way of donative, presented him with a long gown lined all
through with wolf-skins, with a short sword mounted with a gilded hilt and
covered with a velvet scabbard, and with fifty good single angels; then in
a familiar and friendly way did he ask of him his opinion touching the
affair. At the very first Herr Trippa, looking on him very wistly in the
face, said unto him: Thou hast the metoposcopy and physiognomy of a
cuckold,--I say, of a notorious and infamous cuckold. With this, casting
an eye upon Panurge's right hand in all the parts thereof, he said, This
rugged draught which I see here, just under the mount of Jove, was never
yet but in the hand of a cuckold. Afterwards, he with a white lead pen
swiftly and hastily drew a certain number of diverse kinds of points, which
by rules of geomancy he coupled and joined together; then said: Truth
itself is not truer than that it is certain thou wilt be a cuckold a little
after thy marriage. That being done, he asked of Panurge the horoscope of
his nativity, which was no sooner by Panurge tendered unto him, than that,
erecting a figure, he very promptly and speedily formed and fashioned a
complete fabric of the houses of heaven in all their parts, whereof when he
had considered the situation and the aspects in their triplicities, he
fetched a deep sigh, and said: I have clearly enough already discovered
unto you the fate of your cuckoldry, which is unavoidable, you cannot
escape it. And here have I got of new a further assurance thereof, so that
I may now hardily pronounce and affirm, without any scruple or hesitation
at all, that thou wilt be a cuckold; that furthermore, thou wilt be beaten
by thine own wife, and that she will purloin, filch and steal of thy goods
from thee; for I find the seventh house, in all its aspects, of a malignant
influence, and every one of the planets threatening thee with disgrace,
according as they stand seated towards one another, in relation to the
horned signs of Aries, Taurus, and Capricorn. In the fourth house I find
Jupiter in a decadence, as also in a tetragonal aspect to Saturn,
associated with Mercury. Thou wilt be soundly peppered, my good, honest
fellow, I warrant thee. I will be? answered Panurge. A plague rot thee,
thou old fool and doting sot, how graceless and unpleasant thou art! When
all cuckolds shall be at a general rendezvous, thou shouldst be their
standard-bearer. But whence comes this ciron-worm betwixt these two
fingers? This Panurge said, putting the forefinger of his left hand
betwixt the fore and mid finger of the right, which he thrust out towards
Herr Trippa, holding them open after the manner of two horns, and shutting
into his fist his thumb with the other fingers. Then, in turning to
Epistemon, he said: Lo here the true Olus of Martial, who addicted and
devoted himself wholly to the observing the miseries, crosses, and
calamities of others, whilst his own wife, in the interim, did keep an open
bawdy-house. This varlet is poorer than ever was Irus, and yet he is
proud, vaunting, arrogant, self-conceited, overweening, and more
insupportable than seventeen devils; in one word, Ptochalazon, which term
of old was applied to the like beggarly strutting coxcombs. Come, let us
leave this madpash bedlam, this hairbrained fop, and give him leave to rave
and dose his bellyful with his private and intimately acquainted devils,
who, if they were not the very worst of all infernal fiends, would never
have deigned to serve such a knavish barking cur as this is. He hath not
learnt the first precept of philosophy, which is, Know thyself; for whilst
he braggeth and boasteth that he can discern the least mote in the eye of
another, he is not able to see the huge block that puts out the sight of
both his eyes. This is such another Polypragmon as is by Plutarch
described. He is of the nature of the Lamian witches, who in foreign
places, in the houses of strangers, in public, and amongst the common
people, had a sharper and more piercing inspection into their affairs than
any lynx, but at home in their own proper dwelling-mansions were blinder
than moldwarps, and saw nothing at all. For their custom was, at their
return from abroad, when they were by themselves in private, to take their
eyes out of their head, from whence they were as easily removable as a pair
of spectacles from their nose, and to lay them up into a wooden slipper
which for that purpose did hang behind the door of their lodging.
Panurge had no sooner done speaking, when Herr Trippa took into his hand a
tamarisk branch. In this, quoth Epistemon, he doth very well, right, and
like an artist, for Nicander calleth it the divinatory tree. Have you a
mind, quoth Herr Trippa, to have the truth of the matter yet more fully and
amply disclosed unto you by pyromancy, by aeromancy, whereof Aristophanes
in his Clouds maketh great estimation, by hydromancy, by lecanomancy, of
old in prime request amongst the Assyrians, and thoroughly tried by
Hermolaus Barbarus. Come hither, and I will show thee in this platterful
of fair fountain-water thy future wife lechering and sercroupierizing it
with two swaggering ruffians, one after another. Yea, but have a special
care, quoth Panurge, when thou comest to put thy nose within mine arse,
that thou forget not to pull off thy spectacles. Herr Trippa, going on in
his discourse, said, By catoptromancy, likewise held in such account by the
Emperor Didius Julianus, that by means thereof he ever and anon foresaw all
that which at any time did happen or befall unto him. Thou shalt not need
to put on thy spectacles, for in a mirror thou wilt see her as clearly and
manifestly nebrundiated and billibodring it, as if I should show it in the
fountain of the temple of Minerva near Patras. By coscinomancy, most
religiously observed of old amidst the ceremonies of the ancient Romans.
Let us have a sieve and shears, and thou shalt see devils. By
alphitomancy, cried up by Theocritus in his Pharmaceutria. By alentomancy,
mixing the flour of wheat with oatmeal. By astragalomancy, whereof I have
the plots and models all at hand ready for the purpose. By tyromancy,
whereof we make some proof in a great Brehemont cheese which I here keep by
me. By giromancy, if thou shouldst turn round circles, thou mightest
assure thyself from me that they would fall always on the wrong side. By
sternomancy, which maketh nothing for thy advantage, for thou hast an ill-
proportioned stomach. By libanomancy, for the which we shall need but a
little frankincense. By gastromancy, which kind of ventral fatiloquency
was for a long time together used in Ferrara by Lady Giacoma Rodogina, the
Engastrimythian prophetess. By cephalomancy, often practised amongst the
High Germans in their boiling of an ass's head upon burning coals. By
ceromancy, where, by the means of wax dissolved into water, thou shalt see
the figure, portrait, and lively representation of thy future wife, and of
her fredin fredaliatory belly-thumping blades. By capnomancy. O the
gallantest and most excellent of all secrets! By axionomancy; we want only
a hatchet and a jet-stone to be laid together upon a quick fire of hot
embers. O how bravely Homer was versed in the practice hereof towards
Penelope's suitors! By onymancy; for that we have oil and wax. By
tephromancy. Thou wilt see the ashes thus aloft dispersed exhibiting thy
wife in a fine posture. By botanomancy; for the nonce I have some few
leaves in reserve. By sicomancy; O divine art in fig-tree leaves! By
icthiomancy, in ancient times so celebrated, and put in use by Tiresias and
Polydamas, with the like certainty of event as was tried of old at the
Dina-ditch within that grove consecrated to Apollo which is in the
territory of the Lycians. By choiromancy; let us have a great many hogs,
and thou shalt have the bladder of one of them. By cheromancy, as the bean
is found in the cake at the Epiphany vigil. By anthropomancy, practised by
the Roman Emperor Heliogabalus. It is somewhat irksome, but thou wilt
endure it well enough, seeing thou art destinated to be a cuckold. By a
sibylline stichomancy. By onomatomancy. How do they call thee? Chaw-
turd, quoth Panurge. Or yet by alectryomancy. If I should here with a
compass draw a round, and in looking upon thee, and considering thy lot,
divide the circumference thereof into four-and-twenty equal parts, then
form a several letter of the alphabet upon every one of them; and, lastly,
posit a barleycorn or two upon each of these so disposed letters, I durst
promise upon my faith and honesty that, if a young virgin cock be permitted
to range alongst and athwart them, he should only eat the grains which are
set and placed upon these letters, A. C.U.C.K.O.L.D. T.H.O.U. S.H.A.L.T.
B.E. And that as fatidically as, under the Emperor Valens, most
perplexedly desirous to know the name of him who should be his successor to
the empire, the cock vacticinating and alectryomantic ate up the pickles
that were posited on the letters T.H.E.O.D. Or, for the more certainty,
will you have a trial of your fortune by the art of aruspiciny, by augury,
or by extispiciny? By turdispiciny, quoth Panurge. Or yet by the mystery
of necromancy? I will, if you please, suddenly set up again and revive
someone lately deceased, as Apollonius of Tyane did to Achilles, and the
Pythoness in the presence of Saul; which body, so raised up and
requickened, will tell us the sum of all you shall require of him: no more
nor less than, at the invocation of Erictho, a certain defunct person
foretold to Pompey the whole progress and issue of the fatal battle fought
in the Pharsalian fields. Or, if you be afraid of the dead, as commonly
all cuckolds are, I will make use of the faculty of sciomancy.
Go, get thee gone, quoth Panurge, thou frantic ass, to the devil, and be
buggered, filthy Bardachio that thou art, by some Albanian, for a steeple-
crowned hat. Why the devil didst not thou counsel me as well to hold an
emerald or the stone of a hyaena under my tongue, or to furnish and provide
myself with tongues of whoops, and hearts of green frogs, or to eat of the
liver and milt of some dragon, to the end that by those means I might, at
the chanting and chirping of swans and other fowls, understand the
substance of my future lot and destiny, as did of old the Arabians in the
country of Mesopotamia? Fifteen brace of devils seize upon the body and
soul of this horned renegado, miscreant cuckold, the enchanter, witch, and
sorcerer of Antichrist to all the devils of hell! Let us return towards
our king. I am sure he will not be well pleased with us if he once come to
get notice that we have been in the kennel of this muffled devil. I repent
my being come hither. I would willingly dispense with a hundred nobles and
fourteen yeomans, on condition that he who not long since did blow in the
bottom of my breeches should instantly with his squirting spittle
inluminate his moustaches. O Lord God now! how the villain hath besmoked
me with vexation and anger, with charms and witchcraft, and with a terrible
coil and stir of infernal and Tartarian devils! The devil take him! Say
Amen, and let us go drink. I shall not have any appetite for my victuals,
how good cheer soever I make, these two days to come,--hardly these four.
How Panurge consulteth with Friar John of the Funnels.
Panurge was indeed very much troubled in mind and disquieted at the words
of Herr Trippa, and therefore, as he passed by the little village of
Huymes, after he had made his address to Friar John, in pecking at,
rubbing, and scratching his own left ear, he said unto him, Keep me a
little jovial and merry, my dear and sweet bully, for I find my brains
altogether metagrabolized and confounded, and my spirits in a most dunsical
puzzle at the bitter talk of this devilish, hellish, damned fool. Hearken,
my dainty cod.
Mellow C. Varnished C. Resolute C.
Lead-coloured C. Renowned C. Cabbage-like C.
Knurled C. Matted C. Courteous C.
Suborned C. Genitive C. Fertile C.
Desired C. Gigantal C. Whizzing C.
Stuffed C. Oval C. Neat C.
Speckled C. Claustral C. Common C.
Finely metalled C. Virile C. Brisk C.
Arabian-like C. Stayed C. Quick C.
Trussed-up Grey- Massive C. Bearlike C.
hound-like C. Manual C. Partitional C.
Mounted C. Absolute C. Patronymic C.
Sleeked C. Well-set C. Cockney C.
Diapered C. Gemel C. Auromercuriated C.
Spotted C. Turkish C. Robust C.
Master C. Burning C. Appetizing C.
Seeded C. Thwacking C. Succourable C.
Lusty C. Urgent C. Redoubtable C.
Jupped C. Handsome C. Affable C.
Milked C. Prompt C. Memorable C.
Calfeted C. Fortunate C. Palpable C.
Raised C. Boxwood C. Barbable C.
Odd C. Latten C. Tragical C.
Steeled C. Unbridled C. Transpontine C.
Stale C. Hooked C. Digestive C.
Orange-tawny C. Researched C. Active C.
Embroidered C. Encompassed C. Vital C.
Glazed C. Strouting out C. Magistral C.
Interlarded C. Jolly C. Monachal C.
Burgher-like C. Lively C. Subtle C.
Empowdered C. Gerundive C. Hammering C.
Ebonized C. Franked C. Clashing C.
Brasiliated C. Polished C. Tingling C.
Organized C. Powdered Beef C. Usual C.
Passable C. Positive C. Exquisite C.
Trunkified C. Spared C. Trim C.
Furious C. Bold C. Succulent C.
Packed C. Lascivious C. Factious C.
Hooded C. Gluttonous C. Clammy C.
Fat C. Boulting C. New-vamped C.
High-prized C. Snorting C. Improved C.
Requisite C. Pilfering C. Malling C.
Laycod C. Shaking C. Sounding C.
Hand-filling C. Bobbing C. Battled C.
Insuperable C. Chiveted C. Burly C.
Agreeable C. Fumbling C. Seditious C.
Formidable C. Topsyturvying C. Wardian C.
Profitable C. Raging C. Protective C.
Notable C. Piled up C. Twinkling C.
Musculous C. Filled up C. Able C.
Subsidiary C. Manly C. Algoristical C.
Satiric C. Idle C. Odoriferous C.
Repercussive C. Membrous C. Pranked C.
Convulsive C. Strong C. Jocund C.
Restorative C. Twin C. Routing C.
Masculinating C. Belabouring C. Purloining C.
Incarnative C. Gentle C. Frolic C.
Sigillative C. Stirring C. Wagging C.
Sallying C. Confident C. Ruffling C.
Plump C. Nimble C. Jumbling C.
Thundering C. Roundheaded C. Rumbling C.
Lechering C. Figging C. Thumping C.
Fulminating C. Helpful C. Bumping C.
Sparkling C. Spruce C. Cringeling C.
Ramming C. Plucking C. Berumpling C.
Lusty C. Ramage C. Jogging C.
Household C. Fine C. Nobbing C.
Pretty C. Fierce C. Touzing C.
Astrolabian C. Brawny C. Tumbling C.
Algebraical C. Compt C. Fambling C.
Venust C. Repaired C. Overturning C.
Aromatizing C. Soft C. Shooting C.
Tricksy C. Wild C. Culeting C.
Paillard C. Renewed C. Jagged C.
Gaillard C. Quaint C. Pinked C.
Broaching C. Starting C. Arsiversing C.
Addle C. Fleshy C. Polished C.
Syndicated C. Auxiliary C. Slashed C.
Hamed C. Stuffed C. Clashing C.
Leisurely C. Well-fed C. Wagging C.
Cut C. Flourished C. Scriplike C.
Smooth C. Fallow C. Encremastered C.
Depending C. Sudden C. Bouncing C.
Independent C. Graspful C. Levelling C.
Lingering C. Swillpow C. Fly-flap C.
Rapping C. Crushing C. Perinae-tegminal C.
Reverend C. Creaking C. Squat-couching C.
Nodding C. Dilting C. Short-hung C.
Disseminating C. Ready C. The hypogastrian C.
Affecting C. Vigorous C. Witness-bearing C.
Affected C. Skulking C. Testigerous C.
Grappled C. Superlative C. Instrumental C.
My harcabuzing cod and buttock-stirring ballock, Friar John, my friend, I
do carry a singular respect unto thee, and honour thee with all my heart.
Thy counsel I hold for a choice and delicate morsel; therefore have I
reserved it for the last bit. Give me thy advice freely, I beseech thee,
Should I marry or no? Friar John very merrily, and with a sprightly
cheerfulness, made this answer to him: Marry, in the devil's name. Why
not? What the devil else shouldst thou do but marry? Take thee a wife,
and furbish her harness to some tune. Swinge her skin-coat as if thou wert
beating on stock-fish; and let the repercussion of thy clapper from her
resounding metal make a noise as if a double peal of chiming-bells were
hung at the cremasters of thy ballocks. As I say marry, so do I understand
that thou shouldst fall to work as speedily as may be; yea, my meaning is
that thou oughtest to be so quick and forward therein, as on this same very
day, before sunset, to cause proclaim thy banns of matrimony, and make
provision of bedsteads. By the blood of a hog's-pudding, till when wouldst
thou delay the acting of a husband's part? Dost thou not know, and is it
not daily told unto thee, that the end of the world approacheth? We are
nearer it by three poles and half a fathom than we were two days ago. The
Antichrist is already born; at least it is so reported by many. The truth
is, that hitherto the effects of his wrath have not reached further than to
the scratching of his nurse and governesses. His nails are not sharp
enough as yet, nor have his claws attained to their full growth,--he is
Crescat; Nos qui vivimus, multiplicemur.
It is written so, and it is holy stuff, I warrant you; the truth whereof is
like to last as long as a sack of corn may be had for a penny, and a
puncheon of pure wine for threepence. Wouldst thou be content to be found
with thy genitories full in the day of judgment? Dum venerit judicari?
Thou hast, quoth Panurge, a right, clear, and neat spirit, Friar John, my
metropolitan cod; thou speakst in very deed pertinently and to purpose.
That belike was the reason which moved Leander of Abydos in Asia, whilst he
was swimming through the Hellespontic sea to make a visit to his sweetheart
Hero of Sestus in Europe, to pray unto Neptune and all the other marine
Now, whilst I go, have pity on me,
And at my back returning drown me.
He was loth, it seems, to die with his cods overgorged. He was to be
commended; therefore do I promise, that from henceforth no malefactor shall
by justice be executed within my jurisdiction of Salmigondinois, who shall
not, for a day or two at least before, be permitted to culbut and
foraminate onocrotalwise, that there remain not in all his vessels to write
a Greek Y. Such a precious thing should not be foolishly cast away. He
will perhaps therewith beget a male, and so depart the more contentedly out
of this life, that he shall have left behind him one for one.
How Friar John merrily and sportingly counselleth Panurge.
By Saint Rigomet, quoth Friar John, I do advise thee to nothing, my dear
friend Panurge, which I would not do myself were I in thy place. Only have
a special care, and take good heed thou solder well together the joints of
the double-backed and two-bellied beast, and fortify thy nerves so
strongly, that there be no discontinuance in the knocks of the venerean
thwacking, else thou art lost, poor soul. For if there pass long intervals
betwixt the priapizing feats, and that thou make an intermission of too
large a time, that will befall thee which betides the nurses if they desist
from giving suck to children--they lose their milk; and if continually thou
do not hold thy aspersory tool in exercise, and keep thy mentul going, thy
lacticinian nectar will be gone, and it will serve thee only as a pipe to
piss out at, and thy cods for a wallet of lesser value than a beggar's
scrip. This is a certain truth I tell thee, friend, and doubt not of it;
for myself have seen the sad experiment thereof in many, who cannot now do
what they would, because before they did not what they might have done: Ex
desuetudine amittuntur privilegia. Non-usage oftentimes destroys one's
right, say the learned doctors of the law; therefore, my billy, entertain
as well as possibly thou canst that hypogastrian lower sort of troglodytic
people, that their chief pleasure may be placed in the case of sempiternal
labouring. Give order that henceforth they live not, like idle gentlemen,
idly upon their rents and revenues, but that they may work for their
livelihood by breaking ground within the Paphian trenches. Nay truly,
answered Panurge, Friar John, my left ballock, I will believe thee, for
thou dealest plain with me, and fallest downright square upon the business,
without going about the bush with frivolous circumstances and unnecessary
reservations. Thou with the splendour of a piercing wit hast dissipated
all the lowering clouds of anxious apprehensions and suspicions which did
intimidate and terrify me; therefore the heavens be pleased to grant to
thee at all she-conflicts a stiff-standing fortune. Well then, as thou
hast said, so will I do; I will, in good faith, marry,--in that point there
shall be no failing, I promise thee,--and shall have always by me pretty
girls clothed with the name of my wife's waiting-maids, that, lying under
thy wings, thou mayest be night-protector of their sisterhood.
Let this serve for the first part of the sermon. Hearken, quoth Friar
John, to the oracle of the bells of Varenes. What say they? I hear and
understand them, quoth Panurge; their sound is, by my thirst, more
uprightly fatidical than that of Jove's great kettles in Dodona. Hearken!
Take thee a wife, take thee a wife, and marry, marry, marry; for if thou
marry, thou shalt find good therein, herein, here in a wife thou shalt find
good; so marry, marry. I will assure thee that I shall be married; all the
elements invite and prompt me to it. Let this word be to thee a brazen
wall, by diffidence not to be broken through. As for the second part of
this our doctrine,--thou seemest in some measure to mistrust the readiness
of my paternity in the practising of my placket-racket within the
Aphrodisian tennis-court at all times fitting, as if the stiff god of
gardens were not favourable to me. I pray thee, favour me so much as to
believe that I still have him at a beck, attending always my commandments,
docile, obedient, vigorous, and active in all things and everywhere, and
never stubborn or refractory to my will or pleasure. I need no more but to
let go the reins, and slacken the leash, which is the belly-point, and when
the game is shown unto him, say, Hey, Jack, to thy booty! he will not fail
even then to flesh himself upon his prey, and tuzzle it to some purpose.
Hereby you may perceive, although my future wife were as unsatiable and
gluttonous in her voluptuousness and the delights of venery as ever was the
Empress Messalina, or yet the Marchioness (of Oincester) in England, and I
desire thee to give credit to it, that I lack not for what is requisite to
overlay the stomach of her lust, but have wherewith aboundingly to please
her. I am not ignorant that Solomon said, who indeed of that matter
speaketh clerklike and learnedly,--as also how Aristotle after him declared
for a truth that, for the greater part, the lechery of a woman is ravenous
and unsatisfiable. Nevertheless, let such as are my friends who read those
passages receive from me for a most real verity, that I for such a Jill
have a fit Jack; and that, if women's things cannot be satiated, I have an
instrument indefatigable,--an implement as copious in the giving as can in
craving be their vade mecums. Do not here produce ancient examples of the
paragons of paillardice, and offer to match with my testiculatory ability
the Priapaean prowess of the fabulous fornicators, Hercules, Proculus
Caesar, and Mahomet, who in his Alkoran doth vaunt that in his cods he had
the vigour of three score bully ruffians; but let no zealous Christian
trust the rogue,--the filthy ribald rascal is a liar. Nor shalt thou need
to urge authorities, or bring forth the instance of the Indian prince of
whom Theophrastus, Plinius, and Athenaeus testify, that with the help of a
certain herb he was able, and had given frequent experiments thereof, to
toss his sinewy piece of generation in the act of carnal concupiscence
above three score and ten times in the space of four-and-twenty hours. Of
that I believe nothing, the number is supposititious, and too prodigally
foisted in. Give no faith unto it, I beseech thee, but prithee trust me in
this, and thy credulity therein shall not be wronged, for it is true, and
probatum est, that my pioneer of nature--the sacred ithyphallian champion--
is of all stiff-intruding blades the primest. Come hither, my ballocket,
and hearken. Didst thou ever see the monk of Castre's cowl? When in any
house it was laid down, whether openly in the view of all or covertly out
of the sight of any, such was the ineffable virtue thereof for excitating
and stirring up the people of both sexes unto lechery, that the whole
inhabitants and indwellers, not only of that, but likewise of all the
circumjacent places thereto, within three leagues around it, did suddenly
enter into rut, both beasts and folks, men and women, even to the dogs and
hogs, rats and cats.
I swear to thee that many times heretofore I have perceived and found in my
codpiece a certain kind of energy or efficacious virtue much more irregular
and of a greater anomaly than what I have related. I will not speak to
thee either of house or cottage, nor of church or market, but only tell
thee, that once at the representation of the Passion, which was acted at
Saint Maxents, I had no sooner entered within the pit of the theatre, but
that forthwith, by the virtue and occult property of it, on a sudden all
that were there, both players and spectators, did fall into such an
exorbitant temptation of lust, that there was not angel, man, devil, nor
deviless upon the place who would not then have bricollitched it with all
their heart and soul. The prompter forsook his copy, he who played
Michael's part came down to rights, the devils issued out of hell and
carried along with them most of the pretty little girls that were there;
yea, Lucifer got out of his fetters; in a word, seeing the huge disorder, I
disparked myself forth of that enclosed place, in imitation of Cato the
Censor, who perceiving, by reason of his presence, the Floralian festivals
out of order, withdrew himself.
How Friar John comforteth Panurge in the doubtful matter of cuckoldry.
I understand thee well enough, said Friar John; but time makes all things
plain. The most durable marble or porphyry is subject to old age and
decay. Though for the present thou possibly be not weary of the exercise,
yet is it like I will hear thee confess a few years hence that thy cods
hang dangling downwards for want of a better truss. I see thee waxing a
little hoar-headed already. Thy beard, by the distinction of grey, white,
tawny, and black, hath to my thinking the resemblance of a map of the
terrestrial globe or geographical chart. Look attentively upon and take
inspection of what I shall show unto thee. Behold there Asia. Here are
Tigris and Euphrates. Lo there Afric. Here is the mountain of the Moon,--
yonder thou mayst perceive the fenny march of Nilus. On this side lieth
Europe. Dost thou not see the Abbey of Theleme? This little tuft, which
is altogether white, is the Hyperborean Hills. By the thirst of my
thropple, friend, when snow is on the mountains, I say the head and the
chin, there is not then any considerable heat to be expected in the valleys
and low countries of the codpiece. By the kibes of thy heels, quoth
Panurge, thou dost not understand the topics. When snow is on the tops of
the hills, lightning, thunder, tempest, whirlwinds, storms, hurricanes, and
all the devils of hell rage in the valleys. Wouldst thou see the
experience thereof, go to the territory of the Switzers and earnestly
perpend with thyself there the situation of the lake of Wunderberlich,
about four leagues distant from Berne, on the Syon-side of the land. Thou
twittest me with my grey hairs, yet considerest not how I am of the nature
of leeks, which with a white head carry a green, fresh, straight, and
vigorous tail. The truth is, nevertheless (why should I deny it), that I
now and then discern in myself some indicative signs of old age. Tell
this, I prithee, to nobody, but let it be kept very close and secret
betwixt us two; for I find the wine much sweeter now, more savoury to my
taste, and unto my palate of a better relish than formerly I was wont to
do; and withal, besides mine accustomed manner, I have a more dreadful
apprehension than I ever heretofore have had of lighting on bad wine. Note
and observe that this doth argue and portend I know not what of the west
and occident of my time, and signifieth that the south and meridian of mine
age is past. But what then, my gentle companion? That doth but betoken
that I will hereafter drink so much the more. That is not, the devil hale
it, the thing that I fear; nor is it there where my shoe pinches. The
thing that I doubt most, and have greatest reason to dread and suspect is,
that through some long absence of our King Pantagruel (to whom I must needs
bear company should he go to all the devils of Barathrum), my future wife
shall make me a cuckold. This is, in truth, the long and short on't. For
I am by all those whom I have spoke to menaced and threatened with a horned
fortune, and all of them affirm it is the lot to which from heaven I am
predestinated. Everyone, answered Friar John, that would be a cuckold is
not one. If it be thy fate to be hereafter of the number of that horned
cattle, then may I conclude with an Ergo, thy wife will be beautiful, and
Ergo, thou wilt be kindly used by her. Likewise with this Ergo, thou shalt
be blessed with the fruition of many friends and well-willers. And finally
with this other Ergo, thou shalt be saved and have a place in Paradise.
These are monachal topics and maxims of the cloister. Thou mayst take more
liberty to sin. Thou shalt be more at ease than ever. There will be never
the less left for thee, nothing diminished, but thy goods shall increase
notably. And if so be it was preordinated for thee, wouldst thou be so
impious as not to acquiesce in thy destiny? Speak, thou jaded cod.
Faded C. Louting C. Appellant C.
Mouldy C. Discouraged C. Swagging C.
Musty C. Surfeited C. Withered C.
Paltry C. Peevish C. Broken-reined C.
Senseless C. Translated C. Defective C.
Foundered C. Forlorn C. Crestfallen C.
Distempered C. Unsavoury C. Felled C.
Bewrayed C. Worm-eaten C. Fleeted C.
Inveigled C. Overtoiled C. Cloyed C.
Dangling C. Miserable C. Squeezed C.
Stupid C. Steeped C. Resty C.
Seedless C. Kneaded-with-cold- Pounded C.
Soaked C. water C. Loose C.
Coldish C. Hacked C. Fruitless C.
Pickled C. Flaggy C. Riven C.
Churned C. Scrubby C. Pursy C.
Filliped C. Drained C. Fusty C.
Singlefied C. Haled C. Jadish C.
Begrimed C. Lolling C. Fistulous C.
Wrinkled C. Drenched C. Languishing C.
Fainted C. Burst C. Maleficiated C.
Extenuated C. Stirred up C. Hectic C.
Grim C. Mitred C. Worn out C.
Wasted C. Peddlingly furnished Ill-favoured C.
Inflamed C. C. Duncified C.
Unhinged C. Rusty C. Macerated C.
Scurfy C. Exhausted C. Paralytic C.
Straddling C. Perplexed C. Degraded C.
Putrefied C. Unhelved C. Benumbed C.
Maimed C. Fizzled C. Bat-like C.
Overlechered C. Leprous C. Fart-shotten C.
Druggely C. Bruised C. Sunburnt C.
Mitified C. Spadonic C. Pacified C.
Goat-ridden C. Boughty C. Blunted C.
Weakened C. Mealy C. Rankling tasted C.
Ass-ridden C. Wrangling C. Rooted out C.
Puff-pasted C. Gangrened C. Costive C.
St. Anthonified C. Crust-risen C. Hailed on C.
Untriped C. Ragged C. Cuffed C.
Blasted C. Quelled C. Buffeted C.
Cut off C. Braggadocio C. Whirreted C.
Beveraged C. Beggarly C. Robbed C.
Scarified C. Trepanned C. Neglected C.
Dashed C. Bedusked C. Lame C.
Slashed C. Emasculated C. Confused C.
Enfeebled C. Corked C. Unsavoury C.
Whore-hunting C. Transparent C. Overthrown C.
Deteriorated C. Vile C. Boulted C.
Chill C. Antedated C. Trod under C.
Scrupulous C. Chopped C. Desolate C.
Crazed C. Pinked C. Declining C.
Tasteless C. Cup-glassified C. Stinking C.
Sorrowful C. Harsh C. Crooked C.
Murdered C. Beaten C. Brabbling C.
Matachin-like C. Barred C. Rotten C.
Besotted C. Abandoned C. Anxious C.
Customerless C. Confounded C. Clouted C.
Minced C. Loutish C. Tired C.
Exulcerated C. Borne down C. Proud C.
Patched C. Sparred C. Fractured C.
Stupified C. Abashed C. Melancholy C.
Annihilated C. Unseasonable C. Coxcombly C.
Spent C. Oppressed C. Base C.
Foiled C. Grated C. Bleaked C.
Anguished C. Falling away C. Detested C.
Disfigured C. Smallcut C. Diaphanous C.
Disabled C. Disordered C. Unworthy C.
Forceless C. Latticed C. Checked C.
Censured C. Ruined C. Mangled C.
Cut C. Exasperated C. Turned over C.
Rifled C. Rejected C. Harried C.
Undone C. Belammed C. Flawed C.
Corrected C. Fabricitant C. Froward C.
Slit C. Perused C. Ugly C.
Skittish C. Emasculated C. Drawn C.
Spongy C. Roughly handled C. Riven C.
Botched C. Examined C. Distasteful C.
Dejected C. Cracked C. Hanging C.
Jagged C. Wayward C. Broken C.
Pining C. Haggled C. Limber C.
Deformed C. Gleaning C. Effeminate C.
Mischieved C. Ill-favoured C. Kindled C.
Cobbled C. Pulled C. Evacuated C.
Embased C. Drooping C. Grieved C.
Ransacked C. Faint C. Carking C.
Despised C. Parched C. Disorderly C.
Mangy C. Paltry C. Empty C.
Abased C. Cankered C. Disquieted C.
Supine C. Void C. Besysted C.
Mended C. Vexed C. Confounded C.
Dismayed C. Bestunk C. Hooked C.
Divorous C. Winnowed C. Unlucky C.
Wearied C. Decayed C. Sterile C.
Sad C. Disastrous C. Beshitten C.
Cross C. Unhandsome C. Appeased C.
Vain-glorious C. Stummed C. Caitiff C.
Poor C. Barren C. Woeful C.
Brown C. Wretched C. Unseemly C.
Shrunken C. Feeble C. Heavy C.
Abhorred C. Cast down C. Weak C.
Troubled C. Stopped C. Prostrated C.
Scornful C. Kept under C. Uncomely C.
Dishonest C. Stubborn C. Naughty C.
Reproved C. Ground C. Laid flat C.
Cocketed C. Retchless C. Suffocated C.
Filthy C. Weather-beaten C. Held down C.
Shred C. Flayed C. Barked C.
Chawned C. Bald C. Hairless C.
Short-winded C. Tossed C. Flamping C.
Branchless C. Flapping C. Hooded C.
Chapped C. Cleft C. Wormy C.
Failing C. Meagre C. Besysted (In his anxiety to swell
his catalogue as much as possible, Sir Thomas Urquhart has set down this
word twice.) C.
Deficient C. Dumpified C. Faulty C.
Lean C. Suppressed C. Bemealed C.
Consumed C. Hagged C. Mortified C.
Used C. Jawped C. Scurvy C.
Puzzled C. Havocked C. Bescabbed C.
Allayed C. Astonished C. Torn C.
Spoiled C. Dulled C. Subdued C.
Clagged C. Slow C. Sneaking C.
Palsy-stricken C. Plucked up C. Bare C.
Amazed C. Constipated C. Swart C.
Bedunsed C. Blown C. Smutched C.
Extirpated C. Blockified C. Raised up C.
Banged C. Pommelled C. Chopped C.
Stripped C. All-to-bemauled C. Flirted C.
Hoary C. Fallen away C. Blained C.
Blotted C. Stale C. Rensy C.
Sunk in C. Corrupted C. Frowning C.
Ghastly C. Beflowered C. Limping C.
Unpointed C. Amated C. Ravelled C.
Beblistered C. Blackish C. Rammish C.
Wizened C. Underlaid C. Gaunt C.
Beggar-plated C. Loathing C. Beskimmered C.
Douf C. Ill-filled C. Scraggy C.
Clarty C. Bobbed C. Lank C.
Lumpish C. Mated C. Swashering C.
Abject C. Tawny C. Moiling C.
Side C. Whealed C. Swinking C.
Choked up C. Besmeared C. Harried C.
Backward C. Hollow C. Tugged C.
Prolix C. Pantless C. Towed C.
Spotted C. Guizened C. Misused C.
Crumpled C. Demiss C. Adamitical C.
Frumpled C. Refractory C.
Ballockatso to the devil, my dear friend Panurge, seeing it is so decreed
by the gods, wouldst thou invert the course of the planets, and make them
retrograde? Wouldst thou disorder all the celestial spheres, blame the
intelligences, blunt the spindles, joint the wherves, slander the spinning
quills, reproach the bobbins, revile the clew-bottoms, and finally ravel
and untwist all the threads of both the warp and the waft of the weird
Sister-Parcae? What a pox to thy bones dost thou mean, stony cod? Thou
wouldst if thou couldst, a great deal worse than the giants of old intended
to have done. Come hither, billicullion. Whether wouldst thou be jealous
without cause, or be a cuckold and know nothing of it? Neither the one nor
the other, quoth Panurge, would I choose to be. But if I get an inkling of
the matter, I will provide well enough, or there shall not be one stick of
wood within five hundred leagues about me whereof to make a cudgel. In
good faith, Friar John, I speak now seriously unto thee, I think it will be
my best not to marry. Hearken to what the bells do tell me, now that we
are nearer to them! Do not marry, marry not, not, not, not, not; marry,
marry not, not, not, not, not. If thou marry, thou wilt miscarry, carry,
carry; thou'lt repent it, resent it, sent it! If thou marry, thou a
cuckold, a cou-cou-cuckoo, cou-cou-cuckold thou shalt be. By the worthy
wrath of God, I begin to be angry. This campanilian oracle fretteth me to
the guts,--a March hare was never in such a chafe as I am. O how I am
vexed! You monks and friars of the cowl-pated and hood-polled fraternity,
have you no remedy nor salve against this malady of graffing horns in
heads? Hath nature so abandoned humankind, and of her help left us so
destitute, that married men cannot know how to sail through the seas of
this mortal life and be safe from the whirlpools, quicksands, rocks, and
banks that lie alongst the coast of Cornwall.
I will, said Friar John, show thee a way and teach thee an expedient by
means whereof thy wife shall never make thee a cuckold without thy
knowledge and thine own consent. Do me the favour, I pray thee, quoth
Panurge, my pretty, soft, downy cod; now tell it, billy, tell it, I beseech
thee. Take, quoth Friar John, Hans Carvel's ring upon thy finger, who was
the King of Melinda's chief jeweller. Besides that this Hans Carvel had
the reputation of being very skilful and expert in the lapidary's
profession, he was a studious, learned, and ingenious man, a scientific
person, full of knowledge, a great philosopher, of a sound judgment, of a
prime wit, good sense, clear spirited, an honest creature, courteous,
charitable, a giver of alms, and of a jovial humour, a boon companion, and
a merry blade, if ever there was any in the world. He was somewhat
gorbellied, had a little shake in his head, and was in effect unwieldy of
his body. In his old age he took to wife the Bailiff of Concordat's
daughter, young, fair, jolly, gallant, spruce, frisk, brisk, neat, feat,
smirk, smug, compt, quaint, gay, fine, tricksy, trim, decent, proper,
graceful, handsome, beautiful, comely, and kind--a little too much--to her
neighbours and acquaintance.
Hereupon it fell out, after the expiring of a scantling of weeks, that
Master Carvel became as jealous as a tiger, and entered into a very
profound suspicion that his new-married gixy did keep a-buttock-stirring
with others. To prevent which inconveniency he did tell her many tragical
stories of the total ruin of several kingdoms by adultery; did read unto
her the legend of chaste wives; then made some lectures to her in the
praise of the choice virtue of pudicity, and did present her with a book in
commendation of conjugal fidelity; wherein the wickedness of all licentious
women was odiously detested; and withal he gave her a chain enriched with
pure oriental sapphires. Notwithstanding all this, he found her always
more and more inclined to the reception of her neighbour copes-mates, that
day by day his jealousy increased. In sequel whereof, one night as he was
lying by her, whilst in his sleep the rambling fancies of the lecherous
deportments of his wife did take up the cellules of his brain, he dreamt
that he encountered with the devil, to whom he had discovered to the full
the buzzing of his head and suspicion that his wife did tread her shoe
awry. The devil, he thought, in this perplexity did for his comfort give
him a ring, and therewithal did kindly put it on his middle finger, saying,
Hans Carvel, I give thee this ring,--whilst thou carriest it upon that
finger, thy wife shall never carnally be known by any other than thyself
without thy special knowledge and consent. Gramercy, quoth Hans Carvel, my
lord devil, I renounce Mahomet if ever it shall come off my finger. The
devil vanished, as is his custom; and then Hans Carvel, full of joy
awaking, found that his middle finger was as far as it could reach within
the what-do-by-call-it of his wife. I did forget to tell thee how his
wife, as soon as she had felt the finger there, said, in recoiling her
buttocks, Off, yes, nay, tut, pish, tush, ay, lord, that is not the thing
which should be put up in that place. With this Hans Carvel thought that
some pilfering fellow was about to take the ring from him. Is not this an
infallible and sovereign antidote? Therefore, if thou wilt believe me, in
imitation of this example never fail to have continually the ring of thy
wife's commodity upon thy finger. When that was said, their discourse and
their way ended.
How Pantagruel convocated together a theologian, physician, lawyer, and
philosopher, for extricating Panurge out of the perplexity wherein he was.
No sooner were they come into the royal palace, but they to the full made
report unto Pantagruel of the success of their expedition, and showed him
the response of Raminagrobis. When Pantagruel had read it over and over
again, the oftener he perused it being the better pleased therewith, he
said, in addressing his speech to Panurge, I have not as yet seen any
answer framed to your demand which affordeth me more contentment. For in
this his succinct copy of verses, he summarily and briefly, yet fully
enough expresseth how he would have us to understand that everyone in the
project and enterprise of marriage ought to be his own carver, sole
arbitrator of his proper thoughts, and from himself alone take counsel in
the main and peremptory closure of what his determination should be, in
either his assent to or dissent from it. Such always hath been my opinion
to you, and when at first you spoke thereof to me I truly told you this
same very thing; but tacitly you scorned my advice, and would not harbour
it within your mind. I know for certain, and therefore may I with the
greater confidence utter my conception of it, that philauty, or self-love,
is that which blinds your judgment and deceiveth you.
Let us do otherwise, and that is this: Whatever we are, or have,
consisteth in three things--the soul, the body, and the goods. Now, for
the preservation of these three, there are three sorts of learned men
ordained, each respectively to have care of that one which is recommended
to his charge. Theologues are appointed for the soul, physicians for the
welfare of the body, and lawyers for the safety of our goods. Hence it is
that it is my resolution to have on Sunday next with me at dinner a divine,
a physician, and a lawyer, that with those three assembled thus together we
may in every point and particle confer at large of your perplexity. By
Saint Picot, answered Panurge, we never shall do any good that way, I see
it already. And you see yourself how the world is vilely abused, as when
with a foxtail one claps another's breech to cajole him. We give our souls
to keep to the theologues, who for the greater part are heretics. Our
bodies we commit to the physicians, who never themselves take any physic.
And then we entrust our goods to the lawyers, who never go to law against
one another. You speak like a courtier, quoth Pantagruel. But the first
point of your assertion is to be denied; for we daily see how good
theologues make it their chief business, their whole and sole employment,
by their deeds, their words, and writings, to extirpate errors and heresies
out of the hearts of men, and in their stead profoundly plant the true and
lively faith. The second point you spoke of I commend; for, whereas the
professors of the art of medicine give so good order to the prophylactic,
or conservative part of their faculty, in what concerneth their proper
healths, that they stand in no need of making use of the other branch,
which is the curative or therapeutic, by medicaments. As for the third, I
grant it to be true, for learned advocates and counsellors at law are so
much taken up with the affairs of others in their consultations, pleadings,
and such-like patrocinations of those who are their clients, that they have
no leisure to attend any controversies of their own. Therefore, on the
next ensuing Sunday, let the divine be our godly Father Hippothadee, the
physician our honest Master Rondibilis, and our legist our friend
Bridlegoose. Nor will it be (to my thinking) amiss, that we enter into the
Pythagoric field, and choose for an assistant to the three afore-named
doctors our ancient faithful acquaintance, the philosopher Trouillogan;
especially seeing a perfect philosopher, such as is Trouillogan, is able
positively to resolve all whatsoever doubts you can propose. Carpalin,
have you a care to have them here all four on Sunday next at dinner,
I believe, quoth Epistemon, that throughout the whole country, in all the
corners thereof, you could not have pitched upon such other four. Which I
speak not so much in regard of the most excellent qualifications and
accomplishments wherewith all of them are endowed for the respective
discharge and management of each his own vocation and calling (wherein
without all doubt or controversy they are the paragons of the land, and
surpass all others), as for that Rondibilis is married now, who before was
not,--Hippothadee was not before, nor is yet,--Bridlegoose was married
once, but is not now,--and Trouillogan is married now, who wedded was to
another wife before. Sir, if it may stand with your good liking, I will
ease Carpalin of some parcel of his labour, and invite Bridlegoose myself,
with whom I of a long time have had a very intimate familiarity, and unto
whom I am to speak on the behalf of a pretty hopeful youth who now studieth
at Toulouse, under the most learned virtuous doctor Boissonet. Do what you
deem most expedient, quoth Pantagruel, and tell me if my recommendation can
in anything be steadable for the promoval of the good of that youth, or
otherwise serve for bettering of the dignity and office of the worthy
Boissonet, whom I do so love and respect for one of the ablest and most
sufficient in his way that anywhere are extant. Sir, I will use therein my
best endeavours, and heartily bestir myself about it.
How the theologue, Hippothadee, giveth counsel to Panurge in the matter and
business of his nuptial enterprise.
The dinner on the subsequent Sunday was no sooner made ready than that the
afore-named invited guests gave thereto their appearance, all of them,
Bridlegoose only excepted, who was the deputy-governor of Fonsbeton. At
the ushering in of the second service Panurge, making a low reverence,
spake thus: Gentlemen, the question I am to propound unto you shall be
uttered in very few words--Should I marry or no? If my doubt herein be not
resolved by you, I shall hold it altogether insolvable, as are the
Insolubilia de Aliaco; for all of you are elected, chosen, and culled out
from amongst others, everyone in his own condition and quality, like so
many picked peas on a carpet.
The Father Hippothadee, in obedience to the bidding of Pantagruel, and with
much courtesy to the company, answered exceeding modestly after this
manner: My friend, you are pleased to ask counsel of us; but first you
must consult with yourself. Do you find any trouble or disquiet in your
body by the importunate stings and pricklings of the flesh? That I do,
quoth Panurge, in a hugely strong and almost irresistible measure. Be not
offended, I beseech you, good father, at the freedom of my expression. No
truly, friend, not I, quoth Hippothadee, there is no reason why I should be
displeased therewith. But in this carnal strife and debate of yours have
you obtained from God the gift and special grace of continency? In good
faith, not, quoth Panurge. My counsel to you in that case, my friend, is
that you marry, quoth Hippothadee; for you should rather choose to marry
once than to burn still in fires of concupiscence. Then Panurge, with a
jovial heart and a loud voice, cried out, That is spoke gallantly, without
circumbilivaginating about and about, and never hitting it in its centred
point. Gramercy, my good father! In truth I am resolved now to marry, and
without fail I shall do it quickly. I invite you to my wedding. By the
body of a hen, we shall make good cheer, and be as merry as crickets. You
shall wear the bridegroom's colours, and, if we eat a goose, my wife shall
not roast it for me. I will entreat you to lead up the first dance of the
bridesmaids, if it may please you to do me so much favour and honour.
There resteth yet a small difficulty, a little scruple, yea, even less than
nothing, whereof I humbly crave your resolution. Shall I be a cuckold,
father, yea or no? By no means, answered Hippothadee, will you be
cuckolded, if it please God. O the Lord help us now, quoth Panurge;
whither are we driven to, good folks? To the conditionals, which,
according to the rules and precepts of the dialectic faculty, admit of all
contradictions and impossibilities. If my Transalpine mule had wings, my
Transalpine mule would fly, if it please God, I shall not be a cuckold; but
I shall be a cuckold, if it please him. Good God, if this were a condition
Back to Full Books