MASTER FRANCIS RABELAIS
FIVE BOOKS OF THE LIVES,
The Reader here may be pleased to take notice that the copy of verses by the title of 'Rablophila', premised to the first book of this translation, being but a kind of mock poem, in imitation of somewhat lately published (as to any indifferent observer will easily appear, by the false quantities in the Latin, the abusive strain of the English, and extravagant subscription to both), and as such, by a friend of the translator's, at the desire of some frolic gentlemen of his acquaintance, more for a trial of skill than prejudicacy to any, composed in his jollity to please their fancies, was only ordained to be prefixed to a dozen of books, and no more, thereby to save the labour of transcribing so many as were requisite for satisfying the curiosity of a company of just that number; and that, therefore, the charging of the whole impression with it is merely to be imputed to the negligence of the pressmen, who, receiving it about the latter end of the night, were so eager before the next morning to afford complete books, that, as they began, they went on, without animadverting what was recommended to their discretion. This is hoped will suffice to assure the ingenuous Reader that in no treatise of the translator's, whether original or translatitious, shall willingly be offered the meanest rub to the reputation of any worthy gentleman, and that, however providence dispose of him, no misfortune shall be able to induce his mind to any complacency in the disparagement of another.
The Pentateuch of Rabelais mentioned in the title-page of the first book of this translation being written originally in the French tongue (as it comprehendeth some of its brusquest dialects), with so much ingeniosity and wit, that more impressions have been sold thereof in that language than of any other book that hath been set forth at any time within these fifteen hundred years; so difficult nevertheless to be turned into any other speech that many prime spirits in most of the nations of Europe, since the year 1573, which was fourscore years ago, after having attempted it, were constrained with no small regret to give it over as a thing impossible to be done, is now in its translation thus far advanced, and the remainder faithfully undertaken with the same hand to be rendered into English by a person of quality, who (though his lands be sequestered, his house garrisoned, his other goods sold, and himself detained a prisoner of war at London, for his having been at Worcester fight) hath, at the most earnest entreaty of some of his especial friends well acquainted with his inclination to the performance of conducible singularities, promised, besides his version of these two already published, very speedily to offer up unto this Isle of Britain the virginity of the translation of the other three most admirable books of the aforesaid author; provided that by the plurality of judicious and understanding men it be not declared he hath already proceeded too far, or that the continuation of the rigour whereby he is dispossessed of all his both real and personal estate, by pressing too hard upon him, be not an impediment thereto, and to other more eminent undertakings of his, as hath been oftentimes very fully mentioned by the said translator in several original treatises of his own penning, lately by him so numerously dispersed that there is scarce any, who being skilful in the English idiom, or curious of any new ingenious invention, hath not either read them or heard of them.
Mr. Hugh Salel to Rabelais.
If profit mixed with pleasure may suffice T' extol an author's worth above the skies, Thou certainly for both must praised be: I know it; for thy judgment hath in the Contexture of this book set down such high Contentments, mingled with utility, That (as I think) I see Democritus Laughing at men as things ridiculous. Insist in thy design; for, though we prove Ungrate on earth, thy merit is above.
Most illustrious and thrice valorous champions, gentlemen and others, who willingly apply your minds to the entertainment of pretty conceits and honest harmless knacks of wit; you have not long ago seen, read, and understood the great and inestimable Chronicle of the huge and mighty giant Gargantua, and, like upright faithfullists, have firmly believed all to be true that is contained in them, and have very often passed your time with them amongst honourable ladies and gentlewomen, telling them fair long stories, when you were out of all other talk, for which you are worthy of great praise and sempiternal memory. And I do heartily wish that every man would lay aside his own business, meddle no more with his profession nor trade, and throw all affairs concerning himself behind his back, to attend this wholly, without distracting or troubling his mind with anything else, until he have learned them without book; that if by chance the art of printing should cease, or in case that in time to come all books should perish, every man might truly teach them unto his children, and deliver them over to his successors and survivors from hand to hand as a religious cabal; for there is in it more profit than a rabble of great pocky loggerheads are able to discern, who surely understand far less in these little merriments than the fool Raclet did in the Institutions of Justinian.
I have known great and mighty lords, and of those not a few, who, going a-deer-hunting, or a-hawking after wild ducks, when the chase had not encountered with the blinks that were cast in her way to retard her course, or that the hawk did but plain and smoothly fly without moving her wings, perceiving the prey by force of flight to have gained bounds of her, have been much chafed and vexed, as you understand well enough; but the comfort unto which they had refuge, and that they might not take cold, was to relate the inestimable deeds of the said Gargantua. There are others in the world—these are no flimflam stories, nor tales of a tub—who, being much troubled with the toothache, after they had spent their goods upon physicians without receiving at all any ease of their pain, have found no more ready remedy than to put the said Chronicles betwixt two pieces of linen cloth made somewhat hot, and so apply them to the place that smarteth, sinapizing them with a little powder of projection, otherwise called doribus.
But what shall I say of those poor men that are plagued with the pox and the gout? O how often have we seen them, even immediately after they were anointed and thoroughly greased, till their faces did glister like the keyhole of a powdering tub, their teeth dance like the jacks of a pair of little organs or virginals when they are played upon, and that they foamed from their very throats like a boar which the mongrel mastiff-hounds have driven in and overthrown amongst the toils,—what did they then? All their consolation was to have some page of the said jolly book read unto them. And we have seen those who have given themselves to a hundred puncheons of old devils, in case that they did not feel a manifest ease and assuagement of pain at the hearing of the said book read, even when they were kept in a purgatory of torment; no more nor less than women in travail use to find their sorrow abated when the life of St. Margaret is read unto them. Is this nothing? Find me a book in any language, in any faculty or science whatsoever, that hath such virtues, properties, and prerogatives, and I will be content to pay you a quart of tripes. No, my masters, no; it is peerless, incomparable, and not to be matched; and this am I resolved for ever to maintain even unto the fire exclusive. And those that will pertinaciously hold the contrary opinion, let them be accounted abusers, predestinators, impostors, and seducers of the people. It is very true that there are found in some gallant and stately books, worthy of high estimation, certain occult and hid properties; in the number of which are reckoned Whippot, Orlando Furioso, Robert the Devil, Fierabras, William without Fear, Huon of Bordeaux, Monteville, and Matabrune: but they are not comparable to that which we speak of, and the world hath well known by infallible experience the great emolument and utility which it hath received by this Gargantuine Chronicle, for the printers have sold more of them in two months' time than there will be bought of Bibles in nine years.
I therefore, your humble slave, being very willing to increase your solace and recreation yet a little more, do offer you for a present another book of the same stamp, only that it is a little more reasonable and worthy of credit than the other was. For think not, unless you wilfully will err against your knowledge, that I speak of it as the Jews do of the Law. I was not born under such a planet, neither did it ever befall me to lie, or affirm a thing for true that was not. I speak of it like a lusty frolic onocrotary (Onocratal is a bird not much unlike a swan, which sings like an ass's braying.), I should say crotenotary (Crotenotaire or notaire crotte, croquenotaire or notaire croque are but allusions in derision of protonotaire, which signifieth a pregnotary.) of the martyrized lovers, and croquenotary of love. Quod vidimus, testamur. It is of the horrible and dreadful feats and prowesses of Pantagruel, whose menial servant I have been ever since I was a page, till this hour that by his leave I am permitted to visit my cow-country, and to know if any of my kindred there be alive.
And therefore, to make an end of this Prologue, even as I give myself to a hundred panniersful of fair devils, body and soul, tripes and guts, in case that I lie so much as one single word in this whole history; after the like manner, St. Anthony's fire burn you, Mahoom's disease whirl you, the squinance with a stitch in your side and the wolf in your stomach truss you, the bloody flux seize upon you, the cursed sharp inflammations of wild-fire, as slender and thin as cow's hair strengthened with quicksilver, enter into your fundament, and, like those of Sodom and Gomorrah, may you fall into sulphur, fire, and bottomless pits, in case you do not firmly believe all that I shall relate unto you in this present Chronicle.
It will not be an idle nor unprofitable thing, seeing we are at leisure, to put you in mind of the fountain and original source whence is derived unto us the good Pantagruel. For I see that all good historiographers have thus handled their chronicles, not only the Arabians, Barbarians, and Latins, but also the gentle Greeks, who were eternal drinkers. You must therefore remark that at the beginning of the world—I speak of a long time; it is above forty quarantains, or forty times forty nights, according to the supputation of the ancient Druids—a little after that Abel was killed by his brother Cain, the earth, imbrued with the blood of the just, was one year so exceeding fertile in all those fruits which it usually produceth to us, and especially in medlars, that ever since throughout all ages it hath been called the year of the great medlars; for three of them did fill a bushel. In it the kalends were found by the Grecian almanacks. There was that year nothing of the month of March in the time of Lent, and the middle of August was in May. In the month of October, as I take it, or at least September, that I may not err, for I will carefully take heed of that, was the week so famous in the annals, which they call the week of the three Thursdays; for it had three of them by means of their irregular leap-years, called Bissextiles, occasioned by the sun's having tripped and stumbled a little towards the left hand, like a debtor afraid of sergeants, coming right upon him to arrest him: and the moon varied from her course above five fathom, and there was manifestly seen the motion of trepidation in the firmament of the fixed stars, called Aplanes, so that the middle Pleiade, leaving her fellows, declined towards the equinoctial, and the star named Spica left the constellation of the Virgin to withdraw herself towards the Balance, known by the name of Libra, which are cases very terrible, and matters so hard and difficult that astrologians cannot set their teeth in them; and indeed their teeth had been pretty long if they could have reached thither.
However, account you it for a truth that everybody then did most heartily eat of these medlars, for they were fair to the eye and in taste delicious. But even as Noah, that holy man, to whom we are so much beholding, bound, and obliged, for that he planted to us the vine, from whence we have that nectarian, delicious, precious, heavenly, joyful, and deific liquor which they call the piot or tiplage, was deceived in the drinking of it, for he was ignorant of the great virtue and power thereof; so likewise the men and women of that time did delight much in the eating of that fair great fruit, but divers and very different accidents did ensue thereupon; for there fell upon them all in their bodies a most terrible swelling, but not upon all in the same place, for some were swollen in the belly, and their belly strouted out big like a great tun, of whom it is written, Ventrem omnipotentem, who were all very honest men, and merry blades. And of this race came St. Fatgulch and Shrove Tuesday (Pansart, Mardigras.). Others did swell at the shoulders, who in that place were so crump and knobby that they were therefore called Montifers, which is as much to say as Hill-carriers, of whom you see some yet in the world, of divers sexes and degrees. Of this race came Aesop, some of whose excellent words and deeds you have in writing. Some other puffs did swell in length by the member which they call the labourer of nature, in such sort that it grew marvellous long, fat, great, lusty, stirring, and crest-risen, in the antique fashion, so that they made use of it as of a girdle, winding it five or six times about their waist: but if it happened the foresaid member to be in good case, spooming with a full sail bunt fair before the wind, then to have seen those strouting champions, you would have taken them for men that had their lances settled on their rest to run at the ring or tilting whintam (quintain). Of these, believe me, the race is utterly lost and quite extinct, as the women say; for they do lament continually that there are none extant now of those great, &c. You know the rest of the song. Others did grow in matter of ballocks so enormously that three of them would well fill a sack able to contain five quarters of wheat. From them are descended the ballocks of Lorraine, which never dwell in codpieces, but fall down to the bottom of the breeches. Others grew in the legs, and to see them you would have said they had been cranes, or the reddish-long-billed-storklike-scrank-legged sea-fowls called flamans, or else men walking upon stilts or scatches. The little grammar-school boys, known by the name of Grimos, called those leg-grown slangams Jambus, in allusion to the French word jambe, which signifieth a leg. In others, their nose did grow so, that it seemed to be the beak of a limbeck, in every part thereof most variously diapered with the twinkling sparkles of crimson blisters budding forth, and purpled with pimples all enamelled with thickset wheals of a sanguine colour, bordered with gules; and such have you seen the Canon or Prebend Panzoult, and Woodenfoot, the physician of Angiers. Of which race there were few that looked the ptisane, but all of them were perfect lovers of the pure Septembral juice. Naso and Ovid had their extraction from thence, and all those of whom it is written, Ne reminiscaris. Others grew in ears, which they had so big that out of one would have been stuff enough got to make a doublet, a pair of breeches, and a jacket, whilst with the other they might have covered themselves as with a Spanish cloak: and they say that in Bourbonnois this race remaineth yet. Others grew in length of body, and of those came the Giants, and of them Pantagruel.
And the first was Chalbroth, Who begat Sarabroth, Who begat Faribroth, Who begat Hurtali, that was a brave eater of pottage, and reigned in the time of the flood; Who begat Nembroth, Who begat Atlas, that with his shoulders kept the sky from falling; Who begat Goliah, Who begat Erix, that invented the hocus pocus plays of legerdemain; Who begat Titius, Who begat Eryon, Who begat Polyphemus, Who begat Cacus, Who begat Etion, the first man that ever had the pox, for not drinking fresh in summer, as Bartachin witnesseth; Who begat Enceladus, Who begat Ceus, Who begat Tiphaeus, Who begat Alaeus, Who begat Othus, Who begat Aegeon, Who begat Briareus, that had a hundred hands; Who begat Porphyrio, Who begat Adamastor, Who begat Anteus, Who begat Agatho, Who begat Porus, against whom fought Alexander the Great; Who begat Aranthas, Who begat Gabbara, that was the first inventor of the drinking of healths; Who begat Goliah of Secondille, Who begat Offot, that was terribly well nosed for drinking at the barrel-head; Who begat Artachaeus, Who begat Oromedon, Who begat Gemmagog, the first inventor of Poulan shoes, which are open on the foot and tied over the instep with a lachet; Who begat Sisyphus, Who begat the Titans, of whom Hercules was born; Who begat Enay, the most skilful man that ever was in matter of taking the little worms (called cirons) out of the hands; Who begat Fierabras, that was vanquished by Oliver, peer of France and Roland's comrade; Who begat Morgan, the first in the world that played at dice with spectacles; Who begat Fracassus, of whom Merlin Coccaius hath written, and of him was born Ferragus, Who begat Hapmouche, the first that ever invented the drying of neat's tongues in the chimney; for, before that, people salted them as they do now gammons of bacon; Who begat Bolivorax, Who begat Longis, Who begat Gayoffo, whose ballocks were of poplar, and his pr... of the service or sorb-apple-tree; Who begat Maschefain, Who begat Bruslefer, Who begat Angoulevent, Who begat Galehaut, the inventor of flagons; Who begat Mirelangaut, Who begat Gallaffre, Who begat Falourdin, Who begat Roboast, Who begat Sortibrant of Conimbres, Who begat Brushant of Mommiere, Who begat Bruyer that was overcome by Ogier the Dane, peer of France; Who begat Mabrun, Who begat Foutasnon, Who begat Haquelebac, Who begat Vitdegrain, Who begat Grangousier, Who begat Gargantua, Who begat the noble Pantagruel, my master.
I know that, reading this passage, you will make a doubt within yourselves, and that grounded upon very good reason, which is this—how it is possible that this relation can be true, seeing at the time of the flood all the world was destroyed, except Noah and seven persons more with him in the ark, into whose number Hurtali is not admitted. Doubtless the demand is well made and very apparent, but the answer shall satisfy you, or my wit is not rightly caulked. And because I was not at that time to tell you anything of my own fancy, I will bring unto you the authority of the Massorets, good honest fellows, true ballockeering blades and exact Hebraical bagpipers, who affirm that verily the said Hurtali was not within the ark of Noah, neither could he get in, for he was too big, but he sat astride upon it, with one leg on the one side and another on the other, as little children use to do upon their wooden horses; or as the great bull of Berne, which was killed at Marinian, did ride for his hackney the great murdering piece called the canon-pevier, a pretty beast of a fair and pleasant amble without all question.
In that posture, he, after God, saved the said ark from danger, for with his legs he gave it the brangle that was needful, and with his foot turned it whither he pleased, as a ship answereth her rudder. Those that were within sent him up victuals in abundance by a chimney, as people very thankfully acknowledging the good that he did them. And sometimes they did talk together as Icaromenippus did to Jupiter, according to the report of Lucian. Have you understood all this well? Drink then one good draught without water, for if you believe it not,—no truly do I not, quoth she.
Gargantua at the age of four hundred fourscore forty and four years begat his son Pantagruel, upon his wife named Badebec, daughter to the king of the Amaurots in Utopia, who died in childbirth; for he was so wonderfully great and lumpish that he could not possibly come forth into the light of the world without thus suffocating his mother. But that we may fully understand the cause and reason of the name of Pantagruel which at his baptism was given him, you are to remark that in that year there was so great drought over all the country of Africa that there passed thirty and six months, three weeks, four days, thirteen hours and a little more without rain, but with a heat so vehement that the whole earth was parched and withered by it. Neither was it more scorched and dried up with heat in the days of Elijah than it was at that time; for there was not a tree to be seen that had either leaf or bloom upon it. The grass was without verdure or greenness, the rivers were drained, the fountains dried up, the poor fishes, abandoned and forsaken by their proper element, wandering and crying upon the ground most horribly. The birds did fall down from the air for want of moisture and dew wherewith to refresh them. The wolves, foxes, harts, wild boars, fallow deer, hares, coneys, weasels, brocks, badgers, and other such beasts, were found dead in the fields with their mouths open. In respect of men, there was the pity, you should have seen them lay out their tongues like hares that have been run six hours. Many did throw themselves into the wells. Others entered within a cow's belly to be in the shade; those Homer calls Alibants. All the country was idle, and could do no virtue. It was a most lamentable case to have seen the labour of mortals in defending themselves from the vehemency of this horrific drought; for they had work enough to do to save the holy water in the churches from being wasted; but there was such order taken by the counsel of my lords the cardinals and of our holy Father, that none did dare to take above one lick. Yet when anyone came into the church, you should have seen above twenty poor thirsty fellows hang upon him that was the distributor of the water, and that with a wide open throat, gaping for some little drop, like the rich glutton in Luke, that might fall by, lest anything should be lost. O how happy was he in that year who had a cool cellar under ground, well plenished with fresh wine!
The philosopher reports, in moving the question, Wherefore it is that the sea-water is salt, that at the time when Phoebus gave the government of his resplendent chariot to his son Phaeton, the said Phaeton, unskilful in the art, and not knowing how to keep the ecliptic line betwixt the two tropics of the latitude of the sun's course, strayed out of his way, and came so near the earth that he dried up all the countries that were under it, burning a great part of the heavens which the philosophers call Via lactea, and the huffsnuffs St. James's way; although the most coped, lofty, and high-crested poets affirm that to be the place where Juno's milk fell when she gave suck to Hercules. The earth at that time was so excessively heated that it fell into an enormous sweat, yea, such a one as made it sweat out the sea, which is therefore salt, because all sweat is salt; and this you cannot but confess to be true if you will taste of your own, or of those that have the pox, when they are put into sweating, it is all one to me.
Just such another case fell out this same year: for on a certain Friday, when the whole people were bent upon their devotions, and had made goodly processions, with store of litanies, and fair preachings, and beseechings of God Almighty to look down with his eye of mercy upon their miserable and disconsolate condition, there was even then visibly seen issue out of the ground great drops of water, such as fall from a puff-bagged man in a top sweat, and the poor hoidens began to rejoice as if it had been a thing very profitable unto them; for some said that there was not one drop of moisture in the air whence they might have any rain, and that the earth did supply the default of that. Other learned men said that it was a shower of the antipodes, as Seneca saith in his fourth book Quaestionum naturalium, speaking of the source and spring of Nilus. But they were deceived, for, the procession being ended, when everyone went about to gather of this dew, and to drink of it with full bowls, they found that it was nothing but pickle and the very brine of salt, more brackish in taste than the saltest water of the sea. And because in that very day Pantagruel was born, his father gave him that name; for Panta in Greek is as much to say as all, and Gruel in the Hagarene language doth signify thirsty, inferring hereby that at his birth the whole world was a-dry and thirsty, as likewise foreseeing that he would be some day supreme lord and sovereign of the thirsty Ethrappels, which was shown to him at that very same hour by a more evident sign. For when his mother Badebec was in the bringing of him forth, and that the midwives did wait to receive him, there came first out of her belly three score and eight tregeneers, that is, salt-sellers, every one of them leading in a halter a mule heavy laden with salt; after whom issued forth nine dromedaries, with great loads of gammons of bacon and dried neat's tongues on their backs. Then followed seven camels loaded with links and chitterlings, hogs' puddings, and sausages. After them came out five great wains, full of leeks, garlic, onions, and chibots, drawn with five-and-thirty strong cart-horses, which was six for every one, besides the thiller. At the sight hereof the said midwives were much amazed, yet some of them said, Lo, here is good provision, and indeed we need it; for we drink but lazily, as if our tongues walked on crutches, and not lustily like Lansman Dutches. Truly this is a good sign; there is nothing here but what is fit for us; these are the spurs of wine, that set it a-going. As they were tattling thus together after their own manner of chat, behold! out comes Pantagruel all hairy like a bear, whereupon one of them, inspired with a prophetical spirit, said, This will be a terrible fellow; he is born with all his hair; he is undoubtedly to do wonderful things, and if he live he shall have age.
When Pantagruel was born, there was none more astonished and perplexed than was his father Gargantua; for of the one side seeing his wife Badebec dead, and on the other side his son Pantagruel born, so fair and so great, he knew not what to say nor what to do. And the doubt that troubled his brain was to know whether he should cry for the death of his wife or laugh for the joy of his son. He was hinc inde choked with sophistical arguments, for he framed them very well in modo et figura, but he could not resolve them, remaining pestered and entangled by this means, like a mouse caught in a trap or kite snared in a gin. Shall I weep? said he. Yes, for why? My so good wife is dead, who was the most this, the most that, that ever was in the world. Never shall I see her, never shall I recover such another; it is unto me an inestimable loss! O my good God, what had I done that thou shouldest thus punish me? Why didst thou not take me away before her, seeing for me to live without her is but to languish? Ah, Badebec, Badebec, my minion, my dear heart, my sugar, my sweeting, my honey, my little c— (yet it had in circumference full six acres, three rods, five poles, four yards, two foot, one inch and a half of good woodland measure), my tender peggy, my codpiece darling, my bob and hit, my slipshoe-lovey, never shall I see thee! Ah, poor Pantagruel, thou hast lost thy good mother, thy sweet nurse, thy well-beloved lady! O false death, how injurious and despiteful hast thou been to me! How malicious and outrageous have I found thee in taking her from me, my well-beloved wife, to whom immortality did of right belong!
With these words he did cry like a cow, but on a sudden fell a-laughing like a calf, when Pantagruel came into his mind. Ha, my little son, said he, my childilolly, fedlifondy, dandlichucky, my ballocky, my pretty rogue! O how jolly thou art, and how much am I bound to my gracious God, that hath been pleased to bestow on me a son so fair, so spriteful, so lively, so smiling, so pleasant, and so gentle! Ho, ho, ho, ho, how glad I am! Let us drink, ho, and put away melancholy! Bring of the best, rinse the glasses, lay the cloth, drive out these dogs, blow this fire, light candles, shut that door there, cut this bread in sippets for brewis, send away these poor folks in giving them what they ask, hold my gown. I will strip myself into my doublet (en cuerpo), to make the gossips merry, and keep them company.
As he spake this, he heard the litanies and the mementos of the priests that carried his wife to be buried, upon which he left the good purpose he was in, and was suddenly ravished another way, saying, Lord God! must I again contrist myself? This grieves me. I am no longer young, I grow old, the weather is dangerous; I may perhaps take an ague, then shall I be foiled, if not quite undone. By the faith of a gentleman, it were better to cry less, and drink more. My wife is dead, well, by G—! (da jurandi) I shall not raise her again by my crying: she is well, she is in paradise at least, if she be no higher: she prayeth to God for us, she is happy, she is above the sense of our miseries, nor can our calamities reach her. What though she be dead, must not we also die? The same debt which she hath paid hangs over our heads; nature will require it of us, and we must all of us some day taste of the same sauce. Let her pass then, and the Lord preserve the survivors; for I must now cast about how to get another wife. But I will tell you what you shall do, said he to the midwives, in France called wise women (where be they, good folks? I cannot see them): Go you to my wife's interment, and I will the while rock my son; for I find myself somewhat altered and distempered, and should otherwise be in danger of falling sick; but drink one good draught first, you will be the better for it. And believe me, upon mine honour, they at his request went to her burial and funeral obsequies. In the meanwhile, poor Gargantua staying at home, and willing to have somewhat in remembrance of her to be engraven upon her tomb, made this epitaph in the manner as followeth.
Dead is the noble Badebec, Who had a face like a rebeck; A Spanish body, and a belly Of Switzerland; she died, I tell ye, In childbirth. Pray to God, that her He pardon wherein she did err. Here lies her body, which did live Free from all vice, as I believe, And did decease at my bedside, The year and day in which she died.
I find by the ancient historiographers and poets that divers have been born in this world after very strange manners, which would be too long to repeat; read therefore the seventh chapter of Pliny, if you have so much leisure. Yet have you never heard of any so wonderful as that of Pantagruel; for it is a very difficult matter to believe, how in the little time he was in his mother's belly he grew both in body and strength. That which Hercules did was nothing, when in his cradle he slew two serpents, for those serpents were but little and weak, but Pantagruel, being yet in the cradle, did far more admirable things, and more to be amazed at. I pass by here the relation of how at every one of his meals he supped up the milk of four thousand and six hundred cows, and how, to make him a skillet to boil his milk in, there were set a-work all the braziers of Somure in Anjou, of Villedieu in Normandy, and of Bramont in Lorraine. And they served in this whitepot-meat to him in a huge great bell, which is yet to be seen in the city of Bourges in Berry, near the palace, but his teeth were already so well grown, and so strengthened with vigour, that of the said bell he bit off a great morsel, as very plainly doth appear till this hour.
One day in the morning, when they would have made him suck one of his cows —for he never had any other nurse, as the history tells us—he got one of his arms loose from the swaddling bands wherewith he was kept fast in the cradle, laid hold on the said cow under the left foreham, and grasping her to him ate up her udder and half of her paunch, with the liver and the kidneys, and had devoured all up if she had not cried out most horribly, as if the wolves had held her by the legs, at which noise company came in and took away the said cow from Pantagruel. Yet could they not so well do it but that the quarter whereby he caught her was left in his hand, of which quarter he gulped up the flesh in a trice, even with as much ease as you would eat a sausage, and that so greedily with desire of more, that, when they would have taken away the bone from him, he swallowed it down whole, as a cormorant would do a little fish; and afterwards began fumblingly to say, Good, good, good—for he could not yet speak plain—giving them to understand thereby that he had found it very good, and that he did lack but so much more. Which when they saw that attended him, they bound him with great cable-ropes, like those that are made at Tain for the carriage of salt to Lyons, or such as those are whereby the great French ship rides at anchor in the road of Newhaven in Normandy. But, on a certain time, a great bear, which his father had bred, got loose, came towards him, began to lick his face, for his nurses had not thoroughly wiped his chaps, at which unexpected approach being on a sudden offended, he as lightly rid himself of those great cables as Samson did of the hawser ropes wherewith the Philistines had tied him, and, by your leave, takes me up my lord the bear, and tears him to you in pieces like a pullet, which served him for a gorgeful or good warm bit for that meal.
Whereupon Gargantua, fearing lest the child should hurt himself, caused four great chains of iron to be made to bind him, and so many strong wooden arches unto his cradle, most firmly stocked and morticed in huge frames. Of those chains you have one at Rochelle, which they draw up at night betwixt the two great towers of the haven. Another is at Lyons,—a third at Angiers,—and the fourth was carried away by the devils to bind Lucifer, who broke his chains in those days by reason of a colic that did extraordinarily torment him, taken with eating a sergeant's soul fried for his breakfast. And therefore you may believe that which Nicholas de Lyra saith upon that place of the Psalter where it is written, Et Og Regem Basan, that the said Og, being yet little, was so strong and robustious, that they were fain to bind him with chains of iron in his cradle. Thus continued Pantagruel for a while very calm and quiet, for he was not able so easily to break those chains, especially having no room in the cradle to give a swing with his arms. But see what happened once upon a great holiday that his father Gargantua made a sumptuous banquet to all the princes of his court. I am apt to believe that the menial officers of the house were so embusied in waiting each on his proper service at the feast, that nobody took care of poor Pantagruel, who was left a reculorum, behindhand, all alone, and as forsaken. What did he? Hark what he did, good people. He strove and essayed to break the chains of the cradle with his arms, but could not, for they were too strong for him. Then did he keep with his feet such a stamping stir, and so long, that at last he beat out the lower end of his cradle, which notwithstanding was made of a great post five foot in square; and as soon as he had gotten out his feet, he slid down as well as he could till he had got his soles to the ground, and then with a mighty force he rose up, carrying his cradle upon his back, bound to him like a tortoise that crawls up against a wall; and to have seen him, you would have thought it had been a great carrick of five hundred tons upon one end. In this manner he entered into the great hall where they were banqueting, and that very boldly, which did much affright the company; yet, because his arms were tied in, he could not reach anything to eat, but with great pain stooped now and then a little to take with the whole flat of his tongue some lick, good bit, or morsel. Which when his father saw, he knew well enough that they had left him without giving him anything to eat, and therefore commanded that he should be loosed from the said chains, by the counsel of the princes and lords there present. Besides that also the physicians of Gargantua said that, if they did thus keep him in the cradle, he would be all his lifetime subject to the stone. When he was unchained, they made him to sit down, where, after he had fed very well, he took his cradle and broke it into more than five hundred thousand pieces with one blow of his fist that he struck in the midst of it, swearing that he would never come into it again.
Thus grew Pantagruel from day to day, and to everyone's eye waxed more and more in all his dimensions, which made his father to rejoice by a natural affection. Therefore caused he to be made for him, whilst he was yet little, a pretty crossbow wherewith to shoot at small birds, which now they call the great crossbow at Chantelle. Then he sent him to the school to learn, and to spend his youth in virtue. In the prosecution of which design he came first to Poictiers, where, as he studied and profited very much, he saw that the scholars were oftentimes at leisure and knew not how to bestow their time, which moved him to take such compassion on them, that one day he took from a long ledge of rocks, called there Passelourdin, a huge great stone, of about twelve fathom square and fourteen handfuls thick, and with great ease set it upon four pillars in the midst of a field, to no other end but that the said scholars, when they had nothing else to do, might pass their time in getting up on that stone, and feast it with store of gammons, pasties, and flagons, and carve their names upon it with a knife, in token of which deed till this hour the stone is called the lifted stone. And in remembrance hereof there is none entered into the register and matricular book of the said university, or accounted capable of taking any degree therein, till he have first drunk in the caballine fountain of Croustelles, passed at Passelourdin, and got up upon the lifted stone.
Afterwards, reading the delectable chronicles of his ancestors, he found that Geoffrey of Lusignan, called Geoffrey with the great tooth, grandfather to the cousin-in-law of the eldest sister of the aunt of the son-in-law of the uncle of the good daughter of his stepmother, was interred at Maillezais; therefore one day he took campos (which is a little vacation from study to play a while), that he might give him a visit as unto an honest man. And going from Poictiers with some of his companions, they passed by the Guge (Leguge), visiting the noble Abbot Ardillon; then by Lusignan, by Sansay, by Celles, by Coolonges, by Fontenay-le-Comte, saluting the learned Tiraqueau, and from thence arrived at Maillezais, where he went to see the sepulchre of the said Geoffrey with the great tooth; which made him somewhat afraid, looking upon the picture, whose lively draughts did set him forth in the representation of a man in an extreme fury, drawing his great Malchus falchion half way out of his scabbard. When the reason hereof was demanded, the canons of the said place told him that there was no other cause of it but that Pictoribus atque Poetis, &c., that is to say, that painters and poets have liberty to paint and devise what they list after their own fancy. But he was not satisfied with their answer, and said, He is not thus painted without a cause, and I suspect that at his death there was some wrong done him, whereof he requireth his kindred to take revenge. I will inquire further into it, and then do what shall be reasonable. Then he returned not to Poictiers, but would take a view of the other universities of France. Therefore, going to Rochelle, he took shipping and arrived at Bordeaux, where he found no great exercise, only now and then he would see some mariners and lightermen a-wrestling on the quay or strand by the river-side. From thence he came to Toulouse, where he learned to dance very well, and to play with the two-handed sword, as the fashion of the scholars of the said university is to bestir themselves in games whereof they may have their hands full; but he stayed not long there when he saw that they did cause burn their regents alive like red herring, saying, Now God forbid that I should die this death! for I am by nature sufficiently dry already, without heating myself any further.
He went then to Montpellier, where he met with the good wives of Mirevaux, and good jovial company withal, and thought to have set himself to the study of physic; but he considered that that calling was too troublesome and melancholic, and that physicians did smell of glisters like old devils. Therefore he resolved he would study the laws; but seeing that there were but three scald- and one bald-pated legist in that place, he departed from thence, and in his way made the bridge of Guard and the amphitheatre of Nimes in less than three hours, which, nevertheless, seems to be a more divine than human work. After that he came to Avignon, where he was not above three days before he fell in love; for the women there take great delight in playing at the close-buttock game, because it is papal ground. Which his tutor and pedagogue Epistemon perceiving, he drew him out of that place, and brought him to Valence in the Dauphiny, where he saw no great matter of recreation, only that the lubbers of the town did beat the scholars, which so incensed him with anger, that when, upon a certain very fair Sunday, the people being at their public dancing in the streets, and one of the scholars offering to put himself into the ring to partake of that sport, the foresaid lubberly fellows would not permit him the admittance into their society, he, taking the scholar's part, so belaboured them with blows, and laid such load upon them, that he drove them all before him, even to the brink of the river Rhone, and would have there drowned them, but that they did squat to the ground, and there lay close a full half-league under the river. The hole is to be seen there yet.
After that he departed from thence, and in three strides and one leap came to Angiers, where he found himself very well, and would have continued there some space, but that the plague drove them away. So from thence he came to Bourges, where he studied a good long time, and profited very much in the faculty of the laws, and would sometimes say that the books of the civil law were like unto a wonderfully precious, royal, and triumphant robe of cloth of gold edged with dirt; for in the world are no goodlier books to be seen, more ornate, nor more eloquent than the texts of the Pandects, but the bordering of them, that is to say, the gloss of Accursius, is so scurvy, vile, base, and unsavoury, that it is nothing but filthiness and villainy.
Going from Bourges, he came to Orleans, where he found store of swaggering scholars that made him great entertainment at his coming, and with whom he learned to play at tennis so well that he was a master at that game. For the students of the said place make a prime exercise of it; and sometimes they carried him unto Cupid's houses of commerce (in that city termed islands, because of their being most ordinarily environed with other houses, and not contiguous to any), there to recreate his person at the sport of poussavant, which the wenches of London call the ferkers in and in. As for breaking his head with over-much study, he had an especial care not to do it in any case, for fear of spoiling his eyes. Which he the rather observed, for that it was told him by one of his teachers, there called regents, that the pain of the eyes was the most hurtful thing of any to the sight. For this cause, when he one day was made a licentiate, or graduate in law, one of the scholars of his acquaintance, who of learning had not much more than his burden, though instead of that he could dance very well and play at tennis, made the blazon and device of the licentiates in the said university, saying,
So you have in your hand a racket, A tennis-ball in your cod-placket, A Pandect law in your cap's tippet, And that you have the skill to trip it In a low dance, you will b' allowed The grant of the licentiate's hood.
Upon a certain day, I know not when, Pantagruel walking after supper with some of his fellow-students without that gate of the city through which we enter on the road to Paris, encountered with a young spruce-like scholar that was coming upon the same very way, and, after they had saluted one another, asked him thus, My friend, from whence comest thou now? The scholar answered him, From the alme, inclyte, and celebrate academy, which is vocitated Lutetia. What is the meaning of this? said Pantagruel to one of his men. It is, answered he, from Paris. Thou comest from Paris then, said Pantagruel; and how do you spend your time there, you my masters the students of Paris? The scholar answered, We transfretate the Sequan at the dilucul and crepuscul; we deambulate by the compites and quadrives of the urb; we despumate the Latial verbocination; and, like verisimilary amorabons, we captat the benevolence of the omnijugal, omniform and omnigenal feminine sex. Upon certain diecules we invisat the lupanares, and in a venerian ecstasy inculcate our veretres into the penitissime recesses of the pudends of these amicabilissim meretricules. Then do we cauponisate in the meritory taberns of the Pineapple, the Castle, the Magdalene, and the Mule, goodly vervecine spatules perforaminated with petrocile. And if by fortune there be rarity or penury of pecune in our marsupies, and that they be exhausted of ferruginean metal, for the shot we dimit our codices and oppignerat our vestments, whilst we prestolate the coming of the tabellaries from the Penates and patriotic Lares. To which Pantagruel answered, What devilish language is this? By the Lord, I think thou art some kind of heretick. My lord, no, said the scholar; for libentissimally, as soon as it illucesceth any minutule slice of the day, I demigrate into one of these so well architected minsters, and there, irrorating myself with fair lustral water, I mumble off little parcels of some missic precation of our sacrificuls, and, submurmurating my horary precules, I elevate and absterge my anime from its nocturnal inquinations. I revere the Olympicols. I latrially venere the supernal Astripotent. I dilige and redame my proxims. I observe the decalogical precepts, and, according to the facultatule of my vires, I do not discede from them one late unguicule. Nevertheless, it is veriform, that because Mammona doth not supergurgitate anything in my loculs, that I am somewhat rare and lent to supererogate the elemosynes to those egents that hostially queritate their stipe.
Prut, tut, said Pantagruel, what doth this fool mean to say? I think he is upon the forging of some diabolical tongue, and that enchanter-like he would charm us. To whom one of his men said, Without doubt, sir, this fellow would counterfeit the language of the Parisians, but he doth only flay the Latin, imagining by so doing that he doth highly Pindarize it in most eloquent terms, and strongly conceiteth himself to be therefore a great orator in the French, because he disdaineth the common manner of speaking. To which Pantagruel said, Is it true? The scholar answered, My worshipful lord, my genie is not apt nate to that which this flagitious nebulon saith, to excoriate the cut(ic)ule of our vernacular Gallic, but vice-versally I gnave opere, and by veles and rames enite to locupletate it with the Latinicome redundance. By G—, said Pantagruel, I will teach you to speak. But first come hither, and tell me whence thou art. To this the scholar answered, The primeval origin of my aves and ataves was indigenary of the Lemovic regions, where requiesceth the corpor of the hagiotat St. Martial. I understand thee very well, said Pantagruel. When all comes to all, thou art a Limousin, and thou wilt here by thy affected speech counterfeit the Parisians. Well now, come hither, I must show thee a new trick, and handsomely give thee the combfeat. With this he took him by the throat, saying to him, Thou flayest the Latin; by St. John, I will make thee flay the fox, for I will now flay thee alive. Then began the poor Limousin to cry, Haw, gwid maaster! haw, Laord, my halp, and St. Marshaw! haw, I'm worried. Haw, my thropple, the bean of my cragg is bruck! Haw, for gauad's seck lawt my lean, mawster; waw, waw, waw. Now, said Pantagruel, thou speakest naturally, and so let him go, for the poor Limousin had totally bewrayed and thoroughly conshit his breeches, which were not deep and large enough, but round straight cannioned gregs, having in the seat a piece like a keeling's tail, and therefore in French called, de chausses a queue de merlus. Then, said Pantagruel, St. Alipantin, what civet? Fie! to the devil with this turnip-eater, as he stinks! and so let him go. But this hug of Pantagruel's was such a terror to him all the days of his life, and took such deep impression in his fancy, that very often, distracted with sudden affrightments, he would startle and say that Pantagruel held him by the neck. Besides that, it procured him a continual drought and desire to drink, so that after some few years he died of the death Roland, in plain English called thirst, a work of divine vengeance, showing us that which saith the philosopher and Aulus Gellius, that it becometh us to speak according to the common language; and that we should, as said Octavian Augustus, strive to shun all strange and unknown terms with as much heedfulness and circumspection as pilots of ships use to avoid the rocks and banks in the sea.
After that Pantagruel had studied very well at Orleans, he resolved to see the great University at Paris; but, before his departure, he was informed that there was a huge big bell at St. Anian in the said town of Orleans, under the ground, which had been there above two hundred and fourteen years, for it was so great that they could not by any device get it so much as above the ground, although they used all the means that are found in Vitruvius de Architectura, Albertus de Re Aedificatoria, Euclid, Theon, Archimedes, and Hero de Ingeniis; for all that was to no purpose. Wherefore, condescending heartily to the humble request of the citizens and inhabitants of the said town, he determined to remove it to the tower that was erected for it. With that he came to the place where it was, and lifted it out of the ground with his little finger as easily as you would have done a hawk's bell or bellwether's tingle-tangle; but, before he would carry it to the foresaid tower or steeple appointed for it, he would needs make some music with it about the town, and ring it alongst all the streets as he carried it in his hand, wherewith all the people were very glad. But there happened one great inconveniency, for with carrying it so, and ringing it about the streets, all the good Orleans wine turned instantly, waxed flat and was spoiled, which nobody there did perceive till the night following; for every man found himself so altered and a-dry with drinking these flat wines, that they did nothing but spit, and that as white as Malta cotton, saying, We have of the Pantagruel, and our very throats are salted. This done, he came to Paris with his retinue. And at his entry everyone came out to see him—as you know well enough that the people of Paris is sottish by nature, by B flat and B sharp—and beheld him with great astonishment, mixed with no less fear that he would carry away the palace into some other country, a remotis, and far from them, as his father formerly had done the great peal of bells at Our Lady's Church to tie about his mare's neck. Now after he had stayed there a pretty space, and studied very well in all the seven liberal arts, he said it was a good town to live in, but not to die; for that the grave-digging rogues of St. Innocent used in frosty nights to warm their bums with dead men's bones. In his abode there he found the library of St. Victor a very stately and magnific one, especially in some books which were there, of which followeth the Repertory and Catalogue, Et primo,
The for Godsake of Salvation. The Codpiece of the Law. The Slipshoe of the Decretals. The Pomegranate of Vice. The Clew-bottom of Theology. The Duster or Foxtail-flap of Preachers, composed by Turlupin. The Churning Ballock of the Valiant. The Henbane of the Bishops. Marmotretus de baboonis et apis, cum Commento Dorbellis. Decretum Universitatis Parisiensis super gorgiasitate muliercularum ad placitum. The Apparition of Sancte Geltrude to a Nun of Poissy, being in travail at the bringing forth of a child. Ars honeste fartandi in societate, per Marcum Corvinum (Ortuinum). The Mustard-pot of Penance. The Gamashes, alias the Boots of Patience. Formicarium artium. De brodiorum usu, et honestate quartandi, per Sylvestrem Prioratem Jacobinum. The Cosened or Gulled in Court. The Frail of the Scriveners. The Marriage-packet. The Cruizy or Crucible of Contemplation. The Flimflams of the Law. The Prickle of Wine. The Spur of Cheese. Ruboffatorium (Decrotatorium) scholarium. Tartaretus de modo cacandi. The Bravades of Rome. Bricot de Differentiis Browsarum. The Tailpiece-Cushion, or Close-breech of Discipline. The Cobbled Shoe of Humility. The Trivet of good Thoughts. The Kettle of Magnanimity. The Cavilling Entanglements of Confessors. The Snatchfare of the Curates. Reverendi patris fratris Lubini, provincialis Bavardiae, de gulpendis lardslicionibus libri tres. Pasquilli Doctoris Marmorei, de capreolis cum artichoketa comedendis, tempore Papali ab Ecclesia interdicto. The Invention of the Holy Cross, personated by six wily Priests. The Spectacles of Pilgrims bound for Rome. Majoris de modo faciendi puddinos. The Bagpipe of the Prelates. Beda de optimitate triparum. The Complaint of the Barristers upon the Reformation of Comfits. The Furred Cat of the Solicitors and Attorneys. Of Peas and Bacon, cum Commento. The Small Vales or Drinking Money of the Indulgences. Praeclarissimi juris utriusque Doctoris Maistre Pilloti, &c., Scrap-farthingi de botchandis glossae Accursianae Triflis repetitio enucidi-luculidissima. Stratagemata Francharchiaeri de Baniolet. Carlbumpkinus de Re Militari cum Figuris Tevoti. De usu et utilitate flayandi equos et equas, authore Magistro nostro de Quebecu. The Sauciness of Country-Stewards. M.N. Rostocostojambedanesse de mustarda post prandium servienda, libri quatuordecim, apostillati per M. Vaurillonis. The Covillage or Wench-tribute of Promoters. (Jabolenus de Cosmographia Purgatorii.) Quaestio subtilissima, utrum Chimaera in vacuo bonbinans possit comedere secundas intentiones; et fuit debatuta per decem hebdomadas in Consilio Constantiensi. The Bridle-champer of the Advocates. Smutchudlamenta Scoti. The Rasping and Hard-scraping of the Cardinals. De calcaribus removendis, Decades undecim, per M. Albericum de Rosata. Ejusdem de castramentandis criminibus libri tres. The Entrance of Anthony de Leve into the Territories of Brazil. (Marforii, bacalarii cubantis Romae) de peelandis aut unskinnandis blurrandisque Cardinalium mulis. The said Author's Apology against those who allege that the Pope's mule doth eat but at set times. Prognosticatio quae incipit, Silvii Triquebille, balata per M.N., the deep-dreaming gull Sion. Boudarini Episcopi de emulgentiarum profectibus Aeneades novem, cum privilegio Papali ad triennium et postea non. The Shitabranna of the Maids. The Bald Arse or Peeled Breech of the Widows. The Cowl or Capouch of the Monks. The Mumbling Devotion of the Celestine Friars. The Passage-toll of Beggarliness. The Teeth-chatter or Gum-didder of Lubberly Lusks. The Paring-shovel of the Theologues. The Drench-horn of the Masters of Arts. The Scullions of Olcam, the uninitiated Clerk. Magistri N. Lickdishetis, de garbellisiftationibus horarum canonicarum, libri quadriginta. Arsiversitatorium confratriarum, incerto authore. The Gulsgoatony or Rasher of Cormorants and Ravenous Feeders. The Rammishness of the Spaniards supergivuregondigaded by Friar Inigo. The Muttering of Pitiful Wretches. Dastardismus rerum Italicarum, authore Magistro Burnegad. R. Lullius de Batisfolagiis Principum. Calibistratorium caffardiae, authore M. Jacobo Hocstraten hereticometra. Codtickler de Magistro nostrandorum Magistro nostratorumque beuvetis, libri octo galantissimi. The Crackarades of Balists or stone-throwing Engines, Contrepate Clerks, Scriveners, Brief-writers, Rapporters, and Papal Bull-despatchers lately compiled by Regis. A perpetual Almanack for those that have the gout and the pox. Manera sweepandi fornacellos per Mag. Eccium. The Shable or Scimetar of Merchants. The Pleasures of the Monachal Life. The Hotchpot of Hypocrites. The History of the Hobgoblins. The Ragamuffinism of the pensionary maimed Soldiers. The Gulling Fibs and Counterfeit shows of Commissaries. The Litter of Treasurers. The Juglingatorium of Sophisters. Antipericatametanaparbeugedamphicribrationes Toordicantium. The Periwinkle of Ballad-makers. The Push-forward of the Alchemists. The Niddy-noddy of the Satchel-loaded Seekers, by Friar Bindfastatis. The Shackles of Religion. The Racket of Swag-waggers. The Leaning-stock of old Age. The Muzzle of Nobility. The Ape's Paternoster. The Crickets and Hawk's-bells of Devotion. The Pot of the Ember-weeks. The Mortar of the Politic Life. The Flap of the Hermits. The Riding-hood or Monterg of the Penitentiaries. The Trictrac of the Knocking Friars. Blockheadodus, de vita et honestate bragadochiorum. Lyrippii Sorbonici Moralisationes, per M. Lupoldum. The Carrier-horse-bells of Travellers. The Bibbings of the tippling Bishops. Dolloporediones Doctorum Coloniensium adversus Reuclin. The Cymbals of Ladies. The Dunger's Martingale. Whirlingfriskorum Chasemarkerorum per Fratrem Crackwoodloguetis. The Clouted Patches of a Stout Heart. The Mummery of the Racket-keeping Robin-goodfellows. Gerson, de auferibilitate Papae ab Ecclesia. The Catalogue of the Nominated and Graduated Persons. Jo. Dytebrodii, terribilitate excommunicationis libellus acephalos. Ingeniositas invocandi diabolos et diabolas, per M. Guingolphum. The Hotchpotch or Gallimaufry of the perpetually begging Friars. The Morris-dance of the Heretics. The Whinings of Cajetan. Muddisnout Doctoris Cherubici, de origine Roughfootedarum, et Wryneckedorum ritibus, libri septem. Sixty-nine fat Breviaries. The Nightmare of the five Orders of Beggars. The Skinnery of the new Start-ups extracted out of the fallow-butt, incornifistibulated and plodded upon in the angelic sum. The Raver and idle Talker in cases of Conscience. The Fat Belly of the Presidents. The Baffling Flouter of the Abbots. Sutoris adversus eum qui vocaverat eum Slabsauceatorem, et quod Slabsauceatores non sunt damnati ab Ecclesia. Cacatorium medicorum. The Chimney-sweeper of Astrology. Campi clysteriorum per paragraph C. The Bumsquibcracker of Apothecaries. The Kissbreech of Chirurgery. Justinianus de Whiteleperotis tollendis. Antidotarium animae. Merlinus Coccaius, de patria diabolorum. The Practice of Iniquity, by Cleuraunes Sadden. The Mirror of Baseness, by Radnecu Waldenses. The Engrained Rogue, by Dwarsencas Eldenu. The Merciless Cormorant, by Hoxinidno the Jew.
Of which library some books are already printed, and the rest are now at the press in this noble city of Tubingen.
Pantagruel studied very hard, as you may well conceive, and profited accordingly; for he had an excellent understanding and notable wit, together with a capacity in memory equal to the measure of twelve oil budgets or butts of olives. And, as he was there abiding one day, he received a letter from his father in manner as followeth.
Most dear Son,—Amongst the gifts, graces, and prerogatives, with which the sovereign plasmator God Almighty hath endowed and adorned human nature at the beginning, that seems to me most singular and excellent by which we may in a mortal state attain to a kind of immortality, and in the course of this transitory life perpetuate our name and seed, which is done by a progeny issued from us in the lawful bonds of matrimony. Whereby that in some measure is restored unto us which was taken from us by the sin of our first parents, to whom it was said that, because they had not obeyed the commandment of God their Creator, they should die, and by death should be brought to nought that so stately frame and plasmature wherein the man at first had been created.
But by this means of seminal propagation there ("Which continueth" in the old copy.) continueth in the children what was lost in the parents, and in the grandchildren that which perished in their fathers, and so successively until the day of the last judgment, when Jesus Christ shall have rendered up to God the Father his kingdom in a peaceable condition, out of all danger and contamination of sin; for then shall cease all generations and corruptions, and the elements leave off their continual transmutations, seeing the so much desired peace shall be attained unto and enjoyed, and that all things shall be brought to their end and period. And, therefore, not without just and reasonable cause do I give thanks to God my Saviour and Preserver, for that he hath enabled me to see my bald old age reflourish in thy youth; for when, at his good pleasure, who rules and governs all things, my soul shall leave this mortal habitation, I shall not account myself wholly to die, but to pass from one place unto another, considering that, in and by that, I continue in my visible image living in the world, visiting and conversing with people of honour, and other my good friends, as I was wont to do. Which conversation of mine, although it was not without sin, because we are all of us trespassers, and therefore ought continually to beseech his divine majesty to blot our transgressions out of his memory, yet was it, by the help and grace of God, without all manner of reproach before men.
Wherefore, if those qualities of the mind but shine in thee wherewith I am endowed, as in thee remaineth the perfect image of my body, thou wilt be esteemed by all men to be the perfect guardian and treasure of the immortality of our name. But, if otherwise, I shall truly take but small pleasure to see it, considering that the lesser part of me, which is the body, would abide in thee, and the best, to wit, that which is the soul, and by which our name continues blessed amongst men, would be degenerate and abastardized. This I do not speak out of any distrust that I have of thy virtue, which I have heretofore already tried, but to encourage thee yet more earnestly to proceed from good to better. And that which I now write unto thee is not so much that thou shouldst live in this virtuous course, as that thou shouldst rejoice in so living and having lived, and cheer up thyself with the like resolution in time to come; to the prosecution and accomplishment of which enterprise and generous undertaking thou mayst easily remember how that I have spared nothing, but have so helped thee, as if I had had no other treasure in this world but to see thee once in my life completely well-bred and accomplished, as well in virtue, honesty, and valour, as in all liberal knowledge and civility, and so to leave thee after my death as a mirror representing the person of me thy father, and if not so excellent, and such in deed as I do wish thee, yet such in my desire.
But although my deceased father of happy memory, Grangousier, had bent his best endeavours to make me profit in all perfection and political knowledge, and that my labour and study was fully correspondent to, yea, went beyond his desire, nevertheless, as thou mayest well understand, the time then was not so proper and fit for learning as it is at present, neither had I plenty of such good masters as thou hast had. For that time was darksome, obscured with clouds of ignorance, and savouring a little of the infelicity and calamity of the Goths, who had, wherever they set footing, destroyed all good literature, which in my age hath by the divine goodness been restored unto its former light and dignity, and that with such amendment and increase of the knowledge, that now hardly should I be admitted unto the first form of the little grammar-schoolboys—I say, I, who in my youthful days was, and that justly, reputed the most learned of that age. Which I do not speak in vain boasting, although I might lawfully do it in writing unto thee—in verification whereof thou hast the authority of Marcus Tullius in his book of old age, and the sentence of Plutarch in the book entitled How a man may praise himself without envy—but to give thee an emulous encouragement to strive yet further.
Now is it that the minds of men are qualified with all manner of discipline, and the old sciences revived which for many ages were extinct. Now it is that the learned languages are to their pristine purity restored, viz., Greek, without which a man may be ashamed to account himself a scholar, Hebrew, Arabic, Chaldaean, and Latin. Printing likewise is now in use, so elegant and so correct that better cannot be imagined, although it was found out but in my time by divine inspiration, as by a diabolical suggestion on the other side was the invention of ordnance. All the world is full of knowing men, of most learned schoolmasters, and vast libraries; and it appears to me as a truth, that neither in Plato's time, nor Cicero's, nor Papinian's, there was ever such conveniency for studying as we see at this day there is. Nor must any adventure henceforward to come in public, or present himself in company, that hath not been pretty well polished in the shop of Minerva. I see robbers, hangmen, freebooters, tapsters, ostlers, and such like, of the very rubbish of the people, more learned now than the doctors and preachers were in my time.
What shall I say? The very women and children have aspired to this praise and celestial manner of good learning. Yet so it is that, in the age I am now of, I have been constrained to learn the Greek tongue—which I contemned not like Cato, but had not the leisure in my younger years to attend the study of it—and take much delight in the reading of Plutarch's Morals, the pleasant Dialogues of Plato, the Monuments of Pausanias, and the Antiquities of Athenaeus, in waiting on the hour wherein God my Creator shall call me and command me to depart from this earth and transitory pilgrimage. Wherefore, my son, I admonish thee to employ thy youth to profit as well as thou canst, both in thy studies and in virtue. Thou art at Paris, where the laudable examples of many brave men may stir up thy mind to gallant actions, and hast likewise for thy tutor and pedagogue the learned Epistemon, who by his lively and vocal documents may instruct thee in the arts and sciences.
I intend, and will have it so, that thou learn the languages perfectly; first of all the Greek, as Quintilian will have it; secondly, the Latin; and then the Hebrew, for the Holy Scripture sake; and then the Chaldee and Arabic likewise, and that thou frame thy style in Greek in imitation of Plato, and for the Latin after Cicero. Let there be no history which thou shalt not have ready in thy memory; unto the prosecuting of which design, books of cosmography will be very conducible and help thee much. Of the liberal arts of geometry, arithmetic, and music, I gave thee some taste when thou wert yet little, and not above five or six years old. Proceed further in them, and learn the remainder if thou canst. As for astronomy, study all the rules thereof. Let pass, nevertheless, the divining and judicial astrology, and the art of Lullius, as being nothing else but plain abuses and vanities. As for the civil law, of that I would have thee to know the texts by heart, and then to confer them with philosophy.
Now, in matter of the knowledge of the works of nature, I would have thee to study that exactly, and that so there be no sea, river, nor fountain, of which thou dost not know the fishes; all the fowls of the air; all the several kinds of shrubs and trees, whether in forests or orchards; all the sorts of herbs and flowers that grow upon the ground; all the various metals that are hid within the bowels of the earth; together with all the diversity of precious stones that are to be seen in the orient and south parts of the world. Let nothing of all these be hidden from thee. Then fail not most carefully to peruse the books of the Greek, Arabian, and Latin physicians, not despising the Talmudists and Cabalists; and by frequent anatomies get thee the perfect knowledge of the other world, called the microcosm, which is man. And at some hours of the day apply thy mind to the study of the Holy Scriptures; first in Greek, the New Testament, with the Epistles of the Apostles; and then the Old Testament in Hebrew. In brief, let me see thee an abyss and bottomless pit of knowledge; for from henceforward, as thou growest great and becomest a man, thou must part from this tranquillity and rest of study, thou must learn chivalry, warfare, and the exercises of the field, the better thereby to defend my house and our friends, and to succour and protect them at all their needs against the invasion and assaults of evildoers.
Furthermore, I will that very shortly thou try how much thou hast profited, which thou canst not better do than by maintaining publicly theses and conclusions in all arts against all persons whatsoever, and by haunting the company of learned men, both at Paris and otherwhere. But because, as the wise man Solomon saith, Wisdom entereth not into a malicious mind, and that knowledge without conscience is but the ruin of the soul, it behoveth thee to serve, to love, to fear God, and on him to cast all thy thoughts and all thy hope, and by faith formed in charity to cleave unto him, so that thou mayst never be separated from him by thy sins. Suspect the abuses of the world. Set not thy heart upon vanity, for this life is transitory, but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. Be serviceable to all thy neighbours, and love them as thyself. Reverence thy preceptors: shun the conversation of those whom thou desirest not to resemble, and receive not in vain the graces which God hath bestowed upon thee. And, when thou shalt see that thou hast attained to all the knowledge that is to be acquired in that part, return unto me, that I may see thee and give thee my blessing before I die. My son, the peace and grace of our Lord be with thee. Amen.
Thy father Gargantua.
From Utopia the 17th day of the month of March.
These letters being received and read, Pantagruel plucked up his heart, took a fresh courage to him, and was inflamed with a desire to profit in his studies more than ever, so that if you had seen him, how he took pains, and how he advanced in learning, you would have said that the vivacity of his spirit amidst the books was like a great fire amongst dry wood, so active it was, vigorous and indefatigable.
One day, as Pantagruel was taking a walk without the city, towards St. Anthony's abbey, discoursing and philosophating with his own servants and some other scholars, (he) met with a young man of very comely stature and surpassing handsome in all the lineaments of his body, but in several parts thereof most pitifully wounded; in such bad equipage in matter of his apparel, which was but tatters and rags, and every way so far out of order that he seemed to have been a-fighting with mastiff-dogs, from whose fury he had made an escape; or to say better, he looked, in the condition wherein he then was, like an apple-gatherer of the country of Perche.
As far off as Pantagruel saw him, he said to those that stood by, Do you see that man there, who is a-coming hither upon the road from Charenton bridge? By my faith, he is only poor in fortune; for I may assure you that by his physiognomy it appeareth that nature hath extracted him from some rich and noble race, and that too much curiosity hath thrown him upon adventures which possibly have reduced him to this indigence, want, and penury. Now as he was just amongst them, Pantagruel said unto him, Let me entreat you, friend, that you may be pleased to stop here a little and answer me to that which I shall ask you, and I am confident you will not think your time ill bestowed; for I have an extreme desire, according to my ability, to give you some supply in this distress wherein I see you are; because I do very much commiserate your case, which truly moves me to great pity. Therefore, my friend, tell me who you are; whence you come; whither you go; what you desire; and what your name is. The companion answered him in the German (The first edition reads "Dutch.") tongue, thus:
'Junker, Gott geb euch gluck und heil. Furwahr, lieber Junker, ich lasz euch wissen, das da ihr mich von fragt, ist ein arm und erbarmlich Ding, und wer viel darvon zu sagen, welches euch verdrussig zu horen, und mir zu erzelen wer, wiewol die Poeten und Oratorn vorzeiten haben gesagt in ihren Spruchen und Sentenzen, dasz die gedechtniss des Elends und Armuth vorlangst erlitten ist eine grosse Lust.' My friend, said Pantagruel, I have no skill in that gibberish of yours; therefore, if you would have us to understand you, speak to us in some other language. Then did the droll answer him thus:
'Albarildim gotfano dechmin brin alabo dordio falbroth ringuam albaras. Nin portzadikin almucatin milko prin alelmin en thoth dalheben ensouim; kuthim al dum alkatim nim broth dechoth porth min michais im endoth, pruch dalmaisoulum hol moth danfrihim lupaldas in voldemoth. Nin hur diavosth mnarbotim dalgousch palfrapin duch im scoth pruch galeth dal chinon, min foulchrich al conin brutathen doth dal prin.' Do you understand none of this? said Pantagruel to the company. I believe, said Epistemon, that this is the language of the Antipodes, and such a hard one that the devil himself knows not what to make of it. Then said Pantagruel, Gossip, I know not if the walls do comprehend the meaning of your words, but none of us here doth so much as understand one syllable of them. Then said my blade again:
'Signor mio, voi vedete per essempio, che la cornamusa non suona mai, s'ella non ha il ventre pieno. Cosi io parimente non vi saprei contare le mie fortune, se prima il tribulato ventre non ha la solita refettione. Al quale e adviso che le mani et li denti habbiano perso il loro ordine naturale et del tutto annichilati.' To which Epistemon answered, As much of the one as of the other, and nothing of either. Then said Panurge:
'Lord, if you be so virtuous of intelligence as you be naturally relieved to the body, you should have pity of me. For nature hath made us equal, but fortune hath some exalted and others deprived; nevertheless is virtue often deprived and the virtuous men despised; for before the last end none is good.' (The following is the passage as it stands in the first edition. Urquhart seems to have rendered Rabelais' indifferent English into worse Scotch, and this, with probably the use of contractions in his MS., or 'the oddness' of handwriting which he owns to in his Logopandecteision (p.419, Mait. Club. Edit.), has led to a chaotic jumble, which it is nearly impossible to reduce to order.—Instead of any attempt to do so, it is here given verbatim: 'Lard gestholb besua virtuisbe intelligence: ass yi body scalbisbe natural reloth cholb suld osme pety have; for natur hass visse equaly maide bot fortune sum exaiti hesse andoyis deprevit: non yeless iviss mou virtiuss deprevit, and virtuiss men decreviss for anen ye ladeniss non quid.' Here is a morsel for critical ingenuity to fix its teeth in.—M.) Yet less, said Pantagruel. Then said my jolly Panurge:
'Jona andie guaussa goussy etan beharda er remedio beharde versela ysser landa. Anbat es otoy y es nausu ey nessassust gourray proposian ordine den. Non yssena bayta facheria egabe gen herassy badia sadassu noura assia. Aran hondavan gualde cydassu naydassuna. Estou oussyc eg vinan soury hien er darstura eguy harm. Genicoa plasar vadu.' Are you there, said Eudemon, Genicoa? To this said Carpalim, St. Trinian's rammer unstitch your bum, for I had almost understood it. Then answered Panurge:
'Prust frest frinst sorgdmand strochdi drhds pag brlelang Gravot Chavigny Pomardiere rusth pkaldracg Deviniere pres Nays. Couille kalmuch monach drupp del meupplist rincq drlnd dodelb up drent loch minc stz rinq jald de vins ders cordelis bur jocst stzampenards.' Do you speak Christian, said Epistemon, or the buffoon language, otherwise called Patelinois? Nay, it is the puzlatory tongue, said another, which some call Lanternois. Then said Panurge:
'Heere, ik en spreeke anders geen taele dan kersten taele: my dunkt noghtans, al en seg ik u niet een wordt, mynen noot verklaert genoegh wat ik begeere: geeft my uyt bermhertigheit yets waar van ik gevoet magh zyn.' To which answered Pantagruel, As much of that. Then said Panurge:
'Sennor, de tanto hablar yo soy cansado, porque yo suplico a vuestra reverentia que mire a los preceptos evangelicos, para que ellos movan vuestra reverentia a lo que es de conscientia; y si ellos non bastaren, para mouer vuestra reverentia a piedad, yo suplico que mire a la piedad natural, la qual yo creo que le movera como es de razon: y con esso non digo mas.' Truly, my friend, (said Pantagruel,) I doubt not but you can speak divers languages; but tell us that which you would have us to do for you in some tongue which you conceive we may understand. Then said the companion:
'Min Herre, endog ieg med ingen tunge talede, ligesom baern, oc uskellige creatuure: Mine klaedebon oc mit legoms magerhed uduiser alligeuel klarlig huad ting mig best behof gioris, som er sandelig mad oc dricke: Huorfor forbarme dig ofuer mig, oc befal at giue mig noguet, af huilcket ieg kand slyre min giaeendis mage, ligeruiis som mand Cerbero en suppe forsetter: Saa skalt du lefue laenge oc lycksalig.' I think really, said Eusthenes, that the Goths spoke thus of old, and that, if it pleased God, we would all of us speak so with our tails. Then again said Panurge:
'Adon, scalom lecha: im ischar harob hal hebdeca bimeherah thithen li kikar lehem: chanchat ub laah al Adonai cho nen ral.' To which answered Epistemon, At this time have I understood him very well; for it is the Hebrew tongue most rhetorically pronounced. Then again said the gallant:
'Despota tinyn panagathe, diati sy mi ouk artodotis? horas gar limo analiscomenon eme athlion, ke en to metaxy me ouk eleis oudamos, zetis de par emou ha ou chre. Ke homos philologi pantes homologousi tote logous te ke remata peritta hyparchin, hopote pragma afto pasi delon esti. Entha gar anankei monon logi isin, hina pragmata (hon peri amphisbetoumen), me prosphoros epiphenete.' What? Said Carpalim, Pantagruel's footman, It is Greek, I have understood him. And how? hast thou dwelt any while in Greece? Then said the droll again:
'Agonou dont oussys vous desdagnez algorou: nou den farou zamist vous mariston ulbrou, fousques voubrol tant bredaguez moupreton dengoulhoust, daguez daguez non cropys fost pardonnoflist nougrou. Agou paston tol nalprissys hourtou los echatonous, prou dhouquys brol pany gou den bascrou noudous caguons goulfren goul oustaroppassou.' (In this and the preceding speeches of Panurge, the Paris Variorum Edition of 1823 has been followed in correcting Urquhart's text, which is full of inaccuracies.—M.) Methinks I understand him, said Pantagruel; for either it is the language of my country of Utopia, or sounds very like it. And, as he was about to have begun some purpose, the companion said:
'Jam toties vos per sacra, perque deos deasque omnes obtestatus sum, ut si quae vos pietas permovet, egestatem meam solaremini, nec hilum proficio clamans et ejulans. Sinite, quaeso, sinite, viri impii, quo me fata vocant abire; nec ultra vanis vestris interpellationibus obtundatis, memores veteris illius adagii, quo venter famelicus auriculis carere dicitur.' Well, my friend, said Pantagruel, but cannot you speak French? That I can do, sir, very well, said the companion, God be thanked. It is my natural language and mother tongue, for I was born and bred in my younger years in the garden of France, to wit, Touraine. Then, said Pantagruel, tell us what is your name, and from whence you are come; for, by my faith, I have already stamped in my mind such a deep impression of love towards you, that, if you will condescend unto my will, you shall not depart out of my company, and you and I shall make up another couple of friends such as Aeneas and Achates were. Sir, said the companion, my true and proper Christian name is Panurge, and now I come out of Turkey, to which country I was carried away prisoner at that time when they went to Metelin with a mischief. And willingly would I relate unto you my fortunes, which are more wonderful than those of Ulysses were; but, seeing that it pleaseth you to retain me with you, I most heartily accept of the offer, protesting never to leave you should you go to all the devils in hell. We shall have therefore more leisure at another time, and a fitter opportunity wherein to report them; for at this present I am in a very urgent necessity to feed; my teeth are sharp, my belly empty, my throat dry, and my stomach fierce and burning, all is ready. If you will but set me to work, it will be as good as a balsamum for sore eyes to see me gulch and raven it. For God's sake, give order for it. Then Pantagruel commanded that they should carry him home and provide him good store of victuals; which being done, he ate very well that evening, and, capon-like, went early to bed; then slept until dinner-time the next day, so that he made but three steps and one leap from the bed to the board.
Pantagruel, very well remembering his father's letter and admonitions, would one day make trial of his knowledge. Thereupon, in all the carrefours, that is, throughout all the four quarters, streets, and corners of the city, he set up conclusions to the number of nine thousand seven hundred sixty and four, in all manner of learning, touching in them the hardest doubts that are in any science. And first of all, in the Fodder Street he held dispute against all the regents or fellows of colleges, artists or masters of arts, and orators, and did so gallantly that he overthrew them and set them all upon their tails. He went afterwards to the Sorbonne, where he maintained argument against all the theologians or divines, for the space of six weeks, from four o'clock in the morning until six in the evening, except an interval of two hours to refresh themselves and take their repast. And at this were present the greatest part of the lords of the court, the masters of requests, presidents, counsellors, those of the accompts, secretaries, advocates, and others; as also the sheriffs of the said town, with the physicians and professors of the canon law. Amongst which, it is to be remarked, that the greatest part were stubborn jades, and in their opinions obstinate; but he took such course with them that, for all their ergoes and fallacies, he put their backs to the wall, gravelled them in the deepest questions, and made it visibly appear to the world that, compared to him, they were but monkeys and a knot of muffled calves. Whereupon everybody began to keep a bustling noise and talk of his so marvellous knowledge, through all degrees of persons of both sexes, even to the very laundresses, brokers, roast-meat sellers, penknife makers, and others, who, when he passed along in the street, would say, This is he! in which he took delight, as Demosthenes, the prince of Greek orators, did, when an old crouching wife, pointing at him with her fingers, said, That is the man.
Now at this same very time there was a process or suit in law depending in court between two great lords, of which one was called my Lord Kissbreech, plaintiff of one side, and the other my Lord Suckfist, defendant of the other; whose controversy was so high and difficult in law that the court of parliament could make nothing of it. And therefore, by the commandment of the king, there were assembled four of the greatest and most learned of all the parliaments of France, together with the great council, and all the principal regents of the universities, not only of France, but of England also and Italy, such as Jason, Philippus Decius, Petrus de Petronibus, and a rabble of other old Rabbinists. Who being thus met together, after they had thereupon consulted for the space of six-and-forty weeks, finding that they could not fasten their teeth in it, nor with such clearness understand the case as that they might in any manner of way be able to right it, or take up the difference betwixt the two aforesaid parties, it did so grievously vex them that they most villainously conshit themselves for shame. In this great extremity one amongst them, named Du Douhet, the learnedest of all, and more expert and prudent than any of the rest, whilst one day they were thus at their wits' end, all-to-be-dunced and philogrobolized in their brains, said unto them, We have been here, my masters, a good long space, without doing anything else than trifle away both our time and money, and can nevertheless find neither brim nor bottom in this matter, for the more we study about it the less we understand therein, which is a great shame and disgrace to us, and a heavy burden to our consciences; yea, such that in my opinion we shall not rid ourselves of it without dishonour, unless we take some other course; for we do nothing but dote in our consultations.
See, therefore, what I have thought upon. You have heard much talking of that worthy personage named Master Pantagruel, who hath been found to be learned above the capacity of this present age, by the proofs he gave in those great disputations which he held publicly against all men. My opinion is, that we send for him to confer with him about this business; for never any man will encompass the bringing of it to an end if he do it not.
Hereunto all the counsellors and doctors willingly agreed, and according to that their result having instantly sent for him, they entreated him to be pleased to canvass the process and sift it thoroughly, that, after a deep search and narrow examination of all the points thereof, he might forthwith make the report unto them such as he shall think good in true and legal knowledge. To this effect they delivered into his hands the bags wherein were the writs and pancarts concerning that suit, which for bulk and weight were almost enough to lade four great couillard or stoned asses. But Pantagruel said unto them, Are the two lords between whom this debate and process is yet living? It was answered him, Yes. To what a devil, then, said he, serve so many paltry heaps and bundles of papers and copies which you give me? Is it not better to hear their controversy from their own mouths whilst they are face to face before us, than to read these vile fopperies, which are nothing but trumperies, deceits, diabolical cozenages of Cepola, pernicious slights and subversions of equity? For I am sure that you, and all those through whose hands this process has passed, have by your devices added what you could to it pro et contra in such sort that, although their difference perhaps was clear and easy enough to determine at first, you have obscured it and made it more intricate by the frivolous, sottish, unreasonable, and foolish reasons and opinions of Accursius, Baldus, Bartolus, de Castro, de Imola, Hippolytus, Panormo, Bertachin, Alexander, Curtius, and those other old mastiffs, who never understood the least law of the Pandects, they being but mere blockheads and great tithe calves, ignorant of all that which was needful for the understanding of the laws; for, as it is most certain, they had not the knowledge either of the Greek or Latin tongue, but only of the Gothic and barbarian. The laws, nevertheless, were first taken from the Greeks, according to the testimony of Ulpian, L. poster. de origine juris, which we likewise may perceive by that all the laws are full of Greek words and sentences. And then we find that they are reduced into a Latin style the most elegant and ornate that whole language is able to afford, without excepting that of any that ever wrote therein, nay, not of Sallust, Varro, Cicero, Seneca, Titus Livius, nor Quintilian. How then could these old dotards be able to understand aright the text of the laws who never in their time had looked upon a good Latin book, as doth evidently enough appear by the rudeness of their style, which is fitter for a chimney-sweeper, or for a cook or a scullion, than for a jurisconsult and doctor in the laws?
Furthermore, seeing the laws are excerpted out of the middle of moral and natural philosophy, how should these fools have understood it, that have, by G—, studied less in philosophy than my mule? In respect of human learning and the knowledge of antiquities and history they were truly laden with those faculties as a toad is with feathers. And yet of all this the laws are so full that without it they cannot be understood, as I intend more fully to show unto you in a peculiar treatise which on that purpose I am about to publish. Therefore, if you will that I take any meddling in this process, first cause all these papers to be burnt; secondly, make the two gentlemen come personally before me, and afterwards, when I shall have heard them, I will tell you my opinion freely without any feignedness or dissimulation whatsoever.
Some amongst them did contradict this motion, as you know that in all companies there are more fools than wise men, and that the greater part always surmounts the better, as saith Titus Livius in speaking of the Carthaginians. But the foresaid Du Douhet held the contrary opinion, maintaining that Pantagruel had said well, and what was right, in affirming that these records, bills of inquest, replies, rejoinders, exceptions, depositions, and other such diableries of truth-entangling writs, were but engines wherewith to overthrow justice and unnecessarily to prolong such suits as did depend before them; and that, therefore, the devil would carry them all away to hell if they did not take another course and proceeded not in times coming according to the prescripts of evangelical and philosophical equity. In fine, all the papers were burnt, and the two gentlemen summoned and personally convented. At whose appearance before the court Pantagruel said unto them, Are you they that have this great difference betwixt you? Yes, my lord, said they. Which of you, said Pantagruel, is the plaintiff? It is I, said my Lord Kissbreech. Go to, then, my friend, said he, and relate your matter unto me from point to point, according to the real truth, or else, by cock's body, if I find you to lie so much as in one word, I will make you shorter by the head, and take it from off your shoulders to show others by your example that in justice and judgment men ought to speak nothing but the truth. Therefore take heed you do not add nor impair anything in the narration of your case. Begin.
Then began Kissbreech in manner as followeth. My lord, it is true that a good woman of my house carried eggs to the market to sell. Be covered, Kissbreech, said Pantagruel. Thanks to you, my lord, said the Lord Kissbreech; but to the purpose. There passed betwixt the two tropics the sum of threepence towards the zenith and a halfpenny, forasmuch as the Riphaean mountains had been that year oppressed with a great sterility of counterfeit gudgeons and shows without substance, by means of the babbling tattle and fond fibs seditiously raised between the gibblegabblers and Accursian gibberish-mongers for the rebellion of the Switzers, who had assembled themselves to the full number of the bumbees and myrmidons to go a-handsel-getting on the first day of the new year, at that very time when they give brewis to the oxen and deliver the key of the coals to the country-girls for serving in of the oats to the dogs. All the night long they did nothing else, keeping their hands still upon the pot, but despatch, both on foot and horseback, leaden-sealed writs or letters, to wit, papal commissions commonly called bulls, to stop the boats; for the tailors and seamsters would have made of the stolen shreds and clippings a goodly sagbut to cover the face of the ocean, which then was great with child of a potful of cabbage, according to the opinion of the hay-bundle-makers. But the physicians said that by the urine they could discern no manifest sign of the bustard's pace, nor how to eat double-tongued mattocks with mustard, unless the lords and gentlemen of the court should be pleased to give by B.mol express command to the pox not to run about any longer in gleaning up of coppersmiths and tinkers; for the jobbernolls had already a pretty good beginning in their dance of the British jig called the estrindore, to a perfect diapason, with one foot in the fire, and their head in the middle, as goodman Ragot was wont to say.
Ha, my masters, God moderates all things, and disposeth of them at his pleasure, so that against unlucky fortune a carter broke his frisking whip, which was all the wind-instrument he had. This was done at his return from the little paltry town, even then when Master Antitus of Cressplots was licentiated, and had passed his degrees in all dullery and blockishness, according to this sentence of the canonists, Beati Dunces, quoniam ipsi stumblaverunt. But that which makes Lent to be so high, by St. Fiacre of Bry, is for nothing else but that the Pentecost never comes but to my cost; yet, on afore there, ho! a little rain stills a great wind, and we must think so, seeing that the sergeant hath propounded the matter so far above my reach, that the clerks and secondaries could not with the benefit thereof lick their fingers, feathered with ganders, so orbicularly as they were wont in other things to do. And we do manifestly see that everyone acknowledgeth himself to be in the error wherewith another hath been charged, reserving only those cases whereby we are obliged to take an ocular inspection in a perspective glass of these things towards the place in the chimney where hangeth the sign of the wine of forty girths, which have been always accounted very necessary for the number of twenty pannels and pack-saddles of the bankrupt protectionaries of five years' respite. Howsoever, at least, he that would not let fly the fowl before the cheesecakes ought in law to have discovered his reason why not, for the memory is often lost with a wayward shoeing. Well, God keep Theobald Mitain from all danger! Then said Pantagruel, Hold there! Ho, my friend, soft and fair, speak at leisure and soberly without putting yourself in choler. I understand the case,—go on. Now then, my lord, said Kissbreech, the foresaid good woman saying her gaudez and audi nos, could not cover herself with a treacherous backblow, ascending by the wounds and passions of the privileges of the universities, unless by the virtue of a warming-pan she had angelically fomented every part of her body in covering them with a hedge of garden-beds; then giving in a swift unavoidable thirst (thrust) very near to the place where they sell the old rags whereof the painters of Flanders make great use when they are about neatly to clap on shoes on grasshoppers, locusts, cigals, and such like fly-fowls, so strange to us that I am wonderfully astonished why the world doth not lay, seeing it is so good to hatch.
Here the Lord of Suckfist would have interrupted him and spoken somewhat, whereupon Pantagruel said unto him, St! by St. Anthony's belly, doth it become thee to speak without command? I sweat here with the extremity of labour and exceeding toil I take to understand the proceeding of your mutual difference, and yet thou comest to trouble and disquiet me. Peace, in the devil's name, peace. Thou shalt be permitted to speak thy bellyful when this man hath done, and no sooner. Go on, said he to Kissbreech; speak calmly, and do not overheat yourself with too much haste.
I perceiving, then, said Kissbreech, that the Pragmatical Sanction did make no mention of it, and that the holy Pope to everyone gave liberty to fart at his own ease, if that the blankets had no streaks wherein the liars were to be crossed with a ruffian-like crew, and, the rainbow being newly sharpened at Milan to bring forth larks, gave his full consent that the good woman should tread down the heel of the hip-gut pangs, by virtue of a solemn protestation put in by the little testiculated or codsted fishes, which, to tell the truth, were at that time very necessary for understanding the syntax and construction of old boots. Therefore John Calf, her cousin gervais once removed with a log from the woodstack, very seriously advised her not to put herself into the hazard of quagswagging in the lee, to be scoured with a buck of linen clothes till first she had kindled the paper. This counsel she laid hold on, because he desired her to take nothing and throw out, for Non de ponte vadit, qui cum sapientia cadit. Matters thus standing, seeing the masters of the chamber of accompts or members of that committee did not fully agree amongst themselves in casting up the number of the Almany whistles, whereof were framed those spectacles for princes which have been lately printed at Antwerp, I must needs think that it makes a bad return of the writ, and that the adverse party is not to be believed, in sacer verbo dotis. For that, having a great desire to obey the pleasure of the king, I armed myself from toe to top with belly furniture, of the soles of good venison-pasties, to go see how my grape-gatherers and vintagers had pinked and cut full of small holes their high-coped caps, to lecher it the better, and play at in and in. And indeed the time was very dangerous in coming from the fair, in so far that many trained bowmen were cast at the muster and quite rejected, although the chimney-tops were high enough, according to the proportion of the windgalls in the legs of horses, or of the malanders, which in the esteem of expert farriers is no better disease, or else the story of Ronypatifam or Lamibaudichon, interpreted by some to be the tale of a tub or of a roasted horse, savours of apocrypha, and is not an authentic history. And by this means there was that year great abundance, throughout all the country of Artois, of tawny buzzing beetles, to the no small profit of the gentlemen-great-stick-faggot-carriers, when they did eat without disdaining the cocklicranes, till their belly was like to crack with it again. As for my own part, such is my Christian charity towards my neighbours, that I could wish from my heart everyone had as good a voice; it would make us play the better at the tennis and the balloon. And truly, my lord, to express the real truth without dissimulation, I cannot but say that those petty subtle devices which are found out in the etymologizing of pattens would descend more easily into the river of Seine, to serve for ever at the millers' bridge upon the said water, as it was heretofore decreed by the king of the Canarians, according to the sentence or judgment given thereupon, which is to be seen in the registry and records within the clerk's office of this house.
And, therefore, my lord, I do most humbly require, that by your lordship there may be said and declared upon the case what is reasonable, with costs, damages, and interests. Then said Pantagruel, My friend, is this all you have to say? Kissbreech answered, Yes, my lord, for I have told all the tu autem, and have not varied at all upon mine honour in so much as one single word. You then, said Pantagruel, my Lord of Suckfist, say what you will, and be brief, without omitting, nevertheless, anything that may serve to the purpose.
Then began the Lord Suckfist in manner as followeth. My lord, and you my masters, if the iniquity of men were as easily seen in categorical judgment as we can discern flies in a milkpot, the world's four oxen had not been so eaten up with rats, nor had so many ears upon the earth been nibbled away so scurvily. For although all that my adversary hath spoken be of a very soft and downy truth, in so much as concerns the letter and history of the factum, yet nevertheless the crafty slights, cunning subtleties, sly cozenages, and little troubling entanglements are hid under the rosepot, the common cloak and cover of all fraudulent deceits.
Should I endure that, when I am eating my pottage equal with the best, and that without either thinking or speaking any manner of ill, they rudely come to vex, trouble, and perplex my brains with that antique proverb which saith,
Who in his pottage-eating drinks will not, When he is dead and buried, see one jot.
And, good lady, how many great captains have we seen in the day of battle, when in open field the sacrament was distributed in luncheons of the sanctified bread of the confraternity, the more honestly to nod their heads, play on the lute, and crack with their tails, to make pretty little platform leaps in keeping level by the ground? But now the world is unshackled from the corners of the packs of Leicester. One flies out lewdly and becomes debauched; another, likewise, five, four, and two, and that at such random that, if the court take not some course therein, it will make as bad a season in matter of gleaning this year as ever it made, or it will make goblets. If any poor creature go to the stoves to illuminate his muzzle with a cowsherd or to buy winter-boots, and that the sergeants passing by, or those of the watch, happen to receive the decoction of a clyster or the fecal matter of a close-stool upon their rustling-wrangling-clutter-keeping masterships, should any because of that make bold to clip the shillings and testers and fry the wooden dishes? Sometimes, when we think one thing, God does another; and when the sun is wholly set all beasts are in the shade. Let me never be believed again, if I do not gallantly prove it by several people who have seen the light of the day.
In the year thirty and six, buying a Dutch curtail, which was a middle-sized horse, both high and short, of a wool good enough and dyed in grain, as the goldsmiths assured me, although the notary put an &c. in it, I told really that I was not a clerk of so much learning as to snatch at the moon with my teeth; but, as for the butter-firkin where Vulcanian deeds and evidences were sealed, the rumour was, and the report thereof went current, that salt-beef will make one find the way to the wine without a candle, though it were hid in the bottom of a collier's sack, and that with his drawers on he were mounted on a barbed horse furnished with a fronstal, and such arms, thighs, and leg-pieces as are requisite for the well frying and broiling of a swaggering sauciness. Here is a sheep's head, and it is well they make a proverb of this, that it is good to see black cows in burnt wood when one attains to the enjoyment of his love. I had a consultation upon this point with my masters the clerks, who for resolution concluded in frisesomorum that there is nothing like to mowing in the summer, and sweeping clean away in water, well garnished with paper, ink, pens, and penknives, of Lyons upon the river of Rhone, dolopym dolopof, tarabin tarabas, tut, prut, pish; for, incontinently after that armour begins to smell of garlic, the rust will go near to eat the liver, not of him that wears it, and then do they nothing else but withstand others' courses, and wryneckedly set up their bristles 'gainst one another, in lightly passing over their afternoon's sleep, and this is that which maketh salt so dear. My lords, believe not when the said good woman had with birdlime caught the shoveler fowl, the better before a sergeant's witness to deliver the younger son's portion to him, that the sheep's pluck or hog's haslet did dodge and shrink back in the usurers' purses, or that there could be anything better to preserve one from the cannibals than to take a rope of onions, knit with three hundred turnips, and a little of a calf's chaldern of the best allay that the alchemists have provided, (and) that they daub and do over with clay, as also calcinate and burn to dust these pantoufles, muff in muff out, mouflin mouflard, with the fine sauce of the juice of the rabble rout, whilst they hide themselves in some petty mouldwarphole, saving always the little slices of bacon. Now, if the dice will not favour you with any other throw but ambes-ace and the chance of three at the great end, mark well the ace, then take me your dame, settle her in a corner of the bed, and whisk me her up drilletrille, there, there, toureloura la la; which when you have done, take a hearty draught of the best, despicando grenovillibus, in despite of the frogs, whose fair coarse bebuskined stockings shall be set apart for the little green geese or mewed goslings, which, fattened in a coop, take delight to sport themselves at the wagtail game, waiting for the beating of the metal and heating of the wax by the slavering drivellers of consolation.
Very true it is, that the four oxen which are in debate, and whereof mention was made, were somewhat short in memory. Nevertheless, to understand the game aright, they feared neither the cormorant nor mallard of Savoy, which put the good people of my country in great hope that their children some time should become very skilful in algorism. Therefore is it, that by a law rubric and special sentence thereof, that we cannot fail to take the wolf if we make our hedges higher than the windmill, whereof somewhat was spoken by the plaintiff. But the great devil did envy it, and by that means put the High Dutches far behind, who played the devils in swilling down and tippling at the good liquor, trink, mein herr, trink, trink, by two of my table-men in the corner-point I have gained the lurch. For it is not probable, nor is there any appearance of truth in this saying, that at Paris upon a little bridge the hen is proportionable, and were they as copped and high-crested as marsh whoops, if veritably they did not sacrifice the printer's pumpet-balls at Moreb, with a new edge set upon them by text letters or those of a swift-writing hand, it is all one to me, so that the headband of the book breed not moths or worms in it. And put the case that, at the coupling together of the buckhounds, the little puppies shall have waxed proud before the notary could have given an account of the serving of his writ by the cabalistic art, it will necessarily follow, under correction of the better judgment of the court, that six acres of meadow ground of the greatest breadth will make three butts of fine ink, without paying ready money; considering that, at the funeral of King Charles, we might have had the fathom in open market for one and two, that is, deuce ace. This I may affirm with a safe conscience, upon my oath of wool.
And I see ordinarily in all good bagpipes, that, when they go to the counterfeiting of the chirping of small birds, by swinging a broom three times about a chimney, and putting his name upon record, they do nothing but bend a crossbow backwards, and wind a horn, if perhaps it be too hot, and that, by making it fast to a rope he was to draw, immediately after the sight of the letters, the cows were restored to him. Such another sentence after the homeliest manner was pronounced in the seventeenth year, because of the bad government of Louzefougarouse, whereunto it may please the court to have regard. I desire to be rightly understood; for truly, I say not but that in all equity, and with an upright conscience, those may very well be dispossessed who drink holy water as one would do a weaver's shuttle, whereof suppositories are made to those that will not resign, but on the terms of ell and tell and giving of one thing for another. Tunc, my lords, quid juris pro minoribus? For the common custom of the Salic law is such, that the first incendiary or firebrand of sedition that flays the cow and wipes his nose in a full concert of music without blowing in the cobbler's stitches, should in the time of the nightmare sublimate the penury of his member by moss gathered when people are like to founder themselves at the mess at midnight, to give the estrapade to these white wines of Anjou that do the fear of the leg in lifting it by horsemen called the gambetta, and that neck to neck after the fashion of Brittany, concluding as before with costs, damages, and interests.
After that the Lord of Suckfist had ended, Pantagruel said to the Lord of Kissbreech, My friend, have you a mind to make any reply to what is said? No, my lord, answered Kissbreech; for I have spoke all I intended, and nothing but the truth. Therefore, put an end for God's sake to our difference, for we are here at great charge.
Then Pantagruel, rising up, assembled all the presidents, counsellors, and doctors that were there, and said unto them, Come now, my masters, you have heard vivae vocis oraculo, the controversy that is in question; what do you think of it? They answered him, We have indeed heard it, but have not understood the devil so much as one circumstance of the case; and therefore we beseech you, una voce, and in courtesy request you that you would give sentence as you think good, and, ex nunc prout ex tunc, we are satisfied with it, and do ratify it with our full consents. Well, my masters, said Pantagruel, seeing you are so pleased, I will do it; but I do not truly find the case so difficult as you make it. Your paragraph Caton, the law Frater, the law Gallus, the law Quinque pedum, the law Vinum, the law Si Dominus, the law Mater, the law Mulier bona, to the law Si quis, the law Pomponius, the law Fundi, the law Emptor, the law Praetor, the law Venditor, and a great many others, are far more intricate in my opinion. After he had spoke this, he walked a turn or two about the hall, plodding very profoundly, as one may think; for he did groan like an ass whilst they girth him too hard, with the very intensiveness of considering how he was bound in conscience to do right to both parties, without varying or accepting of persons. Then he returned, sat down, and began to pronounce sentence as followeth.
Having seen, heard, calculated, and well considered of the difference between the Lords of Kissbreech and Suckfist, the court saith unto them, that in regard of the sudden quaking, shivering, and hoariness of the flickermouse, bravely declining from the estival solstice, to attempt by private means the surprisal of toyish trifles in those who are a little unwell for having taken a draught too much, through the lewd demeanour and vexation of the beetles that inhabit the diarodal (diarhomal) climate of an hypocritical ape on horseback, bending a crossbow backwards, the plaintiff truly had just cause to calfet, or with oakum to stop the chinks of the galleon which the good woman blew up with wind, having one foot shod and the other bare, reimbursing and restoring to him, low and stiff in his conscience, as many bladder-nuts and wild pistaches as there is of hair in eighteen cows, with as much for the embroiderer, and so much for that. He is likewise declared innocent of the case privileged from the knapdardies, into the danger whereof it was thought he had incurred; because he could not jocundly and with fulness of freedom untruss and dung, by the decision of a pair of gloves perfumed with the scent of bum-gunshot at the walnut-tree taper, as is usual in his country of Mirebalais. Slacking, therefore, the topsail, and letting go the bowline with the brazen bullets, wherewith the mariners did by way of protestation bake in pastemeat great store of pulse interquilted with the dormouse, whose hawk's-bells were made with a puntinaria, after the manner of Hungary or Flanders lace, and which his brother-in-law carried in a pannier, lying near to three chevrons or bordered gules, whilst he was clean out of heart, drooping and crestfallen by the too narrow sifting, canvassing, and curious examining of the matter in the angularly doghole of nasty scoundrels, from whence we shoot at the vermiformal popinjay with the flap made of a foxtail.
But in that he chargeth the defendant that he was a botcher, cheese-eater, and trimmer of man's flesh embalmed, which in the arsiversy swagfall tumble was not found true, as by the defendant was very well discussed.
The court, therefore, doth condemn and amerce him in three porringers of curds, well cemented and closed together, shining like pearls, and codpieced after the fashion of the country, to be paid unto the said defendant about the middle of August in May. But, on the other part, the defendant shall be bound to furnish him with hay and stubble for stopping the caltrops of his throat, troubled and impulregafized, with gabardines garbled shufflingly, and friends as before, without costs and for cause.
Which sentence being pronounced, the two parties departed both contented with the decree, which was a thing almost incredible. For it never came to pass since the great rain, nor shall the like occur in thirteen jubilees hereafter, that two parties contradictorily contending in judgment be equally satisfied and well pleased with the definitive sentence. As for the counsellors and other doctors in the law that were there present, they were all so ravished with admiration at the more than human wisdom of Pantagruel, which they did most clearly perceive to be in him by his so accurate decision of this so difficult and thorny cause, that their spirits with the extremity of the rapture being elevated above the pitch of actuating the organs of the body, they fell into a trance and sudden ecstasy, wherein they stayed for the space of three long hours, and had been so as yet in that condition had not some good people fetched store of vinegar and rose-water to bring them again unto their former sense and understanding, for the which God be praised everywhere. And so be it.
The great wit and judgment of Pantagruel was immediately after this made known unto all the world by setting forth his praises in print, and putting upon record this late wonderful proof he hath given thereof amongst the rolls of the crown and registers of the palace, in such sort that everybody began to say that Solomon, who by a probable guess only, without any further certainty, caused the child to be delivered to its own mother, showed never in his time such a masterpiece of wisdom as the good Pantagruel hath done. Happy are we, therefore, that have him in our country. And indeed they would have made him thereupon master of the requests and president in the court; but he refused all, very graciously thanking them for their offer. For, said he, there is too much slavery in these offices, and very hardly can they be saved that do exercise them, considering the great corruption that is amongst men. Which makes me believe, if the empty seats of angels be not filled with other kind of people than those, we shall not have the final judgment these seven thousand, sixty and seven jubilees yet to come, and so Cusanus will be deceived in his conjecture. Remember that I have told you of it, and given you fair advertisement in time and place convenient.
But if you have any hogsheads of good wine, I willingly will accept of a present of that. Which they very heartily did do, in sending him of the best that was in the city, and he drank reasonably well, but poor Panurge bibbed and boused of it most villainously, for he was as dry as a red-herring, as lean as a rake, and, like a poor, lank, slender cat, walked gingerly as if he had trod upon eggs. So that by someone being admonished, in the midst of his draught of a large deep bowl full of excellent claret with these words—Fair and softly, gossip, you suck up as if you were mad —I give thee to the devil, said he; thou hast not found here thy little tippling sippers of Paris, that drink no more than the little bird called a spink or chaffinch, and never take in their beakful of liquor till they be bobbed on the tails after the manner of the sparrows. O companion! if I could mount up as well as I can get down, I had been long ere this above the sphere of the moon with Empedocles. But I cannot tell what a devil this means. This wine is so good and delicious, that the more I drink thereof the more I am athirst. I believe that the shadow of my master Pantagruel engendereth the altered and thirsty men, as the moon doth the catarrhs and defluxions. At which word the company began to laugh, which Pantagruel perceiving, said, Panurge, what is that which moves you to laugh so? Sir, said he, I was telling them that these devilish Turks are very unhappy in that they never drink one drop of wine, and that though there were no other harm in all Mahomet's Alcoran, yet for this one base point of abstinence from wine which therein is commanded, I would not submit myself unto their law. But now tell me, said Pantagruel, how you escaped out of their hands. By G—, sir, said Panurge, I will not lie to you in one word.
The rascally Turks had broached me upon a spit all larded like a rabbit, for I was so dry and meagre that otherwise of my flesh they would have made but very bad meat, and in this manner began to roast me alive. As they were thus roasting me, I recommended myself unto the divine grace, having in my mind the good St. Lawrence, and always hoped in God that he would deliver me out of this torment. Which came to pass, and that very strangely. For as I did commit myself with all my heart unto God, crying, Lord God, help me! Lord God, save me! Lord God, take me out of this pain and hellish torture, wherein these traitorous dogs detain me for my sincerity in the maintenance of thy law! The roaster or turnspit fell asleep by the divine will, or else by the virtue of some good Mercury, who cunningly brought Argus into a sleep for all his hundred eyes. When I saw that he did no longer turn me in roasting, I looked upon him, and perceived that he was fast asleep. Then took I up in my teeth a firebrand by the end where it was not burnt, and cast it into the lap of my roaster, and another did I throw as well as I could under a field-couch that was placed near to the chimney, wherein was the straw-bed of my master turnspit. Presently the fire took hold in the straw, and from the straw to the bed, and from the bed to the loft, which was planked and ceiled with fir, after the fashion of the foot of a lamp. But the best was, that the fire which I had cast into the lap of my paltry roaster burnt all his groin, and was beginning to cease (seize) upon his cullions, when he became sensible of the danger, for his smelling was not so bad but that he felt it sooner than he could have seen daylight. Then suddenly getting up, and in a great amazement running to the window, he cried out to the streets as high as he could, Dal baroth, dal baroth, dal baroth, which is as much to say as Fire, fire, fire. Incontinently turning about, he came straight towards me to throw me quite into the fire, and to that effect had already cut the ropes wherewith my hands were tied, and was undoing the cords from off my feet, when the master of the house hearing him cry Fire, and smelling the smoke from the very street where he was walking with some other Bashaws and Mustaphas, ran with all the speed he had to save what he could, and to carry away his jewels. Yet such was his rage, before he could well resolve how to go about it, that he caught the broach whereon I was spitted and therewith killed my roaster stark dead, of which wound he died there for want of government or otherwise; for he ran him in with the spit a little above the navel, towards the right flank, till he pierced the third lappet of his liver, and the blow slanting upwards from the midriff or diaphragm, through which it had made penetration, the spit passed athwart the pericardium or capsule of his heart, and came out above at his shoulders, betwixt the spondyls or turning joints of the chine of the back and the left homoplat, which we call the shoulder-blade.
True it is, for I will not lie, that, in drawing the spit out of my body I fell to the ground near unto the andirons, and so by the fall took some hurt, which indeed had been greater, but that the lardons, or little slices of bacon wherewith I was stuck, kept off the blow. My Bashaw then seeing the case to be desperate, his house burnt without remission, and all his goods lost, gave himself over unto all the devils in hell, calling upon some of them by their names, Grilgoth, Astaroth, Rappalus, and Gribouillis, nine several times. Which when I saw, I had above sixpence' worth of fear, dreading that the devils would come even then to carry away this fool, and, seeing me so near him, would perhaps snatch me up to. I am already, thought I, half roasted, and my lardons will be the cause of my mischief; for these devils are very liquorous of lardons, according to the authority which you have of the philosopher Jamblicus, and Murmault, in the Apology of Bossutis, adulterated pro magistros nostros. But for my better security I made the sign of the cross, crying, Hageos, athanatos, ho theos, and none came. At which my rogue Bashaw being very much aggrieved would, in transpiercing his heart with my spit, have killed himself, and to that purpose had set it against his breast, but it could not enter, because it was not sharp enough. Whereupon I perceiving that he was not like to work upon his body the effect which he intended, although he did not spare all the force he had to thrust it forward, came up to him and said, Master Bugrino, thou dost here but trifle away thy time, or rashly lose it, for thou wilt never kill thyself thus as thou doest. Well, thou mayst hurt or bruise somewhat within thee, so as to make thee languish all thy lifetime most pitifully amongst the hands of the chirurgeons; but if thou wilt be counselled by me, I will kill thee clear outright, so that thou shalt not so much as feel it, and trust me, for I have killed a great many others, who have found themselves very well after it. Ha, my friend, said he, I prithee do so, and for thy pains I will give thee my codpiece (budget); take, here it is, there are six hundred seraphs in it, and some fine diamonds and most excellent rubies. And where are they? said Epistemon. By St. John, said Panurge, they are a good way hence, if they always keep going. But where is the last year's snow? This was the greatest care that Villon the Parisian poet took. Make an end, said Pantagruel, that we may know how thou didst dress thy Bashaw. By the faith of an honest man, said Panurge, I do not lie in one word. I swaddled him in a scurvy swathel-binding which I found lying there half burnt, and with my cords tied him roister-like both hand and foot, in such sort that he was not able to wince; then passed my spit through his throat, and hanged him thereon, fastening the end thereof at two great hooks or crampirons, upon which they did hang their halberds; and then, kindling a fair fire under him, did flame you up my Milourt, as they use to do dry herrings in a chimney. With this, taking his budget and a little javelin that was upon the foresaid hooks, I ran away a fair gallop-rake, and God he knows how I did smell my shoulder of mutton.
When I was come down into the street, I found everybody come to put out the fire with store of water, and seeing me so half-roasted, they did naturally pity my case, and threw all their water upon me, which, by a most joyful refreshing of me, did me very much good. Then did they present me with some victuals, but I could not eat much, because they gave me nothing to drink but water after their fashion. Other hurt they did me none, only one little villainous Turkey knobbreasted rogue came thiefteously to snatch away some of my lardons, but I gave him such a sturdy thump and sound rap on the fingers with all the weight of my javelin, that he came no more the second time. Shortly after this there came towards me a pretty young Corinthian wench, who brought me a boxful of conserves, of round Mirabolan plums, called emblicks, and looked upon my poor robin with an eye of great compassion, as it was flea-bitten and pinked with the sparkles of the fire from whence it came, for it reached no farther in length, believe me, than my knees. But note that this roasting cured me entirely of a sciatica, whereunto I had been subject above seven years before, upon that side which my roaster by falling asleep suffered to be burnt.
Now, whilst they were thus busy about me, the fire triumphed, never ask how? For it took hold on above two thousand houses, which one of them espying cried out, saying, By Mahoom's belly, all the city is on fire, and we do nevertheless stand gazing here, without offering to make any relief. Upon this everyone ran to save his own; for my part, I took my way towards the gate. When I was got upon the knap of a little hillock not far off, I turned me about as did Lot's wife, and, looking back, saw all the city burning in a fair fire, whereat I was so glad that I had almost beshit myself for joy. But God punished me well for it. How? said Pantagruel. Thus, said Panurge; for when with pleasure I beheld this jolly fire, jesting with myself, and saying—Ha! poor flies, ha! poor mice, you will have a bad winter of it this year; the fire is in your reeks, it is in your bed-straw—out come more than six, yea, more than thirteen hundred and eleven dogs, great and small, altogether out of the town, flying away from the fire. At the first approach they ran all upon me, being carried on by the scent of my lecherous half-roasted flesh, and had even then devoured me in a trice, if my good angel had not well inspired me with the instruction of a remedy very sovereign against the toothache. And wherefore, said Pantagruel, wert thou afraid of the toothache or pain of the teeth? Wert thou not cured of thy rheums? By Palm Sunday, said Panurge, is there any greater pain of the teeth than when the dogs have you by the legs? But on a sudden, as my good angel directed me, I thought upon my lardons, and threw them into the midst of the field amongst them. Then did the dogs run, and fight with one another at fair teeth which should have the lardons. By this means they left me, and I left them also bustling with and hairing one another. Thus did I escape frolic and lively, gramercy roastmeat and cookery.
Pantagruel one day, to refresh himself of his study, went a-walking towards St. Marcel's suburbs, to see the extravagancy of the Gobeline building, and to taste of their spiced bread. Panurge was with him, having always a flagon under his gown and a good slice of a gammon of bacon; for without this he never went, saying that it was as a yeoman of the guard to him, to preserve his body from harm. Other sword carried he none; and, when Pantagruel would have given him one, he answered that he needed none, for that it would but heat his milt. Yea but, said Epistemon, if thou shouldst be set upon, how wouldst thou defend thyself? With great buskinades or brodkin blows, answered he, provided thrusts were forbidden. At their return, Panurge considered the walls of the city of Paris, and in derision said to Pantagruel, See what fair walls here are! O how strong they are, and well fitted to keep geese in a mew or coop to fatten them! By my beard, they are competently scurvy for such a city as this is; for a cow with one fart would go near to overthrow above six fathoms of them. O my friend, said Pantagruel, dost thou know what Agesilaus said when he was asked why the great city of Lacedaemon was not enclosed with walls? Lo here, said he, the walls of the city! in showing them the inhabitants and citizens thereof, so strong, so well armed, and so expert in military discipline; signifying thereby that there is no wall but of bones, and that towns and cities cannot have a surer wall nor better fortification than the prowess and virtue of the citizens and inhabitants. So is this city so strong, by the great number of warlike people that are in it, that they care not for making any other walls. Besides, whosoever would go about to wall it, as Strasbourg, Orleans, or Ferrara, would find it almost impossible, the cost and charges would be so excessive. Yea but, said Panurge, it is good, nevertheless, to have an outside of stone when we are invaded by our enemies, were it but to ask, Who is below there? As for the enormous expense which you say would be needful for undertaking the great work of walling this city about, if the gentlemen of the town will be pleased to give me a good rough cup of wine, I will show them a pretty, strange, and new way, how they may build them good cheap. How? said Pantagruel. Do not speak of it then, answered Panurge, and I will tell it you. I see that the sine quo nons, kallibistris, or contrapunctums of the women of this country are better cheap than stones. Of them should the walls be built, ranging them in good symmetry by the rules of architecture, and placing the largest in the first ranks, then sloping downwards ridge-wise, like the back of an ass. The middle-sized ones must be ranked next, and last of all the least and smallest. This done, there must be a fine little interlacing of them, like points of diamonds, as is to be seen in the great tower of Bourges, with a like number of the nudinnudos, nilnisistandos, and stiff bracmards, that dwell in amongst the claustral codpieces. What devil were able to overthrow such walls? There is no metal like it to resist blows, in so far that, if culverin-shot should come to graze upon it, you would incontinently see distil from thence the blessed fruit of the great pox as small as rain. Beware, in the name of the devils, and hold off. Furthermore, no thunderbolt or lightning would fall upon it. For why? They are all either blest or consecrated. I see but one inconveniency in it. Ho, ho, ha, ha, ha! said Pantagruel, and what is that? It is, that the flies would be so liquorish of them that you would wonder, and would quickly gather there together, and there leave their ordure and excretions, and so all the work would be spoiled. But see how that might be remedied: they must be wiped and made rid of the flies with fair foxtails, or great good viedazes, which are ass-pizzles, of Provence. And to this purpose I will tell you, as we go to supper, a brave example set down by Frater Lubinus, Libro de compotationibus mendicantium.
In the time that the beasts did speak, which is not yet three days since, a poor lion, walking through the forest of Bieure, and saying his own little private devotions, passed under a tree where there was a roguish collier gotten up to cut down wood, who, seeing the lion, cast his hatchet at him and wounded him enormously in one of his legs; whereupon the lion halting, he so long toiled and turmoiled himself in roaming up and down the forest to find help, that at last he met with a carpenter, who willingly looked upon his wound, cleansed it as well as he could, and filled it with moss, telling him that he must wipe his wound well that the flies might not do their excrements in it, whilst he should go search for some yarrow or millefoil, commonly called the carpenter's herb. The lion, being thus healed, walked along in the forest at what time a sempiternous crone and old hag was picking up and gathering some sticks in the said forest, who, seeing the lion coming towards her, for fear fell down backwards, in such sort that the wind blew up her gown, coats, and smock, even as far as above her shoulders; which the lion perceiving, for pity ran to see whether she had taken any hurt by the fall, and thereupon considering her how do you call it, said, O poor woman, who hath thus wounded thee? Which words when he had spoken, he espied a fox, whom he called to come to him saying, Gossip Reynard, hau, hither, hither, and for cause! When the fox was come, he said unto him, My gossip and friend, they have hurt this good woman here between the legs most villainously, and there is a manifest solution of continuity. See how great a wound it is, even from the tail up to the navel, in measure four, nay full five handfuls and a half. This is the blow of a hatchet, I doubt me; it is an old wound, and therefore, that the flies may not get into it, wipe it lustily well and hard, I prithee, both within and without; thou hast a good tail, and long. Wipe, my friend, wipe, I beseech thee, and in the meanwhile I will go get some moss to put into it; for thus ought we to succour and help one another. Wipe it hard, thus, my friend; wipe it well, for this wound must be often wiped, otherwise the party cannot be at ease. Go to, wipe well, my little gossip, wipe; God hath furnished thee with a tail; thou hast a long one, and of a bigness proportionable; wipe hard, and be not weary. A good wiper, who, in wiping continually, wipeth with his wipard, by wasps shall never be wounded. Wipe, my pretty minion; wipe, my little bully; I will not stay long. Then went he to get store of moss; and when he was a little way off, he cried out in speaking to the fox thus, Wipe well still, gossip, wipe, and let it never grieve thee to wipe well, my little gossip; I will put thee into service to be wiper to Don Pedro de Castile; wipe, only wipe, and no more. The poor fox wiped as hard as he could, here and there, within and without; but the false old trot did so fizzle and fist that she stunk like a hundred devils, which put the poor fox to a great deal of ill ease, for he knew not to what side to turn himself to escape the unsavoury perfume of this old woman's postern blasts. And whilst to that effect he was shifting hither and thither, without knowing how to shun the annoyance of those unwholesome gusts, he saw that behind there was yet another hole, not so great as that which he did wipe, out of which came this filthy and infectious air. The lion at last returned, bringing with him of moss more than eighteen packs would hold, and began to put into the wound with a staff which he had provided for that purpose, and had already put in full sixteen packs and a half, at which he was amazed. What a devil! said he, this wound is very deep; it would hold above two cartloads of moss. The fox, perceiving this, said unto the lion, O gossip lion, my friend, I pray thee do not put in all thy moss there; keep somewhat, for there is yet here another little hole, that stinks like five hundred devils; I am almost choked with the smell thereof, it is so pestiferous and empoisoning.
Thus must these walls be kept from the flies, and wages allowed to some for wiping of them. Then said Pantagruel, How dost thou know that the privy parts of women are at such a cheap rate? For in this city there are many virtuous, honest, and chaste women besides the maids. Et ubi prenus? said Panurge. I will give you my opinion of it, and that upon certain and assured knowledge. I do not brag that I have bumbasted four hundred and seventeen since I came into this city, though it be but nine days ago; but this very morning I met with a good fellow, who, in a wallet such as Aesop's was, carried two little girls of two or three years old at the most, one before and the other behind. He demanded alms of me, but I made him answer that I had more cods than pence. Afterwards I asked him, Good man, these two girls, are they maids? Brother, said he, I have carried them thus these two years, and in regard of her that is before, whom I see continually, in my opinion she is a virgin, nevertheless I will not put my finger in the fire for it; as for her that is behind, doubtless I can say nothing.
Indeed, said Pantagruel, thou art a gentle companion; I will have thee to be apparelled in my livery. And therefore caused him to be clothed most gallantly according to the fashion that then was, only that Panurge would have the codpiece of his breeches three foot long, and in shape square, not round; which was done, and was well worth the seeing. Oftentimes was he wont to say, that the world had not yet known the emolument and utility that is in wearing great codpieces; but time would one day teach it them, as all things have been invented in time. God keep from hurt, said he, the good fellow whose long codpiece or braguet hath saved his life! God keep from hurt him whose long braguet hath been worth to him in one day one hundred threescore thousand and nine crowns! God keep from hurt him who by his long braguet hath saved a whole city from dying by famine! And, by G-, I will make a book of the commodity of long braguets when I shall have more leisure. And indeed he composed a fair great book with figures, but it is not printed as yet that I know of.
Panurge was of a middle stature, not too high nor too low, and had somewhat an aquiline nose, made like the handle of a razor. He was at that time five and thirty years old or thereabouts, fine to gild like a leaden dagger—for he was a notable cheater and coney-catcher—he was a very gallant and proper man of his person, only that he was a little lecherous, and naturally subject to a kind of disease which at that time they called lack of money—it is an incomparable grief, yet, notwithstanding, he had three score and three tricks to come by it at his need, of which the most honourable and most ordinary was in manner of thieving, secret purloining and filching, for he was a wicked lewd rogue, a cozener, drinker, roister, rover, and a very dissolute and debauched fellow, if there were any in Paris; otherwise, and in all matters else, the best and most virtuous man in the world; and he was still contriving some plot, and devising mischief against the sergeants and the watch.
At one time he assembled three or four especial good hacksters and roaring boys, made them in the evening drink like Templars, afterwards led them till they came under St. Genevieve, or about the college of Navarre, and, at the hour that the watch was coming up that way—which he knew by putting his sword upon the pavement, and his ear by it, and, when he heard his sword shake, it was an infallible sign that the watch was near at that instant—then he and his companions took a tumbrel or dung-cart, and gave it the brangle, hurling it with all their force down the hill, and so overthrew all the poor watchmen like pigs, and then ran away upon the other side; for in less than two days he knew all the streets, lanes, and turnings in Paris as well as his Deus det.
At another time he made in some fair place, where the said watch was to pass, a train of gunpowder, and, at the very instant that they went along, set fire to it, and then made himself sport to see what good grace they had in running away, thinking that St. Anthony's fire had caught them by the legs. As for the poor masters of arts, he did persecute them above all others. When he encountered with any of them upon the street, he would not never fail to put some trick or other upon them, sometimes putting the bit of a fried turd in their graduate hoods, at other times pinning on little foxtails or hares'-ears behind them, or some such other roguish prank. One day that they were appointed all to meet in the Fodder Street (Sorbonne), he made a Borbonesa tart, or filthy and slovenly compound, made of store of garlic, of assafoetida, of castoreum, of dogs' turds very warm, which he steeped, tempered, and liquefied in the corrupt matter of pocky boils and pestiferous botches; and, very early in the morning therewith anointed all the pavement, in such sort that the devil could not have endured it, which made all these good people there to lay up their gorges, and vomit what was upon their stomachs before all the world, as if they had flayed the fox; and ten or twelve of them died of the plague, fourteen became lepers, eighteen grew lousy, and about seven and twenty had the pox, but he did not care a button for it. He commonly carried a whip under his gown, wherewith he whipped without remission the pages whom he found carrying wine to their masters, to make them mend their pace. In his coat he had above six and twenty little fobs and pockets always full; one with some lead-water, and a little knife as sharp as a glover's needle, wherewith he used to cut purses; another with some kind of bitter stuff, which he threw into the eyes of those he met; another with clotburrs, penned with little geese' or capon's feathers, which he cast upon the gowns and caps of honest people, and often made them fair horns, which they wore about all the city, sometimes all their life. Very often, also, upon the women's French hoods would he stick in the hind part somewhat made in the shape of a man's member. In another, he had a great many little horns full of fleas and lice, which he borrowed from the beggars of St. Innocent, and cast them with small canes or quills to write with into the necks of the daintiest gentlewomen that he could find, yea, even in the church, for he never seated himself above in the choir, but always sat in the body of the church amongst the women, both at mass, at vespers, and at sermon. In another, he used to have good store of hooks and buckles, wherewith he would couple men and women together that sat in company close to one another, but especially those that wore gowns of crimson taffeties, that, when they were about to go away, they might rend all their gowns. In another, he had a squib furnished with tinder, matches, stones to strike fire, and all other tackling necessary for it. In another, two or three burning glasses, wherewith he made both men and women sometimes mad, and in the church put them quite out of countenance; for he said that there was but an antistrophe, or little more difference than of a literal inversion, between a woman folle a la messe and molle a la fesse, that is, foolish at the mass and of a pliant buttock.
In another, he had a good deal of needles and thread, wherewith he did a thousand little devilish pranks. One time, at the entry of the palace unto the great hall, where a certain grey friar or cordelier was to say mass to the counsellors, he did help to apparel him and put on his vestments, but in the accoutring of him he sewed on his alb, surplice, or stole, to his gown and shirt, and then withdrew himself when the said lords of the court or counsellors came to hear the said mass; but when it came to the Ite, missa est, that the poor frater would have laid by his stole or surplice, as the fashion then was, he plucked off withal both his frock and shirt, which were well sewed together, and thereby stripping himself up to the very shoulders showed his bel vedere to all the world, together with his Don Cypriano, which was no small one, as you may imagine. And the friar still kept haling, but so much the more did he discover himself and lay open his back parts, till one of the lords of the court said, How now! what's the matter? Will this fair father make us here an offering of his tail to kiss it? Nay, St. Anthony's fire kiss it for us! From thenceforth it was ordained that the poor fathers should never disrobe themselves any more before the world, but in their vestry-room, or sextry, as they call it; especially in the presence of women, lest it should tempt them to the sin of longing and disordinate desire. The people then asked why it was the friars had so long and large genitories? The said Panurge resolved the problem very neatly, saying, That which makes asses to have such great ears is that their dams did put no biggins on their heads, as Alliaco mentioneth in his Suppositions. By the like reason, that which makes the genitories or generation-tools of those so fair fraters so long is, for that they wear no bottomed breeches, and therefore their jolly member, having no impediment, hangeth dangling at liberty as far as it can reach, with a wiggle-waggle down to their knees, as women carry their paternoster beads. and the cause wherefore they have it so correspondently great is, that in this constant wig-wagging the humours of the body descend into the said member. For, according to the Legists, agitation and continual motion is cause of attraction.
Item, he had another pocket full of itching powder, called stone-alum, whereof he would cast some into the backs of those women whom he judged to be most beautiful and stately, which did so ticklishly gall them, that some would strip themselves in the open view of the world, and others dance like a cock upon hot embers, or a drumstick on a tabor. Others, again, ran about the streets, and he would run after them. To such as were in the stripping vein he would very civilly come to offer his attendance, and cover them with his cloak, like a courteous and very gracious man.
Item, in another he had a little leather bottle full of old oil, wherewith, when he saw any man or woman in a rich new handsome suit, he would grease, smutch, and spoil all the best parts of it under colour and pretence of touching them, saying, This is good cloth; this is good satin; good taffeties! Madam, God give you all that your noble heart desireth! You have a new suit, pretty sir;—and you a new gown, sweet mistress;—God give you joy of it, and maintain you in all prosperity! And with this would lay his hand upon their shoulder, at which touch such a villainous spot was left behind, so enormously engraven to perpetuity in the very soul, body, and reputation, that the devil himself could never have taken it away. Then, upon his departing, he would say, Madam, take heed you do not fall, for there is a filthy great hole before you, whereinto if you put your foot, you will quite spoil yourself.
Another he had all full of euphorbium, very finely pulverized. In that powder did he lay a fair handkerchief curiously wrought, which he had stolen from a pretty seamstress of the palace, in taking away a louse from off her bosom which he had put there himself, and, when he came into the company of some good ladies, he would trifle them into a discourse of some fine workmanship of bone-lace, then immediately put his hand into their bosom, asking them, And this work, is it of Flanders, or of Hainault? and then drew out his handkerchief, and said, Hold, hold, look what work here is, it is of Foutignan or of Fontarabia, and shaking it hard at their nose, made them sneeze for four hours without ceasing. In the meanwhile he would fart like a horse, and the women would laugh and say, How now, do you fart, Panurge? No, no, madam, said he, I do but tune my tail to the plain song of the music which you make with your nose. In another he had a picklock, a pelican, a crampiron, a crook, and some other iron tools, wherewith there was no door nor coffer which he would not pick open. He had another full of little cups, wherewith he played very artificially, for he had his fingers made to his hand, like those of Minerva or Arachne, and had heretofore cried treacle. And when he changed a teston, cardecu, or any other piece of money, the changer had been more subtle than a fox if Panurge had not at every time made five or six sols (that is, some six or seven pence,) vanish away invisibly, openly, and manifestly, without making any hurt or lesion, whereof the changer should have felt nothing but the wind.
One day I found Panurge very much out of countenance, melancholic, and silent; which made me suspect that he had no money; whereupon I said unto him, Panurge, you are sick, as I do very well perceive by your physiognomy, and I know the disease. You have a flux in your purse; but take no care. I have yet sevenpence halfpenny that never saw father nor mother, which shall not be wanting, no more than the pox, in your necessity. Whereunto he answered me, Well, well; for money one day I shall have but too much, for I have a philosopher's stone which attracts money out of men's purses as the adamant doth iron. But will you go with me to gain the pardons? said he. By my faith, said I, I am no great pardon-taker in this world—if I shall be any such in the other, I cannot tell; yet let us go, in God's name; it is but one farthing more or less; But, said he, lend me then a farthing upon interest. No, no, said I; I will give it you freely, and from my heart. Grates vobis dominos, said he.
So we went along, beginning at St. Gervase, and I got the pardons at the first box only, for in those matters very little contenteth me. Then did I say my small suffrages and the prayers of St. Brigid; but he gained them all at the boxes, and always gave money to everyone of the pardoners. From thence we went to Our Lady's Church, to St. John's, to St. Anthony's, and so to the other churches, where there was a banquet (bank) of pardons. For my part, I gained no more of them, but he at all the boxes kissed the relics, and gave at everyone. To be brief, when we were returned, he brought me to drink at the castle-tavern, and there showed me ten or twelve of his little bags full of money, at which I blessed myself, and made the sign of the cross, saying, Where have you recovered so much money in so little time? Unto which he answered me that he had taken it out of the basins of the pardons. For in giving them the first farthing, said he, I put it in with such sleight of hand and so dexterously that it appeared to be a threepence; thus with one hand I took threepence, ninepence, or sixpence at the least, and with the other as much, and so through all the churches where we have been. Yea but, said I, you damn yourself like a snake, and are withal a thief and sacrilegious person. True, said he, in your opinion, but I am not of that mind; for the pardoners do give me it, when they say unto me in presenting the relics to kiss, Centuplum accipies, that is, that for one penny I should take a hundred; for accipies is spoken according to the manner of the Hebrews, who use the future tense instead of the imperative, as you have in the law, Diliges Dominum, that is, Dilige. Even so, when the pardon-bearer says to me, Centuplum accipies, his meaning is, Centuplum accipe; and so doth Rabbi Kimy and Rabbi Aben Ezra expound it, and all the Massorets, et ibi Bartholus. Moreover, Pope Sixtus gave me fifteen hundred francs of yearly pension, which in English money is a hundred and fifty pounds, upon his ecclesiastical revenues and treasure, for having cured him of a cankerous botch, which did so torment him that he thought to have been a cripple by it all his life. Thus I do pay myself at my own hand, for otherwise I get nothing upon the said ecclesiastical treasure. Ho, my friend! said he, if thou didst know what advantage I made, and how well I feathered my nest, by the Pope's bull of the crusade, thou wouldst wonder exceedingly. It was worth to me above six thousand florins, in English coin six hundred pounds. And what a devil is become of them? said I; for of that money thou hast not one halfpenny. They returned from whence they came, said he; they did no more but change their master.
But I employed at least three thousand of them, that is, three hundred pounds English, in marrying—not young virgins, for they find but too many husbands—but great old sempiternous trots which had not so much as one tooth in their heads; and that out of the consideration I had that these good old women had very well spent the time of their youth in playing at the close-buttock game to all comers, serving the foremost first, till no man would have any more dealing with them. And, by G—, I will have their skin-coat shaken once yet before they die. By this means, to one I gave a hundred florins, to another six score, to another three hundred, according to that they were infamous, detestable, and abominable. For, by how much the more horrible and execrable they were, so much the more must I needs have given them, otherwise the devil would not have jummed them. Presently I went to some great and fat wood-porter, or such like, and did myself make the match. But, before I did show him the old hags, I made a fair muster to him of the crowns, saying, Good fellow, see what I will give thee if thou wilt but condescend to duffle, dinfredaille, or lecher it one good time. Then began the poor rogues to gape like old mules, and I caused to be provided for them a banquet, with drink of the best, and store of spiceries, to put the old women in rut and heat of lust. To be short, they occupied all, like good souls; only, to those that were horribly ugly and ill-favoured, I caused their head to be put within a bag, to hide their face.
Besides all this, I have lost a great deal in suits of law. And what lawsuits couldst thou have? said I; thou hast neither house nor lands. My friend, said he, the gentlewomen of this city had found out, by the instigation of the devil of hell, a manner of high-mounted bands and neckerchiefs for women, which did so closely cover their bosoms that men could no more put their hands under. For they had put the slit behind, and those neckcloths were wholly shut before, whereat the poor sad contemplative lovers were much discontented. Upon a fair Tuesday I presented a petition to the court, making myself a party against the said gentlewomen, and showing the great interest that I pretended therein, protesting that by the same reason I would cause the codpiece of my breeches to be sewed behind, if the court would not take order for it. In sum, the gentlewomen put in their defences, showing the grounds they went upon, and constituted their attorney for the prosecuting of the cause. But I pursued them so vigorously, that by a sentence of the court it was decreed those high neckcloths should be no longer worn if they were not a little cleft and open before; but it cost me a good sum of money. I had another very filthy and beastly process against the dung-farmer called Master Fifi and his deputies, that they should no more read privily the pipe, puncheon, nor quart of sentences, but in fair full day, and that in the Fodder schools, in face of the Arrian (Artitian) sophisters, where I was ordained to pay the charges, by reason of some clause mistaken in the relation of the sergeant. Another time I framed a complaint to the court against the mules of the presidents, counsellors, and others, tending to this purpose, that, when in the lower court of the palace they left them to champ on their bridles, some bibs were made for them (by the counsellors' wives), that with their drivelling they might not spoil the pavement; to the end that the pages of the palace what play upon it with their dice, or at the game of coxbody, at their own ease, without spoiling their breeches at the knees. And for this I had a fair decree, but it cost me dear. Now reckon up what expense I was at in little banquets which from day to day I made to the pages of the palace. And to what end? said I. My friend, said he, thou hast no pastime at all in this world. I have more than the king, and if thou wilt join thyself with me, we will do the devil together. No, no, said I; by St. Adauras, that will I not, for thou wilt be hanged one time or another. And thou, said he, wilt be interred some time or other. Now which is most honourable, the air or the earth? Ho, grosse pecore!
Whilst the pages are at their banqueting, I keep their mules, and to someone I cut the stirrup-leather of the mounting side till it hang but by a thin strap or thread, that when the great puffguts of the counsellor or some other hath taken his swing to get up, he may fall flat on his side like a pork, and so furnish the spectators with more than a hundred francs' worth of laughter. But I laugh yet further to think how at his home-coming the master-page is to be whipped like green rye, which makes me not to repent what I have bestowed in feasting them. In brief, he had, as I said before, three score and three ways to acquire money, but he had two hundred and fourteen to spend it, besides his drinking.
In that same time a certain learned man named Thaumast, hearing the fame and renown of Pantagruel's incomparable knowledge, came out of his own country of England with an intent only to see him, to try thereby and prove whether his knowledge in effect was so great as it was reported to be. In this resolution being arrived at Paris, he went forthwith unto the house of the said Pantagruel, who was lodged in the palace of St. Denis, and was then walking in the garden thereof with Panurge, philosophizing after the fashion of the Peripatetics. At his first entrance he startled, and was almost out of his wits for fear, seeing him so great and so tall. Then did he salute him courteously as the manner is, and said unto him, Very true it is, saith Plato the prince of philosophers, that if the image and knowledge of wisdom were corporeal and visible to the eyes of mortals, it would stir up all the world to admire her. Which we may the rather believe that the very bare report thereof, scattered in the air, if it happen to be received into the ears of men, who, for being studious and lovers of virtuous things are called philosophers, doth not suffer them to sleep nor rest in quiet, but so pricketh them up and sets them on fire to run unto the place where the person is, in whom the said knowledge is said to have built her temple and uttered her oracles. As it was manifestly shown unto us in the Queen of Sheba, who came from the utmost borders of the East and Persian Sea, to see the order of Solomon's house and to hear his wisdom; in Anacharsis, who came out of Scythia, even unto Athens, to see Solon; in Pythagoras, who travelled far to visit the memphitical vaticinators; in Plato, who went a great way off to see the magicians of Egypt, and Architus of Tarentum; in Apollonius Tyaneus, who went as far as unto Mount Caucasus, passed along the Scythians, the Massagetes, the Indians, and sailed over the great river Phison, even to the Brachmans to see Hiarchus; as likewise unto Babylon, Chaldea, Media, Assyria, Parthia, Syria, Phoenicia, Arabia, Palestina, and Alexandria, even unto Aethiopia, to see the Gymnosophists. The like example have we of Titus Livius, whom to see and hear divers studious persons came to Rome from the confines of France and Spain. I dare not reckon myself in the number of those so excellent persons, but well would be called studious, and a lover, not only of learning, but of learned men also. And indeed, having heard the report of your so inestimable knowledge, I have left my country, my friends, my kindred, and my house, and am come thus far, valuing at nothing the length of the way, the tediousness of the sea, nor strangeness of the land, and that only to see you and to confer with you about some passages in philosophy, of geomancy, and of the cabalistic art, whereof I am doubtful and cannot satisfy my mind; which if you can resolve, I yield myself unto you for a slave henceforward, together with all my posterity, for other gift have I none that I can esteem a recompense sufficient for so great a favour. I will reduce them into writing, and to-morrow publish them to all the learned men in the city, that we may dispute publicly before them.
But see in what manner I mean that we shall dispute. I will not argue pro et contra, as do the sottish sophisters of this town and other places. Likewise I will not dispute after the manner of the Academics by declamation; nor yet by numbers, as Pythagoras was wont to do, and as Picus de la Mirandula did of late at Rome. But I will dispute by signs only without speaking, for the matters are so abstruse, hard, and arduous, that words proceeding from the mouth of man will never be sufficient for unfolding of them to my liking. May it, therefore, please your magnificence to be there; it shall be at the great hall of Navarre at seven o'clock in the morning. When he had spoken these words, Pantagruel very honourably said unto him: Sir, of the graces that God hath bestowed upon me, I would not deny to communicate unto any man to my power. For whatever comes from him is good, and his pleasure is that it should be increased when we come amongst men worthy and fit to receive this celestial manna of honest literature. In which number, because that in this time, as I do already very plainly perceive, thou holdest the first rank, I give thee notice that at all hours thou shalt find me ready to condescend to every one of thy requests according to my poor ability; although I ought rather to learn of thee than thou of me. But, as thou hast protested, we will confer of these doubts together, and will seek out the resolution, even unto the bottom of that undrainable well where Heraclitus says the truth lies hidden. And I do highly commend the manner of arguing which thou hast proposed, to wit, by signs without speaking; for by this means thou and I shall understand one another well enough, and yet shall be free from this clapping of hands which these blockish sophisters make when any of the arguers hath gotten the better of the argument. Now to-morrow I will not fail to meet thee at the place and hour that thou hast appointed, but let me entreat thee that there be not any strife or uproar between us, and that we seek not the honour and applause of men, but the truth only. To which Thaumast answered: The Lord God maintain you in his favour and grace, and, instead of my thankfulness to you, pour down his blessings upon you, for that your highness and magnificent greatness hath not disdained to descend to the grant of the request of my poor baseness. So farewell till to-morrow! Farewell, said Pantagruel.
Gentlemen, you that read this present discourse, think not that ever men were more elevated and transported in their thoughts than all this night were both Thaumast and Pantagruel; for the said Thaumast said to the keeper of the house of Cluny, where he was lodged, that in all his life he had never known himself so dry as he was that night. I think, said he, that Pantagruel held me by the throat. Give order, I pray you, that we may have some drink, and see that some fresh water be brought to us, to gargle my palate. On the other side, Pantagruel stretched his wits as high as he could, entering into very deep and serious meditations, and did nothing all that night but dote upon and turn over the book of Beda, De numeris et signis; Plotin's book, De inenarrabilibus; the book of Proclus, De magia; the book of Artemidorus peri Oneirokritikon; of Anaxagoras, peri Zemeion; Dinarius, peri Aphaton; the books of Philiston; Hipponax, peri Anekphoneton, and a rabble of others, so long, that Panurge said unto him:
My lord, leave all these thoughts and go to bed; for I perceive your spirits to be so troubled by a too intensive bending of them, that you may easily fall into some quotidian fever with this so excessive thinking and plodding. But, having first drunk five and twenty or thirty good draughts, retire yourself and sleep your fill, for in the morning I will argue against and answer my master the Englishman, and if I drive him not ad metam non loqui, then call me knave. Yea but, said he, my friend Panurge, he is marvellously learned; how wilt thou be able to answer him? Very well, answered Panurge; I pray you talk no more of it, but let me alone. Is any man so learned as the devils are? No, indeed, said Pantagruel, without God's especial grace. Yet for all that, said Panurge, I have argued against them, gravelled and blanked them in disputation, and laid them so squat upon their tails that I have made them look like monkeys. Therefore be assured that to-morrow I will make this vain-glorious Englishman to skite vinegar before all the world. So Panurge spent the night with tippling amongst the pages, and played away all the points of his breeches at primus secundus and at peck point, in French called La Vergette. Yet, when the condescended on time was come, he failed not to conduct his master Pantagruel to the appointed place, unto which, believe me, there was neither great nor small in Paris but came, thinking with themselves that this devilish Pantagruel, who had overthrown and vanquished in dispute all these doting fresh-water sophisters, would now get full payment and be tickled to some purpose. For this Englishman is a terrible bustler and horrible coil-keeper. We will see who will be conqueror, for he never met with his match before.
Thus all being assembled, Thaumast stayed for them, and then, when Pantagruel and Panurge came into the hall, all the schoolboys, professors of arts, senior sophisters, and bachelors began to clap their hands, as their scurvy custom is. But Pantagruel cried out with a loud voice, as if it had been the sound of a double cannon, saying, Peace, with a devil to you, peace! By G—, you rogues, if you trouble me here, I will cut off the heads of everyone of you. At which words they remained all daunted and astonished like so many ducks, and durst not do so much as cough, although they had swallowed fifteen pounds of feathers. Withal they grew so dry with this only voice, that they laid out their tongues a full half foot beyond their mouths, as if Pantagruel had salted all their throats. Then began Panurge to speak, saying to the Englishman, Sir, are you come hither to dispute contentiously in those propositions you have set down, or, otherwise, but to learn and know the truth? To which answered Thaumast, Sir, no other thing brought me hither but the great desire I had to learn and to know that of which I have doubted all my life long, and have neither found book nor man able to content me in the resolution of those doubts which I have proposed. And, as for disputing contentiously, I will not do it, for it is too base a thing, and therefore leave it to those sottish sophisters who in their disputes do not search for the truth, but for contradiction only and debate. Then said Panurge, If I, who am but a mean and inconsiderable disciple of my master my lord Pantagruel, content and satisfy you in all and everything, it were a thing below my said master wherewith to trouble him. Therefore is it fitter that he be chairman, and sit as a judge and moderator of our discourse and purpose, and give you satisfaction in many things wherein perhaps I shall be wanting to your expectation. Truly, said Thaumast, it is very well said; begin then. Now you must note that Panurge had set at the end of his long codpiece a pretty tuft of red silk, as also of white, green, and blue, and within it had put a fair orange.
Everybody then taking heed, and hearkening with great silence, the Englishman lift up on high into the air his two hands severally, clunching in all the tops of his fingers together, after the manner which, a la Chinonnese, they call the hen's arse, and struck the one hand on the other by the nails four several times. Then he, opening them, struck the one with the flat of the other till it yielded a clashing noise, and that only once. Again, in joining them as before, he struck twice, and afterwards four times in opening them. Then did he lay them joined, and extended the one towards the other, as if he had been devoutly to send up his prayers unto God. Panurge suddenly lifted up in the air his right hand, and put the thumb thereof into the nostril of the same side, holding his four fingers straight out, and closed orderly in a parallel line to the point of his nose, shutting the left eye wholly, and making the other wink with a profound depression of the eyebrows and eyelids. Then lifted he up his left hand, with hard wringing and stretching forth his four fingers and elevating his thumb, which he held in a line directly correspondent to the situation of his right hand, with the distance of a cubit and a half between them. This done, in the same form he abased towards the ground about the one and the other hand. Lastly, he held them in the midst, as aiming right at the Englishman's nose. And if Mercury,—said the Englishman. There Panurge interrupted him, and said, You have spoken, Mask.
Then made the Englishman this sign. His left hand all open he lifted up into the air, then instantly shut into his fist the four fingers thereof, and his thumb extended at length he placed upon the gristle of his nose. Presently after, he lifted up his right hand all open, and all open abased and bent it downwards, putting the thumb thereof in the very place where the little finger of the left hand did close in the fist, and the four right-hand fingers he softly moved in the air. Then contrarily he did with the right hand what he had done with the left, and with the left what he had done with the right.
Panurge, being not a whit amazed at this, drew out into the air his trismegist codpiece with the left hand, and with his right drew forth a truncheon of a white ox-rib, and two pieces of wood of a like form, one of black ebony and the other of incarnation brasil, and put them betwixt the fingers of that hand in good symmetry; then, knocking them together, made such a noise as the lepers of Brittany use to do with their clappering clickets, yet better resounding and far more harmonious, and with his tongue contracted in his mouth did very merrily warble it, always looking fixedly upon the Englishman. The divines, physicians, and chirurgeons that were there thought that by this sign he would have inferred that the Englishman was a leper. The counsellors, lawyers, and decretalists conceived that by doing this he would have concluded some kind of mortal felicity to consist in leprosy, as the Lord maintained heretofore.
The Englishman for all this was nothing daunted, but holding up his two hands in the air, kept them in such form that he closed the three master-fingers in his fist, and passing his thumbs through his indical or foremost and middle fingers, his auriculary or little fingers remained extended and stretched out, and so presented he them to Panurge. Then joined he them so that the right thumb touched the left, and the left little finger touched the right. Hereat Panurge, without speaking one word, lift up his hands and made this sign.
He put the nail of the forefinger of his left hand to the nail of the thumb of the same, making in the middle of the distance as it were a buckle, and of his right hand shut up all the fingers into his fist, except the forefinger, which he often thrust in and out through the said two others of the left hand. Then stretched he out the forefinger and middle finger or medical of his right hand, holding them asunder as much as he could, and thrusting them towards Thaumast. Then did he put the thumb of his left hand upon the corner of his left eye, stretching out all his hand like the wing of a bird or the fin of a fish, and moving it very daintily this way and that way, he did as much with his right hand upon the corner of his right eye. Thaumast began then to wax somewhat pale, and to tremble, and made him this sign.
With the middle finger of his right hand he struck against the muscle of the palm or pulp which is under the thumb. Then put he the forefinger of the right hand in the like buckle of the left, but he put it under, and not over, as Panurge did. Then Panurge knocked one hand against another, and blowed in his palm, and put again the forefinger of his right hand into the overture or mouth of the left, pulling it often in and out. Then held he out his chin, most intentively looking upon Thaumast. The people there, which understood nothing in the other signs, knew very well that therein he demanded, without speaking a word to Thaumast, What do you mean by that? In effect, Thaumast then began to sweat great drops, and seemed to all the spectators a man strangely ravished in high contemplation. Then he bethought himself, and put all the nails of his left hand against those of his right, opening his fingers as if they had been semicircles, and with this sign lift up his hands as high as he could. Whereupon Panurge presently put the thumb of his right hand under his jaws, and the little finger thereof in the mouth of the left hand, and in this posture made his teeth to sound very melodiously, the upper against the lower. With this Thaumast, with great toil and vexation of spirit, rose up, but in rising let a great baker's fart, for the bran came after, and pissing withal very strong vinegar, stunk like all the devils in hell. The company began to stop their noses; for he had conskited himself with mere anguish and perplexity. Then lifted he up his right hand, clunching it in such sort that he brought the ends of all his fingers to meet together, and his left hand he laid flat upon his breast. Whereat Panurge drew out his long codpiece with his tuff, and stretched it forth a cubit and a half, holding it in the air with his right hand, and with his left took out his orange, and, casting it up into the air seven times, at the eighth he hid it in the fist of his right hand, holding it steadily up on high, and then began to shake his fair codpiece, showing it to Thaumast.
After that, Thaumast began to puff up his two cheeks like a player on a bagpipe, and blew as if he had been to puff up a pig's bladder. Whereupon Panurge put one finger of his left hand in his nockandrow, by some called St. Patrick's hole, and with his mouth sucked in the air, in such a manner as when one eats oysters in the shell, or when we sup up our broth. This done, he opened his mouth somewhat, and struck his right hand flat upon it, making therewith a great and a deep sound, as if it came from the superficies of the midriff through the trachiartery or pipe of the lungs, and this he did for sixteen times; but Thaumast did always keep blowing like a goose. Then Panurge put the forefinger of his right hand into his mouth, pressing it very hard to the muscles thereof; then he drew it out, and withal made a great noise, as when little boys shoot pellets out of the pot-cannons made of the hollow sticks of the branch of an alder-tree, and he did it nine times.
Then Thaumast cried out, Ha, my masters, a great secret! With this he put in his hand up to the elbow, then drew out a dagger that he had, holding it by the point downwards. Whereat Panurge took his long codpiece, and shook it as hard as he could against his thighs; then put his two hands entwined in manner of a comb upon his head, laying out his tongue as far as he was able, and turning his eyes in his head like a goat that is ready to die. Ha, I understand, said Thaumast, but what? making such a sign that he put the haft of his dagger against his breast, and upon the point thereof the flat of his hand, turning in a little the ends of his fingers. Whereat Panurge held down his head on the left side, and put his middle finger into his right ear, holding up his thumb bolt upright. Then he crossed his two arms upon his breast and coughed five times, and at the fifth time he struck his right foot against the ground. Then he lift up his left arm, and closing all his fingers into his fist, held his thumb against his forehead, striking with his right hand six times against his breast. But Thaumast, as not content therewith, put the thumb of his left hand upon the top of his nose, shutting the rest of his said hand, whereupon Panurge set his two master-fingers upon each side of his mouth, drawing it as much as he was able, and widening it so that he showed all his teeth, and with his two thumbs plucked down his two eyelids very low, making therewith a very ill-favoured countenance, as it seemed to the company.
Then Panurge rose up, and, putting off his cap, did very kindly thank the said Panurge, and with a loud voice said unto all the people that were there: My lords, gentlemen, and others, at this time may I to some good purpose speak that evangelical word, Et ecce plus quam Salomon hic! You have here in your presence an incomparable treasure, that is, my lord Pantagruel, whose great renown hath brought me hither, out of the very heart of England, to confer with him about the insoluble problems, both in magic, alchemy, the cabal, geomancy, astrology, and philosophy, which I had in my mind. But at present I am angry even with fame itself, which I think was envious to him, for that it did not declare the thousandth part of the worth that indeed is in him. You have seen how his disciple only hath satisfied me, and hath told me more than I asked of him. Besides, he hath opened unto me, and resolved other inestimable doubts, wherein I can assure you he hath to me discovered the very true well, fountain, and abyss of the encyclopaedia of learning; yea, in such a sort that I did not think I should ever have found a man that could have made his skill appear in so much as the first elements of that concerning which we disputed by signs, without speaking either word or half word. But, in fine, I will reduce into writing that which we have said and concluded, that the world may not take them to be fooleries, and will thereafter cause them to be printed, that everyone may learn as I have done. Judge, then, what the master had been able to say, seeing the disciple hath done so valiantly; for, Non est discipulus super magistrum. Howsoever, God be praised! and I do very humbly thank you for the honour that you have done us at this act. God reward you for it eternally! The like thanks gave Pantagruel to all the company, and, going from thence, he carried Thaumast to dinner with him, and believe that they drank as much as their skins could hold, or, as the phrase is, with unbuttoned bellies (for in that age they made fast their bellies with buttons, as we do now the collars of our doublets or jerkins), even till they neither knew where they were nor whence they came. Blessed Lady, how they did carouse it, and pluck, as we say, at the kid's leather! And flagons to trot, and they to toot, Draw; give, page, some wine here; reach hither; fill with a devil, so! There was not one but did drink five and twenty or thirty pipes. Can you tell how? Even sicut terra sine aqua; for the weather was hot, and, besides that, they were very dry. In matter of the exposition of the propositions set down by Thaumast, and the signification of the signs which they used in their disputation, I would have set them down for you according to their own relation, but I have been told that Thaumast made a great book of it, imprinted at London, wherein he hath set down all, without omitting anything, and therefore at this time I do pass by it.
Panurge began to be in great reputation in the city of Paris by means of this disputation wherein he prevailed against the Englishman, and from thenceforth made his codpiece to be very useful to him. To which effect he had it pinked with pretty little embroideries after the Romanesca fashion. And the world did praise him publicly, in so far that there was a song made of him, which little children did use to sing when they were to fetch mustard. He was withal made welcome in all companies of ladies and gentlewomen, so that at last he became presumptuous, and went about to bring to his lure one of the greatest ladies in the city. And, indeed, leaving a rabble of long prologues and protestations, which ordinarily these dolent contemplative lent-lovers make who never meddle with the flesh, one day he said unto her, Madam, it would be a very great benefit to the commonwealth, delightful to you, honourable to your progeny, and necessary for me, that I cover you for the propagating of my race, and believe it, for experience will teach it you. The lady at this word thrust him back above a hundred leagues, saying, You mischievous fool, is it for you to talk thus unto me? Whom do you think you have in hand? Begone, never to come in my sight again; for, if one thing were not, I would have your legs and arms cut off. Well, said he, that were all one to me, to want both legs and arms, provided you and I had but one merry bout together at the brangle-buttock game; for herewithin is—in showing her his long codpiece—Master John Thursday, who will play you such an antic that you shall feel the sweetness thereof even to the very marrow of your bones. He is a gallant, and doth so well know how to find out all the corners, creeks, and ingrained inmates in your carnal trap, that after him there needs no broom, he'll sweep so well before, and leave nothing to his followers to work upon. Whereunto the lady answered, Go, villain, go. If you speak to me one such word more, I will cry out and make you to be knocked down with blows. Ha, said he, you are not so bad as you say—no, or else I am deceived in your physiognomy. For sooner shall the earth mount up unto the heavens, and the highest heavens descend unto the hells, and all the course of nature be quite perverted, than that in so great beauty and neatness as in you is there should be one drop of gall or malice. They say, indeed, that hardly shall a man ever see a fair woman that is not also stubborn. Yet that is spoke only of those vulgar beauties; but yours is so excellent, so singular, and so heavenly, that I believe nature hath given it you as a paragon and masterpiece of her art, to make us know what she can do when she will employ all her skill and all her power. There is nothing in you but honey, but sugar, but a sweet and celestial manna. To you it was to whom Paris ought to have adjudged the golden apple, not to Venus, no, nor to Juno, nor to Minerva, for never was there so much magnificence in Juno, so much wisdom in Minerva, nor so much comeliness in Venus as there is in you. O heavenly gods and goddesses! How happy shall that man be to whom you will grant the favour to embrace her, to kiss her, and to rub his bacon with hers! By G—, that shall be I, I know it well; for she loves me already her bellyful, I am sure of it, and so was I predestinated to it by the fairies. And therefore, that we lose no time, put on, thrust out your gammons!—and would have embraced her, but she made as if she would put out her head at the window to call her neighbours for help. Then Panurge on a sudden ran out, and in his running away said, Madam, stay here till I come again; I will go call them myself; do not you take so much pains. Thus went he away, not much caring for the repulse he had got, nor made he any whit the worse cheer for it. The next day he came to the church at the time she went to mass. At the door he gave her some of the holy water, bowing himself very low before her. Afterwards he kneeled down by her very familiarly and said unto her, Madam, know that I am so amorous of you that I can neither piss nor dung for love. I do not know, lady, what you mean, but if I should take any hurt by it, how much you would be to blame! Go, said she, go! I do not care; let me alone to say my prayers. Ay but, said he, equivocate upon this: a beau mont le viconte, or, to fair mount the prick-cunts. I cannot, said she. It is, said he, a beau con le vit monte, or to a fair c. . .the pr. . .mounts. And upon this, pray to God to give you that which your noble heart desireth, and I pray you give me these paternosters. Take them, said she, and trouble me no longer. This done, she would have taken off her paternosters, which were made of a kind of yellow stone called cestrin, and adorned with great spots of gold, but Panurge nimbly drew out one of his knives, wherewith he cut them off very handsomely, and whilst he was going away to carry them to the brokers, he said to her, Will you have my knife? No, no, said she. But, said he, to the purpose. I am at your commandment, body and goods, tripes and bowels.
In the meantime the lady was not very well content with the want of her paternosters, for they were one of her implements to keep her countenance by in the church; then thought with herself, This bold flouting roister is some giddy, fantastical, light-headed fool of a strange country. I shall never recover my paternosters again. What will my husband say? He will no doubt be angry with me. But I will tell him that a thief hath cut them off from my hands in the church, which he will easily believe, seeing the end of the ribbon left at my girdle. After dinner Panurge went to see her, carrying in his sleeve a great purse full of palace-crowns, called counters, and began to say unto her, Which of us two loveth other best, you me, or I you? Whereunto she answered, As for me, I do not hate you; for, as God commands, I love all the world. But to the purpose, said he; are not you in love with me? I have, said she, told you so many times already that you should talk so no more to me, and if you speak of it again I will teach you that I am not one to be talked unto dishonestly. Get you hence packing, and deliver me my paternosters, that my husband may not ask me for them.
How now, madam, said he, your paternosters? Nay, by mine oath, I will not do so, but I will give you others. Had you rather have them of gold well enamelled in great round knobs, or after the manner of love-knots, or, otherwise, all massive, like great ingots, or if you had rather have them of ebony, of jacinth, or of grained gold, with the marks of fine turquoises, or of fair topazes, marked with fine sapphires, or of baleu rubies, with great marks of diamonds of eight and twenty squares? No, no, all this is too little. I know a fair bracelet of fine emeralds, marked with spotted ambergris, and at the buckle a Persian pearl as big as an orange. It will not cost above five and twenty thousand ducats. I will make you a present of it, for I have ready coin enough,—and withal he made a noise with his counters, as if they had been French crowns.
Will you have a piece of velvet, either of the violet colour or of crimson dyed in grain, or a piece of broached or crimson satin? Will you have chains, gold, tablets, rings? You need no more but say, Yes; so far as fifty thousand ducats may reach, it is but as nothing to me. By the virtue of which words he made the water come in her mouth; but she said unto him, No, I thank you, I will have nothing of you. By G—, said he, but I will have somewhat of you; yet shall it be that which shall cost you nothing, neither shall you have a jot the less when you have given it. Hold! —showing his long codpiece—this is Master John Goodfellow, that asks for lodging!—and with that would have embraced her; but she began to cry out, yet not very loud. Then Panurge put off his counterfeit garb, changed his false visage, and said unto her, You will not then otherwise let me do a little? A turd for you! You do not deserve so much good, nor so much honour; but, by G—, I will make the dogs ride you;—and with this he ran away as fast as he could, for fear of blows, whereof he was naturally fearful.
Now you must note that the next day was the great festival of Corpus Christi, called the Sacre, wherein all women put on their best apparel, and on that day the said lady was clothed in a rich gown of crimson satin, under which she wore a very costly white velvet petticoat.
The day of the eve, called the vigil, Panurge searched so long of one side and another that he found a hot or salt bitch, which, when he had tied her with his girdle, he led to his chamber and fed her very well all that day and night. In the morning thereafter he killed her, and took that part of her which the Greek geomancers know, and cut it into several small pieces as small as he could. Then, carrying it away as close as might be, he went to the place where the lady was to come along to follow the procession, as the custom is upon the said holy day; and when she came in Panurge sprinkled some holy water on her, saluting her very courteously. Then, a little while after she had said her petty devotions, he sat down close by her upon the same bench, and gave her this roundelay in writing, in manner as followeth.
A Roundelay. For this one time, that I to you my love Discovered, you did too cruel prove, To send me packing, hopeless, and so soon, Who never any wrong to you had done, In any kind of action, word, or thought: So that, if my suit liked you not, you ought T' have spoke more civilly, and to this sense, My friend, be pleased to depart from hence, For this one time. What hurt do I, to wish you to remark, With favour and compassion, how a spark Of your great beauty hath inflamed my heart With deep affection, and that, for my part, I only ask that you with me would dance The brangle gay in feats of dalliance, For this one time?
And, as she was opening this paper to see what it was, Panurge very promptly and lightly scattered the drug that he had upon her in divers places, but especially in the plaits of her sleeves and of her gown. Then said he unto her, Madam, the poor lovers are not always at ease. As for me, I hope that those heavy nights, those pains and troubles, which I suffer for love of you, shall be a deduction to me of so much pain in purgatory; yet, at the least, pray to God to give me patience in my misery. Panurge had no sooner spoke this but all the dogs that were in the church came running to this lady with the smell of the drugs that he had strewed upon her, both small and great, big and little, all came, laying out their member, smelling to her, and pissing everywhere upon her—it was the greatest villainy in the world. Panurge made the fashion of driving them away; then took his leave of her and withdrew himself into some chapel or oratory of the said church to see the sport; for these villainous dogs did compiss all her habiliments, and left none of her attire unbesprinkled with their staling; insomuch that a tall greyhound pissed upon her head, others in her sleeves, others on her crupper-piece, and the little ones pissed upon her pataines; so that all the women that were round about her had much ado to save her. Whereat Panurge very heartily laughing, he said to one of the lords of the city, I believe that same lady is hot, or else that some greyhound hath covered her lately. And when he saw that all the dogs were flocking about her, yarring at the retardment of their access to her, and every way keeping such a coil with her as they are wont to do about a proud or salt bitch, he forthwith departed from thence, and went to call Pantagruel, not forgetting in his way alongst the streets through which he went, where he found any dogs to give them a bang with his foot, saying, Will you not go with your fellows to the wedding? Away, hence, avant, avant, with a devil avant! And being come home, he said to Pantagruel, Master, I pray you come and see all the dogs of the country, how they are assembled about a lady, the fairest in the city, and would duffle and line her. Whereunto Pantagruel willingly condescended, and saw the mystery, which he found very pretty and strange. But the best was at the procession, in which were seen above six hundred thousand and fourteen dogs about her, which did very much trouble and molest her, and whithersoever she passed, those dogs that came afresh, tracing her footsteps, followed her at the heels, and pissed in the way where her gown had touched. All the world stood gazing at this spectacle, considering the countenance of those dogs, who, leaping up, got about her neck and spoiled all her gorgeous accoutrements, for the which she could find no remedy but to retire unto her house, which was a palace. Thither she went, and the dogs after her; she ran to hide herself, but the chambermaids could not abstain from laughing. When she was entered into the house and had shut the door upon herself, all the dogs came running of half a league round, and did so well bepiss the gate of her house that there they made a stream with their urine wherein a duck might have very well swimmed, and it is the same current that now runs at St. Victor, in which Gobelin dyeth scarlet, for the specifical virtue of these piss-dogs, as our master Doribus did heretofore preach publicly. So may God help you, a mill would have ground corn with it. Yet not so much as those of Basacle at Toulouse.
A little while after Pantagruel heard news that his father Gargantua had been translated into the land of the fairies by Morgue, as heretofore were Ogier and Arthur; as also, (In the original edition it stands 'together, and that.'—M.) that the report of his translation being spread abroad, the Dipsodes had issued out beyond their borders, with inroads had wasted a great part of Utopia, and at that very time had besieged the great city of the Amaurots. Whereupon departing from Paris without bidding any man farewell, for the business required diligence, he came to Rouen.
Now Pantagruel in his journey seeing that the leagues of that little territory about Paris called France were very short in regard of those of other countries, demanded the cause and reason of it from Panurge, who told him a story which Marotus of the Lac, monachus, set down in the Acts of the Kings of Canarre, saying that in old times countries were not distinguished into leagues, miles, furlongs, nor parasangs, until that King Pharamond divided them, which was done in manner as followeth. The said king chose at Paris a hundred fair, gallant, lusty, brisk young men, all resolute and bold adventurers in Cupid's duels, together with a hundred comely, pretty, handsome, lovely and well-complexioned wenches of Picardy, all which he caused to be well entertained and highly fed for the space of eight days. Then having called for them, he delivered to every one of the young men his wench, with store of money to defray their charges, and this injunction besides, to go unto divers places here and there. And wheresoever they should biscot and thrum their wenches, that, they setting a stone there, it should be accounted for a league. Thus went away those brave fellows and sprightly blades most merrily, and because they were fresh and had been at rest, they very often jummed and fanfreluched almost at every field's end, and this is the cause why the leagues about Paris are so short. But when they had gone a great way, and were now as weary as poor devils, all the oil in their lamps being almost spent, they did not chink and duffle so often, but contented themselves (I mean for the men's part) with one scurvy paltry bout in a day, and this is that which makes the leagues in Brittany, Delanes, Germany, and other more remote countries so long. Other men give other reasons for it, but this seems to me of all other the best. To which Pantagruel willingly adhered. Parting from Rouen, they arrived at Honfleur, where they took shipping, Pantagruel, Panurge, Epistemon, Eusthenes, and Carpalin.
In which place, waiting for a favourable wind, and caulking their ship, he received from a lady of Paris, which I (he) had formerly kept and entertained a good long time, a letter directed on the outside thus, —To the best beloved of the fair women, and least loyal of the valiant men —P.N.T.G.R.L.
When Pantagruel had read the superscription he was much amazed, and therefore demanded of the said messenger the name of her that had sent it. Then opened he the letter, and found nothing written in it, nor otherwise enclosed, but only a gold ring, with a square table diamond. Wondering at this, he called Panurge to him, and showed him the case. Whereupon Panurge told him that the leaf of paper was written upon, but with such cunning and artifice that no man could see the writing at the first sight. Therefore, to find it out, he set it by the fire to see if it was made with sal ammoniac soaked in water. Then put he it into the water, to see if the letter was written with the juice of tithymalle. After that he held it up against the candle, to see if it was written with the juice of white onions.
Then he rubbed one part of it with oil of nuts, to see if it were not written with the lee of a fig-tree, and another part of it with the milk of a woman giving suck to her eldest daughter, to see if it was written with the blood of red toads or green earth-frogs. Afterwards he rubbed one corner with the ashes of a swallow's nest, to see if it were not written with the dew that is found within the herb alcakengy, called the winter-cherry. He rubbed, after that, one end with ear-wax, to see if it were not written with the gall of a raven. Then did he dip it into vinegar, to try if it was not written with the juice of the garden spurge. After that he greased it with the fat of a bat or flittermouse, to see if it was not written with the sperm of a whale, which some call ambergris. Then put it very fairly into a basinful of fresh water, and forthwith took it out, to see whether it were written with stone-alum. But after all experiments, when he perceived that he could find out nothing, he called the messenger and asked him, Good fellow, the lady that sent thee hither, did she not give thee a staff to bring with thee? thinking that it had been according to the conceit whereof Aulus Gellius maketh mention. And the messenger answered him, No, sir. Then Panurge would have caused his head to be shaven, to see whether the lady had written upon his bald pate, with the hard lye whereof soap is made, that which she meant; but, perceiving that his hair was very long, he forbore, considering that it could not have grown to so great a length in so short a time.
Then he said to Pantagruel, Master, by the virtue of G—, I cannot tell what to do nor say in it. For, to know whether there be anything written upon this or no, I have made use of a good part of that which Master Francisco di Nianto, the Tuscan, sets down, who hath written the manner of reading letters that do not appear; that which Zoroastes published, Peri grammaton acriton; and Calphurnius Bassus, De literis illegibilibus. But I can see nothing, nor do I believe that there is anything else in it than the ring. Let us, therefore, look upon it. Which when they had done, they found this in Hebrew written within, Lamach saba(ch)thani; whereupon they called Epistemon, and asked him what that meant. To which he answered that they were Hebrew words, signifying, Wherefore hast thou forsaken me? Upon that Panurge suddenly replied, I know the mystery. Do you see this diamond? It is a false one. This, then, is the exposition of that which the lady means, Diamant faux, that is, false lover, why hast thou forsaken me? Which interpretation Pantagruel presently understood, and withal remembering that at his departure he had not bid the lady farewell, he was very sorry, and would fain have returned to Paris to make his peace with her. But Epistemon put him in mind of Aeneas's departure from Dido, and the saying of Heraclitus of Tarentum, That the ship being at anchor, when need requireth we must cut the cable rather than lose time about untying of it,—and that he should lay aside all other thoughts to succour the city of his nativity, which was then in danger. And, indeed, within an hour after that the wind arose at the north-north-west, wherewith they hoist sail, and put out, even into the main sea, so that within few days, passing by Porto Sancto and by the Madeiras, they went ashore in the Canary Islands. Parting from thence, they passed by Capobianco, by Senege, by Capoverde, by Gambre, by Sagres, by Melli, by the Cap di Buona Speranza, and set ashore again in the kingdom of Melinda. Parting from thence, they sailed away with a tramontane or northerly wind, passing by Meden, by Uti, by Uden, by Gelasim, by the Isles of the Fairies, and alongst the kingdom of Achorie, till at last they arrived at the port of Utopia, distant from the city of the Amaurots three leagues and somewhat more.
When they were ashore, and pretty well refreshed, Pantagruel said, Gentlemen, the city is not far from hence; therefore, were it not amiss, before we set forward, to advise well what is to be done, that we be not like the Athenians, who never took counsel until after the fact? Are you resolved to live and die with me? Yes, sir, said they all, and be as confident of us as of your own fingers. Well, said he, there is but one thing that keeps my mind in great doubt and suspense, which is this, that I know not in what order nor of what number the enemy is that layeth siege to the city; for, if I were certain of that, I should go forward and set on with the better assurance. Let us therefore consult together, and bethink ourselves by what means we may come to this intelligence. Whereunto they all said, Let us go thither and see, and stay you here for us; for this very day, without further respite, do we make account to bring you a certain report thereof.
Myself, said Panurge, will undertake to enter into their camp, within the very midst of their guards, unespied by their watch, and merrily feast and lecher it at their cost, without being known of any, to see the artillery and the tents of all the captains, and thrust myself in with a grave and magnific carriage amongst all their troops and companies, without being discovered. The devil would not be able to peck me out with all his circumventions, for I am of the race of Zopyrus.
And I, said Epistemon, know all the plots and strategems of the valiant captains and warlike champions of former ages, together with all the tricks and subtleties of the art of war. I will go, and, though I be detected and revealed, I will escape by making them believe of you whatever I please, for I am of the race of Sinon.
I, said Eusthenes, will enter and set upon them in their trenches, in spite of their sentries and all their guards; for I will tread upon their bellies and break their legs and arms, yea, though they were every whit as strong as the devil himself, for I am of the race of Hercules.
And I, said Carpalin, will get in there if the birds can enter, for I am so nimble of body, and light withal, that I shall have leaped over their trenches, and ran clean through all their camp, before that they perceive me; neither do I fear shot, nor arrow, nor horse, how swift soever, were he the Pegasus of Perseus or Pacolet, being assured that I shall be able to make a safe and sound escape before them all without any hurt. I will undertake to walk upon the ears of corn or grass in the meadows, without making either of them do so much as bow under me, for I am of the race of Camilla the Amazon.
As he was speaking this, they perceived six hundred and threescore light horsemen, gallantly mounted, who made an outroad thither to see what ship it was that was newly arrived in the harbour, and came in a full gallop to take them if they had been able. Then said Pantagruel, My lads, retire yourselves unto the ship; here are some of our enemies coming apace, but I will kill them here before you like beasts, although they were ten times so many; in the meantime, withdraw yourselves, and take your sport at it. Then answered Panurge, No, sir; there is no reason that you should do so, but, on the contrary, retire you unto the ship, both you and the rest, for I alone will here discomfit them; but we must not linger; come, set forward. Whereunto the others said, It is well advised, sir; withdraw yourself, and we will help Panurge here, so shall you know what we are able to do. Then said Pantagruel, Well, I am content; but, if that you be too weak, I will not fail to come to your assistance. With this Panurge took two great cables of the ship and tied them to the kemstock or capstan which was on the deck towards the hatches, and fastened them in the ground, making a long circuit, the one further off, the other within that. Then said he to Epistemon, Go aboard the ship, and, when I give you a call, turn about the capstan upon the orlop diligently, drawing unto you the two cable-ropes; and said to Eusthenes and to Carpalin, My bullies, stay you here, and offer yourselves freely to your enemies. Do as they bid you, and make as if you would yield unto them, but take heed you come not within the compass of the ropes—be sure to keep yourselves free of them. And presently he went aboard the ship, and took a bundle of straw and a barrel of gunpowder, strewed it round about the compass of the cords, and stood by with a brand of fire or match lighted in his hand. Presently came the horsemen with great fury, and the foremost ran almost home to the ship, and, by reason of the slipperiness of the bank, they fell, they and their horses, to the number of four and forty; which the rest seeing, came on, thinking that resistance had been made them at their arrival. But Panurge said unto them, My masters, I believe that you have hurt yourselves; I pray you pardon us, for it is not our fault, but the slipperiness of the sea-water that is always flowing; we submit ourselves to your good pleasure. So said likewise his two other fellows, and Epistemon that was upon the deck. In the meantime Panurge withdrew himself, and seeing that they were all within the compass of the cables, and that his two companions were retired, making room for all those horses which came in a crowd, thronging upon the neck of one another to see the ship and such as were in it, cried out on a sudden to Epistemon, Draw, draw! Then began Epistemon to wind about the capstan, by doing whereof the two cables so entangled and empestered the legs of the horses, that they were all of them thrown down to the ground easily, together with their riders. But they, seeing that, drew their swords, and would have cut them; whereupon Panurge set fire to the train, and there burnt them up all like damned souls, both men and horses, not one escaping save one alone, who being mounted on a fleet Turkey courser, by mere speed in flight got himself out of the circle of the ropes. But when Carpalin perceived him, he ran after him with such nimbleness and celerity that he overtook him in less than a hundred paces; then, leaping close behind him upon the crupper of his horse, clasped him in his arms, and brought him back to the ship.
This exploit being ended, Pantagruel was very jovial, and wondrously commended the industry of these gentlemen, whom he called his fellow-soldiers, and made them refresh themselves and feed well and merrily upon the seashore, and drink heartily with their bellies upon the ground, and their prisoner with them, whom they admitted to that familiarity; only that the poor devil was somewhat afraid that Pantagruel would have eaten him up whole, which, considering the wideness of his mouth and capacity of his throat was no great matter for him to have done; for he could have done it as easily as you would eat a small comfit, he showing no more in his throat than would a grain of millet-seed in the mouth of an ass.
Thus as they talked and chatted together, Carpalin said, And, by the belly of St. Quenet, shall we never eat any venison? This salt meat makes me horribly dry. I will go fetch you a quarter of one of those horses which we have burnt; it is well roasted already. As he was rising up to go about it, he perceived under the side of a wood a fair great roebuck, which was come out of his fort, as I conceive, at the sight of Panurge's fire. Him did he pursue and run after with as much vigour and swiftness as if it had been a bolt out of a crossbow, and caught him in a moment; and whilst he was in his course he with his hands took in the air four great bustards, seven bitterns, six and twenty grey partridges, two and thirty red-legged ones, sixteen pheasants, nine woodcocks, nineteen herons, two and thirty cushats and ringdoves; and with his feet killed ten or twelve hares and rabbits, which were then at relief and pretty big withal, eighteen rails in a knot together, with fifteen young wild-boars, two little beavers, and three great foxes. So, striking the kid with his falchion athwart the head, he killed him, and, bearing him on his back, he in his return took up his hares, rails, and young wild-boars, and, as far off as he could be heard, cried out and said, Panurge, my friend, vinegar, vinegar! Then the good Pantagruel, thinking he had fainted, commanded them to provide him some vinegar; but Panurge knew well that there was some good prey in hands, and forthwith showed unto noble Pantagruel how he was bearing upon his back a fair roebuck, and all his girdle bordered with hares. Then immediately did Epistemon make, in the name of the nine Muses, nine antique wooden spits. Eusthenes did help to flay, and Panurge placed two great cuirassier saddles in such sort that they served for andirons, and making their prisoner to be their cook, they roasted their venison by the fire wherein the horsemen were burnt; and making great cheer with a good deal of vinegar, the devil a one of them did forbear from his victuals—it was a triumphant and incomparable spectacle to see how they ravened and devoured. Then said Pantagruel, Would to God every one of you had two pairs of little anthem or sacring bells hanging at your chin, and that I had at mine the great clocks of Rennes, of Poictiers, of Tours, and of Cambray, to see what a peal they would ring with the wagging of our chaps. But, said Panurge, it were better we thought a little upon our business, and by what means we might get the upper hand of our enemies. That is well remembered, said Pantagruel. Therefore spoke he thus to the prisoner, My friend, tell us here the truth, and do not lie to us at all, if thou wouldst not be flayed alive, for it is I that eat the little children. Relate unto us at full the order, the number, and the strength of the army. To which the prisoner answered, Sir, know for a truth that in the army there are three hundred giants, all armed with armour of proof, and wonderful great. Nevertheless, not fully so great as you, except one that is their head, named Loupgarou, who is armed from head to foot with cyclopical anvils. Furthermore, one hundred three score and three thousand foot, all armed with the skins of hobgoblins, strong and valiant men; eleven thousand four hundred men-at-arms or cuirassiers; three thousand six hundred double cannons, and arquebusiers without number; four score and fourteen thousand pioneers; one hundred and fifty thousand whores, fair like goddesses—(That is for me, said Panurge)—whereof some are Amazons, some Lionnoises, others Parisiennes, Taurangelles, Angevines, Poictevines, Normandes, and High Dutch—there are of them of all countries and all languages.
Yea but, said Pantagruel, is the king there? Yes, sir, said the prisoner; he is there in person, and we call him Anarchus, king of the Dipsodes, which is as much to say as thirsty people, for you never saw men more thirsty, nor more willing to drink, and his tent is guarded by the giants. It is enough, said Pantagruel. Come, brave boys, are you resolved to go with me? To which Panurge answered, God confound him that leaves you! I have already bethought myself how I will kill them all like pigs, and so the devil one leg of them shall escape. But I am somewhat troubled about one thing. And what is that? said Pantagruel. It is, said Panurge, how I shall be able to set forward to the justling and bragmardizing of all the whores that be there this afternoon, in such sort that there escape not one unbumped by me, breasted and jummed after the ordinary fashion of man and women in the Venetian conflict. Ha, ha, ha, ha, said Pantagruel.
And Carpalin said: The devil take these sink-holes, if, by G—, I do not bumbaste some one of them. Then said Eusthenes: What! shall not I have any, whose paces, since we came from Rouen, were never so well winded up as that my needle could mount to ten or eleven o'clock, till now that I have it hard, stiff, and strong, like a hundred devils? Truly, said Panurge, thou shalt have of the fattest, and of those that are most plump and in the best case.
How now! said Epistemon; everyone shall ride, and I must lead the ass? The devil take him that will do so. We will make use of the right of war, Qui potest capere, capiat. No, no, said Panurge, but tie thine ass to a crook, and ride as the world doth. And the good Pantagruel laughed at all this, and said unto them, You reckon without your host. I am much afraid that, before it be night, I shall see you in such taking that you will have no great stomach to ride, but more like to be rode upon with sound blows of pike and lance. Baste, said Epistemon, enough of that! I will not fail to bring them to you, either to roast or boil, to fry or put in paste. They are not so many in number as were in the army of Xerxes, for he had thirty hundred thousand fighting-men, if you will believe Herodotus and Trogus Pompeius, and yet Themistocles with a few men overthrew them all. For God's sake, take you no care for that. Cobsminny, cobsminny, said Panurge; my codpiece alone shall suffice to overthrow all the men; and my St. Sweephole, that dwells within it, shall lay all the women squat upon their backs. Up then, my lads, said Pantagruel, and let us march along.
Before we depart hence, said Pantagruel, in remembrance of the exploit that you have now performed I will in this place erect a fair trophy. Then every man amongst them, with great joy and fine little country songs, set up a huge big post, whereunto they hanged a great cuirassier saddle, the fronstal of a barbed horse, bridle-bosses, pulley-pieces for the knees, stirrup-leathers, spurs, stirrups, a coat of mail, a corslet tempered with steel, a battle-axe, a strong, short, and sharp horseman's sword, a gauntlet, a horseman's mace, gushet-armour for the armpits, leg-harness, and a gorget, with all other furniture needful for the decorement of a triumphant arch, in sign of a trophy. And then Pantagruel, for an eternal memorial, wrote this victorial ditton, as followeth:—
Here was the prowess made apparent of Four brave and valiant champions of proof, Who, without any arms but wit, at once, Like Fabius, or the two Scipions, Burnt in a fire six hundred and threescore Crablice, strong rogues ne'er vanquished before. By this each king may learn, rook, pawn, and knight, That sleight is much more prevalent than might. For victory, As all men see, Hangs on the ditty Of that committee Where the great God Hath his abode. Nor doth he it to strong and great men give, But to his elect, as we must believe; Therefore shall he obtain wealth and esteem, Who thorough faith doth put his trust in him.
Whilst Pantagruel was writing these foresaid verses, Panurge halved and fixed upon a great stake the horns of a roebuck, together with the skin and the right forefoot thereof, the ears of three leverets, the chine of a coney, the jaws of a hare, the wings of two bustards, the feet of four queest-doves, a bottle or borracho full of vinegar, a horn wherein to put salt, a wooden spit, a larding stick, a scurvy kettle full of holes, a dripping-pan to make sauce in, an earthen salt-cellar, and a goblet of Beauvais. Then, in imitation of Pantagruel's verses and trophy, wrote that which followeth:—
Here was it that four jovial blades sat down To a profound carousing, and to crown Their banquet with those wines which please best great Bacchus, the monarch of their drinking state. Then were the reins and furch of a young hare, With salt and vinegar, displayed there, Of which to snatch a bit or two at once They all fell on like hungry scorpions. For th' Inventories Of Defensories Say that in heat We must drink neat All out, and of The choicest stuff. But it is bad to eat of young hare's flesh, Unless with vinegar we it refresh. Receive this tenet, then, without control, That vinegar of that meat is the soul.
Then said Pantagruel, Come, my lads, let us begone! we have stayed here too long about our victuals; for very seldom doth it fall out that the greatest eaters do the most martial exploits. There is no shadow like that of flying colours, no smoke like that of horses, no clattering like that of armour. At this Epistemon began to smile, and said, There is no shadow like that of the kitchen, no smoke like that of pasties, and no clattering like that of goblets. Unto which answered Panurge, There is no shadow like that of curtains, no smoke like that of women's breasts, and no clattering like that of ballocks. Then forthwith rising up he gave a fart, a leap, and a whistle, and most joyfully cried out aloud, Ever live Pantagruel! When Pantagruel saw that, he would have done as much; but with the fart that he let the earth trembled nine leagues about, wherewith and with the corrupted air he begot above three and fifty thousand little men, ill-favoured dwarfs, and with one fisg that he let he made as many little women, crouching down, as you shall see in divers places, which never grow but like cow's tails, downwards, or, like the Limosin radishes, round. How now! said Panurge, are your farts so fertile and fruitful? By G—, here be brave farted men and fisgued women; let them be married together; they will beget fine hornets and dorflies. So did Pantagruel, and called them pigmies. Those he sent to live in an island thereby, where since that time they are increased mightily. But the cranes make war with them continually, against which they do most courageously defend themselves; for these little ends of men and dandiprats (whom in Scotland they call whiphandles and knots of a tar-barrel) are commonly very testy and choleric; the physical reason whereof is, because their heart is near their spleen.
At this same time Panurge took two drinking glasses that were there, both of one bigness, and filled them with water up to the brim, and set one of them upon one stool and the other upon another, placing them about one foot from one another. Then he took the staff of a javelin, about five foot and a half long, and put it upon the two glasses, so that the two ends of the staff did come just to the brims of the glasses. This done, he took a great stake or billet of wood, and said to Pantagruel and to the rest, My masters, behold how easily we shall have the victory over our enemies; for just as I shall break this staff here upon these glasses, without either breaking or crazing of them, nay, which is more, without spilling one drop of the water that is within them, even so shall we break the heads of our Dipsodes without receiving any of us any wound or loss in our person or goods. But, that you may not think there is any witchcraft in this, hold! said he to Eusthenes, strike upon the midst as hard as thou canst with this log. Eusthenes did so, and the staff broke in two pieces, and not one drop of the water fell out of the glasses. Then said he, I know a great many such other tricks; let us now therefore march boldly and with assurance.
After all this talk, Pantagruel took the prisoner to him and sent him away, saying, Go thou unto thy king in his camp, and tell him tidings of what thou hast seen, and let him resolve to feast me to-morrow about noon; for, as soon as my galleys shall come, which will be to-morrow at furthest, I will prove unto him by eighteen hundred thousand fighting-men and seven thousand giants, all of them greater than I am, that he hath done foolishly and against reason thus to invade my country. Wherein Pantagruel feigned that he had an army at sea. But the prisoner answered that he would yield himself to be his slave, and that he was content never to return to his own people, but rather with Pantagruel to fight against them, and for God's sake besought him that he might be permitted so to do. Whereunto Pantagruel would not give consent, but commanded him to depart thence speedily and begone as he had told him, and to that effect gave him a boxful of euphorbium, together with some grains of the black chameleon thistle, steeped into aqua vitae, and made up into the condiment of a wet sucket, commanding him to carry it to his king, and to say unto him, that if he were able to eat one ounce of that without drinking after it, he might then be able to resist him without any fear or apprehension of danger.
The prisoner then besought him with joined hands that in the hour of the battle he would have compassion upon him. Whereat Pantagruel said unto him, After that thou hast delivered all unto the king, put thy whole confidence in God, and he will not forsake thee; because, although for my part I be mighty, as thou mayst see, and have an infinite number of men in arms, I do nevertheless trust neither in my force nor in mine industry, but all my confidence is in God my protector, who doth never forsake those that in him do put their trust and confidence. This done, the prisoner requested him that he would afford him some reasonable composition for his ransom. To which Pantagruel answered, that his end was not to rob nor ransom men, but to enrich them and reduce them to total liberty. Go thy way, said he, in the peace of the living God, and never follow evil company, lest some mischief befall thee. The prisoner being gone, Pantagruel said to his men, Gentlemen, I have made this prisoner believe that we have an army at sea; as also that we will not assault them till to-morrow at noon, to the end that they, doubting of the great arrival of our men, may spend this night in providing and strengthening themselves, but in the meantime my intention is that we charge them about the hour of the first sleep.
Let us leave Pantagruel here with his apostles, and speak of King Anarchus and his army. When the prisoner was come he went unto the king and told him how there was a great giant come, called Pantagruel, who had overthrown and made to be cruelly roasted all the six hundred and nine and fifty horsemen, and he alone escaped to bring the news. Besides that, he was charged by the said giant to tell him that the next day, about noon, he must make a dinner ready for him, for at that hour he was resolved to set upon him. Then did he give him that box wherein were those confitures. But as soon as he had swallowed down one spoonful of them, he was taken with such a heat in the throat, together with an ulceration in the flap of the top of the windpipe, that his tongue peeled with it in such sort that, for all they could do unto him, he found no ease at all but by drinking only without cessation; for as soon as ever he took the goblet from his head, his tongue was on a fire, and therefore they did nothing but still pour in wine into his throat with a funnel. Which when his captains, bashaws, and guard of his body did see, they tasted of the same drugs to try whether they were so thirst-procuring and alterative or no. But it so befell them as it had done their king, and they plied the flagon so well that the noise ran throughout all the camp, how the prisoner was returned; that the next day they were to have an assault; that the king and his captains did already prepare themselves for it, together with his guards, and that with carousing lustily and quaffing as hard as they could. Every man, therefore, in the army began to tipple, ply the pot, swill and guzzle it as fast as they could. In sum, they drunk so much, and so long, that they fell asleep like pigs, all out of order throughout the whole camp.
Let us now return to the good Pantagruel, and relate how he carried himself in this business. Departing from the place of the trophies, he took the mast of their ship in his hand like a pilgrim's staff, and put within the top of it two hundred and seven and thirty puncheons of white wine of Anjou, the rest was of Rouen, and tied up to his girdle the bark all full of salt, as easily as the lansquenets carry their little panniers, and so set onward on his way with his fellow-soldiers. When he was come near to the enemy's camp, Panurge said unto him, Sir, if you would do well, let down this white wine of Anjou from the scuttle of the mast of the ship, that we may all drink thereof, like Bretons.
Hereunto Pantagruel very willingly consented, and they drank so neat that there was not so much as one poor drop left of two hundred and seven and thirty puncheons, except one boracho or leathern bottle of Tours which Panurge filled for himself, for he called that his vademecum, and some scurvy lees of wine in the bottom, which served him instead of vinegar. After they had whittled and curried the can pretty handsomely, Panurge gave Pantagruel to eat some devilish drugs compounded of lithotripton, which is a stone-dissolving ingredient, nephrocatarticon, that purgeth the reins, the marmalade of quinces, called codiniac, a confection of cantharides, which are green flies breeding on the tops of olive-trees, and other kinds of diuretic or piss-procuring simples. This done, Pantagruel said to Carpalin, Go into the city, scrambling like a cat against the wall, as you can well do, and tell them that now presently they come out and charge their enemies as rudely as they can, and having said so, come down, taking a lighted torch with you, wherewith you shall set on fire all the tents and pavilions in the camp; then cry as loud as you are able with your great voice, and then come away from thence. Yea but, said Carpalin, were it not good to cloy all their ordnance? No, no, said Pantagruel, only blow up all their powder. Carpalin, obeying him, departed suddenly and did as he was appointed by Pantagruel, and all the combatants came forth that were in the city, and when he had set fire in the tents and pavilions, he passed so lightly through them, and so highly and profoundly did they snort and sleep, that they never perceived him. He came to the place where their artillery was, and set their munition on fire. But here was the danger. The fire was so sudden that poor Carpalin had almost been burnt. And had it not been for his wonderful agility he had been fried like a roasting pig. But he departed away so speedily that a bolt or arrow out of a crossbow could not have had a swifter motion. When he was clear of their trenches, he shouted aloud, and cried out so dreadfully, and with such amazement to the hearers, that it seemed all the devils of hell had been let loose. At which noise the enemies awaked, but can you tell how? Even no less astonished than are monks at the ringing of the first peal to matins, which in Lusonnois is called rub-ballock.
In the meantime Pantagruel began to sow the salt that he had in his bark, and because they slept with an open gaping mouth, he filled all their throats with it, so that those poor wretches were by it made to cough like foxes. Ha, Pantagruel, how thou addest greater heat to the firebrand that is in us! Suddenly Pantagruel had will to piss, by means of the drugs which Panurge had given him, and pissed amidst the camp so well and so copiously that he drowned them all, and there was a particular deluge ten leagues round about, of such considerable depth that the history saith, if his father's great mare had been there, and pissed likewise, it would undoubtedly have been a more enormous deluge than that of Deucalion; for she did never piss but she made a river greater than is either the Rhone or the Danube. Which those that were come out of the city seeing, said, They are all cruelly slain; see how the blood runs along. But they were deceived in thinking Pantagruel's urine had been the blood of their enemies, for they could not see but by the light of the fire of the pavilions and some small light of the moon.
The enemies, after that they were awaked, seeing on one side the fire in the camp, and on the other the inundation of the urinal deluge, could not tell what to say nor what to think. Some said that it was the end of the world and the final judgment, which ought to be by fire. Others again thought that the sea-gods, Neptune, Proteus, Triton, and the rest of them, did persecute them, for that indeed they found it to be like sea-water and salt.
O who were able now condignly to relate how Pantagruel did demean himself against the three hundred giants! O my Muse, my Calliope, my Thalia, inspire me at this time, restore unto me my spirits; for this is the logical bridge of asses! Here is the pitfall, here is the difficulty, to have ability enough to express the horrible battle that was fought. Ah, would to God that I had now a bottle of the best wine that ever those drank who shall read this so veridical history!
The giants, seeing all their camp drowned, carried away their king Anarchus upon their backs as well as they could out of the fort, as Aeneas did to his father Anchises, in the time of the conflagration of Troy. When Panurge perceived them, he said to Pantagruel, Sir, yonder are the giants coming forth against you; lay on them with your mast gallantly, like an old fencer; for now is the time that you must show yourself a brave man and an honest. And for our part we will not fail you. I myself will kill to you a good many boldly enough; for why, David killed Goliath very easily; and then this great lecher, Eusthenes, who is stronger than four oxen, will not spare himself. Be of good courage, therefore, and valiant; charge amongst them with point and edge, and by all manner of means. Well, said Pantagruel, of courage I have more than for fifty francs, but let us be wise, for Hercules first never undertook against two. That is well cacked, well scummered, said Panurge; do you compare yourself with Hercules? You have, by G—, more strength in your teeth, and more scent in your bum, than ever Hercules had in all his body and soul. So much is a man worth as he esteems himself. Whilst they spake those words, behold! Loupgarou was come with all his giants, who, seeing Pantagruel in a manner alone, was carried away with temerity and presumption, for hopes that he had to kill the good man. Whereupon he said to his companions the giants, You wenchers of the low country, by Mahoom! if any of you undertake to fight against these men here, I will put you cruelly to death. It is my will that you let me fight single. In the meantime you shall have good sport to look upon us.
Then all the other giants retired with their king to the place where the flagons stood, and Panurge and his comrades with them, who counterfeited those that have had the pox, for he wreathed about his mouth, shrunk up his fingers, and with a harsh and hoarse voice said unto them, I forsake -od, fellow-soldiers, if I would have it to be believed that we make any war at all. Give us somewhat to eat with you whilest our masters fight against one another. To this the king and giants jointly condescended, and accordingly made them to banquet with them. In the meantime Panurge told them the follies of Turpin, the examples of St. Nicholas, and the tale of a tub. Loupgarou then set forward towards Pantagruel, with a mace all of steel, and that of the best sort, weighing nine thousand seven hundred quintals and two quarterons, at the end whereof were thirteen pointed diamonds, the least whereof was as big as the greatest bell of Our Lady's Church at Paris—there might want perhaps the thickness of a nail, or at most, that I may not lie, of the back of those knives which they call cutlugs or earcutters, but for a little off or on, more or less, it is no matter—and it was enchanted in such sort that it could never break, but, contrarily, all that it did touch did break immediately. Thus, then, as he approached with great fierceness and pride of heart, Pantagruel, casting up his eyes to heaven, recommended himself to God with all his soul, making such a vow as followeth.
O thou Lord God, who hast always been my protector and my saviour! thou seest the distress wherein I am at this time. Nothing brings me hither but a natural zeal, which thou hast permitted unto mortals, to keep and defend themselves, their wives and children, country and family, in case thy own proper cause were not in question, which is the faith; for in such a business thou wilt have no coadjutors, only a catholic confession and service of thy word, and hast forbidden us all arming and defence. For thou art the Almighty, who in thine own cause, and where thine own business is taken to heart, canst defend it far beyond all that we can conceive, thou who hast thousand thousands of hundreds of millions of legions of angels, the least of which is able to kill all mortal men, and turn about the heavens and earth at his pleasure, as heretofore it very plainly appeared in the army of Sennacherib. If it may please thee, therefore, at this time to assist me, as my whole trust and confidence is in thee alone, I vow unto thee, that in all countries whatsoever wherein I shall have any power or authority, whether in this of Utopia or elsewhere, I will cause thy holy gospel to be purely, simply, and entirely preached, so that the abuses of a rabble of hypocrites and false prophets, who by human constitutions and depraved inventions have empoisoned all the world, shall be quite exterminated from about me.
This vow was no sooner made, but there was heard a voice from heaven saying, Hoc fac et vinces; that is to say, Do this, and thou shalt overcome. Then Pantagruel, seeing that Loupgarou with his mouth wide open was drawing near to him, went against him boldly, and cried out as loud as he was able, Thou diest, villain, thou diest! purposing by his horrible cry to make him afraid, according to the discipline of the Lacedaemonians. Withal, he immediately cast at him out of his bark, which he wore at his girdle, eighteen cags and four bushels of salt, wherewith he filled both his mouth, throat, nose, and eyes. At this Loupgarou was so highly incensed that, most fiercely setting upon him, he thought even then with a blow of his mace to have beat out his brains. But Pantagruel was very nimble, and had always a quick foot and a quick eye, and therefore with his left foot did he step back one pace, yet not so nimbly but that the blow, falling upon the bark, broke it in four thousand four score and six pieces, and threw all the rest of the salt about the ground. Pantagruel, seeing that, most gallantly displayed the vigour of his arms, and, according to the art of the axe, gave him with the great end of his mast a homethrust a little above the breast; then, bringing along the blow to the left side, with a slash struck him between the neck and shoulders. After that, advancing his right foot, he gave him a push upon the couillons with the upper end of his said mast, wherewith breaking the scuttle on the top thereof, he spilt three or four puncheons of wine that were left therein.
Upon that Loupgarou thought that he had pierced his bladder, and that the wine that came forth had been his urine. Pantagruel, being not content with this, would have doubled it by a side-blow; but Loupgarou, lifting up his mace, advanced one step upon him, and with all his force would have dashed it upon Pantagruel, wherein, to speak the truth, he so sprightfully carried himself, that, if God had not succoured the good Pantagruel, he had been cloven from the top of his head to the bottom of his milt. But the blow glanced to the right side by the brisk nimbleness of Pantagruel, and his mace sank into the ground above threescore and thirteen foot, through a huge rock, out of which the fire did issue greater than nine thousand and six tons. Pantagruel, seeing him busy about plucking out his mace, which stuck in the ground between the rocks, ran upon him, and would have clean cut off his head, if by mischance his mast had not touched a little against the stock of Loupgarou's mace, which was enchanted, as we have said before. By this means his mast broke off about three handfuls above his hand, whereat he stood amazed like a bell-founder, and cried out, Ah, Panurge, where art thou? Panurge, seeing that, said to the king and the giants, By G—, they will hurt one another if they be not parted. But the giants were as merry as if they had been at a wedding. Then Carpalin would have risen from thence to help his master; but one of the giants said unto him, By Golfarin, the nephew of Mahoom, if thou stir hence I will put thee in the bottom of my breeches instead of a suppository, which cannot choose but do me good. For in my belly I am very costive, and cannot well cagar without gnashing my teeth and making many filthy faces. Then Pantagruel, thus destitute of a staff, took up the end of his mast, striking athwart and alongst upon the giant, but he did him no more hurt than you would do with a fillip upon a smith's anvil. In the (mean) time Loupgarou was drawing his mace out of the ground, and, having already plucked it out, was ready therewith to have struck Pantagruel, who, being very quick in turning, avoided all his blows in taking only the defensive part in hand, until on a sudden he saw that Loupgarou did threaten him with these words, saying, Now, villain, will not I fail to chop thee as small as minced meat, and keep thee henceforth from ever making any more poor men athirst! For then, without any more ado, Pantagruel struck him such a blow with his foot against the belly that he made him fall backwards, his heels over his head, and dragged him thus along at flay-buttock above a flight-shot. Then Loupgarou cried out, bleeding at the throat, Mahoom, Mahoom, Mahoom! at which noise all the giants arose to succour him. But Panurge said unto them, Gentlemen, do not go, if will believe me, for our master is mad, and strikes athwart and alongst, he cares not where; he will do you a mischief. But the giants made no account of it, seeing that Pantagruel had never a staff.
And when Pantagruel saw those giants approach very near unto him, he took Loupgarou by the two feet, and lift up his body like a pike in the air, wherewith, it being harnessed with anvils, he laid such heavy load amongst those giants armed with free-stone, that, striking them down as a mason doth little knobs of stones, there was not one of them that stood before him whom he threw not flat to the ground. And by the breaking of this stony armour there was made such a horrible rumble as put me in mind of the fall of the butter-tower of St. Stephen's at Bourges when it melted before the sun. Panurge, with Carpalin and Eusthenes, did cut in the mean time the throats of those that were struck down, in such sort that there escaped not one. Pantagruel to any man's sight was like a mower, who with his scythe, which was Loupgarou, cut down the meadow grass, to wit, the giants; but with this fencing of Pantagruel's Loupgarou lost his head, which happened when Pantagruel struck down one whose name was Riflandouille, or Pudding-plunderer, who was armed cap-a-pie with Grison stones, one chip whereof splintering abroad cut off Epistemon's neck clean and fair. For otherwise the most part of them were but lightly armed with a kind of sandy brittle stone, and the rest with slates. At last, when he saw that they were all dead, he threw the body of Loupgarou as hard as he could against the city, where falling like a frog upon his belly in the great Piazza thereof, he with the said fall killed a singed he-cat, a wet she-cat, a farting duck, and a bridled goose.
This gigantal victory being ended, Pantagruel withdrew himself to the place of the flagons, and called for Panurge and the rest, who came unto him safe and sound, except Eusthenes, whom one of the giants had scratched a little in the face whilst he was about the cutting of his throat, and Epistemon, who appeared not at all. Whereat Pantagruel was so aggrieved that he would have killed himself. But Panurge said unto him, Nay, sir, stay a while, and we will search for him amongst the dead, and find out the truth of all. Thus as they went seeking after him, they found him stark dead, with his head between his arms all bloody. Then Eusthenes cried out, Ah, cruel death! hast thou taken from me the perfectest amongst men? At which words Pantagruel rose up with the greatest grief that ever any man did see, and said to Panurge, Ha, my friend! the prophecy of your two glasses and the javelin staff was a great deal too deceitful. But Panurge answered, My dear bullies all, weep not one drop more, for, he being yet all hot, I will make him as sound as ever he was. In saying this, he took the head and held it warm foregainst his codpiece, that the wind might not enter into it. Eusthenes and Carpalin carried the body to the place where they had banqueted, not out of any hope that ever he would recover, but that Pantagruel might see it.
Nevertheless Panurge gave him very good comfort, saying, If I do not heal him, I will be content to lose my head, which is a fool's wager. Leave off, therefore, crying, and help me. Then cleansed he his neck very well with pure white wine, and, after that, took his head, and into it synapised some powder of diamerdis, which he always carried about him in one of his bags. Afterwards he anointed it with I know not what ointment, and set it on very just, vein against vein, sinew against sinew, and spondyle against spondyle, that he might not be wry-necked—for such people he mortally hated. This done, he gave it round about some fifteen or sixteen stitches with a needle that it might not fall off again; then, on all sides and everywhere, he put a little ointment on it, which he called resuscitative.
Suddenly Epistemon began to breathe, then opened his eyes, yawned, sneezed, and afterwards let a great household fart. Whereupon Panurge said, Now, certainly, he is healed,—and therefore gave him to drink a large full glass of strong white wine, with a sugared toast. In this fashion was Epistemon finely healed, only that he was somewhat hoarse for above three weeks together, and had a dry cough of which he could not be rid but by the force of continual drinking. And now he began to speak, and said that he had seen the devil, had spoken with Lucifer familiarly, and had been very merry in hell and in the Elysian fields, affirming very seriously before them all that the devils were boon companions and merry fellows. But, in respect of the damned, he said he was very sorry that Panurge had so soon called him back into this world again; for, said he, I took wonderful delight to see them. How so? said Pantagruel. Because they do not use them there, said Epistemon, so badly as you think they do. Their estate and condition of living is but only changed after a very strange manner; for I saw Alexander the Great there amending and patching on clouts upon old breeches and stockings, whereby he got but a very poor living.
Xerxes was a crier of mustard. Romulus, a salter and patcher of pattens. Numa, a nailsmith. Tarquin, a porter. Piso, a clownish swain. Sylla, a ferryman. Cyrus, a cowherd. Themistocles, a glass-maker. Epaminondas, a maker of mirrors or looking-glasses. Brutus and Cassius, surveyors or measurers of land. Demosthenes, a vine-dresser. Cicero, a fire-kindler. Fabius, a threader of beads. Artaxerxes, a rope-maker. Aeneas, a miller. Achilles was a scaldpated maker of hay-bundles. Agamemnon, a lick-box. Ulysses, a hay-mower. Nestor, a door-keeper or forester. Darius, a gold-finder or jakes-farmer. Ancus Martius, a ship-trimmer. Camillus, a foot-post. Marcellus, a sheller of beans. Drusus, a taker of money at the doors of playhouses. Scipio Africanus, a crier of lee in a wooden slipper. Asdrubal, a lantern-maker. Hannibal, a kettlemaker and seller of eggshells. Priamus, a seller of old clouts. Lancelot of the Lake was a flayer of dead horses.
All the Knights of the Round Table were poor day-labourers, employed to row over the rivers of Cocytus, Phlegeton, Styx, Acheron, and Lethe, when my lords the devils had a mind to recreate themselves upon the water, as in the like occasion are hired the boatmen at Lyons, the gondoliers of Venice, and oars at London. But with this difference, that these poor knights have only for their fare a bob or flirt on the nose, and in the evening a morsel of coarse mouldy bread.
Trajan was a fisher of frogs. Antoninus, a lackey. Commodus, a jet-maker. Pertinax, a peeler of walnuts. Lucullus, a maker of rattles and hawks'-bells. Justinian, a pedlar. Hector, a snap-sauce scullion. Paris was a poor beggar. Cambyses, a mule-driver.
Nero, a base blind fiddler, or player on that instrument which is called a windbroach. Fierabras was his serving-man, who did him a thousand mischievous tricks, and would make him eat of the brown bread and drink of the turned wine when himself did both eat and drink of the best.
Julius Caesar and Pompey were boat-wrights and tighters of ships.
Valentine and Orson did serve in the stoves of hell, and were sweat-rubbers in hot houses.
Giglan and Govian (Gauvin) were poor swineherds.
Geoffrey with the great tooth was a tinder-maker and seller of matches.
Godfrey de Bouillon, a hood-maker. Jason was a bracelet-maker. Don Pietro de Castille, a carrier of indulgences. Morgan, a beer-brewer. Huon of Bordeaux, a hooper of barrels. Pyrrhus, a kitchen-scullion. Antiochus, a chimney-sweeper. Octavian, a scraper of parchment. Nerva, a mariner.
Pope Julius was a crier of pudding-pies, but he left off wearing there his great buggerly beard.
John of Paris was a greaser of boots. Arthur of Britain, an ungreaser of caps. Perce-Forest, a carrier of faggots. Pope Boniface the Eighth, a scummer of pots. Pope Nicholas the Third, a maker of paper. Pope Alexander, a ratcatcher. Pope Sixtus, an anointer of those that have the pox.
What, said Pantagruel, have they the pox there too? Surely, said Epistemon, I never saw so many: there are there, I think, above a hundred millions; for believe, that those who have not had the pox in this world must have it in the other.
Cotsbody, said Panurge, then I am free; for I have been as far as the hole of Gibraltar, reached unto the outmost bounds of Hercules, and gathered of the ripest.
Ogier the Dane was a furbisher of armour. The King Tigranes, a mender of thatched houses. Galien Restored, a taker of moldwarps. The four sons of Aymon were all toothdrawers. Pope Calixtus was a barber of a woman's sine qua non. Pope Urban, a bacon-picker. Melusina was a kitchen drudge-wench. Matabrune, a laundress. Cleopatra, a crier of onions. Helen, a broker for chambermaids. Semiramis, the beggars' lice-killer. Dido did sell mushrooms. Penthesilea sold cresses. Lucretia was an alehouse-keeper. Hortensia, a spinstress. Livia, a grater of verdigris.
After this manner, those that had been great lords and ladies here, got but a poor scurvy wretched living there below. And, on the contrary, the philosophers and others, who in this world had been altogether indigent and wanting, were great lords there in their turn. I saw Diogenes there strut it out most pompously, and in great magnificence, with a rich purple gown on him, and a golden sceptre in his right hand. And, which is more, he would now and then make Alexander the Great mad, so enormously would he abuse him when he had not well patched his breeches; for he used to pay his skin with sound bastinadoes. I saw Epictetus there, most gallantly apparelled after the French fashion, sitting under a pleasant arbour, with store of handsome gentlewomen, frolicking, drinking, dancing, and making good cheer, with abundance of crowns of the sun. Above the lattice were written these verses for his device:
To leap and dance, to sport and play, And drink good wine both white and brown, Or nothing else do all the day But tell bags full of many a crown.
When he saw me, he invited me to drink with him very courteously, and I being willing to be entreated, we tippled and chopined together most theologically. In the meantime came Cyrus to beg one farthing of him for the honour of Mercury, therewith to buy a few onions for his supper. No, no, said Epictetus, I do not use in my almsgiving to bestow farthings. Hold, thou varlet, there's a crown for thee; be an honest man. Cyrus was exceeding glad to have met with such a booty; but the other poor rogues, the kings that are there below, as Alexander, Darius, and others, stole it away from him by night. I saw Pathelin, the treasurer of Rhadamanthus, who, in cheapening the pudding-pies that Pope Julius cried, asked him how much a dozen. Three blanks, said the Pope. Nay, said Pathelin, three blows with a cudgel. Lay them down here, you rascal, and go fetch more. The poor Pope went away weeping, who, when he came to his master, the pie-maker, told him that they had taken away his pudding-pies. Whereupon his master gave him such a sound lash with an eel-skin, that his own would have been worth nothing to make bag-pipe-bags of. I saw Master John Le Maire there personate the Pope in such fashion that he made all the poor kings and popes of this world kiss his feet, and, taking great state upon him, gave them his benediction, saying, Get the pardons, rogues, get the pardons; they are good cheap. I absolve you of bread and pottage, and dispense with you to be never good for anything. Then, calling Caillet and Triboulet to him, he spoke these words, My lords the cardinals, despatch their bulls, to wit, to each of them a blow with a cudgel upon the reins. Which accordingly was forthwith performed. I heard Master Francis Villon ask Xerxes, How much the mess of mustard? A farthing, said Xerxes. To which the said Villon answered, The pox take thee for a villain! As much of square-eared wheat is not worth half that price, and now thou offerest to enhance the price of victuals. With this he pissed in his pot, as the mustard-makers of Paris used to do. I saw the trained bowman of the bathing tub, known by the name of the Francarcher de Baignolet, who, being one of the trustees of the Inquisition, when he saw Perce-Forest making water against a wall in which was painted the fire of St. Anthony, declared him heretic, and would have caused him to be burnt alive had it not been for Morgant, who, for his proficiat and other small fees, gave him nine tuns of beer.
Well, said Pantagruel, reserve all these fair stories for another time, only tell us how the usurers are there handled. I saw them, said Epistemon, all very busily employed in seeking of rusty pins and old nails in the kennels of the streets, as you see poor wretched rogues do in this world. But the quintal, or hundredweight, of this old ironware is there valued but at the price of a cantle of bread, and yet they have but a very bad despatch and riddance in the sale of it. Thus the poor misers are sometimes three whole weeks without eating one morsel or crumb of bread, and yet work both day and night, looking for the fair to come. Nevertheless, of all this labour, toil, and misery, they reckon nothing, so cursedly active they are in the prosecution of that their base calling, in hopes, at the end of the year, to earn some scurvy penny by it.
Come, said Pantagruel, let us now make ourselves merry one bout, and drink, my lads, I beseech you, for it is very good drinking all this month. Then did they uncase their flagons by heaps and dozens, and with their leaguer-provision made excellent good cheer. But the poor King Anarchus could not all this while settle himself towards any fit of mirth; whereupon Panurge said, Of what trade shall we make my lord the king here, that he may be skilful in the art when he goes thither to sojourn amongst all the devils of hell? Indeed, said Pantagruel, that was well advised of thee. Do with him what thou wilt, I give him to thee. Gramercy, said Panurge, the present is not to be refused, and I love it from you.
After this wonderful victory, Pantagruel sent Carpalin unto the city of the Amaurots to declare and signify unto them how the King Anarchus was taken prisoner and all the enemies of the city overthrown. Which news when they heard all the inhabitants of the city came forth to meet him in good order, and with a great triumphant pomp, conducting him with a heavenly joy into the city, where innumerable bonfires were set on through all the parts thereof, and fair round tables, which were furnished with store of good victuals, set out in the middle of the streets. This was a renewing of the golden age in the time of Saturn, so good was the cheer which then they made.
But Pantagruel, having assembled the whole senate and common councilmen of the town, said, My masters, we must now strike the iron whilst it is hot. It is therefore my will that, before we frolic it any longer, we advise how to assault and take the whole kingdom of the Dipsodes. To which effect let those that will go with me provide themselves against to-morrow after drinking, for then will I begin to march. Not that I need any more men than I have to help me to conquer it, for I could make it as sure that way as if I had it already; but I see this city is so full of inhabitants that they scarce can turn in the streets. I will, therefore, carry them as a colony into Dipsody, and will give them all that country, which is fair, wealthy, fruitful, and pleasant, above all other countries in the world, as many of you can tell who have been there heretofore. Everyone of you, therefore, that will go along, let him provide himself as I have said. This counsel and resolution being published in the city, the next morning there assembled in the piazza before the palace to the number of eighteen hundred fifty-six thousand and eleven, besides women and little children. Thus began they to march straight into Dipsody, in such good order as did the people of Israel when they departed out of Egypt to pass over the Red Sea.
But before we proceed any further in this purpose, I will tell you how Panurge handled his prisoner the King Anarchus; for, having remembered that which Epistemon had related, how the kings and rich men in this world were used in the Elysian fields, and how they got their living there by base and ignoble trades, he, therefore, one day apparelled his king in a pretty little canvas doublet, all jagged and pinked like the tippet of a light horseman's cap, together with a pair of large mariner's breeches, and stockings without shoes,—For, said he, they would but spoil his sight, —and a little peach-coloured bonnet with a great capon's feather in it—I lie, for I think he had two—and a very handsome girdle of a sky-colour and green (in French called pers et vert), saying that such a livery did become him well, for that he had always been perverse, and in this plight bringing him before Pantagruel, said unto him, Do you know this roister? No, indeed, said Pantagruel. It is, said Panurge, my lord the king of the three batches, or threadbare sovereign. I intend to make him an honest man. These devilish kings which we have here are but as so many calves; they know nothing and are good for nothing but to do a thousand mischiefs to their poor subjects, and to trouble all the world with war for their unjust and detestable pleasure. I will put him to a trade, and make him a crier of green sauce. Go to, begin and cry, Do you lack any green sauce? and the poor devil cried. That is too low, said Panurge; then took him by the ear, saying, Sing higher in Ge, sol, re, ut. So, so poor devil, thou hast a good throat; thou wert never so happy as to be no longer king. And Pantagruel made himself merry with all this; for I dare boldly say that he was the best little gaffer that was to be seen between this and the end of a staff. Thus was Anarchus made a good crier of green sauce. Two days thereafter Panurge married him with an old lantern-carrying hag, and he himself made the wedding with fine sheep's heads, brave haslets with mustard, gallant salligots with garlic, of which he sent five horseloads unto Pantagruel, which he ate up all, he found them so appetizing. And for their drink they had a kind of small well-watered wine, and some sorbapple-cider. And, to make them dance, he hired a blind man that made music to them with a wind-broach.
After dinner he led them to the palace and showed them to Pantagruel, and said, pointing to the married woman, You need not fear that she will crack. Why? said Pantagruel. Because, said Panurge, she is well slit and broke up already. What do you mean by that? said Pantagruel. Do not you see, said Panurge, that the chestnuts which are roasted in the fire, if they be whole they crack as if they were mad, and, to keep them from cracking, they make an incision in them and slit them? So this new bride is in her lower parts well slit before, and therefore will not crack behind.
Pantagruel gave them a little lodge near the lower street and a mortar of stone wherein to bray and pound their sauce, and in this manner did they do their little business, he being as pretty a crier of green sauce as ever was seen in the country of Utopia. But I have been told since that his wife doth beat him like plaister, and the poor sot dare not defend himself, he is so simple.
Thus, as Pantagruel with all his army had entered into the country of the Dipsodes, everyone was glad of it, and incontinently rendered themselves unto him, bringing him out of their own good wills the keys of all the cities where he went, the Almirods only excepted, who, being resolved to hold out against him, made answer to his heralds that they would not yield but upon very honourable and good conditions.
What! said Pantagruel, do they ask any better terms than the hand at the pot and the glass in their fist? Come, let us go sack them, and put them all to the sword. Then did they put themselves in good order, as being fully determined to give an assault, but by the way, passing through a large field, they were overtaken with a great shower of rain, whereat they began to shiver and tremble, to crowd, press, and thrust close to one another. When Pantagruel saw that, he made their captains tell them that it was nothing, and that he saw well above the clouds that it would be nothing but a little dew; but, howsoever, that they should put themselves in order, and he would cover them. Then did they put themselves in a close order, and stood as near to (each) other as they could, and Pantagruel drew out his tongue only half-way and covered them all, as a hen doth her chickens. In the meantime, I, who relate to you these so veritable stories, hid myself under a burdock-leaf, which was not much less in largeness than the arch of the bridge of Montrible, but when I saw them thus covered, I went towards them to shelter myself likewise; which I could not do, for that they were so, as the saying is, At the yard's end there is no cloth left. Then, as well as I could, I got upon it, and went along full two leagues upon his tongue, and so long marched that at last I came into his mouth. But, O gods and goddesses! what did I see there? Jupiter confound me with his trisulc lightning if I lie! I walked there as they do in Sophia (at) Constantinople, and saw there great rocks, like the mountains in Denmark—I believe that those were his teeth. I saw also fair meadows, large forests, great and strong cities not a jot less than Lyons or Poictiers. The first man I met with there was a good honest fellow planting coleworts, whereat being very much amazed, I asked him, My friend, what dost thou make here? I plant coleworts, said he. But how, and wherewith? said I. Ha, sir, said he, everyone cannot have his ballocks as heavy as a mortar, neither can we be all rich. Thus do I get my poor living, and carry them to the market to sell in the city which is here behind. Jesus! said I, is there here a new world? Sure, said he, it is never a jot new, but it is commonly reported that, without this, there is an earth, whereof the inhabitants enjoy the light of a sun and a moon, and that it is full of and replenished with very good commodities; but yet this is more ancient than that. Yea but, said I, my friend, what is the name of that city whither thou carriest thy coleworts to sell? It is called Aspharage, said he, and all the indwellers are Christians, very honest men, and will make you good cheer. To be brief, I resolved to go thither. Now, in my way, I met with a fellow that was lying in wait to catch pigeons, of whom I asked, My friend, from whence come these pigeons? Sir, said he, they come from the other world. Then I thought that, when Pantagruel yawned, the pigeons went into his mouth in whole flocks, thinking that it had been a pigeon-house.
Then I went into the city, which I found fair, very strong, and seated in a good air; but at my entry the guard demanded of me my pass or ticket. Whereat I was much astonished, and asked them, My masters, is there any danger of the plague here? O Lord! said they, they die hard by here so fast that the cart runs about the streets. Good God! said I, and where? Whereunto they answered that it was in Larynx and Pharynx, which are two great cities such as Rouen and Nantes, rich and of great trading. And the cause of the plague was by a stinking and infectious exhalation which lately vapoured out of the abysms, whereof there have died above two and twenty hundred and threescore thousand and sixteen persons within this sevennight. Then I considered, calculated, and found that it was a rank and unsavoury breathing which came out of Pantagruel's stomach when he did eat so much garlic, as we have aforesaid.
Parting from thence, I passed amongst the rocks, which were his teeth, and never left walking till I got up on one of them; and there I found the pleasantest places in the world, great large tennis-courts, fair galleries, sweet meadows, store of vines, and an infinite number of banqueting summer outhouses in the fields, after the Italian fashion, full of pleasure and delight, where I stayed full four months, and never made better cheer in my life as then. After that I went down by the hinder teeth to come to the chaps. But in the way I was robbed by thieves in a great forest that is in the territory towards the ears. Then, after a little further travelling, I fell upon a pretty petty village—truly I have forgot the name of it—where I was yet merrier than ever, and got some certain money to live by. Can you tell how? By sleeping. For there they hire men by the day to sleep, and they get by it sixpence a day, but they that can snort hard get at least ninepence. How I had been robbed in the valley I informed the senators, who told me that, in very truth, the people of that side were bad livers and naturally thievish, whereby I perceived well that, as we have with us the countries Cisalpine and Transalpine, that is, behither and beyond the mountains, so have they there the countries Cidentine and Tradentine, that is, behither and beyond the teeth. But it is far better living on this side, and the air is purer. Then I began to think that it is very true which is commonly said, that the one half of the world knoweth not how the other half liveth; seeing none before myself had ever written of that country, wherein are above five-and-twenty kingdoms inhabited, besides deserts, and a great arm of the sea. Concerning which purpose I have composed a great book, entitled, The History of the Throttias, because they dwell in the throat of my master Pantagruel.
At last I was willing to return, and, passing by his beard, I cast myself upon his shoulders, and from thence slid down to the ground, and fell before him. As soon as I was perceived by him, he asked me, Whence comest thou, Alcofribas? I answered him, Out of your mouth, my lord. And how long hast thou been there? said he. Since the time, said I, that you went against the Almirods. That is about six months ago, said he. And wherewith didst thou live? What didst thou drink? I answered, My lord, of the same that you did, and of the daintiest morsels that passed through your throat I took toll. Yea but, said he, where didst thou shite? In your throat, my lord, said I. Ha, ha! thou art a merry fellow, said he. We have with the help of God conquered all the land of the Dipsodes; I will give thee the Chastelleine, or Lairdship of Salmigondin. Gramercy, my lord, said I, you gratify me beyond all that I have deserved of you.
A while after this the good Pantagruel fell sick, and had such an obstruction in his stomach that he could neither eat nor drink; and, because mischief seldom comes alone, a hot piss seized on him, which tormented him more than you would believe. His physicians nevertheless helped him very well, and with store of lenitives and diuretic drugs made him piss away his pain. His urine was so hot that since that time it is not yet cold, and you have of it in divers places of France, according to the course that it took, and they are called the hot baths, as—
At Coderets. At Limous. At Dast. At Ballervie (Balleruc). At Neric. At Bourbonansie, and elsewhere in Italy. At Mongros. At Appone. At Sancto Petro de Padua. At St. Helen. At Casa Nuova. At St. Bartholomew, in the county of Boulogne. At the Porrette, and a thousand other places.
And I wonder much at a rabble of foolish philosophers and physicians, who spend their time in disputing whence the heat of the said waters cometh, whether it be by reason of borax, or sulphur, or alum, or saltpetre, that is within the mine. For they do nothing but dote, and better were it for them to rub their arse against a thistle than to waste away their time thus in disputing of that whereof they know not the original; for the resolution is easy, neither need we to inquire any further than that the said baths came by a hot piss of the good Pantagruel.
Now to tell you after what manner he was cured of his principal disease. I let pass how for a minorative or gentle potion he took four hundred pound weight of colophoniac scammony, six score and eighteen cartloads of cassia, an eleven thousand and nine hundred pound weight of rhubarb, besides other confuse jumblings of sundry drugs. You must understand that by the advice of the physicians it was ordained that what did offend his stomach should be taken away; and therefore they made seventeen great balls of copper, each whereof was bigger than that which is to be seen on the top of St. Peter's needle at Rome, and in such sort that they did open in the midst and shut with a spring. Into one of them entered one of his men carrying a lantern and a torch lighted, and so Pantagruel swallowed him down like a little pill. Into seven others went seven country-fellows, having every one of them a shovel on his neck. Into nine others entered nine wood-carriers, having each of them a basket hung at his neck, and so were they swallowed down like pills. When they were in his stomach, every one undid his spring, and came out of their cabins. The first whereof was he that carried the lantern, and so they fell more than half a league into a most horrible gulf, more stinking and infectious than ever was Mephitis, or the marshes of the Camerina, or the abominably unsavoury lake of Sorbona, whereof Strabo maketh mention. And had it not been that they had very well antidoted their stomach, heart, and wine-pot, which is called the noddle, they had been altogether suffocated and choked with these detestable vapours. O what a perfume! O what an evaporation wherewith to bewray the masks or mufflers of young mangy queans. After that, with groping and smelling they came near to the faecal matter and the corrupted humours. Finally, they found a montjoy or heap of ordure and filth. Then fell the pioneers to work to dig it up, and the rest with their shovels filled the baskets; and when all was cleansed every one retired himself into his ball.
This done, Pantagruel enforcing himself to vomit, very easily brought them out, and they made no more show in his mouth than a fart in yours. But, when they came merrily out of their pills, I thought upon the Grecians coming out of the Trojan horse. By this means was he healed and brought unto his former state and convalescence; and of these brazen pills, or rather copper balls, you have one at Orleans, upon the steeple of the Holy Cross Church.
Now, my masters, you have heard a beginning of the horrific history of my lord and master Pantagruel. Here will I make an end of the first book. My head aches a little, and I perceive that the registers of my brain are somewhat jumbled and disordered with this Septembral juice. You shall have the rest of the history at Frankfort mart next coming, and there shall you see how Panurge was married and made a cuckold within a month after his wedding; how Pantagruel found out the philosopher's stone, the manner how he found it, and the way how to use it; how he passed over the Caspian mountains, and how he sailed through the Atlantic sea, defeated the Cannibals, and conquered the isles of Pearls; how he married the daughter of the King of India, called Presthan; how he fought against the devil and burnt up five chambers of hell, ransacked the great black chamber, threw Proserpina into the fire, broke five teeth to Lucifer, and the horn that was in his arse; how he visited the regions of the moon to know whether indeed the moon were not entire and whole, or if the women had three quarters of it in their heads, and a thousand other little merriments all veritable. These are brave things truly. Good night, gentlemen. Perdonate mi, and think not so much upon my faults that you forget your own.
If you say to me, Master, it would seem that you were not very wise in writing to us these flimflam stories and pleasant fooleries; I answer you, that you are not much wiser to spend your time in reading them. Nevertheless, if you read them to make yourselves merry, as in manner of pastime I wrote them, you and I both are far more worthy of pardon than a great rabble of squint-minded fellows, dissembling and counterfeit saints, demure lookers, hypocrites, pretended zealots, tough friars, buskin-monks, and other such sects of men, who disguise themselves like masquers to deceive the world. For, whilst they give the common people to understand that they are busied about nothing but contemplation and devotion in fastings and maceration of their sensuality—and that only to sustain and aliment the small frailty of their humanity—it is so far otherwise that, on the contrary, God knows what cheer they make; Et Curios simulant, sed Bacchanalia vivunt. You may read it in great letters in the colouring of their red snouts, and gulching bellies as big as a tun, unless it be when they perfume themselves with sulphur. As for their study, it is wholly taken up in reading of Pantagruelian books, not so much to pass the time merrily as to hurt someone or other mischievously, to wit, in articling, sole-articling, wry-neckifying, buttock-stirring, ballocking, and diabliculating, that is, calumniating. Wherein they are like unto the poor rogues of a village that are busy in stirring up and scraping in the ordure and filth of little children, in the season of cherries and guinds, and that only to find the kernels, that they may sell them to the druggists to make thereof pomander oil. Fly from these men, abhor and hate them as much as I do, and upon my faith you will find yourselves the better for it. And if you desire to be good Pantagruelists, that is to say, to live in peace, joy, health, making yourselves always merry, never trust those men that always peep out at one hole.
End of Book II.Dore Illustrations