Project Gutenberg's Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book V., by Francois Rabelais This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book V. Five Books Of The Lives, Heroic Deeds And Sayings Of Gargantua And His Son Pantagruel Author: Francois Rabelais Release Date: August 8, 2004 [EBook #8170] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK GARGANTUA AND PANTAGRUEL, BOOK V. *** Produced by Sue Asscher and David Widger
The text of the first Two Books of Rabelais has been reprinted from the first edition (1653) of Urquhart's translation. Footnotes initialled 'M.' are drawn from the Maitland Club edition (1838); other footnotes are by the translator. Urquhart's translation of Book III. appeared posthumously in 1693, with a new edition of Books I. and II., under Motteux's editorship. Motteux's rendering of Books IV. and V. followed in 1708. Occasionally (as the footnotes indicate) passages omitted by Motteux have been restored from the 1738 copy edited by Ozell.
THE FIFTH BOOK
Chapter 5.I.—How Pantagruel arrived at the Ringing Island, and of the noise that we heard.
Chapter 5.II.—How the Ringing Island had been inhabited by the Siticines, who were become birds.
Chapter 5.III.—How there is but one pope-hawk in the Ringing Island.
Chapter 5.IV.—How the birds of the Ringing Island were all passengers.
Chapter 5.V.—Of the dumb Knight-hawks of the Ringing Island.
Chapter 5.VI.—How the birds are crammed in the Ringing Island.
Chapter 5.VII.—How Panurge related to Master Aedituus the fable of the horse and the ass.
Chapter 5.VIII.—How with much ado we got a sight of the pope-hawk.
Chapter 5.IX.—How we arrived at the island of Tools.
Chapter 5.X.—How Pantagruel arrived at the island of Sharping.
Chapter 5.XI.—How we passed through the wicket inhabited by Gripe-men-all, Archduke of the Furred Law-cats.
Chapter 5.XII.—How Gripe-men-all propounded a riddle to us.
Chapter 5.XIII.—How Panurge solved Gripe-men-all's riddle.
Chapter 5.XIV.—How the Furred Law-cats live on corruption.
Chapter 5.XV.—How Friar John talks of rooting out the Furred Law-cats.
Chapter 5.XVI.—How Pantagruel came to the island of the Apedefers, or Ignoramuses, with long claws and crooked paws, and of terrible adventures and monsters there.
Chapter 5.XVII.—How we went forwards, and how Panurge had like to have been killed.
Chapter 5.XVIII.—How our ships were stranded, and we were relieved by some people that were subject to Queen Whims (qui tenoient de la Quinte).
Chapter 5.XIX.—How we arrived at the queendom of Whims or Entelechy.
Chapter 5.XX.—How the Quintessence cured the sick with a song.
Chapter 5.XXI.—How the Queen passed her time after dinner.
Chapter 5.XXII.—How Queen Whims' officers were employed; and how the said lady retained us among her abstractors.
Chapter 5.XXIII.—How the Queen was served at dinner, and of her way of eating.
Chapter 5.XXIV.—How there was a ball in the manner of a tournament, at which Queen Whims was present.
Chapter 5.XXV.—How the thirty-two persons at the ball fought.
Chapter 5.XXVI.—How we came to the island of Odes, where the ways go up and down.
Chapter 5.XXVII.—How we came to the island of Sandals; and of the order of Semiquaver Friars.
Chapter 5.XXVIII.—How Panurge asked a Semiquaver Friar many questions, and was only answered in monosyllables.
Chapter 5.XXIX.—How Epistemon disliked the institution of Lent.
Chapter 5.XXX.—How we came to the land of Satin.
Chapter 5.XXXI.—How in the land of Satin we saw Hearsay, who kept a school of vouching.
Chapter 5.XXXII.—How we came in sight of Lantern-land.
Chapter 5.XXXIII.—How we landed at the port of the Lychnobii, and came to Lantern-land.
Chapter 5.XXXIV.—How we arrived at the Oracle of the Bottle.
Chapter 5.XXXV.—How we went underground to come to the Temple of the Holy Bottle, and how Chinon is the oldest city in the world.
Chapter 5.XXXVI.—How we went down the tetradic steps, and of Panurge's fear.
Chapter 5.XXXVII.—How the temple gates in a wonderful manner opened of themselves.
Chapter 5.XXXVIII.—Of the Temple's admirable pavement.
Chapter 5.XXXIX.—How we saw Bacchus's army drawn up in battalia in mosaic work.
Chapter 5.XL.—How the battle in which the good Bacchus overthrew the Indians was represented in mosaic work.
Chapter 5.XLI.—How the temple was illuminated with a wonderful lamp.
Chapter 5.XLII —How the Priestess Bacbuc showed us a fantastic fountain in the temple, and how the fountain-water had the taste of wine, according to the imagination of those who drank of it.
Chapter 5.XLIII.—How the Priestess Bacbuc equipped Panurge in order to have the word of the Bottle.
Chapter 5.XLIV.—How Bacbuc, the high-priestess, brought Panurge before the Holy Bottle.
Chapter 5.XLV.—How Bacbuc explained the word of the Goddess-Bottle.
Chapter 5.XLVI.—How Panurge and the rest rhymed with poetic fury.
Chapter 5.XLVII.—How we took our leave of Bacbuc, and left the Oracle of the Holy Bottle.
He Did Cry Like a Cow—frontispiece
Rabelais Dissecting Society—portrait2
The Master of Ringing Island—5-03-544
Furred Law Cats Scrambling After the Crowns—5-13-564
Friar John and Panurge—5-28-600
Humbly Beseech Your Lanternship—5-35-618
Indefatigable topers, and you, thrice precious martyrs of the smock, give me leave to put a serious question to your worships while you are idly striking your codpieces, and I myself not much better employed. Pray, why is it that people say that men are not such sots nowadays as they were in the days of yore? Sot is an old word that signifies a dunce, dullard, jolthead, gull, wittol, or noddy, one without guts in his brains, whose cockloft is unfurnished, and, in short, a fool. Now would I know whether you would have us understand by this same saying, as indeed you logically may, that formerly men were fools and in this generation are grown wise? How many and what dispositions made them fools? How many and what dispositions were wanting to make 'em wise? Why were they fools? How should they be wise? Pray, how came you to know that men were formerly fools? How did you find that they are now wise? Who the devil made 'em fools? Who a God's name made 'em wise? Who d'ye think are most, those that loved mankind foolish, or those that love it wise? How long has it been wise? How long otherwise? Whence proceeded the foregoing folly? Whence the following wisdom? Why did the old folly end now, and no later? Why did the modern wisdom begin now, and no sooner? What were we the worse for the former folly? What the better for the succeeding wisdom? How should the ancient folly be come to nothing? How should this same new wisdom be started up and established?
Now answer me, an't please you. I dare not adjure you in stronger terms, reverend sirs, lest I make your pious fatherly worships in the least uneasy. Come, pluck up a good heart; speak the truth and shame the devil. Be cheery, my lads; and if you are for me, take me off three or five bumpers of the best, while I make a halt at the first part of the sermon; then answer my question. If you are not for me, avaunt! avoid, Satan! For I swear by my great-grandmother's placket (and that's a horrid oath), that if you don't help me to solve that puzzling problem, I will, nay, I already do repent having proposed it; for still I must remain nettled and gravelled, and a devil a bit I know how to get off. Well, what say you? I'faith, I begin to smell you out. You are not yet disposed to give me an answer; nor I neither, by these whiskers. Yet to give some light into the business, I'll e'en tell you what had been anciently foretold in the matter by a venerable doctor, who, being moved by the spirit in a prophetic vein, wrote a book ycleped the Prelatical Bagpipe. What d'ye think the old fornicator saith? Hearken, you old noddies, hearken now or never.
The jubilee's year, when all like fools were shorn, Is about thirty supernumerary. O want of veneration! fools they seemed, But, persevering, with long breves, at last No more they shall be gaping greedy fools. For they shall shell the shrub's delicious fruit, Whose flower they in the spring so much had feared.
Now you have it, what do you make on't? The seer is ancient, the style laconic, the sentences dark like those of Scotus, though they treat of matters dark enough in themselves. The best commentators on that good father take the jubilee after the thirtieth to be the years that are included in this present age till 1550 (there being but one jubilee every fifty years). Men shall no longer be thought fools next green peas season.
The fools, whose number, as Solomon certifies, is infinite, shall go to pot like a parcel of mad bedlamites as they are; and all manner of folly shall have an end, that being also numberless, according to Avicenna, maniae infinitae sunt species. Having been driven back and hidden towards the centre during the rigour of the winter, 'tis now to be seen on the surface, and buds out like the trees. This is as plain as a nose in a man's face; you know it by experience; you see it. And it was formerly found out by that great good man Hippocrates, Aphorism Verae etenim maniae, &c. This world therefore wisifying itself, shall no longer dread the flower and blossoms of every coming spring, that is, as you may piously believe, bumper in hand and tears in eyes, in the woeful time of Lent, which used to keep them company.
Whole cartloads of books that seemed florid, flourishing, and flowery, gay, and gaudy as so many butterflies, but in the main were tiresome, dull, soporiferous, irksome, mischievous, crabbed, knotty, puzzling, and dark as those of whining Heraclitus, as unintelligible as the numbers of Pythagoras, that king of the bean, according to Horace; those books, I say, have seen their best days and shall soon come to nothing, being delivered to the executing worms and merciless petty chandlers; such was their destiny, and to this they were predestinated.
In their stead beans in cod are started up; that is, these merry and fructifying Pantagruelian books, so much sought nowadays in expectation of the following jubilee's period; to the study of which writings all people have given their minds, and accordingly have gained the name of wise.
Now I think I have fairly solved and resolved your problem; then reform, and be the better for it. Hem once or twice like hearts of oak; stand to your pan-puddings, and take me off your bumpers, nine go-downs, and huzza! since we are like to have a good vintage, and misers hang themselves. Oh! they will cost me an estate in hempen collars if fair weather hold. For I hereby promise to furnish them with twice as much as will do their business on free cost, as often as they will take the pains to dance at a rope's end providently to save charges, to the no small disappointment of the finisher of the law.
Now, my friends, that you may put in for a share of this new wisdom, and shake off the antiquated folly this very moment, scratch me out of your scrolls and quite discard the symbol of the old philosopher with the golden thigh, by which he has forbidden you to eat beans; for you may take it for a truth granted among all professors in the science of good eating, that he enjoined you not to taste of them only with the same kind intent that a certain fresh-water physician had when he did forbid to Amer, late Lord of Camelotiere, kinsman to the lawyer of that name, the wing of the partridge, the rump of the chicken, and the neck of the pigeon, saying, Ala mala, rumpum dubium, collum bonum, pelle remota. For the duncical dog-leech was so selfish as to reserve them for his own dainty chops, and allowed his poor patients little more than the bare bones to pick, lest they should overload their squeamish stomachs.
To the heathen philosopher succeeded a pack of Capuchins, monks who forbid us the use of beans, that is, Pantagruelian books. They seem to follow the example of Philoxenus and Gnatho, one of whom was a Sicilian of fulsome memory, the ancient master-builders of their monastic cram-gut voluptuousness, who, when some dainty bit was served up at a feast, filthily used to spit on it, that none but their nasty selves might have the stomach to eat of it, though their liquorish chops watered never so much after it.
So those hideous, snotty, phthisicky, eaves-dropping, musty, moving forms of mortification, both in public and private, curse those dainty books, and like toads spit their venom upon them.
Now, though we have in our mother-tongue several excellent works in verse and prose, and, heaven be praised! but little left of the trash and trumpery stuff of those duncical mumblers of ave-maries and the barbarous foregoing Gothic age, I have made bold to choose to chirrup and warble my plain ditty, or, as they say, to whistle like a goose among the swans, rather than be thought deaf among so many pretty poets and eloquent orators. And thus I am prouder of acting the clown, or any other under-part, among the many ingenious actors in that noble play, than of herding among those mutes, who, like so many shadows and ciphers, only serve to fill up the house and make up a number, gaping and yawning at the flies, and pricking up their lugs, like so many Arcadian asses, at the striking up of the music; thus silently giving to understand that their fopships are tickled in the right place.
Having taken this resolution, I thought it would not be amiss to move my Diogenical tub, that you might not accuse me of living without example. I see a swarm of our modern poets and orators, your Colinets, Marots, Drouets, Saint Gelais, Salels, Masuels, and many more, who, having commenced masters in Apollo's academy on Mount Parnassus, and drunk brimmers at the Caballin fountain among the nine merry Muses, have raised our vulgar tongue, and made it a noble and everlasting structure. Their works are all Parian marble, alabaster, porphyry, and royal cement; they treat of nothing but heroic deeds, mighty things, grave and difficult matters, and this in a crimson, alamode, rhetorical style. Their writings are all divine nectar, rich, racy, sparkling, delicate, and luscious wine. Nor does our sex wholly engross this honour; ladies have had their share of the glory; one of them, of the royal blood of France, whom it were a profanation but to name here, surprises the age at once by the transcendent and inventive genius in her writings and the admirable graces of her style. Imitate those great examples if you can; for my part I cannot. Everyone, you know, cannot go to Corinth. When Solomon built the temple, all could not give gold by handfuls.
Since then 'tis not in my power to improve our architecture as much as they, I am e'en resolved to do like Renault of Montauban: I'll wait on the masons, set on the pot for the masons, cook for the stone-cutters; and since it was not my good luck to be cut out for one of them, I will live and die the admirer of their divine writings.
As for you, little envious prigs, snarling bastards, puny critics, you'll soon have railed your last; go hang yourselves, and choose you out some well-spread oak, under whose shade you may swing in state, to the admiration of the gaping mob; you shall never want rope enough. While I here solemnly protest before my Helicon, in the presence of my nine mistresses the Muses, that if I live yet the age of a dog, eked out with that of three crows, sound wind and limbs, like the old Hebrew captain Moses, Xenophilus the musician, and Demonax the philosopher, by arguments no ways impertinent, and reasons not to be disputed, I will prove, in the teeth of a parcel of brokers and retailers of ancient rhapsodies and such mouldy trash, that our vulgar tongue is not so mean, silly, inept, poor, barren, and contemptible as they pretend. Nor ought I to be afraid of I know not what botchers of old threadbare stuff, a hundred and a hundred times clouted up and pieced together; wretched bunglers that can do nothing but new-vamp old rusty saws; beggarly scavengers that rake even the muddiest canals of antiquity for scraps and bits of Latin as insignificant as they are often uncertain. Beseeching our grandees of Witland that, as when formerly Apollo had distributed all the treasures of his poetical exchequer to his favourites, little hulchbacked Aesop got for himself the office of apologue-monger; in the same manner, since I do not aspire higher, they would not deny me that of puny rhyparographer, or riffraff follower of the sect of Pyreicus.
I dare swear they will grant me this; for they are all so kind, so good-natured, and so generous, that they'll ne'er boggle at so small a request. Therefore, both dry and hungry souls, pot and trenchermen, fully enjoying those books, perusing, quoting them in their merry conventicles, and observing the great mysteries of which they treat, shall gain a singular profit and fame; as in the like case was done by Alexander the Great with the books of prime philosophy composed by Aristotle.
O rare! belly on belly! what swillers, what twisters will there be!
Then be sure all you that take care not to die of the pip, be sure, I say, you take my advice, and stock yourselves with good store of such books as soon as you meet with them at the booksellers; and do not only shell those beans, but e'en swallow them down like an opiate cordial, and let them be in you; I say, let them be within you; then you shall find, my beloved, what good they do to all clever shellers of beans.
Here is a good handsome basketful of them, which I here lay before your worships; they were gathered in the very individual garden whence the former came. So I beseech you, reverend sirs, with as much respect as was ever paid by dedicating author, to accept of the gift, in hopes of somewhat better against next visit the swallows give us.
Pursuing our voyage, we sailed three days without discovering anything; on the fourth we made land. Our pilot told us that it was the Ringing Island, and indeed we heard a kind of a confused and often repeated noise, that seemed to us at a great distance not unlike the sound of great, middle-sized, and little bells rung all at once, as 'tis customary at Paris, Tours, Gergeau, Nantes, and elsewhere on high holidays; and the nearer we came to the land the louder we heard that jangling.
Some of us doubted that it was the Dodonian kettle, or the portico called Heptaphone in Olympia, or the eternal humming of the colossus raised on Memnon's tomb in Thebes of Egypt, or the horrid din that used formerly to be heard about a tomb at Lipara, one of the Aeolian islands. But this did not square with chorography.
I do not know, said Pantagruel, but that some swarms of bees hereabouts may be taking a ramble in the air, and so the neighbourhood make this dingle-dangle with pans, kettles, and basins, the corybantine cymbals of Cybele, grandmother of the gods, to call them back. Let's hearken. When we were nearer, among the everlasting ringing of these indefatigable bells we heard the singing, as we thought, of some men. For this reason, before we offered to land on the Ringing Island, Pantagruel was of opinion that we should go in the pinnace to a small rock, near which we discovered an hermitage and a little garden. There we found a diminutive old hermit, whose name was Braguibus, born at Glenay. He gave us a full account of all the jangling, and regaled us after a strange sort of fashion—four livelong days did he make us fast, assuring us that we should not be admitted into the Ringing Island otherwise, because it was then one of the four fasting, or ember weeks. As I love my belly, quoth Panurge, I by no means understand this riddle. Methinks this should rather be one of the four windy weeks; for while we fast we are only puffed up with wind. Pray now, good father hermit, have not you here some other pastime besides fasting? Methinks it is somewhat of the leanest; we might well enough be without so many palace holidays and those fasting times of yours. In my Donatus, quoth Friar John, I could find yet but three times or tenses, the preterit, the present, and the future; doubtless here the fourth ought to be a work of supererogation. That time or tense, said Epistemon, is aorist, derived from the preter-imperfect tense of the Greeks, admitted in war (?) and odd cases. Patience perforce is a remedy for a mad dog. Saith the hermit: It is, as I told you, fatal to go against this; whosoever does it is a rank heretic, and wants nothing but fire and faggot, that's certain. To deal plainly with you, my dear pater, cried Panurge, being at sea, I much more fear being wet than being warm, and being drowned than being burned.
Well, however, let us fast, a God's name; yet I have fasted so long that it has quite undermined my flesh, and I fear that at last the bastions of this bodily fort of mine will fall to ruin. Besides, I am much more afraid of vexing you in this same trade of fasting; for the devil a bit I understand anything in it, and it becomes me very scurvily, as several people have told me, and I am apt to believe them. For my part, I have no great stomach to fasting; for alas! it is as easy as pissing a bed, and a trade of which anybody may set up; there needs no tools. I am much more inclined not to fast for the future; for to do so there is some stock required, and some tools are set a-work. No matter, since you are so steadfast, and would have us fast, let us fast as fast as we can, and then breakfast in the name of famine. Now we are come to these esurial idle days. I vow I had quite put them out of my head long ago. If we must fast, said Pantagruel, I see no other remedy but to get rid of it as soon as we can, as we would out of a bad way. I'll in that space of time somewhat look over my papers, and examine whether the marine study be as good as ours at land. For Plato, to describe a silly, raw, ignorant fellow, compares him to those that are bred on shipboard, as we would do one bred up in a barrel, who never saw anything but through the bung-hole.
To tell you the short and the long of the matter, our fasting was most hideous and terrible; for the first day we fasted on fisticuffs, the second at cudgels, the third at sharps, and the fourth at blood and wounds: such was the order of the fairies.
Having fasted as aforesaid, the hermit gave us a letter for one whom he called Albian Camar, Master Aedituus of the Ringing Island; but Panurge greeting him called him Master Antitus. He was a little queer old fellow, bald-pated, with a snout whereat you might easily have lighted a card-match, and a phiz as red as a cardinal's cap. He made us all very welcome, upon the hermit's recommendation, hearing that we had fasted, as I have told you.
When we had well stuffed our puddings, he gave us an account of what was remarkable in the island, affirming that it had been at first inhabited by the Siticines; but that, according to the course of nature—as all things, you know, are subject to change—they were become birds.
There I had a full account of all that Atteius Capito, Paulus, Marcellus, A. Gellius, Athenaeus, Suidas, Ammonius, and others had writ of the Siticines and Sicinnists; and then we thought we might as easily believe the transmutations of Nectymene, Progne, Itys, Alcyone, Antigone, Tereus, and other birds. Nor did we think it more reasonable to doubt of the transmogrification of the Macrobian children into swans, or that of the men of Pallene in Thrace into birds, as soon as they had bathed themselves in the Tritonic lake. After this the devil a word could we get out of him but of birds and cages.
The cages were spacious, costly, magnificent, and of an admirable architecture. The birds were large, fine, and neat accordingly, looking as like the men in my country as one pea does like another; for they ate and drank like men, muted like men, endued or digested like men, farted like men, but stunk like devils; slept, billed, and trod their females like men, but somewhat oftener: in short, had you seen and examined them from top to toe, you would have laid your head to a turnip that they had been mere men. However, they were nothing less, as Master Aedituus told us; assuring us, at the same time, that they were neither secular nor laic; and the truth is, the diversity of their feathers and plumes did not a little puzzle us.
Some of them were all over as white as swans, others as black as crows, many as grey as owls, others black and white like magpies, some all red like red-birds, and others purple and white like some pigeons. He called the males clerg-hawks, monk-hawks, priest-hawks, abbot-hawks, bish-hawks, cardin-hawks, and one pope-hawk, who is a species by himself. He called the females clerg-kites, nun-kites, priest-kites, abbess-kites, bish-kites, cardin-kites, and pope-kites.
However, said he, as hornets and drones will get among the bees, and there do nothing but buzz, eat, and spoil everything; so, for these last three hundred years, a vast swarm of bigottelloes flocked, I do not know how, among these goodly birds every fifth full moon, and have bemuted, berayed, and conskited the whole island. They are so hard-favoured and monstrous that none can abide them. For their wry necks make a figure like a crooked billet; their paws are hairy, like those of rough-footed pigeons; their claws and pounces, belly and breech, like those of the Stymphalid harpies. Nor is it possible to root them out, for if you get rid of one, straight four-and-twenty new ones fly thither.
There had been need of another monster-hunter such as was Hercules; for Friar John had like to have run distracted about it, so much he was nettled and puzzled in the matter. As for the good Pantagruel, he was even served as was Messer Priapus, contemplating the sacrifices of Ceres, for want of skin.
We then asked Master Aedituus why there was but one pope-hawk among such venerable birds multiplied in all their species. He answered that such was the first institution and fatal destiny of the stars that the clerg-hawks begot the priest-hawks and monk-hawks without carnal copulation, as some bees are born of a young bull; the priest-hawks begat the bish-hawks, the bish-hawks the stately cardin-hawks, and the stately cardin-hawks, if they live long enough, at last come to be pope-hawk.
Of this last kind there never is more than one at a time, as in a beehive there is but one king, and in the world is but one sun.
When the pope-hawk dies, another arises in his stead out of the whole brood of cardin-hawks, that is, as you must understand it all along, without carnal copulation. So that there is in that species an individual unity, with a perpetuity of succession, neither more or less than in the Arabian phoenix.
'Tis true that, about two thousand seven hundred and sixty moons ago, two pope-hawks were seen upon the face of the earth; but then you never saw in your lives such a woeful rout and hurly-burly as was all over this island. For all these same birds did so peck, clapperclaw, and maul one another all that time, that there was the devil and all to do, and the island was in a fair way of being left without inhabitants. Some stood up for this pope-hawk, some for t'other. Some, struck with a dumbness, were as mute as so many fishes; the devil a note was to be got out of them; part of the merry bells here were as silent as if they had lost their tongues, I mean their clappers.
During these troublesome times they called to their assistance the emperors, kings, dukes, earls, barons, and commonwealths of the world that live on t'other side the water; nor was this schism and sedition at an end till one of them died, and the plurality was reduced to a unity.
We then asked what moved those birds to be thus continually chanting and singing. He answered that it was the bells that hung on the top of their cages. Then he said to us, Will you have me make these monk-hawks whom you see bardocuculated with a bag such as you use to still brandy, sing like any woodlarks? Pray do, said we. He then gave half-a-dozen pulls to a little rope, which caused a diminutive bell to give so many ting-tangs; and presently a parcel of monk-hawks ran to him as if the devil had drove 'em, and fell a-singing like mad.
Pray, master, cried Panurge, if I also rang this bell could I make those other birds yonder, with red-herring-coloured feathers, sing? Ay, marry would you, returned Aedituus. With this Panurge hanged himself (by the hands, I mean) at the bell-rope's end, and no sooner made it speak but those smoked birds hied them thither and began to lift up their voices and make a sort of untowardly hoarse noise, which I grudge to call singing. Aedituus indeed told us that they fed on nothing but fish, like the herns and cormorants of the world, and that they were a fifth kind of cucullati newly stamped.
He added that he had been told by Robert Valbringue, who lately passed that way in his return from Africa, that a sixth kind was to fly hither out of hand, which he called capus-hawks, more grum, vinegar-faced, brain-sick, froward, and loathsome than any kind whatsoever in the whole island. Africa, said Pantagruel, still uses to produce some new and monstrous thing.
Since you have told us, said Pantagruel, how the pope-hawk is begot by the cardin-hawks, the cardin-hawks by the bish-hawks, and the bish-hawks by the priest-hawks, and the priest-hawks by the clerg-hawks, I would gladly know whence you have these same clerg-hawks. They are all of them passengers, or travelling birds, returned Aedituus, and come hither from t'other world; part out of a vast country called Want-o'-bread, the rest out of another toward the west, which they style Too-many-of-'em. From these two countries flock hither, every year, whole legions of these clerg-hawks, leaving their fathers, mothers, friends, and relations.
This happens when there are too many children, whether male or female, in some good family of the latter country; insomuch that the house would come to nothing if the paternal estate were shared among them all (as reason requires, nature directs, and God commands). For this cause parents use to rid themselves of that inconveniency by packing off the younger fry, and forcing them to seek their fortune in this isle Bossart (Crooked Island). I suppose he means L'Isle Bouchart, near Chinon, cried Panurge. No, replied t'other, I mean Bossart (Crooked), for there is not one in ten among them but is either crooked, crippled, blinking, limping, ill-favoured, deformed, or an unprofitable load to the earth.
'Twas quite otherwise among the heathens, said Pantagruel, when they used to receive a maiden among the number of vestals; for Leo Antistius affirms that it was absolutely forbidden to admit a virgin into that order if she had any vice in her soul or defect in her body, though it were but the smallest spot on any part of it. I can hardly believe, continued Aedituus, that their dams on t'other side the water go nine months with them; for they cannot endure them nine years, nay, scarce seven sometimes, in the house, but by putting only a shirt over the other clothes of the young urchins, and lopping off I don't well know how many hairs from their crowns, mumbling certain apostrophized and expiatory words, they visibly, openly, and plainly, by a Pythagorical metempsychosis, without the least hurt, transmogrify them into such birds as you now see; much after the fashion of the Egyptian heathens, who used to constitute their isiacs by shaving them and making them put on certain linostoles, or surplices. However, I don't know, my good friends, but that these she-things, whether clerg-kites, monk-kites, and abbess-kites, instead of singing pleasant verses and charisteres, such as used to be sung to Oromasis by Zoroaster's institution, may be bellowing out such catarates and scythropys (cursed lamentable and wretched imprecations) as were usually offered to the Arimanian demon; being thus in devotion for their kind friends and relations that transformed them into birds, whether when they were maids, or thornbacks, in their prime, or at their last prayers.
But the greatest numbers of our birds came out of Want-o'-bread, which, though a barren country, where the days are of a most tedious lingering length, overstocks this whole island with the lower class of birds. For hither fly the asapheis that inhabit that land, either when they are in danger of passing their time scurvily for want of belly-timber, being unable, or, what's more likely, unwilling to take heart of grace and follow some honest lawful calling, or too proud-hearted and lazy to go to service in some sober family. The same is done by your frantic inamoradoes, who, when crossed in their wild desires, grow stark staring mad, and choose this life suggested to them by their despair, too cowardly to make them swing, like their brother Iphis of doleful memory. There is another sort, that is, your gaol-birds, who, having done some rogue's trick or other heinous villainy, and being sought up and down to be trussed up and made to ride the two or three-legged mare that groans for them, warily scour off and come here to save their bacon; because all these sorts of birds are here provided for, and grow in an instant as fat as hogs, though they came as lean as rakes; for having the benefit of the clergy, they are as safe as thieves in a mill within this sanctuary.
But, asked Pantagruel, do these birds never return to the world where they were hatched? Some do, answered Aedituus; formerly very few, very seldom, very late, and very unwillingly; however, since some certain eclipses, by the virtue of the celestial constellations, a great crowd of them fled back to the world. Nor do we fret or vex ourselves a jot about it; for those that stay wisely sing, The fewer the better cheer; and all those that fly away, first cast off their feathers here among these nettles and briars.
Accordingly we found some thrown by there; and as we looked up and down, we chanced to light on what some people will hardly thank us for having discovered; and thereby hangs a tale.
These words were scarce out of his mouth when some five-and-twenty or thirty birds flew towards us; they were of a hue and feather like which we had not seen anything in the whole island. Their plumes were as changeable as the skin of the chameleon, and the flower of tripolion, or teucrion. They had all under the left wing a mark like two diameters dividing a circle into equal parts, or, if you had rather have it so, like a perpendicular line falling on a right line. The marks which each of them bore were much of the same shape, but of different colours; for some were white, others green, some red, others purple, and some blue. Who are those? asked Panurge; and how do you call them? They are mongrels, quoth Aedituus.
We call them knight-hawks, and they have a great number of rich commanderies (fat livings) in your world. Good your worship, said I, make them give us a song, an't please you, that we may know how they sing. They scorn your words, cried Aedituus; they are none of your singing-birds; but, to make amends, they feed as much as the best two of them all. Pray where are their hens? where are their females? said I. They have none, answered Aedituus. How comes it to pass then, asked Panurge, that they are thus bescabbed, bescurfed, all embroidered o'er the phiz with carbuncles, pushes, and pock-royals, some of which undermine the handles of their faces? This same fashionable and illustrious disease, quoth Aedituus, is common among that kind of birds, because they are pretty apt to be tossed on the salt deep.
He then acquainted us with the occasion of their coming. This next to us, said he, looks so wistfully upon you to see whether he may not find among your company a stately gaudy kind of huge dreadful birds of prey, which yet are so untoward that they ne'er could be brought to the lure nor to perch on the glove. They tell us that there are such in your world, and that some of them have goodly garters below the knee with an inscription about them which condemns him (qui mal y pense) who shall think ill of it to be berayed and conskited. Others are said to wear the devil in a string before their paunches; and others a ram's skin. All that's true enough, good Master Aedituus, quoth Panurge; but we have not the honour to be acquainted with their knightships.
Come on, cried Aedituus in a merry mood, we have had chat enough o' conscience! let's e'en go drink. And eat, quoth Panurge. Eat, replied Aedituus, and drink bravely, old boy; twist like plough-jobbers and swill like tinkers. Pull away and save tide, for nothing is so dear and precious as time; therefore we will be sure to put it to a good use.
He would fain have carried us first to bathe in the bagnios of the cardin-hawks, which are goodly delicious places, and have us licked over with precious ointments by the alyptes, alias rubbers, as soon as we should come out of the bath. But Pantagruel told him that he could drink but too much without that. He then led us into a spacious delicate refectory, or fratery-room, and told us: Braguibus the hermit made you fast four days together; now, contrariwise, I'll make you eat and drink of the best four days through stitch before you budge from this place. But hark ye me, cried Panurge, may not we take a nap in the mean time? Ay, ay, answered Aedituus; that is as you shall think good; for he that sleeps, drinks. Good Lord! how we lived! what good bub! what dainty cheer! O what a honest cod was this same Aedituus!
Pantagruel looked I don't know howish, and seemed not very well pleased with the four days' junketting which Aedituus enjoined us. Aedituus, who soon found it out, said to him, You know, sir, that seven days before winter, and seven days after, there is no storm at sea; for then the elements are still out of respect for the halcyons, or king-fishers, birds sacred to Thetis, which then lay their eggs and hatch their young near the shore. Now here the sea makes itself amends for this long calm; and whenever any foreigners come hither it grows boisterous and stormy for four days together. We can give no other reason for it but that it is a piece of its civility, that those who come among us may stay whether they will or no, and be copiously feasted all the while with the incomes of the ringing. Therefore pray don't think your time lost; for, willing, nilling, you'll be forced to stay, unless you are resolved to encounter Juno, Neptune, Doris, Aeolus, and his fluster-busters, and, in short, all the pack of ill-natured left-handed godlings and vejoves. Do but resolve to be cheery, and fall-to briskly.
After we had pretty well stayed our stomachs with some tight snatches, Friar John said to Aedituus, For aught I see, you have none but a parcel of birds and cages in this island of yours, and the devil a bit of one of them all that sets his hand to the plough, or tills the land whose fat he devours; their whole business is to be frolic, to chirp it, to whistle it, to warble it, tossing it, and roar it merrily night and day. Pray then, if I may be so bold, whence comes this plenty and overflowing of all dainty bits and good things which we see among you? From all the other world, returned Aedituus, if you except some part of the northern regions, who of late years have stirred up the jakes. Mum! they may chance ere long to rue the day they did so; their cows shall have porridge, and their dogs oats; there will be work made among them, that there will. Come, a fig for't, let's drink. But pray what countrymen are you? Touraine is our country, answered Panurge. Cod so, cried Aedituus, you were not then hatched of an ill bird, I will say that for you, since the blessed Touraine is your mother; for from thence there comes hither every year such a vast store of good things, that we were told by some folks of the place that happened to touch at this island, that your Duke of Touraine's income will not afford him to eat his bellyful of beans and bacon (a good dish spoiled between Moses and Pythagoras) because his predecessors have been more than liberal to these most holy birds of ours, that we might here munch it, twist it, cram it, gorge it, craw it, riot it, junket it, and tickle it off, stuffing our puddings with dainty pheasants, partridges, pullets with eggs, fat capons of Loudunois, and all sorts of venison and wild fowl. Come, box it about; tope on, my friends. Pray do you see yon jolly birds that are perched together, how fat, how plump, and in good case they look, with the income that Touraine yields us! And in faith they sing rarely for their good founders, that is the truth on't. You never saw any Arcadian birds mumble more fairly than they do over a dish when they see these two gilt batons, or when I ring for them those great bells that you see above their cages. Drink on, sirs, whip it away. Verily, friends, 'tis very fine drinking to-day, and so 'tis every day o' the week; then drink on, toss it about, here's to you with all my soul. You are most heartily welcome; never spare it, I pray you; fear not we should ever want good bub and belly-timber; for, look here, though the sky were of brass, and the earth of iron, we should not want wherewithal to stuff the gut, though they were to continue so seven or eight years longer than the famine in Egypt. Let us then, with brotherly love and charity, refresh ourselves here with the creature.
Woons, man, cried Panurge, what a rare time you have on't in this world! Psha, returned Aedituus, this is nothing to what we shall have in t'other; the Elysian fields will be the least that can fall to our lot. Come, in the meantime let us drink here; come, here's to thee, old fuddlecap.
Your first Siticines, said I, were superlatively wise in devising thus a means for you to compass whatever all men naturally covet so much, and so few, or, to speak more properly, none can enjoy together—I mean, a paradise in this life, and another in the next. Sure you were born wrapt in your mother's smickets! O happy creatures! O more than men! Would I had the luck to fare like you! (Motteux inserts Chapter XVI. after Chapter VI.)
When we had crammed and crammed again, Aedituus took us into a chamber that was well furnished, hung with tapestry, and finely gilt. Thither he caused to be brought store of mirobolans, cashou, green ginger preserved, with plenty of hippocras, and delicious wine. With those antidotes, that were like a sweet Lethe, he invited us to forget the hardships of our voyage; and at the same time he sent plenty of provisions on board our ship that rid in the harbour. After this, we e'en jogged to bed for that night; but the devil a bit poor pilgarlic could sleep one wink—the everlasting jingle-jangle of the bells kept me awake whether I would or no.
About midnight Aedituus came to wake us that we might drink. He himself showed us the way, saying: You men of t'other world say that ignorance is the mother of all evil, and so far you are right; yet for all that you do not take the least care to get rid of it, but still plod on, and live in it, with it, and by it; for which a plaguy deal of mischief lights on you every day, and you are right enough served—you are perpetually ailing somewhat, making a moan, and never right. It is what I was ruminating upon just now. And, indeed, ignorance keeps you here fastened in bed, just as that bully-rock Mars was detained by Vulcan's art; for all the while you do not mind that you ought to spare some of your rest, and be as lavish as you can of the goods of this famous island. Come, come, you should have eaten three breakfasts already; and take this from me for a certain truth, that if you would consume the mouth-ammunition of this island, you must rise betimes; eat them, they multiply; spare them, they diminish.
For example, mow a field in due season, and the grass will grow thicker and better; don't mow it, and in a short time 'twill be floored with moss. Let's drink, and drink again, my friends; come, let's all carouse it. The leanest of our birds are now singing to us all; we'll drink to them, if you please. Let's take off one, two, three, nine bumpers. Non zelus, sed caritas.
When day, peeping in the east, made the sky turn from black to red like a boiling lobster, he waked us again to take a dish of monastical brewis. From that time we made but one meal, that only lasted the whole day; so that I cannot well tell how I may call it, whether dinner, supper, nunchion, or after-supper; only, to get a stomach, we took a turn or two in the island, to see and hear the blessed singing-birds.
At night Panurge said to Aedituus: Give me leave, sweet sir, to tell you a merry story of something that happened some three and twenty moons ago in the country of Chastelleraud.
One day in April, a certain gentleman's groom, Roger by name, was walking his master's horses in some fallow ground. There 'twas his good fortune to find a pretty shepherdess feeding her bleating sheep and harmless lambkins on the brow of a neighbouring mountain, in the shade of an adjacent grove; near her, some frisking kids tripped it over a green carpet of nature's own spreading, and, to complete the landscape, there stood an ass. Roger, who was a wag, had a dish of chat with her, and after some ifs, ands, and buts, hems and heighs on her side, got her in the mind to get up behind him, to go and see his stable, and there take a bit by the bye in a civil way. While they were holding a parley, the horse, directing his discourse to the ass (for all brute beasts spoke that year in divers places), whispered these words in his ear: Poor ass, how I pity thee! thou slavest like any hack, I read it on thy crupper. Thou dost well, however, since God has created thee to serve mankind; thou art a very honest ass, but not to be better rubbed down, currycombed, trapped, and fed than thou art, seems to me indeed to be too hard a lot. Alas! thou art all rough-coated, in ill plight, jaded, foundered, crestfallen, and drooping, like a mooting duck, and feedest here on nothing but coarse grass, or briars and thistles. Therefore do but pace it along with me, and thou shalt see how we noble steeds, made by nature for war, are treated. Come, thou'lt lose nothing by coming; I'll get thee a taste of my fare. I' troth, sir, I can but love you and thank you, returned the ass; I'll wait on you, good Mr. Steed. Methinks, gaffer ass, you might as well have said Sir Grandpaw Steed. O! cry mercy, good Sir Grandpaw, returned the ass; we country clowns are somewhat gross, and apt to knock words out of joint. However, an't please you, I will come after your worship at some distance, lest for taking this run my side should chance to be firked and curried with a vengeance, as it is but too often, the more is my sorrow.
The shepherdess being got behind Roger, the ass followed, fully resolved to bait like a prince with Roger's steed; but when they got to the stable, the groom, who spied the grave animal, ordered one of his underlings to welcome him with a pitchfork and currycomb him with a cudgel. The ass, who heard this, recommended himself mentally to the god Neptune, and was packing off, thinking and syllogizing within himself thus: Had not I been an ass, I had not come here among great lords, when I must needs be sensible that I was only made for the use of the small vulgar. Aesop had given me a fair warning of this in one of his fables. Well, I must e'en scamper or take what follows. With this he fell a-trotting, and wincing, and yerking, and calcitrating, alias kicking, and farting, and funking, and curvetting, and bounding, and springing, and galloping full drive, as if the devil had come for him in propria persona.
The shepherdess, who saw her ass scour off, told Roger that it was her cattle, and desired he might be kindly used, or else she would not stir her foot over the threshold. Friend Roger no sooner knew this but he ordered him to be fetched in, and that my master's horses should rather chop straw for a week together than my mistress's beast should want his bellyful of corn.
The most difficult point was to get him back; for in vain the youngsters complimented and coaxed him to come. I dare not, said the ass; I am bashful. And the more they strove by fair means to bring him with them, the more the stubborn thing was untoward, and flew out at the heels; insomuch that they might have been there to this hour, had not his mistress advised them to toss oats in a sieve or in a blanket, and call him; which was done, and made him wheel about and say, Oats, with a witness! oats shall go to pot. Adveniat; oats will do, there's evidence in the case; but none of the rubbing down, none of the firking. Thus melodiously singing (for, as you know, that Arcadian bird's note is very harmonious) he came to the young gentleman of the horse, alias black garb, who brought him to the stable.
When he was there, they placed him next to the great horse his friend, rubbed him down, currycombed him, laid clean straw under him up to the chin, and there he lay at rack and manger, the first stuffed with sweet hay, the latter with oats; which when the horse's valet-dear-chambre sifted, he clapped down his lugs, to tell them by signs that he could eat it but too well without sifting, and that he did not deserve so great an honour.
When they had well fed, quoth the horse to the ass; Well, poor ass, how is it with thee now? How dost thou like this fare? Thou wert so nice at first, a body had much ado to get thee hither. By the fig, answered the ass, which, one of our ancestors eating, Philemon died laughing, this is all sheer ambrosia, good Sir Grandpaw; but what would you have an ass say? Methinks all this is yet but half cheer. Don't your worships here now and then use to take a leap? What leaping dost thou mean? asked the horse; the devil leap thee! dost thou take me for an ass? In troth, Sir Grandpaw, quoth the ass, I am somewhat of a blockhead, you know, and cannot, for the heart's blood of me, learn so fast the court way of speaking of you gentlemen horses; I mean, don't you stallionize it sometimes here among your mettled fillies? Tush, whispered the horse, speak lower; for, by Bucephalus, if the grooms but hear thee they will maul and belam thee thrice and threefold, so that thou wilt have but little stomach to a leaping bout. Cod so, man, we dare not so much as grow stiff at the tip of the lowermost snout, though it were but to leak or so, for fear of being jerked and paid out of our lechery. As for anything else, we are as happy as our master, and perhaps more. By this packsaddle, my old acquaintance, quoth the ass, I have done with you; a fart for thy litter and hay, and a fart for thy oats; give me the thistles of our fields, since there we leap when we list. Eat less, and leap more, I say; it is meat, drink, and cloth to us. Ah! friend Grandpaw, it would do thy heart good to see us at a fair, when we hold our provincial chapter! Oh! how we leap it, while our mistresses are selling their goslings and other poultry! With this they parted. Dixi; I have done.
Panurge then held his peace. Pantagruel would have had him to have gone on to the end of the chapter; but Aedituus said, A word to the wise is enough; I can pick out the meaning of that fable, and know who is that ass, and who the horse; but you are a bashful youth, I perceive. Well, know that there's nothing for you here; scatter no words. Yet, returned Panurge, I saw but even now a pretty kind of a cooing abbess-kite as white as a dove, and her I had rather ride than lead. May I never stir if she is not a dainty bit, and very well worth a sin or two. Heaven forgive me! I meant no more harm in it than you; may the harm I meant in it befall me presently.
Our junketting and banqueting held on at the same rate the third day as the two former. Pantagruel then earnestly desired to see the pope-hawk; but Aedituus told him it was not such an easy matter to get a sight of him. How, asked Pantagruel, has he Plato's helmet on his crown, Gyges's ring on his pounces, or a chameleon on his breast, to make him invisible when he pleases? No, sir, returned Aedituus; but he is naturally of pretty difficult access. However, I'll see and take care that you may see him, if possible. With this he left us piddling; then within a quarter of an hour came back, and told us the pope-hawk is now to be seen. So he led us, without the least noise, directly to the cage wherein he sat drooping, with his feathers staring about him, attended by a brace of little cardin-hawks and six lusty fusty bish-hawks.
Panurge stared at him like a dead pig, examining exactly his figure, size, and motions. Then with a loud voice he said, A curse light on the hatcher of the ill bird; o' my word, this is a filthy whoop-hooper. Tush, speak softly, said Aedituus; by G—, he has a pair of ears, as formerly Michael de Matiscones remarked. What then? returned Panurge; so hath a whoopcat. So, said Aedituus; if he but hear you speak such another blasphemous word, you had as good be damned. Do you see that basin yonder in his cage? Out of it shall sally thunderbolts and lightnings, storms, bulls, and the devil and all, that will sink you down to Peg Trantum's, an hundred fathom under ground. It were better to drink and be merry, quoth Friar John.
Panurge was still feeding his eyes with the sight of the pope-hawk and his attendants, when somewhere under his cage he perceived a madge-howlet. With this he cried out, By the devil's maker, master, there's roguery in the case; they put tricks upon travellers here more than anywhere else, and would make us believe that a t—d's a sugarloaf. What damned cozening, gulling, and coney-catching have we here! Do you see this madge-howlet? By Minerva, we are all beshit. Odsoons, said Aedituus, speak softly, I tell you. It is no madge-howlet, no she-thing on my honest word; but a male, and a noble bird.
May we not hear the pope-hawk sing? asked Pantagruel. I dare not promise that, returned Aedituus; for he only sings and eats at his own hours. So don't I, quoth Panurge; poor pilgarlic is fain to make everybody's time his own; if they have time, I find time. Come, then, let us go drink, if you will. Now this is something like a tansy, said Aedituus; you begin to talk somewhat like; still speak in that fashion, and I'll secure you from being thought a heretic. Come on, I am of your mind.
As we went back to have t'other fuddling bout, we spied an old green-headed bish-hawk, who sat moping with his mate and three jolly bittern attendants, all snoring under an arbour. Near the old cuff stood a buxom abbess-kite that sung like any linnet; and we were so mightily tickled with her singing that I vow and swear we could have wished all our members but one turned into ears, to have had more of the melody. Quoth Panurge, This pretty cherubim of cherubims is here breaking her head with chanting to this huge, fat, ugly face, who lies grunting all the while like a hog as he is. I will make him change his note presently, in the devil's name. With this he rang a bell that hung over the bish-hawk's head; but though he rang and rang again, the devil a bit bish-hawk would hear; the louder the sound, the louder his snoring. There was no making him sing. By G—, quoth Panurge, you old buzzard, if you won't sing by fair means, you shall by foul. Having said this, he took up one of St. Stephen's loaves, alias a stone, and was going to hit him with it about the middle. But Aedituus cried to him, Hold, hold, honest friend! strike, wound, poison, kill, and murder all the kings and princes in the world, by treachery or how thou wilt, and as soon as thou wouldst unnestle the angels from their cockloft. Pope-hawk will pardon thee all this. But never be so mad as to meddle with these sacred birds, as much as thou lovest the profit, welfare, and life not only of thyself, and thy friends and relations alive or dead, but also of those that may be born hereafter to the thousandth generation; for so long thou wouldst entail misery upon them. Do but look upon that basin. Catso! let us rather drink, then, quoth Panurge. He that spoke last, spoke well, Mr. Antitus, quoth Friar John; while we are looking on these devilish birds we do nothing but blaspheme; and while we are taking a cup we do nothing but praise God. Come on, then, let's go drink; how well that word sounds!
The third day (after we had drank, as you must understand) Aedituus dismissed us. We made him a present of a pretty little Perguois knife, which he took more kindly than Artaxerxes did the cup of cold water that was given him by a clown. He most courteously thanked us, and sent all sorts of provisions aboard our ships, wished us a prosperous voyage and success in our undertakings, and made us promise and swear by Jupiter of stone to come back by his territories. Finally he said to us, Friends, pray note that there are many more stones in the world than men; take care you don't forget it.
Having well ballasted the holds of our human vessels, we weighed anchor, hoised up sail, stowed the boats, set the land, and stood for the offing with a fair loom gale, and for more haste unpareled the mizen-yard, and launched it and the sail over the lee-quarter, and fitted gyves to keep it steady, and boomed it out; so in three days we made the island of Tools, that is altogether uninhabited. We saw there a great number of trees which bore mattocks, pickaxes, crows, weeding-hooks, scythes, sickles, spades, trowels, hatchets, hedging-bills, saws, adzes, bills, axes, shears, pincers, bolts, piercers, augers, and wimbles.
Others bore dags, daggers, poniards, bayonets, square-bladed tucks, stilettoes, poniardoes, skeans, penknives, puncheons, bodkins, swords, rapiers, back-swords, cutlasses, scimitars, hangers, falchions, glaives, raillons, whittles, and whinyards.
Whoever would have any of these needed but to shake the tree, and immediately they dropped down as thick as hops, like so many ripe plums; nay, what's more, they fell on a kind of grass called scabbard, and sheathed themselves in it cleverly. But when they came down, there was need of taking care lest they happened to touch the head, feet, or other parts of the body. For they fell with the point downwards, and in they stuck, or slit the continuum of some member, or lopped it off like a twig; either of which generally was enough to have killed a man, though he were a hundred years old, and worth as many thousand spankers, spur-royals, and rose-nobles.
Under some other trees, whose names I cannot justly tell you, I saw some certain sorts of weeds that grew and sprouted like pikes, lances, javelins, javelots, darts, dartlets, halberds, boar-spears, eel-spears, partizans, tridents, prongs, trout-staves, spears, half-pikes, and hunting-staves. As they sprouted up and chanced to touch the tree, straight they met with their heads, points, and blades, each suitable to its kind, made ready for them by the trees over them, as soon as every individual wood was grown up, fit for its steel; even like the children's coats, that are made for them as soon as they can wear them and you wean them of their swaddling clothes. Nor do you mutter, I pray you, at what Plato, Anaxagoras, and Democritus have said. Ods-fish! they were none of your lower-form gimcracks, were they?
Those trees seemed to us terrestrial animals, in no wise so different from brute beasts as not to have skin, fat, flesh, veins, arteries, ligaments, nerves, cartilages, kernels, bones, marrow, humours, matrices, brains, and articulations; for they certainly have some, since Theophrastus will have it so. But in this point they differed from other animals, that their heads, that is, the part of their trunks next to the root, are downwards; their hair, that is, their roots, in the earth; and their feet, that is, their branches, upside down; as if a man should stand on his head with outstretched legs. And as you, battered sinners, on whom Venus has bestowed something to remember her, feel the approach of rains, winds, cold, and every change of weather, at your ischiatic legs and your omoplates, by means of the perpetual almanack which she has fixed there; so these trees have notice given them, by certain sensations which they have at their roots, stocks, gums, paps, or marrow, of the growth of the staves under them, and accordingly they prepare suitable points and blades for them beforehand. Yet as all things, except God, are sometimes subject to error, nature itself not free from it when it produceth monstrous things, likewise I observed something amiss in these trees. For a half-pike that grew up high enough to reach the branches of one of these instrumentiferous trees, happened no sooner to touch them but, instead of being joined to an iron head, it impaled a stubbed broom at the fundament. Well, no matter, 'twill serve to sweep the chimney. Thus a partizan met with a pair of garden shears. Come, all's good for something; 'twill serve to nip off little twigs and destroy caterpillars. The staff of a halberd got the blade of a scythe, which made it look like a hermaphrodite. Happy-be-lucky, 'tis all a case; 'twill serve for some mower. Oh, 'tis a great blessing to put our trust in the Lord! As we went back to our ships I spied behind I don't know what bush, I don't know what folks, doing I don't know what business, in I don't know what posture, scouring I don't know what tools, in I don't know what manner, and I don't know what place.
We left the island of Tools to pursue our voyage, and the next day stood in for the island of Sharping, the true image of Fontainebleau, for the land is so very lean that the bones, that is, the rocks, shoot through its skin. Besides, 'tis sandy, barren, unhealthy, and unpleasant. Our pilot showed us there two little square rocks which had eight equal points in the shape of a cube. They were so white that I might have mistaken them for alabaster or snow, had he not assured us they were made of bone.
He told us that twenty chance devils very much feared in our country dwelt there in six different storeys, and that the biggest twins or braces of them were called sixes, and the smallest ambs-ace; the rest cinques, quatres, treys, and deuces. When they were conjured up, otherwise coupled, they were called either sice cinque, sice quatre, sice trey, sice deuce, and sice ace; or cinque quatre, cinque trey, and so forth. I made there a shrewd observation. Would you know what 'tis, gamesters? 'Tis that there are very few of you in the world but what call upon and invoke the devils. For the dice are no sooner thrown on the board, and the greedy gazing sparks have hardly said, Two sixes, Frank; but Six devils damn it! cry as many of them. If ambs-ace; then, A brace of devils broil me! will they say. Quatre-deuce, Tom; The deuce take it! cries another. And so on to the end of the chapter. Nay, they don't forget sometimes to call the black cloven-footed gentlemen by their Christian names and surnames; and what is stranger yet, they use them as their greatest cronies, and make them so often the executors of their wills, not only giving themselves, but everybody and everything, to the devil, that there's no doubt but he takes care to seize, soon or late, what's so zealously bequeathed him. Indeed, 'tis true Lucifer does not always immediately appear by his lawful attorneys; but, alas! 'tis not for want of goodwill; he is really to be excused for his delay; for what the devil would you have a devil do? He and his black guards are then at some other places, according to the priority of the persons that call on them; therefore, pray let none be so venturesome as to think that the devils are deaf and blind.
He then told us that more wrecks had happened about those square rocks, and a greater loss of body and goods, than about all the Syrtes, Scyllas and Charybdes, Sirens, Strophades, and gulfs in the universe. I had not much ado to believe it, remembering that formerly, among the wise Egyptians, Neptune was described in hieroglyphics for the first cube, Apollo by an ace, Diana by a deuce, Minerva by seven, and so forth.
He also told us that there was a phial of sanc-greal, a most divine thing, and known to a few. Panurge did so sweeten up the syndics of the place that they blessed us with the sight of 't; but it was with three times more pother and ado, with more formalities and antic tricks, than they show the pandects of Justinian at Florence, or the holy Veronica at Rome. I never saw such a sight of flambeaux, torches, and hagios, sanctified tapers, rush-lights, and farthing candles in my whole life. After all, that which was shown us was only the ill-faced countenance of a roasted coney.
All that we saw there worth speaking of was a good face set upon an ill game, and the shells of the two eggs formerly laid up and hatched by Leda, out of which came Castor and Pollux, fair Helen's brothers. These same syndics sold us a piece of 'em for a song, I mean, for a morsel of bread. Before we went we bought a parcel of hats and caps of the manufacture of the place, which, I fear, will turn to no very good account; nor are those who shall take 'em off our hands more likely to commend their wearing.
From thence Condemnation was passed by us. 'Tis another damned barren island, whereat none for the world cared to touch. Then we went through the wicket; but Pantagruel had no mind to bear us company, and 'twas well he did not, for we were nabbed there, and clapped into lob's-pound by order of Gripe-men-all, Archduke of the Furred Law-cats, because one of our company would ha' put upon a sergeant some hats of the Sharping Island.
The Furred Law-cats are most terrible and dreadful monsters, they devour little children, and trample over marble stones. Pray tell me, noble topers, do they not deserve to have their snouts slit? The hair of their hides doesn't lie outward, but inwards, and every mother's son of 'em for his device wears a gaping pouch, but not all in the same manner; for some wear it tied to their neck scarfwise, others upon the breech, some on the paunch, others on the side, and all for a cause, with reason and mystery. They have claws so very strong, long, and sharp that nothing can get from 'em that is once fast between their clutches. Sometimes they cover their heads with mortar-like caps, at other times with mortified caparisons.
As we entered their den, said a common mumper, to whom we had given half a teston, Worshipful culprits, God send you a good deliverance! Examine well, said he, the countenance of these stout props and pillars of this catch-coin law and iniquity; and pray observe, that if you still live but six olympiads, and the age of two dogs more, you'll see these Furred Law-cats lords of all Europe, and in peaceful possession of all the estates and dominions belonging to it; unless, by divine providence, what's got over the devil's back is spent under his belly, or the goods which they unjustly get perish with their prodigal heirs. Take this from an honest beggar.
Among 'em reigns the sixth essence; by the means of which they gripe all, devour all, conskite all, burn all, draw all, hang all, quarter all, behead all, murder all, imprison all, waste all, and ruin all, without the least notice of right or wrong; for among them vice is called virtue; wickedness, piety; treason, loyalty; robbery, justice. Plunder is their motto, and when acted by them is approved by all men, except the heretics; and all this they do because they dare; their authority is sovereign and irrefragable. For a sign of the truth of what I tell you, you'll find that there the mangers are above the racks. Remember hereafter that a fool told you this; and if ever plague, famine, war, fire, earthquakes, inundations, or other judgments befall the world, do not attribute 'em to the aspects and conjunctions of the malevolent planets; to the abuses of the court of Romania, or the tyranny of secular kings and princes; to the impostures of the false zealots of the cowl, heretical bigots, false prophets, and broachers of sects; to the villainy of griping usurers, clippers, and coiners; or to the ignorance, impudence, and imprudence of physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries; nor to the lewdness of adulteresses and destroyers of by-blows; but charge them all, wholly and solely, to the inexpressible, incredible, and inestimable wickedness and ruin which is continually hatched, brewed, and practised in the den or shop of those Furred Law-cats. Yet 'tis no more known in the world than the cabala of the Jews, the more's the pity; and therefore 'tis not detested, chastised, and punished as 'tis fit it should be. But should all their villainy be once displayed in its true colours and exposed to the people, there never was, is, nor will be any spokesman so sweet-mouthed, whose fine colloguing tongue could save 'em; nor any law so rigorous and draconic that could punish 'em as they deserve; nor yet any magistrate so powerful as to hinder their being burnt alive in their coneyburrows without mercy. Even their own furred kittlings, friends, and relations would abominate 'em.
For this reason, as Hannibal was solemnly sworn by his father Amilcar to pursue the Romans with the utmost hatred as long as ever he lived, so my late father has enjoined me to remain here without, till God Almighty's thunder reduce them there within to ashes, like other presumptuous Titans, profane wretches, and opposers of God; since mankind is so inured to their oppressions that they either do not remember, foresee, or have a sense of the woes and miseries which they have caused; or, if they have, either will not, dare not, or cannot root 'em out.
How, said Panurge, say you so? Catch me there and hang me! Damme, let's march off! This noble beggar has scared me worse than thunder in autumn (Motteux gives 'than the thunder would do them.'). Upon this we were filing off; but, alas! we found ourselves trapped—the door was double-locked and barricadoed. Some messengers of ill news told us it was full as easy to get in there as into hell, and no less hard to get out. Ay, there indeed lay the difficulty, for there is no getting loose without a pass and discharge in due course from the bench. This for no other reason than because folks go easier out of a church than out of a sponging-house, and because they could not have our company when they would. The worst on't was when we got through the wicket; for we were carried, to get out our pass or discharge, before a more dreadful monster than ever was read of in the legends of knight-errantry. They called him Gripe-men-all. I can't tell what to compare it to better than to a Chimaera, a Sphinx, a Cerberus; or to the image of Osiris, as the Egyptians represented him, with three heads, one of a roaring lion, t'other of a fawning cur, and the last of a howling, prowling wolf, twisted about with a dragon biting his tail, surrounded with fiery rays. His hands were full of gore, his talons like those of the harpies, his snout like a hawk's bill, his fangs or tusks like those of an overgrown brindled wild boar; his eyes were flaming like the jaws of hell, all covered with mortars interlaced with pestles, and nothing of his arms was to be seen but his clutches. His hutch, and that of the warren-cats his collaterals, was a long, spick-and-span new rack, a-top of which (as the mumper told us) some large stately mangers were fixed in the reverse. Over the chief seat was the picture of an old woman holding the case or scabbard of a sickle in her right hand, a pair of scales in her left, with spectacles on her nose; the cups or scales of the balance were a pair of velvet pouches, the one full of bullion, which overpoised t'other, empty and long, hoisted higher than the middle of the beam. I'm of opinion it was the true effigies of Justice Gripe-men-all; far different from the institution of the ancient Thebans, who set up the statues of their dicasts without hands, in marble, silver, or gold, according to their merit, even after their death.
When we made our personal appearance before him, a sort of I don't know what men, all clothed with I don't know what bags and pouches, with long scrolls in their clutches, made us sit down upon a cricket (such as criminals sit on when tried in France). Quoth Panurge to 'em, Good my lords, I'm very well as I am; I'd as lief stand, an't please you. Besides, this same stool is somewhat of the lowest for a man that has new breeches and a short doublet. Sit you down, said Gripe-men-all again, and look that you don't make the court bid you twice. Now, continued he, the earth shall immediately open its jaws and swallow you up to quick damnation if you don't answer as you should.
When we were sat, Gripe-men-all, in the middle of his furred cats, called to us in a hoarse dreadful voice, Well, come on, give me presently—an answer. Well, come on, muttered Panurge between his teeth, give, give me presently—a comforting dram. Hearken to the court, continued Gripe-men-all.
An Enigma. A young tight thing, as fair as may be, Without a dad conceived a baby, And brought him forth without the pother In labour made by teeming mother. Yet the cursed brat feared not to gripe her, But gnawed, for haste, her sides like viper. Then the black upstart boldly sallies, And walks and flies o'er hills and valleys. Many fantastic sons of wisdom, Amazed, foresaw their own in his doom; And thought like an old Grecian noddy, A human spirit moved his body.
Give, give me out of hand—an answer to this riddle, quoth Gripe-men-all. Give, give me—leave to tell you, good, good my lord, answered Panurge, that if I had but a sphinx at home, as Verres one of your precursors had, I might then solve your enigma presently. But verily, good my lord, I was not there; and, as I hope to be saved, am as innocent in the matter as the child unborn. Foh, give me—a better answer, cried Gripe-men-all; or, by gold, this shall not serve your turn. I'll not be paid in such coin; if you have nothing better to offer, I'll let your rascalship know that it had been better for you to have fallen into Lucifer's own clutches than into ours. Dost thou see 'em here, sirrah? hah? and dost thou prate here of thy being innocent, as if thou couldst be delivered from our racks and tortures for being so? Give me—Patience! thou widgeon. Our laws are like cobwebs; your silly little flies are stopped, caught, and destroyed therein, but your stronger ones break them, and force and carry them which way they please. Likewise, don't think we are so mad as to set up our nets to snap up your great robbers and tyrants. No, they are somewhat too hard for us, there's no meddling with them; for they would make no more of us than we make of the little ones. But you paltry, silly, innocent wretches must make us amends; and, by gold, we will innocentize your fopship with a wannion, you never were so innocentized in your days; the devil shall sing mass among ye.
Friar John, hearing him run on at that mad rate, had no longer the power to remain silent, but cried to him, Heigh-day! Prithee, Mr. Devil in a coif, wouldst thou have a man tell thee more than he knows? Hasn't the fellow told you he does not know a word of the business? His name is Twyford. A plague rot you! won't truth serve your turns? Why, how now, Mr. Prate-apace, cried Gripe-men-all, taking him short, marry come up, who made you so saucy as to open your lips before you were spoken to? Give me —Patience! By gold! this is the first time since I have reigned that anyone has had the impudence to speak before he was bidden. How came this mad fellow to break loose? (Villain, thou liest, said Friar John, without stirring his lips.) Sirrah, sirrah, continued Gripe-men-all, I doubt thou wilt have business enough on thy hands when it comes to thy turn to answer. (Damme, thou liest, said Friar John, silently.) Dost thou think, continued my lord, thou art in the wilderness of your foolish university, wrangling and bawling among the idle, wandering searchers and hunters after truth? By gold, we have here other fish to fry; we go another gate's-way to work, that we do. By gold, people here must give categorical answers to what they don't know. By gold, they must confess they have done those things which they have not nor ought to have done. By gold, they must protest that they know what they never knew in their lives; and, after all, patience perforce must be their only remedy, as well as a mad dog's. Here silly geese are plucked, yet cackle not. Sirrah, give me—an account whether you had a letter of attorney, or whether you were feed or no, that you offered to bawl in another man's cause? I see you had no authority to speak, and I may chance to have you wed to something you won't like. Oh, you devils, cried Friar John, proto-devils, panto-devils, you would wed a monk, would you? Ho hu! ho hu! A heretic! a heretic! I'll give thee out for a rank heretic.
Gripe-men-all, as if he had not heard what Friar John said, directed his discourse to Panurge, saying to him, Well, what have you to say for yourself, Mr. Rogue-enough, hah? Give, give me out of hand—an answer. Say? quoth Panurge; why, what would you have me say? I say that we are damnably beshit, since you give no heed at all to the equity of the plea, and the devil sings among you. Let this answer serve for all, I beseech you, and let us go out about our business; I am no longer able to hold out, as gad shall judge me.
Go to, go to, cried Gripe-men-all; when did you ever hear that for these three hundred years last past anybody ever got out of this weel without leaving something of his behind him? No, no, get out of the trap if you can without losing leather, life, or at least some hair, and you will have done more than ever was done yet. For why, this would bring the wisdom of the court into question, as if we had took you up for nothing, and dealt wrongfully by you. Well, by hook or by crook, we must have something out of you. Look ye, it is a folly to make a rout for a fart and ado; one word is as good as twenty. I have no more to say to thee, but that, as thou likest thy former entertainment, thou wilt tell me more of the next; for it will go ten times worse with thee unless, by gold, you give me—a solution to the riddle I propounded. Give, give—it, without any more ado.
By gold, quoth Panurge, 'tis a black mite or weevil which is born of a white bean, and sallies out at the hole which he makes gnawing it; the mite being turned into a kind of fly, sometimes walks and sometimes flies over hills and dales. Now Pythagoras, the philosopher, and his sect, besides many others, wondering at its birth in such a place (which makes some argue for equivocal generation), thought that by a metempsychosis the body of that insect was the lodging of a human soul. Now, were you men here, after your welcomed death, according to his opinion, your souls would most certainly enter into the body of mites or weevils; for in your present state of life you are good for nothing in the world but to gnaw, bite, eat, and devour all things, so in the next you'll e'en gnaw and devour your mother's very sides, as the vipers do. Now, by gold, I think I have fairly solved and resolved your riddle.
May my bauble be turned into a nutcracker, quoth Friar John, if I could not almost find in my heart to wish that what comes out at my bunghole were beans, that these evil weevils might feed as they deserve.
Panurge then, without any more ado, threw a large leathern purse stuffed with gold crowns (ecus au soleil) among them.
The Furred Law-cats no sooner heard the jingling of the chink but they all began to bestir their claws, like a parcel of fiddlers running a division; and then fell to't, squimble, squamble, catch that catch can. They all said aloud, These are the fees, these are the gloves; now, this is somewhat like a tansy. Oh! 'twas a pretty trial, a sweet trial, a dainty trial. O' my word, they did not starve the cause. These are none of your snivelling forma pauperis's; no, they are noble clients, gentlemen every inch of them. By gold, it is gold, quoth Panurge, good old gold, I'll assure you.
Saith Gripe-men-all, The court, upon a full hearing (of the gold, quoth Panurge), and weighty reasons given, finds the prisoners not guilty, and accordingly orders them to be discharged out of custody, paying their fees. Now, gentlemen, proceed, go forwards, said he to us; we have not so much of the devil in us as we have of his hue; though we are stout, we are merciful.
As we came out at the wicket, we were conducted to the port by a detachment of certain highland griffins, scribere cum dashoes, who advised us before we came to our ships not to offer to leave the place until we had made the usual presents, first to the Lady Gripe-men-all, then to all the Furred Law-pusses; otherwise we must return to the place from whence we came. Well, well, said Friar John, we'll fumble in our fobs, examine every one of us his concern, and e'en give the women their due; we'll ne'er boggle or stick out on that account; as we tickled the men in the palm, we'll tickle the women in the right place. Pray, gentlemen, added they, don't forget to leave somewhat behind you for us poor devils to drink your healths. O lawd! never fear, answered Friar John, I don't remember that I ever went anywhere yet where the poor devils are not remembered and encouraged.
Friar John had hardly said those words ere he perceived seventy-eight galleys and frigates just arriving at the port. So he hied him thither to learn some news; and as he asked what goods they had o' board, he soon found that their whole cargo was venison, hares, capons, turkeys, pigs, swine, bacon, kids, calves, hens, ducks, teals, geese, and other poultry and wildfowl.
He also spied among these some pieces of velvet, satin, and damask. This made him ask the new-comers whither and to whom they were going to carry those dainty goods. They answered that they were for Gripe-men-all and the Furred Law-cats.
Pray, asked he, what is the true name of all these things in your country language? Corruption, they replied. If they live on corruption, said the friar, they will perish with their generation. May the devil be damned, I have it now: their fathers devoured the good gentlemen who, according to their state of life, used to go much a-hunting and hawking, to be the better inured to toil in time of war; for hunting is an image of a martial life, and Xenophon was much in the right of it when he affirmed that hunting had yielded a great number of excellent warriors, as well as the Trojan horse. For my part, I am no scholar; I have it but by hearsay, yet I believe it. Now the souls of those brave fellows, according to Gripe-men-all's riddle, after their decease enter into wild boars, stags, roebucks, herns, and such other creatures which they loved, and in quest of which they went while they were men; and these Furred Law-cats, having first destroyed and devoured their castles, lands, demesnes, possessions, rents, and revenues, are still seeking to have their blood and soul in another life. What an honest fellow was that same mumper who had forewarned us of all these things, and bid us take notice of the mangers above the racks!
But, said Panurge to the new-comers, how do you come by all this venison? Methinks the great king has issued out a proclamation strictly inhibiting the destroying of stags, does, wild boars, roebucks, or other royal game, on pain of death. All this is true enough, answered one for the rest, but the great king is so good and gracious, you must know, and these Furred Law-cats so curst and cruel, so mad, and thirsting after Christian blood, that we have less cause to fear in trespassing against that mighty sovereign's commands than reason to hope to live if we do not continually stop the mouths of these Furred Law-cats with such bribes and corruption. Besides, added he, to-morrow Gripe-men-all marries a furred law-puss of his to a high and mighty double-furred law-tybert. Formerly we used to call them chop-hay; but alas! they are not such neat creatures now as to eat any, or chew the cud. We call them chop-hares, chop-partridges, chop-woodcocks, chop-pheasants, chop-pullets, chop-venison, chop-coneys, chop-pigs, for they scorn to feed on coarser meat. A t—d for their chops, cried Friar John, next year we'll have 'em called chop-dung, chop-stront, chop-filth.
Would you take my advice? added he to the company. What is it? answered we. Let's do two things, returned he. First, let us secure all this venison and wild fowl—I mean, paying well for them; for my part, I am but too much tired already with our salt meat, it heats my flanks so horribly. In the next place, let's go back to the wicket, and destroy all these devilish Furred Law-cats. For my part, quoth Panurge, I know better things; catch me there, and hang me. No, I am somewhat more inclined to be fearful than bold; I love to sleep in a whole skin.
Virtue of the frock, quoth Friar John, what kind of voyage are we making? A shitten one, o' my word; the devil of anything we do but fizzling, farting, funking, squattering, dozing, raving, and doing nothing. Ods-belly, 'tisn't in my nature to lie idle; I mortally hate it. Unless I am doing some heroic feat every foot, I can't sleep one wink o' nights. Damn it, did you then take me along with you for your chaplain, to sing mass and shrive you? By Maundy Thursday, the first of ye all that comes to me on such an account shall be fitted; for the only penance I'll enjoin shall be, that he immediately throw himself headlong overboard into the sea like a base cowhearted son of ten fathers. This in deduction of the pains of purgatory.
What made Hercules such a famous fellow, d'ye think? Nothing but that while he travelled he still made it his business to rid the world of tyrannies, errors, dangers, and drudgeries; he still put to death all robbers, all monsters, all venomous serpents and hurtful creatures. Why then do we not follow his example, doing as he did in the countries through which we pass? He destroyed the Stymphalides, the Lernaean hydra, Cacus, Antheus, the Centaurs, and what not; I am no clericus, those that are such tell me so.
In imitation of that noble by-blow, let's destroy and root out these wicked Furred Law-cats, that are a kind of ravenous devils; thus we shall remove all manner of tyranny out of the land. Mawmet's tutor swallow me body and soul, tripes and guts, if I would stay to ask your help or advice in the matter were I but as strong as he was. Come, he that would be thought a gentleman, let him storm a town; well, then, shall we go? I dare swear we'll do their business for them with a wet finger; they'll bear it, never fear; since they could swallow down more foul language that came from us than ten sows and their babies could swill hogwash. Damn 'em, they don't value all the ill words or dishonour in the world at a rush, so they but get the coin into their purses, though they were to have it in a shitten clout. Come, we may chance to kill 'em all, as Hercules would have done had they lived in his time. We only want to be set to work by another Eurystheus, and nothing else for the present, unless it be what I heartily wish them, that Jupiter may give 'em a short visit, only some two or three hours long, and walk among their lordships in the same equipage that attended him when he came last to his Miss Semele, jolly Bacchus's mother.
'Tis a very great mercy, quoth Panurge, that you have got out of their clutches. For my part, I have no stomach to go there again; I'm hardly come to myself yet, so scared and appalled I was. My hair still stands up an end when I think on't; and most damnably troubled I was there, for three very weighty reasons. First, because I was troubled. Secondly, because I was troubled. Thirdly and lastly, because I was troubled. Hearken to me a little on thy right side, Friar John, my left cod, since thou'lt not hear at the other. Whenever the maggot bites thee to take a trip down to hell and visit the tribunal of Minos, Aeacus, Rhadamanthus, (and Dis,) do but tell me, and I'll be sure to bear thee company, and never leave thee as long as my name's Panurge, but will wade over Acheron, Styx, and Cocytus, drink whole bumpers of Lethe's water—though I mortally hate that element —and even pay thy passage to that bawling, cross-grained ferryman, Charon. But as for the damned wicket, if thou art so weary of thy life as to go thither again, thou mayst e'en look for somebody else to bear thee company, for I'll not move one step that way; e'en rest satisfied with this positive answer. By my good will I'll not stir a foot to go thither as long as I live, any more than Calpe will come over to Abyla (Here Motteux adds the following note: 'Calpe is a mountain in Spain that faces another, called Abyla, in Mauritania, both said to have been severed by Hercules.'). Was Ulysses so mad as to go back into the Cyclop's cave to fetch his sword? No, marry was he not. Now I have left nothing behind me at the wicket through forgetfulness; why then should I think of going thither?
Well, quoth Friar John, as good sit still as rise up and fall; what cannot be cured must be endured. But, prithee, let's hear one another speak. Come, wert thou not a wise doctor to fling away a whole purse of gold on those mangy scoundrels? Ha! A squinsy choke thee! we were too rich, were we? Had it not been enough to have thrown the hell-hounds a few cropped pieces of white cash?
How could I help it? returned Panurge. Did you not see how Gripe-men-all held his gaping velvet pouch, and every moment roared and bellowed, By gold, give me out of hand; by gold, give, give, give me presently? Now, thought I to myself, we shall never come off scot-free. I'll e'en stop their mouths with gold, that the wicket may be opened, and we may get out; the sooner the better. And I judged that lousy silver would not do the business; for, d'ye see, velvet pouches do not use to gape for little paltry clipt silver and small cash; no, they are made for gold, my friend John; that they are, my dainty cod. Ah! when thou hast been larded, basted, and roasted, as I was, thou wilt hardly talk at this rate, I doubt. But now what is to be done? We are enjoined by them to go forwards.
The scabby slabberdegullions still waited for us at the port, expecting to be greased in the fist as well as their masters. Now when they perceived that we were ready to put to sea, they came to Friar John and begged that we would not forget to gratify the apparitors before we went off, according to the assessment for the fees at our discharge. Hell and damnation! cried Friar John; are ye here still, ye bloodhounds, ye citing, scribbling imps of Satan? Rot you, am I not vexed enough already, but you must have the impudence to come and plague me, ye scurvy fly-catchers you? By cob's-body, I'll gratify your ruffianships as you deserve; I'll apparitorize you presently with a wannion, that I will. With this, he lugged out his slashing cutlass, and in a mighty heat came out of the ship to cut the cozening varlets into steaks, but they scampered away and got out of sight in a trice.
However, there was somewhat more to do, for some of our sailors, having got leave of Pantagruel to go ashore while we were had before Gripe-men-all, had been at a tavern near the haven to make much of themselves, and roar it, as seamen will do when they come into some port. Now I don't know whether they had paid their reckoning to the full or no, but, however it was, an old fat hostess, meeting Friar John on the quay, was making a woeful complaint before a sergeant, son-in-law to one of the furred law-cats, and a brace of bums, his assistants.
The friar, who did not much care to be tired with their impertinent prating, said to them, Harkee me, ye lubberly gnat-snappers! do ye presume to say that our seamen are not honest men? I'll maintain they are, ye dotterels, and will prove it to your brazen faces, by justice—I mean, this trusty piece of cold iron by my side. With this he lugged it out and flourished with it. The forlorn lobcocks soon showed him their backs, betaking themselves to their heels; but the old fusty landlady kept her ground, swearing like any butter-whore that the tarpaulins were very honest cods, but that they only forgot to pay for the bed on which they had lain after dinner, and she asked fivepence, French money, for the said bed. May I never sup, said the friar, if it be not dog-cheap; they are sorry guests and unkind customers, that they are; they do not know when they have a pennyworth, and will not always meet with such bargains. Come, I myself will pay you the money, but I would willingly see it first.
The hostess immediately took him home with her, and showed him the bed, and having praised it for all its good qualifications, said that she thought as times went she was not out of the way in asking fivepence for it. Friar John then gave her the fivepence; and she no sooner turned her back but he presently began to rip up the ticking of the feather-bed and bolster, and threw all the feathers out at the window. In the meantime the old hag came down and roared out for help, crying out murder to set all the neighbourhood in an uproar. Yet she also fell to gathering the feathers that flew up and down in the air, being scattered by the wind. Friar John let her bawl on, and, without any further ado, marched off with the blanket, quilt, and both the sheets, which he brought aboard undiscovered, for the air was darkened with the feathers, as it uses sometimes to be with snow. He gave them away to the sailors; then said to Pantagruel that beds were much cheaper at that place than in Chinnonois, though we have there the famous geese of Pautile; for the old beldam had asked him but fivepence for a bed which in Chinnonois had been worth about twelve francs. (As soon as Friar John and the rest of the company were embarked, Pantagruel set sail. But there arose a south-east wind, which blew so vehemently they lost their way, and in a manner going back to the country of the Furred Law-cats, they entered into a huge gulf, where the sea ran so high and terrible that the shipboy on the top of the mast cried out he again saw the habitation of Gripe-men-all; upon which Panurge, frightened almost out of his wits, roared out, Dear master, in spite of the wind and waves, change your course, and turn the ship's head about. O my friend, let us come no more into that cursed country where I left my purse. So the wind carried them near an island, where however they did not dare at first to land, but entered about a mile off. (Motteux omitted this passage altogether in the edition of 1694. It was restored by Ozell in the edition of 1738.))
As soon as we had cast anchor and had moored the ship, the pinnace was put over the ship's side and manned by the coxswain's crew. When the good Pantagruel had prayed publicly, and given thanks to the Lord that had delivered him from so great a danger, he stepped into it with his whole company to go on shore, which was no ways difficult to do, for, as the sea was calm and the winds laid, they soon got to the cliffs. When they were set on shore, Epistemon, who was admiring the situation of the place and the strange shape of the rocks, discovered some of the natives. The first he met had on a short purple gown, a doublet cut in panes, like a Spanish leather jerkin, half sleeves of satin, and the upper part of them leather, a coif like a black pot tipped with tin. He was a good likely sort of a body, and his name, as we heard afterwards, was Double-fee. Epistemon asked him how they called those strange craggy rocks and deep valleys. He told them it was a colony brought out of Attorneyland, and called Process, and that if we forded the river somewhat further beyond the rocks we should come into the island of the Apedefers. By the memory of the decretals, said Friar John, tell us, I pray you, what you honest men here live on? Could not a man take a chirping bottle with you to taste your wine? I can see nothing among you but parchment, ink-horns, and pens. We live on nothing else, returned Double-fee; and all who live in this place must come through my hands. How, quoth Panurge, are you a shaver, then? Do you fleece 'em? Ay, ay, their purse, answered Double-fee; nothing else. By the foot of Pharaoh, cried Panurge, the devil a sou will you get of me. However, sweet sir, be so kind as to show an honest man the way to those Apedefers, or ignorant people, for I come from the land of the learned, where I did not learn over much.
Still talking on, they got to the island of the Apedefers, for they were soon got over the ford. Pantagruel was not a little taken up with admiring the structure and habitation of the people of the place. For they live in a swingeing wine-press, fifty steps up to it. You must know there are some of all sorts, little, great, private, middle-sized, and so forth. You go through a large peristyle, alias a long entry set about with pillars, in which you see, in a kind of landscape, the ruins of almost the whole world, besides so many great robbers' gibbets, so many gallows and racks, that 'tis enough to fright you out of your seven senses. Double-fee perceiving that Pantagruel was taken up with contemplating those things, Let us go further, sir, said he to him; all this is nothing yet. Nothing, quotha, cried Friar John; by the soul of my overheated codpiece, friend Panurge and I here shake and quiver for mere hunger. I had rather be drinking than staring at these ruins. Pray come along, sir, said Double-fee. He then led us into a little wine-press that lay backwards in a blind corner, and was called Pithies in the language of the country. You need not ask whether Master John and Panurge made much of their sweet selves there; it is enough that I tell you there was no want of Bolognia sausages, turkey poots, capons, bustards, malmsey, and all other sorts of good belly-timber, very well dressed.
A pimping son of ten fathers, who, for want of a better, did the office of a butler, seeing that Friar John had cast a sheep's eye at a choice bottle that stood near a cupboard by itself, at some distance from the rest of the bottellic magazine, like a jack-in-an-office said to Pantagruel, Sir, I perceive that one of your men here is making love to this bottle. He ogles it, and would fain caress it; but I beg that none offer to meddle with it; for it is reserved for their worships. How, cried Panurge, there are some grandees here then, I see. It is vintage time with you, I perceive.
Then Double-fee led us up to a private staircase, and showed us into a room, whence, without being seen, out at a loophole we could see their worships in the great wine-press, where none could be admitted without their leave. Their worships, as he called them, were about a score of fusty crack-ropes and gallow-clappers, or rather more, all posted before a bar, and staring at each other like so many dead pigs. Their paws were as long as a crane's foot, and their claws four-and-twenty inches long at least; for you must know they are enjoined never to pare off the least chip of them, so that they grow as crooked as a Welsh hook or a hedging-bill.
We saw a swingeing bunch of grapes that are gathered and squeezed in that country, brought in by them. As soon as it was laid down, they clapped it into the press, and there was not a bit of it out of which each of them did not squeeze some oil of gold; insomuch that the poor grape was tried with a witness, and brought off so drained and picked, and so dry, that there was not the least moisture, juice, or substance left in it; for they had pressed out its very quintessence.
Double-fee told us they had not often such huge bunches; but, let the worst come to the worst, they were sure never to be without others in their press. But hark you me, master of mine, asked Panurge, have they not some of different growth? Ay, marry have they, quoth Double-fee. Do you see here this little bunch, to which they are going to give t'other wrench? It is of tithe-growth, you must know; they crushed, wrung, squeezed and strained out the very heart's blood of it but the other day; but it did not bleed freely; the oil came hard, and smelt of the priest's chest; so that they found there was not much good to be got out of it. Why then, said Pantagruel, do they put it again into the press? Only, answered Double-fee, for fear there should still lurk some juice among the husks and hullings in the mother of the grape. The devil be damned! cried Friar John; do you call these same folks illiterate lobcocks and duncical doddipolls? May I be broiled like a red herring if I do not think they are wise enough to skin a flint and draw oil out of a brick wall. So they are, said Double-fee; for they sometimes put castles, parks, and forests into the press, and out of them all extract aurum potabile. You mean portabile, I suppose, cried Epistemon, such as may be borne. I mean as I said, replied Double-fee, potabile, such as may be drunk; for it makes them drink many a good bottle more than otherwise they should.
But I cannot better satisfy you as to the growth of the vine-tree sirup that is here squeezed out of grapes, than in desiring you to look yonder in that back-yard, where you will see above a thousand different growths that lie waiting to be squeezed every moment. Here are some of the public and some of the private growth; some of the builders' fortifications, loans, gifts, and gratuities, escheats, forfeitures, fines, and recoveries, penal statutes, crown lands, and demesne, privy purse, post-offices, offerings, lordships of manors, and a world of other growths, for which we want names. Pray, quoth Epistemon, tell me of what growth is that great one, with all those little grapelings about it. Oh, oh! returned Double-fee, that plump one is of the treasury, the very best growth in the whole country. Whenever anyone of that growth is squeezed, there is not one of their worships but gets juice enough of it to soak his nose six months together. When their worships were up, Pantagruel desired Double-fee to take us into that great wine-press, which he readily did. As soon as we were in, Epistemon, who understood all sorts of tongues, began to show us many devices on the press, which was large and fine, and made of the wood of the cross—at least Double-fee told us so. On each part of it were names of everything in the language of the country. The spindle of the press was called receipt; the trough, cost and damages; the hole for the vice-pin, state; the side-boards, money paid into the office; the great beam, respite of homage; the branches, radietur; the side-beams, recuperetur; the fats, ignoramus; the two-handled basket, the rolls; the treading-place, acquittance; the dossers, validation; the panniers, authentic decrees; the pailes, potentials; the funnels, quietus est.
By the Queen of the Chitterlings, quoth Panurge, all the hieroglyphics of Egypt are mine a— to this jargon. Why! here are a parcel of words full as analogous as chalk and cheese, or a cat and a cart-wheel! But why, prithee, dear Double-fee, do they call these worshipful dons of yours ignorant fellows? Only, said Double-fee, because they neither are, nor ought to be, clerks, and all must be ignorant as to what they transact here; nor is there to be any other reason given, but, The court hath said it; The court will have it so; The court has decreed it. Cop's body, quoth Pantagruel, they might full as well have called 'em necessity; for necessity has no law.
From thence, as he was leading us to see a thousand little puny presses, we spied another paltry bar, about which sat four are five ignorant waspish churls, of so testy, fuming a temper, (like an ass with squibs and crackers tied to its tail,) and so ready to take pepper in the nose for yea and nay, that a dog would not have lived with 'em. They were hard at it with the lees and dregs of the grapes, which they gripped over and over again, might and main, with their clenched fists. They were called contractors in the language of the country. These are the ugliest, misshapen, grim-looking scrubs, said Friar John, that ever were beheld, with or without spectacles. Then we passed by an infinite number of little pimping wine-presses all full of vintage-mongers, who were picking, examining, and raking the grapes with some instruments called bills-of-charge.
Finally we came into a hall downstairs, where we saw an overgrown cursed mangy cur with a pair of heads, a wolf's belly, and claws like the devil of hell. The son of a bitch was fed with costs, for he lived on a multiplicity of fine amonds and amerciaments by order of their worships, to each of whom the monster was worth more than the best farm in the land. In their tongue of ignorance they called him Twofold. His dam lay by him, and her hair and shape was like her whelp's, only she had four heads, two male and two female, and her name was Fourfold. She was certainly the most cursed and dangerous creature of the place, except her grandam, which we saw, and had been kept locked up in a dungeon time out of mind, and her name was Refusing-of-fees.
Friar John, who had always twenty yards of gut ready empty to swallow a gallimaufry of lawyers, began to be somewhat out of humour, and desired Pantagruel to remember he had not dined, and bring Double-fee along with him. So away we went, and as we marched out at the back-gate whom should we meet but an old piece of mortality in chains. He was half ignorant and half learned, like an hermaphrodite of Satan. The fellow was all caparisoned with spectacles as a tortoise is with shells, and lived on nothing but a sort of food which, in their gibberish, was called appeals. Pantagruel asked Double-fee of what breed was that prothonotary, and what name they gave him. Double-fee told us that time out of mind he had been kept there in chains, to the great grief of their worships, who starved him, and his name was Review. By the pope's sanctified two-pounders, cried Friar John, I do not much wonder at the meagre cheer which this old chuff finds among their worships. Do but look a little on the weather-beaten scratch-toby, friend Panurge; by the sacred tip of my cowl, I'll lay five pounds to a hazel-nut the foul thief has the very looks of Gripe-me-now. These same fellows here, ignorant as they be, are as sharp and knowing as other folk. But were it my case, I would send him packing with a squib in his breech like a rogue as he is. By my oriental barnacles, quoth Panurge, honest friar, thou art in the right; for if we but examine that treacherous Review's ill-favoured phiz, we find that the filthy snudge is yet more mischievous and ignorant than these ignorant wretches here, since they (honest dunces) grapple and glean with as little harm and pother as they can, without any long fiddle-cum-farts or tantalizing in the case; nor do they dally and demur in your suit, but in two or three words, whip-stitch, in a trice, they finish the vintage of the close, bating you all these damned tedious interlocutories, examinations, and appointments which fret to the heart's blood your furred law-cats.
We put to sea that very moment, steering our course forwards, and gave Pantagruel a full account of our adventures, which so deeply struck him with compassion that he wrote some elegies on that subject to divert himself during the voyage. When we were safe in the port we took some refreshment, and took in fresh water and wood. The people of the place, who had the countenance of jolly fellows and boon companions, were all of them forward folks, bloated and puffed up with fat. And we saw some who slashed and pinked their skins to open a passage to the fat, that it might swell out at the slits and gashes which they made; neither more nor less than the shit-breech fellows in our country bepink and cut open their breeches that the taffety on the inside may stand out and be puffed up. They said that what they did was not out of pride or ostentation, but because otherwise their skins would not hold them without much pain. Having thus slashed their skin, they used to grow much bigger, like the young trees on whose barks the gardeners make incisions that they may grow the better.
Near the haven there was a tavern, which forwards seemed very fine and stately. We repaired thither, and found it filled with people of the forward nation, of all ages, sexes, and conditions; so that we thought some notable feast or other was getting ready, but we were told that all that throng were invited to the bursting of mine host, which caused all his friends and relations to hasten thither.
We did not understand that jargon, and therefore thought in that country by that bursting they meant some merry meeting or other, as we do in ours by betrothing, wedding, groaning, christening, churching (of women), shearing (of sheep), reaping (of corn, or harvest-home), and many other junketting bouts that end in -ing. But we soon heard that there was no such matter in hand.
The master of the house, you must know, had been a good fellow in his time, loved heartily to wind up his bottom, to bang the pitcher, and lick his dish. He used to be a very fair swallower of gravy soup, a notable accountant in matter of hours, and his whole life was one continual dinner, like mine host at Rouillac (in Perigord). But now, having farted out much fat for ten years together, according to the custom of the country, he was drawing towards his bursting hour; for neither the inner thin kell wherewith the entrails are covered, nor his skin that had been jagged and mangled so many years, were able to hold and enclose his guts any longer, or hinder them from forcing their way out. Pray, quoth Panurge, is there no remedy, no help for the poor man, good people? Why don't you swaddle him round with good tight girths, or secure his natural tub with a strong sorb-apple-tree hoop? Nay, why don't you iron-bind him, if needs be? This would keep the man from flying out and bursting. The word was not yet out of his mouth when we heard something give a loud report, as if a huge sturdy oak had been split in two. Then some of the neighbours told us that the bursting was over, and that the clap or crack which we heard was the last fart, and so there was an end of mine host.
This made me call to mind a saying of the venerable abbot of Castilliers, the very same who never cared to hump his chambermaids but when he was in pontificalibus. That pious person, being much dunned, teased, and importuned by his relations to resign his abbey in his old age, said and professed that he would not strip till he was ready to go to bed, and that the last fart which his reverend paternity was to utter should be the fart of an abbot.
We weighed and set sail with a merry westerly gale. When about seven leagues off (twenty-two miles) some gusts or scuds of wind suddenly arose, and the wind veering and shifting from point to point, was, as they say, like an old woman's breech, at no certainty; so we first got our starboard tacks aboard, and hauled off our lee-sheets. Then the gusts increased, and by fits blowed all at once from several quarters, yet we neither settled nor braided up close our sails, but only let fly the sheets, not to go against the master of the ship's direction; and thus having let go amain, lest we should spend our topsails, or the ship's quick-side should lie in the water and she be overset, we lay by and run adrift; that is, in a landloper's phrase, we temporized it. For he assured us that, as these gusts and whirlwinds would not do us much good, so they could not do us much harm, considering their easiness and pleasant strife, as also the clearness of the sky and calmness of the current. So that we were to observe the philosopher's rule, bear and forbear; that is, trim, or go according to the time.
However, these whirlwinds and gusts lasted so long that we persuaded the master to let us go and lie at trie with our main course; that is, to haul the tack aboard, the sheet close aft, the bowline set up, and the helm tied close aboard; so, after a stormy gale of wind, we broke through the whirlwind. But it was like falling into Scylla to avoid Charybdis (out of the frying-pan into the fire). For we had not sailed a league ere our ships were stranded upon some sands such as are the flats of St. Maixent.
All our company seemed mightily disturbed except Friar John, who was not a jot daunted, and with sweet sugar-plum words comforted now one and then another, giving them hopes of speedy assistance from above, and telling them that he had seen Castor at the main-yardarm. Oh! that I were but now ashore, cried Panurge, that is all I wish for myself at present, and that you who like the sea so well had each man of you two hundred thousand crowns. I would fairly let you set up shop on these sands, and would get a fat calf dressed and a hundred of faggots (i.e. bottles of wine) cooled for you against you come ashore. I freely consent never to mount a wife, so you but set me ashore and mount me on a horse, that I may go home. No matter for a servant, I will be contented to serve myself; I am never better treated than when I am without a man. Faith, old Plautus was in the right on't when he said the more servants the more crosses; for such they are, even supposing they could want what they all have but too much of, a tongue, that most busy, dangerous, and pernicious member of servants. Accordingly, 'twas for their sakes alone that the racks and tortures for confession were invented, though some foreign civilians in our time have drawn alogical and unreasonable consequences from it.
That very moment we spied a sail that made towards us. When it was close by us, we soon knew what was the lading of the ship and who was aboard of her. She was full freighted with drums. I was acquainted with many of the passengers that came in her, who were most of 'em of good families; among the rest Harry Cotiral, an old toast, who had got a swinging ass's touch-tripe (penis) fastened to his waist, as the good women's beads are to their girdle. In his left hand he held an old overgrown greasy foul cap, such as your scald-pated fellows wear, and in the right a huge cabbage-stump.
As soon as he saw me he was overjoyed, and bawled out to me, What cheer, ho? How dost like me now? Behold the true Algamana (this he said showing me the ass's tickle-gizzard). This doctor's cap is my true elixir; and this (continued he, shaking the cabbage-stump in his fist) is lunaria major, you old noddy. I have 'em, old boy, I have 'em; we'll make 'em when thou'rt come back. But pray, father, said I, whence come you? Whither are you bound? What's your lading? Have you smelt the salt deep? To these four questions he answered, From Queen Whims; for Touraine; alchemy; to the very bottom.
Whom have you got o' board? said I. Said he, Astrologers, fortune-tellers, alchemists, rhymers, poets, painters, projectors, mathematicians, watchmakers, sing-songs, musicianers, and the devil and all of others that are subject to Queen Whims (Motteux gives the following footnote:—'La Quinte, This means a fantastic Humour, Maggots, or a foolish Giddiness of Brains; and also, a fifth, or the Proportion of Five in music, &c.'). They have very fair legible patents to show for't, as anybody may see. Panurge had no sooner heard this but he was upon the high-rope, and began to rail at them like mad. What o' devil d'ye mean, cried he, to sit idly here like a pack of loitering sneaksbies, and see us stranded, while you may help us, and tow us off into the current? A plague o' your whims! you can make all things whatsoever, they say, so much as good weather and little children; yet won't make haste to fasten some hawsers and cables, and get us off. I was just coming to set you afloat, quoth Harry Cotiral; by Trismegistus, I'll clear you in a trice. With this he caused 7,532,810 huge drums to be unheaded on one side, and set that open side so that it faced the end of the streamers and pendants; and having fastened them to good tacklings and our ship's head to the stern of theirs, with cables fastened to the bits abaft the manger in the ship's loof, they towed us off ground at one pull so easily and pleasantly that you'd have wondered at it had you been there. For the dub-a-dub rattling of the drums, with the soft noise of the gravel which murmuring disputed us our way, and the merry cheers and huzzas of the sailors, made an harmony almost as good as that of the heavenly bodies when they roll and are whirled round their spheres, which rattling of the celestial wheels Plato said he heard some nights in his sleep.
We scorned to be behindhand with 'em in civility, and gratefully gave 'em store of our sausages and chitterlings, with which we filled their drums; and we were just a-hoisting two-and-sixty hogsheads of wine out of the hold, when two huge whirlpools with great fury made towards their ship, spouting more water than is in the river Vienne (Vigenne) from Chinon to Saumur; to make short, all their drums, all their sails, their concerns, and themselves were soused, and their very hose were watered by the collar.
Panurge was so overjoyed, seeing this, and laughed so heartily, that he was forced to hold his sides, and it set him into a fit of the colic for two hours and more. I had a mind, quoth he, to make the dogs drink, and those honest whirlpools, egad, have saved me that labour and that cost. There's sauce for them; ariston men udor. Water is good, saith a poet; let 'em Pindarize upon't. They never cared for fresh water but to wash their hands or their glasses. This good salt water will stand 'em in good stead for want of sal ammoniac and nitre in Geber's kitchen.
We could not hold any further discourse with 'em; for the former whirlwind hindered our ship from feeling the helm. The pilot advised us henceforwards to let her run adrift and follow the stream, not busying ourselves with anything, but making much of our carcasses. For our only way to arrive safe at the queendom of Whims was to trust to the whirlwind and be led by the current.
We did as he directed us for about twelve hours, and on the third day the sky seemed to us somewhat clearer, and we happily arrived at the port of Mateotechny, not far distant from Queen Whims, alias the Quintessence.
We met full butt on the quay a great number of guards and other military men that garrisoned the arsenal, and we were somewhat frighted at first because they made us all lay down our arms, and in a haughty manner asked us whence we came.
Cousin, quoth Panurge to him that asked the question, we are of Touraine, and come from France, being ambitious of paying our respects to the Lady Quintessence and visit this famous realm of Entelechy.
What do you say? cried they; do you call it Entelechy or Endelechy? Truly, truly, sweet cousins, quoth Panurge, we are a silly sort of grout-headed lobcocks, an't please you; be so kind as to forgive us if we chance to knock words out of joint. As for anything else, we are downright honest fellows and true hearts.
We have not asked you this question without a cause, said they; for a great number of others who have passed this way from your country of Touraine seemed as mere jolt-headed doddipolls as ever were scored o'er the coxcomb, yet spoke as correct as other folks. But there has been here from other countries a pack of I know not what overweening self-conceited prigs, as moody as so many mules and as stout as any Scotch lairds, and nothing would serve these, forsooth, but they must wilfully wrangle and stand out against us at their coming; and much they got by it after all. Troth, we e'en fitted them and clawed 'em off with a vengeance, for all they looked so big and so grum.
Pray tell me, does your time lie so heavy upon you in your world that you do not know how to bestow it better than in thus impudently talking, disputing, and writing of our sovereign lady? There was much need that your Tully, the consul, should go and leave the care of his commonwealth to busy himself idly about her; and after him your Diogenes Laertius, the biographer, and your Theodorus Gaza, the philosopher, and your Argiropilus, the emperor, and your Bessario, the cardinal, and your Politian, the pedant, and your Budaeus, the judge, and your Lascaris, the ambassador, and the devil and all of those you call lovers of wisdom; whose number, it seems, was not thought great enough already, but lately your Scaliger, Bigot, Chambrier, Francis Fleury, and I cannot tell how many such other junior sneaking fly-blows must take upon 'em to increase it.
A squinsy gripe the cod's-headed changelings at the swallow and eke at the cover-weasel; we shall make 'em—But the deuce take 'em! (They flatter the devil here, and smoothify his name, quoth Panurge, between his teeth.) You don't come here, continued the captain, to uphold 'em in their folly; you have no commission from 'em to this effect; well then, we will talk no more on't.
Aristotle, that first of men and peerless pattern of all philosophy, was our sovereign lady's godfather, and wisely and properly gave her the name of Entelechy. Her true name then is Entelechy, and may he be in tail beshit, and entail a shit-a-bed faculty and nothing else on his family, who dares call her by any other name; for whoever he is, he does her wrong, and is a very impudent person. You are heartily welcome, gentlemen. With this they colled and clipped us about the neck, which was no small comfort to us, I'll assure you.
Panurge then whispered me, Fellow-traveller, quoth he, hast thou not been somewhat afraid this bout? A little, said I. To tell you the truth of it, quoth he, never were the Ephraimites in a greater fear and quandary when the Gileadites killed and drowned them for saying sibboleth instead of shibboleth; and among friends, let me tell you that perhaps there is not a man in the whole country of Beauce but might easily have stopped my bunghole with a cartload of hay.
The captain afterwards took us to the queen's palace, leading us silently with great formality. Pantagruel would have said something to him, but the other, not being able to come up to his height, wished for a ladder or a very long pair of stilts; then said, Patience, if it were our sovereign lady's will, we would be as tall as you; well, we shall when she pleases.
In the first galleries we saw great numbers of sick persons, differently placed according to their maladies. The leprous were apart; those that were poisoned on one side; those that had got the plague on another; those that had the pox in the first rank, and the rest accordingly.
The captain showed us the queen, attended with her ladies and gentlemen, in the second gallery. She looked young, though she was at least eighteen hundred years old, and was handsome, slender, and as fine as a queen, that is, as hands could make her. He then said to us: It is not yet a fit time to speak to the queen; be you but mindful of her doings in the meanwhile.
You have kings in your world that fantastically pretend to cure some certain diseases, as, for example, scrofula or wens, swelled throats, nicknamed the king's evil, and quartan agues, only with a touch; now our queen cures all manner of diseases without so much as touching the sick, but barely with a song, according to the nature of the distemper. He then showed us a set of organs, and said that when it was touched by her those miraculous cures were performed. The organ was indeed the strangest that ever eyes beheld; for the pipes were of cassia fistula in the cod; the top and cornice of guiacum; the bellows of rhubarb; the pedas of turbith, and the clavier or keys of scammony.
While we were examining this wonderful new make of an organ, the leprous were brought in by her abstractors, spodizators, masticators, pregustics, tabachins, chachanins, neemanins, rabrebans, nercins, rozuins, nebidins, tearins, segamions, perarons, chasinins, sarins, soteins, aboth, enilins, archasdarpenins, mebins, chabourins, and other officers, for whom I want names; so she played 'em I don't know what sort of a tune or song, and they were all immediately cured.
Then those who were poisoned were had in, and she had no sooner given them a song but they began to find a use for their legs, and up they got. Then came on the deaf, the blind, and the dumb, and they too were restored to their lost faculties and senses with the same remedy; which did so strangely amaze us (and not without reason, I think) that down we fell on our faces, remaining prostrate, like men ravished in ecstasy, and were not able to utter one word through the excess of our admiration, till she came, and having touched Pantagruel with a fine fragrant nosegay of white roses which she held in her hand, thus made us recover our senses and get up. Then she made us the following speech in byssin words, such as Parisatis desired should be spoken to her son Cyrus, or at least of crimson alamode:
The probity that scintillizes in the superfices of your persons informs my ratiocinating faculty, in a most stupendous manner, of the radiant virtues latent within the precious caskets and ventricles of your minds. For, contemplating the mellifluous suavity of your thrice discreet reverences, it is impossible not to be persuaded with facility that neither your affections nor your intellects are vitiated with any defect or privation of liberal and exalted sciences. Far from it, all must judge that in you are lodged a cornucopia and encyclopaedia, an unmeasurable profundity of knowledge in the most peregrine and sublime disciplines, so frequently the admiration, and so rarely the concomitants of the imperite vulgar. This gently compels me, who in preceding times indefatigably kept my private affections absolutely subjugated, to condescend to make my application to you in the trivial phrase of the plebeian world, and assure you that you are well, more than most heartily welcome.
I have no hand at making of speeches, quoth Panurge to me privately; prithee, man, make answer to her for us, if thou canst. This would not work with me, however; neither did Pantagruel return a word. So that Queen Whims, or Queen Quintessence (which you please), perceiving that we stood as mute as fishes, said: Your taciturnity speaks you not only disciples of Pythagoras, from whom the venerable antiquity of my progenitors in successive propagation was emaned and derives its original, but also discovers, that through the revolution of many retrograde moons, you have in Egypt pressed the extremities of your fingers with the hard tenants of your mouths, and scalptized your heads with frequent applications of your unguicules. In the school of Pythagoras, taciturnity was the symbol of abstracted and superlative knowledge, and the silence of the Egyptians was agnited as an expressive manner of divine adoration; this caused the pontiffs of Hierapolis to sacrifice to the great deity in silence, impercussively, without any vociferous or obstreperous sound. My design is not to enter into a privation of gratitude towards you, but by a vivacious formality, though matter were to abstract itself from me, excentricate to you my cogitations.
Having spoken this, she only said to her officers, Tabachins, a panacea; and straight they desired us not to take it amiss if the queen did not invite us to dine with her; for she never ate anything at dinner but some categories, jecabots, emnins, dimions, abstractions, harborins, chelemins, second intentions, carradoths, antitheses, metempsychoses, transcendent prolepsies, and such other light food.
Then they took us into a little closet lined through with alarums, where we were treated God knows how. It is said that Jupiter writes whatever is transacted in the world on the dipthera or skin of the Amalthaean goat that suckled him in Crete, which pelt served him instead of a shield against the Titans, whence he was nicknamed Aegiochos. Now, as I hate to drink water, brother topers, I protest it would be impossible to make eighteen goatskins hold the description of all the good meat they brought before us, though it were written in characters as small as those in which were penned Homer's Iliads, which Tully tells us he saw enclosed in a nutshell.
For my part, had I one hundred mouths, as many tongues, a voice of iron, a heart of oak, and lungs of leather, together with the mellifluous abundance of Plato, yet I never could give you a full account of a third part of a second of the whole.
Pantagruel was telling me that he believed the queen had given the symbolic word used among her subjects to denote sovereign good cheer, when she said to her tabachins, A panacea; just as Lucullus used to say, In Apollo, when he designed to give his friends a singular treat; though sometimes they took him at unawares, as, among the rest, Cicero and Hortensius sometimes used to do.
When we had dined, a chachanin led us into the queen's hall, and there we saw how, after dinner, with the ladies and the princes of her court, she used to sift, searce, bolt, range, and pass away time with a fine large white and blue silk sieve. We also perceived how they revived ancient sports, diverting themselves together at—
1. Cordax. 6. Phrygia. 11. Monogas. 2. Emmelia. 7. Thracia. 12. Terminalia. 3. Sicinnia. 8. Calabrisme. 13. Floralia. 4. Jambics. 9. Molossia. 14. Pyrrhice. 5. Persica. 10. Cernophorum. 15. (Nicatism.) And a thousand other dances.
(Motteux has the following footnote:—'1. A sort of country-dance. 2. A still tragic dance. 3. Dancing and singing used at funerals. 4. Cutting sarcasms and lampoons. 5. The Persian dance. 6. Tunes, whose measure inspired men with a kind of divine fury. 7. The Thracian movement. 8. Smutty verses. 9. A measure to which the Molossi of Epirus danced a certain morrice. 10. A dance with bowls or pots in their hands. 11. A song where one sings alone. 12. Sports at the holidays of the god of bounds. 13. Dancing naked at Flora's holidays. 14. The Trojan dance in armour.')
Afterwards she gave orders that they should show us the apartments and curiosities in her palace. Accordingly we saw there such new, strange, and wonderful things, that I am still ravished in admiration every time I think of't. However, nothing surprised us more than what was done by the gentlemen of her household, abstractors, parazons, nebidins, spodizators, and others, who freely and without the least dissembling told us that the queen their mistress did all impossible things, and cured men of incurable diseases; and they, her officers, used to do the rest.
I saw there a young parazon cure many of the new consumption, I mean the pox, though they were never so peppered. Had it been the rankest Roan ague (Anglice, the Covent-garden gout), 'twas all one to him; touching only their dentiform vertebrae thrice with a piece of a wooden shoe, he made them as wholesome as so many sucking-pigs.
Another did thoroughly cure folks of dropsies, tympanies, ascites, and hyposarcides, striking them on the belly nine times with a Tenedian hatchet, without any solution of the continuum.
Another cured all manner of fevers and agues on the spot, only with hanging a fox-tail on the left side of the patient's girdle.
One removed the toothache only with washing thrice the root of the aching tooth with elder-vinegar, and letting it dry half-an-hour in the sun.
Another the gout, whether hot or cold, natural or accidental, by barely making the gouty person shut his mouth and open his eyes.
I saw another ease nine gentlemen of St. Francis's distemper ('A consumption in the pocket, or want of money; those of St. Francis's order must carry none about 'em.'—Motteux.) in a very short space of time, having clapped a rope about their necks, at the end of which hung a box with ten thousand gold crowns in't.
One with a wonderful engine threw the houses out at the windows, by which means they were purged of all pestilential air.
Another cured all the three kinds of hectics, the tabid, atrophes, and emaciated, without bathing, Tabian milk, dropax, alias depilatory, or other such medicaments, only turning the consumptive for three months into monks; and he assured me that if they did not grow fat and plump in a monastic way of living, they never would be fattened in this world, either by nature or by art.
I saw another surrounded with a crowd of two sorts of women. Some were young, quaint, clever, neat, pretty, juicy, tight, brisk, buxom, proper, kind-hearted, and as right as my leg, to any man's thinking. The rest were old, weather-beaten, over-ridden, toothless, blear-eyed, tough, wrinkled, shrivelled, tawny, mouldy, phthisicky, decrepit hags, beldams, and walking carcasses. We were told that his office was to cast anew those she-pieces of antiquity, and make them such as the pretty creatures whom we saw, who had been made young again that day, recovering at once the beauty, shape, size, and disposition which they enjoyed at sixteen; except their heels, that were now much shorter than in their former youth.
This made them yet more apt to fall backwards whenever any man happened to touch 'em, than they had been before. As for their counterparts, the old mother-scratch-tobies, they most devoutly waited for the blessed hour when the batch that was in the oven was to be drawn, that they might have their turns, and in a mighty haste they were pulling and hauling the man like mad, telling him that 'tis the most grievous and intolerable thing in nature for the tail to be on fire and the head to scare away those who should quench it.
The officer had his hands full, never wanting patients; neither did his place bring him in little, you may swear. Pantagruel asked him whether he could also make old men young again. He said he could not. But the way to make them new men was to get 'em to cohabit with a new-cast female; for this they caught that fifth kind of crinckams, which some call pellade, in Greek, ophiasis, that makes them cast off their old hair and skin, just as the serpents do, and thus their youth is renewed like the Arabian phoenix's. This is the true fountain of youth, for there the old and decrepit become young, active, and lusty.
Just so, as Euripides tells us, Iolaus was transmogrified; and thus Phaon, for whom kind-hearted Sappho run wild, grew young again, for Venus's use; so Tithon by Aurora's means; so Aeson by Medea, and Jason also, who, if you'll believe Pherecides and Simonides, was new-vamped and dyed by that witch; and so were the nurses of jolly Bacchus, and their husbands, as Aeschylus relates.
I then saw a great number of the queen's officers, who made blackamoors white as fast as hops, just rubbing their bellies with the bottom of a pannier.
Others, with three couples of foxes in one yoke, ploughed a sandy shore, and did not lose their seed.
Others washed burnt tiles, and made them lose their colour.
Others extracted water out of pumice-stones, braying them a good while in a mortar, and changed their substance.
Others sheared asses, and thus got long fleece wool.
Others gathered barberries and figs off of thistles.
Others stroked he-goats by the dugs, and saved their milk in a sieve; and much they got by it.
(Others washed asses' heads without losing their soap.)
Others taught cows to dance, and did not lose their fiddling.
Others pitched nets to catch the wind, and took cock-lobsters in them.
I saw a spodizator, who very artificially got farts out of a dead ass, and sold 'em for fivepence an ell.
Another did putrefy beetles. O the dainty food!
Poor Panurge fairly cast up his accounts, and gave up his halfpenny (i.e. vomited), seeing an archasdarpenin who laid a huge plenty of chamber lye to putrefy in horsedung, mishmashed with abundance of Christian sir-reverence. Pugh, fie upon him, nasty dog! However, he told us that with this sacred distillation he watered kings and princes, and made their sweet lives a fathom or two the longer.
Others built churches to jump over the steeples.
Others set carts before the horses, and began to flay eels at the tail; neither did the eels cry before they were hurt, like those of Melun.
Others out of nothing made great things, and made great things return to nothing.
Others cut fire into steaks with a knife, and drew water with a fish-net.
Others made chalk of cheese, and honey of a dog's t—d.
We saw a knot of others, about a baker's dozen in number, tippling under an arbour. They toped out of jolly bottomless cups four sorts of cool, sparkling, pure, delicious, vine-tree sirup, which went down like mother's milk; and healths and bumpers flew about like lightning. We were told that these true philosophers were fairly multiplying the stars by drinking till the seven were fourteen, as brawny Hercules did with Atlas.
Others made a virtue of necessity, and the best of a bad market, which seemed to me a very good piece of work.
Others made alchemy (i.e. sir-reverence) with their teeth, and clapping their hind retort to the recipient, made scurvy faces, and then squeezed.
Others, in a large grass plot, exactly measured how far the fleas could go at a hop, a step, and jump; and told us that this was exceedingly useful for the ruling of kingdoms, the conduct of armies, and the administration of commonwealths; and that Socrates, who first got philosophy out of heaven, and from idling and trifling made it profitable and of moment, used to spend half his philosophizing time in measuring the leaps of fleas, as Aristophanes the quintessential affirms.
I saw two gibroins by themselves keeping watch on the top of a tower, and we were told they guarded the moon from the wolves.
In a blind corner I met four more very hot at it, and ready to go to loggerheads. I asked what was the cause of the stir and ado, the mighty coil and pother they made. And I heard that for four livelong days those overwise roisters had been at it ding-dong, disputing on three high, more than metaphysical propositions, promising themselves mountains of gold by solving them. The first was concerning a he-ass's shadow; the second, of the smoke of a lantern; and the third of goat's hair, whether it were wool or no. We heard that they did not think it a bit strange that two contradictions in mode, form, figure, and time should be true; though I will warrant the sophists of Paris had rather be unchristened than own so much.
While we were admiring all those men's wonderful doings, the evening star already twinkling, the queen (God bless her!) appeared, attended with her court, and again amazed and dazzled us. She perceived it, and said to us:
What occasions the aberrations of human cogitations through the perplexing labyrinths and abysses of admiration, is not the source of the effects, which sagacious mortals visibly experience to be the consequential result of natural causes. 'Tis the novelty of the experiment which makes impressions on their conceptive, cogitative faculties; that do not previse the facility of the operation adequately, with a subact and sedate intellection, associated with diligent and congruous study. Consequently let all manner of perturbation abdicate the ventricles of your brains, if anyone has invaded them while they were contemplating what is transacted by my domestic ministers. Be spectators and auditors of every particular phenomenon and every individual proposition within the extent of my mansion; satiate yourselves with all that can fall here under the consideration of your visual or auscultating powers, and thus emancipate yourselves from the servitude of crassous ignorance. And that you may be induced to apprehend how sincerely I desire this in consideration of the studious cupidity that so demonstratively emicates at your external organs, from this present particle of time I retain you as my abstractors. Geber, my principal Tabachin, shall register and initiate you at your departing.
We humbly thanked her queenship without saying a word, accepting of the noble office she conferred on us.
Queen Whims after this said to her gentlemen: The orifice of the ventricle, that ordinary embassador for the alimentation of all members, whether superior or inferior, importunes us to restore, by the apposition of idoneous sustenance, what was dissipated by the internal calidity's action on the radical humidity. Therefore spodizators, gesinins, memains, and parazons, be not culpable of dilatory protractions in the apposition of every re-roborating species, but rather let them pullulate and superabound on the tables. As for you, nobilissim praegustators, and my gentilissim masticators, your frequently experimented industry, internected with perdiligent sedulity and sedulous perdiligence, continually adjuvates you to perficiate all things in so expeditious a manner that there is no necessity of exciting in you a cupidity to consummate them. Therefore I can only suggest to you still to operate as you are assuefacted indefatigably to operate.
Having made this fine speech, she retired for a while with part of her women, and we were told that 'twas to bathe, as the ancients did more commonly than we use nowadays to wash our hands before we eat. The tables were soon placed, the cloth spread, and then the queen sat down. She ate nothing but celestial ambrosia, and drank nothing but divine nectar. As for the lords and ladies that were there, they, as well as we, fared on as rare, costly, and dainty dishes as ever Apicius wot or dreamed of in his life.
When we were as round as hoops, and as full as eggs, with stuffing the gut, an olla podrida ('Some call it an Olio. Rabelais Pot-pourry.'—Motteux.) was set before us to force hunger to come to terms with us, in case it had not granted us a truce; and such a huge vast thing it was that the plate which Pythius Althius gave King Darius would hardly have covered it. The olla consisted of several sorts of pottages, salads, fricassees, saugrenees, cabirotadoes, roast and boiled meat, carbonadoes, swingeing pieces of powdered beef, good old hams, dainty somates, cakes, tarts, a world of curds after the Moorish way, fresh cheese, jellies, and fruit of all sorts. All this seemed to me good and dainty; however, the sight of it made me sigh; for alas! I could not taste a bit on't, so full I had filled my puddings before, and a bellyful is a bellyful you know. Yet I must tell you what I saw that seemed to me odd enough o' conscience; 'twas some pasties in paste; and what should those pasties in paste be, d'ye think, but pasties in pots? At the bottom I perceived store of dice, cards, tarots ('Great cards on which many different things are figured.' —Motteux.), luettes ('Pieces of ivory to play withal.'—Motteux.), chessmen, and chequers, besides full bowls of gold crowns, for those who had a mind to have a game or two and try their chance. Under this I saw a jolly company of mules in stately trappings, with velvet footcloths, and a troop of ambling nags, some for men and some for women; besides I don't know how many litters all lined with velvet, and some coaches of Ferrara make; all this for those who had a mind to take the air.
This did not seem strange to me; but if anything did 'twas certainly the queen's way of eating, and truly 'twas very new, and very odd; for she chewed nothing, the good lady; not but that she had good sound teeth, and her meat required to be masticated, but such was her highness's custom. When her praegustators had tasted the meat, her masticators took it and chewed it most nobly; for their dainty chops and gullets were lined through with crimson satin, with little welts and gold purls, and their teeth were of delicate white ivory. Thus, when they had chewed the meat ready for her highness's maw, they poured it down her throat through a funnel of fine gold, and so on to her craw. For that reason they told us she never visited a close-stool but by proxy.
After supper there was a ball in the form of a tilt or a tournament, not only worth seeing, but also never to be forgotten. First, the floor of the hall was covered with a large piece of velveted white and yellow chequered tapestry, each chequer exactly square, and three full spans in breadth.
Then thirty-two young persons came into the hall; sixteen of them arrayed in cloth of gold, and of these eight were young nymphs such as the ancients described Diana's attendants; the other eight were a king, a queen, two wardens of the castle, two knights, and two archers. Those of the other band were clad in cloth of silver.
They posted themselves on the tapestry in the following manner: the kings on the last line on the fourth square; so that the golden king was on a white square, and the silvered king on a yellow square, and each queen by her king; the golden queen on a yellow square, and the silvered queen on a white one: and on each side stood the archers to guide their kings and queens; by the archers the knights, and the wardens by them. In the next row before 'em stood the eight nymphs; and between the two bands of nymphs four rows of squares stood empty.
Each band had its musicians, eight on each side, dressed in its livery; the one with orange-coloured damask, the other with white; and all played on different instruments most melodiously and harmoniously, still varying in time and measure as the figure of the dance required. This seemed to me an admirable thing, considering the numerous diversity of steps, back-steps, bounds, rebounds, jerks, paces, leaps, skips, turns, coupes, hops, leadings, risings, meetings, flights, ambuscadoes, moves, and removes.
I was also at a loss when I strove to comprehend how the dancers could so suddenly know what every different note meant; for they no sooner heard this or that sound but they placed themselves in the place which was denoted by the music, though their motions were all different. For the nymphs that stood in the first file, as if they designed to begin the fight, marched straight forwards to their enemies from square to square, unless it were the first step, at which they were free to move over two steps at once. They alone never fall back (which is not very natural to other nymphs), and if any of them is so lucky as to advance to the opposite king's row, she is immediately crowned queen of her king, and after that moves with the same state and in the same manner as the queen; but till that happens they never strike their enemies but forwards, and obliquely in a diagonal line. However, they make it not their chief business to take their foes; for, if they did, they would leave their queen exposed to the adverse parties, who then might take her.
The kings move and take their enemies on all sides square-ways, and only step from a white square into a yellow one, and vice versa, except at their first step the rank should want other officers than the wardens; for then they can set 'em in their place, and retire by him.
The queens take a greater liberty than any of the rest; for they move backwards and forwards all manner of ways, in a straight line as far as they please, provided the place be not filled with one of her own party, and diagonally also, keeping to the colour on which she stands.
The archers move backwards or forwards, far and near, never changing the colour on which they stand. The knights move and take in a lineal manner, stepping over one square, though a friend or foe stand upon it, posting themselves on the second square to the right or left, from one colour to another, which is very unwelcome to the adverse party, and ought to be carefully observed, for they take at unawares.
The wardens move and take to the right or left, before or behind them, like the kings, and can advance as far as they find places empty; which liberty the kings take not.
The law which both sides observe is, at the end of the fight, to besiege and enclose the king of either party, so that he may not be able to move; and being reduced to that extremity, the battle is over, and he loses the day.
Now, to avoid this, there is none of either sex of each party but is willing to sacrifice his or her life, and they begin to take one another on all sides in time, as soon as the music strikes up. When anyone takes a prisoner, he makes his honours, and striking him gently in the hand, puts him out of the field and combat, and encamps where he stood.
If one of the kings chance to stand where he might be taken, it is not lawful for any of his adversaries that had discovered him to lay hold on him; far from it, they are strictly enjoined humbly to pay him their respects, and give him notice, saying, God preserve you, sir! that his officers may relieve and cover him, or he may remove, if unhappily he could not be relieved. However, he is not to be taken, but greeted with a Good-morrow, the others bending the knee; and thus the tournament uses to end.
The two companies having taken their stations, the music struck up, and with a martial sound, which had something of horrid in it, like a point of war, roused and alarmed both parties, who now began to shiver, and then soon were warmed with warlike rage; and having got in readiness to fight desperately, impatient of delay stood waiting for the charge.
Then the music of the silvered band ceased playing, and the instruments of the golden side alone were heard, which denoted that the golden party attacked. Accordingly, a new movement was played for the onset, and we saw the nymph who stood before the queen turn to the left towards her king, as it were to ask leave to fight; and thus saluting her company at the same time, she moved two squares forwards, and saluted the adverse party.
Now the music of the golden brigade ceased playing, and their antagonists began again. I ought to have told you that the nymph who began by saluting her company, had by that formality also given them to understand that they were to fall on. She was saluted by them in the same manner, with a full turn to the left, except the queen, who went aside towards her king to the right; and the same manner of salutation was observed on both sides during the whole ball.
The silvered nymph that stood before her queen likewise moved as soon as the music of her party sounded a charge; her salutations, and those of her side, were to the right, and her queen's to the left. She moved in the second square forwards, and saluted her antagonists, facing the first golden nymph; so that there was not any distance between them, and you would have thought they two had been going to fight; but they only strike sideways.
Their comrades, whether silvered or golden, followed 'em in an intercalary figure, and seemed to skirmish a while, till the golden nymph who had first entered the lists, striking a silvered nymph in the hand on the right, put her out of the field, and set herself in her place. But soon the music playing a new measure, she was struck by a silvered archer, who after that was obliged himself to retire. A silvered knight then sallied out, and the golden queen posted herself before her king.
Then the silvered king, dreading the golden queen's fury, removed to the right, to the place where his warden stood, which seemed to him strong and well guarded.
The two knights on the left, whether golden or silvered, marched up, and on either side took up many nymphs who could not retreat; principally the golden knight, who made this his whole business; but the silvered knight had greater designs, dissembling all along, and even sometimes not taking a nymph when he could have done it, still moving on till he was come up to the main body of the enemies in such a manner that he saluted their king with a God save you, sir!
The whole golden brigade quaked for fear and anger, those words giving notice of their king's danger; not but that they could soon relieve him, but because their king being thus saluted they were to lose their warden on the right wing without any hopes of a recovery. Then the golden king retired to the left, and the silvered knight took the golden warden, which was a mighty loss to that party. However, they resolved to be revenged, and surrounded the knight that he might not escape. He tried to get off, behaving himself with a great deal of gallantry, and his friends did what they could to save him; but at last he fell into the golden queen's hands, and was carried off.
Her forces, not yet satisfied, having lost one of her best men, with more fury than conduct moved about, and did much mischief among their enemies. The silvered party warily dissembled, watching their opportunity to be even with them, and presented one of their nymphs to the golden queen, having laid an ambuscado; so that the nymph being taken, a golden archer had like to have seized the silvered queen. Then the golden knight undertakes to take the silvered king and queen, and says, Good-morrow! Then the silvered archer salutes them, and was taken by a golden nymph, and she herself by a silvered one.
The fight was obstinate and sharp. The wardens left their posts, and advanced to relieve their friends. The battle was doubtful, and victory hovered over both armies. Now the silvered host charge and break through their enemy's ranks as far as the golden king's tent, and now they are beaten back. The golden queen distinguishes herself from the rest by her mighty achievements still more than by her garb and dignity; for at once she takes an archer, and, going sideways, seizes a silvered warden. Which thing the silvered queen perceiving, she came forwards, and, rushing on with equal bravery, takes the last golden warden and some nymphs. The two queens fought a long while hand to hand; now striving to take each other by surprise, then to save themselves, and sometimes to guard their kings. Finally, the golden queen took the silvered queen; but presently after she herself was taken by the silvered archer.
Then the silvered king had only three nymphs, an archer, and a warden left, and the golden only three nymphs and the right knight, which made them fight more slowly and warily than before. The two kings seemed to mourn for the loss of their loving queens, and only studied and endeavoured to get new ones out of all their nymphs to be raised to that dignity, and thus be married to them. This made them excite those brave nymphs to strive to reach the farthest rank, where stood the king of the contrary party, promising them certainly to have them crowned if they could do this. The golden nymphs were beforehand with the others, and out of their number was created a queen, who was dressed in royal robes, and had a crown set on her head. You need not doubt the silvered nymphs made also what haste they could to be queens. One of them was within a step of the coronation place, but there the golden knight lay ready to intercept her, so that she could go no further.
The new golden queen, resolved to show herself valiant and worthy of her advancement to the crown, achieved great feats of arms. But in the meantime the silvered knight takes the golden warden who guarded the camp; and thus there was a new silvered queen, who, like the other, strove to excel in heroic deeds at the beginning of her reign. Thus the fight grew hotter than before. A thousand stratagems, charges, rallyings, retreats, and attacks were tried on both sides; till at last the silvered queen, having by stealth advanced as far as the golden king's tent, cried, God save you, sir! Now none but his new queen could relieve him; so she bravely came and exposed herself to the utmost extremity to deliver him out of it. Then the silvered warden with his queen reduced the golden king to such a stress that, to save himself, he was forced to lose his queen; but the golden king took him at last. However, the rest of the golden party were soon taken; and that king being left alone, the silvered party made him a low bow, crying, Good morrow, sir! which denoted that the silvered king had got the day.
This being heard, the music of both parties loudly proclaimed the victory. And thus the first battle ended to the unspeakable joy of all the spectators.
After this the two brigades took their former stations, and began to tilt a second time, much as they had done before, only the music played somewhat faster than at the first battle, and the motions were altogether different. I saw the golden queen sally out one of the first, with an archer and a knight, as it were angry at the former defeat, and she had like to have fallen upon the silvered king in his tent among his officers; but having been baulked in her attempt, she skirmished briskly, and overthrew so many silvered nymphs and officers that it was a most amazing sight. You would have sworn she had been another Penthesilea; for she behaved herself with as much bravery as that Amazonian queen did at Troy.
But this havoc did not last long; for the silvered party, exasperated by their loss, resolved to perish or stop her progress; and having posted an archer in ambuscado on a distant angle, together with a knight-errant, her highness fell into their hands and was carried out of the field. The rest were soon routed after the taking of their queen, who, without doubt, from that time resolved to be more wary and keep near her king, without venturing so far amidst her enemies unless with more force to defend her. Thus the silvered brigade once more got the victory.
This did not dishearten or deject the golden party; far from it. They soon appeared again in the field to face their enemies; and being posted as before, both the armies seemed more resolute and cheerful than ever. Now the martial concert began, and the music was above a hemiole the quicker, according to the warlike Phrygian mode, such as was invented by Marsyas.
Then our combatants began to wheel about, and charge with such a swiftness that in an instant they made four moves, besides the usual salutations. So that they were continually in action, flying, hovering, jumping, vaulting, curvetting, with petauristical turns and motions, and often intermingled.
Seeing them then turn about on one foot after they had made their honours, we compared them to your tops or gigs, such as boys use to whip about, making them turn round so swiftly that they sleep, as they call it, and motion cannot be perceived, but resembles rest, its contrary; so that if you make a point or mark on some part of one of those gigs, 'twill be perceived not as a point, but a continual line, in a most divine manner, as Cusanus has wisely observed.
While they were thus warmly engaged, we heard continually the claps and episemapsies which those of the two bands reiterated at the taking of their enemies; and this, joined to the variety of their motions and music, would have forced smiles out of the most severe Cato, the never-laughing Crassus, the Athenian man-hater, Timon; nay, even whining Heraclitus, though he abhorred laughing, the action that is most peculiar to man. For who could have forborne? seeing those young warriors, with their nymphs and queens, so briskly and gracefully advance, retire, jump, leap, skip, spring, fly, vault, caper, move to the right, to the left, every way still in time, so swiftly, and yet so dexterously, that they never touched one another but methodically.
As the number of the combatants lessened, the pleasure of the spectators increased; for the stratagems and motions of the remaining forces were more singular. I shall only add that this pleasing entertainment charmed us to such a degree that our minds were ravished with admiration and delight, and the martial harmony moved our souls so powerfully that we easily believed what is said of Ismenias's having excited Alexander to rise from table and run to his arms, with such a warlike melody. At last the golden king remained master of the field; and while we were minding those dances, Queen Whims vanished, so that we saw her no more from that day to this.
Then Geber's michelots conducted us, and we were set down among her abstractors, as her queenship had commanded. After that we returned to the port of Mateotechny, and thence straight aboard our ships; for the wind was fair, and had we not hoisted out of hand, we could hardly have got off in three quarters of a moon in the wane.
We sailed before the wind, between a pair of courses, and in two days made the island of Odes, at which place we saw a very strange thing. The ways there are animals; so true is Aristotle's saying, that all self-moving things are animals. Now the ways walk there. Ergo, they are then animals. Some of them are strange unknown ways, like those of the planets; others are highways, crossways, and byways. I perceived that the travellers and inhabitants of that country asked, Whither does this way go? Whither does that way go? Some answered, Between Midy and Fevrolles, to the parish church, to the city, to the river, and so forth. Being thus in their right way, they used to reach their journey's end without any further trouble, just like those who go by water from Lyons to Avignon or Arles.
Now, as you know that nothing is perfect here below, we heard there was a sort of people whom they called highwaymen, waybeaters, and makers of inroads in roads; and that the poor ways were sadly afraid of them, and shunned them as you do robbers. For these used to waylay them, as people lay trains for wolves, and set gins for woodcocks. I saw one who was taken up with a lord chief justice's warrant for having unjustly, and in spite of Pallas, taken the schoolway, which is the longest. Another boasted that he had fairly taken his shortest, and that doing so he first compassed his design. Thus, Carpalin, meeting once Epistemon looking upon a wall with his fiddle-diddle, or live urinal, in his hand, to make a little maid's water, cried that he did not wonder now how the other came to be still the first at Pantagruel's levee, since he held his shortest and least used.
I found Bourges highway among these. It went with the deliberation of an abbot, but was made to scamper at the approach of some waggoners, who threatened to have it trampled under their horses' feet, and make their waggons run over it, as Tullia's chariot did over her father's body.
I also espied there the old way between Peronne and St. Quentin, which seemed to me a very good, honest, plain way, as smooth as a carpet, and as good as ever was trod upon by shoe of leather.
Among the rocks I knew again the good old way to La Ferrare, mounted on a huge bear. This at a distance would have put me in mind of St. Jerome's picture, had but the bear been a lion; for the poor way was all mortified, and wore a long hoary beard uncombed and entangled, which looked like the picture of winter, or at least like a white-frosted bush.
On that way were store of beads or rosaries, coarsely made of wild pine-tree; and it seemed kneeling, not standing, nor lying flat; but its sides and middle were beaten with huge stones, insomuch that it proved to us at once an object of fear and pity.
While we were examining it, a runner, bachelor of the place, took us aside, and showing us a white smooth way, somewhat filled with straw, said, Henceforth, gentlemen, do not reject the opinion of Thales the Milesian, who said that water is the beginning of all things, nor that of Homer, who tells us that all things derive their original from the ocean; for this same way which you see here had its beginning from water, and is to return whence she came before two months come to an end; now carts are driven here where boats used to be rowed.
Truly, said Pantagruel, you tell us no news; we see five hundred such changes, and more, every year, in our world. Then reflecting on the different manner of going of those moving ways, he told us he believed that Philolaus and Aristarchus had philosophized in this island, and that Seleucus (Motteux reads—'that some, indeed, were of opinion.'), indeed, was of opinion the earth turns round about its poles, and not the heavens, whatever we may think to the contrary; as, when we are on the river Loire, we think the trees and the shore moves, though this is only an effect of our boat's motion.
As we went back to our ships, we saw three waylayers, who, having been taken in ambuscado, were going to be broken on the wheel; and a huge fornicator was burned with a lingering fire for beating a way and breaking one of its sides; we were told it was the way of the banks of the Nile in Egypt.
Thence we went to the island of Sandals, whose inhabitants live on nothing but ling-broth. However, we were very kindly received and entertained by Benius the Third, king of the island, who, after he had made us drink, took us with him to show us a spick-and-span new monastery which he had contrived for the Semiquaver Friars; so he called the religious men whom he had there. For he said that on t'other side the water lived friars who styled themselves her sweet ladyship's most humble servants. Item, the goodly Friar-minors, who are semibreves of bulls; the smoked-herring tribe of Minim Friars; then the Crotchet Friars. So that these diminutives could be no more than Semiquavers. By the statutes, bulls, and patents of Queen Whims, they were all dressed like so many house-burners, except that, as in Anjou your bricklayers use to quilt their knees when they tile houses, so these holy friars had usually quilted bellies, and thick quilted paunches were among them in much repute. Their codpieces were cut slipper-fashion, and every monk among them wore two—one sewed before and another behind —reporting that some certain dreadful mysteries were duly represented by this duplicity of codpieces.
They wore shoes as round as basins, in imitation of those who inhabit the sandy sea. Their chins were close-shaved, and their feet iron-shod; and to show they did not value fortune, Benius made them shave and poll the hind part of their polls as bare as a bird's arse, from the crown to the shoulder-blades; but they had leave to let their hair grow before, from the two triangular bones in the upper part of the skull.
Thus did they not value fortune a button, and cared no more for the goods of this world than you or I do for hanging. And to show how much they defied that blind jilt, all of them wore, not in their hands like her, but at their waist, instead of beads, sharp razors, which they used to new-grind twice a day and set thrice a night.
Each of them had a round ball on their feet, because Fortune is said to have one under hers.
The flap of their cowls hanged forward, and not backwards, like those of others. Thus none could see their noses, and they laughed without fear both at fortune and the fortunate; neither more nor less than our ladies laugh at barefaced trulls when they have those mufflers on which they call masks, and which were formerly much more properly called charity, because they cover a multitude of sins.
The hind part of their faces were always uncovered, as are our faces, which made them either go with their belly or the arse foremost, which they pleased. When their hind face went forwards, you would have sworn this had been their natural gait, as well on account of their round shoes as of the double codpiece, and their face behind, which was as bare as the back of my hand, and coarsely daubed over with two eyes and a mouth, such as you see on some Indian nuts. Now, if they offered to waddle along with their bellies forwards, you would have thought they were then playing at blindman's buff. May I never be hanged if 'twas not a comical sight.
Their way of living was thus: about owl-light they charitably began to boot and spur one another. This being done, the least thing they did was to sleep and snore; and thus sleeping, they had barnacles on the handles of their faces, or spectacles at most.
You may swear we did not a little wonder at this odd fancy; but they satisfied us presently, telling us that the day of judgment is to take mankind napping; therefore, to show they did not refuse to make their personal appearance as fortune's darlings use to do, they were always thus booted and spurred, ready to mount whenever the trumpet should sound.
At noon, as soon as the clock struck, they used to awake. You must know that their clock-bell, church-bells, and refectory-bells were all made according to the pontial device, that is, quilted with the finest down, and their clappers of fox-tails.
Having then made shift to get up at noon, they pulled off their boots, and those that wanted to speak with a maid, alias piss, pissed; those that wanted to scumber, scumbered; and those that wanted to sneeze, sneezed. But all, whether they would or no (poor gentlemen!), were obliged largely and plentifully to yawn; and this was their first breakfast (O rigorous statute!). Methought 'twas very comical to observe their transactions; for, having laid their boots and spurs on a rack, they went into the cloisters. There they curiously washed their hands and mouths; then sat them down on a long bench, and picked their teeth till the provost gave the signal, whistling through his fingers; then every he stretched out his jaws as much as he could, and they gaped and yawned for about half-an-hour, sometimes more, sometimes less, according as the prior judged the breakfast to be suitable to the day.
After that they went in procession, two banners being carried before them, in one of which was the picture of Virtue, and that of Fortune in the other. The last went before, carried by a semi-quavering friar, at whose heels was another, with the shadow or image of Virtue in one hand and an holy-water sprinkle in the other—I mean of that holy mercurial water which Ovid describes in his Fasti. And as the preceding Semiquaver rang a handbell, this shaked the sprinkle with his fist. With that says Pantagruel, This order contradicts the rule which Tully and the academics prescribed, that Virtue ought to go before, and Fortune follow. But they told us they did as they ought, seeing their design was to breech, lash, and bethwack Fortune.
During the processions they trilled and quavered most melodiously betwixt their teeth I do not know what antiphones, or chantings, by turns. For my part, 'twas all Hebrew-Greek to me, the devil a word I could pick out on't; at last, pricking up my ears, and intensely listening, I perceived they only sang with the tip of theirs. Oh, what a rare harmony it was! How well 'twas tuned to the sound of their bells! You'll never find these to jar, that you won't. Pantagruel made a notable observation upon the processions; for says he, Have you seen and observed the policy of these Semiquavers? To make an end of their procession they went out at one of their church doors and came in at the other; they took a deal of care not to come in at the place whereat they went out. On my honour, these are a subtle sort of people, quoth Panurge; they have as much wit as three folks, two fools and a madman; they are as wise as the calf that ran nine miles to suck a bull, and when he came there 'twas a steer. This subtlety and wisdom of theirs, cried Friar John, is borrowed from the occult philosophy. May I be gutted like an oyster if I can tell what to make on't. Then the more 'tis to be feared, said Pantagruel; for subtlety suspected, subtlety foreseen, subtlety found out, loses the essence and very name of subtlety, and only gains that of blockishness. They are not such fools as you take them to be; they have more tricks than are good, I doubt.
After the procession they went sluggingly into the fratery-room, by the way of walk and healthful exercise, and there kneeled under the tables, leaning their breasts on lanterns. While they were in that posture, in came a huge Sandal, with a pitchfork in his hand, who used to baste, rib-roast, swaddle, and swinge them well-favouredly, as they said, and in truth treated them after a fashion. They began their meal as you end yours, with cheese, and ended it with mustard and lettuce, as Martial tells us the ancients did. Afterwards a platterful of mustard was brought before every one of them, and thus they made good the proverb, After meat comes mustard.
Their diet was this:
O' Sundays they stuffed their puddings with puddings, chitterlings, links, Bologna sausages, forced-meats, liverings, hogs' haslets, young quails, and teals. You must also always add cheese for the first course, and mustard for the last.
O' Mondays they were crammed with peas and pork, cum commento, and interlineary glosses.
O' Tuesdays they used to twist store of holy-bread, cakes, buns, puffs, lenten loaves, jumbles, and biscuits.
O' Wednesdays my gentlemen had fine sheep's heads, calves' heads, and brocks' heads, of which there's no want in that country.
O' Thursdays they guzzled down seven sorts of porridge, not forgetting mustard.
O' Fridays they munched nothing but services or sorb-apples; neither were these full ripe, as I guessed by their complexion.
O' Saturdays they gnawed bones; not that they were poor or needy, for every mother's son of them had a very good fat belly-benefice.
As for their drink, 'twas an antifortunal; thus they called I don't know what sort of a liquor of the place.
When they wanted to eat or drink, they turned down the back-points or flaps of their cowls forwards below their chins, and that served 'em instead of gorgets or slabbering-bibs.
When they had well dined, they prayed rarely all in quavers and shakes; and the rest of the day, expecting the day of judgment, they were taken up with acts of charity, and particularly—
O' Sundays, rubbers at cuffs.
O' Mondays, lending each other flirts and fillips on the nose.
O' Tuesdays, clapperclawing one another.
O' Wednesdays, sniting and fly-flapping.
O' Thursdays, worming and pumping.
O' Fridays, tickling.
O' Saturdays, jerking and firking one another.
Such was their diet when they resided in the convent, and if the prior of the monk-house sent any of them abroad, then they were strictly enjoined neither to touch nor eat any manner of fish as long as they were on sea or rivers, and to abstain from all manner of flesh whenever they were at land, that everyone might be convinced that, while they enjoyed the object, they denied themselves the power, and even the desire, and were no more moved with it than the Marpesian rock.
All this was done with proper antiphones, still sung and chanted by ear, as we have already observed.
When the sun went to bed, they fairly booted and spurred each other as before, and having clapped on their barnacles e'en jogged to bed too. At midnight the Sandal came to them, and up they got, and having well whetted and set their razors, and been a-processioning, they clapped the tables over themselves, and like wire-drawers under their work fell to it as aforesaid.
Friar John des Entoumeures, having shrewdly observed these jolly Semiquaver Friars, and had a full account of their statutes, lost all patience, and cried out aloud: Bounce tail, and God ha' mercy guts; if every fool should wear a bauble, fuel would be dear. A plague rot it, we must know how many farts go to an ounce. Would Priapus were here, as he used to be at the nocturnal festivals in Crete, that I might see him play backwards, and wriggle and shake to the purpose. Ay, ay, this is the world, and t'other is the country; may I never piss if this be not an antichthonian land, and our very antipodes. In Germany they pull down monasteries and unfrockify the monks; here they go quite kam, and act clean contrary to others, setting new ones up, against the hair.
Panurge, who had since been wholly taken up with staring at these royal Semiquavers, at last pulled one of them by the sleeve, who was as lean as a rake, and asked him,—
Hearkee me, Friar Quaver, Semiquaver, Demisemiquavering quaver, where is the punk?
The Friar, pointing downwards, answered, There.
Pan. Pray, have you many? Fri. Few.
Pan. How many scores have you? Fri. One.
Pan. How many would you have? Fri. Five.
Pan. Where do you hide 'em? Fri. Here.
Pan. I suppose they are not all of one age; but, pray, how is their shape? Fri. Straight.
Pan. Their complexion? Fri. Clear.
Pan. Their hair? Fri. Fair.
Pan. Their eyes? Fri. Black.
Pan. Their features? Fri. Good.
Pan. Their brows? Fri. Small.
Pan. Their graces? Fri. Ripe.
Pan. Their looks? Fri. Free.
Pan. Their feet? Fri. Flat.
Pan. Their heels? Fri. Short.
Pan. Their lower parts? Fri. Rare.
Pan. And their arms? Fri. Long.
Pan. What do they wear on their hands? Fri. Gloves.
Pan. What sort of rings on their fingers? Fri. Gold.
Pan. What rigging do you keep 'em in? Fri. Cloth.
Pan. What sort of cloth is it? Fri. New.
Pan. What colour? Fri. Sky.
Pan. What kind of cloth is it? Fri. Fine.
Pan. What caps do they wear? Fri. Blue.
Pan. What's the colour of their stockings? Fri. Red.
Pan. What wear they on their feet? Fri. Pumps.
Pan. How do they use to be? Fri. Foul.
Pan. How do they use to walk? Fri. Fast.
Pan. Now let us talk of the kitchen, I mean that of the harlots, and without going hand over head let's a little examine things by particulars. What is in their kitchens? Fri. Fire.
Pan. What fuel feeds it? Fri. Wood.
Pan. What sort of wood is't? Fri. Dry.
Pan. And of what kind of trees? Fri. Yews.
Pan. What are the faggots and brushes of? Fri. Holm.
Pan. What wood d'ye burn in your chambers? Fri. Pine.
Pan. And of what other trees? Fri. Lime.
Pan. Hearkee me; as for the buttocks, I'll go your halves. Pray, how do you feed 'em? Fri. Well.
Pan. First, what do they eat? Fri. Bread.
Pan. Of what complexion? Fri. White.
Pan. And what else? Fri. Meat.
Pan. How do they love it dressed? Fri. Roast.
Pan. What sort of porridge? Fri. None.
Pan. Are they for pies and tarts? Fri. Much.
Pan. Then I'm their man. Will fish go down with them? Fri. Well.
Pan. And what else? Fri. Eggs.
Pan. How do they like 'em? Fri. Boiled.
Pan. How must they be done? Fri. Hard.
Pan. Is this all they have? Fri. No.
Pan. What have they besides, then? Fri. Beef.
Pan. And what else? Fri. Pork.
Pan. And what more? Fri. Geese.
Pan. What then? Fri. Ducks.
Pan. And what besides? Fri. Cocks.
Pan. What do they season their meat with? Fri. Salt.
Pan. What sauce are they most dainty for? Fri. Must.
Pan. What's their last course? Fri. Rice.
Pan. And what else? Fri. Milk.
Pan. What besides? Fri. Peas.
Pan. What sort? Fri. Green.
Pan. What do they boil with 'em? Fri. Pork.
Pan. What fruit do they eat? Fri. Good.
Pan. How? Fri. Raw.
Pan. What do they end with? Fri. Nuts.
Pan. How do they drink? Fri. Neat.
Pan. What liquor? Fri. Wine.
Pan. What sort? Fri. White.
Pan. In winter? Fri. Strong.
Pan. In the spring. Fri. Brisk.
Pan. In summer? Fri. Cool.
Pan. In autumn? Fri. New.
Buttock of a monk! cried Friar John; how plump these plaguy trulls, these arch Semiquavering strumpets, must be! That damned cattle are so high fed that they must needs be high-mettled, and ready to wince and give two ups for one go-down when anyone offers to ride them below the crupper.
Prithee, Friar John, quoth Panurge, hold thy prating tongue; stay till I have done.
Till what time do the doxies sit up? Fri. Night.
Pan. When do they get up? Fri. Late.
Pan. May I ride on a horse that was foaled of an acorn, if this be not as honest a cod as ever the ground went upon, and as grave as an old gate-post into the bargain. Would to the blessed St. Semiquaver, and the blessed worthy virgin St. Semiquavera, he were lord chief president (justice) of Paris! Ods-bodikins, how he'd despatch! With what expedition would he bring disputes to an upshot! What an abbreviator and clawer off of lawsuits, reconciler of differences, examiner and fumbler of bags, peruser of bills, scribbler of rough drafts, and engrosser of deeds would he not make! Well, friar, spare your breath to cool your porridge. Come, let's now talk with deliberation, fairly and softly, as lawyers go to heaven. Let's know how you victual the venereal camp. How is the snatchblatch? Fri. Rough.
Pan. How is the gateway? Fri. Free.
Pan. And how is it within? Fri. Deep.
Pan. I mean, what weather is it there? Fri. Hot.
Pan. What shadows the brooks? Fri. Groves.
Pan. Of what's the colour of the twigs? Fri. Red.
Pan. And that of the old? Fri. Grey.
Pan. How are you when you shake? Fri. Brisk.
Pan. How is their motion? Fri. Quick.
Pan. Would you have them vault or wriggle more? Fri. Less.
Pan. What kind of tools are yours? Fri. Big.
Pan. And in their helves? Fri. Round.
Pan. Of what colour is the tip? Fri. Red.
Pan. When they've even used, how are they? Fri. Shrunk.
Pan. How much weighs each bag of tools? Fri. Pounds.
Pan. How hang your pouches? Fri. Tight.
Pan. How are they when you've done? Fri. Lank.
Pan. Now, by the oath you have taken, tell me, when you have a mind to cohabit, how you throw 'em? Fri. Down.
Pan. And what do they say then? Fri. Fie.
Pan. However, like maids, they say nay, and take it; and speak the less, but think the more, minding the work in hand; do they not? Fri. True.
Pan. Do they get you bairns? Fri. None.
Pan. How do you pig together? Fri. Bare.
Pan. Remember you're upon your oath, and tell me justly and bona fide how many times a day you monk it? Fri. Six.
Pan. How many bouts a-nights? Fri. Ten.
Catso, quoth Friar John, the poor fornicating brother is bashful, and sticks at sixteen, as if that were his stint. Right, quoth Panurge, but couldst thou keep pace with him, Friar John, my dainty cod? May the devil's dam suck my teat if he does not look as if he had got a blow over the nose with a Naples cowl-staff.
Pan. Pray, Friar Shakewell, does your whole fraternity quaver and shake at that rate? Fri. All.
Pan. Who of them is the best cock o' the game? Fri. I.
Pan. Do you never commit dry-bobs or flashes in the pan? Fri. None.
Pan. I blush like any black dog, and could be as testy as an old cook when I think on all this; it passes my understanding. But, pray, when you have been pumped dry one day, what have you got the next? Fri. More.
Pan. By Priapus, they have the Indian herb of which Theophrastus spoke, or I'm much out. But, hearkee me, thou man of brevity, should some impediment, honestly or otherwise, impair your talents and cause your benevolence to lessen, how would it fare with you, then? Fri. Ill.
Pan. What would the wenches do? Fri. Rail.
Pan. What if you skipped, and let 'em fast a whole day? Fri. Worse.
Pan. What do you give 'em then? Fri. Thwacks.
Pan. What do they say to this? Fri. Bawl.
Pan. And what else? Fri. Curse.
Pan. How do you correct 'em? Fri. Hard.
Pan. What do you get out of 'em then? Fri. Blood.
Pan. How's their complexion then? Fri. Odd.
Pan. What do they mend it with? Fri. Paint.
Pan. Then what do they do? Fri. Fawn.
Pan. By the oath you have taken, tell me truly what time of the year do you do it least in? Fri. Now (August.).
Pan. What season do you do it best in? Fri. March.
Pan. How is your performance the rest of the year? Fri. Brisk.
Then quoth Panurge, sneering, Of all, and of all, commend me to Ball; this is the friar of the world for my money. You've heard how short, concise, and compendious he is in his answers. Nothing is to be got out of him but monosyllables. By jingo, I believe he would make three bites of a cherry.
Damn him, cried Friar John, that's as true as I am his uncle. The dog yelps at another gate's rate when he is among his bitches; there he is polysyllable enough, my life for yours. You talk of making three bites of a cherry! God send fools more wit and us more money! May I be doomed to fast a whole day if I don't verily believe he would not make above two bites of a shoulder of mutton and one swoop of a whole pottle of wine. Zoons, do but see how down o' the mouth the cur looks! He's nothing but skin and bones; he has pissed his tallow.
Truly, truly, quoth Epistemon, this rascally monastical vermin all over the world mind nothing but their gut, and are as ravenous as any kites, and then, forsooth, they tell us they've nothing but food and raiment in this world. 'Sdeath, what more have kings and princes?
Pray did you observe, continued Epistemon, how this damned ill-favoured Semiquaver mentioned March as the best month for caterwauling? True, said Pantagruel; yet Lent and March always go together, and the first was instituted to macerate and bring down our pampered flesh, to weaken and subdue its lusts, to curb and assuage the venereal rage.
By this, said Epistemon, you may guess what kind of a pope it was who first enjoined it to be kept, since this filthy wooden-shoed Semiquaver owns that his spoon is never oftener nor deeper in the porringer of lechery than in Lent. Add to this the evident reasons given by all good and learned physicians, affirming that throughout the whole year no food is eaten that can prompt mankind to lascivious acts more than at that time.
As, for example, beans, peas, phasels, or long-peason, ciches, onions, nuts, oysters, herrings, salt-meats, garum (a kind of anchovy), and salads wholly made up of venereous herbs and fruits, as—
Rocket, Parsley, Hop-buds, Nose-smart, Rampions, Figs, Taragon, Poppy, Rice, Cresses, Celery, Raisins, and others.
It would not a little surprise you, said Pantagruel, should a man tell you that the good pope who first ordered the keeping of Lent, perceiving that at that time o' year the natural heat (from the centre of the body, whither it was retired during the winter's cold) diffuses itself, as the sap does in trees, through the circumference of the members, did therefore in a manner prescribe that sort of diet to forward the propagation of mankind. What makes me think so, is that by the registers of christenings at Touars it appears that more children are born in October and November than in the other ten months of the year, and reckoning backwards 'twill be easily found that they were all made, conceived, and begotten in Lent.
I listen to you with both my ears, quoth Friar John, and that with no small pleasure, I'll assure you. But I must tell you that the vicar of Jambert ascribed this copious prolification of the women, not to that sort of food that we chiefly eat in Lent, but to the little licensed stooping mumpers, your little booted Lent-preachers, your little draggle-tailed father confessors, who during all that time of their reign damn all husbands that run astray three fathom and a half below the very lowest pit of hell. So the silly cod's-headed brothers of the noose dare not then stumble any more at the truckle-bed, to the no small discomfort of their maids, and are even forced, poor souls, to take up with their own bodily wives. Dixi; I have done.
You may descant on the institution of Lent as much as you please, cried Epistemon; so many men so many minds; but certainly all the physicians will be against its being suppressed, though I think that time is at hand. I know they will, and have heard 'em say were it not for Lent their art would soon fall into contempt, and they'd get nothing, for hardly anybody would be sick.
All distempers are sowed in lent; 'tis the true seminary and native bed of all diseases; nor does it only weaken and putrefy bodies, but it also makes souls mad and uneasy. For then the devils do their best, and drive a subtle trade, and the tribe of canting dissemblers come out of their holes. 'Tis then term-time with your cucullated pieces of formality that have one face to God and another to the devil; and a wretched clutter they make with their sessions, stations, pardons, syntereses, confessions, whippings, anathematizations, and much prayer with as little devotion. However, I'll not offer to infer from this that the Arimaspians are better than we are in that point; yet I speak to the purpose.
Well, quoth Panurge to the Semiquaver friar, who happened to be by, dear bumbasting, shaking, trilling, quavering cod, what thinkest thou of this fellow? Is he a rank heretic? Fri. Much.
Pan. Ought he not to be singed? Fri. Well.
Pan. As soon as may be? Fri. Right.
Pan. Should not he be scalded first? Fri. No.
Pan. How then, should he be roasted? Fri. Quick.
Pan. Till at last he be? Fri. Dead.
Pan. What has he made you? Fri. Mad.
Pan. What d'ye take him to be? Fri. Damned.
Pan. What place is he to go to? Fri. Hell.
Pan. But, first, how would you have 'em served here? Fri. Burnt.
Pan. Some have been served so? Fri. Store.
Pan. That were heretics? Fri. Less.
Pan. And the number of those that are to be warmed thus hereafter is? Fri. Great.
Pan. How many of 'em do you intend to save? Fri. None.
Pan. So you'd have them burned? Fri. All.
I wonder, said Epistemon to Panurge, what pleasure you can find in talking thus with this lousy tatterdemalion of a monk. I vow, did I not know you well, I might be ready to think you had no more wit in your head than he has in both his shoulders. Come, come, scatter no words, returned Panurge; everyone as they like, as the woman said when she kissed her cow. I wish I might carry him to Gargantua; when I'm married he might be my wife's fool. And make you one, cried Epistemon. Well said, quoth Friar John. Now, poor Panurge, take that along with thee, thou'rt e'en fitted; 'tis a plain case thou'lt never escape wearing the bull's feather; thy wife will be as common as the highway, that's certain.
Having pleased ourselves with observing that new order of Semiquaver Friars, we set sail, and in three days our skipper made the finest and most delightful island that ever was seen. He called it the island of Frieze, for all the ways were of frieze.
In that island is the land of Satin, so celebrated by our court pages. Its trees and herbage never lose their leaves or flowers, and are all damask and flowered velvet. As for the beasts and birds, they are all of tapestry work. There we saw many beasts, birds on trees, of the same colour, bigness, and shape of those in our country; with this difference, however, that these did eat nothing, and never sung or bit like ours; and we also saw there many sorts of creatures which we never had seen before.
Among the rest, several elephants in various postures; twelve of which were the six males and six females that were brought to Rome by their governor in the time of Germanicus, Tiberius's nephew. Some of them were learned elephants, some musicians, others philosophers, dancers, and showers of tricks; and all sat down at table in good order, silently eating and drinking like so many fathers in a fratery-room.
With their snouts or proboscises, some two cubits long, they draw up water for their own drinking, and take hold of palm leaves, plums, and all manner of edibles, using them offensively or defensively as we do our fists; with them tossing men high into the air in fight, and making them burst with laughing when they come to the ground.
They have joints (in their legs), whatever some men, who doubtless never saw any but painted, may have written to the contrary. Between their teeth they have two huge horns; thus Juba called 'em, and Pausanias tells us they are not teeth, but horns; however, Philostratus will have 'em to be teeth, and not horns. 'Tis all one to me, provided you will be pleased to own them to be true ivory. These are some three or four cubits long, and are fixed in the upper jawbone, and consequently not in the lowermost. If you hearken to those who will tell you to the contrary, you will find yourself damnably mistaken, for that's a lie with a latchet; though 'twere Aelian, that long-bow man, that told you so, never believe him, for he lies as fast as a dog can trot. 'Twas in this very island that Pliny, his brother tell-truth, had seen some elephants dance on the rope with bells, and whip over the tables, presto, begone, while people were at feasts, without so much as touching the toping topers or the topers toping.
I saw a rhinoceros there, just such a one as Harry Clerberg had formerly showed me. Methought it was not much unlike a certain boar which I had formerly seen at Limoges, except the sharp horn on its snout, that was about a cubit long; by the means of which that animal dares encounter with an elephant, that is sometimes killed with its point thrust into its belly, which is its most tender and defenceless part.
I saw there two and thirty unicorns. They are a curst sort of creatures, much resembling a fine horse, unless it be that their heads are like a stag's, their feet like an elephant's, their tails like a wild boar's, and out of each of their foreheads sprouts out a sharp black horn, some six or seven feet long; commonly it dangles down like a turkey-cock's comb. When a unicorn has a mind to fight, or put it to any other use, what does it do but make it stand, and then 'tis as straight as an arrow.
I saw one of them, which was attended with a throng of other wild beasts, purify a fountain with its horn. With that Panurge told me that his prancer, alias his nimble-wimble, was like the unicorn, not altogether in length indeed, but in virtue and propriety; for as the unicorn purified pools and fountains from filth and venom, so that other animals came and drank securely there afterwards, in the like manner others might water their nags, and dabble after him without fear of shankers, carnosities, gonorrhoeas, buboes, crinkams, and such other plagues caught by those who venture to quench their amorous thirst in a common puddle; for with his nervous horn he removed all the infection that might be lurking in some blind cranny of the mephitic sweet-scented hole.
Well, quoth Friar John, when you are sped, that is, when you are married, we will make a trial of this on thy spouse, merely for charity sake, since you are pleased to give us so beneficial an instruction.
Ay, ay, returned Panurge, and then immediately I'll give you a pretty gentle aggregative pill of God, made up of two and twenty kind stabs with a dagger, after the Caesarian way. Catso, cried Friar John, I had rather take off a bumper of good cool wine.
I saw there the golden fleece formerly conquered by Jason, and can assure you, on the word of an honest man, that those who have said it was not a fleece but a golden pippin, because melon signifies both an apple and a sheep, were utterly mistaken.
I saw also a chameleon, such as Aristotle describes it, and like that which had been formerly shown me by Charles Maris, a famous physician of the noble city of Lyons on the Rhone; and the said chameleon lived on air just as the other did.
I saw three hydras, like those I had formerly seen. They are a kind of serpent, with seven different heads.
I saw also fourteen phoenixes. I had read in many authors that there was but one in the whole world in every century; but, if I may presume to speak my mind, I declare that those who said this had never seen any, unless it were in the land of Tapestry; though 'twere vouched by Claudian or Lactantius Firmianus.
I saw the skin of Apuleius's golden ass.
I saw three hundred and nine pelicans.
Item, six thousand and sixteen Seleucid birds marching in battalia, and picking up straggling grasshoppers in cornfields.
Item, some cynamologi, argatiles, caprimulgi, thynnunculs, onocrotals, or bitterns, with their wide swallows, stymphalides, harpies, panthers, dorcasses, or bucks, cemades, cynocephalises, satyrs, cartasans, tarands, uri, monopses, or bonasi, neades, steras, marmosets, or monkeys, bugles, musimons, byturoses, ophyri, screech-owls, goblins, fairies, and griffins.
I saw Mid-Lent o' horseback, with Mid-August and Mid-March holding its stirrups.
I saw some mankind wolves, centaurs, tigers, leopards, hyenas, camelopardals, and orixes, or huge wild goats with sharp horns.
I saw a remora, a little fish called echineis by the Greeks, and near it a tall ship that did not get ahead an inch, though she was in the offing with top and top-gallants spread before the wind. I am somewhat inclined to believe that 'twas the very numerical ship in which Periander the tyrant happened to be when it was stopped by such a little fish in spite of wind and tide. It was in this land of Satin, and in no other, that Mutianus had seen one of them.
Friar John told us that in the days of yore two sorts of fishes used to abound in our courts of judicature, and rotted the bodies and tormented the souls of those who were at law, whether noble or of mean descent, high or low, rich or poor: the first were your April fish or mackerel (pimps, panders, and bawds); the others your beneficial remoras, that is, the eternity of lawsuits, the needless lets that keep 'em undecided.
I saw some sphynges, some raphes, some ounces, and some cepphi, whose fore-feet are like hands and their hind-feet like man's.
Also some crocutas and some eali as big as sea-horses, with elephants' tails, boars' jaws and tusks, and horns as pliant as an ass's ears.
The crocutas, most fleet animals, as big as our asses of Mirebalais, have necks, tails, and breasts like a lion's, legs like a stag's, have mouths up to the ears, and but two teeth, one above and one below; they speak with human voices, but when they do they say nothing.
Some people say that none e'er saw an eyrie, or nest of sakers; if you'll believe me, I saw no less than eleven, and I'm sure I reckoned right.
I saw some left-handed halberds, which were the first that I had ever seen.
I saw some manticores, a most strange sort of creatures, which have the body of a lion, red hair, a face and ears like a man's, three rows of teeth which close together as if you joined your hands with your fingers between each other; they have a sting in their tails like a scorpion's, and a very melodious voice.
I saw some catablepases, a sort of serpents, whose bodies are small, but their heads large, without any proportion, so that they've much ado to lift them up; and their eyes are so infectious that whoever sees 'em dies upon the spot, as if he had seen a basilisk.
I saw some beasts with two backs, and those seemed to me the merriest creatures in the world. They were most nimble at wriggling the buttocks, and more diligent in tail-wagging than any water-wagtails, perpetually jogging and shaking their double rumps.
I saw there some milched crawfish, creatures that I never had heard of before in my life. These moved in very good order, and 'twould have done your heart good to have seen 'em.
We went a little higher up into the country of Tapestry, and saw the Mediterranean Sea open to the right and left down to the very bottom; just as the Red Sea very fairly left its bed at the Arabian Gulf to make a lane for the Jews when they left Egypt.
There I found Triton winding his silver shell instead of a horn, and also Glaucus, Proteus, Nereus, and a thousand other godlings and sea monsters.
I also saw an infinite number of fish of all kinds, dancing, flying, vaulting, fighting, eating, breathing, billing, shoving, milting, spawning, hunting, fishing, skirmishing, lying in ambuscado, making truces, cheapening, bargaining, swearing, and sporting.
In a blind corner we saw Aristotle holding a lantern in the posture in which the hermit uses to be drawn near St. Christopher, watching, prying, thinking, and setting everything down.
Behind him stood a pack of other philosophers, like so many bums by a head-bailiff, as Appian, Heliodorus, Athenaeus, Porphyrius, Pancrates, Arcadian, Numenius, Possidonius, Ovidius, Oppianus, Olympius, Seleucus, Leonides, Agathocles, Theophrastus, Damostratus, Mutianus, Nymphodorus, Aelian, and five hundred other such plodding dons, who were full of business, yet had little to do; like Chrysippus or Aristarchus of Soli, who for eight-and-fifty years together did nothing in the world but examine the state and concerns of bees.
I spied Peter Gilles among these, with a urinal in his hand, narrowly watching the water of those goodly fishes.
When we had long beheld everything in this land of Satin, Pantagruel said, I have sufficiently fed my eyes, but my belly is empty all this while, and chimes to let me know 'tis time to go to dinner. Let's take care of the body lest the soul abdicate it; and to this effect let's taste some of these anacampserotes ('An herb, the touching of which is said to reconcile lovers.'—Motteux.) that hang over our heads. Psha, cried one, they are mere trash, stark naught, o' my word; they're good for nothing.
I then went to pluck some mirobolans off of a piece of tapestry whereon they hung, but the devil a bit I could chew or swallow 'em; and had you had them betwixt your teeth you would have sworn they had been thrown silk; there was no manner of savour in 'em.
One might be apt to think Heliogabalus had taken a hint from thence, to feast those whom he had caused to fast a long time, promising them a sumptuous, plentiful, and imperial feast after it; for all the treat used to amount to no more than several sorts of meat in wax, marble, earthenware, painted and figured tablecloths.
While we were looking up and down to find some more substantial food, we heard a loud various noise, like that of paper-mills (or women bucking of linen); so with all speed we went to the place whence the noise came, where we found a diminutive, monstrous, misshapen old fellow, called Hearsay. His mouth was slit up to his ears, and in it were seven tongues, each of them cleft into seven parts. However, he chattered, tattled, and prated with all the seven at once, of different matters, and in divers languages.
He had as many ears all over his head and the rest of his body as Argus formerly had eyes, and was as blind as a beetle, and had the palsy in his legs.
About him stood an innumerable number of men and women, gaping, listening, and hearing very intensely. Among 'em I observed some who strutted like crows in a gutter, and principally a very handsome bodied man in the face, who held then a map of the world, and with little aphorisms compendiously explained everything to 'em; so that those men of happy memories grew learned in a trice, and would most fluently talk with you of a world of prodigious things, the hundredth part of which would take up a man's whole life to be fully known.
Among the rest they descanted with great prolixity on the pyramids and hieroglyphics of Egypt, of the Nile, of Babylon, of the Troglodytes, the Hymantopodes, or crump-footed nation, the Blemiae, people that wear their heads in the middle of their breasts, the Pigmies, the Cannibals, the Hyperborei and their mountains, the Egypanes with their goat's feet, and the devil and all of others; every individual word of it by hearsay.
I am much mistaken if I did not see among them Herodotus, Pliny, Solinus, Berosus, Philostratus, Pomponius Mela, Strabo, and God knows how many other antiquaries.
Then Albert, the great Jacobin friar, Peter Tesmoin, alias Witness, Pope Pius the Second, Volaterranus, Paulus Jovius the valiant, Jemmy Cartier, Chaton the Armenian, Marco Polo the Venetian, Ludovico Romano, Pedro Aliares, and forty cartloads of other modern historians, lurking behind a piece of tapestry, where they were at it ding-dong, privately scribbling the Lord knows what, and making rare work of it; and all by hearsay.
Behind another piece of tapestry (on which Naboth and Susanna's accusers were fairly represented), I saw close by Hearsay, good store of men of the country of Perce and Maine, notable students, and young enough.
I asked what sort of study they applied themselves to; and was told that from their youth they learned to be evidences, affidavit-men, and vouchers, and were instructed in the art of swearing; in which they soon became such proficients, that when they left that country, and went back into their own, they set up for themselves and very honestly lived by their trade of evidencing, positively giving their testimony of all things whatsoever to those who feed them most roundly to do a job of journey-work for them; and all this by hearsay.
You may think what you will of it; but I can assure you they gave some of us corners of their cakes, and we merrily helped to empty their hogsheads. Then, in a friendly manner, they advised us to be as sparing of truth as possibly we could if ever we had a mind to get court preferment.
Having been but scurvily entertained in the land of Satin, we went o' board, and having set sail, in four days came near the coast of Lantern-land. We then saw certain little hovering fires on the sea.
For my part, I did not take them to be lanterns, but rather thought they were fishes which lolled their flaming tongues on the surface of the sea, or lampyrides, which some call cicindelas, or glowworms, shining there as ripe barley does o' nights in my country.
But the skipper satisfied us that they were the lanterns of the watch, or, more properly, lighthouses, set up in many places round the precinct of the place to discover the land, and for the safe piloting in of some outlandish lanterns, which, like good Franciscan and Jacobin friars, were coming to make their personal appearance at the provincial chapter.
However, some of us were somewhat suspicious that these fires were the forerunners of some storm, but the skipper assured us again they were not.
Soon after we arrived at the port of Lantern-land, where Pantagruel discovered on a high tower the lantern of Rochelle, that stood us in good stead, for it cast a great light. We also saw the lantern of Pharos, that of Nauplion, and that of Acropolis at Athens, sacred to Pallas.
Near the port there's a little hamlet inhabited by the Lychnobii, that live by lanterns, as the gulligutted friars in our country live by nuns; they are studious people, and as honest men as ever shit in a trumpet. Demosthenes had formerly lanternized there.
We were conducted from that place to the palace by three obeliscolichnys ('A kind of beacons.'—Motteux.), military guards of the port, with high-crowned hats, whom we acquainted with the cause of our voyage, and our design, which was to desire the queen of the country to grant us a lantern to light and conduct us during our voyage to the Oracle of the Holy Bottle.
They promised to assist us in this, and added that we could never have come in a better time, for then the lanterns held their provincial chapter.
When we came to the royal palace we had audience of her highness the Queen of Lantern-land, being introduced by two lanterns of honour, that of Aristophanes and that of Cleanthes (Motteux adds here—'Mistresses of the ceremonies.'). Panurge in a few words acquainted her with the causes of our voyage, and she received us with great demonstrations of friendship, desiring us to come to her at supper-time that we might more easily make choice of one to be our guide; which pleased us extremely. We did not fail to observe intensely everything we could see, as the garbs, motions, and deportment of the queen's subjects, principally the manner after which she was served.
The bright queen was dressed in virgin crystal of Tutia wrought damaskwise, and beset with large diamonds.
The lanterns of the royal blood were clad partly with bastard-diamonds, partly with diaphanous stones; the rest with horn, paper, and oiled cloth.
The cresset-lights took place according to the antiquity and lustre of their families.
An earthen dark-lantern, shaped like a pot, notwithstanding this took place of some of the first quality; at which I wondered much, till I was told it was that of Epictetus, for which three thousand drachmas had been formerly refused.
Martial's polymix lantern (Motteux gives a footnote:—'A lamp with many wicks, or a branch'd candlestick with many springs coming out of it, that supply all the branches with oil.') made a very good figure there. I took particular notice of its dress, and more yet of the lychnosimity formerly consecrated by Canopa, the daughter of Tisias.
I saw the lantern pensile formerly taken out of the temple of Apollo Palatinus at Thebes, and afterwards by Alexander the Great (carried to the town of Cymos). (The words in brackets have been omitted by Motteux.)
I saw another that distinguished itself from the rest by a bushy tuft of crimson silk on its head. I was told 'twas that of Bartolus, the lantern of the civilians.
Two others were very remarkable for glister-pouches that dangled at their waist. We were told that one was the greater light and the other the lesser light of the apothecaries.
When 'twas supper-time, the queen's highness first sat down, and then the lady lanterns, according to their rank and dignity. For the first course they were all served with large Christmas candles, except the queen, who was served with a hugeous, thick, stiff, flaming taper of white wax, somewhat red towards the tip; and the royal family, as also the provincial lantern of Mirebalais, who were served with nutlights; and the provincial of Lower Poitou, with an armed candle.
After that, God wot, what a glorious light they gave with their wicks! I do not say all, for you must except a parcel of junior lanterns, under the government of a high and mighty one. These did not cast a light like the rest, but seemed to me dimmer than any long-snuff farthing candle whose tallow has been half melted away in a hothouse.
After supper we withdrew to take some rest, and the next day the queen made us choose one of the most illustrious lanterns to guide us; after which we took our leave.
Our glorious lantern lighting and directing us to heart's content, we at last arrived at the desired island where was the Oracle of the Bottle. As soon as friend Panurge landed, he nimbly cut a caper with one leg for joy, and cried to Pantagruel, Now we are where we have wished ourselves long ago. This is the place we've been seeking with such toil and labour. He then made a compliment to our lantern, who desired us to be of good cheer, and not be daunted or dismayed whatever we might chance to see.
To come to the Temple of the Holy Bottle we were to go through a large vineyard, in which were all sorts of vines, as the Falernian, Malvoisian, the Muscadine, those of Taige, Beaune, Mirevaux, Orleans, Picardent, Arbois, Coussi, Anjou, Grave, Corsica, Vierron, Nerac, and others. This vineyard was formerly planted by the good Bacchus, with so great a blessing that it yields leaves, flowers, and fruit all the year round, like the orange trees at Suraine.
Our magnificent lantern ordered every one of us to eat three grapes, to put some vine-leaves in his shoes, and take a vine-branch in his left hand.
At the end of the close we went under an arch built after the manner of those of the ancients. The trophies of a toper were curiously carved on it.
First, on one side was to be seen a long train of flagons, leathern bottles, flasks, cans, glass bottles, barrels, nipperkins, pint pots, quart pots, pottles, gallons, and old-fashioned semaises (swingeing wooden pots, such as those out of which the Germans fill their glasses); these hung on a shady arbour.
On another side was store of garlic, onions, shallots, hams, botargos, caviare, biscuits, neat's tongues, old cheese, and such like comfits, very artificially interwoven, and packed together with vine-stocks.
On another were a hundred sorts of drinking glasses, cups, cisterns, ewers, false cups, tumblers, bowls, mazers, mugs, jugs, goblets, talboys, and such other Bacchic artillery.
On the frontispiece of the triumphal arch, under the zoophore, was the following couplet:
You who presume to move this way, Get a good lantern, lest you stray.
We took special care of that, cried Pantagruel when he had read them; for there is not a better or a more divine lantern than ours in all Lantern-land.
This arch ended at a fine large round alley covered over with the interlaid branches of vines, loaded and adorned with clusters of five hundred different colours, and of as many various shapes, not natural, but due to the skill of agriculture; some were golden, others bluish, tawny, azure, white, black, green, purple, streaked with many colours, long, round, triangular, cod-like, hairy, great-headed, and grassy. That pleasant alley ended at three old ivy-trees, verdant, and all loaden with rings. Our enlightened lantern directed us to make ourselves hats with some of their leaves, and cover our heads wholly with them, which was immediately done.
Jupiter's priestess, said Pantagruel, in former days would not like us have walked under this arbour. There was a mystical reason, answered our most perspicuous lantern, that would have hindered her; for had she gone under it, the wine, or the grapes of which 'tis made, that's the same thing, had been over her head, and then she would have seemed overtopped and mastered by wine. Which implies that priests, and all persons who devote themselves to the contemplation of divine things, ought to keep their minds sedate and calm, and avoid whatever might disturb and discompose their tranquillity, which nothing is more apt to do than drunkenness.
You also, continued our lantern, could not come into the Holy Bottle's presence, after you have gone through this arch, did not that noble priestess Bacbuc first see your shoes full of vine-leaves; which action is diametrically opposite to the other, and signifies that you despise wine, and having mastered it, as it were, tread it under foot.
I am no scholar, quoth Friar John, for which I'm heartily sorry, yet I find by my breviary that in the Revelation a woman was seen with the moon under her feet, which was a most wonderful sight. Now, as Bigot explained it to me, this was to signify that she was not of the nature of other women; for they have all the moon at their heads, and consequently their brains are always troubled with a lunacy. This makes me willing to believe what you said, dear Madam Lantern.
We went underground through a plastered vault, on which was coarsely painted a dance of women and satyrs waiting on old Silenus, who was grinning o' horseback on his ass. This made me say to Pantagruel, that this entry put me in mind of the painted cellar in the oldest city in the world, where such paintings are to be seen, and in as cool a place.
Which is the oldest city in the world? asked Pantagruel. 'Tis Chinon, sir, or Cainon in Touraine, said I. I know, returned Pantagruel, where Chinon lies, and the painted cellar also, having myself drunk there many a glass of cool wine; neither do I doubt but that Chinon is an ancient town —witness its blazon. I own 'tis said twice or thrice:
Chinon, Little town, Great renown, On old stone Long has stood; There's the Vienne, if you look down; If you look up, there's the wood.
But how, continued he, can you make it out that 'tis the oldest city in the world? Where did you find this written? I have found it in the sacred writ, said I, that Cain was the first that built a town; we may then reasonably conjecture that from his name he gave it that of Cainon. Thus, after his example, most other founders of towns have given them their names: Athena, that's Minerva in Greek, to Athens; Alexander to Alexandria; Constantine to Constantinople; Pompey to Pompeiopolis in Cilicia; Adrian to Adrianople; Canaan, to the Canaanites; Saba, to the Sabaeans; Assur, to the Assyrians; and so Ptolemais, Caesarea, Tiberias, and Herodium in Judaea got their names.
While we were thus talking, there came to us the great flask whom our lantern called the philosopher, her holiness the Bottle's governor. He was attended with a troop of the temple-guards, all French bottles in wicker armour; and seeing us with our javelins wrapped with ivy, with our illustrious lantern, whom he knew, he desired us to come in with all manner of safety, and ordered we should be immediately conducted to the Princess Bacbuc, the Bottle's lady of honour, and priestess of all the mysteries; which was done.
We went down one marble step under ground, where there was a resting, or, as our workmen call it, a landing-place; then, turning to the left, we went down two other steps, where there was another resting-place; after that we came to three other steps, turning about, and met a third; and the like at four steps which we met afterwards. There quoth Panurge, Is it here? How many steps have you told? asked our magnificent lantern. One, two, three, four, answered Pantagruel. How much is that? asked she. Ten, returned he. Multiply that, said she, according to the same Pythagorical tetrad. That is, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, cried Pantagruel. How much is the whole? said she. One hundred, answered Pantagruel. Add, continued she, the first cube—that's eight. At the end of that fatal number you'll find the temple gate; and pray observe, this is the true psychogony of Plato, so celebrated by the Academics, yet so little understood; one moiety of which consists of the unity of the two first numbers full of two square and two cubic numbers. We then went down those numerical stairs, all under ground, and I can assure you, in the first place, that our legs stood us in good stead; for had it not been for 'em, we had rolled just like so many hogsheads into a vault. Secondly, our radiant lantern gave us just so much light as is in St. Patrick's hole in Ireland, or Trophonius's pit in Boeotia; which caused Panurge to say to her, after we had got down some seventy-eight steps:
Dear madam, with a sorrowful, aching heart, I most humbly beseech your lanternship to lead us back. May I be led to hell if I be not half dead with fear; my heart is sunk down into my hose; I am afraid I shall make buttered eggs in my breeches. I freely consent never to marry. You have given yourself too much trouble on my account. The Lord shall reward you in his great rewarder; neither will I be ungrateful when I come out of this cave of Troglodytes. Let's go back, I pray you. I'm very much afraid this is Taenarus, the low way to hell, and methinks I already hear Cerberus bark. Hark! I hear the cur, or my ears tingle. I have no manner of kindness for the dog, for there never is a greater toothache than when dogs bite us by the shins. And if this be only Trophonius's pit, the lemures, hobthrushes, and goblins will certainly swallow us alive, just as they devoured formerly one of Demetrius's halberdiers for want of bridles. Art thou here, Friar John? Prithee, dear, dear cod, stay by me; I'm almost dead with fear. Hast thou got thy bilbo? Alas! poor pilgarlic's defenceless. I'm a naked man, thou knowest; let's go back. Zoons, fear nothing, cried Friar John; I'm by thee, and have thee fast by the collar; eighteen devils shan't get thee out of my clutches, though I were unarmed. Never did a man yet want weapons who had a good arm with as stout a heart. Heaven would sooner send down a shower of them; even as in Provence, in the fields of La Crau, near Mariannes, there rained stones (they are there to this day) to help Hercules, who otherwise wanted wherewithal to fight Neptune's two bastards. But whither are we bound? Are we a-going to the little children's limbo? By Pluto, they'll bepaw and conskite us all. Or are we going to hell for orders? By cob's body, I'll hamper, bethwack, and belabour all the devils, now I have some vine-leaves in my shoes. Thou shalt see me lay about me like mad, old boy. Which way? where the devil are they? I fear nothing but their damned horns; but cuckoldy Panurge's bull-feather will altogether secure me from 'em. Lo! in a prophetic spirit I already see him, like another Actaeon, horned, horny, hornified. Prithee, quoth Panurge, take heed thyself, dear frater, lest, till monks have leave to marry, thou weddest something thou dostn't like, as some cat-o'-nine-tails or the quartan ague; if thou dost, may I never come safe and sound out of this hypogeum, this subterranean cave, if I don't tup and ram that disease merely for the sake of making thee a cornuted, corniferous property; otherwise I fancy the quartan ague is but an indifferent bedfellow. I remember Gripe-men-all threatened to wed thee to some such thing; for which thou calledest him heretic.
Here our splendid lantern interrupted them, letting us know this was the place where we were to have a taste of the creature, and be silent; bidding us not despair of having the word of the Bottle before we went back, since we had lined our shoes with vine-leaves.
Come on then, cried Panurge, let's charge through and through all the devils of hell; we can but perish, and that's soon done. However, I thought to have reserved my life for some mighty battle. Move, move, move forwards; I am as stout as Hercules, my breeches are full of courage; my heart trembles a little, I own, but that's only an effect of the coldness and dampness of this vault; 'tis neither fear nor ague. Come on, move on, piss, pish, push on. My name's William Dreadnought.
After we were got down the steps, we came to a portal of fine jasper, of Doric order, on whose front we read this sentence in the finest gold, EN OINO ALETHEIA—that is, In wine truth. The gates were of Corinthian-like brass, massy, wrought with little vine-branches, finely embossed and engraven, and were equally joined and closed together in their mortise without padlock, key-chain, or tie whatsoever. Where they joined, there hanged an Indian loadstone as big as an Egyptian bean, set in gold, having two points, hexagonal, in a right line; and on each side, towards the wall, hung a handful of scordium (garlic germander).
There our noble lantern desired us not to take it amiss that she went no farther with us, leaving us wholly to the conduct of the priestess Bacbuc; for she herself was not allowed to go in, for certain causes rather to be concealed than revealed to mortals. However, she advised us to be resolute and secure, and to trust to her for the return. She then pulled the loadstone that hung at the folding of the gates, and threw it into a silver box fixed for that purpose; which done, from the threshold of each gate she drew a twine of crimson silk about nine feet long, by which the scordium hung, and having fastened it to two gold buckles that hung at the sides, she withdrew.
Immediately the gates flew open without being touched; not with a creaking or loud harsh noise like that made by heavy brazen gates, but with a soft pleasing murmur that resounded through the arches of the temple.
Pantagruel soon knew the cause of it, having discovered a small cylinder or roller that joined the gates over the threshold, and, turning like them towards the wall on a hard well-polished ophites stone, with rubbing and rolling caused that harmonious murmur.
I wondered how the gates thus opened of themselves to the right and left, and after we were all got in, I cast my eye between the gates and the wall to endeavour to know how this happened; for one would have thought our kind lantern had put between the gates the herb aethiopis, which they say opens some things that are shut. But I perceived that the parts of the gates that joined on the inside were covered with steel, and just where the said gates touched when they were opened I saw two square Indian loadstones of a bluish hue, well polished, and half a span broad, mortised in the temple wall. Now, by the hidden and admirable power of the loadstones, the steel plates were put into motion, and consequently the gates were slowly drawn; however, not always, but when the said loadstone on the outside was removed, after which the steel was freed from its power, the two bunches of scordium being at the same time put at some distance, because it deadens the magnes and robs it of its attractive virtue.
On the loadstone that was placed on the right side the following iambic verse was curiously engraven in ancient Roman characters:
Ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt. Fate leads the willing, and th' unwilling draws.
The following sentence was neatly cut in the loadstone that was on the left:
ALL THINGS TEND TO THEIR END.
When I had read those inscriptions, I admired the beauty of the temple, and particularly the disposition of its pavement, with which no work that is now, or has been under the cope of heaven, can justly be compared; not that of the Temple of Fortune at Praeneste in Sylla's time, or the pavement of the Greeks, called asarotum, laid by Sosistratus at Pergamus. For this here was wholly in compartments of precious stones, all in their natural colours: one of red jasper, most charmingly spotted; another of ophites; a third of porphyry; a fourth of lycophthalmy, a stone of four different colours, powdered with sparks of gold as small as atoms; a fifth of agate, streaked here and there with small milk-coloured waves; a sixth of costly chalcedony or onyx-stone; and another of green jasper, with certain red and yellowish veins. And all these were disposed in a diagonal line.
At the portico some small stones were inlaid and evenly joined on the floor, all in their native colours, to embellish the design of the figures; and they were ordered in such a manner that you would have thought some vine-leaves and branches had been carelessly strewed on the pavement; for in some places they were thick, and thin in others. That inlaying was very wonderful everywhere. Here were seen, as it were in the shade, some snails crawling on the grapes; there, little lizards running on the branches. On this side were grapes that seemed yet greenish; on another, some clusters that seemed full ripe, so like the true that they could as easily have deceived starlings and other birds as those which Zeuxis drew.
Nay, we ourselves were deceived; for where the artist seemed to have strewed the vine-branches thickest, we could not forbear walking with great strides lest we should entangle our feet, just as people go over an unequal stony place.
I then cast my eyes on the roof and walls of the temple, that were all pargetted with porphyry and mosaic work, which from the left side at the coming in most admirably represented the battle in which the good Bacchus overthrew the Indians; as followeth.
At the beginning, divers towns, hamlets, castles, fortresses, and forests were seen in flames; and several mad and loose women, who furiously ripped up and tore live calves, sheep, and lambs limb from limb, and devoured their flesh. There we learned how Bacchus, at his coming into India, destroyed all things with fire and sword.
Notwithstanding this, he was so despised by the Indians that they did not think it worth their while to stop his progress, having been certainly informed by their spies that his camp was destitute of warriors, and that he had only with him a crew of drunken females, a low-built, old, effeminate, sottish fellow, continually addled, and as drunk as a wheelbarrow, with a pack of young clownish doddipolls, stark naked, always skipping and frisking up and down, with tails and horns like those of young kids.
For this reason the Indians had resolved to let them go through their country without the least opposition, esteeming a victory over such enemies more dishonourable than glorious.
In the meantime Bacchus marched on, burning everything; for, as you know, fire and thunder are his paternal arms, Jupiter having saluted his mother Semele with his thunder, so that his maternal house was ruined by fire. Bacchus also caused a great deal of blood to be spilt; which, when he is roused and angered, principally in war, is as natural to him as to make some in time of peace.
Thus the plains of the island of Samos are called Panema, which signifies bloody, because Bacchus there overtook the Amazons, who fled from the country of Ephesus, and there let 'em blood, so that they all died of phlebotomy. This may give you a better insight into the meaning of an ancient proverb than Aristotle has done in his problems, viz., Why 'twas formerly said, Neither eat nor sow any mint in time of war. The reason is, that blows are given then without any distinction of parts or persons, and if a man that's wounded has that day handled or eaten any mint, 'tis impossible, or at least very hard, to stanch his blood.
After this, Bacchus was seen marching in battalia, riding in a stately chariot drawn by six young leopards. He looked as young as a child, to show that all good topers never grow old. He was as red as a cherry, or a cherub, which you please, and had no more hair on his chin than there's in the inside of my hand. His forehead was graced with pointed horns, above which he wore a fine crown or garland of vine-leaves and grapes, and a mitre of crimson velvet, having also gilt buskins on.
He had not one man with him that looked like a man; his guards and all his forces consisted wholly of Bassarides, Evantes, Euhyades, Edonides, Trietherides, Ogygiae, Mimallonides, Maenades, Thyades, and Bacchae, frantic, raving, raging, furious, mad women, begirt with live snakes and serpents instead of girdles, dishevelled, their hair flowing about their shoulders, with garlands of vine-branches instead of forehead-cloths, clad with stag's or goat's skins, and armed with torches, javelins, spears, and halberds whose ends were like pineapples. Besides, they had certain small light bucklers that gave a loud sound if you touched 'em never so little, and these served them instead of drums. They were just seventy-nine thousand two hundred and twenty-seven.
Silenus, who led the van, was one on whom Bacchus relied very much, having formerly had many proofs of his valour and conduct. He was a diminutive, stooping, palsied, plump, gorbellied old fellow, with a swingeing pair of stiff-standing lugs of his own, a sharp Roman nose, large rough eyebrows, mounted on a well-hung ass. In his fist he held a staff to lean upon, and also bravely to fight whenever he had occasion to alight; and he was dressed in a woman's yellow gown. His followers were all young, wild, clownish people, as hornified as so many kids and as fell as so many tigers, naked, and perpetually singing and dancing country-dances. They were called tityri and satyrs, and were in all eighty-five thousand one hundred and thirty-three.
Pan, who brought up the rear, was a monstrous sort of a thing; for his lower parts were like a goat's, his thighs hairy, and his horns bolt upright; a crimson fiery phiz, and a beard that was none of the shortest. He was a bold, stout, daring, desperate fellow, very apt to take pepper in the nose for yea and nay.
In his left hand he held a pipe, and a crooked stick in his right. His forces consisted also wholly of satyrs, aegipanes, agripanes, sylvans, fauns, lemures, lares, elves, and hobgoblins, and their number was seventy-eight thousand one hundred and fourteen. The signal or word common to all the army was Evohe.
In the next place we saw the representation of the good Bacchus's engagement with the Indians. Silenus, who led the van, was sweating, puffing, and blowing, belabouring his ass most grievously. The ass dreadfully opened its wide jaws, drove away the flies that plagued it, winced, flounced, went back, and bestirred itself in a most terrible manner, as if some damned gad-bee had stung it at the breech.
The satyrs, captains, sergeants, and corporals of companies, sounding the orgies with cornets, in a furious manner went round the army, skipping, capering, bounding, jerking, farting, flying out at heels, kicking and prancing like mad, encouraging their companions to fight bravely; and all the delineated army cried out Evohe!
First, the Maenades charged the Indians with dreadful shouts, and a horrid din of their brazen drums and bucklers; the air rung again all around, as the mosaic work well expressed it. And pray for the future don't so much admire Apelles, Aristides the Theban, and others who drew claps of thunder, lightnings, winds, words, manners, and spirits.
We then saw the Indian army, who had at last taken the field to prevent the devastation of the rest of their country. In the front were the elephants, with castles well garrisoned on their backs. But the army and themselves were put into disorder; the dreadful cries of the Bacchae having filled them with consternation, and those huge animals turned tail and trampled on the men of their party.
There you might have seen gaffer Silenus on his ass, putting on as hard as he could, striking athwart and alongst, and laying about him lustily with his staff after the old fashion of fencing. His ass was prancing and making after the elephants, gaping and martially braying, as it were to sound a charge, as he did when formerly in the Bacchanalian feasts he waked the nymph Lottis, when Priapus, full of priapism, had a mind to priapize while the pretty creature was taking a nap.
There you might have seen Pan frisk it with his goatish shanks about the Maenades, and with his rustic pipe excite them to behave themselves like Maenades.
A little further you might have blessed your eyes with the sight of a young satyr who led seventeen kings his prisoners; and a Bacchis, who with her snakes hauled along no less than two and forty captains; a little faun, who carried a whole dozen of standards taken from the enemy; and goodman Bacchus on his chariot, riding to and fro fearless of danger, making much of his dear carcass, and cheerfully toping to all his merry friends.
Finally, we saw the representation of his triumph, which was thus: first, his chariot was wholly lined with ivy gathered on the mountain Meros; this for its scarcity, which you know raises the price of everything, and principally of those leaves in India. In this Alexander the Great followed his example at his Indian triumph. The chariot was drawn by elephants joined together, wherein he was imitated by Pompey the Great at Rome in his African triumph. The good Bacchus was seen drinking out of a mighty urn, which action Marius aped after his victory over the Cimbri near Aix in Provence. All his army were crowned with ivy; their javelins, bucklers, and drums were also wholly covered with it; there was not so much as Silenus's ass but was betrapped with it.
The Indian kings were fastened with chains of gold close by the wheels of the chariot. All the company marched in pomp with unspeakable joy, loaded with an infinite number of trophies, pageants, and spoils, playing and singing merry epiniciums, songs of triumph, and also rural lays and dithyrambs.
At the farthest end was a prospect of the land of Egypt; the Nile with its crocodiles, marmosets, ibides, monkeys, trochiloses, or wrens, ichneumons, or Pharoah's mice, hippopotami, or sea-horses, and other creatures, its guests and neighbours. Bacchus was moving towards that country under the conduct of a couple of horned beasts, on one of which was written in gold, Apis, and Osiris on the other; because no ox or cow had been seen in Egypt till Bacchus came thither.
Before I proceed to the description of the Bottle, I'll give you that of an admirable lamp that dispensed so large a light over all the temple that, though it lay underground, we could distinguish every object as clearly as above it at noonday.
In the middle of the roof was fixed a ring of massive gold, as thick as my clenched fist. Three chains somewhat less, most curiously wrought, hung about two feet and a half below it, and in a triangle supported a round plate of fine gold whose diameter or breadth did not exceed two cubits and half a span. There were four holes in it, in each of which an empty ball was fastened, hollow within, and open o' top, like a little lamp; its circumference about two hands' breadth. Each ball was of precious stone; one an amethyst, another an African carbuncle, the third an opal, and the fourth an anthracites. They were full of burning water five times distilled in a serpentine limbec, and inconsumptible, like the oil formerly put into Pallas' golden lamp at Acropolis of Athens by Callimachus. In each of them was a flaming wick, partly of asbestine flax, as of old in the temple of Jupiter Ammon, such as those which Cleombrotus, a most studious philosopher, saw, and partly of Carpasian flax (Ozell's correction. Motteux reads, 'which Cleombrotus, a most studious philosopher, and Pandelinus of Carpasium had, which were,' &c.), which were rather renewed than consumed by the fire.
About two foot and a half below that gold plate, the three chains were fastened to three handles that were fixed to a large round lamp of most pure crystal, whose diameter was a cubit and a half, and opened about two hands' breadths o' top; by which open place a vessel of the same crystal, shaped somewhat like the lower part of a gourd-like limbec, or an urinal, was put at the bottom of the great lamp, with such a quantity of the afore-mentioned burning water, that the flame of the asbestine wick reached the centre of the great lamp. This made all its spherical body seem to burn and be in a flame, because the fire was just at the centre and middle point, so that it was not more easy to fix the eye on it than on the disc of the sun, the matter being wonderfully bright and shining, and the work most transparent and dazzling by the reflection of the various colours of the precious stones whereof the four small lamps above the main lamp were made, and their lustre was still variously glittering all over the temple. Then this wandering light being darted on the polished marble and agate with which all the inside of the temple was pargetted, our eyes were entertained with a sight of all the admirable colours which the rainbow can boast when the sun darts his fiery rays on some dropping clouds.
The design of the lamp was admirable in itself, but, in my opinion, what added much to the beauty of the whole, was that round the body of the crystal lamp there was carved in cataglyphic work a lively and pleasant battle of naked boys, mounted on little hobby-horses, with little whirligig lances and shields that seemed made of vine-branches with grapes on them; their postures generally were very different, and their childish strife and motions were so ingeniously expressed that art equalled nature in every proportion and action. Neither did this seem engraved, but rather hewed out and embossed in relief, or at least like grotesque, which, by the artist's skill, has the appearance of the roundness of the object it represents. This was partly the effect of the various and most charming light, which, flowing out of the lamp, filled the carved places with its glorious rays.
('This and the next chapter make really but one, tho' Mr. Motteux has made two of them; the first of which contains but eight lines, according to him, and ends at the words fantastic fountain.'—Ozell.).
While we were admiring this incomparable lamp and the stupendous structure of the temple, the venerable priestess Bacbuc and her attendants came to us with jolly smiling looks, and seeing us duly accoutred, without the least difficulty took us into the middle of the temple, where, just under the aforesaid lamp, was the fine fantastic fountain. She then ordered some cups, goblets, and talboys of gold, silver, and crystal to be brought, and kindly invited us to drink of the liquor that sprung there, which we readily did; for, to say the truth, this fantastic fountain was very inviting, and its materials and workmanship more precious, rare, and admirable than anything Plato ever dreamt of in limbo.
Its basis or groundwork was of most pure and limpid alabaster, and its height somewhat more than three spans, being a regular heptagon on the outside, with its stylobates or footsteps, arulets, cymasults or blunt tops, and Doric undulations about it. It was exactly round within. On the middle point of each angle brink stood a pillar orbiculated in form of ivory or alabaster solid rings. These were seven in number, according to the number of the angles (This sentence, restored by Ozell, is omitted by Motteux.).
Each pillar's length from the basis to the architraves was near seven hands, taking an exact dimension of its diameter through the centre of its circumference and inward roundness; and it was so disposed that, casting our eyes behind one of them, whatever its cube might be, to view its opposite, we found that the pyramidal cone of our visual line ended at the said centre, and there, by the two opposites, formed an equilateral triangle whose two lines divided the pillar into two equal parts.
That which we had a mind to measure, going from one side to another, two pillars over, at the first third part of the distance between them, was met by their lowermost and fundamental line, which, in a consult line drawn as far as the universal centre, equally divided, gave, in a just partition, the distance of the seven opposite pillars in a right line, beginning at the obtuse angle on the brink, as you know that an angle is always found placed between two others in all angular figures odd in number.
This tacitly gave us to understand that seven semidiameters are in geometrical proportion, compass, and distance somewhat less than the circumference of a circle, from the figure of which they are extracted; that is to say, three whole parts, with an eighth and a half, a little more, or a seventh and a half, a little less, according to the instructions given us of old by Euclid, Aristotle, Archimedes, and others.
The first pillar, I mean that which faced the temple gate, was of azure, sky-coloured sapphire.
The second, of hyacinth, a precious stone exactly of the colour of the flower into which Ajax's choleric blood was transformed; the Greek letters A I being seen on it in many places.
The third, an anachite diamond, as bright and glittering as lightning.
The fourth, a masculine ruby balas (peach-coloured) amethystizing, its flame and lustre ending in violet or purple like an amethyst.
The fifth, an emerald, above five hundred and fifty times more precious than that of Serapis in the labyrinth of the Egyptians, and more verdant and shining than those that were fixed, instead of eyes, in the marble lion's head near King Hermias's tomb.
The sixth, of agate, more admirable and various in the distinctions of its veins, clouds, and colours than that which Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, so mightily esteemed.
The seventh, of syenites, transparent, of the colour of a beryl and the clear hue of Hymetian honey; and within it the moon was seen, such as we see it in the sky, silent, full, new, and in the wane.
These stones were assigned to the seven heavenly planets by the ancient Chaldaeans; and that the meanest capacities might be informed of this, just at the central perpendicular line, on the chapter of the first pillar, which was of sapphire, stood the image of Saturn in elutian (Motteux reads 'Eliacim.') lead, with his scythe in his hand, and at his feet a crane of gold, very artfully enamelled, according to the native hue of the saturnine bird.
On the second, which was of hyacinth, towards the left, Jupiter was seen in jovetian brass, and on his breast an eagle of gold enamelled to the life.
On the third was Phoebus of the purest gold, and a white cock in his right hand.
On the fourth was Mars in Corinthian brass, and a lion at his feet.
On the fifth was Venus in copper, the metal of which Aristonides made Athamas's statue, that expressed in a blushing whiteness his confusion at the sight of his son Learchus, who died at his feet of a fall.
On the sixth was Mercury in hydrargyre. I would have said quicksilver, had it not been fixed, malleable, and unmovable. That nimble deity had a stork at his feet.
On the seventh was the Moon in silver, with a greyhound at her feet.
The size of these statues was somewhat more than a third part of the pillars on which they stood, and they were so admirably wrought according to mathematical proportion that Polycletus's canon could hardly have stood in competition with them.
The bases of the pillars, the chapters, the architraves, zoophores, and cornices were Phrygian work of massive gold, purer and finer than any that is found in the rivers Leede near Montpellier, Ganges in India, Po in Italy, Hebrus in Thrace, Tagus in Spain, and Pactolus in Lydia.
The small arches between the pillars were of the same precious stone of which the pillars next to them were. Thus, that arch was of sapphire which ended at the hyacinth pillar, and that was of hyacinth which went towards the diamond, and so on.
Above the arches and chapters of the pillars, on the inward front, a cupola was raised to cover the fountain. It was surrounded by the planetary statues, heptagonal at the bottom, and spherical o' top, and of crystal so pure, transparent, well-polished, whole and uniform in all its parts, without veins, clouds, flaws, or streaks, that Xenocrates never saw such a one in his life.
Within it were seen the twelve signs of the zodiac, the twelve months of the year, with their properties, the two equinoxes, the ecliptic line, with some of the most remarkable fixed stars about the antartic pole and elsewhere, so curiously engraven that I fancied them to be the workmanship of King Necepsus, or Petosiris, the ancient mathematician.
On the top of the cupola, just over the centre of the fountain, were three noble long pearls, all of one size, pear fashion, perfectly imitating a tear, and so joined together as to represent a flower-de-luce or lily, each of the flowers seeming above a hand's breadth. A carbuncle jetted out of its calyx or cup as big as an ostrich's egg, cut seven square (that number so beloved of nature), and so prodigiously glorious that the sight of it had like to have made us blind, for the fiery sun or the pointed lightning are not more dazzling and unsufferably bright.
Now, were some judicious appraisers to judge of the value of this incomparable fountain, and the lamp of which we have spoke, they would undoubtedly affirm it exceeds that of all the treasures and curiosities in Europe, Asia, and Africa put together. For that carbuncle alone would have darkened the pantarbe of Iarchus (Motteux reads 'Joachas.') the Indian magician, with as much ease as the sun outshines and dims the stars with his meridian rays.
Nor let Cleopatra, that Egyptian queen, boast of her pair of pendants, those two pearls, one of which she caused to be dissolved in vinegar, in the presence of Antony the Triumvir, her gallant.
Or let Pompeia Plautina be proud of her dress covered all over with emeralds and pearls curiously intermixed, she who attracted the eyes of all Rome, and was said to be the pit and magazine of the conquering robbers of the universe.
The fountain had three tubes or channels of right pearl, seated in three equilateral angles already mentioned, extended on the margin, and those channels proceeded in a snail-like line, winding equally on both sides.
We looked on them a while, and had cast our eyes on another side, when Bacbuc directed us to watch the water. We then heard a most harmonious sound, yet somewhat stopped by starts, far distant, and subterranean, by which means it was still more pleasing than if it had been free, uninterrupted, and near us, so that our minds were as agreeably entertained through our ears with that charming melody as they were through the windows of our eyes with those delightful objects.
Bacbuc then said, Your philosophers will not allow that motion is begot by the power of figures; look here, and see the contrary. By that single snail-like motion, equally divided as you see, and a fivefold infoliature, movable at every inward meeting, such as is the vena cava where it enters into the right ventricle of the heart; just so is the flowing of this fountain, and by it a harmony ascends as high as your world's ocean.
She then ordered her attendants to make us drink; and, to tell you the truth of the matter as near as possible, we are not, heaven be praised! of the nature of a drove of calf-lollies, who (as your sparrows can't feed unless you bob them on the tail) must be rib-roasted with tough crabtree and firked into a stomach, or at least into an humour to eat or drink. No, we know better things, and scorn to scorn any man's civility who civilly invites us to a drinking bout. Bacbuc asked us then how we liked our tiff. We answered that it seemed to us good harmless sober Adam's liquor, fit to keep a man in the right way, and, in a word, mere element; more cool and clear than Argyrontes in Aetolia, Peneus in Thessaly, Axius in Mygdonia, or Cydnus in Cilicia, a tempting sight of whose cool silver stream caused Alexander to prefer the short-lived pleasure of bathing himself in it to the inconveniences which he could not but foresee would attend so ill-termed an action.
This, said Bacbuc, comes of not considering with ourselves, or understanding the motions of the musculous tongue, when the drink glides on it in its way to the stomach. Tell me, noble strangers, are your throats lined, paved, or enamelled, as formerly was that of Pithyllus, nicknamed Theutes, that you can have missed the taste, relish, and flavour of this divine liquor? Here, said she, turning towards her gentlewomen, bring my scrubbing-brushes, you know which, to scrape, rake, and clear their palates.
They brought immediately some stately, swingeing, jolly hams, fine substantial neat's tongues, good hung-beef, pure and delicate botargos, venison, sausages, and such other gullet-sweepers. And, to comply with her invitation, we crammed and twisted till we owned ourselves thoroughly cured of thirst, which before did damnably plague us.
We are told, continued she, that formerly a learned and valiant Hebrew chief, leading his people through the deserts, where they were in danger of being famished, obtained of God some manna, whose taste was to them, by imagination, such as that of meat was to them before in reality; thus, drinking of this miraculous liquor, you'll find it taste like any wine that you shall fancy you drink. Come, then, fancy and drink. We did so, and Panurge had no sooner whipped off his brimmer but he cried, By Noah's open shop, 'tis vin de Beaune, better than ever was yet tipped over tongue, or may ninety-six devils swallow me. Oh! that to keep its taste the longer, we gentlemen topers had but necks some three cubits long or so, as Philoxenus desired to have, or, at least, like a crane's, as Melanthius wished his.
On the faith of true lanterners, quoth Friar John, 'tis gallant, sparkling Greek wine. Now, for God's sake, sweetheart, do but teach me how the devil you make it. It seems to me Mirevaux wine, said Pantagruel; for before I drank I supposed it to be such. Nothing can be misliked in it, but that 'tis cold; colder, I say, than the very ice; colder than the Nonacrian and Dercean (Motteux reads 'Deraen.') water, or the Conthoporian (Motteux, 'Conthopian.') spring at Corinth, that froze up the stomach and nutritive parts of those that drank of it.
Drink once, twice, or thrice more, said Bacbuc, still changing your imagination, and you shall find its taste and flavour to be exactly that on which you shall have pitched. Then never presume to say that anything is impossible to God. We never offered to say such a thing, said I; far from it, we maintain he is omnipotent.
When we had thus chatted and tippled, Bacbuc asked, Who of you here would have the word of the Bottle? I, your most humble little funnel, an't please you, quoth Panurge. Friend, saith she, I have but one thing to tell you, which is, that when you come to the Oracle, you take care to hearken and hear the word only with one ear. This, cried Friar John, is wine of one ear, as Frenchmen call it.
She then wrapped him up in a gaberdine, bound his noddle with a goodly clean biggin, clapped over it a felt such as those through which hippocras is distilled, at the bottom of which, instead of a cowl, she put three obelisks, made him draw on a pair of old-fashioned codpieces instead of mittens, girded him about with three bagpipes bound together, bathed his jobbernowl thrice in the fountain; then threw a handful of meal on his phiz, fixed three cock's feathers on the right side of the hippocratical felt, made him take a jaunt nine times round the fountain, caused him to take three little leaps and to bump his a— seven times against the ground, repeating I don't know what kind of conjurations all the while in the Tuscan tongue, and ever and anon reading in a ritual or book of ceremonies, carried after her by one of her mystagogues.
For my part, may I never stir if I don't really believe that neither Numa Pompilius, the second King of the Romans, nor the Cerites of Tuscia, and the old Hebrew captain ever instituted so many ceremonies as I then saw performed; nor were ever half so many religious forms used by the soothsayers of Memphis in Egypt to Apis, or by the Euboeans, at Rhamnus (Motteux gives 'or by the Embrians, or at Rhamnus.'), to Rhamnusia, or to Jupiter Ammon, or to Feronia.
When she had thus accoutred my gentleman, she took him out of our company, and led him out of the temple, through a golden gate on the right, into a round chapel made of transparent speculary stones, by whose solid clearness the sun's light shined there through the precipice of the rock without any windows or other entrance, and so easily and fully dispersed itself through the greater temple that the light seemed rather to spring out of it than to flow into it.
The workmanship was not less rare than that of the sacred temple at Ravenna, or that in the island of Chemnis in Egypt. Nor must I forget to tell you that the work of that round chapel was contrived with such a symmetry that its diameter was just the height of the vault.
In the middle of it was an heptagonal fountain of fine alabaster most artfully wrought, full of water, which was so clear that it might have passed for element in its purity and singleness. The sacred Bottle was in it to the middle, clad in pure fine crystal of an oval shape, except its muzzle, which was somewhat wider than was consistent with that figure.
There the noble priestess Bacbuc made Panurge stoop and kiss the brink of the fountain; then bade him rise and dance three ithymbi ('Dances in the honour of Bacchus.'—Motteux.). Which done, she ordered him to sit down between two stools placed there for that purpose, his arse upon the ground. Then she opened her ceremonial book, and, whispering in his left ear, made him sing an epileny, inserted here in the figure of the bottle.
Bottle, whose Mysterious Deep Do's ten thousand Secrets keep, With attentive Ear I wait; Ease my Mind, and speak my Fate. Soul of Joy! Like Bacchus, we More than India gain by thee. Truths unborn thy Juice reveals, Which Futurity conceals. Antidote to Frauds and Lies, Wine, that mounts us to the Skies, May thy Father Noah's Brood Like him drown, but in thy Flood. Speak, so may the Liquid Mine Of Rubies, or of Diamonds shine. Bottle, whose Mysterious Deep Do's ten thousand Secrets keep, With attentive Ear I wait; Ease my Mind, and speak my Fate.
When Panurge had sung, Bacbuc threw I don't know what into the fountain, and straight its water began to boil in good earnest, just for the world as doth the great monastical pot at Bourgueil when 'tis high holiday there. Friend Panurge was listening with one ear, and Bacbuc kneeled by him, when such a kind of humming was heard out of the Bottle as is made by a swarm of bees bred in the flesh of a young bull killed and dressed according to Aristaeus's art, or such as is made when a bolt flies out of a crossbow, or when a shower falls on a sudden in summer. Immediately after this was heard the word Trinc. By cob's body, cried Panurge, 'tis broken, or cracked at least, not to tell a lie for the matter; for even so do crystal bottles speak in our country when they burst near the fire.
Bacbuc arose, and gently taking Panurge under the arms, said, Friend, offer your thanks to indulgent heaven, as reason requires. You have soon had the word of the Goddess-Bottle; and the kindest, most favourable, and certain word of answer that I ever yet heard her give since I officiated here at her most sacred oracle. Rise, let us go to the chapter, in whose gloss that fine word is explained. With all my heart, quoth Panurge; by jingo, I am just as wise as I was last year. Light, where's the book? Turn it over, where's the chapter? Let's see this merry gloss.
Bacbuc having thrown I don't know what into the fountain, straight the water ceased to boil; and then she took Panurge into the greater temple, in the central place, where there was the enlivening fountain.
There she took out a hugeous silver book, in the shape of a half-tierce, or hogshead, of sentences, and, having filled it at the fountain, said to him, The philosophers, preachers, and doctors of your world feed you up with fine words and cant at the ears; now, here we really incorporate our precepts at the mouth. Therefore I'll not say to you, read this chapter, see this gloss; no, I say to you, taste me this fine chapter, swallow me this rare gloss. Formerly an ancient prophet of the Jewish nation ate a book and became a clerk even to the very teeth! Now will I have you drink one, that you may be a clerk to your very liver. Here, open your mandibules.
Panurge gaping as wide as his jaws would stretch, Bacbuc took the silver book—at least we took it for a real book, for it looked just for the world like a breviary—but in truth it was a breviary, a flask of right Falernian wine as it came from the grape, which she made him swallow every drop.
By Bacchus, quoth Panurge, this was a notable chapter, a most authentic gloss, o' my word. Is this all that the trismegistian Bottle's word means? I' troth, I like it extremely; it went down like mother's milk. Nothing more, returned Bacbuc; for Trinc is a panomphean word, that is, a word understood, used and celebrated by all nations, and signifies drink.
Some say in your world that sack is a word used in all tongues, and justly admitted in the same sense among all nations; for, as Aesop's fable hath it, all men are born with a sack at the neck, naturally needy and begging of each other; neither can the most powerful king be without the help of other men, or can anyone that's poor subsist without the rich, though he be never so proud and insolent; as, for example, Hippias the philosopher, who boasted he could do everything. Much less can anyone make shift without drink than without a sack. Therefore here we hold not that laughing, but that drinking is the distinguishing character of man. I don't say drinking, taking that word singly and absolutely in the strictest sense; no, beasts then might put in for a share; I mean drinking cool delicious wine. For you must know, my beloved, that by wine we become divine; neither can there be a surer argument or a less deceitful divination. Your ('Varro.'—Motteux) academics assert the same when they make the etymology of wine, which the Greeks call OINOS, to be from vis, strength, virtue, and power; for 'tis in its power to fill the soul with all truth, learning, and philosophy.
If you observe what is written in Ionic letters on the temple gate, you may have understood that truth is in wine. The Goddess-Bottle therefore directs you to that divine liquor; be yourself the expounder of your undertaking.
It is impossible, said Pantagruel to Panurge, to speak more to the purpose than does this true priestess; you may remember I told you as much when you first spoke to me about it.
Trinc then: what says your heart, elevated by Bacchic enthusiasm?
With this quoth Panurge:
Trinc, trinc; by Bacchus, let us tope, And tope again; for, now I hope To see some brawny, juicy rump Well tickled with my carnal stump. Ere long, my friends, I shall be wedded, Sure as my trap-stick has a red-head; And my sweet wife shall hold the combat Long as my baws can on her bum beat. O what a battle of a— fighting Will there be, which I much delight in! What pleasing pains then shall I take To keep myself and spouse awake! All heart and juice, I'll up and ride, And make a duchess of my bride. Sing Io paean! loudly sing To Hymen, who all joys will bring. Well, Friar John, I'll take my oath, This oracle is full of troth; Intelligible truth it bears, More certain than the sieve and shears.
What a pox ails the fellow? quoth Friar John. Stark staring mad, or bewitched, o' my word! Do but hear the chiming dotterel gabble in rhyme. What o' devil has he swallowed? His eyes roll in his loggerhead just for the world like a dying goat's. Will the addle-pated wight have the grace to sheer off? Will he rid us of his damned company, to go shite out his nasty rhyming balderdash in some bog-house? Will nobody be so kind as to cram some dog's-bur down the poor cur's gullet? or will he, monk-like, run his fist up to the elbow into his throat to his very maw, to scour and clear his flanks? Will he take a hair of the same dog?
Pantagruel chid Friar John, and said:
Bold monk, forbear! this, I'll assure ye, Proceeds all from poetic fury; Warmed by the god, inspired with wine, His human soul is made divine. For without jest, His hallowed breast, With wine possessed, Could have no rest Till he'd expressed Some thoughts at least Of his great guest. Then straight he flies Above the skies, And mortifies, With prophecies, Our miseries. And since divinely he's inspired, Adore the soul by wine acquired, And let the tosspot be admired.
How, quoth the friar, the fit rhyming is upon you too? Is't come to that? Then we are all peppered, or the devil pepper me. What would I not give to have Gargantua see us while we are in this maggotty crambo-vein! Now may I be cursed with living on that damned empty food, if I can tell whether I shall scape the catching distemper. The devil a bit do I understand which way to go about it; however, the spirit of fustian possesses us all, I find. Well, by St. John, I'll poetize, since everybody does; I find it coming. Stay, and pray pardon me if I don't rhyme in crimson; 'tis my first essay.
Thou, who canst water turn to wine, Transform my bum, by power divine, Into a lantern, that may light My neighbour in the darkest night.
Panurge then proceeds in his rapture, and says:
From Pythian Tripos ne'er were heard More truths, nor more to be revered. I think from Delphos to this spring Some wizard brought that conjuring thing. Had honest Plutarch here been toping, He then so long had ne'er been groping To find, according to his wishes, Why oracles are mute as fishes At Delphos. Now the reason's clear; No more at Delphos they're, but here. Here is the tripos, out of which Is spoke the doom of poor and rich. For Athenaeus does relate This Bottle is the Womb of Fate; Prolific of mysterious wine, And big with prescience divine, It brings the truth with pleasure forth; Besides you ha't a pennyworth. So, Friar John, I must exhort you To wait a word that may import you, And to inquire, while here we tarry, If it shall be your luck to marry.
Friar John answers him in a rage, and says:
How, marry! By St. Bennet's boot, And his gambadoes, I'll never do't. No man that knows me e'er shall judge I mean to make myself a drudge; Or that pilgarlic e'er will dote Upon a paltry petticoat. I'll ne'er my liberty betray All for a little leapfrog play; And ever after wear a clog Like monkey or like mastiff-dog. No, I'd not have, upon my life, Great Alexander for my wife, Nor Pompey, nor his dad-in-law, Who did each other clapperclaw. Not the best he that wears a head Shall win me to his truckle-bed.
Panurge, pulling off his gaberdine and mystical accoutrements, replied:
Wherefore thou shalt, thou filthy beast, Be damned twelve fathoms deep at least; While I shall reign in Paradise, Whence on thy loggerhead I'll piss. Now when that dreadful hour is come, That thou in hell receiv'st thy doom, E'en there, I know, thou'lt play some trick, And Proserpine shan't scape a prick Of the long pin within thy breeches. But when thou'rt using these capriches, And caterwauling in her cavern, Send Pluto to the farthest tavern For the best wine that's to be had, Lest he should see, and run horn-mad. She's kind, and ever did admire A well-fed monk or well-hung friar.
Go to, quoth Friar John, thou old noddy, thou doddipolled ninny, go to the devil thou'rt prating of. I've done with rhyming; the rheum gripes me at the gullet. Let's talk of paying and going; come.
Do not trouble yourself about anything here, said the priestess to the friar; if you be but satisfied, we are. Here below, in these circumcentral regions, we place the sovereign good, not in taking and receiving, but in bestowing and giving; so that we esteem ourselves happy, not if we take and receive much of others, as perhaps the sects of teachers do in your world, but rather if we impart and give much. All I have to beg of you is that you leave us here your names in writing, in this ritual. She then opened a fine large book, and as we gave our names one of her mystagogues with a gold pin drew some lines on it, as if she had been writing; but we could not see any characters.
This done, she filled three glasses with fantastic water, and giving them into our hands, said, Now, my friends, you may depart, and may that intellectual sphere whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere, whom we call GOD, keep you in his almighty protection. When you come into your world, do not fail to affirm and witness that the greatest treasures and most admirable things are hidden underground, and not without reason.
Ceres was worshipped because she taught mankind the art of husbandry, and by the use of corn, which she invented, abolished that beastly way of feeding on acorns; and she grievously lamented her daughter's banishment into our subterranean regions, certainly foreseeing that Proserpine would meet with more excellent things, more desirable enjoyments, below, than she her mother could be blessed with above.
What do you think is become of the art of forcing the thunder and celestial fire down, which the wise Prometheus had formerly invented? 'Tis most certain you have lost it; 'tis no more on your hemisphere; but here below we have it. And without a cause you sometimes wonder to see whole towns burned and destroyed by lightning and ethereal fire, and are at a loss about knowing from whom, by whom, and to what end those dreadful mischiefs were sent. Now, they are familiar and useful to us; and your philosophers who complain that the ancients have left them nothing to write of or to invent, are very much mistaken. Those phenomena which you see in the sky, whatever the surface of the earth affords you, and the sea, and every river contain, is not to be compared with what is hid within the bowels of the earth.
For this reason the subterranean ruler has justly gained in almost every language the epithet of rich. Now when your sages shall wholly apply their minds to a diligent and studious search after truth, humbly begging the assistance of the sovereign God, whom formerly the Egyptians in their language called The Hidden and the Concealed, and invoking him by that name, beseech him to reveal and make himself known to them, that Almighty Being will, out of his infinite goodness, not only make his creatures, but even himself known to them.
Thus will they be guided by good lanterns. For all the ancient philosophers and sages have held two things necessary safely and pleasantly to arrive at the knowledge of God and true wisdom; first, God's gracious guidance, then man's assistance.
So, among the philosophers, Zoroaster took Arimaspes for the companion of his travels; Aesculapius, Mercury; Orpheus, Musaeus; Pythagoras, Aglaophemus; and, among princes and warriors, Hercules in his most difficult achievements had his singular friend Theseus; Ulysses, Diomedes; Aeneas, Achates. You followed their examples, and came under the conduct of an illustrious lantern. Now, in God's name depart, and may he go along with you!
THE END OF THE FIFTH BOOK OF THE HEROIC DEEDS AND SAYINGS OF THE NOBLE PANTAGRUEL. PANTAGRUEL.