Part 12 out of 16
your sails, said the pilot; fetch the sounding line; we must double that
point of land, and mind the sands. We are clear of them, said the sailors.
Soon after, Away she goes, quoth the pilot, and so doth the rest of our
fleet; help came in good season.
By St. John, said Panurge, this is spoke somewhat like. O the sweet word!
there is the soul of music in it. Mgna, mgna, mgna, said Friar John; if
ever thou taste a drop of it, let the devil's dam taste me, thou ballocky
devil. Here, honest soul, here's a full sneaker of the very best. Bring
the flagons; dost hear, Gymnast: and that same large pasty jambic,
gammonic, as you will have it. Take heed you pilot her in right.
Cheer up, cried out Pantagruel; cheer up, my boys; let us be ourselves
again. Do you see yonder, close by our ship, two barks, three sloops, five
ships, eight pinks, four yawls, and six frigates making towards us, sent by
the good people of the neighbouring island to our relief? But who is this
Ucalegon below, that cries and makes such a sad moan? Were it not that I
hold the mast firmly with both my hands, and keep it straighter than two
hundred tacklings--I would--It is, said Friar John, that poor devil
Panurge, who is troubled with a calf's ague; he quakes for fear when his
belly's full. If, said Pantagruel, he hath been afraid during this
dreadful hurricane and dangerous storm, provided (waiving that) he hath
done his part like a man, I do not value him a jot the less for it. For as
to fear in all encounters is the mark of a heavy and cowardly heart, as
Agamemnon did, who for that reason is ignominiously taxed by Achilles with
having dog's eyes and a stag's heart; so, not to fear when the case is
evidently dreadful is a sign of want or smallness of judgment. Now, if
anything ought to be feared in this life, next to offending God, I will not
say it is death. I will not meddle with the disputes of Socrates and the
academics, that death of itself is neither bad nor to be feared, but I will
affirm that this kind of shipwreck is to be feared, or nothing is. For, as
Homer saith, it is a grievous, dreadful, and unnatural thing to perish at
sea. And indeed Aeneas, in the storm that took his fleet near Sicily, was
grieved that he had not died by the hand of the brave Diomedes, and said
that those were three, nay four times happy, who perished in the
conflagration at Troy. No man here hath lost his life, the Lord our
Saviour be eternally praised for it! but in truth here is a ship sadly out
of order. Well, we must take care to have the damage repaired. Take heed
we do not run aground and bulge her.
How Panurge played the good fellow when the storm was over.
What cheer, ho, fore and aft? quoth Panurge. Oh ho! all is well, the storm
is over. I beseech ye, be so kind as to let me be the first that is sent
on shore; for I would by all means a little untruss a point. Shall I help
you still? Here, let me see, I will coil this rope; I have plenty of
courage, and of fear as little as may be. Give it me yonder, honest tar.
No, no, I have not a bit of fear. Indeed, that same decumane wave that
took us fore and aft somewhat altered my pulse. Down with your sails; well
said. How now, Friar John? you do nothing. Is it time for us to drink
now? Who can tell but St. Martin's running footman Belzebuth may still be
hatching us some further mischief? Shall I come and help you again? Pork
and peas choke me, if I do heartily repent, though too late, not having
followed the doctrine of the good philosopher who tells us that to walk by
the sea and to navigate by the shore are very safe and pleasant things;
just as 'tis to go on foot when we hold our horse by the bridle. Ha! ha!
ha! by G--, all goes well. Shall I help you here too? Let me see, I will
do this as it should be, or the devil's in't.
Epistemon, who had the inside of one of his hands all flayed and bloody,
having held a tackling with might and main, hearing what Pantagruel had
said, told him: You may believe, my lord, I had my share of fear as well
as Panurge; yet I spared no pains in lending my helping hand. I considered
that, since by fatal and unavoidable necessity we must all die, it is the
blessed will of God that we die this or that hour, and this or that kind of
death. Nevertheless, we ought to implore, invoke, pray, beseech, and
supplicate him; but we must not stop there; it behoveth us also to use our
endeavours on our side, and, as the holy writ saith, to co-operate with
You know what C. Flaminius, the consul, said when by Hannibal's policy he
was penned up near the lake of Peruse, alias Thrasymene. Friends, said he
to his soldiers, you must not hope to get out of this place barely by vows
or prayers to the gods; no, 'tis by fortitude and strength we must escape
and cut ourselves a way with the edge of our swords through the midst of
Sallust likewise makes M. Portius Cato say this: The help of the gods is
not obtained by idle vows and womanish complaints; 'tis by vigilance,
labour, and repeated endeavours that all things succeed according to our
wishes and designs. If a man in time of need and danger is negligent,
heartless, and lazy, in vain he implores the gods; they are then justly
angry and incensed against him. The devil take me, said Friar John,--I'll
go his halves, quoth Panurge,--if the close of Seville had not been all
gathered, vintaged, gleaned, and destroyed, if I had only sung contra
hostium insidias (matter of breviary) like all the rest of the monking
devils, and had not bestirred myself to save the vineyard as I did,
despatching the truant picaroons of Lerne with the staff of the cross.
Let her sink or swim a God's name, said Panurge, all's one to Friar John;
he doth nothing; his name is Friar John Do-little; for all he sees me here
a-sweating and puffing to help with all my might this honest tar, first of
the name.--Hark you me, dear soul, a word with you; but pray be not angry.
How thick do you judge the planks of our ship to be? Some two good inches
and upwards, returned the pilot; don't fear. Ods-kilderkins, said Panurge,
it seems then we are within two fingers' breadth of damnation.
Is this one of the nine comforts of matrimony? Ah, dear soul, you do well
to measure the danger by the yard of fear. For my part, I have none on't;
my name is William Dreadnought. As for heart, I have more than enough
on't. I mean none of your sheep's heart; but of wolf's heart--the courage
of a bravo. By the pavilion of Mars, I fear nothing but danger.
How Panurge was said to have been afraid without reason during the storm.
Good morrow, gentlemen, said Panurge; good morrow to you all; you are in
very good health, thanks to heaven and yourselves; you are all heartily
welcome, and in good time. Let us go on shore.--Here, coxswain, get the
ladder over the gunnel; man the sides; man the pinnace, and get her by the
ship's side. Shall I lend you a hand here? I am stark mad for want of
business, and would work like any two yokes of oxen. Truly this is a fine
place, and these look like a very good people. Children, do you want me
still in anything? do not spare the sweat of my body, for God's sake.
Adam--that is, man--was made to labour and work, as the birds were made to
fly. Our Lord's will is that we get our bread with the sweat of our brows,
not idling and doing nothing, like this tatterdemalion of a monk here, this
Friar Jack, who is fain to drink to hearten himself up, and dies for fear.
--Rare weather.--I now find the answer of Anacharsis, the noble philosopher,
very proper. Being asked what ship he reckoned the safest, he replied:
That which is in the harbour. He made a yet better repartee, said
Pantagruel, when somebody inquiring which is greater, the number of the
living or that of the dead, he asked them amongst which of the two they
reckoned those that are at sea, ingeniously implying that they are
continually in danger of death, dying alive, and living die. Portius Cato
also said that there were but three things of which he would repent: if
ever he had trusted his wife with his secret, if he had idled away a day,
and if he had ever gone by sea to a place which he could visit by land. By
this dignified frock of mine, said Friar John to Panurge, friend, thou hast
been afraid during the storm without cause or reason; for thou wert not
born to be drowned, but rather to be hanged and exalted in the air, or to
be roasted in the midst of a jolly bonfire. My lord, would you have a good
cloak for the rain; leave me off your wolf and badger-skin mantle; let
Panurge but be flayed, and cover yourself with his hide. But do not come
near the fire, nor near your blacksmith's forges, a God's name; for in a
moment you will see it in ashes. Yet be as long as you please in the rain,
snow, hail, nay, by the devil's maker, throw yourself or dive down to the
very bottom of the water, I'll engage you'll not be wet at all. Have some
winter boots made of it, they'll never take in a drop of water; make
bladders of it to lay under boys to teach them to swim, instead of corks,
and they will learn without the least danger. His skin, then, said
Pantagruel, should be like the herb called true maiden's hair, which never
takes wet nor moistness, but still keeps dry, though you lay it at the
bottom of the water as long as you please; and for that reason is called
Friend Panurge, said Friar John, I pray thee never be afraid of water; thy
life for mine thou art threatened with a contrary element. Ay, ay, replied
Panurge, but the devil's cooks dote sometimes, and are apt to make horrid
blunders as well as others; often putting to boil in water what was
designed to be roasted on the fire; like the head-cooks of our kitchen, who
often lard partridges, queests, and stock-doves with intent to roast them,
one would think; but it happens sometimes that they e'en turn the
partridges into the pot to be boiled with cabbages, the queests with leek
pottage, and the stock-doves with turnips. But hark you me, good friends,
I protest before this noble company, that as for the chapel which I vowed
to Mons. St. Nicholas between Quande and Montsoreau, I honestly mean that
it shall be a chapel of rose-water, which shall be where neither cow nor
calf shall be fed; for between you and I, I intend to throw it to the
bottom of the water. Here is a rare rogue for you, said Eusthenes; here is
a pure rogue, a rogue in grain, a rogue enough, a rogue and a half. He is
resolved to make good the Lombardic proverb, Passato el pericolo, gabbato
The devil was sick, the devil a monk would be;
The devil was well, the devil a monk was he.
How, after the storm, Pantagruel went on shore in the islands of the
Immediately after we went ashore at the port of an island which they called
the island of the Macreons. The good people of the place received us very
honourably. An old Macrobius (so they called their eldest elderman)
desired Pantagruel to come to the town-house to refresh himself and eat
something, but he would not budge a foot from the mole till all his men
were landed. After he had seen them, he gave order that they should all
change clothes, and that some of all the stores in the fleet should be
brought on shore, that every ship's crew might live well; which was
accordingly done, and God wot how well they all toped and caroused. The
people of the place brought them provisions in abundance. The
Pantagruelists returned them more; as the truth is, theirs were somewhat
damaged by the late storm. When they had well stuffed the insides of their
doublets, Pantagruel desired everyone to lend their help to repair the
damage; which they readily did. It was easy enough to refit there; for all
the inhabitants of the island were carpenters and all such handicrafts as
are seen in the arsenal at Venice. None but the largest island was
inhabited, having three ports and ten parishes; the rest being overrun with
wood and desert, much like the forest of Arden. We entreated the old
Macrobius to show us what was worth seeing in the island; which he did; and
in the desert and dark forest we discovered several old ruined temples,
obelisks, pyramids, monuments, and ancient tombs, with divers inscriptions
and epitaphs; some of them in hieroglyphic characters; others in the Ionic
dialect; some in the Arabic, Agarenian, Slavonian, and other tongues; of
which Epistemon took an exact account. In the interim, Panurge said to
Friar John, Is this the island of the Macreons? Macreon signifies in Greek
an old man, or one much stricken in years. What is that to me? said Friar
John; how can I help it? I was not in the country when they christened it.
Now I think on't, quoth Panurge, I believe the name of mackerel (Motteux
adds, between brackets,--'that's a Bawd in French.') was derived from it;
for procuring is the province of the old, as buttock-riggling is that of
the young. Therefore I do not know but this may be the bawdy or Mackerel
Island, the original and prototype of the island of that name at Paris.
Let's go and dredge for cock-oysters. Old Macrobius asked, in the Ionic
tongue, How, and by what industry and labour, Pantagruel got to their port
that day, there having been such blustering weather and such a dreadful
storm at sea. Pantagruel told him that the Almighty Preserver of mankind
had regarded the simplicity and sincere affection of his servants, who did
not travel for gain or sordid profit, the sole design of their voyage being
a studious desire to know, see, and visit the Oracle of Bacbuc, and take
the word of the Bottle upon some difficulties offered by one of the
company; nevertheless this had not been without great affliction and
evident danger of shipwreck. After that, he asked him what he judged to be
the cause of that terrible tempest, and if the adjacent seas were thus
frequently subject to storms; as in the ocean are the Ratz of Sammaieu,
Maumusson, and in the Mediterranean sea the Gulf of Sataly, Montargentan,
Piombino, Capo Melio in Laconia, the Straits of Gibraltar, Faro di Messina,
How the good Macrobius gave us an account of the mansion and decease of the
The good Macrobius then answered, Friendly strangers, this island is one of
the Sporades; not of your Sporades that lie in the Carpathian sea, but one
of the Sporades of the ocean; in former times rich, frequented, wealthy,
populous, full of traffic, and in the dominions of the rulers of Britain,
but now, by course of time, and in these latter ages of the world, poor and
desolate, as you see. In this dark forest, above seventy-eight thousand
Persian leagues in compass, is the dwelling-place of the demons and heroes
that are grown old, and we believe that some one of them died yesterday;
since the comet which we saw for three days before together, shines no
more; and now it is likely that at his death there arose this horrible
storm; for while they are alive all happiness attends both this and the
adjacent islands, and a settled calm and serenity. At the death of every
one of them, we commonly hear in the forest loud and mournful groans, and
the whole land is infested with pestilence, earthquakes, inundations, and
other calamities; the air with fogs and obscurity, and the sea with storms
and hurricanes. What you tell us seems to me likely enough, said
Pantagruel. For as a torch or candle, as long as it hath life enough and
is lighted, shines round about, disperses its light, delights those that
are near it, yields them its service and clearness, and never causes any
pain or displeasure; but as soon as 'tis extinguished, its smoke and
evaporation infects the air, offends the bystanders, and is noisome to all;
so, as long as those noble and renowned souls inhabit their bodies, peace,
profit, pleasure, and honour never leave the places where they abide; but
as soon as they leave them, both the continent and adjacent islands are
annoyed with great commotions; in the air fogs, darkness, thunder, hail;
tremblings, pulsations, agitations of the earth; storms and hurricanes at
sea; together with sad complaints amongst the people, broaching of
religions, changes in governments, and ruins of commonwealths.
We had a sad instance of this lately, said Epistemon, at the death of that
valiant and learned knight, William du Bellay; during whose life France
enjoyed so much happiness, that all the rest of the world looked upon it
with envy, sought friendship with it, and stood in awe of its power; but
soon after his decease it hath for a considerable time been the scorn of
the rest of the world.
Thus, said Pantagruel, Anchises being dead at Drepani in Sicily, Aeneas was
dreadfully tossed and endangered by a storm; and perhaps for the same
reason Herod, that tyrant and cruel King of Judaea, finding himself near
the pangs of a horrid kind of death--for he died of a phthiriasis, devoured
by vermin and lice; as before him died L. Sylla, Pherecydes the Syrian, the
preceptor of Pythagoras, the Greek poet Alcmaeon, and others--and
foreseeing that the Jews would make bonfires at his death, caused all the
nobles and magistrates to be summoned to his seraglio out of all the
cities, towns, and castles of Judaea, fraudulently pretending that he had
some things of moment to impart to them. They made their personal
appearance; whereupon he caused them all to be shut up in the hippodrome of
the seraglio; then said to his sister Salome and Alexander her husband: I
am certain that the Jews will rejoice at my death; but if you will observe
and perform what I tell you, my funeral shall be honourable, and there will
be a general mourning. As soon as you see me dead, let my guards, to whom
I have already given strict commission to that purpose, kill all the
noblemen and magistrates that are secured in the hippodrome. By these
means all Jewry shall, in spite of themselves, be obliged to mourn and
lament, and foreigners will imagine it to be for my death, as if some
heroic soul had left her body. A desperate tyrant wished as much when he
said, When I die, let earth and fire be mixed together; which was as good
as to say, let the whole world perish. Which saying the tyrant Nero
altered, saying, While I live, as Suetonius affirms it. This detestable
saying, of which Cicero, lib. De Finib., and Seneca, lib. 2, De Clementia,
make mention, is ascribed to the Emperor Tiberius by Dion Nicaeus and
Pantagruel's discourse of the decease of heroic souls; and of the dreadful
prodigies that happened before the death of the late Lord de Langey.
I would not, continued Pantagruel, have missed the storm that hath thus
disordered us, were I also to have missed the relation of these things told
us by this good Macrobius. Neither am I unwilling to believe what he said
of a comet that appears in the sky some days before such a decease. For
some of those souls are so noble, so precious, and so heroic that heaven
gives us notice of their departing some days before it happens. And as a
prudent physician, seeing by some symptoms that his patient draws towards
his end, some days before gives notice of it to his wife, children,
kindred, and friends, that, in that little time he hath yet to live, they
may admonish him to settle all things in his family, to tutor and instruct
his children as much as he can, recommend his relict to his friends in her
widowhood, and declare what he knows to be necessary about a provision for
the orphans; that he may not be surprised by death without making his will,
and may take care of his soul and family; in the same manner the heavens,
as it were joyful for the approaching reception of those blessed souls,
seem to make bonfires by those comets and blazing meteors, which they at
the same time kindly design should prognosticate to us here that in a few
days one of those venerable souls is to leave her body and this terrestrial
globe. Not altogether unlike this was what was formerly done at Athens by
the judges of the Areopagus. For when they gave their verdict to cast or
clear the culprits that were tried before them, they used certain notes
according to the substance of the sentences; by Theta signifying
condemnation to death; by T, absolution; by A, ampliation or a demur, when
the case was not sufficiently examined. Thus having publicly set up those
letters, they eased the relations and friends of the prisoners, and such
others as desired to know their doom, of their doubts. Likewise by these
comets, as in ethereal characters, the heavens silently say to us, Make
haste, mortals, if you would know or learn of the blessed souls anything
concerning the public good or your private interest; for their catastrophe
is near, which being past, you will vainly wish for them afterwards.
The good-natured heavens still do more; and that mankind may be declared
unworthy of the enjoyment of those renowned souls, they fright and astonish
us with prodigies, monsters, and other foreboding signs that thwart the
order of nature.
Of this we had an instance several days before the decease of the heroic
soul of the learned and valiant Chevalier de Langey, of whom you have
already spoken. I remember it, said Epistemon; and my heart still trembles
within me when I think on the many dreadful prodigies that we saw five or
six days before he died. For the Lords D'Assier, Chemant, one-eyed Mailly,
St. Ayl, Villeneufue-la-Guyart, Master Gabriel, physician of Savillan,
Rabelais, Cohuau, Massuau, Majorici, Bullou, Cercu, alias Bourgmaistre,
Francis Proust, Ferron, Charles Girard, Francis Bourre, and many other
friends and servants to the deceased, all dismayed, gazed on each other
without uttering one word; yet not without foreseeing that France would in
a short time be deprived of a knight so accomplished and necessary for its
glory and protection, and that heaven claimed him again as its due. By the
tufted tip of my cowl, cried Friar John, I am e'en resolved to become a
scholar before I die. I have a pretty good headpiece of my own, you must
own. Now pray give me leave to ask you a civil question. Can these same
heroes or demigods you talk of die? May I never be damned if I was not so
much a lobcock as to believe they had been immortal, like so many fine
angels. Heaven forgive me! but this most reverend father, Macroby, tells
us they die at last. Not all, returned Pantagruel.
The Stoics held them all to be mortal, except one, who alone is immortal,
impassible, invisible. Pindar plainly saith that there is no more thread,
that is to say, no more life, spun from the distaff and flax of the
hard-hearted Fates for the goddesses Hamadryades than there is for those
trees that are preserved by them, which are good, sturdy, downright oaks;
whence they derived their original, according to the opinion of Callimachus
and Pausanias in Phoci. With whom concurs Martianus Capella. As for the
demigods, fauns, satyrs, sylvans, hobgoblins, aegipanes, nymphs, heroes, and
demons, several men have, from the total sum, which is the result of the
divers ages calculated by Hesiod, reckoned their life to be 9720 years; that
sum consisting of four special numbers orderly arising from one, the same
added together and multiplied by four every way amounts to forty; these
forties, being reduced into triangles by five times, make up the total of
the aforesaid number. See Plutarch, in his book about the Cessation of
This, said Friar John, is not matter of breviary; I may believe as little
or as much of it as you and I please. I believe, said Pantagruel, that all
intellectual souls are exempted from Atropos's scissors. They are all
immortal, whether they be of angels, or demons, or human; yet I will tell
you a story concerning this that is very strange, but is written and
affirmed by several learned historians.
How Pantagruel related a very sad story of the death of the heroes.
Epitherses, the father of Aemilian the rhetorician, sailing from Greece to
Italy in a ship freighted with divers goods and passengers, at night the
wind failed 'em near the Echinades, some islands that lie between the Morea
and Tunis, and the vessel was driven near Paxos. When they were got
thither, some of the passengers being asleep, others awake, the rest eating
and drinking, a voice was heard that called aloud, Thamous! which cry
surprised them all. This same Thamous was their pilot, an Egyptian by
birth, but known by name only to some few travellers. The voice was heard
a second time calling Thamous, in a frightful tone; and none making answer,
but trembling and remaining silent, the voice was heard a third time, more
dreadful than before.
This caused Thamous to answer: Here am I; what dost thou call me for?
What wilt thou have me do? Then the voice, louder than before, bid him
publish when he should come to Palodes, that the great god Pan was dead.
Epitherses related that all the mariners and passengers, having heard this,
were extremely amazed and frighted; and that, consulting among themselves
whether they had best conceal or divulge what the voice had enjoined,
Thamous said his advice was that if they happened to have a fair wind they
should proceed without mentioning a word on't, but if they chanced to be
becalmed he would publish what he had heard. Now when they were near
Palodes they had no wind, neither were they in any current. Thamous then
getting up on the top of the ship's forecastle, and casting his eyes on the
shore, said that he had been commanded to proclaim that the great god Pan
was dead. The words were hardly out of his mouth, when deep groans, great
lamentations, and doleful shrieks, not of one person, but of many together,
were heard from the land.
The news of this--many being present then--was soon spread at Rome;
insomuch that Tiberius, who was then emperor, sent for this Thamous, and
having heard him gave credit to his words. And inquiring of the learned in
his court and at Rome who was that Pan, he found by their relation that he
was the son of Mercury and Penelope, as Herodotus and Cicero in his third
book of the Nature of the Gods had written before.
For my part, I understand it of that great Saviour of the faithful who was
shamefully put to death at Jerusalem by the envy and wickedness of the
doctors, priests, and monks of the Mosaic law. And methinks my
interpretation is not improper; for he may lawfully be said in the Greek
tongue to be Pan, since he is our all. For all that we are, all that we
live, all that we have, all that we hope, is him, by him, from him, and in
him. He is the good Pan, the great shepherd, who, as the loving shepherd
Corydon affirms, hath not only a tender love and affection for his sheep,
but also for their shepherds. At his death, complaints, sighs, fears, and
lamentations were spread through the whole fabric of the universe, whether
heavens, land, sea, or hell.
The time also concurs with this interpretation of mine; for this most good,
most mighty Pan, our only Saviour, died near Jerusalem during the reign of
Pantagruel, having ended this discourse, remained silent and full of
contemplation. A little while after we saw the tears flow out of his eyes
as big as ostrich's eggs. God take me presently if I tell you one single
syllable of a lie in the matter.
How Pantagruel sailed by the Sneaking Island, where Shrovetide reigned.
The jovial fleet being refitted and repaired, new stores taken in, the
Macreons over and above satisfied and pleased with the money spent there by
Pantagruel, our men in better humour than they used to be, if possible, we
merrily put to sea the next day, near sunset, with a delicious fresh gale.
Xenomanes showed us afar off the Sneaking Island, where reigned Shrovetide,
of whom Pantagruel had heard much talk formerly; for that reason he would
gladly have seen him in person, had not Xenomanes advised him to the
contrary; first, because this would have been much out of our way, and then
for the lean cheer which he told us was to be found at that prince's court,
and indeed all over the island.
You can see nothing there for your money, said he, but a huge greedy-guts,
a tall woundy swallower of hot wardens and mussels; a long-shanked
mole-catcher; an overgrown bottler of hay; a mossy-chinned demi-giant, with
a double shaven crown, of lantern breed; a very great loitering noddy-peaked
youngster, banner-bearer to the fish-eating tribe, dictator of mustard-land,
flogger of little children, calciner of ashes, father and foster-father to
physicians, swarming with pardons, indulgences, and stations; a very honest
man; a good catholic, and as brimful of devotion as ever he can hold.
He weeps the three-fourth parts of the day, and never assists at any
weddings; but, give the devil his due, he is the most industrious
larding-stick and skewer-maker in forty kingdoms.
About six years ago, as I passed by Sneaking-land, I brought home a large
skewer from thence, and made a present of it to the butchers of Quande, who
set a great value upon them, and that for a cause. Some time or other, if
ever we live to come back to our own country, I will show you two of them
fastened on the great church porch. His usual food is pickled coats of
mail, salt helmets and head-pieces, and salt sallets; which sometimes makes
him piss pins and needles. As for his clothing, 'tis comical enough o'
conscience, both for make and colour; for he wears grey and cold, nothing
before, and nought behind, with the sleeves of the same.
You will do me a kindness, said Pantagruel, if, as you have described his
clothes, food, actions, and pastimes, you will also give me an account of
his shape and disposition in all his parts. Prithee do, dear cod, said
Friar John, for I have found him in my breviary, and then follow the
movable holy days. With all my heart, answered Xenomanes; we may chance to
hear more of him as we touch at the Wild Island, the dominions of the squab
Chitterlings, his enemies, against whom he is eternally at odds; and were
it not for the help of the noble Carnival, their protector and good
neighbour, this meagre-looked lozelly Shrovetide would long before this
have made sad work among them, and rooted them out of their habitation.
Are these same Chitterlings, said Friar John, male or female, angels or
mortals, women or maids? They are, replied Xenomanes, females in sex,
mortal in kind, some of them maids, others not. The devil have me, said
Friar John, if I ben't for them. What a shameful disorder in nature, is it
not, to make war against women? Let's go back and hack the villain to
pieces. What! meddle with Shrovetide? cried Panurge, in the name of
Beelzebub, I am not yet so weary of my life. No, I'm not yet so mad as
that comes to. Quid juris? Suppose we should find ourselves pent up
between the Chitterlings and Shrovetide? between the anvil and the hammers?
Shankers and buboes! stand off! godzooks, let us make the best of our way.
I bid you good night, sweet Mr. Shrovetide; I recommend to you the
Chitterlings, and pray don't forget the puddings.
How Shrovetide is anatomized and described by Xenomanes.
As for the inward parts of Shrovetide, said Xenomanes; his brain is (at
least, it was in my time) in bigness, colours, substance, and strength,
much like the left cod of a he hand-worm.
The ventricles of his said brain, The stomach, like a belt.
like an auger. The pylorus, like a pitchfork.
The worm-like excrescence, like The windpipe, like an oyster-
a Christmas-box. knife.
The membranes, like a monk's The throat, like a pincushion
cowl. stuffed with oakum.
The funnel, like a mason's chisel. The lungs, like a prebend's
The fornix, like a casket. fur-gown.
The glandula pinealis, like a bag- The heart, like a cope.
pipe. The mediastine, like an earthen
The rete mirabile, like a gutter. cup.
The dug-like processus, like a The pleura, like a crow's bill.
patch. The arteries, like a watch-coat.
The tympanums, like a whirli- The midriff, like a montero-cap.
gig. The liver, like a double-tongued
The rocky bones, like a goose- mattock.
wing. The veins, like a sash-window.
The nape of the neck, like a paper The spleen, like a catcall.
lantern. The guts, like a trammel.
The nerves, like a pipkin. The gall, like a cooper's adze.
The uvula, like a sackbut. The entrails, like a gauntlet.
The palate, like a mitten. The mesentery, like an abbot's
The spittle, like a shuttle. mitre.
The almonds, like a telescope. The hungry gut, like a button.
The bridge of his nose, like a The blind gut, like a breastplate.
wheelbarrow. The colon, like a bridle.
The head of the larynx, like a The arse-gut, like a monk's
vintage-basket. leathern bottle.
The kidneys, like a trowel. The ligaments, like a tinker's
The loins, like a padlock. budget.
The ureters, like a pothook. The bones, like three-cornered
The emulgent veins, like two cheesecakes.
gilliflowers. The marrow, like a wallet.
The spermatic vessels, like a The cartilages, like a field-
cully-mully-puff. tortoise, alias a mole.
The parastata, like an inkpot. The glandules in the mouth, like
The bladder, like a stone-bow. a pruning-knife.
The neck, like a mill-clapper. The animal spirits, like swingeing
The mirach, or lower parts of the fisticuffs.
belly, like a high-crowned hat. The blood-fermenting, like a
The siphach, or its inner rind, multiplication of flirts on the
like a wooden cuff. nose.
The muscles, like a pair of bellows. The urine, like a figpecker.
The tendons, like a hawking- The sperm, like a hundred
glove. ten-penny nails.
And his nurse told me, that being married to Mid-lent, he only begot a good
number of local adverbs and certain double fasts.
His memory he had like a scarf. His undertakings, like the ballast
His common sense, like a buzzing of a galleon.
of bees. His understanding, like a torn
His imagination, like the chime breviary.
of a set of bells. His notions, like snails crawling
His thoughts, like a flight of star- out of strawberries.
lings. His will, like three filberts in a
His conscience, like the unnest- porringer.
ling of a parcel of young His desire, like six trusses of hay.
herons. His judgment, like a shoeing-
His deliberations, like a set of horn.
organs. His discretion, like the truckle of
His repentance, like the carriage a pulley.
of a double cannon. His reason, like a cricket.
Shrovetide's outward parts anatomized.
Shrovetide, continued Xenomanes, is somewhat better proportioned in his
outward parts, excepting the seven ribs which he had over and above the
common shape of men.
His toes were like a virginal on The peritoneum, or caul wherein
an organ. his bowels were wrapped, like
His nails, like a gimlet. a billiard-table.
His feet, like a guitar. His back, like an overgrown rack-
His heels, like a club. bent crossbow.
The soles of his feet, like a cru- The vertebrae, or joints of his
cible. backbone, like a bagpipe.
His legs, like a hawk's lure. His ribs, like a spinning-wheel.
His knees, like a joint-stool. His brisket, like a canopy.
His thighs, like a steel cap. His shoulder-blades, like a mortar.
His hips, like a wimble. His breast, like a game at nine-
His belly as big as a tun, buttoned pins.
after the old fashion, with a His paps, like a hornpipe.
girdle riding over the middle His armpits, like a chequer.
of his bosom. His shoulders, like a hand-barrow.
His navel, like a cymbal. His arms, like a riding-hood.
His groin, like a minced pie. His fingers, like a brotherhood's
His member, like a slipper. andirons.
His purse, like an oil cruet. The fibulae, or lesser bones of his
His genitals, like a joiner's planer. legs, like a pair of stilts.
Their erecting muscles, like a His shin-bones, like sickles.
racket. His elbows, like a mouse-trap.
The perineum, like a flageolet. His hands, like a curry-comb.
His arse-hole, like a crystal look- His neck, like a talboy.
ing-glass. His throat, like a felt to distil hip-
His bum, like a harrow. pocras.
The knob in his throat, like a His loins, like a butter-pot.
barrel, where hanged two His jaws, like a caudle cup.
brazen wens, very fine and His teeth, like a hunter's staff.
harmonious, in the shape of an Of such colt's teeth as his,
hourglass. you will find one at Colonges
His beard, like a lantern. les Royaux in Poitou, and
His chin, like a mushroom. two at La Brosse in Xaintonge,
His ears, like a pair of gloves. on the cellar door.
His nose, like a buskin. His tongue, like a jew's-harp.
His nostrils, like a forehead cloth. His mouth, like a horse-cloth.
His eyebrows, like a dripping-pan. His face embroidered like a mule's
On his left brow was a mark of pack-saddle.
the shape and bigness of an His head contrived like a still.
urinal. His skull, like a pouch.
His eyelids, like a fiddle. The suturae, or seams of his skull,
His eyes, like a comb-box. like the annulus piscatoris, or
His optic nerves, like a tinder- the fisher's signet.
box. His skin, like a gabardine.
His forehead, like a false cup. His epidermis, or outward skin,
His temples, like the cock of a like a bolting-cloth.
cistern. His hair, like a scrubbing-brush.
His cheeks, like a pair of wooden His fur, such as above said.
A continuation of Shrovetide's countenance.
'Tis a wonderful thing, continued Xenomanes, to hear and see the state of
If he chanced to spit, it was whole When he trembled, it was large
basketsful of goldfinches. venison pasties.
If he blowed his nose, it was When he did sweat, it was old
pickled grigs. ling with butter sauce.
When he wept, it was ducks with When he belched, it was bushels
onion sauce. of oysters.
When he sneezed, it was whole When he muttered, it was lawyers'
tubfuls of mustard. revels.
When he coughed, it was boxes When he hopped about, it was
of marmalade. letters of licence and protec-
When he sobbed, it was water- tions.
cresses. When he stepped back, it was
When he yawned, it was potfuls sea cockle-shells.
of pickled peas. When he slabbered, it was com-
When he sighed, it was dried mon ovens.
neats' tongues. When he was hoarse, it was an
When he whistled, it was a whole entry of morrice-dancers.
scuttleful of green apes. When he broke wind, it was dun
When he snored, it was a whole cows' leather spatterdashes.
panful of fried beans. When he funked, it was washed-
When he frowned, it was soused leather boots.
hogs' feet. When he scratched himself, it
When he spoke, it was coarse was new proclamations.
brown russet cloth; so little When he sung, it was peas in
it was like crimson silk, with cods.
which Parisatis desired that When he evacuated, it was mush-
the words of such as spoke to rooms and morilles.
her son Cyrus, King of Persia, When he puffed, it was cabbages
should be interwoven. with oil, alias caules amb'olif.
When he blowed, it was indulg- When he talked, it was the last
ence money-boxes. year's snow.
When he winked, it was buttered When he dreamt, it was of a
buns. cock and a bull.
When he grumbled, it was March When he gave nothing, so much
cats. for the bearer.
When he nodded, it was iron- If he thought to himself, it was
bound waggons. whimsies and maggots.
When he made mouths, it was If he dozed, it was leases of lands.
What is yet more strange, he used to work doing nothing, and did nothing
though he worked; caroused sleeping, and slept carousing, with his eyes
open, like the hares in our country, for fear of being taken napping by the
Chitterlings, his inveterate enemies; biting he laughed, and laughing bit;
eat nothing fasting, and fasted eating nothing; mumbled upon suspicion,
drank by imagination, swam on the tops of high steeples, dried his clothes
in ponds and rivers, fished in the air, and there used to catch decumane
lobsters; hunted at the bottom of the herring-pond, and caught there
ibexes, stamboucs, chamois, and other wild goats; used to put out the eyes
of all the crows which he took sneakingly; feared nothing but his own
shadow and the cries of fat kids; used to gad abroad some days, like a
truant schoolboy; played with the ropes of bells on festival days of
saints; made a mallet of his fist, and writ on hairy parchment
prognostications and almanacks with his huge pin-case.
Is that the gentleman? said Friar John. He is my man; this is the very
fellow I looked for. I will send him a challenge immediately. This is,
said Pantagruel, a strange and monstrous sort of man, if I may call him a
man. You put me in mind of the form and looks of Amodunt and Dissonance.
How were they made? said Friar John. May I be peeled like a raw onion if
ever I heard a word of them. I'll tell you what I read of them in some
ancient apologues, replied Pantagruel.
Physis--that is to say, Nature--at her first burthen begat Beauty and
Harmony without carnal copulation, being of herself very fruitful and
prolific. Antiphysis, who ever was the counter part of Nature,
immediately, out of a malicious spite against her for her beautiful and
honourable productions, in opposition begot Amodunt and Dissonance by
copulation with Tellumon. Their heads were round like a football, and not
gently flatted on both sides, like the common shape of men. Their ears
stood pricked up like those of asses; their eyes, as hard as those of
crabs, and without brows, stared out of their heads, fixed on bones like
those of our heels; their feet were round like tennis-balls; their arms and
hands turned backwards towards their shoulders; and they walked on their
heads, continually turning round like a ball, topsy-turvy, heels over head.
Yet--as you know that apes esteem their young the handsomest in the world
--Antiphysis extolled her offspring, and strove to prove that their shape
was handsomer and neater than that of the children of Physis, saying that
thus to have spherical heads and feet, and walk in a circular manner,
wheeling round, had something in it of the perfection of the divine power,
which makes all beings eternally turn in that fashion; and that to have our
feet uppermost, and the head below them, was to imitate the Creator of the
universe; the hair being like the roots, and the legs like the branches of
man; for trees are better planted by their roots than they could be by their
branches. By this demonstration she implied that her children were much
more to be praised for being like a standing tree, than those of Physis,
that made a figure of a tree upside down. As for the arms and hands, she
pretended to prove that they were more justly turned towards the shoulders,
because that part of the body ought not to be without defence, while the
forepart is duly fenced with teeth, which a man cannot only use to chew, but
also to defend himself against those things that offend him. Thus, by the
testimony and astipulation of the brute beasts, she drew all the witless
herd and mob of fools into her opinion, and was admired by all brainless and
Since that, she begot the hypocritical tribes of eavesdropping dissemblers,
superstitious pope-mongers, and priest-ridden bigots, the frantic
Pistolets, (the demoniacal Calvins, impostors of Geneva,) the scrapers of
benefices, apparitors with the devil in them, and other grinders and
squeezers of livings, herb-stinking hermits, gulligutted dunces of the
cowl, church vermin, false zealots, devourers of the substance of men, and
many more other deformed and ill-favoured monsters, made in spite of
How Pantagruel discovered a monstrous physeter, or whirlpool, near the Wild
About sunset, coming near the Wild Island, Pantagruel spied afar off a huge
monstrous physeter (a sort of whale, which some call a whirlpool), that
came right upon us, neighing, snorting, raised above the waves higher than
our main-tops, and spouting water all the way into the air before itself,
like a large river falling from a mountain. Pantagruel showed it to the
pilot and to Xenomanes.
By the pilot's advice the trumpets of the Thalamege were sounded to warn
all the fleet to stand close and look to themselves. This alarm being
given, all the ships, galleons, frigates, brigantines, according to their
naval discipline, placed themselves in the order and figure of an Y
(upsilon), the letter of Pythagoras, as cranes do in their flight, and like
an acute angle, in whose cone and basis the Thalamege placed herself ready
to fight smartly. Friar John with the grenadiers got on the forecastle.
Poor Panurge began to cry and howl worse than ever. Babille-babou, said
he, shrugging up his shoulders, quivering all over with fear, there will be
the devil upon dun. This is a worse business than that t'other day. Let
us fly, let us fly; old Nick take me if it is not Leviathan, described by
the noble prophet Moses in the life of patient Job. It will swallow us
all, ships and men, shag, rag, and bobtail, like a dose of pills. Alas! it
will make no more of us, and we shall hold no more room in its hellish
jaws, than a sugarplum in an ass's throat. Look, look, 'tis upon us; let
us wheel off, whip it away, and get ashore. I believe 'tis the very
individual sea-monster that was formerly designed to devour Andromeda; we
are all undone. Oh! for some valiant Perseus here now to kill the dog.
I'll do its business presently, said Pantagruel; fear nothing. Ods-belly,
said Panurge, remove the cause of my fear then. When the devil would you
have a man be afraid but when there is so much cause? If your destiny be
such as Friar John was saying a while ago, replied Pantagruel, you ought to
be afraid of Pyroeis, Eous, Aethon, and Phlegon, the sun's coach-horses,
that breathe fire at the nostrils; and not of physeters, that spout nothing
but water at the snout and mouth. Their water will not endanger your life;
and that element will rather save and preserve than hurt or endanger you.
Ay, ay, trust to that, and hang me, quoth Panurge; yours is a very pretty
fancy. Ods-fish! did I not give you a sufficient account of the elements'
transmutation, and the blunders that are made of roast for boiled, and
boiled for roast? Alas! here 'tis; I'll go hide myself below. We are dead
men, every mother's son of us. I see upon our main-top that merciless hag
Atropos, with her scissors new ground, ready to cut our threads all at one
snip. Oh! how dreadful and abominable thou art; thou hast drowned a good
many beside us, who never made their brags of it. Did it but spout good,
brisk, dainty, delicious white wine, instead of this damned bitter salt
water, one might better bear with it, and there would be some cause to be
patient; like that English lord, who being doomed to die, and had leave to
choose what kind of death he would, chose to be drowned in a butt of
malmsey. Here it is. Oh, oh! devil! Sathanas! Leviathan! I cannot
abide to look upon thee, thou art so abominably ugly. Go to the bar, go
take the pettifoggers.
How the monstrous physeter was slain by Pantagruel.
The physeter, coming between the ships and the galleons, threw water by
whole tuns upon them, as if it had been the cataracts of the Nile in
Ethiopia. On the other side, arrows, darts, gleaves, javelins, spears,
harping-irons, and partizans, flew upon it like hail. Friar John did not
spare himself in it. Panurge was half dead for fear. The artillery roared
and thundered like mad, and seemed to gall it in good earnest, but did but
little good; for the great iron and brass cannon-shot entering its skin
seemed to melt like tiles in the sun.
Pantagruel then, considering the weight and exigency of the matter,
stretched out his arms and showed what he could do. You tell us, and it is
recorded, that Commudus, the Roman emperor, could shoot with a bow so
dexterously that at a good distance he would let fly an arrow through a
child's fingers and never touch them. You also tell us of an Indian
archer, who lived when Alexander the Great conquered India, and was so
skilful in drawing the bow, that at a considerable distance he would shoot
his arrows through a ring, though they were three cubits long, and their
iron so large and weighty that with them he used to pierce steel cutlasses,
thick shields, steel breastplates, and generally what he did hit, how firm,
resisting, hard, and strong soever it were. You also tell us wonders of
the industry of the ancient Franks, who were preferred to all others in
point of archery; and when they hunted either black or dun beasts, used to
rub the head of their arrows with hellebore, because the flesh of the
venison struck with such an arrow was more tender, dainty, wholesome, and
delicious--paring off, nevertheless, the part that was touched round about.
You also talk of the Parthians, who used to shoot backwards more
dexterously than other nations forwards; and also celebrate the skill of
the Scythians in that art, who sent once to Darius, King of Persia, an
ambassador that made him a present of a bird, a frog, a mouse, and five
arrows, without speaking one word; and being asked what those presents
meant, and if he had commission to say anything, answered that he had not;
which puzzled and gravelled Darius very much, till Gobrias, one of the
seven captains that had killed the magi, explained it, saying to Darius:
By these gifts and offerings the Scythians silently tell you that except
the Persians like birds fly up to heaven, or like mice hide themselves near
the centre of the earth, or like frogs dive to the very bottom of ponds and
lakes, they shall be destroyed by the power and arrows of the Scythians.
The noble Pantagruel was, without comparison, more admirable yet in the art
of shooting and darting; for with his dreadful piles and darts, nearly
resembling the huge beams that support the bridges of Nantes, Saumur,
Bergerac, and at Paris the millers' and the changers' bridges, in length,
size, weight, and iron-work, he at a mile's distance would open an oyster
and never touch the edges; he would snuff a candle without putting it out;
would shoot a magpie in the eye; take off a boot's under-sole, or a
riding-hood's lining, without soiling them a bit; turn over every leaf
of Friar John's breviary, one after another, and not tear one.
With such darts, of which there was good store in the ship, at the first
blow he ran the physeter in at the forehead so furiously that he pierced
both its jaws and tongue; so that from that time to this it no more opened
its guttural trapdoor, nor drew and spouted water. At the second blow he
put out its right eye, and at the third its left; and we had all the
pleasure to see the physeter bearing those three horns in its forehead,
somewhat leaning forwards in an equilateral triangle.
Meanwhile it turned about to and fro, staggering and straying like one
stunned, blinded, and taking his leave of the world. Pantagruel, not
satisfied with this, let fly another dart, which took the monster under the
tail likewise sloping; then with three other on the chine, in a
perpendicular line, divided its flank from the tail to the snout at an
equal distance. Then he larded it with fifty on one side, and after that,
to make even work, he darted as many on its other side; so that the body of
the physeter seemed like the hulk of a galleon with three masts, joined by
a competent dimension of its beams, as if they had been the ribs and
chain-wales of the keel; which was a pleasant sight. The physeter then
giving up the ghost, turned itself upon its back, as all dead fishes do; and
being thus overturned, with the beams and darts upside down in the sea, it
seemed a scolopendra or centipede, as that serpent is described by the
ancient sage Nicander.
How Pantagruel went on shore in the Wild Island, the ancient abode of the
The boat's crew of the ship Lantern towed the physeter ashore on the
neighbouring shore, which happened to be the Wild Island, to make an
anatomical dissection of its body and save the fat of its kidneys, which,
they said, was very useful and necessary for the cure of a certain
distemper, which they called want of money. As for Pantagruel, he took no
manner of notice of the monster; for he had seen many such, nay, bigger, in
the Gallic ocean. Yet he condescended to land in the Wild Island, to dry
and refresh some of his men (whom the physeter had wetted and bedaubed), at
a small desert seaport towards the south, seated near a fine pleasant
grove, out of which flowed a delicious brook of fresh, clear, and purling
water. Here they pitched their tents and set up their kitchens; nor did
they spare fuel.
Everyone having shifted as they thought fit, Friar John rang the bell, and
the cloth was immediately laid, and supper brought in. Pantagruel eating
cheerfully with his men, much about the second course perceived certain
little sly Chitterlings clambering up a high tree near the pantry, as still
as so many mice. Which made him ask Xenomanes what kind of creatures these
were, taking them for squirrels, weasels, martins, or ermines. They are
Chitterlings, replied Xenomanes. This is the Wild Island of which I spoke
to you this morning; there hath been an irreconcilable war this long time
between them and Shrovetide, their malicious and ancient enemy. I believe
that the noise of the guns which we fired at the physeter hath alarmed
them, and made them fear their enemy was come with his forces to surprise
them, or lay the island waste, as he hath often attempted to do; though he
still came off but bluely, by reason of the care and vigilance of the
Chitterlings, who (as Dido said to Aeneas's companions that would have
landed at Carthage without her leave or knowledge) were forced to watch and
stand upon their guard, considering the malice of their enemy and the
neighbourhood of his territories.
Pray, dear friend, said Pantagruel, if you find that by some honest means
we may bring this war to an end, and reconcile them together, give me
notice of it; I will use my endeavours in it with all my heart, and spare
nothing on my side to moderate and accommodate the points in dispute
between both parties.
That's impossible at this time, answered Xenomanes. About four years ago,
passing incognito by this country, I endeavoured to make a peace, or at
least a long truce among them; and I had certainly brought them to be good
friends and neighbours if both one and the other parties would have yielded
to one single article. Shrovetide would not include in the treaty of peace
the wild puddings nor the highland sausages, their ancient gossips and
confederates. The Chitterlings demanded that the fort of Cacques might be
under their government, as is the Castle of Sullouoir, and that a parcel of
I don't know what stinking villains, murderers, robbers, that held it then,
should be expelled. But they could not agree in this, and the terms that
were offered seemed too hard to either party. So the treaty broke off, and
nothing was done. Nevertheless, they became less severe, and gentler
enemies than they were before; but since the denunciation of the national
Council of Chesil, whereby they were roughly handled, hampered, and cited;
whereby also Shrovetide was declared filthy, beshitten, and berayed, in
case he made any league or agreement with them; they are grown wonderfully
inveterate, incensed, and obstinate against one another, and there is no
way to remedy it. You might sooner reconcile cats and rats, or hounds and
How the wild Chitterlings laid an ambuscado for Pantagruel.
While Xenomanes was saying this, Friar John spied twenty or thirty young
slender-shaped Chitterlings posting as fast as they could towards their
town, citadel, castle, and fort of Chimney, and said to Pantagruel, I smell
a rat; there will be here the devil upon two sticks, or I am much out.
These worshipful Chitterlings may chance to mistake you for Shrovetide,
though you are not a bit like him. Let us once in our lives leave our
junketing for a while, and put ourselves in a posture to give 'em a
bellyful of fighting, if they would be at that sport. There can be no
false Latin in this, said Xenomanes; Chitterlings are still Chitterlings,
always double-hearted and treacherous.
Pantagruel then arose from table to visit and scour the thicket, and
returned presently; having discovered, on the left, an ambuscade of squab
Chitterlings; and on the right, about half a league from thence, a large
body of huge giant-like armed Chitterlings ranged in battalia along a
little hill, and marching furiously towards us at the sound of bagpipes,
sheep's paunches, and bladders, the merry fifes and drums, trumpets, and
clarions, hoping to catch us as Moss caught his mare. By the conjecture of
seventy-eight standards which we told, we guessed their number to be two
and forty thousand, at a modest computation.
Their order, proud gait, and resolute looks made us judge that they were
none of your raw, paltry links, but old warlike Chitterlings and Sausages.
From the foremost ranks to the colours they were all armed cap-a-pie with
small arms, as we reckoned them at a distance, yet very sharp and
case-hardened. Their right and left wings were lined with a great number of
forest puddings, heavy pattipans, and horse sausages, all of them tall and
proper islanders, banditti, and wild.
Pantagruel was very much daunted, and not without cause; though Epistemon
told him that it might be the use and custom of the Chitterlingonians to
welcome and receive thus in arms their foreign friends, as the noble kings
of France are received and saluted at their first coming into the chief
cities of the kingdom after their advancement to the crown. Perhaps, said
he, it may be the usual guard of the queen of the place, who, having notice
given her by the junior Chitterlings of the forlorn hope whom you saw on
the tree, of the arrival of your fine and pompous fleet, hath judged that
it was without doubt some rich and potent prince, and is come to visit you
Pantagruel, little trusting to this, called a council, to have their advice
at large in this doubtful case. He briefly showed them how this way of
reception with arms had often, under colour of compliment and friendship,
been fatal. Thus, said he, the Emperor Antonius Caracalla at one time
destroyed the citizens of Alexandria, and at another time cut off the
attendants of Artabanus, King of Persia, under colour of marrying his
daughter, which, by the way, did not pass unpunished, for a while after
this cost him his life.
Thus Jacob's children destroyed the Sichemites, to revenge the rape of
their sister Dinah. By such another hypocritical trick Gallienus, the
Roman emperor, put to death the military men in Constantinople. Thus,
under colour of friendship, Antonius enticed Artavasdes, King of Armenia;
then, having caused him to be bound in heavy chains and shackled, at last
put him to death.
We find a thousand such instances in history; and King Charles VI. is
justly commended for his prudence to this day, in that, coming back
victorious over the Ghenters and other Flemings to his good city of Paris,
and when he came to Bourget, a league from thence, hearing that the
citizens with their mallets--whence they got the name of Maillotins--were
marched out of town in battalia, twenty thousand strong, he would not go
into the town till they had laid down their arms and retired to their
respective homes; though they protested to him that they had taken arms
with no other design than to receive him with the greater demonstration of
honour and respect.
How Pantagruel sent for Colonel Maul-chitterling and Colonel Cut-pudding;
with a discourse well worth your hearing about the names of places and
The resolution of the council was that, let things be how they would, it
behoved the Pantagruelists to stand upon their guard. Therefore Carpalin
and Gymnast were ordered by Pantagruel to go for the soldiers that were on
board the Cup galley, under the command of Colonel Maul-chitterling, and
those on board the Vine-tub frigate, under the command of Colonel
Cut-pudding the younger. I will ease Gymnast of that trouble, said Panurge,
who wanted to be upon the run; you may have occasion for him here. By
this worthy frock of mine, quoth Friar John, thou hast a mind to slip thy
neck out of the collar and absent thyself from the fight, thou
white-livered son of a dunghill! Upon my virginity thou wilt never come
back. Well, there can be no great loss in thee; for thou wouldst do nothing
here but howl, bray, weep, and dishearten the good soldiers. I will
certainly come back, said Panurge, Friar John, my ghostly father, and
speedily too; do but take care that these plaguy Chitterlings do not board
our ships. All the while you will be a-fighting I will pray heartily for
your victory, after the example of the valiant captain and guide of the
people of Israel, Moses. Having said this, he wheeled off.
Then said Epistemon to Pantagruel: The denomination of these two colonels
of yours, Maul-chitterling and Cut-pudding, promiseth us assurance,
success, and victory, if those Chitterlings should chance to set upon us.
You take it rightly, said Pantagruel, and it pleaseth me to see you foresee
and prognosticate our victory by the names of our colonels.
This way of foretelling by names is not new; it was in old times celebrated
and religiously observed by the Pythagoreans. Several great princes and
emperors have formerly made good use of it. Octavianus Augustus, second
emperor of the Romans, meeting on a day a country fellow named Eutychus
--that is, fortunate--driving an ass named Nicon--that is, in Greek,
Victorian--moved by the signification of the ass's and ass-driver's names,
remained assured of all prosperity and victory.
The Emperor Vespasian being once all alone at prayers in the temple of
Serapis, at the sight and unexpected coming of a certain servant of his
named Basilides--that is, royal--whom he had left sick a great way behind,
took hopes and assurance of obtaining the empire of the Romans. Regilian
was chosen emperor by the soldiers for no other reason but the
signification of his name. See the Cratylus of the divine Plato. (By my
thirst, I will read it, said Rhizotome; I hear you so often quote it.) See
how the Pythagoreans, by reason of the names and numbers, conclude that
Patroclus was to fall by the hand of Hector; Hector by Achilles; Achilles
by Paris; Paris by Philoctetes. I am quite lost in my understanding when I
reflect upon the admirable invention of Pythagoras, who by the number,
either even or odd, of the syllables of every name, would tell you of what
side a man was lame, hulch-backed, blind, gouty, troubled with the palsy,
pleurisy, or any other distemper incident to humankind; allotting even
numbers to the left (Motteux reads--'even numbers to the Right, and odd
ones to the Left.'), and odd ones to the right side of the body.
Indeed, said Epistemon, I saw this way of syllabizing tried at Xaintes at a
general procession, in the presence of that good, virtuous, learned and
just president, Brian Vallee, Lord of Douhait. When there went by a man or
woman that was either lame, blind of one eye, or humpbacked, he had an
account brought him of his or her name; and if the syllables of the name
were of an odd number, immediately, without seeing the persons, he declared
them to be deformed, blind, lame, or crooked of the right side; and of the
left, if they were even in number; and such indeed we ever found them.
By this syllabical invention, said Pantagruel, the learned have affirmed
that Achilles kneeling was wounded by the arrow of Paris in the right heel,
for his name is of odd syllables (here we ought to observe that the
ancients used to kneel the right foot); and that Venus was also wounded
before Troy in the left hand, for her name in Greek is Aphrodite, of four
syllables; Vulcan lamed of his left foot for the same reason; Philip, King
of Macedon, and Hannibal, blind of the right eye; not to speak of
sciaticas, broken bellies, and hemicranias, which may be distinguished by
this Pythagorean reason.
But returning to names: do but consider how Alexander the Great, son of
King Philip, of whom we spoke just now, compassed his undertaking merely by
the interpretation of a name. He had besieged the strong city of Tyre, and
for several weeks battered it with all his power; but all in vain. His
engines and attempts were still baffled by the Tyrians, which made him
finally resolve to raise the siege, to his great grief; foreseeing the
great stain which such a shameful retreat would be to his reputation. In
this anxiety and agitation of mind he fell asleep and dreamed that a satyr
was come into his tent, capering, skipping, and tripping it up and down,
with his goatish hoofs, and that he strove to lay hold on him. But the
satyr still slipped from him, till at last, having penned him up into a
corner, he took him. With this he awoke, and telling his dream to the
philosophers and sages of his court, they let him know that it was a
promise of victory from the gods, and that he should soon be master of
Tyre; the word satyros divided in two being sa Tyros, and signifying Tyre
is thine; and in truth, at the next onset, he took the town by storm, and
by a complete victory reduced that stubborn people to subjection.
On the other hand, see how, by the signification of one word, Pompey fell
into despair. Being overcome by Caesar at the battle of Pharsalia, he had
no other way left to escape but by flight; which attempting by sea, he
arrived near the island of Cyprus, and perceived on the shore near the city
of Paphos a beautiful and stately palace; now asking the pilot what was the
name of it, he told him that it was called kakobasilea, that is, evil king;
which struck such a dread and terror in him that he fell into despair, as
being assured of losing shortly his life; insomuch that his complaints,
sighs, and groans were heard by the mariners and other passengers. And
indeed, a while after, a certain strange peasant, called Achillas, cut off
To all these examples might be added what happened to L. Paulus Emilius
when the senate elected him imperator, that is, chief of the army which
they sent against Perses, King of Macedon. That evening returning home to
prepare for his expedition, and kissing a little daughter of his called
Trasia, she seemed somewhat sad to him. What is the matter, said he, my
chicken? Why is my Trasia thus sad and melancholy? Daddy, replied the
child, Persa is dead. This was the name of a little bitch which she loved
mightily. Hearing this, Paulus took assurance of a victory over Perses.
If time would permit us to discourse of the sacred Hebrew writ, we might
find a hundred noted passages evidently showing how religiously they
observed proper names and their significations.
He had hardly ended this discourse, when the two colonels arrived with
their soldiers, all well armed and resolute. Pantagruel made them a short
speech, entreating them to behave themselves bravely in case they were
attacked; for he could not yet believe that the Chitterlings were so
treacherous; but he bade them by no means to give the first offence, giving
them Carnival for the watchword.
How Chitterlings are not to be slighted by men.
You shake your empty noddles now, jolly topers, and do not believe what I
tell you here, any more than if it were some tale of a tub. Well, well, I
cannot help it. Believe it if you will; if you won't, let it alone. For
my part, I very well know what I say. It was in the Wild Island, in our
voyage to the Holy Bottle. I tell you the time and place; what would you
have more? I would have you call to mind the strength of the ancient
giants that undertook to lay the high mountain Pelion on the top of Ossa,
and set among those the shady Olympus, to dash out the gods' brains,
unnestle them, and scour their heavenly lodgings. Theirs was no small
strength, you may well think, and yet they were nothing but Chitterlings
from the waist downwards, or at least serpents, not to tell a lie for the
The serpent that tempted Eve, too, was of the Chitterling kind, and yet it
is recorded of him that he was more subtle than any beast of the field.
Even so are Chitterlings. Nay, to this very hour they hold in some
universities that this same tempter was the Chitterling called Ithyphallus,
into which was transformed bawdy Priapus, arch-seducer of females in
paradise, that is, a garden, in Greek.
Pray now tell me who can tell but that the Swiss, now so bold and warlike,
were formerly Chitterlings? For my part, I would not take my oath to the
contrary. The Himantopodes, a nation very famous in Ethiopia, according to
Pliny's description, are Chitterlings, and nothing else. If all this will
not satisfy your worships, or remove your incredulity, I would have you
forthwith (I mean drinking first, that nothing be done rashly) visit
Lusignan, Parthenay, Vouant, Mervant, and Ponzauges in Poitou. There you
will find a cloud of witnesses, not of your affidavit-men of the right
stamp, but credible time out of mind, that will take their corporal oath,
on Rigome's knuckle-bone, that Melusina their founder or foundress, which
you please, was woman from the head to the prick-purse, and thence
downwards was a serpentine Chitterling, or if you'll have it otherwise, a
Chitterlingdized serpent. She nevertheless had a genteel and noble gait,
imitated to this very day by your hop-merchants of Brittany, in their
paspie and country dances.
What do you think was the cause of Erichthonius's being the first inventor
of coaches, litters, and chariots? Nothing but because Vulcan had begot
him with Chitterlingdized legs, which to hide he chose to ride in a litter,
rather than on horseback; for Chitterlings were not yet in esteem at that
The Scythian nymph, Ora, was likewise half woman and half Chitterling, and
yet seemed so beautiful to Jupiter that nothing could serve him but he must
give her a touch of his godship's kindness; and accordingly he had a brave
boy by her, called Colaxes; and therefore I would have you leave off
shaking your empty noddles at this, as if it were a story, and firmly
believe that nothing is truer than the gospel.
How Friar John joined with the cooks to fight the Chitterlings.
Friar John seeing these furious Chitterlings thus boldly march up, said to
Pantagruel, Here will be a rare battle of hobby-horses, a pretty kind of
puppet-show fight, for aught I see. Oh! what mighty honour and wonderful
glory will attend our victory! I would have you only be a bare spectator
of this fight, and for anything else leave me and my men to deal with them.
What men? said Pantagruel. Matter of breviary, replied Friar John. How
came Potiphar, who was head-cook of Pharaoh's kitchens, he that bought
Joseph, and whom the said Joseph might have made a cuckold if he had not
been a Joseph; how came he, I say, to be made general of all the horse in
the kingdom of Egypt? Why was Nabuzardan, King Nebuchadnezzar's head-cook,
chosen to the exclusion of all other captains to besiege and destroy
Jerusalem? I hear you, replied Pantagruel. By St. Christopher's whiskers,
said Friar John, I dare lay a wager that it was because they had formerly
engaged Chitterlings, or men as little valued; whom to rout, conquer, and
destroy, cooks are without comparison more fit than cuirassiers and
gendarmes armed at all points, or all the horse and foot in the world.
You put me in mind, said Pantagruel, of what is written amongst the
facetious and merry sayings of Cicero. During the more than civil wars
between Caesar and Pompey, though he was much courted by the first, he
naturally leaned more to the side of the latter. Now one day hearing that
the Pompeians in a certain rencontre had lost a great many men, he took a
fancy to visit their camp. There he perceived little strength, less
courage, but much disorder. From that time, foreseeing that things would
go ill with them, as it since happened, he began to banter now one and then
another, and be very free of his cutting jests; so some of Pompey's
captains, playing the good fellows to show their assurance, told him, Do
you see how many eagles we have yet? (They were then the device of the
Romans in war.) They might be of use to you, replied Cicero, if you had to
do with magpies.
Thus, seeing we are to fight Chitterlings, pursued Pantagruel, you infer
thence that it is a culinary war, and have a mind to join with the cooks.
Well, do as you please, I'll stay here in the meantime, and wait for the
event of the rumpus.
Friar John went that very moment among the sutlers, into the cooks' tents,
and told them in a pleasing manner: I must see you crowned with honour and
triumph this day, my lads; to your arms are reserved such achievements as
never yet were performed within the memory of man. Ods-belly, do they make
nothing of the valiant cooks? Let us go fight yonder fornicating
Chitterlings! I'll be your captain. But first let's drink, boys. Come
on! let us be of good cheer. Noble captain, returned the kitchen tribe,
this was spoken like yourself; bravely offered. Huzza! we are all at your
excellency's command, and we live and die by you. Live, live, said Friar
John, a God's name; but die by no means. That is the Chitterlings' lot;
they shall have their bellyful of it. Come on then, let us put ourselves
in order; Nabuzardan's the word.
How Friar John fitted up the sow; and of the valiant cooks that went into
Then, by Friar John's order, the engineers and their workmen fitted up the
great sow that was in the ship Leathern Bottle. It was a wonderful
machine, so contrived that, by means of large engines that were round about
it in rows, it throw'd forked iron bars and four-squared steel bolts; and
in its hold two hundred men at least could easily fight, and be sheltered.
It was made after the model of the sow of Riole, by the means of which
Bergerac was retaken from the English in the reign of Charles the Sixth.
Here are the names of the noble and valiant cooks who went into the sow, as
the Greeks did into the Trojan horse:
Sour-sauce. Crisp-pig. Carbonado.
Sweet-meat. Greasy-slouch. Sop-in-pan.
Greedy-gut. Fat-gut. Pick-fowl.
Liquorice-chops. Bray-mortar. Mustard-pot.
Soused-pork. Lick-sauce. Hog's-haslet.
Slap-sauce. Hog's-foot. Chopped-phiz.
Cock-broth. Hodge-podge. Gallimaufry.
All these noble cooks in their coat-of-arms did bear, in a field gules, a
larding-pin vert, charged with a chevron argent.
Lard, hog's-lard. Pinch-lard. Snatch-lard.
Nibble-lard. Top-lard. Gnaw-lard.
Filch-lard. Pick-lard. Scrape-lard.
Fat-lard. Save-lard. Chew-lard.
Gaillard (by syncope) born near Rambouillet. The said culinary doctor's
name was Gaillardlard, in the same manner as you use to say idolatrous for
Stiff-lard. Cut-lard. Waste-lard.
Watch-lard. Mince-lard. Ogle-lard.
Sweet-lard. Dainty-lard. Weigh-lard.
Eat-lard. Fresh-lard. Gulch-lard.
Snap-lard. Rusty-lard. Eye-lard.
Names unknown among the Marranes and Jews.
Ballocky. Thirsty. Porridge-pot.
Pick-sallat. Kitchen-stuff. Lick-dish.
Broil-rasher. Verjuice. Salt-gullet.
Coney-skin. Save-dripping. Snail-dresser.
Dainty-chops. Watercress. Soup-monger.
Pie-wright. Scrape-turnip. Brewis-belly.
Pudding-pan. Trivet. Chine-picker.
Toss-pot. Monsieur Ragout. Suck-gravy.
Mustard-sauce. Crack-pipkin. Macaroon.
Claret-sauce. Scrape-pot. Skewer-maker.
Smell-smock. He was afterwards taken from the kitchen and removed to
chamber-practice, for the service of the noble Cardinal Hunt-venison.
Rot-roast. Hog's gullet. Fox-tail.
Dish-clout. Sirloin. Fly-flap.
Save-suet. Spit-mutton. Old Grizzle.
Fire-fumbler. Fritter-frier. Ruff-belly.
Pillicock. Flesh-smith. Saffron-sauce.
Long-tool. Cram-gut. Strutting-tom.
Prick-pride. Tuzzy-mussy. Slashed-snout.
Prick-madam. Jacket-liner. Smutty-face.
Mondam, that first invented madam's sauce, and for that discovery was thus
called in the Scotch-French dialect.
Loblolly. Sloven. Trencher-man.
Slabber-chops. Swallow-pitcher. Goodman Goosecap.
Scum-pot. Wafer-monger. Munch-turnip.
Gully-guts. Snap-gobbet. Pudding-bag.
Rinse-pot. Scurvy-phiz. Pig-sticker.
Robert. He invented Robert's sauce, so good and necessary for roasted
coneys, ducks, fresh pork, poached eggs, salt fish, and a thousand other
Cold-eel. Frying-pan. Big-snout.
Thornback. Man of dough. Lick-finger.
Gurnard. Sauce-doctor. Tit-bit.
Grumbling-gut. Waste-butter. Sauce-box.
Alms-scrip. Shitbreech. All-fours.
Taste-all. Thick-brawn. Whimwham.
Scrap-merchant. Tom T--d. Baste-roast.
Belly-timberman. Mouldy-crust. Gaping-hoyden.
Hashee. Hasty. Calf's-pluck.
Frig-palate. Red-herring. Leather-breeches.
All these noble cooks went into the sow, merry, cheery, hale, brisk, old
dogs at mischief, and ready to fight stoutly. Friar John ever and anon
waving his huge scimitar, brought up the rear, and double-locked the doors
on the inside.
How Pantagruel broke the Chitterlings at the knees.
The Chitterlings advanced so near that Pantagruel perceived that they
stretched their arms and already began to charge their lances, which caused
him to send Gymnast to know what they meant, and why they thus, without the
least provocation, came to fall upon their old trusty friends, who had
neither said nor done the least ill thing to them. Gymnast being advanced
near their front, bowed very low, and said to them as loud as ever he
could: We are friends, we are friends; all, all of us your friends, yours,
and at your command; we are for Carnival, your old confederate. Some have
since told me that he mistook, and said cavernal instead of carnival.
Whatever it was, the word was no sooner out of his mouth but a huge little
squab Sausage, starting out of the front of their main body, would have
griped him by the collar. By the helmet of Mars, said Gymnast, I will
swallow thee; but thou shalt only come in in chips and slices; for, big as
thou art, thou couldst never come in whole. This spoke, he lugs out his
trusty sword, Kiss-mine-arse (so he called it) with both his fists, and cut
the Sausage in twain. Bless me, how fat the foul thief was! it puts me in
mind of the huge bull of Berne, that was slain at Marignan when the drunken
Swiss were so mauled there. Believe me, it had little less than four
inches' lard on its paunch.
The Sausage's job being done, a crowd of others flew upon Gymnast, and had
most scurvily dragged him down when Pantagruel with his men came up to his
relief. Then began the martial fray, higgledy-piggledy. Maul-chitterling
did maul chitterlings; Cut-pudding did cut puddings; Pantagruel did break
the Chitterlings at the knees; Friar John played at least in sight within
his sow, viewing and observing all things; when the Pattipans that lay in
ambuscade most furiously sallied out upon Pantagruel.
Friar John, who lay snug all this while, by that time perceiving the rout
and hurlyburly, set open the doors of his sow and sallied out with his
merry Greeks, some of them armed with iron spits, others with andirons,
racks, fire-shovels, frying-pans, kettles, grid-irons, oven forks, tongs,
dripping pans, brooms, iron pots, mortars, pestles, all in battle array,
like so many housebreakers, hallooing and roaring out all together most
frightfully, Nabuzardan, Nabuzardan, Nabuzardan. Thus shouting and hooting
they fought like dragons, and charged through the Pattipans and Sausages.
The Chitterlings perceiving this fresh reinforcement, and that the others
would be too hard for 'em, betook themselves to their heels, scampering off
with full speed, as if the devil had come for them. Friar John, with an
iron crow, knocked them down as fast as hops; his men, too, were not
sparing on their side. Oh, what a woeful sight it was! the field was all
over strewed with heaps of dead or wounded Chitterlings; and history
relates that had not heaven had a hand in it, the Chitterling tribe had
been totally routed out of the world by the culinary champions. But there
happened a wonderful thing, you may believe as little or as much of it as
From the north flew towards us a huge, fat, thick, grizzly swine, with long
and large wings, like those of a windmill; its plumes red crimson, like
those of a phenicoptere (which in Languedoc they call flaman); its eyes
were red, and flaming like a carbuncle; its ears green, like a Prasin
emerald; its teeth like a topaz; its tail long and black, like jet; its
feet white, diaphanous and transparent like a diamond, somewhat broad, and
of the splay kind, like those of geese, and as Queen Dick's used to be at
Toulouse in the days of yore. About its neck it wore a gold collar, round
which were some Ionian characters, whereof I could pick out but two words,
US ATHENAN, hog-teaching Minerva.
The sky was clear before; but at that monster's appearance it changed so
mightily for the worse that we were all amazed at it. As soon as the
Chitterlings perceived the flying hog, down they all threw their weapons
and fell on their knees, lifting up their hands joined together, without
speaking one word, in a posture of adoration. Friar John and his party
kept on mincing, felling, braining, mangling, and spitting the Chitterlings
like mad; but Pantagruel sounded a retreat, and all hostility ceased.
The monster having several times hovered backwards and forwards between the
two armies, with a tail-shot voided above twenty-seven butts of mustard on
the ground; then flew away through the air, crying all the while, Carnival,
How Pantagruel held a treaty with Niphleseth, Queen of the Chitterlings.
The monster being out of sight, and the two armies remaining silent,
Pantagruel demanded a parley with the lady Niphleseth, Queen of the
Chitterlings, who was in her chariot by the standards; and it was easily
granted. The queen alighted, courteously received Pantagruel, and was glad
to see him. Pantagruel complained to her of this breach of peace; but she
civilly made her excuse, telling him that a false information had caused
all this mischief; her spies having brought her word that Shrovetide, their
mortal foe, was landed, and spent his time in examining the urine of
She therefore entreated him to pardon them their offence, telling him that
sir-reverence was sooner found in Chitterlings than gall; and offering, for
herself and all her successors, to hold of him and his the whole island and
country; to obey him in all his commands, be friends to his friends, and
foes to his foes; and also to send every year, as an acknowledgment of
their homage, a tribute of seventy-eight thousand royal Chitterlings, to
serve him at his first course at table six months in the year; which was
punctually performed. For the next day she sent the aforesaid quantity of
royal Chitterlings to the good Gargantua, under the conduct of young
Niphleseth, infanta of the island.
The good Gargantua made a present of them to the great King of Paris. But
by change of air, and for want of mustard (the natural balsam and restorer
of Chitterlings), most of them died. By the great king's particular grant
they were buried in heaps in a part of Paris to this day called La Rue
pavee d'Andouilles, the street paved with Chitterlings. At the request of
the ladies at his court young Niphleseth was preserved, honourably used,
and since that married to heart's content; and was the mother of many
children, for which heaven be praised.
Pantagruel civilly thanked the queen, forgave all offences, refused the
offer she had made of her country, and gave her a pretty little knife.
After that he asked several nice questions concerning the apparition of
that flying hog. She answered that it was the idea of Carnival, their
tutelary god in time of war, first founder and original of all the
Chitterling race; for which reason he resembled a hog, for Chitterlings
drew their extraction from hogs.
Pantagruel asking to what purpose and curative indication he had voided so
much mustard on the earth, the queen replied that mustard was their
sanc-greal and celestial balsam, of which, laying but a little in the wounds
of the fallen Chitterlings, in a very short time the wounded were healed and
the dead restored to life. Pantagruel held no further discourse with the
queen, but retired a-shipboard. The like did all the boon companions, with
their implements of destruction and their huge sow.
How Pantagruel went into the island of Ruach.
Two days after we arrived at the island of Ruach; and I swear to you, by
the celestial hen and chickens, that I found the way of living of the
people so strange and wonderful that I can't, for the heart's blood of me,
half tell it you. They live on nothing but wind, eat nothing but wind, and
drink nothing but wind. They have no other houses but weathercocks. They
sow no other seeds but the three sorts of windflowers, rue, and herbs that
may make one break wind to the purpose; these scour them off carefully.
The common sort of people to feed themselves make use of feather, paper, or
linen fans, according to their abilities. As for the rich, they live by
the means of windmills.
When they would have some noble treat, the tables are spread under one or
two windmills. There they feast as merry as beggars, and during the meal
their whole talk is commonly of the goodness, excellency, salubrity, and
rarity of winds; as you, jolly topers, in your cups philosophize and argue
upon wines. The one praises the south-east, the other the south-west; this
the west and by south, and this the east and by north; another the west,
and another the east; and so of the rest. As for lovers and amorous
sparks, no gale for them like a smock-gale. For the sick they use bellows
as we use clysters among us.
Oh! said to me a little diminutive swollen bubble, that I had now but a
bladderful of that same Languedoc wind which they call Cierce. The famous
physician, Scurron, passing one day by this country, was telling us that it
is so strong that it will make nothing of overturning a loaded waggon. Oh!
what good would it not do my Oedipodic leg. The biggest are not the best;
but, said Panurge, rather would I had here a large butt of that same good
Languedoc wine that grows at Mirevaux, Canteperdrix, and Frontignan.
I saw a good likely sort of a man there, much resembling Ventrose, tearing
and fuming in a grievous fret with a tall burly groom and a pimping little
page of his, laying them on, like the devil, with a buskin. Not knowing
the cause of his anger, at first I thought that all this was by the
doctor's advice, as being a thing very healthy to the master to be in a
passion and to his man to be banged for it. But at last I heard him taxing
his man with stealing from him, like a rogue as he was, the better half of
a large leathern bag of an excellent southerly wind, which he had carefully
laid up, like a hidden reserve, against the cold weather.
They neither exonerate, dung, piss, nor spit in that island; but, to make
amends, they belch, fizzle, funk, and give tail-shots in abundance. They
are troubled with all manner of distempers; and, indeed, all distempers are
engendered and proceed from ventosities, as Hippocrates demonstrates, lib.
De Flatibus. But the most epidemical among them is the wind-cholic. The
remedies which they use are large clysters, whereby they void store of
windiness. They all die of dropsies and tympanies, the men farting and the
women fizzling; so that their soul takes her leave at the back-door.
Some time after, walking in the island, we met three hairbrained airy
fellows, who seemed mightily puffed up, and went to take their pastime and
view the plovers, who live on the same diet as themselves, and abound in
the island. I observed that, as your true topers when they travel carry
flasks, leathern bottles, and small runlets along with them, so each of
them had at his girdle a pretty little pair of bellows. If they happened
to want wind, by the help of those pretty bellows they immediately drew
some, fresh and cool, by attraction and reciprocal expulsion; for, as you
well know, wind essentially defined is nothing but fluctuating and agitated
A while after, we were commanded, in the king's name, not to receive for
three hours any man or woman of the country on board our ships; some having
stolen from him a rousing fart, of the very individual wind which old
goodman Aeolus the snorer gave Ulysses to conduct his ship whenever it
should happen to be becalmed. Which fart the king kept religiously, like
another sanc-greal, and performed a world of wonderful cures with it in
many dangerous diseases, letting loose and distributing to the patient only
as much of it as might frame a virginal fart; which is, if you must know,
what our sanctimonials, alias nuns, in their dialect call ringing
How small rain lays a high wind.
Pantagruel commended their government and way of living, and said to their
hypenemian mayor: If you approve Epicurus's opinion, placing the summum
bonum in pleasure (I mean pleasure that's easy and free from toil), I
esteem you happy; for your food being wind, costs you little or nothing,
since you need but blow. True, sir, returned the mayor; but, alas! nothing
is perfect here below; for too often when we are at table, feeding on some
good blessed wind of God as on celestial manna, merry as so many friars,
down drops on a sudden some small rain, which lays our wind, and so robs us
of it. Thus many a meal's lost for want of meat.
Just so, quoth Panurge, Jenin Toss-pot of Quinquenais, evacuating some wine
of his own burning on his wife's posteriors, laid the ill-fumed wind that
blowed out of their centre as out of some magisterial Aeolipile. Here is a
kind of a whim on that subject which I made formerly:
One evening when Toss-pot had been at his butts,
And Joan his fat spouse crammed with turnips her guts,
Together they pigged, nor did drink so besot him
But he did what was done when his daddy begot him.
Now when to recruit he'd fain have been snoring,
Joan's back-door was filthily puffing and roaring;
So for spite he bepissed her, and quickly did find
That a very small rain lays a very high wind.
We are also plagued yearly with a very great calamity, cried the mayor; for
a giant called Wide-nostrils, who lives in the island of Tohu, comes hither
every spring to purge, by the advice of his physicians, and swallows us,
like so many pills, a great number of windmills, and of bellows also, at
which his mouth waters exceedingly.
Now this is a sad mortification to us here, who are fain to fast over three
or four whole Lents every year for this, besides certain petty Lents, ember
weeks, and other orison and starving tides. And have you no remedy for
this? asked Pantagruel. By the advice of our Mezarims, replied the mayor,
about the time that he uses to give us a visit, we garrison our windmills
with good store of cocks and hens. The first time that the greedy thief
swallowed them, they had like to have done his business at once; for they
crowed and cackled in his maw, and fluttered up and down athwart and along
in his stomach, which threw the glutton into a lipothymy cardiac passion
and dreadful and dangerous convulsions, as if some serpent, creeping in at
his mouth, had been frisking in his stomach.
Here is a comparative as altogether incongruous and impertinent, cried
Friar John, interrupting them; for I have formerly heard that if a serpent
chance to get into a man's stomach it will not do him the least hurt, but
will immediately get out if you do but hang the patient by the heels and
lay a panful of warm milk near his mouth. You were told this, said
Pantagruel, and so were those who gave you this account; but none ever saw
or read of such a cure. On the contrary, Hippocrates, in his fifth book of
Epidem, writes that such a case happening in his time the patient presently
died of a spasm and convulsion.
Besides the cocks and hens, said the mayor, continuing his story, all the
foxes in the country whipped into Wide-nostril's mouth, posting after the
poultry; which made such a stir with Reynard at their heels, that he
grievously fell into fits each minute of an hour.
At last, by the advice of a Baden enchanter, at the time of the paroxysm he
used to flay a fox by way of antidote and counter-poison. Since that he
took better advice, and eases himself with taking a clyster made with a
decoction of wheat and barley corns, and of livers of goslings; to the
first of which the poultry run, and the foxes to the latter. Besides, he
swallows some of your badgers or fox-dogs by the way of pills and boluses.
This is our misfortune.
Cease to fear, good people, cried Pantagruel; this huge Wide-nostrils, this
same swallower of windmills, is no more, I will assure you; he died, being
stifled and choked with a lump of fresh butter at the mouth of a hot oven,
by the advice of his physicians.
How Pantagruel went ashore in the island of Pope-Figland.
The next morning we arrived at the island of Pope-figs; formerly a rich and
free people, called the Gaillardets, but now, alas! miserably poor, and
under the yoke of the Papimen. The occasion of it was this:
On a certain yearly high holiday, the burgomaster, syndics, and topping
rabbies of the Gaillardets chanced to go into the neighbouring island
Papimany to see the festival and pass away the time. Now one of them
having espied the pope's picture (with the sight of which, according to a
laudable custom, the people were blessed on high-offering holidays), made
mouths at it, and cried, A fig for it! as a sign of manifest contempt and
derision. To be revenged of this affront, the Papimen, some days after,
without giving the others the least warning, took arms, and surprised,
destroyed, and ruined the whole island of the Gaillardets; putting the men
to the sword, and sparing none but the women and children, and those too
only on condition to do what the inhabitants of Milan were condemned to by
the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
These had rebelled against him in his absence, and ignominiously turned the
empress out of the city, mounting her a-horseback on a mule called Thacor,
with her breech foremost towards the old jaded mule's head, and her face
turned towards the crupper. Now Frederick being returned, mastered them,
and caused so careful a search to be made that he found out and got the
famous mule Thacor. Then the hangman by his order clapped a fig into the
mule's jimcrack, in the presence of the enslaved cits that were brought
into the middle of the great market-place, and proclaimed in the emperor's
name, with trumpets, that whosoever of them would save his own life should
publicly pull the fig out with his teeth, and after that put it in again in
the very individual cranny whence he had draw'd it without using his hands,
and that whoever refused to do this should presently swing for it and die
in his shoes. Some sturdy fools, standing upon their punctilio, chose
honourably to be hanged rather than submit to so shameful and abominable a
disgrace; and others, less nice in point of ceremony, took heart of grace,
and even resolved to have at the fig, and a fig for't, rather than make a
worse figure with a hempen collar, and die in the air at so short warning.
Accordingly, when they had neatly picked out the fig with their teeth from
old Thacor's snatch-blatch, they plainly showed it the headsman, saying,
Ecco lo fico, Behold the fig!
By the same ignominy the rest of these poor distressed Gaillardets saved
their bacon, becoming tributaries and slaves, and the name of Pope-figs was
given them, because they said, A fig for the pope's image. Since this, the
poor wretches never prospered, but every year the devil was at their doors,
and they were plagued with hail, storms, famine, and all manner of woes, as
an everlasting punishment for the sin of their ancestors and relations.
Perceiving the misery and calamity of that generation, we did not care to
go further up into the country, contenting ourselves with going into a
little chapel near the haven to take some holy water. It was dilapidated
and ruined, wanting also a cover--like Saint Peter at Rome. When we were
in, as we dipped our fingers in the sanctified cistern, we spied in the
middle of that holy pickle a fellow muffled up with stoles, all under
water, like a diving duck, except the tip of his snout to draw his breath.
About him stood three priests, true shavelings, clean shorn and polled, who
were muttering strange words to the devils out of a conjuring book.
Pantagruel was not a little amazed at this, and inquiring what kind of
sport these were at, was told that for three years last past the plague had
so dreadfully raged in the island that the better half of it had been
utterly depopulated, and the lands lay fallow and unoccupied. Now, the
mortality being over, this same fellow who had crept into the holy tub,
having a large piece of ground, chanced to be sowing it with white winter
wheat at the very minute of an hour that a kind of a silly sucking devil,
who could not yet write or read, or hail and thunder, unless it were on
parsley or coleworts, and got leave of his master Lucifer to go into this
island of Pope-figs, where the devils were very familiar with the men and
women, and often went to take their pastime.
This same devil being got thither, directed his discourse to the
husbandman, and asked him what he was doing. The poor man told him that he
was sowing the ground with corn to help him to subsist the next year. Ay,
but the ground is none of thine, Mr. Plough-jobber, cried the devil, but
mine; for since the time that you mocked the pope all this land has been
proscribed, adjudged, and abandoned to us. However, to sow corn is not my
province; therefore I will give thee leave to sow the field, that is to
say, provided we share the profit. I will, replied the farmer. I mean,
said the devil, that of what the land shall bear, two lots shall be made,
one of what shall grow above ground, the other of what shall be covered
with earth. The right of choosing belongs to me; for I am a devil of noble
and ancient race; thou art a base clown. I therefore choose what shall lie
under ground, take thou what shall be above. When dost thou reckon to
reap, hah? About the middle of July, quoth the farmer. Well, said the
devil, I'll not fail thee then; in the meantime, slave as thou oughtest.
Work, clown, work. I am going to tempt to the pleasing sin of whoring the
nuns of Dryfart, the sham saints of the cowl, and the gluttonish crew. I
am more than sure of these. They need but meet, and the job is done; true
fire and tinder, touch and take; down falls nun, and up gets friar.
How a junior devil was fooled by a husbandman of Pope-Figland.
In the middle of July the devil came to the place aforesaid with all his
crew at his heels, a whole choir of the younger fry of hell; and having met
the farmer, said to him, Well, clodpate, how hast thou done since I went?
Thou and I must share the concern. Ay, master devil, quoth the clown; it
is but reason we should. Then he and his men began to cut and reap the
corn; and, on the other side, the devil's imps fell to work, grubbing up
and pulling out the stubble by the root.
The countryman had his corn thrashed, winnowed it, put in into sacks, and
went with it to market. The same did the devil's servants, and sat them
down there by the man to sell their straw. The countryman sold off his
corn at a good rate, and with the money filled an old kind of a demi-buskin
which was fastened to his girdle. But the devil a sou the devils took; far
from taking handsel, they were flouted and jeered by the country louts.
Market being over, quoth the devil to the farmer, Well, clown, thou hast
choused me once, it is thy fault; chouse me twice, 'twill be mine. Nay,
good sir devil, replied the farmer; how can I be said to have choused you,
since it was your worship that chose first? The truth is, that by this
trick you thought to cheat me, hoping that nothing would spring out of the
earth for my share, and that you should find whole underground the corn
which I had sowed, and with it tempt the poor and needy, the close
hypocrite, or the covetous griper; thus making them fall into your snares.
But troth, you must e'en go to school yet; you are no conjurer, for aught I
see; for the corn that was sow'd is dead and rotten, its corruption having
caused the generation of that which you saw me sell. So you chose the
worst, and therefore are cursed in the gospel. Well, talk no more of it,
quoth the devil; what canst thou sow our field with for next year? If a
man would make the best of it, answered the ploughman, 'twere fit he sow it
with radish. Now, cried the devil, thou talkest like an honest fellow,
bumpkin. Well, sow me good store of radish, I'll see and keep them safe
from storms, and will not hail a bit on them. But hark ye me, this time I
bespeak for my share what shall be above ground; what's under shall be
thine. Drudge on, looby, drudge on. I am going to tempt heretics; their
souls are dainty victuals when broiled in rashers and well powdered. My
Lord Lucifer has the griping in the guts; they'll make a dainty warm dish
for his honour's maw.
When the season of radishes was come, our devil failed not to meet in the
field, with a train of rascally underlings, all waiting devils, and finding
there the farmer and his men, he began to cut and gather the leaves of the
radishes. After him the farmer with his spade dug up the radishes, and
clapped them up into pouches. This done, the devil, the farmer, and their
gangs, hied them to market, and there the farmer presently made good money
of his radishes; but the poor devil took nothing; nay, what was worse, he
was made a common laughing-stock by the gaping hoidens. I see thou hast
played me a scurvy trick, thou villainous fellow, cried the angry devil; at
last I am fully resolved even to make an end of the business betwixt thee
and myself about the ground, and these shall be the terms: we will
clapperclaw each other, and whoever of us two shall first cry Hold, shall
quit his share of the field, which shall wholly belong to the conqueror. I
fix the time for this trial of skill on this day seven-night; assure
thyself that I'll claw thee off like a devil. I was going to tempt your
fornicators, bailiffs, perplexers of causes, scriveners, forgers of deeds,
two-handed counsellors, prevaricating solicitors, and other such vermin;
but they were so civil as to send me word by an interpreter that they are
all mine already. Besides, our master Lucifer is so cloyed with their
souls that he often sends them back to the smutty scullions and slovenly
devils of his kitchen, and they scarce go down with them, unless now and
then, when they are high-seasoned.
Some say there is no breakfast like a student's, no dinner like a lawyer's,
no afternoon's nunchion like a vine-dresser's, no supper like a
tradesman's, no second supper like a serving-wench's, and none of these
meals equal to a frockified hobgoblin's. All this is true enough.
Accordingly, at my Lord Lucifer's first course, hobgoblins, alias imps in
cowls, are a standing dish. He willingly used to breakfast on students;
but, alas! I do not know by what ill luck they have of late years joined
the Holy Bible to their studies; so the devil a one we can get down among
us; and I verily believe that unless the hypocrites of the tribe of Levi
help us in it, taking from the enlightened book-mongers their St. Paul,
either by threats, revilings, force, violence, fire, and faggot, we shall
not be able to hook in any more of them to nibble at below. He dines
commonly on counsellors, mischief-mongers, multipliers of lawsuits, such as
wrest and pervert right and law and grind and fleece the poor; he never
fears to want any of these. But who can endure to be wedded to a dish?
He said t'other day, at a full chapter, that he had a great mind to eat the
soul of one of the fraternity of the cowl that had forgot to speak for
himself in his sermon, and he promised double pay and a large pension to
anyone that should bring him such a titbit piping hot. We all went
a-hunting after such a rarity, but came home without the prey; for they all
admonish the good women to remember their convent. As for afternoon
nunchions, he has left them off since he was so woefully griped with the
colic; his fosterers, sutlers, charcoal-men, and boiling cooks having been
sadly mauled and peppered off in the northern countries.
His high devilship sups very well on tradesmen, usurers, apothecaries,
cheats, coiners, and adulterers of wares. Now and then, when he is on the
merry pin, his second supper is of serving-wenches who, after they have by
stealth soaked their faces with their master's good liquor, fill up the
vessel with it at second hand, or with other stinking water.
Well, drudge on, boor, drudge on; I am going to tempt the students of
Trebisonde to leave father and mother, forego for ever the established and
common rule of living, disclaim and free themselves from obeying their
lawful sovereign's edicts, live in absolute liberty, proudly despise
everyone, laugh at all mankind, and taking the fine jovial little cap of
poetic licence, become so many pretty hobgoblins.
How the devil was deceived by an old woman of Pope-Figland.
The country lob trudged home very much concerned and thoughtful, you may
swear; insomuch that his good woman, seeing him thus look moping, weened
that something had been stolen from him at market; but when she had heard
the cause of his affliction and seen his budget well lined with coin, she
bade him be of good cheer, assuring him that he would be never the worse
for the scratching bout in question; wishing him only to leave her to
manage that business, and not trouble his head about it; for she had
already contrived how to bring him off cleverly. Let the worst come to the
worst, said the husbandman, it will be but a scratch; for I'll yield at the
first stroke, and quit the field. Quit a fart, replied the wife; he shall
have none of the field. Rely upon me, and be quiet; let me alone to deal
with him. You say he is a pimping little devil, that is enough; I will
soon make him give up the field, I will warrant you. Indeed, had he been a
great devil, it had been somewhat.
The day that we landed in the island happened to be that which the devil
had fixed for the combat. Now the countryman having, like a good Catholic,
very fairly confessed himself, and received betimes in the morning, by the
advice of the vicar had hid himself, all but the snout, in the holy-water
pot, in the posture in which we found him; and just as they were telling us
this story, news came that the old woman had fooled the devil and gained
the field. You may not be sorry, perhaps, to hear how this happened.
The devil, you must know, came to the poor man's door, and rapping there,
cried, So ho! ho, the house! ho, clodpate! where art thou? Come out with a
vengeance; come out with a wannion; come out and be damned; now for
clawing. Then briskly and resolutely entering the house, and not finding
the countryman there, he spied his wife lying on the ground, piteously
weeping and howling. What is the matter? asked the devil. Where is he?
what does he? Oh! that I knew where he is, replied threescore and five;
the wicked rogue, the butcherly dog, the murderer! He has spoiled me; I am
undone; I die of what he has done me. How, cried the devil, what is it?
I'll tickle him off for you by-and-by. Alas! cried the old dissembler, he
told me, the butcher, the tyrant, the tearer of devils told me that he had
made a match to scratch with you this day, and to try his claws he did but
just touch me with his little finger here betwixt the legs, and has spoiled
me for ever. Oh! I am a dead woman; I shall never be myself again; do but
see! Nay, and besides, he talked of going to the smith's to have his
pounces sharpened and pointed. Alas! you are undone, Mr. Devil; good sir,
scamper quickly, I am sure he won't stay; save yourself, I beseech you.
While she said this she uncovered herself up to the chin, after the manner
in which the Persian women met their children who fled from the fight, and
plainly showed her what do ye call them. The frightened devil, seeing the
enormous solution of the continuity in all its dimensions, blessed himself,
and cried out, Mahon, Demiourgon, Megaera, Alecto, Persephone! 'slife,
catch me here when he comes! I am gone! 'sdeath, what a gash! I resign
him the field.
Having heard the catastrophe of the story, we retired a-shipboard, not
being willing to stay there any longer. Pantagruel gave to the poor's box
of the fabric of the church eighteen thousand good royals, in commiseration
of the poverty of the people and the calamity of the place.
How Pantagruel went ashore at the island of Papimany.
Having left the desolate island of the Pope-figs, we sailed for the space
of a day very fairly and merrily, and made the blessed island of Papimany.
As soon as we had dropt anchor in the road, before we had well moored our
ship with ground-tackle, four persons in different garbs rowed towards us
in a skiff. One of them was dressed like a monk in his frock,
draggle-tailed, and booted; the other like a falconer, with a lure, and a
long-winged hawk on his fist; the third like a solicitor, with a large bag,
full of informations, subpoenas, breviates, bills, writs, cases, and other
implements of pettifogging; the fourth looked like one of your vine-barbers
about Ocleans, with a jaunty pair of canvas trousers, a dosser, and a
pruning knife at his girdle.
As soon as the boat had clapped them on board, they all with one voice
asked, Have you seen him, good passengers, have you seen him? Who? asked
Pantagruel. You know who, answered they. Who is it? asked Friar John.
'Sblood and 'ounds, I'll thrash him thick and threefold. This he said
thinking that they inquired after some robber, murderer, or church-breaker.
Oh, wonderful! cried the four; do not you foreign people know the one?
Sirs, replied Epistemon, we do not understand those terms; but if you will
be pleased to let us know who you mean, we will tell you the truth of the
matter without any more ado. We mean, said they, he that is. Did you ever
see him? He that is, returned Pantagruel, according to our theological
doctrine, is God, who said to Moses, I am that I am. We never saw him, nor
can he be beheld by mortal eyes. We mean nothing less than that supreme
God who rules in heaven, replied they; we mean the god on earth. Did you
ever see him? Upon my honour, replied Carpalin, they mean the pope. Ay,
ay, answered Panurge; yea, verily, gentlemen, I have seen three of them,
whose sight has not much bettered me. How! cried they, our sacred
decretals inform us that there never is more than one living. I mean
successively, one after the other, returned Panurge; otherwise I never saw
more than one at a time.
O thrice and four times happy people! cried they; you are welcome, and more
than double welcome! They then kneeled down before us and would have
kissed our feet, but we would not suffer it, telling them that should the
pope come thither in his own person, 'tis all they could do to him. No,
certainly, answered they, for we have already resolved upon the matter. We
would kiss his bare arse without boggling at it, and eke his two pounders;
for he has a pair of them, the holy father, that he has; we find it so by
our fine decretals, otherwise he could not be pope. So that, according to
our subtle decretaline philosophy, this is a necessary consequence: he is
pope; therefore he has genitories, and should genitories no more be found
in the world, the world could no more have a pope.
While they were talking thus, Pantagruel inquired of one of the coxswain's
crew who those persons were. He answered that they were the four estates
of the island, and added that we should be made as welcome as princes,
since we had seen the pope. Panurge having been acquainted with this by
Pantagruel, said to him in his ear, I swear and vow, sir, 'tis even so; he
that has patience may compass anything. Seeing the pope had done us no
good; now, in the devil's name, 'twill do us a great deal. We then went
ashore, and the whole country, men, women, and children, came to meet us as
in a solemn procession. Our four estates cried out to them with a loud
voice, They have seen him! they have seen him! they have seen him! That
proclamation being made, all the mob kneeled before us, lifting up their
hands towards heaven, and crying, O happy men! O most happy! and this
acclamation lasted above a quarter of an hour.
Then came the Busby (!) of the place, with all his pedagogues, ushers, and
schoolboys, whom he magisterially flogged, as they used to whip children in
our country formerly when some criminal was hanged, that they might
remember it. This displeased Pantagruel, who said to them, Gentlemen, if
you do not leave off whipping these poor children, I am gone. The people
were amazed, hearing his stentorian voice; and I saw a little hump with
long fingers say to the hypodidascal, What, in the name of wonder! do all
those that see the pope grow as tall as yon huge fellow that threatens us?
Ah! how I shall think time long till I have seen him too, that I may grow
and look as big. In short, the acclamations were so great that Homenas (so
they called their bishop) hastened thither on an unbridled mule with green
trappings, attended by his apposts (as they said) and his supposts, or
officers bearing crosses, banners, standards, canopies, torches, holy-water
pots, &c. He too wanted to kiss our feet (as the good Christian Valfinier
did to Pope Clement), saying that one of their hypothetes, that's one of
the scavengers, scourers, and commentators of their holy decretals, had
written that, in the same manner as the Messiah, so long and so much
expected by the Jews, at last appeared among them; so, on some happy day of
God, the pope would come into that island; and that, while they waited for
that blessed time, if any who had seen him at Rome or elsewhere chanced to
come among them, they should be sure to make much of them, feast them
plentifully, and treat them with a great deal of reverence. However, we
civilly desired to be excused.